'This Week' Transcript: Adm. Mike Mullen

Share
Copy

AMANPOUR: And we turn now to Haiti and the virulent strain of cholera that has just arrived here in the United States. In the past few weeks, it's killed more than 1,100 people in Haiti and hospitalized 17,000. Haitians hold their general election next Sunday, but on the streets this week, violent demonstrations were directed against United Nations troops who are suspected of bringing the disease to the country.

It's been almost a year since the world pledged to rebuild Haiti after that devastating earthquake, and that has not happened. Here's ABC's Matt Gutman reporting from Port-au-Prince, the capital.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GUTMAN (voice-over): They are dying in the streets here. These sanitation crews treat the bodies and truck them to the morgue, which has already reached capacity. The government's failure to deal with the outbreak and rumors that the United Nations spread the contagion fueled riots all week, violence the U.N. alleges is political.

FISHER: In Cap-Haitien, there have been demonstrations which have stopped us doing our work for cholera victims, and those on the political side say they know that these are demonstrations that were planned. They weren't spontaneous.

GUTMAN: This is election season in Haiti, traditionally a period of unrest. In the meantime, supplies to treat the living are chronically short.

WOOD: This stuff here, it's cheap, and life is not. If you look around here today, these people would all be dead if it weren't for this.

GUTMAN (on-screen): You're not getting enough of it?

WOOD: Yeah, and we're -- and getting enough of it. That's right.

GUTMAN (voice-over): Dr. Tom Wood has been treating cholera for decades. This is one of the worst outbreaks he's seen.

WOOD: You know, God help us.

GUTMAN: He weeps for all this misery and for the fact that there needn't be so much of it. Sean Penn runs a relief organization here.

(on-screen): Americans have donated over a billion dollars for this cause. Just a fraction of it has been used. Where is it? What's the holdup?

PENN: Well, there's -- there's the -- what the American people need to know is that the fraction that's being used is in the administration of the overhead of those organizations that are -- that have been tasked with administering that money.

GUTMAN (voice-over): The Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund has received over $50 million in donations; it has spent only a fraction of it here. American aid groups quietly blame Haiti's inability to absorb the aid, partly because of the scale of the damage here, but also because of the government's ineptitude.

But there's also corruption. Supplies rot at the port where this mountain of containers grows. Aid groups blame customs officials.

(on-screen): ... just want to get a couple of answers about how things work, how merchandise moves out of the port, and how you release it.

(voice-over): ... held up the release of trucks and equipment for months, medicine for days.

(on-screen): These people don't have one or two or three days. They will die if they don't get this.

WOOD: They will -- they will die without this.

GUTMAN: This World Health Organization warehouse is essentially Haiti's central pharmacy. Now, there's probably enough medication here to treat everybody in the country who has cholera. Getting it to them, though, is much more difficult.

Page
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...