IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

PoliticsNation, Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Date: October 16, 2014

Guest: Jan Schakowsky; Natalie Azar; David Quammen, Dana Milbank, Krystal
Ball, Midwin Charles, Sam Seder

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in. I`m live tonight from Los Angeles.

Breaking news tonight from Dallas. Within hours, the first nurse diagnosed
with Ebola will leave Dallas and arrive at a special bio-containment unit
at an NIH facility in Bethesda, Maryland. In the span of two days, Texas
Presbyterian sending both infected nurses to facilities specifically
equipped to handle Ebola. They`re just four such facilities in the United
States. The responses of the hospital in Dallas and the CDC under the
microscope today.

Twenty two members of Congress leaving the campaign trail to attend the
first hearing on Ebola, where they grilled officials. And this morning,
startling allegations from a nurse at Texas Presbyterian who told the
"Today" show that they were unprepared for Ebola.

Late today, President Obama issues an executive order so he can deploy the
U.S. National Guard and reserves to Liberia.

Joining me now from the hospital in Dallas is NBC`s Craig Melvin. Craig,
thanks for being here.

CRAIG MELVIN, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Thanks for having me, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Now let me ask you, what preparations are under way to get the
nurse on the plane?

CRAIG: Nina Pham, we`re told, is going to be boarding a plane that`s
either just landed here in Dallas or is about to land any moment in Dallas.
That information come from the local affiliate. That will be the plane she
takes to Bethesda, Maryland, to the national institutes of health.

Reverend Al, I can also tell you, based on the conversation I had earlier
with the hospital source, we can expect a similar scene to what we saw
yesterday, a similar in the sense that we will see the folks who are with
her, wearing the hazmat uniforms. She is also, I`m told, be in a similar
get-up as well. But as you indicated, Nina Pham, the second nurse to be
transported from Dallas Presbyterian over the past two days.

SHARPTON: Now, this morning, the Dallas county judge, Clay Jenkins, told
you he only wanted one Ebola patient treated at the hospital. Then he had
none. Is this a lack of confidence?

CRAIG: They say no. The hospital has said that`s not the case. They`ve
said, in fact, that it`s more of an issue of depletion of resources. In
fact, they out a statement within the past hour. I`m going to read part of
that statement to you.

This is again, from Dallas Presbyterian. With many of the medical
professionals who would normally staff the intensive care unit sidelined
for continuous monitoring, it is the best interest of the hospital,
employees, nurses, physicians, and the community, to give the hospital an
opportunity to prepare for whatever comes next.

Reverend Al, as we`ve been saying here, we`ve been given every indication
that it is likely that we will see at least another Ebola patient here. So
what they`re essentially doing, we`re told, is trying to make some space at
Dallas Presbyterian. They have three beds here that can house Ebola
patients, and right now, based on that we have the indication that they
don`t have the resources. They don`t have the staff. They don`t have the
nurses to adequately care for the Ebola patients, because so many of their
staff is being monitored for Ebola themselves.

SHARPTON: You know, a nurse who worked inside told the "Today" show they
weren`t prepared. What is the reaction on the ground today?

CRAIG: We heard from that nurse this morning. We`ve heard from a number
of nurses, a couple of nurse unions over the past few days and they`ve
echoed similar sentiments that they weren`t properly prepared, they didn`t
even have the proper training, they didn`t have the conversations about
Ebola. They didn`t have the proper gear. Talked to a few folks on the
ground here, couple of nurses were talked to on their lunch break. We keep
doing the counts. In other words, there was one nurse who obviously
wouldn`t go on camera, but she was very angry at the hospital`s response --
or lack thereof. And there was another nurse a few minutes later who said,
you know what, this could have happened anywhere. I believe that our
hospital has handled this well. We`ve done the best we could do. And I
certainly hope, according to this nurse, she hopes this is not something
that change the hospital forever.

We should also note that one of the nurse did say, they told one of our
producers, that they noticed fewer patients coming into the hospital here
at Dallas Presbyterian.

SHARPTON: Lot of hard questions and we`re going to continue to ask them.

NBC`s Craig Melvin, thank you so much for those details.

Turning now to the first congressional hearing on Ebola an a very critical
house committee. Officials from the CDC, the NIH, Texas Presbyterian, and
other agencies, were grilled for nearly three hours. Republicans and
Democrats calling for answers about the botched handling of Ebola patients
in Texas. But it was CDC director Tom Frieden who faced some of the
sharpest and toughest questions.


REP. TIM MURPHY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Authorities thought it would be similar
to the 1976 outbreaks, and quickly contained. That turned out to be wrong.

REP. FRED UPTON (R). MICHIGAN: People`s lives are at stake and the
response so far has been unacceptable.

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: I still don`t feel like we have a good
answer of why nurse one and nurse two contracted Ebola.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first nurse that was infected, I believe you
personally said that the protocols were breached originally. Have you
backed away from that?

DR. TOM FRIEDEN, CDC DIRECTOR: We`re looking at what might have resulted -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said the protocols breached. Were the protocols
breached with the first nurse that was infected?

FRIEDEN: Our review of the records suggests that in the first few days of

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you didn`t know for a fact, you shouldn`t have said


SHARPTON: But tonight, so many questions remain unanswered.

Joining me now is congresswoman Jan Schakowsky who was in the hearing today
and Dr. Natalie Azar, a clinical professor in the department of medicine at
NYU Langone medical center.

Congresswoman, were you assist with the answers you got today?

SCHAKOWSKY: I think it was a real wake-up call. There were -- the alarm
bells rang. I think be ms were justifiably wanting more concise answers,
for example, the one I asked about why is it that those nurses contracted

But I think we did get answers, that the issue is now training and
equipping, essentially, that we establish not only the protocols, but the
ability now of our front line health care workers to be able to implement
them. To have the knowledge, the training, and the right protective gear
in order to prevent themselves from getting sick.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, let me ask you this. A lot of the back and forth
at the hearing today focused around the idea of a travel ban. Many
Republicans want a ban on flights in and out of West Africa. Many
Democrats disagree. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Screening and self-reporting in airports have been a
demonstrated failure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we have a travel ban, wouldn`t we just force these
people to hide their origin?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even Jamaica, as I read in the press earlier this week
has issued a travel ban.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is the White House considering a travel ban?

FRIEDEN: I can`t speak for the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know if they`ve ruled out a travel ban?

FRIEDEN: I can`t speak --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you had conversations with them about it?

FRIEDEN: We`ve discussed the issue of travel.


SHARPTON: Congresswoman, where does that debate stand? Is a travel ban

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, we know that some airlines have already canceled or cut
back on flights, and save the children and doctors without borders have
said that has interfered with the relief effort, getting workers there or
getting volunteers there that are going to be doing the job in West Africa.

The one thing we know we don`t want to do is actually exacerbate the crisis
there, because that`s where it all starts from. So I think it`s a question
that still needs to be asked. But is it going to make us safer? Or could
it actually make the problem worse?

SHARPTON: Dr. Azar, what do you feel? Is a travel ban necessary?

that a travel ban is going to accomplish the goal of preventing infection
from coming in to the United States. I really don`t. I have sort of my
gut instinct from the very beginning on this is that we`re going to be
using and stretching a lot of resources in order to accomplish appropriate

There`s a lot of questions about what happens to people when they get
screened, where do they go, what happens after that? And as we`ve seen
already, we have hypotheticals, but until something truly happens and we
have a case as isolated caught and appropriately managed, we can say that
it was effective or it wasn`t.

And you know, I just want to reiterate again that the questioning, the
breaching of the protocol and everything, let`s not forget that health care
workers are infected in spite of their best efforts to use appropriate
protocol all the time.

Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, the first two Americans who were
infected, neither of them actually knows how they got infected, and they
were supposedly appropriately trained.

So you know, let`s take a step back from the blame game. I think we
learned a lot about this. We know that our hospitals need to have more
preparation and more training. We are doing that. It`s incredibly
unfortunate that we had to sacrifice the health of our nurses, obviously,
and we`re hoping to prevent that from happening again, but we may not be
able to in spite of our best efforts.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, Doctor, while we`re talking. I want to go
back to something I played for you and the congresswoman earlier. It was
stated today by Dr. Frieden that we are not -- he does not feel there will
be an outbreak, but he had one qualification to that. Let me play what he


FRIEDEN: There`s zero doubt in my mind that barring a mutation which
changes it, which we don`t think is likely, there will not be a large
outbreak in the U.S. there will not be a large outbreak in the U.S. barring
a mutation.


SHARPTON: We heard him say he did not expect an outbreak unless there were
mutations. What does that mean and is it likely to happen?

AZAR: I think from the infectious disease world, I think that anticipating
a mutation that would suddenly make -- I mean, what would it need to be a
mutation? We already don`t have treatment for it. So it`s not like we
have an effective treatment that we can no longer use. We already know
that it`s highly contagious and highly virulent. So I think making it even
more so and even more of a super bug, I don`t think that, you know, I think
that sounds more like science fiction than reality.

You know, for him to make a comment that we are able to control infection
here and not have an outbreak, is still appropriate wordage for the
situation. That is, we are going to expect and anticipate some scattered
cases. That`s to be expected. But an outbreak is very different from, you
know, an index patient getting behind the ball and having infected a few
others, very, very different from an epidemic.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, you were very passionate about the nurses today
and what protection the nurses were having going forward, and what happened
in the past. In fact, a Dallas purse spoke out on the "today" show this
morning. Listen to what she said about protocol.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just flat-out asked several infectious disease
nurses, I asked the CDC. Why? Why would I be pairing two pairs of gloves,
three pairs of booties, a plastic suit covering my entire body and then
leave my neck hanging out this much?


SHARPTON: That is your concern there, with the question she`s raising,

SCHAKOWSKY: Yes, of course. I think that any exposed skin can certainly
make you vulnerable to the Ebola virus.

But I want to say one other thing about this. Nancy Pelosi today called
for the appropriations committee to come back to Congress and have a debate
about adding more money to these agencies whose budgets have been cut --
the CDC and the national institutes of health. Francis Collins, the
director of the national institutes of health said if his budget had not
been cut, we would likely have an Ebola vaccine today. So there`s that
issue as well.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there, Congresswoman Jan
Schakowsky, Dr. Natalie Azar, thank you both for your time tonight.

AZAR: Thank you.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, as we mentioned, we`ll have much more on that Dallas
nurse breaking her silence on what was happening inside.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Knowing what I know, I would try anything and
everything to refuse to go there be treated. I would feel at risk by going
there. If I don`t actually have Ebola, I may contract it there.


SHARPTON: And we are awaiting comments from President Obama after meeting
with his top advisers on Ebola. We`ll have those comments.

And turning to politics, fan gate in Florida. It`s a political debate
moment for the ages. Why little fans sent Rick Scott into hiding? Stay
with us.


SHARPTON: For the first time, we`re learning exactly what was happening
inside the Texas hospital treating Ebola patients. A nurse broke her
silence on the protective gear she was given.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ll just be honest. I threw a fit. I just couldn`t
believe it, you know. In the second week of an Ebola crisis at my
hospital, the only gear they`re offering us at that time, and up until that
time, is gear that is allowing our necks to be uncovered.


SHARPTON: Last night, we demonstrated in our home studio in New York that


AZAR: Here, I`m actually protecting any fluid, any blood, any diarrhea or
vomit from getting into my face area. What the concern has been,
obviously, and what we are talking about is the neck is exposed here. The
current recommendations again are not to have anything specific on the


SHARPTON: So how can this country`s health care system improve and be
ready to deal with the Ebola challenge? That`s next.


SHARPTON: You`re looking at a live picture of the ambulance in Dallas that
will take a nurse to the airport, then to NIH in Maryland for treatment.

For the first time, we`re hearing what happened inside the Dallas hospital.
Brianna Aguirre, nurse who helped treat Nina Pham after she contracted
Ebola, told Matt Lauer, the medical staff was completely unprepared for


BRIANNA AGUIRRE, NURSE: Never talked about Ebola and we probably should
have. They gave us an optional seminar to go to, just informational, not
hands-on. It wasn`t even suggested that we go. It wasn`t something that
they said, you really should try to make it. It was I believe only offered
once, if not, twice. We were never told what to look for. And I just
don`t think that any facility in this country is prepared for that at this


SHARPTON: She also said medical staff didn`t have the proper protective

AGUIRRE: By the time that I even partook in the Ebola situation at my
hospital, we were already wearing what I guess would be hazmat suits. They
were Tire vex (ph) suits. They were DuPont suits. And it was basically,
you know, just like you would have in a snow suit or any hoodie. It would
zip up to about here. And from there, go into a hood up around my face.
Like this, around my whole face.

And then on top of that was a mask in front of me that would go under my
chin, to here. So from here to here was uncovered. I`ll just be honest, I
threw a fit. I just couldn`t believe it, you know. And the second week of
an Ebola crisis at my hospital, the only gear they`re offering us at that
time and up until that time is gear that is allowing our necks to be

And I just flat-out asked several infectious disease nurses, I asked the
CDC, why? Why would I be wearing two pairs of gloves, three pairs of
booties, a plastic suit covering my entire body, and then leave my neck
hanging out this much so that something can potentially go close to my
mouth or nose?


SHARPTON: Then she was asked if she started showing signs of Ebola, would
she think twice before heading to her own hospital?


AGUIRRE: I`ve played that situation out in my head, and knowing what I
know, I would try anything and everything to refuse to go there to be
treated. I would feel at risk by going there. If I don`t actually have
Ebola, I may contract it there, is how I actually feel. And I would do
anything to refuse to go there.


SHARPTON: That is a very telling statement. So how concerned should we be
about this?

Joining me now is David Quammen, one of the first people to report on
Ebola. He`s traveled to Africa 18 times over the last decade, researching
the spread of the virus. His new book is called "Ebola: the natural and
human history of a deadly virus." Thanks for being here tonight, David.

DAVID QUAMMEN, AUTHOR/EBOLA EXPERT: It`s good to be with you.

SHARPTON: The allegations are disturbing. Should these nurses be

QUAMMEN: Yes, they should certainly be concerned. It seemed that the
preparations in Dallas were woefully inadequate in terms of supplies that
they had, the personal protective equipment, and the training in how to use

We have some very expert people at the CDC in the viral special pathogens
branch and doctors without borders have great expertise. It takes
training, as well as the right equipment. Training in how to use the
equipment and then close monitoring of the protocols to make sure that they
are observed, as people put on and take off the equipment and deal with
patients. That doesn`t seem to have happened in Dallas, and Presbyterian
hospital just wasn`t ready. Whose fault that was, it`s hard to say.

SHARPTON: David, I need a fact-check. I mean, people are very concerned.
How concerned should we be? How concerned about travel and interaction? I
mean, I flew out here today on a plane. How concerned should people be?

QUAMMEN: People should be very concerned about what`s going on in West
Africa? There`s devastation. It could spread and we`ve heard from the
African union today they`re concerned it could cause destruction across
Africa. People are entitled to be concerned about the arrival of a few
patients in the U.S., or the transmission to one or two more patients.

But frankly, we should be able to control that. We have the resources in
this country to do barrier nursing and isolation care of these patients. I
think it`s a good thing that the two patients from Dallas have been moved
to Atlanta and Bethesda, where they will be cared for by people who were
deeply trained in how to do this.

So I think Americans should be very concerned about stopping this epidemic
in West Africa, because nobody is safe around the rest of the world until
it is stopped there. Travel bans --

SHARPTON: All right, let`s talk about West Africa for a minute. Because I
mentioned your trips there. What did you learn in your trips to West
Africa about Ebola? What can you tell us about Ebola?

QUAMMEN: My trips in connection with Ebola have all been to Central Africa
where the disease began back in 1976. It`s a disease that comes from the
forest, the virus that comes from the forest. It lives in some animal,
some animal, that`s called the reservoir host. We still don`t know which
animal. People say that it lives in bats. Well, they`re a suspect, but it
hasn`t been positively proven.

People have contact with the animal, whatever it is, eating it, you know,
hunting it for food or whatever, and the virus spills over into a person
and then passes from one person to another. But Reverend Al, there have
been almost 20 outbreaks of Ebola in Africa over the last 38 years, and
they`ve all been controlled with the death of no more than 300 people, each
one of them, total of 1,800 people. And this epidemic got out of control
in West Africa, because of a peculiar combination of unfortunate
circumstances, including crippled governance and lack of health care
resources, and the fact that the force in those areas is not very far from
the big capital cities and the international airports.

SHARPTON: Is this a pandemic, or was this a pandemic in West Africa?

QUAMMEN: I think the accurate terminology in so far as that`s important is
epidemic. A pandemic is a disease event that spreads around the world,
affecting significant numbers of cases in a broad geographical distribution
of cities and countries. This is not a pandemic, and we certainly hope it
won`t become a pandemic, but it`s no longer just an outbreak. In West
Africa, it is an epidemic.

SHARPTON: Now, you said earlier today this is a dry run for the pandemic.
Explain that. What did you mean by that?

QUAMMEN: Well, this is not a one-time deal. This is not a solitary event.
If we get Ebola 2014 under control and stop it, we should be aware that
next year, or the year after, or the year after that, there will be another
emerging virus, another scary new virus coming out of an animal somewhere
in a remote place, getting into humans and then being passed from human to
human. We know that SARS did this in 2003. We have been concerned about
bird flu, we are concern about the MERS virus out of Saudi Arabia.
Scientists are aware there are more of these coming.

SHARPTON: Now, you`ve written an article called "could Ebola mutate to
become more deadly." And in it, you mentioned something you refer to as
the Nairobi table top scenario. Explain that to us.

QUAMMEN: That`s right. This is in response to the U.S. closing its
borders against West Africans will solve the whole problem. I mean, maybe
it`s going to come to that. But even if we do that, it won`t absolutely
protect us, because of this scenario.

Say a man, a Liberian man gets on a plane in Monrovia, feeling fine, and
flies to Kenya in east Africa, to the Nairobi airport. Now, travel there
is closed right now but it`s due to open, I believe, on October 24th. This
man flies to the Nairobi airport, starts to feel a headache, symptoms are
coming, he coughs on a table top with a little bit spittle in the Nairobi

Five minutes later, an American businessman comes by and touches that table
top, touches his eye and gets on a flight for Singapore. In Singapore, he
does his busy for two days and feels fine. Then flies to Los Angeles. In
Los Angeles, he`s coming in, he is an American businessman arriving from
Singapore, with no history of travel to West Africa. He has been in east
Africa. How are you going to stop that man from bring Ebola into the

SHARPTON: David Quammen, thank you so much. Very informative. Thank for
your time this evening.

QUAMMEN: You are very welcome, Reverend.

SHARPTON: We`re awaiting comments from President Obama after meeting with
his Ebola response team. We`ll bring you that as soon as it happens.

Also, the Ebola fear factor. When does America cross the line from common
sense precautions to panic?

Also, the real reason that Republicans are using Ebola to attack the Obama
administration. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight on Ebola. On the left you see the White
House where President Obama is meeting with his Ebola response team. We
expect comments from him shortly. On the right you see Texas Health
Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. We expect an ambulance to take Ebola
patient Nina Pham to the airport for transport to the NIH in Maryland.
More on that breaking news ahead.


SHARPTON: Right now, President Obama is in the oval office, meeting with
top members of his Ebola response team. We expect to get comments from him
shortly. We`ll bring that to you just as soon as they come in. But we
turn now to the 2014 election. And when political races heat up, we see
lots of candidates struggle under the hot lights of debate stages. And
we`ve never seen something quite like last night`s governor`s debate in
Florida, however.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You can see the two candidates who were invited to take
part in this debate, right now are not stepping up on the stage.


Ladies and gentlemen, we have an extremely peculiar situation right now.
We have Governor Charlie Crist --


SHARPTON: There`s democrat Charlie Crist, but no sign of republican
Governor Rick Scott. And why? It all came down to this fan. Charlie
Crist is famous in Florida for bringing a fan to appearances, so he won`t
sweat. And Governor Scott didn`t want it there.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The rules of the debate that I was shown by the Scott
campaign say that there should be no fan. Somehow, there is a fan there,
and for that reason, ladies and gentlemen, I am being told that Governor
Scott will not join us for this debate.


SHARPTON: Now, the debate sponsor says the fan wasn`t allowed. And
Governor Scott`s team says, he didn`t refuse to come out, but was waiting
for the rules to be decided. But still, it didn`t look good for Scott.
After a few long minutes, he finally came out on the stage. But when he
was asked about the incident today, Governor Scott didn`t have a good


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Governor, what happened last night?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Charlie was throwing a fit. He said he wasn`t going to
show up. So we waited to see if he was going to show up.


SHARPTON: He might have thought Governor Crist wasn`t going to show up,
but he did. And didn`t anyone from the governor`s staff see this and
realize how terrible it looked, that the governor wasn`t out there? Seems
like Governor Scott could use a fan today, because he`s sure taking some
heat for that image.

Joining me now is Dana Milbank of "The Washington Post." Dana, thanks for
coming on tonight. I know these TV lights can be a little hot. Regardless
of what the rules say, doesn`t it look like Scott lost his cool?

DANA MILBANK, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Yes, it looked like he got a little
hot under the collar there, Reverend. And it is a little corny, I suppose

SHARPTON: Wait a minute, Dana, what do you have there on the desk?

MILBANK: Well, I have a fan out here now, because you ask the tough
questions, Reverend, and I don`t want anybody to see me sweat. So I`m
taking a page out of Charlie Crist`s book. You know, anybody`s who`s
studied Political Science knows about the Kennedy-Nixon debate, and Nixon`s
perspiring, Kennedy looks good and therefore Kennedy wins the election.
That`s how political lore has it. So, you know, I can see you might have a
dispute over the fan, but you know, what? Probably there`s a time to cease
and desist and just get out there on the stage and, you know, air out your
differences, regardless of what the air currents in the room actually are.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, unlike Scott, I`m going to stay on -- keep going
back and forth with you. And I`ve been in a lot of debates. I`ve never
seen this. But, you know, fan gate was the front-page news today all
across Florida. "The Miami Herald" headlined it, fan gate, then debate.
The Tampa Bay Times said after fan delay, a sharp debate. And the "Orlando
Sentinel" had it as Crist, Scottrade barbs after a fan flap nearly derails
debate. Are those the headlines Rick Scott`s want to see?

MILBANK: No, and it doesn`t matter whatever happened in the rest of the
debate after you have a silly episode like that. And Rick Scott has
battled with fairly low popularity there in Florida and Charlie Crist has
had something of a reincarnation now that he`s a democrat. All you need in
the last couple of weeks is a slip-up like this. And whatever the reason
was, did he not know Charlie Crist was out there, particularly the way the
moderators handle it, it made the sitting governor of Florida looks sort of
peevish and sort of silly.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, it`s not only Florida, I mean, we can go to
Colorado, Cory Gardner and his race for the Senate, he got pushed last
night for his support on personhood measures which would ban abortion and
could ban some forms of birth control. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It would seem that a charitable interpretation would be
that you have a difficult time admitting when you`re wrong and a less
charitable interpretation is that you`re not telling us the truth. Which
is it?

REP. CORY GARDNER (R), COLORADO: Again, I do not support the personhood
amendment. It`s simply a statement that I support life.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Why does no one else think that? That`s what we`re
getting at?

GARDNER: Again, I have answers this question multiple times.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And people who agree with you on the issue of life think
you`re wrong about how you`re describing the bill.

GARDNER: The fact is the bill that you`re talking about is simply a
statement that I support life.


SHARPTON: What do you make of that exchange, Dana?

MILBANK: I make of that that Cory Gardner is not interested in not
answering the question. Look, he represented a conservative house district
where he was taking a fairly extreme position on personhood, on abortion,
on life. Now he`s running to be the senator in Colorado, which is, you
know, very much a purple state, and he`s -- what he`s trying to do is walk
away from the position without saying he`s walking away from the position.
So you see a lot of these Tea Party characters who came in, in 2010, and
around that time, trying to rise up through the ranks now, and they need to
leave behind some of the rougher edges. Corey Gardner is not known for his
eloquence and he did not handle that terribly well. He`s doing well in the
race there, that`s not necessarily, you know, a full fan gate that`s going
to derail him.

SHARPTON: Dana, I`m going to have to leave it there. Dana Milbank and
your fan, thank you for your time tonight.

MILBANK: Stay cool, Reverend.

SHARPTON: And President Obama is in the Oval Office meeting with top
members of his Ebola response team. We expect to get comments from him
shortly. We`ll bring that to you just as soon as they come in.

Coming up, is the fear justified? Are we seeing Ebola hysteria, or is it
fair to panic? "Conversation Nation" is next.


SHARPTON: We`re back now with "Conversation Nation." Joining us tonight,
MSNBC`s Krystal Ball, legal analyst Midwin Charles, and MSNBC contributor
Sam Seder. Thanks for being here.

MIDWIN CHARLES, LEGAL ANALYST: Thanks for having us, Rev.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks for having us, Rev.

SHARPTON: First topic, the Ebola fear factor. Now, obviously, it`s a
serious issue, but is America crossing the line from safety to hysteria?
Two students from Nigeria were just rejected from a Texas college because,
quote, "Navarro College is not accepting international students from
countries with confirmed Ebola cases." One right-wing website published
this photo of a traveler dressed in full hazmat suit, waiting to catch a
flight in D.C. And check out what they`re talking about over at FOX News.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Fifty eight percent of Americans say that they think
that things in the world are going, quote, "to hell in a hand basket."
That was the question. Do you think things are going to hell in a hand
basket? Fifty eight percent said, absolutely.


SHARPTON: Krystal, has the concern crossed into hysteria?

BALL: In certain corners, certainly as evidenced by the items that you
just pulled up. I mean, the idea of not accepting students from countries
where they have Ebola. Would that now include the United States by any
chance in that list? But, you know, I think one of the problems we`ve had
frankly is the fact that the Senate due to opposition from the NRA hasn`t
been able to confirm a surgeon general. So we don`t have one trusted voice
to tell us what fact and fiction really is. So, we have had hysteria. We
have had concern over things which really aren`t a risk, which really
aren`t a threat. But that doesn`t mean we shouldn`t take Ebola seriously,
but the much bigger problem is in West Africa, where we should be focusing
our resources and where we should have been from the start.

SHARPTON: Yes. Or maybe, we should have been focusing resources.

BALL: That`s right. That`s right.


SAM SEDER, HOST, "THE MAJORITY REPORT": Well, you know, there`s a lot of
value on the right to be promoting this narrative that the world is going
to hell in a hand basket in the run-up to the election. I mean, I think
that, you know, we know who the administration is. We know who ostensibly
is, you know, running the CDC. And so I think there`s a lot of value there
and I think that`s driving a lot of this too, frankly. You know, I think
there`s a lot of people out there who have an agenda and I think there`s
also just a genuine sort of sense in some news quarters that this is going
to sell a little bit, so if we drum up the hysteria, we`ll going to get
more viewers.


CHARLES: Well, I think this hysteria is part and parcel because the Center
for Disease Control has sent out conflicting information. Remember, at the
start, when we had the first person come to this country with Ebola, the
message was, this is never going to happen here. No one else is ever going
to get infected. Not only have we had other people been infected, but
we`ve had health care workers, people who are on the front lines, been
infected. And there seem to have been many lapses at this hospital in
Texas. So I think the Central for Disease Control is caught between a rock
and a hard place. On the one hand, they are supposed to impart facts and
knowledge about Ebola, but also on the other, they`re supposed to sort of
ratchet down any sort of unfounded fears. And I think the problem is,
we`ve been getting a mixed message. So, that could be why we`re seeing
this hysteria.

SEDER: Right. But, you know, the reality is, too, is that, you know, the
car ride that we all took to get here --


SHARPTON: We`re watching the ambulance move bringing Nina Pham from the
hospital, as they`re headed to Dallas Love Field to transport her to NIH.
Go ahead, Sam.

SEDER: Well, I was just saying that, you know, that probably the most, you
know, the car ride over here was more likely to cause my death frankly than
Ebola is. And so, you know, I think the problem largely is just that
there`s no perspective. And to a certain extent, you know, I mean, we`re
watching an ambulance, you know, transport this patient. On some level,
you know, that`s more than I think, you know, it gives a message that this
is something that we should all be worried about. Of course there`s policy
implications and what not, but at the end of the day, I think most of us
are pretty safe.

SHARPTON: But let me go back to something that Sam raised, Krystal, when
he talked about the politics of it, you know, blaming this administration
and government. Isn`t it ironic that the circles that don`t believe in big
government now are saying big government should have been doing more?

BALL: Yes, it`s very ironic that suddenly republicans are dying to have a
czar to handle the Ebola crisis, right? They want big government in terms
of an Ebola czar. They want big government to enforce a travel ban. They
want big government to give more money now to the CDC and the NIH, which,
by the way, I support. But suddenly when there`s a crisis, libertarianism
small government doesn`t sound quite so good when you need a coordinated
response across the country.

CHARLES: Of course. Of course. And I think you make an excellent point.
Everyone wants small government until it`s convenient. Right? And so, I
think that`s part of the reason why you`re seeing this sort of call for a
czar and for a sort of coordinated effort. It`s like after any national
disaster, people want all of a sudden a federal government that is
responsive, that is accurate, and that is going to sort of do what they`re
supposed to do.

SHARPTON: But I think also -- and again, we`re watching Nina Pham, that is
the ambulance taking Nina Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola, she`s
being taken to Love Field in Dallas to be transported to NIH. As we`re
watching this as we talk. I think that it goes, what you were saying
Midwin, I think really people don`t want government when they don`t need


SHARPTON: So they want to cut programs and other things that they don`t
need. But when they feel there`s a threat, government should have done
something to protect me.

CHARLES: That`s right. And you have to ask yourself, how could government
have done something to protect you if the budgets were cut for some of
these agencies?


CHARLES: So you can`t have it both ways.

BALL: That`s right.

SEDER: Yes. This is a great example of how the free market is not going
to solve, you know, every type of problem. I mean, it just has not been
profitable enough for any corporation or company to develop an Ebola
vaccine or some type of treatment in the past at an accelerated rate
because it just hasn`t been profitable enough. So that`s why, you know,
you need something like NIH funding, for research and development, et
cetera. This is one of those times where reality runs into libertarian
ideology. And libertarian ideology loses.

SHARPTON: Yes. Again, we`re watching Nina Pham as she`s being transported
to Love Field in Dallas, headed to a special isolation unit at the NIH.
She`ll be flown there from Love Field and head to Maryland, again, to a
special isolation unit at NIH in Maryland. Krystal, on the point that Sam
was making, it`s also been said on this show tonight, that had resources
not been cut, we may have had the research that would have already led to
some kind of vaccine for this.

BALL: That has been -- public health officials have said that`s a very
real possibility. If we had applied more research funding here, we could
have had the map developed (INAUDIBLE), some of these further along, we
could have had a cure, we could have had a vaccine. And I do think that`s
part of why people are fascinated by this story. It`s not just about
Ebola. It`s also about government and our priorities and our
responsibilities overseas.

SHARPTON: Yes. I`m going to have to leave it there. Krystal, Sam and
Midwin. Thank you all for your time tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: More on this breaking news ahead.


SHARPTON: Breaking news right now. Nurse Nina Pham is being moved to the
Dallas Airport where she`ll fly to an NIH facility in Maryland for
treatment. Earlier we saw hospital workers gathering outside the hospital
to cheer her on and lend their support. These are live pictures from Love
Field where she`ll board a plane for the trip to Maryland. We`re also
awaiting comments from President Obama after his Ebola meeting. More on
all of that ahead.


SHARPTON: Moments ago, these are hospital workers cheering on Miss Pham,
Nina Pham being transported to Love Field in Dallas, headed to Maryland,
to NIH. And that`s what it really is about, showing love and concern for
those that now are fighting this Ebola virus. That is what we should focus
on. How do we solve it? How do we deal with it? This is not a time for
panic, but it is a time for action. Not a time for the blame game, but a
time for sober reflection on what we could do. This is not about our
divisions. Ebola is not going to check republicans or democrats, Western
Africans or Eastern Europeans. We all must rise above our differences and
our divisions and unite to contain this problem.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


Transcription Copyright 2014 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of