FBI assisting with probe into US tourist deaths in Dominican Republic


LIZ: THE FBI AND CONGRESS TAKING ACTION INVESTIGATING THE DEATHS OF AT LEAST NINE AMERICANS WHO DIED IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AFTER STAYING IN HOTELS. JEFF PAUL IS IN SANTO DOMINGO. REPORTER: THE WOMAN WHO DIED, DIED AFTER SHE RETURNED HOME AFTER VACATIONING IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. WHEN WE SPOKE WITH A SPOKESPERSON. ALL THAT’S HAPPENING AT THE FBI IS TAKING SAMPLES FROM A MINI BAR AT ONE OF THE RESORTS WHERE A TOURIST DIED. THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS THEIR COLLEAGUES ARE HELPING THE DOMINICAN AUTHORITIES WITH TOXICOLOGY TESTS. THE TESTS BY LOCAL TEST INSPECTORS SHOW NEGATIVE RESULTS WHEN CHECK THE POOL AND FOOD AND OTHER AREAS. BUT IT DOESN’T SEEM TO BE SITTING TOO WELL WITH SOME TOURISTS. BUSINESS OWNERS SAY IT FEELS LIKE FEWER PEOPLE ARE VACATIONING HERE.>>I HAVE A HUNDRED AND SOME EMPLOYEES HERE AND THEY ARE WORRIED. THEY WONDER WHAT MY OPINION IS. MY OPINION IS WHAT I JUST TOLD YOU. OF COURSE, WE HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CASES THAT ARE A LITTLE BIT IFFY. REPORTER: THE THIS DOMINICAN HOUSE REP SAYS HE’S TRAVELING TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ON JULY 1. ONE OTHER CONGRESSMAN HAS FORMALLY WRITTEN TO THE FBI AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT AND ASKING THEM TO BE FASTER WITH UPDATING THE STORY AND TO REASSESS THE TRAVEL ADVISORY CURRENTLY IN PLACE. LIZ: LET’S GET TOPNOTCH REACTION FROM OUR ALL-STAR PANEL. DR. JEANNETTE MICHAU.>>I HAVE A FEW SUSPICIONS. I THINK ABOUT METHANOL ALCOHOL BOY POISONING IF THERE WAS CONTAMINATED ASK ALCOHOL. I THINK ABOUT PESTICIDE OR CYANIDE OR CARBON MONOXIDE. BUT TWO PEOPLE DIED OF THE EXACT SAME THING. PULMONARY EDEMA. THEY HAD TROUBLE BREATHING. WHAT USUALLY CAUSES IT. IT COULD BE TOXINS, TRAUMA, VIRUSES, BACTERIAL, IT COULD BE SOMETHING THEY INGESTED OR INHALED. IT COULD BE TAINTED ALCOHOL. WE NEED THE TOXICOLOGY REPORTS. LIZ: THE FBI SEEMS TO BE LOOKING AT THE MINI BARS. DANNY, MERKS THOL ALCOHOL IS ENDEMIC. WHEN YOU INGEST FAKE ALCOHOL, YOUR BODY METABOLIZES IT AS FORMALDEHYDE. COULD KNOT THAT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL — COULD THAT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THESE DEATHS?>>IT COULD. AND IT COULD BE CLEANING PRODUCTS. ONE THING THAT CONCERNS ME. THIS ALL YOU CAN EAT. YOU PAY ONE PRICE AND YOU GET ALCOHOL AND FOOD AND WHATEVER. THERE IS A TENDENCY TO TRY AND CUT PRICES. I WORK IN ONE COUNTRY WHERE 90% OF THE ALCOHOL IN THAT COUNTRY IS COUNTERFEIT. IT TELLS ME THIS IS SOMETHING THAT NEED TO BE EXAMINED. ALSO THE FBI WILL BE LOOKING AT RECORD. WHERE DID YOU ORDER THE ALCOHOL FROM? IT’S NOT JUST LOOKING AT THE ITEMS, IT’S LOOKING AT THE RECORD OF WHERE THEY MADE THEIR PURCHASES AND DO A LOT OF INTERVIEWS AND GOING BACKWARD FROM THAT. LIZ: THAT’S A GREAT POINT DANNY JUST MADE. HOW DO YOU HAVE TREAT THIS? THIS COULD BE BOOTLEG FAKE ALCOHOL MADE IN SOMEBODY’S BACKYARD.>>IT’S VERY DIFFICULT. THAT’S WHY WE NEED INVESTIGATIONS. THAT’S WHY THERE IS FEAR TO TRAVEL TO THAT COUNTRY. LIZ: WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU INGEST THIS?>>YOU WANT TO SEEK HELP RIGHT AWAY. YOUR LIFE CAN BE SAVED. SEEK MEDICAL CARE RIGHT AWAY. IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE. LIZ: DANNY, CONGRESS HAS TO STEP IN HERE, DON’T YOU THINK?>>NO. LIZ: I DON’T THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE REGION.>>THEY ARE NOT AN INVESTIGATIVE

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