tv PBS News Hour PBS October 20, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
judy: good evening. vaccinating children. the biden administration unveils its plan to inoculate 28 million children ages five to 11 against covid-19 once there's approval. netflix under fire. dozens of employees of the streaming giant walkout. protesting dave chapelle's controversial new special as the companies ceo admits he made a mistake. life support some hospitals in africa take oxygen production into their own hands. saving allies of those most runnable. >> able to provide reliable systems for pediatrics, neonatal .
johnson & johnson. financial services firm raymond james. bdo accountants and advisors. ♪ >> supporting social opera -- entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems. ♪ >> the lemelson foundation, committed to improving lives through invention and the u.s. -- in the u.s. and developing countries. supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just and peaceful world. ♪ and with the ongoing support of these institutions. this program was made possible
by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. stephanie: we will return to the full program after the latest headlines. major new developments tonight on covid-19 vaccinations. the fda has approved mixing and matching booster doses of the moderna, johnson & johnson, and pfizer vaccines. the city stays still has to give its approval. the white house rolled out plans to vaccinate 28 million young children nationwide with low-dose shots of pfizer vaccine. >> we have secured vaccine apply to vaccinate every child ages 5-11 and as soon as the vaccine is authorized by the fda, we will begin shipping millions of doses nationwide. these vaccine doses will be shipped with all the supplies needed to vaccinate kids including smaller needles. stephanie: we will return to
vaccinating american children after e news summary. new york city ordered 46,000 police, firefighters, and other city employees to get vaccinated by november 1 or be placed on unpaid leave. in california, the popular hamburger chain in and out is doubling down on its stance against rules that require diners to show vaccination cards. san francisco's and another bay area counties health departments have taken punitive actions against the chain including closing one restaurant. the company said it refuses to become, the vaccination police. russia's president vladimir putin has ordered most workers to take off from their jobs for at least a week as covid cases and deaths keep rising. more than 1000 russians died in the previous 24 hours, the most yet. a third of the country's adult population is fully vaccinated. nikolas cruz pleaded guilty to
murdering 17 people at a high school in parkland, florida in 2018. it was one of the nation's deadliest school shootings. families of the victims were at the hearing. some shook their heads and others were moved to tears. crews offered a brief apology. >> i'm very sorry for what i did and i have to live with that every day. if i were to get a second chance, i would try to help others. i'm doing this for you and i don't care if you don't believe me. stephanie: the court will begin selecting a jury in january to decide if he gets life in prison or a death sentence. president biden was out today pitching a scaled-back economic package. as of last night, it totaled $2 trillion in social and climate spending. that's down from 3.5 trillion. the president visited scranton today and told reporters, i think we will get a deal. senate democrats tried and failed again today to advance a voting rights bill.
they needed 60 votes to limit debate but all 50 republicans voted no. democrats wanted to counter new voting restrictions in gop controlled states. republicans said that his federal overreach. already leader spoke before the vote. >> it's ludicrous for any republican to assert that the federal government has no role to play in safeguarding elections. when state laws disenfranchise american citizens. >> washington democrats have offered a rotating merry-go-round of rationale to explain why they need to federalize voting laws and take over all of american elections themselves. stephanie: we will talk with a democratic senator later in the program. president biden's nominee for ambassador to japan today defended his actions as mayor of chicago in the handling of a black teenager's death. he was killed by a white police officer seven years ago today. emmanuel told to senate confirmation hearing that he did
nothing wrong but that the tragedy has stayed with him. >> i said then, i'm the mayor and i'm responsible and accountable for fixing this so this never happens again. to be honest, there's not a day or week that has gone by in the last seven years i haven't thought about this and thought about the what if's and the changes and wh could have been. stephanie: he said legal rules barred release of the police video of mcdonald's killing for more than a year. the nfl has proposed changes to its $1 billion concussion settlement. they faced outcry over how they decided to mention claims by using race-based adjustments and cognitive test scores. race norming made it harder for retired black players to win the lucrative claims. the league agreed to halt the practice back in june. about 70% of active players in 60% of living retirees are
black. a new climate study concludes that worldwide production of fossil fuels will have to be cut by more than half to avert dangerous levels of global warming. the united nations report also says many governments plan to double coal, oil, and natural gas output through 2030. the findings comes days before a u.n. climate summit convenes. still to come, ballot battles. senate republicans blocked democrat latest attempt to vote on sweeping federal voting legislation. pandemic in syria. the country's last rebel stronghold sees a surge in delta cases without vaccines or available hospital beds. dreaming big. wiat-ii but in the surprising way he plays it gives one musician a sense of belonging and much more. ♪ >> this is the pbs newshour from w eto studios in washington and in the west from the walter cronkite school of dune are
those him. -- journalism. judy: as we reported, the white house laid out plans today so that children between the ages ofive and 11 could soon receive the covid-19 vaccine. as william brangham reports, many are still wondering about when or whether to get their children vaccinated. reporter: the white house is hoping for this authorization from the fda and the cdc for pfizer's vaccine within a few weeks. that's after federal regulators examined the safety and efficacy of a lotos a low-dose of vaccine for kids. once approved, shots could begin as soon as november. if some parents question if the vaccine is necessary for their kids and if there are other options available. here to answer some of those questions is dr. jennifer, lead epidemiologist for the johns hopkins covid-19 testing insights initiative. great to have you back on the newshour. the biden administration seems very optimistic that they are
going to get this authorization. between here and there, there's a lot of scrutiny over these vaccines for kids. what kind of things are the fda and cdc looking at. >> it's important to stress that there is still a regulatory process that has to happen and ther will be independent panels of experts from the cdc and fda to review the data. they will be looking at how children fared after receiving the vaccine, from a safety perspective. they will be looking at certain levels of protection in the children's immune systems that would suggest that they are protected if they are exposed to the virus. we don't have the same kind of monitoring's for severe illness like we did with adults because children are less likely to experience severe illness but they will look for some level of the vaccines protection. reporter: you do hear that. some parents and adults say, it looks like kids don't really get that sick. why do i need to consider
vaccinating them? >> sure. the truth is the risk-benefit calculation for children is different than adults. that's why it has to have a separate process to scrutinize the data separately from adults. it's been a blessing in the pandemic that our children have been large spared the worst effects of covid-19. not all children have been, sadly. i know many parents, the statistics of how many children wind up having severe illness may be l, that's not comforting to parents not knowing if your child is going to be the exception rather than the norm. i think the vaccines are offering some hope to parents who are worried about that. also, they offer other benefits besides preventing severe illness. i'm a mom of two young kids who are not yet able to be vaccinated. i'm looking forward to these vaccines to hopefully return the normalcy to their lives. to reduce our worries about the likelihood of transmission to others, enabling us to travel more easily and without worries.
i think the benefits to kids are different than adults. they have to be considered differently. reporter: what do we know about side effects? >> that's what will be evaluated by the committees. there will be a consideration of the temporary side effects. the things we feel when you get vaccinated, like mild just like we heard about the adult vaccines. arm soreness, mild symptoms for a very short time. they will evaluate the frequency of that and how severe those side effects were. they will also consider what the other longer side effects are. i have to stress that the other things we would be looking for, the things we heard about surfacing as an issue with the vaccination of young adults, things like heart inflammation, those are reported not within a day or two but a week or so after vaccination. they will be looking to understand that. don'think the trials are large enough to detect that.
they will assess what the likelihood of that occurring is, both given the fact that children will or sleeve different dose and the fact that they have different risk-benefit i want to stress, i think there's this misconception out there that somehow we expect that months from now o years from now after vaccinating that side effects will manifest. that's just not something that wexpect to happen with vaccines. that's not really how vaccines work. i want to put parents at ease who may be worried that if i choose to vaccinate my child, years down the road something manifests. it's not something to particularly worry about. reporter: let's say kids get vaccinated. the question becomes, do schools around the country start mandating this vaccine like they do mmr, diphtheria, hepatitis, etc.? do you think that will happen? should that happen? >> we are seeing some places have conversationsbout it.
that has been an active conversation in california alone. los angeles county voted to -- mandate vaccines in their district. it's premature to be talking about mandates. let's look at the data and the vaccines and understand w they work. let's talk to parents. we have so much more work to do to overcome parents concerns about these vaccines. one of the worries i've had is that we haven't really seen the level of uptake among teens who are already eligible to be vaccinated that we could see. you can imagine that the same concerns may exist for vaccinating the younger children. we have a lot more work to do to address that hesitancy that may be there. in my view, conversations about mandates are premature and could make those conversations even harder. reporter: the fda will authorize the ability to mix and mass. if you got pfizer coming you could get a booster of madrona or vice versa. what is the benefit of that?
why would anybody want to consider mixing and maxing there vaccines? >> one benefit may be convenience and what you have to offer. i think there may be additional benefits in terms of enhanced protection from being exposed to a different vaccine and it challenging your immune system in different ways. this is probably a bigger issue for people who have received johnson & johnson and whether they would benefit from a different second dose than their first dose. reporter: always great to have you. thanks for being here. ♪ judy: the partisan divide in washington was on full display today as a democrat back voting bill failed to move forward in the u.s. senate. every republican lined up in
opposition to the so-called freedom to vote act that democrats say would have improved voting access and election integrity. senator tim kaine of virginia cosponsored the legislation and he joins me now. very good to have you back on the newshour. what does it mean that republicans were able to block this measure even from coming up for about? >> as you point out, this was a vote to debate the bill, not pass it. we made a very unusual offer republicans which is, if you vote to let us debate this bill, we will give you unlimited amendments. you can offer as many amendments as you want and then you can still vote against it at the end if you didn't like it. every republican lined up to basically block debate on the bill. 50 democrats support the bill. i worked very hard with seven colleagues to put it together. it would protect people's access to the ballot, it would eliminate dark money by
requiring campaign contributions to be disclosed. it would end partisan gerrymandering on congressional seats. it would protect election officials so that their duties could not be stripped away from them by state legislatures or others if they don't like how they will call an election. this is really important and it doesn't end here. democrats are just absolutely, with a sense of urgency, riveted on the need to get this done. we are now going to have to assess how we can, in the senate, restore the senate to a place that will protect voting rights which has been the case in the past and needs to be the case now. judy: what does that mean? what are the options? is this the moment to go to the mat on the matter the filibuster? that means your fellow democrat senator joe manchin. >> i would be perfectly comfortable if there was no filibuster in the senate. i reached that conclusion
shortly after i got here. as you know, i was a governor and i was working with the state legislature were we did things by majority rule. there was no super majority vote requirement in the virginia state senate. most legislative bodies work like that and it's fine. i would have the senate operate like most eight legislatures operate. i do have at least two colleagues on the senate side who do not want to abolish the filibuster. the good news is that we don't have to. we can write the senate rules and the filibuster and other senate rules have been reformed over time. as far as i know, no democrats have taken off of the table an openness to discussing how we can create reforms that would restore the senate where you can get action on something like voting rights in the majority is not stop from moving forward on such an important priority. we will start to have those discussions. leader schumer is very passionate about this. wants us to try to get this done
by thanksgiving and i share that sense of urgency. judy: in the meantime, you have progressives in your party, in particular many black americans who supported joe biden who are now saying, we supported him because we thought he was going to do something about voting rights. it hasn't happened. what do you say to those americans today who are looking at this? >> they are right. we owe them a result. at the end of the day, we told them, if you give us a majority, we will govern like we have a majority. we have the white house and both houses. this is not just like any other priority. there's a lot of things we like to do. this is of existential importance. the 100 senators who are here now are the only 100 in the history of this country who were here when there was a domestic insurrection, that attacked the capital to overturn an election. the attack of january 6 2021 was
an effort to disenfranchise the 80 million people who had voted for joe biden and kamala harris. it was an effort to disenfranchise people based on this big lie, all the things that president trump set are false. that same line is being repeated ad nauseam in states with republican legislatures and governors. they are taking away people's rights to vote. to all the activists out there, keep demanding that we get a result. we have to get a result. we have to protect the rights to vote. i won't rest until we do. even if this legislation had passed, which it didn't even come close to doing, there still would not have been a mechanism to do something about republican-controlled state legislators that are starting across the country to take over local voting systems, as they
have done in the state of georgia. what's to stop republican-controlled legislatures and state after state from doing the same thing? >> this bill actually does contain guards against that. the fourth pillar of the bill was not originally in the first version before the people act because we had not seen state legislatures doing this at the time. this bill would put some significant limitations on states taking the power away from election officials. it would give the justice department some significant tools to deal with that kind of steep. judy: right now, that is not in law. >> not until we passed the bill. if we pass this bill, we can protect access to ballot protect the integrity of elections, get rid of dark money and secret money by requiring disclosure and also end partisan gerrymandering and congressional seats. these are items that are overwhelmingly popular and not
just with democrats. republican voters like these ideas. we have a democratic majority and our folks expect us to get this done and we will get this done. judy: senator tim kaine was a cosponsor of the voting rights legislation. thank you. >> absolutely. ♪ judy: a new national poll paints a troubling picture of an american electorate worried about the future of democracy. sharply divided on issues of personal freedomnd dissatisfied with president biden's leadership. here to walk us through the results is an sulzer. welcome back to the newshour. it's good to see you. a number of striking things here to ask you about. starting with the question about peoples trust in our democracy.
what we find in these results is a majority of americans saying that they believe democracy is facing a major threat. we see that number driven by republicans, 71 of them compared to 45% of democrats. what do you see is driving this? >> the reason we wanted to go after this was a focusn looking at the health of american democracy. we went at it from sideways issues but this is hitting it head-on. do you perceive that american decracy is under major threat? there have been sobering conversations on bh sides of the aisle about what the threat currently is. i think the findings of this poll reveal that, at the heart, the bigger perceived threat is republicans listening to the talk about the election being stolen, about the electoral
system being broken, and that has really said in in a way that makes them believe that democracy is in major threat. democrats are not nearly as roiled up about a sense of doom for the democracy. judy: that's fascinating. we've seen a lot of conversation and editorialsritten about the thats to democracy on the democratic side. so interesting to see these results. you asked about president biden. we see in what you found, he is facing some of his lowest approval ratings yet. 37% approval, 50% disapproving. which voters, what issues do you see behind this? >> right. in terms of issues, we asked for approval ratings and how he's doing with immigration which is where he scored very poorly. just 27% approving. we took a look at how he's doing with covid.
sadly, you might say this is the high watermark for him. he still doesn't get 50% approval on how he's doing with covid. that's his benchmark issue. he also only gets 36% approval with the economy. as the economy goes, so goes the president's standing. it's no surprise that that number at 36 is almost exactly what his overall numbers are for approval. two groups i would call out. one is that he gets more disapproval by a lot with independents, it's almost a two to one ratio. independence were crucial to his electoral success. he's also underwater with women. women throughout the campaign were his strongest supporters. he does better with suburban women but it's not exactly a lot to be proud of.
it's 46-38% more approving than disapproving but he's not even halfway with suburban women. they were a bulwark of his campaign. judy: they certainly were. it's interesting to see that. you also asked about trust and community leaders. st people to weigh in on how much they have confidence in people like doctors, police officers, teachers, other civil servants. you saw a lot of political divide here. >> that was so fascinating. maybe confirmed what we might have already suspect but in big numbers. the one group that was tested that uniformly, regardless of your party identification, tested very well were nurses. 68% saying they have high trust, very little difference by party. among democrats, also about that high, doctors and scientists. over 62% saying they have high trust.
among republicans, it's just 28% who say they have high trust in scientists. again, once you see these numbers, it unpacks the things that we have been talking about all along. the approach for the democrats was to put a lot of steak and the ability of doctors and scientists to communicate about covid. the data says the republicans are not buying it. judy: we saw in that same question, very low levels of confidence in federal employees. one other things i want to ask you about is the supreme court. you asked respondents about whether -- what they think drives the decisions that the justices make. 62%, bipartisan, think the courts decisions are driven by politics. they would support 15 year terms. term limits.
for members of the court. really interesting. >> especially interesting given the makeup of the court. there was very little difference , whether you were a republican, democrat, or independent, that succeed 2% number of saying they felt decisions were based on the political views of the justices rather than the constitution and law, that came across very evenly as did the idea of perhaps making a change of how justices are appointed, to have a fixed term, maybe 15 yea. there was a quill support for that. succeed 2% again, very little partisan difference. judy: that's a number that we are clearly seeing rise. again, so many interesting pieces of this poll to look at. thank you very much for joining us. we appreciate it. >> my pleasure. ♪
judy: it wasn't especially violet day-to-day in syria. damascus saad's deadliest bombing in four years with more than a dozen government soldiers killed in a bus attack. in northwest idlib, schelling killed 10 including four children. idlib is the final stronghold for rebels who are fighting the assad regime. today, is facing its most severe wave of covid. a warning now, the images in this story can be difficult to watch. covid is hitting hospitals already weakened by war. reporter: in idlib's newest war, the patients are too young to understand why they cry. m on is three and suffering from malnutrition and now covid. others are even more vulnerable.
the youngest patit in this children's hospital is 15 days old. it's heartbreaking work for doctors who have to go home and care for their own children. >> children are dying. the delta variant in particular is very strong and hitting children particularly badly. reporter: this dr. is the pediatrician who struggles to give life to those who are supposed to have so long to live. >> we ask our fellow residents of northern syria, take the vaccine as a social responsibility. this is the reality we are living in right now. reporter: a garden, thinking of his 63-year-old father. when he got six, all he had to visit seven health care centers to find an open bed. on this day, his five children helped their father tend the
family garden. their destination, the grave. he died of covid three weeks ago. >> he died about a week after we found a spot in the hospital for him. it was very difficult and tiring for all of us. reporter: they plant seeds that he will never get to see in this area that is already seeing so much death. last month, confirmed cases in idlib almost doubled, largely due to the delta variant. doctors rushed to restart this man's heart. this time, he lives. it lives are beyond capacity. there are less than 130 icu beds for the provinces 4 million residents. this doctor is a doctor in idlib's largest hospital for covid-19 patients. >> it's taking a massive physical and mental toll on our health care workers. the ppe and oxygen supply we have now is not nearly enough to
handle the influx of cases coming into the hospital. reporter: despite the influx, russia and the syrian regime continue to attack. u.n. sayin the last two years, they've targeted more than 85 medical facilities. the need is most acute in the refugee camps, miles away from the turkish border. 1.5 million people call this home. residents who are younger than the war are dependent on aid workers for water, and oxygen. canisters are delivered into tense by the ngo mercy. this is the court nader. >> the whole situation is getting from bad to worse. reporter: these canisters can't meet the need. there's a massive oxygen shortage. one tank can cost as much as $130. >> we are trying our best to deliver the aid to the need. but the need is greater than the
help we are getting from the communities, from the countries, from the who. reporter: the who is providing some astrazeneca and chinese sinovac's vaccines. 1% of residents are fully vaccinated because of a lack of supply and some hesitancy. for many, covid is only one of their worries. the u.n. says monday 7% live in extreme poverty. covid exacerbated struggles of those relatively well-off. this 28-year-old teacher got sick in april. >> i had to work from home even though i'm very sick, typing documents for university students. this work doesn't provide very much but it helped me survive. reporter: others have no choice but to get their hands dirty. car mechanics in idlib industrial zone can't afford masks. >> the health offices keep
bothering us about masks. i work here and have grease and oil on my hands all day. i would need 10 masks a day, 10 masks, five lira per mask. that feeds a whole family. reporter: families continue to struggle. after years of distance, regional governments are gradually re-engaging the syrian president. despite a human rights watch report lease -- released saying syrian refugees returning to the country face grave human rights abuses and persecution, in a country decimated by conflict and widespread destruction. but now the volunteers known as white helmets who used to spend their days trying to spy -- say victims of bombings are more often handling the victims of covid. their ambulances that once went to hospitals now go straight to cemeteries. for years, idlib residents have witnessed far too much death. now they are stocked by covid.
♪ judy: the blow back to dave chapelle's latest comedy special , produced by netflix, has reached a boiling point. several dozen of netflix's thousands of employees walked off of the job, demanding the company better support its transgender workers. reporter: this all goes back to the closer. dave chapelle's highly watched special. employees at netflix, including some who walked off of the job today, criticized the special, arguing that it could lead to harm of transgender people. chapelle compares trans identity to blackface and jokes about killing a woman. the co-ceo initially doubled down on his support for chapelle and the special. yesterday, he said the special
will remain online but apologized, saying he screwed up. i should have made sure to recognize that a group of our employees was hurting. joining me now is tomorrow jones, the creator of trans media, focusing on the transgender community. she cochaired the first ever u.n. high level meeting on gender diversity. welcome to the newshour. >> even after that acknowledgment saying that he screwed up, they are standing by the decision to stream the special. they are saying that it fits into their stance of what they call free artistic expression. sometimes they say there is content people that won't like. reporter: what you make of the way they are responding to this? >> it shows that netflix signs off on this content from the very highest levels. we know from reporting from bloomberg that actually, ted sorrento's signed off on this personally. which is a huge warning sign. in media companies, when content
decisions have to go to the highest levels, and means that no one else wanted to have their fingerprints on it. what a strange about that is that people want to embrace successful companies. what we are seeing from the firing of employees, to the personal statements that he made twice last week, to the other actions that netflix is taping, at the highest level of the company, they believe in this content, believe in the views expressed by it. as he said last week, doesn't see that there's any real harm. reporter: explain to me the real world harm. this is what people may question. if they don't understand the backlash, help us understand. what is your concern? >> the first thing to realize is that this is essentially hate space -- speech disguised as jokes. that's an essential point here. no one is contesting that humor can be outrageous, sometimes offensive. i think that this crosses the
line into hate speech that is disguised as jokes. one of the ways it which people at harm is that it essentially argues that trans people aren't real. it essentially argues that black trans people aren't real. at the heart of the violence against trans people specifically, black trans people, we have broken records of murders of black trans women for several years in a row now. at the heart of those murders, when you lk into them, is the belief by the perpetrators that they weren't doing anything wrong. that is to say that the person isn't human. here we have that reinforced on a massive scale. the questioning of the fundamental humanity of trans people, disguised as jokes. that's at the heart of the violence against our community. reporter: the data speaks volumes here. according to human rights campaign, 2021 is the most violent year on record for
transgender and gender nonconforming people. the ceo makes another point. this is on brand for dave chapelle and for his brand of comedy. that comedy is supposed to be provocative. his defenders say, there are a lot of offensive jokes in here. he jokes about chinese people, jewish people, he has made derogatory comments about women. they say comedy is supposed to be provocative. shouldn't there be a space for that? what you say for that? >> it is also supposed to be intelligent. there's nothing intelligent about mocking trans people. there's nothing interesting or provocative about mocking trans people. there's nothing interesting and joking about rape. it's really hard to see how any of that stans. what may be different is that in the past, there would be a spanking of those types of jokes in his comedy in the midst of other things that were perhaps insightful. what fascinates me about the special is that if you were to take out all of the anti-lgbtq
material, there would not be much of a special left. that'what the entire specialist. he has decided to go out in this final special and say, not on a high of anything intelligent. but in terms of settling scores with a community that he doesn't like. reporter: along with today's walk out the trans employees submitted a list of demands to the company, more investment in trans talent, the revision of the internal processes that decide which content gets made and how it goes out there. what should we expect to see from netflix next? >> what we should expect to see is more of the same. when you have a commitment from the most powerful man in hollywood, from the most powerful streaming service in the world that says it will make commitments to put out $6 billion worth of content next year, when he's behind this material, i don't know that we will see much change from netflix. i hope thai am proved wrong. what we should see is what the
employees are demanding. what they are demanding as a radically different platform that will allow trans creators the opportunities to be able to be heard. reporter: you would like to see change but you are not optimistic it will happen. is that right? >> i'm not optimistic in the short term. i think that there are a couple things that willat away at netflix that will drive change. first of those is the fact that there are lots of people who say that they don't wish to work with netflix right now. i've had producers and show runners tell me that. they are having people be fired and resign. the third thing is that netflix may become a stigma brand. it may no longer be a place where you are proud to see that you worked. if that's the case, they will lose employees to their competitors who are dying to know netflix is secrets. if those employers allow those
new employees to not only bring their knowledge but also this desire for more diverse content, over time netflix could be in real trouble. reporter: we will be watching and followinfor sure. thank you so much for your time. >> thank you so much. ♪ judy: the pandemic is bringing new attention to a critical health care challenge plaguing many countries. a shortage or unreliable supply of medical oxygen. it's also prompting many medical providers to look at ways to fix the problem. our special correspondent reports on one example in uganda, part of our series, breakthroughs. >> do you ever run out of space here? >> yes. reporter: bed spaces are almost
always in short supply in public hospitals like this one in uganda's second-largest city. but a bigger ever present concern for veteran head nurse is having a steady supply of oxygen to save this premature infant and so many others. >> the lives of hundreds of patients every day in this hospital depend on an uninterrupted supply of oxygen. in turn, the hospital's oxygen plan depends on an uninterrupted supply of electricity. in uganda, as in so many other countries, that is hardly guaranteed. unicef says this scarcity or a regular supply of oxygen contributes to hundreds of thousands of child deaths every year along with drugs like antibiotics, oxygen therapy is critical in treating pneumonia. 800,000 victims each year, the biggest killer of children under
five. pneumonia is often found in severe malaria cases like that of this nine-year-old who was brought here by her dad. >> she was breathing really badly when we came. they put her on oxygen. her breathing is improving and getting better. >>--- reporter: she's one of the first patient to have been put on a failsafe oxygen delivery system that has been piloted in this hospital called oxley link. >> this is a very system -- simple system that ensures that we have uninterrupted supply of oxygen. reporter: sheila is a biomedical engineer at the uganda head of 302, an australian nonprofit that invented the system. >> we have our concentrator which makes oxygen from air. reporter: this is the oxygen concentrator? that is pumped into the lower of 250 gallon bladders or flexible
bags on a shelf about six feet above it, the other bags filled with water. >> oxygen will then come from the bag to the patient. reporter: in a power failure, a sensor triggers the system to send water flowing from the upper back to the lower. >> the weight of the water will slow down and push the oxygen the patient. reporter: the water is heavier than the oxygen. so it will come down into this bag and put the oxygen to the patient. >> exactly. reporter: in the event of a long power outage, more than two hours perhaps that would deplete the stored oxygen, she says a backup cylinder is on standby. >> we have short but frequent cuts. reporter: even a short power cut can mean the difference between life and death. >> exactly. reporter: so far, it has proven
100% reliable, serving for pediatric patients at a time. 302 is funded by several international charities. it plans to scale up here and in 22 other hospitals. the focus will remain on pediatrics. she says that benefits all patients. >> usually pediatric wards are some of the highest consumers of oxygen in a facility. we find that once we are able to provide reliable systems for pediatrics or neonatal, that then frees up more oxygen for the adults, for covid, and other cases. reporter: she has worked here for more than two decades. she's encouraged by all the attention now being paid to the oxygen supply. attention that has heightened by the pandemic. improving supply is helping save many more lives than was possible just a few years ago. have any patience would you lose? >> 20% of children. because of oxygen. these days, 5% or 6%.
they don't die because of oxygen. they die because of underlying conditions. reporter: allowing her, like so many other patients, to breathe more easily. judy: this reporting is in partnership with the under told stories project, a university of st. thomas from minnesota. ♪ now, one man's unlikely journey from the streets of baltimore to concert halls around the globe. thanks to his mastery of the tuba. jeffrey brown has this story for our arts and culture series. >> the sound goes in. reporter: it's not every day you get a tuba demonstration. >> i take a deep breath.
sometimes i like to have fun which means i like to do multi-phonics. that is singing in the tuba. reporter: especially one like this. ♪ >> and then i like to add beat boxing to it. you put it all together. ♪ reporter: is that in the classical repertoire? >> not yet but we are working on it. ♪ reporter: richard antoine is a classical musician, principal to best with the santa fe symphony and the new mexico philharmonic. if he hasn't yet bught beat boxing to the tradition, he has brought an inspiring personal story.
♪ >> if you look at my entire life, it was a longshot for me to be successful, against all odds. i'm taking the word impossible in turning it into, i am possible. >> that's what he has titled his new memoir. a story of survival, a tuba, and the small miracle of a big dream. the 6'5" inch, 330 pound weight over one pound when he was born to a teenage mother. as captured in a 2019 documentary, his earliest years were spent homeless on baltimore's west side. every day, a struggle to survive. >> my routine was looking in a gutter to find some coins, figure out how to get some chicken gizzards or wings for the day. and then off to find my mom. that was my normal. reporter: and figure out where to sleep. >> yeah. it was an open space. i could sleep under aree or in an abandoned house.
porter: his mother's foster parents took him in and got legal custody. his mother cheryl died at age 36. in his book, he calls for a hero. >> i think she did one of the hardest things there is to do. from mother to give up their child and to be selfless, to have that child have a chance at life. on her deathbed, her last dying words to my brother was, i want you to be like your brother. i can get emotional now because to me, it signifies that she really loved me. that's really real. reporter: music became his way forward. in middle school, he latched onto the tuba which he calls the underdog instrument. >> it represents me. the tuba is big, bulky, clumsy sometimes. yet it can be powerful, beautiful, and dominant. my job in the orchestra is to show everyone else how bad they
suck at rhythm and pitch. [laughter] reporter: he attended high school at the highly selective baltimore school for the arts. college at the peabody institute , the oldest conservatory in the country. and indiana university's prestigious jacobs school of unit -- music where he became the first ever african-american to earn a doctorate into performance. ♪ >> stop, absolutely amazing. reporter: he teaches at the university of new mexico, one of two black tenured tuba professors in the country. he made it on his own terms. >> on the classical stage, you can't help but be aware that you are the only one that looks like you on the stage. reporter: which is probably the case for you a lot. >> yes. the only tuba player because there's only one tuba for orchestra. on top of it, the only african-american. if you look in the audience, you are lucky if you see one african-american in the audience.
so you are conscious of that. ♪ what's fascinating to me is that we all have to choose from the same notes. whether you are caucasian, african-american. when i'm on the stage with my colleagues, there's not a certain note for black people. we are working together towards a common goal. finding a musical instrument was the first time i experienced a sense of belonging. ♪ reporter: he shares that now with students, tutoring a high school junior and helping him scholarship. ♪ >> you seed on what i'm saying? reporter: improvising new orleans style. contributing to a music scholarship he helped establish and indiana for underrepresented students.
even though he still carries his own student loans. ♪ and prepping recent alums for orchestra logic and's. it's all part of paying back those who helped him succeed. he lives with his partner and her adult children just outside of albuquerque. he has helped build a 10-year-old new mexico philharmonic. >> i've never been in a place with so much potential but has not quite achieved it yet. i could have auditioned for other orchestras but i think there's a sense of building something. growing something. saying, i was here from the beginning. ♪ reporter: during the pandemic, he has performed in virtual concert like this one at santa fe. later this year, he will be back on stage in person with the oakland and santfe symphonies. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown. ♪ judy: what a great story.
we've all always wanted to learn how to play the tuba. on the newshour online. thousands of indigenous residents who are living on the coastline of louisiana face a prolonged recovery after hurricane ida. their efforts could be even more complicated because some belong to tribes not recognized by the u.s. government as eligible for federal assistance. we explore all this on our website, pbs.org/newshour. that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, please stay safe and we will see you soon. ♪ >> major funding has been provided by. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.] >> the rules of business are being reinvented with a more flexible news force, by looking not only at current opportunities but ahead to future ones. >> people who know no bdo. >> for 25ears, consumer
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♪ this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ >> 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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