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Hala Gorani Tonight
One In 10 People In London Had COVID-19 In The Last Week Of 2021; France's Emmanuel Macron Takes Heat After Saying He Wants To "Piss Off" The Unvaccinated; Australia Cancels Novak Djokovic's Visa To Enter Country; Increased Fuel Price Sparks Kazakhstan Unrest; Argentina Leads South America In Highest Daily Cases; January 6 Panel Wants To Speak Directly With Mike Pence; Prince Andrew's Team Trying To Get Case Dismissed. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired January 05, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, live from CNN in London, I'm HALA GORANI TONIGHT. The French President Emmanuel Macron has
an unconventional COVID plan of action, making it so difficult for the unvaccinated that they'll have to get the shot. Will it work? I'll ask one
French MP what he thinks.
Then, the Australian Open battles backlash as tennis world number one Novak Djokovic is given an exemption to their strict vaccine mandate. And later,
Kazakhstan faces its worst unrest in a decade. We'll dig into what ignited these latest anti-government protests. As coronavirus tears through Europe
and with Omicron becoming more dominant by the day, some countries are cracking down on restrictions, but others are easing up.
Let's start with England. Data shows there that 1 in 15 people across the country in the last week of 2021 had COVID. In London, where I'm
broadcasting from, 1 in 10. But the country is sticking to its plan B, even reducing some travel restrictions. Today, the British Prime Minister Boris
Johnson says double-vaccinated passengers arriving in England will no longer need to take a COVID test before departing.
Now, in contrast, French leaders want to make life harder for unvaccinated residents. That's the approach. They're proposing legislation to replace
the health pass with a vaccine pass, keeping unvaccinated people from a wide range of everyday activities. Now, right now, a COVID pass works if
you can show that you have a negative test. The proposal is to eliminate that option. Now, the national rate of new infections has tripled in two
weeks, and there's no sign of peaking in France.
The President, Emmanuel Macron -- and this was quite interesting, this choice of words, told the "Le Parisien" newspaper that he really wants to
piss off the unvaccinated until they get their shots. Saying, "we're going to keep doing it until the end. This is the strategy." Let's get straight
to our Cyril Vanier in Paris and Scott McLean here in London. Cyril, what's been the -- in front of that beautiful, sparkling Eiffel Tower. What has
been the reaction to the French President's words?
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the opposition here is furious, of course, and they're accusing the president of disrespecting the French
population, and they have interrupted the parliamentary debate about the vaccine pass. And so because that has happened, you could think that this
is a peculiar timing for the president to use those words, because, after all, he needs to pass his bill into law to get the vaccine pass so that he
can then exclude the unvaccinated from many areas, many spheres of public life, as you were aptly describing, Hala.
However, it does appear that this was actually calculated by the president. He has a majority. He has the ruling party in parliament. He has a
majority, and even the right-wing conservatives and the socialists have said that despite all this, they would still back the vaccine pass. It
looks like he is going to be able to push his bill into law, get the vaccine pass done. And what is he losing from a tactical, political
standpoint, by using this colorful language, saying that he wants to piss off the unvaccinated?
What is he using -- losing in terms of votes with less than 100 days to go before the presidential election? Probably not that much, Hala, because the
10 percent of people who have refused to get a vaccine so far are more than likely people who disapproved of his handling of the pandemic, and probably
weren't going to vote for him anyway.
GORANI: I wonder if he thinks by using that kind of language, he might energize another part of the electorate that's just sick and tired of this
pandemic. And Scott McLean, here in Britain and in England more specifically, the U.K. Prime Minister is easing some restrictions on
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's absolutely right. First off though, Hala, you know, the peak of this Omicron wave cannot come soon
enough. You've mentioned the data already. Government estimates showing that in the last week of December alone, 1 in 25 people -- 1 in 15, excuse
me, people infected in England, 1 in 10 in London, here in London. This is obviously the Omicron epicenter. But despite that scary data, Prime
Minister Boris Johnson says we don't need more restrictions, we actually need fewer.
So pre-departure tests for people flying into England no longer required. Also instead of taking a PCR test in your first two days here, you can take
a much cheaper lateral flow test. That's being applauded by the travel industry. The prime minister continues to say that despite hospital
admissions rising -- and he says that they're doubling about every nine days, he thinks that this country can ride out the storm of Omicron because
the variant is less severe than previous strains and because of the booster shot programs which has already reached about 60 percent of the eligible
Today, in the House of Commons, he faced plenty of questions about his approach, but none actually from the opposition leader who tested positive
for COVID-19 for the second time in just the past three months. Omicron infections, about 10 percent to 15 percent of Omicron infections, by the
way, are re-infections, as appears to be the case with opposition leader Keir Starmer. Few -- well, what's really interesting, Hala, is that few
opposition lawmakers really took the prime minister to task on his decision not to institute new tighter restrictions.
It didn't seem like very many lawmakers were pushing for that type of thing, but what they did have a lot of questions for, is why it is so
difficult to find a test in this country and how on earth he thinks that the National Health Care Service here is going to cope when you have so
many health care workers calling in sick with the virus.
GORANI: Yes, that's the question across the region. And Cyril, one to you. The Health Minister announced 335,000 cases in a 24-hour period. I had to
actually do a double take and make sure that I read that correctly. I mean, similarly in France, how are hospitals coping?
VANIER: Yes, you know, the Health Minister announced earlier this week that the numbers -- the official numbers of infections that are reported daily
probably underestimate, under report the real number of infections. He said on Monday, there were probably half a million people who were getting COVID
every day. Now, for the moment, hospitals are coping. About half of France's available ICU beds are full of COVID patients.
That is actually slightly less than the proportion we had a year ago. So the hospital system is still coping, 20,000 people in hospital. That's a
new high since May. The fear, of course, with Omicron is that there could be so many infections if this continues at this rate, that it would still
overwhelm the health system, even though there is a lower chance, of course, if you take it on individual basis, there's a lower chance of
ending up in hospital if you get infected with Omicron, Hala.
GORANI: Right, sure. Thank you very much, Cyril Vanier in Paris and Scott McLean in London. I want to talk to a French -- member of the French
National Assembly, Pierre-Henri Dumont; he represents Calais and he joins me now live.
What do you make of the French president, he is not from your party. The French President who said essentially I want to piss off the unvaccinated
until the very end, using, you know, pretty crude language, "emmerder" in French. What was your reaction when you read the transcript of his
interview with "Le Parisien" newspaper?
PIERRE-HENRI DUMONT, MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF FRANCE: Good afternoon. It was a shock because the president in my way of seeing the job
needs to gather people, not to split the French citizens into different categories. The fact is not being vaccinated in France is not something
that breaks the law. So we cannot have different kinds of citizens with the full citizens who are fully vaccinated with three doses and the rest of the
population who are under citizens, as was --
GORANI: Yes --
DUMONT: Said by Emmanuel Macron in the same interview, that was very shocking actually --
GORANI: Well, e didn't say under citizens, did he? I didn't see that part.
DUMONT: He said -- he said that the people who are not getting the vaccine are irresponsible, not responsible, and people who are not responsible are
no longer citizens.
DUMONT: That's something -- so that was very rude actually --
GORANI: Yes --
DUMONT: And then --
GORANI: But what's your solution -- if I can jump in, what's your solution here? Because Emmanuel Macron is not making it illegal not to have a
vaccine. I mean, Austria, as you know, is going down that road. Germany is considering going down that road. So it's not an infringement really upon
the liberties of people to decide not to get it.
They can decide not to get the vaccine, but what Macron is saying -- then, well, some of your liberties will have to be curtailed. You can't go sit in
a restaurant. You can't go to a cafe and infect everyone else. What's wrong with that really?
DUMONT: It's wrong because we are -- in the declaration of human rights in France, it's illegal to impose something that is not in the law for
So what we are saying is that, we are imposing something to the French citizen that is not in the law right now. It's totally hypocrite to say
that you cannot go to restaurant, to take a train, to take a plane, to go to cinema or concert if you are not getting a vaccine, but it's still your
choice to get one.
GORANI: Well, there is a law being debated about making the COVID pass a vaccine pass. That will probably become a law in your country --
DUMONT: Yes, What I'm saying --
GORANI: And once it's a law, do you have a problem with the notion, the notion itself that people who are --
DUMONT: Well --
GORANI: Unvaccinated are the ones getting sick, are the ones putting pressure on hospitals, that they should not be allowed the same liberties?
Do you still have a problem with that?
DUMONT: I am 100 percent pro-vaccine. I had three doses of vaccines. I opened vaccine centers in my constituency, so, no problem with that. What I
need to say is that, basically, we know that the people who are feeling -- crowding the hospitals are the older ones and the people with diseases.
That's why we, the Republicans, the conservative party in the French parliament, we wanted to have a mandatory vaccination for this very
particular part of the people because they are the ones who are going to struggle with the disease and who are going to be and to end at the
And what we are doing right now is, we are not targeting these people specifically, but we're targeting people -- as an example, 14 or 15 years
old who are --
GORANI: I mean, with respect to you, you are saying that you do not agree with the idea that the unvaccinated people should be barred from entering
restaurants, but then your idea is to mandate vaccinations for people over 60 or who have comorbidities. How is that a logical position?
DUMONT: It's perfectly logical because, again, what our purpose here is to make sure that no one will die from COVID, and that no one will die because
they cannot have a surgery because of people who have COVID and are --
GORANI: Right --
DUMONT: In the hospital. That's the main goal here. And people who are 20 or 25 or even 15, because that seems the law that is discussed right now in
the French parliament, are facing quite no risk at all of ending at the hospital.
GORANI: Right --
DUMONT: Besides that, people are facing a lot of risks such as older people and people with --
GORANI: Well --
DUMONT: Huge diseases that shows --
GORANI: I mean, you're not a doctor and neither am I, but we both know that people who are unvaccinated and catch COVID can be asymptomatic and infect
older people who have been vaccinated who themselves will end up in the hospital. But let me ask you about these numbers in France. I mean, when
you look at 335,000 cases in 24 hours, it's a really -- it's an absolute emergency that something be done to put those numbers down.
And at the very least, what do you think should be done immediately? I mean, without going into legislation that takes a long time. What do you
think a short-term immediate measure should be?
DUMONT: Well, what we see is that the Omicron disease is less dangerous than the Delta one, as an example. So it's more contagious, but less
dangerous. So basically, it's not a problem if we have not a lot of people going to hospital. So, again, our goal should be to give a vaccine to
people who are going to end at the hospital, the older one, the one with this disease, and keep it -- keep the rest of the population quite alarmed
with this vaccine as they -- vaccine, you know,
The fact is, the number of people who are getting infected a day is no more a problem if those people are getting a vaccine or if those people here
with the Omicron disease --
GORANI: OK --
DUMONT: Which is less a problem. The only option here is to look at the numbers and the figures at the hospitals. That's the only measures --
GORANI: Sure --
DUMONT: Today. What I can tell you is that, we are far away from actually being top -- fill -- full number of beds who are filling the hospital. We
are far away from that. We are around --
GORANI: Yes --
DUMONT: Fifty percent, 60 percent of the beds who are occupied by COVID people out in the hospital. So, we -- again, having 300 or 400 people
getting infected with COVID and especially with the Omicron --
GORANI: Yes, so --
DUMONT: COVID is less a problem than it was --
GORANI: Yes --
DUMONT: With Delta.
GORANI: Certainly, the hospitals are not at capacity which is great news. Thank you, Pierre-Henri Dumont; a member of parliament in France
representing Calais. Thank you.
DUMONT: You're welcome.
GORANI: Now, let's talk about Asia. A very -- situation, a very different picture there for residents of the Chinese city of Xi'An.
The start of '22 is -- 2022 is looking a lot like 2020 unfortunately. Following a coronavirus outbreak after Christmas, millions have been
confined to their homes, depending on the government for food and supplies. The lockdown is the strictest and largest since Wuhan. As Kristie Lu Stout
reports, the anger and frustration underscores the growing challenge of China's zero COVID policy.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Two years into the pandemic, the scenes of the hard lockdown underway in the northern Chinese
city of Xi'An are eerily reminiscent of the early days of COVID-19 in Wuhan. Since December, the 23rd, 13 million people in Xi'An have been under
hard lockdown after only a handful of cases were defected.
(voice-over): No eye contact from this anti-pandemic worker, as a woman under lockdown pleads for a basic essential and her dignity. Through tears
she says, my period came yesterday, I called the hotline, the police, CDC, but no one responded. CNN can't confirm the authenticity of the video.
Residents in the Chinese city of Xi'An, which has seen the largest community outbreak of COVID-19 since Wuhan, say they continue to struggle
to get basic supplies and food.
The municipal government concedes that there are some problems and said it's working on improving the situation. Since December the 23rd, this city
of 13 million has been under strict lockdown. Residents are forbidden from leaving their homes unless it's for a COVID test. There has been public
shaming of people accused of breaching COVID-19 safety laws, and a man was beaten by government COVID prevention workers for breaching lockdown.
The workers were later punished after this footage emerged online.
(on camera): In Xi'An, there are instances of people being turned away from hospital because of COVID protocols. In a disturbing video, a pregnant
woman was allegedly turned away because she didn't have a valid COVID-19 test.
And according to the post from a Weibo user who claims to be her niece, the woman is seen sitting outside the hospital with a pool of blood around her
feet, hours later she was finally admitted, but ultimately suffered a miscarriage.
A staff member from Xi'An Gaoxin Hospital told CNN they were investigating the incident, and that the hospital had initially turned away the woman in
accordance with the government's COVID-19 rules.
(voice-over): Officials have vowed to achieve community zero COVID before lifting the lockdown. In many ways, China's zero COVID policy has been a
huge success, it has curbed local outbreaks and saved lives with mass testing and tracing, snap lockdowns and travel restrictions.
But in Xi'An, patience has been pushed to the limit. The Eurasia Group placed China's zero COVID policy at the top of its list of global risks for
2022, anticipating a cycle of infections, lockdowns, disruptions and discontent that would rock the global economy.
The Winter games will pose a big test to China's strategy. Experts say people in China are vulnerable because of their lack of exposure to the
Omicron variant, the lower efficacy of its homegrown vaccines and the limits of zero COVID.
(on camera): Even in China, will there ever be zero COVID?
JIN DONG-YAN, VIROLOGIST, UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: I don't think so. Actually, we believe COVID is actually the direction you go.
LU STOUT (voice-over): In Xi'An, the number of new cases is decreasing, but desperation is growing as the lockdown enters a third week.
(on camera): Citizens have become bolder and expressing their anger, frustration and desperation on social media, and many of those posts and
videos have been removed online. But the cracks in China's zero COVID-19 policy have been exposed. Kristie Lu Stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: Still to come tonight, a new twist for Novak Djokovic, in order for him to defend his title at the Australian Open, Australia has to let him in
first and they haven't done that. Plus, chaos in Kazakhstan as thousands of angry protesters storm buildings and clash with police. What is behind this
latest outbreak of unrest? We'll be right back.
GORANI: Tennis champion Novak Djokovic has arrived in Melbourne to defend his title in the Australian Open, but he's reportedly run into a visa
issue. Australian media say the visa that he's traveling on doesn't allow for medical exemptions to local COVID-19 vaccination requirements. And
officials are making it clear that the men's world number one player will not get preferential treatment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER, AUSTRALIA: He must provide acceptable proof that he cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, and to be able to access
the same travel arrangements as fully-vaccinated travelers. So, we await his presentation and what evidence he provides to support that. If that
evidence is insufficient, then he won't be treated any different to anyone else, and he'll be on the next plane home. So, there should be no special
rules for Novak Djokovic at all, none, whatsoever.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Tournament organizers are now responding to the backlash over their decision to initially grant Djokovic a medical exemption to their own
vaccine mandate. The head of Tennis Australia says it's up to the player to discuss his condition with the public, whether he chooses to or not,
obviously, is an open question, he hasn't in the past. "WORLD SPORT" anchor Don Riddell joins me now live. So, first of all, where is Novak Djokovic
right now? Is he still in Melbourne, has he left, do we know?
DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: We understand that he is in Melbourne, Hala, on the wrong side of the barrier, on the wrong side of passport control. We
know he is there because his coach Goran Ivanisevic has actually posted on Instagram a picture of he and another member of Djokovic's team just
waiting at the airport. And he said it's not the most usual trip down under. It is, what? Just after 6:00 a.m. In the morning in Australia.
We believe that Djokovic has been at that airport some six hours, and still no sign of him in the arrivals hall. So, a pretty worrying time for him.
But you've just outlined the backlash in Australia from your average man on the street all the way up to the prime minister. Remember, Melbourne last
year was one of the most locked down cities in the world. Some 260 days the residents of Melbourne had to spend in lockdown.
And of course, they are not at all happy to see what seems to be to them preferential treatment for one of the world's biggest athletes.
GORANI: All right, well, we're going to keep following this. We'll get back to you, Don, once we have more information about where Novak Djokovic --
RIDDELL: Yes --
GORANI: Will eventually end up, on the other side of passport control or maybe on his way back to wherever he came from. Thanks so much. Hong Kong
is tightening its already strict COVID guidelines and they were strict. Officials are issuing a wave of new restrictions, warning that a fifth wave
is imminent. The city state announced a two-week ban on incoming flights from eight different countries including the U.S., the U.K. and Canada.
And more than 3,000 people are being held on a cruise ship in Hong Kong for testing. The government is also banning in-person dining at restaurants,
effective this Friday.
All entertainment venues like gyms and cinemas will also be shut. The new guidelines are becoming a nightmare for travelers. The zero COVID protocol
is having a big impact on people's mental health. CNN's Will Ripley has this story of one man who's been stuck in a hospital for weeks sharing a
room with strangers.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In zero COVID Hong Kong, pandemic protocols have paralyzed this once busy travel hub. The arrival
process that used to take minutes now drags on for hours. Mandatory testing at the airport, waiting hours for the results. The lucky ones test negative
and spend up to 21 days in self-paid hotel quarantine. Darryl Chan is not one of the lucky ones.
DARRYL CHAN, TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 IN HONG KONG : I had both of my jabs. I have been boosted. I -- like didn't think -- didn't ever think that
I'll be -- actually test positive on arrival.
RIPLEY: Thirteen hours after landing in Hong Kong, Chan was in an ambulance. His luggage left at the airport. He tested positive for the
Omicron variant. Even without symptoms, his minimum hospital stay is nearly a month.
(on camera): Do you worry about your mental health as these days turn into weeks?
CHAN: Yes, absolutely, because I have never been in a situation like this before.
ELISABETH WONG, PSYCHIATRIST: In general, there is increased sense of isolation, anxiety, and in some severe cases even post-traumatic stress.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Hong Kong psychiatrist Dr. Elisabeth Wong says longer quarantines can be more traumatic.
WONG: And then we have a lot of changes between the 7 days and the 14 days and the 21 days, and that was when people reported more stress, especially
with the longer period of quarantine.
RIPLEY: Darryl's day begins with a wakeup jingle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attention, please.
RIPLEY: He takes his own vitals, calls and messages with friends and family help pass the time.
CHAN: Social media has really helped actually. It definitely makes you feel less alone.
RIPLEY: One of his greatest struggles, sharing a room and a bathroom with two strangers.
CHAN: But I think what has definitely impacted me the most so far is the feeling of just, you know, not having the freedom and regressing into
almost feeling like you're back at school, you know, with some controlled wake-up and bed times, not being able to control what you can eat.
RIPLEY: Hospital meals often consist of mystery meat. The bigger mystery? Chan's release date. He's supposed to start a new job, a new life in Hong
(on camera): What's the worst part of this?
CHAN: I think the worst part is not knowing when I will be able to get out.
RIPLEY (voice-over): For now, all he can do is wait. From his hospital bed, freedom feels like a life-time away. Will Ripley, CNN, Hong Kong.
GORANI: And still to come tonight, we likely won't be seeing scenes like these this year. How the pandemic is affecting carnival preparations in
Brazil. That's coming up next.
GORANI: This just in: the president of Kazakhstan is now asking a Russian- led military alliance for help against what he calls a terrorist threat, as the former Soviet republic faces its worst unrest in more than a decade.
The entire country is now under a state of emergency. Thousands of protesters, angry over fuel prices, are out in the streets battling police
and demanding reforms from their authoritarian government.
In the country's largest city, Almaty, demonstrators stormed city hall and reportedly set the president's house and the mayor's office alight. Sources
report they have now entered the airport.
The internet is offline nationwide as the unrest spreads to other cities and villages. Kazakhstan is a huge country south of Russia that is rich in
oil and gas. Its decades of social stability have attracted extensive foreign investment.
That image, though, is shattering by the hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI (voice-over): Overnight protesters clashed with riot police, who responded with stun grenades and tear gas. The country's hardline president
is vowing to crush the protests with maximum toughness, a typical authoritarian reaction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Kazakhstan is a close ally of Russia, which is keenly watching the unrest. Our Nic Robertson joins us now from Moscow with more.
These protests are not the first. They happened a few years ago. And they're a bit about more than oil prices, right?
There's some real frustration with this country's leadership.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: There are. This is a very serious situation right now. These protests, unlike previous protests,
have really spread across the country in the past few days. And certainly that's bringing a great deal of cause for concern.
The information has been changing throughout the day. The picture, hard to get a clear picture because the internet has been down.
What we have just learned from the government in the past couple of hours, as you said there, that collective organization for security, the
collective security treaty organization that Kazakhstan has reached out to, involves many of the former Soviet republics that are now independent
But the real principle one there that Kazakhstan really seems to be talking about is Russia. Also, the information that the country is now under a
state of emergency really has only become clear in the last couple of hours.
The president is vowing to hold on to his job. It appears that he has taken on more security powers in the country. The underlying issues are more than
just about the rise in price of LPG, the liquid petroleum gas, that many cars inside Kazakhstan use.
It seems to get to underlying economic issues, that a part of the population feel economically marginalized. That's why it appears this
protest has spread in such a rapid fashion.
The president, speaking earlier today, alluded to outside control or pre- planning or pre-help in this. He paints a very disturbing picture of what was happening.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KASSYM-JOMART TOKAYEV, KAZAKHSTAN PRESIDENT (through translator): In our beloved city, there are massive attacks on law enforcement officers.
TOKAYEV (through translator): Among them, there are those killed and wounded. Crowds of violent elements beat up service men, mock them, lead
them naked through the streets, abuse women, rob shops.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: So a few pictures we have been able to see emerging from Kazakhstan tonight from Almaty appear to show protesters in control of the
streets, standing on police vehicles.
The president talked about a number, a number of government buildings being damaged. And the video we have seen through the day really seems to show,
in many cases, the protesters having the upper hand over the security forces.
It is very unclear who really controls the streets in Almaty and other principal cities across Kazakhstan tonight. This appeal from the government
to help, essentially to Russia, clearly indicates that perhaps things are now beyond their immediate control.
GORANI: But what does it mean, to help?
Help do what?
Help crush the protesters, who are asking for cheaper fuel and more rights from their repressive government?
What do they want Russia to do?
ROBERTSON: You know, the fact that this is being framed as a call for help to deal with terrorists I think gives the lie to what the government is
saying here. The government is casting the protesters as terrorists.
And certainly, when one considers how Russia has framed opposition, political organizations inside Russia, like Alexei Navalny's, as a
terrorist organization, perhaps the Kazaks here are attempting to frame this street, this rowdy street opposition as terrorists.
It is not clear what the government is basing that accusation on. They haven't put forward evidence that the people out on the streets are
anything other than, as you say, citizens who are frustrated with the economy, who are frustrated with the controls on their lives and seeing
this as an opportunity to vent that anger.
What is uncommon about these protests, perhaps to others that have been witness, and that is that the crowd seems not in the least bit afraid of
taking on the security forces, who have been deployed in big numbers -- Hala.
GORANI: Thank you, Nic Robertson in Moscow.
Back to COVID-19 now. The virus is ripping through Latin America as well. Argentina is reporting its highest ever number of new cases since the
pandemic started, more than 81,000 new infections.
Rio is calling off its world-famous Carnival street parades in February for the second year in a row. The city's mayor says the surge in cases right
now makes it impossible to organize them safely. Matt Rivers joins me now live from Mexico City with more of a look at Latin America.
Let's start with Rio. I guess better safe than sorry. These are huge crowds every year.
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. And just from a public health perspective, you can understand the decision that's
being made here. But I think, Hala, there's a lot of disappointment.
And rightly so because it is such a huge event for Rio each year. You know, I was in Rio just about a year ago now. And the city felt empty. Copacabana
Beach was closed because of the pandemic.
And a year later, a time when, just a few weeks ago, people were expecting to have this return to normalcy, to go back to these street parties, these
street festivals, that people love in that city, that so many foreigners around the world come to experience Rio in that way, now they're shut down
That's a huge blow. A quote from the city's mayor said, quote, "We had a meeting today with the people from the blocos" -- which are how street
parties are generally referred to -- "and we informed them that the street carnival, which didn't take place in 2021, cannot happen this year due to
the epidemiological data that we have.
"It would be very difficult to organize a street carnival."
So very bad news there. That said, not everything is cancelled in Rio, Hala. The big huge parade put on by Rio Samba schools, that goes through
the big stadium, the Sambadrome, that will be still be held. Unclear how many spectators will be allowed into the 80,000 seat stadium.
But it is not all doom and gloom; it's not as bad as last year but some seriously bad news for Rio.
GORANI: Let's talk about Argentina with a record number of cases.
How overall is Latin America faring?
Last time we spoke about the vaccination programs across the continent, there were these countries making huge progress after having been really
behind on vaccinating many, many more of their citizens.
RIVERS: Well, and to that end, Hala, the reason why things in Argentina are bad but not so bad is because of that vaccination campaign.
RIVERS: Obviously, you have Omicron being not quite as severe of a variant as, let's say, the Delta variant before it. But the high rate of
vaccination in Argentina, which is well north of 70 percent across the total population, that is keeping deaths and hospitalizations relatively
That said, the number of cases is spiking, more than 80,000 cases in a single day on Tuesday recorded. It was just a few days ago we were talking
about a brand new record that was just over 50,000 cases.
SO you are looking at more than a 50 percent increase in just a matter of days. That number could keep going up. And that's also happening in other
parts of the continent. Here in Mexico, for example, we are seeing a huge spike in cases.
But once again, not being followed up by the hospitalizations and the deaths, that truly characterize a wave of COVID-19 as being a really
So this is something that public health officials all across the region are watching very closely. You know, what you have seen happen in Europe, what
you see happening in the United States, it is happening here in Latin America as well. Thankfully, though, vaccinations are making a huge
GORANI: Yes, absolutely. Thanks very much for that, Matt Rivers.
Still to come, she was the first staffer in the Trump White House to resign after the January 6th riot. Now she is about to tell what she knows to the
committee investigating the attack. We'll be right back.
GORANI: It has been a year, a year since that insurrection on Capitol Hill. And lawmakers investigating the attack will hear from a former White House
staffer, who was in Donald Trump and Melania Trump's inner circle.
Stephanie Grisham served as press secretary and chief of staff to the first lady. A source tells CNN she is expected to give a candid description of
what was happening inside the White House, as the riot unfolded.
In her memoir, Grisham said she asked Melania Trump if she wanted to condemn the lawlessness in a tweet. The one-word answer was "No." Here is
CNN's Whitney Wild with this report.
WHITNEY WILD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The House Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection now wants to talk to former vice
president Mike Pence and FOX News host Sean Hannity.
The chairman of the Select Committee told CNN he wants Pence to voluntarily speak with the panel about what he witnessed one year ago tomorrow and the
conversations leading up to that day.
REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D), CHAIR, U.S. HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON JANUARY 6 ATTACK: I would hope that he would do the right thing and come forward and
voluntarily talk to the committee.
WILD (voice-over): Representative Bennie Thompson said Pence certified the election, despite the extreme risk from rioters on January 6th, rioters,
who had heard for days then president Donald Trump's pressure campaign on his V.P. to halt the process.
THOMPSON: His life was at risk. The vice president could not leave the Capitol of the United States because of the riot.
PROTESTERS: Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence. Hang Mike Pence.
WILD (voice-over): Thompson said the risk to Pence's life did not seem to motivate Trump to act while the Capitol was under attack.
THOMPSON: To take 187 minutes to say to rioters, you need to stop and go home, because my vice president is in the building and his life is in
danger, is an absolute shame.
WILD (voice-over): A spokesman for Pence declined to comment on Thompson's remarks.
The committee also wants to speak with FOX News host Sean Hannity, saying he texted with Trump, then White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and
others in the days surrounding January 6th.
REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D), IMPEACHMENT MANAGER: We have so many of these texts and pieces of evidence, indicating that he was outside of his role as a
press person, acting as a political operative.
WILD (voice-over): Publicly, Hannity was saying this ahead of January 6th.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: A big day tomorrow, big crowds apparently showed up to the point where the West Wing could hear the music and the
chanting of the people that were there already.
WILD (voice-over): But privately, Hannity sent a message to Meadows the night before the insurrection, reading, "I'm very worried about the next 48
The committee wants to know why Hannity was worried and what, if any, prior knowledge he may have had before the Capitol riots.
LOFGREN: I want to make sure that everyone knows this isn't a subpoena. We have asked him to cooperate with us as a fact witness out of his sense of
WILD (voice-over): Its members also believe the FOX News host has detailed knowledge regarding Trump's state of mind in the days following the January
Hannity texted Meadows and congressman Jim Jordan about a conversation he had with Trump four days after the insurrection.
The text reads, "Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in nine days. He can't mention the election again, ever. I did not have a good call with
him today and, worse, I'm not sure what is left to do or say. And I don't like not knowing if it is truly understood. Ideas?"
GORANI: Well, Whitney Wild joins me now live from Washington, D.C.
Whitney, what do we know about other people close to the vice president, close to the president, who will be cooperating with the January 6th
WILD: Well, two names that we know who are going to cooperate are Marc Short and Keith Kellogg. What we know is that they can provide very
critical evidence to the committee and also give them a chance to, if they get former vice president Mike Pence, actually conduct a very informed
interview, because we are talking about two very close aides to the former vice president.
They really know what was going on within the White House. Some of those details, Hala, have remained elusive.
GORANI: What about tomorrow?
It has been a year.
What are we expecting?
WILD: Well, it will be a day of remembrance. There will be several events throughout the day, events throughout Washington as well.
What we know is that there is -- there's going to be a significant effort out of Washington, D.C., to make sure that the reality of that day, the
true story, not the story that is being spun, that rioters were giving hugs and kisses to cops, that this was just tourists, that the reality that this
was a violent insurrection, that will be the focus of the day, both at Capitol Hill and throughout the city.
GORANI: Thank you, Whitney Wild, joining us from Washington.
One quick programming note. On Thursday we will have special coverage throughout the day starting at 8:45 am Eastern -- that's 1:45 pm in London
-- on that one-year anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The first suspect has been charged in the case of Haiti's assassinated president. Mario Palacios was extradited to the U.S. from Panama Tuesday,
where the Department of Justice charged him with conspiracy to commit murder.
He is suspected of involvement in the brazen home invasion and murder of the Haitian president, Jovenel Moise, in July. His attorney says his client
is likely to plead not guilty later this month.
Still to come tonight, how did we get to the point where the queen's second son is being asked to prove he cannot sweat?
A timeline of the sexual abuse allegations and Prince Andrew's repeated, emphatic denials.
GORANI: A U.S. judge says we'll know, quote, "pretty soon" if the sexual abuse lawsuit against Prince Andrew can go ahead. So we wait and read into
Prince Andrew's lawyers argued that a settlement signed by the accuser, Virginia Giuffre, shields any, quote, "potential defendant," including the
prince. But the judge seemed to say only two people know who is shielded: one is Giuffre, the other is Jeffrey Epstein, who is dead. While we wait,
Max Foster looks at how we got here.
MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A long running scandal, taking another turn on Tuesday. Britain's Prince Andrew continues a civil
battle over rape allegations. In a controversial saga that began more than two decades ago.
Andrew's accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre says that the prince first raped her in 2001 when she was 17. She says she was one of several men she was
being sex trafficked to, by now notorious late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Giuffre said her first encounter with Andrew was at a London town home of Epstein's long-time girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. After meeting the prince,
Giuffre says they went to a nightclub and she was later forced to have sex with him.
The prince denies those allegations entirely. According to a BBC interview, he says he had taken his eldest daughter to a pizza party that night.
PRINCE ANDREW, DUKE OF YORK: I can tell you categorically, I don't remember meeting her at all.
FOSTER: Seven years later, Jeffrey Epstein was convicted after pleading guilty two state prostitution charges in Florida. Then in 2010, Prince
Andrew was photographed walking with Epstein, now a registered sex offender in New York Central Park.
The image was published and negative publicity about the prince's relationship with Epstein began to circulate. The next year, another
controversial image surfaced, this one of Andrew with his arm around his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, allegedly taken at Ghislaine Maxwell's home in
Between 2014 and 2015, Giuffre claims that in the past, Prince Andrew sexually abused her three separate times. Her allegations first seen in a
civil filing in Florida, then in court documents unsealed in New York federal courts.
Buckingham Palace responds with a statement, that it emphatically denies that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with
FOSTER (voice-over): In 2019, Giuffre repeats her claims on television.
VIRGINIA ROBERTS GIUFFRE, PRINCE ANDREW ACCUSER: He knows what happened, I know what happened and there's only one of us telling the truth and I know
FOSTER: That same year, Jeffrey Epstein dies by suicide in his jail cell as he awaits trial for federal sex trafficking charges. Then, last week, his
former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted of sex trafficking and other crimes related to Epstein's abuse scheme.
Now Prince Andrew is trying to get Giuffre's lawsuit against him thrown out. His legal team claims a previous settlement agreement she had signed
with Epstein, releases Andrew from legal action.
But a U.S. judge appeared skeptical of his legal team's arguments on Tuesday, leaving much to be determined in the case against the British
royal -- Max Foster, CNN, Windsor, England.
GORANI: There is something missing today, though you probably haven't noticed because it slowly faded from our daily thoughts. The BlackBerry
phone is now officially part of history.
They used to be so popular in the late '90s and early '20s (sic), we called them CrackBerries. Barack Obama loved his, Kim Kardashian did and so did I.
Wall Street financiers and journalists were addicted to the little black devices.
BlackBerry had more than 80 million users. But now the company has stopped running support for the older devices so all non-Android BlackBerry devices
are now paper weights. I could type on my BlackBerry without even looking at the screen. On an iPhone, forget it.
Remember how Lassie was always saving Timmy in the classic TV show?
We have the story of someone who owes his life to his dog in real life. Tinsley is getting extra treats today after leading police in New Hampshire
to her owner who was injured -- there's Tinsley. Police originally thought the dog was lost on the highway but, in fact, she was pointing them in the
direction of a pickup truck that had rolled over.
Police say the dog's owner and another man had been thrown from the vehicle and would not have survived the night, given how cold it was, if it hadn't
been for good girl Tinsley.
I don't know if my dog would do that. Love them all the same, though.
Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. Do stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.