tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC May 8, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PDT
good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington continuing our breaking coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. we're awaiting now new york governor andrew cuomo's daily briefing and continue to follow breaking news for the nation. the economic pain in america reaching historic levels. the unemployment rate today now is 14.7%, the worst number in the post world war ii era for april. more than 20 million people across the country lost their jobs in april, including massive layoffs in the retail, education and health care sectors. kevin hasan, the top economic adviser for president trump, saying this morning may's unemployment report will be even worse. those numbers don't include people who have not been able to file jobless claims at all. and andrew cuomo is coming in
now to discuss presumably, of course, his daily coronavirus briefing but also the unemployment in new york state. >> that's okay. there's always next year. albert einstein, i do not like to state an opinion on a matter unless i know the precise facts. good advice. wouldn't it be nice if all of those talking heads on tv took that advice? no opinion unless you know the fact. let's talk about some facts. total hospitalizations, down to 8,196. good news. change in hospitalizations, you see has been going down. change in intubations is also down, and that's really good flus. t news. the percentage of people once intubated that actually
successfully come off a ventilator is very low. so that is very good news. and the number of new covid hospitalizations per day is just about flat, has been flat for a few days. these are the number of new cases that are coming in the door every day, or people who were in the hospital who then test positive for covid. and these charts, i look at the line more than anything. and what the curve is actually saying more than the specific number. we would have hoped to see a steady, sharp decline in those numbers, right? we went up very quickly, as you see on the left of the screen. we would have hoped we would have come down very quickly at the top, and then come down. and that's not what was happening. it's more flattening out.
question when we look at the charts now, will it flatten out or will it continue to drop? when you look at the actual projection model ihme, one of the more accurate projection models, they show is going down but you even have several hundred cases in mid-june. these models have been instructive but not necessarily determinative in the past. but that's what we're watching now going forward. same thing on the number of lives lost. this is probably most important statistic and the most painful. 216 new yorkers passed away yesterday. that's 216 families. you see that it's been persistently constant in the 200 range for the past few days. we're also looking at that, what
does that curve do? what does that line do? does it slowly decline? we would have liked to have seen again up and then a fast decline. possibility it flattens out at one point. but, again, we don't know. we don't know. so we go day to day and we see and we react given the facts we're presented with. the lack of facts can hurt you. we've seen that, i believe, during this global pandemic. how did it happen? why weren't we ahead of it? not just for retrospective but also prospectively. if you don't understand how it happened last time, you don't learn from what happened last time, you will repeat them,
right? there's a chance this virus comes back. they talk about a second wave. they talk about a mutation. and if it's not this virus, another public health issue. i think we have to learn from this. unfortunately, we learn from it as we're going through it because we may not have the luxury of time. if they're right about the speculation of the second wave in the fall or winter, then we have to start getting ready now. and it is shocking to me that so many months, so many weeks we talked about the virus was coming from china, from china, from china. now it turns out the virus didn't come to the east coast from china, it came from europe. and all of those talking heads, that is a relatively new fact. you didn't look back at the timeline of what was going on, and i think it's informative. we talk about the virus in china
last year, end of last year, november and december. we had the first case in the state of washington january 21. we then had the china travel ban by the president on february 2, which was a right move in retrospect. six weeks later, you have the travel ban from europe and then we still have john f. kennedy airport open in new york as what's called the quote/unquote funnel airports. there were about four airports in the nation left open, four flights coming from china to europe. john f. kennedy airport, our main international airport, was one of them. when you look back november through april is a long period of time. and what happened apparently is the virus got on a plane from china, someone who was infected
got on a plane and went to europe and then from europe the virus mutated in europe and then flew to new york city, newark airport, flew to places on the why, right? flew to chicago. the virus wasn't going to stay in china and wait for us to deal with it in china. everybody talked about how mobile people are and global interconnections, et cetera. and that's what happened. but nobody was saying beware of people coming from europe. we we we weren't testing people coming from europe. we weren't telling every at the time if you have a european visitor or european guest, make sure they get tested. they walked right through the airport. well, i understand what happened in retrospect. but we have to make sure it doesn't happen again. from december to march, 3
million europeans came through our airports. you wonder why we have such a high infection rate, you have 3 million europeans coming into this market undeekted. you don't tell anyone. there's no precautions. there's no testing. and then you let people circulate in this dense environment, you're going to have the virus spread. and that's exactly what happened. and many of those people didn't stay in new york, they just landed at j.f.k., connected to another flight, and flew to a city in the united states. that's what happened. flights from china proportionately go to the west coast of the united states. but the european flights, they come to the east coast. 3 million europeans is a lot of people. and, again, it was months of people coming and people
circulating before we were really put on notice. so learning what happened is important so we don't make the same mistake again twice, right? and beerter prepared in the future. and i think word of caution would be today we must consider an outbreak anywhere is an outbreak everywhere. you hear about an outbreak in china. you hear about an outbreak in korea. just assume it gets on the plane the next day, somebody infected gets on plain and can go anywhere on the globe literally. one fact we do know about covid is we know there's still a lot that we don't know about this virus. and some things that we thought were facts are now being revisited. we were told if you had the
virus, you then had antibodies, you would then be immune from getting it a second time. now there's some questions about whether or not your immune, how immune you would be if you have the antibodies. we were led to believe that the good news about this virus was it didn't affect children, which was taken as great news, right? now we have a new issue that we're looking at, which is something we're just investigating now. but while rare, we're seeing some cases where children affected with the covid virus can become ill with symptoms similar to the kawasaki disease or toxic shock-like syndrome that literally causes inflammation in their blood vessels. this past thursday a 5-year-old
passed away from covid-related complications. and the state department of health is investigating several other cases that present similar circumstances. this would be really papeful news and wou painful news and open up an entirely different chapter. i can't tell you the people i spoke to who took peace and solace into the fact children were not getting infected. we thought children might be vehicles of transmission, a child could get infected and come home and infect a family, but we didn't think children would suffer from it. if this is true, some of these children are very, very old. so caution to all people who, again, may have believed that their child couldn't be affected by covid. this information suggests we may
want to revisit that quote/unquote fact, that assumption. if you see any of the symptoms that are on the chart that your child is evidencing, caution should be taken because this is something that we're looking at. and, again, there has been at least one fatality because of this and there may be others that are now under investigation. so this is every parent's nightmare, right, that your child may actually be affected by this virus. but it's something we have to consider seriously now. another fact we do know about this, and a common thread with the virus, is it affects minority communities more dramatically. nothing biological about the minority community, but
demographically, socially the infection rate is higher. new york state does not have the same disparities we've seen in other states around the country, thankfully, but we do have a disparity. it's, again, relatively modest but something that we won't tolerate. and you will see it in the hispanic community, see it in the african-american community where they're disproportionately affected. we ask the hospitals to look at the new cases that are walking in the door to see what we can learn about where we are now because we have taken so many actions, so many dramatic actions, closed down businesses, testing. we still have new cases. we're getting additional information on these new cases now. and when you look at the new cases and where they're coming from in the state, it's clear
that a majority of the new cases and a disproportionate number are coming from minority communities. 21 zip codes with the highest rate of hospitalizations. 20 have greater-than-average black and latino populations. so this is something that we're focused on and we're going to address, and we will address immediately. and we will have more information on this in the next couple of days. we must also adjust to the changing circumstances given the shutdown. many aspects of society have been closed down or are less operational. the court system is among them. it's done a lot of work thanks to what the court system has been able to manage by remote telecommunication, et cetera. but we passed a law in new york called the child victims act,
which was long overdue, which allowed survivors of sexual abuse as children to file a claim. we then had a window of time that they could actually file the claim. because of the reduction in court services, we want to extend that window, and we will extend it for an additional five months until january 14th because people need access to the courts to make their claim, because justice too long delayed is justice denied it, martin luther king jr. so we will extend that window for people to bring their case. the good news on the overall is we're finally ahead of this virus. for so long we were playing catch-up. we talked about the facts and circumstances that we found out about it. it was in china, it had moved. and we were playing catch-up. we were behind it.
now i feel for the first time we're actually ahead of it. we have showed that we can control the beast. and look at those numbers coming down. remember our numbers are coming down in new york. most states in this country, you still see the numbers going up. you take new york out of the national numbers, and you see the cases are in the incline. we have it on the decline. so we have the beast on the run. there's no doubt about that. we haven't killed the beast, but we are -- we're ahead of it. and the hospitalization rate is coming down, the death rate is coming down. so that's all good news. i feel that we are for the first time in this engagement, we're actually ahead of the virus. we have to stay there. we have to figure out what the next move is that the virus is going to make and we have to stay ahead of it. but we are ahead of it. and we are in control of our own
destiny. why is that virus on decline? why are those cases going down? because we're making the number of cases go down. we are reducing the number of infections. if we didn't do anything, you would have seen that infection number keep going straight up. we reopen irresponsibly, you will see that infection number go straight up. we are reducing the rate of infection by our actions, wearing the masks, closedowns, precautions. we turn that curve, no one else. and we are going to determine what that rate of infection is going forward. you tell me how we behave today. i will tell you the rate of infection three days from now. you tell me how we behave today. i'll tell you the number of people who walk into a hospital in seven days or ten days.
it is that clear, cause and effect. it is that clear. that's also liberating. finally our destiny, our future is in our hands. and it's not subject to the whims of the virus. we are in control of the spread of the various. and that is good news to me. we just have to stay there, and we will because we are new york tough, smart, disciplined, loving and the great state of new york is showing the way forward once again. questions? >> a reopening question for you. we are all eagerly awaiting may 15th and 16th. and what you told us so far has us anticipating that you'll talk about manufacturing and construction likely upstate. is there anything that might get added to it even if you can't
tell us now? is there a possibility we'll get a nice surprise thrown in that's a little more than maybe what we're expecting on those two fronts? >> yeah, i think the nicest surprise could be that we are acting reasonably and responsibly and based on facts and based on the data, right, i get the emotion. everybody would like to see everything open tomorrow. me most and foremost. everyone on every level, personally, economically, et cetera. but as i said at the end, we are now in control, and we have the various on the run because we have been smart and because we have been disciplined. and i know that's hard. we want to stop doing what's hard. that's human nature. but you tell me what the virus is doing, you tell me the facts
on the virus, i'll tell you what we can do in terms of reopening. you tell me what that infection rate is, hospitalization rate is, i'll tell you the facts. your anticipation is right. if you look at these numbers now and factor them forward, upstate new york, the numbers are dramatically different than downstate. it's like a different state. and we'll be talking about construction, manufacturing reopening upstate. in downstate, i don't think those numbers will change dramatically enough to make a difference in the next few days. and new york governor andrew cuomo just saying that for the first time he believes new york is ahead of the covid-19 virus and new yorkers turned that curve by their actions breaking the white house, this morning a staffer for vice president mike pence tested positive for coronavirus. u.s. officials say this person is not traveling to iowa with the vice president today fwhaut flight on air force two was delayed for an hour at andrews
fiers bas air force base. a number of vice president pence's staffers were seen disembarking the plane before it took off. joining me nbc white house and "today" co-host kristen welker and michael steele. any details we know about the disturbing news from the vice president's office that a staff member did test positive? >> well, we're trying to drill down on more details, andrea. but we have confirmed that a staffer tested positive. and as you pointed out, that delayed the vice president's trip to iowa significantly by as much as an hour. and the reason why it's so disconcerting, of course, is because it comes on the heels of the news that we learned yesterday. that one of the president's valets tested positive as well. that was someone who served food to president trump. the president was asked about it by our own peter alexander and he seemed to downplay it.
he said look, i have been tested, the vice president has been tested. we both tested negative. he also said in the wake of these revelations that anyone who was near him or the vice president would be wearing a match. we will have to see if that's the case as the vice president travels to iowa and we continue to track the president's movements throughout the day. but undoubtedly this is ramping up concerns within the administration about the possible spread of covid-19 in the administration. but also raising fresh questions about the administration's response. because if there's not rapid placing at every place of work, the question becomes how can employees have the confidence to reopen? how can places of work have the confidence to reopen if they don't know the status of their various employees? of course, earlier this week press secretary kayleigh mcenany said bottom line is you can never have enough tests. so she downplayed the need for a
national testing strategy. but if you talk to professionals, they say that is the key to reopen safely, andrea. >> kristen, i want to get back to you on reaction by the president to these economic advisers and these incredibly bad unemployment numbers. but first, stephanie ruhle, you're in new jersey. the pain is being felt there and the atlantic city area and other areas of the state. these numbers dreadful. economic advisers saying may will be worse and they're still underreported because so many people have not even filed unemployment claims, have not been able to get in the system or don't qualify. >> the numbers are huge but it's really important. you can't compare this to any other time in history, andrea, because we didn't shed 20-plus-million jobs naturally. it was basically a forced shutdown. the government said we need to close down in order to address this health pandemic.
and that's what we've seen happen. so you've got those 20-plus million people on unemployment. the positive is, yes, they want to get back to work but they are receiving those economic resources so they can hopefully take care of themselves. but for those businesses out there, especially in places like new york, new jersey, they don't know when they're going to reopen. big box stores are open right now. when we say things are shut down, the angriest little businesses here say that's not the case. you can drive down the street and go to a walmart and not just buy essential goods, toilet paper, paper towels, you can buy clothes, beach chairs, surfboards. but these businesses cannot even turn the lights on. they can't go inside. if that's the case throughout the summer, it's scary and it's sad but they're more worried about their livelihoods than they are about their lives. >> and to kristen, the president is anticipating a boost in the third quarter. and that's very likely,
according to most economists, but some of these jobs may not return because of some of the bankruptcies we're seeing. >> that's right. the president was asked about this earlier today, andrea. he said they were prepared for these numbers but you're absolutely right, he's trying to make the case in this third quarter we will start to see a rebound to some extent. based on our conversations we've seen with the administration officials, we know the administration is seeing a series of potential steps to try to help rejuvenate the economy. one of those would be to push back tax day yet again. remember it's already been delayed from july. could they potentially push it back from september to december? that is under discussion. they're also looking at other steps the president can take unilaterally without the help of congress. those steps would include a moratorium on any new regulations, would include trying to provide liability aid to businesses so they couldn't be sued by employees who got
sick with covid-19. of course, they are looking at possible legislative action as well, which might include the payroll tax cut. that is something president trump has spoke anticipate a whole lot about, andrea. as you know, democrats and some republicans say that is not the right way to go. and it does come as the president is being schohown a re of best and worst-case scenarios. and worst case is an unemployment rate that would top 30%. we're told when the president saw those numbers, he was quite concerned. so that has underscored the need to take even more action than we've seen, andrea. >> michael steele, the president is so eager to get back out on the campaign trail, to get out and do things around the country. you see mike pence going to iowa today and both of them trying to get back into campaign mode. how do they do that when you have things like this unfortunate occurrence of somebody on the vice president's staff, questions about whether there's enough testing,
questions about the president's reluctance to wear a mask and the vice president not wearing a mask at the mayo clinic and acknowledging that was a mistake. >> i think, andrea, in terms of any other president you would not have them hankering to get back on the campaign trail or even to begin a campaign process in the middle of this crisis where there's -- as you just noted, so many unsettled questions. so many concerns still lingering. and still the unknown as governor cuomo pointed out this morning. now that we're seeing a whole other avenue and impact of this disease, this virus, rather, on children. we don't know how this thing is mutating. we don't know how it's really going to impact long term. so this idea of getting into the campaign mode, while it works for trump, because that's what he wants to do, he wants to create that energy. he wants to feel that response back from a crowd, however big he can get it.
the rest of the country and certainly governor leaders are much more reticent to open up that opportunity when there's still so many outstanding concerns and questions. trump is to satisfy his desire to feel that energy, that love from the public, certainly from his base, but i don't know if the public is going to respond the way he thinks they will, especially given we still don't know or have answers to a lot of big questions, including testing. >> it's more difficult to have political slogans and economic slogans about recovery when people are also worried about their health. that has an impact on whether they're willing to go back out and get into businesses and go to retail. stephanie ruhle, thank you so much. i know you will be all over this today. and i want to bring in another big, breaking story with frank fa glusy, former fbi
director, and turn to stunning developments in the justice department he today. the unprecedented move to drop the case against convicted security national adviser michael flynn, although he pled guilty twice to lying to the fbi, shortly after he took office. the prosecutor retired shortly before the decision was announced by the u.s. attorney, who had been a very close assistant at the justice department. frank, first, all of the implications here and the fact they then called vladimir putin yesterday, and according to the white house announcement of this and description of it, there was no mention of the russia probe and the election probe. but the president himself discussed that. this vladimir putin and the fact his view now that the russian hoax was dispelled, they could get back to business. talk to me about your counterintelligence concerns here. >> yeah, i think they're
actually linked. the dismissal of charges against flynn and conversation by the president with vladimir putin, stonecold adversary of the united states on the very same day, that's not a coincidence. the flynn interview at issue here by the fbi was all about resolving the question of whether mike flynn was a counterintelligence threat to the nationas about figuring outo neutralize, resolve and counter that threat. so when the president gets on the phone with vladimir putin and the topic comes up in the same conversation, the concerns have not yet been resolved. i'm here to tell you, andrea, having read that doj filing by attorney general barr yesterday twice now, that it is filled with half truths and distortions that appear designed to deceive the reader.
there are almost line-by-line inaccuracies and out-of-context statements. i think if the judge in this case were to actually insist on a hearing and have doj work through the details of all of its false assertions, it won't stand in court. sadly, we see right wing media exploiting the falsehoods in the doj statement and repeating it and getting even worse. last night i saw a fox news host who actually made the false statement that the fbi was wiretapping general flynn's phones. that absolutely is not true. yet, those falsehoods are being picked up and run with to serve a political narrative. >> ton that very point, kristen welker, let me play what the president is saying about his conversation with putin, which is completely different from what the white house official version of it was. let's watch. >> remember this, the russia hoax made it very hard for
russia and the united states to deal with each other. they're a very important nation. we're the most powerful nation. they're a very powerful nation. why would we not be dealing with each other? but the russia hoax is absolute dishonest hoax. made it very difficult for our nation and their nation to deal. and we discussed that. i said, you know, it's a very appropriate time because things are falling out now and coming in line showing what a hoax this whole investigation was. it was a total disgrace. and i wouldn't be surprised if you see a lot of things happen over the next number of weeks. >> so he's saying i wouldn't be surprised if you see a lot of things happening. he's talking to america's chief adversary, vladimir putin, and saying to him that this was a hoax on the day that the flynn prosecution is dropped, and after the united conclusion of to interference agencies was
and did try to attack our election. and it's beyond belief. >> that's right. and, remember, andrea why flynn was fired in the first place, because he lied to the vice president about the contacts and the nature of the conversations that he was having with russian officials. that is something president trump said apart from any investigation into michael flynn. so now you see the president not only defending michael flynn, defending this decision and this recommendation by the justice department, again, underscoring as you point out that he intends to have more and significant interactions with the russian officials in the wake of all of this. i also think it's worth noting, andrea, the fact president trump said he would be open with the possibility of potentially bringing flynn back into his administration. now, it's going to be up to a judge whether or not he actually
accepts the doj's recommendation. but, again, a little bit of rewriting history here because it was president trump himself who said he fired flynn for lying to the vice president about his interactions with russian officials, andrea. >> and, frank, when he first pled guilty saying he was a disgrace, he betrayed his country, what do you expect, will he ask for a tough hearing or take a tough line or go along with this? is there any way to predict? >> yeah, i think the juj widge make the doj work through this dismissal request. i think it's quite rare for a judge not to go with a prosecution recommendation to dismiss, but i think he's going to make them earn it and i think it's going to be embarrassing as they try to lay out and defend
all of the context distorted within their pleading. and i think we need to learn more about why a u.s. assistant attorney walked away from this case. we need details on that. i think the judge is empowered to look into that as well. >> michael steele, there were even implications when the president was asked about chris wray today on a fox interview, and he said he was rod rosenstein, the deputy's pick, not mine. do you think the president can get away with trying to fire a tenured, ten-year termed, christopher wray at the fbi? >> in terms of the political institutions and capitol hill leadership? sure. what have they done to hold the present accountable of anything else? the president is talking about bringing michael flynn back into the administration in some form. bet on that. that's his russia guy. bet on it. if he can get flynn in the back
of the door, he will. and there won't be a peep -- probably democrats will be upset. republicans, what are they going to say? what have they said so far? and so, you know, i look at this more broadly for folks who are sitting in jail right now who pled guilty, you know, to a chime, they're sitting there going okay, when does the doj or prosecutor come back and throw my conviction out? i mean, it undermines the entire criminal justice system and the justice system overall to see the attorney general just sort of willy-nilly come to the table and go, okay, you're free to go. we don't want to prosecute this anymore. i was worried about the president's pardon power. little did we know the attorney general also had a pardon power and that was just not to prosecute, throw it out. to frank's point, i think the judge should make them earn this. i get they generally don't want to go against a prosecutor's
recommendation but in this case they have to look hard and long on it and really ask the question, given what we said as a court to mike flynn a year ago, what position do we take down? what's changed? the only thing that changed is the attorney general said, sho go now. >> michael steele, frank flusy and kristen welker, thanks to stephanie ruhle, thank you very much. of course, the president said there's more to come. stay tuned. coming up -- l.a. mayor eric garcetti joins me after some restrictions are lifted after months of keeping residents inside. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports." stick with us here on msnbc. to bank safely from home. deposit a check with your phone or tablet. check balances, pay bills,
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and this just in from the vice president's office. the staffers who were taken off air force 2 at joint base andrews today before the departure for iowa were staffers who had, had contact with the staffer, not on the plane but the vice presidential staffer who did test positive today. so contact tracing is under way. the staffers will be retested. some people may have to be quarantined. that is all in place. we will have more, of course, throughout the day on msnbc about this problem of a positive staffer of the vice president's office having tested positive today. meanwhile today, los angeles
county will begin curbside pickup for businesses, including florists, car dealers, sporting good stores, public walking and hiking trails are also open today for l.a. residents who have spent months signed their homes. now many are wondering how their families can stay safe in crowded areas as this reopening begins. los angeles mayor eric garcetti joins me now. mr. maryor, i know how busy you must be. i can only imagine. but as you shift to a gradual reopening, how do you do this carefully and avoid any further outbreak? i know you have a unique citywide contact tracing and testing program under way. tell me about that first. >> absolutely. and thank you, andrea. thank you for all of your great coverage during this crisis. we are taking baby steps forward today from the lessons learned over the last two months, and because we built up very aggressively capacity here to test. we now meet the minimum threshold, in fact we're almost double in my city the
recommended 15 tests per 10,000 people each day. we're doing about 15,000 tests for 10 million people in the county, and in the city of l.a. we're doing almost 10,000 of those tests for 4 million people. that's really helped us have confidence moving forward. but today he there's curbside pickup to help some of our local stores who have been suffering so much. and this weekend people can go back to the iconic trails that overlook it beautiful city. but we have been warning people to paraphrase spider-man, with great freedoms come great responsibilities. you have to take those seriously. i won't hesitate one second to shut things back down if we see numbers going up. our hospitals are holding steady. our testing capacity is there. we do need more on the tracing side and i do help federal legislation to help do a c.a.r.e.s. corps or an americorps public service that can take people into our cities and counties and help everybody more quickly trace those folks when we do know they're positive
and everybody that they touched. >> in fact, i was talking to senator coons, one of the sponsors of that issue. peace corps could involve a lot of people, hundreds of thousands of people who are trained and can do this kind of detailed contact tracing. where did you get the tests? was this something you did on your own or did you have federal help? how did you, unlike other cities, get this organized? >> we had to build this basically on our own and we're burning through a lot of our own money but we're hoping the federal reimbursement will help but i didn't want to wait one day. we found local companies here in southern california. put together testing centers. first one now up to 36 with firefighters and volunteers, led by sean penn's organization, corps, which worked in haiti and other places, now working in their backyard. we're taking this model to other cities like oakland, detroit, chicago are looking at these. volunteer that's can help. we really had heroic first responders who stepped up. i'm glad you talked to senator
coons. he and i are working closely together. and there's been a bipartisan consensus together with mayor holt, republican mayor of oklahoma city, we put forward a call for this. we think about the civilian conservation corps during the depression, peace corps during the cold war, teacher corps during the war on poverty. it is time for us to put people back to work and help others return to the economy because we have more contact tracers, and people helping folks get federal benefits they need. so i'm very hopeful that can get passed in a bipartisan way in this next round. >> thank you so much, mayor garcetti. it's great to hear some positive news from l.a., and, of course, about luck as you begin to open carefully. we hope to talk to you in the coming days and weeks. >> i'd love to. thank you, andrea. and coming up -- a legendary actor julie andrews talking about how she is using her love of reading to help children and families around the world during the covid-19 crisis. my very special guest julie
on a mother's day weekend when many families cannot be together, we want to bring you and children of all ables something that is practically perfect in every way. for more than six decades, dame julie andrews has been entertaining all of us, from her un-gortable performance as the magical british nanny "mary poppins" to the governess in "the sound of music" and the original elijah dolittle on "my fair lady" on broadway. but she's also written two television books. and her and her daughter have a library to comfort kids, and this is poignant now as families
all over america continue to shelter in place. >> the meal was delicious. where did you get jam, the mouse asked? a tablecloth. the duck munched a crust. you would be surprised what you find inside of a wolf. it's nice, said the mouse. it's home, said the duck. >> well, i am completely enchanted, joining me now is the one and only dame julie andrews and her daughter children's book author, co-author emma walton-hamilton. welcome to both of you. you've been writing books together for years but for you now to be reading books to children when so many children are, you know, without public school, without private school, you know, at home, it's just wonderf wonderful. julie, the inspiration behind this. i know you've been doing it for a while, but it's more important now than ever. >> thank you, andrea. it's lovely to see you and thanks so much for having us on
toda today. >> tell me about your reading these books and i know you and emma have been writing them, but first to you, reading them now and what makes it so important? >> well, we've written about 30 books or so together, over 30 books together, and we've been planning to do a podcast and reading not only a couple of our books, it's not just our books, but a lot of good children's books and when the virus hit us all it was thought that if we brought the air date forward it would be very helpful for children who were stuck at home or who could use the learning and the entertainment hopefully, things like that. so it's been a mad scramble to get it up and running and it is, and, emma, do you want to put
your two cents in about it? >> yeah, i think it was just really an extension of what we were already doing in our children's publishing and in our outreach to kids together and so enormously excited to be able to bring it to listeners now. >> i think we are in our -- >> julie andrews, i know you -- >> please go. >> you have this netflix series which is more popular than ever and that is something that people, you know, that you are, in fact, updating now because so many people are watching or at home, but tell me about this crisis, this pandemic, how it has affected you. you actually lived through the blitz in london and that is often referred to as something that is similar to what people are experiencing now, the death toll is now matched that with more than 70,000 people dead. as a child the fear there, that's where you learned your love of reading as well.
>> yes, but i am very much reminded of world war ii and the days long, long ago. it's very similar these days to the way i felt then when i was a child and it's the fear and the unknown and the -- it's really not having any control over anything and being alert and aware and scared and yet the unity and the bonding that is so important, and it was that way in the old days when -- during the war, but instead of them knitting socks for soldiers as we did then, we are now making masks and doing everything we can to help. everybody is pitching in and it's wonderful to see that unity. >> it's also coincidentally v-e day today in terms of victory in
europe. >> oh, my gosh, it is. >> remarkable historic moment. >> yes. >> julie, tell me about the netflix series because i know how important that has been to you and to emmand you're doing posts now to update it as so many people are watching netflix right now. >> it's a show that i -- emma and i produced and did fournette flicks about almost four years ago now and it's been airing on netflix and it's with the wonderful henson family of muppets and these are as you can see our greenees as we call them, julie's green room, i own a little theater supposedly and i teach theater and they are all my pupils and between us we manage, including the duck. the duck comes in and i say, well, the theater doesn't designate, so we have to allow him to participate as well. it was great fun and, again,
because content is needed, we have -- everybody seems to be watching it, it was such a lovely surprise when i heard that, so i'm now doing a little dialogue at the beginning of every episode and so on. but emma produced it and it was a joy. >> emma, what is it like to collaborate with your mother on so many projects? here we are about to celebrate mother's day. >> well, it's a tremendous honor and it's a great joy, as you might imagine. i mean, i'm well aware that i am in the very enviable position of being the daughter of julie andrews and i'm happy to report she's every bit as good an egg as everyone hopes she is. >> thank you. >> we work together very -- very sympathetically, very -- with a great deal of mutual respect and affection and it's been a joy. it really has. over 20 years now and more if
you -- 20 years we've been writing books together but many more years collaborating in other creative ventures as well. it's just a delight. i highly recommend working with your mother if you have the opportunity to do so. >> well, let me say you bring so much joy to all of us and, julie andrews, i can't even think of what my favorite julie andrews character or movie or play s but i guess it's "my fair lady" or "sound of music" or maybe "mary poppins" but that's for another day. good health. happy mother's day to both of you and for bringing joy to all of us and happy mother's day to everyone as you go into this weekend. remember, follow the show online on facebook and on twitter@mitchellreporting. chuck todd and katy tur pick up our coverage after this break. r our coverage after this break. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease @mitchellreporting.
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♪ good afternoon, i'm chuck todd, here are the facts as we know them this hour. moments ago white house press secretary caley mcen thenny just wrapped up a press briefing this as another white house staffer has tested positive for coronavirus. this time it's a member of vice president mike pence's staff, the news coming one day after