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Quest Means Business
Draghi Tasked With Becoming Italy's Next Prime Minister; Bezos Plots Exit As Amazon CEO; E.U. Divided On Vaccine Efficacy, Members Set Different Restrictions; Protecting A Chinese Natural Treasure: Yunnan Golden Monkeys; President Duque Marquez On Colombia's Vaccine Rollout. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired February 03, 2021 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: It is a midweek session and the Dow looking for its third straight day of gains with 60 minutes left to trade,
down at the beginning, not surprisingly, the gains we've seen lately, but staging, I would say a fair rally in the afternoon the way things are
moving, just up a tad, but it is positive. The markets and the events of the day.
Mister whatever-it-takes has a new job, essentially turns to former E.C.B. Chief Mario Draghi to lead its next government if he can.
Amazon investors are looking to life after Jeff Bezos.
And Switzerland says it needs more data before it can approve AstraZeneca's vaccine. I'll speak to the W.H.O.'s European chief.
We all live in New York, no snow today. It is though midweek, Wednesday, the third of February.
I am Richard Quest, and yes, I mean business.
Good evening. We start tonight in Italy and Mario Draghi, the man who is credited with saving Europe's economy and the single currency, whatever it
takes, he has a brand new challenge.
He is also the former head of the E.C.B. and he is set to become Italy's next Prime Minister. He has been asked and been given a mandate by the
Italian Prime Minister if he can form a new government. He has a tough job ahead of him guiding his country out of a deadly pandemic, a shrinking
economy and political turmoil.
Why does he want it? Draghi says, he is ready to get started.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARIO DRAGHI, FORMER E.C.B. PRESIDENT (through translator): The seriousness of the emergency demands answers that are up to the task. It is with this
hope and this dedication that I have accepted the President's appeal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: This is an extraordinary development, bearing in mind, Draghi earned the title "Super Mario" for his role during the European sovereign debt
crisis. He says he hopes to avoid snap elections, but putting together a government is far from a done deal.
Our correspondent in Rome, Delia Gallagher reports.
DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Richard, some resolution is in sight to Italy's government crisis with today's announcement that Mario Draghi,
former head of the European Central Bank has accepted President Sergio Mattarella's invitation to form a new government.
It's a solution which will avoid Italians having to hold new elections during a pandemic, something which the President said was not advisable. Of
course, the government crisis came about when some members of former Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's coalition withdrew their support from him,
criticizing him for his handling of the pandemic and the economy.
Mario Draghi gave some brief comments to the nation today, in which he said it's a difficult moment for Italy, which has to overcome the pandemic
rollout of vaccine plan and relaunch the economy.
Now his appointment will not be official until he is given a vote of confidence in the coming days by the Parliament. Many people here are happy
with the announcement of Mario Draghi. He is a well-respected economist nationally and internationally.
But the real question here, Richard, is just how well he'll be able to govern, given these deep divisions within Italy's political parties --
QUEST: Thank you, Delia Gallagher in Rome.
The interesting thing, of course, is Mario Draghi, a man who almost never spoke in interviews, although he did do press conferences when he was the
head of the E.C.B. Now of course, leading the country or could be.
The latest turmoil began when a party led by Matteo Renzi withdrew its support for the coalition government. The former Prime Minister explained
to CNN why Draghi is more than ready to meet the moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTEO RENZI, FORMER ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER: If you are a leader with a vision, you have the responsibility, the duty to create the future.
Okay, let me be very frank. Italy is a great country, but we need a vision because that is time to create a vision exactly to get off the situation of
crisis and to exit from crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: And the markets, how they've reacted. Well, you can tell that they obviously they clearly liked it. The FTSE, the MIBTel is up two percent,
well outpacing the rest of the European bosses, so they like the steady hand. The markets like the steady hand of Mario Draghi.
QUEST: Joseph Stiglitz is the Nobel Prize winning economist, author of "The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe." Good to see
you, Joseph. Thank you.
Before we talk about the U.S., let's just put this to rest and Mario Draghi who did a stellar job at the E.C.B. holding it together, holding the euro
together. Is he the right man on the political front for Italy?
JOSEPH STIGLITZ, NOBEL PRIZE WINNING ECONOMIST: Oh, I think he is. But as you said, the challenge is enormous.
Two of the major parties in Parliament are Eurosceptics, the Northern League and the Fifth of May Movement. So he has to get a vote of confidence
in Parliament and that entails support from parties that have been skeptical of the Eurozone.
QUEST: We've seen the evidence that when in doubt, the Italians turn to technocrats. Draghi is a technocrat, but he's more than that, because of
his E.C.B., and his former -- I mean, he was he was head of the Bank of Italy before that. So he serves many purposes here. But is he a rough and
STIGLITZ: Oh, I think he is up to the mark undoubtedly. I mean, anybody who has been in the positions that he's been in had to manage the Germans who
were skeptical of the kind of measures that Draghi pushed at the E.C.B.
I think he is a really skilled politician, as well as a first rate technocrat.
QUEST: Let's turn to the United States, and I want to get your thoughts out. So, the President has put forward $1.9 trillion and the Republicans
put forward $600 billion or $700 billion.
You are -- you have come out completely in favor of the larger plan. But bearing in mind, the C.B.O. says that growth will have been restored by
mid-year and unemployment should come down from mid to late year onwards. Why such a large number?
STIGLITZ: One of the things that C.B.O. pointed out is that under current policy, we are not expected to get back to our previous unemployment rate
until the end of the decade.
The way C.B.O. does these things, they do the calculations, assuming no new policies. So if we're going to get our economy really going, we do need a
What we learned in 2008 and 2009 is that there is long term damage if you don't do enough upfront.
QUEST: But between, you know, Janet Yellen's go big and the Republicans go modest and poor, surely, there is a middle ground because $1.9 trillion
does add such a level of stimulus.
I hesitate to use the word inflationary, but if the economy is already picking up steam, and I know there's plenty of room for monetary tightening
in the future, but wouldn't it be better to do a little bit less?
STIGLITZ: No, I think -- I really think that going big is the right way. If it turns out -- remember, part of the package here is for instance,
Unemployment insurance only gets paid out if there's unemployment. So if those who are optimistic are right and the economy recovers, the pandemic
gets under control, the vaccines work, then we won't be spending all that money because the unemployment rate will come down and that part of the
package that is aimed at the unemployed will automatically come down.
So that's one of the big features of this kind of framework. It automatically adjust, if it turns out that the recovery is stronger than
I'm afraid it might not be.
QUEST: So the politics, the realpolitik of a deal, what would you be prepared to ditch? And there's no -- I mean, there is no better political
congressional negotiator than Joe Biden.
But if for example, it comes down to: I'll give you everything else from the Republicans, they say but we are not giving you the $15.00 minimum
wage, do you go over the cliff for that?
STIGLITZ: Well, the one thing I would compromise on is the income levels for which you give the $1,400.00 check. You know, there is room here, I
think for a compromise to say, okay, we don't have to go that high up.
You know, in 2017, we gave an enormous amount of money to our millionaires, our billionaires, to the corporations. So to criticize giving money to the
middle class, I think takes a little bit of a nerve but still, in light of the size of the package, that is the place where I would focus the
QUEST: Good to see you. You're looking well as always, sir. I am grateful for your time.
STIGLITZ: Thank you.
QUEST: Thank you. You're looking well.
STIGLITZ: Thank you very much.
QUEST: Jeff Bezos started selling books in his garage and changed retail forever. Now, he is leaving Amazon as CEO. He is going to focus as
Executive Chairman and looking to focus on his passion projects going into space.
The big challenges for Amazon, the company he founded.
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
QUEST: Amazon shares are slightly down after the announcement that the founder, Jeff Bezos is to step down as Chief Executive. He will remain as
He started the company 27 years ago and he plans to remain involved as Executive Chair. He is being replaced as CEO by Andy Jassy, who has worked
at Amazon since 1997 and runs its Cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services.
Amazon selling books in his garage and launching space rockets. Before we look further into what the future might be, let's see what Jeff Bezos has
achieved and what comes next.
Anna Stewart reports.
JEFF BEZOS, CEO, AMAZON: Amazon is in the retailing business, which is this huge market. It is $5 trillion around the world and even if we are wildly
successful, we are only going to be a tiny, tiny piece of that market.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice over): Clearly, Amazon is wildly successful. What started out as an online bookstore launched from his
garage in 1994 has made Jeff Bezos one of the world's richest men.
BEZOS: This is more than 10 times the selection that you will find in a typical physical world software store.
STEWART (voice over): Now, Amazon sells nearly everything, and the $1.7 trillion company does much more than e-commerce.
It's one of the world's biggest entertainment platforms with Audible, Twitch, Amazon Music and Amazon Prime Video.
It's a major player in Cloud computing, which generates most of its profits, and those are sizable. Amazon racked up record revenue in the last
quarter with the pandemic fueling an explosion in online shopping.
In a letter to his employees, Bezos explained why he is stepping down, writing, "Being the CEO of Amazon is a deep responsibility and it's
consuming. When you have a responsibility like that, it is hard to put attention on anything else."
Not least, given the attention that Amazon receives from regulators.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The purpose of today's hearing is to examine the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.
STEWART (voice over): Bezos appeared virtually before Congress last year to face tough questions. He says, he now wants to focus on some of his other
projects, The Earth Fund, "The Washington Post" and Blue Origin, which plans to make space accessible to all.
He is not alone, so does Elon Musk.
BEZOS: You don't choose your passions. Your passions choose you.
STEWART (voice over): Now Bezos has more time to devote to the billionaire space race where the sky is no limit.
Anna Stewart, CNN, London.
QUEST: The man Bezos has picked to succeed him and says he can't imagine Amazon without its founder. Two years ago, Poppy Harlow asked Andy Jassy if
he was interested in the top job.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDY JASSY, INCOMING CEO OF AMAZON: I feel very fortunate that Jeff is not going anywhere anytime soon, and none of us want him to. He's just such an
unusual leader and so much part of the culture that I think he's going to be here for a very long time.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: But after him? Any interest?
JASSY: It is -- you know, it's kind of hard to imagine life without Jeff running the company.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: No, well, got used to it, because you'll be running it soon. As Bezos gets ready to check out from Amazon's day-to-day operations. So let's
look at the big ticket items that his successor will have to deal with.
The number one, of course is regulation in terms of the big issues. Regulation: the pandemic brought more antitrust scrutiny with greater
success. It is an act of target by the E.U. and the U.S., and those appearances that we showed you didn't go well, those congressional
appearances before Congress.
There are labor issues. It is perpetually criticized for low wages and miserable conditions and it is constantly fighting unionization.
And then you've got in the checkout basket, the expansion, the marketplace. It's mature and Amazon Web Services, AWS, is the biggest profit driver.
And as if all that's not enough, you've got sales at $100 billion in Q4, which is a very high bar for a new CEO to grow once the pandemic boom sort
of subsides somewhat.
And finally, Amazon has also interest in "Washington Post," Blue Origin, The Earth Fund, and all the other things that he is involved with.
Scott Galloway is a Professor at New York University's Stern School of Business. I head into this interview with trepidation, Scott, knowing your
love of Amazon and its business model, but now Bezos has gone or going, what do you think happens next?
SCOTT GALLOWAY, PROFESSOR, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY'S STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: First off, I think you cannot agree with everything that Amazon has done
and how they acquitted themselves and not -- and tip your hat to what is an incredible career.
Zero to $1.7 trillion, 83 percent of households have a recurring revenue relationship, hired 500,000 people in one year.
As it relates to what what's next? I think the company -- I initially thought the company would spin AWS. Now, I think Amazon is slowly but
surely moves to becoming a Cloud company that has an e-commerce division.
I think the more interesting question, quite frankly, is what happens with Jeff Bezos? You know when -- Richard, I don't know if you remember when
Bill Gates retired, but he -- there wasn't a lot of love for Bill Gates up until the moment he retired, and then he went on, he wasn't very
philanthropic, and then he went on to tackle or attempted to address some very big issues to make huge progress against infectious diseases.
So Bezos has had a meaningful impact on the business world, no doubt. The question is, hopefully he could have a profound impact on some of the
issues facing society. So I think it's very exciting to think about what he is going to do next.
QUEST: And you're right, because Gates didn't exhibit -- I mean, he had a foundation and a philanthropic sort of -- I remember asking him once about
it and he wasn't particularly -- years ago.
But Bezos, I mean, if he decides to ginny up "The Washington Post" and those journalistic and First Amendment, then we could be looking at a
complete revolution there as well.
GALLOWAY: It's just exciting. It's intoxicating to think about. I mean, Jeff Bezos is arguably the bluest blue flame thinker we have had in our
generation, obviously, tremendous resources, tremendous contacts, tremendous energy.
You know, he set his sights on e-commerce, the Cloud and voice and revolutionize those industries. What if he were to set his eyes on food
insecurity or set his sights on income inequality or set his sights on climate change? This is a formidable person that still has another 30 or 40
years at least on this planet.
So absolutely. It's exciting to look at the rearview mirror, tip the hat. There is a grace to leaving while the people are still applauding, but I
think it's really exciting to think about what's next.
QUEST: Now let's look at the man taking over, Andy Jassy. He obviously knows the company brilliantly, he has been there. He is actually one of the
most profitable part of it. But, you know, analogies are being made with Steve Ballmer and with Tim Cook, with Jeff Immelt, GE, all of whom took
over after a very strong predecessors, sometimes founder predecessors. Where do you see Jassy?
GALLOWAY: Look, Andy Jassy is arguably the second most powerful person in business behind the person who has got a gold watch, and AWS, I believe is
the most valuable company in the world.
If Amazon were to spin AWS today, Andy Jassy would run the most valuable company in the world and I think every -- this solves a lot of problems.
Every executive of Mr. Jassy's talent wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror and says, "Good morning, Mr. CEO." So this solves that problem. But
I think this is a really seamless thoughtful handoff as our most handoffs or most business initiatives at Amazon.
This is Fred and Ginger. This isn't a CEO who is hanging around the hoop too long. I think that they know how to finish each other sentences. I
think this is going to be more like, more like Jobs handing over to Cook, I think it's going to be very seamless.
But as an Amazon shareholder, I think you just look at this and think this has been an amazing run and there's no reason why it's likely going to stop
QUEST: All right, let's stay with other issues. I want, Scott, GameStop. Because the U.S. Treasury Secretary wants to speak with financial
regulators about the volatility unleashed by day traders, piling into GameStop et al.
Now, both of them: GameStop and AMC is rebounding today, well off their recent peaks, I mean -- and the Treasury official says -- Janet Yellen
plans to get together this week with heads of Securities and Exchange Commission. So what do you make of this? What lessons do you take away from
what we've seen for what -- I want to call it the GameStop debacle?
GALLOWAY: I think what fuels the rage is that the amount of wealth controlled by people under the age of 40 has gone from 19 percent to nine
percent, and to a certain extent, what has happened here among called the sub-Redditors are WallStreetBet is no different than what hedge funds have
been doing for a long time, organizing a coordinated attack, if you want to call it. They've just done it better. They've just done it with different
mediums and different methods.
The question is, does it inject a level of systemic risk? Are there certain protections that we should put in place for retail investors around wild
swings? Are people in there trying to manipulate the stock?
But what we have to be careful of, Richard, is that any scrutiny of these individuals and these institutions and their methods have to be applied to
the existing institutions.
There have been hedge funds that have been doing this for a long time. But the lesson I take away is that unless we figure out an economy that rewards
everybody, and gives people the same opportunities in this country that your and my generation recognize, we're going to have a lot of people who
find means of trying to strike back.
But at the end of the day, 80 percent of day traders lose money.
QUEST: That's the point. I mean, that's the point. Whatever quixotic goal they may have had to stick it to the institution.
GALLOWAY: To the man.
QUEST: Yes, the institutions know what they were doing. They were quite upfront about -- in most cases about what they're doing, and the only
people who have really lost out are the ones who can least afford to lose out.
GALLOWAY: Richard, I agree with you. Look, the question is, were they sticking it to the man or did the man stick? And when you have people who
are the wealthiest men in the world or people who made billions of dollars on Facebook, or the Winklevoss brothers who are Harvard educated
billionaire saying hold the line, you wonder if these individuals aren't William Wallace, but they are the King and the King's Guard.
And I think there's a lot of pain here, but I think it reflects a general dissatisfaction that younger people don't feel they have the same
The question is: are they being heavy handed with the wrong people? And are their methods only going to result in a lot of pain?
QUEST: There we go. Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. I could have a longer discussion with you. I'm grateful to you. Thank you, Scott, as always.
GALLOWAY: Thank you, Richard.
QUEST: And the markets to update you before we take a short break. Take a look. Three straight days of gains. We haven't put on any weight since the
beginning of the program at three o'clock New York time, but there are reasons for optimism including this rebound in private payroll data jobs,
and the President moving forward with lawmakers on a COVID relief bill that we are a long way. Don't get any ideas that this is going to happen before
A growing number of European countries are limiting the use of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine. One has declined to, in Switzerland, to
authorize it all together.
We'll talk that in just a moment. It is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Very glad you are with us this evening.
QUEST: Hello, I am Richard Quest, a lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight. There is confusion over AstraZeneca's vaccine. Switzerland becomes the
first European nation to reject its request for authorization, bearing in mind the E.U. didn't.
And Columbia's president joins me as his country grapples with a brutal second wave of infections.
You're watching CNN, globally, and on this network, the news always comes first.
U.S. lawmakers paid final respects today to Brian Sicknick, a Capitol Hill police officer who died During the January 6th insurrection. He was laid in
honor at the Capitol Rotunda, a rare tribute for a private citizen. He will be remembered as a hero who sacrificed his life trying to save others.
The World Economic Forum which was supposed to take place in Singapore in May is now postponed again. It's scheduled for late August. The delay's
blamed on COVID travel restrictions and what WEF called global challenges in containing the pandemic.
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined the national clap for Tom a few hours ago.
People all over the U.K. came out to applaud the life of Captain Sir Tom Moore. He died Tuesday at the age of 100. He raised $45 million for the
National Health Services by walking laps of his garden.
There's a growing divide tonight in Europe over AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine -- now despite it winning approval from E.U. regulators last week
Now today, the non-E.U. member, Switzerland, declined to authorize it. It says there is insufficient data. Belgium will limit the vaccine to adults
under 55. And there's a growing list of countries that have restricted access. You can see it there under the age limit.
AstraZeneca says the vaccine developed with the University of Oxford has been approved in nearly 50 countries and the company says -- "We are
confident that our vaccine is effective, well-tolerated and can have a real impact on the pandemic."
And talking about AstraZeneca, the new study appears seems to support the optimism. Oxford researchers say the vaccine, AstraZeneca, may actually
reduce transmission of the virus instead of just reducing the severity alone.
Preliminary results were published in "The Lancet."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD HORTON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE LANCET: This has not been fully peer reviewed just yet. But what it looks like is that this -- the Oxford
vaccine can reduce transmission as much as two-thirds which is a stunning discovery if that's true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Dr. Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization's regional director for Europe joins me from Copenhagen.
Hans, it is good to see you. Thank you.
This is not helpful when Switzerland refuses to give emergency use authorization, the E.U. regulator does give it and doesn't qualify it.
Germany, Belgium et al say it shouldn't be given under 65, and everybody else says no, it's fine.
This is very unhelpful to people trying to work out what this vaccine's good for and not.
DR. HANS KLUGE, REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR EUROPE, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Right. Well, Richard, I definitely agree that the vaccine narrative is
complex and at times confusing.
On the results of specifically the AstraZeneca the strategic advisory group of independent experts will convene next week and will very carefully look
at the facts and then make any decisions.
QUEST: So at the moment -- somebody's about to have the vaccine tomorrow, all right? You're about to get a jab of AstraZeneca tomorrow. What do you
do, sir, what do you do, Doctor?
KLUGE: Well, the key issue, Richard, is transparent communication by the government to instill trust in the community. I think that's absolutely
key. And let's not forget it's a staged process.
So the priority is the health care worker then the elderly people. And let's take it -- as a positive moment, an educational moment -- the
interest of the people in health has never been as high.
QUEST: Do you think it's -- do you think we've managed to cock up the approval process where you've got -- even within the E.U. you've got
different countries saying different things -- and you're left saying well, come on, surely during the nine months before approvals came along you
could have all come together and decided on one standard, one authority, one decision-making body? Maybe the WHO.
KLUGE: Well, you're absolutely telling right, Richard. We do have the emergency use listing and the pre-qualification and that's what WHO was
However, coming back to your question. Well, I think there's much more solidarity around the vaccine in the world than often is talked about.
It's not only that. Until the vaccination process is being -- getting up to speed there will be some collision between international solidarity and
national responsibility. No one wants to be left alone in the --
-- biggest national, international vaccination effort since 1796 when basically Edward Jenner was putting the first jab of smallpox vaccine. This
is not routine immunization, this is pandemic immunization.
QUEST: Tonight -- the "FT" has just sent me an alert saying that the number of vaccines now exceeds -- the number of vaccines delivered, something like
104 million, now exceeds the number of COVID positive cases in the world at 103 million.
So if this continues, when do you think we start to shift the balance? Anthony Fauci said yesterday he believed that sort of the tipping point was
the summer when you could have sports (inaudible) and things, a normal summer.
When do you think we see that tipping point?
KLUGE: Well, the tipping point would be influenced also, Richard, range in a number of factors including the widespread -- I'm speaking for my region,
WHO European region -- of the variants, for example.
We have to -- this is not a new virus, it doesn't change the way we fight but it goes much faster. Which means that health systems already under
strain will cope much more difficult including intensive care units.
We have to be very vigilant what it means for the effectiveness of the vaccine and some reliable projections show it will have a combination of
rebound mobility by the people who are vaccinated. With the fast spread of variants, we may see an increase still April, May, of daily mortality
So there is hope, there is, absolutely. But we have to be very vigilant, ,as of today, to follow those trends.
QUEST: Finally, I just wanted to just touch on the WHO, of course, and the body that is now visiting Wuhan to find out the origins of the whole thing.
Do you have confidence that we'll get to the bottom of it?
KLUGE: Well, the team is there. It's coupled with Chinese counterparts. Even the 14 days they were in so-called quarantine, there was very
And let's not forget, Richard, this is not just a WHO secretariat mission, this is your mission, the mission of the world because it was mandated by
the 194 states including the United States for which we are very grateful.
So this is all our mission and I'm confident that there will be results. And let's give the mission time to do quietly their work.
QUEST: Would you take any of the vaccines that are on the market today that have got some form of approval of one sort of another? Would you take any
of them or all of them or all of them?
KLUGE: Well, I will take -- my principle always has been the one which is emergency use listed by the WHO and I'm confident there will be many more.
And yesterday, "The Lancet" published the preliminary results of the phase 3 trial of Sputnik V with 91.6 percent which is a great achievement.
So I'm quite confident -- but also I would not be the first, Richard. I'm living in Denmark, Richard, very egalitarian. I'm not the first; healthcare
workers should be the first, our heroes --
KLUGE: -- the elderly people, the co-morbidities.
QUEST: Good point. Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. Thank you. Always good to have you on the program.
Now we go to Colombia now which, of course, is battling a fierce second wave of the virus.
Vaccine distribution in Colombia is still two weeks away, at least the president tonight says it's deliberate so there's a coherent plan in place.
The critics say it's anything but.
My interview with the president of Colombia after the break.
QUEST: It's our "Call to Earth". The environment and sharing solutions between us on critical issues like well -- the global warming,
And this week we're all about endangered species and the people working to protect them.
For today's report a conservation coalition comes together in southwest China. They are aiming to protect the Yunnan golden monkeys.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CALL TO EARTH NARRATOR: This Chinese national treasure is more endangered than the panda, its lichen-covered forest home at risk.
Known as the wild men of the mountains, the Yunnan golden monkeys or back snub-nosed monkeys, are fighting for survival.
In the high-altitude woodlands of southwest China's Yunnan province, they're hanging on for dear life and conservation groups say only a few
thousand are left in the wild.
XU HAO, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR, YUNNAN GREEN ENVIRONMENT DEVELOP FOUNDATION (Through Translator): Villagers rely on the mountains. In the
old days, they would often climb the mountains for hunting and other activities such as gathering wood and cutting trees.
STOUT: Almost 100 monkeys are kill by hunters every year in the region according to the Nature Conservancy.
But as part of a forest-monitoring (ph) campaign, Xu Hao trains local villagers to patrol the monkey's habitat and look for old wire traps.
HAO (Through Translator): This is the wire trap. Villagers put this thing on the mountain, tie it to the tree and use it to catch some animals.
STOUT: His team has installed over 100 infrared cameras in the forest to monitor the monkeys and some of their inquisitive neighbors like the red
panda, the Asiatic black bear and the yellow-throated martin.
Protecting the astonishing biodiversity of this region is the goal of the Nature Conservancy which has been working with local villagers for the past
20 years alongside government agencies and other partners.
In 2019 this conservation coalition established a protection network for the monkeys stretching across nearly 2,700 square miles.
Their work includes supporting local communities to create alternative livelihoods to hunting and logging like selling handicrafts and training
them in forest monitoring.
LIAO HAOHONG, ACTING SENIOR MANAGER, YUNNAN PROGRAM, The NATURE CONSERVANCY (Through Translator): The local people are increasingly able to realize the
importance of protecting Yunnan golden monkeys. More and more villagers have joined as rangers.
CHU XEUMING, FOREST RANGER (Through Translator): Every time I go to the mountains I see monkeys. If it's the same as before, just like the older
generations, if you hunt like that you will almost never see the golden monkeys in a few more generations. So it's really good to protect them.
STOUT: Ensuring the monkeys survival for future generations hangs in the balance for all the residents of the region.
LI PENG, CONSERVATION REPRESENTATIVE, LAOJUNSHAN NATURE CENTER: We need to consider the development of the local area, the community.
But at the main time we need to consider the conservation of the monkeys and hopefully we can make sure the people and the monkey can survive at the
STOUT: Proving the proverb, "It takes a village," global golden monkey populations in the region are finally increasing, says Li Peng.
He says Laojunshan area now has around 300 golden monkeys and the total number across Yunnan and Tibet is around 3,000.
PENG: Hopefully the number will grow even more in the future. This monkey is like a flagship species in the area, one of the only kind of animals
living in this high altitude.
So the existence of this species is kind of important and critical to the whole world.
QUEST: Those stories, brilliant. We'll continue showcasing them, of course, as part of our initiative here.
And you're joining in, of course. "Call to Earth", #calltoearth.
QUEST: The Colombian president told me most of the population in his country will be vaccinated by the end of the year. Now, that's longer than
in many other countries.
Right now, though, Colombia has yet to receive any doses of the vaccine. And that's part of the plan, says the president.
And yet the country's grappling with a second brutal wave of infections.
In a moment you'll hear from Colombia's president after this report from Stefano Pozzebon on the struggling hospitals in Colombia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Resources are running low in Bogota's intensive care units as a dramatic second wave of coronavirus is putting
hospitals under siege.
Inside this hospital in Soacha, a working class suburb of Colombia's capital, respiratory therapist, Lina Perdomo, says January was the worst
month since the beginning of the pandemic.
LINA PERDOMO, RESPIRATORY THERAPIST (Speaking in Foreign Language, Captioned): Patients are coming in more complex conditions and breathing
problems. It is much harder to treat.
POZZEBON: Until early January, these rooms were part of the pediatric ward. But as the hospital ran out of space, she says the children hospitalized
here had to be moved to make room for COVID-19 patients in need of ventilation.
After 10 months on the front line, Perdomo and her colleagues are equally out of energy.
PERDOMO (Speaking in Foreign Language, Captioned): It's tiring but we cannot stop. We must hope for the vaccine. Here every day is worse than the
POZZEBON: Every time you enter those doors, every time you get out of those doors and into taking things off to understand the physical toll --
-- the tiredness, that this situation is causing for these health workers. Some of them have told us they have been working for 26, 27 days per month
on a 10-hour, 12-hours, 15-hour shift.
And this is why the vaccine is so crucial because it's the only thing that can put an end to all this ordeal.
While other countries in South America have already begun their vaccination campaigns, Colombia has yet to receive their first doses.
An analysis by Duke University shows that countries that participated in large-scale vaccine and clinical trials or with vaccine and manufacturing
capabilities were able to secure earlier doses.
Colombia took part in a single trial with fewer than 5,000 volunteers. It has so far secured orders from manufacturers for enough doses to vaccinate
35 million people, about two-thirds of the population.
But Colombia's health minister, Fernando Ruiz, is defending the response, even to assure citizens that help is on its way.
FERNANDO RUIZ, COLOMBIAN HEALTH MINISTER (Speaking in Foreign Language, Captioned): It's true that there are other countries that started
dispensing vaccines. But our goal is not just the photo of the first shot. The fundamental goal is to set up a massive inoculation plan.
POZZEBON: That plan is now due to start on February 20th. And the Colombian government claims that more than 70,000 health workers are being trained to
dispense the vaccine as proof of its resolve to curb the pandemic.
But for Perdomo and her colleagues on the frontline, three more weeks feel like an eternity.
Just last week, a therapist in their own unit died of COVID-19. A devastating loss that serves as a powerful reminder that the vaccine cannot
arrive soon enough.
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN, Soacha.
QUEST: Now Colombia's president pushed back when I put to him the criticisms of the vaccine rollout in the country.
Speaking to me earlier, he promised a coherent plan is in place.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
IVAN DUQUE MARQUEZ, PRESIDENT OF COLOMBIA: Well, the first thing, Richard, that I want to say is that we have been dealing with the COVID for almost a
And we have seen this process without -- the dilemma of whether we center to protect health vis-a-vis the economy.
I think we have been able to see this with a true balance and see them as simultaneous actions so that we have protected life and we have protected
We have been able to duplicate our ICU capacity, we have been able to expand exponentially our testing capacity.
We have a 93 percent recovery rate of people that have been infected by the virus, and we have recovered basically pre-pandemic unemployment levels.
And what we have decided since a long time ago is to have a plan for the vaccination program.
I did not want to enter into the politics where you see some countries that have large vaccination programs and they don't have the sustainability
because they have not ensured the doses.
So we have a plan. The plan is coherent, and we will start the plan on February the 20th.
We will receive vaccines from COVAX and from the bilateral acquisition that we have done with some other pharmaceutical countries so we will begin on
February the 20th.
And the expectation is by the end of the year to have 35 million Colombians already vaccinated.
QUEST: Critics say, of course, that this is just an excuse for not having gotten a decent rollout of the vaccine, not having purchased soon enough
and found yourself near the back of the queue.
DUQUE MARQUEZ: Well, I think that the critics sometimes just want to criticize.
But what's interesting is that we announced to the Colombian people that we had bought the vaccines bilaterally from Pfizer two weeks after they
already had the certification by the FDA.
And as of today, we have guaranteed that all the vaccines have been purchased.
And we have bought not only 20 million doses for 10 million people through COVAX but we have bought 10 million doses for 5 million people with Pfizer,
10 million doses for 5 million people with AstraZeneca, 10 million doses for 5 million people with Moderna, 9 million doses for 9 million people,
one dose, with Janssen.
And we have bought 2.5 million vaccines for 1.2 million Colombians with the Chinese vaccine which is --
DUQUE MARQUEZ: -- Sinovac. And Sinovac is going to be sending us vaccines in February, the same with Pfizer and (inaudible) we expect the same with
COVAX because we have been selected as one of the 18 countries around the world that will receive the vaccines in the first round of COVAX.
So we will begin, we will make it fast. And what we expect is to have 35 million people vaccinated by the end of the year.
QUEST: To those that worry about democracy in Colombia under yourself, you would say what?
DUQUE MARQUEZ: Democracy? Democracy has been strengthened, Richard.
When we look even at the regional elections that we had last year, they have been the most peaceful elections ever on a regional scale in Colombia.
And I'm going to be president till August 2022, and we have strengthened the participation of all groups formulating policies. And we are one of the
oldest democracies in Latin America, and I am a defender myself of democracy.
And as a true defender of democracy, that's why I have denounced the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro before the international community -- I
denounced Nicolas Maduro before the international court.
I'm a [audio distortion] believer in democracy, I'm a true defender of democracy and I will always defend the democratic values that I have
followed throughout my political life.
QUEST: And you'll hear more from the president of Colombia tomorrow on the question of Nicolas Maduro and Venezuela. And what might be done next.
We'll take a "Profitable Moment" after the break.
Tonight's "Profitable Moment" is somewhat extraordinary when we all heard that Mario Draghi was being asked to form a mandate to have (ph) government
Today he accepted it. And now we'll see whether he can actually form a government.
But let's assume for this purpose of this "Profitable Moment," he does manage to form a government, to what end?
Mario Draghi's the man who'll probably save the euro with whatever it takes.
He went out on an LTRO super fist of borrowing money and QE and basically ensured that the euro didn't collapse in the early days of the sovereign
But what now? What is the end game for Mario Draghi as prime minister of Italy as a technocrat other than to hold the line until the politicians can
come back to their senses and manage to cobble together some other form of government? Draghi doesn't want the job for the next ten years, I bet.
And so I ask this question. The best that Draghi can have for whatever it takes for Draghi this time round is just to make sure things don't get
If he does that in Italy, well, I guess that's achievement in its own right.
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 closing bell's ringing. The day is done. The Dow's tootling through. "THE LEAD" is next.