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THE SITUATION ROOM
Update on Possible New Ebola Patient; FBI: Hundreds of U.S. Terror Tips Coming In; Where is Kim Jong-Un?; Search for Missing UVA Student Expanding
Aired October 8, 2014 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.
We're continuing to monitor the breaking news out of Frisco, Texas, near Dallas. Possibly a second Ebola patient.
Let's listen in to the police chief.
PILAND: You know, things sometimes turn out and sometimes things do not. But I think for us, we can't afford to make mistakes. So we have to process all the patients as if they were actually, whether they have Ebola or other infectious diseases, to be on the safe side.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)?
PILAND: Well, I think we always critique all of our operations constantly. But I think the response that we did today is appropriate.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)?
PILAND: I believe Dana is going to pass out a news release for you that basically details all our response assets, the number of people that were out there at the scene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)?
PILAND: It's my understanding that for the health department, that Denton County Public Health interviewed all of the persons. And at this time, they refused treatment transport and they have released them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)?
PILAND: Yes, that is correct. Our first reports that we had 10 to 14 persons inside that may need transport to a hospital, we responded and our ambulances is capable of holding up to 26 persons, up to four or five critical patients. Obviously, that was not the case here. But we put that on the scene, again, just as a precaution.
OK, we'll just one or two more questions.
Let the mayor...
MAYOR MAHER MASO, FRISCO, TEXAS: Let's go ahead. And I think we have a press release that has a lot of information. We'll take one more question.
I think what you heard from the chief is that we have the resources, we have the training, we have the HAZMAT equipment. We also have the AMBUSES that are available. And we used all our equipment and all our training in an overabundance of caution. Again, we wanted to make sure that we responded adequately, if not more so. And we believe we did.
But we will share additional information once we receive it. It is fast-moving. As you can see, it's only been approximately three hours and our response has been appropriate for the situation.
But we do want to ensure the public that we are keeping up upon to date on information. And if there's anything more we can share that we learn, we will do that.
So one last question and then we'll end this press conference.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)?
MASO: The county -- the health authority of the county has been allowed to reopen. And that will be a decision that they will make on what they do at that point. But again, the health departments have cleared them to open again.
OK, thank you all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE)?
MASO: I believe the chief mentioned it would be approximately 48 hours. Again, the one thing that I want everybody to leave here is we're in constant communication with all the health authorities, the CDC, state, the local, the counties. And we are sharing information and getting the correct information. And we will share that as we receive it.
Thank you for being here today.
We appreciate everyone's time.
BLITZER: All right, so there's the mayor of Frisco, Texas, outside of Dallas, wrapping up a news conference with the fire chief. Just about three hours or so ago, they got word that a patient, a potential patient, exhibiting what was described as signs and symptoms of Ebola was being rescued, was being brought by ambulance to a hospital in Frisco outside of Dallas. This person was said to have had contact with Dallas so-called "patient zero." That's Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian who passed away this morning from Ebola. Let's bring in our senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen.
She's in Dallas.
She's watching all of this untold.
Unfortunately, sadly, Thomas Eric Duncan, he died of Ebola this morning. But within a few hours, we got word that someone who may have been in contact with that apartment where he was staying before he was taken to the emergency room and put into the hospital in Dallas, may be showing signs of Ebola -- what did we -- what did we learn at this news conference, Elizabeth, for viewers who are just tuning in?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. So what we learned is that this deputy was in his apartment, was in Duncan's apartment. It would have been four days after Duncan was put in the hospital. It's not known how much he touched things that were around him, if he touched any of his bodily fluids that were still left in the apartment. It's not known.
But I can tell you a couple of things that we do know, Wolf. Wolf, Ebola doesn't live on surfaces for more than a few hours. And you need direct contact with a person or with their bodily fluids in order to get sick. The State of Texas says that there is no indication that this patient had any direct contact with Duncan.
So this is a real wait and see kind of thing here. And another thing I want to be very clear about. The early signs and symptoms of Ebola -- Wolf, you've had them, I've had them. Pretty much everyone has had them. It's a low grade fever, you feel achy, your stomach might hurt, you might be vomiting. It can look like so many other diseases.
BLITZER: So, Elizabeth, are they going to give him an Ebola test now at the hospital in Frisco to just make sure he doesn't have Ebola?
COHEN: You know, Wolf, I doubt that, and here's why. The test is not the greatest test in the world. So if you have Ebola inside you, if you're infected with Ebola but you're not sort of actively ill for quite a while, it's going to be negative. So, you know, they might give him a test because he is feeling some symptoms. But that won't be the last test that they give him, because early on in the illness, it can be a negative test even if you really do have Ebola. So they might test him today. But then they would certainly want to test him tomorrow or in subsequent days if there are still concerns.
BLITZER: This patient, what was he doing at that apartment, that -- where Thomas Eric Duncan had been staying after he arrived in the United States from Liberia?
COHEN: Well, Wolf, there are still a lot of question marks. What we do know is that three sheriff's deputies on Wednesday of last week, so a week ago today, escorted a county health official who was giving orders to this family to stay inside their apartment. So the deputies didn't hand the orders to the family. They escorted the official who was giving the orders to the family. We don't know if those orders were given outside their door, if they were given in their living room. We don't know precisely where that happened.
And we still don't know how this deputy would have had contact with Duncan, because Duncan, at that point, would have been in the hospital for several days.
BLITZER: Several days, indeed.
And I want to be precise on this matter, Elizabeth. There have been many false alarms in hospital emergency rooms around the United States over the past several weeks, right?
COHEN: That is true. Many of them have been people who flew in from West Africa and then became ill. And because they had just flown in from West Africa, they were put in the hospital. And out of an abundance of caution, they watched these people.
But so far, all of them, except for Duncan, turned out to have something else. There are so many other diseases that look like Ebola that it's very easy to not be sure in the beginning.
BLITZER: Elizabeth Cohen on the scene for us. Thanks very, very much.
Let's get some perspective now on the breaking news.
Joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM, Dr. Jesse Goodman. He's the former chief scientist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Also joining us, Professor Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, an assistant professor of public health preparedness at Penn State University.
And joining us, as well, is the Reverend Jesse Jackson, the president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. He just met with the family of Thomas Eric Duncan. That's the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.
Reverend Jackson, I'll get to you in a moment.
But Dr. Goodman, first to you.
Give us some perspective.
How concerned should this patient be, potentially, in this small hospital in Frisco, Texas, that he had been in the apartment, didn't necessarily have any direct physical contact with Duncan, but he was well in the apartment and now, all of a sudden, he's showing signs, fever, temperature, stuff like that?
DR. JESSE GOODMAN, FORMER CHIEF SCIENTIST, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION: Well, you know, first, we have very initial information. So I think it would be a mistake to jump to any conclusions.
But what we're hearing described sounds like a pretty low risk kind of exposure, you know, not likely a direct exposure to bodily fluids.
The good side of this is it indicates how alert the health care system is
Becoming. And we really want people to, if anything, overreact, refer patients to public health, get them where they can be isolated, both for their own safety and to avoid infecting others.
So while this may be a low risk, it's a good sign that the health system is on alert.
BLITZER: Dr. Skinner, what's your analysis?
PROF. GAVIN MACGREGOR-SKINNER, PENN STATE UNIVERSITY: I think it's a good indication that the health care system is working here in the US. But I think, also, we will have to look at how many hospitals do we want to actually admit Ebola patients. So far, we have Emory Hospital and we had a Nebraska medical center that's had -- successfully treated patients.
How many other pa -- other hospitals do we want to put through the stress and the training and the intensity that's required to look after Ebola patients?
Should we start looking at systems and transportation systems of how to get Ebola patients or suspected Ebola patients from areas back down to those hospitals that already have the experience?
BLITZER: All right, I want to get some thoughts from Reverend Jesse Jackson, who met with the family. I know you're upset, all of us are upset by the tragic loss of Mr. Duncan earlier this morning. He came to the United States hoping to see some family, friends, some relatives, and all of a sudden, he comes down with Ebola and passes away this morning, even though he was under medical attention at that Dallas hospital.
What is the family's reaction to what's going on?
You've been in touch with them, Reverend Jackson?
REV. JESSE JACKSON, PRESIDENT, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: Well, they're traumatized by the suddenness of it all. Yesterday, we met with doctors at the Presbyterian Hospital. They said his vital signs were returning. He was under medical induced sedation because his kidneys and lungs were in great tension and diseased. But we got the impression he was coming out. And then today, he died rather suddenly.
And they're concerned that the same standard of identification and diagnosis and safe care now applied in Frisco did not apply to him. He went to the hospital with the vomiting, with the high fever, with the perspiration and was given a cursory treatment, it seemed, an antibiotic, and sent back into the community with Ebola.
BLITZER: What, if anything, do you know about this second person, this agent who went into that apartment and now is in this hospital in Frisco, being -- supposedly he's -- they're worried that he may be showing Ebola-like symptoms and he may be tested for Ebola?
Has the family heard anything about this?
What was he doing in the apartment at the time?
JACKSON: Well, after, you know the sheets were left and other things he had touched were there. Of course, the mayor was most gracious -- Mayor Popper (ph) -- in getting Louise out to an undisclosed location away from there. But somebody had to go in and clean the place up. And no doubt they, were touching things that he had touched.
It seems to us that if when he first went and said I'm vomiting, I have a fever, I'm perspiring, I need help, maybe if he would have gotten help then, he would have spread it less and maybe he could have been saved.
BLITZER: Yes, we know there was a major blunder at that hospital in Dallas. He went there, went to the emergency room, told a nurse he had just arrived from Liberia, was -- had vomiting. He was -- he clearly had a fever, he had a temperature and they sent him back home for two days and he was sweating in bed. And we know he was in contact with Louise and with others in that apartment.
Dr. Goodman, can you -- let's say an officer goes into that apartment not wearing protective gear, not necessarily even wearing gloves, but there are some sheets left over or pillowcases or towels or whatever, can you get Ebola from touching that kind of material?
GOODMAN: I think it would be very unusual unless it, you know, had active, bloody, body fluids on it, to have transmission under those circumstances, several days after an individual had been there. You know, I think we'll have to learn more. I would also hope that anybody who had gone in there subsequently should have had protective equipment and personal protection on to really reduce that risk even further.
BLITZER: But initially, they -- they made some serious mistakes. And obviously, the country -- at least the folks in Dallas, weren't prepared for this kind of situation, which is an extremely unusual situation. And some police officers and others went into that apartment without protective gear.
Can you get Ebola under those circumstances?
MACGREGOR-SKINNER: You can get, Ebola if you touch the virus and you put your hands near your face, your nose, your mouth or your eyes. And so in the training that we're giving hospital staff throughout the country now, is we're teaching them not to raise their hands above their shoulders. And we're also teaching them how to wear that protective suit, that protective equipment, because hospital staff, but also the first responders in our communities, don't usually wear this on a normal basis. And many of them in their 20, 30 years of service, have never worn it at all. And it's very cumbersome. It leads to fatigue and dehydration and you have to get used to it.
So we're drill, drill, drill, drill at the moment, and exercise and train, to get people used to wearing these new suits.
BLITZER: All right, Reverend Jackson, you're -- you've been in touch with the family there in Dallas. I know they're in isolation for 21 days. They're about half way through that process right now.
How are they doing?
How are they coping?
How worried are they that, potentially, we hope this doesn't happen, they could come down with Ebola-like symptoms?
So far, I take it, none of them have.
JACKSON: Right. First, that was just the lack of communications and the fear and the isolation. And then the accusation that somehow that Eric had intentionally violated protocol and brought this disease into the country. He had no symptoms of Ebola. He went to his fiance to be married. And no doubt, they stayed together at the house.
After that, he got sick and went to the hospital and was turned away. And that's the turning point here.
It seemed before that in Atlanta and Emory or whether in Nebraska, early identification, early diagnosis and safe care and IMSAT works. Without the best of medicine and timely matters, you increase the risk of death.
BLITZER: So, what, the family believes, and I suspect you believe, if he had been admitted when he first came instead of sent back to that apartment for two days, your suspicion, Reverend Jackson, is Mr. Duncan might be alive right now?
JACKSON: I'm inclined to believe that. But also, when he came back to the hospital, there were a couple of days when he was there just getting a drip without treatment, because they had not determined which alternative medicine they might use, so they could not find more ZMapp. So that that would seem to me a lack of preparedness for the protocols that have been established.
BLITZER: Have you ever spoken with any of the family members about potentially suing someone?
JACKSON: Well, that's private. I think at this point, they are just mourning over what should they do with his body and staying with the shock. I think to get into suing, that would be so political. And right now, they're concerned just about the pain and the loss of him so suddenly.
BLITZER: All right. I want you to stand by, Reverend Jackson, Dr. Skinner, Dr. Goodman.
Please stay with us.
We're going to continue the breaking news coverage. We'll take a quick break. Much more right after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news out of Texas, where officials are now investigating a second potential Ebola case. A sheriff's deputy is receiving treatment right now for what may be Ebola after he made contact with the relatives of Thomas Eric Duncan. That's the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States.
Joining us once again Dr. Jesse Goodman of Georgetown University Medical Center. He's the former chief scientist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Also joining us, Professor Gavin McGregor-Skinner and assistant professor of public preparedness at Penn State University. And the Reverend Jesse Jackson, the president of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. He's met with the family of Thomas Duncan, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, who passed away, unfortunately, this morning.
Dr. Skinner, I'm sure the doctors at this hospital in Dallas did everything they could to save Mr. Duncan's life, but did they really have the experience, the preparedness to deal with an Ebola -- an Ebola case?
DR. GAVIN MCGREGOR-SKINNER, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC PREPAREDNESS, PENN STATE UNIVERSITY: We've never had Ebola cases until just recently here in the U.S. We've brought two of our own back to Emory, and then we've had patients brought back to the Nebraska Medical Center. We know that even though we had plans, we had plans written on paper, we've never implemented those plans. So we didn't know where the gaps and the needs were and where our challenges were.
BLITZER: Emory University -- Emory in Atlanta.
MCGREGOR-SKINNER: They've gone through it and learned a lot of lessons. So we now know that there was over 100 hospital staff involved in just looking after one Ebola patient.
For us to say that all the hospitals in this country are prepared to admit and treat Ebola patients is a little unrealistic when we know the intensity and the number of staff and the waste management and all the other protocols and procedures that need to be met. And so we should really rely on Emory and Nebraska at the moment, when we only have one to two, maybe a few cases to treat -- to admit and treat these cases.
BLITZER: There's a lot of second guessing, as you know, Dr. Goodman, that maybe this individual, Mr. Duncan, once he was diagnosed with Ebola in Dallas, they should have airlifted him either to Emory University Hospital or to the University of Nebraska, where they have experience and the preparedness in dealing with Ebola. With hindsight, would that have been smart?
GOODMAN: Well, I think, you know, hindsight in this case is a little difficult. I do think the real missed opportunity there was to get him in that time two or three days earlier when he came in the E.R. when he was medically stable, get him hydration, adequate care at that time.
You know, I do think this is something this is something that could be considered. I think every hospital ought to be able to cope with the initial encounter, isolate that patient, make the diagnosis. And just like you would with any other difficult to treat disease, if things aren't going well, you could possibly consider transfer.
The flip side of this is the logistics of transfer, the risk to the patient, the infection control risks ensued in moving patients.
BLITZER: They airlifted people from Liberia to Atlanta or to Nebraska. They can certainly airlift someone from Dallas to there.
GOODMAN: It could be feasible. I'm just saying it's not so simple as purely good or bad to do that. You'd have to analyze the individual situation.
BLITZER; Reverend Jackson, you've been in touch with the family, and our hearts go out to that family of Mr. Duncan. Do they believe everything was done at this hospital in Dallas to save Mr. Duncan's life?
JACKSON: No, they do not believe -- as a matter of fact, they're upset the fact that their attempt -- was an attempt to criminalize him, that he came into the country knowing he had Ebola and therefore lessened the quickening of the response. Secondly...
BLITZER: Let me interrupt for a second. Reverend Jackson, let me just interrupt for a second.
Liberian authorities, including the president of Liberia, they were the ones who said he lied on that document when he left Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, by saying he hadn't been in contact with anyone with Ebola. They were the ones who initially raised that suspicion about Mr. Duncan, Liberian officials.
JACKSON: That's a political issue. He said he didn't. They said he did, but the medical issue is he went to the hospital sick, vomiting and perspiring and with a fever, and was sent back with an antibiotic. That's not medical; that's not political. When he came back, he was deathly ill.
I hope that we will learn something from the crisis in Dallas and from the success in Atlanta and Nebraska, because there will be more cases. And let's not turn a crisis into panic. We didn't panic when the SARS crisis came, when the MRSA crisis came.
There were some examples of success. For example, in one place in Liberia, 200 patients in the hospital have all recovered, because they had infrastructure and quick treatment. There was a case in Nigeria where they caught them (ph) (UNINTELLIGIBLE) where some people have been infected with Ebola. So maybe we should also use this as a learning moment to try to lessen the impact as it perhaps spreads. BLITZER: That's a good point. Reverend Jackson, thank you very
much. We'll stay in close touch with you. We'll stay in close touch with the family. And once again, our hearts go out to the family of Thomas Eric Duncan.
Dr. Skinner, thanks very much.
Dr. Goodman, thanks to you, as well.
Just ahead, we're also following the latest in the search for ISIS terrorists infiltrating Europe and potentially the United States. The top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee, Representative Doug Ruppersberger of Maryland. You see him right there. He's standing by live. We'll discuss what's going on. It's very worrisome.
BLITZER: We're following two major stories here in THE SITUATION ROOM. A potential new case of Ebola in Texas after a sheriff's deputy who had contact with the family of Thomas Duncan began experiencing some symptoms. We're going to bring you the latest as we learn more information.
We're also following breaking news in the hunt for possible ISIS terrorists right here in the United States and in Europe, as well. Let's get the very latest. Our justice correspondent, Pamela Brown, is getting new information. What are you learning?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Tonight we're learning that hundreds of tips have poured into the FBI in the past 24 hours, ever since officials called for the public's help identifying the masked man speaking fluent English in the ISIS "Flames of War" video.
Intelligence officials say that this man is so concerning, because he could be someone with a western passport who could easily slip into the U.S. or Europe. And officials say he could also be a recruiting magnet for other westerners.
So some of the tips that have come in so far in the past 24 hours may be because people recognized his distinct voice, perhaps his tone, inflection, mannerisms and even the features that aren't covered underneath his mask here, his eyes and eyebrows.
I also want to mention that the tips the FBI has received include responses to the FBI's call for information about any individuals who have traveled or plan to travel overseas to fight alongside terrorists. The FBI says that all the tips are now being reviewed to see if they produce any credible leads.
And, Wolf, you look back at the Boston Marathon bombing, the FBI did something similar, where they asked the public for help, and that was very successful. So they're hoping for the same in this case.
BLITZER: Obviously a lot going on right now. Thanks very much, Pamela Brown, for that. Let's get some more now from the top Democrat of the House
Intelligence Committee. Representative Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland is joining us.
What do you make, first of all, of this guy that the FBI now wants with this North American accent, as it's described. Do they have any clue who this individual might be?
REP. DUTCH RUPPERSBERGER (D), MARYLAND: Well, we're trying to get information. And what's really positive about the FBI putting this out to the public, we're trying to get any information or tips that we can to try to identify this individual.
Remember, ISIS is out there recruiting and when they can recruit Americans or Canadians who have American or Canadian passports, those individuals can go to Syria or other places in the world and come back to the United States, and if they haven't broken the law, all we can do is monitor them to make sure that they're not planning an attack here in the United States.
BLITZER: So they're looking at his eyes. They're looking at his voice. They're trying to get some recognition. But I take it they really hope maybe someone who's watching and listening to that voice, seeing that image might be able to provide a tip. That's right -- isn't that right, Congressman?
RUPPERSBERGER: You know, in the United States, we have said over and over, if you see anything unusual, call your local police, call your state police, call your FBI. And that's what we're seeking that information, and hopefully, it will make a difference.
It happened with the Boston bomber when we needed to identify those individuals. And we got tips and information, and that helped us identify those two individuals.
BLITZER: What can you tell us about Mohammed Hamza Khan, the 19- year-old kid, the teenager, if you will, from the Chicago area who was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport over the weekend, suspected of being a supporter of ISIS? What can you tell us about this individual? Do you know, for example, how he got $4,000 to buy a round-trip ticket from Chicago, to Vienna and then on to Istanbul?
RUPPERSBERGER: I don't know all those details. What I do know it was good, investigative work done by our locals and our FBI to monitor individuals that we're concerned that want to do damage and hurt the United States.
And as a result of the information and the evidence, because he's an American and because of the evidence we received, we had to make sure that we were able to get that evidence in order to be able to arrest him.
But this is just an example of what the concern is. We know that we have 12 Americans that are in Syria right now being trained and working with ISIS. Those individuals can come to the United States with a passport, and unless -- unless they've broken the law, all we can do is monitor them.
This is a big concern to all of us in the intelligence community about that -- this type of threat.
BLITZER: I assume, though, those 12 individuals, the FBI and law enforcement of the United States knows the names of those 12 individuals, right?
RUPPERSBERGER: There are 12 that we know, but there are others that we're concerned that we don't know. And that's why we have to be vigilant. And the intelligence is the best defense against terrorism. And this is a very serious issue, and we're doing whatever we can. We have the best intelligence in the world. But we also have to follow Americans' constitutional rights in whatever we do.
BLITZER: I wonder what you know about these four individuals who were arrested yesterday in London, suspected of being ISIS supporters and supposedly, according to a whole bunch of reports, planning on publicly beheading individuals in the United Kingdom. What can you tell us about that?
RUPPERSBERGER: Well, it's the same scenario. You know, the Brits, we work with the Brits and our other allies to get intelligence to try to identify these terrorist groups that want to attack us.
And by the way, it's just not ISIS. ISIS is really focused more in where they are now in Syria and Iraq. We're concerned about other al Qaeda elements that are really focused more seriously right now in attacking the United States right away. But you know, when we identify them, we use the intelligence. We're able to try to stop them.
And in the meantime we have to realize ISIS has close to $1 billion. They have social media. They are recruiting as we speak. They're trying to get Americans, Canadians, French to join ISIS. And especially if they have passports, they want to go back and forth to their countries without being noticed.
You know, if you come from Libya or other parts of the world, you need to be able to have a visa to get into these different countries. But when you have a passport you don't, and that really concerns us all.
BLITZER: Which is a -- which is a greater threat to the U.S. homeland, Congressman, right now? ISIS or this al Qaeda spin-off called the Khorasan group?
RUPPERSBERGER: The Khorasan group is very serious. We have no evidence at this point nor I'm going to say intelligence at this point that ISIS is ready to attack us within the month or so. We are concerned about groups like Khorasan, who do research and development, who are trying to develop bombs, plastic bombs that they can put in iPhones and they can put in iPads so that they can pass through a TSA and not be identified. And then it seems al Qaeda still attempts to focus on airplanes and blowing up airplanes. So I would say right now they're all a danger, and ISIS clearly
has to be stopped. And on the other hand, these other terrorist groups, I think, are further ahead in their plans to attack the United States. ISIS is still in that region and holding land, and even though they're threatening everybody, but that's also to recruit other people in their desire to take over that area of the world. And we have got to stop them and smash them.
BLITZER: One final question, Congressman, before I let you go on a totally unrelated matter, Ebola, the threat of Ebola. All of us are concerned about what's going on in Texas right now. Here's the question to you. Do you have confidence that the Centers for Disease Control and other national authorities, local authorities, state authorities really know what they're doing and have this under control.
RUPPERSBERGER: That's a great question, because we have some of the best medical -- medical situations in the world with our doctors, our research and development. And the Centers for Disease Control is as good as anybody in the world.
We need to follow the protocols and the procedures in medicine. For instance, training people in hospitals where there could be possible Ebola not to touch any part of your body below the neck. They're making sure that each hospital emergency room knows to be concerned about this issue.
I'm very sorry for the family of the American [SIC] that just passed away, but as a result of that media, the result of people knowing about that, I believe all hospitals throughout the United States understand what's going on.
I do think we need to be extremely aggressive in Libya especially and those parts of the world where Ebola is really -- is really taking over the country, to an extent. We have to make sure that we use our expertise and that we monitor people who come into the United States from that area to make sure that we don't have other individuals that will come in here with Ebola.
BLITZER: Just one correction. The Liberian who passed away this morning in Dallas, that -- that's the only death of Ebola in the United States so far. Let's hope it stays that way.
RUPPERSBERGER: Yes. That is the only death. And I'm very sorry for his family, and that's important. But we have to learn from what occurred to make sure it doesn't happen again, but I think right now we have to be concerned that this is not a panic situation in the United States the all.
BLITZER: Dr. Ruppersberger, the ranking member of the House intelligence committee. Thanks very much for joining us.
RUPPERSBERGER: Good. Good to be here with you, Wolf.
BLITZER: In the next hour of THE SITUATION ROOM, by the way, I'll be speaking live with the secretary of homeland security, Jeh Johnson. He's with President Obama over at the Pentagon right now. They're getting briefed on Ebola, on ISIS. My interview with Jeh Johnson, the secretary of homeland security, coming up in our next hour.
Also, we'll have the latest on the search for that University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. As the search expands in a new town, the attorney for the suspect, Jesse Matthew, is now speaking to CNN.
BLITZER: Korea's young leader is missing. It's been more than a month now since Kim Jong-un has been seen in public, and now there are new rumors that his younger sister may be leading the secretive country. Here's CNN's Brian Todd.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): She's barely noticed, often seen behind him in official pictures, but right now some believe Kim Jong-un's younger sister could be running North Korea.
Analysts say Kim Yo Jong, who's believed to be in her mid-20s, has unfettered access to her brother. The belief that she might have ascended to the top temporarily comes from the North Korean Intellectual Solidarity, a group of defectors who has not revealed the source of its information. CNN cannot independently confirm it.
VICTOR CHA, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: I can see how it's possible that she's in some sort of temporary position. It's very difficult for the North Korean system to run without one of the Kim family at least titularly in charge.
TODD: Analysts say Kim Yo Jong is the youngest of seven children their father Kim Jong-Il had with four different women. She went to private school with Kim Jung-Un in Switzerland under assumed names, experts say, and later took on important responsibilities for her father, like inspecting sites before official visits.
Analysts say Kim Yo Jong now does similar tasks for her brother but also gets intelligence briefings and handles government policy.
CHA: Clearly an effort to -- I think slow track her on to becoming somebody who is important within the system.
TODD: But as for handling all the stress and palace intrigue of being the supreme leader --
CHA: If in fact she's running the country, as a -- someone in their early to mid-20s, to me, that is quite alarming. It means there's something seriously wrong with Kim Jong-Un and there is some sort of void that they're trying desperately to fill.
TODD: And the mystery surrounding Kim Yo Jong's brother is only deepening. Kim Jong-Un hasn't been seen publicly in more than a month. South Korea's Defense minister now says Kim is not in the capital city. One analyst says he could be north of Pyongyang, in one of three different compounds used by the ruling elite. And there's one other possibility.
CURTIS MELVIN, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: Another option is over here in Wonsan. This summer Kim Jong-Un spent a lot of time over here. He observed military demonstrations and practices out on the bay and he even had military practices take place right off the beach in front of his family home.
TODD: Now all eyes are on a big event this Friday. Will Kim Jong-Un show up at the anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party. He was at the same event last year shown in this picture. If he doesn't show, the concern over his public disappearance will only grow. If he does, intelligence analysts will be looking at his appearance, his body language, every single detail very carefully, Wolf. Keep your eyes on Friday.
BLITZER: A critical day. All right. We'll see what happens.
Brian, thanks very much.
Coming up, the search for the University of Virginia student Hannah Graham is expanding to new towns. We'll have the details when we come back.
BLITZER: The search for the missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham expanding today into a neighboring town. The push comes as experts begin analyzing aerial images of the search area.
And one month after the college sophomore went missing, the attorney for the suspect, Jesse Matthew, tells CNN's Athena Jones he's been in touch with his client three or four times in the last week as he awaits more evidence from the prosecution, who had been very tight lipped about their case against his client.
Joining us now our CNN law enforcement analyst, Tom Fuentes. He's a former assistant director of the FBI. Also joining us, the investigative journalist, Coy Barefoot in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Coy, the search for Hannah Graham, it got bigger today with this mounted search effort, taking crews to farmland in Earlysville, Virginia, other areas. Anything significant seen or found as far as you know?
COY BAREFOOT, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: Not that I'm aware of. Wolf, I was actually out this morning with the guys early this morning at the National Guard Armory when they were rolling out. Most of them in teams of four. They were walking the roadsides, looking in the ditches, going through the dense wooded areas up and down the hills.
And I asked Mark Eggeman, who is the director of the operations there with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. I asked him why is it that this search hasn't been opened up to the thousands of people who would come from around the country to help look for Hannah?
And he said, this is, at this point, still a law enforcement operation because at any moment, we think we could come across a crime scene. And there are concerns of evidence that we have to protect and so that's why it's still these few dozens of men and women who are engaged in this Herculean effort.
I also want to add that there's some really cruel irony. The operations center for the search is located in the National Guard Armory, which is literally a parking lot away from the jail where Jesse Matthew is being kept. So you have all these heroes who are going out every day in the woods to try to find any sign of Hannah and bring her home. And then across the parking lot sits the man whom police believe knows exactly where she is.
BLITZER: Tom, the Charlottesville Police chief said today that the belongings found in the suspect, Jesse Matthew's car, weren't determined to be connected at all to the Hannah Graham case. What does that say to you?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, it says they probably found the evidence that they did link came from the apartment, these clothing and other objects in the apartment.
BLITZER: Because they say they do have some evidence linking him to this case. That's why they're holding him without bond.
FUENTES: Or his body. They took his own DNA samples.
BLITZER: And they say also, Coy, that they have other evidence linking him to the disappearance and death of other -- of other women in the area, right?
BAREFOOT: The Virginia State Police, that's exactly right, Wolf. The Virginia State Police confirmed a week ago Monday that they have forensic evidence which ties Mr. Matthew to abduction and the murder of Morgan Harrington, who went missing almost exactly five years ago, October 17th, 2009.
And police did confirm today that they found no evidence of Hannah in Mr. Matthew's car. That would be the car that he took to Texas. The car that they seized right away after Hannah went missing, we still might confirm that there was some evidence perhaps of Hannah having been in that car.
BLITZER: Coy Barefoot, thanks very much for the investigation you're conducting. And of course, Tom Fuentes, thanks to you, as well.
Coming up, the Homeland Security secretary of the United States, Jeh Johnson, he's my guest. He'll join us live right in the next hour. We'll talk about the dangers of Ebola as Texas now faces a potential new case. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
BLITZER: Happening now. Breaking news. Ebola scare. A possible new case in Texas where the man with the first case diagnosed in the United States has died. Did a sheriff's deputy contract the virus from him?
Frontline defense. A major operation planned in five U.S. international airports to screen passengers for signs of the Ebola virus. We're going to talk about all of this with the Homeland Security secretary of the United States, Jeh Johnson. He'll join us live.