tv Democracy Now LINKTV September 16, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
09/16/21 09/16/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> the people of afghanistan need a lifeline. after decades of work, insecurity, they face perhaps the most perilous hour. amy: a month after the taliban seized power in afghanistan, we look at why many in the afghan countryside have hopes the withdrawal of u.s. troops will finally end decades of violence.
we will go to kabul to speak with anand gopal about his new york or article "the other afghan women." then as the debate over booster vaccine shots heat up in the united states, calls are growing for global vaccine equity. >> with less than 1% of global donors administered in the countries of the scale the level of urgency is obvious. this is one of the great geopolitical issues of our time. amy: el salvador has become the first country in the world to recognize bitcoin as legal tender. >> the protest took place across the country shows that common vagery people do not want bitcoin as legal tender and they see it abad economic policy, a play for money laundering and
corruption. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the united states reported nearly 2600 covid-19 deaths on wednesday as the official u.s. death toll passed 666,000 -- or two-thirds of a million people. officially, one out of every 500 u.s. residents has died of a coronavirus infection since the start of the pandemic. scientists at the food and drug administration have expressed skepticism over a push by the white house to authorize third booster doses of pfizer's covid-19 vaccine. any assessment by fda staff released wednesday found vaccines currently in use in the u.s. still afford protection against severe disease and death. the world health organization has called for a global moratorium on booster shots
through the end of the year, as many low income nations have been unable to acquire vaccines for more than a tiny fraction of the populations. meanwhile, the biden administration will make covid-19 vaccines mandatory for all new immigrants to the united states beginning on october 1. the u.s. already requires immigrants to be vaccinated against hepatitis, measles, mumps, polio, and rubella. pope francis called wednesday on catholics worldwide to get vaccinated against covid-19, in an apparent rebuke to a u.s. cardinal who was hospitalized with the disease after anti-vaccination comments. cardinal raymond leo burke, who is in his early 70's, was reportedly placed on a ventilator. cardinal burke previously called vaccinations "totalitarian" and repeated a conspiracy theory that covid vaccines carry hidden microchips.
speaking to journalists aboard a return flight to rome wednesday, pope francis rejected into vaccine sentiment and said getting a shot is an act of love. >> it is a bit strange because commity is a history of friendship. as children, we were vaccinated for measles, polio. all of the children were vaccinated and no one protester. amy: a warning to our audience, these next stories describe sexual violence. some of gymnastics' biggest stars offered a scathing account of the fbi's failure to stop serial sexual abuser usa gymnastics doctor larry nasser during testimony before the senate judiciary committee wednesday. this is olympic gold medalist mckayla maroney. >> this was very clear, cookie-cutter abuse. this is important because i told the fbi all of this and they chose to falsify my report and to not
only minimize my abuse, but silence me yet again. i thought given the severity of the situation, they would act quickly for the sake of protecting other girls. instead, it took them 14 months to report anything when larry nassar, in my opinion, should have been in jail that day. the fbi, u.s. ag sat idly by as dozensf girls women continued to be molested by larry nasser. amy: simone biles, the four-time olympic gold medalist widely considered to be the greatest gymnast of all time, also spoke before the senate. >> i don't want another young gymnast, olympic athlete, or any individual to experience the horror that i and hundreds of others have endured before, during, continuing to this day in the -- weeks of the larry nasser abuse.
to be clear, -- >> take your time. >> to be clear, i blame larry nasser and i also blame any entire system that enabled perpetrated his abuse. amy: lawyer site and the time between the fbi being told of dr. nasser's crimes and his 2016 arrest, nassar abused another 120 people. fbi director christopher wray apologized to the gymnasts during the hearing. last week, the fbi fired an agent involved in the investigation into nasser. both the gymnasts and senators on the judiciary committee called out justice department leadership for failing to appear at wednesday's hearing. attorney general merrick garland is expected to testify in october. here in new york, as the federal trial for accused sexual
predator and trafficker r. kelly continues, a survivor and former backup dancer told the court earlier this week she saw kelly engaged in a "sexual situation" with rising r&b superstar aaliyah when she was just 13 or 14 years old. kelly and aaliyah were married in 1994 using falsified documents when aaliyah was only 15 and kelly was 27. r. kelly faces multiple federal criminal charges, including sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, and forced labor. in china, a leading figure in the country's #metoo movement says she will appeal her case after a judge dismissed her sexual assault and harassment claims. zhou xiaoxuan, a former television intern, accused a well-known host of forcibly kissing and groping her in his dressing room but says the court refused to consider key evidence in her case. she addressed the court's decision. >> i don't know if i still have
the courage to stick with it for another three years, so i don't know if this time will be a farewell. but if it is a farewell, didn't it is really disappointing to have to say i or we have failed like this. amy: the intertional criminal court said wednesday it will open a full investigation into possible crimes against humanity committed as part of philippines president rodrigo duterte's brutal war on drugs. after weighing evidence on more than 200 victims, the icc's judges found evidence that a "widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population took place" and that philippine authorities "failed to take meaningful steps to investigate or prosecute the killings." last year, a united nations report found at least 8600 people have been killed in the drug war unleashed by duterte, with some estimates suggesting the true toll could be three times higher. brazil's supreme court has delayed a decision on a case that could determine if thousands of indigenous people can reclaim stolen ancestral lands. the move by brazil's high court
to indefinitely suspend a ruling came after thousands of indigenous people representing 176 groups camped out in the capital brasília to condemn the destruction of the amazon rainforest and the genocide of indigenous peoples. the white house said wednesday the u.s. will share nuclear submarine technology with australia in a new trilateral military partnership. the coalition is known as aukus -- short for australia, united kingdom, and united states. its formation comes as president biden continues to pressure u.s. allies to take a more aggressive military posture toward china. british prime minister boris johnson ined australian prime minister scott morrison and president biden at a virtual summit wednesday. >> the first task of this partnership will be to help australia acquire a fleet of nuclear powered submarines, sizing those in question will be powered by nuclear reactors not armed with nuclear weapons.
and our work will be fully in line withur nonproliferation obligations. amy: the u.s., u.k., and china are among the nine nations known to possess nuclear weapons. none of em have signed nor ratified the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. neither has australia, which says it supports the retention and potential use of u.s. nuclear weapons on its behalf. the whe house said president biden has complete confidence in u.s. general mark milley wednesday following reports he circumvented the official chain of command in order to prevent possible actions from former president trump. a new book by "washington post" journalists bob woodward and robert costa says milley called his chinese counterpart twice, as well as u.s. military officials, as he feared trump, who he believed was in mental decline, could start a war with china. according to the book, milley also told senior officers he should be involved in any attempt to launch a nuclear weapon. that all decisions had to go
through him. milley was reportedly motivated in large part by a phone call with house speaker nancy pelosi, who called trump "crazy" and asked what measures are available to stop him from launching a war or nuclear weapons. the justice department says it will ban federal law enforcement officers from using chokeholds during arrests and will bar no-knock entries while executing warrants except in rare cases. the change in policy came as former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin, who was convicted of murdering george floyd, is scheduled to be arraigned today in a separate federal civil rights case. an indictment by a federal grand jury found evidence that in 2017, chauvin held a 14-year-old boy by the throat, hit him in the head with a flashlight, and held his knee on the boy's neck and upper back while he was prone, in handcuffs, and not resisting. the encounter left the boy bleeding from his ears and needintwo stites. d the ty of phadelphia will pay2 milln to rica yog, a bla mother o was
tacked ba horde police officersnd separed from her young child octoberast year. young was driving past an anti-police brutality protest when the assault took place. critics say the settlement, which comes from taxpayer dollars, does nothing to hold the philadelphia police accountable for their brutal attack. to see our interview with rickia young's lawyer, go to democracynow.org. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by my co-host nermeen shaikh. hi, nermeen. nermeen: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. am we begin today's show looking at afghanistan, a month after the taliban seized power. "the new york times" is reporting there has been a dramatic drop in violence in the afghan countryside following the taliban takeover and the u.s. withdrawal of troops. one doctor in wardak province
reports having no patients with conflict-related injuries for the first time in over two decades. but the hospital is in a crisis as it is unable to pay salaries or buy new medical equipment. on wednesday, united nations secretary-general antónio guterres warned afghanistan is facing a "dramatic humanitarian crisis" and urged foreign governmes and institutions to keep supporting the people of afghanistan. unicef has warned a million afghan children are at risk of starvation. we go now to the capital, to kabul, where we are joined by anand gopal. his latest article "the other afghan women" appears." in "the new yorker." . it is based on his deep reporting in the rural villages of afghanistan that have been devastated by decades of war. anand gopal is also the author of "no good men among the living: america, the taliban, and the war through afghan eyes." thank you so much for joining us. can you talk about who other afghan women are? >> thank you, amy. when we were
watching the images streaming from kabul a people desperately trying to get to the airport, including many of my friends, it was easy to come to the conclusion that perhaps what was happening right now was the worst thing that happened in the last two decades. of course, there were many afghans who wanted to get out because they desperately wanted a better life -- i don't blame them for that. there was another reality at the same time that was not really talked about as much, and it was happening outside kabul in rural areas where the bulk of the last 20 years the war was being fought. we think of the war in afghanistan is happening in afghanistan but it wasn't five and most of the country, only particular provinces. i visited helmand province in southern afghanistan, which is the epicenter of the violence for the last two decades. i went to to see how women there who had been pacing roadside bombs and night raids and
airstrikes, what they thought about the u.s. withdrawal. so the pieces actually about trying to get their views, how they look at the american withdrawal after two decades. nermeen: anand gopal, justo make clear, 70% -- over 70% of afghanistan's population is rural. so we have in a sense a highly distorted view because we hear about urban areas and not just urban areas only, kabul are principally kabul. among the people you spoke to in one village, a woman told you that a large number of her family, all cilian, have been killed in the last years and you live and spoke to many other families in the village and found on average, every family i lost 10 to 12amily members during the war, th war h referred to as the american war.
can you elaborate on what they told you? >> the women in question, she is a housewife who lives in a very small village in the valley, one of the areas of the most intense violence over the years. i had the opportunity to meet her and interview her a number of times. i have been covering this conflict for many years and even i was taken aback by the sheer level of vlence that people like her hug going through, had witnessed. she lost 16 members of her family. what was remarkable or astonishing is this wasn't in one airstrike were mass-casualty incident, this was 14 or 15 different incidents over 20 years. there was one cousin who was carrying a hotplate for cooking and the hotplate was mistaken for a roadside bomb and he was killed. another cousin, a farmer in the
field, encounter a coalition patrol and was shot dead. shakira told me his body was left there like an animal. there are so many different instances. people were reliving tragedy again and again and it wasn't just shakira. i was interested after interviewing her to see how representative this was. i spoke to over a dozen families and i got the names of the people who were killed. i tried to triangulate that information with death certificates and other eyewitnesses. the level of human loss is extraordinary. most of these deaths were not recorded. usually the big airstrikes make the media. in these areas because there's is not a lot of penetration ora media, so a lot of the smaller deaths, one and twos, don't get reported. we are grossly undercutting the number of civilians who died in this war. nermeen: one of the other women you spoke to, bazaar, said there
giving rights to kabul and killing women here, is this justice? in a sense, as you show in the piece "the other afghan women, there are two different realities -- probably more -- but with respect to the attitude for the taliban taking over the country, could you talk about that? you covered, of course, the war extensively over many, many years from kabul as well as elsewhere across the country. >> yeah, when we think about women's rights in afghanistan, we tend to think about the ability to go to school, to work , to have representation in parliament. these are real gains made in the last 20 years. but there are other women's rights that are not talked about. when i asked pizarro or other women, what do you think about the claims the was is bringing women's rights to afghanistan? they told me, we can't walk
outside without worrying about being blown up. how is that protecting our rights? it is also part of women's rights to be able to walk without fear, to be able to live. they had a very different conception of women's rights, which was not they rejected the aspiration for wanting to get educated or wanting to have -- they also did not want to be shot at her hacker left once killed. data very different conception. when asked about the kind of women's rights, they were skeptical and many of them were cursing and said they brought us nothing. one person said they were bringing rights to kabul and spawning is here. it is a country that has reality that we need to have both of those realities at the same time. amy: anand gopal, if you can talk about the empowering of
warlords by the u.s. occupation? if you can tells the story of mir and take that to a person who ended up at guantanamo. >> amir was fighting against the soviet occupation. it was a brutal occupation that killed millions of people in afghanistan so naturally people were rising up against it. at the same time, some of these rebels were being supported by pakistan, saudi arabia, and especially by the cia. it was the creation of warlords. there were never warlords until the start of t war in 1959. a mere one of these warlords. he came to prominence in the mid-1980's, a major drug trafficker. he held religious court
basically acted the way we think the taliban would act now. he would make sure women stayed in the home most of when people try to marry for love, he would have them arrested he kidnapped people. he was considered a brutal strongman. when the taliban immersed in the mid-1990's, it was to fight against people like amir. they came to helmand in early 1995 and demobilized and he fled the country. for the next few years, places in southern afghanistan -- that was a perspective that a lot of the women there had, which is they don't like the taliban they hated the warlords. at least he warlords were gone and they would accept that. when the beijing u.s. in 2001, -- when he was invaded in 2001, they brought back the same warlords. they could've tried to help build democracy with the
incredible yearning there is in afghanistan for a better world. people like shakira, she wanted -- she hated the taliban and wanted support. but they brought people like amir back o the cotry because u.s. never really cared about building a democracy in afghanista the omission was always about counterterrorism, trying to find "the bad guys." they brought the warlords back you could be their partners. for the next two three years, 2001-2004, amir basically terrorized the helmet and recycles up hundreds of people were arrested, killed. multiple cases of people who were wrongfully accused of being taliban members and sent to guantanamo. essentially a one-sided work waged by the u.s. and its allies like amir.
that ultimately to the reconstitution of the taliban. amy: you talk about amir suspected responsible of killing of a staff sergeant in march 2003, but he managed to point the finger at a taliban member who ended up being sent to guantána. >> this is an example of the extraordinary chaos happening in the way in which the strongmen were using their access to the americans to eliminate the enemy. what happened in this case was the u.s. special forces went to meet members of the al qaeda government and amir, a u.s. ally, engineered an ambush on the u.s. troops that killed two u.s. soldiers special personnel. there were the first u.s. soldiers who killed and helmand as result of olent acvity.
the u.s. internally among the special forces began to suspect their own ally amir is the one behind the attack. nonetheless, he took basically some random guy who had nothing to do with the attack, x tele van who had surrendered, took him, tortured him, they delivered him to the u.s. and said, this guy here is the person who is the real culprit. the u.s. said him to guantánamo. when i looked at the classified documents which were released by wikileaks, what was extraordinary is the investigating judges and others new that this person was innocent. they wrote in the documents that a u.s. ally sent -- conducted the ambush but nonetheless this person languished in guantánamo for three or four years. his case is not unique. nermeen: as you pointed out in a
recent interview with reveal news, one of the affects of the way in which the u.s. support of these warlords and made them extremely wealthy is they had incentive to continue the war and an incentive to continue producing terrorists. you mentioned elier aritical role in supporting the was id during this soviet occupation. could you say more about the role of pakistan in supporting the taliban all of these years and what role you think the country will play in the interim government relations to the people who have been appointed in the interim government by the taliban? >> pakistan supports the taliban closely pulls up a number of the senior leaders of the tele van were living in pakistan so the
isi, pakistani intelligence agency was basically sheltering the taliban leadership. very close working relationship. it is important to understand the history which is in 2001 when the u.s. invaded, the taliban -- they either surrender or escape and run away. in 2002, there was no taliban, no resistance. al qaeda as well fled the country. they went mosley to pakistan -- they went mostly to pakistan. you had troops on the ground with a mandate to fight a war against terror but no enemy to fight. this is the context in which they began to incentivize the ally warlords. they started arresting people, kill them. this created the insurgency. once the insurgency was created, now 2004, then pakistan got involved and tried to influence the insurgency for its own
interest. it basically views afghanistan as its own backyard, does not want -- pakistan's role was benign but we should not lose sight of the fact the ultimate cause of the war in afghanistan was either u.s. actions in early years. amy: i want to ask you about a part of the article that has not got much attention. he tweeted -- "cia created afghan death squads were evacuated before many american citizens." can you explain? >> from the very beginning, the u.s. created these militias. as i mentioned earlier, warlordism and militias, that is not natural to afghanistan. it emerged inhe late 1970's, early 1980's as a result of war. in 2001, the was invented, these , created some of these groups.
there was a cia-created militia in the southeast of the country. many groups like these around the country. they were seen as cia closest allies and trying to fight the taliban and many, many innocent people and civilians suffered as a result. their methods were seen as extraordinarily bral. what happened to the evacuation last month was the cia death squads were essentially one of the guards of the airport itself. the reason they were there was ultimately they were going to be evacuated as well. it was a horrific scene, as i was talking to colleagues and friends on the ground, sometimes these death squads are shooting at crowds, the taliban wasn't always letting people through, it was chaotic. ultimately, these death squads were evacuated. there are still american citizens here in afghanistan today trying to get out, but the
cia militias are all out and living in the united states. it is not the first time. there have been other cia-backed strongman living comfortably in the u.s. for the last decade or two decades. this is an indictment on what the cia's priorities are in terms of afghan lives. nermeen: before we conclude, if you can comment on the people the taliban has appointed to serve in the interim government? you said what is striking in the list is the most powerful members of the taliban, those who are running the insurgency the last 20 years, have been excluded. what are the implications of this? you said this might create a shadow government. >> yeah, i think when we see the taliban cut cabinet -- all of those figures in the cabinet held similar positions in the 1990's. but really powerful people in the movement, they all exist
what is called a leadership shura in kandahar. that is who is controlling the country. there is a prime minister, a longtime member of the taliban, but i'm not sure how much power he has most of the real power is behind the is tragic that means even less accountability. there was elections but those elections were rigged. a lot of the real decision-making was done behind-the-scenes. i think there were some afghans hoping there would be a change. i think this is not going to be a change. it will be further down the line of zero kind ability and power being wielded behind. amy: i wanted to ask you, amy issue you write about is the countryside versus kabul. we know a lot more what is happening in kabul. you write up a put it has restored water to the
conservative countryside while pledging the comparatively liberal streets of kabul into fear and hopelessness." can you end with that? >> there are women's rights activists, people part of civil society, etc., on which only appeared in the last two decades and only appeared because of the american occupation. for people like that, obviously, there facing despair and it is very understandable. many of them are still stuck in kabul. kabul is a relatively liberal area compared to the countryside. there are more freedoms for women here than there are in places like helmand where he visited. the idea the tele van are going to impose the mores of helmand work kabul -- or kabul is a tragedy because it means people who have enjoyed this from the last two decades will see the role back. this did not have to be this
way. the u.s. have the opportunity and the early years to negotiate with the taliban when they were much weaker. they had the opportunity to try to create an inclusive government but instead chose the path of war and here we are now. the people in the countryside are breathing a sigh of relief because there is no war, but the people in the cities are terrified -- nobody is happy with the outcome. that is a tragedy. amy:nand gopal, thank you for being with u journalist and professor at arizona state university. this article for "the new yorker" is titled "the other afghan women." we will link to it at democracynow.org. he is also author of "no good men among the living: america, the taliban, and the war through afghan eyes." is the debate over a booster shot heats up in the, calls are growing for global vaccine equity. stay with us.
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. as the united states marks a deadly milestone, one in every 500 residents has died of covid, scientists at the food and drug administration have expressed skepticism over a push by the white house to authorize third booster doses of pfizer's covid-19 vaccine. an fta committee meets friday to discuss the need for vaccine booster shots. this comes as health leaders have issued an urgent call for global cooperation on vaccine supply and access to end the worst pandemic in the last 100 years. who director-general dr tedros adhanom ghebreyesus said tuesday vaccination rates on the african continent are far below the
target for 70% of the population of all countries to be vaccinated by mid-2022. >> so far, just two countries in africa have reached the port percent target, the lowest of any region. as i said last week, that is not because african countries don't have the capacity or experience to roll out vaccines, it is because they have been left behind by the rest of the world. more than 5.7 billion doses have been administered globally, but only 2% of those have been administered in africa. this leaves people at high risk of diseases and deaths exposed to a deadly virus against which many other people around the world enjoy protection. amy: this comes as heads of state are set to attend the u.n. general sibley next week. on wednesday, president biden a host a virtual global covid-19 summit to "call on cheap of
state, international organizations, business, philanthropic, nongovernmental leaders to come together to commit to ending the covid-19 pandemic." for more we're joined by two guests. in johannesburg, zane dangor is the special advisor to the foreign minister. tuesday, he called on the u.s. to come up with a proposal for allowing other countries to manufacture vaccines. also with us is dr. joia mukherjee, infectious disease specialist and associate professor of global health at harvard medical school and chief medical officer for partners in health. welcome to democracy now! zane dangor, we want to start with you in johannesburg. you have the speed debate brewing in the united states. the front page of "the new york times" u.s. booster policy in flux as dissent mounts. apparent the, taught people at the fda are quitting.
some countries are barely having access to a vaccine. south africa and india have been on the forefront of demanding that the large vaccine companies like moderna and pfizer share the recipes and technology to allow other drug companies to be able to make these vaccines available to everyone. explain what you're proposing and your view of this debate over a third shot for u.s. residents. >> on the first one, south africa and india made proposal at the wto for certain provisions of the related aspects of international just property rights to be waived for duration of the pandemic. a temporary call for a waiver on
exclusive use to allow for what is called -- capacity and other parts of the world to be given the technology and know-how, the recipe as you called it, to manufacture more life-saving medications including vaccines so that a more efficient response to the pandemic is possible. this proposal has been supported by over 150 countries. since may 2021, also supported by the u.s. through president biden's announcement in the administration's support for the proposal in geneva. this does not change the international property rights regime it basicallyust called for changes to how many countries can license it --
amy: we c hear you fine. >> companies can't access the license and the know-how to ensure that we do reach the target of 10% by the end of september and 40% of the global population by the end of this year and 70% by the end of 2022. as of now, the major blocks to this process is theact the european union is not supportive of it, and that is significant in the context of the wto as the european union speaks -- we're hoping president biden and others could use the summit this week to persuade our members to support it, the waiver, and in particular, the european union. with regard to the booster shots, i coach a working group
and we've been discussing the movement in high-income countries forhe booster shots and the impacts of that. there are t. one is that it will continue the skewed distribution of vaccines we have most of the high income countries almost completely fully vaccinated, have reached the target population immunity or is countries in africa, percentage is less than 3%. there's a lot of component to this. as we -- the prsure on the materials used to manufacture vaccines comes under pressure, glass vials that vaccines are packaged in come under pressure with theooster sts becau booster sts lend themselves to single use class vials. there is quite a bit of terms of
the value chain that comes under pressure. secondly, the wto the self, the chief scientist have expressed the view based on evidence that the signs is not completely behind the need for booster shots yet. so if the science is not behind the need for booster shots, then the risks associated in moving in terms of continued skewed access, the potential for new variants to emerge when you have large numbers of the world population unvaccinated needs to be evaluated by countries thinking about moving toward use a booster shots. booster shots are the third dose. you're moving toward third doses in some cases where in many parts of the world, people have not had access to the first dose. of a vaccine.
thanks. nermeen: just to be clear, less than 1% of people in low-income countries who have been fully vaccinated. as you said, 3% on the continent of africa. south africa already has the technology transfer hub in place. can you explain what is happening and what needs to be done to increase manufacturing capacity? >> so one of the first hubs -- the first global hub to be established for mrna research. this hub was established as part of the initiative from the wto and after a robust call for interest -- south africa was chosen as the first of these hubs. mrna technology was the chosen technology because it lends
itself to that scaling up of manufacturing. this is what is called an mrna hub, but we might move to more technologies and the wto can speak to that with more eloquence. the challenge we have is the late stage technology, the proven technology -- which at this stage pfizer and moderna has decided not to cooperate with the wto in supporting the hubs through technology transfer -- in this delays the process, which means south africa will either have to use unproven technology or mrna technology -- the ide with this hub is it will become a training hub. companies involved which are both located in cape town, when would be investing in training,
the first south african company that was distributed, but also be able to train other hubs across africa. as we heard from some yesterday, be able to trade manufacturers and other parts of the world and the global south as well. one of the key measures, not just south african a bit across the world, is you and i can security of supply. with this pandemic and following pandemics if we do not change the life-saving medication. produced and consumed. south africa can only produce 2% of the vaccines to consume and none of the vaccines related to covid on finished capities across africa.
in the connection produce the vaccine -- none that can actually produce the vaccine. this is the idea of the hub step change the nature of vaccine and other lifesaving medication produced and how it gets distrited. the lesson from this pandemic is only if you have regional security of supply will everybody access these life-saving medications equally. nermeen: dr. joia mukherjee, you've called the idea of a third booster shot a terrible idea morally. what do you think the u.s. needs to do to boost vaccine supply and what would you like to see happen at biden:'s summit next week? >> thank you for having us on. it is a pleasure to speak with
mr. dangor on the same show. we were very happy that the biden administration was willing to waive the intellectual property in this midway. yes, that is a tiny step in the cascade that we are demanding. first, getting actual agreement with the wto, with the manufacturers so the technology can be transferred and those patent waivers mean something. that is really important. there is still no formal language and w are demanding that. the second, though, is money. there is no way to massively scale up the manufactud vaccines regionally without a lot of money. we need to think about this as a moment of global collaboration. to me, this is a test -- can we
get two shots to the entire world? if we can do that, we don't have a prayer and the collaboration needed for things like climate change. this is an emergency that affects all of us because variants are coming from areas where there are large numbers of unvaccinated people. so we need the leaders of the world to sit down and follow the lead of the global south, leaders like those who have called for this now for months and months, since november and december. we were told, well, it would take at least six months to do it. well, had we started to transfer technology, invesin the supply, invest in the training in november, we would be manufacturing those vaccines now. so we are just livid at the small steps because what we need is the patent waiver in the language that we need, the transfer of technology that is written down and is happening,
and then we need the funding to make this real. if we don't do that, we are not to get out of this. right now we are working on charity donations from this country or that country. it is not going to solve this giant public of crisis that affects all of us. amy: what about public citizen's that contains the biden administration could unilaterally share the recip for moderna's, vaccine with the world because it funded much of the research? >> salute leave. the united states, we have language in the law that says if the u.s. government has contributed monetarily to the development of a product, we can use it then in our nional interest. what we are asking president biden to say is vaccinating the world is in our moral interest, global interest, but also in our national interest. the delta variant spreading came from another country, a very
poorly vaccinated country, india. this is all within the legal frework that is within the wto . what is creating this idea of booster shots being bad the glob south were impoverished countries is the scarcity that is created by greed and profit. because if we had that money, we could make the vials. if we had the money, we could make the nanoparticles. we could build the factories. this really needs to be financed as war is financed. we cannot do this without really significtly raing up -- and we heard this in the aids crisis as well. we cannot make it because the raw materials are not there. it was all moot as soon as the money flowed. amy: dr. joia mukherjee, we will talk about this more next week infectious disease specialist.
, associate professor of global health at harvard medical school and chief medical officer for partners in health. thank you for joining us. zane dangor is the special advisor to the foreign minister of the republic of south africa. next up, we look at the first country in the world to recognize bitcoin as legal tender. what does it mean? we will look at el salvador. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. we turn to el salvador, where thousands to the streets wednesday to protest president nayib bukele's growing consolidation of power and a new law making el salvador the world's first country to recognize the highly volatile cryptocurrency bitcoin as legal tender. protesters condemned bukele's plan. >> they promised to do things differently and they have been worse. we are in the midst of the pandemic because this dictatorship is deadlier than a virus. we are not going to stay home with arms crossed because our parents and grandparents and uncles died for a country free of dictatorships and corruption. we are still seeing that. now it is a return to resist. amy: protesters in el salvador are also criticizing a recent
court ruling that paves the way for president kele to n for reelection in 2024. we are joined now by jorge cuéllar. he is a assistant professor at dartmouth college. his forthcoming book, "everyday life and everyday death in el salvador." his latest article in the new left review is headlined "bitcoin sanctuaries." professor, great to have you with us. explain the significance. why has el salvador become the first country in the world to recognize bitcoin as legal tender? what does it mean? >> in terms of bitcoin, it is a surprise to a lot of us. there is no reason why bitcoin should be at the top of the government agenda in the moment of pandemic, water stress, food insecurity, depressed wages. but the big cell by bukele around big what is it will listen fees to the country. as you know, salvadoreans are
one of the largest populations that remit money to el salvador, which is a quarter gdp. so one of his arguments has been to lessen those commissions that entities like western union or money gram take on every remittance to the country. as you can see, people are very suspicious of this and in fact, it is been shown those remittance commissions are higher in big pine they are with traditional wire transfer services. nermeen: could you also explain how this rollout has been problematic? there is the just people in el salvador been offered an incentive of $30. expect what has happened with the rollout and also the implications of numbers of people in the country who don't have access to cell phones to use the app and what
demographics, what groups in the country will be most at risk as a result of bitcoin being used as legal tender? >> the rolling out of bitcoin in el salvador and using this app that people can download has been very glitchy, often down for peak times during the day and it is been a frustrating experience for many people who have tried to sign up and use it and experiment with the apps. they tms themselves have followed all the time repeatedly , leading to a lot of user frustration and showing that bitcoin is not only an unstable currency but in infrastructure that el salvador has improvised up to thseptemb 7 rollout has been very piecemeal and uneven.
so what this has done in effect, the $30 in bitcoin that has incentivize folks to sign up, has been something that many parts of adorns and, people are interested in. -- poor salvadoreans and common people are interested in. the system has been so erratic that it has not really worked. what i am seeing based on popular use is people are signing up for the app using -- getting that $30 offered by the government to sign up and just withdrawing it. they are withdrawing it into u.s. dollars and going to the restaurant and getting food, buying groceries, leaving the app to this side because of the recurrent suspicion of bitcoin in the app which is shrouded in so much begin ready and lack of educational campaigns for the
government to tell people what bitcoin is, how it impacts daily life and how it intersects with daily activity. this is been one of the most challenging or one of the most challenged sites where the social movements have drawn attention to bitcoin as being more of a ploy for supporting illicit accumulation, narco money, money laundering, and for foreign investors who are the primary audience of bitcoin to come into the country and invest and transform this kind of monopoly immaterial money into real estate come into business come into other forms of currency and wealth that is inaccessible in general to the common salvadoran person. amy: what are the environmental implications of bitcoin and how does it fit into the right-wing philosophy of president bukele as he tries to consolidate power?
>> the bitcoin rollout actually comes after various constitutional movements of erosion where he stacked the legislative assembly, where he has dismissed magistrate and constitutional judges so the bitcoin project is shadowed by this kind of authoritarian consolidation, which has been part of his kind of command economy where he seems to be the one giving orders and everybody has to follow along. in terms of the environmental implication of bitcoin, it operates through computers and high-energy use. so one of the big pitches that bukele made initially to foreign investors to come and bring their bitcoin to el salvador was they would offer cheap energy. this cheap energy bukele claimed was going to come from volcanic geothermal sites that he hopes
to build around the country's volcanoes. already, geothermal is used in el salvador in uneven ways, but he is trying to ramp this up. and this will have terminal impacts in the country -- member terminal impacts in the country, a place that is extremely do for us to, living through high levels of water stress and is part of the question of food scarcity that often drives migration. bitcoin is at the heart of ecological concerns for el salvador. amy: thank you for being with us jorge cuéllar, assistant , professor at dartmouth college. we will link to your article in the new left review headlined "bitcoin sanctuaries." his forthcoming book "everyday , life and everyday death in el salvador." that does it for our show. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who
♪ ♪ ♪ hello and welcome back to nhk "newsline." i'm takao minori in new york. u.s. leaders have turned to some old allies in forging a military partnership to counter china. they teamed up with the british to help australian naval commanders deploy nuclear-powered submarines. they'll add western might in the indo-pacific.