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Hala Gorani Tonight

Taliban Claim Victory In Afghanistan's Last Holdout Province; Former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown Says Vaccines Should Go To Poor Countries First; Crowds Celebrate On Streets Of Conakry As Soldiers Seize Power In Guinea; White House COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Rollout Changing; Former British P.M. Criticizes The West's Vaccine Stockpile; COVAX Doses To Poorer Nations Well Below Target. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired September 06, 2021 - 14:00:00   ET



HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN in London, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. The Taliban claimed victory in

Afghanistan's last holdout province. We're live in Kabul this hour for the latest. Plus, as the White House rolls out plans for a COVID booster shot,

the former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says vaccines should go to poorer countries first. I'll speak to him live this hour.

And caught in the middle, how a Trump era policy banning some Chinese students from the United States are in fact potentially hurting both

countries. We'll explore that question. As the Taliban claim complete control over Afghanistan, we're learning about new reports to evacuate

Americans who are still in the country. The State Department says four Americans were able to escape using a land route out. It follows a weekend

of heavy fighting in Panjshir Valley, the last anti-Taliban stronghold.

Opposition forces there are denying that the militants are in charge, and they are calling for a national uprising. Meanwhile, more than three weeks

after seizing power, the Taliban still don't have a functioning government in Afghanistan. The group's spokesperson said they're hoping to announce

one in a few days. He also said they're working to get Kabul airport back to "normal", quote-unquote, as soon as possible.

Journalist Ben Farmer joins me now for a look at what life is now like in Kabul. Ben, thanks for being with us. So, three weeks in, ordinary life in

Kabul in the capital of Afghanistan, how has it changed?

BEN FARMER, AFGHANISTAN CORRESPONDENT, THE TELEGRAPH: The city is either quiet and I think we've seen some much quieter than we've seen them here

before. The traffic is very quiet. Certainly, the city has not returned to normal. I think, partly, people are staying in, they tell me because

they're still not sure about how the Taliban will treat them on the streets.

The other great problem the people are facing is the economic crisis. It's really it's in dire straits economically. It's -- the bench are cleansed,

the aid has been cut out and it means that a lot of people have not been paid for a long time. A lot of government workers have not been paid for

five months. All that means that a lot of shops are closed and the streets are really very quiet.

GORANI: Yes, so, essentially, this is a government that doesn't have a functioning cabinet or ministers or a way to really manage the country, and

they're cut off from international funds. I mean, how does the future look for the Taliban? What could ultimately change the status quo, which is very

uneasy, understandably, for people in Afghanistan who don't know what to expect next?

FARMER: I think everyone is really looking for the Taliban to announce a government as soon as possible. And there's talks to self-governing and

also start to show people what they intend to do here. Whenever you ask them about having to deal with these problems, they always deflect in the

press conferences and say, we can't answer that.

It all lies on the government. And that seems to be the key, the key is up next. But it hasn't happened. Day-by-day, they keep saying it's going to

happen. We're still waiting. That's led to speculation that perhaps there might be some kind of internal disagreements to everybody --

GORANI: Right --

FARMER: Who is waiting.

GORANI: A couple more -- what's it like working as a journalist there?

FARMER: It's difficult. People are reluctant to talk to you. People are reluctant to be seen talking to journalists. But the Taliban on the other

hand are on some kind of charm offensive. They have welcomed and they've given press accreditation. So, it's a strange combination of those two


GORANI: Yes, and we've seen photos circulate online of women on the first day of university, one in particular, with a curtain dividing a classroom

between men and women. And the Taliban have issued directives and edicts as to how women should dress and how they should be sort of allowed to attend

classes through doors different to the men, et cetera. What's that like for women who are wanting to continue their education in Afghanistan?


FARMER: Yes, I mean, it's a strange situation for them. The rules are that boys or men, women must study separately, whether that's having classes

started at different times of the day or whether they're in different classrooms or whether that's as we see in those photos of curtains being

down the middle of the room, they must be kept apart. And that is a new reality for students in these institutions. But the Taliban will say that

this is them showing progress and they are allowing -- they are allowing education for women to continue.

GORANI: Ben Farmer, thanks very much. Ben is live in Kabul. And there is another big question, of course, in Afghanistan. What is happening outside

the big city center away from Kabul now? To an exclusive look at a remote Afghan province near the Pakistan border. For so many, basic survival is

the primary concern, not ideology at this stage. CNN's Nic Robertson reports with the help of a local journalist on how life has changed in

rural Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Inside the new Afghanistan in rural Paktika Province far from Kabul, the Taliban's

provincial governor has called a meeting, no women to be seen. Local village elders and tribal chiefs listen. A young boy takes a selfie. Much

has changed since the Taliban were last in charge -- smartphones and social media. But poverty still the country's biggest problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have many expectations, and we are praying the Taliban will deliver.

ROBERTSON: The week after Kabul fell, a local journalist took a road trip for us to see what was happening outside the capital. Taliban guides showed

him the way. At the border, changes already underway. Part charm offensive, giving traders what they want, longer opening hours at the border, and part

crackdown, keeping men and women apart.

UNIDENTTIFIED MALE (through translator): Let me tell you, before we had one single line for both men and women. Now we have two. They are kept apart.

ROBERTSON: Pakistani officials easing into the new relationship, backing the segregation. On this journey, two things become clear. Afghanistan's

near financial collapse and the hard switch to religious rule. Spotting a crowd, the teams stop.

It's a provincial courthouse. Inside, local leaders careful to praise the new boss. "We used to have to go a long way to get to a Taliban court", he

says. "Now, we have one right here." The new judge in town quite literally laying down the Taliban law, their interpretation of Islamic law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We asked the previous judges, how they used to work? They said they were following the law of the land, not

the Sharia. In Islamic emirate, all court proceedings are according to the Sharia law.

ROBERTSON: Under Taliban rule in the 1990s, the Taliban's Sharia law led to public amputations for thieves, stoning of adulterers, even hanging. But in

the local market, Sharia law is not the big concern. It's making a living.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Business is very bad. We don't know who's in charge. Only low-rank people are here. We don't know if we can

trust them. They're not telling us anything, and the situation has not improved. Prices are going up.

ROBERTSON: In the barbershop, business is down. It's not only me, he says, but business is bad in the market. It's not as good as before. They're not

alone. The local pharmacist is also struggling. Stocks already depleted under the last government. The clinic's maternity nurse also worried about

finances, says the previous government didn't pay her for the past four months and she can't afford to go home. Closer to Kabul, another doctor,

more problems.

"Day and night", he says, "we get 25 to 30 patients and we have just one doctor and one nurse for them all." Outside the hospital, the Taliban claim

an alternate reality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Before you didn't know whether the doctor was coming or not, but now, they are there for you all the time.

ROBERTSON: On this trip, the Taliban's prioritizing of Sharia law and bits of charm offensive, seemingly missing Afghan's most important needs, a

secure livelihood.



GORANI: All right. Well, Nic Robertson joins me now live from Islamabad with more. So, I guess it's a wait and see situation for many people in

those rural parts of Afghanistan, Nic.

ROBERTSON: It really is. You know, they want to see a government like everyone else, but the reality is, these are people whose lives have never

been -- you know, they've never been particularly well off. And it's a pretty sort of hand-to-mouth existence, particularly if you're the

merchants there and you're very much dependent on, you know, people having jobs.

And if the economy is not running, and if projects aren't up and running because the money for that has stopped flowing from the international

community and only aid handouts are arriving, which is the prospect right now, then life is going to get tough.

You know, the pharmacist there said that he hadn't been paid for the medicines by the last government for two months, so it's not like the

Taliban are inheriting a good situation. The nurse hadn't --

GORANI: Yes --

ROBERTSON: Been paid for four months. She was from another part of Afghanistan and she couldn't get back there. So, there's already a very

impoverished situation. There's a drought in the country. And countries like Pakistan here really feel like they will be on their frontline if

people start fleeing Afghanistan because they just can't make a living. It's happened before.

GORANI: Yes --

ROBERTSON: The indicators are there now.

GORANI: Western countries say they have leverage. It's not military leverage. It's financial leverage with the Taliban, that they need to have

and gain access to the international monetary system, that they need to be able to have access to monetary reserves. How much of that would alleviate

the economic issues faced by ordinary Afghans?

ROBERTSON: You know, this is going to be a two-way street, isn't it? And part of that two-way is the Taliban agreeing to any terms to get that

international finance. They are laying down their very strict interpretation of Sharia law, of Islamic law.

And the Taliban don't believe in paying interest. International institutions like the IMF would have to -- would charge Afghanistan

interest. The Taliban at the moment, you know, it's not in their world view to take on that kind of debt to have an interest to pay.

And besides, the IMF is unlikely to unlock its coffers to the Taliban unless the G7 nations, western nations, you know, accept the Taliban's

government as being representative of the whole country, as the Taliban have said. So, there are so many hurdles here, Hala. And I think getting

the cash into Afghanistan and getting the economy running and getting those big international sort of projects going again to sort of build

infrastructure and help the country, you know, people call it nation- building.

But that's the money that the country has been used to having. That's locked down right now. The international community will give, you know,

emergency humanitarian aid, over 50 tons of it flowed in just yesterday into the country. But that's not what keeps the economy going.

GORANI: Right --

ROBERTSON: So, you're right. This is -- this is a deep problem here.

GORANI: Thank you very much, Nic Robertson is in Islamabad. The American Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Qatar for crisis talks on

Afghanistan. He is the most senior American official to visit the region since Kabul fell to the Taliban about three weeks ago.

The State Department says Blinken will discuss Qatar's role in helping reopen the Kabul airport to speed the arrival of humanitarian aid. And he's

also there to thank Qatar. It's played quite the role, Qatar, as you can imagine over the last several weeks.

And as we've reported, it facilitated the transit of some 55,000 people evacuated from Afghanistan. And of course, the Qatar government hosted the

Taliban-Afghan government peace-talks which ended going nowhere and ended with the total victory of the Taliban. Now, despite the Taliban's claims of

being more moderate this time around, there have been some horrific stories emerging from the country, like the one we're hearing today about a

policewoman who was murdered in front of her family.

Negar Masoomi was eight months pregnant. Her son says the Taliban came inside their house in Ghor, took him and his brothers outside and tied them

up, and then made them watch the unthinkable.


MOHAMMAD HANIF, SON OF MURDERED POLICEWOMAN (through translator): They killed our mother before our eyes. The only thing that makes me very sad

and suffer is that my mother was eight months pregnant. They, in fact, carried out two murders. The government should do something and find these

people. Who were they and why they did this? If the government doesn't bring justice, then we might have to take the law into our own hand.



GORANI: The Taliban is denying responsibility, suggesting Masoomi was killed because of some personal animosity. A spokesperson says they're

investigating who carried out the attack. Still to come tonight, crowds cheer soldiers in the West African nation of Guinea after the military

overthrows the country's long-serving president.

We'll explain why the military says it staged the coup, and what's the reaction around the world. Plus, a shocking prison escape in Israel.

Authorities have launched a manhunt, six Palestinian prisoners got out of their cell by digging a tiny tunnel. We'll bring you that story coming up.


GORANI: So, there's a bit of uncertainty surrounding what's going on in the West African nation of Guinea. A military coup has ousted the country's

president. Guinea is one of Africa's poorest nations despite rich reserves in bauxite and iron. But corruption and inefficiency have left millions in

poverty there. CNN's David McKenzie reports that the coup leaders are trying to solidify their control, and they're trying as best as they can to

reassure a weary public.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hala, on Monday, the coup leaders in the West African nation of Guinea appeared to consolidate their power. They

invited -- and I use that term loosely, government officials to a meeting in the capital Conakry to chart how they see the country moving forward.

They say there should be unity, that government services shouldn't stop. There was also a sign of a calming of the situation, a spokesperson of the

coup leaders saying that borders are now open again from Conakry and from Guinea.

They are different from the dramatic scenes unfolding on Sunday where military was on the streets in the capital surrounding the presidential

palace. Those military leaders detained the 83-year-old President Alpha Conde, and then, have taken him to an undisclosed location.

You saw that dramatic video, unverified by CNN, of a dazed-looking president surrounded by soldiers. There were signs of celebration on the

streets of Conakry. The president was not popular in that country.

He had extended term limits and was accused of corruption, particularly in the mining sector and the country has been struggling through rampant

poverty and an ongoing COVID crisis.


So, there is some space for the coup leaders, I think, at the moment. But the problem is that the regional bloc, ECOWAS, the African Union, the

French, American -- in fact, most governments have now come out condemning this, what they call in some instances a power grab. But the reality on the

ground might mean they don't necessarily have a way to impact that in the short term.

You've had a cascade of events in that region recently. There was a coup in Mali, a dodgy transfer of power in Chad to say the least, and now Guinea.

At this stage, it appears that they have a hold on power, whether that lasts, well, that remains to be seen. Hala?

GORANI: All right, David, thanks very much. In South Africa, former President Jacob Zuma has now been released from prison on medical parole.

Corrections officials cited health issues, they say he'll serve the rest of his sentence under what they call a specific set of conditions. He began

his 15-month sentence for contempt of court in July. He'd refused to give evidence at an inquiry looking into corruption during his time in office.

In Belarus, one of the most prominent opposition figures has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. Maria Kolesnikova led massive protests against

President Alexander Lukashenko last year after he claimed victory in disputed elections. The U.S. and several other nations are lashing out

against her sentence, calling it shameful and politically-motivated.

Israeli authorities have launched a manhunt. Six Palestinian prisoners escaped from their jail cells. One is a commander in the militant wing of

Fatah, while the other -- the others are part of Islamic Jihad. Andrew Carey has more on who they are and how they got out.


ANDREW CAREY, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF (voice-over): Israeli investigators shine a light through a small opening in the floor of a

prison cell. Hours earlier, six Palestinian security prisoners had apparently squeezed through this narrow drop and made their escape. They

had located an existing underground passage, built as part of the prison's foundations. As Israeli TV explained, it was then just a 100-foot crawl

underground and out through a hole just yards from the prison wall.

First word of the breakout had come in the middle of the night when authorities were notified by locals of suspicious activity around the


SHIMON BEN SHABO, ASSISTANT POLICE COMMISSIONER (through translator): A manhunt has been underway for the last few hours, and our aim is to capture

the escapees as soon as possible. There is no need for people in the area to change their routines.

CAREY: Among the six on the run is Zakaria Zubeidi, he led fighters of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade in Jenin in the north of the West Bank, joined a

second, Intifada. He was re-arrested two years ago, accused of involvement in shooting attacks on civilians. The other five are all said to be members

of Islamic Jihad, serving sentences for terrorism offenses. In Gaza, Islamic Jihad loyalists celebrated the breakout, which the group called a

heroic act. They handed out sweets to drivers and passersby.

For Israeli authorities, though, it's a significant embarrassment. A similar breakout attempt from the same Gilboa Prison in the north of Israel

was made in 2014, but foiled. Security officials will be worried this time at the prospect of potentially violent confrontations if their search for

the escaped men takes them into Palestinian towns and cities. Andrew Carey, CNN, Jerusalem.


GORANI: A groundbreaking surgery in Israel has given 1-year-old twin girls a precious gift. For the first time in their very short lives, they are

able to look at each other face to face. These little girls were born conjoined at the back of their heads. They were separated Sunday. After a

grueling surgery that took more than 12 hours. It was complicated, they shared lots of vessels and arteries. The lead doctor gave an update during

the procedure.


MICKEY GIDEON, CHIEF PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGEON, SOROKA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER (voice-over): The neurosurgery part of the surgery of the twins'

separation has ended. We have done the reconstruction of the brain membrane, a reconstruction of the skull and now the plastic surgeons

continue the surgery for the sealing of the skin. To our delight, everything went as we had hoped.


GORANI: The girls' surgery took months of preparation. The hospital says it's the first separation of its kind in Israel and only the 20th ever

performed in the world. So, good news, a good news story for all of you to end this half hour. Still to come, after a quick break, the White House

changes their plan for rolling out COVID vaccine booster shots. Why? We'll have more details coming up.


And I'll be speaking to Britain's former Prime Minister Gordon Brown on why he says we're in a new arms race when it comes to vaccines. We'll be right



GORANI: The U.S. is struggling to get the latest surge of new coronavirus cases under control. Take a look at this map. You can see that the number

of states grappling with a spike in cases due to the highly transmissible Delta variant are having a really tough time.

Some hospitals are even approaching full capacity, and emergency room beds, they're filling up fast. The question on how to tackle this outbreak is

pushing many officials toward booster shots. Dr. Anthony Fauci; the U.S. President's chief medical adviser told CNN why these could be key.


ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We need the boost because ultimately it may turn out, Jim, that

the ultimate proper immunization regiment is a three-dose regimen. Remember, we made it a two-dose regimen, we were dealing with an emergent

situation. We needed to get those vaccines out because they were life- saving, and in fact, they have been life-saving.

What we're observing now not only here in the United States, but in other countries, including Israel and the U.K., that the durability of the

protection tends to wane, particularly in the context of the Delta variant.


GORANI: Meanwhile, the White House plans to rollout COVID-19 vaccine boosters this month. That plan is changing. Boosters will likely only begin

with Pfizer, while Moderna's could be delayed by a week or two. Joining us now is CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen on why this is the

case. So why the change?


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Hala, back in August, President Biden said that the U.S. would be ready to start the

booster program or a booster program the week of September 20th. Now, to some extent that may be true, it may be that they're ready to go with

Pfizer boosters the week of September 20th.

But when he said that it created the impression that all the boosters would be ready for anyone who needed them, no matter what vaccines they got to

begin with, and that does not appear to be true. So let's look at some of these particulars.

So what Tony Fauci has said is that Pfizer looks like they will be ready to go for the week of September 20th, for boosters, and Moderna might be a bit

behind by a week or two. So if you got Moderna to begin with, it might take you a week or two beyond that, to get the booster shot.

And he said that we could have data in a couple of weeks on mixing and matching vaccines. In other words, in the U.S., it might be possible, let's

say your first two shots back last winter, spring were Moderna, maybe you could boost, get your third shot with Pfizer, that's technically not

allowed right now. But it may be that they make that easier to do.

So things are perhaps a little bit slower than had been anticipated, but it's not by a whole lot. And the bottom line is whoever wants a booster

will likely be able to get one in the coming weeks. Now let's talk a little bit about the data behind the booster shot. A lot of this data is coming

from Israel. Israel is pretty much a Pfizer only country. And they are very good at collecting and analyzing data. And so they have a lot of data on

when a booster is needed.

So let's take a look at how that all sort of -- how that rollout is rolling out. So in Israel, they realize that this summer, those who had been

vaccinated in January had more than twice the risk of breakthrough infection compared to those who were vaccinated in April. In other words,

they could see in real time that the people who are more recently vaccinated seem to be more protected.

They found them that the booster reduces the odds of infections by 70 to 84 percent. And that in older people, people over age 60, the booster

decreased the relative risk of severe infection by more than 10 times. So September 17th, advisors to the FDA will most certainly hear all this data

and make a decision on whether a booster is warranted. Hala.

GORANI: All right. Yes, what's happening in Israel is a good indicator for the rest of us. Really. I wonder, though, with all this vaccine uptake in

the United States, and now the talk about booster shots, why in some states, particularly a state like Florida, for instance, we're seeing such

an explosion of cases?

COREN: Well, some things just have very low vaccination rates. I mean, in the U.S., it's a big country. And it is things are all over the map. There

are states like Vermont, where, you know, really the overwhelming majority of people are vaccinated.

And then there are states particularly in the southeastern part of the United States that have much lower vaccination rates. And when you, you

know, you -- the -- it's obvious, you lower vaccination rates, you're going to have more infections.

GORANI: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks very much. Well, while the U.S. and other Western nations consider these boosters, some of the world's

poorest countries are struggling to provide even the first dose. Britain's former prime minister is highly critical of the West's stockpiling of

vaccines. In the newspaper "The Mirror" he wrote, quote, "We are in a new arms race to get vaccines into people as quickly as possible, but this is

an arms race where the West have a stranglehold on the vaccine supplies."

Joining me now is the former British Prime Minister and U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown. Thanks, sir, for being with us. What

Why do you think richer countries aren't sending more doses --


GORANI: -- and more quickly to poor countries, given the fact that we know that variants are more likely to emerge from places where infections create

the opportunity for the virus to mutate?

BROWN: Yes, 98 percent of Africa is not vaccinated. 98 percent of low income countries don't have the people vaccinated, and the disease will

come back to haunt us in new variants. And so it's in our self interest to help the other countries get vaccines. And we can do both. We can provide

the boosters you've just been talking about, to people in America and across the West. And we can provide the vaccines for Africa.

Because what has happened over the last few months is there's been a huge increase in the production, it's now one and a half billion doses a month.

It's two billion by the end of the year. And these are sufficient doses to enable us to do the boosters, to help teenagers, to lay some aside for

eventualities, and to get vaccines into the arms of people in Africa.

So for months, I think politicians have thought this is a choice between vaccinating at home and vaccinating the rest of the world. The stockpiles

are no such, 200 million at the moment, 500 million in a few weeks time, a billion by the end of the year, even after we account for all the boosters

that may have to be used.



BROWN: We've got to get these vaccines to people who need them. This is a failure of political will and coordination.

GORANI: Right? So the obvious follow-up then is why is it not happening?

BROWN: Well, why it's not happening is that I think politicians are miscalculated. In June, we had the G7. And they set aside some vaccines for

dose sharing, but only 100 million have gone to the poorest countries. We could give 200 million now, 300 million next month, 500 million within two


And so we've just got to step it up, you've got to recall, the G7 have a vaccine summit at the time for United Nations, only the leaders can make

this decision, the IMF or the World Bank of the U.N. cannot make the decision. It's the leaders who control the supply of vaccines in their own

countries, they can make the decision, it's possible to do both.

And I think it's important we realize that the longer we fail to take this decision, the more deaths will happen and the more we risk new variants

coming back to haunt even the fully vaccinated. That's why I'm wanting the summit to take place in the next two weeks.

GORANI: So some experts have told me it's not that easy. In Africa, nations have destroyed since the beginning of the rollout of the COVAX program,

almost half a million doses. Nations like Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, among others, they don't have the distribution

networks, they don't have the storage facilities. You can't do these things and establish these networks overnight. What's the solution?

BROWN: Yes, well, the World Bank is there to help people get the facilities in place. But I've talked to African leaders, I was talking to them only

yesterday, a number of them, they know they can use the vaccines. They know that only two percent have had the benefit of these vaccines.

And they know that not even nurses and health workers who are risking their lives to save lives in hospitals have got the vaccines and the vulnerable

elderly have not got the vaccine. So it is possible to do this. It's not that expensive when you look at the economic costs of doing nothing.

And, of course, it's not just a moral duty to help people in need. And you don't want the vaccine rich world and the vaccine poor world, it is I

remind everybody in our economic an enlightened self interest to take this action to protect ourselves.

GORANI: I understand the point you're making. But logistically, how do you make it happen? When you have vaccines that need refrigeration, in some

cases, they need very specific freezing temperatures to be kept viable when these countries don't have the networks, how do you fix that as quickly as

you need to fix it to address the problem?

BROWN: Yes, well, I'm saying that you could get to ten percent very quickly, of course, and it's only two percent. By dealing with people who

are nurses and health workers who are actually in health centers at the moment with some of these facilities, you then extend it beyond that.

And of course, we've made provision to give African countries support to develop the facilities, and to have the staff to administer the vaccines.

And of course, there are some vaccines that are not as good as others to deal with the temperatures in Africa and elsewhere.

But that can all be done given that the supply of vaccines is no, and it's a great success of manufacturing, the supply of vaccines is now so big, you

know, it was half a billion six months ago, it's one and a half billion now, two billion in a few weeks time. And that means we can vaccinate

everybody, I think the facilities will be made available. But there's no doubt there's an urgent need with what a million cases a month in Africa,

there's an urgent need there and in low income countries for vaccines that could be administered now.

We must not take the excuse that there's some difficulties in some places, getting vaccines into the arms of people, because there are many people who

can accept vaccines, and they can be administered now.

GORANI: The other hurdle is for instance, as an example you have in the United States, just an example, and there are others. Alabama, for

instance, had to toss out 65,000 doses of the vaccine because they had expired. They could not get them sent abroad, there was too much red tape,

too much bureaucracy, it was too complicated.

And also in terms of the timeframe of how quickly they would have needed to get those to countries in need, whether in Africa, Asia or other parts of

the world, how do you address this? Because this is a country by country problem.

BROWN: Well, I'm sad that a lot of people in America are not vaccinating them -- allowing themselves to be vaccinated. I hope that will increase.

But if vaccine supply is available, we should not get to the last few days of the use-by date, we should get it quickly. And I can tell you if they

brought the vaccines to me, I could ensure with the African leaders and countries I know that these vaccines could be used immediately.

This is a failure of coordination. It's perhaps not bad intentions, but it's a lack of political will to solve the problem. And I do say that you

want all the international organizations to be there to help you solve the problem, but only the leaders only Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel,

Mr. Macron, only these people can make the decision to release vaccines that they don't need to save the lives of people w ho desperately need them



GORANI: I guess the question is, I mean, it's hard to imagine, on an individual level, people who live in the richer countries who are offered a

booster, they'll take it. I mean -- and they want to protect themselves, they want to protect their families.

You know, I mean, that's kind of a natural impulse to want to do that. So how do you even sell that to your own people to say, listen, we're going to

hold off on the third shot, until we can ship out as many doses as we can to poorer countries that are largely unvaccinated?

BROWN: But what this very detailed report by Affinity, the research group, with the help of the manufacturers has shown, is we don't actually now need

to make that choice, we can prepare to get the vaccines out to Africa, because these are surplus vaccines, even after we account for numbers, high

numbers, getting boosters, and indeed, even after we account for the teenagers who want the vaccine to get it to.

So there is no moral dilemma here, it's really a choice as to whether you want to act. The vaccines are available, more will be available every month

from now on, we're in a position to vaccinate the rest of the world, we should just get on with it.

So I say to people, you don't have to give up on your boosters to make it possible for someone in Africa to be vaccinated, but we need the

coordination that political leaders have got to bring to bear on this. And if I was in government, as I was before, I would be getting this done


GORANI: It's a -- but it's difficult not to be pessimistic, because you talk about 10 percent, that it should be easy to get to 10 percent of the

population vaccinated in largely across Africa. But as we've heard from experts, since the beginning of this pandemic, you need to hit much, much

higher levels than that, 70, 80 percent vaccination rates in order to --

BROWN: Absolutely.

GORANI: -- be able to put this pandemic behind our wheat looking at years potentially still of this pandemic, just wrecking, you know, our health,

our economies, our way of life?

BROWN: Well, by February, we'll have produced about 14 billion vaccines. So there's enough to vaccinate everybody and to do boosters. And I think we

could do this over the next few months. The G7, when they met in June, promised that they would vaccinate everybody who needed a vaccination by

the summer of next year.

I actually think if we had the support of China, who've got a lot of vaccines themselves, we could do that even quicker. But the fact remains

that there are enough vaccines to get on with the job now.

The target was 10 percent in Africa and low income countries by the end September, 30 percent by the end of the year, and then up to 60 percent by

the middle of next year, all this is now possible. And indeed, we could do it quicker than that.

But we do need to make the decision that we want to go ahead with it and not just rest on our laurels and say we had a decision in June to dose

share a few million doses. We've got to actually have a coordinated plan so that we can get all these vaccines to the people who need them. We can't

allow them to be stockpiled and hoarded when they can be used to save lives.

GORANI: All right, a clear call to action. Gordon Brown, thank you so much, the former British Prime Minister, for joining us live from Edinburgh this


BROWN: Thank you.

GORANI: And still to come tonight, thousands of Chinese and American exchange students are in limbo, unable to finish their educations because

of a Trump era ban. Why it could do long-term damage to both countries, we'll explain after the break.



GORANI: And this just in to CNN, Brazilian football legend Pele says doctors have removed a tumor from his colon. The 80-year-old says in a

Facebook post that he had the surgery Saturday, and the medical team has confirmed that it was a tumor. He says he's facing what's ahead with

optimism and joy. We wish him the very best. We'll bring you more details on this as we get them. Once again, Pele says doctors removed a tumor in

his colon during a surgical operation that took place on Saturday. Again, wishing him a swift recovery.

Caught in the middle and marooned, in their own countries, that's where thousands of Chinese and Americans study abroad students find themselves.

It's been a year and a half since then President Trump banned students from eight Chinese universities from studying in the United States. As David

Culver tells us from Shanghai, that restriction could damage U.S.-China relations for years to come.


DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Heightened tensions between the U.S. and China striking at higher education, forcing some Chinese

graduate and post grad students to halt their studies in the U.S. Their academic futures left in limbo.


DENNIS HU, CHINESE STUDENT: And my research scandal disrupted.


CULVER: Dennis Hu, one of them. He flew to Shanghai in January 2020, along with his friend and lab mate, Matthew Jagielski who aim to renew his visa

and introduce to Jagielski to his family and the Chinese culture. But while Jagielski, an American, returned to the U.S., who was delayed in going back

to their university in Boston, first by the outbreak, several attempts to return failed. Then came a new policy under President Trump.


HU: First I think it's a policy of this nation based on nationality.





CULVER: Hu is referring to Proclamation 10043. In May 2020, Trump blocked Chinese graduate students and post-grad researchers that came mostly from

eight Chinese universities with suspected Chinese military ties. The policy singled out those studying in STEM fields, or Science, Technology,

Engineering and Math, framed as part of national security.


ERIC FISH, AUTHOR, "CHINA'S MILLENNIALS: THE WANT GENERATION: There certainly is espionage that goes on in U.S. universities from China. There

have been cases in the past where students have been used for espionage purposes. This policy, though, is very sweeping, it's very arbitrary.


CULVER: It's estimated there are as many as 5,000 Chinese students now kept from reentering the U.S. In response to CNN, the U.S. State Department said

in part that the United States welcomes international students and stated that the policy is intentionally narrowly targeted, affecting less than two

percent of those applying for the Student and Exchange Visitor visas, stressing that the proclamation is intended to protect both the integrity

of the U.S. research enterprise and U.S. national security interests. But some experts fear that policy could worsen U.S.-China relations for

generations to come.


FISH: I think when you get to a more fundamental level, this has been really alienating to a lot of the young Chinese who are most predisposed to

be amiable towards the United States in the first place.


CULVER: Students like Hu now desperate to return to the U.S. His research focuses on using social media data to assess bias in the public domain.


MATTHEW JAGIELSKI, LAB MATE OF DENNIS HU: I definitely don't get the impression that his research is a military sensitive thing. I also, you

know, don't get the impression that he is a person who's trying to sneak in or anything.



HU: It just hurt me with those, like, accusation or labeling of a -- of being a Chinese spy.


CULVER: It is concerning enough for Chinese officials to raise the issue of student visa restrictions in recent high level talks with their U.S.

counterparts, calling it unfair treatment.


But in the U.S., there are American graduate students likewise kept from reentering China.


WALEED KHAN, AMERICAN STUDENT: And I was essentially meant to graduate this year 2021.


CULVER: Waleed Khan and his brother lived in Shanghai up until the outbreak. The medical student thought it'd be a brief hiatus, and then he'd

be back to finish his sixth and final year. Instead, the brothers are left waiting in their L.A. area home.


KHAN: We want to return. We are proactive. We want to abide by the guidelines. But we need guidelines to abide by.


CULVER: China keeping most international students, including Americans, from returning based on COVID-19 restrictions. But Khan thinks there's more

to that.


KHAN: I do believe that having that American passport is making things difficult because of the political conflict between U.S. and China, I feel

like we may be caught in the crossfires.


CULVER: Back in China, Hu is part of a group pushing the Biden administration to revoke the Trump proclamation, even trying to raise funds

to launch a lawsuit against the U.S. government.


HU: Trying my best to be positive even the reality might not always be good.


CULVER: David Culver, CNN, Shanghai.


GORANI: And still to come tonight, Southeastern Louisiana is still reeling from Hurricane Ida. And now it's facing extreme heat and on top of

everything else, a flat -- a flashflood watch. Stay with us.


GORANI: The American President Joe Biden is planning to travel to New York and New Jersey and tomorrow to see the damage from Ida firsthand. He

visited Louisiana on Friday, where the hurricane first made landfall more than a week ago.

The storm made its way toward the northeastern -- the Northeast after hitting Louisiana. Dozens of people have died in New Jersey and New York

because of extreme flooding. CNN's Nadia Romero joins me from southeastern Louisiana, which is now under a heat advisory and a flashflood Watch.

What's the situation like there where you are, Nadia?

NADIA ROMERO, CNN U.S. CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, we've had all of the above just today alone. We've had rain showers coming through. It's

starting to drizzle just a little bit right now and we felt that extreme heat. And people here in LaPlace, Louisiana had been without power for

eight days now.


So that means no air conditioning and you're also under heat advisory, it's swampy hot inside their homes. They're starting to see plenty of mold. And

so it means that they can't live in their homes anymore, but there's nowhere to go. Hotels are filled or some of them still don't have power.

So, these sites, like this one right here, done by the Louisiana Cajun Navy, is so important.

They're handing out everything that people could possibly need right now from diapers to water, to baby formula, to everything that you need. If

your house was flooded -- had floodwaters that brought everything outside, you had to throw everything away so they're trying to replenish here with


Now they need more volunteers and more resources. The number one thing they need is water because a lot of these counties or parishes nearby are under

boil water advisories. So they can't even drink the water that comes out of the faucet. So, they have to have bottled water in order to stay safe.

Now we went inside of a home with one woman and she showed us all the damage, the roof caved in, and her kitchen mold is growing along her

floors. Every piece of furniture and clothing she had to take out of her home and put outside for someone to come pick it up.

Now the utilities, public works, the folks who come and take out the trash, they haven't done so because their own homes were flooded and then they're

going through issues right now so a lot of those services are down along with cell service Wi-Fi, they're having a terrible time trying to

communicate with people. And again, eight days without power, they likely won't get their power back in this area until the end of the month. Hala.

GORANI: All right, Nadia Romero, thanks very much on the scene.

Finally, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, is mourning the loss of a national treasure. We all kind of are, all of us who watched him in the

'70s and '80s and beyond. One of the titans of French cinema passed away. Jean-Paul Belmondo was best known as the lead and the classic "Breathless,"

that's internationally but he started dozens of movies over a career spanning decades with his crooked nose, easy grin, he was a distinctive

presence on screen.

And he combined tragic heroism and cheerful charm in one performance. Just a cool, cool guy. Jean-Paul Belmondo was 88 years old. Thanks for watching

tonight. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next.