tv Bloomberg Markets Balance of Power Bloomberg August 17, 2020 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
from bloomberg world headquarters in new york to our tv and radio headquarters worldwide, i'm david westin. welcome to "balance of power," where the world of power meets the world of business. we will bring you the most important speeches from the democratic national convention, as well as key issues facing the party and the nation. tonight we will talk about health care the virus and jobs. we will be joined by former treasury secretary larry summers, and the architect of obamacare, jonathan gruber from harvard. right now we want to get a preview with somebody who will be with us through the entire coverage. --ber can your below political computer. give us a sense of what you're looking for tonight. >> good to talk to you. i'm looking to see how this all pans out. the democrats have put a lot of time and energy into making this something that is accessible to
the viewers. there theme is unity, and when i'm watching tonight, what i'm most going to be wer looking fo, can they bring the democratic party together, which is what they are hoping to do with the speeches tonight. they have everybody from pay new york governor, something of a moderate, andrew cuomo, doug jones from alabama come all the way to burning centers -- bernie sanders, and john kasich. i want to see if there's any sort of interparty squabbling, as the case may be, given how big of a tent the democratic party is today and how joe biden and kamala harris are trying to bring everybody together. i think it's going to be a big task. the big question is for what? are they against president trump or are they for something? >> i think that's exactly right. one thing that they do agree on
from all sides of the party is that they want to get rid of donald trump, remove have power office. but i think your question is on point. can they agree to what comes next, should biden win. i was struck by bernie sanders saying that if biden is elected the next day -- not even in january when he is inaugurated, but the next day, he will be pushing for an aggressive agenda -- for a progressive agenda. i am curious how that sits with moderates and independents when you think of everything from health care to jobs. and of course racial discrimination, which is so prominent today. david: that is jeanne zaino. who better to talk about what joe biden needsj to do to beat donald trump than somebody who ran against joe biden for the nomination. we welcome back tom steyer, former democratic presidential candidate, founder of nexgen america. great to have you with us.
you had a place on the program tonight. give us a sense of what joe biden needs to do over these four days. >> i do think, david, that the point of these four days is to show two things. one is unity, that infect this party and this country are united behind joe biden and, like rest. second -- like kamala harris. secondly, that there is positive excitement about what they are talking about, what they're going to do and how they are going to bring us together. i think you will see over the next four days not just that this party is united around the idea of beating donald trump, but there is a vision here, there is a time for real change in our society that is good for americans across the board, and that joe biden is the man that she is going to be the transformative president to get america back on track, to pull us together across all the lines that can divide us. and in fact, to do for america what we absolutely need right
now, which is to come together and build a more equitable and a more prosperous future. joe budden has laid out a number of different programs. for example, climate, something you are intent on making progress on, and that is a progressive agenda. on other issues, it is not as clear that there is unity. we have bernie sanders, the senator, speaking, and he wants medicare for all. that's not in the platform. national cochair says he cannot support the platform. is medicare for all part of what joe biden is running on? tom: joe biden is running for health care as a right for every american. this is going to be -- that is a sharp difference from the republican party. he is somebody who has been dealing with the coronavirus in a way that is responsible and data driven and compassionate for americans, and that is something, one of the reasons
people are excited about him as a candidate is they know that joe biden leads with his heart. that he cares about americans emma that he is deeply committed to their health and safety and welfare. let's talk for one second about that build back better climate plan because it addresses all the questions you're are asking, david. very a plan that deals aggressively with our need to change our climate affecting energy policies. it is also an environmental justice program at its heart, putting the clean air and clean water in underserved black and brown communities at the very heart of the program. it is also a huge union jobs program across america, because we need to rebuild this country. in a sustainable and resilient fashion. i think what they are talking about in health care -- what they are talking about in terms of climate is a broad-based change, a transformative change to america to get us back on track in every way and to pull
us together. that is what you are going to see over four days. you are going to see the party come together, and you will see excitement around the idea that we can change and be effective and move forward together. i'm very excited about it myself. david: you have been on the subject of climate for a good long time and are an expert in this area. i take your point about the plan. how will it play in pennsylvania, just to pick a state? there is a lot of concern about eliminating fracking. tom: i think what this plan plan it is a aggressive about a goal for clean energy by 2035. but it recognizes that is really aggressive and we will have to get going on day one. but, look, i said joe biden leads with his heart. he cares about people and he specifically has his heart and soul in the working people and working families of america. so he is going to make sure that
he takes care of union members who are working in industries that can decline our are going to -- or are going to decline. that is absolutely front and center. i've heard him talk about this numerous times, and he never doesn't say that, and it is thathing that is absent -- is absolutely front and center for him. that is why the international , lonnieenergy workers stevenson, is strongly supporting the biden-harris ticket because he knows that they are going to create millions of union jobs and are going to take care of union workers and declining industries. that is not a and of the story promise, yeah, we will do that, too. that is front and center in who joe biden is and where his heart is. people can believe it because it is true. david: this election looks to be different from prior elections in all sorts of ways, but one is the way we vote, and there is
this dispute with the postal service. you have been active in getting nexgen america to vote project. how did change your efforts? tom: nexgen america, for people who are watching who are not familiar with us, it is the largest youth voter mobilization effort in american history. it is eight years old, and you are right, in 2018 in the midterm elections, nexgen was on over 420 college campuses, including specifically community colleges and historically black colleges and universities. we are on zero today. we went 100% virtual on march 10 because of the coronavirus. we believe that our virtual organizing of people between 18 and 35 will be more effective than we have ever been. we believe -- and i personally believe, and that's why i started nexgen -- young people vote at half the rate of other american citizens. it is the biggest generation in
american history. it is the most diverse generation in american history. we believe they have the power to transform this country with their voices and their votes, and we have been trying to give them the tools to do just that. and i believe 20/20 is going to be the year when they show up in a way that nobody expects, and absolutely we are going to see a youth turnout that beats the store for records, and absolutely transforms our politics. that is what i'm hoping for, that is what i believe, decks what -- that's what nexgen works toward every sickle day, and they will be behind the biden harris ticket in a huge way, and we will see something on november 4 we have never seen before, which is transformation of american society in a completely good way. david: will voters across the entire country turn out physically, or will they mail in their ballots? what does the democratic party do in a situation where there is increased confusion, not clarity come over the way our votes will
be counted? tom: i think overwhelmingly it will be vote by mail. i don't think there is any question about that. people are going to have to make sure they do it. they will have to be careful about it. a lot of this is going to be making sure that you put your vote in a position where it for sure is going to get counted. i know the president is muddying the water and is trying to do things to suppress the vote. obviously. what i believe the american people are smart. i believe we will be organized amongst ourselves. the democratic party for sure will be trying to make sure that we have a democracy, a democracy -- the first write in a democracy is for every citizen's equal right to vote. to take that away is shameful. is not going to happen. the american people are going to be organized, and we are going to show up, take the country, and our votes are going to be counted. david: thanks to tom steyer. a former presidential candidate. coming up, health care has long
david: this is balance of power. i'm david westin. we turn to mark crumpton for first renews. mark: speaker nancy pelosi called congress back to washington to do with the growing crisis over the postal service. last week the service warned 46 states it may not be able to deliver their ballots on time
for the november election. speaker pelosi has accused the trump appointee who runs the post office of making sweeping new changes that have hurt service. today from president trump's former national security advisor. john spoke -- john bolton spoke with bloomberg, and said that the mistakes that he -- that the president made while in office is not irreversible. john: one of the reasons i am confident that the damage he has done has been correct -- can be corrected is that there is no trumpism full stop there is no trump doctrine. there is no trump philosophy. i think that is one of the reasons why it is so perilous to have somebody like him in the white house. ministeradian prime justin trudeau will make critical decisions in the coming weeks on the next steps to support candida's economic recovery. that will include whether to keep the only finance minister he has ever had. there's been speculation that the relationship between the evite -- between the prime
minister and bill morneau has been tense for some time. bloomberg has learned the two men will meet face-to-face today. global news 24 hours a day, on air and at bloomberg quicktake, powered by more than 2700 journalists and analysts in more i'm markcountries, crumpton. this is bloomberg. david? david: the coronavirus has scribbled the united states and really driven a wedge even further between republicans and democrats in washington. let's be honest, it's also divided democrats during the primaries, raising questions about a biden administration would mean for health care in the united states. we welcome kathleen sebelius, former health and human services secretary. thank you so much for joining us. you were involved in the primaries in the sense of advising kamala harris. we came up with a biden approach, a sanders approach, maybe a harris approach in
between. what is the approach of the democratic party as we go into this convention? kathleen: good to be with you. i think what you're seeing is sort of an evolving approach, that is likely to continue to evolve, which is good news. a unifying principle of the democratic party that we saw in the last 50 years, which is a belief that all americans deserve a right to health care, and so medicaid and medicare were passed, health insurance was passed, the affordable care act was passed, all with democratic presidents putting a stake in the ground to move further and further toward universal coverage. i think we're continuing that coverage that that -- i think we are continuing that journey. withampaign has halted covid in march, and the biden
campaign has staked out an improvement of the affordable care act as solidifying a lot of the issues that the trump administration has eroded in the last three years, even though they could not a manage to repeal the affordable care act. that was one of trump's promises, but they definitely have stabbed it with a thousand knives. the robust public option plan and lower administrative cost option for people to choose in the marketplace, and a lower age for medicare recipients to be medicare,gn onto moving days from 65 to 60. so that was the position in march. as you say, bernie sanders had a medicare for all, and kamala harris was longer transition, but ending up with medicare for all. now what we have is a pretty
robust biden plan on the website . you have a unity document, which is the sanders delegates and representatives of joe biden's health policy team meeting over a series of times and putting out some proposal that i would say moves -- he has been further down the road on a plan for universal coverage, and particularly pay attention to the millions of people who have lost coverage because of covid-19. people lose their jobs and they have lost health care. there are states that still have refused to expand medicaid, and they are still not entitled to any benefits. take are plans to again very careful look at where we when the president is moving us quickness possible to not only filling those gaps but having a robust public option and looking at ways that
individuals who live in states where the politics are preventing people from getting affordable health care, they would have a very affordable option. david: we are having a viewer know how saying, do we much this will all cost, to buttress obamacare and move to medicare for all? how are we going to pay for it? kathleen: i think there are a whole variety of proposals. during the course of the primary , they talked about closing some of the tax loopholes, some of the financial issues that are currently in the private sector come into the public sector. one of the things that i would love to see us do as a country, and certainly some of the actuaries do, we always talk about cost as if it is a net zero game, that if we ensure more people in america, asked if
we ensure more people in america, it will not cost. the question is how much it costs if we don't move in that direction, if we leave large portions of our population uninsured or underinsured. what is the cost of that? i think what we are seeing with covid-19 and the miserable way this administration has handled this response is -- there is an enormous cost in productivity of our communities, in the opportunity for our economists that need to move forward. if we don't get health care right. we have had a series of situations where people are unable to return to work. they cannot safely put their kids in school because we don't have a handle on health care care in this country. and i think that will shine a very bright light on the gaps that we had, which frankly no other developed country in the world has with our health care
system. and particularly shine a bright light on black and brown communities, which have taken the brunt of this virus. but i don't think we have ever had a situation where the connection between health care and the economy can be more clear. so there is an in norma's cost -- there is an enormous cost to doing nothing. david: what is the one thing you would like to see a biden administration do on day one? plan,en: have a national communicate the national plan, and execute the national plan. everything from a national vaccine plan to using the enormous powers of the defense production act, using the bully pulpit of communication to drive massive strategies, social distancing, clear guidance for
.mployers and schools very important steps that we can take as individuals, and do that over and over again until we get a fully vaccinated country. david: madam secretary, it is always a pleasure to have you with us. secretaryrmer hhs kathleen sebelius. bloomberg television and radio will have coverage of the democratic national projection, starting at -- national convention, starting at 10:00 p.m. tonight. this is balance of power on bloomberg television and radio. ♪
but if the same time you say it is a bit defensive. abigail: waiting for that record a few days now, and on an intraday basis including today, the s&p 500 briefly above the record closing high level, but we're still not able to get there. investors want to see if we can push forward. you mentioned the fact that we have technology, and that is this year's defense, the big tech companies along with amazon come alphabet, facebook, which are technically communication companies, at least facebook and alphabet. those are on the rise today. the cyclical sectors are dropping. banks, of that, the warren buffett, berkshire hathaway and the second quarter really pared back on the financials. ony entered gold, so bearish gold, something warren buffett is known for having avoided in the past. there is ats defensive position. the s&p 500 near its all-time
high, not paying much attention. you could make the case too far, too fast. it took three years for the s&p 500 to get to current levels, taking about five months to get to its current level if he could take out the record high. we all worry whether it is to mill scum of the economy, china, the election. investors have a lot to worry about, but you would not know it looking at the stock market today. although again, a little bit of a defensive tilt. david: thank you so much, abigail doolittle. up next, the man who should have inn hosting democrats milwaukee tonight. we talked with ben wikler, about the state of his state and wisconsin. this is balance of power on bloomberg television and radio. ♪
picked up the short straw because of coronavirus, milwaukee will not be holding the convention tonight. ben wickler. give us a sense of what you have lost in milwaukee because of business, because you are going to have thousands of people congregating. guest: there is nothing i wish more in the world than that trump hadn't failed to confront the coronavirus pandemic. if we were like other countries that have found ways to actually test and trace and get this pandemic under control, we would be having a very different convention right now. but trump has utterly dropped the ball, so we now have this situation where it is simply not safe to gather that many people for this convention. that means we have changed course. there is an economic loss.
we would have had a tremendous injection of visitors, of opportunities for local businesses to showcase themselves, for musicians and artists to play at events. it would have been so amazing. instead we are doing plan b which is a different kind of amazing. this is anchored in milwaukee and will showcase milwaukee and wisconsin and because it is virtual it is a convention across america so we will have voices from every corner of the country, an amazing array of talent, of different stories of the country needs to hear. i'm very excited about it. one thing that i think is possible because of this format, we are running trainings every day for thousands of volunteers in every part of america to get to elect joe biden and kamala harris. david: give us a sense of that battle for the election come november in the state of wisconsin. wisconsin is something it of
unusual state, it went democrat for a while and then republican, the sticker of the house was a republican from wisconsin. where is wisconsin right now, is it as divided as it appears to be? guest: if there were a free and fair election held today i have no doubt in my mind that you would lose and joe biden would win here. this is a state that has, for a long time, been on a knife's edge. we were the closest in 2004, the second closest in 200. last five presidential elections and is head under one percentage point margin of victory. what is striking is how the polls and all of the research we are doing demonstrate how much wisconsin has rejected trump and the gop because of their failure to confront this. the economic fallout, the fallout for schools. it is pretty ready to move and change our national
leadership. but every election season it turns into a battle royale, and that is in part because the gop, when scott walker was governor, they kind of seized control of the mechanics of the elections, imposed one of the most restrictive voter id laws in the country, made it so you have to upload a photo to request an absentee ballot. they put in place all these things that make it tougher to be able to win even if the public is with us. we are going to fight like we are two points behind even if the polls show we are winning in a landslide. david: tell us about that two points behind. wisconsin is not just one monolith at all. there are reports that basically the democrats win the cities, and the rural areas go for republicans, and then you have the suburbs that are in play. is that a fair description? guest: it is a little more complicated than that in wisconsin because there are some rural areas that have deep,
progressive roots and i think the first birthplace of the progressive movement, and in fact, the birthplace of the republican party, the radical anti-slavery party, was in small-town wisconsin. if you look at western wisconsin, southwest, there is this big area that was not smoothed over by glaciers. that area had tons of small farms and it has voted for democratic candidates over and over and over. 2016 was the exception but we won that region back in 2018 and we just showed again this year that there are a bunch of folks in counties were democrats can win. in other states, it is about compressing trump's burdens. withlowing the roof off turnout in major cities including madison and milwaukee, but also cities like eau claire
where there are a ton of democratic voters who want something better than what we've got right now. david: even if it comes down to a knife's edge, what is the issue, in your opinion, that would cause them to go for donald trump or joe biden? guest: if this were before covid i could have pointed to a suite vicious starting with the crisis of dairy farming and agriculture that trump has exacerbated. we lost 10% of our dairy farmers last year. trump'sence, abandonment of communities across the state. but now everything goes through the prism of this pandemic. becausea president who, he retreated from any kind of serious leadership on the world stage, failed to help china and other countries control the pandemic before it reached here. that happened successfully several times during the obama administration in other countries. once the pendant arrived, he buried his head in the sand, cures thatack
didn't work and refused to test anyone. now we have this crisis in our economy, this crisis of children not being able to go to school including my children. it is affecting every person's life and until we get a president who believes in science and can manage the government response to a crisis, it is not getting better. that is the threshold test for the president. can you rise to a crisis? from has failed that test and every issue that every person cares about, ultimately we can only make progress will we get coronavirus under control. david: always a pleasure having you with us. i'm delighted for you to stay for the second hour of balance of power on bloomberg radio. coming up your, we talk with the right commitment from michigan dead he tingled -- debbie dingle about her battleground state and what will determine the outcome. balance ofomberg
♪ is balance of power on bloomberg television and radio. one of the surprises that put trump over the top and 2016 was the very narrow when he eeked out in michigan. we welcome congresswoman debbie dingell. give us your take right now on where your home state, my home state is in this presidential election. guest: david, it is great being with you and i think we are still a competitive state. he was calling me daddy downer in the last election because i was warning people that donald
trump could win but a lot of people didn't believe me. i don't believe joe biden is up 15 points but i still think it is a competitive state. i think it is going to be a covid. election. has beenhat covid handled and impacted lives and every aspect of it. a lot of people can't pay the rent or their mortgages. workers with pre-existing conditions are worried about backup plans. that is going to be the biggest issue but i think a lot of things can happen between now and while i think joe biden is up by a couple points, i don't think it is for granted. david: if it is a covid election, it strikes me that michigan has been a battleground over that issue where you had
trump at one point squaring off with your governor about the approach, and you had some michiganders who went into the state legislature with guns because they were unhappy with the restrictions. how has that played out over time in michigan, are people still deeply divided about what we need to do to fight the virus? guest: they are, and i think you just put your finger on part of what it is. southeast michigan which tends to be more democratic, a lot more people are very unhappy that we are under certain orders, they don't want to wear the masks. i don't know how masks became such a political war, but they have. i am out, i'm going to events probably more than many, but i'm very careful. and wash my hands at all times. i do not take my mask off.
northern michigan is pretty independent. a lot of people don't want to wear a mask and there is a great deal of tension. some people are trying to take away some of the government's to putsome people trying open michigan on the ballot in november. david: one question as he go into the election, how we are going to vote. front and center in washington, in front of the house of representatives, with respect to trump's challenges against the weight of the postal service has been run. said earlierhe today and that why he thought something needed to be done about the postal service. trump: one of the things the post office is losing so much money on is delivering packages for amazon and these others. every time they deliver a package they probably lose three dollars or four dollars. that's not good, they have to raise those prices. not for the people to pay, but
for amazon and those companies to pay. david: i must say there are people who dispute those numbers, but the post office has been a challenge for the country for some time, it has been losing money if their amount of time. does trump have a point? all, we have to do something to help the post office in the long term. but i want to go to the short term. benjamin franklin was the first postmaster general and a lot of people don't understand how many veterans rely on it for their medicines, social security, and a lot of people now are shopping online because they are afraid to go out of their homes, and amazon and other businesses are delivering packages by mail. people in the trump administration themselves think that the post office as a
customer or amazon as a customer of the post office is stronger because they are doing business and it is not at a reduced rate. the president has to realize that not everybody is a billionaire like he is, and there are a lot of people who count on the post office staying affordable for a means of mailing packages or bills. they can afford a $10 $20 fee. i should not name individual countries, but other places that deliver packages. companies, but other careers the deliver packages. president seems to have become upset at the post office, machines that carry boxes disappearing as we talk about the fall election. we do need to make sure that vote by mail is going to be safe in this country as well.
david: i understand you and your fellow congresspeople are being summoned back by nancy pelosi to vote on legislation as early as this saturday. what can be done, because if i recall, there was a provision that was past three months ago that addressed this. why will it make a difference if a single bill, in the senate going to back that? a number of republicans in the house are coming back to be voting for this bill. i think that a lot of senators, republican or democrat ike i am, are people who are very scared, particularly with the number of veterans, calls we getting from people were not getting the medicine. quite frankly i think we need to be adding on to the heroes bill. but we need to make sure we've seen the pictures of mailboxes. we've heard the reports, the pictures and the machines.
a lot of. workers have been told they can't work overtime, the male is backing up in these post offices. that foro make sure the short term, the post office is operating and the system is working and doing what it is supposed to do, and then we need to all figure out how we keep the post office alive because it is a very important function of for our country to have that service to the american people. david: and finally, you mentioned the heroes act, i mentioned the heroes act, let's talk about the overall stimulus. itwasn't long ago we thought was a crisis and now we are hardly talking about it. it is going to go over into september. every going to get a stimulus bill, and if so, when? guest: you may say we are not talking about it and i love the media, the freedom of the press is very important, but if you ,re out at the farmers markets
i was at a law enforcement and i saw people who don't have jobs, they don't know how they are making their mortgage payments or the rent payments, they are trying to come up with programs for that. we have a real food shortage. people don't understand, people in this country are hungry. if you are not on national tv but at home at that grassroots level, they want us to do something. state and local governments are looking at how we are going to educate our children. they need help and they need support. i'm hearing about it every single day. they are just mad at all of us for not getting our act together and getting something done. david: which leads us to the question i have. i'm sure you've seen, the level of anxiety about home, about jobs, about food is really
remarkably high right now. what is wrong with our political process, if people are as concerned as you say they are, representatives in washington are not fixing it. one of the reasons it is important people vote in november, you got to have leadership to pull people together. somebody who is willing to work with people who are not theblicans or democrats, president should be taking leadership to say we have to do this for the american people, this is what we will do. are, if our members mean, we've got to do something. need to say people we want you to work together, we're sick of this occurring, we want to get things done. david: good luck as you head back to washington. thank you so much to congresswoman debbie dingell.
they are trying to turn that around in the second half of the year. redesigned f1 50 pickup as well as the broncos are coming to wall street to make a case. stonee earlier with tim who rang the bell just today on the new york stock exchange. strategys part of our to freshen our product portfolio, take a design approach and offer a compelling set of vehicles for customers, for them to choose. great value and great selection. as well as for commercial vehicle customers to transit. we're innovating on behalf of our customers, taking a design approach and with bullet customers decide which of these vehicles best suits their needs. we had a great portfolio now. of thegive us a sense demand on the one hand and the supply on the other for the f1 m.d., the new f-150, and the bronco.
is there enough demand? the demand has continued to be very strong, even the one that we are transitioning from. f-150 is going to be more tough, more productive. the bronco has over 165,000 reservations already, so we are now working hard from a production standpoint to supply even more broncos for our customers. we are really excited to deliver that for our customers. david: you are dealing with consumers day in and day out and it is a somewhat different group of consumers, more for the construction business, things like that. the bronco, presumably more for regular consumers, families. what are you seeing in terms of demand and ability to pay? said, commercial vehicle
customers are for their livelihood. the new f-150 with increased productivity, it has a new work surface, it has an onboard generator option. cautiouslyfar are optimistic because the future certainly looks a little uncertain. from a bronco standpoint, this is a new vehicle for our response thusthe far has been beyond our expectations. reservations as we look out, we are cautiously optimistic. there are a lot of americans across the country or feeling the pinch economically in part because of unemployment. are you seeing an upsurge in the demand for used vehicles versus new vehicles?
is it putting downward pressure on new vehicle demand? guest: if you look at our customers are moving from public transportation perhaps to car ownership again. vehicles,portfolio of with many different choices for customers in all economic to experience a great value. we are really optimistic, as a mention. electrifyingo be many of our vehicles over time. david: finally, you have a transition going at the top. are you seeing any indication that the new ceo is likely to go? guest: this is the right time for a transition for four. has been really
modernizing, helping with her transformation. jim farley have the opportunity to bring his 30 years of auto industry experience and continue that transformation, accelerate it. fantastic vehicle and services for our customers. david: that was part of my conversation with tim stone. coming up, the former commerce secretary will be joining us at the top of the hour on bloomberg television and radio. of tonight, live coverage the first night of the democratic national convention starts at 10:00 p.m. eastern time. this is bell on bloomberg television and on radio. -- balance of power.
officials say former ohio governor john kasich will be making remarks. he was one of the last contenders in the 2016 gop primary. he has been a fierce critic of president trump. susan mullah mary and christine todd whitman are also expected to make speeches. democrats are gathering virtually across the country for the convention. americancases in nursing homes surged last month, surpassing the previous peak in may, according to a new report from the american health care association and the national healthcare for assisted living. there were more than 9700 confirmed cases of coronavirus in nursing homes the week ending july 27, with the virus spreading especially rapidly in the sun belt. lebanon is facing a surge of coronavirus cases after a blast killed 180 people and wounded thousands. the explosion