tv MSNBC Live With Craig Melvin MSNBC July 9, 2020 8:00am-9:00am PDT
good thursday morning everyone. i'm craig melvin. we continue to follow the breaking news from the supreme court on two monumental cases about president trump's financial records. two parallel cases and decisions on this, the court's final day of session. the first case involving manhattan district attorney cy vance who is seeking president trump's tax records. the court ruling 7-2 that the president is not immune from the manhattan district attorney's attempt to get that information. this case, as you may recall, centers on the investigation into hush money payments to
women who claim they had affairs with the president. the supreme court ordering more proceedings in lower courts. the president did get some better news in a second ruling which the justices are also sending back to a lower court. this decision centers on subpoenas from three house committees seeking business records from the trump organization's accounting firm and two banks. the court also ruling 7-2 in this one that the president can fight congress on this. the house will not get his records for now. right now on capitol hill we're waiting and watching for house speaker nancy pelosi, the speaker of the house set to take to the podium any moment now. we will be watching and listening for her reaction to these decisions from the supreme court. we'll take you there when she begins to speak about the decisions. i want to go right to our team of reporters and experts. nbc justice correspondent pete williams, national security and
justice correspondent tom winter, former clerk to then judge sonia sotomayor and kim whaley, former sis stnt u.s. attorney in washington, d.c. and associate independent counsel in the white water investigation. mr. williams, i'll start with you. walk us through these two big decisions and what they mean. >> on the cy vance case, the new york grand jury case -- on both of them, by the way, it means whoa ear not going to see any of the president's records immediately, maybe not even before the election. it's going to take months and months for this to work through the lower court. that's the top line here. in terms of the specific cases, the court basically dismissed the president's two arguments that he's absolutely immune from any part of the criminal justice process because the sitting president can't be indicted. if you unleash all the local prosecutors, presidents will be harassed. what the court says is the president now, with those absolute claims gone, can go back to the lower courts and make the same kind of claim
anybody else would on why a subpoena should be quashed or changed. he can argue the same thing any other citizen would. he can also argue that having to put up with this from a state prosecutor would be harassment or would take too much of his time, in other words. sort of a little bit of a reflection of his argument there. it's a win for the prosecutor because it says the prosecutor has a right to see this. the president is not immune to it. it takes some time to work it out. on the congressional one, as you say, this is more of a mixed victory. what they say is the president can't absolutely stiff congress. but on the other hand, congress can't just have anything it wants, so there's a test that the lower courts have to apply. they have to say, is the information they're seeking available from some other source. is the subpoena too broad. remember, that's one of the problems the democrats had, the subpoenas were so broad, seeking years of information from, not
only the president, but his relatives, other people who work for the trump organization. thirdly, does congress have in essence the right to see this. finally, would this be too much of a burden on the president to respond. so it's going to take months for this to work through the lower courts. both of these are, in a sense, landmark rulings because they both try to set out what basically the terms are for when a local prosecutor or congress can seek information from a sitting president. bear in mind here one of the things that made these cases a little bit different is, none of these requests for material from the president himself. they were directed to his accountants and his banks. secondly, very little of it applied -- none of it applied to the president's official duties and very little of it applied to the president's time in office. so for all those reasons, these are important cases. they will undoubtedly set precedent for years to come when
there are similar requests for material from sitting presidents. >> justice correspondent pete williams on these two -- in pete's words -- landmark rulings. thank you as always. tom, what, if anything, are we hearing from the manhattan district attorney, cy vance, about that specific case? >> craig, we can actually show you his statement. he says this is, quote, a tremendous victory for our nation's system of justice and its founding principle that no one, not even a president, is above the law. our investigation which was delayed for almost a year by this lawsuit will assume, guided as always by the grand jury's solemn obligation to follow the law and the facts, wherever they may lead. this is certainly a victory for cy vance who is having quite a year with his guilty verdict that he was able to get in something totally unrelated, involving a case involving sexual assault in harvey weinstein. cy vance is having quite a year as a local prosecutor. with respect specifically to the president, this is not
investigation just looking at the president's tax returns. that's not the only thing they've asked for here. they have asked for the underlying documents that were used to come up with those tax returns. this is a case that doesn't just have to do with the hush money payments. it also wants to look into weren't his fax filings were accurate. in other words, what were his real revenues or real values of property, his real expenses? what were the guts of those tax returns and did he file them accurately? there's other parts of this that, frankly, i don't think we have an accurate handle on yet. this is investigation that will certainly continue going forward. to pete's point, this goes back to the lower courts where there may be continuing legal battles. it's going to take some time. i fully expect the manhattan district attorney's office will file something asking for an expedited ruling from the lower courts to get these tax documents. it's obviously that the president will likely fight some of that in the courts, so it will be some time before they get it. the documents were requested, on a final point here, under grand
jury subpoena. it's important to know what that means. it means these documents can't be disclosed -- in other words, cy vance can't put them on his website when he gets them. if he brings criminal charge, it won't come in the initial filings of the charges. we won't see many details there. that's a decision made by state courts. it likely wouldn't be until we have a trial, craig, if there is one that these documents might come out in the form of exhibits. as far as when you and i have everybody watching us will get a chance to see them with respect to the manhattan district attorney's case, it's likely it will be some time, if ever, that we get to put our eyes on them, craig. >> certainly not before the election in november. this notion that people may somehow be able to see the president's tax returns or some of the underlying information connected to those returns before the election, that's not going to happen. melissa, what should we, if
anything, be reading into where the justices sided in these decisions? both rulings 7-2. the chief justice again this time around joining neil gorsuch deciding with the majority. what, if anything, can we glean from that? >> the one thing we can glean is the real winner is chief justice john roberts who managed to steer the supreme court out of potentially fraught political waters during an election year. i'll note one interesting decision in the one about the congressional subpoenas -- >> please stand by. speaker of the house nancy pelosi talking about this right now. >> -- clearly achievable by us in the lower court, and we will continue to go down that path. the decision enables -- to enable the trump administration's -- i don't even
know what they're saying about it. i hear they're tweeting one thing and other people are saying another. whatever it is, it's not good news for the president of the united states. it is a path that we will take. so i put out a statement and i don't see it here. do we have a copy of the statement? it's not here. you don't need me to give you a piece of paper to have what the statement is. it took me a little longer to get out here because i wanted to read to the bottom end of the decision. chief justice specifically speaks to the fact that the president is not above the law. that is something that was proclaimed in the decision, including two of his recent appointments. careful reading of the supreme
court rulings related to the president's financial records is not good news for president trump. the court reaffirmed the congress's authority to conduct oversight on behalf of the american people as it asks for further information from congress. congress's constitutional responsibility to uncover the truth specifically related to the president's russia connection that he is hiding. the congress will continue to conduct oversight for the people upholding the separation of powers that is genius of our constitution. we will continue to press our case in the lower courts. that's what happened this morning. earlier this morning, for the 16th week in a row, over 1 million americans applied for unemployment insurance.
16th week in a row. we have to open up our economy. we can only do so by killing off the virus. that's what's in the heroes act. testing, tracing, treatment, separati separation, masking, wash your hands, keep your distance. that's what is in the heroes act. all of the scientific pronouncements -- >> we have been watching and listening to speaker of the house nancy pelosi. right now she's of course talking about reopening the economy in our on going battle against the pandemic. before that she was talking about the supreme court's decision related to the president's tax returns and finances. i want to bring back melissa murray. melissa, we were talking about the ramifications of this decision and what we can glean from the 7-2 split in both cases before the speaker of the house
interrupted us. pick up where you left off if you can. >> sure. i was just saying that this is a real win for chief justice john roberts who is the court's institutional steward. he's been wanting to steer the court out of politically fraught waters. i will note in an interesting aside in the mazar's opinion about the congressional subpoenas, the chief justice notes that ordinarily this would never even get to a federal court because the typical course is to have the congressional branch work it out with the executive branch. there's a hurley burley hashing it out about what needs to be disclosed. he notes that that has not happened here and that is why we're in court. again, i think that's a snarky aside to the fact that this administration has consistently stonewalled congress and that isn't the usual order of things. >> while you were discussing
that, we actually got a statement in from the president's accounting firm, mazars usa, a spokesperson. i'll read the statement we just got in, quote, alongside counsel, we are reviewing the decision in its entirety to fully understand our obligations. as previously noted mazars usa fully intends to comply with its legal obligations. that just coming in moments ago. melis melissa, as pete pointed out, this doesn't mean we're going to see the president's tax returns or financial records here in the short term. do you think, based on the reading of this decision, that at some point we are going to see those things? >> i think it's likely we could. the idea that a sitting president is completely immune from disclosing items that are
rudimentary and personal but are within the scope of an inquiry and common investigation or congressional subpoena, i think is unusual. we might not see these before the election. that's exactly what the president was worried about. it's unlikely he wants this to come out before the election cycle. i think it's likely in time we'll see this information eventually disclosed. will it matter at that point? unclear. >> kim whaley, this on going debate over the constitutionality of the trump administration's policies and decision making, it inspired you to write a book about the constitution. from a macro level here, how does today's court decision reshape the balance of power between congress and the white house? or does it? >> it's absolutely critical to preservation of the separation of powers, and i think it's significant that the newest justice, justice kavanaugh is in the majority on both of these
opinions. the reason it's so important is because, i think, as professor murray indicated, this white house has challenged the basic guard rails of the separation of powers across the board outing people within -- that are whistle-blowers, firing inspectors general, having private parties like rudy giuliani conduct foreign policy without going through advice and consent, recontributing moneys that were appropriately from the congress, pushing against the emoluments clause. we have in place an internal policy that started with nixon that says you can't prosecute a sitting president. that's not a law. it's not in the constitution. it's not a statute. it's just an internal policy decision. so what was at stake in these two cases is whether there's any meaningful oversight of the office of the presidency outside of an actual election. that was the argument made by the republicans in the trial in
the senate on impeachment, that essentially it's election, folks. i also wrote a book that's just out a few weeks ago on voting, and i do think that is the critical way of checking the presidency. but essentially the court did a few things. one said congress does have authority to subpoena information from a president. that has been challenged by this president. they basically set that in stone. number two, when you're talking about privately held information, this is not something out of the white house, this isn't something in national security coffers. he's a regular person for purposes of a criminal investigation by a local prosecutor. that's also significant because what's good for the goose is good for the gander. this is a shot across the baugh for all presidents that you are not immune from any oversight short of an election which is fraught by virtue of russian
interference and other issues. i think in terms of shoring up the legitimacy and sustainability of american democracy, this was a watershed, absolutely crucial moment in american history. >> tom winter, while we are having this discussion, michael cohen, the president's former fixer slash lawyer, michael cohen is in a federal court building once again. a word a short time ago that we may hear from mr. cohen about what we're talking about here, the supreme court's decision related to the president's tax returns and other documents. michael cohen, remind folks, tom, how he fits into all of this. >> i think you're referring to our colleague katy tur's reporting saying he'll likely speak. he's meeting with his probation officer, is our understanding. i think a couple important
things to remember with respect to michael cohen. first off, he's one of the few people that was inside the trump organization's kind of close ranks that has broken ranks. obviously he has pleaded guilty to federal charges involving campaign finance violations involving hush money payments to two women for affairs that the president has strenuously denied. he's pleaded guilty in that case, for lying to congress with respect to the russia investigation and the case they were conducting in the case brought by the special counsel's office. he's spoken with prosecutors in new york, spoken with prosecutors for the now defunct special counsel's office, the fbi and the manhattan district attorney's office. they came and visited him when he was in prison before his release because of covid-19 concerns. i've thought about all the times michael cohen has spoken to investigators on the state level, the federal level. and i've counted up the amount of cases that have been brought
as a result of things he's told them, and the number is zero. that's not to denigrate michael cohen because these cases, frankly, will be made on the documents that's the reason we're here and speaking about it today in the supreme court's decision. ultimately it's the tax documents that would be needed to prove any sort of case. michael cohen can perhaps provide roadmap, but i think it's important to remember what federal prosecutors say in new york at the time of his sentencing that he hadn't been a full cooperator and somebody totally forthcoming. he's a complicated figure in all of this. how many images have we shown with him close to the president of the united states? he was his fixer, his personal attorney. i think it will be interesting to see if any of the information that he's provided will ultimately lead to a prosecutable case. so that's something we'll have to follow, craig. but obviously he's out, he's able to speak. something we'll have to watch closely. >> kim wehle, before i let you go, you alluded to the expansive
view of presidential immunity in the case of the manhattan d.a. how does that ruling impact how this administration operates? >> i think it is one of the few places, it looks like, where there's going to be a stop sign that's actually enforced. the president has to understand now that he can't control private parties. remember, this is not the president producing information. this is the president reaching out to a private party, an accounting firm with respect to the congressional subpoenas, some banks and saying, i'm telling you not to respond to this request by the grand jury. it's important to keep in mind, there are two critical decisions the supreme court has already issued around this very topic or similar, the nixon case and the clinton case. in the nixon case, the court said, dick said you have to produce the tapes in response to a federal trial subpoena, you
cannot hide behind your presidency and that led to the downfall of his presidency. bill clinton, you can't hide behind the presidency and say i don't have to respond to a civil deposition. that's someone suing for money damages based on conduct that happened in his private life. no can do. sorry, clinton. you have to show up and testify. we know he lied in that deposition and that caused him a lot of problems in his presidency. so here, if the supreme court had not held this way, it would have been catastrophic for accountability for the office of tpt see. this president, not only has to be aware that it's going to go forward, the investigation of his activities is going to go forward by cy vance, but also, if he doesn't win re-election, he is potentially going to see a criminal indictment as a private person because, again, i mentioned there's a doj internal memo, can't prosecute a sitting
president. unclear if that applies to state prosecutors. no doubt the president will take that position. but if he does not get a second term, he is more likely, if there is evidence of crimes, to be prosecuted because he will not have run out the statute of limitations. if he gets a second term, the five-year statute of limitations that applies to federal crimes will probably expire for any crimes allegedly committed in the early days of his office or leading up to his time. so that's absolutely pivotal for purposes of the election. he's got to be very concerned about that. >> kim wehle, melissa murray, thank you, tom winter, a big thanks to you as well. president trump already responding to these decisions using his favorite platform, twitter. we're also hearing from lawmakers on capitol hill. the responses that we have so far after a quick break.
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we're staying on top of the breakings news, the supreme court decision on president trump's taxes. big implications for congress, the manhattan district attorney and, of course, the president himself. for now, congress will not be able to get his financial records, but he is not immune from the manhattan district attorney's attempt to get his taxes. nbc's carol lee is at the white house, leigh ann caldwell is on capitol hill. carol, i'll start with you. it will surprise literally no
one that the president is tweeting about this. take us through how he is reacting. have we heard anything from the white house specifically? >> reporter: well, we heard from the president in a series of tweets, craig. to sum them up, they largely are the president hitting old grievances, bringing up the obama administration, accusing officials from the obama administration of spying on his campaign, saying he survived the mueller investigation. i'll read you a part. he said now the supreme court gives a delay ruling that they never would have given for another president. this is about prosecutorial misconduct. the president clearly sending the message that he feels like the victim, he's being treated unfairly. we also have for the first time a statement from the president's lawyer, jay sekulow. he said we are pleased in the decisions issued today the supreme court has temporarily blocked congress and new york prosecutors from obtaining the president's financial records.
we will now proceed to raise additional constitutional and legal issues in the lower court. so laying out the path forward a little bit from the president's lawyer, but also key in on that word temporarily. they clearly feel this is basically a reproef from the president's view. one of the main issues he cares about is whether or not his tax returns and other financial documents would somehow be publicly disclosed before the november election. that's less likely than, say, if the supreme court fully sided with congress. but this ruling still keeps that issue in play less than four months before an election. poles show the majority of americans think the president should disclose his documents. his argument is this has been decided in 2016 and they don't really care. you can definitely look for democrats to raise this issue. one thing that keeps coming up, there are democrats who think vice president joe biden should not debate unless the president releases his taxes, craig.
>> granted it was a very long time ago using sort of i guess today's math. but we should probably remind viewers and listeners on sirius satellite radio that then candidate donald trump did promise to release his tax returns. ms. caldwell, this basicalliey kicks congress's case back to the lower courts. we heard from the speaker of the house. it would seem they have every intention to move forward full steam ahead with their case in a lower court. >> they absolutely do, craig. she says they're going to take this back to the lower courts and they're going to continue to pursue this. speaker pelosi is holding a press conference as we speak. she issued a statement i want to read from. she said the court has reaffirmed congress's authority to conduct oversight on behalf of the american people as it asks for further information from the congress, congress's constitutional responsibility to uncover the truth continues.
so pelosi is not only talking about the access to the financial records, but also congress's role and their job of oversight of the executive branch. she was also just asked moments ago at a press conference by a reporter about if she's disappointed that this information won't come out before the november election. she goes on to say that, what was really at stake is that the president is not above the law. that's a theme we're seeing we're seeing from a lot of democrats in their reaction. we heard from the head of the judiciary committee jerry nadler who tweeted simply, the president is not above the law. now we've heard from at least a dozen other democrats with that same exact message including karen bass, the head of the congressional black caucus who is on the list to be vice president biden's vice presidential nominee. this is the theme that we're going to hear continuously from
democrats, even though they didn't get a direct win here, they say the court reaffirms that the president cannot sidestep congressional oversight and cannot do as he pleases. craig. >> leigh ann caldwell on the hill for us, thank you. carol lee at the white house, thank you as well. what are the political implications of these two decisions, landmark decisions as our justice correspondent characterized them a few moments ago? i'll talk to a republican strategist about whether this is going to become a big story line on the campaign trail next. your daily digestive health using a special plant-based fiber called psyllium. psyllium works by forming a gel in your digestive system to trap and remove the waste that weighs you down. metamucil's gelling action also helps to lower cholesterol and slows sugar absorption to promote healthy blood sugar levels. so, start feeling lighter and more energetic...
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breaking news out of the supreme court. the high court saying that president trump is not immune from the manhattan district attorney's attempts to get his tax records, but the court rejecting a bid by house democrats for now, kicking that back down to a lower court. those tax documents are something president trump has literally been talking about for years. >> when the audit ends, i'm going to present them. that should be before the election. i hope it's before the election. >> not really saying tax returns because they're under audit. >> every president since the '70s -- >> gee, i've never heard that. >> they're under audit, have been for a long time. extremely complex. people wouldn't understand them. >> while i'm under audit, i won't do it. if i'm not under audit, i would do it. i have no problem with it.
remember, i got elected last time, the same exact issue with the same intensity which wasn't very much because, frankly, the people don't care. >> i want to bring in rick tyler, republican strategist, author of the upcoming book "still right." he's also an msnbc political analyst. we just heard the president there say again -- we've heard him say it time and time again that people really don't care about his taxes. do they? >> i think people do and would want to know, to quote nixon, whether their president is a crook. it looks like the southern district of new york has a case to find out if indeed the president is a crook. i take this on three levels, both decisions today. there's a constitutional level, a legal level and a political level. on the constitutional level, there's a big win for the constitution. once again, the supreme court has dispensed with the absurd notion that somehow the president is above the law. that is to say, the president
went in and said i have full body armor of protection against prosecution and the law. the court essentially left him with a jock strap. he's in real legal term over the long term if the grand jury in new york, cy vance, gets these tax returns and they find wrongdoing. he could be in real legal trouble. that will take time to add jewett kate. finally is political. if the president is under legal investigation, that's always a negative for a campaign, and he's under legal investigation for being a crook, criminal, stealing from the government, tax evasion. that's a serious charge. politically, also, it does seem likely we won't see these tax returns. everybody kind of knew that going in. if cy vance can move -- and he could move and the courts could decide and dispense with the rest of trump's arguments and the tax returns could be
released to a grand jury in which he could be indicted as a sitting president. that could not go well politically. those three things have to play out. big win for the constitutional. terrible loss, legal loss for the president and politically it's a loser all the way around. >> here is the thing. the president's tax returns, huge issue in 2016. obviously he won. from a purely political standpoint going into 2020, should the biden campaign or even anti-trump republicans, should they even bother beating that drum again? >> i think they need to beat it, but they need to play a different tune. that is, the president hasn't released his tax returns, obviously has something to hide. he's taken it all the way to the supreme court where it was batted down. there was an ongoing criminal investigation into the president, and shouldn't that concern you? yes, i think politically it will matter. remember, craig, in the swing states, in the battleground
states, 14% of the voters who are unsure whether they'll vote for trump again, meaning they voted for him in 2016. 6% say they will no vote for him in 2016. these are the kind of issues that people say -- there's another 6% that say they might vote for him. this is the kind of issue to say, it's over the top for me. the president won't release his tax returns. seems to be have conflicts of interest upon conflicts of interest. he's under criminal investigation. let's just get rid of him. we'll see. >> as you point out, as other legal experts have pointed out as well, his taxes are not going to be public before the election. highly unlikely they're made public before the election. how do you think these rulings today change the way that candidates campaign in the future, or do they? >> i think -- two things. one is i think presidential candidates will return to
disclosure because people should demand it. congress can also act and so can the states. on the congress, congress could make all candidates disclose their tax returns, not just presidential candidates, but members of congress before their name is assigned to the ballot. individual states can also do that. they can say, we'd love to put your name on the ballot, mr. president, as long as you disclosure tax returns. we'll be happy to do that. some states have attempted to do that. that will be adjudicated in the courts, also. i think the american public should demand it. we should know what our president's financial interests are in that the simple reason is when he's making policy decisions, is he making policy decisions vis-a-vis russia because of financial considerations of investments his company has? or is he making them on behalf of the american people? with this president, we just don't know. >> rick tyler. we should point out for our viewers that, no, that is not a green screen. that is actually rick tyler's
back yard, and it is beautiful on this thursday -- >> i would lose the room. i go for the outdoor contest. >> room rater, yes, yes. >> i'm going to fail the room rater. i'll take myself out of the competition. you can't beat this. this is northern virginia. >> a new sign, ladies and gentlemen, that we are unfortunately heading in the wrong direction in this pandemic. the country just recording another record-breaking total of new coronavirus cases in a single day comes as schools across this country are trying to figure out how and if to reopen. we're going to talk about all of that next. we'll take all of your questions including questions about the economy as we learn of yet another million americans filing unemployment claims.
live look here. this is the scene right across -- actually right in front of trump tower. this is fifth and 56. they've started painting black lives matter on the street there. in fact, new york city mayor bill de blasio moments ago wrapped up a speech along with reverend al sharpton. this is the scene on the ground. you can see folks also wearing the black lives matter t-shirts. but again, this has been in the works now for a couple of weeks. if we take the tower cam shot one more time, we can show this vantage point. this is what it is going to look like outside trump tower in just a few hours. black lives matter written in bright yellow. meanwhile, more signs the coronavirus pandemic is not slowing down in this country.
let's get you caught up on the latest facts on the pandemic. more than 61,000 new cases were reported wednesday. it's a new record of cases in a single day, the fifth time we've seen record cases in the last nine days. at least five states now set their own single day records for new infections. missouri, texas, tennessee, utah, west virginia all saw major spikes in cases on wednesday. new employment numbers are reenforcing the economic toll. more than 1.3 million more americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. right now about 20 million workers are collecting unemployment on an ongoing basis. florida has just added nearly 10,000 more new cases of coronavirus. hospitals there are under more strain this morning with about 84% of florida's icu beds full.
while local officials are struggling to control the surge of cases, they're also facing the added pressure of how and when to safely reopen schools. even before the president's demand that schools reopen, florida's education commissioner announced all schools must reopen in person next month. nbc's dasha burns joins us from a school in broward county where officials and parents are scrambling to move forward. what are you hearing about the plan to force all the schools to reopen? >> reporter: craig, the emphasis is really on that word plan. right now from what i'm hearing there just isn't a concrete, agreed-upon plan here just yet. school districts are trying to figure out everything from sanitation to how cafeterias would operate to school buses, the data they need to gather to figure out how many students
they should expect in these buildings next month. education officials i've talked to say the devil is in the details, and they just don't have those details quite yet. broward county is one of the largest school districts in america, 241 schools here, all of which will have to make significant changes by august 19th, the school start date here. craig, some of the parents i've been talking to have said they were pretty excited about the order to reopen schools in person. they say that they've been seeing their children struggling over the last several months. one couple i talked to said they're aware of the risk of covid, but more concerned about the risk to their children's emotional, intellectual and mental health if they stay home. i talked to the president of the broward county teachers association about her conversations with parents. take a listen to what she told me. >> parents want their kids in the brick and more tour setting. they want us face-to-face with their kids. they love us, trust us, have faith in the public school
system. we just want to get to that piece of is it truly safe and what can we do to make it safe? it would be great if we could see a decline happen before kids start august 19th. but we haven't seen it happen yet. >> reporter: craig, when it comes to planning, when it comes to implementing those plans, there is one issue that looms really large for the teachers i've been talking to, and that is funding. even before the president threatened to withhold funds from schools that don't reopen, teachers were pretty skeptical that they would get the money and resources they need to do this and to do it right, craig. >> dasha burns down in broward county, florida. da shah, thank you. it may not feel like it for millions of families who are relying on unemployment right now. but experts say we're starting to see some signs that the labor market is slowly recovering. a new report shows more than 1.3 million people filed for jobless
benefits last week. that number has dropped for 14 straight weeks. it still means more than 48 million americans have filed for unemployment. to put that in perspective, that's more than the entire population of spain. and we've got a lot of questions about your health in general in this pandemic. i wanted to bring in two experts, a practicing physician, also the chief medical officer at webmd and stephanie ruhle, our friend stephanie is nbc's chief business correspondent and hosts an hour here on msnbc as well. our first question for you, steph. will congress extend unemployment for those who are scheduled to return to work in september but are not comfortable doing so? what should we expect? >> well, i left my crystal ball at home, so no one will know for sure. but we've heard from a number of republicans over and over,
you're not going to see the expanded unemployment benefits, that $600 kick they're chuck schumer calls unemployment on steroids that was part of the c.a.r.e.s. act. that is going to expire this month. however both democrats and republicans, both sides of the aisle, realize we're not seeing a "v"-shaped recovery, tens of millions are out of work, and you know we're seeing more states put restrictions, more covid restrictions on now that covid continues to spread. so we're not seeing the job market booming again. so congress is going to most likely do something. we've got an election coming. even the president, who doesn't like the c.a.r.e.s. act, they will do something. but you should operate your life assuming this is going to run out so you should be saving
accordingly. but most likely they have to do something, craig. >> some of our viewers have been wondering whether it's safe to go back to religious services, dr. white. this is amna asking, quite a few churches have opened, my mother is 73 years old and insists on going to church service. i still think it's a high risk activity and she should not go because of her age. what do you say about church services and gatherings for senior citizens even when precautions are attempted? dr. white, what do you say? >> you know, nothing is without risk, craig. and if you're in a high risk category like the viewer is, being older, you really want to minimize that risk. i'm glad they're doing all the safeguards. but there is still a lot of virus out there. as was mentioned early on, there's 60,000 plus cases
yesterday. a month ago there were only 16,000 cases. so as long as there are cases increasing, and i would check your local area to see what's happening, it might be a better choice to stay home a little longer, make sure you're going to be safe, and there's still going to be time to go back to church. but if you're in a high risk category, i would stay home for now. >> i want to ask you about another s topic here, dr. whyte. lots of folks are asking about masks. here is a new one, though. if i only wear a disposable mask for 15 minutes during the day, how long can i continue to wear that mask? does it need to be disinfected after each time i wear it? >> yeah, you know, disposable masks are meant in general to be single use, which means you use it once and then you get rid of it. but craig, some of it is going
to depend how you take care of it. if you're truly only using it for 15 minutes and you're putting it in a safe place when you're done, perhaps in a plastic bag, then it's probably okay to use a couple more times. i always tell people, before you put that mask on, no matter what kind of mask it is, take a look at it, make sure there are no holes or cuts. but there can be shortages of masks in some areas, including disposable ones. i kind of cringe when you're saying you're going to reuse it a few more times, you know, i really caution you, even if you're only using it 15 minutes a day, disposable masks are really meant to be one-time use. >> steph, you and i have both had small business owners on our programs asking about the small business loans, the paycheck protection program. this week we learned new information about who exactly was able to get those loans. it wasn't just small businesses. kanye west's $3 billion clothing
company, three branches of the church scientology and the studio of multimillionaire artist jeff koons, small business owners have to be frustrated seeing headlines like that. >> without a doubt, they're frustrated with those kind of headlines. here is what's important to remember about the ppe program. they have not yet run out of money. so if you run a small business and you feel like, oh, i don't have a shot, you do have a shot. you should go to a bank, you should apply for it, without a doubt, the money is still there. as far as the frustration and the outrage go, i get it, it's real. the idea for the program initially was any industry -- if you've been -- it's a small business, if you've been negatively impacted by covid, the government didn't want you to lay off all your workers and payroll and shut your business.
unfortunately they wrote the language so loose that it was absolutely taken advantage of by a lot of big businesses and wealthy people. the question now is, is congress going to do something about that and treat these as loans, meaning they will have to be repaid, not grants, which is what the ultimate plan is for ppp. if you use the money appropriately, you don't have to pay it back. and i can assure you, lawmakers on both sides of the ice recaai that we finally have the list that the treasury department didn't want released, there's a lot more questions to be asked. >> stephanie ruhle, dr. john whyte, always good to have you. tweet your question questions, #msnbcanswers or send us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
there's going to be a press conference coming up at 1:30, but in our next hour, two big interviews with my colleague andrea mitchell, former secretary of state colin powell and atlanta mayor keisha lance bottoms, both those conversations coming up next. th conversations coming up next ...not caused by a heart valve problem. so if there's a better treatment than warfarin, i want that too. eliquis. eliquis is proven to reduce stroke risk better than warfarin. plus has significantly less major bleeding than warfarin. eliquis is fda-approved and has both. what's next? reeling in a nice one. don't stop taking eliquis unless your doctor tells you to, as stopping increases your risk of having a stroke. eliquis can cause serious and in rare cases fatal bleeding. don't take eliquis if you have an artificial heart valve or abnormal bleeding. while taking eliquis, you may bruise more easily- -and it may take longer than usual for any bleeding to stop. seek immediate medical care for sudden signs of bleeding, like unusual bruising.
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