tv PBS News Hour PBS April 1, 2021 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: the trial continues. george floyd's girlfriend testifies to life before his killing, at the murder trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin. then, the road ahead. president biden pushes his infrastructure overhaul plan, focusing on creating jobs with renewable energy. and, crackdown. the chinese government tightens the scre on hong kong, as it convicts seven pro-democracy leaders. >> it is our badge of honor to be in jail for walking together with the people of hong kong. >> woodruff: all that and more
on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> before we talk about your investments-- what's new? >> well, audrey's expecting... >> twins! >> we'd be closer to the twins. >> change in plans. >> at fidelity, changing plans is always part of the plan. >> johnson & johnson. >> bnsf railway. >> consumer cellular. >> the kendeda fund. committed to advancing restorative justice and meaningful work through investments in transformative leaders and ideas. more at kendedafund.org.
>> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the white house says a problem with johnson & johnson's supply of covid-19 vaccine will not slow the pace of inoculations. a problem at a baltimore plant
may have contaminated 15 million doses, and it also delayed federal approval of the plant's production lines. the white house said today that it learned of the problem last week, but remains confident. >> h.h.s. updated us-- in fact, this is probably the process working as it should-- on j&j's manufacturing, including where things stood with the facility at the point where they learned about the issue. it wasn't going to impact our supply, it wasn't going to impact the supply to the american people, and of course, j&j is working through this with the f.d.a. >> woodruff: also today, the white house launched a campaign titled "we can do this" to win over americans still hesitant about getting vaccinated. it involves 275 organizations ranging from the salvation army to the n.a.a.c.p. to nascar. vice president kamala harris introduced members at a virtual event, and officials debut tv
ads in english and spanish to amplify the message. police in southern california have identified the man who allegedly shotnd killed four people-- including a nine-year- old boy-- on wednesday. a fifth person remains in critical condition, along with the suspect. he is identified as aminadab gonzalez. it is not clear how he was wounded. investigators say he attacked the victims at an office complex southeast of los angeles after chaining the gates closed. >> the preliminary motive is believed to be related to a business and personal relationship, which existed between the suspect and all of the victims. it appears all of the adults were connected either by business or a personal relationship, and this was not a random act of violence. >> woodruff: this attack follows mass shootings in boulder, colorado, and atlanta in the last two weeks. in myanmar, demonstrations erupted across the country
today, marking two months since the military seized power. protesters in yangon and mandalay burned copies of the constitution that ensured military dominance in the legislature. they also honored more than 500 otesters killed so far. a court in hong kong convicted seven pro-democracy leaders today for their role in mass protests in 2019. they include martin lee, the 82-year-old founder of the territory's democratic party, and media tycoon jimmy lai. they could get five years in prison. we'll have details, later in the program. back in this country, president biden held his first full cabinet meeting, with everyone spread out and fully masked. it took place in the east room of the white house, to allow for social distancing. the president urged them to push his infrastructure plan,
and buy american. this was opening day for major league baseball-- but covid-19 claimed an immediate casualty. a washington nationals player tested positive, and the team scratched its game with the new york mets. elsewhere, limited numbers of fans were allowed to attend, including in new york for the yankees' home opener with toronto. >> we're hoping for a good year this year, and it's been hard for a lot of people, so, you know, let's get back, slowly but surely. and hopefully everyone gets vaccinated, so that we can all come back and enjoy the game with a full crowd. >> woodruff: the texas rangers were the lone team to allow full capacity at their stadium. president biden said that decision was irresponsible. the state supreme court of virginia today backed charlottesville's move to take down two confederate statues. one, of general robert e. lee, was at the center of a white
nationalist rally in 2017, where a woman was killed. the other statue is of thomas "stonewall" jackson, lee's fellow general. in economic news, claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week to 719,000-- up 61,000 from the week before. and on wall street, big tech led the broader market higher. the dow jones industrial average gained 171 points to close at 33,153. the nasdaq rose 233 points, and the s&p 500 added 47-- closing above 4,000 for the first time. still to come on the newshour: george floyd's girlfriend fers details of his life at his murder trial. president biden pushes renewable energy as a goal of his infrastructure plan. people with underlying health conditions discuss their
struggles to get a vaccine. plus, much more. >> woodruff: this was day four of the trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin. he is charged with second and third degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of george floyd last may. as special correspondent fred de sam lazaro reports, prosecutors continued to lay out their case. >> reporter: a trial already filled with emotion began with more tearful testimony this morning. george floyd's girlfriend, courteney ross, took the stand, and cried as she told the story of how the two met at a
salvation army shelter in 2017. >> floyd has this great, deep, southern voice, raspy. and he's like "sis, you okay, sis?" this kind person just to come up to me and say "can i pray with you," it was so sweet. >> reporter: ross described floyd as a "momma's boy" who loved his two daughters. she also spoke about their shared struggle with opioid addiction. >> we both suffered from chronic pain. we got addicted, and tried really hard to break that addiction many times. >> reporter: derek chauvin's defense is trying to convince jurors that floyd's drug use-- coupled with underlying health conditions-- actually caused his death. an autopsy revealed floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system when he died. ross told jurors, she took floyd to the hospital in march 2020, just two months before his death, for what she later
learned was an overdose. shortly after ross's testimony, lawyers for floyd's family released a statement, saying, "we fully expected the defense to put george's character and struggles with addiction on trial, because that is the go-to tactic when the facts are not on your side.” lawyers also questioned a minneapolis police sergeant who came to the scene after floyd died. >> based on your review of the body-worn camera footage, do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of mr. floyd should have ended in this encounter? >> yes. >> what is it? >> when mr. floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended their restraint. >> that was after he was handcuffed and on the ground and no longer resistant? >> correct. >> reporter: jurors also
>> reporter: jurors also heard from first responders, including one paramedic who moved chauvin's knee off floyd, and another who thought floyd was dead when they arrived. for the pbs newshour, i'm fred de sam lazaro. >> woodruff: president biden's infrastructure proposal includes hundreds of billions of dollars aimed at addressing climate change by cutting emissions and increasing the use of clean energy. conservative critics say it amounts to a version of the green new deal. jennifer granholm is the energy secretary, and she joins us now. i spoke with her a short time ago. secretary granholm, thank you so much for joining us. this infrastructure bill is not only ambitious in the price tag, $2 trillion or more for doing something about crumbling roads are water systems, it also tackles, in a big
way, or attempts to, to help with climate change. explain how addressing climate and what is going to happen to that is connected to infrastructure? >> well, e most obvious is the transmission grid, of course, which is part of our nation's infrastructure. which is very old in many places. can you imagine us today sticking poles in the ground with wires on the top. much of it was built in the 1950s. you saw what happened in texas last month, and clearly that is one example of so many every year where our infrastructure, in this case our electric infrastructure, fails us. so we need to add both capacity to the electric grid as well as resiliency to the grid. that is one of the pieces of this bill. and if i could, just quickly, another one i think is very important that relates to certainly our efforts to have clean energy and zero carbon emissions is the
transportation sector and electrifying our roads to be able to allow people who buy electric volleybvehiclesto be able to chf they're going long distances. that is a very important piece of the climate and energy infrastructure that is addressed in the bill. >> woodruff: madam secretary, the president speaks about this being an effort to catch up with china, that the united states doesn't want china to be ahead when it comes to renewable energy. but what exactly does that mean? i'm looking at what you said recently. you said our economic competitors are eating us for lunch. what exactly is it that china and other companies counts are doing that the united states wants to change? >> this is the key question, judy. we, as a nation, have bowed to alter of low costs globally. and when we do that, we give away our manufacturing backbone. we used to manufacture
solar panels in this country, and we don't anymore. because china came in, and had a strategy that it was going to get the global economic corner on making solar panels. this is true with batteries for electric vehicles. it is true -- asia has got the corner on the market on semiconductors. we have stood idly by and allowed our competitors to basically take the market from us, and that means taking jobs from us. what this president is saying is, no more. that is not going to happen. we're going to manufacture the means to our energy security in this country, to our national security in this country. we're going to make things in america. why should we be putting out all of this effort to have cle energy but buy our windmills from denmark. why should we be buying the means to put solar panels on our roofs from a country that human rights violations. and the batteries -- they've got materials that
we have in this country, but we're allowing other countries to corner the market on those materials. it is not an economic strategy that is a winning strategy for our people or our nation or our security. and that's what this bill addresses. >> woodruff: well, we're already hearing criticisms, as you know, from republicans coming at it from several different perspectives. a number of republicans are saying, wait a minute, we are for doing something about infrastructure, about roads and bridges and water systems, but dealing with climate, that's something else. that ought to be separate from this. how do you answer that? >> well, first of all, every one of the republicans that i've spoken to believe that we have to invest in our electric grid, that we need to make it more resilient. we have to make sure it is not us susceptible to cyber attacking. every one of them wants to see us invest in the means to our own security. and that means doing
critical materials, mining responsibly, critical materials that go into the batteries in this country. that means making sure that we manage the fossil fuel emissions, the carbon dioxide emissions responsibly, and that means investing in the technology that reduces the co2 footprint of the fossil fuel industry. they all want to see us invest in that. and they want to see us invest in research and development. i've testified, they've responded, we need to do this. we must invest in critical material. so all of these pieces are things that republicans and democrats have all said we must do. now, maybe they don't like it lumped into one bill. maybe it has to be done in a slightly different way, but there is so much in this bill, judy, that democrats and republicans have said they would like to see. >> woodruff: well, let me read you another criticism, coming from
cathy mcmorse rogers. she said, "the democrats are jamming through a massive expansion in federal bureaucracy and government control." >> let's just say this: first of all, nobody is jamming anything because the president has said he wants -- he is inviting democrats and republicans to the table. he called mitch mcconnell -- we're all calling the people who are responsible for our respective committees. i've talked to democrats and republicans. this is not a jam. this is an open hand. come to the table, tell us what you like, tem us what you would change, get your piece of the bill inside of this. he wants to negotiate. so that's number one. number two, when you think about this, you know, big government bureaucracy. when you invest in infrastructure, it is not generally government employees that are out there paving the roads or building the bridges or putting up the transmission systems. those are all private
contractors. so it is the government that funds the private sector to be able to do this work for all of us, for the benefit of the nation. so it is not an expansion of bureaucracy. it is an expansion of economic opportunity and jobs for america. >> woodruff: and it is not just republicans, but it is others in the corporate sector, people who represent people who hold these jobs, who say that when you do make the change from the fossil fuel industry, fossil fuel, whether it is working at a plant or dealing in oil and natural gas and you move to renewable energy, wind, solar, electric vehicles, you're talking about many fewer jobs. and they say that is a central problem of what the administration is trying to do? >> actually, ere are many more jobs in this clean energy realm than there have been in the fossil fuel industry. but it is so true, we
don't want to see people hurt, people who have built this nation and powered our nation. so what this bill does is allow us to manage our carbon dioxide emissions. so the president has a goal of getting to net zero carbon dioxide for this country by 2050. that means we've got to figure out ways to clean up our fossil fuel industry. and even the fossil fuel industry itself is doing this, but what the department of energy does, through our national lab system -- we have 17 fantastic national labs, and they're all working on solutions to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. one of the ways, for example, is a process called carbon capture and sequestration. i know it is a mouthful, but it is the way to be able to clean up emissions from power plants, and it is the way to be able to produce the products, the technology that you attach to those plants, to be able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and put people to work. and this bill allows us to begin to put people to
work and making sure we have clean power in this country. >> woodruff: well, it is a big bill, and the bate is just beginning. the secretary of energy, jennifer granholm, thank you very much. >> you bet. thanks so much, judy. >> woodruff: and for a republican perspective on infrastructure, coressman rodney davis of illinois. he serves on the transportation and infrastructure committee. >> woodruff: congressman davis, thank you so much. first of all, you're overall reaction to this proposal? >> well, it could be a lot better. i'm concerned about the investments, or lack there of in certain areas of our infrastructure in this country that needs to be replaced, needs to be fixed. the secretary of energy was correct, there are areas of bipartisanship, but unfortunately it seems that the administration and, more importantly, i believe leader schumer and speaker pelosi are choosing to take a partisan route, rather
than working with us on those areas of agreement. >> woodruff: we heard secretary granholm and the president, if they have ideas, we want to hear them. and you heard her say they're willing to look at if republicans come to the table with other proposals, look at maybe moving this into more than one bill. >> well, you know, i offered my suggestions, as did ranking member sam graves of the transportation infrastructure committee. a couple of other republicans, those who have a tremendous bipartisan record, we were in the oval office with the president, with vice-president harris and buttigieg, and we implored them, do not use reconciliation. i do believe that the president and secretary buttigieg, especially, they would rather be bipartisan. but i don't think leader schumer and speaker pelosi want to use any process other than the
reconciliation process, and that is why we have a bill that is spending more in the initial proposal to add a division within the department of commerce than they are investing in every single port, waterway, lock and dam system and airport in the nation in their proposal. >> woodruff: well, i didn't ask secretary ganholm about that, but you may have heard her say that the republicans she speaks with, and perhaps she was even talking about you, she said they all tell us they're interested in fixing the electric grid, addressing the problems that we know the country has when it comes to infrastructure. and in making sure that the country is prepare for the future when it comes to energy challenges. so, i guess i'm hearing two different things here. >> well, one of the reasons why china is eating our lunch in manufacturing is because they're trying to get to a point where they have
cheap energy costs, like we do here in the united states. i certainly would like to invite secretary granholm to come to my direct. she mentioned we need to buy more wind turbines here in the united states. absolutely we do. buy them in clinton, illinois. you can come to my district and you can see wind. you can see solar. you can see the demonstration project funded by the department of energy on carbon sequestration. but we have to have base load generating capacity. that means we have zero emissions, just like the one in clinton, illinois. and we also need to make sure we don't deinvest in base load generating capacity through process like coal, which the carbon sequestration project is demonstrating we can burn cleanly. we cannot run the american economy on wind and solar alone. you can't run the company that is helping to fund the carbon see quest sequestratn
alone. i would look forward to working with the secretary and making sure she has the opportunity to see this. >> woodruff: and what i hear the administration saying is they understand this isn't going to happen overnight. it is a process they know we're going to be moving towards for the good of the country in the future. but it sounds like you're saying, congressman davis, that you're prepared to talk to the president, to the secretary, and to others to see if there is common ground. am i hearing you correctly? >> absolutely. we all are on the republican side. i just got off of had a conference call with g.o.p. membership. they mentioned we ought to be able to sit down and work in a bipartisan way. our leader, kevin mccarthy, said the exact same thing. we may not be given the chance, though. i was honoured to go over to the white house and be in the oval office with president biden and his team and talk about infrastructure. but the proof is going to
be in the pudding, and we need to make sure that speaker pelosi and leader schumer get the message we ought to be bipartisan rather than using the reconciliation process, which will mean that the democrats will negotiate amongst themselves. in this plan, as we see it today, will get even worse than it is. >> woodruff: well -- again, as you know, the administration is arguing if we don't begin to take these steps now to address climate change, then the united states can't be at a point in the future where it needs to reduce carbon emissions -- there will be a point of no return if steps are not taken right now, beginning steps, early steps, and then the u.s. can't be where it needs to be. again, it sounds like they're prepared -- they want to work with republicans in order to get there. i guess my question to you is: do you agree these early steps need to be taken? >> well, i disagree with the premise that the
democrats want to work with republicans. i believe speaker pelosi and leader schumer are pressuring the administration not to work with the republicans. i don't think that's joe biden and pete buttigieg and jennifer granholm first step, but i think it is the cards they've been dealt by their leaders in the house and the senate. let's not forget, too, judy, we can't just automaticly believe the climate hysterics that many in this country want to talk about. we can't forget that america is the only industrialized country that would have met the paris climate accord emissions control standards. we're leading the way in the united states. and for many here in america, in politics, to not give america credit for what we're already doing to reduce our cash footprint, and at the same time not crippling our economy and killing good-paying american jobs right here in central illinois -- we've got to make sure we talk about
what is good and what is happening positively along that front in america, not just doom and gloom that comes from many that i serve with. >> woodruff: well, as i said to secretary granholm, it is just the beginning of this debate, but i think everyone welcomes hearing both sides and welcomes knowing that the two sides are going to be talking two one another. congressman rodney davis of illinois, thank you very much. we appreciate it. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: even as the u.s. sets records for daily covid-19 vaccinations, disparities in who is getting those vaccines persist. in a moment, william brangham will talk with a researcher about those gaps. but first, here are the stories of some medically vulnerable
people, most of whom are still waiting for their shot. >> my name is jessica hernandez. i am from southern california. i am a diabetic, i have high blood pressure, and i have an endocrine disorder called cushing's disease. >> my name's katie powers. i live in maine. and i have a rare auto-immune disorder that's been labeled anti-ganglioside antibody disorder. >> my name is samuel freeman. i live in new york state, and i have cerebral palsy, epilepsy, asthma, scoliosis, and i have poor vision. >> aloha, my name is justin kamai clemente. i reside in honolulu, hawaii, on the island of oahu. i am 41, and have one condition: i'm a cancer survivor, and i'm h.i.v.-positive. >> my name is kathleen newell. i'm from california, and i have stage four breast cancer.
i think california threw us under the bus. the c.d.c. had wrote a-- a letter, saying that people on chemotherapy and other types of really serious diseases should have been in that group at the priority list, and we weren't. and i just now got my vaccine. >> i am-- i unfortunately got covid last year, at the beginning of the pandemic. but apparently i don't qualify, even despite my underlying conditions. >> maine has not done anything to make things any easier for myself or any high-risk person to get vaccinated. >> i'm still searching for a vaccine. when the vaccine rolled out, they immediately said, oh, only senior citizens, you know, above 65, qualify. how do you leave out people with disabilities from the get-go? >> trying to get the vaccine, i'd like to say happily that i have gotten it, but i'm not. in regards to having h.i.v. and treating it differently, i think it kind of got to me a bit that there isn't a national standard
for it. so now we are stuck, if you have h.i.v., just waiting. even though you could be on the front end of it and be fine, or the back end of it and have aids, you are stuck with everyone else in the general population and waiting to get the vaccine because you're not that important enough. >> my days are numbered. i'm hoping my medication for the stage four cancer will work and that i'll live another 10 to 20 years, but the odds are against that. soevery day counts for me. so, i lost that year, and i see it improving as soon as my vaccine kicks in, so that i don't have to be so isolated. >> i just hope and i do believe that everybody will get vaccinated and life will get back to normal. and i hope mine does. >> no one wants to talk about it, no one wants to say the word "disabled," no one wants to say the words "high risk." they want to skirt around the
issue, like we don't exist. >> this whole scenario shouldn't be happening right now. period. >> i'm hoping and praying like it does go in the right direction. all you can do is still practice your social distancing and be smart about what you're doing and how you're doing it. and just, wait my turn. >> brangham: for more on why some of these people are still waiting for their vaccines, i'm joined by jen kates. she's the senior vice president and director of global health and h.i.v. policy at the kaiser family foundation. >> brangham: jen kates,it is gru back on the "news hour." we talked a lot about the inequities in vaccine distribution, but hearing these people's stories, it is hard not to feel that sense of frustration. these are people who are clearly medically vulnerable. what is your sense, broadly speaking, as to why these people are having a hard time getting their shots? >> yeah, it is hard to hear. these are individuals who all have high risk medical conditions. if they were to get
infected with covid-19 they are at great risk for hospitalization and even death. it just shows you we have a lot more work to do. what we found in our research is that for the most part states did not prioritize this population initially, and that was not the recommendation to do, so it has been a lot of waiting, a waiting game, for many with high-risk medical conditions. that's what we're seeing right now. states have mostly opened up eligibility to them now, almost all, but a month ago that was not the case. a month ago, half of the states had done so. so it was very hard for people who are quite vulnerable to get appointments. >> brangham: i know that people don't like it when the federal government or the state government tells them what to do, but the c.d.c. did putous this put out s list of who should be prioritized. did states and counties follow that guidance for the most part or not? >> that's a good question. in addition to the states not prioritizing this
group initially, they defined the priorities differently. in one state you might be somebody who has a serious medical condition but not eligible. whereas just next door you might be eligible. that has created another layer of challenge for a very vulnerable group of people. >> brangham: one researcher i talked to said some of this might have to do with the relative invisibility of people with these different medical conditions in our society. do you think there are any truth to that? >> i think there is some truth to that. i think there is a lot of complicated factors as to why states were prioritizing this group after others and we they defined certain conditions as being included, and others not. but, yes, this is -- if we look around, it is not really a group of people that always come forward and clamor for inclusion, especially given the last year, when everyone is
afraid and trying to to be careful as they can. people who are feeling vulnerable and wanting to be safe and are recommended for vaccination have not been eligible until recently. but by the end of april, every state will have opened up eligibility to people 16 and older, so these issues should go away. >> brangham: is it your sense as soon as we have enough vaccine supply and those doors open, that th problem will basically go away? >> i think at that point the eligibility con confusion, the eligibility waiting game will go away. then we'll be into the issue of, okay, has the supply gotten to the states? do the states have the capacity to reach people? is the registration system too complicated? there are still going to be issues, and some populations, including with high risk medical conditions, who are homebound, are still going
to need extra help and effort. all of the issues won't go away, but the eligibility challenge is the one thing that will ease up. >> brangham: jen kates of the kaiser foundation, always good to see you. >> thank you. good to be here. >> woodruff: today, seven of hong kong's most prominent pro-democracy leaders were convinced of unlawful assembly, and as a result, could face up to five years in jail. it is another blow to the city's independence. nick schifrin focuses on three of those convinced, and their fight against an increasingly aggressive beijing. >> 82-year-old martin lee left court gingerly, and this 73wasn't allowedn court. he was last seen in custody back in february.
64-year-old lee chuck spoke to the group and admitted they were resigned to their fate. >> if we are sentenced in the future for this case or many other cases following, it is our honor to be in jail for walking together with the people of hong kong. [yelling] >> schifrin: their walk took place in july 2015. they helped lead 1.7 million people out of virginia park through downtown without a permit. [yelling] >> schifrin: it was a peak of protests, initially against an extradition law of fundamental democracy. but they were shut down by a wave of arrests anda natial security law that targeted the city's freedoms. and today's convictions are designed to discredit
lifetimes of peaceful activists. >> these three in particular, they are like the first generation of democracy proponents who are acting professionally, acting constructively, and many would say some of the -- sg people would say these are the moderates. >> schifrin: sharon holm says the three represent the pillars of the democracy movement and the city. >> the attacking of them i think both reflects the recognition of their influence as well as a real commitment to cutting off that influence. >> schifrin: jimmy lie was a media tycoon until he was frog-marched by plains clothed police out of his own newsroom last summer. what is the state of freedom of speech today in hong kong? >> as long as people are becoming more cautious, what they write, what they
say, and in fear of violating the national security law, the freedom of speech, it's not there. >> lie came to hong kong at 12 years old, stowed away on a shing boat and worked his way up to hong kong pro democracy newspaper. he now faces multiple charges that could lead to years in prison. are you resigned, on a personal level, of being found guilty and perhaps spending the rest of your life in prison? >> i don't want to think bow this because i don't want to put the psychological burden on myself until the time comes. i'm not worried just because my life is about myself -- if my life was about myself, it would be meaningless. only when i detach from myself and thinking of my life is about something bigger and not about myself, that my life becomes meaningful. and that makes me going
every day. >> we last spoke to lee chuck yong last january. how are you and the family? >> it is a tough time now. i think i should be in jail by the middle of this year, i think. [yelling] >> lee is a prompt hong kong union organizer and long time advocate for chinese mainland democracy. we spoke on a day that more than a thousand hong kong police arrested beijing critics. they were accused of conversion for organizing. >> they take over, and that's what their grand plan is, to frustrate the people to such an extent that either you immigrate to elsewhere, and if you stay on, you have to have the risk of being arrested. >> martin lee and i last met in july 2019 outside a noisy hong kong train station. >> we don't have democracy, but we have all of the fruits of democracy, human rights --
>> lee is considered the father of hong kong's democratic movement. he is a lawyer that help negotiate the basic law that was supposed to guarantee the hong kong basic freedoms. >> under the law, china is not allowed to interfere with hong kong affairs. so china must accommodate hong kong as much as possible. >> but beijing now labels people like martin lee subversive, to ensure that politicians are patriotic. >> we are excluding the anti-china rebel rousers from the government's framework. >> those convicted today might be resigned from their fate, but the movement is not. >> martin and jimmy and lee chuck will continue to be a kind of inspiration for those of us who are outside, and a reminder that sometimes there is a price to be paid, but that
it is a long struggle. >> a struggle that continues decades after its first generation launched it. for the pbs "newshour," i'm nick schifrin. >> woodruff: the young superstar rapper lil nas x is no stranger to commanding the spotlight. his controversial new music video and marketing campaign are drawing the e of conservatives and right-wing media. the reactions reveal deeper truths about the struggle of black, queer artists to make their voices heard. yamiche alcindor has more, as part of our ongoing arts and culture series, "canvas." ♪ ♪ ♪ >> alcindor: in 2019, he swaggered onto the scene
with the country-rap song, "old town road." practically overnight, montero lamar hill, a teenager who spent a lot of time on the internet at home in the atlanta suburbs, became superstar lil nas x. ♪ ♪ ♪ "old town road" caught fire on the video app tik tok, and it became a smash hit. it broke the billboard record for longest-running number one song of all time. that year, at 20 years old, he was the most grammy-nominated male artist. >> thank you! ( cheers and applause ) >> alcindor: while still on top of the charts, he came out as gay. he told cbs's gayle king that he wrestled with his sexuality growing up. >> i knew, especially around my teenage years, i would just pray, and pray and pray. >> what were you praying for? >> that it was, like, a phase. >> that it would go away? >> yeah. >> alcindor: last week, lil nas x released a music video that he says speaks to that teenage boy, struggling to accept his true self.
it's called "montero." it's a campy, fantastical journey, that takes him from the garden of eden to the underworld, where he dances for the devil before stealing his horns for himself. it's a tongue-in-cheek riff on the biblical themes that have long been used to demonize queerness and justify homophobia. lil nas x says it's an embrace of his identity. but, an online backlash is in full force. it intensified after he released a limited-edition model of sneakers called "satan shoes"-- they allegedly contain a drop of human blood-- alongside the song. nike sued the company that made the modified version of the sneakers for trademark infringement, and blocked them from being sold. >> you've got to be kidding me. >> alcindor: right-wing media stoked the uproar: >> what's most outrageous is the timing of this. it was intentionally dropped on the eve of holy week. >> alcindor: politicians like south dakota governor kristi noem, rapper joyner lucas, and conservative pundit candice owens have all taken to twitter to criticize the rapper.
but lil nas x is known for his comebacks in his native arena, twitter. he has been quick to defend himself against critics. and he's not waiting on anyone's blessing to express himself through his art. to discuss all of this, i'm joined by clay cane. he's the host of "the clay cane show" on sirius xm, and he is theuthor of "live through this: surviving the intersections of sexuality, god and race." >> yamiche: clay, thanks so much for being here. what did you see represented here in this video? and how does it speak particularly to black and queer folks? >> to see someone as young as lil nas x really dealing with faith and his own identity, it was really powerful. i think what shook me is a tweet he put out there saying all these years he had been taught to hate himself. so this music video to me was him reacting to what i
call spiritual and theological violence, and how that harms black people, especially lgbtq black folks in the church. when i was younger, if i would have seen a video like this, in many ways it would have freed me from the hate i was taught to believe. for a lot of black lgbtq folks -- i'm not saying lil nas x is james baldwin, but young people are listening to him, and that power of him really dismantling a cycle of shame, i think it really resonates, and for folks who listen to him, it certainly has an impact. >> yamiche: you just touched on the cycle of shame that some people feel, especially black people and queer folks. can you talk a little about how lil nas x's art and his success, rather, how they connect to people who may have felt that cycle of shame? >> yeah, well, listen, in many churcs you are taught that who you are
naturally is a an abomination. and then you have that this rhetoric, hate the sin but love the singer. sinner. who you are is wrong, but i still love you. and the truth is you don't love me. the truth is rhetoric like that, dogma like that is not affirming, and it really damages people for life. i have friends who committed suicide, i have friends who are living their life but they have this gnawing sense in the back of their mind is who they are is inherently wrong. and so lil nas x saying that, you're going to burn in hell, and here metaphorically, i'm going to hell. he is dong what any artist does, you put your work and your pain and your sorrow in your art, but for some people it is a little heavier that a
black gay artist is doing it. when madonna did it, it was controversial, but it isn't the kind of black lash you see now with a black gay artist doing it, who is remaining non-apologetic, and who is not guilted into the confines of religion, and in addition to that, some of that hate turns into policy. >> yamiche: you touched on this, this isn't the first time that artists have used controversial imagery. you talked about madonna. what do you think makes this different and new? >> because he is a black gay artist. i think it is funny that the folks are outraged at the religious imagery, madonna did it, prince did, but because it is a black gay artist, it terrifies people. and folks may get angry about this, but religion really isn't about god
oftentimes. it is about control. so lil nas x is taking a narrative, this narrative that is rooted in christianity, and he is blowing it up. lil nas x is insisting upon being free, and that scares people. >> yamiche: i want to ask you, of course, about the blowback because you said l lil nas x is insisting on being free, but there are people reacting to the satan shoes and the video. >> when it comes to sneakers in the video is funny. a pair of sneakers in a video is not going to dismantle centuries of religion. there is no threat to your faith. there is no threat to your religion. there is a threat to lgbtq folks being able to live and exist. and if lil nas x and so many other people were not damaged and hurt, then you wouldn't have a video like this.
so, again, i see him as acting out against the way that he has been hurt. and that, to me, is powerful. that, to me -- again, whether or not you like the song, that is one thing, but that imagery has people talking. and we have to really examine the ways in which pin our life and death to what i call culturally scripted sin. sin is culturally scripted, and it varies in every experience. if i see somebody being rooted in who they are -- he is not lying to himself -- fo turn it off. >> yamiche: certainly a lot to speak about. thank you so much for joining us, clay cane. >> thank you. >> woodruff: tonight, we look at the importance of palliative care in rural communities, from three perspectives. our "brief but spectacular" team spoke with dr. jennifer blechman of bend, oregon;
hospice and social worker liz anderson of asheville, north carolina; and patient joanie devine, alongside her fiancé, david keenan, of waynesville, north carolina. >> many people say, how can you do the work that you do? it seems so depressing, or so sad. but i find my job so rewarding. >> maybe i think about death a little bit more than other people, but it's not on the top of my mind. i think what i really think about is how to live a meaningful life. >> as long as i live a life that makes me happy, time doesn't matter to me. i could go at any day, but take advantage of every day that i do have. and i'd rather live that way. >> i have worked as a hospice and palliative care social worker, primarily in rural virginia and rural north
carolina. my first job was in a rural hospital in vermont, where we took-- we did everything. we did deliveries. we would work in the e.r., we worked in the intensive care unit. i learned about palliative care and realized it was really what i was missing in medicine. >> i was born with a rare genetic disorder called cistinosis, and i was supposed to have been dead by the age of 13. we live in a very small town. our local hospital doesn't even have a dialysis unit. >> we have some challenges, as far as access. for example, i live in central oregon. the agency i work for, we serve a 10,000-square mile radius. we have patients that are as far as three or 3.5 hours away. >> you know, you have one social worker that covers seven different counties.
we have to be much more proactive than in a big city. >> so, we try to predict what somebody may be dealing with and make sure they have the tools available to them in their home. >> we do her dialysis here at the house five days out of the week, and it takes upwards of 4.5, five hours a day. >> i think healthcare professionals have a really hard time in rural communities because they get pulled in so many different directions. and so a healthcare provider like a social worker or nurse, or doctor, might actually be asked to pray with a patient, because they're-- they're having a hard time getting those adequate resources. >> my palliative care nurse, her name is carmen. she's probably, i would say my best friend. she's a nurse, she's basically my therapist, she's everything i need in one person. >> she's magnificent. you know, giving joanie the tools to think things through and find a game plan of how to approach things. >> the work that we ask patients and caregivers to do when they're seriously ill is pretty tremendous.
and i have some-- some stories of caregivers that have heard some really heavy things from the people that they love, and they haven't had a place to talk about that. and i think particularly people in rural communities are carrying that around alone. >> i'm pretty at peace with it. dying is a release of pain. a release of everything that you feel negatively in life. >> many people get to a place of acceptance and a place of peace before they die. and that can be so rewarding for us to see, which is just a small fraction of how it can help theifamilies and loved ones that they leave behind. >> when we allow people to share their emotional experience of suffering or watching a loved one suffer, that, that in itself is healing. that in itself is intervention. that in itself alleviates suffering.
i am liz anderson. >> my name is david keenan. >> my name is dr. jenny blechman. >> my name is joanie devine. >> and this is my "brief but spectacular" take... >> on the benefits of palliative care in a rural community. >> woodruff: and you can find all of our "brief but spectacular" segments online at www.pbs.org/newshour/brief. we are so grateful you shared your stories with us. on the pbs "newshour" tonight, public officials are facing mounting pressure to address racist violence against asian-americans. we explore what lawmakers are proposing to combat the problem. that's on our and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and
we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> for 25 years, consumer cellular's goal has been to provide wireless service that helps people communicate and connect. we offer a variety of no-contract plans, and our u.s.-based customer service team can help find one that fits you. to learn more, visit www.consumercellular.tv. >> johnson & johnson. >> bnsf railway. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> fidelity wealth management. >> the alfred p. sloan foundation. driven by the promise of great ideas. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and friends of the newshour.
[dramatic music] - hello, everyone and welcome to "amanpour & co." here's what's coming up. after a stellar career, spanning half a century and all the major news stories of o time, marty baron says farewell. we get his first tv interview since saying he'll step down as the washington post's executive editor. then, [people cheer] - [christiane] 10 years since the arabpring, what is there to show for it? i ask two women who played a part in those revolutions that sparked so much hope. also ahead. - i did commit crimes, but he seen past that and understand i was a human. - [christiane] a judge, and the young man he sentenced to life in prison, tell our michel martin how together they won his freedom. - [christiane] and finally. - i could not afford the luxury of just being an actress.