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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  September 13, 2021 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, taliban takeover-- u.s. secretary of state antony blinken faces congressional scrutiny over the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan as the militant group exerts its control. then, kids and covid-- a sharp rise in hospitalizations prompts the american academy of pediatrics to advocate for emergency authorization of vaccinations for children. and, 20 years later-- 9/11 first responders still suffering from exposure to toxins often struggle to receive adequate health care. >> allf us just knew that we weren't safe but, you know, we did our job.
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>> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> well, audrey's expecting... >> twins! >> grandparents. >> we want to put money aside for them, so, change in plans. >> all right, let's see what we can adjust. >> we'd be closer to the twins. >> change in plans. >> okay. >> mom, are you painting again? you could sell these. >> let me guess, change in plans? >> at fidelity, changing plans is always part of the plan.
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>> the william and flora hewlett foundation. for 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 institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting.
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and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the nation's largest public school district has opened for in-person classes, in the biggest test yet of classroom learning during a covid surge. about a million students in new york city returned to school today. there's no option for remote learning, and nearly all staff must be vaccinated or tested weekly. mayor bill de blasio greeted students and parents in the bronx this morning, and he insisted they'll be safe. >> mayor: kids coming to school today all across this city are going to experience a gold standard of health and safety measures. and as everyone knows, the coming days every single adult in our schools is going to be vaccinated. >> woodruff: meanwhile,
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florida governor ron desantis threatened to fine local governments that force employees to get vaccinated. and a federal judge in iowa blocked a state law that bars schools from mandating masks for students and staff. secretary of state antony blinken day defended the u.s. withdrawafrom afghanistan. at a congressional hearing, he called it, quote, "an extraordinary effort." at the same time, u.n. human rights at the same time, u.n. human rights officials cited credible reports of the taliban hunting down and killing former afghan security forces. we'll look at all of ts, after the news summary. tropical storm "nicholas" is headed for landfall in texas tonight, with up to 16 inches of rain. it could become a minimal hurricane, and then, move slowly across texas and southwestern louisiana through mid-week. that's likely to trigger flash flooding in a region west of where hurricane "ida" struck two weeks ago. president biden got a first-hand look today at the aftermath of western wildfires. he traveled to idaho and
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northern california. and, he said the fires show the nation needs his plan for spending $3.5 trillion on social and environmental needs. >> we can build back better than it was before, and it literally provides for billions of dollars for wildfire preparedness, resilience and response force management, and public water sources. >> woodruff: mr. biden claimed every dollar spent now on fighting extreme weather and climate change will save $6 in the future. top democrats in the u.s. house of representatives called today for tax hikes to pay for that $3.5 trillion spending plan. they would raise the corporate rate from 21 to 26.5%, and also increase taxes on the wealthy. we'll speak with senator bernie sanders, who's pushing the spending bill, later in the program. the federal budget deficit for
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this fiscal year topped $2.7 trillion through august, driven by "covid" relief spending. with one month to go, it's on track to be the second largest ever, behind last year's record of more than $3 trillion. u.s. capitol police have formally announced they'll put temporary fencing back up, ahead of a saturday rally. it's being organized to support trump backers who stormed the capitol on january 6th. more than 600 people are facing charges. on wall street, the dow jones industrial average gained 262 points to close at 34,869. the nasdaq fell 10 points. the s&p 500 added 10. and, george wein, founder of the newport jazz festival, died today at his home in new york. he launched the newport festival in 1954 and led it for more than 50 years. he later started the new orleans
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jazz festival, and his success sparked numerous other events, including "woodstock". george wein was 95 years old still to come on the newshour: senator bernie sanders on the divide among democrats on the budget. why the american academy of pediatrics is calling for chilen to get the vaccine. how the boston mayor's race reflects the city's changing demographics. and much more. >> woodruff: it is now four weeks since the taliban takeover of afghanistan. and, as the militant group cements control, restricting the rights of women and minorities, the lives of so many millions more afghans lie in the balance: the veryeal specter of famine
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looms, and global efforts to deliver emergency aid accelerated today. foreign affairs correspondent nick schifrin reports. >> schifrin: today in a kabul market where the taliban flag flies, where fighters are traffic cops, the furniture's on sale, so families can avoid starvation. >> ( translated ): i brought my household items here for sale because there's no job. how will we eat? we sold these today. what will we sell tomorrow? >> schifrin: afghanistan's economic crisis continues to push afghans to flee. thousands tried to cross the friendship gate along the southern border with pakistan. afghans say pakistan hasn't been very friendly, but today, allowed more refugees entry. for afghan health care, the crisis is acute. most hospitals are propped up by international organizations that have now frozen $600 million. 31 of afghanistan's 34 provinces are at risk of losing health services entirely. and afghan officials fear a
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fourth covid wave, as only 1.5% of people have been fully vaccinated. today i spoke with dr. wahid majrooh, afghanistan's minister of public health during the previous government, who stayed on after the taliban took over. >> approximately 150 mothers will be deprived of caesarean sections every day. patients are admitted in the hospitals, unfortunately, are not provided with food, at least. with oxygen, if health service delivery in contribution to the sect is politicized, we will witness the human price, we will witness a collapse. >> schifrin: today at a u.n. conference, donors pledged more than $1 billion in urgent humanitarian assistance. thousands of afghan health care personnel have worked without pay. majrooh urges the international community to fund the health ministry through, or outside the taliban government. >> it doesn't matter for me what the political agenda is. what matters for me is how we
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can reh the children in need, the mothers in need. >> schifrin: why did you stay on? why are you still working despite the fact that the government is now taliba >> well, it was, it was, and it is a challenging decision to make. i mean, i had to weigh my safety and safe of my family and safety of 35 million people who are in need of emergency care. i'm very happy i could stay to ensure that the health ministry remains operational, the health facilities remains functional. my purpose and my ultimate goal is ensuring service delivery to our patients. >> schifrin: but so many afghans need so much help. the u.n. warned today millions could run out of food and a million children are at risk of starvation and death. as for dr. majrooh, judy, he will soon give way to a taliban appointed minister, who will be
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responsible for a health ministry, that still relies on western aid to exist. >> woodruff: so much to watch, nick. first of all, welcome back on parental leave. very exciting. you're a dad, we're so happy for you. >> thank you so much. >> woodruff: let's shift over to congress, and that is the first testimony by a biden administration since the u.s. pullout from afghanistan. secretary blin kin, blinken, hd he defend what the administration has done? >> one of the criticisms is the withdrawal itself because of what happened. the administration has argued its hands were tied by the u.s.-taliban agreed signed in the trump administration. but they pointed out what many have pointed out, that the biden administration actually rejected other trump policies. >> this was the one trump policy that he had to follow. do you understand why this is pretty hard to fathom
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for a lot of people? >> the agreement reached by the previous administration required all u.s. forces to be out of afghanistan by may 31st. it doesn't commence an onslaught of the afghanistan committees. had president biden not followed three on the agreement, those attacks would have resumed, we would have reupped the war in afghanistan for another five, 10, 20 years. woe uld have had to send more forces back in. >> reporter: but that acknowledges that the military was willing to stay in afghanistan for a longer time with a small number of troops. and the administration could have argued that the taliban weren't pledging their part of the agreement, so the u.s. could have decided not t follow through on its agreement to withdraw. elsewhere, judy, it got much more heated, the republicans accused him of bafpassing the buck, and demanded he resign, and he refused. >> woodruff: and there
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was discussion of the pullout, leaving afghans behind. >> reporter: it is afghans eligible for visas, and about 100 americans in afghanistan that want to leave, and this was the criticism from ranking member of the house foreign affairs committee, republican mike mccaul. >> to make matters worse, we abandoned americans behind enemy lines. we left behind the interpreters, who you, mr. secretary, and the president, both promised to protect. i can summarize this in one word: betrayal. our standing on the world stage has been greatly diminished. our enemies no longer fear us; and our allies no longer trust us. >> reporter: secretary blinken vowed to take out all of the americans from afghanistan, and once again blamed the trump
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administration for, quote, "stalling" the visa progra but lawmakers from both parties, judy, as you know, over the last few weeks, have accused the biden administration of not evacuating earlier enough. >> woodruff: a lot of talk about that. what is known, nick, at this pint about what the biden administration's plans are diplomatically, in terms of dealing with this taliban government and the humanitarian crisis that we've been reporting on. >> reporter: this is the dilemma: the u.s. needs to work with the taliban to get those americans and afghan allies out and to confront the humanitarian crisis, but doing so without supporting or propping up the taliban government. the administration is considering its future relationship with the taliban, and blinken today laid out u.s. demands. >> we expect the taliban to ensure freedom of travel, to make good on its commitments on counterterrorism, to uphold the basic rights of the afghan people, including women, girls, and minorities, to name a broadly representative permanent government.
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the interim government named by the taliban falls very short of the mark that was set by the international community for inclusivity. >> reporter: that last line about the interim government is a bit of an understatement. it has shaad afgani, who is perhaps singularly responsible for the worst attacks on ameran forces in afghanistan over the last 20 years. buthe taliban desperately need money to avoid state collapse and to confront some of the humanitarian crisis, and that gives the west, the u.s., leverage. but that money needs to be delivered quickly. there are millions of afghans who are undergoing that humanitarian crisis that we talked about who have nothing to do with these politics, who are simply suffering, and could suffer very dramatically in the coming months, and their lives are at stake right now. right now the west and the world needs to figure out how to get humanitarian aid into afghanistan. >> woodruff: very tough decisions, getting that aid and under what conditions. >> absolutely.
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>> woodruff: nick schifrin, thank you very much and welcome back. >> thank you. >> woodruff: as we reported earlier, democrats on the house ways and means committee released a proposal today that helps pay for most of president biden's $3.5 trillion social spending bill. in addition to raising the corporate tax rate on businesses making $5 million in income to 26.5%, the plan also includes: a 3% surtax on wealthy americans making over $5 million a year, and a top tax rate of 39.6% on couples earning more than $450,000. for more on all of this, i'm joined by the chairman of the budget committee, senator bernie sanders. he is leading the effort behind the massive bill. senator sanders, welcome back to the newshour. it is very good to see you. let me ask you about what we're seeing from the
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house tax writing committee, 2 .2 trillion over 10years is what they laid out. it is a lot of money, but well-short of what president biden was looking for. what is your take? >> i think we'll probably do a lot better in the senate. the bottom line, as i think every american knows, in our country today, the people on top, the 1% large corporations, are doing extremely well, and what we're seeing is that at any given year, you've got multi billionaires who are not paying a nickel. so what the american people are clear on, and i'm clear on, now is the time to demand that he wealthiest people in the country and the largest corporations start paying their fair share of taxes. my hope is we'll pay comcompletely for the $3.5 trillion bill. >> woodruff: one of the
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things they are proposing is raising the top corporate tax rate from 22% to 26%. and raising the capitol gains for the very wealthy, less than the top rate for earned income. is that acceptable to you? >> we'll see what the senate finance committee does. but my general view is: that at a time of massive and growing income and wealth inequality, when two people own more wealth than the bottom 40%, when the top 1% has more wealth than the bottom 92%, now is the time to ask the wealthy and large corporations to pay their fair share so we can begin to address the long neglected needs of working families in terms of our children, in terms of health care, in terms of the elderly, and by the way, in terms of addressing climate change. >> woodruff: i know
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you're saying it has to go to the senate finance committee, b let me ask you about one other element of the house bill, and this is something that joe manchin, he said he accepts this, and that is extending the child tax credit, which has taken a lot of families out of poverty. but he said it should be limited to the poor and middle income americans, not to families earning as much as 400,000 dollars a year. how do you see that? >> look, what i believe is that in the richest country in the history of the world, we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on earth. and what we should all be very proud of is that in terms of the american rescue plan, what we did, judy, and this tells you what good policy can do, through the direct payments that went to working-class families, and the $300 a month payment to working parents, we have reduced childhood poverty in this country by over 50%.
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that is pretty good. and we've got to make sure that this approach, this direct payment to working parents, continues, because if we do not, if we do not pass a reconciliation bill that ends in december, and that would be an absolute shame. >> woodruff: for the overall spending bill, $3.5 trillion, i know you, president biden, and many others are saying it is absolutely necessary. but you've got several members of your own party, senator sanders, who are saying it is too much. among them, joe manchin of west virginia. right now it doesn't look like you have the votes. are you prepared to compromise? >> i have compromised. i brought forth a budget for $6 trillion, and we need every penny of that, by the way, if we're going to deal with the extraordinary crisis facing this planet in terms of climate change
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and have the united states lead the world in ansforming our energy system. i compromised. i took that six -- and, by the way, that $6 trillion budget i would say had the support of at least 80% of the democratic caucus in the senate. it is what people wanted. i compromised. we took it down to 3.5 trillion. but what you're looking at right now is a budget and a set of proposals, whether it is expanding child care, expanding mecare to cover dental, hearing aids, and eye glasses, making sure that pre-k in america is preand universal, ending the obsurdity that we're the only country that doesn't have child care -- this is a popular idea. it is supported widely by working class americans,
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whether your democrat, republican, or independent. that is the approach, i think, that has got to be finalized. >> woodruff: senator, my point is you not only have blanket republican opposition -- they're calling it a socialist wish list, at least mcconnell is, but you also have democrats, senator manchin and others, who talk about inflation, talking about how much money has gone out the door during this covid pandemic. >> look, we had a similar problem in terms of passing the american rescue plan, which, as you will recall, ended up being passed i think at 4:00 in the morning, with the vice president casting the decideing vote -- >> woodruff: you think senator manchin will come around? >> i think at the end of the day -- everybody has a problem with this bill. i have problems with the bill. so we're working 24/7 trying to resolve everybody's problem. but if you're asking me at the end of the day, do i think the democratic
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caucus will turn its back on the needs of working families, turn its back on the unbelievable crisis we face in terms of climate change, no, i do not believe we'll turn or backs. i think we'll resolve it and pass it. it is not only $3.5 trillion, it is, as you know, tied together with the $550 billion physical strinfrastructure bill, and i hope very much we can pass both. >> woodruff: different subject: newest member of the supreme court, justice amy coney barrett, in a speech yesterday in kentucky, said contrary to what some believe, the court is not driven bipartisanship. she sa we are driven by judicial philosophies. >> depending on how -- i don't consider them to be rtisan political hacks. i think there is no question but that donald trump and other republican
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presidents have appointed people whohey felt would toe a very, very conservative line with regard to corporate needs, with regard to being anti-choice in terms of women's rights. that's what republican presidents, including trump, who appointed ms. barrett, have done. >> woodruff: so you're saying they're not driven by their judicial philosophies? >> no, i'm not saying that at all. i'm sure they believe that they are. but it is not an accident that donald trump happened to appoint them and not somebody else. >> woodruff: senator bernie sanders, chairman of the senate budget committee. we thank you very much. >> thank you. ♪♪ >> woodruff: >> woodruff: the biden administration rolled out new mandates last week to expand vaccination for more than 100 million more americans.
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but questions remain about when one major population ineligible for the shot, kids under the age of 12, will be able to get it. william brangham looks at those concerns. >> brangham: judy, there are 48 million kids in america under the age of 12, but the timeline for a vaccine for those kids keeps changing. this summer, the fda went back to manufacturers asking for expanded trials and more data. it's not clear when emergency authorization will actually happen, but with the delta variant raging almost five times as many children are now being hospitalized for covid-19, the american academy of pediatrics has called on the f.d.a. to pick up the pace. we talk now to dr. lee beers. she is president of the academy and also a pediatrician. >> brangham: dr. beers, it is great to have you on the "news hour." you wrote this letter on behalf of the academy to the f.d.a. saying we've got to move quicker. make the case, why do you
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think they need to speed up the process? >> doctor: for any vaccine, medication, any kind of medical intervention, one of the things we always think about is the risk benefit. we need to make sure that the benefits of the vaccine or the medication or the therapeutic -- the risk of that outweighs the risk of the illness. and what we've been seeing with covid, we know thankfully covid tends to be very mild in children, but some children can still get very sick. but low risk is not zero risk. what we've seen with delta is that delta is so much more contagious, that we're seeing many, many more children get sick. i often say a small percentage of you know, i often say a small percentage of a large number of children is a really large number of children. and so right now we're seeing children get very sick. we see it in the numbers. we also see it in our pediatricians offices where we're hearing from pediatrician offices and hospitals all across the country that they're that they're overwhelmed. and so in our mind, actually, we've always thought that the vaccine is a really important
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tool in the toolbox for to keep our youngest kids healthy. but but now it's really getting particularly acute and >> brangham: in the letter that you all wrote >> brangham: in the letter that you all wrote to the fda, you said that if after two months of data, it looks like it's a viable vaccine for kids, let's approve it versus the six months that they seem to want. can you explain the difference there? >> and i think this is something actually that that we all maybe have gotten familiar with in the the final approval of the vaccine for adults. the emergency use authorization was given after two months and final approval after six months. and what we know from from vaccine science and vaccine development really across the past 70 years is that we really for for a virus that's not a live virus like this one is not we've never seen a side effect that has occurred after the first six to eight weeks. so we feel quite comfortable actually that a two month monitoring period is is adequate for making this this decision about whether the vaccine is safe and effective. and we know that, as i
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mentioned, the delta variant really is quite contagious. and so we're seeing a lot of kids get sick right now. and so those two things together really tell us that we feel like a two month period is adequate. >> brangham: we have seen some very rare complications with young younger adults, younger males in particular, this this myocarditis, the inflammation of the muscles of the heart. do you worry, though, that even if after two months we don't the f.d.a. doesn't see anything really problematic, that there still might be some of those cases in children and sick children because of a vaccine in a hoital becomes wildfire in this media ecosystem that we live in and that could do much greater damage to the vaccine effort more broadly. is that is that a fear that you have? >> you know, it's a really important question, right? because we do want to be cautious. that's part of why we have these very structured and deliberate systems in place to make sure that our vaccines are safe. and i think one thing. i always like to remind people it's the fact that we're even having this discussion about a side effect that really is quite
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rare, tells us that our vaccine, that our vaccine monitoring systems are are working the way they should. of course, we we take every side effects seriously. we take we take everything and what we've seen with the cases of myocarditis after the vaccine is that i'm almost exclusively they are quite mild and do resolve their own. what we also know is that getting infected with covid can cause myocarditis as well. and what we're seeing in those cases is that the risk of myocarditis with covid infection is much greater than the risk that we're seeing with the vaccine and also the the risk of mirco, or that the the myocarditis that happens in kids after a covered infection can be much more severe. >> brangham: we have seen some anecdotal reports of parents getting so-called “off label vaccinations” for their children for covid-19-- i guess, through doctors or clinics that are willing to do that. you guys have also been counseling against that as well? >> yes, that's absolutely correct. fda processes are in place for a reason. we want to make sure and we want to know that we can be confident in our vaccine safety.
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and and so it's really important to to follow those processes. we also the other pieces that we know from the clinical trials that actually the dosage in younger children of the vaccine is likely to be smaller. and so we really don't want children getting off label vaccines. but it's it's we want to make sure that the vaccine, when they get it, it's authorized and it's safe and effective. >> brangham: all right. dr. lee beers, president of the american academy of pediatrics, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you so much for having me. >> woodruff: voters in boston are getting ready for a major shakeup in their city's politics. tomorrow's election in the race for mayor narrows the field to two finalists. one thing won't change: all the contenders in this non-partisan election are left of center. but as jeffrey brown reports, the face of leadership looks different this year.
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it's part of our race matters series. >> brown: meet the mayor, the old one: always a white male, and for 90 years, all but one, irish. but look now: change is in the air in boston, where the top candidates this year are all women of color who serve on the city council. acting mayor kim janey and andrea campbell, both black... michelle wu, taiwanese- american... annissa essaibi george, daughter of tunisian and polish parents. >> brown: to many, like cheryl clyburn crawford, it's a watershed moment. she grew up here and now heads massvote, aid at increasing voter participation in communities of color. >>t one point, we could not see ourselves, a female, a black female mayor? this just wasn't in the cards. we didn't see . as the demographics change in the city, is more, is becoming more mixed, diverse, people see
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themselves in their role, in those roles and say, i can. like, that role is open for me. >> brown: this is a city of rich history, but part of that history includes deep racism. when i was growing up in this area, one of my childhood heroes was bill russell, the basketball star with the boston celtics. he would write in a memoir with bitterness of his experience as a black man here, calling bost a “flea market of racism.” one question posed now, how much has this city really changed? in the 1970s busing era: overt violence. today: continued economic disparities. a study by the federal reserve bank of boston found the median net worth for non-immigrant black households in the metropolitan area was just $8, compared to $250,000 for whites. boston has quite a reputation as a racist city, because of its past. >> it does. >> brown: is it deserved?
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>> yes, very much so. you know, i grew up here. i went to school here. i left and i came back after 25 years and yeah. in a different shape, in a different form, but it still exists. and i just i think we're working on it. i feel hopeful. >> these are the 4-1-1 kits with all of the information about the candidates. >> brown: crawford's group is non-partisan and doesn't back specific candidates. but she says an election amid a pandemic gives all of them, and voters, a need to respond. >> i think with covid last year, 2020, ripping the band-aid off and exposing all the inequities that exist within our communities, that we have a real opportunity to make change. >> thriving church. the hub of this neighborhood. >> brown: the old way in boston revolved around tight-knit neighborhood institutions, like the catholic church. larry dicara learned that as a politician himself in many roles, beginning in the 1970s as
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a city councilor and candidate for mayor. we met him outside blessed sacrament, shuttered since 2004, in the jamaica plain neighborhood. >> when i arrived in jamaica plain, there were four catholic churches and four catholic schools. today there are two catholic churches. >> reporter: today jamaica plain is a more gentrified community, new businesses mixed with old, and its own whole foods. >> and many of the buildings are now occupied by young, single people who are not from here. >> reporter: they don't have those roots. >> don't have the roots. don't even know what church they're supposed to go to. ve, very different. >> reporter: people don't have those roots, and also don't have the political roots. >> don't have the political roots because th don't know that mora hanagan's father was in the state senate and her grandfather was before him. they just don't know those things. >> reporter: in aother
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part of the city, dorchester field's corner, immigrants, most from vietnam, have helped revitalize a neighborhood in decline. >> i've seen it in just a few years after thais built this. >> reporter: paul watanabi brought us to the vietnamese american community center. wireless what they did is came here and found the rents cheap and found an opportunity here and they really built a community here. this was a city that was on a decline, up until the most rent census, we saw the population of boston going down, not increasi. and we've seen the growth of this city take place under one explanation, and that is immigration. immigration has added to the vibrancy of the city in a large degree. >> reporter: it helped bring it back? >> i helped bring it back. >> i might send you to st. geor. >> reporter: in west roxbury, rachel, head of the local chapter of progressive massachusetts is backing current
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front-runner michelle wu, who happens to be originally from chicago. but she thinks bostonians vote more on issues, like affordable housing and crisis due to the opioid isis. >> we have questionnaires that go out to candidates. we interview the candidates. we have forums, and i think all of those contribute. the political conversation is shifting over the last decade, more to issues and policies and problem solving. >> reporter: for paul watanabi, there is a chance that boston will move from national political lagger t leader. >> most of the industrial cities have had a black mayor before. i will argue that the leadership that emerges from this ele election will be one that i hope has a national impact on this debate. not only on what happens in boston, but how do we get a nation that looks like boston, a majority minority nation that reflect that reality. >> reporter: tuesday's political election will narrow the field to two,
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who go head to head in november. the winner will reflect the face of change. for the for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown in boston. >> woodruff: as senate democrats negotiate a trillion-dollar budget resolution in washington, democrats across the country in california are in the final stretch of a recall election that risks their hold of the governor's mansion there. here to talk about this busy week in politics, our politics monday team. amy walter of the "cook political report." and tamara keith of npr. >> woodruff: and it is so good to see both of you on this monday. thank you for being here. so let's start out with talking about what i was talking to senator bernie sanders about, amy, and that is this mega spending bill, $3.5 trillion. he says he is sticking to his guns.
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he has alrdy compromised. where does it stand? >> amy: it stands not with senator sanders, but with senator manchin. when you only have 50 votes in the senate, your ability to get something passed on a party-line vote rests with the one who is most at risk. and the most at risk senator right now is joe manchin, who has said we're not doing $3.5 trillion. i think the bigger challenge for democrats right now is, as they're thinking about this process, everything we talked about is the price tag. we talked very little about the policy underneath it. for democrats who are talking about selling this in the next election, in 2022 or beyond, right now what they' talking about is all kinds of different we heard senator sanders talk about making the rich pay their fair share, income inequality, but it hasn't been defined by that. republicans then have the opportunity for these next
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few weeks, and probably throughout the campaign in 2022, to define it by that numberright? this is just more money going out of washington -- >> woodruff: right. >> whether it is socialism, and this is why the deficit is so large or why inflation is going up. >> woodruff: tam, you could argue that the president has tried to talk about it, senator sanders has tried to talk about it, the president is out there in california today talking about we're going to fix the in environment. >> tamara: yes. president biden has been pitching the "build back better" agenda. a lot of the conversation about it, as amy says, has gotten bogged down in the process. oh, it is a reconciliation bill. the reality is if they're able to pass something, and it has things in it that matter to people, then they will have something to talk about. but if they don't pass anything, then they won't. and nator sanders, i think in his interview also seemed to say
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democrats aren't going to let nothing happen. so at some point something is going to have to gie, but it seems like democrats are very motivated to have something. and they know that the window of time to do this is not that wide because once you get into 2022, that is an election year. the endangered members of congress and the members of the house are going to start thinking about their futures, and it gets much harder to do it. >> i agree. we're at the place where it is too big to fail, basically. >> woodruff: and we'llcy we'llsee what "not nothing" looks like. the other reason the president is in california to do a visit to show his hand for governor gavin newsom, who is facing a recall vote coming up tomorrow. and people have been voting, but it comes to a head tomorrow. what are you watching from this? what could the parties learn from this? >> it has been very interesting. part of the reasothat newsom was imperiled at
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all was his handling of covid, and his decision to hang out with wealthy types at a restaurant in the bay area, when he is telling everybody es in california you have to wear a mask and all of the businesses were shutting down. that anger turned into other troubles, like with the delta variant and more shutdowns. but ov the past few weeks, democrats and others have turned covid against republicans. the front-runner on the republican side, larry elder, has come out against mandates for vaccines and masking, and which in a satehat has an 80% vaccination rate, that is not a popular position. so you have everybody from this president, to former president obama, to other major democratic figures saying voting against gavin newsom is literally dangerous to your health. using the -- nationalizing
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covid in a way helps the local governor. >> woodruff: and challengers, there are something like 46. >> but that is not as many as with gray david faced a recall. but there are a lot of challengers. one thing that is missing that was there in 2003 that i think hurt gray davis, that gavin newsom hs been able avoid, of the options on question two, the people that could be picked, there really is no major credible democrat. there is a youtuber who has generated some buzz among younger voters who is a democrat, but otherwise it is mostly republican. which has allowed new somsom to say it is just trump voters out to get us. and despite all of gavin
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newsom's trouble, his popularity is above 50%. gray davis was below 30%. >> woodruff: we will wait and see there. but it looks good. >> it does. there is both the polling, and as you said, this is mostly mail-in ballots. democrats were having early on that the polling was picking up an enthusiasm gap, and they have definitely come and turned out, and it is much more polarized today than in 2003. there were a lot of democrats in 2003who voted for the recall and for arnold schwarzenegger because he was a moderate. >> woodruff: it is hard to get people in california to pay attention to elections, and sometimes in many states, not just picking on california. the last thing i want to ask you about, over the weekend, 9/11, some somber remembrances of that terrible day in this country 20 years ago, tam. one that stood out to me
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was former president george w. bush in shanksville, pennsylvania. here is just an excerpt of what he had to say. >> there is little culture overlap between vilent extremists at home and violent congr extremists abroad. in their determination to defile national symbols. they are children of the same foul spirit, and it is our continuing duty to confront them. >> woodruff: children of the same foul spirit. he was talking about the january 6 insurrection, although he din't name it, and whatappened on 9/11. >> he is drawing a direct line. and flight 93i was thought to be aimed at the nation's capitol, and january 6 truly did atack the capitol building. a lot has happened in the 20 years. it has been an incredibly
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difficult 20 years with the recession and wars, and now this pandemic. but the words from the former president also indicate just how much things have changed. what he is saying is sort of a mainline idea, or at least an ideal probably not realized 20 years ago. but now it is almost controversial, at least in some parts of his own party. >> but his position about domestic terrorism versus terrorism abroad is also reflected among many americans, right? and in the pbs newshour pol, more americans said they were more worried about extremists than terrorism abroad. and they said they're much more worried about what is going on here than being attacked by extremists from overseas. to tam's point, it is this moment we had in 9/11, this moment we thought was going to be unity, and
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instead of we've seen all these big other events lead to more polarization. >> woodruff: amy walter and tamara keith, thank you bo. >> you're welcome. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: saturday marked the 20th anniversary of the september 11th attacks. on that day and for weeks after, first responders at the world trade center worked to clear rubble and to search for remains. many were stricken with debilitating illness, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or c.o.p.d. amna nawaz has more on the challenges first responders are still facing. but let's start by hearing from some of them in their own words, brought to us by the dorne koppel foundation. >> it was very, very bad. it was like a sandstorm. i've been in sandstorms. it was like that. you couldn't see three or four feet in front of you.
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>> it took two weeks for that dust to get out of my work boots. >> i went home and my teeth felt like i had sand in my mouth. i was blowing my nose for weeks and blood was coming out of it. but i just kept going back, and then i was every night for three months. >> after the twin towers went down, that area was a disasterous area. it wasn't healthy enough for the people that were living or working there. and i was there every day. >> the air quality wasn't what it should have been. we all knew it, in spite of what we were told, we went in anyway. >> i think it was the en,, the department of environmental protection and said, the air is fine. it's healthy to breathe. don't worry about the air. >> they told us the air was clean, that was okay. >> they said everything will be all right, you know? and everything wasn't all right. >> we all knew the site
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was contaminated, no matter what government agency said it wasn't and that it was safe. that was not true. we all knew it. all of the first responders knew it, and all of us knew we weren't safe. but, um, you know, we did our job. >> it took a few years. i started to notice that i couldn't go as long, like say walking or, like say, running, because i love sports. i noticed that my breathing was slowing down then. >> i was fooling myself because i would think there was nothing wrong, and i would just take some time off from work. a year later, two years later, i started to realize that it is not going away. it's not getting any better. >> when the doctor told me you have copd, i said what is that? >> i can't even wash my
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own cars now. i used to wash my own car, rake my own leaves, keep my house nice and neat. i can't do any of that now. >> if it is under 20° out, i can't go outside my house. because it feels like i'm inhaling broken glass. >> i can't play (bleeping) sports no more. seeing people running around as i pass by, seeing them on the field throwing the football around, day i'm hoping to have grandchildren, and i want to be able to do that with them. but who knows what it >> nawaz: there's more information about those suffering from this disease at c.o.p.d. is just one of many illnesses plaguing first responde since the attacks. among the initial first responders, and those who worked or lived in the area, more than 4,600 have died since that day. it's still not clear how many of
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those deaths were linked to exposure at the attack sites for weeks and months afterward. since 9/, more than 80,000 responders have sought medical help. for a closer look, i'm joined by dr. steven markowitz. for eight years, he ran the world trade center health clinic in queens, new york. and from 2011 to 2020, he served on the scientific and technical advisory board of the world trade center health program. he's an epidemiologist who now works with the advocacy group, 9/11 health watch. welcome to the newshour. thank you for making the time. the world trade center health program, it is a federal program. give us a sense of the scale and scope of it. what kind of support does it provide? how many people has it helped? >> it serves over 110,000 people at this point. three-quarters are responders who worked at ground zero, firefighters, police, anthe like.
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and the remainder, about a quarter of them, are neighborhood residents or survivors. so it is a very large program, providing both routine annual monitoring for most of them, but also care for selected health conditions that have been deemed to be related to 9/11 work or residents near 9/11. >> nawaz: 20 years later, do yu have your arms around the universe of people who need help? is everyone who is eligible for that support already reached out for that part of the program? >> you know, actually, in the last eight months or so, there are over 500 people each month who are joining the program. so that means there clearly is an untapped population, even though over 110,000 are members now of this program, clearly there are more who could be served. nawaz: what about the medical impact? what sort of range of health conditions are hearing about? we heard about c.o.p.d., and we've heard stories of cancer linked to that day.
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what else? >> about 40% have either asthma or other upper respiratory problems, or gastrointestinal disease, acid reflux. that is about 45,000 people in thaprogram. cancer is a common problem. over 20,000 responders and residents in the program have developed and been treated for cancer. an additional 20,000 people have mental health problems, mainly post traumatic stress disorder, and a range of other conditions. so a majority of the people have one or more of these certified health conditions. >> nawaz: the policemen program was e set up for a 20 year range, but it will run out. and what happens now? >> congress did its best to estimate what kind of
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funding would be needed over a certain period of time. but, in fact, more people have gotten ill and more people have joined the program han expected. and those illnesses are very costly. now, the health care that is given for the responders and the residents is very good health care. it is excellent care. it is a recent research study looking at cancer among the program participants and has demonstrated they do better in this program than they would have than if they were part of the general population of new york state. 28% better in terms of cancer outcome, either cure or long-term survival. so the program is providing excellent care. it costs money. if the money runs out in 2024, 2025, the program won't be able to continue. that's a big problem. >> nawaz: back in 2019, it took jon stewart to
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publicly shaming congress to reauthorize funds for the ogram. are you confident that it will get the funds it needs now? >> i am confident because i think people understand. the people who are cared for in this country are all over the country. a majority are here in nenew jersey,new york, and conn, but they're spread throughout the country. i think people in congress will understand that. the otherhing i should mention is it is 20 years now. most toxins don't cause problems right ay. the toxins that cause chronic conditions like cancer, neurologic disease, etc., they normally wait 15, 20 years before they cause a problem. in this program, we've seen an accelerated development of problems. but the worrisome thing now, now that it is 20 years, is that these toxins, if they act like they normally do, we have
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to be very careful, very vigilant about the health of these program participants and make sure if new problems develop, we can treat them. >> nawaz: 20years later, we only hope those who need the help can get it. that is dr. steven markowitz, board member of the advocacy group. >> woodruff: and we hope the people can get the help that they need. that is the newshour for and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: a raymond james financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life, well-planned.
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>> the kendeda fund. committed to advancing restorative justice and meaningful work through investments in transformative leaders and ideas. more at >> supported by the john d. and 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. captioning sponsored by nehour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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♪ hello, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour & co." here's what's coming up. the 20th anniversary of 9/11, a sobering look at how the world has changed for better and for worse since that fateful day. i speak to afghanistan's first female ambassador to the united states and to lawrence wilkerson, aide to the former secretary of state colin powell on why he regrets his role in the war on terror. and how hope curdled into defeat. i reflect on how america's war squandered global good will and restored the taliban to power. plus -- >> i ran over the p.a.s, and i grabbed the mic,