LISA DESJARDINS: Good evening, I'm Lisa Desjardins.
Geoff Bennett is away.
Tonight on "PBS News Weekend," with monkeypox cases on the rise, we look at the issues of access to vaccines, treatment, and testing.
GREGG GONSALVES: The big problem is that we have a vast shortage of vaccines.
We can't get our arms around the outbreak, we're creating a caste system of both who's going to get access to what's needed for Monkeypox.
LISA DESJARDINS: Then as students across the country get ready to return to school, what's keeping them safe in the classroom?
And alley oops droppings and face plants, more people are finding a home within skateboarding, as the sport becomes more inclusive.
All that in the day's headlines on tonight's "PBS News Weekend."
(BREAK) LISA DESJARDINS: Good evening and hello.
Late last, night Indiana became the first state since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade to approve a new law banning nearly all abortion procedures.
As protesters gathered outside the state Senate chambers, Republican Governor Eric Holcomb signed the bill within an hour of its passage.
All current Indiana abortion clinics will lose their licenses.
But the law narrowly permits some abortions at hospitals and outpatient centers in cases of rape and incest within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Today, the Biden administration and Eli Lilly, one of Indiana's largest employers condemned the law which goes into effect next month.
The stakes are high for the U.S. Senate tonight on the verge of passing a sweeping reform bill.
Senate Democrats have forced an unusual weekend session to push through their half trillion dollar health care climate and tax reform bill.
Supporters of the bill got some good news overnight.
Use our has learned the Senate parliamentarian has given a green light to the climate and tax provisions and many of the health and drug price elements of the bill.
But a proposal to cap the out of pocket costs for insulin is still in doubt and may not make it through to the final version.
Votes are expected overnight.
President Biden has tested negative today after testing positive from a rebound case of COVID one week ago.
The President's position says Mr. Biden will remain under isolation until he receives a second negative test.
For the first time in years, there is no direct communication between the United States and China.
Beijing's silence is seen as retaliation for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan this week.
China also escalated the intensity of its actions near the island, ratcheting up military drills and attack simulations now in their third straight day.
Earlier today, in the Philippines, Secretary of State Antony Blinken rebuked Beijing's actions.
ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. Secretary of State: The differences between Taiwan and the mainland need to be resolved peacefully.
And what we've seen China do over the last few years is move away from a peaceful resolution of differences to doing so coercively and potentially forcefully.
LISA DESJARDINS: The Chinese military says this week's activities are a test of its land strike and sea assault capabilities.
There is escalating violence in the Gaza Strip amid an Israeli crackdown.
A warning some of the following images are graphic.
Israeli airstrikes pummeled parts of Gaza today leveling buildings, destroying what the Israeli military alleges are militant targets.
Later in the day, Israel claims straight rocket fire from Palestinian militants caused more civilian deaths in northern Gaza.
At least 24 Palestinians including a five-year-old girl have been killed since Israel began strikes against Gaza on Friday.
Still to come on "PBS News Weekend" as kids had back to school questions and concerns about safety.
And a new era, we look at skateboarding growing community.
(BREAK) LISA DESJARDINS: Now, a declared national emergency monkeypox continues to spread in the United States.
So do concerns over disparities in access to testing and vaccines for vulnerable communities.
Joining me now is Gregg Gonsalves, an epidemiologist from the Yale School of Public Health.
Greg, thank you for coming back in just the week since we last spoke with you, the number of monkeypox cases has doubled.
So what is this moment right now?
Can we still contain this?
GREGG GONSALVES, Yale School of Public Health: Well, you know, Lisa, I'm also alarmed by the rapid growth in monkeypox cases around the U.S.
In May, we hadn't even really thought about monkeypox as a concern.
It's an endemic disease in the United States.
But as you said, we have over 7100 cases now in almost every American state, if we could have contained it, we would have moved quickly and expeditiously in early June to ramp up vaccine deployment, ramp up testing, ramp up access to treatments.
But we've sort of dilly-dallied for eight weeks now.
And now, as you said, we are exporting cases rise precipitously across the country.
LISA DESJARDINS: You know, these past few years have put such a spotlight again, on health disparities in this country in a big way in crisis, health crises that we're facing, you study this, I wonder, who do you think is most a danger from monkeypox, and then who is most at danger from not getting access to treatment for it?
GREGG GONSALVES: Well, Fenit Nirappil from the Washington Post has done a lot of great reporting on those health disparities in monkeypox.
And he was writing the other day that, you know, of the known cases, we know where we know race and ethnicity.
We have about 38% white, 32% Latino and 26% black.
But African Americans only account for about 17% of who've received TPOXX, the treatment for disease.
So what we're seeing is that the health disparities we've seen in COVID, we've seen an HIV or recapitulating themselves with this new virus, monkeypox.
LISA DESJARDINS: We hear a lot, of course about men who have sex with men, is there a treatment disparity there as well?
GREGG GONSALVES: Right now, you know, over 95%, close to 99% of these cases are in men and men who have sex with men.
So while monkeypox is not a gay disease, the gay community is facing the brunt of this right now.
The big problem is that we have a vast shortage of vaccines, we can't get our arms around this -- the outbreak.
As I said there are disparities and access to treatment.
There -- people have health insurance and access to medical care, we're quickly seen by their physicians can get treated for pain, can get access to TPOXX, others are waiting for weeks and weeks to try to get a test or once they get tested, have nowhere to go if they need to go to the hospital, for instance, to manage their pain because it's so excruciating.
And so we're creating a caste system of who's going to get access to what's needed for monkeypox.
And a few months when we do have vaccines, I expect there to be restaurant by people who have access to resources and it can sit online and hit refresh until they get an appointment, but it's going to seep into the rural south and other places in which the HIV virus has gone beforehand.
LISA DESJARDINS: You know, I wonder you mentioned of course resources, affluence is sort of one issue about access.
But some of this is also demographic to ask a complex question, I hope it's not naive.
Why do we still have these persistent malignant kind of biases in healthcare?
These are often -- these systems are run by health professionals, many of them are trained to try and think about marginalized communities.
Why are we still here?
GREGG GONSALVES: So a couple of things are - - the health disparities are baked into the American healthcare system.
The former Surgeon General David Satcher wrote a piece of while ago, I think in Health Affairs where he talked about the excess deaths among African Americans in this country in the 10s of 1000s, at least.
And so we talk about health disparities not just with monkeypox, but with COVID, with HIV, with cervical cancer, with sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea, it's baked into the system for quite a while, not only on income and your wealth, but on race as well.
LISA DESJARDINS: The White House says now, of course this problem with the enough vaccine and not enough vaccine that it's considering splitting some of these doses maybe injecting them a different way that could work.
Do we know if that would work?
And does that address the disparity issue at all, could it?
GREGG GONSALVES: Well, health disparities are going to linger no matter what, as I said, they're baked into the system.
Right now we need more vaccine.
And the federal government should really be working as hard as they can to figure out how to get more of this product online before the fall.
I'm splitting the doses is a risky strategy, we have very little data on the effectiveness of this vaccine in the context of this current outbreak because simply we haven't seen monkeypox erupt in the United States before at this level, nor have deployed the vaccine for that purpose.
So, you know, the NIH is going to do a study of splitting doses.
But that information is going to take weeks and weeks for us to get and to implement.
But right now, we need to really be scaling up our availability of vaccines that we have now, figuring out if there's ways to ramp up production, making sure that people get access to TPOXX.
The other thing we haven't talked about is that, you know, this disease requires 21 days of isolation, right?
And I might be able to stay home if we get sick, but there are many people who have to go right into work.
And so how are people going to find support to work through the pain and to figure out how to support themselves and their and their families while they're dealing with this disease.
LISA DESJARDINS: And one more question, do we know if this disease can be asymptomatic if there are carriers of this disease who may not show any signs that they have it?
GREGG GONSALVES: So remember, this disease is transmitted by close physical contact, right?
It's skin to skin.
So you're exposed skin against the lesion of somebody who already has the disease, whether there's asymptomatic transmission, you know, through other means, through bodily fluids, for instance, is not certain yet, but the classical presentation is to have a lesion and to have skin to skin contact that way.
So there's a lot we don't know.
But remember, this virus has been around, at least in human cases for 50 years.
So it's not an old virus.
We're learning more about how it's presenting specifically in the context of this outbreak.
But skin to skin close physical contact right now in the context of close sexual relations is what's driving the pandemic.
LISA DESJARDINS: Important information for the whole country to think about.
Gregg Gonsalves of Yale's School of Public Health, thank you for joining us.
Students head back to the classroom in just weeks, along with books and backpacks, they bring renewed concerns about safety.
That's often left to individual school districts, but there is some federal money to help.
After the massacre this spring at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, Congress passed the bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
The gun provisions in that bill are one part of the issue.
But let's take a look at the security piece.
That law funds billions for new mental health and safety measures in schools and expansion of current federal funding.
In December, the Department of Justice awarded nearly $126 million in security grants to schools that included money for violence prevention training in 29 states.
But overall, that money went to just a few dozen of the nation's 13,000 school districts.
So how are schools tackling this and what is working?
To learn more, I'm joined by Lori Alhadeff, who founded Make Our Schools Safe after her daughter was killed in the 2018 Parkland School shooting.
And Amy Klinger from the Educator's School Safety Network.
Lori and Amy, thank you so much for joining us for this important conversation.
Lori, I want to start with you.
Your State Florida has a law now named after your daughter Alyssa's law that would provide panic buttons to teachers.
But you're also focused on mental health as a key part of the safety needed.
What do you think is needed there and what is working so far in that area?
LORI ALHADEFF, President, Make Our Schools Safe: So we passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Act, and Alyssa law and Alyssa's law, panic buttons in school.
So if there is a life threatening emergency situation, we want to empower our teachers to push a button on the phone, or something they wear around their neck, and it's directly linked to law enforcement, geo-fence the area so they can get on the scene as quickly as possible.
So we believe that in that life threatening emergency time equals live and to get health care as quickly as possible will save lives.
And, of course, mental health is a huge part of the conversation.
You know, especially after COVID, we really need to provide services for our students to be able to get the help that they need.
LISA DESJARDINS: Is that a case of looking at the trauma on students who may be worried about violence or what about mental health in terms of dealing with students who may become violent?
LORI ALHADEFF: So we definitely want to be very proactive about being making sure that students know how to access their mental health services.
Here in Broward County, we have a talk app on every student computer so they can be able to access that information if they need help.
And that we will then provide that help for every student.
Also see something, say something, it's so important that students be able to reach out for help as themselves or anonymously.
We had someone that wanted to commit suicide and told me and I was able to report it through the app, and they were able to find that person and get them to help before they committed suicide.
LISA DESJARDINS: Amy, there's a good example.
But this is still an area with a lot of stigma, our schools nationwide doing enough to look at mental health as a component in potential violence?
AMY KLINGER, Director of Programs, Education's School Safety Network: I think we always need to do more.
I think we need to look at a continuum of options and services and tools.
And that's been part of the problem is we have only looked at school safety through a very narrow viewpoint.
And we have not expanded and broadened.
We need to look at a comprehensive approach that is all hazards that takes into account mental health and all kinds of both prevention and response activities.
And that's how we really solve these problems is to go at them from a variety of means, rather than just taking one thing and saying that's enough, because it's not enough.
LISA DESJARDINS: And then also in that mix.
I know a lot of your educators in schools are looking at the physical plan, you know, we've seen metal detectors receive changes in school structure, what have you learned about what's working?
And are there things that are just sort of adding to the sense of fear?
What's good, what's bad in that area?
AMY KLINGER: It's a very delicate balance.
Because we're not running prisons, we're running schools, but yet, we need to have appropriate access control, we need to have some of those hardware mechanisms in place.
But that can't be the only thing we have.
We know that relationship based cultures that a positive culture, students who are able to make disclosures, we know that all of those relationship activities that are not law enforcement based, but they are education based, those are the things that really make a difference.
So it is easier and may seem easier to just buy something, or to put a piece of hardware into a school.
But that can't be the only tool in the toolbox.
And I think that's the big takeaway from all of these events, is we have to do an array of things because frankly, I don't know what else we're doing in schools that is more important than saving kids' lives.
It is literally the most important thing we should be doing as educators and law enforcement and mental health.
LISA DESJARDINS: Lori, I see you nodding, what do you think is most important right now, what's needed most?
LORI ALHADEFF: So I think it's -- you know, it's going to be layers and layers of school safety protection.
I think it's very important that we give professional development to our teachers, for Mental Health First Aid so they are able to see if a child is having issues in their class, be able to identify it and then connect them to the resources that that student will need.
And it's especially important that we provide mental health services for students starting in the elementary school level, so that they don't, you know, grow up and become teenagers and commit violent acts.
LISA DESJARDINS: This is something on so many parents' minds, including my mind, as well.
Thank you both so much, Lori Alhadeff and Amy Klinger.
Its popularity has skyrocket.
It sets an early outsider origins.
But for a lot of its history, there's been a barrier around skateboarding itself.
Learn the vernacular, the aesthetic, and of course, how to skate and you can gain admission, but that entrance has seemed largely reserved for white heterosexual men.
Special Correspondent Christopher Booker reports on how the closed off culture of skateboarding is becoming a lot more open.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: In 1997, when Alexis Sablone was 11 years old, she convinced her parents to send her to Woodward, Pennsylvania, to attend what was at the time, one of the few skateboard camps in the world.
ALEXIS SABLONE, Skateboarder: I was the only girl in the entire camp, it was like 600 guys and me.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Did that discourage you at all to be like one of 600?
ALEXIS SABLONE: No, I didn't care at all.
I was like, so I was just excited to be there.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Having fallen in love with skateboarding the year before, Sablone was a minority and what was still a subculture.
The X Games was only in its third year and Tony Hawk had not yet landed his famed 900 Aerial spin move.
ALEXIS SABLONE: And it was just me and like guys would, like oh my god.
Yeah, that's the girl.
I hadn't skated with other girls, but they'd never skated with a girl either.
So to them it was surprising and then I was just one of the crew.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Well, not exactly, Sablone was exceptionally talented and driven.
By 12, she become a sponsored skateboarder.
And her 2002 appearance in the skateboard video PJ lads wonderful, horrible life, established Sablone as one of the best female street skaters in the country.
This was all happening as skateboarding visibility was creeping into mainstream culture.
From video games to McDonald's advertisements, skateboarding was everywhere.
And there were growing opportunities to do it professionally at least for men.
ALEXIS SABLONE: You know, no one was knocking down my door saying like, we want to pay you, come out to the West Coast and be a pro skater.
Like, it doesn't matter how good I get, I'm never going to be able to like make a living off this or succeed here.
Like it was just something you accepted.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: But Sablone didn't stop, her path forge, not with corporate deals but contests.
Since she first entered the X Games in 2009, she has won seven medals.
This kick flip part of her first place win in 2012.
Her contest skating helped pay for her undergraduate degree at Columbia, and graduate degree at MIT.
But it was not enough for a full time career.
ALEXIS SABLONE: For so long, you hear guys skaters talk about how everyone can learn from skateboarding, like skateboarding is for everyone.
And for so long, just like wasn't true.
It left out girls and gay people and trans people and like just go down the list.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: But Sablone says, for women, the skateboarding world looks very different than when she started.
In recent years, large corporations have been putting more and more money behind female skaters.
She now partners with converse and has their own signature shoe.
The interest starting a few years before Sablone became the oldest member of the first U.S. Women's Olympic skateboard team.
ALEXIS SABLONE: Now, it's really starting to change.
And I think social media is a huge reason that we've seen that the growth we've seen because I think that it used to be like there were these pockets of girls skating here and there and there was no way for them to find each other really now you're -- you have access to this, like global networks.
And so that gives you some form of community and then has also really helped build actual like physical communities because it's a lot easier to find people.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: It was through social media that skater Shauny Stamm along with partners Kori (ph) and Ann (ph) was able to start PANSY, a Brooklyn based group they described as a skateboarding based mutual aid organization for trans and queer people.
SHAUNY STAMM, PANSY: So we basically just wanted to help create a safe space where like we could meet people where we can say like, hey, there's other people that want to skate that are maybe like, not your traditional skateboarder.
It's super inclusive.
Like it's -- it's like the most at home I felt ever like in my experience of doing anything.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: PANSY holds monthly meet-ups and skate parks across the city that invites people to come skate, swap gear and talk about issues within their community.
Have you run across resentment?
Are there anyone that's basically saying, we should just skate like, we don't need to bring an identity and identity discussions into this space?
SHAUNY STAMM: Here and there, we'll have like negative responses, their skateboards put out a video called ruining skateboarding.
And it's all about like these amazing like Trans and Queer skaters, like doing their own thing.
And there was like a really crazy response to it, a lot of transphobic comments, homophobic comments, but it's just a perfect example that they knew what they were doing.
They knew they were going to put this video out and that people were going to get mad about it.
But then that's kind of the whole point is like skateboarding is a toy.
We're supposed to have fun and be together and be a community.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Why do you think skateboarding lends itself to this conversation and this type of effort?
SHAUNY STAMM: Skateboarders, like, seek out skateboarding because it's different.
And so because of that, I think that queer people and like marginalized people seek out skateboarding because it's different, and then we find each other within that.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: But the expanding umbrella of skateboarding isn't exclusive to gender identity, or New York City.
JUSTIN BISHOP, Skateboarder: I've been skating for 21 years, 16 years with sight and five without.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: At 25 a degenerative eye disease took the last of Justin Bishop's eyesight.
And for four years, he didn't touch his skateboard.
But then a friend suggested he try again.
JUSTIN BISHOP: Those five, four years that I wasn't skating, I was lost.
I didn't really know who I was.
And the mayor had skateboarding back.
I was knee again.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Recently Grind for Life, an organization that raises money to help cancer patients with travel expenses, hosted an event for adaptive skaters.
It was part of a broader effort by USA skateboarding to get adaptive events into the 2028 Paralympic Games.
JUSTIN BISHOP: Yeah, the adaptive skateboarding world is been growing a lot.
We have a limb difference, amputee skaters, wheelchair skaters, deaf, blind, visually impaired.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Where do you think you are five years from now?
JUSTIN BISHOP: Five years from now, hopefully getting beat by new kids, you know, because like, if new kids don't come up then this was a gimmick.
But if new kids come up and start beating us and start like, you know, putting their foot in the skate park and start like taking us out of the rankings, they then it's an adaptive sport, it's always been like if you're a skater you're a part of us but now it's like if you like -- if you're a skater, we don't care about anything as long as you're on a skateboard, you're part of our club.
CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: For "PBS News Weekend," I'm Christopher Booker.
LISA DESJARDINS: Online right now, we look at the top reasons why housing costs are so high in America.
All that and more is on our website, pbs.org/news hour.
And an update, the U.S. Senate has begun its first vote on Democrats health care and climate bill, which is expected to get the 50 votes needed to start debate.
A final vote in the Senate could come relatively quickly, overnight or in the daytime tomorrow.
And that's our program for tonight.
I'm Lisa Desjardins.
For all of us at "PBS News Weekend," thank you for spending part of your Saturday with us, and we'll see you soon.