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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Humanitarian Crisis in Haiti Escalates; Haitian Adoptions in Limbo; Chaos as Food Aid Arrives; Doctors Asked to Evacuate Hospital Due to Security Concerns; Dead Dumped in Mass Graves
Aired January 15, 2010 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: 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, aid 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 whose -- 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 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You can hear her voice sometimes -- is an 11-year-old girl named Anaika Saint Louis. She's pinned underneath this rubble. And the -- the volunteers here are snaking through a hose right now to give her some drinking water. She is about 10 feet away.
And you can see the braids of this little girl's hair. I talked with her. She's wearing glasses and she is crying. She is in a lot of pain right now, and she is terribly scared.
This little girl -- it is kind of heartbreaking to hear this, because she's pinned there, Don. Her right leg is underneath the concrete, and her hands are free and her leg is free, and she is talking to us.
They are trying to give her some drinking water right now, and they have 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 who probably did not survive. They're desperately trying to figure out how to get her out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: She was rescued.
Last night on this program, Ivan, you said that they were going to take her to a first aid clinic.
What happened today?
WATSON: Last night, after arriving in 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. They say -- he says that she probably wouldn't be able to handle the grief. She would go insane from that because of all the relatives that have been lost and the loved ones. And he says that her last words -- this was in French -- (SPEAKING FRENCH), which means, "Mother, don't let me die."
COOPER: Those are the last things she said?
WATSON: Yes. And, you know, it's -- it's really hard to -- it's a...
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 -- that perhaps something that back home in the U.S. somebody could -- an injury that could be -- it could perhaps treatable, here, it's a life- or-death matter, and it just didn't work out for this little girl, unfortunately.
COOPER: Ivan, appreciate the reporting. Thank you very much for that update.
This is one of those stories which is -- 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 -- 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, the battleship, the aircraft carrier that's off the port, the Coast Guard cutters that are off the port, the aid that 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 will 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 now live from that hospital.
Sanjay, it's -- these doctors just got there today. What happened?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR 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 had been waiting for, for some time. You and I talked about this quite a bit.
Come with me 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 patients just lined up all through here. Some of them did get care throughout the day today. In fact, about a couple 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're leaving.
Anderson, it's kind of dark out. I don't know if you can see over there, but trucks actually are going to going to be taking these doctors and nurses way.
What is so striking to me, as a physician, Anderson, and reporting the story for some time now, is that patients who just had surgery, patients who are critically ill are essentially left being here, nobody to care for them. It's really just hard to believe what's happening right now.
COOPER: How -- how bad can the security situation be? 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 have 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 have just received, again, major operations on this operating table over here right behind me are essentially just being left here.
They have I.V.s hanging. Literally, one of the doctors came over to me a little while ago and said, here is where the I.V. bags are. Here's where the stethoscope is. We have to go.
And that's -- they have to go. And they -- 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 their patients. But they are being told to go.
COOPER: I'm sure those doctors and nurses want to stay. It's in their -- 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, you know, there's 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, we have just 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 a town called Milot, which is 80 miles north of Port-au-Prince near Cap-Haitien. We're told -- I haven't seen this with my own eyes, but we're told that it is fully operational, can take several hundred patients from Port-au-Prince. It's got two fully equipped operating rooms, 2,100 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 on 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 fingertip, within the reach, and people here all day have been watching, seeing U.S. ships offshore, and yet not seeing it sort of trickle down to the street level.
And there's -- there's good reason for all of that, and logistical problems. And I'm not impugning the motives of anybody or the absolutely of anybody, but it's just 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 sees the story. Their interpreter saves the day. It's an incredible story of survival and faith.
We will be right back.
COOPER: Today, a remarkable thing occurred.
You know, we have all been told that three days is about the limit 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 and saved a young life, look.
COOPER (voice-over): For those who have 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.
DEIBY CELESTINO, RESCUED LITTLE GIRL: 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: Deiby, do you think you can get close enough to the baby?
CELESTINO: We are 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: Get some water.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Water, water, water.
Get some water.
Here, baby. 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 (ph). She's just 18 months old, covered in dust. She's stunned, but seems uninjured.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to get a doctor.
COOPER: They give her water and put her in her uncle's arms. They're the 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.
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?
CELESTINO: Actually, not at all.
I mean, it's just a little girl calling to -- for somebody to save her. And we have to do what we got to do. It was a human thing.
COOPER: There were trained people there who were taking a lot of time, worried and concerned. You just -- you just went right in.
CELESTINO: I mean, it's like I said. I have babies myself. It's like, if you're hear any human being, especially a little baby, you know, 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 talk -- able to talk to any family in the Dominican Republic and let them know what you did today? Or -- you should be like a hero in the Dominican Republic.
CELESTINO: No, I haven't -- 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 have got family in New York. You've got kids, right?
CELESTINO: Yes, I do.
COOPER: Well, do you want to tell -- if they're watching, do you want to send a message to your family?
CELESTINO: Oh, they know I love them.
Dad is here. Hopefully, I will see them soon.
COOPER: What's it like being here? I mean, to someone who has never been seen before, who has never seen this kind of stuff, what's it like?
CELESTINO: Being in Port-au-Prince?
COOPER: Here, yes, now.
CELESTINO: It's a very special experience, especially after what I lived today. It's just amazing.
COOPER: It changes you?
CELESTINO: A lot, definitely, 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 I wasn't -- if we wasn't there, the crew that I'm with, because I'm with the Australian news people, if we will 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: You know, what can I say? God put me there at that time.
COOPER: Well, I'm glad he did. I'm glad he did. Thank you so much.
CELESTINO: Thank you so much.
COOPER: It's really a pleasure.
CELESTINO: My pleasure.
COOPER: Deiby Celestino.
Up next: a story about an orphanage fighting tough odds and a couple back in America trying to find out news of one of their kids who is at that orphanage -- their story ahead.
COOPER: According to 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.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Survivors of the Haiti earthquake, 25 little children who live 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 the 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 in Pittsburgh, Jamie and Ali McMutrie, who have 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.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. Right.
TUCHMAN: What do they say?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don't care.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, sorry.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): 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. bureaucracy.
However, for these children now:
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don't exist anymore. They...
TUCHMAN: Why is that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: their paperwork was in government offices downtown. And their offices are crumbled.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, there's -- that -- 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.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 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: 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, you know, what it must be like for little kids to be going through all this.
Now, they're -- they're terrified, the older kids. Obviously, the babies don't know what's going on. But they have 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 have 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're very scared.
COOPER: It's -- it's, again, just one of those unbelievable situations in a city which, you know, the unbelievable is -- 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 who -- that they have taken into their hearts who they're waiting -- waiting to see.
We will 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 at 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 guest are a family that needs to be reunited as well, Ross Haskell and -- and Jean Griffith. They are in the process of adopting a little Haitian boy named Alexander David (ph), 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 runs 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)
QUESTION: So who is this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is Alexander.
QUESTION: How is he doing?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's doing good. He's -- everybody's kind of the same now, or 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. You know, they're little babies, so they don't -- 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 -- 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 have 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 were 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: Jeanne, how are you holding up?
JEAN GRIFFITH, ADOPTING HAITIAN BABY: What I'm seeing my son do right now is what -- 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 Ali, but there are only so much that -- 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 mean, I'm sure your impulse is to just to try to get down here as quick as you can. I don't know if you have been advised not to or what your thinking is on that. But what's the next step for you?
HASKELL: Well, Anderson, as much as we would 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 know, you had a report earlier that said something about stupid deaths. I really believe that, if we do not evacuate these -- 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? I mean, what was the process of, that you know, he came to be part of your family?
JEAN GRIFFITH, ADOPTING HAITIAN BABY: 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.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
GRIFFITH: Thank you.
COOPER: Stay strong.
Got a quick program note. We are -- 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 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. There's -- this story is too important. What is happening here is not a story. I mean, 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 -- to very chaotic situations. It can lead to very 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.
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 worse off people are.
So these Bolivian peacekeepers basically just 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.
Well that's what it looks like when things go well. Relief efforts are being hampered by a destroyed port, a damaged airport. FAA actually grounded all U.S. flights to Haiti today, because there was no place to land.
The 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 CORRESPONDENT: We're in the back of the 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 -- 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 like 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: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's OK, it's good like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pas bon. Not good.
LAWRENCE: What is wrong with the -- what is wrong with the biscuits? Why don't people want to eat them?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's bad. It's bad.
LAWRENCE: What's happening is they're confusing the date that it -- 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: 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: Yes. 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, 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 situations there's usually, like, one or two troublemakers who kind of start pushing around the crowd, and kind of spreading false messages.
LAWRENCE: Yes. 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: And it doesn't need refrigeration.
LAWRENCE: No, no, no.
COOPER: It doesn't need preparation, and it's got a lot of nutrients.
LAWRENCE: 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, so that everyone would drop their possessions. And 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 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: Yes. And this is a country where, you know, for decades right has often made right. You know, sorry, what's the saying?
COOPER: Might. 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, not that the supplies are here. How do you get that out to these huge crowds without things like that happening, without people pushing, shoving, 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 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 -- OK, Sanjay's actually treating people and helping people right now. So we'll try to check in, but 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 we can. We'll try check in with him if it doesn't interrupt any treatment.
Still ahead, we're going to take you -- we learned today what is happening 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 again, we don't want to interrupt anybody's treatment. So bear with us on that.
One of the things we've noticed, of course, is that in the last 24 hours, they started to collect bodies off the streets. And we've seen them loaded into dump trucks but haven't seen where they were taking the bodies. And there were a lot of rumors floating around town today, as often happens here.
The government is now saying that they have buried some 7,000 people. I'm not sure how -- 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 how -- 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 (voice-over): 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.
(on camera) 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.
(voice-over) There is a bulldozer here, but no one is in it. This is not a place where the living stay long.
(on camera) 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 -- so eerie. You're in this field, and it's incredibly quiet. All you hear is the wind blowing, and the buzzing of flies.
(voice-over) We saw at least 100 bodies clearly visible. It's likely hundreds more lie under these mounds.
(on camera) In order to find the spot we followed a dump truck that seemed to be filled with debris when we first glanced at it. The truck has left, but this is what they dumped out. And once you get closer you realize that it's -- yes, there is debris there, but it's actually human remains. It's the debris that was used to wrap the people. Looks like there's a refrigerator over there. There was actually a refrigerator, someone who was put in that. They must have used that to carry the corpse.
(voice-over) The government of Haiti says they've already buried some 7,000 people, but how accurate their numbers are is hard to tell.
(on camera) In Sri Lanka in the wake of tsunami there I saw a lot of mass graves. That's how most of the 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's nothing like that. There's 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.
(voice-over) 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: The body truck actually just passed by where our live shot position is, and the smell literally just now completely enveloped the street, people on the street are trying to cover their mouths as best they can, as is our entire crew.
I want to quickly go to where Sanjay is, at the hospital where the doctors have just left, the doctors who just arrived today. Apparently -- Sanjay, are you the only doctor left there right now?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, yes, I mean the U.N. came and said they were going to evacuate these doctors and nurses, and a lot of the supplies, as well, to another location. So they literally have left these patients with very limited supplies. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) today. It's a pretty stunning thing that we're seeing here, Anderson, I've got to tell you.
COOPER: Did we just lose Sanjay? Yes. I think -- OK. We just lost Sanjay. We're showing you video. The buses, apparently, I guess have -- when the medical personnel arrived today. That's them having left the hospital.
We're having some technical problems getting back in touch with Sanjay. We'll try to get back in touch with him before the program ends tonight.
But, 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. I have no doubt that there is, and the world has responded to the catastrophe. But people are dying. People died today. People died yesterday. People will die tomorrow. 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 good so much 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 who 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 actually 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, I.V.s. They need to be monitored. They are 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 will 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 have 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.