Return to Transcripts main page

Quest Means Business

Israeli Troops Gather on Border with Gaza; Several Global Airlines Stop Flying to Israel; Tesla Backs Away from Bitcoin over its Energy Use; CDC: Fully Vaccinated Americans Don't Need Masks In Most Cases; Biden Won't Rule Out Retaliation Against Pipeline Hackers; Colombia's Foreign Minister Resigns After Tax Protests. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired May 13, 2021 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS HOST: The Dow is on course to finish higher for the first time this week. Let's take a look at the big board, up 500

points. We had a dip in the early afternoon. We'll explain all that sort of stuff later. But the rally into the late afternoon, I think we're going to

be at the best of the day. The way the markets are looking and the main events of the day.

Israeli troops gather on the border with Gaza as the country is gripped by communal violence.

As we just showed you, stocks are bouncing back from their fear of rising prices. What rising prices, they say?

And Delta's Chief Executive tells me there's a gangbuster summer of U.S. travel ahead. My exclusive interview with Ed Bastian is on this program.

We are live tonight from the CNN Center on Thursday, May the 13th. I'm Richard Quest, and I mean business.

Good evening. We begin tonight, of course, with events in the Middle East and from the skies to the streets, the fight between Israelis and

Palestinians has now morphed from high-power weaponry to mob violence.

Now, these are pictures from Lod, an Israeli city home to both Jews and Muslims. The coexistence has been shattered by arson and rioting as you can

see, and it is a similar story in cities across Israel where there have been reports both of Arab and Jewish mobs attacking defenseless people.

The Israeli Prime Minister says there is no justification for what Netanyahu calls lynchings.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Citizens of Israel, what is happening in the towns of Israel in recent days is

intolerable. We have seen Arab rioters torching synagogues, torching cars, storming policemen, hurting peaceful and innocent citizens. This is not

something we can accept.

This is anarchy, nothing can justify it. And I will tell you more than that, nothing can justify a lynching of Jews by Arabs and nothing can

justify a lynching of Arabs by Jews.

We will not accept it. This is not us, not this violence, not this savagery.

We will bring back governance to cities in Israel cities everywhere, in all cities.


QUEST: Now, the Prime Minister's call for order follows Israeli airstrikes on Gaza and rockets fired into Israel by Hamas, which we will get to in a


And some breaking news to bring you, the Israeli Army says three rockets have been fired from Lebanon towards Israel. The army says the rockets

landed in the Mediterranean Sea.

Ben Wedeman is in Lod. Now, this violence tonight, Ben, these lynchings, these attacks, the Israeli Prime Minister says this will not stand, he will

not tolerate it. Ben Wedeman, first of all, let me check, can you hear me, Ben?


QUEST: Oh, good. So, the Prime Minister says he won't tolerate it. Is anyone going to listen?

WEDEMAN: Well, that's a good question. Right behind me, we're in the town of Lod or Lid in Arabic where there's a bit of a standoff. There are people

surrounding the Grand Mosque of this town, and what we have is a standoff.

There are Israeli Border Police or police here and on the other side of the mosque, there are other police who seem to be throwing stun grenades in

their direction. At the moment, it appears that this is a problem that not everyone is listening to the Prime Minister in regard to the citizens of

Israel, and so you've seen over the last two nights these massive communal acts of -- communal violence between ordinary citizens of Israel between

Jewish-Israelis and Palestinian-Israelis.

Here in this town, one Palestinian was shot dead on Monday night, and I think we've run on CNN many of these cell phone videos posted on social

media of Palestinian-Israelis attacking Jewish-Israelis and vice versa.

And clearly this is a problem that comes at a time when obviously the Israeli government is very busy with the situation in Gaza -- Richard.

QUEST: So, Ben, just -- I appreciate your keeping an eye on events behind you, and please let me know if that proves to be difficult.

Ben, these rockets fired from Lebanon, expected? Not surprising? Or a worrying elevation?


WEDEMAN: Some were expecting it. Now, we understand that the Israeli military is saying that three rockets were fired from Southern Lebanon but

landed in the off of the Galilee in the Mediterranean.

We know from a senior military source in Lebanon itself that, yes, they acknowledge that three missiles were fired from Lebanon.

Obviously, they don't know what happened to them. Being based in Beirut, I can tell you, many people, of course, Hezbollah has the rockets and has

experience with war with Israel. But Hezbollah is fairly busy with the mess that is Lebanese politics at the moment, and I would be surprised if they

would want to drag Lebanon into a full-blown war with Israel regardless of what's happening elsewhere in Gaza and whatnot.

So, that's what we know about these three rockets fired from Lebanon. It's hard to say if this is just a blip on a very busy screen at the moment or

the beginning of a far more volatile front being opened in what is developing into possibly a full-scale war.

QUEST: As events develop into the evening, 11:00, midnight, and beyond, Ben, come back when there's more to report. Thank you.

The Israeli military says its troops are gathering on the border in Gaza in case they are ordered to invade.


QUEST: Those airstrikes on Gaza continuing as rocket strikes on Israel by Hamas militants. Policy officials say 87 people have been killed in Gaza,

seven Israelis have been killed. And the fighting on Thursday has not stopped for Eid, it is the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

Marwan Jilani is the Executive Board Director of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. He joins me from Ramallah.

It is not much to celebrate at the end of Ramadan this year. The Eid festivities and the Eid feasts will have a definite different overtone to

them. But I can't see any way, easy or obvious way that this latest violence comes to an end.

MARWAN JILANI, EXECUTIVE BOARD DIRECTOR, PALESTINIAN RED CRESCENT SOCIETY: You are right, Richard. It is unfortunate, it is very sad day marking the

end of Ramadan, and the escalation going on with what you have just reported in terms of artillery -- ground artillery hitting the north and

east of Gaza have spread so much fear, especially in the north of Gaza as a sign of a ground invasion being eminent.

So, we have witnessed in the last hours many displaced people, many people fleeing the northern and eastern region into safer places if there are any

within Gaza.

So, the escalation does not seem to be abating. On the contrary, we are bracing for more of the bloodshed that we have seen in the last two days.

QUEST: And what is the Red Crescent expecting in terms of casualties? What are you expecting? Are you expecting many more and to be overwhelmed?

JILANI: We are overwhelmed. We -- alone -- I mean, our teams have dealt with more than 450 cases with more than 335 deaths -- I'm sorry, these are

the cases that our Red Crescent teams are dealing with.

We have dealt with attacks on 73 buildings with families -- whole families being -- disappearing under the rubble. We have seen families, you know,

children, mothers, and, you know, small children being taken out of these destroyed buildings.

So, if the situation continues, then we are expecting to see more casualties. We are expecting to see more people displaced from these areas,

especially around the north and the east.

QUEST: Can I ask you -- do you have what you need in terms of supplies and medical resources? And if not, what do you need?


JILANI: Well, you know, in normal circumstances, if that description fits Gaza, Gaza suffers from constant power cuts, fuel shortages, and of course

lack of medicine and medical equipment and medications.

We've been trying to get an x-ray into Gaza, we have been trying to get an oxygen generator into Gaza for the past weeks to deal -- we were preparing

to deal with a spike in the COVID cases and that is not easy.

So, in normal circumstances, there are so many shortages. To date, we have exhausted a lot of our stocks in terms of medicines, in terms of

disposables. But also, our teams are working around the clock. We have 350 volunteers and paramedics who are working -- who have been working in the

last three days around the clock.

We have a hospital in Gaza City, Al-Qud's Hospital and in the south, Al- Amal Hospital, they are treating patients. We are seeing more cases, and to answer your questions, we are launching an appeal tomorrow calling for

support and calling to get into Gaza more medicine, more medical supplies as well as medical equipment.

QUEST: We will follow that appeal that you've just sort of made. You've begun that appeal tonight on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Thank you. I appreciate

it, sir. Thank you.

Global airlines have canceled flights to Israel. All the major carriers -- Delta, American, United, Lufthansa and British Airways all announced

cancellations for the next couple of days. The three U.S. airlines are waiving fees for changing flights.

Delta Air Lines' CEO, Ed Bastian told me Israel, in fact, is one of the only places with bombs going off that they would even consider flying to.

The fact they've suspended the flight says much.


ED BASTIAN, CEO, DELTA AIR LINES: We're monitoring it by the day and making those decisions as we go. We've given customers the opportunity to change

their plans over the next few weeks realizing that there's risk to those flights. But we're going to watch it very carefully.

QUEST: The Israel flight is not a stranger. A few years ago in 2014, and every so often when there is military activity, there is this issue.


QUEST: Is this worse?

BASTIAN: Hard to say it's worse. Don't know yet. I think it's too new. At the moment, I can tell you that there is probably the only air space in the

world that there's bombs going off that we'd even consider flying into because of the quality of the Intelligence and the quality of the

navigation systems that the Israelis use.

QUEST: So no indication of how long, then?

BASTIAN: It's day to day.


QUEST: The CEO of Delta, Ed Bastian says this time last year, he wasn't sure Delta Air Lines would survive the pandemic.

Tonight in our exclusive interview, Ed explains the road map for restarting international travel.




QUEST: The CEO of Delta Air Lines tells me this summer will be gangbusters for domestic flying within the United States. The post-pandemic

international travel boom will likely have to wait until 2022.

Ed Bastian says 12 months ago, he wasn't sure Delta would survive the COVID crisis at all. Now, the U.S. carriers are finally able to breathe.


QUEST (voice over): This is the moment that airlines have been waiting for. The vaccine rollouts and with it, the shot in the arm for air travel.

As restrictions are being lifted across the United States, passenger numbers are at their highest since the pandemic began. It's all sparked

talk of a summer boom.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This summer is going to be really a comeback for travel.

QUEST (voice over): For Delta Air Lines, the future is looking much brighter. It's no longer burning through cash, and it is hoping to start

rehiring new staff.

It's even selling middle seats again, the last of the U.S. carriers to do so.

The Chief Executive, Ed Bastian, says its focus on COVID safety has paid dividends.

BASTIAN: So people are prioritizing, as they should, their health and safety and comfort as they travel and we are getting a meaningful premium

for travel on Delta.

QUEST (voice over): The last piece of the puzzle is international flights. Many of those lucrative overseas routes can't return until countries lift

travel limits or agree to some sort of vaccine passports.

As Delta and other airlines call for a Trans-Atlantic travel corridor, industry leaders say coordination is the key.

WILLIE WALSH, DIRECTOR GENERAL, I.A.T.A: We're looking at a global industry, and it's no good unless all parts of that industry are working in


QUEST (voice over): It's been a painful time for Delta and the entire aviation sector.

Passenger traffic at Delta's Atlanta hub fell 60 percent this year.

Now, as flyers return, the industry has something to cling onto -- hope.


QUEST (on camera): Now, airlines on both sides of the Atlantic are pushing the U.S. and U.K. governments to get that vital travel card up and running

as soon as possible. I spoke exclusively to Ed Bastian at Delta's flight museum in Atlanta where he told me they believe the health risks are now

extremely low.


BASTIAN: Hopefully we can get that corridor open for the summer. We know the medical evidence and the documentation with respect to where the

vaccination rates are for both our countries in the U.S. and the U.K., where the infection rates of our countries indicate that it's

extraordinarily low risk to travel between the U.S. and the U.K., provided you're vaccinated or you can produce a test to show that you're clean on

board that flight.

In fact, the Mayo Clinic who we've worked with has put that risk at one in five million.

QUEST: So how important is it? Because the domestic market is opening up at a fair old pace. How important is it to open up the U.K. market?

BASTIAN: Well, the U.K. is the most important market for travel between the U.S. -- in terms of U.K. travelers coming to the U.S. and the U.S. demand

wanting to go into the U.K.

So, obviously, the financial benefits, the commercial benefits, the jobs, it's not just the airlines, remember. These are the hotels, the service

economy, is all trying to get its business going again. New York, it would be a big boom for New York City getting New York up and running.

So it's really important strategically. But the other benefit, Richard, is that we're going to also then show other countries the avenue how to do


QUEST: And how do you do it?

BASTIAN: Well, you do it through making certain you've got a good testing protocol; that you're monitoring the results, and we've been doing that;

and you can then start to give people confidence to travel.

QUEST: How confident are you, you know, with experience, how confident are you that this can be put in place? And the same for the E.U. where I know

negotiations are taking place. How confident are you it can be put in place to rescue something of the summer?


BASTIAN: I'm not sure we're going to rescue something of the summer, but we need to get started this summer. Because the longer it takes to get

started, the longer it's going to take to fully spool up and there is lost jobs and lost opportunity and there is impact to real lives and livelihoods


QUEST: In Ed Bastian's world, where is reopening international in terms of importance?

BASTIAN: This is all important, but pragmatically, I realize that the goal for us here is to have a good summer in the U.S., to get the travel, to get

our business back, get U.S. travelers comfortable with traveling and we're going to learn about how to reopen borders internationally through

corridors in the U.K., through maybe some markets in Europe, certainly along the Mediterranean. There is a lot of interest in the U.S. travelers

coming to visit.

Asia, on the other hand, is probably next year.

QUEST: Really?

BASTIAN: Yes. I think so. I hope I'm wrong, but I think it's going to take quite a while when you think about the vaccination rates in many of the

Asian countries are in the low single digits, and the size of the population and the confidence to open up borders to travel I think is going

to take some time.

My view, Richard, is you're going to see the summer of domestic travel in the U.S. is going to be gangbusters. People are just dying to get

somewhere. But I don't think they're dying to go to Europe. I think they're just dyeing to go anywhere, and they're going to go someplace they feel

confident in getting to and easy to get to.

Summer of 2022, I think you're going to see the same phenomena on international travel.

QUEST: As you spool up, and as you get ready, what's your big concern?

BASTIAN: Biggest concern right now is getting all the employees not just of our company because we have our employees there, but on the service

contractors, the service workers in the hospitality sector in the U.S. are straining for workers. But we're doing what we have to do. We're having to

pay bonuses to bring people in. We're making certain that we've got -- because we're going to serve the summer travel.

And the second thing to the challenge is, we've been down for about a year now. As you start to turn this big machine on, it takes some time, and it's

going to be a little creaky for a while to go from load factors of 40 to 50 percent to 80 to 90 percent almost overnight.

QUEST: Do you -- from your experience, do you think that the various unemployment measures put in place, insurance measures put in place, has

had an effect in the sense of -- the argument it's better to stay -- you can earn as much by staying unemployed as you can by going back to work at

the moment?

BASTIAN: It's had an impact on some people. I wouldn't go so far to say --

QUEST: Do you think it's overstated?

BASTIAN: I think it's overstated. I think people have moved. I think people are not sitting here waiting for a job they don't know what it is going to

return to. It's only been. It has really only been about 60 days that we have seen vaccination rates occur, and it is going to take some time.

So I think it's unfair to criticize people. There's almost implications that people are lazy. I don't believe that at all.

QUEST: You have built an airline based on formula and mathematics that says yield management, we sell this number of seats to the business traveler at

this price and we will sell this much and this much. The whole revenue management it's going out the window. You're going to have --

BASTIAN: It's coming back, but, yes, it's been out the window, yes.

QUEST: How are you going to manage that?

BASTIAN: Well, we are managing that. We've got to get the loads back first. Until you get to the point where you have a full plane, you can't

practically manage the revenue buckets on board the plane.

You know, right now, we're just trying to figure out how to get people back into travel. This summer we'll finally be able to start managing prices and

revenue manage the individual discreet buckets, and as well, make room for new segments because business travel this summer is not going to be as

strong as it would have been. Leisure travel is going to be much stronger, and there's going to be a new segment in there of kind of premium leisure

that Delta is going to be very focused on.

QUEST: Premium leisure. Now, this is basically finding a price between the normal business class fare and the premium economy fare that will allow you

to extract higher revenue from wealthier passengers to put them at the front?

BASTIAN: That's right. My premise going through the pandemic is that customers when they start to feel confident traveling are going to pay a

premium for the service above and beyond what they've paid in the past for those airlines that they feel are safeguarding their safety, their health,

cleanliness on board the cabin. They have a brand attached to it. That's where we're going after.

QUEST: Do you see a fundamental shift in the pricing structure?


BASTIAN: I don't see a fundamental shift, I see a changing mix. I think the corporate travel that was here in 2019 is not going to return at the same

level. I think a lot of it will return. I think there will be a different mix of travel. I think people will be traveling for different reasons.

Many people have left the cities, they've moved to Florida, they've moved to the mountains. They're not coming back to the cities. But they're going

to have different reasons why they travel.

And so, I think you're going to see probably about 25 percent of the face of business travel is going to be different. I think it it's going to come

back, by the way. I just think it's going to be different.

QUEST: You spoke at my producer's daughter's graduation recently.


QUEST: And you said: "Crisis doesn't form character, it reveals it."

BASTIAN: It does.

QUEST: So, what did this crisis reveal about your leadership?

BASTIAN: Well, again, I don't like to talk about myself, as you know, personally.

QUEST: Well, okay, I'll give you another quote from that graduation speech. You said: "Real leadership is about inner confidence."


QUEST: Now, is that what it revealed to you, your inner confidence?

BASTIAN: And I also fearlessness. It's a fearlessness, it is a quiet confidence. It is not boastful. It's humble. You realize that you have to

take people with you, that you're only as good as the people you surround yourself with.

But there has to also be a confidence that the leader has in the team and themselves to be able to succeed because if you don't have that confidence,

and that confidence is gained by experience, it's not something you can just buy off the shelf. You're not going to be able to attract followership

and we have great followership in this company.

People love working for this company and the culture of the company is what sets us apart and it attracts customers and it attracts premium customers

and it attracts international partners.

QUEST: And if you look back at the last year, was there a moment that you remember where, you know, is there a moment of the worst point of the

crisis that you think --

BASTIAN: I say, yes, March of 2020, mid-March when things just seemed like they were spiraling out of control, our borders were being shut down, our

traffic was going away. We had no idea what we were dealing with, and we didn't know whether we'd ever come back.

QUEST: Really?

BASTIAN: Yes. I mean, listen, we take for granted now that we have vaccinations. Remember 12 months ago, and there were -- people didn't even

know what they were dealing with. So the notion that we could be back up and running within 15 months of the crisis starting I think was

inconceivable, at least to me.


QUEST (on camera): But they are, and later in this hour, I'll speak to delta's first-ever Chief Health Officer. And Ed Bastian gives me a tour of

Delta's vaccination facility.

The crypto occurrence market is reeling after a U-turn from Elon Musk. The CEO of Tesla says the company is suspending plans to accept Bitcoin as a


And now, Bitcoin is down as much as 13 percent. The crypto assets have fallen heavenly. Musk says the decision is due to concerns about the impact

on the environment.

Paul La Monica is with me. Paul, he has decided not to take Bitcoin on environmental concerns because of the amount of electricity and energy used

to mine the Bitcoins. It seems weak. I mean, he should have -- he knew this when he said we're going to take Bitcoin in the first place.

PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: I agree, Richard. It is a bit puzzling to put it mildly that Elon Musk all of a sudden woke up and

realized that, oh, yes, there is a lot of people who criticize the industry of Bitcoin mining for being a contributor to some of the climate change

problems, given the massive amounts of energy that is required to mine for Bitcoin, the world's most valuable cryptocurrency.

So, it is very strange given that Musk has been touting Dogecoin and going on "Saturday Night Live," also making fun of crypto on "Saturday Night

Live." It is a bit puzzling that he had this epiphany all of a sudden.

QUEST: And also, it's one thing to say we're not going to accept it to buy cars. But of course, Tesla has its own investment in Bitcoin. So where is

the sort of disinvestment or reduction of investment?

LA MONICA: Yes. We need to know whether or not Elon Musk and Tesla sold any of their Bitcoin stake, capitalizing on the big run in the cryptocurrency a

few weeks ago, or is Tesla still holding onto this. If it's the latter, then that's not good news for the company, and I think it's one of the

reasons why Tesla shares are down again today even though the broader market is soaring back to life.

QUEST: Right. But, briefly, if they sold before the statement, that would be unconscionable.

LA MONICA: Hello, S.E.C. calling yet again, I think, you know, Elon Musk is used to regulatory scrutiny by now, and you're right, if it turns out that

they dumped Bitcoin before making this bearish Bitcoin announcement, I think regulators will have some questions, and it'll be more than Musk's

social media accounts that probably come under scrutiny.

QUEST: Guru La Monica in New York, thank you, sir.

Now, we'll be back with more. It is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. We will have more on what is happening in the Middle East, the Israeli military tonight says

it is getting ready for a possible incursion into Gaza. We'll have the latest developments next.




PAUL R. LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: If it turns out that they dumped Bitcoin before making this bearish Bitcoin announcement, I think regulators

will have some questions and it'll be more than Musk's social media accounts that probably come under scrutiny.

QUEST: Paul La Monica in New York. Thank you, sir. Now, we'll be back with more. It's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. We'll have more on what's happening in the

Middle East. The Israeli military tonight says it's getting ready for a possible incursion into Gaza. We'll have the latest developments.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. A lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS as we continue. Delta's chief executive Ed

Bastian shows me the airlines flight museum. And that's after turning into one of George's biggest vaccination centers. And I'll be talking to Delta's

first ever chief health officer about keeping us safe during the pandemic when we fly, particularly that middle seat. Before we get to any of that

this is CNN. And on this network the news always comes first.

U.S. health officials say fully vaccinated Americans don't need to have masks or practice social distancing in most cases, even indoors. The head

of the CDC is calling the new guidelines an exciting and powerful moment. She warns the agency might change its recommendations if things get worse.

President Biden isn't ruling out retaliation against the hackers who shut down a crucial pipeline that caused gas shortages in parts of the United


He also said he didn't think the Russian government was behind the attack. Thought the President said Moscow must do more to stop hackers.

Colombia's foreign ministers resigned. Claudia Blum is the country's second cabinet minister to quit this month after the finance minister left.

The country has been rocked for weeks by mass protests that started over proposed tax reforms.


QUEST: Middle violence is spreading in Israeli cities with mixed Arab Jewish population at each other's throats. The confrontations are coming

after days of airstrikes by Israel and rocket fire by Hamas. Israel's defense minister says the country has no time limit for its military

operations. And a spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces says a ground incursion into Gaza is being considered.

The U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke a few moments ago about the situation. He said the Biden's administration is working hard to

encourage all sides to stand down.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Look, we've been very clear about the basic principles involved here, starting with the proposition that

Israel has a right to defend itself from these rocket attacks. And the fundamental difference between a terrorist organization Hamas that is

indiscriminately targeting civilians, and Israel, which is defending itself and going after those that are attacking it.

But we are deeply concerned with the loss of life among civilians, especially among children, Palestinians have a right to live in insecurity

and to live in peace, just as Israelis do. And so we are working hard to encourage all sides to stand down, to deescalate to return to calm.


QUEST: our security correspondent is Kylie Atwood and she's with me from the state department. Kylie, listening to the Secretary of State. I mean,

he is obviously stuck in the middle of it. It's a weak statement basically saying stand down and sort of stop the fighting. Is there much more they

can do?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, he shouldn't say a whole lot more from what he -- we've seen the Biden ministration say in the

last few days, right? He was directly asked by one of the reporters in the room. What he makes of Israel saying now is not the time for ceasefire. And

he essentially avoided that question in reiterating that the Biden ministration is calling for deescalation and is involved diplomatically


But that is really -- those are the two themes that we have seen the Biden ministration harping on here. And the truth is that, you know, as far as we

know, they are engaged, right? They are making calls, we've seen President Biden on the phone, we've seen Secretary Blinken on the phone, you know,

they are making those efforts. And they are putting these statements out that say something, of course, you know, but they're facing criticism, even

domestically, for not doing more, quite frankly.

We have Democrats who are saying that they shouldn't just be siding with the Israelis here that they should also be supporting the Palestinians. And

then there are Republicans who say that they should be supporting the Israelis more. So there is quite a bit of a question regarding the question

you just posed, Richard, if the U.S. can do more here, and we're just really waiting to see, but it's clear that they want diplomacy to be the

first thing that they try their hand at.

QUEST: Right. But you told me earlier in the week, you said that this is to some extent, the last thing that they wanted, in a sense, I'm paraphrasing,

you know, they forgot that they had their focus on China which was huge. They've got the focus on Russia, and a forthcoming summit with President

Putin. And now the cyberattack. The bandwidth is available for Israel and the Palestinians. But it's being expended reluctantly.

ATWOOD: Yes, that's right. I mean, they do have some bandwidth there to deal with this issue. They have very experienced professionals who are part

of this administration, who have, you know, are very familiar with these issues, right? These aren't folks who haven't -- who haven't studied this

and worked on these issues in the past. But I do think it's important to note, Richard, this wasn't at the top of their laundry list when it came to

foreign policy, right?

There was China, there's the cyber issues, there's Russia, there's all of that. So they didn't really build up the team to deal with this issue. So

those who are in place are facing a tremendous challenge right now.

QUEST: Kylie, when there's more to report from the State Department please come back to us. As always, thank you.

Now, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight from the CNN Center. We're here and Delta has turned its flight museum into a COVID vaccination Center. A tour from

the CEO Ed Bastian. Second part of our exclusive interview and visit to Delta.


QUEST: And a call to Earth. CNN's initiative to promote a more sustainable future. And today's report takes us to Taiwan, where one company is

designing solutions to the planet's mounting problem with trash from furniture and stores, to hospital wards all built from waste. Miniwiz

cofounder and CEO Arthur Huang is on a mission to revolutionize recycling.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): What do all these places have in common? They're all made partly from trash and designed by this man, Arthur Wong is

a Taiwanese architect, engineer and cofounder and CEO of Miniwiz. A company turning different kinds of waste like plastic bottles into materials for

buildings and products across the world.

ARTHUR HUANG, COFOUNDER AND CEO, MINIWIZ: The nature we produce via waste. Isn't that how the city should be? Isn't that how we should do our

products? Everything should be circular. There's no waste, everything can be retransformed, reupcycle into all kinds of beautiful architecture.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Huang he spent the past 16 years innovating such transformation.

HUANG: This is designed to --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): His team has used waste to develop over 1200 different materials for use and construction all over Taiwan's capital

Taipei and beyond. One brand taking steps in this direction is Nike, which has been collaborating with Miniwiz since 2011 to design stores made from

recycled materials.

HUANG: This is one of the most famous basketball stars in Taiwan. And these are actually their shoes being compressed together to create the furniture

for the store and all the way to the curtains, all the way to the furnitures, they are also made by recycled polyester. This is a break

that's made from LED lights and with recycled polyester as a casing. And also this is a balloon that's recycled called the factory waste. These are

actually made from Nike grind. They see the midsole of a Nike shoes and the bottom so of a Nike shoe.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): From the streets of Taipei to the Tibetan Plateau, Huang and his team took their technology for a test drive in 2017

with the Trashpresso, a portable solar powered recycling machine design to allow communities to recycle locally in places where plastic waste has

become an increasing problem. Like China's (INAUDIBLE) region and Qinghai province.

HUANG: Our mission is shifted to say how can we actually take many of these possible technology to the people who actually really need it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Miniwiz has developed an A.I. recycling system to detect different kinds of plastic, which the Trashpresso through

heating compression can transform into new products. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Miniwiz turn their engineering skills to a different kinds of

transformation. Huang worked with the Fu Jen Catholic University Hospital and other partners to develop the modular adaptable convertible or MAC


HUANG: During COVID time is most material cannot be shipped. So we are building medical parts, a medical ward system all out of local trash. All

the aluminum panels is already made from 90 percent recycled aluminum. And even the handle of the shelving or the -- like hanging racks, these are

actually already made for medical waste.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): A portable version can be built from scratch in 24 hours Huang says.

HUANG: I think is what pandemic forces us to become very innovative, to coming up with a solution to adapt to the current situation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Adapting to a pandemic and also to environmental pressures, Huang work shows how to create a more sustainable


HUANG: We don't need to create new things. We just need to use our ingenuity, innovations and our good heart and good brain to transform these

existing material into the next generation of products and building to power our economy.


QUEST: Will showcase continually. Inspirational stories like that, as part of this initiative that we have at CNN. And we need to know what you're

doing to answer the call, use the #calltoEarth.



QUEST: Tonight in an exclusive interview, Delta Air Lines chief executive tells me all future employees must be vaccinated before they start their

first day on the job. The airlines converted its flight museum, it's one of George's biggest vaccination centers. Ed Bastian gave me a personal tour.


ED BASTIAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF DELTA AIR LINES: Well, we have been involved with testing rates with the pandemic. So we're testing all of our

employees every single week, tens and tens of thousands of 1000s of our employees to keep them safe from the disease and understand the symptomatic

spread. So -- and we're working very closely with CVS and doing that.

So it became natural when the vaccines came available, that we already had the apparatus in place to then start turning it into vaccinations rather

than just simply testing. And we worked with the State of Georgia, and they not only have provided us allocations to do our people here in the museum,

but outside our parking lot. We have drive thru, windows where we're doing up to 5000 people a day.

QUEST: Five thousand a day.

BASTIAN: Five thousand a day.

QUEST: So --

BASTIAN: Incredible. So here we go. So here we're coming to the Jet Age.

QUEST: Absolutely.

BASTIAN: So we -- we're coming into the Jet Age here in the museum, and we've moved from the registration area and now to the actual vaccinations

center where you're going to get vaccinated.

QUEST: COVID-19 vaccine. Wow. Now, that's what you call a vaccination center.

BASTIAN: So that's what we call a vaccination, rate under the spirit of Delta.

QUEST: So are you going to require your staff, paying in mind, you've pretty much vaccinated the entire workforce and families.

BASTIAN: Yes. We have -- we have well over 60 percent of our employees have had at least one shot. So we're on our way and I expect we'll get to

somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of our employees vaccinated. I'm not going to mandate and force people, if they have some specific reason why

they don't want to get vaccinated but I'm going to strongly encouraged them and make sure they understand the risks to not getting vaccinated.

One caveat to that though, any person joining Delta in the future, future employer, we're going to mandate they be vaccinated before they can sign up

with the company.

QUEST: Right. So there will be a requirement to be vaccinated to become a Delta employee?

BASTIAN: For the future but anyone that is already here as an employee, I don't think that's fair to someone to force them to get vaccinated. If

there's some philosophical issue they have.

QUEST: Right. But we've got philosophical issue, might come consequences in a sense as you would say to the right, it's your right not to be

vaccinated. But you can't do this, or we're going to require you to do this.

BASTIAN: That's right.

QUEST: Or you have to have weekly tests for them.

BASTIAN: That's exactly right.

QUEST: Is that what you're going to do?

BASTIAN: Yes. For example, you probably will not be able to fly an international flight if you are not vaccinated because it's going to be

mandated by local authorities in order to get into a country that you're vaccinated.


QUEST: The CEO of Delta Air Lines. Now the CDC which is also based here in Atlanta, says it's continuing to recommend that vaccinated people wear

masks when traveling. Even as today it's relaxed guidance for vaccinated people in other circumstances. With the right precautions. Delta's top

doctor tells me the odds of catching COVID onboard a plane are one in a million. The Airlines has put in place more than 100 layers of protection

to keep travelers safe.

Now as we are all planning, summer travel, what is and it's not possible, the airline industry is coming under scrutiny. So Dr. Henry Ting, who is

the airline's first chief health officer, not chief medical, chief health officer in industry first. I visited him at Hartsfield Jackson to learn

more about staying safe whilst we fly.


QUEST: Back on board a plane.

HENRY TING, CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER, DELTA AIR LINES: Relax so we can sit each other.

QUEST: Excellent. Doctor, tell me as we head to the summer season, why is it going to be OK to pack the plane?

TING: It is actually very, very safe to be on the plane. And that's because of all the safety measures we've applied. The plane is completely

disinfected and clean, all surfaces, every single term. Also, we know the importance of air quality. So the social distance is a little less

important than the air quality and the mass that we are wearing.

QUEST: We know that the plane has these hospital grade filters and that the airflow is top to bottom and therefore sucks it out and all of that sort of

stuff. But there are still those reports. Anecdotal of people catching it on planes and the most recent report which says that transmission is

possible on a plane.

TING: On a plane the risk is very low. In our modeling studies which you share with the White House and the CDC. Depending on the corridor, for

example, the U.S. the U.K. airline corridor with existing vaccination rates and case rates, that risk of transmission is one in a million. One case in

a million chances.


QUEST: Doctor, have a seat. Have a seat. Now, we know that the middle seat has been cut down too you many cases because of COVID and it creates an

element of social distancing. But of course, when other passengers and we start getting busy in the summer, now surely, my producer, this must be

more risky. I mean, he's breathing all over us.


TING: Richard, that's a great point. I do think with such close proximity, there is increased, proportional increase in risk of exposure and

transmission. And distance, although important, is not as important as wearing a mask, and air quality. The masks really prevent transmission. So

even if our next guest here was infected and infectious with COVID, if we're masked, the chances that we'll catch up from him is 0.1 percent.

QUEST: Really?

TING: One out of a thousand.

QUEST: So people flying this summer, do not need to be concerned that somebody has disclosed unless he takes his mask off. Which case we'll --

don't even think about it.

TING: Absolutely right. With the current vaccination rates, and the current case rate that we have in the United States, and also certain other

countries like the Ukraine is real. It is very safe, to be honest, right next to each other, as long as we have the adequate air quality and air

changes. And the masks on board. We're refreshing the air, Richard. Every two to five minutes. So the entire air exchange on a plane is happening 10

to 30 times an hour. The quality there that's on a plane is actually better than your grocery store.

QUEST: The myth persists that the aircraft is a petri dish for COVID. How can you change that?

TING: Well, hopefully through science and data and talking to you, it is actually very safe to be on an airplane. And the risk of transmission or

contracting COVID is on the order of one in a million. I would propose that you have higher risk once you get to your destination because that's

probably the higher risk in travel, it's not in the actual flight.

QUEST: You'll have to excuse me, I've just been upgraded. Have a nice flight.


QUEST: And the last few minutes of trade on Wall Street show you how the day is going. The Dow is just -- it's given off, it's given off some of its

gains in the last few minutes. It's higher by nearly 500 points but it's last. And if you look at the triple stack, you'll see who is top up and

where the tops and the bottoms are in terms of the best gains of the day. The Dow is up 1.3, the NASDAQ is up three quarters of one percent.

The oil company Chevron is the lone exception, the entire energy sector today is down on the S&P. As you can see the markets there, we will take a

moment, we will show you a continuing to -- continuing to follow the escalating violence in the Middle East. We'll be back in Israel in just a

moment. This is CNN.