America is Ebola-Free

Mayor Bill de Blasio calls Dr. Craig Spencer a 'hero' as he leaves Bellevue Hospital.
35:16 | 11/11/14

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Transcript for America is Ebola-Free
He is a bold free the last American on US soil battling Ebola doctor Craig Spencer. Is now ready to lead the new York city hospital hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen in New York. Doctor Spencer contracted the virus while treating patients in West Africa with the aid group. Doctors Without Borders he first started noticing the symptoms on October 23. A news conference at Bellevue hospital in New York City is about to start the staff and doctor Spencer. Are there let's let's and in. Come on yeah. Back up guys or bad about enough backup backup backup. There we don't. Well good morning everyone. Good morning everyone. Good everyone seated. Do mr. or mrs. Spencer let's get them seated gift. Phil can we help. Mr. mrs. Spencer. Just love him. And asked him to think and now before we say anything. The First Lady and I would like to on behalf of all eight point four million New Yorkers welcomed. Craig Spencer back to his normal life would you like to administer the first hug the First Lady. And now the official mayoral. Yeah. Thank you so much. Thank you so much well done. It is a good ceiling to holiday hero. And we have a hero here in our midst. Someone who served others no matter how much danger. And he has been an inspiration. Throughout. The challenges he's faced. And by the way. Doctor Spencer showed us what it means. To help your fellow human. And that spirit. Was met. And answered here by the extraordinary team at Bellevue especially these nurse says. Today's nurses and the medical team and everyone here at Bellevue who was with doctor Spencer every step of the way who made Sherry was strong and healthy who even brought him his banjo. That is customer service laser Delmon. So it's a very very good day. New York city's first and only Ebola case successfully treated. Doctor Spencer is it bola free. And it is a moment streets. And doctor Spencer deserves our gratitude. For what he chose to do is to serve others. Two to help his fellow human being in an animation DNA but also to protect people around the world to protect people here at home. By addressing the root cause. I said throughout this crisis we honor our men and women in uniform when they go overseas to protect us. Doctor Spencer was wearing a different uniform of the same exact mission to help people everywhere and to protect people here. And then when he was himself afflicted he showed us an example strengths. Courage dignity Schumer. Humor amidst at all. When I had the honor yes they all know. When I had the honor of speaking to doctor Spencer a few days into this. After some. Normal respectful conversation he asked me how I was on the phone while holding a fork and knife at the same time that is the example of the kind of humor. That he kept Wear them at all times and and raise the spirit axiom everyone around him. So I don't want I want to thank him for who he is and what he's done but again everything about his spirit was reflected in the extraordinary people here Bellevue. The doctors and nurses all the staff's. The professionalism. The courage there was never any fear. Or turning back or lack of desire to serve in this building. People or focused and courageous and about the war. Helping others. And we have to remember that everything that happened here happened because there was preparation weeks and weeks and weeks in advance. That when the time came everyone knew what they're supposed to do. And our first responders are EMTs our firefighters our police do exactly what they did have to do and they did it beautifully. The team here at Bellevue was ready. It is an amazing story of everyone preparing for something they had not experienced before and then executing the plan perfectly. And doctor Spencer did everything right as well the moment he had symptoms reporting them in following the protocol to the letter. We in New York City are proud to have doctor Spencer as a citizen. And he is part of the medical community of the city. And we have the finest medical community in the entire nation the finest public health system anywhere in the world here. I want to thank every one. Who works here at Bellevue and everyone who represents them we're joined by Jill Perillo of denies frank pros the doctors council we thank them for their leadership and support. Have everyone here. And I have to tell you. The members are city administration out did themselves with their focus in their preparation they were led. Constantly day and night by our first deputy mayor Tony source and an extraordinary job as the general this army. And you're gonna hear from some of that key leaders of the city's effort that works so well. Let's also think about how every day New Yorkers responded I think doctor Spencer was an example to us all. He stayed cool Lee state economy kept a sense of Emery kept his focus is positive views throughout New Yorkers felt that. And they stayed calm and cool and focus around. There was never a hint. Of anything being abnormal in the city people went about their lives. They understood that a bowl is very very difficult to contract. He understood it only occurs through contact directly with the bodily fluids of someone infected. And people actually got eight point four million people got it. And just went about their lives. And that says something about the spirit in the soul of New Yorkers and something we should be proud of now there's work to be done. There's work to be done now there's a crisis continues in West Africa. We're so. Thrilled doctor Spencer is well. But that's not a cause for complacency it's a time to refocus our efforts and find more brave people like him Brady go unserved. Two or scope Governor Cuomo and I announced a new program to encourage health care professionals. To help address this challenge at its root in West Africa. And we're gonna support. All health care professionals to step forward so we can end this crisis once and for all second as I've said many times helped. The health care professional professionals of this city of Europe and every day new Yorker says what can I do as executive to help well. You can help support folks who are going. To fight the battle the front I'm not tell you about one other thing you can do one on that level but does any good news at every day simple thing get a flu shot. Get a flu shots the simplest thing in the laurel. Because it will help. You're not get the flu and that's good to begin with but it will also help our health care community to not have to spend time. Looking at symptoms that are just the flu when they're looking for other challenges that we can take that off the table. It will make their lives so much simpler so they can stay attentive to other risk. And let's just spread truth and honest information about the below let's get rid of the misinformation let's spread the truth that this is a very heart disease. To contact you can't say that enough times and never come across someone is worried. Tel on the truth. And look at doctor Spencer as an example of someone. Who shows us stay calm stay focused and that's how we get through any crisis. Yes. If anyone a city however. Feels that they may have. This challenge because they have been to one of three nations and they have come in contact with someone with. The disease and direct contact when their bodily fluids if they meet those criteria. And they should call 911 or go to an emergency room but only if they meet those criteria. Finally I just want to know. In the middle of this challenge we have seen a few unfortunate things. And it's our job is New Yorkers to confront that we've seen some of the good people who work here. Treated badly. Hasn't been that often. But we've heard enough reports. To tell us as wrong. You never discriminate against someone who's helping others. And we just get the conversation back to the truce there is no cause for anyone to be treated with anything but respect. And our thanks. For serving people in need and by the way our fellow New Yorkers. Who come from those three west African nations some of them have been stigma tightest. People who are good hard working people. Going about their lives contributing to our society no one should be stick advertise because of where they come from that is an un American act. And we will embrace all of our fellow New York. I said if you want to help. If you want to help fight this disease at its root and that's a battle we can win. You can support the extraordinary organizations are doing this work one of them Doctors Without Borders that sponsored doctor Spencer's extraordinary work. The mayor's fund. To advance New York City. Chaired by someone I think quite highly my wife our first laser lane McRae. Is working to promote. The work of health care workers and are in. West Africa to receive contributions that long ago. Two organizations like doctors our borders and UNICEF so we can protect everyone including the people of this city in this country. So if you want to contribute to the effort. The mayor's fund is there to receive your contributions and get them to the incredible organizations that are doing this work. Before. I let you hear from somebody other. Wonderful people around me. Let me just say something in Spanish. And premed OEM. Wounding cope ASEAN today Ed but in the C about the nueva York. Say I'm not recoup Bob doll. No way to York ten MM pharmacies to MM medical data moaned oh. Essayist until Montauk told us last repulsive on this pattern out of mountain Evans so gross those new European house. No I gras song product alarms llamas and ever lost soul Lawson when it comes airport can't talk to the event took on Sunday who bolts Ross fluid ounce Coke or promised it will not pass on in tech dot. So in any language. It's the same truth thank god this is a very difficult disease to contract. Now want to hear from the extraordinary people. Who supported doctor Spencer. You have to wait till the end for the main event. But I wanted to hear you must say he's not gonna get that happened but until the press comes out and then you're at it again. But the folks Saturday Casey did as it to help gospels corporates and an amazing job Bellevue hospital the flagship. A hospital that served in the toughest times and makes all New Yorkers proud and the president. And HHC has led wonderfully throughout this challenge it's my honor present doctor rom Russian. Thank you mayor thank you fascinating. Again come as a Bassett. Spencer's thank you for visiting us today. And toning. But officials I just wanted to kind of started to play continued support of death and hostile cooperation and mistress of the team a better deal. Led by a one of their best nursing team in the Walt. Today is that it bought and danced. Is it bought in days fought the city. The days up suspense that is going home. Do you must acknowledge that these days possible. Because of compassion and the dedication. The great skills self Balaguer team. I'll be brief but I just want to make three points today. Frost I relived because been able to plead and Q did he at all. And they believe that many strongly. The dictionary defines a hero. As someone I admired for his or her achievements. And noble qualities. I'm one who Schulze click cutting edge. Docked up spends a bus on its I did this definition. Each and every day of his life. Doctor Spencer put inside of the house ways. In a very difficult conditions. The hell are people. He didn't even know. How did not contact their contract or the other Campbell all of us. Consult. Few people who are Avila Lana notable out. That I've many many people like dogs spend some. Many people put their lives at risk. To care for others in different parts of the law these. Other unsung heroes up what time. Doctor Spencer and his colleagues. Don't just help us Africa. The doctors the dollar bought us and others like them. Kempton that won't. Because who wants to of Hezbollah's may have said. The one leave the elevated to that he's had his source. And that's what these people go. Each and every day. Davies and zeros are very clear message. The message is simple. The option to public health system. You have public health system will get a podium. If he ever had the misfortune to conflict of Lana. We applaud you beat thank you. And most abundantly. B got two back. The second one I want to make it that this is the vindication. Of this country's has got diluted system. And some often are fanning fears of a bought up a subject in the country the misinformation about it. Someone's disinformation even lead to discrimination as a may have talked about. Against some of the body of healthcare workers. But may have to Blas Douglas is saved issue here. In this aimed at him two weeks ago. You can't Gordon Deal wonderfully made the point pol that been that would be confident in New York City and really thank you put his leadership. Meticulous coordination and preparation let duke it out coastal patients. In my thirty years and makes me it is as a physician and have gone either. And never ever seen before. That level of collaboration and cooperation. That bent on behind the scenes. To prepare for New York City flood his civil. And this paid off. To date the city have the hospital operations. And value hospitals join embedded limited on something hospitals in the country. That a successfully treated and what I patient. VO prevail. CBS shown that can take get a discount the disease. I'm once again we have demonstrated. The ability additions have ecosystem. Which is the best in the Walt. Lastly I would say that this episode as broad a game. Why public the other departments. And public hospices to mostly bought and in this country. It is popular law lets say the significance of health and hospital company's New York City. In two days float. My helping to police on dealers. And you ahead at what's on mind. He doesn't not a medical problem. Public to mighty god. It's part of the city you live in a was a status and lifeless. The captain of the pleasant is only deepen sounding out the other person in this gold. One lead time you can give a tools not the piano went public out. Individuals to live in the bids bid it is no human contact. This episode once again underscores the value public's hospital systems. To a country. Under a need to support them to preserve them. And be grateful to the compassionate selfless professionals. Who staff them. People dig up at the hospital cadres and dating what our initial. Also relieving do that and give that it proud of that. We keep everyone to don't exception. We don't own anyone away. But two days he shall they have the hospital system. As is a public calls the system in the country on the forefront of cutting edge of medicine. Did not only that katic give us all the losses up bill also can't give us of choice. The New York city's urgent need to Beth Audubon. It was at the hospital corporation. You have public hospital system. Stepped up forward fullest. Undid did job right. And that it made and god put ideas to kiss in this city. So bush let them spend seven. It is a privilege and honor WO. And his city put Minnesota pension. And just to give credit where credit is due there wouldn't be. This wonderful hero doctor Spencer and it weren't for mr. and mrs. Spencer let's thank them. Bring you cannot try. Now the team here was extraordinary Charlayne and I had the honor of going to the isolation florin meeting with some of the professionals in the miss this challenge and it was. One the most impressive things have ever seen the professionalism that collaboration would help their leaders all around the country happening before your eyes. And this effort was led. By the physician in charge of doctor Spencer's care and she's a hero to it like to introduce doctor Laura Evans. And I'm just one member of this huge bell the team many of whom are before you today. Who care for doctor Craig Spencer. Almost three weeks ago now I responded to what I initially thought was another of the medieval practice fields we it had. Over the past several weeks and months however this one Internet via the real thing. And we were ready. 'cause others have mentioned at Bellevue hospital we're used to rising to meet any challenge this was no different for us. We take great pride in meeting the health care needs of all New Yorkers. Are mission about is to care for everyone and we were particularly proud to care for doctor Spencer. It really has been an honor and a privilege for our team our entire team to care for and to get to know doctor Spencer. I'd like to take just a couple minutes to share some important things we learned from him. He reminded us vividly him that the fight against evil is not here in New York City and is not here in Bellevue hospital. Dot fight remains in West Africa. And we celebrate and wiedmeyer health care professionals like him or on the front lines of this effort working to control this deadly outbreak. His courage and dedication in joining the international fight against his devastating disease at its source was inspiring to all of us on his health care team. Doctor Spencer witness does some of the suffering and deputy bull has caused in West Africa. However when faced with his own diagnosis he chose not to focus on this. He instead played an active part in all of his treatment decisions. He's a brave and caring doctor with them great sense of humor. Which helped enormously in his recovery. I'd also like to take this opportunity to especially recognize all of our nurse says doctors. Laboratory staff. And all of the other staff here at Bellevue it HHC. Conclude contributed to this recovery that you see before you today. They're dedication. Their dedication and great care helped get doctor Spencer back to good health and I stand before you enormously proud to call them on my colleagues. I'd also like to specially thank some of our colleagues around the United States in the world for sharing your expertise so freely with us. I particularly like to thank and acknowledge archives of the New York City in new York state health departments the CDC Emory University the University of Nebraska. They were always available but their support and collaboration was invaluable. So on behalf of the entire value an aging C team. We extend our best wishes to doctor Spencer his fiancee and his family. As he continues to regain his strength in return to normal life. Hesitancy doctor Spencer's a very lovable guy yeah. In addition to his medical skills against this other fine attributes. You. Now throughout. These weeks. There has been that voice of calm and reason and science and her voice has been heard all over the city all over the state all of us nation. And I really think when the history is written and what happened here people don't look back and say that doctor Mary Bassett. Was the truth teller she was the person who really helped a lot of people. To feel it was going to be okay because the facts are what matter. Not the rumors not the misinformation the facts. And when you think of what they health commissioner of New York City does want to leading health voices of the nation. Doctor Bassam lived up to that tradition with a great distinction. In the midst of this crisis and we all over great debt of gratitude our health commissioner doctor Mary Bassett. This is a very happy occasion. It's not even three weeks since we stood before you here to tell you that the first case of Ebola Virus disease and then diagnosed here in New York City. I can imagine but it's scary day it must have been for the parents of doctor Spencer and here we are today to celebrate. The discharge of doctor Spencer from Bellevue hospital health theme ready to go home. This is a tremendous occasion and I think it's also. I gives us all a chance all of us who worked so hard. To acknowledge the leadership of our mayor in this time. Many agencies work together tirelessly to get as to this day but this day is for our public hospital system. We are so lucky here in New York City to have a robust public hospital system under the leadership. A doctor ram Raj to. This hospital system has as its sole mission. Seeing to the medical needs of the people of the city and that's what they did that staff here at Bellevue hospital. Continued its tradition of delivering world class medical care. In that care adds doctor Spencer and have all the patients. I want to acknowledge that team that means the doctors all the doctors would tell you it's really the nurses. All standing behind me it's a lab technician sits as support staff. All of whom insured. A recovery for doctor Spencer. And I also want to say something to doctor Spencer I know that he participated. Actively in his own care. And I want to add salute him. As we all have been saying. His work in West Africa was not only for the people of Guinea it was for all of us we will not vanquish this epidemic. Until it is vanquished in West Africa said doctor Spencer. And the organization which he worked with Doctors Without Borders have been really. Taking the burden for all of us and seeking to put an end to this outbreak for us in New York City. We must continue to be vigilant. We hope we don't see another case of Ebola but we will be vigilant. And vigilant to other public health threats which includes stigma. And discrimination. Also damaging to our public's house that that this is really a day for celebration. I had. Thought the doctor Spencer about. Out mind. Desire also to join the crowd and giving him a hug so doctor Spencer. And the organization that so powerfully organized health care professionals from all over the world. And got them where they were needed most an organization deserves so much more credit than it gets for protecting us all. His Doctors Without Borders and the executive director of this outstanding organization. Is Sophie donate let's welcome her. Could mining. I'm delighted to be here today and on site Miami and they say if critique of their prey expense there. He's in mock him moan and DDD kids may decode team here at Baghdad hospital. And we may have to bless UN commission at best it. Today's a joyous day for which we are incredibly grateful. Breaks become very reminds us. Reminds us all of that immediate isolation enough people always Ebola symptoms and the Suisse to initiation of their treatments. Not only increase z.'s Deb chances of survival. But for effects that be count. We could not be mall proud. Of Craig today he. You know Condon Swiss the selfless life saving way to keep the farm so admirably in West Africa. He and city 500 Qaeda links working actor read at grade priest in Nigeria Sierra Leone and he name. Ought to be respected and UNAIDS. The current they accessible. And as the tightest he can't for deceit and tried to stab these outbreak. He's impair its C that's our focus remains squarely on the West Africa the source of the still be need dad attracting excess year. The international response why role best as he gets to fully read the virus his chain of transmission. Much smaller work lies ahead and a flexible gravel and if current peace treaty Cologne now. Why the recent dropping key seizing an Iberia is certainly encouraging. Evil or not is on the rise in teenage and Sarah Elian. We must not let again down complacency. Foresee Terry T. And above all are here are a voter asked greatest on ice. So while we celebrate Craig's recovery we remain mindful of the messy if foreign that steer Liza hit. And on the needs to be asked here eight PG lands and courageous. As teen. Thank you. And ladies and gentleman a true American hero and an example to us all doctor Craig Spencer. Okay. Hello. My name's Craig Spencer. I am a physician. And aid worker for Doctors Without Borders also known as MSF. I'm very proud. To be among the ranks of more than 3500. Providers. Working with Doctors Without Borders to respond to the evil outbreak in West Africa. I wanted to start by taking a moment to thank the medical team here at H eight C Bellevue Hospital Center. For their tremendous care and support. They have provided to me to survive this virus. Since I was admitted on October 23. I've received an exceptional level of medical treatment. Support and encouragement. From the whole medical and administrative team. I would especially like that bank doctor Laura Evans. Who has primary. Who has primarily man it's my care. Since I first arrived and has been with me every single day. Today I am healthy and no longer infectious. My early detection reporting. And now recovery from a bola. Speaks to the effectiveness of the protocols. That arm place for whole staff returning from West Africa. I'm a living example of how those protocols work. And of how early detection is critical to both surviving a blue line. And ensuring that is not transmitted to others. More my case has garnered international attention. It is important to remember that my infection represents. But a fraction of the more than thirteen thousand. Reported cases to date in West Africa. The center of the outbreak. Where families are being torn apart in communities. Art history. It is for this reason that I volunteered to work Indian name with Doctors Without Borders. For over five weeks I worked and a bullet treatment center injected you the epicenter of the outbreak. During this time I cried as I held children who were not strong enough to survive the virus. But I also experienced immense joy. When patients I treated were cured and invited me into their family as a brother upon discharge. Within a week of my diagnosis. Many of these same patients called my personal cell phone from Guinea. To wish me well and ask if there is any way that they could contribute to my care. Most incredibly I watched my Guinean colleagues. Who have been on the front line since day one and have seen their friends and family members dying. As they continue to fight to save the communities their communities. With so much compassion and dignity. Date are the true heroes that we are not talking about. Please join me in turning our attention back to West Africa. And ensuring that medical volunteers and other aid workers do not face stigma. And threats upon their return home. Volunteers need to be supported to help fight this outbreak at its source. I'm immensely thankful for all of the encouragement and support I've received from my family. So many friends and complete strangers over the past few weeks. In addition I would like to thank my home institutes and Columbia university medical center for the unprecedented support I've received from the time I decided to deploy. Until after my diagnosis. Less then elect a publicly recognize. My incredibly deep appreciation. For Doctors Without Borders. I cannot begin to mention. How well they have hope menace this difficult time for both myself. And my family. Finally I would like to thank in advance. The media. For respecting my race and my family straight. To complete privacy. I will not be commenting publicly beyond the statement. And I urge you please to focus your consumers most urgently needed. At the source of the able outbreak in West Africa thank you. You've been listening to a press conference outside Bellevue that is doctor. Craig Spencer. Taking his first true fresh breaths since he was an isolation. And now dean. Listening to doctor Spencer what do you take away from this he looks very healthy. You know it is absolutely fantastic to see a strong. And committed Ebola survivor. You know doctor Spencer took a bold step in heading to Africa to care for the most vulnerable and it shows. That he is remains a committed. You bull fighter you know we don't know exactly what he's going to be doing. But something tells me is evil a commitment and fight is not over. And of course asking for his privacy. And giving no further details than that but of course he was the first and only New York City Ebola patient now dean people a free as well as. No one else so far in the country with any. Other diagnosis of people you can keep up with this story in real time by downloading the ABC news GAAP and starring this story for exclusive updates on the go. For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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