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CONNECT THE WORLD
WHO Chief Scientist: Safety Comes First And Foremost; COE Of GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance, Speaks To CNN; New COVID Record Hits Israel, West Bank & Gaza; Climate Scientist: No Let Up In Fires Expected For Months; UK's Johnson Announces "Moonshot" COVID-19 Testing Plan; CNN's Clarissa Ward On Reporting From Dangerous War Zones. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired September 9, 2020 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with Becky Anderson.
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BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: This hour our fight for survival against a pandemic and the scourge of climate change. Right now there is a
pharmaceutical arms race. Drug makers around the world are in the final stages of trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine, each hoping to be the
first past the post and take us, frankly, take us back to how we used to live?
But experts are warning against what's being called vaccine nationalism, saying if companies put their own interests ahead of others, it can disrupt
the whole process from production to ensuring that everyone has access once a vaccine is developed.
Well, a UK based company AstraZeneca has paused its entire global trial of its Oxford vaccine candidate after one of its volunteers came down with an
unexplained illness. Now the company says this is its routine and has reiterated its commitment to safety.
Meanwhile, a wider pledge from top vaccine makers is trying to put the public's mind at ease. Well, joining me now is Head of Northern that's co-
leading the effort to ensure equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines around the world through COVAX, as it's called. Dr. Seth Barkley is joining me now
live from Geneva.
And Seth thank you, we just being discussing AstraZeneca just putting on hold the later stage trial of its highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine. This
after an unexplained illness in the study participant and the company says, and this is important, "In large trials, illnesses will happen by chance
but must be independently reviewed to check this carefully. We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact
on the trial timeline".
They say we are committed to the safety of our participants and the higher standards of conduct in our trials. This is what Dr. Anthony Fauci had to
say about this.
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DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: It's unfortunate that it happened. Hopefully they'll work it out
and be able to proceed along with the remainder of the trial, but you don't know. They need to investigate it further.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Is it clear to you what happened here?
DR. SETH BERKLEY, CEO OF GAVI, THE VACCINE ALLIANCE: So, Becky, good to talk to you again, and absolutely. This is part of normal vaccine
development. It's why it takes a long time. We're trying to accelerate the development, but safety remains absolutely critical. So there was an untold
They are stopping, investigating it, making sure that they understand what happened and then will make a decision about restarting, and it's one of
the reasons we have to think about having a portfolio of vaccines and not just bet on one.
We have to realize we don't know which works, but we also don't know whether they're going to have side effects and get through the full
ANDERSON: What we do know is that there is a race on here. Just in the last couple of hours, the W.H.O.'s Chief Scientist says the safety of any
potential COVID vaccine comes first and foremost. I want you and our viewers to have a listen to specifically what was said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SOUMYA SWAMINATHAM, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION CHIEF SCIENTIST: Just because we talk about speed and skill, it doesn't mean we start
compromising on what would normally be assessed. The process still has to follow the rules of the game, which is that you go through the process of
clinical trials, and here particularly I'm talking about drugs and vaccines.
Diagnostics has evaluation methodology. But for drugs and vaccines which are given to people, you have to test their safety, first and foremost,
most important, and efficacy. That is, how effective is the drug.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And then you've got the U.S. President, Donald Trump, pushing for getting a vaccine out ASAP. Almost every day he makes that statement. This
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We're producing a vaccine in record time. This is a vaccine that we're going to have very
soon, very, very soon by the end of the year, but much sooner than that, perhaps.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Is this responsible?
DR. BERKLEY: Well, I think the important thing is we're trying to accelerate the science. This is a pandemic. It's costing global GDP about
$375 billion a month, and obviously returning to normality, as you started with, is best done through a vaccine. So we have to accelerate the science.
And I think it's great that the U.S. is investing so heavily in doing that, but I think the critical point is making sure that we follow the normal
well-established protocols for safety and independent evaluation.
And, of course, if there are challenges that we stop and investigate them, because at the end, you're giving this to ultimately billions of healthy
people, and it's not only about COVID, it's also about the confidence of the overall vaccine effort, which saves millions and millions of lives a
ANDERSON: And you want to make sure, as CEO of GAVI, an international organization created in 2000 to improve access to new and under used
vaccines for everyone living in the poorest parts of the world.
You want to ensure that vaccinating 20 percent of the populations in all countries who participate in the COVAX scheme will ensure that the most
vulnerable people, health care workers and everyone, to ensure that they get these vaccines.
Are you convinced at this point that that is going to happen? Just explain what it is that you are trying to achieve here.
DR. BERKLEY: So political leaders, the first thing they think about is protecting their own populations. After all, that's what they've been
elected to do. But in the case of a pandemic, you're only safe if everybody else is safe.
Because if you had a country that was fully protected but the viruses are circulating out of control in countries around, you can't go back to a
normal commerce or trade or travel, and it's going to have a continuing effect on the global situation.
So the idea here is to try to get the vaccine out to every country in the world. You can't do that initially with 100 percent vaccine, but what you
can start with is health workers, about 3 percent of the population in its broadest example.
And then move to high-risk groups like the elderly or those who have other diseases that make them more vulnerable, and by doing that, you dampen down
the pandemic globally. Of course, after that you still may need to roll vaccines out, but the idea is this is the best way to get back to control
of the pandemic and some type of normality.
And that's what we're trying to do. We have 173 countries that have so far signed up to work together on trying to do this, and we're continuing to
see other countries engage in this period.
ANDERSON: Yep, you're leading the effort to ensure equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine around the world, COVAX, as we've been suggesting. Once
there is an effective vaccine, the supply surely, let's be realistic here, could be very limited. So who does get it first, sir?
DR. BERKLEY: So the idea, of course, was to try to manufacture at risk. So during the period before you know whether the vaccine works or not, go
ahead and scale up manufacturing, and then have doses available. If they don't work, you have to destroy those doses, but if they do work, you have
doses that can be rolled out.
You're absolutely right, there will be a big supply/demand problem at the beginning, but we estimate that by the end of 2021, we think we can
probably have 2 billion doses of vaccine available.
Now, that's going to depend upon success, it's going to depend upon which approaches work, it's going to depend upon the yield from the manufacturing
processes, but that's what we're planning towards. And the idea here would be that doses are made available to developed and developing countries
simultaneously, initially for health workers globally.
That's going to be something like 50 million people around the world. Hopefully those doses will already be produced. But then going beyond that
is going to be making sure that allocations go out to different countries over time.
ANDERSON: COVAX, as I understand it, essentially works as a financing mechanism or an insurance policy in which, as you've been describing,
countries pull resources to find a vaccine that works without taking the risk of going solo.
ANDERSON: But COVAX faces major opportunities and hurdles in the coming months, competing with national interests. This initiative will require
billions of dollars and the cooperation of as many countries as possible.
And herein lies this issue of vaccine nationalism, because of course the U.S. is not one of those countries who have signed up to this. A recent
statement at the White House said the United States will continue to engage international partners to ensure we defeat this virus, but we will not be
constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the - as they describe it, the corrupt World Health Organization and China.
You are working with the W.H.O., of course. Will the U.S.'s lack of support hinder what is otherwise the global vaccine effort?
DR. BERKLEY: Well, as I've already said, we appreciate the support that the U.S. is doing to try to accelerate the science. The U.S. has been a strong
supporter of GAVI, and I know that they care about wanting to have vaccines in the developing world.
If they choose not to engage in the COVAX facility because they have done a lot of bilateral deals, that's okay, but the world will benefit from the
advances in science, and we, of course, are talking to the U.S., and we hope that they will engage in making vaccines available to the developing
Because, again, we're not safe unless everybody is safe and so it's about building that support to make sure that we can get vaccines for everybody
everywhere who needs it.
ANDERSON: How concerned are you that you won't achieve that? How concerned are you that we are working, it seems, at speed at present for a vaccine
that will be distributed by countries specifically to their own populations? This is not altruistic as far as I can tell at this point.
DR. BERKLEY: Of course, I would like it to be perfect and of course we all search for perfection. But the way this would be without an effort like
this is that 20 or 30 countries would have bilateral deals and 170 countries would have no access we've already changed that.
We've already made deals for hundreds of millions of doses that would be shared more broadly, and the goal, as I said, was try to get to 2 billion
doses by the end of 2021. We're trying to build the largest portfolio between 12 and 15 vaccines to maximize success, and we can do that because
we have a lot of countries engaging with us.
DR. BERKLEY: Will it be absolutely perfect? No. But will we move toward equitable access? Absolutely, and again, that's the only way to end a
pandemic. Don't forget, Becky, it is evolutionarily certain we will have more pandemics. And so one other challenge is how will we put systems in
place to be able to deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at us in the future?
ANDERSON: We weren't ready for this, were we, quite frankly?
DR. BERKLEY: Well, you know we are better prepared than we were pre the Ebola of 2014-2015, but we were not as prepared as we could be. And of
course and I gave a ted talk on this saying that it was evolutionarily certain and there were things we could do.
Some of those were done, but I hope the silver lining in this is that people will now take seriously the threat of infectious diseases. I've been
called a Coronavirus Cassandra, and a number of us have seen these types of things but you know this we've seen what the effects can be and we should
prepare for it like we do to try to prevent wars.
ANDERSON: Finally, we were talking about cutting bilateral deals on sort of a country-by-country basis as opposed to sort of working for the sort of
equitable distribution, as you are with GAVI through work with the W.H.O.
Just today, for example, we've seen the Russians suggesting that they will distribute some 25 percent of what they produce to Mexico, for example.
You've said that if there is some efficacy data on Russia's Sputnik V vaccine that you would love to see it.
Phase III clinical trials of that vaccine are to begin today. What was your response to the country saying that they will roll out vaccines by next
DR. BERKLEY: Well, I think the important thing here is there's a reason over decades we've built a standard protocol for evaluating vaccines.
DR. BERKLEY: The safety is critical. That's where we began this piece, and what's critical is that we have those types of international standards with
a stringent regulatory authority looking at the data and making sure it's been appropriately tested for efficacy but even more important for safety.
And so my hope is that every country in the world has that as their standards, because don't forget, the way news spreads at the speed of light
today, if we end up with some untold effects anywhere in the world, it will have an effect in other parts of the world as well.
So that's why it's so important for us to try to live up to those standards. Despite the need for speed, nobody wants it to move quicker than
I do, but I want to make sure we do it right.
ANDERSON: Seth Berkley, you and I last spoke about a year or so ago when you were here in Abu Dhabi. I know that the government here a big supporter
of the work that your alliance does, so let's hope that there are many other governments around the world who continue to support your good work.
Thank you, sir.
DR. BERKLEY: Thank you so much.
ANDERSON: We've not been facing COVID without a home, without proper sanitation, without a job, without hope for the future. In a refugee camp
we've barely been surviving in has just burned down. Well, at this hour thousands of people who fled their homeland again have absolutely nowhere
This after flames ripped through Europe's largest migrant camp packed with thousands more people than it was ever designed to accommodate located on
the Greek Island of Lesbos the Greek Migration Minister telling me last hour on this show that early indications show that the fire was started
deliberately by the residents but that he is waiting for the full report.
He also told me that Greece wants more help from the rest of Europe as what he called economic migrants arrive in Greece. He says they cannot cope.
Marco Sandra in the Lesbos project Coordinator for doctors without borders calls Camp Maria a time bomb that finally exploded. He joins us now from
And just in the last hour I spoke to the Greek Minister for migration and asylum. I asked him if the fire was deliberate. This is specifically what
he told me.
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NOTIS MITARACHI, GREEK MINISTER OF MIGRATION & ASYLUM: It seems so. We're waiting for further investigation work to be done so we have a more clear
picture. We have had 35 COVID tests positive out of 2,000 conducted, and these tested people were asked to move to a separate area to make sure they
don't affect other residents of the camp.
There seems to have been some disagreement and these are the actions for the need to quarantine for positive COVID patients. The lockdown has helped
us through the year. It's critical to say that this has had 95,000 asylum seekers in the residents have had zero casualties throughout the year
related to COVID because we took measures early and we took sufficient measures.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: So basically, Marco, you're telling me that it seems that the fire was deliberate, but justified that the COVID measures that had been
enforced that residents were protesting were actually necessary. What do you understand to have happened, sir?
MARCO SANDRONE, LESBOS PROJECT COORDINATOR, MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES: Hasn't necessarily - it is still not clear the real dynamic of the
incident. What is clear is and there is no question about that the cause of the fire needs to be found in the years long orchestration of the human
suffering and violence produced by the European/Greek migration policies.
And these are the policies to be blamed. This is where we should look at the roots of what's happened yesterday unfortunately, a disaster in the
camp. Everything in the camp, or almost, has been destroyed by the fire that we have never seen before. This after calling for years for proper
protection for the people the thousands of people that are still prisons inside the camp that which supposed to have not more than 3,000 people and
in general it reached 20,000 people.
40 percent of them are minors. These are the conditions these people have lived here for years, and in the last months due to restriction of movement
that the government imposed only for migrants inside the camp, tension is raising.
In the last week the first case of COVID has been identified and announced. That is exactly when a mass quarantine had been implemented for the camp.
People that were not able to bear these conditions anymore we know very well from our experience in the working in infectious disease outbreak.
SANDRONE: If you don't get the trust and the understanding of the population, you cannot control the outbreak. You cannot control the
population. People will not listen to you and how can state authorities keep 13,000 people in prison in inhuman condition and tell them that they
ask to maintain physical distance.
How they can ask them to stay close in an area that actually did have the tests of the population. This is where we need to look at the cause.
ANDERSON: Let me just stop you there, because this is a massive camp accommodating something like six times the amount of people that it was set
up to house very difficult to manage, as you rightly point out. Not least in the middle of a pandemic.
It sounds to me you're suggesting that there is by no means enough support at the moment. I know the EU has offered to help, but you say that European
policy lies at the very heart of this problem. Just explain what you mean by that specifically.
SANDRONE: Yes, the Moria Camp is a result of European policies that they have decided purposely to stop people on islands before moving them to the
next step of their asylum process. This without proper structure, without proper services, without the system of - is working is creating what Moria
represented an overcrowded camp with inhumane conditions, not enough showers for minimum standards and not enough medical care.
These are the reality that people have confronted Moria for months in here. This cannot be the solution for this people that are seeking asylum, for
people that are leaving their countries or leaving persecution. They reached Moria and in Moria they found the worst of their nightmares.
Yesterday night people there were children there were desperate, running away from the camp and finding themselves in the streets where they are
ANDERSON: The issue of migrants and refugees has been a thorn, of course, in the side of Europe now for years. This year alone we have seen something
like 45,000 attempts to make their way into Europe. 500 have lost their lives. Many more remain missing. If you had one message to European
leaders, Marco, what would it be?
SANDRONE: European leaders should stop turning their back in front of innocent people, people that today they are still stuck in the Island in
prison camp where there is not dignity, where humanity has been completely lost. All of these people cannot hear any more lies.
They cannot hear any more political gains on their life. A solution needs to be found immediately. These people need to be evacuated. Vulnerable
people needs to Lesbos now. If Greece is not able implement the European policies.
If Greece is not able to take care of these people, the other European countries should take this burden and should protect the most vulnerable
ones. Lesbos today is full of desperate people who need help, and Europe is keeping turning a blind eye on them.
ANDERSON: And with that, we will leave it there. Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. The story of the Moria Camp, Europe's largest
refugee camp, the pictures apocalyptic, the camp burned down.
COVID hot spots causing more anxiety in the Middle East. How they are coping with or this region is coping with record daily infections that
ANDERSON: Talking about COVID curfews now in Israel, nighttime restrictions have been enacted on what the country calls its red cities which are having
a tough time with high infection rates. The West Bank and Gaza also being hard hit. Well, Oren Liebermann standing by for us in Jerusalem. Oren, what
is the measure on the ground?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: By just about any measure you look at here when it comes to Coronavirus this has been the worst week for the
region. Earlier this week on Monday, Israel diagnosed 3,540 new cases in a day that is a record breaking the previous record from last week.
One day later on Tuesday 3,506 more cases according to ministry of health data. In response, as you pointed out, the government is trying to impose
nighttime curfews on 40 cities that are red zones, red cities largely ultra orthodox cities and Arab cities. There is already a growing anger about
these nighttime curfews, and where they are implemented.
And the bigger question is will they be affected as the numbers in Israel continues to skyrocket. Not only that country's Coronavirus CZAR Professor
Ronni Gamzu he is isolation after member of his team tested positive for the Coronavirus. So all of that certainly bad where a situation that is
already bad in Israel.
In Gaza, 182 cases that, too, is a record. That doesn't sound like a big number, and truth be told, it isn't. But what's troubling here is how
quickly it's growing? Only two weeks ago it was less than 10 cases a day, so 182 cases is a dramatic increase in an area where Coronavirus could
spread very quickly.
Numbers from the Palestinian Ministry of Health on the West Bank, which include East Jerusalem and Gaza, they had 717 new cases in a day earlier
this week. That's not quite the record, but on that same day they had ten deaths from Coronavirus amongst the Palestinian population, and that is a
That gives you an idea, Becky, of just how bad it is, and it doesn't seem like it's going to get better much quicker.
ANDERSON: Oren Liebermann on the story for you. Oren, thank you. You're watching "Connect the World." I'm Becky Anderson. Still ahead, wildfires
raging in California like never before. The state's former governor a champion of combating climate change warned that this would happen. I will
speak live to Jerry Brown this hour.
ANDERSON: These are scenes of destruction from the Creek Fire, one of the largest of more than two dozen wildfires raging in California. That fire
remains at what is known as zero percent containment.
It's destroyed 360 structures and threatens thousands more and has forced some 30,000 people to evacuate. Ryan Young is near another fire, the bobcat
fire residents in that area preparing to evacuate at a moment's notice. What's the latest on the ground, as you understand it, Ryan?
RYAN YOUNG, CNN U.S. CORRESPONDENT: Well, some of the folks here have their cars parked and ready to go just like you were talking about just in case
they get the all-call. We just talked to a gentleman who has taken his entire family to another home while he uses a hose to make sure that his
house has continue to be wet.
And the reason why they're worried about this is what's happened up there. If you look at the ridgeline, you can see the smoke up there, and sometimes
you'll see the fire popping up and down the ridgeline. What they were concerned about is that the heavy winds would sweep down through this area,
pushing the fire into this neighborhood.
The good news so far, even though that is the bobcat fire with over 10,000 acres that have been damaged so far, is that the wind and the conditions
are not as bad as normal, so right now everyone in this neighborhood is sort of taking a sigh of relief.
That's just part of the process here when it comes to all this. When you think about the other fire, the creek, 163,000 acres have been damaged so
far. And when you talk about the rescue efforts, you have the National Guard using helicopters to save people who have been trapped by these
The dry conditions have really been pummeling this area, and you have over 25 fires right now in the State of California, more than 2 million acres
burned. It really creates just a desperate situation for firefighters and for the people living in this area.
ANDERSON: Ryan is on the ground. Thank you. Former California Governor Jerry Brown has championed environmental causes throughout his career. Back
in 2018 in the final months of what was his second eight-year stint as Governor he toured damage from another wildfire outbreak and said this at
It's not one thing, its people. It's how people live, it's where they live, and it's the changing climate. And the truth is, we are going to have more
difficulties. Well, now the man himself, Jerry Brown, is joining me via Skype from California's Central Valley. And thank you for joining us.
Firstly, I have to ask, are you and your family safe and well?
JERRY BROWN (D), FORMER CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: Well, right at this moment, but I can tell you even though the sun has been up for more than an hour,
dark clouds, the darkest I've ever seen, is obscuring the sun and it looks like we're in the early part of the evening.
It's a very ominous sense, and yes, the fires are about 12 miles away, 15 miles away. They seem to be contained now, so that's good, but the smoke
from further away is still building up and spreading to this part of Northern California.
ANDERSON: When you see these apocalyptic scenes in your home state, how does that make you feel? What does your gut feel at times like this?
BROWN: Well, my gut tells me that where I am now may be unlivable in my lifetime in the sense that the fires will be so great that they'll be
burning down the structure I'm in, the barns, my neighbors' buildings. This is really serious and we're going to have to find ways to guard and protect
our homes, which I'm looking to right now.
BROWN: But yes, what do I feel like? I feel like we're at a real turning point here in California, which is part of a larger turning point in the
world, that if we don't get at the climate change with real action to reduce carbon emissions, we're going to be in big trouble, and what you see
now in California will be more general throughout the world.
We could talk about that, but you asked me what I'm feeling. I'm feeling a sense of deep concern about where the world is going. And as I see our
Washington politicians talking about everything else but, I worry that we're going to miss the moment here and not do what we need to do.
ANDERSON: Yes. Well, certainly a climate scientist telling CNN what is going on in California is shocking but not surprising as it fits the
modeling. Have a listen to the Director of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Thom Porter, who was talking to me just
yesterday. I am sure you know Thom. Just have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOM PORTER, DIRECTOR, CALIFORNIA DEPT, OF FORESTRY AND FIRE PROTECTION: It's clear to us that we haven't seen our climate in the condition it's in
ever before. We are seeing fires that are growing in ways that are uncontrollable, burning in what we have considered to be an asbestos forest
for my whole career, and that is the Redwoods.
The Redwoods, we're seeing fires that are in bad years would grow to 1,000 to 1,500 acres growing to 85,000 acres and 45,000 in a single day. That has
never happened in Redwood forest since we've been keeping records of fires.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: And I'm sure you'll agree that it is the firefighters who are the heroes here. We've got a couple images of guys taking much-needed breaks
after really long shifts. One of those is Dancey Leach, as I understand it.
He went right back into the work after this image, and I want to get one of my producers just to pull it up. After this image was taken, absolutely
exhausted as I understand it, most firefighters in the Western United States are now helping. Does California have the resources it needs, sir?
BROWN: We're the sixth largest economy in the world. We had a GDP of almost 3 trillion. The problem is we're hemorrhaging because of the COVID, the
massive unemployment and now the fires. And the fires - we're just getting into fire season.
I want to say something about the temperature. It is really hot. Last night, right where I am, it didn't get below 82. And during the day, it's
up over 100. This is really hot. And those firefighters, with the gear they got to wear; I can't even imagine how they do it. It's heroic, it takes
absolute human endurance, and it's the new normal. That's where we are now.
And we've got to figure out a way to manage the forest better, we've got to get more money going into firefighting. It's not going to - cost billions,
tens of billions going forward. And throughout the whole country in one form or another in flooding, hurricanes or tornadoes, the world is
And that is going to affect the politics and the economics and make the world much less safe than it is even today. And the folks in Washington, in
my opinion, are asleep. They are sleep-walking with news of the day and all the important trivia that constitute normal politics' give and take.
We've got to look at the longer term, and right now California is getting a graphic picture of where America and the world are going? So wake up,
America, and wake up, world.
ANDERSON: This is fascinating. You talked about how important it is to, you know, ensure that these forests are maintained properly. The federal
government, of course, in charge of about 60 percent of forest land in California, 57 percent, I think I'm right in saying. And that's apt because
of course, President Trump does reckon, but there is a relatively straightforward solution to all of this. Please take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have many, many years of leaves and broken trees, and they're like so flammable. You touch them and it goes up. I've been telling them
this now for three years, but they don't want to listen.
TRUMP: The environment, the environment. But they have massive fires again in California. Maybe we're just going to have to make them pay for it. They
mocked us when I said that. You got to clean your floors. Just an expression, clean the floors.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Your response to what the U.S. president has suggested as a solution, sir.
BROWN: I don't like to say it about our president that is 100 percent hypocrisy. Most of these forests are owned by the federal government, and
they refuse to spend the money. By the way, it's going to be hundreds of millions, maybe billions, to cut down all the dead trees.
We have millions of dead trees that are fueling the fire right now as we speak. And the federal government has not put up the money. They don't want
to spend the money. By the way, California hasn't been putting up the money, either. We're not facing reality, which is we've got to spend more
money to manage the forests. But it's not leaves. Mostly it's big trees.
And the trees die from the last fire, the beetles come and eat them away, and we are just killing, ready to create a massive conflagration. That's
where we are. It's not a time here to point fingers Trump, congress, America, California, the government or the legislature step to the --. We
have a joint task ahead of us, because this is something that we're all a part of, and we're all vulnerable if not today, tomorrow.
And it's not just the rest of America; it's the rest of the world. We are facing a global existential threat, and we've got to act like we're on the
same planet instead of this outdated nationalism where it's America versus Russia, China versus America, and California versus the rest of America.
No. We're in it together.
We're on the same boat, if I may use that metaphor, and we've got to wake up, work together and deal with the immediate threat, which today is fire,
tomorrow it will be flood, and who knows what else will be coming because of the extreme disruption to our historic climate.
ANDERSON: And this, of course, these fires coming in a state that has been struggling to get on top of the Coronavirus pandemic. These twindemics, as
it were. Coronavirus, the climate crisis, both of which the U.S. president, you could claim, is not willing to confront. You could claim that he would
rather deny both. To which you say what?
BROWN: I say there has never been a president in the history of the United States who has deceived, lied and obscured the truth that swirls around
you. America is in deep trouble when we have a president that almost half the people believe in almost as a cult of personality saying things that
are so manifestly untrue and false. And boy, we got to wake up. If this fellow continues, we're in trouble and the world is in trouble.
ANDERSON: With that, we're going to leave it there. We thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. Do stay safe. You've explained those fires are not
far away from where you are in California. We wish you and your family the best. I just want to leave you with the photo of this hero. In the face of
exhaustion, this, a firefighter in California, back after this.
ANDERSON: UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson wants to dramatically increase COVID-19 testing, and he has just announced an ambitious new scheme that
would start next month. Scott McLean joining us from London. Scott, Boris Johnson calling this a Moonshot. That may be an understatement. Explain if
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Sure, Becky. So right now the testing works - you know, it's basically looking for people who have the virus. And
today the message from Boris Johnson is that, if you don't have any symptoms, you should not be getting a test, because despite the fact that
they're doing processing 1.2 million tests per week, it's still not enough. There is still a big demand.
But this Moonshot that you mentioned would kind of flip that on its head. Basically trying to see who is negative for the virus so that they could go
about their normal lives as usual. So what they want to do is have this rapid test, there's two of them, one that could be done in 90 minutes, one
that could be done in 20 minutes, that they're going to be testing to see if they can scale them up on a really, really massive level so that for
instance, you could be tested before you go into a theater.
A theater could test its entire audience and let in everyone who is negative. The same could be done for airlines, for instance. You could test
everyone who is about to come on the plane and then let everyone on who is negative. And so, that is what they see as the real next generation while
we wait for this vaccine, so that some people will be able to get back to some semblance of normalcy.
So there are a handful of these pilot projects going to be going on. One will be in sulfur, where basically they'll be looking for volunteers to be
tested weekly for the virus whether they have symptoms or not.
Because at this stage, the tests as they are right now, they take a while to process and there simply aren't enough of them, so they really want to
have cheaper, easier to use quicker tests that can allow people to get back to some semblance of normalcy, Becky.
ANDERSON: Yes, and they just need an infrastructure to support it, I guess, and clearly infrastructure on testing. It hasn't worked out quite the way
the government had hoped we await. Thank you, Scott.
Up next, blindfolded in Syria, surviving bombings, spending time with the Taliban, and to top it all off, being hit on by Saif Gaddafi. It is all in
what is a reverting read that is the new book published by my next guest.
She is my colleague, Clarissa Ward, CNN's Chief International Correspondent my interview with her coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was not a long drive, but our guides were taking no chances. Past government check point,
the car twisted along dark back roads outside the Capital City Damascus. After a certain point we were blindfolded to protect the location of the
safe house where we would find members of the free Syrian army.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ANDERSON: Now it's just one of the many harrowing and captivating scenes. My friend and colleague CNN's Chief International Correspondent, Clarissa
Ward describes in her new memoir "On all fronts: The education of a journalist." Clarissa has spent her carrier in some of the most dangerous
places on earth. For 15 years, she has reported on the frontlines of countries like Iraq and Yemen.
And as you just saw Syria, she brings us the human stories of these war- torn nations. The book comes at what can early be described as such an important time, and the world really needs reporting, when the world needs
journalists like her the most.
Well, Clarissa joining us now from London. Congratulations on the book. It's a really good read. We just showed a clip from your time covering the
Syrian war. And in the book, you say how you were pushing for this interview with the free Syrian army for a while.
When you got it, you didn't have a cameraman and had to shoot it by yourself. And then ended up with what you say in the book was a non-
televisual piece. Just explain what you mean by that and about that situation.
WARD: Well, you know, Becky, so much of this book really is about the stories behind the stories, because they play a huge role in informing and
shaping the way we see a conflict. Essentially I was able to get a tourism visa to go into Syria. But the producer cameraman who was supposed to
travel with me was not able to get the visa.
So I made the calculation to go alone. I am not a gifted shooter. I only had a small point and shoot regular little stills camera because I was
trying to pose as a tourist. And essentially I just had to do the best that I could and use this camera with my limited skills to try in some way to do
justice to the story of this burgeoning uprising that was taking place in Syria, a part of that was trying to get access to the free Syrian army.
At that point, I don't think any journalists had talked to them in Damascus. And it was a little frightening going on my own, being
blindfolded. You're putting a lot of face in the people who are looking after the activist who actually the ones are risking their lives to look
after you and tell their story.
One of my biggest concerns at that moment was less that the free Syrian army was going to do anything to harm me. And more that these were highly
wanted men and that there could be some kind of a reprisal or some kind of a raid on the safe house where the interview took place.
ANDERSON: You spent a lot of time in Syria. You know more than anyone the horrific scenes that you come across when working in war zones. You
mentioned in the book a man that you were speaking to in Syria who was describing to you how his son had been killed.
You say, and I just want to quote from the book here. "I watched his hands, fidgeting constantly with fear and grief. I wanted to take them in mine and
hold them, to put down the camera for a minute and be a human being. But I knew the only way I could help him was to make sure that people heard his
And we talk a lot about that, don't we, as journalists, being able to tell the story. Did that tug-of-war between your job and your basic human
instincts did it or does it ever manage to get any easier?
WARD: I wish I could say that it does, Becky. But as you know, and as so many of our colleagues know, there is a very real tension between doing
what your job is and getting that job done, which almost requires a kind of medical-like attitude. I often compare it to being a trauma surgeon.
We're not saving lives, but I just need to get in there, get the job, get the material, put it together and get it done and get it out so that the
world can see it. Then, of course, though, you have the human side, which is the urge to look after people, to console people, to protect people, to
And it's always a sort of heartbreaking calculation that you're making between doing the job and being a human being. And, unfortunately, I think
that you - everyone have to find the balance for themselves. I don't think we're always successful in doing it.
But in that moment that you isolate, I knew that I needed to get this man's story on television. I needed people around the world to hear what he had
experienced and the grief that he was going through. And I couldn't do that, if I put down my camera and held his hands and sat with him for a
moment. But it's not easy.
ANDERSON: You talk a lot about being a female journalist. I know in this region in the middle-east I often get asked how challenging it is to be a
female working in the job that we do.
ANDERSON: You mentioned Matt, a security guard in Beirut, who dismissed you for being a young female journalist. You were also hit, and by the way, by
Saif Gaddafi. How do you overcome situations like this?
WARD: I think it really depends. The Gaddafi situation, I really tried to defuse it with humor. But with the Matt situation, I lost my temper with
him, because - and I'm not proud of that, I should add. I called him something that I can't say on television, because I was tired of being
patronized and marginalized simply because, yes, I was young.
But also because I was a woman, I was aware that this security guard had told others he wasn't entirely comfortable working with women in conflict
zones. And look, I grew up in a generation along with some seriously fierce female work correspondents at CNN, Arwa Damon, Nima Elbagir, Jomana
Karadsheh and all of us have experienced this type of pervasive misogyny.
And all of us knew that really just we had to cut our teeth, show our medal and power through it. I am hopeful that the younger generation of
journalists that are up and coming will not have to put up with it to the same extent, and that attitudes are changing.
But on some level if you're tough enough to go to a war zone, you need to be tough enough to deal with these situations and to defuse them in
whatever way is appropriate.
ANDERSON: A quote that struck one of the producers on this show from the book was the following. "I didn't understand that the privilege of
witnessing history came at a price, but in that moment only one thing mattered to me. I had a calling."
You're a mom now to two young lads, and congratulations on your newest little boy who was born in the summer, I know. How has that calling changed
for you, if at all, now that you are a mother?
WARD: You know, it's interesting. I think most people assume that when you have children, you wouldn't want to do this kind of work anymore; you
wouldn't want to travel to these places and endanger your life. But I actually feel - of course, I feel a huge debt of responsibility to my
children and to be safe and to be sensible.
But more than that, I feel an even stronger compulsion to go out and tell these stories to humanize them and to really convey to viewers the
importance of the humanity that so often gets lost in all the geopolitical jargon.
ANDERSON: Clarissa, thank you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The books are really good read. Thank you.
WARD: Thank you.
ANDERSON: And thank you viewers for joining us. For now it is a very good evening from the team here in Abu Dhabi. Stay safe and stay well.