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First Move with Julia Chatterley

Biden Administration Seeks Bipartisan Support For COVID Relief; CNN Returns To Wuhan One Year After First Lockdown; Joe Biden To Boost Buy American Rules In Manufacturing. Aired 9:15-10a ET

Aired January 25, 2021 - 09:15   ET




JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And an especially warm -- particularly given it was slightly belated welcome to our First Movers

around the globe as we embark on a busy week for both Wall Street and for Washington.

The science and the stimulus as we often call it, in focus. President Biden announcing his long-promised buy America plan today looking to boost

government spending on U.S.-made goods. President Biden's economic push already facing pushback from Congress to limit his $1.9 trillion emergency

aid bill.

Senators demanded a more targeted approach during a call with the White House yesterday, the problem is of course, the dingy vaccine rollout, the

need to extend and spread mitigation efforts and the new variants of the virus all slow the recovery and added to the uncertainty here.

More aid will be needed eventually, it's just a question of when rather than if. Slow growth fears that slowed the rally in value and economic

reopening stocks. Pandemic winners meanwhile like tech remain king, up five percent so far this month and sitting at record levels.

That also means lofty earnings expectations. Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Tesla all reporting this week. Something to watch. That tech optimism,

though, extending to Asia, too.

The Hang Seng closing above 30,000 for the first time in almost two years with Tencent rising 10 percent, also at fresh records. Tencent also

approaching a $1 trillion market valuation. Wow.

Chinese shares up more than four percent this year, too. China in fact, now the number one destination for foreign direct investment surpassing the

United States as inward investment there fell by more a half. Just add that to a list of Biden's business battles.

All right, let's get to the drivers. President Biden is starting his first full week in office looking to win bipartisan support for his $1.9 trillion

COVID relief package, but the chances of finding a compromise complicated by another development in Washington over the coming hours when the House

initiates the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump.

Christine Romans joins me now. Christine, that's a question we can't answer at this moment. But we can talk about, stimulus, and we can talk about the

"Buy American" Plan. Taking a leaf, it seems, a little one perhaps from President Trump's playbook here. What should we expect?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: This is going to be a tightening up of some loopholes that are already in these Made in

America provisions and the "Buy American" provisions in the United States.

And I guess, you can look back on the "Buy American" provisions after the Great Recession under the Obama administration for a framework here. At

least that's what a lot of our global partners are hoping for because they don't want to be shut out and they have some pretty intricate and

integrated supply chains here.

So this is essentially tightening it up so that loopholes cannot be used to avoid buying America when it is the most appropriate route here for

government contracts. It is also putting some new personnel in place and finding ways to connect domestic sources in the U.S. too, to government

contracts where there's a question.

CHATTERLEY: International trade partners who have been wary of relations for the last four years will be watching this very closely, I think. Let's

talk about the stimulus plan as well.

It's interesting to see some of the pushback that we've seen over the size of the bill, where that spending is going to go. But Senator Mitt Romney

took a different tack in the last 24 hours as well over what he sees in terms of vulnerabilities of excess spending by the United States.

Let me just play it for our viewers and get your take.


SEN. MITT ROMNEY (R-UT): I think people recognize it's important that we don't borrow hundreds of billions, actually trillions of dollars from the

Chinese for things that may not be absolutely necessary. This is a time for us to act with prudence and care, and that's why -- by the way, why we have

two parties, why we have people looking at one another and making sure there's not some kind of excess that would be not good long term for the

American people.


CHATTERLEY: Christine, what do you make of that?

ROMANS: Well, where was the human cry about borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars from the Chinese when they were giving tax cuts to big American

corporations that in turn had so many extra money they didn't know what to do with it they gave it back to their shareholders?

No, no, no, there is a four-alarm fire in the American economy at the moment. This is a healthcare crisis. An economy that has essentially just

stopped here and we need income replacement and life support really heading into the summer until we have the vaccines take hold.


ROMANS: So this is not the normal time when you worry about borrowing money from the Chinese. This is a time when you worry about making sure you've

got borrowing at these very low interest rates to fix the economy.

I'll tell you something. The word targeted is something I've heard so much over the past week or so and moderate Democrats and Republicans alike are

worried about targeting the spending. That is fine.

But we have to remember there are 15 million people getting some sort of jobless check. We're down 10 million jobs since the crisis began in March.

You have food pantries that are empty and you have kids, millions of kids who are hungry, millions of children who are hungry, because they're not

getting fed in school, something that the Biden administration is trying to attack with executive orders. But there's a real crisis here.

Just because the stock market is at records, hello, inside the Beltway, the stock market is at records, but the American people are really -- you know,

it's a real tragic moment here, quite frankly.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's okay to worry about this bill being jam packed or stuffed with things that aren't COVID related, quite frankly. But that was

an interesting argument to me. That vulnerability has long existed and selling those Treasuries too is a vulnerability for China as well, if they

lose value.

ROMANS: Yes. Yes. No, it's a great -- look, it is a great academic debate. And it's a debate you and I have had for years. I mean --


ROMANS: I mean, normal people are deficit hawks by nature, you know, but not in the middle of a crisis. I mean, this is not the time to be worried

about the Chinese owning our debt.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. We agree, as always. Christine Romans, thank you for that.

All right, so on Sunday, online retailer, Amazon joined the U.S. vaccination drive; 2,000 people received their first dose at an Amazon pop-

up center in Seattle, but the company has offered to do more. It wants to help the Biden administration to speed up vaccine distribution nationwide.

Joining us now, Jay Carney, Amazon's Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs. He also served as the White House Press Secretary under

President Obama.

Jay, always fantastic to have you on the show. Talk to me about the success of the pop up event and then any challenges that were faced?

JAY CARNEY, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL CORPORATE AFFAIRS, AMAZON: Sure. Well, we were really pleased with what happened yesterday. We

partnered with Virginia Mason, a healthcare transformer provider in Seattle and set up -- provided the space and the logistics to set up a pop up

vaccination event.

Our goal was to see 2,000 Seattleites vaccinated. We had 2,400. It ran about eight hours, a little more, and we're very excited to be

participating in Washington State with the Governor there, Jay Inslee, in his drive to hit a cadence of 45,000 vaccinations per day.

And as you mentioned earlier, we've reached out to the new administration here in Washington, D.C., offering whatever help we can provide and we're

open to ideas for that as they set out to achieve their goal set by President Biden to see 100 million vaccinations done in 100 days.

CHATTERLEY: It's also great practice, I guess, for when you begin and are able to do mass vaccinations at your own fulfillment sites, as you pointed

out in that letter as well. Look, you have frontline workers, essential workers that in many cases have kept us fed and given supplies over the

last few months.

Talk to us about your progress on that front, and have you heard anything from the administration about clarifying when those workers can be


CARNEY: Sure, so we, back in December with the Trump administration had written -- Dave Clark, our worldwide CEO of Consumer, he wrote a letter,

reached out to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which is the Federal Committee that gives recommendations to around prioritization

for immunizations and vaccinations.

And in other outreach to the Trump administration, we were told that we should go to the states who have jurisdiction and offer assistance there,

which we did. We ended up writing letters, a few days later in December, 44 Governors, because they are in the jurisdiction where we have a

preponderance of employees.

So we have, as you know, you know, the vast majority of 800,000 employees here in United States, our frontline workers, they're in our distribution

centers and our fulfillment centers, and they get those goods to folks around the country who need them in a way that's safe for our customers and

we've done everything we can to ensure that our employees are safe.

We have the ability because of our scale and the size of our facilities, the ability to vaccinate on site huge numbers of people, which obviously,

both governors, mayors of major cities, as well as President Biden want to do. They want to speed up the process of getting the vaccinations in place.


CARNEY: And once at the appropriate time in the different jurisdictions for essential workers to be vaccinated, we are absolutely eager to help. We run

programs in all our fulfillment centers as it is for annual flu shots, so we have a lot of experience in administering shots on site.

And once vaccinations are available for essential workers, we're eager to get as many of our frontline employees vaccinated as possible.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, but you can help the public, too, and I guess this is the point, Jay. Do you think that it's going to be more efficient, more

effective under this administration than what you just described under the last one where you're having to go to individual states and talk around the

subject, and it surely needs to be more centralized? Focused?

CARNEY: Well, I personally believe that I think that having a Federal plan is essential for something of this scale. It's true that the states and in

some cases, the municipalities have the jurisdiction around setting priorities for vaccination, but there's nothing like when you have a

national crisis, and in this case, an international crisis, you know, Federal government guidance and administration.

I'm very confident having worked with him that Jeff Zients, whom President Biden put in charge of this effort will be able to wrestle the complexities

to the ground, and, you know, get the country moving in the right direction, when it comes to getting the vaccination rolled out.

Of course, it's not an easy task and we're eager to help where we can. We're one company, but we are the second largest employer in the United

States. And we're open to any suggestion.

We wrote that letter or my colleague wrote the letter to the new President. We've engaged with the administration already, and even during the

transition, we talked to their Advisory Council on COVID-19 and we're open to assisting in any way we can.

We have facilities we can provide for vaccinations. We have logistic capacities, obviously, that we can provide. We have IT capacity, machine

learning and other ways that can help track, you know, methods that can help track vaccination progress to ensure that we're doing efficiently.

So, you know, we're just trying to help. You know, other companies are doing the same thing and it really needs to be a collective effort.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, I want to -- because I follow your Twitter handle quite closely and I noticed that you tweeted about the $15.00 minimum wage and

it's something that Amazon introduced back in 2018. And your point was, look, you'd be very glad to see other big companies in the United States,

introducing a $15.00 minimum wage.

What do you think the likelihood is of that? Because obviously, the President started small, it's at the Federal level, it's laying the path

rather than being able to do it specifically and enact it from day one. Jay, how likely is it that we see a $15.00 minimum wage?

CARNEY: Well, you need -- sure, Julia, you need congressional action to raise the federal minimum wage.

CHATTERLEY: Of course, you do.

CARNEY: Which is challenging in any circumstance that hasn't been done since 2009 and it needs to be raised, we fully believe it. And we're eager

to help and talk about our experience, which has been extremely positive in raising our minimum around, you know, for our hourly workers to $15.00.

And we, of course, are aware that if the Federal minimum gets raised, that's going to raise all hourly wages, and that will mean a boost for our

employees as well. So I think, hopefully, in this time of economic challenge, Congress will take up the $15.00 minimum bills that are pending,

and act on them.

They can phase it in and not have it be all at once, which is what we did. But obviously this is a complex situation, the regions of the country are

different. And they can phase it in, and if they do, I think that the economic studies that I've read, if it's done appropriately, it has a huge

amount of positive upside, obviously, for lower income employees. It helps with the wage gap and the equity gap.

But it also does not have a negative impact on job creation if it's done and administered appropriately. So we're eager to help on that as well.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, Jay, great to have you with us. As always, Jay Carney, Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs at Amazon, always great

to chat with you, sir. Thank you.

CARNEY: Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: All right, the market opens next. Stay with us.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. U.S. stocks are up and running on the first trading day of the week and it's a pretty mixed open but tech,

rising to fresh records. Lots of talk about a wave of bullish tech bets in the options market that's helped fuel the NASDAQ's advance to record highs.

Goldman is warning that it is seeing signs of quote, "unsustainable excess" in parts of the U.S. market. Some people have been talking about that for a

long time. In the meantime, Moderna shares are higher in early trading. It says its vaccines appear to protect against the new COVID variants, but it

says it's working on a booster shot for the South African variant in case it's needed. So good news from Moderna this morning.

And one year has passed since Wuhan, China, the original epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak entered the world's first COVID lockdown. CNN has

revisited the city to see just how things have changed. David Culver joins us live.

David, I don't think I'll ever forget seeing you in Wuhan in the beginning and running, trying to leave, being stuck and quarantining. What is it like

one year on?

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're right and strange to think 12 months, Julia, has passed. We've been having this conversation about the

past 12 months and looking at what has been several stages of life.

You know, we've gone from that adrenaline rush that you described in leaving. And for the people of Wuhan likewise was an adrenaline fueled by

uncertainty, mystery, the unknown that then turned into a crippling lockdown that lasted 76 days. That ended up in fatigue, but seemed to be

effective, brought life back to near normal.

But that was for the back half of the year. And here we are as we mark one year, one thing that was evident for us as we went back into Wuhan is that

for many of the folks there, it's still starting to process for them. This is when they're coming to the realization of what the past year has been



CULVER (voice over): It is a city whose name evokes mystery, allegations of cover up and agony. Wuhan, China.

CNN returning to this: the original epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. On January 23rd, 2020, this metropolis of more than 11 million residents

locked down. We left hours before beginning a two-week quarantine in Beijing. For 76 days, Wuhan remained sealed off.

CULVER (on camera): And here we are again back one year later. The Huanan Seafood Market, this at one point was believed to have been by Chinese

authorities, the Ground Zero of this outbreak.


CULVER (voice over): This time last year, security had ushered us away within minutes of reporting.

CULVER (on camera): Now, January 2021, no security here. We've been walking around for several minutes. They don't seem to care.

CULVER (voice over): That was until we started looking inside. We noticed some people working behind the gate. Suddenly, a seemingly random passerby

on a bike shouted at us saying, "Don't be sneaky." He later identified himself vaguely as working for the government. He told us to walk around

and try the entrance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in foreign language).

CULVER (on camera): We can go in?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can go in. That way?

CULVER: He said, apparently, we can go in, so let's see if we can actually get inside the market. I'm going to ask this guy. Can you go in? You can't

go inside? Oh, tell him we have a COVID test and negative COVID test. Okay, no pictures. So clearly a bit sensitive. Perhaps it's because we're

foreigners or because we're journalists.

CULVER (voice over): The virus's origin has become highly politicized. U.S. officials accusing China of covering up and allowing the virus to spread,

China defensive, saying the Trump administration was deflecting blame for its own mishandling.

A team from the W.H.O. is now in Wuhan tasked with trying to find out the truth, and yet, geopolitics aside the human suffering, it is universal.

Yang Min spoke with us knowing she could face pressures from officials. But a mother who has lost her only daughter has no more to lose.

CULVER (on camera): When I sat down you thanked me for getting the truth out. What is the truth as you know it?

The local officials did not tell us about the pandemic, she said. If measures were taken, I would not have sent my child to the hospital, which

was the source of the infection. Last January, Yang's 24 year old daughter had been receiving treatment for cancer. She contracted COVID-19 and died

in early February.

When I speak about this, some parts of my heart still aches, she said.

Amidst the deep pain, we also encountered moments of hope in our return. On the eve of the lockdown last year, we visited this fruit market. This woman

selling sugar cane told me at the time that she was terrified. She stayed fearing the financial burden.

Twelve months later, we met again. At that time I was crying all the time, she told me. We were suffering and scared. Above her face mask, the pain

still visible in her eyes. She says the people of Wuhan are resilient, likening them to heroes.

CULVER (on camera): I'm so glad to see you in person and to know that you made it through the lockdown and you're healthy.

CULVER (voice over): The market mood were markedly different from last year, business bustling, people much more at ease.

CULVER (on camera): Would you say Wuhan is back open and on the path to recovery?

It's not just starting from now, he says. It started very early to be honest. In my opinion, Wuhan had already begun to recover since mid to late


CULVER (voice over): Delivery driver Lao Xi has become well known on Chinese social media as he chronicled life during the lockdown. The then

and now are striking, a city desolate amidst the lockdown followed by a summer with packed pool party images that shocked a socially distanced

world outside of China, and a New Year celebration that brought Wuhan residents shoulder to shoulder.

Though with new cluster outbreaks in the north of China, many here in Wuhan once again wearing face masks, cautious of the lingering unknowns, and

still surrounded by the haunting memories of a lockdown that kept millions of residents along with their grief sealed inside.

For some, only now, 12 months later, it is just beginning to surface.


CULVER: And Julia, we know the pandemic has become a highly politicized thing in many ways and geopolitics aside because as you and I have talked

about many times, it's become in a generalized way, China versus the U.S., a lot of blame going around. I think what this visit back brought to us was

the realization that there is a very real human suffering that is still taking place and is not likely to heal anytime soon.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's such an important point, David. For all the economic recovery in terms of numbers and the different handling of it, to your

point, the suffering continues.

CULVER: Right.

CHATTERLEY: David Culver, brilliant work. Thank you, as always.

You're watching FIRST MOVE. More to come.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. The new U.S. President set to sign an Executive Order today to boost buy American rules in manufacturing. Some

fear Joe Biden's focus on domestic recovery by supporting American products could pose a challenge for foreign brands such as Suntory, it is one of

Japan's largest alcohol and beverage and consumer products firms best known for its whiskies, perhaps, including Jim Beam. The company owns and

distributes in multiple international brands.

Joining us now from Tokyo is the CEO of Suntory, Takeshi Niinami. He is also Economic Adviser to the Japanese Prime Minister. Sir, always fantastic

to have you on the show. How closely are you watching the announcements from the new Biden administration, particularly as far as foreign trade

relationships are concerned?

TAKESHI NIINAMI, CEO, SUNTORY: Well, we've been studying so hard as for the trade policies, and as for the products produced in the United States to

like the U.S. relation and the E.U., which is really in trouble, as a matter of fact, it is like, it is in a hard relation like tariff war. But

we are hopeful that someday somehow that will be solved by the strong initiative of President Biden.

CHATTERLEY: So you have confidence --

NIINAMI: So we are closer today.

CHATTERLEY: A reset in relations, you're confident that we'll see a reset?

NIINAMI: I think so. It's not worse than now created by President Trump.

CHATTERLEY: I want to talk to about what you're seeing in Japan as well, as we wait for that to play out. You said to us the last time you were on the

show that the first quarter of this year, sort of December, January, February was going to be incredibly tough for everyone. We've obviously got

areas now in Japan under the second lockdown. Just what are you seeing there?

NIINAMI: The new restriction on bars and restaurants is a hardship law, and I see so many irregular workers who are leaving businesses, which means

they became jobless and they are under the relief package from the government, but they need more.

And of course, we see more companies in the service sector losing businesses, so as I expected, the first quarter will be so hard for them

and for us as well. People losing jobs who do not have hope towards the future, when this situation will be better, and when they can find jobs. So

that's a critical issue for the economy.


CHATTERLEY: As you've said, more support is needed despite what's already been given. I'm sure that's the message that you're giving to the Prime

Minister, too. How confident are you that more support is coming?

NIINAMI: Yes, the current Congress, which we call Diet is now discussing how to support. I believe more support will be provided to the people. The

key thing is to decide about how to implement by the government with agility.

So money is ready, but it should be spent through bureaucratic processes. So the government has to be in a hurry to support people in need.

CHATTERLEY: That's one part of tackling COVID, another is testing, tracing, vaccine rollouts. In the last week or so though, there have been concerns

and rumors that given the situation in Japan, it's simply not going to be possible to hold the Olympics later this year. What's your own view based

on what you're seeing? Do you think it's a huge risk to bring athletes, people from other nations at this moment to Japan?

NIINAMI: Yes, well, our government is making every effort. I believe that should work. But there are two key things, one, further -- these are

testing and stringent quarantine to capture asymptomatic patients and that should be done ASAP. And second, everybody should wear the application to

trace our contacts.

So those are things that should be good policies so that we can welcome players to the Olympics. So I'm talking to the government to implement

those policies ASAP. If they are successful in managing asymptomatic patients, I think there's a clue so that we can organize and we can host

the Olympics, but that there's a very small chance at this moment. We'll see. And the vaccine will follow of the two policies.

CHATTERLEY: There just doesn't seem to be enough time to do all of that and get enough confidence in order to be able to hold these. When do you think

a decision will be made whether to scale back and hold some form of Olympics or just decide not to do it?

NIINAMI: I think that towards March, I mean, the end of March. So that is I think the right timing, because we will see, vaccination will start or not.

The schedule, rough schedule has been announced, but it's not fixed yet.

So toward the end of March, is I think the right time for the government and IOC to decide whether we should go or no go.

CHATTERLEY: I want to wrap up by talking about your business. As we said it's a very challenging time. But you do have a huge and international

business as well. What are you thinking at this moment, as we look ahead to 2021 in terms of investment growth opportunity? How are you framing it?

NIINAMI: Well, I think that from summer, this summer, I think that the strong accumulated pent up demand will, you know erupt to boost the

consumption in the world. So I'm so optimistic about the second half of this year.

So people want to buy, you know, drinks and people want to dine out. So that's their humankind's nature. So I think that that will show the strong

demand to our products and, you know, consumer products. So that is really important for us to leverage the pent up demand.

So in doing so, our consumers will be asking for innovative products and premium products, so we will be ready for it.

CHATTERLEY: We're social creatures, we want to get back out there. So I hope that your optimism about the second half of this year is true. You've

told us in the past that some of the most interesting areas: India, Southeast Asia, China for you, is that still the case? And is that perhaps

where you're looking?

NIINAMI: Yes, sir. Vaccinations are already happening in those countries, too.


NIINAMI: I'd say you know, growing consensus that they will get the support from China, but it is good enough, but I think people are getting kind of

relieved from vaccines provided by China and India has a stronger demand to whiskey and spirits and drinks.


NIINAMI: And so Asia is a center, still a center of growth in the world. And we will put more resources to Asian countries including China and


CHATTERLEY: Yes, consumption and investment opportunities where we see the speediest vaccine rollout and control of the virus, which makes sense. Sir,

fantastic to have you on the show, as always. Thank you for giving us your thoughts and insights.

NIINAMI: Thank you. Good to see you, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: The CEO of Suntory there. Sir, thank you.

You're watching FIRST MOVE. More to come.


CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to the show. Digitalization is having a transformative impact on the travel industry and that's only been

accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

And one of the world's largest tourist hubs, Dubai, one startup is using the latest technologies to make exploring cities more autonomous but also

more personalized. Anna Stewart has the story.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice over): Digital tour guides fully personalized itineraries and vlogging. Travel is becoming digitized and

Dubai based tech entrepreneur Fabian Dagostin is seeing a gap in the market.

FABIAN DAGOSTIN, FOUNDER, STREET LIFE: The next big idea in the travel industry is autonomous travel, to be able to plan, book and navigate travel


STEWART (voice over): Spurred on by the global pandemic, individual and small group travel is becoming more popular. Dagostin believes tourists are

looking for tailored and authentic experiences. He has developed Street Life, an app that allows users to create their entire trip on their phones.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi everyone. I'm Zara.

STEWART (voice over): Local vloggers and Instagram influences like Zara Amira can feed high quality digital tools of unexplored shops and public

places showing their local experiences.

Users can watch and choose the places they want to visit, creating a customized itinerary before starting their physical journey.

DAGOSTIN: They have to imagine it like a TikTok for travel where you can swipe up and down between different tours, bookmark the places you like,

create your own tours and book Kareens and Ubers to be able to get from one place to the next.

STEWART (voice over): Digital tools such as virtual reality, AI and algorithms are increasingly being adopted in the travel industry. This tech

will add up to $305 billion of value to the travel industry by 2025, according to research by the World Economic Forum.

The pandemic is forcing cities to showcase their landmarks through virtual tools and interactive experiences. But Dagostin believes advances in

technology will complement the physical travel experience.

DAGOSTIN: Always, we will have to have the physical experience. So we're building the technology to fully personalize it.


STEWART (voice over): His ambitions go beyond Dubai. Street Life will launch shortly in Zurich and Berlin, and as more travel restrictions will

be lifted, Dagostin has plans to expand to other locations.

Combining technology with physical travel, Dagostin's Street Life is aiming to become the digital go-to for autonomous, personalized and seamless


Anna Stewart, CNN.


CHATTERLEY: Just incredible, but I cannot wait to get on a plane and travel again. That's it for the show. Thank you for watching. I'm Julia

Chatterley. Stay safe and FIRST MOVE will be back tomorrow.