Return to Transcripts main page
Quest Means Business
Delta Variant Puts Major Dent in U.S. Jobs Recovery; Nikkei Up on News Japan's PM Won't Stand in Party Elections; UAE Plane Carrying Medical and Food Aid Lands in Kabul; "QAnon Shaman" Pleads Guilty To Jan. 6 Felony; England Players Allegedly Targeted With Racist Abuse; White House Weighs Scaling Back COVID Booster Shot Plan. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired September 03, 2021 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN HOST: U.S. markets are still touching record highs despite new warning signs on the economy. We look at the big board. The Dow is
pretty flat along with the other major indices. Those are the markets, and these are the main events.
Joe Biden admits we're not where we need to be is the delta variant knocks the job market of track.
Shares in Japan get a boost after the Prime Minister announces his resignation.
And big-name companies in Texas are keeping a low profile over the state's controversial ban on abortions.
Live from London, it is Friday, the third of September. I'm Isa Soares and I, too, mean business.
Good evening, everyone. Happy Friday.
The U.S. economy summer recovery may have run out of steam. Hiring has taken a big hit from the delta variant. Now Joe Biden admits the recovery
is falling short -- 235,000 jobs were added in August, that's nearly half a million fewer than economists had expected and the weakest number since
Well as the delta variant stops businesses from fully reopening, it is looking less and less likely like a V-shaped recovery for the American jobs
market. The U.S. President says it is the surging virus, which has hurt these numbers. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's no question the delta variant is why today's job report isn't stronger. I know people were
looking, and I was hoping for a higher number.
But next week, I'll lay out the next steps that are going to -- we're going to do to combat the delta variant.
Even with the progress we've made, we are not where we need to be in our economic recovery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, let's get more. Paul La Monica is in New York. So, Paul, let's talk about these numbers, 235,000 jobs added, far off the estimates
with this clearly outline. What happened?
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, I think as President Biden just pointed out, the delta variant is really having an effect on the economy.
When you look, Isa, at the two areas where we saw job losses in the month, retail and bars and restaurants. You clearly had, I think a lot of people
that were not going back out into the world at a time where they were worried once again, about COVID-19 and this delta variant.
So, you had two areas of the economy that are very consumer focused, where you have to be out and about instead of just like being at home, buying
things online, and those areas, they were hurt. And I think that's a big reason why we saw these disappointing jobs report.
But there were some good numbers in there as well, I think that are worth pointing out.
SOARES: So really, Paul, as you see the numbers of cases rising with a variant people obviously scared to go out, perhaps not buying as much, not
taking full long-term employment. But when I look at the Dow, if I can bring -- if I get my producer, Ronan, to bring up the Dow again. I mean,
the markets are not doing anything, it's flat. Why investors shrugging off this, you know, pretty lousy jobs report.
LA MONICA: Yes, I think there are a couple of things at play, Isa. For one, August is a notoriously very tough month for the job market, that often you
wind up having revisions after the fact that make it look better and there, I think are some hoping that maybe this number isn't as bad as it first
But also, we have with these jobs report further evidence that what Fed Chair Jerome Powell has been saying about a need to taper more slowly, not
really be worrying about interest rate hikes just yet, this kind of justifies that more measured approach to removing some of the stimulus that
the Fed took put into place, you know, beginning last March when COVID-19 really slammed the American economy to a halt.
So, I think investors are probably somewhat hopeful that this means the Fed can stay with a slow, gradual, steady approach to removing stimulus, which
would be good for stocks. And obviously, you know, the market has really taken off since Powell's speech last week, where he really seemed to
suggest that are not going to be going super quickly with removing a lot of this accommodation.
SOARES: Let me ask you something, Paul. I mean, you heard that little clip before we came to you of President Biden. He said, you know, next week, I'm
going to announce next steps to try and combat the delta variant. What steps at this stage do you think from an economic perspective are needed to
reassure employees to go out and employers to keep hiring?
LA MONICA: Yes, I think it's going to be very fascinating to see whether or not the President is able to get buy-in on things like just making sure we
can have this infrastructure bill that hopefully can get through Congress, will that -- more stimulus -- help with regards to just more money spent on
infrastructure that could help stimulate the economy?
With regards to the variant, I think a lot of it is really going to be just continuing to try and educate people about the COVID-19 vaccines because
this is the thing, all the people that I talk to, Isa, there are very few that think we are headed back to more lockdowns like what we had in March
and April of 2020, because at this point, you've either been vaccinated or you haven't.
If you're vaccinated, you're probably nervous about the delta variant, but you're not terrified that it's going to send you to the hospital. If you
are not vaccinated, that's where the calculus changes and you have to wonder if it's worth the risk of not being vaccinated, given just how bad
this variant has been for people that have not received the vaccines.
SOARES: Yes, and I -- but I think you're right, I think there's people that are still quite hesitant given that we're edging towards winter, and what
that will mean, how that will shift.
Paul La Monica there. Thanks very much, Paul. Good to see you.
Well, sectors that were previously booming are now cutting jobs again, as restrictions return to some industries. The retail sector lost 29,000 jobs
in August. Restaurants lost 42,000 jobs after months of strong growth in the hospitality sector.
Private payroll numbers from ADP early in the week were also a big disappointment.
Nela Richardson is the Chief Economist for ADP. She joins me now from New Jersey.
And this Nela, you know, it's a staggering listening to what Paul was saying and looking at these numbers that we just outlined. What are your --
what's your assessment of what we saw today and how tied they are of course to those -- to the cases of the delta variant?
NELA RICHARDSON, CHIEF ECONOMIST, ADP: Hi, Isa. Great to be with you. You know, the pandemic has always been in the driver's seat when it came to the
job bounce and market recovery. And so as you're seeing the increase in case count, we're seeing the jobs and market recovery kind of dial back.
There's been a notable down shift and that was very evident today, especially in those sectors that were most poised to gain from the safe
reopening of the U.S. economy.
And so that's why today's report is particularly concerning, because what we'd like to see is one, more people come back to the labor force, and two,
those sectors and industries that were hardest hit, service sector jobs that require close physical proximity, those continue to rebound and drive
the jobs recovery forward.
SOARES: So now do businesses -- do they need to be raising wages or offering one-time bonuses to make it more attractive for people at this
RICHARDSON: Yes, we've seen companies use a variety of things. One thing is clear, and we've seen this in our small business survey data at ADP is that
hiring is one of the, if not the biggest challenge for small firms right now, and I would include larger corporations as well. It is the challenge.
So, we're in this really odd situation where we have a record number of job openings in the United States, seven million people still sidelined by the
pandemic by our estimates, and yet, we're still getting a jobs number that would be good in normal times, but really a disappointment in terms of the
So, what's going on? Well, obviously, there are still some bottlenecks that are tied to health crises. There is still this issue of childcare that has
overshadowed and weighed on job gains every month. And until schools are, you know, reliably in-person five days a week, every week, I think you're
still going to see a challenge for working families in being fully employed.
SOARES: Like say, Nela, I think it is spot on, you know, the delta variant is still very much, COVID-19 very much in the driving seat and threatening
the full reopening of the economy as you just pointed out.
I want to read something that President Joe Biden said: "There have been so many records in the stock market," he said, " ... hit under my presidency.
Imagine if the other guy," he meant Trump, " ... was here. We are doing great. It is wonderful. The stock market is surging, it's gone up higher
than anybody. But that doesn't mean that it's the best for the economy." Your thoughts.
RICHARDSON: Well, that's right. The stock market is not the economy. I will agree on that point. And I think it's it is a little challenging. All
Presidents do this. They take credit for good news. That's not necessarily always the case.
But there are a number of things that have gone well in the U.S. economy. One is that strong economic rebound and you know, there is bipartisan
accolades to go around on that because the reason why the U.S. came back so quickly is because of a high level of government spending, direct payments
to consumers, and cheap loans to small businesses, cheap financing for corporations that allowed the United States to weather the storm and to
regroup. And now, we're looking at 2020 economic growth around seven percent.
RICHARDSON: But we're also shifting. There is going to be a pivot, a handoff from government support to a more independent growth spurt going
forward, and you're seeing that. Many of these social programs have either come to an end or are ending and it's going to be a challenging time in the
midst of a still pressed variant for Main Street and Corporate America to continue to see the same level of gains.
SOARES: Nela Richardson, always great to get your insight. Thanks very much.
RICHARDSON: Thanks for having me.
SOARES: Now, stocks in Tokyo popped on news Japan's Prime Minister will be stepping down. The Nikkei was up two percent after Prime Minister Yoshihide
Suga announced he won't run in his party's leadership elections later this month.
The winner of that contest is widely expected to be the next Prime Minister at least until the general elections later this year. Suga said working on
COVID countermeasures and election activities both required a quote "tremendous amount of energy" that was directly from him.
The yen is down about a quarter point on the U.S. dollar as you can see right there.
Selina Wang has a story for you from Tokyo.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is stepping aside after just one year in office.
YOSHIHIDE SUGA, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I am not running for the Liberal Democratic Party's leader election since I'd like
to concentrate on COVID-19 countermeasures.
WANG (voice over): He became Prime Minister after his predecessor Shinzo Abe abruptly resigned in September 2020 for health reasons. Suga was Abe's
longtime right-hand man, known as a pragmatic behind the scenes deal maker.
He took office with the promise of containing COVID-19, but nearly a year later, Japan is battling its worst wave of COVID-19 yet, as the delta
variant quickly spreads with Tokyo and large parts of the country under a state of emergency.
His approval ratings have plunged. The public dissatisfied with his handling of the pandemic and the Olympics. The economy still slumping.
Suga pushed ahead with the Games despite widespread public opposition and warnings from health officials, including the country's top COVID-19
While opposition to the Games softened when they began, they failed to boost Suga's ratings.
KOICHI NAKANO, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, SOPHIA UNIVERSITY: When it comes to the Olympics. Yes, he was a success in the sense that it was
hosted, but there was no domestic spectators and a lot of people were in fact furious that the Olympics were going ahead at the Japanese expenses.
WANG (voice over): Suga says the Olympics did not lead to a surge in Japan's COVID cases, but health experts believe the Games did play a role,
making people feel that COVID wasn't a problem and ignored the government's pleas to stay home.
Japan has also lagged behind other developed nations in its vaccine rollout held back by bureaucracy and logistical hurdles.
NAKANO: He was not a leader who was able to, you know, I think capture the popular imagination when leadership is badly missing.
WANG (voice over): His short time in office will also be remembered for strengthening ties with the U.S.
KAMALA HARRIS (D), VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The President and I are very excited --
WANG (voice over): Suga's trip to the White House in April was President Joe Biden's first in-person meeting with a foreign leader as President.
They vowed to take on the challenges from China together.
On China, Japanese leaders have struggled to balance security concerns with the country's deep economic ties with China. It's a challenge Suga's
successor will face along with curbing the pandemic.
Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.
SOARES: Now it might be the Taliban's biggest challenge yet, leading one of the poorest countries on Earth and avoiding an economic disaster. We'll
SOARES: Now CNN has learned that a top Qatari diplomat is in Kabul to speak with the Taliban about their future government. Qatar is also helping
reopen the Kabul Airport.
The Taliban have yet to announce their government despite the urgency. Afghanistan is facing an economic meltdown and there's a real risk of
course of humanitarian disaster.
There is some good news out of Kabul's Airport. The UAE says one of its planes delivered vital food and medical supplies on Friday.
And the U.S. Secretary of State now says he will go to Doha this Sunday. This is where we find our Sam Kiley. So Sam, we've got Secretary Blinken
going there on Sunday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also is visiting later in Pakistan, I believe. We're clearly seeing a push, but what should
we expect from this visit from Secretary Blinken?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, he will come here to make connections to the government here in Doha who have good
connections to the Taliban. There are also bilateral communications between the United States and the Taliban. We know that obviously, because they ran
the evacuation with the help of the Taliban.
So, it's not a completely unexpected visit. I think one of the critical things has to do with the domestic political landscape from the United
States' perspective, very large numbers of people carrying Special Immigration Visas. Those are Afghans who helped the United States during
the 20-year war, and a relatively small number of Americans are still yet to get out of the United States. That is something that Washington or the
White House really needs to see in order to make this whole evacuation process and the whole decision to end the war and arguably, precipitate the
victory of the Taliban look a bit better and sell a bit better back home.
On the less cynical international front, he will be here as Dominic Raab has been who was also here to negotiate or discuss with the Taliban the
evacuation of people who had helped Britain is also to continue the pressure, continue to send messages to the Taliban that the Taliban need to
make good on their promises of moderation, and to respect international humanitarian law and above all, to allow people that want to leave, to
Now, the Taliban have responded to that in the past by saying they didn't want Afghans to leave, they didn't see why they would want to, and that
they were concerned about the loss of the high skills that they need in order to run the country.
But nonetheless, Doha is absolutely critical in all of that diplomacy. And then also, Isa, in terms of the practical efforts to reopen the airport.
They've had a delegation there of experts to look at the reopening of the airport whilst they are simultaneously frankly, conducting shuttle
diplomacy. There being very high ranking members of the Doha government here are going backwards and forwards to talk face-to-face and of course,
remotely to the Taliban on an almost hourly basis, we understand -- Isa.
SOARES: Yes. And they are under pressure putting aside the politics for now and the domestic and international pressure, but from an economic
perspective, they are under pressure. The economy is practically on its knees. Any signs, you know, regarding the government, the announcement of a
government and how difficult, explain to our viewers, Sam, how difficult that might be to put that inclusive government together.
KILEY: Well, there's no sign yet. There were rumors that it might happen today. Today is now tomorrow effectively in Kabul. So, very unlikely you're
going to get a midnight or just after midnight announcement of a complex new government, and complex, certainly, the international community and
members of the former Afghan government, like former President Karzai, former Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah, have been negotiating with the
Taliban, perhaps to have former government members included in what the Taliban say will be all inclusive.
There are also reports coming out of Kabul that the Taliban are not interested in an inclusive government. They won the war and they want to
have a fully Taliban administration. That still could be a pretty broad range of ideologies from extremely hardline, very hard over pre medieval
tight Islamist right through to people like Mullah Baradar, who is tipped for high office, who ran the political office here, who has been engaged in
international diplomacy, and others around him who will see the merits of engagement with the international community.
There is going to be a lot of eyes on the personalities, and then above all, on the decisions taken by the Taliban over the next few weeks, but it
is, you are right, absolutely critical to them in terms of trade and above all, aid that they do get some kind of international engagement or the
country will continue to collapse economically -- Isa.
SOARES: Sam Kiley for us in Doha, Qatar. Thanks very much, Sam.
Well, a top priority for the next Afghan government, of course, as Sam was just saying, will be the country's economy and unlocking billions of
dollars in foreign aid and that could take months. Washington has no plans to unfreeze Afghan assets parked in the U.S. worth billions.
Meanwhile, the U.N. says its humanitarian air service is up and running again in Afghanistan. That means food will finally be able to reach those
who need it most. The country was already dealing with a drought and COVID- 19, even before the Taliban took over. And of course, winter is coming, and I think it's quite crippling in Afghanistan.
Joining me now via Skype is Mohsin Khan. He is a former Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund.
Mohsin, thank you very much for joining us.
You know, let me ask you this. I've been speaking to several people in the last few days. You are painting a picture of what it's like in Kabul right
now. One journalist in the last hour basically said to me that, you know, people are selling their possessions, people are struggling to put food on
the table, prices are rising. What's the situation -- if funds are not lifted, if they don't unfreeze the international funds, what happens to
MOHSIN KHAN, FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA DEPARTMENT AT THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: Well, Isa, thank you for having me. I
think it's a very difficult situation that they have in Afghanistan, and to answer your question quickly, it is that that the country will implode.
You know, just to get a perspective on how much they depend on foreign aid, sort of 90 percent of the salaries of public sector employees are covered
by aid, 30 percent of the overall budget, the civilian budget of Afghanistan was covered what's called the Afghanistan Reconstruction Fund,
which is aid.
So if aid doesn't start to flow back and that seems very unlikely, and if sanctions aren't lifted, and they don't have access to the seven plus
billion dollars held in the United States at the Federal Reserve in the United States owned by the Central Bank of Afghanistan, then I think the
situation is going to become really dire.
And furthermore, the I.M.F. has decided not disburse the $450 million or so that they had promised as part of COVID relief. And the World Bank has
stopped its funding of projects in Afghanistan.
So, all in all, absent a resumption of this, the economy will implode. I mean, some people say and have made estimates like, you know, GDP could
fall by 11 percent or 10 percent or something like that. I think that's very, very optimistic because it could fall back much more.
SOARES: What is your prediction how much it could fall by?
KHAN: I think if we get into that scenario where their aid comes to a complete -- aid does not resume at all, it could very well you know fall by
a quarter, I mean by 25 percent easily.
SOARES: And like you said, it does depend so heavily on imports and then there's already we're seeing an inflationary environment. We've been
hearing and seeing people queuing to get money out, a concern over a run on the banks. Is there a way that the I.M.F. can release not all of these
funds, but part of these funds? And, you know, bit by bit and have a monitoring body to see if the Taliban is abiding by a set of rules? What is
the way around this?
KHAN: Well, there really is no easy way around it because, Isa, you have to remember that the I.M.F. is not an independent entity. I mean, it basically
answers to its shareholders, and its major shareholders are the ones who are withholding the aid.
And so the I.M.F. can only be -- Afghanistan is, of course, a member in good standing with the I.M.F., but it has to have an internationally
recognized government in order to deal with it. So, for the I.M.F., it will be absolutely necessary that the United States and the European countries
who are the major shareholders of the I.M.F. say that this government, they can work with this government, and they can deal with this government, and
they recognize this government.
Once that happens, then the money can --
SOARES: And that's why it's so important, obviously, why we're putting into perspective why the world is waiting and watch in motion to really get a
sense of what kind of government they will announce, how inclusive that will be.
Do you believe if that meets the criteria of those -- you know, if that meets some of the criteria from some of the other countries whether the
United States or elsewhere, that perhaps those funds will be unfrozen?
KHAN: I think that if the United States and other countries come to that conclusion that look, this is a government that is a legitimate government,
and we recognize this government. The moment that happens, both sanctions are -- because actually Afghanistan is not under sanction. I mean,
basically, the assets have been frozen. And so, basically, it's a question of unfreezing the assets, not a question of lifting sanctions.
The moment they unfreeze the assets and Afghanistan has access to them, the I.M.F. can immediately start to disburse its funding that's already in the
SOARES: Mohsin Khan, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
KHAN: Thank you very much, Isa.
SOARES: Now, the situation in Afghanistan has already knocked Joe Biden's popularity back home. Now, the U.S. President has weak job numbers and
natural disasters to deal with.
We'll be live at the White House, next.
SOARES: Hello. I'm Isa Soares. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment. When we'll explore why Europe and the U.S. both appear to be
rethinking plans for booster shots this fall.
And major U.S. companies are divided about whether to speak out about restrictive new abortion laws in Texas. Before that, of course, the
headlines for you this hour.
4.5 million people in the north eastern U.S. are under flood warnings. It comes just days after the remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped massive amounts
of rainfall on New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states. At least 48 people have died as a result of the storm.
New Zealand's Prime Ministers is the man who stopped six people in a supermarket today was inspired by ISIS and was known to authorities. Three
victim -- victims are in critical condition. Police shot and killed the assailant in less than a minute after the attack began. He's been
identified as a Sri Lankan national.
A member of the notorious British ISIS cell known as The Beatles has pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges. Alexander Kotey admitted to
taking part in ISIS kidnappings in Syria that led to the murders of two American aid workers and two journalists executed in propaganda videos.
The man who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January the sixth in the horn bare skin outfit has pleaded guilty to one felony charge. Jacob Chansley known
as a QAnon Shaman accepted a plea agreement and the charge of obstructing Congress's Electoral College proceedings is likely to face prison time and
a fine of up to $25,000.
FIFA says it's launching disciplinary proceedings following reports of racism as a World Cup qualifier. Broadcast has reported that fans that are
much in hungry will shouting abuse and throwing objects at England's black players. Hungary's Football Federation responded saying racism has no room
in a football stadium.
Now September 20th is fast approaching. The date when COVID booster shots could be offered in the United States. It is an ambitious plan but now the
White House is considering scaling things back for those doses. CNN is learning that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn't have enough
data on Moderna which has just completed submission to this agency a short while ago. So for now, only the Pfizer-BioNTech booster plan seems to be on
We're hearing something similar out of the European Medicines Agency said yesterday it wasn't in a rush for the general population to get booster
shots. What does this all mean? Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joins me now. Elizabeth, great to see you. Explain to our viewers why
perhaps we're seeing things being scaled back here.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Isa, this is really such a confusing issue and it was so unnecessary. What happened if we start from
the beginning, in several weeks ago, the Biden administration announced, you know, what -- we're going to begin a vaccine booster rollout September
20th. That left a lot of people scratching their heads. The FDA, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
They have to sign off on a booster rollout. And they haven't made any announcements whatsoever. So from the beginning, there was so much
confusion here. Here's the issue. Pfizer has submitted their data to the FDA to have a booster and they have a meeting scheduled for September 17th.
You have to have this meeting in order to have the rollout. It's a meeting with the FDA vaccine advisors.
So people who got Pfizer, you know, when they got their first two shots, there's an excellent chance that they will be able to get boosters starting
September 20th but not everyone in the U.S. got Pfizer.
COHEN: So let's take look at what that looks like in the United States, in the U.S. when you look at fully vaccinated people in the U.S. 54 percent
got Pfizer, but 38 percent got Moderna, eight 8 percent got Johnson and Johnson. Moderna just today submitted to the FDA in order to do boosters
and Johnson and Johnson hasn't submitted. So by definition, they are not going to begin September 20th.
So the bottom line for vaccinated people in the United States is that they will get a booster at some point in the coming months, it might not be
September 20. But it will happen sometime in the coming months. And all of this confusion really was unnecessary. The big issue, Isa, is unvaccinated
Americans. The push is really to get them to take a COVID-19 vaccine. It is not a small number of people.
Let's take a look, 27 percent of eligible Americans have not gotten even a single shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. The concern is that all this back and
forth about boosters, that that actually is going to make them even more reluctant to get a vaccine. These folks don't trust the government. And it
gives them more reason to say aha, I told you that they don't know what they're talking about. That's really the most unfortunate part of all this
back and forth with the booster shots, Isa?
SOARES: And really we heard some of this today from President Biden, of course, with the economic numbers, we got tied very much in, Elizabeth, to
the Delta variant. Do we know -- do know from now what President Biden might do -- put this pressure on him perhaps to try and get more people
vaccinated. Are we talking mandatory vaccinations whether that's when travel and other forms. What could he have up his sleeve to increase that -
- increase that number, Elizabeth?
COHEN: So -- right. So, in the United States, the chances of the federal government requiring and making it a law that you have to get vaccinated,
those are teeny tiny, practically none. That is just not going to fly in the United States. But there is almost certainly going to be more mandates
from employers. If your boss tells you get a vaccine or your fired, that will probably increase the chance that you will get a COVID-19 vaccine.
If your school, if your university says get a -- get a COVID-19 vaccine or you can't, you know, send your team to school or you can't, you know, go to
university. There's an excellent chance that those folks then will get vaccinated. So definitely, for sure, expect more mandates in that area.
SOARES: So, on the booster from there, Elizabeth, very quickly, is that -- does that mean there will be more vaccines for other countries around the
world, developing countries around the world in excess of vaccines here?
COHENL: You know, I don't think so. The United States has donated a very large number of vaccines to countries around the world that need them. But
just by the -- let's say, you know, we don't get maternal vaccines the week of September 20th. That seems clear. It doesn't mean those doses are going
to be donated because it is clearly going to happen at some point in the U.S. just not September 20th.
SOARES: Elizabeth Cohen, thanks very much, Elizabeth. Now, a surging Delta variant contributed to a big mess. As you can imagine, for the August jobs
report in the U.S. I told you that, I was just mentioning that with Elizabeth, in fact, it caps a really miserable month for President Joe
Biden. He's already dealing with the withdrawal from Afghanistan which -- remember, it was rather messy and a wave of natural disasters right across
It's that last issue, of course, which Mr. Biden is focusing on this hour. He's been -- he's -- would be touring a damage from Hurricane Ida, in the
State of Louisiana. Our Senior White House Correspondent Phil Mattingly is in Washington with more. And Phil, you know, there have been a lot of
pressures on President Biden with seven months into his presidency. We've got economic pressures, as we saw today, chaotic withdrawal from Kabul, the
Texas abortion law.
And now of course, the deadly fallout from Ida. How was the Fed -- how -- what's the assessment thus far?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Look, I think anybody who's been candid inside the White House would acknowledge this is an
August they would like to forget, an August they certainly weren't expecting and one that didn't turn out how they wanted it to. And I think
one of the elements that you see when the President right now on the ground in Louisiana is that for all that they couldn't control over the course of
the last several months.
And whether it was just how quickly Kabul fell and how chaotic and bloody that whole situation was. These storms themselves what they can control,
particularly in the wake of a natural disaster is the federal government response. And I think there's a recognition inside the White House and if
there's anything they feel like they can deliver on, it's ensuring that every federal resource that is available could be delivered down to the
Gulf Coast, down to the northeast as well, given what we've seen in the wake of the weather hurricane that became a tropical storm.
And that's why you're seeing the President so all in on this. You've seen him speak about it multiple times over the course the last couple of days,
a number of different briefings. He's got every agency basically at his disposal, whether it's cell phone connection, whether it's ensuring that
there's gas at the pumps, whether he's calling utility CEOs and the efforts to get electricity back.
MATTINGLY: They know this is where the federal government role matters most. And then you spin it forward. And I think this is important too, the
President mentioned this at a roundtable is that in Louisiana, and that is the next major thing the administration is going to address is going to
really key in on is his legislative agenda. Obviously, Congress has been out of town in the last several weeks. That agenda carries several very,
very key climate components inside of it.
The idea of resiliency but billions of dollars into reshaping infrastructure, reshaping public transit, things of that nature. The
President talking about that making clear what the government is doing now is important from a recovery perspective. What the government does next is
critical, given the way these storms, these fires, everything we've seen from the weather perspective have just exploded over the course of the last
couple of years, certainly the last couple of months.
So, there's no question the White House did not have the best four or five weeks. And I think everybody here understands that. But if you'd like these
are the moments what's coming in the weeks ahead are absolutely critical to deliver on, if he wants to deliver on the promises he made.
SOARES: Yes, I mean, it's been a very head spinning few weeks without a doubt, Phil. I mean, internationally, at least, he has faced criticism, as
you know, for the handling of Afghanistan, and the chaotic and messy withdrawal in particular. What's the view at home, though? I mean,
domestically, how -- where are we in his approval rating? What's it looking like, Phil?
MATTINGLY: They've taken a hit. There's no question about it. You know, the interesting thing is the divergence between approval of the overall action.
Getting U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, which remains popular, remains with majority support, which has had for several years now, versus disapproval
over the 17-day period and the chaotic, bloody, and I think, extraordinarily unsettling period of getting U.S. citizens getting Afghan
allies, and those that they did not get out from Kabul.
And I think there's a difference there. There's a top line dip in his approval rating, certainly, that had been so steady for so many months. But
it's very clear that the combination, not just what we've seen in Kabul, but also with this resurgence of the Delta variant which you were talking
about, Elizabeth. All of these things are combining. It's a rough time for the White House. No question.
SOARES: Yes. And the economy on top of that. Phil Mattingly, great to see you. Thanks very much, Phil.
Well, the governor of Texas has businesses like his state social policies after signing one of America's most restrictive bans on abortion. More in
the corporate reaction that is coming up.
SOARES: Now to Call to Earth. CNN's initiative to promote a more sustainable future for our planet. And here's a sweet story from Sao Tome
and Principe where honey collectors have switched from bee burning to beekeeping. And the positive effects on local agriculture has got the food
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sometimes you think that the only thing that they do is honey, but bees, these little creatures, they're much more than just
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the tropical island of Principe located off the west coast of Africa, the food economy is heavily reliant on imports,
especially from Portugal. In its quest to become more self-sufficient the islanders make a beeline for the planet's most efficient pollinators.
LAURA BENITEZ BOSCO, PROJECT MANAGER, FAUNA AND FLORA INTERNATIONAL: We depend on the bees for everything that we eat a lot of products, a lot of
varieties, and they do all of these for free and we don't even notice them. Without bees our crops are much less productive. Ever wanting three bites
that you take everyday from your food depends on bees. For example, coffee can produce three times more if you have bees.
So if you have coffee in your mornings, thanks to the bees. In the past om Principe people used to burn the bees. So we're just -- guys climbing the
trees without beekeeping suit or any protection, just burning the whole thing and just take the wild honey.
JOSE PEREIRA, BEEKEEPER (through translator): I used to set fire to the swarm. I wouldn't spare a thought for the queen and her workers. I just
burned them. But now with the training I already have, I would never advise anyone to set fire to a hive ever again.
BOSCO: People that work with bees can protect nature can protect the forest and can be a sustainable alternative. We don't need to stop using honey. We
can just find a more efficient way to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since bee burning was banned on Principe over 400 hives per year have been saved. And in turn, the island hopes become self-
sustaining. As more local food products are being sold in the market.
BOSCO: It's urgent for Principe to try to find a way to produce its own food and don't rely on other countries and other places. We need to be
sustainable and the only way to achieve this is through the bees. So it's incredible how people here realize very quickly that we the burning the
bees they start to have less fruits and vegetables and less food and the island.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today here on the island, we see that there are many places where bees are pollinating. So far I must say they are happy because
of the bees.
BOSCO: It's a win-win, both from the agriculture and the beekeeper. Everybody's winning. I wish humans could be more like bees. As the bees, we
need to work together. We just blend in and with other animals, with the plants and the forest. We need to protect nature because we are part of the
nature. We are nature.
SOARES: And we'll continue of course showcasing inspirational environmental stories like this as part of the initiative at CNN. And do let us know what
you're doing to answer the call with the #CalltoEarth. We're back after a short break.
SOARES: Now to Texas-based companies are coming out against the states whose restrictive new abortion law. The CEOs of Match Group and Bumble,
both women said they would start funds to help Texans access reproductive rights. Overall, though, corporate reaction has been muted. Most of the
companies CNN reached out to either declined to comment on not yet responded as you can see down your screen.
While Texas has attracted a number of companies in recent years, including Oracle, CBRE, Charles Schwab and Apple. Governor Greg Abbott says many
businesses like the state's social positions, not just like its business friendly climate. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Candidly, not only do they like the business environment, but Morgan, you need to understand that there's a lot of
businesses and a lot of Americans who like the social positions that the State of Texas is taking.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, let's get more on this. Davia Temin, founder and CEO of Termin and Company joins us now. Davia, thank you very much for joining us.
I mean, we have seen most corporations, as we just outlined there not commenting yet. They were quite outspoken when it came to voting rights,
Black Lives Matter. Why are we seeing a lack of response this time?
DAVIA TERMIN, FOUNDER AND CEO, TERMIN AND COMPANY: Well, I think that abortion has always been a highly political, highly personal kind of issue.
And there's a big difference between MeToo where people have spoken out, or they've spoken out when they've had to, and abortion rights which makes
everyone nervous. And I think strongly that this is a place where business is going to take its lead from its employees, from its customers, from its
shareholders and from its stakeholders.
And it always takes a little bit of time for them to get sort of understand what they're going to comment on, what they're going to take a stand on and
what they're not. Do not underestimate the power of employees which is huge today growing and growing. And of customers and of stakeholders,
shareholders to affect the positions that corporations will take. It's got to come from the bottom up in this particular case.
Once there are -- once there are things on the line trying to GoFundMe kind of things. There are protests. That's when things will start to change.
SOARES: And so if it comes from the employees, you know, we've mentioned some of the chat companies operating, HP, Oracle, they have moved their
operations to Texas in order for change to happen, for them to take a stand, that has to come internally correct? Or do they risk losing talent
TERMIN: Well, I think they do risk losing talent. But, you know, there are so many things in our world right now that are going wrong. There's so many
things to take stands on that unless you get the focused energy of what to protest and to make sure that you're doing that right. It probably won't
happen. And then that will mean that other states will have the same kinds of restrictive laws. And there goes Roe v. Wade.
So, you know I'm not sure that every company needs to or should take a stand because they all do reflect their bases and some of the basis don't,
you know, agree with this, as the governor said.
TERMIN: But the way to affect it is for the millennials and the young women as well as the young men who are being affected by this to begin to make
themselves heard, like their grandmothers did like afraid to say.
SOARES: And very, very briefly if I can ask you this, you could be speaking to -- you coach male CEOs, what did you tell them? What you -- what are
they -- what are you hearing?
TERMIN: What I'm hearing is, because I listen more than tell, but what I'm hearing is we are waiting and seeing what the response is going to be from
those who are affected the most. We'd like to do something, but we are worried about the politicization of everything. Good heavens, if masks can
TERMIN: If vaccines can be politicized, what could happen with this, which is a legitimate cultural and political issue.
SOARES: Davia Termin, thank you very much for taking the time. Go ahead. Go very briefly, what did you say?
TERMIN: The fortune women's most powerful summit is happening in October. If every one of those women signed a statement saying that we stand in
opposition to this law, every one of those very powerful woman stood up -- stood up and did that you'd have some movement too.
SOARES: There's your message ladies. Davia, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us. Really appreciate it. And there are just moments
left to trade on Wall Street. We'll have the final numbers and the closing bell right after this.
SOARES: Now there are just moments left to trade on Wall Street The Dow is down on lackluster job numbers for August as the COVID resurgence of course
tracks in the economy and we take a look at the Dow components. A little bit of green today. Salesforce in the lead again. American Express is at
the bottom. Honeywell and Boeing are dragging the Dow down as well. So, ending the week pretty flat.
And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I'm Isa. Soares in London. The closing bell is ringing on Wall Street. And "THE LEAD" with Kaitlan Collins starts