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tv   MSNBC Live With Hallie Jackson  MSNBC  March 31, 2020 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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♪ good morning, everyone. i'm ayman mohyeldin here in new york. this morning, the coronavirus crisis reaching a new milestone here in the united states.
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3,000 deaths and climbing. the outbreak now killing more than those who died on the september 11th terrorist attacks. orders to stay at home expanding across the country now affecting roughly three in four americans. an emergency field hospital is opening in central park. the u.s. navy ship kwf"comfort" starting to take in patients. more beds, equipment, cooperation and needed. governor cuomo issuing a plea to health care workers across the country. new york needs you. with repeated warnings that the worst is yet to come. >> we have to look at this pattern and conclude that the worst is certainly in the next few weeks minimum, i could see it going into may, in fact. >> another focus in florida, new cases spiking at an exponential rate. officials grappling with a big decision this morning, whether
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to let two stranded cruise ships dock after four passengers died, eight tested positive and nearly 200 more suffering from flu-like symptoms. let's start with nbc's ron allen in central park, kerry sanders is in ft. lauderdale and geoff bennett at the white house. what can we expect as the field hospital gets online and opens its doors today? >> reporter: we expect to see them transferring covid patients from the nearby hospital and other ers over here sometime later this afternoon. it's a remarkable sight. central park, the heart of new york city, an aconic place, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, in the world, now is going to catch an overflow of covid-19 patients. they are self-contained. this is an operation run by the samaritan's charity, a christian organization that does disaster
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relief work all over the world. they have set this up in a matter of days. it's self-counntained. they can treat as many as 100 patients a day. they have their own medical team here. it is also just one of several plates around the city that are now coming to life to try to help with this tremendous overwhelming that's happening at the hospitals around the city. we saw the "usns comfort" come in docked in the -- not far from here. we've seen now that the u.s. national center where the u.s. open is played is going to become an emergency hospital as well. the plan calls for at least four or five other centers to be built around the five boroughs of new york, on racetracks, college campuses, all of this to try to triple the amount of capacity here from 20,000 to 60,000 beds. and the governor says the state
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needs as many as 140,000. with all this going on, they're still not getting there. they're still tens of thousands shorts. and as you've heard, this is going to start getting worse in the weeks to come. >> ron, live for us in central park. one of the most iconic places that we've been talking about. there's been a lot of controversial around the stranded cruise ship passengers begging to dock at the port you're on. the governor saying he's not sure he's going to let that happen, saying there are foreigners on there. any word on whether officials will let them off or do they have any plans to at least treat them once they do get off? >> reporter: all great questions and right now it's being decided. the ultimate decision it appears is going to be made by the broward county commissioner here. you have two boats connected and some of the passengers were taken off of the "zaandam" and
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put on the "rotterdam." there are four dead, eight positive tests and about 200 years and crew who have flu-like symptoms. with all of that, you have the serious question of bringing all 2,500 people into port here and getting off. that's what the governor was saying. he didn't want to see everybody get off and then have to go to the local hospitals because he fears that would overwhelm the local hospitals. but on board, there are also many passengers who are healthy, they have been self-isolating and believe they should be able to make dock here at port, get off the vessels, go to their homes. one of those is 72-year-old cliff. this is what he had to say. >> i am a u.s. citizen. and i should not be denied entry into the u.s. you don't know if i'm sick or not. i am healthy. and you really don't care. you're just saying you don't
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want us to come back to our houses, back to our county, back to our home. i don't understand that. >> that's a direct plea to the county commission from one of the passengers asking to be able to get off the ship, allowing the ship to come into dock here. the politicians who are going to make the decision do recognize that they find themselves in a no-win situation to be humanitarian and let the ships come in but then to also face the potential of coronavirus on those ships making its way to shore in this community. this is the decision those politicians say is very difficult to make. >> it's not a comfortable position to be in at all. on the one hand, you want to be a humanitarian but on the other hand you have a public that you must protect from this disease. how do you balance that? it's a tough decision.
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>> reporter: right now would you like to see those vessels dock here? >> right now i would say i would not like to see those vessels dock here but that's based on the fact i have not seen an airtight plan. >> reporter: and so right now the commission meeting will be getting under way. there has been a direct plea from the president of holland america, the cruise line, to say, please allow the ships to come in here. the fear is of course they will go from port to port and get rejected as they travel looking for a place to come in. one idea that was out there, suggested by the florida governor, was that perhaps the vessels stay offshore and doctors go there. that creates a new question for those who have been self-isolating who do not show any symptoms, it's been more than 14 days, when would the doctors allow them to come ashore? so many intricate questions and really no plans and no answers at this point, ayman. >> very valid questions.
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quickly, do you by any chance, you see it originally supposed to dock on that port or is that where they found themselves when they reached this peak moment of the crisis? >> reporter: yeah. >> okay. >> reporter: it was supposed to be in here, indeed. in fact, they've chosen to return where they had permission to return and the passengers got on -- this is important also to note. the passengers got on march 7th. it wasn't until the 8th that there was word from the state department that people should not get on cruise ships and it was a travel warning. these passengers who have been criticized for like, you should have known, why did you get on a cruise ship? they didn't know because there was no state department warning. they've been stuck at sea, rejected from ports in chile and making their way up the panama cancel wondering if they will be able to get off of these vessels. >> another example of just how fast-moving this all has been. let's go to the white house.
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geoff bennett is there for us. give us the latest readout from the white house. >> reporter: we expect to get -- we hope to get a fuller picture today of all of the public health consideration and concerns that informed president trump's decision to extend those federal social distancing guidelines. dr. deborah birx, the white house coronavirus task force coordinator said yesterday that at today's briefing that she and dr. fauci will share all of the information, all of the data that they presented to president trump. of course, she and dr. fauci have been talking since sunday, really, sharing their stark projections, for instance, that more than 2 million americans could have died in the absence of any measures. but, look, as president trump continues to really put a rosy sheen on his administration's response, governors are telling a very different story. this, in fact, has been the story from the start where the administration keeps saying there are millions more tests, there's millions more equipment
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making its way into various parts of the country. but there's this disconnect between the delivery and the receipt. this came up yesterday, i'm told, by two sources familiar in president trump's conversations with governors. a governor asked him about the availability of testing kits. president trump responded by saying testing kits, i haven't heard about testing in weeks. cbs news reported this. they got audio of that phone call. take a listen for yourself. >> dr. fauci, we are trying to do contact tracing but literally we are one day away if we don't get test kits from the cdc that we wouldn't be able to do testing in montana. >> you can answer if you want, but i haven't heard about testing in weeks. we've tested more now than any nation in the world. i haven't heard about testing being a problem. >> anybody who might have been listening on siriusxm, it was governor bulluck who was presenting a question to dr. fauci about the availability
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of test kits and president trump interjected and said, testing, i haven't heard about testing in weeks. here's the deal. weeks ago the administration said there would be 27 million tests available by the end of march. i just checked my phone, the covid tracking project, 956,000 people have been tested. where are the 26 million other tests? it's basic accountability questions like that that we hope to put to this white house at today's briefing. >> every time you present it with a question at the briefing, it tends to trigger the president with some of these responses that we've been seeing on a daily basis. thanks for kicking it off for us this hour. joining me now, global health policy expert. he's an msnbc medical contributor and pulmonologist. thank you very much for joining us. i want to start off by getting your take on what the president has been telling governors that we just played there for you on that conference call. and we'll put it up again on our
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screen. hasn't heard about testing in weeks. suggesting that it's no longer a problem. as somebody inside the medical community in this country on the front lines, is that what you are seeing? give us an assessment from where you sit. >> i think we've already seen the numbers, per capita testing is quite low across the country. we've has less than a million tests conducted in the united states up to now. there's a lot of bottlenecks. even though the technology might be getting cleared by the fda through the emergency use authorization that they're issuing quickly, what we're seeing is that we're having bottlenecks in terms of swabs, not enough reagents to run the tests. there are a lot of moving parts here and that's why we're not seeing mass testing at scale. let me also emphasize, antibody testing, while helpful, is not the type of testing we need at
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scale to determine if someone is infectious. we need rapid tests that assess for the presence of dna, rna of this virus. that's what we need to see, do you have the infection or not have the infection? those tests are getting scaled as we speak. that's -- that's a critical piece of this puzzle that we need to emphasize here. we need the right tests here. >> walk us through why testing is still so important at this stage, as we try to get the situation under control going forward? a lot of people think we should have had testing several months ago, which is correct, but we've moved beyond that. that's not correct. >> i'm personal in favor of a national lockdown. enough of this patch work approach where some states have a shelter in place law, others are encouraging social distancing and other states are not really doing anything. we need a national lockdown.
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i think testing is unproven. we've moved past the point where testing is going to be a cure all here. it's going to be helpful to get people back to work and understand who is immune, who is not immune. as a solution to this pandemic, we're well past the point where this is going to be a solution where we can quarantine and contain. it plays a role. it's important. is this going to be the solution that we've all been hoping for? no, it's not. that's a national lock down, people sheltering in place. it's worked here in seattle, we think. at least initial data. it's working in other places based on other fever data that's coming out suggesting us keeping our distance is helping. that's the only solution here and it's stotough to wrap our hs around. >> thank you very much, sir, for your time. despite the package of the coronavirus relief package, americans aren't getting their money because of processing
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logjams. with rent due tomorrow, what you need to know. at least eight new york city transit workers have died from the coronavirus. hundreds more are infected. should buses and subways still be running in the epicenter of this pandemic. we're going to talk to a member who is recovering at this point. . you've got it all. all this grass. all this mulch. all these projects to do. you need a tractor that can do it all right. you need the #1 selling sub-compact tractor in the u.s.. the versatile kubota bx series. you should be mad at tech that makes things worse. but you're not, because you have e*trade whose tech makes life easier by automatically adding technical patterns on charts and helping you understand what they mean.
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for the weeks ahead, let's not kid ourselves. it gets a lot worse before it gets better. >> that reality check this morning from new york city mayor bill de blasio on the "today" show. more than 900 people here have died and that includes five more members of the world's largest eight workers have died in less than a week. more than 3,000 workers have been ordered quarantined at home. nearly 600 have tested positive for covid-19 and that includes
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mta chairman and ceo pat foy. good to have you with us. he's joining us by the phone. let me bring you in by asking you how are you feeling after testing positive for the coronavirus? >> good morning, thank you for having me. i'm feeling fine. i appear to be fortunate and am suffering from a mild case. i'm more concerned about my 582 colleagues at the mta who are confirmed and we mourn the deaths of the eight mta family members who died as well as one of our operators who was murdered in a fire friday morning. this is not about me. it's about my colleagues who are doing heroic work. the reason we're operating the subways and buses is to move first responders and essential workers to and from work. we're not carrying people on
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leash your. we're talking about people working in supermarkets, pharmacy, transit workers, utility workers, et cetera, getting them to and from work. it is incredibly important in terms of being able to have the city and the region respond to the pandemic and we are -- our mta workers are rising to the occasion and on subways, buses, commuter rails, continuing that heroic work. >> do you have a sense of how many people are riding this on a daily basis, the entire system as a whole? you keep track of the numbers when things are in normal conditions. as things now have changed, as our society and city have changed, what are the numbers of commuters looking like that you just outlined? >> look, compared to prepandemic days on subways, we're down about 90%. that is a good thing. that means that people are heeding governor cuomo's direction to reduce social
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density, to increase social distance and that's reflected in our ridership. but the 10% we are carrying are first responders, essential workers and we'll continue to pandemic. >> let me get your thoughts really quickly on what the mta is doing to protect workers' safety. they announced they would be distributing 75,000 masks to workers. why wasn't that done weeks ago? i want to share with you what one official says, this is a bit late in the game. are there other steps that you're taking to ensure worker safety right now? >> let's talk about masks, first, right. the cdc -- we're not medical people. we've taken direction from the cdc and other public health officials. crazily, the cdc's direction is still not to provide masks except to those who are ill or medical people.
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we have decided not to take that advice going -- as far back as last week and indeed the world health organization yesterday confirmed the same advice. we're distributing north of 75,000 masks to our front-line workers. that number, that's a weekly number. that number we expect -- that number will grow. we put a number of steps in place. we've disinfecting all workplaces, stations, subway cars, commuter rails. we have reduced the number of people working. we've sent basically half our folks home so that we have a bench. we've reduced the number of crews. we've eliminated taking cash on the subways, buses, and the long island railroad. we put rear door boarding in to minimize the human contact between bus operators. customers will board from the back and we cordon off the area
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around your bus drivers. we're taking additional steps to make sure we do everything we can to minimize the health risk during this pandemic that both our customers and our employees and the distribution of masks is part of that and we're no longer taking the advice of the cdc and the world health organization. >> sir, as -- go ahead. finish your thought. >> please go. >> really quickly, i know that senator chuck schumer's office says the mta will be getti$4 bi that was signed into law last week. walk us through your plan on how you intend to use that money. >> look, the -- here's what's happened when the pandemic -- since the pandemic started. one is, ridership has declined. i described on the subways, it's down 90%. we get a significant amount, about $6 billion a year in a normal year from the fare box. that has declined to zero. we get about $6 billion in state
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subsidies, this is part of our annual operating statement in a normal year. those subsidies are economic and transaction-based and they have declined significantly. i described the disinfecting we're doing in workplaces, subway cars, et cetera on an analyzed basis, the $4 billion that the federal government is allocated and thank you to senator chuck schumer and the new york state delegation, much more will be needed as we go forward. but this is an important down payment in terms of recognizing the reduction in ridership and fare box revenue, the decline in the state economically sensitive transactions and the operating cost as a result of the pandemic. >> we wish you a speedy recovery and to all of your workers as
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we well. we thank you very much. >> thanks very much. take care. the fbi is warning of an increase in hate crimes against asian-americans as the crisis continues to grow across this country. we're going to talk to a congresswoman. plus the number of coronavirus cases in texas now topping 3,400 and still no statewide stay at home awaorder from the governor. we're going to talk to the mayor of austin, texas. we're trying to bring you first-hand accounts from people from the front lines. she spoke to our friends at wnbc describing the conditions she's seeing and raising the alarm to make sure that medical assistance is being given to underserved communities on the front lines. >> we're seeing as a result of
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this process. respiratory, cardiac. i'm scared for myself. i have two young children. you need to have for those underserved communities so we can get the support needed and ensure that the communities are appropriately cared for.
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millions, millions of unemployed americans facing what could be the worst financial crunch of their lives. rent payments due tomorrow, adding to property taxes, credit card bills and electricity and water payments. others working in delivering grocery services make big pushes for better protection and pay. that's raising concerns about the risk they're taking in these critical jobs. stephanie ruhle joins me now. good to talk to you as always. obviously, millions of americans wanting to know the timeline for those checks and how can americans make their ends meet while those checks are making their way from the treasury department to their homes. >> i get it. it is totally scary. think about all of those bills due tomorrow and what we don't have is a federal national economic holiday. those bills are due to tomorrow
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and there's not one federal program that says, ayman, you can put that on hold, you don't have to pay right now. $2 trillion in aid is huge. we're seeing massive small business loans, massive expansion in unemployment, in affordable housing, in food stamp programs. but the issue is, people aren't getting that money yet. across the board, especially in our state of new york, people are trying to log on and apply for unemployment. they can't get on the website. they can't get people to answer the phone. but the good news is, help is on the way. this bill has passed. these benefits are huge. now it doesn't solve for the fact that you have to pay these bills soon. but i can also say that across the board, whether you're talking about mortgage servicers, car loans, credit card companies, even people's cell phone and internet, there's now the fcc's keep america connected, a program that is put in place with all of these cable operators to say, don't turn anybody's service off yet. but people cannot assume that they don't have to open their mail and pay their bills.
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they're going to need to pick up the phone, call of their creditors and explain the situation they're in. are they still eligible to get those benefits, whether it's unemployment or the stimulus check? if you qualify you're going to get the money. is it going to happen tomorrow? the answer is no. these small business loans, last year, the small business administration had 3,000 employees and they had 58,000 loans. now we have a new program, this paycheck protection program, $350 billion. they've got to disseminate to millions and millions of companies. it's going to take time. >> i want to get to the workers and the protests that are taking place across the country but let me ask you quickly, suspending some of these payments, putting them on pause, does the federal government have the ability to tell these companies what to do when it comes to collecting these payments or is that going to be independent to banks, mortgage services, private corporations, the internet
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providers, how does that work? we've seen in new york, andrew cuomo saying, the governor here saying he wants, you know, a three-month, 90-day freeze on mortgage payments and put them on the back end of the loans. i think a lot of people are wondering does the government have the ability to intervene? >> they have the ability but they haven't done it on a federal level yet. so we know student loans if they're backed by the federal government, you can press pause and you're not going to face any penalties. if you live in federal housing, hud has put a freeze on evictions right now. as far as banks or private companies, the president said the other day, i think landlords are going to be taking it easy. he's saying they're going to take it easy but there's no federal regulation put in place. we recommend that every person go to their own state's website,
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type in your state and you can see what your unemployment benefits are or you can go to benefi and it lays out benefits afforded to people in different categories, but it depends on your city and state. you cannot assume we're all in this crisis and i'm covered. >> this is a big story, workers at instagram, whole foods, where do these pushes stand right now? >> well, we're seeing it happen. it was widely reported yesterday that amazon fired a guy named christopher smalls from their staten island warehouse. he was the person who is organizing strikes. the organizers have said there have been 50 amazon strikes across the country. the company said it's been more like 15. while he was fired, the company says it's because he repeated violated the social distancing rules. amazon is walking a fine line here. they want to keep their
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warehouses hope because they have become the most essential company for americans across the board if you consider all of the things that they're delivering. and then other companies like instacart that was expecting a strike on friday expanded what benefits they were offering because they're trying to hire thousands of people. remember what instacart does. it says, we're going to bring people to go do your shopping for you. for those of you who are saying i don't want to put myself in harm's way and go to the grocery store, that's what the instacart shoppers were doing. instacart gave them more benefits. whole foods is under a lot of pressure. they're expanding their benefits and trying to recruit some of their warehouse workers to now pack and deliver groceries because the demand is huge. >> stephanie ruhle, always a pleasure. thank you very much. we're getting a clearer picture of congress's plan for a phase four emergency package. house speaker nancy pelosi saying this one will focus on the recovery and priorities
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including broad band, transportation and water system infrastructure. the next bill will also aim to shore up health systems and protect front-line health workers. let's bring in judy cho of california. congresswoman, thank you for taking the time to join us this morning. let's talk a little bit about infrastructure, why it is being prioritized in this next bill and what would you consider must haves in the bill going forward. >> it is so important to have a fourth stimulus bill. i think we need to improve our paid leave. i was disappointed because companies over 500 were exempted as well as businesses that had employees less than 50. i also think that we have to have treatment for everybody who is afflicted with coronavirus. that is not happening right now. and in order to beat it, we need
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to make sure that everybody can have the proper treatment. i also think that we need to shore up the system as you just said. we need to actually have a system for having more protective equipment and we need to make sure that hospitals can get the help for their front-line workers because i think that they will suffer a lot from the aftereffects and will still be in the middle of the pandemic when we go into the coming months. >> i want to talk to you about the increase of anti-asia-american immigrants. i think it's understand for us to see what's happening. watch this. >> stay right [ bleep ] next to me. tell him to move. tell him to move.
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move. >> absolutely disgusting scene there. you've been trying to track reports of anti-asian incidents. how frequently are these things happening? where are they happening and what are some of the other types of incidents you're hearing about? we got a report of 650 incidents just in the last week alone. >> there are at least 1,000 hate crime incidents being reported against asians due to the coronavirus in the last five weeks and now the hate incidents are coming in at about 100 per day. and they are all over the country. in new york we've had asian-americans who have been assaulted just for wearing a face mask. in texas, there was a stabbing of a family of three, including
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two young children at a sam's club by a man saying that he wanted to kill asian-americans. in san francisco, there was an elderly man, an asian-american who was collecting cans and he was taunted and then attacked by a person saying he hated asian-americans. and we had a 16-year-old boy who was sent to the hospital by bullies who accused him of having coronavirus. these are alarming and they're not helped by president trump who has been calling this the chinese virus. every time he says that, it just fans the flames of xenophobia and let me tell you that every responsible health care leader has spoken out and said that it should be called by its proper name, coronavirus or covid-19
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because to do otherwise causes stigma and this is something that's been said by dr. anthony fauci, by centers for disease control as well as the world health organization. >> congresswoman, thank you very much. i appreciate your time. secretary of state mike pompeo's briefing on the coronavirus right now. let's take a listen to what he's saying. >> it was beginning one of the most important and unprecedented missions in the history of the state department. as of today, we have repatriated over 26 or 27,000 u.s. citizens from more than 50 countries. the stories of our team's heart and character and commitment to excellence are amazing. let me give you a couple of examples. in bhutan, no easy place to get to. an american was critically ill from the virus, intubated and expected to die in a country located in one of the most remote corners of the world. we came to the rescue.
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we arranged a transport to maryland. there's about 12 pilots that can make that flight. one of the most complex medical evacuations in history and the state department pulled it off. in honduras, a patient was running out of supplies. an officer figured out a way to get safe packagssage. we got him home on the next flight. that man told our team that we saved his life. the good news is too, the state department is doing great but we're not doing this alone. we're coordinating with other agencies. 24/7 repatriation team is performing these duties
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amazingly. never in the department's 230-year history have we led a worldwide evacuation of this complexity and geographic scale. we have no higher duet to the american people. i've never been more proud of how the team has done. the task force will continue to bring home thousands more merps americans in the coming days and weeks. we remain steadfast and committed to getting you all back. we do not know in some countries how long the continued commercial flights in your country may continue to operate. we can't gauruarantee the arrangement of flights. i urge americans to register with their nearest embassy and work your way back here. americans abroad who wish to return home should do so
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immediately. i am just as proud of the work we're doing on repatriotuation as i am about the health and humanitarian assistance that the state department is providing around the world. we don't talk about it all that often. in america, we provide aid because we're generous people. we also do it because we know from prior experiences if we don't have full transparency of the pandemics that it can harm people back home too. we were one of the first nations to step forward and offer help. in early february, it seems like a long time ago, in early february, we transported nearly 18 tons of medical supplies provided by samaritan's purse and others to wuhan. we pledged $100 million in assistance to countries to fight what would become a pandemic including an offer of assistance to china. our response so far surpasses that initial pledge
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significantly. we've now made available $274 million in funding to as many as 64 countries. that money will go to some of the world's most at-risk peoples. you can go to to find out what we're doing country by country. we'll put that up at the end of last week. we've been at this a long time. we know how to help people around the world. american taxpayers have funded more than 100 billion in health assistance and 70 billion in humanitarian assistance. that's billion with a "b." but our help is much more than money. the cdc has six staffers on the ground working with the health ministry, the fda is co-chairing a virtual international conference on developing a covid-19 vaccine. the trump administration is
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working diligently to put this crisis back in the box. we're working with ngos to deliver medicines, medical supplies to those in syria. this is a humanitarian crisis. we'll continue helping u.n. agencies and ngos build more health facilities in camps all across northern syria to help prevent the spread of the virus in that difficult place. as i referenced earlier, it isn't just our government helping around the world. american businesses, private, charities have given $1.5 billion to the world to fight this pandemic. this is truly american exceptionalism at its finest. our generosity, our pragmatism is shown through our work with multilateral organizations. it's another underreported story. we've maintained a commitment to global health and humanitarian
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assistance. consider just the top end of this, our financial support for international organizations, never mind all the scientists and technical people and other expertise that we bring around the world. the united states remains by far the largest contributor to the world health organization as we've been since 1948. our contribution exceeded $400 million last year, ten times that of china. the u.s. contributed nearly $1.7 billion to the u.n. refugee agency which is helping those least able to mitigate their exposure to the virus. this compares to 1.9 million from china. unicef is engaged in emergency actions all across the globe including in china and in iran. in 2019, the u.s. supported unicef. the world food program has sent
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more than 85 shipments of foot to 74 countries to help them battle the virus. we provided $8 billion in resources just last year, 42% of that organization's budget. you all get the idea. we don't talk about assistance much, but the american people should be aware of and proud of our vast commitments to these important institutions. they not only help citizens around the world, but they protect americans and keep us safe here as well. with that, i'm happy to take a handful of questions this morning. >> reporter: we're working from home -- >> it wasn't because of the state department. >> reporter: correct, sorry. on venezuela, what future do you
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see for guado. will the -- >> we are listening to the secretary of state briefing reporters. he is in the question and answer phase of that press conference. if he continues to talk about the coronavirus and the u.s. efforts, we'll get that news to you. he did recap some of the efforts that the united states has undertaken to try to repatriate a lot of americans who are overseas. he highlighted some of the more notable including an american stranded in bhutan, talking about how the u.s. using its capabilities transported this patient to a biomedical containment facility in baltimore. he highlighted another case in honduras. went through a long list of the millions of dollars -- hundreds of millions of dollars that the united states has been providing to a lot of organizations around the world, including the world health organization, that is on the front lines of all this. talked about the resources being provided to the united nations agencies that are working in some of the more vulnerable
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locations around the world including inside syria and parts of africa. he also seemed to make a point that in some of these highligh united states is making much more of a contribution than specifically name calling children nah. he said the united states gives about ten times in terms of money to the world health organization as does china in terms of last year's budget, and in some of the other organizations. it will be interesting to see if any reporters are single out china in all of this. there's been a lot of controversy surrounding the secretary of state and the president at the white house particularly calling this the chinese virus or the wuhan virus specifically in a way to try to assign the blame to the chinese government which in itself has come under a lot of criticism for not accurately reporting the data it was collecting early on, perhaps even delaying the global efforts to this pandemic. let's cross over to nbc's matt
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bradley in rome, italy, one of the epicenters alongside new york and wuhan. matt, talk to us a little bit about the ongoing efforts there to try to contain this. more importantly, the criticism we're seeing in some of these european currents, particularly hungary, trying to seize more power in not only dealing with the virus, but also perhaps impacting some of these personal individual freedoms in these countries. >> reporter: ayman, times of crisis have always been a great time for autocrats to seize more power for themselves. hungary is the most glaring example of all. the autocratic leader of hungary -- hungary is a democracy but "the washington post" said it best and say it
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was already susceptible to this disease, already in the throes of viktor orban's leadership who has already taken on an autocratic position. the parliament has given the prime minister basically almost complete autocratic rule. they've essentially canceled themselves, suspended a lot of laws, allowed viktor orban to rule by decree. there's no sunset provision in any of this. that means there's no clear determination of when this could be lifted. so, you know, democracies aren't necessarily well suited to tackling crises like epidemics like this. but a lot of human rights people are saying there needs to be built into these new rules provisions that allow them to be lifted once the crisis is over and throughout the world. we're just not seeing that. >> malt bradley live in rome, thanks. as the number of coronavirus cases continues to soar in the u.s., stay-at-home orders are in place for three out of four
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americans. in texas there's still no statewide directive. the governor is leaving it up to local authorities to do that. with us is the mayor of austin, texas, steve adler. one of the first people to take one of the drastic measures in canceling the south by southwest festival. good to have you with us on the program. you are one of the players in texas who put the stay-at-home order in place. how is that working out for the city of austin? >> ayman, good to be with you. thank you. south by seems to be a long time ago. it was an outlier when we did it, but not now. it's going well in austin. seeing pretty dramatic reductions in physical exchanges that we've had. i'm real proud that a lot of major cities and counties did it virtually all at the same time. dallas and ft. worth, houston, san antonio, all moving out at the same time, all seeing significant reductions.
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that's going to help our cities, going to help our state. i do wish we had a statewide policy because i'm concerned about the rest of the state right now not having any kind of order in place. >> let me get your thoughts really quickly on whether or not this can be effective if you do not have the senior levels of the government including in texas, the governor in this case, giving that directive. as we've been pointing out in the new york tri-state area, one city may have quarantine or shutdown in order, you drive a couple miles away and another city is not in that case. are you hindered by that in your state? >> it's -- you're absolutely right. we can do this really well in our cities, but people are going to travel. it goes beyond that, too. it's real important for us to keep our grocery store shelves stocked. but the distribution centers for the grocery stores that are stocking the shelves are not in austin. they're in other parts of the state.
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if there's a problem in those other parts of the state where those distribution centers end up getting closed or they lose the drivers that are necessary to be able to take that product around the state and bring it here to austin and other major cities, we're going to have that problem. beyond that, a lot of these rural areas, when it hits and it's going to hit them all, when it hits, they don't have the health care infrastructure to be able to deal with it which means they're going to then be looking for the major cities for assistan assistance. obviously, we're going to do everything we can. but it's going to further tax the major cities. we're doing some things right, i wish we were doing more at the statewide and national level. >> let me share with you something from our affiliate, kxan, more than 100 doctors signed a letter expressing their growing concern over the spread of the coronavirus. this is something we're seeing play out all across the country. doctors say they feel uninformed
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on what the city is doing, suggesting the convention center being turned into a temporary isolation center. have you responded to this yet, mayor? >> i've responded to some of the physicians involved. the truth is we can getting out to them what the contingency plans are. some of the things they've raised are things we've addressed and are dealing with. we are not doing as good a job as we need to. talking about now embedding a physician into our system to be able to communicate back out. >> austin mayor steve adler, thank you very much for your time this morning. thanks for watching everyone. i'm ayman mohyeldin. after this break, more news with my colleague craig meg vin. that really takes care of both our teeth sensitivity as well as our gum issues. by brushing with sensodyne sensitivity & gum at home
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a good tuesday morning to you. craig melvin here. we start this morning tracking the surge in coronavirus cases here in the united states. right now there are more than 165,000 known cases. that's more than -- 22,000 more than this hour yesterday. as of now, more than 3,000 have died from the virus in our country. roughly 30 minutes from now we expect to hear from new york governor andrew cuomo. new york doing just about


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