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CNN Correspondent Sobs On-Air While Reporting on California’s COVID-19 Catastrophe

CNN New Day correspondent Sara Sidner. broke down into tears while reporting on the dire situation facing hospitals in California on Tuesday afternoon.

Jose Carlos Fajardo/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

Nearly 400,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. More than 23 million have been infected. Despite the rollout of several vaccines, inoculations are proceeding too slowly to put a dent in the virus’s unrelenting spread through the population.

In California, deaths have surged to just under 26,000. The Golden State also boasts the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases.

Sidner was interviewing a woman named Juliana Jimenez Sesma, whose mother and stepfather succumbed to the coronavirus within 11 days of each other.

“Don’t let this be you. If you truly love your loved ones, don’t let this be you,” said Sesma, at which point Sidner lost her composure.

“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.”

Anchor Alisyn Camerota tried to consol Sidner, telling her that there was “no apology needed” and that her newsroom colleagues share her grief.

“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,” Camerota continued. “And Sara, we all appreciate the heart that you bring to this every single day as well as your excellent reporting.”

Sidner responded by referring to the circumstances as “just not OK,” adding that “these families should not be going through this. No family should be going through this.”

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