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WHO Report: Virus Likely Came from Animals, Not Lab; ISIS Group Claims Responsibility for Palma Siege; First Oil Tanker in Months Docks at Hodeidah Port; Irish Sea Border Issues Threaten Peace; Trial Begins for Ex Police Office Charged with Murder of George Floyd; WHO Report On SARS-Cov-2 Origin Raises More Questions Than Answers; "Ever Given" Finally Freed In Suez Canal; Myanmar Refugees Flee From Military Airstrikes In The North; Director Of CDC: "I'm Scared." Walensky's Plea To Americans To Stay Vigilant; Bolsonaro Replaces Six Cabinet Members In One Move. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired March 30, 2021 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, ANCHOR, CNN NEWSROOM: Live around the world, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Hello, everyone. I'm John Vause, great to have you with us for another hour.
Coming up. The origin story riddled with holes. A joint China WHO report into where the coronavirus came from raises more questions than answers with demands now for a full independent international investigation.
The tide has finally turned and the ""Ever Given" floats free. But who's responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars of losses caused by the Japan owned, Taiwan operated, Panama registered cargo ship stuck in the Suez Canal for almost a week?
And the Saudis allow the first fuel shipment this year through their blockade to reach Yemen bringing oil and gas to last for a week, maybe a few days more.
The long awaited report on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic is being released this hour.
There are no surprises in the final conclusion which is expected to say COVID-19 likely made a mysterious jump from animals to humans. And the theory it may have leaked from a lab with a bio-safety level four designation which is the highest security status for a research facility in China like the one in Wuhan -- which for the record has a history of questionable safety -- well, that was deemed highly unlikely.
Still, the head of the WHO says all theories should be looked at more closely.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR GENERAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: All hypotheses are on the table and warrant complete and further studies from what I have seen so far. Of course, I will have more to say following further review and understanding of the report.
But for now, all hypotheses will be on the table and will need further study.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The report was written in part by international experts who visited Wuhan where the virus was first detected. But where they went, who they spoke to and what they were allowed to ask was all tightly controlled by Beijing, part of a deal to gain access in the first place.
Some scientists and officials have questioned the independence of this report since it was co-written by researchers from China.
CNN's Kristie Lu Stout following all of this live from Hong Kong.
So I guess the question is was this report at the end of the day worth it given all the restrictions which were placed on the research team by Beijing?
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of questions about the methodology, about the access, about the process that went into compiling and creating this report. And also what it eventually concluded.
CNN has a copy, a draft copy, of this 123-page report by the World Health Organization that is looking into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
And yes, it's got a lot of details in there but no, new ground- breaking insight, no smoking gun, as to the definitive origin of the pandemic.
According to this report, it says that the origin is most likely from an animal not from a lab. It also says that the virus most likely circulated at most one to two months before it was detected initially in December of 2019.
It walks through four possible origin stories of the virus, the most likely being that there was an intermediary animal host involved, an intermediary animal that was infected by a bat -- but which animal?
According to this WHO report, we don't know. That remains, quote, elusive.
Now a next likely source is direct transmission from an infected animal like a bat or a pangolin. It also lists possible but not probable source of the virus is cold-chain transmission through cold or frozen food or food packaging which is a theory that has been actively pushed by China over the last year -- and least likely from an accidental lab leak. Now we did hear from Peter Daszak, he was part of the team of this WHO investigative team that went to China to look into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic and he put the focus squarely on wildlife, the wildlife markets.
Listen to what he says about the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, the seafood market that sold more than seafood, wildlife as well.
Take a listen.
PETER DASZAK, MEMBER OF WHO TEAM INVESTIGATING COVID-19: And what we found in China was that market sold seafood and it also sold wildlife and wildlife products and whole carcasses of animals and live animals of different types from farms across China.
So there was definitely a pathway that takes -- animals coming into that market from all over China including the places where the nearest relatives of SARS-CoV-2 have been found in bats.
So what we found I think is pretty important evidence of a way the virus could have emerged from rural China into a big city like Wuhan and led to an outbreak.
STOUT: I should add that the link between wildlife markets like that one in Huanan and the virus is something that CNN reported on over a year ago, in January of last year.
The team of scientists over the last year especially when they were on the ground in Wuhan around the area for this report, they've been facing this political quagmire.
There have been rival theories from the United States, from China, as to the origin of the virus. Did it come from a lab in Wuhan, did it come from a U.S. army lab?
But according to this report, it says that would be, quote, extremely unlikely.
Let's bring up language for you from the report.
It says as follows, quote: "There is no record of viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 in any laboratory before December 2019 of genomes that in combination could provide a SARS-CoV-2 genome. In view of the above, a laboratory origin of the pandemic was considered to be extremely unlikely," unquote.
And John, independent researchers have been saying that for months.
Back to you.
VAUSE: Kristie Lu, thank you. Kristie Lu Stout live for us in Hong Kong. Please stay with us here on CNN. We'll continue to look at this report, a lot more on it at the bottom of the hour.
Well, while the pandemic rages in Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro is shuffling his inner circle replacing six ministers just on Monday.
Stefano Pozzebon explains what's behind this upheaval.
STEFAN POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro replaced six cabinet members on Monday, a move aimed at putting more loyal figures into key positions.
Among the ministers replaced were the defense minister, the foreign affair minister and the federal attorney general.
The outgoing defense minister wrote in his resignation letter that he aimed at respecting the armed force independence as a state institution.
And this comes after weeks of scrambling from the Bolsonaro government how to tackle a rising pandemic.
Brazil has been among the countries most affected in the world by coronavirus as Bolsonaro has repeatedly clashed with local administrators who tried to impose lockdown and social distancing order, to try curb the spread of the pandemic.
The outgoing attorney general for example, just weeks ago refused to comply with an order from Bolsonaro to challenge a local authority's order for lockdown.
POZZEBON (On Camera): For CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.
VAUSE: France is also facing a surge in confirmed cases with more COVID patients in intensive care now than there were at the peak of the second wave in November.
Hospitals in Paris are the most affected. Doctors say they've never experience anything like this not even during the worst terrorist attacks in recent years.
The government warns new coronavirus restrictions could soon be coming.
In sharp contrast, England has begun loosening its COVID measures. Stay at home orders were lifted on Monday. It means two households of groups of up to six people can now meet outdoors.
The new freedoms are due in part to the U.K.'s successful vaccine rollout.
Dr. Jonathan Reiner is a CNN medical analyst as well as professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University.
Dr. Reiner, welcome back.
DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Thanks for having me, John. VAUSE: OK. Right now from France where the number of patients admitted to the ICU is higher now than during the second wave to Brazil where infection is spreading increasingly among the younger age groups to the U.S. where the rising numbers here brought this reaction from the head of the CDC.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, U.S. CDC DIRECTOR: Now is one of those times when I have to share the truth and I have to hope and trust you will listen.
I'm going to pause here, I'm going to lose the script and I'm going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom.
We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope. But right now I'm scared.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Just explain where that mixture of fear and frustration is coming from And what does it say about the reasons behind these rising numbers, not just in the U.S. but I guess everywhere?
REINER: Well, I really thought that Dr. Walensky's comments today were right on the mark. And I loved hearing her speak from the heart.
She's been pretty scripted since she took the directorship job in January. And it was really good to see her talk as a doctor and as a mother and as a citizen about her concerns.
The U.S. is in a much better place than we were in January. We're averaging about 25 percent of the cases per day that we saw in January.
We're actually in a lot better place than many of the places in the world but we're starting to see a politic up in a few parts of the United States, particularly the state of Michigan, cases are really rising.
But what I think Dr. Walensky is saying is that we have all the tools now to put out this fire.
We have these remarkably effective vaccines but we have to hold on as she says, doing all of the social distancing and mask wearing that we've done to this point to get us to the point where we can really come out on the other side into a largely pandemic-free zone, hopefully by the end of this summer.
But she's worried that if left unchecked we'll start to see significant rises. And we're seeing this play out in Europe now where they've done a much less good job at vaccinating people. And they have much further to go until they can start to see some sunshine.
VAUSE: Well, in Britain where they've done a pretty good job of vaccinations as well they're moving ahead with the next stage of this reopening roadmap, allowing outdoor gatherings and sporting events.
I want you to listen to the British prime minister Boris Johnson. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I'm hopeful. I think that we're -- I don't see anything in the data right now that would cause us to deviate from the roadmap.
But we've got to remain humble in the face of nature and we've got to be prepared to do whatever it takes to protect the British public. Which has been our approach throughout.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: What was interesting though is that moments after that he warned about what was happening in Europe been sort of an early indicator of what could happen in the U.K. saying what happens there will soon happen here.
It seems to be an example of the sort of disconnect between hope and reality, the hope that we could return to normal but the reality is that this virus is still out there and still poses a real threat. And a real threat in that case, to the U.K.
REINER: Yes. But I think that's a really very realistic view of the virus. What we've seen in some parts the United States is we've seen governors in states like Texas and Alabama drop all the mandates.
Restrictions on indoor gatherings and restaurants and bars, drop the mask mandates and say they will never go back to them. Now how can you're never going to go back when you don't know what's coming?
VAUSE: We also have this news from Pfizer and Moderna which is good news. The real world efficacy of their vaccines, these effective vaccines, 95 percent effective against asymptomatic and symptomatic infections.
So I want to know where would that leave this question which Dr. Anthony Fauci asked last week. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: So we hope that within the next five or so months, we'll be able to answer the very important question about whether vaccinated people get infected asymptomatically? And if they do, do they transmit the infection to others?
VAUSE: Are we getting closer to that answer now with this answer from Pfizer and Moderna? REINER: Yes. And far be it for me to disagree with Dr. Anthony Fauci
-- I'm not sure we need that study.
So the study that Dr. Fauci is talking about is essentially randomizing college students in the United States to either vaccination or vaccination four months from now. So giving them placebo for four months and then looking to see how the virus is transmitted in both groups.
But we have really robust data from the very successful vaccination program in Israel and now we have this data just published today by the CDC showing exactly the same thing.
That the mRNA vaccines in particular the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines not just prevent illness -- preventing illness is obviously super important because that's how you prevent death -- but also prevents, they also prevent asymptomatic infection.
And it's the infected people who don't know they're infected that transmit the disease.
And the data today -- again, published by the CDC -- suggested these vaccines are 90 percent effective at preventing asymptomatic infection and by extension transmission.
So I think we already know this. We know this from very large Israeli experience and now from the emerging American experience. I have no doubt that the randomized clinical trial will validate this.
I feel very strongly that they'll validate it. I'm not sure it's necessary.
VAUSE: I'm glad I got my Pfizer vaccine shot last week then. Good news.
VAUSE: Dr. Jonathan Reiner, thank you. Good to have you with us. Thank you, sir.
REINER: Thanks for having me.
VAUSE: Now we have this just in. The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has now hit 550,000. That's according to a count by Johns Hopkins University.
Well, overnight vigils have been held in Myanmar after yet another deadly day on Monday with reports security forces killed at least 14 protesters.
VAUSE: The sound of banging pots and pans also rang out in protest across Yangon. Activists are calling a new civil disobedience campaign to throw garbage onto the streets.
All this comes after the deadliest crackdown so far on Saturday, security forces killing more 100 people.
Meantime, authorities in Thailand denying that they forced back thousands of refugees who fled weekend airstrikes carried out by Myanmar's military.
Ivan Watson is live in Hong Kong with details on this.
So I guess the question is did they or didn't they? There were 2,000 refugees trying to cross the border, what did the Thai authorities do?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SNR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. And there are conflicting narratives here, denials coming from the Thai government.
Basically what you had in the east of Myanmar, an area largely controlled by the Karen National Union, one of the oldest ethnic armed organizations in Myanmar. They carried out an attack, they claim to have killed a number of Myanmar soldiers on Saturday morning in that region.
By nightfall, the Myanmar military had sent warplanes to bomb areas killing a number of civilians, according to the KNU. Repeating airstrikes on Sunday in that region prompting several thousand displaced people, already living in IDP camps, to head across the Salween River into Thailand on Sunday.
And then on Monday the KNU releasing this video of what it says are those refugees being pushed back in, across the Salween River, back into Myanmar with Thai security forces present alongside them.
You can see some of them wearing the uniform of a Thai wildlife conservation agency because there's a wildlife sanctuary there, others identified as members of the army rangers.
Now the provincial governor in that border region for Thailand has denied this to Reuters and the Thai foreign ministry has also denying there was any refoulement that took place in that area.
The fact that we're seeing airstrikes in the border region for the first time in some 20 years and we're starting to get movements of refugees back and forth, whatever the narrative there, is clearly a sign of the growing chaos though taking place in Myanmar since the military coup on February 1st. John.
VAUSE: It does beg the question that, clearly, what's happening in Myanmar is only getting worse, it's only accelerating in terms of violence and death.
And it would suggest that there will be many, many more people from Myanmar trying to make a run across the border just to simply get to safety. So how will the Thai authorities handle that if there's a flood of
refugees in coming weeks?
WATSON: Well, the Thai prime minister has issued statements prior to this particular incident saying that Thailand would respond and respect human rights if there is a flood of people, if there is an influx -- that it hasn't happened yet.
And that there are clearly -- because there have been in decades past movements of refugees, we're hearing that humanitarian organizations are starting to get ready for this possibility. And governments are aware that this is a possibility.
It's got to be a growing concern. There are several dynamics here, John. There are the ethnic armed organizations that have been in various states of conflict and cease-fire with the military in Myanmar for generations.
And then there's the unrest in the cities and towns in the center. And that is ongoing as well.
And we're hearing increasingly about calls for -- instead of peaceful resistance, and protest against the military but as the bloodshed grows and the death toll grows, increasingly calls for armed resistance as that bloodshed grows.
And that is a disturbing deterioration as well in the urban centers as well as this increasing violence involving the ethnic armed areas in the border regions.
VAUSE: Ivan, thank you. Ivan Watson, senior international correspondent there in Hong Kong. Appreciate it.
We're going to take a short break.
When we come back here on CNN NEWSROOM. Floating free and no longer blocking the Suez Canal.
We'll take a closer look at the "Ever Given" and what this delay, this almost week-long grounding in the Suez Canal will mean for world trade.
Also the anxious wait for families. Hoping their relatives survived the terror attack in Mozambique. Details in a moment.
VAUSE: Maritime traffic once again passing through the Suez Canal.
Crews were ecstatic on Monday when the mega cargo ship which had been blocking the canal was freed.
And the worst of it. More than 400 ships carrying billions of dollars worth of cargo were at a standstill. CNN's Ben Wedeman reports now from Cairo.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SNR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What began as a curiosity for the world and the local fauna would turn into a full- blown crisis.
The "Ever Given," one of the largest container ships in the world, runs aground in the Suez Canal.
We would all soon be reminded that our modern world is still dependent on that single waterway. Just a few hundred meters wide dug more than 150 years ago.
Hours after those first reports last Tuesday, experts realized the "Ever Given," weighing more than 200,000 tons is unlikely to be cleared anytime soon.
By Wednesday, a Suez Canal official tells CNN if the ship were easy to free it would have long ago been on its way. Vessels start to pile up; more than 100 by that second evening.
A sleepy canal-side town plays witness to the biggest Suez crisis since the 1973 Arab Israeli war.
According to Lloyd's List, nearly $10 billion of trade passes through the canal daily, a main route Asia to Europe and beyond. The cost is clear. So too is the challenge.
And demoralizing when a legendary Dutch salvage company is brought in and says that a solution could be days or even weeks away.
The bow is lodged rock-solid in clay and they warn that containers might even need to be unloaded to lighten the load.
More equipment piles in. Egyptian teams toil around the clock dredging the canal bank.
Shipping companies are no longer willing to wait around. They divert some ships thousands of miles around Africa's Cape of Good Hope.
And yet optimism abounds. The ship's Japanese owner predicts it will be free by Saturday, salvage experts saying they need not hope but a bigger tug.
Ships keep piling up including 13 carrying thousands of livestock in danger of starving before their planned slaughter. The potential cost to human life is also in stark focus.
Tankers carrying vital oil supplies are held up. Syria, already in crisis and dependent on oil imports begins to ration supplies.
By Sunday, the first of the heavy tugboats arrive and early Monday, the true breakthrough. A flotilla of Egyptian tugs and more from abroad wrest the ship's stern free turning the ship nearly straight. Pausing between high tides, expectations run high even as experts warn the bow is still rock-solid in the canal's bank.
At 15 minutes past 3:00 p.m., she comes free from the shore and makes her way north to the Great Bitter Lake.
A backlog of hundreds of ships will take days to clear. But Egyptians can finally say good riddance to the "Ever Given."
WEDEMAN [(Voice Over): Ben Wedeman, CNN, Cairo.
VAUSE: Let's head live now to Abu Dhabi. CNN's John Defterios is tracking all of this for us.
So John, that is a sizable, some say huge traffic jam essentially there, which is now clearing out.
There are differing views on how fast all this could actually be cleared up. And is there any lesson here for the just-in-time model of inventory management, if you like?
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Yes. Let's start with that backlog, John.
Because we were swelling about 50 vessels per day so the line graph is going up and now it's heading south.
How quickly it can is a big question mark here but the Suez Canal Authority is suggesting they're going to try to clear out more than a quarter of them by the end of business today, at the very latest.
About 113 ships is the target. We've swelled up to 422, and they hope to have them all out -- all those ships that have been stuck in the Canal -- by Friday.
But you get a very different opinion from the outside. Lloyd's List, which tracks these ships around the world and Maersk the largest container company, around the world at the same time take it'll take five or six days to get them done, Maersk saying perhaps even longer.
And then there's worries, as you're suggesting, to the shock to the supply chain.
So we have a graphic here looking at the different areas that we're talking about.
Starting with toilet paper, the infamous toilet paper that was a crisis during COVID-19 because of hoarding, now is a case of getting it to every part of the world. But is there really going to be a shortage?
Coffee coming from Latin America, Ethiopia, Asia crisscrossing over the oceans to different big markets like Europe and the United States. Some worry about supplies there.
Furniture. IKEA did complaint that some products will not be available to consumers but this is one week in and the ships are going to be leaving.
And finally -- I don't agree with the last one. That is that gas prices should not go higher because of this. I know about a third of the supplies were parked in the transit area there of the canal but they're going to be freed right now. So it was LNG, oil and gas.
There was a challenge for Syria, as Ben was saying, also for Lebanon, Kuwaiti oil trying to get to Lebanon.
But right now, it's a case of over supplies in the market and OPEC's been cutting and they're going to review that on Thursday.
So I wouldn't expect a major shock. The real question is did we learn anything out of this, right, John? The just-in-time supply chains.
I don't think -- if you didn't learn anything COVID-19 and you didn't learn anything from this artery being clogged, I don't see industry changing fast enough to respond to this challenge today.
We've gotten very used to it over the last two decades, this just-in- time delivery, if you will.
VAUSE: So no everlasting impact from the "Ever Given" accident in the Suez? But there's been a lot of focus on the "Ever Given," the ship itself but what about the Suez Canal and Egypt?
These pilots who take these massive, mega-container ships through the canal, they've got one job to do. And it seems like this one didn't go so well.
DEFTERIOS: Yes. And there's an investigation underway, John, as you know. And one of the things that the Suez Canal Authority said that ship cannot leave the canal until the investigation is done. And we don't know how long that's going to take.
And it will include human error and potentially technical error and pilot error, right? The technical error, they were talking about pumps faltering and then they couldn't steer the ship around.
And then to your point about reputational damage here for Egypt, I have to say the Egyptian government was very transparent, particularly the Canal Authority on social media, with press conferences, with the information that was out there. That was a plus.
But President Al-Sisi, as you know, John, put $8 billion into this project in 2015 and '16, he widened many parts of the Canal but not the southern part there and this is where the logjam really happened.
So what does he do to restore confidence in the southern half of the Suez Canal is one thing.
And then also at the same time, he wanted to deliver jobs to the ports, Port Said and Port Suez, that hasn't happened yet.
So does he step on it and revive this project is a big question mark.
VAUSE: Yes. This is a big one for world shipping and trade and there's so much at stake there. So it's interesting to see where this actually goes from this point.
Or whether we'll just forget about it and pretend it never happened.
John Defterios in Abu Dhabi, thank you.
VAUSE: Take care.
DEFTERIOS: Good to see you.
VAUSE: Still to come. It's an origin story many just are not buying.
We'll have more on the credibility of the joint report by China and the WHO into where the coronavirus actually came from.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Standing by this hour for the release of a long-awaited report on the origins of the pandemic which is expected to say the coronavirus likely emerged from animals and not from a lab in Wuhan, China. The WHO led an international study to the city earlier this year, but it was tightly controlled by Beijing. Some scientists have questioned the independence of the report since it was co-written by researchers from China.
Anne Rimoin is a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA School of Public Health and she is with us this hour, live, from Los Angeles. Professor, good to see you. It's been a while.
ANNE RIMOIN, EPIDEMIOLOGY PROFESSOR, UCLA SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Nice to be here.
VAUSE: Yes. Given all the conditions with this international team of investigators had to follow, the restrictions to official records, and data in China, and just the ongoing diplomatic wrangling here, is this report -- does it have any significant use? How much credibility does it have?
RIMOIN: Well, you know John, I think that there are a number of questions about this report that are lingering out there, and exactly what you are bringing up is very important. How independent was this independent investigation? It seems that China had a very large part in the investigation, which means that it really isn't impartial.
Now, there is a lot of very interesting data in this report. There are a lot of -- there is a lot to be said about what should be done going forward. But I think that this report is not a definitive answer to what happened and what caused this terrible pandemic and 3 million lives to be lost to date, and a huge economic downturn globally.
So I think there's a lot of questions to be answered first.
VAUSE: Yes. And one of the theories here being pushed by Beijing is this idea that the virus was imported into China, you know, via frozen goods. And this report came out with a finding that it was possible, while the idea that the virus escaped from a research lab like the one in Wuhan which specializes in this virus, was considered to be extremely unlikely.
But logic and common sense suggest that they have that the wrong way around?
RIMOIN: Well, you know, I just think we can't make any conclusions here. That is the reality of this report. It is interesting. There are a lot of data in there, but we don't have an independent investigation and therefore, the results are very likely to be biased, and we can't say -- I mean I think all of these scenarios are plausible scenarios, and they are all on the table.
And we really can't make that determination which one it actually is that's most likely. What we need is more data, and we need the data that is collected independently. We need to have an additional investigation that, you know, there have been letters written by researchers about the kind of investigation that needs to be done. We need to see real transparency. We need to see clarity. We need to see a team out there that has the actual mandate and resources to be able to go out there and do the kinds of investigations that are needed to be able to really come to a conclusion as to what happened.
RIMOIN: And it's important to understand what happened because in order to prevent a pandemic like this from occurring again we really do need to understand the origins. It is not about pointing fingers. It is about being able to understand what happened, so it doesn't happen again.
VAUSE: And just to pick up on that last point, the bigger picture here, why is it so important to know exactly where this virus came from? Where in the world or how, more importantly, it made this leap from either -- from animals to humans or a bat or was it a lab or whatever? And why any attempt to mislead or cover-up that information is so damaging?
RIMOIN: Well, it's as I said, we really need to understand it so that we can prevent this kind of situation from happening again.
I think one of the things that this report highlights is the importance of all of these scenarios. I think that what many people haven't realized is how easy it is to have, for example, cross species transmission of disease, how frequently it actually does happen. As you know, this isn't one of these -- I worked on this issue of cross species transmission of disease in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example. So, you know, my community is very aware of it, but I don't think the world globally has been aware of how common a jump from animal to human is.
But I think that the world has also not been aware how easy a lab accident could potentially be. And so I think it's very important for all of these angles to be investigated.
Tedros from the WHO also said, listen, everything is still on the table here. And I think that we all have to realize, there is still a lot to learn. We are not going to have a definitive answer anytime soon.
VAUSE: Just very quickly, we found out -- we know that HIV, SARS, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, ebola -- they all made this jump from animals to humans. Why has it been so difficult to find out this time what happened here?
RIMOIN: Well, I think one of the big issues was that we really didn't know what was happening early on. And this has to do with the need early detection, for good disease surveillance systems in place, to have global communication and transparency everywhere.
When we start to see unusual disease spreading or unusual cases -- clusters of disease in areas anywhere in the world that an investigation is done sooner than later. The longer you wait for an investigation -- it's just like a crime scene. You need to be able to get the evidence, as soon as you possibly can to be able to make this kind of determination.
And the longer you get away from it the trail can go cold. You know, disease detectives are trying to understand what happened.
VAUSE: And we're more than a year out from when all of this began so the trails are getting colder by the day.
Anne, thank you. Anne Rimoin there, appreciate it.
RIMOIN: My pleasure.
VAUSE: Well, dozens of people are dead, and aid groups believe thousands have been displaced by a terror attack in Mozambique. ISIS claimed responsibility for the siege in Palma which began on Wednesday. Some of the victims were killed as they tried to escape in a convoy of cars. Many remained missing.
CNN's David McKenzie reports on the families now waiting for the word from their loved ones.
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's an agonizing wait for family members at the port in Panda, Mozambique. They are looking for signs to see if their loved ones might be the lucky ones, who survived a brutal attack by Islamic militants on the town of Palma to the north that left scores dead and missing. PATRICIO AMADE, PEMBA RESIDENT (through translator): I have had no
contact with my family since Wednesday -- my wife, my sons, my mother, brothers.
MCKENZIE: The survivors are in a state of shock arriving by the hundreds. On Monday, the Islamic state claimed responsibility for the attack. Late Sunday, the Mozambique ministry of defense admitted that pockets of fighting goes on.
OMAR SARANGA, MOZAMBIGUE MINISTERY OF DEFENSE (through translator): The defense and security forces regret this loss of human lives and advise that they continue to develop at this moment concerted actions of pursuit with an aim of eliminating some pockets of resistance.
MCKENZIE: South African Meryl Knox saying her son Adrian Nel wasn't killed in the first attack but in an ambush on the convoy desperately fleeing a hotel complex.
17 vehicles left, according to CNN sources, only 7 made it. Scores are missing, many feared dead.
MERYL KNOX, MOTHER OF ADRIAN NEL: My son was killed, unnecessarily so and in a very violent and unacceptable way. He was just such a kind, loving, joyful person. And certainly, he didn't deserve to die like that.
MCKENZIE: She and many others are questioning not only the government response, but also why multinational corporations who have huge stakes in a logistics hub that is home to some $60 billion worth of future gas projects. The attack coming shortly after French oil giant Total announced the area was secure enough to resume its construction projects after pulling back essential staff in January due to security concerns.
MCKENZIE: Total has since reversed course and is halting the projects again. In Pemba, there is despair as the hours tick by with little to no news.
CARLITOS ADAMO, PEMBA RESIDENT (through translator): We don't have information. What I really wish for is to have my cousin back. But I don't have information.
MCKENZIE: They are waiting for boats -- boats that may never come.
David McKenzie, CNN -- Johannesburg.
VAUSE: Just ahead, the first petroleum tankers allowed to dock this year in Yemen, bringing fuel supplies for barely a week.
Also ahead, rising anger over Brexit border checks, threatening a tenuous peace in Northern Ireland.
VAUSE: A sudden (ph) ceasefire offer in Yemen has been met with rocket and drone attacks by Houthi rebels. Meantime, four oil tankers have been allowed to dock at the Port of Hodeidah, the first time a fuel shipment has arrived this year.
We have more details now from CNN's Nima Elbagir.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is the first vessel that has been permitted to dock at Hodeidah Port in Yemen for months. One of four fuel tankers recently cleared to dock at the Red Sea Port carrying a vital resource turned pawn in a years' long civil war.
But local officials warn that this arrival won't be enough to meet the demand.
AMAR ALADRAI, EXECUTIVE GEN MANAGER, YEMEN NATIONAL OIL COMPANY (through translator): The lives of 26 million Yemeni citizens are in danger over the coming days. The current situation in Yemen is extremely dangerous because fuel has been prevented from entering the country since the beginning of the year. Not to mention, the deficit carried over from last year.
ELBAGIR: Battered by six years of war and a crippling U.S.-backed blockade, Yemen has been devastated by this mounting fuel crisis.
A CNN investigation earlier this month revealed that Saudi warships had been preventing oil tankers from docking at the port including vessels approved by U.N. clearance mechanism, as part of the Saudis ongoing war against Iran-backed Ansar Allah, Houthis who control the territory where the vast majority of Yemenis live.
We witnessed firsthand the impact on hospitals across the country, struggling to keep their generators going.
ALADRAI: The amount of fuel released to the country in 2020 doesn't even represent 45 percent of Yemen's needs. And now in the first quarter of 2021, we are receiving only 8 percent of what Yemen would need under normal conditions.
ELBAGIR: CNN has now independently verified that three of the four tankers that have been allowed to berth at a Hodeidah are carrying fuel and gas intended for a small number of private companies.
ELBAGIR: The Thuraya is the only ship carrying fuel for the public sector, but it's supply accounts for what the public sector would use in less than 10 days.
ALADRAI: Of the four ships that have been released, only Thuraya is for public consumption. But it only covers 8 percent of the country's needs of the first quarter of 2021. ELBAGIR: That's barely enough to cover the needs of the country's
health care sector which is already facing the threat of near total collapse. There are more vessels still waiting for approval to enter this port. It's unclear if or when these ships will be allowed.
Nima Elbagir, CNN -- London.
VAUSE: The release of the four tankers to the port of Hodeidah comes after Saudi Arabia announced that new U.N.-backed proposal to end the conflict in Yemen, including an offer of a ceasefire and the lifting of the sea and air blockade on the Iranian-backed Houthis.
However Houthi officials have dismissed the initiative, they want the blockade lifted as a condition to start negotiations.
CNN has reached out to the government of Saudi Arabia and the internationally recognized government of Yemen in Aiden as well as the U.S. State Department to find whether more tankers carrying fuel for the public sector's use will be permitted to dock at the port of Hodeidah but we're yet to receive a response.
Meanwhile, well, the Brexit bitterness continues between the U.K. and the E.U. with the latest flare up to the border checks on goods coming from the U.K. into Northern Ireland, which is still inside the E.U. Customs Union.
CNN's Nic Robertson explains.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: New writing on Northern Ireland's walls is a chill blast from the province's violent past. Anger is rising over Brexit customs checks, known as the Northern Ireland protocols. The messages threaten Northern Ireland's Good Friday Peace Agreement, a red line for U.S. President Joe Biden.
In pro British unionist communities where frustrations are strongest, fears of violence are growing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You see a lot of writing on the wall. It is scary, it is scary. And I really would not want to go back. I mean grew up in (INAUDIBLE). I really wouldn't want to go back to that again.
ROBERTSON (on camera): Murals of gunmen on the streets here are nothing new. But this is something else. The name of the Ireland's deputy prime minister and his address written on the wall now quickly painted out. That tells you, tensions here are rising.
(voice over): The lightning rod for this content is custom checks on trucks like these crossing the Irish Sea from mainland U.K. Northern Ireland is inside the E.U. single market for goods, different to the rest of the U.K. So goods now require checks. Truckers face costly new delays.
NIGEL MOORE, BUSINESS DIRECTOR, MCBURNEY TRANSPORT: We've had to employ 10 people to do customs clearance, to make sure we can do (INAUDIBLE) to make sure that all the paperwork is correct.
ROBERTSON: Everyone is impacted. New soil controls means plans previously sourced from mainland U.K. are now easier to get from the E.U.
BETH LUNNERY, OWNER, SAINTFIELD NURSERY CENTRE: I feel we have been let down. Yes, I feel like maybe there is not enough investigation as to what the rules were going to be.
ROBERTSON (on camera): A shared soil is at the very essence of identity politics here. Any erosion of that unfettered bond with Mainland U.K. is for some unionist an existential threat. Tempers are fraying.
SAMMY WILSON, DEMOCRATIC UNIONIST PARTY MP: We are simply saying to them, tear up the agreement which breaks up the United Kingdom. Tear up the agreement which breaks up all the promises you made to the people of Northern Ireland that you would have unfettered access to you biggest market in (INAUDIBLE).
ROBERTSON: Ominously, loyalist paramilitaries still dangerous in some pro-British communities have withdrawn support for the Good Friday Peace Agreement according to the representatives.
DAVID CAMPBELL, CHAIRMAN LOYALIST COMMUNITIES COUNCIL: It is very easy for matters to spiral out of control. But for the COVID restrictions, there would already have been street demonstrations. I have no doubt the port would have been blockaded.
ROBERTSON: Pressure is mounting on Boris Johnson, not just from pro British unionists. He angered the E.U. drawing a lawsuit from them by unilaterally extending the customs changes transition period from three to nine months, faces trade deal difficulties with the U.S., if Northern Ireland's peace breaks down, and has lost the confidence of non unionist politicians here too.
CLAIRE HANNA, SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC AND LABOUR PARTY MP: I don't think Boris Johnson truly understands what he is dealing with here. He just thinks it is something that can be managed and kept on a low rolling boil.
ROBERTSON: Finding compromise will be hard. Johnson's relation with the E.U. are worsening. Not for the first time. The United States could find itself brokering Northern Ireland out of trouble.
Nic Robertson, CNN -- Belfast, Northern Ireland.
VAUSE: Just weeks after Congress approved his nearly $2 trillion of COVID relief, U.S. President Joe Biden could soon be looking to spend trillions more on infrastructure, including a push for clean energy, tackling climate change, reducing greenhouse gases.
On Monday, he announced plans for a massive offshore wind farm just off the U.S. East Coast which officials say would create tens and thousands of green jobs, power millions of homes. Republicans remain skeptical.
Still to come nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, the officer charged in his death is facing a jury. Ahead, for many, American justice is also on trial.
VAUSE: Vast demonstrations have been held in Minnesota for George Floyd, an African American who died in police custody nearly a year ago. The trial of the former officer charged in his death began on Monday.
CNN's Sara Sidner was there for the opening statements. And a warning, her report contains disturbing video.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Here in Minneapolis, about a half dozen members of George Floyd's family are here to watch the beginning of this trial where we heard opening statements from both the prosecution and the defense.
JERRY BLACKWELL, SPECIAL ASST. ATTORNEY GENERAL: On May 25th of 2020, Mr. Derek Chauvin betrayed his badge when he used excessive and unreasonable force upon the body of Mr. George Floyd.
SIDNER: The prosecution's opening statement tells you everything you need to know about how they want the jury to see this case.
BLACKWELL: 929, the THREE most important numbers in the case.
SIDNER: Nine minutes and 29 seconds -- the excruciating time George Floyd's neck was under then Officer Derek Chauvin's knee.
BLACKWELL: This case is not about split second decision making.
SIDNER: And to help make that point, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell played one of the videos for the jury.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Relax.
GEORGE FLOYD: I can't breathe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want?
FLOYD: I can't breathe.
BLACKWELL: You will see he does not let up and he does not get up. You will learn that Mr. Chauvin is told that they can't even find a pulse. SIDNER: The first witness, a 9-1-1 dispatcher, her May 25th dispatch
was also played in court, showing, she was watching surveillance video of Floyd being pinned down that day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I did not know, you can call me a snitch if you want to, but we have the cameras up for three points call.
My instincts are telling me that something is wrong.
SIDNER: Jurors were told they'd also be seeing and hearing all the video from bystanders cameras, two police body-worn cameras as well as hearing from Minneapolis police officers, the chief of police, medical experts and witnesses on the scene.
Donald Williams was one of those witnesses. Williams is trained in mixed martial arts where chokeholds are practiced. And what he saw on the street that day alarmed him.
DONALD WILLIAMS, WITNESS: When you get the choke tighter, you get different shimmies which I felt, the officer on top was shimmying to actually get the final choking while he was on top to get the kill choke.
SIDNER: For the defense's case.
ERIC NELSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Derek Chauvin did exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19-year career. The use of force is not attractive but it is a necessary component of policing.
SIDNER: Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson made clear, this will also be a battle of experts.
NELSON: This will ultimately be another significant battle in this trial. What was Mr. Floyd's actual cause of death?
SIDNER: He wants the jury to look at the whole scene, and listen to the use of force and medical experts as well as read the medical reports.
NELSON: Revealed Mr. Floyd had an exceptionally high level of carbon dioxide.
Dr. Baker found none of what are referred to as a telltale signs of asphyxiation. There was no petechial hemorrhaging. There was no evidence that Mr. Floyd's airflow was restricted.
SIDNER: Instead, he suggested it was illicit drugs found in Floyd's system that aggravated a medical condition that took Floyd's life.
NELSON: Hypertension, coronary disease, the ingestion of methamphetamine and fentanyl and the adrenaline flowing through his body -- all of which acted to further compromise an already compromised heart.
SIDNER: There was one thing the defense and prosecution did agreed on.
NELSON: There is no political or social cause in this courtroom.
SIDNER: But, in the streets and for Floyd's family, Chauvin is not the only one on trial. America's justice system is.
PHILONISE FLOYD, BROTHER OF GEORGE FLOYD: They say that (INAUDIBLE) should be a death sentence. America is watching.
SIDNER: Before the trial began, the Floyd family and their lawyers knelt outside court for nearly 10 minutes to illustrate just how long Floyd begged for his life under Chauvin's knee.
BRANDON WILLIAMS, GEORGE FLOYD'S NEPHEW: We came here for one thing and one thing only. We came to get justice. Somebody needs to be held accountable.
SIDNER (on camera): For those who have been out protesting in the streets, they are also looking at this as a case that means much more to them than just the details of the specific case, but the result a referendum on the American justice system.
Sara Sidner, CNN -- Minneapolis.
VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm John Vause.
Please stay with us. My colleague Robyn Curnow takes over after a very short break.
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ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, welcome to all of our viewers joining us from around the world. Thanks for joining me.
I'm Robyn Curnow, here at the CNN Center in Atlanta.
So ahead on CNN, the highly anticipated origin story of the coronavirus. Details from the WHO's new reports on how the pandemic started in Wuhan.