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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  January 7, 2022 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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capping a hectic week of all things kids. a conversation with mayor eric adams. he is committed to keeping classrooms open for learning. he is also pushing new yorkers to start thinking differently about how we all live with covid. president biden talked about this new normal. some of his former advisors are urging better planning. we will speak with one of them shortly. there is the problem of where we are with new cases averaging more than 615,000 a day and deaths according to new figures out within the hour now averaging close to 1,500 a day. for whatever signs there are of the omicron variant is less deadly, the sheer bulk of cases is driving deaths up. first mayor adams, i spoke to him shortly before air time. >> mayor adams, appreciate you joining us. you have been extremely busy and firm that even as covid cases spike, kids among schools, the children will remain in schools and schools will remain open.
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we've seen the problems in chicago between the city government and teachers union. do you anticipate having the same problems in new york with the union? >> the difference, i believe, on what is happening in chicago and new york is something that's played out behind the scenes. i did something that people don't do often. i communicated. i communicated with the uft, with my other administrators and leaders and we talked about how do we get through this together. we delivered, anderson, 1.5 million test kits to our schools that were there and ready to be utilized on monday. we coordinated and talked, and that is how we came together. and so i think we should really applaud the uft, the teachers, the administrators, my team here to say this is how we are going to get stuff done in new york. that's one of the complaints of teachers in chicago or the
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teachers union is lack of access to testing. earlier today i think nearly 30 new york city and state lawmakers wrote an open letter urging you to provide a remote option for all schools for two weeks to slow the spread of covid. does that make sense to you? >> no, it does not. and i understand their passions and their concerns and their representation, and i communicated with some of them. but let's be clear on this. the last time we did a remote option children were not learning, and you can't have a false remote option. i am going to build out one of the best remote learning processes in our country, but i need time to do so. but the product we did was inferior. we can't continue to hurt the education of our children, and think about the children where english is a second language. are those children who live in homeless shelters and don't have access to wifi or don't have two to three meals a day. we need our children in school.
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this is not eric's opinion. every expert has stated that not having children in school is going to impact their socialization, their skills of how to be in an environment with others. we need children in school and that what i'm going to do as long as i know i can do it in a healthy way and we believe we can do that and we proved that. >> you said to businesses that know need to bring the workers back to the office. you cite the effect on other businesses that serve those office workers, dry cleaners, restaurants, et cetera. if those restaurants are busy and there is an outbound in the kitchen, the restaurant could have to shut down until their staff can come back to work. is that better for the health of that business? >> it is. and i speak to my restaurant owners. here's what we're doing from new york. you have to be vaccinated to get inside the restaurants. we are doing it in a smart way. this is not 2020. this is 2022. we're, thank god for modern
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science and the collaboration across the globe, we have something called vaccines and booster shots and we are going to have antiviral pills. this is amazing what he did as a globe, how we came together to defeat covid virus. and if we open up and ensure with the vaccine mandate that everyone inside there is isolated and encourage booster shots, we can start opening our city. we can't continue to live within the confines of covid. it is time for us to get back to work and allow our small businesses to operate. i'm excited about that possibility. and if the business is open, bring business travelers back to new york city, we will start seeing our financial ecosystem improve. >> you announced wednesday $111 million would be dedicated to helping new york city health and hospitals. how is that money going to be used with staffing problems that we have already seen in hospital
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systems across the country? >> that's a real challenge. actually, we were successful in utilizing our leverage in over $130 billion. what i'm really proud about is our great senior senator from new york, senator chuck schumer brought us $1.1 billion to shore up the staffing, to make sure we have the supplies that we need. he has advocated for making sure our hospitals are up and ready to run. but, anderson, i want to keep going back. the science is clear. if you are vaccinated and you have a booster shot, you are less likely to go to the hospital and less likely to die. so, yes, people will say, well, i have my vaccine and booster shot but i caught covid. you you know what? you are less likely to be hospitalized. if we want to help our health care professionals, it's about getting vaccinated and booster shot and the dollars that are coming in from washington and from the state and from some of
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our private companies, our financial institutions, they are helping us leverage the resources to get our nurses and doctors the resources that they need. >> mayor eric adams, appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you very much. take care. so a new normal, what endemic covid may look like. one of six former advisors to president biden publishing pieces in the journal of american medical association, goals and strategies for post-pandemic hive with covid. and dr. sanjay gupta. i spoke with chicago's mayor. they were closed over covid disputes. mayor adams is determined to keep the schools open. what do you make of the way schools in big cities have handled back to school this week? >> according to the department of education, 96% of schools have been opened. so, you know, they've had a variety of strategies in different maces as your two
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interviews with shown. i think what we learned the past career, past year and a half, is that with certain strategies schools can be a splace. the test to stay strategy that mayor adams was talking about, but also masking and ventilation, all of the other things that we've learned the last couple of years in terms of reducing the spread. i think there is an issue which is right now there is a lot of virus out there. we are in the middle of a significant viral storm. so 13% of students testing positive. i can tell you my own kids' school district, 10% of kids testing positive. the numbers will come back down. the storm, the acute phase of the storm will diminish a bit. i think it will be safer then. but schools can be a safe place. >> today president biden said, quote, covid as we are dealing with it now is not here to stay. you are one of six of the president's former advisors who wrote of a need for a new normal and planning for a new normal in the journal of the american medical association.
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talk about what this new normal will look like and how close you think it may be. >> well, first of all, we have to do something different. as we recognize now, trying to vaccinate our way out of even of these new variants is going to pose a challenge. vaccines will continue to be a very critical part of that, but we have to acknowledge we don't know that a new variant won't affair two months from now that may escape the immune protections from our current vaccines and from that of any previous infection. so what we need is, first of all, improve on our vaccines. you are going to see a lot of work being done to get us what we call the next generation vaccines. the second thing that i think is really important and sanjay can surely attest to this, back in is 1981, '82' 83, having hiv was a death sentence. we have changed that into a
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manag managed disease because of drugs. over the course of the next weeks to much is a wide scale availability of these very effective drugs if given early in the illness can actually greatly reduce the likelihood of severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths. but so if you combine vaccines and drugs together, i think we really can put a big dent in this virus not just in high income countries, but around the world. >> and what do you think the dangers are if the administration doesn't -- i mean, are you talking about a change in strategy? >> no. in fact, you know, i think the series of articles have been represented by many as somehow we were disagreeing or it's an adversarial position. quite the opposite. we have the luxury of being one step behind the front lines. which haven't had to deal day in and day out as this administration and every country around the world has had to do. we are saying this is what we know, this is what we must do, what do we want the future to look like? we are talking about planning
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for what it might look like six to 12 months down the road. so in this case the administration has been very open. we have had many conversations with them. we have had conversations with public health officials around the world. so i think it's at a time now where imagine a year ago, anderson, would we have anticipated we would be here a year late we are the vaccines coming on the market? we need to anticipate what the future might look like and how do we get us back to that new normal. >> sanjay, do you see -- do you agree with that, sanjay? i wonder in that new normal, that new future, do you see you, yourself, you know, well, i guess you have masks with you because you're a are a doctor. i imagine carrying a mask in my backpack even in the new normal just in case. >> yeah, i think that i would, too. i mean, outside the hospital. even in my non-doctor sort of life. i think, you know, the weather sort of analogy, the idea that you will have surges of virus
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from time to time, i mean, even before this pandemic, i mean, one could make the argument that with flu, if people masked during flu season or during the height of flu season at least, it would cut down on flu deaths, up to 60,000 people die of flu every year. this new normal that professor is talking about, the idea this is the world we live now, we are increasingly encroaching on habitats that are going to release more and more viruses, we have to think about this i think in a different way. we often did think about this as a hurricane is coming, shelter in place, see what happens, assess the damage afterwards. we don't have to be so reactionary, i think, and we have been reactionary for a long time. there were steps, you know, in the early 2000s towards the pandemic preparedness plan, after the 1918 noou. as time goes on, if we don't deal with this acutely, people's attention spans and memories are short. hopefully, some of these plans, which i read those papers, they
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will set us up better for the future. right now we are in the middle of a crisis. 132,000 people in the hospital. we are almost at january 2021 peaks. these plans are for the future. right now we got to deal with the acute crisis. >> we are averaging 615,000 new cases a day, more than 1,400 deaths a day. 125,000 people hospitalized. explain the strain it's putting on the health care systems and hospitals right now. >> well, it's very difficult to put this really in human terms in the sense of understanding what it's like to be in a hospital where you are begging health care workers who have just tested positive in the last day for the virus who are not that severely ill to continue working because if they didn't there would be no one by the bedside for eight hours. we are looking at the situation, we are getting life-saving drugs to our communities. you know how many pharmacies are closing around the country because they don't have the drugs because the warehouses and
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the drivers can't get them there or there is nobody to open the pharmacy and keep it going. the food shelves are cut short right now. look at grocery stores. even something as simple as oxygen. we looked at the low-income countries of the world during the worst pandemic days and it's terrible, how come they can't have oxygen for their hospitalized patients? we have outbreaks emerging in oxygen production facilities and i can tell you right now we have many cases three or four days of oxygen on hand in our hospitals and that's it. so, i mean, you are going to see this really in the next three weeks as sanjay just said, really come to a head. that's even true with our schools. you know, schools aren't going to close because somebody decided to. it's when you don't have enough teachers to have school or a quarter to half the students out, that's going to impact schools. it's not going to be some administrative decision. >> appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you. next, as we end a week marking the anniversary of the
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attack to on democracy, the ongoing threat that exists on the state and local level. joining us is colorado's secretary of state. later senator ted cruz throwing himself at the mercy of a cable tv entertainer casting his dig any such as it was to the political wind. we will talk about it with jon karl, author of betrayal, the final act of the trump show. and a follow up. and a “did you see my email?” text. orrrr... you could see her status in slack. and give lisa a break while you find someone online who can help. slack. where the future works. ♪ it wasn't me by shaggy ♪ you're never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your discover card. how did panera come up with the idea to combine their famous mac and cheese with their iconic grilled cheese? by saying yes. yes to new inventions! yes to clean and fresh ingredients! and yes to living life to the flavor-fullest. panera. live your yes.
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of the worst attack on democracy since the civil war. something the president mentioned in his remarks at the capitol. to that end, replacing democracy and relationship state election officials who have done their jobs in a nonpartisan fashion with supporters of the former president and the big lie. in our last hour chris krebs the federal official fired after rejecting the former president's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. according to cnn reporting, a dozen republicans who questioned
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the integrity of the 2020 election are running to be chief elections officers, including in many key swing states. that shadowy company that conducted the audit is closing down. the so-called cyber ninjas cited millions of dollars in debt. maricopa county released a rebuttal of the claims, concluding 76 of 77 were false or misleading. another election official on the front lines of democracy as it were, colorado secretary of state janet griswold. as the top elections official in colorado, what goes through your mind when you hear about the number of republicans, many loyalists to the former president in swing states and supporters of the big lie, running for key positions like yours? >> well, thanks for having me on, anderson. and what goes through my mind is concern. major concern. in every swing state where there
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is a secretary of state race in 2022, there is a republican candidate who is either at the insurrection or lying about 2020. including here in colorado, where there are two republicans running who are election deniers. and it's akin to electing someone who is an arsonist to oversee a fire department. it's very troubling, but it's more than just these top election officials. it's also that the focus on county officials, insiders like steve bannon have recruited folks to apply to those positions. so we are seeing the tilting of election administration and we need to act urgently. >> what could somebody with, you know, i mean, there is nothing wrong with rubbing up on an election official as long as they do the job in a nonpartisan way as you do or as any election official is supposed to do, but if somebody is a supporter of the big lie and is particularly
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trying to get in these positions, what would they possibly be able to do? >> you are absolutely right. there is great election administrators on both sides of the aisle. i actually asked a judge to appoint my predecessor who i ran against in 2018 to oversee a county for me after the local republican county clerk chose to compromise voting equipment, trying to plof these lies. i think there is a couple of things that secretaries of state who do not believe in democracy or election officials trying to destroy from within can do. they include voter roll punches, compromising voter equipment and pushing massive disinformation. imagine on january 6th of 2021 if key secretaries of state from key swing states were gaslighting the american people. that in itself would create a li level of distrust in the election system. so i think that these -- this -- what is happening needs to be
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paid attention to. luckily, voters will have a good opportunity in 2022. democracy is going to be on the ballot, and we need to ensure that secretaries of state are elected who believe in the right to vote and upmolding the will of the people. >> how easy is it to find out about the people who are running for these positions? i mean, a lot of places, you know, these aren't big campaigns that people pay attention to. >> well, i think that's a great place for the media to come in. and there has been more media attention on secretary of state races because of what happened in 2020. sec they were responsible for making sure people could have their voices heard during the pandemic. we saw what happened after that. the georgia secretary of state was asked by the president of the united states to find votes that didn't exist in arizona and michigan, we have seen lots of things to try to undermine
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confidence. so because of 2020, there is a renewed sense and a renewed focus on these races and i think it's really important that media and voters, frankly, ask every candidate, do you believe the 2020 election was free and fair and will you stand with the american people in upholding the vote when it's cast. >> i am wondering are where you see things going from here. as we mentioned, cyber anyone skbras, this company that zwroefr saw the ridiculous fake arizona so-called edit is going out of business. what do you think that will have of proponents. big lie? there were a lot of legislators from around the country who went to observe whatever that means, the so-called audit arizona and are now pushing for audits in their states. >> yes, including a state legislator here in the state of colorado. i think, unfortunately, it will not have that big of effect on proponents of the big lie's push
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to spread disinformation. the cyber ninjas, the fake audits in maricopa county, it was never about the truth. it was about undermining confidence even more. and i think that what we are seeing is the big lie getting bigger. that's then used to suppress the vote, attack institutions and attack confidence in elections. so that the next time a presidential candidate loses who doesn't like the outcome of the race, it will be easier to contest the validity of the election. so that's why we really need folks to be paying attention because there are things that the u.s. senate could do, states could do and american voters could do to make sure that democracy survives and this country remains the great united states of america for decades and centuries to come. >> appreciate it. thank you very much. >> thank you so. coming up, more on texas senator ted cruz rewriting his own history about his view of the january 6th insurrection, not to mention surrendering whatever dignity he had under pressure from tucker carlson.
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more on the moment of clarity for senator ted cruz this week after fox decided he committed a foul. here it is his true statement made on the eve of the anniversary of the january 6th insurrection.
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>> we are approaching a solemn anniversary this week and it is an anniversary of a violent terrorist attack on the capitol. >> so, no reasonable person really could challenge that sentiment, which is why fox news' tucker carlson proceeded to do that. senator cruz scramble to get back in his good graces by getting on his program and trying to set the record anything but straight. >> as a result of my sloppy phrasing it caused a lot of people to misunderstand what i meant. what i to say, i wasn't saying that thousands of peaceful protesters supporting donald trump are somehow terrorists. i wasn't saying millions of patriots across the country supporting president trump are terrorists. that's what what a lot of people -- >> wait a second. hold on. what you just said doesn't make sense. >> the reason i used that word for a decade, i have referred to people who violently assault
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police officers as terrorists. >> even if you deviate just a little bit from the fox party line, they kneecap you. even carlson was baffled by the texas two step of the senator. by cnn's count, he called it a terrorist attack or called rioters terrorists 17 times previously. and that includes written statements and tweets. maybe we should call it serial sloppiness. cnn asked cruz's spokesperson for an explanation. what we got, no surprise, trash-talk about our network but no answer. jonathan karl is the author of "betrayal: the final act of the trump show." he is also the chief washington correspondent for abc news and co-anchor of "this week with goerge stephanopoulos." in the context of what you discovered in reporting for your book, how does senator cruz's behavior fit into the larger pattern for republicans and the former president? >> well, it certainly fits into
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the larger pattern, anderson. first, i have to say how remarkable that moment is when you consider who ted cruz is. ted cruz is a guy who really made his name as a national conservative leader when he led his party into a government shutdown in 2013. when he did that, he stood up against the entirety, virtually the entirety of the republican leadership in the senate. he infuriated them. he went against their wishes. and launched them into what turned out to be a very politically destructive government shutdown. he wasn't afraid of the wrath of all of those republican senators. and now here he is apparently afraid of upsetting a television, a cable tv host. it's really quite remarkable. but, you know, it shows a part of a pattern that i saw repeatedly in the book. i document in my book, which is republican leaders who would say
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privately that all of what donald trump was saying about the election was false. they knew that the election wasn't rigged. they knew that what -- that he lost the election. i mean, i know of one of tucker carlson's colleagues in prime time who had confided the day after the election that trump lost, flatly that he lost. but not saying this stuff publicly. afraid to cross the base. i think what's really significant here though is that it was -- it wasn't crossing donald trump. it was crossing tucker carlson. by extension, crossing tucker carlson's viewers. and, you know, ted cruz is somebody who has hinted in recent weeks he is going to run for president, that he would like to run for president in 2024. the suggestion he would be running against donald trump. but it seems that he is more afraid of crossing the people that fuel the energy behind the trump movement, and now tucker carlson may be more in touch
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with that energy than trump himself. >> also, it was interesting, you know, cruz, as you said, the other -- a couple of weeks ago, i guess, said to somebody how well he came in second in 2016 and in the pramary and usually people who come in second they are the frontrunners the next time around. clearly, if you look at polling, he is, you know, there is a lot of people ahead of him who republicans are looking at, ron desantis. even mike pence polled higher than ted cruz did as a potential candidate. >> well, yeah. and also what i think that the attraction, the reason why trump caught on the way he caught on -- and he didn't fit that pattern that cruz was talking about. trump never ran before. so that pattern of the republicans picking the guy that came in second four years earlier hasn't been a thing for a long time. but donald trump represented an
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attitude. it wasn't that he was necessarily in touch of all of the policies of the conservative republicans. in fact, in many cases he was opposed to where republicans had been on a number of issues. trade being one prominent one. but it was its attitude. he didn't back down against anything. it was that, you know, doesn't matter what you say about me, doesn't matter if i upset you, i am going to charge ahead. so ted cruz kind of meekly apologized and, you know, bowed before a tv host. i don't think that's really the path towards winning the hearts and minds of those that voted for trump. >> it's got to go killing ted cruz to be in this situation. he has had a number of these situations where the whole incident, the power crisis where he, you know, threw his family under the bus claiming his daughters wanted a vacation and he was just being a good father. you know, he has wanted to be president so long. when you look at 2024, what does
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the field look like? is there any scenario to you -- >> i think it's -- >> do you believe -- i guess the main question is, do you believe trump will run again? >> i really do not believe he will run again. but he is not going to let anybody know that for a long, long time. he will wait until the last minute. >> fascinating. jonathan karl, really appreciate it. such a good book. thank you. >> thank you. this weekend join cnn fareed zakaria as he investigates the fight to save american democracy. the special airs sunday 9:00 p.m. next for us, following the latest on the top tennis player, novak djokovic's visa controversy while he is confined to an immigration hotel in melbourne, australia. his former coach joins us next.
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there is some developments in the visa saga involving the number one tennis star novak djokovic. his court hearing adjourned until monday as djokovic prepares to fight against deportation from australia ahead of the australian open.
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and protesters v gathered outside of a facility in melbourne where djokovic is being held after his evavisa wa canceled. blake he isic joins us with the latest. what is going on on djokovic's status? >> you know, anderson, at this moment, nine-time australian open champion novak djokovic has been detained by the australian border force and taken to immigration detention pending his deportation from australia. there are two other people involved with the open who have also had their visas revoked. as for djokovic, it's been a wild week for the men's world number one tennis player. on tuesday after tennis australia granted the defending champion a medical exemption from the tournament's vaccine mandate, djokovic posted a power picture of him saying he was heading down under. when he arrived wednesday there was a clearly a disconnect between tennis australia and the australian government as he was detained and denied entry into
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the country and had his visa revoked by australian border force. now, according to australia's health minister, the reason is because he failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet entry requirements. while djokovic has never revealed his vaccination status, he has been very outspoken recording his negative feelings towards the vaccine and vaccine mandates. now, this is all playing out as covid-19 hospitalizations and case numbers across the country broke records this week. now, as a result for the past few days the serbian has been held at a hotel in melbourne being used as an alternative place of detention, which houses asylum seekers and refugees as he waits for a court to decide whether or not he can stay in the country. that decision is expected on monday. >> he is free to leave australia if he wanted to, even -- but, you know, i guess -- but he wants to wait until australia decides on monday, is that
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correct? >> yeah. he could leave. one of the people that had their visas revoked has since left and the other person who had their visa revoked said she is also going to leave because she is not going to have enough time to train. yes, he could leave. he is not being held against his will. so far there is no official indication on what the judge will rule, but the australian deputy prime minister told our affiliate 7 network in an interview in regards to djokovic being allowed to stay, if he were a betting person, he would not put his house on it. now, it is worth noting that djokovic announced he tested positive for covid-19 back in june. however, the australian government told tennis australia back in november that unvaccinated players with a recent covid-19 infection could not and would not be allowed to enter the country based on public health guidelines. so, again, clearly a disconnect between tennis australia and the australian government. >> appreciate it. joining us with more perspective, djokovic's former
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coach and former professional tennis player and legend, boris becker. a pleasure to talk to you. i am a huge fan of your work. as his former coach, you know this man better than other people. what is your reaction to the situation he is in? >> first of all, i am a big fan of yours. thank you very much for having me on the show. now, novak is like a family member to me and i am struggling. this is unfortunate for him. he is a fine man and his difference of opinion with many things, but he is a very, very good character. he wouldn't have taken the plane if tennis australia wouldn't have given him the exemption. tennis australia, obviously, has a misunderstanding with the australian government and that's why he is in detention. it's terrible for him. imagine this man he doesn't drink normal water, he doesn't sleep in a normal bed. he lives his life in a different way than most other to players, hence, he is so successful. for him to be in the room he has been in the last couple of days is just terrible. >> rafael nadal said he made his
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own decisions and everybody is free to take their own decisions, but then there are some consequences and some way i feel sorry for him, but at the same time he knew the conditions a lot of months ago. what do you think -- do you think he would leave before monday, before getting an answer? some of the other players who haven't been allowed in are leaving. >> well, novak is a fighter. i think he is going to sit it out until monday, wait for the decision. yes, the world divides itself between the anti-vaxxers and the vaxxers. i made the choice. i am in my 50s. other athletes, in their 20s and 30s, they don't think it's necessary. novak is one of them. you can't debate that. obviously, he thought, you know, his exception from tennis australia is good enough for him to get into the country and to start the tournament. >> do you think this impacts him -- i mean, just as a player,
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psychologically, if he was allowed to play? >> he has this attitude me against the world a little bit. that made him always strong. i always call him a street fighter. he plays his best tennis. he is also very much against, you know, if the australian prime minister mentioned he is a betting man and wouldn't bet his house on it, i don't like his comments because he has still a human being trying to do the best he can. he is just a tennis player. he is not a politician. hopefully, he will win the zwru judgment on monday. >> do you think in terms of his career, endorsements, anything like that, public perception, does that hurt him? >> this is nothing new that novak has a difference of opinion on many things. hurts him for his preparation for the australian open. he hasn't touched a tennis ball in the last five, six days. if the judge were to vote in his favor, he would start minus zero. so that's probably the worst preparation. but, obviously, he is in the news for the wrong reasons right
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now. >> before a big tournament like this, he should be playing -- he should be practicing every day? >> oh, every day. four, five hours. he has a very high work ethic. he goes to the gym a lot. he does everything he can to be the best possible position, but, obviously, it starts with hitting tennis balls. he is a fine-tuned machine. if there is something off, he can't play his best tennis. >> boris becker, it's really kind of thrilling for me to talk to you. i wish you the best. >> good for me. thank you. ahead, celebrating the life of oscar-winning actor sidney poitier. he changed movies and our culture forever while staying true to himself. what an extraordinary man and career he was and is. a look back next. few years old. we wanna buy your car. so go to carvana and enter your license plate answer a few questions. and our techno wizardry calculates your car's value and gives you a real offer in seconds.
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poitier dying at 94. hiss his career shattered racial barriers. what 5audiences got as a result is extraordinary and his passion went far beyond the screen sara sidner shows us. >> reporter: he is revered, not just because of what he did on screen but also because of his tremendous impact off screen as a champion of civil rights. >> we believe in the essential dignity of every human being. >> reporter: the son of a tomato farmer, poitier lived a life of first, the first black man to win an oscar for best black actor and becoming a true hollywood star among the greatest of all time. >> we have lots and lots and lots of african american about tors. now, when we didn't have any, i
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appeared, not because i brought so much but because the time was right. >> reporter: but his career almost ended before it ever began. as a teenager, poitier auditioned for the negro theater but thrown out because he couldn't read, tone deaf and had a thick acre cent. >> reporter: he would spend months perfecting his acting skills and modifying his speaking voice. his hard work would pay off in a big way. >> i was right. i know i was right. >> reporter: in the 1950s a appeared in more than a dozen films beginning with "no way out" and "defiant ones" but the prior portrayal of a g.i. in "lilies of the field" earning him the
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coveted oscar for best actor. poitier never overcame the tone deafness lip syncing the singing. the scene writer actually did the singing. poitier was considered a bankable star in 1967 standing in a landmark film "to serve with life". >> those kids are devils. >> reporter: playing act ever ch characters to confront racist p prejudices but would challenge the hollywood establishment forcing a change in the 1967 academy award winning "in the heat of the night" because of a scene that would require him to be a racist character. >> i'll put you on the bus myself. >> you ain't taking me anywhere. you're holding the wrong man. >> reporter: that year he would
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star in the water shield film "guess who is coming to dinner"? >> mom, this is john. >> reporter: the film not only depicted a successful enter racial relationship but progress in america. >> they'll have some and children otherwise i don't know what you'd call it but you couldn't call it a marmarriage. >> is that the way joy feels? >> she feels every single one of our children will be president of the united states and they'll all have colorful administrations. >> reporter: it's only fitting in 2009, sidney poitier was presented with the medal of freedom. >> he made himself a better person, he did and made us better along the way. >> what a remarkable man that achieved so much not only for himself but for so many. the news continues.
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this is "don lemon tonight." are we seeing a change for president biden's presidency? time will tell. the last couple days is a different approach for those who campaigned and governed trying to win republicans over and reach across the aisle. only he seems to have learned there is a stone wall built down the middle of that aisle. there was this forceful speech laying out the blame for the former president that refuses to deny the big lie to accept the fact he lost and today joe biden took aim to the