tv PBS News Hour PBS February 5, 2021 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: feeling the pain. the economy faces an uneven recovery as daily coronavirus deaths top 5,000 for the first time, and congress begins to move closer to passing a relief package. then, six months later. a worsening pandemic complicates beirut's long recovery from the massive explosion that devastated the city. >> the explosion was yet another blow in a year that had already seen the currency lose 80% of its value and food prices and now, just as the city was starting to get back on its feet, it's been floored by a devastating wave of covid-19. >> woodruff: and, it's friday. david brooks and jonathan capehart consider the
>> consumer cellular. >> johnson & johnson. >> the john s. and james l. knight foundation. fostering informed and engaged communities. more at kf.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: president biden's plans to pass a nearly $2 trillion economic stimulus package picked up some momentum today as democrats in congress
approved a basic blueprint. while the measures don't have the force of law, lawmakers are expect to begin writing details of a major package next week. as white house correspondent yamiche alcindor reports, the president made his case on the same day as the release of another weak jobs report tied to the pandemic. >> alcindor: today at the white house, president biden doubling down on the need to pass his covid relief plan. >> i see enormous pain in this country. a lot of folks out of work. a lot of folks going hungry, staring at the ceiling tonight wondering "what am i going to do tomorrow?" so i'm going to act, and i'm going to act fast. >> alcindor: the president dismissed republican concerns that the $1.9 trillion package is too much. >> what republicans have proposed is to either do nothing or not enough. all of sudden, many of them have re-discovered fiscal restraint and the concern for the deficits. but, don't kid yourself, this
approach will come with a cost: more pain for more people for longer than it has to be. >> alcindor: biden is calling on lawmakers to pass the plan fast. among other things, it calls for $1,400 direct payments to indivials, which biden says are non-negotiable; increased weekly federal unemployment benefits to $400; and, extending federal jobless programs through september. earlier in the day, president biden met with congressional democrats. after the meeting, house speaker nancy pelosi said a bill would absolutely be passed by march 15 when enhanced federal unemployment benefits are set to expire. overnight, the senate approved a budget resolution that would allow it to fast-track the aid without republican support, and today, the house followed suit. the hours-long session included votes on amendments that could define what goes into the actual bill. among the votes, a rejection of hiking the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
republicans and some economists argue that since the worst of the pandemic, the economy has rebounded. some sectors, including professional and business services, have recovered well. and this week, the congressional budget office projected that g.d.p. would rise to pre- pandemic levels before the end of this year. but this morning, the nation woke to a bleak picture of the economy, still hurt by the pandemic's winter surge. the labor department's january jobs report revealed u.s. employers added only 49,000 jobs; the unemployment rate fell, but remained high at 6.3%; of the 22 million jobs lost since last spring, about ten million jobs remain lost. that's worse than the height of the financial crisis. angela retamoza is one of four million americans who have been out of work for more than six months. >> i kind of feel like i'm in limbo. it can be somewhat discouraging at times, but i just keep trudging along.
>> alcindor: since march, she has relied on state unemployment aid. and, she said extra the federal unemployment benefits have helped her make ends meet. >> it alleviates so much stress. it's not like my stress completely went away, but to know that i can pay my rent and my bills and put food on the table-- because just unemployment on its own really only pays my rent and my utilities, and everything else i've got to figure out how i'm going to do that. so the extra is really helpful. >> alcindor: at the heart of a bifurcated recovery: job losses for women. women account for most of the nearly ten million jobs still lost, with women of color hit especially hard. overall, the jobless rates for black americans and hispanic americans are both still higher than the national average. and, since the start of the pandemic, the federal reserve reports that wealth for the top 1% of earners went up 400% compared to the bottom 50%. in march, leida parker sylvester
was furloughed from her job in the hospitality industry. she said looking for work has been grueling. >> the job search has been really difficult. i just put in a job after job. it has to be over 100 jobs that i have applied for. and right now, the only thing that i can find or i've been doing is part-time work. >> alcindor: in january, the service sector shed 127,000 jobs. the industry continues to represent the overwhelming majority of jobs lost long-term or permanently. >> we have experienced 72% loss in revenue compared to last year. >> alcindor: amy scheide runs a restaurant and catering business in wisconsin rapids, wisconsin. she has not been able to bring back most of her staff, and she says help from washington isn't coming fast enough. >> when payroll rolls around, it's coming from my personal savings. it's-- there is no money in the business for anything other than the food necessary to keep moving forward, the mortgage
that cannot be ignored, and the utilities that cannot be ignored. we've watched business after business after business close already. >> alcindor: for the pbs newshour, i'm yamiche alcindor. >> woodruff: let's take a closer look now at who is bearing the brunt of the pandemic's economic pain, and whether federal relief efforts are reaching those most in need. for that, we turn to raphael bostic, the president and c.e.o. of the federal reserve bank of atlanta. mr. bostic, thank you so much for joining us. let me start by asking you about the economy overall. it was just a few days ago the congressional budget office was forecasting we're going to see a robust recovery in the middle of this year, but then today and yesterday we're seeing discouraging reports about unemployment, how many people are out of work and have been for a long time. what does this economy look like to you? >> well, i think there are two things to deep e keep in mind mere. one is that, in the current
period, we have a virus that is still going through the economy and going through our population quite significantly. so, while that's happening, we're going to see choppy times, and i think we're going to have rough times for the next couple of months. but as the vaccine gets further into the bl population, i do thk we'll return to a much more robust growth period but not till the summertime at the earliest, so we've got to try to weather this time as much as we can. >> woodruff: to bring it down to the individual level, who in this economy is doing well, or maybe about to do better, and who is going to be struggling for the foreseeable future? >> well, this pandemic has really hit the population in two different ways. we have a number of people who have jobs where they're able to work from home, they don't necessarily need to be next to people or close to people to do their work, they're doing fine and they're going to continue to do fine. it's people who have jobs where proximity is important, the service industry is -- like
restaurants and groarkts those are the types of jobs who are going to see struggles and that will likely continue for months to come. >> woodruff: so, given that, mr. bostic, what do you make of the biden administration's proposal for covid economic relief? $1.9 trillion, and we know that could change some. but that's what they're proposing. what do you make of the focus of it, the price tag, and what it's aiming to fix? >> well, i think it's very important that we get relief to people across the economy because there's still a lot of uncertainty out there, and people are nervous and people need to have that support and know it's there. i think support to unemployment insurance is extremely important because those people we know have problems, but we also have to think about how we get support to small businesses that may not have participated in the paycheck protection program and to a number of families that have really stepped away from employment altogether, we can't
forget them because they are definitely at risk. >> woodru: as you know, different groups of economists have looked at what americans have done with last year's federal government payoutsand the reports that i've seen, they found that 1.6 trillion of it has still not been spent, it's being saved or it's being used to pay off debt. in fact, i was reading this morning households earning over $78,000 a year have spent less than 10% of what they received in federal payouts. does that tell you that we need to see more targeting in what the government does next? >> well, i definitely think targeting is important, but i also think it's important to remember that we still have a lot of uncertainty, and it's not exactly clear where pain is going to hit in the population for the next several months. so you saw, from the federal reserve, w acted big and bold in the beginning because we
didn't want the edge to be lost. so i think the approach so far has been to say wet rather err on the side of being too supportive than not supportive enough because if we're not, we fall short in that support, the damage to the economy and the people who are hurt more permanently is going to be more significant. >> woodruff: and are you saying that's still -- that applies to this upcoming covid relief package as well, the danger is in not doing enough rather than too much? >> well, i think we've learned in the last several episodes of crisis that doing more is better. but we are ms learning things through the experience as we move forward, and that should guide targeting. i'm having conversations with policy-makers to assist in that and i'm hopeful the targeting will be more effective as we move through the next several months. >> woodruff: you mean thwart the lower of the income scale? >> towards those who have lost their jobs, who are still out of work, and to small businesses in many communities across the
country that are the lifeblood for many small towns and neighborhoods. we've got to make sure that they stay afloat so that, when we get to the other side, the communities have a foundation from which they can grow and prosper. >> woodruff: mr. bostic, you said last octobert that this pandemic economy has -- and i'm quoting you -- you said it's laying bare and exacerbating disparities that have long plagued our economy, a long ethnic, racial, gender, geographic and occupational lines. you said the fed must participate in a deeper and more creative reckoning with a history of racial injustice that continues to weaken the economy for all of us. my question to you is, is the fed doing that? have you been doing that? and if so, how? >> we are absolutely doing that. we have spent a lot of effort raising the issues that are important in terms of understanding those racial barriers and the structural things that are keeping people
from being fully engaged. we are bringingeople together with solutions and talking about how we can apply them in communities and in our policy, and with we are having conversations with businses across the country to really get them to examine their practices and policies and to re-think how they engage with people across the country and, in particular, in neighborhoods where they have not necessarily been so attentive. and, so, we are really trying to drive a different kind of conversation and have that conversation translate into action because action is really what we need to see. >> woodruff: and do you think you're making progress? >> i know we're making progress, and i see that every day in my district here in atlanta and across the country. >> woodruff: raphael bostic, president and c.e.o. of the federal reserve bank of atlanta, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you, judy, it's a pleasure to talk with you.
>> woodruff: in the day's other news, the pentagon announced that it will deploy more than 1,100 active-duty troops to assist at five covid-19 vaccination sites. each team will consist of 222 personnel, including 80 who can administer vaccines. senior white house covid-19 adviser andy slavitt said that the military's support will help expedite inoculations. >> part of this group will start to arrive in california within the next ten days, to begin operations there around february 15. withdditional vaccination missions soon to follow. the military's critical role in supporting sites will help vaccinate thousands of people per day, and ensure that every american who wants a vaccine will receive one. >> woodruff: the biden administration is also investing
in six companies to boost production of at-home covid testing kits. they hope to make more than 60 million tests available by the end of summer. that comes as the u.s. s another grim record overnight-- daily covid deaths topped 5,000 for the first time ever. the u.s. trade deficit surged to a 12-year high in 2020 due to pandemicisruptions. the commerce department reported that the gap between exports and imports rose 18% last year to $679 billion. that was due in part to covid restrictions that upended key exports of u.s. services like tourism and education. in myanmar, hundreds of students and teachers protested today against the military coup, in the largest rallies to date since the takeover. they rallied at two universities in yangon. the protesters held up a three-finger salute as a sign of
resistance, and carried signs with images of ribbons to symbolize civil disobedience. one teacher voiced hope the military coup would fail. >> ( translated ): we don't want this military coup which unlawfully seized power from our elected government. we don't want anyone who steals power and then forms their own government. we are no longer going to work with them. >> woodruff: at least 30 people have been arrested for protesting against the coup. the military says they will hold onto power until a new election is held in a year. delegates from libya's warring factions approved an interim government today to help unify the divided country. it has had two separate governments, one in the east and one in the west. at a united nations forum in geneva, they selected four leaders to lead libya through the national elections in december. the north african country has been in turmoil since moammar gadhafi's four-decade rule ended
in 2011. back in this country, stocks on wall street notched their fifth consecutive day of gains. the dow jones industrial average climbed 92 points to close at 31,148. the nasdaq rose 78 points, and the s&p 500 added 15. and, a passing to note tonight. award-winning actor christopher plummer died today at his home in connecticut. during his nearly 70-year career, plummer became known for a wide variety of roles,inning an oscar, two emmys and a pair of tony awards along the way. jeffrey brown looks back on some of plummer's most iconic roles. >> brown: he was, throughout his life, a leading shakespearean actor. ♪ ♪ ♪ but it was this role... ...as captain von trapp opposite julie andrews in the beloved 1965 film, "sound of music," that catapulted canadian-born
actor christopher plummer to stardom. he famously disparaged the role, but later came to terms with it and the success it brought. plummer went on to star in a wide range of films, from tolstoy in "the last station" to playing the voice of the villain in the cartoon film, "up." and, he had an extraordinary film renaissance late in life. his role in "beginners," as a man who becomes openly gay after 44 years of marriage, made him the oldest actor to win an oscar, at 82. >> you know, my mother once predicted that i would have to wait to be a very old man before receiving recognition in our profession. she was absolutely right, of course. >> brown: he continued acting in recent years, starring in the crime thriller, "all the money in the world," and in the 2019 film, "knives out." christopher plmer died at his connecticut home this morning.
he was 91 years old. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: covid-19 complicates beirut's recovery from a devastating explosion. david brooks and jonathan capehart break down a packed week of politics. we remember several more of the many remarkable lives lost to covid-19. and, much more. >> woodruff: it has been six months since a massive fertilizer explosion at the port of beirut tore through the city, leaving hundreds dead and catastrophic destruction. lebanon was already mired in
deep economic crisis, but now, after the blast, as special correspondent leila molana allen tells us, add another crisis: covid-19. >> reporter: it's 9:35 p.m., and the lebanese red cross night team is racing to respond to yet another critical covid-19 call. lebanon has no official ambulance service, so these young volunteers are the front line of pandemic defense. this 85-year-old woman is fighting for every breath. there's nothing more they can do in the ambulance; she needs a hospital bed. but, after a massive uptick in cases here in the past few weeks, those are hard to find. >> the hospitals in lebanon are suffering from a shortage in resources, and we've experienced multiple times on multiple missions that there's nooom either in the emergency room, or in the i.c.u., or in the whole hospital.
>> reporter: the intensive care unit at the hospital they've come to is full. she only makes it inside because her doctor reserved a space for her in advance, knowing she might deteriorate. six months ago, an enormous explosion swept through beirut, tearing apart homes and lives. it killed more than 200 people, rge swathes of the city in tatters. my own neighborhood of mar mikhael was left in pieces. many of its residents have come back and rebuilt. some have nowhere else to go. but the area is a shell of its former self. this was once one of the busiest streets in beirut, lined with crowded cafes, bars, restaurants and shops. while some of them have been rebuilt, others are still piles of rubble. and thanks to the pandemic, it's still a ghost town. the explosion was yet another blow in a year that had already seen the currency lose 80% of its value and food prices triple, while many lost their life savings. the government, which has done little to tackle the country's economic free-fall, swore it
would rapidly punish those responsible for the blast. instead, it has spent months gridlocked in political infighting. and now, just as the city was getting back on its feet, it's been floored by a devastating wave of covid-19, and a nationwide lockdown imposed on a population that has nothing left to give. one of the country's largest hospitals, lau-rizk, had only just recovered from the damage it sustained in the blast. now they're building again, racing against time to add more capacity before they're hit by another spike. they've already repurposed two extra floors above the packed i.c.u. as covid wards. those were full almost as soon as they were complete. the e.r. is full too. >> we treated a lot of patients on the chairs, under the tents, outside the e.r., we put some extension oxygen cords to oxygenate the patients on stretchers outside the e.r. it was a very chaotic and very severe two weeks. >> reporter: the rise in cases came after the government chose
to prioritize the economy over health over the holiday season, lifting restrictions to allow tens of thousands to gather at bars, restaurants and parties. the resulting virus spread carried a heavy toll-- more people have now died of coronavirus in the last four weeks here than in all of 2020. the test positivity rate has been 20% or higher for weeks. the who says movement restrictions should remain until it falls below 5% for at least two weeks. if they're lifted anytime soon, doctors fear another spike. are you worried the government for political reasons will lift the lockdown? >> it's a struggle between economy and politics, and science. in my opinion, this is the way how we should be living for the next at least year. >> reporter: but even as doctors beg for an extension, there's already talk of easing the restrictions. lebanese say they can't take much more of this lockdown, one of the harshest in the world. in place for nearly a month,
it's imposed a 24/7 curfew, with all shops including food stores closed. many here work daily cash-in- hand jobs, so if they're not working, they're not earning. six months ago, we met the mitri family, after their home was decimated by the explosion. ever since, they've been rebuilding. it was nearly liveable again, but then the curfew stopped construction workers finishing the job. their father joseph refused to leave the house even when it was at its worst, but the rest of the family are split across the city and beyond, staying with friends and relatives. desperate to bring them home after months apart, he's completing what he can himself. his son maher has moved back in to help, sleeping on the floor amidst the plaster dust. the paint is still wet on the floor, it's that freshly done. the grocery store where camil, the youngest, works, is closed. it's still doing delivery and letting trusted customers pick up items, but he's not needed behind the counter. only his sister and mother work in exempted jobs.
so you're not able to work? >> no. >> reporter: your father isn't able to work, yourrother is trying... >> yes. >> reporter: so the three of you are surviving on your sister and mother's salary, basically? >> yes. because of them we're living, like, a little bit. >> reporter: maher still needs surgery to remove glass from the explosion that's embedded in his hand and arm, but he's been without wages for so long, he can't risk having his hands out of action if the lockdown lifts and he's able to work again. >> no money, nothing, so it's hard. >> reporter: how long can you continue like that, do you think? >> i can't. we need to live, we need to get our jobs back. we need income in our hands. it's really hard! >> reporter: the mitris are lucky, by lebanese standards. they've used up most of their savings getting through the lockdown, but they still have a little money coming in, and a
charity paid for most of their rebuilding work. others here haven't been so fortunate. the mood on the streets now is hopeless. a recent call for protests in the capital, which just a year ago saw hundreds of thousands taking to these streets calling for better governance, fell flat. gone is the idealism that change will come; life here has simply become a fight to survive. for the pbs newshour, i'm leila molana-allen in beirut. >> woodruff: and now to the analysis of brooks and capehart. that's "new york times" columnist david brooks and jonathan capehart, columnist for the "washington post." very good to see both of you this friday night. let's start by talking about the republican party. jonathan, the republicans in the
house of representatives this week voted, just in the last day, voted not to take away committee assignments from marjorie taylor greene, conspiracy theorist who made deeply disturbing statements. they left to it the full house, meaning democrats took the vote. greene said today that it didn't really bother her, that committees didn't matter and, besides, it's donald trump's party anyway. is she right? >> she's right in that it's donald trump's party, but she's wrong about the fact that it doesn't matter. it does matter. and if she doesn't think committee assignments or being assigned to a committee matters, then she shouldn't be in government. she should resign her seat if she doesn't believe that sitting on a committee, doing the work of an elected representative and representing your constituents in congress, if that doesn't
matter, then perhaps she should go back to georgia. but this is, indeed, donald trump's party, and we saw it with the votes that were taken within the republican caucus. marjorie taylor greene was able to hold on to her committee seat because the vote was a public vote within the caucus. liz cheney was able to hold on to her leadership post within the republican caucus because that vote was a secret ballot, and we talked all last week dr. or all this week about how her hold on her leadership post was tenuous because the base was so angry, the caucus was so angry and, yet, by secret ballot, she won reelection to that leadership post within the caucus overwhelmingly. so this might be donald trump's republican party, but behind closed doors, within the republican caucus, at least as it's playing out in the hou, there are some tensions there. >> woodruff: and, david, i
mean, what congresswoman greene actually said was that it's a waste of time. she views committees as a waste of time. but my question to you is, i mean, what doethis say about the republican party in congress? >> yeah, i've decided to look on the bright side. i think this was the week we saw more yarnt trump activity in the republican party than any week in the last five years. we had mitch mcconnell calling marjorie taylor greene's ideas cancerous. liz cheney won by two to one. that was not automatic. it shows there's a lot of people in the house republican caucus who are not with the trumpsters. they're a little intimidated by them, but in private that's not where their views are. we had nebraska senators ben sasse with a very fort right assault of one of the g.o.p.es in nebraska who wants to censure him. so people are beginning to stand up in ways that haven't happened. so partly january 6, partly looking at what greene believes, they said, as mcconnell said,
these are disastrous cancers for the party, so it's not all the way there, but we're seeing more of an assault before before, and finally we had ten republican senators break from their party and put out a covid relief proposal. so m seeing progress. >> woodruff: well, let's pursue that, i mean, jonathan, i interviewed formerissouri senator john danforth this week who says hisarty, he's still a republican, has become a go desk character of what it once was, that it's no longer conservative, that it's pop list at the extremes -- populist at the extremes. where do you see this going, is the question. >> i do agree with david that there are green suits, to use a phrase from a previous presidency, green ch shoots of progress or even a new beginning. but the republican party right now is going to be a multi-cycle
refreshing that these green shoots that we are seeing, will that mean that republicans become more emboldened and stand up for themselves and going into the midterm elections, the non-trump republicans get elected, maybe even republicans take over the house, but not with trump republicans. i don't know. but what i do know is this -- the republican party is not -- is not going to cure itself of what former senator danforth talked about until it has concerted leadership within the caucus to push the marjorie taylor greenes and the other folks within that caucus -- because she is not the only one -- push them aside and get about the business of governing. i focus on house minority leader kevin mccarthy, who should
have used the marjorie taylor greene moment as a leadership moment to do what a leader is supposed to do and stand up for the values of the party and the caucus and to push aside those who run afoul of that. i don't know what leader mccarthy stands for, i don't know what the republican party stands for, and if his calculations this week are about retaking the house in 2022, my question is what is your program, what are you for? because unless you can tell the american people, and particularly folks in the districts around the country, unless you can tell people what the republican party will do and what leader mccarthy would do as speaker proactively, positively, then why should the american people look at the republican party as a viable alternative to the democratic party? >> woodruff: well, speaking of what the republicans can do, david, youentioned the
republican role, i think, in covid relief, what role do you see them playing as the president is saying we need to go big, republicans and even some democrats raising questions? >> yeah, joe biden ran on bipartisanship and unity. he had a chance when the ten republicans put forth their $618 billion proposal to say, okay, let's try for a week, i'm not going to give yore more than a week but a week, and see if we can get you ov a trillion. the republicans voted roughly over a trilliondollars in aid, i think they could have got an fifth. the democrats just lived through the horror of the trump presidency and january 6, they just don't have much respect or trust for the republican party and don't want to do bipartisanship. i think the ten republicans. do i think there are another ten or 15 in the senate who would prefer it, they're not going as big as biden wants to go, but i
think they'd like it. but you can't tell people to trust people they don't trust. trust takes tame, and the trust the not there for bipartisanship in this congress. i think biden really wants to do it. the evidence of this week is we're just not going to see that. >> woodruff: jonathan,t what do you see as the outlook for bipartisansh? >> well, depends on your definition of bipartisanship. if by partisanship you mean sitting with others across the aisle and talking about policies and programs and then, as president of the united states, you decide what you've heard does not meet the policy proposals that you have in mind and the mandate you feel you have from the american people, well, then, if you go a different route, that doesn't man you haven't been bipartisan, it just means you have a different governing philosophy. i do think president biden has lived up to his promise to be
bipartisanship. he didn't have to meet with those ten senators, and yet he did. i do think that, you know, david was absolutely right in what he said and in his terrific column today in the "new york times," i don't think that democrats don't want to do bipartisanship, i do think democrats do suffer from a lack of trust because they have been charlie brown to republicans lucy with the football. when president obama was in the white house, president obama tried desperately to negotiate in good faith with republicans, only to have them say no, be recalcitrant. and having learned that lesson, president biden, having been part of the obama-biden white house, does not want to be in that position, nor should he, especially when you ha millions of americans who are not only suffering through a pandemic but also through the resultant economic crisis. >> woodruff: and, david,
lingering effects, if the democrats end up doing this with democratic votes, what's the fallout? what does that mean for the future? >> well, the people do really like bipartisanship. our own amy walter had a good column this week saying that when you try to pass something on a partisan basis, what happens is that piece of legislation tends to be unpopular because i.t.n.s would rather you do it on a bipartisan basis. so i think in the long term democrats probably madit slightly more likely the republicans will do well in the midterm if they run this through on a partisan basis. having said that, you know, i think the size of our social problems are so large that $1.9 trillion basically given to the least fortunate among us is about the right size, and, so, i wish they had done the bipartisanship, i wish the republicans had come up to 1.2 trillion, but i'm thinking of a country suffering from
inequality, decautious declining prospects, from a rural-urban income gap, and $1.9 trillion can go a long way to setting us on a different, more equal social path. so despite my reservations about the way they're doing it, i still think it needs to be done. >> woodruff: just a little over a minute yet, i want to get from both of you your expectations for next week's impeachment trial, the second one, jonathan, for president trump. what do you think will happen? >> i think we will hear wrenching testimony in that the house managers, the house impeachment managers will present a case that will bring the american people and the witnesses/jurors back to that day on january 6th. i expect the moment to be probably one of the most impactful, emotional moments in recent american history, but i also expect this trial to be short. i wouldn't be surprised if we're
talking about the end of this trial a week from today. >> woodruff: and david, what do you expect? >> yeah, that sounds about right. i'm mostly struck how donald trump has vanished. obviously he's off twitter, but he's not taking any measures to be anywhere. so this will be a one-sided affair which will end in acquittal and we'll get back to business. i'll be curious to see whether the nation tunes in or whether they're ready to move on from the trump era. >> woodruff: we'll be asking you the two about it one week tonight at exactly the time. david brooks, jonathan capehart, thank you both. >> thanks judy. >> woodruff: thank you. >> woodruff: after a week reaching yet another tragic milestone in the covid-19 death toll, we remember five
remarkable individuals here in the u.s. who have lost their lives to the pandemic. freddie perez de tagle loved to sing, whether in his church choir or just answering the phone, his son told us. he moved from the philippines to toledo, ohio in his 20s to be with his wife, priscilla. a dedicated grandfather, freddie loved the outdoors and camping. he also had a lifelong interest in fashion-- his famy said he took pride in choosing what to wear every day. freddie was 67 years old. service was at the center of carolyn barnes' life. she was an enthusiastic volunteer at her church in pensacola, florida, and worked as a caregiver in assisted living and daycare centers.
she was matter-of-fact and outspoken, her son said, and always told her large family about the importance of helping others. she was 77 years old. steve prince came from a family of journists, following in the footsteps of his father and grandmother. steve loved copy-editing at the "south bend tribune," where he worked for 33 years and met his wife, mary. introspective and humble, his wife told us he was passionate about the positive impact newspapers could have in their communities. steve was an avid runner and quietly donated his money and time to several causes, including as a dedicated volunteer at his local hospital, his wife said. steve was 75 years old. juan ordonez was always smiling and making jokes, his family told us, adding that he was warm and adventurous, and quick to
make friends. a native of peru, he moved to the u.s. when he was 13 years old, and took pride in mastering english. juan was hardworking, fascinated by computers and gained a degree in i.t. while working full-time. his wife said he was a romantic and a hands-on dad to their five-year-old mia. juan loved traveling, watching comedy shows and the peruvian national soccer team. he was 40 years old. 91-year-old reverend dosia carlson was seen as the matriarch of the phoenix retirement community where she worked and lived for decades. dosia always fought for the underdog, her brother told us. she was an advocate for the elderly and, 40 years ago, started a non-profit for older adults. the organization still serves hundreds of people in phoenix every day.
she overcame the effects of a childhood bout with polio and, later, a cancer diagnosis. a friend said dosia was a compassionate minister and a talented musician. we thank all of you family members who shared these stories with us. our hearts go out to you, as they do to everyone who's lost a loved one in this pandemic. >> woodruff: prior to the pandemic, broadway was booming, breaking box office records in 11 of the last 12 years. but curtains haven't risen since march, with deep personal and financial impacts. by one count, broadway is directly responsible for nearly 100,000 jobs in new york city alone, and, as a leading attraction for people who travel to the city, it has an economic
impact of nearly $15 billion. jeffrey brown is back with that report for our arts and culture series, "canvas." >> brown: rousing music and thrilling energy... >> brown: ...soaring language, and high drama. broadway is all that. but now it is closed, and the pandemic has exposed how much more there is to it. >> i don't think most people think of actors, for example, as the middle class workers that the majority of us are. they also don't really think about the arts and entertainment industry's impact on the economy. >> brown: kate shindle is an actor whose credits include the national tour of “fun home.” now, she's an out-of-work actor, who also happens to be president of the actor's equity union-- a non-paying job, by the way-- dealing closely with an industry in crisis.
>> look, making a living in our industry, being a professional actor or stage manager, is one of the hardest things you can do, even on a good day. it's an incredibly unstable and unpredictable way to make a living for so many of us. but, when it stretches on past a year-- which is about to-- i think there's a very real possibility that a lot of people will leave the business, because they're not exactly sure what they're waiting for. >> i'm a song-and-dance man. i've worked all over the country, a few nional tours. i've gotten to work here in new york at lincoln center. the career was great, until it wasn't anymore. >> brown: for years, 37-year-old rashaan james ii did what actors and dancers have always done: work when they get gigs, supplement their income as waiters, bartenders and doing other odd jobs. >> i was an alcohol slinger. i would stand inside of liquor stores and give tastings, and i got a percentage of the bottles i would sell. >> brown: with that work also
gone, james turned to even odder, temporary jobs: working for the census, then as a poll- worker, and now, to his immense surprise, as deputy campaign manager for a friend running for city council in manhattan. >> "who i am" is being redefined every day, right. because now it's like if someone asks me, well, what do you do? it's like, "oh, i work in politics." into some sort of slump, i find a way out of it. >> brown: while most of us focus on what happens onstage, commercial theater is an enormous ecosystem, playing out largely behind the scenes in places like this. >> we're the department that's really good at putting our heads down and getting the work done. we don't really make a fuss. we don't want to be noticed. we want to make sure we facilitate the rationship between the designer and the performer. >> brown: john kristiansen's 20-year-old company makes the costumes for broadway shows and
performances of all kinds. it's highly specialized, made-to-order work, performed by skilled artisans. kristiansen laid off all of his 52 workers and, with little work, has less than a third on hand now. >> when it started to become terrifying was when things were happening, like disney closing "frozen: on broadway" because it was too hard to open it up again. and we started to see this shift, trying to get people to talk to us about what kind of what to do for our people, who are my family. >> brown: now, kristiansen has joined more than 50 other shops to form the "costume industry >> these costume shops are all small businesses. the group released videos th celebrity testimonials... >> brown: ...and demonstrations of all that goes into the making of a costume. >> the people that are doing the beading and who are sewing the garments and putting the thread in-- it's a lot of people that are doing this, and they're each one very important.
we need to make sure they make it through this. >> brown: it's one of many relief efforts. since last march, the actors fund has given $18 million in emergency financial assistance to more than 15,000 people... >> my insurance is running out end of march. >> brown: ...and holds zoom seminars like this for those whose insurance has run out. in december, tina fey hosted an nbc special, “one night only: the best of broadway,” that raised more than $3 million. and the coronavirus relief package passed by congress in december included $15 billion for “save our stages”-- aid for venues from small clubs to broadway theaters. others help in their own ways. when the long-running tv show, "law & order: svu," resumed production in september, executive producer warren leight announced he would hire as many unemployed theater actors as possible-- more than 30 so far.
people are-- it's been a tough time. we just thought, let's not fly people in from other cities. let's not look so much to the tv acting pool. let's try and keep the local broadway pool that we've always relied on. let's help as much as we can. >> brown: plus, leight says, his show benefits from the talents of suddenly-available top broadway stars. several, including tony-award winner adriane lenox, have played judges. >> the judges need a certain kind of authority. and if you can hit the back wall of the winter garden, you can handle arraignment court here. >> brown: of course, there are only so many judges, even on the "law & order" franchise. the real questions: when will broadway return? and what will it look like? >> we have had no revenue for nine months now, and we most likely won't have it for another eight months. we are the first industry that
went out and will be most likely the last one in. >> brown: charlotte st. martin, president of the broadway league, the trade group for commercial theater in the u.s., says broadway faces unusually daunting challenges. >> broadway is a very, very expensive business. we looked at socially distancing because the state was asking us to try. and the most seats we could fill in the biggest theaters was 25%. and we need 75% for most shows to even break even. >> brown: for now, st. martin and others say, the focus must be on sustaining the people and the work they do that make up this great american industry, so there will be an industry to return to. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown.
>> woodruff: in recognition of black history month, tonight's brief but spectacular comes from historian daina ramey berry, who chairs the history department at the university of texas at austin. she's dedicated to rethinking the way we teach american history to students of all ages. her latest book is called "a black women's story of the united states." >> i have a son who's now in his teen years. his first racial experience was at age three. we had just moved to austin, texas, and we ran a neighborhood meeting about the community we were in. we were the only black family that were there. my son comes downstairs at three years old, and he was pouting. i said, what's wrong, honey? he said, they told me i had to be the bad guy because i'm black. and he said, and i want to be the good guy. i want to be the hero. and i want to be the one that saves people. the mothers were frozen. they didn't even know what to say. it was totally uncomfortable for me after that. i didn't want to leave the meeting, because i wanted my son to know that we're going to stand there and we're going to still be there and that he can
be who he wants to be. and so that night, when we talked to him, when my husband and i talked to him about, you know, who he comes from, you know, and the people, just like my parents told me so much about african american history and culture as a child, because outside of our house setting, our home setting, we are criminalized. >> when i was growing up, african american history was literally one paragraph. there were africans came and they were enslaved. there was harriet tubman, frederick douglas, and then a jump to rosa parks and martin luther king. we learned about four people in african american history. now, where i sit and i know that four million people received their freedom, or took their freedom, or were granted their freedom, stole their freedom in 1865. and even before that moment, there's so many stories that we can understand about survival, about resilience, about pride, and about the african american experience in the united states. that goes beyond those four great figures. teaching texas slavery is a
digital humanities project that i've been working on with a team of scholars for a number of years, and this project is a way to teach young children about the contributions of african americans, to look at them in their eyes, to understand the humanity of the enslaved and their contributions to the state of texas. in my work, i try to honor the voices and experiencof people who were enslaved, because for so long in the literature, nobody asked them about how they experienced slavery. they talked about enslaved people by making them objects. these were human beings. and for me, i think it's important to try to read and think about moments, historical moments from their perspectives. kids can absolutely handle hard truths. some of the best conversations that i've had about story and about the history of slavery have been with five-year olds seven-year-olds, nine-year-olds. it is so important that we know our history, that we teach all aspects of history, even the tough parts. the subjects that make us
uncomfortable, the subjects that make us feel ashamed about our nation. that's when we are in a place where we can move forward and grow and live in a realistic space. and students don't feel betrayed by high school education, by junior high school education and by elementary school education. my name is diana ramy berry, and this is my "brief, but spectacular" take understanding the past to live a better future. >> woodruff: and you can find all of our "brief but spectacular" segments online at www.pbs.org/newshour/brief. and, tune in later tonight, when our own lisa desjardins is guest host on "washington week." and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here on monday evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, please stay safe and have a great weekend. thank you, and goonight.
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hello, everyone. welcome to "amanpour & company." here's what's coming up. >> if we are now going to start judging what other members have said before they're even members of congress i think it is going to be a hard time for the democrats tolace anybody on committee. >> whether to weed out extremists in the gop. arkansas governor asa hutchinson joins me on his party's existential crisis. then -- new on hbo the investigation. the bizarre murder case of the swedish journalist kim wall. i talk to her parents and director tobias lindholm about honoring wall's quest for truth. plus -- >> in some ways we watched the little guy beat the big