tv PBS News Hour PBS September 14, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on thenewshour" tonight, president trump and joe biden a fither dividing line-- is and extreme weather?ng the fires then we are on the ground in oregon as the wildfires are, ragircing thousands from their homes. and covid in a war zone-- howe ndemic is making a dire situation worse in syria. >> ( translated ): the situation in the camp is very dire. even with masks, cleaning supplies, with this coronavirus, we have kids very close to each other. i mean, it's a crime, how we're all living so close to each other. >> woodruff: all that and more
on tonight's "pbs nehour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been rovided by: >> when the world gets complicated, a lot goes through your mind. with fidelity wealth management, a dedicated advisor can tailor advice and recommendations to your life. that's fidelity wealth management. >> consumer cellular. >> johnson & johnson. >> financial services firm raymond james.ns >> >> the william and flora hewlett foundation.
for more than 50 years, advancing ideas and supporting institutions to promote a better world. at www.hewlett.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this progm was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: wildfires are threatening more of the pacific northwest and northern california tonight, as hot,nd conditions recharge the flames. so far, at least 35 people have died,. and thousands have fl half a dozen small towns have burned, and drone footage today showed entire neighborhoods in
southern oregon turned to ashes. streets were stained red by fire retardant. we'll look at the situation in oregon, later in the program. the wildfires exposed two starkly different points of view on the campaign trail. lisa desjardins begins our coverage with a look at how president trump and joe biden divide on climate change. >> reporter: in california, president trump arrived to assess a sweeping disaster-- the ertest round of wildfires scorching the weu.s. he met with officials near sacramento. >> we want to thank all of these incredible people, first erresponders, service memb >> reporter: critics have said the esident should have paid more attention to the fires which started last month. at the least, his appras revealed a chasm in environmental philosophy with his presidential opponent, democrat joe biden. while scientists increasingly raise concerns about climate change that it is driving moreex eme weather like the western blazesthe president has blamed poor forest management.
nearly 60% of california's forests are federally managed. in an exchange with the state's natural resources secretary, the president faced a direct confrontation on thessue-- and bluntly denied science. >> we wa to work with yoto really recognize the changing fosts, and actually works to our together with that science. that science is going, going to be key, because if we ignore enthat s and put our head in the sand and think it's all about vegetation management, 're not going to succeed together protecting californians. >> it'll start getting cooler. you just watch. >> i wish science agreed with you. >> i don't think science knows, actually. >> reporter: this while in wiington, delaware, today, former vice president biden was explicit, saying climate change is a fundamental issue of our time >> the unrelenng impact of climate chity one of us. if you give a climate arsonist four more years in the white
house, why would anyon wbe surprised have more of america ablaze? >>ereporter: also today, ano contrast from biden-- though one without words. as he es regularly, biden worehe a mask whend his wife went to vote in a state primary. president trump, however, has resumed holding rge-scale rallies-- including one indoors last night in las vegas. thousands packed into a warehouse indoors, violating nevada state guidelines banng any gathering over 50 people. while ose behind the president largely wore masks, most of the audien facing him, did not. cnn reported that no broadcast tersnside out of health concerns. the president doled down on his reopening push. >> we are not shutting the country again. a shutdown would destroy theli ves and dreams of millions of aricans. >> reporter: before the rally, vada's democratic govern steve sisolak tweeted the president was "taking reckless
and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger." president trump told the "las vegas review-journal" sunday he did not think he was bound by the state's rules. then today, vice president pence held an indoor rally in janesville, wisconn, where cases of covid-19 have been ticking up. h draws crowds, the president is also looking to target his campaign-- including to latino voters-- like this weekend in las vegas. it's a vital group for both campaigns, and in key states like florida where polls show demoat joe biden is slipping with latino vote. florida is where billionaire and former nework mayor michael bloombg hopes to make a difference, pledging to spend $100 million to aid biden there. biden himself heads tohe sunshine state tomorrow for events with veterans and hispanic leaders. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins.
>> woodruff: in the day's other news, the u.s. gulf coast battened dn for hurricane sally's arrival later tonight. it's expected to hit east of new orleans, with up to two feet of rain. another hurricane struck bermuda today, and two more are brewing in the atlantic. we get more from ken graham, director of the national hurricane center. he spoke with stephanie sy, earlier. stephanie sy earlier. ken graham, thank you ng much for jois. the governor of louisiana said that for a lot of people, hurllricane sa seemed to have come out of nowhere, rapidly forming to a hurricane just in the last day. what is the currentst foreand can you tell us about where it is heading and how strong it will be? r you're looking at 100 mile-an-hour winht now, a significant hurricane. and looking at this, the tropical storm-force winds extend out over 100 miles, but the real sry here is slow, and that is a big problem. if you think about this
being 1:00 p.m. on tuesday, this is 1:00 p.m. on tuesday, and with a slow storm like that, it compounds theh issues w rainfall ande. storm su you'll see torrential dangerous rains as well, from mississippi, alabama, the florida panhandle, even into georgia. significant issue with the waters. and slow storms justnd compthe issue. >> reporter: a lot of times they're focused on e center of the hurricane. with hurricane sally, are we more concerned about the prolonged impacts? >> abss olutely. leok at that. you have the cone, and that is where two-thirds of the time we expecto have the center. but the impacts are well outside of it. the rainfall is wel outside of the cone. that's a huge area of rainfall the other part is the dangerous storm surge. that is the leading cause of fatalities in these tropical stments systems tropical systems.
it is seven to 11 feet here, and four to six, and five to eight in mobile bay, so from alabama, thean floridahandle, and the mississippi coast of louisiana, a dangerous storm surge. akes it very dangerous to travel, and a lot of the areas the local officials tell you to leave, it is so important not to be inos th dangerous conditions. >> reporter: i know you all were predicting a very active season, and you're monitoring five cyclones, only the second time in recorded history for thatim to even running out of names for these hurricanes. ken graham with theti al hurricane center, thank you so much for the latest. >> thank you. >> woodruff: there's also new evidence thathe arctic is rapidly heating. scientists in denmark and greenland report a huge chunk has broken awaanfrom the greeice shelf. a satellite study estimates it to be about 42 square mis-- nearly the size of san francisco. cases of covid9 topped 29 million worldwide today, as the pandemic persists.
that includes more than 6.5 million in the united states. but new cases in the u.s. have declined about 17% from two weeks ago. new deaths are also falling, even as total deaths nationwide approach 195,000. belarus traveled to neighboring russia today, seeking support against mass protests after years in power.ia rupresident vladimir putin met with alexander lukashenko in sochi.is putin pr a $1.5 billion loan. he also warned against foreign meddling. >> ( translated ): we see what kind of domestic political events are happening in relation to the election in belarus. you know our position well, we are for belarusians to sort outs ituation themselves, without any tips and pressure from outside. they shoulcome to a common decision. >> woodruff: on sunday, an estimated 150,000 people took to
the streets of minsk, the belarussian capital. they say lukashenko rigged his re-election in august and must step down. back in this country, a federal appes court today upheld president trump's decision to anrip protections that let half a million immi stay in the u.s. they were admitted on humanitarian grounds from el salvador, haiti, nicaragua and sudan, and some have been here for decades. the ca could wind up before the u.s. supreme court. authorities across the los angeles ar are hunting the gunman who fired into a squad car and wounded two sheriff's it also sparked an anti-police protest outside the hospital where the deputies are being treated. they are expected to recover.ft re developer oracle has won the competition for tiktok'a u.s. oons. the video-sharing app's chinese owner announced the partnership
today, but did not c a sale. president trump says tiktok's u.s. operations must be sold, or shut down to prevent data being passed to china. and, on wall street, the oracl tiktok agreement and oer major corporate deals fueled a new rally. the dow jones industrial average gained 327 points to close at 27,993. the nasdaq rose 203 points. and the s&p 500 added 42. still to come on the "newshour," on the ground in oregon asld res ravage the west; how the pandemic makes a dire situation worse in syria; our politics monday team breaks down the latest in the race for the white house and much more.
>> woodruff: we focus now on the terrible fes and devastation out in the western part of the that make this all worse.tors william brangham will look atso of those reasons shortly. but we're going to begin with ag on-tund report from oregon where more than a million acrest have burnece the average of most years. esearch and rescue teams continuing to look for missing people, and more than 40,000 people have been forced to flee their homes. special correspondent cat wise reports from south of portland. >> reporter: the smoky streets of molalla, oregon, were eerily quiet this weekend. this rural town of 9,000 aboutil 30 mes south of portland was under mandatory evacuations orders until sunday night. the riverside fire has been threatening the community andot r nearby towns for days.
with firefighters stretched thin across the state, some residents have defied evacuation ordersha and been battling sections of the fireline on their own. on saturday, we met up with a group of local volunteers, on the outskirts of molalla who were filling water trucks and iniving them to the frontl, less than a mile up the road. enoch lson, a local landowner, was one of those coordinating the efforts. he says he's grateful fothe additional firefighting support the commity hareceived over the past several days, but it was largely residents who kept the flames at bay before government help arrived. >> the only reason that this thing is even curbed whatsoever is because the locals and the farmers here on this hill and the volunteers around this are have come up and they're actually digging the brake lines emselves. >> i think we have a good right to be pissed that fire burned.th could have puthat thing out. we don't fight fires in oregon. we need to catch tght when they start. >> reporter: a spokesman for the oregon fire marshal's office
20said today that more tha fire fighting teams are battlinh 11 fires acrosstate where" existing resources are exceeded." while some in the community have chosen to stay and defend their property from thflames, many others remain evacuateonacross the re the elks lodge in milwaukie, oregon, has become a safe haven for some of those evacuees. around 100 people-- including families with children-- have been camped out re over the past few days. a local company served up hot pancakes. other donations have flowed in from the community including food, water, tents, and toys for the kids. >> reporter: scott whie current head of the lodge, has been coordinating relief efforts.kn >> nobods what to do. they left their houses basically with whatever they had on theirh shoulders an just left town. you know, we've gone through the pandemic with covid-19 and wewe thoughere seeing the bottom side of that and going back to normal and then this happened.
>> reporter: 23-year-old tiffany eatherton is one of the many struggling with the impacts from the wildfires and the pandemic. she lives in nearby canby with her husband and four young children. when we met up with her, she was worn to the bone after sleeping in a tent for the past two nights. >> i'm exhausted. >> reporter: she says the past six months have been really difficult with school closures, financial strains, and now, evacuation. s >> tond i sit down and i get a minute to take a deep breath, every worry throws itself at me. everythi from when myan hus gonna go to work to what the next thing my kids are gonna eat.t what's the nt they're gonna throw? to where we're gonna drive nexth or if e to leave in the middle of the night or be able to go home and not find a fire at our doorstep the next day. >> i think people have been stretched so thin to the breaking point. >> reporter: dr. jennifer vines is the lead health officer for the gion which includes portland and evacuated areas in asackamas county. she says there h been a recent
increase in the number of anxiety related calls to the regional crisis center. >> people have calle coronavirus unprecedented. people have now called this wildfire in our backyard unprecedented. the level of air quality where we're sort of running out of adjectives to describe this point of timand mixed in with all of this. in portland, in particular, and multnomah county has been a real reckoning around how we treat african-american, black, genous people of color i this country. and those same groups suffer sproportionately from the air quality. they suffer disproportionately from covid-19. >> reporter: as we spoke yesterday, visibilitf from the roofe county health department in downtown portland was about a quarter of a mile. the region's air quaas been the worst in the world for several days.we re seeing an increase, a sharp increase in emergency respiratory complaints, as we would expect with an air quality event like this. and many of those visits seem to
be related to asthma and people directly relating their visit to the smoke. >> reporter: dorn zuniga is an outreach worker for the rtland ronprofit "transitioncts" which helps people experiencing homelessness find housing. since last thursday, the organization and others have handed out more than 26,000 n95 masks provided by the city and county. >> because of their lack of phones, no internengo radios, no secluded away from people, they don't know what's going on. they don't know that this is not actual fog. this is smoke and this is smoke from the fires. and, unfortunately, you know, that puts them in a bad position. many clients are talking about heart, you know, pain in theit chest, ae tightness and chest, they can't breathe. some of their tents are filling up with smoke. >> reporter: zuniga is encouraging people to escape the smoke and go to the convention center, where a large emergency wildfire shelter hasup been s but he says some people are concerned about going inside due to covid-19.
back in milwaukie at the elk's lodge, evacuee tiffany eatherton and her family were loading up their car to go check on their home. they told us they expected it to be unscathed, but for so many other families, a haze of uncertainty still looms. for the pbs newshour, i'm cat wise in oregon. >> brangham: as we heard change was very munt andmate center today. it came up during president trump's visit. and the democratic nominee, joe biden, lambasted the president over it. our science corrpondent, miles o'brien, is here to look at what we know and the other factors that contribute to ourroblems with wildfires. >> miles, it is great to see you, as always. we know the science is quite clear that climate change certain contributes to, exacerbates the problems that these wildfires are demonstrating. can you remind us a little
about the science of that. >> yeah. exacerbate is a good word. climate change isn't starting these fires, but it is creating the dry conditions that make it easier to have these fires ignite in the first place, spread faster, become bigger, so-called mega fires. whether they're caused by humans or by lightning, as has happened in many cases in california this year. y look at the annual number of burned acres in the west, it has increased, just in lock step with the change in climate. from yr to year, th area burned up correlates almost directly to tonight variations. if you look over a 30 to 50-year period, the numbers and the amount ofan firethe acreage burned correlates exactly with a two and a half degree fahrenheit incthrease he tonight overall. park williams is a hydroc amatologist. atmosphere, it uld hold
more moisture, and it can pull moisture out of the d forest systerying them out faster. as long as you get spk and nd, you'll get enough to burn it. change is playing role, potentially major role in this, but what else canex ain the incredible devastation caused by these fires.20: short. they found between 1992and 2015, americans built 32million new homes in the and when you have more people living in the
forest, you have more people starting forest fires.it sounds like common sense, but as it turns out, 97% of the fires that actually destroy a home are started by people in the first place. and here is ththing: there is no end in sight to this building boom in the woods. geeze>> 80% of the potential landscapes that could be built into have yet to be built into. and so more and more people are going to want to ve into landscapes that are flammable. and we currently have about 1.8 million homes that are threatened at high risk of threat from wildfire in the wooey, and that is about $300 billion worth of value. >> so iaf more more of us are moving into the wilderness, are there things we can do to manage those wildernesses bette
>> the president talked about raking the forest, and there was a lot ve conty about that, but there do need to be some changes in the way wees manage the fif people are going to live in them. each time we successfully put out a fire over the past 100 years, and we were very aggressive about it, the forest service and other enterprises were doing that, we sort of kicked the can down the i road becauallowed more underbrush and fuel for the fire to grow, creating more difficult problems. so at the u.s. fort services fire lab in montana, researchers haven pending a lot of time looking at isternatives. one of the ideao thin the forests out, tepitendthem, and do prescribed burns, burns that won't the homes.d away and burn making it less of a tinder box. there was a 38-acre ponderosa, that hadn't
burned, and they let it be, and nearby they burned to see what would happen. and that is healthier, resistant to bark beetles, and less likely to burn ign mea fire fashion as we're seeing in the west. >> i want to make a huge change of topic here. given that you are also our expert, our resident expert, when it comes to all things space-related, people might have seen these headlines today that scientists believe they have found signs of life on venus.th what happenee? what should we take away from all of this? >> above venus would b a little more accurate. but, yes, venus isn't thend f place to raise your kids, to paraphrase elton john, right? venus, the tonight is 9° fahrenheit on average. e pressure, 90 times greater than that. to think of life as we ow it existing there, is pretty hard to imagine. gut researchers usin telescopes in hawaii and
chile have found signs of a gas called fonsfi, in the clouds above venus, which are a little more temporate, albeit acidic.n what do we about fonsfi, i know s related to anatopic life on eath, in swamps, ander is a lot in penguin poop, believe it or not. so what could it be? could there be some form of life form connected toan the fonsfd venus? the researchers looked a volcanos, meteors, lightning, and none of it pports the amount of phosphin they've found. could it be our closest neighbor, venus, has been overlooked in all of this? nasa is thinking about sending some missions to venus. possible missions on the
horizon. two will be to venus, and maybe this will give a little more credence for those teams to win thoses. proposal and maybe they'll go to venus, and maybe they'll irprise us and we'll find venetian penguinon't know. >> i love it. myles o'brien, always good to see you. thank you so much for your intel. you're welcome. >> woodruf after years of war and economic deprivation, syria is poorly equipped to handle covid-19. but the virus is spreading fast in government-controlled damascus, and in the rebel-hd northwest, where as nick schifrin reports, it's targeting the most vulnerable. >> reporter: just miles from tho turkiser, there is no refuge from the wind and the heat, and no refuge from cov. rasha em hussain gathers cloth
from her neighbors to sew masks. she started with her own kids, and then realized the need was much greater. >> ( translated ): i'm worried about the children in the camp. i'm gointo hopefully me masks for everyone. this ia humanitarian service i can provide. >> reporter: she fits masks on children whose country has been at war longer than they've been alive. northwest syria has over 130 coronavirus cases, including at an internal displaced persons camp where social distancing is systems prevents phanditation washing. children are especially vulnerable because many already suffer from a parasiead by sand flies. and after russia and china restricted humanitard to a single border crossing, some syrians haven't received any lp in four months. mohannad ismail has three children who have learning disabilities. >> ( translated ): the situation in the camp is very dire.
even with mask cleaning supplies, with this coronavirus, we have kids very close to eac other. i mean, it's a crime, how we're all living so close to each other. >> reporter: idlib is the final stronghold for anti-regime forces. in idlib city, volunteers disinfect their own mosques and streets. but in this bustling market, f nobody stays st apart. to get into the market, visitors walk through a homemade disinfectant macne. but those who get sick have few places for treatment. the u.n. says russia and the regime have targeted more than 80 medical facilities since december. half of all hospitals are out of service. in this coviclinic, doctors fear for the future. >> ( translated e have a fragile health system. that's why we expect a disaster if the disease spreads, god forb. if the virus spreads here like it's spread in the regime controlled areas, we will really struggle. >> reporter: the regime controls
all ia-- in red-- outside the northwest and northeast, in grey. heart of the assad regime'se power: damascus. what are the conditions in damascus hospitals today? we spoke to a physician who asked us to keep him anonymous. he's had enough. >> ( translated ): the governments not concerned at all with treating this disease. it has shown it is completely unable to deal with covid-19. >> reporter: officiay, syriad has 3,500 coses and 150 deaths, but experts say for every death reported in damascus alone, there are 50-100 not reported. >> ( translated ): the government only allowed specifii inals that they trusted to enter the sections in hospitals that had covid-19 patients. we weren't alled as physicians to even use the name covid-19, or ask how many infections there were, or even have access to patients. >> reporter: a lack of hospital beds led people to self-treat at home. damascus doctors took to faceok to offer medical advi
edand patients, who consid hospitals a death sentence, were forced to buy their own oxygen. >> ( translated he price of oxygen igetting very expensivee duto the demand-- more expensive than what a normal person can afford. and many times people are dying because th are not able to get oxygen. >> so, in a lot of these cases, people are dying in their homes. >> reporter: emma beals is a research on syria and editor of "syria in context." >> and then what happens is these guys in these hazmat suito . and they are taking them away to these very large new cemeteriest and burying thre. >> reporter: that's the only visual proof of increased deaths. these satellite images show a cemetery just outside damascus. june 27 image shows what researchers believe are burials. on august 4, that's a collection of ambulances and cars and from january... to june... to august... multiple rows of new graves. medical workers were often the first fatalities. atsteast 65 of them, on a li kept by syrian-american
activist, dr. zahesahloul, who lives in chicago. >> the people are overwhelmed, and there is no one to help. the government clearly is not there to help. >> reporter: darascus doctors vulnerable. do you have enough personal protective equipment? >> ( translated ): there is nothing provided here. we are in need of everything. the question should be the opposite-- not about what we have, but what we don't have. because are in need of everything. >> in my hospital, we have more ventilors than all of syria. i mean, i haven't heard of any patient who's being treated in chicago or in the s. or in italy with ventilators at home. >> reporter: at first, the regime took vid seriously. in march, schools closed and the government imposed curnd travel restrictions. but that exacerbated an economic crisis.od rices soared. 80% of syrians areveow below the y line. and covid got so bad, even some supporters of syresident >> (atranslated all theout.
private hospitals th receive corona caseshere full. now,rivate hospitals contain large numbers of covid- cases while we have very few respirators. >> reporter: there are also very few tests. last mon, the government opened a testing center. it quickly reached city, and had to close hundds waiting outside were sent home empty handed. you're criticizing the regime, we are keeping you anonymous. how dangerous is it to use somew of tds you are saying and talk to us about the extent of the problean >> ( ated ): any criticism of the regime, whether it's about public health or any other issue, risks detention or death. why am i talking? because somebody must talk. there is always a need for someone to be a voice of truth. >> reporter: whether in damascus, or northwest syria, the truth is covid is spreading, in a country that can least afford it. for the pbs newshour, i'm nick schifrin.
>> woodruff: with exactly 50 days until election day, the presidential campaigns are offering two very different messages on the wildfires and coronavirus. our politics monday team is here of examine it all. that's amy waltethe cook political report" and host of public radio's "politics with amy walter." and tamara keith of npr. sh politics podcast.""npr >> woodrlof: so helo both of you. these wildfires so tragic watch them. they've exposed the differences again in views between president trump and joe biden amy, on climate change, science doesn't know.tod joe biden calling the president a climate what is driving these very different messages?
>> weldl, juy, these messages really reflect the polarization of our country as well. in fact, when you looak t where americans are on the issue of climate change and theat impact th climate change is having, both for like personal reasons and also the impact on the economy, will it make it harder if we implement climate change policies, to keep the economy going? snd what we sawand thi was a recent pew poll thalft f democrats say, you know what? changes to take care of climate change are going to help the economy. half of republicans said it is going to hurt the economy. d that's kind of where you sethe president and where you see joe biden. right? joe bin saying if we fi these things, we're going to create new jobs. u hear the president saying, hey, guess what is going to happen in joe we're going to get rid of the jobs that so many people rely on, whether
they're fracking in pennsylvania or coal mining in west virginia. where most americans are, though, more clovely on the sid --closely on the side oe biden. and especially for the suburbans that president trump wants to w over, climate change is a reality. >> woodruff: and we heard the esident saying to the panel of experts there in california, he said, it's going to g colder, defying what the science shows. >> right and saying that science may not be rit on this. and that is completely and tolly on bor president trump. this is a message that he is campaigning on. it is not aaffe if y say it on purpose and it is what you belve. and president trump is very much pulling the u.s. out of the paris ima accord. he is saying that if joe diden wins, that, as amy
said, that joe will put you back in the paris climate accord, and tht will hurt the economy. president trump has repeatedly shied away from climate science. and what joe biden is trying to do, and what hdie with that speech, and what he has beedoing in othervenues, is essentially saying that president trump is anti-science, or doesn't go with the science, and that that is putting americans at risk.de joe is trying to combine the concerns about imate change wit concerns about the handling of the coronavirus. for president trump, as y says, if you look at the polling, you have - according to a pew poll, who think that climateans change is a very big issue is in the teens. so preside trump, for his base, this is a perfectly fine message. and, of course, for joe biden's base, his message
is right on cue and could help motivate young voters who care about this issue >> woodruff: and then, amy, still related to science, of course, is the pandemic, the coronavirus. joe biden is wearing a mask wherever he goes. he is criticizing the president. hold rallies.o most recently in nevada, defyinghe state rule or regulation or law against wearing masks, against having over a certain number of people ndoors. just directly flaun ng what tles are. >> and what so many amicans also agree with. judy, if you ask the think we should be wearing masks, do you wear masks? overwhelming majorities agree with both of those sentiments and they do wear masks. we saw this in the conventions, too. it kind of felt like we twdifferent ameicas, in
but in two different planets. on the democratic side, everybody was wearing masks. joe bien and kamala harris speaking to empty rooms, going out and socially distcing as they were watching joe biden's speech. and republicans gathers on the white house lawn. the president really loves a crowd, and he wants a and he bes that you liowd. can't campaign without bunches of people around you cheering for you. it is not,o hver, what americans are doing, and it is not within, a you pointed out, judy, where scientists would like u to be. >> woodruff: and, tam, at the white house, the trump camp, they don't se this as taking a risk? >> they don't see it as taking a political risk. the message that they have, and they're pushing it hard, and i think it works absolutely fine with
their base, and i think, you know, we kep getting back to it's all about the base this election, least the way the president is handling this. but their response is, well, if there can be protests in the streets about racial justice, then we can hold a first amendment evatt in states ay that we shouldn't be having large events. and they are just doing it repeatedly and repeatedly. tonight was supposed to be -- in townhall discussion type of thing, and it is a rally. for the white house, this is the campaign. the campaign is putting on rallies and they're doing them indoors. they had beeg n saythey were only doing them outdoors, but nevada and arizona proves they're not afraid to do it indoors, either. rt of that is there may not be a direct line that can be dwn from one particular event to someone getting
coronavirus. and so they're just sort of taking a handsff approach. >> woodruff: and in just a couple of seconds, amy, i heard one the foks attending in the trump nevada outside tellina reporter that this covid is ahoax. iefre is still that bel out there. >> there is. and there is a lot going on, esp internet and social media, that is really keping americs also in very different places about the reality of this very, very serious health crisis. >> woodruff: well, we'reng certainly se lot of it this week. tamara and amy walter, we thank you both. politics monday. >> woodruff: when jasson howell sr. received a mandatory ten- year federal prison sentence for
heroin distribution, he shared that punishment with his family. two of his four children went to live with his parents, kim and dale howell. the couple has worketirelessly to raise their grandchildren, heile staying connected to son. brief but spectacular's steve goldbloom visited them in portage, wisconsin, in late 2019. >> my son was always adventurous. jason was a hard worker. he got with a group of guys that were eventually for recreations snorting pain pills on the weekends. pretty soon herod was cheaper came his drug of choice. it was constantly not ough money to pay for rent anymore, not enough money to keep the water on. w hard enough to see it be in our son and his wife, but the all.dr were the hardest of some of the people that jason was with went into shoot heroin. jason picked it up for a group of people. one of the kids shot up there,
their girlfriend, she o.d.'d, se didn't die, but she did o.d. and he got sentenced to a mandatory federal prison sentence of ten years. when jason did get incarcerated, our oldest grandson was left alone oftentimes to take care of his younger siblings, which was probably the hardest timof my life. their mother had overdosed and was being taken to the hospital. >> we we planning on getting all four the children. and when the courts decided to split them up between grandparents, that was a really hard situation. >> when i learned my dad was going away, it was hard for all of us. the most challenging part i'd say was just learning how long he was going to be gone. ♪ ♪ >> we see jason about three times a year.bo
it's an eight and a half hour journey there. it's a terrible, horrib thing to experience. and it wouldn't be so bad if ita just kim and i going through this, but usually we've got four little ones hands and taking them in as well.ho theydn't have to experience that either. the hardest part about seeing her d is just knowing he can come home with us that day. >> best part about seeing my dad is rememberinglike, all the good times that we have and that there's a lot more good times to come. >> the most difficult thing is not being able to take my sonhe homewe go and visit. he's my first born and he's always been my buddy. he's taken different classes in there, he's taken parentins. clas i've seen a huge change in him. he is learning through this rehab program in there to open he's had to reach out and say things to his children that he probably wouldn't have on his
own. to apologize. >> my grandparents, they've raised us for a while, and i feel they've taken over the role as parents, at least for now. >> i used to feel like, "ah, we got our grandkids." i don't feel that way anymore, we get to live with them. that addiction that is affected thstill see it, and i wonder what they could have been enor what they would have r maybe what to only get to be because of what they've gone through. whenever the phone rings, i look to see if it says "restricted" on it b then i know it's him. >> this call is from:ow >> jasonl. >> an inmate at a federal prison. >> hello. >> hi, buddy. >> glad i made the call because i tried making it. >> i know you did, honey. i kn you did. so how did work go? >> work was okay. we had a little holiday meal betoday, so it was a littler than normal. >> hello. >> what's up buddy? >> nothing much.
>> i'm looking forward to spending te with my dad and just, like, messing around and goofing around. >> okay, here's marcus. the most exciting thing is for when my son gets out, he will be able to see his oldest, marcus, graduate. >> it is snowing out there at all or no? >> it was this morning. 's slowed down for a little bit. >> i just want to be able to do things with him and see hiand not have any restrictions to >> we have shared the sentence with our son. it's been a long journey. the joy that comes to o hearts knowing he's going to get out, is also a mixed bag because that drug is tough one. you hear, well, people relapsing all the time. we hope that he will have thisck forever, but also in the still worry.mind kim and i both do we have it? do we get to stop worrying now?
is he telling the truth now? and i guess time will tell. my name is dale howell. >> my name is kimberly howell. >> and this has been our brief, but spectacular take. >> on our family. >> well, hope you guys have a good day, buddy. i just wanted to make sure i can call and touch base with you guys. i love you a lot. >> love you, too. >> love you, too, buddy. >> i'll talk to you later. >> okay honey. bye-bye. >> okay, bye. >> woodruff: and an update on this piece. fdozens of inmates and st members at the federal correctional institution in milan, michigan, where jasson howell is serving time, have been infected with covid-19. there have been at least five howell was expected to be released this november after completing a drug abuse program, however, due to the virus he can no longer take the required classes. >> woodruff: finally tonight, we
want to offer something joyfulfi in these dlt times and look at a band which has been bridging racial and cultural. ga we turn to ranky tanky, which charts, and won a grammy award umrlier this year for best regional roots a unprecedented honors for "gullay music. jeffown went to the low country of south carolina to take a listen and look-- part of our "american creators" series and ongoing coverage of arts and culture, "canvas." this piece was done before the shutdown due to covid. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: "ranky tanky." it loosely means "get funky." and you can see-- and feel-- why it's the right name for a band ..lebrating and re-inventing a music of j
♪ ♪ ...and pain. ♪ ♪ rhythms brought by the enslaved from west africa, spirituals of the christian church, themes that resonate today. ♪ ♪ it includes songs many know, though you've likely never hea"" ♪ ♪aya" quite like this. an impromptu performance for us vocalist quiana parler and trumpet player charlton singleton.ee ( chrs and applause ) fresh off winning a grammy for "e album, "good time, a first for gullah music. >> it meant a lot to me with this community because of the
magnit thing.he whole gullah >> reporter: you felt you were >> absolutely.omething? that's representative of how i was raised to be a musicn from listening and watching and imitatg all my aunts and uncles and grandpants. and so, to have it all kind of culminate with a grammy. wow. >> growing up in a church, we emulate that. and it was like a homecoming for me. >> reporter: the ensemble is based in charleston and specializes in jazz-influencedf arrangementsaditional gullah-- sometimes called "gullah-geechee," which originated among descendants of enslaved africans in georgia, florida and south carolina who retained a regional dialect, the four male members of "ranky tanky" have played music
together since meeting at the college of charleston in the 1990s. but they'd all gone off to do their own things, until two cades on, guitarist and vocalistlay ross proposednd reuniting-- arullah. ♪ ro they bht in quiana parler in 2017. >> i'm a disciple of this music. icis music moves me. you know, this ms called to me. 's's inspired me. and een a part of my life ♪ r over two decades. there's no one out there doing a contemporary expression of our character, south carolina roots music and specifically gullah music. >> reporter: there's a strong sense of mission with this band, as we saw when percussionist quentin baxter, bassist kevin hamilton and clay ross offered a lesson in history and music to students at the charleston seventh day adventist school. ♪ ♪
it wasn't a hard sell, as these fifth to eighth graders quicklyp took to the ping, singing and dancing. ♪ ♪ >> the thing about it is the music and the message of thees culture itselfves as big of a stage as it can get. ♪ ♪ >> i like to think of contributing to it, of getting evolution of the culture. so tre is a preservation there, but also i think there's hopefully sharing it with the world and also adding to it.he gowere singing of the pain, they were inthrough the difficulties. >> reporter: the members ofnk tanky drew inspition from places like pastor kay colleton's manna lifer, a church on johns island, one of the many rural islands off south erolina where gullah cult took root. national register of historic places, it was known as a" praise house" where different
denominations would gather,♪ ♪ and was home to the moving star hall singers. >> a lot of tis when young people hear the songs of the elders, they think, oh that's old stuff. no, that's good stuff. that music gives us aun tion. it helps us move forward in a more progressive state and so we don't want to forget that, lose that. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: gullah's popularity today springs from a more painful past. 91-year-old abraham "bill" jenkins grew up on johns island. >> everybody looked down on the gullah then. even the people of charleston-- they didn't speak much bette than we do. they thought, those are country boys. >> reporter: so that's how you were treated, sort of like second class citizens?e >> mke fifth class citizens. >> reporter: fifth class citizens.
so the music was lief from that life? >> yes, people were glad to get to church and start singing that response. ♪ ♪ >> reporter: ranky tanky ban members want to "play it forward" for current and future generations. they're also part of larger gullah cultural moment: we met charlton singlpaon and quiana er in the neema fine art gallery, which features gulls artists suchna coleman, a ood friend of charlton's >> to see his work and how it has gone o all over the world is just another feather in the cap of homs in the neighborhood. >> and nothing says low untry cuisine like >> reporter: tv food shows such as "delicious miss brown" reach larger audiences, even as traditional sweetgss baskets and other gullah crafts are sold on local streets here. ♪ ♪ in the meantime, the band is now
performing at large venues. >> it was in this very room that we recorded or winninalbum. ( applause ) >> reporter: and, they are still playing for local friends and family, as on this recent night at the truphonic recording studio. ♪ ♪ they closed, appropriately, with the song embracing this good time for ranky tanky and gullah music. ur ♪ for the pbs newsmre jeffy browin charleston. ♪ ♪ >> woodruff:oyful, for sure. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow eve ung. for all at the pbs newshour, thank you. please stay safe and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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moormation at macfound.org pp>> and with the ongoing t of these institutions >> this program was possible by the corporation for public broadcastinut and by contrns to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ng sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by tmedia access groupbh access.wgbh.org he
>>o, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour & co." here's what's coming up. on this 9/11 anniversary, the u.s. tries to forge a peace with t taliban in afghanistan. my first guestakells me the for afghan women are terribly high. then after his own brush with death, author and historian timothy snyder tells me why americans can't be free without plus -- care. >> google is just a box to see what my fries are doing. but there are people w job is to use it against you. >> exposing the dark underbelly of social media.