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Resource distribution Continues to Be a Problem in Haiti; Medical & Emergency Teams Arriving: Primitive Conditions Multiply Challenges; Credit Crunch: End in Sight?; Critical Vote for Kennedy's Seat in Massachusetts

Aired January 19, 2010 - 07:00   ET


JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: And good morning, it's Tuesday the 19th of January. Thanks for joining us in the Most News in the Morning. I'm John Roberts.

KIRAN CHETRY, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Kiran Chetry. We're watching two very big stories for you this morning. One, of course, coming out of Haiti and the massive relief and aid effort continuing there.

ROBERTS: And the other story comes to us, from the political world, we're watching a showdown in Massachusetts. Could Kennedy country turn red today? The state elect a new senator, and we're live in the state capital with the very latest.

CHETRY: But first, the overwhelming task of reviving Haiti one week after the earthquake. Let's give you the latest this morning on what is going on. The airport in the capital is so badly backlogged. There are reports of physicians, emergency supplies, and even search and rescue crews being turned away. Some are asking could this really be happening. We're looking into that accusation at this hour.

ROBERTS: The group Doctors without Borders is demanding to know who's in charge. They claim their planes are being diverted away from Port-au-Prince airport while thousands of victims lay dying.

CHETRY: And already there's talk about how to rebuild Haiti in the future. The number of dead could top 200,000, and some are saying that many of those victims might have survived if only basic construction standards had been in place. Our guest at the half-hour says earthquakes don't kill people, buildings do.

ROBERTS: And with tens of thousands of Haitian children now orphaned, the U.S. government is relaxing regulations and temporarily opening America's borders to the most helpless victims of this disaster.

Well, 200,000 people may have been killed in the Haitian earthquake, more than 70,000 bodies have already been recovered. Maxi Fallon's body, thankfully, is not one of them. The 23-year-old college student spent six days trapped in the rubble after her school collapsed around her.

But she cheated death thanks to a search and rescue team from Peru and a CNN news crew. Our Chris Lawrence is in Port-au-Prince this morning.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We were driving to a story when a paramedic runs out in front of our truck begging for help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now, up here.

LAWRENCE (on camera): So, what's happened was we were just passing by, and the rescue teams told us can we please use your truck.

LAWRENCE (voice-over): They just pulled a young woman out of the rubble and her blood pressure is 60 over 20. She's got to get to a hospital and they need to get their truck to search for other survivors. So our CNN pickup truck is an innocent ambulance, and it's our driver behind the wheel.

A rescue team from Peru and Nicaragua just pulled her out of a building six days after the quake.

LAWRENCE (on camera): It looks like she lost co consciousness for a minute or two. She just blinked and now she's opened her eyes again. I can see the paramedic. He has his head firmly on her neck and feeling for a pulse.

It looks like we're pulling up now to the U.N. hospital. Maybe we were driving for ten minutes, you think ten minutes? Ten-minute drive. It seemed like a lot longer.

Now, this place really isn't set up for any long-term care. You can see she's being treated outside right here on the sidewalk. The doctors are telling us what they're trying to do is stabilize her enough so that they can transport her to a better hospital.

She's a college student named Maxi Fallon, and her sister tells me she has been looking for her all week.

We think it's over, but, no. They load another quake survivor in our flatbed. They both need to go to a better hospital. The first one can't take them. So, we drive another 40 minutes, and it's dark by the time we get to this French hospital where the paramedics finally get her inside.


LAWRENCE: The doctors say that she was severely dehydrated and may have a few fractures, but she's OK, she's going to live. The paramedic says her legs were bent back in such a way that it took pressure off of her chest and probably allowed her to breathe.

And Maxi herself tells us that she could smell all the dead people around her. She said that she prayed every single day and she never gave up hope that somebody would eventually rescue her. John?

ROBERTS: What an ordeal. Chris Lawrence for us in Port-au- Prince this morning. Chris, thanks. The United Nations admits that it is facing unprecedented challenges trying to coordinate the relief effort in Haiti. In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour United Nation Secretary Ban Ki-Moon says a comprehensive aid and recovery plan is in place and the people of Haiti should begin to benefit from it soon.


BAN KI-MOON, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: This is what we are going to create, a system in every direction, like water, sanitation, food, shelter, and logistics. We are now opening roadways and we are now trying to improve a port facility.

I'm gratified to U.S. government upon my request that they are now improving a port facility in a very relatively short period of time. This would be extremely important.


ROBERTS: Meanwhile, more help is on the way, 2,200 marines joining 1,700 U.S. troops already on the ground and as many as 5,000 more troops should be arriving in Haiti sometime this week.

CHETRY: European Union officials estimate the Haiti quake left a quarter of a million people injured. So how to treat on such a large scale with so little aid trickling in is a huge question.

Our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen spoke exclusively with Haitian President Rene Preval, who issued a call for help while visiting victims at a U.N. clinic in Port-au-Prince.


DR. ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This is just a tiny, tiny fraction of the number of injured Haitians.


COHEN: How are you going to take care of them all?

PREVAL: The more we receive help, the more we can take care of them.

COHEN: What kind of help do you need?

PREVAL: This kind of help -- food. And later on...


COHEN: Among those answering the call former president Bill Clinton. He's a United Nations special envoy for Haiti and he traveled to Port-au-Prince to deliver a shipment of water, food, and medical supplies including 32 generators badly needed, but not nearly enough.

Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta had a chance to speak with the former president.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you have any idea, have you been told how many people have died?

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I have, but unlike you, I have been told so many different numbers, I'm not sure anybody knows.

GUPTA: Do you think the aid is coming in fast enough?

CLINTON: I think the aid is coming in as fast as we can get it in by air and a little bit by sea now. As you know, the real bottlenecks are the distribution system here. And that, I think, is inevitable given the level of destruction of the government ministries and the buildings and all the things that you've seen here.

But I think the agreement that has been reached between the U.N. forces and the military and the work that, the agreement that Hillary signed with President Preval and just the pure, you know, getting the hang of it, I think this distribution system is going to go way up.

This earthquake was an equal opportunity destroyer. You know, you've been here long enough and you went up and looked at the neighborhoods and some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country were totally wiped out.

And that is, as tragic as it is, it means we have a chance to rebuild a country together, to get people together in a way they never have been.

GUPTA: Could Haiti be better than it was before the earthquake as a result of this?

CLINTON: It's very difficult to say that for people now for loved ones who were killed, but the nation as a whole could be built stronger, and in a more just society and a society with better health care, a society with clean energy and many, many more jobs, a society that ends deforestation and brings back real agriculture.

We can do all that, and I'm going to try.


ROBERTS: It's a big challenge. I mean, there has to be almost a top down reformation the way things are done in Haiti. Preval, the new president is different than his predecessors and not so politically ideologically firm. But, still, the systems there are just in terrible, terrible shape.

CHETRY: It's a big challenge, and the president didn't want to say, yes, it will be better out of respect for so many people who lost loved ones and so many that are still injured and suffering. But many are hoping that that will be the case.

ROBERTS: We'll see. It will take an awful lot of aid, though, that's for sure.

There are a lot of challenges in the immediate future about distributing and providing urgent medical care and aid. Senator Bill Frist also a doctor. He was a trauma surgeon, a heart surgeon, and he is down there in Haiti. He's going to join us coming up next along with the head of World Vision Canada Dave Toycen. Stay with us.

It's coming up on nine minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.

Much-needed medical support and emergency teams are making their way into Haiti, but the conditions that aid groups are up against when they arrive are no less than primitive, facing a sea of rubble nearly impossible to navigate and no access to basic anesthesia, nowhere to put patients post-operatively.

Joining us now to talk about these challenges and how to overcome them, former Senate Majority leader Dr. Bill Frist, who is working with the aid group Samaritan's Purse, and Dave Toycen, he's the head of the aid group World Vision Canada. Gentlemen, good to see you. Again, thanks for being with us.

Dr. Frist, you have been on the ground there since yesterday. You were a trauma surgeon the early part of your career. Of course we know you as a public health and public policy expert. What are you seeing on the ground there and how are you struck by what's needed most and how we can meet that need, I guess?

DR. BILL FRIST, SAMARITAN'S PURSE: John, I came in yesterday morning, actually left two nights ago with 17 other medical personnel from Samaritan's Purse, which has been on the ground for the last five or six days. I visited three different hospitals and did surgery yesterday.

And we're at this transition point six or seven days where response, we're all in response mode, but now we begin to shift a little bit to things like planning and rehabilitation and a lot of the public health issues.

One of the things is a person brought in large water filtration systems, and at the hospital where I'm doing surgery about 20 miles from here, we produce about 2,000 gallons of water a day not only for the hospital, but for the community.

That sort of thing is absolutely critical as we look at this transition period from seven, eight, nine days response into planning for the future.

ROBERTS: A lot of people to take care of over the weeks, months and potentially even years.

Dave Toycen, we talked to you last week. One of your immediate concerns was how you were going to replenish the aid that World Vision was doling out. How are you doing on that front?

DAVE TOYCEN, DISASTER RELIEF EXPERT: Well, we've gotten in about five flights at this point. So that's been a real help. We've got things coming in by land, as well. So it's a better situation but it's still not enough.

We're on a steep incline. The language I have been using is that, yes, there is a little bit of momentum being gained every day, but the question is whether that momentum is enough to meet the needs of people who are still hungry and still needing medical care and still needing water.

ROBERTS: So what's the problem? Is it that there is not enough aid coming in, or is it getting the aid from the airport out to the neighborhoods where it's really needed?

TOYCEN: Well, I still think it's both. This is just gigantic need here.

And the airport, even when it's working much better, as it is now, that's not the solution. We have to have it come in from other places, because you're talking about up to a million people who need help.

So the distribution from the actual aid when it comes here, that's another problem. It's still congested. It's still difficult to get it through. We're still short of petrol and short of trucks. All these things contribute in their own little way as to how you get the aid distributed once you get it here.

ROBERTS: Senator Frist, you were talking to us about the need going forward over the midterm and the long-term, but one of the really immediate need is for folks like yourself, people who have medical capabilities, medical knowledge and skill, surgical capabilities.

You know our Dr. Sanjay Gupta was called out to the Carl Vinson to perform neural surgery, and you said you performed surgery. There aren't enough doctors there, but there are a bunch sitting back here in the United States. There's a group of 100 dollars in Missouri trying to get therein. What is the problem in getting more medical teams in there?

FRIST: You know, John, we do have to be careful, and because there is no infrastructure here, we have to think of shelter and we have to think of water and we have to think of housing. We have to be very careful to come, even trauma surgeons.

Right now most of the surgery is orthopedic surgery. I think of the 17-month-old kid yesterday who waited for six days. And my heart goes out to her and her family. She lost both of her brothers, had a fractured elbow. We were there to fix it, but I didn't have the screws or the plates to actually put in to actually fix the elbow.

And so we have to be careful. I think it's great groups like Samaritan's Purse and World Vision and working with the U.S. government here, USAID to get the planning where you have all the resources coming in together at the right time.


FRIST: So right now, in fact, I visited three hospitals last night and we have enough medical personnel at those hospitals but what we need are very specific supplies, which we're calling back and getting in within 24 hours. The fact there's no infrastructure here just makes it challenging.

I'll see today. We'll have about 250 patients come in, sleeping overnight, waiting outside, waiting to get these fractures fixed. The medical personnel are there. Now, we need to get the supplies there and that will hopefully come in during the course of the day.

ROBERTS: And, Dave Toycen, one of the other things that we see, is we see people fleeing the capital city. Some of them are going out to the countryside. Others are making for the border with the Dominican Republic, and among that group a lot of children. What's World Vision to try to, you know, guarantee the safety or at least provide for the safety of some of those children as they leave the capital city there, leave the area where there are a lot of people who are coming in to give aid and keep them safe.

DAVE TOYCEN, HEAD OF WORLD VISION CANADA: No, that's exactly right. There's two parts of this that are really of concern to us, especially our World Vision team has been doing some assessments.

First is, over the next couple of weeks, we're hoping to get child friendly spaces established, wherein we could put children. It will usually be a large tent. We'll get some basic drawing materials, just things for children to start to tell their story a bit and to give them a safe place. So that's one thing. Right now, it's difficult to do that because we're still just feeding and providing water for people.

The second thing is that there's also of the people leaving the city. There's some evidence that there are children on their own leaving the city.


TOYCEN: And with the history of abuse of children in this country, we're very concerned about the safety and care of those children. So we've got -- our child expert is coming in today. We've already got two child protection specialists here in Haiti that normally work here. So we're going to make that a priority as much as we can but just as the senator said, you know, it just takes longer than you want it to. But we're working as hard as we can to address that.

ROBERTS: Well, gentlemen, I know --

FRIST: One of the neat things -- one of the neat things happening in our group like World Vision, like the Samaritan's Purse, Save the Children has been on the ground with 60 people, as well. Everybody working together in a coordinated way. I think that's an important message for Americans to see, as well.

ROBERTS: All right. Well, we know that you've got a lot of work to do, gentlemen. We'll let you get back to it. Senator Bill Frist and Dave Toycen of World Vision, thanks for joining us this morning.

FRIST: Thank you, John.

ROBERTS: We'll see you again soon.


CHETRY: Yes. And so you guys just mentioned the children. Well, caring for the most vulnerable in Haiti is proving to be a very difficult task. The babies, the young children. We're going to be taking you an orphanage in Port-au-Prince where 25 infants had to sleep in the back of a truck to guarantee safety.

Seventeen minutes after the hour.


CHETRY: Twenty minutes past the hour right now. It means it's time for "Minding Your Business." Christine Romans is here. And you say sometimes you feel like a broken record that the banks are healthy but they're not lending to small businesses that so desperately need the credit.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Look, some of the big banks, the mega banks getting back to health. We're going to know for sure this week as more of them report their earnings. The same time we know how they're lending to small businesses for the month of November. They are required -- the big banks that took your bailout money are required to tell the treasury what they're doing and this is what they're doing.

I said before, I'll say it again. They're down another billion dollars in small business lending for seven months in a row now. The big banks have been cutting what they're lending to small business. The 22 banks that took your TARP money, your bailout money have now cut their small business lending since April by $12.5 billion.

Here's how your bank ranks here. American Express over the last seven months has cut its small business credit by 6.5 percent. Bank of America 6.2 percent. Wells Fargo, they are the biggest small business lender, 4.4 percent. JP Morgan Chase almost four percent. By the way, JP Morgan reported a $3.3 billion profit for the fourth quarter. For one quarter, $3.3 billion but they did that in part by lending less to small businesses. Citigroup, its small business lending up a little bit but it is a much smaller player in the small business arena.

December 14th, the president sat down and told these banks, we expect you to do something for Americans. We expect you to lend. We expect you to help small businesses. These are the numbers for November. We can cross our fingers and we'll see if the numbers got better for the month of December. ROBERTS: Do you have a "Romans' Numeral" this morning.

ROMANS: I do have a "Romans' Numeral" and that numeral is $3.3 billion.

CHETRY: JP Morgan's profit for this quarter.

ROMANS: JP Morgan's profit from last quarter, for the quarter. Yes, they reported it last week. $3.3 billion.

You're going to see mega bank earnings. You know, I'll report to you when we get Goldman Sachs. I'll report to you when we get some of the other big ones. They are trying to get back to health after a terrible year in 2008, but they're doing that in part because they've had to be more conservative in places like small business lending.

And what they will tell you is they will say small business are asking less for credit because they're not expanding as much because their customers aren't, you know, aren't out there as much and also that small businesses are not as creditworthy as they used to be.

ROBERTS: Has JP Morgan done the bonus thing yet?

ROMANS: They're -- I think they're compensation expenses were up 18 percent. So, yes.

ROBERTS: Boggles the mind.

ROMANS: It really does.

ROBERTS: Thanks, Christine. Christine Romans "Minding Your Business" this morning.

The Massachusetts Senate race, could a Republican take a seat that has been occupied by a candidate for 53 years? Well, if the polls are any indication, there's at least an even chance of that. Jim Acosta joins us live from Boston coming up next.

It's 23 minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning. Voting is under way now in a Massachusetts special election for the late Senator Ted Kennedy's seat, and the eyes of the nation are on this race. But you may be saying to yourself, I don't live in Massachusetts, so why is this such a big deal to me? Three words -- health care reform.

CHETRY: That's right. And a GOP win would end the Democrats 60- seat majority in the Senate, certainly complicating the president's plan for health care. Here's a look at the candidates.

Democrat Martha Coakley, she is the state's Democratic attorney general. She was the front-runner at one point up by double digits, but Coakley has been losing ground in the polls to Republican state Senator Scott Brown. Now, the independent candidate is Joseph L. Kennedy, no relation to the late Senator Kennedy.

ROBERTS: And in the last few days, the race has turned really ugly. And as our Jim Acosta found out, plenty of voters are showing their anger.


JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the public's in a fighting mood, what better place to score some votes in Massachusetts than at Boston's legendary sports arena, The Garden, right before a hockey game.

SCOTT BROWN (R), MASS. SENATE CANDIDATE: I'm treating it like I'm down 30 points.

ACOSTA: That's where the Republican in the election here, Scott Brown, was talking like an underdog even though polls now show he just might beat the once heavily favored Democrat Martha Coakley.

MARTHA COAKLEY (D-MA), U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: I know that people are frustrated. They're angry. They may be focusing that in many different ways.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks to Scott for letting us keep the bailout money. Cheers to that.

ACOSTA: At this Brown campaign rally, Coakley supporters showed up drinking faux champagne and calling themselves "bankers for Brown." Within seconds, tempers were flaring.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that's honest?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know, you tell me. What do you think?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn't appear honest to me.

MATT COLEMAN, MANAGER, SULLIVAN'S TAP: People are just plain angry.

ACOSTA: Matt Coleman, manager at the Sullivan's Tab is an independent who left the GOP frustrated. Now, he's mad at the Democrats, namely Coakley.

(on camera): Did Martha Coakley screw this race up?

COLEMAN: Oh, without question. She took a pass. It's classic arrogance. Limousine liberal arrogance.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Republicans say they're ticked off at the repeated references to Ted Kennedy's Senate seat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not Ted Kennedy's seat, it's the people's seat.

ACOSTA: And sports fans are blasting Coakley's reference to beloved Red Sox veteran Curt Schilling as a Yankee fan.

DAN REA: Yes, but now Scott Brown has Curt Schilling. OK.


REA: Schilling?


REA: Curt Schilling, a Yankee fan?

COAKLEY: No. All right. I'm wrong. I'm wrong.

REA: The great Red Sox great pitcher of the bloody suck.

COAKLEY: Well, he's not there anymore.

ACOSTA: Over at Coakley headquarters, staffer Pedro Morales is telling voters get angry with the Republicans.

PEDRO MORALES, COAKLEY CAMPAIGN STAFFER: The Republicans, in general, have a disaster when it comes to the Latino and minority communities and we're very, very angry at them. It's payback time.

ACOSTA: Republican Scott Brown warns the public will only become more enraged if he wins and Democrats try to pass health care reform while they still have a 60-vote majority before he takes office.

BROWN: I think that's a mistake because then the people will get more, I think, upset than they are now with a lot -- talk about a backroom deal.


ACOSTA: And now some top Democrats in Washington are getting mad at Coakley. As one key Democratic strategist told us yesterday, they're very upset that Coakley went on vacation over the holidays instead of campaigning right here in Massachusetts. It's a sign they're putting some distance between Martha Coakley and President Obama.

And as for that Curt Schilling remark that you heard during our piece, the Coakley campaign told us yesterday their candidate was just joking. John, if that's the case, I don't think Conan O'Brien or Jay Leno has anything to worry about.

CHETRY: Why do they have to say -- why do they just say she misspoke. I mean joking, come on.

All right. Well, there it is.

ACOSTA: It was just a joke.


ROBERTS: You have to know in the backroom they're doing this. CHETRY: And meanwhile, we also hear the race is getting pretty ugly up there.

ACOSTA: It is. And it's not just over the Curt Schilling remark. There are allegations of negative advertising. You've heard that in the past before. But in all seriousness, there is a Facebook posting from what appears to be a Scott Brown supporter saying that this person hopes Martha Coakley gets shot at an event that she had last week. So, this race has gotten very ugly towards the end. And as one Coakley campaign staffer told us yesterday, they can't wait for all the Washington people to go home.

ROBERTS: Wow. Now that -- that is just bad. That is just bad.


Jim Acosta for us this morning. Jim, thanks.

CHETRY: And meanwhile, the polls across Massachusetts will close at 8:00 p.m. Eastern tonight. You can join Wolf Blitzer as well as the best political team on television. We'll be bringing you the results live right here on CNN.

ROBERTS: It's coming up to the half hour. That means it's time for this morning's top stories.

Medical marijuana now legal in New Jersey. Governor Jon Corzine signed the bill into law yesterday, his last full day in office.

Republican Chris Christie will be sworn in today. New Jersey is the 14th state to allow patients with diseases like cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and MMS to use marijuana to ease pain and other symptoms.

The FBI reportedly breaking the law and invading your privacy. A new report in "The Washington Post" says the FBI illegally collected phone records for years under the Bush administration and did it by invoking terror emergencies that weren't there. The bureau says it's waiting for a report from the Justice Department later on this month before deciding on any punishment.

And President Obama looking for another school stimulus. He's expected to ask for $1.4 billion in education grants on top of the $4.3 billion that was included in the stimulus package. Today is the deadline for states to apply for the first round of grants. The winners will be announced in April.

CHETRY: It's 30 minutes past the hour right now. Scenes of devastation repeating themselves across Haiti. We've seen building after building pancaked into piles of rubble trapping and killing people inside and as the number of dead climbs to 70,000 and could ultimately by some estimates there hit 200,000 or more, most building experts agree that the toll wouldn't be so high if they were better built.

Joining us now to talk more about this as well as Haiti's future rebuilding. John Mutter, professor at Columbia University's Earth Institute. Thanks for being with us this morning, John.


CHETRY: In a "Time" magazine piece you said "earthquakes don't kill people, bad buildings kill them." Scientifically speaking, was this disaster preventable?

MUTTER: Certainly not the earthquake itself, but that is absolutely right. The earth does not open up and swallow people. Every now and then there are landslides that kill people but the typical source of mortality in an earthquake is building collapse and people inside unsafe buildings. So, the scope of the disaster could have been diminished had the buildings been stronger, yes.

CHETRY: Haiti, as we've talked about a lot, is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and one of the poorest countries in the world. And the building materials, the building codes, I mean, many people say they're nonexistent in terms of adhering to any rules for safety. I guess give us a sense of, you know, just how this is able to happen and what it is like trying to build and trying to have structures in Haiti.

MUTTER: Yes, you have to have several things. One, you have to have good building codes. We know how to build safe buildings, but you have to have the codes. The second is you have to have enforcement. You have to have a structure and you have to have inspectors and you have to have a system and you have to have people who know there are codes when they build in informal buildings and you have to have enough money to be able to build them.

A structure that is reasonably strong is always more costly than a structure that is not. You see what they're made of, they're largely concrete reinforced with most of the reinforcing not there. You see them around the city. There are cement mixed with sand with these curly rebars that go up through the middle. It's those steel bars that make them strong.

Those steel bars are expensive and people compromise, leave them out or don't put as many in. That's what connects one part of the structure to another. And that's what makes them weak. If you got a lot of sand and very little cement and not many rebars, you basically build a sand castle and it's going to fall down.

CHETRY: And that's exactly what we saw in these situations. You talked about how many of these were handmade and people, some homes, there is not really any type of systematic, you know, design to them. And it's just sort of what you get is what you get.

But moving forward, we have seen this outpouring of aid and obviously we're dealing with the immediacy and the aftermath of this disaster but months and years down the road, who helps Haiti rebuild and how do you do it better?

MUTTER: Yes. Haiti is so poor, as you said in the beginning. It's the poorest country in the western hemisphere. It's not the poorest country in the world, but it's extremely poor. It cannot help itself. If you think of the reconstruction from the Sichaun earthquake in China, now two years ago, they have a thriving, growing economy and the economy of China can help put that area back in place.

The economy of Haiti cannot put Port-au-Prince back in place. It's a perfect storm. It absolutely needs external intervention from the international community. We have to think of what we're doing. This is not the way you wish to do it, but something like an economic stimulus package. People will never be able to build strong, expensive structures if they don't have a strong economy and President Clinton has been saying this. We have to build a strong economy in Haiti or it will go back to exactly what it was.

CHETRY: Right. And it's obviously, easier said than done in these type of situations. I mean, even if you do rebuild, where are the jobs and the struggle with the deforestation. I mean, that is one of the issues. Where is the renewable energy? Where is, I guess, the future for a country that is so devastated?

How do you start?

MUTTER: Oh, it's a terrible problem. Development in Haiti even before the earthquake has been difficult. Things have not been going ahead very well. Things have been moving a little bit recently, but not very much. One of the biggest development challenges in the world.

CHETRY: Right. But interestingly enough, I want to ask you this. Some of the reading and research that we have been doing in the past week in the wake of this disaster. They say by some estimates that Haiti has more NGOs, non-governmental organizations than any other country.

MUTTER: That's what they say.

CHETRY: Yet there are so many varying organizations sort of piece mealing it and not to disparage what they are doing because they are trying to help an immensely poor nation but is there some sort of future organizational structure where this can be done on a mass level, in a way that helps fuel the economy of Haiti?

MUTTER: Yes - you know, build Democratic institutions. They have had several elections and that's very good. Build businesses that export and create export revenues and reconstruct the city with reasonable planning so there's good business districts in residential areas. We know how to do good urban planning. And we know how to develop businesses.

CHETRY: When you say we, is it United Nations, is it America?

MUTTER: The western world knows how to do things.

CHETRY: Right.

MUTTER: And the U.N. knows how to do it. They are ideally placed. They are in the Caribbean. Markets are very nearby.

CHETRY: Right.

MUTTER: They can produce many, many goods in that area. Their neighbor next door is nowhere near as poor, the Dominican Republic.

CHETRY: Right.

MUTTER: So there is plenty of examples in the region of the sort of things that they can do to get ahead.

CHETRY: And one quick question before we leave, I thought this was really interesting. Mercy Corps, this relief organization was talking about what they did in the wake of the (INAUDIBLE), after the tsunami there and they basically paid people a daily wage to clear debris, to restore buildings and to instill sort of some sort of self- control over what is going on.

Is that something that is feasible in Haiti?

MUTTER: Let's hope so. I mean, if you just bring people in from the outside and they profit from the reconstruction and leave and that doesn't leave anything behind that can stimulate the economy and make things improve.

CHETRY: All right. Well, it was great to have you with us this morning and you can read more of John Mutter's commentary. It is on our web site, Thanks for being with us this morning.

MUTTER: Thank you.

CHETRY: John -

ROBERTS: The plight of orphans in Haiti. There are so many children who are without parents and there were before the earthquake and there are even more afterwards. Some are coming to America to find new homes. Governor Ed Randell of Pennsylvania is right now flying back to Pittsburgh with 28 orphans. Our Mary Snow is at the airport waiting for them. And we'll check in with her coming up next. It's 37 and a half minutes after the hour.


ROBERTS: Welcome back to the most news in the morning. U.S. officials say they're cutting the red tape and expediting almost 200 cases for Americans already in the process of adopting a child from Haiti. They add while new requests are generous, right now the goal is to get aid on the ground for these children and reunite them with their family, if they can.

And Pennsylvania Governor Ed Randell is on a plane right now from Haiti. He is bringing back dozens of young children from an orphanage there. They are expected to arrive in the 9:00 Eastern hour at Pittsburgh's airport. Medical care and in some cases adoptive families are waiting for them. Our Mary Snow is live in Pittsburgh. She is at the Children's Hospital there where the kids will be brought for medical care after they arrive. Good morning to you, Mary.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, John. You know, that plane spent most of the night in Florida and the expectation is that it will arrive in Pittsburgh after 9:00 this morning. And these children are from an orphanage run by two sisters who live in the Pittsburgh area. CNN's Gary Tuchman reported on this orphanage in recent days. It had been damaged. It was unsafe for the children to remain inside the building so they were outside.

Now, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Randell and the medical teams left here yesterday for Haiti. And we're told by his office that he had ran into hurdles once he was there in terms of bringing these children back. Our CNN teams on the ground in Haiti were able to confirm that 28 children were able to get on that plane. But the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says that number had been fluctuating throughout the night and says that number is actually 53 orphans who will be brought here.

Now, ultimately, they will be brought to this hospital where they will be examined and also treated and what's happening here now is that the county has volunteers who will be taking care of these children temporarily in foster care until they can be reunited or unite would their adoptive parents. But it has been a situation that has been logistically proven to be very difficult but the plane is expected to land here, as we said, after 9:00 a.m.

ROBERTS: Mary, we want to point out that we saw some pictures of orphans getting on to cargo aircraft there at the Port-au-Prince Airport and they were from the same orphanage apparently, not the exact children though that are coming to Children's Hospital there in Pittsburgh. Is this going to be a one off trip for the governor, do you know, Mary? Or might he go back down there and pick up some more kids?

SNOW: That's unclear. What we do know, John, is that one of the two sisters from this orphanage will be accompanying these children. So that means one of the sisters is still there. The hospital here said that it had been working for days to try to get teams in there and said it was working with the State Department, with the Department of Homeland Security, and the ambassador to Haiti and that is how this evacuation came about. Whether it is going to be another one at this point is unclear.

ROBERTS: And as we heard from Dave Toycen from World Vision, which has a lot of programs looking after kids. There were a lot of young people who are fleeing the capital city there. Some who either have lost contact with their parents or may have lost their parents. So, the need growing by the moment there in Port-au-Prince.

Mary Snow for us outside of Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh this morning. Mary, thanks. We'll check back with you a little bit later on. Kiran. CHETRY: Well, there are an estimated 380,000 orphans in Haiti and those children are now as we've seen in desperate need of food, water and medicine. Our Soledad O'Brien is in Port-au-Prince and has been touring orphanages and getting a first-hand look at what shape the children are in.


SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A truck parked inside the orphanage gates with 25 babies crying, sleeping. 15 baby girls and 10 baby boys move from the orphanage in the aftermath of the quake. This is the Maison de (INAUDIBLE), an orphanage called the House of God's Children. But the house is empty. 135 children eat, sleep, wash and play outside.

(on camera): You silly goose. Did you take my pen?

(voice-over): Pierre Alexis is the director and he's worried.


O'BRIEN (on camera): Are you worried that some of these children are going to die?

ALEXIS: Sometimes, yes.

O'BRIEN: They're not going to make it?

ALEXIS: Yes, especially the babies.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): Pierre tells us he is running out of everything. In addition to formula, they need water, food, diesel fuel and medicine.

(on camera): How many more days could you last with a little bit of formula?

ALEXIS: I can last for four days.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): Pierre shows us the nearly empty store room. They have so little that armed robbers who came over the wall didn't bother taking it.

(on camera): They came with guns.

ALEXIS: Yes, they came with guns.

O'BRIEN: And what did they do?

ALEXIS: We have one of the guys that tried to talk nicely to them. This is - this is children. We have nothing here. We're all in the ground.

O'BRIEN: And what did he say?

ALEXIS: And he said OK, OK. We see. And they went away. O'BRIEN: They didn't take anything?

ALEXIS: They didn't take anything. They just went on their way.

O'BRIEN: Both times?

ALEXIS: Yes, both times.

O'BRIEN: They came with weapons?

ALEXIS: Oh, sure.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): All but two of the 135 children here have been promised to American and Canadian families. Their adoptions are now in limbo.

Suddenly, out of the blue, a delivery. Kevin Bronson, a Canadian working in Haiti on an irrigation project, pulls up and unloads bags of charcoal, rice and bottles of water.

KEVIN BRONSON, AIDE WORKER: I got an e-mail from a friend in Canada.

O'BRIEN: Katie Hensley (ph) is one of the adoptive mothers. Her little girl is named Nestallie Jeanne Pierre (ph).

KATIE HENSLEY (ph), ADOPTIVE MOTHER: They have a little bit of food and water, but it's running out.

O'BRIEN: Kevin takes Nestallie's (ph) photo, then is brought to tears.

O'BRIEN (on camera): You asked to see the little girl?

BRONSON: There's so many sad stories. I wanted to see some baby that was (ph) alive.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): UNICEF says there are 380,000 orphans in this country. Those who survive the earthquake are at risk of dying from something else.

At another orphanage, Bresma, a doctor, nurse and paramedic work to insert an IV into this 14-month-old girl's arm. She is dehydrated, the doctor says possibly just a few hours from dying. Her skin is cold and paper thin. They can't find a vein, so they try again and again and again, in her arm, in her leg, in her hand.

O'BRIEN (on camera): It's OK. It's OK.

O'BRIEN (voice-over): While she cries, I pin her down to hold her still.

O'BRIEN (on camera): Oh, you did it! You did it! Good girl!

O'BRIEN (voice-over): Eventually, it goes in. She's survived - for now. Soledad O'Brien, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.



ROBERTS: Rob Marciano is checking out the Extreme Weather across the country and we're particularly interested in what is going on in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts today because it's election day out there. They good - good weather to go out to the polls? Yesterday was kind of terrible.

ROB MARCIANO, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and yesterday was a bit nasty with the heavy, wet snow. Today, a little bit more snow, but, all in all, not too bad, especially for hearty New Englanders.

We've got some snow that's moving in across the I-91 corridor, down the freeway into Boston, temperatures holding into the lower 30s and to - right around the freezing mark, maybe an inch or two. Nothing compared to what they saw up the road in Portland, Maine yesterday. Check it out. Over a foot of snow falling across down East and slowing down traffic for sure. But that quickly moved out and a couple of inches expected today.

All right, let's go out West and talk about the storm, one of many pouring into the California coastline. Big waves pounding parts of the - the shoreline and also mudslides across parts of interior valleys where there were evacuations for this - this neighborhood. They were allowed to come back into their homes yesterday, but more rain on the way today.

Check it out in, San Francisco, looking at rainfall right now, coming down from Sacramento to San Francisco, and this is pouring down towards the South. It will be filling in across parts of Southern California, not only rain and wind, but heavy mountain snow expected, two to three feet potentially, across the Sierras. Most of this will be stopped (ph) at the Sierras, but there's a lot of energy coming in off the Pacific, a strong jet stream that will be pointed right at Southern California, looks like, through the rest of this week into the first half of the weekend.

John and Kiran, back up to you.

ROBERTS: Rob, thanks so much.

CHETRY: All right. Well, Hollywood turns out - heads to Larry King to try to help Haiti. They had a telethon. We're going to find just how much money they raised last night.

It's 51 minutes past the hour.


CHETRY: Welcome back to the Most News in the Morning.

Here at CNN, we have made it our duty to try to help reconnect families with their missing loved ones in Haiti, and also to use our global reach to answer the call for help.

ROBERTS: Last night, we weren't alone, not alone by a long shot. An absolute A-list of stars and humanitarians joined Larry King for one of the most special shows of his long career. Our Alina Cho has the highlights for us this morning.



MOLLY SIMS, ACTRESS: They described it as a nuclear bomb going off.

MICK JAGGER, MUSICIAN: This is like a huge, massive disaster, for - for one of the poorest, poorest countries.

PAULA ABDUL, ENTERTAINER: Overwhelming despair, and families not knowing who's alive.

ALINA CHO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): J-Lo, Mick Jagger, P. Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Ben Stiller, even Ringo Starr - a constellation of stars with so much to give, helping people with so little.

Larry King welcome all of them for a telethon and tweet-a-thon called, "Haiti: How You Can Help" and they raised millions in a matter of hours.

RYAN SEACREST, TV AND RADIO HOST: The need is immediate.

CHO: And what's more immediate than Tweeter? Ryan Seacrest, an avid tweeter, was on hand in Larry's Tweet Suite with Jared Leto, who lived in Haiti.

JARED LETO, ACTOR/MUSICIAN: See, I saw through Tweeter that people are actually building houses around the world. Some of our fans are kind of joining in and - and helping the cause.

CHO: Some of the first images of disaster came in through social media. Now it's being used to prevent a humanitarian aftershock.

SEAN "P. DIDDY" COMBS, RECORDING ARTIST: Haiti, for me, is such an inspirational country. They were the - the first people to - to take back their freedom and the first people to say that we will not be slaves any more.

GARCELLE BEAUVAIS-NILON, ACTRESS: My cousins are OK. My aunt is still missing, but my cousins are OK. And I got to speak to a few Haitian callers, and we got to speak in Creole. And I can't tell you how - how moved I am that everybody cares.

CHO: Even Larry King's signature suspenders are helping.

JEFF PROBST, GAME SHOW HOST: Herbil Grand (ph) says Larry should auction off his suspenders tonight.

SEACREST: Jared Leto says $400. CHO: And Ben Stiller, who I sat down with just a few weeks ago, says he hopes Haiti remains in everyone's heart long after the last plane leaves.

BEN STILLER, ACTOR: A month, two months, you know, six months down the line, when people aren't doing specials on it, when the news cycle's moved on, the support they're going to need, and I think that's - that's what - you know, we have to all sort of work towards keeping attention.


CHO: He's absolutely right. You know, I spoke to Ben Stiller by phone after the show last night. He told me he does plan to go back to Haiti once the cameras are gone.

By the way, Ben does have his own charity. It's called STILLERSTRONG, and all the donations will now go toward emergency relief in Haiti. He told - told me as well that his biggest asset as a celebrity is that he actually has the ability to draw attention to a cause.

By all accounts, guys, it worked. Just listen to these numbers. More than $7 million, $7.28 million, to be exact, raised on CNN. That's from 8:00 PM to midnight Eastern Time. That's for UNICEF and the American Red Cross. And as of 5:00 this morning, Eastern Time, UNICEF updated their total to $3.265 million. Obviously, a portion of that was raised between midnight and 5:00 AM. So that will go toward the total as well.

You know, Ben Stiller, as you guys know, I talked to him a couple of weeks ago, he really tries to use comedy to make a difference. He bought a pair of Larry King's suspenders for $1,000. They also went (ph) for $1,000 and he - he said that he was hoping for more intimate apparel. But - but he'll take the suspenders.

ROBERTS: Did you think it was funny when he woke you up last night when he called?

CHO: He called about 11:30 last night. That's right. No, I'll always take a call from Ben Stiller.

CHETRY: Yes. No worries there, right?

ROBERTS: Thanks, Alina.

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