tv MSNBC Live MSNBC July 31, 2020 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
in the coronavirus crisis. >> blaming china is not a plan. blaming china is not even a good excuse. >> there was such a diversity of response in this country from different states that we really did not have a unified bringing everything down. >> would it be possible for our nation to have results for all covid tests completed and returned within 48 and 72 hours? >> it is not a possible benchmark we can achieve today given the demand and the supply. >> what happens next is really dependent upon if the american public fully embrace what we've asked. >> it did not sound like we are anywhere close to a national strategy. right now president trump is departing for events and a private campaign fund-raiser in tampa. he was going to spend the night at his resort in miami, at doral. but those plans changed due to the track of hurricane isaias. multiple coronavirus testing sites are now suspended in florida, which reported more
than 9,000 new cases and 257 deaths today. sadly, that's the fourth record-breaking death day in a row for the state of florida. the united states has now recorded more than 4.5 million cases, 153,000 americans have died. this as the united states economy suffers from a historic contraction with signs pointing to some long-term damage. new rounds of layoffs could be coming very quickly in the airline industry in particular. the senate left for the weekend last night as the $600 unemployment benefit officially expires today. meanwhile, top republicans are rebuking the president for his suggestion to delay the election. >> do i want to see a date change? no. but i don't want to see a crooked election. >> in response the "wall street journal" editorial board writes, "if trump believes that, he should reconsider his participation and let someone run who isn't looking for an excuse to blame for defeat."
in a word, wow. we're going to get to all of that in a moment. but first house members questioned the top health officials in the trump administration. doctors fauci, redfield and admiral brett giroir, about the national strategy or perhaps lack thereof when it comes to the coronavirus. congressman jim jordan tried to make dr. fauci the focus, demanding that he call on the government to limit protests. and president trump was watching as he tweeted his criticism of congressman jim clyburn for highlighting some facts including the surge in u.s. cases while europe got it under control. the president considers to falsely attribute the case count to simply testing too much. meanwhile, the experts say america needs more and faster test results. >> anything that gets us a quicker, more rapid, more scale-up capability of testing is something that would be desirable. >> well, joining me now is the chairman of the coronavirus crisis subcommittee. it's democratic congressman jim
clyburn of south carolina. he's of course also the house majority whip. congressman, thank you for spending a few minutes. >> thank you. >> i guess the good news is the president was watching. he did not like you pointing out that horrific chart. and it is a horrific chart when you compare the united states to the eu. in particular since we're basically same size and yes, we have 50 states. they have individual countries and they seem to be able to come up with a coordinated strategy. do we have a national strategy, sir? >> thank you so much for having me, chuck. no, we don't. and that's our big problem. why this president refuses to have a national strategy is beyond me. from the very beginning he said he was going to leave it up to the states, he was not going to take responsibility. that's not the way you combat a pandemic. this is a worldwide pandemic. this is a problem for every
country in the world. and for this president to say we will leave it up to 50 different approaches, let each state fend for themselves, let states have competition with each other, that's not the way to keep our country unified. i would hope that this president will pay attention not just to what i said but pay attention to those three experts sitting there in front of us. i don't have a single word of departure from anything they had to say today. >> that's what i was wondering here. i'm curious. you have three people who are on the task force. do you look at those three folks and think do you believe they're not being allowed to coordinate a strategy? do you think they're being held back? are they just implementing what -- what are they implementing if we're not implementing a national strategy? >> well, you know, it's kind of
interesting because what we have found is that this white house is dealing with two sets of approaches. they are dealing with something that they enunciate publicly at a press conference or what the president may say. but they have sent out privately some guidelines for states to follow. and what we're having here -- and i sent a letter out to four of those states that decided rather than follow the private information they've got from the white house they are following what the president is saying at his press conferences. and that's why we sent them this letter. so i do believe that they've had it. in fact, "vanity fair" just revealed that they came up with a national strategy back in march. but they decided not to allow it to go forward because at the time they saw all the virus hanging out in new york, new jersey and other so-called blue states. so rather than implement a
national strategy they decided to pull back from that and put out this competition among the states so that they could maintain some political advantage. that's the problem here. they're not following the science. they're not listening to the experts. they are pursuing a political agenda. and that is tantamount to nero fiddling while rome burns. >> congressman, at this point is it fair to say that we're basically surrendered in our ability to control the virus and we just have to wait for a vaccine? is that the new strategy, just hope the vaccine comes sooner than we think? >> well, the president seems to think he's waiting for it to just go away. the fact of the matter is when you're dealing -- even when we get to a vaccine, no one knows when that's going to be. we hear all this stuff that what may be going in other countries, they're talking about china and everybody else coming up with a vaccine. but as dr. fauci said today, we
don't know what they're doing. we hope they're testing this thing correctly before they put it out on the market. i have complete faith and confidence in our health care system. i do believe we're going to come up with a vaccine. but we need to do with this vaccine what we're asking people to do with school openings. do it in a safe and a scientific way. so i think we'll get a vaccine. but i don't think we ought to wait on a vaccine in order to have 90%, 95% participation when it comes to social distancing, to wearing masks and other face coverings, to doing what experts say we need to do, what they did in these other countries at the european union and drive down the numbers. the numbers aren't being driven down here simply because we aren't getting leadership. we need leadership, and we're
not getting leadership. >> speaking of leadership or lack thereof, the president is continuing to try to sow doubts about the idea of mail-in voting. i know the democrats, i know you guys have wanted to provide extra funding -- the fact is it isn't going to be easy to institute next tra mail-in voting. i think a lot of states need the resources to do this. do you worry that the president's comments will make it that republicans can't support any new money to the states to improve mail-in voting? >> well, if they want to make political decisions about it. but you know, this is not partisan stuff. i've been around this business long enough to know that when it comes to mail-in ballots republican voters utilize that process much more often than democratic voters and they are
better at it. that's not why we're doing this. we don't want people to get sick trying to exercise their duties in this democracy. we don't want people to die trying to vote. now, some did trying to get the vote. but now that they've got it, we don't want them to lose their lives trying to cast it. so this is not about anything that's politically -- this is about having our democracy go forward in a way that will be preserved. we have had elections during the civil war. we have had elections during world wars. we had elections when we had the spanish flu. so why can't we have elections now? simply because people know how to respond when they get the kind of leadership that we need. >> i want to ask you a philosophical question about vice president biden and his decision about a running mate. i'm sure the short list seems to
be pretty agreed upon. kamala harris, karen bass, susan rice, val demings, some order on this. but let me ask you this. one of the decisions he's got to make is you want a governing partner but you want a campaign partner too. what do you weigh more, the governing side or the campaign side in this instance right now? >> well, you do first things first. and the first thing you've got to do is get elected. so at this point in time i think the vice president, former vice president, needs to go about the business of doing the polling that's necessary to see who will complement the ticket. do the kind of vetting that's necessary to make sure you don't have any distractions. and then let his head and heart take a look at this issue so he can get to what he says is simpatico. that to me is what's important. i do believe that you can put together a governing team that may or may not include a whole
lot of participation from the vice president. i think the vice president ought to complement the ticket and do what is necessary to help us win the election. >> when you say complement the ticket, joe biden might be missing something. what is that something that you hope the running mate complements? >> well, it's very clear. joe biden is a guy full of compassion. he has much more compassion than he exhibits passion. so he needs a running mate with a lot of passion to connect to voters. biden has the greatest heart that i've ever encountered in politics. he's not a rah rah guy that will motivate people. but he is the kind of guy you want helping to put the policy together. so that's what i mean by complementing. >> which one of them do you think has the most passion?
>> well, there are about 12 of them that's very, very passionate. i don't know which four or five or six he's boiled it down to, but there are some great candidates. i like them all. there's only one i know of he's been thinking about that i don't know personally. i know all the rest of them. >> that's very interesting. will you share that? or you don't want to share that? >> i'm not going to share that. >> i know you're not. but you know, the viewers had to hear you tell me, that sir. congressman jim clyburn, it is always a pleasure to have you on sharing your perspective with us. thank you, sir. >> thank you very much. >> you got it. now to hong kong, where the government is actually delaying an upcoming election. today government officials in hong kong said the city's legislative elections set for september would be postponed by one year, citing the coronavirus pandemic and safety concerns. but the pro-democracy movement
thinks it's beijing's attempt to avoid defeat. nbc news producer justin solomon joins me now from hong kong. so justin, i'm just curious here, do we expect to see? reaction in the streets or is there nervousness about the new laws and what would happen? >> well, look, i think there's some nervousness and there has been about the laws. that's why we haven't been seeing the size of demonstrations that we saw here last summer. and as you said, this had been rumored all week long, and tonight carrie lam did make it official that she's invoking this emergency power to postpone the election because of covid-19. and look, covid-19 is is seeing an uptick in hong kong. we've had ten straight days of 100 or more cases. but as you mentioned, the opposition party, the pro-democratic party here, they say the government is just using this as really just a decoy, if
you will, as an excuse to cancel the election. he will and as you mentioned, the national security law, it was announced in may and put into place in june. the democratic movement here was really re-energized at that moment. they held a primary election where 600,000 people came out to vote. and many expected them to win a large number of seats in september's election. but sure enough, yesterday 12 democratic candidates were disqualified from running including well-known activist joshua wong. and the reason the government says is because they didn't support the national security law. you know, wong called it a witch hunt, if you will, which i know you've been hearing a lot in the states from the president. >> justin solomon in hong kong for us. it's eerie that there's going to be sort of an odd silent reaction to this considering sort of the pall that's been
cast by that new law. very interesting. justin, thank you. it is worth noting today that the white house officially condemned the hong kong decision. kayleigh mcenany, the press secretary, let me read you this quote from the united states government. "this action undermines the democratic processes and freedoms that have underpinned hong kong's prosperity." and the white house went on to argue that it would undermine the idea of democracy, delaying an election. insert all the ironic responses you want based on yesterday's presidential tweet. a backlog in mail delivery is raising some red flags that ballot delivery for november's election could be significantly delayed. the president of a local postal workers union is speaking out and will join me next after the break. plus we're days away from joe biden making his decision on a running mate. what we know about who it might be. you're watching msnbc. look here, it's your very own all-in-one
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we are of course following developments in the coronavirus pandemic. here are the facts as we know them at this hour. starting at 5:00 p.m. today eastern time maryland residents must wear face coverings in public spaces. governor larry hogan announced an expansion of the state's mask mandate after maryland reported the highest number of hospitalizations that they've had in over a month. the u.s. government will pay drugmaker sanofi and glaxosmithkline about $2 billion to develop and deliver 100 million doses of their potential coronavirus vaccine. as you know, about two weeks ago
the government said it would pay nearly the same amount to pfizer biotech for their vaccine. that is the one aggressive step we've seen on vaccines, not on anything else. british prime minister boris johnson is reversing easing of of covid lockdown restrictions. casinos, bowling alleys and indoor performances will now no longer reopen tomorrow. while doctors say touching surfaces is not the main way coronavirus spreads, new technology that detects the virus on high-touch areas could help schools and indoor offices prevent from asystematic spread. nbc correspondent vicky nguyen got an exclusive look at a new test. >> we're going up. >> reporter: from handrails to elevator buttons, indoors and out, could the coronavirus be here? this new test lets non-scientists like us find out whether anyone with covid-19 has touched or breathed on the
spaces we're in. it's made by san francisco-based company phylogen, which gave us swabs to collect samples. >> and we're trying it out for the first time. we have exclusive action to show you what the phylagen surface test is and how it works. you take a swap, dip it in the solution, and basically swab any surface you want to test. we're doing this playground steering wheel. just snap the top of the swab off in the sample tube, and you're done. i swabbed v swabbed all over new york city. in busy public spaces like the subway, coffee shops and the grocery store. >> we're going to see what's on this cart handle. >> reporter: the seat belts, pin pad and door handles in a taxi. >> taxi door handle. >> reporter: and inside an uber. >> not pretty but we've got to check. >> reporter: even inside a public restroom. >> another good spot, the elevator. >> reporter: and what about these high touch items at a restaurant? i wasn't alone. we enlisted nbc news producers from coast to coast, swabbing
surfaces in five states including hot spots california and florida. 48 hours after shipping our samples to the lab, we got the results. all our swabs from pennsylvania and new jersey came back negative for coronavirus. no traces of the virus on the train, at the drugstore, or on the mail we swabbed. not even the chair in the pharmacy waiting area. no positives in california either where the producer swabbed a gas pump, bus seat handle and this elevator button in an office building. but in new york two positive hits. this grocery cart handle came back positive for sars covi-2, the virus that causes covid-19. and this self-serve bread bin also positive. but the worst was covid-19 hot spot florida. nearly 20% of our samples from miami positive. >> it's inside the elevator. >> reporter: overall, 6% of the samples that we took indoors came back positive, which is within the 5% to 20% positive rate predicted by the company.
we shared our results with epidemiologist dr. testa gosh. >> is it reassuring for the public to know coronavirus maybe isn't in all the places we thought it might be? >> absolutely. it's reassuring to know that some of our prevention measures are working and that we're not seeing coronavirus in places like the mail or on certain public restrooms. while i'm definitely surprised by that, i think that's good news. >> what are the limitations of a positive result? >> well, the limitations are that you really don't know how much of the virus is there and you don't know if it's dead or alive. you don't know if it can actually infect somebody or not. >> reporter: phylag nechlt co-founder and indoor microbiology expert jessica green says the tests are useful for businesses to monitor indoor exposure to covid-19. >> the real power lies in knowing whether or not you have infected people that are asymptomatic that are shedding the virus in closed indoor
spaces. >> like a pool or nursing home? >> yes. this type of test could be used in schools and nursing homes, hotels, restaurants. >> reporter: she says if you regularly swab a school or an office and see a sudden spike in positives it can mean people there are infected. even if they're not showing symptoms. >> that's really valuable information if you want to curb the spread of the pandemic. >> vicky nguyen reporting for us. boy, that was fascinating. you can see how offices could use that to find out okay, we do have an outbreak here, maybe we need to bring in testing of the individuals as well. an interesting update. we should note again, doctors say touching contaminated surfaces is not the main way covid-19 is spread but you're much more likely to get sick from droplets that come from a sick person's breath, cough or sneeze. while the surface testing could be the future, it's also not cheap. a ten-pack of swabs cost $400. and remember, a lot of the
surface issues, it's only an issue if you touch the virus and then touch your eyes or your mouth. that's another issue as well. now i want to bring in nbc news medical correspondent dr. john torres. so dr. torres, in some ways that was illuminating. but let's talk about -- i mean, let's put it for what's our workplace, rockefeller center. is that actually a better way to try to open up a midtown office building, a downtown office building these days, maybe try this office test first just to see where you are? >> i agree with you that that was a fascinating report by vicky because it showed that in some places you're getting this hit on coronavirus. you're getting positive results. other places, surprisingly you're not getting any coronavirus in the samples they took, which means that the cleaning is appropriate. and i think that's where this tool is going to come in very handy. when we reopen schools, when we start to reopen more businesses, you have to understand where the virus might be coming from. and like you mentioned, touching surfaces, that's certainly not the primary way you can get it
but it is a way you can get coronavirus. so keeping those surfaces clean is important. and up to now one of the things we didn't know is are cleaning measures actually sufficient enough? in the cases of the places she swabbed sounded like the majority of them were. 30 rock we're not sure exactly at this point. so getting them sampled and getting them tested i think would be a good idea. one, it would tell fuss cleaning is appropriate. two, it would give everybody that sense of relief thook, i'm going to be safe when i go in a building. >> should we make an assumption it's possible that because right now the virus is all over the place in south florida you're going to just see it more show up and because right now the curve got bent in new york that you're not seeing it in as many places, is it sometimes difficult to how much should we balance that when you see a result like this? >> and chuck, the results she got do make sense on one basis. the more hot spots you have the
more cases you have in the area, the more likely you are to have people who are touching surfaces with contaminated hands. and it's especially if they're not doing those techniques we know that work including hands itself. making sure those areas are clean, especially in hot spots, extremely important, chuck. >> i have to say i don't know why we have any open bread bins at this point. that seems like a bad idea completely considering that was one of the places with the virus. let me ask you this on the testing issue. there's been a report earlier today that we actually are at the point because we can't get testing results back in time we've actually overloaded -- we've flooded the ability to get results back and now we might have to cut back on testing for testing to be effective, which means -- which means what? it makes it harder for sports to come back, harder for us to go back to 30 rock, harder for kids to go back to school. is that the case? >> it is the case in a certain context because testing is one
of the things that's needed in order to get the pandemic under control. but testing without isolation, without contact tracing, without all those parts of the equation won't get things under control, won't get cases down. they're looking at getting these rapid tests out there because we know the tests that aren't rapid, the ones that take at a minimum 24-plus hours to get back there's a bottleneck there. we're getting those five, six, 16 days later. what i've been told is there's an infinite amount of demand for, it there's a very limited supply that they can use. so we're never going get past it with the test we have right now. getting these other tests, getting these rapid tests in there even though they might not be nearly as accurate, they could be used as a screening device and if somebody's positive on those they say okay let's go ahead and test you or if they're negative and have symptoms let's bring the bigger tests in. but testing everybody with these big long-term tests it's proving to be something that's just not feasible. so getting other testing issues, figuring out other ways to do
that, testing the people that need to be tested and not just people who want to be tested, these are going to be important parts to make sure we get that testing to the point we can help get this pandemic under control, chuck. >> this is just -- the testing issue has haunted us from day one, whether it was getting the test right in the first place, getting it up and running, all of that, it just seems like we're constantly haunted by being a step behind on every way that we've been on testing. dr. john torres, our chief medical correspondent. as always, sir, thank you. there is growing concern that the postal service might not be able to deliver ballots on time for november's election. this as president trump is already casting doubt on the integrity of the results themselves. you're watching msnbc. es you're watching msnbc.
postal workers are sounding the alarm over a new procedure they say is causing a new days-long mail backlog and it's raising concerns it could impact ballot deliveries for the november election. this all comes after a top trump fund-raiser, a guy named louis dejoy, got put in charge of the postal service and he enacted new policies like cutting overtime and limiting trips for delivery. it's sparking fear among employees according to the "washington post." it also comes amid the president's relentless and unfounded effort to cast doubt on the integrity of mail-in voting. >> everyone knows mail-in ballots are a disaster. you just have to take a look at the last recent -- take a look
at new york city. they're still counting ballots. you know that? they had a race, a small race by comparison. by comparison tiny. it's so messed up they have no idea. there are ballots missing. thousands and thousands of ballots are missing. they think they're going to send hundreds of millions of ballots all over the united states and it's going o'come out? you won't know the election result for weeks, months, maybe years after. maybe you'll never know the election result. and that's what i'm concerned with. it'll be fixed. it'll be rigged. >> astounding attempt there to sow doubt about our election process. joining us now is laurie cash, a postal worker in western new york, president of her local chapter of the american postal workers union. laurie cash, thank you for joining us. so just do this. walk viewers through what these changes have done and how it slows down the process. >> okay, chuck. thank you so much for having me. what the changes do is it takes
the mail process can and changes basically 180% how we do our mail in the morning. mail normally kuflz comes in and the postal workers, the clerks that come in in the morning separate the mail, get it ready for the carriers. now when the carriers come in they take all of the mail that comes in that morning committed for the -- and ensure that mail is delivered to the customers on the same day that it comes in. now with the changes, the limited overtime, and the limited amount of trips out to the street, any mail that's not prepared for the carriers at the time they leave for the street stays in the office and then is processed for the next day, hence delaying the mail. so this leads to delays in customers receiving gifts that they may have sent out for their children, their grandchildren. it delays customers getting medication that they may be receiving in the mail.
checks. legal comments. things that they're planning to receive that day they may not receive for a day or two after they were expecting it. it's definitely causing issues with our customer service, which we're a service-based industry. that's how we -- you know, that's what we do. we serve. so -- >> right. well, walk me through -- obviously this is a cost-saving measure or an attempt at a cost-saving measure. how much money is saved by doing this? >> it's an attempt at a cost-saving measure. i can't give you a ballpark at how much is being saved because we haven't implemented it across the country yet. they're just testing it in certain areas. and where i work right now they haven't changed the overtime for all of the employees yet. so we are still utilizing overtime. however, they have cut back on the carriers' trips. so what they're saving in transportation right now is
minimal. but what are we losing in customers and what are we losing in the amount of contracts that we have? because we don't just deliver our mail. we deliver ups. we deliver fedex. we deliver amazon. so if we can't meet our commitments with those companies as well, are we really going to save anything? >> how much do you think this could impact the election when it comes to these -- i mean, you just -- is it just the backlog just starts to pile up? is that your concern? and so every one-day delay. then it's a day and a half. do you usually see an uptick in just the bulk volume of mail around an election? >> oh, sure. during election season our mail increases in volumes. plus election season you have to remember also comes at holiday time. so we have the decision of whether or not children are going to be home-schooled or
virtually schooled. so teachers could be sending out paperwork to their kids if they're teaching them virtually. we'll have an increase in holiday orders coming through. and now you add volumes and volumes of election mail on top of it. election mail's number one. i'm going to say that right from the beginning. everyone needs to understand that. we treat election mail. it is absolutely our first priority always. and that should never change, no matter what. i'm not as concerned with the way the workers will handle the mail. i'm concerned with the rule change. >> laurie cash, who is head of her local postal union, i appreciate you coming on, sharing your perspective and explaining frankly to us what it is that's actually taking place there. thank you. for what it's worth, our viewers, we have extended an invitation to the postmaster general louis dejoy, to join our program. we hope he accepts the invite. one marine is dead, one is in critical condition and eight are still missing almost 21
hours after a training accident off the coast of southern california yesterday. 15 marines and one sailor were inside an amphibious assault vehicle for exercises near san clemente island when they reported taking on water. the coast guard and navy are are assisting in search and rescue efforts right now and the marines are also investigating the accident. with 95 days to go until election day the trump campaign halts its tv ad spending. and we're closing in on joe biden's self-imposed deadline on picking a running mate. he says he'll make his decision by the end of next week. reading the tea leaves on who she may be after this quick break. you're watching msnbc. g msnbc.s. whoa! is that shaq? this is my new pizza the shaq-a-roni and it's bigger than pizza because for every shaq-a-roni sold, $1 is donated to the papa john's foundation for building community.
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that's why we're dark. it is also, by the way, been three weeks since the trump campaigned postponed its planned rally in portsmouth, new hampshire which was supposed to be rescheduled within a week or two. there's still no new date. there is a new hampshire poll that shows him down double digits. speculation now is reaching a fever pitch over who joe biden will choose as his running mate. after announcing he would make the decision the first week of august now we're looking at probably a week from now. biden has pledged to pick a woman. and the list includes senators kamala harris, elizabeth warren and tammy duckworth. he made the rare admission yesterday that she's talking about the job with the vetting committee. >> i'm on team biden. i have been interviewed, yes. i'm on team biden. and it really doesn't matter what position i play as long as we get joe biden elected. >> joining me now is our own mike memorandum oeli of the biden whisperer on nbc news. and mike, when it comes to
the -- i guess the chattering class it feels as if it's some combination of the super short list is kamala harris, karen bass and susan rice. or susan rice kamala harris and karen bass. or -- but it feels like that trio, is it fair to say right now the tea leaves say is that trio is a little bit ahead of everybody else? >> well, the trick about all this, chuck, is i think some of the public speculation tends to be a little best a lagging indicator of where things are really inside the campaign. this much is clear. we started with a long list three months ago. in the last few weeks we've been talking about a shorter list. and i think in the next 48 to 72 hours we're going to be talking about the final lists indeed. the final three or four individuals who the former vice president hopes to narrow it down to. and then in some form or fashion meet with. we know that personal execution is going to be so important. in some cases he already has that, has a personal relationship with some of these individuals. i think when you look at the karen bass meeting on the hill,
or just earlier this week that could have been sort of a first date if you will. an opportunity to get them together before they have potentially a virtual conversation. but it is clear i think still that there is still some final decision-making to be done about who is in that final group. but you're probably right about where we're heading on this, chuck. >> you know, mike, early in the show i had jim clyburn on and we know how much jim clyburn matters to joe biden. he owes the man a lot. i asked him, what should he be thinking about? and he made a very strong case that said look-a what joe biden is is compassion but he lacks some passion and he wants a running mate no complement him that has passion. and he essentially said -- i said should he be worried about who he's governing with or he's campaigning with? and he basically said, hey, first things first, go get elected. he wants a passionate running mate. read the tea leaves on that one, mike. is he sending the signal that he wants somebody who's an
experienced campaigner a la a person who's run for president? >> i heard warning signs for two potential vp picks in that conversation. on the question of passion versus compassion, karen bass's name i think is the one that certainly has risen the fastest the latest in this process. and we know about her. she's a very private person, isn't necessarily seen as a fiery personality. and that might have been a little bit of a dose of cold water from mr. clyburn on that. the other part about governing partner versus campaigner, there is no doubt that susan rice's biggest asset at this point is biden knows her, trusts her, has been in the trenches with her. she is a governing partner if there ever was one. but perhaps mr. clyburn there is worried about the headache that we know would come of relitigating a lot of issues from the obama years, benghazi and unmasking first and foremost among them in the campaign. >> most of the time it's a
compliment when people say they're a workhorse or they're cerebral. but you're right, this is one of those cases where you get the sense that he's going no, no, no, no, style matters here. passion matters. very fascinating. mike memoli, look, we're all going to find out in about a week. you know, we'll know. and then of course we'll explain that we knew it's whole time. mike memoli for the biden campaign for us. covering the biden campaign for us. thank you, brother. with hurricane isaias taking aim at florida, or looks like skimming hopefully this weekend, what does hurricane preparedness look like in the middle of a pandemic? i'm going to talk with former fema administrator craig fugate. he's been concerned about this from the get-go. you're watching msnbc.
high-profile accounts. they filed 30 felony charges against the 17-year-old for allegedly hacking prominent twitter accounts including bill gates, barack obama on july 15th. more on that story as it develops. it was sort of using -- holding ransom and demanding bitcoin. florida bracing for isaias. today is the fourth consecutive day that florida has seen a record daily death toll from coronavirus. 50 hospitals from reached full icu capacity. a category i storm. a hurricane watch for florida's east coast. it left power outages, flooding and landslides across puerto rico and the dominican republic. joining me is the former fema
administrator. he was the form he director of flo florida's emergency management. we talked about this four months ago. here we are. obviously, the concerns -- the last major hurricane, we had power outages and nursing homes were impacted. nursing homes are impacted in another way with the virus. let me ask you this. how would you be going about doing preparedness for the state of florida under these circumstances? [ no audio ] hang on. you hear me but we do not hear you. let's see if we can give you a quick -- thought we might be able to get your audio to recover. let me sneak in a quick break
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we believe we have eradicated the skype gremlin. we are back. simple question, how would you prepare the state of florida in the midst of their being in this semi-shutdown with the virus? >> i would be really focusing on anybody in evacuations that we need them to evacuate. the risk for hurricanes and injuries is from drowning. water is our big threat. second thing is, we do have a lot of vulnerable populations. state and local has been working at that. i think my first emphasis has to be on getting people in evacuation zones, facilitates, moved that they need to. telling people if you are not in the evacuation, get ready for the storm. for many staying home may be the best option. that's always been the message.
with covid, it's more important. >> all right. talk about the nightmare of very full hospitals that you might have to make that evacuation decision. do you not make it and make sure they have all the power in the world and make sure there's backup power on top of backup power? how do you handle the maxed out hospitals? >> again, if they are not in the evacuation zone, they are our priority for power restoration, generators and fuel. fuel is a key thing for these facilities, making sure they can run if they are out of power for any extensive period of time. we have hospitals in evacuation zones. we have had to go through this before. we have the additional challenge of moving folks with covid and those populations. it's got to be done in they are in the evacuation zone. >> fema has been stretched quite a bit over this last year. how concerned are you about simply being overwhelmed right now considering everything dhs
has been asking fema to do? >> i'm not worried about the response. congress seems to be willing to spend the money to keep disaster funds going. i'm afraid recovery will be longer because of staffing and working in a post-covid environment if we have any storm damage. >> i remember you saying that before. you are basically saying the idea that fema will be there to help with deliveries two and three weeks after a major storm, that may not happen this time. is that right? >> they may not be there in person. i think they are still going to do a lot of this. they will try to do as much remotely. for a lot of our folks, we have to go on the streets and get to them in person, taking adequate precautions. the big thing, remind everybody, social distancing and wearing a mask is going to be required during prepping for the storms, evacuating and recovery. >> when you evacuate, don't forget to bring your mask with you. craig, former head of fema and
florida's emergency department as well. thank you, sir. thanks for your expertise. we got through it without an audio glitch. that wraps it up for me this hour. my colleagues are going to pick things up right now. good day. brian williams here with you on a friday afternoon. 3:00 hour in the east. 12:00 noon out west. nicolle wallace, thankfully, will be here with us momentarily. we want to begin with a look at the major stories we are following at this hour as part of our live coverage. the coronavirus took the lives of yet another 1,400 souls yesterday. that is the equivalent to an american dieing every minute now. the number of americans infected by the virus passed 4.5 million with roughly half a million cases reported in just these past eight days in our country. those dire numbers come as three members of the white house coronavirus task