tv Anderson Cooper 360 CNN October 15, 2014 5:00pm-6:01pm PDT
. thank you for joining us, i'll see you back here tomorrow night, "ac360" begins now. good evening, thank you for joining us, we're live from dallas tonight with breaking news about a second nurse who tested positive for ebola and who is right now arriving in atlanta for treatment at emory university hospital. i want to show you the live images that we're looking at right now, that is the ambulance the nurse has just gotten into. she just flew into atlanta, was able to walk off the aircraft in a complete hazmat suit. completely covered. she was escorted by other health care workers who were also
dressed similarly. but she was able to walk on her own accord into a waiting ambulance. and there you see the procession of law enforcement vehicles and health officials who are going to be escorting her to emory university hospital. the breaking news just in from chief medical correspondent -- in fact, let's take a look at her getting off the plane, let's take away from the live images. we'll show you the images which occurred just moments ago. you see her in the yellow suit being escorted slowly into that waiting ambulance. obviously, an abundance of caution. those health care workers are showing amber vinson, this nurse, who today it was revealed has tested positive. the second health care worker at dallas presbyterian hospital who has tested positive for ebola. the breaking news as i said from chief medical correspondent dr.
sanjay gupta, the reason she was moved from texas presbyterian hospital is because of concerns that health care workers there, or here are going to walk out and there will not be enough people to actually treat this new case. we're going to have more on that in a moment. the nurse, 29-year-old amber vinson, there were concerns because she flew on a commercial flight from cleveland to dallas just two days ago and already had a fever at that time. so now officials are trying to track down all 132 passengers on that flight. i should say her temperature was elevated. there is more breaking news tonight. dr. sanjay gupta learned from an official that vinson called the cdc and got the okay to go. now, this is a bit confounding considering what the head of the cdc said today. >> she was in a group of individuals known to have exposure to ebola. she should not have travelled on a commercial airline. >> all right, so we have a lot to get to tonight.
we begin with chief medical correspondent, dr. sanjay gupta. so dr. gupta, tell us what you learned about her temperature, her elevated temperature and who she called before the flight. >> yes, we know she flew from dallas to cleveland on the 10th and was going to fly back from cleveland to dallas on the 13th. she was self-monitoring, taking her own temperature, we know her temperature was 99.5. and it sounds like she did the right thing at that point which was to call somebody at the cdc. my understanding, we confirmed it with government officials. she made that call, told them what the temperature was, told them she was going to get on the flight and was given for guidance, that that flight was a no-no. and that is why she did get on the flight and fly back to dallas, again anderson with the temperature of 99.5. little bit of context, you and i talked about this. with an elevated temperature like that and this history of
recently having taken care of a patient with ebola, had she been in west africa she would have been flagged for secondary screening and likely not been able to get on the plane. that didn't happen here in the united states in cleveland, anderson. >> which is pretty stunning. let's just consider that for a second. had she been flying out of monrovia and liberia, in all likelihood she would not have been able to get on the plane because she had direct contact with an ebola patient and she had an elevated temperature. the fact she was able to do that in the united states, does it make sense to you, sanjay, that somebody from the cdc told her it was okay to be able to fly. because the next day the temperature goes up even higher and they isolate her. >> yeah, and she gets sick, from what i understand she will be here in about 20 minutes or so in emory. it doesn't make complete sense at all. i tried to drill down on this. part of the answers came back, well, when she was taking care of mr. duncan, we're told she
was wearing personal protective gear. we were told that lowered her chance of being a risk. i don't know, it is one of those things obviously it didn't lower it enough because she got the infection. but just the history. just taking care of a patient with ebola. and now i have a temperature that is starting to rise, i'm about to get on a commercial airline. is there a problem? she is not told, now, i want to be precise in the language here. when she says i have an elevated temperature and will be flying, they didn't say it is okay to fly. they also didn't give her guidance that said there was any sort of problem with it. despite the guidance from the cdc on this so-called controlled movement, she did not appear to be told that despite her call to the cdc with an elevated temperature. >> and i mean, given what the cdc themselves know about what has gone on inside this hospital in terms of the lack of protocols or the failure to follow protocols, or the
inadequacy of the protocols in place, whatever it is, or maybe a combination of all three it is surprising they would say well, they had personal protection gear. because we know now, there are a lot of questions about the protective gear, particularly in the first 24 or 48 hours even before thomas duncan was confirmed to have ebola about what kind of gear they actually wore. >> yeah -- no question. and i think that is part of what you are hearing from dr. frieden today. you know, he was saying based on our guidance we would have never let her get on a commercial airline. if have you to fly at all or drive in a car, the personal protective gear did not enter into his comments today. he merely said if somebody had been taking care of a patient with ebola and had had the risk profile that amber vinson had, she wouldn't have qualified to
get on a flight. so it is very, very different than the experience she had. sounds like again, she did the right thing, took her temperature, made the call and was not given the guidance to avoid the flight, anderson. >> sanjay, does it seem like to you that certainly this hospital is basically just circling the wagons. and i mean, seems to me there is a lack of transparency here. we know very little about what happened, the procedures that were in place and the public statement they put out in response to the nurse's union which put out really serious and shocking allegations about what these nurses have had to deal with inside the hospital. they put out a non-statement, statement, well, saying there is a 24-hour hot line where we have annual staff testing and training. they don't even respond to the allegations, very serious allegations made more than 24
hours ago. >> they say they're dedicated to the compliance and safety of their personnel and stuff like that. they didn't address the specific concerns. >> right, but apparently not enough to tell them -- >> of that -- >> right, they're dedicated to the safety of their personnel, but they're telling their personnel to wear medical tape around their necks. that doesn't seem like the most sensible solution. >> not at all. i agree with you. i think there has been a real lack of transparency. when i was trying to get more information today, anderson, why is this patient, amber vinson, being transferred to emory, she is showing up here in a little bit. it didn't make perfect sense to me, there is not a magic treatment here at emory. was this an issue, basically they can't take care of her in dallas? and surprisingly to me, that seems to be the answer. there is a concern about furloughs. there is a concern about staffers not showing up for work. there is a concern about nurses
walking out and not being able to take care of these patients. this is a big hospital. i mean, i have colleagues who work at that hospital. this is a big deal in the medical world that they're basically sort of surrendering in a way, ms. vinson's care to another hospital because they just don't think they can handle it. and again, it is not because emory has some magic potion here, it is because they are worried about the lack of care. >> and i'm going to talk to medical workers in liberia, it is not a question of having high technology or anything. the personal protection equipment they have is not the most sophisticated. but it is just rigorous training and you know sticking to protocols. i want to bring in senior medical correspondent dr. elizabeth cohen, and staff writer, seema yasmin. and elizabeth, i know sanjay has
been hearing this as well. we have been talking about the protocols, what the cdc says is rock solid evidence about when somebody can transmit this virus. they have now lowered what a temperature actually is on their website. can you explain this? >> well, i know they're discussing it. this is what i heard from an official, ms. vinson was about to get on the flight, she said i had a 99.5 temperature, one person who talked about the guidelines says it is not considered ebola until it is 100.4, that allowed her to get on the plane, what i hear from an official, we're thinking about should we reconsider that? maybe we should lower that threshold down? >> sanjay, wasn't the threshold supposedly 101.4? >> 101.5 was the threshold. that is listed on some of the
cdc documents. even over the date today we saw people diving into it. i wanted to tell you another piece of information that was important. what is changing? is this a strategic change, what is going on here. what constitutes a fever and symptoms and what is considered ebola? and what we heard was the first nurse, nina pham, when she started to develop symptoms of ebola, her temperature was not 101.5, it was lower than 101.5. now, that is significant, anderson, because this idea that we sort of look at the bench marks and say you don't have to worry about it until it is a certain temperature that really didn't seem to apply to nina pham and that is why the 101.5 was then lowered at least according to these officials to 100.4. the point is, it is changing, not as firm as i think people would like to believe.
she had systmptoms and was diagnosed with ebola despite not having the fever that people typically use as a bench mark for having ebola. >> so dr. yasmin, we hear it is suddenly one degree less which may not sound like a lot to a lot of people, but to me it begs the question does the cdc really have their hands around this? do they know all they need to know about ebola? >> right, anderson, this is very critical for health care workers, a fever is technically 101.4, suddenly we're lowering it, increasing it again, the misinformation, miscommunication is really unacceptable. we need to be sippinging from t same hymn sheet and learn what transmits ebola. >> i am surprised at the lack of transparency from this hospital. i know doctors don't want to criticize each other and have a lawsuit more than they're already going to have. but they have not come forward at all with any information. it is not a question of like i just want to know.
it is a question of, other hospitals out there need to know about what went right here and what went wrong and nobody has any idea. we're hearing dripping and drabs from the nurse's union who are talking to nurses afraid to come forward. >> this hospital has said almost nothing the three weeks i've been here and when i ask them questions that would protect the public health, they either don't get back to me or write back saying i will not respond to you. and i was here for the very first press conference that the city officials had and everybody said what happened? why didn't you admit this guy when he first showed signs of ebola? he said that is navel gazing, that is not navel gazing, it's important. >> we saw this time and time again in can't rakatrina. they say this is not the time to be pointing fingers, well you know what? this is the time to be pointing fingers because there are other hospitals and thousands of
doctors and nurses at risk. and we need to know what is a risk. >> think of it not as what is a root cause analysis, you need to get to the root cause of why so many things have gone wrong. when an official calls it navel gazing he is making fun of it. when in fact it is so crucial, so many things have gone wrong they need to figure out why. >> dr. yasmin, i had a sense that the cdc had a clue of what was going on. as each day goes on i have to say my confidence is slipping and today it slipped a lot with word that some of the information dripping out. there are a number of media reports. they have not been able to independently confirm yet that for the first two days in the hospital before thomas duncan was proven to have ebola and was in isolation, some of the nurses didn't have to wear protective gear, they were wearing their regular scrubs. >> we have to realize, cdc is a federal agency but whenever they
come into the state they don't have leadership authority. >> i nod -- >> to me, as a british person, it was a surprise the law worked like that, but the state and local officials have the jurisdiction, they have the power to take the cdc recommendations but they don't have to do what cdc tells them to do. >> it is interesting, the director of the cdc has come under a lot of criticism and certainly the statements he made early on, i think it is fair game for that criticism. may be he pretended there was more confidence than there really was. but he clearly seems frustrated at the lack of power they have. it is not as if -- in movies, cdc comes in and takes over everything. that is not the way it works here. the hospital is calling the shots. it is state health and local officials. >> as you point out that does surprise a lot of people, people think the cdc is swooping in.
i sense that frustration. he was answering questions but clearly there were questions that should have been directed more at the local health officials down there that dr. frieden was sort of answering. one point to make here i think is that this is still a -- a local health issue in dallas. but if this is deemed more of a national issue which it could be, now considering you had a patient fly back, from the time she even had a low grade temperature, what the cdc's authority is going to be at that point. so let me just point out as well anderson, i can hear in the distance, we're right in front of emory hospital. i can hear the helicopters which are the local press helicopters following this ambulance convoy which you may see, i don't know if you have images of it, anderson, but they will pull in here shortly with ms. vinson, coming into a building not far from here, now it seems, anderson. >> and i'm going to talk also to
dr. kent brantly, who was treated at emory, the first american to be treated there when he was the first american flown with ebola into this country. i'll talk to him about emory and what he thought the treatment was like. thank you, a lot to cover in this hour. president obama cancelled his travel schedule today to meet with cabinet members who are coordinating the country's ebola response. senior white house correspondent jim a coscosta joins me live, w did he say? that there were problems? >> reporter: it was basically admitting that there were problems with the cdc and the handling of the ebola crisis. as he came out in front of the cameras later on in the afternoon he basically said he has called on his administration to get aggressive.
here is what he had to say. >> as a consequence, what we have been doing here today is reviewing exactly what we know about what is happening in dallas and how we're going to make sure that something like that is not repeated. and that we are monitoring, supervisor i sup supervizing, and making sure. >> the president believes the outbreak in the united states are extraordinarily low, the president went on to say when he was in atlanta at emory and met with some of the nurses and doctors who had treated some of the ebola patients there that he hugged and kissed them. so he was trying to send home the point about how this virus is spread and he wants people to not panic and to not lose their
cool. so at this point, anderson, they're not so much concerned about an ebola outbreak but an outbreak of fear. >> i have to say, the fear is understandable, given now you have the second nurse who got on a flight to return to dallas. and within 24 hours self-reported a fever. and was in isolation, is now being flown to emory. if i was one of the people on that flight i would certainly be concerned. and it just shows the tenuous nature of this and how one person, you know, making the wrong move, getting on a flight that they clearly should not have gotten on according to the director of the cdc, can spread this thing. jim, i appreciate the reporting -- >> that is exactly right. >> yeah, make sure you set your dvrs so you can watch "ac360." coming up, one of the people who survived ebola, he is still helping other patients donating
his plasma to three people. my conversation with dr. kent brantly next. >> health care workers go into this profession to serve people, to relieve suffering, to cure disease, to come alongside people in the worst times of their lives. and now here we have a second health care worker in dallas who was doing just that for a patient who is suffering greatly. and now she is sick. it just made my heart sink.
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. welcome back to breaking news, amber vinson, the second nurse to contract ebola has arrived on the way to emory hospital. and will arrive for treatment. i want to show you the pictures we saw before we went on air tonight, getting off the plane, being loaded or being able to walk on her own accord to emory. st. john's has arrived there, has she arrived there at the hospital, sanjay? >> reporter: it sounds like it, anderson, there is a bunch of
helicopters overhead now, which are obviously news choppers, we heard several sirens going off. i think this is the beginning of the convoy. you may be looking at aerials, i can't see them. but the police cars and an escort, this is the exact scenario that we've seen before with dr. kent brantly. i know you're going to be talking to him and nancy writebol. that same ambulance ride over from dobbins air force base to emory university hospital. right behind me over here anderson, you probably can't see that considering the lighting. but the ambulance looks like it is pulling out, going into this building right over here, that is the hospital. there is the back entrance there, not the main entrance, the back entrance, once she gets in, as i understand it she is walking and can go straight into the isolation area and can be cared for where dr. brantly was cared for, as well. >> sanjay, based on your reporting and what i learned today this is really a sense of
an admission here in dallas of concerns about staffing and concerns about their capabilities to actually care for this nurse who contracted ebola inside the hospital here. >> reporter: it really does seem like this. and it is disappointing, i think, anderson, in a way you're in front of a very well-known, prestigious hospital that has done great work and will continue to do great work. but with regard to this particular issue, there is no magic treatment here at emory. there is not a magic potion or something. the reason she was sent here, it sounds like it was a staffing issue that they were worried they couldn't contain, and they were worried that other staffers would get sick. they were concerned of furloughs, threats of walkouts by nurses that they were going to be in tough shape to be able to continue to care for amber vinson. i think it is disappointing for
them. that is part of what is driving this convoy. >> i talked to mr. mccormick who treated patients in africa in years past, they used the same chlorine-soaked gowns, over and over, it is about really having protocols in place that you follow religiously and have people monitoring you so that you don't make mistakes which is sort of just basically human nature to make mistakes. sanjay, we'll talk to you again. there are a few success stories. and we do want to focus on some of them. one of them of course is dr. kent brantly, an ebola survivor, and nancy writebol contracted the virus when they cared for patients. they were treated at emory in atlanta, and both recovered. here is dr. brantly who said good-bye to the team who cared for him. he was released back in late
august. but his work, helping ebola patients has not stopped. dr. brantly donated plasma to three patients, a freelance cameraman from nbc, ashoka mukpo. and dr. brantly continues to advocate passionately for patients in west africa. he offered to give blood to thomas eric duncan, but they were not the same blood type. i spoke with dr. brantly today. first of all, how are you feeling? >> i feel good. yeah. >> do you feel back to full strength? >> i don't know when i'll say i feel back to normal. but my strength, my stamina, my energy are improving a lot. i feel a lot better than even two weeks ago. >> when you heard about this last case what went through your
mind? >> my heart just sank. you know, health care workers who go into this profession to serve people, to relieve suffering. and to cure disease, to come alongside people in the worst times of their lives. and now here we have a second health care worker in dallas who was doing just that for a patient who was suffering greatly. and now she is sick. and it just made my heart sank. i began praying all over again for the staff of the hospital there. >> there is obviously a lot of concern in the united states about the spread of the disease here, and not only what is happening in west africa, but the spread of the disease here. do you think that control about ebola spreading in the united states is justified? do you worry about ebola spreading in the united states? >> i think there is a lot of irrational fear about ebola spreading in the united states. if we think about what has spread so far, we have one man who came from liberia,
contracted the disease, came here and who else has gotten sick from him? it is two health care workers who were taking intimate care of him, you know, cleaning up his bodi bodi bodi bodily secretions, dealing with his blood, those were the people who got sick, not the 48 people who had contact in the community. no one from that group has gotten sick, it was the people taking close care of him in a hospital setting. >> do you know how you got it? was there a moment you look back on and say that was it? that was the moment. >> i am convinced that i did not get ebola in the isolation unit. >> really? >> our process there was safe, every time i went in the unit full of ebola patients, i was fully suited up. >> every part of your skin covered? >> every inch. >> and there is a sense in the united states, well, stop
lights, let's just kind of shut down contact with west africa. but the truth of the matter is regardless of what one things about having no flights, until this is dealt with in west africa, until the outbreak is controlled and stopped in west africa it is going to continue to come to the united states, to western europe, to -- or at least the possibility of spreading around the world. >> that is absolutely correct. until this epidemic is stopped in west africa it will continue to be a global problem. there have been suspected or confirmed cases in the united states, in spain, brazil had had a suspected case. we're talking about three continents outside of africa that have already been affected by this epidemic, this outbreak. and the answer is not simply close the borders and let them deal with it themselves. we've got to be pro-active. we have to go put an end to the
epidemic or it's going to keep coming back to cause problems and suffering in the global community. >> you have done something which has really struck a lot of people. you have repeatedly donated your own blood or plasma in order to help those who have been affected. you have -- is it four times now that you have done this? >> three or four. >> three or four. what is that process like? >> so i have donated my plasma, which is not actually a whole blood, the blood is made up of the red blood cells and plasma. so they can take the blood out of my arm and put it in a special machine and it separates the red blood cells from the plasma and they give me the red blood cells back and then they take the plasma. and the plasma is the part of the blood that contains the antibodies that will fight ebola. so that is the part of my blood
they're taking as kind of an experimental blood to these patients. it is very fortunate that the three patients i've been able to donate to, they and i share the same blood type. and that is why i have had the unique opportunity to help in that way. >> would you donate plasma again to another patient if you were the same blood type? >> i pray that there is no more need for plasma donations in this country. but i'll keep doing it as much as is needed. as much as i can. if it will help -- will potentially help save somebody else's life. >> that is dr. kent brantly, as always you can find more about this story and others on cnn.com. and just ahead, stories of insufficient training and inadequate protective gear for nina pham outsiand other health workers who treated thomas duncan, reports on that ahead.
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thomas eric duncan and has tested positive has arrived here in atlanta, going to emory university hospital. there are the images of her we saw just before the top of the hour getting off the plane walking on her own accord, reminiscent of dr. kent brantly walking off the plane. and now we have images of her going to emory hospital. or perhaps not -- there they are, the first images, first time we are seeing this, as well. again, very representative of the images we saw of dr. kent brantly when he got off the ambulance coming to emory. he was the first american to test positive for ebola. he tested positive in liberia. amber vinson of course now is the second health care worker from this hospital here in dallas who has tested positive. as many as 76 health care
workers are under some form of observation because they may have had contact with thomas eric duncan, or had contact with fluids. 29-year-old amber vinson is said to be ill, and stable. and meanwhile, nina pham is here under protection at the hospital. her condition is good, that is how they describe it. mr. duncan died last wednesday, the cdc said both nurses had extensive contact with duncan on september 28th, through september 30th, when he quote, had extensive production of bodily fluids. nurses at the hospital say they were not given sufficient protective gear to keep them safe. they made these issues known at a press conference. here is just one of the disturbing claims. >> mr. duncan was left for several hours not in isolation.
in an area where other patients were present. there was no one to pick up hazardous waste as it piled to the ceiling. they did not have access to proper supplies. >> now, what is interesting to note is that officials at this hospital, texas health presbyterian hospital, they have not directly commented on any of the nurses' allegations. in fact they have not disputed them or confirmed them, nothing. in a statement, the company who operates the hospital said, and listen closely, patient and safety is our greatest priority and we take compliance very seriously. we have numerous measures in place to provide a safe working environment including mandatory annual training and a 24/7 hot line and other mechanisms that allow for anonymous reporting. the nursing staff is committed to providing care, as we've always known as the world has seen in firsthand in recent days. deborah berger is co-president
of the nurse's union, she joins me now. were you surprised by the statement? because it doesn't actually address -- i don't like to use the word "shocking," but the shocking allegations by the nurses of what went on. were you surprised they didn't address a single one of them? >> no, it doesn't surprise me that they didn't address the accusations. it is ludicrous to say they have one year of training and expect the nurses to use the equipment and personal protections that would keep their life safe. so it concerns me that the hospital is not taking responsibility for the spread of ebola to these two health care workers. >> the idea also that they say well, we have a 24-hour help line that people can make anonymous calls to. based on what your organization has said, you're getting this
from the nurses in the hospital, nurses raised observations at least one very specific time and were overruled. >> well, that is what we're saying all along, when you're in the middle of the situation, that is not the time to figure out what the safety protocol is, the tools you need to have. we need to have the armor and weapons to deal with this disease that is quite literally a nurse killer. and we need to make sure that that information is communicated. what we're trying to do is make sure that we spread readiness, not fear. we don't want nurses to be afraid to take care of these patients because they can be taken care of safely if they have the proper guidelines and the appropriate equipment. and the proper protections. >> and that is -- i mean, again, that idea, well, we have annual training. annual training is not enough in a situation like this. i mean, just as we're asking for transparency from the hospital i
know you can't say obviously, you know, the names of nurses who you say you got this information from. can you at least say how many nurses you have talked to, your organization has talked to from the inside of this hospital and whether they were directly involved in mr. duncan's care? >> these nurses were extremely courageous, because they can be fired. they can lose their livelihood at any moment. and they were all very brave to step up and speak out against what was happening in that hospital. it was a disgrace. >> can you say how many you talked to? >> several. >> is it one person? >> several. >> so a handful? >> several. >> several. and were they people who were directly -- i mean, do they have direct knowledge -- >> they have direct knowledge, they were involved in the care. and they witnessed from start to finish what happened with both mr. duncan, and with nina. >> well, it is truly alarming, the information you have put
out. deborah berger, i appreciate you being on. joining me, co-author. and now, investigating the central outbreak, dr. mccormick, i keep thinking about something you talked to on the broadcast last night, that when you were in the field in very difficult circumstances, not in the hospital but in the field taking blood from ebola patients on the floor, you know, in dark conditions without much light, you often didn't have the most high-tech protective gear. and that it is not about necessarily the highest level of technology. it is about protocols and rigorous adherence to them. >> absolutely, you cannot replace human activity with technology. and if we tried to do that we're going to fail. i totally agree with the nurse. and furthermore, i would say in the process of training, not only do they have to be trained
regularly and there should be a specific team that gets trained. but they have to take ownership of the protocol. you have to sit down and talk with the nurses because they're going to give the primary care. and they actually have to take ownership of the protocol if you want them to really feel as though they are the ones who are driving the care, and are the ones who are going to feel safe when they do that. if they don't do that, then they're not going to feel safe. i had a discussion today, with a few people in south texas. and there, the hospital, the nurses were saying well, our training consists of youtube. just a youtube video, of how they're trained. so they had no hands-on training, no repetitive training and they had no input into the training itself. >> it's truly stunning, dr.
mccormick, i appreciate you being on, thank you, up next, the photojournalist who contracted ebola. just ahead. ♪searching with devotion ♪for a snack that isn't lame ♪but this... ♪takes my breath away ♪ who's going to do it? who's going to make it happen? discover a new energy source. turn ocean waves into power.
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covering the outbreak in west i. i appreciate you being here with me. ashoka mukpo tweeted he was on the road to good health. how does he seem to you? >> i talked to him today, anderson, he seems really good. his spirits are great. and this morning he kind of reluctantly and tentatively said well, i guess i'm out of the woods. and it was really the first time that he acknowledged that he himself is feeling like he is going to get better. >> well, that must have been such an amazing thing for you to hear. diana, when -- as a mom, i keep thinking about my mom every time i go overseas somewhere dangerous. and she gets worried but she tries not to let me know how worried she gets. when you first heard that you know, he was going back to liberia, what did you think? >> well, he waited until the night before he left to call me.
so i didn't have a lot of time -- >> my -- that is the trick i use, as well. >> yeah. i think he told his father quite a bit before he told me and said don't tell mom. but, you know, i said to him, please, please don't go. i'm so worried about you getting ebola. but ashoka mukpo felt he had a mission and was not to be dissuaded. i had to accept it. periodically, a few weeks after he went there this terrifying thought went through my mind it might happen. i tried to put the lid on it. but obviously it happened anyway. >> and when you got the call. when you got word that he had tested positive, what did you -- how do you deal with that? >> well, initially it was the darkest most terrible feeling. to hear that. i mean, it's the worse news any parent can get. but immediately, both his father
and i decided to pull ourselves out of that state of mind and to mobilize and realize that to a certain extent his life depended on us getting everything working and getting him out of africa. getting him evacuated and getting him to a situation where he could have the best possible medical care. and you know, i have to thank msf, doctors without borders for taking such good care of him in liberia while we waited for that. and also the state department was fantastic to work with. they were wonderful, so you know there are so many thanks along the road. >> and dr. brantly, who i just spoke with today, dr. levy, i mean, he donated his own plasma hoping it would help ashoka mukpo to fight off the virus, that must have been an incredibly emotional moment. to learn he would do that. >> yeah, it really was, it was the first time that i broke down. i got in touch with him on his cell phone while he was still in his car on his family vacation with his wife and children.
and it was remarkable. i was trying to express my thanks for him. and he -- for his generosity. and he just kept saying no, it was really no big deal. and i was just shocked at the ordinariness that he felt about his heroism. and i just broke down because i thought this kind of ordinary generosity was really, honestly magical in this day and age. >> well, and one of the things i found very moving about your son because i was reading the tweets he started to send again when he started to feel better was that from the moment he started to tweet again, he was communicating again concern not about himself, and thanks for those who helped him but also thanks for those in west africa that he spent so much covering. and the lack of care they were receiving. i really found that a testament to really the kind of person your son is.
>> yes, i believe that is exactly right. he went there with a determination to shine some light on the tragedy that was being generated by this epidemic. socially and culturally and politically for the liberian people. and he had -- initially he thought he had first hand knowledge of that. and then he had real firsthand knowledge of it by becoming sick and seeing the people who were not receiving the kind of care that he knew he would get and seeing the impact of that and the fact they were dying around him. and that was a real shock to him. >> well, yeah, dr. mitchell levy and diana mukpo, i'm sorry we are talking with circumstances such as this with your son, but i certainly am glad he is on the mend. up next, what frontier airlines did with the plane that was carrying amber vinson that monday night from dallas. and should people be worried about their own health? a realistic look at that ahead.
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rene marsh joins me now, so where was the cdc between the time she contacted them about the diagnosis? >> reporter: anderson, the flight left cleveland and was bound to dallas. once it landed on monday it made five other trips. that included stops in cities like not only cleveland, but dallas, atlanta, as well as ft. lauderdale. so those are the cities where this plane made other stops. begin, that was before officials were able to connect the dots and figure out that this woman, infected with ebola, was on board. fast forward to today, and we know that frontier airlines was notified. the plane was taken out of service. we're told it was disinfected twice at the airport. and since then it has been put back into service. it took off tonight from cleveland bound for denver. and it is scheduled to land in just a matter of minutes, anderson. no indication at this point, though, if passengers are
actually on board. >> all right, rene marsh, appreciate the update. and coming up, "somebody has got to do it" starts now. last time i went to maryland, i tried to save a bell. it was a big bell. a dirty bell. and hung from the top of an old steeple. and moving that thing around just about killed me. anyway, i'm heading back to maryland, this time to save one of these. that is a whooping crane, they're not dirty at all. but to save them, you have to hide under a white sheet, that is me under the sheet. didn't say it wasn't weird, somebody has got to do it. new show, new mission, somebody has got to do it.