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Ebola Fears in America; How Much Control Should Parents Have Over Vaccinations?; Enterovirus Spreading Across U.S.; Lawsuit Over Sperm Bank Mix-Up Raises Questions
Aired October 2, 2014 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Nice to see you, Don. I'm Alisyn Camerota.
And we have breaking news for you.
LEMON: Yes, tonight, an American freelance cameraman with NBC News' Dr. Nancy Snyderman in Liberia tests positive for Ebola. The risk is spreading. But how do we keep even more Ebola from coming into this country? Is it time to close our airports to flights from West Africa?
We know you have got a whole questions about Ebola and we have got a team of experts here with the answers.
CAMEROTA: But diseases far more contagious than Ebola are already here and are already on the rise. Some diseases like whooping cough and measles appear to even be making a come back. Are parents who do not vaccinate their children putting other children at risk? We will get into that debate with a mom who has made the choice not to vaccinate.
LEMON: Yes. Can't wait to hear that conversation.
Plus, you saw her right here on this program first, the white woman who want to a sperm bank and was mistakenly given a black donor. Her lawsuit against the sperm bank is a hot-button issue at watercoolers all across this country. Later, we have got a frank and heated conversation about that with "NEW DAY"'s Chris Cuomo.
We're going to begin with the breaking news now, disturbing new developments tonight on Ebola.
CNN's Elizabeth Cohen and Dr. Sanjay Gupta are here with more on this.
Elizabeth and Sanjay, CNN has just learned that an American freelance cameraman working for NBC News with Dr. Nancy Snyderman in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola, and they actually were in the village in Liberia where Thomas Duncan lived.
Part of their report tonight, watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. NANCY SNYDERMAN, NBC: Giminez Grubaya (ph) was the taxi driver who picked up Duncan, the young woman named Madeline (ph), her father and brother.
You knew you were picking up a sick, pregnant girl, but no idea at all that she was sick with Ebola.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no. No idea at all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: They're very close there. Elizabeth, do we know the latest on the cameraman?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Don, we know that the cameraman was flown back by NBC to the United States. NBC has said they want this photographer to get the best possible care.
LEMON: You were just in Liberia with camera crews. What sort of precautions did you take while covering the outbreak, Elizabeth?
COHEN: Really, it's all about physical space and distance.
You try to keep as much space as you can between yourself and other people. You don't shake hands with people you. You're just sort of very aware of not touching other people as much as you possibly can. And certainly, of course, if we saw Ebola patients as we did on our trip, you keep a lot of distance.
So, it really is a lot about distance, also about bleaching. My hands have never been so clean. Washing your hands constantly. Bleaching the bottom of your boots. Washing things off, that's also very, very important.
I want to bring Sanjay in here to talk more about this, because, Sanjay, you have covered Ebola in Africa. Who is at risk here? It's really not just the cameraman. It is everyone he came in contact with; is that correct?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, what is interesting is that Tuesday he started working for NBC. Wednesday is when he developed this fever and got sick. So, that's too soon to have been as a result of the work that he was doing on Tuesday.
We know that he has the been there for three years doing projects. At some point he must have had some sort of exposure. But to your point, yes, people who, who come of in contact with someone who has Ebola, who is sick with Ebola or attend public funerals, another common way that people are getting Ebola, they're the ones that are going to be most at risk. You know, that's been pretty well-documented. What exactly his
exposure was, when it was, we don't know that yet. But almost assuredly it was one of those two ways, Don.
LEMON: And as we understand there is going to be a self-quarantine here. Sanjay, you can talk a little bit more about that. They're going to come back here to the United States, same way the first patients came back, via private jet, I would imagine?
GUPTA: Yes, that's what I am hearing as well. My understanding is so that he, when he found that he had a fever he quarantined himself. He recognized that this could be Ebola. He got a test. It took about 12 hours for that test to come back. And it came back positive. But then the rest of the team, Dr. Snyderman, Nancy Snyderman, and her crew mates, everyone decided to go ahead and put themselves in quarantine as well, because they have had contact with him.
They will all be flown back to the United States. We believe they will flown back here to Atlanta. As you know, Don, the Emory University Hospital over here is one of the hospitals that is equipped to take care of patients with Ebola.
LEMON: Sanjay, stand by. We will get back to you.
My co-anchor here has questions for you a little bit later on.
But, Elizabeth, what's the latest on patient Thomas Duncan?
COHEN: Yes, we haven't been receiving a lot of updates on him, Don. Last we heard he was in serious condition. That's better than critical condition, which is what he was in the day before.
We haven't been told if he has been getting any experimental drugs, any blood from a patient who had Ebola. None of that. There is a lot they're not saying.
LEMON: OK. All right, Elizabeth Cohen. We appreciate that. Thank you very much. We will get back to Sanjay and those guys in just a little bit.
LEMON: But it's really scary, yes?
CAMEROTA: It's really scary. Now another patient will be coming into the U.S. So, does that mean we should all stop flying in planes? Should we stop having planes come in from West Africa? Should passengers from West Africa stop coming here? Our expert team is here to answer all of that, all the questions you have been sending in to CNN TONIGHT.
Joining us is Mary Schiavo, CNN aviation analyst and former inspector general of the Department of Transportation. She's now an attorney for victims of transportation accidents. Dr. Brett...
LEMON: Giroir. Giroir. Giroir. CAMEROTA: Giroir. Sorry, Doctor. We will get you pronounce that for us, CEO of Texas A&M Health Science Center. He's the former director of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. And Dr. Sanjay Gupta is still with us.
So, Mary, let me start with you. What about these -- so many people have said is it time to stop flights coming out of West Africa? What's the answer?
MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Oh, yes, it is. The reason, there are myriad reasons. There are so many disconnect statements and so many statements that make no sense.
But we should focus on four things. One, an airplane is not an ambulance. It cannot be readily disinfected with bleach. It will ruin the plane. It's a $350 million computer. Two, the passengers aren't the only ones at risk. If somebody checks a bag with the Ebola virus on it, it risks not only the baggage handlers and the workers on the airline on that end. It risks them on the end here.
Three, the TSA and border agents, they are not doctors and they cannot properly assess the people. Making them do that puts them at risk. Finally, four, our own CDC has a bit of schizophrenia going on, because they say, oh, there is no danger to the passengers. But if you think there has been an Ebola patient on your plane, the CDC put out today to clean the plane you have to wear a moon suit, including a face mask, breathing protection and double gloving. Even the CDC doesn't know what the danger is.
CAMEROTA: That does sound schizophrenic.
We know United Airlines has been calling all the passengers that were on board with the first patient. But he wasn't exhibiting symptoms. So, theoretically, he's not supposed to be contagious.
Dr. Giroir, I want to ask you, we know that according to the Liberian airport authorities, they say that Mr. Duncan checked no on the form that they give people in terms of whether or not he had been exposed to Ebola. How can we trust authorities to ask the right question and to press passengers and for passengers to accurately fill out that form?
DR. BRETT GIROIR, CEO, TEXAS A&M HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER: Well, thank you for that question.
I'm not sure how we can trust people to answer in a way that we would want them to answer as honestly as possible. We can only go by objective signs, whether the person is sick, whether they do have a fever. But when you have such subjective questions and answers, I think you always have to have abundance of caution.
LEMON: Dr. Gupta, are we relying way too much on people being honest about how they feel, their symptoms? There should be absolutely stricter rules and checks, correct?
GUPTA: You are right. It's an honor system. That's what this particular thing, as well as infectious diseases. You do have to count on people being honest about the history, being honest about any exposures they may have had.
You couldn't do a test, for example, for Ebola in the airport, because if somebody didn't have any symptoms, the test wouldn't show anything. Besides measuring their body temperature, checking their body temperature, there is really no other test, objective test you can do. You got to count on the fact that hopefully most people at least will be honest.
LEMON: Sanjay, let me ask you this. I just want to West Africa and came back. When I got there to Ghana, they did the temperature check with everyone who came off the plane. When I came back into the United States, that did not happen. Why? And should we be doing it?
GUPTA: So when you got on the plane in Ghana, but not when you landed in the United States?
LEMON: When I got to Ghana. When I got to Ghana. They did it as I was entering Ghana. When I left and came back to the United States, they didn't do it as I was entering the United States.
GUPTA: That's interesting.
The protocol typically has been countries in West Africa, especially the three countries where Ebola is endemic, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, obviously, they're screening before you get on the plane. The goal is to not let somebody who is sick get on a plane, because they might have Ebola.
You are right, though. I don't know what the protocol has been in other places. In the United States, it's surprisingly been a little bit fragmented. Elizabeth and I were talking. I was in Guinea earlier, couple months ago. When I got off, there was absolutely no screening whatsoever. When Elizabeth got off with her team, each member of her team got different questions and different sorts off approaches to that.
The United States has not been consistent in how they're screening people. But I will say the critical part is when they're getting on the planes in West Africa. That's most important thing right now, to make sure sick people aren't getting on those planes.
LEMON: Mary, you're an aviation expert. Would you know, you have anything you want to relay here?
The two most important things to note is that there are no federal, U.S. federal regulations requiring the cleaning of the planes or to require people to require the airlines to do these kinds of tests. Until we have those -- Sanjay is right -- until we have a clear message and we know what we are doing and we put in the federal regulations to require it done, it is not going to happen. Airlines aren't going to do and we don't have the personnel in place.
That's why we have to get the planes out of the Ebola-stricken areas.
CAMEROTA: Mary, one last question. Do you think passengers coming in from West Africa should be banned from coming to the U.S.?
LEMON: Good question.
SCHIAVO: Well, no I think the planes should be because we don't have a way to do it. The passengers will simply go to other countries. But we have got to get the U.S. aircraft out of there, because there is just too much exposure when we do that and we bring them back wholesale.
But, yes, I think eventually we will have to, because I think this epidemic isn't going to be contained any time soon.
CAMEROTA: Dr. Giroir, Sanjay Gupta, Mary Schiavo, thanks so much.
LEMON: We got a lot more of your questions to get to tonight. We're going to answer when we come right back here.
CAMEROTA: Plus, what is far more contagious than Ebola and spreading across the country and why are some doctors comparing the richest parts of California to sub-Saharan Africa when it comes to these diseases? Your children could be at risk. Is it because some parents won't vaccinate? We will have that debate.
CAMEROTA: We do have breaking news tonight.
An American cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola. NBC says the freelancer will be flown back to the United States to be treated at a medical center equipped to handle Ebola patients.
The network is withholding his name for privacy reasons.
So, with Ebola officially here in the U.S., many Americans are concerned that it could spread out of control. And a lot of you have been sending us your questions wanting to know how to stay safe.
LEMON: Right. Of course, we don't want to scare anyone and give you the accurate information and think we have assembled a group of people who can that now.
So, joining us is Juliette Kayyem, CNN national security analyst. And back with us, Dr. Brett Giroir, and also Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
First one to you, Dr. Gupta. I want you to take a look at this tweet. It's from JIgirl. And she says: "I think Dallas patient knew he may have been exposed and felt he had a better chance of surviving with treatment in the U.S."
Sanjay, are we seeing a lot of tweets that are asking this? Is this legitimate?
GUPTA: It could be legitimate, absolutely.
Look, I don't know what is going on inside his head. But, you know, when I first heard the story, and I heard the fact that he had taken care of a patient or helped this woman who was pregnant, taken her to the hospital, and then she was subsequently found to have Ebola, first giving him benefit of the doubt, I thought maybe Mr. Duncan didn't know she had Ebola, and therefore he legitimately answered no on that questionnaire when asked about Ebola.
But what I learned subsequent and we all know now is that he actually helped take her to an Ebola ward at one point. She was turned away from that ward. But it certainly kind of gives the impression he knew she had Ebola. So why then would he not disclose that? Because they wouldn't have let him on the plane. Why did he want to get on the plane?
Because the treatments here in the United States obviously is something that maybe he was seeking. It is not -- that is not at all an unreasonable assumption.
CAMEROTA: OK, Sanjay, another question to you. This one comes from Nathan. He tweets: "It is obvious now that taking a person's temperature is not enough. Why not use a meter like the one used in diabetes to detect it?"
GUPTA: Well, these are two completely different things. With diabetes, you are detecting blood sugar, for example, in the blood. With the test, what you are really trying to find is presence of the Ebola virus.
What we know is that, you don't have enough Ebola virus in your bloodstream until you are sick. These two things go hand in hand. You get sicker because there is more virus in your bloodstream. What does that mean? The test is not going to come back positive until someone is sick. You could have tested Mr. Duncan. Even though he had some virus in his body, obviously, the test would not have come back positive. Testing is not going to help.
LEMON: No quick testing for anything, any scenario like this, correct? Just want to make this clear.
GUPTA: Yes. With Ebola -- obviously, with some infectious diseases there may be tests. With Ebola, there is no test, no quick test. This test would not have come back positive.
LEMON: From Todd, Juliette, I have one for you. It says: "Can we actually have any confidence that the CDC is telling us the truth. Or are they giving us wishful thinking."
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, the CDC has a reputation of being driven by science and public health. They did not -- or at least Texas did not have a very good day.
People will lose confidence very quickly in what we know to be factually, medically, scientifically true if we have keep having mistakes like patients showing up at a Texas hospital having all the symptoms, all the history that would suggest Ebola, but not following the directives that are coming out of the CDC.
This is as much a confidence issue as it is a competent scientific issue. We need how to get our act together. There is no second chances here. If we don't -- if the government does not relay confidence and competence that it is not spread by air, that it's very difficult to get, that we are surveying people that come in, that our public health institutions know what to do, we are going to start to get very -- a lot of hysteria and very draconian responses that may not be helpful that are just going to be because government feels like it has the to do something.
So, we need to learn in real time. We need to fix this quickly. And this is -- and there are no second chances. It is hard for people like me with confidence in the CDC to defend what happened the last 48 hours.
LEMON: Looks like Sanjay wants to jump in.
Sanjay, you want to say something?
GUPTA: Well, I was just going to add to that. One thing that sort of adds to that whole thing is that there is no effective treatment that the CDC or these hospitals can offer.
It's not like they're coming in and saying, yes, but we have the treatment. That fosters some of what Juliette is talking about as well in terms of, we wish you had something to offer us. In West Africa, we know there's been a deep distrust of doctors because every time those doctors show up in West Africa, that means people are dying.
That means the infection is here. You don't want that same sort of scenario to start playing out in the United States.
CAMEROTA: OK. This next one is to Dr. Giroir. Here's a tweet from Jay. He asks about the flu and Ebola. "At the early stages, how does one distinguish between a bad case of the flu and Ebola?"
GIROIR: I think it is the wrong scenario to try to distinguish these cases, because many viral diseases all will start wit high fever, muscle aches, pains.
Even flu can start with gastrointestinal symptoms. The most important thing to understand is that unless you have had direct contact with a patient who is symptomatic with Ebola, and have been in contact with blood or bodily fluids, you do not have Ebola. We are entering the flu season.
Everyone who gets a fever, and chills and those kinds of symptoms should not be at fear for Ebola. But it is really difficult to try to have patients on their own distinguish what kind of virus they have just based on their symptoms. That is really not a good pathway. If you have not been in contact with Ebola, with a patient who is actively symptomatic, you do not have it.
CAMEROTA: All right. Thanks so much to all of you.
KAYYEM: Can I add something to what...
CAMEROTA: Very quickly, Juliette.
KAYYEM: Oh, just it's a good time to say, get a flu shot, really, because we need a healthy nation, a resilient nation from public health and a public safety perspective. It is a good time to think about our own health as a nation, and it's a good time to get that shot.
GIROIR: On average, 25,000 people a year die of influenza. This is a preventable disease. So, I would echo that. Go get your flu shots, very important as we are entering the season.
LEMON: I see Dr. Gupta smiling, saying, yes, indeed. It's a good time to remind. Thank you, all of our doctors and our experts. Very good stuff.
CAMEROTA: Yes. We really appreciate it.
All right, meanwhile, a disease nearly 10 times more contagious than Ebola and once believed to have been eliminated is spreading across the United States. Why are cases of measles spiking this year? Are your kids at risk because of parents who think they don't want to vaccinate? We will debate that when we come back.
LEMON: There is an epidemic right now of a dangerous disease that had been all but eliminated. And, no, it's not happening in a Third World country. The outbreak is in Los Angeles, where many parents, especially wealthy parents in areas like Beverly Hills, are choosing not to vaccinate their children.
CNN's Kyung Lah has that story.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight, Ebola emergency.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two major health emergencies.
KYUNG LAH, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An outbreak of fear as America deals with Ebola for the first time and the enterovirus, a respiratory infection striking children and paralyzing some, a reminder of decades ago, when disease ravaged the population, days long gone and forgotten.
Across Los Angeles' wealthiest neighborhoods, state data shows child vaccination rates here lower than rates in the developing nations in Africa.
MACARENA MARTINEZ, MOTHER: It worries that if there is an outbreak of anything, it will be here.
LAH: These moms both vaccinated their children, as recommended by the CDC. But just a few blocks away at the Westside Waldorf School, the California Department of Public Health says only 21 percent of its preschoolers are up to date with vaccinations, 21 percent. Compare that to the entire nation of Liberia, which has a 72 percent vaccination rate. It is a dangerous trend. The richer you are, the less likely you are to vaccinate.
DR. DEBORAH LEHMAN, PEDIATRIC INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST: It is actually an alarm call, absolutely.
LAH: The result, according to pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Deborah Lehman, Los Angeles is now in the middle of an epidemic. The L.A. Public Health Department says cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, have more than doubled in just the last two years.
LEHMAN: We do see pockets of pertussis disease outbreaks especially in areas where there is higher personal declination for vaccines.
LAH: The biggest pockets, Malibu and Santa Monica, where Dr. Dolly Weisserman is a pediatrician. She was shocked by something she had never seen before.
DR. DOLLY WEISSERMAN, PEDIATRICIAN: Many, many cases of pertussis, OK, many more than I had ever seen anywhere.
LAH (on camera): It's not the poor communities where there is a vaccine issue. It's the wealthy communities.
WEISSERMAN: Their views are being validated because they're seeing either so many celebrities or so many of their friends in the community who also have a similar mind-set and then it validates what they think.
LAH (voice-over): She calls it the Westside bubble, choosing to not follow the government's vaccination schedule, choices being supported by pediatricians like Dr. Jay Gordon.
DR. JAY GORDON, PEDIATRICIAN: I think the more information you have about vaccinating, the less likely you are to follow the six-vaccine- at-a-time schedule.
LAH: Dr. Gordon supports some vaccines, but says many are ineffective. He also argues the CDC acts like a bully, pushing too many vaccines at once. He says none of his patients vaccinate on the CDC schedule. (on camera): Isn't that inherently selfish?
GORDON: Yes, I'm encouraging parents to make a decision that they feel is best for their children, while considering public health.
LAH: Do you feel look you are endangering the public health?
GORDON: No. If vaccines work and everybody else is vaccinated, then there is no risk to them.
LAH (voice-over): His altered vaccine schedule is widely criticized by public health leaders.
LEHMAN: So, when parents or health care providers make up their own schedules, they're really -- they're practicing medicine that's not tested.
LAH: Parents who don't vaccinate were reluctant to talk to CNN. But it is a big debate among them. And moms who vaccinate their children fear they will all end up paying.
MARTINEZ: We are all in this community together. And, you know, we don't want any type of outbreak happening.
LAH: Because then it is too late.
Kyung Lah, CNN, Santa Monica, California.
CAMEROTA: With so much worry over the spread of dangerous diseases, how much freedom of choice should parents have when it comes to vaccinating their own children? So let's talk about this with Rebecca Estepp. She's communications director for Health Choice. That's an organization that advocates giving parents more say over their children's vaccines. And Dr. Harvey Karp. He's a pediatrician who is assistant professor of pediatrics at the U.C. School of Medicine and author of "The Happiest Baby on the Block." Thanks so much to both of us for being here. This is such an important conversation.
Becky, I want to start with you. You opted out of vaccinating your son, who is now 14 years old. You stopped vaccinating him after his six-month mark. Why did you do that?
REBECCA ESTEPP, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, HEALTH CHOICE: I did that because of my older son's vaccine reactions that he had as an infant. My son, I took him in for hepatitis-b vaccine. He immediately developed hideous diarrhea. Later that night, developed a fever. Arched his back, screamed. If I would have known as a young mother these were signs of encephalopy, brain swelling, I would have known to get him to a doctor right away.
But after that evening, his health deteriorated for the next two years. And, at 2 years and 9 months, he was diagnosed with autism.
We didn't put the pieces of the puzzle together until I had my second son, who also started exhibiting some strange vaccine reactions. And at that point, I had to really weigh the options and I -- my husband and I decided that our children's neurodevelopment was more important than vaccinating for these diseases.
CAMEROTA: And Becky...
ESTEPP: They had permanent damage.
CAMEROTA: And let me just ask you, because you obviously have a very compelling story. What do you say to parents who say that, by not vaccinating your children, you are exposing other children to these communicable diseases like whooping cough and measles?
ESTEPP: I say that it's their right to vaccinate their children. And if vaccines work as the way that they're supposed to, their children are safe. There's no reason to worry about my child. Their children are vaccinated. I'm the one that's taking the calculated risk for a very good reason.
CAMEROTA: OK. Dr. Karp, what do you say to that? If other children are vaccinated, why would they be exposed to the communicable diseases?
DR. HARVEY KARP, PEDIATRICIAN: Well, we all live in a community together. And if you don't get vaccines, your child is going to have a higher risk of getting illnesses. Sure, if the child is vaccinated, that may protect them. We wish vaccines worked 100 percent. But they don't work 100 percent. So it does increase the risk that a child even who has had vaccines can get an illness.
But I'm more concerned about the baby in the family or your next-door neighbor's baby. Maybe they're not old enough to get the vaccine yet. And your toddler plays with them and can spread the illness to them. That poor unprotected child is totally at risk.
And we're especially concerned about whooping cough, which is more contagious than any other known disease. And so if you live on a farm, I have no problem if you choose not to get the vaccines. But if you're benefiting by living in a community where everyone else is getting vaccinated, and the next baby born on your block is depending on your children getting vaccinated, I think it's your responsibility. And otherwise, I think you're really freeloading on the -- on the efforts made and the exposure made by the other families.
CAMEROTA: OK. Becky, do you want to respond to that?
ESTEPP: I absolutely want to respond. The problem that my children had is that I took my older son to an immunologist after he was diagnosed with autism. He ran a titer test. And every vaccine that we tested, my son did not develop titers. So even if I continued to vaccinate him, he would still be unprotected. And there's no reason to vaccinate. He would -- he did not receive protection from his vaccines. He was vaccinated, but he was not immunized. It didn't lead to immunization.
CAMEROTA: That is such an interesting point, Becky. I'm glad you raised it, because I have here -- Dr. Karp, I want to ask you about this, the whooping cough report. This is from the California Department of Public Health. And it talks about this year and how there's been this spike in pertussis, as it's called. And I want to read it to you, because it's pretty fascinating.
Pertussis is cyclical, and it peaks every three to five years as the numbers of susceptible persons in the population increases due to the waning of immunity following vaccination. In other words, the vaccine is only good for five to ten years, and then you're no longer immunized. So it s not just...
KARP: That's right.
CAMEROTA: It's not just parents, in other words, who are opting out of vaccinating their kids. It's parents who think that their kids are immunized, and it's worn off.
KARP: Well, that's absolutely the case. We worry most about the littlest children, because they're the ones who die from whooping cough and have to be hospitalized. Anyone can get whooping cough, but it turns out to be more of a bad cold, a terrible cough as you get older.
This is the crazy thing. We've weakened the vaccine. We were seeing some side effects of the vaccine. So to protect children from side effects, we weakened the vaccine. We made it more purified. And as an effect of that, it made it, the immunity last not as long as the old vaccine. But it was more purified. So we had fewer -- more children with fewer side effects.
CAMEROTA: Becky, very quickly. We're running out of time. But people say that you and parents, like-minded with you, are anti- vaccine. Are you anti-vaccine?
ESTEPP: I'm not anti-vaccine. And actually, I do see benefit for newborns getting the pertussis vaccine. It's in our community. You know, there's a moderate stance here. We need -- we need to think about this moderately and do the best that we can for each of our families.
CAMEROTA: All right. Becky Estepp, and Dr. Karp, thanks so much for having this debate.
We invite your comments. You can find Don and me on Twitter. And obviously, this isn't going away, and we will have you back to talk more about it.
LEMON: This was big. I was in Beverly Hills just a week ago. It was big new. I'm like what is going on here?
CAMEROTA: There's debate raging out there.
LEMON: Raging out there. Yes, you're absolutely right. There's another disease, too, to worry about. It is spreading across the country. Do we have a health crisis on our hands? We're going to get some answers to that next.
LEMON: So here's our breaking news tonight. An American cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola. A freelancer was hired Tuesday and started to show symptoms of Ebola on Wednesday. He will be flown back to this country for treatment at a medical center equipped to handle Ebola patients.
Meanwhile, a respiratory illness called enterovirus 68 has been found in four patients in this country who recently died, including a 10- year-old girl. CDC says there are at least 500 cases throughout the United States. So are we facing another health crisis here in America?
Joining us is Dr. James Sears, a pediatrician, the co-host of "The Doctors," and Dr. Harvey Karp is back with us.
First to you, Dr. Sears. Thank you for joining us. Listen, we have been talking about Ebola. But there is also enterovirus D68 that is sweeping this nation currently.
There are 500 people in 42 states suffering from it. And four patients, including a 10-year-old girl, they have died. What is enterovirus D68, and how much do we need to worry about this virus?
DR. JAMES SEARS, PEDIATRICIAN: Yes, you know, parents are really, really scared about this. It's a virus they've never heard of before. It's putting kids in the ICU. It's causing -- it seems to have caused a few cases of paralysis, and kids have died already from it.
But you know, in reality this is a virus that comes from a family of viruses that pediatricians are very familiar with, the enteroviruses. And it's behaving as we would expect it would. It's typically a late summer and fall virus. So it's my hope that this outbreak, we're kind of at the tail end of it. As we get into winter the enteroviruses will disappear. That's what I -- what I'm predicting.
LEMON: Let's hope so. Let's hope your prediction is correct. Dr. Karp.
SEARS: You mention -- you mention 500 cases. Those are the confirmed cases. This is actually a very common virus. There's probably millions of cases of this across the country, but these patients aren't getting sick enough to go off to the doctor or even getting tested. They just think they have a cold. And that's all it's going to be.
So to -- it's actually somewhat rare to have a severe illness from this virus.
LEMON; OK. Point taken. Dr. Karp, there are also a number of other diseases that America hasn't seen in this century. Diseases that are re-emerging. Why is this happening, and what are diseases out there that should be -- we should be most fearful of? KARP: Well, we are seeing -- one of the things that scares me the
most, actually, are infections that are resistant to antibiotics. Because we've so overused antibiotics, especially on farms. Eighty percent of antibiotics used in America are used on farm animals, not even when they're sick, but to make them grow bigger and fatter. And that's a travesty.
Antibiotic-resistant staph found in every community now around the country, that flesh-eating kind of staph.
But the biggest concern, the biggest concern, and it is something that every family who's listening can do something about, is protecting their children against influenza. We have good vaccines against influenza. And about 20,000 children are hospitalized every year because of common flu. That's something that people should be worried about and pay attention to.
LEMON: OK. OK, so Dr. Sears, these diseases, I mean, they all sound like they're from medieval times. We're talking about whooping cough, mumps, measles. And I want you to take a look at this information. This is from the World Health Organization. it talks about Ebola versus other viruses. It shows that measles, on average, could be up to nine times more contagious than Ebola. So what needs to happen to keep these diseases from becoming full-blown epidemics, Dr. Sears?
SEARS: You mentioned measles. Measles is incredibly contagious. Just walking through the room with somebody that has measles, you will probably get the measles if you're not protected. So how do we protect ourselves? You get your -- you get your vaccinations. That's just the best thing to do.
Your flu shot. That's one of the best ways to avoid -- a lot of these complications from the flu, you know, you develop pneumonia and bacterial infections on top of the flu. But if you got your flu shot, you wouldn't hatch gotten that complication to begin with.
So also, my colleague, Dr. Karp, kind of alluded to this. But overuse of antibiotics. You know, so many patients come into my office with cold symptoms, and the parents think they need antibiotics. That's one of the biggest things pediatricians do is try to talk parents out of antibiotics when they're not necessary.
LEMON: All right. Dr. Sears, quickly. Because I want to get a viewer question in, too, if I can here. Here's a tweet from Ladymax (ph). She says, "If an infected Ebola person sweats on gym equipment, the person is behind comes and touches it, is that a threat? And what about baggage handlers, too?" That's the next one.
SEARS: Well, we do know, when -- when somebody is shedding the Ebola virus, it goes in pretty much every bodily fluid: the blood, sweat, tears, vomit, feces. So, ideally, though, you would think if somebody was getting sick because of the Ebola virus, even though at the time they may think it's just the flu, they shouldn't be at the gym in the first place. So -- but it's -- theoretically, it could happen.
LEMON: OK. We've got to run. Thank you very much. We're out of time. We appreciate it, Dr. Karp and Dr. Sears.
SEARS: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: All right, Don. We talked about this last night. You heard the story, first here exclusively last night. The white woman who, after a mix-up at a sperm bank, ended up with a black donor and a biracial child. It caused a lot of conversation here in our studio last night. You should have heard us during commercial breaks. And when we come back, we will let you in on that conversation.
LEMON: Well, here is the story that everybody is still talking about since our exclusive interview last night. A white woman uses a sperm bank to get pregnant and is shocked to discover she was mistakenly given sperm from an African-American donor.
LEMON: Yes. Now Jennifer Cramblett is suing that sperm bank.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Did they tell you then that, that the sperm you'd gotten was from a black man? How did you find out?
JENNIFER CRAMBLETT, SUITING OVER SPERM BANK MIX-UP: They said, "Hold on. Let's go into your file. Let's do a little bit more research." Came back on the line. And then had asked me if I had requested an African-American donor.
And at that point, I said, "No, 380 was blonde-haired, blue-eyed, something resembling my partner Amanda."
And at that point, they said, "Well, I do believe 330 is an African- American donor. And basically, we can no longer talk to you anymore."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: So she told us that she loves her daughter dearly. You can see how cute she was. But she lives in a town that she says is nearly all white, and she wants her to grow up in a community where her daughter feels accepted.
So we've been having some pretty spirited discussions around the office, particularly in the studio last night about this, that we invited "NEW DAY" anchor Chris Cuomo to join us for a no-holds-barred conversation.
LEMON: I've been getting it on the street from people, saying, "That was a perfect question, when you asked her, 'Aren't you just happy to have a healthy child?'"
What's wrong with black sperm?
CHRIS CUOMO, ANCHOR, "NEW DAY': Everything is wrong with black sperm, Don. This is America, don't you know that?
Listen, I don't like anything about this story. Everything -- every aspect of it is different shades of uncomfortable. No pun intended.
Does she have a lawsuit, she and her partner? Yes, they do. They have a viable lawsuit. Why? Because there was a contract involved. They wanted certain things. They didn't get those things.
But what this story really is about is, is there something wrong here? There's certainly something that was incorrect.
LEMON: I think everybody agrees she has a lawsuit. But is it worth pursuing? I mean, doesn't being a good parent, having a healthy kid, whatever kid you get, doesn't that really kind of trump everything?
CAMEROTA: Because the feeling is that she would be sending the wrong message to her daughter.
LEMON: To her daughter, yes.
CAMEROTA: So when her child, ten years from now, Googles her name and finds out that there was a lawsuit, that the message will be, "You were imperfect." Or "we didn't want you."
CUOMO: I like that they live in a town where being biracial might be a problem, but being a kid of a gay couple isn't a problem.
CAMEROTA: OK. We had a very heated, controversial conversation here this week. So here's how the conversation started.
We were talking about Bill Maher's show. And Bill Maher made comments about the Muslim world.
LEMON: He talked about Islam. And he -- and about whether or not it was more violent. Shall we just listen to him?
CAMEROTA: Let's listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL MAHER, HOST, HBO'S "REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER": If vast numbers of Muslims across the world believe, and they do, that humans deserve to die for merely holding a different idea, or drawing a cartoon, or writing a book, or eloping with the wrong person, not only does the Muslim world have something in common with ISIS, it has too much in common with ISIS.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CAMEROTA: ok. So then we posed those issues to Reza Aslan, who is a Middle East scholar, and asked whether there is something about Muslim countries' form of justice and human rights that is somehow more primitive than other countries.
LEMON: It got heated.
CAMEROTA: It did.
CUOMO: It got primitive.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REZA ASLAN, MIDDLE EAST SCHOLAR: Did you hear what you just said? You said in Muslim countries. I just told you that Indonesia, women are absolutely 100 percent equal to men. In Turkey, they have had more female representatives, more female heads of state in Turkey than we have in the United States.
CAMEROTA: Yes, in Pakistan. In Pakistan, women are still being stoned.
ASLAN: And that's a problem for Pakistan. You're right. So let's criticize Pakistan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: He was, in a way, you know, playing off the last story we did. He was playing a little bit of the race/religion card on you guys. He was saying you're calling everybody the same. You're calling them all bad, and you shouldn't do that.
CAMEROTA: And by the way, that was a great point. But I thought that what...
LEMON: That's what he was saying.
CAMEROTA: I think that the point that he made when he said, "Listen to yourselves." We were talking about female genital mutilation where, in Somalia, and Egypt, more than 90 percent of the women are subjected to it. And he said that's an African problem. That's an African continent problem. That's not a Muslim problem. Well, that was an interesting point that he made. That's educational.
And but the funny thing is...
CUOMO: You're obviously agitated. Why?
CAMEROTA: I want to tell you about it. People on Twitter are angry that we even asked the question. If you don't ask the question, you can't have the conversation.
LEMON: I agree with that. But that wasn't my beef. The country thing, that wasn't my thing. I was simply asking the question in order to get an answer.
CUOMO: Why are people upset? Let's look at it. Either it's just PC gone awry. OK? And you can just dismiss it as that. I wouldn't. And here's why.
Do -- does it promote violence? No. One, Islam is the culture. Being a Muslim, the faith, is that more violent inherently than Judaism or Christianity? No, not if you examine the text. Most experts will tell you exactly that. How it's applied culturally. You now get into a big problem.
LEMON: That is a great answer. But I also think, that, you know, Reza, he apologized on Twitter.
CAMEROTA: Well, he apologized because during the course of it, he said that the question was stupid, and it implied that I was stupid. And he immediately apologized. And I don't actually need an apology. I think that we need to be able to ask the questions, even controversial questions, even questions that you might deem as stupid. Because then it allows for the conversation. And you have to be able to have the conversation.
CUOMO: A lot of Americans think Muslims are inherently violent.
CAMEROTA: I don't know who that is.
CUOMO: They think it's a faith that encourages jihad, which they take as war against other faiths, and they happen to be wrong.
CAMEROTA: But I also want to say that it was interesting that Reza used the example of Indonesia, where he was saying they have -- they treat women, you know, fairly. Because it was just last weekend that one province in Indonesia, Ache (ph), allowed legally caning of homosexuals. So I don't know that that's the paragon of human rights.
LEMON: I think, listen, I think he realized the moment you call someone a name you lose the argument. And that's why -- that's why he apologized.
CUOMO: His tone was very angry. So he wound up kind of demonstrating what people are fearful about when they think of the faith in the first place, which is the hostility of it.
Look, here's what you guys are exposing yourselves to. This is the state of play in journalism today. The Muslim world is responsible for a really big part of religious extremism right now. And they are unusually violent. They're unusually barbaric in the places where it's happening. And it's happening there more than it is in other places. Do you therefore want to generalize? Of course not. But you do want to call a situation what it is.
It's not a coincidence that ISIS begins with an "I". I mean, that's what's going on in that part of the world. Doesn't mean that other faiths can't be violent and other cultures can't be violent. But you shouldn't be afraid of the question.
LEMON: Thank you, sir.
CAMEROTA: Six to 9 a.m. tomorrow morning.
Cuomo: You were heated up coming to this.
CAMEROTA: You've got it.
CUOMO: You were.
CAMEROTA: I'm seeing you next week if you're not careful.
CUOMO: I know.
CAMEROTA: See you later.
CUOMO: I'm intimidated.
LEMON: Be good to her. Bye-bye.
LEMON: We'll see you.
CAMEROTA: We'll be right back.
LEMON: We'll be right back.
LEMON: That is it for us tonight. Thank you so much for watching.
CAMEROTA: "AC 360" starts right now.