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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  July 15, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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new record of coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, president trump seems consumed with his reelection and attacking joe biden from the rose garden in a rambling speech that started with china, then diverted to hunter biden and other topics more suitable for a campaign rally, if that, all as the nation is gripped by the pandemic crisis. here are the facts at this hour. cdc director robert redfield is warning that the coming fall and winter could be, quote, one of the most difficult times we've experienced in american public health. even as the white house is taking control of national covid data from the cdc. and turning it over to the department of health and human services, raising concerns of political influence. influential trump trade adviser peter navarro has published a scathing attack on anthony fauci in "usa today", more evidence, despite denials, that the
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president is letting his closest aides try to discredit dr. fauci. and the stock market is surging today after biotech company moderna is reporting their phase i vaccine trials are producing a robust immune response in all 45 patients. but there are new questions over just how long an individual who survives the virus will have antibodies. they now move on to tests on thousands of people. today president obama is speaking out in an unusual plea for lawmakers to put science and safety over politics. the former president tweeting that the latest data offers a tragic reminder that the virus doesn't care about spin or ideology and the best thing we can do for our economy is to deal with our public health crisis. the shock over president trump's remarks both in an interview with cbs news and that disjointed rose garden speech continue to ripple through washington and the rest of the
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country. the stunning dismissal of generations of normals to keep partisan rhetoric out of the oval office, leaving white house officials and trump campaign officials wondering how far the president will go to win reelection. joining me now, nbc correspondent kristen welker, pbs news hour white house correspondent yamiche alcindor, and historian michael beschloss. kristen, the concerns over what the president did in the rose garden speech and the trump administration taking control over health data, the president seeming to be more focused on attacking joe biden than on the pandemic. >> that's right, andrea, to your first point, what we saw in the rose garden yesterday was remarkable. as you rightfully point out, the rose garden and the white house typically only are used historically for official speeches and messages.
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but yesterday a sharp break from that when president trump essentially turned his rose garden, what was billed as a press conference, into a campaign-style rambling speech, if you will, talking about joe biden, slamming him on a range of different issues, talking about hunter biden. he did answer questions for six minutes but largely, again, andrea, this seemed to be focused on his reelection. and it comes after we've been reporting that aides and allies have been pushing president trump to really sharpen his messaging as it relates to biden and try to create more of a contrast when it comes to their two records. he's been lashing out at biden, accusing him of being sleepy joe, corrupt, and broadly speaking within the president's inner circle there is a sense that those attacks just aren't landing a real punch. i think what you saw yesterday was an attempt to try to turn the page on that. but of course the jury is still going to be out on whether he did that because, again, a lot of people didn't feel as though the speech yesterday really had
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a clear through line. now, as for hhs, andrea, that announcement overnight that the administration is now calling on hospitals to direct their data to essentially one center in washington, d.c. instead of going through the cdc, and that is raising some alarm bells among health professionals who are concerned that is going to limit transparency, one saying, placing medical data collection outside the leadership of public health experts could severely weaken the quality and availability of data. michael paputo in hhs says this is necessary to bring the data collection up to date, to make sure that they are getting 100% of the data collection that they want. but andrea, this is going to continue to be a controversial move. >> yamiche, there are several controversial things the president said with his interview with catherine herridge on cbs. let's talk first about the george floyd issue. let me play a little bit of sound from that.
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>> let's talk about george floyd. you said george floyd's death was a terrible thing. >> terrible. >> why are african-americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country? >> and so are white people. so are white people. what a terrible question to ask. so are white people. more white people, by the way, more white people. >> perhaps numerically more because there are more white people in the country, but proportionally, yamiche, let's fact check that. >> proportionately, even though african-americans only make up 13% of the population in the united states, they are about 2 1/2 times more likely to be killed by police officers than white people. so the president there was essentially ignoring the fact that african-americans are more likely to be killed by police officers. and historically speaking, african-americans have been seen on video being killed by the police in all sorts of manners. after they were walking, after they were walking home or after
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there was some sort of interaction that could have ended in an arrest. what civil rights leaders and families of these people who have been killed by the police tell me is that these african-americans have really gotten a death penalty for things that white americans have been able to get a full-on corporate procedure to deal with. so what we're seeing in the president is someone who is not interested in engaging on what is clearly systemic racism in policing and in law enforcement in general. but the president there avoided the question entirely and really in some ways we see him going back to the base idea and throwing red meat to his base, that somehow white people are the victims of people ignoring the fact that they also have some of the same issues that african-americans have. >> and let me play a little bit more of what he had to say about the confederate flag. >> very strong views on the confederate flag. with me it's freedom of speech, very simple. like it, don't like it, it's freedom of speech. >> would you be comfortable with your supporters displaying the
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confederate battle flag at political events? >> it depends on what your definition is. i'm comfortable with freedom of speech, it's very simple. >> you understand why the flag is a painful symbol for many people because it's a reminder of slavery. >> many people love it. i know people who like the confederate flag and they're not thinking about slavery. >> michael beschloss, as an historian and after all we've been talking about in the weeks and weeks of protests about the confederate flag, what is he doing there? is this just -- it's more than a dog whistle, it's a whistle, a shout, to a particular part of his base. >> it sure is. he's trying to win the election by mobilizing a base that has what are now fringe views compared to the majority of this country about things like the confederate flag. and that was underscored by what donald trump did yesterday. you know, as you've mentioned, most presidents more or less respect the fact that the rose
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garden at the white house, that's sacred space, that's something that belongs to all of us. and most presidents avoid getting too partisan while using those spaces. instead we sat through this 50-minute rant yesterday which included personal attacks on joe biden's family and things that are much more suited for a conventional hall or a sports arena. that is something different than what we've seen. donald trump yesterday crossed what i think is a very important line. and what will the next step be? or the next time he does this, are we going to see trump campaign banners hanging from the white house behind him, or maga slogans? will we see trump rallies on the south lawn? that's what authoritarians do, they mix the symbols and language of their party and their campaign with the symbols of the state. that's something that we can't allow to happen, especially at a time like right now where we see so much widespread physical and economic suffering. >> and michael, when we've
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talked in the past about a rose garden strategy for an incumbent president, it's using the rose garden to talk about policies and to take advantage of all of the perks that come with being the incumbent, not to make campaign attacks against your rival. >> yeah, but the way that evolved, as you know, andrea, it particularly gained a lot of steam in the early -- in 1972 when richard nixon was running for reelection. they said he's following a rose garden strategy by not going out to campaign across the country all that much, instead giving speeches that were largely above politics, in the rose garden, showing himself as a chief of state with the idea that the prestige of that would help him win. that's what other presidents have done. we have never seen any display like what we saw yesterday. >> and kristen welker, bring us up to date on what the president just said in a photo opportunity when asked about peter navarro's
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broadside against anthony fauci. >> that's right, peter navarro, the top trade adviser who is not a medical professional, writing an op-ed essentially saying that dr. anthony fauci, of course one of the lead doctors on the coronavirus task force, nih director, that he has been wrong in almost every instance in dealing with peter navarro. that's according to his op-ed. president trump was asked about this just moments ago. he said, quote, that's peter navarro, but i have a very good relationship with dr. fauci. this is according to pool notes. so what's notable about this, andrea, is that in the wake of navarro's op-ed, we've had a number of white house officials come out and try to distance themselves from that criticism, saying that navarro speaks for himself. president trump with very tepid remarks. the fact check to all of this is that behind the scenes, white house officials have been privately undercutting anthony fauci for days. and frankly, weeks and months, andrea, in conversations with
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reporters including myself, trying to undercut his credibility. now, why are they doing that? dr. fauci usually has a more blunt assessment as it relates to the covid crisis and has offered some really stark warnings about what needs to happen in order to make sure that there isn't a second wave in the fall. so some white house officials have felt as though his messaging has been counter to what we're hearing from president trump. but again, a lot of mixed messaging on this point as it relates to dr. anthony fauci, someone who has a fairly high approval rating when it comes to public trust, andrea. >> indeed, a lot higher than the president's on this pandemic issue. kristen welker, thank you so much. yamiche alcindor, who was at that rose garden event that had been billed as a news conference and wasn't, and of course michael beschloss, thanks for your perspectives, all. breaking news now from two states. in oklahoma, the governor has just announced he has tested positive for coronavirus. he's the first governor to test positive.
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governor kevin stitt says he feels fine, is a bit achy. he feels like he's getting a code. and breaking news also from alabama where the governor just issued a statewide mask mandate. let's go to nbc news reporter dasha burns in montgomery, alabama where the hospitals are under tremendous pressure because of the surge there. is that what led the governor to issue this mandate for masks? >> reporter: yeah, absolutely, andrea. the governor said that the numbers do not lie. and they paint a pretty grim picture here. there are records on hospitalizations, case numbers, and deaths. she announced at a press conference that overnight they had more than 50,000 cases total here, more than 1,100 total deaths, and just yesterday the state had 40 deaths. now, this has doctors here concerned and overwhelmed. icu capacity is down extremely low in the state.
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87% of icu beds in the state are full. there are only 211 beds left statewide. at this hospital behind me there are no beds available. i've been talking to doctors here all morning. i think we have sound from one of them. take a listen to what dr. thrasher told me earlier today. >> we're running out of space in the hospitals. we're running out, more importantly, of personnel. we have almost 5,000 health care workers who have become infected. we have a lot of nurses, a lot of respiratory therapists who are either sick or on quarantine at home. so there's a real problem we're having in icus. not just alabama. >> reporter: andrea, doctors here are becoming extremely emotionally, they are tired, they are stretched incredibly thin, and they're most concerned about not getting this thing under control. they say the next ten days is a critical time ahead of schools reopening. we could see the situation get much worse. so this mask order could not
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come any sooner, andrea. >> dasha, thank you so much for bringing us that. the governor has now tested positive in oklahoma but there is still no mandatory mask order from the governor for oklahoma. >> this is something we're going to see, politicians getting infected, anybody getting infected. it is true that a simple face covering may be a way to decrease that transmission risk, because people out there have mild symptoms, because they feel achy, some people may feel their achiness is because they slept wrong or they went to the gym the day before, and they're contagious without realizing it. there are so many people out there who don't realize they have this virus and can spread it. and that's clearly what's happening in states where you see this outbreak going out of control. >> people, of course, remember
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the president's big rally in tulsa. that was june 20. is it fair to assume, as his own health advisers in oklahoma are saying, that there is no connection between his getting the covid and having been at that rally on june 20 with the president? >> it might not be a direct relationship, because the incubation period is 14 days. if you're becoming sick today, that means you've gotten it within the last 14 days. that doesn't mean that transmission didn't get set off that eventually landed on the governor. there may have been people who were there who got it and eventually transmitted it to the governor. that's the problem with these rallies, they can set off unintended transmission that can reach a governor down the road. >> and we just heard from kristen welker, her reporting about the cdc losing control of the immediate hospital reports,
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the daily data, they're going to do it through hhs which has been notably more political than the cdc. what are your concerns about that? >> exactly what you just said, that this might be perceived as political, it could actually be political. and that's not what we want to do in the middle of a pandemic. there's been an erosion of confidence in the cdc. the cdc has been sidelined. this is just another example of that. even if this might be a legitimate reason to improve the reporting, it's automatically going to be viewed as something political because of what's happened to the cdc. we haven't heard from people like nancy mess onier since january. this is another example of how you don't want to manage an infectious disease where people are always second-guessing what's happening because there's some nefarious narrative to it. we need the cdc to speak to the american public and be the premier public health agency that we know it is. >> the news from moderna, we've
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had good news from them, this time they say -- it's in "jama," a peer-reviewed study were all 45 of those injected with the vaccine did develop some degree of immunity. what is your assessment of this progress? >> it's promising. but you have to remember it's a phase i clinical trial. we need to go through phase ii and phase iii. this is 45 people. everything we see looks good. they have antibodies being developed. they look like the side effects are tolerable. this is all a green light to go. but remember, this is still a long way to getting this into the arms of americans. we have to be prepared for slowdowns and hiccups that occur when we study this in more and more people. but everything is looking good, we're making progress on the vaccine and i'm hopeful. >> there is a british study of 96 covid patients finding that their antibodies peaked three weeks after the symptoms appeared and then rapidly declined. we heard that the other day on the "today" show from tom hanks, that he no longer has strong
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antibodies, contrary to what they had originally expected. >> when we see an infection happen, there's a robust immune response and then it tapers over time and you do lose the antibodies. the time frame is different for different infections. i think it's important that we follow a lot of people that have been infected to see what the actual trajectory is of their antibodies. it does suggest like with other coronaviruses that after a period of time you may be susceptible to infection. we need to figure out what that time frame is so we can give people proper guidance, do we need to have booster shots with the vaccine because of the decline in antibodies. >> doctor, it's always great to have you on, thank you so much, we really appreciate it. georgia on my mind. how are georgians going to respond? georgians are in the grips of a covid surge. how will they react to the president visiting today where he will face a very different reality from his optimistic comments about the coronavirus when he last visited atlanta in
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march. we're live in atlanta, next. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. stay with us. 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 to help the military community ♪ ♪all strength ♪we ain't stoppin' believe me♪ ♪go straight till the morning look like we♪ ♪won't wait♪ ♪we're taking everything we wanted♪ ♪we can do it ♪all strength, no sweat
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suffering the loss of a loved one, suffering economic hardship. the country is crying out for leadership, leadership that can unite us, leadership that brings us together. that's what the presidency is - the duty to care, to care for all of us, not just those who vote for us, but all of us. i promise you this: i won't traffic in fear and division. i won't fan the flames of hate. i'll seek to heal the racial wounds that have long plagued our country, not use them for political gain. i'll do my job and i will take responsibility, i won't blame others. you know, i've said from the outset of this election,
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that we're in the battle for the soul of this nation. what we believe and maybe most importantly, who we want to be, it's all at stake. when we stand together, finally as one america, we'll rise stronger than we were before. i'm joe biden and i approve this message. i'm joe biden i geh. common bird.e. ooh look! over here! something much better. there it is. peacock, included with xfinity x1. remarkable. fascinating. -very. it streams tons of your favorite shows and movies, plus the latest in sports news and... huh - run! the newest streaming app has landed on xfinity x1. now that's... simple. easy. awesome. xfinity x1 just got even better with peacock premium included at no additional cost. no strings attached. just say "peacock" into your voice remote to start watching today.
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very different environment than his last visit. he was in the state just a few months ago, in march. this was the president at the centers for disease control and prevention headquarters in march. >> i like this stuff. i really get it. people are surprised that i understand it. every one of which these doctors said, how do you know so much about this? maybe i have a natural ability. maybe i should have done that instead of running for president. >> when the president said that on march 6, the u.s. death toll stood at 19. it is now 137,000 people. 137,403 people have now died from the virus in the u.s. the president is facing increasing criticism for how he's handled the pandemic. his opponent in november, joe biden, calling the response a complete and utter failure. nbc's blayne alexander is in atlanta where covid has been surging. the south is hard-hit, of course, regional now 3,000 people have died. let's talk about what's happening in atlanta and the expectations for the president's visit.
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blayne? >> reporter: andrea, the expectations are that this visit is going to be very short and it's going to be focused solely on infrastructure. i'm standing in front of these ups instruction here, just outside of the atlanta airport. let me tell you exactly what we're expecting. the president is set to land here in about 2 1/2 hours or so. he's going to barely leave the airport. he's going to visit an ups shipping facility that's really right here on airport property. then within about an hour and ten minutes or so he's expected to be back on air force one, wheels up. so this is going to be a short trip. the white house says this is going to be the president talking about infrastructure, specifically getting rid of regulations to move along some infrastructure projects and highlighting one specifically here in atlanta. but this is all of course, andrea, as you highlighted, coming against a very stunning backdrop of just this increase in covid cases here in the state of georgia. the latest numbers really tell the story. yesterday georgia added nearly 3,400 new covid cases, 28 deaths over the previous day.
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in addition to the additional numbers of cases, we're seeing hospitalizations go up. the highest we've seen since april. and testing here, i spoke with an official at the state health department who says they're seeing a delay, a backlog when it comes to getting testing results just because of the sheer volume of tests that are coming in. so all of this is going on, and you'll remember that it was back in april, andrea, that governor brian kemp was the first to reopen georgia, georgia was the first state to reopen georgia with one of the most aggressive plans in the country. at the time president trump actually criticized governor kemp, his political ally, saying he believed it was all happening too soon. so it will certainly be interesting to watch both those dynamics and then of course the political undertones of the president's trip to georgia here today, andrea. >> and blayne, the last time he was there on march 6, the president at cdc also said that anybody who wanted a test could get a test. we've seen the backlogs in testing results which have created so many problems in terms of controlling the spread.
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>> reporter: you know, what, and i have to tell you kind of anecdotally, we've actually seen the delay in tests. i personally got a test maybe about 2 1/2 weeks ago and i waited just a few days or so for my test results, maybe two or three days. my producer got a test and he had to wait six days for his results to come in. we've seen anecdotally other people talking about the fact that they waited more than a week for those test results to come in. so yes, there certainly is a backlog when it comes to testing here in the state of georgia. one other thing i'll point out you to, andrea, is that governor brian kemp had put in place a set of covid guidelines, he extended them as the numbers started to go up. some of those guidelines are set to expire at midnight tonight, at 11:59 tonight. that means unless he extends or amends those guidelines, many of the guidelines around social distancing or capping the number of gatherings in public places or just what restaurants need to do in order to operate safely, all of those guidelines are set to expire tonight, andrea. >> blayne alexander on the story, thank you so much,
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blayne. georgia democratic candidate for senate jon ossoff joins me now, very good to see you. let's talk about the pandemic situation and how it could affect the politics in georgia as well. what are your concerns? >> frankly, it's bizarre to have president trump flying down here for a campaign photo op. i understand he's going to talk about infrastructure, permitting. that's fine, but we're in the midst of a public health crisis, an economic crisis, folks are having troublemaki making rent, facing eviction, facing foreclosure. for president trump to come here for a campaign stop and not address at all the elephant in the room, the massive crisis he's totally failed to control, is going to turn off a lot of georgia voters. it's unsettling and doesn't speak well to his grasp of what's happening in the country right now. >> as georgia faces the surge, how worrying is the whole
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process of holding an election? we know that brian kemp, the governor, is a former secretary of state, and there were a lot of issues that stacey abrams raised about their race and his influence on fair voting. what about mail-in balloting and all the president's arguments against mail-in balloting and how it could be really important especially with elderly georgians going to the polls in the fall if we're in such bad shape in the fall? >> yeah, obviously even in good times, even when we're not in the midst of a pandemic, we have big problems with ballot access here in georgia. i was speaking last week with a caregiver for seniors here in georgia who described how an 87-year-old woman that she takes care of had applied properly for an absent ballot a month and a half before our primary last month. the ballot never came. this caregiver had to load up three oxygen tanks, help this elder woman get into a wheelchair and stand in line for three hours just so she could participate in our democracy. that's putting seniors at risk in the midst of a pandemic.
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it's disgraceful. and it's why the secretary, the chief elections official here in georgia, needs to come forward with a serious plan not just about what procedural changes he's going to make but how he's going to resource our counties to deal with the preexisting problems with voting, now in the midst of covid-19. >> there are some who are arguing that joe biden actually has a shot at georgia, that there could be some kind of shift because of the problems with the pandemic and the president's unpopularity on some of these issues. but georgia has not sent a democrat to the senate since 1999 in the senate race, and georgia has certainly not gone democratic in quite a long time in the presidential race. how do you expect to close these gaps? >> well, look, despite all those problems at polling places, we saw for the first time in more than a decade more democratic primary ballots cast than republican primary ballots cast in this recent primary. my opponent, senator david
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perdue, who is i understand on air force one with the president coming down here today, and the president, what do they have to run on? widespread disease? mass unemployment? they've got no record to run on. this state has changed. it's a young, it's diverse, it's vibrant. it's ready for change. the people of georgia are going to stand up and demand that change in november. and all my opponent, who by the way was too busy trading medical stocks in january and february to line his own pockets to get us properly ready for the worst public health crisis in a century, all he's going to do is call up his buddies to flood the airwaves with attack ads here in georgia. we've got mitch mcconnell's groups coming in, karl rove's groups coming in. i need grassroots support to fight back. so i'm asking folks to help out at so we can bring home a victory in georgia, the only state with two senate races this year. >> indeed. and of course we will have the republican candidates as well,
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senator perdue as well, any time they want to come on. thank you so much, jon ossoff. meanwhile, supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg remaining hospitalized today for a suspected infection. we'll check in with pete williams on her condition. and why republicans are getting nervous about holding a large in-person gop convention in jacksonville, florida. no uh uh, no way come on, no no n-n-n-no-no only discover has no annual fee on any card. and they're actually pulling out the minerals from the enamel. i like to recommend pronamel to my patients. pronamel will help push the minerals back into the enamel, to keep the enamel strong. i know it works. and i hear nothing but great things from my patients that have switched to it.
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supreme court justice ruth bader ginsburg is recovering in the hospital at johns hopkins in baltimore where she's being treated for a possible infection. the court said leave the hospital in a few days. nbc news justice correspondent pete williams joins me now. obviously this is concerning, she is a multiple cancer survivor. anything more that we know today? >> from all indications, andrea, things are going well.
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she's receiving antibiotics intravenously. she was evaluated at a hospital in washington after experiencing fever and chills overnight. she was transferred to a hospital in baltimore where doctors performed a procedure to repair a stent in a bile deduct which was inserted a year ago. she earlier had an infection caused by a gallstone but that didn't stop her from participating in oral argument by conference call. she's been treated for cancer four times. she had surgery for pancreatic cancer 11 years ago. she's been treated for colon cancer and late 2018, part of a lung was removed after doctors found cancerous spots. but despite her health, she's vowed to stay on the supreme court as long as she's able to do the work. this past term she wrote six of the court's majority opinions. only chief justice roberts and brett kavanaugh wrote more, they each wrote seven.
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the court says she's resting comfortably in the baltimore hospital and will stay there probably another day or so. >> of course everyone worries about covid, but presumably, i mean, she has been sheltered, she's been quarantined, as all the justices have been. she's the oldest justice on the court, obviously an icon to many, many people. but we presume that she is protected, very well protected against covid in the hospital there. >> right, the same procedure they went through in may when almost the same thing happened, she went to the hospital here in washington first, then was transferred up to baltimore, stayed in her hospital room, did the oral argument, and was released. so you're right, they're very careful. >> we all wish her well. thanks for the update, pete. with five weeks to go before the republican national convention in jacksonville, florida, the big questions are, will it be indoors or outdoors, who is going to go, and will the
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crowds show up for president trump? but first, as california shuts down for the second time, we're getting a clearer picture of the group of people most deeply impacted, the latino community. here is nbc's gadi schwartz. >> reporter: under the hot summer sun in los angeles, this woman is selling masks on a street corner. she says everywhere she was cleaning houses, they all told her she wouldn't be able to come back until the pandemic was over. every day her kids beg her not to go out, afraid she'll get sick. but she needs the money to feed her family. she says that she gets mad when she sees somebody without a mask but she doesn't want to say anything because people are very violent these days. her concerns about catching the virus are warranted. in los angeles, latinos are more than twice as likely to get covid-19 as white residents. across the country, where latinos make up 19% of the population, they account for a third of all cases, frustrating for this doctor. >> it's alarming. >> reporter: he says the
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government isn't sending enough resources to minority communities, many of whom don't have the option of staying home even when cases are spiking. >> those are the people who are on the front line when it comes to being essential workers at grocery stores, making sure everything is clean. they're the same people delivering our food when we're sheltering at home. they're the same people, when we go to the grocery store, they're helping us. >> a month ago he was completely healthy. >> reporter: this woman's father lived in arizona. he contracted the virus after stay-at-home orders were lifted. >> this should not have happened to my father. he should not have died alone in a hospital with a nurse holding his hand. >> reporter: now she's calling on elected officials to do more. >> do more to protect people of color communities that are on the front lines, holding our economy together. >> reporter: while those selling masks to protect us say now is the time to be more vigilant than ever. she says this isn't a game, she
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cities where the department of health and human services is setting up a surge testing site to temporarily offer free testing to a community that's seen a drastic rise in covid-19 cases. it's also the site of the republican national convention which is only weeks away. joining me now is nbc's ellison barber at the federal testing site in jacksonville. ellison, first of all, why jacksonville, why are they doing that there now today? >> reporter: andrea, as you said, this is one of three different areas chosen about a week ago for these federal surge testing sites. two others are in texas and also in louisiana. some have said and questioned why jacksonville. some say that they feel it was perhaps chosen for political reasons because of course we know the republican convention is going to take place here next month. i tried to ask the department of health and human services about that allegation and also questions that have popped up in this area more recently because the sites in jacksonville are
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going to stay open a couple of days longer than initially thought. hhs, they declined to do an interview with us on camera and instead referred us to the governor's office. the governor's office never got back to our ask for them to do an interview on camera. but when all of this was announced, these three different surge testing sites, about a week ago, the testing czar with hhs, the testing czar for the white house, was adamant in a phone call with reporters that the selection of jacksonville had nothing to do with the convention, he said he wasn't even aware that the convention was taking place in jacksonville and that jacksonville was chosen because it met the same criteria as the other two cities. we've seen cars trickling in, it seems relatively easy to come in and get a test. they drive in, get tested under the tents and head out from there. the hope is that this type of information, if they do 5,000 tests a day in five different
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cities, that this sort of information gathered at the federal surge testing sites could help local officials try and control more of the community spread, andrea. >> and it does seem as though it looks like national guard ruin forms behind you, that the state is utilizing the national guard to help get the traffic moving and get these sites up quickly. what do residents there think about the convention being held in jacksonville, being moved primarily from charlotte? >> reporter: mixed reaction among people that we have spoken to. some are on board with it. some more so because of the idea that we've heard and that we know is being discussed amongst the convention committee of moving it to take place outside. others are still worried, they say this shouldn't have been considered from the beginning, and every day as the numbers rise they're increasingly convinced this is not the right move and that the convention should not happen in this city and not in this state.
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listen here. >> i don't know how they're going to be doing it but i don't think it's a good idea to be congregating like in any kind of way at all right now. >> i'm not worried. it's a great idea. we have to support one another. we have to support small businesses. we have to support our city, whatever party you're on or in. >> reporter: the mayor of jacksonville says the convention is weeks away and that they're going to keep monitoring community spread as well as hospitalizations, andrea. >> ellison barber, thank you so much. former attorney general jeff sessions lost his bid to regain his old alabama senate seat to a political newcomer, tommy tuberville, a newcomer to politics. president trump is still holding a grudge against sessions because he recused himself from the russia investigation as he was required to do. sessions' defeat sends a signal about trump's influence in red
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state contests. joining me now is "the new york times'" jeremy peters. what does this say about the strength of donald trump? >> that's exactly right, his strength really, his fwrip over this par grip over this party is really unquestionable, if there were ever a sign that trumpism is not about the ideas, it's about the man, this is it. because there was no individual, no political figure more faithful to the ideas that trump ran on in 2016 than jeff sessions. in fact jeff sessions was for these ideas, this hard line on immigration, this populist talk against the businesses that were sending jobs overseas, that was jeff sessions well before it was donald trump. donald trump was still a democrat when jeff sessions helped block the immigration reform bill in the senate in 2007. and donald trump was still hosting "celebrity apprentice"
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when jeff sessions hired a young man named stephen miller to be on his staff and introduced him to the conservative political world. so donald trump owes jeff sessions a great debt here as far as a political legacy and an ideology to bring voters to his side. unfortunately for jeff sessions, the voters didn't seem to really care about that once trump threw him under the bus for doing, andrea, what most people, republicans included, will privately say was the right thing to do under the circumstances when he was attorney general overseeing an investigat so jeff sessions' career ends after three decades in public service in alabama. and i don't see really much of a future for him in donald trump's republican party because he's learned the hard way that if you cross president trump, there's really no coming back from that.
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>> and of course doug jones, the democratic incumbent running against tuberville, this is a tough race, this is probably the most vulnerable democrat in rac. what about the republicans' concern they might lose the senate because of other states where democrats are doing far better? >> it's a palpable concern. i hear it every day when i talk to republicans. they look at this president really as an anchor on their chances of holding on to the senate, and look at the map, north carolina, iowa, even georgia. they're worried about maine. they have a much more difficult path right now than they did a few months ago because president trump has proven incapable and unwilling to take these national traumas that we're going through with the coronavirus and this reckoning over racial injustice and he just inflames tensions.
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it's making swing voters to the extent that there are all that many left, the few that are out there, don't want anything to do with this republican party. >> jeremy, thank you so much. thanks for being with us. and a major win for colleges and universities as the trump administration announced on tuesday, just moments before going into court to defend their policy that it would no longer require international students to leave the u.s. if their schools had classes entirely online due to the pandemic. this after facing eight federal lawsuits led by harvard and m.i.t., joining me now is randy winegarden, certainly a strong signal about the foreign students. let's talk about reopening schools and listen to what the vice president had to say about reopening schools and whether people should listen to the cdc guidelines. >> we don't want cdc guidance a reason why people don't reopen their schools. >> i mean, i think he just said
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ignore the cdc, which is his own government, and part of his own health care task force. >> so i'm glad that mike pence was never one of my students, andrea, because i would be very embarrassed right now because at the end of the day, the cdc guidelines are what you use to reopen schools. they are about how you make sure that schools don't spread a virus, a silent virus, an invisible virus, and frankly, i don't really get these politicians that are now jeopardizing the safety of kids and their teachers. there's really a circumference of knowledge if you listen to the science, rather than wishful thinking, which is you look at community spread, and then you make sure that there's spacing,
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that there's masks, and that there's resources, and that's what we have been struggling with since april when we put out our reopen plan, as to not whether to reopen schools, but how, and that's what districts around the country are doing very much alone because the federal government is giving them not just mixed messages, but no plan, no resources and u.s. just threats. >> mitch mcconnell, the majority leader was asked about the safety of sending students back to school. i want to show you what he had to say. >> what do you say to parents, staff members who fear catching the coronavirus with students back in the classroom? >> i think they fear more children being stuck at home this fall. >> so he says that parents are more worried about their children being stuck at home. that's not what i'm hearing for
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parents. i'm hearing them worried about everything and being torn about this decision. >> you're totally right. look, you know, my sister is an intensive care pediatrician, and we have had this discussion intensely over the course of the last few weeks because kids have suffered during this period of time. the social isolation is terrible. b schools are where kids grow emotionally, they learn resilience, relationships. we can finish each other's sentences on this, but you need to keep it safe first and foremost, and so that's why i, you know, unlike all the countries in europe where they tackle the community spread first and foremost, just like governor cuomo has done in new york, and then they make sure that we have the safeguards in schools, and then they reopen schools slowly and thoughtfully, that's what we need to do here, and frankly, what you're saying is that districts are very much
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alone trying to do this without the resources, without the planning, without the guidance from the federal government, but it is really the level that trump and devos are creating for parents and teachers are terrible. and let me say one more thing which is that before their antics and their recklessness last week, 76% of my members said that they were comfortable going back into schools if we had the safeguards of cleaning, ventilation, the masks, and the social distancing. since that time, both they and parents are really frightened. why would a politician or poll t -- politicians do that to parents and teachers and kids? >> and very very briefly, randi, what about getting more money? if there were enough money, are
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some of these buildings too old for these solutions? >> money could be the solution. look, even in a building that's really old, andrea, you can open a window and you can have a fan to try to ventilation, but we need soap, and we need ppe and we need cleaning, and so we could do it if we were given the resources, which is why the h.e.r.o.e.s. act is so important. >> we thank you. we'll be in touch. this is the big story communing america. remember to be safe, and follow us online on facebook and on twitter @mitchellreports for updates throughout the day and night, and check todd and katy tur pick up our coverage after the break. pick up our coverage r the break. california phones offers free specialized phones... like cordless phones,
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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 afternoon, out here in the east, and a good morning out west. i'm chuck todd. the state of florida has reported more than 10,000 new cases of coronavirus today. more importantly, that brings the state's total to over 300,000. as a country, it would put florida i think 6th or 7th on the list globally. the university of washington's model is now projecting that more than 224,000 americans will die as a result of the virus by november 1st. that technically by the way is two days before eleio