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STATE OF THE UNION WITH CANDY CROWLEY
Interview With National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci; Interview With Texas Senator Ted Cruz
Aired October 19, 2014 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Politics catches Ebola fever. Should we call a doctor or a czar?
Today, from Texas, our exclusive with Senator Ted Cruz on a mission to shut down travel from West Africa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: When you have an active and growing epidemic, the first thing you want to do is contain it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: Then: An airline steam-cleans a plane, confusion on a Caribbean cruise. And how come one guy with a clipboard is in street clothes? Fear, fiction and fact with Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're stepping up all of our efforts.
REP. FRED UPTON (R), MICHIGAN: The response so far has been unacceptable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: With just two weeks until the midterm elections, our roundtable on Ebola politics, the wins of 2014, and what Jeb Bush's wife and Rand Paul's promise tell us about 2016.
This is STATE OF THE UNION.
Good morning from Washington. I'm Candy Crowley.
There's word today that lab tests clear a cruise ship passenger who works at the Dallas hospital that treated Ebola patients. Though showing no symptoms of Ebola, the passenger had been in isolation anyway, but has now been allowed to leave the ship in Galveston, Texas. Just a bit of relief after a week that saw plenty of medical anxiety and political positioning. Joining me now is Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas.
Senator, one of the many things that we have learned over the course of the past several weeks is that public health is largely in the state and local purview. So, looking back over what has occurred in Dallas, when you see what the governor has -- what steps he's taken, what steps Texas public health has taken, and what steps the hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian, has taken, what do you think went wrong in there?
CRUZ: Well, look, there were, no doubts, mistakes that were made up and down the line at the level of the hospital, at the level of the health officials implementing the protocols.
But I will tell you the biggest mistake that continues to be made is now, more than two weeks into this, we continue to allow open commercial air flights from countries that have been stricken by Ebola. That doesn't make any sense.
We have got upwards of 150 people a day coming from countries with live, active Ebola outbreaks. For over two weeks, I have been calling on the administration to take the commonsense stand of suspending commercial air travel out of these countries until we get the air travel under control. And -- and -- and, for whatever reason, the Obama White House doesn't want to do so.
CROWLEY: What mistakes were made at the hospital level? What mistakes were made by Texas public health officials?
CRUZ: Candy, the first mistake that was made was allowing Thomas Duncan to get on an airplane and fly to the United States.
CROWLEY: I understand.
CRUZ: If he hadn't flown to the United States, none of the other mistakes would have happened.
Look, obviously, this hospital, when Mr. Duncan came in the first time with fever symptoms, they shouldn't have sent him home. They should have responded more quickly. But the mistakes continued up and down the line.
When Mr. Duncan came in again, he was allowed, post-developing symptoms, to be around his family, to potentially transmitting the disease there. When he came into the hospital, we know that the protocols that were supposed to be in place somehow were not followed, because at least two different nurses now have contracted the Ebola virus from Mr. Duncan, despite the protocols.
We also know that that second nurse was allowed, after contracting Ebola, to board a commercial airliner flight -- flight. And she was told by the CDC -- she wasn't told, don't get on the flight. The CDC gave her the green light to do that. That was a serious mistake.
CROWLEY: Right. CRUZ: Throughout this process, there have been mistakes.
And -- and -- and, listen, dealing with a virus with an epidemic is -- is a learning process. It's obviously a learning process with -- with very high stakes. And so we can't afford mistakes. But -- but I am hopeful that the health professionals -- you know, the doctors and nurses and CDC officials who are risking their lives are -- are brave, courageous professionals.
And I'm hopeful we will continue to improve our response. But -- but...
CRUZ: ... the best thing to do is to minimize the initial contact with Ebola.
And I -- I have to say, Candy, it was over two weeks ago that I sent a letter to the FAA asking what they were doing to protect U.S. citizens to -- to stop commercial air travel out of these countries to protect the pilots, the flight attendants and the fellow passengers.
It's now been over two weeks. The FAA has not responded to those questions. And we have now seen both Democrats and Republicans coming together saying, listen, this is a basic, commonsense step. While there is an active epidemic raging, we should not be having commercial airline flights with up to 150 people a day coming to the U.S.
CRUZ: For whatever reason, Candy, the Obama White House is digging in and not listening to the voices of common sense coming from both sides of the aisle.
CROWLEY: Well, perhaps it is because the voices in the medical community, particularly Dr. Frieden has been one of them out there saying that this would be counterproductive.
I want to play you a little bit of what Dr. Frieden had to say about a travel ban.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, CDC DIRECTOR: Right now, we know who's coming in. If we try to eliminate travel, the possibility that some will travel over land, will come from other places, and we don't know that they're coming in will mean that we won't be able to do multiple things.
We won't be able to check them for fever when they leave. We won't be able to check them for fever when they arrive. We won't be able, as we do currently, to take a detailed history to see if they were exposed when they arrive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CROWLEY: So, if you will, just respond to that and his concern, listen, you know, we won't be able to track these people because they will come in, in other places, and we won't know that they're entering the U.S.
CRUZ: Well, you know, Candy, the administration has given two arguments against a flight ban, neither of which makes sense.
The first one, they say, is they are putting screening in place, the argument you just played, that they have got screening in place in -- in five airports, and then that that should be our line of defense.
Now, I would note that they're -- they have omitted airports like DFW, where Mr. Duncan came. But -- but, more importantly, the screens only work if a passenger is demonstrating symptoms. Ebola, unfortunately, has up to a 21-day incubation period, where the -- where the patient has no demonstrated symptoms and walks right through the screenings.
Mr. Duncan, the one patient we know who did come from to -- from Liberia to America, would have traveled right through the screenings. The screening would not have stopped him because he was not presenting symptoms at that time.
I -- I -- let me ask you a couple things as regard to Mr. Duncan. He did indeed come to the U.S. from Liberia, but he went from Liberia, to Brussels, to Dulles International in Virginia, to Dallas-Fort Worth. So, how does a ban on air travel stop Mr. Duncan?
CRUZ: Because the visa he had coming in was a travel visa from Liberia. We should stop issuing travel visas from Liberia, which, interestingly enough, the neighboring countries in Africa have done.
What we need from the president is serious leadership to protect the American people. This shouldn't be a partisan issue. We should be protecting citizens of this country.
But, again, the -- the experts are telling the president -- the president is not a doctor. And if you were president, and NIH or the CDC were saying, hey, you know, this will only make it worse, a travel ban, a flight ban, will only make it worse, what we have in place is better, you would overrule the doctors and the experts?
CRUZ: But, Candy -- hey, Candy, the doctors and the experts that are saying this are working for the administration and repeating the administration talking points.
And their arguments don't make sense. The first argument about the screens doesn't make sense because they don't work during the 21- day incubation period. And the second argument that they make is, they say a travel ban would prevent health care relief workers from arriving in West Africa.
No one is talking about banning flights into West Africa. Of course, physicians and nurses and health care workers should be allowed to go in there. And we can send them in on charter flights or military C-130 aircraft with appropriate safety precautions.
That's very different from saying commercial airliners should fly day after day after day with hundreds of passengers connecting with thousands of passengers coming all throughout the country.
CRUZ: The arguments they're giving don't make sense. And -- and what is unfortunate is watching the Obama administration treat this as -- as yet another political issue, rather than as a public health crisis, for the same reason you have seen virtually no attention from the administration on the need to secure the southern border.
Now, that is notwithstanding the fact that General John Kelly, the commander of the Southern Command, just a week ago said if Ebola is transmitted to Central or South America, we will see a mass migration, the like of which we have never seen. And the administration, unfortunately, is not acting to protect our southern borders or to restrict commercial airline flights from places with an active outbreak.
And -- and that just doesn't make sense.
CROWLEY: And when you say -- just again, I want to put a period on this -- when you say banning flights, you mean withholding visas from those who want to travel to the U.S. coming from these three affected countries, correct?
CRUZ: Right. Absolutely.
CRUZ: We should not be allowing non-U.S. citizens traveling from these countries to fly into the United States right now, temporarily.
Look, we get the outbreak under control, it's a different story.
CRUZ: But when you have an active and growing epidemic, the first thing you want to do is contain it.
CROWLEY: You know, one of the things that has been brought up, of course -- and, now, this has now entered the political arena, and the Democrats are charging you all with making politics of it, and vice versa.
So, the -- the fact of the matter is that one of the things that's brought up is, we haven't had a surgeon general, who is the -- kind of the nation's leading public health official, at least the voice of it, for a year. Some Democrats and some Republicans had opposed the particular surgeon general the president had nominated.
Do you think it would have helped, A, if NIH and CDC had had a little more money, and, B, had there been a surgeon general in place to kind of calm what has become the fear of Ebola?
CRUZ: Look -- look, of course we should have a surgeon general in place. And we don't have one because President Obama, instead of nominating a health professional, he nominated someone who is an anti- gun activist.
CROWLEY: And a doctor.
CRUZ: And that individual didn't have the votes in the Senate. He is a doctor. But where he's made his name is...
CROWLEY: Yes, but that's a health professional.
CRUZ: ... as a crusader against Second Amendment rights.
And, as a consequence, he didn't have the votes among Republicans or Democrats. And so was it a mistake for the president to nominate an extreme partisan on an issue that is -- that is not connected to public health? Yes, that was a mistake.
He should have nominated a respected health care professional who could actually get the votes in a Senate controlled by Democrats. You know, Candy, it speaks volumes that Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats wouldn't confirm this surgeon general. It shows just how extreme the nominee was.
CROWLEY: And the funding, Senator, funding for CDC?
CRUZ: Look, the funding issues...
CROWLEY: As you know, it's been cut in particular by the sequestration, which cut across the board.
CRUZ: Look, we can debate appropriate funding -- funding levels. We have seen funding for public health increase over the last decade significantly. We need to devote whatever resources are needed to contain this Ebola outbreak.
CROWLEY: What do you think about -- and I think I can probably guess this -- but the president has put Ron Klain in charge of sort of keeping control of both the U.S. activities abroad in the three affected West African nations, as well as what goes on here with the CDC and NIH and various hospitals?
CRUZ: Well, look, Candy, I think it's a great example. Mr. Klain is not a doctor. He's not a health care professional. He doesn't have background in these issues. But what he is, is a political operative.
CROWLEY: But there are lots of those, Senator. There are lots of doctors kind of on this, aren't there? Doesn't this need...
CRUZ: Yes, but -- but...
CROWLEY: I mean, Republicans have been saying, who's in charge? Who's in charge?
Didn't this need someone who had organizational skills, which the White House says Ron Klain has, to kind of give the public the feeling that the government is on top of this?
CRUZ: Candy, we should be less concerned about giving the public the feeling that the government is on top of this and more concerned about the government actually being on top of it.
And this is a manifestation. We don't need another White House political operative, which is what Mr. Klain has been. What we need is presidential leadership. The person who needs to be on top of this is the president of the United States, standing up and leading and treating it as a public health emergency.
Two weeks ago, the president should have stood up and suspended flights from these countries. Two weeks ago, the president should have stood up and put additional resources -- resources on our borders.
CRUZ: Two weeks ago, the president should have demonstrated real leadership to protect American citizens.
And, for whatever reason, he isn't doing so. And I will tell you, I would welcome his leadership today. We need a commander in chief who fulfills his constitutional obligations...
CRUZ: ... not just another White House political operative trying -- trying to spin reporters.
CROWLEY: I -- I want to take a quick break here, Senator.
And when we come back, I have one more Ebola question. And, believe it or not, it's about Cuba.
We will be right back.
CROWLEY: Rejoining me now, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican from Texas.
Senator, former Cuban President Fidel Castro is quoted in a local Cuban paper as saying that he is only too happy to join the United States after the plea from John Kerry for other countries to step up and help fight Ebola. He said that Cuba will be sending 460 doctors and nurses.
What do you make of that? CRUZ: Well, look, the -- Fidel Castro and Raul Castro, they
never miss a chance to push propaganda.
You know, what I can tell is, the Castro brothers have put in place a brutal regime that oppresses their citizens, that murders their citizens, that tortures and imprisons their citizens. And the Castros are never shy to jump up and engage in some propaganda to criticize the United States.
CROWLEY: I want to ask you about the U.S.-led air assault against ISIS. There have been some successes, from what we're learning. There have been some setbacks.
In the end, you have talked -- you -- you made a quote, a famous quote recently, we ought to bomb them, meaning ISIS, back to the Stone Age.
It does not appear that bombing alone is going to make that happen, that ISIS will not disappear with a U.S.-led air assault. That being the case, where do you see the role, if any, of U.S. military personnel?
CRUZ: Well, unfortunately, the approach of the Obama administration to ISIS has been fundamentally unserious.
We have dropped a bomb here, a missile there, but it has really been a photo op foreign policy. What we need is a concentrated, directive military objective to take ISIS out. Now, what does that entail? Number one, it entails a far more vigorous air campaign than we're seeing.
You know, we're dropping a fraction of the ordnance that we have in other campaigns such as Afghanistan. But, number two, we have...
CROWLEY: But should it eventually -- do you think it will involve U.S. troops?
CRUZ: Well, it involves U.S. troops now. There are over 1,500 that are on the ground right now. And...
CROWLEY: And what I'm getting at, I guess, is if the air assault won't work, Senator, where do you stand on the idea of putting perhaps more U.S. personnel in there as advisers or those who scope out places for the air assaults to target?
CRUZ: Well, Candy, that's what I'm trying to answer by saying we have a tremendous asset on the ground right now, which is the Kurds.
The Peshmerga have been strong allies of the U.S. They are effective fighters. And they desperately need weaponry and assistance. And, for whatever reason, the Obama administration, number one, has been delaying aiding the Peshmerga, has been running it all through Baghdad, instead of aiding them directly, has been blocking them from selling oil, which doesn't make sense any -- either.
And, at the same time, the Obama administration keeps focusing on Syrian rebels, many of whom have far too close ties to radical Islamic terrorists for it to make any sense for us to be supporting them.
The Kurds are allies and they are boots on the ground. And when we work with them in concert, they're ready to fight on the front line, along with serious airpower. That's what we ought to be doing. And if it were a military objective to take ISIS out, I think that's what we would be doing.
CROWLEY: Well, certainly, the president has -- has said it's his objective. Obviously, you disagree with the way he's going about it.
But I cannot ignore, in these last couple of minutes, the fact that we are very close to a midterm election, which could or could not see Republicans taking control of the U.S. Senate. Give me your best estimate. I know you have been out there campaigning and raising money for various U.S. Senate candidates on the Republican side.
What do you think the Senate will look like come January?
CRUZ: Well, Candy, I have been on the road nonstop traveling the country, campaigning to retake the Senate, to retire Harry Reid. I believe we're on the cusp of an election that's going to do just that.
CROWLEY: You think it's certain?
CRUZ: Republicans need six -- nothing is certain in politics, but I think it is far more likely than not that we will retake the Senate and retire Harry Reid.
CROWLEY: The president is quite likely to put up his nomination for attorney general during that lame-duck session of Congress, before the midterms -- sorry -- after the midterms and before the new Senate is sworn in. Not much Republicans can do about that, given the new rules in the Senate. But would you object to that?
Under no circumstances should a partisan attorney general be rammed through in a lame-duck session with a bunch of senators who have just...
CROWLEY: Well, we don't know who it would be.
CRUZ: Well, we should not be confirming an attorney general during a lame-duck session with a bunch of senators who have just been voted out of office. The confirmation should occur in January or in February, when we
have the new Senate, where every senator will be accountable to the voter. I don't think we should meet for a lame-duck at all, because lame-ducks are really where Washington imposes its agenda, instead of listening to the American people.
I think everyone in office should be accountable to the American people, and we should wait until January, where every elected member of Congress still has to face the voters in an election.
CROWLEY: I'm not sure that's going to happen, Senator. But it will be an interesting time post-election.
And just finally, when do you think you will make a decision about running for president?
CRUZ: Well, look, I think we will see the field begin to form next year, some time between January and June. It's likely to be a crowded field.
There are a lot of good people looking at it. But, you know, at the same time, I think the stakes are incredibly high. I mean, there is such a palpable desire to change the direction you're -- we're on.
CROWLEY: We have got to leave it there, Senator. But I'm going to guess that your answer to that was some time between January and June. So, we will look for your decision.
Thank you so much for joining us, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
CRUZ: Thank you, Candy.
CROWLEY: Up next: mixing medicine and politics, Dr. Anthony Fauci on the charge that government doctors are using White House talking points.
CROWLEY: In the interview you just heard, Senator Ted Cruz says, in effect, never mind the doctors who are advising President Obama against ordering a travel ban because of Ebola, because those same doctors work for the president.
With me now, one of those doctors, Dr. Anthony Fauci, longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Like it or not, we're in a political time, two weeks from a midterm. And the feeling at least expressed by Ted Cruz that the travel ban is absolutely necessary, makes total sense, but that doctors don't want to -- want to tell the president that because he is against a travel ban.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: That's just not the case.
I have never had an experience where a president is telling me to tell him something that he wants to hear. The president and the health officials, Sylvia Burwell and others, ask you what your opinion...
CROWLEY: But no pressure?
FAUCI: None at all. They just ask, what -- what is your opinion about this?
And that's the reason why we give the opinion. We express the -- we respect the opposing opinion, but what was just articulated by Senator Cruz, the fact is, it would be very, very difficult if you lost control of easily tracking people.
You have got to look at the numbers to look about how many people are really trying to get into the country. We have 36,000 people in two months went to airports to get out of those three countries; 77 were blocked because of a health issue. When they investigated them, none of them had Ebola. A lot of them had malaria.
So, there's not a lot of people trying to get into the country. So, that's the thing that needs to be understood.
CROWLEY: Right. I guess what -- what is worried about by a number of people is that one can do a lot of damage if unchecked.
CROWLEY: And the question being, how much good does it do that they're checked as they leave and they're checked when they enter the U.S. for fever...
FAUCI: Right. Right.
CROWLEY: ... and for -- depending on where they were -- origin?
FAUCI: Well, fever, symptoms, and whether or not they came into known or suspected contact with an Ebola patient.
FAUCI: It's not just fever. They get questioned.
But since, first of all, I suppose they could lie about being in...
CROWLEY: ... near an Ebola patient or not know that they were near an Ebola patient.
CROWLEY: And then the question is, what good does it do to check them at the airport if, in 21 days, they could still show that they do have the Ebola virus?
FAUCI: It's -- it's just another layer of trying to make sure that we're on the right track there. It's just another layer of screening. That's all it is.
FAUCI: Now, it...
CROWLEY: But it doesn't really help keep out...
FAUCI: Well, it -- it has...
CROWLEY: ... those people who may have it.
FAUCI: It has some substantive advantage, that you could catch someone.
For example, someone flies from Liberia to Brussels, maybe not incubating, not a fever yet, gets to Brussels a few hours off in Brussels, flies from Brussels to Dallas or what have you. They could develop a fever during that period of time. So, you shave off a little bit more of the risk.
CROWLEY: Let me ask you, get down to some of those who have unfortunately contracted Ebola.
CROWLEY: How is Nina Pham? She's under the care at NIH. How is she doing?
FAUCI: She's doing fine. Her condition is fair. She is stable. She is resting comfortably. Ebola really knocks you out. I had a very long conversation with her. She's a lovely young lady. I think when the world gets to see her and we hope she'll be out and we'll walk out of the hospital with her, you'll see what I'm talking about. She's doing fine.
CROWLEY: Do you know anything about Amber Vinson, who of course is the other nurse from the Dallas hospital and she is down at Emory?
FAUCI: No, I actually -- Candy, I don't. I'm taking care of Nina. I know a lot about Nina but not much about Amber.
And let me ask you the -- are you using, if we understand, reading the press releases about 10 doctors and nurses to treat Nina...
CROWLEY: ...at this point to care for her.
FAUCI: We have two shifts -- we have two shifts, they're 12-hour shifts right now. We have a lead doctor, Dr. Rick Davey, who's -- the person who's right there in the room with her. We have four or five nurses. They just change shifts. If things have a problem, where we have to do a lot more intensive things we'll switch it to eight-hour shifts and bring more people in.
CROWLEY: Why then did it take 70 folks at the Dallas hospital to treat an Ebola patient? Mr. Duncan who unfortunately --
FAUCI: I think there were a lot of people, technicians coming in, going out of the room, and getting samples and things like that. We have at the NIH, a very specifically equipped, trained, experienced people who are specifically dedicated only to that type of a situation. So that's why it's different.
CROWLEY: We're going to take a quick break.
FAUCI: Got it.
CROWLEY: But we will be back with you and talk to you on the other side.
CROWLEY: Back now with Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health.
Today as I understand it, marks the 21st day...
CROWLEY: ...for the family members of Mr. Duncan who had been in isolation and those who have been monitoring around him.
CROWLEY: Are they free and clear? They can walk (ph) now (ph)?
FAUCI: When you get beyond 21 days you're clear. And the people who were actually first saw him in that group in the emergency room, they're at that 21 days right now.
CROWLEY: So -- and family members want to assume after -- so that's just for the first time.
FAUCI: Right, right.
CROWLEY: The second time then we're two, three days away from that.
FAUCI: Right, right.
CROWLEY: As far as you know, in that circle of those who treated Mr. Duncan, once he was put in isolation, no further cases?
FAUCI: No further cases. Just the two infections. So, we have two infections that have occurred here in the United States. CROWLEY: Right. And nobody is showing a fever or anything that
was connected to any of these folks (ph)?
FAUCI: No. They are being monitored at various levels, some quarantine, some active, some passive. They're being monitored carefully to see if there's any symptoms, if it is, to make sure that they're under the proper type of isolation and care. So, there's very strict monitoring of that.
CROWLEY: I want to show you some pictures we've seen over the past week and get your reaction to them.
One of them is Frontier Airlines as you know, transported one of the nurses to Ohio. Now, this is -- they gave us this video and this is like what they did on the plane.
CROWLEY: It appears to be steam cleaning. Here's what we think we know, is that she was not showing symptoms or maybe she was...
CROWLEY: ...on this flight. Is this going to do any good? Steam cleaning? I mean, I've never met a plane...
CROWLEY: ...that shouldn't have a steam cleaning.
FAUCI: Right, right.
We call that an abundance of caution. You've heard that terminology often. Just so they know the context in which that was done. If a person doesn't have any symptoms they're not capable of transmitting it. The body fluids that you see physicians and nurses, those are the ones that are in at least a hypothetical and a practical risk.
What they're doing right there now is on the assumption that maybe there was enough virus in a person when they were sick, to be able to get on sweat to put it on a hand. But we know from a fact that, first of all, let everybody know that there's no such a thing as zero risk. But when you do relative risk, the chances of someone who is sitting down well to have enough virus to get into a body fluid- like sweat to get on a rail that's a dry rail, not zero but so vanishingly low, that there are so many other risks you need to worry about. But what they're doing there is just absolutely make sure that you go the extra step.
FAUCI: That's what that's all about.
CROWLEY: And then I want to show you a -- something that went viral. And it was bringing, and I believe this is nurse Vinson actually, and it is a picture of a bunch of folks in their hazmat suits and then this guy with a clipboard, right? He is walking along with them. They're all dressed up in their hazmat and he's all taking stuff from them and carrying a -- this was hard to understand. Like either they're overdressed or he's underdressed.
FAUCI: OK. So remember you're talking about direct contact with body fluid. OK? The risk of that person walking next to him is essentially zero. The perception of people in hazmat here and someone not can obviously be misleading. But he should have, I think just for public relations appearances --
CROWLEY: A picture says a thousand words.
FAUCI: Well, let me just tell you, when Nina came into our hospital, we had people -- and this is good for what you said. We had people take her out of the ambulance with the hazmat suit to make sure -- and she was someone who clearly had Ebola, walking by over here around and the nurse who works for me said, Fauci, over there. Just move. That's exactly what we did. It's just the abundance of caution. Essentially no risk there but bad interpretation.
CROWLEY: And then this cruise ship that got turned away from Belize...
CROWLEY: ...because it turns out that a lab worker at the Dallas hospital that handled perhaps some of -- a specimen of some sort from Mr. Duncan showing no symptoms, isolates herself and her traveling companion. Belize won't take her so that she can go someplace else so it has to come back to port. Was that necessary?
FAUCI: I think not. But just -- let me explain what went on. When his risk went from self-monitoring to active monitoring, that means he needed to be actively monitored. He had no symptoms. He had no fever. There was no way he was going to transmit it to anybody but the reaction we have a potential Ebola patient here triggered a series of events that medically were not necessary.
He should have just been taken back and go into active monitoring which is where he is. That's what should have been done. That was not necessary.
But Candy, you can understand why it was done because fear is something you need to respect and understand.
CROWLEY: Right. And finally, Ron Klain, have you spoken to him yet? He's the new Ebola czar.
FAUCI: We've exchanged e-mails. We'll be talking next week.
CROWLEY: Right. Do you need him?
FAUCI: He's a superb manager. He's a great organizer. We have coordination at the White House. Remember we had it from (ph) Lisa Monaco and (INAUDIBLE) Susan Rice. They have big day jobs so to have somebody that's totally dedicated to that, good idea.
CROWLEY: Dr. Fauci, thank you for coming by. You are a busy guy these days. We appreciate your time.
FAUCI: Good to be with you.
CROWLEY: Next up, put on your protective gear we're getting the political prognosis for the president and his fellow Democrats with our political panel.
CROWLEY: With just over two weeks ago until the elections, politics is showing the effects of Ebola. With me now, Republican strategist, Ana Navarro, Penny Lee, one-time adviser to Senator Harry Reid. CNN commentator L.Z. Granderson, and Republican strategist and former Mitt Romney guy, Kevin Madden. Thank you guys for being here.
When elections are close, almost any little breeze can float across the line from Democrat to Republican. Is there any traction for Ebola? Because you're seeing an awful lot of folks sort of climbing on this politically, including the 2016ers, Republicans who mostly are saying, let's have this travel ban and really pushing the president.
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I this it's playing a role. When you seeing red state Democrats who are in very tight races like Kay Hagan in North Carolina come out and say that they support some sort of travel ban, yes, it's having an effect. You're seeing the poll, 66 percent of the American people support that travel ban. And I think that's why President Obama has ultimately appointed a czar. Now, a political czar but a czar nonetheless.
LZ GRANDERSON, CNN COMMENTATOR: A political czar who also happens to know how to run things. This criticism that he has no medical experience --
NAVARRO: Like what, the office of the vice president?
GRANDERSON: Yes, twice chief of staff. I mean, that's a lot of people you have to manage. And what we don't need are more doctors. We need someone who can manage the messaging. And I think President Obama did pick up, you know, a political ally but also picked someone with those experiences that's needed to get a coherent message through.
NAVARRO: A political (INAUDIBLE).
KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Look, I don't think the persuadable voter, the undecided voter at this point is going to render their decision based solely on Ebola. But the --
CROWLEY: Handling of Ebola. MADDEN: Right, the handling of it. The issue itself I think
feeds into this other narrative which has emerged about this crisis in confidence that many voters have right now in this administration. And when that hurts the president's approval ratings, it hurts members of his own party at the polls.
PENNY LEE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes. I mean, Republicans -- I mean, when they started out this election said, all we need to do is say we're anti-Obama. They had no pro-active agenda. They didn't go out there and put together a legislative package and plan to go out in front of them. These are the kind of things they'll just continue to harp on and say, look at this incompetency, look at this incredible fear that could be there, (inaudible) on their hands. So, it is something they are feeding into because they actually don't have an agenda in which they're pro-active.
NAVARRO: You have Democrats feeding into the exact same narrative. In Kentucky you have a candidate for Senate who can't even say, despite being asked twice, that she voted for her party's nominee. In Alaska, you have Mark Begich saying, listen if you're mad at Obama don't vote against me because he's only there for another two years.
LEE: Very clear -
NAVARRO: He should give Bill Clinton royalties for that line.
LEE: But then he's also been very clear on where there are distinctions and that is that he is for the minimum wage, that he is in fact wanting to -- that he is for fair (INAUDIBLE). There are many things -
CROWLEY: Many think this election boils down to a Republican message that this is -- these people are incompetent and they're scary now because there's ISIS, the threat, there's Ebola. And on the Democratic side, you just have these Republicans are scary. You know, they are -- they are extremists. So, we have -- the fear factor is playing on both sides as a general message.
GRANDERSON: Absolutely. And that's the thing that that makes it so frustrating for anyone who is trying to be in the middle. You know because while you really want somebody to talk about the facts and be coherent with and not to just browbeat a bunch of issue that aren't necessarily founded. There is no Ebola outbreak and we can't say that enough. There's only been like three people in this country. There is no outbreak and yet (INAUDIBLE) watch media to listen to our politicians, it seems like every other person has Ebola. LEE: It is not an inspired electorate. I mean, we will
(INAUDIBLE) that unfortunately. And where we do hope to get to, and which you would hope to that it would be, but it isn't. And right now and especially in these last 12 days it's going to be who is worse -
NAVARRO: And the one Ebola case that, you know, we've had had been treated adequately and we had felt that there had been a plan in place, I think none of this panic that, you know, been also fed into by the media and politicians would have happened, but it wasn't handled. We didn't have a plan.
GRANDERSON: But here is the thing though. Since March this administration has been dealing with Ebola. Since March. We don't talk about the true timeline in terms of President Obama's administration --
CROWLEY: But wouldn't you agree since March is not enough? It was until September that -
GRANDERSON: Because you weren't paying attention.
NAVARRO: You wouldn't know -
GRANDERSON: Just because you weren't paying attention doesn't mean it wasn't happening.
NAVARRO: (INAUDIBLE) you wouldn't know it from the effects of what happened when one guy got through with Ebola.
CROWLEY: Let me -- I have got to turn you to 2014 first of all and Ana's favorite story because she's from Florida, fangate, although I hate putting "gate" on anything.
Charlie Crist as we all know has to have a fan with them when he speaks. He headed one of the conventions, he's been here, he brings a fan with him. There was a deal made that there would be no fan at their first debate, they brought one anyway and it was Governor Scott that actually took the rap for it because he didn't show up on the stage. And it was interpreted that he is not coming out, Crist -- Charlie because there was a fan. Who does it hurt?
NAVARRO: Florida because we're not talking about the issues that we should. And you know -- here's the bottom line. We have got two really odd guys running for governor in Florida. One who has got absolutely no political acumen or stubborness as he showed by the handling of the fangate.
CROWLEY: Governor Scott -
NAVARRO: The other guy who has got a perma tan and is vying to run for governor of Florida, again one of the hottest states in the union and has a pathological aversion to sweat and he -- and a psychological addiction to a fan.
LEE: I think, Ana, is pretty much -
NAVARRO: Basically they're both odd one is has just better hair than the other. So, I would say to my Floridian friends, my brethren, folks, let's look at the results under each of them when they were governor. And let me just say something on behalf of the people of Florida to the comedy writers of America, you're welcome.
Let me then turn you to a couple other things that happened this week which just felt like breezes of 2016. One of them was Rand Paul who has been quite active in reaching out to the African-American community for months and months. He was at Howard a long time ago. He was in Ferguson talking to folks this week.
And he was talking to "Politico" and said, I think it is doable if we talk about the right subjects, economic opportunity as well as the criminal justice system, that the Republican presidential candidate could win a third of the presidential -- I'm sorry, that the Republicans can win a third of the African-American vote in 2016. Is he dreaming?
GRANDERSON: Well, as the resident African-American on the panel here, I would tell you I would at least listen to him because if he is talking about school choice, if he is talking about reform of the criminal justice system, if he is talking about economics, then he's worth listening to.
And the fact of the matter is is that Democrats have gotten more than 80 percent of the black vote for their presidential nominees since the' 60s. And you have to start asking yourself what have we gotten for it, right? We still have twice -- in terms of unemployment as our white counterparts, education is still poor. Criminal justice system is still against us and we have been voting for these Democratic presidents time and time again. So, I think he's worth listening to.
GRANDERSON: The problem is is that he's the one saying it, and he has so much stuff he said before that that contradicts his efforts right now.
MADDEN: Well, look, it is an ambitious goal but ambitious goals are good. And I think the issue set that he talked about, I think it's largely accurate. But before you get to the issues which are crucial. More crucial is actually showing up, and for too long Republicans have avoided or not engaged that community and it's been to the peril of not only the growth of the party but also to some of the partisanship that we have -- that we have now in this country. So I think it's crucial that Republicans actually go into these communities --
NAVARRO: You know, I think other Republicans need to follow his lead. Frankly, he's setting an example. For too long I think the African-American community has been taken for granted by one party and completely ignored by the other. It is not acceptable. It's not good for the parties, for the country, or for the community.
CROWLEY: I have got a minute left. So, I'm going to start with you because Jeb Bush revealed that his mother may have changed her mind about whether she should run. She famously has said, yes, the country doesn't need another Bush. And his wife who as far as we know has always been against him running, also was onboard.
What does that tell you about Jeb Bush in 2016?
LEE: It tells me that he strongly looking at it and when he looked (ph) that it feels (ph) that the other people that are there he is saying, you know what? I think I actually could be better than the candidates that are out there now. So, I think he is going to take a strong look at it whether or not he decides, none of us know, but I think he's seriously looking at it.
NAVARRO: This notion that Columba Bush, who has been married with Jeb for over 40 years, was against him running has always been based on unattributable quotes and off the record conversations by people close to Jeb.
I can tell you Columba Bush supported Jeb in three previous runs. They have a very strong marriage. To me it's no surprise that Columba would support whatever Jeb decides --
CROWLEY: Everybody else was surprised. You've got 10 seconds.
MADDEN: It is a very important question because it's such a grueling process. You have to have 100 percent buy-in from your families.
CROWLEY: Once your mom and wife are on board --
GRANDERSON: No more Bush. Those are my three words (INAUDIBLE).
MADDEN: By the way, I'm going to turn L.Z. into a Republican. That's -
GRANDERSON: Good luck with that. CROWLEY: Kevin Madden, Penny Lee, L.Z. Granderson, Ana Navarro,
thank you very much.
I want to remind our viewers that Charlie Crist and Rick Scott square off again Tuesday night right here on CNN.
NAVARRO: And CNN has said no fans.
CROWLEY: We'll be right back.