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Three People Stabbed to Death in France; President Macron Calls Killings in Notre-Dame Basilica an Islamic Terrorist Attack; Nathalie Loiseau, European Parliament Member, France, Former French Minister for European Affairs, is Interviewed About Terror Attacks in France; Beth Macy On Drugs And Opioid Related Deaths. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired October 29, 2020 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
France deploys thousands of soldiers to protect itself after the second terror attack in two weeks. I ask French politician, Nathalie Loiseau,
what's fanning the flames of this extremism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome home, Mr. President.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. What'd I miss?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: A blast from the past. The beloved political drama "West Wing" is back. Actors, Richard Schiff and Dule Hill, join me about reuniting the
cast for a special election message.
And, a historic Israeli prime minister with a mandate for peace. That was Yitzhak Rabin before his assassination 25 years ago. Journalist, Yonit
Levi, tells me how his death all but killed off the Middle East peace process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BETH MACY, AUTHOR, "DOPESICK": One recovery worker said, you know, I feel like we're just drowning here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Author, Beth Macy, tells our Michel Martin how the pandemic is exacerbating America's opioid crisis as drug-related deaths soar as well.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
France is in mourning as the second terrorist attack in two weeks rocks the nation. Three people were stabbed to death today in the Notre-Dame Basilica
in Nice, in the south of France. President Emmanuel Macron visited the scene and called it an Islamism terrorist attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT: If we've been attacked again, it's because of our values, our taste for freedom, the possibility there is here
to believe freely and not to give in to any terror. Let me say this very clearly again, we will never give in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: This morning's attack came 13 days after the beheading of French school teacher, Samuel Paty, near Paris, and it's further inflamed tensions
across the country. Authorities have increased the terrorism threat level, and they've deployed about 7,000 soldiers to protect schools and religious
Paty was targeted for showing controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a lesson on freedom of speech, an act which President
Macron strongly defended last week. Cartoons of the prophet are considered blasphemous in Islam and a diplomatic row with Muslim majority countries
like Turkey and Pakistan has now ensued. The French council of the Muslim faith denounced today's attack, and this all comes as France goes into a
second COVID lockdown.
Nathalie Loiseau was a minister in Macron's cabinet and she's now a member of the European Parliament, joining me from Paris.
Welcome to the program.
It's a terrible, heart-wrenching day, and I'm sure you are all in shock. You know, people are going to keep asking why, Madam Loiseau, why is it
that the values President Macron talks about defending and never surrendering are causing this kind of attack rather too often? It's not
just a one off.
NATHALIE LOISEAU, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MEMBER, FRANCE, FORMER FRENCH MINISTER FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS: Well, good evening, Christiane. And yes,
indeed, it's an evening of mourning, and I can say that I'm upset. You may hear it in my voice or see it on my face.
Let us be clear, there cannot be any sort of justification for the barbaric slaughters that took place today and a few days ago. Nothing on earth can
justify what took place. But it takes place against a background, a background of Islamists radical movements supporting terrorism, raising the
level of hatred, of insult, of verbal violence, which turns into violence as a whole. And this is what is taking place.
And especially in my country, where we defend these values of freedom, of democracy. And at a moment, where we have the trial of terrorist attack of
2015. So, this is not a surprise. I should say that some tried to take advantage of this very special moment to perpetrate their barbaric acts.
AMANPOUR: So, it is, indeed, barbaric, what happened to Samuel Paty, what happened to a, you know, priest a couple of years ago, other stabbings that
have taken place. My question to you, though, is, you know, the killer of Samuel Paty was a Chechen refugee who had grown up in France for most of
his life, anyway, an 18-year-old who spent a lot of time in France.
This one, according to reports right now, is somebody who arrived in Italy, on the Island of Lampedusa, fleeing I guess the Arab world, a Tunisian, in
September, and allegedly entered France illegally. I don't know that part of it, but do you know any more details about who he is?
LOISEAU: No, I don't, and the Paris prosecutor will be speaking in an hour and give details about him. Well, let's face it, this is a global cancer
that we are facing. Islamic radicals fueling terrorism are worldwide. This knows no borders, and it spreads online as well.
I don't know if you saw today a tweet from the former Malaysian prime minister with 1 million and more followers on Twitter who was justifying
murdering millions of French people, and it took several hours before Twitter withdrew this horrifying content. This knows no border. Today, it's
Nice. Tomorrow it could be elsewhere in the world, in Muslim countries as well. Nobody can be safe from this cancer, if we don't fight it together.
AMANPOUR: You know, that is alarming, what you say about the Malaysian prime minister. And we saw it, and we know that it did take a long time for
Twitter to take it down.
Also, the president of Turkey, a very powerful man in the Islamic world, a member of NATO, also denounced President Macron when he defended Samuel
Paty and refused to accept any justification for these kinds of barbaric murders, and the Turkish president said that your president needs some sort
of mental treatment. You could see in Pakistan the kind of rhetoric that's coming out of there.
How much does that not just complicate your lives but add to the physical danger and add to the incitement, potential incitement?
LOISEAU: Well, we come to a moment of truth. Insults fuel hatred, and hatred fuels violence. I hope that President Erdogan has second thoughts
about what he said, and actually, today, he expressed sorrow for today's terrorist attack. It's the first positive step. It's little and it's late.
And it's this moment of truth when we are fighting against clandestine, under-the-radar Islamic radical associations in France where we are getting
more control about what's taking place in our country.
And all of a sudden, you see a number of authoritarian Muslim leaders pretending to be Muslim, but most of them are radical Islamists, which is
completely different. This is hijacking Islam more than representing Islam. This is a caricature of Islam, and they are uncomfortable at the moment
where we are cracking on radical Islamist cells in our country. It tells a lot.
AMANPOUR: And indeed, all those leaders who we mentioned have got serious domestic problems in their own home countries. That may play in a little
bit to why they lash out like that, to distract and deflect.
But can I also ask you, because obviously, the leader of the French Muslim council has twitted and has completely denounced what happened. They have
said that they denounce what happened, there's nothing to justify it. The prophet was a man who said it was a violation of betrayal of the message of
the highest authorities in Islam.
And also, we've seen the leader of the oldest American Muslim organization, Ahmadiyya organization, denounce specifically these attacks in France. Will
-- how do you think France will heal out of this?
LOISEAU: Well, there are millions of Muslims living in peace in France who don't think that they are represented by this radical Islamists. They think
that these radical Islamists are a caricature of Islam. If we don't like caricature, we don't like this sort of caricatures, which are dangerous.
And many French Muslim clerics expressed very clear views that they had enough of this confusion between the Muslim faith and a violent sort of
radical Islamism, which is hijacking the Muslim faith and has been doing so for too long in an under covered way, and now we have to fight against it.
AMANPOUR: Can I just switch gears a little bit, in terms of your experience and your position in the European Parliament? As you know, a very important
election happening in the United States in the next several days. How is it viewed by you and by Europe? Do you -- are you thinking about who might win
and what that might mean for U.S./European relations?
LOISEAU: Yes, no doubt, we do. The United States is an important partner and ally of Europe as a whole, and most of European Union member states are
members of NATO.
Still, in the last few years, we heard words that we thought would never be spoken by an American president. We were called an enemy of the United
States. It was a difficult, it was a complex relationship with President Trump. What we expect from the next American president, whoever he is, is
that he values the importance of alliances, of partnerships among the free world, because what we just talked about, terrorist attacks, they are
attacks against the free world and against our common values.
AMANPOUR: Nathalie Loiseau, thank you. Member of the European Parliament, joining us from Paris tonight.
And now, more on the U.S. election, which is being watched, as we just heard, across the world. This pandemic has caused record early voting with
over 80 million ballots now already cast, and that is music, and it must be, to the ears of my next guest, Richard Schiff and Dule Hill, are stars
of the "West Wing," one of the most popular political dramas of all time, which took home 29 Emmys in its heyday between 1999 and 2006.
Now, its cast has reunited after 17 years for a theatrical staging of the Hartsfield's Landing episode. It's about election day in the small,
fictional New Hampshire town. But this reunion is designed to encourage voter turnout. It's part of a bipartisan project called "When We All Vote."
Richard Schiff and Dule Hill join me live now from Montreal and California respectively.
Welcome to the program.
You just heard our conversation about how Europe is looking and how the rest of the world is looking at the upcoming election, and I just said that
80 million-plus early votes have been cast. Let me ask you both to just weigh in on that, given that this reunion is about getting out the vote.
Richard Schiff, what do you think?
RICHARD SCHIFF, ACTOR, "THE WEST WING": We're very excited by the nature of the turnout so far, and people are overcoming the obstacles. By the way,
I'm in Vancouver, and not in California, and I vote out of a different state because that's where I live nowadays.
And just so we know, I put in my request for an absentee ballot maybe 10 weeks ago and never received it. And that's one of the obstacles that are
in front of us with the playing with the U.S. Postal Office. I just today got my UPS. My neighbor had to go and get my mail and FedEx, you know,
UPS'd it to me, and I've got to send it back, which is legal in my state, so he can then put it in the drop box. That's what we have to go through,
just to vote.
SCHIFF: And the fact that so many people are overcoming that obstacle is something that is heartwarming for me.
AMANPOUR: Wow, that is extraordinary, because you've given an actual, you know, real-live example of what so many people are going through and the
worries about mail-in ballots and voting.
Dule Hill, what does it say to you that this early voting is happening, but also particularly in the black American communities, minority communities?
Many are very, very afraid, particularly about voter suppression and, you know, the gutting of the Civil Rights Act and all of that.
DULE HILL, ACTOR, "THE WEST WING": Well, I think, I mean, it's definitely an effort that is out there to keep us on the outside of the process, to
keep us on the outside of democracy and not let our voice be heard. But when I see the numbers and I see people coming out to exercise their right
to vote and overcoming all of the obstacles that are there to, hopefully, overwhelmingly let their voice be heard, it's inspiring to me. It gives me
some sense of faith in the process and faith in people, because as I look and see around, it doesn't seem that those in power are really trying to
engage people in democracy. It seems like they want to really keep people on the outside of it.
You know, it's not really anything new to me, though. It's not surprising to me that this is all going on. I mean, I guess it's a little surprising
to me that you would hope that we would be in a better place than we are at this particular point, but America has never really given up certain things
freely. You have to demand it through action. So, that is what I trust is happening with the numbers that are there right now.
AMANPOUR: And obviously, you both are doing that with this reunion. Let me just clarify. Richard Schiff, you are Toby Ziegler in "The West Wing," the
communications director. And you, Dule Hill, are Charlie Young, the presidential aide. And it's a throwback to a moment when there was such
optimism. I think Aaron Sorkin, the writer, director and creator of this, said to Stephen Colbert, it's nostalgia for "competence porn."
I wonder if you can talk to me both, first you, Richard, about the idea of reuniting for this. How did you feel about it? What did it take,
particularly in, you know, COVID land and COVID world?
SCHIFF: Yes, that is a big deal, was trying to come up with the protocols necessary to protect us elderly actors and everybody else. But we -- "The
West Wing" cast, Dule and Brad and Allison and Mary and Josh and I and a few others, seem to get together quite often to do kind of make the good
trouble that John Lewis talked about and to get together, do PSAs. We've campaigned in the past. We've gotten together and traveled in the past. We
came together to talk about what we can do for this election.
And concurrently, Aaron had an idea of his own, and we kind of messed it too, and we thought we would be doing like a Zoom reading. Then Aaron and
Tommy Schlamme, who was our regional and great director, had this master plan to do a stage greeting and bring music to it. And we just thought,
that's fantastic. So, we overcame the COVID obstacles.
And when we got together, honestly, it was like going back to work. It was as normal as it could be. It was so glorious to see everybody, to work with
Martin again, those three scenes I had with Martin, who is my favorite human being on the planet. And it was just joyful to be back together to do
something meaningful again.
AMANPOUR: All right. Well, since you bring up the scenes, I am going to play the one that we've been able to clip, and it's you and Martin Sheen,
you playing your character, he the president, over a chess game. And you're talking about, you know, the competence issue, the special nature of this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHIFF: You're not a regular guy. You're not just folks. You're not plain- spoken. Do not, do not, do not act like it.
MARTIN SHEEN, ACTOR, "THE WEST WING": I don't want to be killed.
SCHIFF: Then make this election about smart and not. Make it about engaged and not. Qualified and not. Make it about a heavyweight. You're a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Gosh, I'm sure it's not an accident that you all picked that episode, because, clearly, this is the age of the, you know, need for
competence, heavyweight, smarts, facts, science and good governance. How do you think --
HILL: It's funny --
HILL: I was going to say, after Martin and Richard shot that scene, I was outside, and Martin came out and said, that's why we did this. That piece
that Richard just did inside there, that's why we all got together and shot this episode.
SCHIFF: Yes. What (INAUDIBLE) was when we originally did that episode, I just thought it was a beautiful little ode to democracy, an ode to voting.
You know, it was a lovely episode, and it was fine. And then when Aaron said we were doing that episode, and I didn't remember, and he said -- told
me what it was, and then I read it again, this time around, it had such a different impact on me, such a powerful and poignant and emotional impact
because of the very nature of the existential threat to our democracy and the fact that we really need to step into our brilliance, step into our
potential and be the best that we can be. And that's what this episode talks about.
AMANPOUR: And Dule, I'm going to play a little clip of one that we have, a scene with you and press spokeswoman, C.J. Allison Janney, and you are kind
of pranking her. That's what this scene is all about.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALLISON JANNEY, ACTOR, "THE WEST WING: Chaz.
HILL: You wouldn't happen to know where my copy of the private schedule is, would you?
JANNEY: Did you lose it?
HILL: I don't believe I did, no.
JANNEY: Yet, you don't have it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He'd like you for a moment.
JANNEY: Thank you.
HILL: Where is it?
JANNEY: How do I know?
HILL: Where is it?
JANNEY: I just hope you didn't leave the building with it.
HILL: Give it up, tiny.
JANNEY: No. I think you're going to want to talk nicer to me than that, because when a reporter finds it, they're going to come to me and that
thing is stamped D-12 because you signed it out D-12 and rules are rules.
HILL: I never told you it was D-12.
JANNEY: How about that?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: I mean, it really is a throwback to an earlier era, where you all get on, where you all love each other, where you all work together. We've
heard about the poison inside the current White House. So, it does make a dramatic contrast to that. It's also the walk-and-talk, the famous walk-
and-talk that we hear about. Just tell me about that scene and your memories.
HILL: Well, one, I think it's the -- this whole episode shows the brilliance of Aaron Sorkin, to be able to write material 20 years ago, 15
years ago, however long this episode was shot, and have it still be so relevant today is a very powerful and phenomenal thing. On top of that, he
does a great job of grounding the episode in some really poignant truths that need to be stated, but also, he's able to have moments where we can
lighten our load and enjoy ourselves.
I feel like that scene with Allison and I was really about lightening the load. And I think as you apply it to life and as you apply it to where we
are, you know, in trying to press through this craziness that we are in, you need to be able to find moments where you can breathe, you can catch
your breath, take a little laugh, take a little breather, and then press forward into the fight, because it is a crazy time, it is -- you know, when
you watch the episode, it really makes you -- at least for me, myself, it makes me dream about a time or yearn, look back on a time where you had a
better hope in democracy, had a better hope in the process and a better hope of where we could be, who we could be as a people.
Right now, really, I feel like it's a dark cloud that is hanging over our political journey.
AMANPOUR: And yet, it's a record turnout already in early voting. I know all the issues that we've been talking about. Let's just get back to what
this is about. It's about when we all vote, this non-partisan attempt to get people out and engaged and voting. So, they're interstitials in which
you have Michelle Obama, President Clinton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Samuel L. Jackson, and also, you, too, Dule, and Sterling K. Brown.
Describe to me, Richard, the actual overarching message, and what has this organization done to get out the vote in the past?
SCHIFF: The point today, and it should have been the point over the last many decades, and in some cases, it has been, but not enough, is to remove
all the obstacles in place for people to get out and vote. And we were in North Carolina in 2016 and personally witnessed 300 to 400 people being
turned away from early voting because they shut down the place at noon, and the line was too long, and it was in an African-American/black community.
And to personally see it happen is even more disturbing than reading about it, you know.
And Ohio passed an obstruction legislation a couple of years ago in advance of this election. And you have a person in power right now who has stated
out loud, and he did in 2016, that I will not accept an election in which I lose. And he said it again in this cycle, and he's doing everything in his
power, including stacking the courts and so on, to make sure that he can steal this election, if, in fact, the votes aren't overwhelming.
So, this organization is helping to get people -- let the people decide, get us a chance to get to the polls, remove all the obstacles in place,
teach us how to get around those obstacles, and let us decide the future of our country and not a few very powerful and very rich people.
HILL: You know, I've got to say, like, you know, talking about all the suppression that has been going on, it really has challenged my mind, that
people spent the time to go to court, to take up the court's resources, to try -- because they wanted to be able to open -- have an open carry policy
near the polls in Michigan. How absurd is that? We're talking about democracy. We talk about America being the land of the free and wanting
people to be involved in the process and everything, but you're actually, leading up to an election, going to go and try to get a law revoked or
repealed so that you can bring guns near a polling station. I just -- I don't see how anyone can see democracy in action in that way.
AMANPOUR: Well, it's interesting, because the democracy in action of your organization, you know, according to what we read, before the 2018
elections, you engaged, you know, local voter registration events, 200 million Americans were engaged online about the significance of voting. And
you texted nearly 4 million voters about the resources and how to get out.
Now, look, it is all hands-on deck. Whoever it is out there getting everybody to try to wake up and go and vote, because America has one of
the, you know, really low voter turnout in the democratic world. But I want to ask you about what Bradley Whitford said, the other actor, of course,
opening this episode. He said, we understand that some people don't fully appreciate the benefit of unsolicited advice from actors. It was a cute
moment, but were you afraid, either of you, that, I don't know how this might come across, whether there might be a backlash?
HILL: I mean, for myself, I said, no, I was not, because I think we all have to use the circle of influence that we have. I was approached election
cycles as a citizen. And as a citizen, the sphere of influence that I have, I try to use it to inspire people to vote, to talk about the issues that
are important to me, and I think every individual in this country should do that.
I feel like if someone does not want to hear what I have to say, they can either turn the channel or go to another page or do something different.
But we should be speaking -- that's what it's about. It is about public discourse. It is about, you know, sharing our thoughts and talking about
the issues, and hopefully, being able to figure out how to navigate a time that we're in.
AMANPOUR: Well, thank you both so much. Dule Hill and Richard Schiff, thank you so much for joining us. And the program, "The West Wing Reunion," is
now streaming for free on HBO Max.
Now, the day after election day, the world will be tuned in to what's happening in America, of course, but the day after that marks an important
anniversary. It is 25 years since the assassination of Israel's then prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin, who was gunned down by an Israeli terrorist for
signing a peace deal with the Palestinians.
Two years earlier, Rabin signed the Oslo Accords with Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn and delivered these powerful words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YITZHAK RABIN, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: We who have fought against you, the Palestinians, we say to you today, in a loud and a clear voice,
enough of blood and tears. Enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That was a clarion call. And months after Rabin was killed 25 years ago, Benjamin Netanyahu won his first election as prime minister, and
he's still in office, with a few breaks. He's the longest serving prime minister ever, but at what cost?
Rabin's dream of a peaceful, secure Israel, living side by side with a peaceful Palestinian state all but dead with Rabin himself. Joining me now
to discuss this is Yonit Levi, veteran political observer and news anchor for Channel 12 in Israel.
Yonit, welcome back to the program.
I want to ask your reflections.
YONIT LEVI, ANCHOR, CHANNEL 12 NEWS ISRAEL: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: You're there, you've lived this, you've reported it. Your reflections on this 25-year anniversary?
LEVI: Well, you know, Christiane, it was the singular defining event of my generation, our generation. Listening to the president of Israel, reasoning
today, talking about the fact that the divisions that led to that assassination are very much still with us.
And to think of that day -- you know, Christiane, we all knew at the time, the months leading up to the assassinations, that the tensions were rising,
the atmosphere was charged, the rhetoric used was extreme. But when we thought of an option of a political assassination, to us, it seemed
foreign. And I think that's why the event was so shocking and so profound, and it shook the Israeli psyche to the core. And I think that many Israelis
would agree that those divisions that the assassination stemmed from, those divisions are still with us. The wound is very much open, that laceration
of the Israeli society hasn't healed.
AMANPOUR: And you know, we said, obviously, the anniversary is November 4th, but on the Jewish calendar, it is today, and we've seen Vice President
Biden stand with Israel and mourn the loss of Yitzhak Rabin, and we've seen those messages from around the world.
Just in terms of -- just the basic thing that he gave his life for, which is peace with the policy of the two state solution. It's like nowhere to be
found right now. And there's no great effort to even pretend to try to get it together.
LEVI: That is true. You know, the assassin, Yigal Amir, who shot Yitzhak Rabin in the back, shot the heart of democracy. And his aim was, as we all
know, his aim was to stop the peace process on its tracks. And we're sitting here a quarter of a century after, Christiane, and that -- and we
know that there is no peace and there is no process with the Palestinians and that I think the question that resonates over this day that that
question of virtual history would we have peace had been lived?
Obviously, the obstacles and the challenges were huge. Obviously Israelis experienced for many years after the Oslo Accords were signed from their
perspective, a very dark period of terror attacks. And the more the attacks went on the -- more the dwindling of the -- of their support for the peace.
But I think it's so important to think of Yitzhak Rabin's character today. He had that rare combination of being the Israeli found -- one of the
founding fathers of Israel, the hero of the 1967 war He didn't come to peace from that perspective, from the liberal perspective, he was a
And because of his sort of rough and gruff character, because Israel is trusted, and he was the one who could take them over that threshold and
maybe convince them to make take the risks for peace. The left was never -- the Israeli left never managed to replace him. I don't know the answer. I
don't know if Rabin himself could have implemented the Oslo agreements. All of these challenges notwithstanding, what I do know is that with him gone,
this became impossible.
AMANPOUR: And you know, a few months after the prime minister was assassinated, I was covering the Israeli elections, and I spoke to Leah
Rabin, Yitzhak Rabin's widow. And this is what she said about who might, you know, who might win.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEAH RABIN, YITZHAK RABIN'S WIDOW: If labor doesn't win today, then his loss was insane. And then his loss was the thrive to the murderer, and to
those who sent him because he wasn't there a free agent on his own. He was sent by someone. He was incited by many people in this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And of course, the head of the Likud, Benjamin Netanyahu won that election. But I guess the question 25 years later, is, what is it meant for
Israel itself, the Israeli society, the fact that there isn't a two state solution. And, you know, many, potentially say, maybe there'll be a one
stage solution. You've heard all the arguments about what might happen if there is no real peace with the Palestinians? Where -- what do you think
LEVI: You know, the interesting thing about it Christiane is that this debate is not really -- it does not really exist in the Israeli public
sphere. What has happened to our discussions here, and what is, I think might sound very familiar to an American audience, is that our whole debate
has become focused on the issue of the current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, you either are in the BB camp or the anti-BB camp, there's
almost no discussion about Palestinians, about the prospect of peace, about settlements, that is all either you are with him, or you are against him.
That, of course, makes the whole discussion quite heated, as well.
And I think that we are not at all in a position 25 years after to even discuss the prospects of peace. Obviously, what we do have right now is an
agreement, an important agreement for the region with the UAE and Bahrain this is good news. But it's very different from a conflict ending
resolution trying to find peace with the Palestinians.
AMANPOUR: Indeed, and of course, you've got the normalization with Sudan as well. But this is really interesting what you bring up because the Prime
Minister, the way he's internalizing it, or externalizing it, he's basically saying this concept of peace, through withdrawal and weakness has
passed from the world. In other words, he's telling Israelis, I don't have to give up any land for Bahrain, for UAE or for Sudan. And why should we
for the Palestinians, is that a tenable option for the future? Land for peace is the basis of a deal with the Palestinians.
LEVI: Yes, I mean, it's very interesting. You know, Netanyahu specifically, as you mentioned, sold the Israeli people. I am not contrary to the left. I
am not trying to bring you land for peace, but rather peace for peace. We don't have to give up anything.
Now what is interesting, that is a bit of an obfuscation of reality, right, because the first Israeli who gave land for peace was Menachem Begin, who
is of course, Netanyahu's predecessor on the right and not a paragon of the left, more interestingly, is that Israel did give something for this deal.
It gave the -- Netanyahu gave up or put in deep freeze that the issue of annexation. And he also agreed or acquiesced to the selling of the F-35
planes to the UAE.
So it is important to note that Israel does have to give something and again, anyone who understands this, and it looks at this in a sober way
knows that eventually there will be some sort of partition of the land. Everyone agrees to this, Netanyahu agreed to it. Obama agreed to it. Trump
agreed to it, and Kushner agreed to it. We are all on. Everyone knows that this is what happened -- will happen at the final stages of the peace with
the Palestinians if that ever does happen.
AMANPOUR: And Yonit, very, very quickly. Obviously, this is also about confronting Iran. But so who do you think Israel wants to see when the next
presidential election in a few days here in the United States?
LEVI: I could definitely say that even though he's being very careful. I would think that Benjamin Netanyahu would want Donald Trump to win the
election. This has been the heyday of his of his time as a prime minister, of course, his relationship with Trump, but I think it's important to note
a Christiane that he has a very good relationship with Vice President Biden, if the Biden does win, and Israelis are all watching this very
closely, I will anchor a 14-hour election night of broadcast here.
If Biden does well, I think again, there will be two points to watch. One will be the reengagement what -- I believe will be the reengagement with
the Palestinians and of course, unexpected clash on the issue of the JCPOA the deal with Iran, but of course for Netanyahu --
LEVI: -- his relationship with Trump was such an important asset for him since he is in a bit of a predicament here in Israel. That would be bad
news for him and Trump losses.
AMANPOUR: A bit of a predicament is an understatement. Yonit Levi, more on that later. Thank you so much indeed for joining us.
Now, another consequence of the COVID pandemic has been an epidemic of drugs and opioid related deaths, which are up in more than 40 states, while
many addiction treatment centers have been forced to shut their doors.
Beth Macy is a veteran reporter on this beat in the United States. And she has written a book about it and it's called Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and
the Drug Company That Addicted America, tackling this was an early Trump pledge. But Macy tells our Michel Martin, why she thinks Biden has a more
coherent plan to end this suffering.
MICHEL MARTIN, NPR HOST: Hey, Christiane, Beth Macy, thank you so much for joining us once again.
BETH MACY, AUTHOR: It's great to be here, Michel.
MARTIN: I think people who are familiar with your powerful work in your book Dopesick, will remember that you've spent many, many years in fact
decades reporting on the development of the opioid crisis in this country.
And last week, there was news, the Department of Justice announced an $8 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin for its role
in fueling the nation's opioid crisis. So would you just briefly tell us like what is the allegation against? What is the argument that the
Department of Justice made and what was Purdue Pharma's role in fueling this crisis as briefly as you can?
MACY: So you might recall, and my book goes into great detail that the government proved that Purdue had criminally misbranded the drug in its
early years. So there was a settlement in 2007 for criminally misbranding, basically exaggerating the advocacy of the drug and downplaying the risks.
And part of that settlement, they signed a corporate integrity agreement saying, you know, they weren't going to do that anymore, and they were
going to bide by the rules. But what the Justice Department found out in their years long investigation was that they were providing kickbacks to
health care companies.
A few doctors were paid bribes. And it was business as usual. They lied to the DEA, it seemed to be business as usual. And I think that, Michel, if
you're and I had committed such a heinous crime and pled guilty to it in '07, and then got caught doing that and worse, two weeks before an
election, which is worth pointing out. A lot of people think that this announcement was time to make President Trump look like you had a really
good win against the opioid crisis. But I think if you and I had we'd be in jail.
And so when I interview the families that I've spent time with, when I talk to the mothers and the dads who've lost their families, the activists on
the ground, the harm reduction workers in these rural, distressed communities.
This doesn't look like justice to them. This looks like billionaires get to get away.
MARTIN: Does anybody go to jail under the settlement?
MACY: Nobody goes to jail under the settlement. The one silver lining is that it doesn't preclude further charges. The other big complicating factor
so you have these big headlines last week saying when against Purdue $8 billion, but really, right now they're in bankruptcy court in White Plains,
like there was a hearing yesterday with Judge Drain, the bankruptcy judge, about whether or not the Sackler family could take their 225 million fine
from a company or whether it had to come from them. And this kind of stuff. And it was real clear that the judge is going to be the ultimate decider on
all of this.
So it's not going to be anywhere near 8 billion. And it's very clear that no one still is going to jail. The parents are still holding out hope.
There's a couple pretty aggressive Attorney General's leading the way they're called non-consenting states, Maura Healey in Massachusetts,
Leticia James in New York, and they say they are not giving up in this and the parents are holding a lot of hope out for that.
But a lot of people who follow this story, think it's a foregone conclusion that the Sacklers ultimately will get immunity from all of this.
MARTIN: The Sackler being the family that owns Purdue Pharma, the dominant shareholders in Purdue Pharma. Exactly?
MACY: Exactly, yes, it was a privately held company. They were clearly holding the reins of the company. Even in recent years and, you know, they
profited to the tune of 13 plus billion dollars.
MARTIN: Obviously, if this is your life, if this is something you've been living with, for all these years, that you know these facts very well, but
for people who don't just tell us the scope of the damage that's been done, because of the opioid crisis in this country.
MACY: So we've lost about 450,000 people to opioid overdose deaths.
MARTIN: In what timeframe is that?
MACY: In that sense, Oxycontin was first released in 1996. And, of course - -
MARTIN: So just in 1996, we've lost 450,000 overdoses and that we're not even talking about people who are living with ongoing addictions?
MACY: Absolutely. We have about 2.6 million Americans addicted to opioids. But counting heroin and fentanyl deaths and prescription opioid deaths, not
just Oxycontin, but others as well, we've lost 450,000 Americans.
What that looks like on the ground is what the company did early on was they targeted doctors who were already prescribing competing opioids with
the news that the FDA allows us to say we have this really, really strong opioid. And because it has this time release mechanism, it's safe to use.
Well, we know -- they knew right away, it wasn't safe to use.
But they also put the narrative that opioids in general were safe for everything. So suddenly you had doctors prescribing kids getting wisdom to
surgery, Oxycontin, TMJ, osteoporosis, a lot of older folks with chronic pain issues. And so they flip the narrative with the help of pain societies
that they also funded, and doctors that they also fund it to say, to reverse the narrative that for 100 years, we knew that opioids were
addictive and should only be used in severe pain, cancer and of life.
MARTIN: Now, first of all, I have to ask you about the other crisis this country is dealing with the one that is in the headlines every day, which
is a coronavirus epidemic, which is a global sort of crisis. How has this - how have these two crises kind of affecting each other? Has there been an
effect of this all the COVID-19 shutdowns and all the measures taken to address it? Have they had an impact on people who are already experiencing
the opioid crisis?
MACY: Absolutely. It's just been devastating for people with opioid use disorder. According to all of my sources, and I've got sources all over the
nation. The national figure that came out this summer was that over substance use overall is up 13 percent among everyone, that's all of us.
But opioid overdoses also have gone up 13 percent.
Now in the communities that I report from which are largely distressed communities, my sources are telling me that overdoses are up 25 to 40
percent in some of these areas. And as the unemployment rate goes up higher, a lot of these folks are service workers, a lot of their folks have
lost their jobs. Their unemployment has run out. The drug supply has been changed because of issues at the border. And a lot of people have switched
to methadone, or I'm sorry, to methamphetamine from opioids, but now it has fentanyl in it. So they're not carrying Narcan because they're not opioid
users might don't know it has fentanyl in it. And then they're dying from that the fentanyl is very, very potent. And it's literally cheaper than
bottled water right now.
So that's what we're seeing. One doctor who has a four or five MAT clinics, and he -- he's really excited, especially at the beginning is like that
this is the best thing. We should have been doing this for years. SAMHSA and the DEA relaxed the guidelines for initiating people on buprenorphine,
which is the medication assisted treatment that helps people and methadone.
And so all of a sudden, they could do telehealth, even the initial call. And it was really good for people in rural areas that had a hard time
affording gas money to get to the clinic where they had to do their drug screen once a week and check in with the doctor. So he was now doing check-
ins and he was so excited about, he's like, Oh, we should have been doing this for years.
But now he started to see the impact of the economy and COVID on his patients. So where they were once in their homes or in their apartments,
now they're in their cars, or they're in homeless encampments. And, you know, he said, he'll see a little kid in the backseat doing her school on
Zoom. And a lot of these families will check in to a motel on the weekend to take a shower. And then they have to go back to their cars.
And it's really, really stressful on people right now. I mean, it's stressful on all of us, right? This is just a crazy time.
MARTIN: So, Beth, can you tell us a bit more about who is most vulnerable during this pandemic. The people who are most vulnerable are those who are
in active addiction because they have to have that opioid in order not to be dopesick. And that's what they're chasing at this point. They're not
chasing the high, they're chasing not being in excruciating withdrawal.
So they're the most vulnerable to getting pills that have been pressed with fentanyl or methamphetamine that's been spiked with fentanyl. And that's
why it's so important that they get access low barrier access to methadone or buprenorphine.
MARTIN: Because I understand that the Centers for Disease Control estimates that there have been something like 75,000, more than 75,000 overdose
deaths in the 12-month period between March of 2019 and March of 2020, which is just an increase of 10 percent.
If these patterns hold, forgive me for asking you to speculate how bad could it get?
MACY: Yes, I mean, a lot of people think it's going to be our worst year ever. Trump touted like, you know, the 2018 data was a slight decrease in
overdoses. But '19 was up and this year is looking worse than ever. And folks are working so hard. You know, one recovery worker said, you know, I
feel like we're just drowning here.
MARTIN: Well, though, this economic pressure play in this, I mean because one of the other points as you made is a lot of this crisis kind of took
hold and places that were already struggling. So what role does the economic pressure play in that?
MACY: Yes, it's a huge role. I mean, we still have only a third of the country has college degrees, right. And in these communities where the
factory work went away, very little was done to assuage the damages in those communities.
I'm reporting from a rural town in North Carolina right now that has the 10th highest rate of -- has one of the highest opioid overdose rates in the
in the state and in the nation, and as well as hepatitis C. And when you dig down on their data, what they have is a really high correlation between
opioid prescribing from the very beginning when Purdue had unleashed Oxycontin and workforce participation.
So the places that have the lowest workforce participation right now and you have some communities that have less than 50 percent especially a
middle aged man not working and pushing the opioids at the same time, it was just -- that was the special recipe for social disaster in those
So it's very much an economic story. And a case of I think we too often blame the drug users instead of placing the blame where it belongs on the
lack of regulation, government regulation that allows something like this to happen. And as well as allows CEOs to close these factories and not do
anything for the communities they've left behind, because they were chasing a cheaper wage elsewhere, and a bigger profit.
MARTIN: And what are your concerns as this crisis continues? And as we are speaking now, there still hasn't been a second relief package. I mean,
there was one earlier in the year where people got some support. They got some enhanced unemployment benefits and things of that sort, but that those
funds have lapsed, and nothing is taking place.
MARTIN: So what are your concerns as this continues?
MACY: Well, in these rural communities, where I report from, there are a lot of -- it's expensive to get on these medications for opioid use
disorder. And a lot of folks are just going without, and that's when they're most likely to relapse and die. And you're seeing homelessness, sex
were on the increase.
It's just a problem that's getting worse. And the people who are working in this population are really overwhelmed. They need help.
MARTIN: Has this crisis been a part of our national conversation over the course of this election year? I just don't recall it being a very big part
of our conversation. I mean, has it been?
MACY: No, it hasn't been and there's just so much crazy news coming out every hour, it hardly gets any attention. I think the Trump administration
has bungled their response to the crisis. They were -- we didn't even have a drugs are for many years. And the people high up or offline political
appointees. He -- There were about $6 billion came down from the federal government during his administration.
But there were there were so many other things that could have been done, including just a rallying call around this issue, one of the easy things he
could have done or, you know, at the federal level could have been changed was to X the X waiver, which is this bureaucratic requirement that makes it
so that doctors who are going to prescribe buprenorphine have to get a DEA waiver.
And it's part of the reason we only have 8 percent of doctors who are even willing to do that, which is why people love going to the black market for
MARTIN: Which is why it's part of a Medically-Assisted Treatment Program.
MACY: Yes. Yes.
MARTIN: And you're very few doctors --
MARTIN: -- can prescribe it because they have to --
MARTIN: -- go slow (ph) process to get authorization to do it.
MACY: And that would have been an easy fix. France did it 25 years ago at the height of a heroin epidemic, and they reduce their overdoses by 79
percent. So, you know, I think a lot of could have been done with regard to law enforcement, taking people having police. You know, there's -- there
were good examples, in places like Burlington, Vermont, where they realized that every single overdose they had in 2018 was somebody who had come into
contact with police.
So they start this program with the mayor and the city -- the mayor and the police chief and the head of the nonprofit hospital, and instead of
arresting people, when they find them with heroin, they literally drive them to treatment. And the police there told me like, you know, we're not
supposed to do that, we're supposed to arrest the bad guys.
And they realize as they got into this population, and started spending more time, that weren't the bad guys. They were victims of this crisis too.
MARTIN: And what about the Biden campaign? Does the Biden campaign have a coherent strategy to address this?
MACY: Yes, I really think he does. He says he put in 125 billion over 10 years, and that he would scale up drug addiction treatment, and other
prevention programs paid for with higher taxes on farmer profits, which sounds good to a lot of these families. And he would try to slow the flow
of drugs from the illicit drugs from China and Mexico.
You know, he was one of the authors have some war on drugs policies in the 80s and 90s. That really hurt communities as particular communities of
color. So I think this is his chance to give back and to undo some of the damage that we still see.
By far larger numbers of people of color being incarcerated, we know that whites are used drugs at a higher rate.
MARTIN: Beth Macy, thank you.
MACY: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: And that's it for now. Thank you for watching and goodbye from London.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Welcome to the second hour of the lead. I'm Jake Tapper. And we begin this hour with the 2020 leaders the final five days
until Election Day. And today both President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are in the critical state of Florida, a state that President
Trump won narrowly in 2016. It has a massive 29 electoral votes.
Trump and Biden today making their closing arguments to American voters during a surge across the nation. In new coronavirus cases the difference
in the candidates' events today reflecting the deep divide.