Prisoners on hunger strike in Merced County; Indigenous medicine; plus, updates on Ukraine and covid science

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pays a visit to a young patient recovering from shrapnel wounds on March 17th  in Kyiv, Ukraine | Ukraine Presidency/Ukraine Presi/Planet Pix via ZUMA Press Wire

0:08 – The Biden Administration is preparing a diplomatic spin through Europe this week, getting ready for a NATO summit this Thursday. Meanwhile, the Polish government is proposing a NATO peacekeeping mission inside of Ukraine. Director of Foreign Policy in Focus, John Feffer (@johnfeffer), joins us to discuss developments with NATO and updates with the war in Ukraine.

0:33 – Dr. John Swartzberg, clinical professor emeritus of infectious diseases at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, joins us for our weekly update on covid science and news, including the potential for another wave of a new variant.

1:08 – Forty-four people across 2 correctional facilities in Merced County are on hunger strike for a 13th day, demanding basic rights, including cleanliness and sanitary standards, medical access, job training, and religious programs as well as expanded visitation which has been severely limited by covid restrictions for the past two years. To discuss, we’re joined by Victoria Espinoza, founder of Merced Under Construction, a faith-based campaign tackling mass incarceration, police accountability, and creating opportunities for incarcerated folks and their families.

1:24 – Stella Lee, an Emergency Room Nurse at California Pacific Medical Center and a member of California Nurses Association (CNA), discusses the CNA’s 9th month of contract negotiations with Sutter Health around staffing and pandemic readiness, and why negotiations are stuck in a stalemate.

1:33 – When it comes to living with our environment, most of us have a lot to learn from indigenous methods. Environmental scientist and indigenous activist Jessica Hernandez (@doctora_nature), explores her new book, Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes through Indigenous Science, about the intersections of environmental justice and racism