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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 31, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight -- >> now, it's time to rebuild. judy: the biden agenda. the president unveils a massive infrastructure package with a $2 trillion price tag. we talk to a key member of his cabinet about the plan. then, full court press. the supreme court hears opening arguments on whether college athletes should be compensated. and, coping with covid. the uphill battle to get a vaccine on the part of those living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. >> it's not been surprising that states have not prioritized this group, because that's historically been the case.
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it's been disappointing, because the evidence was there pre-pandemic that this group is at higher risk. judy: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by. ♪ moving your engine that connects us -- moving the economy.
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bnsf, the engine that connects us. consumer cellular. johnson & johnson. supporting social entrepreneurs and solutions to the world's most pressing problems. skoll foundation.org. the lemelson foundation, committed to improving lives through invention and developing countries on the web on levels in.org. supported by the john dn catherine t mccarter -- macarthur foundation. more information at mac found.org. and with the ongoing support of these institutions. this program was made possible by the corporation for public
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broadcasting and contributions to your pbs station by viewers like you. thank you. judy: the biden white house has set in motion its next big campaign in congress, a far-reaching rebuild of roads, bridges, power grids, and other projects. the roll-out came in pittsburgh today, and battle lines began forming. white house correspondent yamiche alcindor reports. >> thank you. yamiche: in the steel city, president biden laid out his plan to re-engineer america's infrastructure. the price tag, $2.25 trillion. >> it's not a plan that tinkers around the edges. it's a once in a generation investment in america, unlike anything we've seen or done since we've built the interstate highway system and space race decades ago. yamiche: mr. biden said the plan would create millions of new jobs, and shift the country away from fossil fuel. >> the american jobs plan will lead to a transformational progress in our effort to tackle
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climate change with american jobs and american ingenuity, . yamiche: he also said his proposals are essential to help the u.s. compete with china, the world's second-largest economy, and the investments it is making. >> it's gonna boost america's innovative edge in markets where global leadership is up for grabs. markets like battery technology, biotechnology, computer chips, clean energy, and competition with china in particular. yamiche: the american jobs plan would spend about $2.25 trillion over 8 years and includes $621 billion for roads, bridges, and other transportation methods, $580 billion dollars for manufacturing, research and development and job training efforts, $400 billion toward home care for the elderly and disabled, and more than $300 billion to improve drinking water, expand broadband access, and update electrical grids. to pay for all of that, the plan
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calls for raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. it aims to ensure multinational corporations pay at least a 21% tax wherever they do business, and it aims to end federal subsidies for fossil fuel companies. the white house says these measures would extend over 15 years. the plan would effectively undo a major component of the 2017 tax cuts signed into law by former president trump. the proposal comes after the world economic forum's 2019 global report ranked u.s. infrastructure 13th in the world. this year, the american society of civil engineers also graded it a c-minus. but given the tax hikes, building bipartisan support in congress will be a political challenge. senate minority leader mitch mcconnell signaled that he would not support the bill. >> it's like a trojan horse. it's called infrastructure, but inside the trojan horse, there's going to be more borrowed money and massive tax increases on all the productive parts of our
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economy. yamiche: democrats may attempt to use a process called reconciliation to get the bill through the evenly divided senate and prevent a potential filibuster. ultimately, the white house says this is only one part of a two-part legislative package to reshape the american economy. for the pbs newshour, i'm yamiche alcindor. judy: for more on the president's plan, we're joined by someone who'll play a critical role in implementing it if it becomes law, transportation secretary pete buttigieg. mr. secretary, welcome to the newshour. there is so much in this plan we can't possibly talk about it, but let me ask, what is the main change going to be in the lives of americans if this becomes law? sec. buttigieg: the main changes that americans will be able to count on having the absolute best infrastructure. as the report mentioned, we are 13th in the world and headed in
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the wrong direction. americans are expected to settle for less and you see that with the holes in our roads, the conditioned of our bridges, to say nothing of how things like airports and train systems are lagging so far behind what citizens and other developed countries can count on just as a matter of course. the other way americans are going to feel the difference is in the jobs this will create. this will open economic opportunity, not only to those who work in the transportation sector but every american who counts on great infrastructure to be able to get to where they need to be. judy: can you say now how many new jobs are going to be created and how quickly will they be sec. buttigieg: created? sec. buttigieg:now that the plan has been released i expect economists are looking at that now and i look forward to seeing some of the analysis they generate, but we know it is going to be in the millions and it is going to make an enormous difference. this stands to make transportation more affordable.
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many low income families are spending up to 30% of their income just on transportation. we kanaan must do better on that and we can do it in so many ways, from the doubling of resources for transit so people can get around communities and neighborhoods, to the investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure that will help more americans go without having to pay to fuel up their car. judy: we are told unlike the economic stimulu plan that was passed under president obama, this was 12 years ago, the emphasis will not be in every se on so-called shovel ready jobs that quickly generate economic growth. why not? sec. buttigieg: that's right. this is a different focus. that stimulus was about getting out of an economic emergency, which is why the american rescue plan was important. the american jobs plan is looking to the future. we will be supporting hundreds of billions of dollars of shovel ready projects, but we are also
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interested in shovel-worthy projects because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape america's infrastructure future, to make sure we are competing and winning when other countries are doing so much more than we are. it shouldn't just be about what is ready in the moment, it shou be about what we want the future to look like. judy: this will cost something in the president said today, talking about raising the corporate tax rate from .1% to 28%, raising taxes on multi national corporations. republicans are saying this is a terrible idea, it is anticompetitive, that it will ultimately hurt working families in america because those higher taxes will be passed on to ordinary people. sec. buttigieg: i will tell you what is anticompetitive. it is having third-rate infrastructure, being further degraded by a generation of failure to invest. that is costing us our competitiveness every day. we know this is going to create
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jobs, it is going to create economic strength and the president believes in a tax code that rewards work rather than wealth. that is something i think most americans can get on board with. judy: one of the other criticisms from republicans beside the cost of this, only a small portion of it deals with traditional infrastructure. for example, ohio republican senator rob portman was saying president biden is in his words, redefining infrastructure to include things that have never been considered infrastructure before, like health care, workforce development, research and development. how do you answer that? sec. buttigieg: infrastructure is being redefined whether we keep up or not and that is not a bad thing. i am the transportation secretary so i think about things like roads and bridges are more traditional, but in
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these times, broadband is absolutely an essentialart of infrastructure. water, it might be underground so you don't see it but it is just as important and often, important to just the ability of communities and families to thrive at all. this is infrastructure. the grid, after what we just saw in texas, american citizens melting snow in their bathtubs to be able to flush the toilet, that should never happen again and i absolutely consider that part of an infrastructure package, even if it is not part of the transportation piece that i work on every day. judy: another comment we heard from president biden today, he said this will provide transformational change in addressing climate change, but now, we see, this is the argument from the other side, progressives in your party who are saying there is not enough in here to deal with climate change. they say there should have been more money, more projects. why isn't there more? sec. buttigieg: this is again,
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an enormous investment. this is something that represent more than we have been able to do in my lifetime and a long time before that and it positions us to beat the climate challenge with things like electric vehicle infrastructure, the kind of rail and transit infrastructure we need and the kind of r&d things that will move us into the future. if we are striking a balance between people who think it should be even bigger and those who are asking us to do less, i think that is evidence that this plan is a strong one that can attract support from mt americans. judy: are you hearing that criticism from your fellow democrats right now? sec. buttigieg: i think right now a lot of people on both sides of the aisle are digesting the plan. the president has put out a strong vision, but this is a great time to hear those critiques and ideas, hear those refinements and if people have a better idea on any piece of this, including how to pay for it, let's hear it. judy: so you're saying it could
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change between now and what happens in congress. sec. buttigieg: of course. this is day one of a process that we know will go through a lot with congress. i have been on the phone with democrats and republicans all day as well as a lot of other stakeholders. we know that natural give and take it is only going to make this a stronger plan. the president sent out a clear vision. he is insisting on going big. i thing it is a great beginning for not just the kind of infrastructure that used to be a punchline in washington, but an infrastructure season that will give us a better infrastructure future. judy: finally, mr. secretary, president biden spoke about wanting bipartisan support but if you end up with no republican votes for this, which we know is possible, how much does that undercut what the administration is trying to do? you ended up with no republican votes on the covid relief bill. sec. buttigieg: the strange thing about the covid relief
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bill was, it had enormous bipartisan support among the american people, just not here in washington. i believe if there is any area where we can get that bipartisan support in washington just like there is out among americans, it is around these infrastructure issues that are so important, because i remember i talked to, no matter how aggressive or conservative, comes from a district or a state where their citizens who sent them to washington are dealing with the consequences of that disinvestment every day and know we need to do better. judy: secretary of transportation, former mayor pete buttigieg, thank you very much. sec. buttigieg: thanks for having me. ♪ stephanie: i'm stephanie sy with newshour west. we'll return to judy woodruff and the rest of the show after these headlines. johnson and johnson confirmed a batch of a vaccine ingredient failed quality standards and
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could not be used. the bad batch came from an emergent biosolutions factory. j&j said it is still planning on delivering 100 million doses of its covid vaccine by june. meanwhile, pfizer reported its covid-19 vaccine is safe and highly effective in children as young as 12. that's based on a small study in the u.s., but it opens the possibility that children could be vaccinated before the start of the next school year. 12-year-old caleb chung took part in the study in durham, north carolina. his father joined him for an interview. >> there's not much i can really do to fight back against the virus. so probably participating in this trial, and potentially helping other kids to feel safe and want to get the vaccine in the future, when it becomes publicly available, was really some way that i could actually help out. stephanie: also today, the cdc reported covid was the third
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leading cause of death in the u.s. last year behind heart disease and cancer. the overall death rate rose nearly 16% from a year earlier. in wisconsin, the state supreme court struck down a mask mandate today. it ruled the democratic governor overstepped his authority. the global covid death toll has now passed 2.8 million and a wave of new infections is sweeping europe, forcing new lockdowns. the president of france announced tonight that schools and childcare centers there will be closed for three weeks. he banned domestic travel for a month. for the first time, a minneapolis jury today saw police body camera video in the ial of derek chauvin, the former officer accused of murdering george floyd. the video may be disturbing to some viewers. it showed officers struggling with floyd before chauvin pressed his neck down and floyd finally went limp. from inside his cruiser, the
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officer is heard defending his actions to a bystander. >> that is one person's opinion. >> [indiscernible] >> we have to control this guy cause he's a sizeable guy. and looks like he's probably on something. stephanie: also testifying today, the grocery store cashier who had taken a fake $20 dollar bill from floyd, prompting the call to police. as defense lawyers watched, prosecutors asked christopher martin about his reaction when he saw chauvin kneeling on floyd. >> what was going through your mind during that time period? >> disbelief, and guilt. >> why guilt? >> if i would have just not taken the bill, this could have been avoided. stephanie: prosecutors are set to continue calling witnesses tomorrow. in russia, opposition leader alexei navalny says he has begun a hunger strike in prison over his medical treatment. he says he's been denied proper medicine and visits with his doctor for back and leg pains. navalny is jailed for violating
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probation after he was poisoned. he blames that attack on the kremlin. back in this country, police in new york city have arrested a suspect in monday's attack on an asian-american woman. brandon elliot is charged with felony assault as a hate crime, and other offenses. he was convicted of killing his mother in 2002, but paroled in 2019, as the police commissioner noted today. >> for the life of me, i don't understand why we are releasing or pushing people out of prison, not to give them second chances, but to put them into homeless facilities or shelters, or in this case a hotel, and expect good outcomes out of that. stephanie: a video showed that bystanders watched as the 65-year-old woman was assaulted, but no one came to her rescue. first lady jill biden visited california's central valley today, praising the state's farmworkers for their essential work during the pandemic. she spoke at a former headquarters of the united farm workers, which is now a
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vaccination site. the agriculturally abundant area has been hit hard by covid-19, where much of the population is latino, a demographic with a disproportionate number of virus deaths in the state. still to come on the newshour with judy woodruff. the u.s. supreme court hears arguments on whether college athletes should be compensated. senator tammy duckworth weighs in on the recent attacks against asian americans. transgender troops discuss the repeal of the ban on their military serce plus, much more. ♪ >> this is the pbs newshour from w eta studios in washington and in the west, from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: college basketball's march madness reminds us that big-time college athletics can look like big business. and as john yang reports, it is
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a fitting backdrop for the supreme court arguments today over compensation for college players. john: as the men's d women's college basketball tournaments had to their championship aims, the ncaa had a big contest today at the highest court of the land. the case could have tremendous consequences for big-time college basketball and football. >> it is a huge case without question. john: law school professor jeremy. >> it is one piece of a much larger puzzle, a bigger thing that has been brewing for decades about student athlete in general. john: in the name of protecting amateurism, the ncaa caps the money schools can offer student-athletes. >> it is limited to a scholarship on the cost of attendance for travel and thanks. john: the athletes argued that it illegally limits competition
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for their skills, a violation of federal antitrust laws. what's the ncaa fears that idea because if it is the case that different schools can recruit on different levels with different benefits, some schools will outdo other schools. we are talking about non-cash educational benefits that would assist with educational pursuits like computers or science equipment. john: this could open the door for other compensation. arguing for the ncaa, the attorney cited the long history of college athletics. >> for over 100 years, the distinct character of college sports has been that it is played by students who are amateurs, which is to say they are not paid for their play. john: justices across the ideological spectrum seemed skeptical. justice samuel alito. >> they are paid. they get lower amid -- admissions standards, they get tuition, room and board, that is a form of pay. john: justice elena kagan.
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>> you can only ride on the history for so long. a great deal has changed since 100 years ago. the way that student-athletes are treated. john: at the same time, justices seemed worried about where siding with athletes could lead. >> you've got this nice, solid block that protects the sort of product that the schools want to provide and you pull out one log and another and everything is fine, then another and another and en the whole thing comes crashing down. john: sonja soto meyer expressed concern. >> how do we know that we are not just destroying the game as it exists? >> the supreme cou doesn't answer a question for a particular case. it always has its eye on what may behe next case, what is coming down the road. john: marcia is the chief washington correspondent for the national law journal. >> we have on that court a number of sports enthusiasts.
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i think they are very much aware of the games and how they are played as well as how the ncaa and the game has changed since the last time the supreme court had the ncaa before it, which was 37 years ago. john: for years, many college athletes argued they are essentially employees, spending as much as 40 hours per week on team activities that can generate billions of dollars for universities and athletic conferences. >> coaches are getting six, seven-figure salaries. administrators are getting salaries. other stakeholders are getting money. the student athletes themselves, the most indispensable piece of the puzzle, are getting nothing. john: in arenas and on social media, players in the men's basketball tournament have used the hashtag not ncaa property to protest schools barring them from being paid for the use of their names, images or
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likenesses on jerseys, videogames and product endorsements, a separate issue being fought in state legislatures and congress. >> we have court cases, state legislation, federal legislation, and student-athlete direct action all serving to push against the ncaa's eligibility limits. john: and a case before the nine referees on the supreme court, who will make their call by summer. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang. ♪ judy: senator tammy duckworth, a democrat from illinois, made headlines recently when she threatened to block president biden's nominations until asian americans had more representation in the administration. we spoke a short while ago about the threats facing asian americans as well as her new book, "every day is a gift."
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earth, thank you very much for being with us. we will get to the book in a moment but i want to start with this ambitious infrastructure plan that president biden is rolling out. do you believe it is the right thing to do at the right time, and what do you think congress will do with it? sen. duckworth: i very much think it is the right thing to do at the right time. i have been speaking for years about how america's infrastructure has been rated at a d minus grade by the american association of civil engineers. and you do an infrastructure bill you are sending money to the local level. when you fix the main streets, you are sending money into that diner on main street because those workers will grab lunch. this is an infrastructure plan to make us economically competitive on a global scale but also an economic stimulus package, because it will get jobs down to every small town in the united states. judy: we have seen that video
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circulating, of the elderly asian american woman in new york city who was knocked down and kicked in the face. a man, people stood by while it happened. how serious a problem is anti-asian american, are these attitudes right now? sen. duckworth: there has been 152% increase of hate crimes against asian americans and our biggest cities. those are the ones that are recorded. they are notoriously underreported, hate crimes against aapis, often classified as a mugging or vandalism, not hate crimes. asian women are the victims into thirds of those cases. asian women, especially the elderly, are especially vulnerable to hate crimes against aapis. we need to address it. judy: let's talk about your
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book, "every day is a gift," mmr. you were born in thailand to an american soldier father and a thai mother. you had a difficult childhood. you moved a lot, there were times you had to advantage but other times, you went to bed hungry. by the time you experienced the shootdown in iraq as a helicopter pilot, where you lost both your legs, this was not the first time you had faced terrible adversity in your life. is that what shapedour y childhood? sen. duckworth: i guess it is. in the process of writing the book i came to realize maybe those things i faced when i was younger made me better able and more resilient to overcome the effects of being shot down and wounded. i didn't think of it at the time. when you are a kid you are living your life. i thought i had an adventurous childhood. i followed my dad, who retired from the army in 1972 and worked
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for the united nations refugee programs so we were in cambodia where my dad was putting up telephone lines until the khmer rouge took over. i went through adversity in my teens when my family fell on hard times. i write about being, people think it as a paradise but we were struggling to eat the next day. although things helped make me more resilient later in life. at the time i was trying to survive. there was no grand plan in the process for me. judy: i want to quote a line, you said i love ugly aircraft, machines that looked like they shouldn't be able to fly. the more brutal, the better. i love the headbanging heavy metal love it and that is why i am a helicopter pilot. there is nothing fragile about you, senator, or is there? sen. duckworth: that is who i
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am. my husband also flies, he flies gliders with no engine and to me that makes no sense. timmy andircraft without an engine is an emergency. but he loves to fly around and catch thermals, and three hours later he lands in the same place he took off. that sounds like the most boring thing you could do to me. i love being part of an air crew, i love flying in formation, i love ugly aircraft and helicopters. maybe someone reading the book will fall in love with helicopters like i did. let's hope so. judy: despite all the things you lived through, you do right also, you say i realized from a young age what a privilege it was to be an american no matter how grievous the wound, healing is also -- always possible. the lowest moment can lead to the greatest heights. where did that positive attitude come from? sen. duckworth: i wrote the book because my daughter really started asking me whether it was worth it, what i went through. we were having a conversation about it, i couldn't teach her
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to ride a bike because i couldn't run alongside her and she knows mommy is different, she never realized that before. mommy, why did you lose your legs? couldn't someone else go to war? was it worth it? so i wrote the book as a love letter to my country, but also to explain to my daughter that america really is worth it. with everything i have been through, this democracy is worth fighting for. it is worth striving for a more perfect union because things are getting better. that is why the book is called "every day is a gift." every day since the shootdown has been a gift my buddies eva me for saving my life. judy: clearly there have been things that happened in this countryhat you profoundly disagree with and things americans have done that you profoundly disagree with, yet you are saying it is all worth fighting for. sen. duckworth: it is all worth fighting for. we can disagree and yell at one another, and even january 6, the
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insurrection that angered me, i felt so betrayed as i felt -- saw people carrying the same american flag i worry -- i wore in my uniform into battle, they used it to break down the doors. but it is still worth it. we have to fight for this country, this democracy and we are imperfect. as long as we keep showing up and fighting for it, it will be that more perfect union for my daughter when she is 18 then it even is right now. that is worth it. judy: senator tammy duckworth, the book is "every day is a gift." thank you, senator. sen. duckworth: thank you for having me on. ♪ judy: the pentagon announced new rules today allowing transgender military members to serve openly. it follows a pledge from president biden just days into
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his administration, restoring an obama-era policy that was overturned by his successor, president trump. the newshour's ali rogin spoke to transgender service members who have been waiting for this day. ali: when navy lieutenant commander emily schilling visits this retired warplane, known as a prowler, it's like seeing an old friend. >> she's tried to kill me, she's saved my life. she's been there on some of my scariest moments. ali: schilling's been in the navy 15 years, most of them as a pilot, with more than 1700 flight hours, and 60 combat missions in iraq and afghanistan. for a long time, the cockpit was the only place she could be herself. >> somebody once asked me, did i ever fly as trans? did i ever fly as em? we're the same person. we're the same person. i am always em. i always have been. ali: for most of her life, schilling was known as timothy. she came out as transgender in april 2019, two days after president donald trump
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reinstated a ban on people like her serving openly. >> i spent the first 36 years of my life trying to figure this out and fight it. and i just got to the point where i couldn't fight it anymore, and i had to do something. ali: now, outside work at a naval air base in maryland, schilling can be herself. but while she waited for the new policy to take effect, she had to wear a facade, presenting male and wearing her gender-neutral flight suit daily. >> you play this hypermasculine role, and then come home and turn it off. it's exhausting. ali: in 2016, president barack obama declared that being transgender was no longer grounds for dismissal. the military began covering gender-affirming health care, like hormones and surgery, announced then secretary of defense ash carter. >> i'm announcing today that we are ending the ban on transgender americans in the united states military ali: schilling had been coming to terms with her gender identity during the obama administtion, but it wasn't the right time for her to come
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out. then, in 2017, a new policy from a new president. in a tweet, president trump said the military would no longer allow transgender people to serve. those who received coverage during the obama administration could keep serving openly, but all others would have to serve in their sex assigned at birth. by the time schilling was ready to transition, the political winds had shifted. >> you had a time period where people were allowed to be open and serve. and then, when the ban went into place, you got a second class of people who, though they were transgender, they came out too late, and now had to go back into the closet >> transgender service members have been on a complete rollercoaster ride over the past five years ali: air force lieutenant colonel bree fram is an vice president of sparta, a transgender military advocacy group. her group advised on the obama change, supported members through the trump repeal, and is helping the biden white house lift restrictions. under the obama policy, 1600
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-- transgender service members could access care following a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, the medical term for when a person's gender identity differs from their sex at birth. 1600 service members were covered under the policy. the defense department does not keep statistics on its transgender population, but independent estimates count between 5,000 to 15,000 currently serving, out of about 2 million total active duty and reserve forces. >> they're just in a situation where they have to dedicate energy to hiding themselves. and that's energy that could otherwise be used to go towards mission effectiveness. ali: some opponents say trans members shouldn't be part of the mission at all. retired army lieutenant general thomas sopehr is the director of the conservative heritage foundation's center for national defense. he pointed to high rates of severe anxiety and suicide among people diagnosed with gender dysphoria. >> frankly, the military is very discriminatory in its entrance criteria, and so if you have
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asthma, if you have severe depression, you can't join the military. not allowing someone with gender sure dysphoria to not enter the military is the same type of thing. ali: but numerous studies show that depression among people with gender dysphoria is linked to society'treatment of them, including discrimination, family rejection, and lack of access to gender-affirming health care. in fact, the impact the trump ban had on the mental health of trans people extended beyond the military. the trevor project, an organization supporting lgbtq youth, said calls to its crisis line more than doubled following trump's 2017 tweet. amit paley is ceo and executive director. >> when the president of the united states sends a message that trans people are not deserving of respect, that has an impact on the mental health of all trans and nonbinary people ali: the new policy doesn't just affect transgender people who are currently serving. it also opens the door to those who have wanted to join the
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military, but have been waiting. people like 23-year-old kaycen bradley, who wants to join the army. >> it's really exciting. ali: bradley began his female-to-male transition, graduated high school, and tried to enlist, right as trump was changing the policy. but rather than give up, bradley dug in. biding his time, he built himself into a better recruit. >> i had to think, you know, it's not going to be forever. there's going to be a time where the policy changes. ali: bree fram hopes this time, the change is for good. >> after four more years of open service, we firmly believe that a military without transgender people will be just as unconscionable as a military without african-americans, without women, or without lesbians, gays, and bisexuals, because they all faced some very similar hurdles to what trans people faced. ali: meanwhile, schilling is awaiting guidance for when she can move forward. >> when i go see my friends, when i go shopping, when i'm hanging out with my kids, i present as emily. now, i can begin that process
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with the navy. ali: and soon, she'll be able to officially reintroduce herself to the prowler, as who she really is. for the pbs newshour, i'm ali rogin in patuxent river, maryland. ♪ judy: there have been more than 30 million known covid-19 infections across the country. as william brangham reports, there is one particular group at increased risk of the virus, those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. >> one of alan cohen's favorite things to do each morning is taking a walk with his health aide, salamatu mansarray. the 62-year-old lives in silver spring, maryland, with three others, in a house run by the jewish foundation for group homes. it's a non-profit that provides assisted living for those with intellectual and developmental
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disabilities, or idd. last year, cohen was one of 15 people who are served by the foundation who contracted covid-19, and one of three hospitalized. do you know how long you were in the hospital? >> two months. >> two months? >> yes. >> that's a long time. >> i'm better now. >> you certainly seem better. >> yes. >> was that scary being in the hospital? >> i didn't like it too much. >> the guy is a warrior, and it was touch and go. there was, -- >> david ervin is head of the jewish foundation for group homes. it serves around 180 adults with idd in maryland and virginia. last year, when the virus emerged, ervin remembers looking at the risk factors and being very concerned about the people they serve. >> so the cdc comes out sort of early-ish with with a list of of conditions that don't combine well with covid-19 and drive
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much more severe outcomes. and we're looking at the list and we're thinking, oh, my gosh, this, this is -- >> this is a portrait of our patient population. >> yes. >> what we're finding is across the board, no matter the type of intellectual developmental disability, there's increased risk of covid 19 severity. >> scott landes is a sociologist at syracuse university, who for years has studied health outcomes for those in the idd community. he says people with idd, conditions like down syndrome, cerebral palsy, rhett's syndrome and autism, often have underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible to covid-19. and that, combined with the fact that many receive care in group living facilities, in close contact with caretakers, puts them at greater risk than the general population. >> their case fatality rate, we're finding, is about 1.5 times higher than what we're seeing in the general population. for people living in
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these congregate settings like these residential group homes, we are seeing that the case fatality rate is about three times higher than the general population. >> despite the elevated risks for those with idd, when it came to vaccinating residents and caretakers, david ervin says it was an uphill battle, first to get prioritized by the states where they operate, and then, to actually get shots into arms. >> ultimately, when we were finally contacted by first walgreens and subsequently cvs, neither were quite sure what to do with us. community living supports? are you a nursing home? yes. if that's what it takes. once we were identified as phase one priority, if you need me to call myself a nursing home, i'm a nursing home. >> across the country, every state included nursing homes in their phase one vaccine rollouts. but only 31 states and the district of columbia specifically included people with idd in their highest priority tiers.
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>> it's not been surprising, on one hand, that states have not prioritized this group because that's historically been the case. it's been disappointing, because the evidence was there pre-pandemic, and the evidence is there now, that this group is at higher risk. >> scott landes says that even goes to the data collection itself. as of january, he says only nine states and the district of columbia even reported data on covid-19 outcomes for those specifically witidd to the federal government, deite the fact that all states receive federal funding for care. >> so there's this difficulty with understanding the trends within this population simply because the data is not often available. >> it seems that their, for lack of a better word, relative invisibility in our society and even in federal data sets has only exacerbated the problems now that the pandemic is upon us. yes, and that's a great word,
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invisibility. i think a lot of it relates to whether we do or do not value the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disability. >> last october, senators elizabeth warren, maggie hassan, and patty murray asked the head of the centers for medicare and medicaid to require that all states report covid data on those with idd living in congregate care, as they had already done with nursing homes. the department center has yet to respond to that request. while many with idd live in these group care settings, the majority live with their families. 23-year-old carmen houston-ludlam lives on a beautiful farm in eastern maryland, surrounded by emus, turkeys, rabbits. >> we also have dogs. >> her parents call their daughter "joy gifted," and carmen lives a very active lifestyle, balancing work, sports, and now, teaching online cooking classes.
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>> make sure it is cut longways. >> but because she has down syndrome, carmen is far more susceptible to covid-19, for reasons that still aren't well understood. >> because i am disabled, you can easily catch the coronavirus when someone who is disabled >> well, that in down syndrome that people's immune response is different and it's not quite as strong as other people. and so you were very susceptible to getting the coronavirus. and so that's why we had to be super careful about it. >> because i was very vulnerable? very valuable? >> yes. you were super precious. >> recognizing her elevated risk and need for a vaccine, the state prioritized carmen, and those like her, in category category 1-b, along with people over 75. but again, when it came to actually giving her the shot, there were barriers -- in this case, her mom ginger says the local health department balked. >> they simply wouldn't put us on the waiting list. >> did you call the county and
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say "hey what's up?" >> and they didn't give you an answer? >> no, they said, well, we haven't prioritized people, we're only doing it for people over seventy five. >> even though the state is saying -- >> exactly. >> carmen belongs on this list. >> absolutely. >> i know i'm not 75 or older, but it doesn't matter what the age is. i just wanted to get the vaccine. >> with the help of an idd non-profit called the arc maryland, carmen and her parents eventually got vaccinated, six weeks after they first became eligible under the state guidelines. >> we are going to make squares. >> ginger's now helping others in their same situation get vaccinated, and looking forward to the day when carmen can return to her many pursuits. >> so i do a lot of like ukulele, ventriloquism, i show you. >> snowboarding. >> snowboarding, dancing, cheerleading, swimming. >> oh, my gosh. it's like you're living the life of seven people
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all in one. >> back in silver spring, alan cohen, now fully vaccinated -- is looking forward to baseball season, and to seeing his family again. >> one day soon. soon. >> for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham in silver spring, maryland. ♪ should judy: he's not a magician, but artist shen wei is very good at disappearing, losing himself as he creates, conjuring ethereal lands and reimagining the human body. his work is now on view at the isabella stewart gardner museum in boston through june 20. special correspondent jared bowen of pbs station gbh boston has the story for our arts and culture series, canvas. >> on the facade of the isabella
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stewart gardner museum, a woman in red. she is a figure of passion. her writhing traced on the ground beneath. inside the museum, we see her on film, a spirit gliding through galleries. >> there is something kind of surreal about many of his films. >> he is shen wei, a chinese artist who mesmerized an international audience of four billion people in 2008 with his choreography at the beijing olympics opening ceremony. >> that's about as public as you can get. and he's celebrated worldwide. he's he's a cultural icon in china. >> but in all the time he has been creating dance and films for public audiences, shen wei has been very quietly creating work for himself, these paintings. some on view for the first time at the gardner museum where peggy fogelman is the director. >> you can see that he was
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thinking about cosmic forces and so many of these paintings in this, in this series because there's no horizon line, you know, you feel like you're thrown into, you know, maybe rushing water or a cloud scape and you're kind of floating above it or in it. >> a lot of times, i felt all of the paintings, it is more like a journal. >> we spoke with shen wei from his parents' home in hunan province, china where he's settled during the pandemic. he says his towering paintings in the museum are less about what he's painting, than what he's feeling. although that never stops people from finding figures, landscapes and stories in his work, especially in this piece, titled untitled, number 8. >> when i paint that one, i really didn't think i was trying to paint a human figure in the middle. people think it is a human figure riding like a riding a lion, flying, crossing a
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mountain or flying in the air. when i paint i didn't think that at all, i was just thinking that i want to use the black paint to , more like energy. >> one that consumes him. shen wei insists on being alone when he paints, sometimes for months on end, sometimes even he is not entirely present. >> the large piece, i fainted and fell down twice. i wake up in the middle. i don't know how long i slept, because i forgot to eat when i paint. >> he is like any form of deep meditation and it takes him a while to get back on the ground, and that was interesting to see. >> curator pieranna cavalchini invited shen wei to be an artist-in-residence at the gardner in 2018, a stay that led to the inspiration for his film, passion spirit. it, along with his choreography and painting have an ethereal quality. born, the curator says, of his desire
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to connect to greater things. >> he has developed this technique, which is where you have this energy in your body, your heart, your blood. this idea of being connected to the universe and it's a very strong spiritual element, really, in his work. >> shen wei has been a working artist since the age of nine, when he entered opera school in china. and as these early notebooks reveal, he was charging choreography by age four -- by age 14. >> i thought, this is something all the children do at school and the teacher makes them do it. no. so this is something he invented. >> i was just thinking, oh my gosh, if i forget other things, teacher taught me what i'm going to do. i love so much. but then i start to find a way to to to, to write down and make puppets and drawings, to write down all the movements. >> some 30 years on, he still maps out his dance and films. but in his paintings, he harkens
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back to centuries of art history. from the ancient storied scrolls of the song dynasty to the dark, roiling images conjured by dante's inferno to 20th century american abstract expressionism. >> he says i am made of eastern and western ingredients. and he also talks about, we are all solitary and alone, but we breathe together. and it's a beautiful kind of coalescence of different influences, different techniques, different art forms. but then, truly, he has forged his own style. >> i'm jared bowen in boston, massachusetts. judy: he was one part political provocateu one part ruthless operator, best known for his role in the watergate break-in, which ultimately led to the
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downfall of president nixon. lisa desjardins has the story of g. gordon liddy, who died yesterday not far from washington. lisa: an unapologetic criminal, conservative firebrand and broadcast sherman -- ohman, g gord liddy held a unique place. the new yorker rose as an fbi agent and prosecutor. in 1960 eight he joined the nixon campaign, managing a local campaign office. when nixon was in the white house, the spring boarded into a job in washington. it was the time of the vietnam war and the pentagon papers questioning the war. the nixon administration tapped liddy to investigate lks that led directly to perhaps the greatest presidential scandal in american history. >> how high do the scandals reach and was president nixon himself involved? lisa: liddy masterminded the
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idea of wiretapping the democratic national committee headquarters inside the watergate complex in washington. when his burglars bungled it, the case led directly to liddy. as congress investigated, the audiotape connected nixon himself, here talking about liddy. >> [indiscernible] lisa: nixon resigned. liddy went to prison for more than four years. after he was out, he added t his reputation as a conservative outlier, bragging about his role in watergate as well as his own toughness. he sought the spotlight. >> sonny crockett. lisa: including a part on tv's miami vice. in the 1990's, he gained new following on conservative talk radio. >> we are back. the g gordon liddy show. lisa: on air, he launched a
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blunt verbal war, comparing liberals to terrorists and pushing and and justifies the means philosophy. opponents heard a dangerous voice with fascist ideas. liddy put his outlook like this. when you start a war, you have to win the war. g gordon liddy was 90 years old. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. judy: on the pbs newshour online, the connection between the black church and activism has a deep history. we explore how that relationship is evolving today, particularly with young activists involved in the black lives matter movement. you can read more on our website, pbs.org/newshour. that is the newshour f tonight. join us tomorrow evening, and for all of us, thank you. please stay safe and we will see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by --
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>> for 25 years, consumer cellular has offered no contract wirele plans designed to help people do more of what they like. our u.s.-based customer service team can find a plan that fits you. to learn more, visit consumer cellular.tv. ♪ >> johnson & johnson. bnsf railway. the ford foundation, working with visionaries on the front lines of social change worldwide. and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions. ♪
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should >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.] ♪ >> this is pbs newshour west. from w eta studios in washington and from our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. ♪
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lidia: buon giorno. i'm lidia bastianich, and teaching you about italian food has always been my passion. i want to taste it. assaggiare. it has always been about cooking together... hello. ...but it is also about reminiscing, reflecting, and reconnecting through food. erminia: mmm. delicious. lidia: for me, food is about family and comfort. whatever you're making, always remember, tutti a tavola a mangiare. announcer: funding provided by... announcer: at cento fine foods, we're dedicated to preserving the culinary heritage of authentic italian foods by offering over 100 specialty italian products for the american kitchen. cento -- trust your family with our family. announcer: authentic and original -- amarena fabbri. a taste of italy for brunch with family and friends.

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