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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 15, 2020 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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05/15/20 05/15/20 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy:y: from new york citity, the epicenter of the pandemic, this is democracy now! >> this is the situation. there are flights guatemala city since you have been deported from the united states and who are put on the planes and they have fevers. once they arrived here, we automatically evaluate their health. immediately test them for covid-19. a lot of them have been testing
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positive. amy: the united states continues to deport thousands during the coronavirus pandemic, causing a dangerous spread of covid-19 to central america and the caribbean. we'll go to guatemala for an update and speak with haitian-american novelist edwidge danticat, who says, "u.s. deportations to haiti during coronavirus pandemic are 'unconscionable'." then, can democracy survive the pandemic, especially as president trump attacks mail-in voting? pres. trump: the problem with the mail-in ballots, it is subject to tremendndous cocorruption. tremendous cororruption. cheating. so i am against it. amy: this despite the fact that the president himself votes by mail. we will speak with "new w york times magazine" writer emily bazelon about whether americans can lose their right to vote in the pandemic. in supreme court heard arguments this week in a case that could shape the outcome of future presidential elections by determining whether members of the electoral college can go
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rogue. >> the elector had promised to vote for the winning candidate could suddenly say, you know, i'm going to vote for froto baggins. you are saying under y your syststem, can't do a anything ge that. amy: we will speak with colorado secretary of state. all of that and more, coming up. welcome e to democracy now!,, , the quarante report. i'm amy goodman. a top u.s. v vaccine scientist told congress thursday he was removed from his job at the department of f health and human services after he pushed back against president donald trump's endorsement of untested and potentially dangerous treatments for covid-19. rick bright, who filed a whistleblower complaint earlier this month, told the house committee on energy and commerce he became alarmed at a lack of plannining by federal agencies
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after the coronavirus emerged in wuhan, china, late last year. he said his urgent please in january for the u.s. to procure masks and other personal protective equipment went ignored. bright said the resulting shortages and reliance on nor all of the masks caused the lives of health care workers and warned the united states remains woefully unprepared for another wave of covid-19 infections. >> our window of opportunity is failing. if we fail to improve our response now based on science, i fear the pandemic will get worse and be prolonged. there will likely be a resurgence of covid-19 this fall and it would be greatly compounded by the challenges of seasonal influenza. withthout better planning, 2020 to be the darkest winter in modern history. amy: dr. bright's testimony came as the british medical journal "the lancet" blasted what it called the trump administration's inconsistent and incoherent national response to the covid-19 crisis.
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lancet"itorial "the wrote -- "americans must put a president in the white house come january, 2021, who will understand that public health should not be guided by partisan politics." the u.s. death toll is rapidly approaching 86,00000 with over 4 millllion confirmed coronavirus cases, the p public health expxs say both figurures are certain o be underestimates. president trump traveled to allentown, pennsylvania, thursdsday, where he t toured a medical supply warehouse that distributes n95 masks to healthcare workers. trump and his chief of staff mark meadows did not wear masks during their tour. trump later addressed masked warehouse workers who sat in chairs spaced six feet apart. in a campaign-style speech, trump promised to create the world's greatest stockpile of medical equipment, attacked his political rival joe biden, and questioned the practice of testing americans for cororonavirus. testing, frankly,
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overrated? maybe it is overrated. we have more cases than anybody in the world, but why? because we do more testining. when you test, of f a case. when you test, you find something is wrong with people. if we did not do testing, we would have very few cases. amy: trump's remarks came as the deans of four major public health schools called for a massive increase in coronavirus case tracking, contact tracing, and testing warning -- "if we do not commit these resources, we will be doomed to a cycle of shut down, reopenining, resurgence of the virus, a and then shutting d don again." the food and drug administration is warning a about inaccurate results from an abbott laboratotories rapid coronavirus testsed by t w whiteousese t scscreen president trump and vie president pence. pres. trump: i just had a test, as you probably heard. i had one e yesterday and i hadd one today. negative.
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keke just had a test andtt is negative. amamy: t fdada's wawaing on the inaccurateororonavus t tescame after preliminary susults om a a new york uveversitstududy und it producefafalse gatitiveup to 48% of thtitime. in mhigan, lmakers cceled a legislive sessn thursd as prosters ard with assau rifles desceed on the state capitol in lansing. michigan's latest anti-lockdown protests came as the detroit metro news reported democratic governor gretchen whitmer has faced dozens of death threats on social media sites urging people to flout social-distancing orders. texas recorded 58 covid-19 deaths and over 1400 new infections on thursday. it was texas' worst day yet during the pandemic. the spike comes two weeks after republican governor greg abbott allowed shopping malls, restaurants, and theaters reopen. california governonor gavin newm on thursday outlined a revised budget plan that seeks to close
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a yawning $54 billion deficit by july 1. newsom says a nosedive in tax revenue caused by the pandemic will force him to slash spending for education, health and human services, parks and publblic safety. newsom is also asking unions representing state employees to agree to 10% pay cuts. he appealed to congress to include aid to state and local governments as part of the next coronavirus relief bill. > the enormity of the task at hand cannot just be borne by a state. the federal government has a moral and ethical and economic obligation to help support the states. amy: house members return to washington, d.c., today to vote on a coronavirus relief package $3 trillion named the heroes act. progressive critics say the bill fails to provide paycheck guarantees to workers and health insurance to the unemployed. president trump has called the
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housee bill dead on arrival. end twoays it will dollar per hazard pay for hour workers at the end of may. the rollback comes after an amazon employee recently told cbs more than 600 amazon workers have tested positive for covid-19, with six dying of the disease. an analysis by the institute for policy studies released thursday estimated amazon ceoeo jeff bezs -- the ricichest person on earth -- has s seen his wealth increae by $30 billionon since mid-marc. here in new york, governor andrew cuouomo has extended stay-at-home orders u until buts june 13 openening some areas upstate. meanwhile viral video shows new , a york police officers tackling a woman and handcuffing her in from of her young child in a brooklyn subway station, after she allegedly failed to wear a mask properly. the mother, who is african
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american, was arrested wednesday on charges of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and harassment. this follows another viral video filmed earlier this month showing plainclothes nypd officers violently pinning a black man to the ground for allegedly violating social distancing rules and assaulting a passerby who witnessed the arrest. brooklyn''s didistrict attttorns office reports that of 40 people arrested for social-distancing violations, 35 were black, four were latinx, and just one was white. in b bangladesh, two r rohingya refugees have tested positive for covid-19 in cox's bazar, where some one million people live in c crowded and u unsanity conditions in the world's largesest refugee camp. the bbrereportthe e two refugegs are now being treated in isolation and about 190900 othes are being tested and isolated.
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in peru, hospitals in the amazon region have collapsed and are in a state ofof catastrophe as the cases of covid-19 continue to surge, leaving at least 14 health care workers dead of the disease. the main hospital in the city of iquitos reports only 13 3 to 15 doctors healthy enough to care for the arounund three under patients. this is s hospital doctor enriqe siccar. >> we are in a total state of catastrophe. the hehealth system has s colla. the hospital has more -- no more than 13 to 1 15 d doctors for the whole hospitital. states,s,in the uniteted second immigrant has died of covid 19 afteter being in the custody of immigraration and customs s enforcement. the columbus free presess repors oscar lopez z acosta had beenn detained at morrow county correctional facility in ohio for over a year, but was reportedly released in late april for being at high-risk of covid-19 due to his diabetes.
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it is unclear whether he contracted covid-19 in the ice jail, but advocates say it is very likely as the facility has also become a hotspot for the coronavirus with between 50 and 80 prisoners t testing positiv he washingngton post" reports the u.s. has granteded asylum to just two people seeking refuge at the u.s.-mexico border since mid-march. this comes as the trump admiministratition has essentiay shut down the country's asylum and immigration systems, suspending most due process for immigrants -- including children -- issuing bans and restrictions under the guguise of stemming te spread of the coronavirus. immigration and human rights advocates are condemning the actions, saying the trump administration is weaponizing the pandemic to push f for moree radical, anti-i-immigrant, racat policies. the family of a 2020-year-old indigenous woman from guatemalaa who was shot dead in 2018 by a border patrol agent has filed a civil rights lawsuit againstst e agenent and the u.s. government. claudia gomez gonzalez was
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crossing through the texas-mexico border with a group of people when border agents confronted her, prompting one of them to shoot her in the head. the u.s. senate voted thursday to reauthorize sweeping government surveillance powers under the usa patriot act. onon wednesday, senators voteden an amendment that would have barred law enforcement from searching people's internet browsing and search history data without a warrant. the amendment needed 60 votes to pass but only garnered 59, with 10 democrats voting against it. several senators, including patty murray and bernie sanders, were absent during the roll call. the amendment was co-sponsored by oregon senator ron wyden who told reporters -- "getting access to somebody's web browsing history is almost like spying on their thoughts. this level of surveillance absolutely ought to require a warrant." republican senator richard burr of north carolina stepped down thursday as the chair of the senate intelligence committee
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one day after fbi agents serving a search warrant seized his cellphone. burr is under scrutiny for a series of stock sales he made after he received privileged briefings about the threat of the coronavirus. burr's brother-in-law gerald fauth also dumped tens of thousands of dollars' worth of stocks on the same day in february that burr unloaded a large number of shares. georgia republican senator kelly loeffler said thursday she's turned over documents to the justice department, the securities and exchange commission, and the senate ethics committee. loeffler and her husband jeffrey sprecher, who's chair of the new york stock exchange, traded massive volumes of stocks after a senate coronavirus briefing in march. meanwhile, senator diane feinstein's office has confirmed the california democrat was questioned by the fbi over stock trades that her husband richard blum made ahead of the market crash earlier this year. feinstein is the ranking democrat on the senate intelligence comommittee.. in the philippines, te o of thouousas of p pple are being
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evacuad d to slterers typhohoon vongng conties to rage the island nion. evacue are stang in ercrowdeshelterss loca ficials ge people to maintainocial didiancing a warnrnvacuatiocenterercould becomeoronavavus hotsps. and a a 4 earthquake t western nevadaarly this mornin the e ake was rereported felelt far a salalt lake cit utah, andd california centrtral valley. no injuries or deaths have beenn reported. and ththose are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. we turn now w to look at how t e u.s. has c continued t to deport thousands of peoeople during the coronavirus pandemic, causing a dangerous spread of covid-19 to central america and the caribbean. in guatemala, at least 117 people deported from the u.s. have tested positive for the virus as of may 4, making up some 15% of the country's cases. guatemala had temporarily suspended deportations from the
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u.s. after dozens of deported immigrants on a single april 13 flight tested positive, but allowed deportations to resume under the promise of stringent testing. but last week, someone who was deported after testing negative was confirmed covid-19 positive after arriving in guatemala. guatemala's health minister hugo monroy has called the u.s. the "wuhan of the americas." on monday, immigration and customs enforcement t reversed plans to deport five immigrants who had tested positive for covid-19 after it was reported on in the media. a deportation flight frorom san antoninio, texas, to port au prince, haiti, departed with passengers who were sent to 50 hotels to quarantine at the haitian government's expense upon arrival. the same day, florida democratic congresswoman frederica wilson introduced the haitian deportation relief act, which calls for the suspension of deportations to haiti, saying they are "tantamount to a death sentence for haitians who are living with compromised water
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and sanitation systems and do not have access to the sanitation measures we've undertaken in the united states." this comes as calls to halt all deportations from the u.s. during the pandemic are grgrowi. well for more, we are joined by two guests. edwidge dadanticat is a haitian-american novelist, author of a number of books, including "the art of death: writing the final story" and "the farming of bones," which won an american book award. her piece in "the miami herald" is headlined "u.s. deportations to haiti during coronavirus pandemic are 'unconscionable'." and in "the new yorker" magazine, she's written about "the ripple effects of the coronavirus on immigrant communities." also joining us from guatemala city is in a list jose alejandro garcia escobar, a reporter with the independent media outlet agencia ocote. his most recent work in guatemala highlights the health and economic impacts faced by undocumented guatemalan workers living in the u.s. in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic.
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welcome both of you to democracy now! edwidge danticat, let's begin with you. can you respond to the u.s. deporting covid-positive haitians back to haiti? what are you calling for? are alwaysthehese people the a threat to haitii and a threat to the entire regegion. organizations, professionals, p people inin heh care, people who work with communities, have called for the administration to stop these deportations and find alternatives to detention that covovid-19ent with regulations but thesee deportations have ntntinued. in april when the f first began, we had three people test positive for covid-19 after they
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arrived in haiti. it is a disgrace. it is dangerous for t the health of the commumunities that thesee folks are being returned to. peopleasas a community, as whose loved ones are affected or will continue to be affected by this, are calling for the deportations to stop. amy: what is the response of the u.s. government? , yestererday, for example, i text with one of the wives s of one of the men who hd tested covid-positive and in the end, didid not e end up onon the flight. but she said he was taken out of ththe quarantine whehere he wasd was not retested, for example, before he was returned back to the general population n while e was in detention.
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ice said they would test pepeope before t they were returned -- deporteded, b but asymptomatic people can still spread the virus, obviouslyly, and people have tesested positive ones they have arrived in guatemala, for example, and in the previous case, in haiti. the new your piece "" york magazine," is that whenever haiti sneezes, miami catches they called. but in the midst of this pandemic, it clearly is the case that the reverse is true. can you talk about the pandemic's effect, where you live in miami, as well as what this means for their loved onens at home? watched -- we are in a community where people work as homeme health aides or in the tourism industrtry, service
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industry, hospitality indndtry. so manany people have been furloughed o or have lost theier jobs. haiti counts a lot on remimittances. a lot of people who are working here are working a job -- - my father was, when i was a kid, was working one job to support himself and another job to support someone back home. this will also have ripple effects in haiti, in which people who have lost their jobs here or might have fallen ill -- wewe have had a lot of covid cases, f for example, in the population in new york. that will certainly have effects on the economy, on the ability of people in haiti who are already ununable to elelter in in theho have to work informal economy, this will also reduce their ability to feed themselves because a lot of family members here also are affected by the covid-19
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financially, which will then lead to greater hardships, financially and medically, back home. you alsodge danticat, talklk about haiti's history wih what you have calleled past collisisions with micicrobes. talk abobout what happened after the e earthquake a decadade a a. i itafter the earthquake when seemed like this was the worst thing ththat could p possibly hn when 300,000 people had been killed a and close to 2 million peopople were homeleless, you hd the united natioions, andnd basically poison one of the central rivers in h haiti, causg a cholera epidemic thatt k killd 10,000 peoeople and infected cle to one millilion people. now the u u.n. is nenever quite taken the proper respoponsibili. some of their own monitorsrs hae
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come out and said they have not done enough in terms of compensating families or creating the healtlth structure. so the u.n. -- the cholera epidemic has left haiti even more vulnerable in terms of being able to deal with this current pandemic. amy: i want to bring jose alejandro garcia escobar into this discussion from guatemala city. if you could talk about what happenss to guatemalans whoho ae deported fromm the united states to guatemala city? started a recently,tt new shelter r has opened up rery close by to the airport so people have been moving the deportees to o that shelter.. however, on may 13, a group of 71 persons -- 71 people were moved to that shelter and the only spent a couple of days ththere. a spokesperson foror migration saidid they wewere tested d andy
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wewere ok, but they were only there for a couple of days and they were removed to their original cities. scope of theut the problem. how has this happened? the guatemalans been deported from the united states, the respononse of guatemalans where you are in guatemala city, the response of the government who stopped these deporortations but has allowed them to resume? >> at the beginning, there was little to no information when we got our first coconfirmed casesn mid-marcrch. ththere were babarely a any informatatn about whwhat was g g to hapappen to immigration, to e deportees flflights. but as c cases began too arrive, telling people they had to address s this issue. asas you said duringng the stopduction, immigration the deportation place for a couple of times to strengthen the meaeasures. ththen there was that awful flit april 15 when there were up to 25% of deportees tested positive.
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things have been moving up and down with this issue. the government has rarely addressed it. this has mainly been from immigration, from the immigrationn department here in guatemala. but still, of people infected going back to small communities with little to no access to health facilities. it has been creatating a great impact in ththe country, bringig people infecected with the coronavirus. amy: you say the u.s.s. is been referred to in guatemala as thee wuhan of the americas? >> yes. this was a quote made by our healalth minister. amy: if you could talk about what the guatemalan government is doing to hold u.s. accountable, and if you can talk about the latest people who have been deported -- one, the u.s. said, was covid-negative. that when n he arrived in guatemala city, he was positive. >> the couple ofof times t the
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allegedlyhave stopped, it was t to strengthenen the measures and the testing in the u.s. to make sure that the people that were gettingng to wk getting to -- were healthy and they would not affect anyone in guatemala. obviously, this has not been the case entirely. ofhave been getting records peopople test reports of people coming in with certificates signed by ice saying they were healthy but the c certificates e alwewed herere to guatemala, thy can be made no longer than 72 hours prior to deportation. people have been coming in and wewe have a few cases, obviousl, not as high as the one we got in april5, but still, this has been -- we still get a couple of people infected on the flights. amy: can you talalk about the guatemalan residents who have been seeing white flags outside their homes? and talk about the double
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pandemic, the pandemic that people deeply concerned about covid-19 and then also the fx of -- thehe effects of not havingg jobs, running out t of food d momoney. close people in guatemala rely selling stuff in the streets, selling food in the streets. as soon as we had our first case, the government began putting on measures and people began losing their jobs, began losing their income. rapidly, was he people out on the streets waving white flags as a signal they don't have any money, they don't have any food. guatemalans -- there's a strong coalition of guatemalans helping other guatemalans. the government promised a little under $200 for families and small businessmen and small businesswomen. however, they then mentioned those benefited from this money,
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within the t to -- formal economy, they needed to show proof of their taxes. so a lot of people don't extent a receipt when they work out in streets. last that we had the n new mease that the country is closed until monday morning. a lot of people are not going to be allowed out into the streets to receive aid from other guatemalans, to go to local restaurants. right now this weweekend is goig to be a little chaototic with wt happens with these people. amy: the affect -- the health care system overall in guatemala and h how difficult it alalreads before deaealing with h the pandemic? >> yes. just a few days ago, there been a fefew developmpment in hospit.
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dodoctors in hospitals and nurss have been ouout in the streets outsidide the hospitals protestg that they don'n't hahave enough material to take care of the patients. theddenly, as you mentioned, health system in guatemala is overwhelmed. we had reached a little over 1300 cases, active cases in guatemala, and this has put our health system really on the edge of their seats. amy: let me end with edwidge danticat. the situation with the health care s system, the hospitals in haiti right now? certainly, there is a medical group ththat is advising thehe president that is come out and said haiti is just not ready and the deportations are adding fuel to the fire. we don't have the e ventilators, we donon't t have the b beds. the more exposure that we are getting from these expectations of the virus, the more dangerous
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it is for a country that it has suffered already so much through other exposureses that could hae been avoided. people go to a wedding someplace and the virus spreads. these are cacalled super spreadr eventsts. these deportations are puttitina great t deal of lives at risk, d are offering up to a medical system that the richest countries have sufuffered.. imagine what it would be like in a place where people of been so battered and mistreated like we have been. haitian people are strong, but this is a lot. amy: i want to thank you so much for joining us. edwidge danticat is a haitian-american novelist. we will link your piece at speaking to us from miami.
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jose alejandro garcia escobar, guatemalan journalist, speaking to us s from guatemala city. when we come back, for the first time in history, the supupreme court is holding oral arguments remotely. we will look at a case they heard wednesday that could shape the outcome of the future of presidential elections, and we wiwill talk about whether democracy y can survive the pandemic here in the unitedd stateses. ayay witus.. ♪ [music c break]
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amy: rhiannon giddens singing the bill withers classic "just the two of us," featuring photos and videosos taken by friends ad family in quarantine and workers in the north carolina unc and new york-presbyterian healthcare systems. prococeeds frorom the song go to global giving's coronavirus rerelief funund. ththis is democracy nonow!,, the quarante report. i'm amy goodman.
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for the first time in its history, the supreme court is holding g oral arguments remotey by phone and the audio is available live to ththe public, leading to some unprecedented moments, including a live toilet flflush. >> with the fcc has said, when -- [toilet flush] -- the calall is transformed. amy: well, on wednesday, the supreme court heard arguments in a case that could shape the outcome of future presidential elections. many states have laws requiring members of their electoral college to pledge that they will support the winner of the state's popular vote. but in 2016, some electors went rogue. one of colorado's nine electors, michael baca, attempted to cast his electoral college ballot for republican john kasich, instead of democrat hillary clinton. kasich won colorado's presidential election over republican donald trump. then the colorado secretary of state at the time, a republican,
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removed baca as an elector. colorado is one of 31 otheher states that has a law requiring presidential electors to vote for the candidate who wins the state's presidential election popular vote. baca sued colorado, and the denver-based 10th u.s. circuit court of appeals ruled his removal was unconstitutional. the case then made its way to the supreme court on wednesday. thisis is supreme court justice clarence thohomas questioning attorney jason harrow, who argued on behalf of the colorado electors. >> the elector who had promised to vote for the winning candidate could suddenly say, you know? i'm going to vote for froto ba ggins. under your saying system, you can't do anything about that? isyour honor, i think there something to be done because that would be the vote for an on site -- non-.
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no banner how big a fan people are for froto baggins. that said, think the important point is the framers hash this out in philadelphia in 1787. they understood the stakes and they said among these competing hypotheticals, electors are best placed to make the ultimate selection. that has not changeded, justice thomas. amy: the supreme court also heard d a related cacase wednesy from washington state on whether it could issue $1,000 fifines fr three presidential electors who also tried to block trump from becoming president by backing former u.s. secretary of state colin powell. to put all of this in perspective, a swing by just 10 electors would have been enough to change the outcomes in five of the previvious 58 presidentil elections. for more, we go to denver, colorado, where we're joined by colorado secretary of state jena griswold. welcome back to democracy now! can you start off by talking a facelessexactly
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elector is and what is at stake with the supreme court decision? >> sure. good morning. is one whoelector decides to vote their own will following their own agenda and effectively disenfranchises american citizens. here in california and t the mamajority o of states, the laws that presidential l electors mut carry out ththe wilill of the pe and must cast their electoral ballot for whoever wins the state's popular vote. ist is at stake in this case the foundation of our democracy. can a couple unelected, disenfranchises the election? or do americacans truly have thr vovoices heard in n our presidel election and their ballot counted and does that mean something? is secretary of state, i think it should mean something. amy: talk about the two cases. your case in colorado, who baca
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is, and the washington state case and how you think they both went? >> i think they went extremely well for the states. the supreme court really focused on the practical effect of allowing e electors to undermine american citizens. and d they really hone in on one of my top concerns, and that is corruption and bribery. under our current 10th circuit holding, effectively, as secretary of state, someone could walk up with a bag of money, handed to the elector right in front of me, and i would not have the power to remove that a lot. and i would just say these concerns are amplified knowing russia is trying to undermine our democracy. the idea of blackmail -- we all know how easy it is to do a video or search information on folks and blackmail them or coerce them to vote how you want them to vote. the ability to enforce state law, the ability to ensure that
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a states electoral ballot goes for whoever wins the states actual election is p paramount. amy: i want to go to chief justice john roberts questioning attorney jason harrow, who argued on behalf of colorado electors michael baca, polly baca, and robert nemanich. >> i take your answer when i ask for a limits to be that they must be allowed to vote in their discretion that you don't have any limits. >> your honor, there are no limits in that voting so long as the ballot is for a person. the 12 the memo says they must vote for a person. you can imagine -- giraffe? of course they have to vote for a person. an 1872rce concluded there was a vote for no living person. s situationon, it. amy: if you can explain thahat,
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jena griswold. >> i think it highlights the preposterous nature of the opponents argugument. the idea t that the onlyly requiremenent on electors is tht they cast t their ballotot for a living person i is -- and they n disenfranchise every single american, they can t take bribe, they can throw this country into chaos is just not reasonable. not onon did the court hone e in on the rididiculousness of baggbly vototing for froto ins -- by the way, i would vote fofor wonder womanan, although i really like "the lord of the rings." outside of concern for virus, various justices h hone inin ont this does to presidential campaigns. lose, state w were to presidential camampaigns and amerans s votes woululd just be advisory.. and then we could s see a second
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wave off campaigns just for electors. so presidential candidates and campaigns focused on trying to flip electors. in the justiceces, rightly or wrongly so, do not seem to want that to happen.. more campaigning for the president on whether something that really seemed to strike well with them. and thenen on top of that, there was a great argrgument from the washington s solicitor general hahave basicically was along the lines of f once americans have e right to votote, you cannot take that away by allowowing electors to take away all of our voices. so overall, i was very happy with the supreme court justices lines of questioning, and i think it bodes well for the states. amamy: i want t to thank you vey much, jena griswold, for being with us, secretary of state of colorado. i want to ask you to stay with us for this next segment. colorado place an interesting rorole in the elections,
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especially when it comes t to mail-inn ballots. the democracy s survive pandemic?" we will also be e joined by emiy bazelon. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "greenwaves" by secret garden. mike de like most of the democracy now! staff, whihile they are in isolation, they are still h here with us in spirit. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. we t turn now from the electoral college to the issue of voting from home and the question, "can democracy survive the pandemic?" that is the headline of this week's "new york times magazine" cover story. in it, reporter emily bazelon writes -- "two-thirds of americans expect the covid-19 outbreak to disrupt
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voting in november, according to a late-april survey by the pew research center. a successful election will require some covid-era changes. the main one is enabling tens of millions more people to vote by mail -- also called absentee balloting -- than have ever done so before. it's also important to make adjustments to keep polling places open for people who don't have stable mailing addresses -- a group that increases as people are uprooted during an economic downturn -- or whose disabilities, like blindness, make it hard to fill out a ballot unassisted." this comes as president trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, jared kushner, was asked by time magazine this week if he thought the election would be held in november. >> is there any scenario, including a second outbreak in the fall, where elections will be moved past november 3?
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>> that is too far in the future to tell. nothing i'm aware of now. our focus is just on getting -- >> elections will happen on november 3? >> it is not my decision to make. right now that is s the plan. amy: that t is jared k kushner g interviewed d by "time magazine" too far in the futurure to tell? well, , for more, w'rere joinedy emily bazelon, s staff writer at "the new york times magazine" where her cover story this week asks, "will americans lose their right to vote in the pandemic?" she is alslso the truman capote fellow for creative writing and law at yale law school. also with us is colorado seseetary of s state jenena griswold, who is quoted in thehe piece. colorado is one of five states that send ballots s by mail to every registered voter. we welcome you both to democracy now! why don't you start with that, emily bazelon, jared kusushner sayingng it is too far in the future to tell whether the elections will be held in november. >> congress passed a law in 1845
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setting the datete of the electn on the first tuesday afterer the first monday in novemberer. it is veryry precise. he would take both houses of congress to change that law. it has nothing to do with jared kushner. i assume he didid not know anything about that when he tried to answer that question. amy: let's talk about your piece. you begin in wisconsin that amazing moment. explain what happened with that primarary. >> wisconsin had a really difficult election on april 7. ththere was a lot of confusion leading upup to the election abt whwhher it wasas going to happe. the governoror try to postpone . he is a democrat, though republican-controlled edges later said, no. ththe governor also o proposed sendining absentee ballotot applicatations to other registed voters in the staples of the republican legislatuture also refused to do that.. c challenges which o of
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the wisconsin supreme court and the united states supreme court. theyey refused to also postpone splitting onby ideological lines. there were manany, many more peoplele trying to vote e by man wisconsin than ever had done befofore. they went from 3% over 70%. that w was really hard for local election officials to handle. they got behinind on mailing out ballots. there were prprobably about 12,0 people w who did not get theirir ballots in time to vote.e. the otheher problem was there we cities that could only open a few polling place is because a lot of their poll workers, a lot of the older people, did not feel safer working the polls. you saw these very long lines of people trying to social distatae , standiding in line to vote. unfortunately, there been some coronavirus infectionsns that we linked t to the polls t that da. amy: how many do you expect? closely last time i checked it was over 50. amy: i would ask about that moment i the wisconsin primary
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that laid bare the voting crisis that coronavirus poses here. election took place on april 7 after this protracted battle between the democratic governor tony evers and the republican legigislature after the state supreme court blocked eve'ss ruling to delay the election until june, thousands of voters braved the stay-at-home order and stood in these lonong lineso cast balallots. in m milwaukee, home to wiwionsin's largest african-american community, just five of the city's usual 180 sites were opepen. and what went viral, we want to turn to this clip, wiscononsin's republican state assembly speaker robin vos defending his support for in-person voting during the deadly pandemic while wearing a surgical mask, gloves, and hospital gown at a a polling place. >> everybody is safe. they have minimal exposure.
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there is less exposure here than you would get at the grocery store. if you want a walmart or did any of the many things we have to do to live in the state of wisconsin. amy: that was robibin vos saying it is perfectltly safe as hehe s covered head to toe, emily bazelon. >> right. i think the response of a lot of voters was you may feel safe because you have all of the protective equipment you need, but we don't. and you have e forced us today o choose between our health and safety and being able to exercise our right to vote. amy: let's take this national and what this means, what has to happen. the cover of "the new york times magazine" is a mask and on the side of it is a little "i voted" sticker and on the inside of the --ce is a mailbox with covered in "i voted" stickers. let's talk about the significance of mail-in voting in a way that people have not felt perhaps t the urgency befo. >> there are many states in the
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country, the majority of states, where you can requestst an absentee ballot and you don't need to o make an excuse. you can justst ask for o one. however, a lot of those states have never rolled outut a huge mail-in electioion before. so jena griswold, or other guest, she c comes from colorad. her state knows how to do this. they have donene this before. my state of connecticut, only in votedst 3% or r 4% have absesentee in prevevious electi. so you imagine in connecticut it 50% or 60% or 70% want to vote absentee this time, the state is going to have to changnge how ty do business. they're going to have to order much, much more paper. they're going to have to make sure t they have relatioionships with vendodors that can handle n order like that. they need new machinines to tabulate votes. they need to trarain election officials to verify signatures and make sure the ballots are ok to be counted. this is a huge task.
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it is a logistical task. it is like planning protesting and tracing in the pandemic. it takes advanced planning and organization and it takes a lot of money. that is a big burden on the state that there just starting to ramp up for. and they as yet do not have adequate funding from congress. amy: i think for the first t ti, perhaps, most americans now understand what supply chain is all about because when it comes to tests and masks that have been so woefully inadequate in this country, what landing means -- again, the election is in november. let's bring jena griswold into this conversation, colorado secretary of state. explain exactly how the system works in colorado i'm a secretary. i in accessible voting. we have online voter registration, earlrly voting for several l weeks before elelectin day. same-day voter registration and the big wind, we mailil a ballos
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to every regisrered voter. to share with you the results, in o p presidential primary, 97.5% of coloradans voted at home. amy: say that number again and compared to how many people vote nationallyly in the united stat. >> in our presidential primary, 97 point 5% of coloradans voted their mail ballots. not only d do we have the highet rate of reregistered global peoe in the nation, we also have the highest tuturnout rate consistently.. our presesidential primary, we surpass the tururnout rate of every other state in t the natin with a almost n nearly everyone mail ballots.r it is important to maintain in person voting g because there ae going to be someme people who fr didifferent reasonons just c cat vote that mail ballot.t. at the bottom line is, mail
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ballots neededs to be nationall. wisconsin should serve as a wake-up call. if we do not expand national ballot, not only will americans have to choose between safeguarding their health and casting a ballot, what i do fear that we are going to see is the pandemic used to suppress turnout. and if we have too low of a turnout, that really affects the legitimacy of an election. amy: i want to turn to president trump to get your response to what he said in an interview on "fox and france" he was celelebrating ththe stemlessss e left outut provisionons by demos in earlier versions of the bill that would have expanded voting access. pres. trump: the things they had in were crazy. they had things, levels of voting that if he ever agree to it, would never have a republican elected in thihis country again. amy: he continually attacks mail-in voting, though he d does that himselflf.
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i want to get secretary griswold and then emily bazelon talking about what trump's oppositions to this means. think in this instance, president trumump was straigforwrward. he opposes mail ballots becausee he thinks repupublicans will loe seats. not only is itit reprehensibiblo put polilitics above americans health and force americans into unhealthy voting, having really crcrowded pollining locations, t is badlocatioio -- that in itself. on top of it, it is untrue. colorado shows that republicans can win in mail belt systems. a u.s. senenator has one. mamany statetewide officials hae wonn on the republican side undr ourr system. so the claim that it benefits one side more than the other just is not true. at the end o of the day, if this nation d does not act, we e wile repupublicans, democrats, anand
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independents alllleciding whetether to sit outut the nover electition. that is not good foror our democracy. frankly, that is not good for president t trump, either, and i wish he could recognize that. amy: emily bazelelon, if f you n also resespond too thihis pointt he is making that repupublicans willll lose if more peopople vo? > it is interesting becausese reresearch shows what secrcretay griswold is pointing to, which is that voting by mail does not actually have a partisan effect. it is neutral. it does s not help democrarats r republicans. it does boost turnout. there is this assumpmption thaht president trump and some other rerepublicans bank this assumptn as well, that if more people vote, they're more likely to lose. amy: i want to ask about the repeated attacks on vote by mail by people other than i president trump, by republicans claiming to be attacking voter fraud in georgia, the new secretary of state brad raffensperger, republican, has announced absentee ballot fraud task force
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to investigate signature mismatches and other issues. in your "new york times magazine" piece you quote a woman who says the task force is a submission to the trump voter susuppression machine. explain. >> i in georgia, i think the concern of voting rights thatates like laureren is people w will hear they're going to be investigated if f they voe by mail, andnd they wiwill get nervouous about i it and that wl intimidate them in a way that wiwill discouragage voting. i thinink it is also important o coconnect this to a longtime vor suppression t tactic among conservavatives. so you g go back k to the 1969', you pull taxes, literalally desk literacy tests to prevent african-americican's fromom vot, then we e have the v voting rigs act that bececomes illegal to oo things like that b but you start to see a a push fovoteter identificacation at the polls ad the justification for voter id laws was wee are prereventing
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fraud. it tururns out there is almost o fraud at the polls. it would be really hard to turn an election by having people show up and vote e twice. you would need a lot of peoplee to doo thatnd get awaway with that. it just is not really a problem. conservativesstop and a lot of republicans, howewever, for makining this che overer and over again. we are seeining it now withh complaint about voting by mail, even though states like secretary griswold's with a good trtrack record and practically universal vovoting by mail has very l low levels of fraudud. and you also see it was something called purgiging,, whh is this idea of cleaning up the voter rolls by cutting g people ofoff of them if they have not voted for a a while or if their names don't exactly matctch in other databases.s. similarly, the rationale givenen fofor purging the roles is to prevenent fraud. justhe reality of fraud is much, much smaller, really tiny
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compared to the amount of people who end up with barriers to voting for these reasons. amy: emily bazelon, is the trump campaigngn spending its election money on efforts to limit voting by mail? >> there is at least 10, thing up to $200 million thatt republican national cocommittee has seset aside for lawsuits relating to ththe election.. this is perfrfectly normalal. ththe democrats are spending g y on lawsuitits, too, but ththe republicans are doing things like challllenging and althoughy mail primary in new mexico of conservative group challenging a similar effortt in nevadada, and then we alslso are saying t the publicans s just gear up for elelection monitoring for r ther efforts s on the day of the election for the people who do vote at the polls, you know, perhaps interfere w with the rit to vote. that is something that hass happened in ththe past. ththey have e been blocked f frm doing what iss called papallet security for manyy years bececae of the disintegrate the degreed
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the 1980's. that will be gone forr the first presidential election in 40 years. that is another potential for spinning this kind of money on. amamy: the military has beenen g mail-i-in votining for what, 200 years? >> yeah, it started in the civil war. that i is where we got the i idf absentee balloting from. there was a strugglgle worldld i and world war ii o over how much absentntee balloting soldiers would be able to do. but yes, they've been doing it this way for a long time. amy: let me conclude where we starteted with the titlele of yr "new york times piece, "can democracy survive the pandemic?" >> well, it certainly cacan. south korea just h had completey calm and orderly e election. people voted by mail and socicially distanced at the pol. it went fine. there's no reason n why america can't do o this and we still hae time, but it is an urgent task to get everything ready.. and because congressss has not
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papassed the fununds to make tht easilyly possisible, i think ths a time for kind of concern and paying a lot of attentntion to this issue. amy: what wowould it cost? >> thehe estimates from ththe brennan n center for justice are $4 bilillion. ththat would include all the primary elections as well as the general electction in november. so far, commerce has b budged oy $400 m million. you see a really big gap. that is really hamstring to some of the states. amy: i would for thinking about for being with us emily bazelon, , staff writer at "the new york times magazine." "canll into your story democracy survive the pandemic?" and i want to thank jena griswold, secretary state of colorado. that does it for our broadcast. the amazing democracy now! team is working with as few people onsite as possible. the majority of our team working from home. a special thanks to julie crosby. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who
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appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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>> this s is al jazeera.. ♪ anchor: you are watching the newshour live from london. coming up in the next 60 second, brazil loses its healthth minister inin less thaa month and chile's prepepares for lockdown as latin america fifigs soaring infection r rates and failing health systems. >> we started off with over 100. we are down to 14. anchor: he calls it operation warp speed. trump's details on how he thinks he will get a vaccine why the end of the year. the race against timen


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