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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  August 11, 2020 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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08/11/20 08/11/20 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> we want to open the door toward national salvation. ththe lebanese people are taking part in and thuhus i'm anannoung totoday the resignation of this governmentnt. am a afterays ofof protests, lebanon's governmentesigns following last week's devastating explosion in beirut ththat has killed 200 and injurd thousasas. we will l go to beirut for the latest. then "how did it come to this?"
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we'll speak to the atlantic's ed yong about how the coronavirus has humbled and humiliated the planet's most powerful nation. >> we are now in the situation where the virus was never brought to heel and now is raging out of control again. we talk a lot about second waves. we never escaped the first one. amy: and we will go inside san quentin state prison in california where 25 prisoners have died from covid-19 in the nation's largest coronavirus outbreak. we'll hear from two prisoners who contracted the virus about where some infected prisoners were taken. >> i call it the bowels of san quentin because it is so dark and dank. there is no electricity. hot water was sparse. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome e to democracy nowow!,, the quarante report. i'm amy goododman.
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the government of lebanon stepped down monday night amid mountiting unrest and anger over last week'k's catastrophic explosion at thehe port of beir. asas he announced his cabinet'ss resignatation in a televised address, prime minister hassan diab said "corruption is bigger than thehe state." at least 200 people were killed in the blast, which was triggered by 2700 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate left unattended in a warehouse for six years. the devastating explosion came at a time when lebonon was already facing a a political,, economomic, and public health crisis. we will go to beirut after headlines with historian ziad abu-rish. ththe trump administration is considering blocking u.s.s. citizens a and permanent resesis frfrom reentering ththe u.s. at their suspected d of having covd 19. critics say the prproposed rules part of trump's ongoing effort to seal the u.s.'s southern border with mexico.
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meanwhile, his discussions continue to stall and it capitol hill, governors across the united states expressssed frustratioion with preresident trump's order for ststates t to cocover a quarteter of the costf enhanced a and employment benefs as states are already reeling from shortages and revenue due to the pandemic. more evidence is emerging of a rise in infections among children. a new report found that pediatric cases are up 90% from last month. president trump dismissed recent reports yesterday, insisting again it is safe to open schools because children are much less affected by the virus. pres. trump: they don't get very sick. according to the people that i have spoken to, they don't transport it or transfer it to other people or certainly not very easily. i think schools have to open. we want to get our r economy going. amy: during the news conference monday night, trump was evacuated after secret service shot a suspect outside the white
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house. secret service said the white house was not breached and the man was sent to a hospital. he was not armed. in other education news, over 500 people from a georgia school district have been placed in quarantine due to covid-19, since school started last week. last week the bureau of indian education, which is part of the interior department, announced it would reopen 53 in-person schools across 10 states on september 16. internatatnal news, , a of cases has surpassed 200 millilion. russssian president vladimir pun announced russia was the first country to approve a covid-19 vaccinine, even statating that s daughter had alreaeady received it. the regulatory approroval was grananted as the vaccine is stil going through clinical trials. in new zealand, prime minister jacinda ardern has ordered the city of auckland into lockdown and for other measures to be renewed in the rest of the country after four people from one auckland family contracted
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covid-19. this comes just two days day after new zealand celebrated 100 days without a domestic transmission. in c chicago, over 1 100 peoplee ararrested early monday morning after the police clalashed with protesters, accusing them of looting upscale stores in chicago's magnificent mile shopping district. the massive overnight protest was sparked by the police shooting sunday of a 20-year-old man. police alleged the man opened fire on policefficers first. he has been hospitalized and charged with attempted murder. on monday, chicago mayor lori lightfoot announced a lockdown with massive police presence for the city chicago. meanwhile, in portland, oregon, at least 16 people were arrested monday morning as massive protests against police brutality and racial violence continue. among those arrested was demetria hester, a black woman and hate crime survivor who was assaulted by a white supremacist three years s ago.
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belarus remamains in political turmoil as protests continued for a second day, leaving one person deadd after incumbent president alexander lulukashenko was declared t the winner of sunday's election with 80% ofof the vote.. svetlana t tikhanovskaya, his mn challelenger, fled to neighborig lithuania after she refused to concede. at a news briefing before she left, she condemned the brutal police crackdown on protesters who were met with tear gas, rubber bullets, and stun grenades. >> people were not peacefully to defend her voices. yesterday they made their choice. people had a celebration. to start suppressing people literallinin a couple e of hour, itit is the crime. amy: meanwhile, lukashenko's government is ramping up its attack on journalists, assaulting and arresting multiple reporters during the demonstrations. another person currently behind bars is vitali shkliarov, a former campaign staffer for bernie sanders and barack obama
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who is married to an american and had been helping on the campaign of svetlana's husband, sergei tsikhanouski, who had planned to run for president before he was arrested in may. in bolivia, prototests are intensifying against the government of right-wing interim president jeanine anez after it delayed presidential elections last month, for the second time, citing the pandemic. blockades have been set for over a week as the bolivian workers' union has called for a general strike and for elections to be moved up from october to september throughout bolivia. this is a protester from el alto. >> the bolivian people are demanding the resignation of janine on yes and her ministers. ththey're just ususing this momt toto loot our countrtry in the e of help. amy: in brazil, the destruction of the amazon rainforest continues toto accelerate, with the number of fires in 2020 up dramatically, even compared to last year's devastating
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so-called fire season. environmental groups say the fires are mostly the product of unlicensed loggers, ranchers, and miners, with the encouragement t of far-rightht presidenent jair bolsonaroro. ththe last fully i intact icicef in the cananadian arcticic has collapsesed, losing overer 40% f its area -- a piece larger than the island of f manhattan -- in just two days at the end off july. the ice shelf's melting has been attributed to rising tetemperaturess s the nadidian arct h has been overer 9 drees fahrenheit warmemer this summerr than the 30-year average.. the environmental protection agency is planning to rescind regulations for methane gass emissions and end requirements that oil and gas companies have mechanisms in place to detect methane leaks. the new rule changes are part of the trump administration's ongoing efforts to ease regulations on the largest polluters. methane accounts for around 10% of u.s. greenhouse-g-gas emissions.s. in immigration n news, advococas are ururging immigration and customs s enforcement to releasa
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mexicacan man imprisoneded at te adelanto ice processing center in california and to remove him from a deportation list. rights groups say ice wants to deport jose tapete for speaking against the jail's squalid and abusive conditions, and neglectful practices amid the covid-19 pandemic, including the agency's use of harmful chemicals allegedly used to disinfect the jail. tapete has been imprisoned at adelanto for over two years and has schizophrenia. he has also participated in several hunger strikes. meanwhile, the family of a 74-year-old south korean immigrant choung won ahn, who died by suicide in may, is demented california investigate the privately-run mesa verde detention facility in cacalifornia where he was lolocd up. a warning to our audience, the following two headlinenes contan disturbing images. newly released pololice bobodycm video of george floyd's killing shows medical personnel waited almost three minutes to perform
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chest compressions on an unresponsive floyd. the footage also shohows officer derek chauvin killed him by kneeling on his neck for over ninene minuteses, longer than wt had previously been estimated. the vivideo comes from the bodycams of alexander kueng and thomas lane, who have been charged with aiding and abetting floyd's murder. the video also shows lane pulling a gun on floyd within 15 seconds of encountering him in a parked vehicle as he was investigating a complaint of a possible fake $20 bill. george floyd can be heard repeating at least 25 times that he cannot breathe, as well as telling the officers he had covid-19. in north cararolina, a nurse and five guards at forsyth county jail face chargeges of invnvoluy manslaughthter over their rolesn the death of 56-year-old african american prisoner john elliott
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neville last december. the incident began when neville reportedly fell from the top bunk of his prison bed onto a hard concrete floor. newly released video shows guards handcuffing neville, placing a bag over his head and moving him to another cell. there he's hog-tied and pressed face-first into the floor as he cries out for his mother and says "i can't breathe" more than 20 times. after neville becomes unresponsive, a nurse begins administering cpr. neville died two days later in a hospitital in winston-sasalem. an autopsy showed he was asphyxiated while restrained and suffered a brain injury after his heart stopped beating. in baltimore, maryland, a major gas explosion killed one woman, injured at least seven others, and leveled three homes. investigatorors say it couldld e
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months to determine the cause of the devastating blast. president trump's much touted deal with kodak has been put on hold amid a probe launched by the securities and exchange commission. the sec is investigating after kodak's stock surged just days the company received a a $765 million loan under the defefense production act.. the e loan was given to helplp k start making prescriription drus -- somomething it has never dode before. in florida, a federal apappeals court ruled it is unconstitutional for schools to ban transgendeder students from using the restroom corresponding to their gender identity. the case was brought by transgender teen drew adams, who battled his local school board for years after he was told he could no longer use the boys' bathroom. on friday, the judges said -- "a public school may not punish its students for gender nonconformity nor harm transgender students by establishing arbitrary, separate rules." and those are some of f the
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headlines. this is democracy now!,, the e quarante report. i am amy goodman in new york, joined by my co-host juan gonzalez in new jersey. juan: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: we begin in lebanon where the government resisigned fofollowing days of f protests r monday more than 200 people were killed and thousands injurured n a devastating blast at beirut's port. dozens of people are still missing, many of them foreign workers. prime minister hassan diab annonounced his resignation inia televised address. >> we follow the rule of people. change fromor real the corrupt destructive state, theft, state of law and justice and transparency to a country that respects its people.
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in the face of this reality, we take a step back to stand with the people to undergo this change with them. we want to open the door toward salvation possible that the lebanese people are taking part in and thus i'm announcing today the resignation of this governmentnt. amy: the lebanese president michel aououn accepted diab's resignatn but asked him to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new w cabinet is formed. last week's explosion was triggered by 2700 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate left unattended in a warehouse at the port for over six years. the port blast came at a time when lebanon was already facing political, economic, and a public health crisis. ziad abu-rish joins us now in beirut. historian and research fellow at the lebanese center for policy studies and co-director of bard college's masters of arts program in humuman rights and te arts. welcome to democracy now!, ziad abu-rish. it is great to have you with us. can you start off by talking
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about the significance of the fall of the lebanese government -- the fact the government remains as a caretaker government, this as protesters continue to take to the streets in t the midst o of the aftermaf this horrific explolosion. >> absololutely, amy. thank you for h having me and shedding light on this important topic. the follow-up the hassan diab government was a domain of protesters and critics of the government as well as people who participated in the october 2019 revolution in lebanon and had opposed the formation of this cabinet. however, i think it is important to recognize the fall of this government is also the product of internal conflict betetween e varirious political partieies tt make upp lebanon's political clclass. you mentioioned the issue of remaining in power as a caretaker government. ththis is actually a very normal
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status after governments submit the resignation. the fall of cabinets and even the holding of early parliamentary elections are not necessarily signs that fundamentatal transformation is underway in lebanon. for now, at leaeast, this is politics as usuaual. the big question for people is, what is going to come in place of this cabinet that has just resign in the wakake of the very devastating and dedeadly explosn and a cabinet that has failed to ststem the t tide of various economic,c, constructional crises? juan: whahat about the president himself andnd othth members o of parliaiament arththe protesteters calling for muchch more wholesasale change n the government and if so, what kind of structural changes you think are needed in lebanon today? >> i think it is important to
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rerecognize protesters are not necessarily unified in n their demands. however, i think they share a wholesale rejection of the status quo in which all major political parties in lebanon are duplicated. areher it is president aoun presidents that have come before him, whether it is the speaker parliament -- all members of parliament currently or former cabinet, that collectively failed to deliver on any of the aspirations and needs of the majority of the people who live in lebanon, including citizens, refugees, migrant workers, and other people. i think what we want to look for as we move forward as an indication there's going to be structural change or not is who is going to be appointed to the next cabinet? is this cabinet g going to be an independent cabinet? is it going to be comprised of competent persons?
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is it going to be empowered to legislate the necessary laws begin theequired to transformation of the political system in lebanon? and pave the way to some meaningful accountability and transparency? for example, the electoral law in lebanon is constantly voted on and passed before each election cycle. electoral laws determine districting, the distribution of seats in the threshold for making it into office. this has largely allowed for this political class to reproduce itself every timee elelections are held. if it isectoral law, definitely mentally changed there's no reason to suspect new elections will result. of course, there are other reforms we can think of that protesters have domain for a long time, including judicial reforms, the creation of a truly independent j judiciary, and adjustment of ththe economic --
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addressing the economic crisis that is only continue to worsen. no stopgapbeen measures taken to prevent the continuous downward spiral. now in the wake of the explosion come in a new cabinet is going to have to establish a meaningful investigation of the causes of the explosion and holding those people responsible. none of these things have happened. not in the diab cabinet or other cabinets before them. this is the fundamental issue here in lebanon if anyone hopes to see the kind of transformation that most protesters are calling for. amy: canan you explore -- can yu responond to president macron coming to lebanon, t the opening sentence of an ap report on hiss trip beginins "it was almost asf emmanuel macron forgot that lebanon is no longer a french protecectorate." he was in the streets before lebanon's prime minister was.
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if you can talk about that relationship and also the $300 million that have been -- a donors cononference set upup a where that money w would go? >> absbsolutelely. the fact that macron was in the streets before the prime minister or any other major official in lebanon was is more a reflection of the unaccountability of the lebanese political class to the population of lebanon that it is the goodwill intentions of the president of france. i think macron was trying to see the initiative for france and the european union to get ahead of the united states and a paving the way for some type of exit of the political and multiple crises in lebanon. he is perhaps even trying to reposition france in relation to lebanon and the broader middle eaeast. that being said, i think it is important to note that france, the united states, the european union, the international monetary fund, the world bank,
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asell as other powers like iran, russia, saudi arabia, are all complicit in helping create, maintain, and sustain the political system in lebanon that most protesters are calling for ththe downfall of. 11th hourther an abouout-face by france or cynicl attempt to reestablish relationship. as you mention yourselelf with e ap report, france was responsible for creating the state of lebanon in the aftermath of world war ii and was a colonial power from 1918 to 1946 when it withdrew. most of the structural and institutional arrangements that are with us today in lebanon were introduced and facilitated through french government practices during the colonial period. and i think if france wants to really change its relationship with lebanon or champion the
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aspirations of the people of lebanon, it should begin with a public apology and taking responsibility for its role, past and present, from the establishment of lebanon through the civil war and afterwards in could turbid into the situation, even though, as i always say, the primary responsibility for the status quo in lebanon is first and foremost amongst the political parties that make up the political class here in lebanon. that being said, outside powers have continuously aided and a better than your financial aidid of a diplomatic support, and other memeans. juan: i am wondering if you could talk about the role of hezbollah and endocrcrine situation? currently, the lelebanese government is trying t to get fifinancial assistancece from te inrnrnatiol momonery funund, yet hezbollah was closely tied to the diab government. could y you talk about that relationonship and how it affecs the standing of hezbollah within the multiparty situation that
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has existed in lebabanon for 70 years? >> absolutely. we should make clear has bill is part o of the politicall s systn politicacal class in lebanon. it has participated in various parliaments in various governments and has blocked is perhaps -- hezbollah is perhaps the most powerful political party here in lebanon. it is use this power to trap the political system in lebanon and use that power to oppose and confront protesters s in lebano. i think that is very importantnt to make clear that any fundamental transformatioion as protesters are demananding all f them, including the fundamental rethinking of the rorole of hezbollah in local politics. that being said, i think a focus on hezbollah as a panacea for the problems of lebanon misses the broader political forces and parties that have helped create, maintain, and benefit from the
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system in place. we need to distinguish between legitimate cririticism and opposition to hezbollah as a part of the broader a and politicacal economicic system md what i would call illegitimate witticisms of hezbollah -- those that are simply seeking to reshuffle the chairs, restructure the balance of power in the favor of other members of the political class at the exclusion of hezbollah. if we think any solution to the fundament of problems of lebanon can be achieved by simply eliminating hezbollah fromm the equation, we arere misleading te situation on the grouound. it is part and parcel of t the problelem, that is all mamajor popoliticians at all major popolitical parties, espepecialy ththose that havave been backedy the united states, saudi arabia, france, and others in the western world. amy: we just have 1 10 seconds, but yoyou expepect the protestsn the ground and it is ravaged capital beieirut to intensisify?
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> i do suspect they will intensify. but is always the case, that challenges can they translate their presence on the ground into meaningful pressure for institutional and structural change in lebanon? i wish them the best. i am admired and in awe of the bravery and courage. we will have to wait and see what happens. amy: ziad abu-rish, thanknk you for being with u us, researchh fellow a at the beirut-based lebanese center for policy --dies, co-editor co-director of the m.a. program in human rights and the arts a t bard college. when we cocome back, we speak kh ed yong. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "poupayee" by flugen. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman wiwith juan gonzalez. the world has passed a grim milestone -- 2 20 million coronavirus caseses. over 5 million of the confirmed
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infections have been here in the united states. although the u.s. has just 5% of the world's population, it has more than a quarter of all the coronavirus infections and deaths with the death toll of over 163,000, by far the world's largest. the united states has recorded more t than half of million new cases so far in august. that's s more cases than any european country has recorded since the pandemic began. this comes as millions of parents are now deciding whether it is safe to send their kids back to school. and your report by the american academy of pediatrics found that nearly 100,000 children contracted covid-19 in the last two weeks of july. meanwhile, the centers for disease control reports children of color are disproportionately being hospitalized. latinx kids are eight times more likely to be hospitalized than white children. black children are five times as likekely.
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latinx and black children also make up nearly three quarters of cases of the rare but deadly multisystem inflammatory syndrome which has been associated with covid-19. we are joinened by the prize winning science reporter ed yong. his new article "how the pandemic defeated america" is the cover story in the atlantic. yong begins his piece -- "how did it come to this? a virus a thousand times smaller than a dust mote has humbled and humiliated the planet's most powerful nation. america has failed to protect its people, leaving them with illness and financial ruin. it has lost its status as a global leader. it has careened between inaction and ineptitude. the breadth and magnitude of its errors are difficult, in the moment, to truly fathom." ed yong, welcome b back to democracy now! it is great to have you with this. ok, how did it happen and how can it be fixed?
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to try and summarize, i think there are two main things we need to talk about. one is the devastatingly and after response to the pandemic -- inept response to the pandemic. the trumpet administration is possibly failed ththe american people and failed to takeke the lead. it is failed to listen to experts, to rollout a workable plan to get testing in place, to injure protective supplies are rolled out -- it has failed and on most every cononceivable wayo do with the pandemic that many other r nations have brought to heel within at least a month of time. more importantly, i think it has failed to honor the sacrifices americans have made in spring when everyone obeyed social restrictioions, whenen they stad at homome, when they uprooooted theirr liveses to significant financial and emotional cost.
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that time was meant to be used to prepare the nation for what was to come and it was squanderered. that is one aspect. i think the otheher we really yd to grapple with is thahat the cocoronavirus exploited vulnerabilities that have been existing in american society for decades and centuries well before the trump administration. the underfunding of public health, the overpack prisons, the understaffed nursing homes, the health inequalities that have been brewing for all of america's history due to legacy of colonialism and racism. all of those things contributed to how bad things are. the statistics you read out at the start of the segment. and all of those vulnerabilities need to be addressed going forward if we are going to be better able to deal with the pandemics of the future. to asask you, the trtrumpet admininistration is cleaearly bettiting a lot on hag a vaccine as soon n as p possib.
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the presisident has talalked abt the possibility of november for a vaccine. but the reality is that even the clinical trial now underway,y, e moderna trial, has only registered 5000 of the thousand volunteers that it n needs to this clinical this emphasis on the vaccine as the key solution, i'm wondering your thoughts on t that? rightn if everything g goes in the vaccine development process, a and there is no goodo we will -- even if we get the vaccine ahead of schedule, there are all kinds of problems left. there are logistical problems. how dodo you deliverer the vacce into people's arms? can we trust a government that has really failed to p provide things likprotective equipment fofor rollout a workablele plano handle the logistitics of gettig millions of vaccine doses to an
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adult population who typically is not thehe group that is usuay vaccinated? that ournfidedent program called operationon warp trump speaking to do the things necessary to make people comfortable a about the safety of a vaccine? the publilic trust that is s s diminied rightowow is important. i thinthat is gointo be a proble that e people weree babankinon t theaccicinere not reallyullyly gpplilingith. an final, i think you're hinting at something important. we always -- and by "we", and sosociety in general andnd i thk the trumpet administration in particular, is banking on a silver bullet that is going to fix everything. i don't think it is going to be that simple.
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even when a vaccine comes out, it will take a long time where it gets to people. there are things we can do right now that will make a difference. testing is so important. social i interveventions by givg people paid sick leave for ensuring wider health care coverage. all of those things can make a difference to people's health in the moment without having to wait for the biomedical enterprise to save us. juan: this whole e issue of suca simple publilic health measure like testing and tracking of those@@ with a positive result, why has there been such a colossal failure on the part of the was government in dealing with the issue of testing? >> it is truly astonishing. at the start, some of the problems have been well-documented, the c cbc try o rollout a test in a did not really work. private labs try to jump in and
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help out but were strangled byby fda bureaucracy. and these problems rolled on and exacerbated because the u.s. fell behind in the early days and then competed with basically the rest of the world for and the and swabs equipment you neeeeto test. while we are continuing to fail at t testing is just utterly baffling. mamany people have c called for rapid diagngnostic tests thahate a littlele less sensitive but cn deliver resultlts very quickly. that i is incrcredibly important because at the moment, tests are taking a week plus to reteturn resusults -- whichch is cocomply useless from the perspective of actuallyontrollingng the virus, workrking out where the pandemic is contitinuing toto cause p pr.
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we need a a reallyly coordinated testining plan. thee really ananswered yourr question, , why this is still plaguing the country, is that there has been no leadership. expertisese to create functionining testing p n acrossss the country has not ben marshaled. and that is toto the detriment f all of us. amy: i mondaday, president trump was questioned about his supuppt for reopenining in-person schoos during the pandemic. this is what he said. >> 97,000 children tested positive for coronavirus in the last two weeksks of july accordg to the american academy of pediatrics. does that give you any pause about schools reopening? pres. trump: as you would call it a case, it may be a case, but it is also a case where there is a tiny -- it is a tiny fraction of death. a tiny fraction. they get better very quickly.
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yeah, they may have it for short period of time, but as you know, the seriousness of it in terms of what it leads to is extraordinarily small. very much less than 1%. amy: i want to ask a multipart question on this. about misinformation and whether you think journalists who refused to go to these daily coronavirus press briefings unless president trump has scientists at his side. number two, this issue of the children and particularly kids of color. latinx kids, eight times more elected to be hospitalized. like children, five times more likely. thisore chance of getting multisystem disorder that can kill. how little these disparities are talkeded about and do you think they way into president trump disregarding them? by the way, his own kid wont be -- inback to person
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persons go because her school is close. >> to the first point, i don't think journalists should be airing these briefings live. i think they are amomong the mot potent sources of this information and disinformation to the public right now. with c clips of f them a along the actual contextualizing information peoplele need to m e sense of it -- never live. i thinink in terms o of your otr question, the racial disparity, a piece wawrwrittethatat trump took the vir seriously until he loodd at who was actual dyinfromom i we s from reports from katherine eban from "vanity fair" testing plans were planned -- plans were shelved when it became clear it was disproportionally tgeting
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minorities. i think one should always stick to [indiscernible] increasing evidence that malice was rtrt of is.. at i is eply worrying for wh is tcocome. you have read about the w way te viruruinfectshildren,he lower risk of death. that is true, but we need to remember this is a pandemic that is stitill raging widely that america. the problem is that if you have an uncontrolled pandemic, not only do you have -- like massive community spread, which is a problem if you open schools in those communities, but rare event then become hugely problematic. if you had millions of people being infected, something that only happens to 1% of them, it is still going to affect huge swaths of the population. the fact that something is
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relatively rare does not make it safe in the context of a pandemic that isis raging out of control, which is exactlyly what we are still seeing. juan: ed yong, in her article for the atlantic "how the pandemic defeated america," you also look intoto the role e of socialal media platformsms in spreading disinformation or misinformation to the american public. you write -- onthe same social media platforms that sowed partisanship and misinformation during the 2014 ebola outbreak in africa and the 2016 u.s. election became vectors for conspiracy theories during the 2020 pandemic." could you expound on that? >> we know that platforms like facebook, twitter, youtube spread misinformation more quickly than they do information. that is because they are governed by algorithms that are desisigned to keep users engage,
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to keeeep their attention on the site. they do that by feeding them cocontent that veers toward extremee -- toward being very polarized and stokes heavy emotion, regardless of whether that content is true o or dangerous or not. these problems havave been well recognizeded. the corere theme of my atlantic piece, that all of our problems under this pandedemic were predictable and preventable. people were talking about social media platforms acting as radicalization engines. that is s exactly what w we're saying now. it spreadsds misinformation n ad contributes to this vortex of fear and uncertainty in which people are trapped. we're all worried. we are all concerned for our families, our friends. look for m more infoformation.. but we're looking for that information on channels that feed us falsehoods, that feed us
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polarizing formation. so that just worsens the feelings of fear and anxiety which causes us to seek out more information which worsens the problem. it spiralsls. that exactly whahat we are seeig now in t this pandemic, and it s contribute into the problems that we are experiencing. amy: when you talk about a non-technical fix in terms of, for r example, a vaccine that we have to focus on now what many countries have gotten under control, the coronavirus pandememic through masks, testi, and it is not just something that the president has not invoked their defense production act to the level of ensuring everyone has it, in many places it is getting far worsrse. but i want to g go to the issuef medicare for all. we are moving into the democratic national convention next week. the executive committee writing
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the platform, joe biden has made it very clear he is against medicare for all. amazingly, the latest vote on the platform against medicare for all. how signgnificant do youou thin- i do you thinknk this pandemic d its disparate effects on the population of this country, especially communities of color, do you think that medicare for all would make an enormous difference in how it is possible that the opposing party is saying absolutely not at this point when many polls show it is the most popular answer to the health crisis we have in this country? >> amemerica s system of employerer-type insurance, which is unique in the world, is undoubtedly contributed to the disparities that we are seeing. it disadvantages poor communities and communities of
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that havemunity's been disproportionately hit by this virus. and we know that thohose disparitities in the system o of health carare in its inequity is the legacy of the racism that america has always struggled with. and since the end of the civil war, throughout the jim crow era, health care access was pushed away from black communities. and other communities of color. and that goes right up to the opposition, to the expansion of medicaid and the affordable care act. continuinghas led to -- and being able to access health care, contributing to the dispropoionate told is virus has taken upon communitieofof lor.r. even before thpandemic started,memericaas r rat by some global indices as been n te most prepad d nati in n th
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wowod. int seems ait licrous ndsight. but even the i in tes of health car america was rated 5th outf 195 different counies. isis waslwayays own toto be a massive vulnerality thawould cost theountry drly duri a crisis othisis kind ad rere enoh, it h h in very pventablend tragic y. is h haso be dressed. if we n't u the lesns from this pdemic to reaze that univsal l heth ce is thing we have to fig for - i do't knowhether -i don't know whether ''re goingo do any beer, not st for ts -- fo future pses of ts pandem, but allf the other health oblems tt we sti need to dealith. want askg, i about the ump administratio's contind isolatiism in rms
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, for instance,e, the attempts to demonize china as the source and constanantly criticizing g and attacking g te world health organization, yet china -- given of ththe virus started there, , has been able o contain dramatically -- what hs the chinese government done right compared to what the u.s. government has done? china clearly made missteps early o on. there were problems with transparency of alerting the world to problems. there have been problems is the original virus in 2003. but china did take steps to control the pandemic. i think what we reallyly need to rememer the pandemic c ows how quickly diseases canprpread around the world and that no country can stand alone.
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nono country canan wall it selee rest of the globe andnd expect o be fine. the world needs to work together to d deal with threats l like t. the wordrdpandemic" " comes from "all greek w word meaningg people" and that is what is requireded to do with these problems.. the united s states now in seekg this isolation and pulling back from the who and other international alliances is really shooting itself in the foot. you could argue that china made steps early on and that we need international norms to stop the lack of transparency from manifesting again, but it is the internationanal communityty thas going to create the legal structures and the norms that will ensure the enenre world is better prepared for thehe next crisisis. anand if americaca withdraws, is losingng its seat at thehe tabl. it is losing positions of
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influence and allowing those norms to be drawn without it. maybe some people think that america doeoes not need thehe rt of thehe wororld, but they are wrong. that standing, deposition of diplomatic power, it really is i think taking steps that will cost it in the future. amy: we just have 10 seconds, but i want to ask about the highest level u.s. delegation led by alex azar to taiwan. clearly, trump wants to stick a finger in the eye of china, but what would be very important here is if the u.s. learns the lesson of taiwan and how he dealt with the pandemic immediately going to testing, national responses to testing -- protective gear and masksks a true lessoson for the united
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states to learn. > yeah, i think humility woud be an amazing lesson to learn. on the contrary, -- other countries have dealt with this pandemic well. if america can shed the sins of exceptionalism and look to what other nations have done well, maybe we can learn lessons that will protect people and the future. amy: ed yong, thank you for being with us, science writer at the atlantic who has been covering the pandemic extensively since march. his cover story we will link to thetled "how pandemicic defeated america." whwhen we come back, we go to te largrgest coronaviruss outbreak. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: " "we might be dedead by tomorrow" by soko. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we turn now w to california whee the statate's san quentin prisin faces the country's s largest coronavirus outbreak. at least 2200 prisoners there have been infected with the virus and 25 have died. more than 260 staff at san quentin have also been infected and prison guard gilbert polanco is now the first to die, after he reportedly worked extra shifts when dozens of his fellow guards fell ill with the virus. executions have been on hold in california since last year, but the latest prisoner to die on sunday was pedro arias, who had been on san quentin's death row since 1990. democracy now! spoke by phone
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with incarcerated journalist juan haines, who is among the thousands at s san quentin who'e been infected with covid-19 ababout why the prisonon, whichs buililt in the 185850's, is s fg anan coronavavirus outbreak. >> the architectural design of fitfornia prisons are not for human occupations. it is just not. but we are a resilient species and we adapt to whatever the physical environment is. the unfortunate thing is the virus does not care about that adaptation. that is why there are so many people in san quentin are dying because we can't physically distance ourselves from each other. and what is so hurtful about this, the fact we can't not physically distance ourselves there any kind of contagion that gets in this prison will spread
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like wildfire. amy: that is incarcerated journalist j juan hahaines speag by phone from m san quenentin. he recently cowrote a piece for -- appeal headlined some psoners report being punished with solitary confinement and squalid conditions for getting sick.k. this is 52-year-old michael adams, who spoke to o democracy nonow! producecer libby rainey y phone last week. >> call it the bowels of sand quit because it is so dark and dank. there is no electricity. sparse.r was smaller.ells are for the 43 days i was there, the person that came in with me had more property than i had so we were literally crawling over boxes in sl that is smaller than the average size just to be able to use the bathroom. absolutely crazy.
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showering once a week, phone calls once a week, and no medical attention. then there was a thing where the people that were coming and taking the oxygen readings and the temperature readings, we were trying to figure out, why do you need this? there were like, we need statistics stop we need data. >> did you know any of the people that have died? >> i don't about two of the peoplele that have dieied. onone code that is san quentin prison or adams describing what he called the bowelsls of san quentin prison were somome of te prisoners who got sick with covid-1919 like himself were pu. for morore, we're joioined by js kiking, statete campaigner for e oakland-bad d ella bakaker centr for humaman jusustice memember e , stop san q quentin o outbreak cocoalition.
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he himseself was incarcerated dt san quentin from 2013 until this last decemember and has been monitoring the situationon there closely. wewelcome to democraracy now! if you can elaborate on what these prisoners hahave said? we spoke to juan before he got covid-19 when he was saying this place is going to suffer an outbreak like we have never seen before if the state does not do something about this now. can you explain what happened and what needs to be done now, james? >> sure. on m may 31, the california department of corrections and rehabilitations made the decision to transfer 121 people from california institution for men, which of the time was the largest outbreak in the statete, just -- two san quentin. that was chino. at the t time, san quentin was already well over 120% of
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capacity. to bring in the additional people, many of them actually already showing symptoms on the bus ride to san quentin, turned out to be a horrific, horrific debacle and mistake. the conditions at san quentin are horrific. in west block and work block, which are where most of the population is housed, those two buildings are each designed to hold a little over 400 people. they both hold close to 800 people within them. there is no ventilation within the building. the windows are in f fact welded shut. thee ventilating system has not been turned on in several years. there isis no access to cleaning supplies or very limited access to basic h hygiene products in addition to everything else. so you have these tightly confined spaces where people are living in close proximity to each other with no ability to
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physically distance. juan: w what steps are yoyou cag for officials to t take in terms of releasing peoeople frorom san quentin? and your reactioion to governor newsom saying he will not release e any prisoners who have been convicteded of violent offenses? >> two things. number one, we have been horrified to know that at san quentin, 10 weeks after the outbreak, the prison is still at over 100% capacity. public health officials in mid-june called for a dramatic reduction. they said at least a 50% reduction needs to happen in the population there and at every prison throughout t the state ad country, frankly. in ordrder to get there, you hae to stop looking at what a person may have done 20, 30, 40 years ago.
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quite frankly, the vast overwhelming m majority people incarcerated at san quentin are not a threat to public safety. be soea that theyey would violent or still a threat is contradicted by the california department of correction and riba locations own data -- rib locations own data. i think the vast majority can be released urgently inin order to flatten ththe curve on the viru. juan: what is your sensese of hw the media coverage and america's prisonons in california prisonsn particular how the media is covering this issue? >> i think it t is been largely problematic and two senses. one idea is these are merely prison outbreaks. i understand it is built off of decades of demonizing people who have committed harmful acts in our country, but when we think
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of this as only prison outbreaks and ignore the fact that hundreds of people traveling inside and outside of these outbreaks daily and working in them and returning to their families and into the community, it causes us to create bad policy as it r relates to causig this pandemic. secondly, there was a headline recently that said california department of corrections and rehabilitation was releasing murderers. that is not true. what they are releasing our people who have dealt with h her harmful acts, who have been safe and have not conducted any violence in decades. so the rhehetoric around the labels of people who committed harmful actcts is likike 20, 300 years ago representing them as static and still a threat to public safety ignores the larger
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threat to public safety, which is the pandemics and the virus itself. amy: james, requesting quinn's death toll translslates to about 767 people dying out of every 100,000 as if the united states had 2.5 million deaths from covid-19. .e heard prisoner juan haines we've had himim on several time, he came down w with covid, he is suing.g. we just have 20 seconds. what is this lawsuit? saying lawsuit is just hospitals are quickly -- are not equipped to deal with this pandemic. there is no way a prison camp. as juan said earlier, , this isa situation where the prison cannot keep people safe so people need to be released so they can safely isolate and curvetine and flatten the of this virus. amy: i want to thank you so much
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for being with us. we will continue to be on the story. james king, state campaigner for the oakland-based ella baker center for human justice and a member of the stop san quentin outbreak coalition. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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