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Hala Gorani Tonight

Governments Face New Challenges In Omicron Fight; Pediatric COVID Hospitalizations Hit Record High In The U.S.; Prince Andrew's Lawyers Seek Lawsuit Dismissal; British Prime Minister Says Coming Weeks Will Be Challenging; Largest U.S. Pediatric Hospital Sees 4X Increase In Hospitalizations; Trump Supporters Blame Insurrection On Everyone But Trump; Novak Djokovic Gets COVID-19 Vaccine Exemption. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired January 04, 2022 - 14:00   ET



HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, live from the CNN in London newsroom, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. COVID is putting record-numbers

of children in the hospital. How that impacts policy, schools and families. Then a judge will decide, quote, "pretty soon" whether to throw out the

sexual abuse lawsuit against Prince Andrew after today's courtroom arguments. We'll bring you the latest on that.

And tennis star Novak Djokovic will defend his Australian Open title, thanks to a medical exemption. We will explain. All of those stories in

just a moment, but I want to let you know that we are monitoring the White House this hour. U.S. President Joe Biden is meeting any moment now with

his Vice President Kamala Harris, and members of the COVID-19 task force. The U.S., very much like the rest of the world is facing skyrocketing cases

of this latest variant, Omicron.

And with that comes more hospitalizations and sick-outs that are crippling some industries. We expect to hear soon how Biden will deal with that and

we'll bring it to you live on CNN. This is just one example of a government struggling with new challenges in this pandemic. Leaders facing questions

like, should we keep imposing restrictions? Should we learn to live with this virus? Are children safe to remain in schools? What about their


This last question particularly relevant in the U.S. where there is a growing number of young people falling ill. The country hit a record-high

for child hospitalizations in the last week. Elsewhere in Europe, governments are facing anger over new COVID restrictions. In fact, French

lawmakers are saying that they're receiving death threats as they resume debating a new law on mandating vaccine passes.

And in Germany, police officers were injured after protests against COVID measures turned violent. You see the images there. In England, despite

calls from nurses, the prime minister confirmed the plan is not to add more restrictions. Let's bring in our correspondent, Cyril Vanier, who is in

Paris. Talk to us about this big debate all across Europe about whether or not to impose more restrictions in the face of Omicron.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, Hala, nobody really has a good answer on how to deal with the -- with this new reality that is shaped by

Omicron. It's a reality that is unlike what we've known for the last year. It's one that has a far greater number of daily infections, but for the

moment, a lower number of hospitalizations and admissions to ICU. So, how do you deal with that? France for the moment has decided to actually relax

some of the rules, the idea being let's try and test more, even test a whole lot, Hala, but close things down whether it is the workplace, whether

it's schools less.

So schools are a good example, for instance. Schools, the threshold used to be if you have six positive cases -- sorry, I beg your pardon, three

positive cases in a classroom, then you shut down the whole classroom. My son's classroom has been shut three times for week-long periods since the

beginning of the school year, but that has just changed, and now the threshold is higher. It's six.

Meaning if you have up to five positive cases in a classroom, the children who rubbed shoulders with those infected children -- and that's just what

my son told me happened to him today and yesterday, they can keep going to class, but you have to test them three times in four days.

So, again, this general philosophy of we test more and we close less, this is how France, for instance, is choosing to live with the virus at the

moment. And it's the same thing with infections -- sorry, I beg your pardon, with the isolations, Hala. If you are fully vaccinated and are a

contact case, you no longer need to quarantine. You just need to test more often, but you don't have to stay home.

GORANI: But you need the tests, right? There have been shortages. So, if the government is asking parents to test their kids three times in four

days, do they have the supply on the supply side, the number of tests required to do that?

VANIER: Yes, that's a great question. Look, France has been well endowed with tests, and for the moment there have been no shortages in this

particular country, but certainly outside of every pharmacy, outside of every little white tent in the street where those tests are taking place,

you are now seeing long lines of people.


It's just this new feature of the urban landscape. For the moment, no shortages. But, then again, those rules have only just changed, right?

Today is Tuesday, those rules came into effect yesterday. So, let's see how that works out. I fully anticipate that I'm going to end up having to test

my 11-year-old son three times in four days shortly. I will probably end up having to do it with my daughter as well shortly. So, that means just for

our family, what's that? Two times, three tests, six tests. And this is just one family.

GORANI: Right.

VANIER: And I think this is going to be happening to families across the country.

GORANI: Yes, and you have to test yourself as well if there's a positive case in your son's class. Good luck, I feel for all the parents out there.

This is a very tricky time for you. Thanks so much, Cyril Vanier. In the U.K., like the U.S. and many European countries, the return to schools

after the holidays and whether they can stay open at all is a pressing issue. My next guest knows all about the challenges facing British school

children over the coming months.

Nadhim Zahawi is the U.K. Education Secretary, and he is joining me now live from London. Thanks very much. At what point -- I know you decided to

keep schools open and you believe it's important to keep those schools open. But at what point is the option to close them still on the table?

What would need to happen? Because we're seeing so many more kids in the hospital.

NADHIM ZAHAWI, SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, UNITED KINGDOM: Hala, we're doing everything in our power to keep schools open. The painful lesson of the

COVID pandemic last January when we were forced to close schools effectively for pretty much all pupils other than those that are most

vulnerable and the children of critical workers was a really difficult decision and a painful one, because actually we found -- and the prime

minister talked about it tonight in his press conference.

The impact on the mental health of those kids and their education was pretty substantial. And that is why I am determined to keep schools open.

We've delivered the 31 million test kits to the secondary school system in our country, and they've all begun testing at scale this week. We also have

been working with teachers to make sure that the supply of temporary teachers is available to them. We got to about 8 percent of absentee

teachers at the end of last year.

That will probably rise because infection rates will rise as we open up schools. But we're also doing much more on CO2 monitoring and on

ventilation in schools. And I'm confident that with the commitment to the sector, school leaders and, of course, teachers will be able to do this and

do it well.

GORANI: Yes, so, you're saying 8 percent of educators, of school staff so far have for COVID-related reasons not been able to work. And you've

called, I understand, on retired teachers to come fill in some of the gaps. Has that worked out?

ZAHAWI: So, that was the 8 percent absenteeism of teachers was at the end of last year --


ZAHAWI: So coming up to Christmas. That will probably rise. I have had a call-out for retired teachers to come forward. I have had a number of civil

servants in my department volunteer as well as a number of MPs. An MP called Jonathan Gullis and Caroline Ansell from my party have volunteered

and others as well.

By the end of this week, I will know from the temporary supply agencies how well we're doing on that, but I'm confident that with the mitigations we

put in place including wearing of masks both in communal areas, part of plan B.

I've gone further and asked pupils to wear masks in the classroom in secondary schools. I'm confident we can have a -- you know, a difficult

couple of weeks. It's going to be bumpy, but I think we're going to be able to do this and do it well.

GORANI: So, on your government website, the positivity rate listed on your website is highest among children age 2 to 6 in the United Kingdom,

presumably unvaccinated and not required to wear masks. Now, obviously, those kids can catch COVID. They are catching COVID. They can then infect

their parents, they can infect their teachers. What's the plan for much younger children in your country?

ZAHAWI: So, it's interesting, obviously, because of the holiday period, the infection rates amongst that age group, in fact, from sort of naught to 9

hasn't actually gone up. It has pretty much stayed low and coming slightly down. It will rise because obviously schools are now returning and, of

course, we keep a very close eye on those numbers. I was talking today to directors of public health across our country, and with the clinicians in

our hospitals on the call.


We're not seeing Omicron deliver a more severe disease amongst children. It is equally the sort of the mildness of Omicron that we're seeing with

adults is replicated amongst children as well. But --

GORANI: Yes --

ZAHAWI: You're right, infection rates will rise, and we have to keep a very close eye on that. We've boosted at scale, remember, including --

GORANI: Yes --

ZAHAWI: Teachers in primary and secondary and colleges and universities. But we're at 34 million booster jabs administered already -- over 34

million. So, again, I'm confident that we can -- as the prime minister said, there will be pressure on the NHS.


ZAHAWI: This is a bumpy road for the next couple of weeks, but I'm confident, if you look at what's happened in London, London was the

epicenter of Omicron, and amongst the under 50s --

GORANI: Yes --

ZAHAWI: It looks like the infections rates are plateauing if not coming down yet. We've got to keep an eye on the over 50s because there's --


ZAHAWI: An increase in infection rates with the over 50s, but 90 percent of them --

GORANI: I get --

ZAHAWI: Have been boosted.

GORANI: So a couple of points. It's on your own government website that the positivity rate among 2 to 6 -- children, age 2 to 6 is higher than any

other age group. So that has to be a concern. As far as London, Chris Whitty; the chief medical adviser is saying that it's way too early to say

that there's any plateauing of numbers in London. So, on those two points, how would you respond?

ZAHAWI: So that was my point I was making. So if you look at London which was the epicenter --

GORANI: Yes --

ZAHAWI: And if that sort of two weeks ahead of the rest of the country. Amongst the under 50s, we've seen a slowing down of the infection rates and

probably plateauing if not yet coming down. But the infection rates amongst the over 50s is rising. And that was Sir Chris Whitty's point, that we

can't yet say, you know, hand-on-heart that we have peaked in London, which we haven't. The -- and so that's concerning.

We have to keep an eye on the infection rates of the over 50s because, remember --

GORANI: Sure --

ZAHAWI: They are the ones who end up in hospital with severe infection. The positive thing to take away is amongst that group, the over 50s, that 90

percent have been boosted. You know, that 34 million doses have been very much aimed at the most vulnerable age groups in our society.

And of course, we've got another, you know, 9 million or 10 million people who haven't come forward for their booster, and I absolutely urge them to

come forward. If they're watching the show now, book your appointment. You know, there are about 2 million slots available now that you can book.

GORANI: Right, all right. Well, we're going to have to wait and see if you hit a critical breaking point with sick professors and kids and

hospitalizations. Thank you so much, Nadhim Zahawi, the Education Minister. Let's go to the White House here where the U.S. President Joe Biden is

speaking about the infection rates in his country.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Transmissible variant, but much different than anything we've seen before. But you can protect yourself and

you should protect yourself, quite frankly. Get vaccinated. Get boosted. There's plenty of booster shots. Wear a mask while you're in public,

because what we know is this. The impact from the rising cases depends on the effect on the person based on whether or not that person -- what their

vaccination status is.

You can control how big an impact Omicron is going to have on your health if you get Omicron. You know, those who are fully vaccinated, especially

those with the booster shots -- and by the way, we have booster shots for the whole nation, OK? You can still get COVID, but it's highly unlikely,

very unlikely that you'll become seriously ill. And we're seeing COVID-19 cases among vaccinated in work places across America, including here at the

White House. But if you're vaccinated and boosted, you are highly protected.

You know, be concerned about Omicron, but don't be alarmed because if you're unvaccinated, you have some reason to be alarmed. Many of you will,

you know, you will experience severe illness in many cases if you get COVID-19 if you're not vaccinated. Some will die, needlessly die.

Unvaccinated are taking up hospital beds and crowding emergency rooms and intensive care units. That's displacing other people who need access to

those hospitals.

So, please, get vaccinated now. You know, we've reduced the number of American adults without any shots from 90 million to about 35 million in

the past six months, but there's still 35 million people not vaccinated.


And let me be absolutely clear, we have in hand all the vaccines we need to get every American fully vaccinated, including the booster shot. So there's

no excuse. No excuse for anyone being unvaccinated. This continues to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated. So we've got to make more progress. And for

patients who still haven't gotten your kids vaccinated, please get them vaccinated. Look out for their interests here.

It's the best way to protect them. And for parents with kids too young to be vaccinated, surround your kids with people who are vaccinated and make

sure you're masking in public so you don't get COVID and give it to your kids. Look, we have no reason to think at this point that Omicron is worse

for children than previous variants. We know that our kids can be safe when in school, by the way. That's why I believe schools should remain open.

You know, they have what they need, because of the American rescue plan where the first month we were in office, or second month, that I signed in

March, we provided the states with $130 billion, with a "B", billion dollars to specifically keep our students safe and schools open. Funding

for ventilation, ventilation systems in the schools, social distancing in classrooms, even larger classrooms, on buses and everything from bus

drivers to buses, the actual bus.

There are additional -- in all this process, we also back then included an additional $10 billion for testing for schools. That money went out to the

states, and the states and the school districts have spent this money well, many of them, but unfortunately, some haven't.

So I encourage the states and school districts to use the funding that you still have to protect your children and keep the schools open. Countries

across the world are seeing rising cases. Here in the United States our team have been working around the clock during the holiday weeks.

In the last two weeks, we have developed hundreds of military -- we have deployed, I should say, hundreds of military doctors and nurses to staff

the hospitals in our states that are over run and over-worked because of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients primarily. The Federal Emergency Management

Association -- Agency, FEMA, is also working at our direction, and every state and hospital capacity, including whether they need beds.

I have directed FEMA to be ready to provide emergency hospital beds wherever and whenever they're needed. The federal government will be there.

We've shipped nearly 2.4 million pieces of protective equipment to hospitals from gowns to gloves, and we're doing now whatever we can to

protect communities from the surge of hospital cases that are likely to see from unvaccinated population. Look, now, let me address three specific

updates before I get my full brief from my team.

First, booster shots. I know Dr. Fauci -- I'm like an echo chamber here, OK? I know it. But repeating myself what Dr. Fauci said very clearly,

booster shots work. They significantly increase the protection. They provide the highest level of protection against Omicron. Americans, we've

given out over 70 million booster shots. Importantly, two to three eligible seniors have received the booster shots. Booster shots are free, they're

safe and available. Over 90 -- and over at -- over 90,000 vaccination sites.

Let me say that again. They're free, available and at over 90,000 sites. We have added sites, added hours, added appointments, added walk-in capacity.

We have booster shots for every American in the country. It's easier than ever to get a booster shot. And more importantly than ever as it's been.

Look, the FDA has also now authorized booster shots for children ages 12 to 15. So, with the final approval from the Center for Disease Control and

Prevention, the CDC, young people -- when that occurs, young people ages 12 to 15 will be able to get booster shots later this week.

Second, on testing. I know this remains frustrating. Believe me, it's frustrating to me. But we're making improvements. In the last two weeks,

we've stood up federal testing sites all over the country. We're adding more each and every day. Google COVID test near me, go there, Google --

excuse me, COVID test near me on Google to find the nearest site where you can get a test, most often and free.


Look, we have more capacity for in-person test. We should see waiting lines shortened and more appointments freed up. Look, if you want to test

yourself at home, we have three options now. One, drug stores and online websites are restocking. Two, you know -- well, actually, so, the more

tests that are available, we're going to continue to become available. Next week, our requirement that your insurance company reimburse you for at-home

test takes effect, so you don't have to get reimbursed.

So, if you're insured, you can buy the test and get paid for it. The second thing I want to mention is many states and local governments and healthcare

providers are passing out free at-home tests that you can pick up. Just find out where they are. And finally, as I announced recently, the federal

government is launching a website this month where you can get tests shipped to your home for free upon your request.

The third point I'd like to speak about is also -- is on treatments. For those at high risk who do get COVID-19, we now have a new Pfizer pill that

greatly reduces the risk of hospitalization and death. I'm pleased to say that on Christmas eve, we shipped out the first batch of these pills that

we received, we purchased and received, and more will be shipped this week. We're already -- they're already saving lives, but due to complex chemistry

of the pills to make the pill, it takes months literally to make a pill.

But production is in full swing. United States has more pills than any other country in the world, and our supply is going to ramp up over the

coming months as more of these pills are manufactured. Today, I'm directing my team to work with Pfizer to double our order from 10 million to 20

million treatment courses to be delivered in the months ahead. We may need even more. That's the estimate we need right now.

We've already placed the largest order in the world. Now I'm doubling that order. These pills are going to dramatically decrease hospitalizations and

deaths from COVID-19. They're a game-changer and have the potential to dramatically alter the impact of COVID-19, the impact it's had on this

country and our people. Look, let me conclude with a quick recap. If you are vaccinated and boosted, you may get COVID, but you're highly protected

against severe illness.

Schools can and should be open this Winter. We have all the tools to keep kids safe. Unvaccinated kids are at risk, yet, the vaccinated are going --

best way to protect them, get vaccinated. If you're vaccinated, get boosted. Folks, I know we are all tired and frustrated about the pandemic.

These coming weeks are going to be challenging. Please wear your mask in public to protect yourself and others. We're going to get through this.

We're going to get through it together. We have the tools to protect people from severe illness due to Omicron if people choose to use the tools.

We have the medicines coming along that can save so many lives and dramatically reduce the impact that COVID has had on our country. So,

there's a lot of reason to be hopeful in 2020, but for God's sake, please take advantage of what's available. Please. You're going to save lives,

maybe yours, maybe your child's. Please take advantage of what we already have, OK? So thank you. Now, I'm going to get this briefing started. Thank

you very much.

GORANI: All right, U.S. President Joe Biden there at the White House. You can see, by the way, through the window, it's been a snowy few days in the

nation's capital. Biden continuing to encourage Americans to get their shots, to get their boosters. Also promising that schools will get more

ventilation, that ventilation systems will be installed on school buses, and that there will be more tests sent to schools as well.

And also announced the order of a doubling of the number of antiviral pills that were initially on the White House's list of purchases of acquisitions

in order to add one more tool to combat this pandemic. Let's bring in CNN White House reporter Kevin Liptak, he's been listening to Biden.


So, really, it's the message of use the tools we already have. He's trying to convince maybe those who are skeptical, reluctant or on the fence.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, and it's interesting. The first four or five minutes of that speech were still trying to encourage

people to get vaccinations. That first four or five minutes could have been delivered in June or July of this year. So, the message really hasn't

changed. Those numbers are still stubbornly low for Biden, given that this is really the only way he sees out of this pandemic entirely.

Now, the one major announcement, new announcement in that speech was the doubling of Pfizer's antiviral pills. He said that he would purchase 20

million, previously, he had said that the U.S. government would purchase 10 million. But even the details in that are a little -- when you read the

fine print, it's not exactly what he's saying. Pfizer's CEO says those 20 million won't be available until the end of September.

And what Biden and scientists have said is that the chemistry of making that particular product is very complicated, it takes a lot of time. And

so, even that is sort of in the long term of the --

GORANI: Yes --

LIPTAK: President's strategy to combat this virus. In the near term, the United States is setting global records for case counts. They just recorded

a million cases in the last couple of days, and the president is still struggling really to get a handle on all of that. And you heard him

reference this plan to distribute 500 million at-home rapid tests that he announced almost 14 days ago. There's still a lot of details about that

plan that are still coming together.

For example, we don't know when that website that the president has said people can order those tests online will become available. We don't know

how many tests Americans will be able to get. And so, that is still all something that the president and his team are working on behind the scenes.

But you do hear that frustration in his voice. He says that he's frustrated that these lines at testing sites are still so long.

He's frustrated that Americans can't -- aren't getting vaccinated that are eligible to get vaccinated, and you really sort of -- when you hear him

talk about this, you can see that this is certainly not how he had once hoped to be entering 2022. He wanted these holiday -- this holiday season

to be more normal. He wanted this year to be the year that he returns to normal. And when you see sort of the tick through the things that he

announced in that speech, there really isn't a lot new that the president can do at this --

GORANI: Yes --

LIPTAK: Point to combat this huge surge in cases that is causing, you know, shutdowns in schools. Offices have delayed their reopening. And so the

president is still kind of struggling to come up with a plan to contain this particular surge, even if it's in the long term, they are putting in

place ways to kind of mitigate the effects down the road, Hala.

GORANI: Sure. I don't think anyone was expecting to enter 2022 in this way. Well, I --

LIPTAK: Yes --

GORANI: Hope you had a good new year nonetheless, Kevin, thanks very much. And still --

LIPTAK: Thanks --

GORANI: To come tonight, lawyers for Prince Andrew are arguing that a sexual assault lawsuit against him should be dismissed. We'll discuss his

case after the break.




GORANI: World leaders, like all of us, really, are still grappling with COVID-19 almost two years on, if you can believe it. We have heard this

hour from the U.S. president on his administration's pandemic strategy.

He's struggling to convince some Americans to get vaccinated at all, calling this "a pandemic of the unvaccinated."

Just a few hours ago, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, spoke about COVID, saying anyone who thinks the battle is over is, quote,

"profoundly wrong." CNN's Scott McLean joins me now from London with more.

But he is not announcing new restrictions, though.

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, let me set this up for you, Hala. Today, the U.K. saw a brand-new record in terms of daily case counts. The

prime minister also says this country's health system is on a war footing and now is the time for utmost caution.

However, as you mentioned, that does not mean that new restrictions are coming to this country.

And the question that you asked to the education secretary earlier in your program, of what would it take to see further restrictions, was a similar

question that was asked at a press conference with the prime minister, Boris Johnson, earlier today several times.

And you didn't really get a clearance from him because it was abundantly clear that the prime minister is not really that interested in going in

that direction. He says that the U.K. can ride out the Omicron storm without the need for further restrictions and here is why.


BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: Well, our position today differs from previous waves in two crucial respects.

First, we now know that Omicron is milder than previous variants. So while hospital admissions are rising quickly, with over 150,000 COVID patients

now in hospital in England alone, this is not yet, thankfully, translating into the same numbers needing intensive care that we saw in previous waves.

Second, thanks to the fantastic national effort to get Britain boosted, we now have a substantial level of protection, higher than any of our European

neighbors, with over 34 million boosters administered, including in England, reaching more than 90 percent of the over 70s and 86 percent of

the over 50s.

And so, together with the plan B measures that we introduced before Christmas, we have a chance to ride out this Omicron wave without shutting

down our country once again.


MCLEAN: And that booster shot campaign, Hala, it is really rolling out -- along at a remarkable pace. About 50 percent of the British population has

a shot. About 60 percent of the eligible population, 12 plus, has a booster shot in their arms now.

That is a huge advantage that the prime minister has over, say, countries in Europe, where we continue to see much harsher restrictions. So certainly

the prime minister is looking at things here from a much different vantage point.

However, Britain's largest nursing union has called on the prime minister to do more to tighten restrictions in England, to take a more cautious

approach because of the number of staff who are calling in sick -- not necessarily because of the number of people showing up at the hospital with

COVID or incidentally being found with COVID but because of the number of staff who are out sick.

The prime minister isn't prepared to offer them new restrictions. But what he is offering to some health regions that are particularly hard hit by

this, he is offering military support. That's what he meant by war footing in some ways.

He also concedes that, look, there will be staff absences across the whole of the economy. And they're probably not going to end anytime soon. But

that is a heck of a lot better than going back to a lockdown. Hala.

GORANI: Scott McLean, thanks very much.

The chief pathologist says more than 700 children with COVID were at Texas Children's Hospital during one 24-hour period last week, with the Omicron

variant causing 90 percent of those cases.


GORANI: Let's bring in senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

So put the number of kids in the hospital into context for us in the U.S.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we are seeing rising numbers of children in the hospital in the United States. To be clear, the

numbers are very small. The United States has a huge hospital and we are talking about, you know, children numbering in the hundreds being in the


But still the increase is a concern. So let's take a look.

Before now the peak of admissions of children into hospital was 342 per day for the week ending September 4th. The latest one, though, for the week

ending January 1, 574 admissions per day. So in other words the highest since the pandemic began.

Now we don't think that it is because Omicron is particularly dangerous to children by its nature. There's nothing about the virus in and of itself.

But it is so transmissible, Hala, that you are going to have more children getting Omicron.

,So therefore, a certain percentage of them will end up in the hospital. With more children getting Omicron, you will have more children in the

hospital. Even a small percentage of a big number can still be a big number -- Hala.

GORANI: Sure. Now isolation guidance, directives; they're different from country to country. In the United States, there was a reduction to five

days for some COVID positive people.

What is the latest on that?

COHEN: So we are expecting any minute now for the CDC to revise their guidelines. But here is what they put out last week.

Last week they said, if you have COVID but you are asymptomatic, you have no symptoms or you've had symptoms but you are clearly getting better, what

you should do is isolate for five days, wear a mask for five days after that and you do not need a test to end that isolation.

That last point, Hala, that's what has gotten people so upset. Many people are saying, wait a minute, that just inherently doesn't make sense.

Why should you be able to get out of isolation if you don't have a negative test?

GORANI: Right.

COHEN: But the big problem though is that the CDC is kind of darned if they do, darned if they don't. There just aren't enough tests. So if you start

requiring tests, you will have essential workers just hanging out because they can't find a test to end their isolation.

So we will see what they are going to do about that in these updated, revised guidelines that are due out and expected any minute now.

GORANI: Sure, yes. Also, there have been cases of people, who still test positive, very, very faintly but still test positive for a very long time

after they've recovered from the actual illness.

So I wonder, you know, obviously, if you require a test, some people may be out of commission for a very long time. Thank you so much, Elizabeth Cohen,

as always, great to have you on the program.

COHEN: Thanks.

GORANI: Still to come tonight, the latest on the sexual abuse lawsuit against Prince Andrew. A judge says he will make a decision pretty soon on

whether or not to throw out a civil lawsuit against him by one of his accusers. We will be right back.




GORANI: Back to the case against Prince Andrew. Now lawyers nor the prince say a confidential deal prevents Virginia Giuffre from suing the royal.


GORANI: This was a deal she signed in 2009 with Epstein. They just made their case in a hearing a few hours ago. Now the judge says he will make a

decision, quote, "pretty soon," without providing an actual timeline.

Virginia Giuffre accuses the late Jeffrey Epstein of sexual abuse and of trafficking her to Prince Andrew and other powerful men. The prince denies

and has always denied the allegations against him.

That settlement between Epstein and Giuffre was unsealed Monday. It shows Epstein paid Giuffre half a million dollars to drop the case against him

but also within the language of the settlement not to pursue, to sue or go after anyone linked to Jeffrey Epstein in any way in this case. CNN legal

analyst Joey Jackson joins me now with more.

So what are the lawyers on the Prince Andrew team arguing?

They're saying this 2009 settlement essentially shields their client.

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, that's exactly right, Hala. Good to be with you.

When you have an actual lawsuit, right, remember we are talking about civil liability. Civil liability pertains to monetary damages and there are suits

aplenty in the States.

So when you file a lawsuit and, in the event the lawsuit is settled, as opposed to going to trial and having a jury make a determination, when you

settle a lawsuit, Hala, you generally execute a waiver and release.

What does that mean in English?

It means you waive any claims for future damages against the defendant, right, or the particular person you are suing, in addition to releasing

them from any claims. That's what was done here in 2009 with a little twist.

What Epstein insisted on, as a result of paying her half a million dollars in 2009, said not only will you release me but you will release any

potential defendants, which they list as business people, associates, royalty, et cetera.

And so what the prince's attorneys are arguing is, to the extent that there was a waiver and release, she, that is the plaintiff here, Ms. Giuffre, has

waived her right to sue anybody else associated, linked with, having to do with Epstein.

So what are we doing here?


JACKSON: That is the essence of their argument, that it is foreclosed, she has no relief, she can't come to court and she knew what she was signing.

So why are we here, Judge?

That's what they're saying.

GORANI: So why are we here?

What are the Giuffre team saying?

They're arguing -- because I mean I read the -- obviously, I'm not a lawyer -- but I read the language that essentially details the agreement that she

signed, that Giuffre -- Roberts at the time, was her maiden name -- would not go after anyone linked to Jeffrey Epstein.

And it mentions clearly royalty. Prince Andrew is obviously the second son of Queen Elizabeth.

What is their argument?

JACKSON: So leave it to lawyers to make a case when there potentially is not a case. So here is what they're saying. They're saying the following.

Number one, you didn't know about, no potential defendant was on notice as to a specific confidential claim, so you didn't rely upon this claim. You

weren't detrimentally impacted by this claim. In fact, you were unaware of the claim to the extent it is confidential.

So the extent you were not on notice of it, to the extent you didn't know it existed, to the extent you didn't suffer any detriment from it, you

cannot now enforce that here.

In addition what they're saying is that any particular agreement was as between Mr. Epstein, who is now deceased, and as between Ms. Giuffre.

You were not any of those parties, so how, in fact, do you enforce this?

Final thing but there's more, that is that the lawsuit and the essence of the 2009 lawsuit was that Ms. Maxwell (sic) trafficked, right, provided the

means and opportunity for other people to otherwise abuse her and young women.

They're arguing that the prince was not a trafficker; he was a person who was trafficked to. So these are legal arguments the attorneys are making.

And to the extent the lawsuit was framed around traffickers and meant to apply to traffickers, how do you release or waive someone who was

trafficked to?

JACKSON: So again, they're splitting hairs.


JACKSON: There are clever arguments on both sides. The judge will make the assessment as to whether this was a broad release, Hala, or whether it was

a very narrow release, which would thereby entitle her to pursue her civil claims against the prince.

GORANI: All right. Joey Jackson, thanks very much for explaining that so clearly, as always.

JACKSON: Thank you.

GORANI: More than 600,000 people have signed a petition now calling for former prime minister Tony Blair to have his knighthood removed. He was

given the highest possible ranking in the new year's honors list as the U.K. leader during the Iraq War.

The petition claims he was, quote, "personally responsible for countless deaths."

The current leader of the U.K. Labour Party has, however, defended the decision, saying the honor was deserved.

Thursday marks one year since rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol after a Donald Trump rally. What happened last January 6th continues to throw a

shadow over U.S. politics. Donie O'Sullivan looks at the aftermath.


LISA, TRUMP SUPPORTER: January 6 attack was not the Republicans nor Trump. It was the Democrats were behind it all. They're the ones that caused it


DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): You really believe that?

LISA: I know it. And there is no way that a Republican would act that way. And there is no way that Trump had anything to do with what happened on

January 6.

O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): What about all the Trump supporters that have been charged and (INAUDIBLE)?

LISA: Because it's all Democratic judges and people that were on the take from the Democrats.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): It's been a year since the attack on the U.S. Capitol.


O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): And because of disinformation, denial and diversion, Americans don't have a shared history, a shared understanding of

what happened here on that day.

ANITA GERMANO, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I think the whole reporting of it is a giant hoax.

MARGE MATHIEU, TRUMP SUPPORTER: We are very peaceful people. So it was a total setup to me. It was the FBI had set it up. I don't believe that they

were Trump supporters that did that.

O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): You said the whole things are set up. You don't really believe that, do you?

JEANIE JOHNSON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I do. I do. Because Trump won the election. They, they've proven it over and over again.

LARRY, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I really don't think Trump had much to do other people that were supporters for him, somewhere involved but I think they

were enticed by the FBI. And by, you know, undercover agents.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): When I spoke to Trump supporters here in Washington on January 6, most were in denial about the results of the 2020

election. (on-camera): Do you accept that Biden won the election?

LUCIA, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Absolutely not. Biden did not win this election.

O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): On January 6, we walked with Trump supporters who marched from the White House where Trump was doing the speech here to the

U.S. Capitol. And as we arrived here, that is when the first security barrier was breached.

At the time, some Trump supporters told me they were happy with what happened here at the Capitol.

Are you proud of what happened here today?

PENNY ALLISON, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Absolutely. I think we should have gone on and yanks the -- our senators out by the hair and the head and throw them

out and said, no more.

TODD POSSETT, TRUMP SUPPORTER: I'm absolutely stand behind 100 percent what happened here today, 1,000 percent is terrible how this election was


O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Federal prosecutors have charged more than 700 people in connection with the Capitol rise and repeatedly documented the

rioters support for President Trump. But some people in right wing media have pushed the dangerous idea that it was all an FBI plus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: FBI operatives were organizing the attack on the Capitol.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that this was some kind of false flag event staged by the Democrats or the FBI.

(on-camera): What would you say to people who say January 6 was the biggest attack on American democracy --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely rubbish.

O'SULLIVAN (voice-over): Plus, amid all the denial and deflection, I met one Trump supporter who said it was important to be real about what

happened on that day.

(on-camera): What do you think of the Trump supporters that stormed the Capitol?

ROZ LESSER, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Oh, you talk about misfound feelings. I'm seeing the folks from my side of the state that were there and they're not

the part of the campaign that we would like to have.

O'SULLIVAN (on-camera): Do you think some Trump supporters that say it's Antifa, it's Black Lives Matter, that they know that that's bullshit but

they just don't want to admit it's easier to blame someone else.

LESSER: Everyone is afraid to, you know, take the blame. It's that simple.



GORANI: That was Donie O'Sullivan reporting.

And a quick programming note: join Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper for an unprecedented gathering inside the Capitol with police, lawmakers and

leaders. "LIVE FROM THE CAPITOL: JANUARY 6TH, ONE YEAR LATER" begins Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern. That's 1:00 am Friday in London.

Still to come tonight, a complete shake-up for Novak Djokovic. Not that long ago he had no plans to go to the Australian Open. But now he is on his

way down under. It is all thanks to a medical exemption. We will tell you about that next.




GORANI: Human rights groups are criticizing Tesla for opening a showroom in the Xinjiang region of China, with one even accusing the electric car giant

of, quote, "supporting genocide."

Tesla currently operates a factory in Shanghai and is ramping up production in China amid surging sales. We told you about those yesterday. China's

accused of brutally repressing Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, a charge that China denies.



GORANI: David Bowie's estate has sold the publishing rights to his entire music catalogue. And there are plenty of hits in there that you will



GORANI: That's, of course, "Rebel, Rebel," just one of the many iconic songs from his stellar six-decade career. Warner Chappell Music bought the

late singer's work for an undisclosed sum but it is estimated to be upwards of $250 million.

The company had said they're immensely proud to, quote, "be the caretakers of one of the most groundbreaking, influential and enduring catalogues in

music history."

Thank you all for watching tonight. I'll see you the same time, the same place tomorrow. Do stay with CNN. After a quick break, "QUEST MEANS

BUSINESS" is coming your way.