tv Democracy Now LINKTV April 9, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
04/021 04/09/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> given the blockade we are subjected to in the situation of the country, it would have been very difficult for us to get the results we are getting in to fight against the pandemic if we had not developed this industry more than 35 years ago in our country. amy: as the u.s. death toll from covid-19 tops 560,000 and brazil
records over 4200 deaths in a single day, we look at how cuba has successfully fought the pandemic despite the u.s. embargo. cuba could soon be releasing two new covid-19 vaccines. it has also sent doctors around the world to help other nations during the pandemic. we will go to havana for more. plus, we speak to the americas director of amnesty international about how the pandemic has exacerbated inequality across the hemisphere. then as a mass shooting in rock hill, south carolina, leaves five dead, president biden announces new executive actions to curb gun violence. pres. biden: gun violence is an epidemic and it is an international embarrassment. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'amy goodman.
a warning to our audience, our top story contains graphic footage and descriptions of police violence. in minneapolis, a medical expert called by the prosecution in former police officer derek chauvin's murder trial testified thursday george floyd died from a lack of oxygen, not from an -- the drug fentanyl as alleged by the defense. pulmonologist dr. martin tobin estimated flo's airways were 85% restricted as he was caught in a vice between the hard asphalt and chauvin's knee for over nine minutes, face down, and handcuffed, repeatedly gasping "i can't breathe" before falling silent. >> at the beginning, you can see he is conscious. you can see slight flickering. and then it disappears. one second he is alive and one
second hs no longer. that is the moment the life goes out of his body. amy: dr. tobin testified that based on a telltale kick of his leg, george floyd appeared to suffer brain damage five minutes after chauvin first pressed his knee into floyd's ck. dr. tobin said derek chauvin continue to press floyd into the pavement for more than three minutes after floyd's last breath. in bryan, texas, one person was killed and five others wounded thursday after an employee of a cabinet shop opened fire at his workplace. afr the shooting, the suspect led police on a high-speed chase that wounded an officer in a gun battle. the 27-year-old suspect was then taken into custody, alive. in south carolina, a gunman broke into the home of a prominent doctor in the city of rock hill wednesday, killing five people, including children, and wounding a sixth person before turning the gun on himself. police identified the killer as phillip adams, a 33-year-old
former nfl star who played for the atlanta falcons and san francisco 49ers. adams had a history of head injuries, including two concussions in a span of three games during the 2012 season. adams' father said his son had no history of violence, telling reporters -- "i can say he's a good kid. i think thfootball messed him up." president biden ordered a series of executive actions on gun control thursday, calling gun violence in the u.s. an epidemic and an international embarrassment. biden's orders will crack down on so- called ghost guns -- easily-assembled firearms bought over the internet without serial numbers, which account for about a third of guns recovered at crime scenes. biden called for an expansion of red flag laws that allow family members or law enforcement to temporarily block people from obtaining firearms if they present a danger. he also called on congress to ban assault weapons and
high-capacity magazines, and said gun manufacturers should be held liable for deaths and injuries resulting from their products. pr. biden: the only industry in america, a billion-dollar industry, that cannot be sued has exempt from being sued, are gun manufacturers. amy: the united states recorded nearly 80,000 new coronavirus infections thursday and 1000 deaths from covid-19. michigan remains the hardest-hit state, but new hotspots are emerging in the northeast, texas and parts of the upper midwest. in north carolina, health officials shut down a mass vaccination site trsday after several patients had immediate adverse reactions to shots of johnson & johnson's covid-19 vaccine. this follows similar reports of nausea and dizziness in people who received j&j doses in colorado a day earlier. johnson & johnson said thursday it will drastically reduce its deliveries of its vaccine around
the u.s. next week after one of its contractors, emergent biosolutions, said 15 million doseat a baltimore plant were contaminated and needed to be thrown out. the white house has since ordered johnson & johnson to take charge of the plant. one in four u.s. adults is now fully vaccinated against covid-19. in pakistan, prime minister imran khan is being called a rape apologist after he blamed a rise in sexual assault cases on the way women dress, and on outside cultural influence. this is human rights activist tahira abdullah, who joined a protest in the capital islamabad this week. >> it is highly humiliating and insulting to say that pakistani men cannot control themselves when women are out in public without wearing the veil. does that mean men are out of control and that all men are rapists because they see women not observing the veil in public? this is nonsense. it is the taliban mindset and
portrays sexism, misogyny, and patriarchy, and the prime minister must apologize. amy: president biden has joined the irish and british prime ministers in calling for an end to the unrest that has rocked northern ireland over the past week. since last friday, vehicles have been set on fire and clashes with police have left dozens of officers injured. police deployed water cannons in belfast thursday night and threatened to start shooting plastic bullets. some of those in the streets have been as young as 12 or 13. the unrest comes amid mounting anger in unionist, or loyalist, areas over brexit, which they say further weakens the northe ireland ties to britain. prince philip has died at the age of 99. prince philip fought in world waii, was a stalwart supporter of the british monarchy for over seven decades. in texas, and investigation is underway into allegations of child abuse, including sexual
assault, faced by unaccompanied migrant children being held at the freeman expo center in san antonio. over 1300 unaccompanied teens, who recently came to the u.s. seeking refuge, are currently being detained at freeman. according to the latest data, nearly 19,000 unaccompanied children came to the u.s. during march -- double the number of children who arrived to the u.s.-mexico border in february. in more immigration news, the parents of 445 migrant children, separated by the trump administration, still cannot be found. that's according to a court filing from the aclu, which says efforts to reunite separated refugee families are moving slowly. in more news from texas, a newly leaked video reveals a harris county republican official urged his party to create an army of poll watchers made up of 10,000 people from houston's majority-white suburbs. the unnamed official says the poll watchers should mobilize on election day in predominantly black and brown communities in houston.
>> we have to get folks in the suburbs out here that have a lot republican oaks -- if we don't do that, this is really going to continue. amy: the video was published by the government accountability group common cause texas, which warns the efforts could further fuel voter suppression in communities of color. new mexico has banned qualified immunity for all government workers including police officers. governor michelle lujan grisham signed the legislation wednesday, ending the use of the legal protection which for years has given police officers near-immunity from lawsuits and from prosecution in cases of excessive force and other forms of misconduct. this comes after new york city banned qualified immunity for police officers last month. in bessemer, alabama, a partial tally of votes cast by workers at an amazon warehouse shows more than twice as many votes
against forming a union than in favor, with around half the cast ballots counted. hundreds of ballots have been challenged during the count, most of thechallenged by amazon. those votes could come back into play if the margin among the uncontested ballots is close. meanwhile, the labor rights media group more perfect union has revealed amazon executives coerced the u.s. postal service to install a private mailbox at the bessemer warehouse, so the company could pressure workers to mail their ballots from work and monitor votes. longtime reporter and author reese erlich has died after a battle with prostate cancer. he co-authored the best-selling book "target iraq: what the news media didn't tell you." he also published books on u.s. foreign policy in iran, cuba, and syria. in his final column for "the progressive," published just two weeks ago, erlich wrote -- "i hope i've helped explain some complicated world issues you might not otherwise have understood.
i hope the activism earlier in my life and my writing and speeches later have helped bring about progressive change." you can see our interviews with reese erlich at democracynow.org. and in nevada, anti-war protesters have been leading peaceful actions outside creech air force base all week, blocking its gates to protest u.s. drone warfare. on monday, a vigil was held for daniel hale, a former intelligence analyst who pleaded guilty last week to leaking classified documents about the secretive u.s. targeted killing program. he faces up to 10 years in prison. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. as the u.s. death toll from covid-19 tops 560,000 and brazil records over 4200 deaths in a single day, we begin today's show looking at how cuba has successfully fought the pandemic.
since last year, only about 440 cubans have died from covid-19, giving the island one of the lowest death rates per capita in the world. cuba is also developing five covid-19 vaccines, including which have entered stage three two trials. eduardo martinez is the president of biocubafarma. >> we are very confident that our vaccines will be effective. the vaccines that are being developed. the results we have had point to satisfactory results and we made him a the end of 20 21 come our population will be immunized with the vaccines that were developed. given the blockade that we are subjected to in the situation of the country, it would have been very difficult for us to get the results we are getting in the fight against the pandemic if we had not developed this industry
more than 35 years ago in our country. amy: for decades, cuba has heavily invested in its medical and pharmaceutical system in part because of the six-decade old u.s. embargo that has made it harder for cuba to import equipment and raw materials from other countries. in the 1980's, cuba developed the world's first meningitis b vaccine. it has also developed important cancer drugs that are now being used in the united states and elsewhere. in a moment, we will go to havana. but first, i want to turn to an excerpt from the recent online documentary series "the war on cuba" produced by "belly of the beast" -- an independent media organization in cuba. one episode looks at cuba's efforts to fight covid-19 at home and abroad. it is narrad by cub jourlist lizliva. >> eve morningtens of thoundsf doors, nurs, d medica sdents ta to the reets acss cuba. they a on e frontles lin of ouright againstovid.
series produced by "belly of the beast" from cuba, founded by reed lindsay, who joins us from havana or we're also joined by dr. rolando pérez rodríguez, director of science and innovation at biocubafarma, which oversees cuba's medicine development -- including the development of covid-19 vaccines. he's also the founder of cuba's molecular immunology center and a member of the cuban academy of science. we welcome you both to democracy now! dr. rolando pérez rodríguez, what he talked about the latest vaccines, two of which are in trial three. >> good morning. i would likeo thank you for this invitation to share with you our experience in the covid 19 pandemic.
i have to say we had the first case of covid-19 in cuba reported march 11, 2021. we decided to start the code vaccine -- covid vaccine program. we got the first approval to start phase one clinical trials in a very short time. in a short time i got to clinical development of these vaccin. today we have five different vaine candidates in clinical development.
we have experience with this kind of technology. amy: cuba will be the first country in latin america to develop vaccines. this despite the u.s. embargo. can you talk about how -- why you think cuba is so far ahead? >> i have to say in cuba -- biotechnology. in combination with the health care system developing [indiscernible]
this combination of the industry and primary care system makes possible to impact -- amy: why do you think cuba has far surpassed the united states when it comes to covid-19 and people surviving? i mean, the u.s. per capita -- i think cuba has over the year between 40 times and 60 times less the death toll per capita
and the united states. how is this possible with the u.s. being the wealthiest country in the world and the u.s. imposing this massive embargo against cuba, which is not only stopping u.s. support for cuba, but countries around the world? >> like i try to explain before, there's a combination of biopharmaceutical industry but also how we organize the health care system in cuba that is free with access to all the population. al pharma looking -- we are
looking for the people. i think it may possible not so much resources. it can have a big impact on alth care. the way we organize the health care system. amy: i want to bring journalist reed lindsay into this conversation, who has put out this series i founder of belly of the beast, called "the war on cuba." if you can talk about overall during the time of covid, even beyond the vaccines, what cuba has done, what you document in your film series like sending doctors to places like brazil, bolivia, ecuador, and beyond? >> i was in haiti for five
years. that was my first direct experience with cuba doctors. i thought it was remarkable what the cuban program in haiti was doing. not only bringing cuban doctors, also training haitian doctors in cuba. cuba at that time was graduating more doctors in the public universities in haiti and they were returning to haiti and working there. living here in cuba, my doctor is a block or two away. if i have a pblem, i waed down there. it is free. i don't have to show any papers. that is what it is like for health care. it could be a little shocking not having to show insurance were anything. when covid hit, i knew cuba -- i felt safer here, frankly, that
if i had been in the united states. i told my mom who was worried about to prove places around the world i told her now i was more worried about her than she was about me. amy: i want to turn to another excerpt from your film "the war on cuba." it is about jar bolsonaro expelling thousands of cuban doctors in 2018. bolsona has alws follow the u. preside. theyall him e latinorump. e u.s. wts to cuoff the inco to che the cun ecomy, tory to ing about a politil change re on th iand. wheneople of the program around700 municipities we sudden left wiout docts. i haa patientn bzil, a 70-year-d man, iiterate. heade an aointmento h could sagoodbye. he ced right he on my should.
and if you can talk about the effects of this. we just reported ready to hundred people died in brazil -- 4200 people died in brazil just yesterday, over 10 times the number of cubans who died during the entire pandemic. >> yeah, it is -- in doing the series, we spoke with numerous doctors who were part -- cuban doctors who were in brazil and they were hurting because they knew these communities there were helping that they were not able to help my people dying of covid. that was part of trump's policies to crush the cuban economy. cuba sends doctors to other parts of the world and let haiti or other parts of the world where there is nothing but all touristic, but also since doctors to brazil and cuba reive some mey for that and
they use that to subsidize health care in cuba. the trump administration went after these programs to try to basically hurt the cuban economy. what is remarkable about the vaccine and what cuba has achieved in the last year is cuba right now is going through a severe economic crisis and part of it is because of covid and no tourism. they were comparing it to the fall of soviet union which was considered the worst great depression. the reason was because of the u.s. sanctions. under trump, the sanctions became far worse. that is the story we were trying to tell with the war on cuba. i want to point out this is a project that is unique about belly of the beast, it is a collaboration between u.s. journalism film makers and cuban journalism film makers
they're telling stories about u.s. prevention in cuba for young bodies in the united states. we feel that is important because the people in the u.s. are at the forefro of pushing for change in the u.s. but they do not always ge information about the impact of u.s. policy in other parts of the world, such as cuba. not only how it affects cubans, but how that policy affects people in the u.s. you cited an example earlier, cuba produces life-saving drugs that cannot be obtained in a the u.s. because of an embargo. amy: let me go back to dr. rolando pérez rodríguez. what plans does cuba have for your vaccines? how do you plan to use it? as with doctors, do you plan to export this vaccine? how many people have participated in trials in cuba? >> ok, we are expecting to get
clinical trial resul by june. we have already the clinical efficacy of these vaccines. we should get an authorization for use for the cuba laboratory agency. will start a massive unitization program in our country. -- immunization program in our country. more than 80,000 people -- clinical trials should include more than 44,000 people on the other candidates vaccine as a clinical trial that should include 40,000 volunteers --
stumps -- not only preventing the disease. we should have an update by june to have medicine in use authorization from the cuban laboratory. amy: i want to go to the u.s. administration approach to cuba. during his campaign, president biden promised to lift current restrictions on remittances and travel to cuba, but it remains unclear if he will pursue resetting relationships with the island. last month, white house spokesperson jen psaki said a shift in u.s. policy on cuba wai not a priority for biden, adding his administrations was reviewing trump's designation of cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism. this is biden speaking to a crowd in florida just days before the 2020 presidential election. pres. biden: we have to vote for new cuba policies as well.
this administration approaches networking. cuba is no closer to freedom and democracy today than it was four years ago. and fact, there are more political prisoners in secret police as brutal as ever and russia once again as a major presence in havana. amy: that was biden right before the election. during the obama-biden years, they were normalizing relations with cuba. read brody, we will -- reed lindsay, we will end with you. if you can talk about what the effect of these u.s. sanctions has been on cuba and what it would mean if the sanctions were lifted. >> cuba is going through any unbelievable economic crisis. the sanctions have been absolutely devastating. they taken on every part -- they bought bill shatner's from venezuela and there's an energy crisis. because they have blocked oil
from venezuela and there is an energy crisis. they basically stopped all investment. they called cuba a state sponsor of terror. they have stopped tourists. basically, biden, although he said he was -- he is not shown he will. yesterday one gonzalez, basically the national security council that runs point on latin america policy, told cnn "biden is not obama and a cuba policy." he said the administration would not invest in political capital necessary for cuba. the biden administration has been pressured by powerful cuban americans. cuban americans are the chair of the house foreign affairs committee. they're getting a lot of pressure and they are not interested in changing policy, at least so far.
amy: i want to thank you both for being with us. reed lindsay, journalist and founder of belly of the beast, an independent media organization that covers cuba and u.s.-cuba relations. also the director of "the war on cuba" series, which is executive produced by danny glover and oliver stone. and dr. rolando pérez rodríguez is the director of science and innovation at biocubafarma and founder of cuba's molecular immunology center and a member of the cuban academy of science. coming up, we stay in the americas. we will be talking to the director, the americas director of amnesty international about how the pandemic has exacerbated inequality and driven aggression north across the hemisphere. stay with us. -- driven migration north across the hemisphere. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman. we turn now to take a look at how the pandemic has exacerbated an equity across the americas over the past year. over 1.3 million have died in the americas from covid-19 making it the hardest hit region in the world. in the united states, the death toll has topped 560,000. in brazil, the number has reached 345,000 with over 4200 deaths on thursday alone. in mexico, the official death toll is 206,000 but the government recently admittedhe true number is actually 60% higher. a new reporty amnesty international has found women, refugees, migrants, under-protected health workers, indigenous peoples, black people and other groupsistorically ignored and attacked by governments have borne the brunt of the pandemic. amnesty's annual report on human rights paints a devastating picture of injustice across the hemisphere. mexico was the deadliest country for journalists last year.
amnesty also condemned the rise in gender violence in mexico where nearly 3800 women were killed last year -- nearly 1000 of the deaths were investigated as femicides. colombia remains the world's most lethal country for human rights defenders. here in the u.s., amnesty cites the police killing of george floyd and the crackdown on black lives matters protesters to highlight deep racial injustice in the past year. anwhile, in brazil between january and june of last year police killed more than 3,000 brazilians -- nearly 80% of the victims were black. amnesty also documented the killing of 287 trans a gender non-conforming people across the continent last year. the amnesty report also looks at the crisis in the central american nations of honduras, guatemala, and el salvador where thousands have fled to escape state violence, poverty fueled
and community's destroyed from two hurricanes last year. we go now to mexico city where we are joined by erika guevara-rosas. she is the americas director for amnesty international. welcome to democracy now! can you talk about your findings as the united states is most aware of what is happening in latin america because what is happening on the border come the situation in these different countries, describe what you fod most egregious. >> thank you. good morning. i would report our annual report was presented a couple of days ago. it is a picture of the state of the human rightsituation around the world. in the case of the americas, that picture is extremely devastating as you have just mentioned. it shows covid-19 pandemic and the measures taken to tackle it had a devastating effect of human rights in the region. fortunately, this time surprised
the americas were hit worse by the pandemic. growing inequality, corruption, violence, impunity created -- you just mentioned the numbers. almost 13% of the population, the americas continent has 48% of the total covid deaths. the impact is not just around the numbers. it is also about the response of the state and how this response has affected marginalized communities such as indigenous peoples, black communities, women, migrants and other vulnerable communities. what is very shocking is not only the covid has shown some of these existing human rights challenges, but also the pandemic has exacerbated some of these conditions precisely because of the response of some
of the governments. how some of our leaders have responded to the pandemic denial and disregard for human rights. some of the governments imposed certain restrictions using excessive use of force is the only way to oppose restrictions, creating crisis -- additional crisis that we are already facing. as you mentioned the numbers, not only covid but the increasing violence tha some of the measures imposed by the government have created. we have seen the increase in the number of violence against women, the number of cases of femicides, but also police violence across the continent. sometimes associated to some of the restrictions imposed by the government. amy: talk more about what is happening in mico right now.
when you talk about the femicides, mass prost against them, and also the killing of journalists. >> mexico is one of the countries that is facing massive human rights crisis for many. it has been a common -- including a president lopez obrador. earlier this year, 82,000 people remained missing in mexico. we have seen an increase of the militarization, including at the borders with the national guard being formalized in terms of their apparatus and will grow. mexico continues to be the most dangerous for journalists. for human rights defenders. some facing an additional
pandemic to the coven 19 pandemic, that is gender violence women and femicides is extremely shocking. the increasing demand we are sing on the streets. women are taking to the street, particularly young women and feminist collectives, demanding stopping gender violence. facidditional violence by the lease. reports of sexual violence against protesters that are taking to the streets. we have seen president lopez obrador disregard the situation women and girls are facing in the country, reducing the investment into public policy to prevent violence, but also attacking feminist groups and young women who are taking to the streets during a press conference that happen every morning. amy: i want to switch now to
honduras. on wednesday, the trial of an alleged mastermind behind the 2016 murder of award-winning environmentalist berta cáceres was once again delayed. cáceres was assassinat in her home in la esperanza a year after she won the goldman environmental prize for her work protecting indigenous communities and her campaign against a massive hydroelectric dam project. the president of the hydroelectric dam company, david castillo, was set to stand trial this week but the trial was suspended after his defense team attempted to change the judge. this is the fourth time the trial has been delayed. earlier this week, cáceres' daughter bertita zúniga cáceres spoke at a rally outside the supreme court where the trial was supposed to be held. this is what she said. >>e kn this process can open the doors for the conclusion of
the responsibility of those who paid and ordered the crime. can also reconstruct the events for us. because the evidence is convinci and irrefutle, we hope castille is proving guilty. we. this process seeking pediment of justice for my mother. that is why today is so important to us. this is the reason we see justice and punishment for those who are most responsible. hope for truth, justice, and to contribute to the guarantee of norepetitionf these crimes. above all, is the territorial leaders who continuto defend th goods othe nature, the rights of indigenous communities. we also hope to break little the stctural impunity that exists in our country that protects those people who are economic and political leaders. amy: can you talk about the significance of what is
happening and the delays of this trial, what means for environmental defenders, human rights activists are so under attack under honduras right now and at the same time, you have the president's brother sentenced to life in prison for and the u.s. for drug trafficking? >> latin america and the caribbean remains the most dangers for human rights defenders. in 2020, we recorded ov 200 compelling's -- 220 killings. any honduras in particular is the third country -- forced disappearance in the hands of the police. berta cáceres is sent only from
the violence -- the levels of impunity that these cases normally have. the intention of daying any proceedings related to human rights defenders violence. [indiscernible] trying to delay investigation, trying to delay the family to gather information and get information from the investigation. this is not new. all of these dels, unfortunately, have been part -- in the ce of berta cáceres. the family has strgled for many years and cfronted many threats, attacks, violence, arbitrary detention.
her daughters were detained a couple of days before the trial started this week. impunity remains the norm. ere the thorities ar not providing protections for those -- because of the human rights they are doing. those who are fighting the right to land and access to terrories protecting the vironment e the ones who e faci even more violence. government is not protecting the human rights defenders. we are -- [indiscernible]
[indiscernle] amy: can you talk about how this country, the united states, sees migration and why people are making noise to the border, so desperate, refugees, to lead countries that they love? people are fleeing violence and poverty and the effects of the climate crisis. not only the united states, but several governments areenying the rights of asylum and people to seek protecon. with the particular early on in the context of the pandemic how migrts have been detained in many countries across the continent,orcibly returned to the countries where they face -- united states is at the top of the list.
the trump administration implemented some othe most inhumane and cruel policies around refugees and migrants with the separation of families, massive detention of people, the deportation of people, and forcing people to get stuck on the mexico side and some of the most violent communities acros the continent. with the biden administration, the pectation is huge given the commitments and the pblems during the campaign d some of the -- by thedministration has taken at the beginning of his mandate. but unfortunately, we have not seen it. people continue to get stuck at the border. we havseen the detention of unaccompanied minor children who continue to be in temporary facilities under very precarious conditions, even exposed to covid-19 in this period of --
happening in the united states. america finally, if you could comment on the years of u.s. foreign intervention in the countries where most of the refugees are coming from -- guatemala, honduras, el salvador stop the u.s. support for the militaries the paramilitary death squads that led to so many deaths in these countries, wreaking havoc in especially the indigenous populations. can you talk about that as a cause of people today, now, yes later, to united stes? >> this is a verimportant queson because we need to understand theoot causes of why ople areeaving a escaping. most of those coming tthe united states come fm central americ. these are countries where people arescaping violence, lack of state protection. sotimes they are escaping persecution from the state and the violence being perpetrated
by the government and the police. this is in combination with u.s. intervention. the u.s. has been investing in military support to these countries. the u.s. has refused investment to provide support for communities to really address the root causes of why people are in the country. the u.s. -organized crime beuse of the weakness of the institutions. of course now we are expecting the biden administration is going have a shift in the way it is relating with these countries, seeking collaboration and cooperation, but more important, seeking to collaborate to address the root causes. that involves u.s. intervention and all of ese countrie amy: erika guevara-rosas, thank you for being with us, human rights lawyer and americas director for amnesty international, which has just published its annual report on the state of the world's human rights. coming up, president biden has
president biden ordered a series of executive actions on gun control, calling gun violence in the u.s. an epidemic and an international embarrassment. biden's orders will crack down on so-called ghost guns -- easily-assembled firearms bought over the internet without serial numbers, which account for about a third of guns recovered at crime scenes. the executive actions come after deadly mass shootings in boulder, colorado, atlanta, georgia, and one in rock hill , south carolina, on biden wednesday. called on congress to pass a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and said gun manufacturers should be held liable for deaths and injuries resulting from their products. pres. biden: the only industry in america, a billion-dollar industry, that cannot be sued, has exempt from being sued, our gun manufacturers. amy: we are joined now by brian lemek, executive director of brady pac. thank you so much for being with us. can you respond to what
president biden has proposed and what you want to see happen? >> thank you, amy. i think this is a reminder for all of us that elections matter. president den came in and honors his campaign promises with swift executive action to start ving american lives. we are really thrilled with what he was able to put out yesterday. we are encouraged by the atf director nominee david chipman. we are thrilled to see action on the very dangerous ghost guns. we are really encouraged by the amount of lives that could be saved from suicide to the extremist protection orders. and we are proud president biden and really feeling great about his attention to the issue. we knew that president biden having been someone who served with the brady family back in the early 1990's past the
original background check system to pass the assault weapon ban. so we knew coming in that president biden would be the gun violence prevention champion we all expected him to be, and now we are calling on congress to carry the torch here and pass additional laws. keep americans safe and save american lives. amy: what you think is most important for congress to pass right now? >> i think the most important thing for congress and the most immediate action to save lives is expanding the existing brady background check system. this is a law that has prevented over 3 million purchases since its inception. the call to action for us is for congress to make a really good la better, to bring it up to the times. we know when the law was first created that gun shows were not the operation they are today, where the transfer millions of firearms are occurring every year. we also know the internet was not as robust a market as it is today, either.
these are things that couldot have been anticipated. we are asking for congress to come up with the times and make a really good law better. amy: what you make of the other joe running the government? yeah president joe biden and then you have senator joe manchin and what he has proposed together with republican senator to mof pennsylvania but many fearing he will be the perso who will stand against gun control. >> senator manchin has demonstrated both an interesting desk interest in keeping american cycle also not interfering with the second amendment. management is a gun owner and from a state of a gun culture. is a fine example of what the movement needs to be doing, which is working hand-in-hand with gun owners, gun enthusiasts , sportsman, etc., to pass
lifesaving laws. i think senator manchin is someone can help us do that. amy: what about right now, the issue that biden raised yesterday, the issue of gun manucturers -- community of gun manufacturer saying it is the only industry that has this level of immunity. what exactly does that mean and how could it be stripped? >> it is probably one of the most dangerous laws out there. it is shocking to all of us the regulations on sport guns are greater than tse on firearms andirearms manufacturers. it is a relic of the days from the nra had power and no see them as a toothless organization . the expectation is rule such as those can be turned over. we know the nra hasut pressure on lawmakers for many years. they are the political arm of the gun manufacturing industry. we know now with president biden , the gun violence prevention
majority in the house and senate, the overwhelming majority of americans supporting common sense gun legislation that we can apply the political pressure to change those laws, to keep americans safe, and to stop letting gun manufacturers get away with effectively, murder. amy: and biden acknowledging gun violence in black and brown community's across the country, promising funds to community violence prevention programs? we have 10 seconds. >> president biden is demonstrating there's comprehensive solutions to this very complex problem that includes community, addressing suicide, domestic violence, addressing the everyday gun violence in communities of color experience. amy: i want to thank you, brian lemek, executive director of brady pac. happy early birthday to david prude! democracy now! is currently accepting applications for a senior news producer to join our team here in new york city. learn more and apply today at