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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
BP Continues Testing Oil Well; Haiti: Six Months Later; Protecting Coastal Wetlands
Aired July 16, 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: Good evening from the Gulf, day 88 of the spill.
And there have been some key developments in the last 48 hours. There's also important news from Haiti, six months after the earthquake.
That is just ahead.
But, first, Randi Kaye has the latest on BP's critical test of its ruptured well, now in its second day -- Randi.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, all eyes on the Gulf floor and that pressure gauge up above showing whether this well and the seafloor around it can take the strain. An evening and a day since they shut off the oil, pressure readings are somewhat lower than optimal, but not apparently a clear-cut danger sign.
BP executive Kent Wells saying pressure keeps building, but slowly, and with no indication the well is in trouble and no leaking oil anywhere they can see. They have got four robot subs down there checking on it, so, two possibilities now. A hidden leak could be keeping the pressure somewhat low, or it could just be that so much oil has already leaked out, it's taking longer for that pressure to build up.
In any case, BP and federal officials are expected to reassess throughout the night whether to keep those valves shut, or open them up again and start collecting oil on tankers and possibly venting some of it once again into the Gulf waters.
Meantime, when it comes to damage already done, word today that BP has now paid out more than $200 million in damages to about 32,000 people in the Gulf.
With me to talk about that, the testing, and what happens next, Clint Guidry -- he's the president of Louisiana Shrimpers Association -- also, "Newsweek" contributing editor Julia Reed, author of "The House on First Street: My New Orleans Story."
Julia, let's start with you.
Good to see you both.
JULIA REED, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, "NEWSWEEK": Thank you. (CROSSTALK)
KAYE: I want to talk to you about this new poll that is out tonight, a new Gallup poll about the huge drop-off in public interest -- in there in this spill. The percentage of public naming the natural disaster relief as the country's top priority has dropped, from June, 18 percent to, July, 7 percent.
So, are we seeing what you might call spill fatigue setting in? And are you concerned about that?
REED: Well, of course we're concerned about that. And I'm not sure it's spill fatigue, because it was never hugely high on people's radar, including the administration's, which I have been complaining about from the get-go.
And what concerns me is, since the cap is on -- I was in New York this morning, big headlines, like, the spill is gone. You know, it's a take on the B.B. King...
KAYE: That's exactly what you don't want.
REED: Yes, exactly. So, it's like, OK, we fixed it now.
I mean, even if this works, which, as you just, we don't even -- we're a long way from knowing that, there's still millions and millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf. And people's livelihoods are still being hammered.
I mean, I think one thing that has got people disinterested in it is because nobody, unless they're down here on the ground, realizes how incredibly far-reaching the economic repercussions are.
KAYE: Especially -- Clint, I mean, you're a shrimper -- a shrimper, a fisherman. You know, even with the cap now on there, the oil still coming out, you know that the repercussions, even if that is capped very soon for good, the repercussions are going to go on for years.
CLINT GUIDRY, PRESIDENT, LOUISIANA SHRIMPERS ASSOCIATION: Exactly. That's exactly what we don't know. You know, how long is this going to go on, this huge experiment that's been going on in the Gulf of Mexico? Nobody knows.
And we have had a lot gambled with our future and our culture. You know, like -- it's just like putting a Band-Aid on a dead man right now. I mean, I'm excited that it stopped, but the mess is there. The damage is done.
KAYE: Well, BP announced today that they have paid out now $200 million in claims. Is that enough for you? Are the fishermen getting what they need? GUIDRY: No, no, no. You know, that's -- that's a false impression. When you use, you know, $200 million, that sounds like a lot of money. But you're talking about shutting down a whole industry. And it's $200 million Gulf-wide. And that's probably including the cost of your motels, your hotels and just all your business places. It's not a lot of money. It's really not a lot of money.
REED: No, and well -- and well beyond Louisiana.
I mean, you know, I totally feel your pain and the pain of folks here, but how do you compensate a guy in, say -- who owns a house in Seaside, Florida, where beaches are still pristine, but -- but nobody is renting them because they were scared to put a deposit down in May? I mean, how do you pay that guy back?
REED: I mean, just there's so many intangibles. And the main is, like you said, we don't have any idea how long this is going to go. And it could be years.
KAYE: Right. And as far as the claims go, you said people have about six months to make a decision whether or not they're going to go with this and then agree not to sue BP again?
GUIDRY: Exactly. That's what Mr. Feinberg...
KAYE: Six months. You don't know what you could earn well after that.
GUIDRY: You know, you're trying to -- you're trying to predict the future on what your claims are going to be. And I think it's ridiculous. We need a better system than that.
KAYE: What do you think about the president, with his family, vacationing in May? Mrs. Obama was down here this week, saying, people, come on down, encouraging folks to come down here to Louisiana and the rest of the Gulf. Yet, they went up north for a vacation.
REED: Well, he may be smart because I'm not sure how popular he would be down here.
REED: But, I mean, listen, the president needs to vacation wherever he wants to. I want him to get his head straight and have a lot of rest.
But what I would rather him do is come down here and really, instead of just the four very brief trips he's made, and really understand what's happening on the ground. I mean, the disconnect between Washington and what's happening here is still huge.
The Gulf -- you know, the commission to -- to, you know, sort of suss out the moratorium has only...
REED: ... was only down here for three days, and they figured it out in three days, because they were listening to people.
REED: You know, and even Bob Brown (ph) is like, whoa, the disconnect, which is what we have been talking about on this very spot for months.
REED: And the president has still got it. And he's not going to learn very much more in Maine.
KAYE: All right, Julia, Clint, thank you both. Good discussion.
GUIDRY: Thank you.
KAYE: Good to see you both tonight.
There is much more ahead tonight. For that, let's hand it back to Anderson.
COOPER: Randi, thanks.
Coming up: mayday in the Gulf, an exclusive interview with the fisherman who heard the call for help from the Deepwater Horizon and rushed to the scene to save lives -- their words ahead.
Plus, what I found when I returned to Sean Penn's tent camp in Haiti. It's home to some 55,000 earthquake survivors. And their struggles are only getting harder.
COOPER: Yesterday afternoon, BP did something it hadn't been able to do since April 20. It stopped the flow of oil into the Gulf. This is what we have all been waiting for, of course, and hoping for.
But the question is, will it last? And, if so, what does it mean for the Gulf and for a disaster that's far from over?
James Carville had plenty to stay about it. The Democratic strategist and New Orleans resident joined me earlier.
COOPER: When you first saw the image of the well without oil coming out, what went through your mind? JAMES CARVILLE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's good.
I mean, that's -- it's really good. But exactly 68 years ago, in July of 1942 was the Battle of El Alamein. And after that, Churchill famously said, this is the end of the beginning. And if you want to make a context, learn World War II, and this is the Battle of El Alamein. We haven't had the Italian campaign yet. We haven't had the Battle of the Bulge. We haven't had the D-Day invasion. We haven't had the any -- Stalingrad or anything else.
This is good. It was good that we won, the Allies won El Alamein, and Montgomery, did. But this -- in a historical context, this is just the end of the beginning. That's it.
COOPER: Does it -- we talked about this a little bit yesterday, but it worries you that now people are going to say, OK, look, this thing is over. That image of the oil coming out has stopped.
COOPER: And, therefore, the problem has ended.
CARVILLE: And this is -- again, it worries me because this would be the equivalent of saying, well, we beat Rommel in North Africa. We can all go home now. It's kind of, we're done. We're done with Hitler. No, we have got a long, long way to go.
But it's good that we accomplished this. And there is a great fear that -- and this is the long haul. This is the cleanup. This is -- people have lost their jobs. This isn't sort of comeback and everybody.
And as long as that thing was coughing up oil in the middle of the Gulf, it gave everybody to sort of rally around. It gave everybody a visual. It gave a storyline.
I'm very fearful that the attention is going to drift away, and people will move on to other things, and the people of my state and my region will be forgotten. And I think that's something that I -- I plan to be very vigilant about.
COOPER: For you, where is the battle now? What are the future battles, I mean, beyond just whether or not this thing is going to hold, whether or not -- what happens underneath the water?
CARVILLE: Well, first of all, and I think the thing with Ken Feinberg and that is very good, that people have to be made right.
People have lost an unbelievable amount of money.
COOPER: Ken Feinberg said this is going to ramp by -- in next month. CARVILLE: By next month. And I think people trust him. And I think there's reason to.
There have been some good things happen. It's been capped, Ken Feinberg, the $20 billion, even as -- James Lee Witt being brought in by BP. I mean, there have been some good things happening.
But -- so we just have to continue that. But people have to be reimbursed. The cleanup has to go. They have got to address the question of the moratorium here. And I don't think this thing can wait until November. The economy here is literally in shambles.
We just got an announcement that Avondale Shipyard is moving 5,000 really good jobs out of here. So, there's a lot of things. But the short-term reimbursement, the long-term cleanup, these are things that are going to take a long time, if our culture is to survive here. And it's not a given that it will.
COOPER: Do you worry that people are going to put the pressure -- or take the pressure off BP in terms of holding them accountable, in terms of watching them, in terms of...
CARVILLE: I do.
And, Anderson, to be honest with you, if it wouldn't be for you and a couple other people, I would be more scared. But I am very concerned. And it's not just me. Everybody -- people stop me on the street here. And they are just afraid that they are going to be abandoned. They're afraid that people are going to say, well, we did this, and now we can move on to the next thing.
And the country has any number of problems. But this is -- this is going to be here for a long, long time. This culture down here is very much in peril. People's ways of life is very much at risk here. And it's a long, long, hard fight to have this come back
And the history in Alaska, the history in Ecuador, the history here is not very favorable to us. And, so, I mean, vigilance has got to be the -- sort of the word. We can certainly acknowledge, again, that this is a good thing that it's capped. Hopefully, it will stay that way.
COOPER: James Carville, thanks.
CARVILLE: Thank you. Thank you, Anderson. You bet. Appreciate it.
COOPER: Quick program note: on Monday, a 360 exclusive. For the first time, you will hear from three fishermen who became first- responders to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. On the day of the explosion, they were in their boat when they got a mayday call. They described that moment to me. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You heard a mayday call on the radio?
BRADLEY SHIVERS, FISHERMAN: Oh, yes, certainly, yes.
SHIVERS: We started to hear the mayday calls from the Deepwater Horizon.
MARK MEAD, FISHERMAN: It went from the fireball -- and it seemed like forever, but it was seconds -- fireball, mayday. They -- the sound...
SCOTT RUSSELL, FISHERMAN: A sonic boom. I mean, when it boomed, it was a sonic boom.
MEAD: It hit your chest.
RUSSELL: Yes. It was not like -- it's very hard to explain. It was almost like a...
MEAD: It was muffled, but you could feel it.
RUSSELL: It was like a plane flying real low really fast. I mean, It shook the boat. I mean, we knew it was bad. You know, so...
COOPER: What did the mayday call say? What did it say?
SHIVERS: It said -- we heard -- we heard, this is Deepwater Horizon, Deepwater Horizon, mayday, mayday. We're abandoning rig. We're abandoning rig.
COOPER: When you heard they were abandoning the rig, what did you think?
SHIVERS: Oh, my God.
RUSSELL: Get there and go help. I mean, go.
RUSSELL: I mean, that's what I thought.
SHIVERS: We started driving that way in the boat. I started -- I started going. And like Mark was saying, at that point, they started securing everything in the boat, getting the life jackets out, that, and, you know, I was like hey, guys, you know, we have got to go do this. And they were like, absolutely. You know, we have to go see what's -- what's going on here and go lend a hand to do whatever we can -- whatever we can at that point. And it's 18 miles away. You're 10:30 at -- 10:00 at night. It's pitch-black dark.
COOPER: So, you guys go full-bore toward it. What do you -- what do you see when you get there?
RUSSELL: Fire. I mean, it's the biggest -- I mean, just my perspective of it, coming up on it, you know, I remember Bradley is driving. I was over there trying to help him a little bit with a radio. I was -- you know, he was up on the bow, whatever. We were all doing different things.
But, I mean, the rig has exploded. I mean, it's like an inferno.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: What they saw and did when they arrived at the doomed rig -- that's Monday on 360.
Next on the program: The battle over the berms heats up. Louisiana's governor says the sand berms he fought to build are key to protecting his state's coastline. What about the photographs showing the berms are already washing away? Is it a waste of time and money? Could the berms actually do more harm than good to the environment?
Also tonight: with Sean Penn in Haiti on the ground in his camp, learning a lot about the strength of the people.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: When you walk through here and you see people living -- basically, they have rebuilt their lives in these camps -- what do you -- what's it like? What do you see?
SEAN PENN, ACTOR: Well, I see what I have often said, is people that are punished for their strength.
COOPER: Punished for their strength?
PENN: Punished for their strength. There's no question but that these are the most resourceful people that I have ever seen anywhere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Day 88 of the BP disaster. Since the spill began, officials here have tried to prevent the oil from spreading. It's been an extremely difficult undertaking, a controversial one at times, especially with the use of those sand berms. Miles of threat manmade islands are being built off Louisiana. Now, on Thursday, Governor Bobby Jindal toured one berm now under construction. Jindal says that the berms are critical to protect the state's coastline.
But a lot of scientists disagree. This photograph of a berm was taken on July 8. It appears the seawall -- the sea basically has swallowed part of the island and the equipment used to make it. Critics say the berms are actually doing more harm than good, or could, and are posing a great risk to protected areas.
Robert Young shares that opinion. He's a professor of coastal geology at Western Carolina University and joined me earlier.
COOPER: Professor Young, the oil has stopped flowing into the Gulf, at least for now, but the oil that's already out there may be washing up in sensitive wetlands for a long time to come. Are these berms a good idea? In your opinion, do they work at all?
ROBERT YOUNG, PROFESSOR OF COASTAL GEOLOGY, WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY: Well, I don't think they will, and I don't think they will for a number of reasons. I don't think they're going to last long enough to block very much oil. And I don't think they're going to be a significant block for the oil that's existing and making its way through the passes and the inlets into the wetlands behind them.
COOPER: The governor says, well, look, you know, they have recovered 500 pounds of oily debris in just one day on one of these berms and that they're at key strategic points.
YOUNG: Well, the question, really, is not whether a pile of sand out in the Gulf will collect a little bit of oil. Certainly, it will. The real question is would we have been able to collect that oil through traditional methods, like skimming?
COOPER: In your opinion, will these berms have some sort of negative environmental impact? I mean, could it actually make it worse?
YOUNG: First of all, we don't think that this project is going to work. We don't think the berms are going to last. And certainly, there's been very good photographic evidence recently showing that even a small storm can, you know, tear these things apart pretty well.
What really frightens me is that I have heard recently that the governor's office is preparing to apply for permits to rip rap or put hard structure around these berms to armor these structures as they build them, and that would be an environmental disaster for Louisiana.
COOPER: Why is that?
YOUNG: Well, if you create, essentially, a rock wall out there, and it's still not quite clear the extent of the armoring that they would like to do, but you know, they have a permit to build 40-plus miles of berm. And if they were to try and armor all of it to keep them from washing away, then you would completely change the dynamics of that coast. You're going to change the way that the tides move in and out. You're going to change the wave climate. You're going to change the way the sediment moves, and all of this could be very detrimental to habitat. It could -- it could do more harm than good for the wetlands that you're trying to protect.
COOPER: You're hearing that perhaps the ecological impact of the spill may not be as bad as some had feared early on. Tell me about that.
YOUNG: Well, I have spoken with a lot of agency officials and a lot of scientists in Louisiana. So far the oil has not penetrated incredibly deeply into the wetlands, and there's a growing faith that the system could recover from this spill.
And I think what the scientists are becoming increasingly worried about is that the plans for the long-term ecological restoration of coastal Louisiana that have been under way for the last 20 years -- this is wetland restoration, letting the river reoccupy some parts of the flood plain and, you know, sensible plans of barrier island restoration -- that those plans may be all cast asunder by these projects to do massive, basically unplanned coastal engineering that will completely reconfigure the Louisiana coast.
COOPER: Do you think this is a case of, you know, politicians basically wanting to be seen doing something, the governor, local officials, and therefore pushing this berm project, even though you're saying the science isn't really there?
YOUNG: You know, look, I'm very hesitant to question the motives of Louisiana politicians. You know, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they're proposing these projects because they believe that they will work.
And it's unfortunate that they haven't done the kind of consultation with the excellent coastal scientists that they have in Louisiana, I think, to include their feedback. And the scientists and the agency officials who are criticizing these projects are doing so because we also believe that what we have is in the best interests for coastal Louisiana.
COOPER: Professor Robert Young, I appreciate your expertise tonight. Thank you.
YOUNG: Thanks very much.
COOPER: Next on 360, we return to Haiti. Six months after the quake, we found those who survived still vulnerable, 1.5 million people, more than that, homeless right now. We will take you to a tent city run by Sean Penn, a camp where people are just trying to get by, wondering what the future still holds. And then we're back in the Gulf, where the BP spill has left animal shelters packed with pets given up by owners who can no longer afford to keep them -- their story coming up.
KAYE: I'm Randi Kaye. Back to Anderson in a moment with reporting from Haiti six months after the quake.
First: a 360 news and business bulletin.
Britain today said freeing the Pan Am 103 bomber was a mistake, and a top Libyan official denied his release was part of an oil deal spurred on by BP. Scottish authorities returned him to Libya last August, after doctors said he was terminally ill with prostate cancer. He remains alive today. Two hundred and seventy people died in the bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, back in 1988.
Back home: He was on the run for months. Now the so-called Barefoot Bandit may soon be on the move again -- a federal judge in Miami today ordering 19-year-old Colton Harris-Moore extradited to Washington State to face charges there.
Disappointing bank earnings took the wind out of Wall Street, the Dow losing 261, the Nasdaq dropping 71 points, the S&P shedding 32.
And Apple is offering iPhone 4 owners free cases to fix reception problems -- CEO Steve Jobs today announcing the giveaway at a rare short-notice presentation.
Anderson is back right after the break.
COOPER: Well, we were in Haiti earlier this week.
And, of course, the catastrophe that struck there is of a different scale than what happened here. More than 220,000 people were killed in the January earthquake in Haiti, although, frankly, the exact number will never be known. More than 300,000 people were injured, millions displaced. One-and-a-half million people are still homeless right now.
This week marks the sixth-month anniversary since the quake. And we went back to see signs of progress, and also to see what hasn't changed. We also saw the staggering challenges that remain for the country and for survivors.
Right now, a humanitarian crisis continues to unfold in Haiti. More than 1.6 million people, as I said, are living in camps, tent cities, where relief supplies are still in need. I went to one of the largest camps earlier this week, home to 55,000 people. It's run by Sean Penn.
COOPER (voice-over): Milong Estin (ph) has been stuck in a makeshift camp for the last six months. "From the moment I came here," she says, "I don't know anything. They keep saying we're going to get this, we're going to get that, but I haven't seen anything."
Her son Wadley (ph) broke his legs in the earthquake. He was in a body cast for month. He can walk now, but that's about the only good thing that has happened to Milong's family since the quake.
(on camera): When the earthquake happened, did you think that six months, you would -- later -- you would still be living in a structure like this?
(voice-over): "No, we didn't think that," says Milong's neighbor Marie Sonis (ph), "but we don't have anywhere else to go. All of this makes you crazy."
Some 55,000 people now occupy Milong's camp. They live crammed together under plastic tarps.
(on camera): Four people live inside Milong's structure. She has a bed, a single bed, but -- which is frankly more than most people have. In this side over here, there's room for some clothing, some toiletries over here. There's cooking supplies, pots and pans, a few plates, and then a small charcoal stove, which she uses to cook food for her family.
The structure is made out of plastic. There's heavy sheets which are stretched across wooden support. So, it's actually pretty sturdy. What you don't see on the -- on video is just how incredibly hot it is in here. You're in here for literally a few seconds, you just are drenched in sweat. So, most people can't spend much time during the day inside these structures.
(voice-over): There are more than 1,300 makeshift camps throughout Port-au-Prince housing more than a million-and-a-half people.
PENN: You see, with all these tents, they're right on top of each other. I think one match on a breezy day could pretty much run this whole place down.
COOPER: Sean Penn and his organization, JPHRO, is in charge of this camp. They provide water and food, doctors and medicine. They've even built a school.
Penn would like to get these people back into their old neighborhoods, but many of the neighborhoods are still buried in rubble.
(on camera) So in terms of getting people out of a camp like this, there's multiple problems. There's the problem of the rubble that's still in all these neighborhoods and getting that trucked out so people can go back. There's the problem of figuring out who owns the land that people might move on to, and then there's actually rebuilding structures.
PENN: A lot of these areas have no grid. They have no water. All of those things that you would need in a camp: clinics, lighting. You know, most of these neighborhoods are living in the pitch dark in rubble twice as high as your heads.
COOPER (voice-over): Much of the money donated and spent so far has gone to meat the immediate humanitarian needs of the population. Many lives were saved, and there's been no outbreak of disease and no major civil unrest.
But the rebuilding has been plagued by lack of organization and leadership. There's still no master plan for removing the rubble, which prevents many from returning home, and only a small percentage of the billions of reconstruction money pledged by governments around the world has actually been sent.
(on camera) There are a lot of NGOs who, we're told, are not coordinating with each other. President Clinton himself has said that they're not coordinating with his commission. Why is that?
PENN: I think that's as -- I think that's as basic as people want to be the first, or they don't want to see it done at all. I think that they want to be the lead, but they don't have the courage in most cases to take it. There are -- there are some NGOs that are -- that are working very directly in doing it, but it's like, you know, dropping grains of salt on the beach.
COOPER: Penn's group has just begun using heavy equipment to clear a neighborhood so some of the people in this camp can return to their old homes. He'd also like to see other funding used for new communities to be built outside Port-au-Prince.
(voice-over) Critically important, you're saying, is removing the rubble here with heavy equipment, but also getting people places that they can live outside of Port-au-Prince.
PENN: Yes, yes, both. Because there's -- whatever it is, 1.8 million. There are camps that are on hillsides like this that still have no lighting, have no drainage mitigations. Their whole neighborhood is in rubble.
COOPER: And so the people in the States who say, "Well, look, I gave money six months ago, and look, it's all still the same. And I shouldn't give any more money."
PENN: Well, I say -- I say no, that's not true. Because if you gave money because you care and you have anything to scrap up. If you don't trust an NGO, find a family to adopt. Get in touch with your NGO. You don't have to give us the money: I'll find you a family to adopt. I'll give them your number. You can talk to them and find out what it is. But don't stop -- don't stop giving. We need it.
COOPER: As you heard from Sean Penn, the need for money is constant, but it shouldn't have to be this way. Remember, some of the wealthiest countries in the world, including America, pledged $5.3 billion to rebuild Haiti over the next 18 months: $5.3 billion. So we wanted to know, where is that money?
Former President Clinton wants to know. He chairs the organization managing the money. He co-chairs it along with Haiti's prime minister. I spoke to him earlier in the week.
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm going to call all those governments and say, the ones who said they'll give money to support the Haitian government, I'm going to try to get them to give the money. And I'm going to try to get the others to give me a schedule for when they'll release it.
And then we'll either work our issues out with the World Bank, or they can just release the money on schedule as the projects are ready.
COOPER: What do you think is the hold-up is on the part of these government not giving the money?
CLINTON: I think that they're all having economic trouble, and they want to hold their money as long as possible. And they can earn interest on that, and I think they want to know that we're open for business. I think that when I call them and when we have our meeting and start approving projects, they'll see that.
I have not had any donor tell me that they have not decided to do it. And I -- and I wanted to say today on the record that so far the Haitian government and the Haitian members of this commission have not turned down any requests I've made to have greater transparency and accountability, independent audits, the whole nine yards.
So I think this is going to be a very good process, just as it was in Indonesia after the tsunami.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Mr. Clinton seems optimistic there, but we wanted answers about the money promised to Haiti and why it's taken so long to deliver it. Joe Johns tonight has been working the story, "Keeping Them Honest."
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're talking about the big money promised to help rebuild Haiti: $5.3 billion dollars. The promise to give Haiti more money came in March, just two months after the quake, when 150 countries and international organizations met at the U.N., all committed to funding what they called a new future for Haiti.
Five point three billion dollars. Sounds great, right? But right now, three months later, that future is not so rosy at all. Only a fraction of that $5.3 billion, in fact, less than 2 percent, has actually been delivered. "Keeping Them Honest," we've been asking about the pledges. And it's not that any of the countries are now saying they won't keep their promises and give Haiti the money. Instead they offer a lot of explanations for, well, slow payments.
For example, starting with the United States, they pledged $1.15 billion. But after the quake, that meeting in March, they made that specific promise, none of it has been delivered so far. Why not? Slow pace of Congress. That pledge money is tied up in a supplemental appropriations bill that Congress has yet to approve.
The United States is not the only deadbeat donor. Venezuela, for example, pledged $1.32 billion. So far, they've given nada. They gave us a meandering explanation which touched on Venezuela's forgiving Haitian debt and how the two countries have ties going all the way back to the 1800s, but no specifics on when they're going to make good on this $1.32 million pledge.
Canada also, a deadbeat. It pledged $378 million to the reconstruction fund. So far they've given zero, as well. And no word on when that money is coming.
Same with France: $170.9 million pledged, nothing given. They didn't even give us a call back to explain.
Now, there is some good news on keeping promises to Haiti. We talked to Australia today. They pledged $8.64 million. They've given a check, $8.64 million. They said they gave the money now, because Haiti needs it now.
Brazil hasn't done quite as good as that. They pledged $162.5 million and given about $45 million.
Norway pledged $107 million, and so far they've given $31.2 million. So about a third of it, Anderson. It's a mixed bag.
COOPER: Well, still ahead, a deadly combination. Not enough doctors, two few hospitals, and a shortage of critical medicine. Still in Haiti, six months on, the sick are still dying when they could be saved. This little girl is dying, and she didn't need to die.
Plus, along the Gulf of Mexico, the victims of the oil spill you have not heard about. Family pets given up because their owners can no longer afford to care of them. We're going to tell you where they are now and how you can help, coming up.
COOPER: This is Monley Elysee, the 5-year-old boy trapped in the rubble of his collapsed home for eight day after the quake. We were there when he was brought to General Hospital here in Port-au-Prince and treated by doctors from the International Medical Corps. He was clearly emaciated and could barely talk.
This is Monley today. He looks much better. Both his parents died in the quake, so he's cared for by his uncle, Gary. He's now back in school five days a week. That's good news for sure, but things are hard here.
Monley, along with his brother, sisters, cousins and uncle, moved from a tent camp and now live in a partially collapsed structure next to the site of their former home. All that's left is a pile of rubble.
Gary says Monley often is withdrawn and won't talk to anyone. International Mercy Corps is able to send a psychological counselor to see Monley once in a while and hope in time he'll fully recover.
Gary is in touch with naturalized family in the U.S., and they've applied for Monley's adoption, but it's a process that could take years, if it's ever even granted at all.
One more note. The metal table you see there is the one Monley crawled under when his house collapsed. It's the table that likely saved his life. Gary says he'll keep it for as long as he lives.
COOPER: Six months ago, doctors saved Monley's life, but now, some survivors are still dying. According to Doctors Without Borders, 60 percent of health facilities were destroyed in Haiti's quake zone, and 10 percent of medical staff were either killed or left the country.
At the same time, the earthquake created hundreds of thousands of patients, and getting critical follow-up care is proving incredibly difficult for many, impossible for some.
Six months on, vital medical supplies are not reaching the hospitals that are still open, and neither is the money that will keep them open. Here's 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta.
SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Best estimate, the quake displaced 1.5 million people, injured or crippled 300,000.
In the United States, the care this man, Mildred (ph), received would be considered ordinary.
(on camera) When did you realize that you were injured?
(voice-over) Here Mildred (ph) is an extraordinary success story.
(on camera) The worst injuries that he had was actually to his leg. I don't know if you can tell so far, but he's actually walking with a prosthetic here. This is what so many people here in Haiti have been wanting, they've been waiting for, because so many amputations were performed. (voice-over) Mildred (ph) is a success here because he not only received immediate acute care, but because there are resources for his recovery and his follow-up. Intermediate care is so important, but here, it is way too rare.
(It's about the money. There's never enough. Aid organizations are tell us they are saving so much of it for the long term, but in the meantime, hospitals are dying and so are patients.
(on camera) This little girl has been left here to die. She had hydrocephalus, too much water on the brain, and the shunt to drain that fluid became infected, and now there's nothing more they can do for her.
(voice-over) You see, she got the acute care, but it's the same stupid story. Six months later, she needed antibiotics that she couldn't get. She will die.
The money. One U.S.-based charity, Medishare, has spent nearly all the $7 million it raised from private donors. But if they don't get a larger share of the public donations by September, that's it. This hospital shuts down.
(on camera) Within a month and a half, you're saying the money runs out?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
GUPTA: We were sitting here talking, the three of us, just a few months ago about this very issue. And we said, you know, literally people were giving money, more than $1 billion. They were giving all over the world. How does a place like this shut -- the only critical care hospital in the country, how does it shut down if so much money was given?
DR. JERRY BITAR, PROJECT MEDISHARE/BERNARD MEVS HOSPITAL: Where's the money?
DR. MARLON BITAR, PROJECT MEDISHARE/BERNARD MEVS HOSPITAL: We ask ourselves the same question. Where is the money?
GUPTA (voice-over): The medical needs will not miraculously go away anytime soon. But remember this?
(on camera) They actually think there are too many doctors.
(voice-over) Not long ago, compassion was overflowing here. For a short while, there were simply too many volunteers. They had come in from all over the world.
(on camera) This is General Hospital, one of the biggest trauma hospitals in Port-au-Prince. Just a few months ago, this place was very busy. And now you can see there's hardly anything happening here. The tables are still left, yes. There's hardly any resources, any equipment. There's no doctors and as a result, no surgery taking place.
(voice-over) And it's not just the public hospitals, but the private hospitals, as well.
(on camera) There are many that say the health care in Haiti is as bad as it's ever been. Many hospitals simply shut down for business.
(voice-over) So where is the money?
(on camera) A lot of hospitals are starting to run out of money. Some hospitals, they had to shut down completely. General Hospital, which is the largest public hospital in the area, it's sort of become a bit of a ghost town. What do you say to that? I mean, how do you address some of those concerns?
MATT MAREK, AMERICAN RED CROSS - HAITI: You know, as everyone knows, the generosity of the American public towards the Red Cross, the American Red Cross has been enormous, OK? And we've raised a large amount of money.
We're also, you know, aware that, you know, other resources are out there via the government to support the government as received, OK, to get into the hands of the General Hospital. And we're flexible, you know, on what support our funds, you know, can actually give.
GUPTA (voice-over): Back with Mildred (ph), he wants to show me that he can not only walk, but he can also run.
(on camera) Careful. Are you all right? That's one of the difficulties you just saw here, simply navigating the road. He was obviously running, but it's a very uneven surface.
(voice-over) The journey here is so difficult, but until September, at least, Mildred (ph) will get his intermediate care. Once left for dead, he's back on his feet, dancing even.
GUPTA: If September rolls around, and this place is shut down, what happens to those people?
M. BITAR: We begin like before the earthquake, talking about there are a lot of patients without care will die.
GUPTA (voice-over): Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
COOPER: Next on 360, more from the Gulf. Pets abandoned because of the oil spill. Cats and dogs brought to shelters by owners who can simply no longer afford to take care of them. The numbers are heart breaking. Details ahead.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) COOPER: Well, as we've been telling you, the spill has left thousands of families here in the Gulf Coast struggling, especially financially. The economic toll from the disaster continues and, of course, the toll from the moratorium.
For some people, trying to make ends meet has forced them to abandon their pets, and animal shelters say the numbers are rising.
Randi Kaye reports.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This 9-month-old sheepdog mix has never seen a drop of oil, never even come close. Yet she's homeless because of the spill. Sheba is one of hundreds of dogs and cats now living in Louisiana animal shelters. Their owners, mainly fishermen and others in the industry, are out of work and can no longer afford to care for them. They have a choice: food on the table or the family pet.
ANA ZORRILLA, LOUISIANA SPCA: Not only is this a coastal disaster, you know; it is an animal disaster on so many levels.
KAYE: Ana Zorrilla is with the Louisiana SPCA.
(on camera) I think when people think of animals being affected by the oil spill, they think of the oiled birds and the oiled turtles. They don't think of the family pet.
ZORRILLA: Exactly. I think these are the unseen victims right now in this disaster.
KAYE (voice-over): Unseen no longer. Their faces irresistible, their eyes pleading, their soft whimpers heartbreaking. And they just keep coming. So many dogs and cats, shelters are turning to foster homes to house them.
(on camera) Hi.
(voice-over) Anna says the SPCA is even sending some pets to shelters in other states. There just aren't enough cages in Louisiana.
(on camera) In June of last year at one shelter in St. Bernard Parish, 17 dogs were turned in by their owners. This past June, after the spill at that very same shelter, 127 dogs were turned in by their owners. That's 110 more dogs this year than last year. And the SPCA says it is definitely a result of the spill.
If you look at this dog right here, this is Champ. Take a look at his paperwork. It says he was surrendered, "owner incapable of caring for."
(voice-over) Same story for this little pup. Her name is Panda. She's a terrier mix and just about 2 months old. She was turned in after the spill. (on camera) You just want a hug. That's all you want, a much- needed hug.
(voice-over) Because pets can help reduce stress, Ana says giving them up now makes it harder for families already struggling.
(on camera) How tough do you think a decision is for a family, to have to give up a pet when they're facing, really, the end of their livelihood in many cases?
ZORRILLA: I think it's one more blow on top of everything else. I mean, imagine having to make that decision of letting a family member go because you can no longer afford to keep them. It isn't that you don't love them. It isn't that you don't want them. You just don't have the financial resources, you know, to keep them.
KAYE (voice-over): The SPCA just launched a program this week to help owners hold onto their pets. Using donations, it's providing pet food and neutering to anyone from the fishing industry.
But the SPCA doesn't have enough money to help every pet owner. Ana says BP should pay.
ZORRILLA: What I would love to see is that BP provides some kind of support, whether it's, you know, helping fund dog food, cat food, veterinary care, whatever's needed so that these three little dogs and cats don't go to shelters.
KAYE: Too many who do end up here may never get a second chance. This is not one of those no-kill shelters. If these pets don't find a family within the next two or three weeks, they'll be euthanized, killed, even though oil never touched them.
COOPER: An update now, though, about those pets abandoned by families here in the Gulf because they simply can't afford to take care of them any more. Randi Kaye joins us now from Louisiana SPCA shelter. She actually has some good news for us.
Randi, what -- what's the good news?
KAYE: Well, Anderson, the good news is that after our story ran last night, the folks here tell me that they got hundreds -- hundreds -- of calls and e-mails from all over the country, in fact, from as far away as Guam and Hawaii, looking to adopt some of the animals that we featured in our story last night, which is really great news, including this guy right here, actually, this little girl.
This is Panda, that little terrier that I was holding during my story last night. She's a little shy, but she got the most calls, from New York, Colorado, Wisconsin, Texas, all over the place. But I do have to tell you that she has not been officially adopted yet.
But some dogs here did get to go home. They got new families today. You may recall the poodle who we showed you in our story last night. That poodle is Silk. And if you take a look there, you can see that's Silk with her new owners. Silk is 2 years old, and Silk got to go home with her today.
COOPER: Randi, there are obviously still an awful lot of dogs and cats and pets all across the Gulf, frankly, that have been put up for adoption. Can you show us some of the other dogs that people called about who are still available?
KAYE: Sure. We have this one right here, Anderson. This is Maxine. She's a terrier mix. A little bit of Lab in there, too. She got calls today from folks in Georgia looking for her.
This is Amanda. Amanda is a border collie mix. She is just absolutely beautiful. She's 8 years old. She got calls from Pennsylvania today, I'm told.
And this is Christy. Christy is a pit bull. She's five months old, and she got calls from New York today.
But there really are, Anderson, hundreds of dogs here who are still available. In fact, including this little one right here. But also, I just have to show you, if you can hand me, this is Panda. But this is Panda's sister, Anderson. And they're both available. They both were turned in.
COOPER: Randi, thanks very much.
There are plenty of dogs and cats and other pets in shelters here that are waiting to be adopted. If you're interested in one of the pets in Randi's piece, contact the Louisiana SPCA. Their website is LA-SPCA.org.
Thanks for watching tonight's 360. We'll see you Monday. Have a great weekend.
COOPER: Good evening from the Gulf, day 88 of the spill. And there have been some key developments in the last 48 hours. There's also important news from Haiti six months after the earthquake. That is just ahead.