tv PBS News Hour PBS August 20, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
flights out stop and start again as president biden pledges that every american and every afghan ally will be evacuated. then, the mask battle. despite soaring levels of new covid cases in florida, school officials confront a backlash to their face cover mandates. >> they made a decision to protect our kids, to protect our teachers, to protect our community as a whole. >> and its friday.
we discussed the president's handling of the afghanistan crisis and the politics of mass mandates. that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ >> major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by -- ♪ bnsf railway, consumer cellular, johnson & johnson, financial services firm raymond james. >> the john as an james l night foundation, fostering engaged communities. -- the john s. and james l.
knight foundation. >>nd 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. judy: the u.s. says it has assurances from the taliban that evacuations of afghans who want to leave the country can continue after president biden's evacuation deadline of august 31, but the taliban continues to harass and impede passage throughout kabul. even with more evacuation flights out, throngs of people desperate to flee keep coming.
>> afghanistan has known much tragedy in recent decades, but the cruelty of this moment in history is staggering. the desperation here intensifies every day. people know the americans will leave soon and quite likely leave them behind. u.s. marines and british soldiers hold the line against a swell of terrified afghans. meanwhile, the taliban watch the owds of people fleeing their rule andire shots over their heads. children suffer under the punishing summer's heat while desperate parents pass children to the soldiers above. >> presidential protective services. >> at another entrance point, thousands of men who worked with or for the u.s. war effort push id's and paperwork through the razor wire. the soldiers cannot help them.
>> nobody is letting you in? >> no. this is my current id. >> please. can we send our wives to president biden? >> even though there does not seem to be a clear system in place, people are just coming in massive crowds and begging for help. behind the razor wire, rows of soldiers all the way down here, and the soldiers themselves are having to handle people passing over paperwork. there's very little they can do. >> how can they contact me? can i send you, like, a name for -- or something? i really need their help. >> these young couples tried to pass the last taliban checkpoint four times, each time beaten
back by the militants. >> everything is a dangerous. >> after running a terrible gauntlet, they make it. >> everyone smiles when they get in here. it is such an emotional change, but is there any part of you that has processed yet? >> [indiscernible] >> but we are happy. >> mostly finally show support for our families at least. >> they are part of a generation of young afghan talented enterprise employees. afghanistan is spiraling into a deepening and dangerous crisis. thousands of u.s. and allied troops are trying to get thousands more citizens and
partners out of the country, but a slow and chaotic visa program and ill-prepared evacuation plan has caused crowds to rush kabul's airports, halting flights and rushing airports. at least 12 people are believed to have died in the gunfire and crush. the urgent need to ramp up evacuations was top of mind at the white house today. >> any american who wants to come home, we will get you home. i cannot promise what the final outcome will be and that it will be without risk of loss, but as commander-in-chief, i can assure you that i will mobilize every resource necessary. >> residentisen -- president biden also said that flying out afghans who may be targeted by the taliban is a top priority. quick we are also trying to get out as many ngo's and organizations.
in the meantime, secretary blinken and i will be working with our allies to see to it we can bring international pressure on the taliban. there will be harsh conditions, strong conditions we will apply and will depend on if they get help based on how well they treat women and girlshow they treat their citizens. meredith lee of pbs newshour. >> why have you not ordered the military to expand the perimeter around the kabul airport? are you considering rescue operations to recover americans and afghan allies stuck behind taliban checkpoints? >> yes, to the last question. we are considering every opportunity and every means by which we can get folks to the airport. that's number one. number two, the reason why we have not gone out and set up a perimeter way outside the airport in kabul is that it is like to draw an awful lot of
unintended consequences in terms of people who in fact are not part of the taliban. we have been in constant contact with the taliban leadership on the ground in kabul. >> u.s. helicopters have also now ferried out at least 96 afghans to be evacuated, marking the first u.s. military flights outside the perimeter of the kabul airport. are you at the gate? back at kabul airport, we get news that two prominent afghan female photographers we know are coming to the gates. they spent five days in hiding together bore making a break for it to the airport. they come out to say they are making their way through terrifying taliban checkpoints. >> go down that road. that will take you to the gate. >> they try one gate and cannot get through the crush of people. the soldiers let's look for them from the watchtower.
at dusk, they make it through. >> we deleted for your profile picture. >> they spot an old friend once the crowd. it is one last chance to embrace each other before everyone scatters. from this place, these new refugees displaced by war are flown out and all over the world. people still waiting for evacuation flights sleep anywhere they can and keep the nighttime chill off their children with anything they can find. some children have been separated from their parents, like this baby headed across the wire with an american past point. in the morning, those whoid not make it the day before will try again. the growing crowds each day show few are dissuaded by the dangers. desperation leads most to
believe that the only way to escape what america is leaving behind is to leave with it. judy: jane joins us again tonight. it is late at night. as we heard president biden today, he said that it is possible for people to get to the airport, but your report underlined again how chaotic it is. elaborate for us, if you will, what people have to go through to get to an evacuation point. >> you have seen from some of the images that it is almost a combat zone that people have to navigate. by people i mean men, women, and children, completely unarmed. i have to first of all go from their hometowards the airport, which includes many taliban checkpoints. we know at this stage, the taliban are looking for certain people, hunting down certain former service members and people within the government. then, if they get to anywhere near the perimeter of the airport, typically, most people
have to abandon cars and go on foot, and that's where they start to have taliban beating men with sticks and whips or firing guns in the air. if they manage to navigate that, then they get into the absolute crush where you are seeing the crowds of people you saw in some of those images rushing towards gates. of course, this is not a gate that can ever be left open because of the incredibly chaotic nature of the very anxious crowd. i have been with soldiers who are trying to man those gates for several days now, and they often have to close them for hours because they cannot open the door because there is a huge crowd of people rushing toward them and trying to basically overrun them and rush into the airport, which makes it impossible for them to process people, which makes it impossible or people to get in. this keeps happening, and that has slowed the process down so much.
yes, it is possible to get into the airport, but it is a tiny, tiny minority when you compare it to those who are not getting in. what really calls in these jokes is panic. we are seeing soldiers having to hold them back with everything from stun bombs to huge riot shields. you realize it is very much the last-minute nature of what is going on that has caused this panic. people are very much rate of being left behind. judy: we are hearing president biden's pledges, so we will see if the reality matches that. jane ferguson reporting for us for another day from kabul. think you, jane, and please stay safe. -- thank you, jane, and please stay safe. >> thank you. stephanie: we will return to the
full program after the latest headlines. according to congressional lawmakers briefed today by defense secretary lloyd austin, american citizens have been beaten by taliban fighters at airport check points. earlier today, president biden told reporters americans were able to travel safely through the check once. in pandemic news, san francisco became the nation's first ager city to enforce vaccination checks at restaurants, bars, and gyms. patrons using indoor facilities must prove they are fully vaccinated. new york city ordered public high school athletes and coaches in close contact sports to be vaccinated, and the u.s. extended a ban on non-essential travel along the borders with canada and mexico until late september. the food and drug administration is ready to grant full approval to pfiz's covid vaccine. we confirmed it will happen early next week. up to now, the vaccine has been used under emergency
authorization. full approval would likely clear legal hurdles to more vaccine mandates. a federal appeals court today temporarily upheld cdc's latest moratorium on evictions during a pandemic. the washington, d.c., court locked a challenge from landlords while the case proceeds. they are expected to appeal to the u.s. supreme court. in haiti, earthquake victims mobbedelief trucks as officials tried to step up paved deliveries. residents of the area were still sifting through rubble today looking for survivors, and the prime minister painted a desperate picture. >> the latest partial assessment is that nearly 700,000 people are in need of a merger to -- emergency humanitarian assistance. on the material aspect, facilities that usually service temporary shelter during the hurricane season have been severely affected. >> at last count, the earthquake had left nearly 2200 people dead. the main usaid agency warned
today that 6 million people in ethiopia's to gry region will run out of food this week. the government imposed a blockade on the area in june as it battled separatists. now usaid says food warehouses are bare. the trump era policy that kept thousands of immigrant asylum-seekers in mexico is set to resume tomorrow. last night, a u.s. federal appeals court agreed to let the remain in mexico policy be reinstated. late today, the biden administration appealed to the u.s. supreme court asking it to prevent that from happening. hurricane grace grew into a category two storm this evening as it headed for its second landfall in mexico. forecasters project it will strike along the gulf coast or veracruz and drive inland toward mexico city. the storm passed over the yucatan peninsula thursday and regained hurricane force. it is packing sustained wind of 100 miles per hour. meanwhile, new england is facing its first direct hit on a
hurricane in 30 years. tropical storm henri is expected to intensify before reaching southern new england sunday. massachusetts governor charlie baker warned against underestimating the rain and wind. ask you know, 48 inches in one dump is basically a month's worth in many cases. we are talking a lot of water. the second thing is we have not seen a lot of 50 and 60 mile-per-hour short-term gusts, much less sustained gusts, for a really long time. >> 30 years ago this week, hurricane bob blew ashore in rhode island. it killed 17 people and did more than 1.5 billion dollars in damage. in northern california, millions of acres of national forests are closing as major wildfires burn ouof control. nine national forests are affected from nevada to oregon. firefighters have been using bulldozers to clear trees to
slow the flames' advance. the even larger dixie fire also remains a threat. the biden white house announced choices today for u.s. ambassadors to china and japan. former under secretary of state nicholas burns is being nominated to the post, and rahm emanuel is the nominee for ambassador to japan. he is a former obama white house and mayor of chicago. general motors has expanded its recall for chevy volt electric vehicles over a battery problem that can cause fires today's announcement includes all bolts -- all volts sold worldwide. the newly named host of "jeopardy," mike richards, has stepped down following crude comments about women and oths he made some years ago. richards said today he does not want to be a distraction to the show, but he will continue as executive producer, and the search for a new host will resume. still to come, the corruption and other reasons behind the
fall of the afghan government. the politics of masks pmpts a backlash to mandates issued by florida school boards. and considering the afghanistan crisis and more. ♪ >> this is the "pbs newshour," from w eta studios from the walter cronkite school of journalism at everest -- arizona state university. >> we return now to our top story as the taliban struggles to rule amid protests and dissent in kabul and across the country. we explore the collapse of the country's government, which was built and supported by the u.s. and its allies for 20 years. >> that's right. for deeper perspective on how we got here, i'm joined by someone who has had years-long involvement in afghanistan. she covered the fall of the taliban after 9/11 or npr and
started and ran several ngo's in the country. she served as an advisor to several senior u.s. military commanders in afghanistan and then to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. she is the author of several books. the most recent is "on corruption in america and what is at stake." she joins us now from paris. it is great to have you back. you recently published an essay called "th ides of august," and you laid out several factors that you argue helped get us to where we are today. the first element was corruption that you pointed to. n you explain the mechanism? how is it that corruption leads to the fall of the afghan government? >> in simple terms, why would a population take risks to fight the taliban on behalf of a government that is treating them almost as badly as the taliban did?
so afghan government officials would shake people down at every interaction. the massive international funding that was arriving in the country was being siphoned off or captured by government officials and their cronies, and from afghans' perspective, it almost looked like the united states was in favor of this system because our officials were always seen partnering with these venal afghan leaders, and no matter how much the population complaint, they really could not get us to address the issue seriously. >> what role did the u.s.' actions play in this? did we hinder the corruption, help the corruption, try to stop the corruption? >> i have to say on balance, we enormously helped the corruption. first of all, by allowing local strongmeto capture the revenue streams. for example, you would have one local strongmen providin
security at a u.s. base, and then he would only allow his people into our contracting conferences, for example. we never held any of the officials that we were partnering with two account. i would say that toward 2009, 2010, we began to catch on to this as a serious issue. so a decision was made to do a test case with plenty of evidence. it was brilliantly mounted and had to do with the whole of approximately 900 million dollars in kabul bank, right? we are talking a significant issue here. the person targeted who was taking a bribe was in the palace , was close to president karzai. as soon asked president karzai threw a fit about the arrest of his henchmen, washington
basically executed a u-turn, and the u.s. never took corruption seriously after that. that was in 2010. in 2011 when i was working for the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, there was an interagency policy process that would arrive at a determination, how was the united states going to address corruption, and explicitly it was decided that we were not going to focus on any of the high level corruption. only "street-level" police corruption, which, of course, was the purview of the military. from my perspective, there was a real dereliction of duty on the part of civilian leadership in the united states. >> another factor in the essay you posted was the role that pakistan played in all of this. can you explain, for people not familiar with the dynamics between the two nations, what role did pakistan play? >> the taliban did not initially arise inside afghanistan the way
we have often heard, in 1994. the taliban were in fact basically concocted across the border in pakistan. at that time, afghanistan was a pretty chaotic, violent place because it was after the soviets had withdrawn and there were a lot of different ptsd-suffering militia commanders who were shooting at each other. pakistan was very interested in the long-distance trade routes that cross afghanistan, and it was hard to get convoys, get goods across the country. their idea for how to secure their own interests, which both were in trade and were in having some what is often called strategic depth with respect to india -- like, india is their big arrival, and they wanted a little bit of room behind them and control over territory and populations, so they came up with this idea of taliban, and
they actually market tested it. i know this from interviews with locals over a couple of years. golly, how would you feel about some religious students coming to bring this violence to a stop? frankly, people said anything, you know? >> this was pakistani military intelligence doing this? >> exactly right. then in two thousand three, i watched them begin reconstituting the taliban. the pakistani military intelligence agency was playing this remarkable double game with the united states where they were playing at being our ally and helping us conduct our operations, but they were also essentially arming, equipping, training, and directing the taliban. if you look today at reactions from pakistani officials, they are crowing about the current results, the current outcome. >> your essay also touches on
the role that former afghan president hamid karzai played on the eventual undoing that we have witnessed. again, how so? >> again, it is very counterintuitive, but it was karzai who initially negotiated the entry of the taliban into connor heart back in 1994. he was basically operating on behalf of the pakistani military intelligence agency. karzai got into a fight with his father about it. others disagreed with him about it, but that was the role he played, so again, it stunned me when i learned this, that our choice to be the first president of afghanistan was the very one who had ushered the taliban into power in the first place, and today we see him again and emerging as the head of some coordinating committee, so it makes me ask myself -- has he not been conducting these types of negotiations just like he did back in 1994 with the leaders of
the northern cities who all surrendered almost in unison and all of the other kind of local powerbrokers that we saw surrendered in such quick succession? that does not just happen by itself. that was prepared. >> does it's always great to see you. your latest book is "on corruption in america." -- it is always great to see you. >> thanks so much for having me. judy: students return to school in a number of states this week amid a new surge of covid cases and a fierce battle over face masks in the classroom. republican governors in states like arizona and texas have tried to stop school districts from mandating masks. that has drawn sharp for a schism from some parents and ucators. even action from the white
house. john yang reports from florida, the epicenter of this debate. john: it is the first week of school for this first grader in broward county, florida. after the better part of a year spent learning virtually away from friends and teachers, he is eager to get back to the classroom. his father makes sure he has a new back-to-school necessity -- a face mask. the broward county school district with more than 200 60 thousand students, the nation's sixth largest, began the school year with a requirement that all students and teachers wear a mask indoors unless they have a doctor's note. >> little kids that have been really exposed to what is happening and their parents talk to them about what is going on, they don't have any issues. luca has never told me like, i don't want to have these on. john called across town, kelly's
14-year-old son was nervous and says wearing a mask did not help. >> i think it's just annoying, honestly. it gets in the way. >> it really is not doing anything, and it is more of a detriment to the kids because it is not a healthy thing to have a mask on all day. you know, at what point do people need to stop being responsible for someone else's health and need to be responsible for their own health? john: earlier this month, the centers for disease control and prevention recommended that all those in schools wear a mask. how important is masking? >> masking is critical. >> dr. lisa gwynn is a university of miami pediatrician and president of the florida chapter of the american academy of pediatrics. she says there's no evidence that masks are harmful to children. >> the sources of the cdc and science-based sources of professional medicine agree. that's all i can say about that.
john: in florida, the disagreement over masking among parents has become a political fight. the governor issued an executive order effectively banning lal school districts from requiring masks. he said it was a matter of parental freedom of choice. >> what right do you have to deny my child and education because of a mask? >> my daughter's life depends on each and every one of you. >> last week after hours of impassioned testimony from both sides, the board voted to keep the mandate. >> we believe strongly that it is not about defying the governor. it is a moral decision that says we value the life of people, no matter what. we do whatever it is we need to do to protect them. john: now, the broward county
school district is being threatened with penalties for its mask mandate. the state board of education says it may withhold the amount of money the district spends on the salaries of the superintendentnd the members of the school board. >> i'm willing personally to give up my salary if i have to for that year because i will be able to sleep at night knowing that i did everything i could to protect a child or staff person in a school. john: florida's largest district said it, too, would require staff members to be masked when school starts on monday. >> if it saves one life, 10 hospitalizations, isn't that the least we can do? john: in hillsboro county, which includes tampa, officials imposed a 30-day mask mandate after re than 1000 students tested positive for covid in the first week of school. since the start of july, covid
cases have been surging across florida, including, notably, among children. for parents like jenna, a school mask mandate is not the answer. the day before classes began, she took her 10-year-old daughter addison to a meet the teacher open house. >> she's not wearing a mask. >> that's right. john: they were turned away after refusing to put on masks. >> in my eyes, for me, it is not time for my child to wear one for eight hours a day. it is just too long. john: addison said wearing a mask in classes last school year gave her headaches. >> i hate it. it aays made me sweaty because it was on my face all day and we could not take it off. john: so addison was not in school when classes began. now hague, who is running for the florida legislature, is applying for a state school voucher program the governor is
using for students who do not want to comply with any local district's mask mandate. >> i'm not saying that if somebody else chooses to set their child with a mask that that should not be allowed -- it should. that is their choice. that is their prerogative, as it is mine to make that decision for my child and, you know, it is not the school board's, i guess, to make that decision. john: on the first day of school, officials reported near universal compliance with the mask mandate. for high school teacher katrina whitaker, it was a relief. >> i wanted to do a cartwheel, i wanted to do a split. i was happy, and i was happy that i did not he to say to kids, put on your mask. they were walking around with masks on. it is just great to know that theyare enough to put on their masks. john: whitaker, who lost a close colleague to covid last week, said teachers have been forgotten in this debate.
>> i don't think that they value what the teachers want. we have not been asked what we want, how we feel about it. john: for now, john moreno escobar is sending his son to school with a sense of relief. >> they made a decision to prott our kids, our teachers, our community as a whole, and it is something really simple. wear a mask, make sure your kid is wearing a mask when they go to school, and that is it. john: across town, kelly doyle finds herself in a game of wait and see. >> if this goes on for a month, i will have to see how i feel again. i don't want to pull them out of school. you know, it is a tough call. john: as families, school administrators, and public health officials clash over the best way for schools to reopen safely.
♪ judy: americans watched this week as troubling scenes unfolded in afghanistan and the delta variant continued its deadly sweep across the country. here to talk about the implications of all this are jonathan and michael, both columnists with "the washington post." it is good to have both of you. afghanistan all over the news this week. we just keep watching these heartbreaking, disturbing pictures of people outside the kabul airport. we have now heard from the president several times this week. what do you make at this point of how the president and his team are handling it? >> it seems as though the
president and his team are trying to do a better job of explaining and also a better job of handling the situation in kabul than they did in the opening hours of this. it is horrifying to see people so desperate that they would hang on to a roaring air force jet down the runway. the video i woke up to this morning of -- i guess it was a marine holding a baby out of the crowd and over barbed wire -- heart wrenching, but i think that what we saw on monday with the president's speech, what we saw today in the east roomith president's remarks and taking questions from the press is a president who is resolute in the decision that he made. the horrifying images and the news we keep getting notwithstanding, and when i look at the presint and listen to him, two things come to mind. one is unfortunately, he is
where the american public is and has been for years, which is they have long wanted the united states out of iran -- judy: afghanistan. >> i'm sorry, yes, afghanistan. two, when he speaks about this issue, most people look at him as the commander-in-chief, but when i look at him, i see a commander-in-chief who is the father of a late service member. this is not foreign to him. he has a child who went to war and as commander-in-chief, he has to send men and women, sons and daughters into war. that is important because only 1% of the u.s. population is involved in some way in the military. this is something that former secretary of defense bob gates used to hammer away at. that more people need to be involved in defending this country. i put all of that out there as a
way of trying to in some way put the president's what i call resoluteness and what i think other people might call stubbornness on this issue into some context. >> how do you see the issue this week? >> it is kinof collecting the historical analogies. you had the bay of pigs for the former white house chief of staff. the fall of saigon. obviously dunkirk, which would have been a better christ -- a
better outcome. obviously the suez crisis in which eisenhower abandoned his allies. there is a deep feeling of abandonment. when you have those examples, it is not a great week. some of the attributes, the best thing about who this president is, his empathy, his confidence, his way with our allies seemed an operative at the end of this week. i think there is some damage done to the president's reputation. basically, he was elected as a steady hand. the purpose was toontrast -- to be a contrast to the constant drama of the trump years. these are people who are supposed to be a highly professional team, highly effective group of people. when you squander something that central to your public identity, i think that it hurts. judy: no question what you are saying about the president. we heard from sarah in her interview a few minutes ago, there is a lot more to this story. there is a lot of history here. we will be dissecting this for a long time, andet, we still have to explain tourselves -- how did it happen? how did it happe >> right.
how did it happen? our colleague at "the washington post" in 2009 wrote a story that is now a book called "the afghanistan papers," where he happened upon the transcripts of a series of interviews done with the office of the attorney general. they were not talking to a reporter. they were talking to colleagues where they were perfectly blunt about the mismanagement, how horrible things were going, how the journalists were saying one thing to the american public, painting a rosy picture and what was happening on the ground was the complete opposite. what we are findin out -- today, "the wall street journal" had a story about this cable that came from state department employees in kabul saying directly in the distant channel, this is not going well. this situation is deteriorating, and the state department spokesperson said yes, the
secretary of state saw it. he took it under advisement. he may have made comments, so the idea that they did not see this coming, i think, to michael 's point really dings the president on the competence issue, on the experience issue. how could someone running for president on the record that the president has botch something like this so royally? judy: and congress is going to be asking those questions we think as early as next week. >> that's absolutely true. i think there will be a lot of questions about how we got here because this was a fiasco in planning. there were unforeseen elements here. i would say one thing, though, having been at the white house in some moments like this -- it is hard. when you are in one of these moments -- i saw in the intervie with stephanopoulos this week, where stephanopoulos
mentioned the example you were talking about, the image, and the president's response was that was for five days ago. it was two days ago. you have limited information, have to make real-time decisions . i respect people that do this job as well. it is not easy. judy: there's going to be a lot of questioning. we saw the story john yang reporting on, and that is this raging debate around the country about mask mandates. you have parents worried, educators worried about teachers and students. a number of republican governors starting to impose mandates.
they are getting into fights with school boards. explain the arguments here. who has the right argument? >> i think that's a leading question. the republican governors shoul be ashamed of themselves, what they are doing. they are playing with peoples lives. they are playing politics with people's lives. when you have teachers saying, let's make the decision, don't stop us from requiring children to wear a mask -- it is not a matter of just the children's health. it is the teachers' health as well. the health of the school community. the president getting in the way saying if you are not going to do the right thing, then it
needs to get out of the way. instead, they are hurling themselves in front of this. they are playing politics with the lives of the people in their states and the children's lives, and it's outrageous. judy: you do have parents, as we heard in john's report, who are resisting. >> basic public health measures like masking and vaccine requirements -- these are not absurd for great violations of individual liberty. they are just the normal way that you oppose disease. they have become deeply controversial in a significant portion of the republican coalition. it is as though an important part of your coalition is just saying we think that trash collection is a socialist plot,
and therefore we oppose it. it is an extraordinary circumstance. these people responding to very real social pressures, the republican openers, the political pressures. they are making absolutely terrible decisions, but i think the republican coalition has some serious issues here when that is what the demand is. it is treated like a culture war when in fact it is a public health issue. judy: and you do have republican governors, asa hutchinson in arkansas has openly changed his mind. >> right, and he is the only one we can name it should be more than governor hutchinson. it should be former president trump should come out and say get the ccine, wear a mask. if you love me, i need you to hang around for whatever i might do, but it needs to be part of
the solution, not continue to be part of the problem. one of the reasons why masks have become such an issue, taking the vaccine has become such an issue is because donald trump made it a political issue. judy: and then you have members of congress who made a big deal out of the fact they have been required in the house of representatives to where masks. a number of them saying they won't do it. you now have senators, three prominent -- well, they are all prominent -- three united states senators who have been vaccinated have come down with through infections. >> i think some of it is a fundal misunderstanding of what public health is. this is a situation where we all succeed -- a fundamental misunderstanding of what public health is. this is a situation where we all succeed or fail together. the language in the context is really misunderstanding with the issue is.
watch extensive coverage produced by our partners. also online, music is finally pouring out of new orleans' french quarter again, but uses in's are uneasy as the city battles the latest covid surge. you can read more on our website, pbs.org/newshour. and don't forget to watch "washington week" tonight for
discussion about the dramatic week in afghanistan. that is later this evening on your local pbs station. tomorrow on "pbs newshour weekend," a look at the growing crisis in afghanistan and the aftermath of the haiti earthquake. and an editor's note -- monday, i misspoke in a story about drought in the western u.s. and said that the state of new mexico would be subject to water allocation cuts. i should have said instead the country of mexico. apologies for that. that is "the newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us again here on monday evening. for all of us at "the newshour," please stay safe and have a good weekend. >> major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by -- ♪ consumer cellular, johnson &
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>> a critical look at critical race theory, is week on "firing line." >> just because i do not want critical race theory taught to my children in school does not mean that i'm a racist, damn it! >> it's an academic theory born decades ago. >> racism is more than a group of bad white folks, you see. it is built into the society. >> why is critical race theory at the center of a new national debate? >> the crusade against american history is toxic propaganda. >> john mcwhorter is a best-selling author. he's a professor of linguistics, a contrarian, and a commentator on race in america. >> "yes, we can't" has never been the slogan for black america, and it's not now. >> someone who has long followed critical race theory, he criticizes both what it's become and how it's used as a polical punchinba
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