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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  July 8, 2020 10:00am-12:30pm PDT

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a press briefing a short time from now. they're trying to get on one page following the president's statements as related to children and school and what appears to be going against the guidelines of some of the health experts. >> peter alexander, thanks so much. thanks, phil. thanks, dr. patel. that does it for us on this busy day on andrea mitchell. tomorrow, my big guest, colin powell. join me then. amin mohyeldin joins me now. >> we are following a lot of breaking news today. let's get the facts as we know them at this hour. the white house coronavirus task force just held a briefing. vice president mike pence saying they are seeing early indications of percent positive testing flattening in arizona, florida, and texas. but as the pandemic rages, dr. birx urged americans to wear face coverings. the number of people in the u.s. who have contracted the coronavirus has now passed 3 million people. more than 132,000 have died so far.
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and as the president pushes towards reopening schools in the fall, nbc news has just learned that the white house plans to issue its own guidelines for the reopening of schools, because officials say the ones released by the cdc are too restrictive. we have a lot to cover this entire hour. i'm going to be joined by joe fryer. he is live at a coronavirus testing center in los angeles. we're going to check in with him in just a moment. but we want to begin at the white house and that white house coronavirus task force that just wrapped up a briefing at the u.s. department of education. multiple trump administration officials arguing that the cdc's guidance shouldn't be used to prevent school reopenings in the fall while at the same time saying that mask wearing and prohibiting indoor gathering is still vital. >> we're seeing early indications of a percent of positive testing flattening in arizona, florida, and texas.
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governors in each of those steps have taken strong steps to flatten the curve. >> 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. stop going to bars, to close the bars, to move to outdoor dining, to decrease any kind of indoor gatherings. >> i want to make it very clear that what is not the intent of cdc's guidelines is to be used as a rationale to keep schools closed. >> joining me now is nbc news white house correspondent, jeff bennett, and professor of epidemiology at the ucla fielding school of public health, andrea meonning. jeff, good to have you with us. let's talk a little bit about this contrast that is emerging between the cdc and the white house. senior white house officials telling nbc news that the white house is planning to issue their
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own guidelines for schools reopening later this fall. do we know what that would look like and how those would depart from the cdc guidelines? >> you're right. a senior white house official telling our colleagues, peter alexander, and carol lee, just that. this comes after president trump this morning, eamon, really attacked the public health experts who work in his administration, saying that the cdc guidelines are too expensive and too restrictive. and so what this white house official says is that the white house now is going to put forward its own guidelines, which would include a mix of cdc direct directives and directives from the american academy of pediatrics. that group came out last week, in fact, with an endorsement of having students fully return to school. they also put out their own recommendations. now, imagine if you are a parent of school-aged children. imagine if you're a superintendent who has, as his or her number one priority, the safety of students and the
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teachers in a given district. imagine the confusion this creates. on one hand, you have cdc guidelines. one imagines, that were written with good public health intentions. and on the other hand, you have a set of directives coming from the white house. when president trump has made clear that he wants the economy to fully reopen. you cannot reopen the economy fully if parents cannot go back to work. parents cannot go back to work until their kids can go to school. now, the vice president said something in this task force briefing. he said, you will see next week, we will create incentives for schools to fully reopen. this white house official tells our colleagues, peter and carol, that they are going to tie federal funding to the pace of reopening. so, again, this could create a quagmire, where in just a matter of weeks, schools have to make a decision about how they are going to bring back students. you heard the education secretary, betsy devos, criticize fairfax county virginia public schools. one of the largest public school districts in the nation. she did this yesterday on a private call with governors, i'm
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told. but her case, the case that she made was niggle less than full-time, in-person instruction is not good enough. well, one of the reasons why these school districts in virginia, in new york, and in texas are doing this virtual, hybrid approach, where they do some online teaching and some in-person instruction, maybe two or three days a week, is because they do not have a plan to safely educate all of the kids in a given, confined space, eamon. >> i was going to say, jeff, it's interesting to see that they cherry pick a little bit from the cdc what they want that can kind of suit or work for their objective of trying to get schools reopened, whether it's wearing masks and social distancing. but at the other end, neglect some of the guidelines that the cdc is ask them to abide by. jeff, really quickly, do we know why the white house did not have dr. fauci present at that briefing today, the coronavirus -- the white house coronavirus task force? why was he not there? >> that question, i will tell you, comes up every time he's
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missing from one of these task force briefings. i'm told he spent the day at nih. it was just yesterday where president trump says he disagrees with dr. fauci. and anytime he's missing, it raises the question, if the information that's been imparted from these administration officials is not entirely political. i'll just add to this, one of the questions i put to dr. deborah birx, separate from anything having to do with dr. fauci, is a very specific question about the infection rate among kids. how the virus presents in kids and to what degree kids, that it's known, anyway, transmit the virus to adults. nearly a third of educators across this country are age 50 and older. and dr. birx to her credit tried to answer the question, but she couldn't. mainly she couldn't, because there's not good enough. there's not enough data. zpo th so that yet is another question we hoped to put to dr. fauci. school districts are essentially rolling the dice and making determinations about how and when to bring back their kids, what is the best practice?
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questions that remain unanswered? >> indeed, they do. jeff, stay with me. and really quickly, vice president mike pence, dr. redfield, secretary azar, they're all emphasizing the need to reopen schools, but some states, they're actually still struggling with the current spiking infection rates that we see. does it undercut the message, like the ones we're hearing from dr. birx, to stop gathering and wear masks when the administration is focused and preoccupied on reopening schools than the current crisis queer finding ourselves in? >> it's a great question that you ask. -- sorry, jeff, i was just directing that question to ann. >> i was just going to say briefly -- yeah, i was going to say briefly, one of the questions the vice president got at the very top, one of the things he said, rather, that now is the time to focus on reopening schools. well, you could make the argue that now is not the time to reopening schools. that you first need to deal with the coronavirus case spike, the infection rate spike. so it's a great point that you
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make. >> ann, to that question that i was asking, what is your take on it? >> i agree entirely. but here's the big issue that i'm seeing here. we can all agree that it's important to get our kids back to school in a safe manner and in a coordinated manner. if this country cannot get together behind the issue of our children and getting them back to school safely, i don't know where we're going to be able to do this. we have rising cases everywhere. we need to -- if there's any open being able to get people back safely, we're going to have to not just flatten the curve, but crush it right now. and so any mixed messaging is dangerous. everybody needs to be wearing masks. everybody needs to be doing it not only for their safety, but for the safety of our children in the long-term here. you know, we have -- i didn't see any kind of national plan, you know, we want to get kids
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back to school. who's going to be doing all the testing. where's the ppe going to come from? how are you going to keep adults safe that will be teaching these children? what about kids who have underlying conditions. what about kids who go home to family members who have underlying conditions? what is the plan here? there is no articulated plan. it just seems like a lot of cherry-picked data and very little information. and speaking of data, you know, this issue of whether or not we -- what's the data on kids, well, where is that data? you know, we need large epidemiologic studies, and really understanding transmission. and we don't have that right now. i mean, the barriers to doing the kinds of research that we need to do are enormous. and many countries have not been able to do this, because the time they were able to get research up and running, they had already flattened the curve and been able to, you know, get passed having so many cases. but we have more cases here than
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anywhere else in the world. we should be not only trying to flatten the curve, but we have to be doing the research to be able towns. can kids transmit it to adults? what age groups are most at risk? the data just isn't there. >> i was going to say in my head while you were listening to those series of questions that need to be answered for schools to be reopened, i was thinking, it seems almost impossible to not even answer them, but then implement a plan in five to six weeks when some schools plan to go back. and obviously, the world health organization has been instrumental in battling diseases like polio around the globe. explain to us how much of an impact will this decision by this administration have on public health communities? >> well, you know, this is, again, a reckless decision that has nothing to do with science or public health. you know, there's no organization that is perfect. and so, of course, you know, has w.h.o made missteps?
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sure. has every organization to date made missteps? absolutely. but w.h.o is really our best bet to be able to have disease surveillance, to have programs that are far beyond covid. i mean, who is going to be able to be leading the world in terms of disease surveillance, in terms of disease eradication, in terms of global public health programs? is there another option? i don't think that there is. the best bet for us is to strengthen w.h.o, take leadership in w.h.o, not just walk away from it. the whole idea of saying, well, we're just going to be done here, is ridiculous. but i also want to keep this in perspective. we don't get to just walk out the door. this is just a political posturing, quite frankly. it would take at least a year to be able to disentangle. i don't see this as a real move. this is a political discussion.
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i mean, we still owe our dues for w.h.o and we still wouldn't be able to walk out for another year. and congress is going to have to approve it. and there is an election that's coming up, so it would be very quickly reversed if there were another party in leadership position. >> yeah, very important point there. ann rimoin, thank you very much. apologies for mismoupronouncing your name earlier. texas has shattered its single-day record for a new high of coronavirus cases with 10,000 new cases in just 24 hours. the most since the pandemic started. as cases keep going up, so are er visits. more than 9,000 people in texas are hospitalized due to have covid-19. in dallas county, the second hardest-it county in the state, more than 28,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus. the county has seen a rise of at least 1,000 cases a day for almost a week straight. joining me now is nbc news correspondent, garrett haake, live from texas dallas health
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hospital. garrett, good to have you with us. what you you hearing from doctors on how many coronavirus patients they are seeing in the er and what is dallas county doing to try to slow that rate of infection? >> reporter: yeah, statewide and across the metroplex here, the numbers are all going in the wrong direction. the doctors i'm talking to are seeing increasing numbers, sometimes doubling from the week before, of the number of patients that are sick enough to need hospital care when they come in. the state of texas has started to reverse some of the reopening measures they had put in place to try to control the spread, including mandated masks in all counties with more than 20 confirmed cases and closing indoor bars. but the local officials here in dallas would like to go a lot further. here's what the county judge, that's the county executive here in dallas county, told me he would like to do if he could make the call himself in an interview from this morning. take a listen. >> we've got to follow the science. that includes closing restaurant, in-person dining -- >> indoors and outdoors? >> just indoors is what the
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doctors are asking for. amusements like spin cycle classes, bowling leg ing alleys theaters. restricting day care to only essential workers and closing things like cigar bars. we've got to close places where you cannot wear your mask 100% of the time. >> reporter: so those are steps that the local officials would like to see taken, but so far the governor has maintained control of what can shut down, and what cannot here, in terms of the public health response. that leaves hospitals like this one facing this essentially on their own. the good news, to the degree there is any here in texas, texas does have pretty large hospital capacity. those numbers will likely continue to be tested, as this surge that's going on across the state continues. >> all right, garrett haake live for us in dallas. garrett, thank you. now to another state trying to ramp up its testing capacity. california just announcing that it saw nearly 10,000 new cases of coronavirus on tuesday.
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so far, it stands behind only new york state, with the second-most recorded cases in the country. the country's largest testing site outside dodgers stadium reopened tuesday, after being closed for four days. with me this entire hour to help us take a closer look at the situation unfolding in california is msnbc correspondent, joe fryer, who is at that testing site outside of dodger stadium. joe, good to have you with us. so, lots going on in california. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. california continues to see record case loads, record hospitalizations. testing is also in demand, as you mentioned. i'm here at dodger stadium. typically right now, we would be midway through the baseball stadium with the all-star game around the corner. obviously, no baseball. but for the last few months, this parking lot behind me has been the scene of a massive covid-19 testing effort. about 6,000 people are tested each day, just here alone. the cars just started lining up here within the past few minutes, for another day of testing.
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here, you do need to have an appointment. you show up at your scheduled time, they give you the test in your car, you swab yourself, turn it in, and get the results a few days later. los angeles, really, was the first major city in the country in late april to say, anyone who wants a test can get a test, even if you're asymptomatic. so testing has been a priority here, though in the last couple of weeks, it's clear, demand has been going up for tests quite a bit. now, here in l.a. county, it has been the epicenter for coronavirus in the state of california. this county alone has seen about 120,000 cases so far. joining me now is the director of the l.a. county health department, dr. barbara freher. dr. freher, thank you for joining us. we know that you have been busy as of late. the first thing i wanted to ask you is just how worrisome is the increased number of cases you're seeing, especially with the percentage of tests coming back positive sort of increasing each and every week?
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>> thank you very much, joe, for having me. and we're, of course, worried. i think we're worried in the same way that every jurisdiction is worried that's seeing their numbers, have really increased dramatically for the first time since april. we really are back to seeing both in terms of our number of cases. we're averaging between 2,000 and 3,000 cases a day here in l.a. county. as you noted, our positivity rate if you look at the seven-day average has moved up to 11.6%. three weeks ago, we were down below 5%. and unfortunately, has an impact on hospitalizations, which again, at the beginning of june, we were averaging about 1,400 patients a day in the hospital with covid-19 illness, and now we're up to over 1,900 patients a day with covid-19 illness. all of this plooenreally means s
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a lot more community transmission going on. and that, of course, is worrisome. as we've opened more sectors, it's so vitally important that everybody has to play by the rules and the rules are new rules so i think it's hard for people to adapt to the new normal. you've got to be wearing your face covering. it's the law here in california. you also need to keep your distance. stores, businesses that are reopened have a whole host of modifications that they need to make to create spaces that are as safe as possible. that's the only way we're going to get back to slowing the spread. right now, we're actually not slowing the spread in the way we need to. >> dr. ferrer, we know some of the other hot spots around the country, places like florida, texas, arizona, they were criticized for perhaps reopening too early, moving too quickly, not mandating masks quickly enough. on the flip side, california has sort of been ahead of the curve, issuing stay-at-home orders early, reopening at a slower pace, mandating masks earlier. so why is it, do you think, that
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california is still seeing these problems with the increasing case loads? >> i think it's a great question, joe. and i'm not sure i have the perfect answer. i think at this point, we do know some factors that are contribu contributing. one is that quarantine fatigue, i think, is real. you know, we would like to dismiss it as, this is just a hype term that people are using, but we've actually seen the fact that people are very tired of dealing with the virus. and many people would like, as we reopen, to pretend that we are actually returning to what it was before the pandemic hit l.a. county and hit our country. that's just not possible. we all have to get back in the game. we all have to recognize, you know, what we're creating is a new normal. we're not going back to what it was like before. and i think for some people, that's been much harder than we could have anticipated. you know, when we first opened, for example, restaurants for
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in-person dining, we had significantly low rates of compliance with what the orders required in terms of modification. we're doing so much better now. our inspectors were out this last weekend, and were up above 95% compliance with the orders. but those first few weeks, people really were not doing what they needed to do. so i think, you know, the path is clear that's in front of us. time to get back in the game. time to slow the spread again. time to do what we were doing so well before in april and in may, with the stay-at-home orders. but once we reopened, we still have order and they still need to be adhered to in order for us to continue with the recovery. >> real quickly, i want to talk about testing. i'm at the l.a. dodger facility, which we know was closed for four days over the holiday weekend. it's open again, very busy. i know i just checked. if i wanted to make an appointment here at dodger stadium on friday i could do that along with some of the other sites. it is possible to get tests, but
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we know the demand is growing. what is it the county is trying to do to meet the demand for testing and do you worry that eventually it will be hard to meet that demand? >> again, i think these are all really good questions, because we do know -- we've seen an increased demand. we test somewhere around 20,000 people across the county every day. and that's a huge increase from where we were a month ago. i want to give a lot of credit to dr. gallie and her team at the department of health services that really managed testing across the county. one of the strategies is not just to focus on the mobile testing sites, but to really also help our provider networks get back into fwiz the pibusine feeling comfortable offering testing at their sites and within their networks. the best way to get tested is to be well connected to a primary care doctor or clinician that knows you well. and we think the same holds true for covid-19, particularly for
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people who have underlying health conditions. this test that you're undertaking, the results, whether they're negative or positive, it's best that you get to talk about your results with a health care provider, so you can understand what steps you're going to need to take, whether you're positive or you're negative. our public health folks will reach out to you if you're positive, but i think it's important to understand what a negative test result means and to talk with your provider about that. here, in fact, a negative result means, you've still got to do every single thing that we're asking you to do to protect yourself and protect others. you are only negative for the moment at which you were tested and you can become positive at any point in time. but it is something that we appreciate, that people are, in fact, making time to get tested. we think it's best to get tested if you need to be tested and you need to talk to your provider about that. if you were in close contact
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with a confirmed case, we recommend you get tested. if you're symptomatic, obviously, you need to get tested. sometimes people just go to get tested, because they kind of want to know their status. given how many people are now coming in to get tested, it's probably best to really assess how important it is for you to get tested, and that would depend on your health status and whether or not you've been in close contact or could have been in close contact with somebody who may be transmitting covid-19. >> all right. dr. barbara ferrer with the l.a. county public health department, thank you for taking time to talk with us. we really appreciate it. eamon, we'll be talking more about testing coming up a little bit later in the hour. now back to you. >> indeed, joe fryer. thank you so much. we'll check in with you in just a few minutes. coming up, two major decisions for the supreme court today. both wins for the trump administration. one, limiting coverage for birth control. the other, protecting religious institutions from job
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discrimination and lawsuits. we'll have the details right after the break. plus, hollywood actor and activist sean penn joins us later in the hour. what he's doing to help los angeles meet the rising demand for coronavirus testing. you're watching msnbc. demand for coronavirus testing. you're watching msnbc. you can't predict the future. but a resilient business can be ready for it. a digital foundation from vmware helps you redefine what's possible... now. from the hospital shifting to remote 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. try wayf♪ r. you got this! ♪ perfect. -you're welcome. i love it. how'd you do all this?
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we are following breaking news. the supreme court announcing two big decisions today, both strengthening religious protections for employers. nbc news chief justice correspondent, pete williams, joins me next. pete, good to have you back with us. break down the ruling for us. the ones that we heard today. >> the first one, the one that people will pay most attention to is a broadening of authority for the employers to opt out what is the contraceptive mandate. that is the requirement under b obamacare that they provide contraceptives at no cost for their female employees. when obamacare was first passed, this was a very narrow exception
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applying to religious institutions themselves. to churches, synagogues, and mosques. now the supreme court has upheld new rules from the trump administration that would allow virtually anything business, including for-profit businesses, educational institutions, and so on to say they want to opt out, not merely based on religious objections, but also on moral consideration consideration considerations. it was 7-2 with justices ruth bader ginsburg, saying the supreme court was an overzealous concerns. the supreme court broadened a ruling he made a couple of years ago. the supreme court said before that religious organizations, churches, are exempt from being sued for jobs description.
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those people can't sue for saying that they discriminated against for the basis of sex or race or so forth. the supreme court said even if they dontal a little bit of religious education, that brings them under this umbrella that prevents them from suing for jobs discrimination. same two dissenting justices. >> pete, by my count, we have three decisions left. when do we expect to hear the decisions, more importantly on those two cases. >> you have done the arithmetic correctly. there are three decisions left. one about the extent of indian jurisdiction in oklahoma and the two big cases involving access to trump's business records and
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taxes, and the answer to your question, he said, after a long beat around the bush is tomorrow. we're going to get the last of the rulings tomorrow, that are ready for announcement this term. >> pete, i suspect you'll have a very busy morning. get some rest, my friend, and we'll talk tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. when that decision comes out. >> see you then. >> i want to bring in maya wiley, she's the former assistant u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. maya, good to have you with us, as always. so obamacare has been under constant attack by this administration. from your perspective, what is today's ruling signal about the future of the health care law. >> well, as we know, as we've all seen, donald trump has made it a signature platform item when he ran for president to dismantle the affordable care act. dismantle an act that extended health care insurance to 20 million americans.
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and this is really probably something that falls directly in the category of this also trying to appeal to his evangelical base, which is to say, the group of people who want to make sure for religious reasons that there are -- that they do not have to have and to pay for, whether it's abortion services, which were not part of this decision, but contraception, the ability to prevent pregnancy. you know, this is -- some project that this may be 100,000 women. but what the affordable care act did was essentially make the pill or other forms of contraception affordable. women sometimes saw contraception bills of $1,000 when it wasn't required to be covered by their health plans. so this was an extreme cost cutter that enabled women to make more reproductive choices. and this is an administrative
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decision, not a constitutional one. but nonetheless, it would essentially say, congress, if you want to fix this, you have to legislate the fix. but there are a lot of women who are going to have a harder time purchasing just, you know, basic contraceptive care if they have an employer that just doesn't want to provide health coverage for it. >> maya, the supreme court made what -- i would say what some would call surprising rulings on abortion and lbgt workplace protections earlier in the term. however, today we're seeing a potential challenge to that in future cases when religious liberty is called into question. how do yo see the courts' decisions today in shaping future civil rights cases? >> it's very interesting. i think what we're seeing is a supreme court that's being somewhat technocratic in the sense that today's ruling was really about administrative
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layoff. again, it wasn't about constitution. there was a specific statute in front of them. it was the affordable care act and the question was whether the trump administration had dotted the is and crossed the ts in coming up with the regulations and whether the law, the affordable care act of allowed them to do it and if what they did was reasonable under the act. and what they basically said, which is why you got two liberal justices signing on is, this is just procedural, congress gave them the power, we don't see a record that says that it wasn't sufficiently reasonable, but the lower courts, as justice kagan pointed out, could decide differently. in the case of lbgtq unemployment discrimination rights, that was a different statute. that was title 7. in that interpretation, you had a neil gorsuch saying, i think the law is clear in this statue. so, you know, the thing that we don't know is where the court
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would go if this was a constitutional question. i certainly expect we'd have seen more of a divided court than we saw on these rulings. but i think the other ruling, the other employment ruling, which was for teachers, you know, i think justice sotomayor was dead-on when she said, this is formulaic and simpleminded in its approach as to whether a teacher was really responsible for religion in a way that allowed an institution to fire them because of their own religion. and i would be worried about how that one plays out. >> maya wiley, thank you so much for your legal expertise, as always. now back to joe fryer in los angeles. joe? >> reporter: hey, there, eamon. so i'm at dodgers stadium, which is the biggest testing facility right now in the l.a. area. about 6,000 tests a day. it is actually operated by a group called core, which has been teaming up with the city to
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run a number of testing sites since late march. core is a nonprofit organization that focuses on disaster relief efforts. right now, we want to bring in the two co-foundered of core. one is actor sean penn, a familiar face to many folks, and also the ceo of core, ann lee. thank you both for joining us. i know you guys have been incredibly busy with this effort. sean, i want to start by talking with you and saying, your organization has responded to so many different disasters over the years. why was testing so important for you guys to focus on right now? >> well [ inaudible ] i would like to answer the question first by saying, it is never going to be our intention to randomly ruffle feathers. we -- but the result of that can be provoking the public, provoking our public partners, and when i listen to dr. ferrer
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earlier, what the public needs to know and when she thanked dr. galilee and the health services and talked about 20,000 testers, i would like to thank the hundreds of corps volunteers and i would like to thank the mayor of los angeles, the city of los angeles, the l.a. county fire department and the private sector donors that we have had. and i don't want to thank the private sector donors that we haven't had. we need to put a calculator next to our response. what's happened? the county of los angeles, dr. ferrer was speaking on behalf of, has given core 400,000. what is that in real terms in testing? that is one-tenth of what we have already spent. how are we going forward in terms of the component of contact tracing. i am somebody who is speaking from the lane of testing. you're on one of our sites in los angeles and i'm here to tell you that it is a hamster wheel
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and will ultimately be a disservice if the components of contact tracing do not come up to the scale of the testing. whatever that scale might be. the reality of all of this is that without the wraparound services, without people having a place to quarantine, without -- and by contact tracing, another thing should be known. if that person is not contacted within the first five days of their test, the community spread will already be out of the gate and it will be a lot of bs. it won't be worth anything. so we have to have realtime results, realtime contact tracing. how do we do that? that's a real investment that has to be made by all of us in all of our own way and by the private sector and by government. and in the state of california, it has to be understood that the city of los angeles, which has been working diligently and working very well as a partner -- and i do not speak
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for the city of los angeles, when i say this. but the federal money that does come has to go through a director of public health, which is a city of los angeles does not have. that's in the county. and we are looking for more answers from the county than simply testing and it's for you now, after being tested to socially distance and to mask. we have to socially distance. we have to mask. but i'm looking for answers as to when is the contact tracing going to come to scale so that we can actually contain this beas beast. >> ann, i want to ask you here, what is it that core is doing to try to help increase the testing. i know you're at 40 sites right now in 8 states. quickly tell us, what's the main effort you're trying to put forth right now? what needs to be done. >> essentially, as sean was mentioning, it's not just going to be governments, it's not just going to be an ngo that's going
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to make a dent in the testing piece. it has to be all sectors of government, it has to be much like our volunteers, regular individuals to step up and do something. we're not doing enough. it's five months in and we still have not been close to meeting the needs of the tests, to be able to control the virus. so right now, what we're trying to do is work with every county, every city, the private sector, other ngos to be able to create a coalition to not just increase the amount of tests available, not just for the whole city or county, but in particular, the most vulnerable neighborhoods, predominantly low income, communities of color, places where health infrastructure is weak and trust is weak. but we're also trying to get into this link of a system that's looking at the testing, the tracing, and also, the support to families that need it to safely quarantine.
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without these elements, as sean very clearly said correctly, the testing will not be enough. and what we're seeing is not enough testing and not enough of those components happening together in any one place. >> sean, really quickly, we only have a few moments. but i want to ask you, when you see around the country the images of long lines at testing facilities. people waiting hours, sometimes being turned away or getting results seven to ten days later, what is it that goes through your mind when you see that? >> the way i would answer that, for example, there's a great lab in san dimas, curative, that's a partner of ours. these labs need to be resourced. and by resourced, this is, again, and i feel like i'm beating the same drum. the defense production act is there for a reason. and we -- it is operating at 1/100th of the scale that would be -- give capacity to this. and that's in terms of lab
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expansion, it's in terms of testing, it's in terms of ppe. it's in terms of everything that we need, going into, you know, what is likely to be a very complicated flu season in the fall, where our hospitals will likely be surged. of course, there's enormous sacrifice and nutrition needed by all. and i know it's difficult for somebody to look at an actor in a nice, comfortable house and say he's got any busy saying this, but it's not on behalf of people like me that i say it. we have to enforce a certain attrition and we have to give in to beat this thing. we can do it. it's not rocket science. we know what the components are needed and the calculator has to be put next to it and the bullet's got to be bit. and like ann said, if that isn't led by the private sector, i don't think you're going to see it led by government. not on a national level. >> sean penn and ann lee, co-founders of the organization,
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core, which has been helping with testing here in l.a. and across the country. thank you for your time. we really do appreciate it. eamon, back to you? >> all right. coming up, saying that the cdc's guidelines for safely reopening schools are too restrictive, the white house will now issue its own. randi weingarten, president of the american federation of teachers joins us after the break. you're watching msnbc. joins us break. you're watching msnbc. (announcer) reliability is everything. so, if your network's down, you're down. verizon knows your customers need to reach you seamlessly. your team needs to work from different places across many devices. plus, you want the security trusted by some of the largest companies in the world. and that's why you trust us. the most reliable network in america.
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the trump administration is making it clear it definitely wants schools to reopen in the fall. earlier at the white house coronavirus task force briefing, vice president mike pence said that the cdc will issue new guidance on reopening schools. >> so this is not just simply about making sure our kids are learning and they're advancing academically, but for their mental health, for their well-being, for their physical health, for nutrition, we've got to get our kids back to school. we don't want the guidance from cdc to be a reason why schools don't open. >> president trump weighing in
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this morning, tweeting, he disagrees with the cdc on their, quote, very tough and expensive guidelines for opening schools. they are asking schools to do very impractical things. joining me now is randi weingarten, the president of the american federation of teachers. randi, good that too talk to yo again. first, i want your reaction to the trump administration's push on reopening schools today. >> look, i know, i just wonder where they -- i just wonder where they've been for all of these months, where we've been talking about reopening schools and needing a plan and needing resources. they've been like crickets, except for the one statement that the president made when he was at the lincoln memorial declaring success, saying, well, he's just concerned about older teachers. but what's happening now, and this is very, very dangerous, is that they've taken the recklessness and the chaos and
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the incoherence that they've done with everything else in the pandemic and now they're focusing it on schools. and that is really dangerous to kids and that's really dangerous to teachers and that's really dangerous to communities. we want to open schools. as you have seen before, we have poll results just this week that 76% of our members have said that they are willing to go back to schools, even with the surge, if we make sure we have the safety conditions in tact. that's where parents are. that's where teachers are. we need the funding to do it. and we need to let school officials and parents and teachers work out this hybrid model with 6-foot physical distancing and the masks whatever else we need to prevent the virus from spreading in a school, regardless of what's happening in a community. >> randi, i want to bring in my colleague, joe fryer, who is out
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at a testing center in los angeles. he has a few questions for you. joe? >> yeah, randi. i'm here in l.a., obviously. it is a massive school district. they are annihilated to go back to school next month. no doubt, a lot of parents and teachers are worried about that. how realistically do you think this hybrid model will work or do you think they are going to have to, in the end, go back full time? what are you hearing from the parents and the teachers about how they try to figure out how this is going to work? >> well, nobody is going to go back full-time in a situation where you can't protect their health. what's going to happen, instead, i think, is that you're going to have a lot of teachers either take a leave of absence or ask for reasonable accommodations or just quit. so you'll have another new problem that the president and betsy devos, who, by the way, have never spent ten minutes in a classroom, you're going to have another new problem, because you're going to have a huge brain drain, because they have now scared the bejesus out
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of parents and students and teachers with their antics yesterday. so the hybrid model, what we need to do is we need to actually have, you know, a way of having some routines for kids and having options of child care as well, so that parents know about those routines and so businesses know about those routines. and so that's what these big city school districts are trying to do. but, they also need the funding to get it done. so if the state of california is hugely cutting the budget by 20%, then you actually need the federal funding that we are trying to get through the heroes act and through a second stimulus on the senate side to actually compensate for that and to pay for the ppe, to pay for the staggering twb b, the buses frankly, how to compensate for the learning loss and for the mental health needs that our kids have, in that they're facing three crises, not just
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one crisis. >> randi, very quickly, we don't have much time left, but i'm curious to get your thoughts on whether or not schools even have the resources to reopen up. president trump tweeting out this morning that he may cut off funding to schools if they don't reopen. are schools even in position to be ready to go back to school full-time in the fall? >> so let me just say on that tweet, what he didn't understand is that germany, norway, denmark, all worked with their teachers and their parents and they all made safety the most important issue, and there was real trust. so he gets a failing grade from this teacher for that tweet. no, there's not enough money. there's been a 20% cut. we need more teachers, not fewer teachers. we need more nurses, not fewer nurses. we need more guidance counselors, not fewer guidance counselors. we never had to pay for ppe or for the level of cleaning that's going to be required right now. so what's going to happen is that schools will have -- will
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not have the funding to keep people basically secure, and unfortunately, the false choice that he's presented here is that -- that recklessness rather than actually helping kids. we need the money. we have actually put ads up today to the senate to say why did you go on vacation instead of actually getting us the funding we need? if children should be first in this country, if we actually really believe in children's needs and in future generations, then they should actually be more of a priority than the cruise ship business or kanye west. >> all right, randi weingarten, thank you so much for breaking that down. and joe fryer, thank you for joining us from los angeles for this entire hour. tomorrow morning live at 11:00 a.m. eastern, we're dedicating a full hour to answering your questions about going back to
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school in the fall. submit yours on twitter using the #msnbc answers or email at ta talk@msnbc. we'll take you to a reservation to take a look at what leaders are there to control the virus and keep people safe. needles. essential for sewing, but maybe not for people with certain inflammatory conditions. because there are options. like an "unjection™".
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the pine ridge reservation
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in south dakota is halfway through a 72-hour lockdown as they try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus there. the reservation has also implemented a series of checkpoints at all of its entrances which has led to a standoff with the state's governor who wants to keep roads open. joining me now from interior south dakota is msnbc correspondent cal perry. good to have you with us. what led the reservation to take such drastic measures? a spike in cases. 48 cases at the end of last week, now 100. i'll let mark show you this checkpoint. this is the western edge of the pine ridge reservation. this is which checkpoint we're talking about, one of 11 which has caused controversy. the governor saying this is illegal. you talk to people here, they find that offensive. they say this is native land. they have a right to protect themselves. if you want to drive through, you can, but you have to promise to go through to the other side. you have a community that is very vulnerable, partly due to lack of access to proper medical
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care. it's three hours to the nearest sort of large hospital. there's not even a conversation here about ventilators because they don't have the doctors to provide that long-term care that the patients would need. so it's really a question of trying to keep the virus out, trying to keep, and this is really important on these reservations and reservations across the country, trying to keep food going to especially the elder members of the community. this is a food desert, very hard to grow things here, and obviously, the financial situation on these reservations is very, very difficult. >> all right, cal perry with a quick check on the road to recovery. cal, thank you, as always. that wraps up this hour for me. high colleague, katy tur, picks up the coverage after this quick break. coverage after this quick break. downy helps prevent stretching by conditioning fibers, so clothes look newer, longer. downy and it's done.
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good afternoon. i'm katy tur. 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. here in the east. here are the facts as we know them this hour. there have now been more than 3 million confirmed cases of covid-19 in the united states. that is roughly 1% of the entire
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country. and those are only the cases that we know about. this hour, president donald trump is meeting with president lopez obrador. he traveled on a commercial flight to celebrate the usmca. justin trudeau of canada, the other party in the trade agreement, declined to come. we'll keep an eye on that. >> there was also a coronavirus task force briefing today, led by the vice president. mr. pence assured americans schools can reopen and they can do so safely while sidestepping questions about why the president attacked the cdc for guidelines on how exactly schools can do that. >> do you support that social distancing inside schools? because that's where schools i think are having trouble? >> well, the president said today we just don't want the guidance to be too tough. that's the reason why next week, cdc is going to be issuing a new set of tools, five different
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documents that will be giving you more clarity on the guidance going forward. >> and in new jersey, governor phil murphy says he plans to mandate masks when people are in public and unable to practice social distancing. the governor told reporters we can't go through the hell of the lockdowns and skyrocketing cases again. >> let's begin at 1600 pennsylvania avenue, where we're watching the driveway in front of the west wing, waiting for the president to welcome mexican president andres manual lopez obrador. he's celebrating the usmca and it's also a president for president trump to comment on a variety of topics related to the coronavirus. the current 3 million case milestone, for instance, or perhaps his attacks on the cdc, or those threats to pull funding to schools that don't reopen quickly enough. so joining me now from the white house is nbc news correspondent
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peter alexander. in watching that coronavirus task force briefing today and from the sound bite we just played, vice president pence, it sounded like the cdc is going to be retooling its guidelines after the president attacked them. what more can you tell us? >> yeah, you're exactly right. this does nots happen in a vacuum, as we wait for the mexican president to arrive here with the honor guard over my shoulder at the white house right now. this doesn't happen in a vacuum. the new guidelines we're going to be getting from the cdc will come after the president assailed the current ones that were put out in the month of may as very tough and expensive. mike pence delivering that news a short time ago. in effect, what they said is they don't want the guidance to be the reason why schools are not reopening. again, you're seeing this pressure between the political leaders here at the white house and the public health experts for the guidance that they have put out to this point. here's what mike pence said a short time ago. >> a lot of our kids are hurting
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out there. they're struggling with loneliness, with social isolation. the american academy of pediatrics spoke about that, a very forceful statement from pediatricians across the country who said we have to get our kids back into school. the president made it clear. and i think most parents in america would agree with him, that we have to get our kids back to school, and we have to get them back into the classroom, and we can do it in a safe and a responsible way. >> the vice president there speaking just a short time ago. the president in those tweets earlier today also delivering a threat. threatening to cut off funding, federal funding to schools if they do not open quickly enough. in effect, what they're trying to do is incentivize schools to get back to this process as soon as possible. and katy, notably, the president today also suggested that the delay in schools opening right now, even despite all of the other evidence we have seen that there is limited information about whether children can transmit the virus and a lot of these schools lack the resources they need, they believe, to
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safely reopen in terms of ventilation and whatever other supplies, the president indicated he believes this is politically motivated, the democrats don't want schools to be reopened before the november election. he said of schools in other countries like norway and sweden and denmark, he said they're opening with no problems. in fact, that is not entirely the case. katy. >> democrats, independents, unaffiliated, republicans, everyone wants to get their kids back to school. the president is threatening to pull funding. is he also offering to give these schools outs there that say they need more money in order to make it safer in their schools, to implement the best guidelines from the cdc, for the safety of children and teachers, is this administration going to be offering schools more money to get that done? >> it's a good question. and i asked the white house official that very question a short time ago. they say that the white house is considering additional funds as part of a phase four, an
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additional stimulus package in the wake of this coronavirus right now. but to this point, there are no specific details on that. but the president's threat to withhold funding is not without some teeth. you'll remember that betsy devos effectively was given some real power with some of the money turned over to the earlier pa packages to dole out that money. there's some concern that if some schools do not reopen aggressively, in fact, that they may not be able to receive the money they need. katy. >> peter alexander at the white house, peter, thank you. let's bring in dr. adalja. thank you very much for being here. is there a safe way to reopen schools? >> i do think there is a safe way to reopen schools. we have to take a measures approach, looking at the data and trying to modify schools to allow social distancing to occur and protecting the vulnerable populations. other countries have done it. we can do it, and it has to be a
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priority and we have to make it a priority by funding the schools in a way that allows them to implement public health guidance. >> what is it going to look like within the schools that will make it as safe as possible for students to come back? what should it look like? >> what you'll likely see is more social distancing. maybe desks will be separated. you might see the children will be wearing face coverings. less movement from one classroom to another. everything might be in one room. you might see cafeterias change in their makeup. more things that can be done outdoors will be done outdoors. and you'll see a lot of flexibility with distance learning for people who don't feel safe or maybe for vulnerable teachers or other ancillary staff to telecommute to work. you're going to see a little difference from before, but that's what we should expect, we're in this pandemic. this is a new normal. we have to find a way to get schools working in a way that's safe and doesn't add to the burden or put anyone at risk. >> there are a number of
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counties, school dwiths across the country, that don't have enough space to practice social distancing. new york city being one of them. lausd in los angeles, school districts in florida and across this country that have too many kids in the classrooms to separate desks out six feet. what do you do if you're in a situation like that? i know here in new york, there's talk of having a hybrid in the fall of some days in class and some days online. >> hybrid models have been touted. i think it's important to remember we have to recognize that distance learning and online learning is inferior than classroom learning. we're seeing that all over. it's hard to decide how to make that balance. maybe you can use alternative spaces if you can't have people in the school, maybe you could use other buildings or areas to educate the children so they're in class in a way that doesn't have them disadvantaged by online learning. i think it's going to be hard. there's going to have to be a lot of outside the box type thinking to do this, and we need to learn from other countries
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that have opened schools and i think there are some private schools that have opened in places like idaho and montana where we can learn from them as well. we know keeping children out of school is not ideal, and it is actually causing harm. >> how do we know or what do we know about the kids' ability to transmit this disease? and i know that we can't -- this is, by the way, the president welcoming the mexican president to the white house right now. we're seeing these pictures live. as this is happening, doctor, let's talk about kids and transmission. are they easily transmitting it to adults? is there a difference between a 2 to 10-year-old and a 10 to 18-year-old? >> definitely. what we're seeing epidem logically is we know children can get infected and they get viral loads in their nose, but we don't see them driving epidemics. it tends to not be something that drives an outbreak. different with influenza where they have clearly caused a lot of infections.
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this is something that's a good thing when you think about opening schools. it's definitely more of the younger age groups. as you get closer to being an adult, that changes. we might see different guidance in an elementary school verses a secondary school, a high school, and a college. in this whole period, we had day cares open for essential work workers. there's a lot of lessons we can learn because we didn't hear about many problems at them. >> let's hope somebody is going through all that data and finding those lessons for the rest of us. doctor, thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate all your expert e expertise. >> going now to florida, that state is in a state of crisis. dozens of hospitals have run out of available icu beds. the state's resources are spread dangerously thin. and it appears as though things are only about to get worse. florida clocked nearly 10,000 new confirmed cases yesterday. despite the rising numbers at the coronavirus task force briefing earlier today,
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dr. deborah birx did say she does see some promising signs on the horizon. catie beck is in miami with the latest. >> well, katy, here in florida, hospitals are now pushed to the brink in terms of capacity across the state, hospitals are mostly operating somewhere near 80% capacity. in miami-dade, hardest hit by covid in the state, they're operating at about 90% capacity. we know of at least nine hospitals here in miami-dade that have already reached capacity. so obviously, doctors and health professionals are keeping a very close eye on the numbers as more tests come up positive and more patients come to hospitals. they need more staff to treat them, more beds, and these beds have to be isolated. that's another challenge that they're trying to figure out. covid patients need to be separated. so as of right now, the doctors at this hospital, at jackson memorial, say they're doing everything they can to try and keep as many beds empty as they can, but as these numbers continue to rise, it's a big
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challenge for them. >> we're full. if you come through the e.r. right now, it's not like you get whisked up to one of several beds. at that point, when you're admitted, somebody has to figure out where is that bed going to be, and for the icus, the limitation are covid icu beds. so you know, the covid patients have to go to an isolation bed. and those are limited in number. this isn't a second wave. this is letting our guard down on the first wave. >> and katy, that doctor says that all of this is caused simply because of human behavior. he says this is not, again, a second wave or even part of a second wave. this is merely people not following social distancing guidelines and wearing their masks. if they did, we could have prevented the surge we're seeing now. katy. >> act responsibly. catie beck, thank you very much. >> let's go to texas where state officials announced another record-breaking day there today. for the first time, the state surpassed 10,000 new cases in a
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single day. and there is also a new record in hospitalizations today. so joining me from houston is nbc's priscilla thompson. we're still on the rise in this curve. what are officials telling you today? >> katy, the situation here in texas seems to be getting worse by the day, as the state barrels towards the peak, which was expected to come around mid-july, and you know, you mention those numbers. we actually have new reporting in from my nbc colleague, mike, and charles ornstein, looking at the amount of people here in houston that are dying at home, and they're beginning to see a surge in those numbers. they analyzed all of the houston fire department data and found that there's a huge spike in the number of people dying at home, suggesting that people are contracting covid and possibly not going to the hospital, waiting until the last possible moment when by then it's too late, and as a reminder, we saw
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a similar trend to that in new york city when there was a hot spot there of those calls beginning to pick up and emergency officials arriving there to find the person had already passed on. and you know, that is a huge concern in terms of those numbers and the positive case count, not only for the average person but also business owners here who the state is saying for many of them, like restaurants, can remain open while officials are urging customers and people to stay home. and i actually spoke with one business owner here who chose to close his doors about how he made that decision and weighing that as he sees the cases here in texas tick up. take a listen to what he told me. >> the problem is i think that this right now, this surge has everybody concerned. so it's very difficult to get any business. really pessimistically, if we don't have some kind of dramatic help right now, we'll have to close the business. >> and that is really the
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question, the challenge that a lot of business owners here are weighing. we spent part of the day here at the breakfast club, a very popular black-owned restaurants here, and the owner here tells me he had a meeting just yesterday about whether to close the restaurant down again. he says he's not only concerned about the safety of his customers and employees but also his elderly mirth who he comes home to every day, and his daughter who has some pre-existing conditions. so a lot of tough decisions ahead here in texas, katy. >> priscilla thompson, thank you very much. and later this hour, we're going to take you to arizona, which now has the highest positivity rate in the entire country, in part because finding a test over there is still a major challenge. plus, the supreme court says companies can decide which medical treatments they will insure or medicines they will insure and which they will not. we'll dig into the ramifications of that decision and look ahead to the court's last day tomorrow where we are still waiting for
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two decisions on the president's taxes. first up, though, he says he was bullied, intimidated, and retaliated against by the president of the united states. and now he's retiring from military life because of it. be ready for it. a digital foundation from vmware helps you redefine what's possible... now. from the hospital shifting to remote 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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moms lit's made for all of insuraus who worry aboute. our families and have kids to protect. for a dollar a day you can be covered for up to half a million. getting that peace of mind is easy. visit to get a life insurance policy today. breaking news out of washington, where one of the key witnesses in president trump's impeachment proceedings now says he's going to retire from the army. lieutenant colonel alexander vindman serves in the pimilitar for two decades but his attorney said he will step down after it was made clear his future within the institution would, quote, be forever limited. in an interview with andrea mitchell, former national security adviser john bolton suggested vindman's resignation might raise questions about what role the president played in that decision. >> i'm sure that congress is going to be very interested over the coming weeks as to exactly
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what factored into his decision, his lawyer's letter, highly critical of the white house, was there pressure from the white house? did the president's comments foreshadow this? there's a lot we don't know. >> joining me now from the white house is nbc news correspondent carol lee. in this letter from the attorney, he says that vindman was bullied. he was intimidated. and he was retaliated against by the president. >> that's right, katy. i'll just read you another part of what he wrote. he said the president of the united states attempted to force lieutenant colonel vindman to choose between adhering to the law or pleasing the president. so clearly, lieutenant colonel vindman feels as though if he wasn't already retaliated again, which many believe the way he was pushed out of the white house, that more of that was coming. he was up for a promotion to
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kernel. h colonel. senator tammy duckworth threatened to withhold, and there were concerns inside the pentagon if this list of promotions which was supposed to come out mid-may and had gone through various processes and was held up despite the pentagon saying it wasn't held up, it was, and there were concerns among pentagon officials if it did go to the white house, that the president would somehow try to block this. obviously, colonel vindman has decided he's taking this step before we got to that process but already felt this was -- he was being retaliated against because of this delay, katy. >> carol, add this to the pattern of the way the president has treated certain portions and people within the military. he's gone after his former defense secretary, james mattis.
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he brought his current defense secretary and general milley to do a photo op in front of a church with him after forcing protesters out of the area. he's pardoned war criminals over the desires of the platoons and the armed service members who convicted them for those war criminals. is there any concern within the white house about the way the president is treating individual members, some high, some not so high, of the military? >> well, i think he's treating the members of the military the way the president treats pretty much anyone who works for him and how he sees people, and he sees them, whether you're in the military or you're at the energy department, he sees administration officials as either with him or against him. and demands pure loyalty as we have seen from people who work for him. so and the military has not escaped that. what's interesting is because the president when he was
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campaigning in 2016 really expressed tremendous regard for the military, said he had the best generals. he would listen to the generals. and now we hear him say things like he knows best and that what you're seeing here, katy. >> yes. that's true. carol lee, thank you so much. and we're also following breaking news out of the supreme court, where two major cases have been decided. both rulings are essentially wins for the trump administration. and their efforts to defend religious freedoms. by a 7-2 majority, the supreme court has declared the way for some businesses -- i'm sorry, has cleared the way for some businesses to refuse to provide birth control coverage under the affordable care act. justices also ruled religious institutions have the first amendment right to select their employees. let's bring in the cofounder of scotusblog, amy howe. always good to have you. let's start first with the ruling about birth control. what sort of ramifications will
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there be? >> you know, it's a major victory for the trump administration, as you said. i think that the battle over this mandate is probably not yet over. the supreme court rejected these challenges by pennsylvania and new jersey, but as justice elena kagan pointed out, the case is going to go back to the lower courts, andathi there's still another issue to decide which the supreme court did not weigh in, whether or not these exemptexem exemptions are the product of reasoned decision making. justice kagan suggested they were not. so there's still going to be litigation. meanwhile, of course, the trump administration still can allow these exemptions to go into effect. i think that the litigation is going to go on, and we'll see what happens with the next administration, because of course, the next administration, if it were a democratic
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administration, could turn around particularly based on the language that the court used today, and invalidate these exemptions and then we would probably have more litigation about the birth control mandate. >> what about the religious freedom to select their own employees? >> yeah, that was, as you said, a 7-2 decision. justices sotomayor and ginsburg were the only dissenters, and that really does say it was a decision that was limited to teachers, justice samuel alito wrote for the court, and he said when it comes to employment discrimination suits, we're going to look at what an employee does, and if an employee plays a role like these teachers do, that teaching religion, praying with students, then they're not going to be able to come to court and sue their employers for employment discrimination. these were teachers, one had
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been fired, she said, because she denounced she had breast cancer. the other alleged she had been a victim of age discrimination. so those lawsuits will not go forward. justice sotomayor in her dissenting opinion said this could have broad ramifications for everyone who works for religious institutions, not just teachers but coaches and nurses and lawyers. so we'll see what the ramifications are down the road, but she was very concerned about those ramifications. >> amy, we have run out of time, but tomorrow is the last day of this season for the court. are we definitely going to get those two decisions on trump's taxes? >> i would be very surprised if we didn't. the last day of the supreme court, i think scheduled these decisions, held oral arguments in no small part so they could get these decisions out before the 2020 elections. >> amy howe, thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate your time and all
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of your expertise on the high court. >> and coming up, arizona now has the highest coronavirus positivity rate in the country, which public health officials say suggests a couple things. there are not enough tests to get everyone tested and the virus is likely running rampant over there. we'll head to a testing facility in arizona to see what's going on. here's a sneak peek of it. next. usaa is made for what's next no matter what challenges life throws at you, we're always here to help with fast response and great service and it doesn't stop there we're also here to help look ahead that's why we're helping members catch up by spreading any missed usaa insurance payments over the next twelve months so you can keep more cash in your pockets for when it matters most and that's just one of the many ways we're here to help the military community find out more at
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we're developing -- i'm sorry, we're following the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic. here are the facts as we know them this hour. harvard university and the massachusetts institute of technology, m.i.t., are both suing the trump administration over a new immigration order that would strip some international students of their visas. students enrolled at schools that are fully online for the fall semester would be forced to leave the country or transfer to a different school. both harvard and m.i.t. plan to offer most or even all of their
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instruction online this fall. united airlines warned today it could lay off up to 36,000 employees. that's nearly half of its staff. officials say that number is a worst case scenario. as the airline continues to struggle financially because of the pandemic. >> new jersey reopened motor vehicle commission offices this week. the dmv for the first time since march. thousands waited for hours in lines that stretched around buildings and through parking lots. officials are now suggesting that people try to arrive four hours before opening. arizona now has the highest positivity rate for the coronavirus in the united states. 25% of tests in the state have now come back positive. 25%. and those are just the people who have been able to get tested. access has become increasingly difficult since cases started spiking in arizona. today, the state reported another 3500 cases, bringing
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arizona's total to over 108,000. with me now from maricopa county, arizona, is nbc news correspondent steve patterson. steve, how much of this has to do with someone's ability to get a test? >> well, i mean, we have heard anecdotally and i interviewed people who have done widespread testing. we have seen the lines anecdotally, hours of long waits for people that are trying to get tested and then days long waits for people who are waiting for results, but this number, the positivity rate, is directly linked to a state's ability or their progress of how widespread the testing is. that is because when you are testing more people, the positivity rate in theory is supposed to shrink. it's because you're testing more people that aren't just symptomatic. you're testing asymptomatic people, people with mild establishes. maybe no symptoms.
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they're you're testing people who are just trying to get a test so they can just get back on a job or something similar to that. when you're testing people at that rate, that means access is limited because the testing is being limited to people who are the most sick. and that speaks to the supply of testing in this state. we heard over and over again about how limited the testing supply is, and then when it gets sent to the lab, how backed up the labs are. you know, we're at a banner health site. this is one of the largest providers in the entire state. maybe one of the largest employer in the entire state as well. they're holding another testing drive. they do this daily. they expect about 1,000 every day. that's about the capacity that they can do, but they say the results for the general public will take at least five to seven days, and that's on a normal basis. we spoke to one of the people running this drive. here's what she said about the testing and the results in the state. >> we have a lot of people call us every single day.
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and so we can't accommodate everyone that calls us. our turnaround times have varied. it depends on what the capacity at our lab partners are. for our general population, it really depends on who else is submitting tests and that whole piece of it. we're telling people it's going to take five to seven days. >> the world health organization likes to see a 5% positive testing rate for 14 days before they argue that it's safe to reopen a state. arizona is open again with more than a 25% positive testing rate. katy, although more resources say they're being brought in, whether or not that's going to bear out and how effective that will be with the time that this has gone on, we have to wait and see. back to you. >> steve patterson, steve, thank you very much. >> let's bring in now will humble, the executive director of the arizona public health association. will, always good to have you. 25% is a really high number. steve was just talking about all of the testing issues.
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is it just testing? is that what that suggests to you? or is it because the virus might be much more out of control in arizona than the positivity rate even might suggest? >> yeah, so that's exactly what the positivity rate tells you is both of those things. it tells you there's lots of community spread happening in arizona, and it also tells you the testing is inadequate to really manage, to give you the kind of information you need to manage the outbreak. and in the previous segment, it was important about the turnaround time. you need a turnaround time of about two days in order for the contact tracing to work. it doesn't work if you have got seven or eight days. you know, the people have already infected their coworkers and so on. so positivity rate is a really important one. you know, the number of new cases always gets the headlines, but the positivity rate, i think, is a more important indicator of where we are. >> so what are texas officials
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doing right now to get ahead of this so they can make it so it's two days and not five to seven days? and thereby impossible to contact trace? >> so arizona officials have said that they're working with their community partners, their laboratory partners, but i haven't heard anything specific about what exactly they're doing. there's two things you need to have to get a better turnaround time. you have to have the staff to run those tests within the laboratory. you need the logistics to get them there. and then you need enough instruments to do the testing. now, the gross number of tests has been improving over the last three weeks here. but when you have community spread going gangbusters like this, the demand still outstrips the supply, so it's challenging to get the number of tests available to catch up with the community spread because as we know, this thing can move exponentially and is in arizona. it's much more challenging to get testing to move exponentially. it's administratively very hard. >> i said texas.
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obviously, i meant arizona. thank you for being quick with correcting me on that. are -- is the public of arizona getting the picture now? at first, this was only happening in new york. it's hard to understand something unless you see it happening around you. you didn't know anybody that was affected by it, so maybe you might be more laissez-faire about it. are arizonians now seeing the problem? are they acting accordingly? are they taking it more seriously? are they staying home more? what's your experience been? >> i think it really depends on where you are in arizona. i mean, there are places in arizona, the tucson area, some parts of phoenix, where you can see that people are really taking it seriously. you can observe lower traffic levels, for example, but you can also see in the community, more people wearing cloth masks. there are other parts of the state, and i know you guys covered it over the weekend in prescott, arizona, which is a different part of the state, where essentially there's -- you can't even tell there's a
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pandemic hardly. because no one is wearing a face mask. outside activities are full. indoor mitigation measures are almost nonexistent at bars and restaurants, so you know, it really depends on what part of the state you're in. >> it is just remarkable. will humble, thanks for coming on with us today and giving us some of your insight, telling us what it's like on the ground there. >> and should public schools be forced to share federal coronavirus relief with private schools? the department of education says yes. michigan's attorney general says no. and she's leading a multi-state lawsuit to stop it. >> but first, texas congressman joaquin castro joins me as his state struggles to contain its rise in new infections. [♪]
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and now, at least five republican senators say they will not be attending the republican national convention next month in jacksonville, florida. the list includes chuck grassley, mitt romney, lamar alexander, susan collins, and lisa murkowski. each gave varying reasons for why they won't be at the president's renominating convention. the rnc is going to go on without them as concerns grow over how florida's surge in coronavirus cases will affect the entire event. the president is telling greta van susteren he would be open to a smaller convention in light of the spike. >> would you consider not having
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as big a convention? >> we're always looking at different things. when we signed in jacksonville, and again, we wanted to be in north carolina. that almost worked out, but the governor didn't want to have people use the arena, essentially, and we sort of said too bad for north carolina. and then we went to florida, and when we went, when we signed a few weeks ago, it looked good. and now all of a sudden it's spiking up a little bit. that's going to go down. it depends on the timing. look, we're very flexible. >> the governor of north carolina didn't want them to use the arena because of the pandemic. as for democrats, delegates have been told to stay home due to health concerns. they're all virtual convention because there's a pandemic, it will occur in milwaukee the week before the gop event. in a matter of weeks americans made jobless by the pandemic will lose some of their unemployment benefits with states pushing jobless residents to get back to work. the 600 per week federal
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supplement is set to expire on july 31st and some of the recipients might even have to pay back some of the aid they received. joining me is texas democratic congressman joaquin castro. thank you very much for joining us. can you give me clarity as to why some people might have to pay back some of those unemployment benefits? >> well, it seems in texas what happened was that the state government sent more money to some people than was due to them for unemployment benefits. now, you have this very tough situation where some of those people still are not back at work, and the state government is demanding that they send that money back. i think part of the problem, at least what i heard from some folks, is that of course, they didn't realize that the state was sending them more money than they were supposed to get, so you know, we encountered this problem a lot with the texas workforce commission and the apparatus of the government. it took them a long time to get
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people their benefits, and even though the folks were working very hard, they were not prepared for this. nobody was prepared for it. but the state government also, i think, didn't commit the resources to get it right. and this is one example where now they're wrangling with people over the amount of money that was given to them. >> of those extra benefits, the $600 a week extra expires at the end of this month. is there urgency in congress right now to extend a new benefits plan to make sure those who have been hardest affected, the ones that work for the hospitality industry, for example, are going to get a lifeline that extends past july 31st? >> yeah, extending those benefits is essential as a lifeline for many workers who have not been able to go back to work, or many as in texas who went back to work at restaurant or bars that have now closed down again per the governor's order, and so the united states
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senate and mitch mcconnell need to take up the heroes act which was passed over a month ago by the house of representatives and extend these unemployment benefits until we fully get through this pandemic. >> let's talk about what's happening in texas right now. the governor has issued a state-wide mandate on wearing masks. some of the bars and restaurants have been closed down again. there are those, though, local leaders in your state, that want to be able to issue stricter regulations for their communities, specifically houston. i know judge adalgo wants to issue stricter orders in houston. the governor so far has not granted that. how does texas get a handle on this by just social distancing and mask wearing? is that possible? >> katy, you ask the $64,000 question. obviously, it's a work in
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progress. in my hometown of san antonio, for example, we're down to about 11% hospital bed capacity as of yesterday. texas reported its highest number of infections, surpassing 10,000 in a day. and so this thing is still on the rise because the governor in the initial stages was slow to test, slow to trace, and slow to treat patients with the coronavirus, and then opened up too early. and all of those things have contributed to a very bad situation right now in texas. he should give the local lead leaders, the county judge in bexar county, give them more power and control over their situations in their localities. one example of the governor being unwilling to take, to make tough decisions is the fact that he has not asked the state republican party to cancel its state convention, which is coming up shortly, an in-person
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convention, 6,000 people, who are expected to go to the convention center in houston and governor greg abbott has not asked them to cancel that event. that is an example of a convening that at this point is dangerous for the people of houston and also dangerous for the people of texas, and highly irresponsible for the texas republican party to be having a 6,000-person convention like that right now. >> and one more question on education. the president is threatening to cut federal funding to schools that don't reopen quickly enough. is congress planning on giving any extra money to public schools in order for them to be able to expand the classrooms, get extra desks? get ppe, all of the things that they need in order to make sure that when kids do come back, that they're able to protect not just the kids but the educators and the staffers that work at those schools? >> absolutely. i think that congress needs to and is looking at extra money
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for schools to prepare for learning and for an environment during a pandemic that is still going on. and i think what's likely in different parts of the country is you may have some students attend school in person and you also have a lot of students who are engaged in distance learning as most folks had been the last few months, but even that requires extra resources and training for teachers and so forth. so yes, i think congress needs to step up there as well. >> texas congressman joaquin castro, thank you so much for joining us. we appreciate your time, sir. >> thank you. and coming up next, michigan's attorney general joins us to talk about a lawsuit that michigan and five other states have filed against the secretary of education on the subject of education, and why they believe coronavirus relief funds earmarked for schools aren't being used where they're needed most. and i don't add up ,
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education secretary betsy devos today said she expects schools to be fully operational come fall regardless of the coronavirus pandemic. a number of school systems across the country say that's precisely the problem, after the secretary issued a rule to allow private schools to benefit from the more than $13 billion in coronavirus aid earmarked for public schools and a coalition of states is suing, accusing the trump administration of playing politics with education. joining me now is michigan attorney general. thank you so much for joining us. what's the problem with private schools getting some of this money? >> well, you know the problem is with the guidance that's been prom gated by secretary devos
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and the department of education. this money under title i target low-income students to assist them in the ability to learn in the course of the pandemic. to provide things like the ability for remote learning, laptops, chrome books, if they're going to go back to schools things like ppe for low-income students and instead, of the cares act money that's distributed to the schools for this purpose, over $13 billion, there are estimates that over $1.5 billion of that money will be illegally, wrongfully diverted away from the public schools into private schools, religious schools and for-profit charter schools. instead of targeting the people who need that money the most it will be disperse to a number of, you know, kids who are not desperate for that money in order to learn during the curse
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of this pandemic. >> if this aid was earmarked specifically for public schools, how do you get around that and divert it to private schools. >> it legally. you know, exactly why we're suing and a number of other states are doing that as well. they have put together a formula that really undermines the entire reason for title i in the first place which, again, to help low-income and disadvantaged students. but by putting this guidance and diverts money where it's needed most, you know you're jeopardizing the learning ability of children who need that money in order to be able to learn. that's why we're suing. >> you touched on this a second ago, but let's hit it again. low-income students don't have necessarily the internet access,
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the ipads, the computers that some of their more well-off counterparts do, this distance learning has made it more difficulty and widen the inequality gap in schools. if michigan schools aren't able to reopen full time and there's still distance learning in the fall, this money then go to make sure these students get the supplies to keep up at home? >> yeah, absolutely. that's one of the direct reasons for this distribution of funds through the c.a.r.e.s. act. they want to provide for remote learning opportunities for low-income students. and that's why it's all the more egregious that through this, at the direction of betsy devos, this money is going to be taken
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away from students that need it the most and given to students are nearly as desperate for that money in order to be able to educate their students. but that's what betsy devos has always done here in the state of michigan and that's what he's best at doing -- she's like a reverse robinhood. she takes money from the public schools and gives it to the privilege. that's what she's always done in michigan and that's what she's doing to the remainder of the 49 states. >> thank you. we appreciate it. >> thank you for having me. that will do it for me today. i'll see you back here at 5:00 p.m. eastern for "meet the press daily." in the meantime, brian williams and nicolle wallace pick up our coverage after a quick break. ak you are transforming business models, and virtualizing workforces overnight. because so much of that relies on financing,
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and accessoriesphones for your mobile phone. like this device to increase volume on your cell phone. - ( phone ringing ) - get details on this state program call or visit good day. brian williams here with us. 3:00 p.m. in the east. 12 noon on the west coast. nicolle wallace joining us
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momentarily. we begin however with a look at where things stand in the coronavirus pandemic. the virus has now killed over 132 now americans, another 57 new cases were diagnosed just yesterday. bringing the total number of confirmed cases over 3 million. but the cdc says the actual number could likely be ten times higher than that. the number of cases, deaths, hospitalizations still rising, but that hasn't stopped the trump administration from insisting that schools must reopen this fall. >> it would fail america's students and it would fail taxpayers who pay high taxes for their education. ultimately it's not a matter of if schools should reopen it's simply a matter of how. they must fully open and they must be fully operational. >> that declaration came hours after president trump threatened to cut off federal funding for schools that do not open their
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doors, although most school budgets are funded by state and property taxes anyway, but his administration haven't put together a formal plan to insure schools reopen safely. vice president mike pence had this to say about that threat when the white house coronavirus task force met together, a rare appearance at tennell case department in washington. >> what you heard from the president is just his determination. to provide the kind of leadership from the federal level that says we're going to get our kids back to school because that's where they belong and we know based upon what our best health officials tell us that we can do that in a safe and responsible way. >> the president also said he disagreed with the cdc's guidelines for reopening schools, calling them tough and expensive. a brampk of his own government. a senior administration official tells nbc news the white house
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believes those restrictions are so restrictive they plan to issue their own recommendations. . the administration is looks at ways to tie federal funding to the pace of reopening plans as part of the next pandemic relief bill. today's task force briefing was also note nl because of the absence of dr. anthony fauci, the white house says the nation's top infectious disease expert was at work at the national institutes of health. one day however the president criticized fauci for saying the u.s. was not in a good place when it comes to fighting the coronavirus. >> i think we are in a good place. i disagree with him. dr. fauci said don't wear masks. now wear them. don't close china, don't ban china. i did it anyway. i didn't listen to my experts. >> i'm joined by my friend and
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colleague, nicolle wallace, host of "deadline: white house." nicolle, this is all so interesting, this decision on schools is so personal. it's so local. it's so regional. the president who has said that the response to coronavirus should be a state and local matter. has decided that this issue should be from on high. >> brian, it is ghoulish for t donald trump to inject his incompetent political approach to the global pandemic into what is a life and death painful, lose-lose decision for most parents. we either send our children to school with the terror they'll be exposed or expose somebody else or the terror of what is happening to them being taught at home without their peers and
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without their gifted teachers bringing them along and doing what they do better than any and every parent in the country. and to see him so confident in his own incompetence and corruption on this pandemic, which is now a known known for the world to see to object to cdc's recommendations, they're tough because lives at stake. i don't know of anybody is taking the pandemic cues from him anymore. but i sure as heck hope our schools don't. you pass a point where you can be surprised or appalled orred issen by anything that donald trump says, there's no division, 100 out of 100 parents want kids to go back to school. everybody wants to see kids back to school. to see him inject his divisiveness and his
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partisanship and he proven incompetence, i'm not leaving him in charge of whether my kid goes back to school. it's an unbelievable new turn for him. >> inconveniently this whole discussion happens when we're in the middle of a spike, something like 39 of our 50 states are in an upward direction, texas has one of the largest outbreaks in the country. reporting over 10,000 new cases just in the course of yesterday. the rising infection rate is putting a strain on the healthcare system there. correspondent and native texan garrett haake joins us now from dallas. i saw you on social media yesterday and i tried to sample local news when i can around the country. you mentioned being back home in texas, local news obviously focused on the coronavirus has been covering the return to school because of precisely what nicolle wallace just said, she
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doesn't know of a more intensely personal debate and decision going on in american homes all because of the pandemic you're there covering. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. just yesterday, the texas education association put out their guidelines for schools to reopen, at the federal level, they're linking money for schools to resuming in-person class instruction, those guidelines will include things like students 10 or older having to wear masks in the classrooms. still a lot has to be worked out. with schools set to reopen just a few weeks from now. i have heard from teachers reaching out to me on social media, they're terrified to go back in school buildings that weren't built for social distancing. they were built for the exact opposite. i spent the entire month of april in texas covering the pandemic and at the time it was interesting to hear the governor say even case numbers were creeping up much slow eer then,
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texas has the hospital capacity to handle the surge and now we're seeing that surge, more than 1,000 new cases a day, in dallas. at this hospital, they're doubling the amount of people who are coming in as they were just last week, that capacity is being tested very much in realtime in this state, nicolle. >> garrett, our thanks to you for being back there and for staying on this story. joining us now two of our very good friends, dr. redleter and sam stein. doctor, we've been focused on this here since march, since the shutdowns first began, every parent in america contemplated,
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learning with joblessness and learning how to teach third, fourth, fifth grade. we're looking at the fall, no matter what happens, shocked by donald trump's political approach to this really important decision. what do you make of his pronouncements in the last 24 hours? >> well, let's say, what do we make of his pronouncements the past 3 1/2 months? >> it's been one ignorant statement after another. the latest. he seems to be getting some sort of kick out of refuting all of his experts on every matter having to do with this. the waving his hand at the cdc guidelines, this is all an absurd kind of showmanship, resulting in incoherent policy recommendations coming from the white house. it's absolutely intolerable. especially on an issue affecting our kids. we're dealing with very
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complicated problems. trying to keep the students safe, we have older teachers and staff, this cannot be a wave of the hand from the white house to magically make something happen that's got very serious and significant health implications, nicolle. >> sam stein, it's got the trumpian twist of trying to create division where there is none, i think every parent in the world and every teacher would like to see school back in fall but you have to lay over the reality is that the pandemic is surging in more states than which it is on the decline. what do you make of his effort to do what trump does, seek to divide people along partisan lines, trump versus the rest of us lines. in this case, it's trump versus his own cdc. >> great question. the subject of our editorial meeting this morning just trying to figure out what it is about
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this specific issue that has trump so animated. obviously, he's defied public health experts before. in this case, he and his administration officials have really put on aggressive push on school administrators to reopen in the fall, something that has happened over the last week, emphasized repeatedly with two straight days on conference calls, admonishing governors to tell local officials to open their schools. at one point betsy devos said risk is inherent in everything. but, you know, it's hard to separate the -- it's hard to separate the earlier handling of the pandemic with what's going on now. we talk about surging stats of cases in different states, you know trump this morning talked about how in germany, denmark and norway, they've seen kids go
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back to school and it's been largely successful, not many instances of transmissions. but in those countries, they have daily coronavirus infections at something like a couple hundred. we're now at 55,000. that complicates our situation tremendously. we would -- it would be a lot easier if states were dealing with 100. the administration couldn't get it together to get the case numbers low enough to reopen with some confidence in the fall. while trump wants to cast blame on local officials, you can't open just two days a week. the blame falls on administration for not going
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after it early on. >> sam, a follow-up that speaks to the question that you discussed during your "morning meeting," isn't this on brand for a lack of empathy seeping into policy. >> yes, it is. the thing that i found most interesting, though, about this was they have repeatedly in the course of trying to sell school reopening cast it in economic terms. you know, there's obviously the moral terms, the economic terms, but when in doubt they go back to the fact that people need to get back to work and one way to get back to work is to make sure your kids have in essence education but child care, they keep citing billions of dollars that could be lost in the economy if we don't open schools fully. i have a feeling they look at this as an economic argument. to get the economy rolling in
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the fall one of the key components is to free up parents so they can get back to work and you know, that says something about how the president and his team do view this crisis. >> hey, doctor, arne duncan, under president obama, has been saying about this school reopening, fine, but make it your priority from the get-go. priorityize school reopening as your target goal and not say bars and restaurants, but if you go all-in, if everyone's at home thinking we're doing it for this, in the fall, that would have been something else entirely. >> yeah, well, everything about this has been a mess, brian from the beginning as we were saying before.
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to follow up on sam's point on other countries opening up schools, they also have very low rates of infections. you can do things like contact tracing. and follow-up and more testing. we're not capable of enough testing nor the contact tracing. we're in a much more dangerous situation in terms of opening the schools right now. it's the economic agenda and the narrative running into the presidential election on november 3rd, he's got to have a case to be made and he's on very, very thin ice here with all of the policy recommendations that he's made, that he's refuted scientists on, et cetera, all of this is going to be coming together in just a few months from now and they're struggling in my opinion to come up with a narrative that will make people buy the fact that he's in some way competent in dealing with this. more incompetent than any other president in history in terms of
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managing a major crisis like this. he has a lot to think about. we have to make sure we're doing the right thing for our kids and the teachers who serve them. >> our thanks to our guests. for starting off our conversation on a wednesday afternoon. our first break. when we return -- the u.s. supreme court will likely issue its decision on the president's financial records tomorrow. alrea and we've heard this one before -- nurses are sounding the alarm, they are dangerously short of personal protective equipment. ppe. if this story sounds like mid-april in new york, that's because it's happening again. 's.
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the supreme court expected to issue a highly expected ruling on the president's financial records tomorrow and we should know by this time tomorrow what they say. depending on the decision, new york state prosecutors could be one step closer to obtaining years of the president's business and personal tax returns. but while we wait for the ruling more secrets about this president and his past, his family, are coming to light. a new book from the president's
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niece mary trump has been obtained by various news outlets including nbc news, ahead of its publication next week that the trump family fought in court. in it the author mary trump, ph.d. and psychologist portrays her uncle as a man who has no principles, cheated his way into college. she writes the following, quote, the fact is dx's pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexpolitics kabl this coming one an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of tests that he would ever sit for. >> in the nick of time, joining our conversation is a member of
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"the new york times" editorial board. also with us jonathan swan, political creporter at axios. jonathan, you've read the book. >> yes, we have. >> we talked around these issues. not one of these can diagnose trump or try to figure out why he can't show empathy to the 130,000 people who have died, why he doesn't seem remorseful about mistakes in managing the pandemic. does this theory offered by his niece offer an explanation? >> she diagnoses from afar and she says that he fits all of the traits of the nasc. one thing she portrayed in the book, the cruelty at the heart of this comes from the relationship he had with his
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father growing up, that his father was relentless and brutal, and basically berated all of them. you know, he had this complicated relationship with his older brother who died of alcoholism. she goes through and tries to explain it. you know, i talked to president trump about this book a few weeks ago and he was clearly appeared to me to be blindsided by it. you've got to remember, he's now accustomed after 3 1/2 years of being in office of senior aides leaking about him anonymously and coming out with scathing books. mary trump his niece is the first member of the trump family to break ranks. she's the first one to come out and actually and sort of spill the beans so to speak. this takes on a different quality from any of the other
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books we have seen so far. >> yeah, let me press you on this idea of being blindsided. i mean that's -- you know the 20/20 narrative on everything. he was blindsided by coronavirus even though it was in his pdb. blindsided on the leakers or the russian bounty story. and blindsided by this book. what do you make of the fact that no one is defending him. you pulled out the world cruelty, cruelty is the word most of his immigration policy of putting children in cages, i mean, i think that a lot of trump's critics would use the word cruelty on a lot of the policies they don't support, how do you think the book lands when no one is defending him for his character? >> i think one of the
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characterizations based on reporting, covering donald trump for the last five years, one of the characterization that i think trouble him least in the book is the word "cruelty" because his conception of his himself as a killer, as someone who gets it done is ruthless, i think he puts into it that tough guy frame and i actually he'll be bothered least by that. what would much more troubling, the scenes where she portrays him out of his depth or incompetent or cheating his way into college, or some of the other things that go against the image that he has carefully crafted over the last 40 years. >> every family has their own mythology and every president has a brand. this president's brand as no one
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needs to remind you is billionaire, you're fired, gold bathroom fixtures and the like, how does this book by this author damage the mythology, damage the brand, and why has that made it so important to the subject? >> yeah, i mean, that's right, brian. what's different here is that mary trump is a credible na narrator from the inside. someone inside the family who knows the family secrets. it remains to be seen whether the hard-core trump supporters will buy, read, accept the claims that are in this book but i do think that the claims that she's making particularly about him as a cheater are -- they really strike at the heart of
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this pulls yourself up by your boots straps which we know is not the case for donald trump. he used his father's fortune to make his own. and you know that's based on racial stereotypes it's not based on reality. this hits at the heart of that. i also think that it's interesting that it's coming now, at a moment when the president is already very weak. it absolutelies that the president is not as fearsome as he may have once been. if you're mary trump, you know she's putting a lot on the line i'd say to come out and it makes you wonder if others will follow. >> mara, the part of that horrifies and frustrates democrats it's not as if the trump base is going through spread sheets saying, oh, man, this is not what we were told
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and it's not like they're going through the physician's desk reference saying, wait a minute, no one told me he was a clinical narcissist. trump nation is trump nation. he'll ride whatever percentage it is to the polls. >> that's right. the problem for the president and those around him understand this is that he barely won the first time around. and he's done nothing to grow his base. in fact, there's good evidence that his voters have actually shrunk as an electorate. this is not going to help. i think every -- i think every bit that he loses of that base is going to hurt him especially in the swing states where he's already under water, states like michigan, wisconsin and arizona right now. he doesn't have any voters to lose is the problem. all of this kind of chips away
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at that base. as he continues to double down on racism and on, you know the narcissism, he's not going to attract new voters. this is not going to help him. >> our thanks to our frequent guests on a wednesday afternoon. mara gay and jonathan swa swannanother break for us. when we come back -- some breaking news about the biden campaign, democrats now pushing a more progressive agenda if he wins the white house. the whitee
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