Democracy Now! 2021-02-15 Monday
Hi i'm amy goodman this year. Democracy now turns twenty five years old. That's right twenty five years of bringing you the voices and stories. You won't hear. In the corporate media. Democracy now is always refuse to take government or corporate funding because nothing is more important to us than our editorial independence. Nothing is more important to us than telling you the truth but that means we rely on you our audience for support please visit democracy now dot org right now and make your twenty five dollar contribution in honor of our twenty fifth anniversary and help us stay on air for another twenty five years and then another twenty five after that. Thank you so much and remember wearing a mask is an act of love wearing to is even better from new york that is democracy now. Fifty seven days are three. This senate has acquitted. Donald trump for inciting the deadly january six insurrection at the capitol as your seven. Republicans joined democrats voting. To convict january. Sixth will live as a day of infamy. In the history of the united states of america the failure to convict donald trump will live as a vote of infamy in the history of the united states senate will air highlights from the impeachment proceedings and speak to former reagan administration. Attorney bruce fein who joined ralph nader calling for senators to subpoena witnesses then as the us death toll from covid nineteen approaches. Half a million. A new report says nearly forty percent of those deaths were avoidable. We'll speak to the reports co author. Dr mary bassett the former health. Commissioner of new york city. Who's now at harvard. University commission on public policy. In the trump era went beyond the idea. That the covid nineteen was the result of failures and public health and healthcare access. All of these are big problem. And also at the long term trends that have made the united states so vulnerable the worst pandemic and a century all that and more coming up. Welcome to come on prec- now democracy now dot org the quarantine report. I'm amy goodman. The senate's acquitted donald j trump for inciting the deadly january six capital insurrection in his second impeachment trial fifty seven senators backed convicting the former president but the vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. It was the most bipartisan impeachment. Trial verdict ever with seven republicans voting with democrats to convict senate majority leader chuck schumer blasted republicans for siding with the president who tried to overturn an election and incited a mob to attack the capital. This was about choosing country over. Donald trump and forty three republican members chose trump. they chose it trump. Shortly after the vote senate republican leader mitch mcconnell who voted to acquit trump. Took to the floor to criticize the former president. There's no question. The president trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day but mcconnell went on to defend his vote to clear trump on constitutional grounds. But in this case the question is mood because former president trump trump is constitutionally god eligible conviction president trump could have been tried while still in office. But it was mitch. Mcconnell who refused to bring back from recess in january to hold the trial calls are now growing for trump to face criminal prosecution as well as the formation of a government commission to investigate. what happened. Meanwhile some republicans who voted to convict. Trump are already facing fallout republican. Senator bill cassidy of louisiana and richard burr north carolina. We're both censured by their state. Parties for voting. To convict trump will have more on the senate trial after headlines. New information continues to emerge about the insurrection. Participants the new york times reports at least six people who are part of the mob that entered the capital worked as security for trump ally roger stone and were linked to the far right oath keepers. Huffpost is reporting at least fifty seven state and local. republican officials were at the capitol insurrection. And almost all have faced calls to resign only two if step down. Both were arrested for taking part in the riot in one case. A florida. county. Commissioner joe mullins sponsored buses to transport people to washington. Dc in the lead up to january six. he said on a local radio program quote. Maybe there are some liberals. I'd like to see their heads. Cut off new cove. Nineteen cases in the us continue to fall steadily around the united states. Start to loosen restrictions. Republican governors in iowa. Montana north have lifted statewide mask. Mandates despite warnings from the centers for disease control to leave mask requirements in place public health. Experts warn daily case numbers remain dangerously high and that rapidly spreading virus variants could create new surges. Researchers have found at least seven fast-spreading corona virus lineages in the us with the same mutation providing more evidence that variance are evolving to become more transmissible. The us has now administering. Nearly one point. Seven million cove in one thousand nine hundred vaccinations per day on average surpassing president. Biden's goal of one point five million a day chief white house medical adviser. Dr anthony fauci told nbc who believes the overwhelming majority of people in the us could be vaccinated by the middle or end of summer. By the time we get to april. That will be what i would call for. You know for better. Wording open season namely virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated fowl. She said vaccines for children. As young as six or seven could be authorized by the start of the next school year. The cdc issued new guidelines friday for schools to reopen safely. The agency says vaccinating. Teachers is not a prerequisite but schools must adhere to strict measures including mandatory face masks physical distancing and contract tracing cnn notes. Ninety nine percent of us children living what the cdc considers a red zone an area with high levels of community transmission for which the agency recommends virtual classrooms for middle and high schools and hybrid learning for elementary schools. A recent national education association survey found only eighteen percent of teachers who responded were vaccinated although a large majority wanted to be white. Teachers have been vaccinated over twice the rate of black teachers around the united states. A new british government study builds on earlier reports that fast spreading variant. I found in the uk leads to an increased risk of hospitalization and could be up to seventy percent more deadly this comes as disability rights advocates in britain or condemning the discriminatory response by the government and hospitals and treating covert nineteen patients with mental disabilities. A recent investigation found. Do not resuscitate orders were given to people because they had mental disabilities causing potentially avoidable deaths. Cnn reports the world health organization team probing the origins of covid nineteen and john. China believes the outbreak was much more widespread in december two thousand nineteen than officials have revealed elsewhere new zealand's largest city. Auckland is in a three day lockdown. After three corona virus infections were identified its new zealand's first lock down in six months. After prime minister jacinda ardern government stamped out the virus. Guinea has declared a bullet epidemic after an outbreak killed at least three people and sick and four others there. The first cases in guinea since two thousand sixteen when health officials declared an end to the world's largest ebola epidemic which killed more than eleven thousand people across west africa. Meanwhile the world health organization has identified three new cases of in bola in the democratic republic of congo in burma. Armored vehicles had been unleashed on the streets of major cities as mass protests opposing. The military coup continued for the tenth consecutive day today in the northern state of kachin security forces fired at a crowd of protesters had gathered outside a power plant sunday. They also used water cannons to disperse the crowd. Five journalists were arrested while covering the clash on sunday security forces raided the homes of several prominent critics of burma's military coup activists around the world are calling on indian authorities to free dish. Ravi a twenty two year-old climate activist. Who was arrested over the weekend. She's accused of sharing an online which was tweeted by swedish. Climate activists could at the tune. Betty white information on how to support the ongoing farm workers protests ravi is one of the founders of the indian fridays for future youth climate strike in somalia a blast from a car bomb near the parliament headquarters in the capital. Mogadishu killed at least three people and wounded at least eight others on saturday. The attack came amidst a deepening political crisis which led to the postponement of elections last week. The militant group al shabaab which threatened has threatened to attack the polls massive protests continuing haiti thousands or taking to the streets demanding the resignation of president juvenal accusing him of orchestrating coup to in power beyond his term. It's about mussa. Handed support of donald trump using some venezuela calling on the americans to trump's policies. Get rid of the terrorists. Moise mandate as commission this calm immigrant justice advocates continue to denounce the biden. Administration's ongoing deportations of haitian asylum-seekers a warning to our audience. The next story contains disturbing images of violence advocates across the united states are condemning the rise of racist violence against the asian american community last month in eighty four year. Old man from thailand was killed in san francisco after being attacked while on his morning. Walk just days later. A ninety one year old asian man was shoved to the in oakland's chinatown and in new york city last week a sixty one year old filipino. Man was slashed in the face. While on the subway. Asian americans say hate crimes and discrimination against their communities have been on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic some twenty eight hundred incidents have been reported since last march according to the group oppy hate stop a hate. Activists and allies in oakland held a rally over the weekend. This is connie one. Co founder of asian and pacific. Islander women lead what about that vitamin of living in poverty under a system. That doesn't seem to care about our people. That's the violence. We need to answer to the vigil coming out here causing more police. I need you to answer some of that. Violence i want you represent events community. Awful suffering the aboard tation to bet violence in detention centers. For an amount of times. I need you there for that true. And then they're not even accounting for the violence that are women are experiencing on youtube account for that allegiant. Airlines has come under fire after they kicked four black teenagers off a flight last week. Leaving them stranded in arizona far from their homes and sacramento california. The teens were in arizona with their basketball or part of a youth mentor ship program. Cold voice of the youth. Allegiant airlines ledges. They were not wearing their face masks properly. But the boys say they adjusted them when asked by airline staff one teen says he was afraid for his life when police showed up to remove them from the plane. A coalition of international human rights legal groups are preparing to submit a report to the u n high commissioner for human rights about racist police practices in the united states. The report will be based on the findings of the international commission of inquiry on systemic racist police violence against people of african descent in the united states. As part three weeks of hearings to make a palmer. The mother of brianna taylor testified before the commission about how her twenty six year old daughter was shot to death in her own home. In louisville by plain clothes officers serving a no knock warrant briana was in one of the safest places in the world to be home with the person she thought would protect her from the world and he tried to do just that with the laws that are given to us to protect and serve our kingdoms and when that law was broken there was no accountability for the people that broke that law for the people who perjured themselves to obtain a warrant that. Put those people in motion for daniel camera. Who lied about the casey presented to the grand jury and get injustice or berry and never gave them the opportunity to charge other officers even when next. That was brianna. Taylor's mother to make a palmer you can read and watch all the testimonies from the increments and systemic racist police violence at inquiry commission dot org. The new york. Police departments arrested individual in connection with four stabbing attacks in house people in the subway over the weekend which left two of the victims dead and why pd announced it was adding five hundred more police officers to patrol subways organizer whitney who responded on twitter on twitter. There's always money for more cops in the subway system but never enough money to actually house is the homeless and keep them safe and warm in news from the white house. Deputy press secretary. Tj duck low has resigned following revelations last week he made threatening and assad gymnastic comments to political reporter tara palmeri telling her quote i will destroy you after. She asked him to comment on his romantic relationship. With an actually reporter duck. Low had originally been suspended for a week. President biden told incoming staff during a swearing in ceremony. That if anyone spoke to a colleague with disrespect quote i will fire you on the spot and longtime investigative journalists. Jim ridgway has died at the age of eighty four reg- way was the washington correspondent for the village voice for thirty years. He also wrote for mother. Jones ramparts new republic the nation and other outlets in a career that spans six decades in two thousand ten. Jim ridgway co-founded solitary watch focused on the plight of prisoners in solitary confinement. Some of their stories appeared in ridgway's book. Hell is a very small place. Voices from solitary confinement. You can see our interviews. With james ridgeway at democracy now dot org and those are some of the headlines this is democracy now democracy now dot org the quarantine report when we come back. The senate's acquitted donald trump for inciting the deadly january six insurrection. We'll talk with a former reagan administration lawyer about what the acquittal means and what the house democratic managers could have done to change. that verdict. Stay with us last thing off. Aw i'm so bored with the usa. By the clash the says democracy now democracy now dot org the quarantine report. I mean he could win. Seven republicans joined with all fifty democrat saturday voting to convict chano trump for inciting the deadly january sixth insurrection at the capital but the vel vote fell far short of the two-thirds majority needed senate. President protandim vermont. Senator patrick layhee read the results of the vote as our fifty seven. The nays are forty. Three two thirds of the senators president having guilty. The senator judges responded donald john trump former president united states is not guilty as charged in article impeachment shortly after the vote. Senate majority leader. Chuck schumer blasted republicans for siding with donald trump january. Sixth will live as a day of infamy. In the history of the united states of america the failure to convict donald trump will live as a vote of infamy in the history of the united states. Senate this was about choosing country over. Donald trump and forty three republican members chose trump. they chose trump. even though republican senators prevented the senate from disqualifying donald trump for any office of honor trustor profit. Under these united states. there is no question. Donald trump has disqualified himself. I hope i pray. And i believe that the american people will make sure of that while the senate cleared trump. He could still face criminal charges for his actions on january. Six republican senate leader mitch. Mcconnell took to the floor after voting to acquit donald trump. former president. Trump's actions preceded the riott a disgraceful disgraceful dereliction of duty. There's no question john. President trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about the people who storm this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions their president and having that believe was a foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statement conspiracy theories and reckless verbally which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet earth with police officers bleeding and broken glass covering capital floors he kept repeating election laws and praising the criminals president trump still in office. I would have carefully considered whether the house managers proved very specific charge by the criminal standard. The president's speech probably was an ought however however in the context of impeachment. The senate might have decided. This was acceptable shorthand for the reckless. That preceded the riot but in this case the question is moot because former president trump trump is constitutionally thought eligible for conviction that senate republican leader. Mitch mcconnell will soon after house speaker. Nancy pelosi criticized mcconnell for preventing the senate from holding a trial while trump was still an office in january. So for mitch mcconnell. Create the situation where it could not have been heard before the twentieth or even begun before the twenty eighth in the senate to say all the things he said. Oh my gosh about donald trump and how powerful he was and is and then say but the time that the democrat. The house shows to bring it over. No we didn't choose. You chose not to receive it house speaker. Nancy pelosi called mcconnell pathetic. She made this surprise appearance. At the house. Managers news conference after the senate acquitted. Donald trump meanwhile some republicans who voted to convict trump or all ready facing fallout the louisiana. Republican party has censured. Senator bill cassidy the north carolina. Republican party is voting today to censure. Richard burr the biggest surprise in the closing days of the trial centered on the question of calling witnesses. On friday night republican congresswoman arab hitler released a statement revealing that republican house leader kevin mccarthy had told her about a call he had with president trump amidst the january six insurrection. We're trump expressed support for the rioters. Trump reportedly told mccarthy. Well kevin i guess these people are more upset about the election. Then you are unquote. Kevin mccarthy then reportedly responded something. Like who the f do you think you're talking to on saturday. The house impeachment managers called for witnesses. A move that could prolong the trial by weeks or even months. The senate then voted to allow witnesses but after republicans threaten to call over a hundred witnesses the impeachment managers agree to forgo calling any if congresswoman statement could be put into the record as evidence it was we are joined. Now by bruce fine he was associate deputy attorney general and general counsel of federal communications commission under president reagan. He previously served as counsel to republicans on the drink congressional committee on covert arms sales to iran. He's a constitutional lawyer who testified on countless occasions before congress and author of the book american empire before the fall. Welcome to democracy. Now bruce fine. It's great to have you with us. Can you start by responding to the acquittal of donald j trump on saturday. I i think i would re characterize the nature of the charge. It wasn't insurrection. Against the capital alone it was a stab in the back of the united states constitution and two hundred and thirty years of unbroken peaceful transitions of presidential power. Because the purpose of the storming wasn't just to defile capital or even threaten lives. It was to prevent mike pence the vice president from executing his constitutional duty under the twelfth amendment and the electrical contact to count state certified electoral votes that would pronounce. Joe biden the winner by having captured a majority. It was an effort basically to destroy the rule of law and the constitution itself. It would put us in the same situation that russians fine with mr putin and his elections president z. In china that was what this was about. It wasn't some kind of garden variety just riot. It was an effort to undo two hundred and thirty years of heroic sacrifices of our founding fathers of those who fought at cemetery ridge omaha beach and otherwise that was what was at stake here And crab tries it as an is. I think vastly downplays the importance of the issue. The second thing that i want to underscore is that. It's conceptually wrong to think of impeachment as an after the fact sanction for me impeach mos designed as a prophylactic something that would prevent someone from remaining in office if they created a clear and present danger to our constitutional dispensation. And whatever else you can say about mr trump speeches and exhortations incendiary words whether or not they in fact caused the insurrection because they're surly evidence of some planning by some in advance. It clearly shows a huge danger to our constitutional system. Especially when you think about the background of this president saying on july twenty two thousand nineteen and the manner of a monarch then. I have article to where. I have the right to do anything i want as president and he was as good as his word he floated the constitution virtually daily. He turned the white house into a crime scene by hatch act violations in using government property employees to mode his twenty twenty campaign. He flouted congressional subpoenas for testimony and information. He issued executive orders in view of legislation. He continued unconstitutional. Wars on and on and on that is not a clear and present danger to our constitutional system. I don't know what it is and it really is quite frightening that now. We have a president pay precedent that says a president has the right to do anything he wants that he wishes to without sanction is no longer the rule of law. So i want to go to this issue of the witnesses. Let's go to the lead house. Impeachment manager congressman jamie raskin of maryland. Speaking on meet the press sunday defending the decision not to call witnesses during the trial. We have no regrets at all. We left it totally out there on the floor of the. Us senate and every senator knew exactly what happened. Just go back and listen to mcconnell speech. Everybody was convinced of the case. We put forward. But you know as the defense lawyer said. Just pick any one of these constitutional defenses and then you can justify it could be first amendment. You could be. It could be due process. All of them are nonsense. I thought that i successfully demolished them at the trial. But you know there's no reasoning with people who basically are acting like members of religious and when they leave office should be selling flowers dulles airport. So that's lead house impeachment manager. Jamie raskin bruce. Find your spots. I think jamie and he's a professional friend in at least a semi personal friend. I think he misconceived the nature of the audience of an impeachment trial. It's not just the senators. It's all the american people. Everyone who voted the president is a nationwide election and he needs to convince not only the senators. If this is going to work and have lasting effect he needed to have a case that convinced the american people. They don't live inside the beltway. Most of them don't and aren't immersed of this every day like he is in perhaps the senators and that was the need for the witnesses now. Also he overlooks the fact that the defense raised the issue that congresswoman butlers exchange with kevin mccarthy event. They argued that. Mr trump was calling for peace during the storming during the insurrection that he wanted them to stop. It's obviously not true. If mr mccarthy is correct and miss butler is and there's other evidence as well with the jamie raskin on this issue of butler. This was saturday before the impeachment. Trial concluded senators voting in favor of allowing witnesses which threatened to extend the proceedings. The development came after republican congress. Member came forward. We're talking about jamie butler about comments. Trump made during his assault to kevin mccarthy but last night congresswoman jaime herrera butler of washington state issued a statement confirming that in the middle of the insurrection when house minority leader kevin mccarthy called the president to beg for help. President trump responded and i quote. Well kevin i guess. These people are more upset about the election. Then you are. Needless to say this is a an additional critical piece of corroborating evidence for that reason and because this is the proper time to do so under the resolution that the senate adopted to set the rules for the trial we would like the opportunity to subpoena congresswoman her rarer so their request by the house and patron managers to introduce new. Witnesses prompted this tense debate between the lead house impeachment manager. Jamie raskin and trump defense attorney. Michael vander veen. The only thing that i ask if you vote for witnesses do not handcuffed me. By limiting the number of witnesses that i can have only one person. The president's council really needs to interview and that's their own client and bring him forward as we suggested last week because a lot of this is matters that are in his head. Why did he not act to defend the country after he learned of the attack. Why was he continuing to press the political case. This piece of evidence is relevant to that for the house managers to say we need depositions about things that happened after. It's not just not true but if he does. There are a lot of depositions that need to be happened and not zoom. None of these depositions should be done by zoom. We didn't do this. Hearing by zoom these depositions should be done in person in my office in philadelphia. That's where they should be done. Yes neko vander. Veen is a personal injury lawyer in philadelphia who actually sued donald trump. Last year he filed a lawsuit against trump accusing him of making repeated claims. That mail voting is ripe with fraud despite having no evidence in support of these claims that just a side note but if you can talk about this Interaction and then the attorney. The house impeachment energy getting the right to have witnesses and then going back on it not wanting to extend the trial well. This is my deduction having spent most of my life here in washington. Dc approaching fifty years. It may sound cynical. But i think the democrats in some sense did not want a conviction which would relieve mr mcconnell and his cohorts who were opposed to mr trump of the headache for four years trying to confront a very divided and splintered republican party because the conviction clearly would have been followed by a vote to disqualify mr trump from the twenty twenty four presidential elections. And that would mean he would be out of the republican party in politics probably and now the republicans are the ones that are facing. The headache is your show. Already indicated those who voted in favor of conviction already confronting central votes back home clear clear divisions in the party because otherwise i think what happened is that even though mr raskin and the other house managers wanted witnesses. I think the leadership chuck schumer and nancy pelosi made a different political calculation. And said why should we do that. we probably won't get a conviction anyway. Let's just leave. Mitch mcconnell and And liz cheney to fight their own battle internet's in warfare and we'll move forward and have better prospects for re election in twenty twenty four because otherwise it makes no sense for jamie raskin on the one hand to ask for witnesses after he had earlier. Asked that mr trump be a witness and then turn around and accept something. That's no witnesses at all. After he had only engaged with the defense counsel nothing more and his argument. I say that well. They already had the evidence if that were true. Then why did he even ask for adding the statement of congresswoman butler So i think this was a deal that was cut at the top levels between the democratic leadership believing let the republicans be at each other's throats for next four years and there was a lot of talk about for example. Chris coons who is considered one of the biden whispers the senator from his home state of delaware walking in on the house managers in saying the jury is ready to vote which was sort of sending message that biden wanted to move on wanted to deal with covert relief and other things that concern that mitch. Mcconnell could somehow Say that if the trial is going to continue wouldn't allow any other senate work to happen which prevent essential. Bill is like that for moving forward. But i wanted to ask you about what's next for trump. You have a number of possible criminal investigations The manhattan day probe of trump's finances the lanna. Da probe of trump election schemes. Like interfering with the secretary of state demanding to find more than eleven thousand votes The georgia secretary of state probe of trump's calls. And then you have in dc both the attorney general and the dc us attorney Possible incitement of violence charge around that. Very january six insurrection. Civilly you've got the new york. Attorney general investigating the trump organization. You've got the to defamation suits against trump for abusing and in one case raping women gene carols defamation lawsuit and some reserve osas defamation lawsuit will the most i believe important. is the potential for federal criminal prosecution Under the incitement of insurrection prohibition for those who are interested it's in title eighteen. Us code twenty three Twenty eight forty three. It provides as a punishment for having incited insurrection to prevent the execution of the laws of the united states including properly counting electoral votes a disqualification from holding future office in the united states And that would be the equivalent of the same punishment that would have ensued if he was convicted of an impeachable offense. Now the big issue is going to be. The resolution of joe biden has new attorney. General merrick garland to pursue that. This issue of moving forward on mr trump is not can be made by low level civil servants in the department of justice. It's going to be made it the highest levels. And i'm worried because if i think back about president obama coming in on the heels of mr bush and stating and his attorney general stating oh yes. The enhanced interrogation program was torture which is an international law crime as well as a crime under us law and they did absolutely nothing to pursue those who conceded they were doing waterboarding hundreds of times that was defined by mr obama and torney general air colder as torture And the politics is going to at least says threatens to interfere with the obligation to do justice which i think would be a tragedy because after all the law lives by precedents and if we don't have accountability for this terrible terrible gentleman mr trump who basically wanted to turn the country back to a monarchy. Then that precedent will lie around like loaded weapon ready to be used by any other successor in the white house to destroy the country completely and say well. I'm just doing what mr trump did. He got away with no double standards for me. They have to look beyond the politics of the moment to our sturdy. So they can inherit freedom liberty Government by the consent of the governed as we did because our forefathers also made sacrifices for the long term rather than their immediate self interest. Finally a bruce fine. The ap reports bipartisan support appears to be growing for an independent september eleventh style commission into the deadly insurrection that took place the us capital. And let's just say seven people died Not only The police officer the capitol police officer sick nick but two officers also took their own lives. Afterwards that's the total seven but what about this independent commission and what that would mean. Well there's nothing in concept that i would oppose about an independent commission but i think it's too slow and moreover the constitution crates the independent commissions. It's called the congress of the united states where every members sworn to uphold and defend the constitution. We didn't need an independent commission to investigate watergate. It was able to be done fairly. The american people sought. We saw the witnesses. They have the subpoena power have more authority than it commission. Because congress unknown to most members and the american people has the authority to detain people. If they don't appear in response to subpoenas they can find people they don't need to go to court and wait our. After years day after day year after year in litigation and the watergate is the model. We need to have the congress. They need to be accountable for the decisions witnesses. We've gone too long. Congress runs fleas away from any decision that requires them to be accountable for their actions. Just as we witnessed on the impeachment vote where we had some members like senator. Thom tillis saying well. He should be convicted because he committed a crime but didn't vote. Because i don't want to have to confront the voters. That's not acceptable. If you don't want to comply with your oath to uphold defend the constitution. Don't serve in congress though i said finally one more. Is it possible that still the congress could vote to prevent donald trump from running for federal office. It was always said after the senate trial if he were convicted by two thirds. Vote which he wasn't he was short by. They were short ten votes then a majority could vote to strip him of the right to run but is there still a chance. They could invoke the fourteenth amendment. And do that. No you're referencing. Section three of the fourteenth amendment. That clearly would be a bill of attaining the precise issues that you've described amy was raised right after the civil war and its case in the. Us supreme court card ex party garland where the congress sought to prevent anyone who had engaged in the Confederate states the union from practicing law and the supreme court said. You're clearly trying to impose punishment that can be only done with the trappings of due process in a court of law. It can't be done by legislative decree. The constitution's prohibition of on bill would prohibit going down that path. Well i wanna thank you. For being with us bruce. Fine associate deputy attorney general at the fcc. Under president reagan he previously served as counsel to republicans and the joint congressional committee on covert arms sales to iran constitutional lawyers test find countless occasions before congress author of american empire. The fall next up is the us death. Toll from covid nineteen approaches. Half a million new report says nearly forty percent of those who died. Those deaths were avoidable. Stay with us my spanish heart by the legendary jazz pianist and composer. Chick corea chick. Corea died on february ninth at the age of seventy nine. This is democracy now democracy now dot org the quarantine report. I'm amy goodman as the us. Death toll from covid nineteen approaches. Half a million new report says nearly forty percent of those deaths were avoidable. The medical journal the lancet came to this conclusion. By comparing the pandemic in the united states with other high income g seven nations like britain. France and canada. The findings are including a report by the lancet commission on public policy and health. And the trump era that faults. Trump's quote inept an insufficient response to covid nineteen as well as decades of destructive public policy decisions. One of the reports recommendations is a single payer reform like medicare for all that would quote cover all residents under a single federally financed plan providing comprehensive coverage unquote. President biden has so far rejected medicare for all saying instead. He wants to bolster the affordable care act with more subsidies house. Democrats proposed a bill last week. That would boost subsidies for people who buy plans to the marketplace. Biden's already signed an executive order to reopen enrollment on healthcare dot gov starting today february fifteenth through eighth fifteenth for more we're joined by one of the lead authors of this new report on public policy and health in the trump era. Dr mary bassett is the director of the f. Xp center for health and human rights at harvard university. She's also the former new york city health commissioner where she served from two thousand fourteen to eighteen before that she lived in. Zimbabwe for nearly two decades was on the medical faculty the university of zimbabwe. Dr set welcome to democracy. Now it's great to have you with us. Can you start off by talking about the findings of your lancet study. Thanks very much for having me. We're really pleased to to release this report. Which began with work as the simply commission began in two thousand seventeen the four years of trump's policies which were destructive in many ways that affected health that had been displayed by the us response to covid nineteen. But as you say we went back. Further forty years of bad policies that embrace the marketplace as the way to determine how we organize ourselves as a society and then went back four hundred years to the foundational impact of in slave labor and the embrace of white supremacy. So we do in fact recommend single payer health insurance is the best way to assure health care coverage is available for all of course. Mr trump tried to reverse affordable care act and failed at doing that but the portable care act still left millions of people. Twenty eight twenty nine million people without healthcare insurance coverage and single payer would address the of course there are interim steps that will be helpful. Not only a reopening the marketplaces president biden has done but trying to encourage the states. That declined medicaid expansion. The principal way in which healthcare coverage was extended under the affordable. Care act The state said be declined. Medicaid expansion should accept it. It's a no cost to them and it would greatly increase both the number of people who are covered and address racial disparities. Because it's mainly southern states. That have declined medicaid expansion. I wanted to ask you about the comparisons of the united states. To other countries like britain now the uk has done very poorly overall with With cove it. And you know they've got the variant. It's really through the population but when it comes to vaccines they vaccinated at least the first shot. Fifteen million people which is astounding. It's far more than many countries of europe combined. Now one of the things. They attribute their success to and that's vaccination program is their national health service. They have soldiers They have volunteers. Various people Firefighters who are injecting the vaccines and they are using the entire country. They're using stadiums and cathedrals race tracks mosques fire stations because they have a national coordinated approach which is possible because they have a national health care system. If you can talk about how what has happened. In the united states has exposed the catastrophic problems with having such a patchwork system that for so long in this country has clearly just benefited wealthier americans. You're ride the ability to dispense and administer. The vaccine is greatly enhanced by a centralized system such as the uk has and the us has privatized fragmented system. We have had until the biden administration no national policy guidance so that you have different jurisdictions that are doing different things and the result has been really chaotic. It's getting better. but it explains why the. Us has been unable to deliver highly effective vaccine that it has developed mostly with with public funding to the population. A fragmented system can't identify. The people need to be accelerated has to rely on people finding their way. All of this is something that in a central nationally supported. Healthcare system doesn't have to deal with so this is where the healthcare system really comes out as a problem but our vulnerability to this novel virus. We only was related to broader societal failures. Not only to our health system but also to the fact that too many people work low wage jobs where they lack labor projections too. Many people can get affordable housing living credit circumstances. That's what allowed the virus to spread so exponentially but now we have an effective vaccine and our system is really challenged and delivering it. Because it's private driven by profit and totally fragmented so let me remind people what joe biden said. When he was running for president he was asked by. Msnbc's lawrence o'donnell what he would do with houston elected president and congress center medicare for all legislation to his desk. I would three anything. That delays providing security and the certainty of healthcare being available. Now got through by some miracle and there is an epiphany kurt. Miracle curtis said okay. It's passed then. You gotta look at the cost. I wanna know. How did they find thirty five trillion dollars. What is that. don't raise taxes on the middle class. Which will what's gonna happen. I look my position as the principle that visitor should be should have medicare. i mean everybody. Healthcare should be right in america. My opposition relates to whether or not aged doable to what the cost is what the consequences for the rest of the budget. Dr so to be fair here. This is before the pandemic. it's in the middle of march. Almost a year ago now. Kamala harris has endorsed medicare for all and this goes to the issue. Dr basset of movements. You participated in panels for example with reverend william barber where you talk about the importance of movements that scientists are not outside of society. I mean there's a reaction right now the way trump was so anti-science that we just need the facts. But can you talk about what it would mean a year later. Would this massive catastrophe that is the pandemic for the movement for medicare for all. Do you think this is the moment. After all biden did leave an opening he said. Is it doable. And how much does it cost. Well how much has the pandemic cost us right. The pandemic is measured clearly and trillions of dollars in terms of economic costs and and The many preventable lives loss. We have submitted one hundred. Sixty thousand people wouldn't have died if we simply did as well as the median of the other wealthy nations in the group of seven. So this is something which i hope will help spur movement and we've seen a massive outpouring of anger and rejection of the racial hierarchy in the united states. And this is part of that movement is to ensure house for all people of color blocks slap nex. People of indigenous descent are much less likely to have Adequate access to healthcare so this movement for healthcare for all which. I can't imagine anyone would disagree with is something that should be bred brace by the broader social movements. I've seen it as a really promising time. We'd pay much too high price not to try and not just do what we used to do But have a better society which guarantees more access to all the things that we need for a healthy life. Can i ask you about your experience. Twenty years almost in zimbabwe. The growing concerns over the global inequity and vaccine distribution duke university health researcher entry of taylor told the washington post remains to a large degree as zero sum game which means dose that goes to the us or the uk. Ernie you country is a dose. That's off the shelves and shelves. Aren't going to be restocked for a while. Let's talk about who gets vaccines who doesn't and what it means what we've learned from the pandemic of one person sick anywhere. We are all threatened. That's exactly right amy. We have a highly contagious. Virus spreads to the air has affected every country and just one year with massive mortality impact. So the fact that the wealthy nations have have not attended to the need for vaccination coverage in the developing world particularly in africa. is a risk to all of us the. Who said just a couple of weeks ago. That only twenty. Four axle nations had been administered by government sector in africa to four. So this obviously is risk to all of us thankfully the biden administration has rejoined kovacs the vaccination facility of the world health organization. But this is a chance for the united states to regain global leadership by making a commitment toback seen access everywhere not just for our citizens because that won't protect us if all of us are vaccinated and the virus contents to mutate and spread and other New strains we will have challenges to our vaccine we need the whole world to be back sedated and the boa break we're beginning to see in for example. Guinea believed it was radically aided in the world. What this means in congo and guinea evolve has been coming back year after year for decades. Now we had this terribly lethal outbreak about five years ago because it reached the city's buddy boba. We'll keep coming. I hope he can go for with the vaccination for that as well and finally. I wanted to get your comment on this controversy in new york around the deaths in nursing homes. You were new york city commissioner of health and i want to ask you about these allegations. That new york governor andrew cuomo covered up the true death toll of the pandemic on nursing home residents under reporting the statewide number of cova deaths. Among long-term care residents for months now stands at nearly fifteen thousand up from the eighty five hundred. They previously reported the higher death. Toll only revealed after report by democratic state attorney general letitia james on the administration's failure to include nursing home residents in the reports of people who died at hospitals. Can you respond to this. I haven't kept up. With the details of clearly. Nursing homes were placed of initials spread and it matters where people got infected. Not only where they died. So the fact that the data weren't available in a transparent parent. Fashion is a problem. We need to know how important being a resident in a nursing home was to the risk of getting cove it and we know that elders are very high risk of dying of So those data should be available. We need data transparency and that is something that should be embraced every jurisdiction at something that the biden administration has talked about And it doesn't seem to have been the case in new york. It matters not only where people died but where they got back to. Doctor mary bassett. We want to thank you for being with us former new york city commissioner of health now the director of the fx be center for health and human rights at harvard university. One of the lead author of the lancet report will link to public policy and health in the trump era. Remember wearing a mask is an act of love where to democracy now is produced by an amazing group of people. I wanna thank renate felts and mike burke as special birthday. Greetings to brendan alan. I me goodman. Thanks for joining us.