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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Doctor in New York Tests Positive for Ebola; News Conference on N.Y. Ebola case Soon; New York Police concerned Ax Attack Linked to Terror
Aired October 23, 2014 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know there's a shop in the corner, the pizza place down the way. Everybody seems to have seen this guy, know this guy. So anybody who came in direct contact with him the Public Health Department wants to know. They collected their information so that they could then get in touch with them if this tested positive. This changes everything, Anderson.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: All right, Miguel. Thanks very much. We'll continue to check in with you.
And for those who are just joining us good evening from Ottawa in Canada. It is 9:00 p.m. on the East Coast, in the United States and 9:00 p.m. here. There is breaking news in New York. A doctor just back from West Africa has tested positive for Ebola. And we are waiting any moment now to hear from top city and state officials. The Mayor, Bill de Blasio, the Governor, Andrew Cuomo.
The doctor's name is Craig Spencer. That is him. He's an emergency medicine physician at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Tonight he is in isolation at Bellevue Hospital. He returned about 10 days ago from Guinea where he was working with Doctors Without Borders, the aide group treating Ebola patients. He posted this picture on his Facebook page before he left for Guinea.
He was rushed to Bellevue after experiencing fever and other symptoms. He alerted authorities. We're waiting to hear from New York's Governor as I said and New York City's Mayor. And we got a team of reporters and experts joining as well. We're also going to have a lot from on the ground here in Ottawa about yesterday's attacks and what we learned about the killer of a Canadian Corporal just behind me yesterday.
All right, I want to go first to Poppy Harlow who is at Bellevue Hospital. She joins me with the latest. And Poppy, what do we know about when this doctor started to feel symptoms?
POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know that his initial symptom described his feeling sluggish, Anderson, began a few days ago. But those severe symptoms of the 103 degree fever, the nausea, the pain and the fatigue did not kick in until late last night, early this morning. He promptly were told call the FDN why he was transported with all the precautions necessary first responders and Hazmat suits, et cetera, to here at Bellevue Hospital. The hospital designated by this city for exactly this type of situation. We're told by the hospital, he came here about 1:00 p.m. The test ensued shortly there after. And then in the last half an hour we have just learned as you noted that he tested positive for Ebola. We are waiting for a press conference to happen here at Bellevue Hospital any moment now. Both Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City also and Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York will be here to address the media -- the public because this is the first case of Ebola in New York City, also concerning two officials the fact Anderson that he was out in public as recently as last night.
We know that he took an Uber cab to Brooklyn, to Williamsburg, Brooklyn to go bowling. It's not clear if how late he was there, if he started feeling sick in these severe symptoms while he was there or when he got home last night. A lot of questions were going to be ask in him as soon as they come here in just a matter of minutes.
COOPER: OK, if anybody doesn't know Uber what it's a basically a web- based car service you can call up, popular in a lot of cities throughout the United States and throughout the world. So just to zero in on the symptoms. You are saying it wasn't -- he didn't have a fever until today. But in previous days he felt so much sluggish or fatigue. Is that right?
HARLOW: Right, all we've been told by a law enforcement official is that he was feeling sluggish a few days ago. But clearly Anderson he felt well enough to go out and about, so not feeling any different than someone would feel a little bit under the weather. And then we're told that either late last night, early this morning, we were not given the exact hour that is when this all kicked in, 103 degree fever, et cetera.
He called the FDNY, you know, late morning or early afternoon because he arrived here at 1:00 p.m. I also want to note that as Elizabeth Cohen has been reporting I think a lot of lessons have been learned from what happened in Dallas because what the Mayor is saying is that really was a seamless sort of perfect transportation from where he was in his apartment which has Miguel said has been quarantine off, completely, you know, completely isolated if you will and taken here in the proper way.
We are also told by the hospital that he likely never even entered the emergency room because they knew that he could possibly have Ebola. They would have taken him directly upstairs, directly into quarantine. We also they have quarantined his girlfriend. So it looks like every possible step that should have been taken at least at this hour what were being told is that it has been taken.
COOPER: All right. Poppy, thanks very much. So I just want to let our viewers know, what you are seeing in one corner of your screen. That is actually where the press conference is going to take place. So we're obviously just monitoring that. And as soon as we see activities, as soon as we see the Governor and the Mayor we're going to bring you that press conference live, because we want to get it to you as accurate and as up-to-date information as possible.
Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta is joining us. And Sanjay, you know, we have discussed a lot about symptoms and fever and what degree of fever is actually now what the CDC says should be of concern. So when somebody if feeling sluggish for several days but they don't have a fever does that mean 100 percent, they cannot spread the virus?
SANJAY GUPTA CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well I think people are reluctant to say 100 percent. But let me see if I can explain this well, first of all it is not a binary situation. It's not to say that when someone develops symptoms they are now all of sudden going to start to infect other people. What happens as you start to develop symptoms because you have more virus that is sort of replicating in your body? And as you get more virus that's replicating in your body it starts to get into your bodily fluid.
And that's when it eventually can start to spread. So as you get sicker you become more infectious. But keep in mind like take the case of Mr. Duncan for example. So here's gentleman who ultimately did cause the infection of two nurses in the hospital. But at the same time he had been at home with Louise, someone you interviewed, Anderson and other people in that home. And none of them got infected.
He was sick at that time, had symptoms at that time. But wasn't as sick clearly as he was in the hospital. There was a gentleman named Mr. Sawyer who was a gentleman who traveled from Liberia to Nigeria. He was on a plane. Upon arriving in Nigeria he was sick enough that he collapsed in the airport terminal.
He subsequently died. And there were healthcare workers who cared for him who became infected. But nobody on the plane ride where he apparently started to develop his symptoms ever became sick. So as you get sicker you become more infectious. It's not a binary situation where all of sudden you have now a fever therefore every one's at risk. Is it 100 percent safe? No, I don't any one can see that. But very, very low likelihood that he would have infected anybody during that time, during that initial period.
COOPER: And CNN Medical -- CNN Medical Analyst at Fordham University is Dr. Alexander Van Tulleken and is also joining us. Dr. Van Tulleken, I'm wondering what your questions are that you hope to hear from this press conference tonight. I mean I, you know, well just in reality let's skip to the core of this. Its really just a matter of time before -- its just been a matter of time before New York City and other major cities have a case of Ebola as long as this virus continues to spread, as long as this virus continues to go out of control in West Africa. There's no way to completely stop it from in the United States. So at this point what as a medical professional would you want to know about this doctor and his condition?
ALEXANDER VAN TULLEKEN, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: I think we'd like to know when he exposed to again idea of how far into his infection he may be. And we'd like to know a huge amount of detail about his movement. I think the other part of this story which in focusing on him, his symptoms, how likely he is to infect someone in New York City which I think as Sanjay has explained is extremely low. We lose sight to the fact that this is a guy who is now facing a potential fatal illness. He's in the hospital at the moment.
And he unlike some of the other people who have been infected just (inaudible) happen stance or poor luck. He's actually been in West Africa doing the only thing that keeps us safe in New York which rolling back the virus as you say. I guess in terms of the press conference, real details about how quickly the authorities were unto his symptoms and doing the contract trace that seem to be very good.
And I guess the other thing we'd really like to know is why at this stage do we not have a procedure for quarantining people for 21 days and isolating them at home. And I guess -- my guess would be the best reason for that is it makes it terribly hard for these charities particularly Doctors Without Borders to do their work. But we'd really like to hear a bit more about that.
COOPER: Explain that and I think what you mean is that already a doctor like this man who, you know, is making a great sacrifice to volunteer his time several months at a time to go to whether its Guinea or Liberia or Sierra Leon, risk his life, risk his -- yeah, risk his life really...
VAN TULLEKEN: Yeah.
COOPER: ... that to then ask them and other aide workers to then give up an additional 21 days when they return that their working. That they are not earning their salary, that that maybe once step too far or may cut down the number of healthcare workers and professionals and nurses and doctors who are willing to go over and dedicate their time if they know that upon returning they have to quarantine themselves for 21 days. Is that the question you're raising?
VAN TULLEKEN: I mean that to me is the logic. And if you think that Doctors Without Borders who sent 300 international staff to respond to this Ebola epidemic you're talking about two work years of human time lost with people staying at home. It just reduces the number of people who are willing to go and do it. It would make life hard for any one wanting to go and do it.
And the problem is that these organizations have a massive crisis. I mean the other big impact of Dr. Spencer getting sick is that any one who's thinking of volunteering to go and work in this epidemic for any of the charities that are doing this great work out there, well think again, you know, your mother, your father, your children will be asking you not to go. And that creates a huge resources crisis.
Now clearly the city isn't going to speak to that tonight. But it would be interesting if they start to discuss the possibility of enforcing quarantine periods of saying it's a voluntary quarantine effectively, I mean that, you know, may not need enforcing. But the people could stay at home for 21 days and have to check in the way that they do once their being supervised and monitored CDC is there is an exposure. At that point it would be nice to know what the system of hospitals, of international organizations would be doing to mitigate the devastating effects of that on the response in West Africa. COOPER: Its also I mean I think you raised a good point. And I just want to reiterate it that, you know, often there's a tendency of because of fear and, you know, the genuine concern that people have about contracting this are pointing fingers at someone like this doctor when we should just continue to repeat it and keep in mind that this is a man who risk his own life...
VAN TULLEKEN: Yes.
COOPER: ... to go overseas save the lives -- try to save the lives of complete strangers. And by so doing really get to the heart of what it is that threatens the rest of the world without people going overseas. And you can say well people shouldn't do it. We should isolate ourselves as a country. Without people like this doctor going to overseas and risking their own lives this virus is never going to get under control without more people like him.
And they need more people like him not less. Someone -- I want to bring someone out national public health experience dealing with the H1N1 flu outbreak, former assistant of Homeland Security Secretary Juliette Kayyem. I know Juliet you were listening to Dr. Van Tulleken. In term of what you are most interested in learning right now. Is it about sort of the onset of symptoms, the contact he had? What is your take on this?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, FORMER U.S. ASST. SECY, FOR HOMELAND SECURITY: Well he is -- the investigation from a public health perspective is obviously going to follow where he and who had contact with. But this obviously is going to have national implications. New York City is our major city. The Whitehouse has this new Ebola Czar, whatever his exact title is. And there is going to have to be further education from the Whitehouse through public health and public safety entities about how to deal with a threat or, you know, with these cases that are going to arise in places we cant even predict right now just given the nature of travel and as Sanjay was saying just nature of the volunteer medical force that is going to Africa.
We should probably hear from the Whitehouse relatively soon given that it does now have an Ebola Czar. I understand them deferring to New York. But whether there's going to be changes in any protocols from the CDC or the airport level. Those should come out soon as well. People are looking to the Whitehouse to centralize and organize what at first seemed a very complicated and confuse response. And I would suspect we hear from them tonight after press conference. They'll differ to the local and then probably come out later on tonight.
COOPER: And Dr. Seema Yasmin is joining us as well from the CDC Disease Infection (ph) now with the Dallas Morning News. You know it seems to me Dr. Yasmin because New York is one of the cities now that, you know, there's been talk of and plans to try to basically funnel travelers from the affected countries Liberia, Sierra Leon and Guinea to five major airports, two of which are in New York I believe. I believe JFK and Newark in New Jersey but is often one terminal into New York City. And try to funnel most of the people coming from those countries in West Africa to those airports which can handle an have a higher level of sophistication in screening for passengers up coming from the -- coming from the hot zone.
But obviously if somebody is not showing symptoms when they arrive there's not much that can be done.
SEEMA YASMIN: That is the challenge with infectious disease is we face that challenge all the time, Anderson. The people maybe asymptomatic. They may appear healthy when they come into the U.S. And because of that 21 day incubation period with Ebola they may not develop symptoms until they've already been here for awhile. But let's go back to July 28. In fact when CDC first issued an Ebola public health alert to U.S. hospital just a few days after that, Anderson, New York City really stepped up. They rallied around.
They got together, many hospitals, the public health system and steps up and has a plan in action. And it seems today we are seeing that action -- as we're seeing that time to come in to action, we are seeing this fantastic chain of communication, this system where the patient talked to the Doctor Without Border. They talked to the Department of Health. They talked to EMF. And things seem to have gone as planned. Very unlike with what saw right here in Dallas.
COOPER: You know Dr. Sanjay Gupta is also joining on the phone. You know Sanjay, it's interesting we keep talking about this 21 day incubation period as if that is a complete hard and fast rule. You and I talked about this I think two weeks ago, a recent study that was done analyzing all the latest, all the updated information, not just from outbreaks back in the 70s when that 21 day period was actually kind -- that was actually formulated.
But a more recent study has done that showed and correct if I'm wrong here, but as many as 12 percent of people who end up being positive with Ebola do not show any signs of it within 21 days. That as many as 12 percent of people show it after that 21 day period. So its interesting to me that authorities are still, you know, publicly using that 21 day figure as if its set in stone.
GUPTA: Yes, I mean these are not exact numbers obviously. And I looked at that study, that was a study that came out of Drexel (ph) University that looked at this 12 percent number. The problem is that when you start talking about trying to assign exact numbers here is that, you know, remember that there hasn't been that many people who have had Ebola. So, you know, you are looking specifics.
You are trying to draw absolute numbers here based on very little data. So what the CDC has done are along with the World Health Organization is try and come up with the best sort of estimates, you know, what you find is the vast majority of people who are going to get sick from Ebola, gets sick within 8 to 10 days.
So it's not a hard and fast rule. You know, people maybe told (inaudible) if you develop a temperature even after 21 days, because anybody develops a temperature. They should get it checked out. But it's a pretty wide net when they say 21 days is it actually going to catch everybody? Hard to say. But the vast majority of people who are going to get sick do seem to get sick within that first time period. COOPER: And I just want to reiterate in the corner of your screen you are seeing the room where the press conference is going to take place. We are anticipating that relay any moment, Governor of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo as well as the Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio. It's not clear if they'll be other health officials with them as well. But we are going to carry that press conference live. And if you are just joining us this is the first case of Ebola inside New York City or in the City of New York, a doctor, Dr. Spencer who returned about 10 days ago or so from Guinea has now tested positive.
More tests are no doubt are going to be done. But as Elizabeth Cohen was reporting those initial tests usually are very, very accurate. He is now in isolation and being treated at Bellevue Hospital. We're not sure exactly how he is being treated. Obviously it seems as soon as his fever reaches a certain point he alerted authorities.
So was brought to Bellevue. So the hope is that it was caught as early as they possibly could have caught it and will treated accordingly. The cases where we have seen where people who have tested positive for Ebola inside the United States when it's been caught, early they are clearly have the best results. We have seen that with the two nurses who tested positive in Dallas. We saw that also with the freelance camera man from NBC.
We have our analyst and experts and observers standing by not only to react to this press conference but just to rather give -- and put this in as much context as possible. This is one case of a healthcare worker who was working in Africa, in New York City. Dr. Van Tulleken is also still with us.
Doctor, I mean, again I just want to reiterate for people in New York City who are going to be on the subways tomorrow and this is going to be on the front pages of papers in New York City. The risk to people is minuscule. I mean it's really nonexistent. It's really all been healthcare workers who are directly dealing with people who have suffered from Ebola and are acutely sick with Ebola that have tested positive.
VAN TULLEKEN: Yes, I think that's absolutely right, Anderson. And it's really important to say from the early stages, I mean, you know, Dr. Spencer is well enough to go bowling. I mean that's not someone who's on the ground stricken with terrible symptoms. And Sanjay said it's a gray area, where you don't immediately become symptomatic at certain moment when you have a temperature. But levels of virus in your bodily fluids gradually rise.
And so what we know is the healthcare workers who have been exposed and infected even through protective gear, were exposed to bodily fluids but have massively high -- much higher levels of virus in them, by many orders (inaudible), many of millions of times higher that he will have had when he was out.
So, I mean, personally I can say, I live probably about five blocks from him. I will going home tonight without any fear. I would go and have a drink in my local bar without any worries. I would take another the taxi. I would go bowling at that bowling ally. I think the risks from being in contact with him will be vanishingly small but -- so what I'd say is if you live in New York and you're feeling worried, don't worry about the case in New York. Worry about the case in West Africa. But if you're a public health official in New York, you should be up all night. I mean, they should be worried about this. They should be trying to lock down every single aspect of these and being extremely transparent. I mean, that was the other things we really saw in Dallas was, this lack of transparency.
We still don't have a full account of everything that happened in Dallas. And that's so important because as we're seeing now, we need to learn in their mistakes, we need to chase them, everything that's going on at the moment and make sure that we have a clear accounting of it so that we can learn for the next cases.
Because if there's one thing that we can be really certain of and I study this publish in the (inaudible) a few days ago predicting between three and eight patients per month will leave West Africa with Ebola and will be traveling to major western cities.
So we know this will happen again and we also know -- ops sorry -- yup.
COOPER: And you're looking at the area where the press conference is going to take place. I want to read you something that I just received from one of our producers. It's labeled as urgent.
The New York City office of emergency management is expected to activate its emergency operations center in Brooklyn. A law enforcement official is telling CNN, the official also says the immediate focus is to track down anyone who made a come in contact with Dr. Craig Spencer. So they're activating the emergency operation center in Brooklyn and they're going to trying to track down anyone who may have come in contact with Dr. Spencer.
Investigators have said, we're taking this seriously. They are concern it appears, he did not self-quarantine. And according to the same official the doctor as said has taken -- took an (inaudible) a car to bowling alley, Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Wednesday night.
The Doctor's girlfriend is in isolation. The official is telling CNN.
So Dr. Van Tulleken, when we hear that the girlfriend is in isolation, does that mean isolation in a hospital, isolation in her apartment? I mean, is that something she's -- I mean, that's not a quarantine.
Isolation is different. Is that something officials may stop by once a day or twice a day and take her temperature and she is just staying at home?
VAN TULLEKEN: Yeah -- I mean, what we know about asking people to self-quarantine or to isolate themselves during epidemics is -- unless they cooperate. It's very, very hard to enforce especially if we're potentially talking about large numbers of people.
We've seen this in other epidemics in Toronto in SARS and so on. So at the moment I expect -- although we don't know for sure, I expect what they've ask them to do is stay at home.
And what we hope is that we'll be making life easy for her to stay home. I mean, its New York so we have -- can order food on the internet, you can get stuff delivered pretty easily. But nevertheless you want to make sure that someone is there to help with the laundry, to help with cleaning, to help with any needs that she might have to make sure that she can comfortably stay home because that is the best way of getting people to comply.
So, my personal view would be it would be appropriate for her to stay in her apartment but we also want to make sure now that we know the apartment to have someone who seen it, that needs to be clean.
So it maybe that she goes somewhat temporary while the apartment is cleaned.
COOPER: Our Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is also with us.
Elizabeth, you were reporting in West African, in the hot zone. I believe that you're in Liberia if my memory serves me correctly. When you came back, was there any expectation that you would isolate yourself for 21days? I mean, obviously you did not come in direct contact with anyone that you know have who had Ebola and you were just there just there reporting. But there's no one -- when come in at the airport, no one says to you, OK now you got to for 21 days and isolate yourself?
COHEN: Absolutely not, Anderson. In fact when I get back which was September 27th, there was -- I wasn't told anything. And I talked about a lot in television and now they do tell them, you need to monitor yourself, you need you know, report your temperature so it's a much different system than it was months ago.
You know, as you've said, I, you know, I didn't take care of anyone with Ebola. I wasn't exposed to anyone's bodily fluids. I think what's happened here will raise questions when healthcare workers return to the united states from West Africa.
Is there possibly a sort of a higher level of monitoring that they need to be doing different in someone like myself who wasn't exposed to anyone? Should we have sort of a different expectation for what they need to do? I think that's a legitimate question to ask.
COOPER: Particularly, if you -- I mean, if you have a girlfriend or boyfriend or somebody or you have kids, if you're married, if you have a family around you and you're returning, that's obviously something that obviously a healthcare worker and doctor would know very much about and would -- it would no doubt at least be a consideration.
COHEN: That's right. And so, you want to think about how this disease spread. So, you know, let's do contact with bodily fluids. So let's say and we don't know this but let's say he was vomiting. Was his girlfriend helping him? Did she come in contact with his vomit?
So it's so important to remember, you know, these spreads to bodily fluid so it can be spread sexually to bodily fluid. So that's another thing to think about.
You know, It's -- again and I know all of us have been saying this. If I were in New York and I actually plan to head there soon, I would not be nervous walking by his house. I would go to that bowling alley, but if I were his girlfriend, I would be concerned. If I was a friend who had dinner with him last night, if I eat off with his plate as I often do with my friends, I would be concerned.
There is completely different levels and circles of who needs to be concerned and who doesn't.
COOPER: You eat off your friend's plate?
COHEN: I do, I do. I ask them first if they (inaudible)...
COOPER: What kind of dinner can get (inaudible)?
COHEN: ... but I do.
COHEN: We'll have to go on and have dinner sometime Anderson, yeah.
COOPER: All right, OK. I got enough problems eating.
Sanjay, you know, it is one of those considerations, I mean, if one has a family, obviously don't want to do anything to endanger them. This doctor clearly felt you -- I'm assuming he felt he was not in anyway endangering his girlfriend or anyone else who had in contact with.
And it is a tough thing to expect people to -- just because they have been in West Africa to isolate themselves for 21 days when they return.
GUPTA: Yeah -- I mean, I agree with Elizabeth, this may a prompt day a review of exactly what the strategy and protocol should be for people coming out at West Africa.
Again, we're not talking about travel bans or anything here we're talking about the idea that someone may basically exclude themselves from the general populations for...
COOPER: So you think they should tell them?
GUPTA: ... a period of time until they get back. But one thing
COOPER: Do you think they should?
GUPTA: ... I'll say is, well -- well I'm not sure where there yet. I mean, I think that -- so keep in mind, so just take the case of Mr. Duncan for example, and this is -- I bring this up because he's obviously somebody who everyone has heard about in his story. He was at his apartment his with his girlfriend or his -- I'm not sure if there was -- his fiancee Louise and other family member. What we know is that even at the time when he was -- sound like he was sick, because he went to the hospital initially with symptoms, was sent home, was apparently sick at that apartment for at least a couple days. They did not get (inaudible).
Now -- I mean, should we just assume that as a result of that, it is safe certainly to not put people into some sort of quarantine when they come back from West Africa, having had intent of contact with patients. Should doctors or healthcare teams be treated differently because they have been taking care of patients with Ebola and have had a lot of contact with patients with Ebola?
It becomes a question of really trying to figure out how much risks do you think there is. How much risks do you think the person has been in, who's been in West Africa and then trying to develop a strategy based on that.
You know, there have been Doctors Without Borders coming back to the United States again for a long time having taking care of patients with Ebola. What we're talking about tonight is the first doctor with out borders who has come back in is subsequently tested positive. This has never happened before.
And so as a result of this first patient, how much do we change strategies and protocols? You know, I don't know. I am not sure that the term abundance of caution gets drawn around a lot and I fully understand that. And, you know, someone who was in West Africa, myself, I have a wife, I have three kids, just like Elizabeth, you know, when I came back doing the specific protocol given to me but, you know, perhaps there should be and maybe for the time being there'd be abundance of caution. Maybe it would eased back in the future but we maybe had a bit in that direction.
COOPER: And it is very possible. We may never know exactly how this doctor came in direct contact with, I mean, with his skin to Ebola as with Nancy Writebol's friend, the American missionary who tested positive in Liberia.
When I interviewed her, she still to this today, doesn't know exactly how she came in contact. What they'd given that she was not even directly dealing with patients. She was dealing with her family members.
As we wait for this press conference and I hate to be stringing you along on this. We thought this was going to take place honestly about 20 or 25 minutes ago.
We keep seeing some of the activity but we want to bring it to you live. We don't want you to miss any information on this. We do want to bring you up to date.
On the other breaking story out of New York tonight, the hatchet attack that took place earlier today send two police officers to the hospital, one with critical head injuries. The would-be-killer (ph) is dead. Now, take a look at this surveillance video. That's the man right there. You see the hatchet. We should probably lower if we can, take off that thing at the bottom of the screen just so you can see as much of the pictures as we can show. Tension is turning to whether this man was actually motivated by radical Islam.
Authorities are focusing on items on his Facebook page and a YouTube video.
I want to bring in as we looked again at this video, CNN Jim Sciutto joins us now with more. Jim, it's incredible at this video -- I mean, it's only -- it's at a strange angle and you are only seeing him briefly, but you see him raising up the hatchet to directly attack these police officers, Jim.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: You get a sense of just how brazing this attack was. 4:00 in the afternoon, broad daylight on a Queen Street, just outside, you know, inside New York City.
We're getting some more details now. We have the identity now Anderson of the attacker and his name is Zale Thompson, 32 years old. He had a criminal record in California. We're also told that he was discharged from the Navy for misconduct.
As you mention, what is truly concerning police though are his social media postings in Facebook, YouTube, etcetera, which has raise suspicions of this random attack that you see in that surveillance video right there, is tied to recent calls by radical groups including ISIS for random attacks like this on law enforcement.
The circumstances of attack also just so brazing. You got four NYD-PD police officers. They had pose to take a photograph with the member of the public who police do not believe he is connected in anyway of this attack. And that's when this man who police believe was stalking possibly the police officers.
When you see him come out of the upper right hand corner of that video, witnesses said it appear that he was hovering behind a bus stop or something to conceal himself and then when he saw his opportunity he ran up and he attack the police officers. One of them injured in his arm. He raised his arm to kind to protect himself. The other unfortunately Anderson, hit in the back of the head with this hatchet and you could see it on the ground there, you know, sizable hatchet and he is now in critical condition in the hospital.
COOPER: And, you know, for those who have visit in New York -- I mean, New York City police officers to everyone in the street are very accessible unit. Time Square, you see people asking for photos with New York City police officers all the time.
People like to have their photos taken with them, pay their respects to the police. So obviously, this is a very disturbing development. Our thoughts and our prayers are with both of those officials who were injured in this attack and their families. Jim, stay with us on this. I want to dig deeper but also I want to bring in CNN National Security Analyst, Juliette Kayyem, former Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security. She is joining us.
First of all Juliette, what do you make of this attack? I mean, if it's confirm that this guy either their ties to radical Islam or was just ideologically motivated through his social media postings. I mean, you have two attacks in Canada this week and now this.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, look Anderson, that was the first time I've seen the video just about two minutes ago and the words, my god, that came out of my mouth and I don't get easily spoke. I mean, there is something so brazen as you were saying about the attack.
Look, we know that the call has gone out through social media by ISIS and others for these random attacks of violence. They matter to ISIS. It shows that they have support, it amplifies their message and so if there's a relationship between -- even is he is lone wolf between what he was reading and how he got radicalized and him going out and attacking armed and uniformed officers which was what the message -- what various messages from ISIS have said.
Then, you know, then you say that this person has become radicalized. It doesn't matter whether he was a broad, getting trained or not. The power of ISIS or any organization of using social media to radicalize those who have never met them, who have never gone a broad even, is the sort of terrain of counterterrorism.
It is almost impossible to stop as we've seen. I mean, is this link, this is the third incident in a Western country in three days or four days.
COOPER: And I mean, and I think this (inaudible) repeating and I'm not saying this in any way to make people afraid. I think it's actually quite the opposite. I think it should just make people vigilant and, you know, make people stick from their resolve. This was going to happen again. I mean, as you've said, this is not something that can be stop.
You can have any individual with hatchet, or a gun, or a knife, or, you know, any object, whatsoever. And other people are going to try this whether it's against police, whether it's against civilians on the street. I mean, this is just the age we live in and one has to be aware of it and continue to move forward.
KAYYEM: Right. It is -- I mean, we have to remember we have never lived in a perfectly states society even before 9/11. And this is a new type if threat. Obviously, there are a lot of border controls to try to curve the threat. There's a lot of intelligence sharing. There's a lot of viewing of social media.
But it doesn't take much for someone to sit in their room to think that they are part of something bigger and then to get a hatchet or machete or whatever his carrying and to attack. And the good news is -- and I guess we have to look at good news at this stage in the world that these attacks while violent are not existential.
They are not, you know, 3,000 people dying and buildings at the World Trade Center. These are unplanned. It looks like random and therefore, you know, sort of minimal in their impact even though there are quite disconcerting.
COOPER: And Jim, I mean, in a various repeating, the other good news if any there is, is that people -- once they are educated and learned about this and aware of this kind of threat, they rise to the occasion. I mean, we now have seen airline passengers repeatedly subdue other who are causing problems on site -- on the flight.
We've seen, you know, people paying attention on the street in ways that they haven't seeing something and saying something to law enforcement. So if there is any good that can come out of any of these incidents it's the sort of the situational awareness, not fear but a situational awareness of people and their willingness to stand up and stop this.
SCIUTTO: You're right. And members of the public certainly and also law enforcement. There's a whole infrastructure in place that followed 9/11.
Law enforcement intelligence, they work together better. They share intelligence to get a better among themselves but also with other countries, Canada included to watch the borders more closely, etcetera, much more vigilant today than we were 13 years ago. And you saw that immediately.
Right after this attack, a bulletin was issued to police in New York warning them to have -- based on the bulletin quote, a heightened level of awareness against random attacks. Now -- But in that warning though, you see how difficult that is to follow heightened sense of awareness to random attacks. It's a random attack, so by its nature. It doesn't have any warning.
And that in many ways is the world we live in. Because intelligence officials talk a lot about this Anderson, that with Al-Qaeda diminished as it is so those grand 9/11 like ambitious attacks less likely today but it's also more divers and disperse so many groups that are capable of attacks that require much less planning. A guy with a hatchet attacking police officers, in Canada earlier this week, a guy with a car driving into a Canadian soldier or on Wednesday, a guy with a gun.
So, on the good side less chance of ambitious attacks, on the bad side with a more diverse threat, perhaps a greater threat of smaller scale attacks.
COOPER: And we are really just about a minute away or less than a minute away from this press conference, so were going to bring in back to you that. But I also just want to point out one of the signs of resilience and strength that we saw here in Ottawa today. I mean, right behind me is the War Memorial where Corporal Nathan Cirillo was killed just yesterday. Today, it was open again, hundreds, thousands of people coming throughout the day to pay their respects to that fallen soldier, to that fallen hero. And parliament itself, the building itself open once again.
The Sergeant-at-Arms who shot the killer dead yesterday, he's back on duty receiving a standing ovation. So we saw legislators back at work, parliament open for business to democracy continuing in this country. You know, this country is certainly -- perhaps more aware than they have ever been before of the threats that they face and that we all face. But certainly not letting it -- not living in fear. Continuing to stand up tall and stand up proud in this city in all throughout the great country of Canada.
Again, we are just seconds away now from New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. And as we wait for this, Juliette Kayyem, I want to bring -- actually, it looks like they're setting at the podium.
As we're watching this, the podium get ready to (inaudible). We've just heard that this emergency operation centers now being set up in Brooklyn to track down other people that this doctor may have had contact with.
You've been involved in those kind of operation centers, how is that actually work? What is that mean? And I may interrupt to you when the press conference starts.
KAYYEM: OK, that's fine. Emergency operations center which I've been to get opened, it means that you're going to have an incident commander who is essentially in-taking information and sharing it amongst jurisdictions as well as discipline.
The interesting thing about Ebola as we switch gears now into this threat is of course, it's cutting across the public health community but every community that may have come in contact with the doctor.
And so this is now challenge of information and intelligence sharing. So the emergency operation center ask if they have (ph) for all of that information and then also deploying resources. So let's say we heard, you know, this bowling alley that the doctor went to.
Now there will be deployed resources to the bowling alley to figure out where he was, how was he feeling, talk to people at the bowling alley. And that's how this investigations unfold, where these emergency operation centers are stood, up in during a hurricane of a, you know, a big event like the 4th of July as a way to just sort of centralized what our very disperse investigations across geography, across discipline and of course across time because he has been out in about the last couple of days.
COOPER: And Dr. Craig Spencer is the name of the doctor who has now tested positive Ebola. To the center like this, an operation center like this, it's staffed from --what? From representatives, from multiple agencies, from police from health officials and other? KAYYEM: Right. That's exactly right. Actually it's quite physically interesting because there will be signs and so there will be the sort of medical unit and it will be people from the state, from the city, from county, public and private hospitals, you'll have people from law enforcement, form emergency management depending on the threat, it will be people from the national guard.
I assume that this is an all hands on deck, so that everyone will deploy people to the emergency operation center and then those people in the center are communicating with their different agencies. It's just sort of though a well-homed way over, you know, 40 or 50 years of figuring out emergency management that people have learned to communicate.
So by opening it up, then the city is essentially signifying that we're treating this like, you know, like other emergencies, a hurricane, an attack, whatever it might be and we're going to use the same resources that we do in other emergency. So it's interesting and I should say clearly public health is part of the center. I mean, they're sort of the subject matter experts. But it's a signal that they are taking this investigation seriously as they should.
COOPER: And Juliette, who is it who is actually going out of the field, going to that bowling alley, talking to people there, showing his picture, the doctor's picture around, going around to his neighborhood. Are those health care workers, I mean, are those officials from the health department or again multi agencies?
KAYYEM: It's multi agency. I mean, I think anywhere this viewed as hot and I don't want to sound like a doctor here. So it's just any where -- any place where we might be nervous that others would be expose, would be the public health and medical professionals. In the kind of the dear (ph) let's hope that the CDC has sort of warned health officials.
But, you know, there is -- he has been out in about and so figuring out where he has been is a matter of sort of emergency managers, police officers, whoever else might be able to give clues, those pieces of information are then centralized at this emergency operation center.
There is computer networks that do this and so that the entire apparatus including the mayor and governor who are ultimately responsible for this can have real-time information. So this is a familiar routine for those in public safety, public health and first responders. And I should say it's a way to protect our first responders. I mean, as Sanjay and others on the panel have been saying, "Look who is getting Ebola essentially."
We need to protect the first responders. We can not deploy them without the kind of protection that they need. They are our first line of defense and they are getting sick and we need to protect them. So this is a way of making sure we don't send people out who are not protected from a threat that, you know, from Ebola.
COOPER: And again, we are waiting press conference for the Governor and the Mayor. We had a two minute warning probably about 10 minutes ago so, so much for our sense of time in New York City, but we will bring that to you live.
Sanjay, how much do you think officials in New York have learned from what went on in Dallas?
GUPTA: I think they have learned a lot. Certainly I think everyone has learned quite a bit about, you know, what the situation in Dallas and how to not look that happen in our hospitals. I think what is interesting Anderson is I don't think there was anything particularly novel that was learned here.
I think much of what's been done with regard treating Ebola even in really tough spots in remote forested areas in Africa. I mean we have known this for a long time. Part of it is that some of that basic knowledge was not applied in Dallas was that (inaudible), was that overconfidence, who knows. But I think that some of those mistakes, I think, hopefully will not be repeated.
I mean I think this has certainly served as a wake up call from everything -- from how quickly it sounds like Mr. Spencer was quickly arrived at the hospital, how quickly he was isolated, that's going to vote (ph) well for him. We can't forgive obviously that this is a potentially life threatening infection but it also goes well for people who are around him.
And now the whole context raising part, it's a really fascinating and sort of process. I mean, in addition to trying to find all the people that he may have coming contact with, they go and ask those people as well. Look, we know you are in contact with him, can you think of anybody else that he may have come in contact with.
GUPTA: So it's sort of a two way conversation. You know they're alerting the person that, look, you are now in contact but also trying to glean information from those people as well. So, that is what's happening right now. You know, we've been saying, everyone has being saying I think on the panel tonight, responsibly the risk any of those people extraordinarily low.
And I just think that so important to keep reinforcing. I know you have Anderson but nevertheless it doesn't important process to go through to let those people know that Dr. Spencer in fact did test positive and that they may have had contact with him, more that they should be aware of that rather than they feel that risk of them developing an infection is, you know, high at all.
COOPER: You know, Sanjay, we've paid so much attention to situation in Liberia, but Guinea in the last (inaudible) months or so has not gone as much attention. You actually were there early on in this outbreak. Guinea is where Dr. Spencer was serving with Doctors Without Borders. Talk to me a little bit about the situation in Guinea, I mean from the time you were there it really felt like it was before this had reached to a point that it was completely out of control. It sound -- it felt like when you were there doctors felt like they were kind of -- that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
GUPTA: I was really surprise by that now, even more so in that retrospect Anderson. I'll tell you when -- so we were there in the middle of April and even at that time talking to some resources of World Health Organization at that point, you know, the sentiment seemed to be look at -- this is already late in the outbreak. This is going to be over soon. The only organization again that was sort of really starting to sound the alarm was Doctors Without Borders and I think when the first use the term, I can't remember it was late April, early May, when it was.
They said this is starting to inspire a lot of control. I remember that even some of the other at large health organizations around the world sort of treated that with a little bit of disdain. Is this really spiraling out of control? Is this a little bit fear mongering? Whatever they wanted to call it, as it turns out the Doctors Without Borders were correct their assessment and a lot of other people miss about.
COOPER: And there is New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on the left, New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo for this press conference where we're going to learn the latest on Dr. Spencer and New York's reaction to how they are dealing with this, the first positive case of Ebola in the City of New York.
Let's listen in.