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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 27, 2020 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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05/27/20 05/27/20 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy:y: from new york city, the epicenter of the pdedemic, thiss dememoccy nowow >> i cannot breae.e. amy:y:i can't breathe." that's what grgrge floy a an unarmed african-amerin man, rerepeatly t tola white lice officer whpipinnedim t to e grnd with a knee this s ne.
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video ofhe polic attack k went viral. now fofour officers have been fired. clubs being black in america should not be a death sentence. , we watched ass a white officer pressed his knee to the neck of a black man. for five minutes. amy: the killing of george floyd comes as another video went calling a white woman the officers on a black man and a new york city central park accusing him of threatening her to leashr he asked d her her dog. we will get response from ibram x. kendi from american university national book .ward-winning author of
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we will also talk about his new covid racial data tracker. then calls for ice to release people from detention during the pandemic are growing as two people have died from the virus while in custody. we will look at how one of them suffered horrifying neglect. >> he was so sick and he kept complaining about opposed she would not come out of the room. the leasing they would do would -- the only thing they would do is pain medication or cold medicine. amy: all of that and more, coming up. welcome to dememocracy n now!,, the quarante report. i'i'm amy goododman. in m minneololis, policece fired tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at hundreds of demonstrators who gathered tuesday to protest the killing of george floyd, an african american man who was killed by a white police officer on monday. a video circulated widely on
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sosocial mediaia shows floyd gag for air and telling the officers "i cannot breathe" while officer derek chauvin pins him to the pavement with a knee to his neck. a warning, the video is extremely graphic. >> you got your knee on his neck. >> i cannot breathe. i cannot breathe >> tough guy, huh? aest.not evenesisting nothing else. amy: t officer continued to n floyd t the pement wi his kn for several mines ev after floyd beces silen and d ill. and ilill. fourfficers involved in geor flo's lling g re firir tuesday. the i has lached a feral civil rights investigation.
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minnesota authorities are also investigating. after headlines, we'll get the latest from minneapolis and speak with professor ibram x. kendi, founding director of the antiracist research & policy center at american university. as the official u.s. death tolol from covid-19 is set to top 100,000 this week, rates of child hunger soar across the programtates, despite a helping children who've been cut off from school meals during the pandemic has reached only a small fraction of the 30 million students it was intended to help. "the new york times" reports only 15% of eligible children have received benefits under the pandemic-ebt program, even though a fifth of u.s. mothers in a recent survey reported their children were not getting enough to eat. meanwhile, the census bureau reports more than a third of all u.s. adults now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression. that figure is about double the rate found in a survey in 2014. here in new york, governor
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andrew c cuomo rang the opening bell tuesday as the new york stock exchange partially reopened its floor to trading for the first time in over two months under new social distancing rules. "the guardian" reports governor cuomo signed legislation last month quietly shielding hospital and nursing home executives from the threat of lawsuits stemming from covid-19. the move came less than two years after the greater new york hospital association poured more than $1 million into a democratic committee backing cuomo's reelection campaign. meanwhile, the new york taxi workers alliance has joined a lawsuit by uber and lyft drivers against governor cuomo and new york's labor departrtment. the drivers say they were denied unemployment benefits during the pandememic. the rerepublicanoverernors of florida and georgia have offffed to host the republblican nationl convention in august after president trump threatened to pull the convention from charlotte if north carolina cannot guarantee he can have a packed arena. this comes as north carolina is seeing a surge in coronavirus
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cases. on tuesday, north carolina's democratic govovernor roy cooper responded to the president. it is ok fofor polititical conventions to be political, but pandemic response cannot be. we are talking about something that is going to happen three months from now, and we don't know what our situation is going to be regarding c covid-19 in north carolina. amy: i in yemen, the unitedd nations says an explplosion of covid-19 cases has pushed an already-strained healthcare system past the breaking point. this is a spokesperson for the u.n. office for the coorordinatn of humanitariaian affairs. extremelyituation is alarming. they are talking about the health system has in effect collapsed. they're talking a about having o turn people away because they do not have enough oxygen, don't have enough personal protective equipment. amy: officially, yemen has
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confirmed just over 200 cases of covid-19 and 42 deaths. but yemen has one of the lowest covid-19 test rates in the world, with just 31 tests per one million residents. in the port city of aden, epidemiologists have counted a five-fold increase in new grave sites this month over may of last year. yemen is already suffering the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe, with some 80% of yemenis reliant on humanitarian assistancece after years o of u.s.-bacacked, saudi-led warar. in india, some hospitals in mumbai have begun turning away patients amid anan explosion in new covivid-19 cases. on tuesday, india confirmed over 7000 positive tests for coronavirus in just 24 hours, a record level. despite the surge, india resumed domestic air traravel this week with flighghts taking off under new social distancing guidelines. in china, officials s in wuhan y they're wrapping up a program to rapidly test virtually all of the city's 11 million residents
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for coronavirus. over 1 million people were tested on saturday alone -- more people than were tested across the united states in the entire month of march. in south korea, officials reported 40 new cases of coronavirus on wednesday, the largest jump in nearly two months. after a recent outbreak tied to nightclubs in seoul, south korea tested over 80,000 people -- finding 247 cases linked to just one individual. about 30% of those testing posisitive had no sympmptoms. in ecuador, thousands of peoplpe took to the streets monday in cities across the country protesting president lenin spending cuts.ic union say low-income workers who have lost their jobs, while the rich are being protected. at least 2000 marched in the capital quito. marches also took place in the city of guayaquil, the epicenter of the pandemic in ecuador. in mexico city, health care workers blocked main roads
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wednesday demanding the government provide them with pepersonal protective equipmenet amid the ongoing epidemic. for uniforms.d we are asked to wash our masks after me and my colleagues have even died. we want the authorities to listen to us.. we want equipmenent to be of the work. amy: back in the u united state, president trump accused a reporter of trying to be politically corrrrect for weweag a face mask during a press briefing at the white house on tuesday. trump's comment came a day after he shared a tweet mocking joe biden for wearing a mask during a memorial day event in delaware. pres. trump: biden can wear a mask, but he was standing outside with his wife, perfect conditions, perfect weather. there inside, they don't wear masks, so i thought it was unusual he had one on. but i thought that was fine. i was not criticizing him at all. why would ever do a thing like that?
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your second question? >> i wilill speak louder. pres. trump: because you want to be politically correct. >> know, i just want to wear the mask. amamy: president trurump was speaking d during anan event protecting s senior citizens health. meanwhilile, joe b biden calalld trump a "absolute fool" and said he his refusal to wear face masks is "stoking deaths." president is threatening to shut down social media platforms labeled two of h his tweets as potentially misleading. on tuesday, , trump sent out two tweets attacking maiail-in-votig claiming it would lead to a rigged election. twitter responded by adding fact-check labels to the tweets with information about how there is no established link between voting by mail and voter fraud. trump responded by accusing the company of interfering in the 2020 election and of stifling his free speech. earlier this morning, trump wrote on twitter, "republicans
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feel that social media platforms totally silence conservative voices. we will strongly regulate or close them down before we can ," thellow this to happen president said.. amazon is s holding its first virtual shareholder meeting today, with some shareholders calling onhe retail giant to address worker safety issues. at least eight amazon warehouse workers have died of covid-19. meanwhile, amazon recently attempted to improve its image by distributing a video package to local news outlets praising the company's response to the pandemic. at least 10 stations aired the amazon propaganda video as a news item. >> millions of americans staying at home are relying on amazon. >> millions of americans staying at home are relying on americans. >> millions of americans staying at home are relying on amazon. amamy: here in newew york, a a o has gone viral showing a white woman calling the officers on a
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black man and falsely accusing him of threatetening her life after he asked her to leash her dog in central park. christian cooper -- a writer, editor, avid bird watcher, and board member of the new york city audubon society -- filmed on his smartphone as the woman, amy cooper -- no relation -- dialed 911 to report him. >> there is an african-american mann -- i am in central park. he is recording me. he threatened myself and my dog. i'm sorry -- i being threatened by a man. please send the cops immediately. amy: the woman, amy cooper, has since been fired by her employer, investment company franklin templeton. she has also surrendered her dog to the shelter it was adopted from. amy cooper has s since publicly apologized, tellining cnn -- "i'm not a racist. i did not mean to harm that man in any way. i think i was just scared."
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costa rica has become the country in c central america to first legalize marriage equality. the landmark ruling went into effect at midnight tuesday, 18 months after the costa rican constitutional court ordered lawmakers to implement the reform. small ceremonies took place shortly after, respecting the country's coronavirus restrictions. daritza araya and alexandra quiros were the first couple to marry in the early hours of the morning. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracacynow.orgrg, the ququae report. i'm amy goodman in new york city, the epicenter of the pandemic. i cohost juan gonzalez is joining from hihis home in new brunswick, new jersey, the state with the second-highest t number of covid infections and deaths. juan: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: we are going to minneapolis where police fired tear gas and rubber coated bullets tuesday were protesting the killing of
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george floyd, 46 euros african-american man who died in police custody monday after a white police officer pinned him to the ground. a video circulated widely on social media shows floyd telling the police "i cannot breathe." ,officer derek chauvin holds a knee to his neck. a warning, the video isxtremely graphic. >> you got your knee on his ckck. i i cant brehe. i cannot breathe. >> you're a toughuyuy, huh? he is not en resisting arrest. oing nothing else. amy: the video sws t thathe police offer conties to pin gege floyd to the pament with his knee on hiseck even after floyd cocomes lentnt a still. four officers involv i in gege fld'killininwere fired
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tuesday. the fbi has ununched fededer civirighghtsnvestigaon i int flo's ath.h. minnesota ththorits arare so inveigigatin "ian'breathth were thsame st words as eric garner fore he was kild by a pice ofcer in staten isndnd in 2014. this is minneapolis mayor jacob frey. >> whatever investigation change, it does not simple truths that he should be withth us this morning. i believe what i saw and what ti saw was wrong at every level. being black in america should not be a death sentence. watched asnutes, we a white officer pressed his knee into the neck of a black man. for five minutes.
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when you hear someone calling for help, you are supposed to help. this officer failed in the most sense.human sinc ont happened on chicacago 38th, this last night is simply awful. it was traumatic, and it serves as a cleareminder of just what -- howar we ha to go. amy: george flo's falyly say the office s shoulbe c chaed with murr.r. they are being represented by civil righ l lawyebenjnjam crcrp. he sai---- "this abusiv e excesve a and inhumane u o of foe cocosthe fe of a n who was being detain b by thpolice f questiining abt a nonvlent charge." this iflfloyd's s brother philonise speaking on cnn tuesday. >> i love my brother.
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everybody loved my brother. knowing my brother is to love my brotother. they could have saved him. they could havemaced him. instead, they put their knee on his neck and just sat on him. he screamed, i can't b breathe. understand what more w we have to go thrhrough n life. ththey did n not have to do thao him. amy: well, for more, we're joined by dr. ibram x. kendi, professor of history and international relations and founding director of the antiracist research & policy center at american university. he is the national book award-winning author of "stamped from the beginning: the definitive history of racist ideas in america" and "how to be an antiracist." his forthcoming children's book, titled "antiracist baby." it is great to have you with us, but under terrible
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circumstances, from the pandemic to what we jesse happened in minneapolis. can you respond to the killing of george floyd? >> i think likike so many americans, black americans in particicular, i am complpletelyy outragaged. mayornly the case is the said that when we crcry out for help, other humaman beings shoud seek t to help us. bubut essentially, the jobob ofa police officicer is to listen to those calls for help, is not to be our executioners. so the fact that a police officer did not hear the cry for help, that is even worse than anany of us. we a are not sworn to protect. we are not trained to hear those crcries. the polili officerss are. people,raged, like 70
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who care about -- so o many people, who care about black lives. , in thihisssor kendi particulular case, t the actioif the mayayor, not only i in immediately firing the officers involved but alslso the three other officers who were on the scene, so often many of these cases of police abuse depend on the officer being abable to gegt away with itit because other members s of the force in essene back them up on the blue wall of silence. yourur reaction to how t the ciy immemediately moved onhihis cas? obvioiously, there firing was immediaiately warranted. i think theyey should also be seeking to charge the officers with murder. need toto think we reallyly consider if f we did not have ea video, with the officers have
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bebeen fired as quickly? woululd they have believed all f those witnesses looking at what was happening, , who w were askg officecers to stop? it is not enenough to fire the officers. you literally need to root out other officers in thehe minnnneapolis police force t tht have the capapacity to do this. andd just t like all o over this coununtry, it is not e enough to imagine there are bad apples. we need to recogngnize there somemething wrong with the tree. amy: i want toto read bernice king's tweet, the youngest child of dr. martin luther king, jr. and coretta scott king, tweeted a picture of minneapolis police officer derek chauvin with his knee on the neck of george floyd, next to a picture of colin kaepernick taking a knee to peacefully protest deaths like this -- for which he is banned from the nfl. next to the pictures, king wrote -- "if you're unbothered or mildly bothered by the 1st knee, but outraged by the 2nd, then, in my
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father's words, you're 'more devoted to order than to justice.' and more passionate about an anthem that supposedly symbolizes freedom than you are about a black man's freedom to live." dr. kendi, talk about that. >> i think i it a popowerful, powerful statement. speaking certatainly not o onlyo her fafather's legacy, but evenn king'ss -- dr. bernice analysis of the situation. fundamentalllly, cullen cap was kneeliling for the freededom toe , for the f freedom to have equity, even from the freedom as i would suspect he was a now from infection. -- we were running frfrom racact terror o only to n into the stage of covid-19 only to run from covid-19 into the
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face of racist terror. abouti want to ask you the second v video that we mentioned that went viral over memorial day weekend o of this y cocooper, this n new york residt and a central part calling -- falsely calling police on christian cooper when he urged her to leash her dog and claiming he was assaulting her. franklin templeton, the investment firm subsequently fired her. interestingly, franklin templeton is the same investment firm that fought the government of puerto rico over its bankruptcy, had no problem with creating massive distress for millions and millions of puerto ricans during a crisis, but now because of the bad publicity, immediately fired amy cooper. your response to that particular incident -- amy: let's go to a clip of exactly what happened, this film
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by the man christian cooper -- no relation to amy cooper, a a writer, editor, and avid bird watcher who is a board member of ththe new york city auaudubon society. he filmed this -- >> please, don't come close to me. >> sir, i am asking you to stop recording me. >> please don't come close to me. >> i'm going to call the cops. >> please call the cops. >> i'm going to tell them there is an african-american man threatening my life. >> please tell them whatever you like. >> there is an african-a-americn man who is recording the and threatening me and my dog. mane is an african-american -- i am in central park. he is recording me and he
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threatened myself and my dog. i'm sorry, can't hear. i being threatened by a man. please send the cops immediately! i am in central park. i don't knknow. >> thank you. juan: the incident involving amy coopoper and christian cooper. when the police arrived on the scene, they arrested no onone ad issued no summons. , ibram kendi? >> first and foremost, it is critical f for us to recognize , whatftentimes, too often amy cocooper did is typypicallye beginning of racist terror. and d what happened [indiscernible] in other words, of a white woman weaponizing her white womanhood.
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instead of seeking to resolve a dispute with another person and actually follow the rules and leash her dog, instead she projects herself as the victim and then calls the cops through that projection so they can come in and protect her. and oftentimes, those cops actually believe that this whihe woman is being threatened by the so-called super predator of an african-american male and oftentimimes or too often n it s to that unarmed victim [indiscernible] ultimately becoming harmed or even killed. the fact we arere talking about these two storieies on the same [indiscernible] obviously -- he is say. too often it leads to people being harmed. i don't think whihite women shod
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have the power to do that anymymore. amy: ibram kendi, we're going to go to break and go back to you to talk about this covid racial tracker that youou h have devel. ibram kendi is a professor of history and internationonal relations and founding d directr ofof the antiracist research and policy center at americican university in washington, d.c., i show -- also natational book award-winning author of "stamped from t the beginning: the definitive history of racist idideas in america" anand "howoe an antntiracist." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: miles davis's "all blues," fefeaturing drummer jijimmy cob. he passed away sunday at the age of 91 of l lung cancer. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i am amy g goodman with juan gonzalez as we continue ourr discussion with dr. ibram x. kendi, award-w-winning author, professor of history and
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international relations, and founding director of the antiracist research & policy center at american university. let's turn now to the staggering toll the coronavirus is s taking on african-americans in the united statates. according to the covid racial data tracker -- a collaboration between the atlantic and the antiracist research & policy center, over 20,000 black people have died due to covid-19 infection at a rate nearly twice that of the population share in the u.s.. ththis comes as thehe total unid states death toll has surprpassd 100,000 0 and states rush to reopen their economies despite massive loss of life and warnings from public health experts. dr. kendi, can you explain the covid racial data tracker? >> sure.e. inin early april, only a handful of states had even released racial demographic data, so i
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called and other people started calling for racicial datata. about ththe second week,k, more states were releasing this data. wewe decideded, my c colleaguese eight richest -- antitiracist research and policy center started trackcking to b build wt we c call the covid racial l daa trtracker. ththat was essentially t to colt all of this data that w was finally beginning to be released byby states all over the country -- not only y that, to continueo advocate for more states to release data and collect it to ingest it, and make it available for everyday americans so theyey can see raciaial disparities tht are persisting to o this day a l over the couountry and thehen, hopefully, use this data to protect and create policies for the most vulnerable communities. all overer thehe country, black people are disproportionately dying stop latinx people are
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disproportionally infected. and evenople are dying asian-americans s in placeces le alaska, native hawaiianans are spsproportioionallyy infected dn hawaiiii. areople of color disproportionally being impacted by covid-19 as the data shows. dr. kendi, in new york city with the epicenter of the virus in thehe united states and initially there was a a lot of attention focused on mananhattan and people f fleeing manhattan, then thehe focus shift to queen. but t ultimately nowow it has bn clclear the hardrdest hit t aref new york city, as i i had suspected all along, was the bronx, where 90% of the population is african-american and latino and t that by farar s the most percentage of infections, of deaths. yoyour sense of how the focus of the coverage of the pandemic has
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been in the u.s.? mean, early on the coverage was, , oh, this is the great equalizer. and it certainly is the case that evevery american no matter their race and even obviouslsly now their age and ethnicity and gender can be infected, can die of covid-19. bubut it seems like at least by the latter part of march, certainly by early april, itit s latino americans and african-americans and native americans in particular who were disproportionally being infected and dying. and it really had to take many grassrsroots to begin dememandig for racial data to even see this. the ststates werere refusing too it.. i w wl say manyny journalists as well, paparticulararly in statel over the country that t we have worked w with, also madade demas
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of their states to release thiss data. and it began to start to rololl out. just howow this was not the gret equalizer. amy: i would ask about the trumpet administration's push to reopen the country. this is top white house ececonoc advivisor kevin hassett speaking to cnn sunday. isour human capital stock ready to get back to work. there are lots of reasons to believeve we can get we haveve s crisises. amy: in response to this, you tweeted -- "this is jarring because my enslaved ancestors were literally human capital stock. no matter what, they were always told to go back to work. this could be 1820." >> it is devastating. i i think fofor any american, republican, demococratt, middle income, low income, poor, black, whwhite, latino -- i think it
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should be an indication of what the trump admiministration t tns abtt you, ththat essentially thy so driving you back to work their benefactorors, so they can make m money. so it t is that simple you are literally an entity, you're literally capital just as my enslaved ancestors were. this is it hyperbole. 1860, 4 million enslaved than anyre worth more other [indiscernible] in this cocountry. youu h have slave owners fofor e number of enenslaved people thty had. ththey w were using enslaved p e as collateral. ultimatelyly, they recogognized their wealth, their capital came as a result of the labor of those people, just as they see
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thatodayay. juan: i want to ask you also ababout the institutionalal popupulations ththat have been o hard-hit, boboth in the prisonnd gel syststems in the country and in s senior citizen n homes -- again, the raciaial disparititis are soso stark that even amongne elderly, those who were in senioror citenen cenrs -- long-t-term facilityty c centert were largely african-a-americann dd latino have a farar higher deatath rate than those who were in long-teterm care facicilities that were largely white. >> yes. i think it is certainly important for us to recognize that people of color are being disproportioionally infected and killed by covidid9, but i thinkk it is also important to specialize wt groups of peoplee ofof are being hit the hardest. so without question, senior homesns o of color, their
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offmomore likely to be s sites ououtbreaks s that majority whie homes s certainly incarcerated people -- not just incarcerated people in jails, but even people who are being held by ice are also being infected. even the homeless population. undocumented people. whoan, all of the people have been driven to thee bottotm of society or the people who are literally suffering in the shadadows andd we need to pull m out of the shadows and defended them. amy: is the administration and the numbers go to 100,000, clearly the number is far higher becaususe among otother things,e number of people who died at homeme have not been counteded. they definitely fall within the populations you are tracking, professor kendi.
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the trump administration has resorted to blaming the dead particularly african americans, for the sky-high death rate. this is health and human services sececretary alex azar speaking with cnn's jake tapper . >> and porcelain, the american population is a very diverse and a population with significant unhealthy comorbidity that do make many individuals in our communities, in particular african-american, minority communities, particularly at risk here because of significant underlying disease, health disparities, and disease comorbidities all stuff that is an unfortunate and our health care system that we need to address. here in the response the united states has been historic to keep this within our health care capacity, even in new york city to keep this within capacity is genuinely an historic result. >> i want to give you an opportunity because it sounded like you are saying the reason
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there are 70 dead americans is because we are unhealthier than the rest of the world and i don't think that is what human. >> no, we have significantly disproportion of, rigidity in the united states -- obesity, diabetes, demonstrated facts that do make us at risk-free free type of disease burden. >> but that doesn't mean it is the fault of the american people >> oh, my goodness -- amy: that is trump official alex azar speaking to jakake tapper n cncnn. your responsns professoror kend? >> whahat is fascinating is by e second week of april when more and more americans realize that black people were disproportionately dying,, the first way to blame black people was to say theyy were not sosocially distancing, they were not taking the virus seriously. survey data a month earlier already disproves that but that was hard to make that case when white americans overwhelmingly work protesting to reopen their
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states. it became -- they zeroed it on this idea that black people have greater underlying conditions. the problem with that argument is studies have shown that what is more predictive a black infection and death rates are accecess to medical care, access to high-quality health care -- i should say access to health insurance. even air and water pollution, employment status. all these are more predictive of black deaths and infection rates than their underlyining coconditions. amy: let me go to democratic presidential candidate joe biden who has since apologizeded b bu- after facing backlash for telllling radio hostst charlamae tha god he "ain't black" if he supported trump. this is specifically what he said. >> if you have a a problem
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figuriring out whether you're fr me or trump and you ain't black. >> it got t nothing to do withth trump. i want s somethihing for my community. >> take a look at mymy record, man.n. [indiscernible] come on. on "thet is biden breakfast club." he later apologized. your finalal response, professor kendi? >> as charlamagne said, it doesn't have to dodo with trump, particularly for young, black voters who i called the other swing vototers in these are typically voters swinging between voting democrat oror not votingng at all eveven thd-part. so they are trying to decidide whwhether they're going to vote for biden. trump for themem is notot an op. when biden says something like,
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welcome if you vote for trumpmp, then youou're somehow not b bla- i think not t only is it extremy harmful because black people are very sensitive about who is black -- it is almost at t the level of talking to u us aboutt slavery.y. withthin also o he does nonot recocognize he is running againt himself with the young black voters who voted for obama and did not vote in 2016. amy: we want to thank you so much for being with us, ibram x. kendi, professor of history and international relations and founding director of the antiracist research & policy center at american university. national book award-winning author of "stamped from the beginning: the definitive history of racist ideas in america" and "how to be an antiracist." we look forward to your children's book, which many parents can read to their kids sheltering in place, titled "antiracist baby." all the best to you and your family. this is democracy y now!,
8:41 am, the quarantine reportrt. bacack, we will talk abouout deaths i in custody, ice custody. why arare tens o of thousasandsf immigrants still being held there during this pandemic. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy:y: this isis democraracy no,, the quarae reportrt. calls for immigration and customs enforcement to release people from detention during the pandemic are growing after a second person died from the virus on sunday while in custody. a 34-year old guatemalan man named santiago b baten-oxlaj reportedly passed away due to covid-19 after being detained at the stewart detention center in
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lumpkin, georgia. ice said he died at a hospital in columbus after being transferred there on april 17. human rights advocates are calling for a investigation and say guards at stewart have used swat-like teams to stop people there who tried to go on hunger strikes to call for their release amid the pandemic. baten-oxlaj is the second known person to die of covid-19 in immigration custody. the first was 57-year-old carlos ernesto escobar mejia, who came from el salvador with his family in the during the country's 1980's u.s.-backed civil war. he was the youngest of five siblings and the only one who hadn't been able to obtain permanent residency. escobar mejia had been detained at the for-profit otay mesa detention center near san diego since january. the jail has the largest coronavirus outbreak of any ice jail in the country. when he died, escobar mejia had reportedly been in the hospital on a ventilator for over a week. this is asylum seeker oscar
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nevarez diaz, who's jailed at otay mesa. face retaliation for speaking out. >> we had one man who passed away. he was our friend. he was an older gentleman. carlos escobar. he had underlying health conditions. for more than a month he had been complaining that he was sick. he would be in and out of medical. he had diabetes. part of his foot had been chopped off and he was in a wheelchair. he had to get insulin. he had that problem to begin with. it for over a month, he was sick. everybody in my pod is willing to attest to that. we would complain to the co's and they would say, tell him yes to sign up for sick call. the nurses would come and they would say, tell him to sign up.
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they don't care about us. they don't even see us as human beings. since we're immigrants, we are less than human. they don't care about us at all. amy: that is oscar nevarez diaz, who is jailed at otay mesa dedetention center. for more on what happened to his friend carlos ernesto escobar mejia at the otay mesa detention center, we are j joined by ryan devereauaux, staff repeporter at "the interercept" where e he cod this tragic story in a piece headlinened "ice detainee who dd of covid-19 suffered horrifying neglect." tell us more about who he was and how he died, ryan. >> thank you for having me. carlos ernesto camame from el salvador in the e 1980's when he was a teenager with his family fling g a civil war ththat had displaced roughly a million sivilians, had led to thee dth of thousands of f civilians. he came to the uniteted states s a a refugee. he had lived in ththis country r
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40 years at the time e was arrerested in january of this year. his siblings had obtained citizensnship that carlos had n. he had some run-ins with the in the 198080's and 1990's s and hs lastst conviction n was in 1993. he carried these demons of the civil war with him into his lile as a y young man. but in the last dececade and a half or so, had really turn his life around d by all accounts. he continued to struggle. he was confined to a wheelchaiar following a work accident last year that led to the amputation of his right foot. according t to those who knknew, he had built his life around providing for his sister. he found himself in border patrol custody earlyly this year when he wawas receiviving a ride from a friend outside sasan dieo and beingg senent to otatay mesn his life upside down. he struggled to findnd a wheelchair. he hapappened to be landed in ts detentioion center that was on trajectory to become the sort of
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icenter ofof coronavirus i in ie detentioion. as the weeks went on, r request fofor a was denied. he, like thousands of others who have been picked up by ice under the trump administration, was kept locked up even as this virus is unfolding. according to the accounts of the men who were with him in his final days, they were doing everything they possibly could to raise concerns about carlos' deteriorating situation. carlos himself was raising concerns. they say those alarms that they rang fell on deaf ears and that as a result, carlos died. they believe if action would have been taken sooner, if he had been taken to a hospital early on instead of being moved to unit meant for holding people suspected of having covid, if he had been taken to a doctor first, there's a chance he would have still been alive.
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these men who were with him are speaking out at great personal risk to try to correct the record on what happened here e d what happened to this man who unfortunately became the first person to die in ice custody, which was a reality that everyone who knows anything was warningtention about from the moment this virus became a reality, that we were all going to have to contend with. juan: ryan, about the generalized conditions in n thee detention n facilities. there haveve been inststances se werereedac the detainees who trying to seek safafer conditio? can you talk about that? >> we haveve seen a pattern in e last couple of months in detention centers around the country of people rising up andd trying to make their voices heard speaking out to journaliststs and advocacacy's saying we arare trapped in here, we feell fororgotten, we're terrified that we are not goioig
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to make it bacack to our famili. people a are staging h hunger strikes.s. like i i said,d, talking to reporters. the response from the government and its private contracting partners w who, by the way, mama lot of money off of this s whole apparatus of detention, has been essentially repression. pepperer spray, tear gas, retaliation against reporters who are speaking to people in detention -- that has been the way that ice and the companies it has wororked with have lalary responded to the sisituation. it is worth keeping in mind the population we are talking about our folks being out on several immigratation viviolations and t being held for violating criminalal law. they are not serviving criminal sentences. the upshot of that, the significance of that is that the government could release these people at any time if it wanted to. it is choosing to continue to hold tens of thousands of people in jails.
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they will call them detention centers, but what this is in terms of the actual experience is incarceration. ice's detentionon numbers are lower than they have beeeen in a long time, butut we're stitill talking about more than 26,000 people who are being held. amy: i want to go quickly to two other pieces that you have written about during the pandemic. in march, two men at the etowah county detention center in northern alabama threatened to take their own lives because they feared people transferred were covid-19 positive, and they did not want to be in the same pot or gel cell with them. a person held in the jail streamed the protest live on his facebook page as the two men stood on a ledge with nooses made from sheets wrapped around their necks. they threatened to jump unless guards moved the new arrivals to a different unit. this is a clip of the video of the protest, which was recorded by "the washington post." testthey got threree positiveve
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the coronanavirus. theyey brought them in today whe wewe were sleeeeping. toare telliling them, you g got take them out t of here or we're going to turn i've in here. they threatened to shoot us with tasers and pelicans. to karirimyou spoke golding and tesfa miller, prisoners at etowah county detention center. they described the conditions at the jail. >> this is the facility with the lowest standards in u.s., right? a lot of issues that we have been dealing with prior to coronavirus. >> we don't have no help. we are so far removed from everything else. it is like nobody even knows we are here. >> entire system is working to keep this facility open. money. this is small town usa. this is just how these private contracts benefit your
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community. if you're not working here, or working at goodyear and goodyear just closed out or lay law. workingan that, you're in the bowels are kicking the people on the side of the road. coachella's more about these prisoners s and the ones thahat threatened -- amy: tell us s moe ababout these prisoners and the ones that threatened to take their own life. >> i think with these men are trying t to express is s what 'e hearing from detention centers all acroross the country, thee feelining of beieing forgogottee midst of a glolobal papandemic t isis ripping thrhrough couountr. whwhether describing i is a sysm of detenenon andnd deportation that has been built up over the last several decades to the point it is now holding tens of thousands of people and refusing to release them, even as experts they -- the department of homeland to kitty's own medical experts have said these detention centers are tinderbox. theieir wordrds. for the spread of the coronavirus. these men i spspoke to at edward county work articululating the
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desperation i just heard from the men n who were detetained wh carlos in san ego on the other sidef f the untrtry. this is the message thatat is coming out of these detention centers fairirlyononsistently at thisis white. juan: we're alslso joined by era --idiola, the chief addressee advocacy officer for raices action, the advocacy arm for the refugee and immigrant center for ededucatioion and legal servrvi. shshe is also the hostst of a nw podcast series called d "homelad insecurity" which has just been launched today.. welcome back to the show. could you talk about the situation right now with these detention centers and trump administration policy? a lot o of us saw this cocomin, us so this is a ticking time bomb ononly saw the pandemc gettining bigger and bigigger in differenent communities. we knew with the d detention
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centers, it was a matterer of te case, hundredsis ofof peoe nonow ve been -- have contractedovovid. wewe n have twoeaths. unfortunately, the reasowhwhy we ,n this was s going happen wewe have been aring this fm the e very binning of not begg provided with the rig equipment to protect themselves, nonot hang m masks, not t ving ap stop many w washing their ndss with shamo o because they d nothing else n not being able to socially distanced.d. it was realllly a maer of time before this happened. none of ththose folks, , especiy people who migrated seseeking asylum, they did noto anything to deserve l life sentence in the tentioiocenter. , thisrika andiola
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pupulsg out of the trump administration for even asylyl-seekers to immmmediately deport t them back to their countrtry and actually got the backing of the head of the centers for disease control as a public health issusue? >> that's s right. theyey are using covidid-19 as y to enanact what they havave been wanting to enact for a a long time. we know steve miller from the white house has had this agenda since they got elected into the white house most of they wanted to end asylum. they t tried throuough congrgrey toto do it through h the execece popowers. and d now that covid-19 is here and there is a pandemic andnd pepeople arere afraid for their lives and t their security, now they are using it to deneny peoe their right to seek asylum in the u.s. i also want to mention children are also being deported onon thr
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own.n. wewe know that f for a fact. a lot ofof our attorneys work th children i in detention. we havave seen way less s childn now comoming into the shelters, not becaususe they're being released into the community to be with our families,s, but because they are being turned back to mexico o or countries tt they migrated from, which is s - imagine, liberally children who are being sent back on their own without nenecessarily having the anderer way of seeking asylum the rights that they have to seek asylum. amy: i i want to get your respoe to, ryan, if you could tell is in 30 seconds about this final story you did about newer shell, the epicenter in new york at first, b but what happened right before it with icee raids. >> literally the day before governor cuomo sort of court owned off newer shell as the epicenter of thehe e epicenter n new york, ice was in the community making arrests. they arrested a father in front of his wife and kids, took come
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into one of the detention centers that b became one of the fifirst sites of cororonavirus outbreakak in new york. what i found i in repeporting, t the e beginning o othis year,r,e trump administraration thrhrouge was engaged and a a crackdown on the so-called sanctuary cities, the oppoponents of the trtrump administration, started filling centers withon people frorom the community, , s who would not have been arrrresd in t the weeks or months prior s part of this crackdown. and those facilities where they were drawing people from the communities where the virus were spreading became the facilities that f first saw outbreaksks ofe coronavirus. amy: erika andiola, if you could jump off of ththat and also t tk about why you started yoyour new popodcast "homelandnd insecurit" launchining today? >> we are really excited to launch the podcast today. the reason for that isis because we have e been wanting t to tele story of how dhs camame about.
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i know a lot of f people are skeptical about abolishing ice or just imagining what this country would have been like without dhs. we want to tell the story about how at some point there w was no dhs, there w was no ice.. the reason we're here is because literally of homelandnd insecurity, people who i in this country who o became so afraidid ways i/11 and in some myself was an undocumented r recipient,w a dacaca became the enemy for an agency that has now turned all of their theirr and all off -- realally focus on people lilike myself instead really focusing on real threats like covid. covid-19 really shohowed that nw dhs, insteaead of really focusig on what could be real threats to thee homeland, it'd up focusing on people like me. i unpacked that history. amy: we have to leave it there
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but we will link to your new podcast. erika andiola is chief advocacy officer for raices action, the -- her new podcast is "homeland insecurity." thank you to ryan devereaux of "the intercept." [captioning made
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