CNN anchor Erin Burnett is reporting on the ground from Brussels, just like she reported from Paris after terrorists attacked that city last year. But Burnett noticed a difference in the mood of the two cities after their attacks.
“Paris was shell-shocked but there was defiance. It sort of made me really feel like 9/11 and there was a lot of that feeling after 9/11. It’s definitely different here,” Burnett told TheWrap, between live shots. “After 9/11, people just wanted to stand up and fight back but they were shell-shocked and there was this feeling that everyone is together and togetherness. A fear but a togetherness and a defiance.”
In Brussels, Burnett doesn’t get quite the same feeling.
“It’s amazing. I was just talking to a woman that lives here and they’ve been having manhunts and raids go on for four months and basically they’ve had business as usual. Even when they said they shut the city down here, it was definitely not shut down,” Burnett said. “Things were continuing and people are going about their daily business. I was just at the tram stop where they shot a suspect today. Glass is all over the ground and blood is all over the ground and trams are still running.”
Burnett feels Brussels was “a ticking time bomb” since the mastermind of the Paris attack, Salah Abdeslam, was captured there last week.
Burnett was in Cuba covering President Obama’s trip when news of the attack in Brussels broke. Her initial reaction was to hop on the first plane and get to Brussels, but it wasn’t easy for an American to travel from Cuba to a European city that just had its airport attacked by terrorists.
She planned to do Tuesday’s show from Miami or New York on her way to Brussels, but she ended up doing it from Cuba when the arrangements didn’t work out. Immediately after her show, Burnett caught a flight from Cuba to Paris, and drove to Brussels.
“The digital signs along the highway on the French side of the border said, ‘We are Brussels,'” Burnett said. “Things like that show France is standing in solidarity with Brussels.”