tv Democracy Now LINKTV March 2, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PST
03/02/21 03/02/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> hb 530 what is textbook voter suppression. this bill reduces, restricts, limits every single aspect of our election. amy: voting rights are under attack. the georgia house has passed a sweeping bill to make it harder to vote. this comes as republican
lawmakers in 43 states have introduced over 250 bills to restrict voting access. and today, the supreme court considers gutting the voting rights act even more. we will speak with ari berman of mother jones. then as the rollout of johnson & johnson vaccines begin today, we look at the racial vaccination gap. black americans are not only twice as likely to die of covid-19 as white americans, but also dying at rates similar to those of white americans who are 10 years older. we will speak with dr. oni blackstone about her call to lower the age cutoff for vaccine eligibility for black americans. then "as the pandemic raged, abortion access arly flickered out." >> abortion access was an a crisis before the pandemic had. what we have seen over the past year is the collision of a deadly pandemic with many years
worth of state laws aimed at making access to abortion as difficult as possible. so the covid pandemiin many ways has offered as a preview of what it will be like when the supreme court overturns roe v. wade. amy: we will speak to investigative journalist amy littlefield. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. governors around the united states have begun rolling back restrictions and that slowing the spread of covid-19 even as the united states recorded another 58,000 new infections and 1500 covid-19 deaths on monday. daily cases are down from january possible highs, but have plateaued at rates comparable to last summer's peak. the cdc director dr. rochelle walensky warned monday those
steps to reopening public spaces may be coming too soon. >> we could t be resigned to 70,000 cases a day, 2000 daily deaths. amy: los angeles county has begun vaccinating all school staff and is planning on reopening elementary schools and preschools by april 9. meanwhile, children in chicago returned to in-person classes monday for the first time in nearly a year. former president donald trump and melania trump were secretly vaccinated against covid-19 in january before leaving the white house. that's according to "the new york times," cnn, and other outlets who report the trumps did not want to alienate supporters in the anti-vaccine movement by broadcasting images of their inoculations. about one-in-fivu.s. residents over the age of 18 have been vaccinated. and the pace of inoculations is set to pick up, with the first shots of johnson & johnson's single-dose covid-19 vaccine due to be administered today.
also today, the biden administration is announcing it has secured a deal to have the pharmaceutical giant merck produce shots of johnson & johnson's vaccine in a move that could sharply boost supply. the world health organization warned monday the number of new coronavirus infections is rising worldwide for the first time in seven weeks. in peru, a second wave of covid-19 cases and deaths has spawned shortages of bottled oxygen, leading to long lines and soaring prices for limited supplies. in west africa, ivory coast and ghana have begun administering shots of the oxford-astrazeneca vaccine purchased under covax, e u.n.-backed initiative. slovakia has become the second european union country after hungary to approve shots of russia's sputnik v vaccine. slovakia has one of worst covid-19 death rates in the world. in brussels, european commission officials announced plans to
issue certificates known as digital green passes to allow vaccinated people to travel more freely. the united nations is warning 400,000 yemeni children under the age of five could die from acute malnutrition this year, as the coronavirus pandemic and a saudi-led war on houthi rebels compounds the world's worst humanitarian crisis. u.n. secretary-general antonio gutteres said monday a donor's conference netted just $1.7 billion for humanitarian relief in yemen -- less than half of the $3.8 billion needed to avert widespread famine. >> today it is a death sentence for an entire family. with the war raging, yemen's children are paying the price. amy: the u.n. says about half of yemen's population of 29 million people is going hungry. last month, president biden pledged to end u.s. support for
the saudi-led war in yemen, which began six years ago under president obama. but the u.s. has refused to sanction saudi arabia's ministry of defense, crown prince, salmon, over the war in yemen and after he approved the assassination of "washington post" journalist jamal khashoggi. state partment spokesperson ned price said monday the administration was looking forward, not backward, on u.s.-saudi relations. >> we are very focused on future conduct and that is part of why we have cast this not as a rupture but a recalibration. amy: president biden is suffering major blowback for not tensioning -- sanctioning mohamed been some on. the senate has confirmed miguel cardona to become secretary of education. cardona became connecticut's youngest school principal at age 28. he's puerto rican and grew up in public housing.
meanwhile, the senate judiciary committee voted 15 to 7 monday to recommend that judge merrick garland be confirmed as attorney general, setting up a vote by the full senate. senators are debating last-minute changes to a $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill approved by the house, and are expected to begin debate as early as mid-week. democratic lawmakers have introduced a wealth tax on ultra-millionaires and billionaires to help fund president biden's build back better agenda. co-sponsor senator elizabeth warren said monday the wealth tax would help reverse massive inequality that's only gotten worse during the pandemic. >> we have watched the wealth of the billionaire class in america increase i more than $1 trillion over the last year. a to set wealth tax would just help level the playing field a little bit. amy: the department of justice is appealing a ruling by federal judge in texas that puts millions of u.s. residents at
risk of eviction. last week, u.s. district judge john barker -- a trump appointee -- ruled that an order from the centers for disease control and prevention temporari ending evictions during the pandemic is unconstitutional. the consumer financial protection buru says more than julian people are -- 2 million people are more than three nths behind on rent and could face eviction if, and when, the moratorium is lifted. president joe biden has voiced support for amazon workers in alabama who are voting on whether to form a union. biden posted this message to twitter on sunday evening. pres. biden: lift up workers, both union and non-union, especially black and brown workers. i have made it clear when i was running that my administration's policy would be to support unions organizing and the right to collectively bargain. amy: some 6000 amazon workers in alabama have until the end of the month to cast ballots in what could become the first
successful union drive at a u.s. amazon warehouse. go to democracynow.org to see our interview with the amazon workers. in immigration news, the biden 's administration is giving asylum-seeking parents separated from their children by trump the opportunity to decide if they want to reunite with their children on u.s. soil or in their country of origin. homeland security secretary alejandro mayorkas, who's heading biden's family reunification task force, said monday the policy was "the most powerful and heartbreaking example of the cruelty that preceded this administration." mayorkas said the government will explore legal pathways to allow parents who choose to return to the u.s. to be with their kids to remain in the country. while immigrant justice advocates celebrated the move, many have vowed to keep fighting until biden abolishes the detention of all asylum-seeking families. calls to boycott goya foods continue to grow after the company's ceo robert unanue falsely claimed donald trump had
won the presidential election . he gave an introductory speech for trump at the conservative political action conference, cpac, in floda. >> i biggest honor today is going to be that i tnk we're going to be on the same stage as, in my opinion, the real, the legitimate come and the still actual president of the united states donald j. trump. amy: in response, lulac president domingo garcia told cnn -- "when you put out lies to the community, there are consequences and there are going to be ramifications for your product." in northwestern nigeria, officials say nearly 300 girls who were kidnapped from a boarding school in zamfara state last week have been released and are now safe. their release reportedly follows negotiations between government officials and the kidnappers.
it's not known if the abductors received ransom payments. in france, a court in paris has found former president nicolas sarkozy guilty of corruption charges, sentencing him to at least a year in prison for trying to bribe a judge in 2014. he's the second french president in the modern era to be convicted of a crime. sarkozy will remain free as he appeals his case, a process that could take years. on capitol hill, democratic lawmakers are beginning debate on two separate bills to protect voting rights. if enacted, hr 1, the "for the people act" -- and the john r. lewis voting rights act -- would bring some of the most sweeping changes to u.s. elections law in a generation meanwhile, the georgia state house voted along party lines monday to pass an overhaul of the state's election laws, requiring i.d. for absentee voting, curbing ballot drop boxes, and limiting weekend early voting hours. georgia democrats blasted the law as an effort to roll back civil rights. we will have more on the story
later in the broadcast. a warning to our audience, this story contains descriptions of sexual harassment. in new york, a third woman has accused governor andrew cuomo of sexual harassment. anna ruch detailed her experience in an interview with "the new york times," saying she met cuomo at her friends' wedding reception in 2019 where he reportedly grabbed her lower back, put his hands on her cheeks, and loudly asked if he could kiss her. she said, "i was so confused and shocked and embarrassed," ruch told "the new york times." her story was corroborated by a friend who witnessed the interaction, as we as photographs from the event. governor cuomo briefly addressed allegations made by two former aides in a statement sunday night, saying his actions had been misinterpreted. on monday, democratic congresswoman kathleen rice of new york tweeted -- "the time has come. the governor must resign." and in australia, eight youth climate activists and a nun have filed a landmark class action
lawsuit that could force the australian federal government to stop approving new fossil fuel projects. the su wasiled in sponse to proposal by a coal corporation to extend its mine in north new south wales. 16-year-old climate justice advocate anj sharma is the lead plaintiff in the suit. >> this is a crisis that disproportionately affects people of col, younpeople, and marginalized people around the world. so, yes, i am terrified. i am terrifi about hearing the pacific islands sink into the sea. i'm ted -- terrified of hearing about natural disasters of bushfires and floods. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman in new york joined by my co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick, new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: in georgia, the
republican-led house passed a sweeping bill monday to make it harder to vote in a move aimed at preventing democrats from winning future elections. republican lawmakers introduced the legislation after record voter turnout led to joe biden beating donald trump in november and democrats rafael warnock and jon ossoff winning runoff elections in january, giving democrats control of the u.s. senate. the georgia bill limits access to absentee ballots, limits weekend early voting hours, curbs ballot drop boxes, among other provisions. on monday, georgia democratic congressmember jasmine clark blasted her republican colleagues. >> men last. women last. never stone. the numbers are clear, hb 531 is textbook voter suppression. this bill reduces, restricts,
and limits ery single aspect of our elections. and make no mistake, while the suppressive actions of this bill will harm black and brown voters, all voters, including the ones that support your team, will be affected. as we saw in the last election, undermining absentee voting cost from 20,000 votes across the state. add this to the fact this bill was made to placate the same crowd that believed the big lie of voter fraud and they don't trust the meaning voting machines anyway, you will find yourselves in a conundrum. this bill is cutting off your nose to spite your face. instead of reducing, restricting, and limiting our elections, we should be in this chamber making voting more accessible. amy: that is georgia state representative jasmine clark. across the united states,
republican lawmakers have introduced more than 250 bills in 43 states to restrict voting access. this comes as the supreme court is hearing a major case today about arizona's election laws that could result in the further weakening of the 1965 voting rights act. meanwhile, on capitol hill, democratic lawmakers are pushing two separate bills to protect voting rights -- hr 1, the for the people act, and the john r. lewis voting rights act. we go now to ari berman, author of "give us the ballot: the modern struggle for voting rights in america" and reporter for mother jones, where his article in the march/april issue of the magazine is headlined "the insurrection was put down. the gop plan for minority rule marches on. how republicans are breaking democracy." ari, explain. >> good morning. we are seeing at all across the country how republicans are breaking democracy. they are weaponizing trump's big
lie to try to pass 250 restrictions on voting in 43 states, which would be the biggest rollback of voting rights in decades. they are pushing extreme gerrymandering to try to keep power in the states and try to take back the house in 2022. they are using the filibuster so that 41 gop senator representing just 21% of the country can block everything from $15 minimum wage to legislation to restore the voting rights act. over and over and over we are sick the republican party has no interest in appealing to a majority of americans. instead, they're doubling down on anti-democratic tactics so they can get a minority of votes but will a majority of power. that is a very, very dangerous phenomenon for american democracy.
juan: i want to ask you, ironically, the pandemic helped to expand the voting accessibility for millions of americans. i think in part it was responsible for the turnout, especially the universal mail-in ballots and the extension of voting times. what you think are the key issues for the folks who want to expand ballot access should be focusing on right now in terms of reforms for the rollbacks the republicans are trying to institute? >> that is absolutely right,j. one of the reasons we had such high voter turnout by no november was because people had more access to vote than ever before. people could vote by mail and more states than ever before, could vote early in person, vote on election day like traditionally and giving people thosoptions really helped increase voter turnout. that is what republicans want to rollback. there try to roll the voting
methods they leave the democrats use the most and 2020. they're trying to get rid of universal vote by mail, restrict dr boxes. they're also going after in person voting, which goes to show this is nothing to do the election integrity because at the same time they're getting rid of mel voting, trying to get rid of things like early voting that make it easier for people to vote no matter which party they represent. in georgia, for example, trying to get rid of weekend voting and sunday voting. like voters in georgia are 30% of the electorate and 37% sunday voters. this is really a new form of jim crow because they are targeting the voting methods that were used the most by black voters in states like georgia that led to record turnout, that helped flip georgia blue and elected two
democratic senators. and those very voting methods that led to higher turnout, those of the things that are on the chopping block right now. juan: i want to ask about the hearing before the supreme court today, oral arguments in a challenge to a pair of arizona voting policies that make it harder for people to vote. could you talk about what those policies are and what the likelihood of the court's ruling on this? >> the kasich of joe's rent two restrictions on voting in arizona. -- the case centers on two restrictions on voting in arizona. one that they are at the wrong precinct and the collectn of balance. this disproportionally harms voters of colorful supporters of color were twice as likely as white voters to have their votes thrown out for being cast in the wrong precinct and voters of color, particularly native american and hispanic voters, are more likely to rely on ballot collection because they live in remote areas. they rely on people to drop their ballot for them. the case is bigger thathat, though.
it is really challenging remaining parts of the voting rights act. in 2013, the supreme court ruled states no longer had to prove their voting changes with the federal government. it left in lace -- two that applied nationwide that could challenge just going to trade voting was ever they were cast. now the supreme court could weaken that part of the law as well and that would make it functionally impossible for minority voters to get protection the voting rights act at a time when new voter suppression laws are proliferating around the country. this is what is so dangerous. we need a strong voting rights act more than ever right now given the spread of voter suppression. but the supreme court they say the voting rights act is practically nonexistent at a time when voter suppression is spreading across the country. amy: ari berman, talk about the record of the chief justice john roberts on this. >> he has been trying to weaken
the voting rights act for over 40 years stop when he was a young lawyer in the reagan justice department, led the fight to weaken section two of the voting rights act which is the parthat is at issue in this arizona case. 30 years later when he became chief justice of the supreme court, he gutted the voting rights act and ruled states like georgia and arizona don't have to prove their voting changes with the federal government anymore. interestingly, he pointed to the remaining section as the reason it rid of one section of it. now they're trying to get rid of the other section that roberts said was still relevant. this was the plan all along, to try to voting that voting rights act step-by-step so republicans can pass even more egregious efforts so that voters of color could no longer look to the supreme court for protection. this would be a historic rollback of the country's most important voting rights law. really radical transformation of american democracy. amy: could he talk about the
push back i think of stacey abrams. voter rights leader in georgia, who was just warning -- we are talking about if there isn't federal legislation, state-by-state deciding whether there is this lack of access for voting for people of color. she pointed out until now, actually, republicans have benefited from expanded access. only recently and turned. can you explain that? >> it is true of you look at mail voting possible for 2020, it was used byqual numbers in terms of democrats and republicans or even more by republicans in many places like georgia and arizona because republican voters are older and more rural so they rely on mail voting that many democrats do. this attack on mail voting is incredibly shortsighted. look at early voting. yes, democrats use it in a higher numbers in many states
but a lot of republicans use it, too. in georgia and at t january 5 right off the first time democrats outnumbered republicans in early voting. any republicans outnumbered immigrants in early voting in every previous election in georgia. there will be a tremendous amount of collateral damage for republicans. there is no doubt about it they are also going to disenfrancse some of their ow voters. 1.3 million voters in georgia use no excuse absentee voting, which they want to get rid of. that includes 450,000 republicans. if i am a republican official, i am concerned that nearly half-million my own voters use this in the last election. 1 the senate will have a full vote today on merrick garland possible nomination for attorney general. he would be the one who would be defending and implementing the
voting rights act. your thoughts in terms of merrick garland on this issue? clubs i think the justice department has singled just signal it will be aggressive, not just merrick garland, but have nominated some treme the capable people and other positions of the justice department. kristin clark, a fantastic civil rights lawyer, had the justice department civil rights vision which oversees the buddy rights act. bonita group to come would be the number three percent and the justice department. i think the by the biden administration has signaled they will be aggressive. the problem is the voting rights act has weakened and could be weaker. that is why it is so important democrats pass federal legislation protecting the right to vote. the for the people act and the john lewis voting rights act are two of the most important pieces of federal legislation for voting rights we have seen since the passage of the voting rights act in 1965. if you just rely on the courts, it is going to be a rough road
for voting rights. if they pass expansive federal legislation protecting the right to vote, it becomes a lot easier for voters tseek protection. amy: we just have 20 seconds most lead to joy major republican donor who is postmaster general, what is happening with him and what control he has over what the mail service has to do with voting? hopes biden nominated three new members. the board of governors can remove louis dejoy if these three nominees are confirmed, by would have a majority of postal governors who could remove him from office. to joy's days are numbered. at least will be a lot of accountability. more than likely will be removed as postmaster general once biden gets the majority. amy: thank you for being with us, ari berman, author of "give us the ballot: the modern struggle for voting rights in america." we will link your mother jones piece headlined "the insurrection was put down. the gop plan for minority rule marches on." coming up, we speak to dr. oni blackstock about her call to
amy: the marsh family singing "have the new jab," what many aside u.s. call the vaccine, the shot, to the tune of "hallelujah." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. the u.s. vaccination campaign is getting a new boost today as the first johnson & johnson vaccines are administered. according to the white house, nearly 4 million doses of the
single-shot vaccine will be initially given out. johnson & johnson is the third covid vaccine to receive fda emergency approval. nearly 20% of adults in the united states have received at least one vaccine shot so far. but there is a wide racial gap in who is being vaccinated. while black and latinx communities have been hardest by the pandemic, rates of vaccination in communities of color are lower than largely white communities across the country. ta from the centers for disease control shows just 5% of vaccines have gone to black americans. only 11% to latinx recipies. this comes as life expectancy in the united states fell by a full year during the first six months of 202 largely due to the pandemic. it is the largest drop since world war ii. life expectancy for black americans dropped by almost three years and 1.9 years formo lanx people.
some doctors are calling on the sea to sea and states to give greater priority to communities of color in the vaccine rollout. u doctors oni andche blackstock are pushing. they write -- "black americans are twice as likely to dive covid-19 as white americans but also dinette rates so much of those of white americans who are 10 years older. reoverracial inequalities are most striking at younger ages, for example, doctors -- my people ages 45 to 60 47 times more likely to die of covid-19 and similarly aged white americans. dr. oni blackstock joins us now, primary care and hiv physician and founder and executive director of health justice. fascinating piece you wrote with your twin sister, also a doctor. dr. blackstock, lay out your argument. what age would you like to see
black americans, the age cutoff for vaccines? and explain further why. >> good morning, amy, and thank you for having me on. my sister and i were really compelled to write this op-ed because it appeared these fixed aged cutoffs that most states implemented did not take into account structural racism toll on black life expectancy in addition to the impact of the pandemic on the life expectancy by people in this country. we propose either removing or reducing the age cutoff for black americans. in australia, they lowered the cut off for indigenous australians to 55 when it wast 70 for nonage division is -- for
nonindigenous us trillions. in canada, they open up eligibility to all and indigenous commuty's in order to increase uptake and indigenous canadians. that iresulted in higher levels of vaccination and indigenous committees compared to the general population. we have not that exact modeling to say by what amount cutoffs should be reduced but a reduction or a complete removal of cutoffs were black people as well as other people of color i think would go a long way toward addressing the vaccine and that we see. amy: what kind of response are you getting to this? >> so i think many people are not necessarily familiar with some of the issues that we raise in the op-ed. i think some folks are friendlier with the ways in which redlining and other housing policies which were discriminatory have concentrated poverty in black communities,
have created high levels of r pollution in black communities, limited green space and healthy food leading to poor health outcomes. there is also weathering, which made it may not be from a you're with. this whole idea of living with e day-to-day impact of racism, discriminatory experiences, socio-disadvantage has an impact on the body. it has a toll, a wear-and-tear affect that results in a black people actually getting beat of these conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes that are associated with worse covid-19 outcomes, getting those at much younger ages than their white counterparts. not surprisingly, some pushback but we also got many people who support this and agree a race
blind or colorblind approach to the vaccine rollout is only going to worsen racial inequities. amy: dr. blackstock, let's talk about the johnson & johnson vaccine. there are a number of people who are concerned -- i hope i don't get that vaccine they are saying, even though it is one shot, because they say it has lower efficacy. but could you explain why that actually is not a correct argument given where it was tested and the time of the variants? >> right. with the authorition of this now third shot for the novel coronavirus, it is very exciting but i understand the messaging around the johnson & johnson vaccine, you know, has not really address people's concerns. the johnson & johnson vaccine was tested at a time where we saw the emergence of the variant that was first detected in south africa.
there were others as well that were emerging that were more contagious and potentially were able to evade the vaccine mediated immune response. as such, showed somewhat slower efficacy when it came to preventing overall disease in mild-to-moderate covid-19 disease. this has been a contrast to the pfizer and moderna vaccines which were tested before the emergence of these variants. which is important to note that all of these vaccines are highly effective in reducing the risk of severe covid-19 and 100% effective in reducing the risk of hospitalizations and death from covid-19 -- which are the outcomes that we really care the most about. amy: let me ask you about the whole issue of vaccine hesitancy. do you think it would increase people's trust if there was actually more information about
problems that maybe -- i mean, it millions of people have gotten the vaccine. where are the databases that show maybe what the response is? allergic response, the issue of blood clots, bell's palsy, others come that even if you talk more about problems, it might make people more confident that there is research that shows the effects of these vaccines, even the short-term effects, since we don't know the long-term effect because these are all so brand-new. >> there's a great deal of post marketing surveillance being die by all of the vaccine makers. that means once the vaccine has been authorized and rolled out, they're collecting data from many of the people -- for instance, who continue to be in these clinical trials -- but as well we have applications such as the cdc app where people can
enter any side effects that they have. so for about -- so far about formally peoe have entered the side effects they have experienced into this app. most notably, the cdc director rochelle wilensky said at a press conference yesterday that most peoe have reported incredibly mild and short-lived side effects and that serious side effects appear to be incredibly rare. we want to make sure that folks are getting that information and are encouraged to take the vaccine and have the confidence of the vaccine increase. amy: dr. oni blackstock of you and your twin sister wrote a piece jama. that was in our house for my entire life going up. my father read it all the time. we called it pa-jama. earlier this year, you wrote a piece called "'serving the
people body and soul' -- centering black communities to achieve health justice." in it, you write -- "if there was ever a moment to ask how we can re-envision what health justice means for black communities, it is right now. and the response to that question must be both radical and revolutionary. we need to look no further than the health activism legacies of the black panther party and the young lords. both grassroots organizations rose to prominence in the mid- to late-19 60's and, despite their short-lived success. made a tremendous impact through their activism, which centered on their communities' right to self-determination and to health." you are talking right now to one of the young lords, juan gonzalez. if you could talk about that effect and then we will get juan commenting as well. >> super excited to be in conversation with one of the founding members of the young lords. my sister and i felt very compelled and inspired to write this op-ed, really thinking
about what the black panther party and the young lords were able to do in terms of really showing the ways in which when communities that are most impacted, communities that are most burdened are allowed to really have their concerns centered and are able to lead and develop initiatives that really understand the ways in which the social condition of the social -- now that we know our call the social determinants of health, how those impact help. for instance, sure juan gonzalez maybe familiar in the garbage collected in east harlem, recognizing the ways in which poor sanitation conditions impact the health of communities . the black panther party for instance took up the initiative of sickle-cell screenings in the black community when that was a neglectearea. so we know we have so many assets and resources in the communies that are most impacted, and we need those
communities to be able to lead. for instance, with the current pandemic, what would be so tremendous is to have grassroots , community-based organizations fued to do education outreach to navigate residents to vaccine appointments, to give vaccines themselves. we know of the young lords and black panther party were still active, we would probably see the really involved in this work wholeheartedly. amy: juan, did you ever expect young lords to be cited in jama in a positive way? juan: amy, certainly, not 50 years after we were active in these kinds of health initiatives. i apologize to dr. blackstock because we had a power outage here in new jersey so i missed a good portion of this interview. yes, i was t minister of education and help with the young lords stop it was my
responsibility to sort of develop and implement healt-- health initiatives we had which included door-to-door lead poison testing for children in east harlem in the south bronx, tuberculosis teing. i think one of the bigger forms that occurred subsequent to our efforts was that the federal government did mandate municipal hospitals to have community advisory boards was up not quite the community control we wanted of these health institutions, but at least community advisory boards that could inform the health professionals in terms of the needs of the community. of course we also ported the unionization of hospital workers, which became a very big movement throughout the 80's, 90's come into the mid century. i am heartened the health professionals of today
understand we did play some kind of role as teenagers and radical activists in the late 1960's and early 1970's trying to create better health systems for america. >> and your efforts were greatly appreciated. it was important for my sister and i to make sure the name young lords and black panther party appeared in the journal. amy: would you like to talk, dr. blackstock, respond to president bites response to amlo, the president of mexico. they had the virtual summit yesterday. biden and lopez obrador. and this is a reporter who was questioning white house press secretary jen psaki about the meeting monday. quote from the president -- later today, expected to ask
president biden would consider sharing part of use coronavirus vaccine supply with his country. is this something that president biden is considering? >> no. the president made clear he is focused on ensuring that vaccines are accessible to every american. that is our focus most of amy: dr. blackstock, your response? you talk about what is equity in the united states. can you talk about that at large in the world? >> we are seeing many parallels of the situation here in the united states play out globally. global vaccine equity is critically important. we know we are not safe until all of us are safe. so it is a moral and ethical issue in terms of responsibility of higher income countries such as united states to ensure low and moderate income countries have access to the vaccine. but we also know the virus knows no boundaries.
so if we see that low and middle income countries continuing to have widespread transmission of covid-19, we can see the emergence of more and more highly transmissible and potentially more variants that could have any impact on americans here, people here in the united states. we have to realize the ways in which we are interconnected and that we need to not only prioritize americans for vaccine, but ensure all of our -- all the countries around the world, particularly those low and middle income, have the same access to the vaccines. the united states has ordered about 1.3 billion doses of vaccine. that is enough to vaccinate the population several times over. there is always the room to ensure that more resource countries also have access. -- lower resource countries also have access. juan: i would ask about a
contentious issue, which is the question of the reopening of public schools. there are honestly a growing debate, many children, especially african-american and latino children, poor children with poor internet access come have essentially lost a year of schooling. the growing debate between the teachers unions on the one hand, local government officials, distinct groups of the past parrots who are still getting their children educated -- parents who are so getting their children educated, what is the roll forward on this issue of the reoping of schools? clubs it has been a very controversial issue and very polarizing. what we do know and here in ne york city we do know that children can't go to school safely if the appropria preventative measures are taken. so we need to ensure that schools have to support to
ensure that children are ae to socially distance, able to mask hand hygiene, ventilation is incredibly important. but that can be done pretty easily with opening windows, having box fans and the like. contact tracing is important as well as access to tting. we think teachers should be prioritized for vaccination. we see a numr of states doing that right now. i think somef the challenges that we have seen with school openings have been jurisdictions that have linked school openings to community levels of the virus. but we have seen in new york city you can still have higher levels of the virus in the community while children are able to go to school safely. i think the most important thing that needs to happen is school districts are supported in being able to make whatever changes or modifications they need to make
to the physical settings to ensure both students and teachers are safe and that teachers are prioritized for vaccination. amy: dr. oni blackstock, thank you for being with us to primary care and hiv physician and founder and executive director of health justice. we will end your op-ed column with your twin sister because i doctor. we would love to meet your mother. it is called "black americans should face lower age cutoffs to qualify for a vaccine." your sister dr. uché blackstock. will we come back, "as the pandemic raged, abortion access nearly flickered out." stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
nossentialervice. report amy litefield wtes that mansaw the ndemic aa "dryun forhe overtn of roe v. we, theandmark preme court se that galized abtion ands now inreater pel than er after e coirmationf justicamy coy barret" meanwhil the panmic has creased e demand for aboron fundsnd also r telemedici abortn, wch coines medation abtion, ich us pills tend a pregnay, and temedicin which lows heah provids to supeise the ocedure retely. for morewe areoined bymy littlefield, whose new piece for "the nation" is headlined "as the pandemic raged, abortion access nearly flickered out." welcome back to democracy now! talk about texas and what happened there during this pandemic and also just in the
last weeks. >> texas and it the early weeks of the pandemic gave us a dress rehearsal for what it could look like when states try to ban abortion entirely, which i think many expect to happen when the supreme court with its due trump appointed antitrust majority overturned or overhauls roe v. wade. what happens in texas when the pandemic struck, state officials use that as a pretext to ban abortion is a non-essential service under the guise of preserving ppe. this was a challenged in the court. the legal battle went back-and-forth over a month. actions -- access to abortion in the state went on and off eight times. the abortion providei spoke with who is on the front lines of this descred a traumatizing situation where indicate agents of the states called to, repeatedly having a call
patients, canceled or appoints come and tell them they did not know when they could reschedule at times patients would be sitting in the waiting room about to have their portion and the staff would have to come out and say, i'm sorry, we just got word this man is back in place and we are not going to feel deceived. there was a massive migration of patients ended the midst of this deadly pandemic who were forced to travel almost 1000 patients in the month of april alone who sought care in other states. if you think about that, every time they have to stop at a rest area come every unnecessary counter with medical staff along the way, all is a potential infection risk. we saw how half-century worth of attempt to whittle away at abortion access really collide with the deadly pandemic in a way that was devastating. i was inspired by some of the feats of heroism that abortion funds, which are groups th exist to try to raise money for
people to pay for abortions they could not otherwise afford, they moved mountain in order to get people to care. we are talking about people driving strangers for hours, flying with them on an airplane, not just in texas but nationwide, people getting into cars with strangers and driving them to the south dakota cornfields and the florida everglades to get to their appointment. that is how hard they work. it still was not enough. advocates in texas told me they know there are patients were not able to get the care they needed in state pregnant against her will. amy: what you think the new biden administration should do to improve access to abortion, especially in light of the even more conservative cream court -- supreme court that exists today? >> right question. i think there is low hanging fruit divine -- biden as
address. there are two ways that president biden could go further than his democratic predecessors. i think in this moment of crisis combs on of action is demanded. reproductive justice groups are watching closely to see biden well, number one, repeal the long-standing restrictions on medication abortion access that are widely interpreted to require patients to go in person to health center to get a pill -- which is the first step and into medication abortion. and they can take the rest of the medication home with them. those long-standing federal requirements areut on hold temporarily and are now back in place thanks to the supreme court to the pandemic. biden and his food and drug administration could suspend those rules and overhaul them so
that medication abortion can be picked up at a pharmacy person to a patient from online pharmacies by mail, just like any other drug with that kind of safety record. the other really important policy and where reproductive justice groups are watching closely to see if biden will deliver on hisromises is the hyde amement. this is 45-year-d man on ba on deralnunding f aborti. when we talk abou the dispropoionate iact of t paemic on ople ofolor a data pplin this uny, the hyde amenent morehan any otherolicy,as really shifted the rden of ortion access onto communities of color and low come peoe. it prents mediid ripients in mosstates fm havingheir inrance cor their poion. it is seed a a dfacto ba on aboion acce. if biden starts to putressur on coness to real theay amenent, which indiced he wod on theampaign til, at would have a revolutionary
impact on access in this country. juan: you also bound some examples for the pick of it ease access to abortion. could you talk about that as well? >> when the federal court in july put a hold on these restrictions on the first refused any medication abortion, we sought digital abortion clinics spng up there offering telehealth visits and sending of our sense by mail. we saw the expansion of the existing avenues for accessing those options because there was such a demand for it. we saw online pharmacies start to shift medication abortion kids. but these options are only available to patients in states that will allow it there are states that have active bands on telemedicine abortion. ohio during the pandemic decided to further restrict abortion access by requiring -- by any
telemedicine abortion in the midst of a time were visiting a medical center could be a risk to many people. we are really going to potentially see a deeper divide in terms of who is able to access abortion depending on where you live and whether you have the money to get out of the place where you live. amy: i would ask you about culture and reproductive rights. last year is multiple states moved to further restrict access
get an abortion without having to notify her parents. the film is seen as a possible oscar contender but at least one academy award voter opposes abortions that he wont be watching the film. variety magazine reports for maker keith merrill was asked by the words publicist if he is in the film and he replied "i've received a but as a christian, the father of eight children and 39 grandchildren and pro-life advocate, i have zero interest in watching a woman across state lines so someone can murder her unborn child. on friday, the fil director liza had been condemned the oscars voting body. for being "still so painfully monopolized by an old white puritanical mill guard. she said, i wonder how many other votersut there won't watch the film." can you respond tohis? >> you know what really grabbed me about that is the part where the anti-choice man invokes his children and grandchildren. since we last spoke, i've become a parent myself. nothing has made me more convinced of how high the stakes are in this debate than becoming a parent. it has become the most joyful experience of my life. i love my kid and i got to choose when to have him. maybe not the pandemic part, but the rest of it. i would not wish this experience on anyone who has not fully opted in. it is glorious work stuff at work, but it is hard work. we have to stop seeing having children and having families as antithetical to having abortions because we are talking about the same people at different moments in their lives. nobody should be forced to do this against their will post of you're giving us all a chance because we got to show a picture of your child. congratulations on your baby living through the fir year of this pandemic. people can go to our last interview with you where you talked about what it was like to give birth in the face of what happened last year. congratulations. we will link to your piece in the nation. amy littlefield is a freelance journalist democracy now!, formerly democracy now! producer. happy birthday libby rainey!
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