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Let's partner for all of it. Learn more at edwardjones.com. Good morning. Jane Pauley is off today. I'm Martha Teichner, and this is Sunday morning. We all know there's a COVID epidemic racking this country. You may not know there's also a looming epidemic of evictions. An epidemic Ted Koppel will tell us that could soon go from bad to worse. Then, with more than a million Americans getting tested for COVID every day and sometimes waiting days for the diagnosis, we'll report on a game changer on the horizon. A test you could take at home with nearly immediate results.
Contributor Allison Aubrey will tell us all about it. Since the beginning of the pandemic, access to quick and convenient testing has been a big challenge. So what could be more convenient than doing it yourself? So you have real time information. Can I go visit my mother or can I not?
Yes. Now, you would still social distance and still wear masks, but you would assure yourself and assure your elderly mother or grandmother that you're safe. A new paradigm for testing ahead on Sunday morning. Then we'll move on to a very special birthday for a television network that's a welcome guest in millions of America's homes. I'll have a salute to PBS at 50. Birthdays do not go uncelebrated on PBS. So we thought we'd take note of PBS's 50th.
Any thoughts you have about how to make it go for another 50 years? Our job is to be courageous. I know of no one more courageous than Fred Rogers.
PBS after half a century ahead this Sunday morning. We have a Sunday profile this morning of singer and actor Leslie Uggams. She's a veteran star of stage and screen with plenty of stories to share.
And she's sharing with our Mo Rocca. In the early 1960s, Leslie Uggams was one of only a few African-Americans who regularly appeared on television. You couldn't mess up. You couldn't have any kind of scandal, but it was a lot of pressure because I knew that I was carrying my race on my shoulders, which I gladly wanted to do. Being good isn't good enough.
Exactly. Coming up on Sunday morning, the trailblazing Leslie Uggams. Roxana Saberi takes note of Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Dua Lipa.
Lucy Kraft looks into the vanishing art of Japanese sushi. Steve Hartman finds Santa Claus unfazed by COVID, plus humor from David Sedaris and more. It's Sunday morning for the 6th of December, 2020, and we'll be back in a moment.
It happened this past week. A coalition of Democrats and Republicans came closer to agreeing on legislation aimed at helping those impacted by the COVID pandemic, including millions threatened with eviction. Here's senior contributor, Ted Koppel. These days, Matthew Desmond is principal investigator of the eviction lab at Princeton University, where he is also a sociology professor. Back in 2008-2009, Desmond spent 18 months living in low-income neighborhoods studying the impact of eviction.
His 2016 book on the subject won the Pulitzer Prize. What's changed in the four years? What the pandemic has done is made that situation much worse. Ten million people have lost their jobs. Rents have continued, and we're seeing millions of people really at the threat of eviction during a time where your home is your best medicine.
Your home is what can prevent you from getting sick. COVID has already had a devastating economic impact. One in four American households has experienced job loss or diminished income. Predictably, perhaps, Black and Latino families are taking a disproportionate hit. I'm just panning around to show you guys that we are going to be put out of this rental property. The garbage bags and boxes with most of her worldly possessions are about to join Margaret Eadie and her husband John on the street in Hampton, Virginia. Can you please just share it to your friends?
If anyone in the vast social media audience was listening, they didn't respond. When I spoke to Margaret, the Eadies were living out of their car, whether permitting, they'll eat in a public park. There are no designated bathrooms for the homeless.
The Eadies use the facilities at a chain gas station convenience store. John's hours driving a tractor trailer hauling trash have been cut way back. Tell me, what's the most difficult thing about not having a home? Worrying about am I going to catch COVID, for one, and also waking up in the mornings and realizing that I'm not in my room and that I have to ride around all day to find places to go to shelter. So everything you've got in the world is in that car, is that right? Yeah, everything that we have. And then we have like some of our stuff in storage.
But yeah, basically our life is in our vehicle. What are you going to do when it starts getting cold? I don't know. It was cold last night. If you take that one situation, imagining that one family, and multiply it by millions, the country will be in a lot of pain if we don't address this crisis. Early last September, the Centers for Disease Control, citing increased health risks from eviction during the COVID pandemic, issued an eviction moratorium through December 31st for people who can't make their rent. While protecting some, perhaps even most renters, from eviction, it still requires the payment of all that back rent on January 1st and provides no rent relief.
The order averted a wave of evictions, but it's a Band-Aid. Jennifer Pearson is separated and lives in this house with her three children. Last March, she lost her job working at a fast food restaurant.
Since the summer, she works a part-time job as a cashier in a grocery store. It pays roughly $225 a week. Your monthly rent is how much? $1,050. Whoa.
We got permission from the local library in Gloucester, Virginia, to use their Wi-Fi connection for this interview. So even if you handed over your entire paycheck, that wouldn't even cover your rent for a month? Not all the way, no. And that's why I'm looking for the second job. In theory, Jennifer and her kids are protected against eviction by that CDC order.
But there are loopholes. In September, Jennifer's landlord filed for eviction. Not only am I facing the eviction for nonpayment, he's also piled on what he calls violations that I have to fix, which I already have.
What does he list as violations? The grass wasn't cut, but my lawnmower had broken down, and I had let him know. So in order to keep on top of it, the kids and I were taking turns with a weed whacker.
There's roughly two acres of grass. And you were trying to go after that with a weed whacker? Mm-hmm.
We did it. As you confront the possibility of eviction, I'm hoping it doesn't happen to you. But you must have had some sleepless nights thinking, what the heck am I going to do? I have.
And yes, I have had many sleepless nights. But I know that even with being evicted, I won't be homeless. I have family I can move in with.
It'll just be really tight quarters, but all I care about is keeping a roof over my kids' heads. I don't want to make your landlord out to be some kind of a villain. I mean, a landlord or a landlady has a right to be paid.
Oh, I agree with you, absolutely. It's a business, and you know, in any business, you've got to pay for what you're getting. Rick Brown is not Jennifer Pearson's landlord. He does own eight similar properties in Winchester, Virginia, mainly single-family homes in roughly the same price range as Jennifer's. He tries to maintain those homes himself. He says half of his tenants aren't paying their rent now. I understand that we cannot go to court and evict people for non-payment of rent. You do understand that it's a moratorium. In other words, they're not eliminating the rent. On January 1st, that tenant would still owe you every nickel that he or she owed you before.
Correct. We understand that. However, I'm struggling to pay my bills.
I'm treading water. I mean, it's a tough deal right now for landlords. And like you say, we'll eventually get paid. We might not get paid, but we need to get somebody in there that can pay these rents and keep the banks from wanting to foreclose on it, because the banks need to get paid. And it can damage landlords' credit lines as well.
Brown is part of a lawsuit challenging the legitimacy of that CDC eviction moratorium. This is my retirement, Ted. I mean, it's also my livelihood. So I'm not a cold-hearted person. And the bottom line is, if I don't have my money, I have other tenants that their high office would be put at risk to. You know, it's a domino effect. It's convenient to allocate blame. And I think our tendency is to blame the landlord, not the tenant.
But I think you're saying neither one of those is totally appropriate. It's the system. You know, we've reached a point in the United States where people aren't getting evicted because they're irresponsible. They're getting evicted because it's almost inevitable.
Winny Dickerson would meet most people's definition of a good tenant. She and her family had lived in the same townhouse for 13 years. College grad going for a master's degree, she worked as a drug counselor, earning $50,000 a year, until the facility closed because of the pandemic. And for the first time in her life, she says, she faced eviction. I've also worked for the past 15 years with the homeless activity center family in Harrisonburg. So the thought of being homeless and being in the line with the people that I have been serving, it was overwhelming. Winny also has multiple sclerosis.
Being someone with an underlying condition like MS, my immune system is compromised. Were they threatening to evict you? Oh yeah. Oh, I got the eviction letter. Yeah.
Winny Dickerson has her pride. So she withdrew all her savings and moved before she could be evicted. Eventually, she found a job working with the mentally ill. So I'm making, not what I was making before, but I'm making nice money. Tell me about the place you're in right now. So I'm paying more, way more than I was paying before. So maybe you should have stayed where you were. Nah.
Nah, why? It was a pandemic. I have multiple sclerosis and you were okay with putting me out.
So that tells me you don't care about my life. I think that's what's missing out of America right now is compassion for our brother. We are our brother's keeper. We bailed out Wall Street. We can bailed out the airline industry because of COVID. What about giving this money to landlords to help the tenants so they don't have to pay back this money?
There's a moral cost to being the most resourced richest country on the planet that chooses to see hundreds of thousands, potentially millions of families lose their home in January 1st. We can do better than that as a country. We should. Hi, podcast peeps. It's me, Drew Barrymore.
Oh, my goodness. I want to tell you about our new show. It's the Drew's News Podcast. And in each episode, me and a weekly guest are going to cover all the quirky, fun, inspiring, and informative stories that exist out in the world because, well, I need it.
And maybe you do too, from the newest interior design trend, Barbie Corps, to the right and wrong way to wash your armpits. Also, we're going to get into things that you just kind of won't believe and we're not able to do in daytime television, so watch out. Listen to Drew's News wherever you get your podcasts.
It's your good news on the go. This is the Takeout with Major Garrett, this week, Stephen Law, ally of Mitch McConnell and one of Washington's biggest midterm money men list for me to Senate races where you think Republicans have the best chance of taking a Democratic seat away. Nevada, New Hampshire, not Georgia.
Well, Georgia's right up there, but New Hampshire is a surprise in New Hampshire. People really just kind of don't like Maggie has for more from this week's conversation. Follow the Takeout with Major Garrett.
On Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Images of long lines of people waiting hours for COVID tests have been a staple of newscasts for months, but now it's possible an innovative company in a somewhat out of the way place will change all that. NPR's Alison Aubrey explains. The town of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania was famous for producing steel. But these smokestacks are relics. Now a very different kind of industry is thriving in the Lehigh Valley. This company was actually founded in the shadows of the old Bethlehem steel. Stephen Tang is the CEO of Orishore Technologies, a biotech company that produces diagnostic tests you can do at home. As millions of Americans lost their jobs last spring, Orishore started hiring and you've had to keep all of this open all through the pandemic. That's right.
That's right. We've added more people to Orishore pioneered the first over the counter HIV test kit, which gives a positive or negative to a user in just minutes. It's sold everywhere from Walmart to CVS. Our experience in looking at pandemics, particularly HIV, around the world where the only way to test people was to develop a self-test, seemed to be ultimately the right answer for this pandemic. We can't have people circulating in public waiting to get tested. The best way to test people is to have the ability for anybody, anywhere, anytime to test themselves.
The at home HIV test was a big success for a small scrappy company based far away from the traditional centers of innovation. I know the community well here in Lehigh Valley. I raised my family here. This is an interesting part of the country where I think you get the best of being a mid-Atlantic northeast population with a good dose of Midwest values. And it's a good fit with his own values.
Having immigrant parents as scientists who taught me to love science and find ways to help people. And now Tang and his company are trying to do for COVID what they did for HIV. Amid long waiting times for COVID-19 testing and ongoing supply shortages, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for its self-collection devices in late October. And so we have products in the marketplace right now that allow you to sample yourself. This is a saliva collection tube. So you just spit into that?
You spit into this, you send it into the mail safely. These kits still need to be mailed off to a lab. So they haven't yet solved the biggest challenge, the need for instant results. This is a very fast moving virus. When somebody gets infected with the coronavirus, they are often by the time they are symptomatic, for example, they have probably already begun transmitting.
Dr. Michael Mina is an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. As airports filled up over the holidays and cases and deaths continue to surge, he says the country would be safer if we had prioritized the kinds of tests that Orishore and its competitors are developing. So if people are waiting more than just a few days to get their results, three days pretty much starts to make these tests almost useless for that individual.
One day is already pushing it. The first COVID-19 test that can be done completely at home was approved in November, but it's not yet available nationwide and it requires a prescription. Orishore now hopes to have its test on the market by the first quarter of next year. So you look at a test strip, it has a control line, it has a test line, and within an hour you know the result. So you know waiting in line, no waiting for labs, no waiting for the results to come back. You own the result yourself.
Tang knows that timing is key. The company had hoped to have the test on the market by now, but as a scientist, he also knows the importance of getting it right. It's not an instant gratification approach you can take to developing new products.
The science takes time to happen. He showed us their HIV test, which is very similar to the COVID test they've developed. So it means that you can test yourself anywhere, anytime, and under any circumstance to get your result.
You don't need to call your doctor and ask for them to write you a prescription. Ultimately, we're hoping this leads to people empowering themselves to find out more about themselves. What if your test is not 100% sensitive?
What if it's something a little less than that? Is it still helpful? The test will be helpful, and the reason is because you allow people to be tested more frequently.
Real-time information, even if it's a little bit less precise, is more important than very precise information that you get infrequently. The company is aiming for at least a 90% sensitivity rate for its over-the-counter test. And Dr. Minna says rapid tests are key to preventing more deaths. Even with vaccines on the way, it will likely be mid-summer before one is available to all Americans. We don't know how easy or hard it's going to really be to get the vaccine out. We don't know how durable the immunity to this vaccine is going to be. We have to have contingency plans, and we have to have tools for right now.
For his part, Stephen Tang says the team at Orishore is geared up to give us the tools we need to keep ourselves safe right now and into the future. Oh boy, the people here have been working in these R&D labs pretty much 24-7 for the last nine months. And so we're not insisting they work those long hours. They're working those long hours because they're on a pursuit to really change the world.
It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood. Shows everybody knows. It's amazing how many of them have been on PBS. The Public Broadcasting Service. People we all know too.
This is chicken and red wine. Julia Child was the very first person viewers saw when PBS went on the air. Fast forward 50 years for a birthday look at what we think we know about PBS and what maybe we don't. First, there's that PBS fact of life, the pledge drive.
Tell me you don't get a peculiar pleasure out of watching something like this. Thank you very much for not turning me into a Dalek or killing me or anything like that. You are welcome and donate, donate. The nation's 350 PBS stations couldn't survive without the money raised. I'm going to stop the subsidy to PBS. I'm going to stop other things. I like PBS.
I love Big Bird. What gets more attention is the federal funding, currently $450 million a year, or about $1.35 per taxpayer, that some politicians over and over have tried and failed to zero out. Government funding, for example, represents 15 percent. That's one five percent of the funding that comes into public television. That money actually goes to our stations. Paula Kerger is president and CEO of PBS. Some of our stations in smaller parts of the country, the percentage of their budget that is government money is closer to 40 or 50 percent.
In bigger cities, it may be six or seven percent. Good evening, everyone. I am Zach Buckner. WCTE in Cookeville, Tennessee, gets $600,000, nearly a third of its annual budget. That is our very foundation. That is the lifeline for this station. Becky Megura heads WCTE.
Hi, and thank you so much. One of around 80 similar rural PBS stations. It serves the upper Cumberland, 14 counties between Nashville and Knoxville.
Beautiful country, but isolated and impoverished. When friends visit from Washington, D.C. or Los Angeles, they'll drive in and say, where are the other TV stations? And I'll say, well, there are no other TV stations.
We're it for 80 miles. Megura grew up in Cookeville. She started at WCTE as that station's first student intern and never left.
She's run cameras and sound, hosted shows. I'm 81. You're 81?
I'm 73. I would not have known that. And once, when sisters Frankie and Patricia Murphy couldn't get their TV to work. This is remarkable. Now, last time I was here, it was up in a tree. Yeah.
She even drove out and fixed their antenna for them. We're just forsaken. You know, that's what I take it.
We're forsaken. We're just down into the ridge and nobody cares. They're grateful for whatever WCTE puts on, living in a region trapped in the digital divide with spotty cell service and no Internet.
You can go and buy a dish, but you can't hardly get no signals over in Europe. It clouds up. Listen to what Roy Sells watches on WCTE. Front lines, y'all watch Nature a lot. I like the news hour.
They give you a view of what's going on everywhere. And he likes Ken Burns documentaries. I ain't never met him, but he seems like a down to earth guy, you know. Seems like he's got a great career ahead of him. A great career indeed.
Hemingway was a writer who happened to be American. If there's one name that's synonymous with PBS, it's Ken Burns. I see you all working together.
Yes, this represents sort of two and a half editing teams. We visited him in New Hampshire before Covid. For nearly four decades, he's been producing blockbuster award winning documentaries for PBS. Twenty nine so far, with another decade's worth in the works. The principal one here for the time being is on Ernest Hemingway, a three part six hour series.
Very, very complicated. It's like he changed all furniture in the room. With audiences averaging 40 million for his films. Ken Burns, probably more than any other American, is shaping our understanding of history. Adults are watching. But if it's a school day, so are kids. PBS, we're in every classroom in the country. We know how to reach every classroom in the country and we do.
And during Covid, arguably more important than ever. Hey, dear, sweet, beautiful, brilliant students here. As PBS and its member stations help school systems deliver remote learning to millions of students.
Well, this sentence has. On PBS, even the cartoons are educational. Maybe I can read it.
Will you help me? This is Studio One, if you look at the sign right there. They were like a magic door for 27 year old Dre Reed growing up poor in Southwest Philadelphia, watching PBS station WHYY dreaming of making cartoons himself.
It doesn't have to be a perfect circle, but it's there. PBS, no exaggeration, changed his life. I would watch PBS kids like religiously all the cartoons until cartoons went off. And then I kept watching for I knew it by the age of 12.
I could probably have a conversation with someone in their 50s on topics that they find interesting. When he was in high school, one of his teachers recommended him for an after school program at WHYY. He told me the same place where I watched like PBS kids.
And I was like, yes, calm down. But yes, because of the work that I did with WHYY, it gave me a president scholarship. And then I was able to pursue my dream of animation.
This is one of those, wait, there's more stories. All right, guys, I want you to draw this with me. Now, Dre Reed works at WHYY, teaching video production in more than 40 schools. Remember, you can draw anything in basic shapes. And lately, during COVID, online drawing classes sponsored by the station.
Those are the basic shapes. Now y'all feel confident that y'all can draw anything, right? If PBS was a person, I would like to be that person for another person. It doesn't have to be a kid, doesn't have to be a student. What PBS did was like it opened up a world to me to think about things in a new way. Birthday testimonials don't get much better than that.
Happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday to you. The raw fish and rice delicacy known as sushi has rarely been more popular. But the traditional Japanese restaurants that helped put sushi on the map are starting to disappear.
We get the cold facts from Lucy Kraft in Tokyo. When we stopped by last January, Shigasa Sushi was still hanging out its cotton shingle as it had for 85 years, beckoning the famished to a tiny counter to feast on delectable morsels gathered at dawn from the seafood market. We take pride in our tuna, chef Haruo Gakuhari told us.
We never serve frozen fish, only fresh. Shigasa was where locals savored a sense of community as much as the handcrafted jewels of salmon roe and raw tuna. How has the sushi business changed over the years? In the old days, there were 30 sushi shops in this part of Tokyo, he said.
Now we're the last one. But this summer, as the pandemic raged, Shigasa's elderly staff finally called it quits, among dozens of local sushi eateries closing for good in 2020. Eating Shigasa's lunch are brutally efficient mega chains like kudazushi. Here, customers seat themselves using screens that operate by simply pointing without actual contact. Next, patrons scan a digital code with their own smartphones to download menus and order food, which is whisked to their table.
Paying via self-checkout, customers consume entire meals without ever coming into contact with restaurant staff. Kurazushi has dumped the sedate etiquette of the old sushi counter for a raucous carnival with a shooting gallery, prizes, and an endless series of games. Less diners get bored, novelties like cheesecake and onion rings are constantly added to the menu. If this seems like the McDonald's of sushi, it's no accident.
Kurazushi, which is launched in the U.S., aims to double in size to 1,000 locations by 2030. Sales are higher than before the pandemic. We aim to be on a par with global fast food chains, says spokesman Hiroyuki Okamoto. Even before coronavirus, soaring fish prices, a manpower shortage, and competition from the big chains had wiped out more than half of traditional sushi restaurants, according to a government survey. And with most owners at or near retirement, the pandemic is accelerating the demise of neighborhood sushi. Unrepentant, the big sushi chains argue they are the true heirs to Japan's sushi tradition. Back in the 19th century, sushi was sold from outdoor stalls, a cheap and filling snack for the masses.
A chain spokesman said, we want to be accessible to everyone, so we charge just a dollar a plate. Handcrafted sushi is becoming a luxury. Offering dramatic decor and wine pairings, Sushi M places its chefs center stage. Some sushi chefs, they practice in the mirror to see what they look like from the customer's perspective.
Food writer Melinda Joe calls this performative cuisine. It's not like the customer is always right, as we think in the U.S. You are meant to enjoy the piece of sushi exactly as the sushi chef has intended it to be served. Artisanal sushi, needless to say, is priced accordingly, $200 for the tasting menu at Sushi M. I talked to another food critic. He was saying we're going to see dirt cheap theme park style discount volume places, and then we'll see the kind of place that we're in right now, which is catering to the quote unquote 1 percent. That's the trend. It's certainly something that we're seeing already happening. For most Japanese, sushi is becoming a commodity, not fashioned by craftsmen, but cranked out by a robot.
If everyone is only eating at these kind of cheap sushi places, no one really starts to learn about the beauty of the art form of sushi. A new sort of citizen activism has contributor David Sedaris all fired up. This is Intelligence Matters with former acting director of the CIA, Michael Morell. Bridge Colby is co-founder and principal of the Marathon Initiative, a project focused on developing strategies to prepare the United States for an era of sustained great power competition. The United States put our mind to something we can usually figure it out. What people are saying and what we kind of know analytically and empirically is our strategic situation, our military situation is not being matched up with what we're doing. Follow Intelligence Matters wherever you get your podcasts.
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