tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC July 8, 2020 8:00am-9:00am PDT
a good wednesday morning to you. craig melvin here. let's start the hour with the latest facts on the pandemic. we've reached yet another grim milestone. now more than 3 million known cases in our country. so far we have lost more than 132,000 americans to coronavirus. just a few moments ago new york city mayor announced what school is going the look like in this country's largest school district. most students will likely be in
school just two or three days a week. others will do it remotely. face coverings for students and staff will be required. also this morning new jersey governor saying he's making face coverings mandatory even when people in his state are outdoors but unable to maintain social distancing. roughly 30 minutes from now the white house task force will hold a briefing at the department of education. this beefing coming as president trump says he's going to be applying pressure on governors to rep open schools in the fall. i want to get right to nbc's geoff bennett for the briefing, dr. lipi roy, msnbc medical contributor and so is kimberly atkins from boston's npr news station. dr. roy, let me start with you. this breaking news out of new
york city. you're based in new york city. the mayor there talking about how they are going to reopen schools. this is what mayor de blasio said just a few minutes ago. >> for the vast majority of kids and the vast majority of schools, you'll be going to school in the classroom two days a week or three days a week, depending on the week. we understand some families will choose the opinion lynn option. we'll be ready. >> these mandatory face coverin coverings. is this a potential blueprint for others states? >> this is a key issue. school is really important. you're still in the midst of a pandemic. here in new york state, as you know, craig, things from an infectious disease standpoint
have improved credibly. we have far, far fewer cases and hospitalizations and deaths, thankfully. the cdc has rolled out guidelines for safe reopening for schools as well. as you know, craig, kids don't need school just for instruction or in-class instruction. but remember 20 million children also rely on schools for nutrition, for breakfast and lunch and they rely on health services by schools, too. it can be done safely as long as there's certain guidelines that are maintained, including distance between desks, teachers and maybe older students wearing masks. there are clear guidelines outlined by the cdc. >> here is my question. new york city has a better handle on it. you look at florida, california, texas, arizona, if they're going to go to two or three days a week in new york city, how are they going to reopen schools in
some of these other states where this virus is still very much out of control? >> craig, that's an excellent point. it has to be done really carefully. just because this is what new york state is doing doesn't mean it's necessarily the safe thing to do nationwide. to your point, it's alarming there's significant community spread of this virus. it's dangerous, could be lethal. we have to be careful protecting our students, especially young children, but also the staff and the teachers that are there, too. remember these kids are going to go back home where they're going to be encountering other adults and other people who are vulnerable, immunocompromised. it has to be done very carefully state by state and the individual communities that are in these really large outbreak areas, need to be very careful with their reopening plan.
>> geoff bennett, nbc has reporting about the messaging strategy that the white house is looking to roll out as it pushes to reopen schools. what is it? >> reporter: craig, a white house official tells our team that the task force today, and in the weeks to come the administration more broadly, will make the case that the risks associated with keeping kids out of school, the social, the psychological, the health risks of that outweigh the risks posed by the coronavirus. so that is the message that this coronavirus task force is going to impart by way of data. they're going to emphasize the new message from the american pediatric association and their guidelines for safely reopening schools. they'll emphasize hhs data, talk about the cdc guidance that dr. roy mentioned, and talk about how they want kids to wear masks. they'll make a strong recommendation for that. that's essentially where it stops, craig. we have not learned so far yet,
anyway, about a specific plan, a plan for distributing ppe, a plan for ramping up testing, a plan for what would happen if an outbreak happens in a school, what steps should that school then take. one hopes that the administration, the task force will go integrator detail about that today. but look, this whole thing is freighted with election year politics. president trump has made clear he wants the economy to reopen. of course for schools to reopen -- schools have to reopen first for the full economy to reopen. this would all happen right before the november election. yesterday the president said he was going to put pressure on local officials. today he threatened to cut funding. he's also, craig, beefing with his own public health experts. in a tweet earlier this morning he said i disagree with the cdc on their tough and expensive guidelines for opening schools. while they want them open, they're asking schools to do very i'm prk cal things. i will be meeting with them. watch this space for more on that, i guess we could say, on that front.
we're also told the education secretary betsy devos on a call yesterday with governors, i'm told by a source on that call, that she criticized those schools like new york, like fairfax county, one of the biggest school districts in the country just across the river in virginia. like texas, schools that are offering part-time in-person instruction in the classroom, but then also offering virtual instruction for those who want it. betsy devos is making the case that anything less than full-time in-person instruction is not good enough. but the administration has not provided a plan for how to do that safely, craig. >> geoff, here's the thing, not to get too in the weeds here. you live, if i'm not mistaken, in fairfax county. this fairfax county plan they're talking about, if i'm not mistaken, they're giving parents a choice, two or three days in school or all virtual learning, and they're forcing parents to
make that choice by the end of this week or next week. it's an odd plan. >> reporter: by july 15th. this is the thing. parent and teacher groups, some of them i talked to yesterday, representatives of those organizations, they want kids to go back to school in the fall. the administration wants kids to go back to school in the fall. parents of school-aged kids, we want our kids to go back to school in the fall, so long as it's done safely. what fairfax has done, they've made the determination that what is safe for them is to either offer full-time virtual instruction or at this point to allow kids to come back into the classroom right now two days a week. it could be more than that they say come late august when the school year starts. keep in mind nearly a third of teachers across the country are 50 and older. they are put into that -- live in the group that is at higher risk for coronavirus incidence. we know black and brown populations are
disproportionately affected by this. what should schools that serve majority black and latino students, if they go home and pass it to their families, you have an out kbraek there as well. there are a whole host of issues and unintended consequences that the administration so far has not addressed. >> geoff bennett there outside the department of education where again the task force briefing is set to start roughly 20 minutes from now. we'll take you there live when it does start. kimberly, let me bring you into the conversation here. this is the meet the press first read newsletter. trump's insistence on school reopening is missing one thing, a plan. what does it say, kimberly atkins, about how this white house has maneuvered this pandemic? at this point would a plan even
help? >> this is a continuation of what we've seen, the process of the trump administration not really giving clear guidelines to all the people who will be involved in doing what geoff accurately says, reopening the schools. it's something everybody has an interest in seeing the schools reopened again. not only is there no plan to address all the points that geoff just laid out, you see the president constantly fighting within his own administration and with other experts over what happened. this week the united states is formally withdrawing from the world health organization. now you see the president is fighting on twitter with the cdc which is in charge of laying out this plan that dr. roy said that school districts should be following in order to reopen safely. you have a situation where not every school district is in a place like new york where the curve has been substantially flattened. you have a lot of school
districts in place wheres there's an increase. there might be an increase once the school is opened and school administrators have to make a decision about that. you're going to have to have different school districts and different states that are close to one another working together in order to formulate plans. so there should be some overarching strategy that includes testing, that includes contact tracing and that is not in place, yet president trump is pushing very strongly for schools to reopen without that plan. it seems that it's leaving a lot of school administrators in the dark in terms of exactly what to do. >> you mentioned contact tracing. there are large swaths of the country who haven't gotten very good at the contact tracing just yet. the president, kimberly, seems to be framing reopening schools, framing the conversation surrounding it through this
political lens, much like he did masks and with reopening the economy at large. he's relying on instincts over experts, is watt he says. what does the president stand to gain from politicizing this particular issue, the issue of reopening schools? >> clearly the presidencies reopening schools as a key component to reopening the economy and the economy is something he has been steadfastly focused on since the beginning of this. of course, politically this is an election year and the president had been touting a strong economy for three years. as we get closer to election day, that economy has really been stymied by this pandemic. the president has a huge interest in getting that going again and reopening schools would be a big way to tout a win politically in his eyes. but again, that could be short term, it could be short lived if we see a reopening of schools in
having that only fuel further spikes in coronavirus cases or start new flare-ups that aren't there right now. so it's a tricky proposition. i will be listening to see what the task force says and whether they echo the president's claim that the cdc guidelines are somehow unworkable or unreasonable for schools to be following as opposed to carefully thought out and supported by science. >> kimberly atkins, msnbc contributor, thank you. geoff bennett, stand by, we'll come back to you when this briefing starts here. dr. roy, also stick around. we've got a number of questions from our viewers that we want to pose to you. kimberly mentioned the surges and the skyrocketing cases. just this morning texas hit new highs in case numbers and hospital administrations. for the first time texas reported 10,000 new cases in a
single day. the only other states to hit that milestone are new york and florida. even more concerning, texas health officials say there are now more than 9,000 covid-19 patients in state hospitals there. garrett haake in dallas for us is in front of the texas health dallas hospital. garrett, dallas hospital seeing their own record highs. what pressures are hospitals facing? what are medical workers saying they need from the state? >> reporter: craig, the pressure on hospitals all across the state is building. i suppose if there's anything positive to say about the situation on the ground right now in texas is that the state does have as a baseline fairly significant hospital capacity. so the doctors i've spoken to aren't as worried about having enough beds or aren't as worried about having enough ppe as they are worried about keeping their staff members fresh and rested, having enough nurses and
doctors, having enough respiratory therapists. this morning i interviewed an icu doctor said there's something that all the positive covid test cases from earlier months of the pandemic can do to help him right now in helping treat the patients he's seeing come in. take a listen. >> we've been using convalescent plasma routinely since it's become available. i would urge everyone who has survived the disease and recovered to donate convalescent plasma. as the number of patients who have the disease and get ill rise, we need more and more convalescent plasma to treat those patients. >> reporter: craig, you can make an argument that texas benefits to some degree by having this enormous surge happen in july as opposed to march or april or may, because the state has been able to learn from the experience of doctors elsewhere in how to treat these patients. but one area we've seen texas really struggle to learn from
other states or pick up the pace is on testing. the state regularly lags in the bottom ten or so states when it comes to testing per capita. it's still an enormous problem in dallas county where test results in many cases take more than a week to come back. that makes contact tracing effectively useless. problems ahead in texas on a number of fronts here that we're still watching. >> why is it taking so long to get the results back? is it just a backup in the labs, or is there more to it in that? >> reporter: backlogs in the labs. according to the county judge, he said that's the problem. they want to bring more testing in-house, have more testing done at these hospitals themselves rather than going through state and federal laboratories. they just can't get it done. it's an embarrassment for texas, to be quite honest, that this is an issue that has not been confidently solved. it was an issue in april when i was here. it remains an issue in july.
>> all right, garrett haake for us there in dallas county, texas. we're also following breaking news out of the supreme court this morning. the high court has just decided on two major cases. let's turn to our justice correspondent pete williams. pete, walk us through the court's ruling on the affordable care act and contraception coverage and the practical effects of the cases. >> these are decisions that involve religious freedom, both decided by 7-2 votes with justices ruth bader ginsburg and sonia sotomayor, the two dissenters in both cases. in the first case the supreme court broadened the opt-out for employers, schools and so forth, to say they won't provide contraceptive care for the women who work for them. when obamacare was first passed, there was a carveout for religious institutions, mosques, churches, synagogues and so
forth. they were except from providing the contraceptive mandate. there's a battle over exactly how that should work for religiously affiliated institutions like, say, notre dame or schools or non-profits. well, the trump administration came along and said we want to expand that to say you can opt out on religious grounds even if you're a for-profit company or you have, not just religious objections but also moral objections. that was challenged in court, and today the supreme court by a 7-2 vote upheld it. clarence thomas who wrote the majority opinion said obamacare -- the obamacare law gives the department of health and human services broad discretion in deciding what coverage will be brought under the umbrella of obamacare and also broad discretion to say who will be exempt from it. basically it says the same rule that set up obamacare, the law that set up obamacare also gives this very broad discretion.
in their dissent, justice ginsburg and justice sotomayor said, in the past the supreme court has struck a balance between religious freedom on the one hand and the rights of others. to say they say the supreme court seems interested only in promoting religious s.e.a.l. to the nth degree, is the term they used. the second case involved a question that has been percolating among the lower courts for a while. the supreme court said a couple years ago that religious institutions are exempt from the civil rights laws, the job discrimination laws. if someone is fired from a church, they can't sue for job discrimination because that would get the government involved in deciding who will pass on the religious message of organizations and churches. today the supreme court said that applies in teachers in religious schools, even if if their main mission is not passing along a strictly
parochial education. it broadened the reach of that earlier decision. one other thing to say, craig, before my time is up is we've now been told that tomorrow is the last day for supreme court decisions. so that very likely means we will get the decisions on the legal battle over access by congress and a prosecutor in new york to president trump's tax returns and other financial documents. if those cases are ready to be announced, they will be announced tomorrow, unless they're going to reargue them for next term which seems unlikely. it seems likely we'll get those two highly anticipated decisions tomorrow. >> okay. justice correspondent pete williams breaking a little news. we can expect that highly anticipated decision likely tomorrow. pete, thanks as always, sir. we're also watching and waiting for that coronavirus task force briefing set to start at 11:30 at the department of education. a live look at the door,
presumably the door where the task force will be walking through. also native american communities hit especially hard by this pandemic. we're going ahead live to the pine ridge reservation in south dakota for an up-close look at the major challenges they're facing and the dramatic steps being taken to keep people safe there. every day we're learning something new about this virus. today no exception. some new research suggesting your blood type could affect your risk. emote patient care in just 48 hours... to the university moving hundreds of apps quickly to the cloud... or the city government going digital to keep critical services running. you are creating the future-- on the fly. and we are helping you do it. vmware. realize what's possible.
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. any minute now vice president mike pence and the coronavirus task force are expected to step up to the microphone at the department of education. this briefing is coming just one day after president trump said he would be pressuring governors to reopen schools in the fall. we will be listening in just as soon as it starts. meanwhile, we're also following the surges in cases around the count country. california seeing another record-breaking total. the golden state reporting 9,000 cases on tuesday. testing still in high demand. l.a. county's largest site at dodger stadium resumed testing after it closed unexpectedly on monday. nbc's joe fryer is there for us. how are officials in l. acha.
working to increase testing capacity where it looks like the testing hasn't started just yet. >> the testing will started in about an hour. bottom line, city and county officials say they want to try to meet the demand. they want to have more testing sites. dodger stadium is the biggest testing site in the region. has been for a while. typically this time of year we'd be midway through the baseball season with the all-star game around the corner. this time, thousands of cars go through each day. they have to have an appointment in advance. when they show up, they're given the testing material, do the swab yourself. it was l.a. in late april by becoming the first major city in the country to say, hey, anyone who wants a test can get a test, whether you have symptoms or you don't have symptoms. that's largely been the case since then. we have seen demand for testing
increase greatly, especially in the last couple weeks. it has been harder to get appointments. this testing facility here, dodger stadium, was closed for four days over the holiday weekend. officials say that was planned. obviously that took a lot of testing away for a four-day period which made it hard on the system here. i can tell you, even though it's hard to sometimes get tests in the l.a. area, i did just check and there are tests available that can be scheduled for appointments this friday including here at dodger stadium. but those are going to fill up incredibly quickly. it's not just here in l.a. county. it's across the state and across the country. the stigma of testing, more people are realizing how important it is, especially as the economy reopens, especially as maybe more people come in contact with someone who may have been exposed or may have tested positive. one of the issues is that testing supplies in some areas across the country are in short supply. we saw just this week in
sacramento county five out of six community testing centers, places that serve underserved communities had to temporarily shut down because of a shortage of supplies. craig, the other worry right now is that labs right now are overwhelmed and it is taking longer sometimes to process the results. >> all right. joe fryer for us there in los angeles. thank you. we've got to get to breaking news now, lieutenant colonel alexander vindman is retiring from the u.s. military. you'll remember that name because vindman was very much a key witness in president trump's i'm impeachment trial. nbc's peter alexander is following this one. peter, what do we know about his retirement? >> i just received a statement from lieutenant colonel alexander vindman, retiring after more than 21 years of military service, a member of the u.s. army. after, according to his lawyer,
he determined his future in the armed forces, quote, will forever be limited due to the political retaliation that the lawyer says vindman has seen from the president and from the president's allies. in the stinging statement that we just received, the attorney writes through a campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation, the president of the united states tried to force vindman to choose between adhering to the law or pleasing a president. he goes on to say he's putting the needs of his country ahead of his own, his patriotism has lost his career. they say today they lose a devoted soldier but it's incumbent upon all of us to make sure we don't lose the values he represents. this is striking because his testimony was so crucial during the impeachment inquiry we saw taking place last november. alexander vindman as well as his twin brother both ousted from the national security council
after the impeachment ended in effect for the president. the bottom line here is that he is leaving his service. there were some discussions that he was going to be promoted as colonel. but now it appears he would be ending his service with the u.s. military. >> any idea what colonel vindman does now? >> reporter: that's a good question. we do not have an answer yet to that question from this statement here. you'll remember the sort of key takeaway from his testimony was he said here right matters. that's what he said when he was testifying before congress. it will be those words lasting for a lot of people in terms of the service he had for over 20 years for this country. >> our man at the white house and co-host of "weekend today," peter alexander. a few moments from now the white house coronavirus task force set to brief the nation from the education department.
that backdrop very important for a lot of parents. we're watching for it to start. while we wait, we keep getting really great questions from our viewers and listeners about this pandemic. i'm really proud about how smart our viewers and listeners are. we'll ask about the difference between using cloth masks, n95 masks and face shields. fine, no one leaves the table until your finished.
we're watching for the white house coronavirus task force briefing to start, expected to get going at 11:30. while we wait, we know you have questions about the pandemic. we want to get to those questions. this morning we have two of our best medical experts, dr. vin gupta, a pulmonologist, dr. lipi roy, an internal medicine physician. here is the first question from jan. it's about masks. jan asks front line health
workers wear n95 face masks to protect themselves from covid-19. cloth face masks and most other face masks do not protect their wearers from aerosolized coronavirus. when will the general public be able to buy n95 masks to protect themselves. dr. gupta, i'll start with you. what do you think? >> that's a good question. good morning, craig. aerosolized coronavirus, if that exists, what is an aerosol coronavirus? it's basically a small drop let. small drop lets from coronavirus versus large droplets from coronavirus, what's the difference? we think cloth masks that you can purchase right now will protect you from those large droplets, the ones that if you're within six feet of coughing with someone with
covid-19. the aerosolized coronavirus, less than five microns. much smaller than an milliliter. we think those get expectorated, it's rare those get produced when you're out in the grocery store. is it possible? sure. the likelihood is less. that's why we're saying cloth masks are okay for the general public. let's keep the n95 for the health care staff because now we're having another shortage. we're trying to protect the general public but doing so with evidence. >> this next question is about gyms from kiss ten bentley. dr. roy, gyms in houston still allowed to be open although at a reduced capacity. is it safe to work out indoors with a mask on the you maintain six feet of distance, or is the risk -- i hate using this phrase now that dr. gupta called us out
on it -- the risk of aerosolized virus indoors too much to consider attending a group fitness class? would health officials recommend gyms be closed like they just announced in miami? dr. roy, this one is for you. >> that's a great question by kristin. here in new york gyms are still not open. there's been an upheaval from a lot of gym owners saying, we need to open up the fitness centers and it's important for health. i think the concern really is that when people are working out -- for instance, i go running. when we're more exertional, we have a higher chance of spreading the respiratory droplets, more likely to spread the virus further. i think that's one of the main concerns as to why gyms and fitness centers are still closed. but that said, i would want to wait for more cdc specific guidelines here. if you can maintain maybe
12-foot distance if not more as well as face covering and constant hand sanitizing, it might be safe. i would want to wait for specific guidelines. even if a gym is not open, there are other ways to stay active. i work out within my home. there are other ways to stay active. >> this topic is one we get a lot of questions about. don writes i'm a member of a cigar club and i would like to understand the transmissibility of covid-19 through second-hand smoke. full disclosure, i also occasionally like to light up a cigar, dr. gupta. what's the guidance here? >> short answer is we don't know. but, i'll say this, as a lung doc who has been on a tirade against tobacco companies, craig, you and i have to have a conversation after this. what we know is there is an additive risk for a bad outcome
if you're a smoker, whether a vapor or a classic tobacco cigarette smoker. the secondhand smoke in and of itself, is it a risk to ab individual? absolutely. secondhand stroke connotes you're at risk of dying at a greater rate than just exposed to secondhand smoke frequently. does secondhand smoke, if covid-19 traveling in a waft of smoke released by a smoker, is it more likely to be transmitted to you? i think the answer is we don't know. possibly and we don't know. >> for the record here, dr. gupta, i don't smoke the cigars open. more a special occasion thing. i never inhale. dr. gupta, thank you, dr. lipi roy, thank you as well. actually stick around. we're not sure this briefing will start soon. while we wait on the task force briefing to start from the
education department, we'll pose more questions to you guys. in the meantime more questions. we're going to look at whether your blood type can make you more likely to contract the virus. first i want to take a moment to hear from another doctor, a doctor on the front lines in florida. her and her family experienced a deeply personal loss to coronavirus, and she says the experience only made her fight harder for her patients. >> my experience with covid has not jaded me at the bedside. so i still give families quite a bit of reassurance and try to stay enthusiastic about getting in front of this, on top of this and trying to convey the optimism that, as a team, if we do what we need to do, we can get past this. okay. it would seem as if this
briefing is about to start at the department of education. again, this is vice president mike pence walking out here, flanked by members of the coronavirus task force, all of them wearing masks we should note. let's listen. >> -- met today here at the department of education, part of our on going effort to focus on a mission, to save lives, meet the needs of our states, our health care workers, to protect the vulnerable and safely reopen america and reopen america's schools. as you will hear today from admiral gerard, at this point we've tested over 39 million americans, of those more than 3 million have tested positive and more than 1.3 million americans have recovered. sadly more than 133,000 americans have lost their lives. our sympathies are with all the impacted families. while we mourn with those who
mourn, because of what the american people have done, the extraordinary work of our health care workers around the country, we are encouraged that the average fatality rate continues to be low and steady and at days earlier this week was actually 90% lower than at the height of this pandemic. again, it's a credit to the sacrifices that the american people have made, the extraordinary work our health care workers are doing. we pledge this task force working in partnership with governors all across the country are going to continue to work our hearts out, 24 hours a day, to continue to keep our losses low. in just a few moments dr. deborah birx with outline the data we're seeing throughout the country, we're tracking literally state by state, county by county. as she will describe in a moment, we're seeing early indications of a percent
positive testing flattening in arizona, florida and texas. governors in each of those states have taken strong steps to flatten the curve. as dr. birx will describe, we're beginning to see early indications that positivity is flattening. in arizona and florida, we're beginning to see declining numbers of emergency room visits as well. we believe the takeaway for every american, particularly in those states that are impacted is keep doing what you're doing. we're starting to see the first indications that, as we were able to do in the northeast, as we were able to do in new orleans and louisiana and michigan and other places around the country, we're putting into practice those mitigation efforts and we're beginning to see indications that they are having a good effect. we are focused on the states where more than half of the new
cases have arisen. texas, arizona, florida and california and have received encouraging reports, even through this morning, strong supplies of ppe in hospitals, hospital capacity remains strong. the one thing we did hear from governors across the region is for personnel. over the last week working through fema, the department of defense and hhs we've been processing requests to deploy over 1,070 doctors and nurses and medical personnel. at this point, roughly 525 doctors and nurses are on the ground in arizona, california and texas. we're processing a request from florida for an additional amount. we've made it very clear -- as you'll recall we deployed at the president's direction active
duty medical military personnel from michigan to louisiana and we're in the process of doing that again, just to make sure that those dedicated doctors and nurses and health care workers have the relief that they need as we see cases rising in various communities across the sunbelt and we'll continue to work that. we had a conference call yesterday with the nation's governors. we are in the process of continuing to send every week detailed county by county summaries, analysis and recommendations to governors that are being implemented and well received. we also are issuing renewed guidance on preservation and reuse of ppe. again, what we're hearing -- and not just speaking to governors, but talking directly to hospitals -- is that, frankly, because of the historic effort that president trump
implemented, the hundreds of millions of supplies of gloves, masks, face shields as well as the construction of ventilators. we now have 59,000 ventilators in our supplies, ppe we hear remains. >> reporter: very strong. we're encouraging health care workers to begin using some of the best practices we used in other parts of the country to preserve and to reuse the ppe supplies. so our focus is to make sure our states have everything they need when they need it. we're working closely with all the governors to make that a reality. what brings us to the department of education is, as we see to the needs of our states and focus on the health care of the american people, we're working to reopen america, and reopen america's schools. yesterday president trump convened a summit of education leaders and health officials at
the white house. as the president made clear yesterday, it's time. it's time for us to get our kids back to school. the summit yesterday gave us an opportunity to outline and to learn what we might be able to do. in a few moments i'll ask secretary devos to talk about the approach the department of education is using to assist in bringing the schools back online. we'll also hear from dr. bob redfield who has been literally since early in this pandemic providing guys danidance to sch. not just as vice president but someone married to a school teacher for 35 years, just to say thank you to all the teachers out there. from early in this pandemic, teachers learn how to do the distance teaching and did a
remarkable job. oftentimes having to care for their own families and make sure their own children's studies were happening. to all of america's teachers, we say thank you. we also want to say thank you to the parents, parents who had to step in and become educators for all their kids. it's really been remarkable when you see what our kids have been able to accomplish during this difficult time. but what we heard again yesterday from education officials and what we heard from the american academy of pediatrics, it's absolutely essential that we get our kids back into classrooms for in-person learning. we can't let our kids fall behind academically. but it's important that the american people remember that for children that have mental health issues, for special needs
childr children, for nutrition for children in communities facing persistent poverty, the school is the place where they receive all these services. this is not just about making sure our kids are learning and advancing academically, but for their mental health, their well-being, physical health, nutrition. we've got to get our kids back to school. as you heard the president yesterday and even again this morning, we're absolutely determined to work in partnership with our states to give the guidance for states and communities to be able to safely reopen our schools. the cdc will be issuing new guidance next week, part of a five-part series of recommendations that will give all new tools to our schools. but what dr. redfield made clear yesterday and i'm sure will today, we're here to help. we don't want federal guidance to be a substitute for state and
local laws and rules and guidance. we're here to assist with the shared objective that i think is shared by every parent in america, which is we want to get our kids back. we want to get them back in the classroom. we want to get our teachers back in the front of those classrooms. we want to get our kids learning in person once again. as congress is still in recess but we'll gather again soon, we are already in discussions about additional potential support although we were able to remind governors that $13.3 billion is available in the c.a.r.e.s. act for states to be able to assist them as they roll out and restart schools across the country. at the present moment, we learned yesterday, only 1.5% of those funds has been drawn out by states. and we encourage the governors to take advantage of that. our objectives, as i said, are to save lives, to meet the needs
of our states and their health care workers, protect the most vulnerable, and safely reopen america and safely reopen our schools. and the good news is we are, we are reopening america. the jobs report last thursday spoke for itself. nearly 5 million jobs created. i can tell you, it's all around the country, the american people are finding a way to do their part to put the health of their neighbors first even while we all find a way to get back to work, to worship, and to school. we all have a role to play to slow the spread, to protect the most vulnerable and to safely reopen our country and our schools. and so i would just close before i turn the podium over to dr. birx for her report, simply to say thank you to the american people, thank you for what you've done so far, thank you for the way you've put the health and well being of not just family members and friends but strangers, people you didn't
even know first. we just encourage you to keep doing what you're doing, keep heeding the guidance of state and local authorities. practice good hygiene, wash your hands, wear a mask wherever state or local authorities determine it's indicated or wear a mask when you can't engage in social distancing. this is the role each of us can continue to play. and we're seeing some early indications in some of the most impacted states that americans are doing just that so we want to encourage you on and tell you that we're going to continue to do our part. and i'm just absolutely confident, just as we proved when this pandemic was striking so deeply in the northeast, when it was striking in louisiana and michigan, the american people know what needs to be done and we know we can do it. we flattened -- we flattened the curve before, we slowed the spread before and we can do it again but we've got to all do
our part and we'll do it together. dr. deborah birx and then we'll get a report from admiral giroir. dr. birx. >> thank you, mr. vice president. if i could have the first slide, please. i know some of you do watch what i wear so i'm wearing this specially today. this came from the salt river tribe. masks can be a fashion statement. and i want to thank the salt river tribe, it was a real pleasure to be out and speaking to individuals around the united states about the issues that they're facing with covid-19 to be able to meet with communities, hospital personnel, african-american communities, hispanic communities, and our tribal nations. that was a privilege last week. i want to start with arizona, to pick up where the vice president left off, that orange lines is the number of tests performed and the blue line is the tests positivity. this is at the level of the state. and arizona does have three
counties that we're tracking very closely, as you know, the largest one being maricopa county. the blue line is the seven dash day average. did you for the data team for these wonderful slides. the seven-day average is showing some flattening and i find that encouraging. also equally encouraging at this point because we know that the test positivity rate is the first thing to increase, and we're hoping that it heralds a stability in arizona of at least reaching a plateau in their curve. the red line represents the emergency room visits for any of the covid-like symptoms. this is also an early indicator, and we find that encouraging. the next slide does show the counties that we're tracking, obviously the largest county being maricopa county with the largest number of infections. but clearly there is issues in yuma and pima.
the vice president mentioned, this is the report that goes to governors, this is alaska's, on the front page is our interpretation of what we're seeing relevant to their epidemic, with specific recommendations related to where we see them as far as being in a danger zone. they are coded by yellow and red. and it follows that they see everything you're seeing on that first report, and boxes, warning boxes, and then each of the counties are represented so that they have in one place five pages from the white house and task force that summarizes what we're seeing. next slide, please. this looks at florida, decreasing emergency room visits for symptoms of covid and some stability starting in that blue line, hoping that heralds a stability in the number of daily reported cases. we also understand we went
through a holiday weekend and holiday weekends impact data on both ends. underreporting for the weekend and catch-up reporting on monday, tuesday, and wednesday after a holiday weekend. next slide, this shows the counties of florida we're tracking. these are the top ten counties in florida. and you can see each of them have a different profile. i want to call your attention to the counties that are across the bottom there that are more difficult to see. some of those represent jacksonville and other large metros including tampa. when the governor talks about how they were steady and low for a long period of time after reopening, this is where that is reflected, for almost five weeks after reopening. clearly there was something that happened, though, and those that were looking into across the board, because whatever happened in florida, happened across the sun belt, and that all of the curves and all of the findings are mirrored. if you remember early on in march and april, we were talking
about first the new york metro followed by boston, followed by philadelphia, new orleans was with the new york metro. it was a series of individual curves. in this case, whatever occurred, occurred almost simultaneously across the south. we're investigating that closely to see the etiology across that because we can use that as an early warning people but also help us in guidance to the american people, what we're asking them to do. next slide. texas. you can see texas is in a similar situation with their blue line. we're watching this closely across texas. next slide. i think all of you know there's a series of major metros in texas with significant increase in cases from houston to dallas and san antonio and mcclelland area.
finally, california, where you can see -- next slide, thank you -- again, a long time of stability but then this increase in the number of tests positives and rapid increase in cases. next slide. and you can see the majority of the issue is in the los angeles area, although we see this through riverside, imperial, sacramento, and now san francisco with increased number of cases. so i want to finish with where the vice president startedrific people because in that recommendations are very clear recommendations that when you have a county with these types of cases, we are recommending everyone using a face covering. and i think the studies now that have been done showing that cotton face coverings work. that does open up the ability for us all to have advised face coverings and express our personality. but in addition, i think the work that these governors have done to -- and asked the american people, to stop going
to bars, to close the bars, to move to outdoor dining, to decrease any kind of indoor gatherings, again, to all of the americans out there that are in these four states and the states that have -- in the report were in the red zone, because there's a series of other states we have in that zone, is asking the american people in those counties and in those states to not only use the face coverings, not going to bars, not going to indoor dining, but really not gathering in homes either, and decreasing those gatherings back down to our phase i recommendation which was ten or less. so thank you. thank you, mr. vice president. >> thank you, mr. vice president. since we're bringing on our face coverings, this was made by a small religious community in pennsylvania who were helped by the public health service and they hand-sewed these for a lot of our officers to match our
operational dress, this blue uniform. so i wear this proudly and i think of that community every single day. everybody pitching in across america to help us all. so in terms of testing, i want to cover three quick topics. first is just where we are numerically. the vice president has already said we are now topping 39 million tests across the country. the states really crushed their goal in june. the state goals was about 12.9 million in june. cdc numbers have finallyized that at about 16.5 million tests for june. so congratulations to almost all of the states who made their goal and exceeded their goal. we're doing very well right now between 6 and 700,000 tests per day. we did top the 700,000 mark last week and we're averaging about 620, 630,000 tests per day. we continue to ship. we are rife with swabs and media. the states tell us what they need. we work with them t