A CNN reporter broke down in tears during her report on COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Southern California on Tuesday.
CNN correspondent Sara Sidner choked up on “New Day” as she wrapped up her report, which covered a hospital being overwhelmed in Los Angeles, with a live shot.
During her report, Sidner interviewed a woman named Juliana Jimenez Sesma, who lost her mother and stepfather to COVID-19 within 11 days of each other and had to hold her mother’s funeral in a parking lot.
“Don’t let this be you,” Sesma warned viewers during her interview. “If you truly love your loved ones, don’t let this be you.”
During her live shot, Sidner broke down and apologized as she tried to address the coverage.
“This is the 10th hospital that 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,” Sidner said. “It’s really hard to take. I’m sorry, Alisyn.”
— Faith Abubéy (@ReporterFaith) January 12, 2021
“New Day” anchor Alisyn Camerota comforted Sidner, saying there was “no apology needed.”
“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,” Camerota said.
“And to see these families who are soldiering through it, who are persevering and who are having to have these funerals in parking lots, like the ones that you showed us — it is just a collective trauma that all of us are living through,” she added. “And Sara, we all appreciate the heart that you bring to this every single day as well as your excellent reporting.”
Sidner responded by calling the circumstances “just not OK.”
“These families should not be going through this,” she said. “No family should be going through this.”
She continued, saying, “So please listen to what this family is saying, ‘Don’t let this be you.’ Do whatever you can to keep this from killing your family members, and your neighbors and your friends and your teacher and doctors and firefighters. All of these people are here to help you but you have to do your part.”
The U.S. has documented more than 22.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, resulting in 378,457 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
California in particular has counted more than 2.7 million cases and 30,503 fatalities, as the state struggles with overwhelmed hospitals.