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Quest Means Business
WSJ Reports Beijing Preparing For Evergrande Storm As Markets Rise; U.K. Prime Minister Tells World To Grow Up And Address Climate Change; Accor Seeks To Boost Luxury Offerings With Fairmont; AUKUS Fallout; Migrant Crisis Deepens at U.S.-Mexico Border; Call To Earth: Nigeria; CDC Vaccine Advisers Discuss Booster Shots. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired September 23, 2021 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Well, the comeback continues on Wall Street. The Dow is turning positive for the week after a 600-point rally.
Those are the markets and these are the main events.
It is D-Day for Evergrande. Beijing warns of a possible storm ahead as the real estate giant's debt deadline passes.
And shares in drug maker companies are soaring as the C.D.C. casts an all- important vote on booster shots.
And the CEO of Europe's largest hotel operator tells CNN a worker shortage is holding back the hospitality industries recovery.
Live from London. It is Thursday, September 23rd. I'm Hala Gorani. Richard Quest is off, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Tonight, Chinese officials are reportedly told to batten down the hatches for a possible Evergrande storm. The Chinese real estate giant had two key
bond payments to make today. Its shares finished nearly 18 percent higher in Hong Kong, despite uncertainty about whether those obligations were met.
For now, the sun is shining on Wall Street. All three major U.S. indices are up more than a percent. Traders are shrugging off the Evergrande threat
and a slew of other issues. The Federal Reserve says it intends to soon start rolling back its massive monetary stimulus. Financial Armageddon is
ticking closer as the debt ceiling deadline looms, and Washington lawmakers appear at an impasse, and jobless claims in the U.S. were higher for the
second straight week.
Clare Sebastian is here. So why is market reaction not negative? Because we're seeing quite a big jump on Wall Street.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think in some ways, this one is a little bit hard to explain, Hala, given the various risks
that you just listed. I mean, Evergrande, there was a deal earlier this week, they said they were going to be able to pay the interest on a local
domestic bond that was due today, so that did lift sentiment. That's partly why you saw that stock rise so much today in Hong Kong, it was closed the
day before for a holiday. So that was the first reaction there.
And I think some of that did feed into the U.S. market, along with the fact that the Fed is keeping the money taps on for a little bit longer. And is
also you know, stating very clearly that it is ready to deal with inflation, if that should get out of hand.
But really, this is a very resilient -- extraordinarily resilient market. We did think that at some point, during the last week, all that volatility,
we might see the S&P 500 do what it hasn't done in 11 months, and that is a five percent drop from a recent high, but it has not done that, it's a mere
four percent at its lowest point this week, Hala, from a record high and now back up again. We've erased the losses for the week. So extraordinary
resilience, I think people are still coming back and buying those dips.
GORANI: Are they resilient? Or are they just not accepting the reality of what might hit them?
SEBASTIAN: You know, I think you could argue both, honestly. I mean, but I will say that the market does trade on fundamentals and on earnings, and
both of those are looking fairly strong. The U.S. economy is not in crisis. The jobs market, despite a disappointing report in August is still going
strong, it is still growing.
There are uncertainties with the delta variant and a major one with the debt ceiling that are coming that perhaps the market has not sort of really
woken up to yet. But overall, in terms of what the market generally looks at, the fundamentals and the earnings are pretty strong. So, I think that's
what we're seeing playing in at the moment.
GORANI: All right, Clare, thanks very much. An Evergrande default could have huge ripple effects right across China. David Culver has more from
right outside the company's headquarters.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Just behind me here, this is the headquarters for Evergrande, a property behemoth based right here in
Southern China, Shenzhen.
You can see outside the building, actually, there are several different security guards posted on all different quarters. We even looked and there
was a security check to get in, and that's because in recent days and weeks, the company has seen a lot of protests, not only from folks who are
potential homeowners having invested a lot of money hoping to actually have a home built by Evergrande or one of the companies it's invested in, but
also some of those who work for the company. They too have invested their money.
So going forward, the question remains, how will this company be able to navigate these uncertain times? Well, the Chairman has said that they will
emerge from this darkness and he is trying to put forward a lot of confidence in doing so and even on Thursday, the company has said that they
will actually go forward with repaying one of the interest payments on a domestic bond.
CULVER: However, there's still a lot of looming uncertainties and unknowns with regards to other payments.
One thing that cannot be overlooked in all of this is the underlying context involving President Xi Jinping directly. A lot of these efforts are
not just targeted towards one company, but rather, the business industry as a whole and several different sectors at that.
What we're seeing play out is a steering and a reining in of some of the excessive profits. It goes back to the early years when President Xi
Jinping took office here, and really started cracking down on corruption.
It seems to be that during this, the 100th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party and its founding here in China that President Xi Jinping is
once again trying to purify the party. It's uncertain if the central government will step in to help this massive real estate company as it
works to navigate through these very challenging times that have caused ripples in markets around the world.
David Culver, CNN, Shenzhen, China.
GORANI: So why does the world care about a Chinese real estate company? With Beijing warning of a possible storm, the fear is about much more than
its real estate activities. Here's why.
The company is deeply woven into Chinese society, and if the House of Cards falls, it could send shockwaves through the world's second largest economy
and therefore affect everybody, all of us.
We know the structural issue here is the company's $300 billion in debt. Crucially, that debt is mostly held by people inside China, including mom
and pop investors. It is also on the hook to buyers, though for an estimated 1.6 million unfinished apartments.
Evergrande employs 125,000 people. There could be mass layoffs, and many employees put up their own money to help prop up the company.
And there are other businesses at stake. Evergrande owns a football club, an electronic carmaker, a bottled water company, an insurance firm, among
Rana Foroohar is our CNN global economic analyst, she's also an Associate Editor at "The Financial Times." So what do you -- if you had to bet, do
you think Evergrande will collapse? Yes or no? Why or why not?
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: I think it's possible that it will collapse, but it'll be a managed collapse. You know, I think this is
one thing that a lot of people internationally don't understand. A lot of people think, hey, this is China's Lehman Brothers moment, we're going to
see the dominoes start to fall, not only within China, but abroad.
I don't think that's the case. In some ways, it's the opposite. The Chinese government has been worried, far more worried, in fact, than many people in
the West about its own debt levels and about the froth in the property market for some time. It has become dangerous, and so it's purposely trying
to deflate this bubble and also take on a company that it believes has behaved badly, has too much debt.
And so this is a bit of a lesson that's being put forward by the party. Now, can it manage the bursting of this bubble, the sort of decompression
of the bubble in an orderly way? Because as you sketched out, there are a lot of things in play within the Chinese economy and the Chinese economy
has represented most of global growth since The Great Financial Crisis.
GORANI: Is this way Beijing is not stepping in? It just wants this to be a managed collapse, just to kind of set an example?
FOROOHAR: A hundred percent. This is an example that is being set and it is part of not only the bursting of a debt bubble and trying to move to a
different economic model that's not based on overbuilding and a frothy property sector, but more on innovation, homegrown innovation.
It's also a lesson to the very wealthy in China, hey, we've had enough of the speculation, we've had enough of the debt, there is going to be a
correction and here's one lesson and you're going to see how it's going to play out.
GORANI: And I wonder internationally, there was a lot -- there was a bit of panic last week, but Wall Street seems to completely be shrugging it off
today. Do you think they're wrong to be a little bit too cheerful?
FOROOHAR: You know, there are really two things driving the street right now. One is China and the other is Central Banks. And you know, we just saw
the Fed this week, say we're going to taper but slowly. We're going to keep rates low for another few months, maybe longer. So until you start to see
the China story, dovetailing with some kind of big move on the part of the U.S. central bankers, I don't think markets are going to flip out.
Also, as you said, the debt is held mainly in China. So I think what we are going to see is about five years of slow grinding resolution of this
crisis, slower growth, but again, not a domino collapse like Lehman Brothers.
GORANI: Lastly, is Evergrande at all symptomatic of the wider Chinese economy? Like should we expect more Evergrandes?
FOROOHAR: You know, that's the big question. China is in the middle of doing something really unique. It is trying to move into being a richer
country, being a country that's more like the West in which they are coming up with their own IP and ideas and selling them on the global market and
not just using state money to overbuild.
It's a big question mark as to how that transition is going to go. You can argue it either way. I think the jury is very much out. A lot of people
think that Xi Jinping is overreaching right now politically and economically, time will tell.
GORANI: Thank you, Rana Foroohar, as always.
Big pledges on the climate at the United Nations. We explore what those promises are worth. What else the world can do to act as well? That's
coming up. Stay with us.
GORANI: The British Prime Minister has now told the world to grow up and deal with climate change. He was speaking at the U.N. Boris Johnson said
going green wasn't just easy, but the right thing to do, and lucrative. He urged world leaders to take action at the climate conference in Glasgow in
40 days, and he did so in typical Boris Johnson fashion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: And when Kermit the Frog -- Kermit the Frog sang, "It is not easy being green." You remember that one? I want
you to know that he was wrong. He was wrong.
It is easy. It's not only easy, it is lucrative and it's right to be green. He was also unnecessarily rude to Miss Piggy, I thought, Kermit the Frog.
But it is easy to be green. We have the technology. As we used to say when I was a kid. We can do it. We have -- so in 40 days' time, we have the
choice before us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: The British Prime Minister there delivering a policy, a message in his own way, a bit of stand up there as well.
The Presidents of China and the U.S. are making big promises about the climate at the U.N. Xi Jinping told world leaders via remote that China
would no longer build coal-fired power plants in other countries. Meanwhile, Joe Biden has pledged to work to double U.S. climate funding for
developing nations by 2024.
A report out Wednesday puts those pledges and others like it in question. According to an analysis by Climate Action Tracker, not a single major
world economy has a plan that meets its 2015 Paris Agreement obligations to contain global warming.
GORANI: And in 2009, in Copenhagen, the world's rich countries pledged to raise $100 billion of yearly climate assistance to developing countries by
2020, and according to the O.E.C.D., they fell more than $20 billion short of that goal in 2019. So pledges are one thing, they often make big
headlines, but then it's a question of whether or not they follow through on those promises.
Krista Mikkonen, is the Finnish Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Thank you very much for joining us. So, when you hear these pledges and
these promises at the U.N., how hopeful are you that they'll become reality?
KRISTA MIKKONEN, FINNISH MINISTER, ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Well, I was happy to hear these promises, but like you said, of course, these are
promises, and now we really need to see the action. But the China's promise to not finance coal power outside of China is great, and I just hope they
can make and keep the same promise domestically.
And of course, I welcome U.S. to finance the climate money for developing countries. That's very important. At the moment, E.U. is the biggest donor,
but we really need other countries to join in.
GORANI: I wonder what do you think it's going to take to take real climate action, the kind that we need to limit the Earth's warming in a way that
won't lead to catastrophic weather events and health problems? What will it take fundamentally?
Because as you know, politicians, you know, they have short term horizons. Usually, they need to get re-elected. It's expensive and usually unpopular
to put curbs on economic activity, if your goal is to, you know, make it into office again.
MIKKONEN: Well, I think one thing is that all the consequences we already see is one key because the people really understand that we need to do
more, we really need to reduce the emissions fast.
And like, last summer, the fires in Canada, the floods in Europe, a very big heat of long periods, also in Finland, for people, it seems that the
climate science is not something, somewhere it is here with us and they are asking us to make more. And I think that's very important. And now we, as a
politician, we need to have this courage to do the climate actions and undo it more and do it faster than we have done.
GORANI: Right. And young people obviously are passionate, many of them they vote and so we'll see if that perhaps has an impact. Europe is experiencing
a big fuel crisis right now. How is it impacting your country?
MIKKONEN: Well, in Finland and also in Europe now, price for energy is growing and there are many reasons. One is that after the COVID pandemic,
the economy is growing and there is more demand, and one is that still a lot of energy to E.U. comes from outside from the E.U., and also the price
of the fossil has grown.
But I think now, we all understand that we need to invest more in renewable energy sources. And that's the big opportunity for all the countries.
GORANI: But there's an immediate need and Russia is being urged to pump more gas. What do you make of that possible solution to the problem right
MIKKONEN: At the moment, the E.U. is buying a lot of energy from Russia and when the E.U. can have its own energy, more and more, and renewable energy,
that's also one solution then we don't need to buy energy from Russia and we can have our own cleaner energy and that's one big thing.
And at the moment, when we are recovering from the pandemic. We also have this big economic recovery package and this is now the moment to invest to
say, clean, renewable energy solutions and that's very important that we are really now doing that job.
GORANI: All right, Krista Mikkonen, the Finnish Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Thank you very much for joining us this evening.
MIKKONEN: Thank you.
GORANI: The CEO of the French Hotel company, Accor says the hospitality industry is alive and well and things are looking a lot less gloomy than
they were this time a year ago.
Sebastien Bazin spoke to Richard, who asked what kinds of guests are returning to hotels these days?
SEBASTIEN BAZIN, CEO, ACCOR: The makeup will be smaller groups, the people who have huge necessity to be back together, bonding seeing each other,
just sick and tired of working remotely. And how long that's going to last? I don't know.
But that notion of physically being back is super important within each of the firm, as opposed to have 500 internal congregate, you're going to have
10 groups or 50 people in 10 different countries, which is good for my business, by the way.
And again, I see a lot of people who wants to reconquer business, small, medium sized enterprises, they are back on the road, to seduce, to charm
and to get contracts. So, which is why I'm telling you, anything, which is less than two nights, not too costly, less than four hours ride of narrow
body airplane. That's back. And we know that already.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Now, what do you need? So if that's the scenario, we are going into what will be a difficult
winter for travel? What do you need from regulators and government now?
BAZIN: There are two things that I need. I need to stop all the global stimulus when it comes to payroll, we just have so much of a labor
shortage. We need people to come back to work and not stay idle at home, we need them severely, because we're going to have demand coming back.
We need vaccination to be rolled out because we knew it is functioning. So for God's sake, let's make sure that 80 percent plus of each population
gets to be vaccinated. We need therefore, the frontiers to reopen. We need us, the hospitality players to preserve any protocol -- sanitary we put
together -- let's keep them. It's just reassuring.
So I need greater agility, greater flexibility, and I need to know what I can proffer from here without seeking permission. So, vaccination is good
enough. PCR test, all that kind of additional demand. That's very cumbersome. Certainly, clarity. That's what I need.
QUEST: If we take a look at how your product needs to change.
QUEST: Yes, I'm very -- the room needs to change, the meeting venues need to change. But what would you say, how are you going to manage that? What's
BAZIN: The first thing, the fascinating thing about our industry, we are so happy about the 1.5 billion travelers international. And it's been growing
five percent for the last 30 years. But we have 7.5 billion people working -- I mean living on this planet, for God's sakes, so we are missing six
Some of them, of course, are domestic clients of yours. And there is hundreds of millions of people who live next door to your hotel, they know
the brand, they know the location, they never dare to enter because we never catered for them.
So the remote working and to be able to work remotely, I can guarantee you those hundreds of millions could enter your space, probably spend some
money spend three or four hours and you know what the good thing about it that I am so happy, then, you're not depending on any search engine.
You're not depending on any booking.com, Expedia of the world, because that guy knows he is in your hotel for the last 20 years that is next door to
him. So, that's a direct walking clientele exactly what I was looking for and it is coming.
QUEST: How about luxury? The luxury market is growing and you've been weak in the past.
BAZIN: I found them on the high rise of Savoy and Swiss Hotel that we bought five years ago from the Qataris and Prince Al Waleed. Of course,
Raffles Singapore is probably one of the top three hotels on this planet. We are doubling the Raffles network, go to the one in Warsaw, it's a
We're going to be opening an incredible Raffles Hotel in London, which also is going to be top three in the world called the Old War Office, where Sir
Winston Churchill had his office for the Minister of War.
So it says the beginning, Accor is getting bigger, deeper, faster in the luxury space in which we've been weak for 30 years, but for the last 10
years, I can tell you, it's already 50 percent of Accor. So let's go. It's that segment, it is a segment not to be forgotten, and that segment is
capable of responding to a lot of rich and not rich people.
QUEST: For a man who has had revenues destroyed last year, who had to release a large amount of money, you seem energized and as if you've got
the bit between the teeth.
BAZIN: My dear Richard, if I was not energized as a CEO of a large corporation, I should change up or they should get me out. I am here to get
people from where they are to where they've never been. I need to give them comfort. I need to them give them pride, I need to give them a direction.
I may change roads from here to my end destination, but they need to bear with me, they need to feel that I am on board, and they need to feel the
energy, so -- and Accor has been moving for the last 50 years. I can tell you, we've never been as robust as today. Never ever.
QUEST: What have you learned, I think I've asked you this before, but I keep wanting to understand the CEO mindset. Forget the team, what have you
learned about yourself now?
BAZIN: One word, humility. I have learned I didn't know much. I've learned that I need to share that I did not know much. I've learned to reflect on
who I was personally, who I am personally, what I'm good at and have learned on guiding people in those muddled waters, which is why incarnation
is super important.
Plus, for me, I'm addressing 300,000 people in 110 countries, they need me more than ever. So which is why we've been putting a lot of actually aid
packages. It's reassuring being a guide, even though you are blind, and admit you're blind, but whatever, you now share it, communicate. We've been
communicating every two weeks, even though I didn't say much. But showing that I guess, I was there at the helm. That's what I'm -- this is what I
meant to do.
GORANI: Oh, sorry, I just -- I feel like I just jumped in on the CEO of Accor, and that's that interview that he conducted with Richard.
Still ahead, a stunning resignation from the U.S. Special Envoy for Haiti. His frank message to the Biden administration about the migrant crisis, is
coming up, we have a live report from the border.
GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani. There is more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment where we will be live from Port-au-Prince as the U.S. faces growing
backlash returning desperate Haitian migrants away.
And the U.S. C.D.C. panelists casting votes on which groups should get a booster COVID vaccine shot.
Before that though, here's a quick look at your headlines. And let's start with this. The French Foreign Minister says it will take time and actions
to end his country's diplomatic crisis with the U.S. after meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
France recently lost a multibillion-dollar submarine contract with Australia because of a new security deal between Australia, the U.S., and
the U.K. leaving France out of the picture.
Taiwan's ministry of national defense says 24 Chinese military aircraft entered its air defense identification zone Thursday. The ministry says
radio warnings were issued and air defense missile systems were deployed to monitor the activity. Beijing is unhappy over Taiwan's request to join a
free trade agreement involving Pacific Rim nations.
A vigil will be held in the U.K. tomorrow in remembrance of 28-year-old teacher Sabina Nessas. She left her London home on Friday night on a 5-
minute walk to a nearby pub. She never arrived. Her body was found the next day. Her murder has sparked outrage over what some say is an epidemic of
violence against women in the U.K.
R. Kelly's trial is about to end. His defense will soon start its closing argument. The prosecution finished its summation a couple of hours ago. The
singer has been on trial for about five weeks. He's facing multiple charges, including racketeering and sex trafficking. He's pleaded not
guilty to all of them.
Former supermodel linda evangelista says a botched fat reduction cosmetic procedure has left her brutally disfigured, those are her words. In an
instagram post, she said she was never informed of the risks and is now filing a $50 million lawsuit for lost income and emotional distress.
GORANI: The U.S. special envoy for Haiti has resigned, calling it inhumane to send desperate migrants back to Port-au-Prince.
In his resignation letter, Daniel Foote went onto describe U.S. policy toward Haiti as deeply flawed and said he didn't want to be associated with
Democratic lawmakers have also blasted the White House for its handling of this particular crisis, especially after border agents were seen
aggressively confronting Haitian refugees trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico.
Thousands of people, including babies and pregnant women, have been stuck in limbo at America's southern border. Many people are sleeping on the
ground or surrounded by garbage in the searing Texas heat. Back in Haiti, a deportee told CNN that he was treated more like a prisoner arriving in the
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDDY TEVERRNE, DEPORTED HAITIAN (through translator): When we arrived in the U.S., the authorities put us on a bus and sent us to jail and said we
would be released in two days. They put chains on our feet, around our stomachs and our hands.
They put us in cars and took us to the airport. There were Haitians who were working on the plane, who told us not to resist because there were
many soldiers on the plane and they warned us that, otherwise, we would be mistreated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, you can understand why people might need to flee Haiti. The country is in just dire shape after two recent natural disasters, a
presidential assassination and a pandemic. And it was never prosperous to begin with.
The World Bank estimated last year that more than half the people there were living in poverty. It was ranked near the bottom of the bank's human
development index. Its per capita GDP is about $1,100, making it the poorest country in the Caribbean and Latin America.
CNN's Matt Rivers is in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, with more on these journeys these migrants are taking.
And I believe there was a bit of -- a bit of an incident there, when word spread that Mexico was going to close access to the body of water leading
to the U.S.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's exactly right, Hala. It's just a few minutes ago there was a rush of migrants here on the
Mexico side to get into the water behind me and across into the U.S.
I'll get out of the way here and you go to other shore and you can see some of those migrants, who just managed to make it across. What's been
happening here is people have been coming through Mexico basically freely back-and-forth for days now.
There was a rope between both sides, helping guide people across. And they were coming here because it was easy to get food, water, supplies, easier
to use the bathroom, less crowded. People have been coming over here, sometimes for a few hours, sometimes to spend the night and eventually most
going back to the United States to go through that process over there, even risking deportation, maybe getting processed by Border Patrol.
What's essentially happened, though, over the last few minutes, is the line that was here, stretching between both sides, was cut and then we started
to see a Mexican law enforcement presence, just about 10 officers to start with.
Clearly word spread. So a couple of Haitians tried to get through; they managed to get through those 10 officers; more came, more came, more came.
RIVERS: Several dozen Haitians probably made their way across in a short amount of time. Realizing they were overwhelmed, Mexican authorities have
So if you pan around here, Jose, you can see these officers here, much more heavily equipped.
And what's happened here is they've essentially made a wall of vehicles. So they've got more personnel, more vehicles here, definitely not allowing any
more Haitian migrants to come into this part anymore. They're not going to allow Haitian migrants that are here to go across.
That's not to say people can't make their way across. It's a long border. So someone can maybe go further down, furter up the river, cut through the
weeds and the trees and get across in another way. That is happening sporadicically.
But at least through this entry point, that had been the primary way for people to cross, that's not happening anymore. I don't know if youcan see,
there's still one or two people still. If you look down into the river there, down to the left, people are still going across.
So it's not like this border is utterly closed. People can still, I guess, make their way across if they want to. But at least in the more organized
way that it was happening before, that is no longer happening through this point.
It was at this time yesterday at this spot that there were dozens of people, back and forth, back and forth. It was completely open and it was
organized, in a way. Right now, that's not happening. Things are changing here on the border.
GORANI: And what's happening around you?
How many people are there?
Are they waiting to cross?
Are they on the other side to get supplies and then on their way back?
What's the situation where you are?
RIVERS: So basically, I would say there are dozens of Haitian migrants still here in Mexico. What's unclear is how many of them want to be here
long-term, to go through the asylum process here in Mexico long-term, to go through the immigration process here.
Or did they come here temporarily, with the notion that they would be able to easily return back to the United States?
That's unclear at this point. We've spoken to several people, who want to stay in Mexico, who want to go through the immigration process in Mexico.
We also spoke to others, who say they came here for a hot meal and a bathroom because it's a lot easier and the conditions are better over here
and they planned to return.
That's why you're seeing people return. What's still happening, at least at this point is, if people on the Mexico side can make their way back over
there, Border Patrol is allowing them to go into that encampment that's been set up. So that is not totally closed. Thery're allowing people to
come ashore on that side.
What is clear is on the Mexican side, Mexican authorities are not, you know, simply allowing people to go back and forth anymore the way they
Not to say it's not happening on a more individual basis, like you just saw. But clearly the people that are here in this camp are, at least it's
the Mexican authorities' goal here, I think, is to keep them here.
And we actually heard a migration official here actually asking people to go to a shelter that has been set up for them to start the immigration
process, not forcing them to, at least yet. But that is something that we know is happening further away from where we are right now, trying to get
them to go to that shelter to begin the immigration process.
GORANI: So why are they having to go to Mexico to use the bathroom and get a hot meal?
How is the U.S. treating these migrants, once they cross over into that country?
What are they telling you?
RIVERS: You know, I think it's just an example how quickly overwhelmed U.S. authorities were and how underprepared they were for thousands of Haitian
migrants to arrive, essentially within days of each other.
I mean, all of those people went over there; there weren't sufficient bathroom facilities, not enough food, not enough water. And that's a
consistent theme we've heard from multiple people here on the Mexican side.
That's why they've been walking across this river. I don't think anyone wants to walk across that river for fun. They're coming over here because
they think it's beneficial for them to do so. And that's why they came here --
GORANI: Matt, if I can just jump in, is it because they don't want to make it too comfortable for them?
Look, there are a few thousand migrants. I think getting them food and putting Portapotties up wouldn't be a military operation.
It's something that doable, right?
RIVERS: I mean, is it a possibility?
Can I say that for a fact?
No, I absolutely can't. But you would think, as you said, that it would be easier to make facilities that were a bit more hospitable or at least
something they could do relatively quickly. And that didn't seem to materialize.
Now I personally haven't been in that camp so I should say that to our viewers. I'm getting this information specifically from the Haitian
migrants that have been -- that have been there and been through it.
And they have said we'd rather come here to Mexico, it's not worth going over there because, as one person said, because they treat us like dogs.
That's what we've been told from specific people who have been there for days. And I think it shows you how underprepared officials were to handle
GORANI: We heard from our Melissa Bell -- and by the way we've been trying for several hours to connect with her.
GORANI: But as you know, from having been in Haiti, there's sometimes some technical issues, which is what we're experiencing with her.
But from what she reported, some of the people who are deported back to Port-au-Prince haven't been to Haiti in years. And some of the children who
are deported don't have memories of Haiti. Some of them not even born in that country.
So there has to be some concern among the migrants, trying to make it to the U.S., that they might end up back in a country that they don't really
remember all too well.
RIVERS: Absolutely. They are here for a reason. I mean, I was just, you know, playing a game of catch actually, maybe just I don't know maybe 90
minutes ago now with a 4-year-old named Noel born in Chile. Yes, his parents are Haitian but he's never been to Haiti and we just watched him
cross to the U.S.
What's going to happen to that little kid, I don't know. But his family just made it across in that wave of migrants I just told you about. He's
never been to Haiti, his parents have been. And they left for a reason. His parents left, I think about six years ago is what they told me.
Things, you could argue, have only gotten worse since then. The 2010 earthquake was horrific. Many of those structures actually haven't been
rebuilt. There was a 2016 hurricane. I was there for the most recent earthquake six or seven weeks ago, thousands and thousands of structures
Gang violence is so evasive that aid convoys designed to reach people in harder hit places during the most recent earthquake couldn't pass because
highways are utterly controlled by the gangs.
Poverty is pervasive. The country doesn't even have a president at the moment. There's so much political turmoil.
Where are these people going back to?
And that's why you see so many people here. They're not in Haiti for a reason. Things are horrific there for many people now. And that's where
this desperation comes from. All these people who spent years in South America, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, spent months making a dangerous journey,
walking from South America up here, looking for more economic opportunity, they're not doing it because they want to. They're doing it because they
feel they have to and I think that's an important thing to remember.
GORANI: Matt Rivers, thanks very much.
Vaccine advisers for the U.S. CDC are set to vote on Pfizer booster shots at any moment. We'll discuss the likely implications of their decision --
GORANI: Today on "Call to Earth," Nigerian social entrepreneur and Rolex Awards laureate Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu is tackling his country's crippling
problem with food waste by harnessing the heat of the sun to power a system of cold storage rooms in markets and farms, designed to help save food,
energy and many other things. Take a look.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this busy Nigerian market the race is onto sell fresh produce early in the day.
NNAEMEKA IKEGWUONU, FOUNDER AND CEO (voice-over): So you sell high quality very early in the morning and after 12:00 noon, under the intensity of the
Nigerian sun, spoilage is (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).
STOUT (voice-over): Of all the food produced, Nigeria loses and wastes around 40 percent per year, according to the World Bank, while more than 80
million people in the country face food insecurity.
It's a burning issue this man is trying to solve. Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu is taking a fresh approach to food waste with cold hubs, food storage rooms
designed for markets and farms, that are entirely powered by the sun, using those very rays to cool the food down.
IKEGWUONU (voice-over): The mission is to reduce food spoilage due to lack of food storage at key points along the food supply chain.
STOUT (voice-over): Farmers and retailers can score a crate of produce for around 25 cents per day, keeping it fresh for up to 21 days.
IKEGWUONU (voice-over): These cool rooms can take and cool down up to 3 tons of food and it cools down from 30-35 degrees ambient temperature,
which is what the food is coming in to eat, to about a set temperature of 10 degrees Celsius.
If a pepper can stay in this cold room up to three weeks, still very fresh.
STOUT (voice-over): He tells us that food waste accounts for up to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. So finding solutions can make a
hefty contribution to the fight against climate change in more ways than one.
IKEGWUONU (voice-over): Each of these cold rooms should run on approximately between 20 to 30 meters of diesel every day. And by using
solar energy we kick out the diesel completely.
STOUT (voice-over): And he wants the cold hubs to have social as well as environmental impact.
IKEGWUONU (voice-over): We have been able to create about 66 new jobs for women. So many of these women have become empowered and change agents in
their households and communities.
STOUT (voice-over): Before cold hubs, he started a radio network, reaching an estimated 2 million listeners to help farmers share knowledge and learn
effective farming practices.
IKEGWUONU (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE) is one of the (INAUDIBLE) strategies (INAUDIBLE).
STOUT (voice-over): Growing up on a farm himself, he knows the cost of losses can be devastating.
IKEGWUONU (voice-over): In Nigeria, the smaller farmer goes through a lot. It's like climate (INAUDIBLE) where it's very difficult and -- but you have
to produce food. And when you are unable to sell that commodity or throw away that commodity, number one, the financial investment all have been
The environmental resources are all lost. The morale of the farmer is lost, too. That is why we need to make sure that, if we produce food, we should
as much as possible try to get the food on the plates of those people.
STOUT (voice-over): He says there are now 54 cold hubs in 22 states across Nigeria, with more being built.
IKEGWUONU (voice-over): We were able to store 42,042 tons of food in 2020. That is typically food that would have been thrown away, you know, or sold
out at ridiculous prices.
But we're able to sign up 5,250 smaller farmers and (INAUDIBLE) as well, presently using cold hub services. And the number keeps on increasing every
day. But really the big dream for us is to solve the problem of food spoilage in Nigeria and expand our technology and savvies (ph) to other
African countries that have these challenges within their country.
How are you?
GORANI: Well, let us know what you're doing to answer the call with the #CallToEarth. We'll be right back.
GORANI: The CDC Vaccine Advisory Committee voting at any moment on a recommendation on booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Shares in vaccine
makers are soaring today, Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech are all up.
The vote comes after the FDA said Wednesday it would grant emergency use authorization for a third shot in people 65 and older, people at risk of
severe disease and people whose jobs put them at risk of infection.
Our chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins me now.
Is there a need right now for the CDC to OK this?
Or is it enough that the FDA authorized emergency use for a third jab?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, people can go ahead and recommend these, doctors, health care providers can
recommend these for patients now. But the CDC does offer an official recommendation.
They make it part of your vaccine chart and all these things. But when something is FDA authorized, that sort of does give permission for
clinicians to recommend it for their patients.
I think we're waiting for from the CDC is a little bit more definition on some of those categories you were just mentioning, specifically what is
considered high risk for severe COVID, type 2 diabetes, people with underlying cardiac and lung disease.
That may offer a little bit more specificity. But I think it's going to be a large group, when you start to look at the overall -- there's 45 million
people over the age of 65. There's a lot of people obviously who have high exposure risks, as health care workers and teachers. So when you put this
list together, it's tens of millions, if not 100 million people.
GORANI: And what about other categories, other groups?
In some countries third shots are offered to people who are 50 and over.
GUPTA: Yes, this is a really interesting, you know, scientific discussion. And I think it's probably ongoing right now at the CDC as well.
I think the way that the FDA has approached this is basically saying, what does the data show?
We know, for the vast majority of people, the vaccines work really, really well. But for a small percentage of people, even though they are
vaccinated, they still have a breakthrough infection that's severe enough to land them in the hospital.
Who are they?
Who are those folks?
And I think that's sort of what's dictating this. It may get to the point, Hala, where, over time, there's evidence that the vaccine's effectiveness
is also waning for younger people.
GUPTA: But what we heard from the FDA is that if you're in your -- if you're 65 plus, you can see the benefit there. There's a significant
What this graph is basically saying, for every million boosters, how many hospitalizations do you prevent?
And you can see at the far right of the screen there, Hala, 65 plus, you get a lot of -- you get a lot more benefit there. So we'll see. Again, I've
been surprised sometimes with some of these decisions. But right now looks like the CDC is probably going to basically just rubber stamp what we've
already heard from the FDA here.
GORANI: What does this all mean for the global vaccine supply?
Some parts of the world are not vaccinated at all.
GUPTA: This is a -- it's a real concern, first of all, and people frame it as an equity concern, understandably; 55 percent of the United States is
fully vaccinated. I think it's closer to 35 percent of the world.
In the United States, it's a demand problem; whereas, in many places around the world, it's a supply issue. There's an obligation I think, as President
Biden has talked about, to make sure vaccines are being distributed around the world. And I think there's a plan now for 1.1 billion doses to be
distributed around the world.
But to get to 70 percent of the population, getting two doses of these two- dose vaccines, you're talking, you know, 10 billion shots ultimately will be necessary to get to that vaccination level and maybe boosters even for
some of these high risk populations.
So a lot more needs to be done. As you know, Hala, it's not just manufacturing the vaccines; it's not even just distributing the vaccines.
You've got to administer these vaccines.
You need a public health infrastructure to do that. We've not seen something like this in our lifetimes, a huge worldwide vaccination
campaign, taking place so rapidly. We've seen polio, things like that but this is happening real-time, as quickly as they can possibly do it.
GORANI: All right, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, thanks so much.
And there are just moments left to trade on Wall Street. We'll have the final numbers after this.
GORANI: There are just moments left to trade on Wall Street. The Dow is up more than 500 points. It's now erased its losses from earlier this week,
when investors seemed worried about a possible Evergrande default.
Take a look at the Dow components with me, a sea of green. Salesforce is in the lead, up more than 7 percent. Coca-Cola is fighting into the close to
That's going to do it for me. I'm Hala Gorani. The closing bell is ringing on Wall Street. "THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER" starts right now.