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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Trump Blames Wildfires On Forest Management Alone; OPEC Chief: Economic Recovery Not Pacing As Projected; Boston Mayor To Address Livability At "Future Cities" Summit. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired September 14, 2020 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Sixty minutes before trading comes to an end. We are in the last hour of the trading day,
and if you look at the markets, you'll see absolutely, it is a bullish session. The market was up at the open and has remained solidly in the
green. Do not expect there to be any mega fall off between now and the closing bell.
Plenty happening today. New tapes from the Bob Woodward book shows that Donald Trump failing to take his mind off the markets in the face of the
Now, off you go, puppet. Move over Microsoft, TikTok has opted for Oracle in some sort of weird deal that we don't really fully understand, but have
been told about.
And the head of OPEC said he expects a strong rebound for oil, the price of oil next year.
We are live tonight from London. It is Monday. It is September 14th. I'm Richard Quest, and in the living room, I mean business.
Good evening. It is the Woodward books and the Woodward tapes and they keep on giving.
Tonight, new explosive revelations that show Donald Trump boasting about stock market records while tens of thousands of Americans are dying of
coronavirus. The conversation with Woodward -- now, this isn't the conversation back in March or February at the beginning of the pandemic,
no, far from it. It is exactly one month ago today, of course obtained by CNN, Trump said he acted early to contain the virus and that, quote,
"nothing more could have been done."
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BOB WOODWARD, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST: It's going to be a contest between you and Biden. It's going to be a contest between both of you and the
virus. The virus is -- because it's in real people's lives, you know, all of those tens of millions of people who don't have jobs, who don't have --
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I know.
WOODWARD: That in -- listen, I mean, you and I --
TRUMP: Nothing more that could have been done. Nothing more could have been done. I acted early. I acted early. So we'll see.
WOODWARD: Well, we'll -- this will be the history that we start the first draft of, and it will continue and ...
TRUMP: So you think the virus totally supersedes the economy.
WOODWARD: Oh, sure. But they're related as you know.
TRUMP: A little bit, yes.
WOODWARD: Oh, a little bit? I mean
TRUMP: I mean, more than a little bit, but the economy is doing -- look, we are close to a new stock market record.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Jamie Gangel, Bob Woodward is talking major philosophical thoughts, and deep meanings of societal reasoning of it all. Donald Trump is talking
a stock market record. He doesn't seem to want to accept the severity of the situation.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: No question about it, and it is not just -- let's put August 14th when this phone call happens in some
The virus is on fire. The pandemic is on fire. We had lost more than 168,000 Americans on August 14th. That day alone, another 1,300 will die,
and no matter what Woodward says to trump as you heard, it's the stock market.
And then there is this question, so you think it supersedes? Do you think the virus supersedes?
Look, Richard, this wasn't something new to Donald Trump in August. We're now into month seven of the virus. He was aware that experts -- and he
watches a lot of TV, so we know he heard it on TV. We are saying that to bring the economy back, you have to flatten the virus first. That these two
things are linked.
We have another piece of the audio recording from the interview that I want to play, because you see this underscored again. Trump has called Woodward
because he knows the book is done and he is sort of asking him a lot of questions to try to find out how he is portrayed, and Woodward is very
blunt. He says the book is tough.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
TRUMP: What won't I like, Bob?
WOODWARD: Well, you know, it's tough times. The virus as you repeatedly told me and as you've said publicly, it's derailed things, and it's a big
reality in people's lives as you know. So I will get it to you and --
TRUMP: You know, the market is coming back very strong. You do know that.
WOODWARD: Yes, of course.
TRUMP: Did you cover that in the book?
WOODWARD: Yes, oh, sure.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
GANGEL: Richard, "Did you cover that in the book?" He doesn't give up. I will also say that there seems to be a disconnect with Trump between the
stock market and the fact that there's a different economy out there. There are still millions of people without jobs. So many businesses out of
And to him, it's all about the stock market because he thinks that's the key to getting re-elected. And a month later, September 14th, what are we
seeing? Last night he had an indoor rally with thousands of people. People were not wearing masks. No social distancing.
QUEST: Jamie, how does he justify that? Never mind the magical scientific stuff. It is against the law -- the guidance and the law in Nevada to have
a gathering of more than 50 people. So how does a President justify when his advisers say this should not take place?
GANGEL: I think that we have seen over time, Richard, not just with the pandemic but with plenty of other issues that this is Donald Trump's world
and welcome to it. He has his own set of facts.
The Woodward book is full of the most extraordinary stories, national security, then Defense Secretary James Mattis saying, these are the facts,
and Donald Trump absolutely dismisses them.
So these are Donald Trump's facts and he is going to ignore reality.
QUEST: Jamie Gangel joining us. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. We will talk more, Jamie and we will talk in detail more as this progresses.
To a more business agenda of a different kind. TikTok has picked Oracle and in doing so appears to have ousted Microsoft in the takeover battle. It
happens only, of course days from a ban, an artificial ban that was put in place by the U.S. administration.
Oracle shares are up. They have been up seven percent at the start of business. Now they're up 4.5 percent. This is not an outright sale of
TikTok by ByteDance.
ByteDance according to Chinese media will keep the source code and from the U.S. point of view, Steve Mnuchin, the U.S. Treasury Secretary which has
the authority in this area says it will review the deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: We did get a proposal over the weekend that includes Oracle as the trusted technology partner with Oracle
making many representations for national security issues.
There's also a commitment to create TikTok Global as a U.S. headquartered company with 20,000 new jobs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So that seems to be the arrangement between ByteDance and Oracle, but the deal does need U.S. approval and there was a deadline that was
imposed by the U.S. President which is 10 days away from now. So the clock is absolutely ticking towards that time.
September 15th, that was the first deadline according to Donald Trump and he promised then no extensions. September the 20th, that Sunday, a deadline
according to Steve Mnuchin, but it is unclear whether it satisfied the original order. And there are questions over Oracle's closeness to Trump,
bearing in mind Larry Ellison's relationship and support for the U.S. President.
Oh, there's the third gong. That's the third and final, November 3rd, election day, 50 days from now when of course the whole policy could
Dan Ives is with me. The Managing Director of Wedbush Securities joins me from New Jersey. Dan, it is very unclear what it is that Oracle has agreed
with ByteDance and one is left wondering how much is being relied upon the personal relationship between Ellison and Trump.
DAN IVES, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF EQUITY RESEARCH, WEDBUSH SECURITIES: Look, I mean, take a step back. Microsoft when they were looking to acquire this,
they needed the algorithm. The only reason they would have acquired TikTok is with the algorithm.
Once the Chinese government got involved and changed the export rules, they essentially put a poisoned pill in the deal. So a partnership with Oracle
really became the only option unless TikTok, the app, was going to get shut down.
When you look at Oracle, it is something that they obviously get a feather in their cap in terms of a trusted technology partner, further entrenched
in the beltway, but it is still overall a head scratcher deal in terms of a sale now a partnership and I think it is still unclear how this ultimately
takes shape over the coming days and weeks.
QUEST: Dan, I don't follow technology as closely as perhaps I should. But what is in it for Oracle? Why does this software company want TikTok, which
at best, I mean, it is very popular but we know what happens to the very popular in the social media sphere.
IVES: You know, for Oracle -- for Microsoft, the deal made a ton of sense. For Oracle, it is a bit of a Rubik's Cube why they would go after this. It
obviously helps them on Cloud in terms of the consumer platform, but it just gets them further entrenched in the beltway.
Remember, Oracle, you look at JEDI, the big Pentagon Cloud deal, that went to Microsoft. Oracle has lost out. So this helps them further within the
beltway on some more government deals. But right now, this is essentially them being the eyes and ears to make sure national security issues are
green lighted and not a worry from the White House.
But I feel like this soap opera still is not the over and I think that right now we need to hear from Trump if this is something that gets green
QUEST: Dan Ives. Dan, thank you. Deals are all over the place announced today and the U.S. market is responding in some shape or form to what we
saw on the stock market.
A flurry of deals that are driving the optimism and as a result, you can see on the triple stock, because most of those deals, or a lot of them are
in technology, you'll see the NASDAQ getting the best of the day, back over 11,000, it is up 1.5 percent.
One of the big deals we've all been talking about all day, SoftBank is selling ARM Holdings to NVIDIA. That is a deal worth the best part of $40
ARM Holdings based in the U.K. with strong research links to Cambridge University having given U.K. government commitments, which now must be in
question as Anna Stewart reports.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, Richard, SoftBank wants cash. They said as much back in March when said they were going to dispose of over $40
billion worth of assets. They've already sold a stake in Alibaba, T-Mobile U.S.A., and now ARM Holdings is on the chopping block as well, but it may
surprise some given they only bought it four years ago.
At the end of the deal, should they go through with it, it is a cash and stock deal, they will have a stake in NVIDIA. They had a stake last year
and sold it and they may have regretted that given NVIDIA share prices over doubled this year.
NVIDIA is one of the great winners of the pandemic. Now, they make chips that go into gaming consoles, and of course, this will allow them through
ARM Holdings to get more into smartphones and integrate that technology.
There are though some major concerns about the deal. Firstly, competition, and actually the founder of ARM Holdings has been very vocal about that
today. He worries about ARM Holdings 500 plus customers including Apple, Huawei, Samsung, and whether or not they will want to continue to buy chips
from a company owned by a competitor, whether they'll trust the independence and integrity of ARM going forward.
Then there is the issue of economic sovereignty. If a U.S. company owns ARM Holdings, does that mean the White House could control who and where they
sell their chips to this in light of course of U.S.-China trade tensions?
And lastly, there is a big question here from the U.K. at least on jobs. When SoftBank bought ARM Holdings four years ago, they committed to
doubling the work force, keeping the headquarters in the U.K.
Now NVIDIA says that they will continue to honor that commitment, but legally that would be binding towards the end of next year. It expires. So
the government may want some assurances there. They have said today that if the takeover has a significant negative impact on the U.K., they won't
hesitate to investigate further and take action -- Richard.
QUEST: Anna Stewart reporting. Let's take a break.
The U.K. government is demanding -- the U.K. airlines are demanding of the government, travel corridors with the United States.
After the break, Shai Weiss, the CEO of Virgin Atlantic is with me. He has already cut his staff by half. What more can he do to save the airline?
QUEST: U.K. Airlines warning of a last chance to stave off the complete collapse of the sector. It is an open letter that was sent from the U.K.
Airlines to the government. Included in the letter of course was Virgin Atlantic, which has just been refinanced in bankruptcy protection.
Now, their hope is for a bailout. But that was scotched back in March right at the beginning of the pandemic. Any idea that the British government was
going to come to the rescue of its airline sector like other governments had done was scotched when the U.K. Finance Minister said bailouts are a
In Virgin's case, it has announced a major restructuring and new fundraising in July. It then filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in New York,
having filed for the equivalent in the U.K.
Now it has restructured. It says it has closed its gap with the base, it has done lay-offs, and it increased the number of lay-offs only last week.
Joining me now is Shai Weiss, the Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive.
Good to have you, Shai. Thank you for taking time. The seriousness of the situation cannot be over stated. How close did Virgin Atlantic come to
going out of business?
SHAI WEISS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, VIRGIN ATLANTIC: Well, first of all, thank you for having me. I mean, you know, from the outset of this pandemic, I
think we were on the front foot in terms of estimating what would happen, and indeed, in response to our Chancellor's letter of March 24th, set about
to complete privately funded, solvent recapitalization of Virgin Atlantic which we did complete in September the 4th or on September 4th.
Of course if the situation would have continued and the plan not consummated, we said of course, even in filings to the court that cash
would run out, but thankfully we completed as I mentioned 1.2 billion pound of restructuring solvent privately funded.
QUEST: Let's look at the graphic of where that money came from on that private funding, 200 million of course comes from Sir Richard's Virgin
Group. You then got shareholder deferrals which is a nice way of pushing -- paying them later if you can. And others from venture capitalists and other
Now, with this money, how long can you keep going unless there is a new regime that will allow you to open up your transatlantic routes which are
74 percent plus of your business?
WEISS: Yes, and indeed, the U.S. is utmost importance to Virgin's traffic and for that matter, for travel across the Atlantic. But for us, I think
all businesses that are impacted by the pandemic are doing scenario planning and in our scenario, we estimate that the capacity would be 25
percent in Q4 2020 versus where we were in 2019, and we estimate in terms of our scenario planning that if the borders between the U.S. and the U.K.
stay shut down for the foreseeable future, opening up only at the back end of this year that capacity or travel between the U.S. and the U.K. would be
50 percent of what it was in 2019 and 2021.
And indeed, opening of the U.S. borders which have been shut down since mid-March is essential part of travel. You know, trade between the U.S. and
the U.K. is worth $262 billion.
QUEST: Right, now the question of testing. Look, I'm in the middle of my second quarantine from traveling from New York to London. So I'm with you
on this. The British Prime Minister is not with either of us. Listen to what Boris Johnson said earlier about the question of testing. You'll be
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The particular problem is that everyone thinks you can have some test at the airport that will answer
whether you've got it or not.
Unfortunately, it only works in seven percent of the cases. So 93 percent of the time, you could have a real false sense of security, false sense of
confidence when you arrive and take a test.
And that's why the quarantine system that we have has got to be an important part of our repertoire of our tool box in fighting COVID.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Shai, how are you going to convince the government that it is not a one-shot test, it is multiple tests? It is day one and day seven or day
eight. It is medium time quarantine. How are you going to convince the Transport Secretary? Because your business depends on testing.
WEISS: Yes, and first of all, not just our business depends on testing, but the take-off of the U.K. economy, the U.S. economy relies on free
travel of goods and people between nations, and that will not happen especially in a deep recession unless we remove the need for quarantine.
And the U.K. has had some success with opening corridors for instance between the U.K. and Italy based on cases. What we're saying is that the
testing regime and if you assume that you take the gold standards, which are applied in our national health service, without diverting from the
capacity needed by the front line staff, you can get to the position where pre-departure would be the ultimate goal, testing would occur and both crew
and passengers would have the necessary comfort to get on a plane safely, emerge on the other side, and remove the quarantine.
With a 14-day quarantine, it is unlikely people will take the burden especially on business, but also for leisure. So testing has got to be the
essential ingredient of getting the economy and movement between our nations.
By the way, also for school and hospitals. This is not just for aviation.
QUEST: Okay, just looking at your statement when you did the refinancing. You say the new routes that you've been introducing, it is imperative that
every sector, the airline operates, is cash positive. I mean, I know you want cash positivity on all your routes, but the reality is, sometimes it
is and sometimes it isn't.
That shows, doesn't it, that there is very little wiggle room for error and failure for U.K. airlines at the moment.
WEISS: Absolutely. And I think throughout this response to this pandemic, our number one objective was of course to ensure the long term survival of
Virgin Atlantic and fight for every job and save as many jobs as we can, which we have done, and our people have made tremendous sacrifices in
ensuring that we get to that position.
But a laser focus on cash generation and cash is king is really the slogan of the period in terms of what we need to do to ensure our long term
survival, and I think we've accomplished what many thought impossible by completing the solvent, privately funded recapitalization, but this is just
an entry into the next few chapters which we are all, societies, governments, airlines, companies are all riding.
QUEST: Thank you for joining us. We'll check in with you of course as the year moves on and we see if those corridors actually come about. I am
grateful you have spoken to us tonight. Thank you, sir.
WEISS: Thank you, Richard. Thank you.
QUEST: Let's stay with travel and tourism which is of course so important. New York's iconic Thanksgiving Parade, that's not due to happen until
November, but already the Mayor of New York has announced -- de Blasio has announced that it is being, well, not canceled. He says it will be
reinventing, Bill de Blasio says, reinventing the event online and TV only.
QUEST: New York hotel occupancy rates stand at 37 percent in July. Fred Dixon is the CEO of NYC & Company. It is the official tourism agency.
Fred is basically Mr. Tourism New York and he joins me now.
Fred, the difficulties that you are now facing, you had 66 million tourists last year. You're going to get nothing like that this year. There are
quarantines from other U.S. visitors coming into New York. It is -- I mean, I've seen your plan that you just put out. How does it work? What is at its
FRED DIXON, CEO, NYC & COMPANY: Thank you, Richard, and I appreciate your interest in New York.
I'll tell you, at the core is really re-envisioning tourism for the moment, and as you pointed out in your interview with Shai, it just illustrated we
have to fish where the fish are and restoring the hospitality and tourism industry in New York is paramount right now.
We're in an environment with 67 million fewer consumers this year than last year so how do we reinvent that? We are really turning to New Yorkers to
bring back the vibrancy and to stimulate some of that spending once again.
QUEST: So New Yorkers go and see more of their own city. Hyperlocal tourism. Those tourists who can come, showing up new areas. Is this -- what
I'm hearing from you is a reality check that I don't hear from other tourism officials particularly over the summer, which was let's still try
and bring in the tourists.
You're basically -- you're not throwing your hands up, but you are saying it's time to get real.
DIXON: Well, I think that's right. We're bullish on New York and we are bullish on the recovery. And the recovery is, we think, it is certain, but
it is going to be gradual.
So in a given year, 15 million to 16 million international travelers come to New York. The other 50 million come from the United States and half of
those in a normal year come from the drive markets.
So, we are already well positioned to stimulate some spending locally. We just have to give people the confidence again. We have to show them that
the New York City streets are vibrant. Hopefully you've seen that yourself. And that the city is safe and welcoming and we can begin to show the world
how New York is reconnecting with itself.
QUEST: So where do you stand on air corridors or travel corridors? Because the number one corridor that's being spoken about is New York to London. Is
it feasible, which of course the most important international route that there is? Is it feasible to have a corridor that does restrict to New York
DIXON: Well, I think, it is an important first start. We have to begin somewhere. I know there are ongoing conversations between our governments
and our airport authorities to make that happen and we welcome that at the right moment.
We, of course, need to let the public officials make the right public health decisions, but we're ready to launch that corridor and as soon as
it's safe to do so. As you said it is the single most important route in the world. I think it will be symbolic for the travel industry overall,
reconnecting Europe and the UK and New York will be a huge next step and we welcome it at the right time.
QUEST: Fred, finally, Broadway and the whole entertainment industry is a completely different and tragic story, how that will ever come back in a
meaningful way unless it opens, I don't know. But how much more do you need so that there isn't permanent damage done to such an important industry as
tourism in New York?
DIXON: Well, we're learning exactly how important it is at this moment. I tell you, we're all anxiously awaiting Broadway to reopen. Everyone there
is working extremely hard behind the scenes with some of the smartest people in the science world and in the public health realm to make that
happen. So I feel confident that they will.
We'll see some decisions after the first of the year. They've already announced they are going to stay closed through January 1st, but I expect
Broadway back in 2021 and it will be back in a big way.
Everything else in New York, I like to say coming to New York without Broadway isn't a consolation prize. But we know that Broadway is the big
draw and we look forward to having it back. But our museums are opening up now. Our restaurants are beginning to open up again.
We have the good news about indoor dining, and the streets are feeling vibrant right now, Richard. I can't wait for you to come back and to
experience it yourself.
So we are going to be slowly building through the fall and we will be ready for 2021.
QUEST: And I'll be ready to accept your hospitality, a drink and a bite somewhere appropriate. Fred Dixon, I'll pick up the bill. Don't worry,
Fred. I'll pick up the bill. Good to see you, sir. Thank you.
DIXON: Thanks, Richard. I look forward to it. Thank you.
QUEST: As we continue tonight, it is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. On the other side of the United States, deadly wildfires, absolutely horrific. The words
cannot explain the awfulness of the situation.
We'll be talking about it and discussing this idea of how much is climate change and how much is poor forestry management, which is what the U.S.
President would have everybody believe.
Tom Steyer, the former Democratic presidential candidate will be with us. After break, it's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for you coming up in just a moment. An exclusive interview with the secretary
general of NATO -- of NATO -- of OPEC. I beg your pardon. I'm getting my secretary generals mixed up. Anyway, insists that the oil cartel is still
relevant. And the former presidential candidate Tom Steyer will be with me, talking about the California and the West Coast wildfires, and how they are
an incident of climate change and what more needs to be done. All of that is after the news headlines. This is CNN, and on this network, the news
always comes first.
Hurricane Sally is gaining strength as it heads for the U.S. gulf coast. Expected to make landfall on Tuesday as a Category 2 hurricane. Warnings
are in effect for the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. There are now five active tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean for only the
second time in history. The Russian President Vladimir Putin says Belarus will be the first country to get Russia's coronavirus vaccine. Belarus is
already taking part in the vaccine's clinical trials. President Putin met with Alexander Lukashenko, the embattled Belarusian President. They met in
Sochi on Monday.
Scientists said they detected a type of gas on Venus which produced by bacteria here on earth. Using a telescope in Hawaii, the researchers found
traces amounts of phosphine in the neighboring planet's clouds. This is a likely place to find microbio life. The discovery has scientists
questioning how the gas got there.
The West Coast wildfires are out of control across three states on the western seaboard. Oregon, Washington state, and California. Dozens of lives
have been lost as the fires raged. Millions of hectares have been burned. In one particular case, more than the entire state of Connecticut has now
been burned across the state. This is what it looked -- the air looks like near these fires. There's a thick haze over much of the coastline. That
haze is hazardous to breathe.
The crisis has the president's attention. These are live pictures. Donald Trump is visiting California to speak about this. He -- the pictures of the
president handing out medals to those firefighters and those first responders, and there you see the president and some of those who have been
involved. However, Donald Trump so far has been reticent, almost reluctant to be on to blame climate change unlike his opponent Joe Biden. Listen to
the two of them earlier in the day on the wildfires.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You go to other countries, you go to Austria, you go to Finland, you go to many different countries,
and they don't have -- I was talking to a head of a major country, and he said, we're a forest nation. We consider ourselves a forest nation. This
was in Europe. I said that's a beautiful term. He said, we have trees that are far more explosive. He meant explosive in terms of fire, but we have
trees that are far more explosive than they have in California, and we don't have any problem because we manage our forests. So, we have to do
that in California, too.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Over the past two years, the total damage from wildfires has reached nearly $50 billion in California alone.
$50 billion. With every bout with nature's fury caused by our own inaction on climate change, more Americans see and feel the devastation, whether
they're in a big city, small towns, on coast lines and farmlands.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Environmental activist Tom Steyer, ran the nominee in the presidential election. He joins me now. Tom, it is good to talk to you
again, sir. Before we get into the wheres and wherefores of climate change, answer me what -- answer what President Trump said when a European nation,
an unnamed European nation, says we don't have that problem. We have more explosive wood trees, and we don't have that problem. What do you say to
TOM STEYER (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, if you're asking me about an anonymous story told by someone with 20,000 documented lies, I
would say to him, first of all, have you looked at Australia recently? Are you aware that California, just before these record forest fires, had
record heat, including maybe the highest temperature ever recorded in human history? Are you aware? Sure, we have fires and there could be better
forest management. But he's using that as an excuse to continue to deny climate change. I mean, as you are saying in the lead up to the news, we
also have hurricane today hitting Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. We had a hurricane last month that hit Iowa, which never happens.
We are seeing climate change. And the president is using forest management as a very thin veneer to try to hide his science, denying on climate. And
let me say in terms of forest management, the federal government owns half of California to the extent someone should be sweeping the floors as Mr.
Trump says, he should look in the mirror to see who should be sweeping the floors. He is lying. He is lying in every instance and he is playing
politics with the lives of American citizens.
QUEST: Well, the problem is that Americans don't -- well, it is a mass generalization and you'll probably say I'm wrong, but Americans don't seem
to want to do the hard work that comes along with climate change. And an argument would be they elected Donald Trump in the first place and he's,
you know, he may be behind Joe Biden but he's not that far behind Joe Biden. And he hasn't changed his climate denial credentials.
STEYER: Let me say a couple of things. The first thing I'd say is this. I don't know if you know this, Richard, but I started the largest youth voter
mobilization organization in American history called Next Generation. People between the ages of 18 and 35 absolutely are committed to action, to
progressive, aggressive action on climate change because they know it's going to determine their future.
And I believe that this election, the way the election in 2018 did, the way that the primaries have so far, will show that young voters between 18 and
35 will show up in historic levels and change the administration, change the Senate, change the future of America. But the other thing I want to say
is this. I have been working politically on climate for over a decade. And I have always talked about it in terms of job creation that -- the idea
that moving to clean energy is a job destroyer is false.
Actually, a clean energy economy will create millions upon millions of good paying, middle class union jobs, and it will also clean up the air and the
water in the United States, particularly in underserved black and brown communities, where the toxins and the pollutants are concentrated. So, I
believe this is an absolutely relevant, powerful, driving issue in 2020, and you'll see that on November 3rd.
QUEST: Well, as we look at the fires at the moment, and we, you know, there are firefighters coming from all over the United States and indeed from
around the world to assist, one can only look in horror at not just obviously lives lost but homes destroyed, and wonder what one does in the
short term. You can cut emissions in the long term on a Paris basis, but in the short term to prevent fires next year and the year after, what does one
STEYER: Look, there's no question, Richard, that you're posing a dilemma that exist now because there are two things we need to do. Stop the crisis
in its tracks with aggressive climate action and adapt to the crises that we've created by not stopping the crisis. And so, does that mean that we
have to do different forest management that people have to live in a different way in different places? Yes. You know, in effect, we are going
to have to make changes so people are not endangered, so lives are saved and health is protected. Yes. But long term or even short term, we're here,
we're in the crisis.
The idea of the president very explicitly denying climate today during these fires, during this hurricane, with the evidence crystal clear to
Americans, that this crisis is here. Sure, we have to protect ourselves in the short term, but there's nothing that can protect us in the long run
unless we do the right thing, and he's arguing not to do that. That is playing politics with American lives. That is inexcusable.
QUEST: Tom, I'm grateful that you've joined us again, as we always enjoy having you on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Thank you, sir, for taking time.
STEYER: Richard, great to talk with you.
QUEST: We'll talk again before the year is up. Thank you. Thank you. We'll stay on that theme of what Tom was talking about, the old future in terms
of carbon emissions and fossil fuels, B.P. has been revealing -- or will be -- exactly what it's going to do. Meanwhile, the secretary general of OPEC
says that the cartel is still relevant and expects a rebound in oil prices next year. John Defterios spoke to him exclusively after the break. It's
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. You and I starting a fresh week together.
QUEST: B.P. says that the demand for oil will continue to drop over the next 30 years. That contrasts with the way OPEC sees things, which sees a
rebound in the price of oil next year and demand remaining strong. The OPEC secretary general spoke to John Defterios as the cartel celebrated 60 years
in business. And according to the secretary general, it'll be here to stay.
MOHAMMAD BARKINDO, SECRETARY GENERAL, OPEC: The global economy continue to witness some anemic recovery if you like. What we are witnessing despite
the unprecedented amount of stimulus packages around the world not of $20 trillion, about a fifth of the global economy, the economic recovery is not
at the pace that we projected.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Would you say, secretary general, that it'll take until 2023 to get back up to where we were in
2019? That's the word I got from the shale producers in the Permian Basin.
BARKINDO: We are not that pessimistic here in OPEC. We foresee a strong rebound in 2021 in the first half of 2021 with numbers ranging around 7 to
8 million barrels a day hinged on the GDP growth rate of about 4.7 going higher.
DEFTERIOS: On this your 60th anniversary, many are asking the question, what is the relevance of OPEC? But let's take the last five years if you
were not at play during three major corrections?
BARKINDO: As an organization, we had survived 60 years of highs and lows. We had our own good and bad times. But what we have witnessed in the last
five years including the current one were totally unprecedented. However, we have proven again, once again, that the world needs this organization,
and we have seen in 2016, December, when we reached out to our partners in the non-OPEC who came on board to sign the declaration of cooperation. That
was historic. The mechanism of the declaration of cooperation with all the partners on board rose to the challenge in April and in June to respond to
the impact of this virus on the global economy.
QUEST: The secretary general of OPEC, the impact of the virus. City life is changing. Exactly how that's going to change; what it's going to look like;
what more needs to be done. The mayor of Boston will be with me after the break. Cities are bearing the brunt in so many ways, and the mayor will
tell us his plan to help things change.
QUEST: Cities are changing because of coronavirus. Citizens are fleeing. There are protests and demonstrations. Small businesses are going bankrupt.
The Mayor of Boston is with me, Marty Walsh, who will be speaking at the future of cities -- or Future Cities Summit tomorrow. Mayor, what more
needs to be done? The cities are bearing a brunt of a crisis from which there seems to be no easy solution.
MARTY WALSH, MAYOR OF BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: There's no quest that coronavirus has changed the world if you will and changed the world as we
know it. In the United States, we're dealing with lots of systemic racism and racial unrest on top of the coronavirus. And I think it's really
important that as we think about coming out of the coronavirus at some point in the future that we're not going to go back to the normal way that
we did business, nor should we.
I think we have to be more thoughtful in our approach as we move forward. I don't think anyone ever expected the coronavirus to hit the shores of
America. Certainly, I didn't in Boston. And we're kind of just moving along here with a great economy, lots of business, lots of restaurants, people
coming to our city, and it's very different now. So, I think we have to prepare very differently in the future.
QUEST: But relating to that, of course, it's not -- obviously, you've got the Black Lives Matter and you've got the racial protests, but on a purely
economic front, you've got businesses -- you have office buildings that aren't full anymore, and small businesses that relied on the foothold
traffic, and all I see is a never ending descending spiral into despair.
WALSH: You're right there. And what we're trying to do here in the city, we're trying to be creative to support our small businesses. We're trying
to give our restaurants opportunities that we've never had before, with outdoor dining. We've created some funds here to be able to help them with
a new business model. We're trying to bring confidence back in Boston. Our rate -- five-day rate for testing is 1.5 percent, but a lot of people are
still concerned about not coming -- not coming into the City of Boston. They don't want to come into the city.
It goes back to quite honestly the precautions that we have in place with asking people to wear masks, asking people to physical social distance.
We're asking people to wash their hands. I mean, these are proven facts. We have opened enough industry now here in the -- in the City of Boston.
Construction and others ones that we haven't seen these large increase in cases but people are taking safety precautions themselves. That's going to
be the new normal for quite a while.
QUEST: Right. But that new normal, do we end up with cities that are poor, racially divided, that are economically destitute? How do you prevent that
happening so that the flight from cities is reversed?
WALSH: I think that's happening in some cities now in America. It's not happening in Boston. And I really think it's important that government and
the community work together to come up with a plan on how do we address these issues? If you're -- if you're responding to it after the fact, it's
You have to have a plan just like I had a plan for moving Boston forward. We had -- we called it Imagine Boston 2030. It was a massive planning,
vision process for (INAUDIBLE) what we want to be in 2030 but we have to make major changes to that plan now. So, I think it's incumbent upon having
stability in government. It's incumbent upon having stability in local government, but also national government. Our national government right
now, quite honestly, there's not -- in my opinion, there's no stability there. You have a president that says whatever he wants whenever he wants
at any given time and really not putting any faith or comfort into what the American people need to hear.
QUEST: Stability in government. And that, of course, applies to you. I mean --
WALSH: It does.
QUEST: -- are you stability in government? In other words, are you running again?
WALSH: Nice call. I like that one. That was good. I love my job. I love my job. And I'm not done yet. How's that?
QUEST: I thought it was worth a pun, Tom, you gave me the opportunity and I took the challenge and got no further than anybody else on that particular
question. Mr. Mayor, it's delightful to have you on the program.
WALSH: That was a good job. I wasn't expecting that.
QUEST: Thank you, Mr. Mayor. I appreciate your time with us tonight. Good to have you with us. The Mayor of Boston talking to me. Look at the markets
before we take a short break. It has been a very strong day across all the three major markets. The Dow, the NASDAQ is up the best of them all, but
the Dow is also up nice and strongly. I say nice and strongly, the difference between the real market and the real economy, (INAUDIBLE) when
you take your choice. We will take a short break. There'll be a "PROFITABLE MOMENT" on the other side.
QUEST: Tonight, we had two voices on the program. Tonight's "PROFITABLE MOMENT," Shai Weiss of Virgin Atlantic and Fred Dixon of New York &
Company, two of the leading voices in the travel and tourism industry. And they both told a tale. In the case of Shai Weiss, it was having to pretty
much restructure the entire airline without government help. And in case of the New York & Company, how to make the most of the tourism that is there.
The people who live in the cities who need to learn how to love and find their own cities.
And then, the mayor of Boston talking again about how to rebuild their cities. Why am I pointing all this out to you? Well, because I'm patting
ourselves on the back tonight. Once again, it's important to us to bring to you the changes that are taking place in travel and tourism. The largest
industry in the world. Ingenuity from people like New York, the hard decisions from people like Shai Weiss and Virgin Atlantic. That's the way
this industry will get through this crisis. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight, I'm Richard Quest in London. Whatever you're up to in the
hours of head, I hope it's profitable. I'll see you tomorrow.