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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  March 3, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PST

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03/03/21 03/03/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> we have been taught our entire lives to just fit in, just be quiet. don't speak up. be invisible. if you are invisible enough, you will be seen as american. we are here to say we will be invisible no more. we will speakp. amy: it has been a devastating
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year for many asian americans as hate crimes have spiked across the country, fueled in part by donald trump's rhetoric about covid-19. we will speak to guests in the california and new york areas to look at how two states are responding. then new york governor andrew cuomo is facing mounting calls to resign or be impeached over sexual harassment allegations and his cover-up of thousands of covid deaths in new york nursing homes. we will speak to new york assemblyman ron kim who says cuomo threatened to "destroy" him for speaking out. >> march 25 order to kill people. that is what the workers were telling the governor. his response was to give immunity. a license to kill. amy: and will look at why some farmworkers are facing an uphill battle to get vaccinated even though they are essential workers who have risked their lives during the pandemi all that and more, coming up.
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welcome to democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. president biden said the u.s. will have enough coronavirus vaccines for all adults byhe end of may. the statement comes after a deal was struck with merck to produce the single-shot johnson & johnson vaccine, which u.s. residents started receiving tuesday. biden so announced new pla to get edutors vacnated mo rapidly. pres. biden: we want every educator, school staff member, child care to receive at least one shot by the end of the month of march. to help make this happen, starting next week and for the month of march, we will be using our federal pharmacy program to prioritize the vaccination of pre-k tough 1educatorsnd staff d childce worker amy: texass liftinmask
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mandat and fly reopeng business at 100% starting next week despite warnings from the centers of disease control and prevention it's still too early and cases could pick up again. mississippi announced a similar move. on capitol hill, athe senate moves to debate the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, senator bernie sanders announced he will force a vote on an amendment to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and called on fellow senators to ignore the senate parliamentarian's recommendation to remove it from the bill. the u.s. conference of catholic bishops advised catholics to avoid getting the johnson & johnson vaccine, saying the company used abortion-derived fetal cells to create, test, and produce the shot. fetal cells are not actually contained in the distributed vaccin however, and pope francis and the vatican have said thedeem it "morally
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acceptable" to use cells from aborted fetuses in the research and production of vaccines. the cell line goes back to the 1970's. the white house has pulled neera tanden's nomination, at her request, to head the office of management and budget after several key senators said they would not vote to confirm her. biden said tanden would still serve in his administration. tanden came under fire from both the right and many progressives who opposed her cozy relationship with corporate america, her support for welfare cuts, and aggressive foreign policy views. in other cabinet news, the senate voted tuesday to confirm princeton university economist cecilia rouse, who will be the first black woman to lead the council of economic advisers. the senate also confirmed rhode island governor gina raimondo to lead the commerce department. at the time of her nomination, the revolving door project said -- "raimondo has a record of promoting fracking and cuts to public assistance programs, selling public pensions to wall
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street, and grossly mishandling rhode island's covid-19 outbreak." meanwhile, seth harris, the former acting labor secretary under president obama, has reportedly been tapped as a top labor adviser. while working at the corporate law firm dentons, harris co-wrote a paper which helped shape california's anti-worker prop 22, which exempts companies like uber and lyft from having to classify their workers as employees, depriving them of basic wage and labor protections. fbi director christopher wray appeared before the senate judiciary committee tuesday where he defended the fbi's handling of intelligence in the lead-up to the january 6 insurrection. he also told lawmakers "domestic terrorism has been metastasizing across the country" and rebuked a far-right lie, that is also supported by a number of republican lawmakers, that the rioters were fake trump or left-wing protesters.
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>> we have not to date seen any evidence of anarchists, violent extremists, or people subscribing to antifa in connection with the sixth. amy: d.c. law enforcement agencies are increasing security around the capitol this week as qanon supporters believe trump will be inaugurated on march 4, as president of the united states, which they call true inauguration day. in afghanistan, three women who worked for a local broadcast station were shot dead in the eastern city of jalalabad while heading home from work tuesday. the young women had reportedly all recently graduated from school. local police said the taliban was responsible, though the group denied involvement. at least 15 media workers have been killed in afghanistan over the last six months. protests erupted across lebanon
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tuesday after the value of the lebanese pound plunged to a record low on the black market, the latest in the ongoing economic crisis. the turmoil has also triggered a fuel shortage that has led to extended power cuts. in some areas, people have been left without electricity for over 12 hours. in moroccan-occupied western sahara, the family of a political prisoner who has been on hunger strike since early january, were denied access to see him and warn he could be in critical condition, or even dead. mohamed lamin haddi has also reportedly been threatened with retaliation and death. this is haddi's mother. >> if he is still alive, they should allow us visiting him. if he is dead, they should give us his remains. i will not move from here. i just can't bear life without him. amy: haddi is part of a group of political prisoners who received harsh sentences after the violent dismantlement of the
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protest camp known as gdeim izik, which noam chomsky called the first uprising of the arab spring. meanwhile, 100 sahrawi organizations published an open letter to president biden asking him to reverse trump's recognition of moroccan sovereignty over western sahara. they write -- "the issue of western sahara, the last colony in africa, is easy to understand. it is not an ethnic conflict or a civil war, but a basic issue of decolonization not yet resolved." the biden administration announced new sanctions against senior russian officials tuesday over last year's poisoning of nationalist opposition figure alexei navalny with the nerve agent novichok. the sanctions also target the russian military's intelligence agency and research groups thought to be involved in the production of chemical and biological agents. reporters without borders has filed a criminal case against saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman for the persecution and murder of "washington post"
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columnist and saudi dissident jamal khashoggi. the case was filed in a german court days after the biden administration declined to directly sanction the crown prince even after releasing an intelligence report reaffirming bin salman approved the killing. a new report by the international energy agency says global carbon dioxide emissions have not only returned to pre-paemic levels, but have surpassed them by the end of last year. iea's executive director said -- "if governments don't move quickly with the right energy policies, this could put at risk the world's historic opportunity to make 2019 the definitive peak in global emissions." the biden administration has withdrawn an environmental review for a massive copper mine in eastern arizona, temporarily blocking a multinational mining corporation, resolution copper, from taking over a parcel of land sacred to the san carlos apache nation and other native communities.
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the u.s. forest service said it needs more time to consult with native people about the mine's impact on oak flat, an ancient forest with spiritual and cultural significance. advocates say the proposed mine would destroy oak flat, and contaminate a large swath of southern arizona. arizona democratic congressmember raúl grijalva is set to reintroduce the save oak flat act, which would repeal the appropriation of the site. state republicans around the country are ramping up the legislative attack on transgender rights. the alabama senate voted tuesday to pass a bill that would make it a felony to provide gender-affirming care to trans youth. the bill now goes to the house. meanwhile, tennessee, wisconsin, and north dakota are just some of the states where republicans are pushing bans on transgender students taking part in sports, with the bill likely to pass this week in tennessee. wisconsin's democratic governor tony evers is expected to block such an effort in his state.
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-- effort in wisconsin. in california, at least 13 people are dead after a tractor-trailer crashed into an suv packed with over two dozen people, in an agricultural area near the u.s.-mexico border. most of the victims were from mexico, though further details remain unclear. thousands of farmworkers cross into the u.s. daily to work on fields. authorities are also looking into whether the passengers may have been victims of human smuggling. and democrats reintroduced legislation tuesday to require universal background checks for all gun sales. biden called on congress last month to pass gun control legislation but 10 republican senators would need to join democrats in backing the expansion of federal background checks for the bill to pass. meanwhile, another gun control bill was also introduced tuesday, which would prevent people convicted of domestic violence from buying or owning firearms. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman in new york
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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: well, it has been a devastating year for asian americans as hate crimes spiked across the country fueled by donald trump's racist rhetoric about the coronavirus. one recent study found 150% increase in anti-asian american hate crimes in 2020, even though overall hate crimes fell last year here in new york, police investigated 28 hate crimes in 2020 targeting asian american -- that was a ninefold increase over the previous year. on saturday, the asian american community, allies, and elected officials rallied in new york city to call for more action in . this is new york congressmember grace meng. >> we have been taught our entire life to just fit in, just be quiet. don't speak up. the invisible. if you are invisible enough, you will be seen as american.
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but we are here to say that we will be invisible no more. we will speak up. amy: the rally came after at least two more attacks against asian americans were reported in new york. last week, a 36-year-old asian man was stabbed while walking down the street. and 61-year-old filipino american noel quintana, who was slashed across the face while on the subway, also spoke at the rally. >> the train stopped, a man came and stood beside me. so after a few minutes, he -- when i looked at him, i moved away from him so if my back catches him or -- back catches him or disturbs him in any way. a few more minutes, again, he
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kicked my bag. that is when i moved in the train. th was also the time where the train stopped on the next station and open the door. before he left moved forward toward me and slashed my face. i thought i was punched in the face, but when i saw -- holding on his hands and the reaction of other people in the train, i knew i was slashed. i called for help but nobody came for help. amy: 61-year-old filipino american noel quintana at a rally on saturday. one of new york's most popular
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chinese noodle shops, xi'an famous foods, has begun closing early after two of its employees were attacked in recent months. the company's ceo jason wang spoke to nbc 4 in new york. >> my employees were attacked. in separate cidents. both i believe a racially motivated, hate crimes. while given -- keeping their identities anonymous, i'm hoping this will paint a picture of what is actually going on. amy: we are joined now by two guests. ron kim is a member of the new york state assembly representing a district that includes flushing queens which is home to more than 30,000 chinese immigrants. and joining us from open, california, is kim tran, an anti-racist writer and organizer based in the bay area. currently writing a book titled "the end of allyship: a new era of solidarity."
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a subliminal cam, let's begin with you. can you talk about this increase in asian american hate crimes? >> thank you for having me on. there is aong history of asian americans in this country feeling targeted. whatever we experience economic downturns or racial injustice, almost 40 years ago murder because of workers lost their jobs to japanese car manufacturers to got their anger on him to the l.a. riots black d korean communities were pitted against each other. i think the knee-jerk reaction -- i get that. it is heartbreaking and makes pele feel so angry when they say videos -- see the videos. the 20-year-old nanny would have gone out with a bat. you feel like your people are violently targeted, the
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immediate reaction is to respond with more violence. either direct violence or through state sanctioned violence. this means more policing, more punitive measures. this only solves the symptoms but does not address the underlying cause of the disease. juan: assembly man kim, i'm wondering the impact over the past few years of the remarks by former president trump talking about the coronavirus as the chinese flew and constantly raising issues of china as an adversary of the united states. i'm wondering to what degree you think these words from the top leader, former leader of the united states, had an impact on public consciousness? >> of course it had a tremendous negative impact.
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we can respond in three different ways to the current situation. we can point to donald trump for fueling the attacks on asians by the chinese virus rhetoric. we could increase policing presence. or we could fix the underlying issues of crime and systemic racism that has been a people of color against each other. there are plenty of politicians with the first and second reactions, but not enough of the third. i think the third reaction requires much more difficult work. it requires investing in people. recirculate wealth into our marginalized communities. holding politicians accountable to people's basic needs are met. housing, education, health care. juan: i would like to bring kim tran into the conversation as well. if you could talk about the situation in the bay area and
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the systemic historical nature of anti-asian sentiment in united states. i think back to the almost forgotten rock springs massacre of 1885 in wyoming. the anti-chinese exclusion act of 1882. could you talk about some of the historical legacy that we still face? >> absolutely. so when we see anti-asian violence in the unitestates in 2020, it is the byproduct of a much longer history of anti-asian policy and anti-asian sentiment that stems all the way back to 1882 with chinese people being the first nationally ba rred country from entry into the united states. that being said, we can see glimpses of that same sentiment from the 1871 massacre of chinese people here in california all the way up until
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the post 9/11 islamaphobic violence in south asian communities. so anti-asian violence in america happens in a lot of ethnicities for a lot of different asian groups, but there is a common sense of racial scapegoating. that being said, there is phenomenal work being done by grassroots organizations and activists here in oakland, california. so just like assemblyman kim said, we need to put our communities first. we need to put resources for our communities first. here in oakland, what that looks like is chinatown accompaniment program and basilar program where folks -- ambassador program where folks are accompanying our asian elders and seniors through chinatown safely.
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it is this beautiful idea that you can turn your neighbor and turn to someone you know to keep you safe. we are also doing work around making sure we can turn to someone other than police for these safety measures. so anti-police care projects in oakland is launching its own mobile mental health crisis unit so that we can really rely on each other as opposed to something like police, which can increase violence in communities of color. amy: can you talk about the response, kim tran, of the violent attacks you have on a well-known san francisco neighborhood for his hour long walks. he had just gotten the vaccine. he was 84 years old, a thai immigrant. you have a 91-year-old man who was shoved to the ground in oakland, california's chinatown
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and ultimately died. the horror of these and how people have rallied around both the asian-american community and the larger community? >> yes, tcrnk you so much for that question, amy. i think whenever you see viral footage of an attack, especially when it is raciay motivated, we start saying movements happen. we saw that all the way back to rodney king. we saw it again with alton sterling and the black lives matter movement. what we're saying now is nice light on the precarious a big and asian-american person in america. when we see these viral images of folks in california, folks in new york who are incredibly vulnerable -- i want us to keep in mind these attacks happened around a time of celebration for a lot of asian american communities.
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these were around lunar new year. so it was kind of a gut pun of having these vids start circulating on social media. we started seeing things like asian-pacific environmental networ others, start creating safety nets because we were seeing these attacks over and over again on facebook, on twitter. juan: i want to ask assemblyman kim, what is your sense of the response of the new york police department to these rash of incidents in new york city? do you feel the department is properly equipped to handle and identify these kinds of incidents? >> listen, i think we all went to know we call 911 that police will show up and protect as. but to hand over everything in terms of addressing the systemic
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violence and hred to the police is not the solution. it requires much more resources and accountability from elected officials. it is easy to individualize the hatred, to point fingers at the young black and brown teenager who are attacking the asian older adults and call it a day. it is much harder to go back and improve the social conditions that are brewing the violence. if you just allow police to handle everything, that is a copout by politicians saying, "we can't address this is typically, so we are just going to take punitive measures and rely on state back violence to check the communities are attacking asian americans." and that is not good enough. amy: i want to go to the cofounder asian-pacific islander women league speaking at a protest last month. >> what about the violence of
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living in poverty under system that does not seem to care about our people? that is the violence we need to answer to. the vigilantes coming out here, i want you to represent for that. our communities are also suffering deportation. answer to that violence. our people are in detention centers for an indefinite amount of time. i need you there for that, too. and then you're not even accounting for the gender violence that our women are experiencing. i need you to account for that. amy: kim tran, your final response? and do you see any issue of foreign policy -- i to say the word bleeding into this -- but the vilification of china not
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only around coronavirus, but in a lot of ways? >> we have seen a lot of racial scapegoating at the domestic absolutely but also the international level. the dehumanization and kind of geopolitical pitting of china against the united states has tremendous repercussions for what we experience socially on the ground. and it also serves as a means of us not talking about those realities that, as connie was talking about, the reality that 30% of people in chinatown live under the poverty line. i as of it these woman at the same pay cap as a black woman. we are creating certain narrativ that make this kind of violence acceptable. your creating these certain ways of substantiating and perpetuating this violence.
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amy: i want to thank you both for being with us. kim tran, we look forward to reading your book. kim tran is an organizer and it open, california, currently writing a book called "the end of allyship: a new era of solidarity." ron kim, we would like to ask you to stay with us to address another issue and that is the future of governor andrew cuomo here in new york. you have a lot to say about a phone call he made to you when you said he threatened you with "destroying" you. this is around a couple of issues here. we are talking about sexual harassment and also not telling the truth about thousands of covid 19 deaths in nursing homes. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "the oppressed song" from bunny wailer's album "blackheart man." this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. new york democratic governor andrew cuomo is facing mounting calls to resign or be impeached over sexual harassment allegations and his cover-up of thousands of covid deaths in new york nursing homes. many of the calls to resign are coming from fellow democrats and progressive organizations, including the working families party, which said tuesday -- "andrew cuomo's reign of fear, harassment, and intimidation cannot continue." new york attorney general letitia james has launched an investigation after three women accused cuomo of sexual harassment. in late february, a former top aide, lindsey boylan, accused cuomo of kissing her during a one-on-one meeting and once suggesting they play strip poker. she described years of sexual harassment by the governor who
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she claims went out of his way to touch her lower back, arms, and legs. another aide, charlotte bennett, accused cuomo of making comments suggesting he wanted to sleep with her. on sunday, a third woman, anna ruch, described meeting cuomo at a friends' wedding reception in 2019. a photograph from the wedding showed cuomo with his hands on ruch's face as she looks visibly uncomfortable. she says he also grabbed her lower back right before that and loudly asked if he could kiss her. cuomo has issued a statement saying his interactions may have been "insensitive or too personal" and that his actions may have been "misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." on tuesday, top democrats in the new york legislature agreed to move to strip cuomo of emergency powers granted him during the pandemic. this comes less than a month after new york attorney general letiticia james accused cuomo of drastically undercounting the number of covid deaths in new
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york nursing homes by as much as 50%, forcing the cuomo administration to admit the true death toll to be nearly 15,000. the fbi and the u.s. attorney in brooklyn are now probing the cover-up. he is also being accused of secretly giving nursing homes legal immunity. in february, democratic new york assembly member ron kim, the chair of the assembly's committee on aging, revealed cuomo called him at home and threatened him for speaking out. kim said cuomo threatened to "destroy me." new york assemblyman kim is still th us. can yoexplain that conversation? talk about the nursing homes scandal and why you feel it is so significant. >> thank you, amy. i came forward with that governor's lightning called not because i feared being bullied, but because i feared the
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governor would escape accountability. that phone call is less about him being a bully and more so about the lengths he would go to use his position of power to implicate lawmakers in covering up for his corruption. he wanted me to issue a statement to feed his narrative on why his administration would tell nursing home data, life-and-death information, that the delay was because the doj inquiry had to be satisfied -- that is complete bs. he got on the font to threat my career, to suppress the truth. you called me that night because he was desperately trying to avoid for investigations into his cover-up of nursing hope information and data. and his deadly decisions to transfer 9000 covid patients chopper. nursing home facilities.
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and the fact, as you mentioned, he gave his donors, corporate nursing home executives, an immunity from criminal prosecution at the peak of the pandemic. juan: assemblyman kim, as someone who has done governor cuomo now for more than 30 years, when i heard about the story of what had happened to you was perfectly understandable because he has always been known as someone not only arrogant, but very much of a bully toward his critics. i remember numerous times as a columnist at "the daily news writing even a mildly critical column of the governor, suddenly getting a call from him and having to endure a tirade of profanities and yelling and screaming from him just because he did not like a particular article. this is perfectly part of his personality. i am wondering in terms of this issue of the nursing homes, how
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did you first begin to understand the depth of what was happening and again to raise questions about this? >> thank you for the question. i was on the ground since last year and a constituents were reaching out to me. they could not get inside the nursing homes. they knew that covid was transmitting. they were seeing their loved ones die of agony alone. they were desperate for help. as i'm looking at what is going on, i areaching out to the governor's office and they're not responding. i'm reaching out to the department of health. a week goes by, a month, and there is no accountability and communication. around that time, he issues that mandate to send thousands of covid patients to a prepared nursing homes and issues a corporate legal shield, what i call a license to kill, older adults at that time. that is when i started to push back. i introduced a bill. all, the data disappears.
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it does not look that bad because he delayed the information. they stopped counting the hospital deaths. all of a sudden, new york would from number two and number three in the country to number 30 or whatever and no longer became a hot button issue. all the while come he goes out and writes a blog and publishes it around the same time -- bryce a book and publishes it at the same time in october. when you go back and connect the dots, i think the cover-up, the suppression of information, he took away our right to repeal some of the toxic bills. he took away our ability to say people's lives. for that, he needs to be held accountable. juan: could you talk more about the role of the greater new york hospital association, this powerful industry group and its
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support of the governor? >> yes. cuomo prioritized his top corporate donors overstated lives. his administration emitted to deliberately withholding data. i believe he did this for two reasons. one, it woulmake him look at. two, to prevent the repeal of the toxic poison bill which he bullied, forced his way into the last hours, a five thousand page budget, but which shielded nursing home executives at the cost of people's lives. for this, he needs to be held accountable. 15,000 families deserve justice. juan: and it was the same legislation that was then copied by many other states around the country and even the republicans have been seeking immunity on a much broader scale for other companies as well.
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is that not right? >> that's right. it became the industry -- immediately after it was passed by the governor, bribing -- bragging. they took it down after we call them out. they literally clicked copy and paste, word for word. mitch mcconnell took word for word and try to put it into the washington stimulus package. luckily in washington, there are a lot more people watching in the public was aware and it never made it out. in albany in the last hour when no one was paying attention, governor cuomo was able to force that language into the budget were even the chair of the health committee, my good friend, did not even -- he reads everything and did not even know that was stuck in at the last minute into the budget. amy: it is amazing you did not know because you were the head of the subcommittee that is in
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charge of the nursing homes come to show how last-minute this was, a move to strip his executive powers come his expanded parser covid. is there a move to strip that out of that immunity. before we go onto the issue of sexual harassment, the number of families who trusted the system and were told it would be safe to put their parents in nursing homes, what exactly he demanded of these nursing homes that hospitals -- that they accept covid patients from hospitals and ultimately -- explain how the cover-up of the numbers, of the number of people who died as a result of this decision. >> just around that time when i was on the ground, the nursing homes i was interacting with, they were screaming. the workers were sick of covid. even the directors were out for weeks because they were sick.
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there were saye do not have enough staff, we do not have enough ppe, you cannot send covid-positives to our facilities. but he did it and gave them a get out of jail free card as part of the deal. it was almost as if he normalized the duty of dying for older adults. he almost made it feel like the nursing home residents as it their ultimate fate was to die in these facilities. imagine being a loved one stuck outside seeing this happen and try to tell the truth and all you see when you turn the tv on his andrew cuomo and his brother cracking jokes on national tv. it was one of the most demoralizing moments for my constituents going through that episode in new york. yes, the suppression of data is so critical because he had real-time information -- if we had real-time information, we would've had the data to repeal these toxic bills, to mandate
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the for profit -- which, by the way, 65% of industry in new york is for-profit nursing homes. we could have mandated them to spend every dollar they had to save people's lives. if you show the receipts, spent everything you had to buy ppe and hire staff and people still died, then we can openly discuss what kind of liability protection we may have provided with the families and everyone involved, with the public's input. but that is not what happened last year. the legal immunity served as a disincentive for the for-profits to invest further into the staff hiring and buy ppe. it gave them an out to let people die. amy: there are calls for his resignation or impeachment on this resin -- issue alone, but then the growing schedule around
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sexual harassment. charlotte bennett, one of the aides who has accused cuomo of sexual harassment, told "the new york times" monday -- "as we know, abusers -- particularly those with tremendous amounts of power -- are often repeat offenders who engage in manipulative tactics to diminish allegations, blame victims, deny wrongdoing and escape consequences. these are not the actions of someone who simply feels misunderstood. they are the actions of an individual who wields his power to avoid justice." bennett said cuomo told her he was open to relationships with younger women and complained about being lonely and being unable to hug anyone because of the pandemic. she said -- "i understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared." she shared texts that he texted her with "the new york times." that is one of the three women who have accus him. then there is lindsey boylan, in her 30's, who talked about the constant harassment. not only of cuomo, that messages sent by his aid to her as well.
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your response? what do you want to see happen here? >> i believe the women. credible allegations of sexual harassment made by these courageous women coming forward show a clear pattern of cuomo's abuse of pow. i believe the governor will be held accountable for sexual harassment. this is a long pattern of toxic behavior that we all know exists in places like albany and at the helm of it all is a person at the top who normalizes abuse against women. case in point, even his top aide have called -- some of my closest progressive women colleagues in the legislature,
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it is on record in "the new york times" when they called him out for having fundraisers with the budget director in the room. these are the type of verbal abuse that he helped normalized because at the very top, he does it himself in this closed rooms. he corrects jokes. she cracks jokes. he abuses his power all the time. that is why he has staff members that reflects his values every single day in his administration and they all need to be held accountable. juan: i wanted to ask you, the democrats have a needle proof majority about the new york dutch in the senate and assembly . yet there are few democrats like yourself who are taking -- during to stand up and demand accountability from the governor. what do you think are the prospects for that change over the next few weeks?
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>> i think you'll see changes. we are already seeing every day people calling for the resignation. more people. i know people in positions of power are making this about democrats and republicans, but i tell them that this is about the democratic credibility. we spent months telling republicans in washington to hold trump accountable, to do the right thing. so if we do not act and we do not lead in this moment, what are we doing to our values and our credibility? areno we reciprocating their hypocrisy without hypocrisy? amy: are you calling on governor cuomo to resign? >> i have called for him to resign. it resignation does not need accountability. he still needs to be investigated after his
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resignation. amy: and if he does not resign, will you make a move to impeach him? >> i havcalled --, by case early on to my colleagues the moment he tried to implicate and is wrongdoing. i believe that is a clear case of willful corrupt conduct, which obligates us to pursue the impeachment procedure under the state constitution. there is only a few of us at this point that are moving in that direction, but i believe every day if he does not resign, more will join in the call for impeachment. amy: ron kim, thank you for joining us, member of the new york state assembly representing the 40th district and chair of aging committee. his recent opinion piece for "newsweek" is "it's time to impeach andrew cuomo." 2.5 million farmworkers are facing an uphill battle to get vaccinated. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: the conductor and violinist died last month at the age of 74. this is democracy now!,, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez.
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we look at the push to vaccinate some 2.5 million farmworkers around the country who are essential workers and have continued to labor throughout the pandemic. farmworkers are mostly latinx, many are undocumented, and their employers do not provide sick leave or health care. this is needed to grow of becoming an environment of justice. >> estimated him as 500,000 cultural workers have contracted covid does far. [indiscernible] thincrease is even 20% higher for latino agricultural workers. amy: according to cdc guidelines, farmworkers are part of phase 1b, the second group to receive the vaccine after frontline healthcare workers.
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california governor gavin newsom has said the state will provide 34,000 vaccines to farmworkers, and thousands are now being vaccinated at pop-up clinics in the fields, hosted by growers and run by the county health department. so far, data shows just 16% of vaccines in california have been given to latinx residents, even though they account for nearly 40% of the state's population and black and latinx californians are suffering the highest rates of covid deaths in the state. meanwhile, here in new york, the news outlet documented new york reports more than 50,000 farmworkers were removed from the phase 1b tier at the last minute just before new york opened up its vaccine rollouts to other workers, including those in the food industry like grocery, restaurant, and food delivery workers. this comes as colorado, idaho, michigan, and wisconsin say they plan to start vaccinating farmworkers this month. but some states have restrictions that could deter workers, like florida, which grows much of the nation's
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citrus fruit, where people must prove residency to get a vaccine. "the new york times" reports some pharmacies in georgia have turned away immigrants unable to show a social security number, and officials in nebraska say immigrant workers who lack legal status at meatpacking plants will be vaccinated last. for more, we go to modesto, california, where we are joined by estella cisneros, agriculture worker program legal director at california rural legal assistance. also with us in ithaca, new york, is mary jo dudley, director of the cornell farmworker program and faculty member in the department of global development at cornell university. welcome you both to democracy now! estella cisneros, lay out the issue in california. who is getting vaccinated and who is not? >> right now farmworkers are eligible to be vaccinated. farmworkers became eligible to be vaccinated right after a health care workers and those aged 65 or older. there are other workers included in this group as well.
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teachers, other food industry workers, childcare workers, as well as emergency services personnel. those are the workers currently eligible to be vaccinated in the state. there has been problems, however, with the way vaccines e distributed statewide. they are run by the different counties, espeally the public health department. there has been a lot of inequities we have seen because of the decision by the governor to put people aged 65 or older before individual employment sectors. that was oginally the intent of the cdc recommended, but that was a last-minute change in the state as well. juan: could you talk about just the issue of the naval to schedule -- the issue of being able to schedule an appointment? so much is being done online and sometimes in extremely complex forms yet to fill out online, the impact this has on
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farmworkers that are living basically in rural areas, maybe don't even have internet accessibility. could you talk about those who are trying to help farmworkers get on the list of eligible vaccine recipients to get appointments? >> definitely. it has been a challenge and a lot of counties. some counties are only allowing appointments to be made online. some local pharmacies that are now supplying the covid vaccine are also only making appointments online. that is a huge barrier to individuals who have either little technology literacy or who lack access to broadband services or other reliable internet or cell phone services. there has also been issues with call centers -- excuse me, where people can make appointment by phone, not having either spanish-speaking or in the case of farmworkers in california,
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the individuals who speak mexican indenous languages. there is the barrier of actually making an appointment once agricultal workers become aware they are eligible. there is that chaenge that we definitely have seen expressed throughout the different counties in the state. juan: can you talk about the situation specifically in riverside county in california, county nearly 50% hispanic and it has become the first, according to "the new york times," the first and the nation to prioritize farmworkers for vaccination? >> definitely. in that area, what appears to be happening is there appears to be a pretty strong connection between local public health department and employers in terms of providing either pop-up vaccination efforts for other similar efforts like that actually bring vaccines into the
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fields. that is the first county that i am aware of that is doing a program like that. most other counties come in falls on the local public health departments. some other counties, there is collaboration between local clinics and other service providers that have deep connections to the farmwker community. but in riverside, it does appear to be that is certaly exhibit a fight as a really good example of what we need to do -- exemplified as what we really need to do statewide. it is something we would love to see replicated in other counties that are still struggling to vaccinate farmworkers. riverside does have significant farmworker population but farmworkers, more farmworkers and other counties throughout the state, specifically in the central valley, which is where governor newsom a week ago made an announcement that he was
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going to allow and promote 11 pop-up vaccination sites in the central valley specifically to address that concern -- which is that there a lot more farmworker there and they struggle with not just vaccine access, but distribution of the vaccine. it did seem sotimes the distribution was being done a number of health care providers in each county. so in one county under the central valley, for example, they have the second lowest vaccine distribution numbers even though they had the fifth vhhighest number of covid relatd deaths. the change in this provision of pop-up vaccination sites will hopefully addre thatoncern. but also the governor has said that her vaccines are going to come to the area because it is
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essentially a twofold problem. it is not just do you have enough vaccines, but do you have the infrastructure to actually be able to provide those vaccines to the population you are trying to reach? amy: mary jo dudley, can you explain what happened? the cdc guidelines include farmworkers as essential workers, knowledgeable to get the vaccine in phase 1b, like corrections workers, food and agricultural workers, grocery store workers, etc. but at the last minute, the state of new york removed farmworkers from that list? >> thank you, amy. it is very puzzling because on february 9, president biden set aside an additional 11 million vaccines for underserved and vulnerable popations, ong them farmworkers, homess indivials, limited english proficiency community's, those
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livi in public housing. this would bring additional vaccines to new yorktate. would niminish e number curreny coming t the oblem rit now is at farmworkersre not cluded othe listf those eligle to reive covid9 vacces in new york state at a time whe wsee an increas in nuer of cas of cov among the rmwork populatn. we he sn farorker-l organition sh asdvocacy oups, heth carprovids, farmerhave alleen cling on the governotodd farmworke to t list those eligie. the response is puzzling that this has not happened yet. juan: how these vaccines be distributed to farmworkers in new york state? are there distribution centers already being set up? >> yes. thank you for that question.
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these vaccines would be distributed directly to the federally qualified health centers. and among them are the migrant health centers. so they would go directly to those centers that have the language ability, cultural competency for 20 or more years of experience in giving vaccines, and the equipment that would allow them to go to forms to the minister the vaccines. it is important that these would go to those centers because they are already known and trusted the farmworker population. they know where the farmworkers live. it had a lot of interest, offers of farmers to make their firms pop-up sites. until farmworkers are added to the list, vaccines cannot be administered to them in new york state. amy: you have interviewed dozens of farmworkers. many, sick. >> many sick and it is very
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distressing that many of them have experienced long-term symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and this long-haul covid among the farmworker population is very worrisome since they would not have any access to social security net, a backup net. and they continue to feel ill after having recovered from covid. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us. in the u.s., we call it long-haulers and the rest of the world call it long covid, those who suffer from covid for many, many months since they have gotten it. mary jo dudley, director of the cornell farmworker program and faculty member in the department of global development at cornell university. and estella cisneros, agriculture worker program legal director at california rural legal assistance. that does it for our show. democracy now! is looking for
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