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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  June 9, 2020 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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captioning sponsored bydu newshour pions, llc uf >> woo good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, a final farewell. george floyd is laid to rest as his legacy embodies action tour changeulture to endat syst racism. then, race in the ranks. multiple senior military leaders speak out about the need for equality in the united states armed forces. plus, the pandemic abroad-- vietnam's intense coronavirus quarantine efforts have left the country relatively unscathed by covid-19. >> the public here in vietnam s really bought into this. they really feel shared ownership of the problem of covid-19. it's because of those early
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successes where the government was carrying out pretty strongme ures. >> woodruff: all that and more tonight's "pbs newshour >> major funding for the bbs >> the mission giv us purpose and the waforward, today and always. >> when it comes to wireless, consumer cellular gives itss custome choice. our no-contract plans give you ask,uch-- or as little-- tal text and data as you want, and ustomer service team is on hand to help. .t learn more, go to consumercellular
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more at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: possible by the cooration for public broadcasting. station from viewers like thank you. >> woodruff: the houston funeral of george floyd has dominated the news of this day, with vows that his death will not be in vain. speakers at the service ranged from family to the famous, as we hear in our opening report, from john yang. >> reporter: george floyd was laid to rest today, more than being arrested by a white while
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minneapolis police officer galvanized an international movement. ♪ ♪ at his houston funeral, mourners celebrated floyd's life, and reflected on how his final words-- "i can't breathe"--in became a ralcry in the >> when he yelled "please,ism. please i can't breathe," ist ped wearing ties. i want justice for my brother, my big brother. that's big floyd. everybody knows who big floyd is now. everybody is going to remember him around the world. he's going to change the world. >> his assignment turned into a sepurpose, and that purwas around the world that there are people rising up that will never sit down until you get justice.y >> most favorite memory with my cle when he would scratch his dead after long days awork.
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we created a song called, "scratch my head, scratch my head, yeah." but after that, i knew he was a comedian. he always told me, "baby girl, you're going to go so far with that beautiful smile and brains of yours." presidentpresumptive democratice joe biden met with the family on monday and sai >> i think what's happened here is one of those great inflection points in american history, for in tf civil liberties, civil rights and just treating people with dignity. r orter: in washington, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell said tim scott of south carolina, the chamber's only african-american republican, is drafting a bill addressing racial dination in policing. the announcement comes a day after house and senate democrats introduced a sweeping measure of their own. hours before flloyd's funeral, president trump used a tweet to without offering edence-- that-
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a 75-year-old protestor shoved to the grod by buffalo police" tecould be an antifa provo" taking part "in a set-up." the man, a longtime peace actist named martin gugino, remains hospitalized. the two officers invved have been suspended without pay and charged with felonassault. in an suggestion of growing unease with the president, some republican senators dianced themselves from the tweet. >> i saw the tweet. it was a scking thing to say, and i won't dignify it with any further comment. >> reporter: outside the white house, the park service says temporarfencing aroundye lae park will be removed by wednesday, but the protests in washington, d.c., and across the country show so signs of relenting. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang. >> woodruff: inside the church in houston, the reverend al sharpton delivered the eulogyor for floyd. he honored floyd's life and the
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movement sparked by his death. >> you said you wanted to touch the worl r that.od had already made you but you didn't touch it in a court.ball court or football oud had something else for because all over the world, george, theye rching with ur name. you touched the world in south africa. you touched the world ind. engl you touched the world in every one of the 50 states. even in a pandemic. people are walking out ithe streets, not even following social distancing. because you touched the world. and as we lay you to rest today, the movement won't rest until we get justice, until we have one standard of justice. your family is going to miss you, george.
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but your nation is going to always remember your name. >> woodruff: let's hear more about these moments at the funeral and the community's response. matt harab is with houston public media and was listening to the service at the church today. matt harab, thank you very much for talking with us. we know it wasn't just the reverend sharpton. there were other speakers today. what was the larger ssage that they were delivering? >> yeah, i think the larger f ssagnease a o oct houston, and you hear these protestors talking about how they want reform and theynt justice, and it's one thing the hear words. it's another thing to see action. you heard in the speech today from reverend sharpton along with his speeches in minnesota, he mentioned slavery, he mentioned voting right, he mentioned different time periods in american hitory where change was required. in my opinion. and this is one of them. and he continues to talk about police refoa, and i think t is the larger message here is
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the fact that these aren't... they shouldn't just be words. they should be action, as well. i think that's what people want to see. >> woodruff: matt, we know you talked to people aer they ent the church. tell us about who was .ere tell us about whether they represent the wider houston community, and what were they saying to yo >> it wasn't just the houston community. you had houstians come out and show their support, but i talked to a gentleman who drove here all the way from sa, oklahoma. he is a professor, and he wanted to be here because it's not only in support of george floyd and the family, but he talked about how this historic event. he wanted to be here simply because it is an historic event. i talked to a young woman who watalking about her brther, and how she had bn arrested brutally and this is importantto for hee specifically to support him in addition to george floyd. so you had a lot of people outside of the church as the
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service was going on,as the speeches were going on, all of them with difrent signs, blac lives matter, i can't breathe, and it wasn'pl rojusssthe county who traveled here, amidst a global pandemic to be here today in support of george george and his family. >> woodruff: and it is, in fact, it's not just a national movement. but matt, what are the leaders,. local leaders there inouon saying about all this? how are they relating to it? >> well, te of tings that mayor sylvester turner talked he's going to sign an executive order banning choke holdings by the houston police department. this is a police department, they asked for a member leading into george floyd's death. we have six officer-involved shootings with civilians in the five weeks leading into georgede floyd'h. so there was a lot of momentum locally when it comes to police anthis was just like the
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cherry on top. but isthink that . him announcing today, the mayor, that action is going to be taken,sit's not t words, banning chokeholds is one of the things that has been talked about when it. comes to stopping policey. brutal the houston police chief was on the front lines in the third ward with protestors a couple weeks ago as they marched from the third ward, the streets where george floyd grew up, all the way to city hall. so local leads are taking it seriously. and we're just going to have to see at happens when it comes to reaction from the local community for things like this chokehold ban, which the mayor announced day. >> woodruff: matt harab with houston public media reporting on the funeral of george floyd today. matt, thank you very m >> woodruff: in the day's other
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news, the u.s. sate confirmed general charles brown to be air force chief of staff. he is the nation's first black military service chief ever. the vote was 98 to nothing. we'll focus on race in the military, after the news summy. the world health organization tried today to clear up confusion over the sprd of the coronavirus. on monday, a top w.h.o. researcher, maria van kerkhove, appeared to say that infected people with no symptoms rarely transmit covid-19. today, she said she was oftudies. only to a small sample >> we do know that some people who are asymptomatic or some people who don't have symptoms can transmit the virus on. and so, what we need to better understand is how many people in the population don't have symptoms and, separately, how many of those individuals go on to transmit to others. >> woodruff: also today, thest e of new jersey lifted its stay-at-home order.di
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and a harvard l school study suggested that covid-19 nhama segvediprunnea world leaders wi convene this september, for the annual united nations generalbly due to the pandemic. they may give recorded messas instead. it's the first time that's happened in the world body's 75-year history. in hong kong, hundreds marched today on the firstnniversary of a rally thasparked a pro- democracy movement. they flooded the city's financial district, defying coronavirus restrictions. riot police stood watch and made some arrests. city leader carrie lam warned today that the chinese territory nnot afford any more chaos. north korea announced today it is cutting all communications with south korea. pyongyang blamed seoul for letting defectors and activists send anti-north korean leaflets
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across the border on balloons. the move comes as tensions on the peninsula are again rising. and, on wall street, the ongoing market rally hit a rough patch, and stocks were mostly down. the dow jones industrial average 27,272.0 points to close at the nasdaq edged 29 points higher to a new all-time high.he but, t s&p 500 slipped 25. still to come on the, "newshou" multiple senior military leaders speak out about improving race relations in s e united stamed forces; why reporters of color often face different standards in newsrooms nationwide; as the coronavirus pandemic persists, we examine the practical realities of voting by mail and much more.
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>> woodruff:eorge floyd's death has sparked new calls within the u.s. military to improve race relations. the air force made history today, when the new chief of staff, general charles brown was sworn in. american to become a chief of a military service. nick schifrin has the story. >> the nomination of charles q. brown, jr., to be chief of staff and general of the united states air force. >> for the first time in the republic's 244-year history, the senate confirmed a black officer, general charles brown, to military service chief. >> thinking about a history of racial issues, in my own experience it didn't always sing liberty and equality. >> last week brow posted an emotional video about what hewa thinking about racism in the
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military. >> i'm thinking about the pressure i felt to perform error-free, especially fromw supervisor expected less than me as an african american. i'm thinking about wearing the same fligh salute on wings as my peers and being questioned, are you a pilot. i'm thinking about my mentors and how rarely i had a mentor who looked like me. >> black latter! >> in this moment of national disquiet, the military is a crucible of race >>lly you have to i think more than talk about it, you got to be willing to listen. >> and it sparks admissions like these between outgoing air force chief of staff david goldstein and top air force enlisted leader chief master sergeant wright. >> we proombably don't cpletely understand it, because you and i have had different life experiences growing up. >> the fear i have when i'm driving down whether it's the belty or any street and i see blue lights, because i think it doesn't matter if i'e thchief or whatever, and my greatest
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fear is not for myself, it's that i wake up one day and one of our aimen will be george floyd. >> to talk about race in the u.s. military, i'm joined by retired major general dana piard, who had a 34-year career in the army, includingra overseeing theing of the iraqi military, and retired brigadier ge who had a 29-year career mostly in the green berets witmy special forces. gentleman, thank you very much. welcome to the newshour. major jarrell pittard, what's the significance of general brown becoming the first black service chief today? >> well, thank you, nick. today was a great day in the history of our republic. general brown, who i have known over the years, is an excellent choice as the chieff staff in the air force. it is just too bad it's taken 244 years to have an african american in charge of one of our
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services. but it's a great day either way. >> sifrin: brigadier general btler, the percentage of officers who arack decreases with seniority, and the percent act of enlisted who ar black increases. with seniority. back in '97 you wrote an article called "why black officers fail." have things changed in the last 23 years? >> not very much. black officts get abou promoted to the same rate to the rank of captain. once ty make captain, theyat drally drop off. so the weeding-out process starts en. by the time u're a major, you probably have already had a couple if you're a mrity officer, many times you don't have a meor. one, we're under the mistaken opinion a lot of times that a mentor haso look like me.
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i have never had a black mentor because they weren't tre, but i have had some great white mentors in special for throughout the military, for many, ny years. there are a lotof officers who feel that if you're a bla general, they it it because of affirmative action and you aren't smart enough. i remember when i first became a brigadier, theysed have this saying, i don't know, it's called general. i didn't know that many general officers, but i got a lot of comments that said not smartt enough, mart enough. i went to a general and i said, what the heck is this? says, don't worry about it. he said, i don't even read those things. he said, that's what a lot of people are going to say, we aren't smart enough, but we areh smart en enlisted ranks have always been the worker bee. they're the ones whperform the labor, get the troops in line, get the troops on time. get them to the messhall, get
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them back. they have always been workingr ite officers. on many occasions. the enlisted folks have been accepted, because they are not under the officers. they're not eroff they're enlied. they're lowecaste basically. >> schifrin: major pittard, i wondered if you can comment about that, the not only implicit racm that military leaders admitting to,ut the explicit racism perhapshat you experienced as well. >> oh, sure. i mean, there's still a legacy of systematic racism in our country. and the u.s. military, specifically the u.s. army is ly a reflection of society that it serves. no better or worse as far as racism. one would hope it would be betterecause there are some things the army has done if the past that cistually been in front of society, like the
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integration of units, the order by president truman i believe back in 1948 wawell ahead of brown versus board of education in 1956. so there has been some good things there, but there's still this legacmaof sysc racism implicit bias that we see. and, yes, we had those peer ratings that with general officers that general butlerme ioned, and sometimes they would say, they hurt your feelings as far as some thingse that waid, and you just have to scratch your head onth . it is a plus todayhat general brown was nominated and confirmed as the chief of staff of the air force. absolutely congratul to him. but also we have some other things to be proud of.nt the supedent of the united states military academy at west
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point, general williams, a great role model. but throughout i know throughout my career, all these officers experienced different aspects of rae sm in somys, but again, we're in the here to and general butler, who i have great respect for, who is the senior most african american officer in special forces when he retired, is areat example of a person who has overcome obstacles and challenges and who has risen to the occasion. have to do double the work,ys we double the effort just to get the same kind of recognition as our peers. >> schifrin: brigadier general butler,lbj wondered if you can comment on where we are today. we'vseen so many senior military officials talk about the importance of changing theur cuin the military, and we even saw the marine come dont
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banning the display of the confederate flag bu they would consider renaming bases for confederate generals. how fast is the a moving on this, and are they moving with one voice? >> i can't tell you if they're moving at what pace. i can just tell you, remo butler. there were confederate generals. i understand that. i would rather the litary work at the percentage of them, i.e. promotions of minority officers. that's whe the problem is. if you don't have the right command, you're not going far. you'll go up. and if you look at th systematic problem, 1997, i wrote a paper, five black officer fail. 2010, llutenant onel smith wrote a paper, why black
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officers continue to fail. 2020, there's anoer one written by another person, and he goes into the history of why there is syintematic issue the military. so i think we've made some progress, but not a lot of progress. you know, people don't see the problems. the people in power, it's in the affecting them. people don't see the problemsit unti affecting them. george floyd, people never saw this before. now we have videos. now people can see things that are happening. that's why you're getting more, protestocause now they aeft, yelou know, th military is a great organization. the army is great. i enjoyed my time in it, but i think more could be done. >> schifrin: and those military lead centers charge ght now do sayd admit that more needs to be done. they say they are going to do more in the future. gentleman, we'll have the leave it there. brigadier general butler, major
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general pittard, thank you very much to you both. >> thank you. >> my pleasure. >> woodrf: the death of george floyd and the protests since then have re-ignited enormous questions about race and racism, inequality and discrimination in america. that's true as well for the we're in-- the news industry. there have been a number of developments on that front of late, including a decision by t editors "pittsburgh post- gazette" to pull an african- american journalist off protest coverage following a tweet. her white colleague also waswa ed about a tweet, but was not pulled off coverage.ry thatallized to many the differenjos in how black nalists are sometimes treated compared to white d lleagues. we explore this e larger issues behind all of this with
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dorothy tucker, presid the national association of black journalists.or o"theos angeles times." we welcome both of you to the news hour. >> dorthy:, you told one of my colleagues this aft tnoon, you sais has been a difficult time for black journalists. you described them as frustrated and tired, angry and scared. that's a lot to carry arod at a time when reporters are being asked to cover all of this. >> well, judy, quite honestly, all the time anit definitely ise days. you know, from my own personal experience, i can tell you in coveringe protests, i worked over the weekend. i ve worked three or four days in a row. and i'm asking questions of peop, and i'm interviewing people on this side of the brain, but on the other side of the brain, i'm thinkg of
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28-year-old son, who was traveling from atlta to chicago driving an praying the entire time that he arrives home safely, that he doesn't get stopped by a police officer, that something doesn't happen to him when he stops at a rest stop, you knowet so this is sng that we carry with us when you're covering a protest like this, and you have had experiences of cism. you have witnessed it. neyou know somho has had a negative exchange with a police officer. so, you know, this is what wea live, and toe to now be where both -- wear both of those hats, it's frustrating a tiring, and at times because you're in the middle of it, it's >> woodruff: norman pearlstine, what are you hearing from reporters you know, reporters who work for you who are african american? >> well, they are speaking very
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much about the e kinds of pressures and tensions that you were jst hearing about. they are also commenting quite passionately about the fact that there are not nearly enough black journalists working at the "los angeles times" and that puts an additional burden on those o are here. >> woodruff: norm pearlstine, ote there enough? and if not, why ? >> well, i think there has been a pattern of underrepresentation for a very long time in all ofp oulications in the u.s., but it has been especially true at the "los angeles times." we live in a progressive community. we live in city that is 47% hispanic, that has a very active black population that is
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represented in politics much more than it is in journalism. >> woodruff: dorothy tucker, how muyo different -- inowu have these discussions with colleagues, you certainly discuss it at the naional association of black journalists -- how much difference is it believed it would make if there were more journalists of color and more journalists of color in made?ions where decisions are >> that is the key, judy. it's not just about having increased number of journalists there. it is imortant that we see black in management positions that tstories that we cover i think you would see more uitable reporting in the stories that we cover and the kinds of stories that we cover. i think for african americans who are reporting, they come to the editorial meetings with ideas. they come with pitch, an oftentimes they're just notac
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pted. perhaps if there were black managers there, there would be a better chance of some of the ideathat they're having, the kind of stories they would like to do, you know, i think those managers would be more sensitive to that.w, you kn think just having someone, having more black m managers wouan that some of the missteps that we've seen, you would not see. you wouldn't see the case of what happened in pittsburgh. you wouldn't see the headline that we saw in philadelphia. you wouldn't cessarily see what we saw at "the new york times." the list is long. you need someone of color, an african american at the table when decisions are madeto prevent the kind of missteps that we have seen in the media f cently. >> onee active debates we had over the past week was about e use of word "looting" to describe the destruction of property and ry much the
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feeling among the black journalists at the "los times" who frankly educated the rest of us to the fact that looting had a pejorative ract connotation and that comparing it to the kind ofbehavior of the police and the kin of behavior that we witnessed really was a lse equivalency and yet it was one we were making as journalists if you picked up a copy of our paper. >> that's a great conversation to have. i mean, the word riot is very similar. you know, there is concern that it is autbomatically eled as a riot if it is african americans who are protestin but it's not labeled as a riot when you see the same kind of dstruction after a concert or after a sporting event. so the are words that have that association, so i appreciate the fact that you're having that kind of discussion at the "l.a. times." >> woodruff: it's a it's increasingly
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hearing this conversation about this idea, s traditional idea in the press of neyutral versus what some are saying now when it comes to subjects like race, where journalists are called on to speak with what they arcalling on moral clarity, norman pearlstine, evee if that means step from pure neutrality into expressing an opinion. i guess my question is, is journali changing in that regard? >> i think it's changing only in the expansion of the defition. we don't think twice about saying that anti-fascism would be part of our mandate asa journalistic institution. anti-racism cetainly should be similarly central to core.
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i think that the danger is thatt we only recognize the need to tell stories, but that we ald neeto have a moral purpose. herwise i think that the freedom thatwe get with the first amendments are not deserved. no dorothy tucker, is wha going on today calling on us to re-examine again that traditional definition of journalism as all about neutrality? >> you know, i think wht is happening today is more than ything, calling on news managers and news outlets to just really pay attention to the very voices in their newsrooms. you know, when it comes to just whether we should, you know, step over a line, i don't thiyok is asking for that. i mean, we're journalists, and we're going to be fair and we're
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same time, if the informationthe that someone is putting out there is wro, you know, i think as journalists, as you well know, it is our job to point that out. if what somebody is saying to you isen far and racist, as journalist, it is our job to point that out. and i think what you're seeing today is that journalists are more comfortable in doing that. so i think that's where the change may be. >> i think there is some parallel to during the vietnam period when journalislike david halbertsam were certainly letting their opinions into their journalism, and i think it was for the betr. >> woodruff: it's a big subject. and we so appreciate both of you talking with us today. norman pearlstine, los angeles s times," dorthy tucker, reporter in chicago and president of the
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national association of black journalists. thank you both. >> thank you. >> woodruff: today was election day in five states, includingor a, where voters faced broken voting machines and hours-long lines in 90-degree heat. georgia's secretary of state called the situation" unacceptable" and ordered an investigatn into voting problems in the atlanta area. georgia also had fewer poll worker in place due to the pandemic.on with the cirus still present in all 50 states, officials around the country are trdng to determine how to h this fall's election while keeping voters safe.he one ofey ways is voting by mail. william brangham report president trump and the republican party are casting unproven allegations the process.
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when you do all mail-in voting ballots, you are asking for fraud. >> reporter: less than six months from election day, president trump is trying to undermine a process throughic millions of americans currently cast their vote:ro h the mail. the practice allows voters to receive a ballot in the mail, fill it out at home and return it through the mail, or drop it off at a secure loca that, rather than physically casting that vote at a polling station. absentee voting is traditionally a type of mail-in voting where you need to be approved to receive a ballot. and some states have stricter requirements than others. >> people have been voting by mail since the civil war. we sent ballots to soldiers during the civil war and they returned them by mail. so, this is certainly not something that's new in american history. and in the last several years, it's gotten even more common. e reporter: but now, given the pandemic, and thrisk of crowded together, electionare
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officials in many states want to avoid a repeat of this, where some wisconsin voters crowded in long lines for hours for an election in april. with growing health concerns, more tha in that state were cast by mail. that included middleton residents brady minter and his emmy has a congeniartdaughter defect. >> anybody who's been to a voting poll knows how cramped spaces can be. and so, it was really an easy decision, given our personal corerns with our, our daugh having some heart issues. barring any sort of unexpected meevents, we would do the thing in november. >> people should not have to choose between voting and-- and preserving their good health. >> reporter: but that hasn't stopped the president from lashing out at democratic officials in congress and in key battleground states who are trying to expand vote-by-mail. this, while voter turnout falls amid the pandemic.
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>> if people mail in ballots, there's a lot of illegality. >> reporter: the president has accused them-- with evidence-- of trying to rig the at20 election. the president thed to withhold federal aid from michigan for sending out vote- by-mail applications to registered voters, and nevada because its republican secretary of state sent out mail-in ballots. both are legal in those states. >> we don't want them to do neil-in ballots. we don't want an to do mail- in ballots. >> reporter: the president himself votes with a mail-in ballot from florida, his legalat of residence. >> if you need it for some reason or if somebody is not well that's one thing, but when you send out 7.7 million mail-in ballots there's forgeries. >> reporter: the president's campaign against votby-mail comes as public support for it is rising amid the pan in a recent pbs newshour, npr, mast poll, just over half voters said they would vote-by- mail in november, if given the option.e but rtisan divide is stark.
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about 60% of democrats say they would, compared to only about 40% ofepublicans. would still vote in person. >> many people have been voting by mail for a very long time, including our military and overseas voters. >> reporter: tammy patrick is a former elections official. she's now a senior adviser at the bipartisan foundation democry fund. we've heard the president and many others make accusations that voting by mail is an invitation to widespread fraud. is there any evidence that that's true? >> no. there is no evidence that that is true. and i will say that we already have tens of millions of americans voting by mail. they have their ballot handed to them by a postal carrier, not a poll worker. in many places, you have signature verification when the application comes in, so it's compared to your voter registration form in many places. at same signature type of verification is also done on the
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ballot envelope.e there her security measures where auditing takes place that looks to see wheret are places t're getting things that are coming in late or we're seeing abnormal activity from what we've seen in e past. >> reporter: in the 2016 election, more than 33 million americs voted using mail-in ballots. experts expect that number to more than trle in 2020. five states-- colorado, hawaii, oregon, washington and utah-- already conduct their elections entirely by mail, withki california l to join them this year because of the pandemic.s while there'no evidence of widespread fraud with mail-in or absentee ballots, it does occasionally happen. one recent case happened in a 2018 north carolina congressional race, where a republican operative illegally gathered and submitted ballots. >> you kw, i don't want to discount the concerns over voter fraud, especially when it comes to vote by mail, because the
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instances of fraud that we've seen in the last couple of years have been with absentee ballots. so, these things do happen-- all kinds of voter fraud does happen-- but it's exceedingly rare. >> reporter: and while the president is attacking in red states-- like in expand mail-in voting. >> i don't think that it is a surprise or a shock that thees sthat he's denigrating are democratic-leaning and the states that he is applauding are republican-leaning. so, this is not necessary about the security of vote by mail. 's about who will vote republican and who won't. >> it is an absolute brazengr powe. >> reporter: the republican national committee-- led by chaioman ronna mcdaniel-- is now suing california to stop that blue state from mailing absentee ballots to all registered voters. the president's made false claims about who was, in facot receiving bain the golden state. >> people that aren'citizens, illegals, anybody that walks in
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california is going to get ballot. >> reporter: it is those individual states-- not the deral government-- that determine the rules for how votes will be cast in november. and in the face of the pandemic, more states-- both red and blue-- are looking to expandee absent and vote-by-mail options. and, so far, the trump campaign and state republican officials are still encouraging their voters to vote that way, if they choose. for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham. >> woodruff: as cases of eronavirus continue to sp overseas-- notably in brazil, d india-- one nation from the outset sought to beat covid-19,n has apparently succeeded: vietnam. ndthoritarian country instituted mass quarantinesocial distancing, and-- as special correspondent mike cerre
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reports-they flattened the curve. >> reporter: "when china sneezes, vietnam is the first to cah the cold," as the vietnamese like to say given their shared border. the 2003 sars virus outbreak spread from china to vtnam first. with fewer than 1,000 i.c.u. for more than 90 millio people, this time vietnam simply couldn't afford to let the coronavirus spread out of control and overrun its healthcare system. the u.s. centers for disease control's representative in hanoi is dr. matt moore. >> the public here in vietnam has really bought into this. they really feel shared ownership of the problem of covid-19. and i think, again, it's because of those early successes where the government was carrying out pretty strong measures that for us in the west, we might consider them to be sort o draconian, but they were really effective. >> reporter: vietnam and the
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u.s. had their first covid cases the same week at the end of january, but vietnam's pandemic task force was operational in a week, instead of a month for its u.s. counterpart. th countries issued air travel bans from china and abroad, but vietnam also medically screened international arrivals, requiring 14-day self quarantines. and mandatory quarantines for those traced to anyone with symptoms or testing positive. until it could ramp-up its limited testing capacity, vietnam targeted hotspots, quarantined those testing positive at medical facilities, they were quarantined usually at military sites for two weeks or until they tested negative. vietnam's shelter in pce and social distancing restrictions were also more stricy enforced. >> it takes a lot of human resources to track contacts of
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potential cases and control these clusters and they did have the human resources to do that. >> reporter: dr. todd pollack heads-uphe harvard medical school's partnership for health advancement in vietnam. he and other weste medical advisors believe vietnam's relatively low covid numbers are generally backed up by what they observed throughout the crisis. >> we can look at the number of patients admitted to the hospitals because in vietnam, they have a policy to isolate all positive cases in health facilities. if it was hit with the thousands, ten, thousands,sa hundreds of ths of cases that are being seen in other countries, it also would be overwheld like other countries. but at the current state, that's, that's not the situation here. reporter: the majority of them were treated at the national hospital for tropical diseases which had extra the crisis accordidr. thioughout hai ninh, head of internal medicine. >> vietnam is a developi country and our resources are
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limid. so, at the beginning of the pandemic, we try to restrict the number of the paents and notte >> repor vietnam literally declared war on the coronavirus. the military was mobilized for healthcare missions and their bases converted to mandatory quarantine sites. it's largest manufacturing companies converted tocing p.p.e. and test kits, which they are now exporting to the u.s. a mobile app was created f updating covid hotspot locations and their proximity. covid got the full enemy treatment on vietnam's ubiquitous propaganda billboards. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: its pop stars banded together to help communicate critical hygiene messaging and rally the country for what was considered to be a threat to their personal health and national security.
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>> there is good medical care here, is just that the, the avaibility of it, the volume of it is, is nowhere near a developed country. and, because of that, i think, you know, the country and the people here in terms of its leadership and the peoe take these situations much more serisly. vietnamese-americasinessmans a living in ho chi minh city whom we profiled previously on the newshour.he aswner of the local mcdonalds restaurants and also having a u.s. medical degree, he believes cultural differences allowed the vietnamese to be more accepting of the stricter containment measures thanic ams despite having fewer cases. >> in the larger picture. maybe there is a little bit re what i'll call a sense of, of commonality in terms of togetherness here. that people say this is the sacrifice i make for the better good of my family, my community my city,untry. >> reporter: many attribute vietnam's relative success to its more ahoritarian style of
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more aggressive and enforcedr containment measures that could be implemented without delay, public debate or the civil liberties and privacy issues americans are guaranteed. human rights critics fear the government took advantage of the crisis to further advance its public surveillance and online censorship agenda. >> we shouldn't ignore the fact that the beliefs and the support of the population are also key in this in this kind of situation. ♪ >> reporter: one of the first countries outside of china toti start sh down, vietnam was one of the first to starte re-opening at d of april. starting in areas that had gone 21 days without any new covid cases, as they continue to follow their so far successful covid- containment strategy. i'm mike cerre for the pbs newshour.
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>> woodruff: california governor gavin newsom has just announced movie theaters on friday, but g chains-- including a.m.c. theaters-- have id they fear for their very existence. the pandemic continues bringing chaos to the more than $42 billion global movie business. jeffrey brown reports, for our arts and culture series, "canvas." >> reporter: this summer blockbusters: not coming to a theater near you, as one by one: "mulan," "wonder woman 1984," and so many other films have be put on hold. kim masters is editor-at-large host of public station kcrw's" >> the movie industry and the entertainment industry moreoa y is in a state of paralysis more or less right now. and what you see is anythingig
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with aficant budget is getting pushed. masters says: "tenet," a big movie by a big-time dihector, christnolan, of "dunkirk" and "the dark kght" films." tenet," a mind-bending, time- warping thriller, was expected s to be one of the summer'xce ofits, with an opening mid-july. but will that release date hold up? >> many people in the industry think this is simply unrealistic. s i think christopher nolaea was, my movie will lead the way and people will come and the t world will stareturn to itself. but i don't think in many places there's a feeling so strongly the world is returning to itself that we're streaming into e theaters. >> reporter: where we are streaming, of course, is ieaour homes: sng video on our small screens. netflix and other services had already been chaenging and changing the hollywood economic model.he the pandemic pthat further.
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in april, universal released its animated sequel "trolls world tour" directly to streaming, charging $19.99. it took in more than $100 million in its first three a traditional thearelease.with eye-opening for sure, but not, says masters, game-changing. >> you could do that with an certpe of movie. i mean, "trolls," they had all kinds of reasons for doing it. they'd already spent, even just in this country, say, $40 million to advertise it. it was a known property. it was a kid's move at a time of pandem. it was a bit of a one off. you can't extrapolate. >> reporr: most movies, that is, still need theaters. and who's ready to return to the cal multiplex? >> we are going to have more debt at the end of this with no income and probafoy less income the remader of the to say it's scis sort of an understatement. >> reporter: bobbie bagby isre executive vicedent of "b&b
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theaters," the nation's sixth largest theatechain with more than 400 screens across seven states. it's a family-owned company that dates to 1924. >> we've gone through wars and 9/11, the great depression. i mean, you name it, we've kind of been through those times. and while th've been hard, we've been able to remain open. this is the first time in our history that every single one of our locations has been closed and with zero income coming in. >> reporter: now theater owners everywhere need to lur audiences back. it's no longer about the popcorn and the films, but about feeling safe. and that means changing the physical space. >> lots of extra cleaning procedures are taking place. we're staggering seats. it means we're losing every other third seat, depending on the auditorium layout. so, it's less people coming into the building, even if we could be at full capacity. i ink people are ready to get out. i think storytelling and escaping to the magic of the
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movies is sort of in our core as erica. and we're doing everything we can to try to protect our staff and our guests as they come back. but i n't know what the future holds. >> reporter: it may hold a theaters. there are just about 320 left, but they're having a sudden resurgence. at a salt lake city drive-in recently, cars parked two spaces apart, and hailey deets and her daughter enjoyed the horror fi"" the hunt," an escape from ouli national rea horror. >> this is probably actually my 5th time out of my house in two months. >> reporter: in fact, drive-in theaters themselves began as a response to earlier changes in american culture-- numbering more than 4,000 in their heyday in the post-war, car-loving, suburbanizing america of the 1950s. us now, says theater historian kevin corbett of central michigan university. >> in many ways, the history ofe movie th is actually a history of those theaters having
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to respond to threats. we can go back to at least as far as the 1930s and the great people were spending what moneyr they had on going to movies. >> reporter:ne way to bring them in? popcorn! the concession stand, it turns out, was a major innovation for its time. just as more recently, many d eaters have added plush, vibrating seats ncierge inrvice, making themselves entertainment deions in response to the threat from the comfort-of-home viewing offered by streaming services. that history gives kevin corbett reason for optimism. >> given theact that theaters now have survived a variety of threats for you coulliterally say 120 years now because turn of the 20th century is when appeared, i don't e thisrst pandemic, this particular threat, ending movie theaters.
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i'm convinced people have always and will always want to be out and entertaid in groups. that, alone, i think, will allow theaters to continueo exist. >> reporter: maybe so. for now, the superheroes, animated adventurers, and tom cruise's "top gun" sequel all await their return to the big screen. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour onightait. now, many in the u.s. are usthout a roadmap for how to assess coronavisks as parts of public life, like going to the movie theaterme. we asked public health experts about ways to get out of the house while limiting the chancei ection. you'll find a helpful chart on our web site, and that's the newshour for i'm judy woodruff.
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join us on-line and again here tomorrow eveng. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs h newsho been provided by: >> life isn't a straight line. sometimes you can be going in a different direction. fidelity is here the help you work through that. financial advice for today and tomorrow. >> >> consumer cellular. >> financial services firm raymond james. >> johnson and johnson >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations ined ation, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals.
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>> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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annonouncer: explore new worlds and new ideas through programs like this made available for everyone through contributions to your pbstation from viewers like you. ank yo [cheering and applause] [playing "highwayman"]