tv MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson MSNBC July 17, 2020 7:00am-8:00am PDT
good friday morning. i'm ayman mohyeldin in new york. we begin with another alarming milestone in this country. the u.s. again shattering its daily record, reporting more than 72,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day. this is the 11th time in the past month alone that that record has been broken. this as the death toll also continues to go up, nearly a
thousand americans are dying from the virus each day. experts warning this morning that the u.s. faces an impending disaster if it doesn't dramatically ramp up testing, saying results are takinging far too long, sometimes up to two weeks, making it almost impossible to reduce the spread of the virus. and in georgia, the fight over face masks is headed all the way to court. the governor of georgia now suing the mayor of its largest city, atlanta, in an effort to block that city from making face coverings mandatory. >> it is a waste of resources, taxpayer dollars. it is mind boggling. >> i refuse to sit back and watch as disastrous policies threaten the lives and livelihoods of our citizens. >> let's start with blayne alexander joining us for the hour from atlanta along with
vaughn hillyard in phoenix, and kelly o'donnell at the white house. the escalation playing out in georgia, the legal battle between the republican governor and the democratic mayor of atlanta heading into a new chapter this morning. >> absolutely, ayman, good morning to you. glad to join you from here in atlanta, georggeorgia, the stat largest city, where the republican governor of the state and the democratic mayor of atlanta, you know, this dispute over masks, whether or not to wear masks, whether or not to enforce them is something we have seen play out time and time again across the country. but it is really hitting a new level here in atlanta, georgia, this morning, now that we're seeing a lawsuit introduced into all of this. just to set the stage for you, as we're seeing this legal battle play out, ayman, we're also seeing the covid cases continue to rise here in georgia. we know that numbers are up, we know that over the past week or so hospitalizations here in the state of georgia are up 39%. and when you look at just this
month alone, the seven-day moving average of new cases has tripled from the numbers that we saw back in april. so clearly the answer is whatever is happening right now, it is not working, it is not effective to contain this virus. so, talking about this lawsuit, over the mask mandate here in atlanta, not only is atlanta mayor keisha lance bottoms named in that lawsuit, we're seeing named every single member of the atlanta city council. joining me is one of the members of the city council, andre d dickens, you with all of your colleagues on the city council were named in that lawsuit. you told me you actually found out about the lawsuit that you have been sued on twitter, when somebody tagged you on it. you didn't have a heads up. i want to give you a chance to respond to the lawsuit. >> i'm sitting there looking at twitter, someone tags me and tells me we have been sued, so i go through the lawsuit, and i'm reading and wondering as i go through 124 pages, i'm wondering
why did the governor waste taxpayer time and money and effort to create a lawsuit against the city of atlanta against the mayor and the city council, so i was shocked and actually frustrated and disturbed. >> do you think the city is going to win in court? >> i'm hoping it doesn't go to court. i don't necessarily believe this is the type of lawsuit, i'm hoping the governor is not intending on having a legal fight with us in court. that doesn't make any sense, that is spending money when we need to be saving money so we can save lives. so i'm not hoping we're going to court, but if we did go to court, the city knows how to fight. >> your reaction to one thing the governor said, i had a news conference womith him earlier ts morning. he said he doesn't believe georgians need a mandate to do the right thing if you ask, encourage people to wear masks, they will do so. going around atlanta, spending time with so many people, are people choosing to wear a mask, refusing to wear a mask.
you think a requirement is necessary, why do you say that? >> going around to the stores and the various places that are necessary, essential, i'm seeing more and more people now wearing masks as you're reporting and we're seeing more cases go up. so i'm happy that people are wearing masks, particularly since we put in the mandate. before that, it was a tossup, a 50/50 tossup and as everybody got settled in, i saw less and less mask wearers. so we have done campaigns to get people to wear masks, making it cool to wear masks, seeing signs. for me, i'm an engineer, i'm going with the science on this. the governor and those that are saying masks should not be mandatory, they're wrong. i'm going with the science on this. and it is showing right now that when we laid off and we did not require masks and we had people partying and social distancing went down, i think we saw the case goes up and unfortunately that's causing a strain on our healthcare system, and a strain on the number of lives that are
going to be lost in this battle. >> okay, councilman andre dickens, thank you for joining me and sharing your reaction to the lawsuit and what you've seen around the city of atlanta when it comes to wearing masks. you heard right there, he does believe that more people are wearing masks, it is because of mandate adding that extra layer of encouragement or more for people to put on their masks in georgia. >> to vaughn hillyard, let's talk about testing out there, researchers call for u.s. to ramp up testing, they're getting it there the first federally backed testing. how is that supposed to play out? >> reporter: having conversations over the last two or three months here in arizona with doctors and with icu nurses, testing has been all but a failure. not only has it been extremely difficult to get a test, maybe having to wait a day, two or three days, having to drive around town, but then also if you want to get results, it
oftentimes is most often taking more than a week to get those results back, which is making a -- getting a true understanding of the scope of the spread. that's why today is significant. i want to bring in rob mcdade. today this location here, this is the first major federally backed high capacity testing center here. there is two locations. they're partnering up with you guys. what is the significant here today? >> the significance is we want to get high numbers of folks in the most affected areas. we're in south phoenix now, the zip code is a hotbed for the numbers. we know they're there. we have multigenerational families living under one roof, grandma, the aunt gets covid, people don't know they're scared, they have young ones, they have to go to work, they weren't getting the testing, fema arrives, we have 60,000
kits. we hope this say success that we can get as many people tested over this week and a half span. >> we appreciate your efforts. good luck the next week and a half. >> thank you. >> the other part of this is that these tests are going to be shipped over to irvine, california, to be processed. the results are expected to come back in 24 or 48 hours as captain mcdade was saying. this is a heavy latino neighborhood with a lot of service workers, folks working from the meatpacking plant, in farm and ag, working at the restaurants and at the retail locations. this is one of those areas that needed ramped up testing to better understand. when you look at the percent positive number, here in arizona, it is still the highest. at 23% just over this last week alone. >> and massive effort under way there, vaughn, stay with us. the numbers continue to rise, the president's approval rating on the handling of the situation continues to plummet. what is the mood and the reaction there this morning in
the white house? >> reporter: well, the numbers are stark. the current polling shows the president's approval rating on his handling of the virus dipped below 40%. he's at 38%, 60% of those questioned disapprove. one thing we're hearing today is from counselor kellyanne conway, who in her political life, before this white house was a pollster. she said that the president's approval was certainly much better, above 50%. when he was the person out front, leading some of the information to the public on coronavirus as the task force was really getting under way early on. she says he needs to be doing that again, answering questions, leading some of the public events in order to enhance his poll numbers. when the president did that, there were times where he was giving out information and times he was saying things that were debunked, became controversial and so on. the white house has an inner struggle about this. the president can come forward today, tomorrow or next week and
lead an event. instead, we asked, when is the last time he attended a coronavirus task force meeting, we don't get a clear answer on that. we just talk about coronavirus almost on a daily basis, he will answer our questions about it. but he has not been leading the events on it. one senior official here is saying he should do that. and that would in her opinion give the president a better chance to connect with the public and perhaps see his approval ratings improve. they have certainly taken a big hit. at the same time, there are others who believe that it is the vice president's job to be running that task force and that the president should focus on things like the economy or deregulation, which is what we saw yesterday. ayman? >> kelly o'donnell live at the white house, vaughn hillyard in arizona, blayne alexander, stick around, you're staying with me for the entire hour as we put the spotlight on georgia. we have much more ahead on the pan dm demi
pandemic. one doctor says he cries every day over the growing crisis in his community. and in six years to the day of the death of eric gafrner, we remember his life and his role with his mother. it is a conversation you don't want to miss. it is a conversation you don't want to miss ...and new adventures. you hope the more you give the less they'll miss. but even if your teen was vaccinated against meningitis in the past... they may be missing vaccination for meningitis b. let's help protect them together. because missing menb vaccination could mean missing out on a whole lot more. ask your doctor if your teen is missing meningitis b vaccination. with spray mopping to lock away debris and absorb wet messes, all in one disposable pad. just vacuum, spray mop, and toss. the shark vacmop, a complete clean all in one pad.
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we're on the front lines of the coronavirus crisis in texas and florida. two states seeing surges in new cases. hospitals overwhelmed, running out of beds. in south texas, along the border with mexical, since july 1st, covid related deaths are almost six times the rate of the state overall. the county health authority dr. yvonne melendez says the only way you get a bed in the unit is if somebody dies. i'm now joined by dr. melendez and dr. bernard ashby, a south
florida cardiologist who has been treating covid patients. dr. melendez, you're quoted as saying i cry every day. i want to talk about what you're seeing on the ground there in hidalgo county. >> thank you for having me this morning, allowing us to voice what is going on in our community. we live in a community of 1.2 million people and an area that is approximately 35 miles long. who -- we're traditionally first and second in the country with per capita diabetes and morbid obesity and among the poorest areas in the country. we have some significant challenges that other communities may not. because of our proximity to the border, and in fact some of our communities are on the border, not unusual to hear gunshots from the cartels, but also because of our state of health, we have special challenges. currently we're at a point where
we're in a dire situation, have passed a safety point, and we went from approximately 8 to 10 patients in the hospital before we had an opening of the community to a business and now today we have 911. we went from 2 or 3 people on ventilators, now we have 140 today. we have over 200 people in the icu and what is most interesting, it took us three months to get to 12 people mortality. so out of 1.2 million people, two months to get to 12, today we're already -- this morning we're at 22 people. and we're getting anywhere between 25 to 35 people dying every single day. ambulance stretchers are being used to hold people, sometimes people are being coded in the hallways. our covid units are full. we have a medical school, state of the art hospitals, it is not because we don't have the technology, it is because we are
just so overburdened with the volume of patients that we're seeing. so, yes, we're in a crisis situation here in the hidalgo county of south texas. >> dr. melendez, do you have an understanding as to why perhaps we're seeing this surge now? is there something that is happening in recent weeks or is there a turning point in this when you look back over the past four months where perhaps you felt that maybe this situation was under control, certain things were in practice that were helping you curb that curve but now something has broken and we're at this surge? >> i think that's an excellent question and it illustrates something that is free of subjectivity. i think our situation is a very objective and very factual and science-based scenario. we have excellent results, traditionally federal government delegates the state government delegates to local county and on may 1st we had a change. on may 1st we went from local
flexibility and being nimble that was being managed by the county judge as well as our senator and our congressman and may 1st our governor, governor abbott, for whom i have the deepest respect for, but his policy was to do a -- i guess a big plan, master plan fits all, communities like houston and dallas versus where we are at versus west texas, versus east texas are completely different. our governor has been outstanding in helping us get resources, but we have had 17 deaths per 100,000 people recently. july 1st, houston had 3 for every 100,000 people. the state had 2 for every 100,000 people. so we're -- our death rate is notably increased. the question presents what has happened and the only objective thing we can see, how do you go from 13 people dying in three months to 22 in 1 morning. how do you go from 3 or 4 people, talking 9 hospitals, 3
or 4 people on ventilators to approaching 150. and how do you go from 8 to 11 people in the icu to approaching 250? how do you go from 12 people in the hospital to almost 1,000? there is only one thing that has changed. and that is social distancing. when we went back into opening up our community, which we desperately needed for financial impact and everything everyone knows, i think our community saw that as we were open back to normal, and there was no longer a threat. we also have to take some local responsibility. it is not a politician's perspective. it is our responsibility as a community and we have been very lax in staying at home, fourth of july, we saw peaks. so the -- the answer to your question, the only thing that has changed is we went from tight social distancing and staying at home to where currently now that is not the issue. that is not the current situation. >> dr. ashby, let me talk about
what you're seeing on the ground there in south florida where emergency rooms are near or at capacity. describe the scene for us playing out in your area. >> thanks for having me, ayman. and dr. melendez, i feel you 100% and i recognize the empathy you have for your patients and we're dealing with the same issue here. basically florida is a hot spot. it is hotter in july, and i'm not talking about the weather f y if you look at the recent rates, it is triple what we were averaging two weeks ago. we're doing a poor job of controlling the spread of the virus, but we are doing our job. there is only so much we can do because we don't have so much capacity and i would like to echo what dr. melendez said about capacity. we have actually done an excellent job of increasing our capacity and i improving our ability to treat the virus,
however, we can only do so much if our leaders don't have our back, they don't control the virus, we will get overwhelmed. we are getting overwhelmed and i can attest to that because my hospital is at capacity and several hospitals around the state of florida are at capacity. this is an ongoing issue with no end in sight. i am concerned. this seems to be a fema level response and that's not happening in the state of florida. we need to get on the ball. period. >> dr. ashby, this is blayne alexander in georgia, next door. i know that down there in florida there is no state wide mandate for masks. today, miami-dade county announced that starting today people can be fined up to $100 if they're not wearing some sort of a mask or a face covering. so i want to ask you, doctor, do you believe this is the right move and do you expect to see things change? do you expect to see behavior change with this now in place? >> so, blayne, excellent question. i appreciate you asking it.
so as a black man in america, i always get concerned about mandates and the extension of the criminal justice system. so enforcing mandates is always something that i have pause. but what i do want is for us to increase our mask usage. the question is how. i want to make sure if we do put mandates in, we make there is not -- getting blocked up at a higher rate because the law enforcement authorities think they're not complying with the order. i just want to do mitigation methods to decrease the spread of this virus and that's not happening right now. and so, yes, i do believe we need to increase the widespread use of masks, however, mandates do give me a little bit of pause, but that is a blunt tool because we haven't done the proactive strategy we needed to do to control the virus. so after mask mandates, next stop is social isolation or mandatory lackdown orders and
these are blunt tools when the leadership does not use mitigation method proactively and now we're resorting to mandates and lockdowns which is unfortunate. >> dr. melendez, i want to talk about another topic, reopening our schools to in classroom instruction. just a couple of days ago, you issued an order for remote learning. talk to us about what went into your decision. >> absolutely. first plerkts start by saying i feel the passion from dr. ashby. you can tell saul of feel the p can see his words and i think almost universally those of us on the front line are feeling what he's expressing. specifically to your question, can you imagine the negative impact that occurs when you socially isolate children, when you no longer have the safety
net of the nutritional programs which have been continued, but you don't have access to the counselors and the supervision, it is not a decision that anyone can take lightly. we have 500,000 people in our school system that includes teachers and counselors and the housekeeping and the bus drivers and the students. we have 500 -- that's half a million people. can you imagine our hospitals, i think are a little further down the road than dr. ashby's hospitals. we're past the xoipoint, past t tilting point, we're having people on stretchers for 10 or 11 hours. county ventilators, we're making sure we have enough. our situation is a little bit dire. the absolute criteria that i made this decision that i based this decision on which was one of the most difficult decisions of my life was on hospital resources.
if we had a safety net where we had hospital resources that could take an increase of people coming in, i think i would feel much more comfortable. i think right now in places perhaps like new york city, which i congratulate, they had zero denlzaths a couple of days ago, we're not there. my decision was base ed succincy adding another 1,000 people, another 80 people a day to the hospitals if we open up the schools, not so much on the infectivity of the children but the surrounding environment. we cannot at this point in time at this date contribute to a larger load to a hospital system. >> thank you both for joining us this hour. appreciate it. coming up, a lot more on the georgia governor's lawsuit against the atlanta mayor for mandating masks on behalf of the business owners in that city. blayne will be live on the ground getting reaction to the face-off from one of those business owners. and the mayor of miami-dade
county holding a news conference at this hour. right now, you see it there, on the coronavirus. could his city shut down again? - [narrator] the shark vacmop combines powerful suction with spray mopping to lock away debris and absorb wet messes, all in one disposable pad. just vacuum, spray mop, and toss. the shark vacmop, a complete clean all in one pad.
good morning and welcome back. i'm blayne alexander live in atlanta, georgia. we're continuing our coverage of this ongoing debate over face masks, whether or not to mandate them and really how that is hitting a new fevered pitch here in the city of atlanta, georgia. we know less than 24 hours ago, georgia's governor has filed a lawsuit against the mayor of atlanta, seeking to block the city's mask mandate. just a couple of hours ago, the governor held a news conference here behind me in the state capitol and i pressed him on why not mandate masks state wide. take a look. would not mandating it though send a stronger message, strengthen the message you're already sending about the necessity? >> what kind of message does it send when you have mandates already that people aren't enforcing? it sends the message that the mandate doesn't mean anything. i'm asking people, you know, government is not going to be the answer to all people's problems. >> reporter: so you heard governor kemp there. one of the biggest thing s he hs
been talking about is how this pandemic is impacting local businesses. especially small businesses. so i want to bring in one of those small business owners, who is caught in the middle of this debate, tony roberts, thank you for joining me. you own tony's barber studio, not far from where we're standing, a popular place here in atlanta. you have certainly felt the brunt of this pandemic. i want to ask you about masks right now. you're requiring everybody who comes inside to have masks. how is that being met by the people who come in and do you believe that a mandate is necessary to enforce that? >> well, our clients, some receive it well, some don't. i get ugly looks, ugly comments. but it is a necessary for us to keep our clients safe and our salon. and as well as our staff. we don't want to take anything home to our families but we have to work. we mandated and so there are people that come in, and they will immediately say, i don't have a mask. i'll wait outside.
there are others that will give me very ugly comments and -- i've been cursed out a time or two. and that's fine. everyone has a right to their opinion. as pertains to tony's barber studio, we will we are masks, my staff will and the clients waiting for service. in terms of it being mandated, i do feel like it should be mandated. i just feel it is a way to flatten out this curve, and for us to protect each other in the society and still go about our business. the one thuing i know, blayne, this thing is not going anywhere anytime soon. so we're going to have to learn to live with it and right now if we don't, we're headed toward another shutdown in my opinion. >> we were talking about the shutdown. we met several times, i spoke with you a few months back, back in april, you were one of the first businesses to reopen here in georgia, georgia led the country in re ing. at the time, you told me you were concerned still, but had no choice. it was that or financial ruin, essentially.
i want to ask you, how is your business faring now and how are you doing when it comes to being open now? i think three months or so. >> it has been slow, slower than normal, definitely, i reduced stations and reduced staff, and i now have the chairs that i have there filled back up again. and with barbers or operators. and so it has been a trickle of clients, unlike where we would have a regular flow. even today we opened at 8:30, it was a trickle of clients coming through. we're welcoming people back and keeping people safe as possible within the realms of what the cdc guidelines are and the georgia state board of barbers are requiring us to do. >> tony roberts, thank you so much. i appreciate you joining me. i wish you the best of luck in your business. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> one of the many voices of business owners here in georgia. but there are lots of stories around the country. i want to go down to neighboring florida, where ellison barber is joining us now and looking at the rising number of cases down there in florida.
ellison? >> reporte >> reporter: hey, blayne. . the mayor of miami is expected to sit down with local business leaders sometime today to discuss the possibility of another lockdown, another shutdown. the mayor said when you look at the numbers here, the cases, the rate of hospitalizations that if they don't do something dramatic to change things, that things could get a whole lot worse. the mayor of miami-dade county is holding a press conference right now, i've been listening in on it. he seems to be saying something different. he said what mayor suarez, the mayor of the city of miami said yesterday in terms of this idea of potentially having another lockdown caught him offguard, he says, in terms of the county, he's looking at this day by day, talking with different medical advisers, and that another lockdown would be a big deal, he does not seem to have any plans
right now to suggest or implement any sort of county wide lockdown. but he said, if they were to go that route, the things that were most recent, the last to open would be the first to close. we spoke to one local business owner yesterday about the idea of some sort of lockdown, within the city of miami, and he said it would be very hard for him if that were to take place, hard for his business, hard for his employees, but he said if it happens, he'll do his best to adapt. >> it is like a shock. as a business owner, but, like, being responsible from the health of everyone, i think maybe it could be like the best choice right now. but i know, like, the industry of restaurants and bars, they're not going to be able to survive. it is going to be really big hit to the industry. >> reporter: now, as of today, if you are in miami-dade county
and you're out in public, walking around without wearing a face mask, you could actually be stopped by a code enforcement officer. and be handed a citation as if, you know you would get a parking ticket that is $100 fine for not wearing your face mask. that starts today. the mayor of miami-dade county said there are some exception to that, if you're out exercising, you don't need a mask, but you must be ten feet away from other people. otherwise you could face a 100 fine. >> thank you so much. we're going to take a quick break. coming up, we're month away from the democratic national convention and now we have new nbc news reporting on why that event may not bring milwaukee the economic boost that is so desperately needed during this pandemic. that's coming up. stay with us here on msnbc. that's coming up stay with us here on msnbc
democratic convention in milwaukee. joe biden is expected to accept the nomination there. but many other details from the convention's location to who exactly will attend is still very much up in the air. here with more on this from milwaukee is shaquille brewster. good to have you with us. talk to us about how the city is preparing for a convention that looks anything but conventional. >> reporter: well, ayman, they're still waiting on some very basic details. as coronavirus cases spike, not only around the country, but specifically here in milwaukee, party officials say they're prepared to have a convention with as few as 300 people credentialed. instead of the large scale event that was expected to bring 50,000 visitors, they say the mood for people on the ground will be small and intimate. the democratic national convention traditionally a time for assembling the rock stars of the democratic party, are coming together of thousands of party leaders and delegates in a
series of history-making moments. and an economic boom to the host city. that's why milwaukee was so excited when it learned it had been chosen to host this year's coveted dnc. >> this ill be with the firwill the history of the state of wisconsin that we're hosting a major political party convention. >> reporter: then came the pandemic, prompting the dnc to postpone the convention from july to august. followed by an announcement that the convention would largely be virtual. then last month, word from dnc leaders urging most delegates to stay home. milwaukee mayor tom barrett said he's still unstecertain what th convention will look like. >> i'm confident there will be a convention here, scaled down, i'm confident that joe biden will accept the nomination here. aside from that, i'm nimble. we were hoping $200 million in spending. if we get a tenth of that, that is more accurate. >> reporter: the dramatic scaleba scaleback.
the owner of rise and grind cafe -- >> we increased hours so we could stay open late, we got a full liquor license, we were working to improving our space for the dnc. >> reporter: davita glover of 4th corner sports bar and grill planned to rent out her space. >> i don't know,0 mao thow to t right now. >> the original room blocks and scope of the event is about 50% of what it was. >> reporter: city leaders admit the state of wisconsin did not do a lot to inspire confidence among democratic party leadership, with the way its primary unfolded in april. the state supreme court ordering the in person primary to go forward, weeks into the pandemic. >> i was disappointed with our supreme court. i think they acted like a jukebox for the republican leadership. >> reporter: still, mayor barrett insists milwaukee is
ready to host joe biden, the former vice president is expected to accept his nomination in either milwaukee's wisconsin center or miller high life theater, and just as joe biden prepares to take center stage, milwaukee's residents promise they're ready for the spotlight too, in whatever form this unconventional convention takes. and, ayman, any national political convention we know is a made for tv event. i'm told that is especially the case this time around as people who have helped prepare for super bowls and produced super bowl halftime shows are helping to prepare for this event. we also know that democratic officials are telling their members not to travel in to milwaukee. >> shaquille brewster live in milwaukee for us this morning, thank you. and some heart breaking news to share with you. overnight, we learned that legendary foreign correspondent chris dickey died yesterday in paris, a long time friend and i
had the privilege of interviewing him countless times here on msnbc. he was a clear-eyed journalist with a love for the middle east. he covered the region with a nuance and complexity that stood out among his peers. in fact, i just recently spoke with chris and he had even told me about how he had discovered one of his dad's vintage cameras and how excited he was to fix it up and go out and shoot with it. his curiosity to write about the world was endless, our hearts go out to the family he leaves behind. we will miss him dearly. straight ahead, on the 6th anniversary of eric garner's get dea death, his mother reflects on his life and legacy. stay with us here on msnbc. y. egac stay with us here on msnbc (man) $9.95?
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. all right. we're back with some breaking news on msnbc this hour. this was the scene earlier this morning inside a courtroom in brunswick, georgia. within the past few minutes the three white men charged in the killing of ahmaud arbery have pleaded not guilty. travis mcmichael, greg mcmichael and william bryan are facing
nine crimes in arbery's death. you'll remember he was killed on february 23rd while he was out on a jog. the men say they thought arbery was a burglar and he attacked travis mcmichael before he shot arbery. his death sparked protests and crimes for simply running while black. it comes six years to the day that new york city police officers confronted eric garner because they believed he was selling untaxed sig relts. one officer held garner down in an illegal chokehold. garner repeated i can't breathe nearly a dozen times before he died. i'm joined now by the mother of eric garner, gwen carr. it's great to have you with us. thanks for joining us on have very important day. the world got to know eric garner through that tragic event six years ago. i want to know how you're remembering your son today and what do you want people to remember.
>> i am remembering him today as i remember him every day. today is especially hard because it brings back all the memories of that day that nypd murdered my son. even though he said "i can't breathe" 11 times, they decided to take his life anyway. you know, i just think that he would be so proud of me because he'd see how his mother has stood up through these six years non-stop with the cameras on, with the cam ross off. i've been going to legislators to get laws changed. you know we have gotten laws changed in his honor. the eric garner anti chokehold law. today what i'm doing, it's a private day for me today. usually i have hundreds of people around me. today just me and the family, the grandchildren. we're going to visit eric's
grave. we're going to remember him privately. no big events for me today. >> we're going to get to your activism in just a minute. i wanted to talk to you about this particular year because you told the "new york daily news" that this week -- you told them this week today you would be reflected not just on the loss of eric garner but because of george floyd. it's like a boomerang. george floyd used the same words my son said six years ago. now the cry is i can't breathe. tell me about how this year is different with what we're seeing in this country over the past couple months. >> well, it is different because all the masses are coming out even though they did come out with my son, also. we have all ages, all creeds, religion, everyone is taking a stand, and that is a great thing. i think it's due to the pandemic
where everyone had to sit down and look and see what action was happening in the world. now this brought them to attention. it was a boomerang coming back to the cries of my son's i can't breathe to finish the fight. >> you talked about how your son would be so proud of the activism that you've been leading. you have turned your grief into activism, speaking to families who have gone through the same heartbreaking loss as you have. what is your message to those families that you have gotten to know over the last couple of years, and certainly to the mothers who have lost their sons in this? >> well, i want to say to all the mothers, the fathers and the families who have lost loved ones the same ones i have lost my loved one to stay strong and to stay encouraged and to keep up with the fight. don't let the fire burn out because what happens is when we've settled down, they settle
down and they sweep all of this up under the rug. we can't let them sweep it under the rug. we have to keep saying or loved ones' name. we have to keep our fire to the feet of the legislators. >> speaking of the legislators, there has been some small successes in cities like new york that have passed anti chokehold bills, but we haven't seen any national level police reform legislation make its way through congress. what do you think needs to be done next for national police reform? >> well, we have to address the legislators. they can make it national. they're not going to do it without the push from us behind them. we need everyone. we need the legislators. we need the people. we need the mothers. we need everyone to push forward on this bill because it needs to be national because otherwise it
will just die on the floor. >> all right, gwen carr, thanks so much for sharing your stories and your memories of your son eric garner with us on this very important day. thank you. >> you're welcome. coming up at noon eastern, andrea mitchell will talk to louisville, kentucky mayor greg fischer who is under investigation for his handling of the breonna taylor case. that's only here on msnbc. thanks for watching this hour of msnbc. after a quick break, more news with my friend craig melvin. you doing okay?
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a good friday morning to you. craig melvin here. let's start the hour off with the latest facts on this pandemic. the united states setting a new record for daily cases. by nbc's official count, 73,000 new cases on thursday alone and now ten states are seeing record single day death tolls. this crisis taking a sledgehammer to the president's approval rating. a new "washington post" abc news poll shows just 38% of americans approve of the way mr. trump has handled this pandemic. that's down from 46% in may and 51% in march. and the debate over masks is going from the public square to the courtroom now. georgia's governor brian kemp