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Hala Gorani Tonight
Massive Protests Paralyze Cities Across Sudan As Sudan's Military Leader Defends Coup; Facebook CEO Slams Latest Wave of Criticism; Tesla Reaches $1 Trillion Market Cap; U.N.: Earth is Warming Faster Than Expected; Brazilian COVID-19 Victims' Families Demand Justice; Sexism In U.S. Health Care; Japan's Princess Mako Weds. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired October 26, 2021 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, and welcome everybody, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. We start with Sudan. The military chief says the armed forces
seized control of the country to avoid a civil war. But right now, reports say cities across Sudan are in turmoil. It's been a full day since the
military dissolved a joint civilian-military transitional council, detained the prime minister, detained other civilian officials by the thousands, as
you can see from these images, Sudanese are protesting.
At least, eight demonstrators have been killed. Sudan's foreign minister told CNN from the capital, Khartoum, that she is seeing columns of smoke
around her home. And reports say businesses are shut and mosques are broadcasting calls for a general strike. At a news conference a few hours
ago, the military chief again claimed he is committed to eventual civilian rule. He also said the prime minister is not under arrest but staying at
his home for protection and can leave when the crisis is over.
But it appears few in Sudan trust his word. I'm going to hear now from a member of Sudan's cabinet team. He is being kept anonymous for safety
reasons, and he joins me live on the phone. Thank you for joining us. What is your status right now? You are a member of the cabinet. You have not
been detained. What is your plan going forward now that the military has taken over the country?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (via telephone): Yes, Hala, thank you for having me. The police now that -- we're trying our level best to keep the demonstrations
ongoing. The non-violent protests will keep going until the people's demand for a better future, which is represented in the civilian-led transitional
government headed by prime minister, our detained, kidnapped Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is reinstated. The people on the streets right now are
calling for the release of the prime minister and his ministers. People are saying and are taking to the streets and chanting that, you will not be
able to take our dreams from us, our dreams and a better future and dignified future for us and for our future generations.
What has been said today by General al-Burhan is not accepted. People have dismissed it as being a propaganda, nothing of what the General al-Burhan
has said is true. If the prime minister is truly a guest at his house, why wouldn't -- why isn't the prime minister allowed to make announcements to
the media? Why isn't he --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not allowed to communicate with the outside world? I mean, it's --
GORANI: So, I just want to -- I just want to go through point-by-point what you just told me. You're not taking General al-Burhan at his word, he
said he ousted the government to avoid a civil war. He's promising civilian, a return eventually to civilian rule and promising elections in
2023. But I want to -- I want to get from you how we got to this point. I understand you were present in a meeting between General al-Burhan, the
Prime Minister Hamdok and the U.S. envoy Jeffrey Feltman. Hours later, the coup took place. Did the military promise the United States they would not
stage a coup?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They told envoy Feltman that the current political crisis, which is prime minister has been speaking about since last June, is
about to be resolved. The American envoy has made metaphoric meetings since he has been in Khartoum since last Friday.
He met with the prime minister. He met with the generals. He met with the FSC. He met with different factions, different committees, and the
commitment that he received and he apprised the prime minister at his last meeting in Khartoum just hours before he left to Doha, he told the prime
minister that he is optimistic about the solution for the political crisis We want to make one thing clear.
The nature of the political life in Sudan, in the United States, wherever, it depends on deliberations that takes time on creating consensus. It is in
the complete opposite of the psychological and professional composition of the military and the armed forces, thus, they cannot understand that things
do not work in hierarchy manner. It's not about giving instructions --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then the political class will abide by.
GORANI: I just -- so essentially --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes --
GORANI: It seems as though perhaps some promises were made in that meeting. Our senior international correspondent --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK --
GORANI: Whom you know, Nima Elbagir has reported extensively from Sudan, joins me now in London. And Nima, we're not naming the member of the
cabinet team of Prime Minister Hamdok who is joining us live on the phone now, but you have a question for him. Go ahead.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I actually have two questions, Sena Mustas(ph), this is Nima, thank you so much for
joining us --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello --
ELBAGIR: And despite these very valid concerns for your safety, my first question is, so what you're telling us is that General Burhan, that the
military, the Sudanese military lied to the United States, is that what you're saying?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What I'm saying is, quite frankly, in the last meetings it was all about the fact that what from their point of view is that a
solution can be made, a solution can be put together with creating new consensus for the political coalition. And even if you look at the most
recent speeches given by Dr. Gibril and Mr. Minnawi at the sit-in platform just yesterday, it was different. The tone was lower than before. This was
all after they met with the envoy, Mr. Feltman. But suddenly --
ELBAGIR: So what you're saying, Mustas(ph) is that --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes --
ELBAGIR: General Burhan reassured Jeffrey Feltman, reassured the United States, and then upon his departure, they overthrew the civilian
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The prime minister himself after the meeting, the Quadri(ph) meeting that took place on Sunday, he was supposed to leave to
Saudi Arabia to attend the Climate Summit of the initiative --
ELBAGIR: So, yes, business as usual.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, that's why the prime minister did not leave, because after that meeting, he sensed that they were not speaking the
truth, that they are not --
ELBAGIR: Yes --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Telling the envoy what they are really up to. So he prefer that he will stay with his people and face the same fate of the
Sudanese people. The people would not allow for the future to be hijacked again from them. It's been 30 years of hijacking of the Sudanese future,
this will not be allowed again. Apparently, people are still in the streets dying, giving their lives, but still they are going back again and again,
and they will come and will continue to come back to the streets.
GORANI: Nima, stay with us, I'm just simply curious about where you are in terms of your own safety, your concerns for cabinet members or government
officials close to the detained prime minister now. There has to be -- are you communicating with each other? I mean, how are you organizing
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are aware that the internet is disconnected all over --
GORANI: Yes --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sudan. People are going back to their old ways of communication, physical meetings, trying to keep safe at the same time.
It's a compromise, but eventually, we had a similar experience just two years ago after the disbandment of the Khartoum and the other cities' sit-
ins. We had to go through similar circumstances up to the 30th of June 2019, marches forecast across Sudan. We have an experience, our people have
a huge experience when it comes to toppling down dictators and generals who do not learn from the past. The same --
GORANI: Yes --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Textbook that General Burhan and his colleagues are reading from, it's the textbook of the previous armor and the shield. And
we all know the armor and the shield right now, if they don't come to their senses, the same fate will come to them.
GORANI: A member of the cabinet team joining us live. Thank you very much. We're not naming him for his safety. We really appreciate your time as we
continue to follow this developing and unfolding story. Nima, I keep you here with me. I mean, this is just one volatile situation here, and it's
impossible really to guess what is going to happen next, but there's a lot of pressure coming from the U.S. on the military leadership to backpedal
here. Are they going to listen?
ELBAGIR: Well, now, it makes sense that the tenor that we've been hearing from the U.S. has been very aggressive and they've been quick off the mark
to speak about a coup and to immediately pause hundreds of millions of dollars worth of foreign assistance. Now that makes sense if they were
misled by the generals in Sudan. Hearing the tenor also of what that cabinet team member was describing to us, this imagery of the Sudanese
resistance going back to the old days of having to meet surreptitiously and in person. And this idea that they have the experience to do that, and the
almost threatening tone on which the cabinet team member ended with there.
That if you want to know how this will end, then just see where President Omar al-Bashir is --
GORANI: Right --
ELBAGIR: Inside Omdurman Political Prison in Kobar, awaiting -- we wait to see whether he would be sent to The Hague. But last we were told that he
would be sent to The Hague. So, it does feel like a very ominous impasse that the military and civilians are standing at in Sudan, Hala.
GORANI: Yes, one has to wonder where the military got reassurances from if they were so easily willing to go against the desires of the United States
from which they get so much aid. Thank you so much, Nima Elbagir and thanks for joining in on that interview. The U.S. Secretary of State is among many
in the international community demanding that Sudan's military stand down. U.S. security correspondent Kylie Atwood is at the State Department in
Washington for us. So, the U.S. is -- you know, has leveraged its aid obviously, its financial support. It's using it -- what so far has been
sort of the consensus on whether or not they think it will achieve their aims?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, I think based on, you know, what you were just told by that cabinet official and what we're
hearing from the State Department here, there's a little bit of confusion about what actually is happening and how this all came to the fore. As we
know, the top U.S. official for Africa, you know, was meeting in Sudan just hours before this happened, he left the country. We were told yesterday by
the spokesperson here at the State Department that the United States was not given any heads-up as to the fact that this military takeover was even
in the cards.
And as you heard from that cabinet member speaking to you, in fact, it seems that they were misled to believe that there was actually positive
developments coming with the future of the country and its democracy, not steps backwards as we have seen. So, the State Department has been very
clear in condemning aggressively what the Sudanese military has done here, calling for an immediate restoration of the civilian-led transitional
government. As you said, putting a pause on $700 million in economic assistance from the United States to Sudan that is specifically for
rebuilding its democratic institutions.
But I think the question is, what do they do next, and that will, of course, be determined by what happens on the ground. There is other actions
that the United States could take. There are other buckets of money that they could put on hold. There are, you know, potentially sanctions that
they could apply. There are a whole host of options here for them, but they're not exactly saying what they're considering now because I think
there's a lot of confusion about where all this is headed.
GORANI: Sure, chaotic situations, certainly, the feeling that the country is going backward. Thanks very much, Kylie Atwood at the State Department.
Now, what about Sudanese officials outside the country? They've been watching from afar as their country has imploded essentially. They're
calling on the international community for help. Nureldin Satti is the Sudanese ambassador to the United States, and he joins me now from
Washington. Ambassador, thanks for being with us. You essentially represent a government that has been ousted by the military.
NURELDIN SATTI, SUDAN'S AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES: Yes, that's true, Hala. Let me say that for many years, I have been following you and it's
really -- I'm very glad to be able to be your guest this evening.
GORANI: Thanks for joining us.
SATTI: Yes, and that's precisely the reason why I am really, you know, going against this idea of a coup in Sudan. When I was appointed ambassador
here, I was appointed for certain reasons, and according to certain principles that we in Sudan adhere to, which are the principles of freedom,
justice and human rights. And the fact that -- and the rejection of military rule under which we have suffered for many decades.
GORANI: So, what do you want from the United States? Because the U.S. has the leverage, the aid money leverage. But as we've seen in other conflicts
and in other parts of the world, sanctions don't usually end up producing the end results that the country imposing the sanctions wishes the results
to be. They sometimes end up even hurting ordinary civilians and citizens. Well, what would you like the United States to do now?
SATTI: I would like the United States to do just what Mr. Jake Sullivan said earlier today, to use all their leverage and pressure that pushes the
military to understand that they cannot continue treating the Sudanese people in the manner that they're doing now. To create leverage by working
with the Europeans, with the African Union, with egad, and with the countries of the region in order to be able to pass across a very strong
message to the generals that they have to go back to the situation that we were before the coup.
Otherwise, of course, some very tough measures need to be taken, and I agree with you that sanctions have not been probably productive in the
past. That's why now we are talking about targeted sanctions, we are talking about smart assumptions, sanctions that will not affect the
population and will have to be creative about what you are going to do in the future.
GORANI: I have -- I have one last question. It seems as though the generals in Sudan did mislead the American envoy, Feltman. They told him
things were going in the right direction, that they had a solution for the problems that the country was experiencing. And then hours later, there was
a coup. I wonder, what countries outside of Sudan do you think have given the military in your country assurances that they would support their
pooch, their coup if they went against the will of the United States?
SATTI: Well, I think the main factor is this, or I'll say the primary factor is this is really a question of delusion, and a question of
misrepresentation of the situation, and we are accustomed to this, you know, with former regimes, the same thing. They have, you know, an excuse,
you know, understanding or vision of reality, and this is, of course, the main feature of autocratic regimes, that they do not seem to be the
reality. They create their own reality, their own regime and then they --
GORANI: So no outside support? You don't think there's any outside support outside of Sudan?
SATTI: The point is, but this certainly has been encouraged by other quarters, with those they have been dealing for many years in issues of
cash, in issues of weaponry, in issues of, you know, military industries and all of that. They have their connections and have their interests, and
that's why they adhere to those interests. The other aspect, of course, is the fear that they're going to be prosecuted.
SATTI: And I think this is a main factor. That's why they did not want to hand over the leadership of the council to the civilians because they
imagine that once they lose power, they will not be able to protect themselves against prosecution.
GORANI: The Sudanese ambassador to Washington Nureldin Satti, thank you so much for joining us live in the --
SATTI: Thank you --
GORANI: Show today. Queen Elizabeth will not be greeting world leaders at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow next week. A statement from royal
communication says the queen is following her doctor's advice to rest. She spent a night, you will remember, last week in the hospital for, quote,
preliminary investigations before returning to Windsor Castle. The statement also says while the queen won't attend the reception Monday, she
will address the delegates in a recorded video message.
Coming up next, a coordinated effort to paint a false picture. Hear what else Mark Zuckerberg thinks of the latest Facebook Papers and how they're
impacting the company's bottom line. We'll be right back.
GORANI: Facebook is going on the offensive after the latest wave of criticism which continues to have little impact, it has to be said, on its
bottom line. The CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Monday's coverage from CNN and multiple other outlets of Facebook's negative impact on society based on
its own documents and research is a, quote, "coordinated effort to selectively use leaked documents to paint a false picture of our company",
unquote. Now, he made those comments during a quarterly earnings call after Facebook once again posted surging revenues, surging profits and user
numbers, 3.6 billion people now use its platforms.
That's about half the global population. It's sometimes hard to wrap your head around that figure. Paula Newton joins me now live from CNN center
with more. So, it gets all these negative coverage and then it just keeps just -- you know, generating unbelievable amounts of money.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it is colossal. And I think to say, for Mark Zuckerberg to claim as he did in that call that he -- that their
corporation has an open culture -- look, Hala, all of that comes from their market position and their money strength, right? Just the power of the
amount of billions that they continue to collect. And beyond revenue and profit, Hala, this is really an issue of their users, right? When you look
at their user base, more than 2 billion, we can quibble about how far they are above 2 billion around the world, that is quite a base to work off of.
But you know, essentially, Mark Zuckerberg is saying, look, not our problem. They have been really interesting in the last year along with that
more defiant tone, they're saying that they invite regulation. That look, not our problem. We want a level playing field, we invite, you know,
regulation from wherever it comes from, the European Union or the United States, and yet when you speak to those people trying to put those
regulations in place, they say that they have gotten nothing but stonewalling from Facebook.
I think what's really more worrying here, Hala, is that we've learned from this investigation from those internal documents that Facebook knows that
its algorithms, not its platitudes about free speech, but that its algorithms actively promote hate and extremism, and that is what is most
worrying to so many regulators.
GORANI: I guess if a post is -- if a post's popularity and its circulation is based on likes and that kind -- and shares and that kind of thing, where
is Facebook making all this money from? Advertisers, obviously. But with this negative coverage and some of the posts being considered toxic, even
promoting hate, what advertisers want their product placed against these types -- this type of content?
NEWTON: It's the data. They mine data, right, Hala?
GORANI: Yes --
NEWTON: So, it's not just that you and I would go on Facebook and that, you know, we'd see an ad. It's that they know who is seeing the ad, at what
minute? For how long? How old we are, what we buy, what we're more likely to buy or not buy. And I think the issue in the regulation is thus, right?
Is that they know so much. And that's why as much as advertisers perhaps don't want to go to Facebook for so many things, Facebook can come back to
them and say, look at how effective we were, look at who you reached and they can actually bore down and do a deep dive into who looked at their ad,
and they can also obviously measure their own sales, especially when you look to specific markets.
I think going forward here though, which might prove an existential threat to Facebook more than any regulation, is the fact that young people are not
on Facebook. I mean my children certainly are on it and their group isn't. They are on things like Instagram though, and the point is Mark Zuckerberg
said it during the meeting, young people are the north star. If they cannot seize on that north star, they will be in trouble financially. And I always
tell people, look, go where the money is. The stock is down about 5 percent today. It's well off its highs.
Still quite high though in terms of a valuation. The issue is, can they convince investors that younger people won't flock away from Facebook and -
NEWTON: Its other products. I think you can certainly look to see them moving away from the Facebook brand. It's why they're probably going to
rename themselves in some way. But, hey, the Metaverse is coming, Hala, and that's the other thing they said they're going to invest $10 billion in. I
really hope that when it comes to the new versions of the internet that regulators take a close look at how that can be regulated from the
beginning so that we don't end up --
GORANI: Yes --
NEWTON: In these situations.
GORANI: Yes, but it's a global thing. I mean, you know, you regulate it in one country, but not in every other, what impact does it have ultimately?
Thank you, Paula and we'll see you on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in half an hour. So Facebook's recent woes have seen it replaced by another company and one
very exclusive club. Tesla now has a market cap of more than $1 trillion. It's the first car-maker to reach that milestone, and only the sixth U.S.
company ever. So, as you can see, it has supplanted Facebook.
Some analysts have questioned whether the market cap that is higher than the next nine biggest car makers combined is justified. Paul La Monica
joins us with more. Why is it worth $1 trillion, so much more than every other conventional car maker?
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, I think, Hala, that investors are clearly excited by the long-term potential and also Elon Musk, he is
the consummate showman. He is probably one of the, you know, best CEOs out there at promoting his brand. You look at Tesla and they are going more
mainstream with many of their vehicles. I think a lot of investors were extremely excited by the news that rental car company Hertz is going to be
buying 100,000 Teslas, because that really does show that Tesla vehicles are not going to be just for the, quote, unquote, "coastal elites" that
have a lot of money, but also going to be for many more people in America.
And don't forget also that Tesla has a big business in China, which s obviously a huge and lucrative market for all types of vehicles and
electric in particular.
GORANI: All right, Paul. Thanks very much. Still to come tonight, why the Australian way of combating climate change means saving coal jobs. I'll be
GORANI: Just five more days until world leaders meet in Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit. So far, nearly 200 countries have pledged to cut
greenhouse gas emissions.
But according to a new United Nations report, there's a huge gap in what countries are promising and what scientists say is needed to stop global
temperatures from rising by 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Sir David Attenborough says more needs to be done.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH, BRITISH NATURALIST: I think it would be really catastrophic if the developed nations of the world, the more powerful
nations of the world simply ignore these problems.
Do we say, oh, it is nothing to do with us and cross our arms?
We caused it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, Australia's prime minister has released the country's new climate plan. Scott Morrison says he is hoping to achieve net zero carbon
emissions, quote, "the Australian way," by balancing climate risks without damaging the economy. Critics aren't exactly impressed or convinced. Angus
Watson is in Sydney.
ANGUS WATSON, CNN PRODUCER: The Australian government on Tuesday announcing its pledge to take the country to net zero carbon emissions by
2050, whereby greenhouse gas production is limited in any remaining greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are removed.
. This coming ahead of the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, set to begin Sunday. But Australia has not pledged to be more ambitious on its
2030 carbon reductions. They say they are on track to reduce by 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2030.
Speaking Tuesday, the prime minister said his targets would not compromise jobs in the Australian mining industry. Australia is one of the world's
largest exporters of coal. Instead, they would rely on new technologies, such as carbon soil sequestration and new green energy technologies, which
are so far unproven.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: Australians want action on climate change. They're taking action on climate change. But they also want
to protect their jobs and livelihoods. They also want to keep the cost of living down. They also want to protect the Australian way of life,
especially in rural and regional areas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Australia has been under pressure for quite some time to do more about climate change, despite being on the front lines of the crisis. You
will remember the devastating bush fires of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, the Great Barrier Reef, bleached white in parts by
rising sea temperatures, all giving people here and around the world impetus to ask for more action, swifter action from their leaders -- Angus
Watson, CNN, Sydney.
GORANI: Well, CNN senior meteorologist Brandon Miller joins me from Atlanta to talk about all of this.
So the U.N. report that came out, some pretty stark warnings in that, essentially also saying that countries just are not doing enough and that
it is now or never.
BRANDON MILLER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Hala, you are right. It seems like every day now we are hearing a new one of these, you know, oftentimes from
the U.N. climate reports and all of them sort of reaching the same stark conclusion, that we've waited too long, you know, to do something. And now
that gap is growing.
You know, you can think of, you know, planning and getting ready for climate change a lot like planning for your retirement. It is something we
have to -- some sacrifices we have to make today, put things aside now to prepare for what we know is coming in the future. It is no longer a
question. We know it is coming, just like retirement.
Now we're sort of, you know, staring down retirement in the face and we've put nothing aside for it. So that gap every year grows in what we're going
to need; in this case what we don't need in the atmosphere and what we're actually putting.
And every year we get -- go further down that line; that gap grows larger and larger. We see we are already on pace for 2.7 degrees. Scientists have
warned, anything over 1.5 is very disastrous.
We are already seeing significant impacts at 1.1 to 1.2 and, 1.5, we're pretty much, you know, waving as we are going by and 2 looks increasingly
less likely, making COP26 all the more important.
GORANI: COP26 is five days away and nations are updating their pledges. It is important also to note these are pledges.
GORANI: They're not necessarily policies that will be -- promises, you know.
GORANI: But what is your sense on how the climate meeting is going to go?
Because there's such reduced expectations already.
MILLER: There are. You know, with COVID and everything, you know, complicating what was already going to be a hugely challenging effort --
and you bring up a great point. These pledges are just that; they're pledges. They're worth about as much as the paper they're written on, you
I tell people a lot it is like saying on January 1st, I'm going to lose weight this year but if you don't have a plan to diet and exercise, it is
not going to happen and that's what a lot of these countries are doing.
Australia, we just heard, said we're going to be net zero by 2050 but no actual plans to do it; still one of the largest exporters of coal. Without
a plan in place, without agreement back home, something like President Biden is facing, you know, their pledges and commitments are up. They are
where they need to be.
But there's still not agreement back home to put legislative action behind it. And that's really where the challenge comes in.
MILLER: Just like people don't want to save for retirement, they have to do it or you're going to get there and it is going to be too late.
GORANI: Thank you, Brandon Miller, for joining us.
Some picture we want to show you now, storms are driving heavy rain into Sicily, turning some of its roads into rivers. We've seen so many images in
the last few years, in London just a few weeks ago. This is in a port city, the water is pouring into the road, pushing cars around like they're toys,
flooding shops and even caused a blackout.
Officials are searching for several people who have been reported missing.
And we're keeping an eye on Brazil's parliament today as well, awaiting a decision on whether president Bolsonaro should face criminal charges.
Lawmakers are set to vote on a report that recommends he be charged with crimes against humanity, among other offenses, for his handling of the
The report says his, quote, "reckless mismanagement" has cost hundreds of thousands of lives.
Of course, even if he is charged, there is no legal remedy that can bring back a loved one, who didn't have to die. CNN's Isa Soares spoke to family
members of COVID victims, who testified before Brazilian lawmakers about their agonizing loss.
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Time, they say, heals all wounds. Almost two years since Marcio (ph) lost his 25-year-old son, Hugo
(ph), to COVID-19, this immeasurable pain of grief and loss continues to bring him to his knees. His son, one soul in a sea of more than 600,000
lives lost in Brazil.
MARCIO (PH), FATHER OF COVID-19 VICTIM (from captions): When I tell my son's story, when I share my pain, which is so tough, I do it to save
SOARES (voice-over): Marcio's (ph) indignation pushed him to seek accountability and justice.
MARCIO (PH) (from captions): I think we deserve an apology. We deserve an apology from the highest authority in the state.
SOARES (voice-over): His testimony to Brazil's parliamentary commission inquiry into the Brazilian government's COVID-19 response, one of many
harrowing and emotional witness statements from the families of COVID victims.
MARCIO (PH) (from captions): I did something that today I know I shouldn't have done, but a desperate father doesn't measure the consequences.
SOARES (voice-over): With Marcio (ph) recounting the last time he saw his son, a dance teacher, alive.
MARCIO (PH) (from captions): I went to the ICU. I opened the door and I kept signaling to him, "Hugo, Hugo, your dad is here. Don't worry, your dad
SOARES (voice-over): But Hugo, who Marcio (ph) says had no underlying health conditions, lost his battle to the virus after being in the ICU for
MARCIO (PH) (from captions): When the president decides not to wear a mask, when he says he won't be vaccinated, he's causing Brazilians deaths.
This denialism has killed many Brazilians.
SOARES (voice-over): A parliamentary commission has blamed President Jair Bolsonaro directly, recommending he be charged with crimes against
humanity, as well as other charges for reckless leadership.
The explosive report says Bolsonaro was guided by an unfounded belief in the theory of herd immunity by natural infection. Bolsonaro has dismissed
the parliamentary report as politically motivated and having, quote, "no credibility."
JAIR BOLSONARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (from captions): We know that we are guilty of absolutely nothing. We know that we did the right thing from the
SOARES (voice-over): Tell that to 20-year-old Jovana (ph) --
JOVANA (PH), DAUGHTER OF COVID-19 VICTIMS (from captions): It was a 14-day difference between my dad and my mom.
SOARES (voice-over): -- who lost both her parents to COVID-19.
JOVANA (PH) (from captions): In some ways there was bad management, so yes, I also blame the government.
SOARES (voice-over): Still, the president says he's not to blame and continues to refused to be vaccinated.
To the victims' families, it feels like rubbing salt in their already deep wounds, an unimaginable grief that even time can't heal -- Isa Soares, CNN.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, she almost died giving birth in the richest country in the world. Now she's giving a wake-up call about sexism in the
U.S. health care system, warning it is costing lives in her new book. We will be right back with more.
GORANI: Well, many women will tell you it is true and studies have backed them up. Doctors tend to dismiss women's complaints about their pain or
other symptoms more than those of male patients. A new book says this disparity is costing lives.
"The Pain Gap" looks at what author Anushay Hossain calls systemic sexism and racism in the U.S. health care system. She herself almost died in
childbirth. She is now urging women to speak up and even voice their fury. Anushay Hossain joins me live from Washington with more.
Anushay, this book comes out tomorrow. First of all, you researched this book for many, many years.
What was your big takeaway in terms of how women are more discriminated against, less believed than male patients by doctors?
ANUSHAY HOSSAIN, AUTHOR: Well, thank you so much for having me, Hala. You know, the research backs what women have been saying for decades and what
women know deep down inside and what women are always told.
Our pain is not believed, our pain is dismissed. Oftentimes we are told we are imagining it, that it is all in our heads. And now the research is
actually backing the fact that, in addition to a pain gap, there's a credibility gap where women are simply not believed when we talk about our
symptoms and our bodies.
GORANI: You say you almost died in childbirth in America. How did you get to that point?
HOSSAIN: Well, that is a great question and really kind of at the heart of the book because my story is so interesting and so ironic in many ways,
because I was born in Bangladesh in the 1980s.
So I have seen America successfully implement and develop safe motherhood initiatives for countries all over the world, including Bangladesh, which
went on to become a development star.
But what a lot of people don't know is that America has the highest maternal mortality rates amongst rich nations and that number is actually
And, Hala, it is important that we talk about maternal mortality rates, not only because it tells us the number of women who are dying in childbirth
but because it tells us -- it is an indicator of how well a country's health care system is functioning.
It tells us about the overall position of women in society, because, as we know, these are largely preventable deaths.
GORANI: So ultimately, obviously, you got the care you needed and you have healthy kids, thankfully.
One of the other interesting aspects, I mean, as women we have complaints that are only suffered by women -- endometriosis; the transition through
menopause, which can be debilitating for some women, not just physically but emotionally and cause major anxiety and depression.
And these are not necessarily mandatory topics of study in medical school, which means that doctors can graduate from medical school and not have had
specialized teachings in these very important fields.
HOSSAIN: You just hit the nail on the head, Hala. That is one of the most shocking revelations in my book and something that, even when I came across
it in my research, there was multiple times where I was like, I just don't believe this.
There's actually very little research done on women. And doctors actually know very little about our bodies. You know, the NIH in America, the
institute -- the National Institutes of Health didn't even have a mandate until the '90s that required them to include equal numbers of women in
And this has a lot of implications and seriously impacts women's health. I mean you, bring up endometriosis, which is a chronic, painful condition
that takes some women decades to get diagnosed.
We have to deal with chronic pain when overwhelming number of women suffer from chronic pain. But we're still testing largely on men and even male
mices (sic). So the standard for health really is a middle aged white man and that's a very, very big problem.
GORANI: Right. Well, if even the mice are discriminating against female mice, we know we're in trouble. But the thing about endometriosis,
menopause, all these female issues as well as that -- as you mentioned, it can take such a long time to diagnose and rob a woman of so many years of
good health, when sometimes the solution is quite simple.
HOSSAIN: Exactly. And you know what, that is something very important about this book and about this topic.
HOSSAIN: It is not a doom-and-gloom book and it's not a hopeless and helpless topic. The radical thing I propose in my book is to believe women.
If the default now is to not believe us, we have no credibility, let's switch that.
Let's make the default, believe women, believe women of color, believe us when we tell you we think something is wrong, that some -- you know, that
something is hurting us, that we are in pain.
And the endometriosis, I really feel like, if there's one medical disorder that kind of embodies everything I am talking about in this book, it is
really endometriosis. The kind of pain that women are living with without a diagnosis and being repeatedly told that they're imagining it.
I feature Padma Lakshmi's story in the book. And she very famously struggled with endometriosis. And she was told for years that she has a low
threshold for pain. Then it turned out she had stage IV endometriosis.
And you know what she says?
Turns out I have a very high threshold for pain.
GORANI: Yes, as do most women. Anushay Hossain, congratulations on your book, "The Pain Gap," which comes out tomorrow and all of the research that
you did for this book and everything we have talked about obviously is relevant to an international audience as well. Thanks again.
Still to come tonight, the cost of love: a Japanese princess marries her college sweetheart but loses her royal title in the process. That is next.
GORANI: There was no lavish wedding for the now former Japanese Princess Mako and her husband, who are the first royal couple to abandon traditional
marriage rites in Japanese history.
Instead, they held a press conference to apologize for the huge controversy their marriage has caused. Selina Wang is in Tokyo.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Most royal weddings are a time for celebration but not this one. Japan's Princess Mako gave up her
royal title to marriage her college sweetheart, Kei Komuro, without any fanfare. Instead, they held a press event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAKO KOMURO, FORMER JAPANESE PRINCESS (through translation): I apologize for any burden I may have caused because of this marriage. Kei's existence
is irreplaceable to me.
KEI KOMURO, MAKO'S HUSBAND (through translator): I love Mako. I want to spend my one life with the person I love.
K. KOMURO (through translator): I would like to start a beautiful family with Mako and do whatever I can to support her.
WANG: Media had been waiting outside of the closed event. No live questions were allowed. The palace said Mako felt strong anxiety just
imagining answering the questions verbally.
She has been diagnosed with complex PTSD because of the relentless scrutiny in Japan. But in written remarks, the couple said they felt horrified and
scared by the false information that's been taken as fact.
WANG (voice-over): Their wedding was delayed for three years after rumors emerged about financial disputes involving Komuro's family. The gossip
spiraled. Public opposition grew, even causing people to rally against their marriage in the streets, dividing the public.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): People fear the image of the royal family will be sullied.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I have a hard time feeling genuinely happy for them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I feel sorry for her. I just want her to be happy.
WANG (voice-over): So does royal super fan Fumiko Shirataki. She has been staked outside this hotel for hours, waiting to catch a glimpse of Mako.
The 81-year old has been chasing the royals for 28 years, snapping tens of thousands of photos, even following the current empress and her daughter up
the mountains on their private hikes.
Shirataki started crying when I asked her about Mako's marriage.
"I feel a sense of relief," she told me, "that Mako is finally able to get married after three years of waiting."
Japan's royal women are barred from the throne and, if they marry commoners, they have to abdicate and leave the royal family. Mako is
entitled to a $1.35 million payment in taxpayer money to help her start a new life. But she's not taking the money.
The couple will be moving to New York, where Komuro works at a law firm, escaping this backlash at home. Shirataki wishes Mako could have had the
traditional royal wedding.
But even without the celebration, for Shirataki and many in Japan, this wedding will be unforgettable, a reminder of duty and society's
expectations, clashing with love -- Selina Wang, CNN, Tokyo.
GORANI: Finally, when we get a call from an unfamiliar phone number, it is a normal impulse to just ignore it. Probably someone trying to sell you
For a man in the U.S. state of Colorado, it was a little less understandable because he was lost while hiking on Mount Elbert, the
state's tallest mountain. And the people trying to call him over and over were the rescuers.
It all ended up well, fortunately. He found his way home and the local search and rescue office is reminding people, if you are lost and start
getting phone calls, take the risk and answer the phone. It's a miracle he made it that far.
Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.