Day: May 11, 2021

Background Briefing: May 11, 2021


How to Ensure Aid to Central America Will Reach the People, Not Line the Pockets of Corrupt Leaders

We begin with the efforts by the Biden Administration to deal with the flood of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala by attacking the root causes of why migrants flee their homelands which are largely due to corruption, lawlessness and violence. With Vice President Kamala Harris announcing a $310 million humanitarian aid package to Central America, we get an analysis of how much of that money will reach the people given that the leader of Guatemala was responsible for a prison massacre involving extrajudicial killings, the leader of Honduras is immersed in drug dealing with his brother in a U.S. prison for importing hundreds of tons of cocaine into the U.S. and the leader of El Salvador is an outright fascist who just removed the country’s judiciary. Joining us is cultural anthropologist Victoria Sanford who studies human rights and international humanitarian law and is the Director of the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies at Lehman College, City University of New York who has spent years uncovering evidence of genocide in Guatemala. She joins us to discuss her article at Barrio Zona “Central America Needs a Regional Commission to Prosecute Corruption, Not a War on Migration” and the need for the O.A.S. and the U.N. to get involved to help the U.S. clean up these criminal regimes so that humanitarian aid ends up helping the people not lining the pockets of corrupt leaders.


The FDA’s Authorization to Vaccinate Teenagers Faces Resistance From Parents

Then we assess the F.D.A.’s authorization of Pfizer’s Covid shot for 12- to 15-year-olds under the EUA “Emergency Use Authorization” which is getting resistance from parents who have been vaccinated but are wary of giving the same shots to their kids. Dorit Reiss, a Professor of Law and Chair in Litigation at the University of California’s Hastings College of Law whose research focuses on legal and policy issues related to vaccines, joins us. We discuss the article she co-authored at Barrons “One More Argument Against Vaccine Mandates Crumbles” and the fact that vaccines are not about you and your choices but about your choice to make others less safe.


24 State Attorneys General Oppose Bankruptcy Allowing the Sacklers to Keep Billions in Profit From the Deaths of 500,000

Then finally we speak with Patrick Radden Keefe, an award-winning author and staff writer at The New Yorker whose new book just out is, Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty. He joins us to discuss how 24 State Attorneys General are suing to oppose a plan a federal judge will rule on Wednesday that could shield the Sackler family’s $10 billion wealth from the bankruptcy of Purdue Pharma which they own that manufactured OxyContin, an opioid the Sacklers deceptively marketed which claimed more that 500,000 lives.