CNN Refuses to Ask Al Shifa Hospital Doc About Hamas’s Base Underneath

News & Politics

If an honest journalist managed to book an interview with a Western doctor intimately familiar with the operations of the al Shifa Hospital in Gaza, one would think their top question would be to confirm the existence of Hamas’s underground headquarters known to be beneath the largest hospital in Gaza. Of course, that didn’t happen during the second hour of CNN This Morning on Monday, as co-host Poppy Harlow led Dr. Barbara Zind in lamenting about the condition the hospital was in, blaming Israel.

Harlow asked Zind, a pediatrician with the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, four questions about her time in Gaza and the al Shifa Hospital and none of them were about Hamas using it (or any medical facility) as a base of operations.

“And I know the homecoming was very welcome for you. But at the same time, you’re watching this as a pediatrician, and you look at those babies and they can’t even be in their incubators. And what do you think?” Harlow wondered.

Zind responded by touting Gazan children’s doctors who ABANDONED newborn babies to die:

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Well, I have had some communication with doctors down in Gaza. I know that both children’s hospitals are nonfunctional. One of them, the staff – the dedicated staff, which had to leave like six babies in the pediatric intensive care unit and two in the newborn intensive care unit. They just had to leave them without any medical attendants because they feared for their safety.

“And as you heard, the Shifa Hospital, which is the main surgical hospital and has a huge newborn intensive care unit. I visited it last year. It’s got up-to-date equipment and well-trained neonatologists,” Zind boasted, opening the conversation to al Shifa.

Without mentioning how Hamas was responsible for bringing the Israeli Defense Forces to the hospital’s doorstep, Harlow teed up Zind to tout their capabilities before Israel invaded:

HARLOW: And just speak about that a little bit more since you were in the al Shifa Hospital and how advanced it is, particularly when it comes to neonatal care. Without any power, without oxygen for their incubators, what does it mean for these – for these babies?

ZIND: Well, you can’t provide the medical care that you had the ability to provide. And I heard there were 46 newborns. I know it’s a 30-bed unit, so I that even if everything was functional, they’re doubling up babies on warmers. And now all you can do is keep them warm. I mean, babies need – newborns in the intensive care unit, the main thing they need is some fluid, some sugar, some oxygen and they can’t provide any of those.

Keeping the focus on al Shifa, Harlow wanted to suggest the IDF wasn’t doing enough to ensure the hospital could still function, despite admitting they delivered 300 liters of fuel for the generators.

“But the hospital’s director said the staff was too afraid to go outside and even get that fuel … because of the strikes nearby. And he also noted – and I’d like your take on this Doctor, that that amount of fuel, 300 liters, would only run hospital generators for about 30 minutes,” she downplayed.

Of course, there was no mention of how dangerous it was for the IDF to deliver fuel to the headquarters of their enemy in the middle of an active war zone.

The final question to Zind was about how she was dealing with her grief. “And I know you were very happy to be safe and be able to leave, but you also really were wrestling with grief for what continues inside of Gaza and why you went there as a pediatrician to help children. How are you wrestling with this now at home?” she tenderly asked.

Hey Poppy, do you know who had no grief and remorse for the babies in the hospital? The Hamas terrorists using them as human shields.

The IDF had chosen to put themselves in great danger by apparently opting for a plan of action that required them to directly enter Hamas’s facility beneath the hospital. They could have easily chosen to drop bunker-buster bombs and bring the compound to the ground and be done with it. But they obviously wanted to preserve as much of the hospital as they could.

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

CNN This Morning
November 13, 2023
7:45:08 a.m. Eastern

(…)

POPPY HARLOW: Joining us now, Dr. Barbara Zind. She’s an American pediatrician. She was trapped in Gaza for 26 days on what was supposed to be a retune mission organized by the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. She was able to cross into Egypt earlier this month. You can see her at the border and she’s now back home in the United States. Dr. Zind, thank you for being with us. And I know the home coming was very welcome for you. But at the same time, you’re watching this as a pediatrician, and you look at those babies and they can’t even be in their incubators. And what do you think?

DR. BARBARA ZIND: Well, I have had some communication with doctors down in Gaza. I know that both children’s hospitals are nonfunctional. One of them, the staff – the dedicated staff, which had to leave like six babies in the pediatric intensive care unit and two in the newborn intensive care unit. They just had to leave them without any medical attendants because they feared for their safety.

And as you heard, the Shifa Hospital, which is the main surgical hospital and has a huge newborn intensive care unit. I visited it last year. It’s got up-to-date equipment and well-trained neonatologists. And they are just striving just to keep the babies warm. They have no oxygen, no electricity, no water and they are just trying to keep these newborns warm.

HARLOW: And just speak about that a little bit more since you were in the al Shifa Hospital and how advanced it is, particularly when it comes to neonatal care. Without any power, without oxygen for their incubators, what does it mean for these – for these babies?

ZIND: Well, you can’t provide the medical care that you had the ability to provide. And I heard there were 46 newborns. I know it’s a 30-bed unit, so I that even if everything was functional, they’re doubling up babies on warmers. And now all you can do is keep them warm. I mean, babies need – newborns in the intensive care unit, the main thing they need is some fluid, some sugar, some oxygen and they can’t provide any of those.

HARLOW: One of the big conversations has been allowing fuel from Israel into Gaza. That was a nonstarter. But now, the Israeli government for example, the IDF says it placed 300 liters of fuel outside of the al Shifa Hospital. There’s this video I’ll show everyone. This was provided to CNN by them. We can’t independently verify the video.

But the hospital’s director said the staff was too afraid to go outside and even get that fuel – that’s the IDF bringing the fuel – because of the strikes nearby. And he also noted – and I’d like your take on this Doctor, that that amount of fuel, 300 liters, would only run hospital generators for about 30 minutes.

ZIND: Um, I know that they have huge generators because they’re used to power outages. Before the war in Gaza, you’d have four hours on, four hours off. So, in that four hours off, all the hospitals had their generators going. I’m not sure of the capacity or how much fuel it uses, but I’m sure that they would use a lot.

I mean, at this point, even the rooms are not functional. All the – because of the bombing, the glass is broken and all the patients are in corridors, which doesn’t have an on oxygen supply and doesn’t have all that you need to care for patients.

HARLOW: That would explain these images to us, why we see so many of those hospital beds in the hallways and not in the rooms.

We talked to you the day after you were able to leave; 26 days trapped in Gaza, you were able to leave. We talked to you the next morning when you were in Cairo on your way home. And I know you were very happy to be safe and be able to leave, but you also really were wrestling with grief for what continues inside of Gaza and why you went there as a pediatrician to help children. How are you wrestling with this now at home?

ZIND: Well, I’m, you know, just devastated to hear this news, to know – I mean, this is not third world medicine. They have up-to-date intensive care units that are now destroyed, nonfunctional an it’s difficult to hear.

HARLOW: Dr. Barbara Zind, thank you as always. You’ve really – as I said last time – helped guide us through this crisis. And I appreciate you checking in. Thanks very much.

ZIND: Thank you.

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