March 24, 2023 - PBS NewsHour full episode
03/24/2023 | 57m 46s | Video has closed captioning.
March 24, 2023 - PBS NewsHour full episode
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03/24/2023 | 57m 46s | Video has closed captioning.
March 24, 2023 - PBS NewsHour full episode
Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning
AMNA NAWAZ: Good evening, and welcome.
I'm Amna Nawaz.
Geoff Bennett is away.
On the "NewsHour" tonight: President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau announce an immigration deal to address the growing number of asylum-seekers entering Canada from the United States.
House Republicans push a controversial bill that would give parents more control over school curricula.
And a shortage of an asthma medication is expected to worsen after one of only two U.S. manufacturers shuts down.
ANGELA FOLGER, Director of Pharmacy, Nemours Children's Hospital: We really need additional manufacturers to step up and start adding this to their portfolio, so that we are not reliant on a single source for medications that we need for our patients.
(BREAK) AMNA NAWAZ: Good evening, and welcome to the "NewsHour."
The United States and Iran have come to blows again.
American airstrikes hit targets in Eastern Syria overnight.
The strikes focused on Deir el-Zour and near the towns of Mayadin and Bukamal, aiming at groups linked with Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
The Pentagon says it was retaliation after an Iranian-made drone killed a U.S. contractor and wounded six other Americans.
GEN. PATRICK RYDER, Pentagon Press Secretary: We don't see escalation with Iran, but the strikes that we took last night were intended to send a very clear message that we will take the protection of our personnel seriously and that will respond quickly and decisively if they're threatened.
AMNA NAWAZ: Tonight, Syrian human rights monitors reported new airstrikes after rockets were fired at a base housing American forces.
And, in Canada, President Biden said the U.S. military will do what's needed to safeguard its 900 troops in Northeastern Syria.
French President Emmanuel Macron insisted today he won't be deterred from raising the retirement age to 64, despite the worst street violence in years.
Trouble erupted overnight after a day of largely peaceful protests.
Today, crews in Paris sifted through damage in the wake of street battles between anarchists and police, but Macron vowed to press on.
EMMANUEL MACRON, French President (through translator): In the face of violence, which I distinguish from the protests, we continue to be extremely firm.
I assure the police of my support, who did an exemplary job.
As to everything else, we continue to move forward.
The country deserves it and needs it.
AMNA NAWAZ: The protests today forced Britain's King Charles to postpone a state visit scheduled to start on Sunday.
France has also announced it will ban TikTok from government devices, the latest nation to do so.
The hugely popular video sharing app is under fire for its ties to China amid rising cyber security concerns.
The U.S. and other countries have moved toward similar restrictions.
The attorney general of Israel warned today that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is breaking a conflict of interest law.
She said he's barred from pushing to overhaul the courts while on trial for corruption.
On Thursday, Netanyahu said he's going ahead.
In a letter today, the attorney general said - - quote -- "Your statement last night and any action you take in violation of this matter is illegal."
Paul Rusesabagina has been released from custody and will leave Rwanda soon.
That's after the government there commuted his sentence.
The former hotel manager saved hundreds of people in the 1994 genocide, inspiring the film "Hotel Rwanda."
But, in 2021, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for terrorism after accusing Rwanda's president of human rights abuses.
In Ukraine, a new round of Russian air attacks killed at least 10 civilians today and wounded 20 more.
Missiles, exploding drones and artillery struck sites across Southern and Eastern Ukraine.
Among the targets hit, an aid station where five refugees died.
Meanwhile, the U.N. Human Rights Office issued a report detailing killings and torture of prisoners of war on both sides.
MATILDA BOGNER, Head of U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine: We are deeply concerned about the summary execution of up to 25 Russian prisoners of war and persons hors de combat by Ukrainian armed forces.
We are also deeply concerned by the summary execution of 15 Ukrainian prisoners of war shortly after being captured by Russian armed forces.
AMNA NAWAZ: The U.N. documentation could be used in possible trials at the International Criminal Court or other tribunals.
Back in this country, Kentucky's Democratic Governor Andy Beshear vetoed a Republican bill focused on transgender children.
It would ban gender-affirming care for those under the age of 18 and restrict school bathrooms.
The Republican-dominated legislature passed the bill by veto-proof margins and could vote next week on overriding the veto.
Public schools in Los Angeles reopened today after a three-day strike by teachers aides, bus drivers and others.
Up to 30,000 union members walked out this week to demand higher pay and teachers honored the picket lines.
It's unclear if negotiators made any progress during the strike.
And, on Wall Street, stocks managed small advances,despite ongoing worries about the banking industry.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 132 points to close at 32237.
The Nasdaq rose 36 points.
The S&P 500 added 22.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart weigh in on the week's political headlines; a collector of memories reflects on the U.S. invasion of Iraq 20 years later; a husband and wife team in rural Indiana use art to combat consumerism and waste; plus much more.
On his first presidential trip to Canada, President Biden met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and the duo announced a Northern border deal to address the growing number of migrants crossing from the U.S. into Canada.
In 2022, Canada saw some 40,000 crossings at unofficial points of entry, the highest number in five years.
Most of those were at Roxham Road in Upstate New York, where the crossing into Quebec has become the busiest route for asylum seekers.
The deal allows Canada to turn away people at irregular entry points like Roxham and send them back to the United States.
Canada also pledged to welcome some 15,000 Central American migrants through legal pathways.
President Biden spoke about the deal in a speech to Canada's Parliament today.
JOE BIDEN, President of the United States: I applaud Canada for stepping up with similar programs, opening new legal pathways for 1,500 migrants to come to Canada from countries in the Western Hemisphere.
At the same time, the United States and Canada will work together to discourage unlawful border crossings and fully implement and -- the updated safe third country agreement.
Welcoming refugees and seeking -- asylum-seekers is a part of who Canadians and Americans are.
AMNA NAWAZ: Watching all this closely is Abdulla Daoud.
He's the executive director of The Refugee Center in Montreal.
His group has been working with migrants who've crossed the border into Canada.
Abdulla Daoud, welcome, and thanks for joining us.
Let's start with the impact of that agreement announced today.
How big a change is this in terms of how migrants are usually processed and handled when they come into Canada?
ABDULLA DAOUD, Executive Director, The Refugee Center: I mean, thanks for having me.
But, yes, I mean, it's a big, big change.
Like you said, we usually encounter about 40,000 individuals this past year in 2022.
And now that we're seeing the number reduced to 15,000, it's kind of scary.
These individuals are seeking safety here in Canada and seeking asylum in Canada.
They're going to try to come in whichever way they can.
So it is a big change and it's a very fearful change.
AMNA NAWAZ: What about the part of the deal on which Canada it says they will open up additional legal pathways for some 15,000 people to arrive from we know some of those South and Central American countries where we have been seeing a large amount of migration.
What do you make of that?
ABDULLA DAOUD: I mean, it's a very small step, like I said, 15,000 compared to the 40,000 that we just had this -- in this past year.
And it's also just from the Western Hemisphere.
So, if we're looking at the majority of individuals that come in, there's a lot of individuals who come from Afghanistan, who come in from Libya, from Yemen, from West Africa.
So, it is a diverse mix of individuals who are seeking safety.
It's -- there's kind of global disorder right now, and a lot of individuals are trying to migrate to safer areas because they are facing persecution.
So, I don't think it's well-thought-out.
I think it's kind of a knee-jerk reaction to kind of the politicization of the topic lately.
AMNA NAWAZ: When you talk to these folks, these families that you deal with, you work with there, what do they tell you about why they're deciding to try and come to Canada in particular?
What is it that draws them there?
ABDULLA DAOUD: I think Canada does have this reputation that it does welcome refugees and it does welcome asylum-seekers.
And they do believe that they actually have a chance at due process and being heard here.
I think that's the most important part.
Individuals don't feel that they have that same safety in the United States.
So, they believe that their best chance to actually seek safety and have their stories heard and provide the actual evidence that they can is in Canada.
This is why they're choosing Canada.
AMNA NAWAZ: And what about your immigration system?
I mean, we have seen here in the United States the system has been really taxed, pushed to its limits, when we have seen the same increase of people arriving at the U.S. Southern border.
And, like many nations, Canada is now seeing a dramatic rise in the number of people seeking asylum there.
How has your system been able to handle it?
ABDULLA DAOUD: Just like any system, of course, it's a little bit of a strain, but it's nothing that we cannot handle.
So, if you just look at this past year, we accepted over 150,000 Ukrainians as refugees into the country.
And our infrastructure was able to accommodate that.
So, from the about 90,000 to 92,000 individuals that did claim this past year through all ports of entry, whether irregular or regular, we were able to accommodate that as well, obviously, with some more investment and some more help.
But, in general, it's not a number that is unheard of.
It is an increase, but we can accommodate it, and we can create obstacles, and we can actually create infrastructures and systems to accommodate more.
So, this kind of response, I think, is a bit fearful, because just as a lot of historical examples have shown us, when we are restricting migration patterns and we don't create enough of a breathing room for regularized migration patterns, people resort to different means.
And bad actors and bad-faith actors might come into play where you can see human smuggling or human trafficking come into play here as well.
AMNA NAWAZ: U.S. and Canadian officials say they think agreements like this will help to discourage unlawful migration.
Do you agree with that?
ABDULLA DAOUD: I don't think so.
I think as -- I think it would be a pretty bad deterrent policy.
I think individuals are coming here to seek safety, no matter what, by any means necessary.
So, this is our fear, and this is what the community organizations and human rights advocacy groups have been echoing, is, we don't want bad-faith actors coming here and take advantage of these people in precarious situations by smuggling them in.
Allowing more regularized pathways to migration with higher numbers that actually reflect migration patterns is a better solution.
So, 15,000, while we only had 40,000 this past year, I don't think is a good move forward.
AMNA NAWAZ: As you know, Mr. Trudeau's government pledged to increase immigration.
They welcomed arriving refugees from Syria with open arms.
And Canada is always seen as a welcoming place for arriving populations.
Do you think that this increase you're seeing now, the politics of this moment, as you referenced, do you think that change -- or you will see that change in Canada in terms of that welcoming spirit?
ABDULLA DAOUD: No, I don't think so.
I think that the spirit of the people is very strong.
I think everyone here is very welcoming towards refugees.
I think there's politicization of this particular topic.
And with the wrong policy, people can polarize it.
So we're hopeful that the correct policy moves forward and we do increase numbers in a more regularized fashion.
And I think that will continue our current welcoming spirit.
But I think these increased numbers, again, like I said, like I just said, it's just election of the sad state of affairs of the world today.
So, 15,000, I think, is a drop in the bucket.
We can definitely do more.
And we hope that there is a current challenge to the safe third country agreement in court today.
And we hope that the challenge goes through.
AMNA NAWAZ: That is Abdulla Daoud, executive director of The Refugee Center in Montreal.
Thank you for joining us.
ABDULLA DAOUD: Thank you for having me.
AMNA NAWAZ: Today, the U.S. House stepped into the fiery debate about kids and classrooms, passing a bill that Republicans say protects parents' rights in every school district, but opponents call a dangerous move in a culture war Our Lisa Desjardins reports.
PROTESTERS: Shame on you!
LISA DESJARDINS: For years flaring.
WOMAN: We can't trust that you would actually listen to us.
You have obviously got a fully formed opinion, LISA DESJARDINS: And sometimes roaring.
Debates over schools and kids have now reached the U.S. Capitol.
REP. AARON BEAN (R-FL): Should parents have the right to be involved in their child's education?
That is the question before us.
REP. MAXWELL FROST (D-FL): But what about the rights of our students?
What about the rights of our young people.
Why are my Republican colleagues not advocating for our students?
LISA DESJARDINS: Where House Republicans passed what they call a priority bill.
WOMAN: The bill is passed.
LISA DESJARDINS: It is H.R.5 called the Parents Bill of Rights.
It would require that parents be allowed to see curriculum plans, lists of materials and can look at any available books, also that they will be told about school budgets and any incidents of violence.
Republicans say this is simple.
It comes out of years of COVID lockdowns and parents sidelining that led to tension and this, a Department of Justice notice in 2021 about threats to teachers and school boards.
Some parents felt they were labeled as the threat.
REP. CORY MILLS (R-FL): These parents are not to be labeled as domestic terrorists.
They are proud parents.
LISA DESJARDINS: But the debate shows this is also a political and cultural battle with much deeper layers to it.
REP. GLENN GROTHMAN (R-WI): There is this hostility to traditional values that is seeping into the public schools today.
LISA DESJARDINS: And, in response, deep opposition to this from some parents.
PROTESTER: No on H.R.5!
PROTESTERS: No on H.R.5!
LISA DESJARDINS: These parents from a group called the National Parents Union believe the bill could harm their kids with a chilling effect on what they can read.
PROTESTER: We got Minnesota.
We got Illinois.
We have New Jersey.
LISA DESJARDINS: They came from across the country to say it misses the real issues in their schools.
Jillian Rainingbird is here from Kansas City, Missouri, because she sees increased violence and kids, especially kids of color, failed by schools and resource issues.
A mom, including of one child with disabilities, she thinks this bill is a dangerous distraction.
JILLIAN RAININGBIRD, National Parents Union: It's devastating to our to our communities that our kids can't read.
But yet and still we want to debate what books are going to be taken out of the curriculum.
If the kids can't read, why does it even matter anyway?
So let's quit playing with us.
Let's start focusing on the real meat and potatoes, and that's about student and family success.
LISA DESJARDINS: But others disagree, like the mom who sponsored this bill, Representative Julia Letlow, and parents who joined her and Speaker McCarthy at an event last month.
STACEY WHOMSLEY, Board Member, West Chester Area School District: Hi.
My name is Stacey Whomsley.
I'm a resident of Westchester, Pennsylvania.
LISA DESJARDINS: Whomsley is a mom who ran and won a seat on her local school board after her own experience left her feeling shut out by school officials.
STACEY WHOMSLEY: To have my advocacy for my children characterized as some political ploy was really -- it was really hurtful.
LISA DESJARDINS: Whomsley says the Republican bill is also mischaracterized and is not about banning anything.
STACEY WHOMSLEY: It doesn't say, this book is good, this book is bad, you can say this word, you can't say that word.
What it says, what it affirms is that parents have a right to know what is being taught.
LISA DESJARDINS: At the Capitol, though... MAN: General debate shall be confined to the bill.
LISA DESJARDINS: ... most controversial has been a part of the bill requiring that teachers notify parents if students are being treated as transgender.
Republicans say that addresses parent fears of being in the dark.
REP. VIRGINIA FOXX (R-NC): Our bill insurance commonsense transparency for parents of children to reflect these concerns.
LISA DESJARDINS: But Democrats say that is dangerous for kids.
REP. ANGIE CRAIG (D-MN): This is about MAGA Republicans who want to start a fake culture war targeting some of the most vulnerable kids in America in our kids' classroom.
Shame on you.
LISA DESJARDINS: All of this comes with its own civics lesson about parents with the same ardent motivation, but in completely separate conversations.
ANASHAY WRIGHT, National Parents Union: This could be a unique opportunity to bring us together.
But it could just keep pushing us apart, because we are not listening.
We hear each other talking, but we're not listening.
LISA DESJARDINS: House Republicans celebrated the bill's passage today.
But it is not expected to move in the Senate.
To talk about what this means for families and in politics is Jennifer Berkshire.
She's a journalist who co-host the education podcast "Have You Heard" and is co-author of "A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door" about the future of public education.
Jen, let's start by just -- let's just take the politicians out for a second.
What do we know about where Americans are on this issue of parents and schools?
JENNIFER BERKSHIRE, Co-Author, "A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School": Well, one thing we know is that the polls have been remarkably consistent over the past couple of years, that parents and Americans across the board -- and I am talking about both political parties, which, as you know, is so unusual right now -- opposition to anything having to do with book bans and limits on what teachers can teach and kids can learn is broad and deep.
And I think people might be really surprised to hear that, because you probably think that these laws that keep popping up are -- they must be in response to popular demand.
And that actually is not the case.
LISA DESJARDINS: I want to take apart sort of the two sides of this.
And, first, I want to check in with the parents driving this idea.
Is there knowledge that you have, what do we know about the idea that parents in this country are getting blocked out?
What is happening there with school systems?
JENNIFER BERKSHIRE: So, first of all, I think it's really important to acknowledge just how awful the pandemic was for everyone, but for parents in particular.
And so I think it would be a big mistake for us to just write off this movement as Astroturf or the product just of politicians who want to stir the pot in order to reap political gold.
There's definitely something going on.
But it's also the case that the longer we see this movement, as we watch it evolve, the causes keep morphing, and the demands get more and more extreme.
And so, whereas there was initially quite a lot of support for things like, say, reopening schools, or greater parent involvement in schools, now, more and more, as we see those demands start to translate into things like banning particular books, or focusing so much attention on trans kids in particular, you see public opinion in favor of that movement diminish.
LISA DESJARDINS: And that's what I want to ask about, because this bill that was passed in the House, we don't think it's going to go much farther.
But this bill doesn't have a book ban in it.
But the opponents say that this is part of conservatives especially using the phrase parental rights to push opposition and even shut out some things that those parents oppose, like books.
What do you make of that?
Is this sort of a behind-the-scenes push?
Are these things connected?
Or is there no connection?
JENNIFER BERKSHIRE: I thought it was really interesting that you heard so many Republican leaders get really defensive about precisely that question.
And that's because they know that, for more and more Americans, the parents' rights cause is getting harder and harder to distinguish from these unpopular book bans.
And one thing that we should really remember is that there were a lot of politicians who ran on the parents' rights cause during the midterms, and they did not do well, where you saw -- we saw Republicans win when they were up for reelection when they were reaching out to the base.
But as far as an issue that galvanized suburban women, in particular, the parents' rights cause was a failure.
And I think you hear that in these concerns of leaders on Capitol Hill, who are worried that what they thought was going to be this cause that lured independents or suburban women is now coming to be seen as something actually extreme and unpopular.
LISA DESJARDINS: I noticed something when I was reporting this story that I wasn't looking for, but it was hard to ignore.
If you look at these photos, the one on the left is a photo of Speaker McCarthy and the supporters of this parents' rights bill.
Now, on the right, you see the opponents in the picture I took with them yesterday.
There's a clear difference between these two groups.
On the left, you see the supporters, mostly white -- appear to be white families.
On the right, you see those who appear to be almost entirely people of color.
It made me wonder, what is the role in race here?
Is there one?
JENNIFER BERKSHIRE: Absolutely, there's a role.
So many of the earliest iterations of these bills limiting what teachers can teach and kids can learn more focused on race.
And I think that those -- that picture you just showed is so striking, and that part of the -- part of the reason that we're seeing the popularity of the cause drop is precisely that -- precisely because of that, that I could point you to one state after another where some kind of restrictive law has been passed, and there is a version of the picture on the left that looks exactly like that.
Why is it always -- why are the kids always white?
What is going on?
And I think there is a strong element in a race playing into this that people are definitely picking up on.
LISA DESJARDINS: One last quick question.
Is this issue a fad, or is this an issue that you think will be here a long time?
JENNIFER BERKSHIRE: Actually, this is not the first time we have seen parents' rights emerge as an issue.
And when it came up in the '90s, one of the reasons that lost support and withered away was precisely what we're seeing now.
The more people get a clearer sense that something that sounds good in the abstract, giving parents more say, too easily translates into banning particular books or limiting what kids in a whole school have access to, the less they like it.
LISA DESJARDINS: Jennifer Berkshire, a conversation I know so many of our viewers are interested in and we will continue to have.
JENNIFER BERKSHIRE: Thank you so much for having me.
AMNA NAWAZ: Health care systems and hospitals across the country are grappling with a nationwide shortage of the asthma medication albuterol.
Stephanie Sy looks at who's affected and what's being done about it.
STEPHANIE SY: Liquid albuterol is commonly used in emergency departments as a quick-relief breathing treatment for several chronic lung diseases, such as asthma, COPD, COVID-19, RSV, and pneumonia.
It's been on the FDA's short supply list since October.
And last month, Akorn Pharmaceuticals, the primary U.S. manufacturer of liquid albuterol, filed for bankruptcy and closed operations.
We spoke to two people who are already feeling the impact.
ANGELA FOLGER, Director of Pharmacy, Nemours Children's Hospital: I'm Angela Folger.
I am the director of pharmacy at Nemours Children's Hospital in Florida.
This shortage has been significant.
Obviously, working in a pediatric hospital, we use quite a bit of albuterol.
We have quite a few asthma patients.
SAMANTHA EDDINS, Mother: I'm Samantha Eddins.
I live in Lincoln, Nebraska.
I'm a mom of three.
And two are on vents.
They are born at 24 weeks gestation via C-section.
They get four treatments a day between the two of them, so they get one in the morning and one at night before bed.
It's an albuterol sulfate concentration.
And we just do it through like a nebulizer machine.
But they have special attachments that they can attach it to their ventilator circuit to make the ventilator push it into their lungs.
ANGELA FOLGER: We have switched almost all of our patients to the more dilute product, which is still effective, still works well.
But on the pharmacy side of that, it created some challenges for our patients that require a continuous albuterol treatment, so our most sick asthmatic patients that require that.
SAMANTHA EDDINS: Last month, they only give me a month's supply.
So between the time that I had used their last one to the time that they ordered the new one to get into the pharmacy, I had to dip into my personal stash to give them their meds, so just so that they can do that overlap between I don't have any to I have some.
They get it twice a day, and we go through it twice as fast as like a normal, typical family would.
ANGELA FOLGER: We are seeing an increase in flu.
We are having still some COVID patients.
We are seeing a significant increase in RSV.
And all of those patients require albuterol.
I think we really need additional manufacturers to step up and start adding this to their portfolio, so that we're not reliant on a single source for the medication that we need for our patients.
STEPHANIE SY: The FDA says they are working closely with manufacturers to address the shortage.
Dr. Juanita Mora an allergist and immunologist in Chicago and national spokesperson for the American Lung Association.
Dr. Mora, thank you for joining us.
As you just heard, albuterol is used commonly to treat very young children because they can't use those inhalers.
Are you concerned about how the shortage of liquid albuterol is affecting that age group in particular?
DR. JUANITA MORA, American Lung Association: Very concerned, because we're talking about 25 million asthmatics in the United States, 20 million COPDers.
You add the long-haul COVID, and we just came out of a brutal respiratory viral season, where we used albuterol tons, which was with COVID, RSV and flu.
And now we're heading into allergic asthma season as well too, where we're going to see a lot of kids, a lot of adults impacted and needing this lifesaving drug, because it's used to help open up the lungs when all these kids and all these adults aren't able to breathe.
And this is why it's such an important topic for us to be talking about today.
STEPHANIE SY: Yes, and we heard that parent saying that she's basically rationing her albuterol at home, that she's giving her kids some of her albuterol, the other expert saying that they're having to dilute albuterol.
Is that what you're advising your patients to do?
Dr. JUANITA MORA: Well, at this time, unfortunately, because all the albuterol is being sent to the hospitals and emergency departments and urgent cares, then clinics, and then parents at home or anyone who used liquid albuterol is not able to get it.
So, we are advising, if they have any, to possibly actually do dilute, some dilutions, but it's not the best actual option.
We want someone to really step up and help in this albuterol shortage, especially as we're heading now into spring allergy season.
And tons of asthmatics are triggered by allergies at this time.
And we are going to end up using a lot of the actual reserves that we have for liquid albuterol.
And this is very concerning, as we're already in shortage.
STEPHANIE SY: Are there alternatives, especially for the younger children who need to use liquid albuterol with a nebulizer?
Dr. JUANITA MORA: Well, currently, what we have are actual solutions called Xopenex, which is levalbuterol, and DuoNeb as well too.
The problem is, the companies haven't produced them in mass quantities, and also their costs.
So it's hard for actual insurances to cover it and for parents to be able to afford it.
So that's the problem that we're currently running into.
STEPHANIE SY: So, besides the very young and, as you say, the elderly who are not able to use albuterol inhalers, it sounds like you're also saying that people that are particularly economically vulnerable, that might not have private insurance are at risk here.
Dr. JUANITA MORA: Definitely.
That is a population I'm concerned with, especially because they were the hardest-hit communities when it came to COVID-19.
STEPHANIE SY: What do you see as the solution to this shortage?
Dr. JUANITA MORA: Well, I'm hoping that the FDA will continue to encourage pharmaceuticals to really pitch in.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything is that we have to take care of each other.
And I felt pharmaceuticals really stepped up to help.
And I'm hoping they will as well with this albuterol shortage, which is so important, and so that we don't have to outsource to other countries for help to meet the needs of all these asthmatic, COPDers, and every child and adult with a respiratory illness who currently needs this medication as a lifesaving treatment.
STEPHANIE SY: Yes, from what I understand, there is only one U.S. manufacturer of albuterol right now in operation for a very common drug.
Dr. Juanita Mora with the American Lung Association, thanks for joining the "NewsHour."
Dr. JUANITA MORA: It is my pleasure.
Thank you for having me.
And people can learn more at lung.org.
AMNA NAWAZ: To delve further into the latest in former President Trump's legal woes, the debate over parents' influence in schools, and the future of TikTok in the U.S., we turn now to the analysis of Brooks and Capehart.
That is New York Times columnist David Brooks, and Jonathan Capehart, associate editor for The Washington Post.
And welcome to you both.
It's good to see you.
Jonathan, I want to start with you and pick up where Lisa's report left off, this whole issue of parental rights.
It has come to mean so much.
And I just want to start with some definitions.
So let's just talk about this debate and where it is right now and what that phrase, parental rights, means to you, how you look at this issue.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Well, to me, when I hear parental rights, I keep thinking, what happened to the PTA, parent-teachers associations?
Why, all of a sudden, is this an issue?
And I think it's an issue, given who they're targeting, because they need a foil.
The far right needs a foil.
That's not to say that parents don't have concerns about what their kids are learning in classrooms.
It just seems like, from Governor Ron DeSantis in Florida, to Governor Huckabee in Arkansas, to the Republican-led House of Representatives, it seems like they have a problem specifically with trans kids.
And what I have a problem with is that the party of life, the party of respect for family and individual freedom has no problem putting a target on the backs of trans kids and their families.
And so, when I hear parental rights, I think parental rights for whom?
AMNA NAWAZ: David, what do you think about that?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, well, there's a lot of crazy stuff going on in the schools, a lot of the book banning and stuff like that, the not teaching Black history and things like that.
So I want to bracket that aside and say that stuff is outrageous.
Nonetheless, there is a core problem here is that, during COVID, a lot of parents got to look at what their kids were doing because the classroom turned into the living room, and they didn't like a lot of what they saw.
And so public school enrollment is down by $1.4 million; 60-odd percent of parents say they want more control over their kids' learning.
It used to be Democrats had a solid advantage in, who do you trust in schools?
That advantage is gone.
And so there's been some sort of seismic shift on a lot of parents who are disillusioned.
Most are fine with the school.
Most hate it when politics gets in -- put in the school.
But there is a sense there's something that they want more control over.
And so that's the legit part of this.
And I think what the core problem here in reference to this bill is, parents and teachers have to be in cooperation, and there has to be trust.
And I understand the cost, but if a school is withholding, is keeping important things about their kids secret from the parents, that's going to destroy trust, and you're going to get the reaction we have seen.
AMNA NAWAZ: Can I just go back to the thing you wanted to bracket out, all those other issues?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes.
AMNA NAWAZ: But they are bracketed in.
They are under the umbrella of this issue, right?
DAVID BROOKS: Right.
And so I'm saying that you have got to go parent by parent, case by case.
And so there's a lot of clearly wedge issue stuff going on here .But there's also a lot of parents who legitimately think, the values of my school are different than my values.
I just want some representation here, or I want some say in how my kids are being taught.
And they don't feel they're getting it.
So you can have -- it's a bunch of different issues all at once, I would say.
AMNA NAWAZ: There is, when you take a broader look, Jonathan, to your point, this is all happening against the backdrop of a number of Republican state legislatures nationwide proposing and pushing through bills that do center on transgender youth, right?
This is a map just out this week from the Human Rights Campaign.
They now estimate, of all the transgender kids across the country aged 13 to 17, just that age group, more than half of them now live in a state where they have either already lost access to or could lose access to gender-affirming care.
It's over 50 percent now.
And, Jonathan, I want to turn to you on this,because that's a striking number, first of all, when you think of the sheer volume of children who are impacted by that.
But I'm wondering why you think this particular issue resonates so deeply right now.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Because it makes people feel uncomfortable.
Let's just be perfectly frank about it.
It makes people uncomfortable.
But just because you're uncomfortable doesn't mean that you then target what makes you uncomfortable.
And by target, you're targeting kids.
You're targeting the families of those kids, making it impossible for them to get health care in their own home state, making it almost impossible for them to go out of state, criminalizing, in some cases, going out of state to get care.
All these kids and their families want are for these trans kids to be able to go to school like everyone else, learn like everyone else, and be left alone like everyone else, if possible, and to be able to learn in a classroom environment where there's neither a target on their back or they're not being denied the full history, the full curriculum that they're supposed to be taught.
The problem I have with what's been happening in the states, and particularly with this congressional bill, is that the language is so vague.
In that report, the person said, it doesn't specify names of books and things.
Well, no, it leaves it up to the discretion of whoever the person is complaining.
And so I think what needs to happen is that people need to -- those really concerned parents, not only do they need to keep rising up.
They need allies to rise up with them to add to their numbers, because there are more people who care about those children and care about their education than the rabble-rousing parents who are putting the targets on their backs.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, I mean, it's insane that we're having the education debate we're having right now.
And so if you look at what happened, if you look at New York City schools, 41 percent of kids were chronically truant.
If you look at what's happened across American schools over the last few years -- we spent 20 years doing education reform, trying to lift scores.
All those gains were erased through COVID and over the last year or two.
That's going to alter the lives, the GDP of this country for decades.
And so we're in the middle of an education, I don't want to say catastrophe, but a real setback in the way our kids are doing.
And we're talking about this, the transgender stuff.
AMNA NAWAZ: But that's where Republicans are choosing to focus, right?
DAVID BROOKS: Right, exactly.
AMNA NAWAZ: Yes.
DAVID BROOKS: And so, as I say, I sometimes think that the parents -- this issue didn't - - surprised Republicans.
When Glenn Youngkin ran for governor of Virginia, he didn't think he was going to run on schools, but so many parents were coming to him, he ran on schools, and he ended up winning.
AMNA NAWAZ: Yes.
DAVID BROOKS: But it is still insane that this is what we're talking about, if we're going to talk about schools.
AMNA NAWAZ: We're clearly going to be talking about it for many weeks and months to come.
I do want to turn to news out of the Manhattan district attorney's office this week, though, because, just today -- we know Alvin Bragg, in the way of background, has been probing the hush money payment made to a woman who said she was having an affair with a former President Trump.
Just today, NBC was reporting that Bragg received a death threat in the mail to his office that contained a white powder.
The DA's office had a statement issued that said it was not dangerous.
But this does come on the heels of Mr. Trump and Republicans ramping up their attacks on Alvin Bragg.
Jonathan, we do not know if this letter and those attacks are -- the verbal attacks in any way are connected, but it is a really disturbing development.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: It is a disturbing development.
No, we don't know that there is a direct connection.
But let's -- come on, let's face it.
At 1:08 this morning, the former president of the United States sent out a raging social media post filled with threats of violence and invective against the Manhattan DA, one of many that he's done all week.
There's no -- we can't draw a line between the two, a direct line, but you can't separate the two.
What the former president is doing is outrageous.
The fact that Republicans won't roundly criticize him for doing so and condemning what he's doing and standing up for the rule of law is outrageous.
And I think we all need to take Donald Trump's statements about the Manhattan DA and other DAs who are going -- who are investigating him, we have to take it seriously.
He called for action in January 6, and we saw what happened.
We cannot afford to let that happen again.
AMNA NAWAZ: David, that TRUTH Social post we put up had Mr. Trump saying there could be potential death and destruction if he was indicted on these charges.
And, today, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries has said he's worried that Mr. Trump is going to get someone killed.
Are you worried about that?
DAVID BROOKS: Absolutely.
I thought I was beyond the ability to be shocked by Donald Trump.
But when I woke up this morning and read that, the only word that leapt to mind was barbaric and definitely inciteful.
If anything was inciteful, what he's done is inciteful.
And so it's just shocking.
It should also be said that there's a reason he's doing it, which is that two, three weeks ago, he had maybe a 10-point advantage on Ron DeSantis.
And now, if you look at some of the average of the polls, it's up to 25 points.
And some of that is DeSantis going down, but Trump has gone up.
And so this whole indictment talk is helping Trump politically.
AMNA NAWAZ: I want to ask you as well about the TikTok hearing on Capitol Hill.
I know you were following it all.
And there has been a concerted effort.
There were a number of, actually, hearings on the House side that same day focused on China.
How did you look at those, David?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes.
We're in the middle of a cold war with China.
And this has happened over two administrations, but especially with the Biden administration.
It's now official U.S. policy -- and I support it.
I'm just saying how stark and dramatic we should take it -- official U.S. policy to ban semi -- or the chips and the technology used to make the chips that could go into a phone, a car, a toaster, or a missile, or a drone, or A.I.
So we are now really trying to crack down on not the Chinese military, but the Chinese economy, because there's really no difference between these two things.
So that is just a very stark thing.
So, if you're wondering, were we in a cold war?
Well, we were against the Soviets.
We're now behaving like we are against China.
And I think we are with the Chinese.
And it tends to hit technology most.
TikTok, G5, chips, green energy, that's the battlefield in this cold war.
Who controls the technology?
AMNA NAWAZ: Jonathan, we have got about 30 seconds left.
Do you see it the same way?
We're in a cold war with China now?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Well, when David puts it like that, yes.
How could I argue?
Also because of what we have seen with what China has done on the diplomatic front in the last few weeks.
The deal that China brokered between I think it was Saudi Arabia and Iran, huge deal.
I remember -- I'm old enough to remember when the United States used to seek deals like that.
Now it's the Chinese.
AMNA NAWAZ: Jonathan Capehart, David Brooks, always good to see you both.
Thank you so much.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Thanks, Amna.
AMNA NAWAZ: This week marks 20 years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and many are still peace together what happened in those days and the years that followed.
"NewsHour" digital senior editor Yasmeen Alamiri spoke to Sana Murrani of the University of Plymouth in England about Ruptured Domesticity, a project that collects the memories and artifacts of Iraqis during the war, and how they held on to the concept of home.
YASMEEN ALAMIRI: You headed up a multipart project, part of which is archiving these memories of the war of Iraqis who were living inside and outside the country during that time.
Can you talk to us a little bit about why you decided to pursue this project and what came of it?
SANA MURRANI, University of Plymouth: Something that I really wanted to understand is, what was happening across the country when Baghdad was getting bombarded during the 2003 invasion?
I had no idea.
We were in Baghdad, but I did not know what was going on in Mosul, what was going on in Basra, what was going on elsewhere.
So, the archive idea came because I really wanted the world to see this.
I wanted it to be the collective voice of Iraqis.
YASMEEN ALAMIRI: War is traumatic for everybody involved.
And when you have years, decades of war, what you end up with is generational trauma.
I wonder about how that enduring trauma has impacted the way that Iraqis interact with the country, but also their memory or their understanding of what it means to be Iraqi.
SANA MURRANI: Through the conversations that I have had with Iraqis from the north to the south of Iraq, they kept on coming back to this thing of, we never documented what was going on to us at the time.
We don't have records, especially during the 2003 invasion, when mobile phones and cameras, digital cameras, weren't readily available for people.
So, there was this thing of trauma that lingers, trauma that is carried with you.
And it resurfaces in very different ways.
It sometimes resurfaces in PTSD, which we have seen across the world happening with people engaged in wars in Iraq and elsewhere, but also in collective creative outlet of that, where you see a burst of cultural belongings and tendency to want to make change happen.
YASMEEN ALAMIRI: As an Iraqi who has lived outside of the country as well, what does it mean to you to be Iraqi?
SANA MURRANI: It changes.
So, I kind of remember, when I first came out of Iraq, when people used to ask me the question, my answer was very different to what is -- what it is now, right now.
I find it in the connections to the beautiful music, to the wonderful food that we have, to the language that is spoken from the gut, with passion, to the -- kind of the Iraqi humor that is retrieved and found and kind of emerges in your face in the darkest of times.
I see myself an Iraqi right in the center of all of that.
So it is a tapestry.
But I kind of feel that this is always going to be in the making.
It's never going to have a form or an end to its making.
And I love that about it.
But there is certainly a yearning for a home that I kind of thought that it's always going to be there and it's never going to fade for me.
AMNA NAWAZ: And that was just part of Yasmeen's conversation with Sana Murrani.
You can watch the full version and see more from Murrani's project online at PBS.org/NewsHour.
artists AMNA NAWAZ: And creating art and raising awareness about consumerism at the same time.
Special correspondent Cat Wise visited a husband-and-wife team in rural Indiana to see how they have pivoted their lives and their livelihoods to focus on this passion.
It's part of our arts and culture series Canvas.
CAT WISE: Down a quiet country road near Spencerville, Indiana, you will come across a farm that doesn't look like others in the area.
A different kind of product is cultivated here, art.
LISA VETTER, Artist, The Art Farm: Let's go to the studio.
PAUL SIEFERT, Artist, The Art Farm: Man, it's cold out.
CAT WISE: The colorful home and studio of Lisa Vetter and Paul Siefert and their dog Pinkerton (ph) is known as The Art Farm.
The married couple, who grew up in nearby Fort Wayne, have turned their farm into an artistic oasis, where they create and display their work, clocks, sculptures, jewelry and more, all made out of found objects they started collecting about 30 years ago.
PAUL SIEFERT: We both loved going to flea markets and junk shops and finding cool stuff.
LISA VETTER: Vintage stuff.
PAUL SIEFERT: Vintage stuff.
I swear I said one time, we got to stop buying all this cool stuff, or we got started doing something with it all.
LISA VETTER: Yes.
PAUL SIEFERT: So then we -- then we started manipulating it.
CAT WISE: Paul, who has a background in engineering, and Lisa, who worked in interior design, began making functional pieces like lamps, which they started selling at art shows in the mid-1990s.
Soon, the part-time hobby became a full-time job.
LISA VETTER: I want to spend a short time on this pendant that I started here.
CAT WISE: Today, Paul and Lisa create new life for old objects in their workshop on the farm, where anything can become art.
Tell me about a piece like this.
This is a work in progress; is that right?
LISA VETTER: Yes.
For example, if I'm at the thrift store, and I see this sitting on the shelf, I'm like, oh, yes, that's a skirt.
But we have got a lot of old -- the old coffee tins and stuff.
Look how perfectly that fits over.
PAUL SIEFERT: That's a big deal, when something fits perfectly.
LISA VETTER: The connection.
PAUL SIEFERT: Things got to fit, or they get wobbly.
You want to make art so that it lasts.
LISA VETTER: So when you... PAUL SIEFERT: And we kind of want somebody give it down to their kids, and hopefully their kids.
So I just want to make art that's just going to be a throwaway.
CAT WISE: Preventing things from being thrown away is a big focus of Paul and Lisa's work.
LISA VETTER: It drives me nuts to see the amount of poor-quality, useless stuff being peddled to people.
And it has a very short shelf life, and then it's just thrown away.
It's going into a landfill.
Maybe, instead of going to Target and buying a new clock, you buy a clock that I made out of old recycled items that no one else will have one like it.
CAT WISE: Paul and Lisa take their clocks and other work, with a price range from under $100 to around $1,000, to juried art fairs around the country, where artists are selected through a competitive application process.
Art shows have provided a significant portion of their annual sales.
But since the pandemic, they have been focusing more on commissions, like a recent one that involved a cello and pop-up galleries at the farm.
Is it difficult to make a living this way?
LISA VETTER: If you are not interested in a steady paycheck, it's OK, because you never know.
People will ask us that sometimes.
Do you -- oh, do you make a living at this?
And I tell people, we make a life.
It's the whole package.
We steer the ship.
PAUL SIEFERT: And I don't know if I'm living in a fantasy world, but it does feel like, our whole life, our art and our garden and how we live, it's all the same thing.
The art is not separated from the way we live.
CAT WISE: How big is your property?
LISA VETTER: We have five acres total.
CAT WISE: During our recent visit, they took me on a tour of their property, including the 160-year-old barn, where they store the rig they use when they traveled to art fairs.
PAUL SIEFERT: She runs good.
Her name is Agnes.
LISA VETTER: And when we roll into the show, people know that we're there.
(LAUGHTER) PAUL SIEFERT: Yes.
LISA VETTER: Because no one else is driving a 1977 Midas mini home.
PAUL SIEFERT: And I have learned to put cheap beers in my fridge to give all my artist friends that ask me for a cold beer.
(LAUGHTER) PAUL SIEFERT: Because, when you have a rig, your beer is always cold?
LISA VETTER: Yes.
(LAUGHTER) CAT WISE: So, you go with the cheap beer?
(CROSSTALK) PAUL SIEFERT: Oh, yes, not the expensive one.
LISA VETTER: Right.
CAT WISE: Many of the artists Paul and Lisa have met at shows over the years have become friends, whose art is displayed, along with their own, throughout their restored 1860s farmhouse.
LISA VETTER: This is a sculpture piece from our friend Ed, who did the mugs that we're using this morning.
And this is an artist from Indianapolis.
She created this.
It's me and Paul and the little banner, "The Unforeseen Glory of Art Farming."
We were over the moon.
We didn't know she was doing this.
CAT WISE: You love this piece.
This is great.
LISA VETTER: Oh, I love this piece.
It's so fun.
CAT WISE: Paul and Lisa are trying to spread awareness about consumerism and waste in their community by hosting school groups and art classes that focus on reused materials.
SANDY BEAVER, The Art Farm Customer: I liked the fact that they use found objects and make them live again.
LISA VETTER: Oh, now these are new.
CAT WISE: Sandy Beaver, who lives nearby, is a regular at The Art Farm and stopped by on a recent evening to check out some of Lisa's new jewelry.
LISA VETTER: The blue metal in the background is actually building material metal.
And then this is recycled license plate.
SANDY BEAVER: That's what I like about Lisa's artwork.
And I know her.
I know her quirkiness.
And I enjoy that.
I want something that means something to me.
And her artwork does.
PAUL SIEFERT: Lisa, I think this piece needs to be green, right?
CAT WISE: Paul and Lisa are spending long hours in the workshop these days creating more art and gearing up for a busy spring and summer on the farm.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Cat Wise in Spencerville, Indiana.
AMNA NAWAZ: Love that line, the difference between making a living and making a life.
And, listen, later tonight, be sure to tune in to "Washington Week" guest-hosted by our very own Laura Barron-Lopez right here on PBS for more analysis of former President Trump's mounting legal challenges.
And watch "PBS News Weekend" with John Yang tomorrow for a look at the barriers stopping people from getting basic medical care.
And that is the "NewsHour" for tonight.
I'm Amna Nawaz.
On behalf of the entire "NewsHour" team, thank you for joining us, and have a great weekend.