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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  January 21, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ narrator: funding for presentation of this program is provided by.. the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum-kovler foundation. pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you, thank you. woman: and now, "bbc world news".
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america. warning of shocking death tolls and promising better days to come. on his first full day in office, president joe biden lays out his plan to tackle the covid pandemic. >> there are moments in history when more is asked of a particular generation than other times. we are in that moment now. laura: it has been one year since the world's first covid lockdown in china. we revisit the city that was once the epicenter of the vus that transformed the world. many first for the new vice president. students at kamala harris's alma mater celebrate seen one of their own in the white house. -- celebrate seeing one of their own in the white house. ♪ welcome to world news america on
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pbs and around the globe. it's president joe biden's first full day in office and he is focused on confronting the coronavirus pandemic. mr. biden today said things will get worse before they get better, but warnedhe death toll could top half a million month. he promised a wartime effort to bring the pandemic under control, including a series of 10 executive actions which will ramp up vaccine just to be should and would require masks on planes, trains and buses. here's a report on the very busy when he for hours. reporter: president ben is a man in a hurry. a slew of exec at of orders has been signe reversing many trump-era policies. there will be more later on. today, the first full day in the job, a virtual church service. prayers for the mission ahead. prayers for the united states. and look, everyone in the white house is wearing a mask now.
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it's obligatory, a big change, and deliver. >> one of our 100 day challenges is asking the american people to mask up. reporter: unveiling his national coronavirus plan, president biden said the trump administration's vexing rollout has been a dismal failure so far, and tha things will get worse before they get better. >> the death toll will leslie top 500,000 -- will likely top 500,000 next month. we did notet into this mess overnight and it will take months for us to turn things around. but let me be equally clear. we will get through this. ♪ reporter: last night after a day of tension amid concerns the inauguration could be disrupted, celebration. with the new president pulling in the megastars for a socially distance concert. >> in the last few weeks and the last few years, we have witnessed deep divisions and a
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troubling rancor in our land. but tonight, we ponder the united states of america. reporter: and there was the sense of a new dawn from those performing. >> ♪ here comes the sun ♪ ♪ reporter: joe biden comes to the job th a mountain of problems. but under the watchful gaze of abraham lincoln, spoke of the challenges that he must now address. >> but theuestion is, are we up to it? will we meet the moment like our for boyer's -- our forbearers i believe we must, and i believe we will. reporter: to donald trump's fury, he could never attract the big names to play for him. the new president had no such difficulties. while the biden family tapped their feet, there was an important contribution from the three amigos. three former president going back nearly 30 years.
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but all of them still younger than the new occupant of the white house. >> i think the fact that the three of us are standing here talking about a peaceful transfer of power speaks to the institutional tegrity of our country. reporter: and america's first woman vice president, first vp of asian and black dissent, set out the dream. >> we shoot for the moon and then we plant our flag on it. we are bold, fearless, and ambitious. >> ♪ ignite the light ♪ ♪ reporter: the evening ended with katy perry and fireworks shooting to the stars. and the first couple settling into their new surroundings. there had been a peaceful transfer of power, despite the troubling events leading up to this unique inauguration. laura: that is our north america editor jon sopel there, on a very eventful 24 hours in washington. let's go now to anthony's irca.
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-- what's now go to anthony. joe biden laid out that national coronavirus strategy. what is the biggest differee between his approach and donald trump's? anthony: i think the trump administration was relying heavily on states in particular to distribute the vaccine. they would help with production and transportation but once a got to the states, t states were being given money but they were being counted on to use their infrastructure to give the shots to people. it administration seems the biden administration -- it seems the biden administration wants to nationalize more. they want to have a national plan as far as prevention goes. mask wearing. they also want to try to have various things to help people prevent themselves from getting the virus and help schools reopen. i think this is a much more involved plan that we saw with the trump administration, particularly at the state level. laura: before we get to the fate
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of the former president donald trump, just tell us, biden officials are telling us the situation is so much worse than they thought it was on the virus. is there some expectation management going on here, politically? anthon i think there is definitely a chance of that. you do not want to set a mark and then miss it. i think there is also an acknowledgment of the reality that there are different strains of the virus going around now that are more transmissible, meaning there are going to be more cases. when there are more cases, there deaths are going to be more deaths -- there are going to be more deaths. they don't want people to think this is a brand-new day where all of a sudden all the problems are behind us just because the government is taking different strategies. these things take time. at this point they are saying possibly not until the fall or winter of 2021 when things can begin to go back to normal again. laura: anthony, thank you so much for joining us. this week does mark a year since
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the world's first covid lockdown, and the chinese government confine almost 60 million people to their homes in the city of wuhan and the surrounding province. it was the first glimpse of the devastation that would soon sweep the world. as our china crespondent reports, it's a city now remembered not for a disaster, but as the scene of a great victory. reporter: nowadays in wuhan, it's the mundane normality that is striking. with the traffic jams and the bustling streets. all such a far cry from this. in january last year, wuhan was ground zero, the place where the pandemic began. and the first to experience lockdown. one year on, the city has moved on. and a remarkable new narrative has taken hold. >> the virus came he from
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other countries, the store owner tells me. report: john is a victim. -- china is a victim. where did it come from? it came from america, this woman insists. there's even official backing for the idea the virus may have come from somewhere else. can you tell us why china is promoting this narrative in the absence of scientific evidence? >> your question reveals your prejudice against china. reports have emerged from australia, italy, and many other countries, that the coronavirus was found in multiple places in the autumn of 2019. reporter: from the scientific consensus that the outbreak began here, to the more controversial theory that it leaked from this wuhan laboratory, all are now rejected with equal force.
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instead, this giant wuhan exhibition celebrates a great victory. the allegations of cover-up, the suggestion the authorities hid the initial operating, rejected -- the initial outbreak, rejected too. there may well be something to learn, of course. china's mass testing program, for example. but other aspects of its approach, perhaps not so much. in the harsh enforcement of its lockdowns, the need to balance control with individual rights has been far less of a constraint on its model of success. the struggle of democratic countries to contain the virus is viewed here less with sympathy and more of a sense of indication. for china, who had is not a reminder of a political disaster that allow the virus to spiral out of control. it is a symbol of triumph.
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with her brother one of the first to die from covid, ms. wong, who does not want to use her full name, believes the authorities should have warned pe earlier. she shows me the letters she has writte in her futile fight for justice. china is celebrating what it calls a great victory over this virus. do you think it is a victory? it's their vicry, she tells me. it has nothing to do with me. this city's past has been turned into propaganda, and truth, just like the virus, is being brought under control. john sudworth, bbc news, wuhan. laura: and it was just one year ago this week that the first case of coronavirus detected was confirmed in the united states.
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for more on the biden strategy to continue pandemic, we are joined by the former commissioner of health for the city of new york, who is now columbia university school of public health. thank you so much for joining us. dr. anthony fauci said today that he thinks most americans will be vaccinated by the middle of 2021. based on what you are seeing around you in new york city, does that sound right to you? guest: i think the important thing fous to note is that while vaccines will certainly be the answer for us getting out of this pandemic, they are not the answer right now. so i think it is important to say yes, we need to go all out on vaccinations, but that does not mean that we take the foot off the gas, so to speak, on masks and social distancing. i think the other thing to note
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is there are still a significant number of people that are reluctant to get the vaccination. so while i want to be hopeful like dr. fauci, i think there is a lot more work that needs to be done to ensure that, for example, black and brown americans have all the information they need to feel good about being vaccinated. at the end of the day, when americans do get vaccinated, it's done in an equitable fashion. laura: joe biden did talk about that vaccine hesitancy. his idea is to send these mobile units into neighborhoods where people are reluctant to get vaccinated. do you see that working in new york city? anthony: i think -- guest: i think that is a good idea but i think what would be even more effective is to have an expectation on states that with the allocation they receive, that they have to vainate black and brown people
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commensurate to the percentage of the population they represent. and states that go abe that then get additional vaccine to reward that performance. and that additional vaccine would be for all people in that big city or in that ste. the point here being that when we lead with equity, everybody wins. laura: do you think what you are seeing then in new york city at the moment is wealthier white people getting vaccinated,, while people of color hold back, or are hesitant? guest: i thinkhat that is the scenario that is playing out not only in new york city, but across the country. and there needs to be intentionality so that we do not keep effectuating those inequities that have really played out in covid where black and brown americans have died least at twice the rate of white americans. laura: new york city was so hard-hit in the spring when you
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were health commissioner. do you feel the situation has improved now in terms of therapeutics in the caseload? guest: one of the reasons why i think our pandemic curve really had the shape that it did was because of the degree to which new yorkers adopted the guidance of mask usage. and i have every confidence that they will continue to use masks and be vaccited when their turn comes. i think across the country, i am so heartened by the administration leading with science, and what i hope is that all governors and all elected members of congress adhere to leading by example and using masks. laura: thank you so much for joining us. in other news from around the world, a top u.s. republican in
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the senate plans to present a plan that would delay the impeachment trial of donald trump until february. mitch mcconnell reportedly wants to give impeachment managers and mr. trump's defense at least one week to prepe. last week lawmakers in the house of representatives impeached mr. ump over his role in the capitol hill roits. house speaker nancy pelosi has not yet signaled -- five people have beekilled after a fire broke out in india, the world's largest maker of vaccines. it is currently manufacturing ions of doses of the oxford astrazeneca vaccine. because of the blaze is not yet known but they do not expect it to affect reduction. a bomb attack on a bitty -- on a busy market in baghdad has killed at least 30 and wounded more than 100. two blasts exploded in quick succession. the first such attack in baghdad in over 1.5 years. you're watching bbc world news america.
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still to come on tonight's program, a full lockdown and 24 hour curfew is in place in lebanon to try to slow a surge in coronavirus cases. ♪ president biden's inauguration has left the conspiracy group qanon in disarray. they had prepared what they called a day of reckoning, with mass arrests, a day of blackouts. rter: there have been all kinds of -- and they have almost split in half. those who are continuing to believe this is all part of the plan, it is going as it should, that it all work out in the end, and then those who are very disappointed, very deflated. i have been speaking to a number of those who believe the conspiracy. one told me he feels empty. he has dedicated years of his life to this cspiracy and
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belief in donald trump. others who have lost loved ones down the conspiracy rabbit hole and have told us how they have responded. one lady says her husband has experienced the most disappointing day of his life yesterday when they were no arrests. he was one of those people who have been hoarding food. he genuinely believed -- ♪ laura: leban is in full lockdown with a 24 hour curfew to try to slow a surge in coronavirus cases. it is a small country but it is seeing one of the worst operates in the arab world. here's a report from beirut. reporter: this one-year-old fell sick. for three days, his family tried to get him to an intensive care unit. but all were occupied by coronavirus patients. >> what really hurts me is how his parents were sitting next to
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their boy, helplessly, as he died. he will now find the care he needed, and that is in heaven. reporter: hospitals in lebanon are overwhelmed and operating on full capacity. many have had to reject patients. the staggering increase in a number of coronavirus cases is bringing the whole health system to its knees. with their beds filling up, many hospitals in the country are forced to improvise. until a few days ago, this was a hospital'safeteria. now, it has been converted into a makeshift ward. in other hospitals, emergency rooms have been turned to receive patients. an almost everywhere, several wards have been shut in order to redirect resources towards the overstretched covid teams. >> as infections soared, medical
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teams were falling sick with covid as well. and because of the worsening economic situation, many doctors and nurses had to leave lebanon in order to make ends meet. reporter: the pandemic has hit lebanon as it is going through the worst financial and economic crisis of its history. this is a country where the local currency has lost more than 70% of its value in a year, and where more than half the population lives in poverty. now lebanon has entered its third and most strict lockdown. previous lockdowns have forced businesses to closed. it's an economic disaster on top of all the pandemic misery. but the authorities here say that as painful as it is, the measures are necessary. lebanon still hoping to recve the first batch of covid vaccine next month, but achieving protection against the virus will take a whole year. time that lebanon can hardly
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afford. >> you have other sectors that should be involved, which unfortunately, the leaders of the con. -- leaders of the country failed to do so. we have to rely on people complying with recommendations, which seems to be difficult. reporter: until the musician is achieved -- lebanon is a party of multiple current crises. now this pandemic might be sending it grasping for air. laura: lebanon's struggles with coronavirus. kamala harris is a triple rubber breaker. the first female vice president, the first black person to take that oath, and also the first person of south asian descento hold the office. she is a graduate of howard
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university, a renowned predominantly black schoolere in washington dc. we asked students there to tell us what inauguration day means to them. >> kamala harris inspires me to be unapologetic. >> she moved thousands of miles away from home to go to howard university. and now she's in the white house. if a littlelack girl from california can go to howard university and be in the white house, then so can this black boy from minnesota >> it is about to be a moment in history and i'm very proud to be able to witness it. >> being inaugurated into the white house. >> this is amazing to witness this moment in history. ♪ >> i had the opportunity to work for senator harris, and she was in the office almost every day. she will go to every meeting, every briefing. she just put in the time, effort
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and the work. as a woman of color, it encourages me to know you can have it all. >> it really lays the groundwork for us to see a black woman one day be president of the united states. >> she is unapologetically herself. and we teach you to love yourself as you are. >> we are watching kamala harris arrive and get ready to be officially inaugurated as madam vice president. >> vice president-elect harris. vice president-elect harris. >> i am so excited to see the first black, first south asian, first woman become vice president of the united states of america. ♪ >> i know that i can be strong and bold in my blackness, in my
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identity, no matter where i am, no matter what situation or room i am in. because that is what hsbc you has prepared me to do. >> we have a bison in the house. we have a bison all the way to the white house. >> our vice president. >> howard university when it was founded, black people could not vote. for now over 150 years later, we have one of their students in the white house, a black student, a black woman at that? you know that we are here to stay, and you know we are here to last. >> madam vice president. >> yay. swear her in. >> swear her in, sonia. >> i feel proud. i el ecstatic. >> i am feeling a little overwhelmed. it has been a long four years. we have been pushing towards this moment of seeing new leadership and seeing a more hopeful america.
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and i think today was the first step towards that. >> just want to thank god that we made. weade it. we made it. laura: the inauguration through the eyes of students at howard university here in washington, d.c. alma mater is the new vice president. italian police have recovered a stolen painting that is 500 years old and worth $450 million. it was found in naple even of the church it was stolen from had not noticed it was missing. the building has been closed to visitors since the pandemic. officers arrested the suspect after the painting was found in his bedroom cabinet. i am laura trevelyan. thank you so much for watching bb narrator: funding for presentation of this program is provided by.. the freeman foundation. by judy and peter blum-kovler foundation.
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pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and by contributions to this pbs station from viewers like you, thank you. ♪ ♪ man: you're watching pbs. narrator: stream the best of pbs on any device with the pbs video app. all your favorite drama, history, science, news, and documentaries all in one place. watch your pbs station live or catch up on the shows you missed. support your pbs station and you can get "passport" giving your full seasons, early releases, special collections and more. get the pbs video app now and stream the best of pbs anytime. anywhere.
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judy: good evening. the biden presidency begins with a flurry of executive orders, overturning many of former president trump's policies. then, one-on-one, we discuss the new administration and the democrats taking control of the senate, with voting rights activist stacey abrams. and getting the vaccine, the disconnect between production and distribution leads to an alarming backlog of doses. >> this is the largest logistical challenge that the country has ever taken on.
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