PBS NewsHour

FULL EPISODE

September 20, 2020 - PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode

September 20, 2020 - PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode

AIRED: September 20, 2020 | 0:26:35
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>> Sreenivasan: ON THIS EDITION

FOR SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20:

TRIBUTES POUR IN FOR SUPREME

COURT JUSTICE RUTH BADER

GINSBURG.

>> I WILL BE PUTTING FORTH A

NOMINEE NEXT WEEK.

IT WILL BE A WOMAN.

>> Sreenivasan: AS THE PRESIDENT

PUSHES TO FILL HER SEAT BEFORE

ELECTION DAY.

COVID-19 DEATHS AND A GRIM

MILESTONE FOR THE U.S.

AND OUR SPECIAL ROADS TO

ELECTION 2020: IOWA AND

ILLINOIS.

NEXT ON "PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND."

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THANK YOU.

>> Sreenivasan: GOOD EVENING AND

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

A PARTISAN BATTLE IS UNDERWAY

OVER THE SUPREME COURT SEAT LEFT

VACANT AFTER JUSTICE RUTH BADER

GINSBURG'S DEATH ON FRIDAY.

VIGILS AND RALLIES CONTINUED

OUTSIDE THE SUPREME COURT LAST

NIGHT IN MEMORY OF THE LATE

JUSTICE.

>> FILL THAT SEAT!

>> Sreenivasan: AT A CAMPAIGN

RALLY IN NORTH CAROLINA LAST

NIGHT WHERE SUPPORTERS CHANTED

"FILL THAT SEAT," PRESIDENT

TRUMP SAID HIS NOMINEE WILL BE

NAMED SOON AND WILL BE A WOMAN.

>> I WILL BE PUTTING FORTH A

NOMINEE NEXT WEEK.

IT WILL BE A WOMAN.

>> Sreenivasan: IN PHILADELPHIA

TODAY, THE DEMOCRATIC

PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE AND FORMER

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN SAID

THE NEXT JUSTICE SHOULD NOT BE

NOMINATED UNTIL AFTER THE

ELECTION.

>> TO JAM THIS NOMINATION

THROUGH THE SENATE IS JUST AN

EXERCISE IN RAW POLITICAL POWER,

AND I DON'T BELIEVE THE PEOPLE

OF THIS NATION WILL STAND FOR

IT.

PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS ALREADY MADE

IT CLEAR: THIS IS ABOUT POWER.

PURE AND SIMPLE.

POWER.

>> Sreenivasan: FOR MORE ON THE

POLITICS OF THE COURT BATTLE AND

WHAT'S AHEAD FOR THE

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES, I SPOKE

WITH NEWSHOUR WEEKEND SPECIAL

CORRESPONDENT JEFF GREENFIELD.

JEFF, WHAT DO WE KNOW AND NOT

KNOW ABOUT HOW AND WHEN THIS

CONFIRMATION PROCESS WILL

HAPPEN?

>> WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID

YESTERDAY WAS HE INTENDS TO SEND

UP A NOMINEE VERY QUICKLY.

HE SAID IT WOULD BE A WOMAN.

WHAT WE DON'T KNOW IS WHEN

SENATE LEADER MITCH McCONNELL

INTENDS TO TAKE THIS NOMINATION

UP, WHICH HE DOES.

THERE'S VERY LITTLE TIME IN THE

SENATE CALENDAR BETWEEN NOW AND

ELECTION DAY.

AND THERE'S BEEN SOME

SPECULATION THAT THE VULNERABLE

REPUBLICAN INCUMBENTS MIGHT NOT

WANT TO CAST A VOTE BEFORE

ELECTION DAY.

NOW, JUST IN THE LAST DAY,

SEVERAL OF THOSE ENDANGERED

REPUBLICANS HAVE SAID THEY'RE

SIGNED ON WITH McCONNELL--

JONI ERNST IN IOWA, TILLIS IN

NORTH CAROLINA, McSALLY IN

ARIZONA-- AND SO, WHAT WE DON'T

KNOW IS, ARE THERE FOUR

REPUBLICANS IN THE SENATE, APART

FROM SUSAN COLLINS, WHO SAID SHE

WOULD PREFER TO WAIT, LISA

MURKOWSKI, WHO SAID SHE DOESN'T

THINK THERE SHOULD BE A VOTE

'TIL THE NEW PRESIDENT IS

CHOSEN, CHUCK GRASSLEY, FORMER

CHAIRMAN OF THE JUDICIARY

COMMITTEE, HAS ALSO SAID THAT--

BUT THAT LEAVES ONLY THREE IF

THEY ALL DO THAT.

MANY, MANY OTHER REPUBLICANS

HAVE DONE A COMPLETE 180 AROUND

THEIR POSITION BACK IN 2016 WHEN

THEY SAID NO VOTE IN A

PRESIDENTIAL YEAR.

AND SO, IT'S GOING TO BE UP TO

McCONNELL IN THE NEXT DAY OR TWO

TO DECIDE, DOES HE WANT TO TRY A

VOTE NOW, OR DOES HE WANT TO

WAIT 'TIL AFTER THE ELECTION AND

DO IT IN A LAME DUCK SESSION?

>> Sreenivasan: AND THINGS COULD

GET CONTENTIOUS.

I MEAN, DEMOCRATS WOULDN'T LIKE

THIS IDEA.

>> IF TRUMP WINS IN NOVEMBER,

THIS ISSUE ESSENTIALLY GOES

AWAY.

BECAUSE EVEN IF THE DEMOCRATS

WERE TO WIND UP TAKING THE

SENATE, THE LAME DUCK

REPUBLICANS IN NOVEMBER COULD

SAY, LOOK, THE PEOPLE CHOSE

TRUMP, IT'S HIS NOMINATION AND

FINE.

IF TRUMP WERE TO LOSE AND THE

SENATE WERE TO GO DEMOCRATIC AND

THE LAME DUCK REPUBLICAN STILL

SAID, WE'RE GOING TO CONFIRM

TRUMP'S NOMINEE IN LATE

NOVEMBER, THEN YOU'RE TALKING

ABOUT WHATEVER ANALOGY YOU LIKE.

DEFCON ONE, ARMAGEDDON ON

STEROIDS.

AS CHUCK SCHUMER SAID,

EVERYTHING'S ON THE TABLE.

THAT COULD MEAN EXPANDING THE

SIZE OF THE SUPREME COURT.

IT COULD MEAN GIVING STATEHOOD

TO PUERTO RICO AND PERHAPS THE

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR FOUR

MORE DEMOCRATIC SENATORS.

THAT MEANS THE ENTIRE FRAMEWORK

OF OUR SYSTEM IS BEING

ESSENTIALLY REDUCED TO WHO HAS

THE POWER.

>> Sreenivasan: IT SEEMS LIKE

THIS WILL GALVANIZE PEOPLE ON

BOTH SIDES TO GET OUT AND VOTE.

>> FOUR YEARS AGO, IT WAS CLEAR

THAT THE ISSUE OF A SUPREME

COURT JUSTICE WAS HELPING TRUMP.

IT GOT ALL THE SOCIAL

CONSERVATIVES WHO WERE WORRIED

ABOUT TRUMP'S PERSONAL BEHAVIOR

BACK IN LINE.

AND THEY WERE MOSTLY WORRIED

BECAUSE SCALIA, THE MOST

MILITANT CONSERVATIVE, WAS GONE,

AND THEY WERE WORRIED THAT AN

OBAMA PICK WOULD FLIP THE COURT.

THIS TIME IT'S THE LIBERAL ICON

WHO HAS DEPARTED.

AND DEMOCRATS ARE SAYING, WELL,

YOU KNOW, ONE MORE CONSERVATIVE

JUSTICE.

THERE GOES THE AFFORDABLE HEALTH

CARE PLAN.

THERE GOES ABORTION RIGHTS.

THERE GOES THE WHOLE AGENDA.

AND IT'S INTERESTING THAT IN THE

LAST 24 HOURS, A LIBERAL

FUNDRAISING GROUP, ACTBLUE, HAS

RAISED $91 MILLION, WHICH

SUGGESTS THAT THE TRADITIONAL

ANALYSIS THAT A CONSERVATIVE IS

HELPED BY A SUPREME COURT FIGHT,

THAT MAY HAVE FLIPPED THIS YEAR.

WE'LL FIND OUT.

>> Sreenivasan: JEFF GREENFIELD,

THANKS SO MUCH.

>> THANK YOU, HARI.

>> Sreenivasan: LAST NIGHT

PRESIDENT TRUMP ANNOUNCED HIS

APPROVAL OF A DEAL INVOLVING

ORACLE AND WALMART THAT WOULD

ALLOW CHINESE OWNED SOCIAL MEDIA

PLATFORM TIKTOK TO CONTINUE

OPERATING IN THE U.S.

THE PRESIDENT HAD THREATENED TO

BAN DOWNLOADS OF THE APP, ALONG

WITH ANOTHER CHINESE SOCIAL

MEDIA APP CALLED WECHAT STARTING

TODAY OVER PRIVACY CONCERNS.

THIS MORNING A FEDERAL JUDGE

BLOCKED THE WECHAT BAN, RULING

IN FAVOR OF A GROUP OF USERS WHO

CLAIMED IT WOULD INFRINGE ON

THEIR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS.

THE POTENTIAL DEAL FOR TIKTOK

WOULD CREATE A NEW COMPANY

CALLED TIKTOK GLOBAL WHICH WOULD

HOST DATA COLLECTED FROM

AMERICANS USING THE APP.

TROPICAL STORM BETA; NAMED FOR

THE SECOND LETTER IN THE GREEK

ALPHABET, IS HEADING SLOWLY

TOWARD THE TEXAS AND LOUISIANA

GULF COAST.

THE FIRST RAIN BANDS FROM THE

STORM REACHED GALVESTON, TEXAS,

TODAY.

THE STORM MAY BRING AS MUCH AS

20 INCHES OF RAIN IN THE COMING

DAYS.

FORECASTERS DO NOT EXPECT BETA

TO BECOME A HURRICANE, BUT IF IT

CONTINUES ON ITS CURRENT PATH

AND MAKES LANDFALL IT WILL BE

THE NINTH NAMED STORM TO REACH

THE U.S. THIS YEAR, TYING A

RECORD SET IN 1916.

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION MOVED

TO REINSTATE SANCTIONS AGAINST

IRAN LAST NIGHT OVER ALLEGED

VIOLATIONS OF THE 2015 IRAN

NUCLEAR DEAL.

IN A STATEMENT SECRETARY OF

STATE MIKE POMPEO SAID THE U.S.

WAS TRIGGERING U.N. SANCTIONS ON

IRAN THAT HAD BEEN SUSPENDED AS

PART OF THE 2015 DEAL, AND SAID

THE U.S. WOULD PURSUE ADDITIONAL

PUNITIVE MEASURES AGAINST IRAN.

FRANCE, GERMANY AND THE U.K.

RELEASED A JOINT STATEMENT THIS

MORNING SAYING THE U.S. HAS NO

AUTHORITY TO REIMPOSE SANCTIONS

AFTER WITHDRAWING FROM THAT DEAL

IN 2018.

THE U.N. IS NOT EXPECTED TO

REINSTATE THE SANCTIONS.

FOR MORE NATIONAL AND

INTERNATIONAL NEWS VISIT

pbs.org/newshour.

>> Sreenivasan: IN THE UNITED

STATES, ALMOST 200,000 PEOPLE

HAVE NOW DIED FROM

COVID-19 ACCORDING THE JOHNS

HOPKINS UNIVERSITY CORONAVIRUS

RESOURCE CENTER.

THE FIRST U.S. INFECTION WAS

REPORTED IN JANUARY.

WHILE DEATHS ARE WELL BELOW LAST

SPRING'S RATE, "THE NEW YORK

TIMES" REPORTS THAT ON AVERAGE

ABOUT 850 PEOPLE WITH COVID-19

INFECTIONS DIE EACH DAY AS OF

MID-SEPTEMBER.

"PROPUBLICA" REPORTER CAROLINE

CHEN JOINED US FOR MORE ON THIS

GRIM MILESTONE IN THE PANDEMIC.

>> I THINK IT IS SUCH A TRAGEDY

THAT WE ARE NOW TALKING ABOUT

200,000 DEATHS.

BECAUSE WHEN WE HIT THE

MILESTONE OF 100,000 DEATHS, I

WROTE A PIECE THEN WHERE I SAID,

"WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED AT THIS

POINT?

HOW CAN WE DO BETTER?"

AND I THINK WHAT IS REALLY SAD

IS I THINK THAT WE'RE SEEING

THAT IN MANY WAYS WE HAVEN'T

TAKEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE

LEARNED FROM THE MANY PEOPLE WHO

DIED IN THE FIRST PLACE AND THAT

MANY OF THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SO

VULNERABLE WHEN COVID FIRST HIT

US AND WE WERE NOT PREPARED ARE

STILL REALLY VULNERABLE.

SO, I THINK PEOPLE HAVE HEARD

THAT BLACK AND HISPANIC PEOPLE

ARE PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE BUT,

YOU KNOW, NATIONALLY, BLACK

PEOPLE ARE DYING AT 2.4 TIMES

THE RATE OF WHITE PEOPLE.

THAT'S 21% OF THE COVID-19

DEATHS ARE BLACK PEOPLE.

THIS IS ACCORDING TO THE COVID

TRACKING PROJECT.

AT THE TIME WHEN WE WERE AT

100,000 DEATHS I LOOKED, AND

THIS IS ACCORDING TO THE KAISER

FAMILY FOUNDATION, ABOUT 35,000

DEATHS WERE IN THE LONG-TERM

CARE FACILITIES.

THIS IS BOTH RESIDENTS AND

STAFF.

AND SO, AT THAT POINT, I HAD

BEEN CALLING ON-- AND MANY

PEOPLE, OF COURSE, BESIDES ME,

WHO KNEW FROM, FROM THE VERY

START OF THE PANDEMIC IN

KIRKLAND, IN WASHINGTON, THAT

NURSING HOMES WERE VULNERABLE

AND WE SHOULD HAVE AT THAT POINT

SAID NURSING HOMES ARE THE

BIGGEST PRIORITY.

SO, I, YOU KNOW, IN PREPARATION

FOR OUR CALL, I THOUGHT, WELL,

HAS THE PROPORTION OF DEATHS IN

NURSING HOMES CHANGED BETWEEN

THE FIRST 100,000 AND THE SECOND

100,000?

AND, UNFORTUNATELY, IT'S THE

SAME RAW NUMBER BETWEEN THE

FIRST 100,000 AND SECOND

100,000.

SO, EVEN THOUGH CASES IN LONG-

TERM CARE FACILITIES ARE ONLY 8%

OF THE TOTAL, DEATHS IN LONG-

TERM CARE FACILITIES ARE 41% OF

THE TOTAL.

YOU WOULD THINK THAT THIS WOULD

BE ONE OF THE TOP PRIORITIES TO

KEEP THIS POPULATION SAFE.

AND WE'VE KNOWN SINCE THE VERY

BEGINNING THAT THEY ARE

PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE.

SO, I THINK THERE IS THIS

SADNESS AND THIS TRAGEDY-- IT'S

NOT JUST A NUMBER, BUT IN

KNOWING WHO HAS SUFFERED HERE,

THAT I FEEL PARTICULARLY SAD

THAT WE HAVE TO BE TALKING

TODAY, HARI.

>> Sreenivasan: YEAH.

BRIEFLY, WE'RE HEADING INTO THE

FALL, PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT

THE FLU, BUT IF WE WEAR MASKS

AND TAKE SOME OF THE PRECAUTIONS

TO KEEP COVID-19 OUT OF OUR

LIVES, THERE'S A GOOD CHANCE

THAT FLU WILL ALSO STAY OUT.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

AND I THINK WE, WE HAVE SEEN

THIS BOTH ACTUALLY WHEN THE

PANDEMIC FIRST HIT, SCIENTISTS

DID SEE THAT IN PLACES WHERE,

YOU KNOW, PARTICULARLY AS

LOCKDOWNS CAME IN, THAT COVID

MITIGATION STRATEGIES ACTUALLY

HELPED TO CUT SHORT THE FLU

SEASON.

SO, WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS

YEAR'S FLU SEASON IS GOING TO

LOOK LIKE, HOW BAD IT'S GOING TO

BE, BUT COVID MITIGATION

STRATEGIES CAN ALSO, OF COURSE,

HELP WITH THE FLU.

>> Sreenivasan: YEAH.

>> THE OTHER THING THAT I HAVE

TO MENTION IS THAT, UNLIKE WITH

COVID, WHILE WE DON'T HAVE A

VACCINE YET, WE HAVE A FLU SHOT.

SO IT IS DEFINITELY A GOOD TIME

TO BE GETTING YOUR FLU SHOT NOW

BECAUSE IT'S ALREADY OUT AND

AVAILABLE.

SO THAT'S SOMETHING WE CAN DO TO

HELP MAKE SURE THAT THE FLU

SEASON IS NOT A BAD FLU SEASON.

>> Sreenivasan: AND FINALLY,

SPEAKING OF VACCINES, EVEN THE

BEST CASE SCENARIO, EVEN IF

THERE IS ONE THIS YEAR, IT IS

NOT GOING TO BE AVAILABLE FOR

WIDE SCALE DISTRIBUTION UNTIL

SOMETIME NEXT YEAR.

>> YES, THAT'S DEFINITELY TRUE.

SO WE'RE ALL HOPING THAT THERE

WILL BE A VACCINE THAT DOES WELL

IN THE PHASE THREE TRIALS, WE

DON'T KNOW YET.

I THINK ONE THING THAT HAS BEEN

MAYBE DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE TO

GET IN THEIR HEAD IS THAT WE

HAVE TO HAVE THIS LAYERED

APPROACH TO COMBATING THIS

PANDEMIC.

SO, WE NEED TESTINGAND HAND

WASHING, WE NEED DISTANCINGAND

CONTACT TRACING.

AND WE'RE GOING TO NEED ACTUALLY

MASKSAND VACCINES BECAUSE THE

VACCINE IS NOT PROBABLY GOING TO

BE 100% EFFECTIVE.

SO, IF WE HAVE ONE THAT CAN HELP

REDUCE SEVERE DISEASE SO IF YOU

GET INFECTED YOU DON'T END UP IN

THE HOSPITAL, THAT'S GREAT, BUT

IT MIGHT NOT PREVENT YOU FROM

GETTING INFECTED IN THE FIRST

PLACE.

SO WE MIGHT STILL NEED MASKS. SO

WE'RE GOING TO NEED TO BE ABLE

TO DO ALL OF THESE THINGS AT

ONCE.

>> Sreenivasan: CAROLINE CHEN OF

"PROPUBLICA."

THANKS SO MUCH.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME, HARI.

>> Sreenivasan: WITH THE

ELECTION SIX WEEKS AWAY, WE'RE

CONTINUING OUR "ROADS TO

ELECTION: 2020, WITH A LOOK AT

IOWA AND ILLINOIS.

ON AUGUST 10-- ABOUT SIX WEEKS

AGO-- A RARE WINDSTORM KNOWN AS

A "DERECHO" PUMMELED A 750-MILE

STRETCH OF THE MIDWEST WITH

UPWARDS OF 100 MILE-PER-HOUR

WINDS.

EASTERN IOWA AND THE CITY OF

CEDAR RAPIDS WERE HIT

PARTICULARLY HARD, WITH UP TO

140 MILE-PER-HOUR WIND GUSTS--

SIMILAR TO A CATEGORY 4

HURRICANE.

NEWSHOUR WEEKEND'S CHRISTOPHER

BOOKER HAS MORE.

>> OH, MAN.

OH, MAN.

>> Reporter: THEY'RE OFTEN

COMPARED TO A HURRICANE, BUT THE

WINDS OF A DERECHO, WHILE JUST

AS FURIOUS, BEHAVE A BIT

DIFFERENTLY.

SPANISH FOR "STRAIGHT AHEAD,"

UNLIKE A HURRICANE OR A TORNADO,

THE WINDS OF A DERECHO DON'T

SPIN, RATHER, THEY PUSH IN ONE

SINGLE DIRECTION AND THE STORM

MARCHES ALONG IN A STRAIGHT

LINE.

THEY FORM WHEN THE WET AIR OF A

THUNDERSTORM MEETS DRIER AIR,

CREATING STRONG WINDS OF 58

MILES-PER-HOUR OR MORE, CALLED

DOWNBURSTS.

AND WHILE NOT A REGULAR SUMMER

OCCURRENCE, THEY CAN FORM

QUICKLY, MAKING IT DIFFICULT TO

PREDICT AND PREPARE FOR.

WITH THIS, HOW MUCH WARNING DID

YOU GUYS HAVE?

>> IT WAS ABOUT 10-15 MINUTES.

AND I HEARD THE SIRENS GO OFF.

TO ME WHEN THE SIRENS GO OFF,

IT'S TYPICALLY LIKE HIGH WINDS,

BUT THEY'RE USUALLY A GUST.

YOU KNOW, THEY DON'T HANG OUT

FOR 45 MINUTES AND THEY'RE NOT

120-140 MILE-PER-HOUR WINDS.

>> Reporter: EVEN IF RAYMOND

SIDDELL HAD MORE TIME, IT'S HARD

TO SEE HOW THE DESTRUCTION OF

THE AUGUST 10 DERECHO IN EASTERN

IOWA WOULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED.

>> IT WAS MASSIVE.

IT'S JUST-- IT'S CATASTROPHIC

FOR OUR AREA.

>> Reporter: IN THE DAYS

FOLLOWING THE STORM, WITH POWER

LINES AND THOUSANDS OF DOWNED

TREES, EASTERN IOWA BEGAN TO

ASSESS WHAT HAD HAPPENED.

IN CEDAR RAPIDS, MORE THAN 1,600

BUILDINGS DAMAGED-- 1,000

HOUSING UNITS WERE DEEMED

UNLIVABLE.

>> THEY'VE OFFERED SO MUCH

SUPPORT.

>> Reporter: SIDDELL, A

COMMUNITY ORGANIZER IN CEDAR

RAPIDS, MANAGES A RESOURCE PAGE

ON FACEBOOK WITH OVER 67,000

MEMBERS FOR THOSE AFFECTED BY

LAST MONTH'S DERECHO.

HE SAID THAT TEMPORARY HOUSING

IS STILL NEEDED FOR THOSE

DISPLACED RESIDENTS.

AS OF TWO WEEKS AGO, IT WAS

ABOUT 150 FAMILIES, BUT THE CITY

SAID THAT NUMBER IS "FLUID, AS

HOUSING IS REPAIRED AND RENTAL

UNITS BECOME AVAILABLE."

>> IT'S HARD TO FIND HOUSING

WHEN SO MUCH DESTRUCTION TAKES

PLACE.

SO, I KNOW THAT WE DO HAVE SOME

IN HOTEL ROOMS CURRENTLY, BUT WE

ALSO HAVE SOME THAT ARE LIVING

IN HOMELESS SHELTERS.

>> Reporter: AND FOR THOSE WHO

AREN'T DISPLACED, SIDDELL SAYS

RESIDENTS ARE ALSO STILL

STRUGGLING TO CLEAR TREE DEBRIS.

>> THAT'S GOING TO GO ON FOR A

VERY LONG TIME.

THEY'VE PASSED THROUGH

NEIGHBORHOODS ONE TO TWO TIMES

AT THIS POINT, TRYING TO REMOVE

DEBRIS FROM THE CURBSIDE.

BUT AS SOON AS IT'S REMOVED,

RESIDENTS ARE BRINGING WHAT WAS

IN THEIR BACKYARD TO THEIR FRONT

YARD TO HAVE THAT REMOVED AS

WELL.

PEOPLE ARE TIRED.

YOU KNOW, THEY'RE EXHAUSTED.

>> Reporter: BUT THE DERECHO

DIDN'T JUST LEAVE ITS MARK ON

THE CITY OF CEDAR RAPIDS AND ITS

SUBURBS.

IOWA'S RURAL FARMING COMMUNITIES

WERE ALSO HIT HARD.

JUST WEST OF CEDAR RAPIDS,

FARMERS LIKE LANCE LILLIBRIDGE

ARE STILL ASSESSING JUST HOW

MUCH OF THEIR CROP WAS

DESTROYED.

>> OUR CORN IS REALLY TWISTED UP

PRETTY BAD.

IT'S STILL HARVESTABLE, UNLIKE A

LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WERE ZEROED

OUT, THEIR CORN WAS TOTALLY

WIPED OUT.

>> Reporter: LILLIBRIDGE IS VICE

PRESIDENT OF THE IOWA CORN

GROWERS ASSOCIATION.

HE SAYS HUNDREDS OF FARMERS WERE

AFFECTED THIS YEAR, AS THE

WINDSTORM FLATTENED THEIR CROPS

AND BURST OPEN GRAIN BINS.

AND THE CLEANUP IS STILL GOING

ON.

>> SO, THIS ONE IS BY FAR

PROBABLY THE BIGGEST WEATHER

EVENT I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY

LIFETIME.

>> Reporter: THE U.S.D.A.

ESTIMATES AT LEAST 550,000 ACRES

OF IOWA CORN WON'T BE HARVESTED

THIS FALL BECAUSE OF THE

DERECHO, AND LILLIBRIDGE SAYS

CROP INSURANCE DOESN'T FULLY

COVER WHAT WAS LOST FOR FARMERS.

>> FINANCIALLY, IT'S

DEVASTATING.

EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE FEDERAL CROP

INSURANCE, THAT'LL NEVER, EVER

COVER WHAT SOME PEOPLE HAVE

LOST.

CROP INSURANCE WILL ONLY COVER,

DEPENDING ON HOW MUCH OF IT YOU

BUY, MAYBE 70-90% OF WHAT YOU'VE

LOST.

IF YOU HAVE TWO OR THREE OF

THESE EVENTS IN A ROW, YOU KNOW,

MAYBE IT'S FLOODING OR MAYBE

IT'S A HAILSTORM OR MAYBE IT'S A

DERECHO.

LONG TERM, IT CAN BE REAL

DEVASTATING ON THE INSURANCE

PART OF IT.

>> Reporter: SO, THIS ISN'T JUST

A NECESSARILY A ONE TIME

ECONOMIC HIT.

>> ABSOLUTELY, YES.

SOME PEOPLE WILL NEVER MAKE IT

UP AND THEY'LL JUST BE DONE.

UNFORTUNATELY, WE'VE HEARD SOME

OF THAT, GUYS THAT ARE NOT GOING

TO REBUILD AND THEY'RE PROBABLY

NOT GOING TO FARM AGAIN.

>> Reporter: FOR IOWA, THE

RECENT DERECHO IS JUST THE

LATEST ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER.

IN 2008, THE WORST FLOODING IN

CEDAR RAPIDS HISTORY CAUSED $10

BILLION IN DAMAGES TO THE AREA.

IN 2012, A DROUGHT HIT THE

MIDWEST THAT IMPACTED THE ENTIRE

CORN BELT.

THIS YEAR, IT'S A DOUBLE WHAMMY:

THE LOSS FROM THE DERECHO AND

CORONAVIRUS RECESSION.

FARMERS HAD ALREADY SEEN THE

PRICE OF CORN-BASED ETHANOL DROP

AS DEMAND FOR GAS FELL AS

AMERICANS STAYED HOME BECAUSE OF

THE CORONAVIRUS.

>> A LOT OF PLANTS SHUT DOWN OR,

OR IDLED BACK SOME, YOU KNOW,

CUT PRODUCTION.

>> THIS COMES UP EVERY DAY.

IT'S LIKE BEING KICKED WHILE

BEING DOWN, RIGHT?

THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT

STILL WEREN'T WORKING OR THEY

WEREN'T WORKING THE SAME NUMBER

OF HOURS AND EARNING THE SAME

WAGE THAT THEY WERE BEFORE.

SO, TO THEN EXPERIENCE SOMETHING

CATASTROPHIC LIKE THIS, THOSE

THAT HAD ALREADY DEPLETED THEIR

SAVINGS OR TAPPED INTO A

RETIREMENT ACCOUNT, THOSE THAT

WERE UNINSURED AND THOSE THAT

JUST FALL INTO AN ALREADY

STRUGGLING GROUP, YOU KNOW,

THEY'RE JUST BEING HIT THAT MUCH

HARDER, TRYING TO CLEAN UP OR

RECOVER FROM THIS.

>> Reporter: MORE THAN FIVE

WEEKS LATER, 27 COUNTIES IN IOWA

ARE STILL UNDER A STATE OF

DISASTER DECLARATION.

SO FAR, RESIDENTS HAVE RECEIVED

ONLY $7 MILLION FROM FEMA.

>> Sreenivasan: WE CONTINUE OUR

SPECIAL "ROADS TO ELECTION 2020"

COVERAGE NOW WITH MORE FROM IOWA

PBS SENIOR PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR

ANDREW BATT WHO JOINED US FROM

DES MOINES.

>> REALLY, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT

IOWA, WE'VE BEEN IN THIS

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN FOR A

LITTLE OVER 18 MONTHS NOW.

WE HAD A COMPETITIVE PRIMARY

SEASON HERE IN IOWA AND IT'S

ROLLED RIGHT INTO SOME RACES

THAT WERE NOT ORIGINALLY THOUGHT

TO BE COMPETITIVE, BUT HAVE BEEN

AND ARE.

IOWA HAS KIND OF SLIPPED BACK

INTO A TOSS UP STATE BY SOME

PROGNOSTICATORS RIGHT NOW AT THE

PRESIDENTIAL LEVEL.

BUT IT'S THE BATTLE FOR THE U.S.

SENATE WHERE YOU SEE A LOT OF

INTEREST AND MONEY BEING SPENT

ON THE AIRWAVES HERE.

WE ALSO HAVE THREE VERY

COMPETITIVE RACES FOR CONGRESS.

>> Sreenivasan: WHAT ARE THE

ISSUES THAT ARE DRIVING IT RIGHT

NOW?

IS IT ABOUT COVID?

IS IT ABOUT THE DERECHO AND THE

SORT OF ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER

THAT FARMERS HAVE SURVIVED?

IS IT ABOUT RECOVERING FROM THE

LOSSES THAT COVID ALSO BROUGHT

TO FARMERS?

>> THE SHORT ANSWER, HARI, IS

YES, ALL OF THOSE THINGS PLAY

OUT.

SOME OF THEM ARE, ARE A BIGGER

FOCUS IN MAYBE A SPECIFIC

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, BUT

NONE, NONE OF THESE ISSUES

ESCAPES COVID RIGHT NOW.

I MEAN, IT'S IMPACTING THE LIVES

OF ANYWHERE THERE'S, WHERE

THERE'S KIDS THAT WANT TO GO TO

SCHOOL OR, OR THE ADULTS THAT

WANT TO GET BACK TO THE REGULAR

DAILY LIVES.

YOU KNOW, IOWA IS OFTEN FRAMED

IN WHAT ARE THE ISSUES THAT

IMPACT THE RURAL PARTS OF THE

STATE, WHAT WOULD IMPACTS

AGRICULTURE?

AND THOSE ARE OUR BIG ISSUES AND

HAVE BEEN FOR MANY YEARS NOW IN

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION.

THE REAL FOCUS IN THE LAST FEW

WEEKS HAS BEEN ISSUES PERTAINING

TO ETHANOL.

AND JUST IN THE LAST COUPLE DAYS

HERE, PRESIDENT TRUMP TRAVELED

TO THE NEIGHBORING STATE OF

WISCONSIN TO PROMISE MORE MONEY,

MORE MONEY FOR AN AGRICULTURE

AND FARM SECTOR THAT HAS BEEN

SENT A LOT OF MONEY IN RECENT

YEARS.

>> Sreenivasan: I MEAN, WHAT IS

IT THAT ULTIMATELY IS GOING TO

MAKE IOWA A TOSS UP STATE WHEN

IT COMES TO THE PRESIDENTIAL

RACE?

>> I THINK IF YOU LOOK BACK AT

WHERE IOWA HAS BEEN IN MORE

RECENT MEMORY BEFORE 2016, IT

WAS A, IT WAS A COMPETITIVE

STATE THAT, THAT WAS PURPLE, BUT

LEANED BLUE AT THE PRESIDENTIAL

LEVEL FOR MANY YEARS AND WAS

COMPETITIVE.

AND WHAT DONALD TRUMP DID HERE

IS HE WON THIS STATE BY A LARGER

PERCENTAGE POINT GAP IN 2016

THAN HE WON THE STATE OF TEXAS.

AND WHAT JOE BIDEN ON THE TICKET

HAS DONE, AS OPPOSED TO HILLARY

CLINTON, IS HE HAS IMMEDIATELY

NARROWED THAT GAP.

BUT THAT BATTLE OVER RURAL

ISSUES THAT THE TRUMP

ADMINISTRATION AND THEIR

CAMPAIGN IS CLEARLY MAKING, THE

DECISION THAT COMING IN AND

SAYING THAT WE ARE SUPPORTING

YOU WITH MONEY, WITH, WITH

DOLLARS FROM THE FEDERAL

GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO BOLSTER

THE SUPPORT.

AND THAT CAN EITHER BE READ AS

THEY THINK THAT THEY HAD, MAY

HAVE SOME ISSUES OUT HERE IN

RURAL AMERICA, MAYBE SOME FADING

SUPPORT, OR THEY JUST REALLY

WANT TO BRING THEIR NUMBERS UP

IN RURAL PARTS OF THE STATE.

>> Sreenivasan: ALRIGHT, ANDREW

BATT FROM IOWA PBS, THANKS SO

MUCH.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Sreenivasan: IN NEIGHBORING

ILLINOIS, EARLY VOTING IN THE

RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE BEGINS

THIS COMING WEEK.

I SPOKE WITH WTTW NEWS DIRECTOR

HUGO BALTA RECENTLY FROM CHICAGO

ON WHAT VOTERS THERE ARE

CONCERNED ABOUT AS THEY PREPARE

TO MAIL IN THEIR BALLOTS.

>> AND THAT'S REALLY THE MAJOR

CONCERN HERE IN ILLINOIS FOR

VOTERS.

IT'S WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN

BEGINNING WITH EARLY VOTING,

THAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE

MONTH, SEPTEMBER 24, AND, OF

COURSE, ON ELECTION DAY.

THE OVERWHELMING NUMBER OF

ILLINOISANS HAVE BEEN SENDING IN

AN ORDER TO MAIL TO BE ABLE TO

FILE THEIR BALLOTS THROUGH THE

MAIL.

WE'VE SEEN THE NUMBERS TRIPLE

FROM 2016 TO 2020 IN REGARDS TO

THE AMOUNT OF REQUESTS TO DO SO.

SO, THERE'S A LOT OF CONCERN IN

REGARDS TO, YOU KNOW, HOW THE

SYSTEM'S GOING TO WORK AND EVEN

IN-PERSON.

WHAT, WHAT PROCESS, WHAT

PROCEDURES ARE GOING TO BE PUT

INTO PLACE TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE

THAT ARE VOTING IN PERSON WILL

BE SAFE.

>> Sreenivasan: PEOPLE OFTEN

FORGET THAT CHICAGO IS NOT

ILLINOIS.

THERE IS A VERY DIFFERENT

POLITICAL LANDSCAPE AS YOU

TRAVEL THROUGHOUT THE STATE.

I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY, CHICAGO IS

THE 800-POUND GORILLA, IT'S GOT

A HUGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE, THIRD

LARGEST CITY, BUT THIS IS NOT

JUST A DEMOCRATIC ATTEMPT.

THIS IS TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE

ARE LOTS OF REPUBLICANS IN

ILLINOIS WHO GET THEIR VOTES

COUNTED, TOO.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

YOU KNOW, YOU SEE, ILLINOIS IS A

BLUE STATE.

AND IN 2016, IT WENT TO HILLARY

CLINTON.

BUT OUTSIDE OF CHICAGO, OUTSIDE

OF COOK COUNTY, IN THE RURAL

AREAS, YOU SEE A LOT OF SUPPORT

FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP.

I THINK MOST OF THE SUPPORT FOR

PARTICIPANT BIDEN IS WITHIN

CHICAGO, BUT YOU'RE RIGHT.

I THINK WHEN WE LOOK AT NOT JUST

THE GENERAL ELECTION, BUT

ELECTIONS WITHIN THE STATE OF

WHICH THERE ARE MANY, INCLUDING

FOR U.S. SENATOR AND COOK COUNTY

STATE'S ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, THAT

THERE IS A LOT OF COMPETING

IDEOLOGIES, BOTH ON THE

REPUBLICAN SIDE AND THE

DEMOCRATIC SIDE.

>> Sreenivasan: HOW DOES

COVID-19 SHUFFLE THE DECK WHEN

IT COMES TO THE PRIORITIES FOR

VOTERS THERE?

>> YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S

EVERYTHING.

YOU KNOW, WE ARE IN AN

EXTRAORDINARY YEAR, LARGELY

DRIVEN BY COVID-19.

AND CERTAINLY WE'VE SEEN HOW

COMMUNITIES, BOTH URBAN AND

RURAL, HAVE SUFFERED UNDER

COVID-19 FROM A HEALTH

PERSPECTIVE, TO ALSO THE ECONOMY

AND EMPLOYMENT.

A LOT OF BUSINESSES FORCED TO

SHUT DOWN OR READJUST FOR SOCIAL

DISTANCING.

SO, WHAT'S TOP OF MIND FOR

VOTERS IS, AGAIN, HOW ARE WE

GOING TO-- WHO, WHO'S-- HOW AND

WHO IS GOING TO GET US THROUGH

THIS COVID-19 PANDEMIC,

UNDERSTANDING THAT IT'S TIERED

AND THERE'S AN EXPECTATION THAT

NOW THAT SUMMER IS ENDING, THAT

WE'RE GOING TO SEE A RESURGENCE

OF CASES AND NUMBERS OF

COVID-19.

THERE'S ALSO, OF COURSE,

HEIGHTENED CONCERN ABOUT THE

ECONOMY AND WHAT'S GOING TO

HAPPEN ONCE WE GET THROUGH THIS,

OR AS WE'RE GETTING THROUGH

THIS, A RECESSION, HOW THE

MARKETS ARE HANDLING IT AND

ESPECIALLY FOR SMALL BUSINESSES.

WILL THEY BE ABLE TO SUSTAIN?

I THINK THOSE ARE THE TWO THINGS

THAT ARE TOP OF MIND FOR VOTERS

AS THEY'RE LOOKING AT

NOVEMBER 3.

>> Sreenivasan: HUGO BALTA, NEWS

DIRECTOR OF WTTW IN CHICAGO.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> Sreenivasan: THAT'S ALL FOR

THIS EDITION OF "PBS NEWSHOUR

WEEKEND," FOR THE LATEST NEWS

UPDATES VISIT pbs.org/newshour.

I'M HARI SREENIVASAN, THANKS FOR

WATCHING.

STAY HEALTHY AND HAVE A GOOD

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