PBS NewsHour full episode, Feb 26, 2020

PBS NewsHour full episode, Feb 26, 2020

AMNA NAWAZ: Good evening. I’m Amna Nawaz.
Judy Woodruff is on assignment. On the “NewsHour” tonight: containing an outbreak
— how the Trump administration is preparing the nation for the threat of coronavirus,
while China mounts a people’s war against the disease. Then: After another bruising Democratic primary
debate, where do the presidential hopefuls stand with less than a week to go before Super
Tuesday? And not just a headache. A lifelong condition
and the lack of a cure — the symptoms and the stigma of migraine disease. JENN TINGWALD, Migraine Patient: This isn’t
the life I imagined for myself. This isn’t what I thought I would be doing. But, at the
end of the day, I’m doing everything that I can to treat it. AMNA NAWAZ: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) AMNA NAWAZ: President Trump is rejecting criticism
that he’s not doing enough to meet the coronavirus threat. Instead, he accused news outlets today
of inciting panic. And he called a news conference to outline the administration’s efforts. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats pushed for an
$8.5 billion emergency funding, more than three times what the president proposed. Lawmakers
from both parties agreed on the need for action. REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D-RI): Well, I think
we need to appropriate some additional resources for certain — I think this is a serious enough
issue that, the president should be addressing the country and reassuring the American people
what efforts are under way at the CDC and within his administration to protect the American
people. REP. LIZ CHENEY (D-WY): Our nation has more
resources than any other nation in the world to be able to address whatever threat coronavirus
poses. But it’s going to require bipartisan action. This is not a time for partisanship.
Pathogens do not respect party lines. AMNA NAWAZ: Around the world today, for the
first time, more new coronavirus cases were reported outside of China than inside. One
was a U.S. soldier in South Korea. That is the first case among some 28,000 Americans
stationed there. Brazil also reported its first confirmed case,
making it the first case in Latin America. In Italy, infections continue to rise, leading
soldiers to blockade some hard-hit northern towns. But, in China, the outbreak continues
to slow, and some restrictions are easing. We will take a closer look at the situations
in China, and here at home, later in the program. A shooter attacked workers at the Molson Coors
brewing company in Milwaukee today. The mayor said multiple people were killed, but there
were no other details. Police and emergency crews swarmed to the site, where at least
600 people are employed. Some texted that they had taken shelter in locked rooms. A federal appeals court in New York has ruled
the Trump administration can legally withhold federal funding from states over immigration
enforcement. A lower court had said federal grants may not be kept from so-called sanctuary
cities and states that refuse to cooperate with immigration authorities. Three other
appeals courts have issued conflicting rulings. The prime minister of India appealed for calm
in New Delhi today after the city’s worst sectarian violence in decades. The death toll
climbed to at least 24, with nearly 200 hurt in the last three days, as Hindu mobs have
attacked Muslim homes, businesses, and mosques. More of the injured arrived at hospitals today,
and armed police patrolled the streets, amid charred vehicles and burnt stores. SATISH, India (through translator): The riots
and arson started in the morning, and the cars that were parked here were set on fire,
so people were not coming out of their houses due to fear. People living in the streets
were so scared that they didn’t even sleep, and most of the people are not stepping out
of their homes. AMNA NAWAZ: The violence erupted during President
Trump’s visit to India this week, and grew out of protests over a new law granting citizenship
for refugees of every major South Asian religion except Muslims. In Egypt, a military funeral with full honors
was held today for former President Hosni Mubarak, as the country began three days of
official mourning. Mubarak’s coffin, carried on a horse-drawn carriage, made its way as
part of a procession through the streets of Cairo. Mubarak died yesterday, at 91, from
heart and kidney problems. Back in this country, President Trump’s reelection
campaign is suing The New York Times over libel over an opinion column it published
last year. The piece, written by a former Times executive editor, alleged Russia helped
the Trump campaign in 2016 in exchange for foreign policies that would benefit Russia.
In its filing, the campaign said that The Times intentionally printed false information.
The Times rejected the allegation. And on Wall Street today, stocks tried in
vein to rally after two major sell-offs. The Dow Jones industrial average ended up losing
another 123 points to close at 26957. The Nasdaq eked out a gain of 15 points, but the
S&P 500 slipped 11 points. And bestselling adventure novelist Clive Cussler
has died. He passed away Monday at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. Cussler wrote more
than 80 books, including “Night Probe,” “Cyclops,” and “Raise the Titanic.” Many of his novels
featured the intrepid explorer Dirk Pitt. Clive Cussler was 88 years old. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: how to fight
a global outbreak — the U.S. and China try to contain the spread of COVID-19; key takeaways
from last night’s Democratic debate as voters across the country prepare for Super Tuesday;
a chronic condition, and chronically undertreated — an inside look at migraine disease; plus,
much more. As we reporter earlier, the spread of the
coronavirus in China has stabilized. But Chinese activists who first sounded the alarm about
the outbreak and the official response are still missing. Nick Schifrin has more now on the battle over
information between the Chinese people and their government. NICK SCHIFRIN: When Chen Qiushi traveled to
Wuhan to expose what the government hid, he knew the risks were medical and political. CHEN QIUSHI, Lawyer and Citizen Journalist
(through translator): In front of me is the virus, and behind me is the legal and administrative
power of China. But as long as I live in this city, I will continue to report. NICK SCHIFRIN: For two weeks, Chen documented
hospitals that were overwhelmed, a pool of vomit on the waiting room floor, patients
on stretchers unattended. In another video, he criticized the care at a makeshift hospital
set up in a convention center. CHEN QIUSHI (through translator): Putting
everyone into a space like this one, where patients aren’t completely separated, there
will definitely be the possibility of cross-infections. This temporary hospital looks a lot like a
military field hospital or an emergency shelter set up in response to an earthquake or a flood.
But it’s not great for housing patients with an infectious disease. NICK SCHIFRIN: The World Health Organization
says the disease’s spread in China has stabilized. And, today, some other regions have begun
to normalize. But Chen documented the beginning of the outbreak,
unafraid of the consequences. CHEN QIUSHI (through translator): I will only
report what I see, what I hear. I really want to be blunt, right? Today, I’m going to say
something blunt. Mother (EXPLETIVE DELETED) I’m not even afraid of death. You think I’m
afraid of the Communist Party? NICK SCHIFRIN: That language apparently got
Chen detained. He hasn’t been seen since. His mother took to social media to ask for
help. WOMAN (through translator): I have not been
able to get in touch with him. I’m here pleading that all people, especially those in Wuhan,
please help me find my son. Help me find out what happened to him. NICK SCHIFRIN: Chen is only one of the critics
arrested in the last two months in a battle over information. Authorities detained lawyer
and human rights activist Xu Zhiyong after he accused Chinese President Xi Jinping of
trying to cover up the outbreak. A Wuhan resident told “PBS NewsHour” residents
critical of the government’s response have suddenly disappeared. But activists continued
their work, posting videos of overcrowded Wuhan hospitals, patients lying unattended
on the corridor floor. XIAO QIANG, China Digital Times: The Chinese
government is not only just trying to contain the virus. They’re also trying to contain
the coverage of this entire story. NICK SCHIFRIN: Xiao Qiang is the editor in
chief of the U.S.-based China Digital Times, a news site that focuses on content suppressed
by China’s state censors. He says the Chinese government could have decreased the outbreak’s
size. XIAO QIANG: By containing the coverage, by
providing the censorship and denial and information withheld and propaganda, it destroyed the
public trust that is very much needed at the time of fighting with the epidemic. NICK SCHIFRIN: The Chinese government describes
all of its efforts as necessary vigilance. And this is what Chinese media highlight:
energized health workers fist-bumping patients, the formerly sick cured, flowers in their
hands, thanking hospital staff. Nurses shaving their heads to increase hygiene. Chinese media
called them — quote — “beautiful warriors.” And people back in factories protecting their
fellow workers. There is now a message of cautious optimism from the top. Last weekend,
President Xi Jinping congratulated health workers, Chinese army commanders, and masses
of people he called united in a people’s war. The phrase hearkens back to Communist Party
founder Mao Zedong mobilizing the masses to defeat a common enemy. Xi has acknowledged
the virus posed a serious threat. More than 760 million people have had restrictions on
when and how often they can leave their homes. Thousands of neighborhoods across he country
have been on lockdown. Visitors to office and residential buildings scan Q.R. codes
and fill in forms about travel history and body temperature. The World Health Organization
has praised China’s efforts as successfully reducing the virus’ spread. DR. SYLVIE BRIAND, World Health Organization:
Those measure on movement restriction have delayed the dissemination of the outbreak
of two or three days within China and a few weeks outside China, NICK SCHIFRIN: But, inside China, residents
know state media portray only the positive. And that has helped fuel social media videos
that question the government’s respect for human rights. This clip apparently shows a woman arrested
for leaving her home without a face mask. Another shows a group of people dragged out
of their home and quarantined. And this clip shows officials demolishing a game room to
stop group gatherings. These tactics create mistrust and resentment,
says Qiang. XIAO QIANG: Chinese people have now reached
an understanding that it’s this government failed them. This disaster, by and large,
is manmade, and the authority, both the local authority and the central authority, bear
a big responsibility for what’s happening. NICK SCHIFRIN: Fang Bin was a Wuhan businessman
when he picked up his phone and began filming the city. He secretly filmed this video outside
a Wuhan hospital. Fang posted another video saying government
officials could sweep up anyone. FANG BIN, Businessman (through translator):
Maybe they won’t go after me. It’s possible. But I can’t stay silent. If they don’t come
after me, they will come after you. NICK SCHIFRIN: Another of Fang’s videos was
just 12 seconds’ long, a scroll of paper with the words, “All citizens resist” and “Power
back to the people.” The same day, he was arrested and hasn’t been seen since. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Nick Schifrin. AMNA NAWAZ: Now, President Trump is expected
to speak about the U.S. response to coronavirus at the White House shortly. We will bring
you the latest on that and examine the administration’s response later in the program. Democratic presidential candidates hit the
trail in South Carolina today, on the heels of last night’s raucous debate. As Lisa Desjardins reports, the candidates
left it all on the stage. JOSEPH BIDEN (D), Presidential Candidate:
South Carolina chooses presidents. LISA DESJARDINS: In the Palmetto State today,
a 2020 Democratic blitz. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), Presidential
Candidate: I am ready to fight. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), Presidential Candidate:
Please, bring your friends, your neighbors, your family members. PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), Presidential Candidate:
I am here to ask for your vote. LISA DESJARDINS: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders,
the leader nationally, is trying to pull off a surprise win here, adding event after event. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Now, to defeat Trump,
you cannot run a conventional campaign. Same old, same old is not going to do it. LISA DESJARDINS: But former Vice President
Joe Biden has long led the pack in the state, and, for him, South Carolina is a must-win. Today, he scored a coup, the endorsement of
South Carolina representative Jim Clyburn, the highest-ranking African American in Congress. REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): I know Joe. We
know Joe. But, most importantly, Joe knows us. LISA DESJARDINS: If nothing else, it is intense
here, as evidenced last night. (CROSSTALK) LISA DESJARDINS: When the candidates debated
in Charleston. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Tom, I think she was
talking about my plan. LISA DESJARDINS: Sanders got the front-runner
treatment, meaning attacks from all sides. SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN), Presidential Candidate:
As one prominent Democrat once said, we should pay attention to where the voters of this
country are, Bernie. That prominent Democrat was Barack Obama. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: Bernie and I agree
on a lot of things, but I think I would make a better president than Bernie. PETE BUTTIGIEG: I am not looking forward to
a scenario where it comes down to Donald Trump, with his nostalgia for the social order of
the 1950s, and Bernie Sanders, with a nostalgia for the revolutionary politics of the 1960s. LISA DESJARDINS: But Sanders was undaunted,
using his final statement to push back at the criticism. SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Misconception — and
you’re hearing it here tonight — is that the ideas I’m talking about are radical. They’re
not. In one form or another, they exist in countries all over the world. LISA DESJARDINS: The candidates also went
after the two billionaires on the stage. Senator Elizabeth Warren struck at former New York
City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, bringing up a lawsuit alleging he spoke harshly to a pregnant employee
worried about balancing her job and her future child. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: At least I didn’t have
a boss who said to me, “Kill it,” the way that Mayor Bloomberg is alleged to have said… MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, Presidential Candidate:
Never said that. Oh, come on. SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: … to one of his pregnant
employees. People want a chance to hear… (BOOING) SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: People want a chance
to hear from the women who have… (CROSSTALK) MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: I never said that. LISA DESJARDINS: Biden and billionaire Tom
Steyer faced off over Steyer’s past business with private prisons. JOSEPH BIDEN: Well, my good friend on the
end of this platform, he, in fact, bought a system that was a private prison system,
after, after he knew that, in fact, what happened was, they hog-tied young men in prison here
in this state. TOM STEYER (D), Presidential Candidate: I
have worked to end the use of private prisons in my home state, and we have ended it. I
have started a bank to support black ownership of businesses, women ownership of businesses,
and Latino owners of businesses, because this financial service industry is prejudiced. I have worked tirelessly on this. And you
know I’m right. LISA DESJARDINS: The raucous debate wasn’t
all fighting. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota stressed the need for health care and health
workers outside of cities. SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR: We’re going to have a
million openings for home health care workers, particularly in rural areas, that we don’t
know how to fill. We’re going to have over 100,000 openings for nursing assistants. LISA DESJARDINS: There was also one piece
of unity over criticizing the president. Bloomberg slammed the administration’s response to concerns
about the coronavirus. MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: The president fired the
pandemic specialists in this country two years ago, so there’s nobody here to figure out
what the hell we should be doing. MAN: Elizabeth Warren. LISA DESJARDINS: What the candidates and some
of their high-profile backers are now doing is sprinting. South Carolina Democrats vote in three days,
on Saturday. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Lisa Desjardins. AMNA NAWAZ: For more politics coverage, head
to the “NewsHour” Web site. That’s where you can watch Judy Woodruff at
today’s Knight Foundation media forum. She led a discussion on democracy in the age of
the Internet, featuring Teddy Goff, digital director of President Obama’s reelection campaign,
and Ory Rinat, the chief digital officer for the Trump administration. Plus, tune in tomorrow, when Judy sits down
with Michael Bloomberg. That’s right here on the “NewsHour.” AMNA NAWAZ: Stay with us. Coming up on the “NewsHour”: a pick from our
Bookshelf, one whistle-blower’s account of sexual harassment in Silicon Valley; plus,
French New Wave film collides with the FBI in a new movie “Seberg.” It’s often dismissed as just a headache, but
a migraine attack is much more than that. Fifteen percent of Americans are affected. But, as Stephanie Sy reports, the stigma associated
with migraine disease has meant fewer resources for desperate patients. The story is part of our regular series on
the Leading Edge of science, technology and health. JENN TINGWALD, Migraine Patient: Eliana (ph),
do you have a four? STEPHANIE SY: For Jenn Tingwald, playing Go
Fish with her family could be a metaphor for the past five years, fishing for relief from
the pain of chronic migraine. JENN TINGWALD: We never thought that the sickness
would come before the health in our marriage. So that’s been really hard. STEPHANIE SY: Tingwald had her first migraine
attack when she was 31. JENN TINGWALD: That’s really where my journey
began. And, to some degree, my head pain has not left since that day. So, like, in my left
temple, I always have pain. The intensity changes, but it’s always there. It’s always
present. STEPHANIE SY: This is your nightstand. JENN TINGWALD: Yes, otherwise known as my
mini-pharmacy. STEPHANIE SY: The once-aspiring nurse now
spends hours a day managing her pain. An ice pack has become a near permanent fixture over
her left temple. She frequently receives a cocktail of migraine
and pain medication administered through an I.V. JENN TINGWALD: At minimum, I’m here three
days a month, at max, 12 to 15 days a month. STEPHANIE SY: Tingwald is on the severe end
of the migraine spectrum. But she’s just one of 47 million Americans who have the disease,
75 percent of whom are women. The symptoms can be debilitating. Three generations of Shirley Kessel’s family
have migraine. SHIRLEY KESSEL, Migraine Patient: I have ringing
in my ears 24/7. I have light sensitivity. I have sensitivity to sound and smells. And
then, when the headache comes, it’s just like an explosion in my head. STEPHANIE SY: Angie Glaser gave up her dream
job as a National Park ranger because of migraine. ANGIE GLASER, Migraine Patient: My brain kind
of feels like it’s in a bowl of water, kind of like sloshing around. But, sometimes, I’ll
get these waves of vertigo where I’ll move my head and the whole room will just flip. JENN TINGWALD: Striking, stabbing pain, so
almost like somebody has like a hot sharp ice pick, and they’re just stabbing it straight
through my temple. STEPHANIE SY: Dr. Amaal Starling treats Jenn
Tingwald at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. For her, the search for an effective treatment
is still ongoing. Starling says the last few years have seen
more options become available, but most work on only 50 percent of patients. DR. AMAAL STARLING, Mayo Clinic: Stress can
be a trigger. A lack of sleep can be a trigger. Different foods, different allergens, all
these things can be potential triggers, but they are not the cause. The cause is it is
a genetic neurologic disease. STEPHANIE SY: For mother and daughter Deborah
and Alayna Cyb, migraine has been a part of their lives since Alayna was in the third
grade. About 10 percent of school-age children have migraine. ALAYNA CYB, Migraine Patient: It’s more than
just a headache. That’s why I didn’t mention head pain. DEBORAH CYB, Migraine Patient: I don’t know
if you noticed, but her speech, that’s a symptom of migraine. ALAYNA CYB: Yes. DEBORAH CYB: Like, your speech is kind of
— can you explain that thing that happens? ALAYNA CYB: Yes. My tongue just — it feels
like it’s, like, too big for my mouth. And I just… DEBORAH CYB: It’s hard for her to… ALAYNA CYB: I can’t talk right. STEPHANIE SY: Another example of this phenomenon
was captured on camera with this local news reporter, Serene Branson. SERENE BRANSON, CBS Los Angeles: Well, a very,
very heavy — heavy burtation tonight. We had a very… STEPHANIE SY: Starling explains what’s happening
in the brain to cause these symptoms. DR. AMAAL STARLING: The trigeminal nerve is
the nerve that innervates our entire face, as well as the covering of our brain. And
that is the nerve that is becoming sensitized during a migraine attack. That’s where you will develop that sensitivity
to light and sound and motion, as well as what we call the emotional aspect of pain
and the processing of pain. STEPHANIE SY: So pain is not a certain area
of the brain. It’s sort of specific. DR. AMAAL STARLING: It’s a network. STEPHANIE SY: It’s a network throughout the
brain that’s affected during a migraine attack. DR. AMAAL STARLING: Correct. And, again, it’s the abnormal function of
that network is what is resulting in migraine. STEPHANIE SY: The Mayo Clinic here in Scottsdale,
Arizona, is one of the largest migraine and headache treatment centers in the country.
And people come from all over the U.S., because there simply aren’t enough migraine specialists
to treat the millions of people who have it. One reason leading to the lack of specialists
comes down to a word we heard over and over from patients. DEBORAH CYB: The stigma. ALAYNA CYB: Yes. SHIRLEY KESSEL: The stigma, the burden that
comes along is sometimes almost worse than the disease itself. DR. AMAAL STARLING: Very frequently, they
will say, I was told that this is just all in my head. They think that it’s all in my
head. STEPHANIE SY: That it’s psychological. DR. AMAAL STARLING: Correct. And I have to
tell them, well, yes, it is in your head, because your brain is in your head. ACTOR: Mommy, mommy, look what I drew! ACTRESS: Jimmy please, not now! I’m too busy! Control yourself. Sure, you have a headache. STEPHANIE SY: The stigma attached to migraine
is likely rooted in sexism says, sociologist Joanna Kempner. JOANNA KEMPNER, Rutgers University: They’re
inevitably discussed as people who are neurotic, maybe a little too caught up in their housework,
maybe a little too worried about what their husbands are doing. I’d like to say we’re past the stereotypes,
but they still kind of color how we think about women with migraines. STEPHANIE SY: But more and more famous women
have shared their migraine struggles. Tennis great Serena Williams says she’s lost
matches because of migraine. And Cindy McCain spent much of her husband’s presidential campaign
in excruciating pain. Having kept her symptoms hidden for years, she’s now an advocate for
more research. Advocacy around the issue culminates every
year in Washington, D.C., with an event dubbed Headache on the Hill. MAN: Three, two, one. STEPHANIE SY: This year, some 200 activists
lobbied Congress for more federal funding for research and education. A lack of funding is one reason why many migraine
patients say there aren’t more effective treatments. KATIE MACDONALD, Alliance For Headache Disorders
Advocacy: You may be in bed for a day or a week or two weeks after this. STEPHANIE SY: Katie MacDonald leads the effort
for the Alliance For Headache Disorders Advocacy. KATIE MACDONALD: At the federal level, there
are organizations and agencies that make decisions to not support migraine, because they don’t
feel like it’s a big deal. And so we’re trying to change that perception, reverse that, and
get more attention back to migraine. STEPHANIE SY: For 2020, the National Institutes
of Health has allocated $27 million for migraine research, a paltry amount, say advocates,
for a disease that affects 15 percent of Americans and leads to billions of dollars in lost productivity
annually. For comparison, the NIH allocated $31 million
this year to anthrax, which affects just a handful of people every year. Just to attend this year’s advocacy day in
Washington, the group faced a world of potential triggers, from the rainy weather, to the bright
lights and loud, echoey halls, and even the noise of applause, which required an adaptation,
waving hands, instead of clapping. Dr. Starling and her patient, Tingwald, met
with representatives from their home state of Arizona, including the legislative director
for Congressman Ruben Gallego. DR. AMAAL STARLING: There are not enough headache
specialists; 47 million people in the U.S. with migraine. There are 564 border-certified
headache specialists. REP. RUBEN GALLEGO (D-AZ): Wow. STEPHANIE SY: By lunchtime, Tingwald had to
put her ice pack and sunglasses back on. JENN TINGWALD: This isn’t the life I imagined
for myself. This isn’t what I thought I would be doing. But, at the end of the day, I’m doing everything
that I can to treat it and to find, you know, if not a cure, the best quality of life that
I can. STEPHANIE SY: Tingwald and her fellow advocates
aren’t giving up in their push for better treatments, more research funding, and more
understanding of migraine. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Stephanie Sy in
Phoenix, Arizona. AMNA NAWAZ: Now the story behind one woman’s
decision to blow the whistle on a culture of harassment and discrimination at one of
the highest-flying start-ups in America. William Brangham is here now with the latest
addition to the “NewsHour” Bookshelf. Four years ago, Susan Fowler was excited to
start her new job as a software engineer at Uber. But she says, on her very first day,
her manager propositioned her. That was just the beginning of what followed: a year of
harassment and retaliation and lies. When Fowler left Uber, she wrote a blog post
about her experience. It went viral, helping trigger an investigation that eventually led
to the departure of Uber’s co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick. Susan Fowler is now an opinions editor at
The New York Times, and she’s just published a memoir. It’s called “Whistleblower: My Journey
to Silicon Valley and Fight for Justice at Uber.” Welcome to the “NewsHour.” SUSAN FOWLER, Author, “Whistleblower: My Journey
to Silicon Valley and Fight for Justice at Uber”: Thank you so much for having me here. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: This is really an incredible
story of your journey through this company and your life surrounding that. But I wonder if you could just start by telling
us about that first day. I mean, that must have been really an unbelievable experience. SUSAN FOWLER: Yes. So I had just gone through orientation and
training. It was my very first day of, like, real work. And I was sitting down with my
laptop, working on a new things. And then my brand-new manager starts sending me some
chat messages on company chat. And, at first, we talk about work. And then
the subject quickly turns to not work. He starts talking about how he’s in an open relationship.
He’s looking for women to have sex with. He’s having a difficult time finding women have
to sex with. So I started screenshotting everything, and
I took it to H.R. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: This was your boss. SUSAN FOWLER: Yes. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I mean, at any normal company,
that kind of behavior gets you kicked out the door right away. SUSAN FOWLER: You would think. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You would think. But you take this to H.R., with documented
proof. SUSAN FOWLER: Yes. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: This wasn’t a he said/she
said. You have proof in your hand. What does H.R. say? SUSAN FOWLER: So, H.R. does an investigation.
They come back. They say, we investigated. Yes, he was propositioning you. Yes, this
was sexual harassment. However, this is his first offense. He’s a high performer. We don’t
feel comfortable punishing him. We have given him a stern talking to. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Later, a group of other
women, along with you, other women who had been similarly harassed by this guy, go to
H.R. to complain as a group, and, still, that doesn’t change their mind. SUSAN FOWLER: Yes. So we all meet with them in a series of meetings.
They wouldn’t let us all meet together, so they had us do a succession of meetings. And
I had the last meeting. I get in there. They say, we thought you were happy with how we
handled it. And I said, no, I’m not. You told me it was his first offense. It wasn’t his
first offense. You have just had meetings with other employees who have reminded you
of the other things that they have reported. And the woman from H.R. told me that the other
employees hadn’t been there to talk about him. They had been there to complain about
me. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Which also wasn’t true. SUSAN FOWLER: Which also wasn’t true. (LAUGHTER) WILLIAM BRANGHAM: When you are finding that
the people who are meant to be protecting and looking out for you are turning this around
on you and all the others, what were you thinking? SUSAN FOWLER: Well, I was pretty horrified,
because you would think people in authority are there to at least, you know, figure out
what’s going on and help make sure that there’s some sort of justice or fairness. And that didn’t really seem to be their goal.
I still, however, continued to report things to H.R. I had a number of things that happened
after that, and as I detail in my book. And every time, they would give me the same
spiel. They would say, it’s this person’s first offense. They’re a high performer. We
don’t feel comfortable punishing them. We’re giving them a stern talking to, even when
it was somebody who I had just reported for something else a few months before. But I knew I had to keep a record. I had to
keep documentation. And if I didn’t keep everything in writing, and if I didn’t keep reporting
things to H.R., then they would be able to say, oh, she never told us. She never reported
this to us. How could we have known? And I didn’t want them to have that kind of
excuse. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Your book really does document
that this was an indictment of an entire corporate culture. What is your sense of why it became
so pervasive within a huge company? SUSAN FOWLER: There are always going to be
individual instances of mistreatment. There are always people that are going to do the
wrong thing. You know, at normal companies, there are usually
checks and balances to make sure that an individual instance of something like sexual harassment
isn’t covered up and doesn’t become part of the culture. But at Uber, it wasn’t just an individual
instance. They had this script that they would read, which tells — which told me at the
time, you know, this is not just an individual instance problem. This is, there are no check
and balances. This is a cultural, systemic problem throughout the whole company. And it seemed very directly tied to Uber’s
own values, because, at Uber, when I was there, I got this feeling that they really valued
aggression. They really valued disruption. Their whole thing was, we disrupt the laws.
The rules don’t apply to us. The rules are outdated. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: When you’re in the midst
of all this, being intimidated, being retaliated against, being told what you knew is true
is not true, how was that for you? SUSAN FOWLER: It really chipped away at my
well-being, because people kept telling me that what I had — what I was seeing with
my own eyes and what I had documented proof of wasn’t real. And… WILLIAM BRANGHAM: This is the textbook definition
of gaslighting. SUSAN FOWLER: It is. It really is. And it chipped away at me, because, you know,
here I am being told that nothing that I’m experiencing is real, nothing that I’m seeing
is real. And that just makes you question yourself. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: At a certain point, you
have had enough. You leave the company and take another job. There’s a question that you debate, which
is whether you should come forward and write that original blog post. And you wrote in
the book: “Based on everything I knew, sharing my story with the world would likely ruin
my life.” But yet you did decide to come forward and
to post this publicly. Why did you do that? SUSAN FOWLER: So it seemed to me that standing
up for what’s right and speaking the truth about situations in the world, standing up
for justice, is the right thing to do. So, I had this — I had, you know, to make
this choice where I had to say, either I’m going to think about the consequences — and
the consequences are really bad, right? The consequences are, knowing what happens
to other whistle-blowers, I’m probably — my career is probably going to be shot. People
are going to try to discredit me. Bad things are going to happen. And… WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All of which happened. SUSAN FOWLER: All of which happened. But I had to take that away from — I had
to take the consequences away from deciding what to do, because I realized that, if I
thought about the consequences, it actually didn’t help me make the right decision. So I had to let everything else go and say,
OK, what I do know for sure? I know that speaking up is the right thing to do. So I have to
do it. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The blog post that you wrote
helped lead to an investigation that helped clear out the then-CEO of Uber. But we know that these kinds of problems existed
at a lot of other companies. So, was it your sense that Uber back then was just on the
extreme end of things, or was this a much more pervasive problem? SUSAN FOWLER: So, I think that companies exist
on a spectrum. On this one end, we have, you know, founders
and H.R. departments and executives who, if they heard about these kinds of things happening
at their companies, they would be horrified, and they would do everything they could to
stop it. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you have
Uber at the time that I was there. And as we have seen in the last few years, with more
people telling their stories about mistreatment in the workplace and at schools and in government,
you know, there’s this giant spectrum, and at the one side, we have Uber. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You dedicate your book at
the very beginning to your young daughter. And you write: “It’s my hope that, when you
are old enough to read this book, the world described within it is completely unrecognizable
to you.” Are you optimistic that that really is going
to happen? SUSAN FOWLER: I am. I really am, because I
start to see — I have seen a difference, even in the past few years, about how we start
to talk about these issues. The fact that I’m even sitting here today,
and we’re talking about these things, I think that’s a huge step forward. So, the more that
we can talk about these things and shine a light on the kind of bad practices that exist,
the better it will be. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The book is “Whistleblower:
My Journey to Silicon Valley and Fight for Justice at Uber.” Susan Fowler, thank you so much. SUSAN FOWLER: Thank you so much. AMNA NAWAZ: Now: The life of a star of the
silver screen becomes the subject of a new movie. Jeffrey Brown explores the drama behind the
camera and how secret FBI surveillance is brought to light. It’s the latest in our ongoing Canvas series
on arts and culture. JEFFREY BROWN: American actress Jean Seberg
was best known for her role in the film “Breathless,” a classic of the French New Wave cinema. In
it, she plays the American girlfriend of a French criminal. The film helped make Seberg a global star. Now comes the new film “Seberg,” directed
by Benedict Andrews. BENEDICT ANDREWS, Director, “Seberg”: We have
a couple of moments where we copy Jean perfectly, the famous ending of “Breathless” where she
stares down the barrel of the camera, and it’s a defining moment of modern cinema cafe. Kristen Stewart from the “Twilight” saga and,
more recently, “Personal Shopper” and “Charlie’s Angels,” portray Seberg. KRISTEN STEWART, Actress: I’m saying things
that they don’t want here. Do you understand? I really only knew her from “Breathless,”
Herald Tribune, the T-shirt. Yes, but all was really struck by that performance.
I obviously wasn’t around when that movie came out, but I don’t think it was a very
typical way of performing then. I think that she was so kind of available and present,
and in a way that felt kind of radical. JEFFREY BROWN: Radical and vocal, traits that
ultimately cost Seberg her career and possibly her life. That is the focus of the new film. KRISTEN STEWART: This country is at war with
itself in, Vietnam, the oppression of black people in America. JEFFREY BROWN: FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover
started a surveillance program to infiltrate and undermine groups the FBI considered subversive
and a threat to the political order. ACTOR: Who is that? ACTOR: Some actress is just grabbing some
publicity. ACTOR: She has a history of donations to civil
rights groups. She’s a sympathizer, sir. I think she could be useful. JEFFREY BROWN: In addition to Martin Luther
King, anti-Vietnam War protesters, and the Nation of Islam, the bureau also targeted
the Black Panther Party. In a chance meeting during a flight, Seberg
met the head of the group’s Los Angeles chapter, Hakim Jamal, and through him became a financial
supporter of the party and the target of the FBI. The film dramatizes a relationship between
the two that never existed in reality. ACTOR: Our job is to cheapen their image in
the eyes of the public. . ACTOR: Seberg, you got to stop. They will
destroy your reputation, your career, your family. BENEDICT ANDREWS: We see the same tools that
are used to make cinema, the cameras and the microphones, turned against her. And that
same private space that is so precious in her and so open becomes attacked by the state
because of her idealism and her politics. And I was fascinated by what happened to this
woman. How did she survive that? What does it take to destroy someone’s truth? JEAN SEBERG, Actress: Good morning. MAN: What’s your name? JEAN SEBERG: My name is Jean Seberg. JEFFREY BROWN: A native of Iowa, Seberg got
her start by chance, winning a talent contest, beating some 18,000 hopefuls and getting cast
as Joan of Arc in Otto Preminger film “Saint Joan.” That success led Columbia Pictures to put
her under contract, eventually casting her in roles opposite major stars like Burt Lancaster
in the film “Airport.” JEAN SEBERG: They been pressuring me about
that transfer to San Francisco. JEFFREY BROWN: So you’re an actress playing
another actress. What did you see in her that suggested a kind
of an openness, a different kind of acting? KRISTEN STEWART: I think that she was present.
When she was in a place and a time, that’s where she was. And there was no amount of
preparation that would make her a better actor, that remove the experience of discovery. Movies do this beautiful thing where they
bring us closer together. And I think that it makes total sense that she, from a really
young age, always championed the underdog and did it — did it without any sort of fear. She was reckless. There was something reckless
about her in every aspect. Even her performances feel reckless. I feel like you never know
what she’s going to do, because she doesn’t know what she’s going to do. JEFFREY BROWN: In the new film, actor Jack
O’Connell plays FBI agent Jack Solomon, who was assigned to follow Seberg. BENEDICT ANDREWS: Jack finds that the what
he’s involved in is very different from what he set out to do and that actually he’s involved
in a very dirty, secret, ugly war. And, for me, the intertwining of those lives,
the watcher and the watched, is the kind of glue — the glue of the storytelling, and
for the audience to experience the surveillance thriller, in a way, by the FBI story, but
to see the mechanics of surveillance and see that turned against Jean. JEFFREY BROWN: Like Jean Seberg, Kristen Stewart
has experienced life as a young star under constant media attention. Did you feel a connection in that sense of
the kind of scrutiny? KRISTEN STEWART: I have been saying, like,
on a very comparatively superficial level, yes, definitely. You know, I have never been so viciously attacked
in the way that she was. Everyone’s impression of is not necessarily going to be the same,
and there’s not a correct one. Maybe you can pick up like a certain magazine
that you know lies to you, but people kind of typically know that those things are taken
— you know, people take them with a grain of salt or whatever. Maybe some people don’t.
Who cares? I don’t like really care. But to have lies spread about you is so vicious. JEFFREY BROWN: “Seberg,” the film, is now
showing around the country. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Jeffrey Brown. AMNA NAWAZ: As we mentioned earlier, the president
is talking tonight about the outbreak of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19. In fact, he’s speaking in the Briefing Room
right now about what the federal government’s doing and how it’s preparing in case the outbreak
gets worse in the United States. Here’s some of what he said: DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
I have just received another briefing from a great group of talented people on the virus
that is going around to various parts of the world. We have, through some very good early decisions,
decisions that were actually ridiculed at the beginning — we closed up our borders
to flights coming in from certain areas, areas that were hit by the coronavirus and hit pretty
hard. And we did it very early. A lot of people
thought we shouldn’t have done it that early. And we did. And it turned out to be a very
good thing. And the number one priority from our standpoint
is the health and safety of the American people, and that’s the way I viewed it when I made
that decision. AMNA NAWAZ: The state of preparations has
become the source of concern and criticism between parties and among some public health
officials. As we saw with the president and lawmakers,
it’s also increasingly a political issue, too. For more on all of this, I’m joined here in
the studio by our White House correspondent, Yamiche Alcindor, and from New York via Skype
by Dr. Thomas Frieden. He’s a former director of the CDC, former commissioner of the New
York City Health Department, and he is currently president and CEO the nonprofit group Resolve
to Save Lives. Yamiche, here in the studio, I’d love to get
your take on what we just heard from the president. He is still talking, of course, but there
he was hailing the government’s response, saying, we did the right thing early. He was
just given a briefing. What do we know about how he’s been hearing
about the coronavirus and how he’s been communicating about it so far? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Well, the president is seeking
really to calm Americans tonight. After the CDC came out last night and said
it’s not a matter of if, but when the coronavirus gets to the United States, there was a lot
of panic. I was on Amazon. There’s masks already selling out. So people are feeling very, very
scared. And the president here is trying to be a calmer
in chief. He’s trying to say, we are ready. At the briefing just now, he said, our number
one priority is health and safety of Americans. He has also been saying that he wants $2.5
billion to fight this virus. Democrats today said, actually, we should do $8.5 billion.
Instead of getting into a fight, the president said from the Briefing Room, if you’re offering
that money, we will work with you. We will take that extra money. So the president here is really trying to
calm a lot of people here. He’s gotten some backlash for saying that we’re — that the
risk is low to Americans, because the CDC is saying, actually, this is could be a pandemic. But, that being said, the president is trying,
I think, his best here to try to calm people. AMNA NAWAZ: Dr. Frieden, I want to get your
take on both what we heard from the president and what Yamiche was just reporting. President Trump has been saying, this response
so far from the U.S. government has been a success. That’s the word he continues to use.
Just assess for me what you have seen in terms of this administration’s response. Are they
doing everything they should be at this point? DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN, Former Director, Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention: Well, first off, the risk today in the United States
is low. That’s correct. And the things that have been done by the CDC and others are appropriate. But the big picture is very different. A pandemic
is inevitable. That has become clear in the last few days. There have been hundreds of
people to leave China with the virus who haven’t been diagnosed in countries all over. We have Iran, Italy, Hong Kong, Korea with
lots of cases. And this is going to spread. We are in the calm before the storm. It’s
going to get worse before it gets better. And thinking that we can somehow pull up the
drawbridges and not have anyone in this country get it, that’s a dangerous delusion. AMNA NAWAZ: So, Dr. Frieden, talk to me about
some of these figures you’re hearing in terms of what the government’s prepared to spend.
We know the president asked for that $2.5 billion. Democrats are asking for $8.5 billion. Based on what the U.S. has done in the past,
is this what we should be spending? Is that appropriate in terms of a response? DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN: There’s a fundamental
question. For how long? If that’s a one-year figure, that’s one thing.
But, for Ebola, what we found is, it was essential to have a five-year allocation, so we could
really address it in a comprehensive way and get to the root of reducing the risk going
forward. Ebola was $5.4 billion supplemental over five
years. This is a much bigger risk than Ebola. I said and others said there was no chance
Ebola would spread widely in the U.S. It just wasn’t in the cards. And it didn’t happen. This could definitely spread quite widely
in this country. We don’t know how far it will spread. We don’t know how severe it will
be, whether it will be mild, moderate or severe. But a pandemic is coming. AMNA NAWAZ: We know the president has also
been communicating about the health and wellness, the recovery of some of those Americans who
both contracted it, were confirmed cases back here, and also were moved back to the U.S.
after being diagnosed overseas. Here’s what President Trump had to say about
them. DONALD TRUMP: As the disease spreads, if it
spreads, as most of you know, the level that we have had in our country is very low. And
those people are getting better. Or we think that, in almost all cases, they’re
better or getting — we have a total of 15. We took in some from Japan. You heard about
that, because they’re American citizens and they’re in quarantine. And they’re getting
better too. But we felt we had an obligation to do that. AMNA NAWAZ: Yamiche, we have been hearing
from the president things are getting better, the patients are getting better. That stands in contrast to what some public
health officials are saying. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: That’s true. The president has been getting backlash. People
are thinking that he’s trying to downplay this for his own political benefit. He just
now said that Vice President Pence is going to be the czar, the coronavirus czar, putting
him now in charge of this. But the president also said that this is going
to get better in April, that, once it gets warm, things are going to get better. Now,
that’s usually true, experts say, when it comes to flu. But the coronavirus is different. This is a disease that people are still learning
about. So, in some ways, the president is getting a lot of backlash for making claims
that aren’t exactly accurate at this point. And he’s also, some people think, really trying
to just make it seem as though maybe Democrats and other people who are his political opponents
are trying to create some sort of hysteria to scare people, and to also make him look
bad. So the president has been someone who has
looked at his own political benefit, even in times of crisis, as presidents some — often
do in these in these cases. AMNA NAWAZ: Well, Dr. Frieden, let’s talk
about that little bit of news that Yamiche just brought us, the appointment of a czar. We know the president was reluctant to do
that. He pulled together a task force from various agencies, including HHS and DHS. Does
that — is that right now the appropriate response? And, also, can you tell us, specifically,
at that federal level, what concrete steps should they be taking right now that you don’t
believe they are? DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN: The first and foremost
thing is to get the supplemental through Congress at a high enough level that we can protect
America. That means supporting state and local health
departments. That means working with hospitals. That means investing in a vaccine, even though
we aren’t sure it will work. And, crucially, that means reducing the risks
around the world. It costs about $1 per person per year to upgrade those early warning systems
and rapid response systems in countries all around the world that will help tamp down
this pandemic and protect us from future pandemics. But that’s a lot of money. That’s billions
of dollars over multiple years. And a supplemental is the best chance to get a running start
on that and keep Americans safer. AMNA NAWAZ: Dr. Frieden, you said it’s going
to get worse before it gets better. I think that will worry a lot of people. When you talk about what that will look like
here in the United States, what can you tell us in terms of schools or hospitals and in
communities? What should people be ready for? And what can they be doing right now to get
ready? DR. THOMAS FRIEDEN: Well, first and foremost,
we have to admit there’s a lot we don’t know about this virus. It just burst onto our awareness two months
ago, and we’re learning more every day, sometimes every hour. But what we know is that it’s spreading widely.
We know that many people have left China with the infection and not been diagnosed elsewhere.
We’re going to see more countries affected. We’re going to see more clusters. It’s spreading quite readily in some health
care facilities. It’s spreading quite readily in some communities, churches. So, we will
see a lot of it. What we’re not sure of is how severe is going
to be. The initial reports of a new pathogen are often — say it’s really deadly, because
you’re seeing the most severely ill people. But as we learn more, we may find it’s not
so deadly. When the 2009 flu pandemic hit, initially,
from Mexico, it looked to be very deadly. And soon, we found it was quite dangerous
for younger people, but overall it wasn’t a terribly bad virus. It was a new one, but
not a particularly bad one. So we don’t know if this is going to be a
mild, moderate or a severe pandemic, but it will be a pandemic. That means, for most people,
there’s certain simple things you can do. Wash your hands often. Cover your cough. When
you — cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Be sure to not get others sick if you’re sick.
That means staying home if you’re sick. You may want to be careful and have a few months
of medicine if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, not in a panic buying way, but in
a sensible way, so that if there are supply chain interruptions, you would be ready. And think about what you do if schools had
to close. We don’t know that that would be necessary. It may or may not be. In different
communities, there may be different approaches, but that’s a possibility. So it’s worth thinking about and planning
about what you would do in your life to be ready. AMNA NAWAZ: Yamiche, this has moved from the
if to the when phase now. What is the confidence level like? People
will be looking to the president for leadership on this. Are they confident that they will
be able to handle this? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: The president and Vice President
Pence just now are saying that they’re confident in this. They’re saying that Vice President
Pence, because he was a leader in Indiana, that that’s a good health system. He’s been praising President Trump from the
podium, saying that he’s doing a good job. Secretary Azar, who’s in charge of Health
and Human Services, he is also saying that people are basically ready for this, and that
there’s only a few cases, maybe one case, in the last couple weeks here. But it’s still very, very early. So, they’re
still trying to figure out kind of how many cases there are. It’s still — people are
still trying to figure out what’s going on here. But the president is trying to at least look
confident and trying to reassure people that they are ready for this and that, when this
hits the United States, that they’re going to have all the resources ready. And it seems
as though we’re seeing bipartisan support, bipartisan working together. So the leaders in this country seem to think
that this is a moment for people not to be arguing, but to be focusing on how to do this. AMNA NAWAZ: And that is good news, indeed,
a lot we don’t know right now. Yamiche Alcindor, our White House correspondent,
thanks to you. And to Thomas Frieden over in New York, thanks for being with us. On the “NewsHour” online right now, special
correspondent Marcia Biggs has been reporting for the “NewsHour” on the humanitarian crisis
in Venezuela, where many international aid organizations have been blocked from offering
aid. She is now sharing some ways you can help
local organizations who are trying to make a difference there. See how you can pitch
in on our Web site. That’s PBS.org/NewsHour. And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. Please don’t forget to join us tomorrow, when
Judy Woodruff sits down with Michael Bloomberg. I’m Amna Nawaz. Join us online and again here tomorrow evening.
For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank you, and we’ll see you soon.

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