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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  October 19, 2020 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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amna: good evening. i'm amna nawaz. judy woodruff is away. onhe "newshour" tonight, the pandemic and the polls. how the presidential campaigns are apprching this final stretch to election day. then we explore what's behind this latest spike in covid cases across the country. plus, the politics of fear how . how this one emotion is overwhelming voters as they cast their ballots. lisa: what does all this use of fear do, what does it mean to voters? we asked on social media and the response was overwhelming. thousands of people answered, surprising us with the intensity of their fears related to the election. amna: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour."
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announcer: major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by -- >> when the world gets complicated, a lot goes through your mind. with fidelity wealth management, a dedicated advisor can tailor advice and recommendations to your life. that is fidelity wealth management. announcer: consumer cellular. johnson & johnson. financial services firm raymond james. bnsf railway. the william and flora hewlett foundation. for more than 50 years, advancing ids and supporting institutionso promote a better world at the chan zuckerberg initiative, working to build a more healthy,
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just, and inclusive future for everyone at and with the ongoing support of these individuals and 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. amna: the presidential race getting into crunch time tonight, and the candidates are all over the map. white house correspondent yamiche alcindor reports on how the trump and biden camps began their week. yamiche: it's 15 days until the
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election. and for both campaigns, every day le is critical. >> what's up, florida? yamiche: senator kamala harris, the democratic vice presidential hopeful, went to orlando and jacksonville, florida to encourage turn out as early voti began. harris just came out of quarantine after some of her campaign staffers tested positive for covid 19. >> health care justice is on the ballot in 2020. reproductive justice is on the ballot in 2020. criminal justice reform is on the ballot in 2020. climate reform is on the ballot in 2020. everything is on the ballot in 2020. joe biden is on the ballot in 2020. when we vote, we win. when we vote, we change things, we make it better, we know our power. yamiche: harris' running mate, former vice president joe biden, stayed off the campaign trail today. he's prepping for his final debate with president trump, on thursday night. today, the president went from
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rally to rally in the west. he left las vegas and traveled to arizona, appearing in prescott and tucson. at the stop in prescott, video showed long largely unmasked lines forming with supporters waiting to see president trump. cases in arizona have surpassed 233,000. the president again gave his pitch on the administration's handling of the pandemic. >> the pandemic will soon end. it's rounding the corner. we saved 2 million lives or more. 2 million lives. we did a great job. we never got credit for it. we helped all of the states and the governors. some did a great job, some did a horrible job. yamiche: but in a new ad from the biden campaign launched sunday, the former vp takes aim at president trump's handling of the virus. the ad highlights bars and nightlife struggling to stay afloat. meanwhile, president trump attacked his own infectious disease expert, dr. anthony fauci, after he said this to 60 minutes. >> were you surprised that president trump got sick?
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dr. fauci absolutely not, i was : worried that he was going to get sick when i saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded, no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask. yamiche: today in a phone call with campaign staff and some reporters listening in, the president called fauci and other health experts idiots. he said americans are ready to move on and are "tired of covid." in the meantim the biden team used the weekend f more socially distanced campaign appearances. the vice president made a masked milkshake stop at a restaurant in durham, north carolina where he also hosted a drive in rally. >> you're gonna make all the difference here in north carolina, the choice is clearer as it's ever been and the stakes have never been higher. yamiche: further signs that a pandemic demanding a national effort is dominating a polarized election. meanwhile, the president's director of national intelligence weighed in over unfounded claims about vice president biden's son, hunter.
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last week, a "new york post" article alleged that joe biden was involved in his son's foreign business dealings while he was serving as vice president. those allegations stem from emails "the post" obtained, but employees there told the new york times that the article was published despite staff reservations about its credibility. the democratic chair of the house intelligence committee , adam schiff, suggested the claims are russian dinformation. but today, director ratcliffe told fox news that is not true. >> the intelligence community doesn't believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that. and we have shared no intelligence with chairman schiff, or any member of congress, that hunter biden's laptop is part of some kind of russian disinformation campaign. it's simply not true. yamiche: more tension between campaigns, in the run up to thursday night's debate. amna: the battle over ballots also continues. a federal appeals court ruled today that texas officials may
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reject any mail-in ballot if they question the signature thout notifying the voter. but in north carolina, the opposite. the state elections board ordered local boards to contact voters on fixing some 10,000 absentee ballots with problems. meanwhile, back in washington, negotiations for coronavirus relief continue. to help make sense of the back and forth, i'm joined by our white house correspondent yamiche alcindor and congressional correspondent lisa desjardins. good to see you both. let's start with you, lisa. it has been a long time since americans have seen any kind of relief from a covid relief bill out of congress. what is the latest on the negotiations? lisa: just in the last couple hours, another glimmer of hope. secretary mnuchin and speaker of the house nancy pelosi had another phone conversation lasting just under an hour. they said they have narrowed their differences and now pelosi is doing something she hasn't done before. she's asking her committee
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chairman to speak to the republican counterparts on the senate side and for them to work out instances in different areas. it's a good sign, but pelosi has outlined, it has to come to bear and be outlined by tomorrow night to be effective. it's not clear if the differences including state and local money, childcare help, that they can get that done by tomorrow. there are a lot of dynamics for both sides that may discourage a deal. if you look at this graphic, you can see for house democrats, some of them believe they will have more leverage and power after the election. they think things in the house and senate might be moving their way. on the other hand percent of republicans, they are divided over a .
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the white house itself would like something done by november 3. amna: yamiche, what is the president thinking when it comes to a deal? yamiche: 15 days before election day, the president is really eager to get some sort of deal done. he wants to be able to point to the american people and say this is what i got done for you here, the people that are struggling, because you lost your job or you have a small biness, he wants to be able to get on the campaign trail and say your president is working for you, i got the stone pair the problem is president trump has sometimes been a wrinkle in all of this. he is been on and off again during negotiations. today he was saying he thinks nancy pelosi is the one that doesn't want this done, that she wants to play politics with the timing. another thing is that democrats and republicans are so far apart. president trump though is saying he wants more money than what the democrats want, except the
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white house hasn't made that offer to republicans or democrats. another thing to note is the president has not outlined how he will get senate republicans to work with him. he said today he would get senate republicans on board but we just don't know what the conversations are at that point. this is about the president wanting to be able to push and make promises. another thing that's key is the numbers are off on key areas. as lisa said, it is about school and state funding and whether or not the unemployment and if it's will be on the same page as republicans and democrats. the president lit -- plays a large role but it continues to change. . there's a lot of things that are not done. amna: the back-and-forth continues and a lot of americans out there desperately in need of help. yamiche alcindor and lisa desjardins, thank you.
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stephanie: i'm stephanie sy with "newshour" west. we will return to amna and the full program after this update. as long as ballots are postmarked by election day and received within three days of the election, they should be counted. republicans had hoped the high court would reverse the lower court's ruling, putting the deadline extension in place. and other political news, the commission on presidential debates has adopted a new rule for thursday night's debates between president trump and former vice president joe biden. the rule will allow microphones to be muted to allow each candidate to minutes of uninterrupted time. confirmed cases of covid-19 around the world topped 40 million. more than 8 million of those are in the united states, with more than 70,000 new infections a
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day, the most since late july. in chicago, mayor lori lightfoot made a public appeal to slow virus spread. mayor lightfoot: i understand that a lot of sacrifices have been made over these many months. i also understand the fatigue factor that people have. but folks, given what we're seeing and the incredible escalation of the rates of cases every day, this is not a time when we can indulge in covid fatigue. stephanie: also today, the nation's top military leaders were cleared to return to work. they had gone into quarantine when a senior coast guard official tested positive for the virus earlier this month. we'll take a closer look at the wave of new covid cases, after the news summary. the justice department today charge six russians with hacking , everything from the 2017 french elections to the 2018 winter olympics to u.s. hospitals. the indictment says all six were
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or still are officers in russian military intelligence known as the gr you the gru. -- the gru. the gru. that same agency targeted democratic party emails in the 2016 u.s. election, but the men accused today are not imicated in that hacking. the u.s. supreme court will hear challenges to two of president trump's keimmigration policies. today, the justices agreed to consider the so-called remain in mexico rule that's forced thousands to way there while the u.s. considers their asylum claims. the court will also review the diversion of pentagon money for border wall construction. lower courts ruled against both policies. and thailand protesters against , the monarchy and the government filled streets in bangkok tonight. thousands held up cell phones in defying a ban on gatherings of -- in a massive light show, defying a ban on gatherings of more than four people. officials tried to censor news of the protests, and the embattled prime minister made a public appeal. >> there is no plan to expand the state of emergency.
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the government is trying to compromise as much as possible. i ask this -- don't destroy government and private property, don't do anything wrong and most importantly, don't let there be fighting. stephanie: the thai government also threatened legal action against anyone who promotes the protests on social media. the u.s. special envoy to afghanistan is warning about a new spate of violence. zalmay khalilzad says peace talks between the afghan government and the taliban could be derailed. last week taliban offensive hit , a helmand province, and triggered u.s. air strikes. and on sunday, a suicide car bombing in ghor province killed 13 people and wounded 120. back in th country, firefighters in colorado are battling a fast moving blaze that has burned more than two dozen homes near boulder. the blaze ignited and was fanned saturday by strong winds. about 3,000 people are under evacuation orders, including an entire small town. the largest fire in the state's history is also still burning
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west of fort collins, but it is 62% contained. still to come on "newshour", another spike in covid cases and its impact. how caregivers are strgling across the country. why fear is a motivating factor in the final weeks of the election, and much more. announcer: this is the pbs "newshour" from weta studios in washington and in the west from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. amna: the current surge in u.s. covid cases means both infections and hospitalizations are now soaring in places that were previously less affected by the pandemic. many of them are rural, less populated areas in the midwest, plains states,nd out west. we start with voices from a pair of states that are now on the front lines of battling the virus. one is the chief medical officer and an emergency room physician of a health care system in great
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fall montana. the other, a nurse practitioner in bismarck, north dakota. both states right now have some of the highest infection rates per capita in the country. >> i am dr. bridget brennan, the chief medical officer of the benefits medical group here in great falls, montana. i am an emergency physician as well as chief medical officer. the things that make things different a little here in montana is the distance. it is such a huge state that most residents live in very rural areas. there are several large hospitals throughout the state, but we don't have the luxury of having multiple large hospitals in every city. the limiting capacity throughout states will be icu beds. once somebody becomes ill enough with covid to require i see you level care,, tha -- i seecu
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level care, it is not a short stay in the icu. the volume gradually increases to the point where it becomes an issue. it is certainly concerning to see numbers of 5, 600, 700 new cases a day in the state. i know it doesn't sound like a lot to many parts of the country, but when your resources are limited like they are, it doesn't take more than just a few hundred patients a day to have a number of really, really ill people all at once. so i'm hoping people will come around to believe that this is real, because it certainly is. i have staff working just endlessly trying to take care of patients. when we hear people not taking it seriously, it is a little disheartening. we don't see the numbers slowing down, at least not yet.
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i'm hoping it will start to taper off here. . my concern is going forward, into respiratory season. flu, colds, rsv. it is that time of year. when we combine it with something like this, it makes me a little nervous about going through the next three or four months. >> my name is renee well house. i'm a nurse part picture in her -- nurse practitioner here in bismarck, north dakota. currently we are seeing a surge in covid patients, which is impactg the health system. i am from here. i am born and raised in north dakota. usually we are able to escape under the radar. seeing this is definitely new. it is surprising, but we wake up every day and face the new challenges, and somehow overcome it to face another day.when we have a patient on the covid unit, we require isolation. they are isolated from their family at their greatest time of need.
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that becomes very difficult. as health care providers, we provide and try to bridge that communication and provide that emotional support not only for the patients, but also for the patient's' family members because th are not able to come and sit at the side of their bed and hold her hand. the biggest thing is the unpredictability of covid. we don't know a lot about it. we learn something every single day. we don't know how the patient will present. the unpredictability of symptoms, who will present with fever and chills, who will have loss of taste, who will have decreased respiratory status. then learning how to manage those symptoms, and then how are the symptoms going to progress? how fast are they going to if they do progress, to needing the ventilator? we opened up another unit to try to accommodate. we are taking those steps not only from what we are dealing
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with right now, but for what we think the future will bring us. amna: let's talk more about that surge we just heard about in north dakota, montana, and many other states, and what can we done -- be done as the country is back to coping with 70,000 cases a day. dr. michael osterholm is the director of the center for infectious disease research and policy at the university of minnesota. and he joins me now. dr. auster home, welcome back to the "newshour." help us understand. the majority of states are seeing record cases, new daily highs. why is this happening rightow? dr. osterholm: we actually have a convergence of factors that e making for what is i think going to be the darkest part of the pandemic over the next 12 weeks. first of all, pandemic fatigue, as described in thiseport, is happening. many people believed that in april and may, they had to take steps to keep from getting infect, and they did avoid it, and they felt that the dodged a
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bullet, and by labor day it is to the point where, "i'm done with the virus," even though the virus is not done with them. then we have a growing segment of the population that i characterize as having pandemic anger. they don't think it's real, they think it's a hoax, they think it is politically motivated. when you put that together with indoor air, more people spending time inside, the transmission is is a perfect storm. people don't understand weddings, funerals, family reunions, class reunions, sitting in meetings, these things are playing into the transmission of the virus. last but not least is bars and restaurants, which we are opening more of and not closing down. when you add this together, i don't see anything, unless the u.s. population cides to reconsider how to approach the
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virus, i think between now and the holidays, we will have by far the largest number of cases we have seen to date. amna: when you say the darkest days are ahead, that phrase sticks out to me. what does that mean? what does it look like? especially since holidays are coming up. people might be traveling in larger numbers. dr. osterholm: we are going to see these large numbers. we already saw this past summer what it looks like to have 70,000 cases a day, and it's horrible, even when it was only in a few states when it was trouble. now we will see many more states that will be in trouble and the numbers will be much higher. on top of that, when you listen to the excellent reports you just had, they talk about opening up new beds. the big problem, we are running out of people who have expertise in intensive care medicine. doctors, nurses, support teams. when you don't have that expertise at hand, even though you might have a bed, you are not getting the care that might save your life. expect to see not only severe
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illnesses increasing and the number of people in the icu, but we expect to see deaths increased. that will be a challenge for us. as you said, we are gettin closer to the holidays. i have said foronths, this is the covid year. expect it to be different. don't try to make it like last year. based on the number of expenses i have personally been involved with, where young adults take home the virus to mom and dad, grandpa and grandma, uncle bill and aunt jane, for some kind of celebration, only to have them become infected and be dead three weeks later. we don't want that to happen at the holidays. that means we have to reconsider, how do we do the holidays? is it time to go home? we all want to see our loved ones, but if we really love them, what are we going to do to protect those who are older and have underlying health problems? it will be a huge problem. amna: let me ask about the meage from the administration.
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. we hear them saying again and again help is around the corner, hang on, the vaccine is coming. the secretary of hhs says hang in there, we are so close. when it comes to the vaccine or the end of the pandemic, are we that close? dr. osterholm: i kind of liken it to be sitting on one side of the grand canyon and sitting across. if you will consider flying an airplane, that's close. but that is a big ditch to get across. right now, we will not see any meaningful impact with a vaccine for months. before a vaccine can be approved in the first doses roll out to those at highest risk, notably health care workers, and then for the rest of the general public, we are talking into the second and third quarter of next year. we don't have any new magic drugs coming. in contrast to what has been said, even if we find monoclonal antibodies to be helpful, we can only treat a small percentage of people who might be infected. if you add this up, we are still
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in it for the long haul. somehow we have to have the general public understand that. right now, one of the most important medicines we could buy for this country is in fdr ment. we need leadership that will sit down and tell us what is happening, where are we going? what is our plan to get there? not sugarcoat it, not scare people. tell them the truth. right now, we don't have it happening. amna: dr. osterholm, very quickly, you heard the latest criticism from president trump of dr. fauci, saying he and other experts are idiots, that he's a disaster. what is the impact of that language? dr. osterholm: i'm not sure it has much impact, actually. i think it is baked into the system already. those who know the incredible leadership tony fauci has provided the country understand, what does that comment mean? to those that don't agree with him, it only reinforces something that is not true. we in public health will just keep doing our job. i don't care how many threats we get. i don't how -- care how many
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people say negative things. our job is to save lives andthat's what we are trying to do . and it might be very well your life that we will save one day. amna: that is dr. michael osterholm joining us tonight. thank you for being with us. dr. osterholm: thank you. amna: we heard earlier from some frontline health care workers, but let's turn now to a different kind of essential worker. a few of the more than 50 million caregivers in this country who provide help to loved ones or clients. we spoke with some volunteer, in home, and family caregivers to hear what their past few months have been like. >> my name is matt. my son ben is a 16-year-old with autism. when the pandemic started, he went from being fairly structured and programmed, to all of a sudden having no structure.
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it was pretty anxiety provoking, especially for ben, who over time, got more and more anxious. >> my name is cecily baker. i'm the owner of a business called be patient careving. caregiving during the pandemic is all about trusting your family's word. we listen to the media, people dying left and right in nursing assistants facilities and mental homes, that can affect mental health. > my name is maria ortiz and i'm a volunteer member for the greater cincinnati chapter for the alzheimer's association. my father passed away from alzheimer's in 2014. it is a way not only to honor his memory but also to be a voice out there, to say to others, you are not alone, there's help. >> my name is emily. my son james was diagnosed with a terminal genetic condition six years ago. we do get 24 hour skilled nursing care. however with the pandemic, we have not a ways had skilled
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nurses that are cleared to come into the home. you don't have any escape. you e constantly in the caregiver role. there's no break. there's no rest. >> my name is anne atkinson. i live in oregon. i'm the caregiver for my husband, who is a disabled veteran. he served in iraq in 2003. i feel like we got into our group with the caregiving routine over the last couple years, but the pandemic has definitely put a wrencin all of that with having the kids home. >> at one point, he was so angry that he ended up biting me and i walked around with a bruise on my shoulder for the better part of the month. even though i might not have chosen this, he has made me a better person, brought me joy as i never thought i could have. an sadness that i didn't expect, either. but he has also taught me a lot about life. >> they want to know, what are we putting in place to make sure their loved one is safe? we are getting caregivers
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tested. we have asked families if they would like to join. >> caretakers feel they are not doing the proper care sometimes or not going beyond what they should be doing. that burden is very heavy. now with the situation of covid-19, having people support the caretaker, has been more limited due the fear of contagions. >> as a family, my husband was laid off. his position was in a factory. we had that financial hit. me and my husband have been tag teaming. . i typically takeayshift and my husband takes night shift. my son does require 24 hour care. he cannot be alone because of respiratory issues. due to the fact that covid is primarily a respiratory order -- disorder, it has made our movements very restricted. >> with military and veter
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caregivers, there are 5.5 million of us and we provide $14 billion a year in free care. for veterans, little things, a note, reaching outeven just saying hello, i'm at target, can i pick someing up for you? it saves me so much time and helps me feel supported. amna: and for a deeper look at the toll theandemic has taken on our nation's caregivers, judy woodruff spoke recently with dr. jennifer olsen, executive director of the rosalynn carter institute for caregiving. judy: jennifer olsen, welcome to the "newshour." these stories, people who take care of others, it is overwhelming. it takes your breath away. normally it's the kind of story we don't hear. these have been in the privacy of families. dr. olsen: you are right. the stories we just heard are often bedroom or kitchen table conversations, despite the fact that there are over 50 million caregivers in the country. that was before covid. judy: give us a sense of the
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range of things caregivers or car -- are called on to do and what can it mean when the day does not end? dr. olsen: what we have heard is increases in stress and this time of covid with a couple of main drivers. fears about someone getting sick themselves so they would not be able to provide the care that they do for others. individuals worried about their care recipient getting sick. lack of access to services, as we just heard. people unable to come into the home or day programs not available. last week, we released a report of caregivers in crisis, which was a hard read but not surprising. over 80% of the caregivers we spoke to mentioned the increased stress as well as fears about a lack of ability to go for medical treatments or appointments that they were expecting to bring their loved one too. judy: and the work these
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caregivers do, it is not as though they can be socially distanced. they are doing some of the most personal kinds of help you can imagine. dr. olsen: that's right. i think many caregivers created structures that gave them a break. even the drive to the grocery store provided a moment of break for returning to their caregiver role. those breaks are not available. the services that people relied on for certain people who came into your home not as available. just an ongoing list of reasons things are becoming more challenging. judy: you, the rosann carter institute, have called this an emergency room moment for caregiving. what did you mean by that? dr. olsen: i'm a public health person. in public health, we constantly try to keep people out of the emergency room, whether through prevention or education and awareness campaigns or mild treatment options. unrtunately, caregivers tend to reach out for help or get support when they're at their
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stress point, when they are experiencing physical or mental health ailments themselves. i think this is the point for the country to see that caregivers, if supported, won't get to those stress points, won't show up in that emergency room with their caregiver journey. judy: what can be done about it? i mean, these are it's not as simple as the government passing one law. i mean, these are people again, it is in the family, it is children, it is the elderly. it's so many different kinds of circumstances. what are the kinds of things that would help them? dr. olsen: our work for caregivers will require an engagement on thinking at the population level about policies and programs, as well as listening to and learning from individual care givers stories. you are right. this is going to take an effort among different sectors, employers engaging directly legislators and law makers, , health departments, social service departments and
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community organizations working to see caregivers. how often are caregivers thought of? not nearly enough. we don't engage in caregiver conversations at many boardrooms and companies across this country, nor in the hallways of governments at the federal and state level. and that's the change that we're calling for. across this cntry, there have been caregivers who have immune compmised loved ones that they've figured out innovative solutions for, whether that's drive through services or drop offs. so wouldn't it be amazing if we started to look to caregivers as the problem solvers that they are and to learn from them? judy: well, there's no question they are doing extraordinary work, as you say, for millions and millions of americans. jennifer olsen with the rosalynn carter caregiving institute thank you so much for joining , us. dr. olsen: thank you, judy.
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amna: if you found that this election is increasing your anxiety, that may be more than a sign of the times. it could be the result of a conscious political strategy to scare you into a point of view. our lisa desjardins reports on the use of fear in the 2020 campaign. lisa: beneath the 2020 fight, an aggressive undercurrent. >> no one will be safe in biden's america. lisa: fear. used especially by president donald trump making alarmist, extreme claims. >> it's tremendous violence. no city, town, or suburb will be safe. if you want to save democracy from the mob then you must vote. ,lisa: but the president is not alone. >> remember seeing those neo nazis and klansmen and white supremacists coming out of the fields with lighted torches? veins bulging? lisa: there is near pervasive talk of threats to your community, your race, to you.
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what does all this use of fear do, what does it mean to voters? we asked on social media and the -- thoands of people responded. they surprised us with the intensity of their fears related to the election. >> i'm concerned that my neighborhood would be targeted or my town would be targeted. >> i'm a breast cancer survivor. so preexisting condition coverage is a huge deal for me. >> no matter who wins between, whoever gets the nomination, the other side is going to be mad. and, you know, it's expressed that anger in very violent ways, no matter who wins. >> we might get to a point where they just can't function at all. and the whole system comes crashing down. >> i fear a lot. i fear for the future of my cures. -- kids. lisa: these are not in a vacuum. it is happening amid fear-based campaigning including ads like this one supporting president that tells voters they will not
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safe. >> i think it is fair to say that this election, it's truly spectacular, the extent to which politicians are making fear -based messages. when i say politicians, i, of course, mean donald trump. lisa: dan gardner is e author of "risk: the science and politics of fear." he ss both presidential campaigns are using fear. former vice president joe biden focusing on fear of mr. trump. but gardner says it is the president who is using the tactic the most including implied fears of other races and people not like you, like in july when he spoke of low income housing. >> your home will go down in value and crime rates will rapidly rise. suburbia will be no longer as we know it. lisa: in truth, times are good in most u.s. suburbs with years of income growth and safety. but gardner says fear can override the reality because it works on a primal level. >> we are hardwired to give priority to information about threats.
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we will always priitize negative information. so we'll notice at first. we'll remember it longer and it will be more influential in our subsequent decision making, then will other information. lisa: gardner says scary ads or speeches are affecting you, even if you think they aren't. >> when you see a political ad and they show you images of a stranger at the door going to knock at it and do god knows what to the innocent person inside, it's going to convince a part of your brain that there is a real threat. they tend to think that they're thinking uniquely among all human beings, isn't influenced by those biases that sometimes called bias bias, ironically. lisa: so in other words, people believe that everyone else is at risk for being manipulated by fear, but they don't believe that they are. >> exactly. lisa: the fear based ads are many. like this one from biden's campaign. >> if donald trump gets rid of our healthcare law, my son won't be protected.
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lisa: and this from president trump's campaign. >> you have reached the 911 poli emergency line. due to defunding of the police department, we are sorry but no one is here to take your call. lisa: to some, ads like that, about a world where police have no funding are manipulative and false but to others, they are important and effective. >> it was just on target and one of the best ads i've seen in a long time. lisa: kim alfano is a republican strategist and ad maker. she says that trump campaign ad really resonated with her. that, of course campaigns use fear. for them, it's a powerful tool to point out what what could be ahead. >> the fear is bound to happen because that's the way we talk these days. and it's ugly and it's awful. and i wish we didn't. but we do. you know, my job and anybody in politics' job is we believe that we need to win the race because it's what's good for the country, or else we wouldn't do
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it. i think it's our job to expose the stakes. and if that means exposing the fears, tn, yes, we absolutely have to do that. lisa: but what does fear do to voters? it can enflame passions but it also can numb people, and overload them,nd depress emotions and turnout. the scale and intensity may be new -- >> biden will turn minnesota into a refugee camp. lisa: but this use of fear is not. but during the great depression , president franklin delano roosevelt famously rallied the country not by using fear but by naming it as the enemy. >> the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. lisa: this brings us back to 2020. what do voters do with all this fear? those we talked with called it out. they say they know campaigns are trying to manipulate them, but that is stoking other emotions. >> it makes me angry, because it
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makes me feel like they think we are stupid. we know that's not what it's going to be like if joe biden becomes president or, you know, the streets are going to be on fire. >> it makes me distrust them even more. >> it's a big turnoff for me. huge turnoff. instead of focusing on solutions, they focus on the problem. lisa: the 2020 race for the white house is about america's problems, but also the politics of fear. for the "pbs newshour," i'm lisa desjardins. amna: early voting, either in person or by mail, is underway in all 50 states as both presidential campaigns make their final case to voters. here to analyze each campaigns closing message it is our
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politics monday team. amy walter of the cook political reportnd host of public radio's politics with amy walter and tamara keith of npr. she also co-hosts the npr politics podcast. welcome to you both. good to see you. amy, can you believe it? a final stretch before election day. senator harris on the campaign trail. vice president biden prepping for thursday's debate. from the biden campaigns, perspective, what is what they should focus on? amy: the name of the game is probably status quo. this is right now a challenger candidate leading his opponent, donald trump, by close to 10 or 11 points. he's leading by seven or more points in key battleground states in the midwest. this is just let's keep doing what we are doing. the good news for biden is the
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president is actually helping him there. the focus of the president has been put on denouncing anthony fauci, questioning today on a call whether people care about covid anymo, telling states they need to open, getting into a fight with the governor of michigan, who recently was a target for kidnapping. these things are helping joe biden because they focus on all the things he has said all along. one, we need to fix the covid crisis and we will not get anywhere as a country whether it's on the -- economy or anything else until we fix it. so it is still a big dea despite what the president says. and two, the president's own rhetoric and his style and his behavior, which for many voters has become the issue. it has been for quitsome time, from really the beginning of his presidency, but now as we get
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closer and closer to election day, voters are starting to say this is someone we will have to be with for four more years. the president needs to give those voters something different, and assurance that he's going to be able to not just solve problems, but not divide the country as much as he has been doing. amna: so tam, despite everything amy just laid out, we heard from the president's campaign manager saying "we feel better about our pathway to victory then we have at any point in the campaign." what is that optimism based on? what are they doing to close the gap? tamara: well, they have also felt -- claimed to feel good about the presidents standing all along, to be clear. what they are doing is they have seen movement in voter registration in key states with more people signing up as republicans in recent months. the other thing they say is tt they have an amazing ground ge
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, at they have more than 2 million volunteers who are knocking on doors and making phone calls, and while the biden campaign basically stopped in person activities, the trump campaign did not stop in person activities for very long and has been very actively involved in that ground game. that's what they are claiming. they are claiming that they do have multiple paths to victory. certainly they don't have as many paths as the biden campaign and former vice president joe biden have. so they are out there. the president is claiming joyfully, campaigning joyfully, but it is not clear whether that is a facade. actually, it seems kind of likely it could be a facade. amna: let me ask you about them being out there. you were with the president out their most recently to a couple of big rallies he had.
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there is the one in macon, georgia that got attention. . i was looking at the pictures. big crowds, not a lot of social distancing, even some crowd surfing from georgia state reesentative vernon jones. what is the message that they are hearing from the president and how is it landing? tamara: the thing with president trump is his campaign speeches at this point where he's making one or two stops today, these speeches are 90 minutes long. he has a message. it is not 90 minutes, though. it's a few key catchphrases, like joe biden -- donald trump has done more in 47 months than. joe biden and 47 years there's another catchphrase, this is a choice between a trump recovery and a biden depression. these are the president's main points, but they get completely and totally lost in the other hour of sidetracks and just
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random greatest hits, talking about low flow toilets, or any number of other things president trump does that his base eats up. and the rallies, they are about the base. it's all about the base, which ties back to the ground game. this isn't about persuasion. this is about getting people to show up and vote for the president who they know like the president. amna: amy, even with both campaigns actively messaging in this way, in the final days before election day, we should point out that early voting is underway and some form in every single state. the latest numbers show over 29 million people have already voted. these are already folks who have made up their mind, they are done listening to the messages. when you look at those numbers, what does it stay to you about the state of the race westmark amy: it says, we have never voted in a pandemic before.
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i think a lot of people are banking on getting their votes and because they don't know what it will look like on november 3 in their own community and messages from party leaders.and democrats saying get out there and vote early, the president saying i don't trust early voting, it is rigged. i think what we will see most likely are more democrats voting early and republicans voting on election day. we know for many states, this is the first time that many of them, especially in the midwest, have had no excuse absentee voting, and where many states sent out applications. there's a lot going on here and i think the challenge is trying to decipher too much from the early votes. a lot of folks want to say if there are a lot of people voting this early, what does that tell us about who has an advantage going into election day? all i will say is that both
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campaigns know exactly who the universe of voters are and how they want to get them to turn out. we saw in 2016 for example, democrats were feeling great about florida and north carolina and the early vote programs. what they found on election day was that the donald trump campaign, their voters came out on election day in huge numbers and overcame the big advantage democrats had on early vote. it tells us one practical thing, especially midwestern states, if the race is really close, because of the rules about when the ballots can be counted, it might mean we don't know who won in the key battleground states on election night or even a couple days later. amna: some big numbers as you say, but also we don't y know what they mean. amy walter and tamra keith for politics monday today.
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good to see you both. almost two thirds of americans say that social media has a mostly negative impact on the country, according to a recent pew research center study. they report concerns like the spread of misinformation, hate speech, and only listening to people you agree with. so how can you really break apart those echo chambers? one way make a new friend. , tonight, author and journalist christine pride shares her humble opinion on the importance of interracial friendships. >> i wonder if you have ever had a black person to your home for a social visit. i know the answer is probably no, because most people can count their black friends not just on one hand, but with one finger. and i know this to be true because i am often that person,
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the one black friend. and as much as i love and adore all my white friends, that role can get a little old. the fact that most people don't have a friend of another race speaks to our segregated society, but also our complacency. many people, many white people, could easily go their whole lives without ever getting to know someone of another race. which requires effort. making a new friend is hard, period, making a friend of another race is harder yet. you don't have the ease of common experience and instant camaraderie. for black people going out of our way to make a white friend quires enormous trust. it could, after all, be only a matter of time before said friend reveals their true colors. it's much easier to conclude, why bother? well, we all have to bother. these relationships are important. even the most well-intentioned, well-meaning white person isn't going to get the same benefits researching and reading about race, though you should still do that as hearing about the , personal experiences of someone you respect, admire and trust. and this is not to say that
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white people should go seek out strangers or acquaintances and say, tell me about your black experience -- do not do that. that's not friendship, that's a transaction. real friendship means a willingness to listen carefully, and have your views challenged because your black friend doesn't see the world the same way you do. it's going to require you to do the important work of earning and offering trust so that if you make a mistake or misstep -- you will have some good will to fall back on. but before even that, it starts with stepping outside your comfort zone. a diverse social circle isn't going to fall in your lap. you're going to have to think carefully about where you live, and where your children go to school, the activities you participate in, because if you are only ever around people who look like you, it's going to be all but impossible to create a meaningful connection with someone of another race. ultimately, these friendships are going to require putting actions behind intentions.
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amna: and airing tonight on pbs, "tell me more with kelly corrigan" -- co-produced by newshour productions. this week kelly talks to actress , and entrepreneur jennifer garner, who opened up about her mother, and her pride in where she came from. >> tell me about your parents. my parents are just salt of the earth. my mom grew up really poor in west virginia on a farm. i said, does it bother you when i talk about your poverty as a child? and she said, i'm never ashamed of growing up poor. rather, i am amazed by the grace and dignity that my parents had throughout my childhood. and i just thought, "oh, well, ok." she was a mom and a mom who went back to school and got her graduate degree when i was little.
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then she taught at west virginia state. for a long time, she taught kind of remedial reading where she had a lot of kids who had traveled through the public-school system in west virginia and were in college, but were also illiterate. amna: that is a clip from "tell me more with kelly corrigan, airing tonight on pbs. as we close, it congratulations to our special correspondent jane ferguson. along with new york times journalists nicholas kristof, jane is receiving the aurora humanitarian journalism award for her reporting. jane haseported on humanitarian issues from yemen, afghanistan, and other places. congratulations to jane. and that is the "newshour" for tonight. join u online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the "pbs
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newshour," stay safe and we will see you soon. announcer: major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by -- >> cfo, caregiver, eclipse chaser. a raymondjames financial advisor taylor's advice to help you live your life. life well planned. announcer: johnson & johnson. consumer cellular. bnsf railway. the kendeda fund, transformative work through investments and leadership. ♪ >> thelfred p sloan foundation, driven by the promise of great ideas. >> supported by the john d and
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catherine t macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. more information at -- 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. ♪ announcer: this is "pbs newour west." from weta studios in washington and our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism matter so an estate university -- at arizona state university. >>
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ -today on "cook's country," christie makes bridget a classic version of sliders, jack challenges julia to a tasting of ketchup, and bryan makes julia the ultimate croque monsieur.