- US President Donald Trump’s comment Thursday calling Haiti and African countries a “shithole” came the day before the eighth anniversary of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed more than 200,000 people.
- Anderson Cooper covered the catastrophe from Haiti for CNN. On Thursday evening he described witnessing heroic acts of everyday Haitians, unaided by the government, digging their fellow people out of the rubble.
- Cooper said Trump could learn from the dignity of ordinary Haitians.
On the eve of the anniversary of Haiti’s 2010 7.1 magnitude earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 people and displaced more than a million, CNN’s Anderson Cooper became choked up when responding to news that President Donald Trump had called the country a “shithole.”
Trump’s widely reported comment, which the White House did not deny, came Thursday during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers on immigration in which he used the term to describe Haiti and African countries and instead expressed an interest in accepting immigrants from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he had spoken with the day before.
Cooper, one of the first journalists on the ground after the massive earthquake that reduced much of Haiti’s capital of Port-Au-Prince to rubble, on Thursday night detailed harrowing feats of humanity and strength he witnessed there.
“For days and weeks without help from their own government or police, the people of Haiti dug through rubble with their bare and bloodied hands to save strangers, guided only by the cries of the wounded and the dying,” Cooper recounted on CNN.
Cooper had to pause to collect himself while recalling the plight of a 5-year-old boy who was saved after being buried under rubble for seven days.
“Do you know what strength it takes to survive on rainwater buried under concrete?” Cooper asked. “The people of Haiti have been through more … they fought back against more injustice than our president ever has.”
Cooper acknowledged that Haiti, like all countries, contained a mix of people but characterised Haitians as widely having a distinct dignity.
“It’s a dignity many in this White House could learn from,” Cooper said. “It’s a dignity that the president, with all his money and power, could learn from as well.”
Here’s Cooper’s monologue in full:
"Let me be clear tonight. The people of Haiti have been through more… withstood more — they've fought back against more injustice than our President ever has." Anderson Cooper choked back tears as he reflected on the devastating quake nearly 8 years ago https://t.co/Yuh5xe3P8Q
— CNN (@CNN) January 12, 2018
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