Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 22, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

6:00 pm
judy:good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the border, thousands of unaccompanied minors overwhelm migrant holding facilities. our team is on the ground speaking to families who have been denied entry, and sent back to mexico. then, getting the vaccine. another inoculation proves effective. but questions remain about distribution in the united states amid a rise of new covid cases. and, crackdown, feign journalists face threats and intimidation from the chinese government for doing their job. >> they seem to think that if we're not toeing the government line 100%, therefore we are the
6:01 pm
enemy. judy: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ announcer: majorunding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by -- >> before we talk about your investments, what's new? >> well, audrey's expecting. >> twins. >> grandparents. >> we want to put money aside for them so change in plans. >> let's see what we can adjust. >> change in plans. >> mom, are you painting again? you could sell these. >> let me guess, change in plans >> at fidelity, a change in plan is always part of the plan. >> consumer cellular. johnson and johnson. bnsf railway.
6:02 pm
the william and flora hewlett foundation, more than 50 years advancing ideas and supporting institutions to promote a better world at the chan zuckerberg initiative, working to build a more healthy, 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
6:03 pm
station from viewers like you. thank you. judy: dramatic new images from migrant facilities on the u.s.-mexico border have emerged today as the biden administration dispatches top officials to address the sharp increase in migrants seeking asylum. amna nawaz has been on both sides of the border today and she reports from mcallen, texas. amna: amid an influx of immigrant children coming to the southern border, new images have surfaced from inside the overcrowded border facilities on the u.s. side. these photos provided to "pbs newshour" by congressman henry cueller of texas show adults and children bunched together on sleeping mats at a makeshift tent facility in donna, texas, operated by u.s. customs and border protection. it comes amid an outcry by u.s. senators after they toured a border facility last friday with
6:04 pm
homeland security secretary alejandro mayorkas. press were barred from the trip. democratic senator chris murphy said he fought back tears while touring the facility and republican senator shelley moore capito of west virginia said the facilities were overrun. >> the numbers are continuing to grow and there's no impedance for these children to be coming in. amna: mayorkas told abc news yesterday the biden administration is working to move children out of temporary border facilities as quickly as possible and added a message for migrants. >> now is not the time to come. do not come. the journey is dangerous. we are building safe ways to address the needs of vulnerable children. amna: the biden administration today sent officials to mexico to meet with officials about efforts to stem migration north. judy: amna joins me now from mcallen, texas, on the u.s.
6:05 pm
southern border, where it is very windy this afternoon. hello, amna. tell us, how much difference can those meetings with mexican officials make? amna: certainly i think they're hoping those meetings can help to stem some of the flow making its way up to the u.s. southern border but the problem starts much further south. the vast majority o people we met with today are coming from those three central american countries of guatemala, honduras, el salvador. we should also mention the numbers of people crossing the u.s. southern border has been increasing since may of last year. it did increase dramatically in the fall and here we are hitting the 20-year highs with over 100,000 people crossing in february. but it's important to note that the vast majority of people crossing the border, over 80% are single adults and the vast majority of still being almost immediately expelled. that includes families. we, in fact, crossed over into
6:06 pm
mexico today to a town called reynosa where many of the migrant families are sheltering after being expelled by the biden administration. they said they crossed, within a matter of hours they were fingerprinted, photographed and walked right back across the bridge, the border crossing into mexico and in some cases they didn't know they were being sent back until they were dropped off. we met with a lawyer who works with these families, jennifer harbury works with a group called lawyers for good government. here's what she told uses about some of the migrant families we met sheltering in one park. >> almost all of these people are central american families with children including small children who tried to cross and were sent back under the covid rules. they were just dumped at the foot of the bridge and now they've been forced to stay over here close to the foot of the bridge. judy: as you say, the vast majority of people are sent back but unaccompanied children are allowed to stay. how much is that taxing the
6:07 pm
system? amna: incredibly. we have been seeing this and reporting this on ourselves. our system is not meant to handle this many unaccompanied children and those numbers have been increasing. we know, according to a source familiar with the information, that backup, the fact that the shelters that house these children they're supposed to be transferred to, working under reduced capacity in the pandemic, there's a backup in the border patrol facilities where children are not meant to be staying. we know over 3,000 of the children have been held there longer than 72 hours and 72 hours is the legal limit they're supposed to be there. we know over 800 have been held in those facilities more than 10 days. one of the things i should point out, with some of these migrant families we spoke to who have been expelled, they feel they have to make a tough choice. many are asking should i send my child alone? would he or she have a better
6:08 pm
chance making their way into the united states? some as young as 8 or 9 or 10 years old, if i allowed them to be alone? we met one mother who left honduras, fleeing unspeakable violence. her son had been murdered in front of her but they don't trust the authorities to report. they spent their life savings making it to the border and were immediately expelled back into mexico. here's what she told us about how she perceived she was treated by u.s. officials. translator: i was looking for protection but they didn't help me. it didn't matter to them that my son was killed. they didn't care that he was killed. they turned me back. i don't have any money and i haven't eaten. judy: so hard to hear that, amna. we know the biden administration has said over and over again, don't come, now is not the time to come. is that message getting across at all? amna: from the families we spoke
6:09 pm
to, it is not. i asked a group of migrant families we spoke to, have any of you heard president biden say the border is closed? not a single person raised their hand. i asked them what have you heard? many of them began their journey three, four, months ago. and they said they heard when president biden is in office, there will be no deportations and it will be easier for young children to enter and frankly, the smugglers and traffickers who are incentivized to move as many as they, can have been amplifying this message that now is the time to come so families are spending thousands of dollars, risking their lives to make their journey and the message the biden administration wants to deliver is not landing in these communities. judy: such a tough situation. amna nawaz at the u.s. southern border in texas and amna will be reporting there from tomorrow. thank you.
6:10 pm
vanessa: i'm vanessa ruiz in for stephanie sy. we'll return to judy woodruff after the latest headlines. in boulderer, colorado, this evening, there has been a shooting at a supermarket that has left multiple people dead. law enforcement responded bringing in s.w.a.t. teams surrounding the building. multiple people were killed including one police officer. police have taken one person, the only person with injuries, into custody. astrazeneca announced a u.s. study shows its covid vaccine is 79% effective overall. the company said it will soon seek federal approval for the vaccine. that news came as infections are accelerating again in several states. the head of the c.d.c., dr. walensky, urged americans to
6:11 pm
take heed. >> i am worried if we don't take the right actions now, we will have another avoidable surge just as we are seeing in europe right now and just as we are so aggressively scaling up vaccinations. vanessa: walensky urged caution before traveling. more than 1.5 million people pass through u.s. airport checkpoints on sunday, the most in a year. in miami beach, florida, this was the scene. thousands of spring break revelers divide mask wearing and social distancing over the weekend. officials have authorized an overnight curfew through april 12. representative brooks, staunch supporter of president trump, announced his entry into the alabama race in 2022. richard shelby announced he would not seek re-election. at an event this evening, brooks appeared with former trump adviser, steven merrill.
6:12 pm
stephen miller. brooks has been criticized for using heated language at the rally proceeding the riot at the capitol. and the u.s. supreme court will consider rein-stating little death sentence for dzhokhar tsarnaev, the convicted boston marathon bomber. president biden has pledged to end the federal death penalty but has not asked the justice department to intervene in this case. and in australia, the worst flooding in 60 years left thousands more people facing possible evacuations around sydney. three days of rain have sent rivers pouring over large swaths of land and forced some 18,000 people to fleempt -- flee. others are scrambling to save their livestock. the same region suffered catastrophic wildfires a year ago. saudi arabia today proposed a ceasefire in yemen between a sunni coalition and shiite
6:13 pm
rebels aligned with iran. the plan calls for reopening a major airport in sanaa. the saudis are under u.s. pressure to end six years of conflict in yemen. in this country, the u.s. senate easily confirmed boston mayor marty walsh as secretary of labor. he will be the first head of the labor department in nearly 50 years to have been a union member. and pro basketball hall-of-famer elgin baylor died today in las vegas, -- los angeles, of natural causes. he played 14 seasons with the lakers, in minneapolis and then los angeles. his high scoring, acrobatic game, made him an all-star 11 times. elgin baylor was 86 years old. still to come on the "newshour," another vaccine proves effective but questions remain about distribution in the u.s. journalists face intimidation as the chinese government moves to
6:14 pm
stifle reporting. the ncaa's unequal treatment of basketball players sparks outrage. plus, much more. >> this is the "pbs newshour," from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: astrazeneca announced today their vaccine is not only safe but extremely effective at preventing the most serious outcomes from covid-19. in the largest covid vaccine trial yet, astrazeneca's was 79% effective in preventing symptomatic infections. the company will soon seek approval in the u.s. and the question now is where it fits into the overall distribution plan in the u.s. and internationally.
6:15 pm
>> we haven't seen the raw data yet, just what the company has put out but astrazeneca's latest trial included 32,000 people and it prevented both hospitalizations and deaths. this is important because this vaccine is a crucial part of the international effort to distribute shots to less wealthy countries. dr. nahid bhadelia bhadelia is the medical director of the special pathogens unit at boston medical center and an associate professor of infectious diseases at boston university school of medicine. dr. bhadelia, great to have you back on the "newshour." do you share the judgment that this is another piece of very good news, that we have a fourth vaccine that's proven effective against covid-19? >> i do, william. if the f.d.a.'s evaluation holds up the data we're seeing today, it's good news because it adds a fourth candidate to the u.s. site at a time we're rushing to
6:16 pm
increase immunity but it's called the vaccination for the world because it's making up the lion's share of the vaccines distributed by covax to get vaccines to the rest of the world. it costs about $2 a dose and can be refrigerated for six months. for all those reasons and the in fact it serves as anotheridate at point -- data point showing efficacy and safety, it's a big plus for the world's health. >> i know there have been concern over some blood clot side effects that caused several european nations to stop using this vaccine. european regulators didn't think there was a real concern about side effects. did this current trial from astrazeneca show any additional side effects for this vaccine?
6:17 pm
>> i think it's good to cover why there was this concern. i think what we saw from astrazeneca in the u.k., authorities last sunday, about a week ago, was that the numbers of people who developed blood clots was the same among the 17 million people who have gotten this in the u.k. compared to the general population. the concern from the e.u. authorities is that they are seeing blood clots often found in younger patients that are rare diseases that occur among the general population and what the european medicine association has shown is that there does not seem to be a causal link between the two and what the trial does, in this setting, shows you it's unlikely this is a common side effect and the in fact it does not occur even in this controlled setting at higher frequency among those who receive the vaccine compared to placebo. >> we know there are so-called
6:18 pm
variants of concern from several regions around the world. what is our understanding of how this vaccine does against the those variants? >> the most common variant that we're seeing here in the u.s. is the one that was originally discovered in u.k., v117. the good news on that front is that particular variant seems to be maintained -- all the vaccines on the market, including the astrazeneca, seem to maintain good activity against that. the ones we're concerned about is the one discovered in south africa and from brazil, both of which in laboratory settings show lower efficacies for moderna, pfizer and astrazeneca as well as in latin america, showing lower efficacy. but the efficacy against disease
6:19 pm
and death seem to hold out. so i think it's important to get this version of the vaccine out because it will health protect protect -- help protect against health systems. >> in the end we want to prevent infection but stopping people from going to the hospital or dying is important. as we were saying before, the f.d.a. has not approved this shot. no one in the u.s. is currently getting the astrazeneca vaccine. they are going to apply for an emergency ruse authorization. do you think that approval will come? and do you think we will start seeing this vaccine deployed here? >> i think if the f.d.a. finds the data holds up, it is likely to get emergency use authorization. the more important question is how commonly will it be used? 30 million doses of the vaccine sit here on u.s. ground and we know the biden administration has said that by may 1 even
6:20 pm
projections based on existing approved vaccines should be enough for all americans. the white house adviser today said, because they're concerned they want to make sure the manufacturing for the existing vaccines hold up, they're not going to make decisions about whether or not astrazeneca will be needed or not. likely i think it may be deployed in those settings for manufacturing for other vaccines don't work out. one thing i do hope happens is that surplus doses sitting around, i hope we send it around to the rest of the globe because transmission anywhere will be a threat to all of us returning to normal. >> dr. nahid bhadelia of the boston university school of medicine, thank you very much. >> thank you, william. judy: an alarming new report accuses authorities in china of
6:21 pm
stepping up efforts to harass and intimidate foreign journalists. over the past year, chinese officials claiming to guard public health have singled out journalists, denied them access to carry out their work and in some cases, pressured them to leave the country. special correspondent patrick fok reports from beijing. patrick: two minutes ago i was told i wasn't allowed to stand on the pavement here but now we're ushered back. there's going to be a game of cat-and-mouse all day with the move from one spot to another because these guys really don't want us to be reporting on this story today. reporters in china getting the sort of treatment we've gotten used to. the trial hearing for the canadian charged with espionage today in beijing. security here went to great lengths to frustrate coverage of the story but according to the
6:22 pm
foreign correspondents club of china's annual v.a. -- survey of media freedoms, it's just the tip of the iceberg and restrictions have gotten much worse. >> the restriction guess journalist faces inside china is extraordinarily onerous. patrick: the "new york times" steven lee meyers is one of several correspondents clamped down in the past year. last march he was thrown out of china altogether along with the rest of the "times" staff operating in the country as tension flared it. the move came week after the trump white house hit chinese journalists working for organizations deemed as propaganda, limiting them to 1.
6:23 pm
100. around 60 were effectively expelled. american journalists working for the "new york times," "the washington post" and "wall street journal" were all told to leave. china said it was necessary response to the oppression its media organizations experienced in the u.s. >> they couched it as being recip colbut obviously it was targeted as news organizations they particularly didn't like and whether or not it was proportionate, they would argue that it is, but the number of chinese journalists allowed to operate in the united states even now is far greater than the number of americans that are allowed to operate in china. patrick: according to figures provided by the foreign correspondents club of china, there are now just 39 american journalists working in the country but the worsening conditions for reporters here go beyond the diplomatic feud between china and the u.s. and the expulsions. the foreign correspondents club of china said all arms of state power were used to harass and intimidate journalists and the
6:24 pm
new surveillance systems and strict controls of movement were implemented to limit them. we've all faced a challenging year but what's been frustrating for many journalists working in china is that many of these systems and controls imposed by authorities didn't even apply to other people living here, whether they were chinese or foreign. notably, authorities created pressure for journalists and news organizations by either refusing or delaying the process for the renewal of press cards required for them to wor here. some journalists surveyed in the report said they'd been forced to live and work in china on a series of short-term visas. >> which is difficult because for journalists they need to know they've got continuity in their job. patrick: keith richburg is the director of hong kong's journalism and media center and says there's a growing sense in beijing that china doesn't need foreign media as much as it did in the past when it wanted to
6:25 pm
highlight to the world its rapid economic delopment and he fears hong kong is a more difficult place for journalists to work since national security legislation was rolled out in the territory last year. >> they seem to be going more in that direction of the mainland where they seem to see us not as -- doing a legitimate job and questioning in a critical way but they seem to think if we're not toeing the government line 100%, we are the enemy. patrick: the cutting of press credentials and refusal to renew visas resulted in the largest expulsion of foreign journalists in china since the aftermath of the tiananmen square massacre three decades ago. many of the restrictions in the last year have been done in the name of public health and the battle with the coronavirus but several reports say beijing is retaliating against negative coverage of the outglak wuhan and other sensitive topics. >> in all the crisis china go through, they want to show they
6:26 pm
handle it pretty well. every time we or journalists try to show a different truth, they've been, like, kept from doing what they were doing. patrick: the china correspondent for the french national broadcaster says she's frequently encountered roadblocks while covering the pandemic and other stories but one of the most alarming incidents over the last year was when australian journalist bill bortles and mike smith were barred from leaving the country allegedly for national security reasons. another australian, a news anchor for state broadcaster, was arrested in september and charged with supplying state secrets overseas. >> this, of course, you feel more at risk because you always believe that it's not going to happen to you because you're not the main target or for some
6:27 pm
reasons and then you read that and you're like, ok, that can actually happen to anyone depending on the diplomatic situation. patrick: correspondents aren't the only on the firing line. chinese staff working for international media faced substantial pressure. journalist for bloomberg news was detained in september. journalists sought to interview faced threats and intimidation, too. >> we're definitely not the one taking the bigger risk. the chinese people are the one who talk to us. patrick: the correspondents club noted the rapid decline in media freedom in china comes as it gears up to host the beijing olympics in 2022. there have been called for a boycott of the games over human rights concern including the mass detention of muslims.
6:28 pm
hong>> beijing authorities wanta reset in relations with the united states. one good place for the biden administration to start would be to call off this war that has seen journalists and reporters caught in the crossfire. patrick: it's hard to say if or when cditions will improve but many agree that relations between china and the rest of the world won't get better without journalists building a better understanding of this complex and calculating global power. for the "pbs newshour," patrick fok, in beijing. judy: here's a look at how some people plan to spend relief money and what they say about
6:29 pm
the president's legislation. >> my name is leandrew bell, i am a 59-year-old upemployed black male. i live in baton rouge, louisiana. >> i'm out of denver, pennsylvania. a small business for restaurants, we do fire prevention services. >> i'm from georgia and live in kingsland near the florida line. i'm a custodian in an elementary school. i had to move once the pandemic hit. the quarantine started and i had a nervous breakdown. i was running out of money and am currently living with family, sleeping on a couch and working at an elementary school making $900 and some change a month trying to save up enough to get my own apartment. i have not received my stimulus check. i will be receiving one. i'm going to put it in savings until i have more from my tax
6:30 pm
returns and other money that i put away from my paycheck until i can afford to move. >> my name is nialla hendrickson. i live in arizona and i'm a project specialist. i was able to pay down a lot of my son's hospital bill from his self harm and attempted suicide during covid. he is 16 and was out of school due to covid and he had actually three attempts at committing suicide and had to be hospitalized and put into a mental hospital. in those three attempts. we have over $10,000 worth of bills and that's with insurance. >> my name is dr. perreault and i'm a journalism professor in tennessee at east tennessee state university. i have four children. the oldest is 9 and the youngest is 2.
6:31 pm
that made doing my job very challenging. i think financially what's really helped me with the pandem actuall is the student loan payments being deferred because we were having to make decisions about how much childcare we were able to use and pay on our student loans from graduate school. >> my personal thing in this relief bill is wasted money. our biggest struggle is employees, hiring new employees. our labor force is very slim right now. they're now incentivized not to look for employment, to stay at home on top of normal unemployment, they're getting federal unemployment of $300 a week. it's time to incentivize workers to return to work. only way to recover is to get employees back out there doing work and earning money the right way. we can't incentivize them
6:32 pm
staying home. >> wasn't free to get out and look for employment because of covid, not knowing -- because i have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, i didn't want to risk my health to get a job. it's goingo be a big health but it's not enough. home repairs, i'm also gonna catch my bills up and probably buy myself a pair of shoes so it could have been more but i'm grateful that it is the amount that it is. judy: no question that a number of americans are hurting right now and as you hear, reactions to president biden's covid relief bill vary from family to family and from person to person. for a look at the political implications of that relief bill, it's time for politics monday and i'm joined by amy walter of the cook political report, and aaron haines of the
6:33 pm
19th news. hello to both of you. good to see you. amy, it's tough to listen to some of these stories and we know there are different views of this covid relief plan and what it's going to mean for american families and for individuals. but the question i have right now is in terms of president biden and what he's able to do going forward, how much can he translate any support he's getting for this into where he goes from here? >> it's a really important question because right now things are looking pretty good for president biden. he's only been in the job six, seven weeks. his approval rating is in the mid 50's, certainly better than where president trump was at this point in his first term. approval of the stimulus package, the american rescue plan, is somewhere in the 60's. president biden's approval rating on handling the pandemic
6:34 pm
also in the 60's. but we're in the first inning and we've got a long way to go both in terms of the economy, the pandemic, and also the political realities for the president and for his party. sometimes, judy, the first inning tells us a lot about the how the game will go. a lot of times it tells us absolutely nothing. so i think what i was really struck by, by some of these stories, for example, the number of people who are saying they're going to put this money into savings, pay down student loans. obviously this was intended to be stimulative. this money goes right back out into the economy. there's a theory, a pent-up demand, people will start spending, the economy will come back and they'll start hiring. this administration and democrats who voted for it made a bet that putting this money into the economy was going to
6:35 pm
super charge it. it may. experts believe it will. but we're early on in the process. judy: no question, aaron. but it is something we want to understand, how is the reception to all this going to matter as the administration moves ahead with other things it's trying to do, related to the economy, related to immigration, climate, and so on? >> i think that's why you're seeing, as soon as president biden signed that legislation, he and vice president harris and frankly all hands on deck, the first lady, second gentleman, everybody hitting the road to explain to americans exactly what was in that pandemic relief package, even as those stimulus checks were hitting their accounts because i think that money was something that americans understood right away, we heard from some of them just now talking about the things they're able to do with some of
6:36 pm
that money, whether paying hospital bills or staying afloat with food or shelter here in a way they weren't able to do before they got that check but there are other things that are in that pandemic relief package that this administration is wanting to make sure that people are aware of, particularly the things that disproportionally could benefit women and marginalized community. thinking of the vaccine rollout, the president touting the shots ahead of schedule. in terms of whether or not that's happening equitably is at issue but this pandemic relief package is aimed at trying to make that more equitable but money for school reopening, money for childcare. you heard from mimi talking
6:37 pm
about how she's struggled to stay in the workforce. we know millions of women have dropped out of the workforce because childcare is an issue. looking ahead as the infrastructure plan is taking shape, thinking of how that will help americans on a more permanent basis get to a new normal on the other side of this pandemic, this pandemic relief package is maybe an early indication of the direction the administration plans to in and what they're trying to show they can deliver for voters frankly whether they voted for this administration or not. judy: and amy, of course, one of the other big headaches right now for the administration as they try to talk up what they've just done with covid relief is what's happening at the southern border, as we saw with amna's reporting earlier in the program. there is a real problem the administration is dealing with there, a large number of unaccompanied children, trying to figure out what to do with
6:38 pm
them. republicans are blaming this administration saying this is the biden border crisis. the administration is saying, wait a minute, this all started under president trump. how much does it matter who's tagged with being responsible for this, amy? >> unfortunately we know the issue of immigration has been used as a cudgel, as a wedge, for years in political fights and it's part of the reason i would argue that there hasn't been a push to solve it because it's a really easy, quick tool to use in a political fight. at the same time, we also know that the biden administration, they campaigned on reversing so much of what donald trump did on inflation and -- immigration -- but also sent mixed signals on what they were telling the rest of the world and potential
6:39 pm
migrants which is we don't want you to come but if you do, if you're a minor, especially, you can stay. that mixed message is making it really challenging and we know the democratic party itself, we saw this during the democratic primary, is divided about the issue of immigration. joe biden spent a lot of time during the primaries being attacked from his left for things the biden administration did that many on the left thought were punitive to people who came here illegally. and at the same time we know that there are many on the left who not only want to do things differently than what donald trump did but wanted to go further including things like getting rid of the penalties for crossing the border illegally which joe biden pushed back on. so that divide is also really important between -- within the party between more activist and progressive forces and the reality on the ground and what
6:40 pm
is actually happening and how challenging it is even when you're trying to roll back something you say is inhumane, how challenging it is to make it work. judy: watching all this closely, because however this is turning out in the early days of the administration is going to affect the administration's ability to get anything done with regard to long-term immigration reform. >> right, judy. and listen, there were a lot of voters in that coalition that elected president biden and vice president harris who wanted to see systemic change around the issue of immigration and you think back to the 2018 midterms and you had former president trump raising the specter of these migrant caravan hordes heading to the border as an issue to galvanize his base. you can be sure as midterms come into focus next year, you could
6:41 pm
see immigratn with maybe the pandemic a little bit more in the rear view, immigration coming back into focus. people had very strong reactions on both sides to the family separations issue, to what they saw happening at the border a couple of summers ago and so immigration is very much an issue that people want to the see addressed. they're not so focused on blame as they are wanting to get answers. so the biden administration frankly doesn't get to really have it both ways. just as they inherited the pandemic and are responding that, they've also inherited this immigration crisis and people are expecting a response there, too. judy: nothing quiet about these early days for the biden administration. thank you both, erin haines, amy walter and tamara keith away today. good to have you both, thank you
6:42 pm
>> you're welcome. judy: the ncaa basketball tournament is now well underway but even before the opening tip-off, new anger and frustration erupted over the differences in how the ncaa approaches the men and the women's teams. john yang has a close look. >> i got something to show y'all. >> on tiktok, the inequities between the men's and women's tournaments laid bare. >> this is our weight room. >> it began thursday when sedona prince posted a video of the weight room. >> even as miscommunication, no communication or just not caring
6:43 pm
that people know what's happening on our side of things and that must stop. >> the ncaa initially blamed limited space in san antonio. later, dan gavitt, the ncaa's top basketball executive, acknowledged that wasn't the case. >> we don't meet the expectations of that support, that's on me and for that i apologize. the women's basketball student athletes, to the coaches, to women's basketball committee, for dropping the ball. >> we got a weight room! >> by saturday, a new weight room. but the uproar highlighted other differences between the men's and women's tournament including less reliable covid testing and less online promotion for the women. today the "wall street journal" reported that the ncaa has withheld the iconic brand march madness from the women's tournament, reserving it exclusively for the men's championship.
6:44 pm
sally jenkins is an award-winning sportswriter for "the washington post," the first woman inducted into the national sportswriters and sportscasters hall of fame. thank you for joining us. the ncaa was fast to address the weight room issue. i've read they're also doing something about the meals at the women's tournament. but that really is small potatoes compared to some of the issues you wrote about the in your column over the weekend including money. >> and primarily promotion. this is a potential flagship event for the ncaa and if you look at a lot of the games, the floor, you can't even tell they're playing a championship. literally there's not a lot of decalling on the floor to tell you that you're watching a championship event. you might think you were watching a high school tournament. you might think you were watching a junior college tournament. the difference in presentation is really striking at times. so that's one thing that's been
6:45 pm
bothering some of the coaches i've talked to and then of course that's just a pervasive sort of lesser-than. it's everything from meals to really petty details that don't mean very much but they are a sign of a lack of respect that the women feel. >> someould argue the men's tournament brings in so much more money than the women's tournament but the popularity of the women's tournament has been gaining. espn, which knows how to make money, has been expanding its coverage. and if they did have that marketing support, do you think that disparity in the revenue would get smaller? >> the women's tournament only looks small in comparison to the gargantuan billion dollar in revenue that the men's tournamentrings in but by any other standard, it's a very large, successful event. i'll give you an example. just in the last two years, they've acquired -- the number of advertisers on the women's
6:46 pm
tournament has leaped from 70 to 87. they've brought in 17 more title sponsors. everybody from verizon to at&t is pouring money into the women's tournament. it's a growth event. the other thing they command is four million viewers in the championship game. that may be small compared to 10 million for the men, but four million is not small. it's bigger than a wimbledon final. it's on par with a national league pennant series. there's lots of very large american sports events so the idea that it has to be diminished in at this time eyes of the nba is silly and counterproductive in terms of building the event.
6:47 pm
>> >> the sools that win the men's championship get a bigger share of the revenue than the schools that win the women's championship. the schools that win the women's championship get no share of the revenue, is that right? >> they get not one cent. there's going to be all kinds of revenue generated by the women's tournament and for some reason all of the revenue seems to be factored on to the men's side. the women get count as cost and burden as opposed to revenue production. it doesn't add up. the math here is a little funny, for one thing. this is clearly a revenue producing event and yet we're told that the women are simply an inconvenient cost item for the ncaa. >> what's it going to take to change this? >> well, it would help if congress would tell the ncaa to crack open the books. it would be nice to see someone like katie porter did one of her numbers with a board and a magic
6:48 pm
marker because the math again is not adding up. there's huge audience. there's huge sponsorship numbers, huge ad dollars. the women deserve to know what kind of revenue they're generating and what kind of revenue their programs are entitled to. >> sally jenkins of "the washington post," thank you very much. >> my pleasure. judy: we continue our look at the alcami of health and art with jeffrey brown's profile of a physician poet or poet physician as part of our arts and culture series, canvas. >> morning rounds at baylor st. luke's medical center in houston where dr. fady joudah
6:49 pm
practices internal medicine. in a time of pandemic, the hospital itself is eerily quiet. doctors and nurses likely to be the only people a patient sees. >> it's a little cruel. there's almost a panic, if you fall ill these days, because you feel you're sentenced to solitary confinement, whether from covid or not. that really is painful to carry around as a physician and internalize. >> joudah was born in austin but spent most of his life in the middle east as a child. the impulse from healing he says stems from a sense of displacement. >> as a young boy i remember feeling i needed to be a doctor because the world or my immediate family needed compassion and support. i remember this moment very well, actually, in the kitchen we were living at the time in
6:50 pm
benghazi, libya. i broke out and said, don't worry, when i'm older, i'll be a doctor and i'll have a big house and we'll all live there together and if anyone falls ill, i'll take care of you. >> later he would work in emergency rooms and on missing for -- missions for doctors without borders and as always another passion, poetry. >> the storm funneled through town with destructive intent, fractured tree limbs, toppled fences, ripped shingles like tufts of hair. >> his first collection was chosen in 2008 by louise glu, the 2020 nobel prize winner. a later volume features short poems. his most recent book reaches for the heavens with allusions to astronomy and astrologgical
6:51 pm
signs while grounded in the everyday, titled "tethered to stars." >> some of the themes, whether they are about my relationship to being a physician or a palestinian-american or bilingual or what-not, they free themselves into time a little bit more, away from the notion that everything we speak in america has to be on the census form. >> the poem, house of mercury, describes the aftermath a recent hurricane that blew through a part of houston where his parents live and in the background, the pandemic. >> on the second day, i cut up the rest of the branches, deepened the earth for the fig, enjoyed lunch with my parents and on the way home heard a radio report on whether the sky
6:52 pm
is bluer during a pandemic. >> this was earlier last year. the highways were empty and the city seemed affected by the pandemic lockdown. it just struck me that in the end we cannot escape how beautiful we want to feel life is. >> fady and his wife have two children and the pandemic changed life at home in another way. hannah is an infectious disease doctor and researcher who served as a lead investigator for the moderna vaccine. >> the world is watching and waiting. >> that part is the stressful part. it felt like we can be left alone and the we'll figure out how we present -- that was actually part of the challenge,
6:53 pm
being constantly in a fish bowl. >> i asked hannah which hat she sees her husband most at home in now, doctor or poet? >> he is definitely more in his elements reading and writing. he appears more content, more on a mission kind of thing, when he's reading and writing. >> both partners in this two-doctor household say both science and art, medicine and poetry, require an imaginative mind that sees beyond research data or life's routine moments and for fady joudah, there's an added benefit to loving and caring about language. >> being a poet and writer and better listener, i've learned to use a language of faith or hope or support or terseness sometimes to communicate with my patients better.
6:54 pm
>> house of mercury ends with a lunch at his parents' house. >> falafel followed by tea and stories about fear that comes to nothing. the kids said it was the best falve -- falafel they'd ever had and mom said going forward her morning glories would get the light they deserve. >> a lesson in what even fallen trees can bring. judy: a great report. thank you, jeffrey. on the "pbs newshour" online, for years, lawmakers have debated how to fight poverty. we explore how the pandemic is changing america's approach, including small success stories across the country. that's on our website, that is the "newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and here tomorrow
6:55 pm
evening. for all of us, thank you, please stay safe. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.] >> major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by consumer cellular. johnson and johnson. bnsf railway. the kendeda fund. committed to advancing restorative justice and meaningful work. more at the alfred p. sloan foundation. driven by the promise of great ideas. supported by the john d. and catherine t. mcarthur foundation.
6:56 pm
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. this is "pbs newshour" west from weta studios in washington and our bureau at arizona state university.
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ -today on "america's test kitchen," dan makes bridget a classic meat ravioli, jack challenges julia to a taste test of unsweetened chocolate, and keith makes julia the ultimate torta caprese.