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Democracy Now! is an independent daily TV & radio news program, hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. We provide daily global news headlines, in-depth interviews and investigative reports without any advertisements or government funding. Our programming shines a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lifts up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. Democracy Now! is live weekdays at 8am ET and available 24/7 through our website and podcasts.
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"Total System Failure": Congress Pushes $2 Trillion Pandemic Bill. Will Dems Allow "Corporate Coup"?

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 08:39

We continue our look at the massive $2 trillion coronavirus relief package — the largest stimulus bill in U.S. history — with author Matt Stoller, who argues the country will be unrecognizable after this pandemic if big corporations walk away with trillions of dollars and no strings attached. Stoller is research director at the American Economic Liberties Project and author of the book “Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy.” His recent column for The Guardian is headlined “The coronavirus relief bill could turn into a corporate coup if we aren’t careful.”

U.S. Is #1 in Pandemic: Rep. Omar Blasts Trump for "Wrong Kind of American Exceptionalism"

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 08:16

As much of the United States is under lockdown, the House votes today on a $2 trillion emergency relief package to address the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. It will generate payments to most Americans and includes protections for workers, but it is also a massive bailout for a number of industries and corporations, and the vote comes as a record 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits. We speak with Congressmember Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, the first Somali American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and one of the first Muslim women in Congress, about the bill, Trump’s response to the pandemic, how she has joined calls for student debt relief and to release immigrants and prisoners facing infection, and the challenges African countries face in responding to the coronavirus.

"Chaotic Situation": India Begins Lockdown of 1.3 Billion Residents as Coronavirus Pandemic Spreads

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 08:43

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world, we look at India, which is now under the largest lockdown in human history, with 1.3 billion people ordered to shelter in place. As the country’s economy and daily life come to an abrupt halt, hundreds of millions of Indians who live hand to mouth have been left without the means to support their families. We speak with Amitav Ghosh, whose books include “Gun Island” and “The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable.”

Bernie Sanders Fights for Laid-off Worker Protections in $2 Trillion Stimulus with Corporate Bailout

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 08:36

The Senate unanimously approved a historic $2.2 trillion emergency relief package late Wednesday night to battle the unprecedented economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The House will consider the bill Friday before it goes to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law. 

The bill would massively expand unemployment benefits, providing laid-off workers up to 100% of their salary and health insurance benefits for four months. Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders successfully fought to strengthen the bill’s assistance to laid-off workers, and voted “yes” even as he warned about the bill’s corporate bailout fund. “We do not need, at this moment in history, to provide a massive amount of corporate welfare to large profitable corporations,” Sanders said in a video explaining his vote.

"In a Week We Will Be Italy": NYC ER Doctor Says the U.S. Pandemic Will Only Get Worse

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 08:17

As New York hospitals see a surge in coronavirus cases, medical workers report growing shortages of protective gear, and a nurse who tested positive after treating patients with the highly contagious disease has died. “It’s pretty dire inside New York City hospitals right now,” says New York City emergency room doctor Craig Spencer. “We have a growing number of patients coming in every day with coronavirus. We have people young and old, with complications, without complications, who get put on mechanical ventilators, who get put on life support to help their breathing, who have cardiac arrest. It’s a daily reality for many of my colleagues on the frontline.” Spencer is also a survivor of Ebola, which he contracted while fighting its outbreak in Africa.

Calls Grow for Sen. Burr to Resign After He Sold $1.7 Million in Stocks & Downplayed COVID-19 Risks

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 08:52

Calls are growing for Republican Senator Richard Burr to resign after he reportedly sold up to $1.7 million worth of stocks after receiving privileged briefings about the coronavirus’s threat to the global economy. ProPublica reports Burr, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, unloaded his holdings on February 13 in 33 separate transactions. At the time, he had access to classified information about the coronavirus and was receiving daily intelligence briefings. The stock market began plummeting a week after Burr’s sales and has since lost about 30% of its value. We speak with Derek Willis of ProPublica, one of the reporters who broke the story.

"People Go Before Money. This Is About Saving Lives," Says San Juan Mayor on Pandemic in Puerto Rico

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 08:45

Puerto Rico announced a record $787 million financial package to fight the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic Monday, as the island’s death toll hits two with 39 cases reported. The pandemic follows a series of devastating earthquakes in Puerto Rico earlier this year and comes as the island continues to deal with fallout from Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico’s infrastructure and killed at least 3,000. “One of the things that I think is evident, with the Trump administration and FEMA, we have to continue to remind them time and time again that we are people and that we deserve to be treated with the same sense of justice, urgency and dignity as anybody else,” says our guest, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

Madrid's Ice Rink Turned to Morgue as Spain Exceeds China in Coronavirus Deaths

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 08:35

We go to Madrid, Spain, one of the epicenters of the pandemic in Europe, where health workers account for nearly 14% of the country’s infections. Many face limited availability of protective equipment. So many people have died that Madrid’s municipal funeral home has stopped collecting bodies. A large ice rink is now being used as a makeshift morgue, and the government plans to extend the state of emergency by another 15 days in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. “If Madrid was a country, it would actually be fifth in terms of death rate in the entire world,” says María Carrión, journalist and former Democracy Now! news producer.

Frontline NY Nurses Lack Protective Masks & Ventilators, Say Worst Yet to Come as COVID-19 Spreads

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 08:14

As the New York metro area has 60% of all the new coronavirus cases in the United States and is responsible for half the cases all over the country, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday the number of hospitalizations is expected to peak in the next 40 days as hospitals are already encountering shortages of equipment needed to protect medical workers and to keep patients alive when the city’s COVID-19 cases peak in the coming weeks. We’re joined by two people on the frontlines of the pandemic: Sean Petty, a registered nurse in the pediatric emergency room of a public hospital in the Bronx and member of the New York State Nurses Association board of directors, and Kelley Cabrera, an emergency room nurse at a public hospital in the Bronx.

"Top Priority Is Release": Will Rikers Island Free More Prisoners as 60+ Test Positive for COVID-19?

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 08:45

As COVID-19 begins to spread in the U.S. prison system, calls are growing in the New York City epicenter of the pandemic to release people from Rikers Island, the second-largest jail system in the country. At least 39 prisoners and 21 staff at Rikers Island have tested positive. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday the city had released 75 people, but advocates are calling for the release of thousands more. We speak with Dr. Homer Venters, former chief medical officer for New York City’s Correctional Health Services and author of “Life and Death in Rikers Island.” His piece for The Hill is headlined “Coronavirus behind bars: 4 priorities to save the lives of prisoners.”

“Humanitarian Solidarity”: Even Under U.S. Sanctions, Cuba Sends Doctor Brigade to Italy and More

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 08:30

As Italy’s death toll soars past 6,000, Cuba has sent medical brigades to combat COVID-19. Cuba has also deployed doctors to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Suriname and Grenada. “The arrival of a medical brigade from Cuba to Italy is pretty historic. You have a leading European nation accepting support in the form of a medical team from a small Caribbean island,” says our guest, Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University. “It just goes to the history of Cuba’s deep and long-lasting commitment to humanitarian solidarity with other countries.” Kornbluh covers Cuba for The Nation magazine.

Economist Jeffrey Sachs: Trump "Understands Nothing, Listens to Nothing" as Pandemic Surges in U.S.

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 08:15

As #NotDying4WallStreet trends on Twitter, President Trump defies his top scientists and soaring infection rate, saying he will ease restrictions soon to jumpstart the economy. We speak with economist Jeffrey Sachs about the stimulus package that failed to pass again Monday, as Democrats called the measure a slush fund for corporations. Sachs also led the WHO’s Commission on Macroeconomics and Health from 2000 to 2001 and played a key role in conceiving and establishing the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which helped distribute new medicines to fight infectious diseases.

Headlines for March 24, 2020

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 08:00

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