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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Ebola Patient May Have Had Contact With Up To 100 People; Dallas Mayor: "There's A Lot Of Anxiety"; Liberian Official: U.S. Patient Lied About Ebola Exposure
Aired October 2, 2014 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, breaking news, major questions about the man at the center of America's Ebola scare. Liberian officials say he lied to airport screeners so he could board a flight to America.
And CNN learning tonight that the patient shared a home with a woman who died from Ebola and quit his job just two weeks before coming to the U.S. What else do we know about Thomas Eric Duncan?
Plus Duncan's brother on how he is doing and the question surrounding his arrival in America. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news on Ebola in America. A massive system failure. Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person with a confirmed case of Ebola in the United States, answered no when filling out this passenger screening form at the Liberian airport.
He had to answer a crucial question right here on the document. Have you taken care of an Ebola patient? Mr. Duncan checked no. Now "The Associated Press" has seen the very questionnaire that Duncan filled out before leaving Liberia. They say he checked no.
That answer though is not true. CNN has learned that Duncan helped an Ebola patient just days before boarding a flight for the United States. A patient CNN has learned was living in the same home as Mr. Duncan.
And here in the United States, growing outrage. Today we're learning new details of what can only be called obvious mistakes. The sweaty sheets and soiled towels that Duncan used while he was ill at his relatives apartment.
The CDC says they are going to remove the contaminated items. But according to Duncan's brother, I just spoke to him. He said that has not happened yet. Shocking if you consider it has been seven days since Duncan first went to the hospital with symptoms of Ebola.
And there is also this, United Airlines today announced that it is, quote, "reaching out to all passengers on the two U.S. legs of Duncan's trip." They are doing this voluntarily, but CDC Chief Thomas Frieden said this just yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: At this point, there is zero risk of transmission on the flight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Elizabeth Cohen, a CNN senior medical correspondent. She is outside the Dallas hospital where Duncan is staying. And Elizabeth, when we talk about this issue of the soiled sheets and towels, we're finding out now just talking to the brother of Thomas Duncan. He said they are still not removed from that apartment where the family is quarantined. What else can you tell us that has gone wrong?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Erin, what is interesting is that, you know, several things have gone wrong. And two of them they have attempted to fix them because CNN brought it to the authority's attention, which is a little disconcerting they didn't do something on their own.
First of all the sheets and towels that you mentioned, that were soiled, you know, once we put that on air, all of a sudden the CDC said, OK, we'll go get those. We have a medical contractor all lined up. That hasn't happened.
But why did it take CNN going on the air and saying this was a problem. The other one, Erin, is something that was reported first on your show just on Tuesday night.
I said, I just came back from Liberia a couple of days ago and nobody asked me anything. Nobody asked me were you exposed to an Ebola patient or who I saw or what I was doing there.
I wasn't told what symptoms I should watching out for even though this is known to be an issue for months and months now and then all of a sudden the Customs and Border Patrol people say yesterday we have a pamphlet and we'll start handing this out.
Why does it take us going on television saying these things to have action taking? You are sort of wondering, what is going on and what is up with this?
BURNETT: It is pretty frightening and our understanding at this point that they have not -- we're finding out right now, CNN had reported those soiled sheets and towels where I think six or seven hours ago, they said they are sending someone and now we are hearing from the father of one of the children in that apartment, he said they are still there.
COHEN: Right. I mean, I definitely talked to some experts who said public health time is sometimes a little bit slower than on the ground time. That there is this feeling when this kind of thing is happening, they need to move much more quickly than they usually do.
BURNETT: And of course everyone sees every mistake made that is amplified around the country. Thank you so much to Elizabeth Cohen. And these developments today are causing fear and fury in Dallas. Martin Savidge is OUTFRONT with that part of the story.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Dallas, there is no sign Ebola is spreading, but the fear of Ebola definitely is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: CBS 11, continuing coverage of Ebola --
SAVIDGE: The first case of Ebola in America dominates on TV and radio.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Government and health officials in Dallas are trying to reassure the public --
SAVIDGE: And online, like this post on Twitter. Everyone in Dallas better get to their nearest hospital and quick. I don't care if you feel fine. I want this thing contained. News that several children had been in contact with the Ebola victim and then attended area school has frightened many parents.
BRITTANY MORRIS, STUDENT'S MOTHER: My question is whether I'm going to let him go. I'm heading towards not letting him go to school today.
SAVIDGE: She's not alone. The attendance at the affected schools is down.
MIKE MILES, SUPERINTENDENT, DALLAS INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT: For those five schools it is 86 percent attendance. It is usually around 95, 96 percent.
SAVIDGE: You might expect Ebola fear concerned of an Ebola outbreak would have people are flooding emergency rooms and clinics. Health officials say that hasn't happened, so far.
(on camera): Do you worry it could spread?
CHANDRA TAHAL, DALLAS RESIDENT: Yes. I'm worried about a spread because everybody goes to the market.
SAVIDGE: Not everybody's Ebola fear is in the same. For instance, in this community closest to the patient now being treated is mostly immigrants, they're fears are what if there is a stigma attached to the disease? What if they were banished and quarantined? How would they go to work? How would they pay their bills? How would they survive? That really scares them.
(voice-over): To try and calm public concerns and provide answers, Dallas activated its emergency operation center normally reserved for disasters, but it got off to a rough start with frustrated reporters.
Fear has even come to the fair, as in the state fair of Texas, triggering concern it could hurt attendance. Extra hand sanitizer has been put out for visitors and even iconic Bigtex has added a line to its usual Texas howdy.
SAVIDGE: You know, we should say that the greatest fear still remains with parents because, of course, it's their children and those that may have been exposed in some way in the Dallas school system. Yesterday the school system is reporting that there were five students that may have been exposed to the Ebola patient and they had been pulled from class as of Tuesday.
Well, it turns out, no, there is an addendum that that statement. They now say one of those students did a half day on Wednesday. But now it is just reported that there are three other students at a totally different elementary school that may have been exposed to the Ebola patient and they were only pulled from class today. The anxiety of parents is only going to rise -- Erin.
BURNETT: That is certainly the case. Martin Savidge, thank you very much.
And joining me now is the mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings. Mayor Rawlings, good to have you with us. You just heard Martin Savidge, you know, saying one of those five students who had contact with Duncan went to school for part of the day Wednesday.
Obviously the district had first said all of those students had stayed home. How could that have happened?
MAYOR MIKE RAWLINGS (D), DALLAS, TEXAS: I don't understand your question. What student?
BURNETT: One of the students that the district had said there were five students who potentially had contact with Mr. Duncan that stayed home and now they are saying one of those students actually ended up going to school.
Obviously that shouldn't have happened. How could something like that have happened? I know it sparks a lot of fear among parents to hear that.
RAWLINGS: It is very clear that those students shouldn't have gone to school. We talked to them on Tuesday. I don't know why the decision had that one kid go to school. We got him out and got him home. I do push back on the question of fear. There is say lot of anxiety here, but I don't sense a lot of fear in this city on this issue.
BURNETT: You heard the mom, and again in the piece Martin Savidge just reported, and she said I'm heading towards not letting him go to school today. And you can understand why people have anxiety especially when they hear --
RAWLINGS: No question.
BURNETT: Now three kids in another school that might be being looked at and being pulled out. If you are a parent that is something that makes you afraid. If it was your child, would you be thinking about pulling them out of school?
RAWLINGS: There is no question they would be in school. It is one of the safest places that are there. There is zero chance that any of these kids can be infected with this disease.
We are throwing a very big net over this and taking every precaution to make sure that anybody that contacted somebody that was contacted are this isolation and monitoring period.
And I think we're doing the right things there. We're jumping out to the ivy. We just had a huge storm that came through here.
BURNETT: Right, I understand. Yes.
RAWLINGS: The electric company, the first place they went was the apartments, getting the electricity back up within the hour. The company to remove that waste is going to be there and she told us two days ago that she had taken all bed linens and put them in a plastic bag.
BURNETT: Right, and let me ask you about that because I just talked to -- one of the young men in that apartment, 20 years old, I just spoke to his father. He said, look, I talked to him about 40 minutes ago. So he was saying the lights have gone out. You are saying that you believe that's been fixed.
RAWLINGS: No, not fix. They are on sight right now working on it.
BURNETT: And what about the soiled sheets and towels that haven't been removed. Seven hours ago the CDC said someone will take care of that. You're saying that is imminent?
RAWLINGS: Yes, yesterday. We made a decision to get those out. This lady had been talked to and she told us that everything was in a plastic bag. Several state and federal procedures had to be implemented and within the hour someone will be there to take those and remove them. But she was very clear to us and said that she had done everything we asked her to do.
BURNETT: "The Associated Press" saw Duncan's screening form and I was holding it up to our viewers. And it asked have you taken care of an Ebola patient or come into contact with body fluids of an Ebola patient. He checked no.
CNN has learned that he did care for an Ebola patient and he lived in the same home as the person he was caring for just days before he boarded the plane that ended up in Dallas.
Does it concern you that the United States government essentially is trusting this questionnaire in Liberia that ended up causing this problem for you as the mayor of Dallas?
RAWLINGS: Well, look, it was a matter of time before we had a case in the United States. I'm sorry it was in Dallas, but we're working hard to make it happen. There is an issue about how we let folks into our country. I'm a very open -- believer in openness throughout this world.
We have a lot of great partners in business and tourism. This will happen from time to time. We've got to make sure we catch this as quickly on the ground as we can. And in this case, we're doing it now. There was a misstep and -- they'll debate that at the higher levels, our job is to focus on the safety of the Dallas sites.
BURNETT: And I know that and obviously it is hard when you are in a crisis situation to deal with it, but there are other things, like the hazmat suits seen cleaning one of the elementary schools last night, but obviously Mr. Duncan went into the hospital on Sunday night so there were a few days went by then.
The family is saying they are under quarantined, but then they were non-compliant. They were actually going out to get food. I mean, there are things still happening. I know some of these are out of you control, but does it concern you?
RAWLING: Well, look this whole thing concerns me and it's all my accountability with the other leaders. But what is not being talked about in those times is there is zero chance that anyone could be contaminated because those people did not show any effects or any symptoms.
RAWLINGS: And so while it is a concern, it is not something we believe is going to cause the spread of this. What is necessary right now is that we contain this as much as possible, get a big net on this, and make sure that if anything happens in the future, that we contain it and focus on the safety.
BURNETT: Better prepared.
BURNETT: You talked to President Obama today. What did he say?
RAWLINGS: I did. He said the hearts and the prayers of the United States are with us and with Dallas and he wants to make sure that he provides any resources to Dallas he can. And the CDC will do whatever they can. The CDC has been great.
We finally got the team together, really yesterday morning for the first time and all of the plans, the decisions that were made, even before your reports about what we needed to do. And we needed to kind of get those things implemented and I think we're up to speed now. So I said thank you, and we'll keep working hard.
BURNETT: And before we go, did he say he would come visit you down there?
RAWLINGS: He did not. He comes and visits every once in a while and I always love to him have and I spoke to the governor, he said the same thing, Governor Perry and President Obama are linked arm and arm on this to make sure this happens. BURNETT: That is a first. All right. Thanks very much to you. I appreciate it, Mike Rawlings.
RAWLINGS: Thank you.
And OUTFRONT next, look at where Thomas Eric Duncan came from and the woman he shared with a woman who died from Ebola.
Plus thousands of people in West Africa hold American visas. So they already have the visas. They can get on a plane. Should the United States stop letting those visa holders in.
And America is home to the world's most advance health care system, but are U.S. hospitals woefully unprepared for Ebola?
BURNETT: Breaking news tonight, new details about the man at the center of America's Ebola scare. We are learning that he shared a home with a woman who died from Ebola. Alexandra Field is OUTFRONT on who exactly Thomas Eric Duncan is.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thomas Eric Duncan is the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. But in his native country, Liberia, community leaders say Duncan was sharing a house with a woman killed by the disease.
Duncan rented this room in her family's home in Liberia's capital city of Monrovia. He came into contact with the infected woman who was 7 months pregnant and too sick to walk as recently as September 15th when he carried her to a taxi, according to "The New York Times."
WILLFRED SMALLWOOD, THOMAS ERIC DUNCAN'S HALF-BROTHER: In Liberia, we help each other. This pregnant woman was falling and he ran to help her.
FIELD: Willfred Smallwood said his half-brother Duncan didn't come to the states seeking treatment for Ebola. He planned the trip for two weeks and didn't even know he was sick.
An airport official says the 42-year-old was screened three times before leaving Liberia and was permitted to board the plane showing no signs of the virus.
But now Liberian authorities now say Duncan was asked on a health questionnaire if he had cared for an Ebola patient and if he had touched the body of someone who had died in an area where there is Ebola. He answered no.
ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF, PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA: But the fact that he knew and he left the country is impossible, quite frankly. I just hope that nobody else gets infected.
FIELD: Duncan went on to travel some 8,000 miles from Monrovia, to Brussels to Washington, D.C. A three-hour layover and on to Dallas to visit his son and his son's mother. He was greeted when he arrived with a large cookout, according to "The Washington Post."
Four days later, he turned up at this hospital and was sent home, even after telling them he had just traveled from Africa. The hospital admits this information was not fully communicated to the full medical team.
He later returned when his condition worsened. Duncan has family across the country, from Arizona to North Carolina. His condition is so serious, they can't talk to him.
JOSEPHUS WEEKS, THOMAS ERIC DUNCAN'S NEPHEW: I just want to let you know that we're still here and we're feeling the pain here too.
BURNETT: We'll hear more from Duncan's brother later in the show. But this questionnaire when he checked no when he was asked whether he cared for an Ebola patient or was in contact with one, what are Liberian officials going to do about that?
FIELD: Yes, these forms they are only as good as the answers that are provided and this is really alarming to Liberian officials. We are hearing from the airport authority that if they find that Duncan knowingly lied on these forms, they could prosecute him.
The president of the country is also saying that she'll consult with lawyers, but even more profoundly than that she spoke really passionately about this thing.
That she was angry and saddened about Duncan's decision to come to the United States and the fear that it has created for people in this country and also acknowledging what important partner the U.S. has been in Liberia's fight against Ebola.
BURNETT: Yes, of course, if it does turn out that this was, you know -- but it certainly would be upsetting and humiliating for that country. Thank you so much, Alexandra Field. A pretty incredible report when you start to learn more and more about the man at the center of this.
Well, every day passengers from Liberia are making their way to the United States. Over the past year, more than 17,000 people that we know of has come from Liberia to the U.S. and on a United States carrier.
But if a questionnaire and quick medical check up wasn't enough to stop Thomas Eric Duncan from bringing Ebola to the United States, does the United States need to temporarily restrict passengers from the Ebola hot zone.
Our counterterrorism analyst, Phil Mudd is with me along with Mark Krikorian, the executive director for the Center of Immigration Studies, and our national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem. Great to have all of you with us. Phil, you know, as we all know, you can go 21 days when you have Ebola before you get symptoms. So theoretically you can get on a plane and if you are not going to be honest on a questionnaire, that opens the door to what just happened right now.
Does that mean anyone getting on that plan should be quarantined for 21 days or travel should be banned altogether?
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: No. I don't think so. Not at all. I spent my career, Erin, looking at risks and assessing risk around the world on issues like terrorism and issues like the one you're seeing today.
Let's get away from hysteria and talk about facts. A country of 330 million people, we've got a couple of infections. In 2012, 2013, the United States 170 plus people in this country died from the common flu.
The issue is people are lying every day on their immigration forms. They are lying about flu and HIV/AIDS. We've got to have a risk management approach that's the same as the risk approach we take on things like organized crime, on things like HIV/AIDS. You're going to have problems. We shouldn't suffer from hysteria here.
BURNETT: Mark, you disagree?
MARK KRIKORIAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: Yes. I mean, what hysteria. There is no excuse to having stopped travel from Liberia, Sierra Leon and Guinea. What is the risk? People from there say there is a foreign student from Liberia who wants to come here. He'll have to wait a few months before he can come here.
Frankly, I'm OK with that. The point is that the borders of the United States are to protect Americans. Nothing is going to be perfect, stuff will go wrong and this is why you have multiple layers.
You prohibit travel from there because stuff will go wrong if you just let people on the honor system say I don't have Ebola and you let them into the United States.
BURNETT: So Juliette, I know you've been thinking about this and now you are believing that restrictions are worth considering. What has changed in your mind?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think at any stage -- let's say if this heats up and we get more patients, we should put everything on the table. But just -- as Phil said, we have a patient -- we have one patient.
And so when we talk about lines of defense, you don't want to go the most extreme one immediately. What I would do right now is that ensure that the U.S. line of defense is strong enough.
So we should have more interrogation and surveillance on the receiving end. And there was a complete breakdown on the public health side. If people are feeling fear, it is not because of the airplanes because a guy walks in from central casting for Ebola.
I mean, every symptom, every travel suggested this is what he had and they didn't catch it. So we need to pick up at the border and our public health community. I won't put the restrictions off the table. We have one case. It is just one case. So we need to put that in perspective.
KRIKORIAN: But Erin, what is the risk here? These are three small countries. It is no skin off our nose prohibiting travel. They may not like it, I get it. But it is not permanent. And the job of the American government is to protect the American people, period.
BURNETT: I mean, Phil, here is the question, I guess, some people might have -- sorry. We'll get right back to you, Juliette. But Phil, we don't know, this might stop exactly where it is right now. But if even one American citizen dies and it could have been prevented, isn't that too many?
MUDD: I suppose so --
KAYYEM: Look, I mean --
BURNETT: Go ahead, Phil, finish and then I will go to Juliette.
MUDD: We fail to look at these problems in perspective. You look at them in isolation. If you look back 20 years, I was sitting in Paris with the headlines of Magic Johnson HIV infected.
I suspect most American would have said that day without looking at the incidents of infections across American and other issues. We should have shut down borders for anybody who is HIV positive. Mistake.
We can't as Americans take an analytic approach. We have to take a hysterical approach. We got a couple of infected people in a country of 330 million and we've got to change the way America operates, I'd say no.
I agree with Juliette. We can have front end operations here to stop this, but we don't have to shut down America.
BURNETT: That's an interesting point. And Juliette, African countries have tougher restrictions than the United States right now. When you look at Kenya, they have suspended entry from anybody coming from those countries. They actually have a lot more restrictions in place now than the United States, which is kind of surprising, isn't it?
KAYYEM: Well, it is not, just given the quantity of people from those countries who are traveling to a place like Kenya. It is also an airport hub for Africa so they'll have many more numbers. So why I think this is manageable on the U.S. end so long as our systems are working.
So I could sit here for the next couple of weeks, but if we keep having incidents like in Texas, it is going to be harder for people like me to say we have a system in place. I recognize a big mistake was made in Texas and we need to fix that.
But given the number of people who do travel here there are ways that we can ensure both surveillance and detection at the airport on our end and better surveillance in the public health community throughout the country. And that is what one patient justifies at this stage.
BURNETT: All right, thanks to all three of you and everyone let us know your thoughts, I know people feel passionately on this particular topic on both sides.
OUTFRONT next, the hospital where Thomas Duncan sought care is said to be among the best at handling Ebola, but obviously completely misdiagnosed him at first and sent him home for 48 hours to possibly infect others. Is any American hospital ready for Ebola?
Plus I'll talk to Mr. Duncan's half-brother and how the Ebola patient is fairing and what he said happened in the days leading up to Duncan's diagnosis.
BURNETT: Breaking news tonight: the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States lied on a health screening form before leaving West Africa, according to a Liberian official. The official says Thomas Eric Duncan answered no when asked if he had touched anyone in Ebola, despite having helped an infected woman who died that lived in the same home.
That is not the only screening process which failed. Duncan went to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital last Thursday. He had a fever and abdominal pain. He told a nurse he'd been to Liberia, had been in Liberia, but he was sent home with an antibiotic. That hospital was supposedly specifically prepared for Ebola, and that begs the question: what about hospitals across the nation that aren't specifically ready?
Drew Griffin is OUTFRONT.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: It's supposed to work like this. A sick patient enters the E.R., faces an intake clerk who immediately assesses the big question, if your symptoms match Ebola, where have you been?
Somewhere in that process at Texas Presbyterian, there was a breakdown. The Liberian man was sent home instead of placed here, inside a secure, separate isolation room where hospital staff could know for sure if the patient has Ebola.
(on camera): Obviously, there was a misstep. What do you do at your hospital to make sure that the communication is flowing between the staff, the patient and everybody knows what is going on and do you rehearse this, do you drill this?
DR. JAMES D'ENTIENNE, BAYLOR HOSPITAL EMERGENCY MEDICINE: We do. And part of that drill is general disaster preparedness and part of the drill is always gearing up when we know an infectious disease is heightened in our area, whether it is a flu, whether it's a respiratory virus, the screening process again starts in triage.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Dr. James D'Entienne at Baylor's emergency room says since the first of this year, this hospital, just miles from Texas Presbyterian, has trained its staff how to isolate a patient and protect itself through masks, gloves, protective clothing, and only entered through what's called the warm room, until test results can determine exactly what is wrong.
(on camera): And that's what this is -- this is not being used by anybody else, this is not an overflow room. This is an isolation room specifically for any kind of in infectious disease, Ebola included?
D'ENTIENNE: Correct. And we have more than one of these rooms and we can use them in day-to-day operations.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): D'Entienne says his hospital is ready, but infectious disease experts say this level of readiness across the U.S. is only now being addressed.
GAVIN MACGREGOR-SKINNER, ELIZABETH R. GRIFFIN RESEARCH FOUNDATION: We've seen that hospitals now are downloading paper-based guidance plans from the Internet and working out how to do the management, how to do the implementation and how is the how, how to make she's things happen to make sure if they do get an Ebola patient, everyone in the hospital is going to be safe.
GRIFFIN: And it's not just hospitals that need to improve their response. This December 2013 study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Trust for America found a majority of states scored poorly in their ability to control infectious diseases. The study's executive director quoted as saying, "The bad news is that we found major gaps in the country's ability to prevent and control and treat outbreaks, leaving Americans at an unacceptable level of unnecessary risk."
BURNETT: Drew, I mean, it's pretty unthinkable when you think about that. Texas Presbyterian supposed to be, you know, relatively prepared in a state that's certified to conduct Ebola testing. But it seemed like they weren't ready?
GRIFFIN: Well, they certainly have all of the bells and whistles to handle the problem. But this wasn't about bells and whistles, Erin. This was about a human error. I know the hospital is trying to pass off this idea that, you know, much of the information wasn't effectively communicated, but really, this is about training.
A guy comes in symptomatic of Ebola and he says he's from Liberia, there should be flare guns going off inside this hospital, and he should be whisked away to isolation. And instead they sent him home to essentially infect other people. So, I think when this is all said and done, Erin, this hospital is
going to have some tough questions about training, drilling its staff and being prepared to pass that information to the next person with the urgency it needs -- Erin.
BURNETT: Drew Griffin, thank you very much.
And now, our Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me, along with Dr. Ali Khan, dean of the University of Nebraska College of Public Health and former CDC director for public preparedness and response. He treated Ebola patients during the Zaire outbreak in the '90s.
Sanjay, all right, you just heard Drew reporting that a lot of hospitals aren't ready to handle and outbreak. Clearly, Texas Presbyterian was not ready. But Texas is one of the states certified by the CDC to conduct Ebola testing. It's supposed to be the best of the best. If this hospital isn't ready, what about hospitals across the country?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes. I mean, look there is significant gaps as drew said at the end of the piece in the way we are able to communicate about infectious diseases about this country and that's been a problem for a long time.
You know, Erin, I'd be a little bit careful. You know, there was a human error made here to take than and saying emblematic of the entire hospital is not ready. That is tough. There has been missteps here and it's unfortunate because this is the first patient. This is the one that, you know, history is going to record.
GUPTA: But, I think -- obviously, the patient is getting care now and that's important and how he does in the future is going to important and how these patients or these people who are around him are going to be cared for, the contact so to speak, very important as well.
But, you know, there has been a need for a wake-up call I think for a long time regarding infectious diseases. We'll talk about Ebola one patient. Tens of thousands of people die from the flu every year and that's still, you know, obviously, from a numbers standpoint a much more dangerous concern.
BURNETT: Yes, absolutely, Enterovirus now. I mean, you have things.
Dr. Khan, you just heard Drew reporting that hospitals, you know, they were just looking at the statistics online, just now going in, downloading guidance on how to deal with an Ebola patient, which is, you know, as Sanjay saying, a wake-up call but frightening that the hospitals are just waking up now and going to download this information.
DR. ALI KHAN, DEAN, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH: So, thank you for that.
I agree. And I think Drew was spot on when he said it is not about bells and whistles, it is about training and good practice.
So, CDC has been very clear that any hospital with meticulous infection control in a single room with a private bathroom can take care of these patients, but I think what this experience teaches us, is that if you have an option, you are better served in a facility that has infection, meticulous infection control that has drilled for that for years potentially is concerned about the safety of its patients, its employees and its community, and link not the infection control, think about meticulous case management. You also -- you need to protect the community and the patient and the employees, but you also want to give the patient the best possible care. And, you know, similar to the experience we had here at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
BURNETT: And, Sanjay, you know, the director of the Northeast Bio Defense Center, actually he said 1.2 million people could die all-in with this before it is over, and that was the worse case scenario. But that is what he said. That means it needs to get under control in West Africa where it is the center right now.
You know, how is that possible? How can the world contain this that point?
GUPTA: That's a great question. And it is very challenging. I mean, you know, we're so used to thinking about Ebola as being relegated to these remote forests in Central Africa and not making its way out but that has changed. It is a brand new world now with regard to Ebola.
I think Ebola, you know -- I think you and I talked about this, Erin, back in April when I got back from Guinea, at that point predicted that today or the last couple of days would happen, that it would come here. And it's going to travel all over the world.
I think that ultimately, like any doctor wants to treat the root cause of the problem as opposed to just symptoms, the root cause is still in West Africa and that's where, you know, they have to flood the zone in terms of stopping that outbreak over there.
Everyone said it can be done. I asked that to question 100 times. I've asked the question to the head of the CDC right here behind me, no question he said, this outbreak can be stopped. He also says, no question he says, that this will not turn into an outbreak in the United States. Those are optimistic words but, you know, they have some precedent to say that. Right now, however, this is the worst Ebola outbreak in the history of the world. We've never seen anything like this.
BURNETT: Thanks very much to both of you.
And for more on OUTFRONT Ebola coverage, including Sanjay's reporting from earlier this year in Guinea, go to CNN.com/OUTFRONT.
And next OUTFRONT, Thomas Duncan's brother. He says his brother didn't know he had Ebola when he left Liberia. More on that and the many questions surrounding Thomas Duncan tonight.
Plus, Anthony Bourdain, what happened when he tried to take his cameras into the hot zone?
BURNETT: Breaking news tonight, four relatives of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan remain under quarantine tonight in the Dallas apartment, you see there. Authorities searching now for up to 100 people they say may have had contact with Duncan and are at risk for Ebola.
Joining me now is Thomas Eric Duncan's half brother, Wilfred Smallwood. His son is among those quarantined in the apartment where Duncan had been staying in Dallas.
And, Wilfred, thank you for talking to us tonight. I know this has to be an upsetting, stressful, fearful time for you. Are they at this point getting food or anything else? I know that Louise, your brother's partner, is in that apartment, too. She told CNN your brother's sheets and towels were still in the apartment. No one had even removed them?
WILFRED SMALLWOOD, U.S. EMBOLA PATIENT'S HALF-BROTHER: Yes, when I called and talked to my son, they said those things will stay there even though they heard information that the CDC was going to go there but they haven't been at the time.
BURNETT: So, as of 40 minutes ago, you're saying your son said the CDC had not yet come to remove the sheets and the towels?
SMALLWOOD: That's correct, yes.
BURNETT: Have you spoken to your brother since he went in the hospital, Wilfred?
SMALLWOOD: Well, upon information that he was announced an Ebola patient, we tried to call the hospital but the hospital won't allow us to talk to him at all. So, up to the present, we have not heard from him, (INAUDIBLE). The hospital won't allow us to talk to him.
BURNETT: I know you talked about how your brother was helping a pregnant woman who died of Ebola. He was trying to help her get better. Has he talk to you about whether he was afraid he would get sick as a result of that.
SMALLWOOD: Well, Liberia is a country where (INAUDIBLE). I don't know where this information came from. But if he had done, because a pregnant woman who is falling (INAUDIBLE) get on their way, we have a general people that want to help people at all.
BURNETT: I know your brother had a visa to visit the United States. Wilfred, do you know when he decided he was actually going to fly?
SMALLWOOD: That is why I'm concerned, when my brother got his visa, he called us, oh, I got my visa. U.S. embassy give a visa to me. They give me a visa. And I said when are you coming? He said maybe when I get my ticket,
two weeks time, I'll be there. When I get my ticket I'll be there.
And when he got his ticket, oh, yeah, my ticket and maybe I'll come next week. He said next week. I'll be here next week. And then he called and said I'm here. I'm in Dallas.
BURNETT: All right. Wilfred, thank you so much for talking to me tonight.
SMALLWOOD: And thank you so much too.
BURNETT: And we spoke to the mayor of Dallas who assured me that the soiled sheets and towels from Thomas Duncan will be removed from that apartment where the family is quarantined within the hour.
OUTFRONT next, CNN's Anthony Bourdain on when he tried to shoot in the Ebola zone.
BURNETT: Now, let's check in with Anderson Cooper with a look at what is coming up on "AC 360", where, Anderson, I know you're continuing to cover the breaking news.
COOPER: Yes, the exclusive interview with a woman who has a child with Thomas Duncan and lived with him for a week before he was hospitalized. Her name was Louise. She didn't want us to use her last name. She shared a bed with Duncan, watched him get sicker and sicker. She saw him break out with sweats and run repeatedly to the bathroom.
Tonight, Louise, her son and two nephews are under quarantine in her apartment, not in the hospital, inside her apartment, the apartment she shared with Thomas Duncan. She told me the sheets that he slept on and sweated on are still on the bed. She is still living with the soiled towels that she's put in plastic bags, and is not sure what to do with it. You're going to hear her story in her own words tonight, only on "360".
Also tonight, the father of the 13-year-old boy inside the apartment with Louise were there when he gets a chance to talk to his son, and the latest from the plane that brought Thomas Duncan to the United States coming up at the top of the hour, Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Anderson, really looking forward to hearing your conversation with Louise. See you in a few minutes.
And Bourdain is back. "ANTHONY BOURDAIN'S PARTS UNKNOWN" has started its fourth season here on CNN. We are thrilled about it as are all of you I know.
OK. This season, he is going to Vietnam, Iran and Tanzania. This Sunday, he starts, though, closer to home in the Bronx.
And Anthony Bourdain joins me now. All right. I'm thrilled to have you with us. But I got to start though with the Ebola situation. We're talking a lot about it. You were actually going to shoot a "PARTS UNKNOWN" episode in Sierra Leone.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, "PARTS UNKNOWN": We were developing a show there. Yes.
BURNETT: And one of the hardest hit countries, but you decided not to because of the Ebola crisis.
BOURDAIN: Yes. I mean, we take risks on the show but this seemed foolish at this time to go further with it. And having shoot in neighboring Liberia, I was not optimistic at the situation, let's put it that way.
BURNETT: Because you knew the medical care system?
BOURDAIN: Not the best. Unfortunately.
BURNETT: As you know, people talk about whether to take this seriously and whether not. It is important you made that decision to go someplace else because of it.
BOURDAIN: Yes, you know, I hope people realize the situation on the ground there is pretty bad. Their infrastructure is sub-par. And they're going to need a lot of help to get on top of this.
BURNETT: And we just have to hope they can get that help for the whole world's sake now.
So, you have gone to other countries, and you have an incredible series coming up. You start with the Bronx, very close to home.
BURNETT: All right, what did you find in the Bronx that you didn't know about before?
BOURDAIN: Just enormous borough of dozens and dozens of communities from people all over the world who brought their food and culture with them, really a wonderland of food and music and personalities and cultures and alcohol. You know, we love Brooklyn, we explore it. We invaded it, I guess. We talk about the Brooklynization of the world.
The Bronx deserves a little love, I think, and I hope to give it to them Sunday.
BURNETT: I can't wait to see that, you don't hear a lot about food up there.
All right. You have been to a couple of other amazing places, one of them -- I actually had a really good meal in Iran. It was amazing, a very quick lunch, but it was amazing.
What was some of the most unexpected things you found when you were in Iran?
BOURDAIN: The kindness of strangers everywhere. The open smiles and warm greetings from people everywhere, often under a giant mural saying "Death to America".
BOURDAIN: I mean, the contrast between official policy and -- geopolitical military relationship and what it is like to walk down the street, it's really deeply, deeply confusing. And it is -- it felt at times, as people will see in this, like I said very confusing show. You could be forgiven for thinking for a few minutes at a time that you were in southern California or Barcelona, only friendlier. I think people will be shocked by what they see.
BURNETT: In a world, any favorite dish?
BOURDAIN: Well, all their rice dishes that go back to Persian times, fantastic, and, of course, chelow kabab, the national dish, really, as good as it gets.
BURNETT: All right. I can't wait to see that one. But I am excited to see the Bronx and all the places to explore. Thank you, Anthony.
BOURDAIN: Thank you.
BURNETT: Anthony Bourdain, all the episodes of "PARTS UNKNOWN" start Sunday night at 9:00.
We'll be right back.
BURNETT: And tomorrow OUTFRONT, much more on Ebola in America, how prepared is New York City for a possible Ebola outbreak and how vulnerable is the nation's most populist city? That's tomorrow night OUTFRONT.
"AC360" begins right now.