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tv   60 Minutes on CNBC  CNBC  September 21, 2014 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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well, that's our edition of 60 minutes on cnbc. i'm steve kroft. thanks for joining us. [ticking] [ticking] >> if michael mckubre is right about his experiment, it could change everything. it could end our dependence on oil, end the threat of global warming, and provide unlimited power. >> for example, the laptop would come pre-charged with all of the energy that you would ever intend to use. >> automobiles? >> same. [ticking] >> they've constructed one of the largest, most sophisticated machines ever built to try and replicate what the universe was like just a few nanoseconds after it was created. >> why do you want to do that? >> why wouldn't you want to know that? >> well, you'd want to know it, but, you know, spending $8 billion to find out, it must be important. >> we can understand how to take the light that bounces off of me
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and you, into that camera, and put it into mom and pop's living room. now, imagine in 10 years, 20 years, we would be able to take, instead of our photons, me and you, and put them in mom and pop's living room? >> transport people. >> you tell me. is that worth it? [ticking] >> [speaking french] >> what began as a small, understaffed, ill-equipped clinic in 1985 today has 100 inpatient beds, an array of specialists, and three operating rooms. they have nearly 2 million patient visits a year. >> [speaking french] >> how many lives, do you think, partners in health has saved? >> in medicine we say t.n.t.c.: too numerous to count. too numerous to count. >> welcome to 60 minutes on cnbc. i'm bob simon. in this edition, we meet the scientist whose work could change the world as we know it. and visit with a doctor who has
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revolutionized medicine. back in 1989, the scientific breakthrough that could solve our energy problems seemed at hand. it was the announcement of cold fusion nuclear energy that can work at room temperature on a tabletop. it promised to be cheap, limitless, and clean, and end our dependence on fossil fuels. then just as quickly as a find was reported, it was discredited. cold fusion became a catchphrase for junk science. yet, as scott pelley reported in april 2009, 20 years after being thoroughly debunked, for some scientists, cold fusion was suddenly hot again. >> we can wield the power of nuclear physics on a tabletop. the potential is unlimited. that is the most powerful energy source known to man. >> michael mckubre says he has seen that energy more than 50 times in cold fusion experiments he's doing at sri international,
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a respected california lab that does extensive work for the government. mckubre is an electrochemist who imagines the creation of a clean nuclear battery. >> for example, the laptop would come pre-charged with all of the energy that you would ever intend to use. you're now decoupled from your charger and the wall socket. >> automobiles? >> same. potential is for an energy source that would run your car for three, four years, for example, you take it in for servicing every four years, and they'd give you a new power supply. >> power stations? >> you can imagine a one-for-one plug-in replacement for nuclear fuel rods, and the difference only would be that at the end of the lifetime of that fuel rod, you didn't have radioactive waste that needed to be disposed of. >> mckubre showed us just how simple the experiment looks. there are only three main ingredients. first, palladium, a metal in the platinum family. second, a kind of hydrogen
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called deuterium, which is found in seawater. >> deuterium is essentially unlimited. there is ten times as much energy in a gallon of seawater from the deuterium contained within it than there is in a gallon of gasoline. >> the palladium is placed in water containing deuterium, and the third ingredient is an electric current. >> so the experiment's running inside this box. >> that's correct. >> can we open it up? >> we can look inside. there's very little to see. >> the experiment is wrapped in insulation and instruments. they're looking for what they call excess heat. in other words, is more energy coming out than the electric current puts in? no one knows exactly how excess heat would be generated in the experiment, but mckubre shows us what he thinks is happening. >> this is an artist's rendition of deuterium atoms approaching-- >> at the atomic level, palladium looks like a lattice, and the electricity drives the
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deuterium to the palladium. they sit on the surface, and they pop inside the lattice-- >> mckubre believes there is a nuclear reaction, possibly a fusion process like what happens in the sun, but occurring inside the metal at a slower rate and without dangerous radiation. scientists today like to call it a nuclear effect rather than cold fusion. at least 20 labs, working independently, have published reports of excess heat, heat up to 25 times greater than the electricity going in. >> this little piece of palladium metal has about a third as much energy as the battery in your automobile. so very small volumes, very small masses can produce large amounts of energy. >> mckubre has been working on this since that first discredited claim of cold fusion. >> we devised an experiment-- >> martin fleischmann and stanley pons amazed the world in 1989 with their cold fusion news
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conference at the university of utah. fleischmann, in particular, was one of the world's leading electrochemists. and the announcement of room-temperature fusion set the world on fire. >> we have found conditions where fusion takes place. >> immediately, prestigious labs at mit and caltech rushed to reproduce the experiment, but they didn't get the same results as fleischmann and pons. >> we have no evidence in our laboratory with any of our samples for fusion. >> the careers of fleischmann and pons were destroyed quick as a nuclear flash. >> we worked for five years on this. >> names once linked to a nobel prize were forgotten by nearly everyone, and most of the scientific world today is happy to leave it that way. >> i'm still waiting for the water heaters. i'm still waiting for the thing that will produce heat on demand. >> richard garwin is one of the most respected physicists in the world, and has been since the 1950s when he helped design
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the most successful fusion experiment of all time. >> the hydrogen bomb, sort of the ultimate in hot fusion. >> yes, it was unfortunately a very successful experiment. >> this experiment-- >> garwin was a critic of martin fleischmann back in 1989, and he has seen the reports on the research that has been done since. >> you think mckubre is mistaken. >> yes. >> after all the work that he's done. >> yes, i think so. >> why? >> i think, probably, he measures the input power wrong. >> it's one of the most common criticisms of cold fusion experiments, that the amount of electricity going in and the heat coming out are simply mismeasured. >> it's possible. it is possible that i have been mismeasuring energy for 20 years, but i think it extremely unlikely. a very large number of people have been making these measurements. and measurement of current, voltage, temperature, resistance, they're some of the
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simplest measurements that a physicist or a physical scientist will measure. >> but there's another problem that critics point out. the experiments produce excess heat, at best, 70% of the time. it can take days or weeks for the excess heat to show up, and it's never the same amount of energy twice. >> i require that you be able to make one of these things, replicate it, put it here. it heats up the cup of tea, i'll drink the tea. then you make me another cup of tea. then i'll drink that too. that's not it. >> for you to be a believer, it has to work 100% of the time? >> yeah, pretty much. [ticking] >> we are delivering power into the cell. >> coming up, putting cold fusion to the test. >> when i got there, i just kept asking about, okay, how do you know this? how do you know that? how do you get 30%? i mean-- >> when we first called you... >> uh-huh. >> and said, we'd like you to look into cold fusion for 60 minutes, what did you think when you hung up the phone? >> i think my first reaction was
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something like, "well, isn't that--hasn't that been debunked?" i'm just skeptical, because i'm always skeptical. >> that's ahead when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. [ticking] turn the trips you have to take,
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[ticking] >> when the headline-making cold fusion experiment was debunked in 1989, it was quickly
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consigned to the science junkyard. but 20 years later, cold fusion research was making news again and again drawing criticism. with so many open questions, we asked an independent authority, distinguished physicist rob duncan, to take a look. >> when we first called you... >> uh-huh. >> and said we'd like you to look into cold fusion for 60 minutes, what did you think when you hung up the phone? >> i think my first reaction was something like, "well, isn't that--hasn't that been debunked?" >> we asked duncan to go with us to israel where a lab called energetics technologies has reported some of the biggest energy gains yet. >> we are delivering power into the cell. >> when i got there, i just kept asking about, okay, how do you know this? how do you know that? how to you get 30%? >> duncan spent two days examining cold fusion experiments... >> i mean, i'm just skeptical, because i'm always skeptical. >> and investigating whether the measurements were accurate. >> do you measure that aluminum
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temperature directly? or just assume it's equal to-- >> and when you walked down to the israeli lab, you thought what? >> i thought, "wow, they've done something very interesting here." >> he crunched the numbers himself and searched for an explanation other than a nuclear effect. >> i found that the work done was carefully done. and that the excess heat, as i see it now, is quite real. >> are you surprised to hear yourself saying this? >> very much. i never thought i'd say that. >> and we found that the pentagon is saying it too. the defense advanced research projects agency, known as darpa, did its own analysis, and we obtained this internal memo that concludes there is: do you feel vindicated after all these years? >> i don't have any real need for vindication. i know what i've seen. >> that was a pretty big smile
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on your face, though. >> it is good. it's not bad. certainly, it's good. >> the pentagon is funding more experiments at the naval research lab in washington, d.c., and at mckubre's lab in california. we wondered what richard garwin would think of the defense department's appraisal. "the experiments leave no doubt that anomalous excess heat is produced." >> well, that's a statement. >> you just don't buy that. >> well, i am living proof that there's doubt. now, they can say that excess heat is being produced, but they can't say there's no doubt. all they can say is, they don't doubt, but i doubt. >> if you asked me, "is this gonna have any impact on our energy policy?" it's impossible to say, because we don't fundamentally understand the process yet. but to say that we don't fundamentally understand the process and that's why we're not gonna study it is like saying i'm too sick to go to the doctor. >> you know, i wonder how you feel about going public,
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endorsing this phenomenon on 60 minutes when maybe 90%, i'm guessing, of your colleagues think that it's crackpot science. >> i certainly was among those 90% before i looked at the data. and i can see where they'll be very concerned when they see this piece. all i have to say is, read the published results, talk to the scientists, never let anybody else do your thinking for you. >> there was one more scientist we wanted to find, a man who left america in disgrace and retired with his wife to the english countryside. martin fleischman, the man who announced cold fusion to the world, is hindered by years, diabetes, parkinson's disease, and maybe a little bitterness. at home, he pulled out an improved version of his experiment, something that he was working on when he was hounded out of science. when you hold that in your hand and you think back on what's happened these last 20 years,
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what do you think? >> a wasted opportunity. >> wasted? because it was discredited at the time? >> mm. >> he told us he has two regrets: calling the nuclear effect fusion, a name coined by a competitor, and having that news conference, something he says the university of utah wanted. now that you know that your experiments have been replicated and improved upon in labs all around the world, i wonder, do you see a day when homes will be powered by these cells, when cars will be powered by these cells? >> mm. i think so. it wouldn't take very long to implement this. you make me feel that i should take a part in this. [laughing] >> i'm getting you interested again? >> yes.
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>> the potential is exciting. >> the potential is exciting. yes. >> since our report first aired, the university of missouri has created a new research institute to understand the origin of the excess heat. rob duncan and nine other professors at m.u. are collaborating with other scientists to understand it. dr. michael mckubre continues his research. [ticking] coming up, trying to uncover secrets of the universe. >> this is the pipe where the particles come through. >> 40 million times a second. bunches of protons collide in the center of this barrel section, and they reproduce conditions that haven't existed since a tiny fraction of a second after the big bang. >> we go inside the collider when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. [ticking]
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[ticking] >> thousands of the world's most accomplished scientists work on a multibillion-dollar project designed to unlock the secrets of the universe. it's called the large hadron collider, one of the biggest, most sophisticated machines ever built. it sits 300 feet below the french-swiss border. as steve kroft reported in september 2008, although equipment malfunctions delayed the start of its operations, scientists were confident the collider could achieve its goal: replicate what the universe was like a few nanoseconds after it was created. [bells jingling] [bleating] >> under the meadows and mountains outside geneva, switzerland, 9,000 physicists from all over the world had been taking part in one of the biggest, most ambitious scientific collaborations in
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history. it's being conducted in a vast, subterranean laboratory carved out of earth and bedrock under two different countries. >> here you can see all the local power distribution-- >> and it's pushed the limits of technology beyond state of the art, towards the boundaries of science fiction. >> the key feature is the superconducting solenoid. >> it's called the large hadron collider, a massive scientific instrument that took 20 years to create and cost $8 billion. >> this is really one big magnet. >> scientist austin ball, who helped build it, gave us a tour of the experiment before they sealed it up and began a series of run-throughs. it was during one of those tests that some equipment malfunctioned, setting back the project several months. when it resumes, they hope to begin cracking open the tiniest bits of the atom by racing them through a 17-mile tunnel and crashing them into each other at nearly the speed of light. >> this is the pipe where the particles come through.
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>> 40 million times a second, bunches of protons collide in the center of this barrel section, and they reproduce conditions that haven't existed since a tiny fraction of a second after the big bang. >> by traveling back in time and recreating the earliest seconds of the cosmos, scientists are hoping to discover the smallest building blocks of nature and the forces that brought them together to form so many different things. and they're planning to do it with a machine that's simply expanding on one of man's very first ideas. >> you have to say, it is pretty stupid to take two things and throw them at each other as fast as you can and see what comes out. >> primitive concept. >> exactly. but we're humans, and that's all we know. >> scientist bob stanek has been working on the collider for 14 years. for the past seven, he's been a transatlantic commuter of sorts, spending three weeks here in switzerland for every one week back home in chicago, where, as his hardhat suggests,
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he's a die-hard bears fan. people have told us that one of the things you're trying to do is to recreate what the universe was like a nanosecond after the big bang. is that right? >> that's right. >> why do you want to do that? >> it's in humans' interest to know everything, right? and why wouldn't you want to know that? >> well, you'd want to know it, but you know, spending $8 billion to find out, it must be important. >> so let me ask you this question. >> you can try. >> because we've studied the interactions of photons and electrons and elementary particles, we can understand how to take the light that bounces off of me and you into that camera, and take that signal, and put it into mom and pop's living room. now imagine, in 10 years, 20 years, we would be able to take, instead of our photons, me and you, and put them in mom and
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pop's living room? so you tell me, is that worth-- >> transport people. >> you tell me. is that worth it? is that worth $8 billion? >> you think that could happen? >> i don't know enough right now, but i can't say it can't happen. >> the collider itself is a marvel of precision engineering. this animation shows how two beams of invisible hydrogen protons will be driven around the tunnel in opposite directions inside ultrahot vacuum tubes, propelled and guided by superconducting magnets, chilled with liquid helium to a temperature of minus 271 degrees celsius, colder than deep space. as the two beams approach speeds of 186,000 miles per second, they will smash into each other at four different parts of the collider. at the heart of the machine are four massive detectors where the actual collision of the subatomic particles takes place. this one is seven stories tall, nearly 8,000 tons of lead,
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steel, wires, plastic, and magnets that capture and record everything that's going on inside. so you can bring these--i mean, you can race these little-- >> protons. >> protons around this 17-mile track at the speed of light, smash them in together in a beam that's the width of a hair, and you can measure all that stuff, what happens in a billionth of a second? >> billionth of a second after 25 nanoseconds. so it sets a scale. here to there is 25 feet. turn my flashlight on, by the time that beam reaches that wall is the time that we have to have recorded all of this information. >> a 60-megapixel camera inside the detector captures what's going on at 40 million frames a second. and the digital data detected by layers of sensors can be converted into pictures the human eye can understand. the information goes to super-fast computers, then out to laboratories and universities all over the world for analysis.
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there are so many sensors monitoring so many collisions, that in just one year, the collider is expected to generate ten times more data than all of the information now on the internet. to make sure the results are valid, the two main detectors are entirely different. so you have two different detectors and two different teams working on them. >> absolutely. >> and they're designed by different people and designed different ways. >> absolutely. different criteria, different motivation, and so on. >> is there much competition between the two? >> friendly competition, but, you know, when we hear those guys are behind we... [mimics laughter] and i'm sure they say the same thing, but, you know, at the end, they both have to work. [ticking] >> coming up, how scientific research impacts us all. >> the history of science shows us that the big advances in human technology come about through curiosity-driven research. >> can you give me an example of something that was created here for research purposes and
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changed the world? >> yeah, well, the best known one is the world wide web. >> that's ahead when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. [ticking] ♪searching with devotion ♪for a snack that isn't lame ♪but this... ♪takes my breath away
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[ticking] >> work on the collider is conducted under the auspices of
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the european organization for nuclear research, otherwise known as cern, but more than 80 countries are contributing money, technology, or scientists to the project. there have been israelis and palestinians, indians and pakistanis, iranians and americans working on the collider, and everyone will share in the scientific results. james gillies is cern's chief spokesman. >> do you ever worry or are concerned that you could turn this thing on and it won't work? >> i think we can be pretty confident that it's going to work, because everything you can possibly test along the way has been tested. >> all of this is being done to satisfy scientific curiosity? >> i would say it's all being done to satisfy human curiosity. >> but are there practical things that are likely to come out of it? >> i'm pretty sure there will be in the long term. i mean, the history of science shows us that the big advances in human technology come about through curiosity-driven research. >> can you give me an example of something that was created here for research purposes and changed the world? >> yeah, well, the best known
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one is the world wide web. >> the system you use every day to click on links and move from one internet site to another was invented in these corridors to help scientists do research. because cern has been required to share its scientific discoveries, the web was given to the world for free. it's helped transform society, and private industry has made billions off of it. and scientists here anticipate similar results from their work on the collider. when they began planning it, the technology to build it didn't exist. it had to be developed by companies and laboratories in europe, asia, and the united states. >> we, in doing these experiments, do push the technologies to the limits. and so, you know, industry eats this stuff up. they say, "here's something. we can make this faster. we know how to do this. okay, so now we can market it." and that's what's happened. >> so a lot of companies benefit from the technology that's developed. >> absolutely. >> one of the things they're hoping to find is called the higgs particle, named after
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peter higgs, a professor in scotland. he theorized that there must be something in the universe that we can't see that gives things weight or substance. he got a look at the first machine powerful enough to test whether he was right. >> the higgs particle is sometimes called the god particle. why? >> it's called that because it plays a very, very important role. in giving mass to the other particles, it allows solid structures, solid things, you, me, tables, chairs, to exist. without it, we couldn't. >> if this particle exists, we should be able to definitively see it. and if it doesn't exist, then this model that we keep confirming over the last 30 years has a big hole in it. >> but there's gonna be an explanation, one way or the other. >> uh, yes. when you disprove a theory, usually more theories come to take its place. for these young american scientists, the opportunity to work on the collider at cern is the chance of a lifetime. steve nahn is from mit. monica dunford from the
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university of chicago. and steve goldfarb is from the university of michigan. >> so there's a lot of americans here. >> there's a lot of americans here. in a recent report, they said that 52% of all particle physicists, of all u.s. particle physicists are here working on things. there's a lot. >> you feel any pressure? >> absolutely. >> really? how hard have you been working? >> well, i haven't been to the grocery store in five weeks. so i think i have a jar of mustard and a stick of butter in my refrigerator right now. >> feel like you're part of something historic? >> absolutely, yeah. >> it's like opening a whole new window that you never saw before. and you open the window, and you get a whole new vista of things that might happen that you didn't have access to before. so from a scientist's point of view, it's the biggest thing to happen in particle physics in, say, 20 or 30 years. >> yeah. >> what's the average person gonna get out of this? >> what the--the best thing is, we don't know. >> some scientists believe the experiment could lead to the discovery of other dimensions beyond length and width and depth.
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they've long suspected that they exist, but lack the knowledge to detect them. they also hope to learn about black holes, the dark voids in the universe that swallow up stars. a group of fringe scientists believe the collider might even create a black hole that could swallow up the earth. and they filed suit to stop the project from going forward. james gillies doesn't seem to be too concerned. if you've never done this before, at least with a collider this big, how do you know that it wouldn't create a black hole? >> we don't know that it won't do that, but we know that if it's producing these little black holes, then they are decaying and they're not doing anything dangerous to us. >> not gonna swallow the earth. >> no. >> you sure of that? >> absolutely. >> scientists at cern say we only understand about 4% of the known universe. and it took a century to turn the discovery of electrons into an ipod. there's not likely to be a eureka moment here. it may take years of analyzing data to produce the first results. but bob stanek believes the collider will go down in
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history, and not for swallowing the earth. >> i think the fact that we're given the opportunity to do these experiments enhances everybody's life. i mean, people will get smarter because of it. we learn. >> so you expect big things from this. >> oh, i expect big things from this. you know, just think about it. 100 years ago, we knew nothing. and 100 years ago is not that long ago. can you imagine what we'll know in 10 years? even the next 100 years. >> after a variety of delays, on march 30, 2010, the large hadron collider began its work of smashing subatomic particles. and the hunt for the elusive higgs particle shows some encouraging signs. in december 2011, the collider's two main detectors reported seeing a hint of the higgs particle. that, along with other similar evidence, has some scientists believing they're closer than ever to proving the existence of the so-called god particle.
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[ticking] >> the great innovators of our time are said to be the titans of technology. but a long way from silicon valley, another great thinker and innovator is changing the world with far less fanfare. he's dr. paul farmer. in the mid-1980s, he and a few other great minds created a charity called partners in health. in the years since, they have revolutionized the delivery of health care worldwide. and as byron pitts reported in may 2008, they are saving millions of lives in places where no one thought there was any reason for hope. >> the idea that because you're born in haiti, you could die having a child. the idea that because you're born in, you know, malawi, your children may go to bed hungry. we want to take some of the chance out of that. >> dr. farmer invited us to
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central haiti where he discovered his life's work more than 25 years ago. that meant a three-hour, jaw-clenching, teeth-rattling ride on an unpaved road from the capital city to the hospital. >> why do they call this a highway? >> you got me. you got me, buddy. it's the principle artery through central haiti. >> if the ride doesn't break your back, what you see when you arrive will break your heart. the squatter settlement of cange is one of the poorest parts of the poorest country in the western hemisphere. >> [speaking french] >> the desperate need paul farmer saw here as a young man inspired him and four friends to create partners in health. they raised money and built what's become the largest hospital in central haiti. >> [speaking french] >> how many lives do you think partners in health have saved? >> in medicine we say t.n.t.c.: too numerous to count. too numerous to count.
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>> what began as a small, understaffed, ill-equipped clinic in 1985 today has 100 inpatient beds, an array of specialists, and three operating rooms. they have nearly two million patients visits a year. >> [speaking french] >> and the medical care here is free. for paul farmer, health care is a human right. he wants to show the world that children, for example, don't have to die of treatable illnesses like tuberculosis or malaria. they treat those diseases every day. do you have any idea how many people around the world die from treatable diseases? >> well, probably about ten million a year. because if you look at-- >> from treatable diseases? >> oh, yeah. oh, yeah. >> things that are there in-- >> well, let me just give you some numbers. just from aids, tuberculosis, malaria, and women who die in childbirth, i bet that's six million. >> haitians are so desperate for medical care that, each night, people sleep on the ground outside the hospital just waiting to get treated.
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we were there when dr. farmer got word that a woman dying in childbirth was being prepared for an emergency c-section. >> so this is a 45-year-old woman who has 11 children who's hemorrhaging right now and has placenta previa, which is what some people call a third-trimester catastrophe. so she's really sick. doctor? >> the surgical team was made up entirely of haitians. partners in health staffs its hospitals with as many locals as possible so they're not dependent on americans. >> [crying] >> in this case, the baby was delivered alive. for the mother, who'd lost a lot of blood, it was touch and go. >> [speaking french] >> dr. farmer checked on her after the operation. she's gonna make it. thumbs up. that same woman, same circumstances, 25 years ago, what would have happened? >> well, she wouldn't have made it. >> what does that tell you about your work? >> it tells me that if you set your sights high and if you stick with it, you can make real progress.
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that's what it says to me. >> in fact, paul farmer has made astounding progress. partners in health has expanded and now works in nine countries, including peru, russia, mexico, and three countries in africa. with 6,000 employees worldwide, their budget of $50 million is barely enough to keep it going. >> no cesareans today? >> yeah, we had two in the morning. >> dr. farmer spends most of his time commuting between the hospitals in rwanda and haiti. one of his priorities: train a new generation of doctors to follow in his footsteps, physicians like david walton. >> i look at you, 31 years old, medical degree from harvard, could make a gazillion dollars back in the states, and you're in haiti. what do you get out of it? >> there's nothing that i'd rather be doing with my life, absolutely nothing. [speaking foreign language] >> and it's a hard life. seven-day work weeks, including house calls, and a house call in haiti can mean a hike up the
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side of a mountain. >> you walk for 30 minutes, walk for an hour, walk for four hours. the patients do it everyday. why shouldn't i do it? >> on this day, dr. walton was visiting 10-year-old cledene, suffering from a damaged heart valve. her family and neighbors showed up with their list of ailments. there are no short lines in haiti. some of cledene's siblings were also sick from sleeping on a muddy floor. including the parents, 12 people sleep in this one room. >> you know, in the scheme of poverty in rural haiti, this is pretty bad. you know, we're on the lower end of the spectrum. ten kids living in a place like this with no material possessions and a very, very sick child. >> even for the well-trained, this is difficult. >> i can't imagine--sorry. i can't imagine turning my back on something like this. i mean, some people can, but i can't. and i won't, you know. this is my life's work.
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>> there was no happy ending for this story. cledene died not long after dr. walton's house call. there are always whispers about programs like this, that they can't outlive the people the people that founded the place. that when the paul farmers move on, p.i.h. will be done. >> paul, part of his genius is that he has set up a system that doesn't depend on his presence or absence. haiti is run by haitian physicians. in rwanda, the rwandan hospitals should be run by rwandan physicians. and so, when the paul farmers of the world aren't around anymore, this place will still be here providing great care. >> you know that or just hope that? >> i know it. i know it. >> but there's no question, paul farmer has been a driving force. take aids, for example. in the late 1990s, the disease was ravaging the people of haiti. conventional medical wisdom was, there's no point in giving aids drugs to the poor in third-world
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countries. but dr. farmer wouldn't give up on his patients. he raised money and gave them drugs anyway. and look what happened. this is joseph. and this is joseph just six months after starting treatment. and here he is five years later, and feeling fine. and the same kind of transformation happened in patient after patient. [ticking] >> coming up, starting a medical revolution. >> yes, there are people here in central haiti who get better care for certain diseases than they would, you know, in parts of the united states. >> come on. >> no, i'm absolutely serious. i've seen it. >> just wanted to remind you of our visit and that i'm on my way, okay? >> that's ahead when 60 minutes on cnbc returns. [ticking]
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[ticking] >> when paul started treating people in 1998 in haiti, everyone said he was absolutely nuts. impossible, can't be done, and forget about it. dr. jim kim is a professor at harvard medical school and one of the cofounders of partners in health. >> and here we are, you know, not even a decade later, where the goal is to treat every single human on the planet who needs hiv treatment with the right drugs. >> and look at this man, stricken with tuberculosis. they saved his life and thousands like him. farmer and kim figured out not just a new way to treat multidrug-resistant tb, but a cheaper way to provide the medicine. their breakthrough has become the new standard and has saved the lives of people around the world. you were able to lower drug
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prices. how is that possible? >> i realized very quickly, but these are all old, generic drugs. there's no reason for them to be so expensive. so we did some very simple things. we talked to drug procurement specialists who had contacts in india who said, "we can make these drugs for on hundredth of the price." >> but drugs only work if people take them. so partners in health came up with the idea of hiring community health workers, fellow villagers. they visit the sick at home every day, making sure they take their medicine. the result, says farmer, is that their patients with aids and tb stay healthier longer than many patients in the u.s. >> yes, there are people here in central haiti who get better care for certain diseases than they would, you know, in parts of the united states. >> come on. >> no, i'm absolutely serious. i've seen it. >> just wanted to remind you of our visit and that i'm on my way, okay? >> a program so successful,
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partners in health has exported the model of using community health workers to american communities like roxbury, massachusetts. >> you've been an inspiration to so many people. >> thank you. >> paul farmer's success has made in a celebrity in the world of global health care. he won a macarthur genius award. heady stuff for a man from humble means. his mother was a grocery store cashier; his father a schoolteacher who chose an unconventional lifestyle for his family. >> you grew up on a bus? >> it was actually a bus that had been used to take x-rays in a tuberculosis screening program. see, you see, this is why i don't like talking about my biography, because that sounds so neat, right? i lived in a bus. >> neat? it seems pretty hard-core to me, grew up on a bus. >> no, but i mean it was a tuberculosis bus, and then later i became a tuberculosis expert. >> he came from a family of eight. and he said even though it was crowded on that bus in florida, he didn't feel deprived, but
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rather, adventurous. you ate your meals on the bus? >> we did. until we moved onto the boat. >> you lived on a bus for a while and then on a boat. >> yes. with a tent in between. >> how did that kind of upbringing shape who you are now, you think? >> well, you know, when you grow up in those conditions, surrounded by affection, but not having a lot of things, 'cause you can't put a lot of things for eight people in 28 feet of space, then you get pretty resilient. >> he went from the bus to a scholarship at duke university, and then to harvard medical school where he's on the faculty. he married a haitian woman, and they have three children. though he travels the world, paul farmer insists haiti is home. services are free, but he still accepts gifts like the occasional rooster. >> give me the laundry list of the kinds of gifts you've gotten over the years. >> well, yesterday, i got two roosters. i got, probably, about a dozen
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and a half eggs. i got some milk. >> you got enough there for breakfast. >> yeah, yeah. i do. >> before we left haiti, dr. farmer insisted we meet one last patient. this is yolette sanon, a 35-year-old cancer survivor. the chemotherapy worked. her leukemia is in remission. >> it's awfully good news for her. >> good news. >> so she looks a million times better. [speaking foreign language] >> and this was the one place the normally in-control, even-keeled paul farmer revealed, sometimes his work does get to him. it happened when he read yolette's thank-you letter. >> i want to take this time to show my gratitude to you. if, as for me, if-- i'll read it to you later. >> this is hard for you sometimes. >> you know, it's a lot. i mean, everybody should have access to, you know, medical care.
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and, you know, it shouldn't be such a big deal. >> for the sick, the poor, the forgotten in haiti, paul farmer is a big deal. there's a haitian expression some of his patients use when he's away. "we miss him," they say, "like dry earth misses the rain." >> [speaking french] >> since our report first aired, dr. paul farmer and partners in health have been at the forefront of efforts to help haiti recover from the devastating earthquake of 2010. since then, partners in health has built a hospital that not only raises the standard of care for public facilities, but also trains the next generation of haitian nurses and physicians. and in april 2012, cofounder dr. jim kim was named president of the world bank.
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that's our edition of 60 minutes on cnbc. i'm bob simon. thank you for joining us. [ticking] >> narrator: in this episode of "american greed"... kenneth ira starr is the money manager to hollywood's a-lists. >> among his past investors, annie leibovitz, martin scorsese, sylvester stallone, wesley snipes. >> you know, the names just went on and on. >> narrator: starr woos potential clients, but he doesn't stop there. >> ken wanted to be his clients. and he used my mother's money to purchase influence. >> narrator: he steals $30 million to buy his way onto the a-list and live in the lap of luxury. and it's all in the name of love. >> you know, when your money manager starts going out with a stripper, that's a tell.

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