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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  January 27, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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judy: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, the biden agenda. the new administration lays out its plan to tackle the global climate crisis. we speak to white house climate advisor gina mccarthy about this emergency. then, making sense of the stock market frenzy. we break down what's driving the volatility. and searching for justice. mother's leaving prison face an uphill battle reentering society and reconnecting with their families. >> i can attest from personal experience, when one person goes to prison, the entire family goes to prison. but it's something different when it's your mama. it's a primal wound.
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judy: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been proved by -- ♪ moving our economy for 160 years, bnsf, the engine that connects us. consumer cellular. johnson & johnson.
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>> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems. the lemelson foundation. supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just and peaceful world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions. this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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judy: a seachange on climate change. as one of his first actions, president biden is doing a 180 degree turn from his predecessor's policy and vowing to confront the issue head on. white house correspondent yamiche alcindor begins our coverage. yamiche: a climate crisis and a call for dramatic action. today president biden underscored his sweeping break from former president trump, signing a new batch of executive odors -- executive orders. president biden: our plans are ambitious, but we are america. we are bold. we can do this. yamiche: president biden had already moved to rejoin the paris climate agreement, the me accord that president trump withdrew from. the new executive actions include pausing and renewing federal gas leases on lands, addressing injustices faced by
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disadvantaged communities, and building jobs focused on clean energy. during the campaign, candidate biden advocated a $2 trillion effort to reduce global warning. -- warming. today john kerry doubled down on that goal. >> it's a lot of money, but it costs more if you don't do the things we need to do. workers are going to see with the efforts of the biden administration, they are going to have a better set of choices. it will create more jobs. yamiche: most republicans have pushed back on climate change efforts, saying they cost too much. they argue clean energy means slashing jobs. the biden administration insists these new policies will create new employment opportunities. jobs designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop new technology. as part of that push, the president's nominee for energy secretary, jennifer granholm, advocated his energy plans at
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her confirmation hearing. >> we don't want to see jobs sacrificed. the president's plan of tilting back better, which would create more jobs in clean energy. yamiche: the senate foreign relations committee heard from linda thomas-greenfield, nominee for ambassador to the united nations. she warned the u.s. must reengage with the world to challenge china's growing power. >> china is working across the u.n. system to drive an authoritarian agenda that stands in opposition to the founding values of the institution, american values. their success depends on our continued withdrawal. that will not happen under my watch. yamiche: the veterans affairs committee heard from denis mcdonough, nominee for veterans affairs secretary. >> i will work tirelessly to build ba's trust as the premier agcy for ensuring the well-being of veterans. yamiche: the senate commerce
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committee advanced pete buttigieg's nomination for transportation secretary. the president's covid response team held its first public briefing. it came amid growing calls to distribute vaccines faster. dy slavitt is the white house senior advisor for covid response. >> we are taking action to increase supply and capacity, but even so it will be months before everyone who wants a vaccine will be able to get one. yamiche: yesterday the president announced the u.s. will order an additional 200 million vaccine doses. he says there will be enough doses for 300 million americans by summer. slavitt said the nation will need 500 million shots to vaccinate everyone 16 and older. i'm yamiche alcindor. judy: let's take a closer look at what president biden wants to accomplish with gina mccarthy,
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the white house national climate advisor. welcome back to the newshour. the president has so many urgent, massive issues -- the pandemic, the economy, a politically deeply divided country. how does climate change fit into all that? ms. mccarthy: thanks for having me. i want you to know climate change is interrelated with the issues you just identified. if we expect to regrow the economy after we tackle covid-19, we need to grow jobs, need people to have food on their table that's healthy. we need our country to be more secure and grow. the path to get that done is an energy -- is clean energy. clean energy jobs were the fastest growing sector bere the pandemic. we saw a prior administration that did everything it could to
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dismantle the clean energy infrastructure, and itailed. why? because clean energy jobs are good for us. we can get thousands of good paying union jobs. this is our opportunity to invest in environmental justice communities that have been left behind. this president is not looking at one thing at a time. it is addressing all of those together so we built back in a way that's building a better future. we can do this if we work together. judy: it's interesting because you are getting praise from a number of sectors, including the u.s. chamber of commerce, which says it endorses the overall goal. it points to the pausing of oil and gas leasing and it says this is something that is going to hurt the economy. they said the world is going to need oil and gas for decades, that this is going to starve
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local communities of revenue. they are arguing it is going to cost jobs. we are hearing this from a number of republicans. ms. mccarthy: the whole goal is not to leave any community behind in moving forward on clean energy, but also to not leave any workers behind. if you look closely, all this is about is whether we should cause and look at new leasing when we know there are acres of leases that are not being used. we have to take a balanced. this is public lands only. it is our lands that need to be protected, including the natural resources we need and the biodiversity that keeps our global world moving forward. this is not stopping permitting, not stopping fracking. this is a very select challenge to step back and say, how are we going to grow? in the meantime, there is plenty
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of oil and natural gas so we are assuring the governors, senators, and representatives from these areas that we are not going to run out of anything. this is about taking a pause to review the whole thing and making sure it makes sense from everybody's perspective. this executive order looks at creating a task or's -- task force to revitalize energy communities that are worried about being left behind and those dependent on fossil full -- fuel utilities for their jobs. we have to take care of them. it is not about making the choices they are suggesting. we can have thousands of good paying union jobs and find opportunities, like capping abandoned oil and gas wells or coal mines that are spewing methane that is creating climate challenges, and instead put workers in areas that may otherwise not have a good job
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and give them a good paying job. this is not a zero-sum game. judy: they are making arguments from different parts of the country. senator dan sullivan of alaska is saying curtailing these jobs disproportionately harms alaskan natives, who he says have relied on energy development to lift them out of poverty. also pointing out, in contrast with the racial equity goal the white house rolled out yesterday. lynn cheney of wyoming is speaking about a major lifeline, americans being lifted out of a hurting economy by these oil and gas jobs that are going away for the time being. ms. mccarthy: this is a transition where we need to build up the infrastructure to make clean energy available to everyone. this is not the next two weeks or two months. everybody knows this job shift
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has already been happening and we need to make sure we are focused in the areas where job shift are happening. we have to protect the future for our kids and we have to recognize it is heading to clean energy for jobs we can manufacture, products we should be developing and innovating and selling to the world. this is about getting us into this time and this moment and not being shy about reemerging into a position of leadership domestically and internationall that's what this effort is all about, a whole of government approach, to start looking with different eyes at the jobs we are doing. our programs, our policies, our procurement strategy. let's send signals to the private sector that we all know where the future is heading and the united states wants to lead
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it and we want the jobs and profits here. judy: sharing arguments we are hearing from the other side, republican steve scalise of louisiana saying this is a deathknell for louisiana coastal communities. what do you say to criticisms like the about when these new jobs what come? they are saying in the short realm -- the short-term, it is going to hurt them. ms. mccarthy: we are going to have to take action on all the executive order to look at how we can move these issues forward. we are going to have the kind of engagement we need to have in an democracy and listen to everyone. right now the point is we have a covid-19 pandemic that has hit us that we need to straighten out and take care of. that has already been jumpstarted. now is the time to see how we build back.
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are we going to look at what used to be instead of looking at the opportunities today? nobody in this country wants to be told to sacrifice and nobody in this administration is going to ask them to, whether it is leaving them without a job or without opportunity. it is just the opposite. we are bringing these issues together at a time of hope and opportunity because we either grab this as a country or continue to cede our leadership to others and our profits and job growth. this administration has no intention to cede that success to anybody. judy: gina mccarthy, the white house climate advisor, formerly head of the environmental protection agency under president obama. thank you very much. ♪
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judy: in many cases, the task of combating the climate crisis starts at home with local leaders taking charge. i'm joined now by two mayors to discuss president biden's changes to climate and energy policies. they are patrick payton, mayor of midland, texas, and william peduto, mayor of pittsburgh, pennsylvania. good to have both of you. mayor peyton, i will start with you, but i will ask you both the same question. what is your reaction to what divided administration is rolling out on climate change -- divided administration -- the biden administration is rolling out on climate change? >> we are used to this. over 12 to 16 years, we have watched executive orders being traded back and forth.
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2000 people are going to get up tomorrow and work in the oil and gas industry and wind and solar industry because it is all of the above as we move forward. we will burn more coal today than the rest of the civilized world. we know what it takes to build a robust energy economy, what it takes to create those jobs. we are doing that on the on the wind and solar environment. for you to have t power grid to plug in your electric vehicle , it is going to take the oil and gas industry. i am hoping they really do mean we are going to have a long, inclusive conversation and stop demonizing the oil and gas industry, who has to be the backbone. i am skeptical because we have seen this executive order thing happen through the obama administration, the trump administration, but we still see no legislative work forward. i think part of that is because
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legislators know it will require an all-in effort. we will see if we can move forward with a discussion covering all the issues and no longer demonizing the industry that makes it possible for you to carry your nalgene bottle while you drive your electric vehicle. judy: mayor pugh due to -- mayor peduto, i am thinking about what president trump said, it should be about paris, not pittsburgh, a reference to the parents climate accord, which is administration has rejoined. what is your take on what the administration is saying it will do? >> we have been working together in the northern appalachian region and within the ohio valley, mayors from eight cits that have joined from west virginia, ohio, pennsylvania, and kentucky to present an american marshall plan that
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would invest in the areas that will be the hardest hit from the inevitable transformation into renewable energy and green technology. the world is going one direction. i think the biden administration recognizes that. the question is, do we want to be in a position in the future where we electrify public transit fleets around the country and the only option available is to buy buses from china, when we could be building them in youngstown? should we be buying wind turbines in germany when they could be manufactured with united states steel in pennsylvania and assembled in west virginia? judy: are you saying you fear the biden administration is not paying sufficient attention to buying american, building american? >> quite the opposite.
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i think in the initiatives they announced yesterday on buy american and that they are presenting 40% of this plan in the areas that have been left behind in the changing economy, that they are cognizant we can't change by throwing a light switch, which would leave areas behind, but we have to invesin those areas so they have an opportunity to catch up with the rest of the united states. the biden plan is a pragmatic and progressive approach to address the inevitable change in economics and the delivery of energy and allowing the united states to compete in the 21st century. judy: back to you, mayor payton. i heard you saying you hope divided administration -- the biden administration means what
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it says. how will you reach out to them? do you feel they will listen to you as you make the case for your community, the livelihood of your people? >> over the last several years, we talk in eremes and don't moderate the middle path. we are getting left behind by china because china is burning more coal today than the rest of the civilized world. until we get to a place where we recognize the oil and gas industry is the backbone of powering this country, that we can move forward with the industry that provides the byproducts that provide for electric vehicles, the buses that drive to the factories that produce this deal, when we have that conversatn and the political environment doesn't demonize the oil and gas industry or an region made up of 200,000 people who will go to
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their jobs in the oil and gas sector and wind and solar sector producing cheap and abundant energy, we will see if they are going to have that conversation. it's not going to happen in two weeks, two years. it is a 20 to 30 year transition but it will not hpen without the oil and gas industry. judy: i hear you, but are you saying you think the biden administration is demonizing the oil and gas industry, or do you believe they are open to hearing your arguments? >> i think the democrat left has demonized the oil and gas industry. we will see if mr. biden in his conversation of unity really means that. that's going to take both sides to get there radical sides out of the debate and get to the middle. for the longest time, the oil and gas industry has been demonized.
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we wilsee if they need to bring everybody into the fold. judy: mayor peduto, what do you say in response? where do you think the administration will come down? >> i believe they will be pragmatic. they have an understanding of the workers and a compassion to make sure there is a just transition. pittsburgh is where oil was discovered. cole was discovered along the shores of our river. we sit at one of the largest reserves of natural gas in the world. and yet there is more jobs in green and renewable energy that oil, gas, and coal combined. >> that's not true. >> the future is here. i'm talking about pittsburgh and allegheny county. our numbers are even higher than philadelphia. judy: we thank you both so much.
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sorry to leave it there. we appreciate you both. thank you. ♪ president biden's covid-19 team warned another 90,000 americans could die from the virus over the ne four weeks. the national death toll is already near 430,000 out of 25.5 million confirmed cases. we will turn to the struggle over vaccinations later. the u.s. homeland security department is warning of potential new violence over president biden selection. the department issued a terrorism advisory focusing on domestic threats, a rarity. it suggested the storming of the
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u.s. capitol could embolden extremists. the advisory did not cite any specific threat. a leading democrat in the senate floated an alternative today to putting former president trump on trial for inciting the capitol assault, the charge made in the impeachment article. virginia senator tim kaine suggested censuring mr. trump instead. kaine cited tuesday's test vote, when only five republicans supported a trial. he said it's clear there are not 67 votes for a conviction. sen. kaine: to do a trial knowing you will get 55 votes at the max seems to me to be not the right prioritization of our time. maybe wean do it fast, but my top priority is covid relief -- you know, i'm going in for this u.n. hearing and getting the biden cabinet approved. judy: it's unclear how much support the proposal has.
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chuck schumer insisted today there will be a trial starting the week of february 8. a second police officer who responded to the assault on the capitol has committed suicide. the head of the washington, d.c. police reportedly told congress about the incident. a u.s. capitol police officer also took his life days after the attack. one of six men accused of plotting to kidnap michigan governor gretchen whitmer pleaded guilty today. ty garbin admitted his role during a federal court hearing in grand rapids. the fbi says the conspirators talked of targeting whitmer over coronavirus regulations. in russia, lawmakers approved extending the last remaining nuclear treaty with the u.s., days before a deadline. new start limits both sides' nuclear arsenals. the trump administration argued the treaty disadvantaged the u.s.
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president biden reversed that stance and moscow welcomed the shift. >> [translated] we had to act under hey time pressure. the previous administration connected the extension to the conditions, which were unacceptable for us. with biden the situation was adjusted. and we need to give proper respect to the new white house team and its pragmatic approach. judy: the extension runs five years. the biden administration has halted a major arms sale to the united arab emirates for now, pending a review. the deal was announced by the trump administration in november. it let the uae buy 50 f-35 stealth fighter jets, worth $23 billion dollars. until now, only israel was allowed to buy the high-tech planes. the u.s. federal reserve confirms that the latest covid surge has done more economic damage. as a result, the central bank pledged again today to keep interest rates near zero. fed chair jerome powell said how
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long the pandemic's effects will linger is unknown, partly because of vaccination problems. >> one of the reasons why is the slowness of the rollout. another reason is the arrival of these new virus strains. we don't know how to model that. can have a base case, but no one knows how this vaccine will rollout, how successful it will be. judy: the u.s. labor market is still 10 million jobs below where it was when the virus hit. on wall street, worries about the economy pushed major indexes down 2% or more, their worst day since october. the dow jones industrial average lost 633 points to close at 30,303. the nasdaq fell 355 points and the s&p 500 slid 98 points.
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we'll take a closer look, after the news summary. award-winning actress cloris leachman died today at her home in southern california. she won eight emmys on the mary tyler moore show and other tv programs and received an academy award for her role in the last picture show. cloris leachman was 94 years old. still to come on the newshour, making sense of what is driving the stock market frenzy. vaccinations continue at a glacial pace as covid-19 deaths and infections continue to rise. antony blinken faces challenges on multiple fronts as he takes over at the state department. and much more. >> this is the pbs newshour from weta studios in washington and the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: part of today's market
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frenzy was not just a plunge due to concerns over the pandemic and the economy. there has been major tumult today and in recent days as individual investors and young day traders are upending the market and senng prices of a you companies soaring -- of a few companiesoaring, companies that were struggling just days or weeks ago. william brangham has more. william: the traders who are driving this frenzy and egging each other on on social media have been driving up the price of several stocks long after other investors said, we are done. they have sent the price of videogame retailer game stop stratospheric levels, and the frenzy continued today with a surge in the stock price of amc, as well as the once-popular phone maker, blackberry. to help us understand what's going on, i'm joined by andrew ross sorkin. he's the co-anchor of cnbc's squawk box, a columnist for the
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new york times, as well as an editor of its daybook newsletter. such wild developments in the market. can you help us understand, what on earth is going on? andrew: it is hard to understand. i don't think i have seen anything like this in my career. there is almost a small army of mostly younger folks who are assembling online in chat groups and bidding the shares of companies like game stop. game stop was a company that was worth $20 a share at the beginning of this year. today it is worth almost $350 a share. the company is now worth the same as delta. this company makes no money. there is almost a ponzi scheme element to this. it was originally driven by a
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nostalgia for gamestop and a stick it to the man view that the system was rigged against companies like gamestop and against regular investors. a number of hedge funds had that against gamestop shares and other investors were trying to win the game and make them lose. at the moment, they are winning, but i would like to caution those who are out there today, the greatest likelihood is that these protesters will be the ones who will ultimately lose because there are no fundamentals behind the kinds of traits going on at this point. william: these smaller traders seem to know that the bigger hedge funds had these shortselling options on these companies. bigger investors were hoping the stock price would go down. they are reversing that trend
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and driving the stock up. how does that hurt the bigger investors? andrew: it hurts the bigger investors insomuch as the hedge funds lose money. a big hedge fund has lost several billion dollars and needed to be rescued as a result of this. i am not sure the group of protesters that are doing this fully appreciate that the hedge funds are managing the money of pensioners. when you really think about who has lost thus far -- and it shouldn't be considered a game in this winning and losing weight -- so far the wall street hedge funds have lost, but they have lost pensioners' money. william: there has been talk for years about whether day traders are consequential in the market. it's hard not to look at what has been going on and think,
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they are consequential. they are able to move the market in a substantial way. do you think this changes something fundamentally? andrew: they were substantial in moving the market to a degree. like any great protest, they often get co-opted by others. there are professional investors today that are bidding up the shares of mestop as part of a pop psychology play. it is exacerbating what is happening. a small group of investors has moved the market to some degree, but on top of that are professional investors trying to take advantage of those folks. it is going to be interesting to see how this all unravels. william: elizabeth warren and others have said a lot of these big time investors have treated the stock market like a casino and now they are complaining. basically she is saying boo-hoo
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for them. her other point is now is the time for financial regulators to address this. it is not clear to me -- what is the role for a financial regulator in this circumstance? what would a financial regulator do? william: -- andrew: it's complicated. elizabeth warren is correct. so many of the people buying shares of gamestop agree with her. they are saying the system is raked. we are manipulating it, but we have been manipulated for many years. how do youegulate this? that is a real question without a great answer because it is not clear that what's being done is a legal. it is being done for the most part out in the open. you can see these people talking to each other. you can argue maybe it is a pump and dump scheme, but it is being done publicly.
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regulators are going to have to grapple with this. the person nominated to run the sec is going to have a hard job to figure out what to do. some of the big brokerage firms are starting to limit the amount of loaned money they are providing to some investors for specific stocks like gamestop. that could reduce the interest in these types of events. william: thanks for helping us get through these strange days. judy: even as president biden's team is ramping up plans for production of covid vaccines, there were also sober warnings that it will take well through the summer to vaccinate enough americans. here is cddirector dr.
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rochelle walensky. >> now is the time to remain vigilant. we continue on the current trajectory, the cdc most recent national ensemble forecasts predicts that 479,000 to 514,000 covid-19 deaths will be recorded by february 20, 2021. but if we are united in action, we can turn things around. continuing to expand safe, effective vaccination is key to ending the covid-19 pandemic and bringing our country back to health. judy: the u.s. is by no means the only country struggling with vaccine supply and demand. today a battle escalated between the u and vaccine maker astrazeneca. back here, there are major concerns over vaccine supply and equity. stephanie sy as our report. stephanie: judy, a recent analysis by kaiser health news finds black and latino citizens are getting vaccines at
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significantly lower rates in a number of states, especlly worrying given the major disparities in death rates, which public health officials reminded us again of today. as you can see on this chart, black, indigenous and latino people are dying a much higher -- dying at a much higher rate than white people. here to talk about these equity concerns, i'm joined by dr. mysheika roberts, the public health commisioner of columbus, ohio. dr. roberts, thank you for joining us. i know you have been focused on these issues. i have heard you say in the past that in columbus, public health officials have an equity agenda. what does that mean? dr. roberts: here in columbus, our mayor has an echo e agenda for our city -- an equity agenda for our city. he has declared racism a public health issue, which is caused many agencies to focus work on looking at the health inequities
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that exist and how we can overcome them. stephanie: what does that mean in terms of the current vaccination program? are you going directly to black and brown communities where the vaccine is needed the most? are you deploying mobile clinics to bring the vaccine to those that might not be able to access it? dr. roberts: all of the above. here in our communities, no different than across the nation , black and brown individuals have been disproportionately impacted by covid-19, whether cases, hospitalizations, or deaths. it is important we get the vaccine. we are really putting boots on the ground, trying to get the message out that these vaccines are safe and effective, who should get the vaccine, and when the vaccine is available for
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those groups. we are doing some mobile clinics where we are going to those organizations where we have a large population of black and brown individuals and are providing vaccines at a location that is convenient for them. stephanie: you talk about misinformation. i saw a video of you in which you felt the need to say the vaccine does not include a tracking device, which speaks to the misinformation and copiracy theories plaguing the vaccination efforts. how big of a challenge is that? dr. roberts: misinformation is a huge challenge across the nation. some people think when we say the vaccine includes nano parts, nano proteins, which just means very small, some people have interpreted that as nanotechnology and that the vaccine has the ability to track people, so they don't want to
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get vaccinated because they think the government can now track them. i remind people all the time the smartphones we use every day contract you much more effectively than any vaccine we can provide. stephanie: when it comes to mistrust in the black community, there is a history of mistreatment, whether it came to the tuskegee experiment or henrietta lacks. how do you counter that and rebuild trust? dr. roberts: i think we have to acknowledge the history and acknowledge that black and brown individuals have a reason to mistrust the health care community. we have to let them know that because of those incidents, so much has changed in our health care arena to otect individuals that look like me and to protect everyone. that's why we have informed consent. that's some of the reason we have hahippa, to protect our
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health information. we have to acknowledge it and we have to let them know this vaccine has gone through all the safety measures. the vaccineon the market are available to anyone er the age dickstein or 18, depending on the product. these vaccines are given to everyone, white, black, brown, or purple. first identify why they have mistrust and tell them how our community has changed as a result of those incidents. stephanie: i want to ask one quick question broadly of how vaccination efforts are going. you are in the phase where you are offering the vaccine to those 75 and older as well as those with disabilities, congenital and medical disorders. what could be improved? dr. roberts: what we are doing at columbus public health is
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going well. we would love to have more vaccines and love to be able to vaccinate everyone. we have an approach that the state put in place and are following that. next week we will vaccinate staff that work in k-12 schools, so we are getting more doses to accommodate that population. like everyone is saying, if we had more vaccines, we could vaccinate more people. stephanie: so many priorities you are juggling. thank you so much for joining us with the perspective from columbus, ohio. judy: today the nation's top diplomat spent his first full day on the job. and secretary of state tony blinken also spoke to the press, and our nick schifrin was watching. hello, nick. there was a lot of conversation
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today about the middle east. tell us how this administration is changing its approach from the trump administration. nick: the state department announced a pause on arms sales. that includes the f-35's the trump administration negotiated with united arab emirates and american weapons that saudi arabia uses to fight the iranian backed uzi rebels. -- houthi rebels. lincoln said that move wa routine, but he was concerned about the designation of the houthis as an international terrorist organization over the objection of humanitarians. >> we have seen a campaign led by saudi arabia that has contributed to what is by many estimates the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, and that is saying something. it is vitally important we do
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everything we can to get humanitarian assistance to the people of yemen who are in desperate need. we want to make sure any steps we are taking do not get in the way of providing that assistance. nick: criticism of saudi arabia is a break from the trump administration, especially as the biden team wants to negotiate with iran over the objections of congressional republicans. the priority must be to extend the time iran would need to build a nuclear weapon. the biden team argues that after that nuclear deal is reestablished, the u.s. and iran can discuss other issues. opposition in both countries is going to make that difficult, as lincoln -- as blinken admitted today. >> iran is out of compliance on
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a number of fronts and it would take time for them to come back into appliance -- compliance for us to assess they are meeting their obligations. nick: the biden administration plans on negotiating with congress, european allies, and partners in the middle east before negotiating with iran. judy: secretary blinken announced the biden team will keep the trump administration's envoy on afghanistan. nick: he has been leading the u.s. negotiations with the taliban. he made the deal with the taliban last year that if they negotiated seriously with the afghan government and did not attack u.s. troops, the u.s. would withdraw from afghanistan completely by march. the biden administration is reviewing that agreement. the pentagon is reviewing recent
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drawdowns from afghanistan, hence the administration may not follow through on that promise. judy: we know confronting china was one of the most prominent policies to come out of the trump administration. tell us what secretary blinken had to say about that. nick: the u.s.-china relationship had adversarial aspects, but he also said the u.s. wanted to work with china on climate change. that opening is different than what mike pompeo used to say. reporters asked about another trump administration decision, to name the uighurs, a muslim minority in western china who has been brutally persecuted by the chinese government, as victims of genocide. today during questioning by senator marco rubio, the u.n. nominee linda thomas-greenfield said that declaration was under review. >> what they ardoing is
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horrific. i look forward to seeing the results of the review that's being done -- >> the state department issued a designation on the president's last day. your understanding is it is being reviewed by the state department? >> i think the state department is reviewing that now because all the procedures were not followed and they are looking to make sure they are followed to ensure that designation is upheld. nick: today blinken said he did support the genocide declaration, that he had not seen what thomas greenville said and could not comment. judy: how would you say the message from the biden administration is different from that of the trump administration? nick: it was tone and relationship with the press. america first replaced with a conversation about how important
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allies are and enemies of the people replaced with praise for the media, a promise to speak with us often and return to daily briefings. that perhaps is the reason he appeared at the podium on his first full day. judy: thank you, and. -- thank you, nick. ♪ it's a given that strong family ties are critical, especially for mothers serving time in prison. on the nawaz has this story, part of our searching for justice series. >> i know you want a second chance -- >> this is a letter from melissa trinidad's 17-year-old daughter. >> i will always love you, but i just can't. you can't waltz back to my life and expect to be my mom again. amna: she received it soon after
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she was released from jail in september. trinidad, a mother of three, is in recovery from heroin addiction. she says her problems began with prescription pain pills, back in 2012. >> since then, you know, i have been in recovery and then relapse and then recovery and relapse. so it's kind of been an up and down hill battle. amna: over those eight years, trinidad's also been in and out jail, most recently serving 17 months for prescription fraud in williamsburg, virginia. her three children, including her now estranged daughter, were placed with three separate relatives. >> me going to jail the first time changed my entire little family. i mean, it was broken up. everybody was somewhere different. and it was traumatizing, especially for them. amna: that trauma is becoming more common across america. women make up the fastest growing segment of the u.s. prison population. an estimated 80 percent are mothers. >> on any given day in this country, over two million children have an incarcerated
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parent. amna: brittany barnett is a dallas lawyer, whose own mother spent two and a half years in prison. >> i remember visiting my mom the first time and talking to her through the glass and you're holding the phone to your ear. and i just remember pressing that phone so hard against my face because i didn't want to miss the sound of my mom's voice. amna: barnett founded a non profit called girls embracing mothers to keep kids connected with incarcerated parents. >> i can attest from my personal experience, when one person goes to prison, the entire family goes to prison. but it's something different when it's your mama. it's a primal wound. amna: for 52-year-old chalana mcfarland, the wounds from missing her daughter nia cosby are still fresh. >> it hurts even to this day that i wasn't able to be with her. amna: in 2005 mcfarland, then an attorney, was convicted of mortgage fraud and sentenced to 30 years in prison. cosby went to live with her grandparents. she was four years old.
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>> when she would cry on the phone and say, i want to see you, my heart would break. a lot of ladies decide they would rather not have themisit because it is too hard. >> what did you decide? >> i wanted every visit i could have, because i have a 30 year sentence. when my daughter got older, about six, she went up to the officer and said, can we take my mommy to mcdonald's for just a little while? i promise we will bring her right back. the officer said no, sweetheart, we can't let her go right now. amna: cosby has vivid memories of those visits. >> whenever you go to visit, you are not allowed to, like, lay on them, like snuggle them, cuddle them, you know, you're allowed to, like, hug and, like, hold hands across the table. that's about it. amna: she's now 20 years old, a college sophomore studying finance, and still struggles
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with moments her mother missed. >> i did dance. i played basketball. i did choir forany, many years. and i always wanted my mom to be able to see me do those things. i did want her to be a part of thosthings. amna: but last summer, an unexpected turn. as covid-19 spread across the country, mcfarland got word she was getting out. >> i have a number of respiratory issues that all make me extremely vulnerable to the virus. amna: in june, 15 years into her sentence, she was released to home confinement, and walked out of prison. her daughter was outside waiting. >> i saw the door open and she walked out and i just walked up to her and i just gave her the biggest hug. it just was probably -- >> it just was probably the happiest moment of my life. i was amazed to see her and hug
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her and be able to touch her. it was wonderful. amna: cosby studies and works in tallahassee, florida. mcfarland was under home confinement outside atlanta, monitored with an ankle bracelet. >> so what else do you have to do today? >> i feel like i have way more work. amna: so calls like this were often there only connection. >> we facetime nearly every day and i am always sending her pictures. how does this makeup look or do you like this outfit or look at the shoes i bought. so she is like my stylist now amna: and on president trump's final day in office, mcfarland was among those granted clemency, so more in person visits are now in the works. all these years later, the two have a lot to talk about >> i feel the guilt and the pain and the shame of not having been there to raise my own daughter. amna: you feel guilty about that? >> absolutely. she didn't deserve to have to
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serve the sentence with me >> we're not going to be able to go back in time and makeup for those lost memories, but we can do is build for the future. amna: keeping that future stable, experts say, depends on rebuilding their bond. research shows staying close with children helps reduce recidivism among incarcerated mothers. >> many times women, mothers are the primary caregivers of children prior to their incarceration. and when that force is gone, it leaves a huge void. amna: barnett says especially for newly released mothers, the stakes are high. >> there are a lot of reentry hurdles that need to be overcome to ensure that mothers don't go back to prison and ensure that children are in stable environments so that we can empower them and prevent a future generation of girls from entering the criminal legal system.
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amna: melissa trinidad is now living in a halfway house in richmond, virginia. she has a full-time job, and says she's been dg-free for more than a year and a half. >> get you a different alternative class next semester. amna: she regularly visits with her 19-year-old son and lexi, her 12-year-old daughter. the rift with her older daughter remains. amna: 5, 10 years from now, what do you think your family looks like? >> i want to have a relationship with all my kids. i want them to tell me things and have a place for them to come, even if they are not living with me, and know they are safe because they have not had that in a while with me. amna: which is why she says she will keep working towards the life she could not give them before. for the pbs newshour, i'm amna nawaz. judy: heartbreaking. and that's the newshour for tonight. please stay safe and we will see
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you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by -- ♪ consumer cellular. johnson and johnson. bnsf railway. carnegie corporation of new york, supporting innovation in engagement, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. and with the ongoing support of these institutions.
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lidia: buon giorno. i'm lidia bastianich, and teaching you about italian food has always been my passion. i want to taste it. assaggiare. it has always been about cooking together... hello. ...but it is also about reminiscing, reflecting, and reconnecting through food. erminia: mmm. delicious. lidia: for me, food is about family and comfort. whatever you're making, always remember, tutti a tavola a mangiare. announcer: funding provided by... announcer: at cento fine foods, we're dedicated to preserving the culinary heritage of authentic italian foods by offering over 100 specialty italian products for the american kitchen. cento -- trust your family with our family. announcer: authentic and original -- amarena fabbri. a taste of italy for brunch with family and friends. amarena fabbri -- the original wild cherries in syrup.


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