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Thanksgiving Closures And Retailer Concerns; Vaccine Logistics; QR Code Controversy; Discussion On A Shipwreck. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired November 24, 2020 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hi, I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10. Quote: We know this has been a trying year. That`s not just us talking. It`s part of the

statement by the CEO of Walmart and the reason behind it is part of our first story today. The statement goes on to say we hope our associates will

enjoy a special Thanksgiving Day at home with their loved ones.

It`s the first time in more than 30 years that Walmart has closed on Thanksgiving. Best Buy, Dick`s Sporting Goods, and Macy`s are some of the

other companies doing this. The reason they`ve been opened in the past on Turkey Day was to get ahead start on Black Friday, the day after

Thanksgiving. That`s traditionally then the start of the holiday shopping season.

Critics have said their employees should be allowed to stay home with their families and the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has

factored into these company`s decision to close this Thanksgiving. However, they don`t want to be forced to close on Black Friday.

U.S. cities and states enacted shutdowns earlier this year to try to slow the spread of coronavirus but some businesses like Target, Costco and

Amazon were allowed to stay open because they sell groceries which are considered essential. While clothing stores and retailers like Macy`s which

don`t sell groceries were forced to close. That caused Macy`s to lose sales to its competitors.

So it`s working with state and local leaders to show it has safety measures in place and to discourage officials from forcing stores to close again at

a time when shopping is so important to them. So when will everything just get back to normal.

That is the question no one seems to know the answer to. And even though several drug companies including AstraZeneca now have announced progress in

making a coronavirus vaccine that`s only one step in a big challenge.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With dozens of human trials underway, scientists around the world are racing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even after the vaccine comes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When can we get the vaccine?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But experts warn a vaccine won`t be a magic bullet and there are several challenging steps ahead before a safe and effective

vaccine can have an impact on the spread of the virus. First, any vaccine must be approved or authorized by a regulatory body. If it`s going to be

used in the United States for example, it needs to get a green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Under usual circumstances before the pandemic, it would take a very long time to get approval from the FDA for a vaccine. But

now because of the pandemic, vaccines are undergoing what`s called emergency use authorization. That could take just a matter of weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Usually once a vaccine gets the green light from regulators, the manufacturing process goes full steam ahead. But companies

like Pfizer didn`t wait, instead they have produced their vaccine candidates in large quantities. Among the earliest vaccines out of the gate

are the so called MRNA vaccines, companies including Pfizer and Moderna are working on this type.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are new vaccines. There are no vaccines out there currently that are made this way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While many vaccines inject a weak or inactive pathogen into the body, MRNA vaccines on the other hand deliver a small piece of the

pathogen`s genetic code into a human cell. This prompts the body to produce a synthetic copy of the virus` attacking properties and eventually the body

launches a counter attack against the quote "invader".

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One big advantage of the MRNA vaccines is that they can be made quite quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many other types of vaccines are harder to manufacturer and need more time. Still, we need billions of doses for the world`s

population. Once vaccines are made a new challenge arises, how to get them to billions of people around the world. Experts say that handling vaccines

is a delicate matter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Vaccines are stored in refrigerators or sometimes in freezers. However, this Pfizer vaccine is different. It needs to be stored

at a very cold temperature, minus 75 degrees Celsius. That`s minus 103 degrees Fahrenheit. Doctors` offices, pharmacies, they don`t have freezers

that go that low. So distributing and storing these vaccines is tricky.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once the vaccine is distributed it likely won`t be mandatory in the U.S. and many other countries. People have to choose to

take it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you have a great vaccine and people aren`t willing to take it, it`s not going to work. Many people are suspicious of the

COVID-19 vaccine. Polls have shown that many Americans don`t want to get it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will take many months to vaccinate the population and in the meantime measures such as wearing masks and social distancing will

be crucial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody knows exactly when this vaccine will be ready for people to use but the folks who are running the vaccine programs for

the United States government. They say it`s very possible that we could have shots in arms before the end of the year.

We would start with high priority groups that could include the elderly, doctors and nurses and others who are taking care of COVID patients. People

with underlying conditions, they would go first. So if you`re not in one of these high priority groups, it is possible that you would have to wait

until the spring to get a COVID-19 vaccine.


AZUZ: Some health officials also promote contact tracing as a way to slow the spread of coronavirus. It keeps track of where people go and wherever

they might have come in contact with the disease. Privacy advocates have deep concerns about this because people`s personal information would be

tracked by an outside company or government.

There are also concerns about whether this information would be used to limit people`s freedoms whenever they were exposed to coronavirus. The

communist government of China doesn`t allow the degree of freedom that western democracies do and it`s using and promoting QR codes or electronic

bar codes as a means of tracking people`s travel and health history.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: China`s reopening is happening under the watchful eye of big data and perhaps big brother. Local governments

tracking the movements of hundreds of millions. We noticed the start of this effort back in mid-February arriving in Shanghai from Beijing. Each

arriving passenger required to write down health and travel history and register for your personal QR or bar code.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) traveling away from China for the past 14 days. No.

CULVER: A few weeks later Shanghai had rolled out its QR codes city wide. Walking into a restaurant, hotel, shopping mall? You`re expected to show

it. Here in Shanghai shop owners and hotel managers have told us a green means you`re clear to go it.

Yellow or red, suggest you`ve been in an area with high exposure to the virus and it could mean quarantine. It is all part of contract tracing. An

effort to track and contain confirms cases. Here in China, it`s done on the widely used WeChat and Alipay apps.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To stop the spread of the virus, contact tracing is an essential step and (inaudible) initiative to our being (inaudible) around

the world.

CULVER : Major Chinese tech companies are finding other innovations amid the outbreak. CNN spoke with (Shin Shan Quai) from Ali Baba. He does

artificial intelligence research. He says more than 160 hospitals in China and others in Japan are using the CT image analytics to help diagnose


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hope really is nearly 60 times faster than human detection.

CULVER: Ali Baba, also turning to genome sequencing, analyzing the virus` DNA to help diagnose the virus. They say they can screen 20 samples

simultaneously. The tech giant, also involved in tracking future hot spots of the virus. It`s all giving the company potential access to so much

personal health data raising privacy concerns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we don`t store any data. We just analyze it and then posture recharge to hospital who are (inaudible) to (inaudible) judgment.

CULVER: What about the government though? Particularly with the QR codes. Personal, local, data and health information, it might prove effective in

containing the spread but is it the start of China using a pandemic to closely track its citizens and those potentially of other countries should

they export this technology. Local governments using the QR have publicly posted they will discontinue them as soon as the outbreak ends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who`s going to determine, like for example, when the pandemic actually ends. When is the end point? When should governments or

companies actually delete the personal data, all the tracing data that they`re actually collecting?

CULVER: For now, many here in China focus on stopping the spread and navigating their new normal. David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.


AZUZ: St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest city in the U.S. so it may not seem surprising that erosion from a recent tropical storm would reveal a

historic shipwreck. Researchers think this is the remains of a merchant ship that unknowingly sailed into a hurricane in the 1800s` and wound up on

the shore here. Its crew survived and apparently so did the wreckage protected by the sand from the sun and the salty air.

Hard to say how many "gallions" of water washed over it but it is a "slooper" discovery that no one would "driftwood" "friget" not that`s it

made its mark like a true "merchant" man. You knew we were not going to "set sail" without "wrecking" our Tuesday with some puns. Bosse High School

is in Evansville, Indiana and the reason I mention that is because Bosse subscribed and left a comment on our You Tube channel.

Do the same thing and you could hear your school next Monday when we return from the Thanksgiving break. We are thankful for you, the best audience in

news. I`m Carl Azuz for CNN.