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Boris Johnson Hospitalized for Coronavirus; Spain and Italy's Rate of Infection Coming Down; Countries Easing Lockdowns; 60,000 Coronavirus Cases and 4,000 Dead in Iran; Mohammad Nahavandian, Iranian VP for Economic Affairs, is Interviewed About Coronavirus; Interview With Jon Bon Jovi; Interview With Author Parag Khanna. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired April 6, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
COOPER: How do you know -- how can you find out what's good and not?
COHEN: You know, I have had so many friends ask me, hey, you know what, I think I had coronavirus. I want to find out. I don't know what to tell
them. I think if you call your doctor, chances are they are going to say, I don't have this test. I'm sorry. I can't give it to you.
COHEN: You know, they're slowly sort of getting into the market but the problem is, you don't know if they're good or not but might be changes down
the road on this.
COOPER: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, thanks.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Together we are tackling this disease and I want to reassure that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: A rare primetime address from Britain's Queen Elizabeth, as the prime minister, Boris Johnson, languishes in hospital with coronavirus.
Physician and author, Siddhartha Mukherjee, lays out the toll of this disease sweeping across the world.
Then, how did Iran become the Middle Eastern epicenter for this virus? My exclusive interview with the vice president, Mohammad Nahavandian.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PARAG KHANNA, AUTHOR, "THE FUTURE IS ASIAN": The countries that have managed the crisis -- the pandemic most successfully have been Asia's
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Author, Parag Khanna, on how coronavirus has connected the whole world, providing a playbook on how to survive it.
And finally --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: -- Singer, Jon Bon Jovi, and his fans come together to create a song for these trying times.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour working from home in London, where the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, becomes the
first major world leader to be hospitalized for coronavirus more than a week after he was infected and tested positive. This, as Queen Elizabeth,
urged Britons to stay strong and stray home. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEEN ELIZABETH II: I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge. And those who come
after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: While a fierce debate rages over whether Johnson should hand over control while he is out, he tweets that he is running things saying,
I'm in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team. While in the United States, the surgeon general warns Americans to brace for the hardest,
saddest week ahead, a Pearl Harbor or 9/11 time. The government's top expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says there will be more cases and more deaths in
the coming days before any better news ahead.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Unfortunately, if you look at the projection of the curve or the
kinetics of the curves, we're going to continue to see an escalation. Also, we should hope that within a week, maybe a little bit more, we'll start to
see a flattening out of the curve and coming down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: In fact, Spain and Italy which have been ravaged by the virus are now seeing the rate of new infections fall. Physician Siddhartha
Mukherjee studies the progress of the virus both across world and within individual patients. His book "The Gene: An Intimate History," is now the
basis of a timely new film and documentary on PBS. It is done alongside Ken Burns. And he is joining me now from New York.
Siddhartha Mukherjee, welcome to the program. Thank you for joining us.
SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE, CANCER PHYSICIAN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: I just want to start by asking you just to sort of prognosis if you can, what you think of the fact that after 10 days, the British prime
minister's had to be hospitalized, and obviously, the government is playing it down for the most part. Nonetheless, ill enough to go to the hospital
and we understand have oxygen on his way to the hospital. How do you assess his condition and I know it's remote?
MUKHERJEE: Well, I think this is the typical progress of the disease. I mean, I think what we have learned from many, many patients, the ones that
do get sick, you know, the first five or six or seven days are, you know, flus and chills and then in some patients it -- you know, day seven, eight,
nine and 10 are the worst, you require oxygen.
And, you know, there's a turning point around day nine and day 10 when you can, you know, really make the turn for the worst or slowly recover. So, I
can't make a prognosis in his particular case. I hope he recovers, but this is very much a typical course of the disease in some patients.
AMANPOUR: So, what do you see how? Because even Dr. Fauci says, you know, trying to figure out the pathonogenesis of this virus is quite difficult.
Who does it affect? How? Asymptomatic or not? Et cetera, et cetera. Young people, old people? Can you draw any, at least interim, conclusions about
what it is this enemy is?
MUKHERJEE: Well, first of all, most people don't even -- you know, we need to know the language of epidemiology but this is a very unusual virus and
it has two properties. It has two properties that make it particularly virulent. Number one is that it seems as if the so-called R0 of the virus,
in other words, one -- how many people can one person infect, the contagiousness, a measure of contagiousness is quite large. It's less than
measles but it's quite large and so, the virus, therefore, can spread exponentially if you don't have appropriate measures. That's one.
I'm an oncologist but I was trained as a virologist to start with. The second thing which is very, very unusual and concerning is that completely
asymptomatic people seem to be able to carry the virus and spread the virus. And it is the confluence of these two factors that makes it a
particular challenge. You don't know if the person sitting next to you on the bus is infected and carrying the virus or, you know, whether they are
already immune or whether they're perfectly fine.
AMANPOUR: Is that the worst thing that sort of worries you? Is that the most complicating factor do you think? I mean, the fact that you just don't
know who might have it or who might not on your, you know, daily rambles, daily life?
MUKHERJEE: Well, that and the fact that you cannot predict which people take a turn for worse and the which people will not because it seems as if,
if you took 100 people, you know, even within the same age group, even within the age bracket, some people seem to have a bad flu and recover,
some people are asymptomatic and some people, you know, take a terrible turn for the worse and unfortunately, looking death in the eye.
I think the key things that will happen in the next few weeks is figuring those parameters out. I am a strong believer that we should first protect
the medical personnel with the best possible equipment that we can give them including N95 respirators, gloves, gowns and face shields because they
are the ones getting exposed to the highest amount of virus and the highest amount of viral load.
But I am also a believer, I've been a believer right from the start that along with social distancing and hand washing and hand hygiene and
quarantine and isolation that people in -- on the street should be wearing masks. They can be wearing -- I would -- I have been proposing that the
government distribute free masks. But right now, people are just making them by themselves.
AMANPOUR: Yes. And I have to say, even from Dr. Fauci and others and from the president, there's a lot of sort of conflicting information about
masks. But can I ask you also about the idea of treatments and -- well, vaccines is down the road but treatments. We know that the FDA has been
given or has given companies leeway to just put, for instance, antibody tests on the market. We know that President Trump and his supporters keep
talking about chloroquine. How effective or dangerous is this kind of, I don't know, rush to try to provide a solution when there hasn't been one
that's been tested?
MUKHERJEE: Well, I mean, I think the correct way to do this is to test it in the appropriate trial. That's going on right now. So, really, what we
are doing is buying ourselves time and that's why I think it's very important to reduce the burden on the medical establishment.
The way these drugs will come about, as far as I know, in terms of drug development is there will be three waves. The easiest drugs to get into
human beings are drugs that are already in -- that have already been tested on humans but can be so-called repurposed for this virus. There are drugs
like Remdesivir, is one example from Gilead.
You know, inhibitors or killers of viral replication. Those would be the first. Those have been already in humans. Those would be the first. And I'm
extremely hopeful and I hope against hope that one of them will be able to restrict the disease. It may not be panacea but it may be able to restrict
the disease. Hydroxychloroquine will -- may work in conjunction with them. But by itself, it's an extraordinarily weak agent and the data for it is
So, the second set is -- so, that's the first set. We will have results of that by late April. And that will really -- once we have a real medicine,
it will change the face of the pandemic. Number two will be passive antibodies. We know that transfer of antibodies of people who have already
had the virus to people who are sick helps. We know that from a small trial. It is not a great big trial, it's a small trial.
So, therefore, we should be able to make passive antibodies, man-made antibodies in bioreactors that allow us to get resistance or to fight the
virus. Those trials will happen in probably June or July. That's the soonest we can make them. And vaccines, as you said, are down the road.
We're looking at 12 months at least, 12 to 18 months.
AMANPOUR: For sure. Yes, indeed. Can I ask you, as a physician, of course, you are in New York, which is the worst hit in the United States, but as a
physician, what do you make of the stories we are hearing in the United States of physicians being essentially, a couple anyway, fired for blowing
a whistle? You know what happened to the captain on the "USS Theodore Roosevelt" and in Russia, this -- you know, just like Wuhan. How is it
conscionable and ethical to fire medical professionals who are just doing their duty of do no harm and trying to alert the powers that be that they
need help in order to be able to protect themselves and their patients?
MUKHERJEE: It is totally unconscionable, Christiane. I mean, you know, it is like sending soldiers in battle without armor, it is like sending people
into a radioactive field without protection and then blaming them for saying, you know, that we have no protection. We have been begging -- the
pandemic has laid bare the idea that this administration has -- was unprepared and has remained unprepared for protecting their most valuable
workers, physicians. And now, they're asking us to do our duty while not giving -- providing us with the equipment that we need to do it.
So once again, it is unconscionable. We need to buy ourselves time. We need to buy -- as medical professionals, we need to buy ourselves time so that
the first drugs can be tested and brought to human beings. But it is totally unconscionable.
AMANPOUR: So, can I ask you, because "The Washington Post" published a huge investigation over the weekend that said that the U.S., the Trump
administration, wasted 70 days between hearing about it and actually treating it seriously. And, you know, this time was wasted. What do you
think could have been done and should have been done in those 70 days that may have changed the face of what the United States is going through right
MUKHERJEE: Well, 1,000 things could have been done. The medical professional -- the medical equipment could have been stocked and stacked.
The -- if we had adequate warning about the fact that this would sweep through the United States, we would have readied ourselves for clinical
trials, we would have readied ourselves with ventilators, with masks, with gowns.
More importantly, we would have warned the public. We would have started social distancing earlier. And as I've said, I'm a believer in masks. We
would have masked the public and we would have told people, it would have - - you know, in many places. Schools would have closed earlier because children can be particularly asymptomatic carriers of the virus. So, a vast
range of things could have been done in those 70 days.
This is an exponential problem. Every day that we lose against the virus, the virus exponentially increases in the population. So, a vast number of
things could have been done. There will be an autopsy. We will perform an autopsy and we will find the places to blame. But this is not the moment to
AMANPOUR: Right. Exactly. So, what it is the moment to do is take a step forward to warn people. So, do you think the president of the United States
should get up on the podium and tell the remaining eight states or so that do not have lockdown orders to do it immediately, to tell his base who
apparently, Evangelical Christians and others to stop going to mega churches and stop spreading this and stop endangering themselves? Do you
think he should be doing that from the podium of the White House?
MUKHERJEE: Absolutely. And he should be doing that while wearing a mask.
AMANPOUR: Indeed. Let me ask you a final question. Your documentary, it couldn't be more timely. The book you wrote a while ago, "The Gene: An
Intimate History" co-produced by the great Ken Burns. What do you think that -- you know, what you have discovered there with the genes and how the
public versus private, I mean, there's so many aspects to it, but in terms of finding the answers could help, I know it's not about COVID, but in this
kind of issue and in a future pandemic?
MUKHERJEE: Well, there are many things. Every way that we are arming ourselves against this virus depends on the last 100 years of genetics. We
talked about the -- you know, we talked about making antibodies, making drugs. The swab that is used, this oral swab that is used to detect whether
-- you know, whether you have a virus or not, is based on genetic test.
You know, the public doesn't -- most of the public doesn't even know what a virus is. A virus is a piece of genetic material packaged in a coat which
goes and infects cells. We have been using viruses to make genetically engineered products for decades. So, if you want to learn about the
language and if you want to participate in this debate, you want to learn what a gene is, what a virus is, how viruses replicate, you need to
understand the history, you need to understand the vocabulary. And I hope the film educates the public about not just this pandemic but future
pandemics as well.
AMANPOUR: Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, thank you so much for joining us. And the program will be on PBS starting tomorrow and also the following
So, as the pandemic infects more than 1.2 million people worldwide with almost 70,000 dead now, some countries say they are ready to ease their
lockdowns. Austria, for example, plans to reopen nonessential businesses next week after seeing a drop in new infections. And Iran hit particularly
hard with more than 60,000 cases and almost 4,000 dead according to the Health Ministry, also plans to ease work restrictions soon.
Iran is desperate to revive its economy battered by punishing U.S. sanctions. Now, Mohammad Nahavandian is Iran's vice president for Economic
Affairs and he's joining me exclusively from Tehran.
Mr. Nahavandian, welcome to the program.
I see you are, in fact, joining us from home. If you're still at home and at lockdown, why do you think it's the moment for Iran to start, you know,
potentially relaxing this stay at home orders and start to open up businesses and work?
MOHAMMAD NAHAVANDIAN, IRANIAN VP FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: Thank you, Christiane. Actually, this is the third stage of the social distancing
policy in Iran. As you know, Nowruz is a time for Iranians to travel around the country. When the government started informing people and asking them
not to travel, it was hard for Iranians to just do that.
But the status showed us that more than 70 percent of people voluntarily decided not to travel. Because of that, the second had the mandate from
people to make it stricter and have some controls on the cities for people not to travel outside their state. And now, if you look at the statistics
from the health ministry, today and yesterday, we can see a declining trend in many provinces in the country.
So, the third stage is called smart social distancing. So, gradually, some necessary businesses and offices are opening up but remaining at home is
still the slogan. One third of the people will stay at home, people from the government offices and unnecessary businesses still will be closed.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you how the sanctions have affected Iran? Because there are very punishing sanctions by the United States and the rest of the
world abides by the U.S. sanctions, they don't want to cross the United States. So, are you having difficulty getting medical and humanitarian
NAHAVANDIAN: Actually, that is the case in Iran. In fight against coronavirus the difficulty is double because of the transaction cost.
Despite the rhetoric that food and medicine is not subject to sanctions, but as you know, trade has two ways. If you want to pay for the goods that
you import, you have to use the financial institutions and all the banks and financial institutions have been subject to the blackmailing by United
So, in reality, provision of medical supplies has been very difficult and very costly. And at the time that --
AMANPOUR: Now --
AMANPOUR: Sorry to interrupt. But as you know, certainly publicly, the United States government has said that they're prepared to send a package
of aid but the supreme leader, your leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, has said no and he's talked about this being a conspiracy, the virus, by the United
States. How do you answer that? And why would you not accept aid from the U.S. when you obviously desperately need it?
NAHAVANDIAN: You know, your deeds has to confirm your words. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot prevent access to medical supplies and
medicine and food and at the same time, you say that we are ready to assist. Before assistance is the step of taking away all of the obstacles
that they have put in our ordinary trade, whether it be food and medical supplies or any other trade. So, I think the first step is not sending
small package of medicine, is to take away, to lift the sanctions on food and medical supplies.
AMANPOUR: Can I ask you this? Because for the first time in -- well, since 1962, Iran has applied for an IMF loan of $5 billion. As I say, it's the
first time in all these decades. And the United States, apparently, has to approve or veto it. It's part of the executive committee of the IMF. Are
you getting this loan? Have you received the approval or not?
NAHAVANDIAN: As you may know, in IMF we do not have any veto power for any country. And actually, it is a policy of IMF for even handedness in
appraisal and approval of requests. And what Iran has requested for is RFI, Rapid Financial Instrument, which is an automatic instrument that
governments -- countries can use when they are in need of some financing.
Iran has been a founding member of IMF. With very good record. And it is expected from this international body to do what is expected to do. That
request is now in due process. Many countries have expressed their support for this. And at the time of a pandemic, it is very important to realize
that if you do not confine and contain the virus in one part of the world, actually, you are helping to spread that virus in other parts of the world.
So, it is not a local issue. It is a global issue. The reality is now we are observing the dark side of globalization. The problem is global. But we
do not have global solution. Now is the time of cooperation. Not to start new quarrels and fight against access of one nation to medical supplies. We
are all in the same group, as they say.
AMANPOUR: Well, to your point, a group of 24 senior American diplomats including Madeleine Albright and the former defense secretary. Chuck Hagel,
and others, William Cohen, have asked President Trump to potentially save hundreds of thousands of lives across the Middle East, across your whole
region, by easing medical and humanitarian pressures and sanctions on you, on Iran.
But I want to ask you this because your government's handling of this crisis has come under fierce criticism from the world and from inside as
well. You say there's somewhere in the region of 4,000 dead. That's the official figure. But the opposition, as you know, believes that there's
about 12,500 dead in just about every province, some 300 or so provinces or 230 provinces around Iran.
How can people trust what the government says about the actual facts and figures given, of course, and I'm sorry to hark all the way back, but the
really dreadful issue after the downing of the Ukrainian airliner, whether it was lies and cover-up and disinformation for days and days?
NAHAVANDIAN: I think if you go to cyberspace, in virtual world, everything is under doubt, even the status of the U.S. is being doubted on. What our
Health Ministry has been doing during all these 45 days has been informing according to the confirmed cases. And as the testing capability grew, and
that is a very important part of what you just mentioned, because of the difficulty in access to testing packs, we did not have all the cases
And now, we are having more information. And the screening team that our Health Ministry started and has been praised by W.H.O., now, more than 60
million people in the country have been screened. So, our information is growing nationwide.
The data shows that the peak in some of the provinces has been passed. And now, we are on the de-escalating part of the curve. We are hopeful that as
the cooperation of people, which was shown in the first phase, continues, we will be able to control and the number of facilities in Iran prove that
it has been sufficient to respond to all the cases in critical condition.
We did not have any cases of the patient coming to a hospital and not being able to be treated there. And we are proud of that.
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you because we're -- yes. We are running out of sometime but I need to ask you because I'm a member of the committee to
protect journalists and others are telling, you know, journalists, activists and other U.S.-based reports that Iranian journalists and editors
have been saying that, you know, they were under a lot of pressure by the government, by the judiciary, by the health authorities not to report the
Why would that be the case when you have to have total transparency in order to be able to fight this kind of a plague? Why would you try to hide
it? Why would the government try to hide it?
NAHAVANDIAN: I can assure you that policy of President Rouhani's administration is full transparency on this. We do not deal with the life
of people, and the policy shows that. The life of people is as important for us as the economic life of the people. The policy which was designed
for that strengthened the budget for our Health Ministry. That is why we are in acceptable situation now compared to some other countries, even in
Europe, even in United States. We are imploring the fact that some of the news we are hearing here is very sad.
Now, in Iran, we think that we are in control. The number of infected people, the number of patients has passed that increasing level but we have
to be very prudent. The restrictions are still in place. We hope that if we can confine in the new provinces as it has been confined in the provinces
which started with, we'll pass this stage.
AMANPOUR: All right. Vice President Mohammad Nahavandian, thank you for joining us from Tehran tonight.
NAHAVANDIAN: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: Now, China, which is the original epicenter of the virus also appears to be cautiously opening up again. Authorities, however, are
warning that the risk of coronavirus remains high.
Parag Khanna is the bestselling author of "The Future is Asian." And he's been studying the spread across the continent. He talks to our Hari
Sreenivasan from his home in Singapore about the lessons the United States can learn from China and whether this pandemic will have a lasting impact
on the global world order.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Parag, what's interesting is, is that we have been focused on China, but there have been
very different outcomes from different Asian countries over the past couple of months.
PARAG KHANNA, AUTHOR, "THE FUTURE IS ASIAN": It is a great place to start the question.
And let's just step back for a second and remind ourselves that, for the last 10, 15 years, whenever people say Asia, they think China, as if the
region is one large authoritarian bloc. And it's not.
And the countries that have managed the crisis, the pandemic, most successfully have been Asia's democracies. I'm excluding, of course, India,
the largest democracy in the world and certainly that of Asia, because we don't really know about the spread of the virus there, though they have at
least managed to impose some kind of a lockdown.
But let's look at the gold standard democracies of Asia, which are, indeed, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea. They have worked very hard to manage
the crisis. They have brought down their numbers. They are democratic, liberal, open, transparent societies.
The difference has been that they have very strong state capacity. The leaders enjoy public trust. They came to very, you know, scientifically
thought-through decisions, and they were able to convince the public to comply.
And it has a lot to do, obviously, with the fact that they experienced the SARS epidemic about 18 years ago. But, still, clearly, there is not
necessarily a tension between successfully galvanizing, motivating, organizing society and being a democracy.
And I think that if we can take away one lesson from how Asia, in particular these countries managed it, it is that.
SREENIVASAN: So, how is life in Singapore right now? I know that it's not normal, per se, but considering your proximity and travel to and from
China, everybody in Singapore pretty much has to fly out of that country if you want to leave to go anywhere, it's remarkable how low the number of
incidents and the number of deaths are there.
KHANNA: We are on, you know, something of a lockdown, if you will. Schools are going to be closed. But, again, it's a country that has, you know,
fiber ubiquitous in every home. So, you know, kids will learn from school.
You know, there is outdoor life, right? There is a lot of green space. You know, people can go to public parks and that kind of thing. Again, they
have imposed social distancing very well. They have this cool app called TraceTogether.
Quite frankly, this is an interesting topic of discussion. If they had made it mandatory for everyone to download this app, then it could be that they
would have traced even more cases than they have. But it's been voluntary.
I actually think they should shift to a mandatory requirement that people use this app. But, that said, life is quite normal. There have been four
deaths in the country, which is, you know, very low, but tragic. It's mostly been elderly people with preexisting conditions.
But they are -- again, the communications, the messaging is so rock-solid. It's very transparent. They ground it in the science and in where things
are going right now. And, therefore, it's very credible.
SREENIVASAN: Describe how the app works and what level of information the government has. Are there any privacy concerns here?
The TraceTogether app is quite well-constructed to address privacy concerns, because, technically, the government has zero information. When
you download the app, the app is on and it simply collects Bluetooth signals around who you have been near, but it's always on your phone, and
it never leaves your phone.
And you could delete it or switch off the app at any time. If and when your phone number pops up on someone else's records who has been infected and
the government's tracing team has access that person, I think you would probably agree that it's fair when you're -- if you're infected and you're
proven to have the virus, that you would voluntarily say, hey, here, take - - look at my phone and see if I have infected anyone else.
That's not exactly unfair. Then only would they trace those signals or would access those signals and correlate it to, again, this anonymous I.D.
number that's created by your mobile number. And then you can be contacted by the government, again, more or less anonymously, saying, hey, we just
want you to know that there is a patient, you were near him or her six, seven, eight, nine, 10 days ago. We'd recommend that you exercise caution.
But the government does not have your data. And there is a very ironclad sort of promise that, as soon as this period is over, you can -- you will
get a message from the government saying, please delete this app. Please make sure that your data can in no way be compromised. This virus is over.
Delete the app.
SREENIVASAN: When we go forward a little bit, what do you think the significant changes are going to be?
Because one of the things that this started to point out was our global interdependence, that our labor is not necessarily where our consumption is
happening. And that's going to cause problems when something like this goes down.
KHANNA: Well, the consequences are going to be manifold. And economics is one of them. Reforms and more public investment, obviously, in health care
systems is another one.
I am forecasting that migration will be a significant one. And in our -- you -- you can definitely appreciate. This we are at a truly unique moment
in history, where we are -- there is a simultaneous global lockdown, if you will, this sort of voluntary and involuntary reset of global demographics.
There is zero net migration happening on the planet Earth right now. So imagine a hypothetical moment six months or one year from now where the
world is declared virus-free. That's obviously not the way it's going to play out, but just imagine. We are going to witness a real-time experiment
with people voting -- where people will vote with their feet.
And those who have lived through and in -- been in a red zone and no longer have faith in that city, state, province, or country's capacity to protect
them are going to be looking for other places to go, if the other country is willing to take them.
So we're going to see shift of populations, population transfer. We will see countries that have labor shortages welcoming people. Now, that's
obviously paradoxical, because we're going to have very high unemployment. But, as we know, migration is not a function necessarily of simply a
country having low unemployment and therefore needing people.
It's about skills. And, right now, Hari, as I'm sure you have reported, U.S. embassies around the world are saying, if you have a medical degree,
if you are a doctor, if you are a nurse, please come quickly to the nearest U.S. Embassy. We're going to give you a visa and bring you to America.
But we have record unemployment, right? So it's not about -- it's about skills mismatches. And we already have enormous skills mismatches in the
world. And we're going to continue to have them once this stops. So we're going to witness this real new experiment in the next phase of human
SREENIVASAN: How much of that migration also, do you think, is going to be motivated in part by, say, white-collar workers around the world who
figured out that I can do this job from home, maybe I shouldn't be paying the rent that I'm paying in the city that I'm living in?
KHANNA: When you factor in the technological change and perhaps the comfort level that companies will have in terms of remote working or even
wanting to encourage remote working because it may be cheaper than renting commercial real estate, which is expensive, so not only will it potentially
be encouraged by some companies, but the mobile talent who always wanted to telecommute more is now going to be able to say, I told you so, and let me
keep on doing this.
And maybe I won't have to do it from 10 miles or 15 miles from the office in an expensive city. But I think I'm going to go to Idaho or Wyoming or
Bali or something like that.
And I think we will see that, because the reason I know we will see it, Hari, is because that is exactly what has been happening. And now those
people actually have a stronger hand in terms of their negotiations with their employers.
SREENIVASAN: Does this change sort of global order of things? I mean, does it accelerate the end of U.S. dominance?
KHANNA: From the point of view of analyzing American foreign policy and America's image in the world, we wouldn't isolate it to just this event,
though a lot of people will elevate this moment as a turning point.
But let's remember that we have almost, 20 years ago, the response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the
delegitimation of the American capitalist model because of the financial crisis, you know, the partisanship and polarization that surrounded the
2016 election of Trump, and so forth.
So, when you think about the image of America in the world and the perspectives about American leadership, it's been a fairly checkered story
for a couple of decades now. But let's just talk about policies.
When you think about Asians, again, the leaders across Asia have been fairly blunt with American officials when they come through the region,
which is that they're disappointed at the commitment to the alliance system. The demonstration or provision of shared resources and collective
security has been wobbly.
The Trump administration has made these very, you know, sort of strong and almost out-of-the-blue demands for burden-sharing financially in the
alliance that these countries can't necessarily afford. Then there's the trade issue and so forth.
So I think that this -- it's not about a change in leadership, simply because we're more heading towards a leaderless world than a world where
China replaces America. So I think it's a tricky question and a shifting target.
We should not be looking, though, for two things. We should not be looking for China to become number one, because we're not moving into a world that
wants there to be a number one. And we're certainly not, at the same time, going to have a world where America magically rebounds and becomes number
one again, A, because that's not in our material capability to do so right now.
It's certainly not even a bipartisan desire that exists in America. And let's remember the rest of the world has also moved on. It doesn't want to
follow anyone. Every country wants to be the pilot of its own plane and be in the driver's seat.
SREENIVASAN: The interdependence that the United States has for China, the president has said, we're too dependent on China.
Does the U.S. have the resources necessary to bring all of these goods and services that we import from China back in-house to be less dependent?
KHANNA: Absolutely, it does.
And this is one of the critical things why I don't want to write off or write down the U.S., even in a time like this, because if you --
geopolitics is not about the flavor-of-the-month issue or how well or how badly you performed in one war or in response to one crisis. It's something
much more sort of structural, fundamental.
And if you think about the United States in particular, or North America in general, you have got 450 or 500 million people, so a very strong
demographic base. You have all the natural resources you could ever want, right? You have got all the food, all the fuel, all the timber, everything,
right, the bounty of nature that North America possesses.
You have a very strong labor force. You have all of the financial capital, wealth, all of the technology and innovation and the industrial
capabilities. Globalization and outsourcing and financial capitalism have been choices that American industry and American leaders and American
companies have made. They aren't necessary.
So, America can near-shore on the back of having very cheap energy, having labor automation, having an abundant labor force. Everything from toys to
semiconductors to medical devices can most definitely be made in the United States. It's hardly out of the realm of possibility.
It's comical to think that there's anything in the world, quite frankly, that can't be made in the United States. There have been episodes like the
rare earth mineral export ban, when China, 10 years ago, started to say, wait a minute, we have got this.
Very deep in the earth's crust, we have these access to these rare earth minerals. And those components are necessary for mobile phones and other
kinds of devices, and we're going to block the export of those things to Japan and other countries.
And then the United States said, wait a minute ,we're buying them from you out of convenience. We have lots of rare earths too, and so does Mongolia,
and so does Canada. And so that action that China took actually just reminded everyone of why they shouldn't depend on China.
SREENIVASAN: Does it change China's dependence on the United States?
KHANNA: Well, China is actually much less dependent on the United States than people think.
For China, its dependence on America is measured in very, very different optional kinds of materialistic kind of ways. So, for example, starting
after 2015, when the U.S. Congress had ended the ban on exporting hydrocarbons, right, once the shale oil revolution really kicked in,
America had -- became one of the world's largest oil and gas producers.
So China actually became one of the largest consumers of American oil and gas by 2016-2017. Then came to trade war, and then China halted the imports
of American oil and gas. China also buys lots of industrial goods and technologies from the U.S.
But it has been trying at a breakneck pace to practice what I call permanent substitution, right? How do you -- how can you make inside China
everything that you depend on others for, particularly if it's a sensitive technological area, where you're worried that the Trump administration or
any U.S. government will simply impose export controls on it?
And that's obviously what's happened in a number of critical areas. So, now Huawei has just come out with its latest phone model. It doesn't have any
American components in it, either hardware or software, and it's a runaway success.
So China is decreasing its dependence on the United States quite rapidly.
SREENIVASAN: Are Americans willing to pay that price? And I say that -- two questions. One is as the consumer and as the investor.
If America was to become more self-sufficient and move all of its manufacturing locally, are American consumers willing to pay more for a T-
shirt? Or are shareholders willing to pay more for the cost of production?
KHANNA: It's a fantastic question. And I don't think there's a universal answer. It may depend sector by sector on what areas of industry the
government is willing to subsidize or financially support.
The shale industry did not take off simply based on capitalist logic, right? It had a lot to do with the incentives that the government has
provided for the oil and gas sector.
The same thing could apply, obviously, to other areas, like medical equipment, like technology and so forth. There's also a capitalist logic
which simply says, well, again, the input cost of energy is now very low in the United States because oil and gas are cheap.
The cost of factory production is lower now because, instead of employing humans, you can employ -- you can invest in robots. So there are a couple
of conditions that are in place, again, for North American countries, particularly the U.S. and Canada, to be able to make just about anything
they want, if they're willing to just invest in the robots.
Investment used to be this very long-term proposition. Well, if I go and build an automobile plant in China or Thailand, this is a 40-year
investment. But investment has become much more fungible, Hari.
It means that it's like it's a sunk cost over there, but it doesn't cost as much as it used to build a new factory to produce something. The cost of
doing that has come way, way down. So, can we get the incentives aligned with the government to support the critical industries, and those
industries to find ways to service the domestic market profitably and at a lower cost of investment?
Yes, it's possible. So, will -- does that mean higher prices for consumers? Again, it depends on what the product is. But it doesn't have to be that
much higher, quite frankly.
SREENIVASAN: All right, Parag Khanna, thanks so much for joining us.
KHANNA: Pleasure. Great to speak with you, Hari.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR: And, finally, for something a little different, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jon Bon Jovi, best known for his hit "Livin' on a Prayer," is
enlisting fans to finish his new song by sharing their experiences of this crisis.
To push his message out, he used a picture taken of him washing dishes and helping to prepare and feed those in need in his hometown, Red Bank, New
Jersey. Like his Instagram post, the song is entitled "Do What You Can."
Take a quick listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Well, Bon Jovi's already received thousands of submissions, as he and his family continue their three-week-long isolation.
And he's joining me now from New Jersey, which, after New York, is the worst affected state and has passed a rather grim milestone.
As we speak, more than 1,000 people now have died because of coronavirus in your state.
Jon Bon Jovi, welcome to the program.
JON BON JOVI, MUSICIAN: Hi. Thank you for having me, Christiane. Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So, it's really bad everywhere. Everywhere you look, everybody is in this together. It's almost like the great leveler.
Just tell me how it's affected -- because I know one of your sons was showing symptoms. One of your bandmates has recovered or certainly has
tested positive for the coronavirus.
BON JOVI: Yes, it's affected everybody from all walks of life. It doesn't matter who you are or where you live. This is a worldwide pandemic. And
we're all in this together.
As I was listening to the prior guest, is the great leveler, right? And the world is going to change as a result. It did affect not one, but two guys
in the band. It affected my son Jacob. His was a minor, mild case. It was intestinal, and it passed in three days.
And, fortunately, the rest of the household has stayed healthy. But everything has changed. And we have been here in isolation for three weeks
now. And it looks like there's no end in sight.
AMANPOUR: Just before we get on to the new song, I just want to know how you like to share the message to stay home, because, as we have said
earlier on, there's still eight states in the United States that don't have lockdown orders. People are still gathering in some of these places, are in
very, very close proximity.
And it's a real struggle in your state, in New York, to try to get control of this virus and protect lives.
BON JOVI: It can't be any more real.
You have witnessed it by reading your newspaper or watching television news. Here in my town, the police had to come and break up a party with a
band playing at it on Saturday night. It's just beyond comprehension that there are those who are just ignoring the will of local government and
state-run government to stay at social distance, stay at home, do the right thing.
Look, it doesn't matter if you're the host of a CNN news program or a guy that sings in a rock `n' roll band. We all can make a difference. By simply
staying at home, you are effecting change directly.
And so, please, everyone, do their part. And if something as small as staying home is your contribution to mankind, then please participate.
AMANPOUR: Well, no, that's very powerfully put.
And you have now done this song. It's one of the ways you're participating. You have also -- as we know, you're an activist and you do a lot to help
people in need in your area.
And you had this picture that you put out and asked people to do what you can. So, tell me a little bit about how that came about, the verse that you
wrote, and what you have received from the fans who you're asking to contribute.
BON JOVI: Thank you.
As I said, we're all in this together.
And, as a songwriter, I thought of that title. The next day, I thought, there's a song. And so I sat down and I wrote the song in its entirety, all
the verses, the bridge. I was finished.
But I thought to myself, everyone is experiencing this differently and have a verse to contribute. So, I put it out on social media and said, here's a
verse, here's the chorus, tell me your story. Let us make this our story.
And we have gotten thousands and thousands of people sending in verses or poetry or a letter, a video for the musicians who can play with me. And
it's become this viral sensation, because everybody has the same story to tell. We're living through this together.
AMANPOUR: Is there anything that strikes you is particularly poignant or particularly resilient from some of the verses that you're getting?
BON JOVI: I think it's very similar here, stateside especially.
But there's a shout-out and a spotlight on, of course, doctors, nurses, truckers, grocery store clerks, people who are living this life. And
because the news cycle is 24/7, and everyone's got their TV news on, we're also making sure that we say thank you to the teacher, and to the moms and
dads who are doing their best, and to the kids who are sitting home and being patient.
So I'm getting a lot of those stories about people's lives.
AMANPOUR: Jon Bon Jovi, I don't know whether you have been struck on whether it compares to other disasters, but we have seen a lot of music
come out of this, whether it's musicians like yourself doing something new and getting contributions, whether it's orchestras who are all separated
and playing via Zoom, whether it's already sort of rock `n' rollers who are doing like -- quote, unquote -- "free concerts" online.
What do you think is it about this and about music that kind of collide and come together?
BON JOVI: You know, in truth, music is the great healer. And at times like this, it brings people together, and there aren't any borders or political
We all have some kind of draw towards some kind of music. It soothes. It heals. It helps. And, at times like this, talk about globalization. I have
traveled the planet for nearly 40 years now. And songs like "Livin' on a Prayer," "It's My Life," and the big hits that I have had over the years,
we have brought them to the planet.
And so they share those commonalities and it brings cities together. It brings countries together.
AMANPOUR: Now, you do have another charity. And you have just released another song called "Unbroken."
And this is for wounded warriors. And you collaborated with Prince Harry on the Invictus project. Tell me a little bit about that and why you were
moved to do that. And, of course, that's all about wounded warriors who've gone out and put their lives on the line, so that other Americans don't
have to go fight wars.
BON JOVI: When I wrote the song "Unbroken," it was for an American documentary by the name "To Be of Service," and it was about servicemen and
their service dogs. And it was a holistic approach to helping these guys heal.
But on a parallel course, I thought to myself, Prince Harry has the Invictus Games, and I knew that they had a choir. And rather than my being
the narrator in the song, I thought, who better to sing this song than the men and women who fought for their nation?
So I sent it to him. It's not that I knew the gentleman, but I sent it to Harry. And he responded. And before this pandemic became what it is today,
we got together in London at Abbey Road Studios with members of that choir to sing the song, put it on record.
And we were going to share at the Games with all the other nations and their soldiers. So, again, now it's suddenly I have written this album
called "2020." And it's very topical. But who knew at the time that it was going to become this topical, whether it was vets or the current
administration in America or now the COVID crisis?
I have written a whole entire record like this that someday everyone will hear. I'm going to have to delay the release. But such is life. And it's
just every day is an opportunity to (AUDIO GAP) song.
AMANPOUR: And it's something to wait for and something to look forward to.
Jon Bon Jovi, thank you so much for joining us, and for doing your part.
BON JOVI: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: That's it for tonight.
And we let Jon Bon Jovi and the Invictus Games Choir play us out, an important reminder of the contribution that service men and women are
making during this crisis as well and how veterans do need support during this pandemic and beyond.
Thank you for watching. Goodbye from London.