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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  January 1, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: an uncertain future. the u.s. begins 2021 with ever-rising numbers of covid infections and deaths, as hospitals struggle to cope with the influx of paties. then, major shortcomings. a new report details the many failures in the u.s. department of veterans affairs hetthcare system in responso the pandemic. >> what distinguishes the v.a. is that it h this really antiquated approach to getting supplies-- ths old system that really wasn't built to respond to really any disruption in the supply chain. >> woodruff: and, it's frid a. david broo ruth marcus break down the long-awaited covid relief bill, and what
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2021 could bring for americancs poli all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding f the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
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more at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. station from viewers like thank you. >> woodruff: on this first day of 2021, the united states is marking a sor milestone: we have officially passed
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20 million confirmed cases of covid-19. that amounts to nearly a quarter of all cases worldwide. and, the number of u.s. deaths from covid is nearing 350,000. there is also word that a new, more contagiouvariant of the virus, first seen in britain, has appeared in 33 countries. in the u.s., califni colorado, and florida have reported cases. the pandemic's grip forced muted new year's celebrations today. the annual rose parade in pasadena, california was one of many events canceled nationwide. overseas, the vatican's st. peter's square lay empty asr pope franclected on 2020. >> ( translated ): the painful events that marked humanity's hturney last year, especially the ndemic, tas how much it is necessary to take an interest in others' problems and to share their concerns.
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>> woodruff: we will return to the pandemic's front lines in this country, after the news summary. for the first time, the united states congress has over-ridden a veto by president trump. senators rejected his veto of the annual defense policy bill in a rare new year's day the house of repreives had already voted to override. the president wanted the bill to strip protections for tech companies, amongther things.le senators wraagain today over increasing pandemic reef checks to $2,000. texas republican john thune argued that too many better-off americans would qualify under the distrionbuormula. he accused supporters of bigger checks of "misrepresenting the facts" ahe debated vermont independent bernie sanders on the senate floor. >> a family of five making $250,000 would recei a $5,000 benefit. now, just to put that in perspective, mr. president,
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that's more than was paid to a middle-class family of five under the cares thatssed back in march. >> when did you suddenly become a religious adherent, concerned with socialism, wi the rich, when you gave 83% of the benefits to the rich and large xcorporations in the bill you support?is >> woodruff: dns within republican ranks were also on display.mi ouri senator josh hawley others, support $2hecks.d many >> the president of the united the house adopted it, and a majority of senators have said already, publicly, that they support d it. t we can't even seem to get a vote on it. with all due respect, doesn't seem to me liket's a republican vs. democrats issue. seems to me to be the senate versus the united states of america.
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>> woodruff: in the end, a vote.can leaders again blocked the current congss adjourns for good, on sunday. vice president mike pence has now asked a federal judge toct re lawsuit aiming to overturn the electoral college results. mr. pencwill preside next week when congress counts the votes. texas congressman louis gohmert that says the vice president alone should control which votes to count. figures from a number of american cities todayhod a spike in killings in the year just ended. chicago along had 769 homicides, almost 300 more than in 2019. detroit, new york,ashington, d.c. and other cities alsoed repoore killings. police a experts cite the effects of covid-19 and a wave of anti-police sentiment as factors. in iraq, explosive experts spent this new year's day trying to
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defuse a mine planted on the ofll of an oil tanker. the ship was justhe iraqi oil port of basra when the mine was discovered on ursday. blame, but the incident comes amid heightened tgisions in the with iran. this weekend marks the first anniversary of the u.s. drone strike that killed iran's general qassem soleimani, commander of the powerful revolutionary guard.ra today,an leaders warned the u.s. against any new military preonure. at a cerin tehran, soleimani's successor also issued a veiled that of new acts of revenge for the killing-- even inside the u.s. >> ( translated ): by this crime, you have given motivation to freedom-seekers all around the world. rest assured that even within your own home, there might be persons who want to respond to the crime that you have committed. >> woodruff: after soleimani's killing, iran did fire a missile
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at a military base in iraq. sabout 100 u.s. troofered brain concussion injuries. and, the new year marked aer nefor britain and the european union, with their economies now formally detached. trucks and ferries moved between england and france today turough the channel el without major holdups. new customs rules took effect after a transition pe ended overnight. still to come on the newshour: a physician in georgia describes what the state's surge in covid cases means for her hospital, tients, and health care workers. a new report dscribes the failures of the v.a. health system during ndthe ic. david brooks and ruth marcus break down the latest political news. plus, much more.
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>> woodruff: as we've reported, the new year begins, unfortunately, with more bad news about the coronavirus. there are risi cases across the country, and one of the worst hit right now is the southeast. that includes the state of georgia, where, while a lot of people are focused on politics campaigns, many hospitals are at or near capacity. the state set its own restcord oday, with more than 8,500 and, georgia has been averaging more than 35 deate hs a day for st two weeks. that is about 30% higher than a month ago. at the same time, georgia is lagging behind manotherwhen it comes to the number of people getting vaccinations. dr. shanti akers is a pulmonologist who is regularly treating patients with covid. she is with the phoebe putney health system in albany, located
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in southwest georgia. >> again, tell us what is the situation right now, at yourit ho? >> so right now unfortunately, since thanksgiving, the cases have just exponentially risen. prethanks we were about in the 20s in terms of hospitalize ed cases but that number has climbed up in the 90s. and we are definitely seeing an uptick in theommunity cases as well. >> woodruff: i looked up population, albany, about 75,000, about twice that in the metropolitan area. how are people treating this virus? are they taking it serial? are they wearing masks? what do you see? >> well i think unyfortunat what's happened in a lot of parts of the country through ehere, people ar fatigued. i think there are some places that are being more impwiressive th masking social distancing than others. but unfortunately there are a number of restaurants and
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community places where masking is not beingtrictly adhered to as it had bereenviously, and unfortunately we are seeing that shown in the number of cases we are seeing in the community. >> woodruff: with regard to phoebe putney, the hospital where you work, are you able to handle the cases yve now? what is the outlook? do you think for the days ahead? >> well i think our concern is that this is only going to continue to get worse. at present i think we are able we have.e with the caseload tha but again, that's not managing necessarily to the extent that we would like to. like i mentioned earlier our cases were lower previous to thanksgiving in the 20s and we were amply able to handle that. but at this time we have a satellite facility that we have cohorted the covid patience in and we are rapidly embxcding the of beds available. but more precious than the beds are ttaheing. when we run out of staffings is when things go of concern. what we have had to start doing
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is going forward limiting the amount of elective procedures that are completed that reui hospital stay after the fact. because unfortunately, those things ke up precious resources, nursing beds andeq pment. >> woodruff: dr. a dr. arkansasm nonstop early this year, there is a sense of just being overwhelmed of being exhausted with this. how are he wth cakers talking to each other about what you have to deal wi?th every d >> i think there are those of us uswho aret incredibly if a -- fatigued. it'sard to wake up day day out and see the thing play out. i think at thi at this point the transmission is well unto, we understand masking and social distancing so it's frustrating from justob a sense of seeing people not doing the
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things they can be to limit the spread and see that play out in the cases and it's really hard because these ces require so much care, and attention, the patient stays in the hospital a really long time. but there is a limitedime with their loved ones to visit. the situation is nothow hard the day becomes or how hard it is to take care of the patients, we experioce that stress on many levels and similarly when we go home our ability to jut blow off steam and visit our friends and relativ sex limited. so from eferl -- self limited. each day more so than the day before. >> woodruff: it is hard to imagine. i also want to ask you about vaccinations because they are starting to be available. do you feel you're getting -- what you should have at this point, and are people accepting the idea that they should have vaccinations? >> well i think we were very
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fortunate to havement doses ids available to us a few weeks ago. i myself did gevaccinated along with several of my colleagues. my concern howeverthere is a good portion of our staff that has chosen not to vaksz necessitate for many dionerent re i think unfortunately, that again puts a fear of increased risk and exposures to the staff that are potentially transmitting the advisor to their colleagues. i would like to see more of the vaccine ton sure. i've hea colleagues say things such as they feel the process was potentially t rushey feel that there wasn't enough trials.enrolled in the and a lot of different just concerns that are all based on fear and a little bit of lack of understanding in terms of how gressively studied all the results from the virus trials have been. and i think, i hope to try to
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reassure some of my own colleagues. they see some of our own physicians, including those in critical care and pull mondayology are getting vaccinated. i hoped to see that several of our colleagues are getting vaccinated. >> woodruff: not only the surgeca os but preading colleagues and others who wk in health care how important these vaccinations are not to mention the general public. dr. shanti akers, thank you for joining us and we wish you the best in this new year geing underway. >> thank you very much. parts of our health care system that typically gets a lot less attention is the veterans affairs, or the v.a., system.
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that has also been true during the pandemic. as we start a new year, we wanted to look at the challenges and problems the v.a. has faced over the past year as william br has our conversation. >> brangham: the department of veterans affairs operates the tion's biggest hospital system,of serving millions former service members around the country. but according to a series of investigative reports in propublica, that system not only has suffered badly during the pandemic, but it's also failing to provide adequate protection for its own medical staff, particularly the crucial n95 face masks. it's a response, accordinto propublica, that's been plagued by, "incompetence and greed, poor planng and judgment failures." david mcswane wrote those stories, and he joinow. david, gre to have you on the newshour. you start your most recent story with the vignette about a nurse at a hospital, a v.a. center in south dakota.
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kristen klein is her name. can you tell us about her and why she's so embmatic? >> sure, s's a senior nurse at a small hospital in sioux falls, south dakota. and we got to talking somewhere in early may when her area and eeher facility had largely untouched by covid, while others major ciere overrun. were being asked to rationthey masks. there are no masks. thers an extreme shortage. they're really worried. and we just sort of kept in touch. and slowly but surely, she was sort of in slow motieon as covid sort of swept over the country. and suddenly her small hospital and the small cmunity was really at the epicenter. and for me, her journey and just sort of what she was watching as a healthcare provider was an interesting lens to help us
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understand just the stress health care workuners arr and what it means to just worry each dae you come in. u going to have the mask you need so you don't get sick, or don't get your family sicngk? >> bm: i mean, this far into the pandemic, nurses at governmees-run facili i mean, that's what the v.a. is-- are still struggthling to t protective gear they need, right? >> yeah, and this facility, thei nurspoke with do have access to n95, but they're being asked to use what was once a disposable, yo, mask, that you toss after each patient-- they're being asked to keephem in paper bags and reuse them for as many as five shifts, which really just signifies and ows that there's a supply issue within the v.a. >> brangham: you quote the v.a. in your story, talking specificallybout the situation in the south dakota facility, i and they say tues you're reporting are not a problem anymore, there's no rationing going on. everyone's got enough gear. is that-- how true is that?
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>> well, it's just not true, from what i'm hearing. i mean, the definition of asking a nurse to hold onto a disposabletem for five shifts is ration-- rationing. you're asking them to ration. and the v.a. has really sort of had this line from the outset of the pandemic, when-- when health care workers were saying, youkn , we don't have enough, we're being stretched thin, we're reusing items.ri the v.a. has to say everything's-- everything's fine, we have the supplies. but at the same time, you see this massive buying spree where they're hiring anyone who says c th get masks, they're obviously very desperate for the masks, just like everybody else. and it's just not wh hearing from-- from nurses on the front line. >> brangham: so how typical isis i mean, we knothat hospital systems, and state governments, for thatatter, were faced with the similar surprise when theru emerged. we suddenly were scrambling to develop tests and to find enougt tive gear for everyone.
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how different is the v.a.'s experience compared to dferent states, compared to different hospital systems around the country >> what distinguishes the v.a., aside from being the largest this rlly antiqu approachit had to getting supplies. it had been dinged by the government accountability office foyears for this old systemy that reasn't built to respond to really any disruption in the supply chain, and thaten just hadn't ixed. and so what you have is, you had this sort of perfect storm of a reallyad, antiquated system, where individuals are updating spreadsheets manually, and all of a sudden, a global shortage. anyou need masks. you need them now. yyou don't even know whatou have or how to. who nes more supplies to be shipped in. and that was a real mess. to compensate for that, the v.a. just went on a crazy buying spree, just awarding contracts to really anyone who said theyco d deliver.
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i mean, we found companies that hadn't existed just efore. you found compani that hadn't existed days before, and then they were getting million dollar contracts, right? >> yeah, or companies that companies that were created, obviously, to profit as a result of covid, but there were also just companies that hadn't been tested. they had no experience getting supplies, and understanding aal supply chain that really involves relati china is complicated stuff. >> brangham: as you reported, this all came at a time when the trump administration was gog through this very substantive reorganization of the v.a.'sle dership. how much of it does this sort of chaotic, haphazard buying spree-- as you describe it-- how much of it had to do with that leadership turnover? >> you know, it's really hard to say. you know, i couldn't put a specific number on it. i mean, what we know is, you
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have an agency that just hadte really bad s and, prior to the pandemic, right, prior to the pandemic, oothey just weren't veryat their inventory getting supplies. and then you have-- you take people out of that systemgo so now you'vsort of a broken ship, and now you've got fewer sailorso steer the ship. so we just know it wasn't good. >> brangham: all right, david mcswane of propublica, great reporting. thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> woodruff: now, to help us tieak down the week in po, we turn to the analysis of brooks and marcus. that's "new yorkimes" columnist david brooks, and "washington post" columnist ruth marcus >> not a lot of joy this new years day but we're really, eeally glad to both of you. thank you for being here.
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let's start david for l back i'm sorry at 2020 and lessons learned. i think we all agree it's been a terrible year thanks to the pandemic but what are you taking away from it? >> brooks: yes i wish i could come up with something good buts you know, was a year we sort of lostfaith in ourselves. we werfailed by our institutions including the cridz and the fda big time. we were failed each other, americans say individualistic, but in a social body ina crisis they can come together and solve we more or less failed to do that. we never shut down the way other countries did and welyerta are not doing that now. we sort of let each other down. i never can permanently believe that i america is a nation in decline slidings, but it was certainly aear when decline was certainly very much in yethe . >> woodruff: ruth what are you thinking as we close the door on
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2020? >> marcus: i'm thinking y i'm usuae pessimist and david is usually the optimist. we are switching roles evidently. but 2020 more hopeful vision of the pandemic lessons which is good government, responsible leadership, capable management could have wked.ou we have with with a better president who haassembled a better administration and had taken this more seriously in the art and had not failed, at almost every step along the way, the ongreat ot is the vaccine development but now we're botching the rollout of it. we could have done better. we could have had that 20 million figure just appalling and we could have had a lot of damagend tragedy and economic distress but not on the scale that we are having with a better governnt and we have a president coming in who is going to inherit this mess which is a lot harder to clean up than it is -- was to -- is to ameliorate
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from the beginning. but government can perform better than our government performed fous. the part that for me is unsettling is, the lessons on democracy. democracy at the end of 2020 looked to me a lot more fragile than i understood it to be at the start of the year. especially the aftermath of the election where we saw what everybody had assumed was really unassailable democratic norm that you would accept if a president as irresponsible and self involved and uate rottic as donald trump would accept in the end however grudgingly, and ungraciously, the results of a dem.ratic electi and instead we see the spectacle that is continuing and is going to continue through next week on january 6th, when conasgress mbles. i am very nervous about the consequences of that. not r joe biden who will be buorn in as president on january
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20th. for how it just shakes our norms going forward and makes the unimaginable more imaginable. >> woodruff: and david, what about going forward? i mean how much difference do you believe joe bidencan ke as president in what we face as a country? >> brooks: i think significant. i mean as ruth says, having an acal professional staff ll make a big difference in ways we we just have ad messing up atte. every single level and i remain a biden optimist, optimist in terms of how mh he can actually get done. i do think there are a lot of people in congress who i talked to who really want to pasles slation. there are a lot of moderates who realize this is their moment. this is the moment they can stop the party leaders who want to get superpartisan, this is the aoment they susan collins has a power to stop lot of stuff if she wants to. a lot of people, especially isen thate want to have votes,
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thinks about traditional can confirmations. there are a loof legislations, certain issues where you can get pretty bipartisan support. so i remain much more hopeful about the legislative process xt year than maybe most. >> marcus: jn dy i comment? >> woodruff: what about you? sure. marcus: now we're going back to our usual corners ptcause i'm a sort of glass is three quarters and not one quarter full person when it comes to the capacity of president biden to get things through athis ste. serge if mitch mcconnell and republicans retain control of the senate. the susan is collinsesnd others of the world notwithstanding, this is a body and a political system me broadly that rewards obstructionism. and through the primary process is only goingto rewa
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obstructionism, that was true before donald trump came on the scene and it remains true after he lewhaves. ane there is a capacity to come together, through the desire to spend money, that is what congress is really good at doing. it's not really good at getting a lot of other things done. so i see way fewer possibilities therebi i think posties for success in a biden presidency rests within what's with his control, in the executive branch undoing some of the terrible damage trump has done, uldoing some regulations, passing other rions to the extent he has the authority to do that. but i really hope that david's right and i'm wrong on this one because there is a lot of legislative need. >> woodruff: and david what about right no i mean this dispute over the $2,000 check to people. the president is pushing for it. mitch mcconnell says no. what about those arguments and what about the political fallout
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from it iffully? >> brooks: well, first i note the bipartisan sort of agr on this between josh hawley on the right and bernie sanders on the left. i do't support it. i think mitch mcconnell and john thune we saw earliein the program, are exactly right, those who make under $60,000 those $2,000 checks. i don't see how we should give them to people earning more than 60,000. some danger of overheating e economy if we do that and so i think mcconnell's mostly right on the merits but it is odd hew t pop last presidency that trump could have had if he had passed that up and went for ae populast in talk advocacy or
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populast in action. woodruff: stopping dad in its tracks, any consequences from this, are we going to forget about it and on to the next thing in a few weeks? >> we'll talk about gegia in a bit, there could be consequences there. i think that mitch mcconnell has a point about and others abouthe si of the checks along with david and larry suers. he is not in -- he has zero standing to raise this point. because iunless issed something i don't see him taking the brooksian approach of limiting it to some people who earn certain amount or other things that would be more targeted to extending unemployment benefits. he just wants to stop it in its tracks. that's what he's good at. are there consequences for that? i see the president was railin against senator thune earlier and urging challenges to him. so there may be consequees i
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guess from donald trump as he continues to thunder. >> woodruff: a speaking -- one of you mentioned josh hawley, i think it was you david, he is not only siding with the president on this, he's speaking up that he's going to be the senator so far the only one who has said he is going to object to the electors, beiunng d for joe biden. next week. what do you make of what josh hawley is up , where does th leave him, and the republican party? >> brooks: i think it leaves the republican party divorced from reality intact even a post-trump era. joshhawley went to yale law school, arguablyhe finest law school in the country, sorry, for justice roberts, he is intellectual slouch and yet he is pretending something is true that he has to know is not true
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because its plays to h and so it means going forward, the republicans are going to do a lot of performative display of trumpian unreality. so it is very bad news for the couny because truth is one of the things we've lost this year but it's bad news for rtrepublin s going fward and i'd love to hear what's in the head of rational people like john thune, what's going on in his head as he sees hawley do this. n sssntsass, more than 100 house members siding with the hawley side. it is bad news for the future. >> woodruff: ruth. >> marcus: it is bad news for the future in the way i was talking about earlier in the terms ofrasing norms of behavior and allowing just dangerous arguments go forward. but i see a strange upside in
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the hawley side which is this. too often due ring thfour long years of the trump presidency, carepublawmakers especially in the senate have been able to avoid taking a stand on some of the outrageous things that he is doing. and if hawley makes his colleagues to take this to a vote at least we'll finally know, who are the republican senators who are just so dedicated to the cult of trump that they will go along with the hawleys of the senate and who are the ones who are inspe the can constitution? and so the other way to look at it, it is any vte that mitch mcconnell fervently wants to avoid is a vote that wain som i'm happy to have. so i guess we're going to have it. >> woodruff: well, just in the little bit of time we have left, that'she big thing we're watching this week, along with those georgia senate runoffs david. we had a georgia reporter yesterday saying the d looked to be in strong shape. what are you sources? what's your reporting telling you?
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>> brooks: well, the polls have ticked bop foth democrats. the early voting in kind was more in support of the democratic side. i'm just thinking that we've undercounted trump and republican supporters pretty ten in the last severa years. i wouldn't get too confident if i was a democrat. >> woodruff: routes, about 20 seconds. >> marcus: i wouldn'tget too confident but it seems like dwrumple and hiss- supportg donald trump and his supporters are trying to do everything they can to make things harder for kelly and david. in their argument that the geora election was rigged so you can't trust this system and their argument that you need to reelect these republican senators so they ask go back t o washingtd continue to block your $2 thunder shower checks. that doesn't seem like a winning argument to me. >> woodruff: well, there's a lot -- it's a lot that we're looking for thst week in january. that, and as we said the electors vote that is coming up on wednesday. we thank you both on this w
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year's day for oining us. david brooks, ruth marcus. >> marcus: happy new year. t >> woodruff: ao you. woodruff: as with many things this past year, the typical live music scene was silenced. but there were creative attempts to provide entertainand a salve for the soul, breaking out alov. recording artists put out new musithat offered a wide rang of options. in his final look at the "best of 2020" series, jeffrey brown checks in on what new works dropped that you can enjoy. ie's all part of our ongoing arts and cultures, "canvas." >> brown: postponed festivals, canceled concerts, shuedtt clubs, economic pain for musicians everywhaye. in so many 2020 was the year the live music died-- or almost died.
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but artists across all genres ha used creative techniques to reach audiences. symphony orchestra, delivered performances from home, allowing audiences to tune in remotely. country music legend garth brooks managed to crash facebook live during his virtual concert in late march. the star-studded, two-hour global concert, "e world together at home," organized by the world health organization and lady gaga in april, brought in 21 million virtual viewers and more than $200 million for relief efforts. it's a time where unconventional events have taken center stage. >> the lack of an abityo put things on, on the scale that we used to, has changed everything. >> brown: craig jenkins is a music critic for "new york"ma
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zine. tell us about some of the interesting things you saw? o >> omy favorites was the erykah badu concert series. she had a quarantine con wcert serire you could pay like a dollar or two or three, and, you heow, vote on songs that would perform. i enjoyed "two minutes to late night," this sort of like heavy metal punk rock talk show that does these perforances where they get artists together from dferent bands and they cover classics. i really enjoyed the "verzuz" with patti labelle and gladys ight. >> brown: "verzuz," a live- streamed webcast featuring big names facing off against one another in song-- all in good fun-- was one pandemic- based phenomenon, attracting millions of home-bound but "seclusionme its own story in 2020. ann pors is a npr music critic and correspondent. >> live-streaming has become a normal part of music lovers' life now, whether you are an opera fan and you're watching
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huge, beautiful productions from the metropolitan opera whichre wereecorded, or you like your local singer-songwriter who is getting on a platform like stageit every fry aght or facebook and playing a few songs, chatting with >>: and so-called" quarantine albums" captured the moment, a peculiar comfort in times like these. pop icon taylor swift surprised records made in isolation. and there were many more. a >> fiole, her album, "fetch the bolt cutters," what a powerful statement. she made it in her house with a small group of musicians banging and clanging on the walls. and i think it captures that feeling of being creative, even in a situation where you're confined. we all related to that. >> brown: artists alsoesponded to calls for racial and social justice.
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beyonce's "black parade" wasng nominated for nd record of the e year. onmonth later, she surprised fans with her disney-plus visual album "black is king," hailed as a celebration of black empowerment. other standouts include h.e.r."" i can't breathe," lil baby's" the bigger picture," released weeks after the killing of george floyd, and leon bridges and terrace martin's "sweeter." one thing that hasn't changed? the emergence rtof nists. >> the breakout star this year was bad bunny. what a personality. a true shape-shift, he recently just had thfirst oanish language numbne on nyllboard in recent history. and i love bad b he's like the david bowie of latin pop. >> brown: and if you hadn't heard the name megan thee stallion, well, now you have. sh nominations this year for best new artist, record, rap song and
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rap performance. >> her song,"savage," incredible. the "beyonce remix," awesome. the song "wap" with cardi b-- ♪ ♪ >> ...definily one of the hits of the year that makes me wish that there were any of clubs open. >> brown: but even in a year without live performance, says ann po bop was a lot to you said this in one of your npr pieces, "the year of dancing one." >> there was a lot of great dance music, from dua lipa to jessie ware releasing a beautiful album called "what'sto your pleasure,he art disco queen roisin murphy with her album "roisin machine." there's lots for you to have a dance party in your house. >> brown: for inernational artists, grabbing the attention of u.s. fans came with its own hurdles. >> i really enjoyed the bts, singleynamite." >> brown: with their world tour
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postponed, south korean pop sensation bts released its first all-english single in august, which s followed by a grammy >> i'm really excited to hear, you know, what they do in the future. it's-- the field's wide open tight now, it feels like. >> brown: in a h year, the absence of live music brought special attention to records chlenging the new normal. >> the english collective sault had the best record of the year. they actually released two records and this, again, and we were talking about protest sic. it's this amalgam of funk and hip hop and jazz, and really captures the moment of change that we're living in the young rocker, phoebe bridgers, she has just come into her own with her album "punisher."an that was another highlight of the year. >> brown: how about the best what are your picks? m >> i enjoyed tac miller album, the posthumous record, "circles." it's bittersweet when you see
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someone sort of take a left turn and start to really understand their artistry in a better way, and then you don't get any more. adrianne linker, who is from the band big thief, she's a great indie rock singer-songwriter who trying to clear her mind. and instead, she just started making this beautiful music and it ended up being one ofhe greatest albums of the year. >> brown: but for many musicians, 2020 has been dire. according to a survey from music workers alliance, roughly three- quarters of musi aans dj's have lost more than 75% of their income during the pandemic. some help is on the way, including $15 billion in dedicated funding to performance venues in the new covid-19 >> i do think that people want toe around other people, other bodies absorbing music. maybe there's a gater awareness of musicis as
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creating something that we need to support and not just appreciate. >> brown: suppt will be vaccines starting to be diributed, there is hope tat by the summer, we can hear the music again, live and inpersone with concerts stivals back on. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: we begin a new year, as we did every friday during the last one, paying tribe to five extraordinary americans who have lost their lives to covid-19. adalberto cavazos and his wife fell in love through letters exchanged while he was stationed in germany with the u.s. army. they spent more than a lf century together, settling in
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fresno, california. while serving abroad, he lost his hearing, but still worked as a foreman. until he was humble and hardworking, family when he became a first-time homeowner at 82, his first purchase for the house wleas a dining to he could host his family-- four children, ten andchildren and six grea grandchildren. he was 86 years old. when m. laura escalanti walked the halls of pojoaque valley middle school in new mexico, hugs and high-fives were never far behind. for many of laura's students, her language classes, where she taught english, spanish and their native language, pewa, were the only link to their history, art and culture. laura's ancestors, including her grandmother, were potters, and she internalized their artistic mission in her teaching: >> to r, it meant more to take
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care of not only herxtended family, but the community itself. woodruff: her children said their mom, who was 69, was a urce of a strength, a cheerleader and a moral compass. 36-year-old vania underwoodas a tremendous hero not just for her work as a covid-19 unit nurse, but also as a mom of six, her husbd id. srn and raised in toledo, ohio, vania could alwat a person in need, and had a caring instinct that made nursing a clear care choice. she first worked as a nursingsi ant, but after starting a family, went bacto sto become an r.n. so she could better help her patients. dedication to service, jesse and cheryl taken alive left an imprint on the hearts of their standing rock reservation community. jesse, who went by jay, spent 24 years on the anding rock
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sioux tribal council, and served as chairman of the tribe. known for prritizing the preservation of lakota language and culture, he shared this wisdom with his students at the local high school, who called him lala jay, meaning grandfather in lakota. he was also a fierce advocate of tribal treaty rights, outlining the rights of indigenous people and their land jay shared his passion for service with cheryl, whoal as a soorker, helped families recover from trauma. her big heart left a positive impact on many, said he he said it was jay's witty sense of humor and cheryl's beat iful spirit tought the two together. while both were active members of the reservation, at the end of the day, family came before all else. jay and cheryl, and 64, would have celebrated their 46th
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wedding anniversary tomorrow. amnd to all thely members who share these beautiful stories, we thank you. our hearts go out to you and to all those who have lost loved ones in this pandemic. >> woodruff: the most reverend michael curry is the presiding bishop of the episcopal church his latest book, "ve is the way holding onto hope in troubling times," reveals how love fueled his jouey, fr a descendant of slaves to the top potion in a predominantly we spoke earlier, and i began by asking whether he foreshadowed the conflicts of this momt as he wrote. >> the perfect storm of a pandemic or racial reckoning and a polarized american society had-- wasn't in my mind.
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but i knew that we were divided. i knew that we had some racial history with some past-- with some difficulty. and i hoped that my story would contribute something positivens and uctive to that. again, pre-pandemic-- or o c, as i likey, before covid. >> woodruff: bishop curry, you "in a world that feels at times closer to a nightmare than the dream." i mean, yore pointing to the fact that we've been through some really tough timen >> we have brough really tough times. and the reality is, happens. that's just the nature of life. it's good and bad. it's the alchemy of all of it mixed in together. i've been blessed in the course of my life to have been around people who have not given in t fate, if you will. who have been people of faith, who people who have struggled against e odds. anone of the patterns that i've seen in their lives has been that they were people who
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would not submit to selfishness or hatred or bigotry, but who really did live lives of love and believe in it. i remember my aunt lill, and when i was a kid, used to tell us-- and she was quoting booker t. washington. i don't know if she knew it. dt she was-- she used to say, "never let anybog you so low as to hate them." i grew up with a father who believed isomething. yet hope goes beyond the moment and the ex yencies of the moment and dares to believe in something possible we can't even see. like george bernard shaw, some people ask why, we dream and ask why not. that's hope. that's ling by the power of hope and that is living in spite of one of the thingsiz that i re was that there are many people who have loved america, in spite of the fact that america often didn't le them. native american folk, black folk, latin folk. there are people, poor folk, who
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have not always benefited from this great country, but they've loved america. you know, my grandmother had my two uncles take their pictures. i can remember their pictures,an their army air corps uniforms. having fought in world war ii, she lost members of her family. the two of them came home during that war. my wife's father, grandfather fought in the first world war. she's tually got his discharge papers from world war i. the black folk, they fought, or this countd had to fight in order to fight for this country, not necessarily because of what the country was, but because of what the country sometimes, in spite of its contractions, stood for. "we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." that's true even when our country failed to live up to 's what people like ruth bader ginsburg stood for, in spite ofhe contradiction. that's what i mean by hope. hope doesn't just accept the way thingsre. it dares to hope and believe that something can be different
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and there and then works to make that happen. >> woodruff: and bishop cuy, how do you make this apply in people's lives when we live in such a politically divided tim such a time of when people look at each other across this gaping divide in our country? >> and that is wre love actually comes in. if we take love out of the sentimental, take it out of the, even the rantic, just for a moment, and think of the kind of love the scriptures talk about, the kind of love th moses talked about, that jesus of nazareth that our religious traditions have spoken of? that kind of love tends to be unselfish love that actually seekthe good and the welfare of others, as well as the self, you know, on the great sl of the united states. you know, with the eagle above the eagle are the latin words "e pluribus unum." those words come from the writings of cicero, who said, loves another as much, if not
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more, as he loves hielf, then e pluribus unum, one from many, becomes possible." that is the motto of this country. it is based on willingness to ve and be concerned about others as well as yourse. that makes one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice r all. love is the key because love is unselfish, sacrificial living. and when we live like thatthen congress can work. when-- whewe- wheive like that, then the economy can workn e live like that, then there is equal opportunity for all. you see what i'metting at. love is not a s.entime it's a commitment to the common good. >> woouff: and bishop curry, as we start this new year of people who frankly feel isolated there for atome, whether they've lost a job or can't be with their family right what is the message for them? they are physically separated
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from the people they love. >> you're absolutelyight. it is hard. but, you know what? we've got to figure out.he one ofhings i've learned is that love very often must be embodied in community. when my mother died and was sick and in a coma for over a year, there was a community of folk gathered around us. that community was a context in twhich love was able to l us up. i think we've go ways to be connected to each other. i mean, i've jokingly said, if u high-tech zoom, if you're low-tech text, if you no tech, call. send note. stay in touch. socially distance, following what the public health folks tell us, but stay in touch. don't get disconnected. the psychologists tell us: cut off is unhealthy. we actually need each other. so if we can't touch each other physically, we can touch eachho other on the by riding across the fence. but, find a way to stay connected to other people, and
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to intentionally, if you're able to connect with other people. sometimes i experienceove when i love myself, which is to say, when i step beyond michael and reach out to somebody else-- u know, like that song says, "reach out and touch somebody's hand."en do that, somehow i begin to experience love myself in ary ifferent way, when i ge it away. >> woodruff: such good advice, d a book that is full of good advice, and full of a lot of wonderful, wonderl stories. it's "love is the way of holding on to hope in troubling times." bishop michael curry, thank you so m vuch. ity good to see you, and happy new year. >> judy, god bless you.
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>> major funding for the pbs newshour h been provided by: >> financial services firm raymond james. >> bnsf railay.
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>> suppoing social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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nobody will miss year 2020. out with the stress. from vienna where we meet wi a music celebration. join us for a warm welcome to
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2021. we are not in the national crisis or ingional we are a crisis that has zero borders. it will hit you,me. it requires global responses that can be universal. welcome. i will sit down with the euad of thepean central bank. we will talk about the pandemic and why europe's economic response has been one of the biggest responses we have seen