PBS NewsHour

FULL EPISODE

September 12, 2020 - PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode

On this edition for Saturday, September 12, wildfires continue to scorch parts of California and the Pacific Northwest as evacuation orders stay in place. Also, NewsHour Weekend’s new “Roads to Election 2020” series kicks off in Pennsylvania where we speak to voters ahead of the November elections. Hari Sreenivasan anchors from Lehigh Valley, PA.

AIRED: September 12, 2020 | 0:27:14
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

Captioning sponsored by WNET

>> Sreenivasan: ON THIS EDITION

FOR SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 12:

WILDFIRES CONTINUE TO BURN IN

CALIFORNIA AND THE PACIFIC

NORTHWEST AS EVACUATION ORDERS

REMAIN IN PLACE.

AND, STOP ONE ON OUR "ROADS TO

ELECTION 2020" SERIES:

THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA.

NEXT, ON PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND.

>>PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND IS MADE

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THANK YOU.

>> Sreenivasan: GOOD EVENING,

AND THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

JUST 51 DAYS AWAY, WE'RE

LAUNCHING OUR "ROADS TO ELECTION

2020" SERIES.

FOR THE NEXT EIGHT WEEKENDS,

LEADING UP TO THE ELECTION,

WE'LL BE TRAVERSING THE COUNTRY

TO SEE WHAT'S ON THE MINDS OF

VOTERS.

AS WE CONTINUE TO PRACTICE

SOCIAL DISTANCING, MOST OF OUR

COVERAGE WILL BE VIRTUAL, BUT

SOME WEEKENDS, LIKE TODAY, FROM

THE LEHIGH VALLEY IN

PENNSYLVANIA, WE WILL BE ON

LOCATION.

ON THIS TRIP, WE'RE LOOKING

FORWARD TO HEARING FROM VIEWERS

LIKE YOU ON THE ISSUES THAT ARE

AT THE FOREFRONT OF YOUR

COMMUNITIES' CONCERNS.

WE'LL START OUR ROAD TRIP

REPORTING RIGHT AFTER TODAY'S

NEWS.

TODAY'S LOWER WINDS GAVE

FIREFIGHTERS A BETTER CHANCE

AGAINST WILDFIRES RAGING ACROSS

THE WEST, WHICH HAVE KILLED

AT LEAST 26 PEOPLE SINCE

MID-AUGUST.

>> OH, MY GOD.

>> Sreenivasan: IN OREGON,

SEVEN PEOPLE ARE CONFIRMED DEAD,

BUT DOZENS MORE ARE MISSING.

A TOP STATE OFFICIAL SAID THEY

ARE PREPARING FOR A POSSIBLE

"MASS FATALITY EVENT."

TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE HAVE

BEEN EVACUATED AND MORE THAN

ONE MILLION ACRES HAVE BURNED.

SOUTH OF PORTLAND, OREGON,

TWO OF THE BIGGEST FIRES ARE

EXPECTED TO MERGE.

THEY COVER MORE THAN 300,000

ACRES AND ARE 0% CONTAINED.

IN CALIFORNIA, MORE THAN TWO

DOZEN MAJOR FIRES ARE BURNING

AFTER THE HOTTEST AUGUST ON

RECORD.

FIVE OF THE 20 LARGEST FIRES IN

THE STATE'S MODERN HISTORY ARE

BURNING RIGHT NOW.

GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM SURVEYED

THE DAMAGE FROM THE NORTH

COMPLEX FIRE YESTERDAY, WHICH

HAS KILLED NINE PEOPLE, AND SAID

THE FIRES ARE CLEAR EVIDENCE

THAT CLIMATE CHANGE NEEDS TO BE

TAKEN SERIOUSLY.

>> I'M A LITTLE BIT EXHAUSTED

THAT WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO

DEBATE THIS ISSUE.

THIS IS A CLIMATE DAMN

EMERGENCY.

THIS IS REAL AND IT'S HAPPENING.

THIS IS THE PERFECT STORM.

IT IS HAPPENING IN UNPRECEDENTED

WAYS, YEAR IN, YEAR OUT.

>> Sreenivasan: ACROSS THE U.S.,

EVERY STATE IS CONTINUING TO

REPORT NEW CASES OF COVID-19,

WITH MORE THAN 47,000 NEW

INFECTIONS ADDED YESTERDAY,

ACCORDING TO THE "NEW YORK

TIMES."

THE AVERAGE NUMBER OF CASES PER

DAY IS DOWN 17% OVER THE PAST

TWO WEEKS.

DEATHS FROM COVID-19 ARE ALSO

DECLINING, BUT YESTERDAY, 1,224

PEOPLE DIED FROM THE DISEASE IN

THE UNITED STATES.

GLOBALLY, JOHNS HOPKINS

UNIVERSITY REPORTS MORE THAN

28 MILLION CASES SINCE THE

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC BEGAN AND

MORE THAN 916,000 DEATHS.

TODAY MARKED THE BEGINNING OF

PEACE TALKS BETWEEN THE AFGHAN

GOVERNMENT AND THE TALIBAN

INSURGENCY-- OPPOSING SIDES IN A

WAR THAT HAS ENGULFED THEIR

COUNTRY FOR ALMOST TWO DECADES.

THE TALKS ARE BEING HOSTED BY

THE COUNTRY OF QATAR, WHERE THE

TALIBAN HAVE A POLITICAL OFFICE.

U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE

POMPEO ATTENDED TODAY'S OPENING

CEREMONIES.

POMPEO URGED BOTH SIDES TO

OVERCOME THEIR DIVISIONS AND

WARNED THAT THE CONDUCT AND

CHOICES MADE AT THE PEACE TALKS

COULD AFFECT U.S. AID TO

AFGHANISTAN.

THE ISSUES ON THE NEGOTIATING

TABLE INCLUDE A PERMANENT

CEASEFIRE, THE DISARMING OF TENS

OF THOUSANDS OF MILITANTS, AND

THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN AND

MINORITIES, WHO FACED OPPRESSION

WHILE UNDER TALIBAN RULE 20

YEARS AGO.

22-YEAR-OLD NAOMI OSAKA IS THE

U.S. OPEN WOMEN'S CHAMPION FOR

A SECOND TIME, DEFEATING

BELARUSSIAN PLAYER VICTORIA

AZARENKA IN THREE SETS THIS

EVENING, PLAYED IN A STADUIM

DEVOID OF THE USUAL THRONGS OF

FANS DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS

PANDEMIC.

OSAKA, AFTER BEING DOWN ON THE

FIRST SET, WON BOTH FINAL TWO

SETS 6-3.

OSAKA'S FIRST U.S. OPEN WIN WAS

AGAINST SERENA WILLIAMS IN 2018.

THROUGHOUT THE TOURNAMENT, OSAKA

EXPRESSED SUPPORT FOR RACIAL

JUSTICE BY DONNING SEVEN

DIFFERENT MASKS WITH THE NAMES

OF BLACK MEN AND WOMEN KILLED BY

POLICE IN THE U.S.

TOMORROW, AUSTRIA'S DOMINIC

THIEM AND ALEXANDER ZVEREV

SQUARE OFF FOR THE MEN'’S FINAL.

WE'’LL HAVE MORE ON THE U.S.

OPEN LATER IN THE PROGRAM.

>> Sreenivasan: WE'RE HERE IN

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY,

PENNSYLVANIA, A COUNTY PRESIDENT

TRUMP FLIPPED IN 2016 AND HOPES

TO WIN AGAIN IN NOVEMBER.

BOTH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES AND

THEIR RUNNING MATES HAVE BEEN

CAMPAIGNING FREQUENTLY HERE IN

PENNSYLVANIA AND IN OTHER

BATTLEGROUND STATES WHERE VOTERS

ARE CLOSELY DIVIDED AND ISSUES

LIKE HEALTH CARE AND THE ECONOMY

CAN BE THE TIPPING POINT THAT

DECIDES THEIR VOTE.

NEWSHOUR WEEKEND'S CHRISTOPHER

BOOKER HAS MORE.

>> Reporter: THE APOLLO GRILL

HAS BEEN A FIXTURE IN BETHLEHEM,

PENNSYLVANIA, FOR OVER 20 YEARS.

BUT LIKE RESTAURANTS AROUND THE

COUNTRY, THE CORONAVIRUS FORCED

THE SMALL BUSINESS TO SHUT ITS

DOORS LAST SPRING.

TAKEOUT ORDERS AND A PAYCHECK

PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN PROVIDED

A LIFE LINE, BUT THE MONEY RAN

OUT IN EIGHT WEEKS.

SINCE JUNE, OWNER RACHEL

GRIFFITH HAS BEEN ABLE TO REOPEN

HER RESTAURANT UNDER THE OUTDOOR

DINING GUIDELINES, BRINGING ALL

OF HER STAFF BACK, FOR NOW.

>> WE'VE BEEN VERY LUCKY THAT WE

HAVE HAD SOME NICE WEATHER AND

WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO EXPAND OUR

OUTDOOR DINING.

WITHOUT THAT, WE WOULD BE IN BIG

TROUBLE.

BUT WITH LOOKING FORWARD, WHAT'S

GOING TO HAPPEN WHEN THE WEATHER

GETS COLDER?

>> Reporter: SUCH UNCERTAINTY

FOR A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER HAS

BECOME COMMONPLACE IN AMERICA.

BUT GRIFFITH'S CONCERNS ARE

PERHAPS JUST A BIT MORE

CONSEQUENTIAL AS THE 2020

PRESIDENTIAL RACE ENTERS ITS

FINAL PHASE.

WHILE PENNSYLVANIA HAS LONG BEEN

A SOUGHT-AFTER ELECTORAL PRIZE,

BOTH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

HAVE BEEN TRYING TO CONVINCE

VOTERS THAT THEY ARE BETTER

SUITED TO REVITALIZE AN ECONOMY

BATTERED BY THE CORONAVIRUS

PANDEMIC.

AND NOWHERE IN PENNSYLVANIA IS

THAT MORE CONTENTIOUS THAN HERE

IN THE LEHIGH VALLEY, A SWING

AREA OF NORTHEASTERN

PENNSYLVANIA THAT INCLUDES THE

TOWNS OF EASTON, ALLENTOWN, AND

BETHLEHEM.

WHAT HOLDS THE MOST WEIGHT FOR

VOTERS IN 2020 HERE IN THE

LEHIGH VALLEY?

>> HEALTH CARE, YOU KNOW,

SEPARATE FROM THE PANDEMIC.

ECONOMIC ISSUES ARE ALWAYS

THERE, ECONOMIC AND JOBS.

>> Reporter: CHRIS BORICK IS

PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE

AND DIRECTOR OF THE MUHLENBERG

COLLEGE INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC

OPINION IN ALLENTOWN.

>> EVEN WHEN THE ECONOMY SEEMED

TO BE, BY MOST MACROECONOMIC

INDICATORS, SAILING ALONG

EARLIER THIS YEAR, WHEN WE ASKED

PEOPLE ABOUT THE NUMBER ONE

ISSUE THAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR

IN 2020 FOR THEIR VOTE, THEY

WOULD TELL US ECONOMIC ISSUES.

>> Reporter: BUT THIS REGION IS

NO STRANGER TO HARD TIMES; THE

AREA IS KNOWN FOR BEING THE HOME

OF BETHLEHEM STEEL.

>> Reporter: SO, WHEN WE THINK

OF U.S. STEEL, THIS IS-- THIS IS

IT.

>> WELL, THIS IS A BIG PART OF

IT.

ALL THROUGHOUT THE 20th CENTURY,

A GOOD PORTION OF IT WAS BASED

RIGHT HERE FOR FOUR AND A HALF

MILES ALONG THE RIVER.

>> Reporter: DON CUNNINGHAM IS

THE PRESIDENT AND C.E.O. OF THE

LEHIGH VALLEY ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, AND HE

WAS THE MAYOR WHEN BETHLEHEM

STEEL SHUT DOWN ITS LAST LOCAL

FACTORY IN 1998.

>> WE HAD SPENT A LOT OF TIME

TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE NEEDED TO

DO AND WHAT SHOULD BE DONE FOR

THE CITY TO MOVE FORWARD.

BUT THERE'S STILL NOTHING LIKE

WHEN THAT PHONE CALL COMES AND

YOU LEARN THAT IT'S OVER, THAT

THE PLANT'S GOING DARK AND THE

LAST JOBS ARE-- ARE-- ARE DONE.

>>...AND OPEN HEARTHS ARE

GROWING UP TO FEED THE MILLS.

>> Reporter: BETHLEHEM STEEL HAD

EMPLOYED 31,000 LOCAL WORKERS AT

ITS PEAK, WHICH HAD DWINDLED TO

JUST OVER 1,000 BY THE 1990s.

CUNNINGHAM DIDN'T WANT BETHLEHEM

TO BECOME ANOTHER COMPANY TOWN

LEFT TO RUST.

>> AND THERE ARE ENOUGH EXAMPLES

ACROSS PENNSYLVANIA AND THE REST

OF THE THE INDUSTRIAL BELT OF

THE NORTHEAST AND MIDWEST OF

TOWNS THAT HAVE JUST-- HAD JUST

KIND OF STAYED STUCK IN ITS

PAST.

WE WANTED TO ENSURE THAT WE

DIDN'T DO THAT AND-- AND PEOPLE

REACTED TO IT, RESPONDED.

>> Reporter: BUT THE SIGHT OF

SHUTTERED STEEL STACKS IN

DOWNTOWN BETHLEHEM CONTRADICT

THE STORY OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY.

YES, THE END OF STEEL HURT, BUT

THE REGION HAD A BACKSTOP-- THE

MEDICAL INDUSTRY AND HIGHER

EDUCATION, COMMONLY CALLED "MEDS

AND EDS."

WITH THREE HOSPITAL SYSTEMS AND

A DOZEN COLLEGES AND

UNIVERSITIES, POST-STEEL LIFE

HASN'T BEEN NEARLY AS PAINFUL AS

IT HAS BEEN FOR OTHER AREAS WHO

SAW THEIR INDUSTRIES DISAPPEAR.

>> WE'RE BETTER OFF TODAY

WITHOUT THE STEEL COMPANY THAN

WE WERE.

WE HAVE A MORE DIVERSE ECONOMY,

CLEANER AIR, CLEANER WATER.

WHILE IT'S A PROUD PART OF OUR

HISTORY, ECONOMICALLY, WE'RE

BETTER TODAY THAN WE WERE 50

YEARS AGO, AND THAT'S SOMETHING

NOBODY WOULD HAVE BELIEVED AT

THAT TIME.

>> Reporter: PART OF THE

REGION'S SUCCESS IS DUE TO

COMPANIES LIKE FLEXICON, AN

EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER THAT

MOVED TO THE LEHIGH VALLEY IN

2001.

DAVE BOGER IS AN EXECUTIVE VICE

PRESIDENT OF THE COMPANY.

WHY DID YOU MOVE FROM NEW JERSEY

TO PENNSYLVANIA?

>> AVAILABILITY OF LABOR,

AVAILABILITY OF LAND, LOCATION

OF CURRENT EMPLOYEES, AND WE

DECIDED THAT PENNSYLVANIA WAS A

GOOD HOME FOR US.

>> Reporter: FLEXICON CREATES

MANUFACTURING EQUIPMENT FOR

COMPANIES IN 77 DIFFERENT

INDUSTRIES, AND DURING THE

PANDEMIC THEIR WORK WAS DEEMED

ESSENTIAL, ALLOWING THEM TO

RETAIN THEIR 235 EMPLOYEES.

>> WE NEED TO KEEP PEOPLE FED.

WE NEED TO KEEP PRODUCING HAND

SANITIZER.

SO, A LOT OF THOSE-- AND NOT

ONLY JUST THE EQUIPMENT ITSELF,

BUT IT'S THE SPARE PARTS TO

SUPPLY THE MACHINES AND SYSTEMS

THAT WE ALREADY HAVE OUT IN THE

FIELD.

SO, IT REALLY WAS ESSENTIAL FOR

US TO REMAIN OPEN.

>> Reporter: THE LEHIGH VALLEY

HAS BECOME A BOOMING REGION

WITH A GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT OF

$41 BILLION, EMPLOYING MORE THAN

300,000 PEOPLE.

MANUFACTURING COMPANIES LIKE

FLEXICON ACCOUNT FOR 34,000 OF

THOSE JOBS, BUT THE BIGGEST

SECTOR IS HEALTHCARE, WHICH HAS

ONLY GROWN DURING THE PANDEMIC.

>> WE'RE GOING TO BE EXPANDING

OUR CURRENT FACILITIES.

THIS WILL BE ONE OF THE-- THE

BUILDINGS THAT WE'LL EXPAND IN,

YES.

>> Reporter: AND THIS IS ALL FOR

THE CORONAVIRUS TEST.

>> IT IS COMPLETELY.

>> Reporter: STEPHEN TANG IS THE

C.E.O. OF ORASURE, WHICH

NORMALLY MAKES H.I.V. TESTS.

>> SO, THIS IS OUR ORAQUICK

PRODUCT PLATFORM.

IT'S CURRENTLY USED FOR H.I.V.,

HEPATITIS-C AND EBOLA.

SO, IF THERE ARE TWO BARS THAT

YOU READ IN UNDER AN HOUR BY

YOURSELF, IT MEANS THAT YOU ARE

POSITIVE FOR COVID-19.

SO, THE BENEFIT OF THIS IS, IT'S

RAPID.

YOU CAN ADMINISTER IT TO

YOURSELF.

YOU GET A RESULT WITHOUT ANY

INSTRUMENTATION OR LABORATORY

PERSONNEL.

SO, OUR GOAL IS TO BE ABLE TO

TEST ANYBODY ANYTIME AND

ANYWHERE.

>> Reporter: TANG, WHO WENT TO

SCHOOL AT LEHIGH UNIVERSITY,

SAYS THE AREA HAS CHANGED

DRAMATICALLY SINCE HE WAS A

STUDENT DECADES AGO.

>> YOU SEE A COMPLETE

REVITALIZATION IN THOSE CITY

CENTERS.

BETHLEHEM, EASTON, ALLENTOWN IN

PARTICULAR, IS REALLY

TRANSFORMED ITSELF.

SO, I THINK THAT'S-- THAT'S

GOOD CLEARLY FOR THE ECONOMIC

HEALTH AND-- AND THE CULTURAL

HEALTH OF THE REGION, AND IT'S

STILL MAINTAINED BY A VAST MEDS

AND EDS ECONOMIC ENGINE.

>> TO ALL THE PEOPLE OF

PENNSYLVANIA, I SAY WE ARE

GOING TO PUT THE MINERS AND THE

FACTORY WORKERS AND THE

STEELWORKERS BACK TO WORK.

WE'RE BRINGING OUR COMPANIES

BACK.

>> Reporter: BUT DESPITE THE

ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION,

PRESIDENT'S TRUMP'S CALL TO

"MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN" BY

BRINGING JOBS BACK, LIKE THOSE

LOST IN THE STEEL INDUSTRY, HAS

RESONATED.

ONE OF THE REGION'S TWO COUNTIES

FLIPPED IN THE 2016 ELECTION

FROM OBAMA TO TRUMP.

IS IT A MATTER THAT THE MESSAGE

THAT THE LEHIGH VALLEY HAD

DIVERSIFIED IS NOT REACHING

EVERYONE?

OR IS IT A MATTER THAT LARGE

GROUPS OF PEOPLE ARE BEING

OVERLOOKED BY THIS NEW ECONOMY?

>> YOU KNOW, EVEN IN 2016, FOR

EXAMPLE, IF WE LOOKED AT

ANYTHING, BY MOST INDICATORS,

THE VALLEY WAS DOING PRETTY

WELL.

YOU KNOW, HOUSING PRICES WERE

GOING UP, YOU KNOW, THE ECONOMY

WAS GOOD, UNEMPLOYMENT WAS

PRETTY LOW, AND THE PRESIDENT'S

MESSAGE STILL RESONATED EVEN IN

THAT TIME.

SO, YOU MIGHT ASK, WELL, WHAT

WAS IT IN THE KIND OF THE

BROADER ECONOMIC LANDSCAPE OF

THE REGION THAT-- THAT ALLOWED

THAT?

SOME OF THOSE MED- AND ED-DRIVEN

GAINS HAVEN'T BEEN SHARED

EQUALLY, AND SOME OF THE FOLKS

THAT MIGHT, OH, YEARS AGO HAD

STRONGER BUYING POWER THROUGH

THEIR-- THROUGH THEIR

MANUFACTURING JOBS COULD FEEL

THAT THEY'VE BEEN LEFT BEHIND.

>> Reporter: AND THESE ARE THE

VOTERS THAT BOTH PRESIDENT TRUMP

AND FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE

BIDEN ARE COURTING.

IN JULY, BIDEN MADE ONE OF HIS

FIRST IN-PERSON APPEARANCES

SINCE THE START OF THE PANDEMIC,

NEAR HIS HOMETOWN OF SCRANTON.

PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS GONE ON THE

OFFENSIVE IN THE REGION, AS

WELL, MAKING CAMPAIGN STOPS IN

BIDEN'S HOME COUNTY.

A RECENT MORNING CALL/MUHLENBERG

COLLEGE POLL GIVES BIDEN A FOUR-

POINT LEAD IN PENNSYLVANIA BUT

SHOWS NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA,

WHICH INCLUDES THE LEHIGH

VALLEY, AS TRUMP'S BIGGEST AREA

OF SUPPORT WITH A 61- TO

28-POINT LEAD.

THE PRESIDENT, AS EVERYONE

KNOWS, RAN ON THE IDEA OF

BRINGING JOBS BACK AND

RESURRECTING OLDER INDUSTRIES.

AND I'M CURIOUS HOW THAT MESSAGE

ACTUALLY RESONATED THEN AND HOW

AND IF IT STILL RESONATES FOUR

YEARS LATER.

>> IT'S-- IT'S FASCINATING.

ONE OF THE THINGS I MOST-- YOU

KNOW, AS YOU LOOK BACK AT 2016

AND THE PRESIDENT'S RHETORICAL

DEVICES, THE TROPES THAT HE

TURNED TO IN PLACES LIKE THE

LEHIGH VALLEY OR IN SCRANTON,

YOU KNOW.

AND HE'S UP IN SCRANTON, HE'S

TALKING ABOUT RETURN OF THE

COAL INDUSTRY.

THE COAL INDUSTRY HASN'T BEEN

THERE IN 75 YEARS, BUT IT SOUNDS

GREAT.

YOU MAKE THAT PITCH IN THE

LEHIGH VALLEY.

"HEY, WE'RE GOING TO BRING STEEL

BACK."

STEEL HASN'T LARGELY BEEN HERE

IN A QUARTER OF A CENTURY AT

ANY-- AT ANY LEVEL.

IT WASN'T COMING BACK FOR

VARIOUS MACROECONOMIC REASONS,

BUT IT STILL WAS A PITCH TO

INDIVIDUALS THAT MIGHT HAVE

HEARKENED TO DIFFERENT DAYS,

DIFFERENT TYPES OF-- OF

LIFESTYLES.

NOW, WE'LL SEE IN THE MIDST OF

ECONOMIC TURMOIL JUST HOW

POWERFUL THAT MESSAGE MAY BE IN

2020 AND HOW DIFFERENT IT MIGHT

BE RECEIVED.

>> Reporter: BUT LIKE SO MUCH OF

THE AMERICAN ECONOMY, ECONOMIC

HEALTH MAY WELL BE IN THE EYE OF

THE BEHOLDER.

DO YOU FEEL CONFIDENT IN THE

ECONOMY OR ARE YOU WORRIED?

>> I FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT.

I THINK THAT WE WERE IN A

POSITION WHERE, YOU KNOW, A LOT

OF TIMES YOU HAVE AN ECONOMIC

DOWNTURN, AND THERE MIGHT BE

EITHER A VARIETY OF REASONS OR

REASONS ARE WIDE AND VARIED AND

HAVE MORE, I DON'T KNOW,

ECONOMIC FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH

THE-- THE DECLINE.

THIS IS PRETTY MONOLITHIC.

THERE WAS ONE THING THAT CAUSED

THE CHANGE IN THE ECONOMY OR THE

SHIFT IN-- IN THE NEED FOR

PEOPLE TO PRODUCE GOODS.

SO, I'M OPTIMISTIC.

>> Reporter: BUT THIS OPTIMISM

IS NOT BEING FELT BY EVERYONE.

>> YOU KNOW, THIS INDUSTRY IS--

IS SUFFERING SEVERE, SEVERE

DIFFICULTIES RIGHT NOW.

I MEAN, LITERALLY-- AND I'M

QUOTING ANOTHER RESTAURATEUR

HERE WHEN I SAY THIS-- "WE ARE

ON LIFE SUPPORT."

>> Reporter: HOW DO YOU THINK

THIS CHANGES OR CHALLENGES HOW

PEOPLE ARE FEELING ABOUT THE

ELECTION THAT'S COMING?

>> I'M NOT REALLY SURE.

WHERE-- WHERE PEOPLE FEEL THEIR

FAITH CAN BE.

YOU KNOW, I MEAN, WE ARE-- WE

HAVE BEEN RELYING ON OUR

GOVERNMENT TO GUIDE US AND

SUPPORT US AND TO BE THERE FOR

US, ESPECIALLY NOW.

BUT I DON'T NECESSARILY FEEL

THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FEEL

THAT WE HAVE THAT GOVERNMENT

BEHIND US RIGHT NOW.

>> Sreenivasan: JOIN US ON OUR

"ROADS TO ELECTION 2020" BY

SHARING WITH US THE ISSUES YOU

WANT CANDIDATES TO ADDRESS IN

YOUR STATE.

SEND AN EMAIL OR A SHORT VIDEO

TO nhweekend@wnet.org.

>> Sreenivasan: FOR MORE ON THE

STATE OF PLAY HERE IN SWING

STATE PENNSYLVANIA, I SPOKE WITH

PUBLIC MEDIA PARTER WHYY'S

POLITICAL REPORTER, KATIE MEYER.

SO, KATIE, HOW HAVE THE

DEMOGRAPHICS OF PENNSYLVANIA

BEEN CHANGING?

AND DO EITHER CANDIDATE-- DOES

EITHER CANDIDATE HAVE AN

ADVANTAGE?

>> SO, IT'S BEEN GETTING LESS

WHITE, AND SO, SPECIFICALLY,

WE'VE SEEN NOTABLE INCREASES IN

THE NUMBER OF LATINO PEOPLE

LIVING IN PENNSYLVANIA, THE

NUMBER OF THE SORT OF--

DEMOGRAPHERS WILL CALL THEM

WHITE NON-COLLEGE VOTERS, WHICH

IS A LARGE PORTION OF PRESIDENT

TRUMP'S BASE-- HAS BEEN

DECLINING IN PENNSYLVANIA, AND

THAT, OF COURSE, TRANSLATES INTO

DIFFERENCES IN HOW PEOPLE ARE

VOTING.

BUT I ALWAYS LIKE TO COUCH THAT

IN THAT NEW IMMIGRANTS TO THE

U.S., WHICH IS WHAT WE'RE SEEING

IN PENNSYLVANIA, IT TAKES TIME

FOR THOSE POPULATIONS TO START

VOTING IN GREAT NUMBERS.

AND SO, THAT IS ALWAYS SOMETHING

WHERE WE SEE THESE DEMOGRAPHIC

SHIFTS, BUT THEY DON'T TRANSLATE

RIGHT AWAY INTO CHANGES IN HOW

THE ELECTORATE BEHAVES.

>> Sreenivasan: SO, HOW HAVE THE

CAMPAIGNS POSITIONED THEMSELVES?

WHAT ARE THEIR KEY DRIVING

MESSAGES TO TRY TO MAKE SURE

THAT THEIR BASE OF REGISTERED

VOTERS DOES SHOW UP?

>> IN JOE BIDEN'S CASE, YOU

KNOW, HE GREW UP IN SCRANTON.

HE LEFT WHEN HE WAS 10, BUT IT

IS A REALLY BIG PART OF-- AND

ALWAYS HAS BEEN A BIG PART OF

HIS POLITICAL POSITIONING OF

HIMSELF.

SO, YOU KNOW, YOU SAW IN 2008

WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA INTRODUCED

HIM AT THE D.N.C., HE CALLED HIM

THE "SCRAPPY KID FROM SCRANTON,"

AND THAT'S A LINE THAT THEY

STILL USE TODAY.

AND SO, THAT, YOU KNOW, IS

NOTABLE SYMBOLIC POSITIONING FOR

BIDEN.

SCRANTON ALSO WAS SORT OF IN THE

HEART OF AN AREA WHERE TRUMP DID

REALLY WELL IN 2016.

SO, THAT'S NORTHEASTERN

PENNSYLVANIA.

TRADITIONALLY, IT HAD BEEN A

CENTER OF UNION SUPPORT, YOU

KNOW, NORTHEAST PENNSYLVANIA AND

WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA.

YOU TENDED TO SEE THAT STRONG

WORKING CLASS, HISTORICALLY BLUE

AREAS, AND TRUMP MADE REALLY BIG

INROADS THERE.

SO, FOR HIS PART, HE IS ALSO

TRYING TO, ONE, DISCREDIT

BIDEN'S PENNSYLVANIA ROOTS AND

SAY, "YOU KNOW, I AM THE PERSON

WHO YOU VOTED FOR IN GREAT

NUMBERS IN 2016."

AND, YOU KNOW, HE WANTS TO

MAINTAIN THAT LEVEL OF SUPPORT.

SO, FOR TRUMP, IT'S ABOUT SORT

OF SHORING UP MARGINS IN AREAS

LIKE THE SORT OF MORE WORKING

CLASS, NORTHEAST AND WESTERN

PARTS OF THE STATE, AND ALSO IN

THE SUBURBS OUTSIDE OF

PHILADELPHIA AND PITTSBURGH,

AREAS WHERE HE DID OKAY BUT NOT

AS WELL AS OTHER REPUBLICANS

HAVE DONE.

AND SO, THOSE ARE GOING TO BE

REALLY BIG FACTORS.

CAN HE GET MORE SUPPORT IN THOSE

AREAS WHERE HE DID WELL?

CAN HE GET BETTER SUPPORT IN

AREAS WHERE HE WAS A LITTLE BIT

MORE MIDDLE?

>> Sreenivasan: I'M ASSUMING

THAT JOBS ARE ON TOP OF MIND

FOR PEOPLE IN PENNSYLVANIA,

ESPECIALLY AFTER THE

CORONAVIRUS.

HOW'S THE LOCAL ECONOMY DOING?

HAVE THEY FELT RELIEF?

>> I MEAN, JOBS HAD BEEN TOP OF

MIND IN PENNSYLVANIA FOR A LONG

TIME, AND NOT JUST BECAUSE OF

THE CORONAVIRUS.

WE'RE A STATE WITH A CHANGING

ECONOMY.

SO, YOU KNOW, FOR DECADES,

MANUFACTURING HAS BEEN IN

DECLINE HERE, AND REALLY NOTHING

HAS RISEN TO TAKE ITS PLACE.

ONE OF THE BIGGEST AND MOST

RAPIDLY RISING SECTORS HERE IS,

YOU KNOW, CONSUMER SERVICES,

CUSTOMER SERVICE, AND THOSE ARE

OFTEN JOBS THAT DON'T PAY VERY

WELL.

SO, YOU'LL SEE JOE BIDEN SAYING

THINGS LIKE "WE NEED TO RAISE

THE MINIMUM WAGE, WE NEED TO

STRENGTHEN UNIONS IN THIS

STATE."

WHEREAS YOU SEE TRUMP SAYING,

"I'M GOING TO BRING BACK MINING

AND MANUFACTURING" AND POINTING

TO A COUPLE SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF

FACTORIES THAT HAVE EITHER COME

TO PENNSYLVANIA OR ARE STILL IN

PENNSYLVANIA.

SO, CERTAINLY JOBS IS A BIG, BIG

ISSUE.

>> Sreenivasan: KATIE MYER FROM

WHYY, THANKS SO MUCH.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Sreenivasan: EVERY YEAR, THE

U.S. OPEN TENNIS TOURNAMENT

TYPICALLY DRAWS HUNDREDS OF

THOUSANDS OF SPECTATORS TO THE

BILLIE JEAN KING NATIONAL TENNIS

CENTER IN FLUSHING, QUEENS.

BUT THIS YEAR, AS WITH MANY

OTHER SPORTING EVENTS, THERE

WILL BE NO FANS IN THE STANDS

WHEN THE WOMEN'S AND MEN'S

FINALS TAKE PLACE THIS WEEKEND.

I RECENTLY SPOKE WITH MICHAEL

DOWSE, C.E.O. OF THE U.S. TENNIS

ASSOCIATION, ABOUT THIS YEAR'S

TOURNAMENT AND HOW THE COVID-19

PANDEMIC IS IMPACTING THE GROWTH

OF THE SPORT.

IN THE PANDEMIC, ARE MORE PEOPLE

PLAYING TENNIS?

>> YEAH, HARI, TENNIS IS

ACTUALLY ONE OF THE SPORTS

THAT'S COMING OUT OF THE

PANDEMIC STRONGER THAN EVER.

WE KNOW LAST YEAR, BASED OFF

MARKET RESEARCH AND DATA, THAT

ABOUT 6% OF THE POPULATION PLAY

TENNIS SINCE SPRING 2019.

WE KNOW THIS YEAR, JUST OVER 10%

OF THE POPULATION'S PLAYING

TENNIS.

SO, EVERYONE'S FINDING TENNIS IS

PERFECT THAT, YOU KNOW, IT

PROVIDES THE SOCIAL ACTIVITY

EVERYONE MISSED OVER THE LAST

FEW MONTHS, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY;

IT'S ALSO INTELLECTUALLY

STIMULATING AND, MAYBE MOST

IMPORTANTLY IS, IT'S A LOT OF

FUN TO PLAY TENNIS.

>> Sreenivasan: SO, WHAT HAPPENS

TO, I GUESS, THE BUSINESS OF

TENNIS?

I MEAN, WE'RE COMING OFF OF THE

U.S. OPEN HERE, WHICH DOESN'T

HAVE ANYBODY IN THE STANDS.

I MEAN, THAT HAS TO IMPACT YOUR

REVENUE.

>> YEAH, THERE'S A COUPLE OF

COMPONENTS TO THE-- KIND OF THE

ECONOMICS OF TENNIS.

SPECIFIC TO THE U.S.T.A., IT'S

CHALLENGING.

OUR REVENUE, OR NET OPERATING

INCOME, IS GOING TO BE DOWN 80%

THIS YEAR WITHOUT FANS IN THE

GATE OR OUR SPONSOR REVENUE THAT

WE GENERATE HERE ON SITE.

BUT HAVING SAID THAT, YOU KNOW,

WE WERE FORTUNATE ENOUGH.

WE STILL HAVE RESERVES THAT

WE'RE ABLE TO NEARLY MATCH LAST

YEAR'S TOTAL COMPENSATION.

AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, WE CAN

CONTINUE TO FUND OUR MISSION,

WHICH IS TO PROMOTE AND GROW THE

SPORT.

AND WE'VE CONTRIBUTED OVER

$50 MILLION THIS YEAR TO THAT

GRASSROOTS INITIATIVE.

>> Sreenivasan: HOW ARE THE

PLAYERS ADAPTING?

IS THIS EASIER FOR A PLAYER TO

PLAY IN AN EMPTY STADIUM?

>> IT'S BEEN A REAL MIXED BAG,

HARI.

HONESTLY, SOME OF THE PLAYERS I

THINK ARE STRUGGLING WITHOUT THE

FANS BEHIND THEM WHERE OTHERS

HAVE BEEN ABLE TO FOCUS AND DIAL

IN MORE.

SO, IT'S REALLY BEEN A MIXED

BAG.

AND FRANKLY, IT PROBABLY GOES

BACK TO WHETHER THEY'RE WINNING

OR LOSING, THEIR COMMENTS AND

THEIR FEELINGS ABOUT IT.

>> Sreenivasan: WHAT KIND OF

PRECAUTIONS DID YOU TAKE AND HOW

DID IT WORK?

>> THE PRECAUTIONS HAVE BEEN

UNBELIEVABLE.

I WAS LOOKING AT SOME NUMBERS

TODAY.

WE'VE BEEN IN THIS CONTROLLED

ENVIRONMENT JUST UNDER FOUR

WEEKS.

WE HAD OVER 12,000 TESTS, AND

WE'VE ACTUALLY HAD NO POSITIVE

TESTS DURING THE U.S. OPEN.

WE HAD A COUPLE OF POSITIVE

PRIOR TO THE U.S. OPEN.

WE'VE ACTUALLY-- A STATISTIC

THAT BLEW ME AWAY, WE DO DAILY

HEALTH CHECKS-- WE'VE TAKEN OVER

49,000 DAILY TEMPERATURE CHECKS

OVER THE LAST 30 DAYS.

SO, AGAIN, OUT OF AN ABUNDANCE

OF CAUTION, WE'RE THROWING

EVERYTHING WE CAN AT IT THROUGH

THESE DAILY HEALTH CHECKS,

TESTING, ET CETERA.

>> Sreenivasan: WHAT DO YOU

THINK THE KEY WAS?

BECAUSE IT SEEMS FOR THE N.B.A.

OR THE N.H.L., IT'S TO KEEP

EVERYBODY IN A BUBBLE.

>> ESSENTIALLY, THAT'S WHAT WE

HAVE.

WE CALL IT A CONTAINED

ENVIRONMENT.

OUR ENVIRONMENT'S A LITTLE

DIFFERENT THAN THE N.B.A. IN

THAT WE HAVE PLAYERS COMING IN

FROM OVER 60 DIFFERENT

COUNTRIES.

AND SO, WE WEREN'T ABLE TO

ISOLATE THEM FOR TWO WEEKS

BEFORE THEY STARTED COMPETING.

SO, THAT'S WHERE WE WORKED

CLOSELY WITH THE STATE OF NEW

YORK AND OUR MEDICAL EXPERTS TO

DEVISE A TESTING SYSTEM THAT

WOULD CATCH A POSITIVE TEST

RIGHT AWAY AND ALLOW US TO

ISOLATE IT AND PREVENT ANY TYPE

OF BREAKOUT.

AND, KNOCK ON WOOD, WITH TWO

DAYS TO GO, IT'S BEEN WORKING

WONDERFULLY.

>> Sreenivasan: MICHAEL, WHILE

IT IS GREAT TO WATCH SOME OF THE

GREATEST TENNIS PLAYERS WIN

TOURNAMENT AFTER TOURNAMENT, IN

SOME WAYS, IT GETS A LITTLE

BORING, AND YOU WANT TO SEE

WHO'S COMING UP.

THIS OPEN, THE WAY THAT IT'S

HAPPENED, WE'RE ACTUALLY SEEING

SOME NEW TALENT.

>> OH, IT'S EXCITING.

BEFORE SEMIFINALS ON THE MEN'S

SIDE, NONE OF THEM HAVE WON A

GRAND SLAM IN THE PAST.

SO, WE WILL HAVE A NEW CHAMPION

AT THE GRAND SLAM COMING OUT OF

THIS TOURNAMENT.

ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE, WE'VE SEEN

EQUALLY A NUMBER OF NEW PLAYERS

COMING INTO THE SEMIFINALS.

SO, IT'S AN EXCITING TIME FOR

TENNIS AND A LOT OF NEW PLAYERS,

KIND OF A CHANGING OF THE GUARD,

FOR THAT MATTER.

>> Sreenivasan: SO, HOW DO YOU

MAKE SURE THAT TENNIS BECOMES

MORE ACCESSIBLE, THAT WE'RE ABLE

TO FIND TALENT THAT IS A

10-YEAR-OLD TODAY THAT MIGHT NOT

HAVE CONSIDERED TENNIS AS AN

OPPORTUNITY OR A POSSIBILITY FOR

THEMSELVES?

>> YEAH, WE CALL IT PLAYER

DEVELOPMENT.

ULTIMATELY, THE BEST PLAYER

DEVELOPMENT IS GETTING MORE

PLAYERS.

IF WE HAVE A MILLION NEW PLAYERS

PLAYING IN OUR SPORT OR A

MILLION NEW CHILDREN PLAYING OUR

SPORT, THEN YOU'LL SEE THAT MANY

MORE AMERICANS COMPETING AT THE

HIGHEST LEVEL.

BUT OUR MISSION IS ALL ABOUT

PROMOTING AND GROWING THE SPORT,

AND THAT'S CONSTANTLY WHAT WE'RE

DOING.

WE HAVE 17 SECTIONS THROUGHOUT

THE UNITED STATES REACHING OUT

TO DIVERSE POPULATIONS TO

ATTRACT, ENGAGE AND RETAIN NEW

PEOPLE TO OUR SPORT ON A DAILY

BASIS.

>> Sreenivasan: ALL RIGHT,

MICHAEL DOWSE, THANKS SO MUCH.

>> THANK YOU, HARI.

>> Sreenivasan: THAT'S ALL FOR

THIS EDITION OF PBS NEWSHOUR

WEEKEND FROM THE LEHIGH VALLEY

IN PENNSYLVANIA.

WE'LL CONTINUE OUR COVERAGE FROM

HERE TOMORROW.

FOR THE LATEST NEWS UPDATES,

VISIT www.pbs.org/newshour.

I'M HARI SREENIVASAN.

THANKS FOR WATCHING.

STAY HEALTHY AND HAVE A GOOD

NIGHT.

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