tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS January 15, 2022 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, january 15: omicron cases continue to spad as the roll out of free home testing kits is set to begin. the baltic nation of estonia explores a new tactic to combat russian disinformation. and decades after his death, alvin ailey's legacy dances on. next on “pbs newshour weekend.” >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the anderson family fund. the estate of worthington mayo-smith. leonard and norma klorfine. the rosalind p. walter
foundation. koo and patricia yuen, committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. barbara hope zuckerberg. we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group: retirement services and investments. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular's goal has been to provide wireless service that helps people communicate and connect. we offer a variety of no-contract plans, and our u.s.-based customer service team can help find one that fits you. to learn more, visit www.consumercellular.tv. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, arivate corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
>> sreenivasan: good evening and thank you for joining us. starting today, private insurers are required to cover the cost of up to eight at-home covid rapid tests per person enrolled in a plan per month. on wednesday, those without private insurance will also be able to get free tests using a federal government website. every home in the u.s. will be eligible to order four tests online at covidtests.gov. the white house said a half- billion tests will be available and will be shipped within 7-12 days. as of today, the "new york times" tracking project shows 800,000 new cases being reported on average day. there arnow about 150,000 people hospitalized with the coronavirus, more than at any time in the pandemic. but that number includes people with minor symptoms who are being hospitalized for other reasons. doctor jeremy faust is an emergency room physician at brigham and women's hospital in boston. so, dr. faust, here we are two
years into this,e are still hearing about hospital systems that are overwhelmed this long into this pandemic. i mean, i'm talking to you from new york who went through this horrible surge in the beginning in march of 2020, it was supposed to be the warning sign for every other hospital system in the country. and here we are almost two years later, and we're still seeing full page ads taken out by hospitals saying, please help us, where our doctors and nurses are overwhelmed. >> yes. and when we look back on what we did in 2020 with this very long, protracted shelter in place and shut down a lot of times, people n't remember that we actually did achieve one of the major objectives of that action, which was to keep hospitals from overflowing. so, really, what we're looking at now is really the same question that we had early in 2020, which is, can we keep the hospitals safe? the difference now is that we can actually track this. we have tests. we know how this virus behaves in different age groups and vaccination status. so, we actually can know when
the growth of virus in one area or another is putting a hospital at risk. and as a result of that, we can actually do shorter term asures if the goal is just to keep the hospital safe. we now can achieve that because we can follow it in a very short period of time. >> sreenivasan: we've heard this idea that this will be a virus that is endemic in the population. we might treat it like the flu in the future. right now, it's still far more deadly than the flu. but what can we do to sort of decrease its potency and increase our resilience against it? >> i think we've gotten a lot of the way there. if you are a person who is fully vaccinated or boosted, if necessary for older and sicker populations, you actually are likely to experience something like the flu if you get coronavirus. we're not seeing 2020 pneumonia in boosted and vaccinated people. that's just not what happens. so, we actually havechieved that. the way to get this systemically there is to get kids vaccinated, under five years old is obviously a huge area. there's another risk group that
i think i know is under vaccinated and under boosted. this is pregnant women. bad outcomes in terms of maternal mortality, in terms of stillbirths. so, we are so much closer than people realize. but the problem is we still have tons of unvaccinated people who get this awful, deadly pneumonia. and we also have a variant on our hands, which is tipping people over the edge in terms of exacerbating their chronic conditions. >> sreenivasan: how significant of an impact will home tests to be for the entire population of the united states that has different levels of access to testing? >> i really think it's a step in the right direction to have home tests. i think the idea of sending them to people is a much better than the idea of asking people to go try to find one because they're really hard to find, they can be expensive. the whole idea of rapid tests is a very important one. it's the idea that it tells you, are you really very likely to be contagious. if we use rapid tests the way many of us have been advocating since really since they came on the market correctly, they achieve what we really need,
which is to be able to keep doing many of the things of regular life without disruptions, even when coronavirus is around. i think there's this sense that if we test too much that we will panic and not return to life, and it's actually the opposite. if we ignore this, we don't diagnose these conditions, then it spreads about the time we realize it, it's out of control, it's at a nursing home. so, rapid tests actually allow us to avoid things like staying home and not doing our regular activities. the test to return to work, the test to stay after exposure, these actions really reflect the progress we've made in terms of being able to track this virus. the more tests we have for free, the better we are in terms of health and the better we are actually economically because people can go about their business knowing that they are not a risk to their neighbors and their colleagues. >> sreenivasan: dr. jeremy faust of brigham and women's hospital in boston. thanks so much. >> thanks. >> sreenivasan: this morning, the eruption of an underwater volcano about 40 miles off the coast of tonga triggered tsunami
advisories across the pacific, from hawaii to alaska and along the west coast. the volcano sent a plume of ash and steam that could be seen in satellite images. >> we have a tsunami warning at this time. please evacuate to higher grounds immediately. >> sreenivasan: the national weather service in american samoa warned residents to get to higher ground. u.s. officials issd tsunami advisories along the west coast. there were some reports of minor flooding ang california and oregon's coasts, but there were no reports of damage or injuries. for more national and international news, visit pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: russian disinformation campaigns aren't confined to attempts at tampering with u.s. elections. in fact, they're rife in countries once ruled from moscow. some former soviet states have tried to suppress the propaganda by banning russian television stations and even limiting the use of the russian language on
their domestic channels. but as newshour weekend special correspondent simon ostrovsky reports, one country, tiny estonia, which sits right on russia's western border, is trying a different approach. his story was produced with support from the knight-wallace reporting fellowship. >> reporter: this is the bronz soldier, a monument commemorating the soviet union's victory over nazi germany in world war ii. prior to 2007, it wa prominently situated in the center of the estonian capital, tallinn. but when it became a flashpoint for competing nationalist narratives, it had to be moved. ( chanting ) the estonian authorities moved the statue here to a military cemetery on the outskirts of tallinn. but according to some of the wilder reports in the russian media of the time, this statue doesn't even exist. >> ( translated ): the bronze soldier has been cut into pieces and taken to an unknown destination. this photograph appeared on the internet and immediately went around the globe.
this is what's left of the monument commemorating soviet soldiers. >> reporter: this doctored photo, which russian state-owned news outlets purported showed the total destruction of the statue, was part of a months- long media disinformation campaign that ultimately led to the 2007 riot among estonia's russian-speaking minority, members of whom had clashed with estonian far right nationalists who wanted the statue to be torn down. the uprising lasted several days, and resulted in the death of one man. these events, known as the bronze night, are seen as the fallout of the first modern russian disinformation campaign of its kind. they marked a turning point for this small northern european country. >> we have never had a riot before. no riots. zero, none. ( laughs ) mean, this is as you-- i don't know if you've been here before, but it is rather kind of a quiet, quiet place. we don't have riots.
>> reporter: toomas ilves, who grewp in new jersey, was estonia's president from 2006-2016. he told newshour weekend that the events of the bronze night forced estonia to look for new ways to make its russian speaking minority less susceptible to propaganda from russia. in the united states, when we're talking about fighting disinformation, we're often thinking about doing things like tweaking the algorithm on social media or putting legislative pressure on big tech companies in silicon valley. but when your border with russia is this close, you really don't have that option, because it's enough to turn on your telesion set to get an earful of propaganda from the other side. so, estonia has decided to choose a different path. meet dmitri, he's a russian- estonian and a father of three from estonia's eastern-most city, narva. like many meers of this group, he struggles with the estonian language, even though he's lived here all his life. >> ( translated ): the problem is that estonian just isn't used
in narva. at work we only speak russian. you get the feeling that there's a wall between us, because i don't have a single estonian friend i can speak estonian with. >> reporter: dmitri and his kids are taking part in a government- sponsored course for a group of narva residents who've been bussed into thestonian capital, tallinn. this is a very unusual cooking class, because the point here isn't to learn how to make pizza. the point is to learn how to do the goal is to enable russian-. speaking estonians to interact with typical estonians who they wouldn't otherwise meet in their day-to-day lives. >> ( translated ): i'm really glad these women who organized this today aren't even trying to use a single word in russian with us. >> reporter: cultural courses like this one are just one part of the suite of integration efforts estonia has enacted to make the russian-speaking community feel more welcome and, it's hoped, less susceptible to grievance-based narratives
spread by russian state media. ekaterina taklaja is a russian- estonian andhe editor-in-chief etv+, a new russian-language channel that's part of estonia's public broadcasting system. since becoming independent, estonia has made knowledge of the estonian language a requirement for gaining citizenship, a rule she told me angered many russian-speakers who found emselves stateless when the soviet union collapsed. >> ( translated ): this provoked a kind of rejection, a sense of protest in them. after the 2007 events of the so-called bronze night in estonia, the authorities thought it might not be such a bad idea to have a tv channel created in estonia for the russian-speaking audience in order to inform them and give more objective local information about what is happening in estonia in order to create an alternative to russian media.
>> reporter: perhaps there's no area in which reaching russian- speaking estonians is more crucial than in the country's pandemic response. in narva's local hospital, dr. tetiana slavkina tells us many of her patients end up in her care because they've refused vaccines available in estonia, like the american pfizer vaccine. >> ( translated ): i'd say about 85-90% of them aren't vaccinated. there are a lot of explanations. the first is “if we'd known we'd get so sick we would have gotten vaccinated.” we're a border town, and of course the broadcasts and other channels of information we get talk about the effectiveness of the sputnik vaccine, so people really want that specific vaccine. >> reporter: theroadcasts she's talking about are russian
news reports like this one. a year ago, as covid vaccines were rolled out around the world, russian state-owned news outlets sowed mistrust of the pfizer vaccine, and promoted the much less effective sputnik v vaccine, which is manufactured in russia and which moscow aimed to sell all around the world. >> ( translated ): world leaders have started getting vaccinated with sputnik v. the president of argentina got his first dose. the united arab emirates have switched to the russian vaccine after saying “no” to the american drug from pfizer. after all, seeking medical help after getting vaccinated with pfizer has almost become the norm. in estonia, about a dozen medical workers got covid after their first dose. in israel, almost half the doctors experienced side-effects after their second dose. >> reporter: estonia has invested a lotf time and resources into integrating its russian speaking minority over the last three decades of independence, but what the last couple of years of the pandemic
have revealed is that its two main communities, estonian speaking and russian speaking, still live in somewhat separate information ecosystems. i asked katri reik, the mayor of russian-speaking narva, if she thought integration was possible. despite all of estonia'sfforts at integration, you still have a big difference, for example, in the number of people who want to be vaccinated. russian-speakers are far less likely to get vaccination. how do you explain that? >> ( translated ): when you turn on the tv and are told everyday that western vaccines are poison, you have to understand that this is going to have an impact. >> ( translated ): in the u.s., another medical worker has been hospitalized after the pfizer shot. what is this? experimentation on people, or an absurd accident? >> reporter: raik told me the drumbeat of negative russian reports, as well as lingering distrust of the estonian authorities, meant that only 58% of the residents of the european union's most russian-speaking
city h chosen to be vaccinated as of this past december. compare that to a nationwide average of 72%. wetopped by a small outdoor market to learn about the local media diet. vjatseslav stolfat, a grocer, told me he stopped watching broadcasts from russia because of the unendg coverage of the crisis in ukraine. >> ( translated ): i'm so tired of this ukraine scandal. it's the same thing on every channel. and i don't really care about news from russia. i'm more interested in what's happening over here. >> reporter: but older residents have remained loyal to some of the most provocative propagandists on air in russia. >> ( translated ): i never miss solovyov or "60 minutes." i don't watch “health” though. don'want to. >> ( translated ): the old man and i mostly watch russian channel one. we only watch estonian tv for the news. >> reporter: did you get vaccinated? >> ( translated ): no. my son has been trying to get me for a while, but i told him we
don't go out. just to the store, nowhere else. >> reporter: when it comes to estonian integration efforts, the pandemic has yielded a silver lining. viewership of estonia-based outlets has increased dramatically over the last two years as russian-speakers sought out health advice and local pandemic regulations. and, as narva's mayor pointed out, the vaccination gap between majority-russian areas and estonia overall has shrunk significantly over the course of the year. >> ( translated ): we can't ban russia. just walk 100 meters and you can go look at russia, see what it's really like. and no one, not you or i, can come into an old granny's apartment and take her remote control and pick the channels that we want. no. that's the wrong way. you have to offer an alternative. >> sreivasan: this month, the celebrated modern dance
visionary, alvin ailey, would have celebrated his 91st birthday. he passed away in 1989. beautiful even after more than 30 years, his choreography is as vibrant as ever. and the dance company he founded in 1958, the alvin ailey american dance theater, continues to innovate. this week, pbs aired the american masters film "ailey." >> sreenivasan: in 2011, robert battle took over as director of the company alvin ailey founded, and earlier this week, newshour's christopher booker spoke with him. >> reporter: help me understand just what and where alvin ailey's legacy sits within the dance world. >> you know, alvin ailey founded the company in 1958 because he
didn't see as many stories being told, and certainly the presence of african-americans in the concert dance space. and so, he wanted to tell sties of his blood memories, but not only that, offer opportunities for specifically, at that time, for black dancers. he had equal parts fear and courage, which creates the kind of friction that is needed to press on. and then he had all of these stories that he wanted to tell. and thank goodness for us that he-- he told them >> reporter: coming back to the founding of the dance company in 1958, this is as the civil rights movement is really gaining momentum, and i believe alvin ailey said that his protest was the dance. has that legacy continued? >> i believe so.
i mean, i definitely think that we tried to be more proactive, especially with social media, where one looks to make statements, or to see statements by organizations, that they want to know what the organization stands for. but at the same time, the root, i think, of the work that we do, is most visible in the dances that we dance, in the creative work that we do. all of that, to me, is a part of the statement that we make, but the dances in and of themselves, i mean, people still see alvin ailey masterpiece revelations that he created in 1960. it is still relevant today. the notion of sorrow, of hope, of faith. all of the things that we experience now are very
important. >> reporter: do you find yourself with a substantiay different interpretation of "revelations," particularly now after the last two years >> i have more... respect, if you will, and-- and not that i didn't have respect, but i think there's a deeper meaning of... to think of, of where we are, and then to think of the cusp of the civil rights movement, to think of all of the headwinds that alvin ailey experienced, and to be able to make a work that ultimately is about hope. within "revelations" he deals with the trials and tribulations of african-americans in this country, but he also leaves us with a message of uny and hope. and at a time where it is easy to be cynical, certainly, and is
even more easy to access anger and despair, he says no, there is a future. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> reporter: how do you, as director, balance the past, present and future? do you find yourself in conflict, for lack of better word, with wanting to really push the form, against the history of the company? >> yes and no. sometimes i am looking at work that i know is outside the box. you know, alvin ailey himself never wanted to be, sort of, put inside a box. you know, that, just when you think that he's going to make another serious work that delves into civil rights and that delves into then he makes it work like "night creature,"
which is, you know, which is all about fun and about flirtation and so many other things of jazz and duke ellington and all this. i always say that courage isn't the lack of fear, it's the presence of fear, but doing it anyway because you know that art should do that. and so, some of that is the wa that i curate the work, knowing that we are not in a box. and that's probably why i don't see conflict as conflicted at all. and the journey, if you don't like the process, we always say that to dancers, because you've spent most of your time not on stage, but in the studio. and if you're not somebody who loves the process, get out while you can, right? it's the process of almost getting there that is the exciting thing of the task. and we're on that journey still here at the alvin ailey american dance theater.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> sreenivasan: finally tonight, police in colleyville, texas, northeast of fort worth, are negotiating with a man believed to be holding multiple hostages in a synagogue. the unidentified man could be heard on a livestream during services this morning. it was not known how many people were in the building. local news media reported residents near the synagogue were being evacuated. we will have updates online and tomorrow on the broadcast. that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. for the latest news updates,
visit www.pbs.org/newshour i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. stay healthy, and have a good night. captioning sponsoredy wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. bernard and denise schwartz. the cherylnd philip milstein family. the anderson family fund. the estate of worthington mayo-smith. leonard and norma klorfine. the rosalind p. walter foundation. koo and patricia yuen, committed to bridging cultural
differences in our communities. barbara hope zuckerberg. we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group: retirement services and investments. additional support has been provided by: coumer cellular. and by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. you're watching pbs.
>> jamie: people everywhere are finally coming back together. so it's time to celebrate some of the love, friendships, and amazing moments that we've all missed out on. and what better way to show people that you care than to bring them around a table for some delicious food? so i've created easy-to-follow menus that will turn incredible dishes into epic feasts. >> life is about memories. and today we made a memory, >> jamie: and to make the most of the precious time with those that we love, it's all about getting ahead. i want to prepare a meal which is nearly all done, so when my friends and family get here, i can be spending more time with them. cheers, everybody! >> cheers! these are impressive menus made easy because i'll take you through them step by step, making them for my family and friends, so you can make them for yours. this is saying, "i love you," through food.