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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
BP Nearing Solution for Gulf Oil Leak?; Haiti Six Months Later; Adopted Haitian Toddler Adjusts to New Life; New Oil Containment Cap in Gulf; Bill Clinton Addresses Issues of Rebuilding Haiti
Aired July 12, 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.
Tonight, we are live in Port-au-Prince.
Breaking news, we start with, for the first time since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank, a development that could be major. As we look at live pictures from down below, engineers might soon be able to stop nearly every drop of oil from leaking into the Gulf. This is what they tell us. You're looking at a new cap on top of the old blowout preventer. It's designed to make a leak-free connection, either seeing all that oil up to three tankers on the surface or possibly shutting off the well altogether. That's the plan.
The work is ongoing right now. We will have more later in this hour.
But we begin tonight right here in Port-au-Prince with another disaster still unfolding, more than a million-and-a-half people homeless right now, jobless right now, trying to scrape a living together right now amidst rubble that has not been removed.
Hundreds of millions have been spent, much of it money you yourselves have donated. Billions have been pledged by the U.S. government and other governments around the world. But little of that money has actually arrived here, and signs of progress are hard to see.
We're in Haiti tonight, in the proud city of Port-au-Prince, a city still on its knees right now. And many of the pictures you will see in this hour could have been taken six months ago, when the earthquake struck here.
Rubble is still everywhere, no doubt, some human remains still buried deep inside. There has been progress, yes. As I said , it's hard to see. But many lives were saved because of the money you sent, disease outbreaks avoided. There's been no major civil unrest. Kids are in school.
So, that's the good news, but everyone involved in the rebuilding of Haiti will tell you progress here is too slow, and tonight we're "Keeping Them Honest." We're going to talk with former President Clinton, Sean Penn, who's running a camp here, and the real heroes here, the people of Haiti themselves, who just want their futures to begin.
First, though, something that stunned us at the airport when we arrived yesterday. Now, we have been asked by a relief group to bring in some supplies, some tools, and an industrial saw, blades, a jackhammer, bits, equipment to help Haitians build homes and structures to live in.
At the airport, however, Haitian customs officials said that we had to pay a tax on the relief items, on emergency relief items, on building supplies, a 20 percent tax. It was $5,000 worth of equipment, and the Haitians' customs demand $1,000.
Now, we explained, hey, look, this is for the relief effort. But that didn't matter. The items are right now still being held in customs. And we learned this is not an isolated case. MSF, Doctors Without Borders, one of the most prestigious relief organizations in the world -- they won the Nobel Peace Prize -- they had 20 trucks held by customs for four months, no explanation given.
In the meantime, they paid over $100,000 to rent trucks here to do life-saving work. Other organizations have told us similar stories, being charged thousands of dollars, tens of thousands, for storage fees when their emergency supplies are held at the airport in customs or held at the port by customs.
The government here says this happens to aid groups that don't properly register. But that is simply not true, say aid groups. So, our question tonight is, where does the tax money go? Is the government, the Haitian government here, taking the money? Or are individuals looking to supplement their income, corruption? We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.
And we're doing more on this tomorrow. We will also talk to Haiti's president about it. We will also talk to former President Bill Clinton about it tonight.
First, though, Haiti's homeless -- more than 1.6 million people still living in camps, like the one behind me, the one that sprouted up six months ago tonight. Those people are all still there. I recognize many of them that we talked to six months ago. Today, we went to a former golf course, found out what life is like now in the camp, one of the largest camps, that's run by actor 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.
SEAN PENN, ACTOR: 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, J/P HRO, is in charge of this camp. They provide water and food, doctors and medicine. They have 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, I mean, there's multiple problems. There's the problem of the rubble that is 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 -- that people might move on to. And then there's actually rebuilding structures.
PENN: A lot of these areas have no grid. They have got no water, all of those things that you would need in a camp, clinics, lighting, those -- you know, most of these neighborhoods are living in the pitch dark in rubble twice as high as our heads.
COOPER (voice-over): Much of the money donated and spent so far has gone to meet the 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 in 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 working very directly and doing it, but it -- it's like dropping grains of salt on the beach.
COOPER (voice-over): 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 would also like to see other funding used for new communities to be built outside Port-au-Prince.
(on camera): 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 -- 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, where their whole neighborhood is in rubble.
COOPER: And so to people in the States who say, well, look, I -- 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 our NGO. You don't have to give us the money. I will find you a family to adopt. I will give you their number. You can talk to them and find out what it is.
But don't stop -- don't stop giving. We -- we need it.
COOPER: And Sean Penn joins me now for the "Big 360 Interview."
I mean, you have been here pretty much nonstop for the last six months. When people say, look, they don't see progress on the ground, what do you say to them?
PENN: Well, first of all, you had a disaster that was beyond anybody's experience, including all the aid workers that I have come to know over the time here. This was -- the initial chaos, I have come to have a greater understanding.
Since that time, what's become clearer and clearer is the chess play that goes on between the powers that be, whether it be an international agency, the government, and other governments.
And so what happens is that we forget, for example, when they're concerned about the politics of the election coming up, and this and that. But one of the things...
COOPER: There's going to be an election in November.
And one of the things that we can focus most on is -- is that we -- we have got to trust the Haitian people to elect that person and make that choice. So, whatever policies or whatever grants are given -- and those things should not be limited to -- to -- to prior that election, or prior to a new administration, they should be administratable with some kind of a future.
But another thing is that we're facing now is what I have watched in the arc is that there's become a kind of virtual ghost town of the international doctors in flux. And that's -- if -- that doesn't have anything to do with politics. It's got to do with the will and the understanding that the community in the United States and other countries have to have that the need has -- has -- has not gotten any less.
COOPER: So, you're not seeing enough doctors volunteering to come here, is what you're saying?
PENN: Right, because what's happening -- no, I mean, it's -- it's an incredible shortage.
COOPER: It's out -- it's not in the media. It's out of people's minds. It's out of people's life.
PENN: It's out of people's minds. And I guess the romance is gone in some way.
But, in the meantime, you have got -- for example, General Hospital down here, the central hospital in -- in Port-au-Prince, it's a virtual ghost town.
And -- and what we have to remember is that, if we're going to do more than put a Band-Aid on this before it festers and becomes the same problem again, there is going to have to be training that's going to be done by international doctors. So, it's not just care, which is certainly needed, because Haiti started with a shortfall in doctors.
COOPER: How frustrated -- I mean, I was stunned that we got hit up for this 20 percent tax at the airport in bringing in relief supplies. How common is that among relief agencies?
PENN: Well, the president put together a commission to expedite (INAUDIBLE) certain legitimate NGOs that are registered in the country.
That's a fairly new thing, because what had happened is you had a -- the emergency phase, and then you get into the rebuild phase. And once it becomes that, both in the international community's mind and (INAUDIBLE) government's mind, then you're -- you're leaving it to an infrastructure that in the beginning already had more than it could handle. And now it's got all these needs are piled on top of it with the earthquake.
So, I would that, like, you know, I would like to know, for example, has USAID offered administrative aid to the Department of Finance? If so, why would the Ministry of Finance not accept it...
COOPER: Not accept that aid.
PENN: ... or hadn't accepted? Because we know that there's a lot of difficulty there. They're under enormous pressure.
And so those kind of practical things, and I wonder about whether or not they're political. The corruption issues that come up that are all of the -- these are -- these seem to be all things that are used from the outside. From the inside, that might be their own concerns. And I don't know enough about it, except so say that the government of Haiti doesn't have anything to be corrupt with.
A lot of the money is not going to them. I mean, some money is being given by donors to help them have like a cost of administration, but this money is being -- the donor money is being funneled through President Clinton's commission that he's co-chairing with the prime minister.
PENN: That's right. And then -- but we have also these immediate needs and things that are kind of no-brainers.
When we had the case of the boy with diphtheria, and it took 15 hours to identify with the medics (INAUDIBLE) was necessary for that.
COOPER: You were driving around with this little boy for hours...
COOPER: ... trying to get him life-saving care, and he ultimately died?
Yesterday, General Hospital, again, the central hospital in this city that is under siege, Medishare, one of the primary NGOs, if not the primary medical NGO in the country, and certainly in terms of trauma, they don't know where to get blood.
COOPER: They don't know where to get blood? PENN: Now, for example, if an outside organization has it, they should be proactively going to all of these major hospitals and major clinics and telling them, here's where you get this.
But they're calling out to all of their contacts, as we did that night. And nobody knows, at this stage, where to get blood. Patients have died, and weekly, as a result of that.
COOPER: So, that's a coordination organization problem among -- among many groups?
PENN: Well, my understanding is that -- and I don't know the authority that they have -- my understanding is that the Haitian Red Cross has the -- controls the blood bank. And when Medishare in particular was not able to -- they have -- they now have the facility to collect blood, and they're willing to distribute, to stockpile, and to be yet another -- so, it's decentralized, and people have access to it, and they were denied by that Haitian Red Cross.
COOPER: You basically maxed out your funds hiring heavy equipment to just start moving rubble and get some people -- try to get people out of the camp and back into their neighborhoods.
PENN: That's right.
COOPER: And that's the kind of decisive action that needs to happen across the board?
You know, what happened is, between Paul Vallas, and he started talking about how he was going to develop schools and was working closely with the Ministry of Education and Madam Preval, and -- and -- who I'm very impressed by both of them.
We -- we toured an area with Paul Vallas. And -- and he felt that he could help putting schools in. As we know, these parents pay 45 percent of their annual wage for their children's school. They care about it.
COOPER: And that's a key thing, to get people into a neighborhood?
PENN: And once he hear we could do that, we could bring medical clinics in, we said, the hell with it. Let's -- let's start moving this rubble, because these are things that other organizations were responsible for. They weren't doing it. And so let's get some heavy equipment and go.
COOPER: Where's -- what's -- what's your Web site that people can find out more information?
PENN: It's www.JPHRO.org.
COOPER: All right. Sean, appreciate it. Thank you.
PENN: Thanks very much.
COOPER: Thanks, Sean Penn.
Let us know what you think. Join the live chat under way at AC360.com.
Up next: Sean mentioned the shortage of doctors. It goes beyond that. Hospitals are closing. The question is why. 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta investigates for us tonight.
And about 60 countries pledging aid money for Haiti, more than $5 billion for the next 18 months, right? Only Brazil, Norway and Australia have actually paid up that money that they have promised, just three countries -- my exclusive conversation about that with former President Bill Clinton.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm going to call all those governments and say, the ones who said they will give money to support the Haitian government, I want 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 will release it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, look, it's important to -- to -- you know, to remark upon and -- and mention what progress has been made. People, as I have said, have been spared an outbreak of infectious disease here. There haven't been -- you know, hasn't been large-scale civil unrest.
But the need for medical care is still great here. People are dying right now, as Sean was just talking about, dying every day because they don't have the care they need.
Amazingly, though, the supply of doctors and hospitals, public and private, is actually shrinking here.
360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta investigates.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL 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 is an extraordinary success story.
(on camera): The worst injuries that he had was -- was actually to his leg. And 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 have been waiting for, because so many amputations were performed.
(voice-over): Mildred 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, it's so important, but here it is way too rare.
(on camera): Who is this gentleman?
(voice-over): It's about the money. There's never enough. Aid organizations tell us they're saving so much of it for the long term. But, in the meantime, hospitals are dying, and so are patients. (ph)
(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. 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 of $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 said, you know, literally, people were giving money, more than a billion dollars. They were giving all over the world. How -- how does a place like this shut down? The only critical-care hospital in the country, how does it shut down, if so much money was given?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where's the money? We -- we ask ourselves the same question. Where is the money?
GUPTA: The medical needs will not miraculously go away any time 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, but there's hardly any resources, any equipment. There's no doctors, and, as a result, no surgery taking place.
And it's not just the public hospitals, but the private hospitals as well. 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 have had to shut down completely. General Hospital, which is the largest public hospital in the area, it has 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 have raised a large amount of money.
We're also, you know, aware that, you know, other resources are out there, via the government and support the government has 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 get.
GUPTA (voice-over): Back with Mildred, he wants to show me that he cannot only walk, but he can also run.
(on camera): Careful. You all right?
That's one of the difficulties you just saw here, simply navigating the road. He was obviously running, but it's just a very uneven surface.
(voice-over): The journey here is so difficult, but, until September at least, Mildred will get his intermediate care. Once left for dead, he's back on his feet, dancing even.
(on camera): So, if September rolls around, and this place has shut down, what happens to those patients?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We begin life before the earthquake, talking about a lot of patient with critical care will die.
COOPER: So, wait. Those two doctors, you're saying their facility may shut down by September if they don't get funded?
GUPTA: September 1.
COOPER: That's incredible. I mean, those guys they do amazing, life-saving work.
GUPTA: And the thing about it is -- and this is what is so staggering -- they were obviously open before the earthquake.
GUPTA: Huge demand, obviously more patients, and not enough resources to keep up.
So, even some of the resources that were available beforehand may not be available...
COOPER: And that little girl is going to die because she did not get antibiotics, which probably, what, cost a few cents?
Started as a simple infection, could have been treated by a simple antibiotic. It grew into a more aggressive...
COOPER: But how could there not have been antibiotics? I mean, this was -- this was not during the earthquake, right? I mean, this was in the weeks after.
GUPTA: This was in the -- in -- a couple of months afterwards.
COOPER: And months after, they still didn't have an antibiotic?
GUPTA: The real problem is that so many of the supplies are here, Anderson, in Haiti, in Port-au-Prince.
GUPTA: But the distribution is completely clobbered. I mean, simply getting...
COOPER: So, one group doesn't know what another group has?
GUPTA: I -- today -- and I will show you more of this tomorrow -- but, today, I was in warehouses that had -- that were completely full to the brim, at the same time that children in orphanages haven't received food in two months. The same thing is happening in the hospitals. The same thing is happening in camps. COOPER: You know, I talked to former President Clinton about this today. And we're going to play part of that interview.
But he was saying that these aid groups are not working together, and that they're not informing his group about what they're doing, where they're doing it, and what kind of supplies they have. And a lot of these aid groups, I think, you know, they -- they all are fighting for funds. They all are fighting to raise money. And they don't want to share in -- in -- it seems like, in a lot of cases.
GUPTA: They're absolutely not communicating. And -- and so many of the supplies are here.
But the definition of success is not to simply get it to Port-au- Prince. It's to get it to the people who need it. And that's not happening.
COOPER: I mean, to know that that little girl is going to die because of antibiotics which were here, but just somewhere else other than where the people could find, is -- is...
GUPTA: It's unconscionable.
COOPER: Yes. It really is.
Sanjay, amazing reporting.
Just ahead tonight: Jenna's story. She is now in Colorado. And it hasn't been easy for mother or daughter. A little girl who was adopted from here, we will show you an update.
Also, an update on our breaking news: new hope tonight, if the vents can be shut and the new containment system holds, of perhaps finally stopping that leak.
We will be right back.
COOPER: We have news tonight about a little girl named Jenna. She was living in an orphanage when the quake struck. And soon after she was evacuated. She was one the first kids actually evacuated after the earthquake to an adoptive mom in Colorado.
They seemed to get off to a good start, but there have also been some bumps along the way.
Gary Tuchman tonight brings us up to date.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jenna is 2 years old. She lived in a Haitian orphanage until days after the earthquake, when she was flown to the United States to begin life with her new mom.
ELIZABETH DOWLING, ADOPTED HAITIAN CHILD: She's amazing. And she makes people fall in love with her wherever she goes.
TUCHMAN: But Elizabeth has noticed the toddler is now getting increasingly upset at times.
DOWLING: She's starting to hit a lot and get angry a lot at little things. But what we have heard from some of the other families is that a lot of the kids, six months later, are starting to act out and kind of in their own way say: I have got to tell you this terrible thing that happened to me while I was in Haiti.
TUCHMAN: When the quake struck, part of Jenna's orphanage collapsed, the rest of it left unstable. So, Jenna and the other kids had to live and sleep outside.
(on camera): It's impossible to generally characterize how the trauma of the earthquake will affect children as they grow up. Experts say, however, that acting out is not the least bit unusual.
Nevertheless, for parents like Elizabeth, this is a very trying time.
DOWLING: I have a Ph.D. in child development, and I'm not prepared. And I'm -- you know, I'm proud to say I'm not prepared to help her. I love her, and we're going to be great. But, you know, you -- it's like I said, it -- it's unchartered territory.
TUCHMAN: Elizabeth had actually met Jenna a year-and-a-half before the quake. She fell in love with her, and began the adoption process.
But, when the quake hit and communications ceased, she feared the worst. So, she was stunned and elated when she was watching CNN and saw this story we were doing on a damaged orphanage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JANUARY 15, 2010)
TUCHMAN: There are fears the rest of this orphanage could collapse because of the frequent aftershocks we're having. So, the decision has been made to leave these children outside 24 hours a day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TUCHMAN: Sitting on my lap, by total coincidence, little Jenna. Elizabeth now knew her daughter was OK.
Many adoptions started getting expedited, and Jenna was flown on a military jet to the U.S., where new mother and daughter were reunited.
(on camera) Look at the little smile there.
(voice-over) Jenna's first few weeks were spent getting used to her new home in Denver.
ELIZABETH DOWLING, ADOPTED HAITIAN CHILD: This is her crib, and she takes everything out and throws it on the ground. TUCHMAN: Now, a half year later, she's on vacation in Maryland visiting her grandparents. She's started to talk, English and Creole. And she's usually a happy exuberant child.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She really is a diva. I mean, she...
TUCHMAN (on camera): You mean that very affectionately.
DOWLING: he'll walk out of restaurants and be like, "Bye, guys."
TUCHMAN (voice-over): But her episodes of anger have proven frightening to Elizabeth.
DOWLING: She pinched, and she bites. She hits a lot. And she'll, you know, sit me down and say, "No, mommy," kind of put me in time out of some sort. And just take control.
TUCHMAN (on camera): Giving you the time out?
DOWLING: She wants to take -- she needs control back. That's what she's trying to do.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Though Jenna has been through much, Elizabeth hopes she will soon outgrow her anger. But no matter what happens, she wants her 2-year-old to know she will always be there for her.
DOWLING: She has made my life so much richer, but also just -- like I said when I met you right after the earthquake, you know, it's like she's always been here. She's special.
COOPER: Such a beautiful little girl. It's great to see. I mean, so she's saying, though, she's hearing from other parents, though, that maybe other kids are having some similar issues?
TUCHMAN: Right. She's talked to other parents who have adopted Haitian orphans, and a lot of them are going through similar things. But she's saying right now, she's going to love her daughter a lot. She's going to be there for her. She's going to take her back to Haiti as soon as possible so she can come back to her homeland. And just she's going to do the best she can right now with the tough situation.
COOPER: And the little girl is speaking both Creole and English?
TUCHMAN: Yes, isn't that interesting? I mean, 2 years old is usually when you start to speak. Her vocabulary from the past isn't as vast as it should be at this time, because of all the trauma she's gone through. But unlike most babies, she's speaking two languages.
COOPER: That's amazing. Gary, appreciate it. Great follow-up.
Still ahead, my exclusive interview with former president Bill Clinton. We talked about a lot of things. He's co-head of the commission in charge of reconstruction here in Haiti, along with the prime minister of Haiti. I'll ask him why there's so little reconstruction actually going on at this point, six months after the quake.
Plus, tonight's other big story: BP's plans to swap out the containment cap on its leaking Gulf is well underway. We're going to get the latest from Randi Kaye on the ground in New Orleans.
COOPER: Breaking news tonight, we're following a key undertaking in the Gulf. There are live pictures there of BP's leaking well, a major operation underway right now, we're told, to replace the old containment cap with a new cap. If it works, it's supposed to contain most of the oil gushing from the well head. That's a big "if," though.
Randi Kaye joins us from New Orleans with the latest.
Randi, what do we know?
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, they put this cap on tonight, but the oil, as you can see, it certainly hasn't stopped flowing yet. It will take BP about four to seven days, apparently, to slowly close the vents and the valves on this cap, just like with the old cap, which they just removed.
The new cap now as to be latched on and connected. It is a process.
If you take a look at this animation that we have for you, you can see what they've been working on over the weekend. They've removed the old cap; that's gone now. That allowed the oil, about 60,000 barrels a day, to flow freely again into the Gulf. But with the new cap on now, BP hopes the oil will be fully contained eventually.
Now, in the time it takes to secure the new cap, BP told me today, the oil flow will decrease, but it won't be fully stopped until all of those vents are closed, Anderson.
COOPER: And I mean, why is it going to take so long before we know if this works or not?
KAYE: Well, with the cap on, BP now will spend the next 48 hours testing the pressure of the well. And that will start first thing tomorrow morning, they say. BP calls it an integrity test.
Now, in this case, high pressure is actually a good thing. If the well maintains its high pressure with the cap on, then that actually means that oil and gas aren't leaking out in other areas of the well casing. So low pressure would mean that there are other leaks. So the hope is that the high pressure will continue, it will stick, and within the week the cap would be tightened on there permanently.
COOPER: And I mean, is BP pretty confident this is going to work?
KAYE: They certainly sound pretty confident. BP told me today that they're not making any promises. They don't want to over-promise and then under-deliver, which has been happening here.
Why didn't they try this before? I asked BP that today. You're going to love this, Anderson. BP's chief operating officer, Doug Suttles, said today that when he looks back at the steps taken, and the order of them, he thinks most people would think they, quote, "make a lot of sense." That's what he said. He said that he's learned from every step along the way, every move they've made.
And aside from that, though, a BP spokesman told me that they've been working on this cap and perfecting it. He says the new cap wasn't ready until now. Otherwise, of course, they would have used it before now.
COOPER: Randi, I also just heard briefly -- I just heard a report that the Coast Guard has now reversed themselves on that 65- foot rule that they had instituted I guess about a week and a half or two weeks ago, basically, not allowing anyone close to any boom, reporters included. I understand now they're going to allow reporters, as long as they're credentialed reporters, to be able to get in within that 65-foot boom limit. Have you heard that?
KAYE: I have heard that, and Anderson, I think what they're trying to do here is, you know, put a good face on, show they're more open to more transparent, which we know that they haven't been so much so along the way here in the last few months. So I think that's just one step for them in that direction.
COOPER: All right. We're following other important stories tonight. Randi, thanks.
Joe Johns tonight has a "360 News & Business bulletin" -- Joe.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, the Islamist militant movement is claiming responsibility for three bombings targeting a restaurant and a rugby center in Uganda's capital, where crowds were watching the World Cup final. At least 74 people were killed, including a 25-year-old American man.
The Swiss government has declared Roman Polanski a free man, rejecting a U.S. request to extradite him. Now Polanski, 76, fled the U.S. in 1978 after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. He was arrested in Switzerland last year. U.S. prosecutors say they're disappointed by today's ruling and will review their options.
And in hot pursuit of "Playboy" Hugh Hefner proposed taking the company he founded private, a move that pushed shares 41 percent higher and prompted "Playboy's" long time competitor, "Penthouse," to say it will put up a competing bid. So after all these year, Hefner still a shrewd businessman, Anderson.
COOPER: All right. Joe, thanks very much. Next on 360, my exclusive interview with former president, Bill Clinton. His thoughts on the progress being made here, the progress that hasn't been made, and his message to critics would say it's not enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They should expect us to be making progress, moving people out. But you can't just measure it on that. See how good -- see how well we do request with the health care, with the schools, with the energy, with the economic development, with the agriculture, with the reforestation. Judge us on a whole range of things, because housing is always the hard evident and always takes the longest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, we mentioned at the top of the hour how your donations have helped enormously here. It's saved thousands of people's lives. It's helped people go back to school. It's helped people try to, you know, begin to have a life, at least. It's provided water and food for a lot of people.
All in all, about 60 nations, though, have pledged more than $5 billion -- $5.3 billion -- over the next 18 months to help Haiti dig out and actually start rebuilding. Removing rubble, stuff like that. But the sad fact is, only three countries have actually come through on their promises: Brazil, Norway and Australia.
As we've been hearing tonight, the problems go just beyond -- go beyond just money. We were hit up as we came into the airport. We had brought in some relief supplies, about $5,000 worth of heavy equipment for a relief agency. We were charged $1,000. The customs officials said there was a 20 percent tax on emergency supplies, on relief items.
And a lot of NGO's, nongovernmental organizations, charity organizations have told us the same thing, that they get hit up, or that they're forced to put stuff in customs storage for weeks at a time, and get thousands of dollars of bills that they have to pay in order to get those items back out.
So "Keeping Them Honest," we talked about that, and all -- a lot of other issues with former president, Bill Clinton, who along with Haiti's prime minister co-chairs the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission, which will be designating a lot of where this money goes.
COOPER: I've heard people from -- who are working with Haitian government, I've had people working with the U.N. say to me, look, there's a lack of leadership on the ground on the part of the Haitian government. There's a lack of coordination among NGO's. There's... CLINTON: I agree with that, but keep in mind, I have -- it's not for lack of effort. We have met with the groups and the United States, 90 percent of the funds spent by NGO's here. They all promised to work with us, through the commission, to coordinate their activities, put them on the Internet to describe how money they put in Haiti and where it was being spent.
COOPER: So unless they're coordinated and working with you...
COOPER: ... it makes no sense. A lot of NGO's are also running into problems when they're bringing in emergency supplies, building supplies. They're getting hit at customs with taxes or huge storage fees. We brought in, for one organization, $5,000 worth of equipment for building.
CLINTON: And it wasn't pre-approved, so they had to pay a fee.
COOPER: We got hit up for $1,000 in fees, 20 percent of the cost. And a lot of NGOs say that happens, and the government gets that storage fee money.
CLINTON: I am -- as we get the donor money in here, I believe I will succeed in getting the government to drop that fee. The government does not apply to NGOs that are pre-registered and already working here. But when NGOs come in for the first time and they're not pre-registered and they don't know anything about them, they do.
COOPER: But even NGOs that are working, the ones that...
CLINTON: I've tried to get them to change this whole customs system.
COOPER: They should fast track emergency supplies.
CLINTON: They should, and they shouldn't charge them any customs fees. Zero. It's not right.
COOPER: I mean, is that basically just trying to get -- generate money for the government?
CLINTON: It's -- it's what I call the chokehold theory of revenues. You know, what do people have to use to get into Haiti? They have to use the ports and the airports.
COOPER: So that's where you hit up people for money.
CLINTON: And so that's where the money flows through. Their normal revenue base has been destroyed. But they should not apply to the NGOs.
When we can get the donor money flowing in here, they won't need that money so much any more. And I believe I'll be able to get them to abandon it. I have worked really hard with them. It's wrong; it makes them look bad. A lot of the NGOs are convinced it is some sort of corruption scam.
It really is -- I checked the rules. I checked the law. They can do it, but I want them to leave it. And I think they will leave it as soon as we get a revenue flow. You know, I can say, "Look, the next 18 months, here's how much money's coming into Haiti, how much will be given to direct budget support. Now, please let the NGOs come in here."
COOPER: So with the $5.3 billion that's been pledged over the next 18 months?
CLINTON: I would say -- I'd say we're -- I'd say we're right around maybe 200 million that's been spent one way or the other. Maybe a little more. The United States has spent. Brazil has given $155 million. The United States has given over $100 million...
COOPER: That's only the money that's actually shown up.
CLINTON: ... that they've spent on housing and things.
COOPER: And that's what you're going to be focusing on in the next couple weeks?
COOPER: Trying to pressure those governments.
CLINTON: I'll call all those governments and say -- the ones who said they'll give money to support the Haitian government, I want 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.
COOPER: One of the most visible sign, though, of things not moving along fast enough is the rubble.
COOPER: Basically, the rubble is still there. There's a huge amount of rubble. People can't move back into homes.
CLINTON: There is. And, you know, the president let these 100 trucks go today, which he got on very good terms from the Dominican Republic, which will allow people to remove their own rubble. And the cost will be about a third of what the U.N. -- the U.N.'s embedded cost was. So that's a good move.
I'm looking at two different models of technology that destroy rubble through heat and generate electricity.
COOPER: I'm sure that there's no master plan -- there's only one place right now that's going to take the rubble, and that there's really no...
CLINTON: That's right.
COOPER: ... international funding for taking rubble with heavy machinery, which is crucial?
CLINTON: That's correct. That's one of the reasons this is important. But we -- the commission, the prime minister and I, will make the decision sometime in the next couple of weeks about how viable this onsite destruction is. That could solve, you know, somewhere between 20 and 80 percent of this problem.
COOPER: We're moving it to some distance.
CLINTON: Yes. If we burn it, then all you've got to do is bury ash. Ash can be fertilizer. It will be great.
COOPER: You've had a lot of tough jobs. In terms of other jobs you've done, how tough is this one? Where does this compare?
CLINTON: I've never dealt with a place that lost, essentially, its urban center and 30 percent of its population and far more than that of its GDP. We've just got to go back and reconstruct it.
On the other hand, because of the scale, if we do it right, and they do it right, I think they'll be much better off when the rebuilding is done, economically and socially, than they are now.
COOPER: Those in the United States who are watching, who see people still living in these camps -- more than a million and a half people still live in these camps -- and who say, "Well, it looks like this whole reconstruction relief effort has stalled," what do you say?
CLINTON: I say even in Florida, when Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992, a year later not everyone was in a home.
In New Orleans, we had hotels to put people in. But remember, when we moved them in, a lot of those hotels had no sewer, water, no nothing. It took a while to turn on the basic infrastructure.
So when you come to Haiti, a place where 85 percent of people did not have electricity in their homes before the earthquake, they should understand that this is going to be more like the tsunami. It's going to take a while to move all these people out of the -- out of the camps.
And they should have a more -- they should expect us to be making progress moving people out, but you can't just measure it on that. See how good -- see how well we do with the health care, with the schools, with the energy, with the economic development, with the agriculture, with the reforestation. Judge us on a whole range of things, because housing is always the hardest and always takes the longest.
COOPER: Do you think people around the world have forgotten about Haiti?
CLINTON: No, but I think it's easy for them to think, "Oh, well, they still have all these problems." It's sort of -- to be patronizing, it's one of those that was before, say that it's one of those that will always be with us sort of things. Or what do you expect?
These people are gifted. They're talented. You saw we had -- we had the head of the local police was honored today. He went back to work two days after he lost two of his own children. The finance minister in this government went back to work two days after he lost his 10-year-old son in the earthquake. These -- these folks have done everything they've been asked to do and then some. So I wouldn't give up on them.
I think that the -- if the donors will honor their commitments and we on the commission can do a good job, and none of these international bodies will delay things too much, I think you'll see good results.
COOPER: I should point out, it took more than two years, according to the U.N., to get people living in tents in Banda Aceh in Indonesia after the tsunami back into actual homes.
We're going to have -- you can look at the complete interview with former president Clinton tomorrow on our Web site. We're going to put it up there. Tomorrow night on this program, we'll also have some of our conversation with Haiti's president, Rene Preval.
Still ahead tonight, Sanjay Gupta, Gary Tuchman and Ivan Watson on the changes they've seen since we were last here in Haiti.
And we'll get an update on quake survivor Michel Corvil (ph), who we first met in the first days after the quake. The tragic new twist in his story next.
COOPER: The six-month anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. I'm joined by Gary Tuchman, Ivan Watson and Dr. Sanjay Gupta, all of whom, of course, were here six months ago, standing right where we're standing now.
Ivan, what do you see today? How have things changed?
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, an awful lot of homeless people and a lot of rubble. One of the things I really wanted to see was catch up with -- with one man that we profiled before, who was a middle-class guy who lost everything. And his name was Michel Corvil (ph).
And we tracked him down near the rubble of his old house. And he hugged me, and then he just left me with this awful news, that his wife had died a month after the earthquake.
COOPER: Of something unrelated to the earthquake?
WATSON: No. He said that she was a casualty, in effect, because of nerves and because of the conditions they were living in, in the refugee camp and the aftershocks. I don't know what medically happened, but unfortunately, I saw that his family, which had been living in some comfort, has really just kind of disintegrated right now. They're living in shacks.
COOPER: Is he working at all? Or...
WATSON: He's living in a shack. He earned all his money from renting out rooms in his house, which was destroyed. No homeowner's insurance. And crushed by losing his wife, as well. And he just wants to give up, basically.
COOPER: He wants to give up.
Gary, when you -- this is -- you've been here since the earthquake, since the immediate aftermath, the few weeks that we were here in the months after. What really strikes you?
TUCHMAN: Well, this is my fifth time here since -- since the earthquake. And what I marvel at is how I see more homeless people each time I've been here. Six months ago tonight, we were watching in this park where a few hundred people here. And I remember thinking -- I guess I was naive -- they'll be here a couple of nights, and we'll find a place for them. There are more and more people. The structures are becoming more and more permanent.
COOPER: And people can't go back to their neighborhoods right now, because there's still rubble everywhere. Because there's so much rubble, and they don't have heavy earth-moving equipment in large enough numbers and enough trucks to actually take the rubble out.
TUCHMAN: Charity groups are estimating that 2 percent of the rubble has been removed.
COOPER: Right. They're people $5 to basically cart out rubble by hand, but it's just -- it's making a small dent.
And Sanjay, for you, what really jumps out?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, I've been focusing on the medical stuff, certainly. And I think -- I really hoped at six months we'd be talking about this grand ambition that people are laying out, that something good could come out of something bad, which is that they could build a health-care infrastructure here, which really didn't even exist before the earthquake.
But that -- those hopes really seem to have been batched. I mean, even the private hospitals, which did provide care for the residents before the earthquake, some of those have shut down, as well. General Hospital, the largest public hospital, I think we've all visited it, it's essentially -- there's really nothing happening there right now. So there's hardly any care to be given.
And so many -- you know, it's the same problem. You remember that there were so many pain medications stuck at the airport. We went out there, grabbed pain medications, and took them to the hospital. It's that same problem. Now, they're in warehouses. The supplies are coming in, getting into the warehouses. But they're not getting to people who need it. The same issue.
COOPER: There's a report by Senator Kerry's staff, basically critical of what they saw on the ground here. And one of the things they said is that the Haitian government hasn't done enough -- a good enough job of communicating with its people about what is being done and what they're at least trying to do or hope to do.
And Ivan -- and the people you talk to, are they optimistic before moving forward?
WATSON: No, I don't think so. I mean, I think that optimism, some of the excitement and the good will, has dissipated. And people are saying -- one man said, point blank to me, you know, "I've heard about these billions of dollars, but I'm living here in filth and poverty, and I haven't received anything. Where did the money go?"
TUCHMAN: The indignities here. People are living on median strips in tents with traffic whizzing by on both sides.
I saw something today just about one minute walk from here that was so poignant. It was one of those slides that you see in a playground where you walk -- where children walk up on a platform, and sometimes they make a fort and they slide down in a circle. It's now the home of a family of four, on a slide.
COOPER: There had been a lot of talk early on about getting people, moving them out of the city. I know they'd still like to do that. But again, money for doing that -- these donors, these international donors just have not ponied up the money that they have promised so far.
We're going to be in Port-au-Prince again tomorrow night. Our coverage is going to continue. We'll have more from Haiti at the top of the hour. Stay with us.