tv PBS News Hour PBS December 29, 2020 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> nawaz: good evening, i'm amna nawaz. judy woodruff is off. on the newshour tonight, the pandemic marches on: covid-19 deaths top 337,000 as a new strain is confirmed in the u.s. o talk with president-elect biden's pickad the c.d.c. then, critical votes-- the house of representatives overrides president trump's veto of a defense spending bill as the fight over covid relief payments moves to the senate. and, a hidden crisis-- with hospitals overrun with pandemic patients, many americans are i delayiortant medical care, often with devastating consequences. >> while it's very important to take necessary precautions for avoiding exposure a covid-19, ito important to get your timely medical care. >> nawaz: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
>> the john s. and james l. knight ferndation. fostg informed and engaged communities. more at kf.org. >> and with thongoing support these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> nawaz: the end this pandemic year is now in sight, but president-elect joe biden is warning the worst is y come. today, in wilmington, delaware, he forecast a post-holiday spike in infections and deaths,
through february. pe also charged the tr administration has fallen far behind the president's talk of vaccinating 20 milon people by year's end. >> with only a few days left in december we've only vaccinated a few thllion so far. pace the vaccination program if it continues to move as it is now it's going to take years, not months, to ccinate the american people. >> nawaz: hours earlier, vice president-elect kamala harris received t moderna vaccine in washington. she urged more people to get the shots. meanwhile, officials in colorado a more contagious covid variant, initially discovered in britain. the u.s. senate convened a rare, deadlocked over increasing covid relief checks to $2,000. president trump signed a bill on sunday that includes $600 ar most amerins, but he's demanding bigger checks. today, he called it "the right thing to d" on the senate floor, republican
majority leader tch mcconnell declined to commit himself on the issue. >> the president would like further direct financial support for american households. this week, the senate will bin a process to bring these three priorities into focus. >> nawaz: foblnow, mcconnell ked an attempt by democratic minority leader chuck schumer to force a vote. schumer said the senate should not adjourn until it takes action. >> this issue has united americans from coast to coast and bridged massive political divide here in washington. the vast majority of the public, republican and democrat,ng st support $2000 checks. >> nawaz: vermont senator bernie action on bigger checks, but mcconnell blked that, too. o in turn, sandeected to voting to override the president's veto of a major last night. as the house did we'll talk with senator sanders, ler in the program. the president today lashed out at republicans for opposing his
veto of that defense bill. he tweeted that "weak and tired republican 'leadership' will allow the bad defense bill to he opposes the biluse it strips confederate names from military bases, and does not strip liability protecfrom social media firms. a federal judge in georgia has blocked efforts to prevent some 4,000 people from voting in sext week's u.ste run-offs. two counties had planned to make those voters pro their residency, after a lawsuit by a conservative group. the run-offs will termine control of the senate. the u.s. justice department will not bring federal criminal charges in the killing of tamir rice in cleveland. a white police offically shot the black 12-year-old i 2014. dee youth was playing with a pellet gun out recreation center. today's announcement said video of the incident is too poor quality to determine exactly what happened. boeing's 737 max jetliner resumed commercial flights in, the u.s. todr the first time in nearly two years. the planes were grounded
worldwide in march 2019 after n o deadly crashes. today,american airlines 737-max flew about 100 peoplew from miami tyork. the company president said passengers can have complete confidence in the plane. >> this is an aircraft that has reen more highly scrutinized than any ever be we're very confident that this aircraft ithe safest in the skies and we're confident to be putting it back in the air snd confident wing it to our customers and getting people back to where >> nawaz: airlines in brazil and mexico have already resumed using the 737 max, with 600 flights this month. new federal dietary guidelines out today say no candy or cake for kids under two. they also recommend feeding babies only breast milk, for at least their first six months. for adults, the guidelines limits, no more than two drinks a day for men, and only one drink daily for women. on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average lost 68 points to close at 30,335.
the nasdaq fell 49 points, and, the s&p 500 slipped eight. and, famed fashion designe pierre cardin died today. his futuristic, avant garde designs revolutionized the fashion industry starting in the early 1950's. he summed up his view of fashion in an interview last february. >> ( translated ): copying is not creating. it's making something different, a different sensitivity.it hows what i have inside me, my psyche, my will to create the shapes, the fabrics, the colors as i feel them, and how i want to show them to people. >> nawaz: pierre cardin was 98 still to come on tshour: president-elect biden's pick to lead the c.d.c. on the surge of coronavirus cases acro the u.s. the house overrides the president's veto as the fight over covid relf payments mes to the senate. with hospitals overrun with americans are delaying critical medical care. and much more.
>> nawaz: when president-elect joe bin enters the oval office three weeks from now, the u.s. will be in the middle of what he calls some of the "tought days" of the coronavirus llndemic. his health team e tasked with the u.s. response including continuing the vaccine rollout, which he said today is "falling far behind" under the ump administration. one of the members of biden's team is dr. rochelle walensky, who was named the next director control earlier thisonth and she joins me now. >> nawaz: dr. rochelle walensky, thank you so welcome to the "newhour" and congratulations on your appointment. i do want to start with the news today. colorado public offsaicials they have now confirmed the first case of this new variants, a
more contagious covid-19 variant here in the united states. ay it is a young man in his 20s, he is isolatg, and he has no travel history. what does this tell us about the presence of this new covid variant here in the u.s.? >> doctor: goo evening amna. it is a pleasure to be u.re with yo we heard about this case about in septembe,we heard and we saw that this new variant was leading to many, many more cain the u.k. over the last several days and seeks', we have en this varnt variant has been in 14 other countries, including canada, and today we he definitive information that it is here in the united states, but many of us expected it was here during then re time. i think it tells us several things: one, we boneed tter our surveillance. if other countries were findinit before us, it tells me we need to do a
better job of testing and genomic surveillance. but from a blic health standpoint, i want to convey a couple of things. one is tt we do beieve, based on the data from the u.k., that this strain is likely more transmissible, somewhere between 56 and 70% more transmissbile, and itnds tightly to the receptor in the host. that is an important piece of information. has it led to increased perhaps even here?.k. we don't quite know that yet. but the important thing think everybody needs to understand is there is no demonstration that the measures that we are using to protect ourselves from the initial strain, without this mutation, theh masking,social distancing, all of those measures should work thwith strain as well. so all of the measures we have been talking about to put in place to protect yourself should actually help with this strain, ether wess of have the u.k. strain or not.
>> nawaz: have you been briefed on this new strain by the trump administration? do you know what they know?v >> doctor: i hbeen getting agency-reviewed team briefings from the c.d.c., and i d't know whether the review teams have been hearing about this through the trump administration. i imagine our review teams that are briefing me areg hearout it through the c.d.c. that has been fluid. >> nawaz: can i ask you rollout, we heardccine president-elect biden say it is not moving as quickly as it should. and there are growing concerns on how it is being rolled out, which is relying on states, and eiates are out of money, and health departments are understaffed, and theyss t on to frontline workers who are trying to address the pandemic it is similar to the testing rollout, which you know has not really what else should the federal government be doing to make sure that the vaccine rollout domiesn't the testing fiasco? >> doctor: it is a really critical thing, something that the
administrationadmisttion is reay working on this through the transition. 11.4 milion vaccinations have been distributed. so we're not going to hit the 20 million mark at was proposed. i believe this tells us several things. first, perhaps that was an ambitious benchmark, but, also, that this is going to be hard. we have a lot of hard work in front of us. months into the pandem11 in this country, we have not one, but two, vaccine that demonstrate efficacy, thd we have perhaps more coming dow pipeline. that is all really good news. now what we really need to do is do exactly as you said: take some of that money and we need more resources to invest in into the distribution andth gettint vaccine that has been developed into i don't think we can underestimate exactly how hard that is going to be.
we have amazing down payment bythe 8.57 million passed by congress, 4.5 billion to the states, localies, territories, and tribes, to work towards that distribution, but that is just a down payment.wh you see the extraordinary work and the resources that are going to be movgin ahead, the president-elect has articulated is going t leave no stone unturned in terms of the actions he is going to t ke toke sure we get those vaccines into people, and that includes using the production act. >> nawaz: let me ask you about some of the actio you may take as the head of the c.d.c. we know this pandemic has d a disproportionate impact on communities of color. when you look at the numbers, it is so clear. you see black americans, native americans, and latino americans disproportionately affected and dying compared to white americans in that chart.
is there ansense you should move these idmmunities up in the priority gline? could the c.d.c.ge guidelines chso these communities are higher up in priority? >> doctor: the guideline on immunization practices from the c.d.c. has made how these things get prioritized. recommendations that look at both morbidity and morality, as well as preserving the social functions of the united states, and making sure that the count can keep moving on. so in thse guidances, there is an underpinning of equity in all of those spacesok so as we lt how we're going to be rolling out, either by ag by essential workers or by health care workers, equity is realln the underpinning of all of that. work that i need do at the c.d.c., certainly we covid pandemic, and that
is going to be the highest priority that have with leading through science, leing through trust, transparency, communication, both to te scientists of the c.d.c., as well as to the american people, of what we're lening. and then to distribute vaccines, to scale upo testing, all of those things with an essential eye towards equity, as you say. four and a half times of hospitalizations in brown and black communities, and two and a half times the rates of deathsthat cannot continue in the next phase of this pandemic. >> nawaz: in the minute we have left, can you give us any kind of a time ine? some peove said we need to be doing 3.5 million vaccinations a day to get the rdimmunity by june. what is your timeline looking like? >> doctor: as i think the president-elect indicated today, i think things areoing to get worse before we get
better. if we look at the surges th happened though thanksgiving. and then what is going to happen over the christmas holiday and over the new year's holiday. things will be even darker takes office.ident-elect the vaccination timeline is not exactly as we had planned or anticipated or was promised. we are working -- theel president has said he would like to get 100a million vccines into 100 million arms in his first 100 das, that is ambitious by an achievable al. it will only be achievable if we have resources to accompany it. i think the spring looks better than the dark dys of winter. i would hesitate to put a timeline on this because so many factors are at pl here in terms of how much manufacturing we,how quickly we can get it distributed, where the
ttlenecks are in that distribution. and then, of course, the willingns of the erican people to take the vaccine. >> nawaz: we appreciate you taking the time to speak with us tonight. that is rochelle walensky, president-elect biden's picko lead the c.d.c. >> doctor: thank you so much, amna. >> nawaz: as we reported, paforts to increase stimulus ents to $2,000 were blocked in the u.s. senate today. one of the senators macang the for more money is bernie sanders of vermont. and he joins me now from capitol hill. >> nawaz: senator sanders, welcome back to for making the time.anks pet's start with a little recap of what pened today. mitch mcconnell blocked your request to vote on that house bill for direct payments to go up to $2,000. he then put forward a new bill, that combines the $2,000 payments with election security requests also reving some legald
cootections for some tech anies. what does all of this mean for all of the people waiting to see if they're getting that $2,000 check or not? >> it means that mitch mcconnell and senators are muddying the water. this is not complicated issue. the house did the right thing last night. they understand that all across this country there is a level of economic desperation we have not seen in this country since the great depression. we're looking at people who arworried aboutev beinted, people who are going hungry, unable to feed eir kids, people who are in the middle ofe this terrindemic that you just discussed can't afford to go to a doctor, people are accumulateing more and more debt. and the people are crying out theyneed help. we managed to get $600 in direct payment in e bill that trump finally signed. everyo understands that
is not et ough. all t're asking mitch mcconnell to do, the republican leadership down vote on what theup or house did. h you want to vote against it, e and explain why you voted against it. but let us have an up and wn vote, a clean bill in terms of what the house n did laht. that's it. >> nawaz: so you would need additional republican support, if this wa to move forward -- >> yes. >> nawaz: -- and to pass e senate. you've seen some republicans step forward and say they would pass that. marco rubio, kelly loeffler and david perd -- what about others? do you know there is additional republican support -- >> i believe there. i can't guarantee we'll get the 60 votes, but i think virtually alth of democrats will vote for it, and i think we can get the 12 r that we need. already have five republican votes, people who have indicated they
want to support thisio legisl others are talking about it in a positive way. all i -- i can't guarantee, but all i can ask of mcconnell is to let democracy play out. against it, vote against it, but at least bring it to the floor so the people have a sense of what the priorities are of their senators. >> nawaz: at this moment in time, you and president trump are both arguing for the same thing. you both want to seehese $2,000 payments. it strikes me for a man you have describeds a threat, you are both seeing eye to eye on this issue right now. what does that say to you? >> it says that a broken clock is right twice a day. i guess in fur years, every once in a while, trump has it right. here is the poin in tems of trump companyin: he could -- rather than just sending out tweets, if he got on the phone, if healked to mcconnell and said, important, let's t.y
i think we can win the republican votes that we need and pass this legislation. so i say to the president, you're right on this issue. $600 is not enough. do the right thing: get on the phone and let's see if we can work together forer the an people on this issue. >> nawaz: while we have you, i want to ask you about some transition-related issues, veryuse you have been clear in all of your interviews, you are not happy when it comes to president-elect biden's has he consulted wu for names you think should be filling thse roles? >> let me say this, i believe the president-elect has made some really excellent appointments or nominations, very, very competent people, and i think in the day ofco d-19, you'll see a radical change, some very be at the helm.e will now what i have said repeatedly is that the progressive movement in this country is 35%, 40%
of the democratic coalition. millions and millions of speople identify themsel at progressives. they want the congress to stand to powerful special interests. they want the congress to they believe in icareple. for all, etc. and that point of view shouldepesented, in my view, in the biden administratipo. as of thist, that has not happened, but i hope it will. >> nawaz: let me ask you this, because you're saying what i've heard from other progressive democrats in both the house and the senate: what do you think that says? if there is not someone from the progressive movement that ends up in biden's cabinet, how do you thk it will be perceived by progressive voters in the country? >> ithink with disappointment. the progressive community worked very, very hard at the grassroots lev do everything we could to defeat trump, who i consider to bemo thest dangerous president in the somebody was literallyy,
today that is trying toam underminican democracy. we worked very, very hard to defeat him. in all of the primaries, there was a lot of support for me andwa elizabeth en and other progressive candidates. i think they will be disappointed, in the progressive community, if there are not progressive voices in the cabinet. >> nawaz: when you ahead to what is needed to address this pandemic, the cares package, $2.2 billion, and this package, $2 trillion, what do you think we need to t me american needs? >> i cannot give you an exact number. but what i belie is the case is that the president-elect understands the severity of the crisi and i believe that on day one this will be his major priority, both in terms of the pandemic and the economic impacts of the so i think you're to see a very, very dignificant economic layout to adress the
crisis facing working families all across thisy. coun what does it mean? it means in my view direct checks. it means extending unemployment benefits. it meanslireating mons of good-paying jobs by rebuilding our infrastructure. it means providing health care to the millions of people who have lost theirur health ice because they lost their jobs during this pandemic. so there is an enormous amount of unmet neeout there, and i think the biden people understand that, and i expecthey'll be ready to go to work on day one to address those problems. >> nawaz: senator bernie sanders of vermont, thank you for taking the time. always good to speak with you. >> thank you. >> nawaz: we invlited al 52 republican senators to >> nawaz: we should add that we invited all 52 republican senators to apar on the newshour tonight. they all either declined or didn't respond. >> nawaz: for much of the year, millions of americans have beenv
hunkering downding crowds to try to stay safe from covid- s . but that also meny have also been delaying important medical re, sometimes with devastating consequences. john yang reports on this hidden crisis during the pandemic. >> yang: lorraine ensor spent her career as a librarian in springfield, massachusetts, watching generations of readers grow up. >> little kids come in, grew up, got married, had kids of their own. it's been an interesting life. >> yang: a few years ago, at age late last year, she noticed a problem with her right eye. >> i turned on the tv to listen to the weather and there was a black spot. it was like a small brick. and i thought that wastrange. >> yang: her doctor, retina surgeon and ophtlmologist andrew lam, diagnosed her with macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in patients over 65. he explains there are two
versions of the disease: the slower-moving "dry" kind, and the faster-moving "wet" kind --h h is what lorraine has. >> it's very serious when people have the wet macular degeneration. luckily, we have medicines that can halt the progression of wet macular degeneration and often improve vision. but the medicines wear off. so they're often repeated everyi four tor eight weeks, depending on each individual's situation. >> yang: lorraine began going to regular appointments to receive those injections, until covid-19 hit. 85-years-old and diabetic, she falls into two high-risk categories for coronavirus, and what she heard on the news terrified her. >> so i canceled my appointmente and when i cthe girl, you know, she explained that they had prepar the office for everything. but i was still too frightened to go. >> yang: she canceled her next
appoinent as well. in fact, she didn't return to dr. lam until she experienced sudden vision loss. >> unfortunately, when she returned in june, after having missed a couple of routine injections during the pandemic, she had severe central vision loss, which was lated to a very obvious submacur hemorrhage that had occurred. >> yang: dr. lam operated andre was able tore some of her vision. but he's certain he could have prevented it from happening in the first place, not just for lorraine and also for so many other patients who've had en worse outcomes. >> this summer, literally, we were having people come in with catastrophic visiosoloss, times in their only good eye ancause of deferred medical care. it's-- it's a very difficult conversaon to have with these patients. you know, they're sometimes they're crying because they know that they had visionre loss that wasntable. but now we're not sure we can get it back. >> yang: as covid-19 hpt across the country, sometimes
ovswhelming hospitals, ther been a less obvious toll of patients skipping both routine and urgent medical care. earlier this year, the centers for disease control and that found four in 10 americans had delayed or avoided care during covid-19. 12% of them for urgent or emergency care, like heart attacks and strokes. needed medical care in a timely nner is essential. >> yang: trained as a pediatrician, commander kristie clarke is a public health officer and epidemiologist at thc.d.c. she co-authored the study. >> routine care is where we as physicians can detect new conditions, worsening conditions preventiveare such astant vaccinations, well-child check or health maintenance visits for adults with or whout underlying conditions. >> yang: as with many of the effects of covid-19, she says this problem of delayed care is others. some groups harder than >> we found that urgent and to be delayed or avoided inely
people of non-hispanic black race or those of hispanic ethnicity, those with a more underlying mewith two or conditions, and those who are serving as unpaicaregivers for an adult relative. >> yan could there be lessons here about how health care professionals and maybe publ health officials have been communicating the risks and dangers of the pandemic, that perhaps it's created such a fear that peoplare unwilling to go to take care of chronic health conditions and he routine health checks for fear of the virus? >> so you bring up a really and so i'm a physician at the c.d.c. i'm also the doctor in my family, so i would tell your viewers exactly what i tell my family, which is that while it'i veortant to take necessary precautions for avoiding exposure to covid-19, and i'm
glad they're being careful, it's also important to get your timely medical care. >> yang: back in springfield, lorraine's vision in her right eye has improved after surgery, ill isn't what it was before she began skipping her appointments. >> if i look straight ahead, i still see blackness, ban see the motion behind it. >> yang: looking back, she wishes she'd trusted dr. lam's office and their covid beotocols: temperature checks re entering, fewer people allowed in the elevator and in the socially distanced waitingom the mandatory use of masks.id with c9 resurgent, sheeo worriethate like her >> i only hope that the message does get out to other people who are in similar situations that, you know, they can put down the fear a little and keep their appointments, you know, because
it's so importt. >> yang: it's a message dr. lam drives home as well.nt he says if patare still concerned, they should talk to their healthcare providers about how to balance those. >> the fact that this is within our power to prevent is very tustrating. sonk the message has to be that people should not avoid going to their docrs for regular care. you know, the chances of getting covid at your doctor's office or in an emergency room are very remote d far less than the chance of having a bad medical outcome from deferred medical care. >> yang: he and others worry that the true toll of covid-19, all the things doctors like him aren't seeing, may not be known for some time come. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang. uc nawaz: the pandemic has
disrupted ion at every level this year, including the world of hither education. leading to changes in the way colleges and universities operate. we're beginning a special series that will explore e impact on what schools are teaching, their eycosts and finances, how deal with mental health concerns and the impact on students of color. tonight, william brangham begins our "rethinking college" seriesg focun how the pandemic is already changing the landscape of admissions. >> brangham: amna, ahead of the january 1st deadline for siplications, colleges and unives report mixed results. with many of the college admissions testing-sites closed down during the pandemic, as many as 50% of earlyrr applicationsed without any test scores this year. that's resuld in some top- ranked schools seeing a surge in applications. but, elsewherepplication numbers are flat, or even down compared to last year. jeffrey selingo has himself been a student of the college admissions process for many years.
he is author of the new book, "who gets in and why, year inside college admissions," and he's a former editor of the "chronicle of higher education." >> jeffrey selingo, u eat to have ck on the "news hour." help us understand this. if there are not as man a.c.t. and s.a.t. tests going to colleges, why does it mean top-tiered schools are seeing an increase in applications. >> because for most top-tiered schools, it is an tion. so what you probably saw was a number of students o thought the th had pretty good high school grades or may not be od test takers, and said, why not give it a shot. you saw many of the a studenly to these top schools because they didn't have to submit test scores. so in that sense, it seems pretty clear that testing for certain students is a real barriero to trying get into
elite colleges? >> it is a realbarier, i think, because many students look at the average test scores f these top schools. if they feel like they're not anywhere near that average, they're going to take themselves out of the running and they're not even going to apply a all. even though all of these known as holisticwhat is admission, meaning they're looking at other factors beyond test scores. in fact, my yer in e ychology admissions for recording ook, when i sat at emery, davidson, they look at students' high sool curriculum a high school grades before they ever even look at the test scores.s sodents are probably better off applying to these schools to see if they could potentinially get and now we're seeing them do that because they test't have to submit scores. >> so if that is driving a right applications to well-known schools, what is happening with the schools that are not quitewn
so well-k >> well, what we're seeing is a decline in applications, the study states, for thst part because those students don't know if schools are fall. to be in-person next ms like they're willing to take a chance on highly selective colleges, whether they're online or face to face, but many students, and particularly parents, who ha to pay the tuition bill, are not sure if they want to take ot thafull tuition bill, to take out loans, in order to enro in that school whether they're not sure whether they're going to be in person. as we know, a lot of the is not experien only what happens inside the classroom, but also that residential experien outside the classroom. and that's essentially what many of these students are also paying for.go and if they'rng to be taking online classes from their high school bedroom essentially, they don't want to necessarily do that. and so they're kind of holding out, maybe untilth
e spring, to see whether these schools are going to go back in the fall and t then apply t point. >> it seems that is also going to exae cerbe well-known economic divide between the schools that are wealthy withig endowments, and those that are not, which has, again, been exacerbated by the pandemic? >> it totally as been.th we seat applications for the federal free application for student aiare down comred to past years, mainly from students from lower income backgrounds. we know that undergraduate enrollment is way down, down 3% ovelast year, but freshman enrollment in particular down more t 13%. and most of that is coming at two-year colleges, where, again, low nd middle income students are more likely to go because it is close to e, they can live at home and it is less expensive. so we're tarting to see the impact of covid on those students who normally have a tough time going to clege in normal
times. and now a struggling t figure out a way not only how to get to college, how to enroll in college, but also howto pay for it. >> and, again, that certainly has got to be a concern, that if those kids don't t next yearo college, we know the tory, righ they may never make that decision to go down the road? >> we may see a lost class ss 2024, and a lost cla of 2025, in some respects, right? because many of these udents -- some of the students who decided, for example -- who graduated high school in t spring of 2020 may end up going to college in the fall of 2021. they may have take a year off. but some of those students might end up not going. their families might have been impacted by covid, health issues, big financial issueseor most part, maybe parents lost jobs, and students can't figure out a way to afford college. those are the students i most wry about who re
probably on the edge to begin with about going to coege, and now a year later may not have the resources to actually. enro >> you have also reported that transfer applications are up quite a bit, ofki going from one college to another, one university to another. why has that been ngppening? >> we're staro see that anecdotally now. two this are happening with those students. one is students are shopping for institutions th think will be face to face next fall. we're starting to see students express interest in colleges that have been largely face to face this year. they think if they're face to face this year, 're probably going to be face to face next year, and i don't want to go onle this year. that is one thing that is happening. the other thing is schools have been hit pretty hard financially by the pandemic. so you're starting to seest somedents trade up academically, or think upey can trade academically. maybe they were rejected by a school a year ago.
they now may think because schools financially need more students, they think they may have a bett job getting in xt year if t thnsfer. that's why i'm hearing that some schools are doing better with transfer applications so far. >> just one more way innd which this ic has disrupted so many aspects jeffrey selingo, the author of "who gets in and why: a year inside the college admissions process." great to have you on the." "news ho thanks for being here. >> it was great to be here. thank you. >> nawaz: now to venezuela, and the ongoing struggle for power amid a growing humanitarian crisis. next week a new parliament is set to be sworn in, after members of the opposition boycotted elections earlier this month. that leaves opposition leader juan guaido in an even more precarious position, and the country with an uncertain
future.es special condent marcia biggs reports. >> reporte they are lines that seem to go on forever. all across venezuela, hungry children waiting to receive a meal. last winter we visited this community kitchen in a poor barrio of caracas, where volunteers from the foundation alimenta la solidaridad were providing food for mbers of the community to prepare for their neighbors.we et the head of the organization, roberto patino. he told us that in 240 community kitchens throughout venezuela, s his team wving around 25,000 people. early this month, we learned that their office was raided, their nk account frozen, and patino was wanted for arrest on chars of terrorism and corruption and he is now in why do you think that they're going after you? >> i'm not sure what their intentions are.
they are very paranoid and they see in conspiracies all over, they think that everything that is being done on the community ovvel might have the purpose of throwing them. we're trying to make them see that this is a big mistake, that they're not hurting me, they're not hurting the opposition, which it doesn't own this we are open for everyone. >> reporter: patino told me they never ask anyone whom they support, president nicolas maduro, or the opposition. but politicshiermeates ever in venezuela. and can determine whether youma support ro and eat, or go hungry. in early december's parliamentary elections, maduro's ruling party was widely denounced for promising food for votes. it was the latest turn in a years-long political crisis that has he country in chaos,
and with two presiosnts: maduro, election in 2018 was liclared illegitimate by the opposition-led pent. and juan guiado, the former speaker of parliament who in y 2018 was constitutionallrst in line to the presidency. for the almost two years since and despite being recognized as the true presint by the u.s. ,and more than 50 countri guaido has not been able to win the support ofhe military and therefore hasn't taken control of the country. we were there almost one year ago when national guard troops barred him from entering parliament. maduro's party essentially ran unopposed in this month's election; only 1/3 of registered voters actually showed up. >> we did not boycott th election. this was not an election. this was a fraud. we want elections. >> reporter: leopoldo lopez was ce the face of the opposition until his imprisonment in 2014.
in 2017, he was released on house arrest, under the condition of silence. his protége and fellow activist juan guaido took up thntle. and together they made a failed attempt to oust maduro from power 18 months ago. in october, lopez made headlines when he escaped the country and fled to spain, where he was ablu tote with his family. >> so i was increasingly more isolated and i needed to contribute from the outside. and repression in venezuela has increased a gral. for example, president guaido does not sleep in the same place evy night. he needs to move every night in order to be safe. >> reporter: in response to what he calls a fraud, lopez recently joined members of the opposition from exile in staging its own referendum, with six million venezuelans both in untry and abroad demanding new elections. for its part the governmenhas responded to this by saying
those voters look like zombies and the results have no bearing oneality. how do you go forward with these the strategy has not seemed to work so far. >> we haveeen many times in a in a moment that with huge enthusiasm, with tens of thousands of people in the streets pushing protests andg pushd rallying support, and then we fall into a peri of demobilization and loss of hope. and then we need to regain and we need to continue to forward into a new upside cycle. >> reporter: but meanwhile, the venezuelan people suffer. u.s. sanctions hammered a country already facing economic collapse and humanitarian crisis. the covid pandemic dealt a further blow to a crumbling healthcare system and a country
already starving. patino says as his organization ha shut down, the neighbor come together, each contributing a little something to the kitche. but with supplies dwindling, the kitchens may be forced to close. a oospect too much for some bear. this single mother broke down in tears." this kitchen is helping me and my daughter so much." she says "there are so many children that are hungry". patino worries that the current opposition strategy focuses too alch on international efforts to change the politystem, and not enough on the people suffering at home. >> if you put yourself in the shoes of the average venezuelan, you have to consider how the struggle for democracy relates to this person. how this person can see that he has a there's a connection between her or his immediate
needs and the aspiration of a bmocratic outcome. i think that's t question that all of us who want democracy in venezuela need to >> reporter: leopoldo lopez agrees that the venezuelan people are at the center of this fight, but says they must continue fighting to seeeal >> the only way in there will be a change in the humanitarian situati the venezuelan people is if thche is politicage. we have been top we have been in the boom. and at the end, you know, we will win the final battle. >> reporter: but for those still on the ground in vezuela, it seems the wait for that day never ends. for the pbs newshour, i'm marcia >> nawaz: just yes, roberto patino received word that his arrest warrant has been revoked, but hisccounts remain frozen.
>> nawaz: in a year of isolation and pain, book sales are up, as adults and children have turned to reading for distraction, understanding and sheer pleasure. in our continuing look this week at the "best of 2020", jeffrey brown turns to two booksellers who curate their selections with this "year like no other" in mind. all part of our ongoing art and culture series, canvas. >> brown: and for our look at the year in books, wokturn to two ore owners, janet webster jones of sources booksell detroit. we featured her recently in a look at the plight of independent booksellers. and ann patchett is co-owner of parnassus books in nashville and of course, one of our leadg writers. her recent novel is the dutch house. it's nice to see both of you. it's really nice to see both of you in your t-shirts.
janet, let me just start with you before we get to our list. give us a little update. how is the holiday season going? >> well, the holiday season is an absolute joy. we have been so busy, especially since the last time w talked, thatcan hardly answer the phone. we've had a very busy, busy season. we have been frantically doing our fulfillment ordersell as greeting people by twos and threes as they come to the store. >>rown: and ann patchett, what's it been like for you in this strange year? >> it's a very similar story here. we've been overwhelmed by howcr ibly kind and supportive our customers have been, not just in nashville, but really all across the country. people have stepped up to help us out, ordering books online, ordering curbside. we've been running books out to people's car and now we'rew letting a ople into the store at a time. we take everybody's temperature. everybody wears maskd sanitizer.
and pele have been really kind and compliant and supportive.ee it'sa very heartwarming christmas time.ri >> brown: alt, so let's look at some of the most important, our favorite books of the year. and you're both niceackaged our first round in a in a package of thron. janet, why you start all of your books you told me have the word rise in it. tell us about them. >> the three books that we have that have the word rise are first a biography. it's called he dead are rising" by les pain, who was a very well known journalist, and his daught, tamara payne. the book was worked on over a 30 year period, and it's about the life and times of malcolm x. so this new biography on him for that was worked on for 30 years, i think is very important. the dead are rising. the next one is a political commentary by reverend al sharpton called "rise up" and this book is a book of
choice making. he says that readers are led to understand that we are at a crossroads in our politicalpm devet, sort of like our social development, our emotional development, while we're in that as a country, in a political development where we must choose to live out the meaning of the title r. ite third one is a cookbk, and a historical and contemporary history. am's called "the rise" by chef marcuslsson, who i know has been on your show, jeffrey. i loved hearing him. the book is beautiful and highly recommend for people.e so those are my three books of rise that have rise in t title, which seems to be the message that we have to rise up aand change the way we li think. >> brown: all right, so and janet went with nonfiction, i think your fst three are all novels, so what have you what do you have? >> yeah, i'm always for fiction. "deacon king kong" by jim mcbride.
jim mcbride is very much in the news recently because he's had a television show about his last novel, "the good lord bird," which won the national book award, was terrific. this is a book that is set in brooklyn in 1969, a character named sportcoat, who is a bad alcoholic, shoots a drug dealer in the projects where he lives and has no mory of it. sportcoat has both the worst luck and the best luck of any character i've ever seen in literature. and this story follows what happens when everyone's trying to catch up with him. next book, one of my very, very favorite books of the year, "transcendent kingdom" by jesse. and it is the story of the wonderfully named character gifty, who is a sixtctyear al student at stanford in neuroscience.st and she'ying the science
of addictionannd depression. it is about the intersection of evangelical faith and sciencr and how she'ng to solve the problems of her own life. and my very, very favorite book of the year by my very favorite writer, louise erdrich's, "the night wahman," set in 1959. this is the story that's loosela d on louise's own grandfather and how he tries to save the ojibway nation by making sure that a termination treaties doesn't go through the u.s. government. this is such a hopeful book and really all three of these novels are about one person making a difference in the world and changing the outcome of a fate for a lot of people. >> brown: there was a book that i know you both loved, janet, you can start on this. it's called "black bottom saints," a historical novel by alice randall. janet tell us about it. >> yes, black bottom saints is
novel. and i wanted to say, too, that i think it's a very important subject because it's ael historical nased on real life characters and people who lived and worked and walked through a section of detroit which was called black bottom. black bottom was a verypo ant neighborhood in detroit prior to the expressways, and it has been raised by e expressways coming to detroit, the interstate expressway, so that neighborhood no longer exists. >> brown: and ann patchett, you had a few books for young people or for or for the child in all of us. >> yes, yes. we always need something for our kids. all right, "silver arrow" by lev grossman. fourth gde and up girl named kate asks her rich uncle who she's never mefor a birthday present. he sends her a train. she and her little b tom, go off on the train, have such adventures. and it, again, is all about problem solving and creativity.
really a wonderful book. everything kate dicamillo writes, i love this is the fifth novel in the ducobu drive series, stella endicott and the anything is possible poem. grades one through three. you have to write a poem for school. stella writes about her neighbor's pig, mercy watson. >> brown: and janet, i think we have time for one more. you got one more pick for us? >> well, i guess i had five, actually, but i'll pick one. one that has gotten a lot of attention is called "braiding sweetgrass" by robin wall kimmerer.k, this braiding sweetgrass, has, i believe, changed the lives of a lot of people because we've had people come in the store to say, i read this book, i've given it away aant to buy more and give them away. >> brown: janet webster jones, of source booksellers in detroit, ann patchett parnassus books in nashville, thank you both very much. >> thank you., >> thank yff right now, we think ahead to the
new year as we reflect on what was a very atypical year. what resolutions are you setting fo2021, if any? we spoke to experts on how to set your intentions, as ll as viewers like you on what the plans are for the ye o ahead. thatour website, pbs.org/newshour. and that the newshour for tonight. i'm amna nawaz. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has beeprovided by: >> carnegie corporation of new
york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancemenal of internatieace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs statio thank you.rs like you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org pbeat music]
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