BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS

TRUMP'S TROOPS/Portland

July 24, 2020 Dana Lewis Season 1 Episode 19
BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS
TRUMP'S TROOPS/Portland
Chapters
00:01:30
Peter Baker, NYTimes
00:12:36
Dr. Darrin Porcher
BACK STORY with DANA LEWIS
TRUMP'S TROOPS/Portland
Jul 24, 2020 Season 1 Episode 19
Dana Lewis

The American President deploys Federal Troops to U.S. Cities against the wishes of State and local officials.

On Back Story Dana Lewis talks to The Chief Correspondent for the New York Times, Peter Baker.

And, Former NYPD Lt. Darrin Porter on policing in America and what's the truth on law and order vs. 1st Amendment rights to protest.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The American President deploys Federal Troops to U.S. Cities against the wishes of State and local officials.

On Back Story Dana Lewis talks to The Chief Correspondent for the New York Times, Peter Baker.

And, Former NYPD Lt. Darrin Porter on policing in America and what's the truth on law and order vs. 1st Amendment rights to protest.

peter baker nytimes:

America will not be safe. So he himself is making this a very political exercise, which I think is one of the reasons why , uh, you know, it's become a confrontation. Hi everyone. And welcome to backstory. I'm your host and the creator of backstory Dana Lewis, coming to you this week from the South of France, instead of my usual base in London. First, try to remember these words and I'll ask you them at the end of the broadcast person, woman, man, camera TV in this episode, Portland and Trump's law and order platform.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

peter baker nytimes:

I am mobilizing all available, federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting to end the destruction and arson for more than 50 days, demonstrators have been on Portland streets, most peaceful, some not . And Trump has called in federal forces in army fatigues, unidentified snatch squads, and he's threatened to do the same in other cities in America, he says to keep the peace governors and mayor say, he's trying to politicize policing and he's made everything worse. They say our first guest, a chief white house correspondent for the newspaper, Donald Trump hates because it does the job so well and honors the coal to truth in journalism. But Hey, nobody's perfect. Peter Baker is the chief white house correspondent of the New York times. Great newspaper. And he's a terrific correspondent and Peter, you and I have crossed paths, I think from Russia do have Guinness Stan and Iraq and in Jerusalem.

dana lewis - host:

And you really have bitten into a big news cycle now, having you in Washington. Yeah . Who would have thought Dana, that those would have been the good old days, right? But yeah, it's a, it's a pretty crazy time here in Washington. It makes a war zone makes the war zone look a bit calmer. It does oddly. There's a certain, at least a logic to some of the things we would see in various places around the world. And here, it just feels like everything's kind of out of control. Do you kind of feel like you're just reeling from one crisis to another? I mean, Trump is able to take a gust of wind and Polish it up into a hurricanes almost daily. It looks like, yeah , you can't keep track of all the big stories. And sometimes you realize that the big story that felt like months ago was just actually yesterday, we're moving on from, you know, a global pandemic that here is 140,000 people to the economic collapse. New unemployment numbers a day are terrible, but we've also got now federal police in the streets of cities that don't want them. We've got a president bragging about taking a cognitive test. It's just a, it's a nonstop news, a marathon. And it's , it's hard to keep up. You know, I did an interview with , uh , a very well known Democrat pollster, admittedly, But Stan Greenberg knows his stuff. And he was saying, he doesn't think Trump's going to get reelected. That he's been abandoned by huge swaths of , uh , working women, people of race, all kinds of Republicans. I mean, it doesn't look pretty when you take a look at his demographics right now,

peter baker nytimes:

Really doesn't you haven't, he's behind by double digits and almost all the polls. And he's an incumbent president. You know, he, you , you can't find in history , uh, going back and incumbent president who has been so far behind and come back to win since Harry Truman in 1948, very different circumstances. Of course. Uh, it doesn't mean he can't, it doesn't mean that he won't, things can change what we've seen change in the last a hundred days. The world has changed so much who knows what's gonna happen in the next a hundred days, but all the fundamentals right now are not looking good for the president.

dana lewis - host:

All right . So he's got a new issue. I mean, it looks like he's been listening to focus groups or something I'm guessing, but law and order, he's tweeting it. He's talking about it. He's sending , uh, you know, men in fatigues, federal forces , uh, into Portland to start with. And it looks like he's going to expand that. No name tags, snatch, and grab off the streets in cases. I mean, I don't think anybody has seen that , uh, in the history that I can think of in the U S when you talk about first amendment rights,

peter baker nytimes:

Well, it's hard to think of a direct parallel, but you're right. I mean, and what's interesting, of course, is the president himself is talking about it in strictly partisan political terms. When he talks about the need to recapture control of the streets, he makes a point every time of saying these are cities led by liberal Democrats. And then he makes the connection to his own race in the fall saying, if you elect Joe Biden, America will not be safe. So he himself is making this a very political exercise, which I think is one of the reasons why , uh, you know, it's become a confrontation rather than, you know, any kind of federal state cooperation to manage any issues that might be legitimate and might need to be addressed. And that's just, that's where we are right now with a hundred days toward the election, everything political, everything is partisan. It's just a very divisive moment.

dana lewis - host:

How do you see it? I mean, the one the left is saying, this is an infringement of our rights. These people are peacefully protesting and taking out their , their anger and their emotions after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on the, on the right it's lawlessness, people are riding they're burning buildings that the president has to get involved. The truth is she's definitely in the middle somewhere.

peter baker nytimes:

Most of the protests we've seen , uh , in this country over the last six weeks have been peaceful. Most of the protestors I was at at them in Washington, most of them were just trying to make a political point, but there are those who have gotten violent. And there are those who have gotten confrontational with the police, and they've gotten a , you know, damaged buildings and so forth. It's not the majority, it's not even close to majority, but it is obviously created a great deal of, of , uh, this rural images on TV. The precedent and president is focusing on that and sort of conflating it all as if they're all riders , they're all anarchistic . And that's , uh , of course, to his political , uh, advantage, he thinks because he thinks that , uh , it will turn off voters outside of those cities and say, well, we need to stick with a strong president. Who's going to protect us from a and T or other, you know, radicals,

dana lewis - host:

Right. And you have the , the local governors and the state governors. And you have the mayor saying that he's absolutely making it worth this, this isn't what they want.

peter baker nytimes:

Yeah, exactly. This is not a situation where the president is saying, Hey, do you need my help? I'm willing to send some folks who would help you out. This is a situation where he's trying to override the local elected leaders and he's trying to, you know , uh, superimpose his own judgment over them. Um, it's, it's a , it's a very, very inflammatory situation right now. This mayors and governors are saying, we don't want you. We don't want you to come in. And especially on a separate chain of command where we don't have any connection with what's going on here, we'll Sue. Some of them are saying, if you do, and it's just become a very volatile moment. What's the

dana lewis - host:

Pull down the road, how dangerous can this get as we approach November. And he starts using federal forces against not against state authorities, but intervening without being invited.

peter baker nytimes:

Yeah. There are all kinds of , uh, you know, dangerous scenarios here that could get out of hand. No question about, and we're also complaining different things we're talking about. You know, there are some , uh, in Portland, there's talking about protecting federal buildings and, and , and quelling demonstrations in Chicago. They're talking about crime, just basic crime, not, not demonstrations or, or political events. There's different kinds of scenarios, the crime issues in Chicago, right. Different than, you know, public demonstrations in Portland. But they're all being conflated together as if, as if the cities are somehow out of control back in the 1960s and seventies , uh, kind of way, and that you have a law and order president like Richard Nixon talks about being , uh, back in that period.

dana lewis - host:

And you have some of these new campaign ads that have come out with a burglar entering an old lady's home. And she's sitting there and watching , uh , you know , watching the nightly news, I guess, and she calls 911 and there is no answer because of police defunding. I mean,

peter baker nytimes:

It seems pretty torked politics. Well, I suppose politics of fear, of course, is not the first time that's happened. We've seen ads like this and many elections in which crime has been an issue. It's , it's , it's often a , a play to voters fears, but it's also, you know, a reflection of the fact that voters , um , are , are split themselves about this poll show that they're very supportive of the black lives movement, black lives matters movement as a concept, at least the idea that there is racial injustice that needs to be , uh , addressed here and that the police need to be reformed at the same time. Most of the public doesn't support , uh , ideas like defunding the police and that , that , that, that, that, that either needs to be explained better, or it needs to be , uh , you know, or it's just not going to be , uh , getting supported the majority because most don't feel that that's a good idea. And that's what the president is talking about. He's trying to say, look, what this would be the consequences. If you keep on the police. And that I think plays to the fears that a lot of Americans have about that is a minefield for

dana lewis - host:

Joe Biden, if he doesn't handle it right.

peter baker nytimes:

Well, it is, but Biden strategy so far has been basically , um, uh , you know, to stay out of sight. I mean, he's giving some speeches and he's doing some , uh, uh, some talks, but basically he's winning by not really being out there very public. And I think at first Democrats were concerned that the COVID a pandemic meant that he wasn't going to be , um, uh, seen enough. And now they realize he's winning with a double digit lead, even though he's not being seen. And so why, why mess with a strategy that seems to be working at some point this fall, he'll be more visible. It'll be, you know, the question is whether it becomes a referendum or stays a referendum on Trump or becomes a choice between Trump and bide . And that's what the president wants. He wants the latter , he wants to make it a choice, and then to try to tear down Biden and tell voters, look, the other choice is no good.

dana lewis - host:

Do you think that the problem with crime and Trump saying that he is the solution to law and order, do you think that that is going to somehow make his mishandling of COVID-19 fade? Or is that going to be the prime , uh, you know, the , the prime issue in the election in November?

peter baker nytimes:

I think he'd rather talk about, you know , violence in the streets and his , uh , his law and order view of things. Then the, COVID no question about it, Paul . So though that the coronavirus is the number one issue for Americans right now, and it's just, it's just sweeping through parts of the South and the West in terrible numbers, worse than that were achieved in terms of number of cases than they were in March and April when we thought we were at the peak. And so I think that's still the dominant issue because it's affects so much, it affects the economy, affects the ability of kids to go to school. It affects so many things and you see the president and effect acknowledging that that's the case by resuming these daily , uh , televised briefings, we'll have another one today, which is that sort of acknowledges that it's not going away the way he was trying to tell us for weeks. It was. And you have to sit through those. Yeah, absolutely. Although they're , they're tighter these times and he's trying to make not a sprawling and rambling as they were the spring. We'll see if it sticks to that. But the last two he's had, I've been relatively disciplined in the , at least for him , uh, you know, ending in about half an hour without going too far field.

dana lewis - host:

Last question. Do you think that November is going to be a violent time? Are you worried about how this election is going to play out based on how polarized the two sides are right now? And there's a lot of things going on in the street.

peter baker nytimes:

I think it's a very volatile moment and a lot and very unpredictable moment. You know, most elections , you know, have certain rhythms and structures that you can kind of, you know , recognize patterns from the past and you can make predictions or judgments if you will. This one is so it's, I guess the backdrop of so much uncertainty when people feel comfortable even going to the polls, if the virus is out there , uh, you know, ravaging the country, the way it is now, how will mail and voting work? The president is already sort of setting the stage challenge, the legitimacy of the election by making unfounded, completely false claims about fraud. Haven't hasn't happened. It isn't true. Uh, in order to basically explain a way if he

Speaker 4:

Doesn't win and that's going to cause a great deal of consternation in the country to will there will the election be viewed as legitimate will the president himself except the results, particularly if the results aren't favorable to him , uh, and what will happen with his supporters, if he doesn't, it's a very, very uncertain moment here, Peter, you're a great journalist and I really am honored with your time. I appreciate it so much. It's good to see you again and great to talk to you. Well, that's great to see you too. And I miss our days together and I wish you all the best there. I hope you stay safe and stay healthy.

Speaker 5:

You have reached the nine 11 police emergency line due to defunding of the police department. We're sorry, but no one is here to take your call. Who is Donald Trump? He mocks the disabled. He praises racism , tats the military

Speaker 4:

People that weren't captured. Okay. It's 53 year old Navy veteran hit repeatedly.

Speaker 5:

He protects the criminals. He sympathizes with child sex traffickers. This lane Maxwell is prison. I just wish her well, frankly. And now he attacks mothers who is Donald Trump, Donald Trump. He's a disaster. Might've touches responsible for the content of this .

Speaker 4:

You don't have to pick sides between law and order and supporting race issues in America. That's what Donald Trump wants you to do because he's torquing the discussion for political gain . You can support good policing. And I think reform police departments to get rid of bad officers and tactics and still stand tall on race equality, and stand strong against police brutality. In our next segment, the use of federal troops in places like Portland and Chicago is just plain wrong. Dr. Darren Porcher is an expert witness on criminal justice and he spent his career in the New York city police department. He was a Lieutenant and he also worked internal affairs. Darren, thanks so much for talking to us today, Dana, thank you so much as always, it's a pleasure to contribute to the podcast. Let's talk about Portland, first of all, because look, I'm talking to you from the South of France right now. We're not even in North America. And there's a lot of perception here that federal authorities have been brought into. Portland are being very heavy handed , uh , you know, snatch and grabs on the street. People are not wearing name tags on uniforms. They're in military fatigues. They're not even in police uniform. Well, first off I can understand it because I'm looking at that from a looking at this from a third party perspective. So I'm speaking from a position of conjecture. What I see are armed officers that are representatives of the federal government that are conducting enforcement operations. Now, as for the president, he specifically stated the deployment of federal law enforcement agencies in Portland would totally run consistent with the protection and fortification of federal properties , such as courthouses and statutes. But now it's very difficult to assess if this is actually what's occurring because we're hearing versions of people , um , ins agents or ice agents that are taking people into custody for immigration violations, things to that effect. We don't have a true , um, we don't have true information that can state that. This is a fact, but it goes back to, this is something that's somewhat unusual to have the deployment of federal law enforcement agents, agencies in a uniform capacity, from the perspective of providing law enforcement and crowd control or maintenance

Speaker 6:

Unusual is an understatement, right? I mean, are you comfortable with that? First of all, as a policemen to have federal authorities suddenly, you know, on your turf as we're carrying out arrests , um, some of them questionable under first amendment rights , um, and D as an American, are you comfortable with?

Speaker 4:

Well, I've in many instances, worked with federal task force while I was a member of the MYP PD . And we did have similar symbiotic relationship because what was great about working with federal law enforcement agencies, the jurisdiction was wide and deep. So oftentimes if I had cases that extended the places like Texas, things that had effect, they were an immense asset . Now, when we go to what's happening in Portland, it's been 51 plus days that they've been experiencing unrest in the city of Portland. And the mayor has hasn't been effective in terms of curbing the violence and the destruction to that society. So the silent majority, it feels as if their , um, their safety is being placed at risk. So I think that this was something that the president saw and he felt that it was necessarily one check . So I can't tell you if I'm happy or unhappy, because my experience in doing what the federal law enforcement agencies has been quite different. I just think that this was something that they haven't gotten under control. And this was basically the action that the president,

Speaker 6:

I mean, there are a lot of people that saying that the vast majority of those street actions are not riots that they're peaceful protest under the first amendment, including, you know, mothers who went out and were teargassed ,

Speaker 4:

Right. And not only mothers, I believe the mayor was teargassed as recently as the last couple of days in the wake of , um, being a participant in one of these demonstrations. I think what happens often times in this, I go back to placing my internal affairs hat, any NYP on my head and saying that , look, I need to look at this from an empirical perspective, as opposed to a place of conjecture and what I see on a television screen, I think that you really need to, in many times, I've investigated these, these acts of police misconduct that were committed in demonstrations, and it just becomes so abstract and so chaotic. You really have to dissect it at a point pipe from a point by point perspective to assess what is actually happening

Speaker 6:

Me know with the NYP D where you're used to dealing with a lot of different demonstrations around

Speaker 4:

Consulates and all sorts of things. There are obviously there

Speaker 6:

Are units that are tasked to do that, or they're not

Speaker 4:

Well-trained . Ah , yes and no. Traditionally what would happen is , um, you would have the uniformed officers that are assigned to the different precincts, so to speak. And what they would do is they would just pull from different commands or different precincts and assign those officers at the , at the location where the demonstration was located, the demonstrations of very different. So I give you an example. We had something that we referred to as occupy wall street here years ago, that type of them , that type of demonstration is very different than a demonstration that would posture in front of a consulate. And , um, that's looking to draw attention to human rights for a long time, right? So it's really dependent upon what type of demonstration is in play. So when we look in the wake of the death of George Floyd, which is a protest or demonstration that is occurring in Portland, Oregon, that's something similar to it's happening in all major cities throughout the United States. These types of demonstrations become far more acrimonious than the mirror posturing in front of a consulate, so to speak. So as a result of that, there has been a lot of violence that has been perpetuated in these types of demonstrations. And we go back to what happened in Seattle. For example, we had demonstrators or protesters that took over a six block radius of downtown Seattle. And this subsequently resulted in homicides and numerous shootings in that area that we referred to as the chat zone. This was something that was positioned on national television and the country as a whole was a gas that this was something that was able to take place in an American city without proper law enforcement to interdict it, I believe it was that the local law enforcement officers and , and ,

Speaker 6:

Uh , maybe state and maybe national guard, or do you think these guys getting parachuted in and military fatigues and no names, which, you know, I'll come back to that because ,

Speaker 4:

Because I think that's a real issue in, in any, you know , real democracy

Speaker 6:

In , in shadowy, you know, uniforms and

Speaker 4:

W w what appears to be some shadowing activities. So people are uncomfortable with it. And that's a great point, but we have to go back to, this has been 50 plus days of the unrest that's been occurring in Portland, Oregon, and the local law enforcement. Hasn't been effective in reducing the violence, the , um, the destruction of property in the wake of the demonstrations that have been concerning .

Speaker 6:

I I've been going to this . Can I just interrupt you on that? You don't think they've been effective. I mean,

Speaker 4:

A lot of protests have been peaceful and , uh , the, the , the destruction,

Speaker 6:

The property isn't that widespread in Portland is it, they've tried to set the courthouse on fire and a few other things. I know that,

Speaker 4:

Right. It has it , not only that, I believe they were looking to take a police precinct as well. So when we look at the teachable moments of how it's , how it happened, Seattle, I think us as a country have been diametrically opposed to the enact, the inability of the police department to control that six block radius in Seattle, Washington. So we saw it as a harbinger and we read the tea leaves and felt that look, something needs to be done here. The localized law enforcement was not effective . And I think that that was attributed to the Marist , um, position of look, let them protest, but there has been property damage. There has been, people have been injured as a result of these, these protests, the gross majority of these protests were peaceful, but we have had people that have suffered injuries as a result.

Speaker 6:

So, you know, perception is reality, right? If the rest of America has the perception that federal authorities are being heavy handed, and that this is stumping on their first amendment rights, that's going to create even more tension in Portland and in other cities, isn't it.

Speaker 4:

And that's a great point, but the perception is police are over policing in the communities across the nation. And so there's not just a perception of the , um, the federal law enforcement agencies that have the quote unquote boots on the ground in Portland. There's also this perception of over policing in the United States. That's why you hear the sentiments of , um, defunding police and police reform. So when you combine the two entities, that's, it's the same picture that we're viewing through the lens.

Speaker 6:

That's why president Trump seems to be shifting in his political campaign, hitting for November. And he's really starting to talk about law and order as a great, you know , uh , political platform , uh, and , and whether that's fair or not. I, I don't know. I mean, there's a lot of debate over the way he's talking. And I mean, there's one of his latest commercials came out and it's an, it's an elderly lady in her home watching the evening news. And somebody is in shadowy black burglar gear coming in through the door with a Crow bar and she calls nine one one. And they say, sorry, nobody's on the shift to answer your call. I mean, there's a lot of fear that's being spread on the whole defund, the police issue, isn't it ?

Speaker 4:

Yes . But there isn't , there's an element of truth attached to that because what's happening in police departments throughout the country is they're experiencing precipitous drops in personnel because you have a lot of officers just retiring and they don't have the money to backfill the attrition. So the personnel structure is being extremely stretched. And I'll give you an example of what's happening here in New York. We have droves of officers that are retiring and based on the defunding of $1 billion of the NYP D we had a potential class that was coming in to backfill the attrition that is no longer in play. So when you look at

Speaker 6:

How would that affect a street ?

Speaker 4:

When you look at the quantitative , um , numbers in connection with nine 11, the response is taking longer. It's taking longer for officers to respond to instances of a need of police service than it has in the past, because what happens is you have such massive numbers of police officers that are being deployed for these demonstrations throughout New York city. And so when you look at the localized precinct , a lot of that support space, the support police officers are in other places. So you just don't want

Speaker 6:

It may , it may not have anything to do with defunding the police. It may, in fact, nine 11 response times may be the fact that there's just a lot of policemen being deployed to civil and restaurant.

Speaker 4:

Well, how, how, how the two infuse and connection with the defunding is based on the attrition rate. We've had a lot of officers that have left. And so the funding is not in place to hire the new officers. And so that's where the defunding comes into place, because I give you an example, a tour in, let's say, in a precinct in New York, you may have 25 cops that are working, but based on the massive retirements that can cut down anywhere from 20 to 30% on that tour. So you had 20, you depleted 20 to 30% of your personnel and due to the defunding you have in backfill. So what are some mounting to is a longer period in response times . Okay . But at the same thing, and I , you know, actually I just try to , um, and I wasn't being surreptitious about this, that video or that commercial that you saw in connection with the , um, the lady that called and you have a person is shrouded in dark clothing and no way shape or form. Do I think that this is the triumph of fear mongering. We need to introduce solutions that are sound because this is a democratic society. And as a result of it being a democratic society, coupled with people's first amendment rights, that should be protected. We need to come to a common accord that is some somewhat sensible in reducing crime, reducing violence. And these demonstrations can subsequently be handled in on , on another level. And I just think the state of accurate crime

Speaker 6:

Loosening violence, by the way, for the demonstrators. And I'm not speaking for them, that would include , uh , brutal tactics by some policemen who are going beyond the bounds of , but , you know , anybody would respect even fellow policemen with respect

Speaker 4:

Over-policing should never be accepted under any circumstances. Police misconduct is an , I is a bloody nose in the face of all reality.

Speaker 6:

Like, what are your ex colleagues telling you that are still on the still in the police department? I'm sure they don't believe in any of this defunding stuff. And the unions have been tough on it, but what's morale like right now, are they, they , uh, they want to be on the street right now or do they just want to get out? Some of them,

Speaker 4:

I want to say 90% of all of my former colleagues are looking to retire or they're in a process of I'm 53 years old. So I'm an old man anyway . So a lot of them are getting out, but , but we're due to get out anyway. Um , well, some instances, yes. In some instances, no, you do have officers that are opting for early retirement just to do different things because they can take risk . Um , relationship between police and community has been frayed so severely and deep that it just seems like we don't have the right people at the forefront to right . The ship Chicago. Trump is talking about now moving federal authorities into cities like Chicago, which has a lot of gun crime and a lot of issues. Do you see Portland and Chicago just as two separate discussions? There is absolutely a , there's a diametric difference between Portland and Chicago. When we look at what's happening in Portland, this is primarily demonstrations, crowd control, and the PR and the preservation of federal structures. That's kind of what it is over there. Uniformed officers from the federal government. When we look at what's happening in Chicago, this is more a surreptitious approach of plainclothes officers that are going to be injected in for the purpose of reducing gun violence and violent crime. That's plaguing that it's more like cracking gangs . Right? Exactly. So it was more so from an investigative perspective in Chicago than it is in , um, in , in, in Portland. And I think what happens in Portland, that's going to be relatively short term solution with the federal law enforcement agents. They've got to come in for a short period of time, and then they're going to be removed. However, in Chicago, I think it's a far more longterm solution. Cause you conducting active investigations for felons, dr . Portrait. First of all, I don't believe that you have any active colleagues that are really retiring. Cause I think you're a young guy, but I'm , I'm obviously I know you're in big media demand. We appreciate your time and your insight on , on backstory, man. I really appreciate you talking to us, Dana. I appreciate what you do in the world of journalism because you call it like you see it your own prior bulls and strikes. There is no pool to the left. There's no pool to the right and that's the key to effective journalism. So from a civilian's perspective, we appreciate the fact that you're getting the message out there, unfiltered there . And I would have appreciated a hockey analogy, better being Canadian, but I'll go. Thank you. Alright . Take it easy. Stay safe.

Speaker 7:

Okay. Now back to where we began, what were those words? Person, woman, man, camera TV. If you remembered you were not a stable genius, but you passed president Trump's Alzheimer's test. He thought it was a cognitive test. I wouldn't boast about it. He did. And it's now selling a lot of tee shirts and hoodies on that note. Thanks for listening.

Speaker 2:

Backstory talk, Sue [inaudible] .

Peter Baker, NYTimes
Dr. Darrin Porcher