tv PBS News Hour PBS June 9, 2021 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: biden abroad. the president makes his first overseas trip to europe to re-engage with allies and meet with adversaries. then, insurrection aftermath. a u.s. capitol police officer gives his first interview sincehe attack on congress by trump supporters. and, "rethinking college." the push for free community college nationwide gains support, but questions remain about the practical reality of the plan. all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.
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foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made poible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: president biden landed in the united kingdom this afternoon, the first stop on his three-nation european trip. he will begin by meeting british prime minister boris johnson tomorrow, then the three-day g-7 summit that begins friday in southwest england. mr. biden spoke a short time ago to american forces at r.a.f. mildenhall, a british air force installation. >> the united states is back, and the democracies of the world are standing together to tackle the toughest challenges, and the
issues that matter most to our future. that we're committed to leading with strength, defending our values, and delivering for our people. democracy doesn't happen by accident. we have to defend it, we have to strengthen it, renew it. and i know that the american people are up to this job. >> woodruff: our yamiche alcindor is traveling with the president, and joins me now from plymouth. so hello to yamiche, to you, and safe travels. first of all, tell us about what the president's hoping to accomplish on this trip and what are the main concerns as he meets with american allies in europe? >> well, judy, i'm so happy to join you especially because some cicadas at one point were delaying our plane but we are here now in the u.k. people heard me right, is a
cadeas -- is a cadeas. >> experts tell mes in going to be a love fest but it's also going to feel like a family reunion -- there will be love but also drama. there are a lot of european leaders who want to talk about trade, covid vaccines and the role that the u.s. is playing with the president, expected to make announcements on that front. there's also going to be talk with china and how to deal with it. but the president is really trying to come here t really underscore the fact that america is back, that diplomacy is something he's going to embrace and that america will embrace n.a.t.o. and g7 and the allies, something his predecessor was hostile toward. >> woodruff: you used the word drama. what are the most contion issues expected to be in his meetings with the european leaders ahead w of his meeting with vladimir putin of russia?
>> reporter: president biden has known some of these leaders for up to three decades and they will work on foreign policy. hefty talks about trade when it comes to the difference between make america great again and buy america first. some leader want to know if there's more american protective i'm. also a feeling of whether biden will be a place holder because of the drama and contention that was there when former president trump was coming to n.a.t.o. and g7. ese european leaders are going to be a bit cagey and they really want to know if they can trust america again. that's a long-term issue president biden will have to deal with. ahead of his meeting with island, there will be a lot of talk about january 6th and the idea there are a lot of issues with gridlock in washington. the leader will want to talk about american democracy. the president got applause when he said he came to talk to
vladimir putin about the things he wants to let him know. there were no details but there was a tone that would be firm. the president is saying he's there to talk frankly to vladimir putin and there are real expectations on that front. >> woodruff: we heard some of that a while ago. yamiche alcindor will cover all of president biden's trip into next week. thank you, yamiche. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, there is word that the u.s. will buy 500 million more doses of pfizer's covid-19 vaccine to donate to 92 low-income countries and the african union. about 200 million of those doses will be shared this year; the remainder will be distributed in the first half of 2022. president biden is expected to make the official announcement tomorrow.
the united kingdom has recorded its highest daily count of new covid cases since late february, more than 7,500. the rise is due in part to the highly-contagious "delta" variant first found in india. on a tour of a solar panel site, british prime minister boris johnson said the surge may complicatelans to re-open on june 21. >> cases are going up, and in some cases, hospitalizations are going up. and i think what we need to assess is the extent to which the vaccine rollout-- which has been phenomenal-- has built up enough protection in the population, in order for us to go ahead to the next stage. >> woodruff: the "delta" strain is also spreading quickly in the u.s., where it now makes up 6% of all infections. but vaccines have been effective in preventing symptoms. we will hear some of the creative ways that states are trying to increase vaccinations, later in the program. president biden today revoked
a series of trump-era executive orders that tried to ban the popular chinese apps tiktok and we-chat in the u.s. he signed a new executive order that calls for a broad review of apps linked to foreign adversaries. it also directs the commerce department to analyze the risks that such apps pose to americans' personal data and national security. the keystone xl pipeline project to rte crude oil from canada to the u.s. has been terminated. its canadian sponsor, t.c. energy, pulled the plug on the partially-completed venture today. environmental groups cheered the decision, which was expected after president biden revoked a key permit. a government investigation has determined that police did not forcibly clear racial justice protesters from an area near the white house last june so that president trump could stage
a photo-op for the press at a nearby church. a new report from the interior department's inspector general maintained that the area was cleared due to prior plans to install new fencing. the demonstration was largely peaceful, before police fired tear gas. in arizona, fire crews made some progress today against two massive wildfires burning east of phoenix. thousands of residents were forced to evacuate since the fires are still mostly uncontained. more than 1,000 firefighters have been battling the wildfires amid the dry heat and drought since they flared up over the weekend. a federal appeals court in missouri has blocked enforcement of a law that bans abortions at or after eight weeks of pregnancy. the 2019 law also prohibited women from getting the procedure if their fetus was diagnosed with down syndrome. missouri's attorney general said that he plans to appeal to the
u.s. supreme court. in afghanistan, gunmen killed ten people and wounded 16 others in an attack on a de-mining charity organization. workers with the halo trust were clearing unexploded land mines when armed men attacked their camp in the northern province of baghlan. >> ( translated ): the gunmen shot two people in the camp compound, and theshot at other people inside the room. i was shot in the forehead and fell to the ground, but i got up again and i escaped through the window. >> woodruff: the islamic state claimed responsibility for the attack. and, stocks veered lower on wall street today. the dow jones industrial average lost 152 points to close at 34,447. the nasdaq fell 13 points, and the s&p 500 slid eight. still to come on the newshour: the fight to vote intensifies nationwide, amid dozens of restrictive proposals. the chairman of mastercard discusses corporate responsibility in the pandemic. the push for free community college nationwide gains
support. plus, much more. >> woodruff: since the presidential election, a wave of new state measures to tighten voting laws has raised questions about access and integrity. across the country, laws that expand access to the ballot box have passed in at least 14 states, shown on this map in green. at the same time, the 14 states in yellow have passed laws restricting access. all have republican-controlled state legislatures. the restrictive laws have sparked outrage from voting rights groups, and from two men who served as general counsels for competing presidential campaigns. democrat bob bauer worked for
president obama in 2008 and 2012, and advised the biden campaign in 2020; and, ben ginsberg-- his years as a republican election lawyer include workon the landmark bush v. gore dispute in 2000. they both join me now. and welcome back to you, to the "newshour" to both of you. let me start with you, bob bauer. it isn't often thse days that we see a republican and a d.m. prominent republicans and democrats coming together on issues as contention as voting rights. what provoked the two oyou to come together on this? >> ben and i co-chaired the presidential commission on election administration established by president obama in 2013 and reporting ino 2014, and we worked on a bipartisan basis and a bipartisan commission toward the goal of professionalized administration of elections and, in particular, non-partisan professional administration of elections, and over that period of time we got to know election officials
across the country, democrat and republican, we came to know how hard they worked and received little credit and much blame for what occasionally goes wrong. our view was it was really important to press in the direction of nonpartisan support for what election officials do, and now we see a significant problem developing of attempts on the part of s.a.t. legislatures to assert partial control over election officials, to threaten them suspension if they don't perform in the way the politicians want them to perform and that is a serious threat on the democratic institutions that warrants a full response. >> woodruff: ben ginsberg, you are a republican and a majority. two-thirds of republicans tell pollsters that they don't think that the election was fairly carried out, that there was a lot of fraud involved and they favor these kinds of tightening rules. so how do you square that with
your support for trying to do something about these state legislatures and state laws? >> there will be battles amongst the parties on the specifics of the way ballots are cast and counted, but, as bob said, we got to know a large number of state and especially local election officials, and one thing that should not be done is to politicize the actual casting and counting of ballots. it is extremely important in the democracy for everyone to realize that the way elections artabulated is nonpartisan, and we thought it was important, as these laws sort of crept inte legislative process, to tell the state and local election officials that we're going to have their backs if they are prosecuted at all for doing their job.
>> woodruff: bob bauer, how do you see partisanship playing a role in these laws that are being passed around the country by republican-controlled legislatures? >> this battle, i think, can be put into two cactus. there have always been disagreements between the two political parties around this fundamental conflict between one party looking to ebbs panned access and -- expand access and the other party troubled, it claims, by the threat of fraud, restricting access in the interest of so-called election integrity and i fall fairly squarely in the democratic pro access camp. however, that's one set of arguments that have gone on for a considerable period of time. they've helped shape the last enactment on this topic by congress. they helped the america vote act at the recount. the other line is whether we respect the fundamental institutions by which we administer the electoral process, whether we will
depoliticize or protect those institution from being politicized, and that is something that a new battle has broken out about, the attempt of politicians to intimidate and harass election officials, to call into question the work that they do both in the original count of ballots and then subsequently in recounts. that is a profound attack on democratic institutions and something around which the two political parties agree action needs to be taen to preventt. >> woodruff: and ben ginsberg, do you think you can have success persuading these republican state leglators who think it's time now to rein in state election officials as those in georgia who said they were -- what they were fighting for was a free and fair election? >> well, i think there will be more success in some places than others. but one of the things that i think is true and which my
fellow reps are t taking into account is when you pass laws like this, what goes around comes around, and that, in point of fact, if you try and nullify election results in one state by pressure state and local election officials, that that's going to have an influence on all candidates in that state, and that can hurt republicans as much as d.m.s. i think it is naive to think that, if, for example, the provisionshat weaponize poll watchers in polling places are just going to be implemented by republican poll watchers in democratic precincts, they're sadly wrong, that, in fact, d.m.s will do the same thing to preserve their votes, and the end result will be a very muddled election in which people don't have faith in the results, and that has real consequences for the democracy. >> woodruff: bob bauer, what about that? i do want to bring into this the
big voting rights bill that is right now apparently stalled in the united states senate with the democratic senator joe manchin of west virginia saying he's not going to support it, he thinks it's not bipartisan enough, do you see remedies in that piece of legislation to address your concerns, your and ben ginsberg's concerns at the state level? >> well, i'll begin by saying there are important provisions of hr-1 and s1, it's a reform bill and deals with a lot of topics but sets voting standards that i think are there are healthy and important. but it was developed over a period of time where i don't think we all recognized the extent of the threat, the institutional threat that ben and i are concerned with, and, so, as this reform debate continues, it seems to me that those sorts of protections need to be added to any congressional debate, any reform agenda. but, many n the meantime, at any
local and state level there are things that can be done which is to have the officials to know the democrats and reps have their back and the network of lawyers we're recruiting around the country democrats and reps to defend them is a really important step and doesn't rely on break ing through any stalemate in congress at the present time. >> woodruff: and please pick you will on that, ben ginsberg. what do you see as an appropriate remedy at the federal level for what concerns you? >> well, there will alays be concerns about federally legislating elections on the state and local level, but there are parts of the bill, the hr1 that could be done, but the democrats are making a huge tactical error if they really care about these election situations and even about the voting rights situations in having so many other provisions in this bill. and you talked before about how reps are trying to tilt election
results by the state legislation, that's true, but the democrats are trying to do the same thing in s1, through a number of provisions that are just designed to give them a political advantage. so if they actually want to deal with the voting issues, it's time to kind of do the obvious and concentrate on those issues and strip away the other provisions. >> woodruff: we're just about out of time but bob bauer, do you agree that's what democrats are doing? >> no, i don't. i mean, ben and i, over the years, have disagreed on many things and we don't agree about that. we do agree, however, that we have to defend our democratic institutions. >> woodruff:nd we thank the two of you for coming on to talk about that. bob bauer, ben ginsberg, we appreciate it. >> thank you very much.
>> woodruff: as we reported earlier, president biden is expected to announce tomorrow that the united states will purchase 500 million more doses of covid vaccines that will be donated to the world's poorest countries and the african union. this announcement comes as the leaders in the private sector are stepping up their efforts to aid in the pandemic response. amna nawaz explains. >> nawaz: in one of the largest private-sector donations of its kind, t mastercard foundation announced they'll give $1.3 billion over the next three years to vaccinate 50 million people on the continent of africa. fewer than 2% of the people who live in africa have gotten a single dose of the vaccine yet. that's far lower than many of the wealthiest countries and well below the global average of 11%. ajay banga is the executive chairman of mastercard, and he joins me now. ajay, welcome to the "newshour". thank you for making time. $1.3 billion, one of the largest
gifts in the entire pandemic. why this much and why now? >> thank you for having me. the fact is that this whole pandemic is something that we've all got to put our shoulder to the wheel at. it's not enough to say that governments will fix it. it's not enough to say somebody else will do it or some other company will or some other foundation will. so we're all trying to do our best and there are lots of governments and companies that are doing their best, and the foundation is an independent foundation, it was created with an ipo and runs independently. they have our name and are the only donor and i'm very proud of their c.e.o. and chair on this decision. so, basically, the idea is they work in africa, they help to do economic development in africa, and how can you have economic development in a continent which hasn't yet got vaccinations for its citizenry. the object is to kick start the process to get 50 million vaccinated and build infrastructure and capabilities and training for the african
c.d.c. and the african union for this to become a real operational opportunity. >> reporter: let me ask you about some of the activity you've taken in central american because this is central to the biden administration's efforts the. vice president harris is on a mission to address the root causes causing people to flee. mastercard's made an investment in the region. what do you see as mastercard's role in this part of the administration's efforts? >> amna, i think no company grows when the communities around it are not successful and growing. the same idea applies to the northern triangle. when the administration sailed we want to find a way to help people stay where they are, i'm not something that can open a manufacturing or export factory, but i can help in the distribution be of aid and distribute corruption leakage that happens through normal aid distribution. that's the idea of saying we'll help 5 million people come into
the financial mainstream in the northern triangle and help a million smes. >> reporter: i want to get your take in the u.s. on the economic recovery. last year you were worried about a k-shaped recovery that the economic gaps would get wider. are you still worried about that? >> yes, i am. i will say i am very optimistic in general about the state of the u.s. economy. i believe that the package of measures the system has put into place from monetary and fiscal policy as well as all the things i see underlying in the economy are very constructive. but the problem is overall u.s. g.d.p. will do well, but we're worried about those left behind. in the pandemic, women-owned, minority-owned businesses, women and minorities in jobs suffered disproportionately compared to others. and we know that the digital divide exists, right? just to be clear, the pandemic
didn't suddenly create all this. it's exposed issues in our society that existed for a while, and i think we need to build back better. we need o do this better. just in case the digital divide, which is where the k-shaped recovery comes from, the digital divide makes it worse. if you can't get access to broadband or infrastructure, whether an sme or student, not a great place to be. same for unequal spread of vaccinations across the real-world between some markets and developing countries and that's one to have the reason the mastercard foundation i made this commitment. it's intertwined. we ear in the it together and we will have to come out of it together. this beast is going to need your shoulder and my shoulder at the wheel. >> reporter: you mentioned some of those gaps. the white house will argue that one to have the way to close the gaps is with the spending plans. they say companies like yours should pay higher taxes to help
pay for them. do you agree with that? >> we benefit when the taxes came down. we put a lot of the money we got from the tax breaks into our philanthropy as well as employees for 401k matches. one of the facts is if you put 6% into our01k in our company, we match you 10, meaning you get 16. that's one of the fewest and rarest examples of that kind of effort. we did that with the tax savings. if taxes go back up, that's policy. we have to learn how to live and play with it. my real response here is it's actually about competitiveness. if you need to fix the taxes that are level that makes sense for what the government's revenue should be, go that, make sure we're competitive because global multi-nationals have an opportunity to keep growing and doing good things for the american population and system. make it competitive and we have to carry our share. i don't have a problem with a tax rate higher than where we
are today as long as i understand and appreciate that it's excretively introduced. >> woodruff: >> reporter: another key issue, there's a string of high profile cyber attacks how quickly and dramatically they have brought parts of life into a standstill. in the global banking world now, how secure are financial servings? how worried are you about mastercard being hacked. >> i have been in cyber security in both presidential commissions and i have been making a case we're only as strong as our weakeslink. mastercard has been one of the beneficiaries of people trying to get at us for a long time and we have fairly strong processes and sov most of the financial services industry, and now where we are today, the financial services industry works very closely across the industry but also with government, and, so, i think you will find that america's financial services industry is in relatively good shape but, remember, you're only
as strong as your weakest link so think about allhe supply chain that interacts with financial services or any company for that matter. if those supply chain is not as strong as it needs to be, you expose yourself to weakness. so cyber security is a real issue, and no single company can fight off nation states or very large organized criminal gangs beyond a point, and, so, i think we're in this together, a bit like the pandemic, cyber is also a pandemic of a different type and we need to just brush over the wheel together, across industry, across industry and government, this is a place where the words public-private partnership mean a great deal. >> reporter: ajay banga, executive chairman of mastercard, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you for having me.
>> woodruff: we return now to the debate over providing free tuition for community college students. last night, we heard the case against president biden's effort to create a nationwide free program. as a reminder, his plan starts with $109 billion to cover full tuition for community college. the plan also incles an $85 billion investment in pell grants for students in need at both two- and four-year colleges, and there's another $62 billion for resources to help students complete their degree. tonight, we get a different perspective on this proposal, for our series on "rethinking college." i'm joined by john king, the former u.s. secretary of education under president barack obama, and former new york state education commissioner. he's now president of the education trust, an advocacy group working to close opportunity gaps from preschool through college. he also is seeking the
democratic nomination to be maryland's next governor next year. john king, welcome back to the "newshour". thank you for being here. so you like president biden's proposal for free community college, free tuition. why? >> well, it's hugely important, you know. if you look at the economic recovery after the 2008 financial crisis, nearly all of the new jobs that were created went to people with some level of post-secondary education. it might have been a four-year degree, often was an associate's degree or even a career and technical education certificate. so we know that investing in community college can help to spur economic recovery. we also know it improves people's life circumstances. folks with a college degree earn more than a million dollars more over the course of their lifetime. so this is really an investment. i know folks want to talk about it as an expense, but reel have to think about it as an investment. the evidence is the return on investment of more students with
community college degrees will more than pay for the cost of this investment. >> woodruff: well, last night, as you know, we spoke with another former secretary of education margaret spellings who had the job under president george w. bush. her argument is so many of the students in community college don't complete their time, they don't get to the associate degree, and the money would be better spent in other ways. what about that? >> well, two things. one, we know that for many community college students the very reason they don't complete is they don't have the financial support they need, and what president biden envisions here is really a state federal partnership to get students the resources they need not just to start but to finish. there's also, as you mentioned, the $62 billion investment in additional supports for students, petter advising, access to childcare, access to mental health services, the kinds of supports that evidence
shows greatly increase completion, particularly for low-income students and students of color. so this -- this is a very carefully thought through package of reforms. as you know, states have disinvested in public higher ed over the last few decade. this is an opportunity to change that by saying public higher education is going to help us build a stronger economy for the long term. >> woodruff: we heard from margaret spellings last night, john king, the argument that when students go to what she called a traditional comprehensive university, like an hbcu, historiccably black college, they get more support, as she called it, more likely to get what she called help for a trajectory into a livelihood, the kind of thing that just doesn't exist in many community colleges. >> well, look, this plan also includes a very significant investment in historically black
colleges and universities and minority served institutions. we need a mix of strategies. you have some students that will only want the community college degree, they're going to need very specific skills to advance in their career, whether that's in a merging field like cyber security or a traditional field like logistics, so this is an opportunity to help support folks who may need this degree to better support their family, to move up at their job. i think really what president biden is aiming for here is a vision for a society that helps people improve their own lot in life through education and shouldn't we all support that? >> woodruff: and just finally, john king, i want to quote a conservative economist glen hubbard who wrote a piece about this and arguing against free tuition in community colleges. he said if you do this it's just
going to flood colleges with students and make them less inclined to experiment or to collaborate. how about that? >> that strikes me as deeply misguided. i think we have some good evidence here. governor haslam, the republican governor of tennessee, was the first to lead on this with a statewide community college tuition-free program, and the evidence is it's attracting, yes, more students, but it's also helping to increase completion rates, increasing the transfer rates from two-year to four-year colleges and it's creating new pathways to economic opportunity for folks who have historically been locked out of economic success. this is a republican idea that president biden is advancing because it's good for the long-term health of our economy. >> woodruff: john king, former secretary of education, it's an important debate. we are very glad to have you here to part pate in it.
thank you very much. >> thanks for the opportunity. >> woodruff: a day aft the release of a senate report detailing the widespread security failures in the january 6 capitol riot, our lisa desjardins sat down for an exclusive interview with one of the police officers who was on thscene that day. >> desjardins: it was a chaotic scene, marked by tragedy and heroism. officer james blassingame, 17-year veteran of the capitol police, thank you for joining us. you're here along with your lawyer, patrick malone, who is representing you and a fellow officer in a civil lawsuit against former president trump over harm done from the january 6 riot. he requested to be present for this interview. tell me what happened that day. >> that's something that i try
to process and go through from time to time what happened, how did it happen. it was an insurrection, you know. it was a significant amount of people tat felt aggrieved and felt that invading the capitol to impose their will was an appropriate action. it looked like a hoard of zombies, just people as far as you could see just salivating and -- >> reporter: faces and bodies -- >> yeah, and they're tugging on the officers and, you know, they're in danger and there's nothing we can do. and then i hear somebody say -- somebody yelled, they're coming in a window. so go towards the north side, center side of the capitol. and there was some door, nobody could get inside a door, you know, that capitol was kind of an old place and some things
antiquated, so we rolled out towards the center of the rotunda looking north, and you just hear -- just noise and people running at me as far as i can see, from the crypt all the way to the north side, center side of the capitol, is running at us. and i looked to my left and right and there's like maybe eight, nine of us, and i'm thinking, (bleep) -- sorry. and they kind of leak out and it's like we're holding a line, but there's no line we're holding because there's an insurmountable amount of people and there's like eight or nine officers. >> reporter: it's a massive space. >> i'm 39 years old. i've never been called a (bleep) to my face in 39 years. may have been called a (bleep)
but i've never been called one to my face. that streak ended on january 6th. i was called a (bleep), i was called traitor, i was called, you know, various epithets. >> reporter: what were you thinking at this point? how were you making decisions? >> i don't want to make it seem like bragdocious, like there was no fear. there had to be some fear, but i don't think there was time for fear. i have to make it home. i have to survive this. i have been with the department 17 years. i've never been in a situation where i felt i had to use my weapon. that was a situation where i was begging. i was, okay, this is it. and the only reason why i didn't do it was because the mentality was this is a four-alarm blaze, and if i pull my gun out and start shooting, i'm throwing
kerosine on it. maybe there's a chance i survive if i don't pull my weapon, but if i do, i'm probably not going to make it out of here alive. you don't have enough bullets. >> reporter: i want to help people understand that we've seen a lot of pictures from outside the capitol. the places you were were some of the most dangerous and difficult confrontations in the capitol, but you weren't unharmed. >> i would say it's much more like emotional and mental than anything else because we can't reel move past it, you know. we're -- something as simple as a commission, you know, being passed or, you know, trying to take that on, you know, at the end of the day, as bad as it was,ike, we did our job like, no member of congress was harmed, you know. and to have to see these people every day and they don't have our back, something as simple as st trying to find out what happened so that it doesn't happen again because my fear is
this was the tip of the iceberg. you know, you have a lot of people that are radicalized that this is exactly what they wanted to do, you know, and it's -- by there being no accountability, it's emboldening them. >> reporter: i want to play sound of what lawmakers said in recent months, a different narrative from republican lawmakers who question how serious january 6th was. i want to play that and get your thoughts on it. >> okay. if you didn't know the tv footage was a vid from januaryth, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit. >> was january 6th an insurrection or could it be more accurately described as a mob of misfits. >> i con tell me the violence but to say there were thousands of armed insurrectionests breech breaching the capitol and intent on overthrowing the government is simply false narrative. >> reporter: what do you say? i would think certain things are above politics. i mean, it's deplorable to
say -- as bad as it looks on film, believe me, it was much worse. you know, they can stitch together as much footage as they want to, but i'm telling you -- and anybody in that will tell you -- it was much worse in person than anything you're ever going to see on film. and for the narrative to be modify or anged so that it's trying to make it seem something other than what it was, it'sties heartening, you know, especially, you know, we go to work every day and we have to protect members of congress, and for them to come and say, you know, thank you for your service, and appreciate what you do, but you don't because this is very simple just having a commission to find out what happened so this doesn't happen again because, you know, i personally feel that, again, this is something that there's a very real threat moving forward. >> reporter: your lawsuit charges president trump himself with directing and enabling this tack.
why focus on him? why do you believe he's responsible? >> well, there's no shortage of people that are responsible, but i think that the most powerful human being on the planet, if the most powerful human being on the planet is not held accountable, can do whatever they want to do, what does that say about our democracy as a whole? >> reporter: and we've reached out to the former president for comment on your lawsuit. we have not heard back from them at this point. at this time, there's also a report we just got yesterday from the senate, a bipartisan report, and among the findings in that report was one that the u.s. capitol police was not adequately prepared to prevent or respond to the january 6th security threats which contributed to the breach to have the capitol. >> -- fake news media -- >> reporter: do you agree with that? >> i don't speak for the department. i think the report speaks for itself. i think there are things that
could have been done to put officers in a position to be successful that weren't done. >> reporter: do you think the u.s. capitol is secure right now? >> i don't think i'm qualified to answer that question. >> reporter: james blassingame, patrick malone, thank you very much for talking with us and sharing your story. >> thank you. good to be with you. >> woodruff: and, we'll be back shortly... from cold beer to cold, hard cash, we look at new incentives to get the covid vaccine. but first, take a moment to hear from your local pbs station. it is a chance to offer your support, which helps to keep programs like ours on the air.
>> woodruff: prior to the pandemic, broadway was booming, breaking box office records in 11 of the last 12 years. but, curtains haven't risen since march, with deep personal and financial impacts. it was announced this week tha“" springsteen on broadway” opens on june 26, and audience members will be required to show proof of full covid-19 vaccination to enter. jeffrey brown has an encore look, as part of our arts and culture series, "canvas." ♪ i am not throwing away my shot! ♪ >> brown: rousing music and thrilling energy... ♪ i'm past patiently waiting i'm passionately smashing ♪ every expectation ♪ >> brown: ...soaring language, and high drama. >> let's begin by restoring this man to his family. >> brown: broadway is all that. but now it's closed, and the pandemic has exposed how much more there is to it. >> i don't think most people think of actors, for example, as
the middle class workers that the majority of us are. they also don't really think about the arts and entertainment industry's impact on the economy. ♪ it's simple and true ♪ >> brown: kate shindle is an actor whose credits include the national tour of "fun home." now, she's an out-of-work actor, who also happens to be president of the actor's equity union-- a non-paying job, by the way-- dealing closely with an industry in crisis. >> look, making a living in our industry, being a professional actor or stage manager, is one of the hardest things you can do, even on a good day. it's an incredibly unstable and unpredictable way to make a living. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> i'm a song-and-dance man. i've worked all over the country, a few national tours. i've gotten to work here in new york at lincoln center. the career was great, until it wasn't anymore. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> brown: for years, 37-year-old rashaan james ii did what actors and dancers have always done:
work when they get gigs, supplement their income as waiters, bartenders, and doing other odd jobs. >> i was an alcohol slinger. i would stand inside of liquor sores and give tastings, and i got a percentage of the bottles that i would sell. >> brown: with that work also gone, james turned to even odder temporary jobs: working for the census, then as a poll-worker. and now, to his immense surprise, as deputy campaign manager for a friend running for city council in manhattan. >> "who i am" is being redefined every day. because now if someone asks me, "well, what do you do?", it's like, "oh, i work in politics." so in that way i'm redefining myself. >> brown: while most of us focus on what happens onstage, commercial theater is an enormous ecosystem... >> oh, nice! i didn't realize they'd done these yet. >> brown: ...playing out largely behind the scenes in places like this. >> awesome! we're the department that's really good at putting our heads down and getting the job done. we don't really make a fuss. we don't want to be noticed. >> brown: john kristiansen's
20-year-old company makes the costumes for broadway shows and performanceof all kinds. it's highly specialized, made-to-order work, performed by skilled artisans. kristiansen laid off all of his 52 workers and, with little work, has less than a third on hand now. >> when it started to become terrifying wawhen things were happening, like disney closing "frozen: on broadway" because it was too hard to open it up again. and we started to see this shift, trying to get people to talk to us, figure out what to do for our people, who are my family. >> brown: now, kristiansen has joined more than 50 other shops to form the "costume industry coalition” fighting for their very survival. >> these costume shops are all small businesses. >> brown: the group released videos with celebrity testimonials, and demonstrations of all that goes into the making of a costume. >> first up... >> the people that are doing the beading and who are sewing the garments and putting the thread in-- it's a lot of people that are doing this-- each one very
important. we need to make sure that they're-- they make it through this. >> brown: it's one of many relief efforts. since last march, the actors fund has given $18 million in emergency financial assistance to more than5,000 people... >> my insurance is running out at the end of march. >> brown: ...and holds zoom seminars like this for those whose insurance has run out. in december, tina fey hosted an nbc special, "one night only: the best of broadway," that raised more than $3 million. and, the coronavirus relief package passed by congress in december included $15 billion for "save our stages"-- aid for venues from small clubs to broadway theaters. others help in their own ways. when the long-running tv show, "law & order: svu," resumed production in september, executive producer warren leight announced he would hire as many nemployetheater actors as possible-- more than 30 so far. >> we were aware that people
were losing health insurance on broadway, people are, are-- it's been a tough time. we just thought, let's not fly people in from other cities. let's not look to-- much to the tv acting pool. let's try and keep the local broadway pool that we've always relied on. let's help as much as we can. >> brown: plus, leight says, his show benefits from the talents of suddenly-available top broadway stars. >> your honor? >> the objection is sustained. >> brown: several, including tony-award winner adriane lenox, have played judges. >> the judges need a certain kind of authority. and if you can hit the back wall of the winter garden, you can handle arraignment court here. >> brown: of course, there are only so many judges, even on the "law & order" franchise. the al questions: when will broadway return? and what will it look like? >> we have had no revenue for nine months now. we most likely won't have it for
another eight months. we are the first industry that went out and will most likely be the last one in. >> brown: charlotte st. martin, president of the broadway league, the trade group for commercial theater in the u.s., says broadway faces unusually daunting challenges. >> broadway is a very, very expensive business. we lood at socially distancing because the state was aski us to try. and the most seats thawe could fill, in the biggest theater, was 27%. we need 75% for most shows to even break even. >> brown: for now, st. martin and others say, the focus must be on sustaining the peopland the work they do that make up this great american industry, so there will be an industry to return to. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown.
>> woodruf the growth of the so-called "delta" covid variant in the u.k. is worrying officials here and abroad. vaccines have proven effective against all the variants, particularly when someone gets two doses, but the pace of vaccination in the u.s. is slowing. last week, the u.s. was averaging about 800,000 doses a day, well below this sprinwhen 2.5 to three million were being given each day. the ben administration's goal of getting 70% of adults inoculated with at least one shot by july 4 is looking harder. given that, a month-long campaign has begun with incentives from state governments, sports leagues, and businesses-- all to get people to roll up their sleeves. william brangham has the story. >> do it for yourself. do it to protect those more vulnerable than you. your friends, your family, your community. >> brangham: while rougy 140
million americans eagerly lined up for their shots, officials are trying creative new ways to get the rest of the country into a vaccination center. is transportation the problem? uber and lyft have partnered with the white house to offer discounted rides to vaccination sites. major league baseball teams are offering free tickets to people who get their jabs at the ballpark. there's free beer being offered to vaccinated adults in multiple cities. >> one of the reasons i came out here is, it's my day off. a free beer is better than the beer you pay for, so it's a nice day to bring a dog out to a park. >> brangham: annhesuer busch saysif the country meets the biden administration's 70% vaccinatn goal by july 4, it'll offer 200,000 people a free round to celebrate“ independence” from the virus. united's frequent fliers can upload their vaccination card for a “shot” to win fr flights for a year. one of the sweetest rewards? krispy kreme is giving away free
donuts for the inoculated through the end of the year. >> i think it's a great idea. i mean, krispy kremes are delicious. >> the vaccination is a reward all by itself. i mean, that is the reward-- staying alive. but the doughnut is just, like, a little pat on the back, just reinforces that. >> brangham: in the nation's catol, where marijuana possession is legal, home growers offered free pot to those getting their shots. >> just like they're giving away krispy kreme donuts, we're giving away joints. >> brangham: washington state, in tandem with its commercial cannabis industry, announced a similar, so-called “joints-for- jabs” promotion. and for those who want a shot at winning a fortune with their shot? several states have rolled out lotteries, with scholarships and prizes ranging from $10,000 to one million dollars. >> a stable future, after the last year that we've had, is worth all the money in the world. but, of course, it doesn't hurt to take your chance at a million dollars as well.
>> brangham: and in west virginia, a state that had one of the most successful initial rollouts, newly-vaccinated young adults are offered $100 gift cards, and the chance to win free vacations in state parks, college scholarships, and one of fi custom-made shotguns. it's hard to know how effective these incentives are at motivating the hesitant. but in ohio, at least, the“ vax-a-million” lottery seems to be working. in the first week after the program began, the state saw a 28% increase in the vaccination rate for those 16 and older. and for those who don't win a million dollars? there will still be donuts. for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham.
>> woodruff: let's hope it all works, and that everyone gets vaccinated. and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> for 25 years, consumer cellular's goal has been to provide wireless service that helps people communicate and connect. we offer a variety of no-contract plans, and our u.s.-based customer service team can help find one that fits you. to learn more, visit www.consumercellular.tv. >> fidelity wealth management. >> johnson & johnson. >> bnsf railway. >> financial services firm raymond james. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals.
lihello. welcome to "amanpour & company." here's what's coming up. >> do n come. do not come. >> the u.s. sends a message to would be migrants. the vice president in mexico as the country reels from a bloody election. i'll get some perspective with mexican political analyst and professor denise dresser. plus -- >> when you have more convictions, that is what sends the message to everyone. >> changing the way the military responds to sexual assault. why one democratic senator is willing to cross the aisle to get it done. then -- >> we're going to end this o outbreak for absolutely certain. the vehicle to end it is