Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  April 15, 2021 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

3:00 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, message to moscow-- the biden administration imposes a new set of sanctions on russia for election interference, the solar winds hack and more. then, insurrection aftermath-- the inspector general for the u.s. capitol police force testifies on their failure to prepare officers for the violent mob of trump supporters on january 6th. plus, the longest war-- the secretary of state visits afghanistan as the united states prepares to withaw troops from the country after nearly two decades. and, critical care-- we look at how canada's universal health care system largely avoided the
3:01 pm
death toll and strain on hospitals wrought by covid-19 in the u.s. >> it's exposed in every country the places where you built something strong from the foundations up, and it's also exposed the places where you're running around trying to patch things on in ord to make it work. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> well, audrey's expecting... >> twins! >> grandparents. >> we want to put money aside for em, so, change in plans. >> let me guess, change in plans? >> at fidelity, changing plans is always part of the plan.
3:02 pm
>> the kendeda fund. committed to advancing restorative justice and meaningful work through investments in transformative leaders and ideas. more at >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at >> and with the ongoing support of tse 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.
3:03 pm
>> woodruff: president biden announced a series of tough new sanctions against russia today, as the historic adversaries confront one another yet again: in cyberspace, and on the ground in europe and beyond. the sanctions target individuals and the state itself. mr. biden spoke at the white house late this afternoon. >> the united states is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict wit russia. we want a stable and predictable relationship. throughout our long history of competition our two countries have been able to find ways to manage tensions and keep them from escalating out of control. there are also ways where russia can and should work together. >> woodruff: and for more, here's john yang. >> yang: judy, the
3:04 pm
administration says today's sanctions were in response to russian interference in the 2020 presidential election; solarwinds, the big russian cyber espionage campaign, which the white house officially said the first time was carried out by russian foreign intelligence; and for russian actions in ukraine. the sanctions target more than three dozen individuals and entities; seek to make it harder for russia to borrow money on international financial markets; and expel 10 russian diplomats. angela stent is a former state department and intelligence official who directs the center for eurasian, russian and east european studies at georgetown university's school of foreign service. and michael weiss is an investigative journalist and co- author of "the menace of unreality: how the kremlin weaponizes information, culture and money." thank you to you both for joining us tonight.
3:05 pm
angela, i would like to start with you. we have on the one hand the conciliatory words from the president that he has spoken from the white house this afternoon, after, in the morning, slapping these sanctions on russia. taken together, what is the overall message that you see the white house sending, and what does it tell us about how the new president wants to approach russia? >> well, thank you for having me on the show. i think the message is that on the one hand, the united states is willing to cooperate with russia on issues that are of common intert or particularly of national security interests to the united states. but it is going to push back on a wide variety of what it considers to be maligned actions, hence the imposition of the sanctions. now, previous administrations have also tried to pursue a compartmental relationship, but i think it is going to be very difficult to pull this off at the moment because the
3:06 pm
relationship deteriorated quite badly since president trump came to power. and the sanctions announced today are very far-reaching, and they address more than the three things that you mentioned. if you look at what the treasury department and what the white house has said, it also has to do with russia's treatment of its own dissidants, and so it is a very broad swath. and there is in that sanction the sentence saying that the entire russia or different sectors of the russian economy could be sanctioned if things don't improve. so i think it will be very difficult to create this stable and predictable relationship, although they will try. and this afternoon president biden was really stressing he looks forward to meeting with president putin and discussing this with him in detail. >> john: angela, are these sanctions enough to stop russia from carrying out what you call the
3:07 pm
maligned actions? >> the sanctions will have an impact. they already have an economic impact on russia. i'm much more skeptical they can deter russia. if you look at all of the sanctions, once we put in 2014, after russia annexed crimea, they haven't had much of an affect on russian actions. of course you can never prove deterrence completely. but i think one has to be really quite skeptical about this and we'll have to wait and see how russia responds to these sanctions. >> michael, i would like to turn to you and ask you about one of the individuals who was sanctioned. constantine callemnic, some may remember into the mueller investigation into the 2016 investigation. what did we learn about him today? >> for the first time the
3:08 pm
u.s. government has alerted that not only did constantine, not only did he receive sensitive polling information from the trump campaign, by paul manafort, a then campaign chairman because of the mueller report, but he passed it along to the russian intelligence services in moscow. this establishes he is still, indeed, an active agent or officer of those seices, and, yes, there was elements of the 2016u.s. presidential election, certainly sensitive, privileged information, that was being fed back to the kremlin in realtime. this advances what the mueller report, which, again, focused more on a conspiracy charge and obstruction of justice charge than on a counterintelligence basis. it is more than what the mueller report found. what we're seeing now in realtime is as the time has gone on, the u.s. intelligence establishment has accrued even more evidence of the events
3:09 pm
that took place, what, more than five years ago. and you can expect that to be the case going forward. >> michael, when you look at the list of the entities and individuals sanctioned today, what does it tell you about russian trade, craft, and intentions? >> it is kind of extraordinarynary. extraordinary. they have now named ap-29, and he was in the 2016 election campaign, because they also hacked into the d.n.c. mputer systems. they didn't get as much information because they weren't the ones that leaked it to wikileaks. but today the u.s. government also asserts that ap-1229, also known as cozy bear, is an arm of the s.p.r., the civilian intelligence service, who did the so-called solarwinds act. it affected not only private companies in the
3:10 pm
united states and u.s. government institutions. and what we're seeing now in terms of the trade craft of cyber operations between the g.r.u., russia's military intelligence service, and the s.v.r., the civilian service, is one of a degree of public impact. the s.v.r. likes to filtrate from russian nervous, and the responsible for, friendships, r the nopatia malware attack, which for the a period of 48 hours almost crippled commerce, and they also hacked into the olympics a few years ago. the u.s. government has now certified what a lot of cyber security analysts have been saying for mamany,many years said but couldn't prove.
3:11 pm
as angela said, do sanctions actually prove the case? in terms of being a journalist and reporting on these issues, it certainly makes our job a lot easier to make allegations or sertions that we could otherwise only speculate at a few hours ago. >> angela, i want to return to you. president biden said he doesn't want a spiral of escalations. but do you think that president putin is going to feel the need to respond somehow? >> i think he will feel the need to respond. i think for domestic reasons. his popularity has been going down, and there were rumors about instability there. so i think he will definitely feel the need to show that he is strong, that the u.s. can't push russia around, certainly those are the signals we heard today from his foreign ministry spokesman and others. so you could see more diplomatic personnel, u.s. ones, expelled from russia, maybe not. you could see other actions maybe that won't be visible to the public in the yber realm. so i do not expect
3:12 pm
immediately president putin to suddenly respond to the more c conciliary message from president biden. i think we may be in a few weeks or months of a deteriorating situation. i really would watch the situation around ukraine, where russia is building up its military forces, where no one is quite sure what its next move will be, but has gotten the ukrainians and their neighbors very worried. >> angela stent of georgiatown university and investigative journalist michael weiss, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, the c.d.c. reported nearly half of all american adults have now had at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. about 30% are fully vaccinated. at the same time, infectious disease expert dr. anthony fauci warned the nation is in a race
3:13 pm
with surging infections. likely need a booster shot within 12 months of the original vaccination. india reco india recorded a staggering 200,000 new infections today, forcing lockdowns in the two largest cities-- new delhi and mumbai. officials warned the health care system is being overwhelmed. some hospitals in new delhi are even putting two patients to a bed. the defense has rested at the minneapolis murder trial of derek chauvin in the killing of george floyd. the former police officer opted not to testify today, setting the stage for closing arguments on monday. we'll get the details, later in the program. former police officer kim potter had her first court appearance today in the death of daunte wright. she shot and killed wright in a minneapolis suburb, and is charged with second-degree manslaughter.
3:14 pm
she did not enter a plea today. overnight, protesters again converged on the police station in brooklyn center. they called for more serious charges, and wright's family did the same, today. >> charge her. charge her to the max sentence. hold her accountable to whatever it is the state thinks she should be held accountable for, but let it be the max. we can't have him back. so why should she get back in her life? >> woodruff: also today, chicago's police accountability board released body-cam video of an officer fatally shooting a 13-year-old latino boy last month. the video appears to show adam toledo raising his hands just before he was shot in the chest. investigators said he had a gun. >> that child complied, adam complied, with the officer's request, dropped
3:15 pm
the gun, turned around. and the officer saw his hands were up and pulled the trigger. >> woodruff: mayor lori lightfoot acknowledged today that a long history of police violence has >> woodruff: the teenager's family also appealed for people to remain peaceful. former vice president mike pence has had a heart pacemaker implanted. his office says he had surgery yesterday after symptoms associated with a slow heart rate, and it says he is expected to make a full recovery. mr. pence is considered a potential republican presidential candidate in 2024. in economic news, new claims for unemployment benefits have fallen to their lowest level since the pandemic began. last week's number was 576,000, down from 900,000 in january. that and other new data gave wall street a boost. the dow jones industrial average gained 305 points to top 34,000 for the first time. the nasdaq rose nearly 181 points, and, the s&p 500 added
3:16 pm
45 for another record close. still to come on the newshour: the capitol police inspector general testifies to congress on the failures ahead of january 6. the secretary of state visits afghanistan as the u.s. prepares to finally withdraw troops. former republican house speaker john boehner offers harsh criticism of his own party. plus much more. >> woodruff: lawmakers today continued to assemble their picture of what went wrong on january 6. an internal watchdog testified about his ongoing review of u.s. capitol police, and shared his initial conclusions about why
3:17 pm
their defense of the building failed that day. lisa desjardins has that. >> desjardins: blue sky above, and dark security fencing still on the ground. capitol hill today focused on the most blistering report yet about its own security failure. >> simply stated, capitol police were overrun, they weren't prepared for an insurrection, and i'll lay blame at the feet of capitol police leadership. >> desjardins: in a virtual hearing, house members expressed dismay to the man whose report found broad problems within capitol police. >> those areas are intelligence, training, operational planning, and culture change. >> desjardins: michael bolton, inspector general for the capitol police, has spent the past three months looking at the when pro-trump and anti- government rioters stormed the building, overpowering police, taking over the senate chamber itself and coming within footsteps of members of congress.
3:18 pm
five people died in the clash, including a capitol police officer. two other officers involved died by suicide in the days after. among the issues now revealed: riot shields. some shattered due to bad storage. and a ban from higher-ups on using some non-lethal weapons, like crowd-control grenades. bolton said that cost police. >> certainly it would have provided the dept a better posture to repel the attackers, it would have put them in a better position. >> desjardins: other issues: too few officers in place. >> certainly the numbers that they had were not sufficient. >> desjardins: an utter failure on intelligence. and a need to shift its culture and mindset. >> we see that the department needs to move away from the thought and process of a traditional police department and a move to the posture of a protective agency. >> desjardins: bolton is not releasing his full report because it contains sensitive security information. but he has made these summaries public, along with his more than
3:19 pm
30 recommendations to the force. many read like fundamentals of policing like this one, that in the future capitol police prepare and stage equipment ahead of events and this, that they provide training in how t“" better understand intelligence assessments”. overall it is a picture of disorganization - a force lacking clear roles, communication paths and sometimes even operating procedure for key areas, like the civil disturbance unit assigned to handle protests and riots. north carolina representative g.k. butterfield summarized. >> we have a lot of work to do. >> desjardins: that includes untangling january 6th, several committees are investigating but there is so far no commission or higher-level review underway. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. >> woodruff: now to afghanistan,
3:20 pm
where the president's decision to withdraw american forces reverberates across an exhausted and worried nation. and as amna nawaz reports, come september, a weakened afghan government will face the taliban with little international assistance. >> nawaz: the day after president biden announced all u.s. troops would be out of afghanistan by early september... his top diplomat arrived in kabul on an unannounced visit. secretary of state antony blinken met with afghan leaders to reassure them, and explain the decision. his first stop, meeting president ashraf ghani. >> i wanted to demonstrate with my visit the ongoing commitment of the united states to the islamic republic and to the people of afghanistan. >> we respect the decision and are adjusting our priorities. >> we are grateful to your >> nawaz: blinken finished his eight-hour visit with a speech
3:21 pm
at the u.s. embassy in kabul. >> we are grateful to your people, your administration, and the decision about the moving to the next phase into the next chapter. >> nawaz: blinken finished his eight-hour visit with a speech at the u.s. embassy in kabul. >> the united states will remain afghanistan's steadfast partner. we want the afghan people, countries in the region and the international community to know that fact. it's also a very important message for the taliban to hear. >> nawaz: president biden's wednesday announcement grew from a deal struck last year by the trump administration and the taliban. that agreement included a may 1st deadline for u.s. troop withdrawal. biden pushed that to september 11th-- the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. u.s. officials say their exit plan was coordinated with allies in nato, which said troops from its member nations, around 7,000, would also leave.
3:22 pm
coalition partner australia, not a nato member, said today it, too, would pull out its last 80 troops. >> in line with the united states and other allies and partners, the last remaining australian troops will depart afghanistan in september 2021. >> nawaz: but as afghan civilians process the news, many are uncertain about what happens next. >> ( translated ): it's a worrying situation and people believe that if they leave the country, there will be a civil war. >> nawaz: the taliban have pledged to renew attacks on nato and u.s. troops if they are not out by the original may 1st deadline. i'm joined by roya rahmani, the afghan ambassador to the united states. she's served in this role since 2018. ambassador rahmani, welcome back to the newshour. welcome back to the "newshour." and thank you for making the time. you heard in that report from a student in kabul. he says he is worried when the u.s. leaves, the country will go into civil war. do you share that concern? >> i am concerned about
3:23 pm
this violence. however, for 20 years, taliban have been objectifying the war of violence because of the foreign troops. so now that all foreign troops are leaving, if the war continues, if the violence continues, that is on the taliban. and that is not a gesture that they want a peaceful and stable afghanistan. having said that, our forces would continue to depend on our rights and dignities as long as it takes. we have been mostly in defense mode since the signing of the u.s.-taliban agreement. however, we have seen an increased level of violence by the taliban. so while i am worriedbut i am really also hoping that this time the taliban
3:24 pm
would know that the main reason for their violence is (indiscernable) and come to the negotiation table. >> nawaz: t me ask you, ambassador, because many of the attacks have been targeting afghan targets, civilians and afghan forces. and the forces are fighting but they're losing. the taliban control or contest more area thunder any other point in the last 20 years. in the recent years, they've closed in around major capitol cities. wow u.s. support and coalition support, can you hold them at bay. >> it is in this fight against terrorism. of course the u.s. support and our nato ally support has been critical to this fight. but we would continue to do what it takes to defend
3:25 pm
ourselves and our nation. >> nawaz: the taliban say they will not negotiate with you. so how do you get them to the table, especially once the u.s. is gone? >> we have been very disappointed by their reactions, which is obviously not constructive at all towards finding a peaceful settlement to this conflict. one of the commitments that we have been hearing, both from the united states and our international allies, is their diplomatic support, and we are hoping that diplomatic support would be channelled in a way from their side to our regional partners that would compel taliban to come to the table and meet with us. >> nawaz: let me ask you about the way that the peace talks unfolded so far, because the u.s. largely went around president hani. do you think that the u.s.
3:26 pm
treated president hani fairly? >> the (indiscernable) has always been a foundational one, a respectful one. in terms of your comments regarding president hani, he has been the one person who has demonstrated the most commitment towards peace. it is in the form of elections. and at the same time, he has taken very difficult and risky steps in order to move forward towards the peace process. the united states, yes, stepped in to facilitate the peace process the first days of the negotiations between the u.s. and the taliban, and it has also led to an opportunity that the taliban and the afghan government could discuss and try to find a solution together. >> nawaz: ambassador,
3:27 pm
let me ask you, if the taliban do agree to negotiate with you, what does the political solution look like? can you share power with a group that doesn't even believe women should have vitis? rights? >> we understand that the peace process is a negotiated process. it is not winners and losers. but there hopefully would be an overall good situation for the people. but in regards to the rights of the women, any process that neglects 50% of the population, of their rights and dignities, that would not lead to sustainable ace. that is not doable, and it is not peace. >> nawaz: ambassador, i must press you, that is exactly what has happened in the area that the taliban control, girls are not allowed to go to school, and public
3:28 pm
lashings of women have continued. what do you believe they would change. >> if they come to a negotiated settlement, there is the respect to the will of people. polling has shown just last year for the peace process, one of the top priorities is preservation of women's rights. that's the will of people. when you go against the will of people, that does not work. and unfortunately we have seen for so many yrs what that results to, a war. >> nawaz: ambassador rahmani, ambassador to the united states, thank you very much for your time. >> thank you very much. >> woodruff: it's the story of how a bartender's son rose to become second in line to the presidency; a memoir brimming with expletives and unfiltered
3:29 pm
takes on today's politics and politicians on both sides of the aisle. former hou speaker john boehner tells it all in his new book, "on the house: a washington memoir," released earlier this week. and he joins me now. >> woodruff: john boehner, welcome to the "newshour." it is quite a read, this book, full of eye-popping stories. many of them hilarious. and you do spare no language in going after democrats and republicans. which party gave you a harder time when you were speaker? >> oh, hell, the republicans. the democrats, they were the minority party in the house when i was speaker. and the republicans, we were the majority party. and on any given day i would have 210, 215 solid republican votes, but in all, i probably had two or three dozen knuckleheads i had to deal with, part of the always say no caucus. >> woodruff: you spend a
3:30 pm
lot of time talking about the knuckleheads, but you say most members of congress are not charlettons. does it bother you that the numbers are low. >> it does bother me, but, listen, 90% of the colleagues i've worked with, democrats and republicans, are good, honest, decent people, trying to do their best for their constituents and for the country. but there is about 10% of congress that that are on the far left and on the far right that have different ideas. they're about trading chaos, conflict, drawing attention to themselves, raising cash, and going their own separate ways. >> woodruff: speaking of raising cash, i want to ask you about house speaker nancy pelosi. you actually have some good things to say about her. you compliment her toughness.
3:31 pm
you say she may turn out to be the most powerful speaker in history. but my question is: republicans have raised a lot of money demonizing her. is that sexist? >> it is not sexist at all. it is just that a lot of republican voters and independent voters don't really care for her style of san francisco-style, lberal policies. over the years she became the face of the opposition. listen, i was the face of the opposition for a while. i know what it is like. paul ryan went through this as well. you know, it is politics. it has nothing to do with identity politics in any way, shape, or form. >> woodruff: you're very clear in the book when you write about former president trump, his challenging the results of the election, insisting that he had actually won, and the damage that that has done to the country. how do you explain that? >> well, i thought the
3:32 pm
months leading up to the election, when the president kept telling people that the election was going to be stolen, and we get past the election and he loses, and he continues to tell people that the election was stolen, without providing any real evidence of misdeeds done in these states that were close. none. and, you know, i believe that he abused the loyalty and trust of the people who voted for him by continuing to tell them things that really just weren't true. >> woodruff: someone you worked very closely with in the house, kevin mccarthy, who is now the house minority leader, after the attack on the capitol, on january 6th, went to mar-a-lago. he has been very solicitous towards president trump. has that been a mistake? >> i don't much back him as a former member, former leader, be the has-been or the monday morning
3:33 pm
quarterback telling the elected officials how they should do their job. it is hard enough to govern today, given the polarized politics that we see in america. but i think what republicans need to do is act like republicans. make sure and remember what the principles of the republican party are, things like fiscal discipline, things like a strong national defense. these are principles that held our party together for the last 150 years, and they'll hold us together again through the coming elections if we'll remember who we are as republicans. it's about the principles of the party, not some personalities. >> woodruff: one of the personalities getting a lot of attention, marjorie taylor green, she raised over $3 million in the last quarter, a lot of money for a house member, and so are some of the members who agree with president trump that the election was stolen. what does this q-anon
3:34 pm
belief tell you about the fact that the republicans who embrace it are doing very well, raising a lot of money? >> i don't know what it is. i don't know her. but, listen, we've had people in the party, frankly on both sides, that believe in all kinds of conspiracies. americans love to believe in these crazy conspiracies. and, you know, sooner or later they find out what the facts are -- at least most people find out what the facts are. so while we're going to have french characters in both p political parties, i don't think it is anything new. >> woodruff: you don't think anything can be done about it? >> you will have the french characters in both political parties. >> woodruff: so the q-anon -- >> i don't even know what q-anon is, except a bunch of people who believe in conspiracy. >> woodruff: in terms of q-anon in particular, this
3:35 pm
manufactured conspiracy theories about the election, about things that don't bear any -- >> from the little bit i know about it, i think it is pretty bizarre. >> woodruff: is it damaging the country? >> well, it is just not true. i don't know why people espouse policies or principles or even words that aren't true. you know, in my book, i've got a whole list of what my staff used to call boehnerisms. if you do the right things for the right reasons, the right things will likely happen. just don't worry about it and i spent most of my career every day trying to do the right thing, trying to be straightforward with the american people, straightforward with my constituents, straightforward with the press. and, frankly, i think my career worked out just fine. >> woodruff: you've
3:36 pm
known joe biden, president biden, for decades. you say he is a pretty nice guy. how do you think he is doing two months into his presidency? >> i like joe biden. he is a good guy. he is a traditional democrat. he is not one of the left-wing, progressive types. but over his first nearly 100 days, he has catered to this progressive wing, catcatered to the progressive wing to try to find a way to work in a more bipartisan manner. >> woodruff: he says he wants to work with the republicans? >> he does, but so far he has not taken that step. >> woodruff: we're going to leave it there. john boehner, the book is "on the house: a washington memoir." thank you very much. we appreciate it. >> judy, thank you. >> woodruff: more than 30
3:37 pm
million americans have gone uninsured during this pandemic. we recently looked at how several other high-income nations cover their entire populations for a lot less money than we spend. but does a universal health care system help a country respond to a pandemic? for answers, william brangham, along with producers jason kane and claire mufson, look to our northern neighbor, canada, and its single-payer system. this story is an excerpt from our upcoming newshour documentary, "critical care: america versus the world." >> i would say about the seventh day i woke up with this massive headache, just pain in my skull, my neck, my spine. i never felt anything like it before. >> brangham: ruth castellanos started feeling sick from the coronavirus last may. her symptoms kept progressing. and then one night, at home in flamborough, canada, it got worse. >> i woke up and i couldn't
3:38 pm
breathe. my husband was sleeping. my dog was sleeping. i was trying to wake them, but i didn't seem to have strength in my arms. and i thought, i'm going to go. this is my time. and i just looked to my husband one more time. and then i just said okay, i need to just be brave because this is going to happen. >> 155,000 doses of pfizer arrived. >> brangham: the immediate crisis passed, but her other symptoms didn't. they were so constant, she had to quit her two jobs. castellanos struggled at first to find a doctor who'd listen, and not blame her symptoms on anxiety. >> i tried to get some food and it was so much work, i couldn't even get it out of the car. >> brangham: she captured her anguish in this video. >> i'm in so much pain. >> brangham: she's now a covid“ long-hauler,” takes 20 different pills a day, and sees a neurologist, a cardiologist and a pulmonologist. >> i have an appointment next
3:39 pm
thursday. >> brangham: while she has to live with this chronic condition, because she lives in canada, with its taxpayer- funded, universal health care system, at least she doesn't have to worry about getting good care or affording it. >> that's all part of our universal health care. so i'm not paying any of those bills. >> brangham: but... does a universal system help more broadly when a pandemic breaks out? >> welcome back. >> brangham: dr. danielle martin is a family doctor and executive vice president at women's college hospital in toronto. >> the first and most obvious success of the canadian health care systems in response to the covid-19 pandemic is that if anyone has symptoms of covid-19, they've been able to access testing free of charge and, heaven forbid, if you require an i.c.u. stay, if you need to be intubated and ventilated, all of those things are covered under the public system. >> brangham: martin notes that canada has lost many thousands of people to covid, and has struggled, in parts, with its
3:40 pm
response. >> and this is one of the things about covid-19 is, it's posed in every country the places where you built something strong from the foundations up, and it's also exposed the places where you're running around trying to patch things on in order to make it work. >> brangham: canada is a single- payer system, though, here, each of the 13 provinces and territories control their own system. doctor and hospital care is covered, but major gaps exist. one example: most medications outside the hospital aren't covered, but supplemental insurance, which most get through work, picks up the slack. during the pandemic, canada has had much better outcomes than the u.s. its overall death rate is about three times lower than america's. >> so we have built quite an effective system within ontario to respond to covid-19. >> brangham: dr. kieran moore is the head of public health for kingston and the surrounding region in southern ontario.
3:41 pm
this holiday destination could've easily become a covid hotspot. but this area of roughly 200,000 has had only two deaths during the whole pandemic. >> that's the benefit of having a universal health care system, because all partners are working together. there's not a private/public separation of responsibility. >> that's in her period of acquisition, so that was a week and a half ago. >> brangham: once a positive case is identified, nurses spring into action. >> our records indicate you were exposed on february 14. >> brangham: with daily calls, they make sure people are safe, staying home and not spreading the virus >> all right, so you haven't travelled outside of the province in the last 14 days? >> brangham: public health departments can levy serious penalties if you don't. >> you can be subject to a fine of $5000 per day. >> i had only seen what was on the news, and it was all bad, so i was assuming the worst. >> brangham: for a patient like amanda antoine, who tested positive last year, she got the kind of follow-up care that's often lacking in the u.s.
3:42 pm
>> i got a call from the public health nurse every day. and if i was having a bad day it was a couple of times. >> brangham: canada's system has also largely avoided what we saw in certain parts of america: hospitals being overrun, and straining to care for a surge of covid patients. >> we haven't experienced anything like colleagues in places like new york city have experienced or elsewhere in the world where they were hit the hardest. >> brangham: dr. hannah wunsch works in critical care medicine at sunnybrook health sciences in toronto. because hospitals here operate within a coordinated system... >> it's been really busy up here. >> brangham: oversight board like this one can shift patients from stressed facilities to those with extra capacity. >> we have over 50 patients in the hospital, 15 in the unit, 14 ventilated. >> brangham: that often didn't happen in places like new york during the early days of the pandemic.
3:43 pm
>> baseline, u.s. hospitals and health networks are very much competing against each other. and so while many of them have learned to function together over time out of necessity, it's not baked into t system, it's not inherent to the way they function in normal times. >> brangham: but canada's experience also shows the gaps that can occur when a country achieves universal care but stops there. canada has seen many of the same problems we've seen in the u.s., with our fragmented system. the vast majority of canada's covid-19 deaths, roughly 70%, have occurred in long-term care facilities, most of which aren't a part of the public system. the toll has also been particularly hard on marginalized communities. >> really, to me, what covid has exposed is that the preexisting condition has been chronic neglect. >> brangham: dr. andrew boozary teaches public health and also works at a clinic serving people
3:44 pm
experiencing homelessness >> we can't say that we have a perfect system, we can't say that we have one when you think about our shortcomings on drug coverage, on access to mental health and supports, to the social supports taking place. you really can't say that we've completely figured this out. really when you think about the brunt of who has had to be punished by our failure to do so, it's been marginalized communities, racialized populations. and really, people living in poverty. >> brangham: and then there's the issue of vaccines. if there is anyone in canada who should be ne the top of the list for vaccination, it's 80 year old breast cancer patient ruth ann wharram. her cancer care, she says, has been superb: >> out of this world, fantastic. i have been so blessed. >> brangham: but... she, like millions of other older, medically vulnerable canadians, was still waiting to get a vaccine in late-february, when we visited.
3:45 pm
a complicated negotiation with vaccine manufacturers, and a failure to invest in its own drug production and delivery, put canada far behind the u.s. and today, only 2% of canada's population has been fully vaccinated, compared to roughly 22% of americans. >> there's your guy. >> that's my doctor.” >> brangham: but wharram's son, c.c., who's a professor in the u.s., is glad his mother lives in canada. >> with the death rates in the states compared to what we've had here, i guess i'd rather be waiting for a vaccine than have three times the per capita deaths, that's what we can sort of look at. >> brangham: ruth ann was confident the vaccine issues would be smoothed out soon. she told us how angry it makes her when she hears politicians in the u.s. demonize her nation's healthcare system. >> why wouldn't it make me angry? i have this ability to go to a doctor when i need it, and not just me, but my next door neighbor who is working at
3:46 pm
mcdonald's on a low income wag why are, is the system down in the states so adamant against it? i can't understand that, i just can't understand it. >> brangham: we share a common border, but have two very different outlooks. and as yet another spike of infections hit both countries with new variants spreading quickly, several canadian provinces have imposed new restrictions. while in america, it's largely full steam ahead to re-open. for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham. >> woodruff: our full documentary, "critical care: america versus the world" airs on pbs stations starting april 21. >> woodruff: the trial of former police officer derek chauvin is nearing its conclusion. chauvin is charged with murder
3:47 pm
in the death of george floyd last may. the trial is being watched closely, not only in minnesota, but all around the country and internationally. the defense finished calling its witnesses. special correspondent fred de sam lazaro has our report. >> reporter: the final day of testimony in the derek chauvin trial began with confirmation that the defendant himself would not testify. >> is this your decision not t testify? >> it is, your honor. >> reporter: with that the defense rested their case. but the prosecution asked for pulmonologist . martin tobin, who testified last thursday, to retake the stand. the state hoped to rebut some points defense expert witness dr. david fowler made in testimony yesterday, particularly whether carbon monoxide from the police car exhaust could have been a factor in george floyd's death. >> so in other words, as to the statement that his carboxyhemoglobin could've increased by 10 to 18%, in your view that's not possible.
3:48 pm
>> that's simply wrong. >> and it was at most 2%. >> at most 2%. >> normal? >> which is normal. >> reporter: the prosecution also sought to refute fowler's claim that there is a lack of research on narrowing of the hypopharynx, an area critical for breathing, due to outside pressure. >> there's probably at least a dozen, maybe 20 studies that show the relationship between how that if lower size of lungs, you must get a decrease in the size of the hypopharynx, all studies show that. >> reporter: after brief questioning of tobin, the state of minnesota rested their case as well. >> evidence now complete for this case. >> reporter: closing arguments will begin monday morning with jury deliberations to follow. for the pbs newshour, i'm fred de sam lazar
3:49 pm
>> woodruff: finally tonight, the latest selection for our "now read this" book club. jessica bruder's "nomadland" documents a growing phenomenon in the country and was the inspiration for the new movie of e same name. just this week the film was the big winner at the british academy film awards. and later this month it vies at the oscars with nominations for best picture, director chloe zhao and actress frances mcdormand. jeffrey brown has our book conversation for our ongoing arts and culture series, canvas. >> brown: in the new drama,“ nomadland,” we et a group of mostly older americans who've lost jobs, savings and homes in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. several of the key characters are played by real nomads, whose lives were first captured in the non-fiction book on which
3:50 pm
the film is based: “nomadland: surviving america in the 21st century.” author jessica bruder spent several years immersed in this life. i asked her to describe what she called a new wandering tribe. >> these are people who got caught between flat wages and rising rents in the failures of retirement finance in the collapses of the great recession. they are people who realize that for most americans, our biggest cost is housing and decided that if they gave up traditional housing and moved into a van an r.v., in some cases a sedan, that they could live a life that would be in some ways simpler, traveling from place to place and getting different seasonal jobs all over the country. >> brown: the subtitle of the book is surviving america in the 21st century. that word survival. how did people manage it? >> i remember talking to this woman, linda may, who is the main character in the book, and she was telling me that with so much ageism in the workplace,
3:51 pm
she was shocked to go online and realize that some of these jobs for seasonal workers, were hiring and wanted 50 plus people like her. so i think a lot of the people i met were using this lifestyle as a hack to get around the economic impossibilities that a lot of americans are facing today. and that made them incredibly creative and resilient. >> brown: and so you're describing people working in amazon warehouses, seasonal work in national parks. tell us a little bit about the workplaces. >> people find seasonal jo that cater to r.v.'ers and van dwellers all over the country. one of these is amazon's camper force. amazon hires r.v.'ers and van dwellers to help during the busiest season when they're ramping up for christmas and they have this whole program that caters to those workers. they also work at the annual sugar beet harvest. that's a tough job, bringing in these sugar beets, usually working to pile them up and
3:52 pm
spending 12 hours at a time walking on concrete. there are many other jobs. people work at campgrounds as hosts, bringing in people, hauling out trash, you name it, i know, two older people who broktheir ribs on that job. so a lot of these jobs seem, you know, fun and temporary, but they're pretty challenging. >> brown: notable in the film is that several of the characters you profiled play themselves in the film. i wonder, have you stayed in touch with them and wh are they saying about it? >> oh, absolutely. i introduced most of them to the filmmakers. and i remember when linda may was first on set, she would send me texts with all sorts of photographs, just telling me how it was. so we have stayed in touch and they had a good experience and i'm blown away by how well they all did on screen. that's been exciting to see. >> brown: you reported this book and you reported this book during the obama years, the film gets made during the trump years. it now comes out at another change.
3:53 pm
how did the politics of our time fit into the narrative in the story that you're telling? >> i think everybody, including people on the road, would be better off if we had a minimum wage that was also a living wage that would make it possible to provide for whatever kind of housing you're in and your medical bills and everything else. so i know where we're talking about that a lot in this moment. there's the fight for 15. and at the same time, i don't know that $15 is enough in some parts of the country. and this is a long standing battle. and it's something we need to pay a lot of attention to. >> brown: and are these nomads still out there on the roads or perhaps in our cities, in their vans unseen by many of us? >> absolutely still out there and by all sorts of anecdotal accounts it's definitely growing at the same time, i'm concerned because anti van dwelling laws in cities seem to be picking up speed. we're getting more and more of those, the criminalization of houselessness. and these are two trends i really hope we don't see collide. >> brown: and finally, this is immersive journalism, right? this is how you work, you live
3:54 pm
the life, you got a van, you took on many of the jobs yourself. >> it was fantastic, not because i thought i was going to magically turn into a van dweller, but by spending that much time up closei really felt like it helped me understand what i needed to know to do justice to other people's stories. >> brown: all right. the book is "nomadland," jessica bruder, thank you very much. >> thanks. >> woodruff: and after the program, tune in online at 7:00 p.m. eastern for a live conversation with jessica bruder where she'll answer your questions about the book. you can find that conversation on our facebook and youtube pages as well as our website, 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 and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
3:55 pm
our u.s.-based customer service reps can help you choose a plan based on how much you use your phone, nothing more, nothing less. to learn more, go to >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutis and friends of the newshour.
3:56 pm
>> 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
3:57 pm
3:58 pm
3:59 pm
4:00 pm
"ama "amanpour." here's what's coming up. >> now it's time to bring our forces home. >> the united states will withdraw troops from afghanistan and end its longest war by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. will there be another taliban takeover? i talk to the man who oversaw the deadly raid on osama bin laden, author of "the hearing code." you don't belong here. former war correspondent tells me how three female journalists defied the odds and rewrote the story of the vietnam war. plus -- maybe this is a signal there's a higher theory up there. >> has einstein's dream finally come true?


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on