tv Missouri Gov. Parson Holds Coronavirus Briefing CSPAN May 14, 2020 7:03pm-7:41pm EDT
the lives of our nation's chief executives and leadership styles. visit our website, c-span.org/thepresidents to learn more about each president and historian featured and order your copy today wherever books and ebooks are sold. >> c-span has unfiltered coverage of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic. with white house briefings. updates from governors and congress. and our daily call-in program "washington journal," hearing your thoughts about the coronavirus crisis. if you miss any of our live coverage, watch any time, on demand, at -span.org/coronavirus. >> earlier today missouri ghoverpbor mike parson held a briefing on the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic. the governor spoke about the state's legislative session and working to pass bills that are and are mot related to coronavirus.
gov. parson: good afternoon, again. thanks everyone for being here again today. a couple of updates. according to today's situation awareness update from the missouri hospital association, missouri has 796 hospitalized covid-19 patients. and 115 hospitalized and on ventilators. missouri hospitals currently have 1,947 ventilators available. with 11 -- with 115 in use. this is good news. this is good news. our hospitals are not overwhelmed. missouri's positivity rate continues to decline. people are recovering and we are moving forward. earlier today, i joined hundreds of citizens and business leaders from the good morning springfield town hall hosted by the springfield area chamber of
commerce to talk about an update on the covid-19 efforts that the state are doing and also the economy of reopening the economy, how we could all move together, things we could do to move our state forward. i also traveled to southeast missouri today. as a matter of fact, i was in southeast missouri, southeast missouri was the area when i first got the call of covid-19 to come back to the state, come back to the governor's office on march 7. so it was good to return back there today. we went and visited a couple of businesses down there tire service was one place we stopped, a locally owned business there, a lot of people in the shop today. a lot of people out. it was good to talk to customers. good talking to business owners. and really pretty impressive to go down and see what they had done in a tire shop arena, in a private business. everybody will still be out there. still got to buy tire, get cars
worked on. for some of the things they did to protect our customers and protect -- employees. it's what people are doing on their own to make it a little bit better. also for national police week, i had the opportunity to stop dun at the cape girardeau station down there, thank them for their efforts in the covid-19. also with the cape girardeau county sheriff down there, got a chance to talk to her and members of her department. just thanking them for what they do every day and really the same problems they faced by having people ince cars rated, trying to protect people within the jails along with protecting the public and the situation they were first in when none of us had enough p.p.e. gear. but again they kept it a priority to go out and answer calls every day. i want to personally thank those law ep forcement officers for what they do every day but especially during this time of covid-19. covid-19 has changed our lives in many ways. from our day-to-day activities to how we do business and everything in between. covid-19 especially changed this
year's legislative session. this session started with a lot of hope, as you all remember, in january we were looking at one of the strongest economies we had ever seen. then all of a sudden we know where we're at today and the things we have had to deal. with we started out hope to feel capitalize on lastier's successes and continue to build on our two main priorities. work force development and infrastructure. we were also optimistic about addressing the violent crime plaguing communities across the state. we were optimistic about wayfair, also a priority that we those opposed, no legislature would consider this session. and while some of these issues did not seem to be -- does not seem to be passing this year this office will celebrate some victories this session. i also want to -- most of you been here, nobody knows what's going to happen in the legislative session, what's going to cross the finish line, what's not. there are still a lot of things
out there that would be good for missouri. i hope the legislature works hard to make sure they get those things completed and help us moving forward. i think it's also important to remember what our two priorities were in the first place, work force development, infrastructure. those are the two things that will bring our economy back. anything we can do to help, to strengthen that, i think is a good thing. one bill i asked both the house and the senate to consider early in session was priority of the governor's office was license reciprocity for military spouses. this bill was passed overwhelmingly by the house and senate and will give our military spouses the ability to obtain an occupational license in missouri that they received in another state. house bill 1511. another professional registration license reform. legislation put missouri ahead of the pack. no other state has enacted the reforms that missouri has on professional licensing reform. i truly believe this will be a
leader in the nation and that many other states will follow what's happened here in missouri when it comes to the reciprocity. the legislation passed this session puts us ased -- ahead of the country and builds on our successful work force development agenda other priority that was gotten done. priorties like tort reform. broadband. we're also -- were also achieved. tort reform on punitive damage and still more work to be done in that area. our broadband bill will help our covid-19 response and the future of education and health care as they may shift to more virtual teaching and care. house bill 2015 appropriations bill. down to the final few hours, legislatures are still working on important issues to impact -- impacted by covid-19 including changes to the absentee voting process. as i said, in a briefing last
week, missouri must be prepared at all times to respond to any type of disaster that may strike this state. on march 7 this year, covid-19 real injury -- really started to have an impact on the state. just a year ago on march 11, some of the worst floods we had in our state's history started. i said we'll commit all the necessary resources to recover from covid-19 but would never let down our guard from the other threats. the severe thunderstorms that swept across missouri on may 3 and may 4 left a trail of destruction so extensive that we have now begun the process to require and seek a federal disaster declaration. our missouri communities are already strapped by emergency response costs because of covid-19. the additional federal assistance that would come with a federal disaster declaration ould provide much needed
support to affect communities and electric co-ops. late yesterday afternoon we requested that fema participate in joint damage assessment in 19 counties. in anticipation of a request for a federal disaster declaration for federal public assistance to help cover the expenses of emergency protective actions and damage to public infrastructure including excessive daniel to the co-ops, distribution lines throughout the state. today, director carson is here to give you an update on that and again, i just want to emphasize how proud i am of what dr. -- director carson and her team have done. they're working on public safety and also handling the covid-19 situation and also the natural disaster our states are facing. director? >> thank you, governor, good
afternoon, everyone. the severe storms that swept across missouri on may 3 and 4 left extensive damage in one -- and one death in base county. they produced winds in excess of 80 miles per hour in some locations. hail the size of tennis and baseballs. and the national weather service has now confirmed the storms resulted in two tornadoes. an ef-1 which has winds of 86 to 110 miles per hour in marston which is in new madra county on may 3. and an ef-0 which has winds of 65 to 85 miles per hour in southwest carter county on may 4. there also were strong winds in dunklin county on may 4 that derailed 25 rail cars. and there was more than 37,000 customers left without power. these power outages were not simply the result of smaller
lines going down. the electric cooperative sustained extensive damage to their major distribution lines throughout the affected areas. because of all the damage to the public infrastructure, governor parson requested and fema has agreed to participate in joint prelim nafere damage assessments in 19 counties which includes ates county, butler, carter, dallas, douglas, dunklin, henry, pimscot, ripley, shannon, stoddard, wayne and wright counties. now, because of covid-19, the preliminary damage assessments will not take place in the normal way. usually a local representative, a representative from the state emergency management agency and a representative from fema
travel together, document and agree on the damage that they see present. we are modifying the process out of necessity due to covid-19. instead of operating jointly and in person, the teams will operate virtually to review the images and detailed descriptions of damage to the public infrastructure and the electric co-ops and they will reach an agreement on estimated repair costs. that process is under way today. according to fema regulations, we'll have until the beginning of june to complete the process. once the assessments are finalized, the information will be reviewed by fema and the governor's office and at that time, governor parson could formally request a disaster declaration from president trump. as the governor has said, the
state, our local partners, and our individual citizens must be ready at all times to respond to disasters and emergencies and the fact that we're dealing with one type of disaster doesn't mean we won't be impacted by another one. such was the case with flooding and tornadoes last may. currently, the missouri forecast calls for multiple rounds of thunderstorms and heavy rains with flash flooding possible throughout saturday. always pay attention to the forecast in your area and always make sure you have several different ways of receiving weather alerts. we ask that you stay safe and healthy. thank you. gov. parson: sandy, thank you so much. thank you for what your agency does and for all the hard work for the people out there. during the covid-19, it got all
our attention. basically every day we were consumed with that. but the reality is still disasters happened out there and we had to be prepared for that every day. i'm thankful for the work fema did. when that train derailed we had people down there within hours when that occurred and never missed a beat. it was a good thing we had the national guard ready, that we did those declarations early on, though covid-19 was the main emphasis of that but again we were prepared in this state. i'm thankful for these agencies and the local agent sfirs what they've done. to kind of wrap things up there'll be no briefing tomorrow. we will be traveling to kansas city to visit the ford assembly plant. clay commo, want to give him thanks for making masks and shields early on. i got to talk to some of the ford motor company executive they offered their assistance. the good news about tomorrow, they're getting ready to go back into operation. we're looking forward to making that stop, getting people back to work, start making vehicles
again here in the state. so over the weekend i want to remind missourians to continue social distancing. missourians everywhere have stepped up to help one another and it is because of your efforts that we are on the road to recovery. i continue to remind and encourage by how strong missourians are together. together we will get through this. together we are show me strong. be safe. be smart. and practice social distancing. thank you and god bless. kelly? dr. williams is also here today, he has some good news he wants to share with you today, so however you want to start off. reporter: with the experience of the pandemic has that changed the state's emergency operations in dealing with other disasters? i know there were always plans out there but has this
experience changed how you're reacting? >> it has, i spoke about one of those changes and that's how damage estimates are done. we're doing those virtually. we have other changes as well and it impact ours thinking on how best to approach things, efinitely. [inaudible] >> thank you. gov. parson: let me add one thing to what director carson said id there, sometimes as governor we go through training processes, multiple agencies training together for multiple disasters. sometimes you sit back here and think how much traping can you possibly do? is that really going to happen or not? i'm thankful now that missouri did all that training and was prepared when these events occurred. t does pay off to be prepared. dr. williams?
>> thank you, governor. speaking of training, working together. reached a tremendous milestone, as somebody who practiced bedside for 30 years an know what is it is like to have a patient who needs something, blood or something, i can't thank the -- i can't thank the governor and sandy enough, on monday we sent out to 18 hospitals throughout missouri, eight region, eentire state, remdesivir, a lifesaving drug for those patients. and remarkably, right now in missouri, we have about 129 patients on ventilators with covid-19 throughout the state. and tomorrow or saturday we get another 1,800 of remdesivir. and that is enough to treat every patient in missouri on a ventilator. which just is such -- such a blessing that first that we have that few patients on ventilators now and second that we now have a medication that we will treat
everybody this weekend who needs it. and so it's just -- a great credit to our hospitals who have been taking care of patients and getting them off ventilator, it's a great credit to our health department. so they don't have new case for people who end up on ventilators. we appreciate the federal government and our partners getting us this drug. incredibly appreciative of that happy toons any questions. reporter: going offer of that, how is the remdesivir being distributed? what areas are prioritized? >> this is the amazing thing. we don't have to prioritize. everybody is going to get it which is an amazing thing to say. but i just got off the phone with the missouri hospital association. they put out a query who needed it and we'll have enough to get to it everybody. >> director, you said another 1,00 vials. is that the total numbers or another shipment? >> that's another shipment. 1,800. we use either five -- six vials
or 11 vials for the severity of the patient. so at about 129, that'll be enough to treat everybody. which is just wonderful news. >> has missouri gotten a previous shipment? >> on monday we got, i think, 389 we shipped out and that's why i was so appreciative to director carson and the governor. we had highway patrol -- we got it at 10:30. we had highway patrol waiting in their cars, they started driving from st. joe's to kansas city to cape girardeau. and they'll do that tomorrow or saturday. if it comes in tomorrow, we're ready to go. if it comes in on saturday, we'll be ready to go. i having been on the other side, waiting for it to come, and i know this families are waiting. can't get it quickly enough. >> we talked about ramping up the strategy. cases becomesing in any
at assisted living facilities? >> we are trying to get to that capacity. we've dobe some. but we had about 160, we had three new ones, i believe, either today or yesterday. so we are moving as fast as we can to implement that. for those three. before i drove here that's what i was looking at. i was on the phone with adam, he thinks we've got that in place for those three going forward. if not by tomorrow, certainly by monday i hope that what we talked about with you earlier will be in place in missouri for all, for these long-term care facilities. >> i had a follow up, seniorry. how is d.h.s. -- how are they able to co-routine nursing home inspections or are you able to in this pandemic? >> c.f.s. put a moratorium on
those in the pandemic. that allowed us to free up staff to do like our 24-hour hotline and some other things. i'm not sure when that will be relaxed. so to answer your question, at this moment, no. but we will get into that as quick as we can. that'll come from federal demrines. >> do you know yet medically what you need to see on the ground to let nursing homes open back up again to visitors? >> i don't. it's a good question. i think that's something that we'll continue to watch, you know. the governor talked about it in the past. when we had -- like my mother, we have people who haven't seen their families in eight weeks, seven weeks, and we're incredibly sensitive to that. but on the other hand, you know, a lot of that guidance also comes from c.m.s., from our federal partners. so we'll kind of wait and see what they say. it's obviously going to be, i think, not je for the rick. new jersey is in a -- new york,
very different place than missouri. but it's a good question. at this point, don't have a date or a threshold that would make us do that. it's a good question. thank you. >> i know you did some testing in sullvant county at the smithfield plant there there's community testing in buchanan county over the weekend. do you think that there needs to be regular testing at these hot spots to really operate safely in these plants? >> i was on the phone with triumph of this morning, very early at 7:00. they've been incredible to me conscientious so they called me this morning at 7:00 and said now where we are, what do we do going forward? that's very much par of our comprehensive testing strategy we discussed earlier this week. one of those is surveillance of hot spots, nursing homes, prisons, jails, meatpacking plants. and what will that look like?
what i told triumph this morning is what i anticipate we'll do is work with them and by june do some more p.c.r. volunteer testing. won't test everybody like we did last time but we will probably do a sampling. that brings up the whole question of antibodies. i talked to triumph about that this morning. it takes three tweeks develop antibodies. we just checked everybody, doesn't make sense to do antibody testing up there too soon but there may be a role for that in august. as i told triumph this morning irk suspect by the time we get to june and want to do that, we may have some national guidelines about what it looks like this summer to go in and do exactly what you're talking about which is what we call sentinel testing of prisons, jails, meatpacking plants and long-term care facilities. that will probably involve p.c.r. and antibody testing. >> somewhat related, the health
department in st. joe, i talked to them earlier, they said they appreciated the support that they got from the state, specifically for contact tracing. because the state provided a spanish language speaker and they didn't have any on staff. is that something the state can provide specifically, language services, or are there other resources for that? >> interesting question. one of the twhings ran into, we sent some people up there from jeff city and surrounding areas but we found it was best for some of our people to stay here in jeff city because they have access to multiple languages through translators here. so that was kind of a lesson learned going forward. some counties will want to do contact tracing themselves and we will support that. some will want us to send boots on the ground. but in that case, what was interesting is we found that we needed to keep some people back because here in jeff city we have access to multiple translators that we can deploy in all 114 counties from jeff
city. thank you. >> governor, you've been pretty adamant against mail-in voting but there is a bill that's -- amendment that's running through the chambers right now and i have been told that you helped craft it or your team did. what's changed in your attitude toward that? >> i didn't craft it, i can tell you that. permly. but i'm not sure who all was behind that. the thing of it is, i think we have to look at what the possibilities are, the reality of what this might look like come august or november for voting and say, i think there's different things in there, as long as we can verify, you know, whether it's mail in, whether it can -- can notaries come into play. i'm not for sure what that language is, what it'll look like.
but i think we're open to taking a look to see what that is. >> you were in senator sipton's office not too long ago, what kinds of things are you trying to work out with him? >> how did you know that? rewe didn't put out no press release? >> i just know. >> as governor, sometimes there's things in the legislative session at the end that you get interested in. you're afraid to let anybody know you're interested. but what i really went down there to talk to a couple of legislate yoorks couple over of senators, about, there's a bill there a crime bill, it these do with witness protection. it was a priority for the inner cities, for the african-american communities, basically a lot of them that was something they really wanted. and i wanted to do everything i can to make sure everybody realized, you know, end of the serks a lot of things happen here. i've been in the legislative body. somebody gets mad at somebody or somebody holds up language, all this kind of stuff that goes to
last. but this is something that really does have an impact on everyday people. we got to try to figure out how to deal with violent crime. covid-19 has been on the front page. as we've seen here recently in kansas city and st. louis, violent crimes out there. this was a tool for that. i wanted to stress to the senators and the people that i think this is a great opportunity we can help people when it comes to testifying in violent cases is what it was. so that's why i went down there and talked about. i'm not sure the end of the game there was no arm twisting. it was a matter of saying hey, i think this is important for the inner cities in our state to get that done. >> just given how businesses and the public are being asked to adapt right now if the legislature does come back for special session, would you personally hope they treat social distancing more like they did with the supplemental budget rather than what we've seen in the last couple of weeks. >> repeat that again? >> given how businesses are being asked to adapt right now if he ethe legislature does
return far special session would you hope they social distance more than they have in the past couple of weeks? >> i think again, the legislature -- legislators have a job to do. they are somewhat in an area, where their chambers are. it's up to them how they conduct the legislative session. those are choices they've got to make. they have to make how to do social distancing. social disancing is in effect for everybody in the state. but again it's a little different circumstance when you've got 163 members in the chamber, you know. there's different ways you could do that i guess what i would think of, being a former legislator, but it's up to them how they're going to conduct that i hope that they come -- if they come back if a special session, i hope we know more, and that it's safer to be here than it is today. i hope we take advantage. look, i still think the social distancing, whether you wear a mask, whether you don't, come downs to common sense, what people's responsibilities are. the legislature is the same, they got to make those
decisions. >> governor, health experts are predicting that covid-19 will last throughout the year and that, you know, just the other day we talked about the vaccine coming maybe at the end of the year and pfizer is working on it as well. any mail-in ballot system that the legislature would pass, would you want it to also cover the august and november elections? gov. parson: yeah, we'll have to look at that and see where we're at. we know the virus is going to be around. with don't know what the impact of the virus will be in july, let alone august or november. we're not going to overhaul our voting system because of coronavirus. i mean, i'm not for that. so if you're going to what the national democrat side of it are really wanting, we're not going to go down -- that's a political issue, we all know that look the only thing i'd be looking at anything is somebody safe to do that. but right now, people are out
and about in the state of missouri going lots of different places. everywhere you want to go you see people out. so i think we can figure out a ay to make it safe for voting. >> on the covid topic, i was talking to the senator who is handling lang wg for that, he expressed doubts it would make it through. he suggested it may make more sense to have a special session on that topic in conjunction with whatever budgetary special session you called. would that be something you'd be amenable to? >> let me say -- gov. parson: let me say this on special session. everybody came up to say would i have a special session for tort reform, vote, would i have it for this would i have it for the budget? look, we don't know. i don't know what i'm going to call in for a special session. the main thing i want to do right now is handle the covid-19 virus. see where that's going to be come july or the first of june, i'm sorry.
and how we're going to get the economy going. that's my protwire -- my two priorities right now. all those other things we have to address as we go forward. i don't know when i'd call a special session. these would be some of my priorities to look at calling a special session. >> one other question about something that didn't pass this year. it's unlikely the legislature will make changes to the low income tax credit program this year. i think that there is a nexus between that issue and coronavirus that a lot of people are losing their jobs and need more housing eventually even though i understand housing takes a while to be cultivated. sit about -- it's been two years now. is it about time that you're going to instruct your appointees on mhdc to restart that program soon? >> i will have everything on the table i possibly can have to get he economy started up again. and whatever that -- and that will be part of that conversation when the day comes. look, we got to make sure we're getting jobs back out. got to get construction jocks back out there. got to get people in the work
force. got to expand. whatever it takes to do that in missouri, what i can, within the means i have as governor, i'm going to do and make sure i'm responsible about doing it. >> that's a maybe, basically or a yes? >> what's that? >> was the tans to my question yes or maybe? gov. parson: the answer is i'm going to have everything on the table and decide how i move forward was the answer to your question. but good try. >> kind of a two-part question here. there are some state senators who are maybe potentially holding the prescription drug monitoring program in the senate saying that house bill 1450 has to pass first. what are your thoughts on that? gov. parson: the senate does the senate. they are who they are. i don't know what all deals are going to be made and who is going to hold up what and what's going to go across the finish linism know a lot of things are being said in the last few days, we'll see what gets run across the finish line. you know. what i do hope is i hope the
legislatures really look to see where we are in the state of missouri and understand the economy we're in, understand that we've got a lot of people without jobs right now and everything we can put in the toolbox to help build our economy back up and still have to deal with this virus. still got to be able to do that. those should be the priorities really this legislative session. a lot of good things out there reciprocity deal was a good thing that creates jobs, brings people in the work force. those are the kinds of things i think are priorities. senate and house has different priorities too. >> do you support the prescription drug monitoring program the way it is right now? >> i don't know what the finished product will be. until i see that bill on my desk to see what all is in it, i'm not going to commit to sign anything bill until i see it, until i have my legal team and everybody go through it. >> governor, i know i asked you yesterday but the legislature has been at work a few more hours, a few more bills pass. do you have any general comments
on the session? gov. parson: i'm surprised some of the things are getting done that are getting done. i think there's been some good things happening. there continue to be good things. i appreciate the legislators coming. in i didn't know if they'd get much done. these are totally unusual circumstances. anything they can do to help with the coronavirus situation, whatever things we can do to help with that. things with the economy. it's good every kay. thing biggest challenge we all have and still have going forward is the budget. i think the appropriations process, i think we still got a lot of work to do on that i think there'll be more coming up this month before we ever get to july 1. i think july 1, if the federal government don't do some backfill with the cares act, there's going to be, people need to be prepared that there's going to be a lot of things that have to happen in the state of missouri to balance the budget. as governor, i've got to balance the budget and i'm going to do
it. >> nonsession realed but in -- as you are entering back out into the community and the unfortunate circumstance that you may contract the virus are there any contingency plans in place? would that fall on the lieutenant governor? what would that look like? >> there one a time and place. we've had this discussion, if something should happen to anyone in a position, when you're in a situation like we were, a virus, you never know. i've been around smart enough to know things can happen to anybody. you got to be prepared for that so we had an order in place if something happened to me it could prfer to the lieutenant governor which is what the constitution said. we were prepared for that i hope for me and my family, i hope we stay safe. but none of us is guaranteed tomorrow. i learned that a long time ago. so what i can tell you is work hard today, do the best you can. move forward. hat's all we all can do. >> obviously this happened yesterday and i assume you
haven't made a decision but the legislature did put a ballot initiative on the ballot involving redistricting. have you any thoughts about whether you'll place that during the august primary or the november general election? gov. parson: i haven't even looked at it yet. we still got that. we got the medicaid expansion that we're going to have to make decisions on, how we'll handle both of those. i think both of those things lay an important role. i would say the medicaid expansion part of it, we've got to figure out something on that, just because of the cost factor of it. where we are in the state of missouri. we have to figure out when is the best time to do that we have to move forward. it's going to impact the budget, we all know that, we have to get those things figured out. those decisions will be made in the next few weeks, hopefully we'll make the decision is everybody will know. thanks, everybody for being here. thanks. >> the u.s. house returns friday at 9:00 a.m. eastern for legislative business to debate and vote an crishese relief package. the bill provides for over $3
trillion of relief to state and local governments. funding for first responders and health workers. and money for individuals and families. the house is also expected to debate and vote on house rules changes to allow for proxy voting on the house floor during the public health emergency period. friday's house session is expected to last late into the evening due to social distancing guidelines. watch live coverage on c-span, on lie -- online at c-span.org or listen with the free c-span radio app. >> sunday night on q&a. journalist suzanne in a kahalin discusses her book the great pretender about a 1973 experiment led by a stanford psychologist testing the he yit macy of psychiatric hospitals. >> because he had such a wide kind of influence on so much of what we contend with today, so much of the mental health crisis
that we see today was touched in some ways by this study. this gives us an opportunity to go back and reassess as a way to move forward. you can't move forward on a rotten foundation. if this study wasn't up to snuff, wasn't legitimate, we have to rethink some of the conclusions that it presented. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c span's q&a. >> earlier today texas senator john cornyn spoke on the floor about the coronavirus response and the $3 trillion economic aid package making its way through the house. >> since the senate returned to washington two weeks