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America Strikes Back: Anthrax Alert

Aired October 12, 2001 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, anthrax in New York: An NBC News staffer tests positive for the skin form of the disease. And the nasty germ may have turned up in Nevada, too.

Joining us, the Florida woman who tested positive for anthrax earlier this week, Stephanie Dailey is in West Palm Beach. In Washington, for his first interview in this fast-moving story, chief postal inspector for the U.S. Postal Service Ken Weaver. In New York, the chairman of the emergency medicine scene at Long Island College Hospital, Dr. Lewis Kohl. And back in Washington, retired Air Force Colonel Randall Larsen, director of the Anser Institute for Homeland Security.

In Riyadh, his royal highness, Prince Walid Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. The mayor of New York has rejected his $10 million donation to the Twin Tower Fund.

With the latest on NATO's role in the war on terrorism, the alliance's secretary-general, Lord George Robertson. We'll also talk with the former prime minister of Israel, Ehud Barak. We'll ask Mayor Rudy Giuliani about the princely donation he turned down and about New York's anthrax anxieties. And we'll hear from former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, too. He urged he United States to prepare against bioterrorism years ago.

Finally, we'll find out about Wayne Newton's new duties with the USO.

They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin with our first group setting. In West Palm Beach is Stephanie Dailey. In Washington, D.C. is Ken Weaver of the chief postal inspector. In New York is Dr. Lewis Kohl of Long Island College Hospital. And in Washington is Colonel Randall Larsen, U.S. Air Force, retired.

Stephanie, first, how are you feeling?


KING: Tell me how you first noticed something wrong.

DAILEY: Umm, I didn't notice anything wrong. We were told to report on Monday to the health office for our nasal swab test. KING: That was after the first two cases had shown up, right?

DAILEY: Right.

KING: And how did they tell you? What -- tell me -- give me the occurrence.

DAILEY: OK. Like I said, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) went for the test, and on Wednesday I was told to meet with the FBI and the CDC and the health office. And after answering the questions with the FBI, they informed me that I had tested positive.

KING: First reaction?

DAILEY: It was like getting hit in the gut. I mean, it was "OK, what happens now?"

KING: And what did happen now?

DAILEY: I just was told to take the medication like everybody else, and that I would be fine.

KING: So you're taking Cipro, right?

DAILEY: Right.

KING: Having any side effects or any question at all so far?

DAILEY: No. Dry mouth.

KING: Do they tell you -- do they tell you if you're in any kind of danger?

DAILEY: I'm not in any kind of danger, they said.

KING: Are you back at work?


KING: Amazing. Stay with us, Stephanie.

Ken Weaver is in Washington, chief postal inspector, his first interview. What's the postal responsibility in all these? We've got the mailing. And just, by the way, in tonight, state health officials have analyzed a suspicious letter received by a subsidiary of Microsoft in Reno, Nevada, and it has tested presumptively positive for anthrax.

What's the postal responsibility in this, Ken?

KEN WEAVER, CHIEF POSTAL INSPECTOR: Well, certainly, Larry, we're all on heightened alert, and we have been and our customers and our employees are our top priority, the safety of all of our people.

So we have been putting out the word and creating an awareness out there to be looking for suspicious items in the mail. I would like to say that even before this September 11th date, we've investigated over 80 of these incidents, of the suspected anthrax. So it's nothing new, but we do want to create a heightened awareness out there among the people and among our employees also.

KING: What do you want them to look for?

WEAVER: Well, there are -- everybody should have some idea the type of mail they receive. And all we're telling people is be very, very alert, look at some telltale signs. For example, if a piece of mail does not have a return address or if you're not expecting a piece of mail that looks suspicious, and there is a return address, check it out and see who is sending that.

Certainly, if there's anything protruding or coming out of the piece of mail, or if it's heavy, if it's overweight, has too much postage on it, those are all things that are very suspicious. And at that point, don't open it, set it aside, contact local law enforcement, or the postal inspection service.

KING: Now, what does the postal inspectors look at at the post office station before it comes to the recipient?

WEAVER: Well, Larry, our mail volume is such that it's virtually impossible to look at every piece of mail. We receive and process over 680 million pieces of mail every day. But where there are suspicious activities, we do have postal inspectors that will respond and will look at those activities.

KING: And you say you have invested anthrax -- investigated anthrax before this.

WEAVER: Well, we've investigated the threats of anthrax. There have been no anthrax mailings substantiated to date.

KING: None to date except this one maybe in Nevada, Right? And the one in New York?

WEAVER: Maybe -- maybe in Nevada and maybe in New York. We don't know at this point in time. The final analysis has not come through on those.

KING: Florida definite, right?

WEAVER: Florida, again, we don't have the mail piece in Florida.

KING: I see.

WEAVER: It's suspected...

KING: You suspect it but we don't have the piece of mail itself.

WEAVER: That's correct, Larry.

KING: Dr. Kohl, chairman of emergency medicine, Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, and Colonel Randall Larsen, U.S. Air Force, retired, with the Anser Institute for Homeland Security. Dr. Kohl, have you seen any anthrax cases in your career?


KING: What do you make of this story and the story breaking out of New York today?

KOHL: Well, it's got a lot of people incredibly anxious. We're trying very hard today in all the emergency departments in New York City. New York City Department of Health (UNINTELLIGIBLE) this is not a big outbreak. This is not a dangerous situation. This is not a time for everybody to start taking antibiotics and panicking.

If this is a cutaneous anthrax, a skin anthrax, it's very, very treatable and no one is going to die from it.

KING: Well, who should know if they possibly have it? Who should come into an emergency room?

KOHL: Well, anybody who thinks they were exposed, particularly in the NBC incident. Somebody who knows they received a letter and the police told them that anthrax may be involved, the Department of Health wants to speak to them. They want to test those folks.

KING: Would you say, Doctor, if you're suspicious, be tested?

KOHL: Right now, if you don't have really any good evidence that you've been exposed, and very, very few people in New York or the country have been exposed, there's no reason to be tested. We're watching for it very closely, and it's just not out there.

KING: Noticing any panic at all on the part of the citizenry?

KOHL: Well, people are very concerned. We saw a lot of folks in the emergency department today, people who came in and they wanted to be tested: people who had, you know, flu-like syndromes, and said, listen, I think I have anthrax, I need to be seen today. And mostly what we did is calm them down, check them out and made sure everything was OK, and told them that they didn't need be tested.

KING: Did you test anyone today for anthrax?

KOHL: No, we didn't.

KING: Did not.



Doctor -- Colonel Larsen, you've been with us every night this week, and we think -- every time we say, well, we don't need him tonight something else comes up. What do you make of this New York story and the subsequent Nevada story? RET. COL. RANDALL LARSEN, ANSER INSTITUTE FOR HOMELAND SECURITY: You know, this may not even be connected to Osama bin Laden. This may be the biological version of Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. This could be somebody growing it in petri dishes in their basement. And this is not a serious biological threat.

KING: Did you bring along something you can show us tonight?

LARSEN: Sure, sure.

KING: What have you got?

LARSEN: There's a lot of Americans out there, Larry, that are concerned about, "Am I going to open my mail?" You know, well, come on, we've got to open our mail every day so we can do our jobs and everything, but there's a few things you should know.

Got a package like this -- by the way, two days from Texas, very god for the Postal Service. You got a package. You open it up like this, and I see something suspicious in here, you know, this could happen.

We've got to remember 99 percent of these are hoaxes over the last 20 years. You would carefully close the package, and then you would take it: Most people have trash cans now with plastic liners. You carefully put it in your trash can: You would tie a knot in that. If I were in my office, I'd call my boss and tell her what happened. And then I would call 911, and then I would go wash my hands and I would wait for the people to arrive.

I would expect probably, if they looked at that, they may say, hey, looks pretty suspicious. They may even start me on Cipro to start with. But then after a day of testing, they may stop me, because 99 percent of these are hoaxes and they're really not anything to lose sleep over.

KING: Stephanie, do you remember having opened anything that in retrospect was suspicious to you?

DAILEY: No, not really. No.

KING: Any packages that looked funny, any envelopes? I mean, that kind of place where they publish tabloids must get a lot of weird mail.

DAILEY: Well, there was one that I opened but it wasn't anything. It was just like baby powder or something.

KING: But how do you know it wasn't?

DAILEY: Well, they said that if I, you know, had I guess I would have been sick. So it wasn't that.

KING: Can you tell us, Colonel, what is suspicious-looking? What do you mean by -- is power suspicious? What's suspicious? LARSEN: Well, sure, anything that's going to be inside a package, if we're talking about biological agents, it's going to look like a powder, like I just showed you.

Now, what was actually in that box, Larry, was baby powder. What I have here is what a biological weapon actually looks like. And actually, for most civilians to look at, it's going to look exactly like baby powder. So, that's what you're sort of looking for: a white powdery substance like that -- 99 percent of the time it's not going to be anything to worry about is the real key here.

KING: But if you've got something like that, who would -- who would be, you know, you wouldn't put something like that on your body, would you?

LARSEN: Oh, absolutely not. But...


It looks just like baby powder. Now, that's very -- that's a simulant. That's not real biological weapon, but it's a simulant that was used. That is the really high quality stuff like the Soviet Union produced. That is not what we are worried about here. We're looking at a real low-tech sort of biological weapon here.

KING: Ken, has the post office been getting calls from people in the last few days?

WEAVER: Oh, yes, Larry, we've been getting numerous calls, numerous packages that we have to go out and inspect, and all of those have been certainly nothing at this point. But it has -- the awareness out there is heightened, and that's good. I think if people have questions, they should call and they should try to get good information, and we'll certainly respond to it.

KING: And you do go out?

WEAVER: Yes, sir. We have 1,900 postal inspectors around the country. We do respond to these incidents, and even the hoax incidents. Or -- and that's one point, we are receiving a lot of hoaxes, and we treat those very seriously. And it's draining our resources, and we would like to stop it.

KING: Thank all very much, Stephanie Dailey, Ken Weaver, Dr. Lewis Kohl, and as always Colonel Randall Larsen, for giving us this update.

When we come back, we'll meet Prince Walid Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. He's back in Riyadh now. He was in New York the other day. Gave a check for $10 million to Rudy Giuliani and then made a statement concerning the policy of, the United States policy toward Israel, and Giuliani returned the check. We'll talk with his highness right after this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: If individuals receive mail of which they are suspicious, they should not open it. They should not shake it. They should leave the area of the mail, call the local law enforcement authorities, public health authorities, so that the mail can be appropriately dealt with.



KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, al-Walid Bin Talal: his royal highness, the Prince Talal of Saudi Arabia. He is the nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd, extremely prominent businessman, investor. In fact, on the 2001 "Forbes" list he was No. 6 among the world's richest people. The other day he came to New York, gave a $10 million donation to the Twin Towers fund. That donation was rejected.

Were you surprised that the mayor turned it down, Your Highness?

HRH PRINCE WALID BIN TALAL, SAUDI ARABIA: Well, sure, I was very surprised, Larry, because we're in touch with the mayor's office a week before our arrival to New York, and this matter was very much coordinated with the mayor. And it was arranged that I'll meet him at the site, and the donation would have been given to him as planned, and that is what took place exactly.

However, unfortunately, the incident went out-of-hand, and the mayor took the position of not accepting the donation, although I came all the away from Riyadh for that purpose only, flew 13 hours, stayed there only eight hours, and then flew back to Riyadh all the way just because of that purpose.

So I think that the mayor misunderstood our mission that we tried to establish.

KING: Well, I think he based -- and you gave a letter condemning terrorism and feeling very sorry for the tragedy, but then there was supposed to be a statement you made after that concerning the United States and Israel, which was the cause of the mayor's turning it down. What have you said about the United States and Israel?

BIN TALAL: Well, see, you have to understand that I am very much attached to the United States, especially New York. I studied in New York. I got a masters from there. And I got my only Ph.D. from Syracuse University also. And I have various investments in downtown New York and Manhattan specifically, you know, such as Citigroup, AOL- Time Warner is present there, News Corp., Saks Fifth Avenue, and various other investments. So I'm very much attached to New York and I felt very much sorry for what took place over there.

This crime, this horrendous crime that took place could never be justified by any act, by any act by anyone. So I thought that I had the chance to bridge the gap between the Arab world, the Muslim world and Saudi specifically, and New York, because inevitably, after this horrendous act that took place in New York, inevitably some bridges had been broken. So I thought I could be playing a role in getting things closer between our community and the Arab world and Islamic world and New York.

So, that was the purpose.

KING: You knew, though -- you knew, though, that a fuss would be kicked up when you released statement that "I believe the government of the United States should re-examine its policies in the Middle East." That release also said, "Our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of Israelis while the world turns the other cheek and looks the other way." You realized that in saying that, that would inflame some people.

BIN TALAL: Not necessarily, because I understand that in America the free speech is something paramount over there, and especially in New York. So when I came there, I condemned the act, I gave my condolences to the people of New York, and I congratulated the mayor for his brave act, that he was able to put -- to keep New York together, because I think without him being there and without his strong leadership, maybe the whole thing would have gone out of control in this catastrophe.

And I always respected Mr. Giuliani before the incident and during the incident and even right now. And I admire him. I admire what he did there.

However, as far as my statements related to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian people, I think it's very important to the United States -- and I speak as a friend of the United States, very close, and I say this openly and publicly. It's very important for the United States to acknowledge there's a big problem in the Middle East.

And for the United States to go and fight the Taliban, and fight bin Laden, they have all the right to do that, and I'm backing them all the way, like almost all the Islamic countries that met recently and approved the U.S. retaliation against Taliban and bin Laden. However, it is very important to go and to face, too, which is really -- you have to extract the roots of the problem. And the roots of the problem are found in Palestine.

And this is something very important, and the message has to be conveyed to America, although on the short term they may not comprehend this very well, but as a friend to the United States it's my duty and responsibility to convey that message to America openly.

KING: Are you going -- are you going to try to give the check to some other agency or some other way to get it to help?

BIN TALAL: Not really. You know, this was recommended to me by some of my friends in the United States. They told me you can give it to other agencies. I will not do that.

Frankly speaking, I came to Mr. Giuliani because I respect him. He is the mayor of New York, and I have all the trust in him. And if Mr. Giuliani does not accept it, I don't think I will cheapen my noble cause and go somewhere else just to avenge, or you know, just -- just -- just to do something that is not right.

KING: Thank you, Your Highness, we'll be calling on you again. This is LARRY KING LIVE. And by the way, Mayor Giuliani will be here and we'll have him respond to what the prince said. And when we come back, we'll talk with the top guy at NATO, what developments involving them today, including for, as a first ever in United States history, planes from somewhere else protecting American territories inside the continental United States. Back after this.



KING: We welcome to Larry King Live Lord George Robertson, the NATO secretary general. He met with President Bush on Wednesday. He comes to us from Brussels. We thank him for being us.

Tell us about this report just in today from Oklahoma City that five NATO airborne warning and control system, AWACS, have now arrived in Oklahoma City to help patrol the skies over the United States. How did this happen, Lord George?

LORD GEORGE ROBERTSON, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: Well, this happened because on the 12th of September, the day after the atrocities in New York and in Washington, the NATO council declared that this attack on the United States was covered by Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty, a very simple article which says an attack on one ally shall be seen as an attack on them all.

And therefore, as a consequence of that, the 19 NATO allies decided that the AWACS planes, which need to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) would, if the United States wanted them, be deployed to wherever they needed them. And that's why they're in Oklahoma today, and they'll be deployed over the skies of America.

This is the classic case of the old world coming to the aid of the new in a very clear and visible symbol of the solidarity that exists between the two continents and the 19 nations.

KING: Lord George, what will NATO's role overall be in Afghanistan?

ROBERTSON: Well, NATO's rule is as the cornerstone of the coalition. And at the moment, what we are is one part of the numerous coalitions that the United States is putting together to deal with the terrorists to respond to the attacks of the 11th of September, to bring to account those who were responsible for them and to make sure they don't do it again.

So NATO is an alliance of 19 countries. They have already been asked to do eight specific things by the U.S. and to do them collectively, and the AWACS is just one of those (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

Individual countries themselves are offering help, and some of them have already been in action in Afghanistan with the United States. And over the coming weeks, the United States' closest allies and friends will be there side by side with the U.S. in this attempt to get at Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network and the Taliban for giving them safety and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) at the moment.

KING: Is one of those items, Lord George, the possibility that NATO troops will replace American troops in the Balkans so American troops can go elsewhere?

ROBERTSON: Well, that event depends very much on what the Americans want. There are something like 10,000 American troops in the Balkans at the present moment. They only make up less than 7 percent of the total of troops in the area. It may be slightly higher than that, but it's not over 12 percent of the total.

But there's also a lot of other assets in the area, highly specialized assets like the unmanned aerial vehicles, the pilotless planes. And it may be that if they are moved closer to Afghanistan, then the NATO allies will have to fill that gap. But of course, if the American troops were required on the front lines, then there are NATO troops that would be more than willing to fill their positions.

But I know a number of NATO countries don't want simply to back all of the Americans; they want to be there on the front line with the United States in this campaign against terrorism, which is, after all, an affliction that could as easily happen to them or damage them, as it has damaged the U.S.

KING: Speaking in that regard, was NATO concerned much, did it talk much about terrorism prior to September 11?

ROBERTSON: Well, yes, Larry, it did; maybe not enough, and then perhaps none of the countries have given enough attention to this issue, except those countries that have been affected by terrorism, both international and internal terrorism, over the last few years.

But at the summit of NATO that was held in Washington two years ago, the 50th anniversary summit of NATO, terrorism came onto the agenda. And as always, somebody had thought ahead. We were reminded that attacks on nations didn't always come from individual states; they didn't always come as we expected them for 40 years, to come from the Soviet Union. They could come just as easily from terrorist attacks.

So that has been part of our agenda up until now. But I have to say, as with so many countries, the fact is that we've not done nearly enough about it, and we're going to have to do a lot more in the future.

KING: If the Taliban were to be toppled, would NATO be involved in nation-building in Afghanistan?

ROBERTSON: Well, that's a little bit down the road. It's into an area of speculation that maybe has to be got into at some other point.

All I can say to you is that NATO has got some pretty unique peacemaking and peacekeeping capabilities and experience. After all, it was NATO troops, including American troops, that went into Bosnia in 1995 to stop the killing that was going on there and to hold that country together, and it's been improving every day since then.

It was NATO that went into Kosovo in 1999, and I know your program covered that in immense detail at the time. And there we stopped the ethnic cleansing of Milosevic. And we're going to see elections there in just over a month's time.

And at the moment, there are major troops in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia helping them to get through a period of violence that was affecting their state.

So the NATO countries, and indeed the partner nations of NATO, the 27 countries that join NATO in the partnership for peace, has got some unique peacekeeping capabilities. So maybe further down the road that's something that will be looked at, and these capabilities, you never know, could be drawn on.

KING: Well, George, you met with President Bush on Wednesday. How did he impress you? What was he like? We've seen the public mood. What was the private mood?

ROBERTSON: Well, that's the third time that I've met President George W. Bush, and each time I've been more impressed than before. He's growing into the job. And he is a man in command who's determined, who's got convictions. He's got a personal feeling not of revenge or of any primitive instinct, but of a man who believes that something diabolical has happened to his country and that it must be stopped, the people who perpetrated it must be brought to account, and that other people, American people and others, must feel safe in the future from the likelihood of such an attack taking place.

But I must say that when I met him this week, I found a man very much at peace with himself, but at war with the people who could commit such atrocities. And I think I steel in him has been made even tougher. And the agility of his mind and the energy that he's putting into it are quite unmistakable.

And as a fellow politician, I recognize somebody who's got the bit between his teeth and who is determined that he's going to succeed not just for the American people or the people of NATO, but so that mankind in the future can live with they degree of security and safety that they deserve and that they demand.

KING: Thank you so much, Lord George. It's a tough race with many hurdles. We appreciate your being with us.

Lord George Robertson, the NATO Secretary General, from Brussels.


KING: I'm Larry King in Los Angeles. We'll be right back.


KING: It's an honor to welcome to LARRY KING LIVE the former prime minister of Israel, Ehud Barak. We have limited time, but some areas to cover.

What did you make, Mr. Prime Minister, of what Prince Walid had to say?

EHUD BARAK, FORMER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: Oh, I salute Mayor Giuliani. He did the right thing. I believe that many honest Americans and New Yorkers feel the same.

I believe that it is time to begin to tell the truth and stop this Orwellian doublespeak about the Middle East. We are the victims of Palestinian terror. Our kids and innocent civilians are victims of suicide attacks. And it is time to -- just to begin telling the truth. There is no moral equivalence that could be drawn between the perpetrators of terror and those who respond against it.

KING: So even then you return $10 million, which could have helped a lot of people?

BARAK: I believe that this amount of money could be gotten -- the problem is not the money, but the moral kind of high ground that the Western civilization is taking right now, facing a defining moment for its future.

KING: So there is a higher principle.

BARAK: There is always a higher principle.

KING: Today, the anti-terrorism coalition members, Schroeder in Germany, Abdullah in Jordan, said they want to forge an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians quickly to keep the support for terrorism from growing. Do you think that is possible?

BARAK: I think that an effort should be done at the appropriate timing in this war to resume negotiation. But I believe that Arafat and his PA cannot be rewarded for the terror we experienced in last year.

There is a lot of sense in giving him a set of demands while you are dealing with the al Qaeda and the Taliban, namely arrest those Hamas and Islamic Jihad suicide attackers who are on the list that you have been given from the CIA. Put an end to the direct terror that is coming from people under your own direct responsibility and put an end to incitement.

If you are doing that, we will -- in three months or in four months, we will look into it. If you are really doing that, we would expect Israel to respond positively. And maybe the peace process could be resumed.

KING: Chairman Arafat disappointed you, did he not? Didn't you think he would take your offer?

BARAK: No. I believe -- I believe that the very fact that, slightly more than a year ago, an offer was put on the table by an American president (UNINTELLIGIBLE) kind of definition of how a solution should look like, we were ready to enter into negotiation, and Arafat refused and turned deliberately to the suicide attack kind of terror, is a telling fact. It leaves us with no way but to conclude that, for some reason, he is not a Palestinian Sadat, not a Palestinian King Hussein, and he's not the man at the time -- at the present to make this history.

KING: What did you make of President Bush's statement that the ultimate quest for the United States is peace and a Palestinian state?

BARAK: Well, I believe the fact that the objective is a Palestinian state is an American policy that had been established many years ago. I believe that we have had, a few days before the president's statement, Prime Minister Sharon himself saying that when the time is ripe, it will be painful, but we would be ready to give the Palestinians a state in exchange for a solution of the problem.

And let me tell you, this was basically the objective of the policy that we have been looking into in the last few years.

KING: You have always spoken against terrorism, right? You made a major speech about terrorism six years ago. Did this surprise you?

BARAK: You know, in a way, the timing and the dimension and the kind of quality of careful planning and diabolic thinking behind it surprised me. But the very fact that we are going to face world terror as a major challenge of the first decade of the 21st century was not a surprise for me, and I believe, in a way, was not a surprise for leaders around the world.

KING: And what would you say to Americans facing things that Israel has faced for years: threats of chemical, biological terror?

BARAK: I think that the American response, for an Israeli that really spent his lifetime struggling terror, and for the Israeli people as a whole, is amazingly impressive self-control, the solidarity, the patriotism, the readiness to take responsibility. It is highly impressive.

And I believe that with the fighting spirit of the American people and with a determined leadership -- and we clearly see, in President Bush, and in Cheney and Rumsfeld and Powell, Tom Wolfowitz, Condoleezza, all the group, they are determined leaders. You are in good hands, the free world in good hands. And I believe that we will prevail.

It will be a very tough struggle. It might take half a generation. There will be a lot of ups and downs, many painful moments along the way. Many civilians will lose their lives along the way. But we will prevail and win. And there are many opportunities in the situation, besides all the threats.

KING: And we will have you back. And it has been an honor having you with us.

BARAK: Thank you.

KING: One of the great fighting heroes, as well, in Israeli history: Ehud Barak, the former prime minister.

We will be right back on LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. We welcome the mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, to LARRY KING LIVE.

First, Mayor, I know you didn't hear his comments, but we had Prince Walid on. He said he always respected you, still respects you, was shocked that you didn't take the money. Yes, he has opinions about the United States and Israel, but he didn't think that should have anything do with helping people devastated by this attack. Your response?

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: Well, the reason that I didn't take the money was that the press release that he issued after he spoke to me, which had never been cleared with me, I didn't know about, said that we should rethink American foreign policy, and then made references to the fact that he believed that the Israelis were slaughtering Palestinians. And it seemed to me that what he was trying to do was to link this dreadful, awful terrorist attack on the World Trade Center to his view of what was going on in the Middle East.

I don't agree with his view of what's going on in the Middle East. But even if I did -- and I don't -- I would not think that you should link the two things, because I think part of the problem that we face is this sort of justification that is constantly made and equivalent that we create, moral equivalence we create, between democracies and then terrorist states. And it seemed to me it would be really inappropriate to take the money.

KING: Even though you know...

GIULIANI: And so I returned it.

KING: ... no one knows better than you how much that money would help?

GIULIANI: Yeah, I think we -- I think that these people lost their lives, many of them did -- you know, certainly the police officers and the firefighters and the rescue workers -- to defend freedom and democracy. The attack was an attack against freedom. And it seemed to me this would be the wrong kind of money to take if it's being premised on ideas like that.

And I've for a long time felt that this whole kind of equivalent that's made is part of the problem that has created the growth of terrorism, where we just don't stand up and say, there is no -- there is no excuse, there is no justification. There's no -- the people who did this lost any right to ask for us to understand what they did by killing, you know, 5,000 innocent people.

And you keep doing that, and you're just going to create fertile ground for these people to continue this. KING: What's the latest on anthrax? We have it at NBC, apparently something happened at "The New York Times" -- may have been a scare, may have been not. But Judith Miller got that envelope, and she's written that book "Germs."

What's the latest you can tell us about your city and biological warfare?

GIULIANI: Right now, right now, the case at NBC is a case that the CDC says tested positive for anthrax. But the woman who was infected was treated with Cipro starting on October 1st and appears to be well on her way to a recovery, although it's horrible that she had to go through this. But in the case of -- in the case of "The New York Times," we've taken the powder. The powder has been tested. There's one preliminary test that has been done that indicates negative for anthrax, but that's not final yet.

It also has to be tested by the CDC, and there are more complex tests that have to be done. But so far, the one preliminary test that was done it appears to be negative.

And these are things that we are going to have to -- I know this is very hard to say, and maybe internalize right away -- but we've got to get used to this. I mean, this is -- we're going to be dealing with this. Anthrax is not contagious. Anthrax is treatable with antibiotics. And as long as we have the right monitoring systems in place and become alert to it, you know, we'll be able to deal with this.

KING: Will this affect the morale of the city, which you have been doing so much to try to build up the last 30 days?

GIULIANI: You can't affect the morale of this city. This is the most resilient city in the whole world.

I mean, it's a great city. It's a diverse city. It's a very, very proud American city. And if they think they're going to affect our morale, they're going to just make us stronger by doing this.

KING: But it has to be a little nervous city, Rudy? I mean, it would be insane not to be fearful.

GIULIANI: Of course -- I wouldn't say "nervous." I think "appropriately cautious." You know, there are things we have to do now that we didn't do in the past. You know, last night there were 57,000 people at Yankee Stadium, it took longer for them to get in. And there is a lot more security, there is a lot more surveillance, there's a lot more appropriate concern that's taking place. All of that is quite appropriate.

And of course, sure, there are people that right now are more fearful than they were in the past. But I think as time goes by, we're going to see all of that return to normal.

Mostly, the majority reaction is that people are very resilient, very strong, and very determined not to let terrorists affect our way of life.

KING: One other quick thing: Both candidates for mayor had announced previously they would ask you to stay for three months. Are you going to stay no matter who wins?

GIULIANI: That's really up to the state legislature, and Shelly Silver and the Democrats in the state legislature. I actually haven't had a chance to talk to the candidates about this.

KING: If they approve it, you will stay, though?

But if the candidates say OK...

GIULIANI: I'm willing to do -- yes. Yes, I would, sure. You know, I think -- I think a -- a longer transition period, in my view, is vital to the city right now.

KING: Thank you as always, Mr. Mayor. The Yankees are down but never out.

GIULIANI: Well, we're going to make it, we're going to come back, and I'm going to have you in a World Series game at Yankee Stadium.

KING: I hope so.

GIULIANI: The ever-positive Rudy Giuliani.

Former United States Senator Sam Nunn is next, and we're going to ask him to comment. Dick Cheney said there might be a link between bin Laden and this terrorism of the latest variety that we have discovered in Florida and Nevada and New York. We'll ask Sam Nunn about that right after this.


KING: In a little while, we'll talk with Wayne Newton, but first Sam Nunn is with us from Washington, the former senator, former chairman of the Armed Services Committee. He and senators Lugar and Domenici joined forces in '96 to focus on the emerging threat of terrorism by weapons of mass destruction.

By the way, what do you make of the Cheney statement that bin Laden might be involved in these occurrences today?

SAM NUNN (D), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: He certainly could be. He and his organization, or some of the cells of that organization, if it is that organization, and they either have just very low-technology kind of biological capability or they're just toying around. My guess is it could be, as Secretary Cheney said, it could be them, but it could be someone else. It could be anybody. We don't know right now.

KING: Senator, how do you draw the line between alerting and informing?

NUNN: Very difficult. I think that we went through a period of four, five years where there were an awful lot of experts telling us that a biological kind of attack or chemical attack or even some kind of nuclear attack could occur with terrorist groups if they were allowed to get their hands on this kind of -- these kinds of weapons of mass destruction.

People weren't listening. We were -- we had a sense of invulnerability. When the Cold War was over, people thought everything was over in terms of dangers. But now, we've had an alert here. America is no longer complacent. America is alert. America is determined. America is firm. America's being led well by President Bush and his team.

And so we are -- we're out of that stage now, and I don't think there's any need to continue to try to alert people. I think the need now is to take all this energy and this patriotism and this determination and this American spirit and channel it into directions that will make us much more secure in future.

KING: Senator Nunn, why do you think those who were warning us, like yourself, were not listened to?

NUNN: It's very hard to come out of 40 years of Cold War and then all of a sudden have people tell you that you now have to worry about another whole threat. And it was very hard to visualize America being attacked here at home, because we've been relatively invulnerable for a long time.

So I can understand the complacency, but there were a lot of people -- and I was one of them -- that were telling folks we had a lot to do to get prepared. And we also did some things, though. We shouldn't act like we didn't. We've done a lot. We've passed legislation that has helped Russians gain control of a lot of their weapons and materials, although we've got a long way to go there.

President Clinton's administration alerted the nation to the biological threat and started taking some steps, and the Bush administration has accelerated those steps.

So we've done some things: We just have a lot more to do, Larry.

KING: And you are optimistic in that end?

NUNN: I am. In terms of the overall response of America, and I believe we have an enormous opportunity here with Russia. I think we have a chance to do a number of things with Russia that we've never had that opportunity before. One of them would be a biological defensive effort with Russia.

KING: I'm going...

NUNN: Yes.

KING: I'm going to call on you -- we're running a time problem here. I'm going to call on you to return one night and spend a lot more time on this, because no one knows more about it than you.

NUNN: Thank you.

KING: One of my favorite people, former United States Senator Sam Nunn coming to us from Washington.

We're joined now here in L.A. by famed entertainer Wayne Newton, and this is a proud night for Wayne. He's the new chairman of the USO Celebrity Circle. The official appointment was announced Tuesday of this week. He replaces Bob Hope as our kind of USO -- that's some honor, huh?

WAYNE NEWTON, CHAIRMAN, USO CELEBRITY CIRCLE: Well, not only is it an honor, and certainly I would never in any way try and say anything that was contrary to what you had just said. But there is no replacement for Mr. Hope. There never could be. He spent 50 years with the USO and entertaining our troops.

So really all I'm doing is kind of picking up and carrying on with a road map that he has so amply left.

KING: When do you first go over? When do you start your duties?

NEWTON: We'll be leaving on November 12th.

KING: For?

NEWTON: Well, that's a good question. We started out, before the events of 9/11, we were going to Bosnia, Kosovo, Korea, and Bahrain. Now we are doing 14 shows in seven days. So we don't know where we're going yet.

KING: And you're going to have a big benefit, we understand.

NEWTON: There is a big benefit with every major star in Las Vegas. It's the first time in the history of the town on the, I think, it's the 11th, Sunday, Veterans Day. And it's from 3:00 to 5 o'clock at Mandalay Bay, and all proceeds will go to the USO.

KING: Is that, that 800-number to call, 1-800-USO-SHOW?


KING: 1-800-USO-SHOW if you want more information.

We have a wonderful lady on the phone with us, Dolores Hope. Are you there, Dolores?


KING: All right, first, how's Robert?

HOPE: Can you hear me?

KING: I hear you fine. How's Bob?

HOPE: Oh, God bless him, he's fine and raring to go.

KING: What do you want to say to Wayne?

NEWTON: I want to just tell Wayne that we love him and respect him and we're just so delighted that he's going to get into Bob's shoes somehow and do all the work that they can do to help these dear precious young people that are putting their lives on the -- on the line.

KING: Was Bob happy about the choice of Wayne?

HOPE: Absolutely. We were -- we're always happy with Wayne.

KING: And an update on Bob. I know he was in the hospital. How is he right now?

HOPE: He's doing great, Larry, thank God. He really -- he's not -- he's not English-Welsh for nothing.

KING: He's going to pass George Burns, right?

HOPE: Hopefully, we're praying for it.

KING: Thank you, Dolores.

HOPE: Thank you. How are your babies?

KING: I'm fine. The babies are fine.

HOPE: Good.

KING: What an honor, huh?

NEWTON: Oh, my God, that was a total surprise to me, so I'm in -- still in shock. But I do know that if I don't handle this well, Mr. Hope will be the first one to hit me over the head.

KING: USO, we don't hear a lot about them for a while.

NEWTON: It's unfortunate, too, because...

KING: What they do is unbelievable

NEWTON: It's phenomenal, and people don't know that they've been very, very active since the Vietnam, and all other conflicts we've been in. And it's totally supported by people who are...

KING: Donating.

NEWTON: ... donating money. And it's a...

KING: You go back to World War II and the canteens, right?

NEWTON: Absolutely.


NEWTON: It's phenomenal the work they do. KING: Entertain the troops and bring them things...

NEWTON: Well, mainly what you bring them -- and it's also for the families of the troops that are going over, because the families have to stay here. They get so little thanks, so little appreciation. I think they know that when these troops go over, that we're carrying their prayers, best wishes also.

KING: We're going to close with a Wayne Newton -- we close with a little music every night over a selection of photos and the like. And this is Wayne's version of "The Music That We Made." We've got 10 seconds. This is a patriotic song?

NEWTON: It really isn't. It was recorded not being patriotic, but it turned out to be patriotic actually.

KING: It fits. Here's Wayne Newton as we close it out, and congratulations again, Wayne...

NEWTON: God bless. Thank you.

KING: Here's Wayne over the pictures of "The Music That We Made."





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