tv PBS News Hour PBS July 30, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning spoponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: the delta threat. new data from the c.d.c. reveals how infectious and dangerous this covid variant is. we break down what we know now. then, leaving afghistan. interpreters arrive on our shores, finding safety after risking it all to help the u.s. during the war. plus, crackdown. the chinese government tightens its grip on hong kong by closing the border to prevent a mass exodus. and, it's friday. david brooks and e.j. dionne consider what looks to be a major deal on infrastructure, the politics in reaction to the
new c.d.c. guidelines, and the investigation into the january 6 capitol riot. all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> fidelity wealth management. >> bnsf railway. >> consumer cellular. >> johnson & johnson. >> financial services firm raymond james. >> the john s. and james l. knight foundation. fostering informed and engaged communities. more at kf.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions:
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. >> woodruff: this was a day of sobering and surprising news about how covid-19 is again accelerating in the u.s. and around the world. the world health organization said that infections are up 80% globally just in the past month, overwhelming health systems in many countries. on the continent of africa, deaths are up 80%. back in the u.s., the centers for disease control made public a pivotal study explaining how fully-vaccinated people can spread the delta variant.
the study raises serious questions about how businesses and schools should operate as they reopen. amna nawaz has the details. >> nawaz: judy, the c.d.c. examined a covid outbreak in provincetown, massachusetts around fourth of jy weekend. within weeks, that outbreak spread to at least 469 people around the state-- a state with nearly 70% vaccination rate among adults three-quarters of those infected had been fully-vaccinated. nearly 80% were symptomatic. so far, there have been no deaths, and just five people were hospitalized-- but, four of them were fully vaccinated. and, provincetown had low levels of virus transmission when the outbreak began. in fact, an internal c.d.c. cument about the delta variant obtained by the "washington post" said officials must recognize that "the war ha changed." we look at key questions coming out of all this with dr. ashish jha, thdean of brown university's school of public health. >> dr. jha, welcome back to the "newshour". always good to have you here. people will look at the study and say this tells me if i'm
vaccinated, i can steel still get the virus, feel sick, and transmit it to other people. why should get the vaccine. what do you say to them. >> first of all, thanks for having me back on the "newshour". actually, this study, looking at what happened in hon, the vaccine is working exactly as expected. let me lay out why. what you had was an influx of a lot of people coming to provincetown for july 4 celebrations, a lot of unvaccinated people. delta virus surging. you did have a good number of breakthrough infections, not surprising when you have a lot of people packed into bars and clubs. but let's see what happened to those people. almost all did extraordinarily well. a small number ended up in the hospital. no one died, and it did not fuel this massive outbreak that led to more and more casesnd exponential growth. that outbreak memorls faded akay. case numbers declined, infection numbers are down and no one died from this, thank goodness.
this is the vaccine working. what i would say to people is vaccines turn a potentially deadly disease into a mid one. your chances of passing it on are much lower. >> reporter: a lot of people will look at the numbers and say the overwhelmingly majority of the people were fully vaccinated. doesn't that say this is spreading much faster than we previously thought it was? >> i get that and makes sense people would be concerned about that. member, the underlying population was largely vaccinated. if 99% of the people are vaccinated in the community any outbreak will largely happen among the vaccinated. so that to me is not any indictment of the vacines. the key is to ask the question is the transmission happening as badly among thevacked and most importantly are vaccinated people getting sick or not and we have clear evidence the people vaccinated are not getting sick at same rates. >> reporter: the delta variant is much more highly
transmissible. what else do we know about it. is it transmitted in the same way breathing in aerosol particles? do we know anything about transmission by surface or touch? >> it's still the same virus, the mechanisms are still the same. it's still airborne passed to people through breathing. there may be a little touch source, but tiny. the c.d.c. report highlights it looks like if you get infected with the delta variant you're more likely to get sick than previous variants, maybe a more severe variant of the virus as well. that's not nailed down. we have the sort that out. >> reporter: that's true, vaccinated ordinate, correct? >> certainly among the non-vaccinated. we have not seen vaccinated people get particularly sick from this, a small number might. >> reporter: the c.d.c. issued masking guidance inside public
setting where trance militia is high. wal-mart is requiring workers in high-transmission areas to mask, broadway is requiring masks and vaccinations for all members of its audience. should we generally speaking as americans be reevaluating indoor activities now more broadly speaking? >> yeah, so i think one of the things we've had to do through the pandemic is make asummits as the virus changed. this is an evolving virus and as a virus evolves we've got to evolve, right now we have a very dangerous, transmissible variant circulating largely among the non-vaccinated americans. if you're in a hot zone with a lot of infections, it makes sense to potentially wear a mask indoors and avoid large indoor gatherings like nightclubs and superpacked restaurants. nats not nevertheless the policy i would have for every part of the country but for the hot zones it's reasonable. >> reporter: the new strain of delta variant, a world official
maria van kerchove was asked about the potential new variants. >> there will be more. >> there will be more. it's in the virus's interest-- viruses are not alive, so they don't have a brain to think through this-- but, they become more fit the more that they circulate. and so, the virus will liky become more transmissible. because this is what viruses do. they evolve. they change over time. >> reporter: already jha, what are the chances we're dealing with another variant sometime later this year? >> we might. i mean, look, all of the variants we've seen so far have come out of countries where there were large outbreaks. large outbreaks are still happening around the world because we haven't gotten vaccines out to the world. as long as that happens, we should be ready for more variants. whether they will be much more contains or they will evolve our immune system and our vaccines, i don't know. but i'm pretty hopeful that if we can keep plugging away on vaccinations we can put this to an end but we have to pay clo attention to that possibility. >> reporter: a lot of people we talk to are confused and
frustrated by the way the c.d.c. has been messaging the guidance over the last year and a half. they feel it's shifted and changed. we've talked about it before. we said as the science evolves the guidance changes, but what do you think the c.d.c. needs to do now to make sure the guidance sticks at this latest turn in the serving in. >> yeah, so what i think the c.d.c. needs to do is explain first of all how it makes its decisions and as new data comes in we want the c.d.c. as a physician when new studies are done on the way to treat a patient, i change my clinical practice. that's normal and what we want the c.d.c. to do. the c.d.c. should do a better job explaining and making it more trance parents. they shouldn't say we have data but can't share it. that breeds confusion among people. the c.d.c. should tie the guidance to clear metrics so when the numbers go down the masking guidelines will change. we want to be flexible, data
driven and the c.d.c. to help guide us in that process. >> reporter: and people to stay safe as they possibly can. dr. ash ash, dean of brown university school of public health. always good to have you. thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, newly-released documents highlight the pressure former president trump put on the u.s. justice department, as he was trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election. a congressional committee released notes made by richard donoghue, a senior justice official, during a december phone call. he quoted mr. trump as saying, "just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the republican congressmen." at that point, the department had already said it found no evidence of widespread election fraud. on aecond front, the u.s. justice department directed
the treasury department today to hand over mr. trump's tax returns to congress. at issue is whether he complied with tax law. the trsury had refused to hand over the returns during the trump administration. democratic leaders in congress sought today to extend a nationwide ban on evictions. the u.s. supreme court has indicated that only congress may ke the ban from expiring tomorrow night. in the meantime, speaker of the house nancy pelosi appealed to the c.d.c. to take emergency action. >> we would like the c.d.c. to expand the moratorium. that's where it can be done. and then of course, with the public message that governors, mayors, etc., give the money for its purpose, to the renters. >> woodruff: congress approved $47 billion months ago to aid renters and landlords, but lawmakers say state governments have been slow to disburse the money, and only $3 billion has
gone out so far. the biden administration sued the state of texas today for trying to bar the transptation of unsanctioned migrants. republican governor gregg abbott has targeted private groups that drive migrants to shelters or other destinations. he says he's taking a pandemic control measure. the u.s. justice department says the state is illegally interfering with immigration policy. in the philippines, president rodrigo duterte reversed himself today and restored a major military pact with the u.s. it means the two nations will continue holding joint combat exercises, in a counter to china's growing power. the decision followed a visit by u.s. defense secretary lloyd austin. officials gave no reason for the policy switch. japan has expanded a state emergency to more of the country as covid-19 infections surge. that move today came amid the ongoing summer olympics in tokyo.
the head of the government's covid task force warned, the situation is dire. >> ( translated ): following today's decision on the state of emergency, i think we are facing the most serious crisis. how the japanese people and the entire society tackle it is the key to the future. >> woodruff: in the olympic competition, the u.s. women's soccer team faced elimination today. in the end, they beat the netherlands on penalty kicks, to move to the semi-finals. in bicycle motorcross racing, american connor fields, the defending gold medalist, suffered a violent crash and missed the finals. he's hospitalized, in stable condition. back in this country, new heat waves are roasting the pacific northwest and the southeast. going into the weekend, more than 60 million americans e under heat advisories. temperatures are expected to top 100 degrees in parts of idaho and washington state.
in u.s. economic news, a key inflation index jumped in june by the most since 1991. the indicator-- used by the federal reserve-- was up 3.5% from a year earlier. meanwhile, wall street was mostly lower today. the dow jones industrial average lost 149 points to close at 34,935. the nasdaq fell 105 points. the s&p 500 shed nearly 24. and, two passings of note. former michigan senator carl levin died thursday, of lung cancer. over 36 years, the veteran democrat became a key voice on military issues. he voted against sending troops to iraq in 2002, and years later, he argued that the invasion failed to stop terrorism. >> what has changed now is that there is a global terrorist network now, which is much more threatening to us than it was five or ten or 15 years ago. and so, the possibility that
weapons would be transferred to a terrorist group now with a global reach is a very different and more threatening situation to us than it was before. >> woodruff: carl levin was 87 years old. and, richard "dick" lamm, a longtime democratic governor of colorado, passed away overnight. he served three terms, pushed through an early abortion rights law, and fought against hosting the 1976 winter olympics, warning of economic and environmental damage. dick lamm was 85 years old. still to come on the newshour: the chinese government closes the border of hong kong in the latest crackdown. david brooks and e.j. dionne consider the politics of the pandemic. a pulitzer prize winner explores mcdonald's role in black american life. plus, much more.
>> woodruff: today, more than 200 afghan citizens eligible for so-called "special immigrant visas" arrived in virginia. they are the first group of former interpreters and their families who worked with the americans to get out. they're being evacuated by the biden administration just weeks before the u.s. withdrawal is complete, and as violence across afghanistan increases. nick schifrin joins us now. so, hello, nick, who is in this first group, and where will they go? >> schifrin: 221 afghans, who are special immigrant visa applicants, including more than 70 children, arrived this morning via bus at fort lee in virginia. they will be staying in these hotels prepared by the military as they complete their visa
applications, expected to take about a week. and these are the people who were at the very end of a 14- step, years-long visa process. and they're just a fraction of the 5,000 special immigrant visas issued by the u.s. embassy in kabul this year, and what advocates say is tens of thousands of afghans and their family members in the pipeline. and, advocates say, their evacuation is a matter of life and death. afghans who risked their lives to work for the u.s. in afghanistan over the last 20 years have been threatened, targeted, or even killed by the taliban. and some national security experts argue, if the u.s. doesn't evacuate them, prospective u.s. partners in future wars might not trust the u.s. can protect them. >> woodruff: what about all the others who remain in afghanistan? what happens to them?
>> schifrin: the administration and congress have worked together to lift the red tape these applicants face, including a bill passed yesterday. there will be more flights of s.i.v. applicants will arrive in the coming weeks, and a group whose applications aren't as far along will first be evacuated to a third country, expected to be qatar or kuwait, to complete their applications. but, refugee advocates say the administration hasn't moved fast enough. there are no u.s. troops to help transport these interpreters to kabul, as the taliban has taken over many of the roads between kabul and the provinces. and the threat goes beyond just the afghans who worked for the u.s. government who are eligible for these special visas. take a listen to adam bates of the international refugee assistance project. >> this is something the administration should have been planning all along, about how to protect these people and make sure that nobody who is-- who is in imminent danger is left behind.
there are thousands and thousands of other afghans who are in danger, either because of u.s. affiliations-- maybe they worked with u.s. media organizations or n.g.o.s, maybe they worked on cooperative agreements instead of contracts, and then people who weren't affiliated with the u.s. but who are still in danger from the taliban: women's rights activists, human rights lawyers, civil servants. >> schifrin: senior administration officials they are trying to help those groups, including labeling them "priority 2," or "p. 2," which would make it easier for them to seek and obtain refugee status. but again, these processes take a long time. the u.s. military withdraws in a few weeks, and security around the country is deteriorang. >> woodruff: so nick, let's switch to another topic, and that is debilitating medical ailments that have become known
as the havana syndrome. here we are, six months in, what steps have the biden administration taken? >> schifrin: these are serious ailments, reported by hundreds of people in the government over the last five years. the first were in havana. and the biden administration says this is a priority. they have created new standards of care, to allow, or ensure people who report symptoms get proper treatment; a new process to share intelligence across agencies, so everyone can see details of all possible cases; and they've lowered the reporting threshold, to encourage possible victims to report their symptoms. but understanding the source, judy, remains a real challenge. in the last administration, c.i.a. analyzed what device could exist that could cause these injuries, and they found real challenges when it came to size of a device, and needing
line of sight to the targets. and there was a review, or“ scrub,” of all intelligence, current and past, of any mention of a foreign entity talking about, researching, developing, or deploying this technology. and it came up empty. so, this administration says those efforts have been reinvigorated, including reporting, treating, and the technical hunt for a cause. and c.i.a. has approached that hunt similar to the hunt for osama bin laden. >> woodruff: so is this administration any closer to finding a cause? >> schifrin: the short answer is no. they do not know who, if anyone, set out to target u.s. officials. a panel of medical experts last year found that it could-- could-- be caused by microwave radiation, and that panel pointed out that rusa studied that in the past. but senior u.s. officials say they don't know whether this is a foreign actor's actions, or perhaps an inadvertent side
effect of overly aggressive surveillance, or something else. part of the problehas been the range of apparent victims. intelligent agents who work on russia have reported these symptom. state department diplomats, including some based in europe, have reported these symptoms. even a white house official, late last year. after that white house incident, the national security council held deputies meetings, and concluded they simply didn't have enough evidence to know what was happening. and that conclusion remains today. take a quick listen to secretary of state tony blinken last month. >> we do not know who, if yone, is actually responsible: state actor, individuals. this is exactly what we're trying to get to the bottom of. >> schifrin: blinken's languag“" who, if anyone”-- angered some victims we spoke to, and some members of congress in the room, who accused the state department of not taking this seriously and casting doubt over the idea of intentionality. there are still doubts about the cause, but this administration says they're focusing more resources to try and help those who exhibit these symptoms, and find the source.
>> woodruff: nick schifrin, than >> woodruff: a pro-democracy protester in hong kong was sentenced today to nine years in prison, the first prosecutio under the beijing-imposed national security law, enacted just over a year ago. that law, part of china's crackdown in hong kong, has sparked a growing public exodus. this sunday, a new amendment to hong kong's immigration law takes effect that the government says only targets illegal refugees. but, as special correspondent richard kimber reports, critics say the legislation's wording is deliberately vague, and could give it the power to ban residents from leaving the city. >> reporter: before covid-19, this was one of the world's busiest airports. now it's mostly a ghost town. but a handful of late-night check-in counters in hong kong are still operating at full throttle, and many of the people
lined up aren't sure if they'll ever come back. this family is leaving for the u.s. >> ( translated ): there are many things we can't say now. it's very dangerous. we all know it. i want my kids to grow up in a place that has freedom of speech, and where they can say whatever they want and pursue their dreams. >> reporter: these friends are saying goodbye before one of them moves to scotland. >> ( translated ): what has happened in hong kong in recent years worries me. i'm concerned about my safety. it feels like we are being restrained. we've lost a lot of freedoms and the chance to speak out. >> reporter: congress is debating a bill to give special visas and refugee status to hong kongers fleeing political persecution. the united kingdom, canada and australia offer extended work and residency permits to hong kongers, and eventual pathways to full citizenship. the programs are proving popular. 34,000 hong kongers emigrated to the u.k. in the first three months of the year. britain expects 300,000 to make the move by 2026.
hong kong used to be a british colony; it was handed back to china in 1997. that process has sparked a dramatic series of political developments in hong kong in the past two years. months of anti-government street protests in 2019 led to china's introduction of a controversial national security law in the city in june of 2020. beijing says it has brought stability to hong kong, but the legislation has faced international criticism for cracking down on public freedoms and stifling political dissent. the latest worry for hong kongers is the potential end to their freedom of movement. beginning august 1, a newly updated immigration bill comes into force. critics warn it could give authorities the power to ban residents from entering or leaving the city. andrew lo runs an immigration consultancy in hong kong. he says initial news of the bill sparked panic.
>> our phones rang up like crazy. everyone was pushing our staff, asking, “can you get me the visa on or before the end of july? i'm very worried that we cannot leave hong kong.” >> reporter: his company has been operating for more than 30 years, and seen waves of migration before-- especially around the time of hong kong's 1997 handover from britain to china. but he says, this time, the mood of his clients has changed. >> today is different from the old days. they decide to go and not come back. they are so determined. you see, even i have a client-- he has three properties in hong kong. he sold all three properties. in the old days, people would keep at least one, just in case they want to return. >> reporter: the government dismisses the concerns. it says the new immigration bill will only target people it calls "fake refugees," who try to enter the city illegally, or who claim they can't be deported after arriving. >> ( translated ): the amendment of the bill is by no means going
to restrict any freedom of traveling for hong kong people. so, people need not worry about that. people who raise that sort of doubt, i think there may be an idea of scaremongering behind it. >> reporter: legal experts say the reason for the controversy is that, just like the national security law, the terms of the legislation are too vague. >> broadly worded provisions don't inspire confidence or certainty, and that's what you want when you have the rule of law. so i think there's a lack of trust with the government, and there's a lack of scrutiny, because the people who have been scrutinizing the government in the legislative council, many of them are no longer there, and some of them are in exile. >> reporter: china has introduced sweeping political reforms in hong kong that give it more control over the city's legislature. it says that'll make decision- making more efficient, and that there'll still be room for a variety of political views. but the changes are deepening
concerns among the public, and in corporate boardrooms. he in hong kong's central business district, there are global investment banks on every corner. many of them use hong kong not just as a gateway to china, but also as a base for their asian regional headquarters. that could be set to change. the u.s. says that since the introduction of hong kong's national security law, businesses operating there face new dangers, including electronic surveillance without warrants, and the enforced surrender of corporate data. the american chamber of commerce says it's committed to staying in hong kong, but it's calling on the authorities to be more transparent about their legislative plans, to give amican companies more confidence to stay put. the government says its economic data shows investor confidence has been boosted, not shaken, by e national security law. it says even if there is an exodus of talent, it can easily attract more from overseas, and from acrs the border in mainland china. the economy is bouncing back strongly from the effects of
covid-19, but that confidence isn't filtering through to all the city's potential future business leaders. this woman is an intern at a fast-growing tech start-up in the city. we'll call her candice. she wanted to remain anonymous for this report. a life-long hong konger, she'll soon graduate from the city's top ranked university, but says she and many of her friends, are planning their future elsewhere. >> ( translated ): the political situation in hong kong in recent years is not stable. i'm not sure about the bottom line, what i can do and what i cannot do. i feel insecure, since we are uncertain about our future and our career path. we are not sure what our life will be. that's why i want to emigrate, and to try living abroad. >> reporter: hong kong's chief executive, carrie lam, says those who decide to leave will eventually come to realize how good life in the city really is. but for many hong kongers, the uncertainty of life overseas is a risk they're increasingly willing to take. for the pbs newshour, i'm
richard kimber in hong kong. >> woodruff: its been another jam-packed week here in washington, with infrastructure appearing to be on the path to passing the senate, the january 6 select committee kicking off their hearings with emotional testimony from police who defended the capitol that day, and a new challenge facing president biden as hospitalizations increase due to the delta variant. joining us to break down the political implications of it all are brooks and dionne. that is "new york times" columnist dad brooks, and e.j. dionne from the "washington post." jonathan capehart is away. very good to see you. e.j. dionne, great to have you back. >> great to be here. thanks. .>> woruff: the topics, etty sober, david.
here we are, are a lot of u thought we were on the way to a good place with this covid 19, and we find out this variant is very tricky, even people who are vaccinated can spread it, and a lot breakthrough infections. democrats, the president practically begging people to get vaccinated, wear a mask. republicans divided, some say get vaccinated, some not. how do you read what's going on? where do we go? >> we were looking forward to a smooth glide path, me and my bar scene and my clubs and concerts, and that's probably not going to happen and we'll have to deal with that. the question is will social fragmentation happen alongside that, will the pressure of going back down into a more alarmed position tear us apart even further? i think what's interesting to me is how yes graphically different it will be. in some places where vaccination
rates are in the 70% and 80%, you're going to feel very different than when you're in mississippi. in my view we need to heighten the contradictions, where we have to make sure people understand where people are vaccinated, life is a lot better. we've learned this week where there have been an uptick in vaccinations, that if you make it mandatory for some workplaces and incentive structure very clear you have to get vaccinated, a lot of people will get vaccinated. it may be cruel to say but we have to make incentives overwhelming to get vaccinated for the common good. >> woodruff: e.j., we know it's not all politics. some people have an innate fear of getting a vaccination, apparently, but there is a political opponent to this in that a lot of influential conservatives are saying don't do this, it not the threat they say it is. is this a moment when things are
going to get worse because of that? >> you know, in an odd way, i'm a bit hopeful because the messenger is getting through, sadly because of the deaths and the sickness, and people are starting to become very clear that if you are not vaccinated, you are in trouble. but it is profoundly political. the 20 states that have the highest vaccination rate, all those states voted for joe biden. you couldn't be more political. the biden counties are way more vacs made than the trump counties are. what gives me heart is the republican party has been divided into three. there's one part of the party that, right from the start, we're saying vaccination, you've got to do it. mitch mcconnell who had polio is very sensitive to the vaccination issue. governors like asa hutchisonson and mike dewine have been there from the beginning. then you have the anti-group
where if liberals are for masks and vaccinations, they have to be bad. that's the profound dysfunction of our politics. where i take a little hope is a middle group that was afraid of the second group, really didn't want to speak out and started to say -- steve scalise, a reblican leader in the house finally gets vaccinated, they're finally starting to say is bad for our states and people. it's red counties and red states that are in the most trouble, and i'm sure a lot of business people who support republicans are saying this is not good. you've got to get off this anti-vax stuff. so they've created space for companies and the national footba league, for example, to get much tougher and say you've got to get vaccinated, with some compulsion. i don't think compulsion would have worked two months ago. i think it can work now because people realize we've got to get out of this. >> woodruff: and by telling federal employees, david, the
hope is private businesses will tell employees. >> right. and, you know, i know a lot of young people didn't want to get vaccinated because they figured the odds of them getting very sick is small and they think the vaccination was rushed and then the school tells them you have to getvacked and they say okay. so the practicality outweighs it for young people. it's a little less of a culture war for at last 80 portion of the country. >> woodruff: i want to turn to something that i think we all had to be looking at e.j., and that is the january 6th select committee hearings where we had very powerful testimony from four capitol -- u.s. capitol police officers who physically battled the rioters that day, and spoke very movingly about what it meant to them and wy they were there to testify. and, yet, again, you have
republicans who don't want to be part of that committee. there's still the anger over speaker pesi about taking republicans off the committee. is that effort going to led to something productive? what do you see right now? >> i think that hearing all by itself made the case for this investigation because i think those officers not only moved the country, it was a moving moment, and, you know, one michael fenome one of the officers saying he went to hell and back and the republicans were trying to say it wasn't he, and it was, and he was attacking the denials of january 6th. officer dunn who talked about having a word yelled at him we never say on this show and the overt racism of some of the people in the crowd, i think people learned things from this.
i think a couple of things came out of it, one is the best hearings is not when people give long speeches, it's when they allow witnesses to tell the story and provide information, and i think these four officers gave a lesson to congress going forward. the other is, i think, nancy pelosi made the right call in keeping off the committee people who were going to basically try to wreck the conversation. there were two republicans there, come on kits singer and congresswoman cheney, they were great and clear and i think this is going to be productive. >> woodruff: you still do have, though, david, the republican majority in the house, kevin mccarthy and everyone around him, saying this is a travesty and starting to blame speaker pelosi herself for what happened on january 6th. >> yeah, which is 90% b.s. but, you know, a couple of things, the hearings showed this was not just a bunch of tourists visiting the capitol, this was a
violent assault, and the violence of the assault was made clear by those testimonies, and that's powerful. i had a conversation with a military expert who said it looked like to him when you have a bunch of people coming into different entrances all at once there had to be coordination, so i would like to know where is the coordination. then on the republican side, a a little autobiographical, i came to washington in 1985 the same year as a conservative guy from dartmouth and i was from chicago. we were part of the same commity of conservatives and politicians. i saw a youtube today of him showing bits of really emotional testimony and he is laughing at them for being wimps and cowards and it was repulsive. to thi i spent part of my career as a community anhalf of the community went off into the never-trump world, which i
did, and the other half went completely bonkers, in my view, and, so, he is part of that community and tucker carlson and the people we grew up with. that's in my little world, but that's the republican world that people went off in radically different directions from the reagan years, and that's part of our national life. and i wonder where the elected officials, where they're going to end up because eventually you have to decide whether you're going to be with suza or reality. so this hearing was a littl piece of where is the american right going to evolve. >> if i could say quickly, i think one of the depressing things particularly about republicans in house is that the vast majority are either there on the suza side or afraid not to be there, and that doesn't bode well for the republican party in the long run and politically it's not going to be good either because the 2022
elections will be decided by turnout, yes, of the base, but in significant part by moderate people in the suburbs, many who swung to biden. this republic party that doesn't want to take on the violence at the capitol, those suburban voters are not going to warm to that in 2022. >> woodruff: but you do still have the former president out there, david, saying this committee is completely wrong-headed, nothing happened, the divide could not be more deeper. >> right, and, you know, puts odds of him pretty good in 2024. on the masks, we talk about republicans being reasonable. so you're beginning to see within the party we just want to have normal politics again and we don't want to be governeby this guy but that's a recipe for political end of your career right now, so they're feeling their way toward reasonableness. >> woodruff: that'shat i
wanted to ask you about because we have what lookto be a deal on infrastructure, where yo've got at least 10 republicans who look like they're going to go with the democrats on this bipartisan infrastructure plan, and the question is what does this mean? i mean, in everything else, the divisions, you know, couldn't be starker, but on this they are working together. >> as many as 17 voted for this thing. so, you know, there are two worlds. you read, frankly, a lot of the media who their charge is to show the republican party are completely awful and the democrat, party are completely socialist and this is is revenue model. you interview people like rob portman, senator from ohio, who's a republican, he's still a normal, sane, human being. mitt romney, susan collins, these are people who are normal human beings who want to do a good job. so the reality is not as polarized as sometimes the media portrayals and that was evidenced this week and it's evidenced that joe biden's
theory compromise can work is -- ateast seems right now, in this week. >> woodruff: only 30, 40 seconds left to sum it all up. >> i worry this is a one-off. i do think it shows that, for a long period, they couldn't even pass a transportation bill because of the really strong antigovernment sentiment in the republican party. during the pandemic we learned you needed pretty strong government to keep the economy from going off the rails. i think there is a philosophical and ideological shift reflected in this deal and it reminds me of the good old wigs and internal improvements. this is i'm bowing to david's inner wig which is a better term than infrastructure. it's in the republicans party's dna and they're finally coming back for least this one moment. >> woodruff: i'm taking away the image of the inner whig,
david brooks. david brooks, e.j. dionne, very good to have you. >> great to be here. thank you. >> woodruff: thank you. >> woodruff: fast food is a staple of american culture, but in recent decades, there has been a new focus on health and wage inequality. jeffrey brown talks to author marcia chatelain about the complicated history of mcdonalds in the black community: how the fast food giant supported black franchise owners, but was a trap for unhealthy diets and low wages. it's part of our arts and culture series, "canvas." >> every day after high school, we'd go take the bus to downtown chicago and we would go to mcdonald's >> brown: in that sense, marcia chatelain is like so many of us: eating a zillion, and counting, burgers, and all kinds of fast food at mcdonalds and other chains. but, she's also an historian and
georgetown university professor, who realized that the history of fast food is one way to explore important issues of race in america. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> everyone around the world can identify mcdonald's. but what mcdonald's means in black communities is distinct and special, because it's a reflection of the various places where african americans have been historically excluded. everyone eats mcdonald's, but what mcdonald's means to everyone-- i think race really plays a difference in how that's interpreted. >> brown: it's the focus of her book, "franchise: the golden arches in black america," winner of this year's pulitzer prize in history. chatelain, the daughter of haitian immigrants, is just the second black woman to earn that honor. and when you say "fast food," mcdonald's is the place. >> mcdonald's is the leader. mcdonald's set the standard and expectation of what fast food could be. how did mcnald's go from a
place that really thought of itself as a suburban brand, to-- >> brown: largely white. >> largely white-- to something that's so present in urban communities that are mostly african american and people of color. and, there's actually a story there. >> brown: a story that began amid segregation, when mcdonalds and other fast food chains complied with local laws that excluded blacks from their restaurants. the civil rights movement and subsequent civil rights act of 1964 ended discrimination on the grounds of race. and, several years later, the first black-owned mcdonald's franchise was opened by herman petty in chicago. >> from the vantage-point of 1967, when african americans have only had the right to be in public accommodations for three years, opening a mcdonald's in a black neighborhood is a big deal. >> brown: mcdonalds soon discovered a franchising goldmine. >> mcdonald's seized upon the moment, and what the reason was, if they put african american
franchise owners in african american communities, they could not only respond to the call for black ownership, but they could create a new consumer base by making these investments. and they were right. >> brown: advertisements in the 1970s and '80s centered on family and community. the 1990s brought a focus on celebrities, sports, even cartoons. and commercials continue today for a contemporary market. from the start, fast-food was more than just food. >> mcdonald's was a presence in black communities, as people were organizing voting drives or thinki about ways to support the n.a.a.c.p. so, in many ways, mcdonald's became part of the social fabric of black life, even as they
continued to promote products that were for everyone. >> brown: but as chatelain sees it, this empowerment came with a price. as more restaurants opened in black and latino communities, st food became a common staple of diets, and consumers were often left with few healthy choices. high rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes in the black community. how much did that become tied to the emphasis of fast food? >> the thing that i find most fascinating when we talk about health and race and fast food is that we have to take a holistic look at the quality of a person's life. if we don't understand that fast food is sometimes the most rational and smartest choice in someone's life, because they don't have the time or the energy for cooking, they're concerned about where their children are, and they're concerned about where their next meal is coming, then we're not doing the full work of food justice without thinking of all of the factors that constrain
people's choices. >> brown: mcdonalds promoted itself as a source for jobs, but they were largely low-wage jobs. that goes to chatelain's larger critique of a strategy based on so-called "black capitalism"-- emphasizing private ownership and wealth over social and governmental programs. and that becomes the tension of between the idea of black capitalism and actual economic justice? >> black capitalism has long been a strategy to fill the gaps that are created when a racist society refuses to deliver to a group of people. and so, throughout the 19th and 20th century, african americans have turned to black capitalism to fill those critical gaps. the fundental problem is, is that business can never tend to people the way that communities can. >> brown: chatelain sees the same thing happening again now:
after protests against systemic racism in 2020, companies pledged support for black businesses and suppliers. she says great, but not enough. >> the conclusion was more black business. support black creators. these things are incongruent. and i think that it is because we return to this idea of business-- because the other work is just really hard to do. black business didn't create these problems. black business can't solve these problems. >> brown: how do you see your role as a historian? i'm struck listening to you, every time you... >> my campaign speeches. >> brown: well, you know, a little bit. i mean, just in the sense of tying the history to a sense of social justice. >> i tell my students this often: history is your gatest tool in problem solving. that, any time you find yourself stuck on how you're going to respond to a challenge, take a moment and look at the history. and so, i think my role as a historian in 2021 is to sound the alarms, as well as to remind people that the past is a source
of gre inspiration. >> brown: and the historian isn't done. chatelain is now at work on a series of books capturing new perspectives and voices in the civil rights movemt. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown in washington, d.c. >> woodruff: jane willenbring is a geologist who solves problems related to the earth's surface. in 2020, she was featured in a nova documentary called“ picture a scientist,” found on pbs passport. she and two other women shared their experiences in the sciences, ranging from brutal harassment to years of subtle slights. tonight, willenbring gives her "brief but spectacular" take on making science more diverse, equitable, and open to all.
>> i'm a geologist, and i study how landscapes change. when i was starting to do my master's degree, one of the things that i was so excited that i was going to get to do is to actually go to antarctica. and then, when we finally got there, the thing that was most challenging to me was the behavior of my graduate advisor. every day, there would be some comment, about who i had had sex with. he would call me a slut and a whore. it was just very difficult to keep my spirits up during that period. and so, i remember it was, you know, just very difficult to navigate that situation. >> he told me that if i said anything about it, that i would
never have a job in science. that was really hard. i was pretty vulnerable at the time because i really needed to get this degree, and i needed to get a letter from him, too, so that i could go on to get my ph.d., and so i just kind of had to suck it up. and that's basically what i did for over a decade. i did not realize how many women who are doing field scnce expeence this kind of behavior. over half of them experienced sexual harassment during fie work. one day, my little girl said,“ i want to be a scientist, just like you.” and she was three years old, and that little comment from that little girl just triggered me. that night i decided to file a title ix complaint against my former advisor.
other women came forward as a result. he filed an appeal. then, the president of the university actually stepped in and said, nope. we are firing him. he is no longer going to be working at this university. he had had a glacier named after him in antarctica, and they actually decided to rename the glacier. i actually don't know what he's doing now. when you talk to people about how to improve academia or stem for women, you hear a lot about, like, “oh, we have to get more women interested in science and math.” i feel like we should-- we should take a step back, and sort of protect the women and, and people of color and people with disabilities, and l.g.b.t.q. persons who are in science already.
i have done a lot of work since submitting the harassment complaint, to try to make it so that my daughter has a better science life than i did. my name is jane willenbring, and this is my "brief but spectacular" take on calling out harassment in the sciences. >> woodruff: jane, thank you for your courrage, and sharing it with us. and you can watch all our "brief but spectacular" episodes at www.pbs.org/newshour/brief. well, on the newshour online right now, our friday "five stories" video shares news items you may have missed, like a deadly red tide in florida, and pandemic-related passport delays. you can watch on our youtube channel or on our website, www.pbs.org/newshour. and, stay with pbs. our yamiche alcindor picks up on the push for vaxxing and masking. plus, her panel also explores the powerful testimony from the january 6 hearing.
that's tonight on "washington week." and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here on monday evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and have a good weekend. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> fidelity wealth management. >> consumer cellular. >> johnson & johnson. >> bnsf railway. >> financial services firm raymond james. >> the william and flora hewlett foundation. for more than 50 years, advancing ideas and supporting institutions to promote a better world. at www.hewlett.org. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org.
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions 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. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> what the delta variant means in our fight against covid this week on "firing line." >> we are in for a very tough august, probably a very tough september before this really turns around. >> the delta variant is here, and it's driving a new summer surge across the country, around the world, at the olympic games. in may, the message to the vaccinated was take offhat mask. >> one, two, three. >> if you're fully vaccinated, you've earned the right to do something that americans are known for all around the world -- greeting others with a smile. >> now a reversal. >> something has changed, and what has changed is the virus. >> dr. celine gounder is an epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist who advised the biden transition tea
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