PBS NewsHour full episode July 31 2020


PBS NewsHour


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JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I'm Judy Woodruff. On the "NewsHour" tonight: the persistent pandemic. Health leaders declare the coronavirus far from contained. We discuss Congress' struggle to respond and more with House Majority Whip James Clyburn. Then: security concerns. We explore the deterioration of U.S.-China relations with the assistant attorney general for national security. Plus: a critical choice. Joe Biden closes in on his pick for running mate, as the campaign for the White House heats up. And it's Friday. Mark Shields and David Brooks examine the congressional stalemate over COVID relief, the V.P. pick, and the president's suggestion of delaying the election. All that and more on tonight's "PBS NewsHour." (BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: There is still no end in sight tonight to the COVID-19 pandemic and no economic relief package either. But health experts leading the fight say a vaccine may be on the horizon. That was a central focus at the day's marquee congressional hearing. Stephanie Sy begins our coverage. STEPHANIE SY: A note of hope from the nation's top infectious disease expert today. DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID Director: We feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we go into 2021. STEPHANIE SY: Dr. Anthony Fauci told the House Oversight Subcommittee on Coronavirus that efforts to secure a vaccine are moving at breakneck pace. He also promised that when a vaccine is finally approved, it will be widely available. DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Ultimately, within a reasonable time, the plans now allow for any American who needs the vaccine to get it. STEPHANIE SY: Joining him on the panel, Dr. Robert Redfield, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Admiral Brett Giroir, the White House testing czar. Democratic Committee Chair Jim Clyburn of South Carolina ripped into the Trump administration's response, especially on testing. REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): The federal government has still not yet developed and implemented a national strategy to protect the American people. STEPHANIE SY: Testing and contact tracing have been mostly handled at the local and state levels. And with cases surging in much of the nation, Admiral Giroir acknowledged delays in an exchange with Democratic Congressman Andy Kim of New Jersey. REP. ANDY KIM (D-NJ): Would it be possible for our nation to have results for all COVID tests completed and returned within 48 and 72 hours? Is that a possible benchmark that we can achieve? ADM. BRETT GIROIR, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services: It is not a possible benchmark we can achieve today, given the demand and the supply. It is absolutely a benchmark we can achieve moving forward. STEPHANIE SY: Republicans pushed the panel on reopening schools, arguing that children lose essential services when not in the classroom. REP. BLAINE LUETKEMEYER (R-MO): We need to make sure we're looking at both sides of this health care issue. STEPHANIE SY: Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri warned that child abuse is going unreported because kids are not in school, where teachers can see them and spot signs of abuse. And the CDC's Redfield repeated his own call to return to classrooms. DR. ROBERT REDFIELD, CDC Director: The public health interest of the students in this nation right now is to get quality education and face-to-face learning, and we need to get on with it. STEPHANIE SY: But another point made by the Missouri congressman on the use of hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment was dispelled by Fauci, who called the study President Trump has been touting flawed. DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Any and all of the randomized placebo-controlled trials, which is the gold standard of determining if something is effective, none of them have shown any efficacy for hydroxychloroquine. STEPHANIE SY: Republicans also challenged Fauci to weigh in on recent political events. Ohio's Jim Jordan pressed the point of whether protests against police brutality, like those in Portland, Oregon, contribute to infections. REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): I just want an answer to the question, do the protests increase the spread of the virus? DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: I don't have any scientific evidence of anything. I can tell you that crowds are known, particularly when you don't have a mask, to increase the acquisition and transmission. STEPHANIE SY: Avoiding large gatherings is one of five actions the CDC's Redfield said Americans should be doing to curb the virus, along with wearing a face covering, social distancing, hand hygiene, and avoiding crowded bars and restaurants. DR. ROBERT REDFIELD: If we did those five things, we have done modeling data, we would get the same bang for the buck as if we just shut the entire economy down. STEPHANIE SY: On the economic relief front, White House negotiators met with congressional Democratic leaders again. Federal jobless benefits and eviction protections are set to expire at midnight. But White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said the sides are still deadlocked. MARK MEADOWS, White House Chief of Staff: The Democrats believe that they have all the cards on their side, and they are willing to play those cards at the expense of those that are hurting. STEPHANIE SY: In turn, House Speaker Nancy accused Republicans and the White House of not recognizing the pandemic's severity. REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): We don't have shared values. That's just the way it is. So, it's not bickering. It's standing our ground or trying to find common ground. STEPHANIE SY: With no deal in sight, House Democrats said they will cancel the August recess until they have passed a relief bill. For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Stephanie Sy. JUDY WOODRUFF: Let's take a closer look now at the pandemic response from Capitol Hill with the chair of the Coronavirus Oversight Committee. I spoke this afternoon about that and other matters with Democratic Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina, who is also the House majority whip. Representative Clyburn, thank you very much for joining us. Your special subcommittee held a hearing this morning. You heard from top health officials in the Trump administration, and you called on them to make drastic changes in the administration approach to this pandemic, or you said another 150,000 Americans could die. What changes do you want to see the administration make? REP. JAMES CLYBURN: Well, thank you very much for having me. First of all, I do believe that the administration has had the kind of a program that I would like to see, but they seem to be pushing that out to the states privately. I want them to go to a national program. I want that would be well-coordinated, based upon science. JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you think they will do that? REP. JAMES CLYBURN: I don't know if they will do it or not. But I think the testimony today was very clear. Dr. Fauci, Dr. Redfield, Admiral Giroir, I don't disagree with a thing that they're saying. But it just seems to me that they are really working together. It's just not getting out to the states. JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump, as you may know, Representative Clyburn, tweeted during the hear hearing. And he said this about you. He said -- quote -- "Somebody please tell Congressman Clyburn, who" in his words, "doesn't have a clue, that the chart he put up indicating more cases for the U.S. than Europe is because we do much more testing than any other country in the world. If we had no testing or bad testing, we'd show very few cases." How do you respond? REP. JAMES CLYBURN: I respond like the experts responded. Dr. Fauci and Dr. Redfield, all of them say, very succinctly, that this surge in additional infections has little to do with one thing only. It's a plethora of things that are taking place. So, the testing would not account for this increase. This increase comes about because we were doing about 50 percent of what other countries were doing. In other words, if people had masks or shields, if people will recognize social distancing, that there might be a different thing. But when you have got the president making fun of wearing a mask, not doing any social distancing, not setting an example for the rest of the country, that is what the problem is. So, the testing has -- is just one part of it. The other part is whether or not we adhere to what the scientists say is required for driving the numbers down. JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me ask you about COVID relief legislation. The White House chief of, Mark Meadows, said this morning that Republicans had made four separate proposals to the Democrats on some kind of compromise. They said every single one of them has been turned down, and with no counterproposal. My question is, Mr. Clyburn, why not just agree -- among other things, they have suggested a short-term extension. Why not at least agree to a short-term extension, so that these $600 in additional unemployment benefits will continue and won't lapse? REP. JAMES CLYBURN: Well, I can appreciate the fact, and I hope you appreciate, I'm not in the room. I have no idea whether or not what -- Mr. Meadows would be reflecting accurately what is going on in the -- these negotiations. But I will say this. I do believe that we cannot allow people to lose their homes. We can't allow renters to be put on the streets. We cannot allow unemployment -- unemployed people to lose their insurance. We need to keep people with income, so that we can keep this economy going. So, what Mr. Meadows said, I don't know. I'm not one of the negotiators, so I'm not going to pass judgment on that at all. JUDY WOODRUFF: Mr. Clyburn, as you know, Democrats are making a major push right now for more access to mail-in voting. Yesterday, at Congressman John Lewis' funeral, former President Obama spoke about it, said -- was very critical of Republican efforts, in his words, to deny any votes. Today, we had the White House adviser Stephen Miller saying that what President Obama said was scandalously and outrageously false. He said that Republicans are not trying to do any such thing. Where do you come down on this? REP. JAMES CLYBURN: I think everybody knows that I have forever been for what I call voting from home. When we ask people to stay at home, we ought to make it available for them to vote from home. And for some, that may be mail. For some, that may be dropping off their vote at some predesignated place. We ought to be making it available for people to vote, when they don't have a gathering. People ought not be standing in line, as they did in Wisconsin, when people came away sick. We can arrange to pay for people to vote while being socially distanced. That's what I'm for. And for some people, it might be mailed in. I do mail-in voting every year that we vote, because I always have to work on Election Day. And so I mail my ballot in. And the president seems to say there's something different with voting absentee than voting my mail. I mailed my absentee in. So what's the difference? There is no difference. And I think that Stephen Miller ought to be ashamed of himself. JUDY WOODRUFF: And one other thing Mr. Miller said this morning, he said, it's shocking that nobody who mails in a ballot has their identity confirmed. He said nobody checks to see even if they're a U.S. citizen. REP. JAMES CLYBURN: We can check to see anything we want to check to see. Bar coding has been with us forever. I don't know where he's been. But you can always bar code every ballot to know whether or not the proper person cast that ballot. It's never been any kind of a problem. They have done research on mail-in ballots. There's one state, I know, and I think there may be several states that vote 100 percent by mail. So, what's -- nobody has ever found any fraud and abuse of that. They are just trying to cloud the issue. They're looking for some way to try to postpone this election. They're looking for some way not to have an election. I have been saying now for about three years that this president doesn't plan to have an election. He's not planning to give up the office. He thinks that the American people will be duped by him, like the people of Germany was duped by Adolf Hitler. JUDY WOODRUFF: One final thing, Representative Clyburn. Vice President Biden, as you know, is saying he's going to announce next week which woman he has chosen to be his running mate. You have said you think it would be a plus, but not a must, for Joe Biden to choose an African American woman. My question to you, though, is with the -- what we have seen happen in this country over the last few months, the push for racial justice, the sensitivity around racial justice, do you not think it would be better if he chose an African American woman as his running mate? REP. JAMES CLYBURN: I still maintain it would be a plus. I do believe that it is a little bit foolhardy for us to be focusing on the vice presidential choice, rather than other things as well. I long for an African American woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court. It's a shame that we have had three women to sit on the United States Supreme Court, and no one has ever given the kind of consideration that is due to an African American woman. That, to me, is priority. The V.P. is good on style, but, on substance, give me an African American woman on the Supreme Court. That's where we determine how our democracy will be preserved. This Supreme Court has neutered the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And so I am very concerned about the composition of the United States Supreme Court. JUDY WOODRUFF: House Majority Whip Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina, thank you very much. REP. JAMES CLYBURN: Thanks for having me. JUDY WOODRUFF: And this evening, there are new reports that Joe Biden will announce his pick for running mate the week of August 10. In the day's other news: The surge of COVID infections in much of the world has hit new highs, a record 292,000 cases in the last 24 hours. India alone reported 55,000 cases, its most yet. Meanwhile, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson abruptly imposed new restrictions in Northern England. And, in Vietnam, thousands were tested after an outbreak in Da Nang, now under a lockdown. Hanoi and other cities also report new infections. A storm that battered Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic is now Hurricane Isaias. And it's heading for the U.S. East Coast. It swept over the Bahamas today, and was expected to strengthen before reaching South Florida this weekend and the Carolinas by Monday. A hurricane warning is now up for Florida's Atlantic Coast. Hong Kong today postponed September's legislative elections by a year, citing the pandemic's ongoing resurgence. It was a setback for pro-democracy forces, who hoped for an overwhelming win at the polls. Activist Joshua Wong said it's all part of a campaign, including barring him and others from running for the city legislature. JOSHUA WONG, Pro-Democracy Activist: Beijing has staged multiple acts to prevent the opposition bloc from taking the majority in Hong Kong legislature. Our voice is clear and loud to the world by our vote. We stand to defend our freedom and rights that's stipulated in the joint declaration and the basic law. JUDY WOODRUFF: The election delay comes as mainland China is moving to curb dissent in Hong Kong under a new national security law. Back in this country, a 17-year-old boy in Tampa, Florida, was charged today in a major hack of Twitter this month. Investigators said that he sent bogus tweets from high-profile figures, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, and others. The tweets promoted a Bitcoin scam that netted more than $100,000. Two other suspects, one in Britain and one in Orlando, Florida, are also charged. A federal appeals court has overturned the death sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He's the convicted Boston Marathon bomber. Today's ruling said the jurors were not sufficiently vetted for bias. Tsarnaev and his older brother carried out the 2013 attack that killed three people and injured 260. The brother died in a gun battle with police. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was discharged from a hospital in New York today. She had a procedure on a bile duct stent. Ginsburg is 87, and is also being treated for a recurrence of cancer. The U.S. Census Bureau is moving its deadline for this year's count back to original date, December 31. Officials wanted an extension through next April, due to pandemic delays, but the request has stalled in Congress. Civil rights and other groups warned that the December timetable means an undercount that will hurt minorities. Census results affect congressional districts and the distribution of federal funds. And on Wall Street, despite yesterday's grim second quarter economic report, tech stocks led a late rally to close out a fourth straight month of market gains. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 114 points to close at 26428. The Nasdaq rose 157 points, and the S&P 500 added nearly 25. Still to come on the "NewsHour": the assistant attorney general for national security discusses the state of U.S.-China relations; who are the women Joe Biden is considering to be his running mate?; the campaign for the White House heats up; Mark Shields and David Brooks look behind the week's myriad political headlines; plus, much more. Today, a member of the Chinese military appeared before a California court, accused of lying about her background to come to the U.S. as the -- this as the U.S. takes on China on multiple fronts. There's a major push on the legal front, as Nick Schifrin reports, the Department of Justice has made combating alleged Chinese industrial and strategic espionage a top priority. NICK SCHIFRIN: In June 2018, the FBI caught China spying on camera. U.S. citizen Edward Peng didn't realize he was being filmed leaving an envelope of $20,000 in cash, and returning later to pick up an S.D. card with what he was told was classified U.S. intelligence to give to the People's Republic of China, or PRC. DAVID ANDERSON, U.S. Attorney, Northern District of California: The charges unsealed today provide a rare glimpse into the efforts of the PRC to obtain classified national security information of the United States. NICK SCHIFRIN: That glimpse is becoming less rare. The Department of Justice has charged Chinese hackers who act in association with Chinese intelligence, Chinese military officers who pose as students and researchers who live in the U.S., naturalized U.S. citizens who steal trade secrets for Chinese companies, and, just last week, Chinese hackers who broke into dissidents' accounts and private companies working for the state. JOHN DEMERS, U.S. Assistant Attorney General for National Security: These intrusions are yet another example of China's brazen willingness to engage in theft, through computer intrusions, contrary to their international commitments. NICK SCHIFRIN: That is Assistant Attorney General John Demers, who leads the Department of Justice's National Security Division. In the last 10 days, the division has made nine case announcements connected to Chinese behavior, including Juan Tang, who temporarily hid out in China's San Francisco consulate. In total, the Department of Justice says 80 percent of al economic espionage charges and 60 percent of all trade secret cases are tied to China. CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI Director: We have now reached the point where the FBI is opening a new China-related counterintelligence case about every 10 hours. NICK SCHIFRIN: The Department of Justice's actions are part of a larger effort by the Trump administration to identify and punish Chinese behavior. And I'm now joined by Assistant Attorney General John Demers, who, as you just saw, leads the Department of Justice's National Security Division. John Demers, welcome to "NewsHour." Let's begin with the highest-profile action by the U.S. against China inside the United States. That is the closure last week of the Houston consulate. What made Houston the hub for more aggressive, more successful Chinese espionage than other Chinese actions? JOHN DEMERS: As you indicate, Nick, we didn't choose Houston at random among the Chinese consulates. It was at the forefront both of intellectual property theft, of participation in programs like the 1,000 Talents program Chinese have to help take U.S. intellectual property, and also of covert foreign influence activities. And so, once the decision was made to close a consulate here in the U.S., Houston was in many ways the obvious choice. NICK SCHIFRIN: The overall question, I think, is, the U.S. has been accuse the Chinese government of espionage for years. Is the increased tempo that it seems to be in indictments a sign that the threat has increased, or is that the U.S. ability to find espionage and willingness to call it out increased? JOHN DEMERS: Well, I think the theft has been steadily increasing. So, we have seen Chinese espionage, both traditional espionage, as you talked about in the Peng case in the opening, or on intellectual property side in these cyber cases, for many, many years. And over the years, the department has charged some of those cases. But the activity has increased over time, particularly with the Made In China 2025 plan. That was announced back in 2015. The scope, I think the persistence of this activity, the increased use of nontraditional collectors, like folks who are at companies and aren't necessarily intelligence officers or member of the military, to take intellectual property, the sophistication of the plans, their ability to do cyber-intrusions, has also increased over time. So, we have seen, I think, a steady increase on the part of the Chinese to take intellectual property in order to develop their economy, to develop their businesses. In addition, I think we have launched the China initiative here at the department, which was really meant about two years ago to make sure that, across the country, the U.S. attorney's offices and here at main Justice, we were focused on the threat that we were seeing every day in the intelligence briefings that we were getting about this threat of intellectual property threat from China. NICK SCHIFRIN: Let's zoom in on something that you mentioned before, what the Chinese call the 1,000 Talents program. JOHN DEMERS: Right. NICK SCHIFRIN: The U.S. describes it as a campaign to recruit academics, recruit scientists to steal sensitive technology. Did the intelligence community actually really get that program, really only understand that program in the last few years? JOHN DEMERS: I think that we have understood the scope of that program over the last few years. I think that also, on the Chinese end, has been a program that's been developing and growing over time. And I think our appreciation for the way it's being used to take intellectual property has also grown over time. And in the cases that we have charged over the past couple of years, you see individuals, both on the business end of things and on the academic end of things, who are participating in this program, which isn't by itself illegal, but the problem is that they're doing so covertly. They're lying to their employers, they are lying to their company, they're lying to their university about whether they're receiving foreign funding. They're hiding their trips over to China. They're not declaring their affiliations with universities in China. And, at the same time, they're taking the intellectual property of the company or of the university, and they're transferring it over to China. So, it's not just a talent recruitment program. It is also an avenue for the Chinese to take American intellectual property. NICK SCHIFRIN: We went back to the Chinese government's responses to some of these cases and some of these claims. And a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently said the Department of Justice's claims were -- quote -- "full of political lies exposing their ideological bias." Are you biased against China? JOHN DEMERS: Look -- well, I'm pro-liberal democracy. So, I guess, to that extent, I'm biased against authoritarian communism. But what I'm doing here and what we're doing here is really going after illegal activity. That is theft of intellectual property. Our -- we have brought many of these cases in court. We are able to prove them, and we have proved them using unclassified admissible evidence, beyond any reasonable doubt. So, I'm very confident in the cases that we have brought. I'm confident in the inferences that we have drawn from those cases. And we won't charge a case unless we're confident that there has been wrongdoing. NICK SCHIFRIN: The other day, the Chinese government spokesman called TikTok, a Chinese company, and there's reporting just this afternoon that the administration could ask TikTok's parent company to divest, or perhaps even Microsoft could purchase it. What is the threat that TikTok poses? JOHN DEMERS: Yes. So, look, without going into any potential transactions, the threat that we're worried about on the national security end from TikTok is both with respect to U.S. person data and with respect to foreign influence of the content of those apps. So, on the data side, it's, of course, you know, about 130 million users here in the U.S. who are providing their data voluntarily when they sign up and knowingly. But also, unknowingly, that app is collecting data from their phones, geolocation data, and then using advertising ideas even from other apps on their phone to see their behavior. To fully utilize the app, you have to consent, for instance, for the app to access your contact list. So, there's a lot of data that is being selected on U.S. persons that we're concerned about, because we have seen the Chinese acquire, either through theft or through attempted acquisitions, large quantities of sensitive personal data. And then, on the content side and on the foreign influence side, I think you're aware of the many reports, including from whistle-blowers within the company, of the company moderating some of the content on the app to exclude versions of Chinese behavior that Chinese government doesn't like, whether it's about Hong Kong, or the Uyghurs, or Taiwan, or Tibet, or any of the other sensitive issues in China. So, that is really our national security concern with TikTok. And I think, as the president himself said today, we continue to look at ways in which to mitigate those concerns. NICK SCHIFRIN: And I have to ask. Yesterday, President Trump asked on Twitter whether the election should be delayed. Secretary Pompeo yesterday said the Department of Justice would make a final judgment on that. Could the election be delayed? JOHN DEMERS: Well, the election is set by statute. I think you saw the responses from the Hill yesterday about the idea of changing that date. So, I don't know anything more than that. That's really outside my area of responsibility. NICK SCHIFRIN: John Demers, assistant attorney general, thank you very much. JOHN DEMERS: Thanks a lot, Nick. JUDY WOODRUFF: As the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge, many questions remain about how next month's Democratic National Convention will work in a time of social distancing. But, as Lisa Desjardins reports, the biggest question remains, who will share the spotlight with Joe Biden? LISA DESJARDINS: What started as a debate stage in March... JOSEPH BIDEN (D), Presidential Candidate: I would pick a woman to be my vice president. LISA DESJARDINS: ... has put a new twist on a time-honored campaign parlor game: Which Democratic woman will Joe Biden pick as his presidential running mate? Around a dozen candidates have been on his rumored short list, including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Tammy Duckworth, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Congresswomen Val Demings and Karen Bass, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, and several others. SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): I'm honored to be back in North Carolina, at least virtually. LISA DESJARDINS: Many of the potential picks have already hit the virtual campaign trail. SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D-IL): I think it's important to have people in leadership like Joe Biden. LISA DESJARDINS: And Biden has moved on to the final round of interviews, and is set to make his choice public soon. JOSEPH BIDEN: I'm going to have a choice in the first week in August. LISA DESJARDINS: It is, after all, just two weeks until Democrats hold their next convention, a scaled-back event, with Biden speaking in Milwaukee. And August marks exactly 100 years since women won the right to vote. MAN: Geraldine Ferraro! LISA DESJARDINS: Whichever woman Biden chooses will just be second in Democratic Party history; 36 years ago, New York Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro joined the ticket with Walter Mondale. GERALDINE FERRARO, Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate: By choosing a woman to run for our nation's second highest office, you send a powerful signal to all Americans: There are no doors we cannot unlock. DONNA ZACCARO, Daughter of Geraldine Ferraro: My mother felt incredible responsibility. LISA DESJARDINS: Ferraro's daughter Donna Zaccaro later produced a movie about her mother's run as the first woman on a major-party presidential ticket. DONNA ZACCARO: There was huge pressure. If she did a good job, then she would be opening the doors of opportunity. If she didn't do a good job, she thought it could be disastrous. LISA DESJARDINS: It was more than 20 years before another woman accepted a major party nomination for V.P., 2008, This time, it was a Republican, Sarah Palin, who was breaking barriers. SARAH PALIN, Republican Vice Presidential Candidate: Do you know they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick. (LAUGHTER) LISA DESJARDINS: That same year, Biden himself underwent the closely guarded process surrounding V.P. selection, emerging as Barack Obama's running mate. JOSEPH BIDEN: This is his time. This is our time. This is America's time! LISA DESJARDINS: Those around Biden say that 2008 experience and his eight years in the White House profoundly shape how he will make his choice now. BARACK OBAMA, Former President of the United States: Joe Biden. LISA DESJARDINS: Democratic Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware co-chairs the V.P. selection committee. REP. LISA BLUNT ROCHESTER (D-DE): He is looking for someone who is not only qualified and competent, but is as -- his word is simpatico. LISA DESJARDINS: There are dozens of considerations, from personal chemistry, to who best balances out Biden's potential shortcomings, to who can help win in battleground states. PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, Former Biden Chief of Staff: I think he's looking for a true partner. LISA DESJARDINS: Patti Solis Doyle was Biden's chief of staff during the 2008 campaign. PATTI SOLIS DOYLE: He's looking for someone that only that he likes, but that he trusts, and who can maybe do some of the things that he's not so great at. He's looking for someone who can actually govern with him, in a situation where the country is in dire straits. LISA DESJARDINS: A recent Politico/Morning Consult poll found 54 percent of people say the V.P. nominee will have no impact on their vote. MEGHAN STABLER, Biden Delegate to DNC: I'm not as aligned to, it has to be this person, and, if you don't pick this person, you're not going to get my vote. I'm more into, we need to put America back on the right track. TONY MORGAN, Warren Delegate to DNC: Oh, I'm definitely voting for Joe Biden. He is the only viable candidate to beat Trump. LISA DESJARDINS: Biden also has called himself a transition candidate. And some Democratic voters say the person he chooses this year matters more, because Biden would be the oldest president ever sworn in. He is more vulnerable to the coronavirus. And it's not clear he would run for a second term, regardless of health. CESAR ALVAREZ, Biden Delegate to DNC: I think who he chooses is really going to elevate his running mate not just to be his running mate for 2020, but I think definitely sets them up to surely be on the national stage for some time. VICTOR SHI, Biden Delegate to DNC: The vice president is a really good way for him to reach out to people who may be undecided and really make people feel like their voices are heard in politics. LISA DESJARDINS: Biden is also facing growing pressure from some people to pick a woman of color, including from Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who was at one point on the potential V.P. list. SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket. LISA DESJARDINS: Those calls come as race and justice issues have taken center stage in the campaign, after nationwide protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd. Black women are the most reliable and loyal voting bloc for Democratic candidates. Nearly 95 percent voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. AIMEE ALLISON, Founder, She the People: We have never been here before, we black women, never. We have never been on the short list for V.P., never. LISA DESJARDINS: Aimee Allison is the founder of She the People, a group that advocates for women of color in politics. AIMEE ALLISON: A lot of us believe that a black woman on the ticket will help to increase enthusiasm, demonstrate that Joe Biden's governance is going to include us, is going to see us, and that we have a place at the top of the ticket. LISA DESJARDINS: Biden has already said women of color will play a big role in his administration and that several are on his V.P. short list. JOSEPH BIDEN: I am not committed to naming any but the people I have named, and, among them, there are four black women. LISA DESJARDINS: There is, of course, a wide universe of women whom Biden could choose, with names rising and falling daily, but only a few days now until one gets on the ticket. For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Lisa Desjardins. JUDY WOODRUFF: And that brings us to the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks. So, hello to both of you. The word had been that Vice President Biden would make this announcement next week, but just this afternoon, the word has come out that it's going to be the week after, the week of August the 10th. But we're still going to talk about it, Mark. What do you think should be taken into consideration by Joe Biden as he makes this decision? MARK SHIELDS: I can't think of anybody more qualified to make a decision on the vice president than Joe Biden, who knows what the job is intimately and what helps a president. I'd say, very simply, Judy, given the nature of this campaign, Donald Trump cannot run on, are you better off, are we better off than we were four years ago? It's going to be down-and-dirty, demonizing, low road campaign. So, the first thing I would consider is someone who can throw a punch and who can take a punch, someone who has been there and understands what it means to stand up for your side and to respond. And I just -- I think that's the first qualifications, beyond, obviously, the comfort level that the presidential candidate has for her. JUDY WOODRUFF: David, somebody who can take a punch, throw a punch. Anything else? DAVID BROOKS: Well, that sounds like Kamala Harris to me. But I guess I see it a little differently. I think the vice presidential selection makes almost no difference in the election. Historically, there's been no upside. It hasn't really affected people's vote. Sometimes, you get a downside if there's a scandal. But I would think about governing. If Joe Biden is elected, he will be trying to administer the New Deal and the progressive era all at once. So, I think you need somebody who has administrative experiences, somebody like maybe Keisha Bottoms from -- mayor of Atlanta, though the ticket Biden-Bottoms doesn't sound so great. But she seems to be an impressive person who certainly has a strong presence, as she demonstrated during those first days. The governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, is another person who has administrative experience. It's a plus to me to have administrative experience outside of Washington, in a less ideological climate, where you're actually administering things. And so, to me, that would be how I would look at it. Who's going to take on responsibilities at administration that's going to be just chockful of legislative craftsmanship and then administrative -- a need for administrative competence? JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Mark... MARK SHIELDS: Judy... (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Go ahead. David is saying it doesn't make a difference. I want to hear what you have to -- what you think about that. MARK SHIELDS: I think, historically, you could make the case that it hasn't made a difference. Lyndon Johnson did make a difference in 1960 in the election of John Kennedy and in being sort of the character witness for the innocence by association for a Northern Catholic in the white Protestant South at the time. But I agree with David on that. But I would say this, that winning is not the most important thing in a campaign. It's the only thing. And I'm not in any way precluding or excluding the consideration of the talents David is looking for. But I want someone who's going to help him win first, if I'm Joe Biden, because it's going to be -- it's going to be a lousy, mean-spirited campaign. And you have got to have someone who's got your side there, I don't think any question about it. (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: David, just -- go ahead. MARK SHIELDS: I would just say that Congressman Clyburn, who is -- if America wants to see a kingmaker, we saw one being him. He is the man, when he said, Joe Biden doesn't simply know us -- we don't know Joe Biden. He knows us. And that endorsement made the difference and made the nomination for him. When he said, a woman, an African American woman on the Supreme Court, takes precedence, he was actually getting, I thought, Joe Biden permission to pick a running mate or choose a running mate who was not African American, whether it's Governor Grisham, or whether it's Senator Duckworth, Senator Warren, whoever -- Governor Whitmer. But I thought -- I thought that was a shrewd statement by Jim Clyburn. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, David, that's actually what I wanted to ask you both about. And that is what we heard from Jim Clyburn, that, for him, it's much more important that an African American woman goes to the court, the high court, than the vice presidency -- the job of the vice president. DAVID BROOKS: I hadn't thought of the interpretation Mark put on that, though I find it very persuasive, that he was giving Biden permission to go outside, if he felt like it. And that's -- he's certainly a smart political signal sender and operator, and that seems persuasive to me. I think, in normal times, you take a Supreme Court justice over a vice president, for sure, because you get it for a lifetime, and you have actual power. I think it's a lot closer right now. As I said, this -- really think about FDR's first 100 days. Think of the amount of legislation that was crafted. Think of what's going to need to be done. And so, to me, the vice president's going to be tremendously important, in part because, when Biden was vice president, he actually did a lot. He oversaw the stimulus package. He did a lot of foreign policy stuff. He was not just sitting there as window dressing. And I'm sure he's going to want a vice president to be that. The interesting case to me is Elizabeth Warren. If you want somebody who's really good at coming up with plans, she's really good at coming up the plans. The question would be, are there moderate voters who would take a look at her and have a bit of fright? But if I'm sticking to my governance matters more than politics, Elizabeth Warren would also be a good choice. JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, speaking of important agendas, right now, before the Congress, Mark, is the pandemic relief legislation. And it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. The House passed a $3 trillion plan at the end of May. Senate Republicans haven't been able to agree among themselves. You have heard the reporting on all this. Is -- who's to blame? The Republicans are saying, the Democrats' fault. The Democrats are saying it's Republicans. Who bears responsibility? MARK SHIELDS: Well, I think it's fair to say, responsibility in Washington is shared at this point. But primary responsibility, that -- the House, as you pointed out, did pass its plan. It's all on board. Senator McConnell introduced a plan this week that died on arrival. The White House has absolutely -- the president is not a player in this. So, I would have to say that there's been a certain Republican abdication. But the reality is, Judy, we're talking about, according to the Census Bureau, we have 14 million American households, in this richest nation in the history of the world, where children are food-deprived as of last week. They're going hungry. And that is unacceptable. And leaving town, at a time when you haven't resolved it, is just unacceptable. I mean, I think every member of Congress really has to face that. I mean, they should be there, they should be working, and they should come to a resolution. JUDY WOODRUFF: David, does one side or another bear more of the responsibility here? DAVID BROOKS: I gave it 60/40 to the Republicans, to -- the blame. Both sides sort of returned to their corners. So, the Democrats, in their plan, did not have enough for small business. And we have just got to protect small businesses from going bankrupt. When a company goes bankrupt, you only lose -- you don't only lose the jobs. You lose all the human capital and all the connections that were put in to build that business. And that's a tragedy. The Republicans certainly err in trying to cut the weekly pay from $600 to $200. Their worry -- and I spoke to a few of them this week -- is that people are making more unemployed than they would employed, so they're not going to go back to jobs. And that is certainly a problem. People -- some are doing OK with this. But the research suggests that people who are getting the employment insurance benefit or going back to work just as much as the people who are not getting it. So there does not seem to be a disincentive effect. And when you have got people really struggling, to cut them back to $200 a week or whatever it would be seems unconscionable to me. I do not think the Republicans understand that we are on a lifeline because of the earlier aid packages. The economy is -- would be doing way worse without that. And if you were -- you take away that supply of money, we will see a catastrophe that I think is greater than they anticipate and would be just a human tragedy. JUDY WOODRUFF: And this week, as you both know, we got terrible news about the resurgence of this -- of this virus. And we got very bad news about the economy connected to it. So -- but we watch these unemployment benefits lapse this weekend. Mark, very quickly, voting, there's a big -- a lot of back and forth this week about absentee voting, voting by mail, the president weighing in, saying that there's fraud in mail-in voting, and then raising the question of whether the election should be delayed. How much -- of course, there was -- everybody knocked it down at the Capitol. But what do you think? Is that something that people should be concerned about? MARK SHIELDS: We should be concerned about a president who wants to open up football stadiums, send 7-year-olds back to school to sit on school buses and be in rooms of 30 other kids, but, at the same time, doesn't want -- the virus is so serious that we can't vote in November. I mean, figure that one out Judy. I mean, being very blunt about it, we do vote by mail in this country. I mean, five states vote only by mail. But 35 states, they have no-excuse absentee voting. I mean, that is it. And among them are the most important politically, in terms of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, states that -- where you have to -- have to have your ballot postmarked by Election Day. And so we starve the post office. The president says he will refuse to sign any legislation that gives more money to state and local people trying to deal with the increased, expected absentee vote-by-mail. And I just -- I have to say, I mean, there's nothing more sacrosanct. We have done it World War II. We did it in the Civil War. And we got pretty good choices out of it, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. And we have to vote and will vote on November 3. Donald Trump has to be absolutely rebutted and routed on this issue. JUDY WOODRUFF: David? DAVID BROOKS: Yes, I'm worried about it. We have had a bad year in elections. We had long lines in Georgia. If you remember, we three sat together the night of the Iowa caucuses. We have just had a bad year, and the epidemic makes it all worse. Who's going to man the polls? A lot of people are not going to be comfortable manning polls. A lot of people are not in the place where they normally live. We could see -- I worry about a close election and having the results drag out for days, weeks, while everybody in the conspiracy world undermines it. So, this is something that is uppermost and should be uppermost on our minds. And, of course, what Donald Trump said is abhorrent. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, finally, David, I didn't give you a chance last week to say something about John Lewis. The nation said goodbye to him all this week, and then, yesterday, that very moving funeral service in Atlanta. Thoughts about how that unfolded and what his life meant. DAVID BROOKS: Well, just on the Obama eulogy, I thought it was an excellent eulogy. I did not mind if it was political. If Barack Obama wants to deliver a funeral at my -- a eulogy at my funeral, and wants to dedicate it to the causes I dedicate my life to, that's fine by me. And what he emphasized about Lewis was what was so impressive about him and the whole movement, which was its aggressiveness. It was constant offense. It was always marching. Whenever there was a debate internally, should we march, or is it prudent not to march, Lewis was always, no, we're marching. And it was that sense of constant push and constant pressure that I think made it so successful as a movement and made him so heroic as a person. I didn't know him well. I knew him in a reportorial context. And what always struck me is, he could have carried himself as a saint, and he had something saintly about him, but he carried himself just as a normal human being, and was -- was extremely approachable. And so there's a reason we're all paying attention, because moral exemplars don't come along every day. JUDY WOODRUFF: They certainly don't. They certainly don't. We're all touched by his life and by his legacy. Thank you both, David Brooks, Mark Shields. Thank you. The U.S. passed another devastating milestone this week, with more than 150,000 lives lost to the coronavirus. Again, we take a moment to recognize just a few of them. Reverend Vickey Gibbs' final sermon at her Houston church was an impassioned call to action on coronavirus relief and racial injustice. REV. VICKEY GIBBS, Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church: Be the bridge to equality by demanding and voting in change. JUDY WOODRUFF: Spreading love and fighting for justice, these were Vickey's callings, said her wife, Cassandra , whether that meant attending protests or cooking meals for friends in need. She had a special bond with her grandson, who she nicknamed Boo. Together, they listened on repeat to "My Cherie Amour" by Stevie Wonder. Vickey was 57. N.S. Ramamurthy, or Rama to those who knew him, was a pioneering research scientist at Stony Brook's School of Dental Medicine. The work of his team led to important discoveries in oral health and antibiotics. Born in South India, and before settling in New York, Rama moved to Canada in 1966, where he met his wife of nearly 50 years, Sharon, in a biochemistry class. Described as gregarious, with a passion for South Asian arts, Rama was devoted to his students and his family, including two daughters and five grandchildren. Rama was 80 years old. Cynthia Tilley's friends joked that her hair was as big as her heart. The former nurse was constantly organizing community fund-raisers and charity events in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Christmas was her favorite holiday. She spoiled everyone around her, from her two children, to her two granddaughters, who called her Gigi. At 61, Cynthia was still the star of any dance floor, especially when performing the shag. Until she was 7 years old, Tatiana Moore barely spoke, but she went on to become a talented singer in her Buffalo, New York, theater group. Tatiana loved working with children. She ran a before- and after-school program, mentored young performers, and helped care for kids with special needs. Tatiana was the first in her family to graduate college, and planned to go back to school to become a social worker. Her kind, patient demeanor earned her the nickname the Peacekeeper. Tatiana was 22 years old. Fareeda Kadwani was a lifelong educator, teaching kids at New York public schools for 20 years. After moving to the Bronx from Mumbai, India, in 1984, Fareeda volunteered her time as a tutor for neighborhood kids, who said she was a constant guidance. Her daughter said she was outgoing and the life of the party, and those who met her felt like they had known her for years. Fareeda was 75. JUDY WOODRUFF: We want to thank the families who shared all that with us. And, of course, as always, our hearts go out to those who've lost loved ones in this pandemic. And on the next episode of "Beyond the Canvas," we profile some of the brightest stars taking the stage, like "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and new playwright Jeremy O. Harris. You can find out how they are breaking boundaries. That's this weekend on "Beyond the Canvas," only on PBS. You can check your local listings. And you can also find more "Beyond the Canvas" online. During the coronavirus pandemic, cellist Yo-Yo Ma says that artists and musicians especially have an important role to play in helping to lift others up. He recently spoke with the "NewsHour"'s Amna Nawaz about why he encourages anyone to write, make music or create art at this time. All that and more is on our Web site, artscanvas.org. And that is the "NewsHour" for tonight. I'm Judy Woodruff. Thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon.