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THE BRIEF WITH BIANCA NOBILO

Donald Trump Hinted At Colonel Vindman's Firing: "I'm Not Happy With Him"; Passengers Quarantined In Cruise Ship In Hong Kong; Death Of Whistleblower Doctor Sparks Outrage In China; Former ISIS Bride Loses First Appeal Over UK Citizenship; Scientist Robin Shattock Speaks To CNN On Race To Find Vaccine. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired February 7, 2020 - 17:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[17:00:00]

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Stay with us now. See you Sunday.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Tonight on THE BRIEF just two days after U.S, President was acquitted, a key impeachment witness is given his marching

orders from the White House.

Plus, 61 cases and counting the number of Coronavirus cases on a cruise ship of Japan have tripled in just one day. And the UK's most infamous ISIS

bride loses an appeal to reinstate her British citizenship. What's next for Shamima Begum?

I'm Bianca Nobilo in London a very warm welcome to the show. We begin with breaking news in Washington. A key witness in the impeachment inquiry into

Donald Trump was just fired from his White House job.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman served on the National Security Council as the top expert on Ukraine. Decorated combat veteran was escorted

out of the White House by security a short time ago. Back in November Vindman testified that he was alarmed by Mr. Trump's phone call with

Ukraine's President, calling it wrong.

His attorney just issued a statement saying in part there is no question in the mind of any American why this man's job is over, why this country now

has one less soldier serving at the White House. Lieutenant Colonel Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor, commitment to right

frightened the powerful.

We're joined now by CNN's Kylie Atwood in Washington. Kylie, was this move expected? Do you think we're likely to see any more firings?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, there were conversations about the possibility of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman losing his

job, but today it actually happened. This is just days after that Senate trial came to a close, which acquitted President Trump and essentially

gives him the possibility to do the things that he wanted to do.

He indicated earlier today that he was not happy with Lieutenant Colonel Vindman who provided testimony during the house impeachment investigation.

And we have known over the past few weeks that President Trump and those close to him weren't happy with Vindman.

But the fact of the matter is that Vindman is someone who has served for the U.S. government and has headed back to the Department of Defense. He is

a civil servant, and so Democrats today are very, very anxious and frustrated with the fact that he was let go from the White House.

He is a lawyer, put out a statement, a lengthy statement today saying in part that he was asked to leave for telling the truth. And so that is going

to be one of the key things that is focused in on here - Lieutenant Colonel Vindman provided testimony because he was subpoenaed to do so, and then he

was kicked out of the White House today.

The question is, as you mentioned, are there others whose careers in the U.S. government are going to be impacted because they provided testimony

under subpoena?

NOBILO: We shall wait and see and probably talk to you next week about it. Kylie, thank you very much. Another key impeachment witness spoke

exclusively to CNN's Jake Tapper today. It was Bill Taylor's first interview since leaving his post as the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine last

month.

Taylor spoke about the personal attacks by Mr. Trump supporters against his fellow impeachment witnesses including Vindman and Former U.S. Ambassador

to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: Does it bother you when you see, like, how Rudy Giuliani was out there smearing Yovanovitch and the dual loyalty smears against Lieutenant

Colonel Vindman who you know and I assume you respect?

BILL TAYLOR, FORMER TOP U.S. DIPLOMAT IN UKRAINE: I do.

TAPPER: It must bother you to see that.

TAYLOR: I - it of course bothers me any time I see someone like Marie Yovanovitch or Alex Vindman unfairly attacked. Anyone unfairly attacked. It

bothers anyone. Certainly it does.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: Former Ambassador Yovanovitch wrote an editorial in "The Washington Post" just this week warning Americans they need to fight for their

democracy. She said I've seen dictatorships around the world, where blind obedience is the norm and truth tellers are threatened with punishment or

death. We must not allow the United States to become a country where standing up to our government is a dangerous act.

Turning now to fear over the deadly Wuhan Coronavirus ripping far beyond Mainland, China a cruise ship docked in the Japan has become a hot bed of

new infections. "The Diamond Princess" now has 61 confirmed cases tripled number from just yesterday. It's the highest concentration of Coronavirus

infections outside of China.

Nearly 4,000 people are quarantined on board. We'll talk more about that in a little bit. More than 3,600 people are stuck on another cruise ship in

Hong Kong. None have tested positive for Coronavirus, but officials won't let them off the boat until they can complete, "The Quarantine Work".

And for cruise ship passengers are being tested in a New Jersey hospital, "The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line" says that they've shown no Coronavirus

symptoms although one has tested for influenza. Passengers are not being quarantine on that ship.

[17:05:00]

NOBILO: Back to "The Diamond Princess" cruise ship anchored in Japan, will be there for the foreseeable future. Will Ripley speaks to people on board

to see how they're coping.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Another day on "The Diamond Princess" under quarantine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looks like they're unloading additional passengers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: Another day confined to their cabins, counting the ambulances, counting the number of Coronavirus patients as it doubles then more than

quadruples.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And we're looking out our balcony and there are indeed more ambulances lining up like they were yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: Americans Kent and Rebecca Frazier never thought they'd be on one of those ambulances until a Japanese nurse knocked on the door.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to get ready. We don't know how long tough stay in the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pack your luggage, go to the bathroom, and stay in the room.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: Rebecca's throat swap came back for positive for Coronavirus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REBECCA FRASURE, CORONAVIRUS PATIENT: I don't have any other symptoms other than a cough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: The news is a shock to their family and friends in Oregon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRASURE: I don't know what's going to happen an hour from now, tomorrow. For all we know we could stay quarantined on the ship for a month.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: Passengers say they can only go outside in small groups under close supervision for less than one hour a day. For them, this luxury liner is

starting to feel like a floating prison.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GAY COURTER, PASSENGER: We're in a contaminated prison, possibly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: Florida passengers Gay and Philip are among the lucky few with a balcony. Many of the 26,000 passengers are in cramped cabins. No windows,

breathing air circulated throughout the ship.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COURTER: Well, this is not a safe environment, and we don't think anybody, let alone the Japanese government, wants to be responsible for making a bad

decision about quarantining us in an unsafe place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: The quarters are in their mid-70s. They know the vast majority of Coronavirus virus deaths are people older than 60, and she says "The

Diamond Princess" is packed with retirees.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COURTER: We want off the ship and we want to go in health and not in dire medical circumstances.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: She even has private insurance that covers crisis extraction, but the Japanese government says they can only be extracted after the 14-day

quarantine period. They hope the U.S. government will do something to intervene and bring more than 400 U.S. American passengers home.

But that doesn't seem likely any time soon, Bianca, although we do know that the U.S. diplomats are meeting with Japanese officials here in Japan,

talking about all these Americans. There are so many people on board wondering when they're going to get off the boat.

Each time there's a new confirmed case, that 14-day quarantine period just resets so this could go on for quite some time a lot of people wondering

how they're going to make it through Bianca.

NOBILO: Not bad Will Ripley in Japan thanks you very much. At the center of the outbreak in Wuhan, China, government officials say that they're going

door to door checking the temperature of the residents to ensure that everyone infect with the virus has gone to hospital.

There are now more than 31,000 Coronavirus infections worldwide and all but a handful are in China at least 638 people have died. The WHO did have some

good news though its Director General remains cautious nonetheless.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBERYESUS, WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL: The last few days there have been fewer reported new infections in China, which is good news.

But at the same time, we caution against reading too much into that. The numbers go up again. As you know, curves can be zigzag.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOBILO: CNN's David Culver is in Beijing. I spoke to him a short time ago about a heroic doctor in Wuhan whose death has sparked anger in China.

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bianca outrage and profound grief on Chinese social media over the death of Dr. Li Wenliang its had government

centers here working to rapidly remove online posts calling for public apologies and for freedom of speech.

The 34-year-old doctor died Friday from the Coronavirus, the very disease that he tried to alert others about back in December. But instead it got

him in trouble with police. It was back in late December in fact when he first warned his friends on WeChat about what he thought was a Sars-like

disease going around.

A few days later he got called in by Wuhan police they reprimanded him for "Spreading rumors online and severely disrupting social disorder". After

returning to the hospital to work, Li contracted the Coronavirus from a patient struggling to communicate, we actually spoke with Li on January

31st.

[17:10:00]

CULVER: You could hear the hospital machines pulsing in the background. He died less than a week later. The state media in China initially reported

his death Thursday night but after backlash directed towards the government went really quite viral, state media changed their stories and deleted

their tweets, citing a statement from the hospital where Li worked and where he was being treated.

Now that statement said that he was in critical condition and that they were trying to resuscitate him if any question whether that was actually

true or just an effort to ease all the online anger. A few hours later they did release another statement to hospital that is saying that Li did in

fact die.

Now China's top anti-corruption agency announced Friday that it was sending a team to Wuhan to investigate the online tributes for Li, essentially to

respond to the masses and to figure out what exactly happened there. But it seems to have been a response to all the distrust and anger that has been

mounting here, Bianca, against government officials.

NOBILO: Thanks to David Culver for his reporting. We'll have much more coverage of the Coronavirus outbreak, coming up on the program including a

conversation with a scientist trying to find a vaccine here in London.

An update on the investigation into the fatal helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and eight other people officials say there is no evidence of

engine failure in the incident. Investigators released these images showing the helicopter flying in heavy fog and low clouds.

Their report says the pilot talked to air traffic control minutes before the crash. The helicopter was descending at more than 4,000 feet for minute

when it crashed. It didn't have a data or cockpit recorder but investigators are still looking at the pilot's iPod which was loaded with a

flight app.

India is dealing with another shocking high profile rape case the victim a 5-year-old girl. Police have arrested a suspect saying that he lured the

child while she was playing on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. Vedika Sud ha the details.

VEDIKA SUD, CNN PRODUCER: A 5-year-old girl living with parents in the staff quarters of the U.S. Embassy compound in New Delhi was raped last

week. The girl is the daughter of a housekeeper who works for the American Embassy here. The incident took place on February 1st, according to the

Delhi police officials.

They added that the girl was playing when she was lured and raped by a 25- year-old man who was also a neighbor. The American Embassy is located in a highly secure area and is surrounded by other foreign missions. According

to a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy spokesperson, they were, and "Deeply disturbed to learn of the allegations of sexual assault of a child

on the Embassy compound".

The statement added that the Embassy had taken swift action by reporting the incident to the police and obtaining medical assistance for the girl.

The police confirmed to CNN that the accused was arrested the next day after the victim was able to identify him. He was arrested under the

Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act and charged with rape. He's currently in custody. A court date has not yet been set.

Now, sexual violence against women in India remains a problem. The latest data released by the government indicates there are roughly 91 rapes each

day in the country. Following the horrific 2012 gang rape of a 23-year-old woman on a bus in Delhi, a number of legal reforms and stricter penalties

were introduced.

Given that the girl is a minor and under the age of 12 if found guilty, the accused could be sentenced up to 20 years or life imprisonment. In some

cases, even the death penalty can handed down. Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.

NOBILO: Here in Britain a Former ISIS bride has lost her first legal battle to reclaim her citizenship. An immigration commission has turned down an

appeal by Shamima Begum. She left Britain to join ISIS in Syria when she was 15-years-old, but she was stripped of her UK citizenship when she tried

to come back last year with reason she was deemed a threat to national security.

Begum is now 20 and stranded at a camp in Syria. As Phil Black reports her lawyers are using that fact to push her case.

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bianca, Shamima Begum's lawyers say they're going to urgently appeal these rulings because they say she's in greater

danger than before. They also say it's going to be very difficult to explain to her why they lost, because the rulings they say effectively

agree with their assessment that her current circumstances mean it is pretty much impossible for her to fight a proper legal challenge.

It is a key point. The tribunal agreed that being stranded in Northern Syria prevents her from fairly and affectively challenging the decision by

the home secretary to strip her of her British citizenship.

[17:15:00]

BLACK: They found that point alone cannot automatically mean that her appeal is successful. The court heard expert evidence in coming to its

conclusion that she is not effectively stateless but also has the option and right to pursue Bangladeshi citizenship because her parents were from

there. Even though as her lawyers argued she's never been there never thought to formalize that citizenship. And the Bangladeshi government has

said publicly she is not welcomed.

This initial ruling is a huge setback for Shamima Begum in what is now likely to be a very long appeals process as her lawyers pursues every

option to try and bring her back to her country of birth while the British government and its lawyers fight with equal determination to ensure that

never happens. Bianca?

NOBILO: Phil Black there for us. Coming up on "The Brief" the world is racing to find a vaccine for the Coronavirus. Next I'll speak with one

researcher working on a breakthrough.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOBILO: Donald Trump says he believes China is working hard to contain the Coronavirus. U.S. and Chinese President spoke on the phone late Wednesday

to discuss the outbreak. China says the prevention and control of the virus is at a critical stage. Unclear exactly what that means.

Xi Jinping told Mr. Trump he hopes the U.S. can assess the situation in a "Calm manner". This comes as fear of the Coronavirus has triggered a

worldwide shortage of facemasks. The World Health Organization says it's dealing with a scarcity of protective equipment. Health officials recommend

hand washing as a personal defense.

The race to find a vaccine for the Coronavirus is on. For today's debrief I spoke early with Robin Shattock he is part of a team of researchers who say

that they're working on a potential breakthrough.

ROBIN SHATTOCK, RESEARCHER WORKING ON VACCINE: So we're one of a number of global teams working on this particular vaccine, and we were able to access

the sequence that was published by Chinese scientists who made it available, which was a tremendous thing to do.

We went from that sequence to identifying part of the sequence in "For the service protein". And we're using that sequence to manufacture our vaccine.

We're using a particular approach where we make a synthetic vaccine based on RNA, so it is essentially genetic code, and we package that in

essentially a liquid droplet and use that so inject into the muscle. It expresses that protein and the body recognizes that as foreign and makes

protective anti-bodies.

[17:20:00]

NOBILO: Now you mentioned that you're one of the teams working on this. Are you working with the other teams that are also trying to develop their end

vaccines?

SHATTOCK: All teams are sharing information but they're also using different technology. It's a race to get something into human studies. And

you know that race is important, because we don't know which of these approaches will be most successful, which will be fast. Some will stumble

along the way.

What's important is that as a global community we maximize our effort to get a vaccine available in a shortest possible of time.

NOBILO: It is a race because there is urgency to this. What would be the time line that you would expect for this? When might you see a vaccine for

Coronavirus in circulation?

SHATTOCK: So we hope to be in clinical test by the summer and I think most groups are trying doing that. That's faster than it's ever been done

before, but that's really is the start of the process. That will determine what's safe, what induces the right immune responses.

The next phase will be to move those into what we call efficacy studies, where we look to see whether vaccines can actually pull off natural

infection. So with putting all our efforts towards that goal, the earliest a vaccine could be available for global use to be early next year. That

sounds slow it is still faster than this being done before.

And we still don't know how this epidemic will shape up. There may well be a second wave of infection. And so having a vaccine ready for all eventual

scenarios is really important.

NOBILO: You have been studying the virus more closely than most people on the planet. What do we know for sure about its Pathology?

SHATTOCK: Obviously we currently are calculating you know kind of fatality rate, but that's based on people presenting the symptoms. What is not clear

is the number of infections that may be sub clinical or have minor clinical manifestations.

And as we start to see that, the kind of fatality rate may actually drop, and as people get better and treating and supporting patients who develop

disease, we may see further drops. So the kind of scenario today will look very different in weeks and months to come.

NOBILO: And why would they occur?

SHATTOCK: We don't always know why some individuals are may be more susceptible to viral infections. It is just can be a rare phenomenon.

NOBILO: But what about masks? Because I've heard conflicting view points on this how effective are they protecting yourself and protecting others if

you were carrying Coronavirus?

SHATTOCK: So the evidence that masks are protective is very slim. We don't have strong evidence that they do much in terms of protection. In a

hospital setting they're very specialized, fit very well.

They might reduce transmission just because it prevents you touching your face more often, but there's a danger A, that they may give you a false

sense of security, and also, given that they have limited protective effects in the wider community, they may actually mean that stocks run out

in hospitals where they are needed.

And so in terms of controlling the epidemic, mass use of masks may well be more of a problem than a solution.

NOBILO: The majority of over 30,000 people who are suffering from Coronavirus are in China. There are clear issues when it comes to

transparency, and as a scientist, do you trust the information that China is making available and publishing about the statistics on Coronavirus and

anything related to it?

SHATTOCK: So certainly the Chinese scientists have been very quick to publish data on the virus itself, and that's been independently verified so

that's very clear, and it's been really important so a global communication.

NOBILO: That's encouraging.

SHATTOCK: In term of understanding figures for help epidemiology that's a complex science it requires you know whether it is based on a case

definition, so just counting just people who have symptoms versus looking at those who are infected without symptoms. And you have to remember that

getting the tests even to diagnose these individuals has been really rushed.

So I think it's too early to start criticizing people and questioning whether they're producing the right data. They are producing a lot of data

as fast as possible. The WHO has people on the ground also looking at that data. So I think what we're doing is getting a best picture of what is

happening.

NOBILO: And we had a lot more to discuss, including the death of the doctor who tried to warn the public about the virus, and you can watch the whole

uncut interview in the coming hours on youtube.com/cnn. And when "The Brief" returns dissecting this very busy news week stay with us.

[17:25:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NOBILO: It's been a hectic week of news. Let's bring you up to date with all that happened. The number of people killed and infected by the Wuhan

Coronavirus spiraled spreading fear around the world. Planes flew people home, cruise ships were quarantined at sea as officials tried to contain

the spread.

It's was an exceptionally busy week in U.S. politics. The Iowa Democratic Caucus turned into a fiasco, with results still coming in three days later.

Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders came out on top.

For President Trump, the week began with a fiery State of the Union speech that Nancy Pelosi promptly tore up. A day later acquittal, the President

was found not guilty in his impeachment trial with Republican Mitt Romney the sole Senator to cross party lines.

And shocking scenes on an airport on a runway in Turkey a plane skidded off the runway and then broke into three pieces. Three people died and more

than 100 were injured. That's it for me tonight. Have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you on Monday.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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