November 19, 2021 - PBS NewsHour full episode
11/19/2021 | 57m 46s | Video has closed captioning.
November 19, 2021 - PBS NewsHour full episode
Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning
Get extended access to 1600+ episodes, binge watch your favorite shows, and stream anytime - online or in the PBS app.
Already a WITF member?
You may have an unactivated WITF Passport member benefit. Check to see.
11/19/2021 | 57m 46s | Video has closed captioning.
November 19, 2021 - PBS NewsHour full episode
Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning
JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
On the "NewsHour" tonight: WOMAN: We, the jury, find the defendant, Kyle H. Rittenhouse, not guilty.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Kyle Rittenhouse is cleared on all charges in a case that sparked national debate over racial injustice, guns and self-defense.
Then: the Biden agenda.
The House of Representatives passes the president's priority Build Back Better bill, sending it on to the Senate and likely changes.
Plus: Searching For Justice -- why those wrongfully convicted may face even greater struggles than others when adjusting to their post-prison life.
RICKY KIDD, Wrongfully Imprisoned For 23 Years: Sometimes I'm overwhelmed.
Anxiety, nightmares began to surface, horrible nightmares.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And it's Friday.
Jonathan Capehart and Gary Abernathy preview the upcoming Senate battle over the president's signature social spending bill and the censure of a House Republican.
All that and more on tonight's "PBS NewsHour."
(BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager on trial for killing two people and shooting and wounding a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was acquitted by a jury today on all counts.
The now 18-year-old faced five charges, including intentional homicide, reckless endangerment of public safety and use of a weapon.
The case was watched around the nation, and the jury delivered its verdict early this afternoon.
WOMAN: we, the jury, find the defendant, Kyle H. Rittenhouse, not guilty.
JUDGE BRUCE SCHROEDER, Kenosha County Circuit Court: Members of the jury, are these your unanimous verdicts?
Is there anyone who does not agree with the verdicts as read?
Would you wish the jury polled?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Rittenhouse shot three people, two of them, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, fatally, after protests and riots broke out in Kenosha in August 2020.
That civil unrest had been triggered by the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black resident, three days before.
Rittenhouse, then 17, drove from his home in Illinois to Kenosha and walked the streets with a semiautomatic rifle.
He claimed he was attacked and shot in self-defense.
The case became a flash point in the debate over whether Rittenhouse was a vigilante or defending himself.
Rittenhouse's attorney, Mark Richards, spoke after the verdict.
MARK RICHARDS, Attorney For Kyle Rittenhouse: Kyle is not here.
He's on his way home.
He wants to get on with his life.
He has a huge sense of relief for what the jury did to him today.
The story that came out at the beginning was not the true story, and that was something that we had to work to overcome in court, and we think we did that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Victim Anthony Huber's parents issued a statement this afternoon: "Today's verdict means there is no accountability for the person who murdered our son."
They wrote: "It sends the unacceptable message that armed civilians can show up in any town, incite violence, and then use the danger they have created to justify shooting people in the street."
President Biden said in a statement that he joined other Americans who are angry and concerned over the verdict, but said it was important to abide by the jury's decision peacefully.
Joining me now is David Schaper, a correspondent for NPR, and Wisconsin attorney Julius Kim.
He's a former assistant district attorney in Milwaukee County.
Welcome to both of you.
And, David Schaper, I'm going to start with you.
I know you were at the courthouse when this verdict came down.
Tell us what you saw of reaction to it.
DAVID SCHAPER, NPR: Well, it's a sharply divided reaction.
You have people on both sides of the political aisle and both sides of the spectrum in terms of what they thought of Kyle Rittenhouse and whether or not he was guilty.
There were some people who celebrated immediately.
Some people drove by the courthouse honking horns, and there was a significant amount of people who were very upset and very angry when they heard the verdict.
And those are the folks who are speaking out and probably demonstrating.
I think there was a protest going on as we speak.
So we're going to see a little bit more shouting and protesting over this violence here.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Julius Kim, you are, as we said, a former prosecutor.
Was this a hard case for the DA, for the prosecution to make?
JULIUS KIM, Former Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney: Absolutely.
I think that we could all tell that it was going to be a difficult case as the trial progressed, because we got to see some of the evidence ourselves.
And when we put our eyes to the evidence and saw the videos in this case, we realized, whoa, there might be more to this situation than we were first aware of.
The videos in particular show Joseph Rosenbaum pursuing Kyle Rittenhouse right before the first shooting.
And, secondly, right before the Anthony Huber shooting and Gaige Grosskreutz shooting, it -- the videos showed Kyle Rittenhouse, for all intents and purposes, being attacked, not only by Anthony Huber, but by other people, and that he was in a vulnerable position when Gaige Grosskreutz walked up to him with a handgun in his hand.
And, right there, I think all could tell that this was going to be a difficult case and that the state's witnesses weren't going to be perfect in this particular case.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And Gaige Grosskreutz, of course, is the -- was the third individual who was shot and injured he recovered and then testified at the trial.
David Schaper, I want to come back to you.
There was a comment during the trial about the judge and what seemed to be his pointed rebukes of the prosecutor, of the district attorney in the case.
What did you see about that?
And what sort of reaction was that getting during the trial?
DAVID SCHAPER: Well, there was a lot of people who thought that the -- there was a lot of animosity -- maybe not animosity -- that's probably the wrong word -- but there was a lot of tension in that courtroom between the judge and the prosecution.
The judge clearly felt that the prosecutor went over the line and his questioning of Kyle Rittenhouse.
And the folks outside of the courthouse believed that the judge was a little slanted in favor of Rittenhouse and the defense.
I don't know that if you look at the record that that's really true.
My knowledge of the courts here in Wisconsin and really across the country is, judges really do try to work hard to be fair to both sides.
But he clearly felt that that line of questioning was a little out of bounds and made his displeasure known.
It would have been interesting to see, had there been a conviction on any of the counts, if the judge would have declared a mistrial, as the defense had had motioned for.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Julius Kim, I don't know whether you have experienced with the judge or not, but what was your take on the judge's handling of this of this case?
And what were your expectations as you listened to the arguments?
JULIUS KIM: Yes, a lot of -- much ado has been made about Judge Schroeder's rulings and some of the things he's been -- he did in court.
He played "Jeopardy."
He loves to tell anecdotes and tell little stories.
But what I was looking at more and focusing more on were his legal rulings.
And Judge Schroeder has been around a long time.
He's the oldest serving judge in the state of Wisconsin, and he does things his way, which is his prerogative.
It's his courtroom, and he's entitled to have a certain personality.
But in terms of the rulings themselves, I don't think anyone can debate or argue the fact that he is a thoughtful judge.
That may be part of the critique, is that he tends to think aloud sometimes.
But he gives both sides an opportunity to argue their positions.
He always says, OK, state, do you have a response?
Defense, do you have a response?
And so some of the rulings might not -- not everyone may have agreed with his rulings, but, in the end, I thought that they were generally fair, and there was some logic behind it.
And this is just a matter of people not realizing that the judge has the power to make these decisions during the course of a trial.
And he exercised them.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Julius Kim, just staying with you, we're now hearing comment, including from the parents of one of the victims, concern about whether this set some kind of precedent, either officially or unofficially, to the rest of the country that it's OK to bring a gun to a protest.
From a legal standpoint, is there precedent here in some way?
JULIUS KIM: I don't think there's any specific precedent as it relates to this case moving forward.
But people tend to see verdicts like this as messages.
And there are a lot of people, I imagine, that now feel emboldened to march right into the middle of a protest or a riot or whatever you want to call it with an AR-15 because they can.
But I think that that's a dangerous thought process, because this was a very, very unique case, in that we had very specific facts in this case.
We had video evidence showing exactly what precipitated the shootings in this case, and that might not happen in every situation.
And so if people get the notion that they can show up to a protest with a long gun, and that the law will somehow protect them as a matter of course, I think that would be a mistake.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, David Schaper, back to you finally.
You said earlier there's an expectation or question about whether there will be protests today, tonight into the evening.
What do you know about that?
And what are the expectations there in Kenosha?
DAVID SCHAPER: Well, I do think this verdict, to some of the folks who have been involved in the protest movement here in Kenosha, have told me that they are a little bit more concerned than they were prior to this whole incident, is that, yes, there might be people out there with guns who might feel a little bit emboldened.
Some people have told me they no longer feel safe in their own community.
There are -- I think they do feel that they need to make their voices heard.
And their voices need to be heard on a broader set of issues in terms of racial justice, in terms of equality of opportunity in a community like this.
And Southeast Wisconsin has some of the widest racial disparities in the entire country.
And they want to make their voices heard.
They do want to get out there and protest.
But I -- there's a little bit of angst over that and what could possibly happen if violence does rear its ugly head here again.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we certainly hope that's not the case, but I know that you and other reporters are going to be following this.
And we certainly will be following what happens in the Kenosha area going forward.
David Schaper, thank you very much.
And, Julius Kim, we appreciate it.
JULIUS KIM: Thank you, Judy.
DAVID SCHAPER: Thank you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day's other news: Lawmakers in the House of Representatives narrowly passed President Biden's massive Build Back Better legislation this morning, after Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy stalled the vote for more than eight hours overnight.
The sweeping social safety net and climate bill now goes to the Senate, where it will face further scrutiny.
We will have much more on this after the news summary.
All adults in the U.S. are now eligible to receive a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 booster shot.
The CDC approved their use hours after the FDA cleared the added dose.
We will take a closer look at the boosters also later in the program.
Meanwhile, overseas, Austria's leaders announced plans for a nationwide lockdown to help slow a surge in COVID infections.
It will go into effect on Monday.
The country will also mandate COVID vaccinations next year.
ALEXANDER SCHALLENBERG, Austrian Chancellor (through translator): We have decided to make vaccinations compulsory across the country.
This will begin February 1.
Substantially increasing vaccination rates is our only way out of this vicious circle of virus waves and lockdown discussions once and for all.
We don't want a fifth wave.
We don't want a sixth and seventh wave.
JUDY WOODRUFF: This will be the continent's first nationwide vaccination mandate.
Today's decision comes as parts of Europe are seeing record numbers of daily infections.
Jury deliberations began today in Virginia in the civil trial of white nationalists at the 2017 Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville.
They face charges of conspiracy to commit racially motivated violence after marching through the streets carrying torches and yelling racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric.
At least one counterprotester died and dozens more were injured.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has agreed to repeal controversial farm laws, after thousands of farmers protested against them over the past year.
They had argued the legislation would hurt their incomes.
The repeal process will begin in December, when India's Parliament reconvenes.
Farmers took to the streets to celebrate the surprise announcement.
Many were cautiously optimistic.
SHAMSHER SINGH BAL, Farmer (through translator): We welcome Prime Minister Modi's announcement.
But the farmers will not leave this protest site until the laws are repealed in the Parliament.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Farmers make up one of India's most influential voting blocs.
The reversal comes as Modi's party faces state elections early next year.
The U.N. is now calling on China to provide proof of tennis star Peng Shuai's whereabouts.
She has been missing ever since making sexual assault allegations against a former top Chinese official earlier this month.
Beijing's Foreign Ministry said today that they were -- quote - - "not aware" of her disappearance.
The Biden administration voiced concerns today about Louis DeJoy's leadership at the U.S.
The postmaster general is a Trump era appointee.
He came under fire in 2020 for making changes that slowed mail delivery times as many voters were mailing in their presidential election ballots.
DeJoy has also been criticized for investing in companies that have done business with the Postal Service.
JEN PSAKI, White House Press Secretary: We're, of course, deeply troubled, continue to be deeply troubled, as many Americans are, by the early reporting on Postmaster General DeJoy's potential financial conflicts of interest and take serious issues with the job he's doing running the Postal Service.
JUDY WOODRUFF: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
DeJoy can only be removed by the U.S.
Postal Service Board of Governors.
Today, President Biden announced plans to replace two of DeJoy's backers on the board with two new members.
President Biden had his annual physical examination at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center today, on the eve of his 79th birthday.
His physician declared him healthy and -- quote - - "fit for duty."
While under anesthesia for a routine colonoscopy, his authority was transferred to Vice President Kamala Harris, making her the first woman in the U.S. to hold presidential powers.
Stocks were mixed on Wall Street today.
The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 269 points to close at 35602.
The Nasdaq rose 64 points to notch a record close.
And the S&P 500 slipped six.
And two lucky turkeys are off the menu this Thanksgiving, as part of a presidential tradition.
The gobblers named Peanut Butter and Jelly were officially pardoned by President Biden at the White House today.
They will live out their days on a farm at Purdue University in Indiana.
Lucky Purdue and lucky turkeys.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": how to get boosters to everyone 18 years and older, as COVID cases in the U.S. continue to rise; the unique challenges that wrongfully convicted people struggle with when adjusting to post-prison life; and Jonathan Capehart and Gary Abernathy weigh in on the House passing the Build Back Better bill and the verdict in Kyle Rittenhouse's trial; and much more.
As we have reported, House Democrats are heading into the weekend with a victory after passing the Build Back Better legislation in the House this morning.
Lisa Desjardins has this report on a long debate and what's in the sweeping legislation.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): On this vote, the yeas are 220, the nays are 213.
The Build Back Better bill is passed.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) LISA DESJARDINS: For House Democrats, loud cheers at the end of a long road, as, this morning, they passed President Biden's Build Back Better Act.
The bill covers a host of major issues, combating climate change, providing universal preschool, while slashing child care costs for younger kids, expanding government health care coverage, and creating more subsidized affordable housing, in all, some $1.7 trillion in new programs and spending.
Democrats provide money for that by increasing taxes on big corporations and the wealthiest Americans.
Last night, after weeks of drama, the bill seemed on track for quick passage, until the last Republican to speak, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, took the floor.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Every page of all this new Washington spending will be paid for or borrowed from you, the American hardworking taxpayer.
LISA DESJARDINS: Technically given one minute to speak, as a party leader, McCarthy has the right to go as long as he likes.
He turned that one minute into eight-and-a-half-hours speaking against the Build Back Better act, breaking the record set by Pelosi for the longest speech on the House floor.
It made history and instantly Internet memes.
From the House Cloak Room next to the chamber, Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Instagram to mock.
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): Look at all of those different colored ties and haircuts.
I have never seen a more diverse Republican Party than the one behind Kevin McCarthy right now.
LISA DESJARDINS: McCarthy spent until 5:30 in the morning, at times thundering in opposition to the bill.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY: You're celebrating when inflation is at a 31 percent hike, gas prices, Thanksgiving, a border that in a few months breaks every record of the last three years combined.
LISA DESJARDINS: Sizing up the tactic, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent Democrats home and pushed the vote until daylight, when she got her turn to speak.
REP. NANCY PELOSI: And as a courtesy to my colleagues, I will be brief.
LISA DESJARDINS: After a jab at her Republican rival's speaking time, Pelosi responded.
REP. NANCY PELOSI: Much has been said on this floor, but the facts are these.
Following the vision of President Biden, guided by the expertise and energy of our chairs, members and staff, we have a Build Back Better bill that is historic, transformative and larger than anything we have ever done before.
LISA DESJARDINS: In the end, Pelosi lost only one Democratic vote, Jared Golden of Maine.
On Twitter, he said the bill offered too much help for some of the wealthy and could be better.
Golden's concerns foreshadowed the next tricky Democratic fight straight ahead, as the bill goes to the U.S. Senate.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And Lisa joins me after a night of not much sleep.
So, let's talk about this, as you said, sweeping bill, $1.7 trillion.
Let's break out some of the bigger pieces.
Talk about, what's the largest thing in here?
LISA DESJARDINS: So excited to dig into this and explain it.
(LAUGHTER) LISA DESJARDINS: At the top of the list of many large programs of this is child care.
Combined, the child care and preschool programs together are $400 billion in this bill.
Let's take people through that.
So that's a big chunk right there.
What they'd do, this would offer voluntary free preschool for every child in America ages 3 and 4.
And, also, for the majority of families with kids up to age 5, it would cap their child care costs no greater than 7 percent of their income.
That's a sea change.
Now, one thing.
States have to opt in to this program.
It's a bit like Medicaid.
So, there's a question of which states would, which states would not.
But, Judy, this child care portion is on an Obamacare kind of scale, even larger than Obamacare potentially, even if states sign up.
Republicans say that's a problem.
They say it's a sweeping program, too much government.
And they say it could hurt the child care industry if it's not done well.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So I'm going to have you break out another piece of this.
And that's climate change.
We know what a priority that is for Democrats.
What does the bill do to address that?
LISA DESJARDINS: Judy, this bill has climate change in almost every section.
There are 55, at least, different programs dealing with climate in this.
But I want to talk about sort of overall some of the biggest items.
Overall, this bill spends over $500 billion, $550 billion, to be exact, on climate.
There are tax credits in here for energy efficiency in your home, in your workplace, new kinds of electric cars.
Even electric bicycles are in here.
There is a limit on methane gas that would go into effect in 2023.
There would be a cost to industries that emit too much methane gas under the current form of the bill.
We will have to see if this remains in it.
Then there is also the Civilian Climate Corps.
That's a big thing that Senator Bernie Sanders has wanted.
Interesting, Judy, that is -- that would be young people doing climate projects across the country.
It would be part of AmeriCorps.
AmeriCorps' budget right now, $1 billion, the budget for this, $15 billion.
It would make AmeriCorps a much larger industry -- a much larger department.
It would change the nature of what it does.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And focused on climate.
So, Lisa, this obviously comes with a price tag.
And you were talking about that last night, but we now know more about the price tag.
What can you tell us?
LISA DESJARDINS: We were just getting that information as we were going to air last night, so I'm really glad to be able to talk more about this.
Now, this bill does add to the deficit, but it depends on who you talk to you.
Let's go over what we talked about last night.
Here's the Congressional Budget Office score that we talked about, $367 billion added to the deficit.
That is from the main bill, the programs and the spending involved.
However, there is a separate portion that CBO did not score along with that, which is stepped-up IRS enforcement, the idea of finding people cheating on their taxes.
CBO estimates that that part of the bill could bring in over $200 billion.
So, do the math, you add that all up, what do you get?
According to CBO, a deficit of about $160 billion, not as much as that bigger number.
Democrats, however, look at this.
They say, that IRS number, too small.
They think, actually, they will get more like $400 billion, maybe much more than that.
So that's how they argue that this is paid for.
They think that IRS number is shallow, and that the money will come in.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And they remind everybody it's over 10 years.
LISA DESJARDINS: That's correct.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So that's 160 divided by 10.
LISA DESJARDINS: That's right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, we know you have been reading this 2,000-page bill.
LISA DESJARDINS: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What else has caught your eye?
LISA DESJARDINS: How much time do you have?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Hours.
LISA DESJARDINS: There's so much to talk about here.
(CROSSTALK) LISA DESJARDINS: Let's do it.
There are a few things I want to highlight just to give people a sense of the scope of this, the big and small.
Let me look -- let me highlight a few things.
There is a small amount of money in this bill, which is $50 million, large money to everyone else -- in a bill like this, it's not that much -- but it's to protect older forests around the country, things like the sequoias and older growth forests.
Also, something that's in here that one of our producers, Tess Conciatori, spotted, payroll credits for local newspapers and journalists to try and encourage local news again.
And then also something I want to talk about that I spotted, this would -- this is an attempt in this bill to phase out sub-minimum wage for workers with disabilities.
Judy, you and I have talked about this before.
Since 1938, this country has allowed certificates, so that some employers can pay workers with disabilities sub-minimum wage, as low as $3, $4 an hour.
This bill has incentives to try and pay those employers to raise the wages.
It's a complicated debate, because they want to keep the number of jobs, while increasing those wages.
This bill takes a stand.
It's a bipartisan idea that's in here.
JUDY WOODRUFF: It's -- I think a lot of people didn't realize that, that it could be below minimum wage.
LISA DESJARDINS: That's right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And now it goes to the Senate, and you will be reporting on that... LISA DESJARDINS: I will.
JUDY WOODRUFF: ... after Thanksgiving.
Lisa Desjardins, thank you.
LISA DESJARDINS: You're welcome.
JUDY WOODRUFF: As we reported, the government's top public health agencies are making vaccine boosters available to anyone in the U.S. 18 years or older.
As Stephanie Sy tells us, the change is aimed at helping during the winter months ahead.
STEPHANIE SY: Judy, starting this weekend, boosters will now be available for any of the three federally approved vaccines.
At least 10 states had already made this change as COVID cases rise, up 33 percent in the last two weeks.
For the moment, death rates are stable, but the country is still averaging more than 1, 100 deaths a day.
For more on what we should know.
I'm joined by Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.
Dr. Wachter, thank you for joining us on the "NewsHour."
Let's get right to it.
Would you at this point advise every adult to get a booster shot, and why or why not?
DR. ROBERT WACHTER, University of California, San Francisco: I would.
I got mine a month or so ago.
But I have advised my 28- and 30-year-old healthy children to get them as well.
The boosters do three things.
First of all, we now know that the efficacy of the original shots does wane, starts waning at about five months and wanes more the more time goes on.
And the boosters do three things.
One is, they prevent mild infections, but mild infections can lead to long COVID.
The second is, they can prevent severe infections, which can lead to hospitalization and death.
And the third is, they keep the community safer.
They decrease the amount of COVID in the community.
STEPHANIE SY: Isn't it still, though, Dr. Wachter, the unvaccinated that are most at risk, not only for severe COVID, but behind community spread?
DR. ROBERT WACHTER: No question about it.
And, early on, people said, well, we should really concentrate on vaccinating the unvaccinated.
And when I heard that, I would say, what exactly does that mean?
What are we not doing to try to get the unvaccinated vaccinated?
We have done everything I think we can humanly possibly do.
There are enough shots for everyone.
So, at this point, I think we can walk and chew bubblegum.
I think we have to continue to concentrate on trying to get people to get vaccinated in the first place, but we also have to protect everyone else.
And if you're un -- if you're vaccinated, but you're more than six months out, your level of protection is now somewhere between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated, so it's time to boost it up.
STEPHANIE SY: So let's talk about the efficacy of the booster shot and when it kicks in.
Does getting the booster shot, Dr. Wachter, mean you won't get COVID-19?
And will we have to get booster shots every six months?
DR. ROBERT WACHTER: Well, the vaccines aren't perfect, although these -- I think we forget.
We have gotten used to it.
These are extraordinarily effective.
What the booster does is take -- if you remember those original efficacy numbers of 95 percent effective in preventing cases of COVID, that number had waned to 50 or 60 percent.
The boosters bump you back up to at least 95 percent.
You're probably even a little bit better protected than you were after your two shots.
They are miraculously effective.
How long does it take before they kick in?
It looks like about a week.
So, a week after you have gotten your booster, you're back up to a level of protection that was similar to the level you had two weeks after your second shot.
When will we need another shot?
I think we will know when we know.
Unfortunately, there's no way of knowing.
Because these shots waned in six months does not necessarily mean that the booster will wane in six months.
Because we have had a lag in time, it gave the immune system more time to kind of mature.
And so there's a good chance that we might need one every year or two years, but I think we will only know as we see what happens over time.
STEPHANIE SY: Sure.
As we head into the holidays, though, Doctor, people are expected to gather.
If you have a booster shot, should you feel comfortable not wearing a mask around your grandparents again, shopping at the mall without a mask?
DR. ROBERT WACHTER: Well, the way I approach life, Stephanie, is that, now that I have gotten my booster, I am perfectly comfortable hanging around in indoor spaces with other people who are fully vaccinated and, if they're eligible, who've also gotten a booster.
Anything other than that, hanging around with unvaccinated people or people whose shots were nine months ago and who have not gotten a booster, I'm a little more careful.
I would wear a mask in those circumstances.
If you can't, like you're having Thanksgiving dinner together with them, I think that's a good use of the rapid tests.
So, if someone's unvaccinated or someone's 10 months out from their shots and hasn't gotten a booster, I think it's reasonable to test them that morning.
If they're negative, you can be quite confident they're not infectious that day.
And so that makes it safer.
But I think the rule is, vaccinated plus booster, if you're eligible, you are really good to go.
And if you're hanging out with other people like that, you really are quite safe.
STEPHANIE SY: Really appreciate that clear advice.
Dr. Robert Wachter, the chair of the Department of Medicine at U.C.
San Francisco, thank you.
DR. ROBERT WACHTER: Thank you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We have been exploring this week the many challenges people face after incarceration, from getting health care to reconnecting with family.
But for those wrongfully convicted and imprisoned and then fortunate enough to be freed, those same challenges exist.
And, for many, there's even less support than for those who committed crimes and are released on parole.
Amna Nawaz and producer Frank Carlson report on the struggle that begins after freedom is won.
It's part of our series Searching For Justice.
AMNA NAWAZ: What about this, this area?
What is this from?
RICKY KIDD, Wrongfully Imprisoned For 23 Years: Prison.
It's all prison pictures.
AMNA NAWAZ: Over two years ago, Ricky Kidd walked out of a Missouri prison after 23 years behind bars.
He'd been wrongly convicted for two murders he always said he didn't commit.
In the two short years he's been free, Kidd got married, moved into this house, started a business, and welcomed his new daughter, Harmony Justice, into the world.
RICKY KIDD: Look at me, daddy!
I often say that freedom is the ability to embrace life fully.
It feels like freedom because I'm embracing it fully.
AMNA NAWAZ: Since his release, Kidd's traveled across the country.
He put his feet in the ocean for the first time.
Did you ever think that you wouldn't get out?
He even came by the "NewsHour" for a 2019 interview with his lawyer, Sean O'Brien RICKY KIDD: We came to see you all... AMNA NAWAZ: I remember.
RICKY KIDD: ... a few years ago.
AMNA NAWAZ: I recognize that set anywhere.
RICKY KIDD: Yes.
DAWN ELIZABETH, Wife of Ricky Kidd: Right now, we have your book, the workshop.
AMNA NAWAZ: And with his wife, Dawn, he's built a public speaking business, sharing his story, advocating for criminal justice reform, and fighting for others to be freed.
RICKY KIDD: I have a lot to be thankful for today, especially when you compare it against other people who are still languishing in prison for crimes they didn't commit.
AMNA NAWAZ: On the outside looking in, you check all the boxes, right, home, job, family.
Everything seems really good.
What's happening inside?
RICKY KIDD: Sometimes, I'm overwhelmed.
It's a lot.
And it comes out of nowhere.
I think, I got this, I got this, I got this.
And then I feel like I don't have it.
Anxiety, nightmares began to surface, horrible nightmares.
AMNA NAWAZ: To the public, the story of most exonerees ends on the day they're released and walk out of prison, when, in fact, that day marks the beginning of an entirely new set of struggles ahead.
RICKY KIDD: So, here we are walking into prison.
AMNA NAWAZ: From the outside, it looks like Kidd has moved on.
But, inside, he is grappling with his past.
In his basement storm shelter, Kidd created a replica of his prison cell, down to the exact same items he had during more than two decades of incarceration.
RICKY KIDD: This was my I.D.
AMNA NAWAZ: This is your actual I.D.?
Missouri Department of Corrections Offender in big red letters, Ricky Kidd.
RICKY KIDD: And they usually call you 528343, not your name.
They want you to respond, 528343.
AMNA NAWAZ: Do you think you will ever forget that number?
RICKY KIDD: No.
AMNA NAWAZ: Still, he visits this place almost every morning.
RICKY KIDD: Sometimes, I'm thinking about what I have been through, that I was once here.
Sometimes, I'm thinking about the other people that are still here.
Imagine waking up in a maximum Level 5 prison.
AMNA NAWAZ: Earlier this year, he filmed an online series here, reenacting his prison days.
Reliving them became overwhelming, so he stopped.
Kidd has also struggled with his health.
He's a diabetic, and earlier this year had an emergency triple bypass heart surgery.
More recently, he's struggled with his breathing, a complication from that surgery.
He blames more than two decades of poor prison health care, unhealthy prison food, and the stress of being wrongfully imprisoned and fighting to prove it.
On top of that, he's received no support nor compensation from the state of Missouri.
RICKY KIDD: You took all my 20s.
You took all my 30s, and you took half of my 40s.
At that stage, people who have been working and are a little diligent and a little disciplined, they have a little something.
Well, I came home at 45 and had nothing.
AMNA NAWAZ: Is there a way for them to make you whole?
Can they do something to make it right?
RICKY KIDD: No.
I don't think there's nothing they can do to make me whole.
There's things they can do to make it better.
But even if they did that, against their best efforts, we're still left wounded.
We're still left with our wounds.
And that's a consequence of a wrongful conviction in America.
AMNA NAWAZ: On a chilly morning on the other side of Kansas City, Ricky's lawyer, Sean O'Brien, is picking up Joe Amrine, another former client, to go grocery shopping.
JOE AMRINE, Wrongfully Sentenced to Death: So, do you remember Lehman's (ph) case, Sean?
SEAN O'BRIEN, Attorney: I do remember Lehman's case, because you went with Dan Groathouse (ph)... JOE AMRINE: Right.
SEAN O'BRIEN: ... to talk to the witnesses that eventually exonerated him.
AMNA NAWAZ: Sean's helped free more than a dozen wrongfully convicted people in his career as a law professor and defense attorney.
In 2003, it was Joe Amrine's turn, after spending 17 years on death row.
JOE AMRINE: You know, when you know that everybody in the state, everybody in the world wants you dead, there ain't much you can do.
There ain't nothing you can do.
Just can't imagine that, that everybody wants me dead.
SEAN O'BRIEN: He could have been executed any time.
AMNA NAWAZ: For a crime he didn't commit.
SEAN O'BRIEN: For a crime he didn't commit.
Every month, they executed one of these 10 men.
And then after they execute them at midnight on the first Tuesday of the month, they would come back into the office that morning and issue a new warrant for the next one.
About midway through that process, one of his friends, who he had known since junior high school, was executed.
And he called me the next morning and said: "I want to be next because I can't do this again."
AMNA NAWAZ: Since being released, Amrine has struggled, with his health, holding down a job, and meeting basic needs.
When you got out, what kind of support did you get?
JOE AMRINE: I had none whatsoever, no support whatsoever.
Getting my driver's license, Social Security card, filling out paperwork and stuff, I was lost.
AMNA NAWAZ: Amrine's depended on help from people like Sean to keep the lights on and keep the refrigerator stocked.
SEAN O'BRIEN: He's food-insecure, for crying out loud.
You know, if I don't -- if I don't periodically take him to the grocery store, you know, he will call me up and say: "I don't have anything.
I haven't eaten in a week."
AMNA NAWAZ: Across the country, the support and compensation exonerees are eligible for differs drastically depending on where they're convicted; 37 states and the District of Columbia have laws for compensating exonerees in some way.
But qualifying for and accessing that support is another story entirely.
In Missouri, one of the states that has a law on the books, Joe Amrine and Ricky Kidd don't qualify for help because they weren't exonerated through a specific mechanism involving DNA evidence.
SEAN O'BRIEN: You can count on one hand the number of people who have qualified for support under Missouri's compensation statute.
He would be better off if he had been guilty and then released on parole, because a parole officer would help him get public assistance and would constantly be on the lookout for job leads and... (CROSSTALK) AMNA NAWAZ: He would be better off if he'd actually done the crime?
He'd have more support coming out?
SEAN O'BRIEN: He would be better off if he had done the crime and been released on parole, yes.
JOE AMRINE: Yes, I'm mad.
I'm still mad.
I'm really mad.
And I'm going to stay mad.
Until the day I die, I will probably be mad, because they took my life.
AMNA NAWAZ: So far, Ricky Kidd's experience after prison has been very different than Joe Amrine's, and he counts himself lucky.
RICKY KIDD: For the first time, I felt bitterness towards the state.
AMNA NAWAZ: But the trauma, the loss, the anger, many of those are the same.
Kidd recently began seeing a therapist to work through those issues.
He's currently suing the Kansas City Police Department in civil court, which could take years.
Because of governmental immunity, Sean O'Brien says most clients get nothing.
In the meantime, he's trying to focus on the positive each day, advocating for the friends he left behind, the wrongful convictions he can prevent, and redefining what freedom means.
RICKY KIDD: These are things that I always wanted to happen.
And now they happen, so... AMNA NAWAZ: Not wasting a day.
RICKY KIDD: Not wasting a day.
AMNA NAWAZ: For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Amna Nawaz in Kansas City, Kansas.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And you can learn much more about Ricky Kidd's life and case in our podcast "Broken Justice" and about the failures in public defense that led to his incarceration.
As we reported earlier, President Biden's Build Back Better plan was passed by the House of Representatives, and Kyle Rittenhouse was today acquitted on all charges.
To break down today's events and more, we now turn to the analysis of Capehart and Abernathy.
That is Jonathan Capehart and Gary Abernathy, both of them columnist for The Washington Post.
David Brooks is away.
And it's very, very good to see both of you tonight.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Good to see you too, Judy.
GARY ABERNATHY: Good to be here.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you for being here.
So let's start, Jonathan, with the news that broke today.
And that is the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, had been accused of murder, two murders, shootings.
The jury found him not guilty on all charges.
The country has been on tenterhooks for the last few years when it comes to a number of issues related to race.
And race didn't come up specifically in this trial, but it certainly was around it.
Do you think this will have any effect on the conversation the country's having right now?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: It'll have an effect on the conversation, in that it focuses the mind on the system that made it possible for a teenager with an illegal gun in a town that was not his own after curfew who shot and killed two people and wounded a third was able to be found not guilty.
Race was not a part of this conversation because we have to remember... JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: ... the victims here -- and they were victims -- they're all white.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: But there's pain in the Black community because we are seeing how justice is meted out depending on who you are.
And there was a great cartoon, sad cartoon in The Post... JUDY WOODRUFF: Which I think we can share with... (CROSSTALK) JONATHAN CAPEHART: And you see it there.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: There on the left, you have Trayvon Martin, Skittles in one hand, iced tea in the other.
George Zimmerman called 911.
A wannabe neighborhood watch person called 911 and said, there's a very suspicious looking guy, and ends up shooting and killing Trayvon Martin.
And then, on the right, you saw there the drawing of Kyle Rittenhouse, carrying, carrying an assault rifle... JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: ... there in the streets and killed two people, and he gets to go home.
And one more thing that -- Gary, you're from Ohio, if I remember right.
I kept thinking about the shooting of John Crawford III in Beavercreek, Ohio, in August of 2014.
He's in Walmart.
He's looking for maybe gifts or presents for a young person in his family.
He picks up a toy assault rifle.
He's just walking through the aisles in Walmart shopping, like anybody does.
Someone calls 911.
The police show up.
They see him and they kill him.
He's carrying an assault rifle -- a toy assault rifle in a store, shopping like anyone else.
In Ohio, it is an open carry state.
So, why didn't the police take that into account, whether it's a toy or not?
And so I think this -- the Kyle Rittenhouse just adds to the conversation that we have been having in this country about the role - - the role of race, the role of law and the role of the two in holding us back, quite frankly.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Gary, as we said, race was not a part of this of this case.
It didn't come up in the courtroom.
A jury heard the case.
They heard the argument of self-defense, and they agreed with it.
GARY ABERNATHY: So much can be said about this whole thing.
It's a sad situation, OK?
There are no winners today.
I have read a lot of people saying, oh, they're celebrating the verdict from maybe somebody on the right.
Well, there's nothing to celebrate.
There was a tragedy.
Two people died in this situation.
It's a tragic, tragic case.
A 17-year-old, I agree, shouldn't have been bringing that gun to that situation.
But there was also quite a rush to judgment the first 24 hours or so this happened.
There were a lot of things said about, oh, this young man was a Trump supporter.
We read that.
He had been at a Trump rally.
And then, a few months later, this happens, as though there's a connection between those two things.
Once the evidence came out, once we began to see video of what happened, it became very, very clear there's a different narrative here than the narrative we heard at first.
And the jury -- I have covered trials.
Anyone who's covered trials understands it doesn't matter how much you read in the media.
It doesn't matter how much of a trial you watch on television.
When you're a jury or you're sitting in that courtroom watching a trial, you have a different perspective of what's going on.
And that jury reached a verdict.
There's an old saying, and I have seen it going around today from judges and lawyers.
Justice is a process, not an outcome.
So, the process happened.
Justice was done, in that the process happened.
People will always disagree on verdicts in this case and every other case, depending on where -- which side you're on.
But justice was done because the process happened.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: I would say in response, I'm not surprised by the verdict, because of the instructions from the judge, because of Wisconsin law, and the law as it pertains to self-defense.
I read parts of the statute, and I'm looking at it.
And I'm thinking, if I were on that jury, and this was the evidence that was presented to me, and I take my role as a juror seriously, what else am I left to do?
But that's not an indictment of the jury.
That's an indictment of the law.
That is an indictment of -- I think of society, in that you can, to your point, take the video and a different narrative shows up.
But that then requires you to live in a silo, and not take into account, why on earth was he there in the first place?
And he shouldn't have been there.
And so while, sure, great, on the law, he should have been released, but that's not how people live.
People don't live in silos.
And that's why I think people are sort of outraged by this verdict.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And what we heard the former Milwaukee prosecutor saying earlier on the program, there's concern that this may send a message that it's OK to carry a gun to a protest.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Yes.
GARY ABERNATHY: Yes.
Well, it's not.
And you shouldn't do that.
And I'm sure -- I'm going to guess that if he had to do it over again, how many of us at 17 make bad decisions?
And, fortunately, most of the time, they don't turn out this way, that bad.
But I'm betting he wouldn't do it again.
I would hope he wouldn't do it again.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we -- a tragic, tragic thing, no matter which side you're on... GARY ABERNATHY: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: ... no question.
Build Back Better, Jonathan.
The House of Representatives... (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: Where did I come up with that term?
(LAUGHTER) JUDY WOODRUFF: The House of Representatives passed it today, after weeks and weeks and months of discussion and debate.
Two completely different stories here.
The Republicans say it's socialism.
Democrats say this is such important additional help for raising children, for education, for health care, for the climate -- for climate change, fighting climate change.
Which one is it?
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Oh, obviously, it is what the Democrats are saying.
And leave aside what the Republicans are saying.
They will brand anything socialism, and they don't bring anything to the table as an alternative, as a positive alternative to what the Democrats are presenting.
What the House of Representatives did today by passing Build Back Better was to send a - - was to put down a marker and show the American people what Congress wants to do for them.
Everyone's talking about the economy and inflation and costs are so high.
And then you look at Build Back Better, and there's an opportunity to bring down your child care costs, to bring down your home care costs, to bring down your health care costs.
That's what Congress should be doing.
That's what Washington should be doing, looking at the problems of the country, looking at the problems of the American people and the American worker, and American productivity, and doing something about it.
And so, with the House passing it, they have sent a message, look, this is the package.
Of course, it's just the House.
And all the action goes to the Senate, where this might be a -- Build Back Better might be a shadow of its former self by the time it comes out of the Senate.
But this is -- there should be unadulterated joy that Democrats have been able to do this at this point in time right now.
(LAUGHTER) JUDY WOODRUFF: Unadulterated joy.
GARY ABERNATHY: Well, I will adulterate it a little bit.
(LAUGHTER) GARY ABERNATHY: There is -- this is a classic example of the different attitudes between the role of government.
And the infrastructure bill that was passed earlier, the $1.2 trillion, is the role of government.
For a lot of people, that's how they look at it.
That's how a lot of Republicans used to look at it.
Now, beginning last year -- we have talked about this before -- under Trump, there was a lot of an abandonment of this traditional Republican attitude about the role of government, because Trump wasn't afraid to spend money.
He wasn't afraid to give tax cuts, and then turn around and also spend money on top of the tax cuts.
He was all for infrastructure.
But what you're hearing today is -- the infrastructure bill was one thing, but now this is a -- I won't use the word socialist tonight.
I will just call it a very progressive wish list of things that progressives believe government should do.
It's the biggest expansion of government.
It compares right there with LBJ Great Society, the FDR New Deal.
It's right there.
And that's what Joe Biden, if that's what he wants his legacy to be -- we will see how voters feel about it.
But to get down to the $2 trillion price tag, 1.8, whatever we want to call it, they have they have played some tricks.
They have kind of - - they have got some several things in here they're touting that will sunset out very quickly, in four years, the preschool, the childhood tax credit, the health care expansion.
And if there's a Republican Congress, really doubtful they're going to re-up this.
So a lot of things that are being celebrated on the left may actually not last very long.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So this may be ephemeral.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: It may be.
It may not.
Remember, folks were really angry about the Affordable Care Act, and Republicans ran on replace and repeal.
And when they had the majorities in both the House and the Senate, they didn't replace or repeal anything.
So, you know Washington.
GARY ABERNATHY: They did get rid of the individual mandate.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Sure.
But, in Washington, the hardest part is getting something into law.
The easy -- well, yes, it's hard to get stuff into law.
And it's even harder to pull it out, especially if it's -- especially if it's popular, and especially if it helps people.
GARY ABERNATHY: No, that's a good point.
And so it depends on how America reacts to, how Americans react to it over the next couple of years.
If this all becomes very popular, it'll be difficult, more difficult than it sounds, even if Republicans take over, to reverse it.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Is there any -- are there any parts of this bundle of programs that Republicans can be comfortable with?
GARY ABERNATHY: I don't think so.
(LAUGHTER) GARY ABERNATHY: If you're talking about congressional Republicans, I don't think so.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.
GARY ABERNATHY: And that was evidenced by the vote in the House.
And I think you will probably see a very similar vote in the Senate.
This comes down to Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: And Kyrsten Sinema.
GARY ABERNATHY: Yes.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: And, remember, Build Back Better, when it gets to the Senate, the Republicans have made it clear, we're not voting for this, whatever you come up with.
And that's why it's going to be voted on in a -- by a simple majority through reconciliation rules.
GARY ABERNATHY: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: So, that's why they're able to do all this negotiating, not worrying about what Republicans think, because they have already said, we don't care.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And why immigration may come out of it.
GARY ABERNATHY: Well, yes.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Yes.
GARY ABERNATHY: And they don't care.
And this is -- it's a shame, because -- I heard Speaker Pelosi today after the House vote.
They were talking to her about Kevin McCarthy's long, marathon eight-hour speech, and what he had to say.
And she said: I don't pay attention to what -- I don't listen to them.
And that's a shame.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We will leave it there.
Gary Abernathy, Jonathan Capehart, thank you both.
JONATHAN CAPEHART: Thanks, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And online right now: A partial lunar eclipse cast the moon in a red glow overnight.
We explore what made this eclipse special.
That's on our Instagram feed at Instagram.com/NewsHour.
And don't forget to watch "Washington Week" moderator Yamiche Alcindor and her panel tonight.
That's on PBS later this evening.
And that's the "NewsHour" for tonight.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
Join us online and again here on Monday evening.
For all of us at the "PBS NewsHour," thank you, please stay safe, and have a good weekend.