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New Day

Unruly Passenger on Flight; Robert E. Lee Statute Comes Down; Kevin Faulconer is Interviewed about Running for California Governor; Karen Gallardo is Interviewed about COVID. Aired 8:30-9a ET

Aired September 08, 2021 - 08:30   ET




JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So developing this morning, growling.


BERMAN: All right, sorry, I don't know what's going on with this guy. He's unwell, but he has now been arrested after growling and berating a flight attendant on board an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City.

CNN's Omar Jimenez live now with more on this.

Like I said, that's just troubling, Omar.

OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, John, people are unwell. And, look, this has been a huge issue this year. Not growling specifically, but incidents on planes when you look at the data overall, there were 146 investigations into incidents initiated by the FAA in 2019. This year, that number is over 750, with over 4,000 incidents reported ranging from fights, clearly to growling.

Now, this happened on a flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. And I should just show you the video of what happened.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't hold us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're not on the ground, sir. Sit --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we are. We're on the ground.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit! You see anyone else getting up? Sit!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sit! You sit down in that seat and you stay there.



JIMENEZ: And that is when he later sits down, starts pulling on his mask, growling up and down, his face almost as red as his shirt, while I'm sure other passengers pulled out their phones and started filming.

American Airlines pulled out a statement in response to all of this that read in part, the flight landed safely at Salt Lake City where local law enforcement removed the disruptive passenger from the aircraft. We thank our crew for their professionalism and our customers for understanding.

Now, Salt Lake City Police say the 61-year-old Timothy Armstrong was charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

And while this incident ended peacefully, there have been plenty that haven't. We've seen, even at points throughout the year, flight attendants actually being attacked.

And I mentioned of the over 4,000 incidents that have reported -- been reported this year, about three-fourths of them have involved masks, which clearly shows a sign of the times, and also has prompted people to express themselves in such a wide variety of ways, which, John, now includes growling. I don't know. I don't know.

BERMAN: Yes, and, look, whatever your initial reaction is, just seeing that, remember, flight attendants have to deal with this. Think about them and their safety and how they feel when they see that, not to mention all the people sitting around there. And it's not an isolated incident at this point, Omar, clearly.

All right, thank you.

JIMENEZ: Yes, clearly not.

BERMAN: Thank you for that. Appreciate it.

KEILAR: Underway now, a 12-ton statue of General Robert E. Lee is being taken down in Richmond, Virginia. The largest standing confederate statue in the country will be placed in storage until a decision is made about its fate.

Joe Johns is live for us on the scene in Richmond this morning.

You know, Joe, for people who haven't been to Richmond, I don't know -- you can't really overstate how significant this is to that main thoroughfare that this is coming down.

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely right, Brianna. And the significance of this, among other things, besides the fact that there have been these statues of confederal figures all over the country that have been taken down over the last year.

Here, this is Richmond, Richmond, Virginia, was almost throughout the Civil War the capital of the confederacy. Robert E. Lee was the key general through so many of the huge battles, Antietam, Gettysburg, Bull Run, and part of the history of this city. So just a huge moment for this to come down.

Let me set the scene for you a little bit as the work continues to get the statue down.

A small crowd has gathered and over here, I think it's pretty clear, some of those people who were among the protesters who were out here a year ago protesting the Robert E. Lee statue.

Just a little while ago, I saw the governor of Virginia, who would have been over my right shoulder there, he's gone now, he is one of the people who really set this whole thing into motion after the protests essentially.


What he did was said he wanted this statue to come down despite the history, despite the fact that it's been here 131 years. And that set into motion a legal fight that went on until just the past couple weeks where the supreme court of Virginia cleared the way for the statue to come down.

So those probably are the most important things you have to say about this. The other thing, I think it's important, it came out in all of the court action that this statue was pretty much put up as part of lost-cause ideology, which a lot of people who study history will remember, that essentially said the Civil War and the confederate states of America essentially were a very good idea, slavery was beneficial and so on. So that's the background.

Probably by noon Eastern Time, we're told, if everything goes well, the statue will be done -- will be down. A page in the history of the United States, and certainly of Richmond, Virginia, will be turned.

Back to you.

KEILAR: Yes, really forever changed here in modern history. It's -- we see this painstaking work that you're giving us a glimpse of, Joe. And we'll be checking out -- checking in with you throughout the day. Thank you.

Coming up, California's recall election is just around the corner now. We're going to speak with a Republican frontrunner who is making his closing pitch to voters next.



KEILAR: In less than a week, Californians will decide the fate of Governor Gavin Newsom as they take to the polls in the second recall election in that state's history. And one of the candidates running to be the next governor is the former mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer, who is with us to talk about what is the final stretch here.

Sir, thank you so much for being with us this morning.

KEVIN FAULCONER (R), CALIFORNIA SPECIAL ELECTION GOV. CANDIDATE: Brianna, good morning. Thanks for having me.

KEILAR: Yes, you're up bright and early. So we really appreciate that. We know it is before 6:00 a.m. there in California.

Just a week to go, as I said, and right now when we look at the polls, you are in second in the latest polls, but you're trailing considerably behind Larry Elder, who's really kind of pulled ahead of the pack here.

And I just wonder, you know, how are you reflecting on this because you are a more moderate candidate. Larry Elder is a more conservative candidate. It seems like your politics might actually be more in line with voters, and yet he's pulled ahead.


KEILAR: Why do you think that is?

FAULCONER: Well, I've always been known as a very pragmatic leader as the former mayor of San Diego and somebody who can bring Democrats and Republicans together to get results, like we get in terms of, you know, reducing homelessness in San Diego. And I -- and I'll tell you, I've had a very deliberate campaign that says we're going to bring Californians together on the issues that they care about. Look, I've won, you know, in a deep blue city in a deep blue state.

I think what we're seeing with Larry Elder, you know, a national talk show came out with, obviously, a lot of what you -- a lot of folks from all over saying, yes, OK, we know him. But I think what we're seeing is that his views are so extreme that people are changing their minds about that. And the fact of the matter is, you know, somebody, like Larry Elder, who wants to legalize the most dangerous drugs, heroine and methamphetamine, what that would do to homelessness, what that would do to so many families that are struggling with addiction. And so I think as we see that those views are just out of touch and I think a lot of Californians are looking at myself as somebody, again, who can bring this state together in a very difficult time.

KEILAR: He's also, Larry Elder, had his fair share of controversy for statements and potential actions, alleged actions in the past. But also he just said yesterday that systemic racism does not exist. What is your reaction to that? Do you agree with that?

FAULCONER: Well, look, racism does exist, and I think, again, what we've seen from so many comments from Larry Elder, which I've been very outspoken. I've said he doesn't have the judgment, doesn't have the character to be governor. And what Californians don't want to do is replace one dysfunctional governor with another.

And, look, the fact of the matter is, when he also came out and he said, as an example, the private employers can discriminate against working women if they're thinking about having kids, that's wrong. That's not who we are as Californians.

Again, what Californians want is a governor who's going to stand up for them, a governor who's going to fight for them. I'm going to fight for working moms and champion them. And I have the experience and the ability to bring this state together, again, in a very difficult time and somebody who's going to hit the ground running on day one to make our state more affordable with the largest middle class tax cut in California history that we proposed, more livable, with somebody who is actually going to take aggressive action on homelessness in California, which is skyrocketing, just like I did as mayor of San Diego, and somebody who's going -- who understands, if we don't have a safe state, we don't have anything.

And so while other mayors across California this past year were out de-funding the police, I stood up and I said, no. I didn't defund the police in San Diego, I actually increased the budget. Why? Because if we want the best and brightest men and women out there wearing the badge for us, we better darn well give them the resources and the training to be successful.

KEILAR: I want to ask you about something that you're facing right now, which is a report, though, out of "The San Diego Union Tribune" saying that your campaign committees paid your former chief of staff, and that another -- for one -- in one company, and that another company controlled by that chief of staff then paid you.

What is your reaction to this? Because California law is clear that campaign committees are not supposed to be used for personal payment. And this creates an appearance, at least, of this kind of carousel of money coming back at you.

FAULCONER: Yes, Brianna, you're absolutely correct.


And, in fact, our campaign did everything according to all campaign laws. And I think that's been proven. And so, look, you're going to get these types of things in the last -- in the last week of a campaign. But, again, it's -- we put --

KEILAR: But you see what it looks like. You see what -- these are -- it's based on financial disclosures, this -- the money trail here is accurate it appears. You're not disputing that. This appears -- this is based on financial disclosures. You see the appearance of this, right?

FAULCONER: Well, everything we did was 100 percent in accordance with the law. Every campaign expenditure. That's why it was reported.

And, again, I think you're going to see this type of thing that happens in the final weeks of a campaign, but I think California voters understand me. They know me. They know my track record, and they know I'm a guy that stands up for them, does the right thing, just like I did for mayor, and is going to be a champion for this state.

KEILAR: Well, this is a big week ahead, Mayor, and we appreciate you joining us today. Thank you.

FAULCONER: Brianna, thank you.

BERMAN: One frontline worker gives the grim details of what the seven stages of severe COVID really look like. That's next.



BERMAN: More than 40 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus. More than 636,000 have died. The numbers are staggering, but what that big number doesn't show is really a clear picture of what it's like when you or one person gets a serious case of COVID and what happens when it starts getting worse.

In a new op-ed for "The Los Angeles Times," a frontline health care worker describes it all in grim detail. The author, Karen Gallardo, joins me now. She's a respiratory therapist who's been caring for COVID patients at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, California, for more than a year and a half.

You say this is the seven stages of COVID death for someone. Why did you decide to lay this out in such vivid detail?

KAREN GALLARDO, RESPIRATORY THERAPIST, COMMUNITY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: Because it's what we see every day. And, a year and a half of doing that day in and day out, it's almost like a shuffle almost. It's what we expect when somebody comes into the ER. It's just a progression, natural progression of the disease that we see from each one of those patients.

BERMAN: And it's --


BERMAN: And it's -- and when you read this, the seven stages, it's painful. And it's gruesome in many ways. And if you will, I was hoping you could read -- you lay out seven stages. Could you read six and seven so people understand the types of things that you've seen for a year and a half?

GALLARDO: Yes. I'll try. OK. So, stage seven, the pressure required to open your lungs is so high that air can leak into your chest cavity. So we insert chest tubes to clear it out. Your kidneys fail to filter the by-products from the drugs we continuously give you. Just like diuretics, your entire body swells from fluid retention and you require dialysis to help with your renal function.

The long hospital stay and your depressed immune system make you susceptible to infections. A chest x-ray shows fluid accumulating in your lung sacks. A blood clot may show up too. We can't prevent this complications at this point, we treat them as they present. If your blood pressure drops critically, we will administer vasopressors to bring it up, but your heart may stop anyway.

After several rounds of CPR, we'll get your pulse and your circulation back. But soon your family will need to make a difficult decision.

Stage seven. After several meetings with the palliative care team, your family decides to withdraw care. We extubate you, turning off the breathing machinery. We set up a final FaceTime call with your loved ones. And as we work in your room, we hear crying and loving goodbyes. We cry too and we hold your hand until your last natural breath.

BERMAN: Thank you for reading that. And I know it can't be easy for you after all that you've seen.

Just very quickly, what's it like for you to see this happen to so many patients?

GALLARDO: It's traumatic almost. We needed coping mechanisms. And that's why I started writing. I've been journaling for -- you know, I'm (INAUDIBLE) journal writer, but more so during the pandemic. The grief counselor recommended that we write our feelings and our thoughts. And so I did. And I write a journal entry every time I terminally extubate somebody. And it's my way of honoring that patient and it's my way of coping.

BERMAN: Karen -- Karen Gallardo, well, we appreciate -- we appreciate everything you've done in sharing this with us because it's important that people see it. Thank you.


BERMAN: Back in a moment.



KEILAR: It is time for "The Good Stuff." We have some very good stuff today.

An elderly couple trapped in a burning car. Isn't this just a nightmare here, right? They're on this San Diego area freeway and they were saved from a fiery death by five men from a local homeless shelter. The men say they were driving back from Bible study on Labor Day when they just spotted this, this fire. And they jumped into action, really without even thinking.


ANDRE LEGGETT, GOOD SAMARITAN RESCUED COUPLE FROM FIRE: We just saw this guy and he's stuck in his seatbelt. So we kind of snatched open the door and unbuckled the seat belt. And my buddy, Barry, snatched him out of the car.


KEILAR: All right, Barry actually remains in the hospital. He's got burns to one arm. The other heroes here say that the rescue stemmed partly from their experience at East County Transitional Living Center. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARRY HEMPHILL, GOOD SAMARITAN RESCUED COUPLE FROM FIRE: There was a time when, like so many, I would have -- we would have kept driving. But because of programs like ECTLC, we're -- I'm changing. And in that change now, we're able to not just be selfish individuals, but look out for others.


KEILAR: Now, the couple in the car are Ken and Joan Williamson. They are both in their 90s. They're also hospitalized, but they're expected to make a full recovery. And pretty amazing on them. They've been married for 64 years.


BERMAN: Well, that's the headline.

KEILAR: Right.

BERMAN: You buried the lead there, 64 years. That's genius.

KEILAR: I know. That is such a sweet story, though, just the tale of the good Samaritan. They made such a difference.