tv PBS News Hour PBS October 24, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woouff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, a troubling plot: explosive devices mailed to former president obama, hilry clinton, and others, all targeting prominent democrats. then, less than two weeks until election day, we break down some of the closest races for governor. plus, how stigma and a reluctance to seek treatment put doctors at a higher risk of suicide; and what's being doneto ounteract the trend. >> since the medical board deals with your licensing, there was a fearif you sort of admitted that you needed help it would undermine who you were as a doctor. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. di
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>> and witthe ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting.on and byibutions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank yo >> woodruff: federal agents are working tonight to get to the bottom of bomb scares, up and down the east coast. the targets range from prominent democrats to the news and from new york to florida. amna nawaz begins our coverage. >> nawaz: after a string of explosive devices were sent to two former democratic presidents, senior officials and a high-profile party donor, president trump today pledged action. he promised the full resources ofhe government to bring t justice those responsible for what he called "despicable" acts. to>> in these times we hav unify and send one very clear
strong unmistakable message: acts of political violence have no place in the united states of america. >> nawaz: authorities say they were able to safely remove or detonate the devices, sent i packages targeting some of the biggest names in the democratic party. the discoveries unfolded at a dizzying pace. earlier this week, a suspicious package was found in the mailbox at the compound home of billionaire george soros in bedford, new york. last night, a similar package was found, headed to the home of former secretary of statein hillary clintohappaqua, new york. early this morning, another one, omis time sent to the washington, d.c.of former president barack obama. a few hours later, a package addressed to forr c.i.a. director john brennan, sent to the cnn office in new york city. that package triggered an alarm to evacuate the building, forcing journalists to continue rerting from the streets
outside their building. >> a shelter in place has been issued for everyone in the area. >> nawaz: abc news later tweeted a photo of what it said was the bomb s cnn, recovered by the new york police department. thorities say all of the packages contained a pipe bomb, and they suspect the same person or people could be behind the attacks. an n.y.p.d. official and new york's governor briefed the public. >> it appears individual or individuals sent out multiple similapackages. >> there is a number of devices and a pattern to the number of devices. iuldn't be at all surpris more devices show up. >> nawaz: this afternoon, the south florida offices of congresswoman and former democratic national committee chair debbie wasserman-schulz were evacuated after a suspicious package arrived, addressed to former attorney- general eric holder. other suspicious package addressed to democratic congresswoman maxine waters of california was intercepted at ad
maryail facility. republican leaders quickly sent out messages condemning the attacks. speaker paul ryan called them "reprehensible." senator marco rubio labeled them "an attack on america." and vice president pence spoke out at a campaign event in pennsylvania. >> we condemn these attempted acts of violence in the strongest possible terms. these cowardly acts are despicable and have no place in american society. >> nawaz: the f.b.i. is now leading the investigatiointo the seemingly partisan attacks. but they come at a time ofug escalating political rhetoric, and deep divisions in ythe country, divisions m accuse the president himself of the president continues to publicly attack secretary clinton, encouraging rally chts of "lock her up." >> lock her up! lock her up! >> nawaz: he's insulted former c.i.a. director brennan as a "loudmouth, partisanpolitical hack." and threatened to revoke his
security clearance. and a president who often derides the press, has singledrt out cnn for ular scorn. >> cnn sucks! cnn sucks! >> nawaz: soros, a longtime donor to progressive causes around the world has also long been a target of conservatives and the far-right. one recent film, endorsed by the president's son, donald jr., went so far as to label soros a nazi collaborator.ll the biionaire investor survived the nazi occupation in his native hungary as a child. at a campaign rally in florida today, a somber hillary clinton said she worri for the direction of the country. >> but it is a troubling time, isn't it? and it's a time of deep divisions, and we have to do everythinge can to bring our country together >> nawaz: for the pbs newshour, i'm amna nawaz. >> woodruff: as of this hour,
neither the f.b.i. nor other law forcement officials have provided any motive for the pipe bombs. the later today, the president and especially white house press secretary should understand their words matter. thus far, he added, they have shown no comp comprehension of that. let's check let's check back in new york this evening about this tense and sometimes confusing day. hari sreenivasan is and joins us from columbus circle on the west side of manhattan. hari, you standing in front of the time warner building. what's the situation there? >> good evening, judy. it's pretty much back to normal. there are police cars outside but there are always meese cars outside. there are satellite trhere because cnn is based just over my shoulder. so here at this int, there are reporters outnumbering police. there are a lot of people goingi about day, trying to, you
know, take in the holidays because this is one to have the tourist spots right here on the corner of central park. >> woodruff: hari, there were rerts toay of confusion around new york city beyond time warner. at do we know about that? >> you know, interestingly, on my way here, you know, this a few hours after the initial event had occurred, my phone was still going f and, in the subway, because authorities here tried to send the message out through an emergency text alert system for anybody in the area including colagues of mine who were about two or three blocks awayrom here. erybody got a notice to shelter in place. but rtat ale didn't seem to turn off the activity. even hours after the fact, everyone in the subway car entered whatever that area wasl, r phones went off at the same time, and at that point led to greater confusion because some people who hadn't seen the news or even if they had, they wondered is it there was something new they should have been concerned about.
>> woodruff: can only imagine at that must have been like. hari sreenivasan reporting live from new york. thanks, hai. t we nn to two guests with extensive experience dealing with security-related issues. juliette kayyem served in the department of homeland security during the obama administration and has focused on domestic and international terrorism throughout her career. she's now a lecturer at harvards universiennedy school of mevernment. joseph funk was er of the u.s. secret service for 21 years, where he seeced on the pron details of former presidents george h.w. bush and bi clinton. he's now the senior vice present of torch-stone globa a security advory firm. and we welcome both of you to the program. joseph funk, to you first, what do you make of this? can you compare what's happened today up and down the et coast anything else you've seen in your career? >> well, judy, good evening. it's a pleasure to be here.
the events of today, i cannot rember of any concerted effort, in my experience, other than some of the bombing campaigns that have happened in new york in the early 1900s, the weathendundergrthe faln. but to target political leaders like we seeday, no, this is something that i believe is new in the anals of the secret service. >> woodruff: juliette kayyem, what about yo? is there anything you can compare it to? >> not really. i mean, i agree with joseph. you know, the fact it wasn't successful is somewhat besides the point. someone or a group people tried to hurt or actually kill the senior members of one of the political parties, and we haven't really seen that in such a concerted effort like this ever, i think, in the united states. so that is why, you know, the f.b.i. is obviously taking it quite seriously. i will say, as joseph certainly knows, there is good news here, which is the system did work.
i would like to use the words to the extent the secret service had these layered defenses to protect, in particular, a former president really was beneficial for the outcome. f>> woodruff: thank gor that. joseph funk, tell us what you expect the investigation right now entls. what do you think they're focusing on? >> well, to echo juliette's remarks, the system did work. the multiple layers of security did work. but in a much broader concept, ehis probably, if an event lik this is going to happen, the best place to happen is new york. the experience, the expertise of the nypd is umatched, and the f.b.i. has a very robust presence and probably the lead, the flagship office of the f.b.i. office is new york. so if we are going to see eves ke this happen, it's probably best that it happens in an area that has this highest level of law enforcement.
as far as proceeding, the fact that the bombs were undetonated were received in whole, i think, is going to ad to a cache of valuable invtigative leads, and i would imagine a pretty rapid conclusion to this i hate to make predictions -- but with the bulk of evdence seized and the experience of the nypd, a.f.t. and the f.b., i think it will lead to a conclusion probably soon than later. >> woodruff: juliette kayyem, are you equally optimistic that giat's here, that it will be sooner rather than later before we know what was behind this? >> i do. you know, i don't want to predict either, and we herd a lot about the unabomber, the anthrax attacks and otr attacks that utilized the mail system. today is so different just because of technology. so between the sort of digital footints that may be fo, you know, video cameras,
purchases online that are going to be followed with someone buying a lot of one commodity that we should be worried about, as well you know, the physical aspect of having the mb which may have fingerprints which is going tomo lead tore investigative clues, both of those are very beneficial for this investigation. the last thing, though, is the breadth of these -- the delivery of theseevices, eacof those devices had a certain number of vulner to be exposed by a good law enforcement case. there is couriers involved, there is purchases involved, there is different states, so in in some ways, because this was so big, the vulnerabilities of trying to plan this may be easily exposed and solved by orlaw enfment. this is not the 1980s where we were dealing with, you know, similar type attacks or even early 2000s. >> woodruff: joseph funk, we
didear in amna nawaz's reporting earlier that they are focusi on one or a group of individuals who would be behind all of these attacks, potentially. is there a type person who wou try to pull off something like this? clearly, we are in aery heated political environment right now. >> we are, judy.ca i really't speak to motives. i would say incidents like this are usally trced back to a loner. one of the positive aspects prior to sending a device through the maiml, many es these people who commit these acts aree ltter writers. the secret service will have a vast database of letters that have bee, n writtmparing those letters with some of the packages sent today map hel identify a suspe. that being said, i would eect
this investigation to take ao lead ie political reena that we are -- arena we are in nowadays. rhetoric does ha results on both sides. >> woodruff: juliette kayyem, picking up on tha i guess my question is, you know, we just heard joseph y that the person who did this is likely to have already expressed himse or herself some way out there, whether it's social media writing letters. so how does that affect the investigation here? >> so there will be part of both the clues of identifying the person and then also gettg to motive. so, you know, obviously, joseph and i want to be carefulort of about, you know, making too many conclusions, but i wi say this, a sophisticated law forcement effort right now will take -- will look at who
were the targets of the bombings and make a rational conclauion, simply b it's a political conclusion doesn't mean that it's wrong. you know, we shouldn't let being careful, you know, sort of blind s from beirt, which is essentially someone attacked, democrats or cich is aligned with democrats or george soros, so you will start with a position of someone who doesn't like those institutions or wdividuals and that would be generally someono's not a democrat or left-leaning. that's not political, it's just law enforcement at this stage. >> woodruff: we're just on the first night after this has happened. at least most of these bombing attempts. we're going to continue to watch it closely as i know the two ofo will, juliette kayyem and joseph funk, thank you both. >> thank you. >> woodruff: in the day's other
news, a new sell-off wiped out wall street's gains this year. the dow jones industrial average lost 608 points to close at 24,583. that's below where it was on january first. the nasdaq fell 329 points, and is down 10% from its peak-- what wall street calls a correction. and, the s&p 500 gave up 84 points.it too, is now negative for the year. saudi arabia's cro prince declared today that the killing of jamal khashoggi was a heinous crime, and he ed justice. mohammed bin salman addressed an investment conference in riyadh. it was his first statement since the saudis acknowledged khashoggi was killed at their consulate in istanbul, turkey, and suspicions have been raised that the prince might have known about the plot. >> ( translated ): we know that riny are trying to use this painful thing to a wedge between saudi arabia and turkey.
this wedge will not happen and we will prove to the that the two governments are cooperating to see that all petetrators are taken to co and justice will be seen in the end. >> woodruff: meanwhile, president trump told "the wall street journal" that the prince is largely running saudi arabia, so he bears ultimate responsibility. and, turkish president erdogan vowed his government wl not allow a cover-up. russian president vladimir put e today warnopean nations agaist accepting u.s. medium- range missiles. that's after president trump threatened to quit a 1987 treaty that banned the weapons. putin spoke in moscow, where he met with italy's prime minister. he said russia will target countriewhere any u.s. missiles are deployed. >> ( anslated ): the main question is what they will do with these newly available missiles. if they deliver them to europe, naturally our response will have to mirror this. the european countries which agree to this will have to understand that they put the
own territory under threat of a possible retaliatory strike. this is obvious. >> woodruff: meanwhile, nato secretary-general jens stoltenberg said the allies agree with u.s. claims that russia has violated the existing treaty. but putin charged it's the u.s. that's guilty of violations. the remains of hurricane "willa" dioipated over northern mex today, as emergency workers tried to reach cut-off coastal towns. the storm made landfall last night about 50 miles southeast of mazatlan, with sustained winds of 120 miles an hour. officials damaged a hospital, blew down power lines and re up houses. back in this country, someone in south carolina woke upore than $1.5 billion richer today.ti one winninet was sold, in the town of simpsonsville, for last night's mega millions lottery jackpot. it's the second largest ever, in the u.s. the winner has yet to come
forward.an and, the who created the green bean casserole has passed away. dorcas rlly worked at campbell soups' corporate kitchen, and came up with the casserole in 1955, made of green beans, cream ofushroom soup and crunchy fried onions. it remains the company's most popular recipe. dorcas reilly was 92 years old. still to come on the newshour: inside three key governor's races ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. exploring the impact of newsl legiation aimed at combating the opioid crisis. why doctors are at a higher risk of suicide than the patients they serve.ht plus, playwrctavio solis on his new memoir about growing up along the u.s./mexico border. >
oodruff: we turn now to the midterm elections, less than two weeks away. 36 of the 50 governorships are up for grabs this year and while republicans currently conturl three-s of them, democrats are mounting surprisingly strong cechallenges in some key p across the country. to talk about a few of these, i'm joined by bill nigut of georgia public broadcasting in atlanta. frederica freyberg of wisconsin public television in madison. and tom hudson of wlrn public radio in miami. hello to all three of you. we're so glad to have you wit us. i'm going to start with the biggest population statics tom hudson, of course, that's florida, andou the incumbent republican governor rick scott is given that up to run for thes u.nate and it's turned into a pretty tight race between the democratic mayor of tallahassee and republican congressman ron.
desant tell us what each one of these men has going this their favor m.d what's working against the >> well, this is not a boulevard election in florida. there is no middle of the road. this is as polarizing of a state election that you're going to find here in this election cycle, judy. i think that what you have is, on one side, an excited, progressive democrat in the face of andrew gillum who excited base voters to come out in the primary and surprised a lot of pollsters and a lot of onal political watchers to win in a very crowded democratic primary and, on the other hand, you have a non-traditional republican candidate in the form of congressman ron desantis, who has run on the play book of 2016 donald trump and very successfully who beat back a much more traditional republican candidate in the primary. so for voters, 30% of florida voters that are no-party affiliated, they did not parts participate in the august
primary. you have to be registered in one e.rty or the other to vot >> right. this is where the battleground is. this is why i say this is not a boulevpe election. there is no middle ground. they are fighting tooth and nail for each voteund they t. the last two gubernatorial elections had en decided by fewer than 70,000 votes. >> woodruff: in ter of what they have going for and against them, the issues, i wanto ge quickly to georg and bill nigut, the republicans held the seat for decades but you now have a fiery democrat in stacey stacey -- stacey abrams who is running against ban kemand she's giving him a run for his iney. what are the factothis case? >> this is a very tight race according to every poll, a race of contrast, a strong democrat against a strong conservative republican abrams has been focusing like a
laser on a couple of really key issues. she wants to expand medicaid in georgia, and she's focusing on education, on public education. so she's been very, very focused issues. she has also been attacking brian kemp oer issues voter suppression. we've got an lot of national attention, as you well know, judy, because there are people who think that the secretary of state brian kemp, now running for governor, has, over the years,omxcluded people he voter rolls, africanmericans who are being denied the right to vote. that's a somewhat unknown issue here. we're not quite sure how methodical and deliberative it's been, but certainly the optics suest there have been some problems there. brian kemp's been on the attack. they debated herst night, and brian kemp spent a great deal of his time repeat ago theme he's usedhroughout the race which is stacey abrams is a
radical, she's too liberal for georgia, she's getting money from national deocratic forces outside the state, and he's focused on that as a big part of the race. >> woodruff: let's turn to wisconsin, frederica freyberg.pu the reican incumbent governor scott walker, this is his fourth run if you count the recall election he won in 2010, and he's run into surprisingly strong opposition from tony evers. tell us about this race. what are the factors working on both sides in. >> well, it's true, scott walker and tony evers are in what is projected toe a very tight race. one or two-point race, according to experts. so tony evers is the superintendent of public construction in wiscons, and he is kind of staking this claim to be the education governor, but scott walker is now saying he is the education governor because he infused his state fdget with new monr k-12 schools. so this is something that these
candidates have been fighting back and forth over, including a rely difficult achievement gap, racial achievement gap in the sta's urban school districts, which are among the wot in the nation, and eah are blaming each other over. this but scott walker finds himself in a tighter race than he might have thought he would have had. >> woodruff: and tom hudson, back to you on florida. just quickly, what matters most to voters this year, and how much of a factor is pr pident trump? sident trump is an enormous factor here in the florida gubernatorial election. i think on the is ssde, it is healthcare. there's debate around the pre-existing conditions and congressman desantis' position t e federal act and andrew gillum proposing to expand medicaid which has also not been expanded in the state of florida under the affordable care act.h also environment which
traditionally has never been a driving, motiving issue here, but we've had blue green algae in lake okeechobee, and then the turally occurring red tide, a more stronger outbreak of red tide in the gulf coast and also on the atlantic side, so it has put water quality front and center in this gubernatorial campaign for both parties that we haven't se in elections past. >> woodruff: bill nigut, what about issues, factors in the race in georgia and, inpr particularsident trump? >> trump has not been much of a factor in the general election campaign. he's tweeted a couple times now his support for brian kemp.al kemp doesn't about limit a lot on the campaign trail, and stacey abrams has not been spending a great deal of her time attacking him. i think the f simple reasr that is trump won georgia by 5 or so points, but i think both sides recognize that trump, as
we'vseen in other races, can be as much of a distraction as he is an advantage. he might motivate democrats as much as republicans. >> woodruff: frederica freyberg, president ump is in wisconsin today. >> that's right, in fact, he is arriving in nd of e north central part of the state later this afternoon. this is a part of the state tht trump won by double digits. so his visit is exted, of course, to kind of energize and boost the republican base, and that's what republicans and governor walker are hoping happens. however, as your last guest just suggested, democrats are thinking that, also, his appearance boosts their bae. so, already, large lines are forming for president trump whoi agaiappearing in one of these counties he won by double digits. there are 23 counties in the state of wisconsin in 2016 that previously voted for barack obama that the turned and voted
for donald trump. >> woodruff: a rurofal par wsconsin. back to you, tom hudson, on i guess you would call them the x factors in this case, charges of corrupon, and, frankly, some racism. >> absolutely, race is playing an enormous role, alo, in this. as far as the corruption investigation, this is an f.b.i. investigation that has centered around some of the doing in tal ghassee. andrlum, the mayor of tallahassee, the democratic candidate consisttly said the f.b.i. tells him he is not a target of this investigation. the latest flap is over whoi pad for tickets to the hamilton broadway show during an andrew andrew -- andrew gillum visit several years ago in new york. this is going to come up tonight. the character question comes into play, no doubt about it. on race, this was from the get-go, congressman desantis, the morning after winning the
primary with his monkey-up comments, there have been some flirtations with other white supremacists and white nationalists groups he's had to defend and push back against. >> woodruff: i want to thank all three of you, tom hudson in florida,rederica freyberg in wisconsin, bill nigut in georgia. thank you all three. >> thanks, judy. >> woodruff: it's been rare toge bipartisan legislation on a almothing for years now. but the nation's overwhelming opioid epidemic provided onepof those few unities today. on average, more than 130 people die in the u.s. each day from the crisis. and opioids have ravaged counities as millions of people have misused the drugs. today, as william brangham explains, the president and
congress were able to tout their plan to pride new money and changes to combat the problem.n >>st a few moments i will sign the single largest bill tos combat drug in the history of our country. a>> brangham: nearly a yeer declaring the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, president trump todaed a sweeping bipartisan bill to address it. it's a crisis that killed nearly 50,000 americans last year. >> together we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in america. we are going to end it or make an extremely big dent in this terrible, terrible pblem. >> brangham: the bill, which runs over 600 pages, is called the opioid crisis response act. it calls for $8 billion in federal funding over the next five years and tries to do a lot of different things, including reducing the illegal supply of opioids and increase tnt for those who are addicted.
to do that, the law makes changes to medicaid and medicare. in medicaid, it eliminates an old rule that blocked the government from paying for residential addiction treatment at facilities with more than 16 beds. this would expand access to treatment substantia fy. in medicar americans over 65, the program would now cover methone treatment, a major opioid-replacement therapy used to treat addtion. the new law will also allow nurse practitioners and prescribe buprenorphine, another one of three federally approved medications used fortion treatment. currently, only about 5% of the nation's doctors are licensed to do this, and shortages are particularly bad in rural areas of the country. the law also tackles the flow of fentanyl into the u.s. fentyl is the incredibly potent synthetic opioid that causes the vast majority of overdose deaths. now, just like fedex, the u.s
postal service will ha to collect more detailed information on international shipments, which are a main conduit for the drug into e u.s. last year in boston, d.e.a. special agent michael ferguson described to me just how deadly fently had become for heroin users in his city. >> so, the deadly combination is high-purity heroin. and i'm talking about heroin that is 50, 60, 80, up to re% that in itself will kill you. now you add in fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. if anything can be likened to a weapon of mass destruction and what it does to a community, 's fentanyl. >> brangham: the law also contains money for research into noaddictive pain treatment more distribution of anti- overdose medications, and more education about best practices for prescribing drugs.ac ss the country, local officials are pursuing their own various efforts to combat the epidemic.
and over 20 states are currentlm suing purdue p the maker of oxycontin, for what they s.gue is that company's role in fueling this cri given the scope of the epidemic, it's important to understand what this bill can change, and what it doesn't do. for that, we turn to a pair of experts who know this terrain well. keith humphreys is a professor of psychiatry at stanford university who served as a drug policy advisorn the obama and bush administrations. he worked with the senate and house taff on the bill that was signed today. and gary mendell is the c.e.o. of shatterproof-- it's a non- profit group he founded to help families cope with the addiction of a loved one. gary lost his own son brian in 2011 and he attended the white house signing ceremony today.ge lemen, thank you both very much for being here. >> sure. gary mendell, first off, weto trieescribe that there are many, many elements in this igislation. whit you most like about this? >> to really reverse the course
of this epidemic there are four big things -- it's cotaining it, so no more will our loved ones become addicted to opioids unnecessarily. wtwo with, for tho are already addicted, let's treat them with protocols based on science. number three, it's a chronices il people will relapse and for those we need medication to rescue them at the time of relapse so they don't die and live. underlying it all is to change the waour ente society thinks about this disease. this is a chronic illness, it'se nople with bad will power, it's a change of brain chemistry and we need treat it with love and empathy and programsci based onnce. with that umbrella, what does is bill have? really it focuses on treatment and there are several clauses in this bill that reate to expanding supply of professionals who can treat it, which is great, and severals clhat relate to expanding
the pacity of our healthcare system to treat it. those are all good and positive3 >> keith, same question to you, i know you were involved in crafting some aft versions of this legislation, what are you celebrating today in this? >> well, even though the parcots dn't agree on a big bang of making a huge investment like we made for hiv/aids a generation ago, they were able to agree on taking advantage of the health insurance programs we already have and making them more a part the addiction treatment infrastructure. so that means medicaid is going to cover more residential care, which is really important, medicare is going to cover treatment for people who are addicted to opioids. that's more important than a lot of people realize. the stereotype is everyone is young who have this problem, but a number of senior citizens a suffer from well. >> gary mendell, what about the issue of? mon there is, by some estimates, about eight dollars billion authorized.ver five yea i've heard from numerous public health officials who say eigll s billion is barely even enough for one year. do you think we're still missing
a big chonk of mney to address this crisis? >> what we need is two things -- we need structural change so this is treated within our healthcare system through oisurance like any other chronic illness on an on basis, then we need a band-aid right away, because that's going t take time to do, to help many people as we can today. and 8-, 9 billionis not enough. e states need more. the states are not crying for one-year grs nts. this ne be five and ten-year money so they know it's coming so we can bld the system, then we need to create structural change so we don't need federal funding, it's built into the system.u >> by many nts, we do not have enough treatment beds, we do not have enougit facs that offer the best medical based assistance treatment, how do we surmount this part of the crisis. >> the bill does not do enoughat
in thespect. to give comparison reports. the prunesident's l on economic advisors estimates the damage of the epidemic at nd00 billion. our healthcare sabout 3 trillion a year. so six, seveneight, nine billion is a very small investment given we'relosing 70,000 americans a year to this disorder, so it's certainly not enough the thing we need to do, as gary said, is move away from the idea this is a one-year or two-year problem we can fix with a grant. we have to build it into the basic structure of how we finance healthcare, and i would say to chronic pain as wll. these are problems that will always be with us. we have to permanently build them in h. yes, it costs money but will have a huge impact on publ health and public safety. >> gary, we know that one of the big genesis factors of this epidemic was th overprescription of these medications, and we are years into this epidemic, a, yet, i still hear stories from good friends whose children have a
sports injure and they come home with weeks and weeks of opioid pills. today in this day, do you think we're doing enough on educating doctors about how to prescribe these medications? >> yeah, i just nt to rhrase that and say it's not what i noink, it's a fact. we are absoluteldoing enough. we -- in a 15-year period, we have increased the amount of opios prescribed observe an annual basis four times, the amount of deaths six times, andt not just correlated, it's causal. everyone agrees. >> you put more of these drugs out there, more people willdi >> the lines go like that together, in fact, even more on so what's happened with prescribing? it's come down about 25% or 30% aninow we're at three tmes where we were. still three times the amount of opioids as any other country in uhe world, and we have doctors every day, as yout said with your friends, still prescribing
30 day worth of 0xycontin or vicodin or percocet for a sprained ankle or wrist. these are not dishonest dors, these are good doctors who haven't changed with the current science. there's no way you could say we're doing enough if this still happens. if this were zika or ebola spreading across this country, awe would contain it weekend m gary mendell, the legislation has been signebe a sense of closure to all this, but i'd like to put you back in theon posif counseling the house and senate and the president. from today forward, what wouldse you like tus do? >> i would like us to stop thinking of this as a crisis, sh t-term issue that will be resolved by a couple of years of hard work and, instead, just be realistic that addiction is part of the fabric of population health, it has been, you know, for the entire history of our pgo away in two or three years. we would nev have a grant
program to take care of cancer for two or three years because we know we're always going to have people with cancer. so we need to bite the bullet, go into programs like medicaid, medicare, adeqtrtely reimburse tment, make a big investment in training because we need physicians, nurses, psychologists and other professionals who are trained in taking care of this disorder and just accept this will be part of what the healthcare system does from hre onout because right now it's opioids, ten years from now it's going to be a different drug, and we h pve to berepared for that. >> keith humphreys, gary gary mendell, thank you so much. >> my pleasure. thanks. >> woodruff: they dedicate their lives to saving others, but can't always save themselves. doctors are at a higher risk of icide compared to other adults. and physicians are declining to
seek treatment for their own depression. patrick terpstne of newsy, an and cable news network, has our report. it's the focus of this week's segment on the "leading edge" of science and medicine. >> i can remember getting the call. as soon as she called and told me that he had disappeared, i think i just knew. >> reporter: north carolina physician mitchell hardison was a popular family doctor with a secret. >> all of these guys were doctors, in thishehoto. evenwere my dad's closest friends, he wouldn't have talked about that with them. se>> reporter: he was depr his daughter anna says. >> the stigma around mental illness and medicine is so strong that i don't even think he would admit it to his closest friends. honestly, i don't even really kn if he admitted it to himself. >> reporter: hardison killed himself three years ag he was among medical doctors who take their own lives at a higheo rate comparehe general population. a landmark 2004 harvard study
found male physicians, were 40% s,re likely to die by suicide. and female physiciere 200 percent more likely to take their own lives. research shows long work ds, constant sleep deprivation, a sense of guilt and a fear of showing weakness are factors. >> i am a killer. that's a fact.ep >>ter: anesthesiologist alex hellman felt like his actions contributed to a patient's death after he replaced a breathing tube.'s >> thelways a sense and a question like, well where's the justice in this situation? there's only one way to make this situation right. and that answer was suicide. >> reporter: his wife stopped his suicide attempt. he thought the emotional pain was just part of the job. >> i got tons of education on how to prevent disasters and accidents. i had no education on what to do if and when one happens to you.p >>ter: in recent years, groups such as the american medical association ve stepped
up their fight against physician burnout and depression, now recommending hospitals offer new resources like 24/7 confidential counseling. at the time, only doctor hardison's family knew he was sick. i he was 100% positive th he came forward and said he needed help that there would be a reprisal of so sort. >> reporter: hardison's daughter says her father had fallen victim to a medical system that he felt discouraged him from seeking psychiatric care. hardison worried if he got treated for his depression, he'd have to disclose it when he renewed his medical license with e board. at that time, north carolina asend whether doctors had be treated for mental issues on their application for a medical >> since the medical board deals with your licensing, there was a ar that if you sort of admitted that you neededd elp it wodermine who you were as a doctor and they would start digging into things bat hadn't evn done incorrectly and that would just result in like u earing your name and losing your license or ow just possibilities like that that
were terrifying. >> reporter: katherine gold at the university of michigan studies doctor suicides. her research shows that mental health questions on physician license ap doctors from seeking counseling, while failing to actually identify unstable and unsafe doors. >> just having a mental health problem doesn't necessarily mean that there are any behavioral problems.k so, i thards often conflate the two. >> the board's mission is very simple it's stated in statute; basically, to protect the public against people who should not be practicing medicine. >> reporter: ian marquand is executive officer of the montana board of medical examiners, responsible for licensing doctors. montana was among 38 states we found that asked doctors about their mental health when they apply for or renew a medical license. >> with mental health, we don't go into specifics, but we do want to make sure that our oviders are stable individuals. again, to prevent any rm to
patients. >> reporter: montana's medical application asks about five years of past psychiatric history. but numbers provided by the montana medical boar2 show out ofplicants who reported mental diagnoses in the past three years, none ended up with any impact to their li why ask the question, then? >> that may be a question for the board in our department to review. eporter: it's a similar story in other states that require disclosure. the head of wyoming's medical board said"in my eleven years with the board, i cannot recall a single time th the board declined to license a physician or physician assistant on the basis of a disclosed mtal health condition." >> there's quite widespread concern that many ofhese questions would not hold up if they were challenged in a courte of law becausere very broad, they don't talk about
current impairment. >> reporter: the americans with disabilities act prohibits discrimination based on disabity, including mental health diagnosis. state boards in minnesota and new jersey changed theirental health questions after doctors successfully argued that the questions were too broad and violated their rights under the a.d.a. last spring, medical boards across the nation gathered in charlotte, north carolina, to talk about this issue. >> so this is the nation's state medical and osteopathic medical board coming together. >> reporter: doctor humayun chaudhry leads the federation of state medical boards. >> all in favor of accepting the document.or >> rr: the federation advises states on the best practices for censing doctors. it does have a lot of meaninghe whenation's state medical bards decide to support a particular point of view on anything. >> reporter: the group passed 35 .ecommendations to promote physician wellne topping the list, they asked state boards to consider whether it's necessary to ask s about mental health at all and to ensure questions focus on current impairment, limiting
them to the past two years. we found at least 21 states that ask about three or more years of mental healthistory. katherine gold hopes the report makes state boards go a step further to eliminate questions about mental health. >> but i tell you, as longats the are asking physicians about mental health, you are going to have many, many physicians who don't speak up and don't get help and just get worse. >> reporter: after mitchl hardison's suicide in north carolina, the state medical board there removed the mental health questions from physician license newal applications. following the federation vote, the board took the question off the initial linse application as well. >> honestly, i think he would bi ed that something about his life helped somebody and horrified that the sto is public, and that's almost to me the reason why we have to do it because he felt like it couldn't be talked about and it shouldn't be something anybody knew. and i don't feel that way. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, i'm patrick terpstra from newsy.>>
oodruff: newsy has much more on physician depression and suicide at newsy.com/unspoken. >> woodruff: with immigration at our southern border ve much in the news, we finish tonight with a perspective that takes a longer view. jeffrey brown recently spoke with playwright octavio solis about a new me chronicling his childhood along that border. >> they're naive art painted for a specific person.ey >> brown: e called retablos-- small simple paintings of mexican folk art, often religious in nature. >> in this one, this man has been stung by a bee. >> brown: octavio solis has collected them for years. >> each one of these is like a flash fiction story. >> brown: flash fiction?
>> because it's all encapsulated in one image with a littlet. writing in >> brown: "retablos" is also the name of solis's late work: a collection of stories about his childhood along the texas-mexic. bord >> that's what revisiting el paso is like for me. like walking into a retablo with a rusty surface for a sky and misremembered. family and friends for saints and supplicants and the lost distilled moments of my border past for miracles. >> brown: octavio solis, author of more than 20 plays regularlyr performend the country, is one of the leading latino voices in the theater. we're not on the border anymore are we? >> no, not at all. >> brown: he lives in rural oregon now, but in "retablos," he looks back at himself as what he c."ls a "skinny brown " >> that's what i was growing up there. and everything that comes with . all the hang-ups that come with being a young man who's unsure of who he is and what he is n an ameriowing up in el
paso, texas. >> brown: you describe a family that's in some ways living onf the bordergality as well. you're born in the u.s. your mother, not but she beces legal. your father's not at first.e >>w people crossing all the time around our household. they looked exactly like us but they weren't us. we always found a wato create distance. but we were so much like them. and that distancing didn't work at some point because border patrol would always stop us and ask us, "where do you live?""he can you reciteledge of allegiance?" >> brown: you always felt that. >> i always felt tt. that never left me. >> brown: those tensions have often been a theme in hiswo ... >> i dub you don quixote. don quixote la plancha.cl
>> brown: ing a new version of "don quixote" that eas staged this summer at the california shake theater. >> to fight for the unemployed. >> using the quixote spine, i was able to tell a new story about the border and about the border patrol and about the immigration issues that we're dealing with today. i feel it's incumbent on me, in these times, to address the issues that i feel are endangering latinos in this country. >> brown: so your quixote is gotg through that landscape the border? >> and instead of fighting, tilting at windmills, he's tilting at surveillance drones that the border patrol puts around the desert. >> brown: recently solis had a chance to ach and teach anau dience of millions, as part of a team of cultural consultants hired by pixar for t blockbuster hit, "coco"-- an animated film about a boy and
his family in mexico. >> they had us look at eve aspect of the film. we became the firewall between something that could be cooked up just for sales and something that was authentic to the culture. >> brown: meaning-- >> meaning a story that wouldcu tely depict the latino, c the mexiture in the film. >> brown: which does not often happen. >> which does not happen at all. and they seldom bring in consultants to say "check is the analogue sounding authentic? is this correct h? would a character dress this way? >> brown: solis says he was pleased with theinal result, and the popularity it enjoyed. >> it was a way also for general american audiences to relate to someone who's colored like me in
a way that is so immediate and visceral and humane. what's so puzzling and so disturbing about the times that we're living in, is that a film like "coco" can attract such a wide audience and yet at the same time, a lot of that audience is demonizing us. it's really, it's very hard. it's very hard to see th. i don't understand. >> brown: these days, with wife jeanne and their daughter gracie, there are chickens and goats to tend, and also new "lays on the horizon. one is called "ther road," a kind of sequel to john steinbeck's classic story of grgrant workers, "the es of wrath." the nearby oregon shakespeare festival will stage it as a world premier next summer. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown in medford, oregon.
>> woodruff: on the newshour dilemma with autonomous cars. a new study of offers clues on e how ically program driverless vehicles based on that and more is on our web 6site, pbs.org/newshour. and that's the newshou tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been pr by: on >>mer cellular understands that not everyone needs an unlimited wireless plan. our u.s.-based customer service reps can help you choose a plan based on how much you use your phone, nothing more, nothing less. to learn more, go to consumercellular.tv >> and with the ongoing supptit
>> ooh. pati narrates: sometimes when i travel i find the best expes are the ones least expected. loreto, baja california sur.ig it not be the busiest destination on the baja peninsula, but is one of the oldest. the spanish built mision loreto here in 1744. for a tiny fishing village, loreto has a lot to offer. i'm getting a little history. the clams have been made for centuries. >> before the spanish, as a matter of fact the indigenous left their shells. >> pati: a gigantic burrito. and something completely unexpected i found the best pizza in all the baja peninsula. mmm! in my kitchen, i'm inspired by the sea of cortez.