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Connect the World

Biden wants to show "Europe and the United States are Tight"; Biden Prepares To Reset U.S. Agenda On First Foreign Trip; U.S. Senate Passes "Innovation & Competition Act"; China: The U.S. Is Its Own Biggest Threat; U.S. Plans Significant Investment In Semiconductor Industry; Nicaraguan Opposition Leaders Arrested; CNN Speaks With Hungarian MEP As EU Approves Travel Pass; Study Shows Mass Vaccination Success In Brazilian City; Millions Captivated By Wandering Herd of Elephants in China: Aired 11a-12p ET

Aired June 09, 2021 - 11:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: Well, this hour, we look ahead to President Joe Biden's first real diplomatic test on the international stage. Well, after

four years of America First, the U.S. is bound to present a very different face to the world. Have a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Definitely the alliance make it clear to Putin and to China that Europe and the United States are

tight and the G7 is going to move.


ANDERSON: President Biden there speaking before he headed off to England for the G7 Summit of the world's most advanced economies. He should be

arriving there about four hours from now.

When somebody kicks off a week long European trip that will include a controversial meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the G7 leaders

meantime will tackle some of the biggest issues of our time topped off of course by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Mr. Biden says he has a strategy for World COVID vaccinations this as the crisis continues to expose a deep fissure between developing nations and

wealthier ones, so a lot to cover here.

Let's kick off with CNN's Scott McLean, who is in London. So Scott, I mean, there will be an awful lot to talk about. But if this is to be anything

more than a talking shop, what can we expect to be achieved?

SCOTT McLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Becky, you hit the nail on the head. There will undoubtedly be no shortage of photo ops, no

shortage of pageantry here, but the world is watching to see what tangible things actually come out of this G7 meeting and then the NATO meeting and

of course, that meeting between President Biden and President Putin of Russia.

Top of the agenda, undoubtedly at the G7 is the Coronavirus pandemic and how to get vaccine doses in the arms of people in the developing world.

Just today, a group of UN Human Rights experts is calling on G7 countries to do more, to share vaccines also to do more, to loosen patent rights to

make it more easy, make it easier for some of these developing countries to actually make their own.

Joe Biden for his part is showing up at the G7 with a commitment to supply 80 million doses by the fourth of July to allies and also to developing

countries. Whereas the UK continues to insist that it doesn't have any vaccines to share with the rest of the world until it can vaccinate its own


But the Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that, look, just the development of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been used around the world as

a low cost vaccine is really global Britain at its best. That might be a bit of a tough sell at least domestically, though for British audiences.

Though, given that just today in Parliament, Boris Johnson is taking heat from opposition leaders and even from his own party over plans to cut the

British Foreign Aid budget. Though to be fair, even after those cuts, the UK would still be amongst one of the highest donors in the G7.

This is Boris Johnson's chance though to really change his image with the rest of the world and specifically with the United States where sometimes

he's portrayed in the press or in public as maybe being Donald Trump light or British Donald Trump.

And that really couldn't be further from the truth, his policies really wouldn't line up very well with Republican policies at all and on issues

like the environment. For instance, he's trying to make the UK a leader on that issue.

For Biden, in terms of tangible things, Becky, he really wants to make sure that at the conclusion of this summit, that there is an action plan amongst

these countries to deal with ransomware threats to deal with Russian cyber aggression as well, and also to stand up to China economically and on human

rights issues.

That might be a bit of a touchy subject, though, with European leaders who the EU just signed a wide ranging economic agreement with China back in

December, which doesn't have a whole lot in it in the way of mechanisms to actually keep China in line on human rights abuses.


McLEAN: But, of course, the beauty of having the G7 in person rather than virtually, of course, is that it allows these leaders to maybe speak a

little bit more openly or have some of those more casual discussions off to the side to solve some of these thornier issues, Becky.

ANDERSON: Scott McLean is in London where it's five past four in the afternoon and what looks like a lovely day. Mr. Biden's first foreign trip

that a major opportunity for him to show that the U.S. is returning back into the fold of its old alliances as it were in its top position on the

world, sage they hope will be sort of underlined. Here's Jeff Zeleny with a closer look at what's at stake.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Joe Biden is stepping under the world stage for the first time as President and equal to

foreign leaders after spending a lifetime as someone's envoy. As Air force one touches down today in the United Kingdom, Biden is made clear he's

intent on reassuring the world that democracy works and is alive in America.

BIDEN: And told every world leader I've ever met with over the years, it's never, ever, ever been a good bet to bet against America. And it still is.

ZELENY (voice over): The week long European tour includes a stop in Cornwall on the southern coast of England to see British Prime Minister

Boris Johnson and other leaders of the Group of Seven.

First Lady Joe Biden joins at Windsor Castle for an audience with Queen Elizabeth and then to Brussels for a summit with NATO allies and to Geneva

to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Biden is carrying a message of transatlantic unity and trying to move beyond the lingering baggage of President Trump's America first agenda.

BIDEN: America has been tested and we've come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.

ZELENY (voice over): No American president has logged as many miles around the globe as Biden 36 years in the Senate, eight years as Vice President

and then as a private citizen, including this 2019 visits to Germany during the second year of the Trump Administration.

BIDEN: We will be back. We will be back. Don't have any doubt about that.

ZELENY (voice over): Biden is back but confronting a wave of new challenges like COVID climate change and cyber attacks, provocations that are testing

the new President and America's place in the world in the post Trump era. He believes in the power of personal relationships, but no as well.

Skepticism toward the U.S. is running high after only recently starting to share vaccines with the world. For Biden, the meeting with Putin holds the

highest stakes with some critics questioning why he's giving the Russian adversary a meeting at all.

JAKE SULLIVAN, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: We do not regard a meeting with the Russian President as a reward. Joe Biden is not meeting with

Vladimir Putin despite our country's differences. He's meeting with him because of our country's differences.

ZELENY (voice over): Even inside the West Wing the summit was subject to internal debate. CNN has learned that Biden insisted on engaging Putin face

to face.

SULLIVAN: There is never any substitute for leader to leader engagement particularly for complex relationships. But with Putin this is

exponentially the case.

ZELENY (voice over): At the White House, the first five months of Biden's presidency have been dominated by domestic challenges. Yet foreign policy

is Biden's first love at long last he's setting it and will be judged by it.

BIDEN: The United States is determined, determined to reengage with Europe to consult with you, earn back our position of trust and leadership.

ZELENY (voice over): Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Falmouth, England.


ANDERSON: Let's bring in Arlette Saenz who will be following President Biden's trip. She is already in Cornwall, in England. Arlette, it is good

to have you. It's the first presidential trip that abroad for Joe Biden and in some ways, a culmination of decades been circling the center of U.S.

foreign policy and its establishment.

It doesn't come without serious challenges. And it doesn't come without some controversy, not least Joe Biden's determination to meet President

Putin. You know, many people Arlette saying this is simply not the right time. Just let's get inside Joe Biden's head, if you will. Why now?

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, there was some internal debate within the White House, Becky about whether or not President Biden

should be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The recent cyber attacks that have ties to Russia as well as other issues really cause the White House team to evaluate whether or not that sit down

with Putin should be happening on the President's first foreign trip.

But ultimately, President Biden his brand of diplomacy is those personal relationships and one on one interaction. And the president ultimately felt

that he needed that face to face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin as there are a host of issues that are rather precarious between the

two countries shortly before taking off.


SAENZ: The President told reporters that he's planning to address the issue of cyber attacks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also said he'd

be talking to him about human rights abuses.

But while there are these areas of disagreement and contention, the president is also seeking to make some headway on issues where they can't

agree on one of those being climate change.

This relationship between the U.S. and Russia are really at such a strained and precarious moment. So this one on one meeting, while the president, the

White House has said not to expect any tangible results it will help set the course and the pace for conversations between the two countries going


Now, it's also important to note that before that meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the President will be - President Biden will be

sitting down with allies, both here in Cornwall as well as in Brussels that is a highly choreographed, meaningful plan as they are trying to shore up

those relationships with allies and also be able to show a united front to countries like China and Russia.

And as of course, as you mentioned, this is a moment Biden has been preparing for quite some time. He will finally be heading on the

international stage as the president as the decision maker after so many years in - policy circles as a Senator and Vice President.

ANDERSON: Yes, suddenly, like 45 of them. I mean, if he takes nothing else to that meeting with Vladimir Putin next week, it will be a sense of a

united front that U.S., Russia, sorry, that the U.S., Europe and the UK are once again aligned and are a force to be reckoned with.

Arlette, thank you. China's growing influences Arlette suggested among the topics that G7 leaders, of course will confront, that's why the U.S. Senate

in a rare bipartisan move, it has to be said pass the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act ahead of this trip.

Now if it becomes law, the United States would invest more than $200 billion dollars in technology, science and research and the aim to counter

China's influence on multiple fronts and to give American workers a competitive edge. According to one of the bill's authors, China thinks the

U.S. has lost that edge.


CHARLES SCHUMER, U.S. SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER: Around the globe authoritarian governments believe that squabbling democracies like ours

can't unite around national priorities.

They believe that democracy itself is a relic of the past. And that by beating us to emerging technologies, they, many of the more autocracies

will be able to research - reshape the world in their own image. Well, let me tell you something, I believe they are wrong.


ANDERSON: That's Chuck Schumer, David Culver following the story from Shanghai. And David, Beijing with some choice words about this legislation,


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That considering this to be cold war ideology that the U.S. is in the midst of and Becky, they go forward with

rhetoric that we've heard in recent months and really, since the Trump Administration has turned on the heat against China.

And that is to suggest that the U.S. is trying to contain the developing nation here and really restricted to growth. The U.S. in moving forward

with as you point out, rightfully so, a very rare move Washington on both sides of the aisle agreed on the concerns over the rise in China and its


And it's interesting to go through that bill as it's been proposed and to see just how many times China is mentioned and the many different facades

of threads that they really point out. And it's not just economic.

So while the chunk of this is going to be those billions of dollars that are going to be invested really more than 200 billion in research and

development as you point out science and technology.

There's a whole another set of agenda items that have been listed and a lot of this has been put in by the Republicans who were concerned that things

such as the Human Rights allegations against China and abuses in Xinjiang, particularly with ethnic Uyghurs minorities, Hong Kong, the pro democracy

protests that were acquired there.

There were a lot of issues with how that was being handled or not by the U.S. And even strengthening relations with Taiwan, of course, a self

governed island that China considers to be part of its sovereign territory.

So this goes well beyond the investment in research and development, which in of itself is incredibly important, because it shows where the U.S. is

starting to envision China and the trajectory that China is on where we know that China for example, in March of this year, they set a projection

for 2025.

For research and development alone, Becky, the investment is estimated to be $580 billion in that one year. So that's the type of trajectory they're

on. Meantime, as you point out, the foreign ministry here is not happy.

We heard from two different groups in particular, the foreign committee of the National People's Congress. They're the ones who have labeled this as a

Cold War ideology. Now I want you to listen to the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson and how they're characterizing this Senate Bill.



WANG WENBIN, SPOKESMAN, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY: How the U.S. develops and how it improves its own competitive strength is its own business. But we

are firmly opposed to the U.S. talking about China and treating China as its imaginary enemy.

The biggest threat to the U.S. was the U.S. itself, China aims to build a mutually beneficial relationship with the U.S. that is free of conflict

that is based on mutual respect. At the same time, China will firmly protect its sovereignty, security and development interests.


CULVER: As we pointed out, Chinese officials have used similar words, Becky, during the Trump Administration.

What's really concerning here for Beijing in particular, is that not only do you have bipartisan support within the U.S., but now you have President

Biden going forward with as - Scott mentioned, this G7 Summit and you have a lot of these world leaders who likewise have concerns with China.

And it's very possible that in the next few days, they're going to be building up this coalition to put more pressure on Beijing, Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. And while you hear this sort of bellicose sort of narrative out with the foreign ministry, I thought it was interesting to

note the other day that the leader in China actually calling on his own officials to take a softer approach when it comes to diplomacy around the


Now, that's definitely something I want to talk to you about in the next couple of days as China as it's front and center, onside COVID of course,

this G7 Summit, good to speak to David, thank you. Taiwan, feeling the weight of Beijing's growing influence along with another issue that the G7

will be tackling and that is climate crisis.

Right now, the islands struggling with one of its worst droughts in decades, which could have a big global impact on the global tech sector,

well, it's also taking a long look at Washington after the Senate passed that massive spending bill to counter the rising tech threat from Beijing.

There's an awful lot to unpack here. CNNs Will Ripley explains.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This American innovation bill can be seen by analysts as somewhat of a mixed bag for Taiwan.

It calls for a strengthening of the military alliance between this island and the United States, which could be perceived by Beijing as moving closer

to separation something that China has long said they will never allow, even if it means using military force.

Also, Taiwan is looking at the fact that the United States is planning a significant investment in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. It is

the number one industry here in Taiwan. It is crucial to this Island's economy and it's facing challenges not only on the geopolitical front, but

also when it comes to climate.

RIPLEY (voice over): Taiwan's worst drought in more than half a century making this island looks more like a desert. Cracks, snake across the

bottom of Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan's largest body of water parched reservoirs across the island evaporating. Recent rains put a small dent in a big

problem. A problem scientists predict will only get worse.

HUANG-HSIUNG HSU, CLIMATE RESEARCHER, ACADEMIA SINICA: Our projections show data is going to become more and more serious in the future.

RIPLEY (voice over): Climate change models paint a dire picture for Taiwan, stronger typhoons, more flooding, less frequent rain, future droughts, far

more severe. This mural gives you an idea of what - Reservoir usually looks like. This is what it looks like now. Water levels are right around 30


They were less than 3 percent before monsoon season kicked off in mid May. Taiwan is experiencing its worst drought in decades. That's a big problem.

Because this reservoir is the primary water source for the Hsinchu Science Park, home to nearly 600 electronics companies, including the world's

leading semiconductor manufacturer TSMC.

RIPLEY: Why is this drought a problem for Taiwan's semiconductor industry?

JEFFEREY CHIU, ELECTRICAL ENGINNER, NATIONAL TAIWAN UNIVERSITY: Every layer we need a lot of chemical process and every process we need to clean the

surface we need to clean by water flowing pure water.

RIPLEY (voice over): Semiconductor manufacturers are searching for solutions, water recycling, purifying seawater, and both years away from

quenching the insatiable thirst of chip factories. Making chips also requires huge amounts of energy. Taiwan like the world is trying to fight

the climate crisis, cutting its carbon footprint, well phasing out nuclear power.


The island's semiconductor industry is investing big in green energy. Hundreds of giant wind turbines line the coast, solar panels dot the


HSU: We need to cut down on carbon dioxide emission. But on the other hand, we need to generate more electricity.

RIPLEY (voice over): Just after we arrived, rolling blackouts hit the Taiwanese capital, energy demand grows as temperatures rise, Taiwan's top

energy consumer semiconductors vital to the global economy, powering everything from cars to computers. If Taiwan's power and water supply is in

peril, the whole world could feel the pain.

RIPLEY (on camera): The scientists I spoke with say the government here in Taiwan is really facing a big challenge in the coming years, maintaining

their semiconductor industry, which is going to need more power and more water at a time that the energy supply is already under stress, the water

supply is low.

And you have all of those other issues related to climate change and geopolitics with rising tensions between the mainland and the U.S., which

are the two most important relationships for Taiwan if it wants to be successful in the coming years and the coming decades. Will Ripley, CNN,



ANDERSON: Well, you're watching "Connect the World" live from Abu Dhabi. I am Becky Anderson still ahead accused of inciting foreign interference.

Nicaragua locks up yet another opposition leader, we've got the latest for you on what is a string of arrests ahead of November elections.

And not everyone is a fan of the EU's new COVID travel certificate. We'll speak with the European parliament Member for Hungary on the day that it is

officially voted in and.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Reaching a level of predicted herd immunity like what appears to be on display and Serrana researchers say still requires

vaccinating a minimum of 70 percent of the population.


ANDERSON: Shasta Darlington on the push to get more Brazilians inoculated against COVID how a mass vaccination study is giving people hope that the

virus can be contained.


ANDERSON: Well, more concerning news from Nicaragua where police have detained another opposition figure. Jose Adan Aguerri is the 5th such

figure to be picked up in less than a week now he is accused of a slew of charges including undermining independence.

Some of the detainees are possible challenges to longtime President Daniel Ortega in November the U.S. calling for their release. Matt Rivers has been

watching this string of arrests and he joins us tonight from Mexico City. What do we know at this point, Matt?


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well what it looks like is happening is that Daniel Ortega is doing his best to try and make sure that he sails to

victory when these elections happen in November this latest round of candidates presidential candidates that have been detained it really

started in earnest last week.

That's when a woman named Cristiana Chamorro was detained at her home. She's now currently under house - house arrest - . She is one of from one

of the most prominent families in Nicaragua. Her mother actually beat Ortega in a presidential election back in 1990.

She had just announced her candidacy in the middle of last week. And then a few hours later, all of a sudden come charges of money laundering in

relation to a free press organization that she was running in the country and also charges as vague as in ideological falseness, Becky whatever that

means we're not really sure what exactly that means.

But that's the law that the government is using to detain her. She's been held and then over the past week or so we saw a presidential candidate get

detained on Saturday and then three more just yesterday.

So Becky two plus two equals four, right? And clearly what's happening right now is Ortega according to rights groups, activist critics is clearly

trying to stifle his any opposition to his candidacy this November.

ANDERSON: And what's the attitude from Washington and indeed other major international centers with regard Ortega's leadership of Nicaragua at

present? What's the - why do we care point, I mean, that's often the way that you know we sort of you know, discover where these kind of position

these positions are.

RIVERS: Yes, you know, these latest actions, some Ortega has really made the international community kind of it's forced them to take a stand. I

mean, Ortega has been thin ice been on thin ice for a while in terms of his adherence to democratic norms in Nicaragua.

The international community has been very suspect of him going back to 2018, when there was big protest; hundreds of people were killed by

security forces in Nicaragua.

Several national security laws have been passed since then, using those protests as justification basically criminalizing anyone who wants to speak

out against what I think is safe to say, you could call the Ortega regime at this point.

And now you're hearing you know, from top State Department officials, for example, in the U.S. with a top official yesterday tweeting that Ortega

should now be treated as a dictator that his actions leave the international community no choice.

The big question Becky is well, what are they going to do about it? Obviously, U.S. sanctions against Nicaragua given Nicaragua's economic

dependence on the U.S. would have a huge impact. But remember, there is a migration crisis right now in Central America.

If the U.S. put sanctions on the Nicaraguan economy that will create more economic migrants headed north to the United States. The Biden

Administration doesn't want that to happen.

So what steps that could the international community takes against Ortega now remains to be seen. But what is clear is that what he's doing right now

is dictatorial in just every sense of the word.

ANDERSON: Fascinating, Matt it was a pleasure. Thank you very much indeed Matt Rivers of course based in Mexico. Right ahead on the show Europe

pushes towards making international travel easier. But some are critical of Europe's who COVID travel certificate system. Could I speak to one

Hungarian European Parliament Member after this?




ANDERSON: Europe has taken a major step toward reopening to international travel; the European Parliament has just officially approved its new COVID

travel certificate. Now this allows those who have been vaccinated have recovered from the disease or those with a negative test to travel freely

within the block.

It's offered in digital and paper format and will go into effect across the EU on July 1st. Some countries have already implemented this pass on a

voluntary basis. Well, the vast majority of the European Parliament voted for the new certificate but my next guest is critical of how helpful these

new policies will be on Twitter European Parliament Member for Hungary Balazs Hidveghi, said we need more vaccines and not just a new certificate.

EU countries must accept all safe and effective jobs, regardless of their origin. That's the only way to retrieve one of the most important

fundamental values, the freedom of movement. Mr. Vega joins me now from Strasbourg, in France. You voted in favor of introducing this EU digital

COVID certificate but you are voicing criticism about its effectiveness before it has even been formally launched. Just explain why sir.

BALAZS HIDVEGHI, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER, HUNGARY: Listen, I voted in favor because if we can do whatever, it may be a little help to bring close

to the end of this pandemic and help people regain their right of free movement. Let's do that. If the certificate can contribute, OK, let's have


But the real solution to this pandemic and we see that very clearly after a year and a half is vaccination and we have been critical of the European

vaccination strategy and practice in reality. Hungary stands out of EU countries with now over 55 percent of our population vaccinated and the

second job also do a number close to that which is seriously higher, much higher than the EU average.

And that is because we have used not only an information campaign telling people about the importance of getting the vaccine but also because we have

used several vaccines not only sort of EU generator EU purchase vaccines, but also Eastern vaccines. That is the only way out of this pandemic we


ANDERSON: Yes, the Hungarian government has announced plans to reduce the Chinese developed COVID-19 vaccine locally. And we're talking about the

Cinna Farm job here which is only got emergency approval at the moment in the EU.

Right now it's up to individual EU nations whether they will accept vaccines or passports, vaccine passports from people who've been immunized

with either the Cinna farm or the Russian Sputnik. VO five vaccines Greece and Cyprus, I know are two states which have already committed to doing so.

And I just wondered, you know, are you are you in bilateral talks with any other nations about this?

HIDVEGHI: Of course, and actually it is a vital interest of all European Member States and in fact or Europeans reach these bilateral agreements and

to actually take into account all vaccines you shouldn't you know, a vaccine does not have an ideology does not have a nationality, it just have

efficiency for vaccine helps people it should be used no matter where it comes from.

Let me also remind you and viewers that the WHO has recommended actually should not find your Chinese vaccines that you have mentioned. Also our

neighbors Slovakia has begun using Sputnik the Russian vaccine adjust recently, and recently the Bavarian Prime Minister has called for the EU

and the European agency to process and to also recommend the Russian vaccine.


HIDVEGHI: So things are passing at a quick way and they should be in fact, we need to look at people's interest. If a vaccine helps them, the vaccine

should be used and the European Commission and the European authorities should accept that.

ANDERSON: Just for the purpose of our viewers who may be watching this, in the States, for example, or in the UK or here in the UAE, let's just be

quite clear what this digital or paper COVID passport will do. So if for example, I wanted to travel into Europe, from the UAE as an Emirati, how do

this all work?

HIDVEGHI: Well, this certificate would include information in a digital format on whether a person has received a vaccine, what type of vaccine it

was at the time of the vaccination, or if the person has had the virus, and has antigens and is protected as a result of that.

And it should also include some information on tests where testing is still done in Europe and in the world for travel purposes. Testing is any, you

know, a momentary, you know, state of health. It does help, you know, getting on a plane these days, it's not really the solution.

So but if this certificate can contribute to, to giving that people their freedom of movement, and the sense of normality, then OK, then let's use

it. And let's hope that we can get over this pandemic as soon as possible.

ANDERSON: Let's just be very clear about this for somebody traveling into the EU block. Who has been vaccinated, for example, with the Synovium

vaccination, which isn't yet accepted by all EU countries, although there are those who have accepted it from people outside of the blog?

It is OK, if they've got a negative test, or indeed, if they've already had the virus correct. You don't have to have a vaccine to be able to travel

with this vaccine passport?

HIDVEGHI: No, I don't think so actually, it's up to member states to make those decisions as they are already making it is also part of this

regulation that if a country accepts a certain vaccine from a certain country, or people coming from a certain country, then they will have to

accept that vaccine for everybody else within the European Union.

So there's no point in discriminating obviously. On that basis, but Member States maintain the right to make those decisions because there was a there

is still a health emergency. And that is right. We actually have been also critical of the Brussels response to the whole pandemic which was slow and

very often inefficient.

I think member states in the European Union have acted in a quicker way and a more professional way to make those decisions that are necessary. But

again, as vaccination is increasing in the world and increasing in the neighborhood of Europe, and in the European Union, normality, we'll be back

step by step.

ANDERSON: Your Prime Minister Viktor Orban plays the role of times. His critics indeed his supporters might say, is the anti EU firebrand that is

to a certain extent, he's built his career on rallying against some of the sort of EU wide policies last month Hungary, even opted out of a new

vaccine deal signed between the EU and Pfizer.

Instead, your country, as you have rightly pointed out is turned to Russia and China for its COVID-19 vaccines. It's clear this digital certificate

will ultimately aid your country's economic recovery and it's been brutal as it has all over the world. Is this criticism of the of the EU's

vaccination policy, political theater at this point, or do you genuinely see more behind it?

HIDVEGHI: Listen; let me begin by saying that Viktor Orban is the prime minister within the European Union with the highest level of support. He

has won a series of elections with high popular support, and he has, he's enjoying a lot of support of the people and that's because his policies,

focus on people's needs and focus on national interest.

As I said earlier, this whole vaccination issue should not be politicized. It's not a political issue. It's a health issue. A vaccine does not have an

ideology. It just has efficiency if you use it so you know, the numbers speak for themselves.

The EU average of vaccination is 41 percent Hungary's average is over 55 percent. And if you look at the second vaccine; the flu vaccination then

the proportions is even higher. I mean Hungary is close to 50 and the EU average is 25.


HIDVEGHI: That speaks for itself. You know, we need to look at things in a practical way. And, have in mind, people's needs and that is, you know, we

need to help the economy. And we need to get people protected against this virus because if we don't do that, we will not be able to get back our

normal lives.

I'm right now sitting here in Strasbourg, France, mass are still on restrictions are still in place in Hungary, we have been able to get rid of

those because of this higher rate of vaccination. That is what matters really?

ANDERSON: Well, absolutely. And you make a very good point. At the end of all of this, what matters is that we get Europe and the rest of the world

back on track. And when we talk about the rest of the world, we must not forget that so much of the rest of the world remains unvaccinated at this

point that is absolutely critical that we all work together to ensure that this is not a sort of COVID vaccine Rich COVID vaccine poor world. Thank

you, sir. It's a pleasure having you on.

France not one of the early adopters of this digital passport as of yet, but it is taking more steps towards opening back up including a new color

coded traffic light system for international travelers. Different rules will apply to travelers who come in from green, orange, or red countries as

defined. France also allowing indoor dining at restaurants and pushing back the nightly curfew.

We know how important vaccinations is they are a key part in trying to get back to some sort of normality. But mass vaccination study in one Brazilian

city is showing us how effective they could be in containing COVID hospitalizations and COVID deaths that have dropped significantly. Why?

Well, Shasta Darlington Reports.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In Serrana, Brazil the focus of a clinical study of vaccine immunity. These

Parishioners fears of the deadly Coronavirus have given way to hope for a new beginning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, (voice over): I think our city is privileged. The vaccine is a hope, a light in the midst of all this darkness.

DARLINGTON (voice over): The campaign by Butantan Institute in partnership with Sao Paulo University of medicine to vaccinate almost all 30,000

residents of the city in South Paulo State with the Chinese Sinovac vaccine began in February, when roughly one out of every 20 people in Serrana had


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): More than 10,000 people go to work in other cities. This leads to these infectious and contagious diseases. So this

series of factors makes Serrana almost ideal.

DARLINGTON (voice over): And while full results will not be published until July. The preliminary data from the study has given a glimpse into the very

real possibility that the COVID 19 pandemic can be contained through mass vaccination.

UINDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Although the reduction rate for hospitalizations obtained with the study is 86 percent in the entire

population of Serrana, and the reduction in deaths was 95 percent.

DARLINGTON (voice over): In Brazil, a country with the second highest death toll from COVID-19 struggling to cope as the virus ravages its population.

Those figures giving researchers reason to celebrate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): We were able to affirm with the study. It is possible to control the epidemic through vaccination, we do not need to

isolate, prevent the transit of people to control the pandemic. Vaccination is the key.

DARLINGTON (voice over): With vaccine shortages throughout Brazil and most of the developing world replicating that success is easier said than done.

Reaching a level of predicted herd immunity like what appears to be on display and Serrana researchers say still requires vaccinating a minimum of

70 percent of the population and with vaccine reluctance throughout the globe added to the mix, the order becomes even taller. But here in Serrana

there's reason to be grateful.

Father Giuliano Gomez, who once saw his parishioners united in grief, his COVID took root and stole the lives of so many loved ones he sees light

returning to his community.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): I see us establishing this opportunity for a new normal. Which symbolizes a state of more tranquility, health and

hope? It is what the world is wanting. This is happening to us here in Serrana. That is why I'm very happy.

DARLINGTON (voice over): Serrana for now on display for what is possible, a spark of hope for the wider world still caught in the deadly grip of the

COVID pandemic. Shasta Darlington CNN Sao Paulo.


ANDERSON: Will come on the show how to combat an army of purports see a Chin's destroying California's help that story is coming up.




ANDERSON: It's an adventure that has transfixed a nation. Neither world in fact a heard of wandering elephants in China on an epic journey in the

country's Southwest their destination unknown to us humans anyway. They've been making mischief and causing chaos along the way, and the Internet has

been glued to their every move. But what dangers might lie ahead for these vast creatures. My colleague Anna Coren takes a look.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): It's been a long journey for these giants of the forest even longer for some for more than a year now

this herd of Asian elephants has been wandering across union province in Southern China, after leaving their nature reserve in March of last year.

Since then, they've covered over 500 kilometers from - to Kunming authorities tracking them day and night with drones at a 24 hour live feed.

Helping them become a national phenomenon and a social media sensation.

BECKY SHU CHEN, CHINA PROJECTS COORDINATOR, ZOOLOGICAL SOCEITY OF LONDON: That happens very smart animal they are intelligent once they get out to

the forest. And once they have the food on the paddy rice, the - and they love it. Just like if you bring your children to ice cream shop want to eat

ice cream. Wow. They've never returned.

COREN (voice over): The stars of what has become a reality show in China are the two calves' one that was born only a few months ago. Thanks to

their attentive parents. They've been rescued from a raging river, a ditch and another ditch.


COREN (voice over): Luckily, no one was hurt in the process. This video alone of one of the calves being stuck under the weight of a sleeping

relative while the herd was resting has gone viral. The hashtag has been viewed more than 140 million times.

But for all the hype and fanfare, that migration points to far more serious and desperate issues for this species and its survival in China. Well,

experts are uncertain as to why the herd embarked on this journey.

Conservationists say that their habitat is being destroyed and replaced by rubber plantations and other lucrative crops now encroaching on their home.

There are only 300 Asian elephants in China, which are listed as an endangered species. And while the locals have so far been tolerant, despite

the herd causing more than a million dollars damage to crops so far, some fear they could be on borrowed time.

SHU CHEN: They right now the general perception about elephants are that they are friendly, beautiful, intelligent animal and that we welcome you.

But actually, if there are any injuries, or killing happen, you can totally change the public's perceptions.

COREN (voice over): How they stopped them that remains an ongoing challenge. Officials tried daily to entice the elephants with tons of food

while setting up barriers in an attempt to redirect them away from urban areas and reaching the Northern City of Kunming, home to 8 million people.

While humans appreciate these magnificent creatures, the challenge is trying to coexist with them as we continue to impact their natural habitat.

SHU CHEN: If you can't it happens, people tolerance could be very low,

COREN (voice over): As authorities tried to prevent any misfortune from happening. The 15 elephants and their mischievous antics will continue to

draw fans around the world. Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong


ANDERSON: Thank you for watching. I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi; you have been watching Connect the World. One Word with my colleague Zane Asher is

up next from the team. Here in Abu Dhabi, it is a very good evening.