tv PBS News Hour PBS April 5, 2021 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, the trial intensifies-- the minneapolis chief of police testifies against former officer derek chauvin, who is charged with murder in the death of george floyd. then, on the front lines-- more hospitals struggle with a dramatic rise in new covid infections, raising concerns about widespread efforts to re-open public spaces. and, decriminalizing drugs-- oregon becomes the first state to reduce penalties for possession and use of hard substances, focusing instead on treatment. >> so let's try a different way
than putting people in jail, taking away their ability to get a job, taking away relationships, their housing, the very things that we know support either long term recovery or substance use with less harm. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> twins! >> grandparents. >> we want to put money aside for them, so, change in plans. >> all right, let's see what we can adjust. >> we'd be closer to the twins. >> change in plans. >> okay. >> mom, are you painting again? you could sell these. >> let me guess, change in plans? >> at fidelity, changing plans is always part of the plan.
>> 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. >> the chan-zuerberg initiative. working to build a more healthy, just and inclusive future for everyone. at czi.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals.
>> 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: good evening. as you can see, i am back in our newshour studio again. life is not back to normal, but we are taking small steps to see what works. i'm so grateful to our staff for working both here and from home, and for doing all we can to stay safe. and we appreciate your staying with us for the news. our lead tonight: the nation's inoculation campaign again covid-19 is gaining ground. an average of 3.1 million shots were administered daily over the past week, peaking at a record four million on saturday. health officials said that's leading to a steady drop in deaths among older americans.
but, covid infections are on the rise among young people. >> cases are increasing nationally, and we're seeing this occur predominantly in younger adults. this is why you've heard me so clearly share my concern. we are learning that many outbreaks in young people are related to youth sports and extra-curricular activities. according to c.d.c. guidance, these activities should be limited. >> woodruff: we'll have more on the uptick in cases later in the program. meanwhile, florida and maryland became the latest states to open vaccine eligibility for all adults. and, overseas, daily virus infections in india surpassed 100,000 for the first time, making it the second country after the u.s. to reach that benchmark. president biden doubled down, underlining the need for his $2.3 trillion infrastructure package today. he questioned why republican critics of his plan are limiting
the scope of what infrastructure means to only roads and bridges. the president spoke to reporters outside the white house. >> i'm talking about making sure we are in a situation where you can redo some of the federal buildings that are just absolutely leaking energy every single day, that's infrastructure, in addition to roads, and bridges, and highways and broadband so it's interesting how their definion of infrastructure has changed, they know we need it. >> woodruff: senate minority leader mitch mcconnell said the president's plan is "something we're not going to do." and he argued increasing taxes to pay for it would only hurt the economy even more. mcconnell spoke at a vaccination clinic in lexington, kentucky. >> enough is enough. we're threatening the future of our country, so it would have to be completely re-crafted in way that was not going to engage
in undoing the tax increase, have it credibly paid for without running up even more of the debt. >> woodruff: president biden's proposal would increase the current corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%, impacting primarily big businesses. optimism for economic recovery triggered a rally on wall street today. the dow jones industrial average gained 374 points to close at 33,527; a record high. the nasdaq rose 225 points, and the s&p 500 added 58. the u.s. supreme court handed google a victory today in a copyright dispute with software developer oracle. it centered around thousands of lines of code that google copied from oracle's java platform to build its popular android operating system. in a 6-to-2 opinion, the justices ruled that constituted a fair use.
justice amy coney barrett wasn't confirmed when the case was argued, and did not participate. crews near tampa bay, florida, are scrambling to drain a waste- water pond that is near collapse. at least 30 people have been evacuated. the initial leak at the piney point reservoir was discovered last week. but a drone has now detected a possible second breach. manatee county officials were optimistic that new pumps could drain the 480-million gallon pond before disaster strikes. >> if we go from 35 million gallons a day to 100 million gallons a day or more pulling it out, you can see how within probably 48 hours, if all those flows continue, we will be at a situation where we will no longer have that risk of that full breach, which would send that 20 foot wall of water across. >> woodruff: officials said the situation posed a major flood
risk, but was not a threat to local drinking water. damage from a powerful tropical cyclone is hindering rescue efforts across southeast asia today. the storm has claimed the lives of at least 133 people in indonesia and east timor. heavy rains triggered landslides and flash floods which uprooted trees and destroyed homes. thousands of people were displaced. >> ( translated ): everything is gone. we only managed to salvage whatever we could save. compared to the possessions, our lives are more important. if we save the items we might die, it's better we save ourselves. >> woodruff: the storm is expected to linger a few more days before moving toward australia. renewed tribal fighting in sudan has left at least 40 people dead over the past three days. the clashes broke out in the western darfur region this weekend, between arab and non- arab groups. similar violence earlier this year killed nearly 500 people,
challenging efforts by sudan's transitional government to restore peace. back in this country, the governor of arkansas vetoed a bill that would have made his state the first to ban gender- affirming care for transgender youth. the bill barred doctors from providing puberty blockers, hormones and surgery to minors. republican asa hutchinson rejected the measure at the urging of doctors and parents. but a simple majority of the state legislature can override the veto. and, the stanford women's basketball team is celebrating its first n.c.a.a. championship victory in nearly 30 years. they defeated arizona last night in a squeaker; 54 to 53. in the game's final moments, arizona missed a long shot before the buzzer to hand stanford its thi national title. still to come on the newshour: the minneapolis police chief testifies against former officer derek chauvin.
hospitals struggle with a dramatic rise in new covid infections. a jordanian prince is accused of plotting a coup against the king. plus much more. >> woodruff: in the derek chauvin trial today, the prosecution examines the former minneapolis police officers' use of force and whether kneeling on mr. floyd's neck for more than nine minutes violated protocol. special correspondent fred de sam lazaro reports. and a note: this report contains disturbing images from mr. floyd's death that were shown during testimony. >> reporter: during the sixth day of testimony in the derek chauvin trial, prosecutors called minneapolis police chief
medaria arradondo to the stand. >> up until may 26, 2020, an individual named derek chauvin was a minneapolis police officer, is that right? >> that is correct. >> reporter: the city's top cop, who fired chauvin after the death of george floyd, is the first african american to hold the position. chief arradondo spoke to alternative methods minneapolis police officers are trained in, including de escalation. >> de-escalation is providing a knowledge base or skills for officers to really focus on time options and resources, it's really primarily trying to provide an opportunity to stabilize a situation, to de- escalate it, and with the goal having a safe and peaceful outcome. >> the minneapolis police department also has a professional policing policy, is that right?
>> yes it's really about treating people with dignity and respect, above all else, at the highest level. >> reporter: arradondo recalled reviewing footage of the incident soon after learning that mr. floyd had been transported via ambulance. >> do you believe that the defendant followed departmental policy? >> i absolutely do not agree with that. >> do you have a belief as to when this restraint, the restraint on the ground that you viewed, should have stopped? >> once mr. floyd had stopped resisting and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped. there's an initial reasonableness in trying to just get him under control in the first few seconds, but once there was no longer any resistance and clearly when mr. floyd was no longer responsive,
and even motionless, to continue to apply that level of force to a person proned out, handcuffed behind their back, that in no way shape or form is anything that is by policy, it is not part of our training, and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values. >> reporter: also on the stand today, dr. bradford wankhede langenfeld, the emergency room physician who pronounced george floyd dead. dr. wankhede langenfeld said mr. floyd had been in cardiac arrest for 60 minutes before he called his time of death. >> was your leading theory then for the cause of mr. floyd's cardiac arrest oxygen deficiency? >> that was one of the more likely possibilities. i felt that at the time, based on the information i had, it was
more likely than the other possibilities. >> reporter: the cause of floyd's death is a key argument in the case, with prosecutors saying that oxygen deprivation was caused by chauvin's action defense attorney eric nelson has argued that a drug overdose along with an underlying heart condition were chiefly responsible. for the pbs newshour, this is fred de sam lazaro. >> woodruff: let's talk more about what we heard from police chief arradondo today and the wider reaction to the testimony so far. uzo-deema frank aba-onu is a civil attorney and president of the minnesota association of black lawyers, and has been following the trial closely. mr. aba-onu, thank you very much for joining us. first of all, tell us what you'reyour reaction has been today from hearing from the police chief? >> thank you for having me. and i think today is one of those days where it kind of comes full circle
because, you know, special prosecutor jerry blackwell, says he will provide us a bouquet of humanity and show us people who witnessed this accident, this murder. and you have the chief, like the defense attorney said, the general of the minneapolis police department, the cop, and the head, who is speaking out about what he saw and said that there is no way that what happened was by policy, design, good policing, any of that. and i think for the community, for people here in minneapolis, to see the chief of police say that, it is just something that really expresses how wrong what happened in may of 2020was. >> woodruff: and what is the signicance that this is coming from the chief of police? how unusual is it for someone in his position to be testifying against one of his own, in this case, former officers? >> highly unusual. and when we think about
this, having him testify really speaks to this community. we heard the chief, he is from minneapolis. you know, he was born and raised here. and he rose up from the ranks, and now he is chief. and he speaks to minneapolis as a whole, the community at a whole, and so having someone of his rank and status speak out, my words would not do it justice. >> woodruff: you mentioned thblack community, the counity of people of color there, and what are you hearing? what kind of reactions are you hearing from the community, to the trial so far? including some of the very emotional testimony we heard last week? >> you know, i think it is two-fold, right? you have people expressing
thanks that the trial is open, right, it is televised. but not many people understood what a criminal trial looked like. so this is eye-ening to see the process, to see the detail and care and advocacy that the prosecution is showing. and also, especially with the testimony last week, we had, you know, children, we had older individuals, we had white people, black people, everyone speaking up from their hearts. and the courage that it took for them to stand up and to say it to the officers at the time, but to also come to the trial, and for us to listen to that and to revisit that trauma, you know, it is powerful in so many respects. i think it just speaks volumes to the people we have in the city. >> woodruff: and you mentioned trauma, talk about what that means, mr. aba-onu, to hear this essentially we have heard a death described over and over again from multiple
people who were there when it took place. >> you know, it -- seeing this in may 2020, and, you know, me, my wife -- we live in south minneapolis, 20 blocks away from this, and so this is our home. and seeing that video and seeing the reaction we had of the world, not just black and brown people, but the world, and now we're revisiting that, and so for black and brown people, seeing that torture of an individual for nine minutes ad 29 seconds, i can't imagine what mr. floyd's family is feeling, let alone the witnesses who testified and relived that trauma. because for me, watching that was painful. because we revisited is over and over again. but it is necessary. it is necessary for us to get justice. but it doesn't stop it from being any less painful. >> woodruff: and is it fair to say that commity
is coming together in a way over this, or essentially holding their breath to see what the outcome of this trial is? >> i think a bit of both. honestly, i think that having the wide variety of individuals who have testified so far shows that there is a lot of support for the prosecution in this case. but, you know, i wouldn't lie to you and say this hasn't happened to black folks over and over again. and we've asked there be some justice and some ange, and we haven't really gotten that in a lot of circumstances. so there are people holding l their breath and hoping that justice will be served in this instance. but this is the arena for that to happen. i, among others, would say i'm waiting for the jury to say there is a conviction. but i'm hoping for the day when we touch people and
we understand this is murder. >> woodruff: uzodima franklin aba-onu, who is president of the minnesota association of black lawyers, we thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: even as vaccinations are rising substantially in this country, parts of the u.s., particularly in the upper midwest and northeast, are seeing a surge in covid cases. michigan is struggling with an especially strong spike. william brangham has our update about on what is happening there. >> brangham: judy, if you were to look at a line on a graph of new cases in michigan, it's been curving higher and higher since early march and worsening over the past two weeks. the state is averaging more than 6400 new cases a day over the last week. hospitalizations are rising too. and a data analysis by the new york times finds the six worst
metro areas in the country with new outbreaks, relative to their population, are in michigan. dr. nick gilpin is deeply involved in dealing with all of this. he's the medical director of infection prevention and epidemiology at the beaumont health system and joins me now. >> brangham: dr. gilpin, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. obviously you're quite swamped in what you're dealing with right now. can you give us a sense of what you're seeing in your helicopters? helicopters hospitals. >> doctor: yeah. we're definitely swamped. that's probably an understatement. this is probably our, i would say, our third surge of covid. our first and, by far, mightiest surge was back in april of 2020. we had a bit of a respite in the summertime. and we had another surge in the fall and winter. and we had another brief respite in the any other part of january and february, and then that's
culminated in this familiar drum beat of cases, hospitalizations, and tested positivity rates rising at really an unprecedented rate. when we look back at activity we experienced in the past, the slope of this line s alarming, to say the least. >> brangham: and you told one of my colleagues you're seeing test positivity rates in the 15% to 20% range, which is a lot of virus circulating in your community. do you have a sense of what is driving those high rates? > >> doctor: i do. i think, for starters, what we're seeing in terms of the astronomically high positivity rates, it has all kind of come on the tails of a relaxation in restrictions. so for the better part of the winter, and after the holidays, bars and restaurants were predominantly closed, mass gatherings were discouraged. and then as case numbers started to decline, a lot of the restrictions were
relaxed. so i think what you're seeing is a lot of people wh were, frankly, tired of covid. they want to get together. they want to see their family. they're starting to get vaccinated, and so there is this sense of people getting together more in the community. that is one half of the equation. i think the other half of the equation is we're seeing a lot more of these covid variants. specifically the b117, or the u.k. variant, which is absolutely in our backyard right now in michigan. i believe we're the second highest state in terms of b117, and we know that the b117 is not only more tramissible, but potentially more deadly as well. you put those two things together, relaxed restrictions, and a b1117 more transmissible variant, and i think it accounts for why we're seeing so many more cases. >> and you were saying that hospitalizations have been going up, but are you seeing a similar rise in
the deaths? or are we still doing a pretty good job of keeping those people alive? >> doctor: great question. not yet. i think what i'm seeing right now is an overall rise in the number of hospitalizations, a slightly demographic of patients, which when you think about it makes sense because we're doing a very good job of vaccinating older individuals. so we're driving that vulnerable population down to a younger age. so in instead of see predominantly 60 somethings, we're seeing 50 somethings and even some 40 somethings. and that's what we're seeing mo mostly in the hospitals. the early trends are favorable. the patients don't appear to be as sick. they don't seem to be quite intensive in terms of their resources that they require. we're not seeing a lot of ventilator use or i.c.u.
utilization, but it is very early still. >> this has got to be so incredibly frustrating for you. as you're saying, you're doing a pretty good job as a state vaccinating these people, but now the variants that have snuck in are seeming to plet ten thren that real miraculous progress we're making? >> doctor: 100%. the take any-away here i would like to offer to folks is: getting vaccinated is great, but it is not the end all, be all of stopping covid transmission. i think we have to continue to be diligent. we have to continue to wear our masks and do our physical distancing. we have do everything as a community to stop transmission. fundamentally, as a hospital, there is very little that i can do to stop transmission from haening in the community. >> dr. n nick gilpin of beaumont in michigan, best
of luck to you in dealing with what we're dealing with. >> doctor: thank you. >> woodruff: palace intrigue shakes one of the middle east's most historically stable monarchies. jordan's king abdullah is challenged by the former crown prince, his half-brother, hamza. as nick schifrin tells us, there are long-simmering reasons for the confrontation. >> schifrin: in jordan this weekend a simmering family feud, publicly boiled over... >> the lives and futures of our children and their children are at stake if this continues. >> schifrin: ...when popular prince hamzah accused his half- brother's government, of neglecting its own people. >> their well-being has been put second by a ruling system that has decided that its personal interests, that its financial interests, that its corruption
is more important than the lives and dignity and futures of the ten million people that live here. >> schifrin: jordanian authorities placed hamza under house arrest for what they labeled an attempt to unseat his half brother, king abdullah. they arrested nearly 20 other people for collaboration, including formerinance minister, bassem awadallah, in what jordan's foreign minister called a foreign backed plot. >> ( translated ): these investigations also found links betweebassem awadallah and foreign elements, the so-called external opposition related to weakening jordan's steadfast position on major issues. >> schifrin: for decades, jordan was ruled by king hussein. his second wife, princess muna al-hussein, gave birth to their oldest son, abdullah, the current king, who took power in 1999. husein's fourth wife noor, a syrian-american, gave birth to hamza, making hamza, abdullah's half-brother. the hashemite kingdom has long been viewed as a reliable partner at a crossroads in the middle east, bordering syria,
iraq, israel and the occupied west bank. but its economy is struggling. this year unemployment jumped to 25%. exports and tourism are down. syrian refugeetax an overburdened system. and the downturn's exacerbated, by one of the world's strictest covid lockdowns. >> ( translated ): our economy is collapsing. look at the shop, it is empty. >> schifrin: that frustration has fueled protests. last month, security forces fired tear gas at anti-lockdown demonstrators. and last year, king abdullah dissolved the country's parliament. but hamzah's criticism is unique, because its source, and target, are the highest echelons of royal power. >> this country has become stymied in corruption, in nepotism and in misrule and the result has been the destruction or the loss of hope. >> schifrin: jordan's allies quickly came to the kingdom's defense. >> the king has our fu support and that is in large part
because jordan is a close friend. >> schifrin: and a saudi royal court statement affirmed “its full standing by, and the support with all its capabilities for, the hashemite kingdom of jordan.” but internally, hamza's defenders defied the government. his mother noor tweeted “truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander.” today, at first hamzah vowed to keep speaking out. >> ( translated ): of course i will not abide when he tells me 'you are not allowed to go out, tweet or connect with people and you are only allowed to see family members.' >> schifrin: but by the end of the day, hamza released a statement, “we must all stand behind his majesty the king.” for more, i'm joined by dr. bessma momani. university of waterloo in ontario, canada. >> thank you very much. welcome to the "newshour." so, jordan's aies have always viewed it as an oasis of stability. do these incidents affect that stability? >> well, certainly it
suggests there are some sort of cracks inside this system, and jordanians have been perplexed by the narrative that the government has given them. it is unclear whether or not there is some sort of foreign element to the story or is this an internal squabble in the royal family? that's really the main question. many jordanians could deal with the reality there might be internal squabbles, but the ida there is some sort of foreign intervention or plot to undermine the government is clearly is keeping them up awake tonight. >> there is no proof that the authorities have presented of the foreign plot, and there is talk of the family feud which has existed in the past. what is the source of that family feud and how long has it been running? >> there are regular claims of succession battles in the royal family. but unlike what you might see in neighboring countries, whether it is saudi arabia or the u.a.e. and others, we haven't
seen this public display of challenges from within. and that really is quite remarkable. and prince hamzah is a popular figure, especially among the tribal community. he is reminiscent of his father. he has this charismatic touch. there were a lot of references to the common person, the struggles of corruption, the economic crisis that is really on the minds of many jordanians. so he is very much in the spotlight, and i think that really is one of the core issues, that, in fact, led to this situation that the country is in today. >> does that popularity among tribal leaders that prince hamzah has, does that translate into actual power that would allow him to actually threaten the government? >> no, i don't think so. partly because these east bank tribes very much don't want to see the monarchy institution crumble. they're disaffected. certainly they do feel there needs to be serious structural reforms in the
country, and they're very frustratedith the nepotism and corruption, but in no way do i think they have any interest in seeing the undermining of the regime. regardless, i think bringing in a different king for that matter would just bring in that kind of instability that no jordanian, including east bankers want to see. what you do see is many jordanians changing their abatars to the picture of hamzah, questioning the narrative that the government gave them, and i think, actually, we saw in many ways the royal palace concede to the fact this is not working. this messaging backfired, the release of that tape that hamzah sent out was making the situation more problematic, and they were better off to actually make amends, and that's exactly what we saw today. >> let's talk about some of the other people arrested. ab zima, who was a king to the saudi crown prince. what was the significance
to his arrest? >> i think it was a distraction, trying to put a foreign element into this. abdullah has no foreign action inside the country. he has made so many things difficult for the average jordanian. his name is synonymous with some of the economic policies that the country does not like, and feels very much challenged the way that jordan has had the social contract for so many years. so i think it really is a distraction, and the connection between hamzah and abdullah, there is no reaction to this person who could make that connection. to try to find a way to lump these two together in one sentence frankly doesn't make sense, and it provided more confusion and the narrative provided by the government. >> professor, thank you very much. >> thank you, nick. >> woodruff: the times, they are a changing.
with new york's recent legalization of recreational cannabis, more than 40% of americans now live in states that have embraced marijuana legalization. oregon has been on the leading edge of drug reform and in november became the first to decriminalize possession of hard drugs. as other states eye similar moves, stephanie sy reports on oregon's early roll out and the obstacles ahead. >> sy: 37-year old sabrina brandt has been an i.v. drug user since she was 16. >> i had mental health issues and since age 12 have been on multiple antidepressants and have had multiple diagnoses. i think my i.v. drug use with heroin and cocaine was a way to self medicate. >> sy: she describes her relationship with drugs as a“ love-hate” thing. >> like i felt like if i quit using drugs like right now it'd
be like losing my closest confidant, like my best friend has been with me for so many years. >> sy: if sabrina were caught with, say, less than a gram of heroin or two grams of meth in oregon today, she'd receive no more than the equivalent of a parking ticket with a maximum fine of $100. she could avoid paying that by making a phone call with a counselor for a health assessment. it's a sea change: measure 110, which was passed by 58% of oregon voters last november, treats active users as potential patients, rather than criminals. portland addiction specialist dr. andy seaman says what they were doing wasn't working. >> so let's try a different way than putting people in jail, taking away their ability to get a job, taking away relationships, their housing, the very things that we know support either long term recovery or substance use with less harm. >> sy: prior to measure 110 in
2017, oregon's legislature had already softened penalties on drug use, downgrading first time possession of controlled substances to a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum sentence of a year. measure 110 goes even further, drug possession convictions are projected to plummet by 90%. >> measure 110 makes the business of dealing drugs much easier. >> sy: a month since the measure was implemented in february, the district attorney of benton county john haroldson, a critic of measure 110, says he's already seen it abused. >> i've ready learned early on in this process of an example of a dealer weaponizing, measure 110 to deal in quantities that are at the violation level and carry the phone number so that if they get the citation, they just call and get the penalty waived. >> sy: what was he dealing? >> cocaine. >> sy: haroldson favors the use
of drug courts and mandated treatment. >> there is accountability. based upon the science around psychology and behavior, what motivates individuals to change, not just to alter what they're doing in the moment, but rather to really change and move into a life of recovery. >> sy: andy seaman disagrees. >> why mandated treatment doesn't work? addiction is a complex neurobiological process that has a lot of social factors and relational factors, and people can't be told that they have to quit and be forced into it. it doesn't work that way. >> sy: for years, oregon has had among the worst rates of substance use disorders and mental health conditions in the country, while ranking among the lowest for access to treatment services. law enforcement officials throughout the state reported
methamphetamines and heroin were readily available in their communities. >> drugs are in our community. they are already here. >> sy: salem portland resident christina avery can personally attest to this. she became homeless after leaving an abusive relationship and got caught up in a cycle of drug use and jail. >> just it's just like constant, you know. and every jail trip is another charge and just that continuous cycle. and every me that i got out of jail, i was still homeless. had been in the system many, many times. and i never got the support that i needed until i got pregnant and i was way ready and willing previous to my pregnancy. >> sy: she says there need to be more humane options for users. measure 110 requires a fund be set up for addiction recovery centers and other services, such as housing. at the state capitol in salem, legislators are scrambling to implement all of this, and representative tawna sanchez says they are behind.
>> the sad reality is oregon was already in almost last place for having access to resources for folks who are trying to get clean and sober. so, it just sort of made it really difficult to try to figure out, ¡how do we set all of that up when we're already in a deficit and we want to snap to and make that happen really quickly? >> sy: the measure funnels millions of dollars in marijuana tax revenue to the overall drug problem, but sanchez says it takes funding from other needed services, without a new revenue stream. >> essentially put a cap on the existing resources that went to cities and counties, to the state police, to the school fund. >> sy: so do you think the cart was put before the horse? >> this is a cart before the horse situation. >> sy: andy seaman says it may take time to stand up all the services, but it is the right direction. >> any time there's a transformational change, people are always going to say it's not time yet and we need to do all
of these things first. that's been the conversation for the last 50 years. >> sy: on wednesdays sabrina brandt volteers at the portland people's outreach project, a harm reduction organization that provides clean syringes, nalaxone to reverse overdoses, and strips to test for the deadly synthetic opioid, fentanyl, which increases the risk of overdosing. measure 110 puts a focus on this type of intervention, and with overdose deaths spiking 40% in oregon during the pandemic, it's never been more needed >> you can't make somebody stop using drugs, that doesn't want to stop using drugs but you can cut down on the amount of harm they do to themselves and society by offering them different tools. >> sy: like sabrina, not everyone will choose the path of sobriety, but christina avery did-- she hasn't done drugs for more than three years.
>> once i tapped into the support, once i accepted it, what it is that i had to do or was required to do, my life changed dramatically. >> sy: other states trying to find a way out of the failed war on drugs have their eyes on oregon. it's an experiment where the stakes could hardly be higher. for the pbs newshour, i'm stephanie sy. >> woodruff: new, controversial voting laws in georgia have put pressure on a host of companies that do business in the state. major league baseball was the here to analyze the political calculations behind the pressure and response, our politics monday team. amy walter of the cook political report. and tamara keith of npr. >> woodruff: hello to both of you. so good to see you. on this monday. amy, i'm going to start with you and the georgia
law, the reverberations continue. a number of companies taking a stand. coca-cola, delta airlines, prominent black leaders taking a stand against it. and then over the weekend, or friday, major league baseball pulling out the all-star game from atlanta. my question is: how does this kind of pressure sit with political leaders? does it -- can it be affective in getting them to change a law? >> amy: you know, judy, this is really fascinating. it has been a fascinating development that has been going on for the last 10 or 15 years, and it doesn't really start with the georgia law. were you saw it, from example, in places like north north carolina with the bathroom bill, and gun laws, and this is especially true in the southeast, and metro regions like atlanta and
dallas and houston, have become much more democratic, and in some cases, deep blue. this is where these companies are head quartered, and many of the employees come from the blue areas and live in the blue areas, and the expectations are the companies they work for reflect the values that they share. and that's, i think, a big reason why we're seeing so many of these companies in states where the company has an incredible influence, but where that influence is really relegated to just the metro region. and so, unfortunately, judy, what i think happen is it divides the state, once again, between those who live in and around those big metro areas, who say, absolutely, we support this, and those outside of it who believe their values and views aren't being taken into consideration. and, you know, i think for so many voters, they're left then forced to pick a
side. do i choose the place where i live -- and in some cases, you have companies agreeing much more with what is going in other states than what is going and in their own. >> woodruff: so, tam, how do you see the political dynamics of this? how affective is it? >> tamara: and what i'll say is, as amy was alluding to, governor kemp in georgia came out swinging and called this cancel culture. which is an increasingly common reframe from republicans in the last couple of months especially. what you do have here though is major league baseball taking -- major league baseball would not choose to do something unpopular broadly with the public. major league baseball, just like other companies who have made and taken stands, for instance, in north carolina, before, several years ago -- these companies are following
public opinion. it may not be public opinion in the state where they're taking that action, but it is national public opinion. companies do what is in their best commercial interests. and that is what we've been seeing play out again and again. and just one other example, as amy alluded to, is what happened with governor kristi noem in south dakota, vetoing a transgender sports bill in part under pressure from the ncaa, which is hugely influential. when these major sporting institutions pull out of a place, as they did in indiana several years ago, as the all-star game is happening with baseball, there are huge economic implications. but is this going to change the georgia voting law? that's not clear. and, also, the georgia voting law is a bit more nuanced than the fight
about it is now making it seem. >> woodruff: no question. and it is something i know that we continue to report on here. but you're right about the influence of athletics and sports and how that can cut across our cultural and political world and so many different ways. thother thing i want to bring up with the two of you, though, amy, a flashback to 2020, and campaign finance. the "new york times" reporting over the weekend that the trump campaign ended up having to refund $64 million in donations from people who were, in a way, misled by the way the money was being solicited. there was a line, i guess early in the year, when people were solicited, saying please sign up here for a recurring donation, but the font was smaller and smaller, and now the campaign is having to pay up. by the way, the biden camp being found guilty of the
same thing, but a much smaller amount, just $6 million. but what does this say about our campaign finance system, that this is going on? >> amy: it's a really interesting story, and i think it is something that, you know, in this era now of fundraising that is becoming -- where small-dollar donors are becoming more and more dominant, that these stories may become more regular. look, the trump campaign depended much more on small donors than the biden campaign did. and, remember, at the very end of the summer, it became clear that even though the trump campaign started out with a huge fundraising amount, they had squandered some of that money before they hit the fall, and they were desperate to get more money, and that's hard to do when people are only writing a $20 or $25 check at a time. the good thing about smaller donors is that it
brought regular people in. it is not just people with big bank accounts, who can have these fancy dinners and invite politicians, and now it is regular people who can have influence. but it doesn't mean it is not without some of its own drawbacks, and this is clearly one of them. >> woodruff: tam? >> tamara: there is nothing like a bad fundraising number to make your money dry up, especially your big-dollar money because the big donors want to support a winner. they want something for their investment. and so this -- what this story highlights is that, you know, after the election was over, all of these refunds go out, but at the time when they were hitting these big milestone donation amounts, it was based on a premise that involved a lot of people giving money they didn't know they were giving. >> woodruff: so much money washing around in our politics today. it's hard to even
contemplate, even comprehend what it all is. but this story definitely caught our attention. tamara keith and amy walter, politics monday, thank you both. >> woodruff: as the economy slowly begins to pick up, many businesses are still facing a rocky year ahead. special correspondent cat wise has a story about one family- owned business that has taken one hit after another, but is hanging on with support from the community. >> reporter: happy moments, from a time before masks and social distanci, at enchanted forest, a small amusement park nestled on a wooded hillside just south of salem, oregon. normally this time of year, the park would be filled with the spring breakers, but after an
exceptionally turbulent year, capped by a devastating winter storm in february, this unique and much-loved park is closed, and struggling to survive. enchanted forest was built, by hand, by this man: >> i'm roger tofte, creator of enchanted forest. >> reporter: tofte, who recently turned 91, purchased the park's 20 acres in the early 1960s while working as a draftsman for the oregon highway department. he spent seven years, during his free time, building the park's storybook-themed attractions, and brought them to life with his artist's eye. in august of 1971, he opened the park to the public. >> when we started, we didn't have too much. we had the seven dwarfs, and lion, the witch, and things like that. i think we would charge 50 cents to go through. >> reporter: tofte added to those attractions with the help of his four children and other family who now help run the park. around 100,000 visitors came each year, strolled through the quirky western town, got soaked
on the log ride, and blasted evil characters in the "challenge of mondor," which took tofte and family members seven months to create. he took me for a spin on the ride during our recent visit. part of the ride is taking these blasters and aiming them at things? >> yeah, they are infra-red guns. we shot at the blue spots. i think i got one. >> reporter: tofte's oldest daughter, susan vaslev, is co- manager of the park. how would you sum up the past year? >> challenging. i just keep thinking it's, you know, one challenge after another challenge after another. >> reporter: the first of those challenges? the pandemic. >> we were a thriving family business before covid. we had no debt. you know, things were great. then we were forced to shut down. so we had zero income coming in, and an amusement park is very expensive to run. >> reporter: later in the summer, when government covid
regulations eased up, they were allowed to reopen, but at a greatly reduced capacity. then came the wildfires. as the beachie creek fire encroached on surrounding communities in early september, family members scrambled to save important documents and memorabilia, unsure sure if the park would survive. and nearby, a family tragedy unfolded. roger tofte's 13-year-old great grandson, wyatt tofte, and his grandmother were killed by the fire outside their home. wyatt's mother survived, but was badly burned. >> horrible tragedy of trying to save wyatt and peggy and not being able to. the world could not have lost two more beautiful people. >> reporter: the tofte family were hoping for a better year ahead... but damage from the ice storm set back their reopening plans. enchanted forest is one of many small businesses around the country that have been devastated by the pandemic and other events over the past year. many have had to get creative in order to survive.
and that's what's happened here. the tofte family has turned to the community for help, and there has been a big effort to save this beloved park. in october, enchanted forest started a go-fund-me campaign, which has now raised more than $400,000 from nearly 8,000 donors. many have taken to social media to express what the park has meant to them and their families. that money, combined with other fundraising efforts like a new buy-a-brick program and government covid relief funds, have allowed the park to continue to operate, but just barely. vaslev says they've had to let some staff go and the park has taken on debt. >> when you walk in, you just know that every piece was touched and made with love. >> reporter: one of those rooting for the park is 23-year-old celina lopez-cruz, who worked at the park for five seasons and met her now-husband there. >> if enchanted forest were ever to go away, it's going to not be a loss to just me and my family. that's going to be lost to the whole community. it's just been a part of our community for such a long time.
>> there are so many similar institutions which are facing the same pressures. >> reporter: university of oregon history professor vera keller has been tracking what's been happening at enchanted forest and other cultural institutions across the state. she says if some don't make it, the impacts could be wide- ranging. >> it's so important for our identity as oregonians here in the state to have these places that we have had shared experiences in, like the enchanted forest. and it's around those places that we can come together, even when we disagree about, say, taxes or other political issues. there is an important social and cultural function that they serve. >> reporter: can you make it another year? >> that is the big question. until we are past the point where we have to social distance and sanitize between each rider, we cannot get back to normal. >> reporter: for his part, roger toe is optimistic about his park's future. >> yeah, i'm pretty sure it will survive.
>> reporter: tofte and his family hope to reopen later in april. for the pbs newshour, i'm cat wise in turner, oregon. >> woodruff: a news update: the senate parliamentarian, who advises on rules for the u.s. senate, this evening has opened the door for democrats to pass president biden's infrastructure plan with only 50 votes. it is unclear they will take that step yet, as they look for republican support. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> the kendeda fund. committed to advancing restorative justice and meaningful work through
investments in transformative leaders and ideas. more at kendedafund.org. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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