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At Least 90,000 Health Care Workers Infected with Virus; Trump's Testy Exchange with a Nurse; Nurse Says Health Care Workers Lack Enough Gear to Fight Virus; New Banksy Artwork Honors Health Workers at U.K. Hospital; How Health Care Workers Deal with Constant Stress; Surprising Pandemic Habits Might Stick Around for Good; Ibiza's Nightlife Shuts Down as it Fights COVID-19; Proud Papa Moment Goes Viral. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired May 07, 2020 - 04:30   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Health care workers are among the most vulnerable in the fight against COVID-19. At least 90,000 of them across the globe have been infected with the virus according to a report from the International Council of Nurses. And that news coming as President Trump hosted a group of nurses inside the oval office on Wednesday for National Nurses Day. The event was intended to honor these health care workers but it got testy when the President challenged one nurse's claims about what she's experiencing on the front lines.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's sporadic. I've talked to my colleagues around the country and certainly there are pockets of areas where PPE is not ideal, but this is an unprecedented time. I've been reusing my N-95 mask for a few weeks now.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sporadic for you but not sporadic for a lot of people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no, I agree, Mr. President.

TRUMP: Because I've heard the opposite, that they are loaded up with gowns now.


CHURCH: Joining me now on the phone is Zenei Cortez, co-President of National Nurses United and a registered nurse for more than 40 years. Thank you so much for being with us and for all that you and nurses everywhere are doing to save the lives in the midst of this pandemic.

ZENEI CORTEZ, NATIONAL NURSES UNITED PRESIDENT (via phone): Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: We just heard a nurse try to explain to President Trump how difficult it has been to get hold of enough PPE but he cut her off and said that's not what others are experiencing. He's saying there's a lot of supply of this. What was your reaction to that exchange?

CORTEZ: I think what the nurse was saying is pretty accurate. I am one of the front-line nurses who are up close and personal with what's going on. I know that the White House is saying there are millions of masks and gowns that have been sent out to all the different states, but they are not there. They're still missing. We don't have it in the front lines.

In fact, when the nurse says she has been using the same N-95 for a few days or even a week, that's true. And what our employers are doing now is they are repurposing the same mask that we have used for over a period of time. It is undergoing a decontamination process which means they're using a lot of chemicals to clean and repurpose the masks, which is unacceptable. Because even the manufacturers of the masks are not recommending decontamination and repurposing. It has to be a one- time use.

CHURCH: Right, and what you're saying and what the nurse there was trying to tell the U.S. President is exactly what we have been hearing in the United States and all around the globe. Why is there this disconnect, do you think, where the politicians think there is an abundance of this PPE gear out there and the nurses and doctors who are there at the front line and should definitely know exactly what's going on are telling a very different story? What's going on there?

CORTEZ: I think the government agencies, and even the President, people in power have failed us as citizens and as health care workers and I think they just want to make themselves look good, but in reality, there's not enough PPE. There's not enough masks.

CHURCH: And, Zenei, I just want to finish up. Because you would have seen the new artwork donated to a hospital by street artist Banksy honoring the work of nurses. By portraying them as a superhero doll being held by a little boy. It is extraordinary. What is your reaction to that coming out, as it did, on Nurse Appreciation Day.


CORTEZ: Yes, while I do appreciate, you know, the artist for portraying that nurses are the heroes and with a little boy appreciating that gesture, I am very touched by the artwork and like the referenced Nurse's Appreciation Day today and the rest of the week. Our employers, if they really appreciate the nurses in this time, in this day, and this week, they should be providing us with the proper PPE. We don't need accolades. We don't need empty praises because of what we've been doing. And they've been calling us heroes because I think they expect us to die. That's how heroes are made, they die in a war.

CHURCH: Zenei Cortez. Thank you so much. We salute you and all nurses around the globe. Thank you.

CORTEZ: Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: And let's get them that protective gear. It is required. It is needed. CNN's Erica Hill takes a closer look now at other challenges and

stresses health care workers on the front line have been dealing with during this pandemic.


DR. EVELINA GRAYVER, NEW YORK CARDIOLOGIST: Every single time I walk into that hospital, it affects me personally. It affects my family personally. It affects my daughter personally.

ERICA HILL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dr. Evelina Grayver wasn't supposed to be in the ICU.

(on camera): Is there ever a moment where you can leave it behind?

GRAYVER: In all, honestly, I am kind of afraid of those moments. I'm afraid of the moments that I actually will allow myself to truly think and absorb all that I've just seen.

They are all on ventilators.

HILL (voice-over): When the coronavirus began to spread, she was redeployed overnight --

GRAYVER: This is my daily test.

HILL: -- from the coronary care unit.

(on camera): Did anything prepare you for what you saw on day one?

GRAYVER: Nothing.

HILL (voice-over): Day one with was nearly two months ago. In the weeks since, her parents and then her grandparents contracted the virus. On April 25th, her 99-year-old grandfather, a holocaust survivor, passed away. She still hasn't been able to see her grandmother. It's too risky. There has been insomnia, anxiety and lingering fear.

GRAYVER: I'm fearful. I'm fearful that me being as a high-risk person that I am and being exposed that I'm going to expose everyone and anyone that I love. I'm fearful of depression. I'm fearful of anxiety. I'm fearful of post-traumatic stress disorder.

HILL: There is no timeline, no handbook for this pandemic.

ALEX STORZILLO, NEW JERSEY PARAMEDIC: Anyone who says they're not scared during this is lying to you.

HILL: As a paramedic, Alex Storzillo is trained to deal with death but he's never experienced it to this degree. He worries about the toll to come.

STORZILLO: I mean, we may not feel it now, but you know, summer, fall, when the dust all settles, I think that a lot of first responders might be dealing with PTSD. ADAM STERN, MASSACHUSETTS PSYCHIATRIST: Mental health concerns are so often stigmatized that it can be challenging, especially in a field like medicine.

Healthcare workers and anyone on the frontlines of this pandemic are really at increased risk of PTSD and other emotional disorders.

HILL: Hospitals around the country are responding, adding additional mental health resources, including counseling. Emergency medicine has some of the highest burnout rates for physicians. Now increasing numbers of frontline healthcare workers are dealing with similar unrelenting stress. Their families feel it too.

KAYLA LEVY, DR. GRAVYER'S DAUGHTER: I miss her a lot all the time.

HILL (on camera): Do you worry about your mom?

LEVY: Extremely. I worry that she can get sick and possibly infect others and infect me when she comes home.

HILL: Dr. Grayver says 13-year-old Kayla has been forced to grow up quickly.

GRAYVER: As a mother, you just feel like you're not there. You're not there when your child is scared. You just feel helpless and kind of useless. It's a horrible feeling. Sorry. It really sucks.

HILL (on camera): And as you're trying to juggle all of that, there are people looking at you and they are saying you're our heroes.

GRAYVER: There're so many times when I hear sound of claps from work. I just want to be home with my child, to just be there and to kind of feel like you're her hero, you're like as a mom.

HILL (voice-over): It's those moments as mom that keep her going.

GRAYVER: The silver lining is the fact that the quality that we spend, maybe the quantity is not as much. But the quality is just so much more meaningful. We just -- us.

HILL: Erica Hill, CNN, New York.



CHURCH: Well we have all tried new things to pass the time at home during this pandemic, but which habits could outlast the crisis and become regular behavior? We'll be back with that in just a moment.


CHURCH: In the latest violent incident over social distancing rules, two fast food employees were shot by customers in Oklahoma. This happened at a McDonald's. The two customers were asked to leave the dining area which has COVID-19 restrictions. Police say they became upset and drew a gun. Another employee was also hurt during the fight. All of the injuries are considered non-life threatening. The suspects were arrested.

Well hopefully, angry outbursts won't become the new normal. But trying to keep the virus at bay has forced people to adapt to a changing world and to pick up new habits. Some may not last, but others may stick around for our own benefit. CNN's Brian Todd explains.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over) At a hair salon in Germany, customers and stylists wear masks. A stylist carefully clips around a man's mask strap. At a bakery in Houston, masks are worn on both sides of the counter. Hand sanitizer is right there by the touchscreen. America's top health experts are saying, after the worst of this pandemic has passed, many of these practices may well stay with us.

DR. TOM FRIEDEN, FORMER CDC DIRECTOR: When we go out, it's not going to be back to normal. It's going to be to a new normal with hand sanitizer and perhaps face masks where it's spreading widely and no touch doors and no touch elevator buttons and lots of ways to engineer risk out of our lives.

TODD: Public health experts hope people keep wearing face masks in public after this and the next waves of coronavirus pass, at least for several months. Much like millions of people in Asia did for years after the SARS outbreak passed in the early 2000. And experts say, Americans can get used to them.


PROF. ALEXANDRA PHELAN, GLOBAL PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: It is possible that as people get more comfortable wearing masks here in the United States and that we will see that acceptance and that we'll see people feel more comfortable wearing masks -- mask in the future. Particularly during the flu seasons.

TODD: Top physicians say it's important to remember what masks are used for. Usually not to prevent you from getting COVID-19, but to prevent you from transmitting it to others if you're infected.

DR. PETER HOTEZ, DEAN OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR COLLEGE OF MEDICINE: Just through the act of speaking, you're actually shedding virus into the environment. And that mask keeps those virus particles from spreading out -- spreading any appreciable distance. So you greatly reduce the likelihood that you're going to spread virus at your place of work, or if you're in a restaurant,

TODD: Masks have become so critical that cottage industries have popped up to get them in circulation, and sports gear manufacturers and clothing lines like Brooks Brothers and Gap have pivoted to mask making. But many are still resisting mask wearing and flouting distancing guidelines. Like at this Cinco de Mayo gathering in Jacksonville. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, 6 feet mean is different things to many people.

TODD: But health officials say distancing has to be part of the new normal. And as for handshakes, America's leading voice in this pandemic says, never again.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: As a society, just forget about shaking hands. We don't need to shake hands. We got to break that custom.

TODD: And one expert says there are practices we haven't thought about during this pandemic that we should get ready to adopt.

HOTEZ: We're finding out people who've been in places where there's a lot of virus around like in hospitals have significant amount of virus on their shoes, so possibly taking off our shoes when we walk in houses that may become kind of a new normal.

TODD (on camera): Dr. Peter Hotez says another part of the new normal may very well be that we get used to hearing from our top scientists more and more. Maybe even looking to them more than our elected leaders. He says for decades scientists have been largely invisible, but now and going forward they may very well become some of our most popular public voices.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: Love our scientists.

And this is the time of year when the Spanish island of Ibiza would be gearing up for millions of tourists from all around the world. But the coronavirus has brought it all to a screeching halt. CNN's Scott McLean looks at how the island's popular nightclubs are adjusting.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If Ibiza is known for one thing, it's this. The pulsing music, near constant sunshine and beautiful beaches attract tourists by the boat load. Back in the harbor front, the streets of the old town and of course, the clubs. This year all of the biggest venues were promoting the most famous names in house music -- Guetta, Van Buren, Black Coffee. 2020 was building up to be a banner year, then COVID-19 arrived.

(on camera): Looks like the morning after a pretty wild night out.

ROBERTO DE LOPE, CLUB MANAGER: It's quite like a hangover.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Roberto de Lope, is a manager for the company that runs Hi nightclub and Ushuaia we told 7,000 people.

DE LOPE: We are already May, the season is here. The summer is here. And there are no flights. And there are no boats. There are no -- there's no movement between borders and Europe. It's quite difficult. It's very difficult.

MCLEAN: Especially when your business involves thousands of people packed shoulder to shoulder on a dance floor. Even when Spain lifts its lockdown, its new normal will still require social distancing.

(on camera): Is there any way to social distance at a nightclub?

DE LOPE: No. There's no way to do this without any vaccine

MCLEAN (voice-over): In the meantime de Lope's boss is working on a virtual reality clubbing experience. And the famous Pacha club is hosting literal house parties. Famous DJs spinning on zoom for thousands in their living rooms.

VICENTE MARI, PRESIDENT OF IBIZA ISLAND COUNCIL: They in part has turned over. The only industry we have is the tourist industry. Now there's no people coming.

MCLEAN: Vicente Mari is the President of the island which welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year, a vast majority from abroad. They're cut off from the mainland by the Mediterranean, Ibiza have had only 186 cases and 13 deaths. Mari wants to see tours return ASAP -- just not the virus.

MARI: It is necessary to make controls in all the airports to control that the people who comes is free of virus.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Testing.

MARI: The testing is the only way to have tourism again.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Until then Ibiza's night life would have to wait.

DE LOPE: Without music and without clubs is different. I mean, you can enjoy Ibiza for sure. But you are not going to feel the same. You are knocking to feel the real Ibiza.

MCLEAN: Scott McLean, Ibiza, Spain.



CHURCH: A 4-year-old boy hits his first home run and the video of his father going nuts about it goes viral. The heartwarming moment of a proud papa goes viral. That's next.


CHURCH: Well the pandemic has put more sports into a prolonged intermission. And that goes for America's pastime, baseball as well. But as CNN's Jeanne Moos tells us, the stadiums are quiet but at a simple sandlot one dad and his son have a great reason to cheer the grand old game.

JEANNIE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the home run that hit home. Not so much because of the ball --

Going over the fence. As for the dad going out of his mind. Cory Willey, himself a former professional baseball player and now instructor, celebrated his son's first home run. Celebrated it for longer than it took 4-year-old Asher to circle the bases.

CORY WILLEY, FORMER PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL PLAYER: I was ecstatic because I know how much went into this. I know how many swings he's taken.


MOOS: During our interview Asher was the MVP of mugging for the camera giving us a look in his mouth, at his teeth, even showing a little shoulder. Father and son had spent quarantine time practicing in front of their home. Asher hitting with such gusto someone wondered how are the house's windows still intact. The homerun happened the same day Georgia's stay at home order was lifted.

WILLEY Yes, so much energy walled up and he wanted to get out there and go.

MOOS: Asher has plenty of swagger on deck. He likes to tap the plate and he loves to flip the bat. His baseball prodigy went viral once before. At 22 months his bat handling got him invited on Jimmy Fallon's show for a hitting contest with A-Rod. A contest that Asher ostensibly won with A-Rod predicting -- his first homer, this slugger of few words pronounced himself.


MOOS: His father's pitching is.


MOOS: And what he wants to be when he grows up?


MOOS: That would be Ronald Acuna Jr., star outfielder of the Atlanta Braves who applauded Asher's home run with emojis. But watch your back Acuna.

ASHER WILLEY: Bombs away.

MOOS: It's bombs away, all right. Even if it's his dad who detonates.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

WILLEY: Yippee!


CHURCH: Well done, baseball star right there

And thanks for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. CNN NEWSROOM continues next with Robyn Curnow.