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Quest Means Business

Joe Biden to Unveil New Coronavirus Relief Package; Pence Takes Part in Inauguration Security Briefing; Trump Condemns Violence, Calls for Calm after Impeachment; Air Travel Set To Rebound With The Right Coronavirus Measures; Vaccines Are Liquid Gold: A Look At Organized Vaccine Crime; CEO Of Twitter's Stance: A New Reckoning For Social Media. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired January 14, 2021 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS HOST: Sixty minutes of trading left on Wall Street, and the Dow has a good chance of turning to at an all-time high.

The all-time high is 31,097 in the previous, so we're three over at the moment, six over there. Let's see if that holds. The market has been

drifting down as you can see. The gains are evaporating.

But that is the market, and this is the day so far.

Washington is getting corporate help on the security crackdown before the inauguration next week.

Joe Biden is about to unveil his new stimulus economic relief plan for COVID-19.

And Twitter's Jack Dorsey admits there is a dangerous precedent in his decision to block Donald Trump on Twitter.

We are live from New York and yes, it's Thursday, the 14th of January, mid- Jan already. I am Richard Quest and I still mean business.

Good evening. Tonight, Washington, D.C. is locking down ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration next week. There are now three times as many U.S.

National Guard troops patrolling the Capitol than the number of service members in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq combined.

With extremist threats on the rise, the Vice President Mike Pence is to take part in a security briefing in the next hour and sources say the

National Mall will be closed to the public for the January 20th swearing in. You'll remember that of course, is where people normally crowd on the

bow all the way from the Capitol to the monument.

President Trump is appealing for calm shortly after his impeachment yesterday, the President released this carefully scripted video.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to be very clear, I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week. Violence and

vandalism have absolutely no place in our country, and no place in our movement.

I cannot emphasize that there must be no violence, no law breaking, and no vandalism of any kind.


QUEST: Josh Campbell is with me, CNN's law enforcement and national security correspondent. So the numbers in Washington. Well, we'll talk

about the rest of the country in a second, but just the sheer number of National Guard and everybody on high alert -- is there credible threat or

is this precaution is better or prevention is better than cure.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's a mix, Richard. We often see security forces in and around an inauguration, beefing up

their presence. Again, this is historically been a high value potential target for extremists to go after the change of power and government in the

United States.

But I tell you it is taking on an even more stark and dire term here in the wake of this violent mob attack on the United States Capitol. And what

we're learning is that officials are concerned that that violent mob attack that we saw is actually going to inspire additional attacks.

Now in a U.S. law enforcement intelligence bulletin obtained by CNN, officials say that extremists are looking at that incident as a success and

they are now fueled. They are motivated.

Officials are very concerned that they could see a repeat style attack both this weekend and around the inauguration. They're taking nothing -- leaving

nothing to chance. I want to read you just a part of that bulletin obtained by CNN, "U.S. intelligence officials say that the violent breach of the

U.S. Capitol Building is very likely part of an ongoing trend in which extremists exploit lawful protest, rallies and demonstrations and other

gatherings to carry out ideologically motivated violence and criminal activity."

It goes on to say, "With the perception amongst some extremists, the breach of the U.S. Capitol Building was a significant advance towards achieving

their ideological goals. They may be inspired to carry out more violence."

So law enforcement on high alert, very concerned about future attacks.

QUEST: Josh, now that they are on notice, I mean, the numbers were considerable, but they weren't huge and with proper law enforcement

measures, it's not beyond the wit to keep things under control.

CAMPBELL: You know, it is still troubling for law enforcement, Richard, because there are multiple targets potentially in Washington, D.C. The

problem here is that this isn't simply an attack on, for example, Joe Biden and his party who will be there, the dignitaries that will be in


There are extremists in the United States right now who are intent on harming law enforcement and intent on harming the military. So although an

extremist may not be able to make their way to the actual Capitol, we know that the city has been turned into a fortress, the perimeter of law

enforcement officers and military still serves as a rich target for these extremists.


CAMPBELL: That is something that has the F.B.I. and other U.S. Intelligence Agencies on high alert. And it's worth noting, Richard, that according to

this U.S. Intelligence bulletin that we received, what is motivating so many of these actors actually mirrors the grievances that we have heard

from Donald Trump.

The first is this notion that there are these dark forces, this Deep State in government that's trying to undermine Trump that is listed by

Intelligence officials as motivating extremists. And secondly, the larger issue, Trump continues to say that this election was stolen, even though

that is a lie. That lie is motivating violent extremists.

So officials can do all they can to harden the city. They can't do anything to stop the motivation. That will require strong words from the President

to tell these extremists to back down -- Richard.

QUEST: Thank you, sir. Josh in Los Angeles. Now, a growing number of U.S. companies are making sure they don't play an inadvertent role in any

disruption of next week's inauguration.

For example, Airbnb is canceling bookings in Washington, D.C. Delta Airlines won't let passengers heading there pack guns in their luggage. And

passengers who harassed Senators Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham on previous flights have been added to the no-fly list for the airline.

As for the walkie -talkie app, Zello. They are actually moving channels used by suspected militias. Interpol, the policeman's police, if you're

like, they are the coordinating international force for the police of the world. Jurgen Stock is the group's Secretary General. He has been warning

about the security issues related to vaccines and we'll get to that in just a moment.

Secretary General, good to see you, as always. So you're joining me from Interpol headquarters in Leon.

On this question of the sort of lawlessness, which I suppose at one level can be seen as domestic in the United States, a version of domestic

terrorism. But we do know that this can spread, and there can be communications elsewhere and that must be of concern to you.

JURGEN STOCK, SECRETARY GENERAL, INTERPOL: Yes, pleased to be with you, Richard. Thank you very much. And indeed, the situation globally is really

variant. We are currently experiencing a global pandemic and what we see in parallel, actually, is a parallel pandemic of international terrorism, of

organized crime and specifically of cybercrime.

I've never seen in my long career such a dynamic situation where criminals are quickly shifting to new opportunities that are provided by the

pandemic, by the new vulnerabilities, by the concerns of people. And of course, what Interpol is specifically focusing is the international


So whenever an issue becomes an international issue, whenever there is a need for domestic law enforcement to contact their peers abroad, then it's

a case for Interpol and of course, we are carefully monitoring a possible international dimension of anything that is currently going on around the


QUEST: And that I assume, and I don't want to force it too far. But that I assume, would also include any international bad actors that decide to take

advantage of the chaos in Washington at the moment and the inauguration next week.

STOCK: I mean, we stand ready for any support we can provide. Of course, whenever again, a case has an international dimension, a suspect is wanted

somewhere else to use Interpol's global alert system, checking our 18 databases, checking our analytical databases, whether there might be any

links abroad. That's exactly why Interpol exists.

And this is where we can help our 194 member countries, whatever the problem is, that might have an international dimension.

QUEST: So on this question of the vaccines, now look, we're all familiar with the odd job person who decides to nick a few vaccines and try and sell

them on the black market from a hospital if they could, but you're talking about something much more nefarious. You're talking about structured and

organized crime with vaccines. What are they doing?

STOCK: I mean, actually, we have to acknowledge that, let's say the vaccine now the enrollment has been starting in many parts of the world is, let's

say the liquid gold in 2021. So criminals have already been starting preparing for that situation in let's say, attacking the vaccine,

translating that into simply making cash.

We have already sent alerts in the middle of last year and again in December, and said law enforcement and governments need to be prepared that

the vaccine will be attacked by a simple means. It can be a theft, it can be a break into the special warehouses, it can be any kind of

falsifications, fake vaccines that are sold online, or directly.


STOCK: And we've already been receiving information from all around the country that this exactly has been starting. We have been helping two

countries on two continents and in one continent, fake vaccine produced; in another continent distributed and we have been helping dismantling the

criminal gang behind it.

QUEST: What do you make of the cyberattack in Washington? Now Washington says it was the Russians who did it. The Russians have denied this, of

course, but the size and scale of this attack seems breathtaking. And I mean, you know, where does Interpol fit into that?

STOCK: I mean, what is more than ever needed and that's a lesson learned definitely for COVID and not a new experience. Of course, not a new finding

that international cooperation and coordination is more important than ever. No country, no region can fight cybercrime, which is borderless by

nature, in isolation.

So Interpol is uniquely placed to coordinate the activities of our 194 member countries, also to make the links on a global level to the industry,

because the cooperation with the industry is key. They have the information, they are quite often the first responders. They have the

technical means.

And that's exactly Interpol's role to coordinate international law enforcement, but also to make sure that we have the necessary links with

the industry, with the private sector to connect the dots and the islands of information and coordinated action is more important than ever --


QUEST: Last point, you said earlier, right at the start of this interview, that you've never known a more dynamic criminal situation or environment at

the moment. That's -- that's very worrying.

STOCK: Indeed, and again, that goes all across these different areas. Terrorism: attacks have still been going on. Terrorists try to exploit the

new vulnerabilities that COVID-19 has been brought to all our societies, organized crime groups, and I'm talking about global, organized, well

organized, specialized enterprises, specifically in the cyber arena where they organize through the Dark Net, through the internet, with

specialization, more dangerous than ever, and we have to put more emphasis on IT security.

And again, we have to further build that global architecture of security. We should not allow, let's say a second pandemic of crime of cybercrime

sweeping all over the world.

QUEST: Secretary General, always good to have you on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. We will check in with you at various points during the year, if we may,

sir, to see just how -- how we are doing on this. Thank you, sir. I appreciate it.

STOCK: Thank you.

QUEST: Now, dismal new job numbers -- or jobless is more accurate -- in the United States. The President-elect Joe Biden is going to roll out a new

COVID stimulus plan. We'll assess that plan in just a moment. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.



QUEST: This economic recovery has taken on a huge step in the wrong direction. More than 960,000 Americans have filed for first time

unemployment claims last week. It is the highest level since late August.

If you include self-employed and gig workers who aren't covered under regular benefits, and you're talking about number of claims totaling 1.4

million people, you see the way it's notching up at the end.

The Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says he is optimistic, the aggressive monetary response to the pandemic is working.


JEROME POWELL, U.S. FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN: The key thing there is and maybe we'll be able to avoid a lot of the -- a lot of the damage to

people's lives that well, you know, what we call labor market scarring, but what it really amounts to is people losing the life they've made in the

workforce. And that's really the thing that we're most focused on. It is getting this -- getting back to a strong labor market quickly enough that

people's lives can be -- can get back to where they want to be.

Because we were in a good place in February of 2020, and we think we can get back there, I would say much sooner than we had feared.


QUEST: Now, arguably, it was those comments, despite the bleak numbers, arguably the idea he thinks that we can get back to where we are that

buoyed the markets during the course of the session. They are now pretty much flat at this particular point.

So we surpassed the record on Friday, earlier on, then we pulled it back, and as you can see those gains have just about decided to evaporate

completely. We're down just a third -- three quarters of one percent.

The S&P 500 is narrowly off, and the NASDAQ is up. Both those still within distance of their own record highs.

In a few hours, Joe Biden will unveil an economic relief package that is expected to be worth $2 trillion. Now, people briefed on the plan say it

calls for direct payments to families and aid for local governments, something that was left out from the one that was just passed by Congress.

There would also be more money for vaccine distribution.

A Senate trial on Donald Trump's impeachment could hold up any deal in Congress. Joe Biden warned last month though, action would be needed.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Any package passed in the lame duck session is not going to be enough overall, it is critical.

But it's just a start. Congress, you are going to need to act again in January.


QUEST: Catherine Rampell joins me, economics commentator for CNN and "Washington Post" opinion columnist. The fact he's got the votes just in

the Senate makes getting that January package easier.

CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It should, in theory. It sort of depends on what's in the package, right? If they're doing this through a

process called reconciliation, they only need a basic majority to get a bill through.

If in fact, there are pieces of legislation that are not strictly about budgets, they're not strictly about spending or taxation, the threshold for

getting this past a filibuster would be higher.

So it's not a slam dunk, but you have to hope that there are enough Republicans out there who realize the need within their own states that

they would not try to block this, this much needed critical piece of legislation.

QUEST: And what about the idea that if there is a -- if there will -- there will be a trial of Donald Trump now who has been impeached. The existing

rules mean that the Senate can't consider anything else once the trials begin. Is it your understanding those rules will be changed?

RAMPELL: That I don't know the answer to, unfortunately. I know that Biden has asked at the very least that half of the senators' time be spent

focusing on this, you know, putting out this fire or at least, you know, keeping the flames at bay for the country, and rather than being wholly

consumed by the impeachment proceedings, but we just don't know the answer to that yet.

QUEST: That one will be -- there is a wait and see. What we don't need to wait to see is the worsening economic jobless numbers.


QUEST: Now, by some measures, of course, the underemployment and the way the employment record is going is worse than anything we've seen before.

RAMPELL: Yes. So the official headline unemployment numbers look bad but not, you know, obscenely bad. I think it was 6.7 percent in December. But

that doesn't include all of the many people who have given up looking for work. If you're not officially looking for work, if you're not knocking on

doors or sending out resumes, you do not count as unemployed, you're out of the labor force.

It also doesn't include people whose work hours were cut, maybe they're still employed part time, but they'd like to be working full time.

So the universe of people who are suffering economically from this crisis is much, much greater than the headline numbers would suggest. And it's

especially being felt by certain groups like mothers, for example, who have had to pull back from their jobs, they've dropped out of the labor force

entirely, because their kids are, you know, doing remote schooling and other populations as well.

So the scale of the suffering is enormous right now.

QUEST: Thank you, Catherine Rampell. Good to have you. Thank you.

A growing corporate backlash against President Trump has got two more big names. The Business Roundtable said that President Trump deserves the

strongest possible condemnation, whilst the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is issuing a similar message. Its CEO told Julia Chatterley, he was compelled

to respond to what he'd seen.


TOM DONOHUE, CEO, U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: We had very strong feelings about the appropriate way that -- he didn't behave leading up to that

tragedy, and we said that we condemned it. It was totally inappropriate.

And we said that we'd leave it to the House and the Senate and the Vice President, when they were talking about the ways to go forward. And we hope

they would do it in a judicial and thoughtful way. They have acted.

The Senate is saying that they will take up the trial after Mr. Biden -- as President Biden, and probably not immediately, because they want to have

the attention of the Senate on confirming important members of his Cabinet.


QUEST: Joining me now is the Chief Executive of Columbia Sportswear, it is Tim Boyle. His company co-signed a joint statement calling for an orderly

transition of power. And, Mr. Boyle, I don't think I'm being unfair, you're never backward at coming forward, in the sense of putting your money where

your mouth is and making sure you're using it.

Now, look, I worry here. What -- from your point of view, what is the right way to proceed, assuming that there will be an orderly transition of power

next week? I mean, he is being impeached, the President. Is that helpful, do you think?

TIM BOYLE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR: Well, you know, I've been quite clear about my feelings towards Mr. Trump. He has been quite

difficult, and especially as the son of an immigrant, just the entire view of the immigration process in the United States, which was so important in

the growth and the existence of the United States, I just couldn't be more strongly opposed to his feelings and policies.

The best way to move forward in my opinion, is to have the judicial bodies or I should say, the legislative bodies act to remove him from office and

from the ability to be a force in the Republican Party, in my opinion.

But, you know, President-elect Biden spent 30 plus years in that body, if he is unable to bring us forward in a way that's much more measured, and

frankly, in a positive way, I don't know anybody else who could do that.

QUEST: I always wonder, though, where do you -- where do you draw the line as a CEO? You know, in terms of -- I mean, perhaps Donald Trump is a bad

example, because the egregious behavior seems to have got a unanimity, almost of sort of criticism.

But where do you draw the line for when you put the company behind a political point? I'm just thinking of the fact that over 70 million people

did vote for Donald Trump.

BOYLE: Well, you know, that's America. There are broad views and held by large populations of the people. I can only state my view and, you know,

I'm only listening to it as a function of my position at the company. I'm not speaking for the company, I'm speaking for myself personally, and I

think that's an important distinction.


BOYLE: You know, we don't have a PAC at our company. The only packs we have are ones that you wear on your back when you're hiking. But I think it's

important for individuals, if they have the ability to be heard that they should say something. And, you know, so I've been not shy about saying that

I believe that that President Trump was a problem, and had been a terrible leader, and we're finally seeing some reaction to that activity.

QUEST: I want to skate in a completely different direction, if I may. It looks like lockdown continues for some time, and certainly in other

countries that's the way forward. I saw that, you know, you're seeing a vast increase in online sales and the company doing well online. Do you

think that's permanent? Do you see a structural shift that will survive long after the pandemic is over?

BOYLE: Well, I think all of us in business and in the business of getting products to people realize that the convenience of online shopping was

something that people found quite attractive. And overtime, we all thought that this would grow.

Obviously, the pandemic has accelerated that kind of adoption. And frankly, I think it will be quickly to 30 to 35 percent of the total retail sales

volume, in the U.S., certainly, but there are many places in the world where internet business is almost impossible just doing with the

facilities, the infrastructure, et cetera.

So there will be large pieces of the world that that rely heavily on in- person retail shopping and in-person retail shopping, brick and mortar shopping is not going away. It's going to diminish, but it's still an

activity that people enjoy performing.

And that, you know, I often talk about the bubblegum business. You know, if you didn't walk by the grocery store, cash register and see gum there and

bought it, there wouldn't be much people ordering bubblegum on online.

So there's a lot of -- there's a lot of that kind of business available.

QUEST: Great to have you. Thank you, Tim. I do appreciate it. We'll talk more as the year moves on. I wish you well.

Now, six days until the U.S. Inauguration, airlines are wasting no time doubling down on security. We'll update you in a moment.



QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. More QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment.

Twitter's CEO, Jack Dorsey, admits he may have set a dangerous precedent when he banned Donald Trump.

And the CEO of Etihad tells me a rebound for air travel is right around the corner.

Before we get to that, around our corner is the news because this is CNN and, on this network, the facts and the news always come first.

Starting on Saturday all of France will be under a tightened 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. curfew to curb coronavirus. It will last at least 15 days.

And unlike some of its neighbors, France has avoided a national lockdown until now. The government is leaving that option on the table should the

curfew fail to stop the spread.

Turkey's begun its coronavirus vaccine rollout and it started with front line workers. Nationwide more than 250,000 people have received the first

doses of China's Sinovac Biotech vaccine and that includes president erdogan.

The head of Interpol says criminals around the world are treating the vaccine like liquid gold. Speaking to me on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, Jurgen

Stock says organized crime was already trying to cash in whether through stealing or even forging the vaccine.


JURGEN STOCK, SECRETARY GENERAL, INTERPOL: Actually we have to acknowledge that, let's say, the vaccine now, the enrollment has been starting in many

parts of the world -- is, let's say, the liquid gold in 2021. So criminals have already begun starting preparing for that situation.


QUEST: The FBI has arrested a man photographed carrying a confederate flag inside the U.S. Capitol during last week's riots. He's facing charges

including violent entry and disorderly conduct. The man's son has been charged with the same offenses.

U.S. Airlines are stepping up security ahead of the inauguration next week.

The TSA, which is the organization that runs the airports' check points is increasing the number of screenings.

Delta Airlines, for instance, won't let passengers going to D.C. pack guns in their checked baggage. American Airlines won't serve alcohol on flights

to and from the area.

Pete Muntean is with me. These seem modest moves and I know there's much talk about the possibility of the no-fly list being used as well.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Richard. We have not heard from the TSA about whether or not they have actually added

anybody involved in last week's riots on the federal no-fly list. Something that -- names come from the FBI, this list administered by the

Transportation Security Administration, the agency that runs those airport check points.

The FBI said yesterday that it is looking into the federal no-fly list trying to keep people from boarding planes, coming here seeing as though

the Secret Service thinks there could be more copycat attacks like those that happened last Wednesday here at the Capitol.

It says the chatter online --

QUEST: Right.

MUNTEAN: -- is off of the charts, and there is a real concern things could get out of hand here again.

QUEST: Now, where are you? I can see you're in Washington and you're near the Capitol. But it looks almost like armed invasion just by the sheer

numbers and fences and security apparatus.

MUNTEAN: It's so true, Richard, and it's so jarring here. We are blocks away from the Capitol complex, and you can see this massive fence that has

gone up here around it.

It is very tall. I am six feet tall. The fence is about 8 feet tall. Not scalable says the head of the army.

Also here are some of the 20,000 members of the U.S. National Guard guarding the Capitol complex and the National Mall. We know the mall will

be mostly closed off to members of the public during this inauguration that is going to be like no other.

This is place that would typically be teeming with people now very much a fortress around the Capitol and National Mall.

QUEST: Right, but what is the fear here?


Working on the basis that lightening rarely strikes twice in the same place, and you have a military, a National Guard, a police force that is

now primed and ready. Is this level of security necessary?

MUNTEAN: Well, you have to consider the fact that the pentagon has said that it is concerned and it has intelligence that there could be improvised

explosive devices, pipe bombs, like we saw at the DNC and RNC last week that did not go off and that's a big of mystery still, Richard.

But the Secret Service which is now leading the security apparatus, this major operation at the Capitol here and National Mall, says there is

intelligence to say there are actual threats of this potentially happening again. Another armed protest here at the Capitol.

We are expecting to hear a little bit more about this today from Vice President Mike Pence as he meets with FEMA - there's about to be a briefing

about that around 4:00 Eastern Time so we're expecting to hear a little bit more about that soon.

QUEST: Pete Muntean in Washington. Thank you, sir.

Shares of Delta -- talking of airlines, they are -- they've risen today even though the airlines reported record losses for last year. Their shares

are up two percent.

Yet Delta celebrated record revenues just a year ago. And now the chief executive, Ed Bastien, is telling the "Financial Times" that he expects to

return to profitability by this summer.

Now, these optimistic reports or not alone. The head of Etihad Aviation Group is also confident that a recovery is around the corner and a strong

one at that.

Tony Douglas told me he's a born optimist when it comes to getting international travel going again.


TONY DOUGLAS, CEO, ETIHAD AVIATION GROUP: In the world of aviation I think it was the most challenging year in history, 2020. And as a born optimist I

certainly hope things will get a lot better in 2021 and onwards.

But we have to be realistic. COVID is a pandemic the likes of which none of us have seen before.

And Etihad, as an example, from August of last year became the first airline in the world -- and still is today the first airline in the world -

- that implemented 100 percent PCR testing for everybody at point of origin and point of arrival.

So you literally couldn't get onboard unless we could assure you of your wellness. But also you could be assured of everybody else who was onboard

had undertaken an equivalent set of testing.

Now, the question you ask, of course, I think takes us into the next phase.

So if this was the metaphor of the Chinese New Year, if 2020 was the year of the PCR I think 2021 will be the year of vaccine.

QUEST: Right.

DOUGLAS: And as vaccine becomes now more industrially available what we've already started to see is the benefits, of course, of the vaccination


And I think, going forward, that's going to be a big part to the return.

QUEST: Obviously, you're still seeing numbers highly depressed, but are you seeing any sign of a return in numbers? (Inaudible) one calls for optimism

other than the fact that we know a virus -- a vaccine is now here?

DOUGLAS: So for the last two months we've seen a very, very slow improvement in the situation in terms of passenger numbers. So, in one

sense, the line's going in the right direction.

But of course we wake up, everybody wakes up every morning and the media tells us there's a problem in another country, there's been an upturn

somewhere else and so on and so forth. So this really is moving target, it's very dynamic indeed.

And I think, realistically, this could well be a challenge for the best part of all of 2021 until vaccines really take more of a hold and create a

fire break.

QUEST: Pandemic aside, as you look -- because obviously you're planning now for this year, next year and thereafter -- can you see a profitable Etihad


DOUGLAS: (Inaudible) --

QUEST: -- really profitable, really profitable. I'm not talking about fairly profitable. A really profitable Etihad.

DOUGLAS: Absolutely yes, Richard. And I think for the financial analysts out there, if they look at our 2019 results, it was 600 million U.S.

dollars EBITDA.

So against the transformation program we were going through, we were well on the way.

We had a target for a complete turn around by around 2023 so we understood that this was a long game, it was never a black and white stick,



It required forthright action and frankly, damn hard work, and a complete redesign of the business model.

COVID's got in the way. And obviously, the negative and the positive.

Obviously, our revenues have been significantly impacted as I indicated last year -- and they currently are, quite obviously.

The positive -- perhaps your earlier point -- the old cliche, never waste a good crisis.

We've used every opportunity to fundamentally establish a different set of foundations for Etihad. And whilst, obviously, while there's no end in

sight to COVID, we're still confident 2023, 2024 we'll be where we said we were going to be.

QUEST: The head of Etihad there.

Germany's recording its worst economic contraction in more ta a decade. It's vaccine roll out is lagging behind other major economies.

In a moment, the E.U. trade commissioner and what can be done.


QUEST: Germany's economy shrank five percent last year. It's the worst drop since the financial crisis.

Now it didn't shake European markets much, Germany's forecast is better than other major economies. It's in the middle of a national lockdown at

the moment and the economists expect it will shrink further while the lockdown continues.

So you see Germany was only up a third of a percent although the FTSE was far heavier down.

Germany says it's given COVID vaccines to three-quarters of a million people. That's less than one percent of its population.

The entire E.U. has faced criticism over its slow approach to authorizing the vaccine.

I asked the E.U. trade commissioner if he was seeing problems with the rollout.

VALDIS DOMBROVSKIS, E.U. TRADE COMMISSIONER: We are still in early stages, vaccines are still being approached.

Just yesterday, for example, European Medicines Agency approved Moderna vaccine and as we are receiving those shipments of vaccines by the

producers this rolling out of vaccine is taking place.

Of course, there are issues in different member states and there is, of course, certain distribution (inaudible) competence -- what is being done

at the E.U. level and what is being done at the member states' level.

Of course, as regards national vaccination plans, who are the first to get vaccines, how exactly vaccinations are organized, it's done by each member

states. But we have arranged from the E.U. side are those joint procurements of vaccines and those vaccines that are available and are

distributed to E.U. member states.

But it's true that the faster we are with vaccinations, the faster we'll be able to lift also kinds of restrictions which are put in place which would

then also allow for a faster economic recovery.

QUEST: It's not strictly your area. But your thoughts on what we're seeing in Washington?

DOMBROVSKIS: Well, obviously we were shocked with what we saw happening in Washington, D.C. But we see that actually democratic institutions in the

United States are strong enough and Congress eventually approves president Biden -- President Elect Biden as the president of the United States so we

hope that there is going to be orderly transition of power. And that Democratic institutions in the United States are able to assert themselves.

QUEST: What do we learn from this, that the E.U. can take on board? I'm thinking particularly -- and I know we're worlds apart -- but I'm thinking

particularly about, obviously, the issues that the Union currently has with two members, Hungary and Poland where -- they're very different, I'll grant

you -- but the issue is one of the rule of law. The proceedings being taken by the commission relate to the rule of law. So what do we learn?

DOMBROVSKIS: Well, I think the lesson is very clear, that rule of law is very important and that we need to defend the rule of law.

And that's what we have been doing in the E.U. in recent years by strengthening the enforcement of rule of law in the E.U, by starting

basically annual assessment of all member states as regards to rule of law, by making available E.U. funding to E.U. member states with rule of law.

So, clearly, it's something which needs to be enforced and that's exactly what we're doing right now in the E.U..

QUEST: Twitter's chief executive is standing by the decision to ban Donald Trump. Jack Dorsey says though, it may have set a dangerous precedent by

taking control of public conversation.



QUEST: Twitter's chief exec says he's worried that banning President Trump has set a dangerous precedent for the platform.

Across a series of tweets, Jack Dorsey said Twitter made the right decision in regard to public safety, and he called any ban a failure in the first


Investors don't seem to like it. Twitter shares are down 13 percent since Trump was suspended.

Brian Stelter will be with me in just a second -- we'll come to Brian, apparently he isn't able to hear me just at the moment -- whilst we sort

out that problem.

Brian, can you hear me? No, Brian can't hear me just at the moment. So we will look at the markets while we fix that.

The last future moments of trade on Wall Street saw the -- look at this, this is interesting.

So here we have a market that was up throughout the course of the entire session even though the jobless numbers that we saw earlier were not good,

in fact they were bad, the number of jobless claims, they were quite bad.

Then we saw Jerome Powell speak. We've seen the worsening situation with the president and those -- the job, the market has given up the gains

throughout the course of the day.

So no record highs during the course of today. In fact, we're now down 33 points as we move towards the close.

Brian Stelter is with me now. Now, Brian, you can hear me?


QUEST: Fine. So Jack Dorsey--


QUEST: - he's done the in-the-old-days the parent who smacks the naughty child. It hurts me more than it hurts you. What do you make of what he says


STELTER: He's reckoning with his power, the power he has accumulated by running Twitter. And I think in some ways he fears the power that Twitter

and these other platforms have. In some ways he sounds more like a Stanford professor, some scholar, than the CEO of one of these big platforms.

But I am glad he's speaking out about this and reckoning with power he and his colleagues have. This is an important step, and this transparency is

something to cheer.

In the last few days big tech has been targeted by "Fox News," by other right-wing outlets, by the president. There has been enormous, overwhelming

criticism of Twitter and these other platforms from Trump-aligned media. They are savaging these platforms.

Of course, what they're not saying is this problem was created by the president, not by Twitter, by the president. It's the president's behavior

and how he has incited some of his radicalized followers.

That that is the crux of the problem here. That these tools that can be used for good are also being used to plan and organize criminal activity.

So that's the crux of the problem but the platforms do have a responsibility. And it seems like Dorsey, more than any other CEO I've

seen, is really publicly reckoning with what it means.

QUEST: OK. But you the other day took me to task when you pointed out that Angela Merkel and others like her have questioned --


QUEST: Now I sort of take what she says extremely seriously as a leader who grew up in the east.


QUEST: So what safeguards -- admittedly, in this case of Donald Trump he was given enough rope and he successfully managed to hang himself with it.

But what safe guards do you or we agree to when Twitter, Facebook et al is the new public square?

STELTER: The new public square. And a completely commercialized and privatized public square where there's not the kind of expectation for

democracy you'd have in a traditional public square at least in the West.

I think it is remarkable to hear Dorsey saying hey, this was a failure of our ability to make healthy conversation.

Again, it was Trump, it was Trump's failure. But he is saying that Twitter bears some responsibility to try to encourage healthy conversation on its

platform. That's going to have big consequences going forward. It's going to push Twitter to make more changes to make it quote-unquote "healthier."

But, of course, what does healthy mean, who decides what's healthy, not regulators. Twitter decides what's healthy.

And perhaps the sunlight that all of us in the press pour onto these platforms is the only thing that holds them accountable --


STELTER: -- the only thing that holds them accountable is this news coverage.

QUEST: And I think it's worth also stating -- so I will --


QUEST: -- and it's going to be messy as we make up the rules.


This is the first major crisis, if you like, of the social media era involving a president, a leader, in this fashion. So it's not unexpected,

frankly, that we're going to make a dog's breakfast of it.

STELTER: I agree with you. This is that old adage about driving the car while you're trying to rebuild the car. It's fitted out down the highway

and you're trying to rebuild the engine.

It is very messy, mistakes are going to be made, these problems are going to make more mistakes as they go along.

QUEST: Yes. STELTER: We need more action like Dorsey transparently talking through this. And, by the way, hopefully on TV as well he should come out and he

should talk about this. But that transparency is vital.

Oftentimes, these executives, they sound like robots. Zuckerberg from Facebook, he sounds like a robot reading a script most of the time when he

talks about Facebook's choices.

I think Dorsey is showing -- looking inward in a way that's valuable. I hope we see a lot more of this.

QUEST: Brian Stelter, always good to have you talking on the program tonight. Thank you, sir.

STELTER: Thank you.

We will take a profitable moment after the break.


QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment." We were pleased to bring you tonight the interview with the head of Interpol, the Secretary-General Jurgen


He described the COVID vaccine as the new liquid gold and that organized crime had been preparing for months for its arrival.

Fakes that are being made, real vaccines that are being stolen and then sold on informal markets. The whole nasty business of organized crime has

spotted the gravy train and is moving fast. And that's why international cooperation is important.

But he went further. If you take the pandemic and you look at the vaccines and you take what's happening with cybersecurity we are living, he says, in

the most dynamic criminal environment that he can remember.

That's pretty frightening stuff. Particularly when you factor in what we saw in Washington and the domestic terrorism angles that are now being

followed here in the United States.

Put it all together -- well, it's time for a cup of tea. We need to sit down and have a think about what needs to be done and the way forward to

protect liberties but put these people out of business.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable.

The Dow is down. the day is done. Jake Tapper and The LEAD is next.