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First Move with Julia Chatterley
W.H.O. Warns Omicron Poses Very High Global Risk; Countries Across Europe Report First Omicron Cases; South Africa's President Slams Omicron Travel Bans; Amazon Braces For New Coronavirus Variant; U.S. Stocks Rebound After Friday's Sell-Off; Scientists Race To Find Out If Omicron Evades Vaccines; Report: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Is Stepping Down; Report: Turkey Willing To Mediate Between Ukraine, Russia; U.S., Allies Restart Iran Nuclear Talks After Extended Break. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired November 29, 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 INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Live from New York, I'm Julia Chatterley. This is "FIRST MOVE." And here's your need to know.
World warning. The WHO says the Omicron variant risk is very high.
Travel tightened. Japan and Australia the latest to implement new restrictions.
And sell-off suspended. The global risk off trade on pause for now.
It's Monday. Let's make a move.
A warm welcome once again to "FIRST MOVE."
We'll bring you the latest analysis of the risks and the global response to the Omicron variant. We still lack crucial information about how the
variant behaves. What I can promise you is that on "FIRST MOVE" we're all about facts and not fear.
Later this hour, Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and dean of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College on the scientific response.
Plus, the global business leaders for you. Dave Clark, Amazon's Worldwide Consumer CEO will join us on the Cyber Monday as well as Ashwani Gupta,
chief operating officer of the car giant Nissan as it announces a huge electrification push.
Financial markets in the meantime feeling firmer after a steep sell-off on Friday across stocks, energy markets and risk currencies. U.S. futures as
you can see and European majors solidly higher though still down across the two days. Far more liquidity today though with more investors back after
the long weekend holiday.
Oil which tumbled some 10 percent on Friday regaining just over half of the lost ground we saw on Friday. Global bond yields also firmer too.
One day, of course, does not a trend make. It could take weeks to understand the Omicron threat and that will keep us cautious, including
investors where all going to be cautious at this stage. We also all hate the uncertainty, but this is a time I think when patience is needed most
We begin this week humbled by our lack of knowledge about the new variant but also comforted and profoundly grateful I think for everything our
scientists have done so far to keep us safe.
Let's get right to the drivers.
Omicron alert. The W.H.O. warning the global risk from the newly discovered COVID variant is very high. And that's the message that we have to keep in
Japan is now banning all foreign nationals from entering the country. And Australia has paused the next phase of its border reopening.
Paula Hancocks is live in Seoul with more.
First, Paula, let's start in Japan because they've restored restrictions that they only loosened this month, I believe. And then you can take us on
a regional toll.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Julia. I mean it's worth pointing out that it was only a matter of days ago that we were talking about so
many Asian countries living with COVID, opening borders, easing restrictions. And it has all come to a screeching halt now due to this new
So, Japan has been the strongest in its response so far in Asia. They have said -- the prime minister said that they were going to ban all new
arrivals from foreign nationals from Tuesday. And he said it was, quote, "in order to avoid the worst situation."
Now, he's pointing out it is temporary at this point and saying what we're hearing time and time again from officials that they just feel they need to
buy some time to figure out what they are dealing with.
Now, the daily numbers of new cases in Japan are particularly low at this point, somewhere around 60, when you consider there was close to 20,000 for
a while back in August. So, they've really done well to lower those case figures. And this is why they're saying that they are now taking this quite
sudden response and they admit that it is the strongest response we've seen so far.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, acting first and we'll see about some of the details I think later, which is - which is what we're seeing elsewhere too.
There is the other side of this. And there are those that are continuing with some of their plans even if they just in turn. On New Zealand, I
believe, still going ahead with some of the internal removal of restrictions that they've been planning to do, which I think is important
to point out as well.
HANCOCKS: That's right. Yes. This is Auckland. This is the largest city in New Zealand. They have been under lockdown for quite some time now as they
discovered one case of the Delta variant. New Zealand has had very strict border controls really throughout the entire pandemic. So, while internally
they may be releasing -- relieving some of those restrictions, they're certainly not doing it in an international sense.
They have said that they would probably start to ease restrictions as of next year, but they have time to figure out exactly what they want to do.
Australia, just their neighbor, for example. They've now postponed the next phase of their opening up. They were going to allow skilled workers,
students, some eligible tourists from December 1st. That's been pushed back to December 15th.
And they themselves have already identified five positive cases of the Omicron variant. So, they're considering what else they need to do.
So, we really are seeing an about turn in most countries. China, of course, is the one stand alone, because it already has the -- one of the strictest
border controls in the whole world. They haven't given up on their zero COVID policy at this point. Julia?
CHATTERLEY: Yes. Buying some time until we get more information. I think that's the message.
Paula Hancocks, thank you so much for that.
To Europe now and Europe's top official warning the world is in a race against time with the Omicron variant. Austria the latest country to report
an infection. Cases have also been found in the UK, the Netherlands, Portugal, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic.
Larry Madowo joins us now.
Larry, great to have you with us. Just talk about some of the changes that we're seeing. The UK I think took stringent measures over the weekend to
increase testing on new arrivals, mask wearing too. And some countries like Spain tightening up on the travel arrivals of those that are unvaccinated.
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is correct, Julia. Spain becoming the latest European country to introduce extra restrictions for those coming in
from Southern Africa. So, everybody will have to quarantine for at least 10 days before being allowed back into Spanish society.
This is part of what the European Union calls emergency breaks until they understand more about this new variant of the coronavirus. So, France, for
instance said - France and 14 other European countries applied these measures in a coordinated way to try and better handle this compared to the
previous four waves of COVID here in Europe.
So, you see, just today we've seen new announcements. Six new cases in Scotland. And these are especially useful to understand what might be
happening in every other country, because these cases in Scotland do not have a history of travel. They did not come from Southern Africa.
We also saw that one new case in Austria, 13 in Portugal. And authorities here in France, Julia, say that they have eight possible cases, none
confirmed so far, but it's only a matter of time. There could already be cases circulating in the population. That is the similar view from Ireland.
So, that's why across the European Union, you hear the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, say it's a race against time. But they
need two to three more weeks to understand this virus. And what kind of tools will they need. Will current vaccines work, or will they need - they
need for more? And even Johnson & Johnson and some of the other vaccine manufacturers have said they're looking into it.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. And we await more information clearly. And (INAUDIBLE) we'll note that the base of the Eiffel Tower is behind you. And you are in
Paris. And Larry, you were reporting your own efforts to get tested and some of the challenges that you faced. Just walk us through that too.
MADOWO: So, I did fly into Paris from Nairobi in Kenya, which is in East Africa. But the French health minister required me also to isolate and do a
PCR test and only leave after I got a negative test. This is the extra precaution that have authorities in France and across Europe are applying.
Obviously, that's been criticized by some who feel it's onerous and it specifically targets travelers from Africa, who already go through a lot of
hoops just to be able to travel in the West. But it is the nature of this virus that there is so little that we know of the Omicron variant of the
coronavirus that public health authorities are trying everything possible.
In the Netherlands, Julia, a couple that tried to flee quarantine after people who had flew in from South Africa who tested positive were put up in
a hotel. They tried to go back on a plane. They were detained and sent right back into quarantine. That's how you see authorities trying to make
sure that there is no chance that people who - could be infected are allowed to mix with general population.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. Larry Madowo, thank you so much for reporting for us. And great to see the negative test.
OK. Let's move on.
As Larry was saying there, unjustified and unfair. South Africa's president hitting out at the growing number of countries that are banning flights
from Southern Africa.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CYRIL RAMAPHOSA, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: These restrictions are completely unjustified and unfairly discriminate against our country and our Southern
African sister countries. The prohibition of travel is not informed by science, nor will it be effective in preventing the spread of this variant.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHATTERLEY: David McKenzie joins us now from Pretoria.
David, it's exactly what we discussed on Friday. The South Africans have great sequencing science and technology.
They were the ones that announced that they'd found this variant. And unfortunately, now they're being punished at a critical time for the
economy as tourism season gets going.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. This is the worst possible timing for this. Not that anytime it will be good. And you know,
you heard from the South African president there. Other words I've heard from scientists and officials, outrageous, unfair, draconian. And you know
there's been a lot of talk today from officials and otherwise say, talking about buying some time.
Well, the time has already slipped, according to many scientists. That is sort of an assumption rather than something based necessarily on science.
I spoke to one of the top vaccine experts in the country just a short time ago. He said, here's the problem. Even though the South African scientists
were able to identity this very quickly, unclear where this variant emerged. It was already out there.
As Larry reported, those cases in Scotland and other indications that there may be community transmission outside of Southern Africa means that really
these bans don't really mean much according to some scientists I was speaking to. And they said to have a ban that's effective for a variant,
you'd have to shut your entire country off from the entire rest of the world like New Zealand has done for many months.
The good news though, turning back to the virus itself for a second. There's some earlier indications that vaccines have been effective in terms
of avoiding severe disease. Most of those in hospital right now and the numbers are still very low in this part of the world are from those who are
Many scientists I've talked to said they believe there should be a level of vaccine efficacy particularly against severe disease. But they also use
that two-to-three-week timeline in terms of finding out exactly what the implications are. But in the meantime, the entire world appears to be shut
off to this region and the long-term effect of that - if certainly, if this appears to be false alarm in months, we don't know yet, could be dire.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. We just have to wait and see for that. And as we're seeing on the screen there, if you want more information on the rules and
restrictions, you can go to cnn.com and there is information there.
David, in the meantime, thank you for that.
David McKenzie there.
OK. Let's move on.
Global investors not only concerned about the Omicron health threat, but also the threat of the governmental response we were discussing there.
Omicron uncertainty still omnipresent on global markets. But a firmer tone today.
Christine Romans is here.
Christine, great to have you with us.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Hi.
CHATTERLEY: More investors in action today. Let's be clear as well because you and I, were saying look, market liquidity was thin on Friday. Outsized
reactions are likely. One day does not a trend make, but a little bit more rational response I think today to what we're seeing even if the
ROMANS: Yes. It's about weighing the risks, right? And we don't actually know a lot of the details that are needed to make that decision as an
investor, right? We don't know how dangerous or transmissible this is. We don't know if it can evade immunity or we don't know if could evade
These are all things that scientists are going to need a couple of weeks to get their hands around here. We know that the drug makers are working hard
and saying they can move very quickly if they need to tweak or you know reformulate their vaccines.
But in terms of investors, you know Friday was almost a freak out to the extent of we're going back to the March 2020 defensive crouch. And I think
very few people think you'll go back to March 2020 kinds of positioning in terms of consumer behavior and business behavior and government behavior.
So now the next question is, is this three-dimensional chess of what does this mean for the Fed? We're probably going to get very strong numbers this
week on the American economy finishing up the year. Potentially the decline in energy prices could be disinflationary. What does that mean about the
inflation component of all this? So, there are just so many unknowns I think that investors are rightfully taking a pause here until there is more
CHATTERLEY: Yes. And I think, some perhaps of the greater degree of confidence that we're seeing is the fact that we've had BioNTech and
Pfizer, of course, one of the big vaccine makers, say look, it's going to take us perhaps a couple of weeks for more investigation.
We've also had Moderna come out and say look, this is the beauty of mRNA vaccines. We can perhaps tweak this. We may even have a vaccine that can
fight this, will be more potent against this in the first quarter of next year. It helps with some degree of confidence perhaps or comfort, it's not
ROMANS: I think it is - and I think you're hearing from really smart people who you can trust that this is a reminder that you want to be triple
ROMANS: You want to be vaccinated and boosted. And we know the vaccine divide prolongs the pandemic, right? This is a perfect example of that.
So, let's talk to policymakers again about making sure that we are getting shots in arms all over the world. And really sort of refocus the
vaccination and mitigation efforts and kind of let some of the political noise fall to the wayside.
So, I think there may be the outlier conspiracy theorists who are saying, oh, look, this means the vaccines don't work. That is absolutely not what
the message you're getting from the smartest people in the world, right? Who want to preserve public health and serve public health, right? It is
that vaccinations work. They matter. We've got to do better on this.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. Great point as always.
Christine Romans, thank you so much for that.
ROMANS: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: OK. Still to come here on "FIRST MOVE."
Holiday shopping snafus. Potentially. I discuss supply chains, workers and now a new COVID variant with Amazon's consumer saw.
And AMTOP, the ambitions Nissan says it will spend $18 billion to electrify as its rivals race ahead.
That's all to come. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
And the less ominous mood on Wall Street. After Friday's Omicron driven sell-off.
Those three majors are set to regain a decent chunk of what they lost on Friday when new variant fears emerged. Tech also set to recapture around
half of the 2.2 percent drop we saw in that shortened session on Friday.
A rebound also for airlines, cruise lines and other reopening stocks that saw sharp pullbacks as well. The major crew line finished Friday session
down over 10 percent. So, as you can see there, Carnival and Royal Caribbean at least at this stage, premarket gaining over 4.5 percent.
Helping boost sentiment. Assurances as we've mentioned from major vaccine producers that they can adjust their ingredients to fight Omicron if
necessary. Moderna shares soaring almost 12 percent premarket after Friday's 20 percent jump.
Moderna is saying it can ship a higher dosed vaccine soon, but it says that Omicron specific vaccine will take months to develop.
Amazon is among the major retailers bracing for impact from Omicron potentially. The shopping behemoth already juggling supply chain issues and
labor shortage. And inflation new pressures in today's Cyber Monday. A huge deal for online retailers.
Dave Clark is CEO of Worldwide Consumer at Amazon. He joins me from a regional distribution hub in Texas which operates 18 daily flights.
Dave, great to have you with us. And my apologies there for putting words into your mouth.
Can you tell me what discussions you were having if at all about this potential new variant and adjustments that will be made if required?
DAVE CLARK, CEO, WORLDWIDE CONSUMER AT AMAZON: Well, good morning and thanks for having us on.
You know if there is something, I've learned over the last almost two years with COVID is sometimes you just need to be patient and let the scientists
do their jobs. And I think over the next couple of weeks, we're going to learn a lot about Omicron.
What I know is, is that we're prepared to keep our employees safe with the protocol we've put in place with the hundreds and millions of dollars we've
invested in laboratory equipment since the start of COVID. And I have a lot of confidence as you just described in the incredible companies and
scientists that have produced the vaccines to date that will be able to meet this head on. And that `22 will be much different than it was in `20
or even in Delta in `21. So, I'm optimistic about `22 and I'm optimistic about what's ahead for us.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. We'll wait for the facts and we trust the science at this stage. And Dave, you're echoing I think the message of this show too.
Tell me what's going on behind you, first and foremost, because I can see a plane with Prime written on the sign. And I mentioned that you're at one of
your regional hubs there in Texas. Talk to me about the kind of volumes that you're seeing. Obviously, it's early hours in Cyber Monday. But we did
have Black Friday of course in shopping over the weekend too.
CLARK: Well, we're off to a really good start this season. We had a record day on Black Friday.
CLARK: And we've built momentum through the weekend. And we're coming in. We've started the day. It's early. But we're off to a great start.
And you know what we're seeing kind of back to the Omicron question. If customers are buying the kind of things that allows them that -- you know
that shows they're coming back together with their family and friends for the time since maybe the start of the pandemic. We're seeing a lot of sales
in clothing, dresses, denim, a lot of home goods, decor, those kinds of items.
CHATTERLEY: I was going to say, where are the best discounts?
CLARK: Well, you know, we've got discounts every hour in every corner of the store. One of the great things about Amazon is you can find anything
here and almost anything is going to be on sale today. So, if you're looking for something, come out. You can almost guarantee something in the
area of the store you're looking for is going to be on sale with new stuff every hour.
CHATTERLEY: In Amazon's latest earnings, and I do think this is an important point. You warned of the challenges of bottlenecks, of raw
material costs, of heightened trucking costs as well and that some rerouting of products to certain facilities where staffing is better have
meant higher cost of trucking because the distance required to get them where they need to go of course is more expensive.
CHATTERLEY: And it takes a bit more time. Is that impacting particularly delivery for Prime members where you've promised same day in many cases.
What impact does that having at least in the short term around these key shopping days?
CLARK: Right. Well, we've -- we're hiring well. You know we would love to have more people, yes, but we're set for the holiday season. We hired
45,000 people last week. There are certainly parts of the U.S. that are more challenging than others. But we're seeing this holiday already, our
delivery speeds are basically back or better than our pre-COVID 2019 delivery speeds.
Customers should feel confident - you know in their deliveries this season. Many customers are going to deliver in order up until the 24th this year.
And we're ready for it. We have a - we're about 20 percent more inventory right now that we did a year ago.
So, we're ready on selection. We're ready on delivery capacity. We've got these planes ready to go. We're ready for a great holiday this year.
CHATTERLEY: I love your optimism.
Where are going to be and where is the most challenging areas and what do you foresee as potential issues as much as you've made efforts to mitigate
as you're saying.
CLARK: Yes. Well, you know, where we see it is, you know the metropolitan areas in the U.S. are some of the most challenging places to staff. You
know we're set for those areas for the holiday. What this meant is it means some people are going to work more full-time shift, less part-time shifts,
some more overtime for a couple of weeks during the holiday than maybe the normal.
But we're going to be set for customers. Customers shouldn't worry about what's going to happen this holiday season. They're good to go.
And what I - one of the things that's helped us is you know we really came into the pandemic having already set our wages at $15 plus. We've added to
that to the course of the pandemic. But given the quality of our employment offer, we're still able to hire tens of thousands of people, over 100,00
people for this holiday season.
CHATTERLEY: Let's talk about what's going on in Europe. Because there have been threatens of a strike action in various different countries as part of
the group Make Amazon Pay. They're deliberately trying to force higher pay, I believe, better conditions for workers as well. Is any of that action
justified in your mind?
CLARK: I think we have a great offering for employees around the world in Europe and in the U.S. I think we're -- we have a great environmental
position with the climate pledge where we're carbon neutral, by net carbon free by 2040. And all the work going in there with electric vans and other
recycling work we're doing. The alternative energy work that's being done.
So, I actually think we have an incredible story there. I think we're a leader in a bunch of those fronts. And so, I understand the passion. We
share that passion. I think sometimes it's misplaced but we share it and we're doing our best every day to be better and to keep driving on those
points for our employees and for customers and for the world.
CHATTERLEY: And I hear what you're saying about your efforts on sustainability and recycling. But when a worker has to go home and decide
how to buy presents for their family or to heat their homes is a separate issue. Some of the - some of the French warehouse workers said to CNN,
they've been asked to work all four Saturdays in the run up to the holiday season, to Christmas. And that's above and beyond their usual hours.
Can you just give us a sense of what happens if those workers say, no, I'm not doing it? And what the extra pay is perhaps for working extra hours,
beyond their designated weekly work hours, Dave? Again, I asked the question of whether their concern is justified. Do you pay them extra for
CHATTERLEY: For those hours and are they OK saying no?
CLARK: Well, it depends on the area and the parts of the world. So, we have different contractual structures, different overtime structures but
employees are paid for all the hours they work. They're paid for overtime in the hours they work. And employees have personal time and available time
they could take. They could take time off if they need it.
It is very common in the retail industry for the holiday season for employees to need to work extra days. And our customers want their
deliveries seven days a week and people expect their deliveries to get there in time for holidays.
And I think our employees want to be part of that and want to share in that experience of giving customers an incredible holiday. I think we work every
day to bring them into that story and to make them a part of the decision making for how we deliver the holiday season. And so, I feel good about
where we sit in each of those geographies. And I think our employees are going to have a good holiday as well.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. I mean, whether you're Amazon or a small business, you have to work harder during the holiday season. I think that's - I think
that's a given.
Will workers be penalized, though, if they say no? What's the global policy at Amazon? Do you have one? If workers say look, I have to be at home. I
can't do those extra hours. Can they be penalized? Will they be penalized? I accept, you have to work harder at Christmas but - or in the holiday
season. But will workers be penalized?
CLARK: Well, in every geography we operate in, we have very specific attendance policies and personal leave policies that allow people
flexibility to adjust their schedule, to have time for things that they need, whether it's a medical issue, they have an issue with a child, they
needed to be away or some kind of scheduling challenge.
So everywhere we operate, we have a lot of programs for how we enable flexibility for our employees to be able to deal with issues whether that
be in the holiday or during the rest of the year. I feel very confident in our programs and that we have programs that are built for and are accepted
by and appreciated by the employees we have around the world.
CHATTERLEY: I hear your message. And the message to consumers, Dave, is if you buy something this holiday season, we're going to get it to you fast.
CLARK: That's exactly right.
CHATTERLEY: I got the message.
Dave Clark, great to chat to you. CEO of Worldwide Consumer at Amazon there for us.
Thank you, sir.
OK. The markets open is next. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
U.S. stocks are up and running on Wall Street. The S&P and Nasdaq are gaining back around half of what they lost during Friday's Omicron driven
weakness. Low trading volume helped contribute to Friday's volatility too as we keep reminding you.
More market participants are back at work today. And that could give us a clearer picture of how investors view the new health threat.
There is clearly much we do not know about how Omicron will play out. What we do know is that many leading economies are on pretty solid footings.
The U.S. is expected to report Friday that another half a million jobs were created last month. Fed Chair Jay Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet
Yellen are set to discuss the economic outlook and the Omicron uncertainty before Congress tomorrow. So, we'll be paying attention to that.
Business sentiment though could sour if the new variant is deemed a serious threat. OPEC+ saying it's delaying its planned meeting this week in hopes
of getting more information on the COVID situation. A lot of time being bought I think around the world. And this as the world races to understand
the gauge. And gauge the impact.
A growing number of countries now reporting confirmed cases of the highly mutated variant. We still don't know whether Omicron causes more severe
illness and how efficacious current vaccines will be in fighting it. So, let's get some expert advice.
Dr. Peter Hotez is co-director for Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children's Hospital and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at
Baylor College of Medicine.
Dr. Hotez, it's always great to have you with us.
Your wisdom first. What do we need to understand? There's much we don't know, but what can we assess at this stage?
DR. PETER HOTEZ, DEAN, NATIONAL SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE, BAYLOR: Yes. I think it's -- this is a time to also not - not panic and to have some
situational awareness. A few things to consider, Julia.
First of all, the fact that this variant is found in multiple European countries, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia in itself is not a cause for alarm.
Pretty much any variant that we've ever identified. By the time we identify it, it's the same situation. It's already in multiple countries across the
Beginning with the original variant out of Central China you know when we focused on closing the travel restrictions from China, the virus had
already entered into New York City from Southern Europe. So, I think that's a key piece to keep in mind.
Second, as you point out, severity of illness. Most of the variants have pretty much shown a similar clinical pattern. So, the likely scenario is
this virus also will not be substantially different from the others that we've seen. We've heard some reports that had causes less severe illness.
Hard to know. It's - I think it's too early to say. More likely it's going to be similar to the others.
Third, we're now with our vaccine looking to see whether it can cross protect against the Omicron variants. And there are some not very
complicated experiments that could be done in the laboratory to determine that hopefully by the end of the week.
And we have Pfizer, Moderna are doing the same. One possible scenario is that if you've been boosted and you have really high levels of virus
neutralizing the antibody, there should be enough to cross protect against the Omicron variant. Can't say that for sure.
This has been the case for the Beta variant out of South Africa last year. Remember the B.1.351. And the Lambda variant that had a lot of the similar
mutations as Omicron. But - so, I'm somewhat optimistic but we don't know for certain. And hopefully by the end of the week or early next week, we'll
have the following week. We'll have some information.
And finally, on transmissibility. Also, a lot we don't know. Yes, it accelerated in one province in South Africa, where Pretorian and
Johannesburg are located. It doesn't mean it's going to do the same globally. So, I think the key message is if you're really concerned and you
have access to vaccines, that should be what you should be doing.
Maximizing your ability to either get boosted, vaccinate your kids. And speaking to the unvaccinated because they remain at high risk. Particularly
with this existing Delta variant that's now accelerating in Europe and the United States and North America.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, there are so many great points in there. And Dr. Hotez, I know you and your team there have done brilliant work on creating your
own vaccine that's being utilized in poorer nations as well. So, we are literally talking about sitting tight, not panicking for again, perhaps
even at the end of the week, early next week. It's very few days just to sit tight, not panic and as you said, focus on the vaccines that we do
We don't have any sense yet whether this variant is sufficient to outcompete Delta. So, if we want to be panicking about anything, arguably,
we should be panicking about the variant that's out there already which is Delta or is all over the world.
HOTEZ: Yes. Let's look - look at the situation in United States, Julia. Since June 1 of this year, over the last six months, 150,000 unvaccinated
Americans - unvaccinated Americans needlessly threw their lives away because they refused to get vaccinated. That's a far greater problem than
likely Omicron is going to be.
The fact that people are defiant against getting vaccinated. And now, we're starting to see that antivaccine and anti-science defiance or aggression.
Go into Western Europe, into Canada, and that's what we need to focus on is getting everybody vaccinated.
And of course, globally, we have this tragic situation that the African continent is for all practical purposes unvaccinated. South America,
Central America, Southeast Asia are highly under-vaccinated because - and they don't have access to vaccines. So, we're hoping our vaccine can help
fill that gap and we're hoping for some good news soon out of India.
We've -- what we've done is transferred the technology for our vaccine and helping to co-development to vaccine producers in India, Indonesia,
Bangladesh. And now to a group that's going to hopefully do this in Africa and try to fill the gap with our protein vaccine.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. It's so important.
Peter, if more people were vaccinated, would we prevent or at least slow these variants that we keep talking about and this one obviously more than
others popping up so often because I think we all have unvaccinated friends, perhaps family members, acquaintances. When we say look, we need
to get -- people need to get vaccinated. They say look, vaccinated people are setting sick too. They're spreading it too. What's the response to
those people? What should we be saying to those people?
HOTEZ: Well, once you're boosted, it looks like your ability to spread the virus does diminish significantly. Just like it did after we got the first
two doses of mRNA in the weeks afterwards. That also halted transmission. That was studies from Israel. So, getting vaccinated makes a big
And here's the bottom line, Julia. Remember, if you look at our big pandemic threat variants, the Alpha, the Delta, now possibly Omicron. With
Alpha, it arose out of an unvaccinated population out of Southern England in 2020. With Delta, it arose out of an unvaccinated population - I'm
sorry, in Southern England in 2021.
And it was Delta arising out of unvaccinated population in India. And now Omicron out of an unvaccinated population in Africa. So, mother nature is
telling us what the problem is. We're not vaccinating the world. And as long as we continue to not do that, we will have significant variants
CHATTERLEY: I mean this is a respiratory virus. It's endemic. Do we all need to understand that look, we're not getting rid of this. And when our
hearts sank on Friday, when this news broke. We have to remember the key to this. And I think you're alluding to it here and you're making the point
quite precisely. The key to handling this is the response now and every day.
And more people booking vaccinations and trying to reduce the proportions of populations around the world. Those that have vaccine access and aren't
taking it but also those that don't have access and don't have the choice to try and protect against these variants popping up in unvaccinated people
wherever it is in the world.
HOTEZ: You know I've actually of the opinion, Julia, not all of my colleagues agree with me for full disclosure. But I do think we can
vaccinate our way out of this pandemic. But the problem is the bar is high. When you have a highly transmissible variant like Delta, it means that we
need 85 percent of the global population vaccinated, and fully vaccinated, which may mean three doses of mRNA or two doses of J&J in our vaccine.
So, it is doable. And people say, well, this will never happen. Well, I say of course it can happen. We've done it. We've done it with smallpox, with
polio. We do it often on a yearly basis with measles and diphtheria and pertussis and tetanus to dramatically reduce the prevalence. And so, we
have that track record. We just need the political and global commitment to make it happen.
CHATTERLEY: Can I just bring us back to the science and the short term of this and get your perspective on variants that were seen in the past and
the degree of mutation to the spike protein? Because this I think was what raised flags on Friday and people were up credibly alarmed. And obviously,
that changes the nature of how the variant to the virus itself behaves. But just from your understanding and your wisdom, compare this to what we've
seen in the past for other variants.
HOTEZ: Well, we've had other variants that have significant mutations in the spike protein and including the receptor binding domain that are
partially resistant to vaccines. One of them was the B.1.351, the Beta variant that came out of South Africa last year. Another was the Lambda
variant out of South America.
And you might be able (INAUDIBLE), I could barely remember those. And the reason you can barely remember those is because they never really
accelerated. So, I think this is a key point that just because you have a lot of mutations in the spike protein, that in itself is not causing
widespread transmission. So that there are other factors associated with the increase in transmission around different site called the furin
cleavage site that's doing it.
So, just because there are a lot of mutations in the spike protein in itself, may not be a big cause for alarm if we're getting cross protection
with the vaccines. The key is knowing whether it's more transmissible because of the other sites.
And it's a pretty high bar to outcompete the Delta variant. I suppose it's possible, but I've not really seen a lot of evidence that that's really
happening. So, I think, we have to be concerned. We have to be cautious, but this is not a time for undue alarm either.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. And the point is we've got a bigger issue and that's Delta. And we need to be reacting to that, never mind what we get in the
HOTEZ: Yes. In closing the borders and trying to isolate Southern Africa is not the way to go. We've already seen that it doesn't work and there are
better ways to do this, which is to work with the people of Southern Africa and build self-sufficiency so they can vaccinate their populations. And I
think we have the possibility to do that if there was the political will. So, assisting Africa and helping Africa is far more productive than trying
to isolate it.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. It's a political response, not a scientific response or a human response.
Dr. Peter Hotez, thank you so much for your wisdom as always.
HOTEZ: Thank you. Appreciate it.
CHATTERLEY: Stay safe. We'll let you get back to your team. Fingers crossed you have good news for us in the coming days.
You're watching "FIRST MOVE." More to come.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
And this is an interesting -- there are reports circling that twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is stepping down. Twitter stock is up on that report. Dorsey
co-founded the social media giant in 2006. And yesterday he tweeted, "I love Twitter."
Twitter stock was up as much as 6 percent on these reports, softening a little bit now. We're still working to verify the news. We'll bring you
more on it when we get it.
Of course, he's still the CEO of Twitter right now. He's still the CEO of Square as well. So, this is the last response you want when that rumor
swirled that you're stepping down, but it would someone else perhaps too are focused more keenly on Twitter. Nothing verified at this stage. We will
bring you further news if we get it.
Now Twitter not only the tech stock gaining ground this Monday. Tech is rallying along with the energy sectors. Investors continue to assess the
threat of the new Omicron variant.
Anna Stewart joins me now.
Anna, more investors on board paying attention today which means more liquidity, perhaps more rational response going on in the markets as well
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: More rational, I think that's it. A bit of a bounce back but certainly not really fully regaining the ground that was
lost on Friday. Looking at European markets, all up 1 percent or higher.
Similar story Wall Street as well. And look at the oil prices, Julia. Up 5, 6, nearly 7 percent for WTI. Again, doesn't fix the 10 percent drop we saw
on Friday. But it certainly feels that investors are taking stock they've had the weekend to look into this. To realize that they don't have all the
And I think that means we're set for a really volatile week or two. Essentially, have along it's going to take our scientists to look into this
variant and decide whether or not it could evade the vaccines that are out there at the moment.
What does it mean for the global economy? Does it mean further lockdowns loomed? Does it mean broader travel restrictions could be imposed? These
are big questions.
Of course, investors want the answers, but they don't have them yet. I saw one great comment from an analyst at Wells Fargo today saying, we do not
recommend panic selling or repositiony - repositioning, sorry. Conversely, it is hard to say nothing to see here, as you were. And I think that's
certainly the feeling I'm getting on markets today.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. I prefer your first version, repositiony. I'm feeling repositiony today.
Anna Stewart, thank you for that.
STEWART: I feel very repositiony.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, me too. Always.
Thank you very much for that.
You're watching "FIRST MOVE." More to come.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to "FIRST MOVE."
And a look at some of the stories making headlines around the world.
Turkey is ready to act as mediator between Ukraine and Russia. That's according to reports today. Russian forces have been accumulating on the
Ukraine border, inflaming longstanding tensions. On Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said a group of Russians and Ukrainians
separatists were planning to carry out a coup against him this week.
Taiwan's defense as they say China was trying to intimidate the island's military but warned that Taipei has countermeasures. Officials in Taipei
said more than two dozen Chinese Airforce planes flew into Taiwan's air defense zones, Sunday. China made a similar move last month. Beijing has
said the mission is to protect China's sovereignty.
Well, powers and Iran are convening today in Vienna to resume talks on Iran's nuclear program. It follows a nearly six-month break in discussions
and the election of Iran's new president.
The United States which pulled out of an international agreement signed in 2015, says it's prepared to use other options if diplomacy fails.
Nic Robertson has more on why expectations for this seventh round of talks are low.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Iran's uranium enrichment, a possible path to making a nuclear bomb is way beyond internationally agreed
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Iran has been using this time to advance its nuclear program.
ROBERTSON: Talks to have this off stalled late June with the election of a new hardline president in Iran. But will finally restart Monday. The
outcome is uncertain, the stakes high, the U.S. insisting Iran must move forward.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This window of opportunity will not be open forever.
ROBERTSON: The 2015 Iran nuclear deal called the JCPOA Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was a signature achievement of the Obama/Biden leadership.
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.
ROBERTSON: Years of fraught negotiations cut Iran's pathway to a bomb by limiting uranium enrichment and committing them to international
inspections. It wasn't perfect, but U.N. monitors confirmed it worked. Until 2018 when President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the JCPOA.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction.
ROBERTSON: Iran's responses up its uranium enrichment stymie some inspections. Tensions rose the U.S. killed Iran's top general. Tehran
strikes back at U.S. forces in Iraq. Iran's top nuclear scientists mysteriously shot dead. Tehran blames Israel confirmed by the U.S.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Diplomacy is the best way to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
ROBERTSON: Since getting into office, Biden has been trying to get back into the agreement and limit Iran's missile program. Iran has been playing
hardball. Six rounds of negotiations stalling even as they ramp up enrichment.
ALI BAGHERI KANI, IRANIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): The main issue in upcoming negotiations is actually removing all the illegal
sanctions against Iran.
ROBERTSON: And since the last round of talks, and added uncertainty, Iran has a new U.S. skeptic government with new negotiators.
ROBERTSON (on camera): At the recent G20 summit in Rome, President Biden met with European partners to firm up a plan if the talks stall again. And
for sure Iran will exploit any differences. The clock is ticking. And so far, Iran's calculation appears to be the talks for lack of them are going
in their favor.
Nic Roberson, CNN, London.
CHATTERLEY: An unusually sticky end here for our finale on "FIRST MOVE" today.
It's officially maple syrup Monday, at least in Julia world. Forget oil reserves. It's all about syrup supplies.
The shortage is so bad. Canada is releasing nearly 15 million pounds from its strategic maple syrup reserves. Yes, that is actually a thing. How cool
And the problem is not supply by the way. It is crazy levels of demand, up over 20 percent from last year as more of us cook at home. Pancake
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
In the meantime, stay safe. I think it's about keeping calm and carrying on at the moment.
"CONNECT THE WORLD" with Becky Anderson is next. And I'll see you tomorrow.