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Quest Means Business

A Holly Jolly Christmas Stuck In The Airport; Health Officials Considering Cuts To Isolation Periods; Travel Stocks Fall As COVID Sparks Flight Cancellations; New "Spider-Man" First Movie Of Pandemic To Gross $1B; Pfizer CEO On Boosters And Future Of COVID-19; Israel Tests Efficacy Of Fourth Dose On Medical Workers. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired December 27, 2021 - 15:00   ET



RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: The Santa rally is off to a jolly start on Wall Street. We have an hour to go before the closing bell -- festive mood, and

it is all about the fact hoping omicron is not as bad as feared.

So the market is up and stayed up and it's actually gained.

The markets and the main events. Look behind the numbers in airline stocks, they are lower. There are mass cancellations.

And Dr. Fauci says vaccine mandates for passengers should be considered. Isolation periods have started to get shorter in some places. This could be

the best way to live with the COVID and protect the economy.

And with great power comes great responsibility. Spider-Man knocks the cobwebs off blockbuster record box. It might just been saving struggling

movie theaters.

We start the week together, bank holidays in some, not in others. It is Monday, December the 27th. There has been trading in New York. We'll have

all that for you.

I'm Richard Quest. I mean business.

Good evening. We are in that period. People have traveled for Christmas, some are thinking of going home. Others are getting ready to travel for New

Year. Whatever it is, holiday travel is upended by omicron.

We know airlines are short staffed just at the time of the year when the crews are needed the most. So airports are filled with stranded passengers

traveling to see loved ones for the first time in nearly two years because of the virus.

And at the same time, U.S. airline workers have been testing positive for the coronavirus and staying home. Same story in Europe, airlines are also

canceling flights because staff are out. But there's a new wrinkle in all of this, a sharp drop in demand because of omicron.

Lufthansa says around 10 percent of its planned flights will now be suspended over the next few months. On Monday, more than 2,700 flights have

been canceled, thousands over the past few days.

And in Europe as the cases soar, it saw more and more flights that are grounded.

Salma Abdelaziz reports from London.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Across the continent, breaking record cases, well, that means more flight cancellations and more travel

disruptions. Consumers, of course, are less demanding of flights. More people canceling their plans during the Christmas period because of their

fears around the omicron variant or if you're in London, one out of 20 people testing positive just before the travel period, so you can imagine

how many cancellations that caused.

And then in addition to that, the other element you're seeing here of course, is sick outs. It is airline staff unable to make it to work, which

means logistical and operational issues. As you mentioned, more than 2,000 flights canceled just today over the Christmas period, those three days,

more than 6,000 flights canceled globally.

We've been in touch with airliners. British Airways telling us today that they've had to cancel a small number of flights due to operational

constraints. Lufthansa also canceling 10 percent of its scheduled winter flights, because again, of lower demand.


QUEST: Salma Abdelaziz in New York. The State is among those places cutting the isolation period for essential workers who test positive for

COVID. Now, this is really interesting because this is giving us a glimpse to the way things are going.

Employers can let workers return to their job within five days of fully vaccinated and aren't sick. The U.K. -- England recently did something

similar in which case that you could test that you could leave after you -- if you're negative on day six and seven.

And this could be the model for other parts of the world. Dr. Fauci has said U.S. officials are looking at it.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Certainly, we are considering it going beyond just healthcare

workers. Because you know, there are a lot of people in society that are essential for the smooth running of the infrastructure of our society. So

the idea about cutting down the period of quarantine for people who've been exposed and perhaps the period of isolation for people who have been

infected is something that is under, I would say serious consideration.


QUEST: Dr. Saad Omer is with me, the Director of the Yale Institute for Global Health. Good to see you as always, sir.

Now, we're always looking for the direction that the pandemic-endemic is going, and it seems to me, this is it. The idea of reducing the

quarantine/self-isolation so why don't they just get on and do it.


QUEST: If it is good enough to be done for essential workers, they're either taking a risk or it's good enough for everyone.

DR. SAAD OMER, DIRECTOR, YALE INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL HEALTH: I think there is a strong case for -- especially for the vaccinated, and I would say

start, at least with the vaccinated to say that you can test out of quarantine, or with testing starting even rapid test starting at day four

or five.

And if you have two negative tests, you could, you know, join or rejoin the workforce or rejoin the society. And however, there's a bit of a nuance

there. I would rather see that recommendation come from the C.D.C., and I hope they act on it on the sooner side, because when they come out with a

recommendation, it is communicated widely broadly to not just the general public, but also for primary care physicians et cetera with all the


For example, if they are exceptions to that, they should be communicated widely.

And so I think there is a strong case for that, and we should move in that direction. But through recommendation.

QUEST: The U.K. -- well, England has gone through this system now where you can test out provided you've got day six and day seven are negative.

You can go after seven days.

Now, if we are accepting, and I take your point, Doctor, that you know, you'd rather see -- wait for the C.D.C. to give, if you like, the gold

plated stamp seal of approval. But if we have to live with some form of coronavirus for the foreseeable future, then you'd agree it's not realistic

to continue with these long quarantines. It's just economically impossible.

OMER: It's not just that. Yes, absolutely. So that's one part of the equation. The other part of the equation is whether the juice is worth the

squeeze, and I would submit the evidence is pointing to being able to do this, especially for the vaccinated and the boosted fairly safely, provided

you're doing testing at day four, or five or day five and six.

So yes, there is a case not just an economic case, but the on the other side, a public health case for this as well.

QUEST: And if we look at the numbers, so I saw an interesting reports saying that omicron's gap between infections and hospital/deaths is much

slower, lower than it was in previous in beta and in delta.

So can we now say, all things being equal, that omicron does not ergo lead to the same level of hospitalizations, ergo deaths, as we've seen before.

OMER: So we do know, and there is mounting evidence that the likelihood of hospitalization per case is lower. But we also know that this virus spreads

much faster and much more quickly than the previous variants.

So what remains to be seen and unfortunately, will have to be seen population by population because the proportion of vulnerable, the

proportion of vaccinated, the proportion of people with comorbidities varies from population to population.

What is the impact at the population level? So the concern folks have is that the peak surge because of the spread in this -- because of the speed

of the spread of this virus can overwhelm hospitals.

So, I would say, I think in a couple of weeks, there will be more certainty, but certainly the likelihood of hospitalization per case is


QUEST: The only that does sort of give pause and cause and thought, I mean, are we just waiting for the next one? I mean, with all -- let's face

it. The next one that comes along, we will have exactly the same issues.

First of all, its rate of transmissibility. Second of all, how much is it defeated by the fully vaccinated, then fully vaccinated plus booster. Is

that what we are into?

OMER: Well, there is a likelihood of new variants emerging. But I don't think and I've said that all along that we are not helpless bystanders. We

can reduce the probability of new variants emerging by vaccinating the world and in recognizing that our domestic responses depend on what happens


QUEST: Good to see you, sir. I'm grateful. Thank you.

Now, Dr. Fauci who we have been talking about suggests the U.S. should now consider vaccine mandates for domestic flights. That will go down well,

particularly as COVID cases are soaring and airlines are forced to cancel.

If you look at the losses on an up day in the market -- the market, they are down just that there's a sort of a wait and see about those falls. They

are all down, but not by that much on the first trading session since Christmas.


QUEST: Joining me now, Nadia Romero at Atlanta's International Airport. I never get the full name of that airport -- Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta

International. I get it, they are all in there somewhere. I just don't never get them in the right way.

Okay, so things are -- is there light at the end of the runway?

NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Richard, I mean, don't worry about the name because people here are calling this airport a lot of

other names because of all the cancellations and the delays that they are experiencing at this airport.

People have been coming in. Most of them were able to check their phones, check online before coming here to make sure that their flight was still on

time and ready to go.

Unfortunately, as I'm sure you know, sometimes you get to the airport and things change rather quickly. We spoke with people who had to turn around.

One was supposed to be in Wyoming today starting work again, but her flight was canceled. And she said to me there is no way I can drive from Atlanta

to Wyoming and make it there in time. It'll take me two or three days to get there. So, she is dependent on the airlines to get her back to the


There are long lines everywhere you go. People coming in here trying to go to the skycaps on the outside of the airport to check in their baggage,

long lines to check in your baggage inside, T.S.A. PreCheck clear and definitely long lines at the general boarding to get through T.S.A.


Now, we have heard that T.S.A. -- the T.S.A. numbers over the last couple of days have been down compared to the same time period back in 2019,

Richard, but I would -- I would put my paycheck on the fact that today might be higher, because we have seen quite a few people coming in and it

reminds me of those pre-pandemic levels before all of this happened, when so many people were traveling around the Holiday season.

We did speak with one person who said despite everything that's going on, he is on his way to Florida, he's going to deal with whatever

inconveniences just to make sure you can get to the beach.


PAT CAPUTO, PASSENGER HEADED TO FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA: And now everybody is wearing a mask. And hey, you know what? We have to live our

lives. You know, at the end of the day, if we shut down, you know, cities and you know, we have to live our life, we've got to get back to normal.

You know, the alternative is really not a good option.


ROMERO: Yes, so the alternative for a lot of people was waiting potentially a whole another year. A lot of people told me that they haven't

seen their family since 2019, especially those who have families abroad.

We interviewed one man who is from Paris. He lives in Atlanta now. He hasn't seen his family since Christmas of 2019 because the borders were

closed last year. And he said I'll do whatever it takes. He's got about three legs from here to JFK and New York and then New York to Paris to see

his family, and that was his plan all along.

So, plenty of people with that pent up demand wanting to see their friends and family for the first time in quite a while -- Richard.

QUEST: Thank you. Thank you.

The omicron surge didn't slow down American shoppers, they showed up online and in person this season. We'll talk about that.

And CNN Business just named Pfizer's Albert Bourla CEO of the Year. He will talk to us about his company's vaccine and the billions of dollars in

revenue that it has generated.



QUEST: Markets -- the U.S. markets, the Dow is up nearly 250 points and all three of the major indices are in the green. It could be because of

encouraging news from retailers I'll go to in just a moment.

But it also is a reflection of them thinking that omicron is not going to be as dreadful as it appears it could be. So we're up -- particularly the

NASDAQ, which of course, is the one that got beaten up most.

Matt Egan is with me. Matt, why do you think it is up strongly today? You know, we're coming in this morning, I was far more dubious, I thought, you

know, shortened week, this, that and the other. And we really don't know fully on omicron?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: Well, Richard, during a shortened week like this, sometimes it doesn't really take all that much to move the market sharply

higher or lower. Trading volumes can be a little bit lower, you don't have necessarily the starting team at the trading desks on Wall Street. And so

that could be part of it.

The retail sales numbers, Holiday shopping numbers. That was -- that's definitely a positive. That is a reason why the market could be up because

it can feel some optimism about the economy and omicron. You know, the jury is still out on that. I think that clearly it is disruptive. But there is

hope that the symptoms are going to be milder, and perhaps it won't be nearly as deadly, it won't be nearly as damaging from a health standpoint.

So, that would be a reason for the market to be up.

QUEST: We've talked about time and again, there are great gurus in the market and hedge funds and this that and the other, who all darkly suggest

that there is something waiting to happen, and they are not going to tell us when and they're not going to tell us how much buy, but valuations are

more than frothy and it's not right.

You know this? You hear this as much as I do. But I'm not sure what you do with all that information once you've got it.

Are we looking for something nasty next year?

EGAN: Well, you know, I think that if you had to -- if you had to look out to the horizon and see what are the two biggest risks to the market and the

economy, I think they've got to be COVID and inflation, and the two of them are intertwined, of course.

And so yes, there would be a concern that if omicron does prove to be a bigger problem, or if there's a worse variant out there, and we've seen

that these variants keep coming. So if there's another variant that evades vaccines and boosters and is contagious, we could see how that would be a

real problem.

And then there's inflation in the United States, consumer prices are rising at the fastest pace in nearly 40 years. It is forcing the Federal Reserve

to finally take the training wheels off the economy. They're projecting, you know, three-ish interest rate hikes for next year, that could do some

damage to valuations and there is a risk that they end up hitting the brakes too hard, and that slows the economy and tips into a recession.

But, Richard, I think the good news is that the economy, especially in the United States, is heading into next year in really good shape. I mean, this

is projected to be a strong quarter of growth, the year overall is going to be the strongest, perhaps in decades and unemployment is down to like 4.2


I mean, there's a lot of positive momentum in the economy, particularly if omicron proves to be a short term thing.

QUEST: This time next year, Matt Egan, and I won't hold you to this. I won't be cruel and play the tape again just to either give you a triumph or

a tribulation. How many rate rises next year from the Fed? Two or three?

EGAN: I think three.

QUEST: Make a note. Egan said three. No, don't worry. We will not play that back come next December 27th. I think you're right. I think this is

going to go farther. It's going to go faster. It's going to go stronger, and they're going to have to step on the brakes a little bit harder.

EGAN: Yes, well, Richard, feel free to play the back the tape though if it ends up being three or four.

QUEST: We'll put it on loop. You'll hear it every hour on the hour.

EGAN: Okay.


QUEST: Thank you, Matt Egan to you and your family, be safe and we look forward to talking to New Year.

New York City's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the private sector went into effect on Monday. It means right now that workers must have at least one

dose of the vaccine to be on the job. You cannot opt out to regular testing.

On Christmas Eve, the State of New York broke a single day's record nearly 50,000 new COVID-19 cases reported.

The Chief Executive of Manpower says vaccine mandates from private employers whilst controversial in some cases, have been hugely successful

so far. The Manpower Survey of Global Employers is predicting a big boost to hiring next year as economies reopen. That was before omicron.

Alison Kosik asked Jonas Prising if he was still quite optimistic.


JONAS PRISING, CEO, MANPOWER: What I saw coming through from the employers was a continued optimism both quarter over quarter and clearly year-over-

year as well. And the levels we saw in the third quarter hiring optimism were already very high. And then to add on to that in the fourth quarter

and into the first quarter of 2020 is really indicating a very strong a hiring optimism and business optimism on the behalf -- on behalf of the


ALISON KOSIK, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Where do you think that optimism comes from?

PRISING: I think as they look at the demand for their goods and products and services, they feel very good about the pipeline, although there have

been supply chain issues, most of that is postponed to demand not canceled demand. So they feel good about the outlook for their business. It might

not have been as strong as they had expected in the second half of 2021, but they are clearly expecting that to spill over into a strong start in


KOSIK: With the omicron variant spreading so rapidly, do you think the variant will wind up delaying the return to work? And if so how long? Many

employers are saying come back after the first of the year. Do you think that's going to change?

PRISING: I think employers are going to take a slightly more cautious approach as they have been all the all along during this pandemic. And many

employers are still easing into asking their workers and employees to come back to work. So, it might be delayed slightly. But I think that employers

will have the intention of bringing back their workforce to their physical work locations. We will continue to aim to do that, although it might be

slightly delayed due to these infections.

KOSIK: And from the report, it show that employers who have flexibility to offer an offer hybrid work situations that will be key to attracting

workers. But not all employers can offer that situation. So, how difficult is it for employers? And will this hybrid situation really be the new

normal, even long after the pandemic has ended we hope?

PRISING: We think that many employers will adjust you know whatever flexibility they can offer. It is clearly something that job seekers are

interested in and employees are interested in. So it's as much about attracting the new workforce as in keeping the current workforce.

But having said that, there is not one size fits all. We believe that the hybrid work models are really just a passage to greater flexibility, which

is something that employees have been asking for, for a long time. And during the pandemic, we've been able to illustrate and show that this is

something that is workable.

But hybrid, we think is a stage in that evolution, and because it is quite complex to manage having different groups being at work or not at work at

the same time as they're trying to build a company culture and get their business humming and be very strong past the pandemic.

KOSIK: Jonas, how difficult is it for employers to mandate vaccines? I'm talking about to employers -- employees who don't want to have the vaccine

is there a risk of losing workers in an environment where it's already hard to find and retain employees.

PRISING: I think that is a concern for many employers that they are hesitant to apply vaccine mandates. But the data is very clear, vaccine

mandates for organizations that have implemented them have had great success with 90 to 95 percent of all employees getting vaccinated or

getting exemptions.

So it is clearly something that has been very successful for the organizations that have implemented it. And I think the Biden mandate now

active again, might help but many organizations to implement those mandates with the requirements that the Biden administration has put in, so that

there won't be an ability or a great risk of employees leaving and joining other organizations that don't have vaccine mandates.


QUEST: As you and I continue tonight, it is a box office, literally, the new Spider-Man movie might have outwitted the biggest villain of all, the




QUEST: It takes a true superhero to rescue the Holiday box office receipts.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are flying out into the darkness to fight ghosts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They all die fighting Spider-Man. It's their fate.


QUEST: Sony says "Spider-Man: No Way Home" was made more than a billion dollars worldwide less than two weeks after its release. It is the first

film to cross the billion dollar threshold since the pandemic began, and now it's the top grossing film obviously, for the year.

Rebecca Rubin is the film and media reporter for "Variety."

Now, people are getting their butts on the seats in movie theaters around the world to see this. What's that telling you?

REBECCA RUBIN, FILM AND MEDIA REPORTER, "VARIETY": It's really important because not only in terms of ticket sales and popcorn and other concessions

that come with a big movie like this, but symbolically, the box office success of Spider-Man is just really important because a lot of people were

wondering, can a movie even make those kinds of box office receipts during a pandemic? And the answer is for the right movie, yes, it can make a

billion dollars.

QUEST: Okay, so I have to say I haven't seen it yet because I'm sort of being a little bit cautious. Well, since I've got to work on New Year's

Eve, I'm feeling scared over in a darkened room with a lot of people. But think -- what do we learn from this in terms of other movies? Because there

have been successful movies, some companies like our own WarnerMedia decided to go for streaming plus theatrical release, or is it too soon to

grasp any trends?

RUBIN: I don't know if it's too soon. I would say that "Spider-Man: No Way Home" is probably more of a unique case. I don't think it means that every

movie is now going to grow a billion dollars, but what we have seen is that, superhero movies have done really well at the box office and also

movies that are playing exclusively in theaters and not on any streaming platforms on the same day have also sold more tickets.


And so we have seen some movies, even some that have gotten great reviews like West Side Story, not performed to the levels that's expected.

QUEST: And this -- the other interesting aspect of it is, this is global box office receipts. So to some extent, Brian Stelter was listening to

earlier, our chief media who you'll know. He was saying that that's really what's held these numbers up and pushed them forward is the non-U.S.


RUBIN: It's a combination. Actually, quite significantly, Spider-Man: No Way Home isn't playing in China which is one of the biggest box office

markets. So, it's kind of a testament to how many people are truly seeing this movie. The avid fans are seeing it more than once, probably in

theaters. And so, it's doing pretty significant business overseas, but it's also doing really well in the U.S. and it's after three days in theaters,

who was already the highest grossing movie of this year and last year.

QUEST: And one of the thought, do we know what the results? What's the thinking in the industry now about streaming and theatrical review or

theatrical release at the same time? Has the -- has the jury spoken on that yet?

RUBIN: I think we'll continue to see some flexibility on what the release schedule looks like. But for the most part in 2022, most major studios have

reverted back to having a period of exclusivity. And so I think we will see less of the day and date where a movie lands on streaming on the same day

as theaters. But as the year continues, and the pandemic continues, I think studios are going to just have to be adaptable to what's going on.

QUEST: Right. Last quick question, Rebecca. Once I'm sort of after New Year's Eve, is it worth my money to go and see this movie Spider-Man?

RUBIN: If you're into superheroes, it's definitely an exciting movie because it teams up a lot of characters from past Spider-Man movies. And so

it's a really exciting movie, a big spectacle, a lot of action, and it's a fun movie to watch in theaters.

QUEST: Excellent. Thank you, Rebecca Rubin joining us. Now the Spider-Man box office success shows that even though the virus is still hugely

disruptive, vaccines are helping restore sense of normality. And that's partly why CNN Business just named Pfizer's Albert Bourla as the CEO of the

? Paul La Monica spoke to him about boosters and the future of the pandemic.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Breaking news. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer just announced that its coronavirus vaccine is 95 percent effective.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not anticipating any more roadblocks.

ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES: Everyone obviously is concerned about the appearance of this new Omicron

variant but this is good news about the booster protection.

PAUL LA MONICA, CNN DIGITAL CORESPONDENT: Is there a worry at all that it may be difficult to convince people and educate them that things are

changing rapidly and for full protection, yes, you may wind up needing either a second booster or a new vaccine or, you know, a different slightly

different vaccine entirely?

DR. ALBERT BOURLA, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, PFIZER: I always had said that we will need annual vaccinations to maintain good levels of protections.

There is a very big division on people that are people that they are really afraid of the disease and they are strong supporters and believe of the

vaccines. And there is another group that they are afraid of the vaccine more than the disease.

And those people also will continue resisting no matter what. I think the efforts will be more on the second group. They're very good people, they're

afraid. The worst thing is to try to isolate them or to point our finger on them. I mean, we need to continue understanding that they are afraid.

LA MONICA: How much should Pfizer and other drug companies for that matter, profit from a treatment for something that has created a global pandemic?

BOURLA: I think there are legitimate reasons for people to worry what happens with the rest of the world and if everybody has access on it. And I

think we addressed them from the get go. We applied the pricing strategy that was doing exactly that. Even in the high income countries. We didn't

price the vaccine, not even in the price that the other vaccines are having. We priced it at the cost of the takeaway meal.

But middle-income countries they got it half and low income countries they got it at cost and then by signing an agreement with the U.S. government

for one billion doses, one billion doses will be given not that cost for free will be given to the low-income countries.


BOURLA: And right now we have reached the unfortunate situation that the countries in Africa are telling us stop sending us. The reasons are, they

are lacking basic infrastructure, they do not have centers to vaccinate people. There is hesitancy in the U.S. over various way higher. This is

unfortunately, the situation. And I think we should all work now, on resolving those issues.

LA MONICA: When you look back at 2021, where do you feel that Pfizer had its biggest successes, accomplishments that you'll look back on. And also

be aware were there any shortcomings or even dare I say, failures?

BOURLA: Clearly, very challenging here 2021, repetition of the challenges of 2020. And clearly, Pfizer did a lot of good to humanity. And we are

very, very proud of it. And we had advanced, in addition to the vaccine, suddenly a new treatment, but it is equally breakthrough, like the vaccine

soft coming. I wish I could see earlier that things in Africa in terms of infrastructure will not improve. I wish I wouldn't leave it to others to do


And now I'm very energized to go and had to do it. I wish I could have done it earlier. Now looking ahead clearly when you are so successful, the

question is coming also, what's next? What's the next step? And I'm very optimistic.


QUEST: Thank goodness. Now Israel has started giving healthcare workers a fourth dose of that vaccine, the Pfizer vaccine. It's part of the trial to

see how effective a second booster is against Omicron. Earlier to Gotkine was at the hospital, as it all got underway.



ELLIOTT GOTKINE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Gets another shot in the arm. This says the Sheba Medical Center is the first time in the world

healthy subjects are receiving a full shot of COVID vaccine.

LAVEE: So, I don't feel much as a guinea pig. My own immunity has dropped below the threshold. And therefore not only am I myself exposed,

potentially exposed to the Omicron. But more importantly, I might be a potential hazard to my heart transplant patient that can take care of.

GOTKINE: His colleagues, all of whose antibody levels have also dropped were lining up to play their part in this trial designed to show if a

fourth shot of the Pfizer vaccine is safe and effective.

GOTKINE: (INAUDIBLE) is among the first 150 health workers at the Sheba Medical Center, just outside Tel Aviv to receive the fourth dose of the

vaccine. It's not the much publicized rollout of the fourth shot campaign, but it could be a step in that direction.

That at least is what Prime Minister Naftali Bennett seems to want. Last week, he welcomed the decision by a panel of experts to recommend the

additional booster for over 60s, health workers and people with suppressed immune systems. But the health ministry's Director General has yet to sign

it off. Some health experts remain unconvinced.

GILI REGEV-YOCHAY DIRECTOR, SHEBA MEDICAL CENTER HEART TRANSPLANTATION UNIT: I didn't think that it's right right now at this moment. It may

change in a week. You know, it depends on what we see is happening in England. What's happening right now here. If we see that there is more

severe disease, maybe we'll be correct. I think that's why it's so important to start a research as soon as possible.

GOTKINE: Initial results from this study are expected by the end of the week, by which time Israel's rising COVID caseload will likely be even

heavier. Elliott Gotkine, CNN, Ramat Gan Israel.


QUEST: Before we go, I want to show you the markets. So, interesting because there's a good gain here, three quarters of percent of a gain, it's

held right the way through, it's obviously -- I'm guessing it's going to over the next 20 minutes or so. We're over 36,000, maybe get back a point

or two at the last (INAUDIBLE) over 280. And all three major indices are in the green, the S&P 500 on the triple stack is on pace with 69th record

close of the year.

Investors may be encouraged from some good news from retailers had their first trading day after Christmas. There was some very good numbers for

retailers earlier on. Now, the components, if you look at the components on the Dow, well, you've got Apple at the top, and you've got the -- you've

got Disney down at the bottom. I'm not guessing, because these had very good gains that you bring up.

But just look the gain -- the gains clearly obviously the index is up, but they're much greater at either end of the spectrum than the losses that

we're seeing from CAT, Boeing and Disney. Airline stocks are getting hit strongly after they've been forced to cancel thousands of flights over

Christmas. Anthony Fauci. Dr. Fauci is now saying, you should consider vaccine mandates for passengers taking domestic flights.

So that's where we are. I'll be back with a dash for the closing bell don't go away there. I've got World of Wonder coming up next. Another profitable

moment since it's my last show of the year ahead New Year's Eve. This is CNN.



QUEST: Hello. I'm Richard Quest. Together let's have a dash to the closing bell. Just about 2-1/2 minutes, excuse me, from now. It's called the Santa

Claus Rally. And it's really flat. Look at that. (INAUDIBLE) We are higher than we were, we might end up one percenter but 338 points to the better.

So, there's a late buying into this market, as we see. And the S&P 500 is set to close at a record. The best gains are in the US is actually in the

NASDAQ, which is also up sharply.

Investors are focusing on strong retail numbers rather than the flight cancellations disrupting the travel industry. The tech heavy NASDAQ has

also jumped sharply. I want to leave you there tonight with tonight's profitable moment. This is my last show before I join you on New Year's Eve

from Times Square. And it's a chance just basically to say thank you. Thank you to the team obviously that puts it together.

And thank you to you for taking time to speak to us, to come and join us at this time every day. I always say our e-mail addresses at the bottom That is the e-mail. It goes right to my phone. And I will genuinely read it and where I can, I will reply. Because you know,

it's our evening conversation about business and economics, what's going on in your life? What's going on in mind.

How were weathering the storms together? What we're finding funny, because we've got to keep our sense of humor, heaven forbid, we lose that. We can

laugh at the tragic, we can laugh at the happy. But whatever happens, we are still managing to get through. And that's the thought I want to leave

you with tonight. Over the last few days I've met family and friends and everybody's talking about Omicron this or Delta that.

Can't travel here, can't travel there. But what I noticed most of all, we are adapting. We are actually getting on with it. And to those of you who

say I can't cope, it's all too much I say to you, you are we're getting on with it. Just look at the progress, we've all made over the last 12 months

and we will make more in the year ahead. Together in our even conversation on business and economics.

And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in London. Whatever you're to in the year ahead, I hope it's profitable. The closing

bell is ringing. "THE LEAD" with Jake tapper is next.