CNN reporter breaks down in tears live on air over Covid crisis in Los Angeles

 'The way that these families have to live after this … it's really hard to take," correspondent says

Louise Hall
Tuesday 12 January 2021 19:12
CNN reporter cries on air over Covid in LA
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CNN reporter Sara Sidner broke down in tears live on air this week in an emotional moment during a report on surging coronavirus deaths across Los Angeles.

Ms Sidner fought back tears as she addressed the camera at the end of a report on Tuesday regarding a grieving California family forced to have a funeral service in a car park, for a loved one who died from Covid-19.

“You know this is the tenth hospital that I have been in,” she began, before pausing to hold back tears and then attempting to begin the sentence again before apologising.

“This is the tenth hospital I have been in and to see the way that these families have to live after this and the heartache that goes so far and so wide, it's really hard to take," she said.

Funeral homes and local hospitals in LA continue to be overwhelmed with the Covid-19 surge, with the county having reported 12,617 new cases of the disease on Monday.

“No apology needed,” anchor Alisyn Camerota replied to the correspondent when the camera split back to the CNN studio.

She added: “We’ve been watching your reporting on the ground throughout this horrific year and we have all been struck by the grief, the collective grief, that all of us are in.”

Ms Sidner emphasised that the virus is hitting communities of colour “disproportionately” saying: "They are taking the brunt of this, and many of those people are the people that we rely on to live our daily lives.

 “It's just not OK. It's not OK what we're doing to each other. These families should not be going through this. No family should be going through this."

In an update on Twitter following the report, Ms Sidner said she was “still not okay after seeing the heartbreak in the City of Angels because of #coronavirus”.

“I know that being there to see the destruction it’s doing to families is small in comparison to the pain the families feel," she said.

Statewide, California is coping with its worst surge of the pandemic and some of the highest levels of Covid-19 in the country.

Hospitals in LA and across the southern half of the state have become overwhelmed with patients, with oxygen running low and ambulances sometimes forced to hold patients for hours.

The county is expected to surpass a grim milestone of one million cases in the coming days, with the total number of recorded cases sitting at 932,697 in the county on Monday, according to LA public health.

CNN’s report honed in on the personal loss of families amid the pandemic in an interview with Juliana Jimenez Sesma, who recently lost her mother and stepfather to the disease.

Ms Sesma was forced to hold a memorial service for her mother in a parking lot, as it was the only safe space where people could socially distance while grieving that was available to her amid the crisis.

"We lost both my mom and stepdad to coronavirus," Ms Sesma told the broadcaster. "Don't let this be you. If you truly love your loved ones, don't let this be you. Continue to take all the precautions, take extra precautions, exaggerate if you have to."

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