tv PBS News Hour PBS January 10, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, a major surge-- as infections, hospitalizations and deaths from covid-19 increase across the country, some medical experts warn the c.d.c.'s latest guidance is creating confusion. then, rising tensions-- diplomats from the united states and russia meet amid stark disagreements over ukraine and the future influence of nato. and, the divided state of america-- deepening polarization prompts efforts to bridge the gap in u.spolitics by tapping into people's shared experiences. >> there are not simple fixes to this. we're going to have to recognize, like addiction that this is a long term problem that has been gaining steam for
>> the william and flora hewlett foundation. for more than 50 years, advancing ideas and supporting institutions to promote a better world. at www.hewlett.org. >> the chan-zuckerberg initiative. working to build a more healthy, just and inclusive future for everyone. at czi.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 biden administration is moving tonight to make it easier to get at-home tests for covid-19. the white house says starting saturday, private insurers must cover eight at-home tests, per person, per month. also today, the c.d.c. warned against travel to canada because of a rise in covid-19 cases there. and in china, parts of tianjin were locked down, less than a month before the winter olympics in beijing, 75 miles away. for the first time, doctors have transplanted the heart of a pig into a human patient. the university of maryland medical center says the 57-year- old man is doing well, three days after the surgery. he was ineligible for a human heart transplant.
the pig had been genetically modified to prevent the human body from immediately rejecting the heart. the death toll from sunday's apartment building fire in the bronx was lowered to 17 today, including eight children. officials in new york said some victims were double-counted after the city's deadliest fire since 1990. investigators blamed a space heater for igniting the flames. many of the victims were west african immigrants, as mayor eric adams noted today. >> this is a global tragedy because the bronx and new york city is representative of the ethnicities and cultures across the globe and so everyone is feeling the pain of what we are experiencing. but i would tell you this, and i say over and over again, we're going to get through this moment. >> woodruff: the new york tragedy came less than a week after a house fire in philadelphia killed a dozen people. the man who bought the gun used
in the kenosha, wisconsin, killings pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor today. dominick black will pay a $2,000 fine under the deal. in 2020, he bought an assault- style rifle for kyle rittenhouse, who was underage. rittenhouse later shot two people to death during racial justice protests. he was acquitted in november. in kazakhstan, officials say last week's protests have ended, with nearly 8,000 people arrested and russian-led troops on the ground. streets in almaty, the country's largest city, were mostly empty today. in a teleconference, russian president vladimir putin vowed to oppose revolts against regional leaders. >> ( translated ): of course, we understand the events in kazakhstan are not the first and far from the last attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of our states. i agree with president lukashenko of belarus. the measures taken by our alliance have clearly shown we will not allow the situation to be rocked at home and will not
allow so-called 'color revolutions' to take place. >> woodruff: in addition to the arrests, kazakh officials say 164 people were killed in the protests. insured global losses from extreme weather hit $120 billion last year, the second highest amount ever. the world's largest re-insurer, munich re, cites climate change as a main factor. meanwhile, u.s. emissions of greenhouse gases rebounded sharply last year. the research firm rhodium group cites a surge in coal use. the federal reserve board's vice chair, richard clarida, is resigning friday, two weeks before his term ends. he'd been criticized over stock trades he made in february of 2020, as the pandemic first threatened the world economy. he is the third fed official resign over thissue. the i.r.s. announced today that federal income tax season will open more than two weeks early
this year, on january 24th. the agency says it needs extra time to cope with potential delays from the covid surge, and less funding than it requested. on wall street today, a slow start to the week. the dow jones industrial average lost 162 points to close at 36,068. the nasdaq rose seven points. the s&p 500 slipped six. and, several passings of note, tonight. comedian bob saget is being remembered for long-running stints on tv's "full house" and "america's funniest home videos" in the late 1980's and early '90's. he was found dead in his florida hotel on sunday. a generation grew up watching saget on "full house", seen here as a widowed father playing with one of his three young girls. >> michelle breaks for the basket and goes right through my legs. she's going for that super-duper
baby flying.. michelle scores. in your face! >> in your face! >> woodruff: bob saget was 65 years old. also sunday, dwayne hickman, tv's "dobie gillis" of the 1960's, died in los angeles after battling parkinson's disease. he was 87 years old. and, oscar-winning lyricist marilyn bergman passed away in los angeles on saturday. she and her husband teamed on hundreds of songs, including "the way we were" and "windmills of your mind". marilyn bergman was 93 years old. still to come on the newshour: the prospects for easing tensions after the u.s. and ssia hold high stakes talks. we examine the latest push for voting rights legislation in congress. how a memorial to shooting victims in tucson elevates art
born from tragedy. plus much more. >> woodruff: the latest guidance from the c.d.c. on isolation and testing for covid-19 has received intense push back. as william brangham reports, many health experts are now criticizing what the c.d.c. has said, and how c.d.c. officials have said it. >> brangham: judy, the c.d.c. said: if you get covid, you don't have to isolate for ten days like before-- you can cut that down to five. but it also said people don't need a negative test to resume regular life. joining a chorus of criticism, the american medical association issued a rare but strong rebuke, saying the c.d.c.'s new
recommendations were "not only confusing, but are risking further spread of the virus. dr. gerald harmon is the president of the a.m.a. dr. harmon, great to have you on the newshour. i would like to have a better sense of what it is that is bothering you about what the cdc did. am i right that you're okay that people might leave covid isolation after five days but only if they have a negative test, is that your issue? >> thanks for having me. you have nailed it. that is my issue as a front line provider. we have a lot of evidence that shows the viral shedding might stop after five days. we don't know as much about the omicron variant as we would like. we are learning on the fly, five days seems a little quick to let someone release back into the wild without at least negative testing before they're going back, even if they are wearing masks, even medical grade masks. putting someone back in the environment that could spread
this and some of the data shows that as many as 31 percent of those after five days still shed the virus, that is an inherent risk that i'm not willing to buy into right now. >> i mean the cdc director when asked about this, dr. walensky33 said, she implied that rapid tests were not as reliable as they have been told, although that is some what contrary to what she said at the beginning of the pandemic. what do you make of that? do you think that rapid tests are reliable? >> well, i use them, all of us use them. we make a determination whether to put someone in isolation when they come in. we used to the tests available that is the rapid test. we tell people all the time, get ahold of a rapid test if you think you might have been exposed or have symptoms. we tell to you do a rapid test, that has been a relatively common standard. and it is good enough to make the dying know sis i would hope it make the undiagnosis that you are noing loor contagious, like any tests some false negatives or false positives it but it has
been the standard they are generally a good indicator of whether a patient is infectious. >> anyone who has actually tried to go out and purchase one of those rapid tests knows that they are in incredibly short supply right now. and your letter seemed to tim plie that the cdc made this decision because of that shortage. do you believe that that is really true? >> listen, this is not the ama or other health-care agencies against the cd, c. we love them, we are supportive of them. they are a public health messenger that we rely on. so we are a little concerned about the messaging and confused messaging because i think testing is good to have i wish we had more tests available, the rapid tests. i like others are struggling to find tests in the community, almost every day. in fact everyday people call me i need testing and i can't find one. i will tell you a story. i bought a handful, four of them when i could still get four and i used them when my neighbors come knocking on my door literally to test them because i need to make a decision about
recommending. >> there is. >> brangham: there is an echo here about what happened with masks at the very beginning of the pandemic. i mean dr. fauci himself has now acknowledged that there was the worry that there weren't enough n95 masks and they didn't recommend them for people. you mentioned that the some what confused and confusing messaging of the cdc, is this something >> this is science, this is not mathematics so the numbers may change. the data may indicate different transmission variants. we are learning, all of us. the cdc, all of my scientists, myself on the front lines, we are learning. so the messaging may change at timebut st not in a deliberate fore mat to confuse people or that we don't know what we ar doing or the cdc doesn't. science anging. it is a changing discipline and data tells us what to advise. so yes, we are now recommending medical grade masks. i use this this morning and i got an n95 mask for when i'm in
the environment. but i don't use cloth masks any more because i think the science shows they are not as protective especially with the transmiss ability of the omicron variant. >> if a patient comes to you and says look, i tested positive, i have been in isolation for four or five days. cdc says can i get out without a test but they are not sure about their symptoms and they cannot get a test, what would you advise them to do? >> you know, they do come to me with that very question, you are exactly right, that is not just hypothetical, that is realtime and i will stick with my recommendation, not necessarily the ama's recommendation but it is going to be, if you are not sure, you have only been five days since the onset of symptoms or data positive testing, think if you don't have an available test that help support that you are not contagious or infected, why don't you wait a couple more days and then seven days might be a reasonable, prudent recommendation that you could go back to work if i did test you positive, i would wait
a couple days later and test you again. we're not trying to pick a magic number but meet some place in the middle. we're trying to do the best we can with the data we have and use common sense. that is the challenge for all of us. none of us are deliberatel trying to release people into the world that are contagious but doing the best we can to keep schools open, hospitals open, businesses open, help the economy. i understand the motivation, but the science still is catching up with the reality. >> brangham: dr. gerald harmon president of the american medical association, thanks for being here. >> thanks for having me. thanks for being part of the solution and the pbs folks being a source of reliable medical information and being on the side of science. thank you again. >> woodruff: it is one of the most significant crises with russia since the end of the cold war: 100,000 russian troops on ukraine's border that the u.s. says could invade within weeks.
today in geneva, senior american and russian diplomats met, kicking off a week of intense diplomacy. nick schifrin begins our verage. >> schifrin: u.s. and russian negotiators met for eight hours of bilateral talks, that deputy russian foreign minister sergei ryabkov described as a “possible basis for agreement.” >> ( translated ): a professial practical conversation by itself puts us in an optimistic mood of course. but by all means, the main questions remain. >> schifrin: speaking to reporters by phone, deputy secretary of state wendy sherman called it a “frank and forthright” preliminary dialogue. >> today was a discussion, a better understanding of each other and each other's priorities and conrns. it was not what you would call a negotiation. >> schifrin: the crisis, caused by 100,000 russian troops deployed to ukraine's borders. the u.s. warns russia has plans to mobilize twice that number
and possibly invade. but what the u.s. raised today: mutual limits on eastern european exercises like these, in poland, and missile deployments, by reviving the defunct intermediate nuclear forces treaty, or i.n.f., that banned an entire class of nuclear weapons. >> even on things that are not russian priorities, we had useful discussions and exchanges today that will help inform our way forward. >> schifrin: russia's public priorities expand much further. in december it released demands including roll back all nato forces and weapons in europe to 1997 and no further enlargement of nato, including ukraine. that would rewrite decades of u.s. and nato policy, and the map. in 1949, nato's eastern border was italy. by 1997, it had added four more countries, for a total of 16. since then, in five rounds of expansion, it's grown to 30 countries, including those on russia's border.
in 2008, nato said ukraine and georgia would become future members. the biden administration says it refuses to negotiate nato expansion or the deployment of u.s. troops in eastern europe. which ryabkov today said was still russia's priorities. >> for us it's absolutely mandatory to make sure that ukraine never, never ever becomes a member of nato. >> schifrin: but in kiev this weekend, ukrainians who look west, urged the u.s. to stand up to putin. it's been eight years since russia invaded eastern ukraine. and still, this weekend, ukrainian soldiers fought russian-backed separatists. kiev insists that moscow cannot be allowed to block its nato membership, as deputy prim minister olga stefanishyna said today in brussels. >> we have inherent sovereign right to choose our own security arrangements, including treaties and alliances. what russia is doing is tries to
impose its agenda instead of returning to the negotiation table. >> schifrin: so have today's talks provided a diplomatic pathway to averting a russian invasion of ukraine? for that we get two ews. debra cagan had a 30 year career as an american diplomat where she focused on arms control and nato. and dmitri trenin directs the carnegie moscow center, a think tank based in moscow. welcome to both of you, demmity rhee trenin, let me start with you, there are russian troops on the ukrainian border, russian demands that the u.s. had to respond to today. do today's talks create a pathway for a diplomatic solution? >> well, it's too early to tell. i think that as depty ryabkov said they will accept the talks of today and yesterday. also they thought the talks scheduled for the 12th of january with nato and to some
extent what happens the following day, the next day in vienna, and then they will come to a decision whether a new round of talks is possible, is promising, or whether that's it. so i think we are at an inflection point in not only u.s. russian relations but por broadly in russian western relations. >> schifrin: debra cagan, do you believe we are at an inflection point and the outcome wasn't decided today but will only be decided afer a week's worth of diplomatic meetings. >> i don't even think it will be decided after a week's worth of diplomatic meeting. and i think that inflection point has been going on for quite a long period of time. it is not just right this second. so i think that a lot of talking has to be had. and there has been no evidence of any russian de-escalation at this point, which i think should
be a precursor of moving forward on any of the other diplomatic solutions. >> schifrin: so dimity rhee-- dmitri trenin, let's go to what the u.s. proposed, in response to questions about nato and ukraine, the administration is focused on mutual concessions on arms control, on revisiting the interimmediate atnuclear forces treaty and on restricting exercises in eastern europe, will that be snuff? >> i think the short answer is no. i think that the issue of imf approximate forces inf forces is thg they would want to address and resolve. i think russia is also interested in caps on troops in it's vicinity on exercises by nato forces. but most important issue for russia were membership or rather nonmembership of ukraine in nato
and the nonexpansion of military infrastructure of nato, no strike weapons that can reach russia, in europe, including in ukraine. and he also mentioned a rollback of nato's infrastructure to where it was back in 1997. so he called those three elements, core elements, key elements of the russian position and unless those were addressed in a manner that would be found acceptable by the russians, other things would not be pursued. >> schifrin: debra cagan, many of those proposals are dead on arrival according to the administration. so do you believe it will be enough for this administration to propose things like arms control and exercises to respond to in trying to diffuse this crisis? >> i think it's great to put those things out there. but it depends how adamant, as dmitri said the russians are on this. if they are going to continue to
insist that nato has to pull back to pre1997 borders, that is ridiculous, that is not going to happen. because washington and the rest of nato are never going to treat, for example, berlin and paris and london better than you treat rsaw and buck arrest and that is what the russians are asking for. and i think that is an absolute nonstarter and i think deputy secretary sherman was very clear on that today. >> schifrin: dmitri trenin, do u believe that they are designed to be rejected and become the prelewd either for war or some kind of permanent russian presence on ukraine's border? >> well, in my judgment, the third condition that the russians are putting forth, ie the rollback of nato's military installations that have been built in the territories of the new nato states, that this is rather less important for
russian-- russia than the two other issues raised by mr. ryabkov. so this could be an area where russia potentially could give should it see progress on the truly important issues, nonexpansion of nato and nonexpansion of nato's infrastructure beyond where it is today. >> schifrin: debra cagan, again, the u.s. and nato are not willing to provide any kind of solid assurance to russia that nato won't expand. so do you fear that these russian demands are excuse to be denied and excuse to go to war. >> i wouldn't say it is an excuse to go to twar, i do think the russians know that these are going to be denied. i think the russians try to split some of the older members of nato from some of the newer members of nato. and that is to be expected. but i don't think that this is-- i don't think the russians need an excuse to further invade ukraine so i think that might be
a miss nommer. >> schifrin: dmitri trenin, quickly in 30 seconds we have left, the proposal there that debra cagan lays out could take some time to actually negotiate. does moscow have that kind of patience during this crisis. >> i think moscow insists on moving ahead quickly. but the important thing is that moscow is-- agenda needs to be at the core of the flexors. and that i think is nonneshable for the russian side unless those issues address other things or are probably not yet the attention that they need. >> schifrin: debra cagan, do yosee that at the core of the agenda in these talks. >> i see that a as part of what moscow is hoping to get. i want to point out one quick factor. there are about 60,000 u.s. forces in all of europe. and only about 6,000 of those are deployed east of berlin, for example. and of those about 4,000 are in poland. so if you want to talk about
exercises, nato doesn't do 100,000 person exercises. they don't. they haven't. they're not going to do it in the future. and so it is sometimes ridiculous to say we have 100,000 troops here and it is just an exercise. so just want to point out that i think this shows how ridiculous some of the russians positions are on this because the numbers just don't match up at all. >> schifrin: debra cagan, demmity rhee trenin, thank you very much to you both. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: we spent much of last week trying to examine what still divides our country and the deep polarization that preceded the january 6th riots. tonight, paul solman looks at multiple efforts to bridge those major political and cultural divides in the u.s., beginning with smaller steps forward. >> reporter: polarization in
america. the data are unreal. according to a poll just out, a projected 25 million american adults think force is at least somewhat justified to restore donald trump to the presidency. in a poll before the last election, 18% of democrats approved of violence if their candidate lost. and 15% of republicans and 20% of democrats agreed that the country would be better off if large numbers of the opposing party just died. >> we are in a crisis. >> reporter: psychologist peter coleman runs columbia university's center for cooperation and conflict resolution. so how bad is polarization in america, peter, compared to the past? >> it's bad, i mean, jon meacham, the historian, has compared today as being similar to where america was in the
1850s right before the us civil war. >> reporter: coleman's r.x. is detailed in a recent book, "the way out," which begins with a fatal 1994 shooting rampage at two abortion clinicsutside boston. in the wake of that tragedy, activists on both sides of the issue agreed to meet. of the pro-choice activists? >> hard and harsh and angry. >> reporter: pro-choice episcopal priest anne fowler's image of pro-life advocates? >> not thoughtful. not deep. >> reporter: and says peter coleman... >> they still remain opposed to one another on the issue of abortion, on pro-life, pro- choice, but they developed affection for one another in relationships that were thick and important. and ultimately, they changed the probabilities around violence in america on this issue. >> reporter: no changed minds, however. does that in some sense mean the experience was a net negative? >> no, it was an absolute net, net positive. it was one of the best, hardest
and best things i've ever done. it changed me. i mean, it changed all of us irrevocably. >> reporter: they've been friends for 28 years. >> we at my center study deeply divided societies that at some point stop and pivot and choose to change course. >> reporter: and pivoting many americans now are, through a host of bridging efforts. >> there are 7,000 organizations and individuals that we have put on a map. >> reporter: princeton's nealin parker tracks efforts to come together. >> but if you're asking the question of how many people across the country are interested in participating in bridging organizations, that is just the tip of the iceberg. >> reporter: organizations like resetting the table; braver angels; and the greater good science center, which recorded this bridging encounter liberal isaac was shown conservative christin's bio. he didn't know she was watching in the next room. >> trump supporters, i mean, it's just, there's no way around it, like they're mentally
deranged. you're not right in the head. >> because i like trump, right away he says i'm mentally deranged. he don't know me, you know what i'm saying? i mean, that's wrong, you know. that's prejudice to me. >> reporter: but they then learned that each had experienced great loss. christin's sister died when she was 16; aunt and grandparents who raised her died in quick succession. isaac lost his mother, his grandfather, his cat. >> kitters, my cat, i found her headless carcass on the road. she got run over by a car and like it was just too much. >> reporter: by the time they met in person... >> this is isaac. >> hi, i'm mentally deranged. >> reporter: ...political differences were becoming a humorous footnote. >> you and i see certain things similar. you and i have had similar experiences with loss. >> yes. >> this experience we're sharing is going to color my interactions going forward with other people. because you never know what someone might be going through in their life or what's, you know, the problems they have. so just don't be quick to get
angry. >> reporter: and then there's one small step, an offshoot of n.p.r.'s story corps. in 2016, amina amdeen attended an anti-trump rally in texas counter-protestor joseph weidnecht wore a maga hat. they came to storycorps to remember the moment. >> and i noticed you were surrounded by some people and i noticed they were being kind of threatening. and then somebody snatched the hat off your head. and that's the point where i... something kind of snapped inside me, because i wear a muslim hijab and i've been in situations where people tried to snatch it off my head. >> wow. >> i don't think we could be any further apart as people and yet it was just kind of like this common ¡that's not okay moment.' you are genuinely the only muslim person i know. >> it's hard to hate up close. >> reporter: dave isay created storycorps. and his experience there has taught him people like to get up close. moreover... >> there's an organization
called more in common that talks about the exhausted majority. and that's 93% of the country. 93% of the country are exhausted by the divides and want to find a way out. >> reporter: like the name of peter coleman's book. and even congress has several bridging efforts, including the devoutly bi-partisan veterans caucus: “for country.” >> veterans get things done and that's what they learn in the service. and they set aside personal differences and political differences and they dig the foxhole. >> reporter: conservative texas republican van taylor, who served in iraq, and virginia democrat elaine luria. >> commanding officer, businesswoman, mom. >> there's rules within the caucus that say 75% of the members of the caucus have to agree on this for the caucus to endorse it. and so that requires working together, coming to the table, making trade offs. >> reporter: finally, an effort i've worked on: the american exchange project, a domestic foreign exchange program for high school seniors, based on the underlying principle of coming together, overcoming stereotypes. >> there's definitely a
stereotype, you know, about the south being poor and uneducated. >> reporter: sam bueker was a high school senior in wellesley, massachusetts; leticia vallejo, in kilgore, texas. when she first met kids like sam online... >> they were more privileged than us. like you could tell by their education and everything like the way they talked. i was scared that since i didn't have that education or anything like we were more underprivileged. >> reporter: for two years, in online hangouts featuring everything from push-up contests to sibling squat challenges debates over the confederate flag to “is a hot dog a sandwich?," high schoolers north and south have connected, and, this july, hit the road to see each other's america. >> i'm about to go on this t train station for the first time. >> reporter: for allonah allsworth, from lake charles, louisiana, her very first trip away from home or on a subway. but back to “the way out” author for the key question. what are the odds that america is going to actually achieve
anything like reconciliation and bridging any time soon? >> the odds are good, but the work is hard. there are not simple fixes to this. we're going to have to recognize, like addiction that this is a long term problem that has been gaining steam for decades. but we can do it. and i think the urgenc certainly violence that we see on the streets is something that will motivate us. >> reporter: and as they said goodbye after two weeks, the kids in the american exchange project at least had taken the first small step. >> end of blog. >> reporter: they'd made friends, and recorded it in a blog to share back home. for the pbs newshour, paul solman. >> woodruff: senators returned to work in washington today, as
democrats' launch their most concerted push on voting rights yet. lisa desjardins is here with the latest on where legislation stands, and what comes next. so hello, lisa. we know the democrats are pushing two pieces of legislation as president biden and the vice president harris get ready to go to atlanta to talk about it. but walk us through what is in those two pieces of legislation. >> judy, many of our viewers know the constitution states clearly that states run elections but congress has the power to pass rules governing the elections of members of congress, so they are dealing with that, the first is a broader one, this is called the freedom to vote act. in the freedom to vote act, that national rule for how our elections should work, federal elections, it would ban gerrymandering for congressional seats. states would have to offer vote-by-mail or two weeks of
early voting. states would be able to require photo i.d. to vote but they would have to accept many forms including potentially utility bills. this would also include an extension of registration, auction registration in every state at dmv's, for example. there is a lot more in this bill but essentially think of this as something that has national standards for the kind of big ticket items for how and when you can go to the polls. the other bill which is called the ohn lewis voting rights accountability act is more marrow. it is focused instead on preventing discrimination at the poll. and one of the main krukses of this bill is to restore what is called preclearance of state laws. preclearance of state. if they have shown a past history and a record of discrimination, meafn of our screwers will remember this was something that was part of our ting rights law. that the supreme court in 2013 overturned the idea of preclearance and said congress has to decide o put that in
place. that is what this bill would do wrz so-- . >> woodruff: so that is what the democrats want but we know the republicans have blocked a vote so far on either one of these. and explain to us what their arguments are and then what are the democrats trying to do next? >> well, this isn't clearly, this isn't entirely partisan. lisa murkowski the senator of alaska does support the john lewis voting rights act but only that one. so let's talk then about what other republicans who oppose both of these bills say. senator mitch mcconnell, the republican senate leader today tack to the floor and he said these remarks. he said historically the senate has taken up elections legislation or careful by part pa san basis, made sure not to trample on the rights of voters and the proper rolls of local officials. he is saying this goes too far, that this is a federal takeover of elections. of course democrats push back and say listen, gerrymandering
has benefited republicans. the washington most did a survey and since 2011 by far gerrymandered districts across this country have benefited republicans politically. there is of course also some historic elements here including the civil war itself and diskrim-- laws against discrimination that went in place in the civil rights act in the 1950s that democrats want to return to. and some republicans don't. >> woodruff: and meantime lisa, the republicans, some republicans have come forward with another issue, they want to look at, and talking about legislation and that has to do with the electoral college. tell us about that. >> this is connected but it is important to know this is called the electoral count act and important to know it is very specific. it is specific to even january 6th. and the confusion over that day, the confusion over the certifications of our presidential election. and for example, vice president
mike pence, his roll under current law under the current electoral count act is not clear. it is open to interpretation, some say that you may have some power in the senate and over this. others say of course no, he doesn't have any power over deciding the electoral process here. what is going on here is that republicans say we're willing to talk about clearing up this messy law that is from 1876, another messy time. democrats say wait a minute, we also want to dollar fie how the electoral count goes. we think there is a problem too. but we don't think that that should te the place of voting rights legislation which we think addresses a much larger problem of suppression, democrats say. they would like to do both. for now they're not going to take the electoral count changes until they get more in the voting rights act. we're going to talk more about this this week, judy. >> yes, we are. we will spend time looking at the efforts to do something
about voter access and voting rights. lisa desjardins, thank you. >> and for more on the political stakes of voting rights it's time for politics mond with tamara keith of npr and lisa lerer of "the new york times." amy walter is away. hello to both of you. so tam, let's pick up where we left off with lisa's reporting. lisa desjardins' reporting. and that is we are are going to see a push this week. we know president biden, vice president harris headed to atlanta tomorrow to speak about voting rights. tell us what has prompted this push right now by the president. >> the white house has said that the president's two top priorities are passing the build back better act and getting some sort of voting rights legislation through. and obviously with the anniversary of january 6th. there was a lot more discuion around voting rights and around what happened on that day.
including what the former president said and has continued to say, he's fighting with a republican senator today about whether the election was stoleen or not. republican senator speaking the truth, senator brown saying the election wasn't stoleen. and yet former president trump continues to claim that the election was stoleen from him. and that is the basis of a lot of local and state legislation around voting. that democrats are really concerned about, they see it as existential. >> woodruff: and to lisa lerer now, is this something that is seen to have real prospects of changing minds? we know the president, they're going to be speaking tomorrow in atlanta. but what does the landscape look like out there? >> well, the reality in the senate is the same reality that it has been for the past year or so which is that dem drats basically need every one of
their members to get some things through on voting rights. as lisa mentioned earlier, there is only one republican who is showing any inclination o support either one of these bills. so that means what needs to happen here for either of these proposals to actually become law would be upending or changing of the filibuster rules. and we really have no indication as of yet that the people that these issues always seem to come down to these days, joe manchin and kristen sinema have any will to do that. so you know, some of what is happening here is a political contrast that the white house is trying to draw. i think the president and administration spent much of the first year not exclusively but trying to hold back some of their harshest criticism of republicans. and now the country is starting to move a little bit towards mid terms. the white house is starting to think more about the mid-terms. you see biden and harris trying to traw that sharper contrast.
to start these mid term elections that we will have in less than a year now, as a choice between their vision of the country and the republican scrition of the country. so i think part of this is sure, he wants tget something done on voting rights for sure. but i also think there's something going on here about laying the early sort of political arguments for the election to come. >> woodruff: and tam, when it domes to the republicans, it is t as if they ever supported voting rights. they were certainly on board in 1965 with the big voting rights law. the republican president had signed extensions of that law time and again. what has changed in republicans thinking? this, as you say, used to be bipartisan. tapping voting rights legislation, renewing votes rights legislation was bipartisan as lisa desjardins reported. then the supreme court took out some of the legs of the voting rights act 57bd it has now been years and years without congress being able to come together on
this. in part because there is just a dramically different perception of what the problem. is our polling, the, other polls indicate that republicans and democrats agree that democracy is threatened, but they completely disagree about what the problem is. republicans think that voter fraud and you know, democrats are out to steal the election. and democrats are concerned about erosions of the ability of people to exercise their right to vote. it's just an erosion of what used to be an area of agreement. and for many republicans, this has been sort of a slow imaginer with these bills passing. obviously the big lie around the last election put gasoline on us but this was not a new thing. talking about voter integrity
anor so called voter integrity. >> woodruff: and to lisa, i mean in terms of the purely political thinking on the part of democrats around, is this seen as an issue that could help them in the november mid-term? >> well, i think a lot of democrats see this as an issue that cou help them just in terms of, you know, having more access to voting for their voters. making sure that polling places have longer hours, that there is more dropboxs, that voting by mail trend continues. certainly that is a piece of it. i do think it is also an issue that many democrats believe could motivate parts of their base. but have i to admit it is really hard to see given the time period we're living in. ongoing pandemic, concerns people have about inflation and their personal financial situation that you know, a huge ground swell of people, although they are as tam correctly pointings out, concerned about the future of american democracy, but it's hard to see that this huge ground swell of people comes out and tests out
solely on this issue or even sees this issue as really the driving force for their vote. you know, particularly as we drag into this third year of this pandemic. >> well, we only have a little bit, actually a little bit of time left but tam, i do want to ask you about paul solomon's reporting about efforts, small efforts but around the country to bring people together. i think i know the answer to this based on what you have just been talking about. but what does it lok like the prots pects are that there, that there will be some success in trying to get people to work together to stee each other's points of view. >> you know, i actually saw a little bit of hope in the level at which people were engaged in local elections in this last cycle of elections. before paying attention to scol boards and city councils in a way that maybe they hadn't in the past. and generally speaking, focusing on national politic sts not going to be where we find as
americans ways to come together. but it is the small scale stuff where there is some tiny little piece of hope. but no, things are grim. things are grim in terms of sait in institutions, up and down. >> lisa, do you have any brighter forecasts to share with us? >> i mean i am pretty dark. i'm with tam on this one. i wish i had more sunshine to tawfer here but i have to tell you when i talk to historians to kind of get your sense of is there an analogous period to the moment we are living in in american history, they talk about things like the run-up to the civil war, the tum ult of the '60s and '70s, so not exactly a come buyia moment of american history but just talking to voters and seeing where people get their information, who they talk to, what their communities look like. it just appears that we are more divided than ever. and the politicians in our political system have a real incentive to kind of exploit
those divides and sort of continue these. >> woodruff: well, be that as it may, we can still applaud these efforts to kinds of small efforts but meaningful ones that paul solomon was focused on. in that report. thank you both. politics monday. tamara keith and lisa lerer, thai. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: this past weekend, january 8th, marked the day when, in 2011, a gunman opened fire at a political event in arizona. it was a moment that underscored both the dangerous divisions and the epidemic of gun violence in america. as part of our arts and culture series, canvas, stephanie sy visits a memorial in tucson that is part of a new and, tragic american art genre. >> sy: tucson's january 8th memorial is steeped in symbolism starting with its location.
>> it's like walking into healing arms. >> sy: coming into view as one passes through the portico of the historic pima county courthouse, and near city hall, the memorial to tucson's deadliest modern mass shooting sits in the civic heart of the city. that was intentional, says artist rebeca mendez, a professor at u.c.l.a. who along with landscape architects, designed the memorial. >> this was an attack on democracy, an attack on the very most, the most important right that people. >> sy: exactly, meeting and exercising your right to do, to have a democratic process. it was during a meeting between then-congresswoman gabrielle cotuents on january 8t her at aunman opened fire, targg ffds who was severely wounded.
18 others were shot and six victims died, ranging in age from nine to 79. one year ago, on the tenth anniversary of the shootings, the memorial was quietly dedicated. it was the height of the pandemic, so it received little attention. it's called “the embrace”-- two berms curve toward each other. the structure is, surrounded by desert blooms within six gardens, one for each of those killed. on the inner walls, punctures that conjure bullet holes. at night, they look like constellations. golden light illuminates the voids. some of the bullet holes are filled with modern-day petroglyphs. that symbolize the varied lives, values and ideals of each victim and survivor. the “embrace” honors the victims of a modern-day mass shooting, but it also subtly and mbolically references the way guns have shaped the region's
history, especially for the indigenous tribes who consider this their ancestral land. >> it affected all of us that live in the area. >> sy: bernard siquieros is a member of the tohono o'odham tribe, whose people have lived in this cactus-strewn desert for more than 10,000 years. a former tribal arts educator, the memorial's designers sought his input during their research. >> to incorporate that and that kind of memorial, i think, is very honoring and appropriate. >> sy: petroglyphs, he says, were traditionally used to record events before written language existed among tribes here. >> now in modern times where you those symbols will continue to things, this memorial using and video and other kinds of things, this memorial using those symbols will continue to tell that story so that people don't forget. >> sy: many can't forget.
>> january 8th in tucson is beautiful. >> sy: mary reed remembers the day of the shootings in stark detail. >> we heard what sounded like fireworks suddenly start. i got a sting in my arm and my body started moving. no thought. i picked up emma and i threw her against the wall and i just covered her with my body and then the screaming started. >> sy: emma is her daughter, then 17. >> you could hear gunshots then very clearly and a man walking towards us. >> sy: he was deliberately aiming for emma? >> and that got my ire up and i, without letting her up, turned around to look him in the face because i thought, you're going
to shoot me another time, you better be looking me in the eye. >> sy: mary reed's most evocative petroglyph? a mama bear and her cub. >> there's nothing more courageous, right? >> sy: reed has described the memorial as “playful." visitors can make rubbings on the petroglyphs, bringing a piece of the memorial home. twin reflecting pools overflow with water that caresses the names of victims as though with falling tears. every detail researched, sketched, and sometimes, says artist rebeca mendez, disputed. she had wanted the memorial to take a more overt stance against guns. >> this country has an epidemic, it's a disease of gun violence. my personal statement, would have been stronger. and at the same time, when you are doing public art, you really are intertwining yourself with the community and there is a give and take. >> sy: it is a conversation
other communities in the process of building tributes to victims of mass shootings are having. artist renderings show plans for memorials in newtown and orlando, completed mass shooting memorials include columbine, el paso and aurora. the memorial in tucson, seen from above shows an abstraction of the figure “8”-- for january 8th-- and in the artist's eye- another symbol. >> the idea of january 8, if you think of the mobius is the number eight sideways so in your walking, meditating, in a sense, you could create that mobius. and it really is the idea of continuity. we will prevail as a civilization. that is my hope. >> sy: “the embrace” tells a somber story, repeated so many times in this country that memorials to mass shooting victims have become their own american art form. for the pbs newshour, i'm
stephanie sy in tucson, arizona. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here 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: >> a raymond james financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life, well-planned. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular has been offering no-contract wireless plans, designed to help people do more of what they like. our u.s.-based customer service team can help find a plan that fits you. to learn more, visit www.consumercellular.tv.
>> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
♪ hello, everyone. welcome to "amanpour and company." here's what's coming up. >> i will stand in this breach. i wl defend this nation. i will allow no one to place a dagger at the throat of democracy. >> our special edition on democracy, a year since the storming of the u.s. capitol, january 6th. i ask doris kerns goodwin and yale's expert on autocracy, timothy snyder, about how to save american democracy. and then, what sou africa and colombia can teach us about restorative justice and building a new democracy. colombia's lead peace negotiator joins me. plus