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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  October 16, 2014 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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this is not about our divisions. ebola is not going to check republicans or democrats, western africans or eastern europeans. we all must rise above our differences and our divisions and unite to contain this problem. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. ebola steals the election. it's not only topic a, it's topic a to z. let's play "hardball." ♪ ♪ good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington, which is now ground zero for the ebola fear. it's now official, ebola is now the number one focus in the nation's capital, as well as the rest of the country where now it's the most watched news
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event, believe this or not, since the entire obama presidency began. the most watched news event -- ebola. politicians are at their battle stations, with many on the right calling for an all-out travel ban of anyone coming from infected west africa. the call we're hearing is to stop all human traffic, period. and government experts are saying, they're open to any step that will protect americans. joining me now is peter welsh of vermont who sits on the committee, and also msnbc political analyst. today's hearing, lawmakers say their jittery constituents want to know about the feasibility of an all-out travel ban to contain the spread of ebola. congressman welsh tried to get an answer. let's listen. >> why, from a medical standpoint you have concluded that a total travel ban is inappropriate and not effective? >> first off, many of the people
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coming to the u.s. from west africa are american citizens, american passport holders. people travel and people will be coming in. >> as i understand it, you say there's basically a trade-off. if you have a full ban, there will be ways around it and you'll be losing the benefit of tracking folks who may be infected which could lead to a greater incidence of outbreak, so it's a trade-off, is that what's going on? >> we're open to any possibility that will increase the safety of americans. >> right. so are there some mid points in terms of travel restrictions as opposed to a ban that would make sense? >> we would look at anything that would improve the safety of the americans. >> when the witness freezes like that and gives the same answer a second time. you heard something then. what did you hear that witness saying, dr. frieden? is he saying, two weeks from now, if this thing grows, we'll shut down the traffic from west africa? >> he was trying to thread a needle. he didn't want to say he opposed
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the possibility of a ban, but he was embracing the approach that whatever is ultimately required in his judgment and the administration's judgment, to protect the american people, they're open to it. but the committee hearing really did start coming down to travel ban or not. and that has obviously for a lot of politicians, enormous political appeal, because it says, we're, quote, doing something. but the gold standard on this, who for me are doctors without borders, they say, medically speaking, that wouldn't be good. it might do more harm than good. now we have 435 members of congress in their white coats acting like they're doctors. >> why does this strike me that it's ideology cal? when dond trump comes out, it's a right-wing position, and anti-obama position, and the liberals just as instinctively, say we can't have a travel ban against africa. is this an emotional, go to your battle stations left and right thing? let me ask michael steel about
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that, because it seems like it's what you would expect. republicans say, shut it down, we don't want anybody in africa. we don't want to meet anybody from there anyway. i don't have any relatives coming over. [ laughter ] >> i'm serious. >> but that's ridiculous. >> why are people on the right pushing for a travel ban? >> because it makes sense. the american people are pushing for that. their constituents are pushing for that. [ all speak at once ] >> you got to ask the libs that. >> there's your political shot -- >> i'm sure their constituents are, and the fact that this question was skirted around and was not answered directly, i thought was -- >> do you want a ban? >> yes, why not? absolutely. >> tell me about this thinking, the democratic side about why you don't want to rush to a ban and shut down the traffic? >> the question is, whether a ban would be effective. the doctors without borders basically say it would hurt. you would have a lot of issues
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getting your medical personnel in and out. problems getting some of the medical equipment back and forth. then when you have a ban, the experience has been, people will find a way around it. if they find a way around it, and an infected person gets here, legally, without having any monitoring and review of their health status situation, it means that we're not going to be able to get them the treatment right away that they need. and this is the most important, we won't be able to know who they had contact with, and that's essential for public safety. >> may i ask a question? has that been the experience of the african nations that surround sierra leone and the other infected areas? they don't seem to have that problem, yet they have a full ban in human traffic across their borders, as do now several other countries. so i don't understand the u.s. position that we're concerned about commerce and how people feel, when you have this issue of potential outbreak, that the american people are concerned about. >> two things, michael.
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number one, dr. frieden was asked specifically and said those countries didn't have the blanket ban that you're talking about. number two, i'm open to anything. but the bottom line is, what is the medical step that we should take, or what steps should we take with respect to travel restrictions that would be most effective? that's really the question. it's not a political judgment. >> i don't think it's ideology cal, but i do see the pattern here. the chief clinical officer in texas with health resources, the group that overseas texas presbyterian hospital. he took a grilling from the ranking committee member, diana. she's a democrat. dr. vargas appeared in a video conference, apologized for the incorrect initial diagnosis of the first ebola patient in the u.s. then he faced questions on the hospital's lack of preparedness. this is where it gets very american, very local, let's watch. >> your hospital received the first cdc health advisory about ebola on july 28th.
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it was given to the directors of your emergency departments and signage was posted in your emergency room, is that right? >> yes, ma'am. >> now was this information given to your emergency room personnel and was there any person-to-person training at texas presbyterian for the staff at that time? yes or no? >> was given to the emergency department. >> was there actual training? >> no. >> congressman, this is where we get to that old political problem of mistakes were made, in the passive voice, but nobody made any mistakes. mistakes were made by what human being and now we're finding this guy, you put in the box or the barrel today. he's the guy getting hit with this. who is the responsible officers that make sure that hospitals handle the first case properly? who's the officer that didn't do it right? >> ultimately, the head of the hospital. but obviously they blew it at the er room. this man was incredibly sick and he was sent home with
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antibiotics. then he came back of course with full-blown ebola. so they blew it there. but have some context. we've had one person from liberia come to this country. that's dangerous, people fear ebola and it's a dangerous disease. but we've had two people infected. and our hospitals haven't had a lot of experience. how many hospitals, even well-run hospitals would have it on the radar that somebody is going to show up with a disease from africa? so some of this, to some extent, i think is going to happen no matter how well run an operation is. >> but if you look at the progression of this, you know the phrase rolling disclosure. it always gets politicians in trouble. i'll tell you when i want to tell you, not when i know. here we have the president saying it was unlikely it would ever get here. then we're told nobody would catch it from anybody. it's very hard to catch. two people caught it. then we were told, nobody would be allowed to travel.
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then we found this woman going from dallas to cleveland and back again, after she told the cdc she had the symptoms, and the wall keeps falling. the walls keep falling. how can we keep confidence if they do? >> well, that's a good point. you just laid out the rolling train wreck that the handling of this has been. everywhere from the hospital to some extent the administration. when you have that applied to this disease, it is just horrid. it's incredibly painful and incredibly infectious, it stokes a lot of public fears and undercuts the confidence we need in institutions. and we're in a political season -- >> what are you hearing in vermont? vermont is a progressive state, especially with the flat landers. how are they reacting to this? they're sophisticated people in vermont. what are they saying about there? >> they're concerned about it. there's two things. number one, there's just this enormous concern about and all the publicity about ebola and could it happen.
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when you saw that it did happen in texas, which then it could happen anywhere, including vermont. secondly, people are concerned that we're going to handle it well. they want an answer. that is spoke to some extent by all the public discussion and the politicians' debate. the easiest thing to call for is a ban, but that's not necessarily what's going to provide the greatest protection to the public. so there's concern there, as there is any time there is that much publicity about something. >> the president signed an executive order that authorizes military reservists to support humanitarian efforts to combat ebola in west africa. our pentagon team says this initial deployment would include eight guard and reserve engineers, eight people, and logistic specialists. their task, to help build 17 treatment centers housing 100 patients each. the initial deployment of eight is a small be in, but it's open-ended to send more as needed. the president is taking what we
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used to call ne-yo con position. fight them there or here. he's saying, unless we fight it there, we'll have it here. >> i think the president is right, if that's the assumption on the table. you have to go where the problem is. >> what happens if our guys get it? >> hopefully we have the protocols in place to deal with that. you laid it out. the timetable from the president saying the likelihood of it coming here, to where we are today is why people are asking, why don't we just cut down the border traffic, so we can control it that way? and what are the protocols put in place for the military going there? >> congressman, my sense is the least effective thing to say today is keep calm. people don't want to hear that. they want to hear what the news is. that's what they go by. >> that's exactly right.
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they want very specific things. the one thing that dr. frieden said that made some sense is that if the hospital has a patient with ebola symptoms show up, put that person in isolation. call cdc, walk through it with them. number three, cdc will come. that was in response to a question from corey gardner. what would i tell my hospital in the event somebody appeared with these types of symptoms. so i think getting specific with the plan makes sense. i also agree with michael. our military is particularly suited to these incredible challenges and you do have to stop it at its source. it's not humanitarian. it's really self-defense. >> the people watching this, winston churchill, who always told the people the bad news first. he laid it out to the people, that's why they trusted him. even rudy guiliani during 9/11 and the anthrax scare, he gave the information as he was getting it, boy was that
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powerful stuff. that's why he's still a good rep. thank you for asking the right questions today in the hearing. thank you, michael steele. coming up, fear and loathing on the campaign trail. republicans are playing up the ebola scare in campaigns. it's topic a everywhere. may be working, but it's not going to help the incumbents. and later, the most bizarre beginning to a political debate perhaps ever. the issue, a fan. not a human fan, an electronic fan. the thing that blows the wind. this is "hardball," the place for politics. protecting my future. thank you for being my hero and my dad. military families are uniquely thankful for many things, the legacy of usaa auto insurance could be one of them. if you're a current or former military member or their family,
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fan there to cool him off. anyway, the governor finally came out, but his supporters are worried about the damage has already been done. this is weird. charlie crist will join us tonight in just a few minutes on "hardball." priority boardin g is really important to us. you can just get on the plane and relax. i love to travel, no foreign transaction fees means real savings. we can go to any country and spend money the way we would in the us. when i spend money on this card i can see brazil in my future. i use the explorer card to earn miles in order to go visit my family which means a lot to me. ♪
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or save you money we'll give you $150. comcast business. built for business. welcome back to "hardball." now more on the tonight's big story, the pandemic of fear in this country over ebola. right now the mantra is think ebola. last night that fear drove the conversation and debates in kansas and colorado. let's watch. >> senator roberts has come back and has made some very strong statements about ebola, when he's back in kansas. but it just came out the other day that when he was in washington last month, he skipped a hearing on the ebola virus. >> this is a difference between congressman gardner and me. he's voted to cut cdc spending of almost $770 million. we're not going to beat ebola by cutting back the cdc and our public health systems. >> this is the most followed
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news stories of the obama presidency. we just found out today. and we're just 19 days from the november elections. i want to go to joan first on this. you never know what's going to happen in october. >> right. >> and this is a national event which normally we could consider in a real country that doesn't fight about everything, we'd all be looking for the right program, the protocol -- a word i've come to hate, and breach, which is even worse. we'd all agree to figure out this thing which is brand new, and it is isolated. >> absolutely. >> already, donald trump who speaks for a certain point of view in this country, which is in the necessarily nice, did you definitely hard-nosed. keep them out. keep them all out from west africa. you might have thought that extreme, but one republican after the other is joining it. now 2/3 of the american people say slam the door on west africa and we'll be safer.
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your thoughts? because the democrats aren't going along with it? >> no. and it's great they're not going along with it, because it's the wrong thing to do. we know that. it's a scary disease, and there are questions to be asked on both sides. i'm not going to argue that politics should be kept out of this. that's unrealistic. however, the level at which people are fear mongering on this is really all about getting out the republican base. the american people are nervous for sure, but the latest nbc poll shows that most people trust that the government knows how to handle this. there was two exceptions. the tea party voters say they don't trust the government. and rural voters. so it's really the republican base that is ready for this volatile mix of politics and obama hatred. and the usual suspects are out there putting it out. >> you know, right behind you is this beautiful picture of a man-made wonder, which is the golden gate bridge. i've always said it's the one
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time man's improved on nature. it is really beautiful. but if you knew there was a lot of disease at the other side of that bridge, and somebody said, keep the bridge open, wouldn't you think that odd? just going back to gut thinking. you don't think it's a gut reaction by the people to say no more people from west africa because they brought it here in the first place? >> i thought you were going to say something really different about the golden gate bridge, which is something that we did back when we used to do big things. and this is another big thing that we need to do. you're a peace corps person. we shouldn't be nation building in iraq and syria, but we should be public health building in liberia and sierra leone and guinea. this is something we can do. a travel ban is so silly. we cannot seal their borders. so then you're having people lying about their health, leaving those countries and getting in here somehow anyway. so the point is be calm, it's hard to tell people to be calm,
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but for the people in control to be calm and do what they need to do and not to fear monger. i know that people feel, would i go over to the other side if i thought there was ebola? i hope i would want sick people if they needed treatment in san francisco to come here. but it's a natural human response to fear, i know that -- >> it's called a leprechaun mentality. why are so many americans speaking like donald trump on this thing? >> it's not only good politics, but it will restore from calm with people. boehner has it exactly right. have a temporary travel ban so we can sort this out. the administration hasn't appeared very competent in this whole thing. all the explanations that proved not to be true. this is a problem for the administration. the best thing they could do is have a temporary travel ban, let them sort it out, come up with procedures that everyone can understand, and get the cdc
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working in a way that inspires confidence. there's no confidence in this country, and that's why people are worried and they're right to be worried. >> how do you do a travel ban? you say, you can't come out of those countries to come to our countries. you can't go through belgium, london or paris. you just can't come here. so you got to shut off all the traffic. but can you really stop them if -- most people go through europe from africa to get here. how do you stop it? >> you need passports, right? there might be some people trying to sneak through -- [ all speak at once ] >> what about our doctors? >> sort out the procedures. i think it's reasonable to do it. and most americans think it's reasonable to do it. the third countries in africa think it's reasonable to do it. they're saying let's not have folks come over here with this disease, this virus. let's find a way to handle this. and i think that's what the american people are, that's why republicans are saying, let's do this. >> here's a question for both of
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you. republicans have been also latched on the issue the government competence. mitt romney in new hampshire. he's running for something. he's supposedly campaigning for scott brown, but i think he's back running for president. here he is. >> look, this administration couldn't run the irs right and apparently, not the cdc right. you ask yourself, what is it going to take to have a president who really focuses on the american people? >> when we have elections. anyway, this is what rand paul said a few weeks ago about this thing. >> it is absolutely a mistake to take political correctness and say they know with certainty it's not going to spread and as a consequence so play down fears that we don't take precautions. so, yeah, i think it's a huge mistake and this is a guy that fed us obamacare, so he's not high on my list of people to listen to. >> so they're stacking up the tuna cans again. put irs in there and everything
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else. this is just another can in the stack, ebola. >> for rand paul to say that it's political correctness, again, you can have a debate about whether the president has done enough, or whether the cdc has done enough. you can even have a debate about competence, but to get that point in there, and other people are doing it blatantly, that it's political correctness to keep him from doing more, it's his african sympathies, it's his african heritage. >> i don't think they're saying that. i think that's ridiculous. i think the fact of the matter is, the obama administration doesn't have a lot of credibility. you think about the rollout of obamacare, which was a complete disaster. >> obamacare is now doing very well -- [ all speak at once ] >> -- raising premiums 20, 30%. >> that's not true. >> just stick to this issue. >> i want you to back up one thing. who is out there saying it's his african roots showing?
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>> i was just listening to alex wagner, some talk show host, i'm sorry i don't have the name right now. >> listen, i think they have that insynoduation. this president doesn't have the credibility and i think that's why people will vote against it in the polls. it's confusing the whole culture. >> just to clarify this, i will be arbiter here. the right dan esh d souza, newt gingrich have pushed the issue saying obama is influenced by some kenyan, anti-colonial experience. that's what's used against obama in response. that he's somehow an african. >> if not a muslim. >> anyway, thank you. and by the way, what's his name? count on donald trump to lead the way on this.
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up next, the incredible scene from last night's governors' debate. rick scott refused to even come out on the debate floor or show up because charlie crist had an electric fan under his lectern. this is "hardball," the place for politics. the green lights y? no. it's called grid iq. the 4:51 is leaving at 4:51. ♪ they cut the power. it'll fix itself. power's back on. quick thinking traffic lights and self correcting power grids make the world predictable. thrillingly predictable. and for many, it's a struggle to keep your a1c down. so imagine, what if there was a new class of medicine that works differently to lower blood sugar?
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i got it. now jump off the bridge. what? in 3...2...1... are you kidding me? go. right on time. right now, over 20,000 trains are running reliably. we call that predictable. thrillingly predictable. the governors debate in florida got off to a late start after republican governor rick scott refused to even appear on the stage. he wouldn't even walk out, all because his opponent, charlie crist, had a small fan behind his lectern. crist was on the stage alone for seven minutes before scott finally relented and came out and began the debate. here's how that bizarre scene played out last night. >> ladies and gentlemen, we have
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an extremely peculiar situation right now. we have governor charlie crist. [ cheers and applause ] >> we have been told that governor scott will not be participating in this debate. governor crist has asked to have a fan, a small fan placed underneath his podium. the rules of the debate that i was shown by the scott campaign say that there should be no fan. somehow there is a fan there and for that reason, i am being told that governor scott will not join us for this debate. >> frank, have you ever seen anything like this? >> no, i haven't. this is remarkable over a trivial issue no matter which side you believe you're on.
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[ cheers and applause ] >> that has to be the most unique beginning to any debate. >> i don't think we'll forget. >> not only in florida, but i think anywhere in the country. >> now, from florida, the man with the tan, a fan, and a plan. florida's democratic candidate for governor, charlie crist. were you aware he was going to pull that stunt? i i guess it's to avoid sweating on camera. they knew about it. why do you think he pulled this stunt right before an election? >> i don't know. if my wildest imagination, chris, i can't tell you why. it defies logic to me. and whenever there's something that i'm asked about that is illogical in my mind, it's really hard for me to explain it. i can't explain it. >> the latest polling down there, i'm sure you must go to bed at night with this, has you tied, 44-44. now your campaign is using this incident to make up fund raising points. and your fan has become famous
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on the web. take a look at this. with your supporters today, i am a fan of charlie crist. [ laughter ] is this making lemonade out of lemons? it seems like you've made an issue out of this guy's weirdo number on you. >> yeah, it's really strange. this is really kind of a trivial issue. what's really important are issues like education, ethics, the environment, the economy, you know, the kind of things that floridians are concerned about, that i'm concerned about going forward. to make sure that our teachers are appropriately paid, that we care for our environment, have an economy that's good for the middle class, those are issues that are meaningful to all of us. >> let me ask you this, who did you vote for for president in 2008 and 2012? >> in 2008, i voted for john mccain. as you know, i was almost his
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running mate. in 2012, i voted for barack obama. campaigned hard for him, as a matter of fact. >> why did you change your mind? >> the direction of my former party. i mean, jeb bush said it better than anybody. today's leadership in the republican party is -- appears to be anti-women, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-education, anti-environment. it's pretty clear. >> is the party not just looked at that way, is it that way? is it anti-minority? i looked at the party's reaction to the ebola issue. they're saying slam the door shut. the democrats are thinking, is that going to work? is that something we should be doing? a little more thoughtful on the dems' side, i think. >> yeah, i think so too. it's a shame to see it. and what it has become. i want to be careful here because my mom and dad are still republicans. there's a lot of good republicans across the country. but the leadership of the party, i mean, just look at the house
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of representatives in washington. they can't get anything done. they won't agree to do anything. they can't reach across the aisle. it's sad to see. >> they can't even agree on a fan. here's what you and the governor had to say when the moterator asked you both about that fan. this is how trivial it's got, i agree with you, governor. let's watch it. >> why did you insist on bringing a fan here when your campaign knew this would be a contentious issue? [ cheers and applause ] >> why not? is there anything wrong with being comfortable? i don't think there is. >> and governor scott, why the delay in coming out over a fan? >> i waited until we figured out if he was going to show up. he said he wasn't going to come to the -- he said he wasn't going to come to the debate. so i came out until he's ready. >> what an articulate man. anyway, charlie crist, that was a clown act by him. much more on the fan and what it
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means for the race in florida. that's going to be with your round table. plus hillary clinton hits the campaign trail in kentucky with a preview of coming attractions, i think. and alison lundergan grimes still won't say whether she voted for obama. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. after meeting with his team the president has made this statement in the oval office. >> mr. duncan, when he was in dallas, it is typical of what nurses do each and every day, caring for us. and one has now been transferred to nih, national institute of health facilities, the other has now been transferred to emory university. they are getting the best possible care. our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families and we're continuing to monitor their conditions. number two, the second nurse to be diagnosed, as all of you are
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aware, traveled from dallas to cleveland and back. as a consequence, it's very important for us to make sure that we are monitoring and tracking anyone who was in close proximity to this second nurse, to make sure that their temperatures are being taken and we know that they are receiving the kind of attention that they need to ensure there's not additional spread of the disease. i spoke to governor kasich in ohio today who is on top of it. we've deployed cdc personnel there to make sure they're getting all the support they need. and we'll continue to work, both with them, as well as the airlines, getting the manifests and assuring that we are keeping
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track of anybody who was in close proximity to the second nurse. number three, we remain focused on the situation at texas presbyterian in dallas. as i've said before, when we have tight protocols with respect to the treatment of patients, then our health care workers are safe. but because of these two incidents, we know now that there may have been problems in terms of how protective gear was worn or removed, or some of the additional treatment procedures may have impacted potential exposure. we don't know yet exactly what happened. but in the meantime, we have a number of health care workers at texas presbyterian who did provide care to mr. duncan, and we are instituting a constant monitoring process with them,
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giving them the information that they need, in order to keep themselves and their families as safe as possible, as the period in which they potentially could get the disease, you know, remains in place. and i also spoke to governor perry today about making sure that dallas and the state of texas had the resources that it needed in order to respond effectively if national workers at texas presbyterian are determined, in fact, to have been exposed and have contracted ebola. and governor perry, as well as mayor rollings in dallas obviously have been extraordinarily cooperative, working with the cdc, working with health and human services. they have legitimate concerns in terms of making sure that the federal government is surging the kinds of resources that they need in order to handle any eventuality there, to make sure
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that folks not just at texas presbyterian, but potentially at other health care facilities, have the training and the equipment that they need. so we're going to be working very closely with them over the course of the next several days and weeks, in order to assure that they have exactly what they need to get the job done. throughout this process, i've been focused on making sure that we are dealing with this problem at the source. the most important thing, in addition to treating and monitoring anybody who even has a hint of potential exposure here in this country, the most important thing that i can do for keeping the american people safe is for us to be able to deal with ebola at the source, where you have a huge outbreak in west africa. and the united states is obviously leading the way in terms of providing resources, equipment, and mobilizing the
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world's community. so over the last several days, i continue to call other world leaders to get them to up their pledges of equipment, of personnel, logistical capabilities, to make sure that we're getting all workers on the ground there. we've seen some progress in liberia, sierra leone, and guinea. but we haven't seen enough. we've got more work to do. and the good news is, is that increasingly when i talk to these world leaders, what you're seeing is a recognition that the sooner we control this outbreak at the source in west africa, the less our people are going to be at risk. and i think more and more of them are stepping up, although it's, i think, taking a little longer than it should. and that's something that all of us should recognize. one issue that i want to address, because i know it's been a topic consistently in the news, is the issue of a travel
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ban. i know that you've heard from some public health experts about this, but i want to make sure that everybody's clear about the issue. i don't have a philosophical objection necessarily to a travel ban, if that is the thing that is going to keep the american people safe. the problem is, in all the discussions i've had thus far, with experts in the field, experts in infectious disease, is that a travel ban is less effective than the measures that we are currently instituting, that involve screening passengers who are coming from west africa. first of all, screening them before they get on the plane there, to see whether they're showing signs of the disease, and screening them again when they get here, taking their temperature, and now what the cdc is doing is gathering all their information, assuming that they're not showing any signs of illness. because if they are showing
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signs of illness, obviously we want to make sure they're directed to a well equipped and well prepared facility. but if they're not showing any signs, we still want to have their information, where they live, where they're staying, multiple contact information, that not only the federal government keeps, but that will also be forwarded to the state where they reside. if we institute a travel ban instead of the protocols that we've put in place now, history shows that there's a likelihood of increased avoidance. people do not readily disclose their information. they may engage some something called broken travel, essentially breaking up their trips so they can hide the fact that they have been to one of these countries where there's a disease in place. as a result, we may end up getting less information about who has the disease. they're less likely to get
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streeted properly, screened properly, quarantined properly. as a consequence, we could end up having more cases rather than less. now, i continue to push and ask our experts whether, in fact, we are doing what's adequate in order to protect the american people. if they come back to me and they say there's some additional things we need to do, i assure you, we will do it. but it's important in these circumstances, for us to look at the history of how these infectious diseases are best dealt with. and it's currently the judgment of all those involved that a flat-out travel ban is not the best way to go. but we will continue to monitor this. i'm asking these questions, and if in fact, it turns out that i'm getting different answers, i will share that with the american people and we will not hesitate to do what's necessary, in order to maximize the chances that we avoid an outbreak here in the united states.
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which means me to my last point. i understand that people are worried. this is a disease that is new to our shores, although it is something that has crapped up periodically in other countries. because of the virulence of the disease and the way it's transmitted and the symptoms that occur, i understand that people are scared. but what i want to emphasize once again, right now, we have one individual who came in with the disease. we have two nurses who have been diagnosed with the disease as a consequences in some fashion of being exposed during treatment. what remains true, it's not an airborne disease, it's not easy to catch. you can only catch it by being
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in contact with an individual with the disease, who is shows symptoms of the disease. so it's important for all of us to keep perspective in terms of how we handle this. we are taking this very seriously, at the highest levels, starting with me, and my entire team has been essentially deputized to work with health and human services and cdc. and that includes, by the way, the department of defense, and our national security teams. we understand why it's important for us to provide assurances to the public, that folks are taking this very seriously, and they are. and obviously, because of the two nurses getting sick, that has made people that much more concerned. so all that's understood. but i do want everybody to understand, it remains a very
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difficult disease to catch, and if we continue to take the steps that we need to, then this will be contained. and the main thing that everybody needs to focus on is that the risks involved remain relatively low, extremely low for ordinary folks. the biggest thing we need to do is make sure that health workers have more confidence. because they are on the front lines. and we're entering into flu season, which means there are a lot of people who may be coming in with symptoms, and there may be false alarms and concerns. so we'll spend a lot of time working with our public health workers to make sure they feel safe and adequately protected. >> but i want to assure the american people, we're taking this seriously. but this is something that's really hard to catch. and if we do what we need to do,
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and we stay focused, then this is going to be something that is contained here. the work that we have to do overseas is going to be a lot tougher because frankly they don't have a public health infrastructure. they're not well organized. they're poor countries, and the epidemic is already raging there. so that's going to take several months for us to be able to start seeing the kinds of progress that we need to see. but in the meantime, i want everybody to know that everybody here's on the case. all right? thank you very much, everybody. thank you. i will answer this one question about an ebola czar. the truth is that up until this point, the individuals here have been running point and doing an outstanding job in dealing with what is a very complicated and
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fluid situation. those of you who don't know, lisa monaco who does a lot of my counterterrorism work, as well as national security work, has been working with our secretary of health and human services and tom frieden at the cdc. it may be appropriate for me to appoint an additional person, not because the three of these folks have not been doing an outstanding job, and i should mention susan rice, my national security adviser. it's not that they haven't been doing an outstanding job, working hard on this issue, but they're also spokesman for a whole bunch of other stuff. lisa is also dealing, as susan is, with isil. and we're going into flu season, which means, by the way, people should be looking to get their flu shots. we know that every year, tens of thousands of people potentially die of the flu and 100,000 or more go into the emergency room, hospitalized, because of the
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flu. so that's something also that tom is responsible for. so it may make sense for us to have one person, in part just so that after this initial surge of activity, we can have a more regular process, just to make sure that we're crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's going forward. okay? [ inaudible question ] >> if i appoint somebody, i'll let you know. all right, thank you so much, everybody. thank you, guys. appreciate it. >> have a good evening. >> thank you. >> that was president obama just moments ago from the oval office after meeting with his ebola response team. kristen welker is with us, also with us ryan grimm. kristen, what was the answer? do you sense he's going to pick a czar? >> that was my sense. and that was the headline that came out of the meeting tonight, president obama saying it may be appropriate for him to pick one
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person to be in charge of all of this. i thought it was striking, because this is the first time that we've heard that message coming out of the white house. we've been asking press secretary josh ernest if there needs to be a point person specifically in charge. but a very different message from president obama tonight. he said it may be appropriate to pick one person to make sure that all of the is are being dotted and the ts are being crossed. you heard him say all of these people who are here do have other, major things that they're working on, like combatting isis. we are also heading into the flu season. that is something that cdc director will be very busy working on. tonight, president obama certainly indicating that he is seriously committing appointing an ebola czar, if you want to use that term. chris, i asked him, who he was thinking about appointing and you heard him at the very end saying when i decide to make that appointment, i'll let you know.
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chris? >> it looks like he's heading in that direction. stay with us, christin. what do you think the purpose of that briefing was? >> i think he kind of wants to turn the temperature down. he wants to depoliticize it. the last thing you want is for our broken political system to get in the way. i think he wanted to say, look, i'm on top of this. and he made two concessions. the ebola czar was the one. he also said, look, i'm not philosophically opposed to a travel ban. he's saying, look, if the cdc comes back to me and they've re-evaluated the situation, he's willing to implement one. he's trying to take it out of the of the political round here. >> it certainly wasn't a hawall against the travel ban. >> no, he said i don't have a philosophical objection to it. he basically indicated he is in the process of re-evalwaiting how they are handling this.
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he n he knows that mistakes have been made and that essentially, this needs to be stopped here. so certainly, he made the point that if his experts, he says he's been coordinating with them, if they recommend that a travel ban is the right path forward, he would be open to that. but he said that all of the evidence that he's been getting so far, all of the input has indicated that that's not the right path forward. that, in fact, it could make things worse. his argument tonight was that you would have people withholding information about where they have been which could actually slow down the efforts to try to fight ebola. but i do think that was another headline here tonight. he's trying to depoliticize this and trying to reassure americans. because chris, you and i have been talking about the fact that he has cancelled a second day of campaign events. highly unusual for that president to do. >> i want to starpt with you on
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this, ryan, and then go to christin. i think he is trying to do even more tonight. i understand the american people are scared. one of the knocks on this president is that he's aloof. here he was showing true, it seems to me, i'm not a cynic, true sympathy for the american people's worries. that if he weren't in public life, he'd be worried about it. it was almost nice the way he did this thing tonight. >> right. it wasn't a staged event where he walked out to a lectern, delivered some e veblts and walked back. it was like this is what i just heard from the experts and i'm going to tell you immediately so that you all have as much information as i do. >> that's what was done during t 9/1 1. i really thought it was a fire side chat from the f.d.r. days.
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i've got some points i want to share with you. here they are right away. i'm not hiding anything. >> i think that's absolutely right, chris. i think it's a shift that we've been starting to see the past couple months from this president and from this administration. they've been making a real attempt to make him more accessible not only to the press but to the american people. certainly, when you have a situation like this, it is the perfect opening and opportunity for him as you point out to be candid. talk about and acknowledge the fact that people are concerned and to make the point that he's holding on going meetings to try to address the issue. i'll make one more point, chris, there have been a lot of discussions. how would he address the american people. and he chose to do it in that formalt. i do think it was cig nif kantd. >> so much of a point of connecting to the people. here's the story. here's the scoop. here's the skipny. i'm telling you what i know. i don't know all the things, bud i know this and i'm telling you that. people have been dying for that in the whole politics of this country.
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they want truth as aget it. thank you for coming in here from the huffington post. just a few minutes ago, we saw the texas nurse dana fomm who was infekted boarding a plane. here she is again. she's on the way to bethesda maryland, that's a big place for this kind of thing for her further treatment. we'll be right back. i use shorthand to talk to them and tell them what i need... and when i need to talk directly to my fans... but the most meaningful shorthand of all is the one i use when i'm about to drive: "#x." it's an easy way to tell everyone that i'm about to drive. and i do it every time before i get behind the wheel. use #x to pause the conversation before you drive. because no text is worth a life i lochecked with my united mileageplus explorer card. i have saved $75 in checked bag fees. priority boarding is really important to us. you can just get on the plane and relax.
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let me finish tonight with this wild stuff that happens in
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campaigns at the 1 1th hour. things happen. the calendar doesn't stop flipping just because a certain percentage of the people haven't decided who to vote for. events don't cease to occur because the deadline for deciding is coming on strong. but here we are with election campaigns so close in their appeal or lack of appeal, that the littlest episode is able to throw the whole thing in one direction. this says less about the importance of the episode than it does about the razor sharp polls today. so in kentucky, refusing to say who she voted for for president would at least carry some sway. or a candidate in florida likes to have a fan cooling him that that, too, could turn into a topic of debate. what's really going to be turning to minds of voters is this emerging effect of ebola. it's real. it's lethal and it's here. remember that little political slogan all politics is local?
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first we were told ebola is unlikely to come here to the united states and it's here. and then we were told that the people exposed to ebola would be kept out of circulation. and now we've been told that even after a confers with the cdc, a victim has been flying up and down the country. someone called this the october surprise. well at the rate ebola surprises are m coing, it ee's going to b november game changer. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in," with chris hayes starts right now. >> tonight on "all in." >> travel restrictions or bans. >> i recommended a quarantine in the infected region. >> ebola hearing as republicans line up to call for a travel ban, some are accusing the government of hiding the truth about the disease. then, bill o reilyeillyeilyd joan stuart go head-to-head.


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