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January 18th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 01/18/10

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Tonight, live from Haiti, gunfire in the streets as looters target a store in Port-au-Prince. Plus, the medical crisis. Dr. Gupta steps in to perform surgery on a 12-year-old girl and when doctors abandoned their patients. Plus, there's still hope that survivors will be found in the rubble.

Want more insight on what we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (826 Responses)
  1. Janet

    Why doesn't anyone know who is in charge of deciding which flights get in and out of Haiti? While I too appreciate that saving orphans is a good priority your logic was NOT flawed in that getting a Doctors Without Borders hospital in would have served the greater good, if the orphans could have been supported and maintained for a few more days in Haiti.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  2. Rebecca

    I am sitting here working on a spreadsheet of all children in an orphanage in Delmas 75 that have adoptive families in the process of bringing children home. Both houses of the orphanage are not habitable after the quake...and the 115-120 children have been moved to a church/school compound. They have rice and water – and yes – I agree that medical help should be priority – and wish there was more organization around flights that are coming in to make sure that both incoming aid and outgoing children/orphans are both moving in the right directions. There is a push to get children out now because of the past history of violence/riots – if it escalates it may be impossible for the children to leave later.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  3. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    You know it is total chaos when a store owner has to instruct the police on how to try to control the crowd.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  4. Ricardo

    Why the heck aren't there more US troops on the ground in Haiti?? Sheesh, we really need more US troops! This will take care of security and looting. We have the biggest military in the world and you mean we need Anderson Cooper to carry bloody kids around? This is nuts. Anderson, I just wrote the White House an email. Obama needs to appoint about 10 "General Honore's" to handle this. A mass evacuation is needed so people can receive care in a secure environment set up by US troops, on the outskirts of the city. We need more troops in there to provide aid AND security!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  5. Ana

    Keep up the great work, Anderson. Kudos as well to Dr. Gupta and Ivan Watson, phenomenal work, guys.

    You just mentioned that perhaps you should be looking into why it's taking so long to get medical & other assistance to where it's needed. Please do follow up on this story. Back here in the States lots of folks are feeling very frustrated, seeing all the donations of money, time, skill, supplies that are not making their way to the Haitian people. As you said, who is making these decisions? Don't they see the desperate need that's so obvious?

    Thanks again for the very best reporting out there.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  6. Jan Dirckx

    Two (of four) Dutch adoption families who came to adopt orphans died when their hotel collapsed.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  7. Lisa

    Anderson-I know that you have everyone's interests at heart, Doctors Without Borders, orphans, the missing, etc. in Haiti. I am sure that it's easy for us sitting here at home to judge, but seeing the nightly review of the chaos in Haiti, the only way we will get answers is for people like you to ask the questions. You keep asking the difficult questions!!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  8. Catherine

    Anderson
    I keep reading about the Montana Hotel and Americans that may still be alive under the rubble. Can you and your camera crews visit there tomorrow and give us an update...
    How many rescue teams still onsite?
    Any indication of people still alive?
    Have dogs been on site recently?
    How many still believed to be buried?
    Will all American bodies eventually be recovered?

    Keep up the good work
    Cathy

    January 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  9. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    @lyle c richardson...We're too busy and spread too thin messing around in the middle east, etc. Trying be the moral compass for the planet has its limitations and we"re pretty much maxed out as I see it.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  10. Martha Storey

    I think it is wonderful that you brought to light about the orphans leaving Haiti. This is something definitely to put great thought in.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
  11. Linda

    I cannot believe you said that the orphans could/should have stayed in Haiti because all of them from that orphanage could not get out. Get with what is reality, some saved is better than none.

    Linda

    January 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
  12. Sharon from Indy

    Anderson and crew:
    Don't worry about political correctness in your reports. We understand you are in the trenches. We want to hear your narratives and see the footage 360 is producing. We don't want the fluff; we want the reality of what is really going on in Haiti. Keep up the great work!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
  13. Emina

    I just want to thank you for bringing to attention how inefficient many of the large NGOs are. I came to the US from Bosnia and I remember when people in Srebrenica were starving but the food was not being delivered cause of some rules etc. I am so glad you are saying this on CNN, why do we just not do things instead of talking and doing these so cold "evaluations". I am behind you!!!! THANK YOU

    January 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
  14. Eileen

    Anderson Cooper and Sanja Gupta rock!!! I want them to organize all crisises in the future! Thanks for being on the ground with the people!

    What is wrong with all those aid organizatiions and the military?!!! Why weren't they dropping food and water and blankets on day one!!!!???

    The Haitians have been so peaceful and calm for an entire week waiting for food and water and help with recovery!!! They are to be commended! I would have looted on day 3!!!! They just want to survive!

    Anderson and Sanja are doing more for this disaster than all the aid organizations put together!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
  15. Julia Gil

    Glad to hear you ask the question why the french surgical group was not given permission to land at airport in Port Au Prince and instead had to divert to Santo Domingo. Please keep following up on these "questionable" decisions.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm |
  16. Courtney

    Your reporting of this disaster has been articulate, truthful, and tasteful. As a young journalist I'm so inspired by your ability to act as a reporter but also as a human–putting down the camera and carrying the young boy out of the riot, asking the tough questions about adoption (even if that means making some uncomfortable), and constantly reminding people that need is greatest right now.

    I am leaving for Haiti Monday–covering the devastation from a local angle. A local church sponsors an orphanage in Petionville–the pastor has asked me to come along. Our commercial flight was canceled. Supposed to leave Saturday, now Monday, who knows if I'll actually get there. Can't imagine how doctors and aid workers are feeling right now–no one can get in to help.

    Continue the amazing work. Thank you for all you do.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  17. Dulcie - Denver

    @ Joanne

    Doctors without Borders got my pittance as well. They do great work.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  18. aliou Florida

    Anderson, YOu are a true heroe for saving that child. NOw you left your camera to save thechild. Yet no one took it. Blame the organizations that are keeping he food for the looting. They have been patient for 6 days. days of hunger and misery.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  19. Sue - Malaysia

    Hi Anderson & CNN Crew,
    When I saw the disaster on CNN last Tuesday, I wondered whether
    there is a God – suffering piled up with more suffering. But when I saw
    you carrying that kid to safety from the looters and Dr Sanjay standing in
    when the mobile clinic was abandoned I felt there is the higher power
    helping out through you guys. All of you are HEROES. God Bless you
    Guys. Stay safe Anderson.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  20. Marijana

    It is appalling to see the Katrina situation happening once again in Haiti, even with all the great efforts from all the agencies and countries. There is absolutely no excuse that food, water and medical supplies were not dropped into the country by air immediately. Even if the strong people ran and took them, there would have been only so much they were able to carry, leaving the rest of the supplies for all the other people and for the doctors. There is no excuse for any of the agencies to cite “security” problems. Haiti is not in an active civil war situation and dropping in 1,000 or 2,000 paratroopers may have solved the “security” problem within hours after the earthquake. I think it is rather less risky for any persons to face looters than to face armed enemies.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  21. Misty

    My best friend is trying to get his daughter home from Haiti, he is an American citizen. The rumor is that there are emergency visas available for American Citizens to get their family members home, but we wouldn't know because the people involved in making the decisions seem to have taken the day off to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. His daughter is injured...I know she is one of thousands but we have the means to help her here...We are from Michigan...We need help! He is over in Haiti now and we are at a standstill....PLEASE HELP!!! We feel so powerless by just sitting on our rumps donating money, there has to be more we can do to help!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  22. Suze Fanfan

    I want to take this opportunity to thank all the staff of cnn.A special thanks to Anderson Cooper, Ivan, and Dr. Sanjay for such humanitarian acts for my people in Haiti.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  23. Doug Zemerman

    It's not fair to say that we don't know who is making decisions on which planes get to land at the P-a-P airport. We know, the ones in charge of the airport control "tower" are the Americans. I'm sure they think they're doing their best, but maybe it's not enough. That Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) plane with the inflatable hospitals should have been allowed in, period.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  24. debbie

    my email is full of haiti emails , i was excited but all i got was excuses. we are two trauma nurse trying to volunteer to get to haiti. Faststaff nursing reports delays sending nurse to Texas to deploy, National nurses rnrn, wrote that they offered services of 10,000 medical volunteers and offered aid to the USS COMFORT who now is just going to use their own personel, even though CNN and all media reports rapid deterioration in Haiti, one site suggested calling their 800 number everyday for updates, the Navy requested help from RNRN, now they refuse it, inTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS , wrote they will get back with applicants, all these sites wanting help, no one acting, CNN, please help if you can. Thank you and keep up the great job you do!!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  25. Lynn

    Thanks for all you are doing to keep us informed while asking all the right questions! Hopefully those in "power" will use common sense and move into action. Keep on keeping them honest ... and stay safe.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  26. Lori

    I can not imagine going without water for five days.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  27. patrick boyer

    Anderson,

    my name is patrick boyer and Haitian born. I would like to thank you for all your support and dedication to the Haitian people that are going through this herrific disaster. my father is now in Haiti and thankfully he is doing well. although he has structural damage to the house which is also a small learning school center for kids and adults to where he teaches computer skills, typing, reading and writing. I am sure if my father was in the United States and watching your coverage he would also feel the same way that I feel about the support, and most of all hope that you and so many people are out there for the Haitian people. I would also like to thank Dr. Gupta for his support and helping the injured people. Both of you should be Honored for the HEROES AWARD..

    Again thank you and God Bless
    Patrick

    January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  28. karen

    As you were talking to Sanjay Gupta about what planes should be able to enter with priority. I was thinking exactly the same thing why are they letting a representative from Pa in before allowing doctors who can save lives?

    January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  29. Pastor Michael A.D. Smith

    Anderson, I want to send money directly to the orphanage on Soledad's report. How do I send the money so that it will be used directly for the use of food, formula, and etc. for the babies?

    January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  30. Ann Ransford

    Anderson.

    I think you're amazing. Keep up the good work. I hope you have a suitcase of those shirts so you have gotten to change.

    You are turly a blessing to this world.

    ann

    PS I met you in Manhattan Beach - it was a great experience.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  31. Fran

    You're right about the medical aide needing to get in first.
    I also think the orphans who were just waiting to see their adoptive families could have waited a little longer so the Doctors Without Borders flight could have landed in PAP.
    And I'm a pediatric OT – as long as the orphans had access to some food & water they would have been fine.
    Doctors, surgeons, nurses, & medications & other supplies need to get in right away!
    God Bless!!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  32. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Jennifer,
    You can donation for milk anywhere to send to Haiti.......

    January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  33. Rebecca- Scarborough, Maine

    Anderson and Dr. Gupta you and the other folks from CNN on the ground in Haiti are showing us all what it is to be caring loving human beings! Thank you for your honest reporting and all of your efforts. The world needs more people like you!!! Take care and keep up all of your hard work.

    Thanks for all that you do.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  34. Gillian

    Anderson
    you are right, why are orphans, as sad as it is, being flown out to the US, when the planes carrying Drs, Nurses and much needed medical supplies can not land in Haiti. This is a wrong. It leads to more deaths that should be saved. Keep them honest Anderson!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  35. Deb

    Thank you Anderson for asking the questions!!!!!!!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  36. merline pierre

    thank you Anderson for the wonderful job you're doing while covering the earthquake disaster on haiti. Their stories deserved to be told. You and the rest of the CNN crew are doing the best that you can to let the world see what is actually going on in Haiti. As a Haitian American I'm heart broken looking at the devastation in Haiti. I've always see nothing but beauty in Haiti. May God give us strenght to handle this painful experience. Please keep up the good work.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  37. Jacqueline, NY

    Sorry Gary for spelling your name wrong.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:05 pm |
  38. kashmier

    One body on the ground should have been given full powers of priorities with the ability to designate power to individuals that would then have full power for each area of the relief. I actually think this power should have been given to the CNN group reporting. They actual see what is going on and have very real questions and ideas. It seems like the people giving orders are sitting thousands of miles away dealing with nonsense.

    I would have been air dropping food the days after the quake and it should be easy to drop meds and stuff because they could designate a spot and have it reasonable secure and moved immediately to where it is most needed.

    This all too sad.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  39. Curtis Denton

    ac.......please dont woory about what someone might think about what you say ........if 10% of the folks making decisions were as smart as half the ones you have adressed the people of haiti would be a lot better off!!!!!!!!!!!!! and they need the gen honre there and it would get done!!!!!!

    January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  40. Dulcie - Denver

    No worries, Anderson, I think it's a valid question. I wondered the same thing. I don't think anyone dislikes orphans, but I've wondered for the last day why Doctors Without Borders was unable to bring their Mobile Hospital in. That should have been a top priority. The orphans could have been delayed for a few hours.

    Thanks for all your hard work.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  41. kara

    The airplanes can only land in P au P if they have enough fuel to take off. There is no way to refuel them. Maybe that's why Doctors without borders couldn't land.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  42. Veronica

    No angry email from me – keeping asking those questions. I'm excited that the orphans are safe, but you are correct to ask about the priority given to Gov. Rendell. Why the gov's plane and not Doctors w/out Borders plane? Is BC pulling strings here?

    January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  43. Teri

    Anderson I commend you for your work but it must be terribly difficult to witness the suffering of Haiti.

    You have to wonder where all the millions of dollars in aid that were contributed for years and why it was not invested in hospitals, schools, and education. The government has to bear responsibility for letting their own country run down to the state it is in right now.
    This government is chaotic, ineffective and should be removed.
    They should not receive a penny of aid into their hands, for they have mismanaged and stolen most of what money should have been invested into the country, not out of it.

    This all has to stop and other countries should ensure this government of the last few years should not be running the country further into the ground. Those babies at the orphanage will die without help, and they should be all flown to the USA-now, not tomorrow. The needs of the people is the last thing the government is worried about, and they are probably shoving the millions into their bank accounts right this minute.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  44. Molly

    Someone needs to be willing to stick their neck out and make a decision to get all these babies out of Haiti. They need formula and are running out according to Soledad O'Brien. They are not in a safe situation. The children can come back to Haiti later if neccessary. I am fed up with the "red tape". It goes beyond ridiculous.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  45. Caroline, Los Angeles

    The other thing I've been wondering is why police don't use loudspeakers to communicate to the people where to go for food and water.

    The rumor mills begin when people don't have information .

    Also, I wonder when is housing coming? Pre-fab housing. Not tents. Tents blow away.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  46. Sabrina Sinclair

    I'm so glad you raised the question as to why the Gov's plane was allowed in and out of Haiti to quickly take out 28 UNHURT children while Doctors Without Borders plane was not allowed to land and take of people who will die or lose a limb because of that bad decision. One has to wonder if U.S. is playing politics.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  47. Angela

    Aderson Cooper I have always admired your reporting, but today I admire you personally too. Thank you for saving that little boy from further danger. You were a hero, and you deserve some kind of medal.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  48. dawn

    Dear Anderson, On the orphans plane landing while the surgical plane wasnt cleared. I agree with you 100%. I care that orphans have homes too, but when people are dying and in desperate need of medical care that should be the priority.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  49. Rick

    Is there any way we can assist by taking in orphans and caring for them until things settle? Would love to be able to foster a couple kids in the US until things settle in Haiti

    January 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm |
  50. Dawn-Florida

    Why can't they enter and supply resources from Santo Domingo?

    Yes Anderson please find out who is making these behind the scenes decisions only letting 27 babies go.

    Who cares if the food in the rubble gets stolen? Let them eat whatever they can find.

    January 18, 2010 at 11:03 pm |
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