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Hala Gorani Tonight
Jeff Bezos And Crew Complete Historic Space Mission; Tokyo Hits Highest COVID-19 Case-Count Since January; German Chancellor Merkel Visits Flood Zone; British Prime Minister Announces New Night Club Restrictions Hours After They Reopened; Athletes Experience COVID-19 Challenges And Setbacks; England Confronts Racism Following Attacks On Footballers. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired July 20, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Wild stuff, Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos travels to space and back, why the world's richest man is betting big
on the future of space travel. Plus, a broken bubble? This after a growing number of coronavirus cases linked to the Olympic games, we're live in
Tokyo where the opening ceremony are just days away.
And COVID confusion. After lifting restrictions, a u-turn from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, we'll have the latest details. So, in a
historic flight, the world's richest man made it to the edge of space today. Just hours ago, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his New Shepherd crew
launched from west Texas from a -- for a supersonic joyride that included a few minutes floating in microgravity. Here are the sights and sounds from
the historic flight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, guys.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mission of contractors, New Shepherd is go for launch. Boost set, command several -- lift up flight.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, command in start, two, one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On purpose --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can roll.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There, look at those. It's dark up here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First step, your booster has landed. Standby drone, standby drone. Welcome back to earth's first step. Congratulations to all
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Blue control, Bezos, best day ever.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
JEFF BEZOS, BUSINESS MAGNATE: My expectations were up here --
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: Yes --
BEZOS: And they were exceeded.
COOPER: Yes --
BEZOS: So, I'd say --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The zero G was certainly different than I thought it was going to be. And it was surprisingly natural to move around in that
environment. Which is not what I was anticipating.
BEZOS: That's really true. It felt like -- it was almost like we were evolved to be in zero G.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, I love it. I love it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: CNN space and defense correspondent Kristin Fisher was there, she is live from west Texas. Kristin, Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin, they set
expectations really high. We just heard Jeff Bezos say that himself. And they delivered on absolutely everything.
KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE & DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: They sure did deliver. But boy, it did take them a long time to get here. I mean, Jeff Bezos
founded this company 21 years ago. It took much longer than expected to get to this point. But, that is space.
That is common for governments all over the world from NASA to Russia to China, but also with private companies. And so, it took them a while, but
they delivered today. This was a perfect textbook flight of the New Shepherd reusable sub-orbital rocket system. Those four crew members took
They got those few minutes of weightlessness and then that perfect landing at both the booster and the capsule. So, Cyril, you know, I don't think
that anybody could have hoped for a better flight.
If you're a member of the big Blue Origin team and afterwards, if you went into the press center, they were playing "we are the champions". So, we got
a little taste of just how excited they were before that press conference that took place. Cyril?
VANIER: You know, what continues to surprise me about the whole thing is -- and it's almost a disappointment, is how quick it was. I mean, space and
back in 10 minutes. Describe what that was like watching from your little corner of west Texas.
FISHER: Well, it was pretty cool. I mean, after -- you know, we had ten years where -- almost ten years where we didn't get to watch any American
astronauts launch into space from U.S. soil after the retirement of the space shuttle fleet. They had to hit right on Russian-so used rocket. And
so over the last year and a half really, after this nearly decade-long drought, we finally got to see that again first with SpaceX, then with
Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, and then today with Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin.
But it was something to see in the desert here in a very remote stretch of west Texas. We could see the rocket lift off from the launch pad right
behind me, it's a much smaller rocket, just about 60 feet tall because this is a sub-orbital craft, but you could see it, everybody was cheering, the
excitement was high.
And then you could also see as the booster landed back on the launch pad, just about two miles away from the launch -- from the launch pad, it landed
on a landing pad, excuse me. And you could also see the capsule, the three big parachutes opening up as they gently helped that capsule descend back
down to earth.
And Cyril, those three parachutes are really a perfect example of why Blue Origin believes that this is the most safe spacecraft capsule and booster
system that has ever been designed. Because if one of those parachutes fails, they have a backup system. A rocket will fire underneath the capsule
to provide a gentle landing, and even if there's only one parachute that comes out, they have contingencies for that to make it work. So, it was
just incredibly cool to see it all come together and work for this first man flight.
VANIER: Kristin Fisher --
VANIER: Look, thank you very much, we were watching as you were talking, the footage of the capsule landing with the parachutes, and it does look
like almost peaceful. Kristin, thanks. Let's talk to someone who has been into space, even beyond the altitude that Jeff Bezos reached today.
Chris Hadfield is a decorated former astronaut and commander of the International Space Station, he is in Ontario, Canada, coming to us live.
You've done it all, Chris, you've flown three space missions, done two space walks, you've even recorded a David Bowie cover from space. What was
your reaction to what you saw today?
CHRIS HADFIELD, ASTRONAUT: I'm just delighted. This is a very difficult thing to do. And you know, you just said, yes, it was a very short space
flight, very short space flight after 21 years of vision and development and you know, paying thousands and thousands of people's wages, and trial
and error and 15 flights. But today was really the door getting kicked open.
Real people onboard a ship getting up to the bottom edge of space and safely back down to the ground again. That to me, this is an amazing
Summer. You know, Virgin Galactic, a week and a half ago, SpaceX is going to put people into orbit, private people in September and this success
today. It's -- we've been waiting a long time for this capability to be developed and just great to see it proven here today.
VANIER: So, I should say to viewers that you're an adviser to Virgin Galactic, also I believe to SpaceX. Does that mean you're rooting for the
other team, perhaps?
HADFIELD: No, I'm trying to help everybody that wants help. I work with multiple space companies and run a space foundation for lunar settlement
and run a space technology incubator. I've learned a lot in my career as a test pilot and an astronaut over many decades and NASA's director in
Russia. And so, anybody that I can possibly help to take this technology on its next steps, I'm really delighted to be part of it.
VANIER: Bezos if you were having dinner with him tonight.
HADFIELD: I have -- I had dinner with Jeff Bezos, well, I would -- you know what I would do? I would get him to tell me in extreme excruciating detail
every little thing that he remembers about what happened --
VANIER: Or you'd compare notes. You'd compare notes.
HADFIELD: No, not me. No, I've done this for years and flown in space three times and lived on orbit, but this is his space flight experience, and he
needs to come to terms internally with exactly what he experienced so that then he can decide what he's going to do moving forward now.
How is he going to let this experience shape his future decisions and share it with other people, but this is the moment to really think back. This
happened and this happened and then I felt this way. Write it down right now before he forgets and it all gets sort of blurred into something that
happened that one day in Texas.
VANIER: Well, so that's really interesting. Tell me a little bit more about that. Why do you think -- so you're telling us that you think it changes
you to go into space. And as I say the words, I realize that's not all that surprising, perhaps. How does it change you?
HADFIELD: No matter what you do, it changes you. But some things are quite profound. If you go into the Sistine Chapel and spend some time looking at
that artistry on the ceiling or walk into a giant redwood forest and just think about what you're looking at, you know how to shift your perspective
of human talent or of a perspective of time.
And to fly in space, to see the world where you're way above the blue of the atmosphere, where it's like an onion skin around the world, and you're
up in the blackness and you're weightless and you're seeing for thousands of miles, how are you going to integrate that into the rest of your life?
Is this just a piece of popcorn that you ate or is this a difference of perspective that can shift your future, you know, ideas and decision-
And that's a personal question. Some people can walk through the Sistine Chapel and you know, just wonder about what's for dinner. But, you know,
more fool they, I think. The wonder of life is all around us. And these four people today joined a tiny little group of human beings who have
experienced something that we've only been dreaming about for thousands of years. So I think it's really important for all four of them, not just
Jeff, but all four of them to think about what this means to them and how they're going to, you know, move forward from now on.
VANIER: I wonder, does any part of you have any reservations about commoditizing, beginning to commoditize space travel?
HADFIELD: Oh, all of my space flights were commoditized. You know, the ship shuttle was built by Rockwell, paying all those employees and you know,
every piece by the lowest bidder, and the space station was managed by Boeing. I mean, business is important. That's how the economy runs. That's
how people get fed, that's --
VANIER: But we're talking about space tourism here. We're talking about space tourism --
HADFIELD: No, but --
VANIER: Unprofessionals into one train --
HADFIELD: In the 1980s --
VANIER: Just paying money and going up into space --
HADFIELD: In 1980s, we flew senators on the space shuttle. You know, and they sat in the mid --
VANIER: Is that comparable to what we're doing today?
HADFIELD: They didn't operate the vehicle. No, I mean, they were there for various reasons. Christa McAuliffe lost her life as a teacher on board. So,
you know, it's not everybody on board a spaceship that needs to be a test pilot like myself. We need to take people up there who have different
perspectives, different skill sets, different abilities to express it.
I wish some of our great artists get a chance to fly in space, because, you know, imagine all of the wonderful art that exists in the world, if no
artist had ever been allowed to travel to any of the locations where they were inspired. This is a third dimension to that. And it's only going to
happen if we do things like happened today.
VANIER: Former commander of the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield, we really appreciate your time today -- hold on. Before I let you
go, you have a book coming out and it's relevant because it's "The Apollo Murders", a space thriller that sounds fun. I think our viewers really
enjoyed your time today. So, they'll be looking out for that in a few months. Thank you. Also days --
HADFIELD: Thank you, Cyril --
VANIER: Ahead of the Olympic games -- you're welcome -- days ahead of the Olympic games, opening ceremony, a public health expert says the Olympic
Village is quote, "kind of broken". This after a number of cases of the coronavirus linked to the games, some of which are actually residents of
the Olympic Village. Selina Wang has more from Tokyo.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three days before the opening ceremony, the head of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee is not ruling
out a last-minute cancellation of the games as COVID-19 cases surge in Tokyo.
"We cannot predict what the epidemic will look like in the future", he said, "so, as for what to do, should there be any surge of positive cases?
We'll discuss accordingly if that happens." Infections are already creeping up among athletes and those connected to the Olympics. That includes Kara
Eaker, an alternate for the U.S. gymnastics team. Eaker will return to the U.S. after ten days isolation. Her unvaccinated teammate, 17-year-old
Leanne Wong is in isolation as a close contact according to her coach.
This so-called bubble of the Olympic Village has also been punctured with several positive COVID cases detected among the South African soccer team.
Tokyo officials insist the village is still safe.
MASA TAKAYA, SPOKESMAN, TOKYO 2020: The IOC and Tokyo 2020. Obviously, it is clear that the Olympic Village is a safe place to stay.
WANG: But health experts say the wider strategy of keeping foreign visitors away from locals is failing.
KENJI SHIBUYA, PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERT: It's obvious that public trust in it is kind of broken. So there seems to be some sort of interaction between,
you know, guests and visitors and also local people.
WANG: Tokyo officials insists they are containing the situation with only a few dozen cases among some 22,000 foreigners who have arrived for the games
BRIAN MCCLOSKEY, CHAIR OF INDEPENDENT EXPERT PANEL FOR IOC: If I thought all the tests that we did were going to be negative, then I wouldn't bother
doing the tests in the first place. And the numbers we're seeing are actually extremely low. They're probably lower than we expected to see if
WANG: And the advanced testing requirement is filtering out positive cases before people even fly into Japan, including 17-year-old American tennis
star Coco Gauff who tested positive in the U.S. before flying. And Katie Lou Samuelson from the U.S. Women's Basketball team who tested positive
despite being vaccinated.
Two players from Mexico's Olympic baseball team also tested positive and won't travel to Japan. But with more transmissible variants like the Delta
and over 11,000 athletes descending on Japan for more than 200 countries, fears are growing about the risk to those visiting Tokyo and the local
VANIER: CNN's Selina Wang joins us live now from Tokyo. Salina, one of the officials in your story made a good point, which is the whole point of the
testing system is to catch COVID positive cases. So, with that in mind, is it fair to say that the Olympic bubble at this moment in time is broken?
What's not working if it is broken?
WANG: Well, Cyril, for months, I've been talking to public health experts who say it's just not possible to keep this huge Olympic safe bubble with
something as massive as the Olympic games. You've got more than 80,000 participants coming from more than 200 countries. So, Cyril, you can
definitely try and limit contact, but completely separating them, they say is just not possible.
I spoke to Kenji Shibuya; the public health expert in my piece there, and he tells me that he's worried about potential spillover from these Olympic
community positive COVID tests into the broader population where just 20 percent of the population here in Japan is fully vaccinated.
He has criticized the fact that participants are not required to quarantine for the full 14 days. He also says it's impossible to fully track people's
movements even though there is contact-tracing and regular testing. He also brings up the fact that vaccines are not required, although the majority of
Olympic athletes will be vaccinated. And as we are seeing over and over again, vaccines are not a 100 percent.
VANIER: So, if the bubble is broken or at least if it's fallible, then doesn't that potentially jeopardize the whole thing, the whole Olympic
WANG: Well, Cyril, we did just hear there from the head of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee saying that he's not ruling out a last-minute
cancellation depending on how the COVID-19 situation develops. But these organizers continue to insist that they can hold these games safely.
They show the fact that people are testing positive before they leave Japan, when they get to Japan, that they are being caught at these various
stages. They say that, that means it's actually working. But Cyril, the big question is, can they keep this up when all of the participants, tens of
thousands of more people are still yet to arrive.
And the other question is how many athletes are going to lose their chance to compete as a result of testing positive right before the games start?
So, Cyril, still a lot of questions about what these games are going to look like. And right now, here in Tokyo, the picture isn't looking pretty.
You have Tokyo reporting nearly 1,400 new COVID-19 cases, that's the second highest level in six months. Tokyo is still under a state of emergency, and
people here quite frankly, are anxious.
VANIER: That and the games haven't even began yet. Selina Wang, thank you for your reporting. And still to come tonight, Angela Merkel pays a visit
to Germany's disaster zones. Why her government is accused of failing to prepare for those devastating floods. That's next. Also, British Prime
Minister Boris Johnson announces new COVID-19 restrictions on the very same day England officially reopened. We'll have details and a live report
VANIER: This just in. A stunning new allegation in the Pegasus spyware scandal. French newspaper "Le Monde" published an article saying that the
Moroccan government put a phone number belonging to French President Emmanuel Macron on a list of potential targets for the spying software. The
paper says more than a dozen other government ministers were added to that list of potential targets as well.
"Le Monde" says in the report that it cannot confirm whether any of the phone numbers were actually infected by Pegasus. And the Moroccan
government is denying the allegations, calling them untruthful and baseless. A source in the Elysee Palace tells CNN that if these allegations
are true, they are, of course, quote, "very serious."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting flood zones Tuesday. She's in a historic spa town devastated by months worth of rain in the space of just
one day. Between Germany and Belgium, nearly 200 people are dead, hundreds more are missing. And Miss Merkel is facing questions over why officials
weren't better prepared for the disaster that unfolded. Fred Pleitgen joins us now from Bad Neuenahr in Germany. Fred, so how did the survivors react
to the chancellor's visit?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, we were there in Bad Munstereifel today, Cyril, and most people certainly
weren't against Angela Merkel's visit there. I think the feeling here in these flood zones is that yes, probably more could have been done to warn
people about the impending floods and especially as the water was rising so quickly. But that after that, the response to the floods, after the
disaster has happened, that went fairly well.
Obviously, Germany managed to move in a lot of very heavy equipment, a lot of its teams very quickly to try and really help the people who are there,
and of course, a lot of volunteers came in as well. Now, what the people there really wanted to hear from Angela Merkel is what was going to come
next, whether or not they were going to get the money to rebuild, and also direct very fast aid to help them with their most immediate needs.
And that's certainly something where Angela Merkel said that yes, there is going to be support coming from the federal government here in Germany very
quickly. Let's listen in to what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR, GERMANY (through translator): The point here is that on the one side, aid is immediately paid out and bureaucratically,
together with the state. The state will decide this on Thursday, the state premier told me, and then we will together do everything we can so that the
money quickly reaches people who often are left without nothing other than what they're wearing, and who are therefore depending on the support.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: At the same time, of course, Cyril, a lot of these cleanup efforts are still in very much in their early stages. We saw that in Bad
Munstereifel today where really large parts of the inner city were devastated by the flooding. It's a beautiful medieval town with a lot of
history, which has actually had some big floods in the past. So, those people really looking for help very quickly, and at the same time, of
course, still very much involved with trying to clean up at this very moment. There is, however, also a long view that I think is taking hold
And that was something that we heard today, which really seems very interesting, is that a lot of these German states and also the German
government are thinking how are they going to rebuild after this flooding took place because of the climate change that's going on, and because they
believe that natural disasters like the one that we saw here is going to be -- or are going to be more frequent in the future.
It's interesting because one of the state governors here in Germany, in fact, from one of the states that was most heavily affected, he said that
they want to draft what he calls an infrastructure adaptation law simply because they believe that there are going to be more natural disasters in
the future and they have to make the infrastructure fit to be able to cope with such natural disasters. Cyril?
VANIER: Fred Pleitgen. Fred, what's life like at the moment for survivors in these hard-hit areas? Because you've been telling us over the last few
days that --
PLEITGEN: Yes --
VANIER: Infrastructure has been hit, and that takes a while to get back up.
PLEITGEN: Well, I'll tell you what, it's really difficult for a lot of the folks who are living in those areas. In fact, the place where I'm standing
right here, Bad Neuenahr, a lot of this town still doesn't really have power. Water is still a big issue, people have to obviously cook water if
they're going to use it at all.
Many of them don't even have running water and then just getting basic supplies, that is still something that is very difficult. But I think one
of the things that we've noticed everywhere that we've gone in the areas that have been the worst affected, is that the solidarity that people are
feeling with folks who are coming over, with folks who want to lead -- who want to lend a helping hand.
That really is something that is lifting spirits. In fact, right across on the other side of the river is the part of town that's called Ahrweiler,
they raised all the town's flags with a symbol of the town on it simply because they found so much solidarity and they want to show that they
obviously want to rise from this devastation that has taken place.
And there really is a good deal of optimism despite all the horrible things that have happened of course, in this town alone, more than a 100 people
were killed. That they're going to rise again and they're going to rebuild and they say rebuild better than things were before. Cyril.
VANIER: Fred Pleitgen in Bad Neuenahr, Germany, thank you very much. The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing backlash for what critics
are calling the government's confusing COVID-19 response. On the same day England officially dropped nearly all of its coronavirus restrictions, the
prime minister announced new safety measures.
Starting in September, those going to night clubs and other crowded venues will require proof of vaccination. It comes as new infections are surging
across the U.K., driven mainly of course by the Delta variant.
CNN's Scott McLean joins me now from London. Scott, so walk me through this. Me and a lot of other people who are a little confused. Anyone can go
to a night club, but beware, because in two and a half months, the government will take action.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Cyril, I'll go slow because you're absolutely right. It is all a little bit confusing, and as you mentioned,
this is all against the backdrop of the U.K. having near-record high daily case counts. And so, to see these images of people going into night clubs,
no masks, no social distance, no requirement to show that you've been vaccinated or you have a negative test, it's all a little bit jarring.
But that was exactly the scene that played out really at night clubs across England at the stroke of midnight on Sunday when they were finally allowed
to reopen. And so now, Boris Johnson; the British Prime Minister is in this odd position where on the one hand, he's telling night clubs, you are free
to reopen, there are no laws that apply to you that can restrict people from entering.
On the other hand, there is government guidance on who you should let in. Requiring negative tests, requiring proof of vaccination or natural
immunity, and you should follow those, and if you don't, well, there might be consequences. Here's what he said yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: There's evidence from countries that have had a particular problem with the opening of night
clubs. What we're repeating today is we want night clubs to behave responsibly, use the COVID NHS app. We'll reserve the right to go to
mandation for that if we -- if we have to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MCLEAN: So he mentions other countries. We saw Israel make a u-turn on night clubs, we saw the Netherlands also shut down night clubs just two
weeks after they had opened, and also re-imposed restrictions on restaurants as well after daily case counts shot up 500 percent in just the
span of one week. The Dutch prime minister even had to apologize for opening up too quickly.
The British government clearly recognizes that night clubs are frequented by young people. The vast majority of whom are not fully vaccinated, which
is why they're giving clubs this guidance to make sure that they're not letting people in who might be infected with the virus.
But night clubs are free to do what they want, and we know that many night clubs are not going to be enforcing these rules, in fact, some night club
owners who spoke with CNN said that they might be inclined to, you know, enforce rules on who can and cannot come in if it were mandated across the
board. But in the absence of those rules, you know, being the enforcer of the rules is only encouraging people to go elsewhere where clubs might not
be enforcing the rules at all or they might be a little bit less strict.
And so the question though for the government is, why not just make it mandatory to show a negative test or to show vaccination or natural
immunity today which would address the government's concern about being discriminatory to people who haven't had a chance to get both shots of the
The prime minister was asked that yesterday, he didn't give a direct answer. He only warned that as you said, come the end of September when all
young people over 18 have had a chance to get both shots of the vaccine, you will be required to show that negative test will not be good enough.
That is bound to be controversial. It may also result in more people actually going out and getting the shot.
There's about 12 percent of people in this country, of adults in this country, who have not gotten any doses of the vaccine. The government is
trying to shrink that number. This may help.
VANIER: Yes. There are a lot of COVID questions that the British prime minister hasn't been getting straight answers to recently. That's just one
of them. Scott McLean in London, thank you very much.
Later in the show I'll talk to an epidemiologist about the British government's latest COVID-19 plan and what he makes of England's decision
to wait two more months before requiring vaccine passports at nightclubs.
Still to come tonight, is there anything that money cannot buy?
Richard Quest joins us to discuss commercial space travel after Jeff Bezos makes a historic flight today.
And years of training to get to the Olympics, only to have your Olympics dreams dashed by COVID-19. How some athletes are dealing with the
challenges of the coronavirus.
VANIER: Back now to our top story. More on the world's richest man, who made history today by blasting off into suborbital space. That's got a nice
ring to it.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his New Shepard crew launched this morning from west Texas. They took this wild ride in a capsule and rocket system
developed by Bezos' company, Blue Origin. About 11 minutes after takeoff, Bezos and crew parachuted safely back down to Earth.
Later Bezos said that space tourism is about much more than just adventure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF BEZOS, FOUNDER, BLUE ORIGIN: Big things start small and you -- but you can tell. You can tell when you're onto something. And this is important.
BEZOS: We're going to build a road to space so that our kids and their kids can build a future. And we need to do that. We need to do that to solve the
problems here on Earth. This is not about escaping Earth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Space tourism. Taking the ultrawealthy on joyrides to float around in microgravity. Blue Origin says that the market does exist. It points to
the 7,500 people who signed up to bid on a seat on one of their flights. Our very own Richard Quest joins us now with more on the business behind
the billionaire space race.
Richard, let me give you the specs before I get your take, the specs on these two products that are becoming available now to the public. Blue
Origin takes you 100 kilometers above the Earth. Virgin Galactic just 86 kilometers, which doesn't actually meet the international definition of
space, by the way.
The price, not yet known for Blue Origin but Virgin Galactic will charge you about 200 grand, Richard.
And flight time, I feel this is important, 11 minutes with Bezos' company, 90 minutes if you're flying Richard Branson.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR AT LARGE: But you see, you're talking about a difference here. The difference is Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin does
it quick and does it fast and gets it done. A bit like Amazon itself.
Now look at Richard Branson. He is selling you a whole experience, flying off to the space port; 90 minutes taking off. In a true Virgin packaging it
up, branding it way, he's giving you a full 90 minutes for your quarter of a million. Now you and I can argue about which is the most space-alistic
VANIER: I haven't told you about the windows, Richard, by the way. The windows are bigger with Bezos. That's a big advertising feature for them.
QUEST: It's Amazon. It delivers.
QUEST: I think the reality here, of course, is this fundamental criticism that it's rich men and their toys. And I don't have a lot of truck for it,
frankly. There were oceanliners where only the very wealthy could cross between London and New York. There were days on the 707 and the Convairs
and the Constellations across the Atlantic. And only the wealthy could travel.
Now we can all pop on a plane when they are flying in pre and post COVID times. The reality is, you have to look at these very rich men as the
patrons of science of the future. Now unlike King Ferdinand or King James or King Charles or any of the really wealthy ones that paid for the great
explorers, of Magellan and Columbus, unlike any of them, this lot wanted to get in on the act.
Ego, maybe. But Bezos, Musk and Branson are paying for the next stage of what will be normal perhaps when you and I are long since gone.
VANIER: Well, OK. So you're going to like this, then. Let me put up a UBS forecast for what could become a much bigger industry if space travel
starts to replace a fraction of long haul flights.
They estimate that 5 percent of flights that currently last more than 10 hours could in a couple decades be replaced by space flights. A $20 billion
QUEST: No, yes but no.
VANIER: Yes but no?
QUEST: Yes but no. So the idea is that a plane takes off and flies and flies at about anywhere between 30,000 to 45,000 feet across the Atlantic
or wherever it's going. But these planes would take off and they would literally go ballistic.
They will be hyperflights, go right into the edge of space and come down near the side. And that's where you get your Tokyo, Los Angeles in two
hours, your London to L.A. in a matter of an hour if not less.
Is that likely?
Highly likely if we can get the costs right.
We know how to do it.
Can we get the costs right?
You're talking about an amalgam of all these space things. What you can't do, Cyril, is look for certainty. And that's the difference between now and
the 16th and 17th century. When money was put up for people to go to explore, now we say, oh, here's somebody but I want a guarantee.
And can you please tell me what commercial opposition?
Remember, the great spice routes to the East and the trade routes to the West were discovered because somebody paid somebody else to go in a ship
and risk their lives to see if there was a better way of getting tobacco home. That's how it starts. And this is a modern day version of it.
VANIER: Richard, how long before you host a -- an edition of "BUSINESS TRAVELLER" into space?
QUEST: Hello and welcome to CNN "BUSINESS TRAVELER." This one is reporting from -- but where would you go?
So you know, I think if you're talking about just which one looked more space-ified, clearly Bezos.
QUEST: Bezos' had all the space paraphernalia.
VANIER: You went with the windows. You went with the windows.
QUEST: It went up like a rocket, whereas Branson's goes up like a plane, lands like a plane. But my feeling is Branson's is the one that will have
the most commercial opportunities; meanwhile, Musk is the one that will make the most money.
VANIER: Richard Quest, really appreciate your time tonight. Thank you very much.
QUEST: Thank you.
VANIER: Still to come tonight on the show, in two months, night clubs in England will require proof of vaccination. But COVID cases in the U.K. are
surging right now. I'll talk to a British epidemiologist and get his take when we come back.
VANIER: Let's go back to the U.K. now and an announcement by the British prime minister that critics say only adds to the COVID-19 confusion.
Starting in late September, proof of full vaccination will be required at night clubs and other crowded venues in England. But that is two months
away. In fact, a little more than two months away.
And new infections are surging in the U.K. right now. The government just reported the highest number of COVID deaths since March. Let's talk about
this with Keith Neal, an emeritus professor of the epidemiology of infectious diseases at the University of Nottingham. He joins me now from
Keith, there's really mixed messaging, to put it kindly, from the government here. They've lifted restrictions but they're urging businesses
to impose their own restrictions. They will impose COVID-19 passports but not now.
Does all this make sense to you from a health standpoint?
DR. KEITH NEAL, EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF EPIDEMIOLOGY OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES, UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM: It's not what I would have done. But I think
anybody can say that really. I think masks should have been kept in any public areas. They really don't cost very much. It doesn't impact people,
And if people who need to lip read, they can request the mask be lifted. And when the children's hospital in the northwest has provided clear masks
for the staff so the children can see the face.
With respect to COVID passports, I went to the open gulf down in Kent at the weekend and I had to have a COVID passport that was checked both times
I went in, to show that I've been vaccinated.
You can also get a COVID passport if you've had COVID in the last six months or you've tested negative in the last few days, depending on whether
it's PCR or a lateral flow device test.
NEAL: I think the main reason we opt for a double vax, fully vaccinated situation now is because people are worried about people claiming, I've
been discriminated against. I can't go into a night club because I haven't had the chance to have two doses of vaccine.
Actually, by the end of August, every 18-year old could have had their vaccine done. At the open gulf, the local public health teams and the
(INAUDIBLE) gulf people organized a vaccine clinic at the home (ph) open and we did nearly 2,000 people. And that's against a background of 30,000
people a day.
Some are children; couldn't vaccinate those. Probably 70 percent had already received both vaccines, people like myself. And others would have
recently had it. So that's -- the main thing to be that people hadn't gotten around to doing it but were willing to have the vaccine.
So I think we need two things. Mostly, we need people to get it done and make it easier for them.
VANIER: But the thing about night life -- and night clubs specifically -- is they are the absolute worst environment in terms of spreading the virus.
And this is not moral condemnation. And correct me if I'm wrong, this just is science.
We're talking about enclosed spaces, a lot of people not wearing masks, rubbing up against one another. Usually there's alcohol.
Is it reasonable to reopen night clubs with all respect for that industry, which had been shut for 1.5 years in this country, as in many other
Is it reasonable to reopen now before everybody is vaccinated?
NEAL: Actually, I would have -- what I would have done is I would have made it illegal to sue for discrimination on the grounds of age and make it
compulsory for a double jab for any vaccinated people to go into these places.
There comes a time when we have to say, well, you're not really -- are you -- are we that worried about discrimination or are we worried about people
And it appears that there's already one lawyer quoted, COVID, the gift that keeps on giving.
VANIER: Again on clubs, because I want to drill down on this. The Netherlands tried this last month. They reopened clubs because COVID cases
were low. They kept them open for two weeks and realized, from a health standpoint, it was a glaring mistake because they had a surge in cases they
traced back to the opening of night clubs. So they shut everything down.
You're saying that is not what you would have done?
You would not be shutting down nightclubs; you would just impose a COVID passport, is that right?
NEAL: Yes, because we know that the COVID-19, fully vaccinated people are in the order of over 90 percent less likely to catch COVID. And you're
also, even after one dose, 50 percent less likely to transmit it if you're in the 10 percent that actually catch it. So that's actually a reduction
risk of transmission of over 95 percent.
The bottom line is we can't -- are you suggesting that even when we've vaccinated everybody, we don't open up parts of society?
Because there actually comes a time when we actually have to make decisions.
VANIER: Well, that's really interesting, Keith. And it adds to the conversation that we started around this whole so-called Freedom Day
reopening yesterday, of where do you put that marker between obviously liberties and letting people do what they want versus the level of
vaccination we have in the country?
Thank you for adding your voice to the conversation, today. We appreciate it.
NEAL: Thank you.
VANIER: Japan has now reported dozens of COVID cases linked to the upcoming Olympics. Officials say at least three athletes inside the Olympic Village
have been infected and that's just the latest obstacle to hit the 2020 games and its participants. As CNN's Will Ripley reports, some athletes
have already dealt with months of setbacks.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even Olympians are not immune from the cruelty of COVID-19. The pandemic striking some of the world's top
athletes, including a U.S. gymnast just days before the opening ceremony.
Catching COVID early this year cost Priscilla Loomis more than eight weeks of training. The American Antiguan high jumper still has trouble breathing.
PRISCILLA LOOMIS, ANTIGUAN U.S. HIGH JUMPER: Absolutely devastated. I am heartbroken. I'm in healing right now. I'm in mourning.
RIPLEY: Loomis says she ignored doctor's advice and kept training but failed to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
LOOMIS: This was a -- this was my final -- this was my final curtain bow.
RIPLEY: British Oonah Cousins qualified for the Olympics in March 2020. She came down with a serious case of long COVID leaving her with chronic
OONAH COUSINS, BRITISH ROWER: I'm really struggling to exercise still, kind of by comparison, I was doing like 30, 35 hours of training a week when I
was well and now I can probably do like 320 minute sessions in a week super lightly.
RIPLEY: And this is more than a year later?
COUSINS: Yes. I just really struggled with really intense fatigue.
RIPLEY: Cousin's calls her coronavirus battle and emotional rollercoaster.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We are dealing with a disease that we didn't even know how to define a year ago.
RIPLEY: CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta says researchers don't fully know why the virus hits some people harder than others.
GUPTA: So if you're an athlete, you could have symptoms from COVID that lasts a long time and really impact your performance for a long time as
RIPLEY: Are these athletes putting themselves at risk if they're coming here?
GUPTA: I think it's really tough to justify bringing 206 countries states and territories together in the middle of a pandemic.
RIPLEY: A risk Vinesh Phogat is willing to take. The Indian wrestler is a gold medal favorite. Number one in her category. She says postponing
competition by a year was an even bigger challenge than catching the coronavirus.
VINESH PHOGAT, INDIAN WRESTLER (through translator): Well, first starting system I had to start my training again from scratch. It was very
RIPLEY: Surging cases in Japan and the world mean Olympians won't have fans in the stands cheering them on. Nobody knows if nearly empty venues will be
enough to stop the Summer Games from becoming a super spreader event at Tokyo 2020 not just Olympic dreams, lives are on the line -- Will Ripley,
VANIER: A great report there. And still to come tonight, more than a week on from England's heartbreaking loss at Euro 2020 and the racist fallout of
that. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz checks in on how this diverse team is driving change in the country.
VANIER: Recent racist attacks against three England football players sparked a national conversation here on race inequality. A mural of one of
the athletes, Marcus Rashford, was vandalized with obscenities after the team lost the final match of the European championship.
CNN's Salma Abdelaziz reports from what is now a very different scene in Manchester.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER (voice-over): On an unassuming street corner in Manchester, something special is happening. A new generation is learning
about an issue long considered taboo in Britain, race and racism.
When England lost the final match of the European championships, player Marcus Rashford and two of his teammates face a torrent of racist abuse.
ABDELAZIZ: Dozens of fans armed with messages of support flock to a street mural of the hometown hero.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really nice that people are covering up all of the racism, with bad things that are happening with positive things.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was quite devastated with the England fans reacted. But all of this will show that they didn't do something that was not quite
ABDELAZIZ: The squad also took an unprecedented stand against the bigotry, calling out government officials and sparking a national debate.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first football tournament and they really have got behind. And it felt really important to show how much that meant to hand
over the next generation of football fans. You know it might be the history of English football but it is not their future of it. And it felt important
to show the kids that.
ABDELAZIZ: Many members of the ruling conservative party are firmly opposed to the Black Lives Matter Movement and to taking the knee.
LEE ANDERSON, CONSERVATIVE MP: I don't like the taking the knee business. I think it associates with the Black Lives Matter Movement.
ABDELAZIZ: At the start of the tournament, Manager Gareth Southgate penned a letter to his divided homeland.
"Dear England," it started. "It is clear to me that we are heading for a much more tolerant and understanding society. And I know our lives will be
a big part of that," he wrote. This was the progressive message so many would desperate to hear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The community has come out to protect the thing they loved. Which is Marcus and his context.
ABDELAZIZ: But the team's lost provoked the ugly side of English nationalism again.
J. CHAMBERS, ACTIVIST AND MUSICIAN: I was literally like three, two, one, racism. And I literally went on Twitter and it began like immediately, I
knew it was going to happen. Because we know what happens here in England. You are British until the point where you let down your nation in their
ABDELAZIZ: A few streets away, where Rashford grew up, we meet his former neighbors.
KENNY, MARCUS RASHFORD'S FORMER NEIGHBOR: What happened? I'm embarrassed by them, scumbags. I love him. I love his mom, family, they make great
ABDELAZIZ: He signed that right there?
ABDELAZIZ: Entrenched racism needs to be confronted, they told me.
KENNY: I don't think the football sport is -- football sports would not do that to a lot doing what he is doing. Right? No, I'm not having it. You
know, football (inaudible).
ABDELAZIZ: At a time of racial reckoning, the team has chosen to be the voice of dissent. Now it is up to the country's leadership to listen --
Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, Manchester.
VANIER: Great story there.
And that about does it from us tonight. Thank you so much for watching. Stay with CNN. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS is up next.