tv MSNBC Live MSNBC July 24, 2020 12:00pm-12:30pm PDT
good day, brian williams with you here on a friday afternoon, 3:00 on the east, 12:00 out west. nicolle wallace will be along with us in a moment. first the headlines and the facts as we know them at the top of this hour. for the third day of the row the coronavirus took the lives of over 1,000 of our fellow citizens yesterday bringing the death toll to nearly 146,000
now. another 75,000 americans were diagnosed with the virus on thursday. with the total number of confirmed cases approaching 4.1 million. within the last hour, the world health organization reported a single day record for new cases globally over 280,000 of them in the past 24 hours. one day after we heard audio of a phone call between white house coronavirus response coordinator dr. deborah birx and state and local leaders, the one where she said 11 cities need to take aggressive steps to mitigate outbreaks, dr. birx was on the "today" show with an increasingly rare message to the public this morning. >> we already are starting to see some plateauing in these critically four states that have suffered under the last four weeks. so texas, california, arizona and florida. those major metros and throughout their counties -- i just want to make it clear to
the american public, what we have right now are essentially three new yorks with these three major states. >> please note the plateauing is the new good news. her fellow coronavirus task force member, dr. anthony fauci, told market watch he would not get on a plane or eat inside a restaurant right now. fauci also says he doesn't think we're near the end of this pandemic. house speaker pelosi attacked senate republicans for leaving washington without taking steps to help the millions of americans who are about to lose expanded unemployment benefits that helped them pay for housing, food and other essential needs. >> 1,700 years ago he said any government that is not born to promote justice is just a bunch of thieves. let's use our time to remove all doubt that we'll do the right
thing by the american people so they can meet the needs of their families. everybody wants to talk about being family-friendly. let's not squawk about $600. >> majority leader mitch mcconnell says the draft text of an agreement between republicans and the white house on a relief bill will be released in due time, next week. and president trump's former personal lawyer, michael cohen, has been released from prison, back home in confinement one day after a federal judge said cohen was taken back to prison earlier this month in retaliation for writing a book about his relationship with the president. that, of course, violated his first amendment rights. i'm joined now by friend and colleague nicolle wallace, host of "deadline white house." back to fauci who said he would be unwilling to fly or eat inside a restaurant right about now. i guess he wasn't asked would he be willing to sit at a tiny desk
in a classroom, would he be willing to teach students in a classroom and lean over them for personal instruction? >> i think that's because we already know the answer. and i was thinking as i was -- this was the only time in my day where i actually get to hear the news instead of share the news. it strikes me that we're almost at the point where it doesn't matter what these people say anymore. it doesn't matter what donald trump says about the coronavirus anymore. because peoples lives have already been shattered. they've already had to make adjustments, working parents have already tried to line up support systems in their lives, in their families, in their neighborhoods. i know families that are trying to share baby-sitting. when i was little, my mom used to watch my little sisters and their friends one day, a friend would trade them off. people are solving this problem when they have the luxury and
ability to do so without the white house. and i think that people know exactly who is telling the truth. i think the polls bear that out. 6% of americans trust tony fauci despite his pitch being a little off last night. they trust him when it comes to pandemics. i think the white house now can only do themselves harm. it's not clear they can do themselves much good in terms of building back credibility. i think if they continue this gamut with rushing people back to school from coast to coast regardless of the pra jektry of the infections in that particular state, they stand to do harm not just to our kids and our public safety and the spread but to themselves politically. >> let's take one state in particular and that's florida. they are really cementing their place as the epicenter of this pandemic in our country as a prominent florida doctor said just this morning "we're
drowning here." the total number of infections in the state now upwards of 400,000. one day after president trump canceled the rnc convention in jacksonville next month. he still wants kids back in the clack room in a few weeks. florida threatens to overtake new york for second place behind california in total cases. nbc news correspondent sam brock with us now from miami beach. hey, sam. >> brian, good afternoon. the fact of matter is please is not enough right now to get people to comply with mask orders now to understand the gravity of the situation here in miami-dade county it has to be the threat of financial penalty to generate a change in behavior. that's what we've seen the last couple of days. starting on thursday they've been issuing citations to people refusing to wear masks. $100 the first time, $100 the
second time. $500 the third time and the threat of arrest if that person continues to not wear a mask. there are people here who say go ahead, fine me whatever you want, i'm not wearing a mask. others say it's back breaking to pay 100 bucks. there's no segment of society that is not affected by this. it comes at a time when you're looking at 400,000 plus cases in florida, the positivity rate is still above 16% for the entire state, and if you exclude the number of people who already tested positive, it's still 13.5%, elevated well beyond what the world health organization will be comfortable with reopening things. businesses, salons, gyms, let alone schools. we heard from francis suarez, the mayor of miami, even telling people to wear masks inside of their homes if they live in multi generational families. i talked to families who have four generations of people living under the same roof. one woman told me her grandkids and her son-in-law got the
virus. she is worried it spread to her. that's a common concern we see here. if there's one sliver of good news, earlier you mentioned plateauing being a positive verb. hospitalizations are starting to plateau and go down a bit but the state of florida, it was 9 st , 9,400 a couple days ago, now it's down. the urgency is here right now as this situation continues to be extremely tenuous. back to you. >> sam brock, thank you very much for that report. joining our conversation now, two of our good friends, associated press white house reporter jonathan lamier and an infectious disease physician also joins us from the boston school of medicine. if you can just pick up on sam's point. it seems that in desperation, in
crowded hospitals, in spikes, we get to the policymaking that can turn things around. where do you see the trajectory of the pandemic for us if we still don't have in place enforcement mask guidelines? >> i feel like we have said this since march that we have always been behind the ball. it shouldn't get to a point where health care systems are so overwhelmed that then we have to put a mask mandate and require community engagement at that level where we might be able to make a change. the states we're seeing overwhelmed, they're plateauing, but it's a high plateau. you will see health care workers and deaths coming out of their high-level cases sort of play out over the next month. those cases are then spilling over to surrounding states.
come august and september we're looking at the deadline where we're talking about colleges opening up, talking about potentially schools opening up in some way. we'll we're intersecting with basically the fall and the flu season. >> we're also intersecting with donald trump's now canceled convention. what do they say with a straight face when asked how they can cancel a political celebration really is how donald trump i think described it, yet still urge students back into a classroom? >> that's a difficult argument to make. one that they struggled with. we saw yesterday the president for the first time gave a little bit of wiggle room suggesting some states and governors and jurisdictions could delay slightly the opening of schools. that's as far as he was willing
to go. this is still an all-out push from this west wing to reopen schools in person, as fully as possible this fall. some school districts school starts in august. we're under a month away. three weeks away maybe. and this is now the white house deeming this as their central issue at the moment. they feel like, yes, students will benefit from being back in school, but also it's vital to fully reopening the economy. the parents are able to drop off their kids at school and then more fully resume their working life. there's all sorts of questions still to be answered here. the funding needed to create necessary space, safeguards for teachers. will teachers unions go along with the plan? you're right, it comes a day after the president reluctantly pulled the plug on his convention in jacksonville. this is something he's -- he originally in charlotte had dreamed up to be this massive over the top celebration, one that would exceed what we saw in cleveland four years ago. he moved it from charlotte because he was afraid he couldn't have it there because
of the health restrictions only to go to jacksonville, the epicenter, florida, of the virus. and he's had to completely dash it. there will be some sort of event, maybe virtual, maybe not. we're about 100 days away from the election. that convention was one in which republicans were looking to turn momentum in the race, now that's gone. >> jonathan, the president is all too eager in briefings to defer to -- defer and deflect to governors on the mask mandate decision. but he had a decision that was up to him this week, his jurisdiction, mask wearing in federal buildings and facilities. what happened there? >> well, the mayor of washington, d.c. issued new guidelines recommending masks, widespread mask usage, mandatory mask usage in the nation's
capital, there was an exemption fof feder for federal buildings. it was a moment where the president could have set an example. we've seen his rhetoric change in the last week or so on masks. he did finally wear one at walter reed. i saw him don it. he talked about it since. he stressed the importance of wearing it, but he's only donned it that one time. he's not gone far enough to suggest americans should wear it. he's saying it's a matter of personal choice and liberty even though he's starting to encourage his fellow citizens to wear them when they can't socially distance. other governors including republicans have gone further and required these masks, but not all. i think there is a sense among some who are trying to push the president to take a more somber and clear-eyed approach on the vice to make this mandatory or to push these governors to say, hey, you need to do it. this is the best way to stop this virus which frankly is raging out of control, not just in a number of states but a
number of states that he needs to win this november. >> doctor, we keep talking about the conflicting argument that for public health reasons there shouldn't be a mass gathering at the rnc convention in florida. florida is one of the states where the president is pressuring governors and local folks to get kids back into school. at the same time, the president takes every opportunity to diminish the effect of this virus on children. speak for a moment about the threat to those children, especially in economies under stress, those children who go home to multi generational households. >> right. i'm going to say something that i think needs to bring us together, we need to realize we're not living in normal times. we're living in a pandemic.
part of the ghost we need to give up is the idea that every school able child ge child can school this fall. we don't have the will, the resources or the plan to pull that off. even though the data around children is evolving, we're not in a data free zone. we know older students, particularly over 10, could transmit this disease just as well as adults could. we know on american soil we have examples from summer camps in missouri, in arkansas, in texas where you had clusters occur on summer camps with kids of every age. we know that indoor this disease tends to be more effective in transmissi transmission. the other part of this, there's a different reality for every school. a kindergarten in rural massachusetts with low community transmission and the resources to make that distancing happen, it's much different than a metropolitan high school in miami-dade right now where there's huge amount of cases and
you have public schools that don't have the resources, they're staring down the barrel. it's completely perverse for the government to say if you don't follow this model that we have and if you don't place your students at risk, we will withhold funding. we need to be humble and sort of be flexible about how we open schools. a more realistic approach would be in areas with high prevalence we keep those schools closed for a couple of months. do more remote learning. open schools for younger students in areas where there is not a community transmission. learn the best practices, apply that nationwide and states that have hot spots, we can apply that knowledge, scientific knowledge, physical knowledge, maybe diagnostic, technologies at that point that we can apply. yes, we want schools to open, we have to do it not in a politically push manner but in a
publicly safe manner. >> we can only imagine what would happen if humility were a small portion of our national strategy towards this pandemic. thank you both for starting off our live conversation for this hour on a friday afternoon as this week comes to an end. program note for all of you, this monday, 11:00 a.m. eastern time, our friend and colleague craig melvin will host a special report, pandemic:back to school. craig and his team of experts will field viewer questions. you can tweet them to him a at #msnbcanswers or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. when we return, the protests in portland started as demonstrations against racial injustice have taken a turn. they're now larger. they're now mostly directed against the federal secret police on those city streets. later, the nations that have fared the worst in battling the
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you're duty is to protect and serve those of this country. so as of last nouns i'm ight i' denouncing my membership. i'm no longer a trump supporter. i support our freedom. i support our civil rights. i support our constitution. i'm very much a patriot. i even support our troops. but i will not support a tee tyrannyist any longer. >> a protester denouncing her support for president trump overnight in portland where in what started as a demonstration against racial injustice has taken on an anti-tyranny mood.
last night protesting trump's escalating deployment of these militarized federal agents to the city of portland and his promise to expand the tactic to other u.s. cities. indeed federal personnel arrived in the city overnight. the payer of portland called it an attack on our democracy, the governor called it a blatant abuse of power and the oregon attorney general is suing federal agents saying their involvement that only increased the violence in the city. overnight washington state, seattle leaders confirm there are federal agents on the ground on standby in seattle to protect federal buildings and officials there are prepared to take legal action should they intervene like they have in portland. now the widely criticized response by the trump administration in portland and last month in washington, d.c.
are coming under the eye of watchdogs at long last as the center of a new investigation by the justice department inspector general. >> joining our conversation is chuck rosenberg who served as u.s. attorney for the eastern district of virginia and was the chief of staff of fbi jim comb m comey. it was an oath that forced a lot of military officials to speak out when they were asked to remove peaceful protesters from lafayette square, people like jim miller, jim mattis and people like general milley. where are those voices in law enforcement? they must not be comfortable in asking to police the streets of american cities. >> nor should they be. look, let me talk about normal.
i miss normal, but normal might add context here. when federal law enforcement agents go into cities it's always cooperatively. we're wanted. they asked us to come. they need our help. that's when we're most effective. can they protect federal property? sure. they don't need an invitation to do it. but that's a narrow mission. to the extent this mission has expanded and you have federal agents doing things they're not trained to do, like riot control and arresting protesters, that's deeply, deeply problematic. now, there are voices speaking out about that. i've heard them. i do it myself. i can't stand what i'm seeing. the problem, nicole, is when we need to be somewhere and the city wants us to help, it gets politicized by this president who has the uncanny ability to break everything he touches. >> chuck, more than that, reports are emerging today, "a,"
that some of these anonymous militarized feds are indeed private contractors. "b," what we mentioned in the set up to you, that is these inspectors general, the men and women who so often are the last brick in the wall standing between a kind of tyranny and standards and rigor, the president made his distaste for inspectors general plain. but in this case the inspectors general could come down on this practice i guess. >> absolutely, brian. when i took over the dea one thing i did, and it surprised some people, was to ask our inspector general to look at one of our programs to tell me whether or not we were doing it right. that's what they do best. so your viewers know, inspectors general do not have authority to charge people. only federal prosecutors can do
that. but inspectors general have the ability to review programs and make recommendations and by the way you ignore them at your peril. it strikes me as a good thing that the inspectors general here is going to be both dhs and doj and are going to collaborate on this and look at the policies and look at the practices and help us determine whether we are there smartly and thoughtfully. if we're not, what policies ought to govern our conduct when we are in host cities. >> chuck, i have a question for you, both the inspector general investigation and i know the state has filed a lawsuit. but those will take a while. the process grinds slowly, and it has at times served as a break on the trump administration. but they're scaling this, they're heading out to other cities. are you worried about the dynamics? are you worried about human lives and human injuries and --
on both sides of this? what can be done today, tonight? >> i'm worried about all those things, but i don't want to conflate what the fbi and dea are doing in other cities with what's happening in portland and perhaps seattle. let me explain that. imagine there was a tornado or a flood or a hurricane in a city that was overwhelmed, wasn't able to respond. you would expect federal resources to be directed to that city to help. so if there really is an uptick in violent crime or violent criminal gang operating in one of these cities and they want our help, we ought to be there. we've been doing that for decades. state and local and federal law enforcement officers and agents working side by side in cities across america. and so if that's really why we're going to kansas city or chicago or albuquerque, that makes sense. here's the problem. the president has politicized this. the uncanny ability to break everything he touches. so we're looking at it through a
prism where we believe this is also politicized when it may really just be an appropriate response to a problem in one of these cities. it's hard to make this argument because people are worry the and sca worried and scared, and when they look at what's happening in portland, properly so. >> chuck rosenberg, thanks for joining us. i didn't love hearing the sound of a helicopter while you were talking, i feared they were coming for you. just blink twice if you need us. when we return, the nations with the highest number of coronavirus cases, the u.s., brazil, india, russia to name a few. they all have something in comm common -- populist leaders who have defied the science behind the pandemic, some of them straight up coronavirus deniers. we'll get to that story with another of our friends next.