Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Secretary of State Clinton Arrives in Haiti; Gas Shortage in Haiti; Obama Discusses Haiti Disaster with Former Presidents Clinton and Bush

Aired January 16, 2010 - 15:02   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Meantime, we want to take you straight to Port-au-Prince in this live shot because we understand U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has arrived just as that camera decides to take a U-turn there.

That Coast Guard air flight we understand that she is on it and she is to be traveling with USAID director Dr. Rajiv Shaw. All those people getting in place right there for the arrival of secretary of state Hillary Clinton there to Port-au-Prince, who presumably wants to see for herself the efforts that are under way, to bring in some much- needed relief, medical units who have also been arriving in Port-au- Prince now over the past four days.

But one big problem has been of course actually trying to get as much- needed medical aid that has been donated to these locations where there are doctors in place who want to try and perform some first aid as well as surgery.

We understand there are so many shipments of water and food that made their way into the region of Haiti, but big problem getting them because some of the roads are damaged. There are some military, there is at least one military aircraft carrier that is in the region. We understand that some helicopter airlifts are to take place at some point today. We have not received any confirmation as to whether any of that has happened.

So again, onboard this U.S. Coast Guard aircraft we understand U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be there along with the USAID director Dr. Rajiv Shaw. We've heard from so many of our correspondents on the ground there about so many different things that are taking place. Everything from long lines at gas stations that opened up now four days after the earthquake struck. We heard from our Susan Candiotti who showed us so many people lining up to get gasoline.

Even those operating ambulances also in the line to try to get some gas. We saw that there are some medical triage units that have been set up. There are tents, but the big problem, surgeries can't be performed. We heard from one doctor talking to our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen who said that 30 percent of those who need surgery, 30 percent just might die which amounts to about 100 people at that one triage unit who might die because they can't get surgeries within the next 24 hours. We also heard from our correspondent Anderson Cooper on the ground that there is sign of life, of at least one young girl trapped in the rubble right in Port-au-Prince just a few blocks away from the collapsed presidential palace. So many different needs there in Port- au-Prince and beyond. And Hillary Clinton, when she emerges from that aircraft will be getting a first hand view of the great needs that are in place.

Meantime, President Obama discusses the situation in Haiti this morning with his two predecessors, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The two former presidents have agreed to lead private fund-raising efforts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These two leaders send an unmistakable message to the people of Haiti and the people of the world. In these difficult hours, America stands united. We stand united with the people of Haiti who have shown such incredible resilience, and we'll help them to recover and to rebuild.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux joins us now with more details on this effort -- Suzanne.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well Fred, obviously the president to bring in some heavy-hitters, some former presidents to help him in this effort, this humanitarian effort, trying to get Americans to contribute, and also to look at the situation in the long term when some of that tension fades and the crises diminishes, that people will still reach for their pocketbooks and make some investments for the long-term future of Haitians.

Now we saw both these presidents, President Clinton as well as President Bush, and what struck me is how emotional they were about their participation in this project. President Clinton saying he knew people who had perished in this earthquake. That he had a long experience with Haiti going back to his honeymoon back in 1975, and that Haiti really was on the cusp of making political and economic progress, if you will.

President Bush also in the Rose Garden stressing that he had been invited by President Obama to participate in this. He was at home in his Texas home watching the TV coverage. He said it made him sick to his stomach to watch all the pain and anguish, and that he was very pleased that he got that phone call Wednesday night from President Obama. He wanted to reassure Americans there is a place that you can donate, that you can give your funds and support, the reconstruction of Haiti, the rescue efforts, and at the same time there is a place where your money will be held accountable, where you'll know that it's actually getting to the right people.

I want you to take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEORGE W. BUSH, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Most effective way for Americans to help the people of Haiti is to contribute money. That money will go to organizations on the ground who will be able to effectively spend it. I know a lot of people want to send blankets or water, just send your cash. One of the things the president and I will do is make sure your money is spent wisely.

BILL CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have no words to say of what I feel. I was in those hotels that collapsed. I had meals with people who are dead. The Cathedral Church that Hillary and I sat in 34 years ago is a total rubble.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: And Fred, this isn't the first time you've seen former presidents get involved in this kind of work. It was actually President Bush's idea his model when he asked Bill Clinton and his father George H.W. Bush to get involved in the tsunami relief after the tsunami in Indonesia, a very successful effort. That is what this fund is being modeled after. There was no mention Fred of President Bush's handling of Katrina. That is not something President Obama mentioned, but rather he tried to stress the successful relief efforts that the president was involved in when it came to the tsunami relief.

Obviously, that very different in contrast to Katrina. We want to let our viewers know, here is how you can help and here is how you can get in touch with this fund, there is a website, it is WWW.clintonbushhaitifund.org.

WHITFIELD: Suzanne Malveaux, thank you so much.

The presidents are going to talk a little bit more about this effort, former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will be discussing the Haiti relief effort on the "STATE OF THE UNION" tomorrow.

Join CNN's John King "THE STATE OF THE UNION" at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

So many seriously injured, quake victims are the not getting enough treatment. To show you just how desperate the situation is, CNN senior medical correspondent and chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta was at the field hospital in Port-au-Prince last night.

He watched as doctors and nurses evacuated, leaving critically-injured patients behind. Gupta along with the CNN crew and one Belgian nurse, who refused to leave, cared for the patients overnight. But there was little that they could actually do without medical supplies. Gupta tells us the doctors said that they were ordered to go by the U.N. out of concern for their security, but the U.N. denies that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID WIMHURST, U.N. PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN HAITI: We checked into this immediately, of course. We are were extremely concerned to hear this news. We discovered to no instructions by the U.N. or any of its security officials or any other officials have been issued to any medical staff in any medical facility in Haiti to stop working. (END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: The doctors and nurses returned to the field hospital this morning and we're still looking into why they left with their equipment overnight.

Let's check in with our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen. She traveled into Port-au-Prince with a team of doctors out of Florida.

What is the latest?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well Fredricka, things are much more stressful here at this hospital than they were yesterday. You can hear the screams behind me. These are people with fractures. Some have bones sticking out of their skin. They are on morphine, but they are still screaming. A doctor I just talked to, actually several doctors says they think about 1/3 of these patients, so 100 patients need surgery in the next 24 hours or they will die.

One of those patients is a patient I was just with in a car. They are trying to get a 2-month-old baby who survived in the rubble miraculously until just a few hours ago, but this baby has broken ribs. They are concerned that she will die of pneumonia without care in a real hospital, this being a make-shift hospital, so they are going to send her to Miami. There are two risks they are taking.

One, will the baby survive the trip to Miami? And two will the U.S. government let that baby in? That baby has no papers. They don't know this baby's name. Will they let this baby in when that plane reaches Miami? So Fredricka that is the concern right now is that this baby and other patients will die without surgery or without some form of intensive care at a real hospital -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: So Elizabeth, the last time you and I spoke about 30 minutes ago, the doctor there underscored the need for about 100 people at that particular unit who needed surgery within the next 24 hours, if this measure is being made for this small child to be flown out of the country to get medical help, is there a possibility that perhaps any of those other 100 who need surgery might be flown out of country to get surgery?

COHEN: They haven't talked about making plans for other patients. I think first of all, they don't have the facilities to fly all 100 patients out of here. They have flown some over the past couple of days. They might fly ten or 20 to Martinique, but Martinique doesn't have the ability to take every single patient here.

The short answer to that is that there really isn't the facilities to fly all these 100 patients out of here. They thought this baby was particularly critical that is why they put her on the plane first. But it's not clear whether they are going to allow this baby to enter the United States.

WHITFIELD: OK. Elizabeth, before I let you go, what is needed for surgeries to be able to take place in dire situations like this when there are so many doctors, medical staff and equipment at the ready to address calamities just like this?

Why would they not be equipped to be able to carry out emergency surgeries?

COHEN: Well, to do surgeries, you need an operating room. This is a tent. There is no operating room here. This is just a tent. Israelis are building an operating room. When that is up and running, that will be the first operating room in this vicinity. Doctors here are looking forward to be able to give patients to the Israelis for surgery.

Now, a team from the United States has also sent a surgical team, but their equipment isn't here yet. So the Americans hope that their equipment will be ready by the end of the day. But doctors here tell me that they thought it would be ready for them yesterday or the day before. Again, what is needed is operating rooms. There are none in this vicinity. No place to take these people to.

WHITFIELD: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, senior medical correspondent there in Port-au-Prince.

Thanks so much.

Not far from where Elizabeth is, the airport and that is where U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has just arrived there. You are seeing some of the latest images coming in right now, contingency of people there to greet her. She is traveling along with the USAID director Dr. Rajiv Shaw. They will be getting their first hand look at exactly what Elizabeth was describing, the medical need. Other rescue efforts that still may be under way in various parts of Port-au-Prince as well as relief efforts.

Earlier today we saw there were pick-up trucks that were actually making delivery of what could be food or perhaps even water, but it's unclear how those coordinated efforts are getting under way. A number of shipments have been brought in by way of the airport and even by boat. The difficulty is getting them to people in the greatest need, much more on what's taking place there in Port-au-Prince momentarily.

Meantime, not far from there in south Florida, a very large Haitian community. Many people are gathering to try to figure out how to get some donated relief supplies of their own to Haiti.

Our Ed Lavendera is there.

Ed, how are they going to get some of that material to Haiti?

ED LAVENDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well there are trying to figure that out now. I spoke with a city official here in Miami a short while ago who talked about this spontaneous show of support here for the Haitians, where you see people as we speak someone about to drive up here to this fire station in the Little Haiti neighborhood of Miami.

People are bringing water, clothes, nonperishable food. All of this is being taken to a big warehouse here in Miami. City officials are trying to figure out how to get that in the most effective way to the island to help out the people who need it most. This is not an organized effort.

These are people who have been bringing this to fire stations. They've done this in the past as Haiti's been rocked by hurricanes in recent years and they've done that and are repeating those efforts here again today. Everywhere you go throughout this neighborhood in Miami Fredricka, you really see the pressure and how much this is weighing on people's hearts and minds.

We were at the phone bank. People who don't have enough money to make these long distance phone calls are going to these phone banks to try to make the phone calls to find out the latest information on their loves ones.

Everywhere you go people are talking about this. There is a Catholic church just across the street. We talked with a priest there who talked about how much he is saddened to see the thousands of people buried in churches, lying dead on the streets. He is worried about there not being a proper funeral. The priest told us a little while ago Fredricka that he is in the process of collecting every single name from parishioners who have lost family members, and they want to do essentially a funeral for all of those victims who died in this earthquake. A couple of snapshots how this community is dealing with this tragedy.

WHITFIELD: And behind you Ed, it seems like there has been a steady stream of vehicles coming in to drop off what appear to be bags of water, food, et cetera.

LAVENDERA: Right.

WHITFIELD: Is it just simply, are people spontaneously coming over and dropping off goods?

LAVENDERA: It is a good sign, you see what these people are doing, and I just heard a fire fighter mention that they are asking people not to bring clothing. That isn't the best way to help so those guys will take it away. Look at this car right here. A back seat full of materials they hope can help these people somehow. Really, what they are focusing on now is the bottled water and the nonperishable food.

I get the sense that they are turning away some of the clothing items. That is not something that will make it. The city is trying to figure out how to get all these goods and material to Haiti. There is a big problem with obviously getting stuff in, getting into the port. The last I heard that they wanted to take this by boat somehow. Whether or not that will be able to happen is something they have to work out. The cars continue to pull through. Here is another one here this afternoon. We've seen this all day here in Little Haiti in Miami -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Folks are trying everything they can to try and reach out and help the people across the waters.

Thanks so much, Ed Lavendera appreciate that from Little Haiti, in North Miami. So if would you like to help with relief efforts in Haiti or find out more information log on to our website at CNN.com/impact your world. There you'll find a list of agencies providing emergency relief and you'll see a link to the iReport looking for loved ones photo gallery.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEAN BATISTE-JEAN, EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR: I'm Jean Batiste-Jean. I want to say we are OK in Haiti.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to let you know that all my family is OK, my daddy, my brother, my mother, my sisters, everything is okay. We have no problem. We're all right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: People coming to CNN cameras in Haiti letting their loved ones know that they are OK. Thousands of Haitians are in fact trying to get the word out to family members. And our Gary Tuchman tells us many cell phones and blackberries are actually now working again. People here in the U.S. are monitoring and using the media to get information about their loved ones the best way they can.

CNN's Errol Barnett joins us now with a story of one woman's frantic search for her mother actually in Haiti.

ERROL BARNETT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is right Fredricka. She is using every form, the media and social media. This is such a heart wrenching story because there are thousands of stories like this. This one in particular began or started to end with a bit of video that we were airing here on CNN. Take a look.

One of our viewers saw the woman wearing black with the megaphone and called in and said that is my mother, where was that video shot? She called and I was on the phone with her for a while. Her name is Mona Scott Young. I told her it is Associated Press video shot Thursday. So we couldn't give too many specifics, but I encouraged her to head to our looking for loved ones page on CNN.com.

To create a page for her mother which she did, that is a picture of her now. Mona Scott Young joins me over the phone now from New Jersey. A few hours ago she got an update on her mother's condition.

Mona you knew that your mother was alive at least Thursday and in high spirits. What is the update you have for us?

MONA SCOTT-YOUNG, MOTHER IN HAITI (via telephone): I have found my mother. She is at the children's hospital and is alive and she is doing whatever she can to help.

BARNETT: I'm sure your voice is hoarse.

SCOTT-YOUNG: And four days of staying up all night just searching and watching CNN and calling her number over and over again. BARNETT: I want to ask you about the video that you saw that had you call us. What was your reaction when you saw that video amongst all the other coverage of the death and destruction there in Haiti?

SCOTT-YOUNG: It was amazing because, you know, everything, everyone was so devastated and it seemed like at what point is there going to be any kind of hope? I heard the singing, which caught my attention and I looked up at the screen. There was this woman standing with this bullhorn. When I looked I said, wait a minute, that's mom.

BARNETT: Wow. Also her condition is well. This was shortly after the quake or just a few days. She is in high spirits; she is trying to keep everyone else feeling well also. Does that speak to what your mother is usually like?

SCOTT-YOUNG: Absolutely. My mother, I never really understood it. She had the most devotion to Haiti and fell such a passion for her country and her people. I never really quite understood it until I saw her standing there in the midst of all of this. She is not going to leave. She is going to stay there and do whatever she can, but at least I know she is well and fine.

BARNETT: Tell me about what your mother will be doing now. Earlier you said she will be working at the children's hospital there in Haiti. She doesn't want to leave.

SCOTT-YOUNG: It was a very brief conversation. We didn't have a chance to really -- I heard her voice, and of course got excited, but then calmed myself to find out where she was. What I got from her is I'm at the children's hospital, but we need water desperately. The babies are thirsty and they are dying, send water. I said, are you OK? Are you fine? She said, I'm fine, I'm fine, just send water. Then the phone disconnected. I haven't heard back from her. I've been trying and trying her number again. At least I know exactly where she is.

BARNETT: One more success story there, Mona Scott-Young joining us from New Jersey, thank you for sharing this story with us. A glimmer of hope.

SCOTT-YOUNG: Absolutely. Can I please say something, Errol? I want to implore people. They need money. Project Medishare is amazing. They were on the ground. They helped me. They are trying to raise money for more medicine. Just give money right now. They need money for medicine, water, food, I'm imploring everyone.

BARNETT: Yes. That is what all the agencies are telling us. Thank you. We had some 400 people found on this looking for loved ones page on I-report but thousands more missing.

WHITFIELD: That is amazing. Well I'm glad that has become a great source of connecting and sharing information. People want to find out other ways in which they can help. They can go to our Website CNN.com/impact your world, and also find out what other organizations and resources are available to help out to the people in Haiti.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WHITFIELD: So many Haitian Americans trying to reach out to learn how their loved ones are doing in Haiti. And one area with a significant Haitian-American population would be New York. And Carter Evans joins us from Little Haiti, a community there in Brooklyn. And what are people saying and doing?

CARTER EVANS, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, right now they are just trying to get the information, any information that they can about their loved ones and that is very difficult. And unfortunately, a lot of the information that is coming in is not good news, although as of late, we have been hearing a few stories where people are beginning to get text messages from family members, an e-mail here and there they are starting to get information. Some of those stories are good, but a lot are sad.

Last night at Holy Cross church, a lot of people turned out there for some comfort. It's a very difficult situation. The bishop there was born in Haiti, so he can understand what is going on and he's got his own family that he's looking out for. One woman, in particular, she came with a picture of her son, her late son. He died in the earthquake along with the rest of her family.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICOLE JOINVILLE, MOURNER: Their house collapse, so he die, my sister die, my mother die, my niece too, my niece 10 years, my niece four years, my cousin, all of my family die.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

EVANS: So, now they are just trying to get in touch with everyone and see what is going on over in Haiti, but that is very difficult. Just imagine seeing the pictures that we see on TV now and knowing that some of those people could be your relatives. I think the frustrating part is just waiting around and doing nothing. So many people are not doing nothing. Radio Soleil, here in Brooklyn, a local radio station is rebroadcasting a radio station that is actually still on the air in Haiti, right now. And what they're doing is trying to get the information to that radio station and get it back, kind of an ad hoc radio network, if you will. Turns out the deejay in that station has a very personal connection to what's going on in Haiti, right now.

WHITFIELD: All right, Carter...

EVANS: Go ahead.

WHITFIELD: Go ahead, I thought we were going to hear from him, I think you thought so too, but it looks like we don't have that sound bite from him. But if you want to paraphrase his sentiment.

EVANS: Yeah well, basically, he has family in there right now. He hasn't heard from them, either. So while he's taking this information from other people, trying to get them in touch with their families, you know, he is waiting for information of his own.

I also wanted to mention there is a volunteer ambulance group from Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, just left the airport and JFK. They are in the air right now, 50 of them in a charter plane, they're headed to Haiti to help.

WHITFIELD: Oh wow. OK, Carter Evans, thanks so much, out of Brooklyn, appreciate that.

And about an hour or two ago we heard from Anderson Cooper who was there in Port-au-Prince. And at the time, he was able to give us kind of a play-by-play action on the search for what they think to be a little girl who was caught in the rubble. It sounds like we have him again now.

Anderson, if you can give us an update on, "A," does it appear that there is indeed a little girl in the rubble? And if so, how has that effort been unfolding?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's been unfolding (AUDIO GAP) and it is (AUDIO GAP) it is just a painstaking process for search and rescue personnel (AUDIO GAP) are on the scene. They were literally driving down the street, walked (AUDIO GAP) that her daughter was trapped in the rubble and that she still (AUDIO GAP) and for days she'd been trying to get people to help.

Professional searchers had come by. The L.A. County Search and Rescue Mission stopped. They didn't know what this woman was saying. We had a translator, our producer Vlad was with us. He translated. They immediately went to the scene and we've been with them now for, as I said, two hours. They believe this girl is alive. They don't know for sure. They have not been able to see her. Our translator yelled into a deep hole asking her to tap three times and they have very sensitive equipment that they placed in this hole and they believe they have heard her tapping.

The problem is there's so much noise on the streets in Port-au-Prince, so much ambient sound you can't say for sure that it's this little girl tapping. And they tried now about ten different times talking to her with Vlad screaming, yelling for her to tap and then to stop, trying to locate exactly where she may be in the rubble.

They brought in two teams of dogs. The dogs who find, not cadavers, but who can find living people inside the rubble, but the dogs, one dog got a positive hit. The most recent dog that they sent in, named "Hunter" from L.A. County Fire and Search Rescue, that dog did not get a hit. They are about to bring in a jackhammer and drill a hole and then place a video camera inside and hopefully try to see something. But again, they believe she is alive. They don't know for sure. The mother is obviously beside herself. She is standing by. She's been sitting down, praying silently as all of this is going on around her.

There are about 20 to 25 search and rescue personnel from L.A. County who have been here and are working and have been here since the morning after the earthquake. But these guys and women are just, you know, determined to try to find this little girl, her name is Laka Alexandra (ph). She is 10 years old and her mother very badly wants her to still be alive. WHITFIELD: Wow, that's remarkable. Now, you mentioned the potential drilling -- this is to lower this video or some sort of a scope in which to try to see her and they have not been able to do that yet, right?

COOPER: That's correct. They have a camera, it almost looks like a rifle, but it is a camera that they are able to control the end of. They brought that in twice now already to different locations. But, part of the problem is, and this is a huge -- there are several buildings which have collapsed and because they don't know the exact location where this little girl may be, they are putting probes in different places, but again, finding her in the exact spot is critical. Anyone who is still alive now, generally found in what they call a void space, maybe it's under a stairwell, it's somehow, it's space that's created even in the complete pile of rubble. So, sometimes people can be found, even now, even four plus days later, uninjured, but trapped in rubble.

WHITFIELD: And, again, the belief is this may have been a school, right?

COOPER: Sorry, please repeat that?

WHITFIELD: This might have been a school that collapsed that she's in, the little girl is trapped in?

COOPER: It's not clear. The mother says a teacher was with this girl, but it's not clear if it was a school or if she was visiting a teacher. She's not exactly in much condition -- some of the things she is saying are sort of not making sense. So, the information is kind of spotty, at best. But, they know where in the building they think she was and that's the area they're focused on. But, as you know, I mean, this is very dangerous for the search and rescue personnel. With each piece they have to be careful with every piece of debris that they take out that they're not affecting the structural support of the buildings that do still exist.

They've mobilized the community to use to shore up the structure to (AUDIO GAP). They have to be very careful about the possibility of aftershocks. We've had continuous aftershocks since this earthquake occurred on Tuesday. They have to be very well aware that they need an exit strategy from this structure if an aftershock suddenly hit.

WHITFIELD: Yeah, so much making this a house of cards, very vulnerable. Anderson Cooper, thanks so much for that report from Port-au-Prince. Of course, we're going to continue to keep tabs and hope for the best that this 10-year-old girl that they believe is in this rubble is found and is alive. We'll have much more of our continuing coverage of the tragedy in Haiti, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WHITFIELD: Volunteer work has been the life blood for Haiti for so many years. And someone who knows that firsthand is my next guest John Eaves, the former regional manager for the U.S. Peace Corps and he's here to talk about how volunteers kind of mobilize, and how so many local governments and nongovernment agencies all get involved at a time like this.

Are you impressed with what's taking place? Do you think the brevity is all it could be under such circumstances?

JOHN EAVES, FMR U.S. PEACE CORPS DIR: I'm very impressed. The president has done a great job in terms of having a call to action. He certainly has reached out to local and state governments in terms of trying to get we, as elected officials, involved in the effort.

And so, here locally in Fulton County and in Atlanta, in particular, we are very fortunate to have two international relief organizations, Care International as well as the Red Cross. And they've been very active in terms of getting the community engaged, assisting money and also Fulton County government, I'm very happy to say, we've been involved in the effort.

On Friday we had a solicitation of our employees and got a good response and we're going to continue the effort on Tuesday, trying to get money from our employees.

WHITFIELD: And so as a member of Fulton County government, you all were also involved in a conference call with the White House. What was that conversation like? What is being asked by this administration of municipalities?

EAVES: Again, the president has been very aggressive in terms of having this call to action, and so I have been privy to the conversations. The big thing that he and his staff have been communicating is that there is a need for money. No need for books, no need for clothing, et cetera, but money.

WHITFIELD: We heard that underscored by the former president George W. Bush today as part of this concerted effort saying that's what is needed right here, cold, hard cash.

EAVES: Exactly. That is the quickest and most efficient way of delivering what's needed in Haiti right now as opposed to some goods and product. And so, that certainly has been the thing that's been sounded and we're beginning to respond accordingly on a local level.

WHITFIELD: And fund-raising efforts that are about to get underway starting Monday on so many different levels and you'll see one here, as well.

EAVES: Exactly. Again, Fulton County government is a part of this process. As chairman, I've been pushing it, working with our staff. People need to realize that Haitian-Americans are everywhere, not only in Miami or in New York City, they're also here in Atlanta. We have hundreds in Atlanta and thousands in metropolitan Atlanta. In fact, some of them even work for Fulton County government. And I spoke with several of them yesterday. And it was heart-wrenching to hear them talk about how their family members have passed away, got killed, and others are unaccounted for. So, it's very heart-wrenching, so we on a local level are beginning to respond because we have Haitian-Americans who are here in our local...

WHITFIELD: John Eaves, thanks so much, appreciate it.

EAVES: Thank you.

WHITFIELD: We'll have much more of our continuing coverage of the devastation in Haiti, right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GUPTA: So much of the attention is now focused over here on patients who are alive and in desperate need of medical care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the whole week, we haven't been eating. All we've been doing is watching CNN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have people waiting for treatment.

O'BRIEN: This little boy just came out of the rubble two hours ago.

COOPER: Makeshift tents have sprung up all over Port-au-Prince.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifty hours inside, he has been rescued. These are the heroes.

ANNOUNCER: CNN is there. CNN, the worldwide leader in news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm very happy because me and you live. Live. You know I'm saying?

COOPER: You're happy because we're both alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw you too, you know?

COOPER: So, how is your family? How are you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is OK. My house in (INAUDIBLE) No. 8, you know, everything OK.

COOPER: Yeah?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah. Yeah. My dad live Central Place, 340 Central Place in Brooklyn.

COOPER: Have you been able to communicate with them?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I can't. I can't.

COOPER: Do they know you're OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they don't know.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WHITFIELD: Lots of relief, but still an awful lot of heartache and a high-tech mapping technology really might be able to help in the relief effort in Haiti. It was used after the southeastern tsunami and it's credited for saving so many lives, there. CNN's Kate Bolduan joins us live from Washington with more on this -- Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Hey there, Fredricka. This is pretty interesting. So, what do you do when a massive disaster strikes as it has in Haiti and communication systems are almost completely wiped out in those critical hours early on? Well, that's where some high-definition mapping technology can come into play. We got a demonstration of just some of this high-tech data in Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee and how it can be key in assisting disaster relief.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

What are we looking at now?

BUDHENDRA BHADURI, OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY: Here what you're looking at is distribution of population in this region, impacted area. OK? Each cell represents roughly about a kilometer by kilometer.

BOLDUAN: So, each little box, right here is one kilometer.

BHADRUI: And then the intensity of the color indicates how many people are likely to be there. So, Haiti has about 9,035,000 official reported number of people in there. So, you can see, you know, the most of the people are concentrated in Port-au-Prince and this area that is very close to where the highest shaking on impact from the earthquake.

BOLDUAN: You used this type model to help during the tsunami in Indonesia. What kind of information -- the U.S. government reaches out to you to ask for help with this kind of data. What kind of information are they using this for? How does this help them?

BHADRUI: So, the first order of analysis is try to understand how many people should the agencies plan for, for relief? How many people would need assistance? So, for example, during the tsunami, we were working with the U.N. (INAUDIBLE) Food Program, who needed to understand how many people were impacted that needed food and medical assistance. So, the number of people, understanding the number of impacted people, really drives the rest of the operation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLDUAN: And USAID confirms they are using this population mapping information to assist in in relief efforts in Haiti. It's used in addition to some of that satellite imagery that we've seen very crystal clear. And it helps get the best idea of where people were at least before the earthquake, giving them some really good guidance of where the most aid is need. Clearly this is only a way to plan, Fredricka. And we know getting it in, getting the aid in is a completely different ballgame.

WHITFIELD: That's the big problem. All right, Kate Bolduan, thanks so much, in Washington. Many celebrities are actually paying close attention to the unfolding crisis in Haiti and they're working with nonprofits now to try to raise some money. Here's what some of them had to say last night outside the Critics' Choice Awards show in Los Angeles.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES CAMERON, DIRECTOR: I think maybe this, in addition to actually helping in this situation as much as we can, we might want to do some planning for the next time when we say, well what happens when there's a disaster so bad that there is no infrastructure? Can we create something that actually can put a team on the ground with the same kind of organization and alacrity that we use when we put Special Forces on the ground to take out a military objective? What about putting the same thing into humanitarian relief?

JULIANNE MOORE, ACTRESS: I work for Save the Children and if you go to their Web site, you can donate directly there, you can donate to UNICEF, to the Red Cross. I think everybody is -- I think everybody sort of feels that there's this urgent need, so all we can do is kind of get the word out and give where we can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WHITFIELD: All right. And, of course, you can give and help out by going to our Web site, for starters, CNN.com/impactyourworld. There you will find a host of resources in which to donate your time and your money, do all that you can to help the people in Haiti.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)