All-Star Panel: Should Ebola patients be coming to US for treatment?

'Special Report' All-Star panel weighs in


This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," August 8/5, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The CDC is redoubling their efforts to add additional resources and to make sure that those resources are well coordinated. That is the best way for us to stem this Ebola outbreak is to make sure that the response is consistent with medical protocols in terms of isolating those who are exhibiting the symptoms and making sure that medical personnel who are treating them are taking the necessary precautions.

I know there are also protocols in place for those, for burying those who have died as a result of this disease. As the CDC has mentioned many times, it's their assessment that those in the United States do not face a significant risk of the Ebola outbreak.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: And the CDC continues to say that. Today, medical missionary Nancy Writebol completed her journey home coming to Atlanta and the treatment center in Emory, and wheeled in there, not walked in, like the doctor who came in the other day.

This being said, the outbreak in West Africa seems to be expanding. A senior doctor working for a leading medical organization in Liberia telling CBS news that Ebola is, quote, "spinning out of control in West Africa because it is so difficult to contain." The doctor stated that what has made this outbreak different from others is that this one spread in urban areas. The doctor also told CBS that many cases are going unreported because relative have been burying still contagious bodies of the dead in secret and they just simply are scared to report the cases.

Back with the panel. Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Look, it is an epidemic. It is very dangerous in West Africa. It is not here. There is sort of a level of hysteria. We are the only country I know of that imports Ebola victims rather than other countries. But it's a testament to, a, how compassionate America is and how grateful it is to the missionaries who went over and did what they do, they are true saints, and, B, to how great our high tech medicine is. This is not a communicable disease in the sense that the flu is, for example, which is infinitely more dangerous. It kills tens of thousands of people because it is airborne.

This is not airborne. You have to come in contact with fluids. And if you don't, you're not going to get it. That's why with high-tech medicine, the quarantines that we have, the precautions we have, in a first world country this is not going to be an issue. And I think, you know, people who argue it is, I think are wrong, ginning up hysteria. The administration and the way that the CDC has handled it has been exactly right.

BAIER: And some airlines had some issues about flights to and from West Africa, Africa overall.

KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, USA TODAY: Yeah. I mean, this does strike me as hysterical. We're talking about two people. The idea that they can't be brought to the country by people who are clearly very qualified and know how to handle the situation, the real tragedy and epidemic that is going on is not in the United States. It's in Africa. The situation here that you would have people actually protesting this or even being fearful of dying from this when you're 1,000 times more likely getting in your car tomorrow, you know, I think people need to get a little more perspective probably.

BAIER: Solving it in West Africa is another issue.

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, to confine it to West Africa would be easier if Boeing and Airbus hadn't filled the skies with aircraft to move us around the world in a way that we didn't use to. And it's very efficient for spreading these problems.

I think the reason for the anxiety, go back to the 1950s. The fear of every American parent was polio, and suddenly the Salk vaccine took it away. The American people acquired the polio paradigm in their heads. They thought, well, infectious diseases are now a thing of the past. That's why the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s was so unsettling to people. And that's why it seems to me people are right to worry about this in one particular. The most dangerous potential weapon of mass destruction, terrorist weapon, if you will, would be a vial of smallpox, which in a war game simulated three months before 9/11, the federal government came out with a figure that in 13 days after you distributed some smallpox spores in an Oklahoma City shopping center, 13 nations and 25 states would have an epidemic.

BAIER: On that note -- on that note let's head to the --


POWERS: Everybody stay calm.

BAIER: Let's stay calm, and stay tuned for what some are calling apparently the greatest live TV interview of all time.

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