READ about Piers Morgan's long career in journalism here.
As much of the United States' Eastern seaboard continue to weather the impact of Superstorm Sandy, this evening "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomed Academy Award Winning Filmmaker Michael Moore for his patented blend of candid perspective and unique insight.
Joining host Piers Morgan for a live, face to face interview, the man behind such films as "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11" sat in studio, sharing his opinion on everything from global warming and climate change, to the recent revelation of a second New York City hospital losing power and subsequently being forced to evacuate.
Tuesday's program shared the harrowing tale of a group of courageous nurses and doctors who bravely transported 64 patients – including brand new babies – from the NYU Langone Medical Center. One day later, Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital suffered a similar fate, as the National Guard was called in, before damage was deemed too extensive, and an evacuation ensued.
With Moore listening closely, Morgan spoke on the phone to Alan Aviles and begged for answers:
"Is it not your job, of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, to think the unthinkable? And isn't this just part of the unthinkable, in other words, a major attack through water?" he asked Aviles. "You're based near the water there, it can hardly be that unthinkable, that it has come in, and has affected your power system, to the extent that you have to evacuate hundreds of people. That is part of your job isn't it?"
"It's very easy, to make that judgement, from a ringside seat. But when you're in the arena and you do have to balance the risks involved in even doing something like an evacuation," explained Aviles. "This has never been experienced here before. We do have back-up systems that are quite robust. There are four emergency generators that are on the 13th floor. We still don't know exactly what occurred in terms of outages to many of the electrical circuits that go through a distribution panel, as well as what happened to the fuel pumps."
A regular guest of the program, Moore, having listened to Aviles, jumped in and came to the defense of the hospitals:
"The infrastructure is set up, the reason why those generators, and the oil and everything, is in the basement, to keep it going, is because New York does have a history of black-outs, but the black-out doesn't actually come into the hospital, from the river. It happens to the ConEd system and those generators were put there so that the hospitals – when we have the black-outs or brown-outs – the hospitals keep going here, and they have," said the Michigan-native with a home on Manhattan's West Side. "No one has experienced this, as he [Aviles] said, before, but what I want to point out, is that when you say it's unprecedented. It may be unprecedented ... but this is going to set the precedent. Because this is what we are going to see."
Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, as Moore, Aviles and Morgan engage in spirited debate as to what went wrong at New York City's hospitals, and what precautions should be taken to avoid a repeat scenario.