tv Morning Joe MSNBC April 13, 2020 3:00am-6:00am PDT
knows we're going to be talking about it. he knows it sends a signal to conservatives and on fox and other places to go even harder after a person who is front and center, trying to help solve this problem. >> i would go so far to say though, i don't think there's many americans out there that believe dr. fauci should be removed from the coronavirus task force. that is who we tune into to briefings. jim vandehei, thank you, as always. i'll be reading axios am in a little bit. you can sign up at signup.axios.com. that does it for me on this monday morning. i'm yasmin vossoughian. "morning joe" starts lives coul have been saved if social distancing, physical distancing, stay at home measures, had started third week of february instead of mid-march? >> you know, jake, again, it's the what would have, what could have. it's very difficult to go back and say that. i mean, obviously, you could
logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing, and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives. obviously, no one is going to deny that. but what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated. but, you're right. i mean, obviously, if we had, right from the beginning, shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different. but there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then. >> dr. anthony fauci essentially confirming a key part of a deeply reported, new expose from the "new york times," which shows how key federal agencies, the state department, the national security council, and the pentagon struggled to get the president to take timely action, despite several early warnings. we will speak with one of the investigative reporters behind that story in a few minutes. >> you're right. those warnings came, actually, in early january. you know, the president can tweet -- >> didn't act until march. >> -- and retweet false tweets
that i think got the dates wrong on what fauci said. a it doesn't change the fact there are emails and documents. again, as i said before, and, of course, all the trumpists and i think some russian bots and maybe useful idiots for the russians, freaked out when i said everybody knew about this in early january. this reporting, and other reporting that, of course, if they read they would know about it -- >> we'll lay it out for you. >> -- but some of the articles aren't in russian. some of the useful idiots for russia wouldn't know this. but, early january, yes, the state department was concerned and warnedwarned. the pentagon was concerned. state department all concerned in early january. same thing, of course, matthew pottinger with the national security council, extremely concerned. >> yeah. >> issuing warnings.
even december 31st, the cdc got worried. again, we'll be laying o ining out. they got worried and began drafting a memo on the 1st of january. hhs knew on january the 3rd. a couple days later, the president started getting warnings about the coronavirus. so, yes, there's some people who may not have been as concerned in the administration, but from early january, the president started getting warnings. of course, we all know that the first time he would take a call from his hhs secretary was a couple weeks later, in mid-january. then all he wanted to talk about was vaping. he was angry that actually flavored vaping had been taken off the market, and wanted it back in there. well after a month after that, he said it was much to do about nothing. so from the time his own administration started worrying him, there was two months
wasted. come on. come on, even if you're a member of the trump cult, like somebody -- i'm not talking about the extremes. there's people out there that vote for donald trump and aren't a member of the trump cult. they're not online 24 hours a day, working with russian bots trying to spread misinformation, and trying to actually lie about it. you can't change the timeline. you can't change the history of all of this. i know that's really disturbing. the video is out there. donald, i have to say, the video is out there. >> a lot. >> emails are out there, donald. >> yeah. >> it's not of fauci. it's of you saying, february 22nd, "oh, there's nothing to worry about here. we have one person. don't worry about it." it is video of you in february and even in march saying, "it's just 11 people and soon it'll be down to nothing. it's 15 people and soon it'll be down to nothing.
this is going to pass away miraculously in april." well, here we are in april. we're in the middle of a crisis that has killed more people, more americans than died 9/11, afghanistan, the iraq war. looks like we're going to end up probably having -- i say probably because the numbers keep changing. more people may die from this than died in vietnam by the end. we hope not. in fact, i've been very optimistic over the past week that the social distancing measures, and the discipline of the american people actually, we're going to drive this down from 100,000 to 60,000. now, i'm hoping people stay disciplined and we even come in below that number. it could happen. but there are variables. things are changing every day.
how disciplined will americans be, the governors be? >> the president. >> the president doesn't really have any say in this because ho he's taken himself off the field. he walked off the football field at the very beginning. took his jersey off, sat on the bench, and started drinking gatorade while the fight was going on in the middle of the field. said, "i have nothing to do with this. it's the governors, all these other people going to be making these choices." so he benched himself at the beginning of the game. i'm just hoping the governors will act responsibly, and maybe that death rate will even come in under 60,000. >> with us, we have white house reporter for the "associated press," jonathan lemire. u.s. national editor at the "financial times," ed luce. and washington anchor for bbc world news america katty kay is with us. let's get up to date on where we stand this monday morning. the united states has surpassed italy for leading the world in
the highest number of deaths from the coronavirus. the death toll here in the u.s. is approaching 22,000. with more than 500,000 confirmed cases. this as officials are now debating whether and how to carry out the president's new goal of rolling back social distancing guidelines to reopen parts of the economy by may 1st. health experts warn that such a move, without a plan for widespread testing, would set back any progress made in slowing the spread. a lot of decisions here that need to be made, joe. what's also clear and obvious is that the social distancing policy has worked. so it is really clear, backing up what you heard fauci say at the top of the show, had we started earlier, hundreds, possibly thousands of lives, could have been saved. had we done the one thing that
we could start right away, social distancing. we don't have testing yet. we still don't have testing. there is no way out of this for quite some time. but the death toll, it's clear, could have been lower had we started this early. >> obviously, there's a balancing act. it's a balancing act between keeping people healthy and how far do you go to keep people healthy and getting the economy going again for all the people that are out of work, who have lost their jobs? that's what dr. fauci was saying. there are a lot of different things that go into that decision. jonathan lemire, there is no doubt that the fact that dr. fauci stated the obvious, which was, if this had begun in, let's say, late february, for instance, things could have been different. i mean, we look at the weeks difference between what california did when they shut
things down in san francisco and what happened in new york city. just that one week time probably made a pretty huge difference. >> there's no question, joe, that the administration was slow to move on a lot of these steps. had some of the social distancing guidelines been put in place, more of a national level, there would be lives saved. we, of course, flash back to the president speaking in davos january 22nd, i believe. at the time, united states had just one patient. one coronavirus patient, a sole individual in washington state that anyone knew about. the president said, "this will be over soon. this is something we have completely under control." a whole month goes by before he speaks for the first time in the white house briefing room, addressing the nation there, discussing it. in that time, a move, mind you, that was prompted only because the market had fallen while he
was in india. it was then, with the economic impact of this crisis, that the president moved to address the nation and try to ramp up the federal response. in the intervening four weeks, there was warnings from inside the administration. you detailed some of them now. there was discussion the president ignored. he was focused on his impeachment and the senate trial. he was concerned about the economy. he didn't want to alienate china. there was step after step after step. it was a west wing that was royin division. chief of staff mulvaney was out the door, feuding with hhs secretary azar. had the administration moved even a few weeks sooner, we might be looking at a very different impact now. when the president did speak at the end of february, at the time, he said, and i quote him, "we're ready for this." at the time, the u.s. had 15 patients. that was it, 15. now, we have over 20,000
americans dead. >> also, jonathan, it's important, it was remarkable that the president actually had someone who worked on his team that got out and admitted the truth and said things were going to be bad in the united states and that this was coming. the president was so angry as he was flying back from india that he canceled the meeting to make plans on how to save americans' lives. they weren't able to reengage him again for a long time. >> that's right. part of the issue here, joe, is there is no one in the white house who has been able to, during that stretch, was able to redirect him. his focus was elsewhere. he didn't want to do anything to potentially roil the markets, slow the economy which, in his mind, is his number one argument for re-election. that's the lens we need to look through a lot of the decisions
made in january and february. how the president was looking at the re-election, trying to get through impeachment and move forward. you're right, that was his doctor from the cdc who briefed the media that this was going to get worse than people expected. the president lost his temper at her on the flight back from india. you mentioned pottinger. peter navarro. both had given warnings in the west wing. both are considered in the building as hard line china hawks and, therefore, were seen as overreacting and dismissed. the president sided with other voices, believed to be kushner and mnuchin, and said, play nice with xi jinping. don't pressure him, criticize him, don't urge more transparency. that closed the pslowed the pre american doctors on the ground in america, slowing america plotting its own defense. >> obviously, we were fighting, mika, also, china, to get
information from china. our doctors, our scientists. chi china, throughout january, was not helping at all. in fact, they were making things much more difficult for us. it's interesting. we talk about math knthew potti and the president's singular obsession with china. he said that xi, who is doing a great job and being so transparent. when he finally moved for the ban, which i think we were the 38th country to do that, or 38 countries had done it before us or during the same time. pottinger had also said that it was really important to shut down flights to and from europe. as jonathan swan -- but as jonathan lemire said, he didn't want to do that. mnuchin vetoed that idea. he said it would roil the markets and be bad for the economy. now, of course, we have found out that most of the outbreaks
in new york city are due to people coming from europe to the united states. again, a decision where you're making that balance, but early on especially, all of the president's decisions, all steve mnuchin's decisions, were being made, ignoring the warnings from inside the administration, that this was coming and it was bad. >> let's get into the details of this sweeping, new reporting from the "new york times." from intelligence agencies to cabinet department experts to top white house advisers, the paper's examination found, quote, the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic, but that internal divisions, lack of planning, and his faith in his own instincts, led to a halting response. in short, trump was warned by, quote, the very people in his government whose expertise and long experience might have guided him more quickly toward steps that would slow the virus
and likely save lives. the paper begins in early january. deputy national security adviser matthew pottinger was rattled by a call with the hong kong epidemiologist who bluntly warned him, "a ferocious new outbreak had emerged in china." it spread far more quickly than the government was admitting to, and it wouldn't be long before it reached other parts of the world. it was one of the earliest warnings to the white house, and it echoed the intelligence reports making their way to the national security council. the more specialized corners of the intelligence world were producing sophisticated and chilling warnings. at the same time, the paper reports, in a report to the director of national intelligence, the state department's epidemiologist wrote, in early january, that the virus was likely to spread across the globe, and warned that the coronavirus could develop into a pandemic. working independently, a small
outpost of the defense intelligence agency, the national center for medical intelligence, came to the same conclusion. within weeks after getting initial information about the virus early in the year, biodefense experts inside the national security council, looking at what was happening in wuhan, started urging officials to think about what would be needed to quarantine a city the size of chicago. even as hhs secretary alex azar first briefed the president on the potential seriousness of the virus during a january 18th phone call, trump projected confidence. >> worries about a pandemic at this point? >> no, not at all. we have it totally under control. it's one person coming in from china. we have it under control. it's going to be just fine. >> january 27th, a national security council meeting in the situation room was jolted when
steven e.biegun, the newly installed deputy secretary of state, announced plans to issue a level four travel warning, strongly discouraging americans from traveling to china. the room erupted into bickering. in late january, the president was told that the time about a january 29th memo, produced by his trade adviser, peter navarro, laying out in striking detail the potential risks of a coronavirus pandemic. as many as half a million deaths and trillions of dollars in economic losses. trump denied ever seeing it. >> did you see these memos that reportedly peter navarro wrote back in january? when did you see them, and how does that -- these memos square with what you've often said, that nobody could have predicted this? it sounds like he was predicting it. >> i didn't see them, but i heard he wrote memos talking about pandemic. >> he said, "i never read them."
january 30th, then acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney and secretary azar called trump aboard air force one, as the president was making the final decision to go ahead with the restrictions on china travel. azar was blunt, warning that a virus could develop into a pandemic and arguing that china should be criticized for failing to be transparent. "stop panicking," mr. trump told him. january 31st. the limits on travel from china were publicly announced. the "times" found nearly 40,000 americans and authorized travelers have come into the u.s. from china since trump imposed those restrictions. february 13th. secretary azar announced a plan to repurpose a flu surveillance system in five major cities to help track the virus among the general population. the effort all but collapsed even before it got started, as mr. azar struggled to win
approval for $100 million in funding. the cdc failed to make reliable tests available. february 21st. the white house coronavirus task force gathered. among the questions on the agenda, when should it be recommended that trump take textbook mitigation measures, such as school closings and cancellations of mass gatherings? the group concluded they would soon need to move forward with aggressive social distancing, even at the risk of severe disruption to the nation's economy and the daily lives of millions of americans. february 23rd. dr. r the top defense official at the hhs came across an email from a research at georgia tech, regarding a chinese woman who infected five relatives with the virus even though she never displayed any symptoms herself. is this true, he wrote back. if so, we have a huge hole on
our screening and quarantine effort. the blunt rely, "people are carrying the virus everywhere." the next day, dr. kadlec, top official at hhs, along with the rest of the task force, decided to present mr. trump with a plan titled "four steps to mitigation." telling the president that they needed to begin preparing americans for a step rarely taken in the united states history. the next several days, a presidential blow-up and internal turf fights would side track such a move. by the third week in february, the administration's top public health experts concluded they should recommend to mr. trump a new approach that would include warning the american people of the risks, and urging steps like social distancing and staying home from work. but the white house, focused instead on messaging, and crucial additional weeks went by before their views were
reluctantly accepted by the president. at the time, the virus spread largely unimpeded. march 16th. even as trump announced two weeks of new social distancing guidelines, the subsequent economic disruptions were so severe that the president repeatedly suggested that he wanted to lift even those temporary restrictions. he frequently asked aides why his administration was still being blamed in news coverage for the widespread failures involving testing, insisting the responsibility had shifted to the states. wow. let's bring in investigative reporter with the "new york times," who was one of the few reporters on this expansive piece, a lot of different sources and a lot of different folks working on this. thank you so much for joining us. we're really appreciating this reporting. >> thank you. >> it is so step-by-step-by-step-by-step. it lays out the many different warnings.
>> eric lipton, thank you for being with us from the "new york times." i guess the takeaway is, you look and you see that the national security council, especially matthew pottinger, very concerned. the state department, the pentagon, the national security council, as i said before. of course, the cdc, the hhs. all of these agencies. the trump administration knew about what was going on in china and were fearful that a full-milofull full-blown pandemic could explode. that was in early january. what did your reporting find the biggest obstacle was from them being able to turn those fears and concerns of the coming pandemic in early january into policy that could have saved so many americans' lives? >> i think that there's a lot that happened here that sort of
tells us about the trump administration. things we've known for several years now, but we haven't had a crisis that was going to test this administration in the way this has. you know, the inability to make a decision, the disagreements among key members of the white house staff, the fact you had a chief of staff on the way out and was unable to, you know, have the respect of his colleagues and make decisive choices to advise the president. secretary of health and human services who also did not have the full respect of the president. disagreements among the economic team and health team that really almost -- you know, it left lack of a clear choice of what the president should make. this all goes back to 2006 and the bush administration. leaders in the bush administration realized that it was just a matter of time before there was going to be a pandemic that was going to threaten the united states. they prepared this plan, which laid out in a very prescriptive
way the steps that would need to be taken. there's really two stages. the stages are -- it's simple. i mean, it's simple on its face. containment and mitmitigation. containment is when you can limit the threat from coming to the united states. if it comes, you do contact tracing, in which you identify people who are affected by the individuals who have the virus, and you isolate them. there's a certain point when you -- when containment, you lose the ability to contain it. you go to what's then called mitigation. mitigation is when you do social distancing and close businesses, you close schools, and you do it only in targeted parts of the united states where it occurs. you don't do it across the united states at once. the biggest thing that happened here was that the president of the united states was convinced -- this is a guy who feels he can control borders, that he's got the extraordinary powers around the borders -- he thought he could contain the virus. they waited weeks too long to
move to mitigation. that's what fauci was talking about, when do you go to containment to mitigation? scientists know you have two weeks from the point of your first death, or a certain number of cases of the virus confirmed in a community, to switch to mitigatio mitigation. if you don't do it, you'll have many, many deaths in that community. it is a prescription. they sat and waited. now, of course, it's the governor's choice as to when to shut down schools and businesses. at least federal -- the doctors who work in the federal agencies told me that they need a leader in the federal government to take the flak and to say, it's time to close the schools and businesses in this location. again, it didn't need to be a national call. it needed to be in hot spots. they needed the cover from a federal official, from a surgeon general, from a president, from someone at nih or the cdc. the governors are in a difficult place. >> right. so help me out as far as the
communication inside the white house goes. in early january, looking at your article, the national security council, the state department, the defense intelligence agency, the pent dp pentagon, cdc, department of health and human services, intel agency, everyone knew about this. the president was getting it in his daily briefings starting, most likely, i guess, around january 6th or so. yet, the first we hear of anybody communicating with the president verbally by phone was alex azar on the 18th of january. was that the first time the president would take anybody's call on the coronavirus, or had he spoken with anybody before that? >> i mean, that's hard to know for sure. this that that's the first time we're aware of. there's no question the people in the national security staff were discussing this from early january and probably in late
december. as to when the first explicit conversation is, that's the date we have. i mean, in january, it was a matter of, this is a pandemic. it was spreading at an incredibly rapid rate. it was essentially all but certain it was coming to the united states and would be spread in the united states. for january, the question in my mind, at this point, they knew they'd have shortages of ppe, masks. they knew there was going to be hospital bed shortages that were likely going to occur. they knew that ventilators, they could have been thinking about ventilators. they could have started the acquisition process in january for personal protective equipment. that was a critical thing they could have done. what's the status of our supply chain? what's the -- how sufficient is the stockpile? those are things they waited until march to really get start on. they didn't make any significant orders until march. that's a long time to have not. now, at that point in january,
they did not know how wide the spread would be in the united states, but it was essentially a fo foregone conclusion that this was coming to the united states and people were going to be sick and some people were going to die. >> eric lipton, thank you very, very much for your extensive reporting. >> what an important article. thank you so much. >> when you read about the bickering, joe, on january 27th, you wonder what, when it is so clear, when the choices are so few. a virus is going -- you have to separate people. you have very few choices, if any. you have one choice. what are they fighting about in there? >> and you look at these dates that are laid out. >> incredible. >> i know of close friends of mine who were calling the president. >> begging. >> repeatedly saying -- and the white house, repeatedly saying, "the window is closing. the window is closing. you have to do this in the next week." it kept -- this rolling thing
was happening inside the white house. again, no real moves were made. the president didn't even seem to take this seriously until march. two months after. let me say that again, two months after he started getting warned in his presidential daily briefings. two months after the state department, the pentagon, the department of hhs, the cdc. you can go down the list. the intel community, they all knew, mika. the president is trying to point fingers. >> we have more reporting ahead. >> bill kristol said, as evidence he wasn't behind the curve on the coronavirus. trump likes to cite the end of the january china ban. but this is damning, not exculpatory. for trump realized there was a real problem the end of january, why'd he do almost nothing for the whole month of february? that's a good question. ed luce, i have another
question. if you're going to do a china ban, for god's sake, do a china pan. 430,000 people came during the outbreak. 40,000 came from china after donald trump put in this halfway ban. >> it was very incomplete. i think the way that trump talks about the timeline here, both through his flurry of tweets in response to that impressive "new york times" piece yesterday, and also more generally in his daily press conferences, it's as though he were inaugurated on january the 20th, 2020. not january the 20th, 2017. so he inherited 40 tests, whatever that means. you can only have tests for specific viruses. the obama administration didn't have the coronavirus, covid-19.
he inherited a stockpile that was depleted. again, he had been in office three years. he had had plenty of time to build up a stockpile. he inherited all kinds of things, apparently, that would make sense if he had been inaugurated a few weeks ago, in january 2020. it ju and had just started this job and was a rookie. he's been in office for more than three years. the other sort of point here is we're talking as though, well, he was really late but he did get up to speed. he hasn't got up to speed. that's the thing. we're not doing anything like the tests, the scale of testing that is required. it's still very incomplete, very partial. there is no national plan. the white house is talking again, the economists in the white house, like larry kudlow, who as you recall, said this
thing was almost airtight. they're talking about reopening the economy the beginning of may, just two weeks from now. as they were ten days ago about opening it easter weekend. again, we've got this pressure to reopen the economy. if we reopen prematurely, then it is going to be just as damaging in terms of lives lost and in terms of risking the general health of the population. those six wasted weeks were that have been so well chronicled by the "new york times." we need to get testing up. it's nowhere near the level that it should be at. >> of course, larry kudlow, in that bizarre clip, suggesting that some people just wanted to stay home because they were lazy. when, in fact, i'm sure members of the administration -- >> i think he said -- >> -- are not going out in crowds. i'm sure these talk show hosts that are talking about ending social distancing aren't pushing
their families into large crowds or into work spaces. the hi rockehypocrisy was at th beginning for those mocking it. it remains extraordinary. katty, ed brings up a great point. yes, we're looking back at all the agencies that knew in early january, the national security council, state department, the defense intelligence agency, pentagon, cdc, hhs, the president himself with his presidential daily briefings. we see all the steps on how they botched the testing, how the fda, one of the leaders of the fda said to the cdc in late february, "if you were a private industry, we would shut you down. you botched this so badly." then open it up to the general public. here we are in april. on april the 13th, we're talking
about missteps from what they knew in early january. donald trump still has no plan for testing, no clue for testing. you could look back. he's lied time and time again. he lied to the cdc on march 6th, saying, "any american who wants a test can have a test." april 13th, people still can't get the test. every day it seems they come up and lie about a tnew testing pln when, in fact, donald trump has done nothing to make testing a national effort in an expansive way. even his biggest supporters are quietly concerned in the senate and the house about the lack of testing that america still has. >> you know, this reminds me a little bit of every time there is a mass shooting in the united states, we're told by the gun lobby that this is not the time to talk about gun legislation. this is what the white house is
telling us at the moment. this is not the time to look backwards. we should be looking forwards. there will be time later on to go over what happened in january and february. actually, this is exactly the time to do what the "new york times" is doing. what happened in the past on this, january and february, informs our knowledge about what is happening right now and how the administration is handling it. you said, joe, you're right, that, actually, the key issue now, still, is testing, tracing, and quarantine. we've been promised, every time the president stands up there, he talks about how america is doing more testing than any other country in the world. that is p when you take it on a per capita basis, america is still way down there when it comes to testing. without that testing, yeah werks m we may have got through the peak, may not be at the peak, but it is irrelevant. we can't open up the country until we have testing, tracing, and quarantine. he was getting advice from people in his own administration, but he could have looked around the world.
it was on february the 3rd, hong kong shut its borders with china. for hong kong to shut its border with china and risk the ire of beijing, it was a huge deal. i remember speaking to people at the time, saying to me, "watch what hong kong is doing, and that will show you how serious this is going to get around the world." they wouldn't have done it unless they thought it was serious. there's plenty of examples from other countries where the president could have said, "okay, this is what i need to do." we keep coming back to his obsession with the markets. the reason there was those lost opportunities in january and february time and again was because his administration was more concerned about the state of the markets because he sees that as his election bellwether, than it was about the state of the country. he felt maybe america was not vulnerable, or he wasn't listening to the people properly. we have to look at what happened in january and february because it informs our knowledge of what's happening now. we have to get tests up. you're looking at countries coming out of the shutdown now. they're countries that tested.
it is very simple. >> you know, i said weeks ago, let's worry about what happened in the past after this is all over, as long as the white house is moving forward. let's worry about what's going on right now. unfortunately, jonathan lemire, the president still has not moved forward, especially on testing. we have two months of failures. we have two months of promises. again, you look at one of the largest counties in florida. they still -- palm beach county, it's still hard to get testing, not only here. it's hard to get testing in texas. it is hard to get testing in california. it is hard to get testing in new york. it is hard to get testing anywhere. there's not been a national effort. so what i don't understand, and maybe in all your reporting, maybe you've gotten some hint of this, why is it the president
has sub bornstubbornly refused a national, an aggressive, strong, national push towards developing testing? when, you know, i heard scott and rich lowry's national review podcast a couple of nights ago saying the only way we reopen this economy is with expansive testing. that's what everybody said. what about we send a swab around to every american? i know that sounds crazy. they said, it doesn't sound crazy. we have to be aggressive. this president, like i said, it's like opening kick-off of this pandemic crisis. he takes off his helmet and uniform and runs to the sideline and sits on the bench. he is not engaged in the most important issues of this so-called war, as he described
it. >> testing is the key. in new york city, testing is still so scarce, you can only get one if you're going to the hospital and you're sick enough that you may be admitted. so there's simply no way for the large amount of the populous to be tested. and i think there's a few things in play here. first of all, the president is loathe to admit any error or mistake. he doesn't want to talk about testing failures that happened before. as kattytrotting out misleading statistics from the briefing room podium, saying the u.s. testing efforts were far better than other nations. >> he's lying. >> lying about the testing ability of the united states compared to other nations, say south korea. he's been reluctant to mobilize the federal government to take the lead on production issues, medical supplies like masks and
ventilators, but also testing. putting it again at the hands of the states, to say they should be responsible for their own testing efforts. they need to be ready to reopen. they're in charge of that. some of that is to, again, have some sort of white house deniability if things don't go well. if it is in the hands of the statehouses rather than in the oval office. this is now the fight we're about to have inside the west wing. it is person lacolating already. we're seeing economists urging the president to move forward and reopen the economy, as pebe he can. we're seeing the doctors preach caution. what they're doing is suggesting, this can only be done, mr. president, if we have widespread testing to know who is infected, who is not, who is asymptomatic and so on. therefore, otherwise, the economy may reopen and have to be shut down again. that'd be far more devastating, not just to the president's markets, which he cares so much about, but the nation as a
whole. >> mika, it is an interesting -- while we're talking about donald trump and dr. fauci, this weekend, the news came out that donald trump just said, "hey, why won't we let it wash over the american people?" basically said, "let people that die, die." this is what boris johnson in the uk had talked about, this herd immunity. they were told, "you can do that, but 500,000 brits will die and 2.2 americans will die." then the president backed off of that. that actually was a position he was considering taking. >> incredible. >> just letting a ton of senior citizens die. as i said before, the greatest generation. dr. fauci had to walk him off of that ledge. >> this is really incredible. you look at this presidency as it's gone. he's been trying to have it both ways. whether it's redacting parts of the mueller report, or getting the public completely kind of worn down over the ukraine
story. you can't have it both ways with this virus. you just can't. you can't redact this. you can't sort of rebrand it. you can't find a way out with 22,000 dead and counting. we have a look now at some key countries around the world. we start in italy. world-renowned opera star andrea bocelli sang "amazing grace" in front of the empty cathedral of milan on easter sunday. ♪ amazing grace ♪ how sweet the sound ♪ that saved a wretch like me ♪ i once was lost
♪ but now i'm found ♪ was blind but now i see >> wow. oh, my gosh. >> absolutely beautiful. >> gorgeous. >> we have nbc news foreign correspondent matt bradley standing by for us in rome. also, in london, nbc news correspondent cal perry. in beijing, nbc news foreign correspondent janis mackey frayer. thank you, all, for being with us. we'll start with our matt in -- i was trying to get our location straight. that was so incredible, what we just saw. the numbers now, where america does surpass italy, this is not a race we want to win. the president is always talking
about being number one in the world. he says, "we're the best in the world with testing." we're not. it appears that the only number where we are surpassing is in dea deaths. >> reporter: that's right. here in italy, you know, we're actually seeing a decrease. there was about a little over 400 deaths just yesterday. these statistics, they come out daily. you know, those numbers have a habit of shooting up again right when there is a hint of optimism. officials here believe that the curve has finally flattened here in italy. that's why they're still not taking any chances. this discussion in america, about when to lift the lockdown. here in italy, there's pressure on the government. businesses, especially some of the top, big brands, major industries, are pressuring the government to try to lift this lockdown. the prime minister, conte, is not taking chances. he's just extended it further, another three weeks. now, some of the best indicators
show that the italian economy will likely shrink by as much as 6%. that's if this whole crisis is over by may. so, you know, this is going to be a major, major blow, especially to small businesses. 95% of businesses here in italy employ fewer than ten people. this is a country of small shops and stores and restaurants. those restaurants and bars, especially around here in rome, they can't really expect to be open probably within the next several weeks. so we are starting to see a little bit of an easing of the lockdown as the curve has flattened. tomorrow, we're seeing some categories of businesses opening. we're going to be seeing stationary shops, children's clothing stores, and bookstores all opening for a limited amount of time. you know, we've spoken to some of them. a lot of the business owners, they don't even want to open because they can't necessarily survive with so few customers while, you know, the lockdown
continues. guys? >> matt bradley. >> thank you, matt. >> thank you so much. so much sad news coming out of italy. certainly great news, finally, that the curve is flattening. thank you so much. we appreciate it. let's go next to beijing and janis mackey frayer. janis, obviously, china, this hit china first. they're a little further along than italy is with the curve. talk about the return to normalcy and how slow and halting it is, still is, in china. what can you tell us about this weekend? >> reporter: well, every move here is cautious because the numbers haven't gone away. china is still posting new cases every day. in the past day, it's up to 108. nearly half of them are linked to one small city on the northern border with russia. chinese citizens have been returning from russia and testing positive for the virus.
there was one flight that landed in shanghai. 60 people on board tested positive for covid-19. these hot spots china is still concerned with, and why they're taking slow and cautious steps in all of these steps are linked very closely to aggressive testing. in beijing alone, they're averaging about 8,000 tests per day. they've done 40,000 tests on people since the 1st of april. even to book a train ticket to come ut out of wuhan, you need test positive. before you get on the train, you have to test again. you go into kwarn fequarantine out only when you test negative. what china has been trying to do is push this aggressive approach to testing, so that they know where they stand, especially with asymptomatic cases. they've been tracking those only since the 1st of april. this is another category that they seem very intent on watching, as they're trying to take these moves to get the economy back on track. there are more businesses that
are reopening here. more factories are coming online. it's not to say that things are back to normal across the board. kids still aren't in school. there are a lot of businesses that are still closed. some people are still working from home. but they are so fearful of having this second wave of infections. if we take a look at japan, let's say, now reporting over 500 cases a day, the northern island of hokkaido had to declare a state of emergency for a second time. they let the kids go back to school. they let a lot of businesses reopen. they're seeing the case numbers edging higher again. they're alarmed at how quickly those cases are multiplying. they have a second state of emergency. the borders in japan are all but closed. we're seeing this trend in countries across asia, as they're trying to prevent the second wave of infections. >> janis mackey frayer, thank you so much. please stay safe in beijing.
we greatly appreciate it. let's go now to london and cal perry. cal, it seems good news out of italy. some good news in the past out of china. obviously, some worries. it is still the united states and the united kingdom that continues to see their death rates skyrocket. what's happening in the uk, other than, obviously, the great news that boris johnson returned home? >> that's the good news in the last 24 hours. after a week in the hospital and more than three days in intensive care, boris johnson, prime minister, was released from hospital yesterday. he stopped by 10 downing street where he taped a five-minute message posted on social media to the nation. he thanked the national health service, the nhs here, for saving his life. he individually thanked nurses by name and doctors, as well. singling out two nurses that were by his bedside as he said
was the worst 48 hours. he said it could have gone either way. that's literally the case. when you look at the statistics here in the uk amongst coronavirus patients who go to the icu, there's a 50% survival rate. touch and go to say the least for the prime minister. symbolically, a huge moment for the country. he's headed out to checkers. that is the prime minister's residence and the country home. he'll be there with his fiance, who is pregnant herself. she thinks she's recovering from the coronavirus. she hasn't gotten a test, but she has the symptoms and is recover recovered. doctors say the prime minister needs to spend more down time. he won't be taking back over the role of prime minister. we'll continue to see dominic raab in the role. that is the good news. the bad news is the united kingdom is the fifth country around the world to pass the 15,000 death mark, joining france, italy, spain, and the united states. 737 dead in the last 24 hours. i do want to stress though, and this is going to be a coming story here, those are deaths in hospitals. we don't know about people who
are dying at home or who are dying in rest homes. it is possible we are seeing the low end of the death so far here, guys. >> nbc's caliperr perry, thank o much. katty kay, it is remarkable to hear what's going on across the world and see that the two countries that really took the lead among the free countries in world war ii are the two countries who responded the most poorly to this global threat. the two countries who kept their head in the sand for the longest. thank god boris johnson is doing well now. of course, he was going around shaking hands, almost in a mocking tone early on. now, he understands. he literally, literally, you could call it a near deathbed conversion for boris johnson. great news that he is doing
better. why is it taking the governments of the united states and the governments of the united kingdom so long to get the message that this pandemic is a deadly threat? >> when you go back to early march and the end of february, and you hear what donald trump was saying about this epidemic, and what boris johnson was saying on march the 3rd, almost bragging about the fact that, "well, i'm glad to say i'm still shaking hands with people," it is almost like there is a sense of invulnerability. they didn't believe that their countries, these great nations, were going to be hit in this way. there had been, you know, some sense of kind of this was a chinese problem. this was something that happened far away and to other people. even when it reared its head in italy, amongst other northern european countries, many felt, well, this was an italian problem. it was always somebody else's problem. first china and then italy.
they didn't really believe, i think, it was going to come to their borders in the same way. they didn't believe here in the united states that if it did come, it couldn't be contained because america has famously the greatest health care system in the world. that'll have to be revisited, i think, in the light of this, that belief. there's something about having some humility and realizing that your system and your country is as vulnerable as other countries. therefore, you have to set about this in a very scientistic, very methodical way. you look at countries coming out of this. it is the countries that shut down early and that tested comprehensively. i think that is -- maybe out of this, there will be a realization that, yes, things that happen in other places can happen in the uk, can happen in the united states. perhaps, more importantly, what can we learn from the other countries? have a little humility about this. what is it the other countries did well in their health care systems that we can learn for? maybe we don't have the best. maybe there are areas we can learn in order to try to improve ourself, to try to make
ourselves the best. at the moment, the u.s. and the uk have a lot of learning to do. >> ed luce, there probably is no other country that had the resources, that had the expertise, that had the ability to face this coronavirus in the united states of america. yet, we failed time and time again to understand the warnings that were coming from china to the trump administration in early january. i listened to janis' report out of beijing. i wonder if we're going to repeat that mistake again a few months later, where we miss the second wave of warnings. what's happening in china, that the infections are starting back up, because they may be opening up too quickly. in japan, they're having to shut things down because they're getting another wave. it seems, again, right now, if
you listen to the president, he may not be learning from his past mistakes. he may not be learning from what is unfolding right now in front of us, from beijing to rome. >> i think that's absolutely right. the history of epidemics, of any kind of epidemic throughout history, is they don't tend to stop after one wave. they come back. second wave, third wave. there tends to be relaxation and a return of the pathogen. then a tightening up again. what we need to be seeing is a lot more preparation of the public than the trump administration is giving. this could come back again in the fall. it could come back again next year. until we have a vaccine, until we're inoculating at least three-quarters of the population, and not just our own population, but populations in
other countries, which is a massive logistical challenge, we're not going to return to normalc normalcy, normality. i'm concerned people aren't being prepped for that. they're not aware of the fact that this probably is a 12 to 18, possibly even 24-month, long cycle of troughs and peaks, rather than one long -- as ron klain, obama's ebola czar put it, rather than one long parabola, this is a bumpy curve on the chart. we've got to get used to thinking of it like that. i see almost no preparation of the public mind for this. again, we're stuck on this may 1st, you know, we can all go back to normal. i don't think, even if the white house pervaded governors to
agree with it, on the may 1 gs retu normality date, i don't think consumers or ordinary americans would trust that. i don't think they'd be rushing out to shopping malls and movie theaters. they're ahead of the white house in terms of messaging. >> yeah, they are. we've said this before. mr. president, you can lie to your supporters about bob mueller. they'll believe you because they don't know who bob mueller is. you can lie about ukraine. you know what? they're trying to take care of their families. washington, republican, they'll believe you on that. they're not going to believe you on this, when they see people they know dying in nursing homes. they see people they know dying in their community. they see nurses and doctors pushed to the wall here. this is not something -- again, there's no art of the deal when it comes to a pandemic.
it's just not. it is plaqblack and white, life death. yes, every doctor -- i go back to scott gotlib talking, rich lowry, this is going to come back in the fall in some form. dr. fauci said that. i haven't talked to a medical expert who hasn't said, "this is coming back in the fall. we have to prepare for it, and we have to work hard all summer to be ready when it comes back in the fall." if you're not ready in the fall during the flu season, it'll be worse. mr. president, you hear that? if you don't work constantly to get national testing between now and the fall, mr. president, it's april 13th right now. i'm warning you, your doctors are warning you, your medical experts are warning you, the whole world is warning you, it could be worse in the fall.
you have to work every day to move towards national testing. that is our way out of this. this is how small business owners can get back to work. this is how we stop losing trillions of dollars. it seems, week after week after we week, mr. president, please, you're several weeks into this, get serious about testing. enact the defense production act and do it now for national testing. it's your only way out of this crisis. >> let's focus on ground zero here in the united states. the staggering death toll in new york cont contininues to inch co 10,000. over the holiday weekend, more than 1,500 people died in the empire state. the number of new coronavirus cases did show signs of stabilizing. mayor bill de blasio will join us in a moment. first, let's bring in chair of
emergency medicine at the icon school of medicine, at mt. sinai and the mt. sinai health system, dr. brendan carr. dr. carr, give us a sense of what the ers are enduring right now. are there any changes, any upticks or down ticks? >> thanks. good morning. there are -- the good news is that, as you said, the numbers are stabilizing. the bad news is that we're still dependent upon the surge hospitals that have been built, both in central park and the javits center. there are -- the illness has a long duration, as you know. ten days, 14 days, even though we're seeing decrease in the number of people coming in, we still have very, very full hospitals. we still have very, very overstretched health care system. >> let me ask you about that. we've obviously been worried from the very beginning about the number of beds, about ventilators, about masks, about protective gear.
how are new york city hospitals holding up right now? do we have enough in new york? >> the governor said this weekend the peak is a plateau, which is an interesting thing to think about in exactly what we're seeing. some of the private health care systems always had enough. not a great margin, but enough of a margin to stay ahead. some of the public systems struggled more, as everybody knows, over the last couple weeks. it is compelling to me to think how the private sector responded to this. there has been a lot of effort to make sure production is ra ramped up, make sure distribution and supply chains are changed in a way we hadn't previously expected or required them to be. i'd say yes. our ventilator use in new york city is down below 80% nowme. a lot is because of ventilators that have been brought in, and
because of the way we've really aggressively scienced our way out of some of the trouble by talking to engineering folks, by using devices not previously meant to be ventilators and turning them into ventilators. there's hope on the private sector side of prerespondrespon this. >> i'm wondering how your doctors and nurses and health professionals are fairing through this. we're reading so many stories of them getting sick themselves. how are you managing keeping the staffing up, the morale up, and do you have any sense of how many health professionals have fallen ill, even in your system alone? >> yeah. this is hard. it's nice of you to ask about the health care providers. thanks very much. this is hard because there's community transmission of the disease, as you know. of course, they're getting sick, in the same way everyone else is getting sick. beyond that, i would even say their family members, loved ones are getting sick. early on, first couple weeks,
the first month, this was muscle memory ask adrnd adrenaline. the health care system has extraordinarily been tested and stood up to that test. what we're seeing now, i would even say after what many people tried to make into a couple days of reflective time with their families over the holiday, is we're seeing some time to reflect, some time to feel the loneliness and feel the effects of the trauma starting to rear their heads. this will be a long tale on this. we talk about the long tale of the -- and maybe even sort of second waves of covid. i would argue that that is true, for sure. the spanish flu didn't stop until 1920. the waves of experiencing and re-experiencing what happened to our health care workers is something we need to be managing for the long term. >> absolutely. >> mika, that's something that we talked about last week. that this is such a traumatic
experience for so many health care workers. >> and they're still in it. >> they're still in it. and people dying alone without their families. the way they die is so horrific. this is going to impact our health care workers for some time. >> dr. brendan carr, thank you so much for joining us this morning. it is three minutes past the top of the hour. joining us now, the mayor of new york city, bill de blasio. mayor de blasio, give us a sense of how the city is fairing this morning. any new information, new numbers, new details moving forward as we're, would it be safe to say, at a plateau in deaths and numbers? >> mika, first of all, we have lost so many people. there's real pain in the city right now. i think we should be very careful not to declare a new reality until we're sure. i'm not sure we have a plateau yet. i'm not sure there couldn't be a
resurgence. i think our job is to stay tough and stay focused on the approach that's working. the social distancing, the shelter in place has clearly helped improve the situation. heros are everyday new yorkers who, you know, mika, you know the city, you love the city. what would you have said the chances would be that people in the most densely packed city in america, who are used to being, you know, really close together all the time, would actually figure out quickly how to practice social distancing and shelter in place? new yorkers have done that to a remarkable degree. they're heros. as you were just talking about with our health care workers, i mean, it is unbelievable, how they've held the line. for a few weeks, it looked like our hospital system literally could be overwhelmed and doctors, nurses, health care workers held the line. if this had been a military battle, it was if a huge enemy force was thrown at them. they held and kept holding and are still holding.
so the good story is about what new yorkers have done. the tough part of this is we don't know exactly what this next phase looks like. we know if you take your foot off the gas, if you, for a moment, let your guard down, we've seen it in asia, instances where the disease reasserts. i'm saying to my fellow new yorkers, hold the line now. we've beat it back some, but we have to hold for weeks and weeks before we can start to get to a place where we could possibly relax some of the restrictions and start to move to something more normal. >> that is the question, as to when and how that is possible. can new york city, which you describe as so many people in such a small amount of space, really working together, can new york city sustain this on a long level, like through november? can the hospitals sustain this? right now, you're still using field hospitals and extra help.
also, in terms of families that are stuck in crisis, that need city services, that can't get to them, i wonder what the months ahead look like and what your city might need. >> mika, you're exactly right. look, i think the right way to think about this is months where we're still fighting this disease back. no one has the perfect date about when we get back to normal. months of making sure it never reasserts. now, the challenge there is how do we get there? first of all, we need to keep protecting and supporting the health care personnel. keep the hospitals strong. we need those ppes, the personal protective equipment. we've got enough. here's the reality in new york city. this week, we're starting. we have enough for this week. we do not have enough for next week. we've done better on the ventilators, thank god, because we see fewer people surging into the icus. for a while there, it looked
like we were going to run out of ventilators. nothing to say it's not going to be a challenge again. we have to stay focused. to get to the next phase, to get to the phase that we would call low-level transmission, when we're starting, actually, downhill towards normal, we need the testing. mika, i've got to tell you, when the history is written, this is going to be the central topic. that it was not there. a lot of us were demanding it in january and february, never came from the federal government. we've been demanding it every day since. we can't make that transition back to normal without testing on a much wider scale. you know what we want to do? we want to get back to a containment trat containment strategy. we want to beat the disease back. whenever you find a case, trace everyone connected to the case. make sure they're isolated, quarantined, get the support they need. constantly test people. constantly know who has it and who doesn't so we can get back to normal. right now, every time i ask the federal government for more testing, i hear, "it's not yet
possible." we've got to come to grips with the fact this country not only was not prepared, still hasn't figured out -- our national government still hasn't figured out how to provide testing on a wide scale. that's the only way we get to normal. there's this obsession about -- and i understand it, for sure -- reopen the country. reopen the economy. let's not kid ourselves. if you don't have testing, if you have hospitals that are still, you know, a week away from running out of ppes, if you've got local bovrmt govern that can barely provide critical services, basic services because, of course, we're running out of money, on top of everything else. if those are unclear, how will we get back to normal? the federal government, washington has to put the horse before the cart if they really want to see a recovery. >> mika, i want to follow up quickly on something the mayor said. that is, we've been lied to by the trump administration repeatedly about testing. they've given us numbers about
all the people that are going to be tested. they never follow through with it. i remember dr. birx with it last week, very upset because 80% of the testing facilities weren't -- they weren't using 80% of their test kits. when that happens, we need a follow-up. we need explanations. mike pence tells us great things are coming. they never come on testing. until we can test and trace, isolate, treat, and let people do back to the work force, we're going to be stuck here, losing trillions of dollars, mika. it's got -- the president has to nationalize this and move on it quickly. >> while i understand that -- >> when pence said there will be a million tests by the end of the week or whatever it was, we never saw anything like that. >> nothing. >> remember, it's not just the test kits. you need the ppes to protect the health care professionals, and you need the professionals to be available and not stuck fighting the battle in the hospital. none of this has been coordinated by washington as a
whole to say, "here's how you recover. stabilize the health situation. you do that with testing and all the pieces we need to make testing work." >> right. that was pence's lie. donald trump said on march 6th, "if you want a test, you can get a test." of course, there are millions of people who want tests that can't get it. jonathan lemire is in new york and has a question. >> mr. mayor, good morning. i'm going to charitably describe your relationship with governor cuomo as up and down. you and he, at times, have both dismissed media coverage of the rivalry as, you know, politics and shouldn't be dwelled upon. new york is in a pandemic right now. there's a lot of really worried people looking to the government for leadership and a consistent message. over the weekend, you announced new york city schools would remain closed for the remainder of the school year. within an hour or two, the governor seemed to overrule you and contradict you, saying that
would not be the case. no final decision had been made on schools, and it would eventually -- the final call would come with him. can you tell us right now what is happening with new york city schools the rest of the week? also, how does this mixed messa messaging, this back and forth with you and the governor help new yorkers panicked in this pandemic? >> jonathan, the governor and i have different jobs to do. i respect the job he is doing, for sure. my job is to protect the children of new york city, the parents, the families, the educators of new york city. what i said, and our school chancellor said, was clear. we're not reopening our schools. it won't be safe for all the people we're supposed to protect. our job, our responsibility is to them. it's not to anyone else. it is to them. on tom p of that, there's no wa we can bring back schools in a productive way that would help our kids' education. by the time you came back, it'd be almost time to go again. i made very clear, you know, i
run the schools, along with the chancellor, under the system we have here. the fact is, when you really look at the big picture over these months, the governor and i actually have agreed on the vast majority of things. i know media, rightfully, reports on the exceptional. the governor and i have agreed on the vast majority of strategies and approaches. there's a lot of communication between our teams. if you look at crisis dynamics, new york city and new york state have been consistently on the same page, except for a few times. we worked those times out. the bottom line is about what is the first principle? safety. protecting kids and families. then what is going to help you to the next phase we were describing? if we act too soon, jonathan, if we start to, you know, go to normal, quote, unquote, or tried to restart our society the wrong way, you'll see a resurgence of this disease. i've said that that's where we're going. the governor said yesterday he
understood my position. he is looking at the whole state. that's a different responsibility. what i've made clear is, you know, new york schools have to stay closed. >> mayor bill de blasio, come back soon. thank you very much for bringing us up to date. >> thank you. let's bring in now -- thank you -- msnbc contributor mike barnicle. nbc news capitol hill correspondent and host of kasied.kasi kasie d.c. on msnbc, and "morning joe" medical correspondent dr. dave campbell joins us. here's what president trump said at friday's more than two-hour task force press briefing, where he had his top scientists standing there for two hours, about the prospect of reopening the u.s. economy. >> i'm going to surround myself with the greatest minds. not only the greatest minds but the greatest minds in numerous different businesses, including the business of politics and
reason. we're going to make a decision. >> sir, what metrics will you use to make that decision? >> the metrics right here. that's my metrics. that's all i can do. i'm going to have to make a decision, and i only hope to god that it is the right decision. but i would say, without question, it's the biggest decision i've ever had to make. >> boy, i've got to tell you, it reminds me of -- again, i called him during the campaign when he just kept doing -- saying one horrific thing after another. >> yeah. >> remember, i asked him, "who do you talk to? who is the person you can pass things by, that can shoot down some of your" -- >> that can challenge you. >> he said, "you won't like the answer, but it's just me." >> we asked him on the air and
shared it with the american people. >> we said, "that is the wrong answer." unfortunately, he points to his head and says," it is right here." that is a guy who had his pentagon, state department, his national security council, the head of the cdc, the head of the fda, the head of health and human services, the intel community, they were all warning in early january. >> that's what we know of. >> he got it in the presidential daily briefing. that's what we know of. i certainly hope he'll talk to the doctors because it is a balance. listen, i don't think doctors are going to get everything they want. maybe they shouldn't get everything they want. maybe it should be a balance. because there are a lot of people who are hurting out there. maybe it's not june. maybe it's not july. maybe it's in mid to late may. who knows what the date is. it's got to be made with some input. the president has failed miserably. his instincts have failed him miserably over the past few
months. let's bring in right now "morning joe" chief medical correspondent dr. dave campbell. dave, there is a balance here. there's no doubt there is a balance here. you can't just say, "we're going to keep this country shut down forever," with everybody that's hurting the way they're hurting. it is a balance between getting people back to work. we have to worry about their mental health, as well. being isolated for this long. also, of course, a pandemic that could kill so many more people. we're seeing in china, reports out of china, reports out of japan, we spoke to our beijing correspondent this morning, talking about how they're starting to get hit with more cases. in some instances, they may have gone back too soon. when does the government, the state governors, when do they decide to open things back up? do they do it in stages? what have you learned in your studying of this?
>> joe, good morning. you said earlier, and i agree, we rolled into this pandemic. it's been described as the first wave. i see this as can choppy seas. we rolled in, and it is still choppy. we'll roll through the summer. we'll roll out of this like we rolled in. it will not be clean, and it will not be in one fell swoop. i know the president is concerned about this difficult decision he has to make. i'd counter he doesn't have to make one, single, immediate decision. it's a phased rollout, roll in. it goes back to testing, testing, testing, and physical distancing. the one thing i'm very pleased to not hear much about is this hope that we're going to have a vaccine soon and it is going to bring us all back to work. it is going to save all these lives in the near term. we now know, and we have known for a while, that that is a year
or two off. of all the things i'm hearing, i'm glad the american public recognizes the vaccine is not right around the corner. >> well, i've got to say, dr. dave, stay with us. obviously, this is not the president's decision. it's the decision of governors who have implemented this. there was no national stay at home order put in place. you had some leaders who did a much better job than others. thinking about san francisco's mayor, who did an extraordinary job early on. a democrat in the midwest. a republican governor, mike dewine, seems to have done just about everything right from the very beginning. it is great to have him with us right now. governor dewine, thank you so much for being with us. of course, you're going to have to be making that difficult decision. even i -- last time you were on the show, i was more excited to get my son out to baseball games. i said maybe by the beginning of june.
you were like, "slow down, joe." it's a hard decision. we've got families that want to move out there. i know you're worried about people in ohio who are iisolate, who are struggling with mental health issues, as well. but it's a balance. can you tell us what you're going through? what steps are you going through in your mind or how you balance this out and when you start opening ohio back up for business and, more importantly, for living? >> i think one thing we need to, all of us, remember, myself included, is no matter what i order, whatever we open up, however we do it, if people aren't confident, if they don't think they're safe, they're not going to go to restaurants and bars. they're not going to really get back into society. so it's not just what we order. i think, joe, it's more a series of decisions that we're going to end up making. i will say this, that going out
of this thing is going to be just as tough, if not tougher, than going into it and close things down. so i think it is going to be a series of decisions that we're going to be making. i think every governor right now is trying to figure out, "how do we open up? how do we do this?" you've been talking on the show about testing. testing is absolutely imperative as we move forward. i think until there is a vaccine, there are people who are particularly vulnerable from a medical point of view, and they're going to have to be very, very, very careful. i think that sometimes we all think we're going to turn a switch and we're going to be back to normal. that's just not going to happen. we'll have to slowly do this. so we're in consultation with our business community about how to do that. we're also, obviously, focused on the testing. ohio state is doing a great job. cleveland clinic is doing a great job. they're ramping up the testing
level. we've got new tests coming on. >> that's good. >> but, but it is going to be a stage. i think the testing itself is just, as you pointed out, is so very, very important as we move forward. >> governor, could you also explain, too, because you can explain this on a state level. ohio is such a huge state, such an important state, really middle america. can you explain how, like the united states, ohio has so many different type of communities. so your response in cleveland may be different than your response in canton. your response in cincinnati may be different than your response in dayton. can you talk about these different areas? also, i've just got to say, because i'm worried, and i know you are, too, rural health care has been just absolutely savaged
over the past decade for a lot of different reasons. obviously, with rural americans being older, sometimes having more health challenges, it's not as easy as just letting people in rural america go back to their normal lives so early. because of the special challenges our rural communities have. >> you're absolutely right. one thing we've done is open up more the ability for the health community, both in the mental health side, as well as the rest of the medical side, to do teleconferencing, to do a lot of these things remotely. one of the positive things to come out of this is that we're going to be pushing out technology much faster than we would have if he hadn't had the crisis. in trying to reach our rural areas, that is one of the real keys. you're right, ohio is a unique state. we're a state of kind of city states. we've got many urban areas.
if you drive through ohio, it looks like it is all agriculture. it is a diverse state. i've been blessed, frankly, to have mayors of the major cities who have been with us every step of the way. 11:30 every morning, before my 2:00 press conference, we have a short conference on the phone with the major major ymayors of state. they've been helpful in telling me what's going on in their diverse communities as they spread across the state. also giving us ideas and kind of be our eyes and ears out there. i've been very blessed with that relationship with our mayors. and our small communities, as well. as we say in ohio, we're all in this together. we're going to keep moving forward. >> governor, final question. so many people are discouraged for so many reasons. you talked about ohio state. can you talk about how,
really -- i read in the "new york times" a couple weeks ago, and it really is extraordinary, that probably for the first time in the history of this country, and probably in the history of the world, just about every scientist, every medical mind, every university, every researcher, they're all coming together and working on the same thing. not just at our great universities like ohio state, but also in the private sector. can you give us a peek behind the curtain about what's going on and why americans should be hopeful that, even if their governor or whomever, their president, their mayor, they may not like what's going on there, explain how universities, the private sector, researchers, are all coming together and doing some pretty extraordinary things. >> well, we've really seen this
in ohio. we've seen the private sector step up. we've asked our manufacturers, for example, c"can you help us make some of these things in ohio?" over 100 manufacturers raised their hand and said, "yeah, we want to do that." they're working on things. personal protection equipment, for example, ventilators and other things. we have seen the universities come forward. there's a partnership between ohio state and our public health department to procure and make myrrh sw more swabs and tubes where the swabs go into. that was one of our challenges. we had great capacity for testing at ohio state and cleveland clinic and university of cincinnati, but some of the more rural hospitals didn't have the ability to actually take the swabs and do what was needed to get that test. we just had people really come in and just make a dirfference. you know, hospitals historically don't necessarily work together.
we've seen our hospitals really come forward in ohio. they're working together. they're on the phone every day, getting ready. they've just done a phenomenal job. there is a great deal, as you say, for the american people and the people in the state of ohio to be very optimistic about a lot of good things that are going on, in spite of this horrible tragedy. >> no doubt about it. from ohio state to the cleveland clinic, one of the great hospitals in the world. >> they've been really ahead of the game. >> so many rooeesearchers. thank you, governor mike dewine. we appreciate it. mika, you look at what governor dewine has done. san francisco. gavin newsom early on. >> incredible. >> we, of course, focus an awful lot on new york paubecause that the epicenter. there are so many other leaders, republican and democratic alike, that have really -- that moved early and done a great job. i think a lot of people are giving governor dewine a lot of
credit for his leadership here. more with dr. dave, mike barnicle and kasie hunt after a quick break. we'll be right back. are staying at home, many of life's moments are being put on hold. at carvana, we understand that, for some, getting a car just can't wait. to help, we're giving our customers up to 90 days to make their first payment. shop online from the comfort of your couch, and get your car with touchless delivery to keep you safe. and for even greater peace of mind, all carvana cars come with a seven-day return policy. so if you need to keep moving, we're here for you. at carvana-- the safer way to buy a car.
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download the xfinity my account app today. welcome back. i want to dig many more to the reporting by the "new york times" about president trump's ina inaction, despite alarms raised by officials. the paper's examination showed the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic, but internal divisions, lack of planning, and his faith in his instincts led to a halting response. in short, trump was warned by the very people in his government whose expertise and long experience might have guided him more quickly towards steps that would slow the virus and likely save lives. by the third week in february, the administration's top public
health experts concluded they should recommend mr. trump a new approach that would include warning the american people of the risks and urging steps like social distancing and staying home from work. the white house focused instead on messaging and crucial additional weeks went by before their views were reluctantly accepted by the president. time when the virus spread largely unimpeded. it wasn't until monday, march 16th, that president trump announced those new social distancing guidelines, saying they would be in place for two weeks. the subsequent economic disruptions were so severe, that the president repeatedly suggested that he wanted to lift even those temporary restrictions. he frequently asked aides why his administration was still being blamed in news coverage for the widespread failures involving testing.
insisting the responsibility shifted to the states. joe, that's the part that was hard to watch. you saw him go, "i'm not responsible for anything." he kept sort of dumping it on the governors, who are all scrambling for resources, scrambling for actual supplies, scrambling to shore up their hospitals. he is leaving it to them to compete against each other, when he's got the national defense production act that he can use to streamline this all and get everything going far more quicker. never did it. >> so in case the president doesn't know this, which he does because it is his government, and article 2, he says, gives him power to do just about anything he wants to do. the information flow from the national agencies don't go to all 50 governors. all 50 governors -- >> that's why you're president. >> -- didn't know in early january. it was the trump administration. it wasn't the cuomo administration.
it wasn't the desantis administration. it wasn't the newsom administration. it was the trump administration that knew in early january -- and let's go down the list -- that something bad was happening in china and could cause a pandemic here in america. you had people like matthew pottinger who was panicked, getting calls from china. let's bring in caskasie hunt an mike barnicle. dr. dave is still with us. mike ba mike, these are the agencies that knew in early january something bad was going on in china, and the united states of america needed to plan for it. the national security council knew. the state department knew. defense intelligence agency
knew. the pentagon knew. >> joe, the -- >> let me continue. i have a long list. cdc knew. the fda knew. the intel community knew. in fact, the president knew, because it started getting put in the presidential daily briefing a couple days after a report was delivered to hhs secretary azar, who tried to get through to donald trump for two weeks. finally, on the 18th, he got through, and donald trump only wanted to talk about getting flavored vaping back on the market. the trump administration knew in early january and, yet, it took until march the 16th, two months for the president to move aggressively on this. >> you know, joe, the "times" piece yesterday was extraordinary journalism. there's been extraordinary journalism in the "washington post," "wall street journal," several other newspapers. you don't really need to rely on
the journalism, per se, to understand and feel, get the sense, that among lots of people, this president has proven himself to be particularly, specifically unable to do the job he was elected to do. the other thing you notice, and we played the clip of the president speaking a couple of days ago or over the weekend, he is oddly irrelevant to a lot of people's lives. people get up every morning now in this country wondering about a few things specifically. a, you don't want to die. you don't want to catch this virus. you don't want your family to be affected by this virus. you worry about paying the rent and the mortgage every day. that gets down to now, i think, a key word in our culture. the word is "solvency." it has less to do with big companies, medium companies, the local school store or restaurant that will probably be going out of business. it has to do with your own household. people are now beginning to
wonder, who is going to come to help me out of the hole that i'm in right now? >> kasie hunt, governor dewine put it very well. he can lift stay at home orders all he wants. if the american people aren't comfortable going out, they're not going to go out. they're not going to go out. sports fans, there's a poll of sports fans who said they weren't going to go back to games until there was a vaccine. that's how a lot of americans feel about going back to work. it seems that the people you cover in congress, democrats and republicans alike, but let's focus on the republicans. they understand this, as well. there were a lot of people who fell blindly behind donald trump during impeachment and during the mueller hearings, who actually are taking a much harder line when it comes to the coronavirus and protecting people in their district.
>> reporter: i want to add congress to the list you laid out for mike barnicle, joe. the administration at the beginning of february, they sent a request that was around -- a little over $1 billion, $2 billion to congress, saying, "hey, we should probably try and fight this." it was way lower than what the public health officials were saying at the time that they needed. congress looked at that request and said, "this is ridiculous," and sent $8.3 billion. that was the first bill in early march that passed. then they passed another piece of legislation by mid-march to offer sick leave. then they sent $2.2 trillion to the country that the administration still is struggling with how to distribute to people. i think we're at the point where a lot of members of congress that i talk to are incredibly frustrated. they're spending half the time on the phone with the hospitals, doctors, first responders in their own districts who are struggling to get personal protective equipment for their front line responders.
they're spending the other, you know, half the time trying to figure out what else they can do to help. you know, sometimes you talk to people, and there's a note of real fear and uncertainty in their choices. they have used policy tools that i personally never imagined i would see used. certainly not with republicans in control of congress and a republican president. at a certain point, it's just not clear that what they can do can work if these basic benchmark things on testing specifically aren't being done by the administration. there's only so much that these representatives can do at this point, joe. >> it's staggering. people inside the administration, people outside the administration know we have to get far more aggressive on testing from the national level. the only person who doesn't believe that is donald trump. for some reason, he is -- again, he is keeping americans locked
up at home by not having this testing. it is going to come back in the fall. every doctor says it is going to come back in the fall. people won't go back to work. this economy won't be started. trillions of dollars will be lost if donald trump doesn't move on testing. kasie, you bring up a great point. that is that congress, you know -- donald trump was fighting congress as far as getting the money that was needed out there. i don't know how -- dave campbell, let's go to you. secretary azar time and time again, the hhs secretary -- i'm sure there's things he could have done that he didn't do -- but time and again, we hear of him, you know, being on the outs with the president, going to the president on the 18th of january, trying to talk to him about this threat. trying to get $100 million to be able to identify people for testing and identification. getting shut down there. early february, he was screened out of the white house when he asked for more money. i think he asked for a couple of
billion dollars for a response and was yelled out of the white house. congress ended up giving aid anyway. that point ended up being moot. time and time again, early on, the medical community was fought here. i want you to tell us, along with every other doctor we've talked to, and every other politician we have talked to, can the united states economy get restarted in full, can american workers go back to work, can small business reopen and save themselves, save their family businesses, can students go back to school if we continue to fly blind and don't have widespread testing? >> no. of course not. and we know that. we even know that this hope, that this is going away in the summerre-surge in the fall, is false hope.
we're already in mid-april. the people who are sick today and going in the hospital will be there for several weeks. we do not have adequate testing, certainly not in palm beach county, and absolutely not across the country. we don't have adequate viral testing. we don't have adequate antibody testing. there are lots of steps that could happen where the federal government, secretary azar, if he had his way, could have accelerated the response. we could have more testing, whether it's mfor the virus or antibodies. we could be preparing better to reopen the economy, to reopen doctor's offices, reopen surgery centers so you can have your hip replacement. you're not going to have that any time soon, joe. the short answer that you asked is, no, we're not reopening any time soon. when we do, it will be this phased, rolling back of not
normalcy, but how about acceptability for the new, local, federal, and state way that we have to govern ourselves and live our lives. >> right. dave, i want to follow up, dr. dave, on something you said about reopening surgery centers. once again, dr. gotlik, talking to rich lowry in rich's podcast, his recommendation was immediately ramp up and have enough tests. so anybody that goes to a doctor's office, the first thing that happens when they come in, they're tested for the coronavirus. by doing that, you can reopen the surgery centers and reopen doctor's offices. you can reopen. this is important, as well, mental health counselors who really need to be face-to-face with the people they're treating. so many americans are suffering right now and in pain.
why don't we start there? great idea, dave. start in doctor's offices so people can get their hip replacement or people can get treated if they're in pain physically or mentally. >> how about having babies? right now, today, across the country, people are afraid to go to the hospital because they know that hospitals are where people go that have covid-19. gottli if we have surgery centers in doctor's offices that are, quote, clean, without covid patients there, without covid positive health care providers there, and we can know that as we ramp up the antibody testing and as we ramp up the viral antigen testing. it really does all hinge on that. there is the important need for physical distancing. we can never forget that. we have to know that health care is, after all, a local
phenomen phenomenon. just like parenting is a local family-based phenomenon. so we have to support the local doctors, offices, nurse-practitioners, urgent care centers. that is where a lot of health care will be provided. hospitals are, for a while, going to be for sick people. >> dr. dave campbell, thank you very much. we will see you tomorrow. up next, a new report says that behind trump's back, mitch mcconnell has called the president nuts. and made clear he considers himself smarter than trump. the "new yorker's" jane mayor joins us with her sweeping, new piece next. a little levity going to break courtesy of julia louis-dreyfus. this psa for california in the hashtag stay home, save lives initiative. >> hi there, it's me, your
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welcome back to "morning joe." live look at washington, d.c., a foggy, rainy, dreary morning. joining us now, chief washington correspondent for "the new yorker" jane mayer. she writes in this week's edition about mitch mcconnell, calling him enabler in chief, whose refusal to rein in president trump is looking riskier than ever. jane, i would love to hear your central focus of the piece, but i'm also very interested -- that
is his wife elaine chao is in president trump's administration, and there are lots of different ties that stand out as important here. can you talk about mitch mcconnell's wife, that connection, and potential conflicts or explanations? >> well, one of the things that was interesting when i was doing this reporting is that elaine chao is such a player in her own right, and when trump was elected, mitch mcconnell took an unusual role where he promoted his wife for a cabinet position. he called them up and basically, it was his ask of trump. and trump, i talked to some people in the transition team, some senior people, who said they were expecting that maybe they would make her labor secretary, as she had been during the bush administration, but she wanted transportation,
which they saw as a bit of a problem because her family has a giant shipping company that does about 70% of its business with china. they thought of it as possibly a conflict of interest, but they also really wanted her onboard, because they wanted mitch mcconnell on board. so they gave her the job. and since then, there have been allegations that she, as transportation secretary, has favored her husband's state, kentucky, by giving it more grants. there's an internal investigation taking place in the transportation department on this. she's denied it. the investigation is ongoing. politico has written some terrific stories about this. and the irony is rather than it being seen as a scandal by mitch mcconnell, instead, he's made an ad in kentucky where he's up for re-election, claiming, you see, i can bring home more bacon, basically more transportation grants to my state.
so it's kind of a self-licking ice cream cone going on there. >> yeah. kasie hunt has a question for you. kasie. >> terrific piece, jane. i stayed up probably later than i should have after my show last night to get all the way through it. and i have to say, you know, we teased the part where in private mitch mcconnell has called donald trump nuts and all of us who are here in washington have picked up on some version of that over or at least i have in the halls of the capitol, but i was fascinated by the conversations you have had with people who have been supporting mitch mcconnell in kentucky for many, many decades, and the dispoimendi disappointment some of them seem to have expressed to him in private about how he has interacted with the president and the damage he's doing to the country in their view. can you walk through who these people are and what they're saying to the majority leader behind the scenes? >> actually, thanks for asking
because i think one of the real pieces of news in this story is that some of the tremendous backers that mitch mcconnell has had in the past, in particular, a man named david jones, the cofounder of humana, the health care company that is a giant, one of the biggest employers in kentucky. he's been with mitch mcconnell, backing him since 1984. he's put millions into a center mcconnell has built, an academic center there, and mcconnell has called him the most influential friend and mentor in his entire career. what i discovered is privately, david jones has sent letters to mitch mcconnell. david jones and his son sent two letters to basically say stand up and lead. you have the power in the senate. you are under the constitution supposed to form a check on the president when he's air nerrant you're not doing it.
and they are, you know, as close to mitch mcconnell as you could possibly get. david jones died last fall. his sons are still alive. i've got copies of the letters, and mitch mcconnell's response. and what you see is i think a tremendous disappointment that the watchdog has been asleep at the switch. the senate has not taken this leadership role. and there are a lot of people in kentucky who are very disappointed because they think mitch mcconnell could have done a lot better when history looks back, they're going to see it was, you know, that he didn't do this job. >> jonathan lemire. >> so much of the compromises that people have said that mitch mcconnell has made in terms of dealing with this president in order to enact a conservative agenda, particularly installing conservative federal judges, so my questions for you are this, could you simply give the american people an update? that's continuing, correct?
a pace during this pandemic, and also, do you have any hesitation in saying that were a supreme court seat were to open up, whether it be the spring, summer, or fall, despite the precedent of merit garland, is there any hesitation mitch mcconnell would try to fill the seat while president trump was still in office. >> i'll take mitch mcconnell at his word. he's been going to big donors in the republican party and promising if ruth bader ginsburg were to die before the election, even if it were or have to withdraw, vacate the seat for some reason, health reasons, that it would be, as he's been putting it, our october surprise. he's been promising them he will fill that seat. so no, i don't have any doubt that he will go for it. that's exactly what he has said he plans to do, and he's put, i think, something like just under 200 conservative judges on the federal bench. this is his legacy project.
this is what he's putting all of his energy into. it was where he was in the beginning of the weekend when things really started to fall apart in the country on the coronavirus, he was down in kentucky going to a judge's sort of investture, celebrating with the judge. i think it's the way he wants history to judge him, people tell me, but what it said in the letter from david jones, his tremendous backer, is what's the point of putting judges on the bench in a country where the republic is crumbling around you? stand up for democracy, is basically what his donors are saying to him. >> jane mayer, thank you very much. the piece is in the new issue of the new yorker. and still ahead, we'll talk to one of the reporters behind that explosive "new york times" piece on the president's belated response to the coronavirus. despite multiple early warnings from his medical advisers. we're back in one minute.
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do you think lives could have been saved if social distancing, physical distancing, stay-at-home measured had started third week of february instead of mid-march? >> you know, jake, again, it's the what would have, what could have. it's very difficult to go back and say that. i mean, obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you
started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives. obviously, no one is going to deny that. what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated, but you're right. obviously, if we had right from the very beginning shut everything down, it may have been a little different, but there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then. >> dr. anthony fauci essentially confirming a keep part of a deeply reported new expose from "the new york times" which showed how the national security council and the pentagon struggled to get the president to take timely action despite several early warnings from internal agencies to top white house advisers. the paper's examination found, quote, the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic but that internal divisions, lack of planning, and his faith in his own instincts led to a halting response.
in short, trump was warned by, quote, the very people in his government whose expertise and long experience might have guided him more quickly toward steps that would slow the virus and likely save lives. the paper begins in early january. deputy national security adviser matthew pottinger was rattled by a call with a hong kong epidemiologist who bluntly warned him a ferocious new outbreak had emerged in china. it had spread far more quickly than the government was admitting to, and it wouldn't be long before it reached other parts of the world. it was one of the earliest warnings to the white house, and it echoed the intelligence reports making their way to the national security council. the more specialized corners of the intelligence world were producing sophisticated and chilling warnings. at the same time, the paper reports, in a report to the director of national intelligence, the state department's epidemiologist
wrote, in early january, that the virus was likely to spread across the globe and warned that the coronavirus could develop into a pandemic. working independently, a small outpost of the defense intelligence agency, the national center for medical intelligence, came to the same conclusion. within weeks after getting initial information about the virus, early in the year, biodefense experts inside the national security council looking at what was happening in wuhan started urging officials to think about what would be needed to quarantine a city the size of chicago. but even as hhs secretary alex azar first briefed the president on the potential seriousness of the virus during a january 18th phone call, trump projected confidence. >> words about a pandemic at this point? >> not a all, and we have it totally under control.
it's one person coming in from china. and we have it under control. it's going to be just fine. >> january 27th, a national security council meeting in the situation room was jolted when steven e. beiiegen announced pls to issue a level-4 travel warning strongly discouraging americans from traveling to china. the room erupted into bickering. in late january, the president was told about the time a january 29th memo produced by peter navarro laying out in detail the striking risks of a coronavirus pandemic. as many as half a million deaths and trillions of dollars in economic losses. trump denied ever seeing it. >> did you see the memos that reportedly peter navarro wrote back in january?
when did you see them and how do the memos square with what you have said that nobody could have predicted it. it sounds like he was predicted it? >> i didn't see it, but i heard he wrote some memos talking about pandemic. >> i never read them. january 30th, then-acting white house chief of staff mick mulvaney and secretary azar called trump aboard air force one as the president was making the final decision to go ahead with the restrictions on china travel. azar was blunt, warning a virus could develop into a pandemic and arguing that china should be criticized for failing to be transparent. stop panicking, mr. trump told him. january 31st, the limits on travel from china were publicly announced, but the times found that nearly 40,000 americans and authorized travelers have come into the u.s. from china since trump imposed those restrictions. february 13th, secretary azar announced a plan to repurpose a
flu surveillance system in five major cities to help track the virus among the general population. the effort all but collapsed even before it got started, as mr. azar struggled to win approval for $100 million in funding and the cdc failed to make reliable tests available. february 21st, the white house coronavirus task force gathered. among the questions on the agenda, when should it be recommended that trump take textbook mitigation measures such as school closings and cancellations of mass gatherings? the group concluded they would soon need to move forward with aggressive social distancing even at the risk of severe disruption to the nation's economy and the daily lives of millions of americans. february 23rd. dr. robert cadlic, the top disaster response official at the hhs, came across an email from a researcher at georgia
tech regarding a chinese woman who infected five relatives with the virus even though she never displayed any symptoms herself. is this true, he wrote back. if so, we have a huge hole on our screening and quarantine effort. the blunt reply. people are carrying the virus everywhere. the very next day, the doctor at the top disaster response official at hhs, along with the rest of the task force, decided to present mr. trump with a plan titled "four steps to mitigation" telling the president they needed to begin preparing americans for a step rarely taken in united states history. but the next several days, a presidential blow-up and internal turf fights would sidetrack such a move. by the third week in february, the administration's top public health experts concluded they should recommend to mr. trump a new approach that would include warning the american people of the risks and urging steps like
social distancing and staying home from work. but the white house focused instead on messaging and crucial additional weeks went by before their views were reluctantly accepted by the president, by that time, the virus spread largely unimpeded. march 16th, even as trump announced two weeks of new social distancing guidelines, the subsequent economic disruptions were so severe that the president repeatedly suggested that he wanted to lift even those temporary restrictions. he frequently asked aides why his administration was still being blamed in news coverage for the widespread failures involving testing, insisting the responsibility had shifted to the states. wow. let's bring in investigative reporter with "the new york times" who is one of the few reporters on this expansive piece. a lot of different sources and a lot of different folks working on this.
thank you so much for joining us. we're really appreciating this reporting. it is so step by step by step by step. it lays out the many different warnings. >> so, eric, thank you, eric lipton, from being with us. i guess the takeaway is, you look and you see that the national security council, especially matthew pottinger, very concerned. the state department, the pentagon, the national security council, as i said before, of course, the cdc, the hhs, all of these agencies, and the trump administration knew about what was going on in china and were fearful that a full-blown pandemic could explode. and that was in early january. what did your reporting find the biggest obstacle was from them being able to turn those fears
and concerns of the coming pandemic in early january into policy that could have saved so many americans' lives? >> i think that there's a lot that happened here that sort of tells us about the trump administration, things we have known for several years now but we haven't had a crisis that was going to test this administration in the way that this has. and the inability to make a decision, the disagreements among key members of the white house staff, the fact that you had a chief of staff who was on the way out and was unable to have the respect of his colleagues and make decisive choices to advise the president, and a secretary of health and human services who also did not have full respect of the president. and disagreements among the economic team and the health team that really almost -- you know, that left a lack of a clear consensus as to what choice the president should make. but really, all this goes back
to 2006 and the bush administration, when leaders in the bush administration realized that there was just a matter of time before there was going to be a pandemic that was going to threaten the united states, and they prepared this plan, which laid out in a very prescriptive way the steps that would need to be taken and there's really two stages. the stages are, it's very simple, simple on its face. containment and mitigation. containment is when you can actually limit the threat from coming into the united states, and if it does come, you do these contract tracing in which you identify people who were affected by the individuals who have the virus and you isolate them. but there's a certain point when containment, you lose the ability to contain it, and you go to what's then called mitigation. mitigation is when you do social distancing and close businesses, close schools, and you do it only in targeted parts of the united states where it occurs. you don't do it across the united states at once. the biggest thing that happened here is the president of the
united states was convinced, this is a guy who feels he can control borders, he has the extraordinary powers around the borders, he thought he could contain this virus, and they waited weeks too long to move to mitigation. that's what fauci was talking about. when do you go from containment to mitigation? the scientists know that you have basically two weeks from the point of your first death or a certain number of cases of the virus confirmed in a community to switch to mitigatiomitigatio. if you don't do it, you'll have many deaths. it's a prescription. they sat and waited. of course, it's the governors's choices as to when to shut down schools and businesses, but these federal -- the doctors who work in the federal agencies told me that they need a leader in the federal government to take the flack and to say, it's time to close the schools and businesses in this location. again, it didn't need to be a national call. it needed to be in hot spots,
and they needed the cover from a federal official, from a surgeon general, from a president, from someone at nih or cdc, because the governors are in a difficult place. >> "new york times" investigative reporter eric lipton, thank you so much. >> and still ahead on "morning joe," we know the virus is hitting big cities. what about small towns? our next guest is focused on that part of the story, and we'll discuss it straight ahead on "morning joe."
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>> we have nbc news foreign correspondent matt bradley standing by for us in rome. that was so incredible, what we just saw. but the numbers now, where america does surpass italy, this is not a race we want to win. the president's always talking about being number one in the world. he says we're the best in the world with testing. we're not. and it appears that the only number where we are surpassing is in deaths. >> that's right. here in italy, we're actually seeing a decrease. there was a little over 400 deaths just yesterday, and these statistics, they come out daily. those numbers have a habit of shooting right back up again when there's a hint of optimism, but you know, officials here believe that the curve has finally flattened here in italy. that's why they're still not taking any chances. this discussion in america about when to lift the lockdown, here in italy, there's a lot of pressure on the government,
businesses especially, some of the top big brands, major industries, are pressuring the government to try to lift this lockdown. but the prime minister is not taking any chances. he's just extended it further. another three weeks. now, some of the best indicators show the italian economy will likely shrink by as much as 6%, and that's if this whole crisis is over by may. so this is going to be a major blow, especially to small businesses. 95% of businesses here in italy employ fewer than ten people. this is a country of small shops and stores and restaurants. those restaurants and bars, especially around here in rome, they can't really expect to be open probably within the next several weeks. so we are starting to see a little bit of an easing of the lockdown as the curve has flattened. tomorrow, we're seeing some categories of businesses opening. we're going to be seeing stationary shops, children's clothing stores, and book stores
all opening for a limited amount of time, but we have spoken to some of them. a lot of these business owners, they don't even want to open because they can't necessarily survive with so few customers while the lockdown continues. guys. >> matt bradley -- >> thank you, matt. >> thank you so much. so much sad news coming out of italy, but certainly, great news, finally, that the curve is flattening. thank you so much. we appreciate it. coming up on "morning joe" -- >> the notion of the federal stockpile was it's supposed to be our stockpile, not states' stockpiles that they then use. >> why that's a key line when it comes to understanding the trump administration's approach to dealing with this national emergency. the founder of cnbc, tom rogers, explains next on "morning joe." ♪
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mayor bill de blasio will join us in just a moment. first, let's bring in chair of emergency medicine at the icon school of medicine at mt. sinai and the mt. sinai health system, dr. brendan carr. dr. carr, give us a sense of what the ers are enduring right now. are there any changes, any upticks or downticks? >> thanks. good morning. there are. the good news is that as you said, the numbers are stabilizing. the bad news is that we're still dependent upon the surge hospitals that have been built, both in central park and in the javits center. this is -- the illness has a long duration, as you know, so ten days, 14 days, even though we're seeing some decrease in the number of people coming in, we still have very, very full hospitals. we still have very, very overstretched health care system. >> let me ask you about that. we have obviously been worried from the very beginning about
the number of beds, about ventilators, about masks, about protective gear. how are new york city hospitals holding up right now? do we have enough in new york? >> you know, so the governor said this weekend that the peak is really a plateau, which is an interesting thing to think about and exactly what we're seeing. some of the private health care systems have always had enough. you know, not a great margin, but enough of a margin to stay ahead. some of the public systems struggled more, as everybody knows, over the last couple weeks. it's compelling to me to think about how the private sector has responded to this. there has been a lot of effort to make sure that production is ramped up, to make sure that distribution and supply chains are sort of changed in a way that we hadn't previously expected or required them to be. so i would say yes, our ventilator use rate within my health system which is a large health system, big integrated health system in new york city,
is down below 80% now. a lot of that is because of ventilators that have been brought in and because of the way we have really aggressively scienced our way out of some of this troubling by talking with our engineering folks, by using devices that weren't previously meant to be ventilators and turning them into ventilators. there's a lot of hope on the private sector side of responding to this. >> i'm wondering how your doctors and nurses and health professionals are faring through this. you know, we're reading so many stories of them getting sick themselves. how are you managing keeping the staffing up, the morale up, and do you have any sense of how many health professionals have fallen ill, even in your system alo alone? >> yeah, this is hard. it's nice of you to ask about the health care providers. thanks very much. this is hard because there's community transmission of the disea disease, as you know. so of course, they're getting sick in the same way that
everyone else is getting sick, and beyond that, where would even say their family members, their loved ones are getting sick. early on, the first couple weeks, the first month, this was about muscle memory and adrenaline, and the health care system really has extraordinarily sort of been tested and has really stood up to that test. what we're seeing now, i would even say after what many people tried to make into a couple days of reflective time with their families over the howl dliday, we're seeing some time to reflect, some time to feel the loneliless and the effects of the tromy starting to rear their heads. this will be a long tale on this. we talked about the long tale and maybe even second waves of covid. i would argue that is true for sure. the 1918 flu didn't stop until 1920, but the long tail and experiencing and reexperiencing what has happened to our health care workers is something we should expect to be managing for the long term. >> absolutely.
>> mika, that's something we talked about last week, that this is such a traumatic experience for so many health care workers. >> and they're still in it. >> they're still in it, and people dying alone without their families. the way they die is so horrific that this is going to impact our health care workers for some time. >> dr. brendan carr, thank you so much for joining us this morning. coming up on "morning joe," when it comes to the economy, president trump was a big supporter of a federal response. when it comes to the health emergency then, it's up to the states to take the lead? we're going to read from a new piece in "newsweek" about that next on "morning joe." ♪
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we're not so sure that it will come in waves in the way that influenza does. we think it's going to be a virus that stalks the human race for quite a long time to come, until we can all have a vaccine that will protect us. and that there will be small outbreaks that will emerge sporadically and they'll break
through our defenses. the key for this particular virus is every community has a kind of defensive shield, can pick up cases as soon as they appear, isolate them, and stop outbreaks from developing. it's going to be necessary for every single country to have that capacity, and so we're actually encouraging countries to put that in place now, and that will facilitate releasing lockdowns and prevent further massive outbreaks. >> that was world health organization special envoy david nabarro on "meet the press" yesterday. looking forward now, joining us now, the director of the center for infectious disease research and policy and a professor in the medical school at the university of minnesota, dr. michael osterholm. thank you for being on. >> thank you. >> i would like to ask first about testing. at the rate we're going, without it coming from the government, sort of streamlining and using
perhaps the dpa to get a national uniform, robust, mass testing effort, it seems like we're in kind of a convoluted space where there's some types of testing here, other types of testing there, and in many cases across the country, nonexistent testing. at the rate we're going, without it coming from the government, when are we going to have enough testing that's uniform enough, that we can map out this virus and protect ourselves? >> well, first of all, let me just say that testing has almost become the kind of what you call mantra that we saw post-9/11 where cipro is everything, testing is everything. and i want to be a little cautious about that. i think we have gotten far too ahead of ourselves on the testing issue, what it can and can't do. first of all, we is a major shortage of testing in large part because of the reagents, the chemicals we need to run the test. in december of this past year, testing was done routinely
around the world for the kind of test we did, and then wuhan happened, and the need for reagents was boosted substantially. then when the world caught on fire, the sense of filling the garden pool with a hose, we needed a canal to fill it, and it hasn't happened. people who promise we can deal with this by testing don't understand the fact it's going to take months to get the kind of manufacturing for these reagents. the second thing is, these testing situations yield a lot of problems. we now know today, for example, the fda has really, i think, done itself a disservice by when we didn't have enough testing, basically opened it up so almost anybody could now be approved for testing. kind of like the wild west. by their own admission last week, they admitted that of the testing for the blood testing of the 70 tests that just got approved, 35 were junk. that's their own words. so i think we have to talk about testing in all of its forms.
>> well, that's why i'm asking. because nobody can get an answer on when we can catch up with a country that was able to use testing to get on top of this. are we ever going to get there? because like i said, it's jumbled. it's convoluted. there are different entities making different types of tests. this seems really disorganized, and you were saying months. it sounds to me like many months. >> it is. and mika, you're right on the mark with this. we have been calling for some time, we need a major national presence to help provide the leadership. while we need the private sector to be there, basically we also have to say don't promise this. you know, i last week was in a debate with a world renowned economist, a nobel prize laureate who said we need to test 35 million people a week. i said you can't. he looked at me like i didn't want to. we're a long ways off. let me add one other thing. people who thought the testing was the answer in asia,
singapore, japan, korea, hong kong, are all having problems right now even though they have testing in place. and they're losing control of what's going on over there. so i just want to add a word of caution to say before everybody jumps too far on the bandwagon, let's understand what testing can and can't do. it's important. we need it. we don't have it, but it's also not going to be the savior many people put out there that it will be. >> all right, so let's talk, doctor, let's talk about moving forward. we can talk about the mistakes the cdc made. we can talk about the fda getting angry with the cdc and then opening it up to everybody. but it's april 13th. first of all, i'm curious if you agree with the assumption that this is likely to come back in the fall, that we need to worry about september and october and november to see how that happens. but let's just presume that the assumptions that are being made right now, that the coronavirus
will come back in full force in september or october, what do we do starting today, april 13th, 2020, to prepare for the middle of september when we probably are going to see a second wave of this? so we can be in the best position possible to test, to trace, to treat, to isolate, to prepare in a way that's better than we did during the first wave? >> well, first of all, i think, joe, one of the most important things you did is state the obvious, we have to be prepared for the future. we have about 20,000 deaths in the u.s. today from covid-19. if you look at even the most conservative models over the course of the entire pandemic of at least 50% of u.s. citizens will be infected eventually. that actually comes out to about anywhere from 800,000 to 1.6 million deaths over the course
of the entire pandemic. that's a long ways from 20,000. so it gives you a sense owhat we still have to come. so i think your point is a good one. the challenge we have right now, i can't get anyone to agree, we don't want a lockdown, so therefore, we have to come into some middle position. if we lock down like wuhan, we can probably get a lot of people to the end of this, until a vaccine is available, and then they can be vaccinated. that will ruin our society as we know it. we can't go willy-nilly and say okay, everybody, we're going back to where we were, our hospitals will be overrun. we will have major challenges. so the question is, how do we do that? we have proposed and we're coming out with a plan this very week that will actually talk about how we have to let the younger aged population in particular, the people who are at least at reece of having a serious outcome, it won't be universal. we do have serious illnesses in young people, but they're the people who can come back, get infected in many ways and actually not require medical care or be seriously ill.
somehow, we have to thread the needle with this rope to get through there, and we have to have a national consensus that's okay to do that. some people will say, you can't agree that anybody is going to get infected. come on, everybody. up to 50% of this country is going to get infected before this is over, so how are we going to do that, to do just what you just said, get through this so we do the least amount of damage to our citizens from the disease but also take into account what it does as an economy and society. that's the discussions we need to have right now, and those are the plans the federal government should be providing all 50 states. it shouldn't be done governor by governor by governor. >> as we talk about the fall, it's funny -- it's interesting you're saying this in talking about younger americans. mika and i were having a conversation offline with somebody about colleges. you go back in the fall. do you -- >> have kids in dorms? >> have kids in dorms. >> sharing the same bathrooms
where very low percentage of them are going to have negative impact from that. they could go to college. the problem is, they can't come back home and pass it along to their parents or their grandparents or spread it in their own communities. so that's the sort of thing that really does require an awful lot of attention and forethought. as you said, requires a national policy to make a decision on, you know, if colleges reopen in the fall. and if they do reopen, is there a limit to them coming back home. >> i think this is where you can help a lot and you have been. you know, we understand as a country why the focus was on new york city and metropolitan areas. chicago, detroit, new orleans. because they were on fire and they needed all the attention and help they could get. but as for winston churchill once said, this is not the end, not even the beginning of the end. rather, this is the end of the beginning. we now have to realize, we have
long road ahead of us. we have to have these hard discussions. how are we going to get through this? we have to them in a way that doesn't accuse people of not caring about the cases of covid, which are tragic, but it touches on the reality that you touched on. that's critical, and we're not having that discussion. that's what i said about testing, that's like a panacea. we'll get a lot of testing and be okay. we still have hard choices. i think more kinds of conversations like we're having right now is what the country needs to hear so we can do exactly what you're saying. >> let's do it. >> i agree. >> i'm told we have to go. i have to ask one more question because i think it's critical people understand this, and only you, i think people will respect you when you say this. too many people are looking at this as a red state/blue state issue. a new york city versus heartland issue. one of my biggest concerns just from what i heard from experts like you has to do with rural health care. woefully ill-equipped to handle this crisis. older people are in rural areas.
if this -- if people let down their guard in rural america and heartland america, talk about the tragedy that will unfold then. >> you know, you hit the nail right on the head. i said all along, red and blue will dissolve during the course of the pandemic into one color called covid. people will understand, in the rural areas where one long-term care facility can have one outbreak and suddenly the transmission is in the community because we're all seeing grandma and grandpa, mom and dad. then it gets in the hospital, and you can bring down an entire rural area. we're seeing it right here in minnesota, in iowa, in those states where in fact those rural areas are disproportionally hit. it won't come as quickly, and that's where people often think this is an issue because it's new york, chicago, detroit. this virus will not miss one community. it will not miss one county. it won't miss one state. it's going to be a matter of time, and that's why now we all have to come together. this is us versus the virus. this should not be a partisan
issue about red versus blue. that would be a tragedy in and of itself. >> let's have more of these conversations. director of the center for infectious disease research and policy, professor at the medical school at the university of minnesota and author of several books on infectious diseases, dr. michael osterholm. thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> as we continue to highlight the countless numbers of those on the front lines battling the coronavirus each and every day, we cannot overlook one vital group, that is grocery store workers. "the washington post" reports that next to health care providers, no workforce has proved more essential during the novel coronavirus pandemic than the 3 million u.s. grocery store employees who restock shelves and freezers, fill online orders, and keep check-out lines moving. as we look at these workers and as these workers put in longer hours and take on more responsibilities, many report
the heavy toll, especially as their coworkers fall ill. the post continues, some liken their job to working in a war zone. knowing that the simple act of showing up at work could ultimately kill them. the paper reports at least 41 grocery store workers have died so far from trader joe's employee in new york to four kroger employees in michigan. thousands more have tested positive for the virus. a labor economist tells the post that job postings for grocery clerks have jumped 60% in the past four weeks. 2018 data from the u.s. department of labor shows grocery cashiers averaged $11.43 an hour. >> so let me be personal for a second, get personal for a second. we were on, mika and i were on zoom call with our family yesterday. all across the country.
and we have a couple of family members that work for publix. and i mean, they have just been absolutely incredible, at least to our family members. but you talk to my relatives that are working at publix, and it is -- they are on the front lines. i remember, mika, about a month ago, month and a half ago, david ignatius talked about how it was the grocery store clerks and the baggers and the store managers who are on the front lines there, boy, that's what we heard yesterday in our easter call. >> under a lot of stress. up next, princeton university's eddy glaude jr. is looking at the grief that will endure long after this pandemic passes. >> plus, the federal government took the lead on the economic crisis, but why is the president
leaving it to the states to handle the health crisis? as we go to break, a couple touching tributes from over the weekend. here's video of the u.s. air force thunderbirds performing a demonstration over las vegas yesterday. the flight that took them over 16 hospitals was on the front lines of those on the pandemic. >> in brazil, the christ the radimer statue was illuminated to look like a doctor on easter sunday in a tribute to frontline health care workers battling coronavirus worldwidworldwide. the flags of several hard hit countries were also projected onto the monument that overlooks rio de janeiro. we'll be back with much more "morning joe." as a struggling actor,
so we are now looking at different ways that that can happen. the paper says that nonprofits and other officials are ramping up efforts. the white house has -- >> obviously, the white house has been trying to do it on their own. the governors are trying to get an effort, and they want to ramp up testing to identify people who are infected. find everybody they interact with by deploying contact tracing on a scale that america has never attempted before. and focus restrictions more narrowly. but again, the solutions are being cobbled together from governors, people in private industry and a collection of others. scientists, doctors. and there's no way, mika, that they are able to coordinate this all by themselves. that's why as the doctor said,
we need to do this from the federal government down. >> so we're going to bring into the conversation now -- >> it's a small government conservative, but in this case, we are at war, and 50 governors can't do it themselves. >> tom rogers is writing about this for "newsweek." tom, what's your take? >> well, nobody has chronicled the shortxhgs of the federal government response on the health crisis than you guys. you've done an excellent job on that. but this is two crises. this is a health crisis and an economic crisis. the health crisis caused the economic crisis. and what we see coming out of the trump administration is as much as you can imagine, an all-in federal response on the economy. unprecedented measures, massive federal response on the economy. which just underscores the incoherent and inconsistency on the health response which is basically been left to the 50
states to try to handle on their own. so this notion of federalism and leaving it to the states is, obviously, one that has no ability to be put forward as some kind of coherent theory because we've never seen a more massive unprecedented response on the economy while on the health side, we're watching what happens when you don't have federal leadership. and you're leaving it to 50 states as you're -- yes, this morning, republican governor of ohio said you have the 50 states and the federal government all chasing the same company which he said is crazy. and the inconsistency here just underscores the weakness of the health response which you have chronicled so well. >> jonathan lemire is with us and has a question. jonathan? >> hey, tom. yesterday, of course, was easter, when the president hoped to reopen the economy.
that's not happening, at least for a few more weeks. we also saw him yesterday retweet a tweet that had the #firefauci which will fuel questions about how he feels about his top medical adviser. let me ask about the disparity of health care in the various states. if the federal government is going to be pushing the onus on the statehouses, they'll be responsible for their own hospitals. talk about how, while on one hand a plate like new york, overwhelmed with places, has the medical system to handle it, but rural states, poorer states could be in real trouble when the pandemic reaches them in full force. >> well, you said it very well. we don't have health care capability that's consistent throughout the country, yet this is a national pandemic. it requires a national response. the trump administration understands that with respect to the economy. imagine if the states try to
handle all their unemployment issues, all their small business issues, all their industry bailout issues. everybody would say that's crazy. the states can't handle that themselves. it requires a federal response. the cause of the economic crisis is a health crisis. so allowing the states, or forcing the states to have to solve this on their own when the states don't have that underlying capability, and even in centers like new york which have phenomenal health care capablity, they, too, have been out there, governors, aides, trying to find personal contacts to find where they could get supplies from companies where they might be able to have connections. all 50 states competing against each other. the weaker states don't have the money to compete against the larger states, and you devolve into this state-by-state approach which is obviously not going to solve a national problem. >> yeah, tom rogers, thank you for being on, as always. we greatly appreciate it. let's bring in eddie glaude who has written a column talking
about the grief that's going to continue long after the virus is gone. eddie, of course, we don't know when that's going to be, but i talk to mental health counselors who are especially concerned about the continued grief that will be felt from nurses, from doctors, from medical providers who have been on the front lines of this and have seen just terrible things that most of us couldn't even imagine. >> still are. >> yeah, we just heard it in an earlier segment about the trauma that our health care workers are experiencing. that they are having to call families. a nurse crying her heart out saying this was the worst day she had experienced on the job. grief will only determine how we move forward. and it seems to me we can't, in this moment, think of it as a solitary private, individual matter. i quoted whitman in the piece because whitman was responding to the mass death of the civil war. in some ways, he knew we had to
grapple with it. we couldn't claim the dead in this only individual way. this was a collective event. we're in a collective event in this moment now. we need some national ritual, some national memorial. in order to get us to grieve, to start to grieve now because the way we grieve now will determine the trajectory of how we heal. >> so how do we do that, eddie? what do we need to do? i'm so concerned about the loneliness that was an epidemic even before this pandemic came along. a growing concern from mental health counselors across the nation. people feeling isolated. social media. >> it's hard to process death when you can't be with people. >> how do we do that in this country right now? >> we need to start, i think, i'm just thinking about this just like you guys. i think we need to list the names. read the names at 12:00 every day.
i mean, we have the information about the virus. but we need to also kind of wrap our arms around the victims of this virus. we need to maybe have a moment of violence at the end of every week as we packnowledge the victims of the virus. we need to start doing something nationally to say that we're all experiencing this together. the death is not just yours. the death is ours, and we have to figure out how to make that happen, joe. if i can't get to my mother, if you can't sit shiva for a loved dead one if i can't march in the second line, that grief is going to have an edge of regret that's going to impact how we move forward, it seems to me. >> that's something that, of course, we did so wonderfully as a nation after september the 11th. there was a national ritual, and we've done it every year since,
reading the names of those lost at 9/11. so many more have lost their life in this pandemic. and unfortunately, so many more will. eddie, a great point. it's something we all need to think about together as a country. >> i don't think we've grasped the magnitude of this. we're just at 22,000 deaths and we're not even halfway through this. that does it for us this morning. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. hi there. i'm stephanie ruhle. it's monday, april 13th. and here's what's happening. americans are waking up after the holiday weekend coming to grips with another staggering number of deaths from coronavirus and wondering when it might be safe to get back to their normal