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tv   60 Minutes  CBS  November 8, 2020 7:00pm-8:01pm PST

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and ford. we go further, so you can. >> president trump: the officials overseeing the counting in pennsylvania and other key states are all part of a corrupt democrat machine. >> "60 minutes" visited five different counties in pennsylvania this week while votes were being counted. we saw democrats and republicans who were working tirelessly despite president trump's baseless accusation. >> counting votes cast on or before election day by eligible voters is not corruption. it is not cheating. it is democracy. ( ticking ) >> "60 minutes" was invited into the command center for operation
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warp speed, the government's plan to distribute a covid vaccine to some 300 million americans. >> will you be able to bang your fist on the table and say "what happened to that shipment that was going to good samaritan hospital in baltimore?" >> yes, and not only that, i'll know after it gets there how fast they're administering the doses that they were given. ( ticking ) >> that may be our shot. >> ken burns has made nearly 40 films, finding the american paradox in the wars we fight and the games we play. >> i told people that baseball was the sequel to the civil war, and i meant it. i meant it. how we play games, and the nature of immigration, and the exclusion of women, and popular culture, and advertising, and heroes, and villains, and our imagination, and race, and race, and race. ( ticking ) >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bill whitaker.
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>> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories, tonight, on "60 minutes." ( ticking ) joint pain, swelling, tenderness...much better. my psoriasis, clearer... cosentyx works on all of this. four years and counting. so watch out. i got this! watch me. real people with active psoriatic arthritis look and feel better with cosentyx. cosentyx works fast for results that can last. it treats the multiple symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, like joint pain and tenderness, back pain, and helps stop further joint damage. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting, get checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability to fight them may occur. tell your doctor about an infection or symptoms, if your inflammatory bowel disease symptoms develop or worsen, or if you've had a vaccine, or plan to. serious allergic reactions may occur.
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>> whitaker: the 2020 presidential election had record-setting turnout with more than 145 million ballots cast. while president-elect joe biden collected more of those votes, and news organizations have projected him as the winner, president trump has refused to concede. he has called for recounts and filed lawsuits questioning the validity of many of those
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ballots-- mostly the ones cast by mail all over the country. as covid spiked again, vote-by- mail ballots flooded tabulation centers. other ballots jammed street-side drop boxes or were hand- delivered to registrars and city clerks. what could have been chaos instead became an exercise in democracy. we saw that first-hand in five separate counties across the swing state of pennsylvania with its crucial 20 electoral votes. there, we had some questions for the people responsible for counting the vote. president trump has said, "bad things happen in philadelphia." are bad things happening in philadelphia? >> al schmidt: in the birthplace of our republic, counting votes is not a bad thing. counting votes cast on or before election day by eligible voters is not corruption. it is not cheating.
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it is democracy. >> whitaker: al schmidt is one of three commissioners who run elections in philadelphia and the lone republican. >> schmidt: there really should not be a disagreement, regardless of party affiliation, when we're talking about counting votes cast on or before election day by eligible voters. it's not a very controversial thing, or at least it shouldn't be. >> whitaker: but yet it is. >> al schmidt: unfortunately, yes. >> whitaker: we first met commissioner schmidt back in september. with the country in the grip of the pandemic, schmidt was expecting a flood of mail-in ballots. >> schmidt: when you have half of your voters vote by mail... >> whitaker: ...and urging patience. >> schmidt: will not know the outcome on election night. >> whitaker: he couldn't have been more right. the flood became a deluge-- 360,000 mail in ballots poured in in philadelphia.
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that was more than all the mail- in votes in the state in 2016. more than 90 percent were from democrats. as those ballots were counted in the convention center in philadelphia this past week, president trump's initial lead in pennsylvania slowly was chipped away. on wednesday, with hundreds of thousands of votes still to count, president trump tweeted he had won the state. his campaign and party started filing lawsuits claiming voting irregularities and fraud, especially in philadelphia. >> eric trump: we are going to file suit in pennsylvania. >> whitaker: the president's son, eric, and rudy giuliani, rushed to philadelphia to assert with great urgency, but no evidence, that democracy itself was under attack. >> eric trump: this is absolute fraud. we've seen it in philadelphia before. >> whitaker: by the end of the week, with former vice president joe biden inching ahead in the vote count, the number of trump campaign and g.o.p. lawsuits hit double digits in pennsylvania,
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most aimed at disrupting the count. pennsylvania is living up to its reputation as a crucial battleground in presidential elections. in 2016, donald trump beat hillary clinton here by less than one percent of the vote. >> joe biden: each ballot must be counted. >> whitaker: with a similar edge over president trump, news organizations on saturday projected former vice president joe biden had won pennsylvania and the presidency. spontaneous celebrations broke out in philadelphia and across the country. ( cheering ) still, the trump campaign is going to court to challenge the validity of the vote in pennsylvania and other battleground states. >> rudy giuliani: obviously he's not going to concede. >> whitaker: the president's personal attorney, rudy giuliani, said he'll start filing lawsuits monday. >> rudy giuliani: i don't know if there's enough evidence to set aside the entire election. certainly not around the country, maybe in pennsylvania.
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>> whitaker: the stakes are high, and passions were high all week. >> count every vote! >> whitaker: thursday, two virginia men, found with weapons and ammunition in their car but no gun permit, were arrested outside the convention center. inside, republican commissioner schmidt, his fellow election board members, and about 200 city employees are continuing to work. they'll be counting provisional ballots for at least another week. >> schmidt: from the inside looking out, it feels all very deranged. >> whitaker: deranged? >> schmidt: at the end of the day, we are counting eligible votes cast by voters. the controversy surrounding it is something i don't understand. it's people making accusations that we wouldn't count those votes or people are adding fraudulent votes or just, coming up with, just, all sorts of crazy stuff. >> whitaker: accusations like "you are cheating." >> schmidt: yes. >> whitaker: "you are
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manipulating the vote." >> schmidt: yes. or calls to our offices reminding us that this is what the second amendment is for, people like us. >> whitaker: you're getting calls like that? >> schmidt: yes. >> whitaker: that's it, that's a not-so-veiled death threat. >> schmidt: yes, for counting votes in a democracy. >> whitaker: the election here had been running smoothly. >> whitaker: "60 minutes" dropped in on five pivotal counties. northampton in the northeast voted twice for barack obama, then flipped to donald trump in 2016. we saw ong lines of voters there waiting patiently to cast ballots on election day. in neighboring luzerne county we saw orderly vote counting under the watchful gaze of party poll watchers certified by the state. it was the same in the affluent suburbs around philadelphia. >> pat poprik: you are allowed in there.
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>> whitaker: pat poprick, chair of the bucks county g.o.p., is a proud partisan, but when it comes to running clean elections, she told us she's bipartisan. >> poprik: we may like different candidates, but we want the process to be fair. and i think we're working very hard in our county, and i'm very, very proud of our commissioners, our board. we're all working together to make sure the voters can vote. >> whitaker: democrats and republicans. >> poprik: absolutely. >> whitaker: but that spirit of cooperation only goes so far. the number of republican court cases keeps growing. one of the fiercest concerns poll watchers. the trump campaign is in pennsylvania courts alleging their observers can't get close enough to see what's going on. president trump railed about that in his speech thursday night. >> president trump: in philadelphia, observers have been kept far away, very far away-- so far that people are using binoculars to try and see, and there's been tremendous problems caused. >> josh shapiro: it is reckless
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and disappointing that there are some on the outside who either don't know what's going on or don't care to know what's going on, who are lying about what's happening here in pennsylvania. >> whitaker: democrat josh shapiro is pennsylvania's attorney general. he won reelection this past week. he's defending the state against republican lawsuits he calls frivolous. >> shapiro: they were asking for two things, bill. number one to stop the count, and number two to allow their watchers to get closer to where the envelopes were being opened and scanned. on the first issue, being able to stop the count, they failed. and on the second thing, an agreement was reached to move these poll watchers from roughly ten feet away to roughly six feet away. no material change whatsoever. >> whitaker: the president and his campaign have said there are many irregularities here in pennsylvania. >> shapiro: let me break this down for you. each campaign had observers in
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the room while the ballots were being counted. in addition to that, even if you're not a certified watcher, you can turn on the live stream and watch it on tv and keep an eye on the activity if you'd like. >> whitaker: you heard the president's speech on thursday night. he was claiming that the election was being stolen from him. >> shapiro: donald trump can say whatever he wants. but we just had an election, an election that was secure, an election where the votes were tallied. and a proper winner will be certified, based not on the words of president trump, but the votes of the american people. >> malcolm kenyatta: so get in line, stay in line, because it's all on the line. >> whitaker: pennsylvania state representative malcolm kenyatta spent election day urging voters to get to the polls. the democrat represents a predominantly black district in north philadelphia. >> kenyatta: i think about the people who died-- i mean
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literally died-- and bled so every single person could vote in this country. >> whitaker: he says the trump campaign's attempts to stop the count smacks of voter suppression. >> kenyatta: they're trying to steal an election by not having every vote count. and in an election, if you think you're going to win, you don't try to stop the counting, you want every vote counted. we're going to count every single vote. and all they can do is what they've done to try to throw sand in the gears, to try to make the process as slow as possible, and then fill that time of delay with conspiracy theories and-and nonsense. >> whitaker: what do you think of this now that the trump camaign is going to court complaining about these delays? >> kenyatta: this is what the president does. he wants to create confusion and chaos and then say, "oh my god, there's so much confusion and chaos." and then i say, "well, pick up a mirror. of course, there's confusion and chaos.
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you created it." >> ben ginsberg: i've been doing this a long time. this is the type of litigation strategy where you throw the kitchen sink at the wall and see what sticks. >> whitaker: ben ginsberg is a republican attorney who has spent almost four decades immersed in election law. >> count every vote! >> whitaker: during the florida recount in 2000, he helped spearhead the controversial legal strategy that won the presidency for george w. bush. he says this is no florida 2000 and calls president trump's strategy incoherent. what is this litigation designed to do then? >> ginsberg: on the one hand, it's lawyers reacting to a client who is disjointed and unhinged and not terribly accepting of defeat. and on the other extreme, this could be an instance of trying to slow down counts in individual states in the hopes
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that those states don't complete their job of certifying election results in time for the electoral college to meet. and then he would go back to something else he's talked about, which is telling legislators to go and vote trump slates even in states that were won by biden. >> whitaker: ginsberg, a lifelong republican, hopes it doesn't come to that. if you could get the ear of the president, what-what would you say to him? >> ginsberg: sir, you need to take a step back, look at the results. it is a democracy. it is a country that's been very good to you. and you need to respect the institutions and the greatest institution of all is our elections that lead to the peaceful transfer of power. and you cannot be destructive of that. >> whitaker: saturday night, now president-elect joe biden told voters the democratic process is working. >> biden: we've won with the
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most votes ever cast for a presidential ticket in the history of the nation, 74 million. >> whitaker: not far from independence hall, the counting of provisional, mail-in and military ballots continues. for republican election commissioner al schmidt, each ballot is a precious reminder of what's at stake. >> schmidt: the real damage is not who wins and who loses or who gets elected or not. the real damage, i think, is how we all react to this process-- so that at the end of the day, we all have confidence that all the voices are heard and win or lose, these are the people that we the people have elected to represent us. ( ticking ) to my goals and making plans.g this is us talking tax-smart investing, managing risk, and all the ways schwab can help me invest.
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>> and now david martin on assignment for "60 minutes." >> david martin: while the rest of the country has been counting votes, an army general named gus perna has been counting doses of vaccine. he is in charge of operation warp speed, the catchy title given to the crash program to inoculate 300 million americans against the coronavirus by next spring. for those of you longing to reclaim a semblance of your previous life, it may not seem
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all that speedy, but it is compared to the five to ten years it usually takes to field a new vaccine. once approved, it will not be a silver bullet. just as with the annual flu shot some of us will still get sick. but it should make enough people immune so that the virus runs out of places to go. that would give this country what it badly needs right now- a shot in the arm. so if this distribution of vaccine is-- doesn't go according to plan, where does the buck stop? >> general gustave perna: me. conversation's over. (laugh) it's pretty easy, me. i hold myself 100% personally accountable to that end. >> martin: after a career as an army supply officer, general gus perna was two months away from retirement when president trump tapped him last may to lead operation warp speed. "60 minutes" went into his operations center where the plan to get the vaccine out to 300
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million americans is being orchestrated by military specialists brought in from across the country. >> general perna: we literally built the team, this collaboration, as we were going. there was no doctrine, there was no strategy there was no structure of people to this end. >> martin: perna tracks progress in what he calls deep dives... >> let's go. >> martin: ...with leaders from the military and the department of health and human services. and he does not want to hear happy talk. >> general perna: it's not about, you know, a facçade of everything is good. we need to understand what is not right, and we need to get it right. >> martin: he works out of a non-descript washington office with none of the trappings that usually go with four stars. >> general perna: you know, these are all the meetings that i'm doing today. i'm already up to number eight with you. >> martin: perna describes himself as a hard working b student, on a steep learning curve to master the jargon of
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the pharmaceutical industry. so i've uncovered one of your dirty little secrets here, you got a cheat sheet-- >> general perna: i do. >> martin: --over here. >> general perna: (laugh) i do-- >> martin: this is all the drug jargon? >> general perna: it is. i've started five notebooks of things-- i listen every day-- to what's being said, and then i spend a good part of my evening googling these words, so that i can participate-- preferably at an intellectual level-- but at least in an understanding. >> martin: on his whiteboard is one possible scenario: the all important approval by the food and drug administration of a vaccine developed by pfizer, followed by approval of another from moderna. what is d-day? >> general perna: is the day that we deliver the first round of vaccine for pfizer. >> martin: that's when it would start to get comicated, because if approved, the pfizer vaccine will require patients to receive two separate shots, 21 days apart. >> general perna: we know it's a
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two-dose vaccine, so we want to ensure that we can manage the-- the delivery of the first dose and ensure the delivery of the second dose, while we simultaneously integrate new rounds of doses being delivered to the american people. >> martin: on top of that, the pfizer vaccine, which could be ready next month, has to be kept very cold until it is used. >> paul ostrowski: basically, 80° celsius, which is 94 below zero fahrenheit. very cold. >> martin: paul ostroswki is a west point graduate who retired from the army this summer and became perna's civilian deputy. >> ostrowski: we have to make sure that we send that particular vaccine to the right places, that either have that capacity or the ability to do the dry ice-- that we'll need in order to keep it cold. >> martin: in the warp speed operations center, marion whicker, who came from making tanks for the army, showed us the go/no-go board for what parts of the country are ready to handle an ultra-cold vaccine. >> marion whicker: the virgin islands has already reported in
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that they don't have ultra-cold freezers. that's okay. and that they don't have an ability to dry ice. but what we do know is that we can very quickly move dry ice from puerto rico. >> martin: the more i hear you talk, the bigger this operation gets. >> whicker: absolutely, sir. >> martin: it's not just delivering vaccine. >> whicker: no. we wish it was that easy. >> martin: this country did not do a good job of containing the virus. why should we expect you to do a good job of distributing a vaccine? >> ostrowski: because we've learned from the past. and we're hopefully gonna do a heck of a lot better job this time. >> martin: are you ready to go if a vaccine is approved tomorrow? >> general perna: yes, we are. >> martin: what's the first order you're going to give? >> general perna: it's a simple command of, "execute." >> martin: so once you say, "execute," how fast does it get out there? >> general perna: within 24 hours. >> martin: do you have doses of vaccine already stockpiled? >> general perna: yes, we do. >> martin: how many do you have stockpiled? >> general perna: i'm holding on
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to that number right now because i wanna not create anxiety and we need to work through the details. a month from now, i'll have more. >> martin: operation warp speed is also stockpiling kits of the needles, syringes and alcohol swabs needed to give the shot. the medical distribution company, mckesson, says it already has produced enough kits for 88 million shots. >> ostrowski: the idea is the kit will marry up with the vaccine. and they will go together as one package to provide that capability to an administration site. >> martin: because this is a once in a century pandemic, the vaccine is already being manufactured in bio-reactors inside sterile facilities like this one at emergent bio- solutions in baltimore, even though it has not yet been approved by the f.d.a. vice president sean kirk says it can take up to six weeks to produce a single batch. >> sean kirk: it then leaves here and moves to another facility where it gets filled into the final vial presentation
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you're used to seeing when you're getting a vaccination at the clinic. >> martin: emergent is shipping most of that vaccine to what's known as a fill finish line run by a company called catalent and its chief commercial officer karen flynn. you're basically the bottling plant for vaccines. >> karen flynn: that's correct, and it's a very sophisticated operation. >> martin: one of catalent's lines can bottle up to 400 vials a minute with each vial containing five to ten doses. >> flynn: the situation that we're facing right now is just what we call the need for speed. >> martin: how many shifts are you running right now? >> flynn: we are running 24/7 seven days a week and, you know, really it's an all out effort to keep the lines running. >> martin: are you worried about the security of the stockpiles? >> general perna: we have taken extraordinary precaution in this area. not only for maybe some nefarious effort but also natural-- hurricanes, tornado,
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etcetera, right? we're taking the full steps to make sure that the vaccine's secure. >> martin: armed guards? >> general perna: yes. >> martin: armed guards at sites where the vaccine is stockpiled? >> general perna: yes. >> martin: once it starts moving, whether on a truck or a plane, is it going to be under guard. >> general perna: yes. that's as far as i'm going to talk about it though, right? because you don't want to lay out all the plans. but the answer is yes. >> martin: most of the vials will be shipped by the same companies that deliver packages to our homes every day. >> richard smith: we're prepared to deliver to every zip code in this country. >> martin: richard smith runs fedex express in the u.s., which is already operating at peak volume to handle the surge in online shopping caused by the pandemic. you've got another peak coming because of christmas, and you've got another peak on top of that because that's when we expect the vaccine. >> smith: correct.
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>> martin: to start being distributed. >> smith: and yet i'm still sleeping at night. >> martin: but you've got to have concerns. >> smith: well, i'd be crazy if, i, if, you know, if i didn't say that this was a herculean effort and didn't recognize how monumental it is, and may yet be. >> martin: will you be able to track all the moving parts? >> general perna: yes, i feel 100% confident of that. >> martin: will you be able to bang your fist on the table and say "what happened to that shipment that was going to good samaritan hospital in baltimore?" >> general perna: yes, and not only that, i'll know after it gets there how fast they're administering the doses that they were given. >> martin: perna's ability to do that depends on a software program called tiberius which is supposed to link data bases from across the government and the shipping companies into one unified picture that everyone can see. >> deacon maddox: you can turn on where your hospitals are, where your pharmacies, your nursing homes and where all of your enrolled providers are inside that-- inside that jurisdiction. >> martin: but when deacon maddox, a newly retired army
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colonel, briefed perna on how ready tiberius is for d-day... >> maddox: this capability didn't exist two months ago. >> general perna: ( bleep ) (laugh). >> maddox: so, there are some things we need to work through. >> martin: deacon maddox warned that once the vaccine starts flowing, the amount of data tiberius has to keep track of will multiply. >> maddox: what we're doing right now to get ready for the first dose is the easy part. when you get into the subsequent doses, that's when this gets really hard. >> i'm gonna give a very quick briefing. >> martin: just over 150 miles up i-95, in a room papered with urgent to-do lists, new jersey health commissioner judith perisichelli and her task force will be faced with distributing the vaccine in the midst of a grim new wave of the virus. >> judith persichilli: today we are reporting 2,472 new cases. that's the highest we have been since our march-april surge.
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my biggest fear is that we're dealing with a surge in our hospitals, in our emergency rooms, at the same time that we're trying to vaccinate. and the hospitals will have to spend their time taking care of people and that will impact the staffing of vaccine sites within our hospitals which we rely on. >> martin: in new jersey alone, the goal is to vaccinate 4.7 million people, beginning with health care workers. >> persichilli: we've set a very aspirational goal of 70% of the adult population being vaccinated within six months, so depending on how many vaccination sites we have we might be vaccinating between 60,000 and 80,000 individuals a day in new jersey. >> martin: has operation warp speed given you any indication of how many doses of vaccine you're going to get?
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>> persichilli: the assumption is about 100,000. if it's a two dose regimen that will be separated into two doses so it would be 50,000 individuals. >> martin: how many people do you have in that high priority health care worker category? >> persichilli: 500,000. >> martin: you're not even close. >> persichilli: no, no. >> martin: persichilli is confident operation warp speed will eventually provide all the vaccine new jersey needs. but she worries whether enough people will show up to get vaccinated. >> persichilli: we surveyed 2,000 health care individuals, physicians and nurses and we know that over 60% of the physicians said that they would get the vaccine. we know that about 40% of the nurses said that they would line up to get the vaccine. >> martin: that sounds awfully low. >> persichilli: nurses i guess are skeptical. >> martin: what does that say about your general population? >> persichilli: there is a lot
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of vaccine hesitancy. >> martin: how much have you spent so far? >> general perna: as of today, i think i'm at $12 billion. but i have projected that we could spend as much as $26 billion. >> martin: what's your worst nightmare? >> general perna: we get vaccines to the american people and they don't take them. shame on us." hey, i was already sick, i don't need it." shame on us." hey, i don't believe in vaccines." shame on us. just shame on us, and it does keep me up at night. ( ticking ) >> what will it take to distribute a covid-19 vaccine to mesh esz. start and escalate rapidly. go to 60
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"in one quarter of an hour, your savings will tower... over you. figuratively speaking." but that's not catchy, is it? that's not going to swim about in your brain. so i thought, what about... 15 minutes. 15 percent. serendipity. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance. ( ticking ) >> scott pelley: with such an acrimonious election, we turn tonight to a man who tells the story of america in all her divisions and struggle for unity. ken burns' documentaries range from "the civil war" to "baseball," "vietnam," and last year's, "country music." burns calls himself an emotional archeologist. he excavates lost love letters,
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forgotten photos and overlooked heroes-research so deep, viewers can feel like strangers discovering america for the first time. his films ask what it means to be american. so, we asked, what does it mean to be ken burns? >> ken burns: i have had the privilege of spending my entire life making films about the u.s., capital u, capital s. but i've also had the privilege of making films about 'ius,' the two-letter, lowercase, plural pronoun, that has a kind of intimacy and warmth to it. >> pelley: in the country music film, merle haggard says, country music is "about those things we believe in but can't see, like dreams and songs"-- >> burns: songs and souls- >> pelley: --"and souls." >> burns: it's telling us that there is in front of us a kind of rational world, in which one and one always equals two, but that the thing that compels us
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forward as human beings, is that we look for one and one equaling three. we find that in our faith. we find that in our art. we find that in our love of each other. and i think one of the things i discovered working on country music is that when i understood this dynamic between the u.s. and us, lowercase, uppercase, that i realized there's only us, no them. the choice was easy because... >> pelley: "us," the american struggle to forge union from diversity, has been ken burns' obsession since he was 11-years- old at the end of this lane in ann arbor, michigan. in 1965, his mother was dying of cancer at the same time the fight for equality was in critical condition. >> burns: before my mom died, i would watch, and i would hear from the other room about the dogs and the fire hoses in selma. and it would make me as upset, as upset in my gut, as the worry about my mom.
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and it was almost as if i was transposing the cancer that was killing my family, and the cancer that was killing my country. and if you look at my films, almost 40 of them, you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of films that don't end up dealing with race. >> pelley: his early films included the statue of liberty and the congress. but it wasn't until his seventh that america returned ken burns affection. "the civil war" was seen by 39 million viewers-- an 11-hour epic that immortalized a love letter and a waltz. >> burns: the ashokan farewell. >> pelley: the fiddle tune-- >> burns: the fiddle tune-- >> pelley: --that you can never get out of your head years later. >> burns: "na-da-di-da-da-da- dum." >> pelley: the lament seemed written as a score for the letter union soldier sullivan
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ballou wrote his wife a week before his death. >> i shall always be with you in the brightest day, and the darkest night always, always, and when the soft breeze fans your cheek it shall be my breath, or the cool air your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. >> burns: i think every man wishes he could say those words to the woman he loves, and every woman wishes that her man could say that. that may be our shot. >> pelley: burns' films are a letter to the country he loves but not out of blind devotion. his is the affection that endures after confronting america's founding flaw. >> we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, yet he owned more than 200 human beings and never sought fit to free them.
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>> pelley: burn's finds the american paradox in the wars we fight and the games we play. >> burns: i told people that "baseball" was the sequel to "the civil war," and i meant it. i meant it. how we play games, and the nature of immigration, and the exclusion of women, and popular culture, and advertising, and heroes, and villains, and our imagination, and race, and race, and race are who we are. >> jackie rifles a shot into left field. >> burns: and the first real progress in civil rights after the civil war takes place when jack roosevelt robinson, the grandson of a slave, makes his way to first base at ebbets field on april 15th, 1947, then there's no question that the story of baseball is just gonna take off from the assassination of abraham lincoln, and the failure of reconstruction and move, to that, to that moment. >> pelley: ken burns' moment came in 1981 with his first
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subject, the brooklyn bridge, which no one thought was a good idea. well, you had an inanimate object and no one to interview. >> burns: right. >> pelley: great television. >> burns: yes. and i look 12 years old. so, i was out trying to raise money and they'd say, "this child is trying to sell me the brooklyn bridge. no!" >> pelley: pbs bought "the brooklyn bridge" and burns structured his style-- animating images frozen in time and giving them voice. >> here i was, 32 years old suddenly in charge of the most stupendous engineering structure of the age. >> pelley: famous voices volunteer just to be in a ken burns film. meryl streep as eleanor roosevelt. >> courage is more exhilarating than fear. >> pelley: tom hanks in "the war." >> you'd never realize now that he was one of those emaciated, tortured souls who survived by some miracle the horror of that
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death march at bataan. >> pelley: his films have the pace of patient revelation. and time-to think. >> burns: this is a beautiful part of the country. >> pelley: it's the rhythm of a director who lives not in new york or l.a., but on 50 acres of walpole, new hampshire where even his apples have history. >> burns: so these are cuttings that were taken from trees at monticello. >> pelley: of course they are. we met burns before the pandemic. at 67, he has four daughters from two marriages. but his longest relationship, four decades, is with pbs. >> burns: i'm fortunate that pbs exists. i can go tomorrow to a premium channel or some place, a streaming service, and get $30 million to do vietnam. but no
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one's gonna say, "you can take 10 and a half years, ken." this was the main bedroom. >> pelley: he can take his time because he raises the money and runs his own company, florentine films. producers, writers, historians, editors and photographers craft a half-dozen films at once so, burns can release about one a year even though a series like country music takes eight years to finish. >> country music, the songwriter harlen howard said, "is three chords and the truth." >> pelley: you listened to 15,000 songs, sifted through more than 100,000 still photos, and did 101 on-camera interviews. why so much? >> burns: one would think that making a film is an additive process. you're building this. it's not. it's subtractive. the best metaphor i know of is
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we make maple syrup here in this town. and it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. and that's what the process is. >> pelley: burns has boiled down the history of mark twain, the national parks plus, 18 hours on vietnam and 19 hours of jazz. >> wynton marsalis: ken's films touch something at the heart of our mythology, in who we have been at our best and at our worst, and who we want to be. >> pelley: composer wynton marsalis collaborated on "jazz" and "country music." marsalis is artistic director of new york's jazz at lincoln center, and something of an expert on improvising with ken burns. >> marsalis: he'll be vibrating, and that'll be in the fourth year of something, and it'll be 1:00 in the morning after you've worked since 9:00 in the morning. so now it's 1:00, so-- and he's till like, "no, no, right here. we need to-- right here, we need to," and to see like a person with that type of energy and
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just on fire like that. as he's grown old, it's got worse. >> pelley: the fire's gotten bigger. >> marsalis: the fire, the fire, the fire-- just the enthusiasm, the fire, the passion. >> pelley: ken told us that youi see' him. so, what do you see? >> marsalis: you know, for me, i always see like a kid. if you can retain that childish awe and wonderment and believe that you can change things, if you can maintain that, and that's what i see in him. and we found this little tiny place. >> pelley: childish awe and wonderment that somehow survived his childhood. would you say you had a happy childhood? >> burns: i don't think i had a childhood. i mean, i did, and i had happy moments. but my mother got cancer very early on. and that was the shadow cast across my brother and my childhood. we also had a father who was not mentally healthy. he was a functioning person, but
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he was an unhappy man, and-- >> pelley: depression? >> burns: depression, maybe bipolar, never accurately diagnosed. >> pelley: burns was 39 when he realized he was trapped behind the wall he built to shield himself from his mother's death. the revelation came from his father-in-law. >> burns: and he said, "i bet you blew out your candles as a child, as a boy, wishing she'd come back?" and i said, "yeah, how'd you know?" and he goes, "look what you do for a living, you wake the dead. you make abraham lincoln and jackie robinson come alive. who do you think you really want to wake up?" so, i called my brother, and we wept, and we said and we have to find mommy. >> pelley: they had to find her because she'd been buried in an unmarked pauper's grave with 28 souls simply because burns' father never retrieved her ashes from the funeral home. >> burns: it's a long and complicated story. >> pelley: like researching a
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story, ken and his filmmaker brother, ric, tracked their history to the mass grave where they placed a memorial to lyla burns. >> burns: the ability to say to the world, 'ithis is us,' wouldn't have been possible without the crucible of her sickness, her death. and even that long wilderness of not dealing with it and dealing with it i think has made me a better filmmaker. >> pelley: a filmmaker working through the chapters of a single subject because burns found, as walt whitman wrote, "these states are the amplest poem." >> burns: i'm working on seven films right now. i mean, we got ernest hemingway, we have muhammad ali, we have benjamin franklin, we have l.b.j. biographies. we're doing a history of the american revolution and a biography of the buffalo. >> pelley: they are, together, the story of a people straining for union-- a theme ken burns
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has explored from his very first film which was, after all, about a bridge connecting america to america. >> burns: this is what stories do. they do liberate us from the tyrannies of our limitations, and our past, and our foibles. and so this is what we human beings do to negotiate this all too short passage that we call life. and i'm so grateful that i live in the united states of america, i mean that. i mean that. and that i get to tell stories about us, the u.s. ( ticking ) >> cbs sports hq presented by progressive insurance.
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i'm james brown with the nfl. prits burg stays undefeated. a big second half enough to take down the colts. 400 yards in the air for allen. and the dolphins with a fiflgts win. the raiders with last second fiflgts win. the raiders with last second heroics falls just short go to got to hand it to you, jamie. your knowledge of victorian architecture cbs sport with their home and auto. they're protected 24/7. mm. what do you say? one more game of backgammon? [ chuckles ] not on your life. [ laughs ] ♪ when the lights go down [ laughs ] essential for sewing, but maybe not needles. for people with certain inflammatory conditions. because there are options. like an "unjection™". xeljanz. the first and only pill of its kind
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>> pelley: in 244 years, the united states has been torn apart by civil war, devastated by disasters, and ever-haunted by the sin of racism. but americans find a way, however tenuously, to bounce
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back. it's fantasy to say this past week's election brought us together-- that now, we're ready to unite behind a president. elections have divided us since jefferson defeated aaron burr. elections leave wounds. citizens bear grudges. but, eventually, americans find the resilience to shape a better future. the secret of america has never been "united we stand" but, rather, "divided we stand." we all want the same for our families, we all want our country to be prosperous and safe. on the big ideas we tend to agree. and that is how we call ourselves, and each other, americans. i'm scott pelley. we'll be back next week, with another edition of "60 minutes." ( ticking )
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when i was in high school, this was the theater i came to quite often. ♪ the support we've had over the last few months has been amazing. i have a soft spot for local places. it's not just a work environment. everyone here is family. gonna go ahead and support him, get my hair cut, leave a big tip. if we focus on our local communities, we can find a way to get through this together. thank you. ♪ if you are ready to open your heart and your home, check us out. get out and about and support our local community. we thought for sure that we were done. and this town said: not today. ♪ for people with heart failure taking entresto, it may lead to a world of possibilities.
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entresto helped people stay alive and out of the hospital. don't take entresto if pregnant; it can cause harm or death to an unborn baby. don't take entresto with an ace inhibitor or aliskiren, or if you've had angioedema with an ace or arb. the most serious side effects are angioedema, low blood pressure, kidney problems, or high blood potassium. ask your doctor about entresto. we love our new home. there's so much space. we have a guestroom now. but, we have aunts. you're slouching again, ted. expired, expired... expired. thanks, aunt bonnie. it's a lot of house. i hope you can keep it clean. at least geico makes bundling our home and car insurance easy. which helps us save a lot of money oh, teddy. did you get my friend request? uh, i'll have to check. (doorbell ringing) aunt joni's here! for bundling made easy, go to hello?
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radio operator: for attention,ade easy, gunidentified aircraft. you have entered the u.s. air defense identification zone. please identify yourself and destination. attention, unidentified aircraft. please respond. clubber, this is big heavy. unclassified band is not responding to comms. proceed as hostile intent. your vector is 06 006 for bogey. clubber: i got them. angels 18 bearing zero six niner. 20 miles out, walking the line. attention, unidentified aircraft, you are rapidly approaching u.s. territory. we are on a training mission in international airspace. training mission, my ass. relax, clubber, they're just trying to rattle our cage.


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