Return to Transcripts main page


U.S. With Third Vaccine for the Public; Donald Trump Tease to Run in 2024; Trump Supporters Stick with Him; President Biden Being Soft on Saudi Arabia; Governor Andrew Cuomo Under Heavy Scrutiny; U.S. Notice Human Rights Violations in Myanmar; Trials in Hong Kong Spark New Anger; U.S. Expected to Elaborate Actions Against Saudis; Central American Migrants Make the Grueling Journey North; Vaccine Distrust in Germany; Showing Solidarity; Stars Stay Home for the Golden Globes. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired March 1, 2021 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us United States and all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, a new coronavirus vaccine will be headed into arms across America. We will look at how it compares to the others.

Donald Trump teases a 2024 presidential run in a live filled speech to a group of adoring conservatives. And the Biden administration is set to unveil changes to its Saudi policy. It follows a damning report about the grisly murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Good to have you with us.

Well some welcome news on the coronavirus fight, a third vaccine is ready for use across the United States after clearing the Centers for Disease Control. CDC director Rochelle Walensky signed off on the Johnson & Johnson shot after a panel voted to recommend it on Sunday.

At first glance, it isn't as effective as the Pfizer BioNTntech and Moderna vaccines, but it was 86 percent effective in preventing severe illness and 72 percent at preventing moderate illness in U.S. trials. And perhaps the most important stat, it was 100 percent effective in preventing COVID fatalities. No one who got the vaccine during the trial died from the disease.

And while some may still hesitate over the numbers, Dr. Anthony Fauci says you should get the shot as fast as you can.


ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If I were not vaccinated now and I had a choice of getting a J&J vaccine now while waiting for another vaccine, I would take whatever vaccine would be available to me as quickly as possible for the simple reason of what I said a moment ago, we want to get as many people vaccinated as quickly and as expeditiously as possible.


CHURCH (on camera): The lifesaving vaccine could start going into arms as soon as this week.

CNN's Jacqueline Howard has more on the expected rollout.

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Now that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is authorized here in the United States and the CDC recommends it, what happens next is the official rollout of the third COVID-19 vaccine here in the United States.

And here is with that rollout plan looks like. Johnson & Johnson says it has 3.9 million doses ready to go, those doses will be allocated to states, retail pharmacies, federally qualified health centers and community vaccine centers.

Now, this vaccine can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures for three months, and it requires only one dose. CDC director doctor Rochelle Walensky says in a statement, quote, "it is easy to transport and store and allows for expanded availability in most communities settings and mobile sites as supply scales up."

Now, we can expect to see this vaccine being distributed and administered. Back to you.

CHURCH: Dr. Carlos del Rio joins me now. He's an executive associate dean at the Emory University School of Medicine. Thank you, doctor for talking with us and for all that you do.


CHURCH: So, the CDC has now signed off on a Johnson & Johnson single dose COVID-19 vaccine authorizing its use and of course now giving the U.S. three highly effective vaccines. Some people are suggesting though that they would prefer one of the other two, Moderna or Pfizer because their efficacy is higher. What would you say to them?

DEL RIO: I think the one thing to note is know is that they're all, the three of them are very good vaccines other ones -- otherwise the FDA and CDC would not have done the approvals. I think it's hard to compare those vaccines, you know, they were tested at different times. They were tested against different strains in different parts of the world.

I am very impressed with the results of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It's very effective in preventing severe disease and preventing death, and that to me is what really matters.

CHURCH: And Johnson & Johnson says that the company plans to start testing its vaccine on adolescents next week. When they do that, when might that vaccine be available for kids, do you think? [03:05:00]

DEL RIO: I suspect sometime in the fall, we will have not only that vaccine, but probably also Moderna and Pfizer will also be available for younger kids sometimes this fall.

CHURCH: All right, well that's really good news. And of course, COVID-19 hospitalizations have fallen to less than 50,000 for the first time since early November. But that is still around the same level as last summer's surge. And now we are learning from the CDC that recent declines in COVID cases may be stalling. How significant is all of this? And how careful do we still need to be?

DEL RIO: I am very concerned, and I think we still need to be careful. Things are going well, cases were dropping. Hospitalizations are dropping with the vaccine rolling out and reaching a higher percentage of the population. I think we'll be in a much better place this summer. But we still need to be careful. At this point in time, the last thing we need is get another surge this summer.

CHURCH: Right, and you know, when do you think we will be at the point where those who want a COVID vaccine will be able to get one easily without this scramble for appointments and lining up for vaccinations?

DEL RIO: You know, I think sometime in May. Look, we have to look at what local states are doing, I suspect sometime in May or June. Everybody will be pretty much available to get a vaccine at that point in time.

CHURCH: Dr. Carlos del Rio, many thanks for joining us and for explaining a lot of this to us. We appreciate it.

DEL RIO: Delighted to be with you.

CHURCH: For the first time since leaving office, Donald Trump was back before a crowd of supporters on Sunday this time speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida. And the former U.S. president's script was familiar full of the same lines and lies about the election.

Our Jim Acosta has the details now from Orlando.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Former President Donald Trump closed out this year's CPAC with the speech that was filled with one lie after another but there is no falsehood bigger than the big lie that he's been telling since November third, insisting that he won the election when that is just not the case.

Trump won after the Supreme Court scolding the justices for not overturning the election results. And he went after those Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach him, urging his voters to throw them out of office the next time they're up for reelection. Here is more of what Trump had to say.


have a very sick and corrupt electoral process that must be fixed immediately. This election was rigged. I stand before you today to declare that the incredible journey that we began together, we went through a journey like nobody else, there's never been a journey like it. There's never been a journey so successful.


TRUMP: We began it together four years ago and it is far from being over.


TRUMP: This alone should be reason enough for Democrats to suffer withering losses in the midterms and to lose the White House decisively four years from now. Actually, as you know, they just lost the White House but it's one of those stuff.

We're not starting new parties. You know they kept saying he is going to start a brand-new party. We have the Republican Party. It's going to unite and be stronger than ever before.


TRUMP: I am not starting any party. Wouldn't that be brilliant? Let's start a new party and let's divide our vote so that you can never win. No, we're not interested in that.


ACOSTA (on camera): And Trump tease the possibility that he may run for president once again in 2024 but he said he would not do so with another political party or a party that he may start on his own, telling the crowd at CPAC that he remains a Republican.

Jim Acosta, CNN, Orlando.

CHURCH (on camera): And some Trump supporters who turned out to hear the former president speak are still embracing his election lies.

CNN's Donie O'Sullivan caught up with a few of them in Orlando.


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN REPORTER: Why are you here today?

UNKNOWN: I'm here to support President Trump. Hopefully he is going to announce that he's going to be running for 2024. Also, I was, you know, I hope that I would see him be more vulnerable so that people can see who he really is. Maybe tell people how he feels about the election, not so much to focus on that it was stolen but that it was sad to some of the things that happened. And that we need to move forward as a country.

O'SULLIVAN: Do you think it will be helpful if he stays focusing on, you know, these false claims that the election was stolen.

UNKNOWN: Well they are not false claims, but unfortunately, we have not proven them in the court so I don't want him to focus on that because people will tune him out. I want them to focus on the future.

UNKNOWN: We are here because I love President Trump. Eighty million Americans support President Trump in this election. We feel like the election was stolen from us.

O'SULLIVAN: Do you think it's important for Trump today to come out and to condemn the January 6th insurrection?


UNKNOWN: He has condemned anything --


UNKNOWN: I'm not convinced that that was started by -- you see how peaceful we are. I'm not convinced yet because there's been no actual investigation done yet. It was just assumed that it was us.



UNKNOWN: The facts have come out.

O'SULLIVAN: But all the Trump supporters that have been arrested by the FBI indicted --


UNKNOWN: How about the Biden supporters?

UNKNOWN: The FBI is a little iffy right now. Do you not agree that the FBI has had their problems?


UNKNOWN: How about that (Inaudible) out of our country?

O'SULLIVAN: Is there any -- but like, is there any -- you don't trust the election officials.



O'SULLIVAN: You don't trust the FBI?


O'SULLIVAN: You don't trust the courts?

UNKNOWN: Nope. O'SULLIVAN: Who do you trust?

UNKNOWN: Trump and his supporters.

UNKNOWN: I trust --


UNKNOWN: And anybody that hasn't -- that when I listen to them talk, they don't turn my stomach with the disingenuousness.


CHURCH (on camera): And Larry Sabato joins me now. He is the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Always good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So, Donald Trump reemerge Sunday from his self-imposed exile persisting with his election lie. The reality is he lost the House, he lost the Senate, he lost the presidency in his four years in office. He can't bring himself to say it out loud but Republicans must realize surely. Why would they want a loser who lead a deadly insurrection on his own governments leading their party?

SABATO: That's a great question. The people at CPAC by and large are in his cult. They've all had a gallon or two of the Kool-Aid by now. So, they are not going to defect from him under any circumstances. And, probably, just as Senator Mitt Romney said the other day, Trump, if he runs, will probably get the Republican nomination. But Trump has fallen considerably with independence, on the line voters, people who were once willing to consider him. They no longer are. And that would hurt him badly in a general election.

CHURCH: What was very interesting there was a CPAC straw poll of attendees and they showed that Trump attracted 55 percent support as choice for the 2024 Republican presidential nominee. Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis got 21 percent support, and other names received only single digit support. But if the party was as united as Trump claims it is, shouldn't he have received closer to 100 percent support?

SABATO: I was surprised that it was just 55. Now 55 is nothing to sneeze at and it is a solid majority, and we need to remember he won the Republican nomination in 2016 during the competitive part with just 38 percent of the vote. So, understanding that he has solid majority support, this is his base, and I would have thought it would have been 70 percent or higher. So we'll have to watch this.

CHURCH: And of course, the big news was Trump saying he will not be starting a new party. He was very keen on that idea at first although he is not admitting it. What do you think changed his mind?

SABATO: It's too much trouble. Donald Trump is not a detailed person. Anybody who has worked for him will tell you that. The Democrats and Republicans have created state laws that make it very difficult for the pie to be split into three or four. They don't welcome additional parties. And I think Trump figure that out and I think that he has the cloud to control the Republicans. And he may well.

CHURCH: We'll see. And of course, I wanted to talk about President Joe Biden and his administration because it's defending its decision to not directly punish the Saudi crown prince for his direct role in ordering the gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Biden has previously promised to be tough and to hold the Saudis accountable and responsible but he hasn't done that. Why? And what might the consequences be of that reversal?

SABATO: It's relatively easy to make pledges on the campaign trail. It's carrying them out once you actually have the responsibility for government. And I think this is a perfect example and one that Biden always knew was going to be difficult. He'll get a lot of criticism for it, not just Republicans but Democrats will criticize him for it.

I can see why he has done what he did. It's a no-win situation. So, maybe something will change as we go forward. He will be able to take more decisive action. But on the scorecard, I think you would have to give him an incomplete, or maybe even a failing grade at this point on this issue.

CHURCH: Interesting. And we'll watch to see what the consequences of that. Larry Sabato, always great to get your analysis, many thanks.

SABATO: Thank you so much, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Calls are growing for an outside investigation into sexual harassment claims against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Two former aides of the three-term Democrat have come forward with the allegations. One of the women says in 2018, Cuomo kissed her on the lips after a one-on-one briefing.


In his latest statement released Sunday, Cuomo said and I'm quoting him directly here, "I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that. To be clear, I never inappropriately touched anybody and I never propositioned anybody. And I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable."

But these are allegations that New Yorkers deserve answers to. Cuomo says he has asked for an outside review of the claims.

And coming up here on CNN Newsroom, people in Myanmar are remembering those killed in a deadly crackdown over the weekend. What we are learning about the massacre and the fate of Aung san Suu Kyi. That's ahead.

Plus, another pro-democracy movement in Asia for faces a tough test as dozens of Hong Kong activists are charged under a strict new law. We will have a live report on what's at stake. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH (on camera): This pro-democracy protests in Bangkok, Thailand turned violent on Sunday as police and demonstrators clashed.


A local medical center says at least one police officer was killed. Officers were also among more than a dozen reported injuries. Police use water cannons and tear gas to pushback protesters who marched towards a military base where Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha resides.

For months, a youth-led movement has been calling for massive reforms in Thailand. They are demanding the prime minister's resignation, the dissolution of parliament and reforms to the monarchy.

Well that's just one example of how demonstrators are letting the world see how serious they are. Pro-democracy protesters in Myanmar are marching again despite a bloody police crackdown over the weekend. The U.N. reports security forces killed at least 18 people and wounded dozens more on Sunday. It was the deadliest day in Myanmar since the military coup one month ago.

In Yangon, people are paying tribute to the victims with flowers and wreaths. We've also learned the country's detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi appeared before a court hearing just a short time ago.

And CNN's Ivan Watson joins me now from Hong Kong. Good to see you, Ivan. So, what is the latest on these protests the day after the deadly crackdown? And what more are you learning about Aung San Suu Kyi's court appearance?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it does feel like a turning point because almost a month after the coup, when you had some four straight weeks of protest, there seems to have been a real turning point on Sunday in the level of the violence directed against the demonstrators. What the United Nations Human Rights office estimating that at least 18 people were killed. Dozens injured.

And if you take a look at the map of where the U.N. says this deadly violence took place it is an indicator that there appears to have been a change in the directions to the security forces about the level of violence allowed to be used against the demonstrators. Because this is not just an isolated case, one town or one city, it's at least six different locations across the country all in one day. With streets running red with the blood of these demonstrators.

So, a turning point, will this turn down the intensity of the opposition movement to February 1st, the February 1st military coup? It doesn't sound like that from the demonstrators that I've talked to including relatives of some of the people who got killed on Sunday, shot dead, they say, who appear to be as committed as ever despite the unimaginable cost of losing a loved one in one of these protests. Rosemary? CHURCH: All right. Ivan Watson joining us from Hong Kong. Bringing us

the very latest on what's happening in Myanmar.

We are also tracking a crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. A court there has just resumed a hearing for 47 people accused of breaching a national security law over holding an election primary last July.

Leading opposition figure Joshua Wong is amongst those charged with conspiring to commit subversion. If found guilty, he and other activists could face up to life in prison.

CNN's Will Ripley joins us now. So, Will, what is the latest on this developing story?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Rosemary. This latest round of arrest -- 47 pro-democracy politicians is really sparking renewed outrage on the streets of Hong Kong because of all the prominent pro- democracy politicians and activists, they are either in exile or facing charges. Many of them under this new national security law. Many of them in hearings right now at the West Kowloon courthouse and the hearing just got underway a short time ago, then a matter of 20 minutes or so.

And there's been a palpable increase in the tension out here on the streets. You have the largest crowds that I've seen since the national security law was imposed on Hong Kong last summer. These people coming out holding banners and chanting slogans that could get them arrested under the national security law in defiance of the COVID-19 restrictions on group gatherings of four people or less.

You have a large contingent of police officers who have been peacefully co-existing here over the last few hours with protesters. But within the last hour or so they started holding up banners warning people that need to disperse so they could be arrested. They got on a loudspeaker issuing the very same warning. And they have also cordoned off this area, I don't know if Tom can zoom in to see that orange tape over there that's trying to block more people from coming into this area.


What they don't want to see is this crowd outside of the courthouse grow any larger. But we have not seen is any sort of violence. There's been no use of pepper spray, no physical confrontations. But there is certainly been a lot of insults hurled at these police officers, a lot of anger out here from people looking at the politicians that they wanted to see elected.

Politicians who could have potentially blocked things like the budget, that the pro-Beijing government imposed on the city. The government now saying that because those people ran for office, Rosemary, that qualifies as a crime under this national security law imposed by Beijing.

CHURCH: Right. Will Ripley, we'll continue to follow this of course, bringing us that live report from Hong Kong. Many thanks.

And still ahead, we are expecting an announcement detailing U.S. policy on Saudi Arabia following the report into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. What it means not just for politics but also for business.

A grueling trek across hundreds of miles with no guarantees, just hope for a better life. More on a wave of Central American migrants headed north. That's after the short break.


CHURCH (on camera): In a first for the Biden ministration the U.S. is sending negotiators to the Middle East to restart peace talks with the Taliban. U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad will travel to Afghanistan and Qatar to meet both Afghan government officials and Taliban representatives.


CHURCH: Washington says it is closely monitoring how far the Taliban are complying with conditions of an agreement that would require the U.S. to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the beginning of May.

Well, the Biden administration is expected to offer more details on how U.S. policy on Saudi Arabia is changing following the intelligence report into the death of Jamal Khashoggi. Friday's report said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the operation to capture or kill the journalist. It's not entirely clear what will be announced today.

Mr. Biden had said there would be significant changes announced but a White House official described it as more of an elaboration on already announced policies. The White House press secretary was asked about U.S.-Saudi relations on CNN's state of the union.


JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: From the first day of the administration, we have been crystal clear at every level from the president on down. We are going to recalibrate this relationship and turn the page from last four years, and that means ending our support for the war in Yemen, doing more to address the humanitarian crisis, and ensuring that we are holding to account the actions, the human rights abuses, of this government by word and by action.

The release of this report, which was held back over the last four years, is part of that, making that clear to the public. But we've also taken a number of steps through the Treasury Department, through the State Department, to sanction the deputy head of intelligence, to sanction the revolutionary forces in Saudi Arabia, and to make clear that we will never let this happen again. And that's the message we have clearly said over the last few days.

UNKNOWN: OK, so, but you are talking about the people who are under the crown prince, and they are being punished. So isn't punishing them like punishing the hit man and not the mob boss, who actually put out the hit?

PSAKI: Well, first and historically, and even recent history, democratic and republican administrations, there have not been sanctions put in place for the leaders of foreign governments where we have diplomatic relations and even where we don't have diplomatic relations.

And we believe that there is more effective ways to make sure this doesn't happen again and to also be able to leave a room to work with the Saudis on areas where there is mutual agreement, where there is interest, national interest, for the United States.


CHURCH (on camera): That being said, Saudi Arabia is still a crucial strategic partner for the United States, and how Mr. Biden handles this could set the tone not just for U.S.-Saudi relations, but for those with other gulf allies, as well. Nic Robertson has more.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Given the strong pushback that we've heard from the Saudis about the assessment, the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, issued the order to capture or kill Jamal Khashoggi, and the strength of pushback from the Saudis gold partner supporting Saudi Arabia on this, there will be a degree of concern about what President Biden is going to announce on Monday.

He has talked about how he is going to -- the relationship generally going forward with Saudi Arabia is good to be shaped. He's talked about holding Saudi Arabia to account on human rights abuses. How was this going to take shape? It's been an extremely bumpy weekend for the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

The Saudis also buffeted over the weekend by attacks from Houthis firing ballistic missiles all the way from Yemen to the capital, Riyadh. That will cause concern for the Saudi leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi officials are saying that they see this as an escalation of the Houthi tactics. Of course, the Houthis are backed by Iran.

So that sense of instability or uncertainty in Saudi Arabia and the region has really gone up over the weekend and this announcement by President Biden that there is more to come Monday is really only going to fuel that. The Saudis were expecting a bumpy time when President Biden came in, but perhaps not quite like this.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


CHURCH (on camera): And Saudi Arabia is not just a key player politically. It is hugely important economically, as well. For more on how U.S. and global business could be affected, let's bring in John Defterios from Abu Dhabi. Good to see you, John. So, the Biden administration apparently plans to take a tougher stance against the Saudi crown prince. But how likely is it that Mohammed bin Salman would even feel the impact of any sanctions if that is what is applied?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN ANCHOR AND EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yeah, a great point to bringing up here, Rosemary. He will be untouched by this. But we can't be too surprised because what Jen Psaki was saying, the spokesperson for the White House, it never reaches to the top brass in a country for foreign intervention at this level. But the Biden administration is taking some heat as a result.

But the narrative has certainly changed here between a Donald Trump who embraced MBS and really enjoyed the idea he might spend $100 million on military hardware to Joe Biden trying to balance human rights and the regional interests.


DEFTERIOS: You have to think of Saudi Arabia and Iran and the counterbalancing here of those two major powers around the Strait of Hormuz and trying to reopen the Iranian file. I would say when it comes to business, most of the damage is self-inflicted by Saudi Arabia.

And in particular to MBS, you can go back to 2017 and the Ritz-Carlton roundup of a Saudi businessman in the name of corruption but they were all international partners for the American and European and Asian investors into Saudi Arabia. That was quite a shock.

And then, of course, the killing of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, the crown prince took responsibility although he said he wasn't involved in that killing. But again, this is somebody who was welcomed from Silicon Valley all the way to London for his reforms and then people were shocked.

And you can see this in the results of foreign direct investment a year after he launched his 2030 vision. Foreign direct investment plummeted to $1.4 billion. It recovered the following two years. We don't have the 2020 final figures yet, but still $4 to $4.5 billion is half the run rate, the normal rate for Saudi Arabia. So, there's not a lot of confidence there.

And if you look at the foreign exchange reserves of Saudi Arabia, what they make from their oil export earnings, we went from over $730 billion and you see it again, the trend staircase lower to just over $450 billion.

That means MBC for his vision 2030 tourism development, the neon development, Riyadh as a super city, what is taking place in the eastern province has to be financed internally mainly by Saudi Arabia, and because of the actions by the crown prince in 2017 and 2018, it's that lingering effect, if you will, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And John, Saudi Arabia is also the de facto ahead of OPEC. Prices have surged since the end of last year. How does the kingdom and OPEC manage since high gas prices will become an issue in the United States?

DEFTERIOS: Certainly and this is a very important week because it is the OPEC plus meeting that's taking place on March 4th, and this is the main character here for Saudi Arabia, Abdulaziz bin Salman, the respected minister of energy. Overall, these 23 producers have cut seven million barrels a day. But for February and March, Saudi Arabia added another cut of a million barrels a day. And now we're seeing predictions of $75 to $85 a barrel by the third quarter.

So this will require some nuance by ABS. Does he add back in a half a million or a million of that cut from Saudi Arabia to send a signal we can do the right thing to the United States here or does he leave this status quo here? Prices continue to rise. That is also a danger for Saudi Arabia because it welcomes back the production from the U.S. shell producers.

So this is a difficult meeting that's going to take place Thursday, and he has to try to build a consensus yet again with Russia and other players here from the gulf, Rosemary.

CHURCH (on camera): All right. John Defterios, many thanks, joining us live from Abu Dhabi.

Well, the U.S. president will meet virtually with his Mexican counterpart today. According to the White House, the conversation with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will involve migration, development efforts, economic cooperation, and recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Lopez Obrador is expected to ask the U.S. to share some of its COVId vaccine supply. Mexico has purchase agreements for hundreds of millions of doses but most have not been fulfilled.

New U.S. leadership is part of the reason for a surge in Central American migrants heading north. CNN's Matt Rivers is near the border between Mexico and Guatemala. He has more on this story, along with a pair of young brothers, both still teenagers, making the difficult and dangerous journey.


MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Not far from the Mexico-Guatemala border, building two full soccer teams at (INAUDIBLE) Migrant Shelter is easy because the number of people headed to the United States is surging.

Carlos, 19, is bound for the U.S., too. He left Honduras five days ago with his little brother, 14-year-old Wilfredo (ph).


RIVERS (on camera): He says a lot of people, not just us, decided to leave and migrate to look for a better life.

After dark, there are among dozens that will spend the night inside the shelter.

(On camera): The number of migrants like these lining up each night to enter the shelter has blown away the numbers that we saw last year. In the first two months of 2021, more migrants have already been registered here than in all of 2020.

(Voice-over): The shelter says more than 5,500 people just since New Year's Day.


RIVERS (voice-over): Father Gabriel Romero (ph) says people are no longer afraid to leave their countries due to COVID. This is a moment of a humanitarian emergency.

The next day, Carlos and Wilfredo (ph) are among the dozen that set out at dawn, set to walk for hours through an overgrown, unforgiving landscape.


RIVERS (voice-over): And thousands have just taken similar trips. The number of people apprehended at the U.S. southern border last month, higher than the same month in each of the last three years.

Over three days, dozens of migrants told us the reasons for the increase are myriad with poverty chief among them. Finding work was always hard but never worse than during the pandemic. Plus, after back-to-back category four hurricanes destroyed entire Central American communities in November, tens of thousands were displaced.

And as this group of migrants told us, there is another reason, too. It is not a Trump White House anymore.


RIVERS (voice-over): This migrant says it is no longer a racist president because he looked at us like we are animals.

The Biden administration is trying to end Trump's more restricted immigration policies and says it will admit more asylum seekers. But they have also said that now is not the time for migrants to come, citing the pandemic and policy changes not yet completed. That did not dissuade anyone we met, with many saying Biden in charge gives them a better chance of getting in.


RIVERS (voice-over): That is the difference, he says, that suddenly the new president is noble with a good heart.

On a break from that day's track, Carlos told us they hadn't left for any one reason, poverty, hurricanes, Biden, all a part of it. He just remembers his mom crying as they walked away. We asked what she said.


RIVERS (voice-over): She said not to go, it is so sad leaving not knowing if you are going to die. Because all migrants know how dangerous these tracks can be, and the proof came just a few hours later in a small village. The group had just been attacked and robbed by armed men, left with nothing but their clothes.

We had a basic medical kit on us, so producer Natalie (INAUDIBLE) and I tried to patch them up the best we could. Both brothers were pistol- whipped, 14-year-old Wilfredo (ph) with a deep gash on his head.

(On camera): You can see here the blood in his hat after he was hit with the butt of a pistol, according to the group. Now, we have given him a bandage and --


RIVERS: OK. So he says he's in a little bit of pain but he's OK for now. So --


RIVERS (voice-over): But just moments later, they had to run. A van is fast approaching.


RIVERS (on camera): So this is Mexican immigration. That is why our group here just ran into the woods.

(Voice-over): We wouldn't find them again until early the next morning. They walked more than 12 hours after they fled. Exhausted and resting outside of a small shop, we took the moment to ask, is this worth it? Carlos said it was, that a better life awaited. Wilfredo (ph), quietly not so sure.


RIVERS (voice-over): I don't really know, he says, but wherever my brother, I will always be there.

Another half mile down the tracks, they enter another shelter for the night. But for the weary, there won't be rest because in the next day or two, it will be more tracking through never-ending forests, their single group just one of thousands doing the same.

Matt Rivers, CNN, near the Mexico-Guatemalan border.


CHURCH (on camera): And coming up here on "CNN Newsroom," there is a high demand for vaccines all over the world. So why are there are hundreds of thousands of doses of one vaccine reportedly going unused in Germany? We will find out when we return.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) CHURCH: Well, it was a sunny day in Paris, but not really a socially distanced one. Crowds of people took in the sunshine, lining the banks of the river Seine. Police patrolled the area and reminded everyone to enjoy the day while wearing their masks. Let us hope the vaccinations will make days like that safe again across Europe.

But despite a huge demand for COVID vaccines, there are reports one shot is being unused in Germany. Some Germans may be rejecting the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine over fears it is less effective than others.

For more on this, we want to bring in CNN's Fred Pleitgen. He joins us live from Berlin. Good to see you, Fred. So, why Germans not getting the critical message that it's essential they receive any of the COVID vaccines that are made available to them?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Either Rosemary. Well, there are a lot of people here who believe that actually the authorities here in Germany are at large parts to blame for that. The German vaccination commission originally said that they would only recommend the vaccine from AstraZeneca for people between the ages of 18 and 65.

Now, they are now saying they never meant that as a criticism of the vaccine itself, but they simply said that at the time, they did not have enough data available for instance from the phase three trial of AstraZeneca, to recommend that vaccine for people over the ages of 65.

There are, of course, also some who are saying that that vaccine might be a little less effective than for instance the vaccine of Moderna and BioNTech and Pfizer. There's word indeed that some people here in this country are indeed still now -- some people in this country who seem to be shunning the use of that vaccine. There are some vaccination centers here in Germany where you can choose the vaccine that you get.

Right now, there are three vaccines that are approved here in Germany. That is Moderna, BioNTech, and AstraZeneca. There simply people who do not want the AstraZeneca vaccine. There are also some vaccination centers apparently where vaccination appointments for people, but they're simply not showing up to those.

And there again you get the authorities here in Germany that don't really have a system of next man up for cases like that. So there are some doses here in this country that remain in the freezer, remain unused. There are some calculations that are saying only about between 10 and 25 percent of the doses that are available here, of the AstraZeneca vaccine, are actually being used.

Now, that problem has now been seen by the German authorities. That has now been seen by the German vaccination committee. They have now said, look, maybe things didn't go the way that some had hoped.

They are now saying that this week, they plan to once again debate the AstraZeneca vaccine and they do say that they believe that they are going to recommend that vaccine for people of all ages or at least for 18 and above to make sure that everybody knows that that vaccine is both effective and safe.

But you do see a lot of politicians here in this country who are literally saying, look, people, take this vaccine, it's very important.


PLEITGEN: And all of this, Rosemary, as you correctly stated, in a country that does not have enough vaccine to go around, where there is a severe shortage of vaccine, people are not getting vaccinated quickly enough, and also with a number of coronavirus cases is once again on the rise. Rosemary?

CHURCH: The best vaccine is the one in your arm, and we need to get that message out.


CHURCH: Fred Pleitgen, joining us live from Berlin, many thanks.

Israel says it will vaccinate some Palestinians who work in Israel and the settlements. According to authorities, the order applies to Palestinians from the West Bank and with work permits. The doses will be administered by Israeli teams of crossing points and industrial zones.

Israel's vaccination program has been highly successful but the country has been under pressure to extend it to Palestinians both in the West Bank and in Gaza.

The Hollywood award season kicked off Sunday with a virtual Golden Globes, and we will be right back for the night's biggest moments and top wins.


CHURCH: Professional golfers show they had one man on their minds on Sunday. Tiger Woods, who is recovering from a frightening car crash last week.


CHURCH: At the final round of Sunday's tournament, Jason Day, Rory Mcllroy, and Patrick Reed supported Tiger's famous colors, red and black, which he was known to wear on the final days of tournaments throughout his career. Woods said on Twitter, he was moved by the gesture, writing, and I'm quoting here, "It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the TV and saw all the red shirts. To every golfer and ever fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time."

The Golden Globes on Sunday proved Hollywood is still trying to find its rhythm in the pandemic. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted the show but put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with awards given to nominees video chatting from their homes. Film and television nominees were notably different with streaming media dominating the categories. British royalty drama, "The Crown," swept the television categories, taking home four trophies, including best drama, actor, and actress.

"No Man's Land" director, Chloe Zhao, made history as the first Asian woman and second woman overall to win best director. Her film also took the award for best motion picture drama.

The night also had its share of funny moments. Actress Catherine O'Hara won best actress in a musical or comedy for her work in "Schitt's Creek" and was played off the stage by her husband just a few words into her speech.


CATHERINE O'HARA, ACTRESS: It's an experience I will forever hold dear to my heart and I am proud to be part of their family (INAUDIBLE). OK, thank you, CBC, for making the show in Canada. Thank you (INAUDIBLE). Seriously? Thank you, Netflix. Netflix brought this show around the world. I am very happy that our family is in lockdown. (INAUDIBLE). I hope that won't take you six years to realize (INAUDIBLE).


CHURCH: I bet they had a lot of fun together. Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. We will be the back with more news in just a moment. Do stick around.