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Signs Of Inflation; Recovery Of The Airline Industry; Environmental Challenges Of Used PPE; Safe Landing Of An Old Plane. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired April 20, 2021 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz. Welcome to the show. First topic is inflation. Could be good if you`re trying to get swole at the gym

but is it good for the U.S. economy? Here`s what this is all about. Inflation, simply put, is when prices go up and your money doesn`t buy as

much. Furniture, airplane tickets, used cars, rent, personal care items like soap, all of this stuff got more expensive last month. One reason is

because gasoline prices have been skyrocketing. They were 22.5 percent higher this March than they were last March. This is cutting into family

budgets, the cost of living and it makes it more expensive to ship the items we buy.

Corona virus played a role. When more people were staying home and businesses were shut down, demand for gasoline dropped and so did it`s

price. With people getting back to the office, back to traveling and businesses reopening, gas prices are shooting upward. Supply and demand

also factor in. Many Americans are in the market for new homes, new bicycles and many other goods but the inventory of these things is

exceptionally low. So that`s driving prices up but if they go up too much too fast, people may pull back on spending and buy less and that can hurt

the economy.

Since last year, America`s bounced back from COVID related problems has been faster than many economists expected. Some are neither surprised nor

concerned that inflation would rise more than usual in early 2021, but others are concerned by how much it`s rising by. Many banking officials

are comfortable with an inflation rate of two percent per year. They believe this is just the right amount to keep price rises moderate but also

to keep the economy growing.

But between March of last year and March of this year, consumer prices rose by 2.6 percent more than half a percentage point higher than banker`s

comfort zone. And the question is, is this temporary and likely to level out as the year goes on or is this is a sign of sustained inflation on the

horizon? No one knows the answer to that yet. One thing economists do agree on is that the cost of goods will probably keep rising through the


10 Second Trivia. Which of these airlines is oldest? Qantas, Aeroflot, Delta or American. These are mentioned in order of oldest to youngest with

Australia`s Qantas having been founded in 1920.

We mentioned that plane tickets were on the rise. The aviation industry is huge. In a normal year, it accounts for more than five percent of

America`s Gross Domestic Product. It took a tremendous hit during COVID. In 2020, experts say international travel decreased more than 80 percent

from 2019 and a dramatic drop in business bookings which typically make more money for airlines than leisure bookings do were a major reason why

the industry lost billions of dollars last year. But there are signs that things are getting off the ground again and that comes with challenges of

its own.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The pressure is on at American Airlines Tulsa Maintenance Base. Here crews are preparing planes to meet the new

surge in air travel. Hundreds of commercial airliners sat idle on taxiways, ramps even runways through much of the pandemic. Now American

says all of its planes will be flying again by the end of the month, no easy task.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In many ways, we (inaudible) aircraft as they have more maintenance requirements on the aircraft that has been in storage or is in

storage than we do with the aircraft that`s out actively flying.

MUNTEAN: Roger Steele`s (ph) team of mechanics are spending 1,000 hours to revive just one plane here. Part of their work includes Federally mandated

inspections of the Boeing 737. It is the world`s most popular airliner. American alone parked 300 of them because of the pandemic. The FAA said

the plane sitting idle could cause a critical valve to fail risking catastrophic dual engine power loss in flight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of the things that could have been negatively impacted by the fact that it was parked have been identified. They`ve been

addressed and they`ve been resolved. And so, I can assure you 110 percent that these aircraft are safe and they`re ready to fly.

MUNTEAN: Planes have been stored exclusively outside for months on end and crews came out here about ever 10 days to check things like the engine,

uncover them and fire them up. Also check the landing gear, the tires and the brakes, the crucial parts inside there. One hundred planes were stored

out here at the peak of the pandemic but now they`re only a few left. The latest data shows airline travel closing in on a recovery. Industry groups

say flights are now 75 percent full up from 60 percent just last month. New demand means the industry is bouncing back sooner than expected. The

newest jump in numbers means the Transportation Security Administration needs more help screening passengers. It is hiring 6,000 new officers to

staff checkpoints, holding hiring events nationwide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the big thing is for us, we want to be prepared for the summer. We`re clearly taking a lot of efforts to make

sure that happens.

MUNTEAN: United Airlines just said it will hire new pilots for the first time in more than a year while thousands of existing pilots will be coming

back from pandemic time off. A CNN review of aviation safety records from across the country uncovered flight crews reporting rusty skills and in

flight errors after returning to work. American Airlines says its pilots will be thoroughly rechecked in classrooms and simulators before coming

back on the job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a lot of pent up travel demands and we really want to be there, be ready to move our customers to wherever they want to

go safely efficiently and make sure we`re putting out a good product.

MUNTEAN: Pete Muntean, CNN, Tulsa, Oklahoma.


AZUZ: A proliferation of plastic waste is a side effect of the corona virus pandemic. When oil prices crashed last year, it became cheaper for

manufacturers to make new plastics than to recycle old ones. With to go order increasing, restaurants had to resort to plastic take out containers

instead of washable dishes, and then there`s the issue of personal protective equipment or PPE.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the early days of COVID, the dire shortage of PPE left many frontline healthcare workers painfully vulnerable. But now, so

many masks are made each year they could cover the area the size of Switzerland.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now everybody is aware PPE and everybody in healthcare is being asked to use more PPE.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We now have almost 70,000 people to potentially use a mask every single day. So the number of masks that we needed went from 200

operating theaters and some patient floors to literally 70,000 a day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s from one hospital. Adding to an already staggering amount of plastic waste coming from our healthcare system.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We estimate that it`s somewhere around 1 million tons per year of clean plastics and that`s a million tons a year in the U.S.

We`re estimating that`s probably equivalent in Europe and probably about the same amount in Asia. Unfortunately today, I would say probably the

majority of it is still going to landfill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Landfills, if we`re lucky. The Ocean Conservancy collected more than 100,000 pieces of PPE during the second half of 2020

alone and that is just a tiny tip of a mountain of pandemic plastic waste.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Manufacturers went into overdrive to produce billions of pieces of PPE. Things like gloves. Things like garments. Things like

masks, beard nets, hair covers, shoe covers. Personal protective equipment has always been around but due to COVID, it`s -- it`s now a monster waste


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Programs offered by private recycling companies like TerraCycle are taking aim at the discarded consumer PPE but contaminated

materials like those coming from hospitals aren`t as simple to process.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Waste coming from certain areas like hospitals does qualify as hazardous waste in many cases, which means legally from a

regulatory standpoint we can`t touch it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Recyclers are afraid to take materials from hospitals because maybe there`s a syringe in there. Something came in that wasn`t

supposed to and they didn`t catch it in time and they have to shut down their whole plant and disinfect everything. Recycling is really third on

the hierarchy when it comes to dealing with waste. The first is to reduce the use of plastics. Second is to reuse and then the third is to recycle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a situation that has forced the Cleveland Clinic to rethink and look for other ways to reduce their plastic footprint.


AZUZ: Best possible outcome characterizes today`s 10 out of 10 segment. During a recent air show over the eastern coast of Florida, an engine

failure caused a World War II era plane to go down. The pilot maneuvered it near a beach and was somehow able to avoid people, softly ditch the

aircraft into the water and walk or wade away without any major injuries. Not the kind of finale you want to be in but if you`re flexin` a "textin".

"Jockeying" a "mustang", "fighting fire" in a "Spitfire", finding it hard to "Steerman". Running out of air in a "Corsair" or going fishing in a

"Swordfish" and you can be ginger with your "Avenger". There are worse things than beaching at a beach within reach of "airsiiiistance". I`m Carl

Azuz for CNN 10. Hampshire High School in Romney, West Virginia. Great to see you. Thank you for subscribing on You Tube. We hope to see all of

ya`ll tomorrow.