tv PBS News Hour PBS August 6, 2021 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: help wanted. the latest jobs report shows a strong labor market and a falling unemployment rate, but questions remain about covid's effect on the recovery. then, the road ahead. as the senate moves forward with the infrastructure bill, we examine the potential investments in the country's aging transportation network. plus, a fight over rights. hungary's crackdown on its l.g.b.t.q. community prompts condemnation from other european leaders, and sets up a potential showdown at the e.u. >> there has long been an ideological battle between the populist govnment here and the
rest of the european union. but so far, hungary's actions in areas like l.g.b.t. rights have come with little consequence. >> woodruff: and, it's frida david brooks and jonathan capehart examine what the results of two ohio special congressional elections say about the two parties, the accusations against new york governor cuomo, and the ongoing politics of covid-19. all that and more, on tonight's pbs newsho. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> fidelity weth 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 thongoing support of these institutions: and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public brocasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the u.s. economy has turned in big new hiring numbers as it pors back from pandemic losses. the labor department reports employers added a net 943,000 jobs in july, beating projections.
the unemployment rate fell half a point, to 5.4%. president biden said today that continu growth depends heavily on more people getting vaccinated. we'll return to this after the news summary. battles escalated today across the country over masking up in schools to ward off covid-19. in florida, republicans running the state board of education approved tuition vouchers for private schools, where public schools impose mask mandates, and parents object. but, new jersey's democratic governor ordered mask wearing for everyone in school buildings, public and private. >> there are issues that are, and must always remain above politics, and this is one of them. anyone telling you that we can safely reopen our schools without requiring everyone inside to wear a mask is quite simply lying to you, because we can't. >> woodruff: in other developments, a state judge in
arkansas temporarily blocked a ban on mask mandates. this, one day after the governor, asa hutchinson, said he regrets the ban on mask mandates that he signed into law several months ago. amazon ordered all of its u.s. employees to wear masks at work. and united airlines became the first major u.s. carrier to mandate vaccinations for its workers. the biden administration today extended a pandemic pause on repayments, interest, and collections for federal student loans. it will now run through january. the u.s. education department said that it is the last time the pause will be continued. a catastrophic fire in northern california is still spreading tonight. it already engulfed one entire town, as it burns into the record books. amna nawaz has our report. >> nawaz: after swelling 110 square miles in a single day,
california's dixie fire is now the largest anywhere in the country. fueled by hot weather and gusty conditions, as of this morning, the blaze also ranked as the third biggest in state history, stretching across 676 square miles in northern california. greenville, a small, historic gold rush town, is already gone, consumed by flames wednesday night. congressman doug lamalfa represents the district. >> we lost greenville tonight. there's just not words for how us in government haven't been able to get the job done. >> nawaz: century-old wooden buildings, overnight, reduced to smoldering debris. sheriff todd johns is a lifelong resident. >> my heart is crushed by what has occurred there. and to the folks that have lost residences and businesses-- i've met some of them already-- their life is now forever changed, and all i can tell you is i'm sorry. >> nawaz: johns estimates more
than 100 homes were destroyed, though there's no official accounting yet. the fire's impact also reaches far beyond the state. in reno, nevada this morning, what appear to be snowflakes-- actually ash-- blowing in from more than 100 miles away. the dixie fire is now into its fourth week. the cause is under investigation. but pacific gas + electric says it suspects a fallen tree on one of its power lines. the fire is so far just 35% contained. better weather conditions this weekend could help firefighters battling to save what they can, while others reflect on what was lost. for the pbs newshour, i'm amna nawaz. >> woodruff: more than 50 wildfires are also burning across greece. thousands of people were forced to flee one fire north of athens today. at least one person was killed. firefighters and volunteers fought to contain the flames despite high winds and searing heat. helicopters flew through smoke, dumping water to douse the fire. meanwhile, fires on the
island of evia forced evacuations by sea. in afghanistan, the taliban have apparently captured their first provincial capital in a fast-moving offensive. insurgents today entered zaranj, which is a city of 50,000 people in nimruz province. fierce fighting also continued in the capital of helmand province, as a u.n. special envoy demanded that the taliban end its assaults. >> we haveeen a 50%-- five-zero percent-- increase in civilian casualties, with the certainty of many more as the cities are attacked. a party that was genuinely committed to a negotiated settlement would not risk so many civilian casualties. >> woodruff: the u.s. envoy spoke from kabul, where the taliban assassinated the afghan government's mediahief. back in this country, an aide to
new york governor andrew cuomo has filed a criminal complaint, alleging that he groped her. it is believed to be the first such report to a law enforcement agency. a state investigation found the aide is one of 11 women whom cuomo sexually harassed. he denies all of the allegations. a new jersey gym owner is now the fit person to plead guilty to assaulting a police officer during the january assault on the u.s. capitol. scott kevin fairlamb's plea deal today could set a benchmark for other cases to follow. he will be sentenced next month. on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average gained 144 points to close at 35,208, another record high. the nasdaq fell 59 points. but, the s&p 500 added seven, also reaching a new high. and at the summer olympics, a u.s. track veteran made history in tokyo.
35-yaer-old allyson felix took bronze in the 400 meter dash. she now has ten olympic medals overall-- the most ever for a female olympian. and, in beach volleyball, americans april ross and alix klineman won gold, beating australia today. still to come on the newshour: where the money meets the road. how the infrastructure bill would update our transportation system. the sharp rise in covid cases prompts questions about the need for vaccine mandates. hungary's crackdown on its l.g.b.t. community prompts condemnation from european leaders. plus, much more. >> woodruff: as we reported,
today's jobs report indicates that the u.s. economy is continuing to make a strong comeback. wages are up, and the unemployment rate is down, now at its lowest level since the pandemic began in march of last year. but concerns remain about the highly contagious delta variant and how it could affect the economy's recovery. jared bernstein is a member of president biden's council of economic advisors. and he joins us now. jared bernstein, welcome back to the "newshour". so some good news to report today. tell us, as you look at these numbers, what gives you confidence about this employment picture, and what do you see in there that concerns you? >> well, i think one to have the main confidence-building factors here is not just what i saw in this report, it's what i've seen in the last few reports. 943,000 jobs in july, of course that's a big important number, but, in fact, that's part of a
trend. we never try to overemphasize one month because you get variation in these kinds of what we call high-frequency data. if you look at over the past three months, we have been adding over 800,000 jobs per month. i know you have been tracking these job reports for a long time on the "newshour and i know you know these are big numbers. since the president got here, we've added 4 million jobs. that's historically unprecedented. the unemployment rate fell by half a store ad as you mentioned the wage story. americans are coming back to up. the labor supply up ovr 1 million since january, getting jobs, seeing wage gains, shots in arms and checks in pockets are helping the economy get back to where the president wants to see it go. >> woodruff: i was asking you what gives you concern. we know there was 6.8 million jobs that were lost at this start to have the pandemic that still have not come back. >> yes. >> woodruff: a lot of the
low-wage positions, positions in the service sector, restaurant jobs. do you worry that because of the way life is changing in this country that many of those jobs may never come back? >> well, i'm paid to worry and i earn my paycheck, so, yes, i worry about that and many other things. i would say one thing about the report that we're looking at month to month is precisely this hole that you mentioned which greeted us when we got here. that was about 10 million jobs missing relative to pre-pandemic levels. now that's 6.7 million. so we still have considerable room to make up, and that's one of the reasons, by the way, that the rescue plan continues to be important, providing aid to schools that need to reopen, providing housing assistance, particularly to people facing stressors in the rental markets -- >> woodruff: right. and thenmoving on to the
investment agenda through the building back better and infrastructure programs. >> woodruff: let me also, of course, ask you about covid, the delta variant. thesnumbers were calculated, as we understand it, in the middle of the month of july. since then, we've seen this surge in covid infection, the delta variant. how worried are you, jared bernstein, that that's going to create a real problem going forward? >> it is, of course, a concern, around one we're tracking carefully. but let me give you three contextual points that i think are really important to think about in this context. first of allwe've already talked about one of them, that's economic momentum. when you have a labor market adding over 800,000 jobs per month, when you've cut the unemployment claims by half in almost six months, a trend that typically takes more than a year to occur, when your g.d.p. is back above trend a year before forecasters expected that, you've got real momemtum.
two, vaccinations. when this president came into office, 1% of adults were vaccinated. now that number is 60%. obviously, that's critically important to get that number up but it's one of the reasons we're not going back to lockdown, we're not going bark to march 2020 or even january 202 is, and, three, maybe this is the most important in terms oforward looking. we have the public health scaffolding in place to meet this delta challenge. people will have to chip in and make schauer they get vaccinated. we'll have to work carefly with state and local policy-makers to make sure relief dollars get outto people particularly in the rental sector, but, also, to make sure we keep getting the shots in arms. but we have the public health infrastructure in place and should give us confidence the trends will persist. >> woodruff: if there are new
restrictions that have to be imposed on people's lives pause of this delta variant or another variant afterward, you're not concerned that that could put a crimp in the economy? >> well, i've tried to communicate that i'm concerned about all dimensions of things that could possibly push back against the recovery, but, based on the momentum that we've had, 60% of adultsvacked and the scaffolding we have in place, i believe we can meet the challenges. >> woodruff: two other quick things, jared bernstein. one, the administration announced this afternoon it's extending the moratorium on federal student loan repayments until january. a lot of democrats are saying you ought to just let it go permanently. why not do that? >> well, that's aolicy decision that's going to continue to be mulled over and one that we're going to look at carefully. i mean, basically, you've got a lot of different people, a lot of different stakeholders in
this. there are lenders, there are borrowers, there are people who are facing these loans who have very high earnings prospects and don't necessarily need a loan cancellation. and then you have people for whom carrying student loans and many of those are members of the minority communities are really a serious barrier to their getting ahead. trust me, this is something the president himself is looking at carefully and will continue to do so. >> woodruff: last thing, jared bernstein. there are also the naysayers out there worried about inflation. they're saying with all of the money sloshing around in the economy, pent-up savings people are starting to spend, all the money the administration is putting out there, that what the real worry is now is overheating this economy and prices spiking up. in just a few words, what do you think? well, if we look at the labor market today, we've started to see one of the key supply constraints begin to ease and that is the key answer to your question. what we need to see is where there are supply constraints in
this economy, they have been related to the pandemic, they have been related to taking a $21 trillion economy, shuttg it off and then turning it on again. strong demand, meeting some of the constraint supply. but we're seeing some of the constraints ease. we're seeing that a little bit in lumber, in the labor supply today, we've seen a little bit of that in semiconductors. i would likeo see more there so that helps the auto sector. but that's the way to think about is, pandemic-related sectors is where you have the transitory precious. they will ease. >> woodruff: jared bernstein, part of the president's council of economic advisors, thank you. >> woodruff: congress's nonpartisan scorekeeper says the bipartisan infrastructure bill would add $256 billion to the federal deficit over the
next decade. as senators work to pass the plan in their chamber, our lisa desjardins takes another detailed look at the bill. >> desjardins: at the heart of this billion-dollar-plus bill, by far the largest piece is classic transportation-- things that help us move. there is more than $453 billion total is for roads, bridges and surface transportation. another $66 billion is for railways, and there are billions for ferries. there is need. an estimated one in five roads in this country is in poor condition, and tens of thousands of bridges need repair. anyone who has gone near an american city knows that traffic is getting worse. joining us to unpack this major part of this bill is tom smith from the american society of civil engineers. ed tom, i've got to say, all these numbers this week, sometimes it feels like funny money. can you help us understand what nearly $500 billion means, and
how much of our road and bridge problem will that solve? >> this is a problem that we've had and failing to invest our infrastructure for many, many decades. we do a report card on america's infrastructure and for theast 20 years we have been failing to keep up and kicking the can further and further down the road, so the bill has continued to go up every year. when we last released our report card in 202 is this year, and as we do it every four years, we show on the surface transportation side over the next ten years really an investment gap of $1.2 trillion. that's out of a total of 2.6 trillion when you look at tall the 1categories of infrastructure that asc evaluates on our report card with infrastructure. >> reporter: $500 billion gets us part of the way but not all the way. >> yeah, the important thing to think about is that's money spent over a five-year period. when we look at our investment gap and say 1.2 trilon, that's
over a ten-year period, and we're luking at all elements, federal, state and local and provide investment. so while it's not going to get us all the way there by any stretch, ia step in the right direction. it's visionary, it's a generational investment in our infrastructure, and i think it's going to put us on the right track. it will spur inveblght at the state, local and private level sectors and make it sustainable, resilient. looking over the horizon, looking for the future, we're seeing more severe weather events than first building the infrastructure 50, 60, 75, sometimes 100 or more years ago. >> reporter: i want to talk about trains and ferries. we spoke to someone who works in the rail industry and he told us what he thinks this bill means for them. >> it's going to make it possible to build the track that we need to expand. it's going to make it possible to add servicen a lot of cities all across the country.
probably not the 160 that amtrak would like to add, but it might come pretty close, depending on how we do it. what it won't do, however, is buy us, for example, a network of high-speed trains all across the country. .>> reporter: for ferries, it's almost all good news. we spoke with a woman in alaska who runs an ice cream shop. she depends on ferries. it's -- it's easier to get to where she is by water than by land. >> with constant breakdowns and ferries taken offline and aged out, a commuty is really affected by its quality of life and what makes people want to stay in a community. it's the lifeblood of a community if the residents are strong and healthy and happy, and the ferry is our transportation. >> reporter: so there's two
other type of transportation that are getting huge influxing of cash over the next five years from this, but this is a bill that has red ink to it. tom, want to ask you about criticism from repubcans that this is not worth the debt and some say it could do some harm in inflation. >> yeah, i think this is absolutely a critical investment. as you just heard, these are investments we need in this country, whether it's rail or transit or even a ferry service. this is a well thought out bill as i've gone through it. it's not perfect, but a bipartisan effort. it's well thought out. when you look at the ferry service, at least a billion dollars was referenced for ferry service in rule community center. when we talk about the cost of investing in our infrastructure, we have to consider what is the cost when we fail to invest? the time spent sitting in traffic, the inefficiencies in our system, repairing your car when you hit a pothole, added costs for goods and services because we have failed to invest
in infrastructure, this all costs us money. we did an economic study showing we found it's $3,300 per year per fami, that's the hidden tax we're paying today. so when we talk about what does it cost to invest in our infrastructure and modernize and maintain it? we have to ask ourselves what's the cost if we fail to do that? it's far greater. >> reporter: so the bill is called the infrastructure investment and jobs act. what do we know about how many jobs this really could create? >> well i think this will create enormous opportunity and jobs in many, many different sectors. certainly the construction industry, there's a lot of jobs in the construction industry that would be created, but also those who finance, those who insure, those who designed and operate and maintain our infrastructure. then you also have the suppliers. so this is going to have a major impact on manufacturing which depends on the infrastructure that will now be better able to compete in a global marketplace, and then, of course, all those rkers who are supported by a workforce, and they have pension plans and benefits and, by the
way, they have money now they can spend to put back into the economy. so, inc. it's far reaching, the job creation by a bill like this, and also what it does for the economy. >> these are issues that affect every single american. tom smith of the american society of civil engineers, thank you for helping take us through it. >> my pleasure, thank you. >> woodruff: as the country wrestles with this latest delta-driven surge, governments and some corporations are mandating that their employees get vaccinated. william brangham looks at what these mandates require, and whether they will make a difference. >> brangham: that's right, judy. many major cities and states, from new york city to california, have begun mandating vaccinations or at least routine testing for government employees. yesterday, the biden admistration did the same for
all federal workers, and the pentagon is pected to follow suit. major u.s. companies, including google, tyson foods, walmart, united airlines, and disney have also taken similar steps. but many are still concerned that the pace of vaccination is still too slow, and want the private sector to do more. among them is andy slavitt. he advises the biden white house on covid policy. andy slavitt, great to have you back on the "newshour". you recently co-authored a letter with a bipartisan group of former government officials and public health experts, urging the private sector to do more in this regard. let's say companies do take up your call, how much will that, in fact, move the needing? -- the needle. >> we know there's about 25 million americans who say that, if they were asked by or required by their employer or feed to be vaccinated in order to get into major venues or gather in crowds, that they
would, without objection, get vaccinated. what that tells us is there's a number of people to whom getting vaccinated is neither a big positive or a big negative, it's just not a big priority. so we need leadership from all across society, not just the government, but people who are trusted by individuals and who can lead individuals and corporations over the next big horizon. so if ewith do our jobs and corporations step up, we can go from about 70% of adult americans vaccinated to 80%, and that would make an enormous difference and save a lot of lives. >> reporter: so your senses this is moving the mushy middle of people who don't have a strong ideological objection to vaccines, they just need a little bit more of a nudge? >> yeah, we think it's important we respe people's individual rights, that we listen to people who have concerns about getting
vaccinated and try to answer their questions. but, at the same time, we also have to have respect for people who don't have an option in the matter, anpeople who can't get vaccinated because they are under 12, or who are immunocompromised, they eve had cancer or aides, so they don't get a say in the matter. so we're asking to prioritize the needs of people who have concerns and don't have a choice, or people who have a choice and are elected to either get vaccinated or not by saying that we require -- require people to vet vaccinated to come to our workplace. if not, everybody needs to be tested and show they have a negative test result continuously. >> i was talking with a c.e.o. of a hospital in louisiana this week who half their staff are not vaccinated, and the c.e.o. was somewhat leery of man dates and they weren't doing one yet. it seems to me his concern was a
backlash, that man dating vaccination might cause more harm than good. do you share that fear that this could invite a backlash? >> i don't. look, i understand that there's people who feel strongly about this issue, but i would call this the easiest hard decision you ever have to make because the easiest hard decision you have to make is a decision where, at the end of the day, you're saving people's lives and you're also choosing people who can't really speak for themselves here. so i would say to that c.e.o. and any oter c.e.o. that, yes, there are going to be people with strong opinions and i know you would prefer to stay out of it, but, unfortunately, that's not the case we're living in, and if you want tbe a part of bringing covid to its knees, then you've got to step up and lead and do things like this. the experience is for all to have the people who might be concerned about it, therere many, many, many more people who say, thank you, i feel safer
now. >> but we have seen some significant pushback from unions, law enforcement agencies, governors in texas and florida passed laws blocking vaccine man dates. you don't see this coming to more of a more conflict over this issue? >> well, of course, there's going to be conflict, of course there's going to be strong opinions, and we need to lisn to everybody. the question is, you know, who are we going to value here? listen to asa hutchinson, the republican governor from arkansas who is now saying it was a mistake to pass the kind of laws that were passed and also in texas and florida. the difference between asa hutchinson and the governors of florida, ron desantis, is he has no political aspirations only to be governor to have the state and to keep people in the state healthy. and i think it's a matter of what we prioritized and value, and if what we value is a commitment to one another and keeping one another safe and
putting this pandemic behind us by reducing spread and getting schools open, there's no question employers will take more aggressive action. i think there's room in certain situations for people who have reasons to not get vactd but say, fine, but we need you to show up at work and take a negative test on a regular basis because we have to be sure that the people who come on our premises that we're going to keep them safe. >> reporter: andy slavitt, former white house covid advisor, thank you very much for being here. >> thank you. >> woodruff: the rights of l.g.b.t.q. people in hungary are increasingly under threat, according to activists in the eastern european country. last month, a law came into force that restricts depictions of homosexuality and sex reassignment to children in schools. the law has drawn intense
opposition from other countries in the european union, and has become a battleground fowhat the bloc stands for. special correspondent lucy hough has this report from budapest. >> we're here, we're queer! >> reporter: it may look like a celebration, but this is a march of defiance. the l.g.b.t. community here in hungary has long felt under attack. but the government's enactment of a new sex education law has galvanized activists. organizers say the crowd at this year's budapest pride march was the biggest in its history. >> ( translated ): there is a growing anti-l.g.b.t. message from hungary's government, and the media associated with it. i'm terrified that this could turn into a situation where wider society starts to turn against the community. >> ( translat ): human rights are universal, and the right to love who you want needs to be protected. this law discriminates against
gay people and seems to compare homosexuality with child abuse. >> reporter: legislation passed in june places strict limits on aching about homosexuality and transgender issues in schools. it's included in a bill targeting pedophilia. for activists, it is yet another encroachment of fundamental rights. the gornment says it's a part of a broader agenda designed to protect milies and children, rejecting criticism at home and abroad. zoltan kovacs is the government's state secretary. >> the hostility coming from abroad, and the political attacks-- the politically-motivated attacks, shall we say-- are a little bit amazing, in the face of the very consistent step-by-step policy-making of the hungarian vernment over the course of the last decade. so, nobody could understand this new law, new legislation, as a surprise, in the face of efforts in the last ten years to protect
families. >> reporter: the education of children has become a key battleground in hungary's deepening culturwar. much can be traced back to the publication of a children's book last year, calle"wonderland is for everyone." the text reimagines fairy tales with characters from minority backgrounds. some parents welcomed its inclusive message, but elsewhere, there was an outcry. one far-right politician shredded the book on camera. a government minister described it as “homosexual ppaganda.” it can now only be sold with a disclaimer warning of a divergence from "traditional gender roles." its co-author, boldizsar nagy, was unprepared for the response. >> the last months, i had-- i received a lot of online threats and messages from strangers which are trying to, you know, demonize me. they tell me that i should die because i am gay, and things
like that. these are just hateful, messages of pure hate. >> reporter: members of hungary's l.g.b.t. community say they feel increasingly unsafe. many, like nagy, plan to leave the country. but elsewhere, the popularity of the government's conservative agenda endures. an election year is on the horizon, and strong anti- l.g.b.t. rhetoric appears part of a new political strategy from prime minister viktor orban. his fidezs party has been showing signs of marching into semi-authoritarianism since it took power in 2010. there are signs this strategy is firming up support from the party's conservative base, and from those further to the right. edda budaházy is a member of a far-right organization. >> ( translated ): we were very happy to see the child protection law pass. we've been watching western countries for a long time,nd can see the dangers of all this so-called "gender ideology." it's a risk to our society.
>> reporter: the european union is watching developments from its brussels headquarters with alarm. european capitals say the legislation violates the bloc's values, and discriminates against g.b.t. people. there has long been an ideological battle between the populist government here and the rest of the european union. but so far, hungary's actions on areas like l.g.b.t. rights have come with little consequence. as international condemnation mounts, the e.u. is under pressure to act. the e.u. has now announced legal action against hungary, and its closest ally, poland, where strict anti-gay measures have also been introduced. the bloc has threatened to withhold billions of dollars in post-pandemic recovery funding. ursula von der leyen is president of the european commission. >> europe will never allow parts of our society to be
stigmatized, be it because of whom they love, because of their age, their ethnicity, their political opinions, or their religious beliefs. because we should never forget: when we stand up for parts of our society, we stand up for the freedom of the whole of our society. >> reporter: but a row over so-called child protection is just the latest battleground between budapest and brussels, who have previously come to blows on issues like migration, corruption and the rule of law. there has long been discomfort about how big a role the e.u. should play in domestic affairs of its member states, particularly those deemed to have an illiberal agenda. such tough talk from the e.u. is only hardening the hungarian government's line. >> if there is a political clash, we stand for it, we go for it, because we believe we are right. child protection does not belong to any european competence. it definitely belongs only to the hungarians. >> reporter: three days before
thousands marched through hungary's capital budapest for pride, prime minister viktor orban announced a referendum on the new l.g.b.t. legislation. orban hopes the public will vote in his party's favor, and silence his critics overseas. but activists are alarmed by a referendum designed to strip fundamental rights of a minority group. there are fears that life for l.g.b.t. people in hungary will only get harder. >> i think iwill get worse and worse because the government uses this homophobia as a political tool in eir hate campaign, and i think until the election, they won't have any other topics. >> reporter: in the face of rising numbers of homophobic attacks, hungary's l.g.b.t. community is determined to remain visible. but activists fear the damage to an inclusive society will be felt for many years to come. for the pbs newshour, i'm lucy houghn budapest.
>> woodruff: this week, the delta variant presented new challenges for the biden administration, new york's attorney general found that its governor sexually harassed multiple women, and voters went to the polls in two ohio congressional districts. and here to sort it all out, we have the analysis of brooks and capehart. that is "new york times" columnist david brooks, and jonathan capehart, columnist for the "washington post." it is so good to see both of you here. thank you for joining us on this friday night. jonathan, i'm going to start with you. good news today from the biden administration, good jobs numbers, but we know at the same time every day they are juggling how to handle this covid pandemic, the delta variant, ciding how hard to come down on vaccinations, whether to ban or not masking. what are the political risks
here for the president? what are the political calculi forim? >> whose side are you on? are you on the side of those holding out and don't want to get the vaccine, or the side of us who are fully vaccinated and want to get on, you know, with the art of living going back out to restaurants and things unincumbered? and i think the president this week dropped on the side of the vaccinated, demanding that people, pleading and demanding that people get vaccinated, and then taking it not my name but by inference to the republican governor of florida and what he's doing in terms of making it difficult for school districts to man date masks for their children or the localities. so i think the president is making the calculus, if i can peer into what's happening in the white house, 's that the
more people get vaccinated, the sooner we can get back to living a normal life, which has implications for the economy and everything else. >> woodruff: so even if there's short-term blowback, david, it's worth it? >> i don't think man dating vaccinations would be worth it. i support vaccination all day long but america is a country with strong distrust for central authority, i think if we man date it from washington i think it would generate blowback among the non-vaccinated and hurt the cause. i thnk schools is safer, people have a little more trust. so i think that's a smarter way to do it without generating so much blowback. i like what andy slavitt said earlier in the program, to emphasize the 25 million who have no principle objection and make it easier for them. if that could take us up to 80%
vaccination, that could be a significant achievement without creating more of a culture war around this thing. >> woodruff: but continuing to watch because we don't know what this delta variant is going to do, of course. do want to ask you about the congressional races this week, in ohio. two different congressional districts, two different primaries. in the one district in cleveland, marcia fudge's district, you had mainstream democrat win pretty persuasively against a more left-wing progressive democrat a this is at a time when a lot of people are asking how much influence to the more -- most progressive members of the democratic party ve right now? so how do you read what happened? >> well, the way i read what happened is that the more progressive wing to have the democratic party doesn't hold any sway when it comes to the special elections. i'm reminded of speaker tip o'neil saying all politics is
local. we have a tendency to nationalize every congressional race, every local race, and foet about the fact that the people who are actually running, they're not running national races, they're running local races, and when you look at the race between shawntel brown and nina turner, president biden won that district with 78.9% of the vote. you have one candidate the local chair to have the democratic party and the other candidate who said unspeakable things about what it would mean to her if she voted for joe biden. so put that out there, and nita turner to think she would actually win the race is laughable. >> she was early, apparently. i'm about to nationalize. (laughter) you go back to 2019, a.o.c. is riding high, green new deal, the party seems it's shifting a lot to the left and they have running room there. i recall in one to have the
presidential debates, people were asked would you open the border, decriminalize, and most of the candidates raised hands and said, yes but then joe biden wins, all the people are to his left. a lot of people think to defund thpolice, exits on the left cost them down ballot races. we have a bunch of races in the last several months where the party regulars beat progressives. so you got the new york mayoral race, the virginia gubernatorial race, three house races in which iowa's won and partly moderate left but really it's how do we change -- within the party, the system or try to disrupt the system? i think it's pretty clear the base of the decratic party says we believe in our party, we want to do change within the system which is sort of the biden hymnal. >> woodruff: this is where the new york mayor's race, other pieces of evident evidence the party is not as far left as some
argued that it was. >> right, and also keep in mind that the base to have the democratic party is primarily the african-american voter. and african-american voters, a lot of peoe tend to think they're black therefore progressive, and not realizing that, no, we black vote, we're actually more pragmatic,what are you going to do, how are you going to make my life better and community safer. when it's looked through that lens, shawntel brown's win shouldn't be as surprising as it was for a lot of people. >> woodruff: quickly, the other ohio primary race, the trump endorsed candidate michael kerry, david, emerged i guess not a huge surprise. donald trump has influence. >> well, especially when it's a 12-person race and they're all soft of unknown so the trump guy's going to have a huge advantage. i think it's still very hard to win a republican primary if
trump is not on your side and impossible if you're against donald trump. but 17 republican senators endisorders the infrastructure bill donald trump opposed so on donald trump you can't cross trump, on culture issues you can't cross trump but on policy you can cross trump and the the party is more flexible and confused about what it believes on policy matters than five years ago. >> a slight spin on that and that is the trump candidate won in this race, the trump county didn't win in a special election in texas. but in texas race, the thing i say to keep an eye on is trump didn't win but trumpism won in that race. instead of looking at who donald trump has endorsed, look at how closely the candidates are to what donald trump actually says he believes in. >> woodruff: how closely they're aligned. the last thing i want to raise with both of you is this really massive development out of
new york state, david, and that is this damning report by the new york state attorney genal about governor governor that he just -- just lots of detail about how he treated and harassed eleven separate women who worked for him in a hostile climate, to put it mildly, in his office. >> a powerful, pathetic man is a dangerous thing and he's both those things. you read the report, the grabbing, toxic environment, screaming, making women get pushups, saying get me a girlfriend who can handle pain, it's all beyond belief. will he step down? obviously he should. it's morally disgraceful. he needs to work on a lot of stuff and sort of get his soul in order. he apparently has no other life and he's hanging in there. it's more pathetic the way he's hanging in there. he's basically putting his job over any hope for his own character and that's -- well,
that's not good values. >> woodruff: people are asking is this somebody who will resign or go through impeachment, which the new york assembly appears to ready to start proceeding. >> it looks like he's going to go through with it. i would add a third characteristic, he's a man with no friends. andrew cuomo hasn't had friends in albany for a very long time before this happened and, still, the majority of the assembly would vote to pe impeach him. if he does get impeached, the other thing to ep in mind is that the lieutenant governor, once the proceedings start, andrew cuomo is technically no longer governor. lieutenant governor huckshul is the acting governor to have the state. that would be unbelievably pathetic. >> woodruff: how does something like this go on for as
long as it's apparently gone on? people are saying they interviewed a woman who worked for him 20 years ago, was his press secretary when he was the secretary of housing and development who said he was the same person then. how does something like this go on? >> one, power of intimidation, which is really strong. two, a climate where there aren't that many women at the top so it's a male culture and people are willing to look the other way. third, albany is a little isolated, and the governor has a lot of power to intimidate a lot of people throughout the community. and, so, but the lesson -- and then just what we've learned since #metoo is that -- well, it went on for 4,000 years, and, so, the fact that it's still dragging oin various places shouldn't surprise us. it was the norm in a lot of offices around america and the world for centuries and centuries. >> what's your snse of how somebody can get away with something like this for so long? >> people turned a blind eye,
pele pretended it didn't happen. people felt powerless. another thing is, in albany, in new york, the cuomo name is a big name. it is a powerful name. it's an historic name. i remember watching his father, governor mario cuomo, give this speech at the democratic confirmation in 1984. >> somewhere around there. i remember being the nerdy the kid sitting, watching this speech and listening to him and realizing those are values, those are values i believe in. you know, i'm a center-left person because of mario cuomo. to see what his son has done to the faly name is sad. >> woodruff: i covered that convention, a mesmerizing speech. to wrap this up, david, a lot of people are watching, men and women, and saying how much of this goes on in american political life. >> people go into politics out
of vanit power, some are remarkable people and they want to serve the country. there are a lot of emotionally damaged people in publix who have -- as shawn said, they know how to suck up ad kick down, theyon't have horizontal friendships. they're nely, get more pathetic and nedy and eventually treatveryone around them, men but especially women as objections who do not have feelings on the other side of the relationship, and that the a single sort of person, not all people but some to have the people that politics attracts. >> woodruff: we don't know how it's going to end. we think we know but we'll wait and see, but what a sad and terrible picture emerged this week. david brook jonathan capehart, thank you both. >> thank you. s, judy.
>> woodrf: born and raised in jamaica, june grant knew that architecture was her calling from the age of five. today, she is the founder and design principal at blinklab!, an environmentally conscious and social justice-oriented design studio ioakland, california. tonight, she gives her "brief but spectacular" take on being an architect. it's part of our arts and culture series, "canvas." >> i am one of 467 licensed african american female architects in the country. and i believe there are 150,000 licensed architects in the u.s., so we are the ultimate minority of minorities. >> there's a lot of talk about "representation matters," but i think it really matters if we're in the community on a regular basis, because kids and parents need to see us in action to
understand that it is possible. i grew up on the island of jaica, in the city of kingston, and like many families, i was encouraged to take practicalourses-- accounting, science. but i was never inrested. and when i finally migrated to the u.s., i knew i always wanted to do architecture. my focus is actually high- performance buildings, where we're looking at t building as a holistic experience, in terms of energy use, water use. growing up on jamaica, i have lived through power outages, i've lived through water shut-offs. i have showered from a bucket. those life experiences were important to me, and they've actually fueled how i approach a building and how i approach design. scarcity around resources is something i grew up around. and so i'm conious of waste. i am really good as a design strategist. so what i do is, i ask a lot of questions. i'm actually better at asking
questions and sitting down and sketching. so i'll ask, where have you been, what decisions were made in the past that brought us to this point? what are your aspirations for the future? and then i tend to project even further forward-- 20, 50, 100 years. and those are the clients that are attracted to me, because they're actually looking for very long-term solutions. and then i reverse-engineer to see, how can we create those solutions today? i grew up in a conservative society where girls were supposed to playith dolls, and my boy cousins were given the chemistry set. but i wanted the chemistry set. i think we have to start allowing girlso explore-- explore the hammer, explore with the nails, use a saw, make things, explore, be physical, tumble, fall, scratches. we need that because it is that exploration and self-confidence that you will need going forward in any field you pursue.
my name is june grant, and this is my "brief but spectacular" take on being an architect. >> woodruff: such a great perspective. and you can watch all our "brief but spectacular" episodes at www.pbs.org/newshour/brief. and on the newshour online, more extreme heat is putting u.s. farm workers at risk of heat-related illnesses and even death-- but there are f protections available to them. we explore the issues that exist for these workers, and what federal standards could help, on our website. that is www.s.org/newshour. and, stay with pbs-- how the delta threat is seen at the white house. join yamiche alcindor and her panel, tonight on "washington week." and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here on monday eving. for all of us at the pbs newsur, thank you, please stay safe, and have a good weekend.
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