tv MSNBC Live MSNBC July 18, 2020 3:00am-4:00am PDT
something of peaceful protests. it is really remarkable that he was there. he lived to see three words in yellow on black pavement visible from space, and it will probably be said visible from heaven. they read out "black lives matter." breaking news right now on msnbc, the civil rights icon and long-term congressman john lewis passing away overnight after a brief illness. and in one of his final public appearances in washington, d.c., the message he offered at black lives mater plaza that rings out today. we begin with another record, the rise of coronavirus cases as some hot spots get hotter. the growing concerns over new cases and new questions on whether you can catch the virus twice. new word from dr. anthony fauci today, whether he thinks the white house is working against him. those details next.
good morning. it is saturday, july 18th. i'm lindsey reiser. >> we begin with john lewis. >> he was probably best known for leading hundreds in the 1965 march across the edmund pettus bridge in selma, alabama, in what became known as bloody sunday. nbc white house correspondent john geoff bennett takes a look back. >> he was a moral leader who commanded respect seen as one of the last forces. lewis was one of ten children born to sharecroppers in rural alabama in 1940. he grew up on his family's farm and attended segregated public schools. lewis said he was inspired as a young boy by the activism surrounding the bus boycott and
sermons of dr. martin king luther jr., which he heard on the radio. >> if the spirit moves to, we have a right to march at night any time we want to march. >> reporter: all of it spurring him to become part of the civil rights movement. organizing sit-in movements at lunch counters in nashville, tennessee, in 1961, joining freedom rallies. >> i was not concerned about making history. i just wanted to change things. >> reporter: while still in his 20s, john lewis became a nationally recognized leader. >> i grew in the movement to accept love, the way of peace, to not have violence, the way of forgiveness. >> reporter: by 1963, he was dubbed one of the big six leaders. he was an architect of and keynote speaker at the historic
march on washington. >> i have a dream. >> reporter: but it was in 1965 when lewis helped spearhead one of the most seminal moments of the civil rights movement. he lead 600 peaceful protesters across the bridge in selma, alabama, the group brutally beaten by alabama state troopers in what became known as bloody sunday. >> i lost consciousness. 50 years later, i don't recall how i made it back across that bridge to the little church that we had left from. >> reporter: news broadcasts and photographs of the cruelty helping to hasten the voting rights passage of 1965. >> we were taught never to become bitter, never to hate. >> reporter: john lewis's activism continued in congress. >> we have lost hundreds and thousands of innocent people to gun violence. >> reporter: after a mass
shooting at an orlando nightclub killed 49 people, he announced a sit-in. he spoke of the good trouble he caused in the 1960s and in the political fights since, invoking the moral courage that fueled his lifelong fielt for civil rights. >> when you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something, to do something. >> reporter: geoff bennett, nbc news, washington. >> our thanks to geoff right there. the statement came out just before midnight eastern time from his family. we knew that he had been sick and he had been in hospice care. just about seven months ago is, in fact, when he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, stage 4, so his passing coming very quickly. >> he said he would keep fighting. back in march when he stood there at the edmund pettus bridge, such a striking moment so many years later as he was in a new fight for his life,
leaving such a mark on this country. lots of tributes pouring in this morning for the civil rights leader, also people reacting to the sad news. >> nbc josh letterman joining us from the white house. the president was tweeting about a number of different things or retweeting about a number of different things. was john lewis one of them? >> john lewis was not. we have not yet heard from the current president about the death of john lewis. but we are hearing from another president, barack obama, who, of course, presented the presidential medal of freedom. he said overnight john lewis loved the country so much he risked his life and his blood so it might live up to its promise and through the decades obama said john lewis not only gave all of his cause to the freedom and justice, but he wanted
everyone to live up to his example. we're hearing from members of congress this morning including nancy pelosi, who, of course, served in congress for decades with john lewis. pelosi said john lewis was a titan of the civil rights movements who goodness, faithfulness, and bravery transformed our nation. every day of his life was dedicated to bringing freedom and justice to all. hakeem jeffries of new york wrote, we have lost a legendary leader, civility rights icon, and change agent extraordinaire. he left america in a much better place. may he rest forever rest. john lewis saying in an interview not long before his
death that he was heartened to see this fresh activism from america's youth and adding there's no turning back. kend kendis? >> i'd be curious to see, josh, once the white house reacts how long it will take. it took them quite some time to do it for elijah cummings last year. thank you. joining us is the host of rashad richie show in atlanta. thanks for joining us this morning. >> you met the congressman in the past. we have a photo of the two of you from a few years back. you talk a lot about him on your program and understandably so. we knew, as i said, that this was coming, but hearing the news in the overnight hours, your gut reaction to it. >> i'm heartbroken. as a matter of fact, when this
initially happened, i got word of it, myself and other leaders in atlanta we started to immediately share stories with each other. we've been talking and texting. we have not slept a wink. we're just getting over the death of c.t. vivian, another civil rights leader. i want to add john lewis led from a place of morality. while others tried to put him in a political biased box, he was not. he was was transformational. i do find it ironic that the same ideology that congressman john lewis fought against, the president of the united states fights for, and that's a distinction that i believe will be highlighted when we contrast the leadership style of john lewis compared to the current leadership of this president. >> his death comes as the nation is grappling with another movement right now. congressman lewis has since spoken about the demonstrations we've seen following george floyd's death, how they look and
feel different. how did he view this moment nearly 57 years after the march on washington, which he participated in in. >> congressman lewis said something very powerful about this movement. he said he's never seen anything like it and it's something different about this movement. he also connected to the spirit of the black lives matter movement while there were some civil rights leaders who thought the movement, the new movement needed a jesting. congressman lewis believed they simply needed encouragement, so he definitely connected to that space. and for him being as insightful as he was, to say there is something different, is telling. and also he said that there is no turning back now. and i believe him when he said those words. >> rashad, the congressman was often described as the protester's protester, and, of course, recently, of course, in the last seven weeks since george floyd's death, we've had plenty of protesters out there.
what do you think those modern-day akty vibts can learn from him? >> he was a congressman of reform. when congress led from a moral outrage, it was not simply to bring attention to a matter, it was to transform it, challennge make it better. he was in the business of transforming social contracts, and that's one of the major lessons that all of us can learn, taking protests to policy because policy is the social contract that will continue to bless our lives and those that come after us. >> his life and legacy affecting the whole country, but also, congressman lewis has been representing your home state georgia, the fifth district there, since 1987. how would you describe his impact on the state over the last 33 years? >> words cannot describe it. the man was a rock starks a legend. even though he was one of the most accessible figures we had in georgia, any time you were
around him, you realized you were in the presence of greatness. he never met a stranger. he would always talk to you as if you had known him for 20 years, and he was sensible. he was diplomatic. and the legacy that he will lead in georgia is a legacy of love, and that's what he stood for, and we will continue to honor that legacy in georgia, regardless of the politics. this man stood above it all. >> there's been a massive effort where on the ed monday pettus bridge he said he nearly died 55-some years ago. there's been an effort to try to change the name of that bridge. you do get a sense following his death that that will get a little bit more momentum? >> i hope it does. as a matter of fact, four years ago i said on my radio show i said we need to change the name of that bridge to onlewis bridge because right now it's named
after a well known documented racist. become famous for something else, but it's named after someone we should not hold in high regard whatsoever. i support that. i've supported it for years. unfortunately it takes tragedies like this before things happen in a way that's progressive or positive, but i would absolutely continue to support that effort. >> rashad richie, we certainly hope so. we want to thank you for your time this morning after a sleepness night of remembering the one and only john lewis. >> thank you. >> we're also hearing from the family of john lewis this morning. here's their statement. >> the statement says it is with inconsolable grief and enduring sadness that we announce the passing of u.s. representative john lewis. he was honored and respected as the conscience of the u.s. congress and an icon of american history, but we knew him as a loving father and brother. he was a stall wartime hero champion in the ongoing struggle to demand respect and dignity
for the worth of every human being. >> they go on to say he dedicated his entire life to non-violent activism and was an outspoken advocate in the struggle for equal justice in america. wi he will be deeply missed. >> this is interesting. one of his final public appearances came a few weeks ago right there in washington, d.c., the place now called black lives matter plaza. seeing those huge 35-foot bold yellow letters that read "black lives matter," sort of a full circle moment for a man who fought that hard to make that message matter. >> very moving, very moving, very impressive. i think the people in d.c. and around the nation have sent a mighty powerful and strong message to the rest of the world, that we would get there.
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now to the latest facts in the coronavirus pandemic. another grim milestone. the u.s. once again marking a record single-day increase in cases, adding more than 75,000 yesterday. both texas and ohio already reported their highest statewide daily cases. >> dr. anthony fauci is doubling down on the importance of mask. he said everyone should wear a face covering to slow the spread of the virus and urged leaders to make sure that happens. >> i would say to every state public official should urge every state, cities and stotown
to be as forceful as possible to get your citizenry to wear masks. >> in florida, the beaches are under an 8:00 p.m. curfew. restaurants can only deliver after curfew and cannot offer pickup. >> there is good news this morning. new york is set to open phase 4 on monday. tv and film production carree assume and outdoor venues like zoos and botanical gardens can also reopen with limited capacity. gyms, malls, and movie theaters won't be reopening. >> texas has hit a milestone. it's joined places like new york, california, and florida, with more than 300,000 cases of coronavirus cases. the lone star state also reached a new milestone. >> yeah, with the number of deaths. >> single-day record, the number of deaths, 174. >> it's a different concern, but one of increasing urgency for so many people there. nbc's priscilla thompson is in
houston. specifically, priscilla, we're talking about so many people. now it's spreading to the houston area. >> reporter: well, kendis, lindsey, good morning. that's exactly right. houston is the largest food bank in the country. they began to see the demand tick up during the spring as this outbreak picked up, but the demand has not let up. the food bank is still delivering up to 1 million pounds of food per day, but the problem is those volunteers, many of those national guardsmen and volunteers who came in in mid-april to help with this increased demand are actually on their way out beginning today, and so that is putting a huge strain on the food bank. they're calling for volunteers here, but that is a very difficult thing to do when we're seeing the types of spikes in
cases we're seeing here in texas which you all spoke about a little bit. you know, we saw a record number of deaths on friday. that's breaking the previous record that was set just the day before. hospitalizations here are at an all-time high arc tjd positivity rate as well as an all-time high at 17.4%. and so the food bank which can usually accommodate about 1,000 volunteers per shift obviously spread out across the city in smaller groups in various locations is now working with about 150 vole tears per shift, and so it is a very tough time for them as they're hoping to get volunteers to venture out while a pandemic is ongoing and really spiking here in texas. kendis, lindsey? >> it really is spiking with the number of deaths increasing and hospitalizations. that 17.4% is a shocking rate. places like new york city, less than 1% right now.
priscilla thompson joining us from hard-hit houston. thank you. we want to get to our yahoo! news medical contributor. good morning to you. we've been talking about increasing numbers, states like north carolina, florida. things have only been getting worse. doctor, what's happening right now or maybe not happening that maybe needs to be right now? >> what's not happening is probably a lockdown. it takes a while for masks to start working. we're probably not going to see any improvement in the numbers for quite a while. we need there not tonal be positive reopenings but a lockdown. these numbers are only going to get increasingly worse. >> in the meantime, encouraging, we have a number of states that are mandates that people actually wear masks. a report from yahoo! news writes that it's too late, though, for
masks alone to turn the tide on covid-19, whoo the u.s. needs to lock down hot spots right away as you suggested. the question is what does the rest of that solution look like and the answer is probably more like europe's. what do you make of that, doctor? >> that's a great point. we know masks are only one part of the full strategy. the other measures are physical distancing and staying home. we saw how that worked well here in new york city, and we also know that we need to get positivity rates down to below 2% before you even reconsider reopening, and many states had positivity rates above that and still reopened. that's why we need masks and physical distancing plus lockdowns to see any change in the numbers. >> it took new york city to see a significant slow to the spread. you mentioned that there's kind of a lag in seeing a slowdown with masks, so when do you think we could actually maybe see some
better results, some of these cases finally starting go down? >> i think for masks, we would have a better idea in a few weeks, but i will say that the caseloads are so high at this point that we probably want to be more aggressive and implement other strategies like a lockdown because we're going to lose too many lives in the meantime. >> doctor, i'm curious about this. can you actually get the virus twice? for example, take a look at this. you had one ohio nurse who tested positive in march, tested negative twice in april and then ended up with a positive test in may. what do we know about the antibodies and how likely is a situation like that? >> okay. so there are several situations where sometimes you do have remnants of the dead virus that's still left in a person's body, and so they may go and in test positive months later. there are also opportunities
where there can be a false negative test. what we know about antibodies is they may last for a few months and then go away, but that doesn't mean a person's immunity goes away with it. there are other cells like b cells and t cells that are also responsible for the immune response that have a memory as well. >> all right. that's a little bit reassuring knowing that somebody who maybe fell incredibly ill wouldn't necessarily be susceptible to it after the antibodies went away after a couple of months. doctor, thank you so much for bringing us information this morning. >> thank you. in a moment, a return to our top story and the sad news we're waking up to, the death of congressman john lewis. >> you'll hear his pivotal moments in his life and his simple philosophy that changed america. s simple philosophy that changed america. yeah i feel free ♪getting c, ♪ to bare my skin ♪ yeah that's all me.
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civil rights leader john lewis. >> one of his last public appearances was here at black lives matter plaza? washington, d.c., with mayor muriel bowser, fighting to tend for change. >> sometimes i hear people saying nothing has changed. but for someone who grew up the way i grew up in the cotton fields of alabama, to now be serving in the united states congress, makes me want to tell them, come and walk in my shoes. >> my name is john robert lewis. >> i saw segregation, and i wanted to do something about it. >> john lewis came from humble roots as a son of sharecroppers in alabama. as a young man, i think he was chosen by god for leadership. >> when i was growing up, i saw
the signs that said white men, colored men, white women, colored women, i asked my father, my mother, my grandparents, great grandparents, why. they said, boy, they's the way it is, don't get in the way, don't get in trouble. i got in trouble. >> it's something deep down moving me that i could no longer be satisfied or go along with an evil system. >> i remember standing with president kennedy when i was 23. i met dr. king when i was 18, rosa parks when i was 17. and all these people made me a better person, a stronger person. >> he organized freedom rights and sit-ins and voter registration drives. >> and he emerged as one of the most courageous and important student leaders of the american civil rights movement. >> i'm was not concerned about making history. i just wanted to change things. >> i have a dream. >> john was also one of the planners of the great march on
washington. >> brother john lewis. >> and was the youngest speaker to address the audience on that historic day. >> we do not want our freedom gradually. we want our freedom now. >> i'm had never seen a crowd like that before, never had spoken to a crowd like that before. >> wake up, america. wake up. >> i was only 23 years old. >> one sunday in 1965, he set out to lead a march from selma to montgomery. >> john lewis led them out of the church on a mission to change america. >> we came to protest an unjust system, denying blacks the right to vote. our country will never, ever be the same because of what happened on this bridge. >> we're marching today to dramatize to the nation, dramatize to the world that hundreds and thousands of negro citizens of alabama, but particularly here, are denied
the right to vote. >> it's fate and history coming together in a single place. >> there are places and moments in america where this nation's destiny has been decided. selma is such a place. >> we were determined. we were organized. we were disciplined. and we were committed to the way of peace, the way of love, the way of non-violence. we were prepared to die for what we believed in. >> they stampeded us with whips, nightsticks, and horses. they teargassed us, they turned our non-violent protest into blood. >> i'm lost consciousness. 50 years later, i don't recall how i made it back across that bridge. >> their cause must be our cause too. it's all of us who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry
and injusticing and we shall overcome. >> not much later congress passed the voter rights act. >> the american people were ready for congress and the president to act. all of us were ready. >> all of us should have a right in the democratic process. they all should have the right to vote. >> it's been the liveblood of the movement. >> america and the world need more of what is in john lewis's heart. >> my philosophy is very simple. when you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to say something, to do something, stand up, speak up, speak out. >> if not us, then who. if not now, then when? it's a question john lewis has been asking his entire life.
generations from now when parents teach their children what is meant by courage, the story of john lewis will come to mind. an american who knew that change could not wait for some other person or some other town. >> it doesn't matter whether we're black or white, latino, asian-american or native american. it doesn't matter whether you're straight or gay. we're one family, one people, we're one house. >> called on by god to lead and lead he did. washington, d.c., mayor muriel bowser joining a chorus of tributes to john lewis this morning. tweeting, quote, we have administrator work do, but we would not be where we are without john lieu sichls mieuli
>> former president bill clinton and hillary clinton says in part we have lost a giant. john lewis gave all he had to redeem america's unmet promise of equality and justice for all to build a more perfect union today. >> and the congressional black caucus, the civil rights movement has lost an icon. the city of atlanta has lost one of its most fearless leaders and the cbc has lost our longest serve member. we'll be right back. our longest serve member we'll be right back. given my unique lifestyle, that'd be perfect! let me grab a pen and some paper. know what? i'm gonna switch now. just need my desk... my chair... and my phone.
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i wonder if you or inside members of your family ever talk together about his unfitness for office, what it might do to the country if he was elected. >> no, we didn't. but i think we all -- or those of us who shared those opinions were at a distinct disadvantage because as members of the family and as lifelong new yorkers, we had a completely different perspective on donald and his per received success than people outside of the family and outside of new york did, which
we -- you know, i was not aware that outside of new york he had a completely different although baseless reputation. >> and that was president's niece mary trump discussion her family's reaction to president trump's decision to run for office. that's the newest part of a lengthy interview she gave to msnbc's rachel maddow, which her book was attempted at being blocked and was released. >> breaking record sales actually in the first day alone, selling about a million copies. you get a sense this is bigger and more damaging than the white house expected it to be? >> i think so because this is coming from someone who the president cannot dismiss as basically a disgrunted form ele
employee. this is someone who has written a tell-all book about him. the difference is before he could try to distance himself and say they were out to enrich themselves. in this case he can't really do that because this is his own family member, his own niece coming out with this book against him. now, it's worth noting that mary trump is not particularly close to the family and she has conceded that particularly because of an intrafamily lawsuit that took place after fred trump sr.'s death, but it's still worth noting she's his niece, and trump did ask her to ghostwrite his second book. it's much harder for the president to distance himself from this book and the revelations she's put out there in the same way he has with others in the past. >> a new nbc news/wall street journal poll is showing that the president right now is struggling in a general election matchup. joe bide season leading by 11 points. 50% of voters say there's no
chance they would vote for president trump. 56% disapprove of his job performance. that's up three points from last month. sonam. how are the gaps widening between the two candidates, and how is his campaign supposed to bounce back after this? >> yeah. so the president is in pretty deep water right now. there hasn't been a single public or private poll, i believe, since the spring that has yielded positive news for trump, and so, you know, this poll certainly tracks with everything else that we've seen over the last couple of months showing the voters continue as you just mentioned to disapprove not just of his job performance but particularly of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which by my last count has infected more than 3.6 million americans and has killed almost 140,000 people. so, you know, that's certainly not good news for the president. the other thing i would note also, it's kind of a red flag
that trump's economic approval rating also continues to dip because as we know, big sticking point throughout his entire campaign, he's the guy to get the economy roaring again. well, apparently voters don't buy that rhetoric anymore. just last week there's a quinnipiac poll out showing his approval rating cratered 15 points in one month. so clearly whatever the administration is doing right now to get the president back on track has not been working. >> well, and the president's son-in-law said by july the economy would be rocking again, and here we are. >> right. exactly. so, you know, these past statements that they made continue to come back to haunt them. also telling, considering this entire crisis is something the administration could have avoided if they had taken a stronger stance in initially responding to the pandemic when it first gained a foothold in the country. >> they still have time. it's still with us. there's still plenty of time for them to turn this around.
let's talk about the rallies or lack of rallies because politico is reporting that with large political rallies tough to pull off with the coronavirus gripping the country, the president has been using the backdrop of the white house to make his election pitch. in fact, it was just a few months ago the president was seen as using the covid task force briefings as an alternatal ternive to his rallies and we have this week where kellyanne conway said those task force meetings may be coming back. where do you get a sense that the campaign is coming back and getting the message out there, whatever that message is? >> we saw a couple of weeks ago that trump's campaign aides were specifically trying to sideline him from these public briefings on the coronavirus because they saw that whatever he was doing to date hadn't been working and voters continued to lose faith in his strategy. so, you know, if he does bring
these briefings back, there is an opportunity for him to politically take advantage of them, to show that his administration is now going to, as you just mentioned, going to take a stronger stance to this virus because there is still time do that. the question with this president is that he hasn't done that to date and he has a habit of taking the briefings and press conferences and turning them into campaign-style rallies where he's, you know, essentially going on a scorched earth campaign against his opponents and claiming joe biden wants to abolish the police, so on and so forth. that's a little harder do in the middle of the pandemic. >> a scorched earth campaign. sonam sheth, thank you. >> thank you. how they missed silent spread of covid-19 by ignoring the impact of asymptomatic cases. e impact of asymptomatic cases. joy of a bigger world in a highly-connected lexus vehicle
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the u.s. tops the list of countries with the most coronavirus cases with more than 3.6 million. of the 14 million cases of the world, 600,000 people have died. there is a question of how the silent spread was missed. >> pushing misleading claims in face of mounting evidence. >> the one of the writers on the piece joins us. matt, you reported the first case of asymptomatic spread was reported in january. leaders played down or denied the risk with the world health organization providing contradiction contr contradictory and misleading advi advice. >> one was a faulty assumption
in the early weeks this disease looked like sars and genetic cousin of sars. one of the things with sars is you had to be sick to be a spreader. there was an assumption that was the case here. what is remarkable as this became evidence that it wasn't the case, we kind of clung to that assumption. i know this virus. i have seen sars. that's not how this works. even in the face of genetic proof that was provided to the w.h.o. and to other leading organizations at the time, there was still resistance to accept it. part is assumption and part not wanting to freak everybody out because we didn't have enough testing or ppe and you tell everybody this is spreading like crazy, then what do you do? then it was i don't know.
>> really early on, i was curious. i kept looking at the chinese government and what they were saying. either the chinese are lying or this is not that big of a deal. along the way, the w.h.o. was saying that, yes, there are these cases and this is how it is spread. do you get a sense the w.h.o. was complicit? >> it is funny. the chinese government at the end of january was actually saying, hey, so you know, this thing spreads before symptoms kick in. and leading officials were saying, yeah. show us the receipts. show us the data. the chinese government was not forthcoming. they were saying this spreads before symptoms. when you couple that with the emerging images from germany and early clinical observations in
the chinese hospitals, it just sort of becomes this question of why are we so resistant to the uncomfortable truth that this is a problem. it would not be solved unless you stay home or thermometers at public places. it will take drastic action. >> matt, so many people lost their lives from this rapid spread. is there anything that can be learned as the u.s. is grappling from the pandemic? >> i think one thing, obviously, it is a new virus. you have to cut everybody a little bit of slack as things are going along. the other thing is just to be a little more open to the emerging science and not fixed in your belief that what you believe today as science is changing to adapt those habits.
i think that's something the united states for sure needs to address going forward as it deals with the latest wave. do you call it a second wave? >> yeah. matt, quickly, being there in brussels, do the europeans pity us or feel our pain? >> look, nobody wants a pandemic, right? everybody wants to travel. everybody wants to see their friends and family. i think there's a lot of head scratching about kind of why in the united states of all places is this a problem. >> matt apuzzo live for us. thank you. up next, we're live in atlanta and washington with new reaction to the morning's breaking news. the death of legendary congress member john lewis. >> we will hear from reverend al
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>> he was the last person alive who spoke on the march on washington in 1963. new reaction and tributes coming in right now. also this morning, president trump's mixed message when it comes to face masks. rolling out a national mandate, but saying masks are good. we will talk live with dr. thomas frieden who said no president ever politicized science the way president trump has. i'm kendis gibson. >> i'm lindsey reiser. congress member and civil rights activist and voting rights advocate and tireless fighter for equality. >> you can list it on and on. he had a long life in public service that started when he was only 17 years old. the year he met