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tv   Weekends With Alex Witt  MSNBC  April 25, 2020 9:00am-11:00am PDT

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on -- the major goal is to not undermine even each areas success. there's no timeline yet. >> reporter: april 29th days for to report back to work on that date, and then april 12th. >> we'll be speaking to that in the next couple days. the tests at the pharmacies will be diagnostic tests, positive/negative, not antibody tests. >> reporter: international pharmacies, not just collect -- they'll just be collected there? can you go to a pharmacy and get a test. >> the pharmacy will collect the test. the pharmacy sends to the lab, the lab conducts the test. so the labs conduct the pharmacy
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collec collects. >> reporter: just in terms of new infections, it's been five weeks since the new york on pause order. yesterday we saw 8,000 new cases presumably because of heightened testing, but also 1300 people coming into the hospital. do we have any demographics, any research on who is getting infected? are these severalal workers? people being infected by family members? do we know where people are getting sick if they're staying home? >> we notice how many people come into a hospital, you know what hospital they go into and where that hospital is i don't know if you have demographic -- on herd data, do we have that? >> we don't.
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basically locations based pop where they are hospitalized. >> reporter: we don't know where they're getting sick, i guess, is the question. >> no. you know what hoptsds they're going into. assuming the hospital they're going into is their -- is located near where they live, but you don't know where they're getting sick, but they don't know where they're getting sick either, by the way. you say, where did you contact the virus? they're not going to be able to answer. >> eventually we'll have that data. it's aggregated now so we can present every day the hospitals -- patient data gets submitted on a much greater lag, but for us it was who is going to the hospital now so we can monitor the infection real time. the more democrat graphic data comes in, but much more slowly. that would be retrospective.
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>> this is why the contact tracing we're going to do will be so helpful. when we start to talk to individuals we'll her about who they were explosioned to, perhaps somebody they were exposed to was in the hospital. that's why it will be so important. >> reporter: do you think the department of health did enough leading up to this pandemic to ensure they had enough staff? >> we have addressed this we continue to reach out to the nursing homes. if there was any concern, we reached out to them. we did investigations. as i mentioned once before, we actually even did video checks to be sure they were doing everything correctly and we provided information they needed. as the governor said previously, a lot of the nursing homes, if
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there was a concern they needed to look into what supplies they needed. >> reporter: -- anything in general leading up to the pandemic -- clearly going into this there just weren't enough people. >> that's not clear. i did nursing home investigations as attorney general. there's a constant tension with nursing homes. any vent vendor to the state, t public, where they're providing service and getting paid for the was services. we also did video cameras in patient rooms -- hidden video cameras, how many times was the staff coming in? was the staff doing what they were supposed to do? were they turning the patient? et cetera. so this has been a field of regulation, scrutiny and
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investigation that goes back decades. it's a field that over -- when i look at the past have been quote/unquote nursing home scandals in the past. so it's a highly regulated, highly investigated field. department of health, attorney general, it's a big staple of what they do. this crisis overwhelmed the nursing homes, and when i say no one is to blame, look, you had a virus that preys on vulnerable people, concentration of vulnerable people in a nursing home. but the regulations still apply, right? even though you're in the middle of a global pandemic. the regulations still apply. for the nursing homes, one of the central regulations is, if can you not provide appropriate care for that patient, you must transfer that patient, period.
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that's the -- that's the rule. if you can't find a place to transfer, the department of health will find a place. that rule does not change. now, you can say, well, look, i can't provide care because of this pandemic, my staff is owl ill, i can't get supplies, i don't have masks, because i can't quarantine properly. but if you can't provide care, you're not supposed to be keeping that person in your facility, period. that's what most of this will come down do. they'll do an additional investigation to see what happened, because there are other regulations. you have to inform patients and their family. that's a regulation. i understand your staff was
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stressed and this was a horrendous period. that didn't waive enough regulations of good conduct of business. >> if we're offering testing as pharmacies, why not offer the same thing at a nursing home? >> we've done -- nursing homes can do testing, it's local options, where we set up testing in other places, but 28 sites for firsting homes and expanding that by another 15. we're adding as much testing capacity as humanly possible. >> one more and i'm going to put on my mask and go hiking, hiking with a mask. by the way, i have a whole collection of really beautiful masks that have been sent to me from people all across the country. mask art is a new, a nboutique
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specialization. mask art. >> reporter: special elections last night in syracuse -- still to go? do you -- >> legally i can't -- legally i can't affect a congressional race, a federal race. is that right? >> yeah, the law says that the governor may call a special election for the legislative races, but with the congressional it's a "shall." that's why the one race that will remain a -- >> the difference between "may" and "shall." all the difference in the world. last question. >> reporter: you said you evaluating the on-pause stand, would it also be in considering of reopening? >> you can anticipate anything you'd like to anticipate. i do not control your anticipation level. so you can anticipate whatever you'd like. they're not necessarily linked.
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so we'll make a decision at the right time, because people need notice, but i don't think there's any specific linkage between. >> reporter: -- certainly industries, construction, manufacturing and such might be opened prior to, say, retail or mass gatherings? >> yep, yes, by definition nobody's going to say, okay, region x is opened and everything opens automatically. >> so the faced in timing, faced in activity level, remember we did that matrix? how essential is your business? that's the matrix. wear a mask. wear a mask. wear a mask.
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[ inaudible question ] >> there's nothing on -- [ inaudible question ] okay. everyone, there you see andrew cuomo wrapping up his daily briefing. i wish all of you a very good day from the nbc world headquarters here. ten minutes past noon here in the east, ten minutes past 9:00 in the west. welcome. to break down what we heard, dr. kavita patel. also nbc news science contributor joseph fier, and congressman max rose. he just finished a two-week deployment to help with the coronavirus spongresponse in ne york. we applaud you, congressman.
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but ladies first, dr. patel, there's sort of two sides to this. yes, there needs to be an increase in the amount of antibody testing to see what gives, who has it, who does not, but then you have the w.h.o. saying there's no definitive proof that having antibodies means you will not recontract coronavirus. let's talk about that and your concerns. >> absolutely. and furthermore, the andy body tests we have approved under the fda's emergency use operation are still very young in the sense that the reliability and kind of our ability to extract information from these tests is still pretty early. so antibody testing is absolutely an important part of the three-legged stool, if you will, to understanding a person's complete picture of having had corona, but the bigger question is, what does immunity mean? if anything, all it tells us is
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at some point they had the infection, which we also know is critical, but it's not a golden ticket to return to work or to exit your house without social distancing or non-medical masks. >> joseph, is there a press didn't -- i guess we're making an assumption that if you have an antibody. are there other viruses -- >> there are many viruses that fall could the category. it would be spraying if you had no immunity after a successful recovery. even with the seasonal influenza, against that particular strain, you will be immunized against that strain for some time to come. there was a laboratory study conducted in wuhan, in the same city where this virus
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originated. that was conducted in nonhuman primates. that's what we use to model human disease. they were infected, fen they could not be reinfected. that would go along with our theory you would have at least some temporary immunity to this. however laboratory studies can play out differently. what we may see is not everyone is immune after recovering from covid-19 infection or there may be no immunity at all. but we think there would be some temporal immunity lasting for some amount of time. and to some degree, joseph, it might mean a less severe verse if it were to come back in. >> anything is assumable at this point. you know, it could be the dosage you got when you got infected yourself. in that case, presumably you would have a less severe disease. that being said, we have no documented cases of that.
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we also didn't have documented cases of children dies prior to the united states, so we're seeing things unfold in the united states that we have not previously seen occur in other countries. that could be due to a number of variables. a number of things we have not seen until recently, which was note indeed "the washington post," dr. patel, which is young people dying of strokes, people in that you are 20s and 30s, as it relates to this disease. i mean, that is a theory, but some of these people did not even know they were sick. what do you think is behind this? >> alex, it's absolutely something that every clinician is pays close attention to, but we also have to look at the facts. these are small numbers. it's unclear if it's an inflammatory response to the virus or if it's the virus that's having an effect on areas such as the blood system, clotting disorders, et cetera.
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instead of alarming the public, what is critical is that american doctors are now raising the bar for what they're looking at and also thinking about systems very differently. again to the point, young people are presenting with covid-19 in ways we had not seen in community close also something unusual. but it's too early to make a conclusion on what this means. mistalk about what's behind this and if you think thus plausible? >> first of all, that's assuming once you get covid-19 infection and recover that you are immune. and the whole idea of an immunity passport card comes from the yellow fever card, where you travel internationally
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wrap there's yellow fever, you have to have that passport card where you have immunized, with a seal of approval. so the problem with covid-19, one, we don't know if it makes you immune, and then two, we have no idea how long that immunity lasts. that being said, if you have something that said you have had it and have recovered, that does improve your chances of getting milder disease in the fall or not getting it at all. >> okay. i want to bring in congressman max rose. first of all, well done on the two weeks that you served with the national guard. tell me what you were doing here in new york city. >> sure. >> as you served there? >> thank you so much for having me. look, anything that i did -- and i say this humbly, pales in comparesing to the service that i saw. we were tasked with the mission of standing up a temporary
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covid-only facility under the leadership of the governor pre-icu and post-icu, part of the critical everly to build out capacity for covid patients, which has to be the top of our list, as we consider opening up this economy. it was soldiers working alongside medical professionals. i will just tell you this, because we're all looking for optimism during these incredibly arduous times. during that last huddle before seeing the first -- our first patient, we had the men and women in uniform, the fighting 69th infarntry regiment applauding the men and women of our frontline medical professionals in their own uniform. that gave me the confidence i need that we will get through this. a somewhat fiery speech you gave on the house floor with regard to that which was
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encompassed in this most recent relief bill. you found a couple things that were lacking. let's have our viewers take a listen. >> only in washington, d.c. would we wait week when we all agree. but let's move forward, because our frontline workers right now cannot afford for us to stand by for politics. leader mcconnell said to our cities and states, he told them to drop dead. well, why don't we put politics aside, rise up and tell him that we put the country first. >> specifically speaker there to it senate leader mcconnell. it's also something that governor cuomo was addressing. is this all about politics right now? >> well, let's look at what mitch mcconnell said, when he said to our states and
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localities, you might as well go bankrupt. first of all, incredibly immoral and cold to tell our cops and our firemen and our nurses, our bus drivers who are on the front lines right now, who we call essential workers, for all intents and purposes, to drop dead, because you're going to lose your job no matter how much we need you. it was also incredibly inequitable,al at a time when new york has spent bills onupon bills onthrough the federal government to mitch mcconnell's home state money we do not give back. we have a giver state, one that does not receive more money, for mcconnell to say that is blindly ignorant. but let's not forget about what mitch mcconnell just said is incredibly stupid. at a moment where consumer demand is going down as a consequence tax revenue is going
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down, confidence in our economy is going down, to allow for our cities and states to go bankrupt, will hit the market in ways that we cannot even understand at this point. so mitch mcconnell was being immoral, ignorant and stupid with one comment, but we tried to do the same thing with the victims compensation fund when we wanted to be there for 9/11 first responders. who know how much this will cost, i don't know if we can do it. thousands upon thousands of first responders from across the country, went down to washington, d.c., advocated, fought, and we beat mitch mcconnell. we're going to beat him again and we'll get that aid to states and lots. >> it reminds me of listening to governor cuomo making a ruckus on there as well. i think he identified kentucky as the state that takes the third greatest amount of federal funding with regard to new york
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state being a giver state. he was echoing your sentiments there. i do want to talk to you about the funding for the paycheck protection program. i know, sir, you are calling on four major banks to prioritize the truly small businesses -- do that over the large corporations. can you guarantee that's going to get done? >> absolutely. look, we are balancing two really urgent matters here. one is we get to get this capital out very quickly to our businesses that are in need. if we entered into some time of legislative analysis, paralysis, and waited a few months to make this perfect, by the time we got the capital out, these businesses would no longer exist and their workers would certainly by on unemployment, at the best. so we have to get this money out. but we also have to make sure it gets to the area in need. that requires that these entities that we are using as
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intermediaries, most especially the large banks, it requires that they be fair and judicious partners here, not just allocate the money to those who have the best work relationships with, not just allocate the money to those who are the best capitalized. they have to play this role and in my letter i'm certainly calling on them to play that role. i have too many small businesses on staten island that haven't necessarily borrowed ink credible amounts of money, but still have a banking relationship, and they deserve their fair share. great way to start this hour. i want to thank all of you. i appreciate all your voices in the conversation. thank you. well, fours states have begun reopening businesses and ending some social distancing guidelines, including the state of georgia, reporting nearly 900 deaths with at least 22,000 cases so far.
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the state has faced scrutiny with the partial reopening that began yesterday. sam brock joins me from marietta, georgia. i suspect there are mixed feelings about the relaxed rules. what are you seeing? >> reporter: there is no question there are mixed feelings, just based on what we have seen in terms of what's opening and what's not open. we have gong to salons, spas, barber shops. i'm here at a gym right now. i would say most of the places i've been to have been closed so far, though a lot of folks are really excited about the fact they can get inside where it's getting their haircut or being able to work out under countries that are safe and sanitary. you see the open sign right here. the owner tells me it's kind of a mom jawed pop gym, now at major national franchise, but that makes it more -- there are masks available if you need that, a temperature check as
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well. you have a thermometer if the customer requires it, and all -- with marching orders, is if you're coming in, you have to watch down the equipment and look around me, and you'll see it's not a packed gym. they always maintain at least six feet of distance. those are the sorts of rules being adhered to right now that make it possible for a small gym to be able to open right now. here's the owner talking about what this process has been like. >> i usually don't see more than a half dozen. one day i had nine people. for the most part through the day i never have very many people. >> more controllable environment? >> it really is. that's when -- when the governor opened the doors for gyms and everything, i thought about that. i thought logistically, i know how to make this happen. >> reporter: alex, there are
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others states that are weighing this. there's been so much conversation about georgia, but we know starting next week places like colorado and south carolina also either have or in the process of opening the same kinds of businesses, so this is a test model, yes, here in georgia, but there's some 16 states, alex over the course of the next week have orders expiring, or a blueprint for businesses coming back online. it's not just georgia, but when there's 22,000-plus cases, we just eclipsed the 900th death total here, that's why there's been a lot of conversation here, but this is going on in many states across the country right now. sam brock basically telling us one of to buckle up. thank you so much. let's go to the white house and new reaction following reports that the president may be scaling back appearances at the briefings. monica, what can you tell us about this?
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>> reporter: for weeks now, alex, the president's closest allies and aides have encouraged him to revisit the briefing style. he's had about 50, some veering offtopic, some going on for more than two hours. as that has been a part of the calculation, the president has said he wants to be in front of the american people on a daily basis, but that also means it's a daily opportunity for his comments to become the story, as opposed to his administration's pandemic response. now axios is reporting that those daily briefings may soon start to dwindle. we're told at nbc news that these are ongoing conversations, as you see here today, for example, there isn't a briefing on the schedule yet. but we posed this question particularly to the new white house press secretary, who was here doing television interviews about what might happen and who might decide where the briefings end up going.
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take a listen to how she framed her response and the possibility of that. >> we leave that to the president, but i believe the president is at his best when he's speaking directly to the american people. he's had i think 49 briefings as soon as since the end of february, pretty regular and i think they've been very effective and useful. >> any concern that these briefs for the president's cotts are hurting polls? >> not in the slightest. on the create, the american people have had an opportunity to hear directly from the president, sometimes more than two hours, so i think they get a very clear insight and look into who this president is without the filter of the media. >> reporter: so last night's briefings, the president notably didn't take any questions, neither did the vice president. there's a lot of questions today about whether in the next briefing that will take place. if anything it seems last night was the first indication that
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they are revisiting these daily news conferences. and of course last night docto s s deborah birx and dr. fauci were not present, either, when we had many questions. the president on friday spend most of friday clarifies the previous reports, but -- she said it was the media taking it out of context, she again turned on the media when clearly we are playing the president's own words, but now it seems at the heart of this debate is how much should the president be coming out and giving those opportunities for the american people to hear his own musings. >> you summed it up very well, monica alba. thank you for that. the governor of georgia is all for it. the mayor of savannah thinking it's too dangerous. savannah thg it's too dangerous
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at the bottom of the hour, more than 900,000 confirmed cases, after new york governor cuomo announced more than 51,000 people have died. top navy officials are recognizing bret crozier be reinstated as the captain of the "uss theodore roosevelt." and now at least 850 sailors on board that ship have tested positive, one has died secretary mark esper is now decided. proper social distancing is required. that state's governor said moments ago that numbers there are improving.
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>> we're seeing the percentage of people going in to test that test positive is declining. if you look at the last week, the average positivity rate for new individuals was about 7.5%, so that's -- that's a good sign that things are going in a good direction. >> and in new mexico, dozens rallied in albuquerque civic conveyor for officiali inin ini officials just this week the state's governor extended the stay-at-home order until may 15th. a missouri police officer was met with celebration as he left the hospital after recovering from can dough individual 19. morn than 100 people cheered on the officers who was able to stand up and take a few steps. health care workers say he
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nearly died, but as we heft, he thanked doctors and nurseses for keeping him alive. we thank him, too. more states are preparing to reopen, but experts say that could lead to a major setback if there are no plans in place to track the spread of coronavirus. let's go to maura barrett, who's just a bit north of philadelphia. what's this all about and what is happening there? >> hey, alex, we keep hearing from experts time and time again how important testing is, here is one of the two mass testing sites in the region. it's a drive-thru self-swab sites so people can admarch the test themselvethemselves, and t here as plateaus. they're not increasing the
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tests, abu they're running short of supplying. when i talked to some doctors, they expressed concern, because the bit problem lies in asymptomatic patients and being aware of people arounder. i spoke with a doctor at penn medicine who talked about making sure people pay attention to that warn. >> i also want people to think about the fact that the virus is circulating in our communities, even when we're not aware of it and it's not visible to us. for the time being, we just have to assume when we go about our daily routines that i may be infected or that the other people i encounter may be infected, so that we behave accordingly and give people space, as we start to think about reopening.
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>> reporter: being aware of you might be infected or people around you might be infected is exactly what the contact tracing seeks to achieve, because then if someone who has come into contact with a positive case knows they need to self-isolate, and that's key experts tell me in terms of when the state starts to reopen, but the governor here in pennsylvania has said he doesn't have the funding or an actual plan laid out for what that contact tracing looks like, so experts are worried about what this slow reopening could look like if the tracing is not in place and that it could lead to further infection across the state. alex? >> maura, thank you so much. well, some businesses in georgia are opening today, despite a growing number of cases in the state. the governor gave a green lights for gyms, salons and bowling allies to reopened and next restaurant and movie theaters.
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it's drawing criticism from several leaders, including the mayor of savannah. mayor johnson, good to see you, sir. i know you've been quite outspoken. have you spoken to the governor asking why he's moving forward with the plan? what are his explanations for reopening? >> well, to be honest with you, we have not spoken to governor kemp since this has begun. we sent a letter. i called as of yesterday, trying to reach out, and we were told he would take it under advisement whether to call me back. >> that seems wrong. i find it -- well, what do you think of the fact that you have not been able to speak with the governor of your state yet?
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>> savannah is georgia's mother city, the first city in the state. we also have 15 million visitors who come in and enjoy savannah every sing the year. of course it's disconcerting. many mayors throughout the state of georgia have not heard from the governor as well. we hear from him in terms of the -- that bars our protective orders. >> do you think he doesn't want to hear the pushback? >> well, i don't know. i'm sure that governor kemp cares about businesses, he cares about his citizens. we a you will do as well, but our reality is if we're on the ground, we're the closest to the citizens, we understand what is happening in our communities. we know from the science that we have not been able to reach even two of the checkmarks. we've had not had 14 days of
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plateaued infections. it's proo mature that we reopen. >> to what extent if any business owners have said i need to reopen. we can understand fiscally, certain everyone understands that, but where is savannah at in terms of reopening? >> some businesses have to reopen. we're not mad at them. we understand it's economic for them. what i have asked the city and its citizens to do is contact their massage therapists and -- pay it forward now. make sure we are able to continue payroll and income for these folks, and then just do the appointment later. it's really caught on, and people are doing it. >> yeah, here's something i expect you would not understand, though, if social distancing guidelines were not implicated in those few businesses that are
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reopening in savannah. if that is the case, can you unilaterally shut them down? is there anything that gives you the authority to do that? >> the governor has made it explicitly clear that municipalities cannot issue orders. theoretically, the governor would have to also enforce it. it's been difficult for us locally to enforce any order that would have to be enforced by any law enforcement agency. it's been difficult. savannah is a loving city of social people. they're going to get around, love on each other, and that's how we do. >> how many movie theaters and restaurants will reopen on monday? >> we've heard from a bunch of them. many of our finest restaurants have said they're going to following the science and remain closed for the time being. we've been very happy about that. many of our faith-based
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organizations, the three bishops of georgia, episcopalance, baptist and catholic church, have ordered all of their churches to remain closed. this is still a dangerous situation, and we cannot take our foot off the gas. bust of luck to you mayor johnson. good to speaking with you. >> thank you. come visit soon. if there's enough food, why the empty store shelves? an explanation from someone who has written about it extensively. has written about it extensively. so run with us on a john deere gator. because being linked to the land means the work never stops. nothing runs like a deer. hold on one second... sure. okay... okay! safe drivers save 40%!!! guys! guys! check it out. safe drivers save 40%!!! safe drivers save 40%! safe drivers save 40%!!! that's safe drivers save 40%.
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food banks are working overtime and those that are able to go shopping are running into empty shelves left and right. joining me is laura riley. as we look at your lost two
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articles they're about full farm fields, but empty fridges, empty store shelves, and we repeatedly have been told no food shortage, but what is behind the empty shelves? >> early on they were about panic buying, all of our anxiety baking our frustrationsation. since then there have been other problems that/cropped up. for instance, in terms of beef and pork, the meat processing plans are at 60% capacity. a lot of them closing to clean, to social distance, to get those workers ppe, so we are starting to see kind of human frailty impinge upon the flow of food to our grocery stores, and even to our food banks that are desperately in need right now. >> you know, something we have
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seen that's rather heart breaking, we saw a bunch of corn farmers plowing under their crops last week. it's just awful. what can food suppliers, farmers do with food, extra food, if you will, because commercial demand has dropped. there's not to be a way to put this to good use. it's such a complicated thing. dairy is a really good example. 50% of cheese, 60% of butter go to food service. all those restaurants are closed. 7% of liquid milk goes to school lunches, packaged in those cute containers, so some of the problems are about size. we need to repackage, so flower, all the flower that was going to go to food service is in 50-pound bags. so some of the problems are in packages and repackages things
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for home use. some of it is about not having the money or the trucking infrastructure to get that food, for instance to the food banks. they don't have their own fleets of refrigerated trucks. they're going to need more refrigeration and cold storage on site, so some of this is going to require public/private partnership to figure out new transportation routes for some of this excess food. >> any idea how long that might take, as some of this milk, butter, cheese, corn, beans, what we're seeing go to waste? >> there are some projects in the works. certainly the federal government has made some real strides just since friday night in freeing up some of the, like, issuing waivers so that food banks can make some kind of more
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fleet-of-foot calls to it is this food in the door. we're having disconnects between what people eat in restaurants, and what we eat at home. so we're having much too much of the expensive meat that we only eat in restaurants sitting idle, where we might see shortfalls in meat like ground beef. >> laura, if things continue like this, do you think americans should be concerned that a foot shortage is on the horizon? >> i don't want to do anything to suggest that people go back and start panic buying toilet paper. we need to be more judicious in what we purchase for our home use so we're not stockpiling, which throwing things out of whack. i think there will be some savvy solutions. i heard last night idaho potatoes, there's mountains that traditionally go into food service. we will figure out ways of
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getting that to home users. laura riley, have good to speak with you. come again. thank you so much. florida's beaches reopeningles by little. my next guest says it's too much too soon. her criticism of the governor ahead. but now because of the pandemic, a lot of high school seniors across the nation will be missing out on commencement and prom, but there's a hardware store in rye, colorado that's honoring the high school seniors. look. it has pictures, names of each of them on the signs near the store. take a listen. >> it's really cool, a nice gesture. our class has been working hard all year. we missed out on sports, and the year was pretty much cut short, but i think it's a cool gesture. it shows the community support and how much they love our class. >> there's roughly 3.5 million
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the gillette skinguard. trauma hasn't stopped. accidents, stabbing, gunshots, and due to the quarantine, and people being in close quarters, wee seeing a lot of increased int interpersonal violence. >> he's been a sage voice, and he is one of the many frontline doctors working to save lives as the country's death toll surpasses 50,000 today. more than 1,000 people have died in florida, nearly 31,000 cases in that state. florida is looking to reopen, soon. governor desantis not given an exact timeline, but the
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expectation of reopening of some businesses, some beaches are already reopen. commission commissioner freed, i know you've been a harsh critic, and the governor earlier this week left you off the committee. why do you think you were not included? >>. >> thank you for having me on. my concern is the fact there's only two women on this task force, no medical and health experts whatsoever, no small businesses, but the people of the state of florida don't want to hear about the task force. they want to hear about we are being cautious in reopening the state. we have a plan based on science and health care experts, and we're fixes our employment
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system. i -- we released a ten-page report yesterday outlining 15 different suggestions that we believe would be critical for agriculture to thrive, because it is the number two driver of our states, and during these times it's number one. so we need to make sure that agriculture stays in the forefront. >> i've got to say there's nothing like a good florida grapefruit, for sure. with regard to the report, give me the top one or two points that you think are mandatory for florida to reopen with the best terms for the agriculture industry? >> first of all, the financial dollars coming down from the federal government is too little too late. we need a concerted effort from the governor and senators to be
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asking for more money to be coming down. in addition we need more ppe for agricultural workers and coming up with outside the bock ideas, such as our agencies actually buying fresh from florida, florida grown agricultural products. it's an opportunity to stimulate our own economy -- i saw from your previous guests -- making sure that the agriculture is used. it's heart breaking to see the agriculture being plowed under. so that's essential to making sure that agriculture continues to stay strong and produce produce for the future of our state. i want to get back to your point onny floridians stand on the -- governor desantis has not given a timeline for reopening the state, but the polls shows
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that 80% of americans would not go to public places if restrictions are moved. do you think it would be responsible for counties to reopen beaches. are they patrolled on efficiently? >> yeah, certainly florida is famous for our beaches. as somebody who is a native miami person, i was born and raised on the beach. certainly it's very important to the stability of our state. but the fact that we are still seeing an up tick in cases here in the state of florida, despite the fact that our governor went on national tv to say that the curve has flattened. it's nice to say on tv, but it's just not true yet. for us to opening our beaches, we need to make sure we're flattening the curve for a substantial period of time and we're looking at ways to have restrictions on some of these reopenings. it may not be widespread, but
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until we're reopening the curve -- last week alone we saw a record number of 1400 cases in one day. even the past thursday, 1300 cases. until such time we actually have flattened this curve, this is not the time to have a victory lap and declaring misch accomplished. with regard to unemployment, more than half a million floridians filing claims, many saying they can't get through. is there any way to help folks to get money to those who need it? >> absolutely. that's actually one of the other points i had put out in my ten-page document, highlighting we need more personnel on the call centers, more people processing the it will claims. even as of yesterday, we saw that the website will be down yesterday through monday. that's just unacceptable. the governor even said yesterday the system was designed to fail.
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someone needs to be held accountable. hearing the heartbreaking authorities every single day for so many floridians, who don't know where the money will come from, can't put food on their table. we need to make sure all our children and people are fed, and we need to make sure we are providing the necessary resources, and part of that is making sure the unemployment system is working, and increasing the amount an actual individual is entitled to. $275 a week is not realistic to help a family under these circumstances. nikki fried, florida commissioner of agriculture, appreciate your time. at the top of the hour congresswoman lauren underwood joins me, as we give you a live look at ventura, california, on this beautiful saturday. still morning there. we'll take you there in the next hour with an unfolding story about the heat and those
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i'm doing something good for the community, this virus is testing all of us. and it's testing the people on the front lines of this fight most of all. so abbott is getting new tests into their hands, delivering the critical results they need. and until this fight is over, we...will...never...quit. because they never quit. dgood day, welcome to "weekends with alex witt." we're going to get you up to date right now. at this hour there are more than 900,000 cases of coronavirus across this country. more than 51,000 people have died. new york governor an dry
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cuomo announcing he will sign an executive order to expand the criteria of who can get tested, including essential workers and first responders. first, three states are taking about ig steps to reopen. georgia, oklahoma, there we have salons and spas reopening. alaska began lifting regulations on restaurants. customers are expected to still follow social distancing requirements. a new report from action i don't says that president trump plans to reduce his coronavirus press briefings. this comes as remarks made by the president have come under fire. the president apparently wonder allowed whether disinfectants could be injected to decrease the virus. and there's no evidence that people who have recovered from the virus and now have
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antibodies are now immune. the governor focused today on ramping up testing inned while, why the "usns comfort" and the javits center are planning to wrap up their efforts. it seems like new york is really trying to look ahead here, but the governor reminds all of us there's still a long way to go before reopening. >> reporter: that's the sentence, we're looking at the weeks ahead while also looking at the weeks back. that curve the governor showed, shows where we are with the numbers today is exactly where we were april 1st. imagine at the state of emergency we were in april 1st. we are nowhere near the end of this thing, that's what the governor wanted to show us. today with the javits centers
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and the "usns comfort" we're reporting the drawdown on both those field hospitals for april 30th. that's the goal, but not the official timeline that's been set just yet. the president saying he wouldn'ted to move the "usns comfort" on to its next mission. the governor announcing a new partnership with the federal government with more aid and exactly what that would look like, what the federal government is responsible for and what the states are responsible for. listen in. >> the president said he understood the federal government had a role. we came up with a list of responsibilities. we regulate those labs and the federal government would take the responsibility of making sure the national manufacturers had the testing, the reagents,
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the vials, the swabs, all the equipment that the national manufacturer needs to be able to send to our labs so our labs can actually function. >> reporter: now, that partnership hopefully allowed for the doubling of testing, both for the antibody and current diagnostic testing here in the state of new york from 20,000 daily to 40,000 daily. the governor also announcing a ramp-up of collection sites to all pharmacies, and will be allowing in a phased approach to more testing, so not every person in the state of new york, but we are getting closer to that goal. >> was there some drag racing going on? it was really loud. >> reporter: i was surprised it wasn't an ambulance at this point. we do see a bit more activity out here, but that's new york for you. >> we'll take it. thank you so much.
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at the white house officials are pushing back against criticism about the president's remarks about putting disinfectants in the body. what's going on now, monica? >> reporter: the white house waited several hours as the president was posing medical question to say his own top doctors about whether things like uv rays, light, heat could be put into the body to help treat coronavirus. of course, health experts disagree that any of that is recommended. we've even seen difficult states' emergency management agencies react. the white house said it was the media taking the president out of context. this is a phrase they rely on when they don't appreciate the reporting that's stemming from the president's own words exactly. and when the president was pressed on why he made those
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claims in the briefings, he told reporters in the oval office he was just being sarcastic, which is an old excuse he has used time and time again when any of hess remarks have been so widely criticized and roundly rejected. take a listen to what new white house press secretary kayleigh mcenany had to say. take a listen. >> i would suggest the media not take him out of context. the president has consistently said people have to speak with their doctors. he's always fact driven, always statistics sprinkled through what he shares. >> certainly the press secretary is correct there, that there are statistics sprinkled in, but they are not always fact based. in fact several times just this week we saw doctors birx and
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fauci come to the lectern and refute what the president is saying. for instance, dr. fauci came to the podium and said he could guarantee the virus would return in the fall and winter. he was convinced of that. we've seen this debate as the question remains, how much more briefings will the president do on daily basis, with axios and nbc news reporting that aides and allies are concerned how that may go depending on how many more he does. last night he didn't take any questions from reporters, and as of now, there isn't one on the schedule this saturday, but there is a coronavirus task force briefing and meeting this afternoon. normal briefings follow after that, but we will have to wait and see. >> thank you, monica. four states have began opening businesses, including the state of georgia, which is reporting nearly 900 deaths, with at least 22,000 confirmed
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cases so far. the state has faced scrutiny over the partial reopening yet. nbc's sam brock joins me from marietta, georgia, what are you hearing, sam? >> reporter: good afternoon. in controlled spaces with a heavy dose of sanitation, business owners and people going and frequenting these establishments tell me they are comfortable moving forward. this gym in a suburb of atlanta, since friday, some businesses have been open. gyms are one of them. this is a local gym that's not scaling up on the sense of a major chain. they feel they're in the right position to get this done. come with me for a second. s in car-- this is cardin's clac gym. there are pieces of paper to wipe down equipment. the first question people will have is what is the spacing going to be like? how clean will the equipment be?
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there's a few people working out, but definitely six feet in between, and all are told you have to wipe down the equipment before you start, wipe it down again once you start, making sure that it all states sterile, in the words of the owner. this is a small mom-and-pop operation. he feels, says dan cardin, that it makes it more feasible to stay open. texas is allowing now a retail to go. this is the first step in the governor's plans to loosing restrictions on those businesses. all this as texas has seen near ly 23,000 confirmed cases.
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p priscilla, what are you learning about this new way of shopping? >> reporter: good afternoon, alex. this is the first saturday that retailers across the state of texas have been allowed to reopening. it's a beautiful day here in houston, texas. there's been a lot of foot traffic, with a lot of small shops and restaurants. just up the road there's a coffee show up where we saw a line out the door to pick up orders, but retailers don't have that option. people can't actually go enside, so they're turning to options like facebook live sales and virtual shopping experiences via facetime. they're offering items like they normally wouldn't, hand sanitizers, even face masks. there hasn't been a ton of business since we've been out here. i spoke to the owner of jubilee, the store behind me, about some of the challenges. take a listen to what she told
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me. >> when you're a big store like this, with a big variety of merchandise, the experience is what people are after, and so they -- and it changes constantly. our inventory changes. customers that know a line we carry or, say, their favorite candle other soap, if they see something in the window they're also to get it, but as far as knowing everything in the store, they don't know. so it's very hard for them to shop. and just pick up. >> reporter: the governor of texas is expected to announce additional reopenings on monday. many retailers are hoping he will allow customers back in the store with proper distancing and sanitation. alex? >> thank you so much. we'll see how much that retail shopping goes there in houston. priscilla thompson, thank you so much. we have two big reasons to
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thank you, as i welcome you to the show. where does illinois stand on that? do you know when they plan to reop reopen? >> governor pritzker made an extension through march 30th, and there will be some reopenings like garden centers, those types of facilities. a few golf courses i understand, and a few state parkless reopening in the month of may. let's talk about what you recently did, travel from illinois back to capitol hill to sign the relief package. so what was it like, having so many members of congress together during this pandemic -- first of all, you're a nurse, were you worried giving your background? >> there was definitely some improvements made to the procedures from the last time we gathered together. there were many more lawmakers
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in mask. this were enforcing we couldn't have to many members on the floor at one time. we were going to vote in small groups. i didn't see any other members on the floor when i was there to vote. we had two items to vote on on thursday. that was encouraging, but more importantly this is a time when the american people are counting on all of us to step forward and deliver for them. the additional funding for hospitals and systems, and the c critical funding, and i'm pleased so many came to vote. >> it did not provide money for local and state governments. will that be a priority for democrats in the next bill? will there be at bill? if so, when might that happen? >> it is a major priority, alex. listen, so many of my communities in my congressional district, they're all under 500,000 residents, so they haven't been able to directly
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access the funds that were made available under the c.a.r.e.s. act. these municipalities are hurting. they have stepped up in such a big way with the response. the police and fire are the ones responding to the 911 calls, having to put on the po. pe, go entice folks' homes and respond even during a pained. for them, many or some of them are reporting they will have to cut essential services like police and fire without additional support. we must offer that, this additional help in the next package, c.a.r.e.s. 2, we're already drafting that, and i'm looking forward to that coming to a vote. >> we mentioned not enough ppe, how long will we have to listen to the pleas of these frontline health care workers, going into our homes to respond to 911
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calls for people who need their help. how long do we have to hear them pleading just for the simple necessities they need to stay safe? >> this is unacceptable. i don't know any other way to say it. there has been a slow, i think, ramp-up in the items, but year not at near ly what we need. we have replenished some of the masks, but some people are now struggling to access gowns. they need all of this in order to properly take care of covid patients. this is something that should never happen in the united states of america. we owe them better than what they're getting right now. that's why the $75 billion in the emergency package we passed on thursday. it's so important. it would help systems purchase
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additional ppe items so these workers can be properly protected. good, with regard to your constituents, what are their thoughts about the stay-at-home orders, the extension now into may, and the slow reopening. people are certainly itching to get outside and get back to a sense of normalcy, but how many are prioritizing their health over that? >> absolutely. there is a bit of a geographical split. in our suburban communities where they've seen a lot of local news reports of active cases of covid-19, maybe they know someone who has been infeblgted. beem are much more eager and i would say willing to comply, but i'm getting a lot of feedback from my rural communities that people feel lie covid hasn't come to their town, and so much activity on the farms have not
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really changed that much. i know that people are getting a little spring fever, cabin fever, they're ready to head out and pursue the normal activities, but we no that illinois is still one of the top five nations in the country for active covid cases. we need to continue to monitor and follow these protective measures for a bit longer. as the daughter of a figures, even my father would acknowledge the nurses have the hands-on care. so thank you for doing what you do in congress and as a nurse. lauren underwood, thank you. >> thank you. a heat wave in california has many wanting to hang out. it sure is pretty out there. we'll take you there. pretty ou. we'll take you there hold my pouch. trust us. us kids are ready to take things into our own hands. don't think so? hold my pouch.
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let's go to joe fryer who's in california. it's beautiful. it's warm there, a lot of people are out there, right, joe? >> reporter: that's right, alex. today will be a good test for california, especially at a place like this where they have done a soft open. so here at ventura pier, they are letting people back here, but with some restrictions. a lot of folks are showing up. yeah, you can be out there on the sand, you just have to keep walking back and forth. they don't want anyone sitting down. they don't want anyone sunbathing. a lot of people are out there surfing. as long as you keep your social distance, that's the important thing. people will be enforcing this, throughout the day to make sure people keep moving.
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there's no parking anywhere around here. that's to keep people from basically driving from other parts of the state to get here. they don't want the beaches to get too crowded. right now in california there's nor than 40,000 positive cases, more than 1500 deaths. this is really the epicenter here. hospitalizations appear to have leveled out, but the governor doesn't want to taye any chances. it's unclear if local communitying that haven't been hit so hard may be able to loosing restrictions. listen to what governor newsom had to say. >> if one city open, are we rick nicing that people will start commuting into the city and go back home into their city. we have to consider all of these things in total. we don't debate dates, we only
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are guided by indicators, and indicators that will ultimately allow us to reopen safely. >> reporter: in neighboring l.a. county right now, the beaches remain closed because of the concerns there, but here in ventura, they haven't been hit quite as hard, which is why you see a bit of a reopening. they say basically if people don't listen, if people don't respect social distancing, there will be a three-strike momenpol. first they'll close it down for 24 hours for the first strike, and then if they get to a third strike, they'll keep it closed. roll up your shirt sleeves, my friend, it's a warm day there. i appreciate it. joining me is dr. jonathan waxman and dr. natalie azar.
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good to see both of you again. dr. waxman, do you think reopening the beaches in california is safe? joe did offering the guidelines, like the three strike and you're out policy. >> i think people can be trusted to follow social distancing. not all rush to one beach, in and out crowd parking lots, i think it will be okay. here, i think i would argue against it. here we are the epicenter, auer your reporters just said. dr. azar, four states are starting reopening, despite that coronavirus cases nationally is still going up each day. too soon? >> definite liz, if we take the guidelines to heart, the states
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that should be reopening should be seeing a trend down for at least 14 days. that was the gating that was described at the press conference that really introduced uintroduce ed us to this concept. there are variations geographically, you know, if just like the beaches in california, if there are ways to do it, the curbside pickup, yes, i get that. little flew wannuances, but it me if the cases are not decreases. >> we'll have to follow the numbers and see how it goes. dr. natalie, staying with you and the w.h.o. making the statement that there's currently no evidence that recovered covid-19 patients cannot be reinfected. how significant is this? is it a matter of time? or a reminder of how little we
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know about this virus? >> i think of testing as three major categories, one is accountable, reliability and then interpret as interpretatio. there was a report in the "new york times" which i thought was very important. we're talking about specificity, many experts have said that's the most important. that's the ability to test a true negative. what that means is if the specificity is low, you may get a lot of false-positives. you're telling somebody they had exposure when in fact they have not, and you might giving them a false green light or passport, if you will. this is what some of the mere colleagues and i have been discussing, that is there is a precedent for having protection following viral infections.
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measles, rebela are good examples of those things. an exemption is hiv, when you can mount a good response, but you're not protected necessarily. the devil is in the details, and that's what is the test testing? is it the positive or negative or the more eliza test which quantities fits the antibody. the higher, the tighter the antibody we believe allows immunity, but we haven't confirmed that. dr. waxman, we have reports out of the new york city that more people were exposed to. that's about one this five people. we know in california there were reports of much earlier than we had officially diagnosed people
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being infected and/or dies. a 57-year-old woman in northern california who died i believe it was the beginning of february before we knew this to be on our shores. what does this tell you about where we are in this pandemic? >> yeah, so alex, it was interesting to find out early in february i think a woman died february 2nd. for us it's what we know about the viruses. i worked on the ebola epidemic, we know that viruses have early spread. that's not surprising we have early spread. what that tells us now is we cannot lift most of the social distancing. in new york they tested 3,000 people, grocery stores, big-box retailers one in five new york citiers had been exposed. that would be 2.7 million new yorkers. so there's been a lot of people who have been exposed. also it tells us the death rate is probably lower than we
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expected, because most of those people were not symptomatic. it dells us in the epidemic this virus is suppressing and many don't manifest symptoms. thank you to both of you. we'll see you soon. the impact on african americans. why it's happening and what is being done about it? that's next. these days staying connected is more important than ever.
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pushback in the peach state. next hour alicia msha menendez speak about this. more than 52,000 people have died in the united states. top navy officials are recommending bret crozier be reinstated as the captain of the
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"uss theodore radioosevelt." defense secretary mark esper is now deciding what to do. stores can be reopened if properly cleaned. they don't want to override the governor's plans. >> this order is not forcing businesses to open. this order allows business to open. i'm not forcing anybody out of their how as well. let's tremendous 20 do this in the spirit of cooperation. you all have done such a good job. beaches are open again today in parts of florida, as you saw the scene from panama beach yesterday. proper social distancing is
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required. the state's governor said earlier today numbers there are improving. >> what we are seeing is the percentage of people who are going into test, that test positive, is declining. if you look at the last week, the average positivity rate for new individuals was about 7.5%. so that's -- that's a good sign that things are going in a good direction. and here's good news. that's a missouri police officers who recovered from covid-19. the officer was able to stand up and take a few steps. he spent 24 days in the hospital. hospital workers report that he nearly died. he thanked the healthcare workers for deep himkeeping him.
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according to a cdc study, more than 40% of confirmed cases in one community where minorities, even though they represent 32% of the area's total population. joining me now executive associate dean armani allen. are you surprised all all by these numbers? >> not surprised at all. these numbers are consistent with what we have seen over many years, and in particular for african-americans. >> i'm also looking at breaking news from "los angeles times" saying younger black and latino californians are dying of covid-19 at higher rates and disproportionately affecting the young in these communities. what do you think the main reasons are for it, though? >> i think there's a number of
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reasons. the point you just raised i think is important. when we think about who are considered to be the most vulnerable, we've got hearing about aging adults, which is certainly a vulnerable population. given that we see a high rate of preexisting conditions at younger ages among african-americans, it's not surprising and i would suspect over time, especially as testing becomes more and more available, we're likely to see an age distribution of coronavirus by race. there is an article that was published in "the atlantic" that we're living in a failed state. it revealed what was already broken, and writer george packer says as the caontagion has spread, the ivins equality in our healthcare system is
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evidence. what do you think it plays overall? >> i think socioeconomic status plays an important role. it's also important to recognize we have a disproportionate amount of african-americans representing low-income populations. it's not just because they tend to be lower income. it's because of a difference in opportunities for wealth, which started with redlining many, many years ago. real estate is a primary sort of wealth accumulation, and because of that, african-americans were largely prevented from participating in the economic engine. so i think widespread testing is definitely needed, especially in communities that have traditionally been underresourced. >> what about the reopening of some of these states now? how concerned will you about the effects on these minority
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communities? >> i'm quite concerned. we still do not have the data quality to inform us about where to actually target the resources. which communities and which locations are safe to be reopened and which are not. i think until we have the proper demographic data not only by age and gender, but also income, employment status or occupation, rather, and by race, we still won't know which communities are at greater risk. i think that reopening communities, counties, states will rely on that data. >> uc berkeley school of health, amani, thank you. a cutback in the press briefs? how will that affect the president in the polls. ?
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the disinfectant knocks it out in one minute, and can we do something like that, injection inside, almost a cleaning? >> it does a tremendous in the long run. you'll have to use -- >> absolutely stunning. for another unproven coronavirus treatment. this with new polling, only 23% of americans say they have a high level of truth what the president is telling the public. joining mess is zerlina -- and elise. elise, you first. what do you make of the poll? apparently by trying to calm the public spheres, do you think the president has created a
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credibility problem? >> it's been a -- and spout completely unhinged nonsense about disinfectant and light in the human body. but donald trump just can't give it up. maybe he'll tone it down, but does anyone think he has the willpower to stay away from the camera for that long briefing? it will remain to be seen whether he has that discipline. right now the most interesting move i'm seen in the polls is biden's strength with senior voters and how biding is masse significant gains.
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>> he was -- in that clip he just played? >> we all saw the clip and the tone he was using and he was wondering allowed about scientific information he shouldn't have been doing, but he also should not be the person, the point person for the white house talking about the science. he should leave that to the scientists. one of the things i think is so dangerous is you have a president who has approached this crisis, as if it was a crisis for his political campaign, as opposed to a crisis for the country, and the mel and safety of americans. i think that to elise's point about the poll numbers among seniors, that's no surprise. when you're talking about life and death. when you're seeing senior homes across the country ravaged by this virus, people are really afraid. they need information they can trust.
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>> doctors are really struggling to stay true to science and not cross of president. "the washington post" was told a second wave of the virus could come in the fall. watch this. >> dr. robert redfield was totally misquoted in the media on a statement about the fall season and the virus. >> reporter: you were accurately quoted? >> i'm accurately quoted in the "the washington post." >> it may not come back at all. it may not come back. >> we will have the virus in the fault. i'm convinced of that. >> what, zerlina? what kind of position does it put the doctors in? >> the worst position possible. you want doctors who can tell the american people information
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they can rely upon. we're talking about people who can protect themselves and their children from a deadly virus. a virus doesn't discriminate, doesn't dare what race or gender you are. it is a virus. the president needs to stick to the fact. he can't be up up on the stage in real time contradicting information from doctors. it's the worst-case scenario at the worst possible time with the worst possible person taking a role that is largely about our national security. it's about the stability of the nation and not just the economy. first and foremost, this is a public health issue. the economy will only be able to bounce back once we can ensure everybody will be safe. >> maybe that is why the president will be pulling back. his advisers are suggesting that. that would mean the president has to show a sense of discipline. discipline and president trump are not two words usually put in
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the same sentence. you mentioned joe biden, and there's a new poll showing that the former vice president vice president is pulling ahead of the president in several states. typically during times of national crisis, you see the president's support rising. you certainly saw that in the bush at manages after bush administration after 9/11. why are we not seeing that now? >> because president trump has done nothing to gather the united states. you saw the initial bump of four or five points that he got in approval just level off. it's in stark contrast to other leaders around the world. in those battleground states that joe biden needs, his campaign is probably encouraged now, because he needs to win back the blue collar workers that donald trump managed to win
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in 2016. >> nobody can start sitting back and relaxing, for sure. we'll put you to work as west in the ne-- well in the next six months. we'll be right back. l in th months we'll be right back. and concerts. to help our communities when they come back together, respond to the 2020 census now. spend a few minutes online today to impact the next 10 years of healthcare, infrastructure and education. go to and respond today to make america's tomorrow brighter. it's time to shape our future. what if your clothes could stay fresh for weeks?t smell clean? now they can! this towel has already been used and it still smells fresh. pour a cap of downy unstopables into your washing machine before each load and enjoy fresher smelling laundry for up to 12-weeks.
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postal workers. one of the things i hope is happening now as we all process this grief collectively and as we read these stories is that we all redefine who is essential and what essential labor really looks like. i want to update all of you on numbers we've just gotten from johns hopkins university. the global death toll from covid-19 has reached now more than 200,000, specifically 200,698. the total number of cases worldwide over 2.6 million. we bring you new reports from the state department and department of homeland security which say foreign countries are using covid-19 to spread disinformation and domestic extremists are using the crisis to threaten violence. joining me now, the author of "messing with the enemy,
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surviving in a social media era" we have cliff watts, a national security analyst. let's get into the state department report which says basically that it's fact-checking rumors that have been out there for some time now. there's one basis theory we're going to start off with that the virus is an american bio weapon spread by u.s. troops. that leaves me speechless, but where do rumors like this come from and who is behind it? >> it's interesting to watch all of the states against the united states, principally, russia, iran and china gang up together and really amplify this conspiracy that it is a bioweapon that's been leaked. if you look back in history, there's a couple of points that we could look at. during the cold war when russian active measures, then soviet active measures, one of their successes was convincing part of the world that the u.s. created the aids virus as a bioweapon and spread that around. this is a repeat of that theory
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that if they can blame the united states and spread that in certain parts of the world, that re-casts. when you see them working together and amplifying with this sort of rhetoric it starts to shape the global conversation about what was the original source. >> and that's the effect, but why do countries like russia and china and perhaps even iran, why do they benefit from spreading these falsehoods? >> china it's straightforward. this is where the outbreak started in wuhan and they want to be recasting it as maybe it is not from china. they want to make sure that they send a message around the world, it's not from us. iran was the second country to really get hit hard, right about the same time as italy so they want to cast that as well. and russia, any time the u.s. is in trouble, when we have internal divisions, when the markets are going down, when we have political strife going on, and an election year, they're
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going to want to jump in to try to recast the world stage as well and push america down so we can rise up. >> there's another rumor i want you to address. it's exploded online that somehow bill gates is linked to the virus because a company that his foundation gave some money to have filed for a vaccine patent. again, it's completely baseless. the vaccine patent is not related at all to covid-19. why does bill gates become fodder for these conspiracies? >> bill gates has become the interesting substitute for the george soros in the democratic space. if you remember over recent years we've seen a lot of misinformation about george soros with respect to democracy advancing around the world. bill gates is that for the health community. this is big tech and privacy and this is investments and this is global health, so it falls into anti-vax misinformation circles and has been around there for years and he becomes essentially an effective boogeyman for it. but we should recognize that bill gates is seen as being an
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elite, and a leader around the world, so people don't like it that this virus is spreading and they want to point to somebody and he becomes an easy target. >> interesting, given how much he focuses on aiding the health community for all. so i want to talk about the dhs, which highlighted two instances of extremist activity. it went largely underreported during the crisis. mid march there was a new mexico man described as an anti-government extremist who posted on the governor's website time to pick up your rifles and kill this governor. then march 24th, a man that the fbi described as a white supremacist was killed when fbi agents tried to arrest him for a plot to bomb a hospital. can you put this in context why this is especially troubling at this time? >> the dismoerinformation the m and that that leads to protests and acts of violence and what has probably been under the surface is in white strupremaci covid-19, it's been used as an
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impetus to spread disinformation and misinformation about different races either being the cause of or this opportunity that you could start a race war right now. there are some novels in the white supremacist space that say a pandemic will kick off a race war. this fits nicely in with that fair tiv a narrative and you've got a lot of people sitting at home online, they are angry, they want to go out and resume their lives and they're looking for an outlet and this is the kind of stuff i get most concerned about. and i was very appreciate of dhs bringing this up because it's the subtle underoccurant that hasn't gotten enough attention yesterday. >> i appreciate you trying to refute that we're hearing that we should not pay any attention to because it's flat-out wrong and not the truth. thank you so much. that's a wrap for me. thanks for watching. i'll see you again at 7:00 eastern. tomorrow at 1:00, my guest will be adam schiff.
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but next, my colleague alicia menendez is going to speak to the mayor of puerto rico and see how they're doing, still recovering from hurricane maria, in just a few minutes here on msnbc. nbc. it's tough to quit smoking cold turkey. so chantix can help you quit slow turkey. along with support, chantix is proven to help you quit. with chantix you can keep smoking at first and ease into quitting so when the day arrives, you'll be more ready to kiss cigarettes goodbye. when you try to quit smoking, with or without chantix,
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this virus is testing all of us. and it's testing the people on the front lines of this fight most of all. so abbott is getting new tests into their hands, delivering the critical results they need. and until this fight is over, we...will...never...quit. because they never quit. hello, everyone. i'm alicia menendez,


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