PBS NewsHour full episode, Dec. 17, 2020

JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff On the “NewsHour” tonight, hack attack. New details on the scope of a dangerous cyber-intrusion on the U.S. government and major companies Then, the Biden agenda. The president-elect names key climate officials for his administration, signaling a major departure from President Trump Plus, trusting the vaccine. We examine the many historical reasons for reluctance surrounding immunizations in communities of color And, Invisible Scars. What we know now about treating and preventing childhood trauma HILARY HODGDON, Complex Trauma Treatment Network: If we could get rid of childhood trauma and maltreatment as a stressor, we’d actually be able to prevent most of the mental health conditions that we see JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s “PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: There is new and troubling information on a massive cyberattack against the U.S The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency has determined that the recent hacking of federal, state, and local governments, as well as critical infrastructure and other private sector organizations, poses — quote — “a grave risk.” They also said that eliminating the malicious computer code from compromised computer networks will be highly complex and challenging We start by turning again to Dmitri Alperovitch He’s co-founder of Silverado Policy Accelerator It’s a Washington-based think tank Dmitri Alperovitch, thank you so much for being with us again We are learning from the cyber agency that the hackers used possibly more than one path to get in. How significant is that? DMITRI ALPEROVITCH, Co-Founder, Silverado Policy Accelerator: (AUDIO GAP) espionage campaigns in history And we have just breaking this tonight before you went on the air that Microsoft was one of the other vendors whose software was impacted here. And the Russians were able to leverage it to get into some of the victims, in addition to the original company called SolarWinds But the impact is huge, because you have so many companies using the software that essentially gave a map to the Russian intelligence service, who is believed to be behind this, to gain entry, government agencies, private sector companies alike JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it sounds serious enough But then there is this additional reporting today from Politico that they managed to get inside the Energy Department, inside the national Nuclear Security Administration, which manages the nuclear weapons stockpiles It sounds serious. How serious is this? DMITRI ALPEROVITCH: Well, this was a supply chain hack So, in effect, the Russians were able to infiltrate into these software companies whose software is used by tens of thousands of organizations globally, including most of the sensitive government agencies. And then they cherry-picked They decided which targets they wanted to go after to actually get into the doors and exfiltrate very sensitive information from those networks. And that is why we are seeing this drip, drip, by drip reports of numerous government agencies that you can imagine would be of high interest to the Russian intelligence services, like the State Department, like the Treasury Department, like the Pentagon, and now the Department of Energy as well and

others JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Dmitri Alperovitch, do we have a sense of how close they came to triggering something — I mean, the whole thing is serious enough — but to triggering, I don’t know, a nuclear incident or some other unthinkable sort of incident, step, emergency? DMITRI ALPEROVITCH: This is an incredibly dangerous situation and very detrimental to our national security But there are two silver linings here that I think it’s useful for us to remember. One, it looks like this was a traditional espionage attack. It looks like they were not interested in destruction. And it looks like no data was — is being changed. We may find out differently in the future But, for now at least, it looks like they went in and did traditional theft of information, very, very serious stuff, but — of course, but it could have been so much worse And second silver lining is that, in this particular case, it looks like they were not able to get access to classified networks Those are networks that are disconnected from the Internet, so they are extremely difficult to infiltrate. And that’s where most of the U.S. government secrets, of course, are located on But even compromising the unclassified networks, they still contain enormous amounts of sensitive information. So, this is going to be very, very damaging to our national security for many years to come JUDY WOODRUFF: And, as we reported, very difficult to unwind, to undo whatever damage was done? DMITRI ALPEROVITCH: It is going to take us months to get the Russians out of those networks In particular, if it is indeed the SVR, the Russian foreign intelligence service, they are the ones that infiltrated the White House, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the State Department back in 2015. And it took many, many weeks for those organizations back then to kick them out, because they are so good at burying themselves in, staying stealthy, maintaining that foothold within the organization, that it’s going to take us probably months to get them out of all these networks that they have been able to infiltrate JUDY WOODRUFF: Dmitri Alperovitch, as always, we thank you DMITRI ALPEROVITCH: Thank you so much JUDY WOODRUFF: And we continue our look at the extent of this hack Earlier this evening, William Brangham spoke with Fiona Hill. She served as senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019. She is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Fiona Hill, very good to have you on the “NewsHour.” Thank you for being here Start off by helping us understand, is there any doubt in your mind that the Russians are behind this? FIONA HILL, Former National Security Council Official: Not really, no And I’m sure that more information will come out over the next few days and weeks that will confirm this WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And why is that? Why are you so certain? FIONA HILL: Well, this has all the hallmarks of their tradecraft It’s a very sophisticated operation. Clearly, it has been obviously many months, if not longer, in the planning, just the nature of the execution. And the way that it is also being revealed, first of all, by FireEye and other entities that have been following the Russians for some time, is that it has all the hallmarks of a sophisticated operation, probably carried out by the SVR, the foreign intelligence units of the Russian intelligence services WILLIAM BRANGHAM: This is obviously self-evident to people like you in your field, but help us understand what the Russians gain from this attack FIONA HILL: Well, this is actually classic espionage It’s just, of course, that it’s an attack on cybersecurity systems. It’s the kind of thing that, back in the old days, they would have executed, obviously, in a different way, by having to have people infiltrate to extract information Obviously, the world that we operate in now, with the Internet and so much data backed up on larger systems, gives all kinds of opportunities now to penetrate information on the scale that we never had before So, I mean, again, this isn’t something that we should be particularly surprised about I mean, obviously, it’s disturbing and very troubling that they managed to pull something off on this scale. But it’s not out of the ordinary in any way whatsoever of the long patterns of espionage that Russia and before it the Soviet Union have engaged in WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Given that, that this is classic tradecraft, this is something that superpowers do to each other — I’m sure we are doing something similar to the Russians, or trying to — is it your sense that there’s anything that we could have done leading up to this point that would have deterred this behavior? I mean, we saw the Obama administration struggle what to do about Russian meddling back in 2016. We have seen the Trump administration’s response. Do you think we could have done differently to have deterred this? FIONA HILL: Yes So, what we could have done is had a coherent approach and not been at odds with each other, because part of the problem in this administration has been that we have failed to pull together as a cohesive unit, not just across the executive branch, but between the executive branch and all the departments and agencies and also with Congress We have also been at odds with our allies And part of the deterrent approach is working in unity. In fact, we have seen over the last several years where we have been able to pull

off a unified response, be it sanctions against Russian activity in Ukraine after the annexation of Crimea as one key example, and also where we expelled a whole set of intelligence operatives from embassies across Europe in the United States after the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury We did see the Russians pulling back to some extent. So, if we can pull something off where we’re all working together, and not at odds, we don’t have the president on one page and everybody else on another, and we’re working together with our allies to push back on this, then that could have a serious deterrent effect And it would also make us much more effective at rooting out the contours of this kind of attack WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, from this point forward, the tail end of the Trump administration and the beginning of the Biden administration, what do you think we ought to be doing to respond? FIONA HILL: What we need is a coherent, consistent approach. And this is something that we have failed to have under the previous administration And we have some of WILLIAM BRANGHAM: When you say previous administration, do you mean the Trump FIONA HILL: Well, I mean the outgoing administration, the Trump administration, that I was part of for some of this period We have set up entities like CISA, cybersecurity entities within the Department of Homeland Security. Unfortunately, President Trump just sacked the head of CISA, Chris Krebs, for the role that he played in essentially calling out the president and others in the election campaign, calling out their disinformation about the election security So, we need to beef up those entities. And what we really need to do is have a coherent team that are working together and clearly working very closely with the White House, because, under the outgoing administration, we had the president doing one thing. He didn’t delegate authority down to even some of his key Cabinet officials And he certainly undermined on many different fronts the efforts to work across all of the departments and agencies. So, we need to have a team of people who trust each other, who are working and pulling together, and also working together with Congress and all the other entities that have to be part of this We can’t just have one set of people going off and doing their own thing We need to be calling this out for what it is. And we also need to be working with our transatlantic partners WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Fiona Hill, thank you very, very much for your time FIONA HILL: Thank you, William JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: A panel of experts endorsed a second COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. They recommended the Moderna vaccine to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as deaths nationwide passed 310,000 In California, hospital staffers now have beds in hallways and ambulances lined up, and it’s getting worse, with 100,000 new infections there in two days DR. MOHAMED FAYED, UCSF Fresno: Nurses and physicians and all the health care workers are really working so hard through this, hours and hours and hours and hours per day nonstop People are taking two shifts just to get through this JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, weekly claims for unemployment benefits jumped to 885,000. That is the most since September And overseas, French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for COVID-19. He said that he will self-isolate for a week President-elect Joe Biden is rounding out his environmental team. The “NewsHour” has confirmed that Michael Regan is the choice for the Environmental Protection Agency. He now leads North Carolina’s Environmental Agency And New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haaland is being tapped for interior secretary. She would be the first Native American to serve in the Cabinet In Russia, President Vladimir Putin denied today that his government ordered opposition leader Alexei Navalny poisoned last August Navalny was dosed with a Soviet-era nerve agent, but is now recovering. Putin held his annual news conference today, and he accused U.S. intelligence agencies of supporting the dissident VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russian President (through translator): If this is right, then it’s interesting, and those services have to look after him But it doesn’t mean that it’s necessary to poison him. Who cares about him? If somebody wanted him poisoned, they would have finished him off JUDY WOODRUFF: An investigation by several news organizations has identified Russian security agents as those who carried out the poisoning More than 340 boys kidnapped in Northern Nigeria have now been freed. They’d been kidnapped last week by the Islamist group Boko Haram Now a top state official says that government agents recovered most of the boys today. He did not say if a ransom was paid Back in this country, a major snowstorm broke records across the Northeast and New England

today. Williamsport, Pennsylvania, got more than two feet. That’s the most since 1964 And parts of Upstate New York got three feet In New York City, snowplows and shovels were busy after six inches of snow overnight. That’s more than the city got all of last winter Members of the family that owns Purdue Pharma acknowledged today that the painkiller OxyContin has helped fuel opioid addictions. The epidemic is blamed for 470,000 deaths across the U.S But at a virtual U.S. House hearing, David and Kathe Sackler did not apologize or admit personal wrongdoing KATHE SACKLER, Former Purdue Pharma Board Member: Is there anything that I could have done differently knowing what I knew then, not what I know now? And I have to say, I can’t — there is nothing that I can find that I would have done differently, based on what I believed and understood then JUDY WOODRUFF: Purdue Pharma has admitted criminal wrongdoing and will pay $8 billion in fines. The Sacklers do not face criminal prosecution The CDC reports that drug overdose deaths in the U.S. topped 81,000 in the 12 months ending last May. That’s a record, and it’s getting worse as COVID-19 disrupts daily life The agency says the upheaval can hit drug abusers especially hard Google is now facing a third major antitrust action; 35 states, plus the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico sued today. They charged that the company has an illegal monopoly over online search results; 10 other states and the U.S. Justice Department have separate suits pending against Google And on Wall Street, the major indexes finished at record highs, on hope for economic relief from Congress. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 148 points to close at 30303. The Nasdaq rose 106 points, and the S&P 500 added 21 Still to come on the “NewsHour”: how cities across the country might not get COVID relief from Congress; President-elect Biden names key climate officials for his administration; we examine the many reasons for reluctance surrounding vaccines in communities of color; and much more While Congress continues to debate a new round of COVID relief money, one chunk of aid appears to be left on the chopping block, and that is funding for state and local governments For how this development may affect cities across the country, I’m joined by two mayors on the front lines of the COVID fight, Nan Whaley, Democrat of Dayton, Ohio, and David Holt, Republican of Oklahoma City We welcome both of you to the “NewsHour.” Thank you so much for joining us Mayor Whaley, I’m going to start with you How has COVID affected the people of Dayton? How has it affected your community? NAN WHALEY (D), Mayor of Dayton, Ohio: Well, certainly, it’s very close to everybody, as we have seen a really tremendous surge this past month in our communities So, your friends, everyone knows someone now that has passed away from the disease. And then it has really affected our schools, everyday life, really everything that you used to do, even from the summer to the winter. And then, you know, while we’re very hopeful and excited by the vaccine, the vaccine still hasn’t made it to Dayton So, we are concerned about the economic recovery being pretty slow, even with the vaccine coming JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Mayor Holt, Oklahoma City, with a population of, what, over 650,000, how has Oklahoma City been hit by this pandemic? DAVID HOLT (R), Mayor of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Well, like everybody, we have had serious levels of death that we have never experienced — or at least I should say never not probably since 1918 And we have had our health care system stretched to its limit. For several weeks now, we have had about 600 patients in the hospitals of Oklahoma City just for COVID-19, which is about a third of our capacity is just devoted to that And, then, there’s obviously the secondary economic affect that we have experienced You know, I think other places have probably suffered more economically than Oklahoma City has. But it’s not as if we have been immune from that. And it affects everything. And

it certainly affects our city government functions as well We’re a government that is almost primarily and almost exclusively dependent on sales tax, which means that we get hit pretty fast when there is an economic downturn. So, we, like many other governments, have had to tighten our belt as well. And that means fewer services for our residents JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Mayor Whaley, what about the financial impact in Dayton? How has that been affected? How has it affected your ability to conduct the services that citizens need? NAN WHALEY: Well, when the COVID pandemic first hit, we quickly offered a volunteer separation plan for all of our employees We have around a little over 1,800 employees; 102 of them took the buyout So, that made our — the folks working at the city a lot less. And they have been doing a lot more during a pandemic with less people That is simply not sustainable long-term, because you know, when people retire, they move, and different parts of the organization get really, really hit in places that you just can’t afford to keep on doing that So, that helped us through the ’21 budget We were hoping to get federal relief. If we don’t see federal relief, we’re prepared to not have a police class in ’21, not have a fire class in ’21. And you know people retire every year, so that means that our levels will be lower coming in the ’21 year JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Mayor Holt, what about in Oklahoma City in terms of — you started — you touched on it a moment ago. But what has it meant, what kind of hit have you taken, and what difference could federal aid make one way or another? DAVID HOLT: Well, we’re down about 5 percent in sales tax for this fiscal year. So, we have had to freeze a lot of hiring that we had expected to make this year We have certainly had to cut back programming, especially in our rec centers. It is hard to — we want — the first thing we want to protect are the people we have on staff now But that means that we really — the worst impact is felt by our programming And these are programs that people care about But I do want to say something real quick, because I don’t want Mayor Whaley to have to say this. Thirty-six cities did get funding back in April and May from the original CARES Act. And we are blessed to be one of those cities here in Oklahoma City, because we are over 500,000 But there are 3,000 cities across America over 10,000. There’s 300 cities over 100,000, and only 36 of those got that funding. That funding had a lot of strings attached, and so we haven’t necessarily been able to use it as much as we would have liked on our revenue shortfalls But it has certainly given us a little bit of breathing room. And even though we benefited from that, I want to speak for Mayor Whaley and for other cities around the country, hundreds of them, thousands of them, that never got that benefit. And that is why this package is so very important NAN WHALEY: And, Judy JUDY WOODRUFF: We appreciate your point Go ahead. Mayor Whaley., go ahead NAN WHALEY: No, I was just saying — I was going to going to say, David is right. The smaller the town, the more this is felt, because the smaller you are, you don’t have the ability to really hold this loss And so not getting in the federal relief package affects small communities all across the country And I don’t really know what some of these smaller communities in Dayton are really going to do in the next quarter JUDY WOODRUFF: And, just quickly, Mayor Holt, without that federal money making a difference DAVID HOLT: Yes, yes I mean, listen, cities and states are some of biggest employers in any community. And the federal government has, rightfully so, supported many employers across our country in ways that have allowed them to retain their staff, pay their employees, and maintain their business And our business is providing services to our residents. And we need that same support And we need it across our cities, not just our biggest ones. Again, very grateful for that back in the spring here in Oklahoma City, but really want to see that same support given to cities and states across the United States JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we need to hear this message And we thank both of you for sharing your story with us, Mayor David Holt, Oklahoma City, Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio. Thank you NAN WHALEY: Thank you, Judy DAVID HOLT: Thank you, Judy JUDY WOODRUFF: President-elect Biden has said that tackling climate change, the environment and greener energy is a top priority of his administration And, today, he filled out the rest of the team that will be taking the lead on these issues The “NewsHour”s Yamiche Alcindor reports that New Mexico Representative Deb Haaland is Mr Biden’s pick to be interior secretary. If confirmed, she would be the first Native American to lead the department or to be in the Cabinet, and she would be overseeing a big piece of

nation’s natural resources, including tribal lands John Yang looks at what the Biden picks bring to the table JOHN YANG: Judy, Mr. Biden’s team appears to be a mix some of familiar faces and some not-so-familiar faces Including Representative Haaland, Mr. Biden’s picks include Michael Regan, the head of North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality, to head the Environmental Protection Agency, former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to be his senior climate change adviser, and former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to be energy secretary. Earlier, Mr. Biden named former Secretary of State John Kerry as his global climate change envoy Amy Harder covers energy and the climate for Axios. She joins us now Amy, thanks so much for joining us Let me start with Interior. What is the significance? Representative Haaland would be, if confirmed, the first Native American to run the Interior Department, which oversees a huge amount of land in the United States, including tribal lands AMY HARDER, Axios: Definitely It is significant because she will be the first — if confirmed, she will be the first Native American to lead this agency in its 171-year history. And so that’s important, because the Interior Department really runs and governs everything about the tribal lands, including extraction and conservation of their lands And so it is very significant. It is not unlike when President Obama was elected president, as the first African American, the way African Americans feel in the U.S. And there is almost two million American Indians and Alaska Natives in the country, so it will be very significant JOHN YANG: And the department has not always had the greatest relationship with tribal nations AMY HARDER: Correct There has been a lot of conflict, particularly under this administration, where the Trump administration, according to some Native American tribes, that he was not including them in consultations. And, also, he was rolling back — he has rolled back a whole host of conservation lands, including some on tribal lands And so I think Biden will be really looking to mend those relationships JOHN YANG: And among the names that we have been able to confirm, Michael Regan at EPA is probably the least familiar to people around the country What can you tell us about Michael Regan? AMY HARDER: Oh, well, he will be the first African American male to be the EPA administrator The first African American at all was Lisa Jackson under President Obama He is actually winning accolades from a lot of people across the spectrum, including some industry lawyers that I have talked to in D.C. and environmental groups. And so I think he brings — what will be critical is state experience And so president-elect Biden will be leaning heavily upon what states have already done and what they are going to continue to do in order to meet his climate change agenda So, I think that experience is going to be really important JOHN YANG: When you look at this team as a whole, what does it tell us about Mr. Biden’s approach to the environment, to energy? AMY HARDER: Right Well, I will say two things on that. I think, first, he is leaning heavily on Obama era officials, because he knows he wants to hit the ground running the second January 20 arrives That is why he picked Gina McCarthy, Obama’s EPA administrator, to be the White House coordinator on climate change, and then also picking a really picking a diverse Cabinet, which, this year, amid the pandemic and a terrible recession, America has really been grappling with systemic racism And so the calls to elect — to nominate — excuse me — a really diverse Cabinet is really evident in these picks. And so I think it is significant from that perspective And then, when it comes to the policy, ultimately, the policy comes from the top down. So, I anticipate these people to really enforce the policies that president-elect Biden has campaigned on JOHN YANG: We don’t know the eventual makeup of the Senate yet, whether it is going to be Republican or Democrat. Either way, it is going to be very, very narrow How likely is or how much trouble or how easy is it going to be for Mr. Biden to get his energy, environment, climate change agenda through Congress? AMY HARDER: It is going to be very difficult Even if Democrats eke out a win in the Senate races in Georgia, the Democratic Party is not monolithic. And there will be some energy-intensive representative Democrats that are controlling the committees in a Democrat-controlled Senate, such as Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia So I anticipate Biden to not try to go too big, from a congressional perspective, on energy and climate change, which is why these picks across the government and the executive branch are so important

Representative Deb Haaland is pretty progressive, even though she hails from New Mexico, which is a huge oil- and gas-producing state. And the oil industry was quick to point out in its statement today that it provides a lot of jobs in the oil and gas industry But, nonetheless, Deb Haaland has said that she wants the Interior Department to go full steam ahead on renewable energy on federal lands And so I anticipate that to be the type of policy that Biden really goes full forward on, as opposed to doing something like the Green New Deal or a carbon tax in Congress, because there’s really not the support for that, no matter who controls the Senate JOHN YANG: Amy Harder of Axios, thank you so much AMY HARDER: You’re welcome. Thank you JUDY WOODRUFF: The Trump administration said today that it expects to ship six million doses of that new COVID vaccine from Moderna to more than 3,200 locations next week But with new cases at high levels and states reporting they may not get as much of the other vaccine from Pfizer as expected next week, there are real concerns Miles O’Brien reports that there are questions of public trust around vaccines, especially in communities of color It’s part of our series on the Leading Edge of science MILES O’BRIEN: In the frantic race to get COVID vaccines out the door, public health experts have labored long and hard to figure out who should go first and who can wait They also hope to inject an antidote to deep-rooted unfairness laid bare by the virus Bisola Ojikutu is an infectious disease physician at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital DR. BISOLA OJIKUTU, Brigham and Women’s Hospital: Black, Latinx, and indigenous populations are about three times more likely than white individuals to be diagnosed with COVID-19 MILES O’BRIEN: They are about five times more likely to be hospitalized and almost twice as likely to die of COVID-19 DR. BISOLA OJIKUTU: The numbers, are devastating, OK? And I think that a lot of people initially were shocked, though those of us who’ve been working in the area of disparities for a long time weren’t shocked MILES O’BRIEN: There is no evidence biology or genetics are reasons for this. Rather, it is a symptom of chronic racism and poverty Social vulnerability puts minorities at disproportionate risk Victor Dzau is president of the National Academy of Medicine DR. VICTOR DZAU, President, National Academy of Medicine: It’s where you live, what you do, how you’re exposed that increases your chance, and then with the comorbidities, which we all know is rooted in health inequity, which are mainly related to issues of access, racism, and others, that increases the chance of people getting the transmission infection MILES O’BRIEN: Dr. Dzau helped create a diverse committee of public health and infectious disease experts to offer a framework to the states as the vaccinations begin. The committee did not use race as a factor in its deliberations Instead, it used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index, which measures how external factors adversely affect human health The committee is giving priority to high-risk health workers, first responders, teachers, prisoners, and correctional staff, and people who hold critical jobs. Dzau says it is a colorblind way to address racial disparities DR. VICTOR DZAU: You look at who’s being mainly affected, they are, in fact, communities of color, minorities and others who are basically socioeconomically disadvantaged I think it’s an objective way of looking at it, rather than just labeling people just because of skin color MILES O’BRIEN: And getting enough people vaccinated to slow the exponential spread of the coronavirus will not be easy. In the U.S., vaccine hesitancy has been a persistent problem for many years WOMAN: Mandating vaccines for education, that is coercion MILES O’BRIEN: And the rapid and seemingly politicized development of COVID-19 vaccines has deepened those suspicions. Only 61 percent of Americans say they will take the vaccine Among minority communities most affected by COVID, the number is even smaller. Only 24 percent of Black Americans and 34 percent of Hispanics say they will get a shot DR. REUBEN WARREN, Director, Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care: The question is, who is going to be willing to participate? MILES O’BRIEN: Reuben Warren is director of the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care DR. REUBEN WARREN: And it’s the question of not the level of science, but the trustworthiness of the scientists, as I have been taught and I believe that science doesn’t lie, but scientists do MILES O’BRIEN: From 1932 through 1972, the United States Public Health Service and the

CDC conducted a study based here on syphilis among 600 African Americans, most of them poor sharecroppers Despite the fact that researchers discovered penicillin is a cure in 1947, none of the men were treated. It’s the most infamous example in a long history of shameful mistreatment of Black Americans by scientists conducting medical experiments DR. REUBEN WARREN: We know the history, but history doesn’t have to repeat itself. It’s not inevitable. And I think the notion of inevitability is a false notion. We have the opportunity to change how things are, if there’s a commitment to do so MILES O’BRIEN: In Boston, Bisola Ojikutu is doing her part DR. BISOLA OJIKUTU: In fact, it would be strange if there wasn’t, you know, that level of mistrust, because if you see institutions where this is occurring, if you see health care providers and the government that’s not addressing this issue, you know, that seemingly allowing it to exist, it’s tolerated, why would you trust? MILES O’BRIEN: So, she recruited minority volunteers for the Moderna vaccine trial, people like Anthony Shivers, here for a follow-up after receiving his shots DR. BISOLA OJIKUTU: So, tell me how you’re feeling. You have been in the trial for a while MILES O’BRIEN: He is in a high-risk category, with some underlying health issues. But he too is concerned people in his community will remain hesitant ANTHONY SHIVERS, Moderna Trial Participant: I felt compelled to come and be a part of this, because, like I said, I was watching the news one night, and it just really struck me how it’s really hitting us seniors and the Black community. You got to come together, and you got to join in and be a part of a solution, not just sit back and be a bystander MILES O’BRIEN: Public health experts say at least 70 percent of the population will need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, stopping the pandemic So, the first jabs are crucial in more ways than one. Some polls suggest growing numbers are willing to be vaccinated. The success may be contagious (APPLAUSE) WOMAN: See? MILES O’BRIEN: For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Miles O’Brien in Atlanta JUDY WOODRUFF: Over the past several days, we have looked at how childhood trauma impacts people around the country. Now we focus on solutions Just as our understanding of trauma’s long-term impacts has grown, so too has our grasp of how to treat and prevent it Special correspondent Cat Wise and producer Rachel Wellford have the final report of our series Invisible Scars: America’s Childhood Trauma Crisis CAT WISE: It’s a Friday morning, and Eamani Williams is getting her son Sha’quan (ph) and daughter Amara (ph) off to preschool Raised by a single mother, Eamani says her childhood was sometimes tough. Now a 22-year-old single mom herself, Eamani realized there was a lot she didn’t know when her son was born four years ago Was it tough being a new mom? EAMANI WILLIAMS, Parent: Honestly, it was That pregnancy wasn’t planned. I didn’t know what to do, like how to bond with him CAT WISE: And we now know how important those bonds are. Research shows that early positive interactions with caregivers can help kids better cope with trauma down the line At this clinic, in Schenectady, New York, Eamani connected with a program that helps her kids become more resilient by working through her own past traumas. The program, called HealthySteps, places child development experts like Bernadette McDaniel in pediatric offices BERNADETTE MCDANIEL, HealthySteps: We’re seeing in the parents domestic violence, abuse, all kinds of sexual — sexual abuse, neglect CAT WISE: She shares parenting skills and other resources to help reduce day-to-day stresses that can lead to trauma for kids BERNADETTE MCDANIEL: Before the days of COVID, I would be able to hold the babies and cradle the babies and talk to the babies and talk to mom about how the baby responds to a smile, how the baby responds to your voice CAT WISE: Eamani says that information has changed how she parents EAMANI WILLIAMS: When I get, like, my depression episodes, I try not to be depressed in front of, them because they’re like a mirror. So I try to just not show it around them, at least try to just be the happy mom BERNADETTE MCDANIEL: You can see the children They’re healthy, inquisitive children who want to learn about their world. You don’t see the stresses in the children CAT WISE: Prevention, on a wide scale, could have a big impact, according to clinical psychologist Hilary Hodgdon, who co-directs the Complex Trauma Treatment Network HILARY HODGDON, Complex Trauma Treatment Network: If we could get rid of childhood trauma and maltreatment as a stressor, we’d actually be able to prevent most of the mental health conditions that we see

CAT WISE: An estimated 60 percent of U.S adults had at least one adverse or traumatic experience as a child. Not all of them will need treatment, but for those who do, there are now a range of proven treatments to meet a range of needs Hodgdon says the treatments considered the most effective share some common principles HILARY HODGDON: There has been more of a focus to help kids have safe and secure relationships, to help kids build regulation skills, to help kids be able to process some of the difficult and painful experiences that they have had in their life YARY BETANCOURT, 13 Years Old: We get deer, turkey CAT WISE: For some, like 13-year-old Yary Betancourt, intensive and sustained treatment is needed Six years ago, after time in the foster care system, Yary and her two older brothers were adopted by Gabrielle and Luis (ph) Betancourt who live in Connecticut GABRIELLE BETANCOURT, Parent: Her biological mother used substances and had some mental health conditions that made it difficult for her to parent. She went hungry for long periods of time CAT WISE: That trauma often led to anxiety and fear of being abandoned Do you remember a little bit about some big emotions that you had maybe when your mom was in a different room? YARY BETANCOURT: I was scared. I thought she wouldn’t come back CAT WISE: To help her feel safer and manage those emotions, the Betancourts, tried a variety of treatments, including family and talk therapy And for a while, they were helping, but then things changed GABRIELLE BETANCOURT: When Yary started puberty, it was very difficult for her to regulate her emotions. And even though she had so many skills and she had worked so hard, it was very difficult to maintain her safely in the home CAT WISE: After a lot of searching, they found a unique residential treatment program and school run by the Justice Resource Institute, a nonprofit that provides mental health care for those with trauma histories and special education needs GABRIELLE BETANCOURT: They believe in Yary, and then they help Yary be the best that she can be CAT WISE: The program helps caregivers and children build stronger, more understanding relationships, encourages kids to regulate their behavior through things like breathing techniques and exercise, when they are experiencing unhappy memories or thoughts, and builds resiliency by having kids spend time doing what they love And, for Yary, that included time with animals After nearly two years of full-time care, Yary was finally able to move back home. Today, she still attends the program’s day school and goes to weekly therapy sessions, all equipping her with effective trauma coping skills When my son has big emotions, one of the things we talk about is doing dragon breaths, and deep-in-and-out breaths. Did you do anything like that? YARY BETANCOURT: The monkey hug CAT WISE: Oh, tell me, what’s the monkey hug? YARY BETANCOURT: Where you do this and just tap back and forth slowly CAT WISE: And when you do that, how do you feel? YARY BETANCOURT: Better. I feel good CAT WISE: But the Betancourts are lucky. They live in Connecticut, where childhood trauma treatments are more accessible than in some parts of the country GABRIELLE BETANCOURT: It’s expensive, and no one wants to pay. But here’s the thing We do pay. Foster care is expensive. Having generation upon generation of trauma that perpetuates itself is expensive CAT WISE: Those are some of the issues now driving efforts to expand mental health care access for children Schools are often on the front lines of the childhood trauma crisis in this country. Here in Connecticut, where a horrific shooting eight years ago continues to have a lingering impact, big investments were made to bring trauma-informed mental health services to children in schools Hope Bray is a social worker in the Newtown school district where that shooting occurred Here at Reed Intermediate School, Bray runs a program called Bounce Back. It’s a voluntary trauma intervention, specifically designed for use in schools. Children who have been referred by school counselors meet for 10 group sessions, in addition to working with Bray one-on-one HOPE BRAY, Reed Intermediate School: We’re not referencing a particular trauma. We’re talking about trauma or scary experiences, and then we kind of move on to, well, how might we feel if we have experienced trauma to kind of normalize the experiences that children have. Then we move on to, what can we do about it? CAT WISE: Bray says providing trauma treatment in schools can remove many of the financial and logistical barriers for families. But she sees another benefit too HOPE BRAY: For a child where I don’t know that they have a support system in home, I just don’t know what it looks like, I know they have a support system in my building CAT WISE: Success is being seen in schools and beyond. More than 15,000 kids in Connecticut have now received therapy that focuses on trauma, like Bounce Back Eighty percent have shown improvement in trauma symptoms, like depression, anxiety and PTSD But Bray is concerned that much of the progress that’s been made in her community could be upended by the pandemic HOPE BRAY: The unfortunate fact is, not everybody is safe at home. We have a lot of children who are experiencing more fear, more uncertainty, more hunger. I think we’re really going to

need more trauma treatment CAT WISE: Some trauma advocates say it’s important to remember not everyone finds relief inside a therapist’s office CISSY WHITE, Writer: This is my spare bedroom, which is also my healing space CAT WISE: Cissy White, a writer and childhood trauma survivor, has charted her own journey toward healing. She experienced a number of traumas, from divorce to physical and sexual abuse, all before the age of 10 After more than a decade of talk therapy, she realized it wasn’t working the way she needed it to CISSY WHITE: It helped me understand there’s a reason I’m feeling this way. There’s cause and effect. But it didn’t help my trauma symptoms It didn’t help me sleep. It didn’t help digestion issues. It didn’t help me feel calm CAT WISE: Instead, she turned to less traditional therapies, like meditation, yoga and expressive writing, all practices she feels should be more widely available CISSY WHITE: The things that most people are still going to get is talk therapy and medication They’re not super effective for post-traumatic stress. So, we still have that problem. And that’s a big problem CAT WISE: But she and many others we met during our reporting shared a resounding message of hope CISSY WHITE: Trauma treatment is often treated like it’s so depressing, but it gives you back your birthright to joy, to feeling safe, to feeling good in your skin, to being able to relate. It’s triumphant HOPE BRAY: There is always hope. And I’m not just saying that because it’s my name, but, absolutely, we can turn that tide CAT WISE: There might be some kids around the country watching this. What would you say to them? YARY BETANCOURT: That it’ll get better. Someone’s always there for you CAT WISE: For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Cat Wise in Connecticut JUDY WOODRUFF: Now the science of laughter, as told by the one and only Jerry Seinfeld He’s had a big year, with a Netflix special and a recent book which has been on bestseller lists for the past 10 weeks Jeffrey Brown caught up with him for our ongoing arts and culture series, Canvas JEFFREY BROWN: It’s an especially harsh holiday season in New York, but on a recent walk with daughter Sascha, Jerry Seinfeld got quite a thrill JERRY SEINFELD, Comedian: Holy cow. Oh, my God. I can’t believe it JEFFREY BROWN: Above them, a giant billboard blow-up of an op-ed he’d written for The New York Times last August titled, “So you think New York Is Dead. It’s Not.” MAN: Good-looking guy up there (LAUGHTER) MAN: Yes JEFFREY BROWN: A response to doomsayers arguing the city will never recover from COVID WOMAN: You go, Jerry JEFFREY BROWN: He greeted grateful fellow New Yorkers JERRY SEINFELD: Yes, so you see this? WOMAN: It’s gorgeous JERRY SEINFELD: Yes, thank you COMPUTER VOICE: Please record your message JEFFREY BROWN: And after a technological near-miss, he reached me to talk about it JERRY SEINFELD: It was unreal. And I’m used to seeing myself on things, but that was something so different and powerful to me, that I could have that impact on anyone. It’s an unbelievable feeling JEFFREY BROWN: You wrote that op-ed piece You clearly didn’t like all this talk, right? JERRY SEINFELD: I didn’t like it. And I wanted to say it in a funny way that we know things are tough. But things are always tough here That’s what we’re used to, and that we’re going to get through this, and that everyone is going to get through it JEFFREY BROWN: New York’s small comedy clubs are where Seinfeld started and continues to return JERRY SEINFELD: I saw this lady today with a little — I don’t even know the names of these little dogs. I wouldn’t even know if you said it MAN: (INAUDIBLE) dog (INAUDIBLE) JERRY SEINFELD: It doesn’t matter (LAUGHTER) JASON ALEXANDER, Actor: I like sports. I could do something in sports (LAUGHTER) JERRY SEINFELD: In what capacity? JEFFREY BROWN: “Seinfeld” the show brought world fame and fortune JASON ALEXANDER: Well, like the general manager of a baseball team (LAUGHTER) JEFFREY BROWN: But he told me the next day from his Manhattan apartment, stand-up comedy was all he ever wanted JERRY SEINFELD: I love living in the little world of stand-up comedy. It’s a small universe JEFFREY BROWN: Now five decades of his jokes and routines are gathered in a book titled “Is This Anything?” It’s what comedians ask as they try out new material, seeking the magic of getting a laugh JERRY SEINFELD: I do enjoy the mechanics and the dismantling. I think I would like watch repair. I think that’s a field I would enjoy, because that’s what I like to do with my stuff It’s like watch repair. I like to get into the gears of how it works JEFFREY BROWN: This is a very disciplined thing for you JERRY SEINFELD: For me, it is, but it’s not for everyone JEFFREY BROWN: Yes JERRY SEINFELD: It took me about two years after I started to realize this whole racket is writing. It’s all writing. If you learn to write, to become a writer, you will survive

in this business. If you don’t, you will die JEFFREY BROWN: But why is that? What is it about the — the writing is what really brings you into the comedy? JERRY SEINFELD: You need a lot of stuff (LAUGHTER) JERRY SEINFELD: You need stuff. It’s like a bakery. You need fresh donuts. And it kind of takes you down the road of what you see and who you are. And you must always be able to look around. You have to be able to see it and go, there’s something funny there I have to find it I don’t lie in restaurants anymore “How is everything?” “I don’t like it here.” (LAUGHTER) JEFFREY BROWN: Of course, once you have written a joke, you have to deliver it “23 Hours to Kill,” Seinfeld’s latest Netflix special released earlier this year, shows his trademark style JERRY SEINFELD: A lot of people around my age like to make a bucket list. I made a bucket list, and I turned the B to an F, and I was done with that too (LAUGHTER) JERRY SEINFELD: Comedy is just about the feeling of connection. That’s what stand-up comedy is When you get a laugh from an audience, you’re like one thing. It only lasts a few seconds, but you feel completely connected to them They feel connected to you. And it’s very satisfying Once you really know the words, that’s a gigantic piece of it. That’s 80 percent of it People talk about going out Because that gives you a veneer of confidence Well, this is it (LAUGHTER) JEFFREY BROWN: Yes, I noticed the word veneer, so whether it’s real or not JERRY SEINFELD: It doesn’t need to be real at all JEFFREY BROWN: In fact, Seinfeld sees himself as most authentic when he’s on stage. He says he’s not a naturally outgoing or even attention-seeking person, and thinks that helps him as a performer JERRY SEINFELD: This could be my favorite spot in the entire world right here, right now For me, that stage is my only outlet to humanity JEFFREY BROWN: You’re serious? That performance is your way to meet people, to interact with people? JERRY SEINFELD: Well, I can really be myself On stage, that’s really me. At a cocktail party, that’s a total performance JEFFREY BROWN: “Seinfeld” has called the show that made him rich and famous a nine-year detour from his real job of stand-up, but one for which he is extremely grateful JERRY SEINFELD: It was a stunning, mind-boggling experience But it was really like being part of a weather event, to tell you the truth JEFFREY BROWN: A weather event? You mean like a big hurricane or something? JERRY SEINFELD: Yes. It was like a giant, swirling funnel of energy. That just felt like hanging onto a rocket the whole time I don’t know what this thing is doing, but let’s try and keep it from crashing JEFFREY BROWN: “Seinfeld” the series ended in 1998, but is seemingly on somewhere at all times to this day JERRY SEINFELD: Could we start with some coffee? STEVE MARTIN, Comedian: Could I use some coffee JEFFREY BROWN: More recently, he created a popular Web series, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” KEVIN HART, Comedian: Is it safe? JERRY SEINFELD: No JEFFREY BROWN: Seinfeld and friends and a memorable episode with President Obama JERRY SEINFELD: Are these washed? (LAUGHTER) JEFFREY BROWN: For Jerry Seinfeld, though, there’s clearly just one thing he wants to hold on to, the old accordion folders in which he stored decades of jokes That’s not near you, is it? JERRY SEINFELD: It is. I have it near me Why? You want to see it? JEFFREY BROWN: I’d love to see it, yes? Can you grab it? (LAUGHTER) JEFFREY BROWN: Yes, come on JERRY SEINFELD: So, this is the accordion folder JEFFREY BROWN: This is the famous folder that holds all Jerry Seinfeld jokes JERRY SEINFELD: And it’s got the letters, and the jokes are inside. And I have a few of these. This was my first one, though, that I bought in ’76 When I had a bit that was working, I would just put it in there. And that’s it. That’s my whole career right there JEFFREY BROWN: And you start saving them because you got to hold on to everything, or you — just for posterity, or what? JERRY SEINFELD: I had two pairs of jeans and two shirts. That’s it. I had no socks. And I had these jokes So, what am I going to save? I’m going to save the jokes. The jokes are the only thing I had. You don’t have anything in your pockets when you go on stage to do stand-up. All you have is your jokes Nice to meet you JEFFREY BROWN: With pandemic raging, Jerry Seinfeld says now is not a time for comedy But just wait. Soon enough, the jokes will come out of the folder, the laughs will come again JERRY SEINFELD: Do a really interesting one JEFFREY BROWN: For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Jeffrey Brown JUDY WOODRUFF: Boy, do we need Jerry Seinfeld, now, more than ever Thank you, Jeffrey Brown And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m Judy Woodruff Join us online and again here tomorrow evening For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank you, please stay safe, and we’ll see you soon