July 1, 2020 - PBS NewsHour full episode
July 1, 2020 - PBS NewsHour full episode
JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I'm Judy Woodruff.
On the "NewsHour" tonight: The infections increase. The U.S. records its highest one-day
total yet of new COVID cases, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to undo plans to reopen.
Then: the future of Hong Kong. Thousands protest in the streets, facing armed police and arrests,
as a controversial security law goes into effect.
Plus: back to school. Despite widespread calls for social distancing, the American Academy
of Pediatrics says students should be back in the classroom this fall.
And the search for treatment. Doctors and scientists experiment with off-label use of
different drugs, in hope of combating COVID-19.
DEREK LOWE, "In the Pipeline": We haven't had a situation like this. People are used
to saying, OK, I have got this disease. Where's the drug? I guess everyone is starting to
learn a little bit more about what drug discovery is like.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight's "PBS NewsHour."
JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has now topped 127,000 people.
The epicenter has shifted to the West and South, where cases have ballooned to record
Amna Nawaz has our report.
AMNA NAWAZ: California's COVID response was once called a miracle, for quickly stemming
virus spread. But the state today took steps to move back into lockdown after new cases
spiked almost 80 percent in the last two weeks.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): The bottom line is, the spread of this virus continues at
a rate that is particularly concerning. Fourth of July weekend has raised a lot of concern
from our health officials. We want to again remind each and every one of you that, if
we want to be independent from COVID-19, we have to be much more vigilant.
AMNA NAWAZ: California is not alone. A majority of states in the country are now reporting
surges in infections. Yesterday, the U.S. recorded more than 47,000 new cases, the nation's
highest single-day spike in the pandemic so far.
To slow virus spread, at least 14 states are now moving to pause or reverse plans to reopen
their economies. But the majority of states are still moving ahead on lifting restrictions,
despite the rise in infections.
Currently, only 17 states and the District of Columbia have issued mask mandates.
And Texas is not one of them. In fact, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said in a FOX News interview
last night that he doesn't need any advice from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious
LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK (R-TX): Fauci said today that he's concerned about states like Texas
that skipped over certain things. He doesn't know what he's talking about.
AMNA NAWAZ: Texas had one of the shortest stay-at-home orders in the nation and is now
reversing reopening steps after a record number of new infections.
Hospitals here, already stretched, are bracing for the weeks ahead.
DAVID PERSSE, City of Houston Public Health Authority: The hospitals right now are operating
with nearly 100 percent of intensive care unit beds occupied at several hospitals.
If the community doesn't start behaving differently, there's going to be a limit to what the hospitals
will handle. It's not today. That's three weeks from now.
AMNA NAWAZ: In Phoenix today, Vice President Mike Pence met with Governor Doug Ducey, as
Arizona struggles to contain its spike in cases and puts a pause on reopening.
MIKE PENCE, Vice President of the United States: I know we will get through this. I'm absolutely
confident that, with your leadership, with the full support of the federal government
behind you, the cooperation of the people of Arizona, that we will slow the spread and
we will flatten the curve.
AMNA NAWAZ: Meanwhile, in Washington, the Senate last night and the House today approved
a five-week extension on the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses struggling to
stay open, with the stops and starts of state plans.
Business owners like John Nguyen are left struggling to keep up with shifting plans,
like Texas' recent reversal.
JOHN NGUYEN, Owner, Cajun Kitchen: That definitely added a lot of complexity and stress to small
business owners like me. We were hoping it would turn around by May. But now that everything
is going in the wrong direction, it doesn't look like we're going to be over this any
AMNA NAWAZ: Plans on hold across the country, as states scramble to stifle another swell
of COVID-19 infections.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Amna Nawaz.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day's other news: Police in Hong Kong began making arrests today under
a new national security law imposed on the city by mainland China.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets in the semiautonomous territory after the
measure went into effect last night.
We will have more on the contentious new law after the news summary.
In Seattle today, police cleared protesters from a so-called occupied zone near downtown.
Violence had flared there in recent weeks. Two teenagers were killed and six others were
wounded in separate shootings. Officers in riot gear moved in on the encampment early
this morning, after the mayor issued an executive order for police to begin clearing the streets.
They arrested more than 20 people.
CARMEN BEST, Seattle, Washington, Police Chief: Our job is to protect and to serve the community.
Our job is to support peaceful demonstrations. But what has happened here on these streets
over the last two weeks -- few weeks, that is -- is lawless, and it is brutal, and, bottom
line, it is simply unacceptable.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Their demonstrations were originally in response to the police killing of George
Floyd in Minneapolis in May.
Lawmakers in New York City have agreed to shift $1 billion in police funding to education
and social service programs. But advocates for defunding the police argued that those
cuts don't go far enough. Protesters camped outside City Hall for a ninth day in a row.
But at his news conference today, Mayor Bill de Blasio disagreed with them.
BILL DE BLASIO (D), Mayor of New York: This is a huge reinvestment in communities, while
we still stay safe as a city. I'm very comfortable we struck the right balance. And, again, what
I'm saying represents, I'm certain, the majority of New Yorkers, who want this to be a safe
city, they want more fairness, they want more reform, but they also want to make sure we
consistently stay safe.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The New York City Police Department is the largest in the U.S. Its current budget
is $6 billion. The new cuts come as the city is trying to claw its way back from $9 billion
in revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Richmond, Virginia, Mayor Levar Stoney today ordered the immediate removal of all Confederate
statues on city property. Crews in the former capital of the Confederacy began by taking
down a statue depicting General Stonewall Jackson.
Meanwhile, two Republican U.S. senators, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and James Lankford of
Oklahoma, filed an amendment to replace Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a new federal holiday.
The results from yesterday's state elections are in. Former Colorado Democratic Governor
John Hickenlooper will face Republican Senator Cory Gardner in November, after winning his
primary Tuesday night.
In Western Colorado, five-term Republican Congressman Scott Tipton lost in his primary
to far-right businesswoman Lauren Boebert.
Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, voters narrowly approved expanding Medicaid in the state.
The Trump administration pushed back today against accusations that the president neglected
reports of Russian bounties for killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Mr. Trump took to Twitter
and dismissed those intelligence reports as - - quote -- "fake news."
And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that the situation was handled incredibly
well to safeguard troops.
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. Secretary of State: We see threats in intelligence reporting to our soldiers
stationed all over the world every single day, every single day. The fact that the Russians
are engaged in Afghanistan in a way that's adverse to the United States is nothing new.
JUDY WOODRUFF: National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien told FOX News that a top CIA official
decided not to verbally brief the president on the matter, since the intelligence was
unverified. But he said response options were drawn up just in case the information was
And stocks were mixed on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 78 points
to close at 25735. The Nasdaq rose nearly 96 points, and the S&P 500 added 15.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": Russians vote to change their constitution to allow
Vladimir Putin to extend his presidency; the American Academy of Pediatrics calls for students
to be back in the classroom this fall; protesters face arrest in Hong Kong, as a controversial
security law goes into effect; and much more.
The polls closed in Russia today, after seven days of voting on constitutional changes.
One would allow President Vladimir Putin to stand for two more terms in office.
Early indications were that 70-plus percent voted in favor.
As special correspondent Lucy Taylor reports, Russia's preeminent leader for two decades
may be around for years to come.
LUCY TAYLOR: It is a vote on Russia's future, and the higher the turnout, the more credible
it will look.
And to bring voters in, drive some good old electioneering. Each ballot paper comes with
a lottery ticket, with prizes from cash to cars. But the biggest winner will likely be
President Vladimir Putin, with a chance to rule into his 80s. And many of his supporters
don't need incentives.
MAN (through translator): He is the best president of all the presidents. With him, Russia will
WOMAN (through translator): Even though many people dislike him, I think he's right, and
our country is flourishing.
LUCY TAYLOR: Voters like Tatiana Prokofieva have spent most of their adult lives under
Vladimir Putin's leadership. She was just 30 when he came to power in the year 2000.
But she also remembers what came before, in the 1990s, when Russia's economy collapsed,
and she credits Putin with its recovery.
TATIANA PROKOFIEVA, Voter (through translator): People live well now. The standard of living
has increased. Now each family has at least two cars. That is an indicator he was able
to do it. We had a good Olympics in Sochi, and, after that, I went to Sochi and saw how
it was transformed. Work is under way. You can't deny it.
LUCY TAYLOR: The campaign for the constitutional changes has played on national pride. Vladimir
Putin led a military parade on the eve of polls opening, and says the changes would
reinforce Russian values, like truth, justice and respect for the homeland.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russian President (through translator): We are not just voting for amendments
clothed in clear legal rules. We vote for the country in which we want to live, with
modern education and health care, with reliable social protection of citizens, with effective
power, accountable to society.
LUCY TAYLOR: One amendment would outlaw same-sex marriage, with campaign videos portraying
gay people as bad parents.
Others would guarantee the minimum wage and pensions. And one would give President Putin
criminal immunity for life.
And yet, with all that, there's been very little discussion about the amendment that
could extend his time in office. The changes all come as a single package.
There's just one question, yes or no, but this national vote takes in hundreds of amendments
to the Russian constitution. Critics say it's designed to minimize the focus on Vladimir
Putin's power and executed in a way that gives them almost no chance to argue.
Rallies and protests are banned because of the pandemic. And campaigners like Tatiana
Usmanova say Russia's state media doesn't give them a fair hearing.
TATIANA USMANOVA, Activist, Open Russia (through translator): We are not allowed to express
our position to those who are against this vote. Everything that is happening now is
an absolutely strange, illegitimate procedure to recognize results that are simply impossible.
LUCY TAYLOR: But Russia also has a troubled history with outright fraud and ballot-stuffing.
Election monitors say they have witnessed multiple violations. Officials even took the
unprecedented step of announcing early results hours before polls closed, something which
would usually be banned.
Russia under Vladimir Putin has been involved in messy military interventions in Chechnya,
Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria, and suffered under international economic sanctions.
His approval ratings have slipped in the last year, but remain high. So far, he has played
coy, and has yet to say if he will stand for another term in office, even if he is allowed
EKATERINA SCHULMANN, Political Scientist: It's necessary to preserve this option, this
possibility, in order to prevent the elites from looking around in search of the successor.
These were his words.
So, what he was basically planning to say is that he can't afford to be a lame-duck,
because it's dangerous, because he is surrounded by whom? By people he can't trust.
LUCY TAYLOR: But not everyone who remembers the 1990s is voting for the amendments.
Sergei Mitrokhin led a liberal opposition party. And he says, just as Russia had its
first chance at democracy, Vladimir Putin led it in a different direction.
SERGEI MITROKHIN, Former Opposition Party Leader (through translator): We understood
that those mistakes and crimes that were committed then would inevitably lead Russia to an authoritarian,
corrupt regime, and so it happened.
Unfortunately, we foresaw this. We already understood that at the beginning of the century.
LUCY TAYLOR: For an older generation of voters, this poll is about whether the relative stability
gained in Putin's Russia has been worth it.
And if the amendments are passed, as expected, their children may live most of their lives
knowing nothing else.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Lucy Taylor in Moscow.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Millions of American children and their parents are desperate to know what
the fall might look like for school.
As William Brangham reports, there is an argument that kids need to be in the classroom.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That's right, Judy.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the AAP, came up with a very clear statement this week,
arguing that, given what we know about the virus and about kids being stuck at home -- quote
- - "The AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year
should start with the goal of having students physically present in school."
I'm joined now by one of the authors of that report. Dr. Sean O'Leary is a pediatrician,
an infectious disease specialist, a professor, and vice chair of the American Academy of
Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases.
Dr. O'Leary, thank you very much for being here.
Your report offers all kinds of cautions about how to make school safer, how to keep teachers
and kids safe. But, given what we know now, make the argument that you made in this report.
DR. SEAN O'LEARY, Vice Chair, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases:
So, you know, I know there's a lot of concern about the risks of kids going into school,
both for students and teachers. I think we know a lot more now than we did in March,
when we pretty much all shut schools down.
So I think there are ways that we can make schools safe. It's really a strategy of risk
mitigation, so putting together multiple different strategies, as opposed to risk elimination.
We're not going to be able to eliminate -- completely eliminate risk in schools, just the way we're
not able to completely eliminate risk elsewhere.
I think the other really crucial other side of the coin is that, you know, kids have really
suffered from not being in school, you know, starting with educational outcomes. We have
seen, really, a lot of evidence that those have really gone down, and then, of course,
lots of concerns with behavioral health and abuse, all kinds of problems from kids just
being at home.
And then you look at what we're all trying to do now with reopening the economy. So much
of reopening the economy has to do with children being in school. So, I think everything we
can do right now to get this virus under control in the coming, you know, one to two months
to make it much safer for kids to be in school, we really need to be doing that.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Some of your report also seems to be informed by what we are learning
about how kids get sick with coronavirus and how they might then transmit the virus to
others, to adults in the room, their teachers.
DR. SEAN O'LEARY: So, you know, it's becoming clearer -- I mean, we're still learning every
day, but it's becoming clearer that kids are - - appear to be less likely to get infected
When they do get infected, they -- the disease tends to be much less severe than it does
in adults, particularly older adults. And they also tend to be less likely to spread
the disease to other people, we think probably because they are less symptomatic when they
have it. So they're not coughing and sneezing as much when they have it.
So there are a number of factors involved with SARS-CoV-2 that I think we now know that
we didn't know then.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I mean, I hear everything that you're saying about the importance emotionally,
psychologically, educationally, nutritionally, even, your report cites, of getting kids back
But I know so many parents who have heard the mantra of socially distance, stay away
from others. And now the idea of sending their kids back into crowded classrooms is terrifying
to them, frankly.
How do we make schools safe, so that that can actually happen?
DR. SEAN O'LEARY: I think there are a number of measures we can take, but a few of the
things that we know works. Physical distancing works, ideally six feet, but even three feet
is pretty good.
When you can't maintain six feet, wearing face coverings, particularly for the older
kids, who do appear more likely to spread the virus. Masks work. There's more and more
evidence coming out every day about the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
But we really have to consider the teachers and the staff as well. What we have seen in
other places that have opened schools is that the spread tends to be adult to adult, as
opposed to child to adult or adult child.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: "Education Week," I know, did a poll of teachers and educators.
It was two-thirds of them said that they were nervous about the idea of school reopening
in the fall. They argued that some of them might be looking to retire early. Do you worry
that that reopening plans might cause an exodus of teachers from schools?
DR. SEAN O'LEARY: You know, I think we're all pretty nervous right now about just about
everything we're doing. We're in a pretty precipitous place right now in this country,
with cases increasing and a lot of states.
And so, yes, I think there's reason to be nervous. I do think, if we can -- you know,
for communities where the virus is not raging, I do think it's realistic to open schools
safely. So, yes, I'm nervous, and I understand why teachers would be nervous as well.
And I think, all things considered, though, school is crucial on so many levels. And so
that's -- that was really the impetus behind this guidance. And I think teachers should
be involved and are involved in the process of crafting these plans as schools reopen.
I'm optimistic that, in a lot of places, we're going to be able to get there.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Dr. Sean O'Leary of the American Academy of Pediatrics, thank
you very much for your time.
DR. SEAN O'LEARY: Thank you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A new crackdown in Hong Kong, 23 years to the day China took back control.
Nick Schifrin reports on how this ominous day dawned on the freewheeling hub of international
NICK SCHIFRIN: With the wave of a blue banner, a confrontation with protesters, and an arrest,
Hong Kong police made clear the new national security law does not allow freedom of speech.
Today, in Hong Kong, police arrested activists not for what they did, but also for what they
said. Pro-democracy activists who unfurled foreign flags and talked about Hong Kong independence
The crackdown and protests continued into the night. In total, the police detained more
than 300. At one point, they filled an entire bus.
ISAAC CHENG, Former Vice President, Demosisto: It definitely completely changed life inside
NICK SCHIFRIN: Isaac Cheng was vice president of the prominent pro-democracy group Demosisto.
But after the national security law was passed, the group disbanded, out of fear of arrest.
ISAAC CHENG: The core of the Hong Kong is, we have the right to come out and protest
to restrict the power of the government. The national security law restricts these kind
of freedoms, so we can no longer speak any things that -- against the government, no
longer speak anything to fight against this communist regime.
NICK SCHIFRIN: The national security law says, anyone can be arrested and jailed who organizes,
plans, commits or participates in any action that calls for separating Hong Kong from China
or undermining national unification, who provokes by unlawful means hatred of Beijing, who directly
or indirectly receives instructions, control, funding or other kinds of support from a foreign
And it could apply to anyone visiting Hong Kong.
Why are you willing to do this interview, despite the threats?
ISAAC CHENG: I have speak to present the Hong Kong situation. We hope that the international
society can recognize the situation.
NICK SCHIFRIN: The U.S. has revoked the visas of senior Chinese government officials involved
in the Hong Kong crackdown, and promises more action.
The United Kingdom warned that Britons traveling to Hong Kong faced increased threat of detention
and deportation. And the government invited all Hong Kong residents eligible for British
national overseas passports to become British citizens.
That's a lifeline for one Hong Kong couple eligible for British citizenship whom I spoke
Why are you thinking about leaving Hong Kong?
WOMAN: We just have to do it for our daughter. I mean, we have our next generation.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Of the hundreds of thousands of people who have filled Hong Kong's streets,
thousands feel like they have lost the battle and are planning on emigrating. The couple
did not want to give their names or show their faces criticizing the new law.
MAN: It's what people say. It's what people wear. It's what people look like. With this
law, we no longer know how the government is going to define the law, how they're going
to execute the law.
NICK SCHIFRIN: You're talking about leaving your home, leaving where you have been raising
your child, leaving all your friends.
How do you feel about that?
WOMAN: It's really sad. I mean, we both grew up in this place.
MAN: I mean, to be really honest, this is like the last resort for us.
WOMAN: We know that some people can't leave. Like, I have my parents in Hong Kong.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Where are you hoping to move?
MAN: I think the COVID-19 and political situation in the States and also the Brexit, I think
it just poses a lot more questions.
NICK SCHIFRIN: One other place that has done a pretty good job, COVID-19, is Taiwan. Would
you consider going to Taiwan?
MAN: A lot of people didn't expect how Beijing could be that aggressive towards Hong Kong.
It now made us question how aggressive Beijing would be towards Taiwan now.
NICK SCHIFRIN: That's a nightmare for U.S. policy-makers, who have been trying to bolster
Taiwan's ability to stand up to Beijing more than Hong Kong could.
And another group that's not standing up to Beijing is the business community.
CRAIG ALLEN, President, U.S.-China Business Council: I think it would be a leap to say
that tourists or regular businesspeople should be concerned about this.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Craig Allen is the president of the U.S.-China Business Council. He says,
the 1,300 American businesses and 85,000 Americans currently in Hong Kong are willing to live
under the new national security law.
CRAIG ALLEN: I suspect that it will have an impact at the margin. But I would not expect
that to be overly large. Businesses are not ideological, and businesses will go where
there is security, stability, safety, and a good market. And China is a very large and
NICK SCHIFRIN: That is music to Beijing's ears. For the Communist Party, today was a
celebration, marking the anniversary of the 1997 Hong Kong handover from Britain to Beijing.
And, today, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the legislation was necessary.
ZHAO LIJIAN, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman (through translator): This will safeguard
national sovereignty and security.
NICK SCHIFRIN: Activists admit that means they're already restricted in what they can
ISAAC CHENG: Actually, I cannot speak a lot, because now is the national security law.
NICK SCHIFRIN: The silencing of Hong Kong activists has begun, and there is little standing
in the way of Beijing's plans.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Nick Schifrin.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington state, was elected
to Congress in 2016. She's the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and has
become a leader in pushing the party on issues like Medicare for all.
Her book "Use the Power You Have: A Brown Woman's Guide to Politics and Political Change"
is out this week.
And, Congresswoman Jayapal joins us now.
Thank you very much. Congratulations on the book.
This is the story of how you grew up in this accomplished Indian family. You came from
Indonesia to the United States to go to college. And very early on, you started this search,
as you put it, for your identity. You wanted to stop living in the hyphen, I think, is
how you wrote it.
What did you mean by that?
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Well, Judy, first of all, thank you so much for having me.
I came to this country when I was 16 years old by myself, and it was really because my
parents took everything they had, and they used it to send me here to this land of opportunity.
And I kept struggling to figure out, am I Indian, am I American?
And I stayed here for 18 years before getting my citizenship. And I think that, when you
travel from one part of the country -- one part of the world to another part of the world,
you are in that limbo state. That is the hyphen that I talk about.
Indian-American is the hyphen, Latino-American, African-American. We all bring with us different
pieces, whatever the means is that we have come to this country. And I think immigrants
today exemplify that search for identity, search for meaning, but also the striving
to bring everything that we have to bear to this new country that we call home.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And your journey, as you describe it, you worked in the nonprofit arena. You
worked in finance on Wall Street.
You -- and you came to a point where you realized, as you said, it wasn't enough to be on the
outside. You wanted to be on the inside fighting for what you believe.
But you clearly think it's tougher for a person of color, I mean, hence the title of the book,
A Brown Woman's Guide to Politics."
How is it different? Give an example.
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL: Well, first of all, you can just look at numbers.
I'm the first South Asian-American woman ever to serve in Congress. I am also one out of
14 immigrants out of 535 naturalized now serving. And, you know, if you look at the history
of Congress, over 11,000 people have served. There have been only been 79 women of color
who have ever served in Congress. And so just that tells you the barriers that exist.
But when you get here -- and it's difficult enough getting here, the fund-raising, the
way the system works, the lack of leadership ladders, until fairly recently, I would say,
but, also, once you get here, this is a very male, very white institution.
It is getting on in age in many ways, and we have made a big difference over the last
four years that I have been here. But a lot of the structures are still built for a certain
kind of power, and they are built with institutional racism and sexism built into the operation.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, you have taken on a very visible role.
Quickly -- as I mentioned, co-chair of the Progressive Caucus -- the issues are coming
thick and fast. One I want to ask you about is police reform. Seattle, which you represent,
we have seen protesters set up what they have called an autonomous zone. They pushed out
the police for a few weeks. It was just today, in fact, that police were able to break that
up peacefully, but two people died in the course of these last few weeks.
You sounded sympathetic to what these protesters were trying to do. On balance, did they accomplish
something useful, do you think?
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL: I am sympathetic to the whole idea of protest and dissent. It
is a fundamental constitutional right. And it is absolutely critical and urgent in this
moment, as we watched George Floyd murdered.
And so I think that what has emerged over the last several weeks should be, again, a
lesson for us in Seattle, as well as across the country, that the kind of militaristic
response that happened immediately after those protesters started going out was, in fact,
the very thing that protesters were protesting.
So, I hope that, as we go forward, that the city leadership, the city council, all of
us at the federal level, really all of us in elected office, as well as everybody who's
fighting for justice, continues that fight peacefully, nonviolently, but urgently, because
that is what we must do if we are to move forward as a country.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Very quickly, finally, a question about the presidential race.
You initially were very much with Bernie Sanders' campaign for him in April. You did, after
Bernie Sanders dropped out, endorse Joe Biden.
Are you concerned? I have read what you have said, and you have expressed concern that
he may not be progressive enough to excite younger voters, progressive voters.
Do you seriously believe that these are voters who would vote for Donald Trump over Joe Biden?
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL: No, I don't think that they would vote for Donald Trump, but that
has not always been our problem with our base.
The problem has always been the base feels unheard, un-reached-out-to, uninspired by
candidates who run in various elections, including as president.
And so I think that one of the things that we have to do -- and I talk about this in
this book -- is, we have to actually speak to our base. We have to talk to them with
ideas that inspire young people and folks of color, because they won't vote for Donald
Trump. I really don't think that will happen.
But they will potentially sit out if they're not inspired. There are a lot of reasons why
these voters are disenfranchised to start with, and we don't have time to go into them.
But what I would say is any Democratic president has to understand that we need these voters.
We need our base to be with us. We can't just go to the swing voter and forget about our
JUDY WOODRUFF: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, thank you very much.
The book is "Use the Power You Have: A Brown Woman's Guide to Politics and Political Change."
REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL: Thank you, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: As the COVID summer surge climbs, before there is a cure, Miles O'Brien explores
the push to find ways to treat the virus.
It's part of our Leading Edge series on science and innovation.
And a note: Some of the video Miles used here was shot as part of an earlier collaboration
with PBS' "Frontline."
MILES O'BRIEN: Emergency room physician Ryan Padgett is back home with his family, on the
mend after a near-death experience, a Hail Mary pass, and a stunning victory over COVID-19.
It all began in late February, when he and the team at Merchant Logo
EvergreenHealth Kirkland began treating some very sick nursing home residents with the
symptoms of viral pneumonia.
DR. RYAN PADGETT, EvergreenHealth Medical Center Kirkland: You're used to dealing with
patients with illness, but to realize that you're going to potentially have 60 patients
from one place with this novel illness was kind of scary
MILES O'BRIEN: Still, with only a handful of sick days in 19 years on the job, Dr. Padgett
wasn't too concerned about his own health. In fact, he was the picture of it.
A starting offensive lineman for Northwestern University in the 1996 Rose Bowl, he has always
stayed in great shape. Then the telltale symptoms of COVID-19 came rushing through his body's
DR. RYAN PADGETT: And I was like, wow, something is different here.
And, pretty quickly, I came to kind of think, timing wise, that I was probably infected.
They call it the beast, and you realize why. It's like getting hit by a truck.
MILES O'BRIEN: Things went downhill fast. He ended up in the intensive care unit at
Seattle's Swedish Medical Center on a ventilator and a heart lung machine.
Sure, the virus had done plenty of damage, but inside his body, something else was at
play. Dr. Padgett's immune system had mounted a counteroffensive that had run amok. This
overreaction is called a cytokine storm.
DR. RYAN PADGETT: My immune system had caught a wildfire. My body overreacted and was putting
me into kidney failure, respiratory failure. My heart and even my liver started going downhill.
MILES O'BRIEN: It was not a surprise. There were numerous reports from China of COVID
patients who succumbed to a cytokine storm.
A similar thing sometimes happens to cancer patients receiving immunotherapy. So, the
medical team reached out to the oncology department.
Dr. Krish Patel.
DR. KRISH PATEL, Swedish Medical Center: We were all really learning day to day how to
try to manage this illness, and I think that's where kind of borrowing from other disease
processes or other specialties seemed to make sense.
MILES O'BRIEN: He recommended an antibody called tocilizumab. In addition to helping
cancer patients, it is used to treat people with rheumatoid arthritis as well.
Doctors in China had some success with it, so the team here saw no reason not to try
it on Ryan Padgett. Within days, they had weaned him off the machines.
DR. KRISH PATEL: We were very encouraged by what we saw in his experience, since that
time have had -- developed continued experience with the medicine.
MILES O'BRIEN: Dr. Patel says the team at Swedish has now treated more than 65 COVID
patients with tocilizumab, with encouraging results.
He is participating in a big randomized study, results due later this summer.
But Ryan Padgett needs no convincing.
DR. RYAN PADGETT: It saved my life.
MILES O'BRIEN: You think?
DR. RYAN PADGETT: Absolutely. This isn't the time for a yearlong randomized control trial.
This is a time of, put your finger where it's bleeding and hold it there, and let's hope
MILES O'BRIEN: Understandable in a pandemic, but it can often lead to false hope.
DEREK LOWE, "In the Pipeline": People want hope, but false hope is not just neutral.
False hope is worse than no hope at all.
MILES O'BRIEN: Chemist Derek Lowe has done early stage drug discovery for 30 years. He
also writes the well-respected blog "In the Pipeline."
People are scared and looking for a silver bullet.
DEREK LOWE: They sure are. And I don't blame them for a minute.
And we haven't had a situation like this. People are used to saying, OK, I have got
this disease. Where's the drug? I guess everyone is starting to learn a little bit more about
what drug discovery is like.
MILES O'BRIEN: We are all learning the hard way.
DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States: And a lot of good things have come out about
the hydroxy. A lot of good things have come out.
MILES O'BRIEN: President Trump frequently promoted the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine
as a COVID-19 therapeutic before there was scientific data to support the claims.
When that data came in, it showed hydroxychloroquine offers no benefit, but also great harm, causing
potentially fatal heart arrhythmias in some patients.
On June 15, the Food and Drug Administration revoked the emergency use authorization for
hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment.
Dr. George Diaz treated the first U.S. COVID-19 patient at Providence Regional Medical Center
in Everett. He was failing fast, when Dr. Diaz got permission from the FDA and the patient
to try the antiviral drug remdesivir.
DR. GEORGE DIAZ, Providence Regional Hospital: He was still having very high fevers and still
was requiring oxygen the day that we gave it to him.
By the next day, his fevers resolved, and they stayed gone. And he was able to come
off of oxygen one day after receiving treatment. So -- and he felt much better. He felt like
he had started beating the virus.
MILES O'BRIEN: Dr. Diaz is participating in a big randomized study of remdesivir, and,
in the meantime, continues to see lots of encouraging signs among the patients he treats.
WOMAN: I sent two people home today.
DR. GEORGE DIAZ: Oh, that's fantastic.
MILES O'BRIEN: A separate study released at the end of May shows remdesivir slightly reduces
the length of hospital stays for COVID-19 patients.
DEREK LOWE: So, that tells you about where the drug is, helpful, but not a cure, because
there's no way that one single drug can shut down a viral infection. That's one thing that
we have sort of proven over the years.
MILES O'BRIEN: Doctors on the front lines all over the world have tried hundreds of
drugs for off-label use on COVID patients.
The most promising? A steroid called dexamethasone. One study shows it reduces the mortality rate
for COVID patients on ventilators. But perhaps the most proven way to beat back a virus is
found in the blood of the survivors.
After all, the antibodies it contains have proven their mettle by defeating the virus.
But so-called convalescent plasma has limits. One survivor may only be able to help no more
than three others.
The solution to that may lie in immune cells which are cloned and grown in large batches.
They produce so called monoclonal antibodies, and scientists are now identifying the most
effective of them.
Dr. Robert Garry is a professor of microbiology and immunology at Tulane Medical School.
DR. ROBERT GARRY, Tulane University School of Medicine: These have worked very well IN
other serious diseases, like the Ebola virus. So, I'm waiting for the SARS-CoV-2 human monoclonal
antibodies. I think that those are very likely to have a major impact on the course of this
MILES O'BRIEN: Monoclonal antibodies are like a temporary vaccine for those who are sick,
their families, and for health care workers.
And while it likely won't take as long to bring them to the market as a vaccine, scaling
up production to meet global demand will take time, and maybe more patience than we have.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Miles O'Brien in Seattle.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Much attention, including ours here at the "NewsHour," has lately been focused
on the push to end the COVID-19 pandemic, but some are calling racism in this country
another kind of epidemic, and urging more attention be paid to ending it as well.
Despite the longstanding perception that the U.S. is a nation defined by its divisions,
special correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault turns to a different perspective now.
It's the latest in our Race Matters series and her ongoing look at solutions to racism.
PROTESTERS: Black lives matter! Black lives matter!
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Despite the unity seen in Black Lives Matter protests, Americans
have often been portrayed as being woefully divided on most major subjects.
But David Brooks, a New York Times columnist, has been insisting even before recent events
that this country is more united than divided.
You surely know, David from the "NewsHour"'s weekly Shields and Brooks segment each Friday.
But, in another role, he's been reaching out to Americans of all stripes to understand
how they're feeling in these uncertain times.
David Brooks, thank you so much for joining us.
DAVID BROOKS: No, it's so great to be with you.
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: You know, you have written columns in the past few months saying
that the country is more united than divided.
Who were you talking to, and what was leading you to that conclusion, that we're more united
DAVID BROOKS: I put out a plea to my readers, and 6,500 sent me essays about how they were
And a lot of them were in bad shape. And yet, when I spoke to them over the weeks and over
the months, they were super impressed by how their neighbors were showing up for each other.
And the things they talked about over and over again was: My local restaurant is now
giving away food. My local church is now a soup kitchen. My neighbors are showing up
And there was a sense that the country was actually acting for each other.
And so I think there was a feeling -- especially in the first few weeks of the pandemic, a
feeling of common action and common purpose and common vulnerability.
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Has there been anything else, as a result of the pandemic, that has
made people come closer together or realize they were more united than they thought?
DAVID BROOKS: The reaction to the Floyd murder has been, on the whole, a very good news story.
I look at the marches, and there was some violence in the beginning, but the violence
has gone down now. They were not a black uprising. They were an American uprising.
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: What's the solution to making the unity last?
DAVID BROOKS: I think the first thing we have to do is learn from each other and talk to
My rule is, the more uncomfortable the conversation is, the more I learn from it. And so I'm hoping
the first thing we do is make use of this moment of useful discomfort to face realities
in our country and to face each other.
And that's the shift in consciousness that needs to take -- you know, personal transformation
and social transformation happen together. But then it has to be institutionalized with
And one of the things that needs to be happening is, because of redlining and segregation and
prejudice, we have areas of concentrated poverty all across this country. To me, this won't
be fixed until the school I visited in Detroit a few months ago, which was all African-American,
where 3 percent of kids were reading on grade level, this won't be fixed until that's fixed.
And so getting involved in the things that join us together, the things we love together,
we love our kids -- and if we can focus on African-American education, education for
poor people, that's part of the solution, not just police reform.
We love our work. If we can give common work, so there's a little more economic equality
in this country. And then we love our neighborhoods. The people who are doing the best work are
in the neighborhood.
I was talking about Watts recently. And there's an organization there, Sisters of Watts. And
they have been living in Watts their whole lives. They know what Watts needs. Outside
groups don't know what Watts needs. But if we got money to them, and resources and power
to them, they actually know what to do.
And so getting money right to the grassroots, to the people who can't write grants because
they're too busy, that, to me, is how you build up a neighborhood. And the neighborhood
is the unit of change here.
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Tell me about the Weavers and how they fit into your solution
DAVID BROOKS: Yes.
So, for years and years, it seemed like, every problem, every column I was writing and every
appearance I did with Mark was about social isolation, social disconnection and polarization.
And I realized, this is a problem underlying a lot of other problems. But it's also being
solved at the local level by community builders, who I call Weavers. And they're creating connection.
They're bridging divides. They're creating a better country, and they're finding a better
way to live.
So, for example, in Chicago, in a neighborhood called Englewood, which is a tough neighborhood,
there's a woman who lives there named Asiaha Butler. And Asiaha was going to move out of
Englewood because she had a daughter and she was afraid for her safety. And she was going
to go to Atlanta.
And she had booked the moving company and everything. On the day before she was going
to move out, she looked across the street at an empty lot, and there was a little girl
in a pink dress playing with broken bottles.
And she turns to her husband and says: We're not moving out. We're not going to be just
another family that left this behind.
And so she Googled volunteer in Englewood. And now she runs RAGE, which is the big community
organization in Englewood. They have cleaned up the lots. They have created connections
within the community.
Now, if you go there, there's some stores. And when stores are open, they sell T-shirts,
"Proud Daughter of Englewood," "Proud Son of Englewood."
And so the community begins to get turned around by Weavers. And I find Weavers everywhere.
We drop into a place, Wilkes, North Carolina. We ask around: Who makes a difference here?
Who's trusted here?
And we found 75 people doing amazing stuff. And so Weavers are -- I think, are leading
us into a better future.
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Are you hopeful, based on what you have seen, that the solutions
you have seen working are going to continue? And how do you make them continue for the
benefit of all of us?
DAVID BROOKS: When I look at the marches, when I look at the people I speak to through
the Weave Project, when I look at the people I interview through my journalism, I just
see such a desire for just a new era, and such a sense that this is a portal to a different
And I have faith in that.
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: David, I think that's what so many people want to hear now. And
thank you for sharing that with us. And thank you for being with us.
DAVID BROOKS: Oh, it's great to be with you, Charlayne. It's a real pleasure.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Our Now Read This book club pick for June was a spy thriller that is relevant
amid the Black Lives Matter protests.
Jeffrey Brown talks with author Lauren Wilkinson. It's part of our series, Canvas.
JEFFREY BROWN: The West African nation of Burkina Faso in the 1980s, and the real-life
figure of revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara, whom the CIA is eager to be rid of, it's the
setting of "American Spy," a Cold War espionage thriller with a twist: Its protagonist is
a black woman named Marie Mitchell.
Author Lauren Wilkinson:
LAUREN WILKINSON, Author, "American Spy": The thing that I was after was creating a
very complicated female character in the spy genre.
I felt that the spy genre is actually a really good opportunity to talk about double consciousness,
because it is so much about -- to me, being a spy is so much about being very, very aware
of how other people perceive you. So, it felt like a perfect metaphor for that.
JEFFREY BROWN: This idea of the double consciousness that Du Bois wrote about and others have -- I
mean, I was thinking about Ralph Ellison, of course, with "Invisible Man."
Your main character's father says at one point: I have been a spy in this country for as long
as I can remember.
LAUREN WILKINSON: Yes.
I mean, that, to me, was a direct hat tip to Ellison, that his -- the main character's
grandfather in "Invisible Man" says something very similar to him that kind of confounds
the protagonist for most of the book.
I think this book is my own version of exploring that idea, what the grandfather was saying
when he said that he was a spy his whole life.
JEFFREY BROWN: I mean, in this case, it's a spy, but as a black man in his case.
LAUREN WILKINSON: Yes. I took it -- I took that metaphorical idea, and I made it as literal
as possible to kind of give it a little more dimension.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, another thing you're clearly exploring through your character is
right and wrong.
In the classic spy genre, at least that I'm familiar, with like a John Le Carre Cold War,
people are aware of the moral ambiguities, but they sort of fall into it, right? I mean,
you don't even know who is good and bad anymore.
Your character, she's trying to keep hold of what's right and wrong.
LAUREN WILKINSON: I love the spy that exists in the moral gray area. That's the one that
always speaks to me.
Le Carre's spies -- I love "Spy Who Came in from the Cold" so much, because I love that
figure who is morally gray, who is trying to follow their own moral compass, because
it may not be aligned with the country that they are working for.
And so I think, with Marie, with a black spy, there is an added dimension to that, which
is that her awareness that she is working for and serving an institution that she does
not feel is designed to serve her, as a black American.
So, she has every reason to challenge the moral compass of the institution in which
she works, and she's challenged by it despite herself.
JEFFREY BROWN: And, of course, you wrote this before what's happening in our culture right
But we were reading it at our club. I just read it in the last few weeks, after the killing
of George Floyd, with the protesters in the street.
How do you see the book now? I mean, does it resonate in a new way for you?
LAUREN WILKINSON: No, because I felt that I was writing about things that have always
existed and will always exist, unless we make some real, real systemic changes.
So, I think what has been happening is that it's always been present. Only now is there
an awareness of it in sort of more mainstream thinking in our country.
As I said, the book took seven years, and I wrote about it through those full seven
years with the confidence that the way that Marie felt was going to resonate with black
JEFFREY BROWN: All right, the novel is "American Spy."
Lauren Wilkinson, thank you very much.
LAUREN WILKINSON: Thank you for having me.
JUDY WOODRUFF: That was great.
And, for July, our book club selection is "Citizen: An American Lyric" by Claudia Rankine.
In it, she explores moments in her own life and those of others to draw a richly detailed
portrait of race in America.
We hope you will read along and join other readers here and on our Facebook page for
Now Read This, our book club collaboration with The New York Times.
And that's the "NewsHour" for tonight. I'm Judy Woodruff.
Join us online and again here tomorrow evening.
For all of us athe "PBS NewsHour," thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon.
More Episodes (203)
August 10, 2020 - PBS NewsHour full episodeAugust 10, 2020
August 9, 2020 - PBS NewsHour Weekend full episodeAugust 09, 2020
August 8, 2020 - PBS NewsHour Weekend full episodeAugust 08, 2020
Beyond The Canvas: Episode 3August 07, 2020
August 7, 2020 - PBS NewsHour full episodeAugust 07, 2020
August 6, 2020 - PBS NewsHour full episodeAugust 06, 2020