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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Doctor's Leave Hospital; Haitian Orphanage Damaged; Chaos in Haiti
Aired January 15, 2010 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Sanjay, I don't know what to tell you. I'm as shocked as you are. We thought we were going to be talking about a good story from that hospital today with all these doctors arriving. I can't believe we're ending the night with this situation.
We'll talk to you offline on the phone and see what we can do.
We're going to have more on Haiti at the top of the hour.
Stay tuned. Our coverage continues.
COOPER: We are live again in Port-au-Prince tonight. There are a lot of stories to tell you about today, a lot of facts to tell you about, aids that's in the pipeline and good people trying to get more aid here faster, and aid that's trickling in and slowly trickling out.
But that's not how we're going to begin the program tonight because none of that really matters to the people here in Port-au-Prince whose loved ones died today and the people who right now whose lives are hanging in the balance.
Frankly, none of what is coming matters, it only matters what is here and what is not here. And there is much which is not here right now that needs to be here.
Just yesterday we introduced you to a little girl who was trapped in the rubble whose hand was being held by our correspondent Ivan Watson while a rescue attempt was under way.
I want to show you some of what we introduced you to yesterday; this little girl that we just met when Ivan met her. Take a look.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We can hear her voice sometimes. There is an 11-year-old girl named Anaeka San Louis (ph), she's pinned underneath this rubble. And the volunteers here are snaking through a hose right now to give her some drinking water.
She's about ten feet away. And you can see the braids of this little girl's hair. I talked with her. She's wearing glasses and she's crying. She's in a lot of pain right now and she's terribly scared. This little girl -- it is kind of heartbreaking to hear this because she's pinned there. The right leg is underneath the concrete. And her hands are free and her leg is free. And she's talking to us.
They're trying to give her some drinking water right now. They've given her some food already. They only discovered her today, two days after the earthquake.
They think there are several dozen other people trapped under the rubble probably didn't survive. They are desperately trying to figure out how to get her out.
COOPER: She was rescued last night on this program.
Ivan you said they we're going to take her to a first-aid clinic. What happened today?
WATSON: Last night, after arriving at the first aid clinic, the doctors said she had to be transferred to a better hospital. She didn't make it there.
We spoke with an uncle this evening. We got through to him finally and he said she passed away before getting there. Her injuries were just too serious. And he says the ordeal was -- the 48 hours under the rubble was just too much for her.
COOPER: And where is she now?
WATSON: She has just been buried, the uncle tells me, in her mother's hometown which is about three hours' drive from here. They have not told the mother, he says, because they don't think...
COOPER: They haven't told her mother.
WATSON: ... that she has died and they say -- he says that probably wouldn't be able to handle the grief and she'd go insane from that because of all the relatives they have been lost and the loved ones and -- he says that her last words -- this was in French -- which means, "Mother, don't let me die."
COOPER: Those are the last things she said?
WATSON: Yes. And you know, it's really hard to...
COOPER: And she -- basically was just pinned down by one foot. So one foot was what, crushed?
WATSON: No. It was far more serious than that and it was her whole right leg basically from the upper thigh down. And she had suffered other wounds as well. But she was so -- I mean, she was so active and engaged -- I mean, we were speaking with her. And she was fighting, you know. Fighting, I thought, for her life.
But I think this just brings home how serious this situation is, how difficult the medical conditions are for people that perhaps something that back home in the U.S. somebody could -- an injury that some -- it could be -- it could be perhaps treatable, here it's a life or death matter. And it just didn't work out for this little girl, unfortunately.
COOPER: Ivan, I appreciate the reporting. Thank you very much for that update.
This is one of those stories which is what a doctor from Medecins Sans Frontieres, Doctors without Borders, I know named Milton Tectonidis calls stupid death. This is a little girl who did not have to die. She could have been treated if there was a doctor here who was trained. She could have been treated here if there were medical facilities that were up and running and they're simply not. They're simply overwhelmed.
This is a stupid death. It did not need to occur. And right now, there are people all over the city who will die tonight -- stupid deaths, deaths that do not need to occur.
And so, tonight we're going to have a lot of stories about the U.S warship that -- the battleship, the aircraft carrier that's off the port, the Coast Guard cutters that are off the port. The aid we're already starting to see distributed.
But this is one death that didn't need to occur. And there are many more that are going to occur tonight and tomorrow until more aid is distributed, until the central government here does something to really meet the needs of its people.
And whether that's up to the international community or the U.S., something more needs to be done. Because it's not moving fast enough.
And so you'll hear a lot about that tonight.
We also have breaking news now. We have just learned that security concerns have actually forced the doctors to leave the hospital where Dr. Sanjay Gupta reported from last night. He joins us live now from that hospital. Sanjay it's -- these doctors just got there today. What happened?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. This is a remarkable situation and a very frustrating one for sure, Anderson. There were these tents put up earlier today. Something that people have been waiting for, for some time and you and I talked about this quite a bit.
Come up here over here, to give you an idea of what's happening.
So many of these patients have been waiting for so long to try and get care. Anderson, just coming around the corner, you can see patients just lined up all through here. Some of them did get care throughout the day today. In fact, about a couple of hundred patients did get care, but now what we're hearing is that because of security concerns all of the doctors, nurses, everyone is in fact packing their bags and they are leaving, Anderson. It's kind of dark; I don't know if you can see over there, but trucks actually are going to be taking these doctors and nurses away.
What is so striking to me as a physician, Anderson, in reporting the story for some time now is that patients who just had surgery, patients who are critically ill are essentially being left here with nobody to care for them. It's really just hard to believe what's happening right now.
COOPER: How bad can the security situation be? I mean, you were there last night past midnight.
GUPTA: I know. And we obviously, as you know, have our own security team with us. And they're doing assessments continuously and Haiti is -- and Port-au-Prince in particular does have some levels of violence that we have been hearing about over the last couple of days.
There's been concerns about a mob mentality, there's been concerns about looting. I haven't seen any of these things with my own eyes, but apparently it was enough to have the U.N. essentially try and -- I don't know -- evacuate these doctors.
And so many patients who have been waiting so long to get care are not going to get care. And patients who've just received again, major operations on this operating table over here right behind me are essentially just being left here. They have IVs hanging.
Literally, one of the doctors came over to me a little while ago and said, "Here's where the IV bags are. Here's where the stethoscope is. We have to go."
And that's -- they have to go and I don't think that they want to go. And I'm not trying to imply that at all. I think they want to stay and take care of patients but they are being told to go.
COOPER: I'm sure those doctors and nurses want to stay. It's in their code and their blood to want to stay. That's why they came here, I'm sure that's why they volunteered to come here.
But there is so much talk about logistics and operations. And that's all understandable. But the bottom line is, again, people are dying tonight. People will die at that hospital tonight who do not need to die.
And Sanjay, I mean, we've learned that there's apparently a hospital north of here that actually has room for patients. It's a hospital called Sacre-Coeur it's located in Milot which is 80 miles north of Port-au-Prince, near Cap Haitien.
We are told -- I've been seen this with my own eyes but we're told that it's fully operational. It can take several hundred patients from Port-au-Prince. It's got two fully equipped operating rooms, 21 Haitian physicians, volunteer surgeons on site, teams of trauma surgeons, but again, it's far away. A lot of people can't get there.
I guess the U.S. Navy can maybe transport patients in need of treatment immediately by air there in a 15-minute trip, but again, there are still a lot of logistical things that are being worked out.
This is just one of those incredibly frustrating days where you see aid on the horizon. You see it within your fingertips -- within the reach and people here all day have been watching and seeing U.S. ships offshore and yet not seeing it sort of trickle down to the street level.
And there's good reason for all of that and logistical problems and I'm not imputing the motives of anybody or the abilities of anybody. But it is just a very frustrating for Haitians here and being out on the streets all day we have continually heard that people saying, where is the help? Where is the help?
When we come back, we're going to have a hopeful story. There was hope that we saw today. Lives were saved. A camera crew seized the story. Their interpreter saves the day. It's an incredible story of survival and faith.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Today a remarkable thing occurred. We've all been told that three days is about the limit that someone can last without water, but we saw it, just a rescue today that brought hope to so many people.
Take a look. A camera crew's interpreter sprang into action that saved a young life. Look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice-over): For those who've given up hope, for those who think there's nothing but horror, today we learned a lesson in the power of faith. In the ruins of a neighborhood where a hillside collapsed, a TV crew from Australia witnessed what no one would have believed.
They're told a baby girl is under the rubble. She's alive and you can hear the child's faint cries. She's been trapped for 68 hours; no food, no water, alone and scared.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's been there all these days without eating. She's weak.
COOPER: Concerned the rescue efforts are taking too long a man from the Dominican Republic working with the TV crew jumps into the concrete hole.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think you can get close enough to the baby?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to try.
COOPER: To get to her he crawls over dead bodies and finally manages to pull her out of it all.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Water, water.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get some water.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here, baby. Here baby. Here, baby. Here, baby.
COOPER: It takes just 30 minutes, 30 minutes to save a little girl's life. Her name is Winnie. She's just 18 months old, covered in dust, she's stunned but seems uninjured.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to get a doctor. We need to...
COOPER: They give her water and put her in her uncle's arms; they're last two survivors from this now broken home. Winnie's parents are dead. Her uncle's pregnant wife is also now gone.
"She's ok, she's lucky," one person says, and in spite of it all that certainly seems true. A little survivor, an awful lot of joy; there are people still living against all the odds.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: And the hero of the day, Deiby Celestino joins us now. Did you have any fear about going into the rubble to get this little girl?
DEIBY CELESTINO, INTERPRETER AND RESCUER: Well, actually, not at all. I mean, it's just a little girl calling for somebody to save her and we had to do what we've to do. It's a human thing.
COOPER: But I mean, there were trained people there who are taking a lot of time and worried and concerned. You just went right in.
CELESTINO: Man, you know, it's just like I said, I have babies myself. And it's like, if you hear any human being, especially a little baby, you just have to even risk yourself if you have to, to make sure you put her out or put him out to safety.
COOPER: Have you been able to talk to your family in the Dominican Republic to let them know what you did today? You should be like a hero in the Dominican Republic.
CELESTINO: No, I haven't been able to speak to anybody because of the fact that I have no frequency on my phones or anything like that.
COOPER: And you got family in New York, you got kids, right?
CELESTINO: Yes, I do.
COOPER: If they're watching do you want to send a message to your family?
CELESTINO: Well, they know I love them. I mean, you know, dad is here and hopefully I'll see them soon. COOPER: What's it like being here, I mean, to someone who has never been here before, who's never seen this kind of stuff what's it like?
CELESTINO: Being in Port-au-Prince...
COOPER: Here, yes, now.
CELESTINO: ... is a very special experience especially after what I lived today. I mean, it's just amazing.
COOPER: It changes you?
CELESTINO: A lot, definitely.
CELESTINO: In a very positive way because of the fact that I was able to be for the first time I think in my life in the right place at the right time, because I believe if we wasn't there, the crew that I'm with, because I'm with the Australian news people, if we would not be there at that time, you know, probably at this time right now as we speak the baby would have been dead. And thank God she's alive now and healthy.
COOPER: It's not something you can say every day but you saved somebody's life today.
CELESTINO: I mean, you know, what can I say? God put me there at that time.
COOPER: Well, I'm glad you did. I'm glad you did. Thank you so much.
CELESTINO: Thank you so much.
COOPER: It's a real pleasure.
CELESTINO: My pleasure.
COOPER: Deiby Celestino.
Up next, a story about an orphanage fighting tough odds and a couple back in America who's trying to find out news of one of their kids who's at that orphanage; their story ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: According to the UNICEF there were an estimated 380,000 orphans in Haiti back in 2007. About 800 to 900 American families are right now in the process of adopting kids from Haiti.
Gary Tuchman has the story of one such adoption and one orphanage that he went to today. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Survivors of the Haiti earthquake; 25 little children who lived in a Port-au-Prince orphanage that partially collapsed while they were inside. They had already lost their parents and almost lost their lives. They were lucky to be in a part of the house that did not collapse but now they face dire challenges.
(On camera): There are fears the rest of this orphanage could collapse because of the frequent aftershocks we're having. So the decision has been made to leave these children outside 24 hours a day. They're playing outside, they're eating outside, they're sleeping on these mattresses outside.
You can see they're so well-behaved there's almost no crying whatsoever but there's also very little smiling.
(voice-over): By Haiti's standards this is an excellent orphanage. It's run by two sisters from Pittsburgh; Jamie and Ali McMutrie who lived in Haiti for more than three years. They say they love the children but can't even consider moving them back inside the house.
JAMIE MCMUTRIE, ORPHANAGE DIRECTOR: It's buckling and we can hear it, like it makes noises like it's falling and rocks just fall out of the side of it, kind of constantly, so we're certainly never going to go back in it.
TUCHMAN: Meanwhile, food and water supplies are running low. The few stores open strictly ration their supplies.
(on camera): So can you explain you run an orphanage, you need food?
J. MCMUTRIE: Right.
TUCHMAN: What do they say?
J. MCMUTRIE: They don't care.
ALI MCMUTRIE, ORPHANAGE DIRECTOR: Yes, sorry.
TUCHMAN: And here is an amazing and frustrating fact, all these children are in the process of being adopted by American families. In good times the process commonly takes a year and a half or more because of Haitian and U.S. government bureaucracy. However, for these children now...
J. MCMUTRIE: They don't exist anymore.
TUCHMAN: Why is that?
J. MCMUTRIE: Their paperwork was in government offices downtown and the offices are crumbled. So there's -- that's what they need, all of those papers are what they need to be able to get a passport and a visa and go live somewhere else. A. MCMUTRIE: And most of the people even if the paperwork was there, we're hearing that most of the people who would do anything about it are under the rubble, too.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): These Pennsylvania sisters have dedicated their professional lives to helping orphans. And now sadly realize this country has so many more, as of this week.
COOPER: You know Gary, I was thinking while watching your piece, I mean, how scary it is for adults here to see -- what it must be like for little kids to be going through all of this.
TUCHMAN: Yes, now, they're terrified, the older kids. Obviously, the babies don't know what's going on but they've all been through such a hard and difficult time, that's why we saw very little smiling. But Jamie and Ali, these two young ladies from Pittsburgh have absolutely no idea what they're going to do right now. They know they can't stay outside forever.
It hasn't rained yet since we've been here, but when it rains in Haiti heavily there are big problems. And they have absolutely no shelter so it's not like you can call 911 here and get some help. That isn't happening. And they're very concerned about security.
TUCHMAN: They said they have lived with their neighbors peacefully for three years but now because everyone knows they have some food people are trying to scale their fence to get in and these women admit they are very scared.
COOPER: All right, again, it's just one of those unbelievable situations in a city which the unbelievable is reality.
Up next, we're going to talk to a couple that Gary mentioned, they're going to join us, they're going to -- we're going to show them video for the first time of their child that they have taken into their hearts, who they're waiting -- waiting to see. We'll have their story ahead in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEAN BATISTE-JEAN, EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR: I am Jean Batiste-Jean. I want to say to people out in Boston, especially my sister that we are ok in Haiti.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to let you know that all my family is ok, so about my daddy, my brother, my brothers, my sisters, everything is ok. We have no problem. We are all right.
(END VIDEO CLIP) COOPER: So many people wanting to get messages across to loved ones in the United States. We're trying to help reunite as many families as possible.
My next guests are a family that needs to be reunited as well Ross Haskell and Jean Griffith they are in the process of adopting a little Haitian boy named Alexander David who survived the earthquake but is now stuck in Haiti in the orphanage that you just saw in Gary's piece.
Ross, you heard Gary's report from the orphanage and we have some video of Alexander with one of the women who run the orphanage. And you're going to hear a quick clip from her and then we're just going to try to show you as much video of him as we could take. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So who is this?
J. MCMUTRIE: This is Alexander.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How is he doing?
J. MCMUTRIE: He's doing good. He's -- everybody is kind of the same, they all are a little bit scared if any cars come by too fast or an airplane flies over, everybody jumps and cries for a second, because they think it's happening again. But other than that, they're still acting normal, playing, playing with their friends, eating normally, you know, just surprised.
They're little babies so they don't know what's going on and as long as we're all here together I think they feel safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: What's going through your mind as you see him, how does Alexander seem to you?
ROSS HASKELL, ADOPTING HAITIAN BABY: Well, I guess I've got mixed emotions. I'm incredibly happy to see him and I'm also terribly worried.
You know, I saw the piece before and you know, they're all outside; they can't stay there, Anderson. That's -- I think the fact that they need help and I really believe and I think Jamie and Ali said it as well that we need to somehow evacuate the orphans of Haiti and all of the orphans of Haiti.
I mean, those that we're living in orphanages before the quake they had no parents which means now there's no one to care for them. And you know, the women there at that orphanage, they have families of their own that need their help. So I really think that -- you know, I'm very happy to see Alexander but I'm also terribly worried about the situation there.
COOPER: Jean, how are you holding up? JEAN GRIFFITH, ADOPTING HAITIAN BABY: What I'm seeing my son do right now is what -- well, now I'm seeing him do a little "hi" to the camera. But he's pulling his ear and his shirt which is -- he does that when he's trying to comfort himself, so. I have the utmost faith in Jamie and Ally, but there is only so much that people can do on the ground there. And clearly they are doing everything they can, but that's not going to be enough, and we know that.
COOPER: What's the next step for you guys? I'm sure your impulse is to just try to, you know, get down here as quick as you can. I don't know if you've been advised not to or what your thinking is on that, but what's the next step for you?
ROSS HASKELL, ADOPTING HAITIAN BABY: Well, Anderson, as much as we'd like to have Alexander home with us, adoption is not what we're thinking about right now. We're thinking that what we're seeing is a humanitarian crisis, and we believe that we need help. We know that many people in all kinds of organizations, adoption agencies and other nonprofit organizations and even in our own government are working very hard to save the orphans of Haiti.
You had a report earlier that said something about stupid deaths. I really believe that if we do not evacuate these children, because there's no one else to care for them, that we'll have a lot more stupid deaths.
COOPER: Jean, how did you come to find Alexander? What was the process of -- that, you know, he came to be part of your family?
GRIFFITH: We decided to adopt a long time ago. We chose Haiti because we have an interest in keeping our son's connections to his birth culture very much intact, and the geographical proximity of Haiti made that so much more possible than so many other countries.
We are learning the language. We can travel there and until this happened, it was our intention to go back at least for every year at least for a long weekend. And in terms of Alexander, well you see yourself what's not to love?
COOPER: Yes, that's for sure, that's for sure.
Jean and Ross, this has got to be difficult for you just to talk about this, let alone the situation you're going through. It's beyond difficult, it's impossible. I appreciate you coming on and talking about it and we'll continue to follow it. And I hope you guys are reunited soon and I hope help comes to all the little kids right now who need it. Thank you so much.
GRIFFITH: Thank you.
HASKELL: Thank you.
COOPER: Stay strong.
A quick program note, we're here throughout the weekend and the coming week as well. Tomorrow evening, a look at the week that we have seen so far, there have been so many images, so many things we haven't been able to show you yet. It's a special edition of 360, "Saving Haiti: A Special Report" tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday night.
I hope you join us for that and of course our coverage. I'm going to be here all next week as well. The story is too important, what is happening here is not a story. It's life and death. It is real, and the people here deserve their story told.
Coming up we're going to have a look at the demand for food and water, what distribution, what some of the dangers of just distributing food and water can be. It can often lead to very chaotic situations that can lead to dangerous situations and you're going to see that ahead.
We're also going to show you how to help with medical supplies and aid.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: In different parts of the city, U.N. peacekeepers are trying to start to distribute food. They're trying to do it as orderly as possible. These are peacekeepers from Bolivia.
They've got lines of people here who have been waiting for some time now, and they're in small groups letting these people come through to trucks over here.
Two things really strike you here. This is just an effort by these Bolivian peacekeepers to distribute what food they can. There's no real central organization in Port-au-Prince right now determining where the greatest needs are. Everything seems to kind of be impromptu.
They're trying to get things organized but at this point, no one can tell you where the worst off people are. These Bolivian peacekeepers basically came down to a poor area and set up this operation themselves. And they're distributing a hot meal as best they can.
And it's essential for them to keep order, because in a situation like this there's a lot of desperate people. In the last ten minutes that we've been here, this line has pretty much doubled in size.
The peacekeepers are trying to keep order as best they can, and that's a key component here when distributing aid. And it's one of the things that aid workers and peacekeepers have to keep in mind. They can't just start handing out food. It's got to be done orderly or else literally a riot can break out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, that's what it looks like when things go well. Relief efforts are being hampered by a destroyed port, damaged airport. FAA actually grounded all U.S. flights to Haiti today because there was no place to land.
A U.N. distribution center was set up today. We've seen long lines there for food and water. In some cases the situation, though, can quickly become very dangerous as I alluded to out with the Bolivian peacekeepers.
Chris Lawrence saw that firsthand. Take a look.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: we're in the back of a United Nations truck heading to the center of the city. You can see we're jammed in pretty tight with a lot of the same supplies that the World Food Program is going to be delivering to the people of Haiti. You can take a look next to me, you can see some of the U.N. guards. It's going to be their job to try to keep some form of order so things don't get out of hand.
The truck's now made it here to the park near the presidential palace. A lot of people starting to push and shove their way trying to get up to where the food is. You can see a lot of the men pushing their way up, haven't seen any of the women be able to get up here.
It's swiftly getting a little chaotic here. They had to stop here. They start blowing their whistles and had to stop about 10, 15 minutes ago. It just started back but it seems to only be able to last for about five minutes before it starts getting out of hand again.
The thing that I'm noticing, too, is there's a lot of small kids in there that are getting jammed up against other people or they're just getting pushed out of the way entirely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not good. It's not good like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not good.
LAWRENCE: what is wrong with the biscuits, why don't people want to eat it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's bad.
LAWRENCE: What's happening is they're confusing the date that it was packaged on, which was 2008, with the expiration date which is November 2010. I know it's hard to see, but he's basically yelling and telling people do not accept these biscuits because they're no good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are very concerned, but the biscuits are very good, they're ok.
LAWRENCE: As you can see everybody's following the truck, but there it goes, they're trying to even just hold on to the back of it, but it's pulling away. A lot of people ended up with nothing. But I don't know if you can still see they're running after the truck trying to get it. That truck's gone now.
COOPER: You know, we've been talking about this for days how a situation like that which starts off nicely, can really change on a dime.
LAWRENCE: It was so frustrating we're seeing stronger people actually yanking packages out of the hands of weaker people and seeing women pushed to the back, kids jammed up. It was like survival of the fittest, where the strongest got the food, the others didn't.
COOPER: A lot of times I found in these situations there's usually one or two troublemakers who kind of start pushing around the crowd, and kind of spreading false messages.
LAWRENCE: That was the frustrating thing about it, because these biscuits by the World Food Program, it's good food. It doesn't, this doesn't expire until almost the end of the year. It's good food. It's got -- it's vitamin fortified.
COOPER: It doesn't need refrigeration. It doesn't need preparation. And it has a lot of nutrients.
LAWRENCE: Yes, you can bring it. It doesn't have to be cooked. A lot of people don't have anywhere to cook food but because a couple of people yelled louder than anybody else and took control of the situation and intimidated everybody else and told them it's bad, it's bad, don't eat it, all of a sudden you're seeing people smashing it on the ground, stepping on it. They got angry, and a lot of people didn't get food that they really should have gotten.
COOPER: It's the same kind of thing we saw the other night when somebody in the crowd said there was a tsunami coming and everyone would drop their possessions then criminals just came in and took their possessions.
LAWRENCE: Yes. What I saw today was, I would say the majority of people were ok waiting, they were patient. They would have been ok but you had a couple of people in that line who pushed and shoved and knocked people out of the way, and then started screaming that the food was bad and everything just degenerated. And what you ended up with was a truck half full of food driving away because it couldn't give it all away.
COOPER: This is a country where, for decades, right has often made right -- sorry. What's the saying?
COOPER: Might is often made right -- it's been a long four days. What are you going to do tomorrow, do you know?
LAWRENCE: I think we're going to try to just follow this story along. I mean obviously there's some problems, not only, now that the food is here, now that the supplies are here. How do you get that out to these huge crowds without things like that happening, without people pushing, shoving and getting hurt in the process? COOPER: Ok, you know, speaking of how things can go wrong, quickly, I want to go over to Sanjay Gupta, who is at this hospital that he was at last night to well past midnight.
Sanjay is now the only doctor there. A bunch of doctors arrived there today to give aid. They were told the security situation was too bad so they have actually pulled out, the doctors have left.
Sanjay, you're the only one there now? We're told we're having technical -- Sanjay's actually treating people and helping people right now. We'll try to check in. We don't want to interrupt that. He's the only doctor on site now.
Apparently the other doctors have left. They loaded into vehicles and left because apparently they thought the security situation was too bad. Sanjay is still there trying to treat people as best he can.
We'll try to check in with him if it doesn't interrupt any treatment.
Still ahead, we're going to take you -- we learned today what is happened to a lot of the bodies that are getting collected. It is a gruesome sight but it is very real.
We're going to show you what's happening here on the outskirts of town.
COOPER: We're trying to monitor the situation where now Dr. Sanjay Gupta finds himself basically the only physician on site, where there are a lot of people who are in desperate need of help. Apparently all the other doctors who only arrived today have now pulled out because they were told the security situation, I guess, they were ordered out by the U.N. or somebody. So we're trying to check in with Sanjay and see what the situation is there but you know we don't want to interrupt anybody's treatment. So bear with us on that.
One of the things we noticed of course is that in the last 24 hours they started to collect bodies off the streets and we've seen them loaded to dump trucks but haven't seen where they were taking the bodies. There are a lot of rumors floating around town today as often happens here, the government is now saying they have buried some 7,000 people.
I'm not sure how accurate those numbers are, but we went out to try to figure out what is happening to these bodies today and what we found is extraordinarily disturbing. It's also very understandable given the situation that people here are in, and the government here is in.
I do want to warn you, some of the images here -- and we've tried to edit this as carefully as possible -- but some of the images here are incredibly disturbing. And if you have a small child in the room, I would recommend that they leave the room.
And I'm not just trying to be dramatic. It's incredibly disturbing but I think it's important that you see what the reality is here. This is what is happening to people here. This is what is happening to mothers and to fathers and to small children, and people who led good and decent lives, this is where they're ending up.
COOPER: From a distance, it looks like an ordinary landfill. The true horror is clear only up close.
The dead of Port-au-Prince are slowly disappearing. Now we know where many end up.
It looks like this group of bodies was just brought here and bulldozed pushed to the side. What I didn't realize when I first got here is that this entire mound is already filled with bodies. As you walk you come across a hand sticking out from the dirt, you see a foot sticking out.
There is a bulldozer here but no one is in it. This is not a place where the living stay long.
You cover your nose as best you can. The smell is overwhelming, the stench of death is everywhere in the air here. The thing that really stands out is the silence. That's what's so eerie. You're in this field and it's incredibly quiet. All you hear is the wind blowing, and the buzzing of flies.
We saw at least a hundred bodies clearly visible. It's likely hundreds more lie under these mounds.
I wanted to find the spot. We followed a dump truck that seemed to be filled of debris when we first glanced at it. The truck has left but this is what they dumped out. Once you get closer, you realize that it's -- yes, there is debris there, but it is actually human remains. It's the debris that was used to wrap the people.
It looks like there is a refrigerator over there. That was actually a refrigerator. Someone was put in that. They must have used that to carry the corpse.
The government of Haiti says they have already buried some 7,000 people. But how accurate the numbers are is hard to tell.
I was in Sri Lanka in the wake of the tsunami and there were a lot of mass graves. That's how most people there were buried. But at least authorities there were able to photograph many of the victims and post them at morgues so loved ones, family members, friends could come and try to at least identify their dead.
Here there is nothing like that. There is not that level of organization and there's no system for identification at this point. No records are being kept of names of the dead. A lot of people are just going to simply disappear and no one will ever know what happened to them.
Another truck approaches, another load of the dead: who they are, who they were, what lives they led, none of that now will ever be known.
COOPER: Again, I mean as we started this program saying people are going to die tonight who do not need to die because not enough personnel are on the ground, because not enough aid is here.
There may be huge amounts of aid in the pipeline and I have no doubt that there is and the world has responded to this catastrophe but people are dying. People died today, people died yesterday and people die tomorrow and people are dying right now waiting for help.
We're going to have the latest on the relief efforts. We're going to talk to General Russel Honore, who did so much good work in New Orleans after Katrina. We'll talk to him about what his assessment is of what's happening here.
We'll be right back.
COOPER: There are a lot of State Department folks, a lot of USAID folks that are working at the embassy who have been here for an awful long time, trying to move things along and get the situation here, you know, moving along.
More U.S. forces are on their way to Haiti; some 5,000 to 6,000 U.S. personnel expected in the days ahead. The general who's heading up the mission apparently was asked a question today in which I guess my name was mentioned by somebody, not a CNN person. I'm not sure who asked the question.
But take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why was it not the military that was the first in there on the ground with aid supplies, just as soon as, you know, Anderson Cooper could get in there?
GEN. DOUGLAS FRASER, COMMANDER OF U.S. SOUTHERN COMMAND: It's a -- it's a monumental challenge. And as we go into it, we go into it with the understanding that we've got to support a lot of other activity that comes in. So we've got to set up the bases to make sure we can get supplies and capability in as efficiently and effectively as possible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It's an unfair question. I appreciate the mention, but it is an unfair question, because I have no actual scale. I'm not actually, you know, treating large numbers of people or able to help large numbers of people. When, you know -- when the military comes in, they do it in a big way.
No one knows that better than retired Lieutenant General Russel Honore, who commanded the Katrina relief effort in New Orleans. He joins us now.
General Honore, I appreciate you being with us. We'll talk in a moment about what needs to be done and how you think this is going to play out in the first couple days. But as you see this now, has this been too slow or is this about -- you know, as best as is possible?
LT. GEN. RUSSEL HONORE (RET.), CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, we never get these done on time to meet the requirements. That's why it's classified as a disaster.
But I would say this, Anderson: we have to adapt and overcome. We have to come off script and do some things that's not in the plan. One of them is that search and rescue and evacuation trumps security. When you're saving people's lives, you will not have absolute security. We ran into the same thing in New Orleans.
And I can give you several examples of where people were talking about security, and it held up the evacuation of the people out of the Superdome and the convention center.
COOPER: I've often found, you know, if security folks -- I mean, God bless them, and you know, we all need them in a lot of situations. But if you only listen to them, you end up limiting yourselves and, frankly, your ability to go out. We see this as reporters. If we reason to security personnel all the time, there are things we just wouldn't be able to do.
At a certain point, you've got to say, "You know what? It's just time to treat people. You know what? Maybe our lives are at risk, but I can -- you know, it's a gamble. Maybe our lives are at risk, but I can tell you for sure people are going to die tonight, and their lives are even more at risk."
HONORE: I agree with you. And you're going to have to adapt and overcome. You're going to have to engage the people in Haiti. Try to get them organized in work groups to clear landing pads for those helicopters, clear landing pads to put supplies on the ground, and clear landing pads so we can stock equipment and have places to put tents up.
But the people of Haiti can do this, just as we've shown that they have done a good job of doing their -- being their own first responder and getting their citizens out of these buildings.
COOPER: That is really the remarkable thing is that -- I mean, I think to a lot of outsiders, people are coming to Port-au-Prince maybe for the first time and say, oh, well, it's chaotic. There is -- I mean, there are rules here.
There is a societal structure. There are, you know, real traditions and real bonds. We have to try to kind of, you know, understand that and use that in order to help the effort. It's not as if there's not order here and desire here.
You know, people -- neighbors are helping neighbors. We just have to somehow kind of marshal that. Right? HONORE: We've got to marshal that. We've got to understand, just because these people are poor, it doesn't mean they're dangerous. We ran into the same thing in New Orleans. Everybody has got their flak jacket and M-16 on.
And it comes down to me, my understanding is, is that people were afraid because they were poor and they were on the street and they were in crowds. It's nothing to be scared of.
You get in supplies there. You evacuate people and you encourage the people to help. And everything's going to be ok. They've got to move and move now.
COOPER: Yes. General Honore, I want to bring in Dr. Sanjay Gupta. We've established a phone connection with him. He's at this hospital. The other doctors have been told, I guess -- I'm not sure by who -- to pull out.
Sanjay, who told these doctors to pull out? Was it the U.N.?
GUPTA: I think it was the U.N., Anderson. U.N. trucks came and -- and got these doctors, said they were taking them to another location. They told them to come now to take a lot of their supplies.
A lot of patients that were cared for earlier in the day and cared for well are left here; they need pain medications, they need IVs. They need to be monitored.
There are some critically-ill patients. I have not been in a situation like this before where essentially, I don't think that they wanted to do this, the doctors and nurses. But they were asked to, and they complied.
And now you have about 25 patients here in the middle of a field in these tents with hardly any supplies who are really, really sick.
COOPER: General Honore, what do you make of this?
HONORE: This is -- this is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. That's got to be fixed. And it needs to be fixed quick.
The U.N. command down there needs to take responsibility for this. They've got 9,000 troops. And if we have to, that big field Anderson showed, we need to drop the rest of the 2nd Brigade, the 82nd Airborne in there at daylight tomorrow morning and get this problem taken care of.
COOPER: Well, you know, I was out with some Bolivian U.N. troops today. They had order established. They were handing out food. And it seemed like, you know, they knew what they were doing. They've been here for a long time.
We've got to end it there, General Honore. We're going to talk to you in the days ahead.
Sanjay, I don't know what to tell you. I'm as shocked as you are. We thought we were going to be talking about a good story from that hospital today with all these doctors arriving. I can't believe we're ending the night with this situation.
We'll talk to you offline on the phone and see what we can do.
That does it for 360. Thanks for watching.
"LARRY KING" starts right now.