tv MSNBC Live MSNBC July 16, 2020 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
nbc news has just learned after weeks of radio silence, president trump spoke to dr. anthony fauci yesterday. that's just about a day after an anti-fauci op-ed by one of trump's top advisers sparked widespread criticism. white house press secretary kayleigh mcenany will hold a press briefing any minute now. we'll bring you any news from that as it happens. in the meantime, confirmed cases of covid-19 have now topped 3.5 million in the united states. cases are on the rise in a vast majority of states, 41 of them. that means this crisis is going to get much worse before it gets any better. the governor of georgia, brian kemp, is raising eyebrows for his decision to overturn the mandatory mask orders that were imposed by some cities in his state. public health officials say universal mask wearing is currently our only hope for containing this virus. we'll have more on that in just a moment. and it's official. previously public covid-19 data is no longer publicly available on the cdc website.
the information was scrubbed from the site as president trump has moved to cut the organization out of the conversation. hospitals are now being asked to send their data directly to an hhs data base. let's begin at the white house with that news that president trump and dr. anthony fauci are talking again. pressure had been building on the white house from critics, including republicans, questioning those attacks on the country's highly respected top infectious disease doctor. just as parts of the country are being dev staastated by new sur of coronavirus. we mentioned every state, plus d.c., puerto rico, and the virgin islands are seeing cases increase. in the handful of states where it's decreasing, there's concern it may not stay that way for long. here's the bottom line, there is still no comprehensive consistent plan from the white house. house speaker nancy pelosi criticized the lack of action from the president earlier today. >> observing his behavior, i
have concluded that he is like the man who refuses to ask for directions. all of the answers are there. >> joining me now from the white house is nbc news correspondent kelly o'donnell. good to see you, kelly. what more do we know about president trump's conversation with dr. fauci and how it came about? >> we understand that they had a conversation on wednesday, and that is notable because weeks had passed where dr. fauci, who is a fixture here around the white house, because coronavirus task force meetings chaired by the vice president continue to happen, and he participates in those. and of course, we had seen how for weeks he and the president had not been talking. and that really robbed the president of dr. fauci's advice and guidance, and earlier on in this pandemic, there were clearly times that dr. fauci,
along with dr. birx and others, had been persuading the president to do things like remember the 15 days to slow the spread that became 45 days by adding another 30. so there was a point when the president was listening to dr. fauci, and then that fell apart. we saw how there was criticism from white house officials, some quietly and behind the scenes. some publicly, as we saw with an op-ed from peter navarro, trade adviser, who criticized dr. fauci's credibility. and the president himself, who had said he disagrees with him at times. the president has also made an effort to say they have a very good relationship. but getting along is not necessarily the same as listening to or being on the same page when it comes to the medical advice that dr. fauci could give. so this is a sign of trying to repair the relationship, which has taken a beating in recent days, since that white house effort to chip away or undermine dr. fauci's credibility, which drew strong backlash from not
only democrats but the medical community and even republicans who said not a fight worth taking on. he's a longtime civil servant, not a political appointee, who has advised six presidents, and certainly at least there's an effort to put dr. fauci and the president able to communicate again, and we'll see where that goes, if there's any change in how dr. fauci has influenced or if that remains elusive. chris. >> kelly o'donnell at the white house for us, kelly, always good to see you. thanks. as of 5:00 p.m. today, it's going to be mandatory to wear masks in the state of alabama. the state's republican governor, kay ivey, announcing the order just yesterday, saying the numbers in her state are trending in the wrong direction. but her own lieutenant governor called the move an overstep. even as public health experts like dr. deborah birx praised the order. but as mask wearing continues to be a political litmus test, what do the residents of deep red alabama think? with me from montgomery,
alabama, is nbc news reporter dasha burns. what are you hearing on the ground there? >> hey, chris. well, i have been in alabama for about three days now, and i am noticing interesting trends when it comes to the mask debate. the conversation that's happening in the political sphere, the governor, lieutenant governor, other politicians, sounds pretty different from the conversations that i have been having with both doctors and residents here. doctors, of course, are desperate for people to wear masks. yesterday, i was at a hospital that has no icu beds available. and the health care workers there tell me that the best way to keep their hospital from being overwhelmed is for people to wear these things. and today, i have been strolling the streets of montgomery, talking to residents, and chris, every single person i have spoken to today, and this is only anecdotal, but every person i have asked has agreed with the mask mandate. take a listen. >> i am thrilled about it. i have been wanting her to do it for a while. >> i agree. i'm totally in favor of it
because i think it's the quickest way to get through this and on to the other side. and i think we're all anxious to do that. >> and chris, on the question of overstepping, one woman i asked said that the government already tells her what light bulbs to put in her lamps, what toilets to put in her bathroom, so why would it be overstepping to keep communities protected. chris. >> dasha burns, thank you so much for that. meanwhile, in georgia, not only is there no state-wide mask order, the governor won't allow local leaders to put them in place either. republican brian kemp has banned localities from forcing residents to wear masks after 15 of them passed requirements to do just that. i want to bring in hardy davis, who is the mayor of augusta, georgia. augusta had previously passed a mask order. thanks for being with us. what's your response to the governor? can he do this? >> chris, thank you for having
us. we're extremely disappointed with the governor's approach to this. in fact, i thought that brian kemp, as i have known him for many, many years, was a compassionate leader, but when you hear statements that we have just got to learn to deal with it, i find that unconscionable, especially when we're dealing with a public health care crisis that's been turned into a political conversation when quite frankly it should be completely apolitical. >> let's talk about that public health care crisis. how are things in your city, and what was it that made you say, you know what, we need to do this? we need to make sure that people don't go out of their houses without a mask on. >> i have been meeting weekly with public health officials, those from the private sector as well as my ema director, and what we found by looking at the data is that there's a significant surge in georgia, more importantly, here in augusta, georgia, we're a border city. neighboring south carolina, and as we know as well, south carolina's numbers continue to
surge at record numbers. and so it's extremely important for us to provide for the health, welfare, and safety of all of our citizens which is what led us to issue the executive order. we thought it was a prudent step that needed to be done immediately, and we did that last friday. with it being a soft approach at first before we moved to fairly strict enforcement. the thing that i found is that the citizens of augusta are largely in support of this effort and believe it's the right thing to do if we're going to keep people safe. our numbers in richmond county alone, we have a 1.33% infection rate. we have roughly about 2,000 confirmed cases, and that number consistently begins to double every week, and it puts us at grave concern about the citizens here in augusta, richmond county. >> well, and that's consistent with what we heard from one infectious disease expert in augusta at the hospital there. he warns, quote, i think we are on our way there, meaning on
your way to a new peak. are you ready for it? >> i'm questioning whether we're ready for it. when we look at what's happening in our hospitals, i have one hospital that's almost at capacity right now. from an overall standpoint, you're looking at roughly about 84% of hospital beds being at capacity across the state of georgia. and certainly, we have those same challenges here in richmond county. when you look at the fact that the governor indicated this was a bridge too far, in terms of having a requirement for masks, i think this is the most prudent step as we see from the cdc and other national, state, and local health professionals that this is a critical step that we need to take right now in order to make sure that people are safe and to slow the spread of the virus. what we're seeing in augusta is community spread at this point, and the numbers continue to double, as i said. the more tragic thing, chris, is that we see first responders being impacted by covid-19. i've got firefighters, i've got
law enforcement professionals who have found themselves having to be quarantined and isolated at home, and this continues stress not only on our health care system but more importantly on our first responders, puts us in a very dire situation in the state of georgia and certainly here in augusta. >> yeah, and given all that, and given that mayors elsewhere are in the same situation you are, i'm looking at this long list of cities that imposed mask orders from savannah and athens to brookhaven, south fulton, atlanta, decatur, why do you think that the governor is being so insistent on this? >> once again, at a time where executive powers should be used to unite georgians from all corners of the state to slow the spread of the virus, once again we see a situation where an apolitical public health care crisis has been turned into a political football, and this is not the time for that.
we have to be involved in saving lives. we need to do that in a collaborative manner, and if the governor is not going to issue a requirement for masks across the state of georgia, just as alabama has done, here in south carolina, governor mcmaster allowed local municipalities because those individuals are the ones closest on the ground to what's happening. we should be doing the same thing in the great state of georgia. and it's just disappointing once again to know that our governor has said we're looking at data and we have just got to learn to live with it. >> hardy davis, mayor of augusta, georgia, good luck to you, and thank you so much for the time. we appreciate you talking with us. >> thanks, chris. meanwhile, we just heard from the mayor of atlanta, keisha lance bottoms. let's take a listen to what she had to say about all this. >> the city of atlanta still has the appropriate standing to mandate masks.
especially as it relates to buildings and places that we own and operate. >> so keisha lance bottoms questioning whether or not the governor can tell her that she can't do that. so more to come on that story. more than 20 states now require residents to wear masks while in public, and now major retailers are following suit as well. just this morning, cvs and target joined an expanding list of companies mandating that their customers wear face coverings while inside their stores. and the national retail federation is encouraging other retailers to adopt similar policies, saying in part, shopping in a store is a privilege, not a right. if a customer refuses to adhere to store policies, they are putting employees and other customers at undue risk. and what is often missed in all this, the risk posed to workers who have to enforce those mask mandates. we have all seen the viral
videos of people pushing back against workers or even other customers after simply being asked to cover their faces. in at least one confrontation, an employee was killed. joining me now is diane swann, chief economist at grant thornton. diane, look, you have all these major retailers who are saying wear a mask, but what can they do make sure they aren't putting their staff in a position where, you know, having to try to enforce these mask mandates could be dangerous? >> well, that's one of the hardest things out there, is that we have this backlash to the masks that people are actually getting violent in a store. that can be a greater risk to someone than even getting the disease, as we have already seen with one fatality. we know masks work. i mean, this is the retail federation is following the science on this, listening to scientists. there are also many retailers are multinational retailers. they have already been down this road in other countries.
what they have seen is not only do masks work but they're very important to not only making customers feel safe about going into establishments and keeping them safe, but also keeping their workers safe. so this is a two-way street, and you really can't delineate between the health of workers and the health of customers coming in, because if you get any of them out sick, particularly for an extended length of time, we're talking about long quarantines, you're compromised in what you can do. this is a real issue, the health issue is driving the economics. i think the retail federation coming out with this strong stance is saying we understand that, and in order to control the course of the economy and where we're going, you need to control the course of the coronavirus. >> yeah, without doing that, another shutdown could happen. some of these places will not be open again or fewer people will go into them. but in the meantime, as we know
that, again, the vast majority of people, they see the sign, they put the mask on, they go in, but it doesn't take many to cause a problem. to have a video go viral. have you heard of any kind of training that retailers are providing or policies in terms of confronting customers who don't wear a mask? >> you know, i advise a lot of smaller businesses, and they're having a really hard time because they actually do say to their customers that they know very well, you can't come in without a mask. and they can sort of negotiate this better. i also know people, and i have talked to other larger clients that have had more problems with this issue in how to enforce it, and you're really putting an undue burden on low wage workers who are already at high risk to be able to enforce the mandates. and i think the problem is we don't have good data on training, and we don't know what the retailers are doing. but even if you train workers to de-escalate, which we have seen some very confrontational situations where the workers themselves have taken it upon
themselves to de-escalate and done a good job of that, eve in those cases, there's still very high risks. that's where we don't even have the data on it. we have all this high-frequency data and don't know how you're going to implement these things and it really is putting a heavy burden on someone working in a store. >> yeah, and of course, the fact is many of the people who work in those frontline jobs don't have a choice. it is how they support themselves. it's how they support their families, at a time, frankly, when more americans are filing for unemployment. last week, another 1.3 million weekly jobless claims. down from the peak back in april, when we saw more than 6 million, but still, well above the prepandemic average, and more than was expected. what's your take on those numbers? and what does it tell us going forward? >> well, we know that some of the high frequency data along with this data, this data is very muddled. some is double counting on the pandemic, on unemployment insurance, which is on top of
those initial unemployment insurance claims. even with it muddled, it's at staggeringly high levels. the persistence of that has been disturbing. the other interesting issue is in the most recent week, the week ending july 11th, we saw a big surge in some of the hot spots out there like california, florida, georgia, arizona, nevada. that's all very important because what you're seeing is the behavioral effects we knew were already happening as people were pulling back before states were reversing reopening. and before states sort of initiated a new round of lockdowns we saw by california on a more targeted basis starting on monday of this week. so we already were seeing some layoffs come back, and at best, economic activity has plateaued and is not moving forward. at worst, we may be losing ground again at the very moment many of those workers could run out of expanded benefits and unemployment insurance come end of this month. >> diane swonk, always good to
have you on the program. thank you so much. cases in arizona are rising by the thousands every day, so the state is turning to outside help to treat the onslaught of patients. plus, how were hackers able to infiltrate twit sxr targets the accounts of some of its most famous users? and the serious concerns that's raising during an election year. >> first, after weeks of watching his poll numbers tank, the president shakes up his re-election campaign, putting a new man in charge. but who is really running the show? how about no no uh uh, no way come on, no no n-n-n-no-no only discover has no annual fee on any card.
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coronavirus is forcing republicans to change their plans for the president's renominating convention in jacksonville, florida, next month. in a letter to members of the republican national committee, chairwoman rona mcdonald said there would be limited attendance with only delegates allowed to attend in person. on the fourth night of the convention, the list will expand to delegates, a guest of their choosing, and alternate delegates. the party is still deciding how much of the convention will take place inside versus outside. outside, they're facing the august heat and potential other weather problems in florida. >> word today of an emotional staff meeting for the trump re-election team after trump demoted his campaign manager,
bad par scal, and promoted bill stepien, someone unlike parscal, has a long list of presidential campaign experience. he was also a top aide to new jersey governor chris christie before being fired amid the bridgegate scandal, although he was never charged. let's bring in nbc news white house correspondent peter alexander. interesting to note, stepien was first brought into the campaign by jared kushner. what does this change and what doesn't it change? >> yeah, chris, a good question. the bottom line is everybody knows that donald trump ultimately is his own campaign manager, right? but this is significant for a variety of reasons. it's the most, i guess, public acknowledgment by the president's inner circle, by his campaign that something isn't working, that they need to make a change with fewer than four months before the election here. worth noting also, kellyanne conway, she took over the post in august, mid-august of 2016. so it's been done before by
donald trump and worked the last time. will it work this time? the campaign insists that this is a good thing, that they're trending in the right direction, but that's not what you see when you check out the polls, and it's also not you hear privately. i'm told jared kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser is the one who delivered the news to brad parscale, and a source telling me the following, they said of jared, jared kushner was the campaign manager yesterday, is the campaign manager today, and will be the campaign manager tomorrow. brad took the bullet for jared. clearly, chris, there had been some significant problems for the campaign, most notably a couple weeks back with that rally in tulsa where the president didn't just underperform, he performed in front of what was basically a half-empty arena. >> here's the key question that forces you to get into the president's brain, but based on what you're hearing, is the president's discontent about those facts, the facts these people didn't show up for that rally, the facts are that poll
after poll after poll show him losing ground, or does he not just -- he doesn't like the news but he doesn't believe it either? he thinks that his popularity has not really gone down, that he is still winning? >> which is kind of striking, right? when you see him campaigning, even what some describe as the rose garden rant about 24 hours ago, where he teed off on joe biden there. the bottom line is, the president has seen his poll numbers drop, and we can put the most recent ones up on the screen right now. trailing joe biden nationally 51% to 40%, according to nbc news. but he's seen his numbers drop, this margin widening in the last month as he's been criticized for his mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak and also for the racial unrest we have seen throughout the country right now. one of the most staggering numbers we see there, chris, is that 50% of americans right now strongly disapprove of the
president's job performance right now. 50% strongly disapprove. 50% saying there is no chance at all in their conversations with our pollsters that they would vote for the president at this point. his pollsters, his inner circle, folks i spoke to last night, say that is simply not the case. they say things are heading in the right direction. they say they have to do a better job of attacking and defining joe biden, but it's clear as what we have evidenced in the last 24 hours, he has a significant climb ahead of him. >> peter alexander, always great to see you. thank you so much for taking the time to be with us. >> meanwhile, cases are spiking by the thousands, each day in arizona. we're in phoenix, where hospitals are so overwhelmed that now they're relying on hundreds of out of state medical workers. >> and we'll highlight the emotional toll of being a medical worker during this pandemic. these are heroes forced to see their patients succumb to the virus multiple times a day in many cases. who is there for them?
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we've got breaking news for you out of colorado, where affiliate kusa reports that governor jared polis is expected to issue an executive order mandating that masks be worn in businesses state-wide. we're anticipating that announce mentd ment in a few minutes. colorado, of course, joining a growing list, more than 20 states now that already have mask mandates in place.
that state has more than 38,000 cases of coronavirus, more than 1600 coloradans have died. and we're following more developments in the coronavirus pandemic. here are the facts this hour. negotiations are under way in congress for another round of relief. senate republicans want to cap the latest package at $1 trillion. but house democrats want more. the good news, another round of direct payments to americans is now all but certain. >> there's new data out of florida showing nearly 1 out of every 3 children who have been tested for covid in that state have tested positive. south florida health officials are warning parents that much is still unknown about how the virus affects children, including long-term. new york's bars and restaurants will no longer be allowed to serve alcohol to walk-up customers. alcohol can only be served to anyone who also orders food. governor cuomo says the new rule is the result of thousands of complaints about bars and restaurants violating social
distancing. early data shows the vaccine developed by astrazeneca and oxford university may produce both antibodies and killer t-cells in healthy patients. scientists believe that combination could be a longer lasting and more effective solution than vaccines that only produce antibodies. meantime, we have seen that in arizona, cases are rising by the thousands. the state reporting more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases just today. with the surge comes an increase in hospitalizations. and now, arizona is bringing in about 600 out-of-state health care professionals to help them with their overwhelmed hospitals. with me from phoenix, arizona, is nbc news reporter vaughn hillyard. i know some traveling nurses are already there treating patients in arizona. what have they told you? >> reporter: they're here at a time, chris, in which there are more than 150 new deaths reported here in the state in just the last 48 hours.
governor ducey is supposed to be holding a press conference this afternoon. this is a state that does not have a state-wide mask ordinance. i want to introduce you to a nurse here, shannon sims. we're standing in front of the maricopa county medical examiner's office where just today four refrigerated trucks have arrived to help as potential morgue space here, and the reason i wanted people to meet you especially is the fact you live here in arizona. but you spent two months this spring at a brooklyn hospital. tell me what you saw when you were there. >> to be very frank and clear with you, i was very naive, just like a lot of people here in the state of arizona. prior to going to new york. i took this for granted. what do i mean by that? i took wearing a mask, making sure when i'm in public or around my neighbors i had a mask on. when i went to new york and i got off that plane and entered jfk airport, it was super, super
desolate. hardly anybody there. i'm very familiar with that airport, very familiar with new york. and my mentality started to shift then. okay. so making my way out of the airport, getting into an uber, where there was a plastic partition, really, really started to set the stage and the tone for what i was entering into. getting there a few days before i started at the hospital, i kind of, you know, walked around, tried to familiarize myself with the area. all playgrounds, swings were locked up. the basketball goals, the rims were removed. and all of the parks were locked. they took this very, very seriously. >> how many folks did you see pass away in new york? >> i think it's fair to assume triple digits. absolutely. absolutely. i bear witness to people who had had some coworkers, physicians, nurses, nutritionists for ten-plus years, they were caring for those people. i had never done that in my
career. i have worked in medicine since i was 18. i have been in medicine for 18 years, 12 years a nurse. >> and so you now come back here just a little over a week ago, and you have been working in one of these arizona facilities with covid patients. >> correct. >> what are you seeing here in arizona, and what do you want people from arizona, to texas, to florida, to understand what you saw for two months in new york and now you're seeing here? >> on the outside of the hospital, what i witnessed is the same ignorance that i had prior. people just, they're not really sure if they should support wearing a mask or not wearing a mask. i'm here to tell you that this is not a conspiracy. i'm here to tell you that this is not political. i'm here to tell you that it's in your best interest to wear a mask, to wash your hands, to try to keep your hands out of your face, because those are all entry -- >> because you're seeing folks dying here? >> we're seeing a lot of it. to be fair about it, there are a lot of adjustments being made on the fly because we are filling
up just that quickly. >> we appreciate your time, and we appreciate your work. again, chris, somebody who spent two months, the months of may and june, and literally got off the plane and started working back here in arizona. and i think what you heard is that message of folks need to take it seriously. i think what you see in the streets of arizona, florida, of texas, look a lot different than what you guys up in new york were seeing over those couple months here this spring, chris. >> yeah, please, vaughn, tell us, those of us in new york say thank you, because we know that our front line medical professionals could not have done it without the help of folks like him. so thank you for that, vaughn hillyard. and i want to bring in dr. hess. she's an emergency medicine university affnew york's columbia university medical center. perfect to see you today. you're on the front lines in new york. in fact, you contracted the virus yourself. as you listen to this nurse talking about what he calls the ignorance of people, uncertain
about wearing masks. when you hear about yet another city going through what those of us in new york saw, which is refrigerator trucks being brought in for fear that the morgues will not be big enough to hold the bodies, what goes through your mind? >> it is traumatic. it's doubly traumatic for the physicians and the health care workers in arizona and florida and texas and everywhere the cases are out of control. i remember that the day i came back to work after being sick with the coronavirus myself, and i was on the subway in new york city, and people were wearing masks everywhere. and there was nobody out unless you had to go to work. i was like, we're going to do this together. and that was when we're hitting our peak of patients getting intubated regularly and deaths on the rise, but we knew we were in this as a city, and that our leadership was behind us. the texts i'm getting from physicians on the ground in arizona and florida are just heartbreaking because they really feel like they're in this alone.
and that is just not fair. >> let me tell folks about a "wall street journal" profile of a doctor in texas. i'm sure it's similar to some of the things you have been hearing. they're just overwhelmed there. and he described contracting the virus but then losing so many patients he told the journal, and i'm quoting him here, i cry every day. i'm sure you can relate to that feeling. how did you and your colleagues handle this unprecedented emotional stress, and when you're hearing from your colleagues in places like florida and arizona, what do you say to them? >> so we say that we're here for them, and we say if they need anything, please let us know. the nurses and doctors that came from utah and from arizona to help us in new york, we did promise to return the favor, and the minutes they ask for it, we'll send people. we're sending people now from new york to arizona. what can i say is that we saw deaths from coronavirus not just from the virus itself. right?
but from death by suicide and other effects of this virus, and we'll continue to see that for frontline workers who are being traumatized by not being supported by their leadership at their state level or their federal level. >> i hope folks are listening to you. i hope our leaders are listening to folks like that nurse who was with vaughn hillyard. this is such important information. doctor, good to see you, and looking well. thank you, we appreciate you. hackers were able to infiltrate some of the mostelec? facebook's former chief security officer will weigh in with us next.
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i do motivational speakingld. in addition to the substitute teaching. i honestly feel that that's my calling-- to give back to younger people. i think most adults will start realizing that they don't recall things as quickly as they used to or they don't remember things as vividly as they once did. i've been taking prevagen for about three years now. people say to me periodically, "man, you've got a memory like an elephant." it's really, really helped me tremendously. prevagen. healthier brain. better life. disturbing reports from u.s. intelligence that russian hackers are attempting to steal coronavirus and covid-19 vaccine research. officials are warning that hackers used malware and fishing attacks and they're targeting american, canadian, and british organizations that are conducting covid-19 research. no word from authorities on what
or how much information may have been accessed. this is the same hacking group implicated in the 2016 democratic party breakin. the nsa identifies the hackers as part of russian government intelligence. meantime,ane investigation is under way into that massive twitter hack that compromised the accounts of some of the most influential politicians, celebrities, and tech moguls in america. among them, joe biden, barack obama, kim kardashian, bill gates, jeff bezos, elon musk. the hacked accounts posted tweets asking followers to send money to a bitcoin address, and they got some. the attack lasted for a little over four hours as twitter struggled to gain control of the situation. the ceo jack dorsey now blames it on a coordinated social engineering attack. with the election over four months away, the incident is raising serious questions. today, it's a bitcoin scam. is twitter and social media platforms like it, are they prepared for hackers who might have a political agenda?
with me is alex stamos who served as chief security officer at facebook and also an msnbc cybersecurity analyst. great to see you. so put this in plain language for those of us who don't know this stuff as well as you do. what exactly is a coordinated social engineering attack? >> social engineering is a fancy phrase we use in security to mean that a human being was tricked into doing something that they were not supposed to do. usually when you talk about social engineering, you're talking about somebody being tricked without intentionally doing it. but there's some interesting reporting coming from joseph cox at vice's motherboard that the hackers are claiming on underground forums that they actually paid a twitter employee to help them with this hack. now, that hasn't been verified by any outside source. but it does look like what we know for sure is that a twitter employee on the inside helped the attackers reset the email accounts tied to these very
high-profile users and that allowed the attackers to take them over and post those scam tweets. >> how sophisticated is this attack? and what does it say about the potential for hackers to conduct another hack in the near future, maybe one that's a lot more damaging? >> so it was not very sophisticated at all. the truth is this is kind of the most basic way -- >> wait a minute, so it wasn't very sophisticated at all. i'm sorry, but i think, again, naivety. you know, you tend to think that they're pretty secure there, big company, lot of money. if this isn't very sophisticated, they can wreak this kind of havoc and they had to shut down a lot of accounts and scramble, and i think they got, what, $130,000 actually transferred to them. >> something like that, yeah. >> what does that say, again, about the future and the possibility for hacks? >> yeah, it is quite scary. twitter's basic problem is the problem that all kind of
consumer companies have. which is people call because they have some kind of problem, they need a customer service rep to help them out. one of the functions twitter's customer service reps will do is they will reset people's passwords and accounts so they can get control of them. now, that is a very dangerous thing. and there are ways that you can secure it better, but there is always a risk if you have employees that have that level of access, which in this case i think is something that exists. what we have to see is a detailed explanation of what happened, whether or not they believe the employee who did this did so intentionally, if so, i expect they will be arrested very quickly. as well as their coconspirators. then we need them to explain how they're fixing this problem. there are a lot of things they can do in their internal systems especially for really important accounts like, say, the presumptive democratic candidate for president, that one customer service rep can't massively change, can't take control, can't delete the account and the
like. that's something you need two or three different people to approve. there are other kinds of technical controls. it is really worrisome because in this case, i think we got lucky and twitter got lucky that these attackers effectively stole a race car, took it for a joy ride, and then wrapped it around a telephone pole in 30 seconds. they did not do all the things they could. if you have the control of the twitter accounts of ceos, of celebrities, and especially of political candidates, you have the ability to create international incident, to create mass panic throughout the country, to crash the stock market or to create artificial bubbles in the stock, so if these attackers were a little more advanced, they might have been able to make more money or create a lot more chaos. >> yeah, or influence an election, which is the concern of a lot of people going forward. al alex, always great to see you and talk to you. thank you so much. now, while there's still no vaccine to treat the coronavirus, doctors are seeing promise in a treatment already on the market. but finding it and affording it,
keep up. joining me now is dr. john torres. good to see you, dr. john. the good news is treatments have helped people survive serious cases of covid. what about these drugs that have shown promise? >> chris, you're right. we have the experimental drug remdesivir and decades old steroids. the combination of those drugs have shown life-saving benefits for covid patients. the problem now is potential cost issues could put it out of reach of patients that need it the most. an emotional welcome home for michael jansen. >> i should have been dead. >> the new york dad was one of the pandemic's early covid patients, in a coma and on a ventilator for 42 days. >> i was telling him we want you
to fight. keep fighting. >> out of options michael's doctors tried remdesivir topped with a cheap steroid for inflammation. >> you have a patient dying not just from the infection, but their body's response. >> i know they saved my life. within 24 hours of getting the steroids after the other drug i showed improvement. i stabilized. >> recent clinical trials showed remdesivir can shorten the length of the disease and might save lives. hhs was sending free remdesivir directly to hospitals, but critics say hhs data isn't keeping pace with surging cases. >> the federal government should be making sure we're moving the supplies necessary to treat patients in the hospitals in those states. it's not clear that those distribution mechanisms are in place.
>> hospitals in hot spot states tell nbc news they're low on the life-saving drug. >> by friday we may not have anymore. >> the government's supply of remdesivir will run out by december, if not sooner, and the price tag is about to go up. >> we just can't trust drug companies not to try and profiteer on this pandemic. >> doctors fear patients today won't be able to access one of the only drugs with evidence behind it. >> it's not fair to a patient or the patient's family to think about those things when their loved one's life is on the life. >> chris, what we're finding out is some systems in florida are running out at the end of the week. this seems to be going on and on. some states have it. could be putting it to other states. distribution is an issue. i can tell you that can become extremely frustrating. >> i can only imagine. lives on the line. dr. john torres, thank you.
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florida reporting nearly 14,000 new cases, a record 156 deaths just yesterday. the nationwide death toll is approaching the 139,000. the nbc news medical unit tells us 41 states have seen an increase in infections in just two weeks. president trump and dr. anthony fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, spoke yesterday for the first time in several weeks. their discussion comes as white house officials try to discredit dr. fauci. information on hospital bed availability in the u.s. has disappeared from the cdc website one day after control of that data was shifted to the health and human services department.