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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  March 18, 2020 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT

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hello, everyone. it is 4:00 in new york city. amid rapidly escalating fears over nationwide shortages of medical supplies at hospitals on the front lines of the war against the coronavirus, the numbers today skyrocketing. thousands of new cases confirmed across the country. the total in the u.s. now approaching 7500 with a death toll of over 100, and with questions now dogging the white house over the pace and adequacy of federal relief efforts. devastation in the financial markets again today. the dow closing down, oh, 1334 at this moment. combined with the losses of the past two weeks, all of the gains made since donald trump took office are now gone. that is as major companies shut their operations including the
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big three auto makers, g.m., ford and chrysler, announcing they are temporarily closing down all u.s. plants. all of that as a new internal report from the department of health and human services first reported on today by the new york suggests a sobering time frame for recovery saying the pandemic, quote, will last 18 months or longer and could include multiple waves of illness. that timeline makes it extra alarming that we're already seeing health care workers turning to twitter to beg for help in obtaining the personal protective equipment they need. quote, get me ppe, one of the most worrying hashtags imaginable, especially in the early stages of a pandemic. in washington state which has seen the most deaths in the nation from the coronavirus, health care workers are improvising their own masks and face shields out of office supplies. and, new york city's emergency
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management commissioner told the "times" that new york city also put in a request for more than 2 million masks and received just 76,000, and all of those were expired. today a possible step in the right direction from president trump who finally invoked the defense production act which authorizes an increase in production of critical equipment and supplies. trump offered few specifics and dodged questions regarding target numbers, promising once again, quote, tremendous quantities of ventilators. when asked what took him so long when health care workers have been sounding the alarm for weeks, here's how trump responded. >> this is a very unforeseen thing. nobody ever thought of these numbers. nobody ever saw numbers like this even with regard to testing. normally we wouldn't be doing testing and they decided to do it. very, very hard to ramp up. now we're getting highly sophisticated tests and it's going very well but nobody's ever heard of testing in the quantities that you're talking
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about. >> we knew for weeks we needed more ventilators. why did it take so long? >> it depends on how it goes. worst case absolutely. best case not at all. so we're going to have to see where it goes, but we are ordering thousands and thousands of ventilators. >> while the federal government continues to work on that promise, more questions on the status of trump's other offers like help from the military. "the new york times" reporting that as of this morning, quote, key agencies had not been asked to play much of a role even after mr. trump committed to supporting the states on tuesday. the army corps of engineers said it still had not received direction from the administration. while the president today ordered the deployment of two navy hospital ships to new york harbor and the west coast, no firm timeline has been established and officials say the effort could take weeks. joining us now, chief white house correspondent for "the new york times," peter baker, chris lieu, former aid to president obama, dr. patel, former obama
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administration official who worked on the h1n1 response, plus here at a respectable distance from me at the table, dr. irwin from columbia university, and my friend, msnbc's david gura watching the markets for us. you're here at this table so i'll start with you, just because also the markets just closed. tell us the story of what happened with the dow today. >> as you mentioned we saw the market dip below that 19,732 mark which is where it closed more than three years ago. those three years of gained largely erased. there's a familiar rhythm to these days now. the president meets with outside trade groups, with executives, talks about bringing them into the conversation, what they might need. then there's this daily briefing where he frequently makes an appearance. there was reporting a few days back that maybe administration officials wanted him to step
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back, let the doctors step forward. it hasn't helped yet and we saw that today with the high herbally that he mentioned today about the size of his stimulus package and still the lack of specifics about that. we've seen all of that going back and forth between the white house and congress trying to hash out what that stimulus package is going to be. investors are looking for detail and data. they're looking for indications of what's that's going to be and didn't get it today. talking about familiar rhythms, hit the circuit breaker around midday where the s&p dropped by 7%. trading was frozen for seven minutes. comments were given to cnbc in which they said let's take 30 markets when the skeconomy is closed and get rid of this virus and rebuild from there. >> it seems to me that one of the things that in some sense the market is offering a real time verdict from what it sees from donald trump. if you thought about the number of days he's been part of one of these press briefings and you thought about the verdicts from
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the market there are a couple of days when the market liked what it heard but by and large the president speaks and the market reacts negatively because of the things you're suggesting which is the president's tone has changed and he's taking it more seriously now but in terms of what the market looks for, specifics, timetables, deliverables, certainty, they're not getting that. >> you're right, we've had moments of that. when he declared the national emergency the markets responded to that. his tone over the last couple of days as it turns puj lis tick, bellicose, he wants to fight this thing and that's only getting investors so much and getting executives so much. they're reckoning with how bad this is going to be. investor after investor, executive after executive is saying they haven't seen anything like this before. to have a time horizon that is essentially indefinite is hugely scary to them and -- >> not just them. >> yeah, everybody. to not have the president meet them on that and to have the happy talk, the good rhetoric
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about beating this is one thing but there needs to be something actionable. >> chris lieu, the president says no one could have seen this coming. we're only today seeing trump empower the government to take some of these steps that i would say some people having calling for for several days if not weeks. assess that from where you sit and from your experience when the president stands up there and says no one could have seen this coming, no one could have anticipated this kind of need. what's your ruling on that? >> i'm thinking, john, about a story that ran in politico two days ago that talked about a table top exercise that the outgoing obama team did with the incoming trump team seven days before the president took office. i was part of that meeting and during that exercise we gamed out three possible scenarios they might have to face, a hurricane, a cyber attack and a pandemic. to say that they were never warned about this is simply false. in fact, we've known about this
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since these reports came out of china at the end of last year. there were several months of lead time that would have been really useful and helpful in terms of dealing with a public health crisis. so we now have an economic crisis that is really not going to abate itself until we deal with the public health crisis and the day in and day out of the president engaging in his revisionist history or coming up with a hyperbole from the white house press briefing room isn't making this better. >> doctor, we were together here on the set on monday and you talked about the urgency of the situation with the hospitals and you kind of said that may be surprising to some people, you said a testing issue is important but it should take a back seat now to focusing on hospital capacity. it's now wednesday. where do you think we stand on that question? >> the situation with the hospitals has deteriorated since last wednesday and i expect
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we'll say the same thing two days from now too which is that the hospitals are not ready. we don't have enough ventilators but we also don't have enough of the very basic personal protective equipment, the face masks, nasal swabs for doing the tests in some cities. i got a call yesterday morning from the chairman of the department of pediatrics at a major university hospital in the united states who asked me this question. i almost fell over, but the question was, we're out of face masks, can i improvise by using pieces of cloth to protect the hospital workers on the front line. this story or something like it is being repeated over and over again. i will tell you i also spoke this morning with a senior official in the department of health and human services, a very, very competent leader named robert cadlick who is the assistant secretary for preparedness and response and they are working -- they
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literally are full steam ahead 24/7, ordering as much as they can from private industry. of course he wishes we could have done this a long time ago. the fact of the matter is they're speaking to all kinds of manufacturers to try to get the supply ramped up. they're also talking to people that manufacture mechanical ventilators. it's not like you can just turn that around in a couple of days. it requires retooling. it requires ramping up 24/7 production facilities and so on. we are at the moment in trouble and i'm telling you the big heros in this entire story right now are these men and women who go to work every day in america's emergency rooms from coast to coast. they're like combat troops being sent to literally a combat zone. they're at risk right now and we need to go as fast as we can. >> dr. patel, i want to follow up on that with you. as dr. redliner said, he had a conversation with someone asking
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him about the improvisational techniques for people on the front line to arm themselves and create the protective gear they need. when we read some of these stories this morning we were shocked at the notion that people are having to improvise in this way. talk a little bit about whether it is as shocking to you as it is to us and what is really at stake with that kind of a scenario playing out, what the danger is here if medical professionals on the front line do not have the basic kind of protective equipment that they need in the face of what's about to come. >> john, it's actually not shocking. most clinics like the ones i work in are completely devoid of any of this protective equipment. most of us are trying to do work by phone or by video to not actually have patients come in and sit in waiting rooms with other people. just like dr. redliner said, we're trying to actually think about, okay, how many things can we reuse or in many cases i think hospitals are trying to do
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what they can with what they have and they're actually trying to see if they can triage only the personnel who work very close with what we call respiratory droplets can actually have this head to toe gear. here's the problem, when you talk to physicians in italy or in china or even in south korea where they've gotten incredible praise, they all have said the same thing. if you do not have this protective equipment, you can have incredibly high rates of health care workers not only get hospitalized and sick but die from this. so we're actually losing the very front line. you saw the president met with a lot of nursing leaders. i hope he's going to continue to do that every day and think about health care workers in general but we're actually seeing a deterioration of the very workforce which is going to have to be not just at 100% but at 1000% in order to deal with what we predict will happen in the next couple of weeks. >> we just got news that the senate has passed this piece of legislation that they've been
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talking about, debating over the course of this past week or so, 90-8, the relief legislation that has jobless benefits and other aid that this coronavirus bill. it's going to be heading towards the president's desk shortly. the president is expected to sign that bill and there's going to be immediately a move towards working on the next aid package. we're going to talk about that a little more a little later in the show in some detail but that's the breaking news right now from the senate side of capitol hill. peter baker, i ask you, i'm sure the white house will be happy that that legislation got passed but i'm more interested from where you sit, what is going on inside the building right now? we've had reporting about in fighting, chase os behios behin scenes, power struggles, the worst stories you would want to hear coming out of the white house at a moment like this. is it your sense that that
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persists or that in some regard, even if a limited regard, the white house may be finally getting all of its -- the people within its orbit at least on the same page? >> any white house of course is subject to infighting. this one more so. it's been a matter of trying to figure out who's in charge, who's blamed, who's listening to who. vice president pence of course was put in charge of the task force but the president made a point as you pointed out of coming out every day to talk to the american people because he wants to present the leadership, he wants to be in front of the camera. you've got jared kushner trying to help streamline an effort that hadn't obviously been very streamlined before. there's tension with the vice president's office. all that's probably not surprising but in a crisis it matters, that the leadership from the top is so important at a moment like this to provide consistent and firm guidance,
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correct information and in a tone that captures the seriousness without further panicking the public that's already deeply unsettled by the health risk and the economic dislocation that so many people are feeling. >> chris lu, i want to ask you about the army corps of engineers among the many disturbing things that we have absorbed in this last 24 hours, the army corps is still waiting for direction was the reporting i believe. it's stunning to me. we saw andrew cuomo on monday sit down and say we need to have the army corps of engineers up here building new icu capacity, new hospital capacity. we need it and we need it now. it's wednesday now, at least if my calendar is correct, and as far as i can see nothing has changed, nothing has happened and the call from states, particularly the ones that are suffering most significantly, the ones where we've seen the most cases and the most deaths, these places are begging for the army corps of engineer to get down to work and they should be
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in the words of those people asking for the work to happen digging now. let's go. and yet, not only are they not digging now, they still seem to be waiting to be told to dig by the white house. i am unnerved by this. are you? and what could it possibly be that's holding up something that has been obviously necessary for at least the past four or fife da days? >> i'm absolutely unnerved by it. people take for granted the smooth functioning of government until it doesn't run well. i managed president obama's cabinet for the first four years and it's important to understand the white house can't actually do anything. all action through government functionally happens through agencies. you need competent, stable leadership who understands the different authorities, the different funding sources, the enforcement powers that you have within these agencies and you need to be creative and you need to rely on the civil servants to provide that information to you. everything i just told you is antithetical to the way this administration has run in terms
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of relying on experts to do the work. we've seen some successes. for instance, hud announced that they're not going to foreclose on people in public housing. the department of education is going to hold back student loan interest for a while. fundamentally in terms of mobilizing all of government, whether it's the army corps of engineers or v.a. hospital capacity or extra resources that homeland security has, all of that has to function with a cabinet that's stable, that has been there before and functions well with the white house. what you've just described with peter about all this inside turmoil in the white house is one of the reasons that you can't get the whole of government approach to solving this issue. >> dr. redliner, i want to read you something from "the new york times," a thing about social distancing, something that's become part of our vocabulary in the past week. this is from "the new york times." the coronavirus is here to stay so what happens next?
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it says, there may be two to four more rounds of social distancing before this is over. the irony of successful social distancing is that fewer will develop immunity. that means social distancing 2.0, 3.0 and maybe even 4.0 will very likely have to occur. people are just getting used to the language here and the facts and how draconian this seems to be as people are starting to understand what it's going to mean for the days, weeks, months perhaps ahead. to be told that as dramatic as these steps are, that they may go on in various successive waves for an indefinite period of time, talk to us about why it's necessary, if it's necessary, and how people should think about this and get themselves used to the notion that these things are necessary and that their lives are going to change in a fundamental way for the indefinite future as i say. >> here's the reality. every single public health strategy that's employed to control the spread of disease
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has down sides as well as up sides to the point of how long are we going to be dealing with this. it was just reported that singapore and hong kong are now experiencing their second wave. so even if we start seeing the down tick, it's very likely that we'll continue to see waves of this far into the future and no one knows how long. the issue about the social separation, it's theoretical, that, yes, if you don't get exposed you won't get immunity and so on, but in the meantime we have a lot of people at high risk so you want to understand that it's important to keep people separated even if there's a theoretical down side. there's a lot of disagreement and concern about whatever it is that we're going to do and talk about shutdowns and sheltering in place and so on. all of those things are -- by the way, it's not exactly clear what the difference is between what we're experiencing now in many cities including in new york and an actual shutdown or shelter in place.
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like i said, everything we're talking about has up sides and down sides. i guess my view is if we had to make a decision, i would continue to try to keep this social separation going because we do want to reduce the spread and the reason for that is that to the extent that we could reduce the rate of people catching covid-19, we can maybe even out the intense impact that we're going to have on our hospitals which as we've been talking about are not ready. so i would have to fall into the camp of let's continue what we're doing and not deal with the theoretical possibility that people will build up immunity. we don't even know if you get immune if you've had it that you'll continue to be immune. what if the virus mutates and the new mutation is not actually going to protect you from whatever is coming down the pike here. >> thank you for coming in. david gura, i only see you when
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there's a blood letting in the market. maybe we should hang out when the market does something other than crash. coming up, war time president? after weeks of what me worry, donald trump suddenly adopts a marshal stance against the coronavirus and also seemingly the chinese. and as the virus spreads and the stock market continues to tumble, congress finally acts, just in the last few minutes passing a million billion dollar relief package with another one on the way. we will talk about what this one looks like and what that one might look like. plus, after another three drubbings at the hands of joe biden last night, bernie sanders and his team are assessing their path forward. all of those stories coming up. d all of those stories coming up ♪
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yeah, i look at it -- i view it as in a sense a war time president. that's what we're fighting. i mean, it's a very tough situation. you have to do things. you have to close parts of an economy that six weeks ago were the best they've ever been. we had the best economy we've ever had and then one day you have to close it down in order to defeat this enemy. >> we have come a long way from essentially the don't worry be happy president to the war time president but here we are as part of a market shift in tone from the president who seems intent on trying to convince us that he now grasps the seriousness of the situation. peter baker and chris lu are back with me. peter, it's been striking i think over these last three days the way the president, again i want to focus on tone, not on substance, but tonally how the
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president has adopted a new tone and i would say it was not surprising today after listening the last two days to hear him wrap his arms around the notion that he is a war time president or he's trying to portray himself as a war time president. it seems to me that is the way he thinks he can win, to define this as a marshal conflict and talk about how it's going to be many months and when this thing recede for him to be able to claim victory over it. how do you -- do you accept the notion that that's sort of where trump is headed as a strategy, a political strategy? >> yeah, look, there's no question the last few days you've seen him take this more seriously. he is treating it as the crisis that it is. at the same time he's insisting he always did which we all know is not the case. the record is very clear. the tone of the last few days has been remarkably different and i think it reflects the
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realization on his part that this can't be talked away, tweeted away, defined as a political hoax. it has to be dealt with in a direct on point way because the numbers don't lie. the numbers are grim. the numbers are very, very stark. people are getting sick and they're dying. i think that's gotten through to him and he's trying to project leadership. the idea that this is a war and there's an enemy fits into the way he's most comfortable as a leader. he prefers having an enemy, an opponent, somebody to go after. usually it's a human, the democrats, republicans, iranians, whoever it is, the media. he's at his strongest, most comfortable, confident when he has somebody else to go after. this is, as he puts it, an invisible killer. defining it as a war and himself as a war time president is at least a more comfortable posture and a way of defining it for the public as something of great
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magnitude in which society itself has to marshal all of his resources in order to defeat if you will this threat. >> chris, there's a tweet that caught my eye the other day from greg miller from "the washington post" who's wrong insightfuly about donald trump at various times. he said this i suspect is how aides turn him around on the seriousness of the pandemic. telling him that he could go down in history as a war time president. i think the key element is not war time president but go down in history where the assertion here by miller is that what they were doing was appealing to trump's sense of hubris, the only way to get him to accept how serious this problem was was by appealing to his vanity and asking him to imagine himself as churchill, as roosevelt. it seems to me that makes a certain amount of sense and i wonder whether we should look at that if it gets donald trump to
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take this more seriously we should welcome that or do we think he's not taking it seriously but this is a political strategy to try to find a way through when the other way was not obviously working. >> time will tell. i think as you said to peter, this is first and foremost a political strategy on his part. he will portray this as the economy as the best ever before this which it wasn't and he's going to say this is the worst ever crisis and that the worst case projections were that millions of people could have died and if only thousands or tens of thousands of people have died he should be declared a victor. yet, everything that he has said over the last couple of days stands in stark contrast to the way he's talked about this and dismissed it over the last two months. if he is a war time president, why don't you marshal all the resources within the federal government to handle this. as we pointed out, the army corps of engineers, he's only now recently started engaging the defense production act into all of this.
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frankly, if you're going to be a war time president, stop wearing your campaign merchandise when you're doing events. stop attacking governors. stop attacking the chinese who have information as to how we can help solve this crisis and truly act like a statesman. this is his posture for the last two days. we'll see if it sticks. >> peter, you talked about how the enemy here is an enemy you can't see, the enemy that is the virus. but trump is not just waging war here in his formulation, not just waging war against a virus. he's waging war against a chinese virus. let's take a listen to how he talked about this today to a greater degree than he is in the past. he put that front and center where this virus comes from in donald trump's view of the world. >> i would like to begin by announcing some important developments in our war against the chinese virus. it's not racist at all, no, not at all. it comes from china. that's why. it comes from china. i want to be accurate.
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>> senator cotton is saying that they should be punished in so many words for inflicting this on the american people. do you feel that way about it? >> i have a lot of respect for tom cotton and i know exactly what he's been saying. there are those people that say that so we'll see what happens. >> peter, the president says no, this is not racist at all, when of course it's obviously racist and blatantly racist. is this not the most predictable thing in the world that for donald trump it wouldn't be enough to go to war against a virus. it would be all the better if it could be waged against a virus that he can pin on a nonwhite population and pin it on a population and a country that is one of our economic adversaries that plays down the middle of his xenophobic populist foreign policy. this seems like a golden opportunity for him to rip a page out of the trump political
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playbook and apply it to this pandemic by creating the chinese virus. >> i think it goes to two aspects we've seen over the last three years of the trump presidency. one of course is that there are threats outside of our borders and therefore we need to close them as much as we can whether it be drug dealers and rapists, criminals and gang members and now of course disease. defining it as a foreign threat fits right into that idea that america is surrounded by enemies and we need to wall ourselves off to some extent to protect ourselves. it also fits into his desire at this point to make clear to the american people that this is not his fault, he isn't to be blamed for this, this is to be blamed on the chinese, on foreigners, that it's not about anything he did or didn't do, it's about one of our overseas adversaries. again, that also fits in with the pattern we've seen for years. that's not to say that the chinese government couldn't have handled this better.
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they obviously have plenty of things we can scrutinize. that's one of the reasons why they're kicking out my colleagues and our compatriots in the "wall street journal" and "the washington post" because we have tried very hard to scrutinize how china handled this and to tell the truth about their approach. but that's not what the president is talking about. he's talking about a threat from the outside that we can all rally against as americans in his view. >> chris, i rather in a precipitous way just said the president's declaration of this as a chinese virus was racist but i don't want my view to be the dominant view here. what do you think? a virus that's being referred to around the white house as the kung flu, speak to us about whether you think there might be some racism in play in the white house on this matter. >> well, it won't be lost on you as an asian-american and as a
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chinese american this is a horribly offensive term. you simply go back to the way the president has talked about this. in talking to cnbc on january 22 he said this is one case coming from china. we now know that this virus has come from all different places. we could just as easily call it the italian virus. here's the thing, if you just look on social media right now, you see asian-americans posting the hateful comments that are being sent to them, the bullying that is done of asian-american kids who people -- who are being made to feel like they are somehow responsible for this. today in the president's press conference he was asked specifically do you think this is hurtful and dangerous to asian-americans in this country. his exact quote is i think they probably agree with me 100%. i'll simply say this as an asian-american, i 100% don't agree with the president on this. >> yeah, i somehow am not surprised that you don't agree. i imagine there are some other asian-americans who might take exception to that as well.
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peter baker, chris lu, thank you for spending this time with us. up next, the first coronavirus relief package will now go to the president's desk for his signature and the senate will pick up the next phase of helping americans deal with the pandemic. a live report from capitol hill coming up next. hill coming up next allergies with nasal congestion make it feel impossible to breathe. get relief behind the counter with claritin-d. claritin-d improves nasal airflow 2x more than the leading allergy spray at hour 1. claritin-d. get more airflow. a but i hearsearches fa different calling. the call of a schmear of cream cheese. for i, am a schmelier. i practice my craft at philadelphia. here, we use only the freshest milk... that one! go! go! and the finest ingredients... what is this? until perfection is achieved. she's ready. schmears! philadelphia. schmear perfection.
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the families first coronavirus response act which includes paid emergency leave, free testing and unemployment benefits was passed at a vote of 90 to 8. i'd like to know who the 8 were who voted against it. it will now go to the president's desk for his signature but the senate is not stopping there. majority leader mitch mcconnell stressing that he will not let the senators leave washington until they pass another larger aid package. that could include the white house proposal of direct payouts to taxpayers. according to that proposal obtained by nbc news, there would be two rounds of payments with amounts based on income level and family size. let's bring in from capitol hill nbc news correspondent leanne caldwell. leanne, talk to us about the size and scope of the legislation that was just passed and whether it is -- well, we'll talk about more what's to come next. what's in this bill? >> reporter: sounds good, john. so this first bill is referred to around here as perhaps the second or third inning.
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it's a relatively small bill compared to what's going to come down the pike. this one is about $100 billion give or take. what it does is it tries to shore up unemployment benefits with paid family and sick leave for people who have to stay home because of coronavirus or have to take care of someone. it also provides free testing which is something that house speaker nancy pelosi has been pushing so that people can get tested assuming they can actually find tests out there. but the house passed this over the weekend and it seems like a long time coming. the senate was touch and go. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell wasn't giving any clear indication on when he was going to allow a vote on this or if he was going to, if he was going to combine it with something bigger. he decided to move forward on the bill. he had to do some arm twisting for some of his members who didn't necessarily want to support this, and it ended up working. it got the support of 90 senators. there were 8 republicans who didn't vote for it but now they're ready to move onto the
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next bill which is going to be much bigger than what they just passed. >> so much bigger means what? how much bigger? given that mcconnell says he's not going to let the senate leave until they pass it and given that this one took longer than expected to pass what's the timetable for this larger package, assuming it will be passed? >> much bigger means north of $1 trillion so it's going to be one of the biggest. it could be one of the biggest stimulus bills ever passed up here in congress, bigger than the 2008 financial crisis. this could be an extremely massive bill, and mcconnell says they're going to do it in warp speed. there's been no specific timeline yet, but warp speed means extremely fast and you know very well that things in congress move quite slowly but he's already tasked his members with getting them proposals by tomorrow morning. so they're going to have some
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sort of legislative outline at least by tomorrow. that's the deadline for his members. they could vote perhaps is early as friday, maybe next week. those are the timelines that we're hearing. it does have to get the buy-in from the white house which they expect it to because they're tracking very closely with what the white house wants, direct payments to people, some sort of loans or bailout for the airline industry and some support for small businesses. so things can move relatively quickly here but they do need democrats, john. >> generally when i hear people in the united states senate talking about warp speed i am torn between whether that's going to be the pace of a snail or the speed of molasses but it's generally not what most people think in the star trek terms. leanne caldwell, thank you for taking the time today. after the break, how much time does bernie sanders' campaign have left? h time does bernie sanders' campaign have left
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the race, at least for now. his campaign manager putting out a statement this morning that sanders will be having conversations with supporters to assess the way forward. joining us now, former campaign manager for barack obama in 2008, my friend david. good to see you. i just said the words that joe biden's delegate lead is effectively insurmountable. am i right about that? >> yeah. that 300 lead might as well be 3,000. there's no way for bernie sanders to catch up. they know that. very smart people running that campaign so i think it's appropriate to take some time to decide how to do that but regardless of the timing of bernie sanders' decision, joe biden needs to move onto the general election. it's only seven and a half months away, one of the more consequential presidential elections in the country. they've got to get into these battleground states and start organizing. every day talking to the country about what needs to be done, not just the triage in the moment
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but clearly the economic devastation here is going to be with us for a very long time and it's going to take is us a long time to dig out of it. >> one of the things that you experienced in 2008 you knew that you needed or at least you thought you needed hillary clinton supporters to be able to beat john mccain and the orchestration of her exit from the race and her endorsement of barack obama, these were complicated things. there's no doubt that joe biden needs bernie sanders' supporters if he's going to be able to beat donald trump. i know you think it's going to be a close general election. talk about what is required to get there. i know you want joe biden to move on and start focusing on the general election but i also know that you think he's got to make this work, so talk about that dance and how biden should approach it and how sanders should approach it. >> part of getting ready for the general election and winning it is to have the full support of bernie sanders and his campaign team and as many of his supporters as possible. i don't mean to suggest that that's not important.
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the principles are going to be talking, the campaign leadership is going to be talking. i think as joe biden begins to put staff into battleground states for the general election, they need to be inviting sanders supporters and organizers into those meetings to listen to them, learn from them. then the public part, as you remember back in '08, john, we had the fascinating coincidence that in unity, new hampshire obama had the same amount of votes. the public orchestration is important but there's an immense amount of work behind the scenes. if i was the biden campaign i'd think about in the sanders team who would be a good fit cultural-wise and experience-wise in our campaign and the signal has to go out. when sanders supporters and organizers are ready, we need, you we want you, you can't win out you. so an important piece of business and that's not going to happen overnight. >> what would be your advise to bernie sanders? in 2016 he was back.
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it was mathematically insurmountable to the hillary clinton lead and yet he fought on past the end of the nomination fight and took the fight all the way to the convention. why should we expect it's going to be different in 2020 than it was in 2016 for senator sanders sanders? >> two words. donald trump. he's winning. even our race in '08. if you remember, you covered us closely. really for the last 30 days, we turned the general election. hillary was still in it. 2016 was an open seat race where i think everybody thought trump was going to lose. this is not. we have a general election that's already started for months and months and months. trump is running a general election campaign in the battleground states. we don't have a moment or day to lose. so that's what i think is different and i think bernie sanders has spoken powerfully to that when asked about this. the other thing what's clear is we need bernie sanders in washington. i think what he's talked about in terms of what we need to do
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to handle the economic devastation here has been persuasive and smart. >> david, thanks for getting on skype. always a pleasure to see you. even over an imperfect telecommunications system. when we come back, donald trump claims he was ahead of the pack in assessing the gravity of coronavirus, but the video evidence says otherwise. proof i can fight moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. proof i can fight psoriatic arthritis... ...with humira. proof of less joint pain... ...and clearer skin in psa. humira targets and blocks a source of inflammation that contributes to joint pain and irreversible damage. humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections,
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yesterday, president trump said quote, i have always known this was a pandemic. i felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic. really? let's roll the tape from the recount. >> we have it totally under control. it's one person coming in from china. we think we have it very well under control. we pretty much shut it down coming in from china. you know in april, supposedly it dies with a hotter weather. it gets warm, historically, that's been able to kill the virus. people are getting better. the 15 within a couple of days is going to be close to zero. it's going to disappear. one day, it's like a nerve. it will dis'peer and you'll be fine. they can have vaccines relatively soon. >> not only vaccines, but the therapies. sort of another word for cure. numbers are low er than just about anybody. it's really working out and a lot of good things are going to happen and we are responding great speed and professionalism. >> no, i don't take
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responsibility at all. it will be great. came up so suddenly. this is a pandemic. i felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic. >> the coronavirus, you know that, right? coronavirus. this is their new hoax. we have 15 people in this massive country and because of the fact that we went early, we won early, we could have had a lot more than that. we're doing great, our country is doing so great. so great. break out the butter lobsterfest has something for every lobster fan like wild caught lobster,
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[ running and you can run likely ] there's no tomorrow. but tomorrow always comes. and so does the pain. tomorrow night across the networks at nbc news, lester
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holt will anchor a special report on the coronavirus pandemic with crucial real time information plus analysis and health advice from all the experts. that's at 10:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc, nbc or streaming on nbc news now. my thanks today to all of our guests for spend time with us. . welcome to wednesday. i'm chuck todd here in washington where the scope of crisis facing our government and its citizens is unlike anything we've seen in america since at least world war ii. certainly in many of our lifetimes. local and federal officials including the president are comparing the fight against the coronavirus to a war but due to an ongoing testing shortage,

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