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tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  July 27, 2020 12:00pm-12:30pm PDT

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hi, everyone. i'm nicole wallace. we have a lot to get to this hour, including a coronavirus outbreak on a major league baseball team just days aftering day. but we begin with what has been a day of tribute for a man who was once treated so poorly by his nation. members of congress now filing past his casket. the casket of civil rights icon, long time georgia congressman, john lewis, as he lies in state in the rotunda of the united states capitol. this comes after his family and some of his colleagues gathered in the rotunda to pay tribute to the man known as the conscious of the congress. house speaker nancy pelosi talked about what he brought to his job as a legislator. >> here in congress, john was revered and beloved on both sides of the aisle. on both sides of the capitol.
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we knew that he always worked on the side of the angels and now we know that he is with them. john had deep faith. believing that every person has a spark of divinity, making them worthy of respect, and he had faith in the charity of others, which is what gave him so much hope. >> later this afternoon, former vice president and presumptive democratic presidential nominee, joe biden, will pay his respects to congressman lewis. a short time later, his casket will be moved to the east front lobby so that americans, the members of the public, can always pay tribute to the civil rights legend and american hero. john lewis' final trip to the capitol took him past washington landmarks that held so much significance for him. the lincoln memorial, where he was the youngest person to speak at the march on washington in 1963. black lives matter plaza, near
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the white house now, where he made his final public appearance at the beginning of june. and the national museum of african-american history and culture, which he fought tirelessly to make sure was created. the ceremonies in the nation's capitol come one day after he made one last trip across the bridge in selma, alabama, which helped define john lewis' place in american history. in march 1965, he led hundreds of people across the bridge in a march to demand voting rights for african-americans. when the marchers got to the other side of the bridge, they were attacked by alabama state troopers in what became known as bloody sunday. john lewis nearly lost his life that day, but after he crossed the bridge yesterday, rose pet a talls symbolizing what was once blood, alabama state troopers saluted him. joining us now, our good friend, eddie glaude, the author of begin again and professor at princeton university. i heard you talking about the end of the last hour and i said
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please don't let eddie hang up. i need to hear more from you why this hurts so much now, to lose this giant. why is this so hard? >> it is so indicative of the ark of the country. the immediate analogy i have in my head is frederick douglas. that doug laz lived to see lincoln sign the emancipation patriotically information, but he lived long enough to see the state of mississippi pass the first jim crow law. died a year before plessy versus ferguson and here we are, sending john lewis home and donald trump is deploying federal forces against p protestors in portland. we see the country at each other's throat. as people double down on the uglyness of white supremacy in this moment. so i was just sitting there thinking, looking at the coffin draped in the flag and thinking about john lewis' humble beginnings. thinking about that he was one
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of those young organizers, those children, those young people who risked everything by going into the bowels of the south. student coordinating committee. that he was a part of. not only james clyburn, but ruby robinson and bob moses and dine nash. people had complicate our story that enrich and expand our story of what was sacrificed the make this moment right now possible. and here we are, nicole, again, battling over the meaning of america, trying desperately to give birth to an america that is truly just and multirational in its commitments. >> joining our conversation, white house correspondent, yamish. i want to start with asking you what john lewis meant to you.
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>> i got to meet an american hero. i got to meet someone who was the founder of american ideals. who signed the declaration of independence, who made it happen. but john lewis was the person who made the -- so many african-americans including myself. i did not -- had it not -- [ inaudible ] to me, what i'm feeling -- [ inaudible ] i was inspired to be a reporter by the civil rights movement. looking at the work that john lewis was doing. so to me, i also feel like someone u who very luckily got to meet one of their heroes. he also had time to really motivate and talk to young
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people like myself inspiring the next generation to continue on. to push for justice. so to me, i think today is also about the idea that john lewis told us, all americans, to get in good trouble, to get in the way. if you see something that's not right, to be on the right side of history. i think today, we as all americans, no matter what profess or political party, we should all be inspired by the fact that he put his body and life on the line so that america could live up to the ideals that we tell ourselves are important to us. >> members of congress are also paying their respects to john lewis today and kelly o'donnell, who has covered congressman lewis for years, joins us now from the capitol. i want to get to the news with you, too, but i want to start with your personal reflections. i remember lots of times you were up there and covering developments there and he was, in addition to everything he meant and meant to our history, he was always in the middle of
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every political battle. every important fight. his voice on impeachment rings in my ears now. he was such an important figure in that body. >> when you cover capitol hill, you hear countless hours of speeches at committees or on the floor and it becomes a background noise, if you will, to the day-to-day rhythms of this place. but when john lewis would take to the floor of the house with an impassioned speech, you could hear everyone stop and listen and pay attention. wanting to know what drove him to that moment. what did he have to say and how it would be likely consequential in what was to follow. even if the bill he may have been speak for or the cause didn't prevail in that moment, it was something john lewis believed you kept the fight up on different topics. whether it was a fight against discrimination, a fight for more caution with respect to gun rights in the country. access to voting.
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all the different issues that he stood for, they weren't one in a day. with one speech. they weren't one with one vote. he showed you how and the legislative day-to-day business, there was a way to keep the fire burning and he did it in that kind and gentle spirit. he was not someone who let passion become ugly anger. there might be some righteous anger, but not ugly anger. not hostility. and that was something that certainly stood out in a place where our politics have become very coarse. where there are not always the best relationships from one side of the aisle to another and john lewis was not someone who sought the levers of power within congress. he didn't become speaker. he wasn't a powerful committee chairman. he did not need to be. he worked more grass roots. he worked more constituent services. he worked on behalf of fellow democrats and he worked on the
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causes that go to the issues that were important to people around the country. so i'm struck by how he always had time. if you were u a reporter, he would find time for you. if you were a constituent or visitor or tourist who recognized him, he would stop and would gladly share a piece of himself. it wasn't a one way street with john lewis. he wanted to hear what people had to think and when he had something important to say and when the passion o and the fire and that very memorable voice would thunder on the capitol, people did listen. even his adversaries, politically, who will certainly offer words of sympathy to his family mow, even if they didn't believe politically, there was a respect because of what he had done over the years of his life. sweating real blood and tears for his cause. so, that's the kind of relationship that you find on capitol hill. that is rare. the kind of personality that gets that level of respect. that is rare.
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those are the things that stand out to me, nicole. >> to kelly's point, kelly, our friend, dana bash, has reported on a young boy who traveled to meet congressman lewis because he was his hero and they became friends and they were friends. they, the young boy visited him in washington. they spoke on the phone earlier this year. he gave up himself, he gave of himself in a way that i don't know if it's common, you sure don't hear about it, but my hunch is that it's not that common, and he gained the title of the conscious of the congress. talk about that part of his legacy, eddie. >> absolutely. he walked his faith. he lived it. i was a young country boy from mississippi. i worked in the julian bond campaign when he ran against john lewis.
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and then i worked in john lewis' atlanta office. it was in that office. talking about constituent services, that i learned from michael german and john lewis and others, how to get folks lights turned on. how to move the levers of local government to help people who couldn't, who couldn't get groceries, right? i was there in atlanta when he first got elected and all of the wounds that happened at the time. i remember him coming into the office, asking me where i was from. paying attention to my humanity. understanding that i was a a country u boy from mississippi. there's a sense in which he lived his faith. it wasn't politicized. it was deep in his soul. and it evidenced himself in how he walked this planet, nicole. >> let's turn to your beat now. the president, we just learned in the last hour, does not plan
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to pay his respects. any reactions at all or context offered? >> i think the context is that a lot of people who look at john lewis' life and are critics of president trump see him as really the antithesis of the life john lewis lived. john lewis was focusing on expanding the number of people who could vote, including adding african-americans on roles. putting his on body on the line. he was someone who got arrested just in 2013 at an immigration rally. was arrested more than 40 times fighting for all sorts of people to get justice, including the lgbtq community. he was someone who saw humanity across the country and you have donald trump, whose presidency has been about law and order. demonizing immigrants. a will the of critics would say, whose presidency, includes having racist tweets, saying racist terms.
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so the fact that president trump is not going to be paying his respects, at least in person, to john lewis, while still of course saying that he felt badly and wished him well in life, it's not that surprising because in some ways, president trump is knowing that he's going to a party that he's not invited to. there are, i think in some ways, maybe smart on his point to stay away from this because the contrasts in many people's minds is just so deep. so i think in some ways, president trump is moving out of the way as the nation mourns this civil rights icon, understanding that his legacy and his re-election campaign is really not at all in line with what john lewis would have wanted to see. >> do we still have kelly? at 6:00 tonight, i believe the public gets their opportunity to pay their respects. i wonder what that feels like.
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are people starting to gather? what is this transition from his former, we lost kelly o. we're going to try to get her back. i wonder if you can jump in on that. do you have any reporting about members of the public or sort of how much bandwidth they have to do that safely, to let people come and pay their respects? >> from my understanding, members of public will be allowed to come pay their respects to congressman john lewis. tl going to be strict social distancing in place. we saw during the ceremony in the rotunda, there were a lot of members of congress that were not there. they were spaced out, maybe not six feet, but much more sparse than you would see especially of the caliber of john lewis. you've seen the social distancing happening with the lawmakers. people are dwoipg to come there, have mace ks on, be six feet apart, but they're still going
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to be able to come there and pay their respects to this great american hero. he was in some ways, someone who might end up with a monument of his own in d.c. so a lot of people aren't possibly flying in for this, but a lot of local people are coming. they didn't want people to fly in because of the pandemic that we're living through, but that's not going to stop so many people here from the area coming by. >> kelly, all of us backing each other up here in this technology challenged times, but the question was for you. you've been there as other beloved colleagues and american icons have been honored. what is the feeling there? both among his colleagues and my question is whether and how much the coronavirus pandemic has limited the ability or the opportunities for members of the public to line up there to pay their respect? >> i do think there's a stark difference between the level,
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the sort of magnitude in terms of individuals who would show up. there would certainly be a difference if not for the pandemic. as she was saying, the family of john lewis understood that as well. at the same time, i think the capitol found a way to sort of thread the needle by use iing t motorcade today where you clearly saw there were citizens out along the pathway and stops along the route of significance that tell the story of john lewis and tell the story of our times. and that is different than some of the grand farewells we have seen for other statesmen and unique to him, reflecting his story and nothing dims that. it does not mean that because fewer people may ultimately pass by the casket, it does not diminish the level of respect held for him. now, they made this adjustment
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to allow for citizens to come by, not walking through the rotunda, which would have been how it's done in other times, but out here on the east front of the capitol, given the scorching heat that may be daunting, but we have seen at times like this, when people feel an emotion and a magnet to want to be drawn to something like this, to be able to say they were there and to tell their families and bring their children. people do show up. now that will happen later today and it may wax and wane over the period of these two days as people get a sense of what's possible, how difficult is it too visit that kind of thing. a difference ceremony to be sure but one where we're able to put the symbolism, the landmarks of his life into a service with that beautiful music that lived up to the stature of the man even if the moment doesn't allow for the crowd and outpouring we might otherwise see. >> jason johnson tweeted, it is
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a sign, i'm paraphrasing here, but that his words were used and did the best job paying tribute to sort of the power of his spirit and the force that he was is the sign of what a loss this really is. kelly o'donnell, always a treat to get to chat with you. eddie glaude, thank you, my friend, for say iing and michel who does it all for us. thank you for your reporting. we're grateful. when we come back, with cases on the rise in more than 30 states across this country, dr. deborah birx of the coronavirus task force, says states need to close bars and ban gatherings in a desperate attempt to get the pandemic under control and now just days after baseball's opening day there's a major outbreak on one team that could threaten the entire season. and later, as back to school
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now to the es calating coronavirus pandemic with some major developments over weekend here at home. here are the facts as we know them. today, there are more than 4.2 million confirmed cases in the united states. and sadly, more than 148,000 americans have lost their lives. florida reported more than 9,000 new cases just yesterday. and nearly 9,000 again today. it's a new total, more than 432,000 that surpasses new york, making florida the state with the second most total cases behind only california at this point and in miami, tonight's home opener is postponed after at least 14 players and coaches on that team tested positive.
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a game between philadelphia phillies and new york yankees was also scrapped because the marlins just played in philadelphia. major league baseball returned just four days a ago. meanwhile, the white house says white house security adviser roberto brian is working in quarantine after he tested positive. the highest ranking trump administration official known to have contract ed the virus. there is some positive news to report today. moderna is conducting this country's first phase three covid-19 vaccine trial. 30,000 volunteers across the united states who have tested negative for the virus will participate in a blind trial to see if the vaccine can prevent contagion. sam brock joins us now from miami. how is that city fairing? >> look, it's a hot bed right now, nicole. good afternoon. good to be with you. the amazing thing about today's
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number, less than 9,000, but almost. 8,900 new cases of covid-19. that is the lowest tally since florida has seen for new infections since early july. florida just surpassed new york as the second highest count of covid cases in the country behind california. california has twice the population of frlorida. so with that going on, the florida baseball team is now u the reason we're seeing a stoppage in major league baseball, at least for two different games. the marlins were going to be hosting the home opener against the orioles. that was slated for today. we found out late last night the team was not going to be flying back because of a possibly outbreak of coronavirus on the team. now we know from espn that 13 or 14 players out of 33 that are traveling, that's more than a third of the traveling team, that has covid-19. derek jeter is not only a famed yankees shortstop, he's oalso te
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ceo for the marlins now. he came out with a statement saying that postponing this game was the right thing to do. it allowed them to take a pause to grasp the totality of this situation, translation, they got to figure out what they're going to do. jeter says now that all of the marlins players and staff are still in philadelphia where they were playing. they're going to be tested there and pending those results, may be able to return. we also found out the yankees phillies game, their opponent over the weekend, that's being pulled right now. the phillies players thhave to tested and in terms of the incubation period, if you were around a team where people may be positive, it may not just take 24 hours to find out if you've contracted the virus. it could take more time. bob nightingale, a veteran baseball reporter for "usa today," tweeted out that the owners met and decided they were not talking right now about the cancellation of the season. we're going to be interviewing him as soon as we get off air. i'll let you know what he has to say. but the bottom line is the
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fragility of the season, not just baseball but others as well, seeing this has to come into question. >> sam, that is the word that i thought of on friday when we sort of held our collective breath and felt happy that they were giving it a go, but it all is so fragile. we'll stay on this story. thank you so much for your reporting on it. joining our conversation now, primary care physician and nonresident fellow at the brookings institution and former obama white house health policy director. dr. patel. also a medical contributor for nbc news. i have a million questions, but first is one i've asked before. if we can't do this in major league baseball with all the testing, supplies and speed that is not available to the general public and resources and the ability to quarantine a baseball team in philadelphia where they were playing a game, how on earth do we do it with our babies in school? >> yep, nicole, you're absolutely right. i mean what's happening in major
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league baseball is just a mic microcosm of our society and they even have access. they're getting turn around times, 24 to 38 hours. we're waiting in our region for seven to eight days. so it seems highly unlikely that we would feel safe about opening up a baseball season, but we're having some debate about schools. then on top of that, i think what's clear is that opening anything, schools, baseball, any sports, when we're having daily cases that are breaking records, it's just, it's not the wise move and we need to reconsider all of these plans. >> so, you're advising baseball, what would you advice be about the future of their season? >> yeah, i want to offer kind of a contrast. south korea made some headways because this past weekend, they opened up fans into the stadiums. not full, but about 10% of their stadiums now have people in there and anybody who
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understands, baseball is pretty important this south korea as well. i think three things i would say for major league baseball. number one, we cannot open a season or continue a season when we have accelerating rates around the country. we need to see the kinds of declines in cases that we saw in south korea and it can't be piecemeal. can't have a team flying from florida to philadelphia to other places. so you need to think about restricting the travel, a well documented espn article looking at numbers of contact showed that even on a great day, an average player or staff member has about 63 human contacts. that number needs to come down far lower then candidly, nicole, they should have called it a day when they had not 13 or 14 cases, but when you have two or three cases, you really need to think about just closing down at least the team or at least the traveling staff at a minimum. so those are standards that i know experts have made recommendations on.
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unfortunately as you've heard from sam, the teams are all taking individual approaches and we've been talking, you and i have spoken about a national strategy. we need mlb to act as one entity. so we're going to have to delay this season, even for teams that have had no cases and i just want to point out, arizona, one of their head scouts, they experienced a death on the team. their scout died and it was actually, they thought he contracted it from his wife who had coronavirus that they discovered around childbirth, so this hits home for baseball, for everyone, and it should be taken seriously. >> i'm looking at the map up on our screen and it looks like maybe just the yankees and mets could play each other for 60 days. i have a question about the infections reaching deep inside the west wing as well. and the similar kind of line of inquiry for you. if we can't protect the most senior national securit a