Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  April 1, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

4:00 pm
[captioning made possible by democracy now!] ♪ amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> stood out to you about what mr. floyd was saying when you saw him on the ground. >> he said i can't breathe. he said mama, they are killing me. amy: jurors in minneapolis have
4:01 pm
heard another day of dramatic testimony in the murder trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin for killing george floyd last may. for three days witnesses have described the horror of seeing chauvin kneel on george floyd's neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. >> at some point did you make a 911 call? >> that is correct. i called police. >> why did you do that? >> i believe i witnessed a murder. >> you felt the need to call the police? >> i felt the need to call the police. amy: we will air excerpts of the trial and speak to rashad robinson of color of change and mel reeves of the minnesota spokesman recorder. then we go to braz where over 66,000 people died in the month
4:02 pm
of march as covid cases skyrocketed leaving brazil's hospital system on the verge of collapse. this comes as brazil faces a growing political crisis. all that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report, i'm amy goodman. jurors in minneapolis have heard another day of dramatic testimony in the trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin, who is on trial for killing george floyd last may by his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. police were also shown -- jurors
4:03 pm
were also shown a police body cam clip of george floyd begging for his life after he was handcuffed by police. mcmilan broke down in tears and was unable to speak for a several moments. jurors were also shown police body cam footage of the bystanders w attempted to save george floyd life after -- as officer chauvin kneeled on his ne. after headlines we'll air clips from derek chauvin's murder trial and go to minneapolis for the latest on the police killing of george floyd. in california, four people were killed and a fifth seriously wounded wednesday evening when a gunman opened fire on an orange county office complex. president joe biden is defending his $2.3 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan against critics. they say it doesn't go nearly far enough or combating climate change. president biden: it is not a
4:04 pm
plan that goes around the edges. it is once in a generation in america. unlike anything we have seen or done since we have built the interstate highway system in the space race decades ago. amy: the plan includes hundreds of millions of dollars in investment to climb -- combat the climate crisis. sunrise movement called on lawmakers to support bidens infrastructure plan as a step towards a green new deal but added joe biden, this is unacceptable, your proposal needs to include at least $10 trillion on infrastructure if you want to meet this moment. the united states recorded more than 67,000 new coronavirus infections on wednesday and over 1000 deaths. covid-19 cases are continuing to
4:05 pm
rise in a majority of states despite one of the worlds fastest vaccine rollout. on wednesday, conservative justices in the wisconsin supreme court struck down a state mass mandate ordered by democratic governors tony devers. pfizer says it's covid-19 vaccine provides protection for at least six months after a second dose. the cdc director said they do not appear to carry or transmit the virus to others. johnson & johnson says 15 million doses of its covid-19 vaccine were contaminated and will have to be thrown out, delaying shipments of j&j's one-dose vaccine across the united states. the company blamed human error at an emergent biosolutions manufacturing plant in baltimore, maryland. in brazil, cemeteries around the city of sao paolo are holding funerals into the night amid a
4:06 pm
-- to handle a record surge in coronavirus cases and deaths. about 66,000 brazilians died of covid-19 in march, with epidemiologists warning the worst is yet to come. in india, public health officials are warning a hindu religious festival in the ganges river city of haridwar will become a massive superspreader event. more than a million people a day are expected to pack the festival despite a recent massive surge of covid9 cases across india. turkey has reimposed weekend lockdowns and will limit gatherings during the upcoming holy month of ramadan amid a third wave of coronavirus cases. french president emanuel macron has ordered a third nationwide lockdown, with schools ordered shut for three weeks. in the u.k., health officials say half of the population now has antibodies against covid-19, either from an infection or vaccination. britain has one of the world's
4:07 pm
fastest vaccine rollouts. yemen received its first shipment of 360,000 covid-19 vaccine doses on wednesday. officially, yemen has recorded 4,000 coroanvirus cases and less than 900 deaths, but doctors say a silent surge is underway. yemen is experiencing the world's worst humanitarian crisis, more than six years after the start of the us-backed, saudi-led war. this is a doctor at a covid-19 treatment center in aden. >> the center is overwhelmed. we need oxygen and to expand care across all provinces. the two most important things is funding and more staff. we need more staff because the rise in cases is not normal. amy: the world resources institute is warning global deforestation jumped 12% last year in a blow to efforts to reduce carbon in the atmosphere. the group estimates about 10 million acres of tropicaforest
4:08 pm
were desoyed in 2020. that's an area roughly the size of switzerland. most of the destruction occurred in the amazon rainforest in brazil. deforestation also spiked in cameroon and colombia. a federal court in new york has sentenced tony hernandez, the brother of honduran president juan orlando hernand, to lif in prison for drug trafficking. tony hernandez, a former congress member, was convicted in 2019 on wide-ranging charges, including massive bribing schemes. u.s. prosecutors say he was also involved in at least two murders and that honduran president juan orlando hernandez was a co-conspirator in the quote “state-onsored drug trafficking. in hong kong, a court convicted media tycoon jmy lai, veteran politician martin lee, and five other notable pro-democracy activists for participating in an unauthorized peaceful protest in 2019. the activists could face up to five years behind bars.
4:09 pm
hong kong politician cyd ho is another one of theonvicted activists. >> the freedom of information, the freedom of expression are now banned in hong kong. noit is a deterrence of our progress. amy: here in the united states, the biden administration had reaffirmed the position taken by the trump administration that hong kong is no longer autonomous from china, a should not benefit from preferential trade terms. in media news, the bbc's china correspondent john sudworth has left beijing for taiwan, after describing increasing threats, surveillance and obstruction from chise authories. sudwth has won awards r his reporting on the plight of the uyghur population in xinjiang. inaliforni federal authorities have charged a man, jose cruz noguez, with smuggling related to the deadly crash that killed 13 mexican and guatemalan
4:10 pm
nationals near the u.s.-mexico border last month. the pentagon has announced new policies reversing the trump administration's ban on transgender people serving in the military. they will allowed to serve based on their self identified gender. microsoft has won a pentagon contract worth nearly $22 billion dollars to produce 120,000 augmented reality headsets for u.s. army soldiers. microsoft's "hololens" headsets were first developed for video gamers, combining virtual images with real-world views. the headsets provide a real-time heads-up display to soldiers, using artificial intelligence to provide targets for weapons. in 2019, more than 100 microsoft engineers wrote in open letter quote "we are alarmed that microsoft is working to provide weapons technology to the us military, helping one country's
4:11 pm
government 'increase lethality' using tools we built. we did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used.” unquote. new york governor andrew cuomo has signed a bill barring jails and prisons from holding people in solitary confinement for more than 15 consecutive days. it also prohibits solitary confinement for children and people with disabilities. the new law is set to take effect in 2022. virginia democratic governor ralph northam signed major voting rights legislation wednesday, expanding access to the ballot box and enshrining protections against voter suppressn, discrimination, and intimidation. the move comes amid ongoing republican voter suppression efforts around the country and eight years after the supreme court gutted the landmark 1965 voting rights act. over 70 black executives signed an open letter calling on companies to speak out against dozens of voter suppression
4:12 pm
bills like the one passed in georgia last week. published as a full-page ad in the new york times, the business leaders write quote "when it comes to protecting the rights of all americans to vote, there can be no middle ground.” president biden he would strongly support major league baseball players if they decide to move the upcoming all-star game from atlanta to protest georgia's new voter suppression laws. meanwhile the ceos for delta airlines and coca-cola finally came out in opposition to georgia's clampdown on voting rights, nearly a week after the legislation was signed and amid mounting public scrutiny and threats to boycott the companies over their inaction. and in texas, the criminal appeals court has agreed to review the case of crystal mason, a black resident and mother who was sentenced to five years in prison for filling out a provisional ballot in 2016. mason had no idea she was not
4:13 pm
allowed to vote due to her criminal record and her ballot was never counted. she spoke with democracy now! in 2018. >> i just feel right now that the system failed me. you get out and rehabilitate yourself, you get a job and you graduate. you are doing everything right. why would i go and vote to go back? why would i do something like that to lose my kids again and do it all over? amy: you can see the full interview at democracynow.org. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. i'm amy goodman. jurors in many another day of dramatic testimony in the trial of derek chauvin, who was on
4:14 pm
trial for killing george floyd last may by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. he is charged with second and third-degree murder as well as manslaughter. floyd's death sparked international protest calling for racial justice. it occurred after the convenience store called the police accusing floyd of using counterfeit $20 bills. to this day it is not known if floyd even knew he was in possession of counterfeited money. on wednesday a teenage clerk at the store named christopher martin told jurors during questioning that he felt guilty for reporting the fake $20 bill to his manager who called the police on george floyd. >> was going -- what was going
4:15 pm
through your mind? >> disbelief and guilt. >> why guilty? >> if i would've just not taken the bill, it would've been avoided. amy: one of the most dramatic moments of the trial on wednesday occurred when charles mcmillan, who witnessed george floyd's death last year, rewatched a police body cam clip of george floyd begging for his life after he was handcuffed by police. a warning to our audience, this clip contains graphic io. -- video. >> stop moving. >> mama, mama. >> one of the front pouches. >> mama, mama.
4:16 pm
>> i can't believe this. >> mr. millan,o you need a minute? >> when you're ready. >> if you need some water, let me know. amy: after the break, charles
4:17 pm
mcmillan returned to be qutioned abo what he s when police killed george floyd. >> what stood out to you about what mr. floyd was saying when you saw him on the ground? >> he kept saying i can't breathe. when he said mama, they are killing me. amy: during the trial on wednesday, jurors also heard a recording of charles mcmillan approaching officer derek chauvin moments after george floyd's limp body was put in an ambulance. mcmillan told chavin quote "i don't respect what you did.” >> please advise the fire department if they are still with you. >> i don't respect what you did. >> that is one person's opinion. >> he is a sizable guy.
4:18 pm
he's probably on something. amy: on wednesday, jurors were also shown police body cam footage of the bystanders who attempted to save george floyd's life as officer chauvin kneeled on his neck. >> he's not responsive right now. look at him, he's not responsive. do you see this? is he breathing right now? check his pulse. check his pulse, bro. don't do drugs? you call what he's doing ok? >> get back. >> you're really a firefighter calling what he's doing ok?
4:19 pm
check his pulse. >> get back on the sidewalk. >> the man hasn't moved yet. bro, you're a bum, bro. amy: one of the eyewitnesses to george floyd's murder the mixed martial artist donald williams, told prosecutor matthew frank he called 911 after seeing chauvin put floyd in what williams had earlier called a blood choke. >> at some point did you make a 911 call? >> that is correct, i did call the police on the police. >> why did you do that? >> i believe i witnessed a muer. >> you felt the need to call the police? >> i felt the need to call the police on the police. amy: another one of the eyewitnesses was an off-duty firefighter and emt named genevieve hansen.
4:20 pm
on tuesday, she told prosecutor matthew frank she wanted to check george floyd's pulse and give him chess compressions but she was prevented from doing so by the police. >> i was really concerned about -- i thought his face looked puffy and swollen. this would happen if you are putting a grown man's weight on someone's neck. i noticed some fluid coming from what looked like george floyd's body. in a lot of cases the patient will release bladder when they died. i can't tell you where it was coming from, that's what -- where my mind went. he was not moving. >> what's the point of doing chest compressions? >> pumping the blood for someone
4:21 pm
who is not doing that themselves. >> were you able to do any of those steps? >> no, sir. >> why weren't you able to do any of that? >> the officers did not let me to the scene. in my memory, i offered to walk them through it or told them if he doesn't have a pulse you need to start compressions. that was not done either. >> are these things you wanted to do? >> it's what i would've done for anybody. >> when you couldn't do that, how did that make you feel? >> totally distressed. >> were you frustrated? >> yes.
4:22 pm
>> as i told you, we could take our time. feel free to take a minute. take a drink of water, go ahead. how are you doing that, trying to get the officers to focus on you? >> i tried different tactics of reasoning i pled and was desperate. amy: that is the minneapolis firefighter and emt. jurors on wednesday also from darnella frazier, who was just 17 years old when she used her cellphone to film the killing of george floyd. her image was not broadcast on
4:23 pm
the court television feed because she was a minor at the time of his death. >> i heard george floyd say i can't breathe, please get off of me. he was in pain. it seemed like he knew it was over for him. he was terrified. he was suffering, this was a cry for help. >> mr. nelson ask you questions about the video going viral, would you tell the ladies and gentlemen how experiencing what happened to george floyd has affected your life? >> when i look at george floyd, i look at my dad.
4:24 pm
i look at my brothers, cousins, uncles, they are all black. i have a black brother, black friends. that could have been one of them. there have been nights i stayed up apologizing to george floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting. not saving his life. it's not what i should've done, it's what he should've done. amy: now 18 years old, -- we
4:25 pm
come back we will spoke to -- feet to mel reeves, plus rishaad robinson -- rashad robinson. ♪ ♪ [music break]
4:26 pm
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. jersey minneapolis have heard another -- jurors have heard another day of testimony in the trial against derek chauvin for the killing of george floyd last may. he is charged with second and third-degree murder as well as manslaughter for killing george floyd. floyd's death sparked international protests. we go to minneapolis to speak with mel reeves, the community editor at the minnesota spokesman-recorder, the oldest
4:27 pm
black-owned newspaper in the state. he is covering the trial of derek chauvin. he is a longtime human rights and anti-police violence activist. also with us is rashad robinson, president of color of change. let's begin with mel reeves. the horror of this trial as we see footage we have seen over the last almost a year and also new footage, one of the new things that comes out most powerful is exactly what the defense attorney seemed not to want to have proven. you have each of these people of conscience. the 61-year-old bystander, mcmillan. the emt, the firefighter who tried to help. the 17-year-old at the time
4:28 pm
teenager who filmed the whole thing. the nine-year-old little girl. could you talk about what this community -- not particularly knowing each other that night. what it means to hear their testimony and grief. mel: unlike the way the defense tried to paint them, they came off as rl human beings. they witnessed a crime. what they witness is what we saw in the film. the testimony proves they saw something that was outrageous. it is unfortunate the defense is trying to portray them as some wild mob. nermeen: could you say more about what the defense has been arguing? color of change released a press
4:29 pm
release titled minneapolis spectators west -- must remember derek chauvin is on trial and not george floyd. rashad: this is a playbook from police unions who are paying for the defense. they have injected well over $50 million into electionsto actually help dictate what prosecutors, mayors, other folks responsible for police accountability do. work to put the community and the victim on trial. to make the victim someone who deserved to be killed. this is a situation where we have video. this is situation where we have situations who are deeply credible. they all happen throughout the
4:30 pm
summer. i want people who are watching, listening to remember we don't always have this situion. this is not a prerequisite where we have justice. or were we think justice will be possible. that is what the defense is doing. we drew it on all of the deep levels of the system. all of the ways the system is not broken. let police officers off and put black people on trial regardless of if we are victims. nermeen: could you respond to what rashad said and comment on the jury selection process? mel: i'm glad you asked that. i'm not just a writer and journalist. i'm an activist.
4:31 pm
i am organizg against police violence. it was a fight for justice, the prosution of pole, we have been trying to hold police accountableere. let me talk about the trial you asked. people in the community don't have any place in the court system right now. most folks have real doubts abouthe outcome of the trial. part of that is the police in minneapolis and st. paul haven't change their behavior. it was a situation last week where the police grabbed the wrong young person. in therocess of them dealing with the young person, a minneapolis policeman right video jumped on this kid and punched him with full force.
4:32 pm
in st. paul, a no-knock warrant, mebody entered the house to grab the 18-year-old son in the process they choke to the 11-year-old son. what we are suspecting is on some level here the police are provoking our folks. we are trying to do a day by day journain our paper. i wrote about the fact that even the system of jury -- the court process is biased. jurors 76 is a black man from south minneapolis. hexperienced pole harassment in his neighborhood when a black person was killed the police arrived playing another one
4:33 pm
bites the dust. he was rejected. all of the other jurors would say to the judge i think i could be fair and impartial. our question was w- the prosecution did not find it acceptable. the system says a black man with a lived african-american experience does not qualify for the jury. what do they want in this jury? it makes you wonder. derek chauvin is getting a much fair trial then either you or i would. amy: i wanted to ask you about this gathering of eyewitnesses going back to that point. people who did not know each other and how incredibly
4:34 pm
restraint they were. they were saying he is not breathing. you have the emt saying let me take his pulse or at least you take his pulse. you also see for the first time -- you hear the police officer speaking. you hear derek chauvin's voice afterwards. when mr. mcmillan says to him he doesn't respect him, why did he do that? you hear how controlled derek chauvin is. this is as the body is taken away. and you see officer lane at the beginning. the charge was -- at least the call they got was a counterfeit bill was passed. not at all clear he knew that $20 wasn't real. he pulls a gun on him immediately, cursing him out. it is of course -- floyd
4:35 pm
responds please don't kill me. the level of enormous pressure from the beginning that we are seeing in these videos. mel: it sounded like you read our update from yesterday. that was the point i raised as well. on someevel what you saw was a microcosm of how police operate when they run into black folks. he pulls a gun on him right away. i thought mbe george floyd was acting a little harassing. on second thought, it made sense that he might have been nervous. it makes sense for a black man in the u.s. to be nervous. i thought you are right, it was odd chauvin had just killed a
4:36 pm
man. mcmillan was a real hero. he walked up on him and said he didn't respect what he did. he prepared his defense already. he's a big guy and then he was on drugs he said all of those things and i think he realized he had done something wrong. all throughout the trial, the defense and the prosecution were trying to make it clear to all of us watching that this trial is not about the system of policing or justice or politics. nothing could be further from the truth. it is about politics. the system of policing is on trial. you could see how they operate when they run into black people.
4:37 pm
they treat bystanders like crinals. they treated the two folks in his car who had done nothi wrong and said to police he's giving us a ridehe's a ni guy. while the defense is trying to paint gege as ts crazed person on drugs, that's not what comes across. he comes across as somebody like a lot of us o are a bit afraid of the police. why wouldn't you be? police have killed thousands of people. they brutalize folks. what people seon tv owhat those in the suburbs experience is not the lived experience of people of color in major u.s. cities. derek chauvin's response after was disturbing. you keep referring to the bystder, i think the bystanders are acting like human beings. they were threened.
4:38 pm
chauvin actually threatened to pull out his mace on don lliams. the crowd was restrained but only because the police restrained them. part of why the witnesses are so upset was because they could not help george floyd. they knew he needed help. it shows you the insanity of the system of police. sometimes when a black person is killed the police say no man involved. he looked at me and said there was no human involved. none of the police operated with any kind of compassion and empathy. when you look at the video again , i have no idea why they pulled him out of that car and laid him on the ground. the defense doesn't have much of an argument.
4:39 pm
the police including the three stooges look indifferent to the plight of george floyd. it looked like they were trying to kill him. alexander king had his knee in george floyd's back. not only was derek chauvin pressing on his neck but alexander king had his knee in george floyd's back. he didn't take his knee off until the paramedics arrived. george floyd says i can't breathe. the only time they responded was somebody said you are talking. they are totally indifferent to the plight of this human being. this is an indictment of the u.s. police if i have ever seen one. nermeen: rashad robinson, could you respond that? is the policing on trial?
4:40 pm
color of change has led a campaign to expose police unions. could you explain what role you think police unions play? rashad: it is a multi-part strategy. on one hand you end up with the unions to lobby for policy qualified immunity. it was just outlawed in new york city. police officers are not typically liable for anything they do on the job. they could build up these big funds to p f the legal defense of someone like derek chauvin and police officers around the country. they never have to raise money to actually do civil defenses. they are only dealing with a small level of liability. police officers could treat our
4:41 pm
people like community combatants. they could make sure they are fired for something. they could get jobs in other cities and they are shielded. the police officer killed tamir rice is working somewhere else and we don't evennow what tamir rice loo like. watchs theynject llions upon mlions ofollars io elections toe able tsway the political prospect of accountability. all of these things work to be able to give police officers the type of shield that no other industry has in our country. despite everything that we know about policing and all of the challenging -- challenges with violent policing.
4:42 pm
this is when we have deep conversations about what does it mean to divest from this type of policing? instead of investing in mental health we have said someone with a gun to deal with someone who has possibly used a $20 bill that is counterfeit off. instead of sending someone that could de-escalate a situation. police officers are not incentivize to be de-escalated, they know there will be protection in the end. in 2016i was at a meeting at the white house with then president obama and a number of other leaders from civil rights, mayors, police chiefs, folks on the police union. they were all kied. in that meeting i talked about
4:43 pm
racial profing. the head of the executive director responded, interrupted me as i was talking about an incident of racial profile and said all of this talk about racial profiling is new to me. this is the head of the fraternal order of police. he was essentially gas lighting us, they think racial profiling doesn't even exist. this is what we are up against in terms of these institutions that have a tremendous amount of money and put it into protecting police at the expense of safety and justice for all of our community. they can't come to the community another day.
4:44 pm
what they are supporting is the intent on protecting people who kill us and letting them off to help them keep their pensions. derek chauvin will stand to capture well over $1 million in his pension. what kind of aountability is that? what kind of system is that with the people who our tax dollars go to to protect and serve us are incentivize not to protect and service but to harm us. they know at the end of the day that every barrier we put in place, they will prove -- prevent any type of accountability in the way. this is a trial -- amy: this is a trial that is expected to last several weeks. we will link to several articles
4:45 pm
in your newspaper. longtime human rights and anti-police violence activist. next we go to brazil where 66,000 people died in the month of march alone as covid cases skyrocketed. the hospital system is on the verge of collapse. as the country continues to face a growing political crisis with the fall all right -- far-right president, bolsonaro. stay with us. ♪ ♪ [music break]
4:46 pm
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman.
4:47 pm
we turn to the mounting public health and political crisis in brazil, which accounts for about a page 7 quarter of all covid-19 -- daily deaths worldwide, more than any other country. over 66,000 people died in the month of mar as covid cases skyrocketed leaving brazil's hospital system on the verge of collapse. officials report brazil suffered a record 3,780 deaths in a single day on tuesday. its death toll of more tn 310,000 is surpassed only by the united states. this comes as far right brazilian president jair bolsonaro faces intense pressure to abandon his opposition to vaccinations, lockdowns and mask-wearing. spacing a major political crisis. the heads of the army, navy, and air force all quit. for more, we go to sao paulo,
4:48 pm
brazil where we are joined by dr. miguel nicolelis. welcome to democracynow! could you describe what is happening? dr. nicolelis: thank you very much for the invitation. it is a great pleasure to be with you gs today. the epicenter of the brazilian tragedy right now, it is like a battlefield. hospitals are filled to capacity. the governor has tried to do this unsuccessfully. basically you have the sense that you are in some sort of battlefield back in world war ii . supplies are running down.
4:49 pm
hospitals are basically at the limit of what they could do right now. nermeen: dr. nicolelis, could you explain the role of the bolsonaro administration, the steps he has taken that has made the crisis as bad as it is? you have called him public enemy number one. dr. nicolelis: basically he has done nothing. since the beginning, he downplayed the severity of the pandemic. he was on tv, social media, everywhere talking every day against every measure of social distancing, mask using, even against vaccines. he basicallyas transformed
4:50 pm
this crisis into a political, ideological battle. accordin to everyone who is involved with the pandemic and trying to see what happened in brazil, he is the main enemy of any attempt to control the pandemic within the country. nermeen: during the course of this one year, brazil has had no less than four health ministers. i want to ask aboutomething that is very striking about the demographic. the people who have been affected by the rus in brazil. mainly because there are a lot of young people who are dying. that is quite different from what we are seeing in most parts of the world. could you explain why so many
4:51 pm
young people are getting sick and even dying? dr. nicolelis: during the first wave we saw the pandemic with people who are 65 years old. during the last year the demographics, much younger people are being admitted to hospitals in the icu. the largest icu facility in brazil, the hospital with more than 230 icu be. what we see now is the age group more affected is between 35 and 40 years old. this was compounded by the discovery a couple of weeks ago that brazil is suffering from an epidemic of premature deliveries.
4:52 pm
pregnant women are being infected at a record rate down here. for the first time in history, we have seen icus for newborn babies completely full in brasilia, states in the southern part of brazil. we have seen a dramatic shift in the demographics. some people are blaming the new variant. others are saying they are violating the isolation rules. it is basically a combination of both factors. amy: earlier this week, six cabinet ministers resigned including the foreign minister, who some considered the worst foreign minister in brazil's
4:53 pm
history. many blamed himor failing to get enough vaccines, compromising ties with russia, india, china. could you talk about the significance of this and how brazil really was a testing site, a place where clinical trials were performed a lot and has so much difficulty getting vaccines. dr. nicolelis: this is a crisis that was created by many fatal mistakes from the bolsonaro government. the foreign secretary was one of the worst that brazil has ever had. probably since imperial times in the 19th century. what happened on monday was unprecedented. the only episode that is even close is back in 1977 when the generals in charge fired the
4:54 pm
defense minister, who was planning a coup d'etat. never in brazilian history, the heads of the army, air force, navy were fired on the same day. this was a shock. for 48 hours, we weren't sure if there was a coup being plotted. the armed forces have strongly denied that they want to support anything in that direction. they have said they will always follow the constitution. in the country that suffered a coup d'etat, every brazilian remembers the disaster and death toll of that period in the country.
4:55 pm
amy: this was the anniveary. dr. nicolelis: exactly. on the anniversary of the coup d'etat. you can imagine how people were feeling on these few days. yesterday, the tension reached a very high level until the defense minister announced the heads of the army, air force, and navy. it is still unclear what will unfold the next few days. nermeen: you talk now about the role of the administration that have led to prlems to say the least with the handling of the pandemic. i'd like to ask more about race and scale of vaccination there. the news just emerged yesterday that one of the vcines, that
4:56 pm
is the covax vaccine, those 20 million doses, the health regulator in brazil said it does not meet the manufacturing standards. could you explain what happened and what vaccines brazil has access to? dr. nicolelis: right now, the vaccination rollout has been a total disaster. it has always been one of the best countries in terms of implementing national vaccination programs. they always use brazil is the poster boy of good national policy. at this moment, we have about 8% of the population. about 17.8 million doses, way below the target of the program
4:57 pm
that was unfolded in december. brazil has access to the chinese vaccine and the astrazeneca vaccine. we learned this morning about 50% of the doses -- we have about half of the doses that were supposed to be delivered in april. the brazilian regulatory agency, brazil has a very high standard of approval for vaccines. they have followed this for many decades. at this point, we are not clear what happened in this decision. we are waiting to see what happens in terms of regulators.
4:58 pm
people involved, at least at a technical level are really well-equipped to make this decion. we are not sure if there was any interference. amy: finally dr. nicolelis, it has stressed the indigenous population of brazil? dr. nicolelis: we start reporting back in may of last year saying that the numbers were already above the national average. nothing happened. the number of deaths were above the national average and the government did not take any measure. we reported this nationally and internationally for close to 10 months. the numbers keep growing. it is a tragedy inside of a tragedy. amy: dr. miguel nicolelis,
4:59 pm
professor of neurobiology at duke university. he is a former coordinator of the largest scientific covid19 task force in brazil. democracy now!r
5:00 pm
>> people are waiting. there's not a moment almost there. thank you for joining us. from our studio in tokyo, this is nhk "newsline." we start with myanmar, which has been rocked by protests since the military coup. aung san suu kyi has been charged with breaking the official secrets law. media reports on thursday quoted her lawyer. she

31 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on