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First Move with Julia Chatterley
A COVID Warning From America's Health Secretary That More Effort Is Needed; More Big Companies Suspending Ad Spending On Facebook; Taiwan's Digital Minister Talks Tackling Both The Virus And Misinformation. Aired 9- 10a ET
Aired June 29, 2020 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, FIRST MOVE: Live from New York, I'm Julia Chatterley. This is FIRST MOVE and here is your need-to-know.
Window closing. A COVID warning from America's Health Secretary that more effort is needed.
Unfriending Facebook. More big companies suspending ad spending on the site.
And Taiwan's teaching. The nation's Digital Minister talks tackling both the virus and misinformation.
It's Monday. Let's make a move.
Welcome once again to FIRST MOVE. I hope you all managed a safe and restful weekend. Today's show will focus on the global technologies reshaping our
lives during the pandemic, so in addition to hearing from the low down from Taiwan, as I mentioned there, we'll also discuss the future of work with
Dell's Vice Chairman, Jeff Clarke and why it's more important than ever to tackle the growing digital divide being created or exacerbated during this
crisis, and that's escalating.
There are now over 10 million confirmed cases of the virus across the globe. And we've seen more than 500,000 lives lost. India has seen eight
straight days of record rises, while over in Mexico City, gradual reopening begins today despite border virus concerns.
One hopeful milestone, though, among those, more than five million people globally have recovered from the disease and we should also focus on that
In the meantime, U.S. stocks were hit Friday after Texas rolled back reopening plans. In fact, some 36 U.S. states are now reporting rising
cases. As you can see, futures are mixed once again this morning.
What about in Europe? Well, the European Commission's Economic Sentiment Index saw its largest month on month rise on record last month. Remember of
course, on these things, the base that we're beginning from is pretty low.
And stocks falling in Asia. I think that was a carry-over from the weak session that we saw on Wall Street, as I've mentioned on Friday. For now, I
think we're in a tug of war between better data as we bounce back from the lows of lockdown, versus the fear of rising COVID cases and the damage that
that could do to hopes of a recovery, at the worse, prolong it.
COVID cases are still rising fast in many parts of the world including in Brazil, India and Mexico. Meanwhile, here in the United States, Health and
Human Services Secretary Alex Azar warns time is running out to curb the spread of the virus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEX AZAR, HUMAN AND HEALTH SERVICES SECRETARY: This is a very, very serious situation and the window is closing for us to take action and get
this under control.
If we don't social distance, if we don't use face coverings in settings where we can't social distance, if we don't practice appropriate personal
hygiene, we're going to see spread of disease.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: CNN chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins us now. Dr. Gupta -- Sanjay, great to have you on the show, but the truth is,
we're not doing that.
And if you look across states, we're not seeing mandates to wear masks. People are going back to their lives and more and more states now are
reporting rising cases.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT Yes, I mean, there's no question, Julia, and a couple of months now have passed, you know, since we
were sort of looking at this in New York.
The difference around the country is that you have a lot more virus that is now out there, because you've had many, many states where the virus has
gone more unchecked.
States started to reopen quickly, the virus started to spread. You're seeing younger people who are getting it. That's sort of like if you think
about this as a forest fire, Julia, that's more kindling and I think that's what the Secretary is sort of alluding to.
If you look at the difference in the maps right now, the virus starts to spread like this, it starts to develop a certain momentum, a certain
inertia, that is what everyone is trying to avoid. We've got to take the fuel out of the fire.
We don't have a vaccine. We have a couple of different medicines that have some modest benefit. Really right now, it's just about decreasing the
spread. Masks and physical distancing are the way to do that.
It's not a hardy virus, Julia. Scary as this has all been, the virus itself can't jump very far and a mask does a great job of preventing it from
spreading. The problem is we're not doing that in many places.
CHATTERLEY: Can you give us a sense of how staggered it is? Because, we remember our experience for those here in New York, there was rising cases.
We saw hospitalizations. We saw deaths.
We got to the point where lockdown measures were the only option to try and protect what was becoming an overwhelmed medical system. What is the kind
of timeline that we're looking at when we're showing the heat map and seeing different degrees of red across the country?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think that the timeline is now current, meaning that, you know, there's always going to be
a little bit of a lag time between seeing new patients infected, hospitalizations, and then tragically, deaths.
The problem right now, Julia, is that many hospitals are becoming pretty full. So, when you talk about the flatten the curve, sort of just flatten
the curve so you don't supersede the hospitals' capacities, the problem is that is starting to hop where we are sort of testing the hospital
capacities again in certain places -- Texas, Arizona, Florida.
I mean, if that happens, you're going to run into a situation where people are saying my loved one is here at home, I'm here with them, they're having
difficulty breathing, they're getting shortness of breath, and they're going to be told, hey, look, we've got no hospital beds right now in the
city. We've got no hospital beds in the county.
That is obviously a tragic situation, one that everyone is trying to avoid. But we can't look at this in the future anymore because that timeline is
If that starts to happen, that becomes a spiraling out of control sort of situation. So, they've got to act on this, currently. They can't wait any
CHATTERLEY: Yes. The time is nigh. Just wear masks. Sanjay, great to have you with us. Thank you so much for that.
GUPTA: Thanks, Julia. Again, thank you.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, in China, 400,000 people have been placed under strict lockdown. David Culver joins us now.
David, a separate area though, admittedly close to Beijing. Talk to us about what we know and why this is being done.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Julia. This is Anxin Province, so it is -- actually, it is in Hebei Province, Anxin County, it
is about 90 miles from where we are. Here's what's interesting about this.
When we talk about these strict lockdowns and we're used to talking about it in association with Wuhan or with compartmentalized sections of Beijing
as happened in the past two weeks or so, this is 400,000 people that are now affected by this and it's essentially a more rural area.
However, they have blocked off all communities, all villages, and they're not allowing any outside non-locally registered vehicles to go into this
perimeter and inside, they're keeping people inside their homes. It's something we saw say five months ago beginning back in Wuhan that ended up
lasting 76 days there.
And they are allowing one person each day to leave the home, to get basic necessities and they're saying that this is going to last as long as
necessary to keep this most recent cluster outbreak under control.
The problem is, it's not that large of a number. I mean, you're talking 18 to 19 cases altogether. That's the official count. Of course, that comes
from the government. But that's what they're saying has provoked this.
So, why such an extreme reaction? I think it goes to what we saw here in Beijing just a couple of weeks ago, and that was some of the officials at
the Xinfadi Market, which was that cluster outbreak that they are now still trying to get completely under control, although they feel like they have a
good grip on it.
They saw some of those officials be punished for their lack of early handling, if you will, and we've seen that in other localities as well,
certainly with Wuhan and Hubei Province, the original epicenter of the outbreak.
Officials were pushed out of their jobs quite quickly by the central government. So, it may be some of this reactive nature that's resulting in
lockdowns, even with just single or double-digit number of cases, is because of the fear from local officials that there could be repercussions
if they don't act and stop the spread immediately -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. It's just astonishing, every time we talk to you and make some degree of comparison between what we're seeing in the United States
and the behavior and the actions of the Chinese authorities in order to lockdown cases, clearly it's a different story in China given that the
power of the authorities, but yes, what can I say?
David Culver, thank you so much for that update there.
CULVER: All right, thanks, Julia.
CHATTERLEY: The pandemic has claimed its biggest oil and gas bankruptcy yet, Chesapeake Energy filed for Chapter 11 protection on Sunday. John
Defterios is with us with all of the details.
John, no real surprise. They skipped interest payments on debt. We know they have been challenged for a long while, but the first of the big shale
oil players to say, okay, we need help here.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes, indeed. Chesapeake Energy is one of the pioneers in the shale basins, Julia, going
back to its founding with $50,000.00 back in 1989 by Aubrey McClendon, who was a firm believer in natural gas, suffocating under $9.5 billion of debt.
But for context here, it was the second largest natural gas producer in the United States behind the behemoth, Exxon-Mobil. But it made this ill-timed
move to balance out its portfolio and go into oil.
That ran into lower oil prices, the Saudi-Russia price war and now COVID- 19. And then, you have to look at the second half of the year with the snap back of the cases you're talking about with Dr. Sanjay, the upside
potential is not there, so it is very difficult to service debt.
DEFTERIOS: And in fact, according to S&P, we've had 18 companies just in the first half of the year go bankrupt because of the debt servicing
challenge that they're having vis-a-vis '20 all the way through 2019, and what we're seeing here, Julia is basically a price war.
We see people coming back to $40.00 and say saying that's pretty comfortable. The low cost producers in the Middle East, those in Russia,
can survive at $40.00 a barrel.
The break-even price for a lot of these shale basins is $30.00 to $35.00. But if you're carrying debt, it's a huge burden. In fact, Deloitte, the
consultancy is suggesting that many of these companies are carrying $300 billion of debt. So, this is not the last of the bankruptcies.
It's extraordinary, over a period of time, the founder spent $43 billion over 15 years that he really thought that natural gas was the way to go.
But even natural gas is seeing that downward pressure because of the lack of demand and oversupply because of that shale boom -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and no one could have predicted a pandemic. Just to your point very quickly, John, if we're talking about $300 billion worth of
write-downs and a price level of between $30.00 and $35.00 for oil, what percent of these shale players are technically insolvent?
DEFTERIOS: Well, about a third, Julia. And a lot of people have overlooked the fact that over the last four years, we've had 200 companies go bankrupt
and the debt payments are just rising because of the pressure that we're talking about.
Yes. Very difficult times, and despite the OPEC/non-OPEC intervention, we're not seeing a huge spike because of the pandemic that you're talking
CHATTERLEY: Yes. You're going to have to lose some of those. John Defterios, thank you so much for that.
Starbucks tells social media time to wake up and smell the coffee. The company joining a rapidly growing list of companies that say they've
stopped advertising on Facebook and other platforms. The beverage giant, Diageo has just announced it is doing the same, too.
Brian Fung joins us now. Brian, you've been doing some great reporting on this and some great writing as well. It is a pivotal moment, but it's also
symbolic because of the financials of this story. Talk us through what's going on and what your view is on whether this makes change at Facebook.
BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECHNOLOGY REPORTER: Yes. Absolutely. This is a massive decision by a massive brand, with Starbucks being the sixth largest
advertiser on Facebook last year, according to a Pathmatics, a market intelligence firm.
According to them, Starbucks spent over $95 million advertising on Facebook alone, so for Starbucks to be pulling back on all social media advertising
now could mean a dramatic impact on social media companies' revenues.
That said, you know, when you look at Facebook, most of its revenue comes from small and medium-sized businesses, so it's a big question as to
whether or not this social media boycott or Facebook boycott by numerous brands will have a deep and lasting impact on these companies.
But at the very least, it is, as you said, a very symbolic move that's raising awareness about Facebook's handling of hate speech and
Of course, Starbucks isn't the only brand here. In recent weeks, we've seen Verizon, Unilever, Honda, Hershey's and Coca-Cola all get on board, pulling
their funding here.
And this all just goes to show how what began as a very simple kind of small scale whisper campaign about trying to defund Facebook has now grown
to a globe-spanning campaign that has roped in some of the world's largest brands and companies.
So, this is going to be putting a lot of pressure on Facebook to change, whether or not it actually does so is another question.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, verbal pressure, not financial pressure, when these big brands, the hundred biggest brands only represent -- what -- six percent of
all the advertising. There's $70 billion that they pulled in last year, and I do wonder what some of these companies are going to do with the money?
This is a year when you do want to retrench in advertising spending. So, perhaps they're getting a lot of credit for taking action at a moment they
perhaps would have done anyway. Just asking. Brian Fung, thank you so much for that. We'll reconvene on this.
All right, there are stories that are making headlines around the world that I want to bring to you, too.
CHATTERLEY: Attackers using grenades and firearms killed at least five people in an assault on the Pakistani Stock Exchange in Karachi. The
Director of the Exchange says the gunmen were wearing what looked like police uniforms. The attackers were killed by security forces.
Envoys from the 27 E.U. members are meeting to agree on a list of countries from which travelers will be allowed into the E.U. starting next month.
Travelers from the U.S. are not likely going to be allowed in because of the rapid spread of coronavirus in many states. The so-called safe list is
expected to include Australia, Canada. Japan and South Korea.
All right, we're going to take a break here on FIRST MOVE, but coming up, Taiwan escapes the worst of coronavirus with swift, decisive action. Find
out how authorities got it right, next.
And they say necessity is the mother of all invention and the pandemic certainly hit the fast forward button on technology. Hear Jeff Clarke,
second in command at Dell with his views on the future. He joins me in the show. That's next. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE live from New York, where U.S. stocks look set for a pretty mixed open this Monday, the second-to-last
trading day of the second quarter.
The S&P currently on track for its best quarterly return in decades following the plunge of course in March, but nearly two in three asset
managers say the COVID threat has not been sufficiently factored into markets.
Investors pulled more than $7 billion out of stocks last week, sinking nearly $3 billion meanwhile into safe haven gold. There is a signal in
there. The Dow was the big loser, falling more than three percent.
Banks meanwhile fell sharply on Friday after the Federal Reserve moved to cap their dividends to help the banks save cash. They're higher in
premarket trading today, though, nowhere near the losses that we saw at the back end of last week.
Now, when the coronavirus pandemic began, researchers at Johns Hopkins University forecast that Taiwan would be hit harder than anywhere in the
world, except Mainland China, but it defied that prediction.
Out of Taiwan's population of 23 million people, fewer than 500 have been diagnosed with the virus and only seven people lost their lives, even
though there was no total lockdown that we've seen elsewhere in the world. The secret to its success is fast and effective action.
CHATTERLEY: Authorities began screening people arriving from Wuhan on December 31st. In January, the export of mask was banned and local
production of protective equipment was stepped up.
By the end of the month, the framework for an effective case tracking system was also put in place. Wow.
Well, I'm pleased to say joining us is Audrey Tang, Taiwan's Digital Minister.
Minister Tang, fantastic to have you on the show. That's an incredible performance, I think, from Taiwan to put in protections for COVID faster I
think than anywhere else in the world.
Explain how what you suffered during SARS back in 2003 led you to a place where you could react so quickly.
AUDREY TANG, TAIWAN'S DIGITAL MINISTER: Certainly. Everyone above 30 years, and that includes me, remembers how bad SARS was. We had to
barricade an entire hospital, the Hoping Hospital and the municipal government and the central government was saying totally different things
and there no single source of truth.
Because of that, right after SARS, we decided that, at the time, 37 people dead is 37 people too many, so the Constitutional Court charged the
Parliament, saying that even though barricading an entire hospital unannounced was not entirely unconstitutional, we need to find a way within
our constitutional law limits to make sure that people do not suffer from the same invasion to freedoms when the next SARS comes.
So right after that, we've been doing yearly drills and that enabled us to start countering coronavirus last year, actually in December 31st, instead
of like in many other jurisdictions, which began only this year.
CHATTERLEY: You literally saw on Taiwan's equivalent of Reddit, the news agency site, you saw the alarm bells being rung by the Chinese doctor and
it was literally that that made you go, we're not waiting around, we're going to implement these measures.
TANG: Right. Exactly. Because it's uploaded by people in PTT, that's our equivalent of Reddit. When Dr. Li Wenliang, the PRC whistleblower said
there's seven new confirmed SARS cases, that rings an alarm bell to everyone and even though Dr. Li Wenliang eventually got inquiries from his
local police institutions, at the same time, our medical officers were escalating it right that day.
And so our medical officer immediately said, okay, the next day, which is the 1st of January, everyone flying in from Wuhan to Taiwan need to start
CHATTERLEY: I mean, you know, sitting here in the United States and just remembering what people around the world went through, if only we've been
able to react as quickly as Taiwan, then many lives would have been saved.
Minister Tang, just explain your contact tracing, because you mentioned you had to get around some privacy concerns, which obviously many other nations
are facing at the same time. How did you get around them and explain how your contact tracing works?
TANG: Right. We do contact tracing at the borders with a very strict time limited 14-day quarantine system. So, if you're a returning citizen, you
have two choices. You either go to a quarantine hotel where you're physically prevented from leaving for 14 days, or if you live in a
household with no vulnerable population, then you can choose home quarantine.
In which case your phone, or if you don't have a phone, we give you a phone, for 14 days, is put into what we call a digital fence. A digital
fence doesn't collect any new data. It's not an app. It doesn't need GPS signal. It's just cell phone tower strength from your local telecom
providers, which about have a 50 meter or so in urban areas perimeter.
If your phone leaves that perimeter or if it runs out of battery, it sends an SMS automatically to local hospital managers and police which will check
And if you keep that for 14 days, we pay you $33.00 a day for your work, as a stipend, but if you break the quarantine, that's a thousand times that as
CHATTERLEY: Wow. So, you get $33.00 a day for doing your part, but you get fined $33,000.00 if you break the rules?
CHATTERLEY: Wow. So, I'm assuming that people behaved.
TANG: Yes, because it's the rational thing to do, people know, because we have a single payer universal healthcare system, if they develop COVID or
COVID-like symptoms, the logical thing is to go to a nearby pharmacy and collect a medical mask, put on the mask, and go to your local clinic
because people know there will be no social or financial burden if you get to work with the contact tracers and put yourself in home quarantine or
There's nothing about the code share or nothing about the top down management or whatever, it's just that incentives are designed so that
people find it natural to work with the medical officers.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I mean, it sounds very logical. You also created, and I think this is also crucial, a mechanism, a platform where ordinary people
can speak to the government.
You wanted that connection, particularly when the virus hit for people to be able to talk directly to your Health Minister, for example, and to get
I want you to tell us a story about the boy that was upset about wearing a pink mask and being bullied.
TANG: Yes, when you receive your mask, you don't get to choose the color, and so when we started rationing the masks through your pharmacies, there
are certain districts that only get pink medical masks and there was a boy who refused to go to school because he said his classmates may laugh at him
for wearing pink.
And because we have this hotline called 1922, everybody can just pick up their phone and call that line and the pickup rate is around 90 percent.
And so, the next day, after people called, everybody in the C.E.C.C. daily press conference, you're seeing our Commander Chen Shih-Chung here of the
Central Epidemic Command Center started wearing pink medical mask, making sure that the social innovation, thus, gender mainstreaming is amplified
throughout the society.
So people are saying, oh, if I have a new idea, it becomes national policy. It gets amplified to a national audience within 24 hours.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and he became cool because he was now wearing the mask that all of the people that were fighting the virus.
TANG: That's right and everyone wanted this.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. I mean, I do like that. Talk to me about misinformation as well, because it has been a concern for Taiwan and you found a novel way
of tackling it.
TANG: So in Taiwan, because, of course it's a stressful time, people feel anxious, there's a lot of panic buying, conspiracy theories, too. And so
our counter disinformation strategy is very simple to remember. It's got humor over rumor.
The idea is that the rumor that says for example, we're ramping up facial mask production from two million a day to 20 million a day is the same
material, and I quote, "Because people it is the same material as tissue paper, we're going to run out of tissue paper," unquote. People just go out
and panic buy tissue papers.
So you see our Premiere -- Primiere Su Tseng-chang -- smiling happily here and then within two hours, we roll out the social media campaign where the
Premiere wiggles his bottom a little bit and then says in very large font, each of us only have one pair of buttocks, and a very clear table that
says, you know, the tissue paper came from some American materials, while the PPEs, the masks came from domestic materials.
So if you laugh about it, you cannot vaccinated. You cannot get outraged from the misinformation afterwards.
So because of that, the rumor died down within two days. We found the original people spreading it, they were prosecuted. They were tissue paper
CHATTERLEY: Humor over rumor. I am trying to make contact with people and make them understand what is to be believed and what isn't.
Mr. Tang, I also want to talk to you about the future for Taiwan, because I mentioned at the beginning of the interview, had Taiwan been part of the
World Health Organization, perhaps a conversation would have been had with other leaders around the world about what we were seeing and what we
Do you think the relationship between Taiwan and the rest of the world might evolve, particularly given the concerns over China's handling of
information at the beginning of this?
TANG: Definitely. If you check out this simple website called taiwancanhelp.us, you will see the timeline and you will see that the world
lost at least ten days, because Taiwan at that time was sounding the alarm essentially.
But through W.H.O., we only had very limited scientific access. Now, unless you happen to be a country where your Vice President is the author of the
textbook on Epidemiology, as in the case of Taiwan, at a time having scientific access is not the same as having Ministerial access.
And so, I think, right this year, a few days before the World Health Assembly, Taiwan organized our own virtual World Health Assembly video call
with 14 different jurisdictions, and I think was fruitful and will focus on providing help, not only donating the masks, but also the blueprints to
produce those masks in your own jurisdiction, as well as the scientific technologies and know-hows to make sure that everybody who want the PPEs
can get the PPEs from local domestic materials.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. It's fantastic. And I know you've been donating them as well around the world. Audrey Tang, Taiwan's Digital Minister, thank you so
much for joining us on the show, and stay in touch, please. Plenty more to discuss in the future. Thank you.
TANG: Thank you. Live long and prosper.
CHATTERLEY: Likewise. All right, the market opens next. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. U.S. stock markets are up and running again for this holiday shortened trading week, and as expected,
mostly higher open for stocks with tech. I have to say under a bit of relative pressure in early trading. Keeping an eye of course on the likes
of Facebook and Twitter with ad spending being suspended by many big companies over the weekend.
Boeing is also giving an early session boost to the Dow. The F.A.A. has approved test flights for the 737 MAX. Flights could begin as soon as
Meanwhile, lots on top this week, Fed Chair Jay Powell and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin testifying before Congress tomorrow on the Covid-19
economic response, so keep an eye out for more stimulus talk.
And on Thursday, we've got the U.S. its releasing its June Jobs Report. Paul La Monica joins me now.
Paul, I described it as a tug of war earlier on the show between the bounce back in some of the data from pretty low lows versus the concerns about
virus cases spiking, particularly in the United States, but also concerns elsewhere in the world as we see reopening. What does this mean for
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, I think investors, Julia, really are trying to figure out what will happen if there is a legitimate
second wave in the United States. Will you have the consumer de facto shut down the American economy, even if the government and big companies decide
that they're still going to try and soldier on and maybe enforce some more stringent social distancing measures, but not necessarily shut down the
economy the way we had in March.
I think that's going to be the key right now, and of course, as you point out, we've got those job numbers coming out later in the week and people, I
think people are hoping that we get a continued rebound in the U.S. economy with a decent jobs number, even though the unemployment rate will remain
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and we don't know what it's going to take to control the virus here, how much and to what extent those measures in terms of
reopening need suspending or adjusting and that could mean slower return of job, of course.
Paul, I want to ask you about Facebook and some of the other social media names when we've got big consumer companies, in particular like Coca-Cola,
Diageo pulling their spending from all of these platforms, not just Facebook. Do we see action, do you think?
LA MONICA: I think it's going to be fascinating to see whether or not Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg in particular, finally buckles under some of the
pressure of the growing calls to really curb hate speech on the social media platforms.
I think Twitter to its credit has done a little bit of a better job, even though it's still a lot of whack-a-mole regards to trying to stop the
spread of false information.
But, I think with Facebook, they really seem to be alienating a lot of people, particularly big advertisers now, by taking the stance that it's
not necessarily up to them to be how they view it maybe censoring opinions out there.
But I think the question right now, Julia is that, there's one thing about having opinion and a variety of different thoughts on Facebook and other
social media platforms. Misinformation, though, and hate speech, that's not opinion.
So I think Facebook really needs to do a better job of showing advertisers that they take this seriously and they are not going to be an outlet for
billions of people, given the amount of users they have, to see information that's flat-out wrong and hateful.
CHATTERLEY: You mention such a great point, and right now, users are going nowhere, which is also an important angle hereto.
Thanks to Paul La Monica there. Great to have you with us.
All right, for those searching for a coronavirus silver lining -- we like those if you will. Listen to the world's technology optimist who say the
virus will speed up digital change with benefits to our work, our education and our health.
Jeff Clarke is Michael Dell's right-hand man as Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. He is firmly in the optimist camp. He says of Dell's
160,000 employees, 90 percent transitioned to working from home virtually overnight.
The Dell portfolio goes way beyond hardware and digital infrastructure, security and Cloud computing and in Part 1 of our exclusive interview, Jeff
Clarke explained Dell's response to COVID-19.
JEFF CLARKE, VICE CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, DELL TECHNOLOGIES: Well, I'll tell you, the last hundred-plus days has been a very fascinating
time. I think we've seen the human character really evolve here where we've become much more adapted to this environment. It has become the new norm.
And for us, for me in in particular and I'll share my experiences, I'm more connected with the workforce, our team members, our suppliers, our
partners, our customers, than I've ever been before. And I can do that without obviously traveling and I can be in a meeting with a customer in
the morning in Europe, I can be with a partner in the late afternoon in Asia, and with my team across the globe in between, and it's been just a
We've seen productivity in our work environment, which many would think perhaps it suffered -- just the opposite. Productivity has increased. When
I think about the innovation engine inside our company, the core of what we do building products and services, it's really accelerated through this and
we have just finished a really exciting cycle for us, nine launches in the last nine weeks, all done virtually. Unheard of four months ago and that's
what we're doing today.
CHATTERLEY: You wrote a blog and you make a fascinating observation, which is you believe up to half of workforces that can will remain remote even
CLARKE: I think that's exactly right. Our experience with Dell has been doing what we call Connected Workplace, which is our remote working for
over a decade now.
And pre-pandemic, we had roughly 25 percent of our workforce working remote in some form or fashion. I easily believe when we come out of this
pandemic, we'll be in excess of 50 percent.
Probably more important is the research we've done with our customers along the journey over the past four months and that research suggests we'll see
a 20-point uplift in small business, medium business, and large multinational businesses across all sectors of an uplift in their knowledge
workers working from home.
So, this new normal is the normal of the future. And it's bringing, I think, some exciting opportunities in terms of how we operate, how we
innovate, how we collaborate and how we work with one another, and technology is at the center of that.
CHATTERLEY: One of the things that you observe and I think this ties directly to this, is that when you're remote and when your workers are
remote, suddenly the talent pool that you have access to becomes global.
CLARKE: Exactly. The way we look at it is proximity to a site or a location is not a requirement anymore. And as soon as that happens, your
ability to look at the talent pool across the globe, I think, just -- it accelerates and allows you to have access to talent pools that perhaps
didn't want to move to one of your sites.
CLARKE: People are very comfortable where they live. I think one of the opportunities this is going to bring is people will be able to live in more
affordable places. Technology will allow them to enter our four walls virtually, which ultimately will give us access to more diverse talent in
CHATTERLEY: You have talked about a lot of the positive aspects here, but there's a huge downside here and that is a widening digital divide.
Those that have access and those that benefit from these technologies will continue to benefit and those that don't get further left behind. How do we
make sure that that digital divide doesn't widen as a result of what we've seen over the past three months?
CLARKE: The answer is we can't let that happen. What COVID-19 I think has demonstrated is how wide that gap is, and we have to work across government
and business to change that dynamic.
I think the work that we have to do is around how do we get access, how do we provide rural broadband to underserved communities, rural communities,
equalizing or leveling the playing field, if you will, of that access to technology. And that's going to be key to success going forward.
And I think about the opportunities, 5G is a perfect example of a technology that can be a great equalizer. We can provide that broadband and
connectivity to these rural communities and underserved communities and really have the bandwidth required to work in this modern world.
CHATTERLEY: So, we're hearing how Dell adapted to the pandemic. Vice Chairman Jeff Clarke also spoke about what is around the corner for the
rest of us during this digital decade.
CLARKE: The digitization of our world is rapidly accelerating. We see a faster movement to what we call the Fourth Industrial Revolution where we
have a data-driven world. We'll see automation. We'll see the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to build smart machines.
Autonomous cities, autonomous factories, autonomous hospitals, thinking of smart cities, smart hospitals, smart factories -- all of this is rapidly
going to develop in the next decade, and what you're going to see in my humble opinion is those companies who are embracing this and embraced it
early are going to have distinct advantages and are going to see a lot of catch-up.
CHATTERLEY: What do you see is the biggest risk here? Is it the virus and controlling the virus? Or clearly, it's tough to separate them, the
economic challenge of reopening safely and salvaging and supporting economic recovery.
CLARKE: I think the biggest challenge in the near term with the world's scientists all working on this, the best minds, is getting a vaccine in
place; getting a vaccine developed, getting it through the trials and then being able to distribute it at scale.
I think that's the biggest challenge for society in general, and then coming out of that, I think we have to work on the equities that are front
and center on our system today. That has to be something that just can't be a COVID-19 and tied to that, it's got to be long-term systemic changes.
And then from a business point of view, this notion of rapidly digitizing our world and looking at the good that could come out of this. I think we
have an opportunity to really democratize how education is provided and how online education can provide, and maybe the great equalizer, equal access
to quality education across the globe.
I think we're going to see new evolution in Medicine, whether it's preventive care or telemedicine and providing quality healthcare with
better outcomes at lower costs to all. I think those are the real big opportunities as we look downfield, if you will, of what good can come out
of this and what will accelerate out of this.
CHATTERLEY: All right, we're going to take a quick break here on FIRST MOVE. But coming up, where Dell stands on diversity. That's next. Don't go
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. Dell's stock has already rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, like many of the Big Tech giants, the firm has also
taken measures to reduce costs, including some pay and pension freezes, though Jeff Clarke wouldn't be drawn on reports that Dell might be looking
to reduce debts by selling its $50 billion stake in Cloud software brand, VMWare.
CLARKE: We don't comment on a rumor and speculation. I can tell you our strategy is unchanged. Our strategy is focused on winning in the
consolidation of the core markets we serve and innovating and integrating across the Dell Technologies family of companies to build differentiated
and unique solutions for our customers in this data decade that's well under way.
CHATTERLEY: It is a time when companies are looking though are looking at the strength of their balance sheets, their debt profile at this moment,
their investment outlook as well given the uncertainties.
Are you comfortable with where the company lies at this moment on all of those things?
CLARKE: Yes, ma'am, we've taken a series of actions through the first part of the year to strengthen our balance sheet. Our capital markets folks have
gone out and done all the things that you would expect us to do in this marketplace, and the business is a good business to be in.
As I mentioned, as a technology optimist, technology is key to the economic recovery. It's never been more important and we're in the right sector.
CHATTERLEY: Some of those adjustments as well though have meant changes for pension contributions, for workers, too. Is that for the foreseeable
future and when do you plan, if not, to perhaps readjust or rethink on those things?
CLARKE: Well, we've made a number of decisions through the year to stabilize the company, put it on strong foundation. Those range from not
hiring to not backfilling head count. We've made a few decisions around the 401(k) that you're referencing.
At the current time, our thinking is they remain intact for the remainder of the year.
CHATTERLEY: Like many big corporations, Dell has been doing soul searching when it comes to workplace diversity. Jeff told me they're willing to
answer some difficult questions and Michael Dell, who called George Floyd's murder an atrocity is driving Dell's diversity conversation.
CLARKE: Michael has been a wonderful catalyst for this as we have a reference of what we call Standing Strong Together, which is an opportunity
of getting our team together. We are doing what we think we need to do in this situation, which is to listen. Having those uncomfortable
conversations that perhaps didn't exist before, we are now having those on a consistent basis.
And the standing strong together really is about a program where we create a rich and inclusive community for all team members and we want a diverse
workforce who can be their very best at Dell and that's what we strive to do.
We've made a lot of progress over the past two decades doing that. We'll make progress tomorrow. We're not done. Next week, next quarter, and so on.
Another component of that is providing access to technology in the communities that we operate in, providing the skills required to come into
our company and how do we really help communities encourage S.T.E.M. Education, and allowing people to be prepared or enabling people to be
prepared for much of what we talked about today, this new digital world that we operate in.
CHATTERLEY: Time for uncomfortable conversations. All right, after the break, we turn from big business to the survival battle being fought by
many far smaller ones. We're off to Mexico next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to the show. Latin America is seeing a huge spike in coronavirus cases, with Mexico reporting more than 4,000 new infections
on Sunday alone.
It's a worry as businesses reopen and as Matt Rivers reports, some won't come back at all.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Lines out the door usually mean a business is thriving, except this one, the A Traves Del
Espejo Bookstore in Mexico City, is dying.
Owner Selda Hernandez says the truth is, we're really sad. Her mom first opened the shop back in '95 and for 25 years, it survived earthquakes and
recessions and Amazon, Kindles, but the pandemic proved too much when the government shut down the economy.
"It's a bookstore," she says, "We don't make a lot of money normally, and then we had to close, which means we couldn't pay rent, so the owner asked
us to leave."
Her story is as tragic as anything you would find on her shelves, but amongst small business in this city, it is a familiar narrative. One local
Chamber of Commerce estimates of the roughly 400,000 small businesses here, some 40 percent won't survive, forcing more than one million people out of
RIVERS (voice over): A short walk from the bookstore, keeping people employed and the neighborhood well fed has turned into a mantra of sorts at
Expendio de Maiz. They have managed to stay open during the crisis -- just.
Chef Ana Gonzalez says, "I see so many places closed and I just feel fortunate I still have work right now."
Sales are way down and they've all taken big pay cuts, and even as the economy is starting to reopen, they're not sure what that looks like. "Day
by day, people have less money," says co-owner, Jesus Tornez, "Even if they open everything, if there's no demand, it won't matter. This year is
But they know it's rough for everyone and good food helps, so they're determined to try and see it through. A good book can also help, which is
why Selda slashed and people were invited in one last time. She says the closing doesn't feel real.
"I am happy so see so many people coming to say good-bye," she says. It's a nice tribute because my mom loved for books to be cheap and accessible to
Her mom's chosen name for the shop means A Traves Del Espejo means "through the looking glass" a literary reference to an imagined world. It's an apt
name these days with the real world so different than it was before.
Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.
CHATTERLEY: Through the looking glass. All right, that's it for the show. I'm Julia Chatterley. Stay safe and I'll see you tomorrow.