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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
U.S. General Killed in Afghanistan Attack; Deadly Enemies Disguised as Allies; Gaza Residents Return to Homes Left in Ruins; Interview with Lt. Col. Peter Lerner; Interview with David Kirkpatrick; Gunfire in Key Ukraine City; Second American Infected with Ebola Arrives at Emory University Hospital
Aired August 5, 2014 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening from Jerusalem. Thanks very much for joining us. We are on for two hours tonight until the 10:00 hour. A lot to cover.
The cease-fire here. Israeli troops pulling out of Gaza. Mission accomplished, the IDF says in a tweet this morning. Military operations went on right up until the 8:00 a.m. deadline this morning.
This was the scene in Gaza City and this is the West Bank, also this morning, a stray rocket, one of about 20 according to Israeli authorities that Hamas fired shortly before the cease-fire took effect.
Tonight, we'll look at the fate of ordinary Gaza civilians, many of whom simply do not have homes to return to. They are gone along with entire neighborhoods. A lot more on that and what happens next, both there and here in Israel, in the next two hours.
Plus, Nick Paton Walsh in eastern Ukraine's war zone, taking cover tonight from the fighting that is all around him. Shots going off just a few blocks from him with a growing Russian threat right across the border.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We've heard sustained automatic gunfire here in central Donetsk, a real sign, I think, the militants must be either extraordinarily edgy or perhaps in the worst situation an exchange of gunfire with the Ukraine military if they are in fact this close to the city center.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Keeping his lights off and his voice low because gunmen were very close by. We're going to have more from Nick in just a few minutes.
Ahead as well, the second American Ebola patient comes home. A progress report on both patients and so far the news seems to be hopeful.
We begin, though, tonight with another tragic first in America's longest war since Vietnam. The highest ranking U.S. service member killed in wartime since the Vietnam War. Major General Harold Green shot dead by an Afghan soldier and badly wounded many more.
Jim Sciutto has been working his sources, joins us now from Washington.
So what are we now learning about how this all happened -- Jim.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, this took place in part of a routine visit to Afghanistan's National Defense University. This is where Afghanistan and coalition forces including U.S. forces train Afghan military leaders and officers, arguably the Afghan West Point. Several senior officers involved including General Green as well a German general who was injured as well in this attack, as well as eight other Americans, a total of 15 injured.
And I'm told that the soldier, the Afghan soldier who turned his weapon on these American and coalition officers had been with his unit for some time. In fact he'd been vetted. He'd gone through a very serious vetting process that they have for Afghan soldiers to prevent attacks just like this one so-called green-on-blue attacks and seeing how he got through that vetting process and still carried out this attack is going to be one of the major focuses of the investigation of this which is now underway.
COOPER: And an officer no less. The Taliban has acknowledged the killing but they have not claimed credit for it, right?
SCIUTTO: They have not. No. Doesn't mean that won't change, but at this point they haven't claimed credit. So the open question now is what caused this Afghan soldier to turn? Was it a personal grievance? Was it his own affinity for the Taliban? We don't know yet and that's another subject of the military investigation.
COOPER: What do we know about the general who lost his life in the attack?
SCIUTTO: So General Green, a 34-year veteran of the military, he was the deputy commander of what's called the Combined Security Transition Command. This is a command whose job it was to help transition from coalition security control in Afghanistan to Afghan security control, as coalition forces including Americans withdraw.
So, you know, this presents a real problem going forward because it presents an open question, what does this say about the readiness of Afghan forces to take on this task?
Now to be fair, attacks like this have decreased remarkably since 2012, but General Green gave his life, part of a military family. His wife was a retired military colonel, as well, and notification just going out to the family today. So a sad moment for that family, no question, but of course, you have eight other Americans injured, I'm told some of them seriously.
COOPER: Yes, for a lot of families tonight. Jim Sciutto, appreciate the update.
There are some 30,000 American troops still in Afghanistan and it's far from the first time they faced these kind of sneak attacks as Jim mentioned. At their peak in 2012 according to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, they accounted for 15 percent of all coalition fatalities. It's an ugly fact of many wars and a prominent part particularly of the war in Afghanistan.
We'll dig deeper now with CIA and FBI counterterrorism veteran, Philip Mudd, also military analysts, a retired Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Francona.
Colonel Francona, I mean, this is clearly a vetting problem here. And, I mean, A, this was an officer in the Afghan military so that raises all sorts of problems but talk about the vetting process. I mean, it's supposedly extensive, but is it really?
LT. COL. RICK FRANCONA, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, it has changed since -- since 2012 because we had that rash of killings in 2012. We approached the Afghans and said you've got to -- you've got to improve your vetting so that we have less of these incidents. So the institute of the process, they actually brought in computers and they are matching their databases with ours now, but it's not quite there yet, as we have seen.
And Jim is right, the incidents are down, but the vetting process is totally an Afghan issue right now and then we're given the result, and there is not much we can do about this. As we withdraw --
COOPER: So the Afghan, they control the vetting.
FRANCONA: Yes, they do. They do. And so we have to take their word for it once they're -- once these people are vetted. We can get the result and run it through our computers, but they're the ones that actually do all the investigation.
COOPER: Phil, I mean, the reality is, and I -- this is in no disrespect to the Afghans, but this is a culture where familial ties were -- or, you know, ethnic ties, tribal ties run deep. What do you make of this vetting process? I mean, is it legitimate?
PHILIP MUDD, FORMER SENIOR OFFICER, FBI AND CIA: I don't think we should look and make judgments about the vetting process too quickly. And the reason is, you have an individual in this case who appears to have been with the Afghan Security Forces for some time. You would think on the surface that maybe he was recruited by the Taliban to enter the security services to do this.
My experience in this business and Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere is that's not necessarily the case. He might have entered the service to be a military officer. He might have seen something in the last months or years, for example, raids on a family compound that left an Afghan child dead, that left an Afghan family without a house, and sometimes these people -- there is an emotional switch that turns on after their recruitment, after their vetting that leaves them to say, I want to do something about this. I'm going to kill somebody in the U.S. military.
COOPER: Colonial Francona, I understand that you were personally targeted of a green-on-blue attack in Iraq. Obviously you survived. Does something like that -- does it make it more difficult to trust those around you who are --
COOPER: I mean, in this case, in Iraq or in the case of this general in Afghanistan?
FRANCONA: Yes. Because these are the people that you're working with. Someone you've trusted. Someone you're training and you're advising and then one day he turns on you and sets off an IED trying to destroy your team house. And from then on, you're always looking at everybody and it's not fair to everybody concerned but you're always looking, can I trust this guy? Do I want to turn my back on this guy?
And so we have to start watching out for each other and that puts a division between -- between you and the people that you're trying to train and they can feel that and it really hurts -- hurts the mission.
COOPER: Phil, obviously --
MUDD: Anderson, if I could --
COOPER: Go ahead, Phil.
MUDD: If I could pick up on that for a moment. I've talked to terrorists in my career at the CIA and the FBI. I talked to one, for example, who is horribly burned, a suicide bomber who went from the Middle East into Iraq to conduct a suicide attack against a military installation. You think of these people who -- you might think that they have grown up with an ideology that says I hate America. Instead, what you find in some of these circumstances is that they see something that triggers an emotion.
This is a very family-oriented society. A very close knit society. They see for example the death of a child and within the space of days or weeks, that can motivate an individual to say, well, I might have joined this service for another reason, now because of what I witnessed in my culture, I'm going to commit an act.
I know this wasn't a suicide attack but anyone going into this attack with the weapon that this individual was firing has to believe that he's going to be killed. I suspect there was an emotional switch here like the switch I saw when I talked to suicide bombers elsewhere in the Middle East.
COOPER: You know, Phil, though, we don't know whether this general was a target of opportunity, whether this guy, as you said, just kind of flipped a switch and decided wait, there is a -- you know, there is a general in the room. This is the moment, I'm going to take this moment or whether this, you know, was targeting an individual in particular. We simply don't know at this point.
MUDD: We don't know. I can offer a guess and that is while the general might have been targeted, if I had to bet a paycheck, I'd say he was not. My experience with suicide bombers is the event is what motivates them. They want to walk into a situation whether it's the gate house at a military facility, whether it's a military training compound like this was, whether it's a police facility that they want to attack, they are trained and they are inspired by emotion to conduct an attack that will lead to the loss of life.
And I'm guessing, by the way, this individual thought that he would lose his life in the attack and who they hit, whether the target is perfect is secondary. It's the event that counts. It's the fact they actually conducted the attack.
FRANCONA: And that's a really key point. We need to find out what the motivation was because if it was, as Phil described, which I -- he's probably right, that's one thing. But if this was a targeted operation, say, the Taliban had intelligence this group of people was going to be at that location at that time and actually we're able to get this guy in there, we've got a much bigger problem with security than just the vetting issue.
COOPER: Still a lot to learn.
Colonel Francona, appreciate it. Philip Mudd, as well.
Just to underscore, this is one of the worst green-on-blue attacks of the war. Certainly not the first.
More from our Randi Kaye now.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the scene, March last year, after a deadly attack on U.S. troops in Afghanistan's Wardak Province. Another insider attack or green-on-blue attack, as they're called. A man wearing an Afghan Security uniform grabbed a heavy machine gun and opened fire. Two U.S. soldiers were killed, one a Green Beret. Ten other Americans wounded.
That same year, 2013, the Pentagon says 14 NATO forces died as a result of these types of attacks. The year before was far worse, 61 deaths.
Green-on-blue attacks began to accelerate in 2011 after President Obama announced his plan to pull most U.S. forces out of Afghanistan and end combat operations this year. Transferring security responsibilities to the Afghan forces. Forces that required training.
JAY CARNEY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The green-on-blue attacks are a very concerning problem, and action is being taken to protect against those kinds of attacks. But it does not change the mission.
KAYE: In September 2012, 15 Taliban insurgents attacked U.S. and British soldiers at Camp Bastion. The same base where Prince Harry was assigned to an apache helicopter unit. Then Captain Harry Wales was far from the firefight but Lt. Col. Christopher Rabel and another U.S. Marine Sgt Bradley Atwell were both killed. Colonel Rabel had taken on the enemy with the only weapon he had, a .9 millimeter handgun.
MAJ. GREER CHAMBLISS, SURVIVED GREEN-ON-BLUE ATTACK: He saw a challenge and he took action. He took decisive action. He led his -- led his Marines and he led them from the front.
KAYE: Later, the Taliban released this video showing how their fighters train to break through the fence on the edge of the base and infiltrate coalition forces. The Taliban were carrying rocket propelled grenade launchers, suicide vests, and automatic rifles. They were also wearing U.S. Army uniforms.
This 21-year-old Marine had just two days left to serve in Afghanistan when he was gunned down along with two other U.S. Marines by a member of the very Afghan Security Forces he'd been training. August 2012 Greg Buckley Jr. died. His father says his son predicted he'd be killed on his base in Helmand Province saying one Afghan trainee had been telling his son they didn't want U.S. forces there.
GREG BUCKLEY SR., FATHER OF SLAIN MARINE: He told me that he -- if I have to stay here until November, he says I'm not going to come home.
KAYE: Killings like these at times have caused the coalition to halt the training of Afghan Security Forces and new recruits. They have even started using what's called Guardian Angels, armed troops who oversee the others during meal time and when they're sleeping. While attacks haves significantly declined, this latest attack shows the system, even now, is hardly perfect.
Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
COOPER: We'll have more on this story, new developments in the next hour.
But coming up next, in this hour, from the cease-fire to talks in Egypt, Israel's claim of mission accomplished, literally, those two words, and in credible challenges for ordinary Palestinians and relief workers in the face of such need.
COOPER: We're now a little more than 19 hours into the cease-fire here so far. It seems to be holding. A delegation from here arrived a short time ago in Cairo for talks, indirect talks using Egyptians and intermediaries which should get underway tomorrow. That was an Israeli delegation in Gaza City. In the meantime, quiet and for many quiet desperation. Martin Savidge is there for us tonight. So obviously, it is quiet
there tonight, quite a change from the last few weeks. What's it been like today?
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dramatic change. You know, today was a day I think many people woke up and the fact that they didn't hear rockets out going and the fact that they didn't hear incoming artillery made that realization come to them that yes, it looks like this one may hold. Now it is the ninth cease-fire and so far, it's the longest cease-fire of this entire conflict. So that's definitely good news.
There were a lot of people out on the streets, a lot of stores opened up. There is a lot of traffic, saw trucks loaded with goods in the market, the stalls seemed to be full of food and products to sell. A lot of that is because they plan to sell it all in Eid and that got delayed because of the ongoing conflict. But the attitude had changed dramatically. People were feeling relief. However, when you get out of the town and when you get over to those suburbs that have been devastated closer to the border with Israel, it is just flattened.
When you look at those images, it is almost unbelievable to see the extent of damage, and it's everything that's gone. It's the infrastructure, it's houses, it's the mosque, it's the neighborhood. I mean, they're going to have to start from scratch. And the estimates are in the billions of dollars of damage and the truth is 10,000 homes damaged or destroyed.
So where are people going to go, even though we began to see them leave from the shelters they have been in for weeks -- Anderson?
COOPER: And people were in some cases pulling the bodies of loved ones out of wreckage. They were finding those who had yet to be found.
SAVIDGE: Right, in fact the death toll continued to climb, even though of course there was no violence today but the fact that people who had been missing or families that went back and had a chance to go through the rubble now that it was relatively safe, they began making more terrible discoveries, and that is likely to go on for some time.
No one really knows exactly what the final figure is going to be but the hope is that at least the killing, the violence, the rockets, and of course, the artillery, They hope that stop for good.
COOPER: Martin Savidge, appreciate the update.
We're going to talk to a Palestinian negotiator in our next hour but we want to talk right now to a member of the IDF. The IDF says that they have accomplished what they set out to on the ground in exchange for potential damage to Israel and world opinion with its allies.
A short time ago I spoke with IDF spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.
COOPER: The cease-fire seems to be holding. From a military perspective, did you accomplish what you set out to do?
LT. COL. PETER LERNER, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES SPOKESMAN: Yes. Absolutely. The main goal was to deal with the tunnels. They are no longer a threat. We demolished them. That was a huge, huge investment on behalf of Hamas on the ground.
COOPER: Obviously you don't know what you don't know. But to your knowledge, are there still tunnels there?
LERNER: We had a good intelligence before we went in about the tunnels and having the boots on the ground, we were able to reach all of the -- everything that we knew and more. Over 32 -- around 32 tunnels. So yes, we are confident in what we did destroy and there could be a few more.
COOPER: Was there anything you were surprised about in this confrontation with Hamas? I mean, you -- you know, you learn something every time you engaged with an enemy force, you learn things about Hezbollah in 2006 when I was here with the IDF. Did you learn anything or were surprised about anything about Hamas this time?
LERNER: Did we learn that they are more professional than they were beforehand. We learned that they were --
COOPER: They've gotten more professional?
COOPER: On a military standpoint.
LERNER: They are better trained. We know that they had brought trainers, sent trainers to Iran -- underwent training to become trainers and they came back and they've been training. So they are trained well. Better equipped.
COOPER: You now saw that you killed an estimated 900 militants, that obviously -- the total death toll released by U.N. observers, also by Gaza health officials is some 1800 Palestinians whom they say 75 percent at least are civilians, many of them children.
So your numbers are obviously in conflict with their numbers. How did you come about that number of 900 militants?
LERNER: The Hamas ordered the people not to discuss militant casualties at all. So they are not bringing forward any figures of those. Our activities, we strike from the sky, our forces have now come out and with debriefing and carrying out after-action reviews and speaking to the forces and they are telling us where they had combat specifically, how many people were killed in that type of action. So we were able to accumulate all of the figures since yesterday.
COOPER: Given the international outcry from the U.S. on Sunday, from the U.N., from other countries, are you rethinking at all the use of artillery in an urban center for the next time? There was an incident not on Sunday in which an artillery used, but another incident which an Israeli -- a U.N. shelter was hit, appears by Israeli artillery, according to the United Nations. You said militants were operating -- some 200 yards or so from -- in the vicinity but artilleries fired from a great distance is not all that accurate.
LERNER: Indeed, after this action we will be reviewing everything. I mean, that's what we do. We look and study and we try to learn to be better in the next bout. That is the nature of military. That is how we operate. The type of battle that was developed on the ground, the type of reality required in some instances, use of artillery. This is a certain type of scenario when forces are under fire, when you have 13 or 12 soldiers killed in a battle because they are ambushed from all sides then there's the use of artillery. It can happen.
COOPER: But is the response proportion? That's been the criticism that given the nature of the threat, given the capabilities of their rockets, given the low number of militants you may be aiming for at a particular time to endanger thousands of people who may be in a shelter, that is simply not a proportionate response.
LERNER: They are operating, the terrorists are operating, utilizing the buildings, utilizing schools, utilizing hospitals, utilizing everything that they can to attack us. That is where they are operating from. Now do you strike those buildings? Do you use artillery? Do you use mortars? Do you just use the bomb squad, and if you come under fire at the same time and you know that, and the fog of war is extremely complex. You've been there. You've seen it. So it has to be investigated. The military, we will do so.
COOPER: Lt. Col. Lerner, appreciate you being on, thank you.
COOPER: A few outside observers tackled this region in all its color, its complexity and heartache better than David Kirkpatrick of "The New York Times." His recent take on the region exposed just how motivated surrounding Arab states had been this time around by their shared disdain for Hamas. He's always a pleasure to read. He joins us tonight from Cairo where again negotiations are set to start tomorrow.
David, I know you interviewed a senior Hamas leader today in Cairo. What was your sense from him of what Hamas wants and whether a deal is going to be struck within the cease-fire window?
DAVID KIRKPATRICK, CAIRO BUREAU CHIEF, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, what Hamas wants more than anything else is relief from the blockade, what they call the siege of Gaza. They want Israel and Egypt to open their borders at least a little bit so they can get goods and people in and out more easily. That's their priority.
Their vision is look, we stopped firing rockets at you, you in turn should open up our borders. Israel is thinking something very different, as you know, which is in return for opening up their borders, they want Hamas to demilitarize as much as possible, to really turn over its weapons. COOPER: Which -- I mean, there is a military wing of Hamas, the idea
that they're going to demilitarize, I'm not sure I see how that happens.
KIRKPATRICK: No, it would change the very nature of Hamas, and so what I think we're going to see Hamas doing, based on my conversation today, is saying we're willing to work as an organization with this new Palestinian unity government, which recognizes Israel, which is denounced violence, which you can work with. You can open the borders to this government, will turnover Gaza to them, but by the way, we're going to keep our fighters, our military brigades separate and to ourselves. They'll still be intact and they're going to be busy getting ready for the next battle.
COOPER: But that doesn't lead to -- I mean, a long-term peace. If you have a military wing of Hamas running around Gaza that doesn't answer to anybody or doesn't really have any responsibilities for actually governing, that sounds like a recipe for disaster, no?
KIRKPATRICK: Correct. It's a recipe for more conflict with Israel and probably also with the newly formed Palestinian unity government. If that government is going to try to set up its own security force to control Gaza, that security force is going to be jostling side by side with Hamas' Qassam Brigades, which are also an armed force occupying that same space.
COOPER: And -- I mean, what was it like meeting with -- I mean, I understand it was sort of an interesting experience just meeting with this Hamas member.
KIRKPATRICK: Yes, you could really see how the change in Egypt has -- put new pressure on him and his organization, you know, a couple of years ago I met with him in his office this year and he welcomed me in to a nice sunny room. This time he met me in the lobby of a hotel and he was trailed by both Hamas bodyguards and Egyptian Secret Police and the Egyptian said you cannot meet with these journalists or anyone in a hotel suite. It's all got to happen right here in the lobby.
And the Hamas guards said well, you know, we're also concerned for your life. We need you far away from that window and with your back to the wall. So he's under a lot of constraints and in many ways that represents a little bit of the pressure that Hamas is under.
COOPER: David Kirkpatrick, appreciate you being on. Thank you.
KIRKPATRICK: It's a pleasure.
COOPER: Always enjoy talking to him.
Up next, breaking news out of Ukraine. Our own Nick Paton Walsh taking cover under darkness as gunfire rings out all around him. Very close, just a few blocks away. We'll get the latest from Nick.
COOPER: There is breaking news tonight in Eastern Ukraine, gunfire in the key city of Donetsk, a Russian-rebel stronghold. The question is will it stay that way? Ukrainian officials could be launching a major offensive. All this as NATO says some 20,000 Russian troops have gathered along the Ukraine border.
Our Nick Paton Walsh is in Donetsk tonight, taking cover, I spoke to him a short time before we went on air.
COOPER: Nick, it looks like you're lighting your own shot. What is going on right now on the ground?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Forgive me for whispering, Anderson, but it's so quiet here in Central Donetsk, we have to keep our voices down. But intermittently, we've heard heavy gunfire now in what looks like the very center of Donetsk.
It seems like an exchange of fire. RPTs being used too. That comes after a day in which the Ukrainian military have been advancing mostly from the direction over my shoulder here.
The last few hours, explosions have been on the skyline to the distance over there, but the key change just in the last half an hour, we've heard sustained automatic gunfire here in Central Donetsk.
A real sign I think the militants must be either extraordinary edgy or perhaps in the worst situation, any exchange of gunfire with the Ukrainian military, if they are, in fact, this close -- Anderson.
COOPER: How close is the firing to you, Nick?
WALSH: It's a two, three blocks away maximum pretty close indeed. We are pretty much in the very center of Donetsk here. The militants have been filling out in the past few days. We drove in yesterday it was clear. They were retreating down back one of the main highways here into Central Donetsk.
That matches with what we've seen about Ukrainian military positions moving fast towards the city center. The question really is, Anderson, as we know is a doubling in the number of Russian troops on the border here to about 20,000 in the last week.
Does that suggest Moscow wants to intervene to assist the separatist militants? It's backed thus far or are we looking at a separatist movement which is in the last stages as the Ukrainian military advances -- Anderson.
COOPER: Your location is known obviously to the pro-Russian rebels, is it known to any Ukraine forces who might be coming into town?
WALSH: As far as we know, yes. It's pretty well-known location where there are other organizations, as well. So -- I'm hearing some voices in the distance, so I'm keeping my voice down but yes, as far as we're aware, this is a pretty well-known location -- Anderson.
COOPER: Nick, finally, investigators are still recovering remains and personal belongings from the crash site, correct? They are still able to do their work?
WALSH: That's correct, yes. We understand one from one official close to the investigation that, in fact, the Ukrainian and rebel front lines are now adjacent to a vital part of the debris effectively salvaging it in a no-man's land between their front lines.
Today that has severely impeded the ability of the investigators to carry out their job. One of them telling me, in fact, they had to slow because rebels were in fact telling them they couldn't advance because mines were in the way -- Anderson.
COOPER: Nick, I'll let you go. Be careful, Nick, thank you.
COOPER: We spoke to Nick just before the broadcast. We're very concerned about his safety and the safety of those in harm's way tonight and we'll continue to maintain contact. For more on the story and others, you can go to cnn.com.
Coming up ahead, a second America Ebola patient arrives in the United States for treatment at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital. The latest on her condition with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and we're also Dr. Anthony Fauci ahead.
COOPER: Well, the family of an American missionary who is infected with Ebola say they think she has a fighting chance. Nancy Writebol, she arrived in Atlanta from Liberia today. She is now at Emory University Hospital along with her colleague, who is also being treated for Ebola.
Nancy Writebol was wheeled in on a gurney and while they were still in Liberia, she and Dr. Kent Brantly were both given that experimental drug that have never been used on humans before and that's when their condition seemed to improve dramatically.
Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, joins us now live from Atlanta. So what do we know about how she is doing tonight, Sanjay?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: People seem pretty optimistic about her overall. We know that obviously, she was able to make the flight, some 6,000 miles from Africa to Atlanta. So she was medically stable for that. It was pretty remarkable to hear today, though, just how sick she was a few days ago.
Her husband apparently telling people that he was thinking of making funeral arrangements at that time. So just again, Anderson, hearing the stories about people rebounding very, very sick almost in dire, grave condition but then getting much, much better.
In the hospital now, doctors assessing her, checking her heart function, lung function, kidney function, liver function, getting an idea of just how much impact this viral disease has had on her body. Also, Anderson, she's going to get that third dose of this serum. This experimental therapy that we've been talking about. She is going to get a third dose of that on Wednesday here. Emory University doctors have been talking to the NIH about that.
COOPER: She wasn't able to walk into the hospital like Dr. Brantly was. I mean, I don't want to read too much into that. Does that tell you anything?
GUPTA: You know, I was more surprised by the fact that Dr. Brantly was able to walk into the hospital. Again, you know, we had just heard a couple days ago how sick they really were. Dr. Brantly, also, calling his wife at one point on Thursday, basically to say good-bye.
And then within a few hours after that was able to get up, shower on his own and get on this jet medevac that had already been prearranged. So the fact that he walked off the ambulance I think was surprising to me, certainly to a lot of people.
As you say, I don't want to read too much into the fact that she came in on a gurney. They sort of expected that. She is older. She had been evacuated later from Liberia. So we're going to have to wait and see how she does over the next couple of days to really know -- Anderson.
COOPER: We know they are helping to treat patients who are already infected. Do we know, though, how they might have contracted the virus? Was there a specific incident that we know of?
GUPTA: Well, we've asked about that. The CDC is still conducting a formal investigation. What we seem to know, though, it didn't seem to happen while conducting routine patient care.
This may have happened because another health care worker or somebody else in the vicinity who had become sick with Ebola was the person who actually infected them, not necessarily a patient they were treating.
So they are still trying to sort out the details on that, but it didn't seem to come directly from a patient, but rather, some common source that infected both Dr. Brantly and Ms. Writebol.
COOPER: Obviously, there are a lot of people in the United States concern about the spread of this disease, this disease spreading to anyone else. What are the precautions that the care team members are taking? They are clearly wearing those suits and they are in isolation, correct?
GUPTA: Yes, so the patients go into isolation, which is a pretty strict isolation. There is sort of a glass box, if you will, almost, is what it looks like and rooms where doctors, health care professionals can suit up in these suits.
They often use a buddy system so each person observes the other person to make sure they have in fact put on the suit on properly and there is no skin showing. That's the real goal to make sure no infected body fluid can actually get on the skin. When they go inside that buddy system remains. They say they simply take their temperature twice a day, as well. It could be one of the first signs of some sort of viral illness.
But I should point out, Anderson, I asked the lead doctor, the team doctor, Dr. Ribner about the whole process and he did tell me that every night he is planning on going home, sleeping in his own bed at the house.
He doesn't have concerns about possibly contaminating or infecting his family with Ebola. He say if he does the precautions properly, that just shouldn't be a concern.
COOPER: All right. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, appreciate the update. Obviously a lot of interest in this story. The human toll that it's taking on these two people and all those in West Africa who have been infected, the treatment of people with Ebola on U.S. soil.
It's unprecedented and therefore, obviously getting a lot of attention, but the source of their infections and so many others as we reported is in West Africa, where an Ebola outbreak has already killed hundreds of people.
It's being described as raging, out of control in some places despite the efforts of very dedicated doctors. David McKenzie has an exclusive report now tonight from a treatment center in Sierra Leone.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Taking incredible care to combat an unprecedented outbreak. Ebola can lead to death with one drop of infected fluids.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's why we take every possible precaution to prevent that.
MCKENZIE: Already dozens of doctors and nurses have died in this outbreak. Still, Dr. Stefan Kruger says he had to come.
STEFAN KRUGER, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS: This is where they need us and there is a really big lack of resources and at the moment, the truth is, if it wasn't here, there would be nothing. I mean, that's a good enough reason.
MCKENZIE: But they are losing the battle. Ebola hit four countries, the number of infections continue to rise. This outbreak is out of control.
(on camera): In the last two weeks, they have doubled their capacity here for confirmed Ebola patients, and they are doing all they can to help those who are sick, but they are absolutely at capacity here. The level of effort is right now stop this disease?
TENNEH NALON, EBOLA PATIENT: No, to be clear, no. It's really difficult because we're running behind. We don't know where we're staying. It's frustrating for us because we don't have the capacity to go everywhere.
MCKENZIE (voice-over): Here they do what they can. In the high-risk zone this woman calls out for help. She has Ebola so does her son. Ebola is so deadly it's killing our citizens. It's killing our country. Her husband and son died of the disease.
Seventy percent of confirmed cases here will die, too. So she's confident -- to talk to her we must stand a few feet away. The strict protocols protect us. The cruelty is, they isolate her.
Still, she believes her 12-year-old daughter will make it and so will she. We're feeling much better she says. We're strong and we're going to fight.
(on camera): What happens when you actually beat this disease?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I mean, that's the real highlight of everything that we do here. Everybody comes to watch the patient come out of isolation. It really, I think, motivates all the staff to continue doing it.
COOPER: David McKenzie joins me now live from Sierra Leone. An incredible piece, David. The loneliness of those who are, you know, infected, fighting this, fighting for their lives, not only the physical isolation but, I mean, the emotional isolation, not losing loved ones, not being able to touch their loved ones.
I mean, it's a stark contrast to the improving condition the two American patients flown out of West Africa, have you heard from doctors there? How are they reacting to the treatment and care given to Dr. Brantly and Nancy Writebol?
MCKENZIE: Well, look, the doctors here, Anderson, says everyone should get the best care that they can, but I have to be frank with you. Some of them have expressed displeasure with the amount of tension given to those doctors, not because they don't want them to do well but because they say that the real focus should be here in West Africa, that's their words not mine.
They say this is where the real trouble is here and because of the protocols that are put in place in countries like the U.S., there is no real risk in America, but here, there have been health workers and doctors who have died in the dozens because they are trying to help patients.
Now you saw in that piece, Anderson, we were walking around without protection in the low-risk zone. They have a whole series of steps here to allow people to do their work, but they have to be very careful and you're so right, that isolation of the patients, that fear factor for them is just so horrifying.
And that woman there was just so strong to say, you know, I'm going to fight this. I'm going to win, even if it's against the odds, we'll get through this and ultimately, this is a disease and illness like any other, a very scary one and people just want to get better.
COOPER: David, remarkable reporting, as always, and appreciate you and your team being there. Thank you very much for the risk you're taking.
Coming up, more about what the United States is doing to control the Ebola outbreak and where the research now stands towards finding a new cure. We'll talk about this new serum and whether it can actually more can be produced and help those in West Africa who are currently infected.
I'll speak to the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci, next.
COOPER: Welcome back. I want to focus more on the situation with Ebola in West Africa and the patients in the United States. I'm joined by Dr. Anthony Fauci. Dr. Fauci, it's so good to have you on the program. How would you rate the level of emergency that the international medical community is currently dealing with in West Africa?
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASE: I think this is a serious situation. It's bordering on catastrophic for the countries involved and there is always the possibility it could spread.
You know, we have two cases in Nigeria now. Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and boy, we hope it doesn't have an outbreak there. So we are really still in a very critical zone of where we are going with this epidemic in Africa.
COOPER: Is there more the U.S. can or should be doing to combat the outbreaks in Africa? I mean, personnel being sent?
FAUCI: Yes, we'll that's what is happening, Anderson. It's unfortunate that the health care delivery system and the infrastructure in those countries is just the perfect storm for the spread. As you saw in the clips that you showed, you know, the facilities that they have, the ability to isolate.
And even the people's attitudes about mistrusting the health care community and not really taking their loved ones to the hospital, but really trying to take care of them at home, which does nothing but spread to the family.
So what we and the rest of the world are trying to do, the CDC is sending 50 of their offices to help in the contact tracing. We heard that the WHO will invest another $100 million. The World Bank is going to invest several hundred million dollars to help build the infrastructure.
It's almost dysfunctional ability to really address a health care crisis and that's really the very sad problem of why so many people are getting infected and so many obviously are dying. COOPER: There is obviously a lot of people in the United States who were freaked out by the idea of the two missionaries being returned to the United States. For those scared about Ebola infection in the United States or patients being purposely brought back, what do you say to them?
FAUCI: There really is no risk for an outbreak here, Anderson. You don't like to be too category about it, but how this is spread, that we have the infrastructure, the ability to isolate individuals, to care for them, and protect the people who are caring for them.
In fact, we're seeing that actually acting out right now at Emory Hospital where you have two people with active disease who are being carefully and very adequately taken care of under the kind of health care conditions that we have in this country.
So it is not impossible that someone is going to get on a plane after being infected in one of the West African countries, come to the United States and develop disease while they are here.
We're equipped to handle that. That person might get very sick, for sure, but there won't be the kind of outbreak you're seeing on your clip. We're just not going to see that.
COOPER: Dr. Anthony Fauci, always appreciate you being on, thank you so much.
FAUCI: Good to be with you, Anderson.
COOPER: Coming up, another live hour of 360 with the latest from here in Jerusalem and also from Gaza. What we're learning about the killing of an American general in Afghanistan.