Background Briefing: June 23, 2021


Biden’s Strategy to Combat Violent Crime and Restrict Guns

We begin with President Biden’s strategy to combat violent crime and guns announced today after meeting in the White House with big city mayors alarmed at the 33% rise in homicides who are calling for community support for crime prevention. Philip Stinson, a Professor in the Criminal Justice Program at Bowling Green State University and author of Police Crime: The criminal behavior of sworn law enforcement officers, joins us to discuss how Biden is trying to get out ahead of the Republican plan to demagogue crime as an election issue and paint the Democrats as soft on crime, tying Biden to calls to defund the police. Given the early results in the New York City mayoral election in which a former NYPD officer is running ahead of a police watchdog in a very liberal city, it is clear that law and order is a potent political issue and that reform efforts after the George Floyd murder have stalled.


Peru’s Presidential Loser Follows Trump’s Playbook. Steal an Election to Stay Out of Jail

Then we look into the tense situation in Peru where the loser in the recent election is following Trump’s playbook claiming the election was stolen while searching for votes to overturn the results. Jo-Marie Burt, a senior fellow at the Washington Office for Latin America and a professor of political science and Latin America at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University and author of Silencing Civil Society: Political Violence and the Authoritarian State of Peru joins us. We discuss how the former dictator’s daughter who is facing jail for corruption, has the backing of big business and the Fox News-like media monopoly who are painting the winner as a dangerous Marxist about to turn Peru into Venezuela.


With a New COVID Variant Spreading, the Anti-Science Movement Threatens Us All

Then finally with Dr. Fauci warning that 20% of all new cases of Covid are the virulent Delta variant that will soon be dominant in a matter of weeks, the need for more vaccinations is critical but up to one fourth of the American population, according to an NPR/Marist poll, say they would decline to get vaccinated even when offered. Seth Mnookin, the Director of MIT’s Graduate Program in Science Writing and author of The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy joins us to discuss how the anti-science movement in this country threatens us all.