NBC News' Dr. Nancy Snyderman spoke with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Thursday about the NBC cameraman infected with Ebola, just hours after he tested positive for the disease — and hours after an extraordinary "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" report on the ground from Monrovia, Liberia.
Both ABC News and NBC News had filed reports on another Ebola victim, Thomas Duncan — Dr. Richard Besser for "World News Tonight with David Muir" and the Snyderman piece — tracing Duncan's steps before boarding the plane to Texas. Both pieces were not only remarkable — and courageous — but by the presence of two highly regarded TV doctors, also reassuring: If both ABC and NBC feel confident enough to send teams to Monrovia for Ebola coverage, perhaps the concerns about transmission are overblow. Snyderman on Thursday night spoke in detail about what happened. It's worth watching.
[Late Friday, ABC News president James Goldston also released an internal memo detailing the safe "reentry" of Besser and correspondent Adam Desiderio, both of whom were classified as "no known exposure." See below.]
Meanwhile, the parents of freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, 33, of Rhode Island, spoke to "The Today Show" Friday morning.
“Obviously he is scared and worried,” his father, Dr. Mitchell Levy, told the show. He has been “seeing the death and tragedy and now it’s really hit home for him. But his spirits are better today."
He’ll be flown back to the United States this weekend, his mother, Diane Mukpo, said: “I think the enormous anxiety that I have as a mother or that we share as parents is the delay between now and him leaving on Sunday. I believe they’re [doctors] doing things as quickly as they can, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that we know he’s going to be in Liberia until Sunday, and I really can only hope and pray that his symptoms don’t worsen too quickly."
And here's Goldston's memo:
I wanted to send out a note explaining our plans for Dr. Besser and Adam’s return to the U.S. and to the NY bureau and how we came up with this strategy. Our plans are based on the CDC recommendations and, in some cases, go above and beyond their guidelines for evaluating exposure risk. I want to stress that we are taking these measures out of an abundance of caution. Rich and Adam have taken every necessary precaution while on this assignment, and are currently not symptomatic and do not believe they are at risk. They have been taking their temperatures multiple times daily and, upon their return to New York, will continue to do so for the following 21 days. As an extra precaution (beyond what the CDC recommends), Rich and Adam will disinfect their gear before returning, and we have also hired a biohazard company to fully decontaminate their equipment once it arrives in the U.S.