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Trump Says Will Temporarily Close Immigration to U.S.; World Food Program Warns People Suffering from Acute Hunger Will Double; Interview With Wynton Marsalis; Interview With Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown; "Pandemic," Netflix Series that Predicted this Catastrophe; Dr. Dennis Carroll, Former Director, USAID's Pandemic Influenza and Emerging Threats Unit, is Interviewed About the Pandemic. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired April 21, 2020 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
I talk to the former British prime minister, Gordon Brown. He helped navigate a global exit from the great recession. Now, he's calling for a
global task force to beat the pandemic.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We talk about another flu pandemic happening, it is not a matter of if but when.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The Netflix series that predicted this very catastrophe before anyone had even heard of COVID-19, featuring veteran virus hunter, Dr.
Dennis Carroll, who joins me.
Plus, before there was the great jazz musician, Wynton Marsalis, there was his father, the late legendary, Ellis Marsalis. A conversation with Walter
Isaacson about grief, legacy and love.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour working from home in London.
As coronavirus deaths continue to rise, worries about the life and death impact of a shuttered global economy also grow by the day. President Trump
has resorted to his old political playbook saying that he'll temporarily stop all immigration into the United States in an effort to protect
More than 20 million have been lost amid this pandemic and that is just in the U.S. Around the world, tens of millions are facing job losses and
severe economic contractions are on the horizon. Thankfully, deaths are at a slower rate in these countries that were hit hard at the start. But what
happens when the virus reaches the developing world?
The World Food Program warns the number of people suffering acute hunger could almost double to more than 265 million because of the impact of the
virus. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is renewing his call for a coordinated, global effort against the pandemic and its aftershocks.
Having been at the center of the international move to tackle the 2008 financial crisis, he's best placed to offer a battle plan now. Gordon Brown
is joining me from his hometown of North Queensferry in Scotland.
Prime Minister, welcome to the program.
Let me ask you because there does seem to be a contradiction. It is a global pandemic, which kind of, for the first time, is notable for the
absence of a global response. You've been calling for it from the early days. Tell me where we are right now.
GORDON BROWN, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Well, it's not only a global pandemic that needs a global response, there's a global economic crisis
that also needs a global economic response. And if people sitting at home are wondering saying, well, look, I'm worried about my family, I'm worried
about my community, I'm worried about my neighborhood, I'm worried about my own country, if we think of the consequences of this disease taking root in
Africa or in some of the poorest countries of Asia or Latin America or the Middle East and then a second or perhaps third or fourth round of the
disease comes back to hit us in every other country in the world, then we have some very, very serious consequences to face.
So, to think locally you've got to act globally. To solve the problem nationally --
AMANPOUR: Again, this is what happens when we have live broadcasting in these circumstances where the technology sometimes can fail for a while but
we'll get it back.
So, what we are going to do now is go to my next guest because few know more about infectious diseases than the next guest who is Dr. Dennis
Carroll. He directed the Pandemic Influenza and Emerging Threats Unit of USAID, that's the Agency for International Development in the United
States. He did that for 15 years.
And during that time, he helped identify more than 2,000 viruses in animals that can us humans sick, which is most likely how coronavirus originated
according to the World Health Organization. And he featured in the 0.0 Netflix series "Pandemic," which predicted an outbreak months earlier.
Here's the trailer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 100 years ago, a deadly influenza virus infected hundreds of millions of people. Somewhere in the order of 50 to 100 million
deaths. When we talk about another flu pandemic happening, it's not a matter of if but when.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A new strain of bird flu.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is definitely one of the most lethal influenza viruses that we have seen so far.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just takes one person to start an outbreak.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will leave its mark. The result would be hundreds of millions of people that would likely die. That's what I do what I do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are making a vaccine to treat all future versions of flu.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This vaccine could eradicate influenza as we know it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are in charge of our children not the government.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The problem is so widespread the World Health Organization is calling the refusal to vaccinate one of the biggest threats
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A healthy child has the ability to build up immunity naturally.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know what I do is important to my patients but what am I doing to myself and my family?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Within one month, the virus can spread throughout the country. A month after that, widespread throughout the world.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The next pandemic is going to start. We just don't know where or how but we know it will.
DR. DENNIS CARROLL, FORMER DIRECTOR, USAID'S PANDEMIC INFLUENZA AND EMERGING THREATS UNIT: That poses and existential threat to us as a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And that was Dr. Dennis Carroll in the film and he is now joining me from Washington.
So, welcome to the program.
You know, watching the series from the first episode to the sixth episode, you just thought, oh, my God, how did they know? How did they know? And of
course, you didn't film it now. You filmed it in the 2018-2019 flu season. Did you know that something like this could happen so soon?
CARROLL: Well, the answer, Christiane, is absolutely. The emergence of this particular coronavirus really comes as no surprise. We could never
predict which would be the next virus and we could never predict exactly when. But it was clear that the dynamics that drive viruses circulating in
wildlife, to spill over in the people, they're intensifying and the frequency with which these are happening is going up. It is all driven by
So, what we're seeing with COVID-19 virus is symptomatic of sort of a new age. We are going to see more and more of these events as we move further
into the 21st century.
CARROLL: So, interestingly, we showed it in the trailer, it's sort of like these virus sleuths, investigators, people who need to keep an eye on
everything that's going on in the field and they were in the Democratic Republic of Congo because of Ebola, they were in Egypt and Lebanon because
of various versions of flu, whether it was swine flu, avian flu, all those that cropped up in 2000s. We saw doctors in the United States, doctors in
It looks like there is a huge amount of knowledge, just a huge amount of knowledge and people like yourself and these characters on the lookout. Can
you explain in today's context why then, including the fact that there were pandemic playbooks, we seem to be caught so completely, for want of a
better word, with our trousers down?
CARROLL: Well, first off, I think the fact that this virus was picked up and identified as a coronavirus, remember, it began as an event of unknown
causes. And within a fairly short period of time, a matter of two to three weeks after it was first publicly identified, there was a clear recognition
that, one, we were not looking at an influenza virus. We were looking at a coronavirus that has a striking similarities to its cousin the SARS virus.
The -- really the surprise wasn't so much the emergence and the early spread, it was the lack of a coordinated regional or an even global
response. And that, I think, as you noted, that's where we -- you know, we're caught with our pants down. Not so much about the biology of this
virus but the political actions that we responded to this virus or the lack of action that responded to that virus. This I think to many of us comes as
the real surprise, the lack of early and effective response and more importantly, the lack of a well-coordinated global response.
As your previous guest, Prime Minister Brown, noted, you know, this is a global event and global events require global coordination and global
response. So, if our pants were down when this occurred, it really had to do with the failure of the global community to really come together,
recognize the singular global characteristics of this event early and mount a coordinated global response.
AMANPOUR: So, some people will say, hang on a second, we have never seen anything like this, something that spreads so fast, something that really
took so much of the world in its grip, in its deathly grip. But you also point out that, well, in fact, yes, but there were previous times when you
did see the president of the United States leading the global effort. You talk about President George W. Bush getting on the phone when the crisis
erupted under his watch. You talk about, you know, President Obama twice, once I believe with swine flu, once with Ebola, having to get on and
marshal a global response.
Just talk to me about that compared to what's happening right now from the White House.
CARROLL: Well, let's go back to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. That was picked up in early April of 2009. And very quickly, it was recognized as a novel
influenza virus, spreading out of North America. And by the end of April, President Obama had already stepped forward and declared this a public
health emergency. Already mobilizing resources across the entirety of the U.S. government to begin preparing for a response.
W.H.O. didn't declare this as a pandemic until June. So, what you saw with President Obama was really listening to his technical experts and using the
levers of the White House to begin mobilizing immediately what turned out to be a highly effective response.
The second point I want to make is that President Obama also, very early on, not only declared this a national emergency, he reached out across the
globe to other leaders to begin to lay the foundation for a coordinated global response. And so, it was that twin sort of line of activity,
mobilizing national preparedness and beginning to coordinate a global response, even before a pandemic was declared really sort of highlighted
the difference between this current administration which, quite frankly, really did not start marshalling a response until March of this year, three
months after we recognized this as a significant public health event.
AMANPOUR: OK. I think viewers will be unbelievably interested to see the series because it's also starts with one of the main doctors who is
undergoing sort of a drill, a drill in one of the New York hospitals, to receive a first, you know, infected patient. It is unbelievably chilling
and it reflects exactly what's going on right now.
But what I want to ask you now from your experience and your expertise, you are an expert in, and I'm going to say it, the discovery of zoonotic
viruses. Obviously, we kind of understand that means viruses in animals. Tell us about this particular virus, the origin where you think it came
from and this animal to human transmission that we keep seeing.
CARROLL: Well, it's important to recognize, every new emerging viral threat we're dealing with, whether it was SARS of 2002, the influenza
pandemic of 2009, the Ebola West Africa epidemic of 2014, all of these viruses existed prior to the outbreak or the beginnings of the pandemic in
wildlife. They're circulating today.
Every new virus that we're going to see over the coming decades, over the course of this century, already exists and it is circumstance circulating
at its natural habitat in wildlife populations. The zoonotic has to do with when those wildlife animals, whether a bat, a nonhuman primate or a rodent
is carrying one of these viruses and it ends up proximal, nearby a human settlement or a human population. And viruses have a very strong motivation
to look for new ecologic niches. They're always trying to diversify their host range. And given the opportunity, they will jump from a bat into a
person and look for a new place to replicate and grow and spread further. And it is that phenomena --
AMANPOUR: OK. Just --
CARROLL: -- jumping, spilling over that is behind the COVID-19 event that began sometime in November or December of this past year.
AMANPOUR: Can you just lay to rest what some people are afraid of or that they think is how it happened, that somebody in Wuhan or wherever ate the
bat and that's how they got it? Is it in the eating of the animal or how does an animal spill over, shed the virus?
CARROLL: OK. Well, there is several routes that is we know about. And let me first off say, this -- what we know about the spillover events really
comes out of 20 years of intensive research in the field, monitoring and evaluating these events. And so, we have quite a lot of insight into how
this spillover event occurs.
The COVID-19 virus, really there were two potential routes way -- it made its way from its natural reservoir, which is the horseshoe bat, into human
populations. It could have, and we're not sure about this, but the early reports suggested that an intermediary wildlife animal, pangolin, was
infected by a bat and that pangolin was brought into a wildlife market where wildlife animals are traded, and that there was an exposure event in
that market that could have led to a spillover.
Not to dissimilar to what we saw with SARS in 2002 where a civic cat acted as an intermediary moving a bat virus into human populations. But we also
know that bats can directly infect people by depositing their feces in areas where people are exposed and you can get the virus directly from that
exposure as well. We are not sure which route was taken. But we are clear that this is a natural virus and that the way it moved into the human
population was through a natural route.
AMANPOUR: So, another thing that people have -- you know, there's been a whole load of conspiracies and theories that maybe it was a mistake in a
lab in Wuhan, maybe the conspiracies say that it was a bioweapon being developed.
Now, the W.H.O. was particularly asked about that today and has quashed it as far as they know. They say there's absolutely no scientific evidence at
all to back up either of those theories, that it did come from an animal. Would you agree with that?
CARROLL: I would agree, absolutely. There has been some very good deep genetic work looking at this particular virus and it has the genetic
signatures of a natural virus. There is nothing man-made about it.
But the second point I want to make is that we do recognize that accidental release from laboratories is a real risk. And so, we need to pay attention
to that and I would hope that as we talk more about this issue, that the global community addresses the vulnerabilities that we have for a future
event where there is an accidental release. But in this case, COVID-19 virus, everything, everything points to this being not only a natural virus
but a -- it's an introduction into the human population was not by way of a laboratory.
AMANPOUR: There's the other thing, obviously, everybody is waiting with baited breath for some kind of vaccine, some kind of mitigation that will
allow people to go out. We hear with this cacophony for ending lockdowns. Obviously, many people are in pain, financial, economic pain, et cetera.
And also, you want this virus to be killed off. And they say it won't happen safely unless there is a vaccine.
Well, today, the health secretary here in England said that the Oxford Trial of Vaccines at Oxford University would start their first human trials
this Thursday. And in the series that you took part in, Dr. Jake, he is also working on vaccines and now, has moved to trying to work on a COVID
vaccine. Just tell me what you know about that part of it and how -- you know, how long you think we might have to wait.
CARROLL: Well, first off, Christiane, a vaccine is the holy grail. This is a virus, I think, that there is very strong consensus. It will become an
endemic virus coming back every winter season along with influenzas. So, in the absence of a vaccine, we're going to be challenged societally as well
as economically in how to best manage this.
There has been much speculation that 12 to 18 months is going to be required before we see a vaccine. But let me also offer a cautionary note.
We have never developed a vaccine against this family of viruses before. So, while we're hopeful --
CARROLL: -- that a vaccine against this virus will be forthcoming, it really won't be available, if it's available at all, for at least another
year to year-and-a-half. And for the -- you know, it's also needed for 8 billion people. It's going to be several years before we get to the level
of production where we can even achieve that level of coverage.
So, there are an enormous amount of uncertainties. We are not even sure to the extent that this virus will trigger natural immunity. So, there is a
really significant effort under way within the science community to understand the immunologic response to those people who have been infected,
is there a natural immunity? And if so, can we use that experience to help accelerate the development of a vaccine? And if there isn't natural
immunity, what is it that we have to do to trigger a level of immunity that the natural infection doesn't?
So enormous, outstanding questions need to be answered. We're hopeful a vaccine. I think more urgently, we're likely to see the emergence of an
effective pharmaceutical, a treatment, and that I'm much more hopeful that we'll see become available earlier than we will see a vaccine.
AMANPOUR: And quite quickly, because I just -- you mentioned 8 billion people, I think you believe and many scientists believe that part of this,
because it's animals to humans, is because of the huge population of the world right now. And as people rise from poverty into the ability to buy
meat, protein, et cetera, the need for animals to eat or the desire for animals to eat has exploded exponentially. Is this ever, ever going to then
become manageable if that's the inevitable trend?
CARROLL: Well, first off, the point you're making is absolutely right. There are 8 billion people on this planet now and that is an extraordinary
number. If we were having this discussion 100 years ago, there were 6 billion fewer people on this planet. You can't have this accelerated
intensification, the human footprint on this planet without dramatically disrupting natural ecosystems. And we're seeing, within the 21st century,
two dramatic examples of how those ecosystems are being disrupted, climate change is one and the second is the acceleration of zoonotic diseases.
But in both cases, these events are driven by unintended consequences of how we live. And we can better manage those. There are risky behaviors and
practices that we undertake that we can bring under control, just by way of example, the very existence of live animal markets in many parts of the
world today create real vulnerabilities for spillover of these viruses.
We can do a better job managing people's access to animal protein and we need to think carefully about how it is that, you know, we expand our
settlements, how we expand our agricultural productivity, how we make sure that the world's population is fed. Those are goals and targets that if we
don't manage well, we'll see more zoonosis, we'll see more impact on climate change. So, we can manage it.
AMANPOUR: Really important. Yes.
BROWN: We live in a risky world. But we can manage this risk very effectively if we are careful.
AMANPOUR: Yes. Very important warnings. Very important analysis. Thank you so much for your expertise, Dr. Dennis Carroll. And everybody should see
the series, "Pandemic." It is incredible.
Now, Let's bring back Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Prime Minister, we were talking about, before we had technical difficulties, the global necessity of responding to this, it's a global
pandemic but it has -- so, you were beginning to explain it. What we see is even Europe, which is meant to be a European Union, people are being --
well, countries have been competing for their own equipment and all that they need. We have seen the United States that there's competition even
between states and between, you know, within states.
So, what do you think and do you believe it's on the way needs to be done, can be done to make this a global response?
BROWN: Look, it's obvious, we've got America first, we've got China first, we've got India first, we've got Japan first, we've got Russia first. And
this has been a tendency, a trend of the times, an aggressive unilateral nationalism.
But I think most people realize that this is a global economic emergency and it's also a global health emergency. And I think people realize that
unless we solve the problem in some of the poorest countries of the world, which could bring the disease back into the richest conditions of the
world, we will not solve the problem at all.
We need a global effort and a vaccine. We need to build up global capacity and testing equipment. We need to protect these countries so they don't
carry the disease back into the rest of the world. So, for all these reasons, people sitting at home this evening, I think do realize that to
protect themselves locally, we have got to act globally.
We are concerned about families, about our communities, about our country, but we've got to act globally if we're going to rid ourselves of this
AMANPOUR: So, I'm going to play this little bit of a soundbite from Dr. Tedros, the director general of the World Health Organization, basically
amplifying what you are saying but with a rather chilling warning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: We need global solidarity. That's cemented on genuine
national unity. Without the two, without national unity and global solidarity, trust us, the worst is yet ahead of us. Let's prevent this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Prime Minister, that is really chilling to think that the worst is still ahead of us. Do you have commitments, do you have a game plan for
this G20 appeal that you have made?
BROWN: Yes, I think so. When he talks about the worst ahead of us, I mean, the predictions are that at least 300,000 people may lose their life in
Africa. 900,000 in Asia, in the poorest countries, because they simply don't have the protection that we have. They can't do social distancing in
the way that we can. There is no social safety net that allows them to stop working when they feel that their health is at risk. So, they go to work
and they risk their health. And, of course, there is no proper health provision, testing, ventilators. And what problems we have seen in the
developed world are even greater, obviously, in the developing world.
But solidarity is actually self-interest. And I think people will understand when we explain that if you allow this disease to have a second
round and a third round, then we are all going to be affected. And that's why there's got to be a global race for the vaccine. We have to work
together because we have got to manufacture it and get it to every country in the world when it is ready.
If it's cure and therapeutics, as we've just heard from our previous speaker, then again, we've got to have global capacity, we got to build up
our capacity to this. There's no use people competing against each other for a small amount of capacity and supply. We need to build up the
capacity. And I think these things can be done.
Now, why am I more confident than perhaps the reports in the newspapers suggest about global cooperation? Because I think we will soon see a
pledging conference to raise money for health. We need 8 billion to speed the search for the vaccine, speed the search for treatments and
therapeutics and diagnostics. These are networks of scientists and experts who are working on this who need financial support to do this at a global
I think the European Union is ready to hold a pledging conference. My information is that countries like Japan, Korea, Britain itself and Norway
would be very much wanting to be part of that. I think China and America will be drawn in as Africa and Latin America and of course the Middle East
say that we need this and there are already signs that countries are prepared to contribute.
So, I think in the next few weeks, perhaps this pledging conference will be made, the fourth I'm told, perhaps the next few days then, we will be able
to say the global health program for the vaccine, for the therapeutics and diagnostics is going to be supported this year and, of course, we'll have
to do something similar for next year.
So, there is a chance that progress despite all the statements that have been made that suggest America first has gone global.
AMANPOUR: Well, look. This is really interesting because what you are describing is a kind of return to normal procedure when there's a big issue
and the world gets together along the lines that you have described. But it is America first, under President Trump, you know perfectly well that
there's no desire to lead the world. Lead America, yes. But not lead the world. And you just heard our previous guest contrast President Trump's
action with that of President George W. Bush and President Obama. So, bipartisan.
So, can the world go it alone globally without the United States? And obviously, added to that is, how can W.H.O. go it without American money
and what kind of signal does that send?
BROWN: Well, it is very interesting because I saw a Pew opinion poll in the United States suggesting that the population of the United States, 80
percent to 90 percent of them, whether Republican or Democrat, understood that global cooperation to deal with this health epidemic was absolutely
important, very important or fairly important according to the one case, more than 90 percent of the population.
So, I'm not sure that America wants to stay out of everything. And I'm not sure that America does not want to support the vaccine search, which is
global, or the building up of capacity.
And I think we have got to accept that it does take time to persuade people, as we found in 2009, that global cooperation is essential. You
know, when we decided to have a G20 to deal with the financial crisis and decided that the G7 and only a small group of advanced economies was not
good enough if you're going to deal with a global financial crisis, there was resistance at the beginning.
Countries didn't want to join. Countries didn't want the remit that we wanted. We had to persuade people. It took time. But over a period of
weeks, we managed to get people around the same table.
And over the next few weeks, I think you just cannot give up. I think President Gorbachev said that he wanted on the tombstone the words "We
tried." And I think it is important to say that we keep trying, because the price of failure here is that, in this generation -- this is what Roosevelt
called a rendezvous with destiny -- in this generation's moment of truth, we will suffer the condescension of posterity for failing to act globally
and to act locally, nationally and globally, when we have both a health crisis and an economic crisis.
The stakes, in my view, are very high. And I do think you cannot just give up and say, President Trump said this, so let's actually just accept that
there's going to be no cooperation. I think you have got to keep trying.
And I do think...
AMANPOUR: No. No. No.
BROWN: ... results.
AMANPOUR: Yes, yes, I didn't want to -- I do need to actually press you on this, because he did actually pull the United States out of paying for a
global organization that the U.N. heads called the WHO.
That's hundreds of millions of dollars in the middle of a pandemic. And it's...
BROWN: But can I...
AMANPOUR: Yes, but I just want to ask you, because I want to know whether the world -- if the United States chooses to forfeit his traditional role
as leader of these kinds of events, if President Trump decides not to, can you all do it without? That's the simple question.
BROWN: I think we have got to do it, whether America comes in or not, but it's far better if America comes in.
You have got to remember, President Trump signed a G20 communique only a few days ago saying he wanted to increase and extend the mandate of the
World Health Organization, put more money into the global search for a vaccine, give more money to developing countries.
And then he had this change of mind. He can change his mind again.
But my pledging conference idea would start with the European Union and Japan, involve Canada, Korea, Norway, Britain, and all these countries. And
I think, at that stage, America would have to make a choice. Does it want to come in (AUDIO GAP) the rest of the world wants to work together, or
does it stay out?
I don't think you give up simply because President Trump says he doesn't want to be part of this. You keep finding new ways of dealing with this
similar problem, that we have got to find the global resources to deal with the health problem and also, of course, to deal with the economic problems
that we may come onto that the world faces as well.
AMANPOUR: Well, that is the big question, obviously, because a lot of this is being driven by the frozen economies. Again, you were there at the last
great crash, recession of 2008-2009.
I mean, do you understand the impetus to want to open up economies? Do you understand President Trump? Or is there a way to do it whereby you mitigate
both the economic effect, once you have got the health crisis in check?
BROWN: Well, I think you're dealing with an economic problem that comes in two stages.
The first stage was to prevent the loss of jobs or to protect people who were losing their jobs with social security of some sort. And it was to
provide the resources necessary for the national health systems. So, you have been through this first phase.
And, look, we have had innovation at a national level that ought to be replicated also at a global level. I mean, the American Fed is virtually
supporting junk bonds in the marketplace. The British government is supporting -- with the Central Bank, supporting the fiscal policy of the
So, we have had massive innovation, even beyond what happened in 2009, in fiscal and monetary policies in these countries. But the second stage will
need global coordination. You will need countries to come together, because the fiscal, monetary and central bank coordination that is necessary for
the second stage, which is to get growth back into the world economy, is going to be very considerable indeed.
So you might be able to deal (AUDIO GAP) stage by individual countries doing their own thing, but if you want to get back to global growth, and
America wants to get back to growth -- and it's a trading economy, it's not simply an economy that can be completely isolated forever -- then you have
to have a push, which involves China, Japan, it involves Europe, as well as America.
I want to ask you, as a former British prime minister, former chancellor of the exchequer, did you ever in your wildest nightmares think that you might
see what many are calling a pretty disastrous situation here in the United Kingdom, where the death rate is very, very high compared to the rest of
Europe, and where really pitifully short supplies of PPE, of all the things that are necessary for the front-line workers, the number of front-line
workers who are dying?
There was a pandemic playbook here. Are you just surprised? I mean, how do you assess what went wrong here?
BROWN: Well, we have had to deal with past problems in infectious diseases. We have had to deal, obviously, around the world with SARS. We
have had to deal with Ebola.
Fortunately, these diseases never hit the advanced economies in the way that this disease has hit. And I do feel -- and the first thing I have got
to say when asked about what's happening in my own country, I do feel that for all those people who are losing their lives and those families who are
suffering bereavements, and I do feel for the Health Service workers, who are doing a fantastic, indeed a magnificent job, but are putting their
lives at risk every day to save lives.
They are risking their lives. And I think, at this moment in our history, it is not the time for me to criticize or to try to go over what happened
in the last few weeks. It's the time to be constructive.
So, we need testing. And, therefore, we need to increase our capacity to be able to give people these tests, so that they can either be clear of the
disease or find that they need to isolate themselves. We need to increase the capacity in equipment, personal equipment for Health Service workers,
and we need to increase it in ventilators.
Equally, in all these cases, this is a problem that every other country are facing. So we need to find a way of increasing global capacity in every
single area. Is there any point in any state in the United States or country fighting amongst each other simply to get a limited supply of
capacity of these goods?
We need to increase the global capacity. And that's why I do think there's a case for people coming together, even at this stage, when we're dealing
with the disease, and there is still a shortage of testing equipment and a shortage of personnel and equipment for Health Service workers.
We need to find a way of increasing global capacity. And I would be certainly putting a minister and asking other countries to put a minister
in charge of a plan to increase global capacity. And that would help America, it would help Britain, it would help Europe, and it would help the
That is something that I think is urgent.
AMANPOUR: All right.
Well, we really appreciate you being with us tonight. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, thank you for joining us on this incredibly important issue.
BROWN: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Now we turn to a heartfelt conversation about grief and the healing power of music with our next guest.
And he the great jazz musician Wynton Marsalis. He is in conversation with our Walter Isaacson. He opens up about losing his father, the New Orleans
jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis, who died aged 85 earlier this month after contracting coronavirus.
Wynton Marsalis reflects on his father's legacy and on how jazz can help us all right now.
WALTER ISAACSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wynton Marsalis, welcome to the show.
WYNTON MARSALIS, MUSICIAN: Right. It's great to be here, Walter. Great to see you.
ISAACSON: Hey, man, I'm sorry about your daddy.
MARSALIS: Oh, man, you know, thank you.
You're a New Orleanian, so you would know the position -- the position that he occupied and who he was. So we all miss him.
But he was very unfussy about stuff in life. And in death, he went out -- he went out the way he was, so...
ISAACSON: You said he went out with a cool of a jazz man to me at one point. What do you mean by that?
MARSALIS: I mean, he wasn't complaining and whining. He accepted it.
But he had a lot of underlying conditions, too. My father was taking up to 18 medications a day before this. And I think, you know, he was struggling,
but he never complained. So, you could never tell how he was doing.
And even in the end, when they were increasing the oxygen, he was having more and more problems breathing, when the nurse would come in and say, are
you OK, he would say, yes, I'm fine.
ISAACSON: And he was pretty accepting at the end.
MARSALIS: Very. He was always accepting. Even the end was -- he made it to 85, so -- but he could come to grips with life.
He had a very holistic view. And we were joking just three -- two days -- two nights before he went into the hospital. I was joking with him about
him perhaps having it. And he said, well, man -- you know, I said, "I don't think it's your time for COVID."
He said, "I don't determine the time."
So, he started joking, he said: "Anyway, because your loved one that dies doesn't make it more or less significant than anybody else's. A lot of
people are suffering."
So, that was always his philosophy. And you know, I was laughing. I said, well, my friend -- I was talking about a friend of mine. I said, well, my
friend, who has both parents passed away, said his parents signed a do not resuscitate.
And he said, you know, you always think you will do it, until you get to that moment. So -- and this friend of mine is in his late 70s. So, he was
talking about his parents, of course, who had passed on. He said, when you get to that moment, you are always thinking, well, maybe I should just
resuscitate them, because you don't want them to go.
That wasn't his vibe. He was like, well, don't resuscitate me here. Do not resuscitate. Don't get to that moment with me.
ISAACSON: Tell me about going to clubs with him when you were a little kid and you listened to him play gigs.
MARSALIS: You know, I was always with them. And they were struggling. It wasn't glamorous places. It was people struggling. They never had a lot of
people in the clubs, really.
He had a good little period in the early '70s at this club called Lu & Charlie's. But in the early years, when I was like 3, 4, and 5, man, they
were struggling, country clubs, older people, black and white, black and red tile on the ground, sparkly kind of tile with Sam and Dave on the
jukebox, combination restaurant/bar, Old South, segregated.
ISAACSON: At one point, you watched him play a gig with only one or two people in the club.
MARSALIS: Right. That's right.
ISAACSON: What did you...
ISAACSON: ... from that?
MARSALIS: Oh, man, I saw him play a gig. It was like 2:00 -- the gig stopped at 2:30.
So, one thing about that way of life is, you are always out late. So, my entire life, I was always out 1:30, 2:00, 12:30. So, this gig ended at
2:30, but he could lock the club up. -- it was Lu & Charlie's -- at a later time.
And there was one guy in the club was drunk sitting at a table. So, I went to the piano. I told my daddy, man, let's go. It's 2:00 in the morning.
Nobody in here. Let's go. And I pointed to the guy who was inebriated. He had had a little too much spiritual involvement.
And I said, let's go, man. He said, man, this gig ends at 2:30. I said, man, nobody's in here. Look around. I pointed at the club. It was empty.
And he looked at me and said, man, go sit your ass down and listen to some music, man, for a change.
So, that was the first time I ever -- I used the King's Lake English, because that's how he talked to me. So, I went and sat down. And that was
like the first time of all the gigs I went on that I actually listened to the music, because even though I was always in the clubs, I never was
really listening to what they were playing.
I was always running around, listening to whatever older people talk. There was always people inebriated. Of the five or six people there, there was
always some kind of interesting human thing going on.
And then I sat down. I listened to him play. And I was just looking around the club thinking, what makes somebody play this good for nobody at 2:15 in
the morning? And, you know, just for that 30 minutes, it is like -- it made me understand something about what it means to have integrity.
And I kid you not that, when I walk on stages around the world over all these years, many times, I walk out and I think about that night. I think
about what I learned that night about just, you know, you do a thing because you do it. And the meaning of it is that it's being done.
And he taught me that, without -- he even preached to me. But then I understood. You know?
ISAACSON: What else did he teach you besides music?
MARSALIS: The main thing I learned from my father is, in the 1970s, you know, you being from New Orleans, New Orleans being such a backwards,
And my father was very conscious, like a jazz musician. But like a jazz musician, he also was not segregated. So, we grew up in Kenner, which was
really segregated. So, you never saw white and black people together.
But, because my father was a jazz musician, you saw him with white musicians. And he would be in a barbershop, black barbershop. Everybody, we
got our Afros, black power, everybody talking about white folks, in the way that they would talk about them.
And my father would never go along with the status quo conversation. And it used to make me mad. I would be like, why are you embarrassing me up here
in the shop, taking this humanistic view, when nobody is about that?
And he was nonplused, man. He just never -- he didn't go with the group. His thing was always attack people that's in front of you. If you are going
to say something disparaging, don't waste it on them. The them is right there in front of you.
And it's not just something, some words. I saw him actually live by that credo to espouse what he believed. Some of what they were saying, he
believed. Other parts of it, he didn't. And when it got to that kind of extreme kind of xenophobic thing that groups of people love to fall into,
because it gives them the illusion of power, he never went for that.
ISAACSON: He was a great teacher and, of course, for many years, taught at the University of New Orleans.
I remember, about 20 years ago, when he retired as a teacher, you and all your brothers got together at the arena there and did a farewell concert to
celebrate his life as a teacher. I think you actually did some Louis Armstrong, "Struttin With Some Barbecue."
Why don't you tell me a little bit about that, but play a few bars of "Struttin With Some Barbecue"?
MARSALIS: Yes, me, my brothers, I, Harry Connick.
Don't forget, Harry was always in the house. Musicians always would come to my house. My father was always -- we're people -- we're like a family. And
there's musicians all over the country who eventually are like that.
He would have the same pride in Harry Connick, in Terence Blanchard, in Donald Harrison. He had the same pride in them, Reginald Veal, as he had in
my brothers or in me. It wasn't a thing of, these are my kids. He wasn't like the kind of family-type proprietary group person. He was a world kind
of -- I will play "Struttin With Some Barbecue."
That's another one of pops' songs you can easily mess up.
MARSALIS: And then pops would go to play all kind of fantastic stuff on that, too.
ISAACSON: You wrote on your Facebook page something beautiful about your father.
It was: "My daddy was a humble man with a lyrical sound that captured the spirit of place, New Orleans, Crescent City, the Big Easy. Like many
parents, he sacrificed for us and made so much possible, not only material things, but things of substance and beauty, like the ability to hear
complicated music and to read books, to see and contemplate art, to be philosophical, and to be kind, but also understand that a time and place
may require a pugilistic-minded expression of ignorance."
Yes, he had all of that, man, you know? I'm about to get full just thinking about how -- just how kind a man he was. My daddy was -- he could talk you
to death, but he was kind. Like, he was -- he used to always tell me, man, leave people alone, man. It is hard enough out here.
And, sometimes, he would say, you know, you got to be able to put your foot in some behind. And he wasn't -- I was much more aggressive than him even
growing up. But I -- mainly, I would make my daddy laugh, because he was really a kind of sweet, very philosophical guy.
Probably had a hard time growing up in his neighborhood, whereas, with me, I never had a hard time. It was like, OK, if we're going do get to that,
you're not going do see me after school. See me now. I'm not going to wait. And then you are seeing me.
Yes, he was -- he had a lot of depth as a person. He was very kind toward people of all kinds, very advanced in his thinking. He had a very loving
spirit. So many things, the first time I ever heard of them was from him, like the South African struggle, the -- what musicians were playing in
Cuba, the importance of intellectual development, non-racism of any kind.
We have a lot to overcome if we want to, but it's such a weakness that, if we could -- if we could address it, we would be so much more progressive a
nation. And we could get so much further than we are.
Let me just say one thing. And I know I'm going on. If we ever could ever stop confusing business and -- with civics. Civics is investment. I want
your kids to be educated. I don't want your old people to die because they can't afford a $200,000 pill.
That is ethics. We don't -- it's not a business for us to exploit. Business has its own space. But for some reason, we don't believe in civics. It's
not a civics. Business is not civics. And civics is the investment branch of our way of life.
And we have to get business out of civics. We need an educated populace. We need people to not have to die because they don't have insurance. I mean,
it is just common sense. It's not -- it is crazy, man.
ISAACSON: A few days ago, you did a virtual gala for Jazz at Lincoln Center, which you help run.
ISAACSON: And it was amazing. You did Charlie Parker's "Yardbird Suite" from around the world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ISAACSON: Tell me how you pulled that together.
MARSALIS: Well, I was talking to Victor Goines three weeks ago. And we went to kindergarten together in New Orleans at Martinez. And we still work
together and he runs the jazz studies program at Northwestern.
And he said, man, we ought to do the type of things that I'm doing with my students, ought to do that as a band. So, we have also an engineer named
Todd Whitelock. And we came up with a way to record songs we could play in time.
I had a meeting with the band on the phone. And we talked through the arrangement right here. Ryan plays lead right here. Sherman has lead. This
is called in response to -- and it is easy, because everybody in the band arranges.
So, when it's -- the band is so capable, it's hard to really even explain what it's like to have a band with 13 arrangers in the band. So, in two
days, we did the track.
We set the rhythm track in. Then the horns play. Then the drums redid the track, so drums the foundation. Then, after you can hear how we play the
arrangement with dynamics, you do it.
And when I first heard it, it's funny, because Todd, the engineer, and I are always arguing for years, 20-year argument about, I hate booths and
headphones and isolation for musicians.
I always say, give the musicians the authority. And Todd always says, you got to give the engineer more control. I said, we don't need the engineers.
Capture the sound in the room.
So this was all on our cell phones. And when we got finished, Camille Thurman did her vocal part, and Veronica Swift did her vocal part. Then I -
- when he sent it to me, I said, damn, this sounds good, man, on cell phones.
He said, you see what happens when you give the engineer control?
ISAACSON: You're grieving the loss of your father, as so many people around the country, around the world are grieving loss of their family
How can music help us, help you, help all of us get through this type of mourning?
MARSALIS: Well, the music is a -- it's like, in New Orleans, we do the music. You -- the music is inside. It's invisible.
So it touches all the things, like memory and -- in New Orleans, we play a New Orleans funeral. I think, the deeper the music you listen to, the
deeper you can get inside of your emotions.
So, you want to try to go toward musicians who have a certain depth of playing. That's why you got your Louis Armstrong and the kind of timeless
masters, Beethoven, masters of that tradition, and people who sing, Umm Kulthum, or those kind of singers who could touch people really deep down
and could sit inside of an emotion, Mahalia Jackson.
And it doesn't matter the age, even somebody like Patsy Cline, the way Patsy could -- you want to be able to sit in your emotion and experience
the grief and feel it. And then you want to be able to celebrate and come up out of it and have a good time.
ISAACSON: Has it been hard for you to mourn without having people around?
For me, you know, not -- you know, not really. I mean, I loved my daddy so much and it's so deep inside of me, the love I had for him. And he wasn't a
really emotional man. Like, he wasn't hugging on you and all of that. He's very -- but I just -- I always expressed the love and respect and
veneration for him.
And I also -- I always teased him and played with him, because he wasn't a big teaser and a joker. So, you know, he would lead me to tease him and
play with him.
And even in that conversation, the last real lucid conversation I had, I was messing with him about I could play better than him or, you know -- so,
I want to pick up the phone and mess with him, because, mainly, at this stage, I was mainly picking up the phone, and, man, did you see so and so?
You better get on your instrument. You been practicing your piano?
I more dealt with him like that. Don't sound like you have been practicing, because he was kind of shaking. He had Parkinson's, you know? So, with his
hands shaking, it was hard to even get his -- to get his food up.
So I would -- instead of being -- I would be like, man, they told me you were shaking so much you couldn't get your spoon to your mouth. I know I
can play piano better than you now.
Then I would go play something -- something on the piano, try to play something fast and miss all the notes. And he would be like, you out your
So, it was that -- me and him had more that kind of relationship.
ISAACSON: One of the ways we deal with it in New Orleans is to march somebody out, to play them out...
ISAACSON: ... the second line. You haven't been able to do that for Ellis Marsalis.
ISAACSON: I hope, someday, you will be able to do a second line for him, just like you did for your mother, I remember.
MARSALIS: Yes, sir.
ISAACSON: So, maybe we could end with you playing "A Closer Walk With Thee," which is what you will play for your daddy someday.
ISAACSON: Thank you very much, Wynton, and stay healthy.
MARSALIS: You're very welcome.
Thank you, man. Great talking to you.
AMANPOUR: Wynton Marsalis playing his father out.
and since his father passed, he started the Louis Armstrong Emergency Fund to support jazz musicians in New York.
And, finally, a positive development on a story we have been following closely.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's temporary release from prison in Iran has been extended by a month, according to state media. The British Iranian aid
worker was amongst 85,000 prisoners who were released last month to limit coronavirus spreading through the prisons in one of the worst-hit
Nazanin's husband has campaigned tirelessly for her freedom since 2016, when she was arrested, tried and sentenced amid allegations, which she
denies, of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government.
Nazanin's future remains unclear, but it is sometimes the small things that bring big hope.
That is it for now. You can always catch us online, on our podcast and across social media.
Thank you for watching, and goodbye from London.