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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
U.S. Government Defends Puerto Rico Response; Google Clamps Down on Catalonia Vote App; Decision Day for Future of U.S. Health Secretary; Musk Makes Big Claim Over Big Rockets;
Aired September 29, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN HOST: The closing bell rings on the last day of the financial quarter. It looked like we seen a new record for the
S&P 500 on Wall Street today. Well it's Friday, September the 29th. Tonight, the U.S. government defense its response to the Puerto Rico
disaster. I'll speak live with the man in charge of getting the federal response ready. Google gets dragged into Catalonian referendum debate.
And pricey private jets may cost the U.S. health secretary his job. Donald Trump's decision on Tom Price could come at any moment.
I'm Nina dos Santos in for Richard Quest. And this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
Good evening. Well, tonight we're getting there. Those are the words of the acting head of the U.S. department of homeland security currently now
in Puerto Rico today. It all follows blistering criticism and growing frustration over the government's response to the developing crisis there.
The acting head of homeland security, Elaine Duke, is currently now in San Juan in Puerto Rico. She's now been able to assess the damage on the
island for herself. But here's what she told reporters just a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELAINE DUKE, ACTING SECRETARY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Clearly the situation here in Puerto Rico, after the devastating hurricane
is not satisfactory. But together we are getting there. And the progress today is very, very strong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: The Mayor of San Juan slamming earlier comments mad, by Duke who called the government's response, quote, a good news story. Here's how
Carmen Yulin Cruz react to that kind of commentary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, MAYOR, SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: When you're drinking from a creek, it's not a good news story. When you don't have food for a baby,
is not a good news story. When you have to pull people down from their buildings -- I'm sorry. But that really upsets me and frustrates me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: CNN has been covering all of the angles of this crisis. Our team of reporter has been fanning out, right across the island. Rafael
Romo his life for us in San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the moment. Outside a supermarket that has just reopened, and as you should be able to see,
viewers, there are long lines that have been backing up throughout the course of the day. Rafael, presumably a difficult situation for people in
San Juan. But the people behind you are supposedly lucky ones because they have something to line up for in that supermarket. Its shelves are still
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Nina. These are the lucky few in Puerto Rico right now. We have shown you how people in other communities,
elsewhere in Puerto Rico, are living without water, without power, no food. These here are people who are being able to get some of the supplies they
need. But what does it mean exactly, to be part of the lucky few here in Puerto Rico? Well, it means that you get up really early. You come to a
supermarket like this one and you stand in line for hours and hours and hours for the opportunity to buy some groceries.
Now, they're selling food, as much as people want, but they have to ration water. Only three gallons per family. And the owner was telling me that
the reason why he has food is not because the government delivered it, but because private providers have been reaching his store. Now the situation
is not the best here because the store is operating on a power generator. Meaning they only have enough power to operate so many hours every day. As
a matter of fact, they're about to close here. They were supposed to close at 4:00, and you still see a lot of people here waiting in line.
On the other side -- I don't know if you can see that far -- but there is another line. Because there's one ATM machine working. And guess what?
It's the only one in the entire neighborhood that can dispense cash right now, Nina. And mind you, there's a big cash crunch right now, because a
lot of merchants cannot take credit cards. Why is that? No power, no credit cards. So, it's a difficult situation, even for the lucky few in
Puerto Rico -- Nina.
DOS SANTOS: And we're hearing all sorts of terrible stories of people further outside the capital, even maybe just an hour away from San Juan,
Rafael. Who were having to deal with really difficult situations where there is no water to be had. And what about the supply chains and the
frustration of getting those supplies away from the ports to the people who need it most. Be it in San Juan or even further afield?
[16:05:00] ROMO: Yes Nina, yesterday we were I the city of Bayamon, it's only about 45 minutes from San Juan. We visited a nursing home where we
found about 90 elderly residents there are I a dire situation. They didn't have power. The water pump requires electricity to operate. They didn't
have water, either. And there were like six patients who require breathing machines to be able to survive. Well, they were in a very critical
situation, and we ended up having to connect their machines to our power inverter in our car to be able to help them. We made a few calls. And
later on, we learned that authorities indeed were able to help them. But that just gives you an idea of how bad the situation remains here in Puerto
Rico for a lot of people, especially the most vulnerable -- Nina.
DOS SANTOS: Rafael Romo, thank you very much for that in Puerto Rico this hour. Well that is just an anecdotal evidence of the type of situation our
correspondents are hearing on the scene in Puerto Rico. Let's just go to the details of what exactly this island is facing.
The U.S. army is vowing essentially to rebuild Puerto Rico's power system from here. Restoring power, of course, is one of the island top priorities
here. The storm knocked out the entire electrical grid. And that means, as Rafael was just telling us before, that millions of people are still in
the dark. Not just that, but take a look at some of the long lines of cars waiting not outside supermarkets for food, but this people waiting for
fuel, as well. People are having to line up literally for hours for diesel to run their generators and also their vehicles.
And then there's the issue of communications here. Cell phone towers are still down. And many roads are also, impassable. That, as you would
imagine, has provided a logistical nightmare for the authorities, and there's conflicting information about whether or not aid is actually stuck
in the ports of San Juan, as Rafael referred to before. To make matters worse, only half of the island also has running water. It's all left at
the island's residents. All of this has left the island's residence, obviously, in very dire and desperate situation. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARMEN DELGADO, HOUSE DESTROYED BY HURRICANE MARIA: My biggest fear is how much time is going to take us to get this together again. When this help
is going to get here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: Well, I want to bring in Daniel Kaniewski. He's the acting deputy administrator to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency,
otherwise known as FEMA. And he joins us live from Washington D.C. this hour. Thank you very much for coming on the show, Daniel Kaniewski. Let's
just first of all talk about some of these logistical issues with reestablishing supply chains and so on and so forth. We're now eight days
after hurricane Maria. And there are parts of Puerto Rico, even just one hour away from San Juan, they're in dire need. What exactly is preventing
aid from getting to the people who need it most at the moment?
DANIEL KANIEWSKI, DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR, U.S. FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY: Well, first, the biggest challenge is getting that aid to the
island. And due to a severely damaged airport and seaports, it was quite challenging getting supplies and personnel there. The good news is the
personnel and commodities have been flowing. They have arrived. The challenge now is to distribute those, as you mentioned, to those in need.
First, I want to clarify one thing that the previous reporter mentioned. Which is there is not aid stock in the ports. Those boxes, cargo
containers that you see in the ports, are not FEMA's. Those are probably retail cargo containers. Our aid has flowed through the port to reception
centers throughout the country. Excuse me, throughout the area and are currently being distributed to those in need. Those in very difficult to
reach areas we have to think a little bit innovatively here. We can't simply truck in supplies and food to those hard-hit areas where the roads
don't exist right now, frankly, or debris is covering them. We might have to bring them in by a helicopter and drop those shipments. But --
DOS SANTOS: What's preventing| from doing at right now? Can't you do that sooner rather than later? Because anecdotally, what we're hearing from
correspondents right across our network is people who are having to cross rivers and some cases to try and get to one part of Puerto Rico. Where
they can just get running water and try and bottle that back to their families. And then, of course, situations of dire need where people need
medicine urgently. There's no fuel, no gas to get them from A to B to a hospital with an ambulance. So why can't you exactly drop aid right now?
Is it an issue of red tape?
[16:10:00] KANIEWSKI: Absolutely not. We are dropping aid as we speak. So, limiting factors early on were helicopters. Those helicopters were
based off ships, and there were only so many helicopters you can launch off a ship. Right now, they're coming in on large cargo aircraft. Those
helicopters from the U.S. mainland. And those helicopters are operating in those hardest hit areas. But, again, in most of Puerto Rico we are able to
reach those areas via the roads and other ways with rescue teams. And provide that aid to the distribution centers. Need to have a strong
partnership with those municipal governments and with the National Guard to make sure it gets into people's hands. And that's what we're laser-focused
on right now. There are plenty of commodities and personnel on the island. But we need to get that last mile delivery. We need to get it into
DOS SANTOS: I just want to pick up on something that you mentioned before when you referred to our correspondent, Rafael Romo's reporting, about aid
being stuck in the port of San Juan here. And this is something that we've heard often, both on FEMA and also from the U.S. government. This issue of
misinformation. Is there really misinformation? Are you seeing it firsthand?
KANIEWSKI: Yes. I think in any disaster --
DOS SANTOS: Or is not seen as an excuse?
KANIEWSKI: I can't -- well I can say that in any disaster, there is certainly a lack of clear information. We'll call it situational
awareness. With the lack of communication systems -- I mean, essentially, the entire communications system of the island is down. And it's very
challenging to communicate both in the municipal areas as well as back here in Washington. That said, we are getting commodities to those people I
need. It simply is not true that aid is sitting in those ports. The aid is getting moved out of the ports to regional distribution centers.
DOS SANTOS: Leaving aside the aid issue today, I am talking about the aid issue two or three days before hurricane Maria hit and a couple of days
after hurricane Irma hit the rest of the Caribbean, should this territory have been better prepared? Should, for instance, the wave runner allowing
the military to go in to help earlier have been lifted sooner?
KANIEWSKI: First of all, there was no waiver needed to have the military assist. So, the military has been assisting since, frankly, hurricane Irma
came ashore. And the military has been on Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands well before landfall of hurricane Maria. The waiver I think you're
referring to is the Jones Act, which states that only U.S.-flagged vessels can provide aid. And that was perfectly fine, frankly, for our response up
to this time. So, we haven't had any shortfalls due to the Jones Act just to be clear. It was subsequently waived. It hasn't had any measurable
impact on the response.
DOS SANTOS: You're absolutely right. That was exactly the waiver that I was referring to, as well as a question about whether or not the military
should have been allowed in earlier. Daniel Kaniewski, thank you very much for joining us there from FEMA. We wish you the best of luck with your
efforts to help the people of Puerto Rico.
This weekend, Royal Caribbean Cruise ships that were going to be used for holidays instead are now being used to take people off the island of Puerto
Rico, and to provide aid to other stricken parts of the Caribbean, too. More than 2,000 evacuees there are currently boarding "Adventure of the
Sea." It's in St. Croix and the U.S. Virgin Islands at present. And has offered more space for people wanting to go leave that island, as well.
The firm has also pledged to match donations of up to $1 million to help with hurricane Irma relief.
Norwegian Cruise Line is also donating about $600,000 to rebuilding efforts. Particularly this time in parts of the Florida Keys and other
parts of the Caribbean. It's also matching donations made by two charities, too. And Carnival has been delivering supplies to San Juan in
Puerto Rico. The company is also pledging up to 10 million to Irma relief efforts so far.
Staying with Carnival, the CEO of that company says the long-term goal for all of these islands affected by recent hurricanes is to persuade tourists
to eventually return and bring with them badly needed economic growth. He told Richard Quest that the company is ready to do whatever it can,
wherever it's need.
ARNOLD DONALD, CEO, CARNIVAL: Clearly, first of all, our condolences and support to anybody impacted by the hurricanes or the Mexico earthquake in
Mexico. And obviously, we were, along with the entire cruise industry, very early after the hurricanes sending supplies to the various islands
that were impacted.
[16:15:00] As well as through the Micky Arison through the Arison family foundation, along with t Carnival and the Miami Heat, we pledged a total of
$10 million I kind, in cash.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So you have made your ships available to send in supplies and aid.
DONALD: We have lots of routes throughout the Caribbean. So, our ships are already I different itineraries were able to stop and drop supplies off
as needed. Of course, there are much bigger relief agencies involved now. This was immediately after the hurricane. But there are many agencies
involved now and several governments. You know, for example, in St. Maarten, the Danish government has sent significant containers there, and
same thing, the British Virgin Islands, and Tortola for the British government and so on. So, you have major governments and major relief
organizations involved now. And we'll do what we can and as needed.
QUEST: So, you -- it's not a case of sort of it's done and let's move on. You'll be there. And I think that's crucial to understand about posts --
never mind the immediate crisis.
QUEST: You're right, governments are coming in. What role can you play in the future reconstruction of these islands that have seen their tourism
industry destroyed almost?
DONALD: Well first of all, as you know, the Caribbean is a big place. There are over 40 ports that you can go today that are totally unaffected.
And there's about five ports that our cruise goes frequent often that have been affected. Several of those will probably the up and running before
Christmas. Before the end of the year. The people are resilient.
We go in, and take care of the ports where we are. And we provide technical service. I went to St. Martin's a few days after the hurricane.
I brought with me some engineers and architects who had built the piers there, and they inspected the piers and helped out with that. We also
brought some things with us for the locals. But the reality is, those people are resilient, they're focused. The biggest thing we can do to help
them is to get tourism going again I those places that have been negatively impacted.
QUEST: And people watching who say, hang on, hang on, hang on, he's talking about tourism. He is talking about tourism and cruises and these
sorts of things. What world is he living in. They've just been through two hurricanes, category 4 or 5, and the islands have been destroyed.
What's your answer to them?
DONALD: My answer to them is two things. First of all, most of the islands were unaffected. So, we have 20 ships in the Caribbean right now
taking people to fun and sun and great excursions. And those ships are full and people are having a great time. The islands that were affected
obviously we're there to help and support and what they need, of course, in the end is the economic benefit of people having jobs and what not to be
able to, you know, help rebuild their homes and so forth and that's the role we can play. We're also doing direct relief. We're doing it
ourselves. We're doing it to --
QUEST: But long-term, your main goal here, of course, is to get economic growth going again.
DONALD: Yes, their goal is that. That -- our goal is to fit in with the locals. And the locals' goals, of course are to get tourism going.
Because that's in several of those islands cases, their primary source of economic vitality.
DOS SANTOS: Breaking news just into us here at CNN. The White House is set to announce that President Trump is accepting the resignation of his
Health Secretary, Tom Price. That's according to an official. Now, Price had been under pressure after he racked up costs using private flights.
About an hour ago President Trump said that he would make a decision about Price this evening and defended his administration's spending.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have a great cabinet. And you know, we save hundreds of millions of dollars through negotiation.
I'll give an example. With the F-35 fighter plane, me, myself, I've saved hundreds of millions of dollars in negotiating. And that's one of the
reasons I don't like seeing anybody even have a question about, you know, flying. I just don't want to do that. We're saving tremendous amounts of
money no matter where we go. If you look at what we've done in Florida or Texas, we've done that for relatively little compared to what other people.
So, I don't like to see that happen. And I think it's a shame. As a human being, Tom Price is a very good man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: Well, here's what the health secretary had done to try and make amends. Price had penned a check to the U.S. Treasury for the sum of
$51,887.31. Roughly the cost of his seat on these charter flights. But for charter flights, the cost is unsurprisingly far more expensive than
that. In the news site, "Politico," which originally broke this story, estimates the total cost of these flights is about $1 million. All of this
while President Trump is aiming to cut they help budget by more than $12 billion. Price was supposed to be finding these kinds of cuts at the time.
[16:20:00] For more on this breaking news, let's bring in CNN's Jeff Zeleny. Jeff, so this is rather significant, isn't it? It seems as though
another key member of the Trump administration bites the dust.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It certainly looks that way. President Trump, as we saw there, you know, left no room, really, for
Tom Price, a member of his cabinet, to survive this. To weather this. I asked if the President had confidence in him. He said, look, it's not a
question of confidence. He went on to say, it's a question of optics. And he believes that this is something that just shouldn't have done here.
So really, there's one of two options. One, the President can fire his health and human services secretary, or the secretary can resign and the
president can except that resignation. Most people here at the White House believe that it will be the latter. That the secretary will resign and the
president will except that. It's being drawn out a little bit., the President saying he'll announce it this evening, as though this was "The
Apprentice" or something. But there's no question here, the President is not happy about this. And it looks like that he will be losing one of his
But it's also important to point out. Healthcare, of course, you know, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, was
one of Secretary Price's top priorities. That, of course, did not happen. So, he was already a bit on bad paper, if you will. And certainly, all
those flights did not help that at all. So that is today's edition of a Friday drama here at the White House. Often firings and other things
happen on Friday afternoons or Friday evenings.
DOS SANTOS: Yes, makes a very interesting Friday evening for reporters like yourself, Jeff. So obviously, a lot of this presumably is to do with
defending Donald Trump's promise when he campaign for the top, job in the land to drain the swam and cut back on waste. But if, obviously, Tom Price
has used private planes, there are other parts of the Trump administration that might be left red-face as well. Because they have used them too, no?
ZELENY: Sure. There are other cabinet secretaries whose travel is being reviewed. The -- you know, it's not only Secretary Price, but he certainly
had the most flights of anyone. He flew private planes. He flew on military airplanes as well, which was actually approved by the White House.
But the other cabinet secretaries, the secretary of the interior was accepting some flights, as well from private charter companies. The
government was paying for those, of course. But I looked for a wholesale change in how cabinet secretaries are allowed to fly. Now of course, the
Defense Secretary, the Secretary of State, other you know, high-ranking cabinet members like that to fly on military aircraft all the time. That's
how they get around the world and here in the U.S. But these other lower- ranking cabinet officials, if you will, have always flied commercially. And that's what the President says that they will do. Unless you happen to
own your own private plane and pay for it yourself, as some other wealthy cabinet members do. And that the President said today is just fine --
DOS SANTOS: Jeff Zeleny, thank you very much for that. The latest outside the White House this Friday evening. We'll be back with more QUEST MEANS
BUSINESS in just a moment's time. Stay where you are.
[16:25:29] DOS SANTOS: Hello, and welcome back. Just days to go before a deeply disputed vote on Catalonian independence. A Spanish court has
ordered Google to remove an app which is being used by those who want the referendum to go ahead. The app is now not available for download on
Google Plays Store in Spain. In Barcelona tonight, demonstrations are taking place in support of the vote. Which Spain itself says is illegal.
Our Isa Soares is down among all the action in Barcelona this evening. Isa, let's start out with things on the Google front here. It seems as
though technology companies are once more being embroiled in politics wherever you are. Why is Google taking this action, and are they just
buckling under pressure from Madrid when it comes to this vote?
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the decision, Nina, came from the high court, basically saying to Google, police office walked in, they
detained several Google employees for several hours. This is according to the Catalan press office we spoke to earlier. And the reason they did this
according to the high court decision is because the Catalonia separatists had an application -- they were using an application within Google that
basically showed people where they could vote. You could be fined and fine the application, Nina, on Google Play.
And it called October the 1st. I had a quick look edit in the last 10, 15 minutes or so. It still shows up when you look for it. But when you try
to install it, Nina, it basically says "unavailable because of political decisions only in Spain." You cannot download it in Spain, because of
political decisions here. But it is available elsewhere. But this just shows, and this goes to the heart of your question, lengths that
authorities are going to, to really try and stop this referendum from going ahead.
And not that anyone here behind me actually is paying much attention. They he been screaming all night, pretty defiant, saying, we will vote. But
what we have seen in terms from the central government, Nina, her actions that have raised many eyebrows here in Catalonia. More than 150 websites
have been taken down. These are websites that refer to the referendum October the 1st. Thousands of ballots -- of these little ballots -- I can
show you have also been detained and are being seized by authorities in central government of Madrid. And also, 14 Catalan government officials
have been detained. So, at the moment this is not stopping Catalans from coming out and voicing their support for the referendum. If anything,
Nina, it's just emboldened them further.
DOS SANTOS: Isa Soares, thank you very much for that. And I know you will be watching all the action as that referendum gets underway over the course
of the weekend. Thank you.
We'll back with more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment's time. Do stay where you are.
[16:30:47] DOS SANTOS: Hello, I'm Nina dos Santos. Coming up in the next half hour
of QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, the former South African finance minister tells CNN that it is time for President Jacob Zuma to step down
And from New York to Shanghai in half an hour. Elon Musk makes some of his biggest claims and boldest claims yet.
But first let's give you a recap of the top news stories that we are following for you on CNN this very hour.
A deadly stampede at a train station in Mumbai has left at least 22 people dead. At least 35 others were injured in the incident. Officials serve it
all happened on a footbridge at a train station after a crowd of people tried to take cover during an unexpected rain shower.
America's acting Homeland Security Secretary said she has got something of a sobering look at the devastation in Puerto Rico firsthand, just one day
after she ignited a firestorm by saying, the government's response to what is going on in that territory is, quote, a good news story. Elaine Duke
says that she meant that it is good to see everyone working together.
Officials say the U.S. as pulling all nonessential personnel out of Cuba, along with the families of some of the employees there. This over
mysterious sonic attacks against U.S. diplomats. It will stop issuing visas in Cuba immediately. The state department is advising American not
to go there, saying that they could also be at risk.
And finally, as just heard, the White House is set to announce that President Donald Trump is accepting the resignation of his health
secretary, Tom Price, today. That is according to an official. Price had been under pressure after he racked up costs using private jets.
Tom Price's troubled schedule would be a lot more straightforward if Elon Musk's plans became reality. The SpaceX CEO just recently unveiled a
series a proposal for a rocket that could that could supposedly take people anywhere in the world, get this, in less than 30 minutes. Friday's big
reveal featured some of Musk's loftiest claims yet. For instance, the price of the rocket would cost the same as an economy plane ticket. And
not even the skies the limit for Musk's plans from here. Because he also wants land cargo ships on the planet Mars by 2022. Musk says that it is
good to dream big.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELON MUSK, CEO, SPACEX: You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great, and
that's what being in space exploration is all about. It's about believing in the future and thinking that the future would be better than the past.
And I can't think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: Despite his big ambitions, Elon Musk has a history of some pretty pie in the sky promises. Let's remind you back in July the Musk
claim that he was one step closer towards taking passengers from New York to Washington in just 29 minutes, with a verbal approval for an underground
hyper loop. That very same day officials said, no, he doesn't actually have that approval. So far, we have heard no formal approval since, either
Another one of Musk's big promises is about to be put to the test right now. Because remember that back in March he said that he would solve south
Australia's blackout problems by building the world's biggest lithium ion battery out of power packs, like for instance, this one is standing next
to. And he said that it would take in 100 days to do so. Otherwise the bill would be free. On Friday, Musk sign the contract meeting at the 100-
day countdown has actually begun. So that is a test that is getting a little bit closer for Elon Musk today.
There is no question that the public loves this kind of visionary thinking but making big bold promises that don't live up to reality and also
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE CARTOON CHARACTER: The name is Langley, liar Langley, and I come before you good people tonight with an idea, probably the
greatest -- oh, it's not for you. It is more of a Shelbyville idea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE CARTOON CHARACTER: Now wait just a minute, we are twice as smart as the people of Shelbyville. Just tell us your idea and we will
vote for it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE CARTOON CHARACTER: All right. I will tell you what I will do, I will show you my idea. I give you the Springfield monorail.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOS SANTOS: Well, here's the spoiler alert, you haven't actually seen that episode of "The Simpsons", the monorail plan does not work out too well.
Let's just put it that way.
Joining me now is Robert Zubrin, he is president of the Mars Society. He is joining us via Skype from San Jose California to talk about Elon Musk's
big plans. Robert, thank you very much for coming on the show. You have obviously dedicated a fair amount of your time in your career towards
getting people to Mars, but you are pretty skeptical about Elon Musk's plans here. And his timing as well. Why?
ROBERT ZUBRIN, PRESIDENT, MARS SOCIETY: No, actually I think the plan he presented today was far superior and far more practical than the one that
he showed last year. I wrote a critique of his plan that he presented in Guadalajara at IAC last year, in which he had a 500 ton to orbit class
booster, and he was sending it all away to Mars and back. And I said it needs to be smaller and you stage off of the upper stage, before you go to
And he has embraced those ideas, I am quite pleased that this guy hasn't stuck with the impractical visionary thing, now moving toward reducing it
to practice. Now that said, Musk clearly sometimes over promises, particularly on schedule. But nevertheless, he delivers a lot. I mean he
has shown that his company can develop space hardware at 1/10 of the cost and one third the time that has become accepted in the aerospace industry.
Not only that he has developed things that they have never developed such as reusable first stage launchers. If you can reuse the first stage of the
launcher, then you indeed can send rocket planes from any point in the world to any other and basically less than an hour.
DOS SANTOS: So, Elon Musk has embraced some of your ideas before when you had been skeptical about his previous plan. When it comes to the timeframe
that he must achieve this by 2022, it is only around the corner. Is only three years after Brexit. Is that feasible do you think?
ZUBRIN: Well, it's feasible, one should recall that it only took 3 1/2 years for the United States to win World War II. In the idea of landing a
payload on Mars in five years is significantly less ambitious than that. Now, would I bet that he is going to land a payload on Mars in five years?
No. Do I think he will land a human class payload on Mars during the 2020s? Yes, he will.
So, some of the things he promises he says he's going to deliver sooner than he does. And some of the things he promises he has to scale down a
bit. But he is scaling this thing down to a level where it's going to be practical. And, you know, he's talking about
the first unmanned payload in 2022. Maybe it will go in 2024.
DOS SANTOS: Robert Zubrin, sorry to interrupt you. Thank you very much for your time. We're going to have to leave it here, because we need to
join our sister channel, CNN U.S. where Tom Price has resigned.
(PREEMPTED BY THE LEAD WITH JACK TAPPER)