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Quest Means Business
British Prime Minister Imposes New Rules Amid Lockdown Scandal; Pfizer Says Three Vaccine Doses Needed To Ward Off Omicron; Merkel Era Ends In Germany As Scholz Takes Over; Canada, U.K. And Australia Join Boycott Of Winter Games; Instagram CEO Makes First Appearance On Capitol Hill; Call To Earth: Scotland`s Oysters; Steinway Adapts To Pandemic. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired December 08, 2021 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: The Dow`s spectacular winning streak is petering out on Wall Street, at least for the moment and you see it
there. The Dow about flat. Those other markets and these are the main events.
Boris Johnson puts new COVID restrictions on in England after his own staff are filmed joking about breaking the rules.
Pfizer says that three shots are needed to fully ward off the omicron variant. We`ll have more on that.
And Instagram under fire. The company`s chief is taken to task on Capitol Hill.
Live from New York, it is Wednesday, December the 8th. I`m Paula Newton, in for Richard Quest and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
So tonight, the British government has announced new restrictions to combat the Omicron variant. Health officials warning this variant is set to
replace the delta variant as the dominant one in the U.K. In fact, England is set to go into what they call Plan B.
People there will be advised now to work from home -- that`s key -- starting Monday, and it will mean mask mandates and COVID Passports to
enter busy venues.
The crackdown comes as the Prime Minister faces a major scandal over accusations Downing Street staff broke the government`s own COVID
restrictions last year. The scandal ramped up after this leaked video appeared on ITV News Tuesday, showing senior officials now joking about an
apparent Christmas party held while the country was under strict lockdown.
Downing Street has repeatedly denied having any parties or breaking any rules, and Boris Johnson has announced an internal inquiry. He addressed
the scandal today. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I don`t just take responsibility for things that happen in this building, I take responsibility for
everything that happens in this in this government and I`ve made that clear throughout the pandemic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: CNN`s Salma Abdelaziz is live for us in London. An extraordinary few hours there. How do these events undermine the U.K.`s confidence in not
just the government, right, but public policy, public health policy in terms of people actually looking to their government for guidance?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Look, Paula, no doubt about it. This is a watershed moment for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government. I can
fairly say that this is a scandal-prone government. This is not the first time they`ve been accused of wantonly violating COVID restrictions.
But this has really come to a head here and you`re going to see the Prime Minister fight for his survival really, in the coming days because this has
been viewed now by millions of people, this leaked video, and it has not been taken well, particularly by those who have lost members of their
family to COVID-19, victims of COVID-19 who had to leave their loved ones alone during that time, dying in hospital without even giving them the
comfort of holding their hand.
I spoke to one woman, Safiah, 29-years-old. Her father fell ill with COVID last year around Christmas time, around December 18th, when this alleged
party took place. This is what she told me about watching that video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAFIAH NGAH, COVID-19 BEREAVED FAMILIES FOR JUSTICE: The first time I saw it was last night, and to be honest, I didn`t -- I couldn`t really believe
what I was watching while I was watching it. It was really shocking. I think bewilderment is the word that I`d use to see government officials
talking so callously about something that, you know, took my dad`s life away, but also took the lives of over 150,000 people in this country. So it
really was quite shocking and really strange -- really cynical.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABDELAZIZ: Now, Paul, I just want to paint you a picture of what was going on in this country around that time that that leaked video was filmed that
shows senior staff joking, mocking about a legit Christmas party, sort of making fun sarcastically of COVID restrictions.
On December 18th, when this alleged party took place, we were under tier three rules here in London. That meant no mixing indoors. On December 19th,
the day afterwards, Prime Minister Boris Johnson essentially canceled Christmas across the country, and a couple of days later, this country was
in full lockdown because there was a variant sweeping through here, the Kent variant.
Hundreds of people a day were dying of COVID-19 and everyone here remembers that day they had to pick up their phone, call their parents and say, "I`m
sorry, we`re going to spend the Holidays alone. I will not be with you."
And that is only compounded even further again, for people like Safiah who lost loved ones, who now say the buck stops with Prime Minister Boris
Johnson who just announced more COVID restrictions today and yes, people will follow these rules because it is the right to do.
ABDELAZIZ: But the question is, how can the Prime Minister ask for people to respect and follow these rules? Does he have the public confidence and
trust required to continue to lead this nation during a pandemic? His own party will be asking that question, and so will everyone else hear --
NEWTON: And that was really my next question before we get to that, though, Salma, and I`m so glad that you pointed out kind of what everyone
was going through. For those of us who have not gone through it, it is difficult to imagine. And yet so many of us can also relate to not saying
goodbye to a loved one who died from COVID and having people as you said, so callously do this, really in a public venue.
Getting to that political fallout, is there any question that Boris Johnson as Prime Minister will survive?
ABDELAZIZ: I mean, that is really the question here, Paula. I mean, there are a few levels we have to get through. We`ve already seen one fallout,
one resignation. The woman in that video, who was at the time the spokesperson for the Prime Minister and was still a senior aide as of this
morning, tearfully resigned in front of her house, but there are a few things to go through.
First of all, this is still contested. The Prime Minister still denies that a party took place, still denies that COVID rules were broken, although now
we are talking about potentially multiple parties being held in that building behind me here. So the first thing is, what will we get out of
this internal investigation?
Secondly, how will his party handle it? Will they continue to support Prime Minister Boris Johnson? Will the Conservative Party, you know, toughen
around him as this scandal grows? And finally, the court of public opinion, Paula. It is very hard to see how the Prime Minister can win back trust and
confidence, and as I said, this is a scandal-prone government. This is not the first time that the impression has been given that the rules don`t
apply to the very people who set the rules -- Paula.
NEWTON: Yes. And at a time where that trust and confidence really goes to the heart of public health and people`s safety.
Salma, thanks so much for wrapping that up for us. Appreciate it.
In the meantime, a lot of COVID news to go through. Now Pfizer -- and Pfizer and BioNTech are optimistic now, they are telling us that three
doses of their vaccine fares quite well against omicron.
Now, companies say two doses are still likely protective against severe disease and death, but not as effective at fighting off infection.
Pfizer`s chief scientific officer told CNN a triple dose should now be seen as the new normal. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKAEL DOLSTEN, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER, PFIZER: For your antibody response, which plays a critical role to prevent infection and symptomatic
disease, it is down with two doses quite a lot.
If you get your third boost, it rises 25-fold, very dramatic. So yes, in a way, you could say to be protected of omicron, you really need a three-dose
series of vaccination, and that is how we should look at it right now. The three-dose series is what you need.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Our senior medical correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen joins me now. I`ve been listening to you, Elizabeth for the better part of 24 hours now,
as you`ve been getting this information in. Help us get to the bottom of this because the fact that vaccines protect against severe infection and
death. Great. Okay, I`ll take it. But this issue of reinfection and breakthrough cases is still quite concerning.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: It is concerning. So you know, at the very least, we want a vaccine to protect you from becoming
so sick that you end up in the hospital or that you end up dying. So, that`s what a good vaccine does, it keeps you out of the hospital and out
of the morgue.
It is even better -- it is even better if that vaccine can keep you from getting COVID infection at all, because that means that you won`t get sick
at all, and also that you won`t pass it on. But it is still considered a great vaccine, if all it does is keep you out of the hospital and out of
The bottom line of what we`ve learned today from Pfizer, and what we learned from a lab in South Africa yesterday is that we should all get
vaccinated, and we should all get a booster because both of those will help against the omicron variant. Really, we are supposed to do exactly what
we`ve been talking about for months, get vaccinated, get a booster, it will help.
So let`s take a look at the specifics. If you look at the work that`s been done by Pfizer and the South Africa lab, the bottom line is that two doses
may not protect you against infection from omicron. You may still get infected and you may still get sick, but those two doses will give you
significant protection against severe disease, the kind that kills you or puts you in the hospital, and a third dose will give more robust
So again, while this seems complicated, the bottom line is that two doses will basically keep you from getting horribly ill or dying from this
omicron variant. The omicron variant that`s what these preliminary lab results show, but a third dose even better and might even protect you from
getting infected in the first place.
COHEN: Now, we heard the Pfizer executive talking about, you know two doses versus three doses and that many experts have told me, this is
probably a three-dose vaccine. Forget about the word booster. It probably should have been three doses from the start, but because everything
happened so quickly, they didn`t necessarily know that.
So our colleague, Kate Bolduan, she was talking to Dr. Anthony Fauci earlier today. Let`s take a listen to their conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I don`t see that changing tomorrow or next week. But certainly,
if you want to talk about what optimal protection is, I don`t think anybody would argue that optimal protection is going to be with a third shot,
whether or not it officially gets changed in the definition, I think that`s going to be considered literally on a daily basis. That`s always on the
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN HOST: I`m kind of stuck with, is it a matter now of when, not if, the definition of fully vaccinated changes?
FAUCI: You know, my own personal opinion, Kate is what you said is correct. It`s going to be a matter of when, not if.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COHEN: So, in other words, what you just heard from Dr. Fauci is that he thinks, yes, in the United States, that the definition of fully vaccinated
will in time be three doses, not two. Right now, we shouldn`t really bother ourselves with that. If you have access to a vaccine, get it. If you have
access to a booster when it`s your time for a booster, get it -- Paula.
NEWTON: That is one piece of advice, Elizabeth that you`ve given and others that has not changed. Appreciate it. Appreciate the update there on
what has been some important news.
Now Pfizer and BioNTech are also calling for the three vaccine doses to pretty much be the norm as we just heard, when much of the world we have to
remind everyone is struggling just to administer any vaccines.
Now the Nobel Prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz says action is needed now that omicron is here. He is calling on the World Trade
Organization to scrap rules that make it harder to produce vaccines around the world. You would do that through a temporary waiver on intellectual
property rules. What would that do? It would limit vaccine production to certain companies, a few WTO members have been blocking that move, Stiglitz
says. Also warning of an endless pandemic, if the WTO doesn`t act now.
And he joins me now from Puerto Rico. Good to have you here. I really appreciate it, especially on this kind of day when we`re still trying to
sift through the medical evidence.
You know, you co-wrote an opinion piece for cnn.com with Lori Wallach that no one imagine that advanced countries, in your estimation, are putting
drug company profits above the wellbeing of their own citizens. You know, the Biden administration says it supports the IP waiver, right? They did
this in May. So what more do you want the U.S. to do?
JOSEPH STIGLITZ, ECONOMIST: Well, the first thing that they need to do is to persuade the other countries to go along, more than a hundred countries
have recognized the importance of this vaccine waiver. It is not even a change in the legal framework, because we already have the principle of
what is called compulsory licenses.
What it`s recognizing is there`s an urgency here, as long as the COVID-19 is festering in parts of the world, it is going to mutate, as we just saw
with the mutation, omicron, and that puts us at risk.
So, it is in our own self-interest that we have this vaccine waiver that would allow more production in places all over the world?
NEWTON: Your accusation is very pointed. You are saying that the Big Pharma has kind of done quite a lobbying effort on this, and that is why,
it hasn`t been done.
STIGLITZ: That`s right. You know, one of the curious things about Big Pharma`s lobbying effort is that they say there isn`t the capacity in the
developing countries and emerging markets.
Well, that`s obviously wrong, because India is producing -- one of the largest producers, South Africa produces, but if there was not the
capacity, then why not have the waiver? It`s not going to hurt you.
But the reason they`re opposing it is very clear. They want restricted production because less production is higher prices. The head of Pfizer
even gave a forecast of how high a price they hope to be able to charge, and when you have large bongs of production that will bring down the price,
but exactly what we want, we want more production so that everybody in the world can get, and you were just talking about -- everybody now needs three
doses and in the developing world, in emerging markets, you`re lucky to have one dose.
NEWTON: Yes, less than seven percent for instance, in Africa even have one dose.
Now, I have to give you the counter-argument here though. Many people say, look this is not going to get more shots in arms in developing countries.
The view that we heard on this very show yesterday from former U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and the head of Pfizer agrees with him that
the key here is to get those shots in arms, and if you do this IP waver, there is just going to be a scramble for scarce inputs.
What am I missing here? Or what are they missing you think in their argument?
STIGLITZ: What they are missing is confidence in the markets. You know, markets will be able to ramp up production. I`m actually very impressed
with Pfizer and Moderna, and the other companies have done. They were able to ramp up production very quickly to billions of doses, just not up to the
billions of doses that the world needs.
Now, the market can solve most problems, but markets can`t solve the problem of intellectual property. That`s a legal problem.
So what Pfizer is saying is they don`t believe in markets. I actually have more confidence. There`s no shortage of glass vials, there`s no shortage of
the underlying chemicals. Yes, it may take several months. Now, this is not an overnight panacea. But if they had agreed, a year ago, October when this
proposal was first put forward to have the vaccine waiver, we would have significantly more supply today.
So yes, it`s going to take a little while, it is not going to happen overnight, but why put an extra roadblock?
NEWTON: Yes, and your point is made clear by the fact that we`ve had vaccines for a year and so many different countries and people, billions
around the world still haven`t had one dose.
I want to turn, if you`ll allow to the economy now. The big word, inflation, right? Has the inflation in the economy right now surprised you
in duration and scope? And what would you do about it right now?
STIGLITZ: It does not surprise me that there is some inflation. In fact, I wrote about that at the very beginning of the pandemic. I said, you know,
you`re shutting down the economy. Economies are not used to being shut down, and when we restart the economy, there`s inevitably going to be
The shortages have been a little bit more widespread. I don`t think anybody fully anticipated all the problems with shipping, and there was a little
bit more confidence that markets would be able to solve these problems.
I think we hadn`t fully taken on board the full consequences of just in time production where many companies didn`t have inventories, and so you`ve
got a product that was needed for producing one commodity, not being able to produce and that giving a rise to a shortage and another and that giving
rise to a shortage and a third. So, it has been broader in scope, and that means, of course, it is lasting longer.
But these are supply side shocks. Very little evidence that it is a demand side problem. That`s when you use monetary policy.
If we had huge ramp and demand, that was the underlying problem, then you raise interest rates, and that brings demand down.
In this case, raising interest rates would be worse than the disease itself, because it wouldn`t solve the problem of energy prices. It wouldn`t
solve the problem of the shortages. It would just create more unemployment.
So I`m afraid we`re just going to have to live with it, and hope that we have enough -- a good enough social protection to protect the people who
are most vulnerable.
NEWTON: Yes, and it is a good point that the challenge here is trying to get to that inequity piece.
I literally have five seconds left. JPMorgan predicts we`ll have a full global recovery in 2022. You think yes or no?
STIGLITZ: In a word, yes. I hope so. But a lot of that is contingent on getting the disease under control, and that is contingent on things like
vaccine waiver, because omicron is not the lack mutation we are going to have as long as that disease festers.
NEWTON: Got you. Thank you very much. We have neatly come full circle in this conversation.
Joseph Stiglitz for us, appreciate it.
Now, after 16 years of running Europe`s largest economy, Angela Merkel has handed over the reins. Next, her legacy as Chancellor and where Germany
goes from here.
NEWTON: Hard to believe I`m reading these words. Angela Merkel is now officially Germany`s former Chancellor. Olaf Scholz taking the reins of
Europe`s largest economy today, Merkel wished him success, as she concluded 16 years in office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, FORMER GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): I know from my own experience that it is an emotional moment to be elected to this
office. You may have guessed that it`s an exciting fulfilling task, and also a demanding task.
But if you approach it with joy, then it is perhaps also one of the most beautiful tasks there is to bear responsibility for this country.
I sincerely wish you all the best in this work, and always a happy hand for our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Merkel, of course was Germany`s first female Chancellor and led the nation through both economic and health crises.
CNN`s Fred Pleitgen for plaguing takes a look back at her legacy.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A farewell with the highest military honors. After more than 16 years in
office, Angela Merkel received the so-called Grand Tattoo Ceremony of Germany`s Armed Forces, a changing of the guard in German politics.
MERKEL (through translator): It is now up to the next government to find answers to the challenges that lie ahead of us and to shape our future. For
that day, Olaf Scholz. I wish you and the German government led by you all the very best, good fortune, and best of success.
I am convinced that we can continue to shape the future well, if we don`t succumb to discontent, envy, and pessimism. Like I said elsewhere four
years ago, get to work with joy in our heart.
PLEITGEN (voice over): It`s the end of a political career that was never easy for Angela Merkel, often belittled in the male-dominated world of
German conservative politics.
Mien mele, my girl, is what legendary German Chancellor Helmut Kohl called Angela Merkel, as she rose through the party ranks.
Ralph Bollmann who wrote the authoritative Merkel biography says many rivals mistakenly failed to take her seriously enough.
RALPH BOLLMANN, BIOGRAPHER: When they realized that a woman from the East is able to play this game of power, it was too late, of course, for them.
PLEITGEN (voice over): When Angela Merkel became Germany`s first female Chancellor in 2005, her style was completely different than previous
Chancellors. Calm, quiet, and reserved.
But what Merkel lacked in fiery rhetoric, she made up for as a crisis manager, both during the Lehman collapse in 2008 and the Greek debt crisis
in 2012, she took bold action to prop up the German economy and ailing E.U. member states` possibly saving the single currency, the euro.
MERKEL (through translator): Europe will fail if the euro fails and Europe will win if the euro wins.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Arguably, Angela Merkel`s biggest hour came in 2015 as hundreds of thousands of refugees, mostly displaced by the Syrian Civil
War were literally on the E.U.`s doorstep seeking shelter.
Angela Merkel led the E.U. as it opened its gates taking in well over a million people.
MERKEL (through translator): We have achieved so much, we`ll manage this and wherever something gets in the way we will overcome it.
PLEITGEN (voice over): But integration of the refugees proved more difficult, giving rise to nationalist forces in Germany. While Angela
Merkel did manage to win a fourth term in 2017. Her popularity was waning and she announced she would not seek a fifth one.
Still, the challenges kept coming with the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president in 2016 and Trump`s alienation of many of the U.S.`s allies.
Merkel, a quantum chemist often appeared stunned by some of the U.S. President`s remarks.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have German in my blood, I`ll be there.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Angela Merkel led Germany through the coronavirus pandemic, but her party support collapsed in the final months of her
chancellorship. Her Christian Democratic Party lost the 2021 elections, paving the way for a Social Democratic led government, which will take
power after Angela Merkel`s final political goodbye.
NEWTON: Our thanks to our Fred Pleitgen. Now, the head of Instagram is testifying at a U.S. Senate hearing right now. He is facing questions about
the app`s safety for children and teens. We`ll have more on that, next.
NEWTON (voice-over): There`s more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment. When`s Instagram`s CEO is speaking at this hour on Capitol Hill as lawmakers
scrutinize the platform`s effect on younger users.
In its over 160 year history, Steinway Pianos has weathered supply chain problems, over two world wars and yes, a 1918 flu pandemic. I`ll ask CEO
how he`s dealing with the current crisis.
But this is CNN and the facts always come first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON (voice-over): Denmark`s prime minister says the country will tighten COVID restrictions due to a surge in cases there. And that involves
closing primary schools next week. Prime minister said authorities will add a few days extra to either side of the school holidays. Bars restaurants
will also have to close to midnight on Friday.
Investigators in India trying to figure out what caused a deadly air force helicopter crash, 13 people, including India`s top air force military
official were killed. One survivor is currently being treated.
A Japanese fashion mogul has just joined the billionaires` astronauts club, floating through a hatch from the Soyuz capsule to the International Space
Station a few hours ago. He plans to spend 12 days there doing a variety of activities, including golf. Not bad for a guy who started as a drummer in a
punk rock band.
This is just a warm-up. He has already bought all the seats on Elon Musk`s first moon mission tentatively scheduled for 2023.
NEWTON: Canada is the latest country to announce its officials will boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
said it`s a matter of principle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: We are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the Chinese government and that is why
we are announcing today that we will not be sending any diplomatic representation to the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games this winter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Ivan Watson has more now on the growing boycott and China`s response.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A day after the Biden administration announced it would conduct a diplomatic boycott of the
upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics, the U.K. and Australia announced they would follow suit.
Here`s the Australian prime minister making his announcement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: The human rights abuses in Xinjiang and many other issues that Australia consistently raised. We`ve
been very pleased and very happy to talk to the Chinese government about these issues. And there`s been no obstacle to that occurring on our side.
But the Chinese government has consistently not accepted those opportunities for us to meet about these issues. So it`s not surprising
therefore that Australian government officials would therefore not be going to China for those games. Australian athletes will, though.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: The Chinese government does not like this growing diplomatic boycott and its response can be partially boiled down to, well, we didn`t
invite these government delegations in the first place. Here`s the spokesperson for the Chinese government.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WANG WENBIN, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON (through translator): China has not invited any Australian government officials to the Beijing
Winter Olympics. Whether they come or not, nobody cares. Australian politicians, political posturing and selfish games will not impact
Beijing`s success in hosting the Winter Olympics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Beijing has accused the U.S. and allies of politicizing sports and is considering countermeasures; not sure what those could be. Los Angeles
is due to host the 2028 Summer Games and Brisbane, Australia, will host another round of Olympics in 2032.
China has the incredible power to censor public discussion within its borders and certainly behind the great Chinese firewall in social media and
on the internet inside China.
As there is growing discussion of its human rights record vis-a-vis professional sports and international sports, look at the case of the
Chinese tennis star, Peng Shuai and the controversy of whether or not she is being silenced after she alleged sexual harassment by a former senior
Chinese government official.
China can quiet this down and this dissent within its borders.
WATSON: But a big question will be how might it react if Olympians, who were attending the Beijing Winter Games, decide to speak up and to
criticize a government that is highly intolerant of any criticism whatsoever?
Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.
NEWTON: Right now, the head of Instagram is testifying before a U.S. Senate hearing on protecting children online. Adam Mosseri is the highest
ranking executive at Meta to face Congress since whistleblower Frances Haugen`s explosive testimony. Mosseri proposed an industry body to
determine best practices for child safety online, tying it to the Section 230 protections Big Tech companies enjoy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAM MOSSERI, CEO, INSTAGRAM: We believe there should be an industry body that will determine the best practices when it comes to what I think are
the three most important questions with regard to youth safety: how to verify age, how to build age-appropriate experiences and how to build
The body should receive input from civil society, from parents and from regulators; the standards need to be high and the protections universal.
I believe that companies like ours should have to earn some of their Section 230 protections by adhering to those standards.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Instagram says it`s already rolling out more safety features for children and teens in addition to the take-a-break feature, which launched
yesterday in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada and other English speaking countries.
When people take too much time scrolling, the app will suggest moving on to some other activity. Instagram says users will soon no longer be able to
tag or mention the accounts of teens who don`t follow them.
Starting next year, Instagram will let parents see how much time their children spend on the app, will also let parents set time limits.
Sara Frier joins us now from San Francisco, she`s the author of "No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram."
You know, as a parent, I`m thinking, all these things we just heard, really, it`s the end of 2021. We`ve all had our children home through a
pandemic but I digress. Deal first with the problem you outlined in your book, that`s eye-opening for so many of us, that the corporate decisions
within the company led to real-world damage for many of us and our children.
What did you find?
SARA FRIER, AUTHOR: Well, in the structure of Instagram itself, there are these things that Mosseri has been talking about, adding these reminders,
these limits, maybe giving people the option to block certain people or not show up certain places.
But the problem that I found in my book, is it`s the very structure of the app. It`s the incentives built into Instagram to keep you on the app for
longer, to keep you following radicals of interest that you started to pursue.
Instagram is essentially becoming a lot more like Facebook in that recommendation engine power that we`ve seen on Facebook, the same
recommendation engine we`ve seen turn people to antivaccination or QAnon or any of those things on Facebook, that`s happening on Instagram in a very
Instagram is an image-based network, it`s about inspiration. And when you follow accounts, it will suggest other accounts for you to follow. And
those don`t have to be your friends or your family and they don`t have to follow you back. It`s about influencers.
It`s about people who are presenting themselves as authorities on issues, whether that`s crash dieting or wellness, when it`s not really science
fact. So there are so many problems that relate to children on Instagram but also to everybody else, in that we go there to learn from people, who
purport to be experts, who are not.
NEWTON: Yes, I`ve been so really alarmed by even people who are influencers on Instagram, saying how much they don`t like their attachment
to it and their addiction to it. There have been a lot of comparisons to Big Tobacco here, Meta`s stand right now.
And you heard him say it. They say they welcome regulation for all of social media.
Does that seem disingenuous to you?
What are they getting at there?
FRIER: They`re getting at the fact that they don`t want to make these decisions themselves because they know, whatever they say, whatever they
do, there will be critiques because there is no perfect way to solve these problems.
They would prefer the government to tell them what to do and then, in turn, that will make all their competitors have to do it, too. So if regulation
comes, it won`t affect just Instagram; it will affect Instagram and Snapchat and TikTok. And everyone will be on a level playing field, as
opposed to Facebook just responding -- I should say Meta.
FRIER: Just responding to all of the complaints and scandals that come out and fixing things on the fly to put out fires.
NEWTON: Yes, I get it, the regulation gives them some cover. There is a good point to be made there, so many young people on Snapchat and TikTok,
not necessarily even Instagram.
What do you see at the heart, the crux of this issue though, getting to the heart of the solution?
I know in the States and Europe they`re studying the problem closely.
But what can be done?
FRIER: Well, people need to understand and there needs to be public education on how these social media products work. Why you`re being shown
what you`re shown. You have to remember, when we use Instagram, we`re using it passively.
We`re trying to make up for time when we`re bored, scrolling through, letting it serve us, whatever it thinks we want to see. And in those
moments of just passive scrolling, that`s where we can be inspired into doing things we wouldn`t naturally want to do, that Instagram thinks we
want, to boost its engagement.
The more they keep us attached to the app, the more ads we see, more time we spend talking to people, the more important it becomes to our lives. So
it`s in their interest to show us whatever content will keep us hooked.
And I think if teens understand that, if adults understand that, that could go a long way toward helping the problem. But there also needs to be more
effort put toward age verification on Instagram.
I`ve spoken to kids as young as 9, who have used Instagram for a while or who have already been very widely connected there. And there`s nothing
kicking them off, no real check on that that has worked yet. So Adam is right to emphasize that.
But it`s been years that they`ve known this is a problem. And you would hope they`d be closer to a solution by now.
NEWTON: Also seems parents have a choice whether or not to allow them on the social media platforms. But to a certain extent they don`t, in the
sense it is their entire social sphere. So a lot of parents discuss concerns, the idea is to have the age protections in there and surveillance
Thank you for the inside look, I`m sure we`ll continue talk about this for weeks to come. Appreciate it.
Now one of the oldest and most recognized names in the piano business is looking to the future. How Steinway has adapted to the pandemic and what
it`s doing next. We talk to the CEO next.
NEWTON: Now the Call to Earth, where we celebrate a week of programming dedicated to the theme rewild and restore.
Today a story from Scotland, about a distillery that has gone beyond making whisky and taken the plunge into marine conservation.
DR. BILL SANDERSON, HERIOT-WATT UNIVERSITY: Restoring oyster beds is as profound as restoring ancient forests, I believe. It would almost certainly
have the same kind of profound effect that many of these other large-scale rewilding projects are having on the land.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): This is the Dornoch Firth, in the highlands of Scotland. It used to be teeming with European oysters, a slow
growing cousin of the Pacific oysters commonly found in restaurants.
Over 100 years ago, with the advent of industrial fishing, the European oysters found here were fished to extinction.
SANDERSON: We think of oysters now as a kind of a luxury item and that`s partly because of their rarity. But back in the day they were a working
man`s food. They were fast food. They were something you would fork out your meaty recipes with to make them go further.
They were so plentiful, that they were consumed in their millions. But by the late 1800s, nearly all of those beds were fished out and the dwindling
stocks that were left there perished in the subsequent 10 or 20 years or so.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): In recent years, the European oyster has made a comeback through a surprising partnership between scientists and a
The Glenmorangie Distillery has been on the banks of the Dornoch Firth for over 170 years.
SANDERSON: This project was initiated really over coffee with some of the directors from Glenmorangie. They were expanding their warehouses, their
business booming and then they wanted to know how to reduce the environmental footprint and improve their surroundings.
EDWARD THOM, MANAGER, GLENMORANGIE DISTILLERY: The area around us is very, very vulnerable. It supports (INAUDIBLE) so we need to make sure that we
don`t damage the nature that is around us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): The initial phase of the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project saw 20,000 European oysters successfully
planted in the Dornoch Firth. The aim is to reach a self-sustaining population of 4 million. One benefit of the oyster community is that they
SANDERSON: Oysters create the structure on the seabed, create all the nooks and crannies for the things to live in amongst them. We starting to
see increased numbers of fish species and crab species that associate with these habitats. And they do that amazing filtration work, which puts a lot
of the energy from the plankton onto the sea bed. And that draws a lot of the other species in.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): And it`s this filtration ability that was especially interesting to the distillery. As part of the whisky making
process, organic waste is discharged into the River Firth, such as barley from the fermentation process. Oysters are a natural filter for this.
THOM: With the European oysters, we then (INAUDIBLE) it changes back the entire ecosystem, back to the way it was before we started.
SANDERSON: Every time we go down, it`s always a bit of an anxious moment for me, I feel like an expectant father. Every year, I come back with a
grin on my face because the oysters are getting bigger and bigger and there`s more and more species associated with them.
Oyster beds, seagrass beds are really important to the whole ecology but also climate mitigation. So it`s rewarding to see that habitat start to
NEWTON: We`ll continue showcasing inspirational environmental stories like this as part of our initiative at CNN. And let us know what you`re doing to
answer the call with the #CallToEarth.
NEWTON: Doesn`t that sound great?
That`s Steinway`s latest product, the Spiriocast. It broadcasts live performances from one piano to dozens of others, syncing the music in high
resolution video. Over a century and a half, the piano company has weathered supply chain issues, two world wars and the 1918 flu pandemic.
Each Steinway consists of more than 12,000 individual parts. Steinway has a global supply chain, as you can imagine; wood from New York, Alaska,
Bolivia and Bavaria; cast iron plates from Ohio; piano string from Tennessee. And there are factories in New York and Hamburg. The CEO of
Steinway joins us.
Good to see you. I tell you, it gives me comfort, the company`s longevity. You`ve already gone through a global pandemic. We want to know how your
company has adapted to this one. And it`s what I kind of call the Zoom application.
What`s so special about this?
BEN STEINER, CEO, STEINWAY & SONS: Well, yes, our company`s been through an awful lot. So by comparison, this pandemic, it`s been difficult but the
company`s been through so much that we knew we`d make it through this just fine.
The latest incredible innovation is something called Spiriocast, which is a live transmission of a piano performance so you can experience the Steinway
artist from the comfort of your own living room except the artist is not there with you. He or she is 1,000 miles away at Steinway Hall.
So that`s the latest innovation and it is something that`s perfect for the environment that we`re in today. It is, you know, a -- the Zoom analogy for
NEWTON: What has it been about the Steinway -- and I mean the sound of it because it seems the vast majority of concert pianos are Steinways.
STEINER: Well, it`s by far the best piano. It`s been our mission statement to build the world`s best piano, spare no expense, do whatever is necessary
to make the very best piano. And there`s been a commitment to innovation from the very beginning and we will do whatever is necessary to make the
very best piano.
And it`s part of that serving the world`s best artists, the world`s top artists. So it`s the combination of a commitment to excellence and a
commitment to doing whatever is necessary to serve those artists that leads to that.
But it`s something we`re very cognizant of and very careful, to make sure that we continue to serve those institutions.
NEWTON: But getting to how that`s done, especially in this area, where we`ve all heard issues about the supply chain, what challenges have you
STEINER: Well, you know, the biggest issue was simply when all the institutions closed and schools closed last year. And our factory in New
York had to close for a period of time.
There were some very dark days we experienced, like so many other companies. But on the back end of it, where we are now, business has really
rebounded very strongly. People are buying homes, buying pianos for their homes.
STEINER: We`re starting to see the schools reopen, starting to see institutions reopen so that business is coming back. From a supply chain
perspective, we`re very lucky. We actually control almost all of our key component manufacturers. So we`re not as impacted as some others are.
NEWTON: And when you had to make changes, do you think that there is a lesson in this, in terms of the way you`ve run this business in the last
STEINER: Well, I mean, I think the biggest lesson would be, I remember when we were going through COVID initially. And it was so scary for
everyone, from a health perspective first and foremost, but also from running a business and what it would mean for our company.
But to what you said at the outset, it`s an incredibly resilient business and it`s made it through so many dark days. And, you know, coming out of
the backside of COVID, we`re a much stronger company than we were going in.
So I`m all the more confident looking toward the future that we made it through one more challenge, even better, in even better shape than we
NEWTON: And I know it`s been of great comfort to performers and piano students alike to be able to access those pianos again, because a lot of
them are in public venues, not people`s living rooms. And for that reason, access has been key. Appreciate you bringing us the update. Thanks so much.
STEINER: Thank you.
NEWTON: And moments left to trade on Wall Street. We`ll have the final numbers and the closing bell, right after this.
NEWTON: Just moments here left to trade on Wall Street. Let`s take a look at the indices, the Dow in the green for a third day in a row but let`s all
call it flat. Consumer durables are the leading sector today.
Initial U.S. job claims out tomorrow morning, we will be looking at those numbers closely. Monthly job openings came in higher than expected, 11
million in October. Still 4.2 million Americans -- pardon me -- quit their jobs, if you can believe it, 4.2.
Having a look at the Dow components now. It`s about even split again on a very flat day. Other than Apple, every stock is up or down by more or less,
2 percent, Apple and Disney in the lead. Cisco, Intel and Honeywell are lagging.
One programming note for tomorrow night`s show, Richard will be back with you live from Thailand, speaking from the leaders of Thai Airways and CP
Group, all about the issues of COVID-19 and the travel recovery and relations with China.
That`s QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, live from Bangkok. I`ll be watching.