Dave Davies

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Past occupants of the White House have placed their business holdings into a blind trust. Not President Trump.

Forbes magazine investigative journalist Dan Alexander has pored over business records, mortgage documents and government reports — and even staked out some Trump properties — to assemble a detailed picture of the president's business interests. He says the president has broken a number of pledges he made about how he would conduct business while in office.

Decades before Google or Facebook existed, a Madison Avenue advertising man started a company called Simulmatics based on a then-revolutionary method of using computers to forecast how people would behave.

Formed in 1959, Simulmatics charged clients a hefty fee to access its "people machine" — a computer program that drew on polling information and behavioral science to predict mathematically the impact of an advertising pitch or political message.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

When the U.S military dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the American government portrayed the weapons as equivalent to large conventional bombs — and dismissed Japanese reports of radiation sickness as propaganda.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in today for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "IMMIGRATION NATION")

Veteran political consultant Stuart Stevens has spent years working as a strategist for Republican campaigns, including the presidential bids of Bob Dole, George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. But Stevens didn't support the party's candidate in the 2016 presidential election — and he wasn't alone.

"In 2016, when I went out and attacked Trump on television," he says, "I would say maybe a third of the party hierarchy would email me and thank me for doing this."

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross. Baseball is back, for now at least. And many major league teams this year are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues, which gave African Americans a place to showcase their talents before the game was integrated.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

Today, we're going into our archive to remember journalist Pete Hamill. He died yesterday at age 85 from complications following emergency surgery after falling and breaking a hip. Hamill was described in The New York Times as the quintessential New York journalist. Times columnist Dan Barry once wrote, if the pavement of New York City could talk, it would sound like Pete Hamill.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Psychiatrist Christine Montross has spent years treating people with serious mental illnesses — sometimes in hospitals, other times in jails or prisons.

"The patients that I was seeing in my hospital were indistinguishable many times from the men and women that I was evaluating in jail," Montross says. "But the environments were so markedly different. One [is] charged with ... trying to help and heal, and the other [is] really designed to control and punish."

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

For more than two decades as an internist at New York City's Bellevue Hospital, Dr. Danielle Ofri has seen her share of medical errors. She warns that they are far more common than many people realize — especially as hospitals treat a rapid influx of COVID-19 patients.

"I don't think we'll ever know what number, in terms of cause of death, is [due to] medical error — but it's not small," she says.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. The events of the past 10 days are a painful reminder that police officers we count on to serve and protect our communities can sometimes abuse their authority and commit brutal acts whose victims are disproportionately people of color. Our guest today, journalist Doug Swanson, has a new book about one of the oldest and most celebrated law enforcement agencies in America, the Texas Rangers.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Climate change has put organisms on the move. In her new book, The Next Great Migration, Science writer Sonia Shah writes about migration — and the ways in which outmoded notions of "belonging" have been used throughout history to curb what she sees as a biological imperative.

There is a tendency to view plants, animals and people who cross into a new territory as a threat to the current habitat. But Shah says there's another way to think about these "invaders."

Editor's note: This interview contains graphic details that some readers may find upsetting.

Of the roughly 100,000 Americans included in the official COVID-19 death count, 20,000 died in New York City in a period of two months. Time magazine reporter W.J. Hennigan recently spent several weeks looking into the practical challenge of how a city deals with so many bodies suffused with a deadly pathogen.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in today for Terry Gross. It's Memorial Day. And as we honor the sacrifice of those who served to defend us at times of national peril, we're facing a crisis of our own - a mortal threat from an unseen pathogen. It's a time when our leaders are tested.

In 2013, Edward Snowden, a contractor with the National Security Agency, rocked the world when he leaked thousands of classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in today for Terry Gross. Our guest David Fajgenbaum nearly died in a hospital five times. He was a medical student in his 20s when he was diagnosed with an obscure but deadly disease that was little understood, one for which his doctors had no cure and little in the way of treatment. After coming to death's door for the fifth time, he decided to search for a treatment himself.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in today for Terry Gross.

When U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was first elected to Congress, there wasn't a women's bathroom near the House floor, and it would be several years before women were allowed to wear pants in the chamber. Things have changed since then. Pelosi has now led the Democratic Party's House caucus for 18 years, and our guest at Time, national political correspondent Molly Ball, says she's used her negotiating talents to outmaneuver President Trump repeatedly in policy battles.

As millions of people remain socially isolated and anxious about COVID-19, several U.S. governors are at least making plans to relax controls in their states and revive economic activity — against the advice of many public health professionals.

Pages