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America Under Attack: Searching for Survivors

Aired September 12, 2001 - 15:12   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: You know, the rescue efforts, of course, are still under way in New York.

BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Mayor Rudy Giuliani still briefing reporters there. We'll go back now with the audio connection now established.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: ... confidence in yourself and in the city. We'd also urge people not to, in any way, take any action on their own.

We've had a few, not many -- but we've had a few incidents that appeared to have been directed against people because they may be regarded as Arab or Asian or Indian or whatever. The police department has a few reports like that. I emphasize not many, and there were -- there was only one situation of anybody trying to steal anything last night. So we haven't had looting, which we're going to, certainly, do everything we can to stop.

But nobody should attack anyone else for racial, religious, ethnic reasons or any other reasons. That's what we are dealing with right now. We're dealing with the insane, sick hatred of people for another group of people because they fit into some kind of group mentality. It would be really horrible if New York has practiced any form of that. So the police department will be in those parts of the city and give the ultimate protection that we can give to people who may be -- may be in that situation.

One other thing, the generosity of people is really enormous. We have thousands of volunteers. We have people volunteering to give blood. They're lined up on the street in the front of Bellevue Hospital and all over the rest of the city. Also, some of -- some of our corporate citizens have already made major donations for the benefit of the families of the police officers, the firefighters, the EMS workers, who will turn out to have lost their lives in this situation.

GE -- the CEO of GE, Jeff Immelt, told us that he is going to donate $10 million to a fund for the families of the -- of the police, fire, and other emergency workers that tragically turned out to have lost their lives in this situation. The Cisco Corporation has also offered a donation of $4 million for similar purposes. And we will organize a -- we'll organize a charitable organization that can be accountable and can make sure that all of this money gets in the hands that it's intended to get to, meaning to the children and the families that turn out to be the, the most direct victims of this -- of this tragedy.

And again, I thank GE and I thank Cisco, and all the others who have come forward in their own way and helped us -- Governor?

GOV. GEORGE PATAKI (R), NEW YORK: Mayor, thank you. Let me join with you in thanking Governor DiFrancesco for being here and for the extraordinary help we've gotten from New Jersey and the corporation we've had with the Port Authority. It's been just tremendous and we appreciate that help.

And the mayor referred to as us coming out of a one-hour briefing but it's really not a briefing, it's a work session. And it's a work session where decisions are made and steps taken to try to alleviate the suffering and do everything we can for those who might still be alive.

And I want to commend the mayor for his leadership and for the leadership of his team in these meetings because it is extraordinary how well everyone works together and how serious everyone is in putting one agenda first and foremost and exclusively, and that is the interest of the people of the New York State. So Mayor, to you and your team. You deserve enormous credit for that leadership.

It's not just the leadership; it's also individual heroes who are out there. And just this afternoon, I was at Bellevue, visiting a fallen firefighter who had been hospitalized. And I went up and congratulated him and he got this smile on his face. And he looked at me and it was like a line out of a movie. And he said, in this thick accent, "What did you expect? I'm a New Yorker."

That's the spirit that is allowing us to get through this tragedy. And it's also the heart because, right after that, he got tears in his eyes and talked about his partner in the fire department who was missing who had 10 kids. And I told him we would stand with him. We would stand with his partner, the city, the state, the country, to make sure that their heroism was recognized and protected.

We have to, in honor of them, get back to business, make sure the states and city and country runs and that people go about their lives. And to that end, tomorrow afternoon, we are going to be holding a special extraordinary joint session of the state legislature in the state capital where we'll be having remarks and a memorial for those, who -- a moment of silence, for those who have lost their lives and the legislature will be passing a bipartisan legislation condemning this terrorist act and commending the tremendous heroism of those who have responded as they have.

And I want to thank Senator Majority Leader Joe Bruno and Speaker Shelly Silver for coming together in a bipartisan way to send the message to the people of New York and to those terrorists that we're not going to be stopped. Also, to help to get back to business as usual, beginning tomorrow, our Empire State Development Corporation will be making available on the 32nd floor of our office at 633 33rd Avenue, all state agencies and authorities in one place, where companies, businesses, industries that need emergency economic assistance can come and find out what assistance is available so that we can provide, look to provide, whether it's office space or help with power or lighting, that type of support.

This is an incident that was going to remain in our minds throughout our lives. But it's an incident that we can overcome, put behind us, and more forward in protecting our freedom and the future of our city, state, and country. We are going to do that.

Mayor, again, thank you for your leadership.

GIULIANI: Thank you, governor.

PATAKI: Thank you.

GOV. DONALD DIFRANCESCO, NEW JERSEY: Governor, if I could and there are a couple of reasons why...

PATAKI: Thank you very much.

DIFRANCESCO: ... I was able to -- why I wanted to be here was first of all to, to tell the both of you that you have exercised great leadership during this very difficult time. I expressed my sorrow for the many, many people that we've lost but also our support. Really, we're here to tell you that we support you in any way possible. We don't want to be in your way, but we want to bring support, ranging from the state police to the National Guard or to the volunteers and many thousands of people that want to do something to help New Yorkers who have done just a fabulous job here.

Your city and state workers, your fire department, your police personnel, your emergency management people, your emergency medical services people have all, based on what we have seen, done an outstanding job. We were prepared to handle many, many people who were injured and we still are. But New York -- the New York people have just done a fabulous job in dealing with that issue. And I have congratulated everybody but I do express my tremendous sympathies on behalf of the state to all of you for the losses that have you incurred. And thank you very much for having me.

PATAKI: Thank you, Governor.

DIFRANCESCO: Thank you.

GIULIANI: Thank you, Governor.

DIFRANCESCO: Mr. Speaker?

GIULIANI: Thank you so much for your help and your support.

DIFRANCESCO: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Thank you, Governor. SHELLY SILVER, SPEAKER: I just want to say on behalf of all of the council members and really the people of the city that during our terrible, terrible time of crisis, I can't think of the better leadership that we have had and probably the finest hour that I've ever seen with Mayor Giuliani and with the Governor standing next to me.

You know, it's during a time of crisis you know who your friends are. It's during a time of crisis you know the people that really are able to help. This is like being in a foxhole together.

They have responded to the greatest horror in my life and probably all Americans lives. I can't imagine anything worse and I can't imagine anything finer than to see how New Yorkers have risen up through this challenge. And I guarantee everyone, that New York will rise from the ashes, be much better than it was ever before, and that those responsible for this are going to realize they picked on the wrong city.

GIULIANI: I also want to thank Congressman Nadler for joining us and for his support and for his help. And as I said, we'll be counting on him and the members of the delegation for the help and support we're going to need in the future. Thank you very much, Congressman.

QUESTION: Commissioner Kerik, can you talk to me a bit about the incidents that have happened (OFF-MIKE)?

BERNARD KERIK, NEW YORK POLICE COMMISSIONER: Really, this -- I'm extremely happy. There has really not been much of anything. There was one looting -- attempted looting event last night. Someone was arrested, I understand. And there were some people that were called names or harassed, no arrests were made. And that's about it.

Policing in the rest of the city is going on as normal. There is no increased activity in the boroughs. There's no other problems downtown with the exception of getting people through the -- through the area downtown. But the mayor and I were there, I don't know, about midnight last night or about 1:00 in the morning perhaps, and there were -- you know, there was a lot of activity going on. We were back out there an hour-and-a-half ago, two hours ago, and it's a completely different area. They removed an enormous amount of equipment out of the way. They removed an enormous amount of the debris. And the people are really getting in there now and starting to do their jobs. So everything's going as well as could be expected.

QUESTION: Sir, are you able to respond in the boroughs as quickly as you would to most emergency situations now that you have the personnel here and the numbers that are down (UNINTELLIGIBLE), at this point?

KERIK: Yeah, we have -- we have adequate coverage in the boroughs. In fact, we've -- really haven't -- it hasn't affected the borough coverage at all. We've gone to 12-hour shifts, but we haven't decreased the size of the manpower in the boroughs.

QUESTION: Commissioner, will you be alleviating...

QUESTION: ... the alert that's been out in the streets so that people can drive into Manhattan and people can drive into...

KERIK: Not at this time. The mayor and I will talk about that later and it may be adjusted but as of this time, it's going to remain the same.

QUESTION: Mr. Mayor, the Chairman and the FCC has asked for the markets to open tomorrow. Is the city...

GIULIANI: The city -- I spoke to -- I spoke to Dick Russell earlier. The Governor also spoke to Dick. And I told him that we would do everything that we could to help them open, including providing police escorts, providing whatever security is necessary and doing whatever cleanup is necessary to make sure that they can open -- they can open the stock exchange tomorrow.

It's really -- it's going to be difficult, but I believe we can do it, and I believe it would be a good thing to do, a really good thing to do it.

(CROSSTALK)

GIULIANI: There is electricity and there is telephone service.

QUESTION: Downtown now?

GIULIANI: No, for the stock exchange.

QUESTION: Oh, I see.

GIULIANI: The stock exchange has its own source so there would be -- there would be enough power for them to operate and there's, also telephone service to the -- to the stock exchange.

The major issue is access, getting people there, since -- however, we opened things up, that area is still going to be an area tomorrow in which we're going to be doing a lot of relief work. So we're working out a plan with them to try to provide access for their people so they can get a sufficient number of people to open. And we are hopeful that it can be done.

QUESTION: How many agents that have their headquarters down there? And how comparative -- how (UNINTELLIGIBLE) hospitals and health care centers...

GIULIANI: We're...

QUESTION: ... transportation and...

GIULIANI: ... we're setting up temporary facilities for them. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) found one large office area in lower Manhattan but out of that site. And then we have temporary trailers in which some of them are operating, that we use sometimes in emergencies. So they're -- they should be all, if not fully operational pretty close to fully operational tomorrow.

QUESTION: Can you talk about the cleanup? Where the debris is being taken? And is it being kept in part of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...

GIULIANI: The debris is being taken to Freshkills where, under the supervision of the police and the FBI, will separate debris that's pure debris from items that are evidence of a crime that the FBI and the police will need. And in addition, I should emphasize that, you know, there's a very special focus of trying to find the black boxes, the four of them, the two instrument and the two voice boxes that could tell us so much about what happened.

QUESTION: Mr. Mayor...

(CROSSTALK)

HEMMER: Quite a bit of civic variety coming out in the leaders there. Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Governor George Pataki in New York as we have seen so many times in these briefings thus far and taking pride in the city of New York.

A bit of news coming out of there, one case looting thus far, some verbal harassment. Other than that, it appears throughout the various boroughs of New York City, things are quite normal. And again, as we have reported throughout the day, the stock exchange, on schedule, to reopen tomorrow with trading, full electricity and telephones available there.

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