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Global Coronavirus Cases Up For The First Time In Seven Weeks; Former French President, Sarkozy, To Appeal Prison Sentence; J&J 'One- And-Done' Vaccine To Start Being Given Today; Live Update: 300 Nigerian Schoolgirls Freed; U.S. Averaging 1.7 Million Vaccine Shots Per Day; Johnson & Johnson Vaccine; Calls for Stronger Response as Violence Escalates; Landmark Hearing Resumes for 47 Pro-Democracy Activists; Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions Rising after Steep Drop; Britain's Prince Philip Moved to Second London Hospital. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired March 2, 2021 - 01:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: Daily infections stalls, putting more urgencies on vaccination programs worldwide.

Another kidnapping, another rescue of schoolchildren in Nigeria. This time, almost 300 girls, apparently all safe, all unharmed.

And from the presidency to prison. An historic court ruling in France sees the former president now a convicted felon, Nicolas Sarkozy, receiving a one-year sentence for corruption.

Since the beginning of this year mostly the number of coronavirus cases worldwide have been declining. But now for the first time in seven weeks, they are ticking up.

If history is prologue, this pandemic will rebound if allowed and the World Health Organization says vaccines alone will not end the pandemic.


TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR GENERAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: This is disappointing, but not surprising. We're working to better understand these increases in transmission.

Some of it appears to be due to relaxing of public health measures, continued circulation of variants and people letting down their guard.


VAUSE: In the U.S., the number of infections as well as deaths has also been on the rise.

The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention warns that the new variants which are now spreading across the country completely risk wiping out all the ground which has been gained. But some extra hope now arriving with a third vaccine. Johnson & Johnson's one and done doses have been sent out for delivery. Could be administered in the coming hours.

CNN's Erica Hill has more.


ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The first Johnson & Johnson vaccines could be in arms tomorrow.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: It's very good news. Now we have three important tools in our armamentarium of capabilities against this virus.

HILL: The advantages of this latest tool? Just one shot and no need for special freezers.

UNKNOWN: This really eases the capacity to get the vaccine where it's needed.

HILL: 3.9 million doses to start.


HILL: With promises of 20 million by the end of the month, the vast majority going to state, local health departments and pharmacies, about four percent marked for community health centers.

J&J already testing a booster for variants. And hoping to expand its trials to children and infants this summer.

DR. PAUL STOFFELS, CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER, JOHNSON & JOHNSON: We are working with the NIH to accelerate that as soon as possible.

HILL: The U.S. now averaging 1.7 million shots a day, 10 percent of the adult population now fully vaccinated.

Hospitalizations nationwide dropping below 50,000 for the first time since November.

DR. CARLOS DEL RIO, EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE DEAN, EMORY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: We're vaccinating more and more people over the age of 60; hospitalizations should continue to drop and mortality should continue to drop.

HILL: But we're not there yet. The seven-day averages for both new cases and daily reported deaths increasing.

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, U.S. CDC DIRECTOR: These data are evidence that our recent declines appear to be stalling.

Please hear me clearly. At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained.

HILL: And yet, states continue to ease restrictions.

FAUCI: It is really risky to say it's over, we're on the way out, let's pull back.

HILL: Indoor performance venues can now open at 50 percent capacity in Massachusetts.

South Carolina eliminated COVID restrictions on alcohol sales and large gatherings.

Florida bracing for spring break.

FRANCIS SOUSA, INTERIM ASSISTANT CHIEF, FORT LAUDERDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT: Well, we're just asking for cooperation from our college students that do decide to come to Fort Lauderdale.

HILL: Experts urging just a bit more patience.

DR. ASHISH JHA, DEAN, BROWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: I'm very bullish on where we will be in May, June, July. But March, April look like tough months that we still have to get through and be very careful about.

HILL (On Camera): On Monday, New York City marking one year since its first confirmed COVID case. Mayor Bill de Blasio calling this the city's longest, toughest year.

While also noting a new milestone, nearly 2 million vaccine doses administered.

HILL (On Camera): In New York, I'm Erica Hill, CNN.


VAUSE: We head to Los Angeles now. Ann Rimoin is a professor of epidemiology at UCLA's School of Public Health.


VAUSE: OK. I want to give you a real-time example of the impact from the authorization of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine.

I want you to listen to the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, why police, fire and school personnel over 50 years old will be next in line for the vaccine. Here he is.


GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FLA): We think we're going to get J&J this week and because we are starting to see higher allocations of the Pfizer, we're also going to see these federal sites open up in four different parts of our state this week, I'll be signing an executive order later today to expand vaccine eligibility.



VAUSE: So there's a couple of things there. There's the new vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, there's these new vaccination centers.

But by year's end, Johnson & Johnson is aiming to have a billion doses produced globally. So between now and that point, when does it become clear the vaccine is making a difference, not just in the U.S. but around the world? What does that actually look like?

RIMOIN: Well, we're going to start seeing the vaccine making a difference. When is it going to make a difference globally? Well, that's when we start seeing a large proportion of the population vaccinated.

We've talked about what herd immunity means before, what do we really need? We really need to see somewhere around 70, 85 percent of the world's population be vaccinated before we really see a major difference.

But when we talk about what's going to happen here, most likely here in the United States, we're probably over this summer, we're going to start to see so many people vaccinated, we're going to see a difference.

But I think that this J&J vaccine -- it's just such a wonderful thing, we have three vaccines in our arsenal now.

We've got really good news coming our way; this vaccine doesn't need to be stored at really cold temperatures. It's a one-dose shot, it's going to be able to be used globally.

In places like the Democratic Republic of Congo where I've spent my career working where it's going to be very difficult to get people to come back, in rural areas like the United States where it's going to be difficult to get people to come back -- we've got a really lot of really good news here.

VAUSE: There's one thing which has been interesting because there's been this focusing on the efficacy of the J&J vaccine compared to Moderna and Pfizer. Is that being sort of overblown?

Because, after all, they share one crucial number which is zero; no one died, no one sent to hospital during the COVID trials?

RIMOIN: John, you're absolutely right. Here's the thing about these vaccines. What we know is they're all really great.

Now, what's really interesting about the J&J vaccine is that we've had zero deaths, we really know that that's the biggest part, the hospitalizations and the deaths. And that's that zero number.

And the other thing about the J&J vaccine is that it was tested when these new variants of concern were circulating. And they were tested in South Africa and Brazil where we really know these variants were circulating at great speed.

And that's -- the thing with the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccines is we weren't testing them during that time period. So it's very possible that these vaccines could be very similar when it comes down to true real world effectiveness.

VAUSE: So it's not really apples and apples, it's sort of the apples and oranges comparison.


VAUSE: I guess though once you do get vaccinated then comes that big question can I take part in the national doorknob licking contest, the answer is no.

But here is presidential adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on more on what you can do.


FAUCI: Small gatherings in the home of people I think you can clearly feel that the risk, the relative risk, is so low that you would not have to wear a mask, that you could have a good social gathering within the home.

Beyond that is going to be based on a combination of data, a combination of modeling and a combination of good, clinical common sense. And the CDC is working on that right now.


VAUSE: The big issue remains asymptomatic patients, they don't show any symptoms but they've been vaccinated, they may be able to continue to spread the virus. That's not known.

But anecdotally, I guess, the evidence is pointing to some very promising news on that. And again, especially with the Johnson & Johnson.

RIMOIN: Clearly. We just need to be cautious when we don't have data because this virus has surprised us many times.

So the whole idea -- it's very possible that you could get infected if you are vaccinated, have an asymptomatic infection, be able to spread it. But the data is starting to bear out that that may not be very common.

We're still waiting to know for sure and we as epidemiologists are always very cautious on that.

But I do agree with Dr. Fauci. I think that when more and more people are vaccinated we're going to start to be able to get back to some normal life. I would say those door licking, those doorknob licking contests that you just mentioned, no longer on the menu of things to be doing. But, really and truly, I think that life is going to be getting back

to normal. But we still do not have enough people vaccinated here in the United States, anywhere in the world. And so we must still be very cautious.

Because this virus is still circulating at a very high number; 65,000, 70,000 cases a day, 2,000 deaths a day. That is not acceptable in terms of numbers.

And so doing all the right things, wearing masks, social distancing, not sharing air with other people is going to save lives. And we still have a lot of lives to be saved.

VAUSE: We decide how this ends, at this point.

RIMOIN: Exactly.

VAUSE: So, Professor Rimoin, thank you so much. Appreciate you being with us.

RIMOIN: My pleasure.

VAUSE: Well, for the time being U.S. will not share vaccine supplies with Mexico.

The White House says the request from Mexico's president might be considered only when there is enough vaccine for every American, about six months from now.

During a virtual meeting though on Monday, President Biden told his Mexican counterpart that he still wants to work with that country to get this pandemic under control. As well as to address challenges like border security.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. President, this is what I know, the United States and Mexico are stronger when we stand together.

There is a long and complicated history between our nations that haven't always been perfect neighbors among another but we have seen over and over again, the power and the purpose when we cooperate. And we're safer when we work together.


VAUSE: Ron Brownstein is a CNN senior political analyst and senior editor for "The Atlantic," and he's also in Los Angeles. Ron, good to see you. Thanks for being with us.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SNR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Hey, John. Thanks for having me.

VAUSE: OK. The house read out after that meeting made no mention of vaccines --


VAUSE: Only the two leaders -- "agreed to deepen cooperation on pandemic including by enhancing public health capabilities, information sharing, development of border policies."

But it seems Russia and China are now quickly filling that demand. I have this report from Axios that -- "at least 10 Latin American countries have obtained Russia's Sputnik vaccine or expect to soon, while 10 more are expecting doses from China's Sinovac or Sinopharm."

This is just -- seems to be another significant example of Russian and China filling this void left by the U.S. And looked at in totality, it says a lot about where global relations are right now and where they're heading, even with a new U.S. president.

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Well, look, obviously Joe Biden comes from kind of the internationalist tradition that predates Trump. His instinct is to kind of reassert American leadership of the Western alliance which he sees a concept and a valuable concept to nurture.

But I think the politics of the pandemic are such that with many, many Americans still frustrated and waiting for vaccines, it's really unlikely and politically impossible for any president to be talking about assisting other countries in an important way.

Even though before all Americans who want it can get it and even though all experts will tell you that it will not be fully under control until the poor -- countries that are less affluent around the world are also afforded access to the vaccine.

VAUSE: Yes. True there's been -- the whole vaccine thing barely came up, we understand. But of more immediate concern for Joe Biden was trying to roll back some of those Trump era immigration policies.


VAUSE: The new secretary of Homeland Security had this message for a growing number of asylum seekers and migrants on the southern border.

Here he is.


ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, SECRETARY, U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY: We need individuals to wait. We are not saying don't come, we are saying don't come now because we will be able to deliver a safe and orderly process to them as quickly as possible.


VAUSE: After that flurry of executive orders -- what was it, week two of Biden's Administration -- how much has actually been done in undoing those policies and putting in place a new system which doesn't end up putting kids in cages?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Well, as you point out there are big legislative proposals on one side that mostly have to do with legalizing people or providing legal status for people who are already here whether it's the Dreamers whether it's, quote, essential workers, ag workers.

And Democrats are trying to find a path forward to do that in the House and the Senate that would evade an almost certain Republican filibuster.

But there's the whole other side of the ledger which is the enforcement at the border. And there the problems are very knotty.

Mexico is critical to trying to get control of the flow of undocumented people who are coming through the border especially unaccompanied kids. And the relationship between Trump and Lopez Obrador, the Mexican president, had to be one of the most surprising in the world.

A left-wing populist president of Mexico who was thought going to be a severe antagonist calling out Trump for his nativism and racism and many things, instead became a staunch partner and was actually praising him by all accounts in the post-election meetings with Biden.

So exactly how that relationship unfolds, exactly what Mexico is and is not willing to do as Biden tries to sand down the roughest edges of the Trump policies, that really remains to be seen even after today, by all accounts.

VAUSE: And the clock is ticking on all this. Because there's this reporting from the "Washington Post" that --

"At the current rate, the Biden Administration is on pace to receive even more unaccompanied minors in the coming month than during the 2019 crisis when the record numbers of Central American children and families overwhelmed Trump officials."

Also, for the new Homeland Security secretary, he said a lot of these last-minute agreements and policy changes by the Trump Administration --


VAUSE: -- have made a bad situation worse.

Listen to this example.


MAYORKAS: One day before the new administration was to commence an agreement with the union of Immigration & Customs Enforcement, that the union must approve any policy changes in the immigration arena, I had -- I had been in government for almost 20 years now. Now I have never seen a contract like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: On the surface, at least, there could only be one reason that

that agreement can serve, only one purpose for that.


BROWNSTEIN: Yes. Well, look, the union is a very conservative institution that was very supportive of the hardest line Trump measures.

And, obviously, Biden is trying to set a different direction while also maintaining control of the border. It's a myth that Biden or any of the Democrats talked about completely -- maybe not any -- talked about completely open borders.

He is trying to find a way that offers kind of a humane path for people who genuinely have a need to seek asylum, who are coming from untenable situations in their home countries which is now, of course, more Central America than Mexico. And at the same time, prevent just an all out flood on the border.

It's going to take time and there are going to be hiccups without a doubt. There is not a straight line toward threading that needle.

But as he tries to unwind the Trump policies -- for example, requiring refugees, asylees to wait in Mexico in these squalid camps, it is going to be challenging for him. And the union is not going to help.

Plus, as you saw on Sunday, Trump is going to be out there hectoring from the bleachers and putting pressure on Republicans to impose what he's trying to do.

So it is a very narrow pathway on the border. Just as it is a narrow pathway on the other side of -- what I call the other side of the ledger, which are the legislative attempts to try and create some kind of legal status for some portion of the roughly 11 million undocumented in the U.S.

VAUSE: We should say the former president made a bunch of incorrect and blatantly untruthful statements over the weekend. That's why we didn't play them.

Ron, thank you. Ron Brownstein in Los Angeles. Thank you.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks, John.

VAUSE: Still to come. Nicolas Sarkozy's fall from grace. The former French president sentenced to prison for corruption in what was a historic court ruling.


VAUSE: For the first time in France's modern history, a former president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has been sentenced to prison.

He was convicted on corruption charges for trying to bribe a judge for information on a probe of his campaign finances after he left office. Two years of Sarkozy's sentence were suspended. He will likely serve

out house arrest instead of jail time. Sarkozy plans to appeal that ruling.

For more, Dominic Thomas is with us now, CNN European Affairs commentator. He's also chair of the Department of French & Francophone studies at UCLA.

Dominic, thanks for being with us.

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Great to see you, John. Thanks for having me on.

VAUSE: You're welcome. Now in the grand scheme of things, how serious are Sarkozy's crimes? Because his predecessor, Jacques Chirac, received a two-year suspended sentence, that was for the misuse of public funds for his time as Paris mayor. But obviously there's history.

THOMAS: There is history here. And it's pretty bad, when you think about the frequency of this now.

What's unique about the Sarkozy case is that it actually involves one year of a firm sentence. Now he won't actually -- the likelihood is if the appeal does not go through that he will not serve it physically but he may be forced to wear an ankle bracelet.

And so things have escalated here.


And what's fascinating about this is it's the result of these investigations that have pointed to the particular corruption here rather than the investigations into the donations and the misuses of funds here.

And so this adds a whole other layer to the story.

VAUSE: At one point, Sarkozy became the least popular French president since Nazi collaborator, Philippe Petain, and yet there was this talk of a Napoleon-like comeback for the next coming elections.

But after this sentencing -- and there's still another court case to go, politically, is it all over now for Sarkozy?

THOMAS: I don't think it is, John. Because in this case, he's going to appeal and there has not been a request made for him to be disqualified for public office and so this story is not over.

Nor are the other cases that he has going relating to all sorts of other activities when he was in office.

Now he is an extraordinarily polarizing figure. But things have changed since 2016 when he tried to run again for his party and was not selected. The Macron election was somewhat unusual where he ended up in the

second round running a movement, not even a party, against Marine Le Pen. And the right has remained a great problem for Macron to the extent that it's not organized right now, he appropriated many of their figures.

But Sarkozy has the profile and the recognition on that side of the political spectrum to potentially run.

And all he would need to do would be to get a score somewhere in the 20s to be able to make it into that runoff stage which is where Macron and Le Pen currently stand in the polls. So it's by no means a long shot.

VAUSE: We talk about this being historic and it is. But there is a long list of former world leaders who have faced trial for misdeeds -- you have Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac. Also the former Israeli president, five years for rape, former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, time for accepting bribes.

Two former South Korean presidents. There's an arrest warrant out right now for Jacob Zuma by South African authorities. Lula da Silva of Brazil went to jail for corruption just shy of 600 days. That list just goes on and on and on.

But in the U.S., when it comes to former presidents facing criminal charges there's a real reluctance -- be it Nixon or Trump or George W. Bush for the Iraq War or Bill Clinton for the Lewinsky scandal.

So what is the main difference here? How does it play into what is happening in France and what could be happening in the United States?

THOMAS: It's interesting. What it really does point to is the prevalence of political leaders that seem to be running for office to advance their own personal agendas and financial agendas, as opposed to actually doing what they're supposed to do which is representing the people.

The immediate impact of this, of course, is that this fuels the anti- establishment sentiment around corruption and so on. And it's precisely the sort of oxygen that encourages these political parties.

What's so egregious, I think, in the case of Nicolas Sarkozy is that this is somebody who's held political office going all the way back to the 1990's including cabinet positions, and included being minister of the interior and being sort of the top cop in the country with a reputation for being especially uncompromising and harsh.

And yet, this is somebody who used this position of power and of authority and has engaged in a whole range of corrupt practices that are a product of this entitlement. And I think that the political establishment in France does not forget this.

These are historically, Macron and Sarkozy, people who came to power as some of the youngest presidents in the history of the French Republic. They're still around, they're political threats and they're all settling scores with one another.

VAUSE: There was a pile -- a mountain of evidence in this case including recordings between Sarkozy's former campaign manager who would refer to the former president as "the dwarf," and the former first lady, Carla Bruni, who reportedly would remind her husband that he is a kept man because she is worth millions.

If Sarkozy loses his appeal against his sentence and has to do time, it does put house arrest in a new light though, doesn't it?

THOMAS: It certainly does. But I think that that for many people is not enough. We have what again, yet again, elected officials engaged in absolutely egregious and proven records of corruption.

And yet, they don't end up behind bars. There always seems to be a way in which they achieve, perhaps, a different kind of immunity which is the incapacity of the system to actually sentence them properly for what it is that they've been up to.

And this, of course, does a tremendous disservice to the political system here.

VAUSE: Dominic, thank you. Dominic Thomas there for us in L.A. As always, good to see you.

THOMAS: Great to see you. Thanks, John.

VAUSE: Breaking news from Nigeria. A government official says 300 school girls kidnapped in the country's northwest have all been rescued and are now safe.

Gunmen raided a state-run school early Friday -- it's a region which is growing increasingly lawless in recent months.


CNN's Stephanie Busari joins me now live from Lagos. So Stephanie, just tell us about the details about the release and how these girls were rescued. What do we know at this point?

STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN SUPERVISING EDITOR, AFRICA (On the phone, Voice over): Good morning, John. Yes, this is good news coming out of Nigeria this morning.

I spoke earlier to the state house aide who told me that about 4:00 a.m. this morning, these girls arrived at the state house following talks with the kidnappers and the governor. We're told that they're in a good condition and all appeared to be healthy. And currently, being hosted at the state house, as I say, with the governor.

No word yet on whether a ransom was paid, but it seems likely because that is a pattern that we have seen with these recent kidnappings.

This is, after all, the third kidnapping in as many months and they've been released very quickly after ransoms have been paid. President Buhari himself last week came out and urged state governors

in the northern parts of Nigeria where these kidnappings are particularly rife, urging them not to pay ransoms to kidnappers and terrorists, as he called them. And he also urged them to step up security around schools.

Many parents we've spoken to are devastated that they cannot send their children to school and keep them safe in a place where it's supposed to be a haven for them. Some of them have vowed not to send their children to school.

So some state governors have responded by closing down their boarding facilities which are the most kind of vulnerable.

This is a developing story, John, and we're monitoring for the latest update and we will bring that to you, as soon as we have it.

VAUSE: Yes. Just while we have you though. One of the big differences, if you look what's happened recently with all these kidnappings, and there have been a lot -- the biggest difference between what's happening now and what happened with Chibok with "Bring Back Our Girls," a few years ago, is, essentially, time.

Those girls were held for a very, very long period of time. And now it seems these kids are being kidnapped and released within a couple of days. Which sort of goes to the point that there is a ransom being paid.

BUSARI: Yes. It's largely because money is changing hands, John. It's now seen as a business revenue maker, if you like.

They see the schools as soft targets, they go in, pick the girls -- and boys in some instances -- up. And because of the high profile nature of these cases, because of the separation from the parents and the willingness to bring the kids that quickly, these sums are being paid to criminals.

And it is, some believe, emboldening others to do the same in this part of Nigeria.

It's not believed that this is actually part of Boko Haram who's largely operated in the northeast of the country because all of these kidnappings that we've seen have been in the northwest and north central part of Nigeria.

So these are, really, what people are calling armed bandits around here in this part of Nigeria.

VAUSE: Stephanie, thank you. Stephanie Busari on the line from Lagos with the very latest on the release of almost 300 schoolgirls who were kidnapped just a few days ago.

We'll take a short break.

When we come back, Johnson & Johnson promising millions of doses in record time. It's a big order for the drug manufacturers. But they say they will meet it.



JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM with me, John Vause.

Well, the first shipments of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine are arriving at distribution centers across the United States. The major rollout, now just hours away.

The third vaccine to be authorized for emergency use could be a game- changer. It requires just one dose, doesn't need to be kept in the deep freeze storage.

Johnson & Johnson CEO tells CNN that millions of doses are now ready to go.


ALEX GORSKY, CEO, JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Consider that 12 months ago, we were literally getting genetic sequencing information in an email. And today, this vaccine has been dosed in more than 50,000 patients.

The fact that we are, literally, real-time, getting ready to move 3.9 million doses here in the United States and ramping up to 20.


VAUSE: Vaccine manufacturers say they are ramping production to meet that demand and to get those vaccines out to distribution.

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta shows us how they manage to produce so many doses in so little time.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have a plan to roll out as quickly as Johnson and Johnson can make it.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): But the truth is no matter how fast they go, it's never going to feel fast enough.

The number, out of the gate, meaning right after an authorization, will be closer to 10 million. Now we're hearing 4 million. How is the public to make sense of that?

SEAN KIRK, EMERGENT BIOSOLUTIONS: We don't ultimately control the distribution and the volumes of the vaccines and final bottle form. We are playing that middle step.

DR. GUPTA: Making a new vaccine by the millions was always going to be an impressive feat. Sean Kirk is the executive vice president of manufacturing and technical operations, at Emergent Biosolutions. And right now, he feels the weight of the world on his shoulders.

KIRK: You can't sacrifice safety and quality for speed.

DR. GUPTA: And it's his job to strike that balance.

(on camera): What is the biggest hurdle then to scaling up?

KIRK: The bottleneck oftentimes at these things just don't happen overnight. It can be a multi year timeframe that we have undertaken. Unfortunately, we've been able to impress that down.

DR. GUPTA (voice over): Emergent Biosolutions is one of Johnson & Johnson's manufacturing partners. At it's sprawling 112,000 square foot facility in Baltimore, it plays a key role of actually producing the viral vectors for the vaccine. Basically, the part that makes it work.

(on camera): What limits the capacity here?

KIRK: We're dependent upon a variety of different critical suppliers, who also were rallying to the cause. So the entirety of this industrial orchestration, if you will, is very significant and very complex.

DR. GUPTA (on camera): For starters, they have to grow the tissue cultures in these large reactors. So they're dealing with actual, living organisms. They have to ensure they have all the proper nutrients they need to grow, and then, go through the purification steps to remove any debris.

KIRK: The manufacturing of biologic vaccine process is likely -- typically takes several weeks, upwards of a month. What is important to note is that we are in a cadence which means we don't wait for a single line to move all the way through it before we initiate another line.

DR. GUPTA: After all that, the newly manufactured vaccine is frozen, and shipped more than 600 miles to another company. Catalent, that's in Bloomington Indiana. What happens there?

Fill and finish. And then, every single vial is visually inspected, hundreds per minute, will pass through this process.

It's fast. a break-nick speed, Kirk says. But again, in the middle of a pandemic, nothing is fast enough.

KIRK: We expect to reach the maximum of that commercial cadence, but we'll always look for opportunities to further refine in partnership with our customers to tease out as many doses as possible.

DR. GUPTA (on camera): When they say a billion doses, potentially by the end of 2021, that number sounds reasonable to you? Based on what you know?

KIRK: Suffice it to say, we've got a little bit farther to go to get there. But that is all according to the plan and contracts that we have with Johnson and Johnson.

DR. GUPTA: Every dose, every vial, can still make a difference for the billions of people around the world waiting for their shot at protection.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


VAUSE: Even with three vaccines now in the mix, there are still concerns over those new variants and how they will fare against those vaccines.

The CEO of BioNTech discussed that and more in an exclusive interview with CNN's Fred Pleitgen.


UGUR SAHIN, CEO, BIONTECH: The first concern is, for example, the concern related to variants like the U.K. variant which is spreading faster, and this is of course, a relevant concern.

But there is also a second concern that the variants could escape the immune response. The second concern is a relative one. I'm not too much concerned about that.

We believe particularly, the mRNA vaccines and BNT162b2 is designed, in a way, which is very robust against variants.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): To what extent do you think a single dose strategy, vaccinating everyone as fast as possible, is something that could be possible or at least stretching out the amount of time between the first, and second dose.

It's that something that you think is feasible? And how feasible do you think it is?

SAHIN: So first of all, it is important that we need the vaccination campaigns to go as fast as possible. And the first strategy for that would be not to stall the second dose, but really, really ensure that everyone -- that we don't have vaccines in the freezer, but vaccines really being used.

PLEITGEN: And what point do you think that it could be available to the entire population?

SAHIN: We have already vaccinated children at the age of 12 to 15 years. We are going to start clinical trials in children of ages 5 to 11 years. And then in children younger than 5 years already in 2021. So this is important also to support school openings.


VAUSE: The European Commission is hoping a COVID-19 digital passport will jump-start travel for the upcoming northern summer. The passport would provide proof that the holder has been vaccinated, test results for those not yet vaccinated and information on COVID-19 recovery. There you go.

France has approved the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for the age 65 to 75 and with serious health conditions. The move comes after a new batch of data on its effectiveness from that group. Those 75 and older will continue to get the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines only.

Anyone in Israel who's recovered from COVID for at least the last three months will now be offered single vaccine doses. Israel is far outpacing the rest of the world in vaccinations with most Israelis having received at least one dose.

A new study showing it's paying off with notable drops in new cases this year. Israel has since lifted some of the more stringent lockdown measures.

Columbia, the first country in the Americas to receive vaccine from the U.N.-led COVAX program. At least 117,000 Pfizer doses arrived Monday, another 20 million or so expected later this year.

The country has secured even more vaccine, strictly from drug companies and hopes to inoculate 35 million people, enough for herd immunity.

Well, faced with escalating violence and the deadliest day of protest yet, there are urgent calls for action to resolve the political crisis in Myanmar.

And the fight for democracy in Hong Kong moves from the streets to the courtroom. Details on a land mark hearing some believe will further stifle democracy.



VAUSE: Well, calls are growing for a stronger response to the military coup in Myanmar as well as the increasingly violent confrontations between protesters and security forces.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations will hold a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss this crisis in the coming hours.

Ivan Watson, live in Hong Kong, with details here. Ivan, last time ASEAN sat down to discuss Myanmar, they didn't do a whole lot. So why will it be different this time?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I don't know if it will be. Usually, the policy of ASEAN is not to -- it's a policy of non-interference. Interesting that the Singaporean foreign minister in comments on Monday, basically called for the immediate release of the detained, de facto leader of the elected government that was swept from power in the military coup on February 1st.

And she also directly accused the military of opening fire with live rounds on peaceful, unarmed demonstrators. So could that perhaps sway the direction of the meeting that is supposed to be taking place today? I don't know.

What is fascinating is that the general who declared himself leader of the government, the military dictatorship on February 1st, in comments in military controlled media, he defends the police saying that they have been doing their work, in accordance with democratic practices and using minimum force.

This, despite the fact that the United Nations Human Rights Office has accused security forces of killing 18 people across the country on Sunday.


WATSON (voice over): Shock and grief after the deadliest day since Myanmar's-month-old military coup. 23-year-old Ko Ko Htet Naing (ph) and his mother, mourn the sudden loss of his twin brother, Ni Ni (ph).

He was one of the victims of Sunday's burst of bloody violence.

KO KO AUNG HTET NAING, VICTIM'S BROTHER: We go to the road, and we fight for our democracy. But they shoot to my brother.

WATSON: Ko Ko says the twins attended many protesters again the military dictatorship after the February 1st, military coup.

HTET NAING: Again, the military coup and we all -- we really want democracy.

WATSON: On the night of Saturday February 27th, Ni Ni posted what would be his final message on Facebook. "#how many dead bodies U.N. need to take action?"

On Sunday morning, the twins were part of this crowd in front of Yangon's number 5 business education high school. Half hour earlier, police had fired tear gas down the street, sending protesters running.

But at 9:20 a.m., after a brief lull in the tension, this was Ni Ni, crumpled, in front of the school gate.

Amid more gunfire, bystanders struggled to drag him to safety. The brothers had been separated in the panic, Ko Ko, only learned his brother was fatally wounded with a bullet to the stomach after he, repeatedly, called his twin's phone.

HTET NAING: I called my brother again and again. After that one of the guys, he -- I mean he took my phone and he said, this is not your brother. Your brother has been shot by the military.

WATSON: The spasm of violence erupted across Myanmar Sunday, claiming victims in at least six cities, according to the United Nations Human Rights Office.

The U.N. Secretary General and U.S. Secretary of State, both condemned security forces for attacking peaceful protesters. CNN has tried to reach the military for comment, but it has not

responded. The military-controlled media insists, police only used tear gas and stun grenades, against what they described, as rioting protesters.

On Monday, protesters were back out on the streets of Yangon, rebuilding their barricades. Sundays' killings have only angered the anti-military movement, this activists says.

THINZAR SUNLEI YI, ACTIVIST: Even today, after many people were killed yesterday. Even today, we see a lot of people out on the streets. They resisted in the same scale. So nothing can eventually will stop us, that's what the military needs to be convinced about that.


WATSON: There's a memorial on the street where Ni Ni bled. Ko Ko hopes his brother's death will not be in vain.

HTET NAING: Please help us, the Myanmar people. Please reject our military, because they are not our leaders. They are not our government. They are not our future.


WATSON: Now John, Min Aung Hlaing, the man who again declared himself leader of the government after sweeping aside and detained the elected government on February 1st, had a remarkable quote for its understatement in the Global Light of Myanmar, the state-controlled newspaper. He said, quote, "The nation was peaceful during the first week of his But riots and protests have been occurring since the second week. He also said that instructed different ministries to take measures to combat the civil disobedience movement.

In addition to the protests on the streets of different cities, and towns. What has really had an impact, people tell me in Myanmar, is the wide scale strike, and refusal to work by people from all sorts of different sectors of the economy and the Civil Service.

So everything from doctors, to transport workers. So we're hearing that the transport sector has been severely impacted. And, perhaps, hitting hardest of all, is the banking sector. With people describe, thanks not just functioning So it makes it almost impossible to pay people salaries, or to pay suppliers.

And the government is conceding Min Aung Hlaing is saying they need to get find a way to get people to go back to work.

How do you force, potentially, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of people, to go to work if they refused to? That is a major dilemma for this military dictatorship, John.

VAUSE: Ivan, thank you.

VAUSE: Ivan Watson, live for us in Hong Kong. Staying in Hong Kong, court proceedings for almost 50 pro-democracy activists have resumed. Up to 40 accused fainted and were treated in hospital. They're being charged with conspiracy to commit subversion under the strict national security law.

Staying live in Hong Kong, this time CNN's Will Ripley. So exactly what does that mean? What did they do?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they want to stand in a primary election. And judging by the local elections, the pro-democracy parties would've done pretty well. But then the Hong Kong government said that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn't safe to hold a primary, something that many people viewed as an excuse to push back an election that would have had a very unfavorable result for pro- Beijing parties, which were on track to get annihilated in the polls.

And then, what the government did is, of course, the national security law was passed. It was imposed on the city by Beijing. So they made these candidates criminals. They disqualified them.

They disqualified them by saying, and now accusing them, formally, of this complicated plot to gain a controlling majority in the legislative council so that they could halt, and paralyzed, city operations like budget.

In other words, they would get enough seats that the people that were elected by Hong Kong would actually be able to push back and not necessarily toe Beijing's line.

And given that this government has always been stacked in Beijing's favor since the 1997 handover from British rule, anything that could jeopardize that, simply not unacceptable to the government here which is handpicked by Beijing.

So all semblance of democracy, pretty much, out the window because now the candidates will be selected by Beijing. The chief executive approved by Beijing, and the chief executive picks the judge that here is these national security law cases -- 47 of them, bail being denied for people, they might have to be held for 3 months to give prosecutors time to build this case, of this subversion plot. In other words, wanting to be elected by the people.

It is an extremely troubling development. Some people are still holding out hope that Hong Kong's judiciary will come through here and vindicate people, who the pro-democracy movement says, are guilty of nothing other than wanting to represent Hong Kongers, themselves.

But if you think of the fact, John, that nearly every high-profile activist and politician is now either jailed or in exile, some members of the media have already been targeted, could academics be next? It is an extremely uncertain and troubling time.

And despite the condemnation of western countries, Beijing considers what happened here in Hong Kong internal affairs. They want the outside world to stop meddling in their affairs. Basically, they want Hong Kong to get in line, just like every other Chinese city. VAUSE: Yes. And they will make it happen, I guess. Will, think you.

Will Ripley -- in Hong Kong.

Well, the silver lining of pandemic lockdowns has been Cleaner Air. But with the global economy now ramping back up, so too are carbon emissions. More on that when we come back. We'll tell you by how much.

Also Prince Philip has been moved to another hospital in London, and we will tell you why after a moment.



VAUSE: An iceberg bigger than New York City has broken away from the brush (ph) ice shelf in antarctica. Scientists have been closely monitoring the shelf for years after large cracks on the skeleton a decade ago.

They say, recently, those cracks have been expanding rapidly, up to a kilometer per day. The whole process is called carving, and happens naturally. And was not impacted directly by climate change. In fact, scientists say, the breakaway was long overdue.

Well, one of the very few positives to come from the pandemic and the lockdowns, was the largest annual drop in global energy related carbon transmission since World War II. But now, as economies start-up, the experts say CO2 emissions are rebounding back and rebounding big league.

CNN Business emerging markets editor John Defterios, live for us in Abu Dhabi.

Ok. So this is interesting because ok, there is no one driving a car, industry closed down, no one going to work -- no emissions.

But now they've come back, and they are higher in the last what part of the 2020 compared to 2019?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes. It's December that they are measuring the International Energy Agency in Paris, John. This is a classic V-shape recovery. As the economy starts to recover, so too do emissions.

So let's look at that score card from the IEA. It's the global energy review that they put out every year.

We're not going to see a drop like this again in emissions 8.6 percent, right, is a huge fall and near 6 percent for the year. It's amazing there that 8.6 (AUDIO GAP) the year -- nearly six percent for the year. And then you see the drop in demand of 8.6 percent for oil in itself.

Again, we've never seen that before in the industry, but what you are suggesting is the most important headline here, where are we going back to. Overall up 2 percent in the month of December, year on year. The biggest boost there coming from China. And China only dropped in emissions John, in the first quarter of 2020. It was going right back up again.

India started going positive in terms of its emissions output in September. So you have the two largest emerging markets in the world cranking up their economies again, and their emissions.

Now, the good news here, the European Union use it as an opportunity for the COVID-19 pandemic to pass a lot of net zero targets for 2050. I would say the UK, France, Germany, Denmark, led the way there.

But it was pretty pervasive throughout the European millers. And in fact in 2020, that drop of nearly 6 percent was the equivalent of taking the European Union outside the global economy when it comes to emissions.

Also net positive here, Joe Biden resetting the targets by the end of the year for Cop 26 which will take place, the big conference in November and December in Glasgow. And the Chinese are giving indications, they'll be much more aggressive on the outlook to 2050 at the same time.

But it's not the global buy-in to move to renewable as fast as expected as a result of the pandemic as we start to see the recovery.

VAUSE: You know, back in the day they used to say that if you want to know what is truly happening with China's economy, look to the sky. And if there's a lot of pollution then things are going well, obviously not for the planet or the environment, but for their economy.

I guess, how much can you use the same analogy here? What is this indicative of where the global recovery is and where it is not?


DEFTERIOS: Well, I like what you are saying here, John because the Chinese do a little bit of everything, right because they've got the most coal plants being constructed in the world right now. But also, the most aggressive push towards electric vehicles. And that was the other silver lining last year.

Electric vehicles surged 40 percent in terms of overall sales to 3 million. That's a small number but auto sales overall, dropped by 15 percent. And then just look at the oil players there's a big (INAUDIBLE) conference taking place in Houston, the largest every year.

And we are hearing from the global oil and gas CEOs, that oil demand will rise for the next decade. We're in that space in between, John, if this make sense where we cross 100 million barrels a day in 2019, dropped significantly in 2020.

And that space in between is do you go back up to hundred million and then level off and dropped quite significantly? This is the energy transition.

So right now, there is demand, John, but in the next 20 years, it will be a very different program indeed when it comes to renewables.

VAUSE: Yes, I guess a lot of things are going to change after this pandemic. It was -- the pandemic was a lightning strike, and the thunder is the social change yet to come.

John, thank you. John Defterios, in Abu Dhabi.

Well, Britain's Prince Philip has been moved to another hospital in London. Now undergoing heart tests, along with treatment for an earlier infection.

The 99 year old husband of Queen Elizabeth has been in hospital for the past two weeks now. Details from CNN's Anna Stewart.


ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It has already been the longest hospital stay that Prince Philip's ever had, and it's getting longer. After 13 nights staying in a small private hospital in central London, the 99 year old was move by ambulance to this much bigger facility.

St. Barts is an internationally recognized hospital, and Britain's National Health Service says it has the largest specialized cardiovascular service in Europe. The palace says the duke of Edinburgh is now undergoing testing and observations for a pre- existing heart condition.

That's in addition to being treated for an infection. In 2011, we know the duke received stent treatment for a blocked coronary artery, but it's unclear whether the two are related.

The palace say the duke remains comfortable, but he's likely to remains here until at least the end of the week. A much longer stay than anticipated, and particularly concerning, given that the duke is just months' shy of his 100th birthday.

Anna Stewart, CNN -- London.


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