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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  July 28, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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♪ amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> i was grabbed, beaten, teased, all while being called a traitor to my country. >> i was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm as i heard chants of kill him with his own gun. i can still hear those words in my head today.
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amy: the select house committee investigating the deadly january 6 insurrection hears testimony from four police officers who helped defend the capital while being violently attacked by trump supporters. >> about 20 people joined in chants of "boo, [bleep] [bleep]." nobody had ever called me [bleep] as a capitol police officer. amy: we will speak to derrick johnson, the head of the naacp. then we go to west virginia where more than 1400 workers are set to lose their jobs this week when a major pharmaceutical plant shuts down and moves operations overseas. >> they want to close manufacturing in the united states of america. amy: we will speak to union leader joseph guz and vanity
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fair reporter katherine eban . her new piece is headlined: “we can't reach him: joe manchin is ghosting the west virginia union workers whose jobs his daughter helped outsource." all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the special house committee investigating the deadly january 6 insurrection at the u.s. capitol heard testimony for the first time tuesday. four officers who were on the scene recounted the harrowing events of the day, after a mob of trump-instigated rioters breached the government building in an attempt to stop the certification of joe biden's electoral victory. this is capitol police officer aquilino gonell. >> we were suggested, it was something like it -- it was something like from a medieval battle.
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we fought hand to hand, inch by inch, to prevent an invasion of the capitol by a violent mob intent on subverting our democratic process. amy: officer michael fanone, who was violently dragged into the mob, beaten and shocked with a taser, said he and his family e still grappling with the trauma of that day. he also confronted the ongoing dismissal and denial by some of what happened that day. >> i feel like i went to hell and back to protect those in this room. too many are now saying that hell doesn't exist or that hell isn't that bad. the indifference shown to my colleagues it disgraceful. -- is disgraceful. amy: we'll have more on the historic hearing after headlines with naacp president derrick johnson. the centers for disease control said tuesday vaccinated people living in areas of "substantial or high transmission" of covid-19 should resume wearing masks indoors, citing the rapidly spreading and highly transmissible delta variant for the change
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in guidelines. this is top white house coronavirus adviser thony fauci. >> when you have vaccinated people who might have a breakthrough infection, and we know now as a fact, as a scientific fact that they can transmit the virus to an uninfected person. it is for that reason that the cdc made the change in recommendation. amy: confirmed coronavirus cases in the u.s. have quadrupled since the start of the month. almost two-thirds of u.s. counties qualify as high risk areas though new cases are particularly high in the south, in states with low vaccination rates, including arkansas, florida, louisiana and missouri. the cdc also recommended everyone returning to school in the fall from kindergarten through grade 12 wear a mask indoors, including students, teachers and other staff, regardless of vaccination status. meanwhile, the biden
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administration is expected to announce that all federal employees will be required to either get vaccinated or regularly test for covid and be subjected to other restrictions. he is expected to make the announcement on thursday. in other related news, biden said so-called "long covid" can be considered a disability under the americans with disabilities act. in international news, tanzanian president samia suluhu received her covid vaccine today, and urged all eligible citizens to also get the shot. tanzania recently received one million doses of johnson & johnson's vaccine from the u.s. government via the covax scheme. her predecessor, who died in march, was a coravirus denier. daniel hale was sentenced to 45 months in prison for leaking classified information exposing the u.s. drone and targeted assassination program. hale, a former member of the u.s. air force, plded guilty in march to one count of violating the world war
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i-era espionage act. hale told the judge before his sentencing quote, "i am here because i stole something that was never mine to take precious human life. please forgive me for taking papers instead of human lives." famed nsa whistleblower edward snowden tweeted quote, "crime was telling this truth: 90% of those killed by u.s. drones are bystanders, not the intended targets. he should have been given a medal." north and south korea restored a hotline restored a year after pyongyang cut off the link. the two koreas will start holding regular conversations every day. the u.s. goverent has suspended some of its cooperation with guatemala's attorney general's office in response to the abrupt ousting last week of juan
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-- last week of top anticorruption prosecutor juan francisco sandoval, the . sandoval fled the country hours after being fired, fearing for his life. thousands of protesters have taken to the streets, angered by sandoval's ousting and they are calling for the resignation of right wing president alejandro giammattei. in olympic news, u.s. gymnastics super star simone biles will not defend her title. she withdrew from her team finals for mental health reasons. >> i say put mental health first because if you don't, then you are not going to enjoy your sport or succeed as much as you want to. it's ok sometimes to set up the big competition to focus on yourself, because it shows hostrong of competitor and person you are, rather than just battle through it. amy: at the end of the day
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-- amy: "at the end of the day, we're human, too," said biles. she is considered the greatest gymnast of all time. the u.s. team went on to win the silver medal, with russia taking home the gold. in related news, members of germany's women's gymnastics team performed in full body unitards during the competition in an effort to combat the sexualization of female athletes and instead prioritize their comfort. robert aaron long, the white man charged with massacring eight people at three atlanta-area spas in march, has pleaded guilty to four of the murders. seven of the victims were women, six of them were of asian descent. on tuesday, prosecutors recommended long be sentenced to fr life sentences without the possibility of parole as , well as another 35 years for other related charges. in south carolina, a judge sentenced nathaniel rowland to life in prison for murdering and kidnapping university of south carolina student samantha josephson in march 2019.
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21-year-old josephson got into the killer's car after mistaking it for an uber and was later found dead in the woods. democratic party donor and political activist ed buck has been found guilty on nine felonies, including running a drug house and injecting two gay black men with methamphetamine who then died of an overdose. 26-year-old gemmel moore died in 2017 and 55-year-old timothy dean died in 2019. buck was arrested two years ago after a third man overdosed on methamphetamine at his apartment. that man survived. black lgbtq+ activists and the family members of the men who died had for months been calling on prosecutors to file criminal charges against buck, accusing him of being a sexual predator. buck faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison, with a maxim sentence of life. a new investigation by the associated press revealed a
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number of ku klux klan members are working inside the florida department of corrections. the revelation came as part of an investigation into a failed kkk plot in 2015 tolo murder a black man. the murder was planned as revenge for a fight in which a black prisoner bit a white guard. the fbi was able to stop the plot, instead staging the murder after an informant infiltrated the terror group. tens of thousands of americans are believed to belong to extremist white supremacist groups, including the clan. the fbi said such groups represent the greatest domestic terror threat. a propublica study found that immigration prosecutors are continuing to deport people who are not considered a threat to public safety, despite a biden administration policy instructing them to postpone or drop such cases. but the policy is carried out at the prosecutors' discretion, making it difficult to challenge.
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this comes as immigrant justice advocates are denouncing the biden adminiration for the growing number of jailed immigrants and asylum seekers. as of mid-july, over 27,000 people are being held in ice jails as advocates warn detentions have nearly doubled under biden. the closely watched democratic congressional primary in ohio to fill the seat of marcia fudge is less than a week away. the race pits nina turner, who served as bernie sanders's campaign co-chair, against shontel brown, the chairwoman of the cuyahoga county democratic party. on tuesdsay, the women's march threw its support behind turner in a first-ever electoral endorsement. it came one day after warrensville heights councilmember walter stewart announced he was switching his support from brown to turn. >> nina turner is the one who is going to have the vision, the know-how, the
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experience and she has the sincerity at heart, to carry us forward. amy: over the weekend, congressmember alexandria ocasio-cortez campaigned in ohio for nina turner, who also just picked up the endorsement of congressmember jamie raskin. shontel brown has received the backing of hillary clinton and the congressional black caucus political action committee. meanwhile in a special election in texas yesterday, voters rejected a trump-endorsed candidate and elected another republican, state representative jake ellzey to the u.s. house. ellzey ran an anti-immigration campaign and called himself a "reagan republican." he ran against susan wright, the widow of the former congressmember ron wright, who died this year from covid-19, leaving open his seat in texas's 6th congressional district. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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i am joined by juan gonzalez in new jersey. juan: welcome to our viewers and listeners across the country and the world. amy: the house select committee investigating the january 6 insurrection at the capitol held its first hearing tuesday and heard testimony from four police officers who were attacked by trump supporters while defending the capitol. the committee is made up of seven democrats and two republicans, liz cheney and adam kinzinger, both of whom voted to impeach trump for his role in instigating the assault on the capitol. last week, house minority leader kevin mccarthy pulled all of his recommended committee members, five of them after house speaker nancy pelosi vetoed two of his picks. u.s. capitol police sgt. aquilino gonell spoke first. during the insurrection, he was beaten with a flagpole and attacked with chemical spray. gonell is a dominican immigrant who served in the u.s. army in iraq. >> what we were subjected that day was like something
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from a medieval battle. we fought hand to hand, inch by inch, to prevent an invasion of the capitol by a violent mob intent on subverting our democratic process. my fellow officers and i were committed to not letting any rioters breached the capitol. -- breach the capitol. it was a prolonged and desperate struggle as rioters who attempted to breach the capitol said "tr ump sent us." "pick the right side." "we want trump." i heard officers screaming in agony and pain around me. i did not know at that time it was officer hodges. he is here today, to testify. i too was crushed by
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rioters. i could feel myself losing oxygen and thinking to myself, this is how i will die, defending this entrance. amy: testifying tuesday before the house select committee investigating the january 6 indirect -- january 6 insurrection of the capitol. he mentioned daniel hodges who also testified at the hearing, describing how trump supporters almost crushed him to death. >> on my left, a man with a clear riot shield stolen during the assault. my arms were pinned, useless, trapped between the riot shield on my left and the door frame on my right. i was effectively defenseless and gradually sustaining injury from the increasing pressure of the mob. directly in front of me, a
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man sees the opportunity of my vulnerability and grab the front of my gas mask and used it to beat my head against the door. he pulled the mask off, straining my skull and neck. i remember him filming -- foaming at the mouth. he also put his cell phone in his mouth so we had both hands free to assault me. eventually he succeeded in stripping away my gas mask. in a new rush of exposure to spray hit me. terrorists were coordinating their efforts now, shouting heave ho as they synchronized pushing forward and crushing me further against the metal door frame. the main affront to me grabbed my baton. in my current state i was unable to retain my weapon. he bashed me in the head and face with it, adding additional injury to my skull. amy: that -- that was d.c. metropolitan police officer daniel hodges. this is mike fanone, also with the metropolitan police. he suffered a heart attack
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after being beaten by trump supporters. >> at some point during the fighting, i was dragged from the line of officers into the crowd. i heard someone scream "i got one!" as i was swarmedy a violent mob, they ripped off my badge, they stripped me of my radio. they seized ammunition secured to my body. they began to beat me with their fists and with what felt like hard metal objects. at one point, i came face-to-face with an attacker, who repeatedly longed for me and attempted to remove my firearm. i heard chanting from some in the crowd. "get his gun!" "kill him with his own gun." i was aware enough to recognize i was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm. i was electrocuted again, and again, and again, with a taser. i'm sure i was screaming, but i don't think i could
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even hear my own voice. my body camera captured the violence of the crowd directed toward me during those very frightening moments. it is an important part of the record, for this committee's investigation, and for the country's understanding of how i was nearly killed as the mob attacked the capitol that day. amy: that is d.c. metropolitan police department officer, mike fanone testifying tuesday. . u.s. capitol police officers dunn described -- >> more and more insurrectionists were pouring into the area, some wearing maga hats and shirts that said trump 2020. i told them to leave the capitol and in response they yelled, this is our house. president trump invited us here. we are here to stop the steal. joe biden is not the president. nobody voted for joe biden.
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i'm a law enforcement officer. i do my best to keep politics out of my job. in this circumstance, i responded. i voted for joe biden, does my vote not count? am i nobody? that prompted a torrent of racial epithets. one woman in a pink maga shirt yelled, you hear that guys? this [bleep] voted for joe biden. 20 people joined in screaming boo, [bleep] [bleep]. nobody had ever called me a [bleep]while wearing the uniform of a capitol police officer. in the days following the attempted or insurrection, other officers shared with me their own stories of racial abuse. one officer told me he had
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never in his entire 40 years of life been called a [bleep] to his face. that streak ended on january 6. another black officer told me later, he had been confronted by insurrectionists in the capital -- in the capitol who told him, put your gun down, and we will show you what kind of [bleep] you really are. amy: u.s. capitol police officer harry dunn, as he continually used the n word, saying he consciously decided to say what the people said to him, the rioters that day. we are joined now by derek johnson, resident and ceo of the naacp. they sued donald trump after the january 6 insurrection, citing the 1871 ku klux klan act. he is joining us from jackson, mississippi. welcome back to democracy now! can you respond to the hearings esther day, the
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significance of them and then talk about your lawsuit? derrick: powerful words. you heard individuals who were sworn to uphold and protect the law, and they did that on january 6, in the face of a mob that was encouraged by then president trump and many others, in an attempted coup, and insurrection, a treasonous act. what we heard was an account, firsthand, unvarnished, by those law enforcement officers. i commend them for their courage and bravery, as this commission must get to the bottom of who was behind this, and hold people accountable. juan: derek johnson, you have tweeted quote, "if it were black people storming the capitol on january 6th, the walls would have been dripping in blood. not only was it an attempted coup on our democracy, it was white supremacy in plain sight. "
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could you talk about that? derrick: you think about the many things that have happened over the last several years, the last several decades, where unprovoked violence has been put upon african-americans across the country, whether it was rodney king, george floyd, ahmaud arbery, many of those incidents were done by law enforcement officers or encouraged or protected by law enforcement officers. that's about race. what we saw yesterday was a level of white supremacist privilege that individuals felt they had the agency and authority to go to the nation's capital, to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power. the fact that you had law enforcement officers from all backgrounds, who were being treated in that manner
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is another example of white supremacy. me as a black man, cannot, will not go to an all -- to go to a law enforcement officer and take one's badge or ammunition or stick and expect to live -- expect to live because that is not the reality. that was another example of white supremacy in its raw ugliest form. white supremacy and democracy cannot coexist. they are in contradiction of one another and we must address it. juan: after the january 6 insurrection, the naacp sued donald trump and his personal attorney, rudy giuliani. your lawsuit claims both men violated the ku klux klan act. what is that act, and what is your lawsuit saying? derrick: after the conclusion of the civil war and members of congress were working to bring this country back together, they realized that many members
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were being threatened when they went back to their home districts, as they carried out their duty. the act was adopted to protect members of congress, so they could carry out their duty to uphold and support the constitution. in that act, they built in protections against mob violence and racialized groups like what we saw on january 6. it became known as the kkk act because that was one of the leading whites of premises groups at the time in 1871. we found representing the embers of congress simply carrying out their duty on january 6. this mob with the encouragement of president trump, and we believe rudy giuliani, the proud boys and many others, were seeking to stop the peaceful transfer of governance, stop
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individuals from carrying out their duties as members of congress, and as a result, a direct violation of that act. we must hold people accountable. domestic terrorism in this country has always been around white supremacist activity. as ever can american who understands his -- as an african-american understands history, we know that if you allow domestic terrorists, whites are premises to activity to go unaccounted for, we are guaranteed to see more incidts -- whe supremacist activity to go unaccounted for, we are guaranteed to see more incidents. >> why do you call the attackers terrorists, and what do you think about our colleagues, we think we should call them tourists -- our colleagues who think we should call them tourists? >> if that is what american tourists are like, i can see why foreign countries do not
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like american tourists. amy: if you could comment overall, on what is going to happen next and how this lawsuit will play in. the chairman of the committee, bennie thompson was part of the lawsuit but had to drop out so he could continue to chair this committee. juan: we want to make sure that there was no real conflict of interest. the force of this commission is profound. they can file subpoenas. if this was a foreign terrorist act, we would have had a commission already established and we would be getting to the bottom of this. we would be declaring war in some cases, against those involved and to make sure it never happened again. domestically, we must do the same. we must investigate and allow that investigation to take us where it leads us
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and hold all individuals accountable to make sure we root out this type of treasonous activity. we cannot promote ourselves to be the leaders of democracy in the world, if we are doing domestically this type of harm in our existence, whether it is changing the rules around voting in texas or georgia, whether it is trying to identify who should be considered legitimate citizens or not. more importantly, if there is a scenario where in this case, people are committing a treasonous act, we must stand united in this moment, to ensure we protect our democracy. amy: derek johnson, -- derrick johnson, you are now president and ceo of the naacp, and were formerly president of the naacp mississippi state conference. i want to ask you about civil rights icon bob moses who recently died at the age of 86 and did so much remarkable work in mississippi and this
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country. talk about how you knew bob moses, his history, being shot at by the ku klux klan, being head of the field secretary of sncc. juan: bob moses was one of the most profound strategists and leaders of the civil rights movement across the country, not just mississippi. mississippi, he described was a theater in the civil rights movement. he used mississippi to really amplify the national fight that we were in. he understood that the local fight had global implications. as a result of that, along with so many others, they organized freedom. they addressed an issue of the democratic party with exclusionary primaries and they broke that barrier. they created world community
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help centers that stand today. he was and is one of the most profound thought leaders of the civil rights movement. he put community interest above his ego, he understood that egocentric leadership failed every time, but community centric leadership is what would prevail, and we must stand in solidarity. he was such a profound leader. amy: derrick johnson, we wanted to play bob moses himself, the former field secretary of sncc and founder of the algebra project. this is from a documentary, that was about the freedom summer. we will play a clip, a 2009
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interview with bob moses on mocracy w! later,ut right no a clip om the cumentary film "1964: the , fight for a right," whe bob mos describes when he launched the 1964 freedom riders voter registration caaign in mississippi. >> i put my weight behind the idea of the summer project, and moved forward from there. >> we hope to send into mississippi this summer, upwards of 1000 teachers, ministers, lawyers, and students from all around the cotry. >> when we announced that we were going to ve this summer project, mississippi went bonkers. they started forming -- you got editorials in the
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national paper, attacking us as wanting to start another civil war. amy: this is another clip of bob owes us on democracy now!, on barack -- of bob moses on democracy -- on democracy now!, on barack obama, the inauguration of the first black president. >> in our country, i think we run sharecropper education. that is, an education that you can trace when the judge asked me that question because in the delta mississippi, sharecroppers were assigned to do a certain kind of work, so the idea was you only needed a certain kind of education. if we carry that forward into the information age, then we will have serfs in our city just like we have serfs in delta, mississippi in the industrial era. this is the challenge facing
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our country. i think what we need is a movement for our constitutional rights. we need a constitutional amendment, something that simply says every child in the country is a child of the country and is entitled to a quality public school education. amy: that is bob moses in 2009. bob moses died this weekend in florida at the age of 86. i want to thank derrick johnson, president and ceo of the naacp. next up, we go to west virginia, where more than 1400 workers are set to lose their jobs this week when a major pharmaceutical plant shuts down and moves operations overseas. we will speak with a worker, union leader, journalist katherine eban. for new piece on vanity fair is called “we can't reach him: joe manchin is ghosting the west virginia union workers whose jobs his daughter helped outsource." stay with us. ♪ ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i am amy goodman with juan gonzalez in new jersey. we turn now to west virginia where more than 1400 workers are set to lost their jobs this week when the viatris pharmaceuticals plant in morgantown shuts down and moves operations overseas to india and australia. workers say they've had no response to their urgent requests for help from their democratic senator, joe manchin, who is often called the most powerful man in washington. the viatris plant in west
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virginia has been making pharmaceuticals since 1965 and was run by mylan until a merger last november with pfizer's upjohn company created the conglomerate, viatris. >> world that is -- in a world that is perpetually changing, there is a need for increased leadership. -- passion and compassion. viatris is redefining the health care landscape. amy: when viatris was created, mylan's chief executive, senator manchin's daughter, heather bresch got a $31 million payout. during her time as ceo, bresch drew outrage when the company raised the price of its lifesaving epipen, used by millions to reverse fatal allergic reactions, by 400%. after the merger, viatris immediately began to cut costs, and now the plant is
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set to close friday. some workers have already been told to clear out their lockers and leave the site after turning in their employee badges. this is carla shultz, who worked at the plant for 13 years, and was able to get chemotherapy drugs for her mother through her job. the same medicine would otherwise cost her family $7,000 a month. she spoke to the laura flanders show. >> i had to look at my mom who had major health issues over the 13 years, and tell her that i don't have a job after july, and that i was getting her medicine there, too. she had to start worrying about the whole thing. we wanto keep her positive and healthy, and i had to break that news to her. i am just a year or two away from retirement. i am too old to go to school, i feel.
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i d't know. i need to be here in the daytime, to care for my mom. i might have to try to find another midnight shift job. that is nogoing to pay as well and probay won't have the benefits. amy: that's carla shultz, who works at the viatris pharmaceuticals plant, now set to close during a pandemic that has shown how much the u.s. needs to expand its domestic drug production. for more we go to morgantown, west virginia to speak with joseph guz, who worked at the plant and is president of united steelworkers of america local 8-957, which represents hundreds of workers there. also with us is katherine eban, investigative journalist and author, contributing editor at vanity fair. new piece is headlined -- her new piece is headlined “we can't reach him: joe manchin is ghosting the west virginia union workers whose jobs his daughter helped outsource."
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she is the author of the book, "bottle of lies: the inside story of the generic drug boom" and "dangerous doses: a true story of cops, counterfeiters, and the contaminion of america's drug supply." welcome you both to democracy now! joseph guz, worked at viatris plant in morgantown. joseph: good morning. thank you for having me this morning. the majority of the workers have been allowed to clean out their lockers, or told to rather. take their personal belongings and leave the facility and upon exiting the facility, turn in their access badge to the plant and also their parking permit. this started approximately at 11:00 a.m. on sunday, and it ranhrough yesrday. in fact, it is probably even taking place in minimal increments now, since the majority of the members have been flushed out by
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management, and told to exit the facility. juan: joseph guz, i wanted to ask you, what did the company tell the union? did they give them the 90 day notice they have to give them in shutdowns like this? they can't be saying that they are not making money. if any industry is making money these days, it is the pharmaceutical industry. what was the reason they gave you for shifting production overseas? joseph: the warning was filed according to deadlines, as per the regulations required. the other situation that t you asked about is what did the company say. the merger took place in november of 2020.
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december 11 of 2020 on payday friday, exactly two weeks before christmas, we were on an all-inclusi employee phone call. the officers had a phone call 15 minutes prior to that, here at the union hall. we were told approximately seven minutes before the all-inclusive employee phone call that beatrice had made a decision to synergize and close the morgantown facility. profitability and things of that nature weren't really discussed, but there was a lot of mention of the future interest of the shareholders and the investors, in trying to quote, downsize, to maximize the interest of the
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shareholders and stakeholders in the new country -- in viatris, the new company. joseph: in pharmautical jobs, the pay is -- juan: in pharmaceutical jobs, the pay is above average. what kind of salaries had these workers been taking home, and what kind of replacement jobs are available at that level in west virginia? joseph: we ratified a contract in the spring of 2017. it is fair to say, on a very modest estimate that the section was approximately $31 an hour at the time when the contract was ratified. then there is upwards of about $.80 a year in terms of an annual raise. the job market in
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morgantown, west virginia at this time, for example, there are lowe's, home improvement, a little bit at west virginia university medicine. it seems as if the cart -- it seems as if the cross-section is around $17 to $18 an hour. that's about an average. amy: i want to bring katherine eban into this conversation. the piece you wrote in vanity fair, “we can't reach him: joe manchin is ghosting the west virginia union workers whose jobs his daughter helped outsource." can you give us the big picture here? we are talking about one of the largest generic drug many factoring plants in the united states, closing this week. the biden administration has declared made in america week this week. you have a president in
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tennessee, of a similar plant that the biden administration has stopped from closing. can you explain the history here? katherine: absolutely and good to be with you, amy and juan. this is pure insanity. we have seen five years of congressional reports, policy reports, and bipartisan agreements that we need to make as many of our own pharmaceuticals as possible. we know from data, reporting, that the drugs that are made overseas can be full of carcinogens and toxic impurities. there is data fraud and other quality questions that the plants overseas are riddled with, including viatris's own plants operating in india under ficial action indicated warnings from the fda.
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why in the middle of a pandemic are we going through this exercise that every single report has told us is absolutely counter indicated to public health and our national interest? it seems that there is a collision here, of politics and corporate greed. we have seen massive payouts to the viatris executives in the course of this merger, including as you noted, over $30 million to joe manchin's daughter, the former ceo of mylan, which merged with upjohn. joe manchin has become this pivotal figure, called by some the most powerful man in washington, d.c., and the only thing standing between this whisker thin senate majority for the democrats
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and senator mcconnell taking up the gavel again. there is this cone of silence that has come down over this shuddering, this critical manufacturing plant in west virginia. it seems like it is both pharmaceutical and national security suicide to close this plant. juan: and katherine, can you talk about manchin's daughter's history, the scandals and controversies she has been involved with? katherine: what is remarkable about the executive team that ran mylan over the last decade is that their compensation has just gone up and up. there is one year in which heather bresch's payout was
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$25 llion. pay has gone up and up even while there has been this steady drumbeat of scandals as well as regulatory run-ins with the fda. her tenure at mylan began with this scandal in which it turned out that she had been given -- awarded an mba from west virginia university on the basis of doctored transcripts. she didn't do the course work. that mba had to be revoked. it was awarded right after manchin became governor, before he was a senator. there was the scandal around the epipen pricing in which the price was jacked up 400% . under bresch's management, it was handled disastrously. she pulled a marie antoinette on national television, saying nobody is more upset about this than i
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am, but everybody rightly noted that her compensation has just skyrocketed as mylan ceo. once the morgantown plant got into regulatory trouble with the fda, based on the kinds of data manipulation that some of the executive team had been notably involved in, in their previous employment, they looked to wind down the morgantown plant. the people who are really going to suffer here are american consumers. we need safe medication, affoable medication, and medication made within inspection distance of fda headquarters. that is what the morgantown plant offered for something like five decades. amy: this is then's-mylan --
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blaming the price hike on a broken health care system during a disastrous interview with brian sullivan. >> you must understand the outrage. somebody last night said people are outraged because it seems outrageous, that the american medical association has said this is basically the same product it was in 2009, and yet the price has gone up 400 fold. >> no one is more frustrated than me. >> but you are the one raising your prices. how can you be frustrated? amy: that was then-mylan ceo heather bresch, who went on to live saying the price of -- the profit of a two-pack of epipens is $100 when it was actually about $166, about 60% higher. that's because bresch cited a profit figure that included a 37.5% tax rate on the epipen, even though mylan paid a tax rate of just 7% that year.
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an analyst told the wall street journal that the $100 reported profit figure "has nothing to do with reality." i wanted to ask you, katherine eban, about this tennessee plant. this is where joe biden ways in. some people in washington think you mean joe manchin when you say president joe because of his power. what happened in tennessee, and what could biden do here? then we will talk to the union leader about whether he has spoken to mahin. katherine: there was a really interesting hail mary rescue of an antibiotic plant in tennessee. it was purchased, -- essentially about to be mothballed, purchased for one dollar by u.k. company who sent a guy named david argyle to the tenssee antibiotics planto say, if
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this plant isn't viable, what did we buy? he got there and saw incredible esprit de corps among the workers. they had a critical mission, making antibiotics for the u.s. market. argyle got creative, and he is australian. he placed the plant into chapter 11 bankruptcy, then working with tnessee elected officials, he got the plant designated as critical irastructure under a federal agency called cisa. and then, working with a team, he found an erican buyer for it. now the a has an antibiotics plant,at a time
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when almost 100% of our penicillin is made overseas. we now have a functioning antibiotics plant in the s. what could be done in rgantown? the biden ainistrion could designate the plant as critical infrastructure, which would stop its equipment and intellectual properties from going overseas. they could come in and rescue it under the defense production act, and get government involvement in the plant in order to save it. the question is why, in the middle of a pandemic, when it has been clearly revealed that there has been supply chain crises after supply chain crises, with the biden administration let this plant slip through america's fingers right now? amy: we are going to continue this conversation after the break. we are talking to katherine eban, vanity writer --
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vanity fair writer, asking where joe manchin is, writing the piece titled “we can't reach him: joe manchin is ghosting the west virginia union workers whose jobs his daughter helped outsource." we will continue talking to joe guz, who is the local chapter president of the union. stay with us. ♪ ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracynow! we are speaking with joseph guz who works at the viatris in morgantown -- at the viatris plant in morgantown. he represents works there. almost 1500 workers are set to lose their jobs i the end of this week. katherine eban -- by the end of this week. katherine eban writes for it vanity fair and she wrote the piece, “we can't reach him: joe manchin is ghosting the west virginia union workers whose jobs his daughter helped outsource." juan? juan: katherine, i wanted to ask you, heather bresch, joe
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manchin's daughter is not the only family member that benefits from the power and influence that joe manchin has. can you talk about his wife as well, gail connolly manchin? she was recently sworn in as the cochair of the capital region mission. that commission is supposed to promote economic development. how is the closing of a plant, shifting it overseas, helping the economic development of west virginia? katherine: theronies are really thick here. it seems to be that this mylan pla in morgantown has been used as a kind of family enterprise, prior to this. gail manchin plays a cameo role in the epipen scandal, because she was on a school commission that was trying to get the u.s. government
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to mandate that schools purchase the epipen when it was at that inflated price. the approach to this pharmaceutical manufacturing has been to sort of milk this plant and its products for profit, which has benefited the manchin family and shareholders, but not benefited american patients to this point. juan: and joe guz, could you talk about your efforts to try and reach senator manchin about this issue and what kind of response you have gotten from him or his staff about the fact that all of these workers in his state are losing job joseph: that is a really intriguing question for local 8-957. we had a march 10 fly in with several aides and
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senators that accompanied us and accepted our calls. senator manchin, through his aides, was patched through to our call at 12:30 p.m. on march 10. we were told that he was on the senate floor, voting, and he acknowledged and picked up the phone and said hey guys, the news is catastrophic and we are sorry about your luck to hear of the plant closing. it sounds like they made a corporate decision. prior to that, as katherine alluded to earlier, and i want to go to a statement she made, the majority of penicillin and such is made outside the domestic united states america, but joe manchin's first question to us was -- and i was on the
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ll with four other officers of the union hall athe same time -- are you all still making penicillin at the facility? we haven't made penicillin in morgantown, west virginia for more than 20 years. amy: so he was speaking to you from the floor of the senate? how long was that call and what did he say? joseph: approximately two minutes, maybe two to three minutes. i use the word approximately. his first question was, sorry guys, are you all still making penicillin at that facility? also, are you a batch production site? it sounds like corporate has made a decisioto close the facility. i'm not so sure there is anything left that i can do. we will try to help, but i am not so sure there is anything left that i can do.
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in the meantime, the gentleman had asked me a question about what we had done to try to circumvent around senator manchin's comments and try to bark on a little bit more than an engagement conversation with the senator. we have spoken to andrew robinson in the fairmont office. we had spoken to andrew robinson on more than one occasion, asking about a meeting with senator manchin. andrew robinson has never told us or responded to us, to let us know that we could not have a meeting with senator manchin. amy: joe, we will have to leave it there. five seconds? joseph: we went on to an angle in washington, d.c., requesting meetings and never received a response. amy: joseph guz works at the viatris plant set to close
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in morgantown, virginia. president of the united steelworkers union that represents workers there. thanks to katherine eban, can you to edit or at vanity fair. her piece we will link to, “we can't reach him: joe manchin is ghosting the west virginia union workers whose jobs his daughter helped outsource.
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♪ >> hello and welcome back to nhk "newsline." i'm takao minori in new york. people in afghanistan have been dealing with a surge in violence as the taliban has stepped up attacks since the withdrawal of u.s. troops. now china's foreign minister is trying to restore the peace. he's met with taliban leaders and asked for their help to

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