FTN - 8/19/01

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BOB SCHIEFFER: Does President Bush's decision to go ahead with a limited version of stem cell research help or hurt the efforts of scientists, who also want to clone humans? How close are those researchers? Should they be stopped?

We will talk with one of them, Dr. Panayoitis Zavos. We'll talk to Congressman Dave Weldon, Republican of Florida, who wants to ban cloning altogether. And we'll get the views of bio-ethicist, Lori Andrews.

Then we will turn to the case of the missing intern and talk with Billy Martin, attorney for the Levy family. Have they given up hope? What can we expect next in that case?

Gloria Borger will he here, and I'll have a final word on John Adams. But first, human cloning on Face the Nation.

ANNOUNCER: Face the Nation with Chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer. And now from CBS News in Washington, Bob Schieffer.

SCHIEFFER: And good morning again.

Well, the subject is cloning: Could we, should we, are we? Joining us to talk about this very controversial subject: from Lexington, Kentucky, Dr. Panayoitis Zavos; from Los Angeles, Dr. Lori Andrews; here in our studio, Congressman Dave Weldon, who we should add is also a physician.

Well, Dr. Zavos, let's begin with you because it is my understanding that you plan to implant women with cloned embryos perhaps as early as this fall. Is that correct?

DR. PANAYOTISIS ZAVOS, Human Cloning Researcher: That is correct, Bob. The technology, as we see it, has evolved tremendously. We have developed technology that we think that it's reliable. And that the production - and I should emphasize the production of human cloned embryos can go ahead within the next 60 days. And implantation of course will come later, after we verify that the quality of those embryos is viable enough to yield a healthy pregnancy.

SCHIEFFER: So how many of these do you plan to do?

ZAVOS: We have isolated about 200 women that we do have medical records on. We're reviewing those, and the schedule is to get the first 10 women to participate. And then of course as they participate, we will see whether the pregnancy is taking place. And then of course it's a matter of having the first pregnancy, and then of course, we'll go on to the second, third and fourth.

SCHIEFFER: Doctor, do you have any idea of what your success rate can be at this point?

ZAVOS: We view the success rate as being close to what we expect to have to the traditional IVF, which is about 30 to 40 percent right now.

SCHIEFFER: And is there anyone at this point - let me just be frank - is there anyone at this point that you think can stop you from doing this?

ZAVOS: Not really. I think that, you know, the technology exists. We know what we are doing. And this debate about banning it obviously, I hope that we can generate a bit more aggressive debate toay, is really very healthy. But at the same time I think we need to come to our senses and realize that, inevitably, this technology will be developed.

GLORIA BORGER, U.S. News & World Report: Dr. Weldon, let's talk about that debate about banning cloning. You're the sponsor of a bill that passed the House of Representatives overwhelmingly to ban all cloning. You've just heard Dr. Zavos.

REP. DAVE WELDON, R-FL: Right.

BORGER: Can he be stopped? Should he be stopped?

WELDON: Well, I think he can be. Certainly the Senate needs to take up the bill. The president has indicated he will sign it. I would like to point out that Dr. Zavos is not a physician. He's a Ph.D.

ZAVOS: That's correct.

WELDON: And what he is talking about doing, in my opinion, is gross medical malpractice and negligent. It's totally unethical. If he did have a medical license, I believe, officials in Kentucky would be trying to suspend it, for him to be talking about doing this.

ZAVOS: I'm not practicing or doing this in Kentucky or in the U.S., Congressman.

And therefore, we need to understand that banning it in America is not going to be banned for the world. And so it is very important that the people in America understand that if it is banned in America, it would happen somewhere else.

WELDON: I have been in contact with European officials. They want to proceed with a global ban. They have asked the U.N. to take this up in their General Assembly.

A lot of people in the world, though, look to the U.S. to provide leadership on an issue like this. We are the leader of medical technology around the globe. So it's important that the United States act and speak. I think the rest of the world will follow suit, and it will be impossible for him to do what he's trying to do.

SCHIEFFER: Well, Congressman, let me ask you this. You just heard Dr. Zavos say that he thinks he's going to have a pretty good success rate.

WELDON: That's absurd.

SCHIEFFER: Is there evidence to back that up?

WELDON: That is totally absurd. It took over 260 tries to produce Dolly...

ZAVOS: Two seventy seven, Congressman.

WELDON: ... and with many of them resulting in malformed or defective sheep being born. And so for him to say he's just going to go ahead and proceed doing this, to me, is totally absurd.

I'd like to point out one other thing. All of the offspring from cloning procedures - they have cloned five different mammals so far - they're very, very big.

The placentas are big. The umbilical cords are big. This is a health hazard to the women he is trying to do this to.

BORGER: Let's get Dr. Andrews into this for a moment. She can tell us a little bit, I hope, about what the medical community believes about cloning.

Have we just let the genie out of the bottle now and there's no way to put t back?

DR. LORI ANDREWS, Medical Ethicist: Most of the medical organizations have come out against human cloning. One-third of the animal offspring dies shortly before or shortly after birth. Even those that appear normal when they are first born sometimes die later of health problems, heart problems, lung problems, immune problems.

Now, there was a study at Duke this week that suggested that humans have an extra gene which might prevent the very large births. But that would not deal with these other problems.

If we had an infectious disease that was killing one-third of human babies, we would declare it a public health hazard. We would not go ahead and open a clinic to do it.

And, in fact, the United States actually is a rogue nation in this area. At least 42 other countries have completely banned cloning already.

SCHIEFFER: Well, Dr. Zavos, these are some very serious charges, obviously, have been raised. Do you feel you are going against the scientific community here?

ZAVOS: No, no, no.

First of all, I need to correct the record here. Most of you have missed the National Academy of Sciences presentations last week where three or four scientists were paraded in front of the National Academy of Sciences that they have revealed successes in pigs and goats and other species up to 70, 80 or 100 percent.

And so when you go back to Dolly five years ago, you are obviously going into the Smithsonian Institute. 277 eggs tried, 29 embryos produced, Congressman, 29 embryos. 13 used with the recipients. One healthy Dolly was produced, and no malformed, no malformed babies were born from that effort. The record needs to be kept straight here in order not to misrepresent and present the wrong information to the American people. The American people...

ANDREWS: I'm looking at data from a week ago that suggests that, looking at worldwide studies in cattle and mice and so forth, the malformation rate is about one-third overall. That is one-week-old data aggregate for the world.

ZAVOS: You must understand though that there is an awful lot of incompetent scientists that are getting into this to become famous and to make a fortune. And that's not the issue here. We need to look at reputable scientists with reputable track records that we can rely on. We can't rely on every Tom, Dick and Harry out there that generates information that obviously is misleading.

Therefore, it's very important that we understand that this technology evolves every day. And we as humans doing IVF for 23 years, we need to understand that we have a great deal more experience than any of the animal cloners all put together.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Back to Dr. Weldon, Congressman Weldon.

WELDON: Well, if you actually talked to scientists that produced Dolly they will tell you there were sheep that were born that had serious problems that did not survive.

ZAVOS: /B>I debated those people in England.

WELDON: And they are the ones, they are the loudest and most outspoken ones saying that this should not be tried in humans. And they are the ones who are saying that this would be malpractice. It would be unethical to proceed to try this in humans.

SCHIEFFER: Let me ask Dr. Andrews a question, because I think that this is also something important. There are some people that say Dr. Zavos, by pushing this cloning to the front as you and some others have done at this point, it's kind of tangling up this whole issue of what we ought to do about stem cell research.

Should those two things be separated, Dr. Andrews?

ANDREWS: I think they should. They offer different possibilities. But I think both of them have something in common. And that's, we're going to be the generation that decides the major bio-ethics issues for the next century. We're going to decide whether we should live among cloned human beings, watch sports played by genetically enhanced athletes, use embryos as the source of treatment.

And if you look at what happened when Congressman Weldon introduced his bill, members of the House of Representatives said they were humbled, they were least prepared for that than any other issue. And I think that it would be good to make a move past what Congressman Weldon has done and take the embryo stem cell issue, the cloned embryos for therapeutic purposes, out of the bill that bans human cloning. They are two different issues.

BORGER: Well, Congressman, let's talk about that, because you ban all cloning. There is something that Dr. Andrews called therapeutic cloning, which is different from cloning a human being, in which stem cells are created particularly for tissue repair. What about doing that? What about taking that out of your bill?

WELDON: Well, there is a number of issues. First of all, therapeutic cloning is a theoretical construct. It does not exist. You cannot even produce an animal model where it's possible through therapeutic cloning to treat disease. So you're saying we need to pull this out because we have this treatment available. There is no treatment.

The other thing that's very important is, if you are going to allow embryos to be created in the lab in large quantities for so-called therapeutic cloning research, it's inevitable that somebody like Zavos gets ahold of some of those embryos and implants them in women. And so, there are a lot of people, myself included, who feel the best way to prevent reproductive cloning is to stop it at the beginning.

I also have some very serious moral and ethical issues. When you start talking about creating embryos for destructive research purposes, you're going to be saying, we're creating human lives, but we're not going to allow these human lives to proceed on to full development. We're going to extract what we need from them and then we're going to destroy tem.

I think there's many other promising areas of research, particularly in the arena of using adult stem cells, that will prove to be much more effective, and in terms of overcoming the immune-rejection issues that people use to try to justify so-called reproductive cloning.

SCHIEFFER: Let me just go back to Dr. Zavos for one final question, because I think the thing, Doctor, that concerns most people is, what happens if you do have accidents, if you do create monsters? Who decides what to do with that? Who decides what happens if, you know, if you create a child that has three legs or something?

ZAVOS: Well, Bob, this is the issue here, obviously. And we're talking about fiction, actually, and that's what people are afraid of. And the British Medical Association came out to make a statement saying that people are opposed to reproductive cloning because of fear. And this is really what we're talking about, this monstrous thing that the fiction books and Hollywood has created.

The moral of the story is that reproductive cloning can be made to be safe like IVF was, that was banned originally in the U.S. 23 years ago. And now IVF is as good as sliced bread or synonymous to that.

SCHIEFFER: All right.

ZAVOS: Therefore, all I can say to you is that reproductive cloning is going to be developed inevitably, either by us or somebody else. It's going to be made safe. And those kinds of issues that you're referring to, Bob, are medical issues that need to be decided between the doctor that treats the patient and the patient himself.

SCHIEFFER: All right, Doctor.

Thanks to all of you this morning. I think I learned something this morning. I hope our viewers did. Thanks to all of you.

When we come back, we're going to turn our attention to that case of the missing Washington intern, Chandra Levy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: And we turn once again to the Chandra Levy case. With us now, Billy Martin, who represents the family of Chandra Levy.

Mr. Martin, thank you for coming this morning.

BILLY MARTIN, Levy Family Attorney: Good morning.

SCHIEFFER: You said last week that your investigators had come up with some leads in this case. The District of Columbia Police told us a couple weeks ago they don't really have any leads. Have you shared with them?

MARTIN: We have shared almost all of our information. You should know that when we receive information either on our hotline - and there is a number which I understand you will put on the air today - or our e-mail address for the Levy investigation, we have investigators who are both retired homicide investigators and retired federal investigators who look into these matters. They turn all those that seem credible and require investigative work that we cannot do as private citizens over to either the D.C. Police or the FBI.

And we've investigated several idividuals, other than Gary Condit, and we believe some of those leads have panned out to be very unsuccessful. Others are still viable and being pursued and the police and the FBI have that information.

SCHIEFFER: Is there anything that you can share with us this morning?

MARTIN: I'd love to. I'd love to reach out to the people who have that information and ask them to come forward. But I believe doing so may either jeopardize that investigation or cause injury to those potential witnesses.

BORGER: Mr. Martin, can I ask you in your own mind do you consider Gary Condit a suspect in this case?

MARTIN: I consider him a possible, yes. And the reason I consider him a suspect is because he has done so many things that are suspicious. I would love - as an attorney here in Washington I know how meaningful it is to your reputation to have a cloud over it. I would love to clear Gary Condit as a suspect, but I can't do so. My investigators cannot do so.

And I don't know what the police mean when they say that he is not a suspect. In my eyes, as an experienced investigator and former prosecutor, anybody is a potential suspect until they can be eliminated. And I don't think it's yet possible to eliminate Gary Condit.

BORGER: Well, do you believe that's why his lawyers are not having him sit down with your investigators?

MARTIN: I don't think that's the reason. And I can't figure out why he would be willing to sit down with the police and the FBI because we're going to ask him many of the same questions. And we would just like to have that information and to have our investigators be able to read his body language.

I know that Mr. Lowell has offered to meet with me and to share some of that information, and I'm going to take him up on that offer. But it's not the same as my investigators or I sitting across the table with Gary Condit and watching his body language, watching his eyes, and being able to instantly respond with a follow-up question that we know may either be true or not true.

But what he has offered in terms of an interview, lawyer to lawyer, is not acceptable in any means as a true investigative procedure.

SCHIEFFER: Well, you watch television, you read the newspapers. You know as well as I what Mr. Condit's advocates are saying. They say that you're attacking him just to keep this case in the headlines and keep public attention focused on him.

MARTIN: Bob, if anybody who acted the way the congressman has acted, brings suspicion upon himself - and I can go back and one of the most painful days in the lives of Dr. Robert Levy and his wife, Sue Levy, is the night or two nights when they both called the congressman's office to speak with him. They were reaching out for help.

And they asked him, do you know anything about our daughter? And he denied having anything but a professional relationship. Mrs. Levy asked him pointblank, were you having an intimate relationship, an affair, with our daughter? And he said no.

If you take that, if you take the fact it took nearly eight weeks for him to admit that there was a relationship, that when interviewed by the police, according to our information, when he was asked if he had an intimate or a sexual encounter with Chandra on April 25 when he admits last seeing her at his apartment, his response as we understand it was, I don't recall.

SCHIEFFER: Do you know if she was pregnant?

MARTIN: I don't think I can answer that question because I think there are many theories out there. And I know that a lot of people ask questions like that. Could she have been pregnant, and could something have been done to her in an attempt to abort the pregnancy? Could that have been an issue between the congressman and the Chandra?

Because the answer to that may in some way affect the outcome of the investigation, I don't think I can answer that question.

BORGER: As you've just said, we know that he was hiding the nature of his relationship with Chandra Levy. What else do you think he's hiding?

MARTIN: I don't know. And that's what, as an investigator, as a lawyer, as long as you have that I don't know question there, you want to continue to ask a potential witness questions.

It should not take four interviews by very skilled and trained investigators. These are homicide detectives and FBI agents who are very good. It should not take them four times to get a bit of information. And here it took them four interviews. Each one was very pain-staking to get Gary Condit to say anything about the relationship or crucial facts that would have helped in the investigation.

I will not back off of our allegation that it was because of Gary Condit that the case started going cold for four to six to eight weeks.

Had he come forward earlier, there were leads that we believe we could have found, that the police could have found. His delay hampered this investigation. And I know that that statement has been made by Chief Ramsey here in Washington, that his delay in coming forward, no matter what he does now, he's hampered the investigation.

And we believe, as a citizen, as a congressman and as a human being, he had a responsibility to come forward, if nothing else, to help this family understand what may have happened to their daughter early on.

SCHIEFFER: Do you - has there been any information, or has anything been cleared up about this mysterious 911 call that was reported at Chandra Levy's apartment on the morning that she disappeared? The police answered the call, as we know, but nothing apparently ever came of it. Have you gotten any more information on that?

MARTIN: I have not. And that's something that the authorities have, and, while the authorities are willing to share certain information with us, they've not shared any answer with us tha would clear that up, no.

BORGER: Do you know anything more about Chandra Levy's state of mind than we knew at the beginning of this investigation that you can share?

MARTIN: I think that we're very confident that her state of mind was very upbeat, that she was looking forward to going home. She was graduating from the master's program at USC. Her family was anxiously awaiting her arrival. She was glad to be going home. She was happy.

And everybody's heard the report from her aunt, Linda Zamsky, that Chandra called her and left a message on the machine that she had something good to tell her. And you could tell from the aunt that, in her speech - and she knows her very well, she was very close to Linda Zamsky. They communicated a lot. She said she was upbeat, she was happy, and she was not in any way depressed. Her state of mind was very clear and happy.

SCHIEFFER: About 20 seconds left, but do you have any hope that she's still alive?

MARTIN: We do have hope that she's still alive, and I tell the family all the time that, while we don't know the answer to that, it's much like - Dr. Levy is a cancer specialist. He tells cancer patients all the time there's always hope until there is no hope. Until we find Chandra or learn what happened to her, we believe there is hope.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Billy Martin, thank you very much.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHIEFFER: Finally today, John Adams loved to read and once said to his son, John Quincy, "You will never be lonely with a poet in your pocket."

I'm beginning to understand what he meant. I began David McCullough's splendid biography of Adams the week before July 4, and I finished it last week. And I feel suddenly as I've lost a friend who has been with me all summer.

Maybe my age is showing, but the part I liked best was when Adams and Thomas Jefferson grew old, because it seemed to me they spent those years as people ought to - not trying to be young again, not making pests of themselves telling others what to do, but by forgiving their enemies, in their case, each other, by reading, maintaining contact with their friends and family and reflecting on their own lives and trying to learn from that.

The point of their later years was not to do more. They knew they had been part of something much larger than themselves, and they clearly enjoyed sharing the memories of it. No, their aim in those later years was to know more.

Jefferson, well into his 80s, and Adams into his 90s were never satisfied that they knew enough. And they kept trying until the end to learn more.

For the country they founded, we owe them everything. But we can also thank them for showing us a fine way to arrange our lives.

I'm going to miss them both.

From Face the Nation in Washington, I'm Bob Schieffer.



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