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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
76 People In Dallas Being Monitored For Ebola; Nurse's Friend: Pham Was In Full Hazmat Suit; Friend: Bowe Bergdahl Voluntarily Left His Army Base; ISIS Surrounds One of Iraq's Largest Air Bases; Erin Burnett's Roots in Scotland
Aired October 14, 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 ANCHOR: "OUTFRONT" tonight, breaking news: the Dallas nurse with Ebola, a friend telling me that she wore a full hazmat suit while treating Thomas Eric Duncan. So how did she contract Ebola? The CDC still doesn't know.
Plus officials say as many as 76 healthcare workers came into contact with Duncan. A stunning number, all being monitored tonight.
And from my family's farm in Maryland to a Scottish island that time has forgotten, an amazing journey in search of my roots, that's tonight. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, breaking news, at least 76 more health care workers in Dallas are now being monitored for Ebola. The CDC says that is the stunning number of people who may have come into contact with Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan.
We are also tonight learning new details about the Dallas nurse, Nina Pham, who is infected with Ebola. Tonight, her friend tells OUTFRONT that Pham was wearing a full hazmat suit when treating Duncan. That is hugely significant.
There were other options she could have just been wearing a simple gown and gloves. No, her friend tells us she was wearing the full hazmat suit. This deepens the mystery of how Pham could have contracted the virus and further calls into question, CDC protocols for protecting health workers on the front line.
The director of the CDC today admitted they could have done more to prevent Nina Pham from getting sick.
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DR. TOM FRIEDEN, DIRECTOR, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION: You know, I thought often about it. I wish we had put a team like this on the ground the day the patient -- the first patient was diagnosed. That might have prevented this infection.
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BURNETT: Well, that might have prevented this infection but it didn't. And Nina Pham now fighting for her life plus there are new pictures of Pham's dog tonight. Her dog possibly infected with Ebola, his name is Bently. She loves that dog.
He has been moved to a safe place with a home-like environment. We'll have more on that and pets and Ebola coming up. But we begin with Victor Blackwell who was in Dallas tonight. And Victor, the big question, how is Nina Pham doing right now?
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in one word, better. The update from the hospital here, that her condition has been upgraded from stable to good. Now we're getting that good news as we are hearing from the CDC that the initial response to Thomas Eric Duncan's case was not nearly robust enough.
FRIEDEN: Good afternoon, everyone.
BLACKWELL (voice-over): A huge admission from the director of the CDC.
FRIEDEN: In retrospect with 20/20 hindsight, we could have sent a more robust hospital infection control team.
BLACKWELL: Dr. Tom Frieden said he regrets not doing more after Thomas Eric Duncan tested positive for Ebola and more response would have prevented the spread of the disease. And now Frieden is hoping to contain the virus by sending a special response team to Dallas.
FRIEDEN: People who are experts leading the world in everything from laboratory science to infection control, to hospital administration and we're working hand and glove.
BLACKWELL: And for the first time, we are hearing from Nina Pham, the nurse who contracted the disease while treating Duncan. In a statement released by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Pham said, I'm doing well and I want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers.
I'm blessed by the support of family and friends and to be cared for by the best team of doctors and nurses in the world here at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.
Now at least 75 health workers who treated Duncan are also being monitored, doctors say the 26-year-old nurse was wearing full protective gear.
FATHER JIM KHOI, THE PARISH AT OUR LADY OF FATIMA CATHOLIC CHURCH: We pray for her and for her family, for the growing faith.
BLACKWELL: Father Jim Khoi leads the parish at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in nearby Fort Worth. Pham's family has attended mass there for more than a decade. Khoi has been in constant contact with Pham's mother.
KHOI: When I talked to the family and my thinking is that they are doing well. They feel OK. The reason is first that they believe in God and they trust that that is God's providence. They can talk via Skype and phone. So they know for sure that of what happens with one another and I think Nina and her mom are doing well.
BLACKWELL: With a sibling in California and another in San Antonio, Pham lives closest to her childhood home, Father Khoi says. She graduated from the College of Nursing at nearby Texas Christian University and was a member of the Sigma Cappa sorority.
Hours after the announcement of her positive test results, a university administrator sent an e-mail to all students, faculty and staff assuring them TCU has no reason to believe this alum has been on campus recently and to keep her in their thoughts and prayers during this time.
CDC investigators are still trying to determine exactly when Pham was exposed to the virus. Father Jim wants to know when she is coming home.
KHOI: We pray that they'll let her be healed soon and we can see her again.
BLACKWELL: And Erin, the fear of Ebola spreading in this area is real. Anecdotally Father Jim said that there are members of his congregation who said they are afraid when Pham's mother returns to the church if they will be exposed.
He also said that there was a party scheduled in the multi- purpose room and that family has canceled because they don't want to be exposed to Ebola either -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, thank you very much, Victor.
And I want to bring in a close friend and former colleague of Nina Pham, Jennifer Joseph. And Jennifer, thank you so much for being with us tonight. I know you've been speaking with your friend. You spoke with her today. What did she say? How is she doing?
JENNIFER JOSEPH, NINA PHAM'S FRIEND AND FORMER COLLEAGUE: Yes, ma'am, thank you for having me. Nina is actually in good spirits. She's doing well. We've been trying to communicate via Facetime and just texting each other and actually she just wished me luck for this.
Because I just preemptively I do want to say that I have talked to her thoroughly about talking and doing this interview so I had an opportunity to chat with her about this and basically the last thing I said to her is I can't wait until day 22 and she said, me too.
BURNETT: She obviously is very passionate about her work and I know that you were telling us that Nina was Thomas Eric Duncan's primary nurse. You know her so well. Did she ever express any hesitation or any fear?
I mean, it must have been a pretty shocking and scary thing to suddenly be told, you are 26 years old and you are going to be caring for the first person to come into a hospital with Ebola in the United States?
JOSEPH: It was very shocking for all of us, but she is extremely passionate about her work. She has a great support system and a great group of team members, of nurses and physicians, who are supporting her and backing her up through every step of the way.
But definitely it was a shock to realize that this is the first patient in the country that she'll be taking care of. And she did her absolute best as she always does. And I had full confidence in her that she was able to take care of this patient to the best of her abilities.
She is very experienced and skilled nurse. She just got her five-year reward for being a nurse at the hospital and having the experience that she does. She also recently passed a very grueling strenuous exam about validating her practice in a critical care setting.
So she did have the experience to back up her being able to take care of this patient. She wasn't randomly assigned to take care of Mr. Duncan. She was meticulously sought out and chosen to have this specific role.
BURNETT: I know it does say a lot about her and also raises so many questions, of course, about what could have gone so wrong. And the big question people have is what sort of protective gear was she wearing?
I mean, you know, I was looking at the CDC and it was just gloves and a grown. That is one option. The other option is a full hazmat suit. Do you know which it might have been?
JOSEPH: During her care, she was wearing the hazmat suit. I wasn't there so I really can't comment as far as how far -- what else was going on and stuff like that so all I can say is that I do know she was wearing the hazmat suit that is per CDC recommendation.
BURNETT: When you say she was wearing the full suit, obviously that is supposed to be the safest possible thing. It wasn't as if she was just wearing a gown and something might have gotten through the gown.
BURNETT: That is pretty frightening for people to hear?
JOSEPH: Right. You're right, Erin. And I know for a fact Nina is somebody who never shies away from safety. We have an entire department on infection control in the hospital.
We're briefed almost monthly on infection control and we have to keep up our skills to make sure we are doing everything to keep ourselves and others safe. So as far as how this happened, we're still looking into the investigation.
But I know that Nina, being someone who has trained me and who someone who I learned from, she was always very pro-active with hand hygiene and with infection control and I have full confidence in her and her abilities. BURNETT: The other question I have, Jennifer, is look, Nina was given the option to be treated at another hospital, but she wanted to stay at Texas Health Presbyterian. She made a conscious choice she wanted to stay there. What was her thinking?
JOSEPH: So all of the nurses and physicians in that hospital and more so in that unit, we are a tight-knit family. When I used to work there, I just felt such a sense of camaraderie. We all just get along together. We have holiday parties.
Nina is actually in charge of the monthly planning committee for the entire unit to get together, physicians, p.a.'s, nurses, respiratory therapists were all able to get together and Nina is the one who organizes all of that together.
So it is such a tight-knit community like I said and people she is familiar with and knows and people who regard her as a sister and a daughter and a friend. So she enjoys being around those people and they've been nothing, but supportive and nothing short of encouraging to her during this time.
BURNETT: All right, thank you so much, Jennifer.
JOSEPH: Thank you.
BURNETT: And Pham's friends have set up a fundraising site for her. The link is "Go Fund Me" website at cnn.com/outfront.
Now obviously there are a lot of questions about how Nina Pham got Ebola. And I want to bring Dr. Aileen Marty. She actually just returned from West Africa in Nigeria. She was treating Ebola patients there.
You may have seen a profile of her on our program about six weeks ago or so ago. Dr. Marty, thank you so much for being with us. Nina's friend you heard --
DR. AILEEN MARTY, PROFESSOR, FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY, DEPARTMENT OF MEDICINE: My pleasure.
BURNETT: -- she was wearing a hazmat suit. Now obviously the CDC said you can just wear a gown and gloves, but she was wearing more than that we understand. She was wearing a full hazmat suit when she was treating the Ebola patient.
You spent time wearing these suits in horrific conditions. What is the likelihood that she would have contracted the virus do you think while taking a hazmat suit off?
MARTY: While taking it off, there is always a risk. So you have to take it off in a very meticulous fashion. From what I just heard from Jennifer, Nina apparently is quite the heroine and a wonderful person. I'm very sad to know that she is ill, but even the best of us can make a small mistake. But that may not be why she is infected.
BURNETT: What other reasons could there be? I mean, people really want answers here.
MARTY: Well, I saw a photo in the "Dallas Morning News" of someone, apparently a nurse taking care of what apparently was the index case, and I was looking at the image and it seemed to me that there was skin exposed in that individual who was the nurse in that photo.
So -- and it also looked like they were wearing some kind of a positive breathing apparatus that should have blown material away, but there was still skin exposed. And we did not allow any skin exposure in Africa.
BURNETT: So you are saying there could have been other issues with the protocol there in the hospital. And the other question I have for you, Dr. Marty, is you know, you have Nina Pham here who is a nurse treating Thomas Eric Duncan now in the hospital with Ebola.
But Duncan's fiancee, Louise, who is living with him while he was showing the symptoms, right? She was with him the night he went in, with him the three days after he went home and got sicker and sicker.
And then she was quarantined for in a while an apartment with the bloody sheets and towels that he had been using. So far she has not contracted the virus. How is it possible that Nina did and she didn't?
MARTY: Because there are a lot of factors that go into determining whether an individual is actually going to manifest disease or not. And time and time again, in outbreak after outbreak, we know of individuals that have had equally very close contact, very high exposures and one person becomes ill and one never does. So there are host factors involved well beyond issues of the virus itself.
BURNETT: All right, Dr. Marty, thank you very much. Dr. Marty risked her life to go try to help save other lives in West Africa fighting the Ebola crisis there. Thank you so much, Dr. Marty.
And coming up, at the top of the hour, CDC Director Tom Frieden will be a guest on "AC360."
OUTFRONT next, the Dallas nurse's beloved dog Bentley has been moved to a new location tonight. He is being monitored. But what is really known about how dogs with Ebola could infect humans?
Plus the CDC with up to 800 Ebola-related calls a day.
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BURNETT: Do you want to see where mommy's room was? You get to see the farm this one time? Yes, OK. That was yes.
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BURNETT: An emotional journey home in search of my roots.
BURNETT: More on our top story, the Ebola scare in America. The Ebola patient Nina Pham is in the hospital this evening. Her caviler King Charles Spaniel is being move to a quote-unquote "safe place" tonight. The city of Dallas say Bentley, that's his name, will be monitored and quarantined in a quote-unquote "home-like environment." The family has given a glimpse of her beloved dog last night. Officials have sent her a video, of Bentley, to help boost her spirits. She adores that dog. I was talking to her friend early about it tonight. It truly is the love of her life. Dallas officials say they are doing everything they can to save the dog.
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CLAY JENKINS, DALLAS COUNTY JUDGE: When I met with her parents, they said that dog is important to her, judge, don't let anything happen to the dog. If that dog has to be the boy in the plastic bubble, we're going to take good care of that dog.
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BURNETT: Well in Spain, officials there chose to put down the dog that belonged to a nurse who is infected with Ebola because the truth is this, officials are do not know for a fact whether dogs can transmit Ebola or not.
Joining me now is Dr. Alexander Van Tulleken, a CNN medical analyst who works with Fordham University institute of international humanitarian affairs and Dr. Eleanor Green, she is dean of the veterinary college at Texas A&M.
Doctor Green, let me start with you. Do you -- I know that there is -- dogs that perhaps get Ebola, but may be asymptomatic and not be actually get sick from it. I mean, what kind of symptoms would they even be looking for in a dog?
DR. ELEANOR GREEN, DEAN, VETERINARY COLLEGE, TEXAS A&M: Well there have been no reports of the transmission of Ebola virus to dogs in the fact they have not shown any clinical signs. There has never been a report of a dog getting sick with the Ebola virus and therefore they have not been implicated in the transmission of the Ebola virus to people.
BURNETT: So let me ask you that, Dr. Van Tulleken, because she is making the point. A dog haven't gotten sick from Ebola. There have been studies of dogs with the Ebola virus. And they got the virus but they didn't get sick, right?
DR. ALEXANDER VAN TULLEKEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: There is a study from the 2001 outbreak in Gabon where they tested 436 dogs and they found that the tests were more likely to be positive in the dogs, up to 30 percent of the dogs in some villages, depending on the density of Ebola cases in those villages, the dogs were licking up bodily fluids and they were eating cocks of animals --.
BURNETT: All right. So the dogs got Ebola, but they didn't have symptoms. So then the question is, is there any sense on whether they could pass the virus on. Because right now, even with Ebola, am I correct, there are animals that get Ebola but do not get symptoms. They do spread that virus to humans.
VAN TULLEKEN: (INAUDIBLE). We think that this epidemic was started by someone eating fruit soup in Northern Guinea. So -- and as much as it is possible to tell. And it does seem, although it is hard to isolate the virus from (INAUDIBLE), it does seem like the free-pass (ph) can carried in their population asymptomatically.
BURNETT: So Dr. Green, then what do you do? I mean, do you quarantine a dog for how long? Because I know the incubation for it might be very different in a dog than a human or do we even know?
GREEN: Well, what we do is we quarantine the dog and handle it just as we would a human patient that has been effected with Ebola. While there are no reports of transmission, we want to treat this dog with an abundance of caution and treat as if it could transfer the disease and therefore we can assure the public is safe and we can assure that this dog will be safe and treated humanely.
BURNETT: Dr. Van Tulleken, here is my question about the CDC. They have the Q&A page on Ebola. They are one of the first things they have. Here is the question. Can dogs get infected or sick with Ebola? Here is the answer. At this time there are no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola, or being able to spread Ebola to people or animals. There is a limited evidence that dogs become infected with Ebola. But there is no evidence they develop disease.
Obviously that is the attack here from what you are saying. It does, however, sort of gives the impression that everything is OK.
VAN TULLEKEN: It is a little overly confident. And I think what we know is this is a virus that affects wide variety of animals from porcupines to small deer in Africa to other great types of human supreme (INAUDIBLE) and probably others as well. It does seem to infect dogs.
And I think the authors of that paper who did the study in Gabon said that it is impossible to rule out, possible, dogs as a mode of transmission and therefore we need more research done and it hasn't been done. It is hard research to do (INAUDIBLE).
But I would say from that, it just has the air of kind of confidence reassurance that we've had from the CDC for a long time that I think we are beginning to see on the mind a little bit.
BURNETT: Certainly we have. And some of the zero risk that turned out not to be zero.
Thanks so much to both of you. We appreciate your time tonight explaining a difficult issue that I know a lot of people care a lot about.
Well, early testing in Kansas shows the patient there tonight likely does not have Ebola. A medic who has been working on a ship off of coast west central Africa arrived at the University of Kansas hospital Monday with possible symptoms.
So concerns about Ebola, obviously, have grown enormously over the past few weeks. In fact, at the CDC recently said they were getting 50 calls a day about Ebola after -- that was before that diagnosis in Dallas. Now, they are getting 800 calls a day. That is stunning.
Kyung Lah is OUTFRONT.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A scene out of a disaster movie. First responders in hazmat gear board in Emirates flight from Dubai and checked five passengers with flu-like symptoms. None, that the criteria for Ebola or had visited Africa.
At LAX, 40 firefighters respond to a passenger with flu-like symptoms but that is where the scare ends.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has turned out there was miscommunication. That this patient had been to the continent of Africa but not near west Africa. As a matter of fact, it was south Africa.
LAH: The next day in Los Angeles, a hoaxter wearing a mass exits a city bus saying don't mess with me, I have Ebola. The bus driver is rushed to the hospital as police begin a manhunt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone who does this, is trying to cause fear in a population.
LAH: Ebola has not -- repeat -- not spread through the U.S., but fear certainly has.
In Nashville, Tennessee, a sick passenger was taken off a plane that originated in Dallas. The patient had no contact with anyone with Ebola or traveled to Africa.
In Richmond, Virginia, a patient with a low-grade fever who had traveled to Africa is isolated. Even though the clinic said they don't believe it is Ebola.
In Jacksonville, Florida, a patient with flu-like symptoms but no fever checked himself into a emergency room. Why did he fear he had Ebola? He had casual contact with a west Africa traveler.
The CDC says it has getting 800 calls and emails daily about Ebola. Each scares first responders and can cost taxpayers thousands of dollars and flu season has barely begun. This may be all be ridiculous says risk communication expert Peter Sandman, but it should also seem familiar. Remember Anthrax?
DR. PETER SANDMAN, RISK COMMUNICATION EXPERT: For a while people were freaking out about white powder and that was costly. People don't freak out about white powder any more. They are, you know, they are used to that risk and they take it in stride. People will take this one in stride too. But it takes a while. It takes longer if you tell them that they are panicking. LAH: What makes this suicidal learning curve worse said Sandman, is
early on. The CDC chief insisted everything was under control and then the nurse in Dallas contracted the disease.
SANDMAN: What he didn't say is it is going to be harder than people imagine. It is going to be harder than we imagined. So now, yes, now people are angry at the CDC and that anger is sort of morphing into fear.
LAH: Kyung Lah, CNN, Los Angeles.
BURNETT: Well tonight the money and power facebook power Mark Zuckerburg and his fight against Ebola. Today, Zuckerburg and his wife announced they are donating $25 million do the CDC foundation to help fight the deadly virus.
The CDC foundation is a nonprofit that helps support the CDC. Well, all of that got us wondering how big is the CDC budget? I mean, how much money do they have? So it has been cut 10 percent in the past four years to $5.8 billion this year. And you know, that is a lot of money but maybe it isn't, right? $5.8 billion isn't it when you look at it this way.
Forbes estimates Mark Zuckerburg is worth $33 billion which means if Zuckerburg decide he wanted to fund the CDC for a whole year, it would only cost about 18 percent of his net worth. The question is, should the government be managing the Ebola scare in America or should more of it be left to private individuals. Go to CNN.com/Outfront or tweet me @ErinBurnett, please, with your thoughts on that.
And next, an OUTFRONT exclusive investigation. Bowe Bergdahl, he was held captive by the Taliban for five years. And tonight, hometown friends says Berghadl walked off the case.
Plus, join me on a trip in a remote Scottish isle in research of my roots.
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BURNETT: It is when we found out that there is people here related to us, that is when it felt real to me.
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BURNETT: (AUDIO GAP) and why he hasn't spoken to his own parents for so long. Ed Lavandera has our exclusive OUTFRONT investigation.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There is a pile of boxes sitting inside the Haley, Idaho Police Department.
STEFANIE O'NEILL, BERGDAHL FAMILY FRIEND: This is love right here. This is support for a fellow American.
LAVANDERA: Filled with cards and letters of support waiting for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl to read them.
O'NEILL: It's over 700,000 cards.
LAVANDERA: It was part of a holiday campaign last year to bring Bowe home. All of the letters were sent to the White House a few months before Bergdahl was released after almost five years in captivity.
(on camera): This would take weeks to go through.
O'NEILL: If not years.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Now, they sit, forgotten. A symbol of the story of Bowe Bergdahl's rescue hasn't come with a triumphant ending. For Stefanie O'Neill, a Bergdahl family friend, it's a more bitter symbol.
O'NEILL: There was no question that Bowe could have walked away and everyone acts surprised when he was released. And you know it, you know the story always was, that there's a chance the Bowe walked off. For what reason, we don't know, from Bowe's release.
Some of these organizations were the first ones to pull their support from Bowe. They came out with the standard answer, we've done our job, he's home, we're not helping anymore, we're not supporting him.
So, it's interesting to see that so many of these came from organization that within a week of his release turned their back on him.
LAVANDERA: That's what brought us back to Bergdahl's home town of Haley. An Army fact-finding investigation found Bergdahl had left his outpost deliberately and of his own free will. Several soldiers in Bergdahl's Army unit say he is a deserter and a traitor. The signs of support and yellow ribbons along Haley's main street are now gone.
For five years, this town stood by its soldier held as a prisoner of war. But now, the relationship is complicated.
(on camera): We asked the mayor of Haley to sit down with us to talk about Bowe Bergdahl and the homecoming that never was. But he refused, saying, we're done, we're over it, we stood by the Bergdahl family to get Bowe home, but we need to move on.
And that captures the mood of many around here, who simply want a Bowe Bergdahl saga to go away.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Their son Bowe is coming home.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): When Bergdahl was released, Army officials said a family reunion would likely take place in days. It never happened. In fact, Bergdahl refused to see or even talk to his parents. But that's starting to change.
(on camera): Two sources tell us Bowe Bergdahl is now communicating with his patients but they still haven't seen each other, even four months after he was rescued in Afghanistan. The Bergdahl family doesn't want to talk about any possible family reunion. Bergdahl's parents have only said they want to give their son the time and space he needs to recuperate from almost five years in captivity.
(voice-over): Many who knew Bowe Bergdahl before he joined the Army, now say the boy from Idaho probably wasn't a good fit for structured military life.
(on camera): Bowe has been out here to this property?
TIM KEMERY, BERGDAHL FAMILY FRIEND: Yes, a long time ago.
LAVANDERA: Tim Kemery has known the Bergdahl for 20 years.
KEMERY: He became frustrated because he saw no end to a crisis.
LAVANDERA (on camera): Do you think he left -- voluntarily left his base there in Afghanistan?
KEMERY: Absolutely. And I'm not -- there is nothing evil about what he did, no intent of evil, but I believe he had becomes disillusioned as he was used to as a boy and a young man going off on his own for many days at a time.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Kemery's son was one of Bergdahl's best friends and part of a home-schooling community in Haley. Kemery says Bergdahl was raised in an intensely religious environment with a strict code of conduct.
KEMERY: There definitely was a time when he left home, in that 15 and 16-year-old range, left home for a little while and no doubt it was some type of rebellion. His dad was making him -- and like with my boys, too, I was making them comply with certain things that they didn't, as boys, they didn't like, and there was a bone of contention. And Bowe did have a tendency to get really frustrated or just walk off and throw up his hands.
LAVANDERA: Kemery can't say if that childhood rebellion is still a source of strain on his relationship with his family, but he sees a parallel between the young Bowe he knew and the one that walked away from his post in Afghanistan.
(on camera): But that's fine here in Idaho.
KEMERY: That's fine.
LAVANDERA: But when you're part of the U.S. military, that doesn't go very well.
KEMERY: So what would drive that? That's the issue here. What would drive that kind of frustration that he is actually breaking code?
O'NEILL: Bring Bowe home.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): The letters are still waiting for him in his home town and so are his family and friends.
(on camera): Do you think Bowe Bergdahl will ever come back to Idaho?
KEMERY: I believe so. We have a hunting trip waiting for him. Long overdue. And we're going to talk about things around the fire. Yes.
LAVANDERA: But no one knows for sure when or if he'll ever return to the place he called home.
BURNETT: And, Ed, really a expelling report there. My question is, is there any sense of when he will come home? I know you are saying they don't know. But any sense at all?
LAVANDERA: Well, you know, his life is, as we mentioned in the piece, is in a little bit of limbo, if you will. He is still in the Army. He has responsibilities and duties that he has to complete there. He is assigned to this Army unit in San Antonio, Texas, where we are told by Army officials he has administrative duties and the care that he continues to go through, the psychological care that he must continue to go through as well. That is the million dollar question.
What exactly his future will hold? The U.S. Army has announced late last week that the investigating general in this case has finished his initial report and that report is now going up the chain of command in the Army and being reviewed. But we're told it could be some time before a final decision is made, whether or not Bowe Bergdahl will face criminal charges, whether he'd be discharged, what exactly will happen to him is still very much up in the air.
BURNETT: Big questions. All right. Thank you very much, Ed Lavandera. There's still so much mystery in that story.
Well, next, breaking news: ISIS closing in on another air base in Iraq. This as the president of the United States insists that airstrikes are working.
And then this --
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BURNETT: A toast to cousins. A toast to cousins.
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BURNETT: Family, friends and a lot more at 9:00 in the morning. It's a surprising search for my roots. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BURNETT: Breaking news tonight: ISIS now on the attack inside of Baghdad. The terror group claimed responsibility for three deadly car bombs today in the city.
Ben Wedeman is there in Baghdad tonight.
And, Ben, obviously, this is significant as everyone is watching ISIS advance as it gets closer and closer to Baghdad. What do these attacks show you about what ISIS is really doing in Baghdad?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Erin, this really underscores the danger from within Baghdad. On the outskirts of Baghdad until now, we've seen small units attacking -- ISIS units attacking the defensive perimeter. But within Baghdad itself is a clear and present danger.
We spoke to one security analyst who is in close contact with ISIS, as well as the Iraqi army, who was describing hundreds of ISIS supporters who operate in this city who are behind many of these car bombings and he was telling us that they are particularly located in two neighborhoods that are both sides -- or the north and south side of the main road running to the airport.
And that these ISIS sleeper cells, the members have been instructed to cut their hair, cut off their beards, don't wear any clothing that would identify them as ISIS sympathizers, they would just look like ordinary Baghdad residents to avoid detection and to be ready when they are called into action.
BURNETT: Ben, just west of where you are right now, we know that ISIS has surrounded one of Iraq's largest air bases and that's also a significant development as you've had 400-plus airstrikes and ISIS is still taking over air bases. So, what is the significance if ISIS gains control of Anbar province? Is that truly a milestone or not?
WEDEMAN: It is. Don't forget, Erin, it is the biggest province in Iraq. It is right next to Baghdad and right next to Baghdad International Airport. And for instance, this base that we're talking about, it's surrounded. It hasn't been taken over yet. Ein Al Assad is a huge base. It was a huge base while the Americans were here. And yet again, ISIS is going to get its hands on modern American equipment and ammunition.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Ben. Appreciate it -- in the center of this in Baghdad tonight.
And OUTFRONT next, recently, I was on the other side of the ocean and the other side of the road.
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BURNETT: Because I'm left-handed. Oh, wait, wrong side of the road. Sorry, guys.
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BURNETT: Luckily, there wasn't a lot of traffic. From Maryland to Scotland, retracing my roots. That's next.
BURNETT: Welcome back. Now CNN special week-long series, "Roots: Our Journeys Home."
So, when I found out about this project I knew generally about my family's history. I knew that we were Scotch-Irish. But I found out some things I didn't know, including that I had some Russian blood.
But the big surprise was finding out details about my family back in Scotland. So, this CNN "Roots" project actually just totally stupendously began the weekend I was heading to my childhood home where my parents were packing up to move after nearly 50 years.
BURNETT (voice-over): I grew up in a small town called Mardela Springs, Maryland. And when I say small, I mean really small.
Believe the last census had a population at about 420 people.
We used to buy all the rabbit food here.
And it felt that way.
My parents were very idealistic. When they were young they had this dream of having a farm. So funny hearing them talk about it now. Their eyes still light up.
I want my son to know what it's like to have grown up here. Talking to my parents, you know, they thought they would live there forever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing?
BURNETT: How are you feeling?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good.
BURNETT: Your definition of forever changes as you get older.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know where you are? You are not going to remember it like the other ones, but at least you can say you have been here.
BURNETT: When they finally got to this point that they were ready, this was it, the boxes were actually being moved I couldn't really believe it.
Want to go see where mommy's room was? Yes, now, you get to see the farm this one time. Yes, OK. That was uh-huh.
It was hard for me to go through the house and see everything packed up. Oh, my is my dad's den, nothing has changed here. He may be moving in two days, but this is the way it has looked for our whole life.
OK, buddy, ready to go upstairs and see mommy's room when mommy was a little baby? Oh, it is all packed up. That room was -- that was my home for so long. Makes mommy sad. Hm.
It's hard to say good-bye.
So, CNN says we're doing this project on our roots. I find out about it right before your last weekend.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Isn't that amazing?
BURNETT: It's a good omen or something, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you reminded me to pack up all the papers I have somewhere. About some of the roots.
BURNETT: So, you looked into it once, right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I have looked into a lot of it but never really in depth.
BURNETT: So, I had a lot of questions, there were these pictures, who are they? Where did they come from?
So, we actually met a genealogist back at CNN who looked into my past.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are focusing on the Stewart line, which is your mother's family, right?
BURNETT: My mother's family, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. So, we are going to start with John, he was the first generation in America. And this is a 1920 census for John Stewart. This is him right here. This is a passenger's contract ticket.
BURNETT: This must have come from Scotland to Canada?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, this tells us where in Scotland they are from.
BURNETT: That's where it says Skye. When I first heard Isle of Skye, I thought this is great, a cool place.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This, they came in 1858. Now, contextual history tells us that 1858 is the repercussions of the Irish potato famine.
So, they are only taking four of their eight children with them. So, it is possible you could have family in that area still.
BURNETT: After I found out there were relatives that didn't get on that ship, I wanted to go find out what happened to them.
When we had this opportunity to go to Skye, I wanted to share with somebody. My mom has a brother, Uncle Buzz. His real name is Charles. My mom wasn't able to come, so I thought for about 22 seconds and then I realized Uncle Buzz would want to come. If it's going to be neat, it's going to be adventure, he's there.
We flew out from New York to Glasgow on a red eye, rounded around 7:00 a.m., got straight in a car, drove a few hours to get to a little town in Scotland. That's where our ferry to Skye is waiting.
Ready for this, Uncle Buzz?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The beginning. The beginning of the adventure.
BURNETT: It was a beautiful day. It was perfect. It was the way I wanted to arrive.
You could see the coast and the skyline in Skye. It just was so glorious.
First thing we did was we got in our little red rental car and zipped along on the wrong side of the road.
All right. Here we go, I'm very glad. I know how to drive stick, but you guys are putting your lives in my hands driving a stick on the wrong side of the road.
And that is going to be -- driving in Skye was an adventure, the roads were really tiny and really narrow, because I'm left-handed -- oh, wait, wrong side of the road. Sorry, guys.
In this castle, actually is an archive where they traced a lot of the genealogy, and it's incredibly in depth. And the woman in charge there, her name is Maggie McDonald. And she knows everything about everyone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a rental, everybody who paid rent to Lord McDonald is listed in here. So, we have to do it at number four. And his rent was three pounds and four shillings a year. You can see most people were in arrears of rent.
BURNETT: Look, he's the best.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was doing well.
BURNETT: He only owed one pound 12 shillings. Of course, it was the woman who was paid up. Paid up by two widows.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to let that slide.
So, the daughters, do you know anything about where they have resulted in --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, they -- the family as far as being able to find her, stayed in Skye, I think you will meet grandchildren.
Maggie told us there were two relatives she knew in Skye right now that we were going to meet.
So, it turns out that our family has been in the hotel business for about 50 years, this is the Tongadell hotel, the man who owns it, named Malcolm, who we're related to, and his brother Donald owns a hotel just around the corner came over and had beers with us.
Turned out we're from Skye and we're related to Stewart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does that ring any bells for you?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know this (INAUDIBLE).
BURNETT: I was eager to see him. He looked very quintessentially Scottish to me. Donald was at first a little bit, a little reticent.
You've done the family tree.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not full (ph).
BURNETT: And he's going through all the genealogy, and he had all sorts of papers, most of them were not related to us. But then he told us where our land was actually.
A toast to cousins. A toast to cousins.
After Donald told us where our land was we zipped down the main road, 30 kilometers and I'm told I need to go the speed limit.
It was very quiet. And there were clouds and that was an appropriate time to see the land. Look at that view down there, too, on those mountains.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know the one that sticks out for me, it is very emotional to be on the actual ground that the ancestors came from.
BURNETT: When you hear this, you realize that they were here. It is pretty incredible. They loved, they had children, all that happened right here. And as the potato famine really took control of things all of a sudden they couldn't afford to pay their rent. And so they were actively told to leave.
And it was bigger than just my family and it was bigger than just Skye. It was Scotland and Ireland. Buzz and I were saying, gosh, we really wish we could be sharing this with my mother and Buzz' wife, my Aunt Beth. We also wanted to share with them our great curiosity about the one undiscovered, part of (INAUDIBLE) at this point, which was Ronald McDonald. We get to Portree, the biggest town in Skye, is still very small.
It's very small. It turned out right at the end of the main street was the address Ronald had given us and it was a little art gallery. This is when we found out the most amazing thing.
It turns out Ronald McDonald is an eminent economist. He has done work for the IMF, for the World Bank, and he was a very significant player in Scottish independence. I buy newspaper and I'm reading about Scottish independence, personal quote, really prominent economist named Ronald McDonald. And I said to my team, I guess it was a really common name around here.
And then I get to Skye, and they say, well, and you're the most famous person on Skye. You -- everybody is oh, you're related to Ronald McDonald. Clearly -- they say you know he is an economist. And all of a sudden, I said, oh, he is the Ronald McDonald.
Ronald really wanted to show us one particular picture, a picture that he had taken of our land. This is with we're all from.
RONALD MCDONALD, ECONOMIST: This is basically where we're all from, where it all started right here.
BURNETT: So, when you took this picture, you obviously knew we were from here?
MCDONALD: Yes, I did.
BURNETT: Ronald obviously is one of the most accomplished economists in the world. But I had had originally started in business journalism. So, I felt a kinship with him.
It's such a joy for us to meet you.
We went back to town, and Uncle Buzz and I were talking about the past few days that we had spent together. That was a moment where it all really came together for me.
Thank you for coming. This was really special to me to do this with you.
BURNETT: Thank you for having me. But suddenly, I just thought of something your grandfather would have loved to have seen your success and to see us both in Scotland. I'm starting to get weepy when I think about it, because he just would have thought this was so wonderful.
BURNETT: I didn't think I would be able to go, but you know, I'm feeling sad. But my mom is going to love it. Oh, my gosh.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd never make it in this business.
BURNETT: I think Uncle Buzz would do just great in this business.
Anyway, I showed this piece to my parents this weekend as Uncle Buzz and I shared all the stories from Skye with my mother, and all I can say is I'm so grateful to CNN to have this once in a lifetime opportunity. We had no idea what it would turn out to be and there it was. By the way, there are all the nieces and nephews in our extended family.
We posted a lot more photos and some great behind the scenes footage from our trip to Isle of Skye. You can check it all out (AUDIO GAP) Roots.
And tonight at 10:00, Don Lemon sets off an incredible journey to his roots, taking him from Louisiana, to the hub of the slave trade in West Africa. That is an incredible report. That's tonight.
And our series ends with a primetime special a week from tonight.
Anderson starts now.