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Australian Officials Investigating Djokovic's Entry Form and Movements After COVID Diagnosis; Omicron Surge, Rising Inflation Crippling Restaurants; Remembering Senator Harry Reid. Aired 10:30-11a ET
Aired January 12, 2022 - 10:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN NEWSROOM: Novak Djokovic's status at the Australian Open still up in the air.
The tennis star's visa at risk of being revoked after Australian officials uncovered inconsistencies in his entry forms. The investigation into Djokovic's positive coronavirus test and subsequent actions has caused concerns about his willingness to follow protocols after testing positive last month. Djokovic did not immediately isolate. He even participated in an interview with two French journalists just two days later, neglecting to tell them of the positive diagnosis. We should note as well, Bianna, that the vast majority of players at the Australian Open, they have been vaccinated.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN NEWSROOM: Yes, and really overshadowing what they're preparing for in this open as well. CNN's Coy Wire joins us now.
And, Coy, how has Djokovic been responding to this steam of news?
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Right. Hi, Bianna and Jim. Djokovic has probably cost him a lot of cheers in Australia, right, three-time defending champ at the Aussie Open, nine overall, that's a record. But Australians have been angered how he's handled this situation. Djokovic says he didn't intentionally put people in harm's way, but his actions don't necessarily match his words.
He admitted in an Instagram post overnight that there was false information on his immigration form handed in up on arrival in Australia. It said that he hadn't traveled in the 14 days leading up to his arrival, but he had in both Serbia and Spain during that time.
Djokovic admitted the error but he put the blame on his agent, saying, quote, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf as I told immigration officials on my arrival and my agent sincerely apologizes of the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia. This was a human error and certainly not deliberate, unquote. Now, Djokovic also addressed his positive COVID test on December 16th. He says he got tested after learning of a potential outbreak stemming from this basketball game he'd been to a few days prior. But because he didn't have any symptoms, he decided to go to several events over the next two days, including a youth tennis event where he was seen maskless. And he says it wasn't until after those appearances that he found out he tested positive.
Still, Djokovic showed up for an interview with the French paper that Jim had mentioned the following day. The journalists and photographers say Djokovic never mentioned his positive test. Djokovic says he wore a mask except during photos, but he did admit in that post that he should have postponed it.
The world number one has been practicing as he waits final word from Australian immigration minister to find out if he'll be able to compete in the Australian Open or if he'll be deported. He has been announced as the number one seed already. The draw is tomorrow and the tournament starts on Monday.
So, Jim, Bianna, Djokovic is a 20-time major winner, right? He's tied with both Nadal and Federer for the most all-time. So, if he is able to play, he could have a shot at making history amid all this controversy.
SCIUTTO: Coy Wire, thanks so much for following.
GOLODRYGA: Well, a pandemic and rising inflation, together, they are wreaking havoc on restaurants nationwide. Now, dozens of mayors are banding together to try to get them some help.
SCIUTTO: The combination of the pandemic and rising inflation is making it extremely difficult for many businesses to stay afloat. Very few industries have been hit as hard as food service, restaurants are shutting down at a rapid rate.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. The latest omicron surge has made it harder than ever to stay in business, and some restaurant owners want more help from the government.
CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich joins us now. Vanessa, during non-pandemic days, it is difficult for a restaurant to stay open. I can only imagine what restaurant owners are telling you right now. What are they saying?
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Well, this new omicron variant is just devastating restaurants. They are seeing a drop in diners by 28 percent in just this last week alone compared to 2020. That's according to OpenTable.
But there was this $28.6 billion restaurant revitalization fund that helped save many restaurants last year but they got 300,000 applications and only about a third of those applications were actually funded, leaving so many restaurants without aid.
So, now, the Independent Restaurant Coalition, along with 30 mayors from across the country, are calling on Congress to replenish this critical fund.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROLINE STYNE, CO-FOUNDER, INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT COALITION: We knew that it just was one more wave, one big variant, one bad winter away from disaster for a lot of restaurants.
The financial hit to the country is huge when you lose restaurants, to the neighborhood, to the community and to the job market, in general.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YURKEVICH: Now, there was a restaurant revitalization replenishment fund that made its way through Congress last year but it didn't get a lot of movement. So, now, we're seeing two senators, Cardin and Wicker, trying to put together something for all small businesses, restaurants included, to get them money that they may have missed out on.
But, guys, it's really about timing. When is this surge going to end? Can they get this legislation to a vote? And if it's a yes on that vote, can they get these restaurants money in time? Jim, Bianna?
SCIUTTO: So many of them need that help. Vanessa Yurkevich, thanks very much.
We want to take you now live to Capitol Hill as we remember Senator Harry Reid. His remains have arrived. The casket containing his remains have arrived at the Capitol. This, a military honor guard, which will carry his remains up the steps, into the Capitol rotunda, where he will lie in state, a great honor reserved for past presidents as well as a handful of lawmakers.
The honor guard waiting there to carry his remains up the Capitol. Vice President Kamala Harris, she will be there to greet him and senators have been invited to stand on the Senate steps to honor him. He was a longtime Senate majority leader.
You may remember Reid died December 28th at the age of 82 after a battle of cancer.
GOLODRYGA (voice over): Yes. We will be hearing from Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi. And as we are remembering the former leader, we want the bring in Manu Raju.
And, Manu, this is somebody, as Jim noted, very few people get this kind of honor and tribute. But, obviously, this is a man who, as The New York Times wrote, not only a man lived for the Senate floor, he also lived on it. MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Yes, no question about it. He emerged from very improbable roots to becoming one of the most powerful senators in American history. He was the -- of course, the majority leader at the time during the Obama era, right, when President Obama was sworn into office. At that time, Democrats had 60 Democratic seats in the Senate. They were able to usher through a massive amount of legislation, getting the Affordable Care Act done. That was something wouldn't have happened if it were not for the deal-cutting that Harry Reid did with his fellow Democrats behind the scenes to usher through one of the most sweeping changes in health care laws in American history.
But beyond the legislative success is someone who had very, very humble roots, someone who came from very impoverished upbringing, lost his father at a young age, ultimately became the Democratic leader in the Senate, as you can see here, guys, now being pulled out of the casket where his remains will be pulled up at the center steps of the Capitol.
SCIUTTO: And notably, just last month, similar honor bestowed on Bob Dole, former Republican Senate Majority leader.
Let's listen in as the honor guard carries his casket, of course, casket draped in a flag.
SCIUTTO (voice over): There's a view of the inside of the Capitol Rotunda where shortly the casket containing the remains of the late former Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, will lie in state inside of the Capitol rotunda today, an honor reserve for past presidents, a handful of lawmakers, most recently Bob Dole, who served alongside, though the other side of the aisle, Harry Reid, for a number of years.
His casket greeted at the top, Bianna, of the steps of the Capitol there by members of Harry Reid's family, including his wife, Landra Reid.
GOLODRYGA (voice over): And Senator Reid served as majority leader from 2007 to 2015.
And, Manu, within that period of time, just an extraordinary amount of legislation was able to pass. You think about where we are right now, not to sugar coat the difficulties and the partisanship we saw back then, but compared to where we are today, you just of the Affordable Care Act and among one of the things that he was there and presided over.
RAJU (voice over): Yes. And that, the Dodd/Frank legislation, the big rewrite of big financial laws happening in 2009, and 2010, such a significant part of Harry Reid's legacy that we remember today. And also there are things that are still reverberating in the United States Senate today. Harry Reid took the step of changing Senate filibuster rules in 2013 to confirm presidential nominations along straight party lines, a move at that time that was unprecedented and has been cited as past precedent for the current debate that's happening on the Senate floor right now to try to change Senate filibuster rules to pass voting rights legislation. I mean, if it weren't for Reid's actions there, which were incredibly controversial at the time, this probably would not be a discussion, or may not be at this point where we are at the moment.
But Reid was one of the ultimate inside players in the Senate. He knew the way to work the system. He had relationships with both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans. And some Republicans will also be there today, including the leaders on the House and the Senate side, McCarthy and McConnell. They will be laying the wreaths after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, give some remarks later this morning, guys.
SCIUTTO (voice over): And we are seeing senators gather there to greet the casket containing the remains of Harry Reid, Senator Coons, Senator Manchin there, we also see House Leader James Clyburn.
We will continue to follow this event inside the Capitol rotunda, and we will be back after a short break.
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN AT THIS HOUR: Good morning, everyone. I'm Kate Bolduan and thank you for joining us for this special coverage of the congressional tribute to the late Senate majority leader, Harry Reid. We're going to show you a live picture inside of the Capitol rotunda right now, where Reid will lie in state this morning and this afternoon. We see, as they're getting set up, some members of Congress beginning to take their seats. This is a rare honor that has been granted by Congress to only about three dozen other Americans.
In just minutes, we will hear the tributes to this giant of the Senate, from the current Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will also be speaking. A bipartisan show of tribute will be happening in just minutes.
Reid died late last month at age 82 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was the longest serving senator in Nevada's history and he presided as the majority leader in the Senate during a hugely consequential period from 2007 to 2015.
Joining me now as we're going to watch these pictures and bring you this will be likely a pretty brief this morning, joining me now in all of this is CNN Chief Political Correspondent, co-Anchor of State of the Union, Dana Bash, CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju and CNN's Chief National Affairs Correspondent Jeff Zeleny.
The stories we all have of moments covering Harry Reid, Dana, where to begin? What do you think of the -- he had a huge impact on Washington, on the Senate, on policy that influences every American today and for a long time to come.
What do you think the lasting legacy of Harry Reid's influence in the Senate will be?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A very complicated one.