Glenn was with Franklin Graham, son of the renowned evangelical preacher Billy Graham, at the opening of the Green Foundation Bible Museum in Oklahoma City. While they were at dinner, Franklin Graham explained that it was once of his doctors, Dr. Kent Brantly from Samaritan's Purse, that was infected with Ebola and brought back to the United States. The doctor has now made a full recovery, but how was Graham involved in getting him back to the U.S. for treatment? It's an incredible story, one that Glenn told on radio today.
Below is an edited transcript of this segment
GLENN: A couple of other people and Franklin Graham was sitting next to Tania. And Franklin Graham is Billy Graham's son and he runs Samaritan's Purse. And so we're talking about world events. And the program hadn't started yet, so what's coming in the world. What's happening. And, you know, the idea that I was from Dallas, and here's Ebola in Dallas. We started talking about that.
And that's when Steve Green said: Well, you know that was Franklin's doctor, you know, from Samaritan's Purse that was brought in on that plane. And I had completely forgotten.
And I said, oh, my gosh, Franklin, what was that like?
He began to tell the story. And we'll try to bring him in hopefully next week. I want him to tell the story because it was -- coming firsthand it was electrifying.
I said: So what happened?
He said: We had -- I don't remember how many -- 35 people over working and trying to help these people over in West Africa. And he said: So we have our people over there, and the doctor gets it.
Now the first thing that I asked him was: How did he get it? Because there's speculation. He's all suited up. How did he possibly get it?
He said: The problem over in Africa is, everybody is running a fever. He said, and that's one of the early signs, you get a fever and have flu-like symptoms. But everybody --
PAT: Because of malaria too.
GLENN: Right. So he said everybody has malaria at some point so everybody has a fever. So it's not something that's a warning sign there. And he said these doctors they go over and help the Ebola victims, and then we suit them up, we spray them down with chlorine. We put these giant trays down on the ground. When you walk into these bays, you have these giant trays with an inch of chlorine. So your feet walk through the chlorine and then they spray you down with that. So that kills the Ebola.
He said the problem is he didn't get it from those guys, he got it from working over in the hospital. They would take their suits off and they would spend extra time helping the people in the hospital. Well, you don't know who has Ebola and who doesn't. Apparently that's where he contracted it. So he gets it and has it bad and he's dying, and they start calling, is there anything anybody can do? What resources are available? Anything.
They get a call from this company in San Diego. And they say, we have an experimental drug. Never been tried on a human before, and apparently it involves mouse blood and tobacco leaves. I mean, it sounds crazy.
So they start talking about it. And it's decided not to give him this vial. But the company ships it over. Now, it's kept at, you know, super low temperatures. I don't know 200 or 600 degrees below zero. Some crazy temperature. And so he comes and it's shipped there and it's got to be kept that cold the whole time. And so it's sitting over there, and the doctor gets sicker and sicker and sicker. And they realize. We're going to lose him. We're going to lose him tonight. He's going to die. It's just violent.
They get back on the phone with this pharmaceutical company in San Diego, they get back on the phone with attorneys. And all the attorneys are like, 'you can't give him this. You don't know what it will do. It's never had a human trial. You have no idea.'
PAT: But if a guy is going to die anyway.
GLENN: Finally, They said, 'look, he's going to die. He's going to die tonight. He'll die maybe an hour earlier? What? How bad being it be? We know his outcome he's going to die tonight.' All the attorneys again in France and America they're all saying, don't give it to him. You can't do it. You can't do it.
Well, they do.
Now, he's so bad he's within hours of dying. Vomiting. You just, you're done. You're bleeding from your eyes. You're bleeding from every orifice of your body. What they do is they open up this refrigeration tank, these three bags of this ZMapp is in, it has to be put in intravenously. So there's three bags of it and you take one bag, I guess day number one. Next bag and then the next bag.
PAT: It's frozen solid though?
GLENN: Frozen solid, 200 degrees below zero. Whatever it is. They have to that you it out quickly. They have to get it in a liquid state. You can't put it in the microwave. What do you do?
So they take turns actually sitting on these IV bags and they start to thaw it out from their body warmth. They get it into this guy's arm.
As this thing is going into his system, by the time that bag is finished, he gets up by himself and goes to the bathroom. He was so sick just a few hours before. He was going to die and couldn't do anything.
PAT: He was literally at death's door. And now, he's getting and up going to the bathroom.
GLENN: As soon as he gets this bag of this serum, he gets up and goes to the bathroom himself. It happens that fast. So they finish the three bags. They put him on a plane and bring him over here, and he's fine.
Now, here's where this story gets interesting. He said opening up that refrigeration tank was like a sci-fi movie. We opened that refrigeration tank and the smoke is coming out. It was a spooky sci-fi movie. While they're doing all of this, Franklin is on the phone, and he's trying to get a plane to bring the doctors to the United States and trying to get them help.
There's only one plane I guess that the United States has perhaps in the world, but there's one that the United States has. It's a G3, Gulf Stream 3. And it is specially equipped to contain, you know, I guess this is Level 5 or something disease. So, in other words, I got the impression this is a plane that can crash, and the compartment is sealed. So nothing is coming out of this. And there's only one plane. And I can't remember whose responsibility in the government it is. I want to say it was the State Department's plane, but I'm not sure.
And Franklin is calling and trying to get a plane, and he realizes nothing can fly this guy unless it's this Level 5 plane. So he finds out and he's calling John Kerry. He's calling the White House. Calling everybody trying to get this plane. Nobody will help. Nobody will help. He finally gets a hold of somebody at the I think it's the State Department, and he said, 'do you know about this plane?' And he said, 'yes, I do.' And he explained the situation. And he said, 'well, today is your lucky day because I'm in charge of that plane.' And Franklin said, 'who do I have to call above you to get this signed off.' He said, 'nobody. Me. I'm in charge of it.' He said 'I can't pay for it.' He said, 'you're going to have pay for it, but I'll okay the plane to fly over if you pay for it.' He said, 'fine we'll play for it.'
So it cost him a couple hundred thousand dollars to fly over to Africa, pick him up, fly back. Problem. That plane now has been taken by the CDC so now the CDC is the only one that has that plane. And they apparently don't like to share.
The CDC is also, I get the impression, way out of control and way over their head on this.
When Franklin got the doctor to the hospital, it was in [Atlanta]. Right? When he gets him over into the hospital, they come in and they quarantine this guy. Now, there are, I think, 35 others that have returned from Africa that were working in that hospital, the same as this doctor. They've been around this doctor. They've been around the hospital. They've been in the Ebola places. They bring him to the hospital. The CDC is there and everybody is there. And we all saw the caravan, but what we didn't see is this: Franklin says, 'okay, we've got 35 people. Where do we keep them for 21 days?'
The CDC says, 'oh, don't worry just send them home.'
Now, here's Franklin not a doctor. 'I don't think that's a good idea. I don't think sending them home is a good idea. What are we doing sending them home? What do you mean send them home? They should be in the quarantine for 21 days. We don't know if they have the Ebola.'
'Yeah, they're fine. Send them home.'
So Franklin decides to find a place right around this hospital and quarantines the people himself and says, everybody is staying here for 21 days and it's close to the hospital, so if we start to see symptoms, you just pop in and go over to the hospital.
Well, apparently, several days into this, the hospital finds out that they've done this. And the hospital is upset because of PR. How is this going to look? That we've got 21 people right around this hospital? PR. This goes to exactly to what Rand Paul was saying yesterday: Political correctness.
We've got -- we've got to stop the political correctness. We've got to stop this. Political correctness is stopping us from restricting air travel to West Africa. There is no reason why we have people traveling to and fro to West Africa. Now, I know that you can't stop all air travel. It's impossible, but if you have anything around West Africa on your passport, you should also be quarantined.
If you've been to West Africa in the last 21 days, you need to be quarantined. We used to do that -- what do you think Ellis Island was for? We would quarantine people. The president and the White House yesterday came out and said, 'well, we've got safety measures at the border now. We make sure that if all the border guys' -- really? You don't even have -- most people aren't even coming across the border. But our political correctness is stopping us from quarantining people. Our political correctness -- the president stopped all air travel to Israel on the threat of a missile almost possibly, maybe, might, shoot down a plane over Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. He shut it down for a week. And they did it that fast.
Why are we not shutting down the airspace? Why are we not saying, you cannot enter the United States of America. You cannot fly to West Africa. You cannot return unless you've been quarantined, period.
STU: Wouldn't you say thought that the impulse to isolate countries may make the Ebola epidemic worse?
GLENN: No, I wouldn't say that.
STU: That's what the CDC director said. "The impulse to isolate the country --
PAT: So the impulse itself -- like if I feel like isolating it, that will make it worse?
STU: Right. Ebola will get much worse.
PAT: Does Ebola know my intention?
GLENN: That's ridiculous. The CDC is out of control. Everything. Look at the woman who just resigned from the secret service yesterday. If this isn't political correctness, how did this woman get her job? And, by the way, she wasn't fired yesterday because the secret service is out of control.
PAT: Of rampant incompetence.
GLENN: She was fired because of optics. She didn't let the administration know that there was a problem.
STU: Yeah, the elevator incident, she did not inform them of until it got out to the press. They weren't able to fight the PR battle on that.
PAT: So it wasn't because they allowed an armed criminal with the president of the United States-
GLENN: It was because of political correctness. It was because of the press. It was because of the optics. This is literally going to kill all of us. This is why we're -- I'm telling you we're going to be humbled because we won't recognize reality anymore. And when you won't recognize reality, reality has a way of sneaking up behind you.
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