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The Migrant's Journey; Interview With Laurie Woolever; Interview With Former CIA Director John Brennan. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 04, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here's what's coming up.
TONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: What we're trying to do is to uphold the international rules-based order.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): The world's top democracies huddle in London. Former CIA Director John Brennan gives his insight on the global struggles
President Biden cannot ignore.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, "PARTS UNKNOWN": I'm officially in Hanoi now. Magic.
AMANPOUR: Remembering Anthony Bourdain. I talk to his former assistant Laurie Woolever about finishing the book they started together, "World
Travel: An Irreverent Guide."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My fear of the vaccine is more than my fear of getting the illness.
AMANPOUR: Tapping into the vaccine-hesitant and how to reach them. Focus group guru Frank Luntz and public health policy expert Brian Castrucci
talks to our Hari Sreenivasan.
AMANPOUR: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
The G7 meeting continues here today. And this picture says it all, the secretary of state and foreign ministers from every country posing for a
very COVID era photo, a little awkward-looking, but it is a show of unity in the face of an equally daunting task.
The key theme of the summit is to promote democracies in a world where autocracies seem to be gaining strength. And the group has admitted some
friends, top diplomats from other allies, South Korea, South Africa, Australia, and India, all to help figure out how to do that.
Driving the point home, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is sending a message to autocratic Russia by visiting democratic Ukraine tomorrow.
Now, few people know more about threats to democracy than the former CIA Director John Brennan. His book is called "Undaunted." And he is joining me
now from Washington.
Welcome to the program, Director Brennan.
Can I ask you first? You have written "Undaunted." You see what's going on by the secretary of state, the foreign ministers. They have a big task,
literally how to underpin democracy.
Just give me a sense of how strong you think the autocratic threat is.
JOHN BRENNAN, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Well, Christiane, I do believe that the autocratic threat around the globe is quite significant, which is why this
G7 foreign ministers summit is so important.
It will be the first convening of this group after the rather bizarre four years of the Trump administration. And I fully expect Secretary Blinken to
take a leadership role, because there's great commonality of interests among those seven countries.
And so the United States needs to lead the way and to ensure that the democratic governments that are of greatest concern -- that has great
concern right now about what's happening around the world, that they forge a consensus about how to deal with this rising authoritarianism.
So I do think it's a very important and critical meeting that is taking place in London.
AMANPOUR: Just very quickly, do you think that, under Trump -- you said the unfortunate four years of Trump -- those autocracies were emboldened,
not just ideologically, but actually in terms of operationally?
BRENNAN: Well, I do.
I think Donald Trump demonstrated his own authoritarian tendencies and did not really have much respect for the rule of law here in the United States.
And so I think he was emboldening a lot of authoritarian leaders around the globe. Look at the way he dealt with Vladimir Putin, as well as with other
authoritarian leaders. So I do think that those leaders were given a pass during those four years and decided to further their authoritarian actions.
Now under President Biden, I think the United States is going to take a much different tack in dealing with these authoritarian regimes. And that's
why gathering together with the United States' closest allies and partners is critically important to make sure that they are able to forge this
consensus position to push back against authoritarian tendencies around the globe.
AMANPOUR: So, they did talk about Russia and China and those challenges. And, as I said, they invited for other allied nations.
And most of those, in fact, they're all from Asia or Southeast Asia, right? So it's that area. The consensus seems to be that China is the one that
poses the biggest threat. And the secretary of state said that China, "the one country in the world that has the military, economic, diplomatic
capacity to undermine or challenge the rules-based order represented by the Western alliance. "
Do you agree? And, if so, how does one confront China?
BRENNAN: Well, I think, as Secretary Blinken said in an interview over the weekend, the United States is not trying to keep China down. It's trying to
do what it can to make sure that China plays by the rules of the international order, so that, as it continues to expand its economic reach,
its political influence, and even its military capabilities, it's not going to flout that international order and use its muscles to be able to
intimidate and bully other nations.
So I do think the Biden administration is going to take a much more sophisticated approach toward China, try to cooperate where we can,
confront the Chinese when we must, and hopefully avoid conflict over some very thorny and sticky issues, such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and cyber.
AMANPOUR: So, those are very, very -- I mean, that's a very full plate to try to manage. And I don't know how successful previous U.S.
administrations have been. They have all talked to the game.
And yet we're still in this position, where China is a competitive, challenging threat. And I did hear what Secretary of State Biden (sic)
said, not -- they're not trying to contain it or confront it.
But, again, how then do democracies marriage balancing competition vs. the aggression that China -- well, competition on the aggression, and also
cooperation in areas that they need to cooperate on?
BRENNAN: Well, it is a difficult balancing act. There are some very thorny trade issues, economic issues, financial issues when it comes to dealing
with China, making sure, again, that it's not going to use its heft to try to circumvent some of the international rules and regulations that have
been in place.
And so it needs to be brought up to date. China is much different than when it joined the WTO, the World Trade Organization, about 20 years ago. It is
now a much more competent economy with much broader reach around the globe. And so, therefore, I think the G7 nations, along with a lot of other
countries around the world, are concerned about these Chinese activities.
And they're looking to the United States to lead the way in terms of forging this consensus so that China realizes that it's not just dealing
with individual countries. It's dealing with an international consensus that China must amend its ways.
AMANPOUR: As you say, thorny.
I mean, I just want to pose a question that has been raised by some. Can you ever imagine, in the not-too-distant past, because you mentioned Taiwan
and other so-called thorny issues -- these are war and peace issues. Taiwan, China has made it very clear: Do not get involved. This is our
And others have -- are worried now that there might end up being some kind of war between the U.S. and China. Do you think so? I mean, you have war-
gamed all this stuff, as director of the CIA.
BRENNAN: Well, I think Donald Trump, there was a lot of rhetorical broadsides that he would hurl around the globe, and a lot of just rhetoric,
and I think some hollow threats.
Vice -- President Biden is a very, very experienced international statesman. He understands these issues well. He's not going to bluff. He's
not going to bluster. But he will send very clear messages, both publicly and privately to China, that it should not try to change the order right
now in some of these issues, as far as Taiwan is concerned, Hong Kong.
Joe Biden is not going to be looking for military confrontation. At the same time, he recognizes that the United States has extraordinary
responsibilities around the globe to protect international peace and stability. And so, therefore, I think China and President Xi Jinping
understands that Joe Biden is a much different statesperson than Donald Trump would even wish to be.
And Joe Biden is going to deal with these issues, I think, in a very pragmatic, but also in a very determined fashion.
AMANPOUR: I mean, they're not thrilled that Biden keeps the same certain economic policies and trade tariffs on them.
But, well, let's just move on, because, obviously, the Biden administration signal very, very clearly that they want to move the bulk of their activity
and vision from the Middle East, where much, much American forces have been concentrated for decades, and look towards China.
But the Middle East does keep pulling the U.S. in. Talking about democracy, Israel has not yet stood up a government. The prime minister has a deadline
of tomorrow to do so. The Palestinians have just announced they're canceling their much-delayed elections.
How important is it for the Biden administration, sorry to say, to have to keep focus on peace, security and democracy in that region?
BRENNAN: Well, I think the Middle East overall is a critically important area for the United States' national security interests, as well as for
And, therefore, I think the Biden industry is going to continue to work these issues, whether you're talking about the Iranian nuclear deal, or
you're talking about Iraq and Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia.
But on the Israeli-Palestinian issues, I think the United States has really special responsibilities to try to do what it can to bring some resolve,
resolution to the issue of the Palestinian people. The United States is the main supporter of Israel. It's Israel's security guarantor.
And for generations, these -- the Palestinians have been looking for their own sovereign state, their homeland. And, unfortunately, as you pointed
out, Israeli politics seems to be in a never-ending deadlock. The Palestinians, unfortunately, now, Abu Mazen, President Abbas, has canceled
And I do think it's important for the Palestinians to field a new slate of candidates for their legislature that will lead the Palestinian people into
the future, as opposed to trying to relitigate the past.
At the same time, I think Israel, as the occupying power of the West Bank and Gaza, has a real responsibility to try to do everything possible to
give the Palestinian people their much-deserved rights.
AMANPOUR: I was really struck by a column you wrote for "The New York Times" this week, in which you said "why Biden must watch this Palestinian
It's about an Oscar-nominated documentary short. And the film is called "The Present." It's about a young Palestinian girl who witnesses her
father's detention by Israeli security as he's trying to go and buy a president, a gift for the mother. Here's a little clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR (through translator): You wait for me here until they finish, not long, and then we will get going, OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, it's essentially pointing out, in not too subtle a way, the daily humiliation that Palestinians go through, but, more importantly, what
the Palestinian children are forced to see happening to their parents.
And you were moved to write about this. Why?
BRENNAN: Well, it brought back memories of my first time that I crossed into the West Bank. This was back in 1975.
And I was on a line that was able to move through the security procedures pretty quickly. But I saw all the Palestinian men, women and children who
were lined up and detained for a very long time and were subjected to very thorough screening.
I understand the security needs of the Israeli government and people. But, at the same time, I think the Palestinian people are subjected to great
indignities. Even within the West Bank, as they travel from town to town, village to village, they encounter the Israeli security checkpoints, these
concrete walls and barriers.
And I'm just concerned that that little girl in the film, whose name was Yasmine, looks at this and wonders, what does their future hold?
Fortunately, I think the Palestinians in the West Bank have been rather peaceful. But I'm -- I don't think that any of us, especially the Israelis
and the Biden administration, should take that quiescence for granted.
I think those young Palestinians, girls and boys like Yasmine, are looking at what is going on. And I know that they want to realize the quest of the
Palestinian people, which is, again, their own homeland.
And with these oppressive security practices, unfortunately, I think it's just going in the wrong direction.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you about Afghanistan. Is that going in the wrong or the right direction?
Obviously, the president has made a decision and all troops will be out by the 20th anniversary of 9/11. But, as you know, there is quite a lot of
conversation, particularly amongst women, amongst all those constituents in Afghanistan who have really won and benefited from getting rid of the
Taliban, from getting rid of al Qaeda after 9/11.
And the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Mark Milley, has said Afghanistan could face bad possible outcomes from America's withdraw. Of course, he
sort of covered himself, or it could be great.
What do you think is going to happen on the ground, really, once the Americans are not there and can't support their military forces?
BRENNAN: Well, I think the Afghan military and security and intelligence services, they're going to be tested quite a bit by the Taliban.
And I don't know how well the units are going to stay together, what the command-and-control is going to be like, and whether or not the
psychological impact of the United States pulling out of Afghanistan is going to erode unit cohesion and the fighting capabilities of these forces.
And so I think that we're going to see in the course of the coming months and year that there's going to be a lot of pressure the Taliban will put on
the Afghan government, including in Kabul.
And, as you pointed out, the Afghan women have made tremendous strides in education, in rights, in their social well-being, and something that is
anathema to a lot of the hard-line members of the Taliban.
So, I do think the Biden administration is going to continue to have to face some tough decisions, if the security situation in Kabul deteriorates
significantly, if the U.S. Embassy there faces a lot of pressure, if the Ghani government is on the verge of collapse.
I hope things are going to go peacefully. And I do hope that the Afghans' military stays cohesive and strong so that they can weather the inevitable
increased storm that the Taliban is going to throw at them. But I do have my concerns that the situation in Afghanistan is far, far from being
Can I just ask you very briefly, you were very vocal about the previous administration's confrontation with the intelligence community in the
United States. Some have said -- even the current CIA director said that it's just a fact. If the U.S. leaves Afghanistan, its intelligence
capability there will most definitely be weakened. That's just a fact.
What keeps you up at night about global threats, if they keep morphing and changing? What is the real biggest problem and fear for you?
BRENNAN: Well, the biggest concern I have is that there are just so many issues around the globe right now that U.S. intelligence services need to
be able to deal with and work with their counterparts around the globe, from nuclear proliferation in Iran and North Korea, to terrorism that
continues, to issues related to climate change and the impact on the globe.
There's just a lot of issues, Russian revanchism, Chinese increasing capabilities around the globe. The intelligence community needs to keep its
eyes and ears open around the globe 24/7. And that takes a lot of resources. And, unfortunately, resources are limited.
And so it's always the concern that you have about that black swan that may be coming...
BRENNAN: ... the one that you're not expecting, while you're looking at all the other challenges.
And so, therefore, I think the Biden administration, they have some very good people at the helm of the intelligence, diplomatic and military
services. And so they know that the next four years are going to be quite challenging for them.
AMANPOUR: Really fascinating.
Thank you for your perspective, John Brennan, author of "Undaunted."
Next, extraordinary footage from Ciudad Juarez, just across the border from El Paso, Texas, where correspondent Matt Rivers and his team followed human
smugglers ferrying their clients across the border.
Human smuggling is, of course, a crime. But we wanted to document this everyday process, because the migrants themselves are also desperate for
democracy and human rights. They believe they will find more of that in America.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As long as there's been a border wall, people have tried to climb it, up from Mexico,
down to the U.S., hoping for something better on the other side.
Today, one such attempt starts here in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. We watch from afar as two men carry a makeshift ladder toward a car, lashing it to the
side. These are (SPEAKING SPANISH), or human smugglers, who help cross migrants who pay them to get into the United States.
Today, the smugglers had told us to be in this neighborhood at a certain time. If they had migrants to cross, they told us we could follow them, but
would not tell us exactly when or where this would take place.
After we arrived, though, we're told they would indeed try to cross two migrants currently in the backseat of that car. And so the car takes off,
driving just a stone's throw from the border wall in El Paso, Texas, on the other side.
Further up the road the car slows. Then, a minute later, the trio heads toward the wall as we follow behind. This smuggler has never allowed
cameras to trail him before. He agreed to have only myself and a local producer following, only recording on our cell phones, knowing our presence
could increase his chances of getting caught.
Trying to cross the wall here is extremely dangerous.
RIVERS (on camera): So, right now, they're just making their way slowly towards the wall. They're crawling, clearly trying to avoid being seen by
anyone who might be on the border, dragging the thing they're going to use to go up and over the wall. This is -- this is a difficult track here, no
RIVERS (voice-over): It's slow progress on their hands and knees. And a bit further on, they catch their breath. So we had about 30 seconds to talk
with the migrants. They allowed CNN to record them only if we hid their identities, a young man and woman 18 and 20 years old.
Originally from Ecuador, they say they paid various smugglers thousands of dollars each to bring them to this point. They told us they're hoping to
eventually find work in South Texas.
This is the last step of a journey tens of thousands of people make every year, risking their lives and their freedom migrating to the U.S. with the
help of smugglers, smugglers who are often accused of everything from sexual abuse to extortion, some taking terrible advantage of the vulnerable
migrants they purport to help.
And some of those migrants are children, as record numbers of unaccompanied minors have been headed north recently, many from Central America. Some
make it to the U.S., and others get caught by Mexican officials and end up in government-run shelters like this one. By the way, it's likely their
families paid smugglers to bring them here.
Officials at this shelter say about three quarters of the kids here were smuggled, a horrifically dangerous trip.
The shelter psychologist says they can be raped, they can be robbed, they can be extorted, they can die on the journey.
This 14-year-old girl says she was smuggled from Guatemala and that along the journey, passed from smuggler to smuggler, the threat of rape was
always there. At times, crowded into a van with many others, she felt like she couldn't get enough air.
"We couldn't make any noise," she says. "They would only open up these little windows for a bit and then they would close them. It felt like you
Human smuggling like this is often run by loosely organized groups. But, sometimes, and especially in Mexico, experts say there is a big role played
by organized crime.
RIVERS (on camera): The cartels that operate so freely here, smugglers bringing people north either worked directly for those cartels or they work
independently, but they have to pay the cartels for the right to move through certain territories.
VICTOR MANJARREZ, FORMER U.S. BORDER PATROL EL PASO SECTOR CHIEF: Human smuggling is a multimillion-dollar industry. And I would venture to guess
that it's approaching a billion-dollar industry.
RIVERS (voice-over): Former Border Patrol El Paso Sector Chief Victor Manjarrez says some cartels have used that money to create wide-reaching,
sophisticated smuggling networks.
MANJARREZ: And it's almost like a Fortune 500 company dealing with their supply chain.
RIVERS: And at the very end of that chain, smugglers like these, the men that we would later follow to the wall. They say they work for La Linea, an
armed wing of the Juarez cartel.
Each migrant they cross pays the cartel roughly $2,000, a staggering sum for most migrants that often leaves them penniless. The smugglers say the
cartel gives them a small cut for performing what they call a service.
"We try to help them," he says. "People come and ask for help, kids, women, men. We support them."
But this isn't some selfless act. They get paid for this. And they are part of a system where rape, extortion, kidnapping, and even murder are rampant.
"We don't do that," he says. "We're all humans. They want to arrive safely. We don't harm them. We give them food and water and help them cross. Other
people may hurt them. But we don't."
We, of course, have no way to know if he's telling the truth. But he says, for him, this is a family affair. He works with his brother and even his
14-year-old nephew. They all smuggle people. The 14-year-old shows me one of the ladders they use.
Though, when he crosses kids over the wall, some his own age or even younger, he does it another way.
He says: "I tie a thick rope around their bellies and lower them down, so they don't fall."
His uncle says, without them, two migrants, like the ones that we follow through the desert who want to get to the U.S., wouldn't be able to. We
watch as they hook their ladder over the border wall fence. The young man goes first. Once he's down, he runs.
And the young woman then follows. Once up and over, she hits the ground and races off as well. We can't watch where she goes, because the smuggler
tells us we have got to go.
RIVERS (on camera): We had to run back from the fence, obviously, because the smuggler was still afraid of getting caught. But, for him, it was a
RIVERS (voice-over): But for the two people that just crossed, their journey is far from over. It's mainly desert on that side of the wall. And
they didn't really seem to have a plan.
The smuggler told us he had no idea what happened to them after they went over. Those two migrants managed to get in. But, for many, that's not the
A few days later, we were filming something else on the border when we noticed something, more people desperate to cross. A woman and three young
children make a break for the wall. Here though, the actual border is just the Rio Grande, more of a stream really. One by one, holding hands, they
make their way.
And once they have crossed, they're in the U.S., but then comes the wall, a towering steel presence between them and where they want to be. Border
Patrol detain them a few minutes later.
AMANPOUR: Matt Rivers reporting there.
And on a related issue, the Department of Homeland Security says it is now starting to reunite a few migrant families that were separated at the U.S.-
Mexico border. It's part of the effort to reunite all those who are separated under the Trump administration's so-called zero tolerance policy
that caused such international outrage and condemnation.
Now, as restrictions begin to ease on a different kind of travel, globetrotters are dusting off their passports and getting ready to see the
Our colleague the late Anthony Bourdain set a model for what traveling could be. Wide open and curious, he wholly immersed himself in the cultures
that he explored. And, of course, he was always ready to eat. Before Tony took his life almost exactly three years ago, he discussed writing a book
with the woman he called his lieutenant and his friend, Laurie Woolever.
It was left to her to make that a reality, publishing "World Travel: An Irreverent Guide."
And Laurie is joining me now from New York.
Welcome to the program. It's great to see the book has been published. It's great to be able to talk and see and listen to Tony again.
But what was it like for you to have to do this on your own, a project that you both birthed, so to speak?
LAURIE WOOLEVER, CO-AUTHOR, "WORLD TRAVEL: AN IRREVERENT GUIDE": Well, first of all, thank you for having me here.
And, yes, it was a very difficult thing, especially at first. Tony's death was obviously a great shock to myself and to everyone who knew him or knew
of him. And for the first few months, it was very, very slow going. And I was asking myself, do I finish this book and how do I finish this book
without Tony, who had intended to write a number of essays and, of course, just had intended to be there for every step of the process?
Fortunately, he left behind a huge and brilliant body of work with his writing and with his television shows, and I was able to draw on that to
finish this book.
AMANPOUR: And there was some original content, right? Because, literally, just weeks or months before he took his life, he downloaded to you, that
there was some audio, some conversations you had.
WOOLEVER: That's right.
We had one very useful conversation that I'm so grateful that we had. We met in his apartment, and I went in with -- armed with a list of every
place that he had ever been for television. And we went through that list, which was quite extensive, as you can imagine, and decided which of those
places would make good chapters for this book.
And in that context, what were some of the restaurants, hotels, bars, sites, markets, kiosks that sold sausage, all of those things, what were
some of those places that would necessarily be included in each chapter? So it became the defining blueprint for the book.
I recorded the conversation. I had it transcribed. And I referred to it pretty much every day while I was writing the book, just so I made sure
that I was keeping true to Tony's vision.
AMANPOUR: His vision and his voice, which we know from television, of course, was profanity-laced, but so politically astute, so culturally
astute, funny, free association.
And we know also that one of the things -- one of the trips you so enjoyed with him was in Vietnam, and he produced that for "PARTS UNKNOWN," or
produce it for something anyway. We have got a clip.
I can't remember whether it was before the CNN series began or what, but we have a clip of that trip and it appears in the book. Let's just play.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOURDAIN: This is Dong Ba market, and deep inside, somewhere in there is what I want.
My way of thinking, in the hierarchy of delicious, slurpy stuff in a bowl, Bun Bo Hue is at the very top.
Nguyen Qui Duc is an author and journalist who spent much of his childhood in Hue.
NGUYEN QUI DUC, AUTHOR/JOURNALIST: If I'm going to die, I'm going to go to prison, they give me a last meal, this will be it.
BOURDAIN: This will be it.
NGUYEN: This will be it.
BOURDAIN: Let's do it, man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, yes, of course, it is, in fact, "PARTS UNKNOWN."
You were there. What was it like for you? He called you his lieutenant. You had been with him for a long time as an assistant, as a co-traveler, and a
co-worker. What was it like being with him as he worked, watching it all unfold?
WOOLEVER: Well, it was a tremendous privilege, first of all. I was -- I felt so lucky to be able to do that.
It was a number of years, probably four years working with him, before he said: "Hey, do you want to come along on a shoot with us?"
You know, my son at that time was a little bit older. I can leave him behind for a little while.
And so, my first trip that I went with the crew and Tony to was Vietnam, was to the central part of the country in Hue. And to see Vietnam, a
country that meant so much to Tony, that was really the place that sort of opened him up as a traveler and let him know that this was the life -- it
was the country that let him know he was -- he would not be going back to his life as a cook and a journeyman chef, that he was going to push
forward, become a writer, become a television traveler and share his vision with the world.
So, to see that country he knew so much about, that he had read so much about through his eye, on the back of the scooter, you know, any time that
they weren't shooting him for the show, he had me ride on the back of the scooter for himk, which is just an absolutely -- even for someone who works
so closely with him was just a pinch me moment, you know.
And it made him -- it was place that made him very, very happy. He was relaxed. He was very happy to be in this part of the country where he
hadn't been before, where there was such a deep history of the U.S. involvement in that part of the world. And so, it was extraordinary. And I
had, you know, a number of extraordinary experiences like that with Tony where he generously invited me along and just showed me the ups and downs
and the excitement and the mundane details of making television the way that he did. It was truly the best time of my life.
AMANPOUR: You know, what stood out so incredibly and what made him so distinctive was his total empathy for whatever culture, his generously, you
know, his desire to absorb it all. And just before the pandemic, there was, you know, a thought in, I guess, you know, travel guides and the travel
industry that people should start traveling more slowly, you know, slow cooking, slow traveling. Get to know one place rather than bouncing around.
Your book is published now right as the restrictions start to lift. Do you think that slow travel will now happen or do you think everybody is
desperate to see as much as they possibly can after a year of lockdown?
WOOLEVER: Well, you know, I hope for the sake of people's true enjoyment that they will take it slowly. And I think maybe although there is this
wild pent-up energy and, you know, desire to travel, I do hope that and think that people may take things a little bit more slowly and really
appreciate just the privilege of travel, and for that reason, the -- maybe just settle on one place at a time that they've been dying to go to.
I think a lot of people have been forced to look closer to home in the pandemic, someplace they can get to by car in an hour or two versus on an
airplane. And so, I think maybe that appreciation of, oh, there's a wonderful, you know, botanic garden an hour from my home, or, you know, in
my case, I'm in New York City, the Catskill Mountains are two hours away and I never paid any attention but there they are.
And so, I would that that kind of appreciation of the beauty and the discovery that's within, you know, a shorter distance will translate when
people do start going on longer distances and getting that adventure travel back into their lives.
AMANPOUR: And as so the actual notion of a travel guide. I mean, he was pretty famous for not really liking travel guides. He used to talk about
wanting to read the literature of a place, you know, just absorb it in a different, you know, less sort of prescribed way.
And, you say, you know, about writing this book, did the world need another travel guide and did we need to write it? How did you both arrive at that
WOOLEVER: Well, I think the way that we made ourselves comfortable with it was the idea that this was in no way a comprehensive guide to the world,
right? That would be an insane fool's errand. Even to do a comprehensive guide to every place that Tony had been, it would be just much too unwieldy
a thing and things change so much year to year, every place.
So, I think that the way that we were able to square the notion of a travel book with the notion of how Tony worked and told stories was that this was
a very specific, sort of curated guide to the world as Tony saw it, as Tony experienced it. You know, he went everywhere. He saw everything, but not
all of that is in this book. For any number of reasons.
In some cases, it just didn't move him or in some cases, there were places that weren't -- that were very moving to him but didn't have enough of a
structure or enough to offer the casual traveler that he could recommend them because most of what he did ended up happening in people's homes or in
the back of a military jeep or something that makes for great television and great story telling but maybe not the greatest tourist experience.
So, I think just by keeping a tight focus on what Tony's vision was and on the way that he told stories, we were able to sort of differentiate this
book and justify the existence of this book.
AMANPOUR: OK. Lastly and quickly. Do you think you could -- did you have to do a lot of fact checking to see if a lot of the restaurants that he had
profiled was still open by the time you published because of the closures during COVID?
WOOLEVER: Absolutely. I mean, it was checking and double checking, and myself and the publisher also just making sure because so much did change
between the spring of last year and the fall when it was absolutely, you know, no more changes to be made. So -- and I'm sure that in the interim
things have changed.
You know, we did a very last-minute Lebanon chapter and I was writing it right as the terrible explosion was happening there last year last summer.
So -- and at the end, that's noted in the text. So, yes. It's one of these things where once you publish it, it almost instantly becomes obsolete in
some ways and -- but the truth of Tony's observations and the things that he loved about these places, I think that's something that doesn't change.
And so, even though this or that restaurant may have succumbed, you know, his vision remains.
AMANPOUR: Well, thank you, Laurie Woolever. We're really looking forward to reading that.
AMANPOUR: And, of course, if you know someone in need of help, there are resources available to you and them. Reach out to the International
Association for Suicide Prevention or Befriend Us Worldwide. And if you're in the United States, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention
Next, India has now passed 20 million COVID cases in a deadly second wave. Meanwhile, in the United States, vaccine rollout has seen more than half of
all adults get their first shots. But vaccine hesitancy remains an issue especially among Republicans.
So, can anything change those minds? The de Beaumont Foundation held four focus groups looking into this, and it was led by the pollster and former
Republican strategist, Frank Luntz. Here is Hari Sreenivasan speaking with him and with Brian Castrucci. He's the president and CEO of the de Beaumont
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNNI CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, thanks. Brian Castrucci, Frank Luntz, thanks for joining us.
Brian, I want to start with you. You know, I just had a conversation recently with a reporter in India, we're talking about crematoriums working
all night long. And at the same time, here I am in a country where technically a vaccine is available to anybody who wants it, yet there's
still this hesitancy. So, why did you do these focus groups? What were you hoping to learn?
BRIAN CASTRUCCI, PRESIDENT AND CEO, DE BEAUMONT FOUNDATION: We're hoping to learn how to reach people. You know, if you have the right messages from
the right messengers, you can save lives. And that was the total point of focus groups. You know, what is going to get people to put aside some of
their own personal concerns and make the choice to get vaccinated?
SREENIVASAN: Frank, you're a pollster, you know the power polls. They tell you what people think. But focus groups have the ability to tell us why
they think that way. And I want to just get right into a clip here before I ask you the first question. This is a group of Republicans, 19 of them that
you spoke with. Let's take a listen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a new class of vaccination. I think the short- terming training was extremely good. But again, we don't know the long-term side effects. And there's -- I want to know what's going to happen at this
point in time with my age and my health. My fear of the vaccine is more than my fear of getting the illness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many of you would agree with that statement, that your fear of the vaccine is greater than your fear of getting the illness?
Raise your hands. That is almost, almost everybody. Not everyone, but almost everyone.
SREENIVASAN: I should point out that, Frank, you also spoke to Democrats about this and you were targeting people who were specifically vaccine
hesitant. As we hear that that gentleman's response, he does not seem to be coming from some sort of a philosophically grounded anti-vaccination
position, his concern seems reasonable.
FRANK LUNTZ, POLITICAL POLLSTER AND STRATEGIST: Absolutely. And I'm glad you said it that way because there are too many people who communicate a
hostility to those who are concerned and that hostility actually makes it much more difficult to get people vaccinated. You don't realize the power
that you have, that the power that the media has, in its commentary and who is it speaks to and how it's speaks, the words it uses and how it delivers
And I'm so careful in what I say and what I do to remove the politics from COVID. It was put into it during the 2020 campaign, which is tragic, it's
been a part of the vaccine effort, it should not be. I do hold the former president somewhat responsible for this because of comments that he made in
one in 2020. And I need to, as someone who's often affiliated or seen as being affiliated with the Republican Party, to call everybody out, stop
Joe Biden should be giving Donald Trump credit for how quick those vaccines were developed. And Donald Trump should be given Joe Biden credit for how
quickly they've been disseminated to the population. We are not Republicans or Democrats when it comes to COVID. We are either survivors or victims.
And we have to do this better.
SREENIVASAN: I want to play another clip now just showing how these people have internalized all of the messaging that they've received through a
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Frank, can I just say that it's all very logical. Like I look at this logically. There's no, you know, craziness of --
because I think one way politically that I can't look at logic and reason. And I think what you said very kind of cavalierly about so what that the
pharmaceuticals let the results out five days after the election. And to me, that's a big so what. It just -- it makes you doubt a little bit of the
motives and the politization of science. So, if you really want us to trust the science, I think politics has to be taken out of it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And also, if we could be told that by being vaccinated things would get back to normal again --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And they don't even say that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- you know and that happened, but that's not happening.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Things are still shutdown.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Still wear masks.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Still masks. Don't get together with family, it doesn't even matter that we're vaccinated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If I didn't say the other night, oh, you could have a small gathering by 4th of July.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Small gathering. Maybe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe if we behave.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Four people. And a few dogs. I mean, that's, to me, if everyone's getting vaccinated, we got to move on.
SREENIVASAN: What was interesting to me about that clip was while there was this consternation, they were actually highlighting some of the
potential silver linings here on how -- the things that they were actually looking to hear from. So, one of the things, Frank, I want to ask you is,
you had politicians and doctors listening to these conversations, these focus groups, participating in at times and what did you find resonated?
LUNTZ: Well, first, let's talk about what didn't resonate. If you do not give these people a light at the end of the tunnel, if you don't tell them
that life is going to go back to normal and that America is going to be America again, then they're not going to get the vaccine, because they
simply will feel helpless. We also learned from the focus group that you have to be positive, not negative, not the consequences, if you don't get
the vaccine, but what are the benefits if you do.
Now, Chris Christie was brilliant in this conversation because he talked about the randomness of COVID.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, FMR. GOV. OF NJ: Two other people in my family, a 64-year- old who was a smoker. And so, she had some potential problem. Got it. Felt OK In the beginning. Wound up hospitalized. Her husband, 63, no preexisting
conditions, great shape. In fact, was still working every day as an active longshoreman on the docks in New Jersey. He got sick as well. Caught it
presumably from his wife. They both wound up being hospitalized. And two weeks ago, they both passed away.
LUNTZ: We had Brad Wenstrup talk about the fact that they cut bureaucracy and they cut red tape but they didn't cut corners and research.
REP. BRAD WENSTRUP (R-OH): You know, one of the things that stands out to me is after being fully vaccinated, zero in the trial were hospitalized or
LUNTZ: You had Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana talk about how we wear seatbelts not because we're going to get into an accident but to help us if
we get into an accident. And Kevin McCarthy mentioned Israel and how successful they've been in dealing with the vaccine.
The politicians, each of them had really strong arguments. But in the end, it was Dr. Tom Frieden who presented that facts behind the vaccine.
TOM FRIEDEN: Three, more than 95 percent of the doctors who have been offered this vaccine have gotten it as soon as they can. Four, the more we
vaccinate the faster we can get back to growing our economy and getting jobs. And five, if people get vaccinated, we're going to save at least
100,000 lives of Americans who would otherwise be killed by COVID.
LUNTZ: OK. I want to show of hands, how many of you would say that those five facts are impactful to you? Raise your hands if they're impactful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Impactful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
LUNTZ: Wow. That's a lot of you.
LUNTZ: In the end, the politicians are not going to convince anyone to get a vaccine. It's going to be your personal doctor. And if there's one thing,
I'd say that will make a difference in this broadcast right now, if we get doctors involved in this, if we get them to deliver messages to their
patients proactively, that's something that even those Trump people, even African-American who are hesitant because of previous actions of their
government, your personal doctor will overcome all of that. And the medical community has a role not just to keep people safe, not just to keep them
healthy, but to reach out to their patients proactively, deliver a video, deliver a message, get this vaccine because I want to continue to treat you
for the rest of your long life.
SREENIVASAN: Brian, how do we get to some place where there's a shared understanding of fact, there's a deep politicization of science? Is that
CASTRUCCI: So, the scariest part for me is I don't think either side is anti-science. I think they have found scientists who agree with them. And
so, now, we have different groups believing different facts. And this is where there we need bipartisan cooperation. We don't need to devolve every
night at 8:00 into different cable companies. Of course, you've seen different facts and difference, you know, perspectives.
And the fact that everything devolves into a political debate makes doing everything harder, because it's not -- we're not debating whether you
should take a vaccine, we're debating your perspective on liberty. And so, when politics corrupts public health, we just can't do our jobs
effectively. The vaccine passport is a great example. Having a verification of vaccination can get us back into places sooner and safer. The problem
was, the minute a passport was suggested, it was immediately politicized. And so, now we've lost that tool all out of our public health tool box and
it could have been critical.
SREENIVASAN: Frank, there are people who don't want to feel pressured into this choice, that came up repeatedly in the focus groups.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, even though you can infect other people, you should have that right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think get -- whether or not you get the vaccine, it should be a choice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even though, like my husband I both survived COVID last month, he almost died. But I still think that, at some point, I might
be forced to do it and that would I would rather it be my choice than it be forced upon me by other entities.
SREENIVASAN: What is contributing to making these people feel like this is a mandate that is being imposed on them, that they do not have a choice and
that if they express their hesitancy, that they will be ridiculed, marginalized, put into some sort of dummy bracket?
LUNTZ: It's what they've read in the newspapers. It's what they've seen on television. It's what they get, in some cases, on social media. And I don't
want to do that. I did a show a few weeks ago and they had on a doctor who just spent the entire time condemning Republicans in Texas for not getting
a vaccine. The entire interview was him saying how horrible these people were. And I asked the host at the very end, do you really think that this
helped a single Republican get vaccinated?
The black community and the brown community have the same challenges for different reasons, but they're both skeptical of government and they're
both skeptical of the professionals telling them what to do. And we celebrate them for their concern and we make an effort to reach out to
I want to reach out to everyone. And it's best when it comes from your doctor, second is your family member and frankly, it's worse if it comes
from our government bureaucrat and elected official. And by the way, it's one of the reasons why I have attempted -- and my language changed because
of this. I used to call them government health experts. I'll never do that again, ever. They're public health experts. If they're government health
experts, it means that their partisan or it means that they're political. If they're public health experts, it means that they prioritize you and me.
SREENIVASAN: Brian, you have on the de Beaumont Foundation page, you actually have communication tips that all of us can use but also, that
health professionals can use. And I want to look at that top of the second page here, one of the key messaging things that you point out is, "by
getting vaccinated, you can help end the damage to the economy, prevent more illnesses and deaths in America and eliminate eradicate COVID-19."
It gets right to what Frank's talking about is that you're not trying to penalize people for behavior that they -- if they don't get the vaccine.
You're really just trying to spell out opportunity.
CASTRUCCI: The blaming and the shaming has to stop. Frank was fortunate to teach me this one sentence, I understand that you have concerns about the
virus and the vaccine. What questions can I answer for? That opens up conversation. It invites an exchange of knowledge and it doesn't shut down
-- it doesn't ridicule. You only ridicule if you're debating. And again, we're not debating this. We're trying to educate, inform and let people
make the right choice for about them.
But it has the constant political debate that we have in this country has now extended it into health issues like COVID and the vaccination and that
just has to stop or we will continue to delay the end of this pandemic.
SREENIVASAN: Frank, one of the things that was uplifting is that there were people in these focus groups who changed their minds.
LUNTZ: Everyone in this group expressed that you were either very hesitant or extremely hesitant, but you all decided to get the vaccine. I want to
know the moment when you said, you know what, that's it. Even though I'm hesitant, I'm going to get it. Marie from New York.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I did the last focus group with you and you had the doctor from the CDC on. He explained it much better than Fauci any of
them ever did.
LUNTZ: Gail from D.C.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lost friends and family and people getting the vaccine were surviving it.
LUNTZ: Philip from New Jersey. What was the precise moment that you decided to get the vaccine?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The precise moment I decided to get the vaccine was after talking some highly credible medical professionals that our family
friends in New York and are first responders on the line, every day looking at what's coming in and out and what they're bagging and tagging.
SREENIVASAN: So, we saw some minds change in a focus group. How do we scale this up to a much larger population?
LUNTZ: We now know the works and the facts and the arguments and the principles behind it. We know exactly what needs to be said. And my
frustration is that neither president, neither Former President Trump or Current President Joe Biden are going as far as they need to go.
My frustration is that Anthony Fauci who is clearly an expert and clearly knows what he's doing has said things over the last few months that
actually would build a case against him or allow politicians to attack him politically. I think it's an issue of will. Do you want to make a statement
or do you want to make a difference? Do you want to talk about change or you actually want to have impact?
And the problem is, this is why I value so much the medical community. If the message is delivered by your doctor, your doctor is devoid of politics,
partisanship, government, everything. It will be taken in and evaluated on its own merit. Anyone else in this debate is just not going to be as
CASTRUCCI: We have focused a lot on acceptance. I also want to make sure that we talk about access. So, once we use the right words and people have
confidence in the vaccine, they have to be able to get and people don't want to go to mass vaccination sites, they want to get their vaccine in
their doctor's office. We need 24-hour clinics. We need walk in availability for the vaccine. We are transitioning into a time when those
who are taking the vaccine now, it may not be a life and death decision for them. And we need to make sure that every single barrier has been addressed
so that they can just simply and easily make this choice and making -- getting the vaccine the easy choice is the way to get people to take it.
SREENIVASAN: Frank Luntz, Brian Castrucci, thanks so much for joining us.
LUNTZ: Thank you.
CASTRUCCI: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So important. And finally, to Denmark, where elite cello students are bringing music to rural ears and then some COVID prevented
large groups of human listeners but the Scandinavian Cello School took this crisis by the horns and soon found a surprisingly attentive audience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That's right that. They're cows listening to this mood music. Actually, "Ave Maria" by Caccini. Utterly unique. The concerts of the brain
child of the school's musical director and his friends, one of them telling our friends at the "The New York Times," classical music is very good for
humans, it helps us relax and cows can tell whether we're relaxed or not. So, it makes sense that it would make them feel good too.
And that's it for us. Thanks for watching and good-bye from London.