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tv   AM Joy  MSNBC  October 3, 2020 7:00am-9:00am PDT

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i want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. i'm going to walter reed hospital. i think i'm doing very well, but we're going to make sure that things work out. the first lady is doing very well. so thank you very much. i appreciate it. i will never forget it. thank you. good morning, i'm maria-teresa kumar. donald trump has gone from covid skeptic to covid patient. he's spending the weekend at the walter reed medical facility in a precautionary measure. overnight trump's doctor said trump is resting comfortably, had received a dose of remdesivir but has not received a dose of supplemental oxygen. he tweeted his treatment is
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going, quote, well. lawmakers who have been diagnosed continues to grow. just in the last hour we learned that senator ron johnson of wisconsin has tested positive. he joins two of his senator colleagues, thom till lis and mike lee. at least 7 people who attended that event have now tested positive. joining me now, laurie garrett, author of the plague is coming. former senior to the white house, olivia troy and yami yamish elcindor. lori, i would like to start with you. you had a piece today on foreign policy headlines saying only state of the art medicine and luck can save trump now. can you talk a little bit about what you meant? >> well, i don't write the headlines so i did not write that headline, but my article
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says that we know now that trump has a lot more underlying medical conditions than he's ever really allowed the world to know about. he has tried his level best to appear very youthful, to have no trouble walking, no trouble lifting glasses of water to drink, no difficulty slurring words, all these things. he's gone out of his way to have medical assessments appear that, number one, he's in the fittest state of health and number two that he's considerably younger as joe biden who he likes to portray as old and see kneel. they're only three years apart. what we're finding is indeed the president has had a number of underlying conditions and may in fact have some cardiovascular issues. this puts him, coupled with his obesity and age, in a high risk group once infected with the
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covid virus. this means he is likely to be under treatment for a considerable amount of time and he certainly can't go out campaigning. he certainly isn't going to be in a position to mix with others in any considerable way that would contribute both to his campaigning and frankly running the government. so my advise is that mike pence should remain close to washington able to step in and run the oval office should the president's condition worsen. >> olivia, you were part of the coronavirus task force. i want you to take a listen to this please. >> the cdc is advising the use of non-medical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure. it's voluntary. they suggest it for a period of time, but this is voluntary. i don't think i'm going to be doing it. >> a lot of people don't want to
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wear masks. a lot of people think the masks are not good. >> dr. fauci said they are. >> very strongly masks are not good. then he changed his mind, masks are good. i don't wear masks like him. every time you see him he has a mask. he shows up with the biggest mask i've ever seen. >> olivia, you were inside the white house. you were part of the discussions. are you surprised? >> i'm not. we saw how cavalier it was. it's a hard 24 hours. i worked side by side with them, but on the other hand, i can't help but think this is plain karma. everything that the president has been saying to the public has put the public at harm and now you're watching it play out inside the white house. all of these guidelines and everything, the advice that the doctors and the scientists have
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been trying to get out to the public about why mass gatherings are not good, why it's so critically important to wear a mask. i was one of them. we were there. i watched it firsthand. they did not follow these guidelines and now the american public is watching it play out.? >> at the white house even yesterday we saw senior white house officials not wearing masks as they were taking questions from reporters and this is after the president had been diagnosed with covid-19. so before this we saw a white house that was holding large
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events. thinking back to the republican national convention. i was there as they were rolling out amy coney barrett. many, many people that are not wearing masks. kellyanne conway, mike lee. the president of notre dame. something like seven people have now tested positive just from that event. what you see there is really a white house trying to put the virus in the rear-view mirror. just a few days ago the president said the end of the pandemic is real. you do not see it in other developed modernized nations. that's a federal government that has up ended because it could not protect itself from the virus. the president has been saying he wants to keep people safe, but now he had to be medivaced away
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from the white house and taking a number of treatments, at least two, along with supplements. everything is going well. white house reporters are telling reporters this is business as usual. there is nothing usual about the federal government being in a hospital and having to work from there and now so many people are scared they have been exposed. >> you're right. take a look at the folks that have been infected that surround the president. one of the things that i can imagine the american people asking saying if the president cannot be protected by covid, how can i? can you just speak -- talk a little bit about the precautions that people can take right now to protect themselves? >> first of all, let me note if you went to that picture, if you
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look at kellyanne and others that have been infected, they were in the first two or three rows closest to the stage where the president was. there's people that didn't realize they had the virus. some of the worst super spreading events happened to individuals. when you think of not only your self protection but protecting your self-and others around you and being a decent citizen. you can have no symptoms and be very contagious. that's why you have to wear a mask. it's not just to protect yourself because there is no mask that you can purchase at your drugstore that's 100 absolute percent protective.
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you wear the mask because it keeps your virus from going out to others. you're being a decent human being. >> one thing that yamish mentioned, we have an outbreak even though we are the most developed, wealthiest country and we haven't had this under control. talk about what other countries are doing well so we can learn and make sure we're embracing basic health safety. >> i think other countries are in a much better place. many people are comfortable wearing masks. they're following the protocols. they're okay. it's hard. it's hard to shut down. it's hard to shut down businesses. they took this very seriously as opposed to what we did domestically. we had a white house and president who was focused on reopening as fast as possible
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with complete disregard for what the science and data was saying. he was pressuring governors to open up their states way too fast and way too soon. i saw it in my home state of texas and florida. it will continue to happen if we have it happen this way. >> a thread with the idea pence should stand by. are you hearing a your report jerts about the role and the line of presidencies and who would be next in line because they continue to insist that the president is doing well, that he is in good spirits, that he's working. obviously the vice president is on alert and he has been working from his residence and was not at the white house from my
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understanding. let's make sure vice president pence has been protected. senator mike lee is sitting behind vice president pence. there are a lot of health officials saying you can test negative one day and positive the next day. vice president pence is literally in the middle of all of the other people, especially mike lee is literally right behind him. i think there's a lot of concern vice president pence needs to be kept safe but president trump and the white house say i continues to remain in control. >> laurie, what do you do? >> wear your masks, all the time, never stop wearing them. that's the number one advice. number two, i think it's really imperative that we get to the
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bottom of this potential cluster situation. if, indeed, there was a super spreader event, then every single person who attended that, including the journalist the, camera crews, all of the people must be tested and followed over time. this is the thing a lot of people get a false hope. sometimes you haven't developed enough virus in your body yesterday to pick it up. it is imperative that everybody on the helicopter, plane, perhaps in the debate in cleveland, every single one of these people has got to get tested repeatedly over the next several days and if we did have a cluster moment there, that is
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a teaching moment. it should help us rethink sturgis, the rallies, tulsa where we know herm maan cane go infected and died. oh, boy, they should have been giving the right messaging. their teaching moments, who's at risk in a bar, school, wherever pf r people are. >> thank you. back in the next hour. coming up, we'll take a look back to see what may be ahead for donald trump. that's next. t.
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it says after you said a president can accepted a letter ahead to leaders of congress saying, for instance, i'm getting power to my vice president as long as i am under anesthesia or a majority of the cabinet of the president is incapacitated can vote and say we think the president is not capable of being president. the vice president should take on the powers or congress might appoint some other body to rule on this.
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the prob kblem the presidents nowadays don't take the 25th amendment serious enough. they're afraid to use it. ronald regan in 19d 81 when he was shot. he thought a letter was drafted giving vice president george h.w. bush the power to be president while ragan was under anesthesia. they didn't do it because they thought it would alarm people. no president used the 25th amendment to do that ever before. ragan in 1985 had intestinal surgery at what is now walter reed, same place president trump is now and he did sign a letter saying vice president of bush can act as president while i'm under anesthesia but i'm not fully invoking the 25th amendment. finally, george w. bush in 2002, 2007 had col low no, sir skoe pis and he wrote letters before those saying under the 25th amendment i want vice president cheney to act in my stead. that's the way it's supposed to
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happen. >> so this is where i think your expertise is so important because something we do know is that the president likes to appear always strong. he likes to make sure -- >> oh, yes. >> he likes to make sure people recognize he is healthy. joe biden's junior, granted by three years. >> right. >> what makes this presidency so different than what you just outlined? >> because you've got a president that likes to improvise and not share power. they're depending on a president's goodwill and leadership. woodrow wilson in 1919 had a massive stroke at the white house exactly 101 years ago yesterday and wilson didn't want to share power. he was lying in bed upstairs half paralyzed, wouldn't talk to his vice president. the vice president could be in the cabinet. he was furious. he gave a lot of the decision making power to his wife and covered up the way it was. that's the way it's not supposed
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to happen. in 1963 john kennedy was shot. lyndon johnson was in the same motorcade. they both went to parkland hospital. even though kennedy was not officially dead, you go to johnson, we'll stay with the president and once, of course, the president was officially declared dead at 1 p.m., they went with the new president, johnson, who was sworn in on air force one. the picture of that was very reassuring to people. >> michael, i want you to take a listen to actually what is so contraduct try of what you're describing other administrations have done. take a listen to mike pence right now. >> he says in the book you were put on alert to take control, to take office essentially if he went under for anesthesia. is that true? >> president donald trump is in
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excellent health and, brett, i'm always informed of the president's movements. >> as far as being on stand by? >> i don't recall being told to be on stand by. i was informed the president had a doctor's appointment. >> unbelievable. unbelievable. that was -- what you just heard mike pence say was exactly what the 25th amendment was passed by congress to avoid. the whole point is to have a formal system to transfer power without scaring anyone if the president gets sick or goes under anesthesia. he's not under anesthesia but he is sick. obviously mike pence is afraid of looking as he's seedsing power. we're going to go into these conversations where some people in the public will say, we shouldn't know what is the state of the president. this is something that is private. explain to the american people why we need to have these type of transparencies when it comes
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to the health of the president of the united states regardless of who holds office. >> a lot of people will say, haven't you ever heard of hipaa. everyone deserves privacy about his medical record. that's true. it's true for you, true for me but we run for president. they're saying, make me president. i will defend the free world. i'll defend your children, friends, families and in exchange for being given that awesome power, if i get sick especially with a liech threatening illness, i'll give you as much information about that illness and what kind of treatment i'm getting. that was a precedent set by dwight eisenhower. he went to walter reed that summer for an attack of i will l illeitis. to show the people that i'm capable of leading, give every
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bit of information and how that's inflecting me. the come to tors talked in public about his bowel movements. that's the kind much transparency we'd like in october 2020. what would be your advice to mike pence? >> my advice would be i know you're nervous about infuriating your boss by saying anything that even mentions the subject of transferring power temporarily if necessary, and thank god at this moment there's no necessity for that to happen, but you, mr. pence, have a larger responsibility. you are vice president. you were elected by americans to be standing by in case a problem
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happens. >> do you believe that we're getting the information we need accurately? do you believe we need a different level of transparency? >> we need much more transparency. number one, donald trump is famously secretive and indirect and not exactly mr. honesty so that's where we're coming from. number two, you heard from mark meadows, the chief of staff. of all things, the guy was not even bothering to wear a mask after everything that's happened. the president coming down sick, first lady coming down sick. now members of the senate, he's not wearing a mask. he gave a brief account of what happens wrong with the president. it's better, but measured against the eisenhower standard
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or lyndon johnson when he had a gallbladder operation, 1965, what we have been toiled about his illness z much less than other circumstances. >> thank you, michael. more "am joy" after the break. searching for a way to help stop your cold sore? only abreva can get rid of it in... little as 2 1/2 days when used at the first sign.
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coming up at the top of the hour, we'll have the president's doctor give us an update on the president's condition. "am joy" after the break. woo! - go ♪ go go go ♪
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in terms of whether or not when the votes are counted and they're all counted, that will be accepted. if i win, that will be accepted. if i lose, that will be accepted. by the way, if in fact he says he's not sure what he's going to accept, let me tell you something. it doesn't matter because if we get the votes, it's going to be all over. he's going to go. he can't stay in power. it won't happen. it won't happen. so vote. >> with just 31 days until election day, donald trump still refuses to say whether he will support a peaceful transition of power if he loses. with voter suppression efforts in high gear, state government efforts will be crucial in protecting the vote throughout
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election season and the weeks that following. joining me is minnesota keith ellison and dana nestle. thanks for joining me. >> thank for having us. >> so i think -- did we lose the hosts? my apologies. problem in the control room. keith ellison, i want to start with you. i know you have been very dogged will you pursuing to ensure that individuals have access to the voting booth. what is so contradictory of what you're seeing coming out of the white house? >> it seems to be a coordinate you had disinformation campaign trying to sway people from voices in their choices. all of the confusion and undermining and trying to interfere with the united states postal service as a district court judge found. the coordinated efforts with
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right wing activist groups which are complementing the president's disinformation campaign. recently we had a targeted group that went after the somali community making unfounded claims all in an effort to make there be doubt around the election. there is no doubt. the elections are safe and secure and you should vote. >> we should remind people right now that while there are efforts to go underway to suppress the vote, if you have not paid your taxes, if you have not paid your rent, if you are living with someone undocumented, you can vote. it is your job to be enfran choo chased. >> information and ds
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information is being disseminated all over the state. part of the reason it's easy to confuse people, we have the first time for a general election no reason absentee voting in michigan. passed by the voters in 2018. plus because of the flurry of lawsuits, the rules keep changing. what we're trying to do is provide as much accurate information as possible to combat all of the misinformation that's out there and to let people know when to vote, how to vote, where to vote so that they can make sure their vote counts. we have to let them know when all is said and done, the votes will be tabulated. whoever has the most votes will win.
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they can have faith in the electoral system here in michigan. >> keith, i want to go back to you. explain how it is a republican effort. >> project veritas. this is not a symmetrical thing. there is no progressive left wing effort to stop conservatives from voting. they can vote. we want a contest on ideas, not on who gets to vote. we believe if people get to vote, then the proper outcome will prevail. if there's an effort to undermine, it will not.
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there is no equal culpability. >> can you talk about how other attorney generals are working together? how are you having best practices? that's important to understand the behind the scenes that's taking place before the election? >> yeah. what we're trying to do, not just in michigan, but with attorneys general across the nation, and when i say that, to be fair, i'm talking about democratic attorneys general, we are working together so that, you know, we can as a group sort of identify what problems we are seeing in our states. and come up with a game plan during the course of the election. i'm not talking about just november 3rd, people are already voting. after the election while the votes are being counted. for any scenario, we are going
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to be prepared to tackle those issues and make sure people's votes couldn't ant and that the accuracy and integrity in the process. that's what we're working so hard to do. i have every confidence in the world that at the end of the day people's votes will count and when we have a winner it will be truly whoever has received the most votes. >> keith, i want you to take a listen to this. take a listen. >> there was something in 1599, a civil rights organization founded by jack burkman. if you vote by mail, your personal information will be in a public database tracking down all of the lies and using credit card companies to collect outstanding debt. the cdc is pushing to track
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people for mandatory vaccines. . >> keith, we know this is orchestrated and targeting black and latinos. dana, i want to bring you in to see how you're solving it. >> well, it's been a phenomenon since the beginning of african-american participation in voting that people will use tricks, devices, schemes, scams to stop people from voting, including intimidation, even threats of physical violence. this particular scam is an old saw. as you said, you can vote and this is not a matter that you should be concerned that you're going to be arrested or get in
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trouble because you vote the. you have the right to vote. you are eligible to vote. you should cast your ballot. voter intimidation. pure and simple. federal law as and i know an attorney general who's quite concerned about it. >> we'll table that for another conversation, keith. dana, can you talk about how you prosecuted these robo calls? i think it's important to understand there are consequences to stop voter fraud? >> yeah. that's absolutely right. we have had laws on the books for many years that involve voter suppression, voter intimidation, threats against voters. i am willing to enforce any law on the books if it involves an illegal activity where bad
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actors are trying to illegally deter people from voting. that's exactly what that phone call was intended to do. unbelievably, of course, the defendants that we charged attached their names to the call and then when we further investigated it turned out it was actually the people who had their names attached to that phone call. >> bless their hearts. bless their hearts. >> why would they be so brazen? i would like to tell them they're not good at this. >> let's not tell them how to be better. let's not do that. >> the point of the matter is the reason they did that, they simply thought nobody would care. nobody would do anything, that's the reason. if you violate voter suppress laws, attorney generals will be enforcing those laws and
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enforcing them aggressively. if individuals want to make these kinds of calls, want to mislead voters into thinking there are going to be negative consequences associated with them, just exercising their constitutional right to vote, they're going to find themselves behind bars. >> that's great that you are actually exercising your work and you as a public servant. it's incredible time right now to do the jobs and we are grateful. before we change the corner, i want to ask you very briefly, keith, the fact that the president went to duluth, minnesota, can you take a look at this? >> another massive issue for minnesota is the election of joe biden's plan to inundate your state with a historic flood of refugees. what is going on? i've been reading these reports for two years about how corrupt
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and crooked she is. how the hell -- then she tells us how to run our country. can you believe it. biden will turn minnesota into a refugee camp. it's a disgrace what they've done to your state. >> congresswoman yilana omar is a u.s. citizen. >> it's a racist appeal to divide minnesotans. it's as ugly. as bad as anything george wallace ever did. there's no precedent for this can kind of outrageous devi desomething to grab power. we're proud to have you as our neighbors and fellow citizens. >> thank you both.
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nbc's richard engel has more on the reaction to the president's diagnosis. >> prime minister boris johnson and brazil's president were the two most high-profile political leaders to come down with covid before president trump's announcement. and all three men have repeatedly downplayed the virus. johnson ignored social distancing with warnings almost as a matter of pride. then he contracted covid. initially, johnson continued to work in isolation, making a rare appearance, looking disheveled and weak, until he was
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transferred to an icu, severely ill. doctors said it was touch and go. his deputy had to step in until johnson recovered. >> we all want to send our best wishes to the president and first lady. i've done that this morning, as you can imagine, and i'm sure they'll both stage a very strong recovery. >> other international reaction was more barbed. official china daily wrote the positive test is yet another reminder that the coronavirus continues to spread, even as trump has tried desperately to suggest thatt no longer poses a danger. the french government spokesman said this demonstrates that the virus spares no one, including those who have shown skepticism, like president of brazil who called it a little flu and flouted precautions saying closing the economy did more harm than the pandemic.
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canada's justin trudeau's wife also contracted covid. and vladimir putin lives in one of the most isolated and covid-protected bubble, wished the president well in a telegram according to russian state media. i'm certain your vie talitvital good spirits will win out. >> johnson, who doctors say nearly died from covid-19, did initially show a bump in his popularity. although that has faded as this country and other european countries are going through what appears to be a second wave. bosonaro, in his case, it had very little impact in his standing. coming up, we are expecting donald trump's doctor to give us an update on the president's condition as he undergoes
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treatment for covid-19. we'll have complete live coverage after the break. comple coverage after the break tonight, i'll be eating a veggie cheeseburger on ciabatta, no tomatoes.. [hard a] tonight... i'll be eating four cheese tortellini with extra tomatoes. [full emphasis on the soft a] so its come to this? [doorbell chimes] thank you. [doorbell chimes] bravo. careful, hamill. daddy's not here to save you. oh i am my daddy. wait, what? what are you talking about?
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good morning, everyone. i'm alex witt. we'll be going back to your regularly scheduled "am joy" programming very shortly. we are awaiting an update on president trump's condition from his dr., sean connelly this at the walter reed medical center
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in bethesda, maryland. the president went to walter reed in what the white house said was a precautionary measure after he was diagnosed with covid-19 in the wee hours of the morning friday. joining me now from outside walter reed is josh lederman. okay, josh, what do we expect? a lot of transparency acres lot of details? what do you know about what's coming your way in a couple of minutes? >> reporter: certainly we're likely to get more than we know right now. any minute the president's physician, dr. sean connelly be will be coming out of the doors of walter reed behind me, he will be able to take questions from the press pool and so many key questions to pose to the president's doctors about what transpired since he was admitted to the hospital last night. people will want to know what his vitals are, what his heart
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rate is, if he's having trouble breathing, as well as behind some of the decisions that the doctors have made about treatments that they've put him on. the president has received both antiviral therapy as well as antibody cocktails. there will be questions i expect about why the combination of those two, as well as about the president's mental status, whether he's able to be up and about, how much work he is able to really do as commander in chief at this point in time while he is recovering from this illness. so far, the only indication we've gotten today about his health is the fact that he is apparently up and about and able to communicate because we know from the first lady's office that the president and the first lady have been in touch throughout the day today. the first lady's office continuing to say she's doing well and continuing to rest. her symptoms have not worsened but, alex, they've not said so far that the fers lady's
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symptoms have improved. the only other new piece of information they have at this hour that vice president mike pence and his wife this morning have tested negative for coronavirus. coronavirus test is a snapshot in time. we know the virus has an incubation period. the fact that someone who potentially was exposed is negative now won't necessarily mean they won't be positive in the future but for now, good news that the vice president and his wife appear to be in good shape and testing negative for that. any minute now, we'll hear more from the president's doctors. hopefully, that will include the kind of information that the whole country is looking for right now as we collectively hold our breath. up until now, alex, the only updates we've gotten have been in brief memos written by the president's doctor and released by the white house press office. so far we've not had any opportunity to ask questions to the people treating the president while is he in the
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hospital with covid-19. >> our esteemed nbc and msnbc analysts who interpret what these things mean. many a saturday and sunday we've spent together where the president has tweeted a plethora of tweets. to my recollection, and please correct me if i'm wrong, the last thing we heard from the president was last night via twitter, going well, i think. thank you all. love, with hearts. have we heard anything from the president via twitter? >> not yet. that language he used, doing well, i think, mirrored language in the short 18-second video he recorded just before he came here to walter reed where he said he thinks things are going well. that has struck a lot of people where the president does not usually equivoquate like that. in the absence of more information and the country
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hungry for answers about the president's status, it's leading everyone to basically read the tea leaves in a few short words that we've gotten from the president on twitter. >> absolutely. josh, stand by, please. for all of you, i'm going to bring in dr. irwin lendener. remdesivir can reduce someone's severity, the length of time when they come down with covid. the average from 15 days down to 11 days. it was also my understanding, doctor, that this is only dispensed with perhaps a more serious case. this seems very early in the president's diagnosis and treatment. what do you think about rm emdesivir? appropriate at this time to give to president trump? >> alex, it is an experimental drug. it has been used, though, quite a bit. it has an emergency use
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authorization from the fda. but nimh says it's only used in hospitalized cases and is not given typically when someone is really sick, in icu and in big trouble but when a person is in the hospital who is often requiring oxygen. in other words, they have some evidence of lung problems, difficulty breathing that would require oxygen. that is the point where you can give remdesivir under this emergency use and shorten the course of the disease. also what's good about this, it may well reduce the fatality rate and the progression of disease for people who have covid. it doesn't eliminate it. it's not really a treatment in the sense that it will cure people. it will just hopefully reduce the fatality rate and, as i said
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and you said, reduce the course of the illness. >> dr. ledener, we've not heard hide nor hair of hydrochloxyquine. >> it got a tremendous amount of public promotion by the president and others. it has been debunked. it's just disproven. it doesn't have the hope for effects and it's not indicated. hopefully, no legitimate health care system is giving people hydroxychloroquine at this point. >> what do you know about the antibody cocktail, something that we know was administered to the president. what is that about? what's it supposed to do? >> right. this is a very interesting concept. these monoclonal and polyclonal
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antibodies are artificially generated antibodies that have been used in a fair amount in certain kinds of inflammatory diseases and certainly in certain types of cancer. there are side effects and complications that are relatively minimal but could be pretty serious. but what they basically do is stimulate the body to produce very specific antibodies. in this case to the coronavirus, which is responsible for covid-19. it's a very appropriate drug to be used at this point with president trump, as is remdesivir. hopeful these those two things will stop the progression of the disease. he definitely has the disease. we all know that. now they're doing what hopefully will happen with any other patient, which is what can we do to slow down the disease and prevent it from getting a lot more serious? >> okay. dr. redlener, a few more minutes before the white house says dr. sean connelly will take to the
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podium outside of walter reed. we're joined by yamiche acindor, robert costa, national political for the washington post, and lexi mccammon. welcome to you all. robert, as we listen to the president via twitter last night, is it my imagination, or was there a somewhat gentler tone to this president of not caustic when he said thank you to all, love, all caps. have we seen something like this before from this president, robert? >> that might be the tone on the surface, and i wish president trump and anyone else dealing with the coronavirus a speedy recovery, but that is on the surface of this political story inside of the trump administration. a lot of unease inside of the west wing, tracing back to that amy coney barrett, her announcement last saturday, a week ago today at the white
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house. many people who attended that event, as we write about in today's "washington post" have contracted the virus. so there's a real question inside the president's inner circle about how are they going to move forward with the functioning of government and how are they going to move forward with the campaign? that is the president's tweet today. but this is also a president who wants to be on the campaign trail and try to catch up to vice president biden, who he is trailing in the polls. >> both things having to be dealt with of top import, campaign, running for election as well as running this country. what are you hearing on that front from your reporting, the tone of things that report was suggesting there? there's been some suggestion that's rather chaotic. there's a lot of concern over exactly how this would go because of the amount of unknown factors that are present. >> yeah, alex, that's exactly right. it's good to be with all of you on a pretty crazy week. what we're hearing from
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republican sources in kind of all parts of the party is that this is a pretty chaotic time, that they don't feel this is good for them politically, that they are worried about what's dwidw i going on. it's becoming a what did they know and when did they know it moment? that's a big conversation we've been having after bob woodward's book came out and hearing the president talking about the way in which he intentionally downplayed the virus. now we're stuck with who was in the room with these folks? who was in close contact with these people? who knew what, when, and who was potentially putting other people potentially at danger of contracting this virus because they were making these decisions in bad faith? >> yeah. yamiche, do that point, we know that top white house aide, hope hicks, went to the rally with the president on wednesday, and it's been reported that on the way back from that rally, she began to not feel well, potentially showing some symptoms of covid-19, for which she was diagnosed shortly
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thereafter. the extent to which this could be called a super spreader event, all these cumulative events with the president, who has bounced around so many campaign entities this week, what is the concern in terms of just contact tracing? it's gotten to be a huge lift to try to get to anybody who may have come in contact with not only the president, but anybody else in his inner circle. >> it is a huge lift to look at the president's schedule. he was having events in different rooms, with different people. he had four rallies in florida, pennsylvania, of course, in minnesota. the critical time we've been looking at is that time when hope hicks started feeling sick, where she was diagnosed on wednesday night. the president knew that she had been diagnosed and he still went, then, to new jersey and held a fund-raiser there. that is remarkable. i've been pressing the white house to ask questions about why the president, when he knew that he had been exposed to hope
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hicks, why he got on a plane and continued traveling. they say white house operations said that was okay. it's still unclear who actually made that call. who was white house operations? who thought it was a good idea for the president to continue traveling? of course, there's so many questions for this white house doctor. who do they think gave it to president trump? how is he actually doing? what are his symptoms? we've been hearing from reporting low grade fever, nazal congestion. we haven't heard from the white house how is the president doing other he's in good spirits and feeling well. another thing noticed is that the president is eager to be out on the campaign trail. he understands optics. it had to be serious enough that the president understood he was going to be medevac'd from the white house on camera to walter reed. this upends the campaign. the campaign manager bill sepien is having to quarantine. they're still trying to have a
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campaign. there's reporting now that mike pence will be hitting the road. he tested negative again this morning, a white house official tells me. this, in some ways, upends all the things that the president wants to do and it underscores that the white house was not modeling good behavior, not wearing masks and social distancing at a lot of different events. >> dr. redlener, i've seen headlines that use the phrase freaking out, applicable to those people who were at bedminster, at the president's golf course thursday who met with him. talk about the reality for covid, for someone who was in a room with him or may have shaken his hand. notably 15 minutes in close quarters, at that point is when you should be concerned we've heard. what if you didn't have that much exposure? does one need to be concerned? do any of these folks in new jersey, big donors from thursday's gathering, do they have reason to be concerned? >> of course they do, alex. this is a situation which we were hoping everyone would
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avoid, including especially maybe the president. these gatherings together where very few people were wearing masks. more than that, these are people who are literally standing shoulder to shoulder, shaking hands. this is a dangerous potential super spreader event, but it's not just that one. it's also the rose garden event with the announcement of the supreme court nominee. we saw exactly the same thing. a lot of back slapping, people near each other without masks and, of course, the campaign events. this is where we have this collision course of the reality of covid with trying to do a campaign. you know, it's so striking, because the biden campaign has been excruciatingly careful about following all the cdc rules where the president, unfortunately, and his entourage have been ignoring and flaunting those very same rules. we have a real contrast in ways that present a danger to the people that have been attending
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these, you know, nonappropriate and inappropriate events where there's a lot of proximity, no masks and so on, that the president has been having. but every single one of the things that i cited are potential supervisor spreader events. we don't know where hope hicks got infected or how she got infected. they're traveling on a plane, not wearing masks, and so on. so they are asking for trouble and the people that go to these events are really taking a chance. this campaign is going to have to change everything about its m.o. because of the way it's been conducted on behalf of president trump is absolutely a violation of everything we need to know about preventing the spread of covid-19. >> we should also make very clear, doctor, that we keep talking about hope hicks, and that is because she was the first among the president's inner circle to be tested positive for covid-19. though we do not know, indeed,
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that it is hope hicks who passed it to president trump. to your point, dr. redlener, we don't know exactly from whom the president contracted the virus. hope hicks showed symptoms early. some people show symptoms within 24 to 48 hours. others, it may take up to four or five days. she was the first one in the president's inner circle to be tested, show symptoms and confirm her diagnosis but, again, we do not know that she was the one who specifically gave that to the president. whether we will ever know specifically from whom the president contracted the virus remains to be seen. dr. sean connelley, white house physician, as he will come out there outside of walter reed army medical center there, how effective can the president be governing this country when he is somewhat suppressed in his -- let's say his energy, we know that, at least from our most recent updates on the president's condition. in terms of just the logistics.
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can the president run the country from the walter reed medical senator as effectively as he can from the white house and the oval office? >> his effectiveness will be test ntd coming days and weeks, as prime minister johnson did. it's' fully functioning facility for the commander in chief to deal with national security and military concern as well as to make phone calls to domestic allies and congressional leaders. the government remains functioning. that's what white house officials tell me. the president has not deferred any sort of power to vice president pence beyond the power he already has. you'll see the president move forward. it is going to be a decision the president has to make, his advisers have to make about how exactly this moves forward in terms of cabinet meetings. because of the pandemic, many americans have been dealing with skype meetings, zoom meetings,
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whatever brand you use to meet electronically and virtually. that may be more of a central feature of the trump administration as we move ahead in comparison to what we've seen since march. >> yeah. alexi, robert mentioned there acceding power, the 25th article, which allows a president to accede power to a vice president if he becomes incapacitated. it was used not recently but twice in the george w. bush administration and once in the ronald reagan administration. what effect has it had in the white house corridors? >> it's something that people are generally interested in now because of the situation that's happening, because of how maleable the situation is. the country hasn't faced something like this. people are curious about what this means especially as we are a month out from an election which, of course, is making
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people, voters especially, think about the potential for transition of power. and that's reinforced by the way president trump has previously failed to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election in november. this is generally something that's on people's minds. i don't think it's anything that's seriously considered at this moment. i do know we'll have a lot more answers when we hear from the president's physician in a few minutes and to yamiche's point earlier, we haven't gotten much updates behind these superficial or is your fas level updates including that tweet from the president himself last night. so i think a lot of questions will hopefully be answered when we get an update on the status of his health. >> dr. redlener, is there a point in your mind -- this would be something of your opinion, but a knowledgeable one nonetheless -- that the president would not be able to properly carry out his duties? is there a point that he, in your mind, would reach where you think that whether or not he wanted to cede control, we also
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know that in article iv of the 25th amendment, it can be taken from him on the advice and the approval of the cabinet and the vice president. is there a point where you would say, he needs to transition right now? >> yeah, absolutely. you know, anybody that gets admitted to the hospital with covid-19 and especially if they're being put on these experimental drugs, the antib y antibodies and remdesevir, if the president needed oxygen, if the president got a lot more fatigued and unable to focus more than usual, that would be, you know, sort of early signs that we're in trouble. and, obviously -- >> doctor, how quickly could that happen? how quickly could that happen? based on patients we know? >> yeah. it could happen like in a heartbeat, so to speak. it could happen immediately. it could happen tonight or tomorrow.
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>> okay. >> actually, but we have -- that's why he has to be closely watched there. >> and certainly he is being closely watched, just as we are closely watching that podium, waiting for dr. sean connelly, the white house doctor, physician, to come out and give us an update on the president. yamiche, all this uncertainty, how is it rattling both campaigns? to what extent is this affecting joe biden and his campaign or does he have the relative luxury as proceeding as planned? of course, remarking and acknowledging the president's absence from the campaign trail but will this affect the biden camp? >> this is affecting the biden campaign. first and foremost they didn't have any sort of communication, i'm told, the biden campaign with the trump campaign. they learned about all the testing positive, all the president's issues with the virus with the general public. so that's the first thing. then the biden campaign has decided to pull down negative ads as the president is in the hospital. they also have now called into
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question whether or not an october 15th debate can happen, given the fact that the president would have to be quarantining for that amount of time and that there's real concern of him actually being able to travel there. there may be a change in athe debate or not be a debate at all. now they're asking for more distance between senator harris and mike pence. they're asking for at least 14 feet difference. it was going to be at least six feet, the cdc guidelines. they want even more than that. you're seeing the biden campaign trying to navigate this, trying to make sure they're not beating up on the president or seen as attacking him in this medical condition. but they're also, of course, trying to win an election. you heard joe biden talking about the fact that he's praying for the president, hoping he gets well. he also said this underscores that anyone can get this virus and people need to take it seriously. there's a real fine line that joe biden is having to walk here. it is, in some ways -- the optics of this are that joe biden, who had really backlash and was criticized for spending time in his basement and for
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quarantining at home, this underscores the fact that he feels like he was doing the right thing, that he should be wearing masks and to the american people that president trump was not taking this virus seriously enough is proven in some ways now that there's this outbreak happening at the white house and among top republican staffers and officials. >> i want to ask you, robert, to juxtapose that biden campaign news offered by yamiche to what we know about a simultaneous campaign fund-raising email sent out by the trump campaign that was really a lot different in tone. this came at the same time that president obama was wishing president trump well and a speedy recovery on behalf of he and michelle obama. talk about that tone of the campaign email, if you're familiar with that one, that went out at the very same time. >> it was a typical defiant tone from the trump campaign, but the real story here, alex, is not that email.
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it's the republican party behind the scenes. my gop sources are reeling because they feel their nominee, campaign manager for the nominee's campaign, the chair of the party, ronna mcdaniel, and a mounting number of lawmakers, including major senators, have all contracted the coronavirus with a month until the election. so while the tone of the email may be brash and taking a punch at the biden campaign, as usual, as you would see from the trump campaign, this is a gop that's entirely on edge about their power in the senate and about how this campaign that is so reliant on the personality of president trump to carry them in some of these states, how it will move forward if he is suddenly sidelined for the coming few days, maybe even weeks. >> we'll take a very quick break as we wait for dr. sean connelly. we have an update on the health of the first lady and will share that with you after the break. de
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welcome back, everyone. we are approaching the bottom of the hour and awaiting an update any minute now. we do now have an update on first lady melania trump's condition. the first lady also testing positive for covid-19, and her chief of staff, stephanie grisham releasing a statement that read, quote, mrs. trump is doing well. her symptoms have not worsened and she continues to rest. she remains in touch with her husband. she is thinking of all who are ill and wishes them a speedy recovery. from a medical perspective, last we heard is that she is suffering from a mild cough and a headache. of course, both of those symptoms of covid-19 patients. let's go right now to yamiche acindor, robert costa, political reporter for the washington post and public health analyst dr. irwin redlener. as we await dr. connelly's
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update there, melania trump, the fact that she stayed back at the white house, would that indicate to you that everything is quite manageable from there? i am aware that the white house, it's been said that pretty much any medical procedure, medical treatment can be effectively administered within the white house. is that correct? >> well, first of all, we have to understand that there's nothing to do really unless somebody is sick enough to go into the hospital. there's no medication you would give to somebody as essentially an outpatient even if they were in the white house sheechlt needs to be watched, observed if her condition -- i hope this doesn't happen -- were to deteriorate. she would also have to go to a hospital where she would be observed and be considered for the in-hospital medications like remdesivir and the antibody treatment that the president is currently on. for now she needs to watch, take care of herself, symptomatic treatment and clearly she's getting that as we speak. >> is it wise from a medical
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perspective, doctor, to treat someone with mild symptoms to the extent that the president is being treated? i guess what i'm getting at is, would you, because of medical expertise, be able to make any sort of presumptions, any sort of assessments, thinking that the fact that he is being treated with certain things that we've gone over previously, that would indicate he has, for example, a more severe case of covid-19 than melania trump has right now? or, in your medical expertise, is it all about prevention and throw as much as you can, as early as you can and that really is a good way to go about it? >> so, alex, this is a very key question, which dr. connelly should be asked. >> we hope, yes. >> and asked aggressively. you know, we have a mismatch between what the kind of treatment the president is getting and sort of kind of happy talk about his condition,
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everything is just fine. if it's just fine, then he shouldn't be in the hospital and getting these experimental medications that he's on. so, something doesn't quite jive here. and i think hopefully the journalists and -- i know they will, attempt to get some answers to clarify that. either he's sicker than we've been led on to know or he's being more aggressively treated with these experimental drugs than any other person would be. a and, by the way, i don't disagree with the fact that we need to take special precautions and be as appropriate and assertive as possible. this is the president of the united states, to make sure he's getting everything he needs to get at the earliest possible time. but if the mismatch between the clinical presentation, clinical status and the kind of drugs they're giving is as evident as i think it is, that is something that needs to be explained by dr. connelly. we'll see what happens when he
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comes out there. >> so, robert, to the doctor's point there that there will probably be some aggressive questioning along these lines, but to the extent that dr. connelly answers that, of course, remains to be seen, as he has yet to take to the podium there. your experience, robert, with the level of transparency from this white house, would it be out of the order if they decided that they want to maintain a show of strength and maintain maybe not a fully accurate picture of this president? and is there good reason to do so, based on all the things that could happen as a result of somebody believing, anybody believing that this president has been weakened? >> well, it's ben bradley of the washington post, late ben bradley used to say the truth, no matter how bad it is, is always better than a lie in the long run. what we've heard so far from this trump administration is statements from the doctors in letter form and memos, but they've been released for the most part through the office of
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the press secretary. we've seen the press secretary at the white house make statements. we're going to hear from dr. connelly, hopefully, is the truth. he is not a political appointee. he is a medical doctor. he's also a commander. he's someone who is respected within the u.s. military. he actually comes from my home area of bucks county, pennsylvania. i don't know him personally, but he is trusted inside this administration as someone who can offer a nonpartisan assessment, the extent of which he can publicly reveal, hopefully, always more is better than less. there are national security implications, governing implications. >> uh-huh. i'll ask my director, murray, to zoom in on the picture we await again, the podium where -- not even a podium. the microphone where sean connelly will be. it looks as if journalists are not up close, certainly. that could be because of covid precautions that would rightfully be being taken, but yamiche, what if -- this is all
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speculative. they're running about 32 minutes late and we're waiting the arrival of dr. connelly. what if he does not take any q & a from reporters? there's not a guarantee that he will. he will make a statement. to robert's point, we hope it's fully transparent and truthful. if there are no questions taken by reporters, is there anything to interpret from that? >> i mean, i think it would be a hard scenario to even think about the doctor would come out before reporters and not take questions when the nation has so many questions. this is not just a political issue, of course, with the governing of the country, but there's also this idea that people are worried about the leader of the country. politics aside. is he okay? is he feeling well? what are his symptoms? where do they think they got this from? how is the first lady doing? we've heard from her office in writing saying she's in good standing but i also wonder if he has any insight there. what's going on at the white house? are they worried that the president might be, at some point, having to get into a more serious condition?
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i think there are so many questions that the doctor at this point would have to take questions here. i also think that robert hit on something, which is that we have to be willing to trust this white house. and this white house has such a complicated relationship with the truth based on this virus, but so many other issues that we're in the situation where this is where the white house needs their credibility. you need a president and a white house doctor to have the public believe them when they say the president is doing well. and that, i think, is a really tough thing for this white house. the critics of the president say he has been lying over and over again about this virus. now you have the white house doctor coming out, and hoping to be able to update the american public, and that they will take him at face value. i'm not suggesting he's going to lie. i'm not suggesting he would mislead the american public, but there are a lot of people who are wondering can we trust the information coming out of the white house? that underscores all of this, including this briefing by the white house doctor. >> yeah. we should point out, everyone, it's not just high-profile political figures that are
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coming down with covid-19. it is a weekend and in the fall, what does that mean? football. breaking news related to covid-19, though not related to the president. new england patriots quarterback cam newton has been diagnosed with covid-19. he would be the most high-profile nfl player to be diagnosed with covid-19. he will not be playing against the kansas city chiefs on sunday. aga again, this word just coming in to us that cam newton has been diagnosed with covid-19. you know, clearly this is something that is hop skipping and jumping around this country. it doesn't matter a bubble into which you are living, if it's in the white house, if it is that you're surrounded, you know, at home safely. you can pick up this disease pretty quickly and pretty easily. dr. redlener, as we wait for dr. connelly, it bears repeating. those kinds of things that can keep everybody safe. the white house has bucked the
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use of masks, in evidence really of the president and his lack of use. and, in fact, really ridiculing those who have used them in the past. to your mind, sir, how effective is a mask? and if you just use a mask alone, to what extent do you get covered from the prospect of catching covid-19? >> sure. you know, it's been actually talked about as the best medicines we have right now before we get a vaccine are, in fact, those public health interventions that we know now by road which are wear a mask, keep your distance, safe distance from other people and do effective and frequent hand washing, hand hygiene. this -- one of the ironies here, alex, is that this is something that's been grotesquely flaunted by the president and even cam a contradicting publicly, humiliating his own cdc director by trying to refute what this
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man of science has to say about what can keep us safe, including masks. as dr. redfield, cdc, said, masks are potentially more effective than even a vaccine. and it is just incredible that the white house, led by donald trump, has been so aggressive in promoting the exact wrong measures to take for this situation. now here we are at the end stages of a campaign. and one of the things that's been so frustrating, i can tell you, from having had conversations as recently as last night with the biden senior campaign officials, they are very frustrated. they want a normal campaign where people are going out. they're hearing their candidates and hearing from their candidates. and the biden campaign wants to keep on that track. >> absolutely. >> they don't have the outbreaks that the republicans have had, and they want to keep going. >> they sure do. >> they need to keep going. >> of course they do. breaking news.
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update from nbc's josh lederman. what do you know? >> governor chris christie has just tweeted that he is positive for coronavirus. this literally came in ten seconds ago. i'll go ahead and read it to you. christie says on twitter, i just received word i am positive for covid-19 i want to thank all of my friends and colleagues who have reached out to ask how i was feeling in the last day or two. i will be receiving medical attention today and keep the necessary folks apprised of my condition. christie, of course, was part of the small team that was prepping president trump for the debate with vice president joe biden last week. we now know that both governor christie and kellyanne conway, the president's former senior adviser, who was also part of that debate prep team, have both tested positive for covid, indicating it's possible that that interaction, that close interaction they had as they were prepping for that debate could have been a factor there. another person who was part of that debate -- >> hold that thought. >> go ahead. >> i appreciate you holding that thought, josh ledderman.
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dr. sean connelly is approaching the podium. let's see what he has to say. >> good morning, everyone. thank you for coming. dr. sean connelly, physician to the president. this morning, i would like to start by first sharing that the president and first family, first lady extremely grateful for the enormous outpouring of support and prayers that the whole world and country have been providing and sharing. i would like to thank colonel andrew barr and all the medical and support staff at walter reed for the tireless efforts providing anything and everything that the medical team, the president and i could need. this morning, the president is doing very well. behind me are some of the members of the president's medical team, whom i would like to introduce. dr. sean dewley, pulmonary and critical care, dr. brian garbaldi, dr. robert browning,
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dr. jason blaloch, infectious disease, dr. wes campbell, infectious disease. dr. john hodgen, anesthesia, major kurt cline, army nurse, megan nasredy, army nurse, lieutenant john laopola, navy nurse, and not present with us are lieutenant beth carter, maureen mehan and dr. jesse shohal, director of medicine. as reported yesterday, consultation with this group, i recommended we bring the president up to walter reed as a precautionary measure to provide state-of-the-art monitoring and any care that he may need. just 72 hours into the diagnosis now, the first week of covid in a particular day seven to ten are the most critical in determining the likely course of this illness. at this time, the team and i are
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extremely happy with the progress the president has made. thursday he had a mild cough and n nasal congestion and fatigue, all of which are improving. i would like to bring up dr. dooley with specifics in the president's care. >> thank you. i'm dr. sean dooley, as dr. conley mentioned. what an incredible -- how incredibly proud i am of our medical team assembled behind me and the honor it's been to care for the president over these last 24 hours here at walter reed. he is receiving multidisciplinary care. latest science for coronavirus infection. we are monitoring him closely for any evidence of complication either from the coronavirus illness or the therapies that we are prescribing to make him
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better. we have monitored his cardiac function, his kidney function, liver function. all of those are normal. and the president this morning is not on oxygen, not having difficulty breathing or walking around the white house medical unit upstairs. he is in exceptionally good spirits and, in fact, as we were completing our multidisciplinary rounds this morning, the quoteing he left us with is i feel look i could walk out of here today and that was a very encouraging comment from the president. i will go ahead and introduce dr. garabaldi who will talk about the therapeutics and plan of care for today. thank you. >> thank you, dr. dooley. i would like to he canno the sentiment, what an honor and privilege it is to be part of this multidisciplinary unit to care for the president. about 48 hours ago, the president received a special antibody therapy directed against the coronavirus and we're working closely with the
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company to monitor him in terms of that outcome. yesterday evening, he received his first dose of iv remdesivir and our plan is to continue a five-day treatment. the big plan for today since he is in such good spirits and doing well is to encourage him to eat, driveng, stay hydrated, up out of bed and be working and doing the things he needs to do to get well. i'll refer dr. conley to any questions. >> thanks, brian. it's important to note that the president has been fever-free for over 24 hours. we remain cautiously optimistic, but he is doing great. with that -- one other note. it should be clear that he has got plenty of work to get done from the chief of staff. and he's doing it. but if there's a couple of questions about the president's health in the last couple of days? >> sure. can you tell us his oxygen saturation level, please?
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>> sure. the last saturation we have of him walking around he was about 96%. >> he has not received any supplemental oxygen? >> is he not on oxygen right now. that's right. >> he's not received any at all? >> he's not needed any this morning today at all, that's right. >> do you have an estimated date when he might be discharged? >> i don't want to put a hard date on that. he's doing so well, but with a known course of the illness, day seven to ten, we get really concerned about the inflammatory phase, phase two. given that we provide some of these advance therapies so early in the course, a little bit earlier than most of the patients we know and follow, it's hard to tell where he is on that course. and so every day we're evaluating, does he need to be here? what does he need and where is he going? >> is there a probability he will need supplemental oxygen going forward?
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>> i don't want to put a percentage on that. right now all indicators are that he will remain off of oxygen going forward. >> and in terms of blood clots, pneumonia, bacterial infection, what do you see as the risk on that front? >> we know that all of them are risks associated with this condition. he is receiving all of the standard of care and beyond per routine international covid protocols. we're monitoring for all of that. at the moment, there's no cause for concern. >> you said he is fever free now. what was his fever when he had one, sir? >> i would rather thot give any specific numbers but he did have a fever thursday into friday and since friday morning, he has had none. >> and what was the date -- >> why remdesevir on top of the antibodies? >> remdesivir works differently than the antibodies.
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we're maximizing all aspects of his care, attacking this virus multi-pronged approach. as the president, i didn't want to hold anything back if there was any possibility that it would add value to his care and extradite his return, i wanted to take it, and the team agreed and that's how we proceeded. >> doctor, what was the date of the president's last negative test? >> i'm not going to get into all the testing going back, but he and all the staff routinely are tested. >> doctor, what is the protocol for president trump receiving visitors? >> it's the same as any hospital has. we have an area that is clean, that you put your equipment on and then beyond that, everybody is fully gowned up, masks, gloves. we're protecting ourselves and him. >> has there been any sign of lung damage whatsoever? >> we are following all of that.
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we do daily ultrasounds, daily lab work. the team is tracking all of that. >> has there been any sign of damage? >> i won't go into specifics on the findings. >> has he ever been on supplemental oxygen? >> right now he is not. >> i know you keep saying right now. should we read into the fact that he was previously? >> yesterday and today he was not on oxygen. >> he has not been on it during his covid treatment? >> he is not on oxygen right now. >> hydr oxychloroquine a viable treatment for the president? >> he asked about it. he is not on it now. >> has he experienced difficulty breathing? >> no, he has not. never did. he had a little cough, fever. more than anything, he has felt run down. >> who is handling contact tracing? is that the white house or cdc? >> the white house medical unit, in conjunction with, you know, in collaboration with cdc, local and state health departments are conducting all contact tracing for cdc guideline.
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>> when was the positive diagnosis made? >> thursday afternoon, following the news of close contact is when we repeated testing and given clinical indications had a little more concern. that's when, late that night, we got the pcr confirmation that he was. >> is there any clarity on how he became infected? >> i'm not going to go into that. as far as his care, it's irrelevant. >> or when he became infected? >> yeah. i'm not going to go into that. we are just tracking his clinical course and providing the best care we can. >> will president trump have it stay at walter reed to get the five-day remdesivir treatment? >> we discussed that. right now if he needs all five days, that will likely be the course. every day we're reviewing with the team his needs for being here and as soon as he gets to the point where it's not a
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requirement, he may still need some care, but if we can provide that downtown at the house, then we will transition at that point, as long as it's safe and appropriate and the team agrees. >> in addition to his weight, does he have any other risk factors that make him more at risk for a severe case? >> well, not particularly. i mean, he's 74. he's male, and he is slightly overweight. other than that, he is very healthy. his cholesterol is great. his blood pressure is great. he's not on medication for that. he's up and active. you saw his activity the days leading up to, long hours and everything else. he's able to handle it. >> can you provide other vitals like heart rate, blood pressure and temperature? >> so his heart rate is in the 70s to 80s. his blood pressure has remained where historically been during our physicals, 110 to 120
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systolic. it's been great. no budge there. >> why was the decision made to transfer him here? >> because he's the president of the united states. >> he asked about that thursday into friday, he did. he has been briefed by the task force and all the scientists for months and he brought that up as we were discussing his cough. atle the time his oxygen levels were okay. we didn't feel like we needed to do it. we came up here, discussed it with the team as well. we discussed all options but has not needed all that have. >> why wasn't the first lady admitted as well? >> the first lady is doing great. thanks for asking. she has no indication for hospitalization, advanced therapy. she's convalescing. >> i'm going to try to pin you down one more time. >> he's not on oxygen today. >> did he receive any on thursday? >> what's today, saturday? >> no, no. >> no thursday, friday or saturday? >> thursday, no oxygen.
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not at this moment and yesterday with the team, while we were all here, he was not on oxygen. >> so has the president actually been admitted as a patient to this hospital? >> the president is a patient at walter reed national medical center. >> is he on any steroids? >> last question. thank you. >> okay. there we have the team, everybody, treating the president of the united states. you heard dr. sean condid heley directing that news conference there. and i will just summarize the number of top flight physicians and nurses the president has three pulmonary critical care physicians treating him. he has two infectious disease physicians treating him. one anesthesia physician, for something were he need to be put under. there was no indication of that whatsoever, i will add. a handful of naval nurses.
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he's getting full treatment and top medical care and then some, as dr. sean conley alluded to. i don't know that that would be a typical round of physicians treat negative patient in the hospital but he is, after all, the president of the united states. i'm joined by several of our panelists. medical contributor and primary doctor, dr. patel, irwin redlener, yamiche acindor and robert costa of the washington post. dr. patel, you're the new face here. you and i have spoken many times on my broadcast. i am very proudly the daughter of a physician, i will remind our viewers. the things that was drilled into my mind growing up is that the normal level of figures to chart against, fever, 98.6. blood pressure would be somewhere in the 110, 120/80 and
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pulse 72 is absolutely perfect. athletes sometimes go into the 60s and people can run into the 80s. on that note dr. conley suggested that the president's heart rate was between the 70s and 80s. for a man of his age and physical description, which we can classify, technically, as being obese, how do you read the numbers that were being shared? >> the first glimpse we've had into any of those numbers. as a physician, those numbers are helpful in reassuring. people have been asking, i think, on twitter, 96 normal, as you stated, 96% oxygen saturation, yes, that is normal. you would expect it to be 94 to 99% at room saturation, without requiring additional oxygen. i want to highlight, definitely the heart rate, lack of a fever when we know the president had a, quote, low-grade fever. we don't know exactly what that number was, indicates there's
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been some change. he had a low-grade fever at some point prior to going to walter reed and then today, as of now, as the doctor stated, he does not have a fever. those vital signs are reassuring. i give kudos to those reporters for trying to press hard, was trying to understand. the doctor made a distinct point of saying he is currently not on any supplemental oxygen and that he was not yesterday, leaving open, however, prior to this point he might have been on supplemental oxygen. that actually fits with why he would be kind of an ideal candidate for getting that drug, remdesivir, antiviral treatment, five-day course that he started. ideally from studies published, that would be used when someone requires some sort of supplemental oxygen or has some imaging or radiographic involvement of their lungs. the clearest use for ta drug in this setting. so we don't know exactly if that
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is the case, but given the fact that you saw an incredibly multidisciplinary team -- that's not usual to see that level of care, alex, but it's very unusual to see that level of care for one person, but that one person being the president is entirely appropriate. >> everybody, i'm about ready to wrap up. from a medical perspective, dr. redlener, would you agree this was a somewhat sunny, i guess, revelation about the president right now, that at least at this point it seems he's in pretty good health and good spirits? >> yeah i totally agree, alex. we can't begrudge any extra attention that the president of the united states is going to get. that should be afforded to any president and i think things are stable as the doctor said. >> yamiche alcindor, robert costa, dr. redlener and dr. patel, thank you.
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i want to apologize for taking another hour of time. i will be back. former senator al franken will be joining me with reaction to the news. me with reaction to the news did you know that some aluminum free deodorants only mask odor? secret aluminum free helps eliminate odor instead of just masking it. and is made with 3x more odor fighters. with secret, keep it fresh every day. secret. but not every tomato ends in the same kind of heinz ketchup. because you can't be everyone's favorite ketchup without making a ketchup for everyone. ♪ i try so hard, i can't rise above it ♪
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rich, poor, and in-between. whether it's this pandemic or the next health crisis, vote yes on prop fifteen. for all of us. good day, everyone, from here in new york. we're approaching high noon here in the east. welcome to weekends with alex witt. we begin with the breaking news as moments ago the president's team of doctors giving an update
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on the president's condition, saying he's doing very well. >> 72 hours into the diagnosis now. the first week of covid, and in particular days seven to ten, are the most critical in determining the likely course of this illness. at this time, the team and i are extremely happy the progress the president has made. thursday, he had a mild cough, some nasal congestion and fatigue, all of which have been improving. >> the president spent the night in the hospital, being treated for covid-19 out of an abundance of caution. the president is not on supplemental oxygen and no longer has a fever. >> we remain cautiously optimistic but he's doing great. >> right now we joined by our team of correspondents and experts. we have a lot to go over this hour. we'll be


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