PBS NewsHour full episode September 6, 2019

PBS NewsHour full episode September 6, 2019


JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff. On the “NewsHour” tonight: evaluating the
wreckage. As Hurricane Dorian makes landfall in North
Carolina, rescue teams in the Bahamas deliver relief to those affected by the deadly storm. Then: It’s Friday. Mark Shields and David Brooks on the Democrats’
plans for climate change, Republicans canceling primaries, and funding the border wall. Plus: a larger showcase for the arts — an
insiders tour of the Kennedy Center’s first expansion in 50 years. DEBORAH RUTTER, President, John F. Kennedy
Center for the Performing Arts: As we look forward, we know that people want to be more
connected to the art and the artists, to be more immersed in it, and to participate more
in it. JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Hurricane Dorian is sweeping
up the United States’ Eastern Seaboard tonight after adding its list of victims. The storm is now blamed for at least six deaths
in the U.S. and 30 in the Bahamas. And it doled out surprising damage today along
North Carolina’s outer banks. John Yang is in Nassau, where he watched the
hurricane’s progress. JOHN YANG: Dorian roared ashore at Cape Hatteras,
North Carolina, this morning, its first landfall in the United States after devastating the
Bahamas days before. Sustained winds had dropped to 90 miles an
hour, just half what they had once been. But Governor Roy Cooper warned those in the
hurricane’s path to remain on high alert. GOV. ROY COOPER (D-NC): The danger right now is
the rising storm surge of four to seven feet and flash floods as the hurricane churns along
the coast. JOHN YANG: One area of greatest concern? Ocracoke Island, about 40 miles southwest
of Cape Hatteras. The low-lying 16-mile-long barrier island
was quickly inundated. Rising water trapped hundreds of people who
chose not to evacuate. GOV. ROY COOPER (D-NC): Communications experts,
law enforcement and a medical strike team had been transported there. And a search-and-rescue team is on the way. We estimate about 800 people remained on the
island during the storm. And I have heard reports from residents who
say the flooding there was catastrophic. JOHN YANG: More than 330,000 homes and businesses
across the Carolinas and Southeastern Virginia lost power. Virginia Beach saw strong winds and large
crashing waves along the shoreline. Heavy rain triggered flash flooding. Farther south, cleanup efforts were under
way in Charleston, South Carolina. Residents took down plywood from store windows
as crews cleared away downed branches under sunny skies. But in the battered Northern Bahamas, massive
piles of debris as far as the eye can see. Hundreds of people on Abaco Island gathered
today at the damaged airport, desperately hoping to escape to Nassau. SABRINA RALLE, Abaco Resident: We have no
power, no water, and it’s bad. Everything, we have lost. Everything is damaged. GEE ROLLE, Abaco Resident: It’s chaos here,
and the place is uninhabitable. Nobody can live here. So, we’re trying to get out, and they only
have limited ways of getting out here. JOHN YANG: Small planes were able to evacuate
some, including the elderly and the sick, a few at a time. For those unable to leave, aid groups were
starting to arrive to arrive to assess how to meet their needs. Tom Cotter is director of emergency response
and preparedness for the global relief organization Project HOPE. TOM COTTER, Project HOPE: This is the real
deal. There is no searching for the disaster. The disaster is very apparent. Every street is affected. Every person is affected. This is an incredibly dire and severe situation. JOHN YANG: Cotter described the extreme challenges
he and his team encountered. TOM COTTER: It’s really hard to get to an
island, and it’s really hard to get to an island with an airstrip that has been heavily
damaged and is limited in what kind of planes it can get. All we want to do is get supplies and responders
on the island. And we have to do it a small bit at a time,
instead of the large quantities that we would see if it was easier to get in. And it’s all because of the storm that the
access is limited. JOHN YANG: The U.S. Coast Guard has also been
helping. Guardsmen returning from a mission today spoke
of traumatic cases. CHAD WATSON, U.S. Coast Guard: Injuries to
the head by flying debris. People were crushed by cars, by buildings,
multiple fractures to legs, any limbs, anything. It just — it was bad. JOHN YANG: And for all of the survivors, the
emotional toll looms large. Tom Cotter of Project HOPE: TOM COTTER: The mental trauma of this, it’s
as severe and it’s as important to address as the physical trauma that people might have
experienced. Everybody knows somebody who’s been really
affected by this storm. And, again, with communications down, a lot
of people don’t know if their loved ones are alive or not alive. JOHN YANG: And for some, Dorian is still a
threat in the making. Warnings and watches have now been posted
from Delaware to Nova Scotia, Canada as the hurricane drives Northeast. Here on the edge of the Nassau Airport, these
two big air-conditioned tents being set up as a transition center for evacuees from Grand
Bahama Island and Abaco. This is not a government operation. This is being done by private citizens, local
charities, local civic groups and NGOs. Inside are clean clothes if people need them,
food and water if they need them, baby supplies if they need them, cushions to lie on, all
the things, in short, that the people we talked to earlier today outside the government evacuation
center in Nassau say they wish they had there. Most importantly, according to the people
we talked to outside the government center, inside are people for people to help them
find places to live in case they don’t have friends or families here in Nassau. They’re reaching out to real estate agents
who rent out vacation homes here, to hotels who have empty rooms, to anyone who might
have a space to offer. JUDY WOODRUFF: And so, John, what about those
people you spoke with who had been in the government shelter? What did they say it’s like there? How is it? JOHN YANG: It’s a big sports arena. We weren’t allowed to go in, but we talked
to people as they came out. It’s a big sports arena. They say people are just lying on the floor
of the arena. We spoke to one woman, Divinia Bethel, who
is a business consultant who lost her home on Abaco. She was actually able to spend one night in
Nassau with some friends, but they could only host her for that one night, so she went to
the shelter to look for help. There was no help to be found, she said. They said that the social services, people
from the government told her she had to go to an office some distance away to try to
find housing. So there’s a lot of frustration over there
about the lack of assistance. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, John, you have also — we
know you have been talking to people who have been literally trying to get on private charter
planes to get to one of the other islands where their family members, loved ones are. JOHN YANG: That’s right. Again, private efforts where the government
seems to be a little slow. Most of these people, especially here who
are being evacuated from Abaco especially, are just people who fly — get flown in — flown
off the island, rather, on private planes, eight-seat planes, 18-seat planes. These are planes that are either chartered
by people at about a cost of about $2,400 round-trip, or private plane pilots themselves
fly over land and just say, get on board, I will take you to Nassau. I asked if that’s how Divinia Bethel got out. I asked her, did you know the man, did you
know anybody on that plane? She said, no, but it was a plane — a seat
on a plane off of Abaco, and so she took it. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, John, maybe in connection
with that, you told us earlier today you have really been struck by the closeness of this
community in the Bahamas. JOHN YANG: It is. It’s amazing. You walk around, and everybody knows somebody,
has family, has some connection, has friends on either Grand Bahama or Abaco. You know, I have been saying in my reports
that Nassau has been relatively unaffected, and that’s largely true. The damage here is very little. There is some flooding. JUDY WOODRUFF: And just quickly, John, I heard
someone that we heard, the challenges that Tom Cotter of Project HOPE is facing. We know there’s some video that showed the
sheer devastation people are dealing with. JOHN YANG: It is. It’s amazing to look at those pictures. I have covered mostly tornadoes. I have never covered a lot of hurricanes. And I’m used to seeing the pictures we’re
seeing from Abaco at tornadoes, houses splintered, just flattened, big pieces of equipment, in
this case big yachts, big boats, picked up and moved, resting against buildings. But in tornadoes, it’s a relatively narrow
area. It’s the path of the tornado, which can be
— pick and choose. You have a house devastated on one side of
the street and left standing untouched on the other side. But these pictures from Abaco, it is huge
areas, fields just leveled. As Tom Cotter said in the tape piece, he’s
seen a lot of disasters in his work, but this, he said he’s seen nothing like this. JUDY WOODRUFF: John Yang, reporting for us
from Nassau in the Bahamas, John, thank you so much. And now our William Brangham gets another
report from the region. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Let’s find out some more
about the relief efforts from government officials in the region. Elizabeth Riley is the deputy executive director
of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency. That’s the agency coordinating response and
assessment teams to these hard-hit areas. She joins me from the island of Barbados. Ms. Riley, thank you very much for being here. I wonder if you could just give us a sense
of how things are right now. ELIZABETH RILEY, Deputy Executive Director,
Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency: Based on the input from — the reports from
our team on the ground, the relief effort commenced in the two northern islands of the
Bahamas that have been impacted. What we understand is that the Royal Caribbean
cruise line is providing meals for those persons who have been impacted on Grand Bahama at
this time. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The official death toll,
we know, is still very low, but we’re seeing lots of reports that people traveling around
the islands are seeing victims in many, many locations. Is it your sense that this could still be
a much more grave disaster than we know thus far? ELIZABETH RILEY: I think the indications from
the government of the Bahamas, specifically through the minister of health, have pointed
in that direction. And I think, as the recovery effort continues,
we will get a better sense of how many persons, unfortunately, that have lost their life in
this tragedy. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: We have also heard reports
that people are having a very hard time getting out to the outer islands to try to check on
missing family members. And some people apparently are even chartering
private planes to take them out there. Is transportation still proving to be such
a challenge for you? ELIZABETH RILEY: What has happened is that
there’s been significant congestion in the airspace around both Grand Bahama and Abaco,
simply because persons are anxious to find out about relatives, so they’re chartering
private flights to go. While this is well-intentioned, what it does
do is to create a high level of congestion in the airspace. And unless this is regulated, it could potentially
cause some constraints also in the relief efforts. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Is that your sense of why
some NGOs are reportedly also having a hard time getting out to do their work? ELIZABETH RILEY: Well, I think one of the
questions that should be asked is whether the NGOs are coordinating their efforts with
the government of the Bahamas, because the government of the Bahamas is in charge of
the response effort. And it is very important for NGOs or any other
entity which comes in with the good intention of supporting or assisting to touch base with,
plug into and, very importantly, coordinate with the National Emergency Operations Center. So once they have made that connection to
the National Emergency Operations Center, then all of the logistics around sequencing
of support, sequencing flights or vessels, et cetera, that can be coordinated. If that — if actions are being undertake
on the side of the national coordination efforts, it is likely that you may get some challenges
in access. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And, lastly, what are the
biggest challenges going forward from today on? ELIZABETH RILEY: Well, I think the immediate
issue would be really getting the immediate relief to those persons who require it. We know that there are a couple of areas which
are still posing some challenges in terms of access. Shelter of the population is incredibly important,
especially in a situation where homes have been destroyed and other areas of shelter
have been destroyed in countries. So, the safety of persons who are now exposed
is really the very immediate priority. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Elizabeth Riley,
who is helping coordinate the relief efforts in the Bahamas, thank you very much. ELIZABETH RILEY: You’re welcome. Thanks for having me. JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: U.S.
businesses slowed their hiring in August amid global economic weakness and the tariff war
with China. The Labor Department reports employers added
a net of 130,000 jobs, fewer than expected. That total included 25,000 temporary workers
hired for the 2020 U.S. census. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent,
even as more people started looking for work. The chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome
Powell, is playing down the risk of recession. He spoke at a conference in Switzerland today,
and gave an upbeat view of what lies ahead, despite some uncertainty. JEROME POWELL, Federal Reserve Chairman: Our
main expectation is not at all that there’ll be a recession. I did mention, though, that there are these
risks. And we’re monitoring them very carefully and
we’re conducting policy in a way that will address them. But, no, I wouldn’t see a recession as the
most likely outcome for the United States or for the world economy, for that matter. JUDY WOODRUFF: The Fed cut short-term interest
rates in July, and is widely expected to do so again this month. The Taliban staged another fatal assault in
Afghanistan today amid growing questions about a potential peace deal. The attack killed two people in the Western
province of Farah, and fighting continued in the city hours later. Meanwhile, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani postponed
a trip to Washington next week. His government says that a potential U.S.
agreement with the Taliban could lead to all-out civil war. In Hong Kong, some 2,000 pro-democracy protesters
surrounded a police station and subway stop in new confrontations with police. Officers answered with rubber bullets, tear
gas and pepper spray, and the demonstrators used umbrellas to shield themselves. They also rejected promises to kill a much-criticized
extradition law. JOHN CHAN, Student (through translator): The
government is one that doesn’t listen to the voice of the people. It doesn’t have a mandate from the people. All it listens to is the central people’s
government. This is an issue that, during the last two
to three months, everyone has been able to see really clearly. Our government is not working for us. JUDY WOODRUFF: The protesters are now calling
for an investigation of alleged police brutality and for direct elections of city leaders. The one-time strongman president of Zimbabwe,
Robert Mugabe has died. He led the African nation’s black majority
to power in 1980 and he ruled for 37 years, before being driven from office. John Ray of Independent Television News looks
back at Mugabe’s life. JOHN RAY: This is how he ended his days, in
resentful retirement in a hospital in Singapore 5,000 miles from the country he liberated
and the nation he enslaved. Robert Mugabe was already a faded force when
we conducted what would be his last interview, a virtual prisoner at his sprawling mansion,
the infamous Blue Roof. But he was as defiant as ever. ROBERT MUGABE, Former Zimbabwe President:
We weren’t that bad in comparison to other countries. JOHN RAY: The jubilant crowds that celebrated
the end of his reign didn’t agree. He had led them to ruin. Long gone, the youthful hero of the freedom
struggle that ended white rule in Rhodesia, and founded a new nation with a new name. But Zimbabwe’s new leader was ruthless from
the start. He sent his army to slaughter opponents. At least 20,000 died. ROBERT MUGABE: As long as dissidents come
from a particular area, we will send troops to that area. JOHN RAY: Nor did racial reconciliation last. He drove white farmers from the land and handed
it to political cronies. But as the farms burned, Zimbabwe starved,
an era of hyperinflation and empty shelves. His opponents took a beating, but Mugabe had
a scapegoat. ROBERT MUGABE: We are not a British colony. You must know that. We are not a British colony. JOHN RAY: But the grinding poverty saw his
people flee in their tens of thousands. In the end, he was ousted by his protege and
rival Emmerson Mnangagwa, who paid this tribute tonight: EMMERSON MNANGAGWA, President of Zimbabwe:
Comrade Mugabe bequeaths a rich and indelible legacy of tenacious adherence to principle
on the collective rights of Africa and Africans in general. JOHN RAY: But from the bloodshed in Zimbabwe’s
first post-Mugabe election to the crackdown on protesters made desperate by unemployment
and soaring prices, this nation still lives under the shadow of its founding father. JUDY WOODRUFF: Robert Mugabe was 95 years
old. Mexico now says the number of migrants arriving
at its border to cross into the United States has fallen more than 50 percent in the last
three months. The foreign minister announced today that
some 64,000 people were stopped from crossing in August. That’s down from more than 144,000 who crossed
in May. Mexico deployed thousands of troops and police
to slow the flow of migrants, after President Trump threatened tariffs. Back in this country, the Trump administration
opened a legal assault today on California and four automakers over emissions standards. The U.S. Justice Department notified Ford,
Honda, Volkswagen and BMW that they are being investigated for possible antitrust violations. In July, the companies adopted California’s
emissions standards, which are tougher than those the administration favors. And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial
average gained 69 points to close at 26797. The Nasdaq fell 13 points and the S&P 500
added two. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: the psychological
trauma of separating children from their families at the border; Mark Shields and David Brooks
break down the week’s news, including funding decisions for the border wall and Democrats’
plans to address climate change; inside the new wing of the Kennedy Center for the Performing
Arts; and much more. There have been a number of accounts from
medical professionals and advocates warning of the health risks of detaining migrant children
and especially about separating them at the border from family members. This week, we received the first substantiated
report from a government agency looking at the mental health impacts and trauma for migrant
kids in U.S. facilities. As Lisa Desjardins tells us, the report by
the inspector general of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department includes a look
at what happened last year, when the president implemented a zero tolerance policy. LISA DESJARDINS: The report looks at all children
in HHS care. Some arrived on their own. Others were separated from their parents. For the latter especially, it points to a
number of disturbing effects: accounts of inconsolable crying among children, heightened
anxiety and feelings of abandonment. Some showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress
disorder, even refusing to eat. And that comes after enduring extreme duress
in the home countries they left behind. The inspector general’s office visited 45
facilities between August and September 2018 and spoke with clinicians and other professional
staff. Ann Maxwell is the assistant inspector general
for evaluation and inspections. She oversaw this report, and joins us now. Thank you for coming on air. This report is not easy to read. I want to start by talking about the children
who the U.S. separated from their parents. Specifically, among the many quotes here and
examples is one of a 7- or 8-year-old boy. The report says he was under the delusion
that his father had been killed and believed that he also would be killed. Can you talk specifically about how family
separations seemed to affect these children? ANN MAXWELL, Assistant Inspector General,
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Yes. So, what we heard from the staff we interviewed,
who were the staff that worked directly with these children, is that the children who were
separated at the border from their parents experienced heightened fear, sense of abandonment,
and even post-traumatic stress disorder. We heard from a medical director, for example,
that separated children would often talk about physical symptoms as a manifestation of their
psychological pain. LISA DESJARDINS: What does that mean, for
example? ANN MAXWELL: Meaning that they would talk
about their chest hurting, when they were medically fine, or they couldn’t feel their
heart or that every heartbeat hurt them. LISA DESJARDINS: Now, you also mentioned in
one report that one child at least — that children felt terrified and felt that they
couldn’t distinguish between health care workers and the members of, for example, immigration
teams that may have separated them. More broadly, there is the debate overall
about why these children are coming to this country in general. And you spoke with the staffers who have perhaps
the most firsthand experience with those kids and what they are saying. There’s one line here that says: “Some children
witnessed the rape or murder of family members who were fleeing threats or they were fleeing
threats against their own lives.” What kind of trauma is involved with these
kids? And were our facilities ready to handle that? ANN MAXWELL: The facility told us that they
were unprepared to address the intense trauma that children suffered. As you mentioned, they suffered it and were
often fleeing from it from their home country. They often suffered threats to their safety
on the journey to the U.S. And, of course, for some children, they experienced
the additional trauma of being unexpectedly separated from their parents after coming
into this country. LISA DESJARDINS: And you mentioned children
witnessing, as we say, murders of family members, rape, some of them themselves being victims
of rape, as they were telling staffers. Another debate in this area is over the length
of detention. The Trump administration would like the ability
to detain migrant families indefinitely. Right now, that is limited to 20 days, with
a court order, out of concern for the kids. What did you learn about how the length of
stay in detention may be affecting children? ANN MAXWELL: Right. So, just to be clear, we looked at HHS facilities,
which is distinct from how long they could be in immigration detention. But you’re absolutely right to point out that
what the front-line staff told us is that there is a negative consequence on children’s
mental health and even their behavior the longer they are in care. LISA DESJARDINS: I saw a specific timeline. I saw one worker said set, at 70 days, they
saw even well-behaved children kind of start to change. ANN MAXWELL: Right. What they talked about is even children who
came into care with good — positive outlook and good coping skills became disillusioned
after they were in care for a long time. And they saw increased hopelessness, increased
activities like self-harm and even suicidal ideation. LISA DESJARDINS: It’s significant, because
you also look at the policy here that there were — and also the staffers told you they
saw some changes. Can you talk specifically about how policy
affected the number of children, how long they were there, and how old the kids were
last year? ANN MAXWELL: Sure. So what we heard is that the challenges of
providing mental health care for children were particularly challenging in 2018, due
to those two policy changes you mentioned. So, one was the institution of the zero tolerance
policy, which rapidly increased the number of separated children who were in care. And there were other changes to the sponsor
assessment process, which lengthened the time that children were in care. LISA DESJARDINS: In order to leave care, then,
there was a requirement, a new requirement, that sponsors or family members would have
to be fingerprinted. And how did that affect the length of time? ANN MAXWELL: That’s right. So there’s always a balance, right, because
they want to make sure — the department wants to make sure that children are safe when they
are released from ORR care. And to do that, they instituted in 2008 policies
in which parents need to be fingerprinted, which was new, and all the adults in the household
had to be fingerprinted as well. LISA DESJARDINS: OK. ANN MAXWELL: That resulted in an enormous
amount of fingerprints going through, which created a bottleneck, which slowed down the
process. And we — people on the front lines also believe
it made sponsors reluctant to come forward. LISA DESJARDINS: Yes, I saw, for sure, that
the increase in fingerprint requirements sort of doubled in some cases the days or expanded
it by a month for most kids. ANN MAXWELL: That’s right. LISA DESJARDINS: What needs to happen now? ANN MAXWELL: Well, we have a number of recommendations
for the department to take very practical steps to assist the facilities in overcoming
the challenges that they laid out for us. And we believe that these are steps that can
be taken in conjunction with experts in the field to delineate strategies to help support
these facilities and change the outcomes for these children. LISA DESJARDINS: That sounds like that that’s
going to take time. That’s a lot of process. What about the kids now? ANN MAXWELL: Well, some of the steps that
we have recommended that the department take, they have, in fact, already instituted. So they detailed for us a plan of action,
including things like hiring a new mental health clinician to guide their oversight
and help support the facilities. They also are partnering with clinical experts
to create more training around trauma-informed care. So some of these things can really be handled
in a very immediate way. You’re right, though, some of the challenges
are more long-term. And the department has committed to addressing
those over time. LISA DESJARDINS: OK. Ann Maxwell with the Inspector General’s Office
of HHS, thank you for joining us and for your work on this. ANN MAXWELL: Thank you for the interesting
topic. Appreciate it. JUDY WOODRUFF: The federal government today
warned Americans not to use e-cigarettes, following several mysterious deaths linked
to vaping. The Centers for Disease Control also said
there are 450 cases of a lung illness in more than 30 states tied to vaping. There are more questions now than answers. And William Brangham is back now with more
on this mystery. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That’s right, Judy. Health officials say they’re still searching
for the definitive cause behind these growing number of lung illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and others
say they do believe some chemical exposure is associated with the sickness. At least four deaths have been linked to vaping,
and a fifth is under investigation. Allison Aubrey of National Public Radio is
covering this, and she joins me now. ALLISON AUBREY, National Public Radio: Hi
there. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Welcome. Hi. ALLISON AUBREY: Thank you. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So what is the latest that
the investigators are saying? ALLISON AUBREY: Sure. Well, today, they basically came out and said,
we still do not know what is causing these illnesses. It’s very frustrating for them, but they do
know a lot more about who has gotten sick. So, let me paint a picture here. We are talking young men, average age 19,
more than 80 percent of the cases in Illinois and Wisconsin men. So these are people who are vaping THC and
nicotine, sometimes combinations. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, a marijuana vape pen
and a nicotine vape pen? ALLISON AUBREY: Well, putting THC into the
vape, right, so vaping THC or other cannabinoids, CBD, sometimes vaping nicotine and cannabis,
so all kinds of mix and match. It’s very, very difficult to hone in on one
thing. And so far, they say they don’t see one substance
that is linked to all of the illnesses. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, I’m curious, because
New York state officials seemed to indicate that some Vitamin E substance might be indicated. ALLISON AUBREY: Right. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Federal investigators are
not echoing that? ALLISON AUBREY: Well, they’re looking into
that as well. They’re looking at a whole range of compounds. In New York, they say it is a focus. They found a lot of concentrated Vitamin E
in THC vaping cartridges. And, basically, they’re saying, these are
not cartridges coming from medical dispensaries in New York. These are black market products, stuff that
people are buying off the street. Who knows what’s in them, but very high concentrations
of Vitamin E. And some people may think, whoa, Vitamin E, it’s a vitamin. Well, it’s fine to take as a dietary supplement
or as a lotion. Not fine to inhale. Ingested at high levels, when it makes it
right into the lung, can cause damage. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So possibly five suspected
deaths here, but lots of — lots of — hundreds of illnesses. How do these illnesses president? And what do they look like? ALLISON AUBREY: Sure. Typically, what they’re seeing is that people
feel a little bit sick, and then progressively have shortness of breath, chest pain. By day six or seven, they have presented to
an emergency room. And from there, it can get worse. Oftentimes, they’re being intubated, or they
need help breathing. Some have ended up in the ICU. And they don’t know what kind of long-term
damage might be done to the lungs. They just don’t know. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You touched on this before,
that there are commercial vaping products, like Juul and Blu, that are e-cigarettes you
can buy. ALLISON AUBREY: Right. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And then in states where
marijuana is legal, you can buy THC vaping pens. ALLISON AUBREY: Sure. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But then, as you’re saying,
there’s also this big black market of these sort of home brew kits. Do regulators know whether it’s the black
market products or the commercial products? Or they don’t know? ALLISON AUBREY: They really don’t know. They really — they’re looking at a range
of things here. The people who’ve spoken up — and keep in
mind, these are 19-year-old young men that they’re asking, hey, you have just gotten
really, really sick. What were you putting in your vape cartridge? It’s hard to get all of the answers. In about 120 instances, these people who’ve
been sick have actually handed over what’s left of the vaping cartridge. And that’s how investigators are analyzing
this. And they’re finding that people have used
12 or 13 different kinds of THC products, 12 or 13 different kinds of nicotine products. So it’s really, really complex and difficult
to figure out, is there one substance or combination of substances that’s leading to all these
illnesses? WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So the CDC says now, until
we get to the bottom of this, just don’t smoke e-cigarettes. ALLISON AUBREY: You know what? They are recommending that people stay away
from e-cigarettes. They’re saying, if you have been using them
to stay off cigarettes, turn to something else. Until they know what’s going on, until this
investigation points to a substance or a product, they’re recommending that people not vape. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Allison Aubrey of NPR, thank
you so much. ALLISON AUBREY: Thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: And now to the analysis of
Shields and Brooks. That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and
New York Times columnist David Brooks. Hello to both of you. It’s good to see you on this Friday. There’s so much to talk about. Mark, I want to start with you about this
Hurricane Dorian. We have been watching it now for well over
a week, I guess almost two weeks. And you have got scientists talking more openly
now about whether these hurricanes are connected to climate change, to global warming. And you have got Democratic candidates for
president, more of them, coming out with pretty aggressive positions on climate. Is this something that’s realistic for Democrats? Does that mean they think they’re more likely
to win over voters if they talk about climate? MARK SHIELDS: I’m not sure that they see it
as a great winning issue. I think they see it as an important issue. I would say, among Democratic candidates,
first of all, they all agree that there is climate change. All the deniers are on the other side. They’re not in the Democratic field or in
the Democratic Party right now. And, two, that it’s manmade, man contributes
to it. I think those are two important differences
that go undebated among Democrats. Democrats assume that. And you’re right. They got into a competition. And the gravity of the problem is real. I mean, you have got — now you have got 72
percent of people saying storms are stronger. And half of them believe that climate change
is contributing to that. (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Go ahead. MARK SHIELDS: So you have got, I think, a
growing public awareness. The fear for the Democrats on a very practical
level is that they get into a bidding war. I mean, Bernie Sanders now has a $16 billion
tag. DAVID BROOKS: Trillion-dollar. MARK SHIELDS: Trillion — excuse me — trillion-dollar
tag on it. And you fear, from a political perspective,
practical political perspective, Judy, that you get into unrealistic promises, like the
Republicans on their pledge every four years to repeal prohibition — a prohibition against
abortion, to balance the budget. And I think that’s — I think that’s one of
the apprehensions that Democrats have at a voting level. JUDY WOODRUFF: More than half of them talking
about putting a tax on carbon dioxide pollution. DAVID BROOKS: That was, to me, the big breakthrough. I think most economists of right and left
think a carbon tax or some carbon mechanism is the right way to go, because you let the
markets sort of sort it out. No politician ever says that, because taxing
this stuff is very politically unpopular, or at least moderately politically unpopular. But you had five Democrats, Kamala Harris
and Elizabeth Warren, said, yes, I’m for that. They didn’t elaborate. But, to me, that’s an important breakthrough. And is, I think, a political courage. I think it’s also extremely politically risky. And then Bernie Sanders is not so much for
carbon pricing, but he’s for semi-nationalizing the utilities. And that’s a pretty radical break. And so the — I give them a lot of credit. The debate was very substantive this week. And their solutions are at least equal to
the size of the problem. But whether it can fly in the fall when Donald
Trump gets to run against a carbon tax or a tax on you driving your car, that could
be politically risky. JUDY WOODRUFF: And speaking of President Trump
— and I wasn’t actually going to ask about this. But, tonight, the White House, the president
is tweeting out a video, a video tweet, where he’s doubling down, David, on his defense
of his forecasting some date — last weekend — that Alabama was in the eye of Hurricane
Dorian. This has been a big subject for the press
this week. But is this something you think we have made
— that too much has been made of? We haven’t reported on it on the “NewsHour,”
but we have certainly watched it. DAVID BROOKS: Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: And it’s a remarkable scene. DAVID BROOKS: I know, because the storm is
right over Arizona now. (LAUGHTER) MARK SHIELDS: Look out, Phoenix. (LAUGHTER) DAVID BROOKS: Yes, right. No, on the one hand, we have made too much,
because it’s a line on a map. And it’s sort of an Onion article. On the other hand, it is Donald Trump being
Donald Trump. JUDY WOODRUFF: Right. DAVID BROOKS: A, refusing to admit error,
when he made an error, B, counting his staff to pretend that no error had — made, and,
C, spreading false information, which he picked up on TV. And the president gets the right to be briefed. And when — there was one weatherman — apparently,
he saw him on CNN — who said this. But it was clear that that wasn’t the true
story. And the primary responsibility of the president
is not to make himself look good by sticking to this. It’s to protect the country by saying, oh,
I saw one weather report, but it turns out that’s not right. It’s going up the — it’s going up the coast. So Donald Trump is being Donald Trump. And the question is, do we always react to
his exaggerations and lies again and again and again? Maybe that’s the right thing to do just to
preserve norms. It gets a little old, though. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Mark, somebody in the
White House drew that line that we just — we just showed, that black… MARK SHIELDS: Somebody did, and somebody with
a sharpie. And I don’t know who in the White House uses
a sharpie. (LAUGHTER) MARK SHIELDS: I’ll say this, Judy. It’s bizarre in this sense. Alabama, for some reason, occupies an enormously
important emotional and political, almost sentimental spot in the president’s galaxy
of affections. It was there he had his first rally in Mobile,
where Jeff Sessions endorsed him in the summer of 2015. He returned after the election to thank him. He got a bigger percentage of the vote in
Alabama than anybody since Richard Nixon against George McGovern in 1972. But in the process, what he did was, he kind
of gave short shrift and ignored the plight and the suffering, not simply the human tragedy
in the Bahamas, but constituents in the important states of Florida and North Carolina. And he just seems — he just seems absolutely
absorbed with it, and when he could just say, gee, thank goodness, I’m happy to report,
I’m relieved to report I was wrong, and that… JUDY WOODRUFF: That Alabama was spared. MARK SHIELDS: Alabama was spared. And thank you, God, and go — roll, Tide. DAVID BROOKS: Yes, “I was wrong” has never
passed those lips. MARK SHIELDS: Yes. OK. I’m sorry. Yes, OK. (LAUGHTER) JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, one other thing that
the president did this week that has gotten a lot of attention, has made certainly a lot
of Democrats unhappy, David, but even some Republicans, the president announced he is
diverting money from more than 125 military projects to build a portion of the border
wall, something he’s promised to do. He’s talked about it now for two-and-a-half
years. Is this — again, is this something the president
can help himself with politically by doing this, or has he stirred up a hornet’s nest
by taking it into his own hands where money is spent? DAVID BROOKS: He stirred up a nest of extremely
weak butterflies, because I don’t think Republicans are really going to do much. They’re not going to sting. But I think, on balance, it’s probably politically
beneficial to him. He said: I’m going to build a wall. To me, it’s a crackpot idea, but he’s going
to least be able to go back to the vote and say: Yes, we have got this amount of money,
we’re building a wall. Republicans will be upset. Some of the bases in their districts will
be suffering. And it wouldn’t surprise me if they went back
and reapportioned more money, and just piled a few more billion onto the national debt. And so they may get their money, and Trump
will get his wall and we will just pass a little more money down to the next generation. MARK SHIELDS: I’m tired of all public figures,
including politicians, pay empty words about thank you for your service, how much we admire
and respect. I mean, it isn’t simply the military who serve. Their families serve. OK? And 1.1 million American children have a parent
who are schoolchildren in the military service. So they move an average of six to nine times
in their life. I mean, it’s new schools, it’s a new adjustment. The whole family is serving. And all this business about, oh, how grateful
we are, and it isn’t short shrift. It’s just a total indifference. It’s a callousness just to honor an empty
promise that he said he’s going to build 500 miles. And, at the most, there will be 165 miles
of fence, at the most optimum conditions of his pledge. I mean, it just — it is outrageous, and I
think indefensible. JUDY WOODRUFF: Because we’re talking about
schools. We’re talking about day care centers. There are many, many different kinds of projects
for military families. MARK SHIELDS: Day care centers, and repairing
facilities that are in serious disrepair, and kids going to — having lunch in buildings
that weren’t intended as lunchrooms, and just the whole thing. So let’s let’s not pretend that we honor those
who serve. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, meanwhile, David, we’re
also hearing just today in a report by Politico that the Republican National Committee, which,
of course, is very closely tied to the White House, is seriously looking at having at least
40 states cancel their primary — presidential primaries or caucuses in 2020. We’re talking about South Carolina, Kansas,
a couple of other states. We don’t know how many more states. DAVID BROOKS: More could do it. Another sign of democracy thriving in America. (LAUGHTER) DAVID BROOKS: This is not a sign of political
self-confidence, that Donald Trump is unwilling to have any competition. It’s a sign of fear of some sort of weakness. And shutting down the democratic process so
you can get 100 percent is something we associate with North Korea. And so it’s just — it’s just a shocking disruption
in this — in this particular circumstance. MARK SHIELDS: I didn’t know until today how
much he really does admire Kim Jong-un. (LAUGHTER) MARK SHIELDS: And who has never had a primary. And, Judy, what it comes down to, under the
party rules, 15 percent of the vote, if you get 15 percent of the vote in the primary,
you get delegates. So, whether it’s Bill Weld or Joe Walsh or
anybody else who ends up running against — Mark Sanford, anybody else who runs up, and gets
20 percent, the idea of Donald Trump having a non-Donald Trump delegate at the Republican
National Convention in 2020 is unthinkable, is inconceivable, is unacceptable to him. So, Generalissimo says, no primary. JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, the White House is saying
— or the RNC, Republican National Committee, is saying, well, this is something that Republican
— that both parties have done in the past. They have canceled primary voting. MARK SHIELDS: And it’s a disadvantage. For example, in Virginia, if you do it, I
mean, this is the one chance you have to update your list, is a primary, because there’s no
party registration. So you find out who your party members are,
who’s going to vote in the primary and so forth. I mean, it’s just — it’s a terrible disservice
to your primary, just in the surface of the vanity of one man. JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, just when Washington
is looking really, really attractive to all of us. We now have just a minute left in the program. But, David, we have got now 13 Republican
House members, including five from the state of Texas, who are saying they don’t want to
be in Congress, they don’t want to run again and serve. DAVID BROOKS: Yes. Yes. And I don’t think this is because they fear
losing. Only one of them is — would have any trouble
winning. It’s no fun. It’s not fun to be here. It’s no fun to be in the majority — I mean,
in the minority. MARK SHIELDS: The minority, yes. DAVID BROOKS: It’s no fun to fly home. It’s no fun to do all the donor calls. And it’s no fun because they’re not actually
passing anything. The people who run for office actually do
want to make change. MARK SHIELDS: And let’s be honest about it. Donald Trump plays a part. I mean, there is a Trump fatigue on the part
of Republicans. And if they do criticize, they know what awaits
them. And that is very well Mark Sanford’s fate,
where the White House and Donald Trump backs a challenger in the primary. So you’re walking that tightrope. There hasn’t been a raise in 11 years. People aren’t happy about — the citizens
aren’t, but, to some point, when you can make a lot more money outside than you can inside
— and David’s right about being in the minority. Once you have been a committee chair in the
House of Representatives, to be a backbench minority member, you’re powerless. You’re really a eunuch at a — you know, at
a social occasion. (LAUGHTER) JUDY WOODRUFF: And in fairness… (LAUGHTER) JUDY WOODRUFF: OK. In fairness, we should say a few Democrats
have said they’re not running either. But there are many more Democrats than there
are Republicans in the House. MARK SHIELDS: A little piece of trivia. There are more Democrats still left from ’94,
when the Republicans swept the House, in the House than there are Republicans. Democrats like being in the House more. JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark Shields, David Brooks,
thank you. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing
Arts here in Washington has expanded for the first time in its 50-year history. Jeffrey Brown takes us behind the scenes,
as the national arts institution launches weeks of free public events tomorrow. The report is part of our ongoing arts and
culture series, Canvas. JEFFREY BROWN: A weekday rehearsal by the
National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of music director Gianandrea Noseda. And one floor down, dancers finalizing their
choreography for an upcoming performance. Nothing unusual, but here at the Kennedy Center,
as at most other major performing arts centers, all this is typically behind the scenes off-limits
to visitors. Now opportunities to watch artists at work,
hear lectures, participate in workshops on a regular basis are all part of what Kennedy
Center president Deborah Rutter calls a 21st century arts campus. DEBORAH RUTTER, President, John F. Kennedy
Center for the Performing Arts: The Kennedy Center was opened in 1971, when the world
was different. The way in which the society and our culture
was engaging with the arts was different. It was much more of a spectator sport. In this time, and as we look forward, we know
that people want to be more connected to the art and the artists, to be more immersed in
it and to participate more in it. JEFFREY BROWN: The response here, the REACH,
named in honor of President Kennedy’s aspirational vision of the arts and in capital letters
to signal something big in the nation’s capital. A new nearly five-acre expansion that we visited
as construction was being completed, three pavilions containing 10 interior multiuse
spaces above and below ground, and double the outdoor spaces for community and arts
programs, including films on a large video wall, also garden walks and paths that lead
to a pedestrian bridge connecting the Kennedy Center campus to the Potomac riverfront. The project cost $250 million from private
philanthropy. It was designed by architect Steven Holl,
known for his use of light and angled walls. DEBORAH RUTTER: We wanted them to be very
porous and very open. And our architects were just in line with
us. And so every single space has a window that
allows you to peek in and see what’s going on. Here, we have the skylight. (CROSSTALK) JEFFREY BROWN: Interesting space. DEBORAH RUTTER: It’s really a beautiful space. One of the things that I loved about Steven
Holl’s design is how he changes the ceiling, as well as the floor and the walls. So you’re having a new experience no matter
where you’re working. JEFFREY BROWN: I can hear a little music in
the background too. DEBORAH RUTTER: I know. Well, that was the moment. JEFFREY BROWN: Orchestra rehearsal. DEBORAH RUTTER: So you will know things are
happening here as well. JEFFREY BROWN: A big idea here: Find new ways
to welcome younger audiences and others who may have felt left out. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing
Arts opened in 1971 as a living memorial to the slain president. It was and is imposing, the grand hallways
and theaters housing traditional high arts, such as the Washington Opera and the National
Symphony. It regularly presents the world’s greatest
artists, as well as special nationally recognized programs, such as the Kennedy Center Honors
and the Mark Twain Awards. But it’s also faced its chair of criticism. When it opened, The New York Times architecture
critic dubbed the building designed by Edward Durell Stone a pompous embarrassment and national
tragedy. And it’s long struggled with a sense of isolation,
a geographic and elite island apart from the surrounding city. To counter that, the center began its popular
and free Millennium Stage performances and has widened its programming with the help
of prominent artists, such as jazz pianist Jason Moran and rapper and producer Q-Tip,
as well as classical stalwarts Yo-Yo Ma and Renee Fleming. The REACH is intended as the next big leap
forward. MARC BAMUTHI JOSEPH, John F. Kennedy Center
for the Performing Arts: The REACH has formal studio spaces, classroom spaces that invite
a different level of community interaction. So now we you have a space that’s more of
an incubator, that’s more of a laboratory. JEFFREY BROWN: Marc Bamuthi Joseph is a dancer,
poet and theater artist, and also a leading arts administrator. He recently left the Yerba Buena center For
the Arts in San Francisco to join the Kennedy Center. We talked in the so-called Moonshot experimental
art space about his hybrid role as vice president and artistic director of social impact. MARC BAMUTHI JOSEPH: That’s the transition
between a performing arts center that shows art and a performing arts center that sees
itself as an agent for making culture itself. And so part of my gig is to design and administer
programs that maximize cross-sector conversations and maximize this idea that we don’t just
watch culture, we make culture. So it becomes more of workshop space than
a place for witness, although you can witness lots great art here, too. JEFFREY BROWN: Indeed, the REACH is opening
with a 16-day free celebration of performances featuring prominent artists. But it’s also offering new programs for the
local community to allow students like rising high school senior Anna Irwin to work with
professional dancers. So how’s the new space? STUDENT: Oh, I love it. Personally, like, it is the biggest studio
I have ever seen. Wow. JEFFREY BROWN: A new culture caucus will bring
in 15 area artists to brainstorm new art to showcase. And a social practice residency will create
art in and for communities in the Washington, D.C., area, all ideas to address problems
many arts organizations are wrestling with today, as traditional audiences age and younger
generations spend more time alone on their screens. What’s the central problem for performing
arts institutions today in American culture? DEBORAH RUTTER: I think that we need to underscore
the joy of being together, that social infrastructure that is so important and that, in some ways,
is missing in our lives. JEFFREY BROWN: Inevitably, too, when it comes
to the arts in the nation’s capital, the political divisions that seep into everything today. I asked Marc Bamuthi Joseph how that impacts
his thinking about the REACH. MARC BAMUTHI JOSEPH: Truth and memory are
tenuous resources in the current climate, and that does make me sad. So, in that vacuum where memory is little
more tenuous and history is more vulnerable is a realm of ideas that somebody has to propagate. Someone has to be responsible, not only for
the moral infrastructure of this country, but the infrastructure of imagination. And if it’s not going to be an arts center,
then we’re doomed. JEFFREY BROWN: To which one might say, in
hope, let the festivities begin, which they will this weekend. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Jeffrey Brown
at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. JUDY WOODRUFF: It is a special place. And before we go tonight, we want to take
a moment to thank one of our own. Jeff Ratner is retiring after more than 30
years of working behind the camera at the “NewsHour” here in the studio and out in the
field. (APPLAUSE) JUDY WOODRUFF: We are going to miss you a
lot, Jeff. But we wish you well on this next adventure. And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m Judy Woodruff. Have a great weekend. Thank you, and good night.

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