tv Washington Week PBS May 15, 2020 7:30pm-8:00pm PDT
bert: optimism from the president and caution from experts. dr. fauci: the re-entry of sunts into -- students into the fall term would be a bridge too far. toluse: to me it's not an acceptable answer. robert: a divide between health officials andresident trumps he rallies to reopen a strained nation. and a warning from a whistleblower. >> we need a national testing strategy. the virus is here. it's everywhere. robert: as statesr on the brinkteee o tfeconomic collapse, congress debates another relief bill. >> we must thi big for the people now because if we don't it will cost more in lives and livelihood later. robert: and the campaign heats
up as the president lashesut o national security adviser michael flynn. toluse: it was the greatestli cal crime in the has -- historyf our country. >> corporate funding is provided by. >> life isn't s aaight line and sometimes you can find yourself heading in a new direction. fidety is here to help you work through the unexpected with financial planning and advice for today andomorw. >> kaiser permanente. additional funding is provided by the estate of arnold adams
and koo and patricia yue through the yuen foundation, committed to bridging cultura difference in o communities. the corporation for public oadcasting and contributions to your pbs station from vielik. thank you. romewe again,rs washington, moderator robert costa. robert: good eveni the week ends with nearly 90,000 americans dead due to covid-19 and states that have struggled for weeks with testing are now struggling to rpen. it's a nation uncertain and divided. gornors are clashing with state lawmakers and in need of cash. neighbors are helping one another but arguing over facemasks. millionsf households are dealing with personal tensions and financial pressure. federal reserve chairman jerome powell s this week that the country is in the middle of the biggest shock our economy felt in modern times and possibly facing an extended period of weakness.
here in washington on friday house democrats are consideri speaker nancy pelosi's $3 trillion relief package but that is only the opening bid with hegotiations with senate republicans and white house just beginning. president trump is encouraging states to reopen and touting efforts t develop a vaccine. pres. trump: there's never been a vacciroject anywhere in history like this and i jus want t make something clear. it's very important.e vacc or no vaccine, we're back and we're starting t process. robert: but health experts warn this week that the president and governors must move slowly. here is dr. anthony fci and whistleblower dr. rick bright, former vaccine official. dr. fauci: there is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak n that you ma be able to control which, in fact, teadoxically, will set you
subaer , death tt could even set you back on the road to g r economovery. >> if we fail to improve our response nowased on science, i fear the pandemic will get worse anded be prolo there will likely be a a resurgence of covid-1 this fall greatly compounded by the challenges of seasonal influenza. without better planning, 2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history. robert: joining me are four beatters who were on the all week. weijiase jiang, white hou correspondent for cbs news. jonathan lemire, white house reporter forssheiated press. abbyhillip, political correspondent for cnn. and jake sherman, senior writer for politico, andor co-au of "playbook." weijia you're at the whiteghouse to you're talking to sources inside the west wing.ok g at that testimony from dr. bright and dr. fauci,hes
president listening or is he sidelining experts? weijia: it's great to be with you and i c yelanoul t punch for president trump because you have top health expertssndermining argument that the country is ready to reopen, an argument that he tookp a s further just today, saying that with or without a vaccine, we are back. and becausesi the pnt does not offer scientific data to support his side of this argument, he turns to attacking dr. fauci and bright, so we heard him say that fauci is trying to play both sides he d that bright is just a disgruntled employee who shouldn't be working for the government at all. and so this really struck a chord for president trump who at the same time is having these events, trying to prove to the country w thatre ready to move saying, if you do that too are quickly, it will cost you.
robert: abby, what's your read, your reporting tell you about the disrd that's possibly going on inside the task force? i saw dr. fauci standing behind president trump today in the rose garden. what's the behind the scenes? abby: well, operation warpey speed, when nnounced today with vaccines is something that absolutely has to happen and ive thinkone's on the same page about that but there's a real difference of opinion about hite houkly the should be reopening versus encouraging states to use taa rationalize why they're reopening and how. remember, just a few days ago, the white housead rolled out these guidelines for states to use in order towh decidher or not they could be phased in to different parts of theed reopening b on the way that president trump is talking at the moment, it seems they have virtually abandoned that framework. many of the state are clearly
not following and there is a general lack of guidelines coming from the white house and from the c.d.c. and other federal agencies about what should guide stateshes reopen. this is being led by the president and a lot of his economic advisers w want to focus on reopening while some of the medical experts say there needs to be a slow, steady and data-driven approach to this issue. robert: jonathan, abby mentioned operation warp speed, this vaccine effort inside the white house, helmed in part by a foveer pharmaceutical execu what's the reality here? what are the facts about how long a vaccine could jonathan: first of all, it's great to be here. s,ed, operation apparently anek"eference on they they unveiled the space force flag in the oval office, is meant to b a crash course to develop a vaccine and the
president has takeno t saying recently that he believes the vaccine can be developed and widely disseminated by the end of the year which is an extraordinary accelerated timeta e. members of the task force, the new vaccinezar, eciod- echoed that andai they could do it. dr. fauci has said he believes it could take a year to 18 months and even that would be an aggressive timeable.nt the presi doesn't want to hear it. he, of course, is looking to get the economy going as quickly as he can. he wants states to reopen and he's doing it with one eye towards november. he knows that in order to be re-elected, odds are, his advisers believe, he needs to show that t economy is moving again. he and his team saw the dismal unemployment, historic unemployment numbers from a week or so ago. they're rattled that it could take quite somee t even reopenir
d,ba aomckanjobs toe c take on the whole scenario but particularly vaccines is the best way for him to be a cheerleader for the country, as he's put it. by: when i talk to administration officials who have crafted this new initiative, they'reyi really t buy time when it comes to manufacturing and distributing. they said, look, it's like if we were betting o horse in a race, we are going to bet on a few horses, a few promising vaccines and start to manufactur those even before one emerges as a winneo we'll be ready to push it out and get it to the people who need it. the problem is that you can't rush the actual development part. there are about 100 different groups around the world that are racing to try tong they know is effective and safe and thaett' gshiom the s part ts saytou j cannot control when it com to a time, ashe white hoe
and the doctors have this standoff over the course on how they should move on the pandemic, ur beat, house of representatives, they're $3 trillion relief package dayss after federal reserve chairman jay powell proddedongress to act. let's hear from him. >> the sco and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent.if signantly worse than any recessionld since w war ii. additional fiscal support could be costly butorth it if it helps avoid w long-term damage d leaves us with a stronger recory. robert: the president and senate republicans havece vdoi democra' plan. >> it's got so much unrelated to coronavirus it is dead on arrival here. pres. trump: as they say, d.o.a., rightn o arrival. of course, nancy pelosi knows
that,bvus ro: l, i rte with my post colleagues this abnk, the white house is open tm de alin exchange, the white house or buses sihesewa bxs ta f ofak representatives, there's still fnoal inpelosi's package. jake: that's exactly right, bob. righte now we the tail end of apesi spent d muchay of it, g her democratic colleagues in line, she hopes, to vote for thisajor piece of legislation. $3 trillion. they took jay powell's words quite seriously and crafted apa age that nancy pelosi herself described as one of the broadest pieces of legislation to come in front of congress in a ver long time. the risk is quite obvious politically, bob. there' r two risks,ht. there's the risk that they don't do enough at the end of the day
whic t we'll haveo see when the end of the day is and then there's the other ris which is she's putting her 30 democratic lawmakers who were elected in districts that donald trump won, she is forcing them -- not forcing them. she's asking them to vote for a $3 trillion bill. we all lived through the 200 stimulus bill and all the that recession and houseafter republicans ran campaigns for years based on those stimulus votes, those pricey stimulus votes, which many people argued were necessa but werepo tically very tough so republicans are betting that this bill which as the president said, he's right, it's dead on arrival inyhe senate, t are betting they can make political hay in novemberth out o very tough $3 trillion vote. we don't know how it's going to end up but we assume nancy pelosi is going to be able to squeeze this through.d she's very gt that and quite frankly her members want to legislate, the vast majority
of them want their prints on the bill. this is an important bill for democrats to vote on theyhink. robert: abby, you're talking to voters and candidates. areovnors, state officials satisfied with what they're hearing from washington? you id they're not getting the guidance needed on testing. what about on the finanal front? is this enough? ere's so much anxiety i the states about how they are going to be solvent giv that thoronavirus has wiped out their revenues on a number of different fronts, whether it's sales tax, income tax, and added this extra burden of millions of people on unemployment rolls so washington to res thoseelp from issues so that they can fraly just pay a their bills there's a sense that time is of the ere.nce it's not just the state and erere are alsoo t som really pressing needs when it comes to
elections. as jake w les geenneralti election.ed, a lot of states have to make really big changes in responses to this virus preparedness. there's a need for that to be dealt with in some of these bills. it's dealt with in the house bill from pelosi but a lot of those provisions are what some of the most liberal members of the house want and as the president said, is dead on arrival in the senate but i anin wece i c thin both sides of the aisle know there needs to be middle ound in order to stop the bleeding at the state and local level as a resul othf o just jump in. i think the big question is timing. we're about toia hit mem day. the question is, is what's going to come first, the next round of legislating or layoffs in cities and states across the country. the white houseees a final bill, final compromise on spending in the next six to eight weeks but the real
question is do we see layoffs andurloughs in cities like new york, detroit, chicago, and will ss president trump and the congress to act. that is the political dynamic on top ofol whatal dynamic we need. robert: . >> pressure on the white house tot y ta have a new conservative chief offf in mark meadows. will the white house really come to a deal, get what they want, tax breaks for state aid? jonathan: they're going to try to push it, you're right. it certainly goes against the chief of staff has spent much o s career arguing when he was on the hill but the president doesn't care about deficits.en the pres needs the stimulus. he's made that clear. he needs those jobs. he knows -- advisers have told m state and local governments could lay people off and thatth would be a blow to his re-election chances. i think we can expect the white house, the president himse is
a haphazard lobbyist and does more harhamntr t gs toood put wd legislation but there's a sense at the white house, he believess he n to get something done and do it in time to see the good come out of itn well advance of november. robert: with just six months until the election, as jonathan said, president trump is eager to rally his core voters. this week he lashed out at long-time targets. >> many times that the u.s. is doing far better than any other country when it comes to g.prin :ru..mp why is this a global competition to you if every day americans e still losing their livese and we still seeing more cases every day? pres. trump: wellhey're losing their lives everywhere in the world and maybe that's a question you should ask china. don't ask me. ask china that question, ok. when you ask them that question, you may get a very unusual answer. yes, behind you, -- >> sir, a why you saying that
to me specifically? i should ask china? to anybody who would ask a nasty qution like that. robert: what it is is outraab t the case of michael flynn that is now front and center on friday. since the justice department dropped criminal charges against the former national security adviser, he has accused president obama and former vice president vobnsri to -jo- out m office in 2017. in a declassified list of former officials including biden, animated the president's defenders accusing democrats of a conspirac with the president echoing them at every term. pres. trump: this was all obama. this was all biden.ee cpt as t corru pptese and we caught them. weghhe asbert: weijia, as always, holding fir reporter. when you look at the president's comments this week whether it's
on china o general flynn's case, do you see him trying to motivate his political bas what's the strategy here? weijia: sure, definitely. when it comes to that, he's been tough on cinna he was a candidate in 2016. and we know that anything that motely has to do with the russia investigation is something that he is going to use boundas ecaueahale t for pretsident trup and so any te heas a chance in his eyes toed dis the probe and certainly his impeachment, he will do that and that's what we saw in the case of what he is alleging with general flynn but even the president himself was not able to offer clarity about what micrime was ced. he's talking about people should go t jail. he has kind -- coined yet anothere, phr obama gate, to talk about this. and he hasn't talked abo what he's talking about and that
doesn't mimter som because we know when h-- when he delivers a message and he has this catch phrase, we see him hammering it over and over and over and i think that's what'in happ in this case with flynn. he's really tryg to send thatag me that he was wronged by his predecessor. robert: jonathan, when you're at the associated press writing stories for newspapers across e count robert: please jump in. what be the real facts here that matter with general flynn's case as you heavething from the president,ion than? jonathan? jothan: bob, i was so eager to get in on this particular subject. first of all, thenmasking, which the president has a knack for make routine terms sound currence in the intelligence world. michael flynn, it about the russian ambassador and they
realized there wereoncts with americans and those americans were identified. michael flynn was one ofhem. there's no sense of scandal among mostve obs but that won't stop the president from hammering it home and obama gatc hened, a nickname for a what it's about but i wasted talking to senior trump campaign officials in the last 24 hours about this and they acknowledged this will probably not acknowledge too many swing voters, it's a base play but they think it will be usefulwh e they attempt to drag down n'bijoysde the negatives that hillary clinton did. in fact, in 26, voters who did ls, they'reinton and tmpdio pol breaking for biden and the president's team realizes they needo drag n biden'sbers downnd tha raihasing the presidt
up and they see this as a way to yc it, r will 2016 playbook, allege per.nal corrupti we'll hear hunter biden's name quite a bit in the days ahead and tugy'llst nefarious doings by the vice president as part of t obama administration when it comes to flynn tryingo thwart this presidency before it began. robert: abby, what's biden's response to the barra of attacks? abby: i think the biden campaign has really studied what h with the hillary clinton campaign in 2016 when it came to this email scandal and they have really been very aggressive in trying to undermine the strategy and this aempt yall of b the controversies o te last three years, the impeachment investigation, the russia investigatig, as somethhat was actually a
aandal on the part of the obama and bideninistration. so they're really trying to put pressure on media organations to not cover this incredulously and to take akeptical look at all of this and they're also focusing on the issue of the conknavirus because i t they understand that ultimately this is a diversion from the central this administratn dealing with this historic crisis that it ising a i esident truhink they also know is not a perfect messenger when it comes to the issue of china. yes, there are many americans who a concerned about how china handled the coronavirus crisis but the president has often been reluctant to criticize chinese president jinping xi personally a hold him responsible personally for the chinese government's misdeeds. so i do think that the biden campaign is trying to stay gfocused and they're try to avoid getting dragged into this
melee that the trump campaign is trying to create with the obama gate.rt royou know who also seems to want to avoid being dragged into this, congressional republicans. aisenator lindsey graham whoa, not so fast, when the president obama a witness before the senate judiciary committee. are republicans in step with the president but not willing to go that far? of that.entnk there's i think there's an element of the fact that they don't want to make this as. cir mitch mcconnell f thisorir teek, fst you kw him al as i do, bob, he's not one to answer questions he doesn't want to answer. he was asked thiseek man raju, ourriend from cnn, what he thought of the senate political landscape and he said it's tough. we have to remember the senate is in play, too. if thisooks like a circus for people in corado ore arizona these very difficult senate races on the map, that's not
good and bringing president barack obama in front of the senate some worry would not be something that when 85,000, t0090 p people seen as a legislare doing itse job and attune to the situatione as ists in the country. robert: weijia, i know you wanted to jump in. weijia: i was going to jump in to abby's point about the president trying to maintain this firm stance on china and o'sutt i s the clip that you played i wanted to point out that the reason i followedp was because my original question had nothing to do with china but even that i've talked to after that happened told wn the president hears anybody bring up american lives were lost and the number of u.s. cases continues defensive and that's why he might have brought up china.
crse, we'll never exactly what he was thinking in that moment. robert: weijia, thank you not only for that sharp answer but for all y reporting this week. i know reporters never want to be the story and you made sure you were asking the question and dog your job like everyone else here. not easy but i appreciate you all taking the time on a friday night. weijia jiang, jonathan lemire,ll abby p and jake sherman, really appreciate it. thank you all for joining us. we will take you as close to the news as we can and on the "extra," we'll dig in more to 2020. you can find it on our social medi or website.ro good night washington. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsibn f its captntent and accuracy. visit ncicap.org.] >> corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by
-- >> life isn'tin a straight l and sometimes you can find yourself heading in a new direction. fidelity is here to help you work through the unexpected with financial planng and advice for today,nd tomorrow. >> kaiser permanente.un additionalng is provided by the estate of arnold adams and koo and patricia yuen through the yuen foundation, committed toriing cultural differences in our communities. the corporation for public broadcasting and bs contributio your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
nathan masters: once upon a time, the cosmic stage washe smaller.un, the planets-- the entire univee--all orbited our unmoving earth. at least, that's what our best astronomers and theologians believed, untilg er minds like copernicus and galileo proved otherwise. with their heretical shove, they knocked humanity off its tpedestal by proving that earth was not at the center of the cosmos. and yet, their revised cosmology continued to place us close to the center. as recently as a century ago, scientists doubted whether the universe extended beyo own milky way, until an astronomer named edwin hubble, working with the world's most powerful telescope in the mountains high above los d angelecovered just how vast our universe truly is.f and the pr this historic