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Haiti Dishonoring the Dead?; Chaos Over Food in Haiti

Aired January 26, 2010 - 22:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone, live from Port-au-Prince in Haiti tonight.

Tonight: searching for the thousands of Americans feared missing here, some of them buried where the Hotel Montana once stood, right now, a massive operation under way, largely a recovery operation, sad to say, though there is always hope there.

Also tonight, we're going to show you what the Haitian government probably does not want you to see, mass graves that what we thought after two weeks after this earthquake would have been sealed, but they're not. And people are literally just being dumped on the ground and left there to rot. It is a shocking scene. It is unconscionable. And we're going to show you what's happening tonight.

Later, problems feeding the hungry, anger bubbling over in places, people who have not eaten for days losing patience when food shipments come, reports of food sitting in warehouses or tied up by bureaucracy and security procedures. The job is certainly daunting. The question, can it be done better? We will look at that tonight.

Plus, the night before his State of the Union address, we have got a preview of what to expect from President Obama and another installment of our Stimulus Project series tracking where the money is going and whether or not it is actually helping.

But, first up tonight, a fact that has no doubt taken a while to sink in. There are estimates that anywhere from 4,500 to 5,000 Americans are currently missing here in Haiti -- nearly 5,000 missing Americans. Now, many family members don't want the work of the rescue to end.

We're going to speak shortly with Lauren Bruno, whose father, Richard, is missing at the Hotel Montana. The search there is under way.

But, before we do, I want to show you where things right now stand. As always, our warning about what we saw today in looking into this story of missing Americans. We want to warn you, some of what you're about to see is graphic.


COOPER (voice-over): The search for missing Americans goes on, but, in the rubble of the Montana Hotel, it gets grimmer by the hour. BIL HAWKINS, U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS: Our intent and our mission is to get everyone -- and that's what I told the parents when they were here -- is to get everyone that we can.

COOPER (on camera): And, at this point, is it -- is it -- it's not search-and-rescue, but it's not -- is it recovery?

HAWKINS: Well, recovery is a word. It's a definition. I mean, we are -- that's what we're doing, is trying to recover bodies with respect and dignity and honor.

We are trying to recover, not just the people that are here, the bodies we recover, some sense of closure for the parents and the people and the loved ones and the families that are out there.

COOPER (voice-over): It's believed there are 50 to 60 people still buried here, as many as 17 Americans among them.

Veronique Wehder from Miami is waiting to get word about her 7- year-old son, Aile (ph).

(on camera): How are you holding up?

VERONIQUE WEHDER, HOPING TO FIND MISSING SON: I have my moments when I'm breaking down and I have my moments that I have to be strong and really keep going, because we want to either have closure, know what happened, or -- but there's a still -- the glimpse of hope is little, but I still have some kind of hope, I guess, until we, you know, find him.

COOPER: So there's part of you that's just holding on to hope?


COOPER (voice-over): The names of those missing, the lost, are written on two small boards, a flickering candle a constant memorial.

(on camera): The Montana Hotel is one of the most searched sites in Port-au-Prince. And there is a good chance that many of those who died there will at least -- their bodies will at least be recovered.

In other parts of Port-au-Prince, however, the dead still trapped in rubble may never be found. The wreckage like this is so dense and so dangerous to search that it's likely it's just going to be bulldozed. And the terrible truth is that anyone whose body is still inside this kind of rubble, they're simply going to be discarded along with the debris.

(voice-over): Some Americans who have died have already disappeared. The morning after the quake, we were shown the passport of an American woman.

(on camera): This man has lost four family members. He just showed me his wife's body, which is under a shroud. And he's now worried about another family member who's an American, whose name is Rose Marguerite Olivier (ph). And he believes she's trapped inside that building as well. And he's pretty sure she's dead.

(voice-over): We contacted the State Department and told them of her death and her location, but no one ever came to collect the body.

Days later, her husband found her corpse in the rubble. He shows me a picture of her remains on his cell phone. After finding her, he says, he briefly left to get a coffin. A Haitian government bulldozer arrived and dumped her body in the back of a truck.

"They threw her out," he says. "I couldn't throw out my wife. She was an American citizen."

(on camera): So, you don't know where she's buried now?

(voice-over): "No, I don't know, he says. I don't know. It's very difficult."

Not only did the U.S. government do nothing to retrieve this American citizen's body; they told our office in Washington that she had been buried in a coffin in a cemetery. Today, we went to the U.S. Embassy for answers.

(on camera): Do you know we would have been told by the State Department in -- stateside that -- that this particular woman was put in a coffin and buried in a cemetery?

GORDON DUGUID, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: I don't know why. I don't know where that information came from. From our perspective here, we -- we don't know the disposition of the remains. The presumption of the family, as I understand it, is that the body was taken to a mass grave. That would seem consistent with the way things are done now.

COOPER (voice-over): The mass graves are just outside Port-au- Prince. Two weeks after the quake, we thought we would find them cleaned up, covered over. But it's much worse than that.

The dead are still just dumped on the ground. Little effort, it seems, has been made to actually bury them. American or Haitian or whatever the nationality, this is not how anyone expects their dead to be treated. This is not how anyone wants their loved one's life to end.


COOPER: The scene at the mass graves today was simply shocking. We expected, after two weeks, that the Haitian government, which has been bringing bodies out there, would at least have made the effort to bury their own citizens or the Americans or whoever these people are that they have brought out there.

But what we found was literally just bodies in piles. They -- people say, well, the Haitian government isn't up to the challenge, that they have no infrastructure, that they have been brought to their knees in this earthquake. And that may be true. But they're organized enough to have bulldozers. They're organized enough to have dump trucks. They're organized enough to have blocked the access road to this mass grave to prevent people from going and actually seeing it.

We got around that -- that blockade, and we saw it with our own eyes. The Haitian government has a lot of answering to do for what they are doing out on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, where people can't see.

Now, we called Haiti's ambassador to the U.S., Ambassador Raymond Joseph. We asked him to come on the program tonight, so we could ask him about why they don't even take the extra effort to at least put some dirt on these people whose bodies have been out here rotting out in the sun for two weeks now.

He said, well, you should talk to the government here on the ground. We tried that. They refused to talk about it. We then went back to the ambassador, asked him to please come on, because the government here wouldn't talk about it, and he refused.

We invite him any time this week to come on and talk about it, because for a government to treat their own civilians or foreign civilians like this is simply unconscionable. The dead deserve better than that. And certainly so do the living.

A group from Lynn University in South Florida was staying at the Hotel Montana. And I have got to tell you, the Hotel Montana has had rescue crews around the clock, and there are people right now there working with great diligence and great care to bring dignity to those who are inside.

Students Stephanie Crispinelli, Courtney Hayes, Christine Gianacaci, and Britney Gengel were from Lynn University. Their faculty members Dr. Richard Bruno and Patrick Hartwick were with them. A local paper said that Lynn University's president will address students, staff and faculty and tomorrow morning and brief the media a little bit later.

Lauren Bruno is Dr. Richard Bruno's daughter. Her father is among the missing at the Montana. She joins us now.

Thank you so much for being with us

Your father has had a remarkable career. He served in the U.S. -- he served the United States in the Foreign Service for 21 years.


COOPER: Do you feel the State Department has done enough to look for him and to reach out to you and the other families?

BRUNO: I feel like, in a situation like this, there's no right or wrong, or -- I don't know what can be done.

I know that the government was really -- there was no contact with them for the first week. And then, this past week, we have gotten more contact and more information. But all we really want is to bring our dad home, however that can be done. And, honestly, I don't know what more could have been done, because I don't know how to deal with a disaster like this. Clearly, nobody does.

COOPER: And, Lauren, I can tell you, just personally, I was out at the site today.

And, as you probably know, it's a very difficult site for these folks to work at, but they are doing it with great dignity. And they are taking it very personally, all the search-and-rescue people who are there. I don't know if that gives any comfort, but I can tell you it's not the scene we are seeing elsewhere in Port-au-Prince, with bodies just disappearing.

At the Montana, they really are looking and are doing it around the clock.

What do you want people to know about your dad?

BRUNO: Well, first of all, I want to really thank all the rescue workers for risking their lives for our family members. And I really appreciate it. And don't think they understand how much it means to us as family members.

As far as my dad, he's a wonderful person. All he wanted to do was make people happy and help people. And that's what he did his entire life. Up until the day that this earthquake happened, he was helping people and helping and teaching. And I just want the world to know what a wonderful man my father was.

COOPER: Have you been able to visit the site yet? How you been able to be here?

BRUNO: No. They offered to let me go. I don't think -- emotionally, I couldn't go. Me and my sisters decided that it wasn't safe, and we were too -- we couldn't emotionally deal with it.

I know other family members...

COOPER: How are you holding up?

BRUNO: Every day, it's harder and harder. The reality of the situation sinks in more and more every day and every minute, just the logistics of dealing with financial situations, getting through work, going through -- my sisters are both in school, getting through their exams.

Everything, waking up and going to bed every night and every morning is hard when you realize what the reality of the day is going to hold.

COOPER: It's obviously vital for you to bring your father home.

BRUNO: Yes. I -- to me and my family and I know to all of the other -- I have met with all of the other Lynn families. And I know, for all of us, we just need closure. We need to bury our loved ones. And I just hope that the government is able to come through and bring our family members home to us, so that we can put them at rest, and so that they can be with us here in the States.

COOPER: Well, Lauren, I wish you and your family strength in the days ahead.

BRUNO: Thank you.

COOPER: And I wish you -- I wish you would get a resolution quickly.

Thank you so much, Lauren.

BRUNO: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

COOPER: Stay strong.

BRUNO: All right. Thanks.

COOPER: A strange situation: A few hours ago, a rescue was announced, but then it came with a lot of confusion.

Troops of Delta Company, 82nd Airborne, pulled a guy from the rubble from a site downtown near the National Cathedral. He says he was selling sodas when the earthquake hit and a building collapsed onto him. However, the Delta Company troops say he was only buried for an hour.

As for how that might be, a lot of people scavenge in the ruins, and some get trapped. We are going to keep checking on the story. It was reportedly widely this person was pulled out of the wreckage after 14 days.

And I got to tell you, I talked to one rescuer at another location today who said the likelihood of somebody being pulled out after 14 days, unless they had access to water and food, is very doubtful, and it was most likely somebody who was scavenging and maybe an aftershock brought down some rubble on him.

Up next: rebuilding Haiti and one of the rare causes for hope in this country. We are going to take you where Haitians are working in a business that just got a boost from the United States.

And later, the ongoing problems of too many hungry people, not enough food, and a distribution system that doesn't always work so well. It got a little ugly in some places today. We will show you that ahead.



COOPER: One of the biggest problems in terms of rebuilding the infrastructure in Haiti is the water supply. Most people do not have access to fresh, clean drinking water right now. In large makeshift camps like this, groups like UNICEF and Action Against Hunger set up these large bladders filled with water. It's connected via a pipe to a tap system down here. Most people in this area now know they can come here. They bring jugs. They bring drums, whatever they can, to carry water. And they line up here. Sometimes, the lines get very long. And they're able to get water.


COOPER: Well, long lines are a fact of life in Haiti two weeks after the quake. You see them there. You see them outside Western Union. You see them outside of DigiCell, which is the cell phone company here.

So is this next story, though, a fact of life. Amid all the rubble, a race has begun to salvage what's left of the nation's garment industry. Now, before the quake, clothing factories were on the verge of a comeback, but the clock is running and the quake has been a major blow.

Christiane Amanpour has more.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Haitian workers at the Korean-owned Wilby's (ph) garment factory are punching back in, cutting, sewing, and sending a strong message to their retailers that businesses is back online.

Here, they make T-shirts for Gap and other well-known brands, like J.C. Penney, Old Navy.

Over the nose, Merleen (ph) tells us that she lost everything in the earthquake, and, without this job, she won't have anything for her children.

The T-shirt factories here in Port-au-Prince's industrial zone suffered little damage.

Unlike Georges Sassine Factory about a mile away. He's assessing what happened for the insurers. He makes shorts for the U.S. Sports and leisure market. He's covered, but he's worried.

GEORGES SASSINE, GARMENT FACTORY OWNER: The big danger for us is that the buyers start to look somewhere else for the production. Then we are dead, if that happens.

AMANPOUR: The retail pipeline waits for nothing and no one. So, Sassine's workers are busy dusting off rolls of fabric because they need to get to work again within 10 days, so that these new balance shorts can get to their Wal-Mart shelves.

Before the earthquake, Haiti's garment industry was on the verge of thriving, recovering from decades of dictatorship, coups, and a U.S. Embargo, which, in the name of restoring democracy here, destroyed an industry that had been supporting 130,000 jobs. But new U.S. legislation for Haiti, a major boon, allows in duty- free, quota-free imports. Major new foreign investment was scheduled just last week, and, by last year, the work force had climbed back to 28,000.

SASSINE: This year, we were planning on creating another 25,000 jobs, 50,000 jobs in 2011.

AMANPOUR: Significant employment, since each job-holder supports eight people.

And why is this product attractive to the U.S.? A low-wage work force comparable to China's, but on its own doorstep, and high-quality production, say economists. Sassine, who's also president of Haiti's manufacturing association, wants his country off life support. So, he's told his prime minister, USAID and anyone else who will listen that an immediate $25 million flexible loan is required to revive his industry.

SASSINE: This is a watershed moment for Haiti. Unfortunately, it costs very much in lives, but, at the same time, it offers to us Haitians an opportunity to get this country back on its right foot.

AMANPOUR: Instead of being condemned to the poverty trap of endless good intentions.


COOPER: It's amazing that the factory is still open and going. How much money do the workers make?

AMANPOUR: Well, the majority of them make above minimum wage. They make $4 a day. It doesn't sound much, but it's, again, $1 above minimum wage, and it's $2 more than the vast majority of the people here make.

COOPER: And so many people right now are out of work. And to have a job is a huge thing.

AMANPOUR: And that is vital. And you hear all the officials saying the biggest challenge now is to give some jobs and make some job creation.


AMANPOUR: And the garment industry could be the backbone of Haiti's economy.


COOPER: Certainly, in the construction, hopefully, there's going to be a lot of jobs.

Christiane, thanks.

Just ahead tonight: nine million Haitians, fewer than 2,000 Haitian doctors. Dr. Sanjay Gupta goes looking for the nation's healers.

And, later, our special report, the Stimulus Project, and a question: Why are signs going up touting how your tax dollars are being spent? We are "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.


COOPER: On CNN this week, we're devoting a lot of our airtime to the Stimulus Project, our network-wide investigation of how your money is being spent under the stimulus plan.

Today, the Congressional Budget Office revised the price tag to $862 billion. That's $75 billion more, mainly because of increased spending on food stamps and unemployment benefits due to the recession.

But the number that we're focusing on this week is $275 billion. That's what Washington is spending on projects it says will create jobs, your tax dollars footing the bill. So, what exactly are they buying? Where are these jobs?

Ali Velshi joins me from the stimulus desk in Atlanta -- Ali.

ALI VELSHI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, I'm sitting surrounded by 10 binders containing the details on 57,000 projects that the government is funding.

And it would be -- it would be funny if it weren't so serious. The reality is, these 57,000 projects are detailed in here, but not so much detail that we don't have to make phone calls to find out exactly what is going on.

So, this stimulus desk here is staffed with people who are making phone calls to find out where the money has gone and whether it's resulted in any jobs. Now, every time we take on a project and try and get an answer to it, we add it to our tally.

The total number of dollars under review right now by CNN, $1.9 billion, out of more than almost $300 billion that we're investigating.

Let's go to Tennessee. We're investigating two things right now that I'm going to tell you about in about 20 minutes. The first one is in Tennessee. It's the Southeastern Community Capital Corporation, $2 million grant allowing small businesses which are struggling to get some money to carry on.

We're going to find out how much money's been given out, how many businesses have benefited from that, and how many jobs have been created.

The other one is sort of in a number of states, but it's very interesting. And I think we might have a problem with this one. Even the White House thinks this one is a problem. This is for the purchase of picnic tables in four different states, four different kinds of picnic tables, plus grills and garbage cans for parks. I'm going to come back in just a little while and tell you the details of these projects, how the money's being spent and whether jobs are being created -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. We will see about those picnic tables.

We're following several other important stories right now.

Randi Kaye joins us with a 360 news and business bulletin -- Randi.

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, in Baghdad, a deadly car bombing outside Iraq's main crime lab, leaving it heavily damaged. At least 18 people were killed and 80 others hurt.

Here at home, a new prediction from the Congressional Budget Office: The federal budget deficit will be $600 billion each year for the next 10 years. And that is being optimistic.

Toyota is suspending U.S. sales of eight recalled models to fix accelerator pedals that stick. The company will also stop some production at five plants starting February 1 to assess the problem. This recall comes hard on the heels of other Toyota recalls for gas pedals that could get stuck under those floor mats -- Anderson.

COOPER: Wow. All right, Randi, thanks.

Just ahead: getting food to those who need it in Haiti, a crucial job. It's a top priority for aid groups, but a lot of quake survivors -- deliveries are not happening fast enough or often enough, people say. A lot of people are hungry here. Some fights are breaking out over food. Does the delivery system need reworking? We will talk to Karl Penhaul about that.

Also, a developing story ahead we're following out of Louisiana, where Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu's office phones were allegedly the target of a conservative activist and three others -- the latest details ahead.



COOPER: All over Port-au-Prince, you find groups handing out food. It's become a lot more organized.

This is a food distribution by a group called Action Against Hunger. Hundreds of people here, as you can tell, have lined up. They have been waiting for quite some time. They have a truck. Each one will get a box filled with high-protein biscuits that they can then take home to their family. And they're ready to eat. They don't need refrigeration. They don't need to be cooked. It's a high- protein meal that's ready to go.


COOPER: Feeding the survivors.

We were at one distribution yesterday you saw there, an encouraging sight, but not always -- two trucks of rice here today rushed by a crowd, Brazilian peacekeepers responding with pepper spray. We're going to see more of this chaos, more of the unrest, if the aid doesn't reach the men, women and kids who desperately need it.

My colleagues Gary Tuchman, Karl Penhaul, and Ivan Watson join me now.

Karl, you were at that scene. What was it like?

KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, initially, we got wind of it because we saw literally hundreds and thousands of people running three city blocks to get -- following this aid.

And when it started to be given out, from the experience of the previous day, these people knew there was enough aid to get around. They saw two trucks only. That generated a huge pushing against the barricades. People started to get crushed, started to get trampled. And so the Brazilians stepped in with that pepper spray.

And, of course, that made it worse. These people showed up for something to eat, and they end up choking on pepper spray.

COOPER: Ivan, have you been surprised at how orderly things are, though? That seems more the exception than the rule, certainly, that we have seen.

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Today, I saw missionaries unloading a couple hundred pounds of food off a plane, and they were surrounded by hundreds of people. And not everybody got food, but nobody got violent. It was pretty calm, even though there were only a handful of unarmed missionaries.

COOPER: Right.

Gary, what did you do -- what did you do today?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We went to this forgotten and ignored village. It's called Bourdon. And it's village that you can't drive to. You have to hike down a mountain because it's in this breathtaking valley.

And the government of Haiti tried to condemn the village because it was dangerous because of mudslides before this earthquake. Needless to say, a lot of people died. The bodies are still there. And there's been no aid.

What is that?

COOPER: It's fine. It's fine.

TUCHMAN: Yes. It looks like we had a little power surge or something.

COOPER: Yes. No, no, it's -- a power line fell, so all the lines are moving, so a lot of people went running. So, it's fine.

TUCHMAN: Yes. We have had a lot of interesting experiences standing in front the crowds here since we have been here.

COOPER: That's right. Yes.


TUCHMAN: As many of you recall, the first night, we had people running down the streets, thousand of them...


TUCHMAN: ... because they thought a tsunami was coming.


TUCHMAN: And it turned out to be an ugly rumor.

COOPER: Yes. No, it's fine.

Occasionally, the power lines fall, and it kind of shakes things up a little bit.

Sit back down.


TUCHMAN: Yes, I will sit back down.


COOPER: All right.


TUCHMAN: But it's amazing. There are still -- I mean, there are thousands of people in this park.


TUCHMAN: And they have been there for two weeks now.


TUCHMAN: It's incredible.

COOPER: Is there any sense of -- I know there was talk, I remember, a week ago about moving people out of town to kind of a central location. Do you guys hear this anymore?

TUCHMAN: Well, that's what I was just talking about. Because there is -- the government has a plan to move hundreds of thousands of people into tracks of land outside the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. So these people who live in this smaller village, they wanted to get out. They don't think it's safe. But I asked them, "Do you know about the scheme? Do you know about the plan the government has to move you and people like you to these huge, empty tracks of land."

"We never heard about it before." It's not being communicated.

COOPER: It does seem, Karl, that there's not much communication from the central government. And they say they're using radio, but you don't see political leaders out on the streets, rallying people and talking to people. Yes, no, really, we've seen none of that. And the other key issue is, of course, the number of tents. Where are these people going to be housed? How long is it going to take to build that, even if they do stake out those tracts of land. And this is what too many people today, aid workers today, it was even a key thing now, to at least get some temporary shelters, some temporary tents there. Not just these sheets we've seen out here.

At the first sign of rain, this is going to be a very different picture. I get the sense that people are getting much more desperate as the days go by, not only for shelter but also for food, because the small stockpiles they had are dwindling. And we get the first rains on top of that, it could be a very different picture.

COOPER: There's a lot of concern about rain. A lot of houses are perched on hillsides that have been denuded of any kind of shrubbery to stop mud from sliding. So if rains come, certainly for in the people in the camps, you know, it's going to be miserable.

IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It raises terrible questions about sanitation. There's question about sanitation in these camps. They're going to be wading through mud, it would be a nightmare.

COOPER: In terms of water, what have you guys seen? Most people do not have access to clean or fresh drinking water unless it's either handed out or in sort of these large pumps that have been set up by aid groups?

WATSON: I may just spin it into a different direction. I did look at efforts to try to get power back, to turn the lights back on in this town yesterday. And the direction of trying to get power back, to turn the lights back in this town yesterday.

We did see municipal workers out, really hard at work. They've been at work for more than a week, trying to get the substations working again, predicting that, in about eight days, they could get power going again. So that's a big step forward, right? The city is dark right now.

The problem is, is that the initial electric power stations were so bad and poorly neglected that they could only supply about eight hours of power a day to any given neighborhood in this city.

COOPER: Right. We've got to leave it there. I've been watching. Karl Penhaul, Gary Tuchman, appreciate it. Thanks very much.

Coming up, a chance to heal. A Haitian medical student, his school was destroyed, but he remains determine to help others. Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to this inspiring person, coming up next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

COOPER: Take a look at these images, what a lot of Port-au- Prince looks like, two weeks after the quake, even before the quake hit. Haiti's medical system was really overwhelmed with too-few doctors and other medical professionals. And now the next generation of doctors in Haiti is in limbo. The quake destroyed all the medical schools in Port-au-Prince, stranding students midway through their studies.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta look into that problem.


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So you would have been in class that day, but you weren't. If you had been in class, I think everybody probably would have died.


GUPTA (voice-over): But they very much lived, and now they have all the vitality of youth. Ricardo and Paul-Robert. They're best friends. They have matching bags, inseparable. Now, they're on their way to being Haiti's future healers.

(on camera) The way it works is you go to primary school. Then you go to secondary school. And then the very best students of all go to medical school for seven years. Paul-Robert was in his fifth year. He was this close to being the first person in his family to ever becoming a doctor when this all happened.

That's where you used to sit?


GUPTA: Right over there.

DERENONCOURT: On the other side.

GUPTA: When you look at your school now, what are you going to do? What is your plan?

DERENONCOURT: hen I see my medical school cut up, it's a bad thing for us.

GUPTA: What kind of doctor do you want to be?

DERENONCOURT: I want to be an internist.

GUPTA: He would be one of fewer than 2,000 doctors in the entire country of nine million people.

(on camera) That's the only thing that's still standing, is -- is the front wall over there.

DERENONCOURT: Yes. One of the things that. GUPTA (voice-over): Many would look at Paul-Robert and say he's lucky. His mother survived the earthquake, siblings, as well. But now it is his very future that hangs in the balance.

(on camera) So what will you do? What are you going to do next year? What are you going to do the year after that?

DERENONCOURT: First, I'll be in -- I will -- I'm going to spend my time to see what I can do for the country.

GUPTA: So you're saying many of the medical schools here in Haiti are destroyed or broken?


GUPTA: So you may have to leave your country?

DERENONCOURT: Maybe, I don't know.

GUPTA (voice-over): That's pretty bad news, considering how poor medicine was to begin with here in Haiti.

(on camera) Here's a number that sort of surprised me. Even under typical circumstances, Haiti only graduates 80 medical doctors a year, every single year. Think about that. In a country of nine million people, giving Haiti one of the lowest physician-to-patient ratios anywhere in the world.

And with this, obviously those numbers get a lot worse.

(voice-over) But for the time being, there is a lot of compassion here. Doctors from all over the world come to help.

(on camera) What happens when they leave?

DERENONCOURT: If they leave, I think it will be very difficult for us.

GUPTA (voice-over): But what we know is eventually Haiti's medical care and really Haiti's future will fall squarely on the shoulders of these kids, kids like Ricardo and Paul-Robert.


COOPER: I had no idea there were so -- I mean, I knew it was under staffed for medical care, but I mean, what was it, 2,000 doctors in a country of 9 million people?

GUPTA: It's unbelievable. I mean, it is one of the lowest physician-to-patient ratios in the world. Only about 2 percent of people actually finish secondary school here, as well. I mean, that's what happens when so much of the country is impoverished. People are getting into trade labor early on in life and simply not finishing school.

COOPER: And what about international doctors? Can they help with this?

GUPTA: Yes. They certainly can help. There's a significant number of doctors who will leave Haiti, go train somewhere else, and come back. In fact, a couple of doctors I met this week, these two general surgery twins actually went to France. They trained there. Very well trained surgeons. They wanted to come back and live in Haiti.

But still, there's just simply not enough doctors. And what's happened here is that not only has the number of hospitals gone down, but the likelihood of creating a new generation of doctors from Haiti itself is really very limited, and I don't know how you solve that problem for sure. I mean, it's amazing.

COOPER: You're not going to have a new generation of doctors, and yet, you are going to have a new generation of patients in need, of amputees, of -- of orphans. I mean, the societal structure is going to change drastically.

GUPTA: Demand has gone way up. Supply has gone way down. I think, if the international aid can make some sort of commitment -- this is something you and I talked about quite a bit. There is a venting of compassion going on right now. People will stick around for the next month or so.

COOPER: Right.

GUPTA: But because of what we're talking about, that need is going to be there for a very long time.

GUPTA: All right, Sanjay. Appreciate it. Thanks, Sanjay.

Still ahead, we have some good news about Monley, the 5-year-old boy, who he was rescued from the rubble after his uncle says eight days. We're been following his story closely. A new development in that ahead.

And Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu's office was allegedly targeted by a conservative activist and three accomplices. The FBI says they posed as telephone repairmen, pretending to manipulate the phone system. Joe Johns is looking into that, ahead.


COOPER: In "Raw Politics," tonight a developing story we're following out of Louisiana. The FBI says that four people, including a conservative activist, were arrested and charged with trying to tamper with the phone system at the district office of Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. Here you see three of the men.

Joe Johns has been working the story. Joe, it sounds like something out of a movie. What's going on?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bizarre, really, Anderson. The Democrats calling it the Louisiana Watergate. But one source who's already gotten a readout says it sounds more like a scene from "Saturday Night Live."

The court records say a guy walks into the office of United States Senator Mary Landrieu in a federal building in New Orleans, says he's waiting for someone to show up, and then he takes out a cell phone and starts recording pictures after two other guys walk in.

The two other guys are all dressed up in outfits. They've got hard hats, tool belts, fluorescent vests. One source told us they looked like they were ready to go down in manholes, or at least that's what that source was told.

Then these guys start checking out the office phone desk and the phone there. They claim they've got to do some repairs. One things leads to the next. A building staffer asks them for credentials. A total of four guys end up getting arrested.

One of them is James O'Keefe. Now, he's believed to be the same James O'Keefe in those controversial undercover videos -- we have the tape -- where he dressed up like a pimp and embarrassed the ACORN community organization, went looking for advice and got it. We all remember that, Anderson.

COOPER: So do we know what the motivation was behind this? I mean, why -- why Senator Landrieu?

JOHNS: It's still just really not clear. I don't think there's anybody who believes that the result was going to be flattering to Senator Landrieu.

She did put out a statement tonight, and she said it's very unusual, somewhat unsettling for her and her staff. She said she is as interested as anybody else about learning their motives and purpose and said she hopes it will become clear as this investigation goes forward.

Whatever the story is, Anderson, these guys are in big trouble. Potentially, they're charged with entering a federal building under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony, and if convicted, they could get ten years in prison.

COOPER: Wow, ten years.

Joe, before we let you go, the other big political story tonight, obviously, President Obama's State of the Union address. A lot's at stake for him. What do you hear in terms of what we should expect? I mean, there's always a lot of hoopla about State of the Union addresses. I'm not sure anybody actually remembers any president's State of the Union addresses much beyond a day or two.

JOHNS: Yes, that's true. But in a lot of ways, this is a dramatic moment for this president. You know, it's only been a year. His political opponents have been giving him absolute fits on that signature domestic issue, health care, of course.

You've got anger in the country, the congressional midterm elections on the way. So we know he's going to try to sell a spending freeze. We know he's going to address jobs, the economy, health care. The question probably is how far is he going to go to show independent voters he feels their pain, if you will. Because as we know, every time he moves toward the middle, the liberals just get a little bit more impatient with him.

COOPER: Joe, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

It's interesting. We've got actually kind of a crowd of people, actually walking down the street singing. We're not sure what it's about. It looks, actually, like sort of a religious procession. We actually see that a lot in Port-au-Prince these days, a lot of people just publicly expressing their faith, a sign of hope, a sign of strength. We're just seeing that right now.

I'm not sure -- is this camera picking that up? Anyway, just one of the many things you see throughout the day and night here in Port- au-Prince.

Coming up, is it a case of highway robbery? Road signs promoting the stimulus plan, you're paying for them, but how does it actually create jobs? We're "Keeping Them Honest."

And later the future for 5-year-old Monley Elysse, saved from the rubble here in Haiti. What happens to him next? Well, we might have some ideas ahead.


COOPER: Well, as you know, President Obama says that the stimulus plan is working, that jobs are being created, the economy is recovering. That's his promise, but is it actually true? He's expected to talk about the economic recovery in the State of the Union address tomorrow night.

Now all this week, we're taking a look at the stimulus projects, digging for answers to try to give you the facts. Ali Velshi joins us again to tell us about a couple of government projects, including one even the White House thinks made absolutely no sense -- Ali.

ALI VELSHI, CNN ANCHOR: Yes. You know, when we check on these, Anderson. We're making phone calls. When we can't really understand why one of these stimulus projects got funded, we are in touch with the White House or the vice president's office, and on one of them, and I'll tell you about that in a second, even they admit doesn't make sense.

Fifty-seven-thousand projects. Here are the details right here. We're poring through this at the CNN stimulus desk. Now, every time we identify a project that we're -- we're looking at, we put a mark on this map. The yellow marks are locations of projects that we are -- are under investigation. The green marks are locations where we have some resolution to the problem.

Let me tell you about two that I told you about earlier in the hour. One is a $2 million grant to the Southeast Community Capital Corporation of Nashville, Tennessee.

Now what this is, is it's money that goes to small businesses that are having trouble raising money because of tightened credit markets. They say they've received $8.7 million in requests. They've committed $500,000 of the $2 million that they've been promised. The money goes to help small businesses that are having trouble.

Here's one example. In Loudoun County, they said a nurse practitioner who had a one-room clinic in the small town of Loudoun, Tennessee, is looking to expand, because she's got more patients coming.

She was turned down for a loan by a bank. But she's getting a loan through this stimulus grant. And she's got two additional exam rooms and two part-time nurses assistants.

Here's the other one I'm telling you about, Anderson. This one's a little trickier. See, that's a picnic table. This is a story of $110,000 in stimulus grant money, the Army Corps of Engineers buying picnic tables from a company called R.J. Thomas in Iowa.

Get this. We talked to R.J. Thomas. They said they've been selling picnic tables -- they'd be selling picnic tables to the Army Corps of Engineers for years, and the difference is they have used stimulus dollars to buy coated picnic tables in Illinois, aluminum picnic tables in Missouri, wooden-aluminum picnic tables in Washington state, and trash receptacles, grills, and wood-top picnic tables in Ohio.

We talked to the vice president's office. They say this purchase was not in line with the high standards that the administration has set for the stimulus bill -- Anderson.

COOPER: Yes, it doesn't sound like. I mean, credit for small businesses, you can see how that would be a use of public funds. But the other project, not so much.

VELSHI: Yes, not so much. Exactly.

COOPER: Ali...

VELSHI: That's exactly what we found out.

COOPER: All right, Ali, thanks.

We found one stimulus project that to many sounds like a huge waste of money. Maybe you've seen it. It's on highway signs across the country, signs that shamelessly promote the government's recovery plan. That message, how exactly does it fix the economy? Randi Kaye tonight is "Keeping Them Honest."


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We're on our way to see how Ohio is spending your stimulus money. Our tour guide is Republican state Senator Tim Grendell, and he is seriously P.O'd. Why? Because of signs like this. The bigger signs cost up to $3,000. So Ohio is using stimulus money to tell you how it's using your stimulus money.

TIM GRENDELL (R), OHIO STATE SENATOR: Send a fruit basket if you want to say thank you. But don't send a million dollars to Ohio says Ohio is spending $1 million on signs. The Ohio department of transportation says this is all about transparency.

KAYE: Grendell says Ohio is getting $1 million on signs. The Ohio Department of Transportation says this is all about transparency.

Taxpayers want to know how their tax dollars are being spent. And this is how they tell them. Is there a better way?

GRENDELL: Listen, the message is, it's being spent stupidly.

O'REILLY: Why spend $1 million on signage? "Keeping Them Honest," we asked Scott Varner at the Ohio Department of Transportation.

If the Federal Highway Administration doesn't require these signs but only recommends them, why use them?

SCOTT WARNER, OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: The president made the commitment to have these symbols as part of stimulus funded projects.

KAYE: But they're not required.

WARNER: They are not required.

KAYE: And they do cost money.

WARNER: What better way to let a taxpayer know where stimulus funds are being invested?

KAYE (voice-over): Warner says the $1 million price tag for signs is, quote, "on the high end," so when we asked him so how much does it cost, he didn't know.

(on camera) Shouldn't there be some kind of accounting, though, for some kind of figuring out what this might cost, as to opposed to we don't -- we don't really know, there's no way to tell?

WARNER: It is not typical for any state Department of Transportation to have the exact cost on every single construction sign.

KAYE: The money for the signs amounts to about .10 percent of Ohio's federal stimulus dollars for roadwork. But stimulus money was supposed to fund projects, not advertise them. And the Obama information promised stimulus would create jobs.

(voice-over) Which brings us here to East Lake, Ohio. This man is the mayor, a Democrat, and he's also angry about the signs, because for a bit more than the cost of the signs, they could have fixed this road and he says that would have created more than two dozen jobs.

(on camera) Do you think those signs are a waste of money?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes. We could have easily done Internet or advertising in newspapers and taken that million dollars. See, what I think the problem is, is sometimes our politicians don't understand what a million dollars is.

KAYE: Just off Interstate 77 here in Cleveland, there's supposed to be a road paving project underway. Well, we looked around. We didn't find any paving yet, but we did find a sign pointing out that your tax dollars will be paying for the project. It seems before they even start the work, the priority is to get that sign in place.

(voice-over) Turns out most states are spending stimulus money on signs which could cost taxpayers nationwide $3.8 million. But we called every state and found at least 16 states are skipping the signs and using the money for projects instead.

GRENDELL: At the end of the day, as a public official, we're accountable for accountable for 100 cents on the dollar. We shouldn't waste one penny. We shouldn't waste five pennies. We should use it where it will best benefit the taxpayers.

KAYE: And that may not be on the side of the road.


KAYE: Now, the signs themselves aren't exactly a stimulus project, but they are, of course, using about one million stimulus dollars, so we wondered, how much jobs this actually created. Turns out making the road signs and posting them on the road did not create any jobs at all, zero. That is according to the contractors we spoke with. Our tax dollars at work, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Randi, thanks. "Keeping Them Honest." Tomorrow morning can a 5.5 million resort town restoration project be a good use of stimulus aid? Find out why one woman is grateful the government is spending the money. You can follow CNN's weeklong look at the stimulus plan online, see what the investigation reveals. It's go to or

We have an update to tell you about. It's about a 5-year-old boy, Monley, pulled from the risen. story coming up about a little boy Monley rescued from the rubble last week. His story has touched a lot of people's hearts around the world.

Monley's parents perished in the quake. It's a picture of Monley and his dad. We learned tonight that Monley's aunt wants to adopt him. Her name is Gina Elysse. She lives in Florida. She spoke to CNN earlier today. Listen.


GINA ELYSEE, AUNT OF MONLEY: I'm sad because of my loss. But I feel happy because I lost my aunt, my sister, my brother and my sister-in-law and I thought Monley was one of them too. When I see him, I feel good because I see he's alive. I have Monley, you know? I feel good.


COOPER: Monley also has two little brothers. We're not sure what's going to happen exactly. We'll try to keep on top of it.

More from here on the top of the hour on the search for missing Americans. We'll be right back.