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Quest Means Business
Several Palestinians Killed By Israeli Fire In West Bank Protests; Tokyo Games Will Go Ahead As Planned. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired May 14, 2021 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, not over yet. Israel says it's prepared for an extended operation against militants in Gaza. And Israeli
Prime Minister Netanyahu says Hamas has nowhere to hide.
Israeli tanks are amassing on the border with Gaza, and that there's concerns about a possible ground incursion, as well as also stepping up
airstrikes as Palestinian militants responding with rocket fire and the fighting this week as killed at least 126 people in Gaza and eight people
Around a quarter of the Palestinians who've been killed our children wasn't 30 of them and for many others, the impact of what's happening will be
deeply traumatizing. Arwa Damon now looking at the effects of the ongoing violence that is having on the Gaza children.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIONR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A sister unable to comprehend the loss. A father gripped by gut wrenching pain, a
family unable to understand why. Why did 11-year-old Hussein Hamad has to die?
A Palestinian Children's Rights Organization says the cause of death is unclear. There were both rockets being fired and war planes overhead. The
health ministry in Gaza says it was an airstrike and the family's mind there is no doubt.
Why did you have to kill him, his uncle asks, they kill and there is no one to make them answer for it. The whole world is watching. How can the adults
unable to cope with their own sorrow? Wipe the tears of the children and reassure them that everything will be all right that this too shall pass.
Lost like this it never does.
Two-year-old Yazan dead, along with two siblings and a young cousin Ibrahim Hassanain also dead, Hamada (ph) and Ahmad (ph) and Amour (ph), the growing
list of children forever gone.
There is no escaping from Gaza, a densely packed tiny strip of land under Israeli blockade.
For more Hamas fires rockets towards Israel, and Israel dispenses collective punishment. Where there are no shelters, no air raid sirens,
just warnings from the Israelis that send families pouring into the streets with what they can carry.
What should we this father asks helpless, of course we will leave. Should we wait for them to kill us and our kids? There are no reassuring words. No
tucking their children safely into bed telling them that the nightmare is over.
Please, please people have some empathy with us. We are dying every day. This is too much, another father please.
Israel says it strikes are precise targeting Hamas. But targeting someone in a residential apartment building is to target all of its residents.
The shockwave ripples through the neighborhood window smash, walls crack and crumble, shrapnel flies. And even if they managed to flee before the
strikes, all they owned in life is reduced to rubble.
No one can promise these children that once they heal and go back home, if they even have a home to go back to that they will be safe to do so would
be alive. For this is Gaza, where even if this round of bombardment does pass, the next one will always loom. Arwa Damon, CNN, Istanbul.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
QUEST: At least 10 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers during the clashes in the West Bank on Friday. Foreign (ph) policy officials say
it's the deadliest day of fighting there in years. CNN's Ben Wedeman was caught up in the middle of battle on the streets there.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: let me tell you what you've seen. The Israeli fires multiple rounds of tear gas. It's moved
forward. It's been racks are raining down around it, the troops are now getting back, get back into the vehicle.
I just heard what sounded like, like live fire, multiple live fire. And anyway, these rocks are just pouring down around and I think any moment now
it's going to fire with a tear gas. And as -- I as always seen in the previous live shot, this has been a day of intense, intense clashes across
the West Bank. And there's rocks coming out down around us. Watch your head.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Ben Wedeman is with me now from Jerusalem. The situation tonight, Ben.
WEDEMAN: The situation tonight continues to become ever more dangerous. You have had, as you mentioned, massive protests across the West or rather
confrontations across the West Bank with an unprecedented number of dead and wounded, unprecedented for the -- for many years that is, and of
course, tomorrow there will be the funeral for those 10 people who were killed. And oftentimes funerals are followed by clashes.
And tomorrow is Nakba Day the commemoration of the creation of the State of Israel and the displacement of the Palestinian people. So this is going to
be a particularly charged day tomorrow. And of course, we're just talking about one part of a very large picture where you have of course, the
situation with Gaza. The tensions in Jerusalem which are also flaring tonight. We understand that live gunfire was used in the Sheikh Jarrah
neighborhood. That's where those Palestinian families are under threat of forced eviction.
So taken all together, Richard, this situation which every day seems to be getting worse, that pattern of deterioration seems set to continue
QUEST: Ben, in the last hour, we had a former member of the Knesset, who is also the head of the Chamber of Commerce, he makes the point from Israel's
point of view, I'll grant you, that the moment Hamas stops lobbing the rockets, then Israel is prepared to move forward.
And the moment and there can be a putting other things forward education, health and all the other things forward. But as long as Hamas continues to
indiscriminately lob the rockets, which are only stopped by good fortune by Iron dome which you told us, then they will continue. Does he have a point?
WEDEMAN: He has a point, of course, the situation between Gaza and Israel is often one of when both sides reach beyond their threshold of pain they
stop. That's what we've seen time and time again. But as I mentioned, this is a multi-dimensional crisis, and which Gaza is only one of them.
And certainly we've seen in the past, basically, there's a pledge on both sides quiet, in exchange for quiet. And that is oftentimes how these --
WEDEMAN: -- exchanges end. But this doesn't resolve the problem. It happens again, and again, and again. We had the 2008-2009 War, 2012 war, 2014 war,
and now we're in 2021.
Now Israel has had this policy, it's called "Mowing the Lawn" where occasionally every few years they will do their best to try to destroy
Hamas's ability to wage war and the grass continues to grow. So it's going to happen, OK, we're 2021. When is the next time this is going to happen?
Again, what's lacking is sort --
WEDEMAN: -- of exit ramp for this cycle of violence calm, followed by violence, followed by calm, Richard
QUEST: Ben, I don't want to silly or cheapen the discussion of where death is involved by talking about politics, but bearing in mind that, you know,
the opposition leader Yair Lapid is in the middle of trying to book for the government. The Prime Minister of Israel is already in trial for corruption
and could be about to lose, you know, if Yair Lapid managers to put together a government. And is there, heaven forbid, a political element for
the Prime Minister Netanyahu to keep this thing stoked.
WEDEMAN: I don't want to attribute any intentions to any of these political players, because obviously, they're politicians, politicians, their actions
are often motivated by political reasons. Often times, but oftentimes politicians and I'm not speaking specifically about Israel, they will gain
political advantage from their management of a volatile situation like a war.
Benjamin Netanyahu is the Prime Minister of Israel. He can be seen as somebody who is pursuing Israel's strategic objectives in this current
exchange with Gaza. And obviously, he will be the one who gets the political advantage, if it ends to his satisfaction.
But what we've seen time and time again, is that Israel, and not just Benjamin Netanyahu, but previous prime ministers as well, they've become
engaged in these wars with Lebanon as well in 2006. I remember Ehud Olmert, who was the Prime Minister at the time, declared that the objective was to
destroy Hezbollah's military capacity.
Well, that didn't work. And if Israel is hoping to destroy Hamas's military capacity, well, we've seen them try before, and it's likely to be
temporarily crippled, perhaps seriously set back but it will probably manage to come back and perhaps come back stronger. Richard.
QUEST: Thank you, sir. I appreciate that. Thank you.
Sami Abu Shehadeh is the member of the Knesset for the Joint List. This is the alliance of Arab parties. Good evening, sir. Appreciate your time
tonight. How can you help? How can your party help? How can the List help do you think to try and bring pressure either on Hamas or on your own Prime
Minister to at least cease the violence?
SAMI ABU SHEHADEH, MEMBER OF THE KNESSET, JOINT LIST: Good evening, Richard, thank you for this invitation to talk to the CNN audience.
Unfortunately, we cannot do much because the whole escalation that happened here is happening for the political interest for Benjamin Netanyahu, there
was no really a reason why we are in this bloody escalation was all this people being killed. There was really no reason for that. We could have
stopped that from the beginning.
ABU SHEHADEH: The only serious man who is benefiting out of the whole thing is Israeli Prime Minister. He is digging his path away, either for the
fifth elections in Israel or to back to the Prime Minister seat on the bodies of Palestinian children, men and women.
QUEST: So again, it's awful to talk politics when we're counting bodies like this, but you've raised it in the way. Why then has Hamas given him
this, this get -- this opportunity, if you will? Why have they -- look, hang on a second. They know what will happen if they lob the rockets
across, Iron Dome will bring them down, Israel with retaliate even more so if it's to Tel Aviv so they are giving that Benjamin Netanyahu the
opportunity for political gain.
ABU SHEHADEH: Well, Netanyahu did not need that in order to start the escalation, Richard. If you just remember a few days ago, what was
happening before the old thing, there were all these barriers in Babel Amod (ph) (INAUDIBLE). There is all this evictions in Sheikh Jarrah in
Jerusalem. Then there was the attack on the prayers in the al-Aqsa mosque.
More than 300 Muslims were injured while they were praying in the al-Aqsa Mosque. The most holy place for Muslims all over the world. And then there
was all the attacks on different parts of Jerusalem.
So Netanyahu was building this escalation, not just Hamas, all the Palestinians --
ABU SHEHADEH: -- fractions did not do much till they did get to a situation where they could not stop this thing. So the man who was leading the whole
thing, it was Netanyahu much before the missiles of Hamas coming to any part of Israel. So we should remember that.
QUEST: Right. So finally, do you think Yair Lapid will be able to form a mandate or do you think that Israel will be back to having, as you say, a
fifth general election.
And we, I mean, neither of us can know how this would play out, bearing in mind that what's taking place?
ABU SHEHADEH: Well, all the scenarios are open, Richard, but there is something that we will not forget after the -- there will be a ceasefire,
what's happening now between the Jewish majority and the Arab Palestinian minority in Israel, all these attacks on the Palestinian minority.
We are 20 percent of the Israeli population and we are being attacked by Jewish gangs and Jewish fascists coming from the West Bank, to all the
areas which are called mixed cities where you have Arabs and Jews living together inside the State of Israel, cities like Lod, Ramlah, Joppa, Haifa,
Acre, people are being attacked in their homes.
Now, these settlers, they come with police defense, with police protection, coming with them and helping them to attack the Arab Palestinian
population. Look what happened in a city like Likba (ph) Musa Hasuna, 25 years old after a demonstration was killed by one of these settlers.
QUEST: I appreciate your time tonight. Thank you, sir. Have a good weekend.
ABU SHEHADEH: Thank you very much.
QUEST: Thank you. Now calls to cancel the Tokyo Olympics are growing ever louder. Now top Japanese executives are leading the way. Rakuten's CEO is
calling it a suicide mission. You'll hear him after the break.
QUEST: The Chief Executive of Rakuten, Japan's top e-commerce company tells CNN hosting the Olympics is in his words, a suicide mission. It was an
exclusive interview in which Hiroshi Mikitani says he's been trying to convince the Japanese government to cancel the game's. Correspondent in
Tokyo is Selina Wang.
SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Richard, the CEO of Japan's leading e-commerce company Rakuten is urging the Japanese government to
cancel the games. He says that hosting the games this summer would be a suicide mission. With the Olympics just 10 weeks away, public opposition to
the games is snowballing. But what the Rakuten CEO tells me amounts to the strongest public criticism against the games from a corporate leader in
Do you think Japan should host the Olympics this summer considering rising COVID-19 cases in Japan and its strange medical system.
HIROSHI MIKITANI, RAKUTEN CEO: I have been very, very straight forward about this issue. And the fact that we have so late for the vaccination,
it's dangerous to host the big international event from all over the world. So the risk is too big. And you know, I am against having Tokyo Olympics
WANG: Do you think it's still possible that they could be canceled?
MIKITANI: I think it's everything is possible, I think, you know, I see -- I privately talk with many government officials from other countries, and
many people is not really supportive of hosting Tokyo Olympics this year.
WANG: Why do you think the government has been so forceful in its determination that they will still go ahead despite the public opposition,
including from business leaders like yourself?
MIKITANI: I don't know. To be honest, I call it this is like a suicide mission, to be very honest, and we should stop. I'm trying to convince them
but not successful so far.
WANG: I also asked the Rakuten CEO what great he would give the Japanese government for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccine
rollout. He said he rated a two out of 10. Japan has so far only fully vaccinated about 1 percent of its population, and the Rakuten CEO's
concerns are echoed by other corporate leaders in Japan.
The SoftBank CEO said he's afraid of Japan hosting the Olympic Games, Toyota, which is a top Olympic sponsor, so the company is concerned by
growing public frustration against the Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, a petition online received more than 350,000 signatures urging Japan to cancel the games in just nine days. Even a doctor's union urged
for the games to be cancelled, saying that the games could turn into a super spreader event, even without any spectators. Richard.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Selina Wang, who is in Tokyo. Now Lord Sebastian Coe is part of the IOCS Coordination Commission for the Tokyo games. He has been talking to
CNN's Amanda Davies, and believes the Olympic Games will go ahead as planned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Today is officially 10 weeks, to the day the Olympic opening ceremony will be taking place, how
confident are you that the games will happen?
SEBASTIAN COE, COMMISSION MEMBER, COORDINATION FOR OLYMPIC GAMES TOKYO: Look, I was asked that question in various variants over the time I was in
Tokyo. And the answer I gave was, look, you know, should we have the games? Yes, we should. Can we have them safely and secure? I believe we can. I'm
not cavalier about that.
DAVIES: So that didn't answer my question. How confident are you that the games will kick off as planned today?
COE: I'm confident. No, sorry, I'm confident that they will be taking place. Everybody is determined to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Determination does not make the games. Don Riddell is in Atlanta. I promise you, Don, I will not play this answer back to you in the future in
10 weeks time. Do you think they'll take place or not?
DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Richard, you know better than this. That question is way above my paygrade and perhaps even a little bit above your
paygrade too. I don't know. I mean, we're already in uncharted territory. The Tokyo Olympics in 2020 was the first Olympics ever to be postponed.
There is so much noise and so much negativity around these games at this moment. We don't know. I'll tell you this. The Japanese government has said
that the decision rests with the International Olympic Committee. It's up to them if they want to cancel or not.
Well, you've heard Sebastian Coe, the IOC are saying they're going full steam ahead. Their spokesman Mark Adams said exactly the same the other
day. So I think at this point, if they're going to be canceled, it's going to be cancelled by the Japanese government. And they are under an enormous
amount of pressure.
I mean, Selina Wang just referenced the petition that's just been handed in have more than 350,000 signatures that have been posed all year in Japan
expressing concern about the games going ahead, the most recent one by a Japanese broadcaster coming up with a number of 65 percent. That's a
combination of people saying it should be canceled or postponed again.
RIDDELL: 65 percent saying you don't want the games to go ahead just now.
QUEST: If they do go ahead, it will be very strange games because since the epidemiological situation in Japan is so poor, they will be behind pretty
much closed doors.
RIDDELL: yes, it's going to look like an Olympics unlike anything we can even imagine. I think. I mean, they've been a number of test events
recently for involving a variety of sports. The most prominent one was track and field.
There were only nine international athletes there. One of them was the former 100 meter gold medalist Justin Gatlin, who said, he actually feels
beyond safe with how the games would be run. But he cautioned that a lot of athletes are not going to like it, because they're really not going to see
much outside their hotel room.
And when they do, they'll be wearing a mask, there won't be all the mingling that you would expect, and celebrate, frankly, at a normal Olympic
Games. And within 48 hours of your competition being over, you have to leave the country.
So, you know, of course, athletes want the games to go ahead, this is what they've been trading for so long. But it's not going to be the most fun
experience for them when they get there. International fans already are not going to be a part of this, remains to be seen whether local fans will be
there. So it's not even going to be the television spectacle will become useless.
QUEST: Right. So let's put aside the Olympics. And just -- with your encyclopedic knowledge of, sort of events in sport, what are the other
events that we are, we now should have on our radar for will they or won't they? As the developed world, the EU and the US goes into a vaccinated
environment, fully vaccinated or a large vaccine, what's next on the agenda?
RIDDELL: Well, the other major sports event this year is the European Football Championships, which was also postponed from last year in 2020.
That seems as though that's going to go ahead. It was already an ambitious plan to stage it, in a number of countries run across the continent, which
back in the day, when that scheme seemed like a good idea, because it would put a lot less pressure on governments to come up with the funds to host
Of course, in hindsight, that maybe wasn't such a good idea with spreading the tournament all over the continent. But some changes have been made
there. It seems as though that we'll be going ahead.
But you know, this, Richard, there are some parts of the country of the world where they've sort of got the virus under control and other parts of
the world where the virus is completely out of control. But the two big events this year, Olympics and the Euros and at this point, it seems as
though they are both going ahead.
QUEST: Don, thank you, sir. Have a good weekend. I appreciate it. Thank you.
Still talking about reopening, the UK is reopening plan is going ahead as planned for now. Although the British Prime Minister is saying hard choices
could be ahead. As we learn more about the effect of the Indian COVID variant in the UK, after the break.
QUEST: The race between virus and vaccines may be about to become a whole lot tighter. The words of Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, as he
announced his government, will accelerate the vaccine rollout. This concern follows cases of the Indian COVID variant doubling in a week across the
U.K. The British Prime Minister said there may be hard choices ahead as they learn more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: If it's only marginally more transmissible, we can continue more or less as planned. But if the variant
is significantly more transmissible, we're likely to face some hard choices. And we're going to be learning a lot more in the coming days and
weeks about that. The good news is that, so far, we have no evidence to suggest that our vaccines will be less effective in protecting people
against severe illness and hospitalization.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Cyril is with me, Cyril Vanier in London. This is a really tricky one, isn't it, because the U.K., the Britain, Scotland (ph), all the
country at some point is really looking forward to getting back to normal. If this Indian variant does, for example, restrict travel or full
reopening, this will be most unwelcome.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it'll be most unwelcome and it will be a little bit like history repeating itself, Richard, because think back
to last December, so only what four and a half months ago, we've seen this movie before.
Britain seemed at the time early December to be doing a good job of containing a coronavirus, fairly good job. And then all of a sudden we hear
of this new variant, at the time it was the variant first identified in the U.K. referred to here as the Kent variant. And we were told that that was a
lot more transmissible than the previous mutation.
And all of a sudden, throughout the month of December, case numbers, daily infections surged from about 15,000 a day to 45,000 a day and then tipped
Britain over into a third wave that was extremely deadly and actually made the U.K. one of the highest death rates per capita in the world due to
So we know how dangerous new more contagious variants can be. That is my point. And once again, we're being told the exact same thing. This is more
contagious, but we just don't know how much more yet, which is exactly the same thing we heard back in December.
There is one crucial difference, however, this country now is several months into its vaccination strategy. That has worked well, it's been
efficient. And so a third of adults are now fully vaccinated, and two thirds of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine. So there
is reason to believe that Britain could face down this new mutation much better than it faced the last one.
QUEST: How long have they go? How long before -- I mean, I know obviously, next week, a certain reopening level three or stage three, and then there's
a five week gap. But how long before you get an idea that this is working or not?
VANIER: The government hasn't said. All they've said is that they just don't have the data yet on how contagious this is. And they've giving weeks
as an indication of time to know more about this variance. So on Monday, yes, most limits on social distancing will actually disappear in England on
Monday, and that is not changing.
But then the fourth and final step of easing restrictions are five weeks after that, it's been a very gradual, very cautious reopening in the U.K.
And in that interim period, if there is bad news about this variant, well that could delay the last and final step of reopening,
QUEST: Cyril, thank you. Cyril is in London.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is our Chief Medical Correspondent. Sanjay is with me. Good to see you, Sanjay. Looking well --
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, sir.
QUEST: -- looking well. The --
GUPTA: You too, thank you.
QUEST: -- the variant issue is now going to become so crucial. But I'm thinking, for instance, what I was reading in my morning newspaper, about
Singapore where you have an outbreak at Changi Airport, where a good two- thirds of those who have been -- who've got it had been vaccinated. Is this the unspoken fear that the vaccinations will be defeated?
GUPTA: That is -- there's always this sense of this race, I guess, between the vaccine and the variants before we talked about the vaccine and the
virus that raised, but it is the vaccine and the variants, I think there's two questions.
First of all, do people who subsequently had these breakthrough infections, meaning they've been vaccinated, they test positive for COVID, do they have
symptoms or are they caught more because of procedural testing as we often see with travel or with like the New York Yankees in the United States,
they were being tested regularly, is it being found incidentally, or is it being found because of symptoms? Most likely, it's found because of just
And second of all, if someone is infected, they do test positive after vaccination, what is the likelihood they can subsequently spread that virus
to somebody else? And that seems very, very low, which is what's prompting some of the changes that are happening in the United States right now.
So it's a very fair point. And if there's more variants that start to escape the vaccine immunity, that will be a problem. But right now, as
things stand, Richard, the vaccines, they seem to work pretty well against these variants that maybe have a slightly decreased effect against some of
the variants, but overall work pretty well.
QUEST: Sanjay, listen to this. Yesterday, I was out at Delta, talking to their chief health officer. I want you to have a listen to what he told me.
He says there's a very low risk of catching the virus on a plane. Dr. Ting's had masks, not distancing, are the key to safety. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. HENRY TING, CHIEF HEALTH OFFICER, DELTA AIR LINES: Distance, although important, is not as important as wearing a mask and air quality. The masks
really prevent transmission.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: It's the mask that really prevents transmission. Now we know that the chances are picking it up from cups surfaces, door handles, that's
pretty much almost gone away at that thought. But the masks versus distances, what do you make?
GUPTA: Yes, I think that that's right. And it wasn't something that we knew for certain, certainly not at the beginning of this pandemic, but the idea
of how this virus spreads primarily through aerosols. Think of it like a puff of smoke versus through respiratory droplets.
It can spread both ways, but it's really the aerosols that tend to be more of a problem. So just imagine cigarette smoke, a cigarette smoke, it's sort
of floats through the air, you could be right next to the person, but you could also be quite a distance away. In those types of situations, with
aerosolized spread, it's the mask that far and away is going to have the biggest impact on decreasing spread.
QUEST: We are not losing the opportunity since we have you to squeeze the acid for every bit we can get. We are a business program, after all. So,
good doctor, as they used to say. And there's this question with this issue. And the Director-General of the WHO is urging rich countries to send
vaccine overseas, rather than give them to low risk groups within their own country. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: In January, I spoke about the potential unfolding of a moral catastrophe.
Unfortunately, we're now witnessing this play out in a handful of rich countries, which both are the majority of the vaccine supply. Lower risk
groups are now being vaccinated. I understand why some countries want to vaccinate their children and adolescents. But right now, I urge them to
reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to COVAX.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, in the same week that the CDC says that a younger people can be vaccinated, teenagers can be evacuated, et cetera, that's highly
controversial, isn't it?
GUPTA: It's hard to disagree with what Tedros is saying there. I mean, you know, let me show you the numbers, Richard, I know that you've seen these
numbers. But if you look across the world at the overall vaccine distribution, about 81 percent of vaccines are going to wealthy countries,
high and middle -- upper middle income countries, 0.3 percent to low income countries.
I mean, it's not even close, right? So the point that Tedros is making, regardless of where you live in the world, if you -- we know who the
vulnerable people are, people who are older, people have pre-existing conditions, so why not treat this more equitably?
And like I said, it's hard to argue with that. I think what the United States stance has been -- and I've talked to lots of people about this from
a vaccine distribution side, from an ethics side, first of all the United States for -- as one country, does donate to COVAX, billions of dollars to
make more vaccines.
They're also giving away vaccines such as the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has not yet been authorized the United States, but they had pre-purchase so
many doses. So those are now being given to other countries. But someone likened it to this, Richard, and I don't know that this is a perfect
metaphor, but I think it's one you'll appreciate. It's kind of like if you're on a plane and the oxygen masks drop, what do they tell you? They
tell you always put yours on first, and then assist others. That's how a lot of ethicists think about this issue as well.
We got to be in the best position we can to help other countries. Does that mean that young kids should be vaccinated in the United States before other
more vulnerable? It's a very tough call.
QUEST: Finally, is there a real danger in this country, that people like me, fully vaccinated, who now told -- who's basically can go back to the
gym, go and eat in restaurants, told you don't have to wear a mask, we think it's over. It's finished. I mean, there's, you know, yes, we have to
be a little bit careful on a plane, but by and large, there's a large numbers of people in the United States, and it will soon be in the U.K. and
elsewhere who will say pandemic finished.
GUPTA: That is the number one thing that I heard yesterday, Richard, when this guidance changed, where people saying, oh, you must get a little bit
of a break now because I've been covering this for 14, 15 months straight, now it's over.
It's not over. You know, there's still tens of thousands of people in the United States who are contracting the disease every day and hundreds of
people who are dying. It's going in the right direction. But Richard, I think the point that you're making is that there are still two thirds, for
example, in this country, in the United States that are unvaccinated.
Many people, there's a large crossover population that will also not wear a mask. So for -- you're vaccinated, you should feel very comfortable with
your vaccination status in terms of protecting you. But for other people who are not vaccinated and not wearing a mask, it's sort of prolongs this
viral spread for a longer period of time.
I still think we will ultimately get to a point where this is contained. But now it's just a question, how many more people will get sick, how many
more people will die, and how long will it take to get to that point? And I think that's -- it's all going to be prolonged now because of what is
QUEST: Good to talk to you, sir. I'm grateful you came on tonight. Have a lovely weekend. Thank you. Sanjay Gupta.
Now, talking about over, Benjamin Netanyahu says things are not over yet. Israeli airstrikes continue to rain down on Gaza. They'll be on the border,
next. Quest Means Business.
QUEST: Palestinian officials say 126 people have been killed in Gaza since the Israeli bombardment started this week. Israel says its operations are
not over yet. And it's with troops tanks and artillery to the border leaving the option of a ground invasion on the table. Nic Robertson had
reports from the border of Israel and Gaza.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Over Gaza, the fury of war frozen. Hamas rockets tear towards Israel's Iron Dome, defensive tentacles
on the ground fear. Families flee, sheltering in U.N. designated safe havens schools.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translations): They are targeting our homes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translations): We stayed together at home with a group of children. Suddenly, we heard artillery hitting us from every
side. Wherever we looked, it was hitting. We and our children are completely exhausted.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): The toll, deaths and destruction climbing on both sides. At Gaza's border, tanks, troops, armored personnel carriers on
standby. Iron Dome intercepts overhead, a background beat of war.
ROBERTSON: And that's the siren here and that means with the -- we are being -- this location is being targeted, so we are going to move swiftly
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Not enough troops here for ground incursion, but getting their job done, according to Israel's Prime Minister.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translations): I said that we would strike Hamas in the other terrorist organizations very hard.
And we are doing just that. In the last 24 hours, we have attacked under grand targets. Hamas start (ph) it could hide there, but it cannot hide
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Away from Gaza right Friday prayers in the venerated Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, tensions mounting, worshippers angry
over Palestinian suffering, clashing with Israeli police. Across the West Bank, confrontations continuing throughout the day. Indirectly, Hamas
managing to turn Gaza suffering to their advantage.
ABU OBEIDA, HAMAS SPOKESPERON (through translations): If it comes to responding to your aggression and claiming victory for our people in our
sanctities, there are no red lines. Sacred rules of engagement are complicated calculations.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): What's lacking here is diplomacy. No off ramp in sight. The suffering spurring increasing international calls for an end to
the violence, but nothing to show for it yet.
Nic Robertson, CNN on the border with Gaza.
QUEST: As you and I continue this Friday evening, a new report says there's a dark truth at the heart of the solar industry, claims that forced labor
from China is being used to bring us solar panels. I'll be talking to the author of the report, next. Quest Means Business.
QUEST: A new study claims the entire solar panel industry is relying on forced labor from China. It's a report from researchers at Sheffield Hallam
University, and says that two-key materials used to make solar panels are produced by forced labor in Xinjiang.
That's where the Uighur Muslims have been routinely exploited. The region is also a major hub for solar panel production. The Chinese government
spokesperson has called the report lies and adding, solar energy is clean, but those in the U.S. and the West who are hyping up the issue and have a
dark and sinister intention.
It's Laura Murphy, who is the co-author of the report and she joins me now from Manchester in England. We're talking here, Laura, about labor transfer
initiatives, so-called surplus labor. What's happening?
LAURA MURPHY, PROFESSOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS, SHEFFIELD HALLAM UNIVERSITY: Yes, about three years ago, the Chinese government instituted a policy that they
call to -- a poverty alleviation, through which they enlisted the county governments, local governments to enroll as many Uighur ethnic minority
people in labor transfer programs as possible.
But all of these labor transfers happen with a backdrop of a massive system of extrajudicial internment and -- internment camps. And people are not
allowed to refuse these labor transfers in the region, as a result.
QUEST: When they get to the place of work, and they are manufacturing this solar grade, polysilicon, which is 45 percent of the majority of it comes
from China. When they get there, what are the conditions?
MURPHY: You know, it's actually quite hard for us to tell what the conditions are like because no one is allowed to go into these plants.
There are no third party audits. There's no independent investigators who can go and look.
But what we do know is that when people are being brought into these jobs and these labor transfers, there's repeated harassment, people come to
their house to train them ideologically, to compel them to work, they make them leave their families, leave their land, leave their houses. Sometimes
their children are sent to orphanages, their parents are sent to elder care facilities. It's really an atrocious situation going on there.
QUEST: It's admirable the attention that's being brought to bear by your report, but what realistically do you hope comes as a result of it?
MURPHY: You know, I think there's a lot that can be done. I think that governments and companies have a responsibility to address this issue by
refusing to buy polysilicon that comes from that region. And really pushing hard to ensure that whatever we can do to end the oppression of weaker
people in that region, we do do it and consumers can play a role too by speaking out.
QUEST: Right, but in your report says 95 percent of solar modules rely on the primary material, solar grade, polysilicon, and the Uighur region is 45
percent of the global supply. So it's very difficult. If I'm a manufacturer of -- I'm not saying that I wouldn't try, but if I'm a manufacturer --
QUEST: -- of solar panels, ergo, I'm eventually going to end up with stuff from this region.
MURPHY: The good news is that experts say that that Europe and the United States can feasibly buy polysilicon that's not made in that region, given
the amount of production that's going on now. Also investments from green energy, you know, investments from the U.S., U.K., Australia could actually
spur on additional production of polysilicon and it's something that means that our green energy commitments can actually also be a human rights
QUEST: Thank you. Thank you. Your works this closely and please come back when there's more to tell us. I appreciate it. Thank you.
Now just before we take a break, and go to the break, let me update you on the markets and show you what's been happening. The Dow Jones Industrials,
well, two days of triple less and triple act (ph). So there we have the Dow up over 360 off the best of the day, one has to say. The NASDAQ roared up.
I'm not going to say a rotation is backed out in the way, I'm just going to say that the sale, the selling that we saw possibly overdone, the reaction
on inflation pressures possibly overdone, the worries of higher interest rates possibly overdone and the markets rebalanced itself back on this
Friday. I'll take a profitable moment or either, I'll give you a profitable moment after the break. Hopefully you're about to listen.
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment, what we spent a lot of time this evening talking about is the pandemic over. And for those of us in the
United States, or maybe even the U.K. coming up, there's a great temptation to believe that it is just about all done and dusted, except for the
And yet underneath, there are warnings about in this country, whether the removal of the mask mandate is just to start soon. There are warnings in
the U.K. about the number of variants and there is Dr. Fauci -- sorry, Dr. Sanjay Gupta's warning to us tonight, that the number of the disparity of
vaccinations between the developed world and the developing world is simply horrendous. In fact, it's offensive and we showed you the numbers tonight.
And that's why as I go home tonight and head back to New York and have my weekend and you have yours too, maybe you don't wear a mask as much as we
did. But keep in mind that it's hasn't gone away. And vigilance is what's required if we're going to get all through this together, but still have a
good weekend. Because that's Quest Means Business for tonight.
I'm Richard Quest in Atlanta at the CNN Center. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. The closing bell has rung an hour
ago. The markets are closed. It was a good day for the Dow.
Thank you, (INAUDIBLE).