CNN CNN


 

Return to Transcripts main page

NEW DAY SATURDAY

First American Ebola Patient Headed to U.S.; Fate of Israel Soldier Unknown; Obama Defends Kerry's Truce Efforts; Children in Gaza, Israel Live in Fear

Aired August 2, 2014 - 07:00   ET

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


(MUSIC)

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: OK. Grab your breakfast, take a nice, deep breath, because you've made it to the weekend. I'm Christi Paul.

MARQUEZ: Is it the weekend? Fantastic.

I'm Miguel Marquez, in for Victor Blackwell. I hope, he's on vacation. It is 7:00. This is NEW DAY SATURDAY.

PAUL: And we want to start with you now with these new concerns about the deadly Ebola virus. The first of two Americans infected with Ebola is expected to arrive in the U.S. at some point tonight.

MARQUEZ: Pretty darn concerning. It will be the first time ever a patient with Ebola will be treated in the States. Aide worker Nancy Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly contracted Ebola while working with a Christian group in West Africa.

PAUL: Yes, it's not clear who's backing first. But both patients are expecting to be treated at Atlanta hospital, or Emory Hospital, I should say, here in Atlanta.

MARQUEZ: Which is causing some concern, I'm sure here locally.

The World Health Organization says Ebola is spreading faster than its ever to contain it.

PAUL: I want to bring in CNN's Nick Valencia. He's outside Emory Hospital right now.

So, Nick, tell me, do we know who made the call to bring these two Americans back to the States, and why Emory was chosen?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Christi and Miguel.

According to the CDC director, this was a decision made by the organization that was working in West Africa treating Ebola patients. That's Samaritan's Purse. They made that risk-benefit analysis of bringing the Americans back here to the United States and that decision was supported by the CDC, Emory health care officials, and others here in the United States to bring them back. Their concern is limiting the risk of infection to others during the repatriation process. Victor -- I'm sorry, Christi and Miguel, as far as why they're bringing them here to Atlanta, why Emory University Hospital? Well, that was spoken about in a press conference yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason we are bringing these patients back to our facility is because we feel they deserve to have the highest level of care offered for their treatment. They have gone over on humanitarian mission. They have become infected through medical care, and we feel that we have the environment and expertise to safely care for these patients and offer them the maximum opportunity for recovery from these infections.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VALENCIA: Emory University Hospital, one of four facilities here in the United States that has the resources and ability to treat people with this kind of deadly virus, 90 percent fatality rate here with the Ebola virus. The CDC director went on, as he was speaking to Dr. Sanjay Gupta yesterday during the interview saying that he doesn't want people's fear to outweigh their compassion. He does not feel that there's a risk to the general public bringing Americans back here to the United States -- Christi.

MARQUEZ: Yes, I got a question for you there, Nick. It's Miguel here.

It's not easy to get this virus, because it is contracted through fluids. But once you get it, it's obviously very, very bad. I mean, are -- just here at work, people are kind of nervous about hearing about these patients coming here. What are folks saying there on the ground at Emory?

VALENCIA: Well, while this is a highly infectious virus, this isn't very contagious. Meaning, if you were on a bus or plane with somebody, it wouldn't be -- it's not an airborne virus. It isn't easily contracted from one person to the other. So, there are fears, there are concerns.

We've talked to people here. There's actually a conference here that's been going on all week. We spoke to some people here earlier this morning who said they've watched this whole thing develop over the course of last week and some are very scared about that.

There are others, though, here, specifically public health school students that I've spoken to at Emory University. It's got a great public health school and they're excited about the possibility for there to be groundbreaking research related to this -- what they're calling a very historic moment.

But as you mentioned, Miguel, there are others that are just really scared about the uncertainties and really the lack of knowledge about the Ebola virus. This being such a deadly virus, 90 percent of the people that get this virus end up dying. So, clearly, a very mixed reaction here among the community throughout Atlanta -- Miguel, Christi.

MARQUEZ: The effects on the body are just so darn horrible.

Nick Valencia, thank you very much.

PAUL: Thank you, Nick.

Talk about our other big story we're watching very closely. The crisis in the Middle East this morning. An Israeli soldier is still missing after a firefight that shattered the truce that was intended to last through the weekend. It only lasted about 90 minutes.

MARQUEZ: Kind of shocking. Israel assumes Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was captured and President Obama blames Hamas and says he must be unconditionally released as soon as possible.

PAUL: Now, we know in the past 24 hours, Israel has been pounding Gaza.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

MARQUEZ: But just making things more confusing, Hamas denies it has the Israeli soldier. Though it admits it lost contact with fighters in the area where he reportedly was taken.

PAUL: President Obama calls the mounting casualties heartbreaking. As Congress approves another $225 million for Israel's Iron Dome defense system.

MARQUEZ: And all of this coming as Egypt's president continues to press for peace.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. ABDEL FATTAH EL-SISI, EGYPT (through translator): We have a real opportunity to end the current conflict and build upon it a conclusive solution to the Palestinian case for once and for all. A Palestinian state which gives hope to the Palestinians in a bigger, safer and more stable future, and gives security to the Israeli side and the peace in its country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Well, despite the Egyptian president's hope for a cease-fire deal, as we said, fierce fighting is still continuing today in Gaza. It's in the middle of the afternoon there right now.

MARQUEZ: And our Martin Savidge is in Jerusalem anchoring, coverage of the crisis in the Middle East.

Martin, what is the latest with the Israeli soldier? Are -- is the IDF still going house to house there?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The effort is no doubt focused trying to find that second lieutenant. You know, we expected at this point to be about a day into this humanitarian cease-fire. That, of course, is not what is happening now. In fact, there are real concerns that this conflict could intensify as a result. Israel says there was an attack carried out on its soldiers shortly after the cease-fire went into affect. Two of its soldiers killed and they believe one captured by Hamas.

Hamas is denying all of that saying it does not have an Israeli soldier. And in fact, it says it is Israel that broke the cease-fire by opening fire with artillery and air strikes on civilians in the Rafah area.

So, the finger-pointing is going back and forth, but the suffering and conflict inside of Gaza is continuing, regardless.

For the latest on that, we want to join now with CNN's John Vause. He's in Gaza City.

And, John, what's the latest that you're seeing and hearing from there?

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, from here in Gaza city, there is the constant sound of artillery. That has been sporadic for the last few hours. There also appears to be some tank redeployment to the east as well, but the real focus seems to be in the south around the area of Rafah, where that Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin was, in fact, taken by a Palestinian militant. What we understand from the residents who live down there, they say Israeli tanks have been deployed on what's known as the Philadelphia corridor. That is a small strip of land between Rafah and Egypt, which is controlled under international law by the Israelis.

We're also hearing that Israel has warned residents in Rafah not to drive north. Not to leave that area in vehicles, because they could be targeted.

So, what is happening right now is that the Israelis have essentially sealed off that area and in an attempt to stop whoever has the Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin so that they don't actually leave the area. All of this is continuing while there is constant Israeli airstrikes, we're told, also a constant barrage of artillery and tank fire while that search continues. We're told by Palestinian health officials that ever since the cease-fire collapsed yesterday, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed in Rafah alone, more than 350, probably a lot more by now, have been hurt -- Marty.

SAVIDGE: And, John, I was curious, is there a fear by the Palestinians in Gaza there that this is only going to intensify the conflict now and make it worse?

VAUSE: Yes, absolutely. There was a lot of hope that maybe this was headed towards a resolution. We saw it, yesterday, people on the beach, that fishermen started heading back out to sea.

There was a sense that maybe, of relief, really, that after spending more than 20 days, three weeks or so, stuck inside, with constant Israeli attacks that finally, maybe, they could resupply. They could start repairing some of the damage, especially to the power station. We haven't had power coming into Gaza for the last five days. Supplies are running low. Families are warning that water levels are at critically low levels, and this is a humanitarian catastrophe just waiting to happen, that they don't know exactly when it will happen, but it will happen soon, unless there is some kind of major relief coming into Gaza.

So, yes, there was great relief. But now, it seems Israel has stepped up the conflict here, continuing these attacks as they search for this Israeli soldier. There is some hope that maybe those diplomatic talks which are set to continue in Cairo might find some kind of solution, but it's barely a glimmer at this point, Marty.

SAVIDGE: Yes. John Vause, thank you very much from Gaza City and sort of repeating what john said there, a lot of hope here on the Israeli side as well that the cease-fire would take hold and that there could be some sort of permanent solution that could be found to bring peace between both sides, but that is a long away it seems.

Let's go back to Atlanta and Christi and Miguel.

PAUL: All right. Martin Savidge, thank you so much, and John Vause as well. We appreciate it.

Now, a Palestinian legislator and an activist is calling out Israel for alleged war crimes. And what she calls, quote, "a deliberate massacre of Palestinian civilians."

MARQUEZ: And President Obama defending his secretary of state over his attempts to broker a cease-fire. We'll have the latest on how the White House is trying to deal and stop the violence.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SAVIDGE: I'm Martin Savidge in Jerusalem, as the war in Gaza continues to grind on, there is a huge population of Palestinians in the West Bank that have been painfully watching all of this, especially as the death toll has been rising.

I'm joined now by Hanan Ashrawi. She's a top member of the PLO Executive Committee.

And thank you very much for joining us.

And I wanted first, what is the Palestinian Authority's stance now on what is happening in Gaza?

HANAN ASHRAWI, PLO EXECUTIVE COMMITTE: Look, Martin, we are all members of the PLO and we are building a unified Palestinian position pertaining to what's happening in Gaza. We don't look at it as exclusively Gaza.

This is an assault on the Palestinian people as a whole, on the whole Palestinian national well-being, on the chances of peace in the future. The Israel occupation takes on different shapes, Martin. It takes on the shape of land thief, annexation, building settlements, annexing east Jerusalem, house demolitions, abductions, daily killings and so on in the West Bank, plus a system of strangling checkpoints and so on, and now it's taking on periodically a cruel assault and siege on Gaza, and the killing of, and injuring of thousands of Palestinians.

This has become intolerable. The situation is intolerable and it's due to two things. One, Israeli impunity and total disregard for Palestinian lives and rights, and for international law, and, two, an ongoing Israeli occupation that has generated a culture of entitlement, exceptionalism, racism, even, and total control. We have to end this situation and we have to move forward.

(CROSSTALK)

SAVIDGE: If there is a hope to end this conflict --

ASHRAWI: Right now, our main concern --

SAVIDGE: -- in Gaza -- if I could, tell us, what is going on with the efforts to rekindle the cease-fire? What are the Palestinian Authority and other members doing to try to get this going again?

ASHRAWI: Well, the PLO put together, headed by President Abbas, we put together a team of negotiators of presenting national unity with all the political factions and it is an empowered team to negotiate on behalf of all the Palestinian, and it is now on its way to Egypt. It will be in Cairo relatively soon, and we're hoping that they will be able to negotiate not just an end to this -- this latest tragic bloodshed, and to save lives and to end this carnage, but also to try to dismantle all the causes that have brought about such a horrific situation, including lifting the siege on Gaza and including working on humanitarian conditions and reconstruction of Gaza, but also dismantling all the potentially volatile conditions. This, we're trying to do.

Also, we're trying to --

SAVIDGE: You're saying this team has moved forward? It is going?

(CROSSTALK)

ASHRAWI: -- international efforts -- it is to be in Cairo shortly if it hasn't arrived yet. But it is a team, it is empowered. We've give didn't the mandate. The president has empowered it to speak on behalf of all Palestinians. It's a 12-member team, five from the PLO factions, five from Hamas, two from Islamic Jihad.

SAVIDGE: Do you have hopes it will succeed?

ASHRAWI: Well, let's hope the Israeli team will show up. So far, they haven't shown up. So far, they're very busy demolishing, destroying, shelling and pounding Gaza. The Rafah area is now turned totally into rubble. They're telling people not to leave Rafah, they've besieged it.

They have nowhere -- they're being shelled and bombed in their own homes. Over 150 have been killed now, hundreds and hundreds have been wounded. They have nowhere to go. They have no medical facilities. They have no water, no sanitation. No electricity.

It's a humanitarian disaster, and that's what Israel is doing right now while the world is watching, and worried about one Israeli soldier who's been captured on enemy territory, because it's part of an invading army. And yet the hundreds and thousands being victimized in such a cruel and inhuman way, somehow they become just numbers, meaningless and the whole value of our lives and rights have been devalued in the face of such a massive Israeli attack.

I think it's time to stop this invasion. Stop this attack, and we will talk. We've done everything possible to bring the two sides to negotiations, to bring about a cease-fire to save lives. This is our primary concern.

We want to stop this carnage. We want to save lives and do not relish the death of any individual -

SAVIDGE: Hanan Ashrawi, thank you.

ASHRAWI: -- regardless of nationality, religion or whatever. But we need others to --

SAVIDGE: Thank you very much for your insights. We understand of course the tremendous loss of life that occurred for the Palestinian people. I think everyone agrees trying to rekindle this cease-fire is the best hope of all. Thank you very much.

And let's go back now to Miguel and Christi in Atlanta.

PAUL: All right, Martin, thank you so much.

And hearing there that 12-member team going to Cairo right now with at least five representing Hamas, five representing the Palestinian people. We'll see how that pans out today once they get to Cairo.

What will the Obama administration, though, try next to do, to broker a cease-fire that actually holds? We're going live to the White House.

Stay close.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: Twenty-two minutes past the hour.

President Obama we know is calling for an unconditional release of an Israeli soldier who's still missing at this hour and he's also calling -- or calls the growing number of civilian casualties in Gaza, quote, "heartbreaking".

MARQUEZ: Now, the administration's attempts to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, not getting quite the results they wanted.

Our Erin McPike joins us now from the White House, where it is high stakes. The president is also defending Secretary of State John Kerry. Erin, good morning.

ERIN MCPIKE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Miguel and Christi, good morning to you.

Well, essentially, the president said his diplomatic team is going to keep trying and he essentially told his critics to cool it. He pointed out that the military has been stretched thin because of a decade of war, essentially, and that John Kerry is continuing to try, that he's making calls every day into the region, and they're going to keep going until they get a cease-fire that works and lasts -- Christi and Miguel.

PAUL: OK. Besides, I guess, John Kerry, is there anything else on the table for a next course of action for the president?

MCPIKE: Well, essentially, what the president's diplomatic team is doing is working with the Qataris and the Turks. And what they intend to do, they're first trying to secure the release of that captured Israeli soldier. That's the first order of business. And then on top of that, they will continue working on the cease-fire.

Here I believe we have comments from the president defending John Kerry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're coming out of a decade of war, and, you know, our military has been stretched very hard, as has our budget. Nevertheless, we try. We go in there and we make an effort.

And when I see John Kerry going out there and trying to broker a cease-fire, we should all be supporting him. We shouldn't be a bunch of complaints and second-guessing about, well it hasn't happened yet, or -- nitpicking before he's had a chance to complete his efforts. Because, I'll tell you what, there isn't any other country that's going in there and making those efforts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MCPIKE: Now, the other thing that the president said is that achieving a cease-fire has been difficult, because Hamas doesn't necessarily have control of the situation or all of the people in Gaza -- Christi and Miguel.

MARQUEZ: If I can switch gears a bit, the reports on the CIA interrogation techniques after 9/11 is due to come out in a couple of weeks. The president talked a little about torture in the U.S. yesterday. Tell us about that.

MCPIKE: Right, Miguel, he did and essentially said in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, the Americans did, in fact, torture some people and he said going forward America needs to do better. He called it extraordinary interrogation techniques but essentially said, yes, there was torture and the country should do better -- Miguel. PAUL: All righty. Erin McPike, good to see you this morning.

MARQUEZ: Thanks.

PAUL: Thank you, Erin.

MARQUEZ: From chokehold to homicide, the New York medical examiner's office now laying blame in the controversial death of a Queens man.

PAUL: And also, the latest on a botched execution that left a condemned killer gulping and snarling for air for hours.

MARQUEZ: Yikes!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: We have an update on mortgages for you. Fixed rates drop a bit. Take a look.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, doesn't Saturday feel good? Thirty minutes past the hour right now, and so much to talk to you about. I'm Christi Paul.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN ANCHOR: No, it doesn't feel good. Feels early. And I'm Miguel.

The five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

PAUL: First of all, the first two Ebola patients is expected to land in the United States at some point this afternoon. The first patient we know will be treated at Atlanta's Emory Hospital, which has a specially constructed isolation unit designed to treat patients with serious infectious diseases.

The second patient also expected to be treated at Emory, but no time frame has been given yet for that arrival, as they are coming separately.

MARQUEZ: Interesting stuff.

Number two, a medical examiner says a controversial chokehold is to blame in the death of a Queens resident Eric Gardner. The hold was used on Garner by an NYPD officer as he was arrested for selling loose cigarettes on the street. The examiner's office called the death a homicide. So far, no charges have been filed. NYPD says the investigation is ongoing.

PAUL: And Arizona Senator John McCain is comparing a botched execution in his state, Arizona, again to torture. A total of 15, yes, 15 doses of a novel drug cocktail were injected into Joseph Wood when a single dose didn't quickly end his life are and it took nearly two hours for the convicted murderer to die as he gulped and snarled for air as it was characterized. The state has temporarily halted executions now and the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is investigating execution procedures.

MARQUEZ: At number four, House Republicans on Friday passed a revised bill to crack down on immigrants from Central America, including making it easier to deport children. The measure would give more money to the National Guard and to boost border security. President Obama has called the bill extreme, and said Republicans know the Senate is unlikely to approve it.

PAUL: Number five, in China, 65 people are dead after what you're seeing here. This explosion at an automotive factory that happened earlier this morning. China state news agency reports 150 people were also hurt. Investigators say flames may have ignited death inside a wheel hub there. The factory supply parts to a U.S. automaker, General Motors.

MARQUEZ: And this morning, instead of a quiet 72-hour cease-fire, which everyone seems to have been expecting, the sounds of explosions could be heard in Gaza once again. And IDF troops are still looking for the missing Israeli soldier, Hadar Goldin, believed captured by Hamas.

PAUL: Let's bring in CNN military analyst, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, and CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier.

Thank you both so much for being with us.

Colonel, let me start with you, if I could, please? Given this cease fire in place, was the Israeli mission to destroy the Palestinian tunnel unnecessarily provocative at the time?

LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA (RET), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: What the Palestinians are claiming as just before the cease-fire went into affect, the Israelis took an advance weekend went further in so they would be sitting on more land when the cease-fire took effect, thus in effect, giving them greater opportunity to go through these tunnels. So, technically, they were not in violation, but it was kind of a provocative act, but it's something that militaries do.

MARQUEZ: And, Kimberly, we know that Hamas has not spoken or acted with one voice. It has a political and military wing and a military wing. They have not been acting very well together at all. What is the state of affairs there? Who is in control of Hamas?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, you can imagine, what you have, small groups of fighters spread across Gaza, some in these deep tunnels where telephones, cell phones don't work. So they are out of communication with their command. So, imagine from their point of view, you're in a tunnel. You hear explosions.

Now, those explosions very well might have been the Israelis doing exactly what they said they would do, which was continue to destroy every single tunnel they had found throughout the cease-fire, but if you're out there in the field and you hear a blast, you think you're under fire. That could explain, doesn't excuse, but could explain why we saw hostilities continue. PAUL: Colonel, in regards to this captured soldier, remember that

Hamas is denying they have him. If Hamas did have them or him, would they not want to use that as some sort of negotiating tool, and because they're not, should we assume they don't have him?

FRANCONA: I don't think we should assume that at all. I mean, Hamas is playing this very well. They could have him and are just waiting to announce at a time of this choosing, because saying they have him right now will certainly ramp up Israeli operations against them.

So if they keep things kind of confusing, they stand to gain from this, and if they do say they have him, they will come under a lot of pressure from the West to release him.

I don't foresee that happening. If this guy is alive, he has great value for whoever has him, be it Islamic jihad, be it Hamas, whoever. So, it's in their interests to kind of keep things confusing right now.

So, it makes perfect sense that Hamas is saying, we don't know anything about it, just for the reasons Kimberly said. They said, these units are out of touch. We don't know what happened.

MARQUEZ: And, Kimberly, the -- the U.S. has been talking to both Qatar and Turkey through Secretary of State John Kerry. He's come under fire, great fire, in the Israeli press and across Israel for this.

Is the U.S. compromised here? Can it be a fair arbiter? Can it maintain the trust of Israelis here in negotiations?

DOZIER: Well, in a sense, the statements that the president and Secretary Kerry have made since the disappearance of the Israel soldier have strengthened their position, vis-a-vis, the Israeli government and people. Now, the government of Israel feels like they have gotten this world opinion back on their side. They were taking pretty heavy criticism for civilian casualties over this past week, just hours before the cease-fire was announced.

And now, look, it's changed completely to the other direction. They are advancing, and instead of getting further censure. They're getting sympathy at least from the White House, and this puts them in a better position, Israeli officials feel, going into any potential negotiations in the future hoping they will both strengthen the Palestinian authority instead of Hamas, and also that they'll be able to work with Egypt, who they say as an ally in this, to permanently increase security along the border between Gaza and Egypt so that whatever state Hamas is left in after this onslaught, they won't be able to rebuild tunnels and won't be able to re-arm and resupply with weapons.

PAUL: And speaking of that, Colonel Francona, and maybe get an answer from each of you on this. The Arab nations have been fairly silent so far on this conflict. What do you make of that?

FRANCONA: Well, you know, Hamas has really not enjoyed a lot of sympathy lately. Their biggest blow, I think, has been the Egyptians with the change of government in Egypt and the coming to power of el- Sisi, they know that they're in deep trouble when they try to re-arm, because almost all of the armaments that come into Gaza come across that Egyptian border. He shut it down, and the tunnels over there.

So, I think Hamas has lost a lot of favor in the Arab world, and, you know, they're bringing a lot of bad press to the Arabs right now.

PAUL: All right. Kimberly, last word. You want to react to that?

DOZIER: I think absolutely. At this point, Hamas is on the back foot, and it needs to, if it can, produce that soldier, or at least give the world an answer as to what's happened to him.

PAUL: OK. Rick Francona and Kimberly Dozier, we so appreciate both of you, thank you.

MARQUEZ: Thanks much.

Health officials say it's the deadliest outbreak of Ebola ever. Now, two Americans infected with it are preparing to return to the States for treatment. So how much risk do they pose, and could an outbreak happen here in the U.S.?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PAUL: Well, at this moment, medical professionals at Emory Atlanta -- Emory Hospital, I should say, in Atlanta preparing for the very first known case of Ebola in the U.S. Hours from now, a plane carrying one of two infected Americans is expected to arrive.

MARQUEZ: Dr. Kent Brantly and a worker, Nancy Writebol, contracted it while working with the Christian humanitarian group in West Africa. Officials there have been working round the clock to try and contain the fast spreading virus.

PAUL: According to the World Health Organization, Ebola has killed more than 700 people just in recent weeks.

We want to talk with Dr. Anthony Fauci with the National Institutes of Health.

Doctor, thank you so much for being with us.

Can you give us a sense of -- because we do have international viewers here with us this hour -- can you give a sense of the risk in, you know, in Liberia and Sierra Leone and Guinea right now?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: Well, the situation in West Africa and the three West African countries is really dreadful. I mean, it's an outbreak that's really out of control.

You mentioned the statistics. There have been over 1,300 people infected over 730 people have died, and it's the inadequacy of the health care infrastructure as well as the difficulty with getting the population to appreciate that this is a virus spreading from person to person, and what one needs to do to prevent that spread.

And the people at risk are those who come in direct contact with sick people. Such as family members, but importantly, even health care providers, and people who tend to the sick people as well as morticians. So, it's a cycle that just keeps self-propagating itself. Which is the reason why it's a very, very give situation in those South African countries.

MARQUEZ: And is this one spreading so fast because they just weren't prepared for it? Is this particular strain of the virus just more deadly than others? And is, people are getting it more quickly?

And what is the mechanism that is moving it from person to person? Is it mainly blood, or is it sexual activity? What is happening here?

FAUCI: Well, let me just get to your second question first. It is direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person. And that's, you know, they get very sick. It's vomit, it's feces, it's blood. When a person comes into direct contact with those body fluids, that's how you get infected.

It is not spread by aerosolized the way you spread influenza or diseases like that. So it's direct contact with the bodily fluids.

The question you're asking about why is it so bad there now, is that Ebola was first discovered in 1976, in Zaire, which is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And over the past many years since 1976, there have been many outbreaks, mostly in rural areas, that geographically made it easier to contain, because of the geographic restriction.

Now, you're talking about cross-border infection, from three separate countries, that are very populous, but also countries in which you have cities in which the virus now has had outbreak in the cities in those countries, which make it much, much more difficult to contain.

PAUL: We talked to a shop owner earlier from Liberia who said she's basically getting on a plane and coming to America for the time being, and that she knows an awful lot of people who are just getting out of that region.

Does that concern you at all? Or do you think that's a smart move?

FAUCI: Well, whether a person stays in that region or not is their own personal choice. When you talk about, is that a problem? You mean about bringing the infection here? If that's what you mean, we are very capable of containing these types of infection, and we always get asked that question about someone getting on a plane that might be infected and then when they get here, wind up getting sick. Well, with the proper protective equipment and the proper capability of isolating patients, there's essentially no risk of the kinds of outbreaks we're seeing in Western Africa.

MARQUEZ: And I take it, no concern for those two individuals coming here? That people in Atlanta should not be concerned about their safety? Very quickly, if you can. FAUCI: Well, the situation in flying them over and the facilities at

Emory are such that they have the capability of executing the very precise protocols that have been put forth by the CDC in order to protect not only the health care workers who will be caring for these individuals, but, also, the people in the hospital and the general public. So, the containment capabilities are really quite safe.

MARQUEZ: All right. Dr. Anthony Fauci, thank you very, very much.

PAUL: Thank you, sir.

FAUCI: You're quite welcome. >

PAUL: You know what? They live on opposite sides of the border but their lives are essentially parallel. Two young girls tell us what it's like to grow up in a war zone.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MARQUEZ: The conflict in Gaza is in its fourth week now and more than 1,600 Palestinians have been killed so far, and many of them children.

PAUL: And now, Palestinian children and teens talk about what it is like to live in a war zone.

Here is CNN's Paula Hancocks.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "This is in my area, I can't stop crying. I might die tonight." A few nights ago, this 16-year-old Palestinian girl tweeted live from Gaza, sharing her terror with the world.

FARAH BAKER, PALESTINIAN TEENAGER: The sound of the bombs, I feel like it's going to explode the house, so I just keep listening to the bombs and pray.

HANCOCKS: Farah Baker, an amateur photographer, used to take photos of nature, now she says it's with bombed buildings. With little electricity and weak Internet in Gaza, we talk on the telephone. The teenager says she's lived through three wars between Israel and Hamas but this one is the worst.

BAKER: I actually feel unsafe and so scared and worried, but I try to hide all of my fears to encourage my 6-year-old sister, who keeps crying all the time.

HANCOCKS: Even at six, her sister has seen all three bloody escalations and violence.

Children are dying in the streets in Gaza. More than 250 since the latest fighting began according to the United Nations, more than the number of Palestinian fighters killed.

I asked Baker what she wants. She replies, a cease-fire forever. Tal Bilia, also 16, also war hardened. An Israeli from (INAUDIBLE), a

veteran of Hamas rockets fired from Gaza. She says a few years ago, a rocket hit her school bus 20 seconds after she got off.

TAL BILIA, ISRAELI TEENAGER: I get on and get off the bus every day, twice a day, every week and it's terrifying to think that I -- I may be the next one that will be on that bus that will explode.

HANCOCKS: One hospital moved the neo natal clinic to a room that's rocket proof. Bilia volunteers for a local group that helps residents find shelters and stay safe. She said Israel may have shelters and sirens, but the violence is no less terrifying.

BILIA: When the alarm goes on, you have 40 seconds to save your life, 40 seconds to run.

HANCOCKS: Bilia wishes her life could be different.

Two teenagers on different sides of the boarder, 16-year-olds, who should be worrying about exams or parties. Instead, they are worrying about staying alive.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: It's so hard to see these kids. And 40 seconds, she has to run. And you think, run where?

MARQUEZ: Well, they have shelters there. They get used to it. But it's not a way to live. It's very frustrating.

Israel continues to take aim at the Hamas tunnels into Gaza, as it searches for one of its own soldiers apparently captured while trying to seal off one of the passages. We'll have the very latest from the region, live at the top of the hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JENNIFER GRAY, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Good morning to you. I'm meteorologist Jennifer Gray.

We are watching tropical storm Bertha, the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. This has winds of about 50 miles per hour and gusts up to 65. It is about 120 miles south of San Juan and is creating some pretty intense thunderstorms around Puerto Rico. This is going to continue to head to the north/northwest at about 20 to 25 miles per hour.

It's going to produce anywhere from three to five inches of rain in Puerto Rico, one to three inches in Dominican Republic. This is a drought-stricken area. The rain is definitely beneficial.

Of course, nobody wants a tropical storm. They definitely need the rain. Flooding will be a concern. Of course, the rain, though, will be a welcome relief in that part of the world. Here is the forecast track. It is going to stay away from the U.S.

We will have maybe an increase in surf along the eastern coast of the U.S. We will also have an increased risk of rip currents. That will really be our only concern here close to home.

So, what will our focus be for the weekend? Well, it is going to be the area of low pressure and the stalled out front. And this is actually the feature that is steering Bertha away from the U.S.

And so, even though we're going to be dealing with the rain over the weekend, we can actually thank the stalled out front for keeping that storm away from us. So, we are going to be dealing with a lot of rain across the Southeast and even the Northeast as we go through the weekend. We're going to be talking anywhere from two to four inches along the Northeast, one to two inches possibly in New York. Even in the southeast skies. Here in Atlanta, it could be pick anywhere from an inch to two inches from Atlanta, all the way over to Savannah, and then down in south Florida, picking up even more, unfortunately.

MARQUEZ: All right, Jennifer. If Bertha takes a left turn, I'm holding you personally responsible.

GRAY: Deal.

PAUL: Oh, nice. All right. She's that confident.

MARQUEZ: It's on.

PAUL: Thank you, Jen.

MARQUEZ: Thank you.

PAUL: And thank you for sharing your morning with us.

MARQUEZ: The next hour of NEW DAY starts right now.

(MUSIC)