11 January 2018, CNN Studios, New York City, USA
Before we go tonight, I just want to take a moment to talk about Haiti, one of the place the president of United States referred to today as a shithole country. I was taught math in high school by a Haitian immigrant name Yves Volel who work hard, who dedicate themselves to teaching kids of America. He ultimately returned to his country in Haiti and was assassinated while running for president.
I spend a lot of time in Haiti, I first went there in the early 1990s, as a young reporter. In 2010, my team from CNN was the first international team of journalists on the ground after the earthquake struck. I spent more than a month there and have return many times on assignment and on vacation. Like all countries, Haiti is a collection of people, it's rich and poor, well-educated, not good and bad many. But I've never met a Haitian who isn't strong. You have to be to survive in a place where the government has often abandoned this people, where opportunities are few and where mother nature has punished the people far more than anyone should ever be published.
But let me be clear tonight, the people of Haiti have been through more, they've been through more, they've with stood more, they fought back against more injustice than our president ever has.
Tomorrow marks exactly eight years since the earthquake struck Haiti, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake killed between 220,000 and 300,000 people. The actual numbers will never be known, because they were buried in unmarked pits. One and a half million people were displaced. 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 complete strangers. Guided only by the cries of the wounded and the dying. I was there when a young girl name Bee (ph) who'd been trapped in rubble for nearly a day was rescued by people who had no heavy equipment, they just had their God given strength and their determination and their courage.
I was there when a 5-year-old boy name Mangly (ph) was rescued after being buried for more than seven days. Do you know what strength it takes to survive on rainwater buried under concrete, a 5-year-old boy buried for seven days. Haitians slap your hand hard when they shake it, they look you in the eye. They don't blink, they stand tall and they have a dignity. It's a dignity many in this White House could learn from. It's a dignity the president with all his money and all his power could learn from as well.
On the anniversary of the earthquake, on this day, when this president has said what he's said about Haitians, we hope the people on Haiti who are listening tonight, and (INAUDIBLE) L.A. and Miami and elsewhere, we hope they know that our thoughts are with them and our love is with them as well.