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Hala Gorani Tonight
Biden in Europe: U.S. Will Respond to Harmful Actions by Russia; Biden Administration Seeks to Strengthen Relationships with Allies; France Implements "Traffic Light" System for Travelers; U.S. Sanctions Four Supporters of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega; U.S. to Donate 500 Million Pfizer Doses Globally; Richest Americans Avoided Paying Taxes. Aired 5-6p ET
Aired June 09, 2021 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNNI HOST: Welcome, I'm Hala Gorani. We continue our special coverage from Cornwall tonight. We are here today for the rest of the week
from the English county of Cornwall. This is where the G7 summit will be taking place this week, just a few miles down the road from me on the tip
of southern England.
And we'll have special coverage throughout the big event, as U.S. President Joe Biden makes his first trip abroad as President of the United States.
He landed in England a short time ago and he arrived with a message for his European allies. He said the United States is back and ready to reengage
with the world. He delivered those remarks ahead of this week's G7, where he'll join world leaders for talks on trade, the pandemic, of course, and
other pressing issues.
It is the first major stop of his eight-day trip across the continent. Later this week, he will also meet with NATO allies, E.U. officials. He'll
have tea with the queen, by the way, before that.
And then he will meet the Russian president Vladimir Putin in Geneva. And speaking of Russia, Mr. Biden had a message for Moscow, warning that it
should avoid aggressive action against American allies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're not seeking conflict with Russia. We want a stable, predictable relationship. Our two nations share
incredible responsibilities and, among them, ensuring strategic stability and upholding arms control agreements.
I take that responsibility seriously. But I've been clear: the United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way when the Russian
government engages in harmful activities. We've already demonstrated that. I'm going to communicate that there are consequences for violating the
sovereignty of democracies.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, it certainly is not the presidency of Donald Trump; it's a very different tone coming from Joe Biden. Let's get more from CNN's Scott
McLean in London.
First off, what's on the agenda at this G7 summit, Scott?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The list of issues at this G7 is long, probably the list of actual, deliverable concrete things that come out of
this G7, not quite as long. But you heard the president Joe Biden outline some of them.
He wants to get together an alliance of countries, Western democracies and others to try to counter Russian aggression, especially lately in the cyber
space, also to come up with a strategy on how to deal with ransomware attacks more generally.
There is also a reason why he's going to visit NATO leaders just before his meeting With President Putin to try to have a show of strength and an
alliance there to show the Russian president that he means business.
He's also trying to gather a coalition of countries to collectively counter some of the issues that the world is having with China right now, not only
economic issues but also standing up for human rights.
That's something that might be a little bit of a touchy subject or a thorny issue for E.U. leaders, who just signed on to a wide-ranging economic
agreement with China back in December,
Hala, it doesn't really have all that great of a mechanism to actually hold China to account on human rights issues. Biden, you heard there, he also
sort of took some veiled shots at his predecessor, Donald Trump, saying that alliances aren't built by coercion; they're not maintained by threat.
But there are questions here about how firm or stern he'll be on NATO commitments. As we know, NATO countries are supposed to commit 2 percent of
their annual GDP to defense spending. Less than half of NATO countries actually do that.
In fact, the U.S.' contribution or spending is more than twice all of the other NATO countries combined. We know that Donald Trump didn't have a
problem standing up to allies, saying, look, you guys need to pay your fair share and to do your part.
The question is whether the Biden administration will do the same thing, Hala. The Biden White House saying, you know, that he wants to discuss
effective burden sharing, not quite the same kind of bombastic message that we heard from president Trump.
But we'll see if you can catch more flies with honey or whether the vinegar approach works a little bit better. Certainly a lot of things on the agenda
at the G7 and then at the NATO and E.U. meetings and obviously that meeting with President Putin next Wednesday as well.
GORANI: Right, absolutely. Now the Australian prime minister, the South Korean president, the South African president as well, not G7 members but
they are invited to the summit; India's prime minister Modi will be present but virtually because of the COVID-19 crisis unfolding in his country,
So you were talking about President Biden's message in terms of NATO contributions, his meeting with President Putin as well. And, I mean, the
tone certainly will be different, even if some of the messages will be similar to previous administrations.
GORANI: Because President Biden is wanting to tell the allies of the United States that, essentially, they are back, the United States, into the
fold of, you know, multilateralism and global cooperation.
MCLEAN: Yes. Joe Biden tonight, in his speech, sounded more like your standard issue U.S. President, if there is such a thing, sort of hitting on
all of the key points there.
And just before he touched down in England, the White House also announcing that the U.S. has made a deal with Pfizer to buy half a billion doses of
the Pfizer BioNTech shot to donate to countries around the world.
And even before that, Biden was showing up at this G7 summit with a commitment to give out 80 million doses to allies and to less fortunate
countries by the 4th of July.
Contrast that with some of the other G7 nations, where they're still struggling to vaccinate their own population; some obviously continued to
make donations. But Europe is still vaccinating its own population. Japan is well behind the U.K., saying we need to vaccinate our own people before
we can start giving things away.
Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, saying the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is really an example of global Britain at its best. But
domestically, that may not play quite as well here because Boris Johnson is taking a lot of heat for his decision to reduce foreign aid spending in
this country from 0.7 percent of GDP down to 0.5 percent.
That would still put them amongst the highest G7 countries but certainly not going over well with opposition leaders nor even members of his own
party -- Hala.
GORANI: All right, Scott McLean, live in London, thanks very much.
The U.S. President will be landing in Cornwall. He will have taken off from RAF Mildenhall in Cornwall around 11 pm on the schedule. But he's been
ahead of schedule for some of the other events throughout the evening. So we'll be keeping an eye on that.
This is President Biden's first foreign trip and first G7 meeting as president. It's also the first G7 in several years without Donald Trump at
the table. Earlier I asked CNN global affairs analyst Susan Glasser what difference that would make to the rest of the leaders in attendance.
SUSAN GLASSER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: For four years, there was an enormous amount of anxiety. Every time world leaders would get together on
the part of our European allies a real concern, what was Trump doing to do?
What was he doing to say?
Was he going to refuse to recommit to the NATO founding principal of collecting defense?
He did that at his first meeting.
Is he going to blow up the communique at the last minute?
That actually happened at the summit meeting in Canada. So they are pretty sure that Joe Biden will not do any of those things. In that sense, the bar
has been set pretty low for Biden on this first foreign trip because Donald Trump makes it easy for him to jump right over that and have a success in
the realm of personal diplomacy.
GORANI: You mentioned Quebec 2018, that famous photo of Donald Trump sitting with his arms crossed definitively with John Bolton to his right
and all the world leaders crowded around him.
That kind of just became a symbol of his -- of how he interacted, of his relationship with world leaders.
Moving on now, beyond Donald Trump, Joe Biden, what do the first few months in the White House for Joe Biden tell us about his approach to foreign
policy as he gets ready to meet the G7 leaders in Cornwall?
GLASSER: First of all, Biden has not just his tenure as president and vice president for Barack Obama but also years in the Senate, decades in the
Senate, including as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
His press secretary, Jen Psaki, joked earlier, when she asked what was he doing to prepare for this upcoming foreign trip, she said he's been
preparing for it for 50 years.
And I do think that it's a stage on which Biden feels comfortable, where he has relationships with some leaders. Although many of them are new to him
personally. He doesn't know or have a long tenure with Macron in France. This is Merkel's last major round of summit meetings.
This question of the transition in Germany will loom large absolutely over the gathering. But for Joe Biden, I do think he's made it very clear. He
sees the world as lining up right now as a contest between democracies and autocracies.
And it's putting the onus on his fellow allies. We have to show that democracy works if we're going to be in an existential competition with
China and Russia and others. And it's a big challenge to lay on the table.
GORANI: It's a big challenge because in the United States there's so many questions hanging over the process itself and in other parts of the world
I wonder, looking forward to the Biden-Putin meeting in Geneva next week, after those meetings between Biden and Donald Trump (sic) here, what do you
GLASSER: Well, look, the Biden-Putin summit obviously comes at the end of this round of diplomacy and that's by design. I think the Biden team in
Washington was concerned to make the messaging, hey, we're on the same page with our allies, unlike in the Trump era.
We're going to consult with them extensively. We're not looking to make some sort of a separate piece with Russia. We are quite the opposite,
looking to present a united front. That I think tells you a bit about the staging leading up to it.
But in truth, this summit meeting is more likely to produce some tough words on both sides than it is any concrete new agreements. Biden said he
wants to look Biden in the eye and tell him face-to-face, knock it off
GORANI: All right, Susan Glasser, thanks very much, speaking to me earlier.
President Biden gave a rather unusual warning to reporters this morning before he boarded Air Force One. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Watch out for the cicadas. I just got one. It got me.
GORANI (voice-over): Well, here you can see him, swatting the pesky cicada off his neck. Just hours earlier, so many cicadas invaded that the White
House press charter plane that it couldn't take off.
Airline officials had to call for a replacement jet, delaying the flight by more than six hours. The large flying bugs have swarmed the Eastern U.S. in
recent weeks and, thankfully, it's a phenomenon that happens once only every 17 years.
Most of the G7 leaders haven't arrived in England yet. Their likenesses are already standing tall near a Cornish beach.
This has been dubbed Mount Recyclemore. It's a Mount Rushmore-style sculpture depicting the G7 leaders' heads, built entirely out of electronic
waste. It's actually quite clever. This is obviously to highlight climate change and the environment and it is expected, these issues are expected to
be key issues on the table.
Foreign aid as well, we were discussing with Scott McLean, will be a key issue at the summit. And host Boris Johnson is already on the defensive. He
is facing major criticism over plans to cut the U.K.'s overseas aid spending. But in the House of Commons today, Johnson insisted that the move
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: We are in very, very difficult financial times. But you shouldn't believe the lefty propaganda, Mr.
Speaker, that you hear from people, we're spending 10 billion pounds.
We've actually increased -- we've increased -- you know, all they want to do is run this country down, Ms. Speaker, run this country down, when we've
-- when we've increased -- when we've increased spending on girls' education alone to half a billion pounds, almost half a billion.
That is a fantastic sum of money to be spending in difficult times, Ms. Speaker. We should be proud.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right, cutting foreign aid spending, they are defending that move in the House of Commons.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, is heading to the G7 as well, of course. But first, he is appealing to his own country men and women not to
act violently, no matter how angry they are.
This is after a constituent slapped him right across the face on Tuesday. Here's another look, caught on camera at that moment. It happened in the
southeast of France, where Macron was meeting restaurant owners. There you have it.
Security whisked him away. But he went right back, went right back to talk to the gathering crowd. This is ahead of today's easing of COVID-19
restrictions in France. And here is how Macron responded today to the incident.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): There is stupidity. And when stupidity combines with violence, it is unacceptable.
That's something else. It must not be mixed up.
I hear the anger. Anger is expressed in democracy. You know, I'm always going to meet people. I'm always going to contact within range of yelling,
as I say. And I care. People express their anger to me. Sometimes they're dismayed. And I'm always there. Sometimes I have the answer, other times I
I try to build it. Sometimes I get it wrong and other times I get it right. This is legitimate anger and we will always be there to respond to it.
Stupidity and violence, no; not in a democracy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, the man who slapped Macron was arrested, by the way, including someone who was accompanying him.
GORANI: Meantime, France is continuing to ease COVID restrictions implementing a new color-coded traffic light system for travelers today. It
means different rules will apply to travelers coming from countries designated green, orange or red. And it's depending on their vaccination
France also is allowing indoor dining at restaurants and cafes, with 50 percent capacity permitted inside and a maximum of six people per table.
And it is pushing back a nightly curfew by two hours. France is almost back.
China will not be present at the G7 gathering in Cornwall this week. It's not a member of this club. But Beijing's growing influence will be on the
agenda. The U.S. is looking to rally the world's democratic nations.
And before he left President Joe Biden told reporters that one of his main goals is making it clear to Vladimir Putin and to China that Europe and the
U.S. are once again tight.
The U.S. Senate is also concerned about China's increasing economic power. In a very rare bipartisan move, lawmakers passed a bill that would invest
some $200 billion in American technology and research.
It still needs to clear the House but the Senate Democratic leader says it's an important first step that will supercharge American innovation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), MAJORITY LEADER: Around the globe, authoritarian governments believe that squabbling democracies like ours
can't unite around national priorities.
They believe that democracy itself is a relic of the past and that, by beating us to emerging technologies, they, many of them autocracies, will
be able to research -- reshape the world in their own image. Well, let me tell you something, I believe they are wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right.
How did China react to all of this?
Because it is aimed partly at that country. CNN's David Culver has this.
DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is rare to see agreement on both sides of the aisle in Washington but, when it comes to China and
what the U.S. perceives to be a growing threat, not only an economic one but also a national security one, there is agreement, from the Senate in
particular, in moving forward with this bill that would allow the U.S. to put in billions of dollars into research and development, technology, all
in an effort to compete against what's happening here in China.
And China has seen great advancement in recent years and they have been pouring, likewise, billions into their own R&D as well as into their 5G
rollout. And it's caused greater concern for the U.S., in that it could be used in military operations as well, that likewise could threaten global
So the U.S. has this bill that is likely to go on to the House and then to President Biden and could likely become law. And that's causing Beijing to
react with a lot of anger and frustration, considering this to be a Cold War ideology.
They say that the U.S. is trying to contain China's growth and development and they simply say they will not stand by this moving forward.
However, it does look very likely that this will continue and not only will it continue from the U.S. but now you have President Biden, joining with
other world leaders at the G7. And China will very likely be one of the biggest topics and agenda items for those high-level discussions and
putting more pressure on Beijing, from an international perspective, and it will likewise see here probably some of the countering propaganda continue
And not only will that propaganda surface but it will also try to win over some of the developing nations, Western democracies aside, in trying to
perhaps even spread some of the influence that has already been tarnished a bit by the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in what has been perceived to have
been the mishandling of that here in China.
Going forward, it is likely to put more pressure on Beijing. They are standing by the line that this is the U.S. putting them in a corner and
trying to stop them from continuing on with their own development -- David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.
GORANI: All right.
Still to come tonight, Nicaragua intensifies its crackdown on political opponents of president Daniel Ortega just months before the next election.
Plus, how the threat of ransomware attacks is becoming more dangerous, more complex and more difficult to track. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Welcome back.
Police in Nicaragua have now detained seven opposition leaders within less than a week,, triggering international condemnation. And here's why.
Four of those arrested have announced their intention to run against longtime president Daniel Ortega in November's elections. The U.S. slapped
sanctions today on senior members of the Ortega regime, including his daughter, accusing them of helping undermine democracy. CNN's Matt Rivers
is following this story from Mexico City.
And it's difficult to come up with any other explanation other than, you know, they are trying to remove, from the equation, people who would run
against and challenge the authority of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Hala, there really isn't another explanation. If it was maybe one of these opposition figures,
if it was just money laundering, if they had provided any proof or evidence of charges against maybe that one candidate, maybe then you could think,
well, this is somehow legitimate.
But when you have seven different opposition candidates, four of whom are presidential candidates, and all of them are charged with these vague
national security laws, including things like ideological falsehood, which, who knows what that means, clearly these are laws that are being used by
the Nicaraguan government at their political will.
Their political will, in this case is, according to human rights activists, critics, regime watchers, everyone is saying, it's very clear that these
candidates and these opposition leaders are being forced out of the way ahead of these elections.
We saw this begin last week, with the arrest of the daughter of one of -- of a former presidential candidate, who actually beat Daniel Ortega in an
election back in 1990. She was widely seen as having a good chance at maybe beating him in November.
And yet just hours after she made her campaign announcement, she was arrested on money laundering charges in relation to a free press
organization that she runs in the country and also that ideological falsehood charge that I mentioned.
Since then, six more prominent figures have been arrested. And it's only Wednesday. So who knows what's going to happen next. We have seen two
people arrested today, three yesterday. It's anyone's guess where it goes from here.
GORANI: And this is part of a wider pattern of the regime cracking down on political opponents.
And one has to also wonder, I mean, will sanctions make any difference at all?
RIVERS: Well, it's a good question.
RIVERS: What we've seen is Ortega kind of try and stifle dissent for a long time now, going back to massive protests against this government in
2018. More than 300 people were killed, many by security forces there. That was the justification the government used to enact a lot of those national
security laws, quote-unquote, that I just mentioned.
But sanctions from the U.S. could have a devastating impact on the Nicaraguan economy if the U.S. government wants to do that. The Nicaraguan
economy relies on the U.S. for a big chunk of its economic activity.
However, you saw the sanctions levied today. These are very targeted sanctions against individuals. So it's not going to have a huge effect on
the broader Nicaraguan economy and that's going to be something that makes the U.S. government take a pause before they put in the kind of sweeping
sanctions like they did, for example, in North Korea, because that will create more economic migrants.
More economic migrants will go north to the United States. There is a migrant crisis on the U.S. southern border. All of this political turmoil
in Nicaragua is not happening in a bubble. And these are the calculations that the international community, led by the United States, is going to
GORANI: OK, Matt Rivers, thanks very much.
The world is seeing a marked and increasingly dangerous rise in ransomware attacks on government agencies, on food suppliers and everything in
between. Concerns about this are bound to be addressed at this week's G7. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on how this is becoming more complex and
more expensive for the victims.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): They feel almost daily now, cyberattacks. As we moved online with the pandemic,
crime moved with us. In the European Union last year, new figures obtained by CNN show significant cyberattacks doubled with hospitals horrifyingly
hit harder than before often with ransomware targeting private data.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of the pandemic a lot of services were online and that happened -- at the same time, this gives a lot of opportunities to
be able to explore abilities and systems.
WALSH (voice-over): The average cost of an attack doubled just so far this year to now $1.8 million. Say security experts, so far, the highest ransom
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe 50 million, five-zero, was the sum that I heard.
WALSH (voice-over): The latest, a so-called triple extortion. They don't just encrypt the data on your computer until you pay up or just threaten to
release it online. Instead, they use that data to attack your systems again and even to blackmail your customers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are trying to more purposeful. They try to penetrate as fully as possible so that they can extract as much money as
possible. If you're a customer of this company, whose data has been stolen, they will threaten to release your information or they'll also call your
other companies that are your partners.
WALSH (voice-over): And there's new ransomware known as far less attacks that don't require the human error of clicking on a suspicious link. They
seep into the operating system of your computer and never show up as a file on the hard drive.
Hard to know if it's even happened.
The solution, say experts, like with kidnappings, don't pay. But that's tough when privacy is key to a business' survival. This leaves police
following the money, usually the bitcoin.
Ransomware criminals DarkSide were behind the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attacks that froze up U.S. gas stations. The FBI quickly recovered half the
$4 million paid out as this graphic of the bitcoin short route shows the FBI traced its path relatively easily with the help of cybersecurity
Other scams, like the one on Twitter last year, are a lot more complex, with hundreds of cryptotransfers over months. It's in the real world,
though, they get caught.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Criminals want to cash out and euros or whatever. And so in a vast majority of cases we do see the funds sent to an exchange. If
that exchange is regulated then they should be identifying their customers and reporting any suspicious activity.
WALSH (voice-over): Still, it gets harder, with tricks like mixes that enable users' cryptocurrencies to get mixed together, like shuffling used
dollar bills, disguising their ownership.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's about identifying who the perpetrators are but also ensuring that it's very difficult for these criminals to cash out. It
means that there's less of an incentive to commit this kind of crime in the first place.
WALSH (voice-over): In short, don't pay the money. But if you already have, follow it -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, the U.S. pledges millions of vaccines to tackle the pandemic. And it wants other G7 countries to follow its lead.
We'll be right back.
GORANI: A quick recap of our top story this hour. The American president Joe Biden has officially kicked off his first trip abroad since taking
office. He arrived in England a short time ago with a message of solidarity for his European allies.
He says the U.S. is ready to reengage with its partners and remains committed to the NATO alliance. He delivered those remarks as he and other
leaders are preparing for the G7 summit. So a very different message from the one -- from the one that Donald Trump used to bring to these
gatherings. Nic Robertson tells us what's on the agenda.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: President Biden will be arriving late Wednesday. But if prime minister Boris Johnson will be
here to meet with him, they will have a bilateral on Thursday. And it's Friday when the other G7 leaders will get around the table together.
The first face-to-face G7 summit leaders' meeting in almost two years, strict COVID protocols will be observed. There's tight security around the
venue. Naval ships out to sea. Thousands of police drafted in from around the country.
The important things on the agenda will be dealing with the COVID pandemic, dealing with the economic impact of it and, most importantly, prime
minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting this event, said he wants to set a target of having every one globally vaccinated by the end of 2022.
These richer nations, these richest of the democracies, around the world, to help the poorer nations. Also on the agenda is helping education of
women in developing nations as well as global corporate taxation.
Some of that has already been nailed down by G7 finance ministers just over the past few days.
So these leaders will be doing what they like to do best, meeting face-to- face, not via a computer screen, hammering out what they consider to be the important global issues.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): And, in their minds, making the planet a better and safer place for us to live in -- Nic Robertson, CNN, Carbis Bay,
GORANI: Well, President Biden sits down with the British prime minister Boris Johnson Thursday. Johnson, of course, hosting this year's G7. And it
seems both men are pledging to reboot that special relationship, quote- unquote.
Downing Street says the two leaders will agree on a new, quote, "Atlantic charter." They will pledge to work together in key areas including
establishing a task force aimed at safely restarting transatlantic travel. The agreement is modeled on the original Atlantic Charter, a postwar pledge
between former British prime minister Winston Churchill and former U.S. president Franklin Roosevelt.
G7 leaders are expected to announce a comprehensive plan to end the pandemic. According to the U.S. national security adviser, this strategy
involves vaccines. He says the U.S. is leading distribution and is trying to rally other democracies as well.
In Brazil, a mass vaccination campaign appears to have contained a major outbreak in a small city. Nearly every adult there has been vaccinated and
it has led to a drastic decline in hospitalizations and deaths. Shasta Darlington has more.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Serrana, Brazil, the focus of a clinical study of vaccine immunity, these
parishioners' fears of the deadly coronavirus have given way to hope for a new beginning.
ELAINE APARECIDA DE OLIVEIRA, SERRANA RESIDENT (through translator): I think our city is privileged. The vaccine is a hope, a light in the midst
of all this darkness.
DARLINGTON: The campaign by Butantan Institute in partnership with Sao Paulo University of Medicine to vaccinate almost all 30,000 residents of
the City in Sao Paulo State with the Chinese Sinovac vaccine began in February, when roughly one out of every 20 people in Serrana had COVID-19.
MARCOS DE CARVALHO BORGES, PROFESSOR, RIBEIRAO PRETO MEDICAL SCHOOL, USP (through translator): More than 10,000 people go to work in other cities.
This leads to these infectious and contagious diseases. So this series of factors makes Serrana almost ideal.
DARLINGTON: And while full results will not be published until July. The preliminary data from the study has given a glimpse into the very real
possibility that the COVID-19 pandemic can be contained through mass vaccination.
RICARDO PALACIOS, CLINICAL RESEARCH MEDICAL DIRECTOR BUTANTAN INSTITUTE (through translator): The reduction rate for hospitalizations obtained
with the study is 86 percent in the entire population of Serrana. And the reduction in deaths was 95 percent.
DARLINGTON: In Brazil, a country with the second highest death toll from COVID-19 struggling to cope as the virus ravages its population. Those
figures giving researchers reason to celebrate.
PALACIOS: We were able to affirm with the study, it is possible to control the epidemic through vaccination. We do not need to isolate. Prevent the
transit of people to control the epidemic. Vaccination is the key.
DARLINGTON: These vaccine shortages throughout Brazil and most of the developing world replicating that success is easier said than done.
Reaching a level of predicted herd immunity like what appears to be on display and Serrana researchers say still requires vaccinating a minimum of
70 percent of the population. And with vaccine reluctance throughout the globe added to the mix, the order becomes even taller.
But here in Serrana there's reason to be grateful. Father Juliano Gomez, who once saw his parishioners united in grief as COVID took root and stole
the lives of so many loved ones, sees light returning to his community
REV. JULIANO GOMEZ, SERRANA RESIDENT (through translator): I see us establishing this opportunity for a new normal, which symbolizes a state of
more tranquility, health and hope. It is what the world is wanting. This is happening to us here in Serrana. That is why I'm very happy.
DARLINGTON: Serrana for now on display for what is possible, a spark of hope for the wider world still caught in the deadly grip of the COVID
pandemic -- Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.
GORANI: Joining me now from Seattle, Washington, is Orin Levine, the director of Global Delivery Programs at the Bill and Melinda Gates
Thanks for being with us. I'm sure you heard the news, that the U.S. is announcing that it is purchasing half a billion doses of the Pfizer vaccine
with the intent of distributing them over the next two years. I'm sure this, as far as you're concerned, is great news.
Is it enough?
DR. ORIN LEVINE, DIRECTOR GLOBAL DELIVERY PROGRAMS, BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION: It's the best news I got all day and it is a great start. I
certainly hope that the example being set is going to be replicated by a lot of other countries. Obviously, the U.S. is out in front in terms of
vaccinating their populations in a lot of ways.
LEVINE: But they're demonstrating a real commitment to it. And it is a great start and great news today.
GORANI: So as you know, distribution is a major, major issue. I mean, in Africa, for instance, the Democratic Republic of Congo returned 1.3 million
AstraZeneca doses to the COVAX facility because it knew it couldn't distribute them before those doses expired.
How do you overcome that?
LEVINE: Well, I'm glad you brought this up, because, look, it's been an absolutely historic and heroic effort to make vaccines against a virus that
the world has never seen before. Scientists and everybody came together to do that in a year.
We now need an equally heroic and historic effort to prepare the world to vaccinate everybody with those vaccine doses. It can be done. We have a lot
of experience around the world in mass vaccination, reaching everybody out there.
But it's going to take a big, big lift, lots of preparation in order to be able to make sure that countries are ready the minute the vaccines get
there. And we can turn vaccines into vaccinations and vaccinated people.
GORANI: So what needs to be done, then, to overcome some of those issues that have already been highlighted in the first few months of this
vaccination program and the attempt to roll out the vaccine in developing countries?
LEVINE: Yes. So there's a lot of great examples of countries getting set up and prepared to vaccinate really, really well.
India's a really striking example of where they put together all of the training, organizations and planning at a community level, so that people
were there to administer vaccines at the same time that the vaccines arrived in place. And the community was mobilized to show up at the same
It sounds like a really kind of simple thing; you get the vaccine there, you get the vaccinators there. You get people in place at the same time.
But there's a lot of complex planning and execution that goes into doing that successfully. And for what we're about to experience, with the
generosity of the U.S. donation, contributions that COVAX is going to make, countries are going to begin, toward the end of this year, to get big
volumes of vaccine.
And so preparing countries, making sure they have all the capabilities they need, to be able to vaccinate quickly and at a high level of throughput,
lots of people per day, that's the challenge that countries are facing right now and getting prepared for.
GORANI: So you're the director of Global Delivery Programs at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
What, in your experience, have you found to be the best way to get vaccination programs rolled out quickly in the harder-to-reach parts of the
LEVINE: I think there's a few real critical keys here. First is obviously making it a priority. When high-level political leadership says to the
apparatus, look, we're going to get this done and it's going to be a big priority, that's the first step.
The second is to really engage communities. We're learning over and over again that there are demand challenges in reaching this vaccine.
To me, it seems like a really simple problem. We've got a virus, to which no one's immune. We get immunity and the virus doesn't get a chance. But
actually building demand and trust in those services takes a lot of work and forward planning.
And then the third piece is the supply side, making sure that you have pre- positioned the right people, all the syringes, all the nurses, all the forms. That's all doable work and countries have a lot of experience.
But planning now for when those volumes of vaccines come in helps to ensure that we get it done really effectively.
GORANI: Because people in richer countries need to understand that, so long as the entire world is not vaccinated against this virus, it's not
just that other people will get sick, it's that the virus could mutate in other parts of the world and then come back into the more developed
countries, where people have been vaccinated.
And perhaps that vaccine will not inoculate them as effectively. I wonder if this message has been, you know, clearly sent to everybody who needs to
LEVINE: Yes. Hala, I'm glad you put it that way because, to me, it is a pretty simple thing. The virus just replicates, that's what it does. And it
only replicates when it gets to see somebody who's not immune.
LEVINE: So whenever we build a fence of immunity by vaccinating ourselves, it doesn't get a chance to replicate. When it does get a chance to
replicate, it gets a chance to evolve and to -- in the process of that evolution, sometimes evade the immunity that we had before.
So every person that gets vaccinated takes away a chance for the virus to evolve and evade our immunity. It just -- it helps everybody.
GORANI: It's clearly explained. Thanks very much, Orin Levine of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Thank you for joining us from Seattle. Really
And this just in to CNN. A Russian court has dealt a new blow to Alexei Navalny and his allies. It has declared the political movement and anti-
corruption foundation linked to the jailed Kremlin critic to be an extremist group.
The ruling means that members of those groups can not run in Russia's elections in September. In a statement posted on Instagram, Navalny said
his supporters will adapt and evolve in response to the ruling but will not retreat from their goals and ideas.
Still to come tonight, they are some of the richest men in the United States. They're the richest men in the world.
So how do they legally get away with paying little to no tax on their income?
GORANI: The richest Americans have legally paid little or zero federal income tax in some years, according to an investigative report by
ProPublica. Among them, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg and Warren Buffett. CNN chief business correspondent Christine Romans breaks it down for us.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When it's time to pay taxes, new reporting from ProPublica says the nation's top 25
richest people pay little to nothing at all.
The revelation after an anonymous source sent the publication years of tax returns from 1000s of the wealthiest Americans, including Warren Buffett,
Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk.
PAUL KIEL, REPORTER, PROPUBLICA: We had to work for months on this, to get it into a shape where we, you know, we're satisfied that it was, you know,
it was accurate and it was saying something clear.
ROMANS: Take a look at Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos.
ROMANS (voice-over): According to ProPublica's reporting back in 2007 his wealth increased $3.8 billion and paid nothing in federal income taxes.
Neither did Tesla Founder Elon Musk in 2018 and not a penny from George Soros for the three years between 2016 and 2018.
And it's all legal thanks to U.S. tax codes, which focus more on wages as opposed to investments which are usually taxed at lower rates. That's
something billionaires like Bezos can take advantage of along with complicated tax loopholes and write offs. ProPublica says while the now
richest man in the world's wealth grew $99 billion, between 2014 and 2018, he only paid 973 million in taxes at a rate of less than 1 percent.
KIEL: So if you like are Jeff Bezos and you're sitting atop this wealth and you're getting, you know, richer by the day, that doesn't get
transformed income, you don't have to put that on your tax return until you, you know, sell your stock generally.
ROMANS: And for Buffett, who has said in the past, he favors raising taxes for the rich, his wealth grew by $24 billion between 2014 and 2018. And the
amount of taxes paid 23.7 million or just 0.1 percent of his wealth. Buffet telling ProPublica tax codes should be changed substantially and huge
dynastic wealth is not desirable for our society.
According to ProPublica as analysis, the 25 richest Americans were worth $1.1 trillion by the end of 2018. It would take 14.3 million ordinary
American wage earners to make that same amount of wealth. The IRS and the FBI are now investigating this leak and the Biden administration says is
looking into the situation.
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Any unauthorized disclosure of confidential government information by a person with access is illegal. And
we take this very seriously.
ROMANS: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also emphasized President Biden's proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy to help finance his spending
PSAKI: We know that there is more to be done to ensure that corporations, individuals who are at the highest income, are paying more of their fair
GORANI: All right and that was Christine Romans reporting.
No comment to ProPublica from Bezos or Musk. Musk replied to the nonprofit publication with a question mark but did not reply to detailed questions.
A spokesperson for Soros, though, told ProPublica, between 2016 and 2018, George Soros lost money on his investments. Therefore, he did not owe
federal income taxes in those years. Mr. Soros has long supported higher taxes for wealthy Americans.
Speaking of money, real, virtual or otherwise, it may be a sign of the times but El Salvador is now the first country to adopt bitcoin as a
legally valid form of payment. A majority of lawmakers approved the proposal today. So bitcoin can be used alongside the U.S. dollar in El
The cryptocurrency is highly volatile. It crashed by more than half its value earlier this year after soaring above a record $60,000. But cryptos
can be helpful in poorer countries. They are held in a digital wallet, not in a bank. So people can have easier access to their money.
I'm not sure how ordinary Salvadorians will trade in bitcoins or spend bitcoins.
We're going to have a lot more coming to us -- coming to you from us here at CNN on this G7 meeting taking place in Cornwall in just a few minutes.
The U.S. President will be landing in New Key and will be making his way to the site of the G7 summit, which will start in earnest tomorrow.
Tomorrow, Thursday, is when the U.S. President will be meeting with the host of the G7 and that is, of course, the U.K. prime minister Boris
Johnson. Earlier, the U.S. President addressed U.S. troops in Suffolk County in England at RAF Mildenhall. And he essentially gave them a message
and the world a message, the U.S. is back.
There will be a lot more after a quick break on CNN. Thanks for being with us, everyone. I'll see you next time.
GORANI: Just a quick note, though, before I leave you, until we join the next program at the top of the hour, this is -- this G7 marks the first
since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. That means it's the first in recent years without Donald Trump.
That is sure to mean a change in tone. And I just wanted to remind you of what it looked like at the last G7 summit held in France in 2019. You can
see then president Trump, offering Emmanuel Macron one of his trademark lengthy handshakes. It went on and on and then there was that sideways hug.
And many of you remember this famous photo, capturing a moment of tense body language. That was snapped at the 2018 G7 summit in Quebec. You'll
remember last year's G7 summit did not take place because of the pandemic and because of the restrictions in place.
And in the last 1.5 years or so, all these international multilateral meetings have taken place virtually. So this is going to be an opportunity
for Joe Biden, the U.S. President, as president, to meet some of these world leaders for the first time, in some cases, in person. I'm Hala
Gorani, I'll see you next time. Stay with CNN, a lot more ahead.