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U.S. Man Receives Heart From Pig In First Surgery Of Its Kind; GOP State Senator: Teachers Need To Be "Impartial" On Nazis; Treasury Warns Taxpayers: Your Refund May Be Delayed. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired January 11, 2022 - 07:30   ET




TOM ARNOLD, ACTOR, COMEDIAN: And, you know, Bob Saget is a guy that started on "FULL HOUSE" as a lot of people remember and "AMERICA'S FUNNIEST VIDEOS." But then, his stand-up comedy is so different.

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And late- night host Jimmy Kimmel broke down in tears Monday night while talking about his friend.

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!": So last night, I was going through e-mails with Bob and some of them were just funny. But some were very serious e-mails about life and the well-being of our children and how hard it is to appreciate one of those without the other being just right.

In one e-mail, we were talking about our kids and I have it here. He wrote, "One night soon let's go out and have some meat and some good damn drinks and talk about how lucky we are that we have them." And we did do that many times.

When my son was in the hospital, Bob checked in a lot.

So, I want to send love to his daughters, to his wife Kelly, and to his friends who loved him so much. He was very kind to everyone and he had no problem telling you that he loved you and what you meant to him.

In 2017, after our mutual friend Don Rickles died, Bob and John Stamos, who were beyond friends -- they were brothers -- they are brothers -- they were like this. And Bob was the tall one. He was the middle finger.

Bob and John joined me on the show to eulogize Don. To tell stories about him and how much we were going to miss him. And we never imagined that 4 1/2 years later we'd be talking about (crying) -- I'm sorry, I taped this like 14 times and I just --

Anyway, we had a beautiful conversation that night. You could see when John and Bob were talking about how much they loved Don, how much they love each other. And so, I thought I might be nice before we go on with the show -- regular show -- to share just a bit of that one more time as we remember Bob.

BOB SAGET, ACTOR, COMEDIAN: I never thought we'd be friends this long. My God, the first four years we worked together we weren't like besties. You were bringing all the hot women in the world to show. You had a mullet. You were Uncle Jesse and I was a married guy and lived in the Palisades. I didn't know what the hell was going on. You were getting action all the time.


SAGET: I was trying to write jokes at night.

STAMOS: You were, as Don would call you, a (INAUDIBLE).

KIMMEL: You guys are going to be like the old --

STAMOS: It's redundant.

KIMMEL: -- guys on "The Muppets."

SAGET: I hope that happens. I hope so.

KIMMEL: John Stamos, Bob Saget, everybody.

We love you, Bob.


SAVIDGE: Bob Saget was just one of those people who, even though he was an actor, came into our lives with a very popular television program and we felt like he was part of our family. And now, we feel like he's been taken too soon. And like with any family member, we simply want to understand why -- John, Brianna.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Martin Savidge, there were a lot of people who loved him. It's -- looks, it's heartwarming to hear some of those tributes now. Thanks so much.

SAVIDGE: You're welcome.

BERMAN: All right, turning now. The state lawmaker who said teachers should be, quote, "impartial" when talking about Nazis. And, they transplanted a pig heart into a human. This is real. A revolution in science.



BERMAN: A pig's heart in a human being. For the first time ever, a man with a terminal heart disease has received a transplant from a genetically modified pig -- a pig's heart.

Fifty-seven-year-old David Bennett is doing well four days after the transplant. This is according to the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Bennett was ineligible for a conventional heart transplant or an artificial heart pump, so his options were either death or roll the dice on the experimental procedure.

Joining us now, Dr. Jonathan Reiner, CNN medical analyst, and professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University. Dr. Reiner, when I read the headline a pig heart in a human being, I'm like nothing else matters. This is everything that matters today.

How big of a deal is this?

DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST, PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE AND SURGERY, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY (via Skype): Well, it's potentially a really big deal not just for heart transplant patients but for the 100,000 or so folks who are on the waiting list now for other kinds of organ transplants in the United States. So there are a lot of people waiting for organs. Only about 40,000 actually get an organ transplant every year so there's great demand for donor organs -- kidneys, hearts, livers.

And this is sort of proof of concept or at least the initial steps towards proving that you can modify an animal's organs to make it suitable for transplantation in a human. It's really a remarkable engineering -- bioengineering feat.

BERMAN: I mean, how? Modify how? Explain that in terms that I can understand.

REINER: So -- right. So, in order for a xenotransplant -- a transplant from a non-human source to a human to work, you have to overcome acute rejection, which can happen right in the operating room when -- as soon as the organ sees blood. The recipient basically identifies it as foreign and immediately rejects the organ. And to do that you actually have to take away some of the genes that the organ expresses.


So you have to take away some of the pig genes. You have to give it some human genes so that it appears to be more humanlike. And then you have to make it work a little bit better.

The pig heart, in particular, doesn't interact well with human blood in terms of preventing coagulation. There's a sort of magical dance that blood vessels do with the blood to keep clotting in this sort of very carefully balanced stance so that you're not clotting too much and you're not bleeding too much. And the pig heart doesn't do that well with human blood so you actually have to give it the ability to do that.

You have to prevent longer-term rejection with the use of certain medications.

And also, there's another concern. Pigs can harbor certain viruses which humans have never seen and you need to make sure you're not transplanting a -- an organ that might bring into the human a virus that has never been seen, particularly in this current environment.

So, there are a lot of things to do. Very exciting -- first step. We'll have to see how this patient does and what this leads to for the whole field of organ transplantation.

BERMAN: Yes, very exciting, as you said.


BERMAN: Already, the fact that it has gone four days is a good sign, but will be monitored very closely going forward.

Dr. Jonathan Reiner --

REINER: Right.

BERMAN: -- I look forward to talking to you again about this because I find it absolutely fascinating.

REINER: My pleasure.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: On Wednesday, an Indiana Republican state senator, Scott Baldwin, said teachers should be impartial on lessons about fascism and Naziism.


SCOTT BALDWIN (R), INDIANA STATE SENATOR: I'm not discrediting, as a person, Marxism, Naziism, fascism. I'm not discrediting any of those isms out there. And I have no problem with the education system providing instruction on the existence of those isms. I believe that we've gone too far when we take a position on those isms.


KEILAR: Well, maybe not surprisingly, State Sen. Baldwin is walking back those comments and even apologizing in response to a high school teacher's concerns over the proposed legislation.

Let's talk about this now with our CNN correspondent Laura Jarrett. Wow, Laura.


Senator Baldwin says, as you might imagine, this was all one big misunderstanding. He says he was focused on the larger picture of preventing teachers from telling students what to think. Fair enough.

But what is it that Naziism gets defended in the first instance and any discussion about racism somehow makes people scared? Well, to give our viewers a little bit of context for this one, it all started when a history teacher raised concerns about this new bill in Indiana requiring teachers, as you said, to be, quote, "impartial" about all subjects.

So, a teacher named Matt Bockenfeld told Sen. Baldwin at a hearing, quote, "I'm just not neutral on the political ideology of fascism," which was what prompted Baldwin to respond in that clip you played by saying, "That may be going too far." Now feeling the backlash, Baldwin now says in a statement to CNN, quote, "I agree teachers should condemn those dangerous ideologies and I sincerely regret that I did not articulate that and apologize for it."

But aside from this senator's poor phrasing and whether or not he misspoke, it's worth noting the larger picture of what's going on here, right? This GOP-sponsored bill has a really broad reach and it tries to ban quite a bit. And it's another data point in this larger national discussion we're all seeing about critical race theory -- a legal theory about institutional racism that's rarely taught outside of grad school and certainly not in lower schools. But it's more recently become sort of this catchall boogeyman for any issues that people find divisive.

Now, notably, this new bill that Sen. Baldwin is advocating for would make sure that schools have to make sure that the parents review everything taught in the classroom and allow them to sue the schools that are found in violation of the law -- something you can imagine parents think is a great idea. But a lot of schools pushing back on this. A lot of teachers pushing back on it, Brianna.

KEILAR: Wow, you can see where this is headed.

Laura, thank you so much.


KEILAR: Up next, the new warning from the IRS. Why your tax returns might be delayed this year.

BERMAN: Plus, Pope Francis speaking out on cancel culture.



KEILAR: I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is a warning from the IRS that this tax season is going to be messy.

Chief business correspondent Christine Romans here with that story. OK, what's it going to look like, Christine?


It's a super-complicated tax filing year with all that COVID relief and those child tax credits. And at the same time, Brianna, staff shortages at the IRS are creating a nightmare scenario here.

You know, every tax season is busy, right? But this year the IRS says the backlog of unprocessed cases is, quote, "several times worse" than past years.

And understaffed IRS call centers -- they can't keep up with taxpayers in need of help. Do you know the IRS said it was unable to answer more than two-third of the calls it received last year -- two-thirds of the calls they couldn't even pick up.

Now, processing centers for paper tax returns also hampered here by COVID cases among staffers.

The IRS says it needs more money, the tax code is more complicated, the funding is the same. The Biden administration wants $80 billion more for the IRS to hire staff and to upgrade technology. That's part of Build Back Better. That's, of course, currently stalled in Congress.

So what does it mean, Brianna, for you and me this tax season? OK, your refund might be delayed, so file early. The IRS is actually accepting your tax returns starting January 24th. That's two weeks earlier than last year. It's moved up the beginning of tax season.

And filing paper forms is going to add time. The IRS says you should file electronically. This year's deadline is April 18th for most filers.


So they moved up the beginning of tax season by two weeks just so they can try to get a handle on this.

KEILAR: Yes. Look, not looking forward to this, Christine. We're going to be talking more about this in the coming months.

ROMANS: Taxes are never fun. Taxes are never fun.

KEILAR: Yes, but it turns out they can get worse.


KEILAR: Who knew?

All right, Christine, thanks so much.

Just in, Australia says it's now investigating whether Novak Djokovic lied about his positive COVID test in December. Plus, why Stacey Abrams and voting rights groups are skipping President Biden's speech today, refusing to be props.

BERMAN: And Watergate legend Carl Bernstein, a newspaperman at age 16. The amazing new book that we can all learn from.



BERMAN: Before reporting on the Watergate scandal that took down Richard Nixon's presidency and becoming half of the most famous byline in journalism, Carl Bernstein was just a kid fresh out of his junior year in high school trying to make it as a copy boy at the tender age of 16 -- 16.

Joining us now, Carl Bernstein, CNN political analyst and the author of the new book "Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom." The book is available now and it is wonderful, Carl. I am enamored with this because --


BERMAN: -- it's a love letter.

BERNSTEIN: -- thank you.

BERMAN: It's a love letter to journalism. It's a love letter to newspapers. And it's also something of a -- of a love letter or a guidebook to hard work.

BERNSTEIN: It is, and I'm about as lucky as anybody in this business can be because at age 16, while I was a junior in high school, I got a job as a copy boy at perhaps the greatest afternoon newspaper in American, "The Washington Evening Star." And all of a sudden, I was the kid with the greatest seat in the country. The beginning of the Kennedy administration. The beginning of the civil rights movement.

And I had grown up in Jim Crow Washington. I went to a segregated public school in the nation's capital until Brown versus Board of Education when I was in the sixth grade. So almost immediately, I was able to cover civil rights, among other things.

So, I got to watch this amazing thing happen in our country at a time of our greatest change and got to cover everything as a teenager.

KEILAR: Maybe lucky, Carl, but it's amazing how much luckier you got with how much harder you would work, and I think that's what's so clear. You also -- I mean, Berman just said this is a love letter to journalism.

I want to read about your first encounter with the newsroom. You say, "People were shouting, typewriters clattered and chinged. Beneath my feet, I could feel the rumble of the presses. In my whole life, I had never heard so glorious chaos or seen such purposeful commotion as I now beheld in that newsroom. By the time I had walked from one end to the other, I knew that I wanted to be a newspaperman."

I mean, your describing, in a way, sort of falling in love.

BERNSTEIN: Well, I did. And I also fell in love with the people at "The Washington Star." I was a good deal younger than even the other copy boys. The reporters were in their 20s -- their late 20s, their 30s, their 40s. And they saw in me, I think when I was 16-17 years old, perhaps something I didn't see in myself.

When I went to work at the Star, I sort of had one foot in the classroom, one foot in the -- in the juvenile court, and one foot at the paper. And immediately, the Star had the greatest reporters in the country, probably. The year I went to work there two women won the Pulitzer Prize -- Mary Lou Werner for covering massive resistance to desegregation in Virginia. Miriam Ottenberg for used car rackets and other terrible things that took advantage of people. So, right away, I had these mentors, and the great mentor that I had was a city editor named Sid Epstein. And I've been blessed. I've had the two greatest editors perhaps of my lifetime, in many ways.

Sid Epstein, who taught me and gave me every opportunity. I was 16. He said go cover Kennedy's inauguration. Go out there and see what the crowds are doing.

And the other great editor, of course, was Ben Bradlee at "The Washington Post."

But during Watergate, you can see in this book, even though it's not about Watergate and just about these five years from 16 to 21 -- you can see that what I learned at the Star about perseverance, about knocking at doors a night rather than seeing people in their offices where they're under pressure -- all the techniques that we used in Watergate had their formation in this great newsroom at "The Washington Star" with this remarkable group of people.

And the other thing I should say is it was an afternoon newspaper and the writing in the paper was magnificent. These were people who knew how to dictate stories on deadline off the top of their heads. And I learned to do all these things when I was 16, 17, 18.

BERMAN: It is about Watergate because it's about the work that went into Watergate that you learned at the Star.

And Carl, we've got to let you go here, but you put it politely. You were -- I can't say what I want to say. You were a mess-up. I mean, you were --

KEILAR: (Laughing).

BERMAN: -- you know?

BERNSTEIN: I was flunking out of school --


BERNSTEIN: -- and I never finished college. And the book is partly about my struggle with school and how I really put everything into being a reporter -- learning to be a reporter. The hell with school. I got the best education you could possibly get.

And when I went for an interview with "The Washington Post" I was asked what about you didn't graduate from college? And I said look, I got the greatest education you could have from the greatest teachers you could have at "The Washington Star" -- and I was hired at "The Washington Post."

BERMAN: Carl, thank you for taking us along for the ride.