JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening.
I’m Judy Woodruff.
On the “NewsHour” tonight: Hurricane Dorian.
The storm gains strength, hitting the U.S.
Virgin Islands, with Puerto Rico getting its
first test of emergency preparedness since
devastation in 2017.
Then: the trade war’s bottom line — from
farmers to retailers, how President Trump’s
economic policies are affecting American businesses.
Plus: natural remedies — why doctors nationwide
are writing prescriptions for time spent outdoors.
VERCINIA VINZANT, U.S. Air Force Veteran:
When I first started this, I’m like, oh, come
Going outside is going to help what, really?
But, amazingly so, it does help.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s
JUDY WOODRUFF: The storm dubbed Dorian is
a full-fledged hurricane tonight.
It struck the U.S. Virgin Islands and passed
Puerto Rico with sustained winds at 80 miles
an hour, as it headed for the U.S. mainland.
Winds could reach 115 miles an hour when the
storm lands, anywhere from seven South Florida
to South Carolina, by Sunday or Monday.
We will get a report from the Caribbean after
the news summary.
The White House today defended plans to shift
money from hurricane response to immigration
The move takes $155 million from FEMA, the
Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Vice President Pence’s chief of staff, Marc
Short, spoke outside the White House.
MARC SHORT, Chief Of Staff to Vice President
Mike Pence: I don’t think there’s a perception
that that hurricane relief funding prevents
I think there’s clarity in our administration
what the different pots of resources are for.
I will tell you that other administrations
have reprogrammed dollars before.
And I think the president and the administration
are proud of our record in responding to hurricanes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Short also denied reports that
President Trump promised to pardon officials
if they break the law to build a border wall
The administration did serve notice today
that some children of U.S. military and government
employees will no longer gain automatic citizenship
if they are born overseas.
The change applies to those born to unmarried
parents deployed abroad when only one parent
is an American citizen.
It takes effect October 29.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is dropping
out of the Democratic presidential race.
She confirmed her plans late today.
Gillibrand championed women’s rights and family
issues, but she failed to do well in polls
and didn’t qualify for the next round of debates.
We will talk about those debates later in
In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has
made his boldest move yet to deliver Brexit,
even if there is no deal with the European
He won the queen’s permission today to suspend
Parliament before the October 31st deadline
for quitting the E.U.
The change gives opponents less time to block
Brexit from taking place without a formal
We will take a closer look at also later in
Union members rallied in Hong Kong today over
the firing of airline employees linked to
Cathay Pacific Airways has dismissed 20 pilots
and cabin crew in the past two weeks.
Hundreds of protesters against the firings
filled a square in the Chinese-ruled city.
They carried signs and demanded an end to
REBECCA SY, Former Chair, Hong Kong Dragon
Airlines Flight Attendants Association (through
translator): Where’s the freedom of speech
or of democracy or even is it — Hong Kong
— just like said, is Hong Kong really dying
or is already dead?
It’s very — it’s pathetic.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Cathay Pacific insisted it
has to comply with mainland China’s ban on
any flights with crew members who were involved
in the Hong Kong protests.
Back in this country, Republican Senator Johnny
Isakson of Georgia announced that he’s resigning
at the end of the year.
Isakson is 74 and is midway through his third
term in the Senate.
He cited growing health problems, including
Georgia Republicans will now have two Senate
seats to defend in 2020.
Facebook says it plans to enforce stricter
rules on political advertising ahead of the
The company said today that advertisers must
prove that they represent a legitimate organization
and are based in the U.S.
The changes tighten procedures initially announced
All of this follows revelations that Russians
paid for thousands of fake political ads in
the 2016 election.
Apple apologized today for letting outside
contractors listen to users talking with digital
The iPhone maker said that, from now on, only
its own employees will listen to recorded
snippets of the conversations for quality
Facebook, Google and others have acknowledged
that they, too, have reviewed audio of users
talking to their digital assistants.
On Wall Street today, financial and energy
stocks led the broader market higher.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 258
points to close at 26036.
The Nasdaq rose nearly 30 points, and the
S&P 500 added 18.
And more than 20,000 people drenched themselves
in red today at the annual tomato-tossing
brawl in Bunol, Spain.
Revelers hurled 145 tons of over-ripe tomatoes
at each other, covering streets with a sea
of red pulp.
The Tomatina festival began with battle among
children in 1945.
So, still to come on the “NewsHour”: Hurricane
Dorian gains strength over the Caribbean;
the trade war comes home — farmers and retailers
feel the fallout of the president’s policies;
crisis in the United Kingdom — why the British
prime minister is suspending Parliament over
Brexit; the Democratic Party comes under fire
for its handling of how candidates make it
to the debates; and much more.
Hurricane Dorian may be sparing Puerto Rico’s
main island from its very worst, but the Virgin
Islands are taking a direct hit today.
And, in Puerto Rico, many are watching to
see how well the island’s electrical grid
holds up after an overhaul.
All of those islands suffered massive damage
during the hurricanes of 2017.
Danica Coto has reported on the preparations
and aftermaths of prior hurricanes.
She covers the Caribbean for the Associated
And she joins us again this evening by Skype.
Danica, welcome back to the “NewsHour.”
So, tell us, what is the very latest you know
on how this storm hit, how it affected the
DANICA COTO, Associated Press: Well, the brunt
of the storm hit mostly St. Thomas, which
experienced very heavy rains.
We’re still trying to get ahold of officials
I spoke with people on the BVI, which lies
just east or about northeast of St. Thomas,
and they reported flooding, but no major damage.
And in Puerto Rico, there was a lot of joy
— or reserved joy at least — on the main
island, given that Dorian changed its path
overnight from affecting southwest — the
southwest part of Puerto Rico to just glancing
the northeast part.
Tonight, there is still tropical-force-storm
winds expected for the northeast part of the
island, but the storm is making its way out
of the Caribbean.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But I know, when I talked to
you last night, Puerto Rico was bracing for
this storm, and it had to be an enormous relief.
DANICA COTO: It is a huge relief for many
on the big island.
Many people went to bed worried about whether
they were going to have power in the morning,
whether they would have enough supplies, food,
But when they woke up and they saw that most
of the storm was going to cover the northeast
part, and then throughout the day, it kept
moving further and further east — the concern
right now is for the tiny Puerto Rican islands
Culebra and Vieques.
They lie just east of the main island of Puerto
Rico and it’s a very popular tourist destination.
I spoke to one of the mayors there.
And he said that, partly, he’s relieved because
there are no rivers on these islands.
So they don’t expect too much flooding and
there’s not really mountains, so there’s no
risk of landslides.
But, even then, power outages to remain a
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, as we were mentioning,
of course, and as you know so well, both — all
of these islands took a massive hit in 2017
from the big storms, both Maria.
And they — and these islands, it has taken
them a long time to recover.
How has that affected their ability to prepare
for this year’s storm?
DANICA COTO: Well, if you speak with government
officials in Puerto Rico, they say that they
are prepared, that they have learned their
But there is still about 30,000 blue tarps
that serve as roofs throughout the island.
In addition, the electrical grid remains very
There’s still power outages.
Even with the minor rain that we experienced
today, there were some power outages ranging
from anywhere from 100 customers to a couple
thousand being without power, albeit briefly.
But many of these islands are still struggling
to recover, especially the smaller ones, BVI,
USVI was affected by both Hurricane Irma and
Maria, which hit in September 2017.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And right now, what we are
told, Danica, is that this storm is headed
to the East Coast of Florida, the mainland
How much do we know from the forecasts at
this point about that?
DANICA COTO: It is a bit too early to say.
The forecasters at the National Hurricane
Center say that people should be prepared,
should expect a large storm along the southeast
And they do say that they would have a better
idea once the storm gets stronger, you know,
once it has a more clearly defined center.
Forecasters say that the forecast wouldn’t
change that much, as opposed to Dorian, when
it was still a tropical storm.
When it is fully organized, you know, it is
very hard to say where exactly it will go.
And as we saw, the path changed several times.
So, once it gets stronger, forecasters believe
that it will be easier to predict where exactly
it will land and sort of the future path it
will take in these coming days.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A Category 1 at this point,
and some — I guess some of the forecasters
saying it could grow possibly to a Category
Danica Coto, thank you very much.
We appreciate your talking to us for the second
night in a row.
We appreciate it.
DANICA COTO: Thank you very much for having
JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump and China have
ramped up their war over trade, and the president
has spent much of his term confronting other
countries over trade practices.
This weekend, he announced new tariffs and
alternated between insult and praise for China’s
He also threatened to order American companies
to move their operations out of China.
To do so, he would use a 1977 law in a way
that has never been used by a U.S. president
William Brangham takes two looks at major
sectors of the American economy are caught
in the crossfire.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: We first look at the trade
war’s impact on U.S. farmers with Denny Friest.
He’s a fourth-generation farmer near Radcliffe,
He grows soybean and corn and raises pigs.
Friest also represents his district at the
Iowa Corn Growers Association, and he’s just
coming from the group’s annual meeting in
Des Moines this week.
Denny, thank you very much for being here.
Before we get to the larger sense of how the
farming community in Iowa is doing, I’m just
curious how things are specifically on your
farm, because all three of those crops I mentioned
are right at the middle of this whole trade
How are you personally doing?
DENNY FRIEST, Iowa Corn Growers Association:
It has been a challenge for all of us farmers
We have had a wet spring.
We have had delays in our planting.
But we are probably better off than a lot
of our people.
Half of our soybeans that we produce in this
country get exported.
So it has been a huge impact in our demand
We, as farmers, have invested millions of
dollars through all of our commodity group
over the years to definitely new markets especially
overseas, to create demand for our products.
And to see these tariffs come and knock them
down, where nobody — where we lose these
markets, that has been a real disappointment.
And it has really angered a lot of farmers,
that we are being played on by not being able
to continue to access these markets with our
free trade agreements.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: As I mentioned, you just
came from the Growers Association meeting.
Was this the — I know there’s a lot of concerns
about the administration’s policies with regard
to ethanol, as well as this trade fight that
is going on.
What were you hearing from other farmers?
DENNY FRIEST: The biggest concern the farmers
were sharing was the fact that we were not
given the promises that President Trump gave
on the rural fuels — renewable fuel standards
that were promised from him.
We have exemptions of — 31 exemptions for
small refinery exemptions this past year,
to the tune of 1.43 billion gals of ethanol,
equivalent to 510 million bushels of corn.
This has tremendously effected our demand
and has dropped our price down.
And we were promised in the election that
he would support ethanol.
We just need President Trump to follow up
on the promises he made to us.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So those renewable standards,
on top of the trade war, seem like a bit of
a one-two punch.
What about the argument that some people make,
which is that China has to be challenged on
some of its practices?
And, yes, that might mean some short-term
pain for farmers.
The president has put forward two aid packages.
But that that short-term pain will yield a
What do you make of that argument?
DENNY FRIEST: Farmers are in general support
But by dragging this on a longer, longer period
of time, this is going to cost us.
It is not going to be effective at all for
us as farmers.
This is going too far.
At first, we were — we supported it.
We needed to work and get China back to playing
But just carrying it on and on and increasing
the tariffs, it is really, really hurting
our financial positions here as farmers.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I know that you were a supporter
of the president, as were many farmers in
And they thought he was really going to champion
Has these — this past year, past year-and-a-half
made you change your position on that?
DENNY FRIEST: I’m definitely not as strong
a supporter as I was of him.
We have farmers from all over the state representing
their counties, their producers all over — from
And most farmers are very much concerned that
he has not followed through.
Supporting President Trump next election cycle
is going to be a challenge for me if he doesn’t
make some improvements for us.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Denny Friest
of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, thank
you very, very much for your time.
DENNY FRIEST: Thank you.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Now let’s get the view of
some larger retail businesses about the impact
of this trade fight.
David French is the senior vice president
for government relations at the National Retail
Welcome to the “NewsHour.”
DAVID FRENCH, National Retail Federation:
It’s great to be with you.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Help me understand.
We just heard a farmer’s perspective on how
the trade war looks to them.
A lot of different things roiling in this
The president is fighting with the Federal
We see these trade fights, the tariffs as
From a retail perspective, how is this trade
war or this trade fight look to your industry?
DAVID FRENCH: Well, let’s start.
The economy’s in a good shape — in a good
Consumers are very confident.
Consumers are buying things.
And that’s good for retailers.
Tax reform has helped.
Regulatory reform has helped.
But the trade war has cast a pall over all
of that and threatens to undo all of the good
work President Trump has done by raising a
lot of uncertainty and causing a lot of disruption
for retailers, for our customers, for farmers,
for a lot of people, small manufacturers,
you name it.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: On the retail sector in
particular, help me understand how that works.
Let’s say I’m Kroger or Costco or Walgreens
How does a trade war impact retail businesses?
Walk me through that process.
DAVID FRENCH: So you named Kroger and Costco.
Those are two interesting businesses.
Both of them have made substantial investments
in doing business in China, not just to import
goods, but also to export and develop markets
with the Chinese consumer.
Remember, China has a middle-class that’s
larger than the entire population of the United
So it’s really important for retailers to
consider trade with China to be a two-way
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So the issue being that,
if we have tariffs being waged back and forth
between China and the U.S. and them against
us, that your supply chain gets disrupted,
that you simply can’t budget, you can’t plan
for the next year?
Is that what it is?
DAVID FRENCH: That’s part of it.
It’s also — it’s a growth market for American
brands and American retailers as well.
American products are very popular in China,
whether it’s American pork, or American blue
jeans, or American luxury goods.
They’re very popular, in high demand.
And so I think retailers are concerned that
both the supply chain impact is real, but
also the ability to grow and develop that
Chinese market is also real.
Let me also add, on the supply chain, nobody
builds a supply chain and starts the preposition
by, we’re going to source our products from
as far away as possible.
There’s a — it’s a very complicated process
to design a supply chain.
You have to find a place that can manufacture
the goods at the high enough quality, a low
enough — at a low enough price.
You have to find a place where you can do
testing and assure that the consumer is going
to be safe if they use that product.
You have to have logistics support, so you
can transport that product into the U.S. market.
And all of these things — China happens to
be one of the places that does all of these
things very well.
There aren’t other places around the world,
and certainly not the United States.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So the same argument that
I would put — that I asked Denny Friest about,
I would ask you, which is, the president argues
we had to challenge China on its behavior.
And, yes, it does cause some pain for certain
sectors of the economy, but if it pays long-term
benefits, isn’t it worth it?
What would your industry say to that?
DAVID FRENCH: We certainly agree that we should
be confronting China over the way that they
handle trade practices, their abuse of technology,
their I.P. theft.
All of those are valid goals.
Our concern is really with the tactic, the
tactic of tariffs.
In order for tariffs to work, first, a lot
of pain has to be felt by U.S. consumers.
The supply chains won’t shift overnight unless
U.S. consumers, U.S. businesses are feeling
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That’s just a fact.
You can’t change that.
DAVID FRENCH: That’s just a fact.
Otherwise, nobody’s changing behavior.
So the pain has to be first felt here.
But then there’s the threat of retaliatory
So what we heard from Denny was the risk that
China will cut us off from markets we have
developed for decades.
Many farmers have been able to expand their
operations because of the growth of the Chinese
Now they’re facing losses.
They’re not planting.
All of these things are real.
Other businesses, manufacturers that sell
things like airplanes perhaps could also lose
access to the Chinese market.
So tariffs are a blunt tool.
They don’t really work very well.
They’re not surgical.
They’re not solving this problem.
They haven’t worked so far.
And we’re concerned that it makes it harder
for us to get the solution we need on the
strategic imperative, which is fixing the
way China does business.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: David French of the National
Retail Federation, thank you.
DAVID FRENCH: Thanks.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The debate over Brexit in the
United Kingdom intensified today, as Prime
Minister Boris Johnson moved to suspend parliament.
That request was approved by the queen and
will limit the amount of time Parliament convenes
before the October 31 deadline for the U.K.
to leave the European Union.
Lisa Desjardins will have more on the story
in a minute.
But, first, we have this report by Paul Brand
of Independent Television News.
PAUL BRAND: Tonight, the power is shifting
from Parliament to prime minister.
No need to defeat M.P.s, when he can just
dismiss them, suspending their work, allegedly
so he can get on with his own, and announce
a plan for government.
BORIS JOHNSON, British Prime Minister: By
bringing forward a new legislative program
on crime, on hospitals, and making sure that
we have the education funding that we need.
And there will be ample time on both sides
of that crucial October the 17th summit, ample
time in Parliament for M.P.s to debate the
E.U., debate Brexit, and all the other issues,
PAUL BRAND: Three members of the government
flying up to deliver Her Majesty’s directions,
refuting the claims of a coup.
JACOB REES-MOGG, British Parliament Member:
I would say they wouldn’t know what they were
It’s a normal functioning of our constitution.
JEREMY CORBYN, Leader, Labor Party: What the
prime minister is doing is a sort of smash
and grab on our democracy in order to force
through a no-deal exit from the European Union.
PAUL BRAND: The speaker, John Bercow, added:
“Shutting down Parliament would be an offense
against the Democratic process,” suggesting
he will help M.P.s act quickly.
The protests, though, don’t come from all
Others are happy to vacate their benches,
insisting it’s nothing unusual.
People will say you campaigned to bring democracy
back to Parliament, and now you’re in favor
of closing Parliament down.
PETER BONE, British Parliament Member: That
is — yes, but you can say that, but it’s
Parliament is not being closed down.
The period is exactly how you would do it
under any parliamentary period.
PAUL BRAND: Protesters managing to break through
the barriers outside Parliament, arguing it’s
the prime minister who’s crossing the line.
LISA DESJARDINS: So, what does this all mean
for the United Kingdom, Brexit and the European
We turn to Robin Niblett, director of Chatham
House, the British think tank.
Thank you for thank you for joining us from
First, this would be the longest suspension
of Parliament since 1945.
It’s obviously dramatic, and it could also
Why do you think Prime Minister Johnson is
ROBIN NIBLETT, Director, Chatham House: Well,
he’s basically trying to spike the guns of
the opposition that want to try to take away
the control of the E.U. negotiation, and not
give them the time.
Despite what he said in your lead-in of ample
time, he is trying to cut down and constrain
the amount of time they might have had in
Parliament to try to force through legislation
that would prevent him from allowing the U.K.
to leave the E.U. without a deal by October
So, he has a very particular plan.
Now, you say it is the longest period of suspension.
Actually, he has been cleverer than that.
He has combined what is a normal sort of 10
days, roughly, of prorogation allowed by the
queen, so the new government he is leading
can set out its program, he’s linked that
on to what is a traditional three-week recess
for the party conferences at the end of September.
So those five weeks have been created by linking
those two chunks of time together, and really
leaving Parliament only with about three days
at the beginning of next week to try to block
that loss of time.
LISA DESJARDINS: So, when Parliament returns
after the prorogation and suspension, all
of that is completed, there will just be,
by my calculation, a couple of weeks — that
is what Mr. Johnson refers to as ample time
— before Brexit is set it take full effect.
Does this mean that a no-deal Brexit or a
crash into Brexit is likely or certain at
ROBIN NIBLETT: Well, what he would say — and
there is obviously some truth to this — is
that the only way he can get a deal or get
the E.U. 27 to compromise on the existing
withdrawal agreement that they established
with Theresa May is for them to believe that
the U.K. would definitely leave by October
So his point of view is, I need the negotiating
credibility, not with Parliament holding a
separate gun to my head, but the E.U. 27 have
to believe it, so I can get some compromise
on the famous Irish backstop.
Then I can only do it if people really do
believe we’re going to leave.
So, from his point of view, this is to strengthen
his hand in the negotiation.
Personally, I’m — I have to say, I’m skeptical
that even if E.U. 27 did give some type of
concession on the Irish backstop, that he
would still be having committed because 30
billion pounds worth’ of Britain money to
be able to secure a two-year period of limbo
within which the U.K. would carry on being
in the single market, carry on being in the
customs union, and trying to negotiate a future
So, I have to say, I’m a little bit skeptical
that, even if he were able to get a concession
on the backstop, whether he would be able
to take it or get into Parliament.
LISA DESJARDINS: And that, of course, is referring
to the issue between Northern Ireland and
the Republic of Ireland over all of this,
and that border, how that border would work.
But let me understand you.
Do you believe then a no-deal Brexit is now
ROBIN NIBLETT: I think a no-deal Brexit has
got to be at least a 50 percent chance.
I mean, that’s — most people would have had
it down to 10, 20 percent even three or four
So it is a very real chance.
Now, we have got to remember, a no-deal Brexit,
if you know it’s coming, and if the E.U. 27
know it’s coming and the British government
know it’s coming, there will be mitigating
steps they can take to make sure it really
isn’t the kind of cliff edge that is being
But it would have a significant impact on
the British economy.
And I think the chance, as I said, are above
LISA DESJARDINS: Let me understand what that
could mean then also.
Is there any concern for increasing unrest,
or perhaps more calls for separation of other
countries within the U.K., like Scotland,
because of this?
ROBIN NIBLETT: Well, it’s very interesting.
Ruth Davidson, who is the very charismatic
and popular leader of the Conservatives in
Scotland — that has often been a contradiction
in terms, but she has done a great job of
rebuilding support for the Conservatives in
There is talk she may actually hand in her
There’s been all sorts of stuff on the news
She’s been a big proponent of Brexit and took
actually Boris Johnson on during the referendum
So, yes, this is the kind of thing that is
going to really mobilize voters in Scotland
to say, here we are, an English prime minister
doing what’s best for the English Conservative
Party, against Scottish interests.
There will also, of course, be a question,
if there’s a hard Brexit, on what happens
in Northern Ireland, where a majority also
voted to remain during the referendum in 2016.
So, no, I think you can see where the passion
that’s been built up outside Downing Street,
this has come as a shock.
It is partly, I think, a sign of weakness
on Boris Johnson’s part that he’s had to take
this step, as transparently and really as
And we will see how — the blood is up and
the newspaper headlines are going to be pretty
LISA DESJARDINS: We will be watching this
Robin Niblett, thank you for joining us.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Stay with us.
Coming up on the “NewsHour”: outdoor prescription
— why doctors are beginning to urge patients
to spend time at the park; and “The Woman
Warrior,” the latest pick for our Now Read
This book club.
It won’t be official until midnight, but Democrats
appear to be headed for a one-night presidential
debate with 10 candidates in September.
Today is the deadline to meet the criteria
laid out by the Democratic National Committee.
The polling and fund-raising requirements
are stricter than they were for the first
They have to reach 2 percent or higher in
four credible polls and to raise money from
at least 130,000 donors.
And that has some of the candidates who didn’t
make the cut crying foul.
Here is U.S. Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado
speaking to delegates at last week’s DNC summer
MICHAEL BENNET (D-CO), Presidential Candidate:
If we wanted to be the party that excluded
people, we’d be Republicans.
These rules have created exactly the wrong
outcomes, and they will not help us beat Donald
I’m not going to be on the debate stage next
month, but I am going to be out in Iowa and
New Hampshire and South Carolina and Nevada
building the constituency for change this
JUDY WOODRUFF: And so we are joined now by
someone with experience both on the debate
stage, as a 2004 presidential contender and
the former governor of Vermont, and behind
the scenes, as chair of the Democratic National
Committee from 2005 to 2009.
Howard Dean, welcome to the “NewsHour.”
So as you know, the earlier debates, there
were 20 candidates spread over two nights.
This time, there are going to be only 10,
even though there are 20 candidates still
in the race.
Is that the right approach, do you think,
for the Democratic Party?
HOWARD DEAN, Former Chair, Democratic National
Committee: Well, you have to have some or
order to this.
And I will say, Michael Bennet, first of all,
is one of my favorite candidates.
But the truth is,you cannot have what the
Republicans had, which was these chaotic series
of debates, which then went on to nominate
somebody who ended up as president, but is
probably the worst president in the United
We have to have a reasonably orderly process.
Now, Michael has another shot, as do some
of the other people who didn’t get to the
criteria this time.
The same criteria applies to next month’s
But at some point, if you can’t get the grassroots
together, and raise the money, and be in 20
states and raise your profile, then you can’t
be on the debate stage.
There are 600 people, roughly, that run for
president all the time.
And most of them never get on the debate stage.
There has to be some order to this.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You are saying at some point
there has to be some order.
But as the campaign of Senator Bennet is pointing
out, we are still five months away from the
first voters voting, and they are asking,
why is the DNC in a rush to squeeze, to winnow
HOWARD DEAN: Well, they don’t necessarily
— look, the winnowers of the field are the
people that aren’t raising the money and aren’t
— don’t have the grassroots efforts.
Now they have another month to do it, and
I think that’s fair.
Even if they don’t get it done in the next
month, they can still go into Iowa, and there
will be other forums and so forth and so on.
But you cannot have the spectacle that went
on in 2016 in the Republican Party.
And that’s what these rules are aimed at trying
to not have.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But, again, I guess, Governor,
the question they’re raising is that, why
shouldn’t this be up to the voters who are
going to be voting in early 2020, rather than
up to the Democratic Party officials?
And, frankly, some of the candidates are saying
the process has not been transparent.
HOWARD DEAN: It is transparent.
And it is up to the voters.
If the voters choose one of these folks, and
some of these folks didn’t get on the stage
in the next week end up in the top three in
Iowa, or New Hampshire, or Nevada, or South
Carolina, then they will be in the primary.
We’re not excluding anybody from the process.
We are trying to maintain a reasonable set
of criteria, so people can listen to what
is going on in the debates.
If I have had my way, I actually still would
have had two nights.
I just would have had five people on each
But, look, this is always a difficult situation.
We always run into this.
We had to handle the same thing.
We had three fringe candidates that wanted
to be on all the time.
At some point, you can’t be on all the time,
because it distracts from the message of the
people who are in the race.
And that’s the top 10 people.
And I don’t — you know, I don’t have a big
quarrel with this.
JUDY WOODRUFF: I was reading some of the criticisms
or at least questions raised by Governor Steve
Bullock, who is not going to be on the debate
stage, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard not going
to be on the debate stage.
And then, again, Senator Bennet, his campaign
adviser put out a statement today.
Maybe he was quoting Senator Bennet himself.
He said: “The DNC’s process is stifling debate
at a time when we need it the most.”
He said: “We’re rewarding celebrity candidates
with millions of Twitter followers, billionaires
who buy their way on to the debate stage and
candidates who have been running for president
And he — they went on to say it forces campaigns
to fork over millions of dollars to Facebook.
HOWARD DEAN: Pete Buttigieg is an example
of somebody who did fine under this current
Julian Castro did fine under this system.
Amy Klobuchar, a United States senator, did
fine under this system.
Look, you are going to have people complain.
I think the world of Michael, and I like Steve
Bullock a lot too.
I hope they make it into the next round.
But you are going to have to demonstrate some
significant support, and significant support
both in polls and in grassroots support, in
order to get on that stage.
And I think that’s fair.
You can argue that this is arbitrary.
And maybe it is too early.
But there has to be some order to the debates.
And that’s what Perez is trying to do.
And I think he’s doing the best he can.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But you’re saying, if you had
designed these debates, you might have done
it a little differently.
You said you might have done it over two nights
with fewer people.
You might not have tightened the…
HOWARD DEAN: Yes, sure.
Yes, but I’m not the chairman of the party.
Tom is the chairman of the party.
And, believe me, look, the party was in worse
— party was in pretty bad shape when I took
It was in worse shape when Tom took it over.
So of course we’re going to — there’s always
going to be differences of opinions.
But I’m going to stand up for Tom Perez as
long as I think he’s doing the best he can.
And I think he’s doing the best he can.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And I should point out we did
seek today to talk with Chairman Perez.
He wasn’t available tonight.
And we will continue — continue to try to
talk to him.
But, finally, Howard Dean, how should voters
look on this Democratic process between now
— here we are at the end of August.
The first votes are not going to be cast,
what, in Iowa until early February.
Should voters look on this as a process where
it’s good that a lot of candidates are still
in the race until the end, or that it does
get a lot — that there are many fewer as
soon as possible?
HOWARD DEAN: No, I don’t think we should have
as many fewer as soon as possible.
I think we should have a gradual winnowing
process, which is exactly what’s going on.
I have enjoyed these debates.
I thought the last one was a little rugged
in terms of the way that the panel asked the
questions and the candidates went after each
The first three, for me, were just terrific.
There’s a lot of people I have never seen
in action that are on these debates, including
Mike and Steve, who were both, I think, in
the last debate.
So I think this is a great system.
I’m looking forward to more.
I hope some of these candidates do make the
criteria, which are not going to change for
the next month’s debate.
I encourage them to do that and to work hard
and to build their grassroots base.
And I think that’s good for everybody.
And I think most Democrats really enjoy these
debates, especially when we get to see people
that we don’t really know that well.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Howard Dean, the former chair
of the Democratic Party, former candidate
for president himself, thank you very much.
HOWARD DEAN: Thanks, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: As rates of chronic diseases
among children have skyrocketed in the past
few decades, pediatricians have increasingly
looked for solutions beyond the traditional.
Sometimes, that means prescribing time outdoors.
Special correspondent Cat Wise has our story
from Oakland, California.
It’s part of our regular series on the Leading
Edge of science and health.
CAT WISE: Tina Igbinakenzua wishes Saturday
mornings didn’t look like this, with her 6-year-old
Alex cooped up inside playing video games,
playing, 7-year-old Lisa glued to the television.
TINA IGBINAKENZUA, Oakland: OK, guys.
Breakfast is set.
CAT WISE: And Tina herself frantic with chores.
But even when she manages to drag the whole
crew out into downtown Oakland for some fresh
air, it’s not what you would call rest and
TINA IGBINAKENZUA: Alex, watch where you’re
Watch where you’re going.
Stop moving the tablet.
CAT WISE: The stress can be too much.
TINA IGBINAKENZUA: Every day, being a mother,
you have to wake up, take them to school,
go to work, get back home, get dinner for
them, get them really read for school the
It’s really challenging, for real.
NOOSHIN RAZANI, UCSF Benioff Children Hospital:
What are the barriers to getting outside and
being in nature?
Alex, can you turn it off for a second?
CAT WISE: That’s why primary care doctor Nooshin
Razani has written this entire family an unconventional
prescription for the great outdoors.
NOOSHIN RAZANI: And we made a goal.
And I think our goal was to walk around Lake
Merritt three times a week.
How did it go?
CAT WISE: At this clinic run by UCSF Benioff
Children’s Hospital in Oakland, Razani and
her colleagues check on time spent outside
nearly as much as they check their patients’
pulse, weight and blood pressure.
NOOSHIN RAZANI: Do you think we could bump
that up to getting outside every day?
WOMAN: Maybe, yes.
NOOSHIN RAZANI: Yes.
CAT WISE: Their goal is to write outdoor prescriptions
as often as they prescribe pills and to keep
the dosage high.
Depression, anxiety, and obesity rates in
America have spiked in recent years, with
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
now estimating that nearly one in five children
NOOSHIN RAZANI: We see so many things that
we don’t have tools for.
And family stress right now is something that
it’s — all those chronic illnesses happening
I mean, I didn’t go into pediatrics to deal
with like high blood pressure and issues that
I deal with all the time now, or anxiety or
And so I think that nature and this idea of
park prescriptions is empowering to me.
Come in a circle.
CAT WISE: On this day, Dr. Razani was taking
about a dozen of the low-income families she
sees, all with serious inner-city barriers
to getting outside, directly to one of the
East Bay regional parks, which is actually
partnering with the program.
NOOSHIN RAZANI: You have a beautiful world.
CAT WISE: The families meet on the first Saturday
of the month for what’s known as the SHINE
They pile into a big yellow school bus
and head out along the windy roads outside
Oakland to Lake Chabot Regional Park.
WOMAN: Hello, everyone.
Are you guys excited for a campfire tonight?
CAT WISE: Far from the sounds of downtown
Oakland, they’re encouraged to run wild without
WOMAN: When all else fails, just run around.
CAT WISE: To think about things both bigger
than themselves and smaller.
WOMAN: Look at all these little pathways.
From the wood beetles, you think?
CAT WISE: It seems pretty common-sense that
getting outdoors would be good for people.
But does nature actually help to heal?
There’s growing scientific evidence it does.
Studies have shown that exposure to nature
can lower rates of everything from anxiety
and depression to more surprising things like
preterm labor, asthma and nearsightedness.
But why nature is beneficial is not entirely
Some suspect that natural stimuli, the swaying
trees, rushing water and singing birds, might
reset our fight or flight response, which
is too often switched into overdrive by the
stresses of urban modern life.
That rest, in turn, gives the body’s psychological,
digestive and immune systems the break they
need to function normally.
NOOSHIN RAZANI: If you take an urban adult
into a forest, within 15 minutes, you see
improvements in cortisol, blood pressure,
But more convincing to me is the fact that
people who live in green areas live longer.
CAT WISE: Through the SHINE program, Razani
recently completed one of the first randomized
trials on the benefits of park prescriptions
for low-income families.
NOOSHIN RAZANI: Every park visit resulted
in improved stress for parents.
And every park visit resulted in improved
resilience for a child.
But it didn’t matter if they came with us
or they went on their own.
CAT WISE: The SHINE program is part of a network
of more than 80 outdoor prescription programs
in 34 states being tracked by the Park Prescription
Census, most of which have sprouted in the
NARRATOR: From the people that brought you
getting outside comes prescription-strength
CAT WISE: The movement has even inspired spoof
drug ads from the Colorado-based group Nature
NARRATOR: Nature can reduce cynicism, meaninglessness,
anal retentiveness, and murderous rage.
PAULA MORENO, Marin City Health & Wellness
Center: Are you feeling sad, depressed, anxious?
WOMAN: A little anxious, yes.
CAT WISE: The nature of the prescriptions
vary by program, from general encouragement
to old-fashioned paper scripts like the ones
written at the Marin City Health & Wellness
Center near San Francisco.
Why is it important to write this all down
on a piece of paper, a prescription pad, vs.
just telling someone, why don’t you get out
into nature more?
PAULA MORENO: Yes, that’s a really good question.
So I feel like, if I’m writing this prescription,
it’s a form of an agreement between me and
It’s — but it’s more for the patient themselves
to take more accountability for their health.
CAT WISE: The idea is gaining traction in
some unlikely quarters.
San Francisco’s VA Medical Center prescribes
nature through its Warrior program for veterans
who struggle with PTSD and anxiety.
WOMAN: If their roots are good and healthy,
they’re going to be holding on to that soil.
CAT WISE: Air Force vet Vercinia Vinzant saw
the world as a threat before this program.
After 22 years of service and some heavy trauma,
she could barely leave her home.
VERCINIA VINZANT, U.S. Air Force Veteran:
I don’t know if people realize how important
it is for people like me to be able to learn
how to live in the world again, because trees
The grass doesn’t judge you.
The grass doesn’t care how squirrelly you
seem to be that day.
It doesn’t care.
When I first started this, I’m like, oh, come
Going outside is going to help what, really?
But, amazingly so, it does help.
GREG MOORE, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy:
This pathway is used by about 1.5 million
people a year.
CAT WISE: Greg Moore of the Golden Gate National
Parks Conservancy helped create a national
park prescription network to promote knowledge-sharing
among all these groups.
But the idea of using public lands as health
care facilities isn’t a new one, he says,
just one in need of a comeback.
GREG MOORE: I think that not many people are
aware that, actually, the genesis of the park
was a public health genesis.
Central Park was developed because people
in New York thought that there were unhealthy
living conditions in New York.
So, we’re just returning to something we have
known for a long time, and giving it a contemporary
lens and motivation.
WOMAN: So in the time before time, they say
that coyote was the creator of all great things.
CAT WISE: Several of the nation’s largest
insurers have begun supporting this work and
reimbursing visits to health care providers
How would you address critics who might say
that this is just a fad?
NOOSHIN RAZANI: I think, actually, what we’re
doing is common sense.
The problem is that society has shifted so
far away from common sense.
I’m hoping that, rather than a fad, that kind
of becomes an accepted standard of living
and human right, not only for kids, actually,
CAT WISE: A human right to fresh air and a
taste of what’s possible.
CAT WISE: For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Cat
Wise in Oakland, California.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A
memoir of stories of ancestors in China and
the lives of Asian-American immigrants.
Jeffrey Brown has our August book club selection.
It’s part of Canvas, our ongoing series on
art and culture.
JEFFREY BROWN: We tried something different
We asked one of today’s leading writers to
choose a book she loves to return to when
time slows down in the summer.
Celeste Ng is author of the bestselling novel
“Little Fires Everywhere,” which is now being
adapted as a new streaming video series.
Her choice for our book club was “The Woman
Warrior,” which The New York Times recently
named as one of the best memoirs of the last
And to our delight, its author, Maxine Hong
Kingston, is here as well.
So, this is a special pleasure to have both
Celeste, thank you for doing this for us.
CELESTE NG, Author, “Little Fires Everywhere”:
Thank you so much for having us.
JEFFREY BROWN: Tell me why you picked this
CELESTE NG: This is just a book that has been
so important to me and so influential to me
personally, that, as soon as you asked, it
is what came to mind.
It spoke to me when I was younger, as a Chinese
American girl, speaking about some of the
experiences of Chinese American women.
And every time I have come back to it, it
sort of gives me something new.
Now that I am a parent, I am looking it from
the parent’s side and thinking a lot about
what parents don’t tell their children.
JEFFREY BROWN: So, Maxine, written in the
What were you — how you can encapsulate?
What were you trying to do?
MAXINE HONG KINGSTON, Author, “The Woman Warrior”:
Well, the first sentence in “The Woman Warrior,”
it says, “‘Don’t tell anyone, my mother said,
‘what I am about to tell you.'”
JEFFREY BROWN: Mm-hmm.
MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: And…
JEFFREY BROWN: So, we have secrets right away.
MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: Yes, and taboos, the
adventures, the lives of people who had to
keep their lives secret.
Being born a writer, I had to tell, I had
to blab these stories out.
JEFFREY BROWN: And you did it in a very creative
way that jolted people then and to this day,
because this is a mix of sort of fact, mythology,
all kind — fact and fiction, in a sense,
in a memoir.
MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: Yes, I had to do it
this way, because — well, one reason is that
we were illegal aliens and always felt the
threat that we were going to be deported.
And — but I had to tell the stories, especially
the stories of crossing borders against the
And so I made up a new way of storytelling,
so that you can’t tell whether I’m writing
fiction or nonfiction.
JEFFREY BROWN: And, Celeste, you were starting
to say how this had sort of felt connected
to your own life in some ways.
CELESTE NG: Yes.
I’m an American-born Chinese, but there are
so many things about my parents’ lives in
Hong Kong, where they came from, and in China,
where my dad was born, that were just so opaque
to me when I was growing up.
I would get sort of maybe the end moral of
the story, but I didn’t get all the details
along the way.
And that was one of the things that “The Woman
Warrior” sort of made clear to me, that these
stories filter down to us, and along the way,
we lose track of what really happened vs.
sort of what the message that the story is
supposed to be telling you.
It’s a reading experience sort of unlike any
that I had ever had.
MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: So when you don’t know
the story or they don’t tell you what else
happens, that is when the fiction writer in
you writes it.
When I was — “The Woman Warrior” starting
with, don’t tell anybody what I am about to
tell you, that is much like the title of your
first book, which is “Everything I Never Told
So you had that impetus too.
I am just going to tell everything.
CELESTE NG: And I think it’s the writer’s
impulse too that, when there is a secret,
there is a power there.
There is something there that is dangerous.
And one of the ways to sort of deal with that
danger is to shine a light on it and tell
it, and imagine your way in, and fill in all
those details that have been sort of left
MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: Yes.
JEFFREY BROWN: One of the things I love about
having you both here is that we can talk about
the power of influence.
MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: Yes.
CELESTE NG: Yes.
MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: Yes.
JEFFREY BROWN: Where it comes from, what you
read, what sticks with you.
MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: And the power of the
When I — you know, I had not been to China,
where all these stories came from or where
my family came from.
And so I would imagine it just from the bits
And I would imagine what that village was
like and what that well was like where my
aunt killed herself and the baby.
And so I would imagine it.
And then, decades later, I went to those places.
And so I could test the power of the imagination
And, you know, it was there.
What I imagined was actually there.
And then I think, wow, it’s the power of the
writer to actually make something appear.
JEFFREY BROWN: What about — you know, Celeste,
I know you have worked hard to mentor, to
bring up new voices as well.
We’re seeing sort of connections here, right,
especially voices in America, Asian-American
Where are we today?
CELESTE NG: I think we’re making progress.
I think there have been more and more stories
getting told, not just Chinese American stories,
but stories from lots of different kinds of
Asian-American styles, Asian, East Asian.
And we’re seeing more books too by writers
with Asian heritage that aren’t — quote,
unquote — “about being Asian,” which I think
is a wonderful thing, that there is space
now, I think, for those writers to talk about
things other than just their particular ethnicity.
JEFFREY BROWN: Yes.
I mean, also notable, of course, in reading
your book is the themes that have stayed with
us, right, very much here with us.
MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: I feel that we have
created an Asian-American, Pacific Islander
And we didn’t have this as part of American
literature just 40 years ago.
And I have seen it grow from just a few books
to now there’s so many of us.
CELESTE NG: Well, I think your book was a
very big part of that.
I mean, I read your book first when I was
a teenager because my mother had it on the
But when I got to college, it was on my syllabus,
and it was often the only book by an Asian-American
writer of any kind.
And it was wonderful to have it there, but
I’m seeing now that it is now being taught
alongside other books.
And I think that is part of your influence.
You paved the way for a lot of other writers.
JEFFREY BROWN: All right, this is great.
For now, I want to say thank you, Maxine Hong
Kingston, “The Woman Warrior.”
MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: Oh, you’re very welcome.
JEFFREY BROWN: And Celeste Ng, “Little Fires
Thank you for…
CELESTE NG: Thank you so much for having us
JEFFREY BROWN: And we are going to continue
our conversation online, including getting
our authors to recommend some of their favorite
books and other passions.
And you can find that later on our Web site
and on our book club Facebook page.
But, before we go, our pick for September.
It’s one of the most talked about debut novels
in recent years, “Conversations With Friends”
by the young Irish writer Sally Rooney.
She will be with us right here next month.
And, in the meantime, please read along and
join other readers in discussing the book.
It’s all on our Facebook page for Now Read
This, a partnership with The New York Times..
JUDY WOODRUFF: And love that conversation
with those two women writers.
And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight.
I’m Judy Woodruff.
Join us online and again here tomorrow evening.
For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank
you, and we’ll see you soon.