tv 60 Minutes CBS March 7, 2021 7:00pm-8:00pm PST
we go further, so you can. ( ticking ) >> the covid recession is the most unequal in modern history, and to understand what that looks like, we visited this ohio food bank. who are these people? >> our neighbors. it's people that are just struggling, people that lost jobs because of covid, seniors that are shut-in. we actually had a 14-year-old say to us, "it's not my day to eat." ( ticking )>> what do horse rac, obsessive compulsive disorder, and treating covid have in common?
>> i have a responsibility to do the best for my patients. >> a kind of trifecta that makes up our story tonight. >> if you had told me what the odds were at the start of this, i might have reconsidered doing this. >> it was a long shot. >> for sure. ( ticking ) >> nasa's new mission to the moon is called "artemis," after apollo's mythical twin sister. and the goal is for the next astronaut's footprint on the moon to be made by a woman. >> i would point to the moon being a proving ground, a way point, for us to learn how to live in deep space when we're only days from home. ( ticking ) >> i'm lesley stahl. >> i'm bill whitaker. >> i'm anderson cooper. >> i'm sharyn alfonsi. >> i'm scott pelley. those stories and more, tonight, on "60 minutes." ( ticking )
>> scott pelley: soon, president biden is expected to sign a third covid recession relief plan just days before emergency unemployment benefits expire. for many the need is great-- in part, because this recession is the most unequal in modern history. this past friday, new jobs numbers confirmed that middle and high income workers are
returning, but the jobs of low income americans have been annihilated. relief checks have been a lifeline, but temporary. many, like the americans you're about to meet, were already struggling in poverty when covid pushed them over the edge. for 23-year-old courtney yoder,. the cruel recession hit just as she was saving enough from her job to move out of a tent, anticipating the birth of her first child. >> courtney yoder: working actually was something good for me. and then when i lost it, it was like, "now i have nothing, you know what i mean, to look forward to." because i actually felt good about myself. i felt accomplished. i felt like i was doing something in my life. i had stacked up three checks. i was actually trying. then, all that gets taken from me. >> pelley: there wasn't much to take from courtney yoder. she had lived in and out of foster care from age three.
on her own at 18, she pitched a tent in columbus, ohio and found a job in a restaurant. covid comes, and i take it, the restaurant closed. >> yoder: yes. yeah. >> pelley: you went back to the tent and thought, what? , i'm not woing. i have no income. i'm waiting on unemployment. i have no way to get to and from anywhere. i can't go to the library. all the places are closed that we usually go to, to eat. or, you know, going to during the day. >> pelley: she couldn't even go back to her tent. it was slashed by someone who left a warning that she was on railroad property. when we met, she was eight months pregnant, and had to push herself to keep fighting. >> yoder: because there was times where i wanted to give up and-- you know what i mean? not be alive anymore. and just be, like, you know what i mean, "things are never going to get better." >> pelley: courtney yoder is among the americans suffering the most. covid killed the jobs of low-
earning workers in restaurants, hotels, theaters and shops-- jobs held mainly bmenoe ofthose. some of those jobs won't come back. >> pelley: in columbus, retired firefighter steve roth and nurse jackie white are discovering the wreckage of the recession. for 22 years, roth has shouldered relief for the homeless. now there are newcomers to those, as he puts it, who live on the land. >> roth: you guys home? before the pandemic hit, they were just making it. they were just making their bills. and now the rug's pulled out from under them. >> pelley: people who were just hanging on when everything was normal. >> roth: those people that had multiple jobs, even, before things got bad. >> pelley: how bad is measured in ohio's unemployment claims, which are higher in the pandemic than the last five years combined. nationwide, covid took 9 million
jobs. the crush of new unemployment claims has delayed benefit checks. >> roth: hey, we're mount carmel, are you doing okay? >> pelley: steve roth works for mount carmel, a not-for-profit hospital system that has brought compassion to the homeless for 32 years, and watched the need grow with every recession. >> roth: all right, my friend. we have our mobile medical clinic that sets up at various locations throughout the city. we have two exam rooms, x-ray, pharmacy. a place for our physician and our nurse practitioner to work in there, also our nurses. we can do just about anything that a doctor's office can do. and then we also have a specific team that goes out to the homeless camps and provides care out there. >> pelley: what are their needs? >> roth: they need someplace warm. they need a tent. they need shoes, clothes. they need blankets, they need sleeping bags. and those are all things that we
provide for them. >> pelley: and their medical needs are, what? >> roth: unfortunately, a lot of what we deal with right now is because of addiction. but they also have high blood pressure. they have diabetes. they have skin issues. everything that everybody else has, they have also. you guys need anything? how are you feeling today? >> i'm all right. >> roth: yeah. >> pelley: in the pandemic, mount carmel has increased its rounds from two days a week to five. where are we? >> roth: so we're on the south end of columbus, behind a big shopping center. >> pelley: before the pandemic, a census counted more than half a million homeless americans. covid is likely to crowd the camps with another quarter million according to a study by the economic roundtable. how has covid changed the world for these people? >> roth: there were a lot of places throughout the city where they could get resources. clothes, food. they could go somewhere to get warm, like a library. those are done. they can't have any of that stuff.
>> pley: when covid closed soup kitchens, mount carmel started delivery. >> roth: mid-ohio food bank made lunches for us, and we were passing out 100 lunches a day to people. and when it first happened, they were so thankful for that food. they said, "oh, my gosh, haven't eaten for two days." well, here's a lunch. >> pelley: the mid-ohio food bank tells the story of how covid threatens the lifelines to the newly unemployed. every aisle is filled up, like this one. so, how long does this food last you? >> matt habash: if we didn't bring any more food in today, this would be less than 30 days, we'd move all the food that's in this building out. >> pelley: mid-ohio food bank's c.e.o. matt habash ordered three times more food than usual for the emergency, but then, covid took away his most important resource. >> habash: we have 13,000 volunteers put in about 70,000 hours of packing. and we were going to lose them all. you know, figured senior citizens are being told to stay
home, and more than half our wonderful volunteers are corporate volunteers, and they were all being told to stay home. >> pelley: so, ohio ordered in the national guard. more than 300 troops have distributed 90 million pounds of food in ohio. nationwide, the census bureau says 4.5 million people who lost jobs to covid don't have enough to eat. what is your understanding of how much the need has increased? major general john harris commands the ohio guard. >> john harris: the demand has increased fourfold. fivefold. just here. families coming to get food-- families who've never, ever had to come to a food bank for food, are coming now. i'm reminded of a story a soldier told me about people who worked in the food bank where he was working. people who had previously volunteered at that food bank are now coming to the food bank to get food because their families are in need. so that places pressure on our
folks to ensure those people leave here with their dignity. >> pelley: hunger is reaching into middle-income families too. more than 17 million americans have told the census bureau they've relied on free food during the pandemic. who are these people? >> habash: our neighbors. it's people that are just struggling, people that lost jobs because of covid, seniors that are shut-in, and a lot of them are kids. and that's probably the scariest thing to me, is making sure those kids get enough food. we actually had a 14-year-old say to us, "it's not my day to eat." >> pelley: 17-year-old nathan majeed did not skip a day of eating, but when his parents lost their jobs in a hotel and a shoe store, his diet grew thin just as he was writing his college applications. >> nathan majeed: food-wise, we just had to make different approaches toward certain foods. so we would basically just stock up on rice. and that would be a main part of our diet, pretty much. >> pelley: columbus students told us about hunger, cutting
back on electricity and living in the family car. 12-year-old shawnahlee archey and her 11-year-old sister,ipart lost their janitorial jobs, then, lost their home, before the eviction moratorium. still, their mom and dad fought back like parents who've seen the shadow of hunger creep too close. >> shawnahlee archey: my family has always, always, always made sure we were okay. has always gave us somewhere to stay, you know? has always kept food in our stomachs. have always kept clothes on our backs. it-- it just-- you know, it hit my mom the worst because she felt like she was a bad mother. >> pelley: how did you help your mother through that? >> archey: i told her that she can talk to me, you know, about anything, whatever. she's the reason why i'm here today, you know? she's my world. >> pelley: a shelter couldn't take her family right away, because it had cut capacity for social distancing. so, four kids and two adults
lived in this mini van. how long were you living in the car? >> archey: just about a week. >> pelley: after that week, there were six weeks in a shelter, and now, this rental paid for by a charity. sarah told us the van wasn't so bad. as she put it, "i'm small. i'll fit wherever." but other young people don't seem to fit anywhere. some abused or pregnant teenagers kicked from the home. we found them waiting in line at a shelter, hoping they would not be turned away. >> ann bischoff: this is the first time that we've had that line that you're talking about. previous to the pandemic, we were open 24/7, and we were the only place in central ohio where a young person around the clock could have immediate access to safety. >> pelley: ann bischoff is c.e.o. of star houa refuge what has tandemic taken
from these young people? >> bischoff: we have typically, pre-covid, a range of partners who would come in and offer on- site education, on-site jobs. health care has fallen off as well. typically, we would have 15 hours of medical care. now they're coming in, but it's every other week. >> we're always glad to see you guys, every night. >> pelley: covid-related staff shortages mean star house is now closed from 2:00 p.m. to 10:30 at night, and its capacity is limited. >> yoder: and so i'd come in and they'd be like, "oh, we're at capacity." and you're like, "i just want something to drink. i just want something to eat. i just want to lay down." >> pelley: courtney yoder relied on star house while she was saving to get out of her tent. >> yoder: i felt like, "i'm working so hard. i have, you know, a job and i'm like, i'm getting off work, getting off the bus and i have my clothes still on from-- and i want to shower."
and i'm coming in and, "oh, we're at capacity, courtney." and i'm like, "back to the tents. i can't even shower for tomorrow to go back to work. i can't even change my clothes." dimmed by covid even further, but it received money from last year's federal relief. courtney yoder is one of the shelter's successes. recently, she got an apartment through a charity, the homeless families foundation. >> yoder: being in a house and actually being able to say, "i can-- like, i'm going home." like, being-- actually being able to say, "i'm going home," like, that's, like, so much to me. >> pelley: with shelter, she found two jobs, 70 hours a week, and then, took time off beginning this past december when she became a single mother to a boy named ryder. you're still a believer in the american dream. >> yoder: yeah. i'm still fighting, and i feel like i fought this hard because, you know what i mean, i wouldn't have eventually gotten to meet
my son and love him and care for him and just make sure that he's safe. new to living on the land. >> roth: you want a lunch? >> yeah. >> pelley: and there will be more. low-wage jobs will not recover until 2024, according to the congressional budget office. until then, americans who were the first to lose their jobs, and will be last to get them back, will be depending on an uptick... >> roth: yes, got plenty of socks. >> pelley: ...in the index of human kindness. >> roth: all right, you guys, take care. ( ticking ) >> falling behind in school during a pandemic. >> you're 18 but you haven't graduated? >> no. >> at 60minutesovertime.com.
>> sharyn alfonsi: the race to find vaccines for covid-19 has dominated the headlines, but there's been less news about how to keep people with covid out of the hospital. tonight, we're going to tell you a story about one possible treatment. it's called fluvoxamine. the generic drug was developed 40 years ago as an antidepressant, and has been primarily used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder. now, a small but ingenious clinical trial and a series of coincidences have led scientists to look closely at fluvoxamine as a possible tool to keep newly-diagnosed covid-19 patients from becoming severely ill. so, how did a pill that costs 60 cents become a dark horse to treat covid? we went to a place that knows all about long shots to find out. >> announcer: we're off and running at golden gate field! >> alfonsi: golden gate fields
is in berkeley, california. the stands have been empty since covid hit last year, but the races there 1,200 thoroughbreds here, trained and cared for by more than 500 people. last november, covid went on a rampage in the barn area, where many workers live. >> dr. david seftel: we had four cases that were initially reported and because we have a community living back there, we decided to test everybody. and that's when we saw the first round of testing reveal 200 positive individuals. >> alfonsi: wow. what was your reaction when you heard 200 positive cases right here? >> seftel: shock and dismay. >> alfonsi: dr. david seftel has been the physician for employees and their families at golden gate fields for 20 years. >> seftel: open your mouth wide. >> alfonsi: he is originally from south africa, and is harvard-educated. guysho work in stableifamili >> seftel:wathe enpectru
and 'sr thait really is a mirror image of the community that is most affected by covid: predominantly latino community, incredibly hard-working. they don't have the luxury of working from home or working on zoom. they have to be out there every single day. >> alfonsi: but there are few early treatment options for covid. the handful of drugs that have been approved are for high risk patients, and must be delivered intravenously, often in a hospital. >> seftel: deep breath in, and hold it. when i looked at this community, i said, i know the numbers, i know the stats. there are going to be deaths and there's going to be disability, unless i take action. >> alfonsi: is that what you were thinking as the numbers kind of rolled in? >> seftel: this was a disaster in the making. >> alfonsi: dr. seftel felt his only choice, to keep his patients from getting sicker, was to act on a tip he got just hours before. the doctor offered them the antidepressant, fluvoxamine. to understand why, you have to go back to the starting gate of
our story. eight months earlier in march, dr. angela reiersen, a child psychiatrist at washington university in st. louis, was home sick with covid symptoms, and thinking about old medical studies she'd read. most people, when they're home sick with covid, they say, "look, i just want to sit on the couch and ride this out." >> dr. angela reiersen: well, i didn't want to just sit there and be sick. i was really kind of driven to try to find answers. >> alfonsi: dr. reiersen remembered a study published a year earlier by these researchers at the university of virginia on mice. they found fluvoxamine stopped sepsis. sepsis is a runaway immune response in which inflammation gets out of control, damages organs, and can be deadly. it's believed a similar phenomenon occurs in covid patients. >> reiersen: and i thought, well, i wonder if we could use fluvoxamine to treat covid and prevent that clinical deterioration? >> alfonsi: you thought, this is
something that might be able to stop inflammation from going into overdrive? >> reiersen: right. either stop the inflammation from going into overdrive, or shut it down once it had started, to prevent our own bodies from destroying ourselves, basically. so, then i emailed eric lenze, and just kind of explained the whole rationale behind it in an email. >> alfonsi: dr. eric lenze is also a psychiatrist at washington university. he specializes in finding new uses for drugs already approved by the food and drug administration. did you have some skepticism at first? >> dr. eric lenze: amazingly, i did not. angela presented a very compelling and innovative case for this drug, and it turns out that there's a lot of properties of psychiatric drugs, like safety and ease of use, and the fact that they can get into the body quickly, that makes them actually ideal for repurposing. >> alfonsi: the doctors got $20,000 from washington university last april to launch a small, randomized clinical
trial on fluvoxamine. bu getting patients to try an deprsant for covid was hard.how'd u sell it? ze real steep learning curve for us as well, that we're doing with this antidepressant drug that we usually use for obsessive compulsive disorder. imagine you're a patient at home, sick with covid, and you get a phone call like that. >> alfonsi: patients who agreed didn't have to leave their homes. researchers would drop off a paper bag containing fluvoxamine pills to half of the covid patients-- the other half would get a placebo-- with instructions to take the pills for 15 days. >> lenze: our team was acting like, couriers, or, if you will, delivery men, dropping it off at their house. and then we would work with them through the phone and the internet. by may, we were kind of running on fumes, as far as funding went. fortunately it was at that point that i read in the "new york times," of all places, about the covid early treatment fund.
>> steve kirsch: hi, i'm steve kirsch. >> alfonsi: steve kirsch is the founder of the group lenze read about. kirsch is a silicon valley entrepreneur who made a fortune developing the optical computer mouse. he put up a million dollars ofhn ide whh covid research he should fund. tell me about the first conversation you had with dr. lenze. >> kirsch: you know, we were like, oh, we-- we got a grant application. this is thrilling to us. and it's for $67,000. and so, it's a very modest amount, so we ran it through the scientific advisory board and they said, you know, this is novel. >> alfonsi: steve kirsch cut the check, which allowed dr. lenze to finish recruiting the 152 patients he needed for his trial. it was completed in august. >> lenze: so, the results were really pretty incredible. out of the 80 people who received fluvoxamine, none-- zero of them-- deteriorated, versus 8% of the people who got placebo.
>> alfonsi: you heard that right. the patients on fluvoxamine did not deteriorate to the point of severe lung damage. >> kirsch: and he goes over the results, and i'm like, holy moley. >> alfonsi: you probably wanted to scream it from the rooftops at that point. >> kirsch: oh, absolutely. >> alfonsi: and how did dr. lenze and his colleagues react? >> kirsch: he said, "well, look, we have to get this published or nobody's going to believe it. we want to submit it to 'jama,' the 'journal of the american medical association,' because that is the top journal for this. once you put it in 'jama,' and they publish it, then everybody will believe it." >> alfonsi: it was published in november. but while the editors offered high praise for the study's methodology, they said the results "should not be used as the basis for current treatment decisions." that's because the editors wanted confirmation in a larger trial. not the speed steve kirsch is used to in silicon valley. i imagine you think the next morning, you're going to be front-page news on the "new york times." >> kirsch: and everybody starts
taking it, and all the doctors start-- you know, people start demanding it. >> alfonsi: but that did not happen. >> kirsch: no. >> alfonsi: you ended up on a webinar. >> kirsch: yes. i ended up on a webinar. >> alfonsi: this is the webinar that night about covid. >> kirsch: your doctor may not necessarily even know about this drug. >> alfonsi: it was for harvard business school alumni and the host was david seftel, the race track doctor. it was just hours after dr. seftel hosted the group that he learned about the massive outbreak at golden gate fields. >> announcer: friendly out the door's got it! >> alfonsi: had he heard about fluvoxamine at that point? >> kirsch: no. >> alfonsi: so he hears it from you on the webinar? >> kirsch: he hears about it from me on his webinar. >> alfonsi: were you skeptical at all about what he was saying? >> seftel: absolutely. and i'm a born skeptic. right after the webinar, i took a deep dive into the science. and then i looked at eric lenze's paper. a paper that was selected out of 10,000 other papers by the "jama" for publication, because its methodology was strong. this is something that i felt comfortable with taking to patients. >> alfonsi: so dr. seftel
decided to offer a 15-day prescription for fluvoxamine to the track workers with covid. did you feel like you were placing a bet on these patients at all? >> seftel: no, because i weighed the risk and reward. and in this particular circumstances, strong biochemistry, great initial clinical results, minimal downside. i felt i had to act. >> alfonsi: dr. seftel's decision to use a prescription drug off-label is an accepted medical practice, with patient consent. the most common side effect of fluvoxamine is slight nausea. how many of them ended up taking the fluvoxamine, and what was the outcome? >> seftel: 65 patients elected to take fluvoxamine. 48 declined. 12.5% of all those who refused fluvoxamine ended up hospitalized and one died. in the group that did take fluvoxamine, none of them were hospitalized. >> alfonsi: once again, none of
the covid patients taking fluvoxamine deteriorated. >> seftel: since you started the fluvoxamine last week, how have you felt? >> good. >> alfonsi: could it have been a fluke? >> seftel: i don't believe so. you cannot influence a virus that is as wily and as wicked as covid with a fluke. >> alfonsi: but to be trusted by the wider medical community, fluvoxamine needed a larger trial. so, steve kirsch's fund put a half-million dollars behind a new trial led by dr. eric lenze. paper bag deliveries have been replaced by fedex boxes that the team plans to ship to more than 1,000 covid patients around the country and canada. >> lenze: i have to be a scientist about this. we've tested it in one study. but, in my view, it needs to be confirmed in a larger study. >> alfonsi: is it reasonable to think that this drug could be an answer? >> dr. francis collins:
fluvoxamine could certainly be something you want to put in the tool chest, because it looks as if it has the promise to reduce the likelihood of severe illness. >> alfonsi: dr. francis collins is the director of the national institutes of health. as part of the pandemic response, collins oversees the federal effort to identify drugs to repurpose for covid treatment. it's a priority because of concerns that new covid variants could make vaccines less effective. >> collins: dr. lenze is a great example of a physician-scientist who probably never planned to work on an infectious disease, and yet approaches it with appropriate skepticism about anything that isn't absolutely certain, because you don't want to make that recommendation unless you know for sure. >> alfonsi: and how closely will you be watching what he reports? >> collins: the whole scientific community is watching his study and trying to see whether there's a way we can help in our own trials. we're strongly considering adding an arm to one of those
trials to test fluvoxamine, to further add to the data that could be generated. >> alfonsi: there's been great caution about recommending repurposed drugs for covid, after the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine was promoted as a potential "game changer" by former president trump, before it was tested in a large clinical trial on covid patients. what is the bar for a drug like fluvoxamine to be widely used? >> collins: well, it's the f.d.a. who will have the job of figuring out whether to give an approval for this use of that drug. and it will be about benefit and risk. and if the benefit is maybe even a reduction of 20% of the chances that you're going to end up in the hospital, that's probably a good thing. that should be added to the mix. >> announcer: down the stretch! >> alfonsi: the first results from the national trial could come next month, a little more than a year after dr. angela reiersen sent dr. eric lenze that email about fluvoxamine. your colleague had to read the study. a silicon valley guy had to step
the 7pm news, weeknights on kpix 5. ( ticking ) >> bill whitaker: 12 american men have walked on the moon. the last "apollo" astronaut lef his footprint there in december 1972. now, a half century later, nasa is planning to send people back to the moon. the new program is called "artemis," after apollo's mythical twin sister, and the goal is that the next footprint
on the moon will be made by a woman. the astronaut who gets that assignment hasn't been chosen yet. as you're about to see, this new push to the moon has been plagued by doubts, cost overruns, and delays. but we found something else interesting when we visited nasa: the "artemis" program isn't just named for a woman-- it's largely being run by women. >> charlie blackwell-thompson: so, there is no place on launch day that i would want to be but right here. >> whitaker: charlie blackwell- thompson is nasa's first female launch director. >> blackwell-thompson: and launch director copies. >> whitaker: in a year or so, she'll give the "go for launch" command for the first "artemis" moon rocket in historic firing room one at kennedy space center, which she first visited more than 30 years ago as a college graduate interviewing for a job. >> blackwell-thompson: it's the same room that the "apollo 11" mission was launched from. and it is the same room that we
will launch the first flight of the "artemis" missions. >> whitaker: when that young woman walked in here for the first time, did you truly say to yourself, "i want to do this one day"? >> blackwell-thompson: i absolutely did. my-- my thought was, "how do i get a seat in this room?" >> whitaker: and now you have the seat in the room. >> blackwell-thompson: i have a pretty nice seat in this room. ( laughter ) ( apollo launch ) >> whitaker: all the "apollo" moon missions were launched atop huge "saturn five" rockets, at the time the most powerful in the world. nasa's new rocket is even more muscular. can you put it into words how powerful this new rocket is? >> blackwell-thompson: the core stage will have hundreds of thousands of gallons of propellant. over eight million pounds of thrust at liftoff. >> whitaker: the most powerful rocket ever is called the space
launch system, or s.l.s. in development for a decade, it has yet to fly, and has only fired its four main engines once, in a test. >> whitaker: jody singer is another female first for nasa: as the first woman to run marshall space flight center in alabama, it's been her job to build the s.l.s., which is designed to go to the moon and beyond. >> singer: it is built for going to deep space, and right now, it's the only vehicle that exists that can carry the "orion" and take what it does to be able to go to deep space. >> whitaker: the "orion" is the capsule that astronauts will ride on top of the s.l.s. rocket. the first one is ready to go. the lunar lander is still in the concept stage, but nasa doesn't really need it until the third "artemis" moon mission. >> blackwell-thompson: "artemis" is about testing out this
integrated vehicle, s.l.s., with "orion." "artemis ii" is about the incorporation of the crew, and preparing us for "artemis iii," >> whitaker: do you hear yourself, and how cool that sounds? >> blackwell-thompson: it does sound pretty cool. >> whitaker: another cool piece of the "artemis" plan is a space station called "gateway," meant to orbit the moon. >> ignition. >> whitaker: nasa intends to use elon musk's company spacex to launch "gateway's" components on one of its "falcon heavy" rockets. the "falcon heavy" is already flying. its first launch sent musk's tesla roadster toward mars a couple of years ago-- yes, that really happened. jody singer says spacex is an illustration of nasa partnering with commercial launch providers. >> singer: we work together. and i think working together, that is how we will be able to deliver on the "artemis" program. we both bring great things on
this partnership. >> whitaker: when that partnership will actually deliver women and men to the moon is uncertain. donald trump set 2024 as the goal-- that was seen by insiders as unrealistic. president biden hasn't set a time-table, but his white house has given the idea of "artemis" an early thumbs up. >> jen pski: another man and a woman to the moon, which is very exciting. >> whitaker: what does it say about nasa that you are in these positions in what used to be a totally male-dominated sphere? >> singer: well, number one, i'd say we've come a long way. you know, charlie and i, we know, we've known each other for at least 20 years. we liked each other. but also, we were, you know, sometimes the only women in the room. >> whitaker: not any more. charlie blackwell-thompson says that on launch day, 30% of the engineers in what's now her firing room will be women. have you always been interested in space?
when you were a little kid, even? >> blackwell-thompson: i remember the last "apollo" missions, the last couple. and i can remember the sense of curiosity and awe. i could go outside and i could look up at the sky, and that our astronauts were visiting the moon. >> whitaker: the pool of 18 "artemis" astronauts has already been chosen. nine women, nine men. six of whom are test pilots. four have ph.d's. three are medical doctors. it's not known yet which of them will fly to the moon, but two are in space right now, on the international space station. why the moon? why put out the expense to return to the moon? >> blackwell-thompson: we are still learning from the samples that were returned during the "apollo" program. there is so much science, so much scientific discovery to come from returning to the moon.
>> whitaker: scientists are especially tantalized by recent evidence that there's a lot of ice near the moon's south pole. that's exactly where "artemis" mo land ice means h2o, which means water to sustain life, and hydrogen and oxygen to potentially turn into rocket fuel. >> blackwell-thompson: i would point to the moon being a proving ground, a waypoint, for us to learn how to live in deep space when we're only days from home, versus months or years for destinations like mars. >> lori garver: and it will be great when we go back, and we especially will be great if we, this time, can stay. >> whitaker: lori garver was the number two official at nasa during much of the obama administration. she wants america back on the moon, but believes the current approach is the wrong way to get there. >> garver: i would not have recommended the government build
a $27 billion rocket, when the private sector is building rockets nearly as large for no cost to the taxpayer. ( "falcon heavy" launch ) ( crowd cheers ) >> launch director: ignition, lift-off. >> whitaker: she's talking about rockets like elon musk's "falcon heavy." >> there it is! >> whitaker: garver was an early advocate of turning all the development of big new rockets over to private companies like spacex. >> garver: but the congress had a different goal. their goal was really to extend the contracts and jobs in their districts. >> whitaker: at the time, 2010, the space shuttle was about to be grounded... >> mission control: touchdown. >> whitaker: ...and members of congress feared that aerospace jobs in their districts would go away, too. ths.l.s., the space launch system, is mockingly referred to as the "senate launch system." can you explain to us why it's got that nickname? >> garver: in this case, it was the senate who came to us at
nasa and said, "no, we don't like your plan, and we are going to make you build it this way." >> whitaker: so boeing, prime contractor for the space shuttle and longtime nasa partner, became the prime contractor for the s.l.s. >> garver: the industry said they would do it for $6 billion in six years. that was the rocket. it's been $20 billion in 11 years. >> whitaker: nasa's jody singer acknowledges the delays and cost overruns, but insists it's the right model. >> singer: the space launch system, i'm proud to say, has work that's over 4stat and over 1,100 vendors. so the space launch system is a national vehicle. that means jobs. that means that, across the nation, for the s.l.s. alone, there's over 25,000 people that have jobs. >> garver: it's ironic, honestly, that nasa, the very symbol of a democratic and
pi a lot of its human space-flight programs in more of a socialist way. >> whitaker: more in a socialist way. ( laughter ) i think many of the senators whose districts are getting these nasa jobs would balk at that description. >> garver: you will plant the potatoes in march. you will build your rocket in my district. that's-- that's what it is. >> whitaker: the top-down approach, garver says, has produced a nasa s.l.s. rocket that'll cost more than $2 billion for every launch... >> announcer: falcon heavy is headed to space! >> whitaker: ...while spacex flies its "falcon heavy" for a fraction of that. nasa's s.l.s. can launch a heavier payload, but it's a use- it-and-lose-it rocket. none of its parts can be reused. by contrast, spacex booster rockets make soft landings after
launch, so they can be used over and over. two of its first stages have already been launched eight times, each! am i missing something in saying that this is the new way, and what's going on with nasa is the old way? >> blackwell-thompson: well, i probably wouldn't characterize it as "the new way" and "the old way." i would probably characterize it as just different ways. i would say that our rocket was designed based on proven technology. >> whitaker: so you wouldn't say it's "old," it's "proven"? >> blackwell-thompson: i would say it's "proven." >> whitaker: still, the spacex rockets are proven enough... >> announcer: god speed, bob and doug! >> whitaker: ...that nasa now trusts them to carry its astronauts to the international space station. >> i.s.s. astronaut: welcome to the space station. >> whitaker: those successful missions should not be confused with an entirely new rocket called "starship," that spacex is testing in texas. three test flights so far, all exosionsthus in spectacular
stk. so, should nasa pivot and start relying on spacex and commercial launchers for the moon and beyond? >> garver: undoubtedly. we should've before now. >> whitaker: is nasa capable of making that shift? >> garver: oh, of course. i mean, nasa is capable of more than they-- they realize. >> whitaker: now, considering all you have told me, will congress let nasa make that shift? >> garver: probably not. >> whitaker: for the moment, the core stage for the first "artemis" mission sits in a test stand in mississippi, the same stand used for the "apollo" missions. it's awaiting a test-firing, after technical glitches cut the first one short. >> test director: and we got a shutdown. >> whitaker: there are six american flags on the moon, one for each "apollo" landing.
but the newest flag there is chinese, left last year by a robotic lander that collected samples and brought them back to earth. beijing eventually plans to send astronauts. aren't we in a space race with china? >> garver: there is not a race to go to the moon. we won it. we won it six times. and i have no doubt that we will be back again, with people, before anyone else goes. >> whitaker: and charlie blackwell-thompson will be the woman to launch them, from her seat in the firing room. >> blackwell-thompson: we talk a lot about the moon, and i think the moon is phenomenal, and i can't wait to go back. but when we talk about those young people that may be like me when i was younger, looking up at the night sky and looking up at the moon, i want them to look up at the night sky and not be limited to the moon. ( ticking )
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streaming service. this past week, f.b.i. director christopher wray told congress the white supremacy movement is a top domestic threat. "60 minutes+" correspondent laurie segall talks with a former supremacist insider for a chilling look at his group's goal: race war. >> they wanted to create such a strain on the logistics of the country-- the police, fire, e.m.s.-- that they wouldn't have any obstacles in killing the people they wanted to kill, to where they could go out and shoot minorities without having to face the law. >> pelley: i'm scott pelley. we'll be back next week with another edition of "60 minutes." ( ticking ) ♪ if you have moderate to severe psoriasis...
captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> oprah: nearly two billion people around the globe watched their wedding. from the outside, it looked like something out of a fairy tale and appeared to signal a new day for the modern british monarchy. >> this couple represents everything people can celebrate. >> it's a wonderful fairy tale, it's... >> oprah: they became one of the most talked about couples in the media. then, in january 2020...os shockingly quick turnaround. >> oprah: ...harry and meghan stunned the world when they decided to step back as senior members of the royal family. >> meghan seems to have moved