tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 6, 2020 9:00am-10:00am PDT
harmless. sending the worst possible message to partying beach go others on a holiday weekend. here are the facts at this hour -- the glares ho the spots continue to be florida, texas, arizona and southern california. the holiday weekend could cause another spike after big gathering like this one in michigan that could become super spreader events. thousand more than 200 scientists are calling on the world health organization to emphasize that airborne frsprea is a major factor especially in places with poor ventilation playsing a higher urgency on social distancing hand washing and face masks. a hard time responding to the president's comments. >> now we have tested almost 40 million people. by so doing we show cases, 99% of which are totally harmless.
>> i'm not going to get into who's right and who's wrong. >> so you won't say whether 99% of coronavirus cases are "completely harmless" as true or false, what the president said at the would us last night? >> danna, i'll say we have data in the white house task force the data show us it's a serious problem and people need to take it seriously. >> florida governor ron desantis set to brief media at any moment and we're carry part of that for you at the coronavirus situation in florida. of course, it's getting critical. waiting for that to get under way. first, going to florida, nbc's kerry sanders in st. petersburg. kerry, florida's cases are hitting levels no the seen sis new york's peak. the governor pressured to issue a state-wide mask mandate as the texas governor had to do last week. what is the situation there? >> reporter: well to put a fine
point on that, i'm in st. petersburg, as you noted. this is one of four hospital the florida-area agency on health care administration says is out of space in its icu for more coronavirus cases. that is of concern here in pinellas county but really across the state as we're continuing to see going from, well it took four months to have 100,000 positive tests. now, in the last two weeks, to 200,000, and after this holiday weekend, the fear is that people did ignore social gathering right here in pinellas county. beaches were open, people gathered on the beaches. so the fear is that that lag time is now going to show up, and it's not only just spacing the hospitals, because hospitals can, they can move a little bit. they can add a little room here, make an area and an added icu. it's the number of nurses need to attend to each of the patients. it's pretty much been a one-on-one across the country to give the care that's needed for the patients in the hospitals,
and as they run out of space and certainly don't have enough nurses, they then have a crisis on their hands. in miami-dade county, jackson memorial went in advance of the fourth of july weekend and hired 80 new nurses knowing that there's likely to be more patients. but bottom line is, the concern is, there is going to be even more before it lessens and nobody knows when it's going to lessen. listen to what this expert had to say. >> i do anticipate that after this weekend's parties we are going to see a bump in the next, you know, week to ten tdays, tw weeks. beaches are closed. they are pausing on reopening because south florida behaved a lot more like the northeast than the rest of the state of florida does. >> reporter: florida is averaging 45 deaths a day. sunday the greatest number of deaths was right here in
pinellas county. 14 14. bottom line, health officials are uncertain what is going to be the eventual end to all this because of the patchwork in the state, and it's possible florida's governor will address that. up until now he that stood back. he has allowed the counties to make decisions. so in miami-dade county, for instance, they have just decided now they're going to open the beaches tomorrow, but they're going to close indoor dining a the restaurants, but they will allow it for take-out. whereas here, the beaches are open and you can go in to the restaurants. it's a big state and, remember, this is a tourist state. so there are those who have been traveling, andrea, to miami-dade, discovering when they got there, well, our vacation's a little different, and get in the car, come up here to central florida. out on the west coast on the beaches here. of course is, if they're asymptomatic, carrying potentially the spread of the coronavirus. andrea? >> all to be, all-worrying
indeed as we wait for governor desantis' briefing. thanks for setting us up and nbc's priscilla is in houston. they hit a new record in hospitalizations over the weekend. more than 8,000 people. you spoke to an e.r. doctor earlier. what did he tell you? >> reporter: well, some of the same things, andrea, that ker talked about. for one, a need for more staffing. as these icu beds in the hospitals begin to fill up, there is a growing concern about having staff here. the e.r. doctor i spoke with says they are in touch about the possibility of bringing in health care providers from other states to be able to help out, because they are preparing to possibly have to use that surge capacity here soon. right now the texas medical center is reporting 98% of icu beds here are full, and so doctors here at houston methodist are preparing extra rooms to have those icu capabilities, and i also spoke to the doctor about the patients that they're seeing coming
through these doors and really what they've learned since this virus first emerged a few months ago. take a listen to what this doctor told me. >> this second surge is showing us a younger population. the rates of infection are higher. we've already tripled the number at our peak to 629 today. if not higher. and those patients are requiring admission for treatments to increase oxygen, but not necessarily needing ventilation because of things we learned from the first surge. >> reporter: and so, andrea, that might explain why we're not hearing as much as the need for more ventilators as we heard whenever new york city was a hot spot, because it seems doctors developed different strategies to not necessarily have to put folks on those ventilators immediately. but, you know, folks here still urging people to use those preventative measures, because it is really the only way we'll begin to see the numbers come down, andrea.
>> thanks so much to you, priscilla. joining us now, nbc news medical correspondent dr. john torres. dr. torres, a lot to unpack including what the president said about 99% of the cases are "harmless." none of the experts we've spoken to are indicating that that is correct. there's also the lack of face covering at his events. especially in mount rushmore. barely month masks to be seen and his own lack of models of face covering. >> you're right. a lot to unpack. start with the 99% thing. i think he was referring to the death rate, we think is around 1% maybe a little less. that is different than saying this is a harmless virus, because only 1% of people are affected by it. what we estimate is 15% to 20%, so around 20% of people who test positive for coronavirus or have coronavirus end up in the hospital. of those around 20% end in up
the icu. a portion of those end up with long-term issues. respiratory issues, neurological issues, other issues they have. some of these are probably going to carry with them the rest of their lives. to say it's harmless is far if a the fact and that 99% again, i think referring to the death rate not the virus itself and what it can do to people. again that 20% are getting harmeds by the virus. doesn't even fall close to the 1%. as far as the crowds out there, what we do know is that the more people you are around, the longer you're around those people, the more likely to catch coronavirus. being outdoors certainly helps. not having masks, being shoulder to shoulder, that close to others that can cause it to spread. we'll find out over the next couple of weeks what the actual impact is. we know from protests doesn't seem to have spread as much but they weren't in a static situation. walking around. air moving around. here it's different but it is outdoors and hopefully that helps out a little bit, andrea e. and take a look at part of
what new jersey's governor phil murphy had to say on "meet the press" about people coming from myrtle beach, coming from other areas, cullioming from florida reinfecting jersey, so hard-hit, second after new york at the i don't ut set. let's watch. >> we're starting to see a small spike in reinfection from folks come canning back from places like myrtle beach and as well as in florida. other hot spots. we went through hell. we cannot afford to go through hell again. we need a national strategy i think right now and masking has to be at the core of that. >> and you here have situations where greg abbott retreating in florida from his ruling previously that local mayors could not ban the lack of masks, and in texas, rather, and then as well desantis resisting that in florida. asa hutchinson i spoke to on
"meet the press" from arkansas saying masks were encouraged but he wasn't going to require it. all of these different decisions state-by-state, and public health people saying, why not have a national standard? >> and i think that's the exact question. why not have a national standard? i'm hearing as well as you have, anecdotal stories of people going inside without masks getting in arguments with staff. even getting violent with staff or vice versa. this is the type of thing. if we had a national mandate that would quell the whole situation, because then it would be one of those, i'm not saying this because it's our policy. saying it because this is a national policy. one thing, because of our nation, we have borderers that are open. you can travel from one coast to the other. travel north to south without issues but also transport coronavirus, and one of the big things to realize, sure in some situations in some areas, absolutely no virus or very little virus, they might be wearing masks and not necessarily needed as much. some of the other areas, hot
spots, but the goal here is for everybody to protect themselves, their loved ones, their community add the whole country to make sure we all recover from this as quickly as possible. >> and now i also wanted to ask about 200 scientists urging the w.h.o. to adropt higher standards regarding airborne spread. known quite a while think is an airborne spread and why people are concerned about singing and other, shouting and what can be spread from these, these droplets in the air. especially indoors, and with poor ventilation. and now the, the scientists are urging the w.h.o. to focus more on that as part of their requirements, or recommendations? >> and the world health organization, cdc, both looking into this. what essentially they're saying, these 239 scientists, is that because of different patterns of spread in restaurants and other indoor situations, that it looks like the virus might be airborne. that's justish, more on les a
scientific distinction of the size of the virus and how long it lasts. indoor, no ed to be care of the. spreads more readily indoors. children, young adults going back to college in those indoor situations come fall. we need to be very careful. a better look at the ventilation system, better look how to make sure the virus doesn't spread whether it's respiratory droplets or airborne particles, smaller ones. seems social distancing, might have to wear them indoors, might be part of the mandate, and ventilati ventilation, those things will make sure we get through this. >> john torres, you're helping us get through it so thank you very much, doctor. appreciate it. coming up, the divider in chief. president trump, ramping up his rhetoric on a weekend meant to celebrate the country. plus, the veep states. who is joe biden going to pick for his running mate? later a look at some contenders. this is "andrea mitchell
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today the president continues to play to the most extreme factions of his political base tweeting an attack against bubba wallace, the only black sponsored driver in nascar. the president asking, "has bubba wallace apologized to all of those great nascar drives and officials who came to his aide, stood by his side and willing to sacrifice everything for him only to find out the whole thing was just another hoax," well, it wasn't. actually wallace and nascar replied in full in the last days and weeks the rope found in this garage was unlike all others shaped like a noose. the difference, it had been there a while and not found by the fbi to be aimed specifically at bubba wallace. another driver tweeting we don't need an apologize. we'll do just fine without i don't support. the president deciding an attack on critics of the confederate
monuments is a big appeal to his base during this holiday weekend speeches in the mount rushmore and in washington. >> the radical ideology attacking our country advances under the banner of social justice, but in truth, it would demolish both justice and society. it would transform justice into an instrument of division and vengeance. >> their goal is not a better america. their goal is to end america. >> we will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase or history indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedoms. [ applause ] >> and joining me now, nbc white house correspondent and "weekend today" co-host peter alexander, msnbc political analyst rick tyler.
pbs news hour white house correspondent yamiche alcindor and welcome to all. what a way to celebrate the nation's birthday and bring the nation together. peter, the attacks continuing today. the bub ba wallace. why go after bubba wallace personally with that dig today? >> andrea, exactly right. not just going after bubba wallace also perhaps striking in the tweet him being so supportive of the confederate flag in his two addresses over the weekend that faced a lot of criticism. he tried to uphold the american heritage as he describes it but steered clear of making any particular references to the confederacy. he did that, though, in this tweet, in speaking to one of the president's allies within the last hour this individual described it to me and an unforced error, a step backwards and the president basically pursuing a smaller and smaller slice of the pie right now. also struck by what lindsey graham said about this just
moments ago, pushing back, one of the president's own allies pushing back publicly to the president's statement saying to fox newsradio about nascar, they're trying to grow the sport. i've lived in south carolina owl my life. in business, the confederate flag is not a good way to grow your business. as we've witnessed this is the president not just doubling, triples, be quadruple down on the culture wars against stoking racial divisions within the country, andrea. >> peter, you did great. we can hear you fine over that blower or trucks and everything else on the north lawn. yamiche alcindor, the president falling back on his denial in terms of the virus and focusing on dividing the country by going after protesters and emphasizing any violence in the protesters and really drilling down on support for the confederate soldiers saying they were fighting for freedom, not fighting against racism.
>> that's right, andrea. what we see in president trump is someone who is determined to be on the side of confederate generals, determined to be on the side of people who see american history, critics say, as weis white history. the idea america treated everyone equally and there was no racial strife in america is the history president trump continue to harkin baearken on. andble the black lives matter, it's swelled, support of americans across all 50 states including in red states. people taking to the streets saying african-americans should be treated equally. police brutality should stop. the particulresident is saying americans are asking for the country to could better, he does the no want that movement to succeed and taking a political risk. looking a the people against moving america forward saying, no. we need to be on the other side
of those people. interesting that all of this is happening as the "new york times" had to sue the trump administration, the cdc, to get racial data on the virus that shows african-americans and latinos are dieing and infected in the virus at higher rates than white americans. i think all of this together is really showing that the president is really running from the? ed there is racial inequities in this country and an interesting strategy on his part. worked in 2016. in 2018 and we'll see if it works in 2020. >> you traveled a lot with the president focusing on this issue. i wanted to share with a lot of our viewers an excerpt from what your colleague wrote as well today. he wrote, "trump knows his re-election campaign is in trouble sees the fight against this enemy of his creation as his pathway to victory in november. his political weapon of choice is exaggerated and at times racist rec rick designed to pit
americans against american's. never in our lifetime has the fourth of july been used for this". >> and the idea is that they're betting hard here on something some of his own advisers think is a bad idea, which is to focus on an extremely small slice of america, which overlaps with some of his most hard core ardent supporters. the problem is he drives adrivs large share of his electorate he's going to need at this point quite troubled campaign. no one around the president who thinks this is a bad strategy long term has been able to persuade him otherwise. i think what we saw this weekend in than dan balls identified so clearly, historical difference we see now. the nation's birthday has really
been for two centuries and certainly in the modern communications era for most of the last century, been an opportunity for presidents to speak to the country in unifying fashion and talk about the things that unite us and talk about the things that make america great and look forward to continuing that greatness and all the kinds of rhetoric that is easy to summon on july 4th, and instead what we had this weekend in this speech at mount rushmore and again at the july 4th speech was the president attempting to divide americans one from another. some of the rhetoric recalled to anti-immigrants, rhetoric from the 2016 campaign. there he was focusing outward on an enemy. here making the enemy "other america", and also overtones of the inauguration address, the carnage in america.
rick tyler, i was talking to asa hutchinson on "meet the press" yesterday. here is a southern governor asking about the wearing of masks and the example that the president is not setting. let's watch. >> you're showing by example when you're out in public and other republicans now are the president is not, and he not only is not wearing a face covering in public, but he has these huge gathering over the weekend. south dakota. again, in washington, d.c. do, against local objections in washington. what example is that? >> well, in terms of the gatherings themselves, you know, a lot of them were canceled. here in arkansas for the july celebrations, just trying to minimize that exposure, but when you look at a national level, i think it is good that we celebrate our independence. that's a controlled environment. it was outside at mount rushmore. i think it inspired many. obviously i would have liked to have seen more face covering there in order to set an
example. >> governor, absolutely no social distancing in south dakota. thousands of people there sitting absolutely crowded in, and no face covering as well. >> there should have been face coverings. they should have followed guidelines there. >> went on to say he would not like to have a rally in arkansas, rick, without some kind of face covering and distancing. >> we know, andrea, i saw that, your interview yesterday with asa. it's unbelievable to me we can't just have a simple message that masks represent freedom. masks represent freedom from infection, from illness, from not being able to breathe. from hospitalizations. the worry you might infect a uv willed one especially your elderly grandparents, and it's such a simple thing to do. look, i said on this program over a month ago that the coronavirus is going to hit the red states and it's going to hit
them hard. that's now happening. i'd like to make another prediction. not being complacent. intrajectory, it's almost impossible he could win an election, unless it's close where he could put the country into a crisis. nine of ten of the states are all states trump won. florida is getting 10,000-plus cases a day. that has affected not only people's health but the economy dramatically. trump touted his 5 million new jobs in the month of june. let's put that in context. if we had a jobs report equal or better than the 5 million in june in july, august, september, and october, we would still be 2 million jobs in the hole. that's the reality that people are facing. they're facing coronavirus and economic hardship and this president would like us to believe that this virus is somehow magically going to
disappear. it's not going to magically disappear. he's going to magically disappear. >> and just to pick up that point, peter. you spoke to the president's chief of staff mark meadows about that 99% harmless comment. let's play that and i want to ask you about it. >> that's the real key is, is when you start to take out some of the deaths we've had in nursing homes and those, it's not to downplay the deaths we've had but really to look statistically to know that whatever risk that you may have or i may have or my children or my grandchildren may have, let's look at that appropriately and i think that's what he was trying to do. >> reporter: he says 99% of people test positive, you agree may not die it still necessarily may not be harmful? >> anytime anybody is sick, we look at that. it wasn't the president's intent i don't think to downplay that. saying let's look at this in an
appropriate way, look at the risks. >> peter, the fact is the president, the white house strategy, as you've been reporting, is to downplay the threat of the virus, right now the white house strategy, messaging, people have to learn to live with it but the president wasn't speaking the truth when he said 99% of are the cases are totally harmless. curious who the white house identifies as a member of the task force would say that fact is true. they haven't been able to prove that data. a lot of people don't die but get sick and severely at times. >> peter thank you so much and all of you, thank you. and coming up, unanimous. today's supreme court ruling 0en a case that could have changed the way we pick our president. still waiting for an update from florida's governor ron desantis. supposed to speak about the covid-19 outbreak in this state. we'll bring it to you when it happens. stay with us. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. rts" on msnb. and it's bigger than pizza
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bite supreme court today that could impacts the upcoming presidential election and had to do with faceless electors. electoral college members who feel they don't have to follow direction of the voters in their states. joining us now, pete, tell us ash this case and significance of the ruling. >> andrea, if the vote in the electoral to college was close and electors were free to vote for whoever they wanted they could decide outcome of the election. as it stands now electors are chosing by there political parties and pledge to support whoever wins the popular vote in their state and that's the way it's supposed to work. if the democrat wins the vote in a certain state then the democratic slate of electors go to the electoral college for that state and vote accordingly. can they go rogue? the supreme court said, no. writing the decision, true the constitution is silent on this, but it does say that states
appoint electors and the power to appoint means the power to set conditions. one of those cases, if it had gone the other way, hugely destru destructive. that's basically what those who brought the case were hoping, ultimately more attention on the electoral college and persuade moor to move more towards direct popular vote. >> pete, do we know anything else about the rest of the term? when the final decisions will come? we're in july. you know as well as i, that doesn't usually happen. >> the "anything else" part, yes. we know what cases are left to be decided but, no, don't know when we'll get the final decisions. still witting on the big ones, whether a new york prosecutor can get subpoenas to financial documents the president has. a couple freedom of religion cases opt-out for mandate of obamacare and don't know what the last days are.
in a situation with the pandemic. supreme court called off oral argument from march and april, pushed to may and that's pushed the whole schedule behind, andrea. >> pete williams, happy to have you around. thank you. longer than usual in july. coming up in the running who is on the list to be joe biden's running mate? more on that coming up next. and why have black and latino people been hit so hard by the coronavirus? we dive into that later. this is "andrea mitchell reports" on msnbc. is "andrea l reports" on msnbc. (crowd cheering) therabreath, it's a better mouthwash. at walmart, target and other fine stores. or psoriatic arthritis, little things can become your big moment. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats differently. for psoriasis,
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joe biden has long said he will picka running mate. since the death of george floyd a growing push to put a black woman on the ticket. i asked about this on "meet the press" sunday. >> you are also of course mentioned on the vice presidential list for joe biden. obviously you have the national security credentials, but how should americans feel about voting for someone who's never had any experience in electoral politics. never run in a national campaign. >> andrea, let's not get ahead ef ourselves here, right? joe biden needs to make the decision as to who he thinks will be his best running mate and i will do my utmost drawing on my experience of years in government, years of making the
bureaucracy worked. i've worked on multiple campaigns, presidential campaigns. been on the campaign trail as a surrogate and i'm going to do everything i can to help get joe biden elected and help him succeed as president, whether i'm his rinningmate or a door knocker. i don't mind. >> and joining me now, former democratic congresswoman donna edwards of maryland and jonathan capehart, opinion writer for the "washington post." welcome, both. donna, it was very interesting that there was no shyness there in susan rice's answer. she put herself out there. she was very direct about it. similarly, we've seen others respond that way. the "washington post" reports to senator duckworth is emerging as a contender higher up on the list. and we've seen former senate majority leader harry reid has been in direct contact with the biden campaign talking in an interview a lot of attention lately on duckworth. what are you seeing?
>> look, i think the democratic party and joe biden in particular has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to selection for a vice president. i think the big issue on the table is whether it was going to be a woman. what woman? well, he put that aside by saying that he would choose a woman, and there are any number of women in my view who have the requisite experience, pluses and minuses and so i've actually decided no the to get invested in who that woman should be, because i think the most important thing is for joe biden to choose somebody he can govern with. not just someone he can campaign with. but he can govern, with a govern agenda that's really strong and making sure that we put the country on a pathway that isn't just about re-creating the past, but really building a future that includes a future for all americans and i think he should choose someone he can work with to get that job done.
>> and until now the conventional wisdom has been kamala harris fits the bill, because she has run in a national campaign, has been in the debates, and that was one thing that joe biden said he was thinking about. let's watch what she had to say to nicolle wallace last week. >> i want -- deep in my heart, that joe biden wins this election, and i want joe biden to pick whoever is going to help him win the election and wherever i am, i'm going to support him in every way i can. >> jonathan capehart, kamala harris is high on a lot of people's lists, but not your aunt gloria list. what does aunt glor wa want. >> from the very beginning said joe biden would be the nominee, needs to be the nominee. she's been proven right. there's aunt gloria. then early on she said. >> love it. >> she thought that senator
elizabeth warren should be his running mate. when the black lives matter protests flared up initially in late may, early june, i got an email from aunt gloria saying, in this time, we need to be brought together. i think senator harris should be that person, but it only lasted a couple of weeks and she emailed me back saying, nope. sorry. going back to senator warren. she thinks that senator warren would be a good governing partner with vice president biden. i have to say in my family, my mother on the other hand wants susan rice to be the vice presidential nominee. she likes susan rice. i still stand by my original going on the record to say that senator kamala harris would be the best pick for vice president biden. but, look, all of the names i've mentioned and all the names aagree with congresswoman
edwards,s that an embarrassment of ish ares here for former vice president joe biden. any of the people we've been talking about would be superb. >> well, i just want to say, jonathan, i haven't met aunt gloria but i met your mother on zoom last week on your birthday celebration. listening to everyone in your family and to donna edwards. so joe biden will pick the eventual choice of course. leave it there, because governor ron desantis in florida has, in the villages by the way, where that white power protest was last week the president retweeted is now speaking. let's listen. >> -- that's very, very important. mortality is very, very clear skewing heavily in that direction. those are folks that need support. we'll talk about expansion of testing very robust now. social distancing, still very important. support for hospital health care workers, and then obviously introduction of the virus into florida. so if you look at where we are
and kind of where we've been particularly over the last month, when we started this clearly the testing levels were low at the time cdc said only test somebody who's 65 and older. has symptoms. it was in china. maybe some other international places. part of that, a limited testing capacity. so you look kind of the march, beginning of april. we were testing at probably similar levels per capita that other states were except for the northeast, but much different than what we are now. but the positivity rate was basically about 10% for those first four to six weeks. so if you did 10,000 tests, you get 1,000 positive is kind of what we were looking at there. then as we got into april, we started seeing positive movement in the positivity rate. beginning of may through that second week of june was really the best testing that we had had
going on in the state of florida in terms of low positivity. we were expanding the number of tests being contacted, but the amount of people, the percentage of people testing positive was very, very low. so you look at the beginning of may, you know, we were under 5%. all the way through june 13th. we were 4.9%. now, the june 13th week, 7th to the 13th, you started to see even though 4.9% is still good, 3.3% the week be before, started to see increase in positivity. part driven by discreet outbreaks we saw in different parts of the state. i think kind of the beginning of then the next week. we get into, again, we're testing a lot of people, 230,000. but we went to 9.5% positivity. so you're testing a lot of people but percentage testing positive is higher and then the
following week a huge increase in the number of tests that are done, but also an increase in the positivity from 9.5% to 11.9% and then this past week we did almost 400,000 tests, but had just under 15% positivity, and, really, when you look at the positivity, it's been about 14%, 15% pretty consistently now for more than a week. really probably about eight to ten days. so when you look at cases, and i'll talk about this a little more in a minute, for every case that's documented there are many more infections that actually occurred. we only diagnose a small fraction of the total number of infections. so if you are at 5% positivity and you test 50,000, then you test 100,000, positivity stays same, yeah, twice as many tests come back positive, but not really evidence that it's more prevalent. when you are seeing the positivity increase more people
out of whatever amount you're doing testing positive, that's an indication of the positivity increasing and so some of the, these things we've seen over the last eight days, media says, record case. it's basically been the same. yeah, we do 80,000 tests we'll have more. 40,000 tests going to have less positives, but the percentage has been pretty consistent. now this is, we want to get back down in that 3%, 4% we were in may and early june. at the same time the 15%, that's a far cry from what you were seeing in places like the northeast where they were 30%, 40%, 50% early in the pandemic. in fact, we are now at the point where we've tested 10% of the state's population. so 2.2 million people. we got about obviously a little under 22 million floridians. that's a lot of tests. but i think it's something that was significant.
we wanted to expand testing and we've done it. then here's the stats to the last week. almost 400,000 people tested. 14.8% tested positive. so, again, take the may percentage, we would have probably been 4% or 5%. that generates a lot more tests, positive tests, when testing at 14.8% and the positivity is not uniform throughout the state of florida. you go down to miami-dade, they've been 20%. you look at hillsborough, between 15% and 20%. i think orange county has been over 15%. and then there's other places that have been less. and you know, may not be, some places 1% or 2% in may. now they may be 6% or 7%. you've seen increase in positivity but a lot of parts of florida that are still in the single digits. so obviously i want to keep it that way and be able to do -- median age is significant. talk a little more about that in
a minute. the median age of everybody testing right now positive for this past week is 36. as we've seen the cases increase the median age every single day has been in the 30s. sometimes as low as 33. why is that important? well, because this is a virus that does not affect all age groups equally. it's much more lethal for people who are in their 80s and 90s than it is in your 20s and 30s. going through some of the numbers, basically if you're under 40 and you don't have significant co-morbidities, fatality rate is pretty close to zero. so who is testing positive is just as important as how many people are testing positive. this is a, probably a two decade shift from where we were with the median age at the end of march, beginning of april. we had been in the 60s, then in the 50s and then as this upswing has really been driven by a lot of people in their 20s and 30s, testing positive.
so here's an example of kind of the risk profile by age group which is very, very important. and as we've listened to the governor of florida, downplaying the numbers and saying that playing the numbers and saying it's increased testing and and that it's also a younger can hort. so rejoining me now is nbc news medicine correspondent, john torres, and former democratic congresswoman, donna edwards and jonathan capehart. dr. torres, back to you. he's basically saying a lot of what the president has been saying. increased testing and that the age category is lower, so therefore, not to worry. but those young people do have families, have grandparents and parents and see other people. so what are we to believe here? >> so exactly. you're right. it is something to worry about because the numbers you touted, definitely there's more testing, which means the numbers are going up.
but the positivity rate, the number of people who test positive. that positivity rate is much higher than it should be. 10% or less is what we look forment he's talking 15 to 20%. the median age is in the mid 30s. that's middle of the age range of people testing positive. but like you said, those people, it might not affect them much, but they can spread it to other people. those are just the ones we know about. that's the rate of the ones tested. the asymptomatic ones, that number is going to be higher as well. again, we need to look at both aspects of this. >> and also, the impact of african-americans and latinos who have been so disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. this has to be concerning to anyone in the public health field, as well as elected official, as well as all americans. >> well, i think, i mean it is a concern and i don't think we fully understand the, the issues
and the challenges and i think this administration continues along with their red state governors, to down play the impact of this virus. as though somehow, magically, it has gone away or is going away when in fact, in state after state, i think something like 32 states have seen increases in coronavirus over the last couple of weeks. this virus has taken hold because of the mismanagement of this administration and the president of the united states. >> and jonathan, just your final thoughts on this racial d disparity. >> what this pandemic has done is show the disparities that are throughout american society. the fact that you have this virus disproportionately impacting african-americans just goes to show how broken our health care system is. and the desperate need for a
national strategy to get the virus under control, but to also help the, help african-americans who are being hit by this pandemic in ways that they really shouldn't be if we had a functioning white house and a functioning administration that took the lives and the lively 450d hoods of all americans to r heart. >> thanks so very much to you, jonathan capehart and to dr. torres and donna edwards and now to the heartbreaking news from broadway. tony nominated actor, nick lost his long battle with coronavirus. he died after 90 day as in freemt. he was only 41 years old. that to what the governor was saying about young people. he is survived by his wife and their 1-year-old son, elvis.
joe friar has more on his life. >> the bright lights of broadway a little dimmer after the passing of one u of its stars. he died sunday after bravely battling coronavirus for more than three months. his heartbroken wife, a amanda writing on instagram, god has another ainngel in heaven now. he was surrounded in love by his family, singing and pray, when he gently left this earth. reaction to the tragic news, swift, my heart is broken, i feel ill. my condolences to you. zack braf writing i have never met a a kinder human being. don't believe that covid only claims the elderly and infirm. he spent the last three months in the hospital, six weeks of
that in a medically induced coma. his wife kept the world posted through the triumphs -- >> da da is awake! yay! >> and the tears. >> nick suffered from some new england infection in his lungs earlier this week. >> unable to see her husband for 79 days, amanda was finally able to visit him in june, posting this tender photo of them holding hands at his bedside. ♪ amanda encouraged fans and friends to sing his 2018 single, live your life, every day. a heartwarming response online was overwhelming. in her instagram note, she said that song not only lifted her spirits, but provided comfort in his final moments. we sang it to him today holding his hands. as i sang the last line to him, they'll give you hell, but don't
you let them kill your light, not without a fight, live your life. i smiled because he definitely put up a fight. i will love you forever and always, my sweet man. >> actor zack braf said the last text he receive frd him is to look out for his family. he promises the world they will never want for anything. our thoughts are with them. absolutely heartbreaking. that does it for this edition. craig melvin picks up our coverage after a break. picks u coverage after a break to severe psoriasis,
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a good monday afternoon to you. we're following the latest facts on this pandemic for you right now. we just heard from florida governor, the governor down play thag state's increase in case numbers, say iing the jump is coming because of an increase in testing. he said the recent surge in cases has been driven by people largely in their 20s and 30s. meanwhile, the united states just crossed 2.9 million cases of coronavirus and nearly 133,000 americans have died. florida, texas, arizona are among the states with the highest surge in cases right now. but today in new york city, they're entering phase three of reopening. allowing nail salons,