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First Move with Julia Chatterley
India Faces Oxygen Shortages and Mass Burials as Virus Cases Surge; Japan Announcing Lockdown Measures for a Quarter of its Population; Fears of a U.S. Capital Gains Tax Increase Spooks Global Investors. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired April 23, 2021 - 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 am Julia Chatterley. This is FIRST MOVE and here is your need to know.
COVID crisis. India faces oxygen shortages and mass burials as virus cases surge.
City closures. Japan announcing lockdown measures for a quarter of its population.
Tax tumble. Fears of a U.S. capital gains tax increase spooks global investors.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mission. And lift off.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Copy, one alpha.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Endeavor launches once again. Four astronauts from three --
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CHATTERLEY: The X factor. SpaceX and NASA celebrate another successful launch.
It's Friday, let's make a move.
A warm welcome once again to FIRST MOVE for the final time this week. It is great to be with you as always.
On today's program, though, a closer look inside the worsening humanitarian crisis unfolding in India. The government's principal scientific adviser
and the co-chair of its COVID taskforce joins us to discuss what more must be done as the nation fights to save lives.
Also coming up on the show, the E.U.'s Executive President for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager on the promise and perils of artificial
intelligence and the status too of ongoing probes into Big Tech. Now, Big Tech is set to bounce a little after yesterday's across the board Wall
Street pullback fueled, as I mentioned there, by reports that the Biden administration is considering steep capital gains tax hikes that led to
stock price yikes and a one percent pullback for the majors as you can see.
CHATTERLEY: The taxing turbulence also creeping into crypto. Bitcoin falling below $50,000.00 and headed for its worst week this year.
European investors meanwhile paring back risk this Friday, too, despite great data from the European factory sector operating at its strongest pace
in decades. The services sector back in growth mode, too.
In the meantime, as Asian factory also looking good if you remember this month, but again, the recovery uneven.
Japan declaring a state of emergency in four prefectures including Tokyo; and as I mentioned in India, more than 330,000 new COVID cases in were
recorded in the country today, a new global record and an additional 2,200 lives lost.
Just to give you some perspective on this, the population of Iceland is 340,000 people. We are basically talking about the entire population of
Iceland getting sick every day in India, and that's where we begin the drivers.
Anna Coren has the latest on the desperate situation in India.
ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Twenty-two-year- old Vishwaroop Sharma believes he is living in hell. Three days ago he drove his critically ill father who contracted COVID to a Delhi hospital
and pleaded for help.
With no beds, no oxygen, they were forced to wait outside. Sharma rubbing his father's back trying to offer reassuring words, but no help came.
VISHWAROOP SHARMA, FATHER DIED OF COVID-19: He knew he was going to die. He was saying, I won't be able to breathe. I need something. I need more
medicines, but nothing is provided to him, and he died in front of me, on my hands.
COREN (voice over): Sharma told CNN he returned home to find his mother, now a widow, struggling to breathe. She too had contracted the deadly
With the help of friends, he purchases an oxygen cylinder on the black market and for the next few days, he drives from hospital to hospital with
his mother in the back seat breathing through an oxygen mask.
Finally, he finds an available bed at a hospital 100 kilometers away.
SHARMA: She was consoling me, that don't be worried, I'll be back, I'll be back. Don't worry. If God is with us, I'll be back.
COREN (voice over): India is facing a second wave that's turned into a tsunami catching the nation's government completely off guard that failed
to stockpile or prepare for this moment.
DR. SRINATH REDDY, PRESIDENT, PUBLIC HEALTH FOUNDATION OF INDIA: Given the number of infections that we already have and the people that might have
already infected, I do not expect the case count to go down before three of our weeks and the death count to go down until at least two to three weeks
COREN: Hospitals are at breaking point with an acute shortage of beds and oxygen.
The capital, Delhi has less than half the required oxygen for COVID patients despite India being one of the world's largest producers of
medical and industrial oxygen.
The High Court has criticized the central government's handling of the oxygen crisis describing the shortage as ridiculous.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced measures to increase the production and supply of oxygen, but the duty of the government now falling to private
TEHSEEN POONAWALLA, ACTIVIST, TV HOST: It is a horrible situation. I think the government has completely abdicated its responsibility. There is no
help anywhere. The health system is completely collapsed.
COREN (voice over): Activist and TV host, Tehseen Poonawalla and his wife, Monica, are using their celebrity influence and resources to help desperate
Indians source oxygen, cylinders and hospital beds, which they believe shouldn't be a privilege but a fundamental right.
Thousands are appealing to them on social media, but for every 50 they say, they can only manage to help one.
POONAWALLA: They call us with hope and we can't fulfill it. It is very difficult. Imagine you have oxygen, you don't have cylinders. Imagine you
have oxygen in the country, you can't transport the oxygen. And therefore, people are dying with oxygen.
It is criminal.
COREN (voice over): For Sharma, a student studying law, he knows firsthand how much his country is now suffering. As he prepares to pick up his
father's remains from the crematorium, he is praying that COVID doesn't take his mother as well.
SHARMA: I'm totally helpless because I have lost my father two or three days ago and I have left my mom in the hospital and I'm so helpless I'm all
COREN (voice over): Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.
CHATTERLEY: And in around 15 minutes, we will hear from the co-chairman of India's COVID-19 vaccine taskforce to find out what more can be done.
Now from India to Japan where a State of Emergency is declared for four prefectures including populous Tokyo and Osaka.
CHATTERLEY: The measures will go into effect on Sunday. COVID cases surging there just three months before the Summer Olympics.
Selina Wang is live in Osaka for us. Clearly, one of the worst affected areas. Selina, what restrictions are we talking about here? And I guess the
big question is, will they work and how quickly will they work?
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Julia, that's exactly right. This State of Emergency covers Tokyo and Osaka, two other prefectures, but this is not a
hard lockdown. It is only going to last until May 11th. It will require large commercial venues like shopping malls and places that serve alcohol
to shut down.
But as you say, the big question here is, is this going to work? Because Tokyo, Osaka and many other parts of Japan have already been under these
quasi state of emergency impositions, so that has required restaurants and bars to shut down early, but it hasn't had an effect.
COVID cases in Japan continue to climb topping more than 5,000 a day. Now, some analysts say that this could lead Japan to go back into recession.
This State of Emergency will cover the Golden Week Holiday which is normally one of the busiest times for travel in Japan.
Meantime, you also have the Tokyo Motor Show canceling. Organizers saying that they are unable to hold this big event because of the pandemic, and
Julia, that does lead to major questions about the ability of the Olympics to be held here in just three months.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, it is a huge challenge and time is slipping away. Selina, I think we need to get a perspective though on the number of cases
per portion of the population in Japan relative to the United States for example, just to look at the relative handling.
Clearly, vaccine delivery is different, but just in terms of COVID cases, what are we seeing in Japan in perspective?
WANG: I think that is a very important point, Julia. Japan has managed the enormous explosion of cases that we've seen in other parts of the world,
parts of Western Europe as well as in the U.S. Japan so far has reported more than half a million cases and nearly 10,000 deaths.
But this wave is particularly concerning, not only because we are just months away from the Games, but also because they are being driven by more
contagious COVID variants. So I am here in Osaka which is the epicenter of this current outbreak. It is the hardest hit area, and a government panel
of experts found that about 80 percent of the infections here are driven by these more contagious COVID variants.
In addition to that, you have the Governor of Osaka saying that his medical system is on the brink of collapse. Not only that, but you right now have
less than one percent of the Japanese population fully vaccinated.
The majority of healthcare workers haven't even had a single dose of the vaccine. Japan may be seen as one of the world's most technologically
advanced countries, but it has struggled enormously when it comes to the vaccine rollout for reasons that include red tape, supply chain issues and
simply poor planning.
So I've been speaking to many experts who say that they are concerned about the risks of these Games becoming a super spreader event, but as we've
discussed before, in spite of all of these challenges, the government, the Prime Minister have continued to reiterate that they are confident these
Games will be held as planned -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, but your point, the difference in vaccine delivery, critical difference when you are comparing nations here. That well and
truly the case for Japan. Selina Wang, thank you and stay safe there, please.
Okay, from the state of global health to taxing of American wealth. Reports that the Biden administration is readying a massive shift in the way that
richest Americans are taxed by taxing wealth or investment gains in the same way that they tax wages. A proposal that could have significant
implications for Wall Street.
Christine Romans joins me now. Christine, good to have you with us. I am not sure we should be surprised. I mean, President Biden promised this in
the campaign, $4 trillion worth of tax rises.
But, cryptocurrencies reacted. Stocks reacted. It is a big jump in capital gains tax if it comes through.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: It is. It's a tax tantrum that no one should have been surprised about.
And also, if you look at just how much the stock market fell yesterday, stocks not crypto, the stock market fell -- you know, if they really
believed they were going to have a 40-something percent capital gains tax on the highest earners, I think that you would have had a bigger selloff
than this. Or if they really believed that that would kill -- you know, kill the rally, you would have had a bigger selloff.
It took a little bit back here, so we will watch to see how this proposal works its way through. Our Kaitlan Collins and Jeff Zeleny, our colleagues,
are reporting that the White House is planning a 39.6 percent tax rate on Americans making $400,000.00 or more and then using that tax rate for
people -- capital gains tax rate for people who earn a million dollars or more.
So the optics here are, tax the rich, the really rich, and the White House continuing to promise it will not raise taxes on anybody making $400,000.00
a year or less.
CHATTERLEY: It's quite fascinating. You know, because I do think about the terminology I use and that's exactly why I called it a tax tumble rather
than tax tantrum because if this were actually enacted into law, I think we would see far greater selling pressure as people go, okay, I'm going to get
in here and capitalize on the gains that I've made before this tax rise comes in.
I mean, in certain cases, I was looking at it for California and for New York. You could be seeing tax rates approaching 60 percent when you include
State taxes and Federal taxes and that's the question, Christine, how likely is it that this is passed by Congress?
ROMANS: This, I think is the starting point for the discussions. They would have to do an awful lot of convincing to get this through, no
But an interesting thing, I mean, I am looking back at the charts and Liz Ann Sonders, the economist or the stock market strategist was actually
posting this a little bit earlier, looking back at recent times when the capital gains tax has been raised, guess what? It was raised in 2013 and
the S&P was up 30 percent that year.
You did not see the negative effect on the stock market writ large for the year. So try to look for that correlation between higher capital gains
taxes and what happens to the stock market, it is sort of consistently evident in the most recent past.
You also have an economy that's improving, a stock market that has been up very, very well, and I think the White House has wind in its sails because
of strength that you are seeing and the recovery elsewhere that they think they can try to make this case for fairness that wages and investment
income should be taxed the same way at least for the very rich.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I hear you. the only pushback I'll make is we've never risen capital gains taxes by 100 percent before.
ROMANS: Yes. You're right.
CHATTERLEY: This is whoa. Christine, thank you. Have a great weekend.
ROMANS: I understand. You, too.
CHATTERLEY: Christine Romans. Okay, let me bring you up to speed now with some of the stories making headlines around the world.
Indonesian officials have narrowed down the search for a missing submarine to just one area. They've sent ships to the north of Bali where they
spotted an oil spill and an object with a strong magnetic force. They are hoping to find the vessel soon since it could run out of oxygen by
CNN's Ivan Watson joins us live for more. Ivan, what more do we know?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the race is really on to try to locate this submarine that went missing. It was last in
contact with the Indonesian Military says at 3:00 a.m. local time on Wednesday. It was sailing through the Bali Strait and it descended at that
point and that's when it lost contact.
Now, the Indonesian authorities estimate it has enough air for the 53 crew members on board to last until about 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, some 72 hours.
It's now Friday night here in Asia, so you can really see that the time is running out for the people on board this vessel.
The Indonesian authorities have really scrambled an armada to try to look for this ship. They say that there are some 21 Indonesian warships, another
submarine as well. Then there are ships that have come from other countries that have rushed to assist including two ships, warships from Australia,
from Malaysia, from Singapore and India all on their way to try to help with this.
It's unclear why the submarine, the Nangalla lost contact. It was supposed to be conducting live fire exercises with torpedoes and for the families of
the 53 crew members, there is an agonizing weight underway.
Take a listen to what the wife of one of the crew members had to say.
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BERDA ASMARA, WIFE OF CREW MEMBER (through translator): Hopefully he is safe and my husband and all of the Nangalla crew members who are there can
reunite with family. Until now, there has been no official news.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: And the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, he, earlier this week, he called on Indonesians to pray for a smooth search and rescue operation -
CHATTERLEY: Yes, we pray with them. Ivan Watson, thank you for that update there.
The imprisoned Kremlin critic, Alexei Navalny says he is ending his weeks' long hunger strike. It comes a day after he was urged to do so by doctors
that support him
He says he has lost sensitivity in parts of his arms and legs and has been treated by civilian doctors, but he is still demanding access to better
medical care during his imprisonment.
U.S. President Joe Biden kicking off the second day of the Climate Summit with world leaders. He is expected to speak about the economic benefits to
be won by tackling the environmental crisis.
On Thursday, he and other leaders promised to reduce carbon emissions over the next few years.
All right, coming up here on FIRST MOVE keeping an eye on AI. Why Europe wants to regulate artificial intelligence and how they are going about it.
And fear and anger on the streets of India as it struggles to contain COVID-19. The country's leading scientific adviser is up next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. A bit of a delayed Earth Day green on the screen for the Wall Street majors after yesterday's fall to Earth
with a thud. The S&P on track for its losing week in over a month despite overall optimism from companies over strength in the economies.
Car maker, Daimler raising its four-year forecast as sales pick up in its biggest market, China. Chip giant, meanwhile, Intel, out with mixed
results. Disappointing profits, but raising its sales outlook.
In the meantime, Johnson & Johnson moving higher in premarket trading. U.S. officials might lift restrictions on its COVID vaccine as soon as today,
but with new warnings on the blood clot dangers.
The E.U. meantime reportedly sealing a deal with Pfizer to deliver as many as 1.8 billion new doses of its COVID vaccine to the region, which would
clearly be great news there.
Okay, let's bring it back to our top story today. Six weeks ago, the Indian government announced it was in the "end game," quote of the COVID-19
pandemic. Today, officials reported more than 332,000 new infections, a new daily high for the second day running for any country in the world.
In just four days, one million new cases have been diagnosed with a new variant of the virus also causing alarm. Everything is in short supply --
intensive care beds, medicine, oxygen, and ventilators. Bodies are piling up in morgues and crematoriums. Mass cremations have been taking place.
Despite being the world's biggest vaccine producer, only about 130 million doses have been administered in a country with more than a billion people.
Two vaccines are available, Covishield developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Covaccine made by Bharat Biotech.
India is reviewing other foreign vaccines, but a supply crunch could slow things down.
CHATTERLEY: There's much to discuss. Professor Vijay Raghavan is the principal scientific advisor for the government of India Professor. He is
also co-chairman of India's COVID-19 vaccine taskforce.
Professor, we thank you so much for your time. I know you must be incredibly busy. You've recently described the situation with the virus as
challenging. To the outside world, it looks desperate and there are accusations that the government has lost control. Has the government lost
control of this latest outbreak?
K. VIJAY RAGHAVAN, CO-CHAIRMAN, INDIA'S COVID-19 VACCINE TASKFORCE: You know, we must understand what is happening now is just enormous and there's
a huge surge and there are many factors which have contributed to the surge; some anticipated and some unanticipated.
But even the anticipated ones where the government put in measures, we did not see. No one saw the extent of the surge. So we must see that the volume
of cases has just gone out, as you said, several hundred thousands a day with 11-day doubling and this requires intense action, which is being put
in place that's not easy.
CHATTERLEY: It requires --
RAGHAVAN: But it's happening.
CHATTERLEY: It requires intense lockdowns. Is the government going far enough whether it's the state or the national government to lock people
down if necessary to protect the healthcare system and protect lives?
RAGHAVAN: So, you know, we must, again, understand what is driving this surge and there are multiple factors over here. One is as the previous wave
came down, there was in all of us a feeling that this was something, which had been dealt with substantially.
We saw signs of a next surge but the scale and the intensity of it was not clear. The lockdown the first time was done because we did not have our
PPEs, ventilators, hospital setups ready. Today, we have those ready to be scaled up enormously. Vaccines delivery needs to be scaled up enormously.
So the point which we need to do now is to look at local situations in districts, cities, towns and see what containment can be done there.
Prevent the interactions of those regions where there are high surges with other locations and deal with testing on scale, vaccination on scale so
that we can bring this down.
So local containment will be a way to deal with this right now rather than a national lockdown.
CHATTERLEY: Define containment? Because to your point, you've dealt quite well with the first wave. We've been dealing with COVID now for a year.
There are many people that are desperate on social media talking from India and saying, why are we having oxygen shortages? Why are we having supply
We've had a year to prepare and we're not ready for this. Why is this happening, sir? Clearly the government needs to move more quickly to
address some of these shortages and issues.
RAGHAVAN: Absolutely. You know, yet, right now, we need to first focus on the immediate needs and make sure that every effort is being put and we are
putting every effort while pushing to deal with what needs to be done in the coming weeks also.
Oxygen availability has been pushed over the last few days, both in terms of diverting manufacturing, importing, distribution and looking at local
availability. This hopefully will start seeing results soon.
It has been a horrendously large impact on some cities. This is of such a scale that everyone knows everyone as someone who is affected personally,
friends and relatives, so hospital capacity building is another area which needs to be in effect, ramped up.
Our defense labs and the defense services are scaling up make shift hospitals rapidly as well as increasing COVID capacity in the hospitals.
So these things are being done, but as you rightly pointed out, the surge is of such a level that no matter how much healthcare capacity is ramped up
or was ramped up after the first wave, this is not yet sufficient.
CHATTERLEY: What can you tell us about the double mutant strain of the virus? How concerned are you about its resistance to vaccines?
RAGHAVAN: Yes, so there are multiple variants going on. I wouldn't use the term double mutant or triple mutant. The variants of concern, as they're
called, first of all are the U.K. variant, the b.1.1.7 and the b.6.1.7 which you refer to as the double mutant.
Now, they have mutations in them which both increase transmissibility and potentially vaccine evasiveness.
RAGHAVAN: Fortunately right now, our early results show that, you know, these variants are still -- you know, vaccines which we have at hand still
have impact on these variants, so that's the good news.
But, along with all the other reasons which I referred to, loosening up before we should have about, you know, our healthcare capacity being
needed, it's also important to keep in mind that these variants have spread a lot.
They constitute by some estimates about 60 percent in one state, Maharashtra and perhaps together constitute substantially similar numbers
in the Delhi region and they are going to other regions.
Therefore, it is all the more reasons, two things are done simultaneously. One, get ramped up sequencing and that needs to scale up much, much more so
that sequencing along with what happens to sequencing of the viral genome alone with what happens to individual patients, groups of patients,
different categories of patients, that integrated information structure is being analyzed. So that is very important.
It's a really tough call for our healthcare workers and our laboratories to scale and attend to this, but this is vital.
The second aspect is to ramp up vaccinations since vaccines are effective, they need to be ramped up. That's being done, by as you said earlier,
opening up vaccination by having, you know, international vaccines which have been approved elsewhere also coming in, in addition to the local ones
and also having vaccine supplies open to states and private players to buy.
So a combination of this increased hospital capacity, massive testing is very important. That's something else also being scaled. Understanding the
genomics of the spread and increased vaccination should start punching this, otherwise, we can't go on predictions about what happens if we do
There are many things we can and should do and we all need to come together for that.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, all of these things take time to your point and thousands of people are dying daily. I said earlier on the show, the entire
population of Iceland equivalent is getting sick every day in India. There is no time.
Are we seeing the worst here, Professor, or will it still get worse from today while you battle to take late measures? I think by your own
admission, the government has acted late.
RAGHAVAN: You know, the important issue here is not so much predicting what the shape of the curve will be. Though we can see how steep it is, we
don't need at this stage statisticians to tell us what the shape of the curve is and how much is happening every day.
And we are doing everything, every day there is meetings and action taken with state governments, with hospitals, with cities, with districts. So it
is very intense in terms of what's happening on the ground.
Now, it also needs to be balanced with the size of what we're dealing with. So I think we will start seeing impact of the measures and, you know, the
multiple kinds of inputs of oxygen, medicines, treatment facilities coming in, but it's too difficult to predict what will happen on a day-to-day
CHATTERLEY: I understand. Professor, India also is home to the Serum Institute, the largest manufacturing of vaccines in the world, many poor
nations around the world rely on the vaccines that are manufactured in India. Obviously, there have been restrictions while you focus on the
challenges at home.
Can you give us any sense of when those restrictions on the Serum Institute's exports to other nations may be relaxed or is it just too
difficult to say at this stage?
RAGHAVAN: Well, India follow the principle that no one is safe until everyone is safe. We are one of the few countries which reached out to
other countries early on last year as soon as vaccines made here became available.
Now vaccines being made here, both in terms of moral purpose about being available for everyone is important, but also keep in mind that when you
manufacture vaccines here, you do so with components which are imported from elsewhere.
So it is equally important if India is to serve the world that countries such as America also don't restrict the imports of components needed
vitally to manufacture vaccines. That needs to be said very, very clearly.
When these things happen, and now, it is you know, the number of vaccine companies and the players increased, we are going to see substantial
building up of capacity here.
Indian capacity, both by the Serum Institute you mentioned and the Johnson & Johnson partnership with Biological E can serve not only India, but the
world along with Covaccine from Bharat Biotech and you know, other vaccines which are in the pipeline for approval.
RAGHAVAN: So India is committed even in this crisis of amplifying vaccine development. We have a huge challenge in ramping it up here, which we are
doing and as our crisis diminishes, we will open up again for others, too.
CHATTERLEY: Sir, fantastic to have you on the show. Thank you for your time. I know you are incredibly busy and we wish you and your nation well.
Professor Vijay Raghavan there, the principal scientific adviser for the government of India, sir, thank you again.
All right, coming up on FIRST MOVE, anything artificial about this intelligence. The challenge of regulating AI in Europe, Competition
Commissioner is up next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. A mixed start to the Wall Street trading day, nervousness persists over reports that the Biden
administration wants to almost double capital gains tax rates to almost 40 percent for the wealthiest Americans.
Goldman Sachs, however, trying to calm nerves. It says there's no way Congress will sign off on such a sizable tax hike.
Now from tax hike goals to failed football goals, call it a JPMorgan mea culpa, the banking giant apologizing for its decision to fund the ill-fated
football super league. The company saying in a statement today, quote: "We clearly misjudged how this deal would be viewed by the wider football
community and how it might impact them in future. We will learn from this."
All right, in the meantime, the European Union was the global pioneer for regulating data protection and privacy, and now, it's taking on artificial
intelligence, announcing proposals that would regulate the use of AI, targeting high risk applications like facial recognition software.
It will take years to become law, but it's already causing some pretty heated debates.
Launching these proposals was Margrethe Vestager. She joins us now. She is the European Commission's Executive Vice President and Chair of the Group
Europe fit for the digital age and of course, E.U. Commissioner for Competition. Fantastic to have you on the show. Thank you so much for your
CHATTERLEY: Clearly, you've flown the flag for regulation around the world for Big Technology companies, but beyond. Do you think you've found the
balance right between protecting consumers, but also fostering trust and innovation with this proposal?
MARGRETHE VESTAGER, E.U. COMMISSIONER FOR COMPETITION: Well, that is exactly the point, and thank you very much for having me. I'm really happy
to be here.
The point is that we should embrace technology. We should make so much more use of artificial intelligence. But I only think that that can happen if we
trusted, in particular, in areas where it's about, can I get a mortgage? Can I get an insurance? Can my children be accepted at an educational
All of these elements of our life where artificial intelligence will be used, we need to be able to trust that it will be right and that will not
be a risk to our fundamental values.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, you're always going to get criticism on this, you've got the tech lobbyists saying, you're going to suppress innovation in a
nascent technology before it's even started. And then I look at sort of human and digital rights groups that are coming forward and saying you're
allowing too much scope for self-regulation and determination from these AI companies, particularly on issues like discriminatory use of AI,
surveillance technologies. Commissioner, what's your response?
VESTAGER: Well, we have taken a risk-based approach, we call it, to say, well, if things are extremely risky, we will also be extremely strict. For
instance, a couple of use cases that we would prohibit altogether, one of them would be the use of sort of subliminal techniques that would make you
do things that can harm you or dangerous to you or other people.
It could be the use of social scoring within the union, a government who follows you around and gives you points and for that to have effect on your
access, for instance, to public services. The real sort of gist where there's a lot of volume in our proposal is of course, when it comes to high
risk that those who uses technology where there is the risk of women being sorted out or minorities or people with a weaker social background, there
of course, you need to make sure that the technology actually sees the talent, sees the qualification, and doesn't misjudge old patterns and think
that maybe only yes, a man can do this.
CHATTERLEY: No comment on that. Commissioner, the challenge here, I think, and you've made the commission renowned, I think for having more bite than
it's ever had in the past with tackling some of the Big Tech companies in particular that, obviously will be looking at this and are looking at this
at this moment.
But the time it takes to get all the E.U. nations to agree to this. We're talking not before 2023 and even the size of the potential fines. Are they
big enough if we're talking about six percent of global annual turnover? It sounds big, but the cash generation of some of these companies is so huge.
I just wonder whether the threat is potent enough.
VESTAGER: Well, obviously, the point is not to cash in fines. The point is for technology to develop in a way that people feel that they can trust it.
And actually, I do think that by second thought, maybe also, tech developers will see that we have aligned interest here. Because if you
consider for instance, the public sector, in a municipality, you want to support your social workers with software.
No elected official will take that risk, if they do not see that the technology is actually developed with human oversight, with the sufficient
quality of data with the explainability needed, and of course, with the highest level of cybersecurity.
So actually, I think this will have a market opening effect, rather than the opposite. And this is why I think that the timing to table the proposal
right now is quite good because some of these use cases, they are still somewhat nascent, even though we have artificial intelligence already all
around us to advise us for films or music or whatever how to get from A to B.
So I think even though, of course, it will take some time for Parliament and Council to discuss it, I think that the sort of getting it an idea
about the European direction, I think that will start already now.
CHATTERLEY: I think creating an environment where you foster innovation is something actually that by and large, Europe has missed over the last 10
years and you've also been given the additional title and role of bringing Europe into the 21st Century as far as digitization and technology is
CHATTERLEY: And two things on this have jumped out at me. The first, how do we make sure that Europe is creating the kind of unicorns, more unicorns
that have grown so quickly over the past decade or so in the United States, and the other thing is, with chip shortages, which has been very topical
recently, and I want to start there.
Europe planning to produce over the next 10 years or hope to around 20 percent of the globe's semiconductors, vital issue, how are you going to go
about this? And are you spending enough money doing it?
VESTAGER: Obviously, these things are tricky just as they are extremely strategically important. Because already now, we find chips in so many
things around us. And we will find even more in the future.
We find them in the car or we find them in machinery. We find them yes, in many, many different places.
And one of the things that we will do in the coming months and years is to sort of develop our mutual dependencies, because Europe has some incredible
strongholds when it comes to the design and production of the machine that actually produces the chips and the designs of the chip itself.
And what is important for us is, of course, that we can see that we are part of the ecosystem of producing chips. But also, of course, being part
of that globally, because Europe will still be sourcing chips from all over this planet, that goes without saying, our use will be bigger than our
And now investments get started, we see how the important project that we have of common European interests where member states and businesses invest
together, they are making progress. Also, for this next generation where we want the energy consumption to be reduced, in order also to make it climate
So we are pushing this, and on the first question of how to create or enable more unicorns? Well, one of the reasons why it is so important that
public sector feel that they can trust, for instance, artificial intelligence, is that then the public demand will increase and public
demand is one of the keys for also smaller and medium sized businesses to sort of rethink their business idea to be part of the digital
transformation, because then they will be part also of this ecosystem.
And this is the sort of the push that we need, but it cannot be overestimated the importance of access to capital, real working capital
that comes with competence. That is, of course crucial. Because if you're a small startup and oh, you love your product, and you have put everything --
you have everything you can into it. In order to scale that business, you need new competencies to come on board. And those competencies, they very
often comes with capital.
So there is no way around it. Now, we have the legal framework for the European capital union to work well. Now, of course, we need for investors
to see that it is indeed worthwhile to come to Europe.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, because that's why we lost them all to Silicon Valley in the past, or Europe did. We should be careful how I pronounce and say that.
So great to have you on the show. Thank you so much. And it's clearly a work in progress but eyes on the price.
VESTAGER: It was my pleasure.
CHATTERLEY: Thank you.
VESTAGER: Thank you very much.
CHATTERLEY: The Commissioner for Competition there. Thank you so much again.
All right, ahead on FIRST MOVE, recycled rockets, another successful launch for SpaceX and NASA. More for mission control, next.
CHATTERLEY: Elon Musk providing a lift, four more astronauts, a crew of two Americans, one Japanese and one from France hitching a ride on a SpaceX
craft bound for the International Space Station. Joining us now is CNN space correspondent, Rachel Crane. Rachel, great to have you with us.
I will never tire of watching these moments nor will I ever tire of watching your or your excitement when you're reporting on them. But for me,
actually, the real beauty of this is with the recycled rockets effect. Explain that part of what makes this so historic, too.
RACHEL CRANE, CNN BUSINESS INNOVATIONS AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT: You're right, Julia, I mean, this never gets old, coming to these rocket launches.
And what's significant is I've been to three of them in the last 11 months that really speaks to the cadence of these launches.
You know, before Demo 2, which happened nearly a year ago. There hadn't been a crewed launch launched from American soil in nearly a decade. And
now we've had three of them in less than a year.
But to your point about the reusability element here, it's really hard to overemphasize how important that is. The fact that this rocket booster had
already flown to space and has -- as had the space capsule, Endeavor. The booster had flown Crew 1 to the International Space Station in November.
And Endeavor of course was the same capsule that flew Demo 2, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station nearly a year ago.
That's because SpaceX, you know, one of their ten-pole strategies is in reducing the cost of spaceflight is reusability. So, you know, actually
right now, they estimate that the cost of a seat on Crew Dragon is about $55 million.
We've been paying the Russians over $80 billion a seat. So that's also a price tag that SpaceX and NASA expects to go down as they continue to reuse
these systems. And you could see on the rocket booster that it was scorched, and there was all this soot. In fact, the astronauts who flew
today, they actually wrote their name in the soot on the side of the booster before taking off, really making it their own.
But SpaceX proudly displaying those scorch marks because it really highlights how they have cracked the nut here on reusability. And this was
the first time that a crewed mission was flown on any reused hardware, spaceflight proven hardware.
And of course, SpaceX and NASA had to run through thousands of tests on both the first stage rocket booster, as well as the space capsule to ensure
that it was in fact safe for the crew to, you know, blast off Planet Earth and go to the International Space Station on that system. And as we saw
today, it went off without a hitch.
It was a gorgeous, gorgeous lift off, and they are currently making their way to the International Space Station. The expected journey is -- it's
expected that the journey will be about 24 hours -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I mean for the bargain price of $55 million per seat, but clearly to your point, it is a bargain relative to what the Americans are
paying the Russians, but wowsers, it is still expensive.
Rachel, very quickly, when do we expect the returning astronauts to touch down because this is also exciting, too?
CRANE: Yes, so the returning astronauts, Crew 1, they are currently up there and in fact, when Crew 2 gets there, there's going to be 11
astronauts on the International Space Station. So, it's going to be quite crowded. Crew 1 is set to splashdown on Wednesday. But of course these
things, they tend to slide. We saw this -- this launch was supposed to happen yesterday. Really Mother Nature dictates a lot of this.
You know, so much planning goes into these launches and these splash downs, but it's really Mother Nature that dictates when they are truly going to
happen -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. I am a Brit, I don't like talking about the weather, always. Rachel Crane, great to have you with us. Thank you for that.
All right, you're watching FIRST MOVE. More to come. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. Digital banks are growing in size and scale all around the world, including in the UAE, launching its first
fully independent digital bank. John Defterios explorers in today's "Think Big."
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN BUSINESS EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: WHAT is the big idea? Is it to be a disruptor? Digital banking is new, it can challenge the
homegrown players that have been in traditional banking. How do you see your big idea?
MOHAMED ALABBAR, CHAIRMAN, ZAND: John, the big idea is that it's the first digital bank in the country. The big idea that is the first digital bank
that looks after consumers and corporate at the same time.
But I believe the bigger idea that we who are the people behind the bank, we live a digital life, we have digital businesses. Having that state of
mind is the real big idea because you can think digitally.
DEFTERIOS: The United States and Europe, Asia, about 70 percent, 80 percent of the jobs are linked to small and medium sized enterprises. And I
know it's a priority in the UAE to foster this sector. What's going to be the role of Zand in that space, then?
ALABBAR: I guess in the UAE, you know, we really were late in helping small businesses. But this technology -- all the authentic partners, I have
to give them credit, they will make it so much easier, so much efficient, cheaper to provide services and funding and project for small businesses.
DEFTERIOS: So when we talk about neo banking, what's the huge advantage for the customer? The interface, of course, is one; but can you actually
give better prices to smaller businesses, personal loans, tech startups as a result of not having the legacy of the brick and mortar network?
ALABBAR: I mean, these systems of new digital banking, you know, no headquarters, no lot of staff, no branches, no cars, it's free, simply
don't even know where the office is, it could be in a warehouse. Right?
So there's a great amount of saving that you will give back to the customer. AI is smarter than all of us combined. I can -- I can measure
your cash flow needs in the future and give them to you. I can measure your debt ability better than a human mind and give that to you, and that's
where the small guy will benefit more than anybody else and at the lower cost.
ALABBAR: But then I can bring you all of our partners with me to provide you all of your other services so you will have your supermarket partners,
you will have your e-commerce partners, you will have your food delivery partners, because at the end of the day, you will pool resources, you pool
data to make sure that your life is complete and comfortable and you are still sitting in your pajamas.
CHATTERLEY: Okay, and that's it for the show.
If you've missed any of our interviews today, they will be on my Twitter and Instagram pages. You can search for @jchatterleyCNN.
In the meantime, stay safe, please. Have a great weekend.
And "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is next.
I'll see you next week.