tv Morning Joe MSNBC April 28, 2020 3:00am-6:00am PDT
to know someone who has died. that helps sort of see some of the nuances inside these numbers. >> yeah. those numbers are completely astounding. jonathan swan, thank you so much for bringing that to us. we're going to be reading axios am in a little while. you can sign up for the newsletter at signup.axios.com. that does it for me on this tuesday morning. i'm yasmin vossoughian. "morning joe" starts right now. this president's pattern of taking this information is different than president obama. i've done a little historical reading. it is different than president clint clinton's, as well. i think the reason is he finds value. we're able to convince him the facts we're delivering impact his capacity to perform his mission. i think the day that we can't, i think the day we can't deliver that will be the day that it starts getting pushed off, and other things begin to occupy that time and space. >> that was then cia director mike pompeo back in 2018,
talking about president trump's consumption of classified briefings. this morning, there is new reporting that says president trump was warned repeatedly about the threat of coronavirus in classified briefings back in january and february of this year. clearly, other things began to occupy that time and space. >> willie, good morning. good to see you. >> morning. >> donald trump started getting warned, according to reports, in early january. >> that's when joe biden wrote that piece about it. >> biden wrote a piece later on in january. by early january, you had the state department, officials at the state department, the pentagon, the national security council, the cdc, of course, hhs. the concerns in early january throughout the trump administration were there,
including, we found out yesterday, a series of presidential daily briefings, both written and oral, throughout january and february. yet, remarkably enough, this is a president who, at the end of that month, was saying it was just one case from china and that it is nothing to worry about. the end of february, almost a full two months since those briefings began, we had the president saying it's 11, 15 cases. soon, it'll be down to zero. nothing to worry about. in march, still comparing it to the flu, saying there's nothing to worry about. here we are now, going to pass the number of people that were killed in the vietnam war today. the number of people who have died from this pandemic that the president kept saying for months was going to magically go away. >> yeah. we knew for a long time that the intelligence agencies had been warning president trump while he changed the subject during the month of february and march, and
downplayed the coronavirus pandemic. now, we know the specificity. we have documentary evidence from the "washington post" that shows the president's daily brief, the pdb, the dale ily summary of intelligence threats from around the world and inthorrinthor internally from the united states, was delivered a dozen times, even as he changed the subject. the "washington post" is porting on the president's missed, perhaps ignored, warning signs of just how serious the coronavirus was getting. current and former u.s. officials tell the "washington post," intelligence agencies prepared warnings about coronavirus in more than a dozen of the president's classified briefings. this was back in january and february when he was still downplaying that threat. sources tell the paper that, for weeks, the president's daily brief traced the spread of the virus around the world. warned that china was suppressing information and warned about the political and economic consequences. an official with the office of the director of national
intelligence, which is responsible for the presidential daily brief, tells the "post," quote, the details of this sk r story, not true, but declined to elaborate. a reminder about what the president was saying about the virus around the time he would have been getting the daily briefings. january 22nd, he told cnbc he's not worried at all. quote, we have it totally under control. it is going to be fine. two days later, talking about china's efforts to contain the virus, and talking about its transparency, the president tweeted, "it will all work out well." on february 19th, he told a phoenix news station, "i think the numbers will get progressively better as we go along." february 26th, he said from the white house, "we're going substantially down, not up." a day later, he claimed the virus famously would disappear like a miracle. we know weeks later is when cases of crooronavirus began to spike. the intel warnings did not
register with the president. officials say he takes an oral summary of the briefing two to three times a week and shows little patience from that. past presidents received documents, intended to be read. joe, this is obviously the president at the end of january, put in the limited travel restriction on china. he'd say that's how he addressed this briefing. my goodness, if you look through more than a dozen instances of the intelligence community waving the flag and sounding the alarm. >> even then, of course, so-called ban was toothless. 430,000 people came from china to america at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. after that toothless ban was put in place, 40,000 more people came frto america because there were so many exceptions. jon meacham, this president has always infamously been incapable of ingesting any information from his briefers. they try to keep it simple. we've read one story after
another about how they had to dumb it down, keep it simple, try to keep the briefings on one page. they found out he couldn't maintain attention during that web-page bri one-page briefing, unless they put his name in it a lot. oral briefings was the same thing. historically, yes, there's the question, did fdr miss the warning signs about pearl harbor in 1941? did george w. bush miss the warning signs about 9/11 in 2001? well, here we are in 2020. it wasn't just one or two warning signs. the lights were blinking throughout the month of january, with even navarro writing a memo to him, saying up to 500,000 people could die. then in february, he started talking about how it could cost millions of lives and trillions of dollars to our economy.
this president, in the coming months, still remained oblivious to the threat. >> yeah. where the analogy fails, of course, is pearl harbor, 9/11 were singular attacks that took place at a particular moment in time. this was a -- is a rapidly-moving, unfolding phenomena. that if you had an interest in the post-enlightenment world, if you were interested in what the scientific revolution had brought, if you were interested in the insight of the american revolution, which was that reason would take a stand against passion in the arena of human affairs, to try to allow us to use our brains instead of our guts, to actually move the human story forward, if you had a nodding interest in either of those three -- in those three
things, you might have paid attention. it is a willful thing. i do think that. it's childlike. well, that's unfair to children. it is adolescent. >> it is. >> it is a refusal to accept an inconvenient fact. we are all living with his incapacity to confront reality that may not conform to the flattering mirror that he wishes to per sepe perpetually hold in him. >> how will his story sort through this 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 100 years from now in assessing blame? obviously, china was primarily responsible for this virus spreading across the globe. but donald trump's administration started getting warnings at the end of december
of 2019. it warned him, you know. the administration started warning him in january. you had, again, the cdc, the fda, the state department, the pentagon, the national security council, department of hhs. when azar could finally talk to him on the 18th of january, he didn't want to talk about the coronavirus. instead, he wanted to talk about flavored vaping and when azar would allow it to be used again. end of february, he became enraged. an official said this could be a pandemic and could hurt the economy. so he didn't want to hear the truth in january and february. here we are, coming up on 60,000 deaths. who knows where this is going to end, if we have an outbreak in the fall. how are historians going to assess the blame of those
deaths, and what responsibility will this president bear in history's eyes? >> there are only two main ways where history is written in a way that is more surprising than your -- what your intuition would tell you right now. so those two ways are, one is the narrative changes. there's new information that suggests that the a to b to c chronology of what's unfolded has happened. very unlikely that could conceivably happen because we have his public statements. we have the course of the virus. those are two immutable facts. the second way history can change is if the impact of a decision that was not popular in real time turns out to be right. truman in the cold war. george h.w. bush and no new
taxes. pick your decision, where something was hard in real time, but in the end, history decided for it in the pardon, decides that was the right thing, and then the story changes. immutable fact is there's nothing about the president's decisions that can change the fact that, as you pointed out, we will, today, pass the american casualty fatality numbers in the vietnam war. so that -- to me, it is impossible to see. it is very unlikely to see how this story changes, of trump being willfully obtuse and now so narcissistically engaged in his own drama, that he is failing to do what my springer spaniels know we should do, which is launch a marshall plan
for testing, to actually reopen the economy and regain the sense of an american ethos of being together. >> willie and i can confirm that about your spaniels. >> in terms of the vietnam war marker, did y'all hear the daily briefings were canceled? oh, wait, they weren't. the president held this hastily put together briefing yesterday and couldn't stay away from it. yet, did not take one moment to really look at the magnitude of death and destruction that this virus has caused, and to perhaps honor that number, those people, those hue minnesoman beings who passed away in the middle of this human capacity. >> well, he read a few lines that some people wrote him,
obviously. not much. >> come on. we'll get to that, whatever that was, in just a moment. the "washington post" has reported in the past about trump and the intel briefings, back in 2018. three people familiar with the matter told the "post" that during the first year of the trump presidency, the format of his intelligence briefings changed. early in the administration, the president's public schedules showed he received the traditional briefing sometime between 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. within a few months, his intelligence advisers began augmenting the sessions with maps, charts, pictures, and videos, as well as, quote, killer graphics. then intel chief mike pompeo put it at the time. according to the "post," quote, several intelligence experts said the president's aversion to diving deeper into written intelligence details, the homework that past presidents have done to familiarize
themselves with foreign policy and national security, makes both him and the country more vulnerable. just like the whacky concept of disinfectant that he grabbed on to, his brain grabbed on to the concept right before the briefing last thursday. he began to spew it out to the american people. joining us from the white house, nbc news correspondent carol lee. carol, in terms of how the president processes information, what more are you finding? i mean, what we realized during the campaign is that this man doesn't actually read. he's not able to retain information from the written word. >> reporter: mika, since the president took office, we've talked to people who have given him intelligence briefings. members of his national security team who are trying to walk him through big national security issues. he just has a way of being distracted. he has been telling people he
doesn't want anything longer than a single page. they use bullet points and visuals. frankly, one of the big differences, which presidebetwe it is a daily briefing, but he gets it, at max, two to three times a week. it is a break in how his predecessors consumed init will jens. another thing we know from people who briefed the president on intelligence is he tends to challenge what they're saying. he'll say, "i don't really believe that. why is that true?" he'll come with his own set of facts at times, particularly on russia. the people who are briefing him don't really know where he's getting that information. the other thing is, as you mention, it is not always clear to the people briefing the president that he is taking in what they're say iing. sometimes he seems distracted. he'll go off on a tangent if there is something that's mentioned. russia, for instance. then it'll kind of get off the
rails. it is unclear exactly, clearly, if he has more than a dozen briefings where the coronavirus and china were mentioned, you'd presume he would have taken that in and it would have been a warning for him. we don't know because of the way that he tends to consume information. i have to say, this is all something that's going to be looked at very in-depth by congress eventually. >> you know, willie geist, this is something that, of course, was really a big story after secretary mattis sat down with state department officials and others and gave the president of the united states a quick primer on everything that's happened in the post war world from 1945 forward. just stating the facts, talking about what the united states had done in the past. talking about its policies throughout the cold war and into, obviously, the war against terrorism, starting in 2001. donald trump got up and was angry, was basically attacking
them for stating what had happened, history. he didn't like the fact that history didn't comport with his view of how the world should be. sort of a more isolationist, america first world. that, of course, the fact that he was incapable of taking in facts, the fact that he insulted generals, that was when rex tillerson, formerly of the state department, got up and called him a certain kind of moron. this has been the problem with one briefer after another briefer after another briefer. if he doesn't like the brief, he just changes it. in this case, he just ignored it time and time again. now, 56,000, 57,000 americans are dead. >> well, as you know, the president leads with self-interest. that's his first instinct. if he is hearing information that shows russia, for example, did put its thumb on the scale
in the 2016 election in his favor, and plans to do it again in 2020 in his favor, he doesn't want to hear that. he is going to push back. what's unclear to me here, and to a lot of people, carol lee, i think, in this case, is if the president had gotten out early in january, ahead of coronavirus, if we're looking through his lens of self-interest, that only would have helped him. it would have slowed the disease. obviously would have saved a bunch of lives. if you think of it from his political point of view, it would have helped him to not be mired in this for months and months and months. why did he ignore this so aggressively? >> reporter: well, we don't know exactly, willie. i've talked to people who are close to the president, advisers to the president, who have said that, you know, there are times when the president just doesn't want something to be as it is. he will either not pay attention to it or try to dismiss it. if you look at what he was saying at this time during -- about china, for instance, he
has a specific agenda with china. he is trying to accomplish certain policies with china. he said he has a fwragreat relationship with president xi. he is getting these briefings, according to the "post," warnings about china. at the same time, he is praising china's response to this. so there is this belief among people who work for the president that, at time, if he is presented with something -- for instance, now we're looking at the economy. the economy is not going to be doing well in the coming weeks and months. he's almost trying to will it not to be that way. we've seen that with his handling of coronavirus. there's potentially some -- that could potentially have played into what he was thinking at the time while he was getting these briefings. you know, i'd also add that the fact that he was learning this information then, and he was saying what he was saying at the time about china, it really undermines his effort now to try to put the blame on china. if he knew back then that china
was not being forthcoming about this. you heard him say yesterday they're investigating everything that china knew and when and what they withheld. well, if his intelligence officials were flagging this for him at the same time he was saying that xi was handling the coronavirus epidemic in a very good way, and had it contained, that raises a lot of questions. >> certainly does. carol lee, thank you is so much. of course -- >> reporter: thanks, guys. >> -- when you talk about china, whatever donald trump says about china moving forward, you'll always go back to what he said on january the 24th, when china was not cooperating with donald trump's own administration on sharing data, on sharing samples, or helping us prepare for this. donald trump, on january 24th, tweeted that china was doing a great job handling this virus. he thanked president xi for his transparency and thanked president xi on behalf of the
american people. truly baffling. he continued to do that in the coming months, in between when he decided, well, today, i'm going to try to attack china. he'd always revert back to his praise for them. willie, it's interesting, you had carol talking about how he tried to just wish things away in january. he tried to wish away the coronavirus, saying, "oh, it's only one person. it's going to go away." in february, he said it was going to magically disappear in april when it got warmer. it was going to disappear. the end of february -- this was a month, of course, after joe biden was warning the pandemic was going to be bad and americans should prepare for it, and donald trump hadn't prepared for it. a month after joe biden's warning, in late february, donald trump is telling crowds, "you know what, it is only 11 people, only 15 people. soon, it'll be down to zero. it is going to disappear."
in march, he was still comparing it to the flu. he was pushing phony drug scams that the fda now says could damage your heart. in april, of course, this month, he's now moved on from phony drug scams to phony disinfect t disinfectant/slight scams. again, it's sort of wherever he wants to go. now, it's moving on to the economy. the president of the united states saying something that no conservative would ever say, "i built the greatest economy ever." he's just darting all over the place. he's wrong on every count. i just got to believe -- we're going to show some polls -- i've got to believe that's why his numbers are dropping. >> yeah. the numbers are dropping against joe biden, but also what the country believes. i think you're right, joe, he cannot plead ignorance in all
this. he said time and again, nobody could have seen this coming. nobody knew. well, we've known that isn't true, based on reporting. >> right. >> now, we know because of the "washington post" reporting of the president's daily briefings in january and february, that he knew explicitly how bad it was. he knew explicitly, as he praised president xi, that china was suppressing information. everybody should read this "washington post" story because coronavirus was not a footnote in the pdb. it was at the core of what the intelligence community was worried about. knowing that, hearing that a dozen times, the president still went out and downplayed, after he put in the travel restriction to china, spent a month and a half downplaying how serious this was going to be. still ahead on "morning joe," we're going to show -- >> by the way. >> yes? >> i'm just saying, there wasn't just a political impact to that. >> right. >> there was a public health care impact to that.
people went out paubecause they believed the president. people didn't socially distance. >> for sure. >> there are still polls that show, even now, supporters of donald trump are less likely to social distance. supporters of donald trump are less likely to understand how serious this pandemic is. his words have had a negative impact on the public health of americans. so it's not -- this is not just a political matter. this is a public health matter. i mean, he is responsible for it. we ask, again, on this day, that he starts telling americans the truth, he stops with his parade of ceos and all the other nonsense he does in the afternoon, and let trchdr. phfad dr. birx speak. >> let them run these things and actually go to your briefings,
listen to the briefings, however you can try and retain information, as best you can. >> he doesn't do it. >> if you can't read, if you don't read because it doesn't work for you, because you never did, then try and get the information. it was on you to read those briefings back in january. it was on you to listen to the warnings, and you didn't. that's why we're here. >> by the way, we need you to listen to the warnings now. we need you to listen to the briefings now. >> forget your briefings. >> we need you to listen to the doctors now. guess what? it's probably, if history is any guide, mr. president -- i know you said it'd magically go away in the fall, probably won't even come back in the fall, just like you lied in january and february to people and said this was magically going away in april. today, more people died in one day in april than died during the entire 19-year war in afghanistan that you railed against for so long. >> on your watch.
>> happened on your watch. we're asking you now, as we've been asking you for quite some time, please prepare for the fall. all right? because your doctors, and every medical adviser will tell you, that if this hits during the flu season -- and it is likely to still be around during the flu season -- it will be even worse than what we experienced this spring. willie? >> and i think it is important to point out the false choice that's being put out. if people will say, what'd you want the president to do when he heard these president's daily briefs? did you want him to shut down the economy? no. what the intelligence community, and what public health experts were telling him at the time, and what they wanted him to do was start what jon meacham described, which is a marshall plan for testing the country, for getting personal protective equipment into hospitals and ventilators into hospitals, for preparing the country. not shutting down the entire country at that point, but taking the threat seriously and getting the country ready. then you didn't spend the month of march chasing what you didn't
do in january and february. still ahead on "morning joe," we're going to show you the new polling in the presidential race. plus, when is a test not a test? we'll play for you vice president mike pence's rational behind his promise of 4 million coronavirus tests by mid-march. that whole part of these things are getting hard to watch, the pence part. republicans threw a fit when president obama said, about people who own a business, "you didn't build that." >> they went crazy. >> surely, there is outrage with president trump yesterday, giving himself the sole credit for building -- >> he built the economy. >> -- the greatest economy. >> i built the greatest economy in the history of the world, donald trump said yesterday. >> the selective outrage is ahead. >> you know what other conservative said that? >> who? >> none, no one. >> yeah. >> no conservative says that right. >> senator chuck schumer will be
our guest. we'll be back in a moment. underd social distancing. being prepared and overcoming challenges. usaa has been standing with them for nearly a hundred years. and we'll be here to serve you for a hundred more. ♪ in these challenging times, we need each other more than ever. we may be apart, but we're not alone. use aarp community connections to find or create a mutual aid group near you. stay connected and help those in need. however, there is one thing you can be certain of. the men and women of the united states postal service. we're here to deliver cards and packages from loved ones and also deliver the peace of mind of knowing that essentials like prescriptions are on their way. every day, all across america, we deliver for you.
mr. president, i wanted to ask about the payment protection program, ppp plan to help small businesses. there's been concerns today about the website not working. heard from the american bankers association, saying they're deeply frustrated. until it is fixed, american banks won't be able to help struggling small businesses. >> i came out, and i hadn't heard. i heard there was a glitch. we'll find out whether or not that's so. certainly, it did work out very well for the original amount of money. this is the second amount. i'll find out about that. we'll find out. we're relying on the banks to go out and do an accurate job. >> right. that was president trump yesterday, shifting blame to major u.s. banks, after demand for the payment protection program overwhelmed and crashed the small business
administration's website. >> isn't it amazing, he always shifts blame. you know, he didn't allow barack obama to shift blame on anything. in fact, he blamed him for things that, of course, he's handled far more worse. he blamed him for going out golfing. donald trump, you know, he blames china, then he praises china. i mean, he blames everybody. now, he's, of course, blaming banks because his program still is not delivering. >> joining us now, nbc news senior business correspondent, msnbc anchor, stephanie rhule. let's put the president aside for a second, stephanie. how are -- what are you wearing about how people are being able to get the money that they're trying to have to get through this? how bad is this problem? how big was this glitch? >> it wasn't just a glitch. this situation is disastrous. everyone has the best of intentions, but they're trying to get out hundreds of billions
of dollars to the 30 million small businesses in this country, many of whom are completely shut down right now. first off, it is extraordinary for the president to say, "i'm not up to speed. i heard there was a glitch." we're talking about $310 billion. that's after the first portion of the c.a.r.e.s. act ppp, where we know 1.7 million companies envelope g even got a loan. this was desperately important. at 10:30 yesterday morning, the portal opened back up, and it went down all day long. it is absolutely impossible to blame this on the banks because it wasn't the banks. the five largest lenders had 1 million loans that they already approved, ready to go. that totals $100 billion. they couldn't even get it in the sba's system. i wouldn't say the sba stinks by any means, but they're a government agency. this is like asking the department of motor vehicles to execute the grand prix. it is not happening.
the treasury department has not given additional resources, bodies, effort in any big way to the sba. to hear the president say, like, "i heard there was a glitch," mika, we have a small business in this country go out of business every single minute. one more point to make about it, even ppp, if it all worked out beautifully, it's two months worth of payroll. we all know that from a health perspective, we're looking at this for a year. we know that with social distancing, things are going to be completely different. we're only addressing this economically for businesses for two months. this is an economically devastating situation for this country that the president is still not acknowledging. he said, "here we are, with the best retail ceos out here." did you notice, all of the ceos he brought were only involved in businesses that are allowed to be open right now, and that are thriving because of the goods and services they provide because of corona. he made no mention of all that's
happening really in retail, when you have $20 billion in retail rent due a month. so many of those businesses are suffering. the gap, they might not be able to pay their rent. >> steph, it's willie. you're right. these retailers, even the states opening aggressively and early, like texas on may 1st, said you can only have 25% capacity in your store. only 25% capacity in your restaurant. that's tough to survive on if you're a small business. i noted that the los angeles lakers yesterday returned a loan they got through ppp. $4.6 million. that's a team with a valuation of $4.4 billion. we can put that off for a second. it gets to the point of, who exactly is getting this money? how can a little dry cleaner or diner will still sitting, didn't get its money in the first wave, still waiting for the second wave, and these big, fortune 500 companies are getting money, publicly traded companies are getting money through ppp? how does this system work, and
why is it fiailing small businesses? >> i ask you this, willie, whether you're a tiny business or a big business, you're suffering right now. if the government creates a program that says, "here's grants for you that you do not have to pay back, and you can use it to help pay for your employees," you would use that program. now, they're furious at bigger companies, saying, "why on earth would you take this money from the little guy?" the government created a program where they put all these businesses in the same bucket. yes, they've devastated some money now to smaller lenders, but you've still got the same amount of businesses, whether you have one person or 500 people vying for the same money. the government is urging these bigger businesses, "if you don't need it, don't take it." can you really blame a business, when the government says, "here's a program available to you. would you like the money?" is it the fault of the government, or is it the fault of the person taking it? >> nbc's stephanie ruhle, thank
you so much for coming on. we'll see you again soon. joe biden leads president trump in the latest national general election matchup. according to a new "usa today"/suffolk university poll, biden tops trump 50% to 40%. trump reduces biden's lead six points if a third-party candidate runs. when asked if who is a strong leader, trump narrowly leads. 43% found biden to be honest and trustworthy. 31% for trump. >> let's stop there for a second. keep this up. jon meacham, we commented on this before the election in 2016. donald trump's honest and trustworthy numbers were very low. devastating for any candidate running for president, except for the fact he was running
against hillary clinton. of course, hillary clinton and clinton supporters would say that her numbers were as low as donald trump's in the honest and trustworthy category because republicans had been attacking her nonstop for 30 years. i just want to note, as we look at these honest and trustworthy numbers, that the reason why, right now, you can't really compare the numbers between donald trump and his democratic challenger at this stage of the race, like you did four years ago, is because these numbers right here, donald trump was running against a candidate who, again, had a lot of political baggage, had been in political war nonstop for 30 years. you don't see that with joe biden. his honest and trustworthy numbers, 16 points better than donald trump. on the one issue that donald trump cares about the most, being seen as strong, it's basically a draw.
>> yeah. i think that, right now, seems to me, even if we were in normal times, which we're not, this would be, what, late april, early may, still incredibly early to try to figure out exactly where the horse race is. i think the shorter campaign help s biden. this is actually more like -- and you spend a lot of time thinking about this -- this will be more like a british parliamentary campaign, to some extent, than anything i can think of in american history. there's going to be a consuming issue. it's going to be the reaction to a public health crises and its economic fallout. it'll be fairly intense. i suspect 12 to 16 weeks where people are paying attention. i suspect there's going to be a lot of down ballot tale in either case. we're going to see something we haven't seen in america in a
long time, if ever, which is, a much more focused campaign on the specifics of how a particular candidate or president would react in a cris crisis. it won't be conditional in trump's case. >> all right. when asked who cares about people like themselves, biden leads 57% to 39%. >> wow. >> taking a look at their support by gender. trump leads by 11 points among men. biden holds a 23-point lead among women. among african-american voters, biden holds a commanding lead over the president, though his support among that demographic has fallen 16 points in this poll since december. willie? >> willie, i'm looking at these numbers, and what, you know, something that i've been told my entire adult life from pollsters is when you look at campaigns, one of the key issues that always comes up is, cares about
people like me. you look at these numbers. joe biden with a double-digit lead, almost a 20-point lead over donald trump. it really does look, at this point -- and it's still very, very early. we don't know how this is going to end up. if these numbers remain consistent, and i don't really see donald trump's honest and trustworthy numbers going up. i really don't see his "cares about people like me" numbers going up. people know him. it's baked in the cake. it sure looks like donald trump starts this race in late april against his presumptive democratic nominee in a position where he is going to have to thread the political needle to win. >> yeah. donald trump is never going to win an empathy contest with joe biden. those numbers bear that out. as jon rightly points out, we're six months away, and the numbers in the country will change a hundred different ways twe s be now and then. but it is true, as you've said many times, on russia, or even
ukraine, despite the fact that the facts were clear there, people whether support the president, or people imaking up their minds, would say, people are out to get this president. they were bitter about the election where the democrats won the popular vote but lost the electoral college. they thought hillary clinton should have been president. in this case, it's no boogeyman. it is a disease, a virus spreading around the world. it is clear, as the piece points out from the "post" in detailed terms this morni gmorning, that president missed the boat two, three months when he could have been taking aggressive action. republicans and democrats alike see coronavirus in their lives. they see it in their families. they see it in their communities. they know it is not somebody's fault. they wish he had been handling it more seriously from the beginning, including today. coming up, the cdc adds new symptoms that could be signs of the coronavirus. we'll tell you what they are and what the addition of those
symptoms means. jo pl plus, it is one of the biggest questions looming over the outbreak right now, can antibody tests help end the coronavirus pandemic? our chief medical correspondent, dr. dave campbell, tackles that straight ahead. ♪ limu emu & doug [ siren ] give me your hand! i can save you... lots of money with liberty mutual! we customize your car insurance so you only pay for what you need! only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ with moderate to severe treplaque psoriasists uncover clearer skin that can last. in fact, tremfya® was proven superior to humira® in providing significantly clearer skin. tremfya® may increase your risk
health experts are learning more about the ways this deadly virus is affecting patients across the country. the new symptoms include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. previously, the cdc only listed three known symptoms, which were shortness of breath, cough, and fever. according to the cdc, these new symptoms could appear anywhere from 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. as antibody testing for the coronavirus becomes more widespread, one question still remains. does a positive test for ae antibodies mean a person has developed immunity to the virus? joining us now, "morning joe" chief medical correspondent dr. dave campbell. >> dr. dave, great to have you with us. first of all, let's talk really briefly, before we get to the antibody testing, about advances
with the oxford research team. sounds like they're moving forward at lightning speed, and possibly even beginning test trials in september for a coronavirus vaccine. that is extraordinary, the timing, is it not? >> it's extraordinary, and it is also very optimistic, joe. my understanding is that they are months ahead of other groups that are developing vaccines. they hope that by september, they could have a vaccine available for human use broadly. in the meantime, they will need to ramp up their manufacturing and distribution capabilities in the hope that, in fact, by september, their vaccine found to be safe and effective. >> yeah, let's the -- >> very optimistic, joe. >> let's talk about antibody testing though. i'm thoroughly confused about it. every article i read seems to say something different. is it going to help us trace?
is it going to help us send people back into the workplace? what, right now, is the consensus among medical experts, among scientists, about the state of antibody testing? will it provide us a road map to get this economy kick-started? >> it's a road map. it just isn't a perfect 100% certainty, that if you have developed the disease, that you are going to have natural immunity. we know that you develop antibodies after you have been infected and survive covid-19. the world health organization came out friday and created a little bit of confusion. they said, on friday, correctly, there's no scientific evidence or proof that the disease and antibodies create immunity. they backtracked on sunday and made it more clear, that the general scientific community thinks that it's likely you'll
have some immunity. but there's no evidence of the dedprgree of immunity, the duran of immunity and, unfortunately, joe, we don't know with certainty that there's any immunity. everybody thinks there probably is. >> all right. thank you so much, dr. dave campbell. really appreciate you coming on to talk about this very important topic. jon meacham, what was it that churchill said about the old soviet union, that it was a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a -- riddle, mystery, enigma was somewhere. >> >> here, we have the coronavirus, and especially about the testing, the same. right now, everybody is sort of lurking in the dark, trying to find vaccines, and also trying to figure out exactly what it's going to mean if you have antibodies. right now, there just doesn't seem to be a clear answer.
>> there wasn't. i certainly don't have one. what i continue to find pu puzzling, and it is puzzling in real time and will be in retrospect, is from the very beginning of the exploding public consciousness of this, we have been told by people who know, that if we are going to reopen, if we are going to avoid a depression, if we are going to continue with this journey toward a more perfect union, we're going to need testing. we've focused on -- i mean, the president, with his incapacity to focus on anything for longer than a few seconds, has fixed a couple of problems, at least a couple of problems have been fixed, by and large. but this one has been hanging out there. it goes to something we were just talking about. one of the mysteries of the age to me, there are these things that would be of benefit to him
to address. don't call it the marshall plan or the manhattan project. call it the trump plan. call it the trump project. whatever you want to do. we don't care at this point. we want testing so that we can establish a public health regime, where the country can unfold until -- if and until there is a vaccine. >> so -- >> what's the -- what am i missing? >> it's a great question. for the life of me, it is a mystery. i've got to say, i put it right up there with donald trump's relationship with vladimir putin. that is a mystery. someday we'll know the basis of that relationship and why donald trump ctalks about putin that way. why won't he take charge of the
testing? i wish i had this standard imposed on me when i was in college or law school. you know, as you know, i wasn't a great student. all my friends, you know, a lot of them graduated summa ku kum ladi. i was o ladi. you were supposed to laugh. >> i did. >> it is a southern thing. we learned from vice president pence you done have to complete the tests, just hand them out. what he guaranteed, a certain number of tests would be given. he was just talking about handing out the tests, not actually getting the test results completed. which, of course, is the biggest nonsense i've ever heard in my life. if you don't have the data, if you don't have the information on the individual patients, just printing out tests does no good. >> that was an extraordinary
moment yesterday that got lost in some of the president's other comments. the vice president said, yes, we delivered on the promise i made a month and a half ago, saying we'd have 4 million new tests in a couple weeks. he was parsed into a semantics argument. he said, we passed them out. we at no time say the 4 million tests would be ready to conduct. we get our job and sent those out. do talk to the states about the rest of the problem. you know, the president is boring into this issue of testing. he goes again and again and saying, "we've tested more than anyone in the world." again, as a raw number, that's true. on a per capita basis, it is not close to true. we're way down the list. it is not getting better, mika. we're not testing the way we should. as jon says, it is ad nauseam at this point. it is almost a cliche, but every health official says, testing, testing, testing. why? because we have to know where
people are who are it. >> it was a low point. >> we have to know when we can go back to work and school. vice president pence yesterday, after looking to the president in the gipbeginning and saying, "thanks to your leadership. we are on a bold path to testing. wts. >> it was the worst ever. >> he said, we sent them out and don't know what happened after that. >> we don't know what happened. >> it is incredible. we'll play it for you. it was a low point for mike pence, who, i don't know, just brought himself to new depths. >> one of many. also ahead, in the words of gene robinson, it is time to ask once again, in all seriousness, whether the president of the united states is of sound mind. >> no, he's not. >> we're going to read from his new column when gene joins us. >> he's not. >> i know. >> certainly not up to -- >> way past article 25. >> even republicans know he is not up to this job. >> come on, guys. president trump gets asked if an american president loses more americans over the course of six weeks than died in the
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mr. vice president, in early march, you said we'd be at 4 million tests the following week. we just got there in the last few days. what have you learned about what went wrong, you know, a month and a half, over the last month and a half or two months, and what's going to go right now? what lessons have you learned from the mistakes over the last month and a half or so? >> i appreciate the question. but it represents a misunderstanding on your part. and, frankly, a lot of people in the public's part, about the difference between having a test versus the ability to actually process the test. >> when you said 4 million tests seven weeks ago, you were talking about tests being sent out, not actually being completed? i'm a little confused. >> john, i think that's
precisely correct. in my first week on this job, we were informed that hhs -- i believe idt was the vendor -- had distributed a million and was distributing another 4 million. we believe they did. again, those were tests that, frankly, but for the president's leadership, we'd still be waiting on those tests to be done, in many cases. >> okay. for all you students out there, kids doing class on zoom, tell your teachers you can take the test but you just can't complete the test. vice president says so. but you still want full credit for it. >> you have to get full credit for that. you know, first of all, how outrageous for mike pence. >> pathetic. >> but for the president's leadership on testing? history will record that donald trump failed miserably on testing. his administration failed miserably on testing. it left us lurching through the dark. >> proceeded to mislead the
american people with where they were with testing every step of the way. >> not created a public health crisis but the economic crisis we're going through right now. again, we couldn't test, trace, isolate, treat, and let people who were well go out into the work space. willie, you know what's so interesting about just the blithering idiocy of what mike pence said yesterday, was that probably a month ago, i was speaking to a governor of a very large state. not new york. a very large state. who told me that, when it came to testing, that there was such a shortage because of the white house's ineptitude of chemicals that were required to make the tests work, he said it'd be like the white house bragging about sending out copying machines without ink. he said, "what good is" -- again, i had this conversation
in early to mid-march. said, "what good is a copying machine if i can't put ink in the copying machine?" you know, i never said anything on the air. i thought that was ridiculous. i didn't really believe that the white house would ever deposit such a stupid argument. if you wait long enough, it happens. it happened yesterday with mike pence saying, "oh, we gave them the tests. they didn't have the material to complete the tests." that's like saying, we sent them a copying machine. there's no ink, so they can't use them. >> vice president pence is learning from donald trump that when you're caught dead on something, point back at the reporter and blame the media for misunderstanding it. what he said effectively was, "we shipped them out. we don't know what happened after that." we got the 4 million tests out. doesn't mean they were conducted, which i hate to point out to the audience, is the point of testing is to conduct it so we know who has it and who doesn't have it. as vice president pence tries to revise history about the
president's leadership, let's remember what the president has been saying about testing. remember, he said, "what is the federal government supposed to do, stand on the street corner and conduct tests?" it's been his gut belief this is on the states, just like ppe is on the states, he says, just like ventilators were on the states, he says. this is a state by state problem. he has not taken leadership on testing, and nobody of right mind -- dr. fauci and dr. birx wouldn't tell you that privately they've done well on testing. publicly, dr. fauci said, "we have to double the amount of weekly tests we do before we can begin to get our arms around this." that is quite obviously revising history. the president has not taken leadership on testing. i don't know quite how vice president looks himself in the mirror after a briefing like that. >> i really don't either. >> incredible. >> let's just repeat it again. because the president and mike pence lie again about testing. let's just repeat again what happened in this process.
the world health organization offered to give the united states of america tests early on. so we could begin the process. the trump administration said no. they refused. the cdc said, "we'll develop our own tests." the cdc tests were so bad and were so flawed, as the w.h.o. was sending out hundreds of thousands of tests on the same day, the cdc sent out 90, scattered across the different state health organizations. those 90 cdc tests were so bad, so inconclusive, that by the end of february, the food and drug administration came in and said to the cdc, to trudonald trump' cdc, which said no to the world health organization's tests, that "if you were a private company, we would shut you down because your process is so shotty." donald trump's cdc, so shotty that they would shut them down.
mika, why don't we get to what was said yesterday? let us introduce the guests, then get to what was said yesterday. speaking of the cdc, i want to take a look at what the president said when he was in there, in his golf shirt and campaign hat, and the lie that he made that is going to stay with him through this campaign. >> along with joe, willie, and me, we have the editor of the "new yorker" magazine, david rem nick. washington bureau chief for the "associated press," julie pace is with us. pulitzer prize winning columnist and msnbc analyst, gene robinson. let's show you this piece of sound, which we have before, but it is worth showing again. this was the president at the cdc back in early march. >> anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. they're there. they have the tests.
the tests are beautiful. anybody that needs a test gets a test. >> that's your give sqaway that is scamming. the ukraine call was beautiful, perfect. it's a lie. that's what he says, the tests were with beautiful. anybody that wants a test -- actually, what'd they tell us? 98% of us can't be guaranteed a test. >> that's correct. we know what the president said. what he's said so emphatically and clearly at the cdc is not true. according to the covid tracking project, the united states has conducted about 5.59 million coronavirus tests. that number is equivalent to less than 2% of the u.s. population. now, the white house has unveiled a new, so-called blueprint, meant to help states expand coronavirus testing. state leaders and health experts have been pushing the federal government to release a robust testing plan, as governors begin
lifting stay at home orders. the blueprint largely leaves it up to the states to develop their own plans and rapid response programs, according to the "washington post." a white house dom document said the federal government would provide technical support. they're the supplier of last resort. hold on to that. an administration official said the federal government aimed to give states the ability to test at least 2% of their populations per month, although the president did not use that figure in his news conference yesterday. it was not written in the blueprint. at what point, joe, can we ask the question, why doesn't the president want testing? i mean, again, it's been beaten like a dead horse, but if he invoked the defense production act, clearly, we would not be in this situation today, a situation that the president and the vice president repeatedly
lies about during these briefings. >> i certainly think, and it is just my opinion, but the beginning of this crisis, when donald trump is saying, it was one person from china, 11 people, 15 people, soon it'd be down to zero, he didn't want a robust testing plan like the south koreans. >> why? >> he didn't want americans to know how many people were infected with coronavirus. >> why not does the man not want america to be tested in a nationally-focused, uniform way, where the tests are the same and the people get results? >> because it's tough. it's hard. >> can't do it. >> this is a difficult task, and donald trump made the decision long ago that, instead of trying to complete a difficult task and do his job -- >> rather blame others. >> -- he decided he was going to blame others. he'd blame the press. he'd blame governors. he was going to blame the world health organization. he was going to just play the blame game instead of leading. and doing what other presidents have done throughout our history. but it is interesting.
you know, david, donald trump is becoming rapidly what he claimed barack obama was, what he lied about barack obama. there were two quotes that hung over barack obama from conservatives. donald trump has just replicated. the first, most famously, in 2009, he said, "if you want to keep your doctor, you can keep your doctor." donald trump, of course, in 2020, says, "if you want a test -- any american that wants a test can get a test." no, that's a lie. yesterday, how rich, isn't it rich, talking about sending in the clowns, trump nmsz sadonald "i built the greatest economy in the history of the world." take a listen to this, and tell me if it reminds you of a
certain obama quote that republicans twisted and criti e critiqued for years. take a look. >> i think you're going to have a recovery. look, i built -- they were just telling me inside, and it's fact, i built the greatest economy with the help of 325 million people, i built the greatest economy in the history of the world. one day, because of something that should have never been allowed to happen, we had to close our country, close our economy. i built it. we had the best employment numbers and the best unemployment numbers for hispanic-americans, african-americans, for asian-americans, for everybody. best stock market numbers. by the way, the stock market was up very substantially today. people are seeing a lot of good things. a lot of very smart people investing in the stock market right now. and, you know, so i say, i built if greatest economy with all of the people that helped me, and
all of the people in this country, built the greatest economy the world has ever seen, and we're going to do it again. it's not going to be that long. >> i built the greatest economy in the history of the world. also, one thing i do agree with, this should have never been allowed to happen. if we had a president that actually planned for it, that listened to the intel community in early january, it would not have happened this way. david remnick, republicans, for years, just absolutely bashed barack obama for saying, "you didn't build it. we built it together." now, you have a republican president, certainly not a conservative, saying, "i built the greatest economy in the world, myself." it's really breathtaking. >> all by myself. look, i watch these briefings. it is probably not good for my health, but it's part of my job. what struck me yesterday was not only the incompetence of the statements on testing, which is unfortunately old news, and the tests aren't even good. 30% false negatives sometimes.
30% false positives. it was the utter lack of human empathy that you witnessed yesterday at the briefing. you watched president trump, who obviously had been told, "you've got to go out there and say something about mourning the dead." we've got about 50,000 people dead in the united states from covid-19. he read this from his statement, his expression of empathy and mourning, as if it were a ransom noteme note. this is who he is. he does not have the capacity. we wake up every morning as if this is going to change. we wake up every morning thinking he is going to be competent. no. we wake up every morning thinking he will become an honest man, rather than a businessman. no, that's not going to happen. we wake up every morning thinking he is going to be, in some way, empathic, have some
feeling for americans in their suffering. no. this is who he is. if you don't like the feeling now of loneliness and helplessness and lack of confidence about the future in so many ways during this crisis, imagine what it is going to be like when climate change begins to overtake our economy and our existence, and there is no vaccine. there is no vaccine for that. that is a colossal problem that the president of the united states simply refuses to believe, because it is part and parcel of his denialism about science and fact. one has to feel sorry for dr. birx and dr. fauci, who clearly want to stay in the room and influence him, but they're fighting a losing battle when it comes to this individual. i just hope and pray they're not fighting a losing battle on the level of fact and science with the american people. so it's a larger issue that is all about our future, and it is so important to take on.
>> julie pace, the president, of course, spent a couple of months trying to wish coronavirus away. he said on february 26th, it will disappear. it will just go away. it is clear to him, i think now, and the white house that it is not magically going to go away. he sees the polls, like the one we showed today, "usa today"/suffolk university poll showing him behind joe biden in a head-to-head race. the american public by a 2-1 margin doesn't trust the words coming out of his mouth. how is the president, how is the west wing viewing this crisis now, perhaps differently, if it is, than it did, say, two months ago? >> i would expand that to say how are republicans viewing it? i think it is essential to what's happening in the west wing right now. republicans over the last couple of weeks have been watching these public polls and private polls, as well. really starting to move away from the president. when this crisis started, you saw his approval rating pretty much hold steady, and those
underlying numbers holding where they had been throughout his president. there is a shift happening. it is ironic that the shift is happening as the president makes himself more theresponse. the fact he is out there every day is giving americans a real-time look at how he is handling questions about testing, how he is handling questions about people's personal lives. i think to david's point, that empathy factor is a real intangible. if you look at surveys that are out right now, there's always that interesting question in political surveys, "does the person care about people like many?" trump's rating on that is dis l dismal. that is one of those intangibles in an election. you can't teach it. you can't focus group it. you have to just have it intrinsically, that ability to empathize with people's personal struggles. i think that's what so much of this election is going to be about. can you really iempathize and understand what people are going
through, whether it's a health crisis in their family, an economic crisis, or both? >> gene robinson, there's new reporting from your paper, the "washington post," on the president's missed, or perhaps ignored, warning signs of just how serious the coronavirus was going to be. current and former u.s. officials tell the "post" that intelligence agencies prepared warnings about the coronavirus, and mo and it was in more than a dozen of the president's daily briefings back in january and fen when he was downplaying the threat. for weeks, the president's daily brief traced the spread of the virus around the globe, warned that china was suppressing information, and warned about the political and economic consequences. an official with the office of the director of national intelligence, which is responsible for the presidential daily brief, tells the "post," quote, the detail of this is not true, but declined to elaborate.
gene, there were warnings a all ov over the place. there were warnings in "usa today" written by vice president joe biden in january. the information was clearly there. this isn't one written paragraph in a hidden file. this is blaring red lights around this president. >> yeah. he probably didn't read those briefing papers because he doesn't read briefing papers. he doesn't have patience with and pay attention to in-person briefings, apparently, we're told. he wants to go off on tangents and talk about things that he has his own private obsessions about. you know, the question that i sort of didn't really have to struggle with yesterday when i was writing my column, "is the president of sound mind," it is a rhetorical question. we know, we know that donald
trump has one focus, and that's donald trump. he sees everything through the prism of his own ego and vanity and political survival. that is -- that's -- you know, if it doesn't -- now, he should have recognized that that, in fact, this virus presented a political threat to him. he didn't see that far. he just sees, you know, is it good for me? who are my enemies? who is against me? who is being unfair to me by criticizing me or pointing out inconvenient fact ths that i do like? that's who he is. that's who he's been. that's who he is going to be. there's really the sense that we are on our own in this crisis. i mean, we're all having to
assess the facts as they come up and figure it out for ourselves. because there is going to be no really coherent, empathetic leadership from the white house. it isn't going to happen. >> david remnick, you have something that i do not have. two things. a magazine. also really good native intelligence. you're a smart guy. i just sort of stumble through life, like mr. mugu. maybe you can help me out on this one. i don't quite understand where we are regarding this presidency. we say -- it seems to me every day we're shocked, stunned, and deeply saddened by what donald trump does. i must say, about a month ago, i kept getting phone calls from people, talking about donald trump, how bad he was. i kept -- every day, i was fielding calls. i finally told people, "stop
calling me unless you have a solution." stop calling me unless you can tell me what you think america can do in the alternative, until the november election. i ask you, what can we do as a nation, and how is it that this constitutional republic, this m madisonian democracy, that's supposed to have three separate but equal branches, can be so held hostage to the ignorance and the whims of one man? i simply find it hard to beli e believe, in 2020, that a former, failed reality tv host, can hold us all hostage, and that the legislative branch can't be doing something to counterbalance, in real time, the failures of this one man. >> well, i think we have to do
our jobs in this society. whether you're a journalist or an emergency room doctor or whatever it is, people have to get through by doing their jobs. you mentioned a crucial job here, and that's members of congress, people who are members of the political class. for years now, for three years and more, the republican congressional delegation has put their own elective, self-interests ahead of everything. all the reporting that we hear, we know that the majority of the republican congressional delegation knows about the -- exactly what you're talking about on the show, the lack of confidence, the lack of -- the competence, rather, the lack of empathy, the lack of preparation, the lack of intellectual work that's necessary to be president. in other words, to take on the facts, to read briefing books, simple, elemental things we
never would have thought possible to be ignored. yet, they behave the way they do. yet, they behave that way. mitch mcconnell has enormous power. mitch mcconnell knows very well how incompetent, what kind of human being donald trump is. he behaves the way he does because he wants to save his seat. that goes for so many members of ko congress. it is up to the american public, finally, to vote in november. between now and november, there is very unlikely to be any kind of solution, the way you're describing it. i don't think you'll see a constitutional amendment brought into action to remove him from office, no matter what we're saying on this show. i don't think you're going to see the republican congressional delegation all of a sudden have a "come to jesus moment" and gain a conscience and act precipitously. that's probably not going to
happen. but it requires -- >> and -- >> -- of all of us, from now until november, to do our jobs, as journalists, as working people, and move forward, the best we can, as scientists, and survive. because we have to recognize we elected, as a nation, a preposterous, incompetent, unfeeling, dishonest president of the united states. that's the episode, and we are suffering from it mightily every day. >> two things, david remnick. one, just a little southern etiquette here. when i engage in false modesty, you're supposed to go, "oh, no, no, you're a smart guy." >> point taken. >> no, no, joe, you're a smart guy. it's a southern thing, okay? >> it was in the interest of time. it was in the interest of time. >> i understand. i appreciate it. i'm just saying, in case you ever come south and visit me, false modesty, i mean, it's a -- >> i take your point.
>> -- well-used currency here. the second thing though, with your argument about republicans caring only about their political standing, would make sense, but the fact that if you go year by year by year by year, donald trump's presidency has been a disaster for the republican party. in 2017, iconic photos of women standing in the rain in northern virginia, not giving a damn about how long it took to send a message to donald trump. in 2018, the largest popular vote landslide in the history of the republic for a midterm election against the republican party. in 2019, democrats winning governorships in louisiana and kentucky. now, you look, susan collins upside down. it looks like they're going to lose maine. they're going to lose arizona. they're going to lose colorado.
even north carolina is on the bubble. montana is going to be on the bubble. you just wonder, when are they going to figure out that this guy is taking down the entire republican party? >> and you've seen reports in the press in the last few weeks about the anxiety within the republican party about this. at the same time, a lot of republican politicians still believe in the kind of magical political properties of donald trump and his connection to the base. they're very hesitant to betray that. they think it'll come back to bite them. i think they may be wrong in the end. i think they will be wrong in november because his handling of this crisis has been so abysmal on every level. >> julie pace, what are you looking at today, and what do you think is going to happen? yesterday, you know, president canceled his daily briefings and
couldn't last two hours with that commitment. ended up having one. hastily putting together a bunch of ceos to update us on what they're doing, which is really nothing at this point in terms of news. they're all working, but there was no new news out of it. yet, the president had to have that briefing. do we expect another one today? is there one on the schedule, or are we just foigoing to wait toe how long he can last? >> we're somewhere in the middle of what we are told is a pivot from the white house, which is supposed to be away from the daily briefings, and a pivot toward a real focus on the economy. we all saw how that went yesterday. i think that's probably a blueprint for what you'll see the next couple days. i think one of the really important things that we're looking at this week is what's happening, you know, in the real world right now. the president talked a lot in previous weeks about keeping the death toll in the u.s. below or around 60,000. we're about to hit that number,
which means the death toll in the u.s. is going to far exceed what those predictions were. i think that's going to be -- or should be a reality check for the white house, that this is not a crisis that is abating, and it is not one they can just pivot message wise beyond. there are still americans that are fwogoing to be dying, far beyond the numbers the white house put out there for the public. >> all right. ap's julie pace and the new yorker's david remnick. thank you both for being on this morning. still ahead on "morning joe," while many countries locked down hard in the face of the pandemic, sweden opted for a different approach. nbc's richard engel is there with a look at what's working and what is not. "morning joe" is back in a moment. since 1926, nationwide has been on your side. we've been there in person, during trying times. today, being on your side means staying home...
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spain has put in place one of the strictest lockdowns in all of europe. sunday, children were allowed to leave their homes for the first time in nearly six weeks. the country's prime minister said that by next week, adults would be allowed to exercise. the head of spain's center for emergency said there was a, quote, clear descending trend in the number of coronavirus cases. and that the government's decision to allow non-essential workers to return to work two weeks ago has not had negative impact so far. willie? >> leaders in france talking about similar measures, may now begin to reopen france, as well, this morning. moving to a country that has taken a different approach. sweden, where nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel caught up with sweden's state epidemiologist, their version of dr. anthony fauci. let's listen. >> this slower, not lockdown but
shutdown, partial, voluntary shutdown, is the idea that this would be sustainable for a long time? >> yeah. i mean, that's very much the strategy. because we realize this virus is not going to go away. it'll be with us for a long, long time, maybe forever. depending what kind of vaccine we get. until that time, we need to deal with this virus in a sustainable way. we can't keep schools closed forever. >> richard joins us now from stockholm. what else did you take away from the conversation? a lot of people have looked at sweden as perhaps a model. they haven't been as strict on social distancing. there are some new statistical models saying that may catch up to them. what is going on in sweden? >> reporter: sweden, right from the start, adopted a different approach. they looked at this problem. they looked at their own health care system, which is quite robust. they looked at their population, which is small and generally has
good health care. they decided to roll the dice. they protect the vulnerable. so if you go to a hospital, you get checked. anyone who goes to the hospital, the nursing homes are also tightly controlled with the staff there undergoing regular checks. but the rest of the population was left, more or less, alone. people were advised, not told, but advised to practice social distancing. not to go visit relatives, to try and work from home, if possible. many people have been working from home. but as you can see around here, and it is kind of a miserable day. it is a little cold, rainy. but even with this weather, people are out. people are shopping. there has been an economic impact, but not nearly like the economic impact that we saw in spain or in italy or other parts of europe or the united states. it's all about, they believe,
sustainable. they'd rather have the public prepared for something that could go on for years, because we talk about a vaccine in a year, 18 months. it's not guaranteed you're getting the vaccine in a year or 18 months, and it is not guaranteed the vaccine will work immediately. might need multiple doses of the vaccine. here, they tried a different approach. health officials say that, so far, it's been sustainable. they've had more deaths -- quite a few more deaths than other scandinavian countries, but with 2,000 deaths, half in nursing homes, compared to their 10 million population, they haven't seen their health care system collapse. >> richard, i notice you're watching the crowds behind you. you are the only person there wearing a mask. >> reporter: only one. >> there is modeling that shows the numbers could spike. richard engel in stoke homckhol interesting.
appreciate it. mika? joining us, a former surgeon general, author of "together, the healing power of human connection in a sometimes lonely world." as if you predicted exactly what the title of this book should be a year ago, or whenever you came up with it, now it is incredible, the timing. i want to ask you about the book. first, i want to ask you, as former u.s. surgeon general, the social distancing guidelines that we are right now ensuring, executing here in the united states, do you see these going away any time soon? i'm talking about wearing masks, handshakes, businesses that require physical touching, gyms, salons, spas, do you see that getting back to normal any time soon, and i mean soon as in months? >> thanks, mika. it is good to be on with you. the social distancing measures that you mentioned, these have
really transformed society. people are making extraordinary sacrifices right now, to make sure they're following these rules. i think we will see a time where we can relax these rules to some extent. they're not going to go away until we have something transformative, like a vaccine that can really take the threat of the virus off the table. >> sacrifices, or perhaps they could be seen as behavioral changes. even when a vaccine is potentially 18 months away, maybe sooner, maybe later, but in terms of society, won't these behaviors continue? >> yes. so right now, many states are still under stay at home rules. we will start to see those relax as cases come down, and as we build the infrastructure that's critical to ensure we can test,
trace, and respond in terms of treatment capacity. but we'll still have some degree of distancing requirements that remain. for example, we'll likely need to wear masks in public more months and months. we will still likely need to keep distance from each other, to ensure we are observing good hand washing practices, to avoid touching our face in public, and to avoid large crowds and gatherings. one of the things we've learned, mika, is that covid-19 is, in some ways, a different beast than what we've experienced with past viruses. we're learning new things every day. it is so important that we error on the side of caution. the more cautious we are, the more lives we can save. doesn't mean we can't start to get back to our way of loife ovr the next several months, but we have to do it safely. >> doctor, it is willie geist. great to have you on. the subtitle of "together" is the human power of connection in a sometimes lonely world.
we can't have the physical connection right now. we can't have that physical gathering we're used to. a lot of people worry about the long-term impact on the elderly, the loneliness, or young children who can't run around with their frebiends. we're seeing that in our lives as this goes on and on. you talk about a social recession. what is that exactly, and what are your concerns in the context of this crisis? >> yeah. you know, in a year ago when i was writing, if you told me we'd be in this scenario, i wouldn't have never believed you. here we are. you know, like so many people, my own family has been going through transformation, as well. i have two small kids, 3 and 2, who can go on play dates, and wondering why they're confined to the house. i have elderly parents and a grandmother, as well, who i'm worried about. a sister who is seeing patients as a doctor. i'm concerned about her risk. many of us are trying to figure out how to make this all work.
what i worry about is that, while we're talking about the physical health impact of covid-19 and about the economic impact, both of which are substantial and important, i worry that we are not recognizing as much the impact on our social health. i worry that as we spend more and more time apart from each other, in a climate of fear, that that will deepen our loneliness, the loneliness we've been experiencing, in many cases, for years and years, and contribute to a social recession. what i learned, willie, when i was surgeon general, is that loneliness was far more common and consequential for our health than i thought. i met people all across america who told me stories about their struggles with opioid addiction, chronic illnesses like o beabeo and depression and anxiety. behind the threads of loneliness, people would say, "i
feel if i disa i peppear tomorr nobody would realize it." i carry these burdens alone. i feel invisible. i realized 22% of adults in america, according to a 2018 kaiser study, admit to struggling with loneliness. people who are lonely seemed to have a higher risk of heart disease, dementia, depression, anxiety, as well as sleep disturbances and premature death. loneliness matters. it is common. i'm worries it could increase. i don't think it has to be this way. i think this can be, in fact, an opportunity to turn the tide on loneliness and build a social revival in our country. >> former u.s. surgeon general, dr. morthy, thank you. the new book is "together," the healing power of human connection in a sometimes lonely world. coming up, the may or of d.. taps high-profile figures to help respond to the coronavirus pandemic. mayor muriel bowser joins us to
discuss that, and the bipartisan team she's putting together to help decide when it is safe to reopen. as we go to break, the top new york emergency room doctor that treated this covid-19 patients died by suicide on sunday. definitely folds into the conversation we were just having. the medical director of the emergency department at new york presbyterian allen hospital died in charlottesville, virginia, her father told the "new york times." dr. breen spent several weeks on the front lines at one of new york's hardest hit hospitals before contracting the coronavirus herself. she recovered and was back to work before being sent home when her family intervened to take her to charlottesville. in an interview, her father said she had described devastating scenes of the toll the virus took on her patients. he told the paper, she tried to do her job, and it killed her.
when he last spoke to her, he said she sounded detached. he could tell that something was wrong. she had described to him the onslaught of patients, never ending onslaught, who were dying before they could be taken out of ambulances. police were called to the family's home after a request for medical assistance. dr. breen, who had no previous history of mental illness, was transported to uva hospital, where she later died from self-inflicted injuries. her father told the "times" she was truly in the trenches of the front lines. make sure she's praised as a hero, because she was. and she was. we'll be right back. when you take align,
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attorney general william barr on monday directed federal prosecutors nationwide to review local coronavirus-related restrictions for potential court action. the "associated press" reports that the memo to the u.s. attorneys say that if state restrictions are, quote, an overbearing, infringement of constitutional and statutory protections, the department of justice may have an obligation to address that overreach in federal court. the justice department civil rights division, and the eastern district of michigan, are to take the lead on the search for
infringement. the president was asked for comment at the task force briefing. >> he wants to see people get back, and he wants to see people get back to work. he doesn't want people to be held up when there's no reason for doing it. in some cases, perhaps it's too strict. he wants to make sure people have their rights and maintain their rights. this has been a big study. you know, the fact that people aren't allowed to have their freedom causes tremendous amount of problems, including death. so that's what he's talking about. >> and the president continued to be absolutely unclear about opening up the country, waffling between safety and opening up throughout the entire briefing and, of course, had nothing to say about the attorney general's comments. didn't know about them. three high-profile national leaders are among those the mayor of washington, d.c. enlisted to help her with her
city's coronavirus response. former first lady michelle obama. former secretary of homeland security, and former national security adviser susan rice. named the reopen d.c. and susan. named the d.c. advisory group. it will recommend when it is safe to reopen schools and other establishments. joining us now, the mayor of washington, d.c., muiriel bowse. there's a little difficulty with her sound but we're going to try to get this done and what are the numbers that they're trying to reach to have a safe reopening structure plan that can be reached for the people of d.c.? >> well, thank you, mika, for that. and our health department officials and health experts that work for d.c. government are going to make the decision about when. our advisory group, however, is working with 11 sector
committees to determine how each of those sectors, how those sectors, can safely open. what protocols. what tools will they need. what training for staff. and how they can help us work through the phases of safely opening in washington, d.c. let's be clear, everyone wants to get our seib brant bustling economy back. businesses open and people back to work. but we know that we have to do it in a safe way, so that we don't sufrl fer a rebound. >> gene robinson of the "washington post" has a question for you. gene. >> mayor bowser, good to talk to you, remotely. >> hi, gene, how are you? >> one question -- i'm fine, how are you? listen, as you're working through this process, meanwhile, congress is coming back. congress is going to be in session next week.
when congress is in session, that means congressional staff. that means all of the support people. how is this going to work? how is that going to comport with the social distancing that you've required, that you believe is necessary? and is that not going to work counter to what you're trying to accomplish? >> well, gene, essential workers have to go to work. i'm an essential worker. about 40% of d.c. government employees who are answering unemployment calls, picking up the trash, making sure that we're safe with our fire and ems, the police departments, are all reporting to their workstations. the same is true for the federal government. while the vast majority of federal works in d.c. are teleworking, which we continue to encourage the office of personnel management to do. others have essential duties that require them to require
them to report to their offices. and we know that congress falls in that category. our country needs relief. our workers need relief. state and hospitals need relief. congress needs to work with those things. we work with the capital in the grounds and buildings and administration, to make sure that they have all of the information that they have and that they're practicing strict social distancing. >> mayor bowser, it's willie geist. good to have you on this morning. testing is crucial to figure out who is here and we can go back to work. it's tough to get a test in the united states right now. about 2% of americans have been able to get one. what does that look like in the district of columbia? how difficult is it to get a test? and what do you need as a mayor to get those numbers up? >> what we need is more supply.
we have 11 testing sites across the district. i think just opened another citywide site. we've also asked our residents to call on their providers who are also offering free testing. and yet, we still think that we need more people who are symptomatic, and who have been exposed to the virus, either through their work, or either through a close contact. if they're not feeling well, they need to be tested. you mentioned first lady obama who reached out to us and asked how she could help. and she's doing a robocall to d.c. today who are involved with populations reminding them. symptoms of covid and how to provide the citywide provider, if they're not connected with a doctor, to get tested. so, we participate withal of the calls with the task force at the white house.
i had a call with dr. fauci last week. looking at our testing strategies. and we know that we continue to need the federal government to step up in this role, for supplies largely. and we know if we can have a steady flow of those supplies, we can have the testing capacity that we need. >> the mayor of washington, d.c., muriel bowser, thank you very much for coming on the show. good luck with everything. and still ahead on "morning joe" -- >> i call it the unseen -- the unseen enemy. you call it -- there's a thousand different terms for us. but whatever, it snuck up on us. >> president trump on march 18th telling the reporters that the coronavirus, quote, snuck up on us -- nope. now, "the washington post" is detailing the many, many times the president was warned about the virus in his daily briefing reports. we'll get to that new reporting. plus, senate minority leader
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facts we're delivering impact his ability to perform his mission. i think the day we can't deliver that will be the day it starts getting pushed off. and other things begin to up that time and space. >> that was then cia director mike pompeo back in 2018, talking about president trump's consumption of classified briefings. this morning there is now reporting that president trump was warned repeatedly about the threat of coronavirus in classified briefings back in january and february of this year. but, clearly, other things began to occupy that time and space. >> so, willie, good morning. good to see you. >> good morning. >> donald trump started getting warned, according to reports in early january. >> that's been when joe biden wrote that piece about it. >> biden wrote a piece in january. later on in january. but by early january, you had
the state department, officials at the state department, the pentag pentagon, the national security council, the cdc, of course, hhs, that concerns in early january throughout the trump administration were there including we found out yesterday, a series of daily presidential briefings both written and oral, throughout january and february. and yet, remarkably enough, this is a president who at the end of that month was saying it was just one case from china. and it's nothing to worry about. the end of february, a full -- almost a full two months since these briefings began. we had the president saying, it's 11, 15 cases, soon it will be down to zero, nothing to worry about. march, still comparing it to the flu. saying there's nothing to worry about. here we are now, going to pass the number of people killed in the vietnam war today, the
number of people who have died from this pandemic that the president kept saying for months was going to magically go away. >> yeah. we knew for a long time that the intelligence agencies had been warning president trump while he changed the subject during the month of february and march and downplayed the coronavirus pandemic. but now we know the specificity, the documentary evidence from "the washington post" that shows the president's daily brief, the ppd, that daily summary of intelligence threats from around the world and from internally in the united states was delivered to the president more than a dozen times even as he changed the subject. "the washington post" is reporting this morning on the president's missed, perhaps ignored warning signs, of just how serious the coronavirus was getting. current and former u.s. officials tell "the washington post," intelligence agencies prepared the warning about the coronavirus in more than a dozen of the president's classified briefings. this was back in january and
february when he was downplaying that threat. sources saying for week, the public daily briefing traced the virus' spread around the globe and worried about the consequences. an official at the director of national intelligence responsible for the presidential daily brief, tells the post, quote, the details of this story not true. declined to elaborate. to say what the president was saying about the virus around the time he was getting the daily briefings. on january 22nd, he told the cdc, we have it, quote, totally under control, it's going to be fine. and two days later, talking about china's ability to contain the virus and talking about transparency. and the president tweeted it will all work out well. on february 19th, he told a phoenix news station, i think the numbers are going to get progressively let's as we go along. february 26th, he said from the white house, we're going
substantially down, not up. a day later, he claimed the virus would famously disappear like a miracle. we know weeks later is when cases of coronavirus began to spike. so, joe, this is obviously the president at the end of january put in that limited travel restriction on china. he would say that's how he addressed this briefing. but, my goodness, if you look flew more than a dozen instances of the intelligence community waving the flag and sounding the alarm. >> well, even that, but the so-called band was toothless. 230,000 people came from klein from the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. and even after that toothless ban was put in place, 40,000 more people came from china to america. but john meachem, this president has always, infamously, be incapable of ingesting any information from its briefers. they tried to keep it simple. we've read one story after
another, they had to dumb it down, try to keep the briefings to one page. and they found that he would not keep attention to that one-page briefing unless they put his name in the briefing a lot. and then they went to oral briefings, and it was the same thing. you look historically, yes, there are question did fdr miss the warning signs about pearl harbor in 1941? did george w. bush missing the warning signs about 9/11 in 2001? well, here we are in 2020, and it wasn't just one or two warning signs. the lights were blinking throughout the month of january with even navarro writing a memo to him saying up to 500,000 people could die. and then in february, he started talking about how it could cost millions of lives and trillions of dollars to our economy, this president, in the coming months,
still remained oblivious to the threat. >> yeah. in the analogy, fails, of course, pearl harbor and 9/11 were singular attacks that took place at a particular moment in time. this was -- is a rapidly moving unfolding phenomena. that if you had an interest in the most enlightenment world, if you're interested in what the scientific revolution had wrought. and if you're interested in the insight in the american revolution which is that reason would take a stand against passion in the arena of human affairs to try to use us to allow us to use our brains instead of our guts to actually move the human storied forward, if you had even a nodding interest in either of those three things then you might have paid more attention. and it's a willful thing.
i do think that it's child-like -- well, it's unfair to children. >> it is. >> it's adolescent. it's a refusal to accept an inconvenient fact. and we're all living with his incapacity to confront reality that may not conform to be flattering mirror that he wishes to perpetually hold in front of them. >> right. >> so, jon, let me ask you a question. we don't know the answer to it now, but how will his story insert through this ten years from now, 20 years from now, 100 years from now, in assessing blame? obviously, china was primarily responsible for this virus spreading across the globe. but donald trump's administration started getting warnings at the end of december. of 2019, warned him,
everybody -- you know, the administration started warning him in january, you had, again, the cdc, the fda, the state department, the pentagon, the national security council, the department of hhs. when azar had finally talked to him on the 18th of january, he didn't want to talk about the coronavirus. instead, he wanted to talk about flavored vaping. and when azar would allow it to be used again. into february, he came enraged, in february, when an official said this could be a pandemic and it could hurt the economy. and, so, he didn't want to hear the truth in january and february. so, here we are, coming up on 60,000 deaths. who knows where this is going to end, if we have an outbreak in the fall. how are his stories go assess
the blame of those deaths, and what responsibility will this president bear in history's eyes? >> there are only two ways -- there are two main ways, where history is written in a -- in a way that's more surprising than what your intuition would tell you right now. so, those two ways are -- one is the narrative changes. there's new information that suggests that the a., b., c. chronology of what's unfolded has happened. very unlikely conceivably that could happen because we have his public statements, we have the course of the virus, those are two inmutable facts. the second way history could change, the impact of a decision that was not popular in realtime turns out to be right. truman in the cold war.
george h.w. bush and no new taxes, pick your decision, where something was hard in realtime but in the end, history decides, and decides that was the right thing and then the story changes. that immutable fact is that there's nothing about the president's decisions that can change the fact that, as you pointed out, we will today pass the american casualty fatality numbers in the vietnam war. so, that -- it's -- to me, it's impossible to see, it's very unlikely to see, how this story changes of trump being willfully obtuse and now so narcissistically engaged in his own drama that he's failing to do what -- what my springer spaniels know we should do, which is launch a martial plan for testing to actually reopen
the economy and regain the sense of an american ethos of being together. and still ahead on 0 "morning joe" -- >> i'm sure people will be very happy to get a big fat check with my name on it. >> not everyone is happy about it. chuck schumer is pushing a measure to get trump's name off of coronavirus stimulus checks. the minuority leaders joins us, straight ahead. raight ahead we need each other more than ever. we may be apart, but we're not alone. use aarp community connections to find or create a mutual aid group near you. stay connected and help those in need.
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"washington post" has reported in the past about trump and the intel briefings back in 2018, three people familiar with the matter told the post that during the first year of the trump presidency, the format of his intelligence briefings changed. early in the administration, the president's public schedules
showed he received the traditional briefings, sometimes, between 9:00 and 10:30 a.m. within a few months, his intelligence advisers began augments the sessions with maps, charts, pictures and video, as well as, quote, killer graphics, as then intel chief mike pompeo put it at the time. according to the post several experts said that the president's aversion to diving deeper into written intelligence details, the hallmark that past presidents have done to familiarize themselves with foreign policy and national security makes both him and the country more vulnerable. just like the wacky concept of disinfectant that he grabbed -- his brain grabbed on to the concept right before the briefing last thursday. and he began to spew is it out to the american people. joining from us the white house, nbc news correspondent carol lee.
carol, in terms of how the president processes information, what more are you finding? what we realized during the campaign is that this man does not actually read. he's not able to retain information from the written word? >> reporter: yeah, mika, i mean, since the president took office, we've talked to people who have briefed him, given him intelligence briefings, members of his national security team trying to walk him through big national security issues. and he just has a way of being distracted. he has been told people that he doesn't want anything that's longer than a single page. they use bullet points, they use visuals. and, frankly, one of the big differences between president trump and his predecessors, is it's called the presidential daily brief. but he doesn't get it daily. he gets it at max, two or three times a week which is already a break from how his predecessors have consumed intelligence.
we already know from talking to people who have briefed the president on intelligence he tends to challenge what they're saying. he'll say things like, i don't believe that. why is that true? he'll come with his own set of facts, particularly on russia. and the people briefing him doesn't know where he's getting the information. the other question is it's not always clear to the president that he's taking in what's being said. sometimes, he seemed distracted or he'll go off on a tangent, russia, for instance, and then it will kind of get off the rails. it's unclear exactly, clearly, if he had a moment in his briefings where the coronavirus and china were mentioned you would presume that he would have taken that in. and that would have been a warning for him. but we don't know. because of the way that he tends to consume information. and i have to say, this is all something that's going to be looked at very in-depth by congress eventually. >> nbc's carol lee, thank you
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protection plan, the ppp plan to help small businesses. >> yeah. >> there are concerns with the website not working right. the american bankers association saying they're easily frustrated. and on telefixx, american banks will not be able to help small businesses. >> it just came out. i hadn't heard there was a glitch. we'll find out whether or not -- it certainly did work out very well for the original amount of money. this is the second amount. i'll find out about that. we'll find -- we're relying on the banks to go out and do an accurate job. >> right. that was president trump yesterday shifting blame to major u.s. banks after demand for the paycheck protection program overwhelmed and crashed. the small business administration website yesterday. >> isn't it amazing? he always shifts blame. you know, he didn't allow barack obama to shift blame on anything. in fact, he blamed him for things that, of course, he's handled far more worse. he even blamed him for going out golfing.
>> spying on him. >> donald trump, you know, he blames china. then he praises china. i mean, he blames everybody. now, he's, of course, blaming banks because his program still is not delivering. >> joining us nbc news senior business correspondent and msnbc anchor stephanie ruhle. let's put the president aside for a second, stephanie. what are you hearing about how people are able to get the money that they're trying to have to get through this? how bad is this problem? how big was the glitch? >> it wasn't just a glitch. this situation is disastrous. now, everyone has the best of intentions, but they're trying to get out hundreds of billions of dollars to the 30 million small businesses in this country. many of whom are completely shut down right now. so, first off, it's extraordinary for the president to say i'm not really up to speed. i heard there was a glitch. we're talking about $310 billion. and that's after the first
portion of the c.a.r.e.s. act ppp where we know only 1.7 million companies even got a loan. we know this was desperately important. at 10:30 yesterday morning, the portal opened back up. and it went down all day long. and it is absolutely impossible to blame this on the banks because it wasn't the banks. the five largest lenders had 1 million loans that they already approved ready to go. that totals $100 billion. and they couldn't even get it in the sba's system. i wouldn't say the sba stinks by any means. but they're a government agency. this is like asking the department of motor vehicles to execute the grand prix. it is not happening. the treasury department has not given additional resources, bodies, effort, in any big way to the sba. so to hear the president say i tlurd was heard there was a glitch. mika, we have a small business
in this country go out of businesses every single minute. even if ppp worked out beautifully, it's two months' worth of payroll. we all know from a helper inspect tiff, we're looking at this from a year. we know with social distancing things are completely different. this is an economically devastating situation for this country that the president is still not acknowledging. he said here we are with the best retail ceos out here. did you notice, all of the ceos he brought were only involved in businesses that are allowed to be open right now, and they're thriving because of the needs, the goods and services that they provide because of coronavirus. he made no mention of what's really happening in retail when you got $20 billion in retail rent due each month and so many of those businesses are suffering. the gap, they may not be able to pay their rent. >> hey, steph, it's willie. you're right, even the states
opening aggressivelily early like texas on may 1st says you can only have 25% capacity in your store. you can only have 25% capacity in your restaurant. well, that's tough to survive on if you're a small business. i noted that the los angeles lakers returned a loan they got from ppp, $46 million. that's a team worth $4.4 billion. we can put that off for a second so it gets to the point who exactly is getting this money. how can a little dry cleaner or diner still sitting, didn't get the money in the first wave, still waiting for the second wave and these big fortune 500 companies are getting money, big traded companies are getting money through ppp. i ask you how does this work? >> i you can this, willie, whether you're a tiny business or big business, you're suffering right now. and if the government creates a program and says here's grants for you that you do not have to pay back and you have to use it
to pay your employees. you would use that program. now, they're furious, saying why on earth would you take this money from the little guy? well, the government created a program where they put all of these businesses in the same bucket. so, yes, they designated some money now to smaller lenders. but you've still got the aim amount of businesses whether you have one person or 500 people vying for the same money. now, the government is urging bigger businesses, if you don't need it, don't take it. but you really blame a business when the government says here's a program that's available to you. would you like the money? is it the fault of the government? or is it the fault of person taking it? >> nbc's stephanie ruhle thank you so much for coming on. we'll see you again soon. coming up on "morning joe," as the pandemic struck, there were thousands of experts already in place and ready to take on the fight. so why isn't the white house better utilizing them?
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top-ranking democrat in the u.s. senate minority leader chuck schumer of new york. senator, thank you so much for being with us. >> good morning. >> we obviously are still having concerns with ppp, helping out small businesses. there was a glitch yesterday. but also, you're looking into something bigger. and that is the fact that "the new york times" has reported that wall street banks are actually giving preference to their bigger clients, their preferred clients. what can you tell us about that? and how can you make sure that small business owners from new york to florida to california all get a fair shake? the same fair shake that the big companies get. >> you're 100% right, joe. and one of the things that the treasury and sba should have done from the beginning which they didn't is give guidelines to the banks saying give these smaller lenders, not the people who know a big shot banker the loans first. they didn't. so when covid 3, we did wall off
a plan that couldn't go to these people, but they haven't implemented it yet. let me make a larger point here, at the beginning of the show, you talked about testing. congress can pass laws and they can be very good laws. bipartisan, passed 96 to 0. this has been an abject failure at implementing these laws. they don't have the qualified personnel. they don't have the focus. all too often it seems the president's ego is at stake. i'm sending a letter with my democratic ranking leaders today to mcconnell. saying what we should do, now that we're coming back next week is have hearings, oversight. call in dr. birx and dr. fauci, and azar. and say why isn't there a plan? there's no details as to how it's going to work.
why don't we need a national regime to make sure the supplies chains work. same thing call in the fda administrator. why after 30 days we passed the first covid bill, 30 days, are the computers breaking down. where was the extra support? where were the personnel? so we could have oversight hearings. it seems why he brought us back, well, there's someone who has nothing to do with covid on the calendar monday night. the rumor is he wants to put a judge on the calendar whose claim to fame seems to be that he worked for mcconnell has a circuit court judge. the aba ranked him as unqualifiered. we have a obligation to call these people before congress, the senate, having these hearings to be publicized. this will enable him to be asked tough question after tough, not to the president and vice
president, to attack the reporter who asked the question and move on. this is part of what congress was told to do, oversight of the executive branch. and i have to tell you, the executive branch has failed miserably at implementing all of the things that congress has passed. and i've never seen an administration so bad at enacting the laws that congress has put together. so, we need these oversight hearings. and we need them now. this could be the opportunity for leader mcconnell, when we come back to do something real that affects the american people. in the midst of this awful crisis. >> yeah. senator sure, willie geist here. >> hi, willie. >> good to have you on. i think most people agree, you need to perform your job of oversight but what small business owners in upstate new york are not hearing. they want their checks. as you pointed out yet, small banks, mid-size banks couldn't even get on to the website. they couldn't get through, let
alone get the money and approvals from sba. >> right. >> what do you say to the small business owners who missed the boat on the first round of money and now their banks can't even logon to the website to get them? they can't go on like this. >> well, we got to have the sba straighten it out quickly. i have businesses who have been approved and they're going to go out of business. two things have to happen. tr they've got to straighten out the problem right away. they've got to tell the banks, no more big boycs. no more chains. what i talk about hearings, you need pressure on this administration, you need it because they're not doing it now. why is it 30 days after the first covid law was passed are the computers still all glitchy as the president said, worse than glitchy. crashing, not working. so, we need them to fix these
computers immediately. to wall off -- we gave $125 billion to not go to the big boys, but to go to the nonbanks and underbanks. focus on that and get those loans moving now. >> so, let's talk about new york state. the state that you represent. the state that you love. how is new york doing? the curve is bending. for now, because we understand that there may be a second wave in the fall. how is new york state doing? how is the city doing? >> well, the curve is bending a little bit, but we still have too many debts. we still have too many hospitalizations. and i think our governor and mayor have done the right thing. they've been cautious. if you move too quickly, this second wave could come back with a vengeance, maybe even earlier than the fall. so to listen to the medical experts. to be patient, understand there is some balance here, obviously.
but to make sure that we don't move too quickly. because if it comes back again, comes back with a vengeance, it will be worse than the first time, hard as that can be to imagine. i would expect the states to be cautious. i'd say one more thing about the states here, joe, we need to get aid to the states and to the local governments. that's what my governor and mayor are talking about correctly. when mitch mcconnell says they should go bankrupt, and now he's coming in with some subterfuge, he's sayingby don't want to give the give the aid until we make sure there's liability. does that mean if the boss tells a worker you have to work next to somebody that has no mask, that worker can't protect him or herself and the boss is immune from liability. the aid is not going to, quote, government. it's going to police officers, firefighters, bus drivers, health safety inspectors. these are the people who need hem. there's going to be massive layoffs at the state and local
level unless we get some money to them quickly. and we've got to do that quickly until covid 4. and when mcconnell says we've got to do a., b., c., d., which is irrelevant to getting the people the money they need, that's wrong. >> senator schumer, you're topping for a national testing strategy. you're obviously not alone in that. the president as we said earlier in the show, he's unwilling. he's said famously, the federal government shouldn't be standing on street corners conducting tests. obviously, that's for states across the country to improvise. new york city implemented its own testing. and to south korea to get 500,000 tests. in your eyes how would a testing strategy work? >> well, i called the president months ago to use the defense protection act and appoint a czar. one person in charge. that person has the ability under the present law under the
dpa to say these ten factories are going to make these tests. and these 20 factories are going to the supply chain and supply the factories with the tests they need. then you give the tests to the states, and the state can implement the testing in the best way possible. but there will be no way to ramp up and get the number of tests and talk siauxiliary things lik swabs. you're exactly right, willie. it's hit and miss. yesterday there was a meat plant in kansas where there was a lot of corona. the governor had to call in the national guard to air-drop an adequate number of tests. you can't do it on an ad hoc willy-nilly basis. what about other places, and other meat plays in so many other places. you have to ramp up the manufacturing. you know the report they issued yesterday it was pathetic. it didn't have any details. and at the end, it said, let the
states do it. no one in the administration has given an answer specifically as to how the state should do it. that's one of the reasons i think we need hearings. i want to hear from not so much from the vice president and president. but from birx, fauci, azar, how are the states going to do it and why isn't the federal government doing it. we haven't heard one good reason why the federal government couldn't be in charge. we but in covid 3, $25 billion, $11 billion to the states to do the contact tracing and administering the tests. but we gave them over $9 billion. to get these supply lines working. for a month, they resisted. and you know what, no one can figure out why. and one of the problems is, i think, the experts are not listened to by the president. he gets in his head, let the states do it. he says "i made this decision i'm not going to change my mind." and guess what, it is hurting people, people are getting ill because there aren't tests.
the testing is so simple. a month and a half ago when new rochelle was quarantined, i called up the mayor, he said if i had tests i could solve this problem. adequate tests he said if i give a test to everyone until new rochelle, if they have the virus they have to stay in. korea's doing, germany's doing it. other countries are way ahead of us. this administration clings to the idea that the states should do it. with no plan on how the states should do it, no rationale on how the states should do it. it's awful. that's all i can say. it's awful. and mr. president, donald trump, you're hurting the recovery you want so badly by not having the tests. the best way to recover quickly is testing, testing, testing. and i want him to do the right thing. i want him to do the right thing for the american people. and it is frustrating. >> so, senator schumer, let me
ask you a question, a larger question that's going to become very relevant when the supreme court takes up a case on the power of congressional oversight. one of my frustrations, talk dodd david remnick with "the new yorker" about this earlier today was the fact that we seem to be captive to just one person. and the failings of one person when, in fact, we have a democracy with three separate equal branches. we've got checks and balances. and yet, this president has refused to comply with congressional subpoenas from the start. >> right. >> of this administration. now, i know democrats are concerned about that. but republicans and small government, conservatives, people like myself, that have talked about madisonian democracy our entire lives about checks and balances and pushing back the imperial presidency
should be concerned. how concern are you that they're asking for additional information regarding, quote, whether this is a political question or not? and how important is it that the supreme court does the right thing and actually curbs the power of the imperial presidency? so that republican presidents, democrat presidents and independent presidents can't ignore the request? >> you're so right, joe, stemming from the days when the founding fathers feared king george. and here so many of the conservatives have abandoned that principle and just got along with donald trump which history will show was one of the worst things that they could have done, for their own movements, for their own beliefs, but also for the united states of america. i do think this, if the president resists having fauci
or birx or the sba administrator come before us, i dare a court to say that we shouldn't be allowed to do that. if there's ever a crystal clear moment where oversight is needed, warranted and life and death, it's now. i don't think they would do it. but who knows. some of these judges are so ideaological that they don't look at the history, they don't look at the constitution. they don't look at the facts. and it is -- in the long term, this is a serious problem that we're going to have to deal with. and i respect the handful, maybe more than a handful, but the bunch of conservatives who have broken with the president on these very grounds. >> yeah. same here. and obviously, republicans need to understand that what applies to this president and what this president doesn't have to do is going to apply to democratic presidents in the future. and i suspect if you look at
demographics, there are going to be a lot of democratic presidents in the future. senate minority leader chuck schumer, thank you so much. great talk to you as always. >> thank you. >> please stay safe. give our best if you will to new york state's health care workers, the doctors. >> they're great. >> the doctors and nurses. >> joe, one quick thing, still every night at 7:00, i lean out of my apartment window and zo the whole city, and we applaud these people. and you can hear the applaud bouncing off the walls of the buildings. it's a great moment that gives us some strength. so thank you for remembering them. >> all right. thank you so much, senator. i just want to say to health care workers that may be watching, doctors and nurses, obviously, we saw the sad and tragic news of what happened to one emergency room doctor. now that you are loved. know that you are respected, know that you are doing great things. and better days are ahead. stay
in there. we're all counting on you.
thank you, senator. coming up next, new reporting on how the effects of the coronavirus, especially in death rates, have been vastly different in places where scientists took the lead in decisionmaking as -- this isn't a shock -- as opposed to when politicians take the lead. a closer look at that dynamic, next, on "morning joe." stay with us. these days, it's anything but business as usual. that's why working together is more important than ever. at&t is committed to keeping you connected. so you can keep your patients cared for. your customers served. your students inspired. and your employees closer than ever. our network is resilient. our people are strong. our job is to keep your business connected . it's what we've always done. it's what we'll always do. navigators of the turf and keepers of the green. to the rural ramblers, back to the landers,
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governor larry hogan specifically said they see a spike in people using disinfectant after your comments last week. i know you said they were sarcastic -- >> i can't imagine why. >> any responsibility for -- >> no, i can't imagine that. >> i can't imagine why. willie, i -- it's a mystery to all of us. maybe we need to get matlock or
colombo to check it out. maybe jim rockford. 1970s -- >> the rockford files. you're going deep. >> ooh, man, james gardner. i loved that guy. don't get me started. but, yeah, that answer was -- in the immortal words of mannix, that answer, ma'am, was as bad as this coffee. so there you have it. >> just being sarcastic, joe. you can't read sarcasm when you see it. >> i guess not. this guy is sarcastic about so many things. it ends up when he asks putin to take a look at the 30,000 emails. we find out later that's a joke. as dana millbank said, his sense of humor is so dry. sometimes you don't know he's joking for a year or so. >> it's not a joke to the poison control centers who have been flooded with calls over the last four days. let's turn to pulitzer
prize-winning reporter and contributor to the new yorker magazine, charles du wi g. it looks at the epidemic intelligence service and the vast differences in deaths from covid-19 when scientists take the lead instead of politicians. charles, good to have you with us. we should start by explaining what the epidemic intelligence service is. it's part of the cdc. as you write in the story, its alumni are scattered across the country working on coronavirus. >> that's exactly right. the eis alumni are considered the shock troops for any time there's a pandemic in the u.s. or even worldwide. they are the crown jewels of the epidemiologists we have. they oftentimes head some of the largest health departments in the world, including in las vegas and philadelphia, in chicago. and so they are really this important asset, and they know not only how to treat a pandemic
but equally importantly how to communicate during a pandemic because a pandemic is a communication emergency as much as it is a medical emergency. >> so charles, where are some of the points of contrast we can look to to explain the phenomenon you write about in this piece? where has communication and science been good? where have scientists led, and where have we not seen that as much? >> well, in seattle, which was the original epidemic -- epicenter of the outbreak if you'll remember, what we saw was political leaders almost immediately hand communications to the scientists. and in doing so, what they did is they enabled those scientists to use the tools they have. to create trust for the population. oftentimes they were calling for things even before they were orders like work from home. microsoft, even before anyone at microsoft was sick, asked its employees to work from home. similarly with amazon. and that cut the number of cars on the road alone by 100,000 each day which meant everyone inside seattle knew something
serious was going on here. we need to take this seriously. if you look at new york in contrast, you see a very different situation. when the outbreak started in new york at about the same time as in seattle, what you saw was de blasio and cuomo. most importantly de blasio saying things to try and calm people's fears. to not allow them to panic. saying this is probably going to pass, it's going to be okay. and de blasio was fight with his department of health. instead of putting the scientists front and center de blasio was moving in front of the cameras and often saying things his department of health were telling him were inaccurate or felt damaged people's health. >> what about on the national level, charles? do we have members or graduates, alumni from this epidemic intelligence service inside the federal government? do we see them advising the president? are any of them on this task force for coronavirus created by the white house? >> none of them are on the task force. we do have a number of eis graduates all throughout the
federal government. one of the most challenging things is that the cdc has effectively been silenced and sidelined. if you look at the h1n1 outbreak which was a pandemic that started in the united states and killed over 12,000 people, 700 schools shut down. what you saw was that the cdc was at the forefront of the communications about how people should respond. richard besser would -- who was then the acting director of the cdc was up in front of the cameras every day. a replacement for tom frieden who became director of the cdc. the cdc did take the lead on communications. in fact, we saw them following the rule book. the rules worked out over 100 years about how to talk to people during a crisis. and one of those rules being try not to put politicians in front of the camera. obama only spoke about h1n1 a handful of times because they didn't want to politicize the response. the first time he talked about it, he complimented the bush administration. as soon as the pandemic landed on american shores, that's when
the white house began stepping in, and i think as a result you've seen a dinli idiminishme the communications and people understanding what they ought to be doing and how to make sense of what's going on. >> a lot of people like to see doctors fauci and birx out front and center but it's been the president by and large. we'll be reading that new piece in "the new yorker." charles duhigg, thank you. attorney general william barr directed federal prosecutors nationwide to review local coronavirus related restrictions for potential court action. the associated press reports the memo to u.s. attorneys says if state restrictions are, quote, an overbearing infringement of constitutional and statutory protections, the department of justice may have an obligation to address that overreach in federal court. the justice department's civil rights division and eastern district of michigan are to take the lead on the search for infringement.
joe, i guess it isn't particularly surprising coming from this attorney general. just a couple of weeks ago in an interview on fox news, he was addressing the draconian orders that have shut down large parts of the economy. but now he's talking about pursuing legal action against states that implement them. >> i wonder if we're going to see the attorney general and his family in crowded restaurants any time soon. or at some of these crowded rallies. maybe he'd like to find the most crowded rally and go to that? no, he actually wouldn't because he would never do it just like bill bennett would never do it like rush limbaugh would never do it. like all of these other people that are trying to push americans back out in public would never do this. it's a continuation of the president's schizophrenic remark. he's throwing red meat at the tin foil crowd, the 10% going out to these rallies. most americans support
distancing. they want to go back to work. but they want to do it carefully. willie, before we end, though, and i hate that i even wasted time talking about that. i want to talk about dr. laura breen again. a top e.r. doctor in new york city. she lost her life from this coronavirus. it took her life. she had no history of any mental difficulties. her father who also was a doctor, he said that it was just too much for her. we've heard it from other health care providers. and he said she's a hero. please remember her as one. willie, we've had a loose definition of heroes in this culture over the past 25, 30 years. but she really was a hero. and it's so important the doctors and nurses on the front lines understand every day as they are struggling through this how we all think they're heroes,
and we know that they are getting us all through this. >> you're right the term hero has been cheapened a little bit over a generation, but these are honest to goodence heroes. the people like dr. breen, people we know, friends of ours we've gotten to know who are scared. they're human beings. they're scared. but they suit up and they go into these icus and go into these emergency rooms and they do the job. as a friend of mine said, i took an oath. i'm going to live up to that oath. i'm going in there. yes, i've got a family at home. yes, i'm scared of getting sick, of getting my family sick, but this is my job. these are honest to goodness heroes. as her father implored us to remember her, she is a hero. >> we thank them. we pray for them. we are in awe of them. that does it for us today. stephanie ruhle picks up the coverage right now. stay safe.