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February 8th, 2010
11:59 PM ET

Why I'm back in Haiti

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

I was asked to write a blog about why I wanted to come back to Haiti. I'm not really sure how to answer that question. No one I've seen today in Port-au-Prince has asked me that. If anything, people here ask why I left, and why so many other reporters have left as well. I don't really know what to tell them.

I was here for more than two weeks immediately following the quake and, the truth is, I left because I needed a break. That's not the kind of thing you can really tell someone who is living on the streets of Port-au-Prince. They know a lot more about exhaustion than I ever will.

I spent last week in New York, but, the truth is, it felt very strange. When you know something monumental is happening so close to our shores, and yet you don't see it on a daily basis – it's an odd disconnect, and it doesn't feel right.

Later this week is the one month anniversary of the earthquake. To say things are getting better here is probably technically correct, but it's still miserable for hundreds of thousands of people.

The homeless are everywhere, the hungry are as well. They are still finding bodies all the time. Twenty-five people were shoved into old crypts in a city cemetery today. We watched the remains of a mother and her son being sealed into a crypt.

It's not the kind of misery that makes for headlines perhaps, and clearly it's not the kind of sorrow that demands a place on the nightly news, but it should.

There is more happening here than 10 American missionaries in jail. I guess I came to remind myself of that. No one deserves to die in silence, and no one's struggle to live should go unnoticed as well.

Tonight, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and I report on the situation here, along with CNN's Karl Penhaul. We'll also investigate the history of corruption in Haiti and try to find out where all the money that's been poured in here for decades has gone.


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Haiti Earthquake
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Daphney Jacob

    I want to thank Anderson Cooper and the rest of the CNN staff for the wonderful job they are doing in Haiti. It seems that CNN is the only news network that had not forgotten about Haiti. Once again thanks ! Just so you guys know the Haitian community is very happy with the hard work you guys are doing in Haiti.

    February 9, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  2. Dan

    Having recently returned from a deployment at GHESKIO field hospital, I worry every day about the Haitian people. So few of the people on the streets have shelter and the rainy season is coming soon. Thank you for continuing to coverage this human tragedy and for reminding people of the work still to be done.

    February 9, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  3. Lisa Wines

    Thanks so much for going back. I don't want Haiti to fade away in the world's consciousness. I want to know about the progress and the ongoing challenges. I want to know about the current government and why they have not been leading their people through this difficult time (I'm making an assumption that they've been mostly absent, based on the lack of any reports of their activity). Where are the millions that have been donated going? Show us tangible signs of rebuilding or investigate why it's not happening. Ahhh. Real news. What a concept!

    February 9, 2010 at 9:55 am |
  4. SusanE

    I'm so glad you've returned to Haiti. Updates have been steadily declining as all of you predicted. Even the coverage on CNN has diminished. I can't even begin to imagine how tragic this is for the people of Haiti, or how difficult for all the people covering the story and everyone offering aid. I've never been to Haiti. I don't know anyone who is there or anyone who lost someone there, but this whole tragedy has touched me very deeply. I've made several donations, but I'm compelled to find other ways to offer more. I find myself scouring the channels looking for coverage and streaming CNN at work so I don't miss any updates. This whole event has me appreciating just how fortunate I am. Thank you so much for all you do.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:49 am |
  5. Rita Torrence

    Dear Anderson and Dr. Sanjay,
    I wish that I could thank you in person for returning to Haiti. Once Haiti gets into your heart, it will never leave. I would love to nominate both you and Dr. Sanjay for the Nobel Peace Prize next year, but I am just a nobody and don't have the credentials to do so. You have gone above normal reporting and have emersed yourselves into these peoples lives. I have watched your shows repeatedly and your humanitarian efforts to assist those in your path, to continue to tell the Haitians story, and to remind us that we can not tune out this nation.
    Yes, the stories weary us, and we feel so overwhelmed and helpless,
    but that is all a part of our humanity. These Haitians are not to be discarded like old rags...they are our brothers and sisters. We must join with CNN and remain faithful, generous, and respond to their needs. Thank you AC and Dr. Gupta for keeping Haiti alive.
    God bless you both, your crew, and all of the volunteers.

    Rita Torrence
    Newburgh, Indiana

    February 9, 2010 at 9:45 am |
  6. Catherine

    I can only be grateful for all you have given and done in Haiti- YOU, at that time did not only do your Job but YOU gave your heart. For that I praise you. As we all know the situation in Haiti is a state of pandemonium therefore I hope people will understand that you are human with limited access as we all are.
    Thank you, thank you, and thank you.
    May God bless your heart always.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  7. hope

    Anderson,
    I have long been a fan of yours and basically watch CNN because of your reporting. After a long 12 hour day , AC 360 is what I look forward to watching. Your reporting from Haiti( and Dr. Gupta) is bar none the best Journalism I have seen in a long time. I see the compassion coming from you and the desire to get the story out there. I pray for your safety and strength as you cover the stories that need to be told.

    Be Blessed!

    February 9, 2010 at 9:41 am |
  8. Mr. Vermon

    Thanks so much Anderson. Thanks for being the voice of the silent ones.
    Thanks for checking out where all the money that's being sent for years and years has gone. Thanks for being there. God bless!

    February 9, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  9. Weathrland Ellis

    ac, I am so glad you are back to Haiti and with Dr. Sanjay. I really think if anyone can find out where all the millions of dollars have gone that have been poured into Haiti, long before the earthquake, you and your team can find out. That has been a question since the very beginning and no one has seemed to touch it. We as Americans know how so many people have been helping Haiti for years. I watched every minute last night and you are right, there is more going on in Haiti than 10 missionaries being held in jail.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  10. Barb

    Thank you for doing what you are doing. The untold story needs to be told. One day, one person, one story just may be the beginning of a better Haiti.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:37 am |
  11. Jean

    Thank you Anderson for your reporting on the situation in Haiti. Please continue to help us keep them honnest and accountable.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  12. Catherine

    Anderson Cooper
    Sir,
    I can only be thankfull for all you have gave and done in Haiti- YOU, at that time did not only do your Job but YOU gave your heart. For that I praise you. As we all know the situation in Haiti is an a state of pandemonium therefore I hope people will understand that you are human with limited access as we all are.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you..
    May God bless your heart.
    C.M

    February 9, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  13. TL

    Hats off to you Anderson, and THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for continuing your coverage on how relief efforts are progressing. I am certain there are many others like me that feel the same disconnect about which you wrote, and for us the only way to stay in touch and continue to learn of further ways to assist is through the media coverage. THANK YOU!!!!

    February 9, 2010 at 9:30 am |
  14. chucknkit

    Thank you for being there when we cannot be. Your input is valued and necessary.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  15. ClaraBelle Raymond

    Dear Mr Cooper

    When I saw you back in the United States last week all my hopes faded. I said to myself that's it Anderson is gone, Haiti will be forgotten just like in the past. Now that you are back on Haiti soil there is little hope for the Haitian People the world can still see what is going on, one thing take care of yourself and watch your back. God bless you and keep up the good work.

    Bella

    February 9, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  16. Peter Dybing

    Mr. Cooper,
    Your blog reflects the same feelings that my self and many more first responders are having about being in Haiti. The experience is life changing. I commend your continued work in Haiti. If the eyes of the world are turned from Haiti endemic corruption will once again victimize the people of Haiti. If the opportunity arrises I also will return to Haiti

    February 9, 2010 at 9:22 am |
  17. Kathy

    Good for you Anderson. This is why everyone loves you. Your heart is in it and that's what these people need.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  18. adrian lanoue

    AC,you and Bill Clinton are two people that i feel cares about the people and what's happening there.AS a haitian living in the US i thank you so much for bringing this story to the world.You and your other CNN teammates are the best.I watch you show AC360 every night.Keep up the good work,it's your mission in life. Thank you!

    February 9, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  19. Cindy

    Cooper I am glad that you did decide to take a break from your almost three week stint there in Haiti. You really needed it we all could tell. But I am even more glad that you have went back to pick up where you left off. The situation there is very far from over and we should not just forget about it and move on!

    Thank you for reminding us all of that. I am looking forward to seeing what really has changed in the week since you've been gone. I predict not much unfortunately.

    Please stay safe Cooper...you Sanjay and the crew.

    Cindy..Ga.

    February 9, 2010 at 9:08 am |
  20. Marlyn Wilburg

    I'd say you needed a break. It's got to be a horrible strain on a person to see that devastation day after day. After awhile the frustration gets to you and you just need to get away and clear your head. I applaud you for the wonderful job you have done .

    February 9, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  21. Jennifer

    After tragedy strikes, and the media swarm has left, my heart breaks for those left to struggle in the aftermath. I turned on AC360 last night hoping to hear something, anything, about Haiti, and was thrilled to see that Anderson Cooper has gone back. Anderson, your heart shows through your reporting. Thank you for never forgetting, and for helping us to remember.

    February 9, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  22. Karen A.

    Thank you for returning to Haiti!!

    Please do some stories on the groups/missionaries there that are doing extraordinary things – like Heartline Ministries and Missionary Ventures. We are tired of hearing only of the 1 set of missionaries that took the children.

    Your show is wonderful and I love that you and Dr. Sanjay Gupta returned.

    February 9, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  23. Lisa Sonneman, PT

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have tears as I am reading this. I don't want people to forget this struggling nation or the wonderful people who have survived so much. I want people to know the truth instead of believing what one idiot told me yesterday and I quote "we have poor people in our own country and children starving, why are we helping them! There health care system is better than ours because it is free" Oh, really???!!! This person has never been there and is obviously very misinformed and in reality, probably doesn't even care. People do not know the definition of poor until they have been to Haiti. Thank you for your great reporting, compassion and presence in Haiti.

    February 9, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  24. fred clarke

    Mr. Anderson I know it's hard to do what you are doing. But we all need you!

    February 9, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  25. Matt Altman

    I have been here working 3 weeks, and leave on Thursday back to the states. I am feeling guilty about leaving. Thank you for coming back. You have become a much needed voice for Haiti.

    February 9, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  26. Mary

    I know how you feel about leaving Haiti. Everytime we go to visit my daughter's family we feel the same way when we leave. It is a place that will always stay in your heart. You feel selfish to have so much in America. Just going through the drive thru for food seems to tug a sadness in your heart.

    February 9, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  27. Michelle

    Thank you Anderson for going and telling us what's it's like for Haitians right now. Your reporting does matter, and we are listening. Take care.

    February 9, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  28. MNCalling

    Hi Anderson.
    It takes great passion and courage doing what you do...and I think you deserved that break. I wish you well while you're back in Haiti and keep up the good work. You, Sanjay, Karl and the rest of the CNN team are God sent to the Haitian people in this great time of need. Bless you all.

    February 9, 2010 at 8:13 am |