tv MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle MSNBC May 26, 2020 6:00am-7:00am PDT
hi there. i'm stephanie ruhle. it is tuesday, may 26th. and here are the facts at this hour. this morning, we are on the verge of a stunning and sobering milestone. more than 99,000 americans have now died from coronavirus. and we could cross the 100,000 mark later today. of the 1.6 million americans who have gotten the virus, nearly half a million have reportedly recovered. however, not every state is reporting their recovery totals. the w.h.o. is now suspending
their clinical studies into hydroxychloroquine. that, of course, is the drug president trump said he was taking to protect himself from the virus. the decision follows a report in the medical journal the lancet that said hydroxychloroquine did not -- i'm going to say it again -- did not help infected patients but it did lead to more heart issues and more deaths. we've also got positive news coming from novavax which said human trials have started for a potential vaccine. they're expecting the first results in july. state and local leaders got a firsthand look at what summer may look like with crowds gathering from coast to coast for memorial day weekend. in some places, people were wearing masks but in many places it looked like the pandemic never even happened. while we wait to see what happens in those areas medically, there was a jump in new cases in washington, d.c., and parts of virginia. but local leaders are moving ahead with plans to reopen
anyway. ali vitaly is in d.c. some people may not realize d.c. and northern virginia are still closed. what are they waiting for? >> so, in northern virginia, stephanie, the rest of the state has opened but it's a piece meal approach because they've left it up to local officials as to whether or not they feel comfortable moving forward with the first phases of reopening. that's in virginia where they're expanding testing, and the same thing is happening here in d.c. d.c. has stayed under at stay-at-home order because they've been sticklers they'd like to see 14 consecutive days of declining cases before they reopen. and yesterday should have been day 14. they've been trending in a positive direction on that front except on sunday they saw a spike in cases. that caused officials here to reset the clock to day 11, somewhat arbitrarily picking a day to reset to. why that goes to 11 and not zero is not immediately clear but we're really looking to see if
friday's day of phase one reopening sticks now that they've seen the clock reset to day 11. clearly, though, the key to all of these states reopening, whether it's d.c. considering the first phase or other states that are deeper into the reopening process, it is all about testing, steph. you see the line of cars behind me. we're at a testing site here in d.c. where they're expecting to see hundreds of people throughout this day. they can come with an appointment but they don't have to have symptoms. they don't need a doctor's note. really the point here is to continue expanding testing so that these kinds of cities can start seeing, yes, a larger part of their population tested as they try to consider what reopening looks like now. steph? >> we're testing. more information. more information, better ways to prepare. ali, thank you. i want to head to wisconsin. take a look at your screen. this was a scene at the resort town of lake geneva over the
weekend. the harbor master there says they were at capacity before noon. cal perry was there yesterday. this morning he's about an hour away at a harley-davidson plant which is restarting their full staffing today. cal, i know they want to reopen but you've got people in an area who are clearly not following the rules. couldn't that complicate things? >> yeah, absolutely. and you're talking about a place where there are two states right next to each other with very different rules. in illinois, the mask is required. in wisconsin, it's only recommended. so folks taking the weekend to get out in a place like lake geneva where so many people are from the chicago area. and enjoying memorial day. now there's that balance, of course, where these local businesses want to be open. at the same time, they're worried about their employees and what the knock-on effect would be a couple of weeks from now. all this started when the wisconsin state reversed some of the restrictive measures the governor put in. we went from 0 to 100.
totally shut down to totally open without that phased in approach that you see in many other states, stephanie. >> let's talk about the harley-davidson plant. what changes are being put in place to keep workers safe? and are those changes the choice of harley-davidson or regulations? >> unique to harley-davidson working with health officials. it's all of those social distancing measures and dividers we saw in the auto industry when we looked at gm and ford reopening their plants. sort of the same idea. they'll stagger the shifts. more sanitation inside. look, this is an industry that's been hit so hard before covid. 45% after covid, down year over year sales. look at the 700 dealers across the country. we heard on an earnings call the company is not going to send new models to 70% of those dealers this year. this is in so many ways getting people used to the idea of coming back to work. from the moment you walk in it's totally different. there are dividers. security is different.
everything is set up differently for the workers inside, stephanie. >> now let's head to florida where we saw massive crowds on the beaches this weekend. at one point, the police had to be called in to break up a street party that was going on. joining us now, the mayor of daytona beach. what is your reaction to the crowded beaches and the boardwalks we saw? >> well, they are, on one hand, a welcome sign that the economy is opening up and that people e visit our city. on the other hand, we are still in the midst of a pandemic so we are concerned about the health and well-being of both our residents and those visiting our city. >> then how do you convince people to safely reopen, to follow the rules? and if they don't, what are you going to do about it? >> we're going to continue to educate and continue to shout
from the rooftop those things that are best practiced, those things that are advised by the cdc. and that is what we can do. we are concerned that, you know, in america we have this dual reality, concern for the economy and this concern for health and well-being. and we have chosen essentially that we're going to reopen. and as policymakers and public leaders, the best thing we can do is to give advice and try and support what is best. as far as putting protocols in place, a lot of people say that you should arrest people who don't wear masks or you should arrest people who don't socially distance. and my opinion on those things are impractical. and likely unconstitutional from all measures that i've seen. >> then is there anything besides educate that you can or will do differently next weekend to avoid a do-over of what we
just saw? >> we'll change procedures and put measures in place that impact our traffic flow. and we'll also make certain that, you know, there are areas that we can control because we are in a pandemic, that our public spaces. so we'll put some measures in place that inhibit people from congregating in places that don't encourage movement. and that's really the main thing. you don't want to allow people in large spaces to congregate. and that's one of the things that we will try to put in place. >> if we do see a spike in cases, is your city prepared medically? >> well, my city has shown no sign that it was not prepared when we reached our peak. so i have every confidence, every bit of confidence in our medical community. they have given me every indication, and i trust their judgment and believe that we're
prepared. however, obviously the great hope is that we won't experience a spike that goes beyond our capacity. >> all right, mayor, thank you so much, and best of luck to you and your city. i want to dig deeper into what's happening and bring in dr. richard besser. the former acting director of the cdc, currently president and ceo of the robert wood johnson foundation. you've been watching these pictures of people on the beaches and in crowds acting as though this thing never came. there was no pandemic. we know people want to get outside. we want them to get outside. but isn't there a right and a wrong way to do it here? >> there sure is, stephanie. public health is not the enemy of getting the economy going and getting people out of their homes. it's the road map to do it safely. i was down at the jersey shore this weekend, and it wasn't warm enough for people to be lying on the beach but people were walking on the beach. and what i saw was a lot of people wearing masks.
people giving each other six feet so that when they were passing each other, they gave them a wide berth. that's what you really want to do. and it has to stop -- start at the top where the messaging is consistent. that people should be wearing masks. people should be following public health guidance, that this is the way to get back out in a safe way. i really worry about those people who are going back to work now. if those around them are not following these practices, our essential workers and now nonessential workers are the ones that are going to bear the cost of this. that tends to be a lot of lower income workers, people of color, people who are deciding i need to go back to work to earn some income. we don't want to put them at increased risk. we want to make sure we're doing the right thing to protect everybody. >> then let's speak to those people who believe the numbers are down and the virus has run its course. how can you explain to them why that is not the case?
>> well, you know, it may be the case that viral numbers are going down. it may be the case that this virus acts differently in the summer. but we don't know that. and we do know that there are still places where health care is being overrun. we don't want to act like this virus has gone away. and then get really bit by that. so caution is the way to go. i have great respect for new emerging infections because you don't know what they're going to do, and you want to go out strong and hard and do everything you can to suppress this so that people aren't hurt needlessly. >> one of the reasons people are fatigued is because they're confused. the w.h.o. is now warning of a second peak of coronavirus cases but not a second wave. for a regular old human like me, what is the difference? how should i compute that in my head? >> it is confusing.
so pandemics often come in waves. so you'll have a lot of disease that comes through, spreads from country to country, and then may go away for a period of time. you see this with flu. and flu pandemics. but inside each of those waves, right, so a time when it's coming through your country, you may have various peaks where it goes up very high and then comes down and goes up very high again. based on the behavior that you have. what we don't know right now is, is this quieting down because the wave has ended? it's gone out to sea? or has it quieted down because we've been under lockdown and it's our behavior? it's f it's t if it's the second one, it's our behavior, as people are going out more and working more, we're going to see more peaks, big rises in cases that could overwhelm the health care system. if it doesn't come back, it could mean this first wave is slowing down and we have to think about the fall when it's very possible, many think very likely, that we'll see another
wave of a lot of disease coming through as a virus that goes quiet during warmer season, starts to come back. but there's so many unknowns here that it's hard to know, is this the end of a wave, or is it a period between peaks. it's very confusing. i understand. >> let's talk more about the unknowns. we know that 99,000 people have died of coronavirus. we know that 1.6 million have the -- have had coronavirus, and it's reported that 460,000 have recovered. that leaves quite a few that we know nothing about. we don't even know where they are. how do you read the data when you're missing massive swaths of information? >> yeah, recover data, i would just forget about that because states tend not to track patients and report the recovery. states -- when you look at epidemiologic to be number of cases and whether those patients die or not.
the other bits of data that i think are really, really important to follow has to do with testing and understanding what communities are being tested and what are not. a state may look really, really good if you look statewide. but if you break it down by city, by town and then by race and ethnicity, you may see something very, very different. and just looking at the state level may lull you into a sense that, wow, everything is really going well here when, in particular neighborhoods among particular racial groups things are not so good at all. >> but, doctor, if we ignore recovery data, doesn't this lead the -- doesn't this give an opening to those who say that you and i are just alarmists beating the drum on the number of deaths which is a fraction of the number of people who have gotten corona and recovered? how do you counter that argument? >> yeah, i mean, it is challenging. if it were possible to get good
recovery data, that would be really, really valuable. there will be study, and i know there are studies going on to see what happens long term. as we've seen some of these conditions in children who have had this. these inflammatory syndromes. you want to be able to track large numbers of people who have had a covid infection to make sure there aren't other health consequences down the road. but there are other systems that look at overall death rates that will be able to pick up whether death rates have changed significantly because of this, even if you aren't following recovery for all of the patients. the number of deaths, number of cases, that's about where we'll have to be in terms of looking at overall numbers. >> dr. besser, always great to have you here. you always make us smarter. we're going to leave it there. coming up -- the shocking split screen yesterday between the two presumptive presidential nominees. or was it shocking? one in a mask and the other without. even mocking masks.
how images like these will define this year's election. we just talked about it. testing. a new coronavirus testing strategy from the trump administration puts the responsibility on the states. something no other country is doing. one man, the man tasked with contact tracing in new york explains what needs to happen for it to actually be successful across our country. in addition to the substitute teaching. i honestly feel that that's my calling-- to give back to younger people. i think most adults will start realizing that they don't recall things as quickly as they used to or they don't remember things as vividly as they once did. i've been taking prevagen for about three years now. people say to me periodically, "man, you've got a memory like an elephant." it's really, really helped me tremendously. prevagen. healthier brain. better life.
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this weekend, the trump administration released its new testing strategy in a report to congress. it's a strategy that puts almost all of the responsibility on the states. what no other developed country is doing. states will have to plan and carry out all coronavirus testing while the federal government will step in when needed to provide supplies. current testing capacity is enough to contain the virus. our next guest says, no way. this is exactly why we're not in a position to fight this virus successfully. he's a former deputy mayor of new york city and he's now a senior adviser for bloomberg's covid-19 planning and response initiative which is working to build a contact tracing program for new york, new jersey and connecticut. kevin joins me now. you say we're under attack and have no real defense. explain. >> we certainly have no national defense. we are the only developed country in the world that does
not have a national response. what people call a war and it is a war. it's attacking all of us. every state, every county, every city in this country. every other developed country in the world, in the northern hemisphere to be sure, has a national strategy of testing, contact tracing and then quarantine. we don't. 50 states have been left to their own. they've been left to their own to do all of those things. there's no modern equivalent to what they've been asked to do. it's going to be a real challenge. obviously, new york, really out in front on this in terms of trying to figure out how to bring the numbers down. how to test, trace and quarantine. and those are lessons that we're starting here and hoping to share with cities, counties and states across the country because without it, i don't think we stand a chance. >> but take a look at japan. they had minimal testing. no real national plan and they fared pretty well. now they're reopening with what they call their new lifestyle.
it's driven mostly by social pressure to follow the rules, something we do not have. >> yeah, so japan is a great example. japan has put in a contact tracing system that's actually worked. i think they had 13 deaths on sunday. the united states had 1,000. we had 20,000 new cases. they probably had something in the hundreds. germany has done essentially the same thing. i understand they have a national system to try to figure out how to go back to work. listen. we need to reopen up. we can't stay closinged forever. we have to bring people back into society and figure out how to function again. you'll have far worse consequences than a pandemic if ultimately we can't feed people or figure out how to lift people out of poverty and return them to school. other societies have done this. japan is a great example. they have a national system that is figuring out how to go out. figure without is sick. trace their contacts. quarantine who needs to. test who needs to and bring people back into society. so they ended their national emergency. i really worry that our national
emergency is really just beginning. >> but then kevin, how are we possibly going to do that? the president, by design, is not going to create a national plan. right now many people mock wearing masks. the president doesn't even do it. so the social pressure won't work because there is no unified message. >> so we have two challenges. one, a stugconstitutional chall. we aren't set up like other countries. clearly, we're challenged by the individual that holds that constitutional office. listen, even in terms of a natural disaster, at least fema is standing side by side. at least they have a blue tarp program that will put something over a house that's lost its roof. they're on the ground standing next to a governor or mayor. you don't see that from the cdc. you had dr. besser on. i hear more from former cdc officials on air about what we should be doing than from real cdc officials. so we have to really help
prepare these states to do what they have to do. bloomberg philanthropy is working with johns hopkins to develop a world-leading online education program to teach people how to do contact tracing in new york. in new york city, the state and ultimately jersey and connecticut. governor cuomo and governor hogan of maryland are expected to release that to any governor in the country that wants to use it. we've had 60,000 applicants in new york who have applied for that course. the governor has brought over 5,000 people -- and passed. the federal government is not going to be there and i think we are opening up. you hear that on your air this morning. these cases are going up. the cases are not really going down. 20,000 new cases on sunday. we've kind of flat lined. as we push back, we should expect these cases to go up and we have to be prepared. >> okay. but kevin, you are doing this contact tracing program, you're doing it in new york, new
jersey, connecticut, working with maryland. mike bloomberg say philanthropist, a private citizen. he's doing this with his own money. he's not going to be the next president. donald trump is the current president. he doesn't buy into any of these things you're talking about. can you actually lead this initiative across 50 states as private citizens? >> no, i don't think it is. it's really for governors, county leaders and mayors to lead this. we've helped facilitate a call of over 200 mayors every week as they band together and try to learn from each other. governor cuomo has led trifically, stepping into a vacuum. really how to be a voice for the nation where there really isn't one of common sense, what we need to do and what we should do. our job is to support that. they've been very supportive of johns hopkins. they have the best school of public health in the country. they've developed a curriculum any state can use.
that's only one part of what has to happen. states and cities need to learn from each other, band together. it's sort of like you have a continental army. each of these states is now raising its own militia to fight this war. there is no national defense. the president clearly isn't going to present it. in fact, doing quite the opposite. he's trying to push people. i almost feel like i'm watching a movie with the president throwing american citizens in front of the guns. it's a terrible thing to watch which is why these governors and mayors have to work even harder to keep their citizens safe. >> why do you think the president is doing this? because it puts these governors and mayors in a situation where their own citizens are fighting back. you've seen the images of street parties and pool parties. >> listen, i think the president is doing a crass political move because he cares about, again, getting re-elected. he's focused on six states and swing voters in those states. there's an incredible -- >> how does this help him get
re-elected in those states? >> listen, there are a lot of people out there that are frustrated they are home. they're not sick. they're not dying. they want to open up their bars. their restaurants. they want to go back to their job. we have to understand that frustration. the issue is not that that's not a legitimate concern. it's the most legitimate concern. the question is, how do we allow them to do that safely, as you said as japan, as germany, as china is doing? i think this president has a total disregard for what has to happen to keep them safe. i think he's just playing to the sort of rawest of emotions of people wanting to get back and blaming anyone else he can. instead of trying to provide that national defense and instead of having cdc officials standing next to mayors and governors around the country and trying to help them. i can't figure out why there's not a briefing every morning out of atlanta at cdc headquarters telling what's going on. why does bloomberg philanthropy have to develop a curriculum? shouldn't the national government do that?
isn't that something that should be given to the states to develop contact tracing? contact tracing is working in every other developed country in the world on the national level, other than the united states. why the federal government isn't doing that and we have to step in -- but we have to do it. >> then what is your message to those people who say, i'm fed up. i'm not sick. my family is not sick. i need to take care of my livelihood. what is your message to them? if what the president is doing is lying about the risks, what's the truth? >> you know, listen, i think our messages back to these mayors and governors, we have to help keep them safe while doing that. we have to figure out how do we have enough testing? how to do contact tracing to determine who is sick and how to quarantine to keep them away from people who need to go back to work. the job of the president, the job of a governor and the job of a town leader, a mayor, is to keep people safe in the livelihoods which they enjoy.
the president is clearly ignoring that second part. and so we have to give every tool we can to mayors and governors around the country to allow people to go back to schools go back to work as safely as they can. that is what's happening everywhere else that i look around the world except in the u.s. the sad truth is we are leading the world right now in the number of cases and the number of deaths. the sad news partly because of this president is we'll continue to lead that race which means until we have a vaccine, which is to the end of the year, possibly longer before we can vaccinate 70% of the population the scientists say is necessary, we have to work incredibly hard at the local level to keep our citizens safe. again, i think we're in a 50-state war. every state, every county, every city has been left to their own. and they'll have to really work together in a bipartisan basis to learn from each other on how to do that. >> well, kevin, thank you for everything bloomberg
philanthropy is doing and for bringing your expertise today. coming up next, we're going to take you to the new york stock exchange. reopening for the first time since march 23rd. governor cuomo is set to make an appearance there soon. we'll be speaking to a business owner who stopped taking a salary. he's here to discuss how smaller businesses are still being hurt despite the c.a.r.e.s. act. ve yu truly transformative sleep. so, no more tossing and turning... or trouble falling asleep. because only tempur-pedic uses proprietary tempur® material... that continuously adapts and responds to your body, to relieve pressure... so you get deep, uninterrupted sleep. all night. every night. the tempur-pedic summer of sleep starts now, with all tempur-pedic mattresses on sale, and savings up to $500 on adjustable sets.
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let's go now to wall street which looks a bit different this morning. for the first time in two months, some floor traders are back on the floor of the new york stock exchange. and the dow just opened up nearly 600 points. what a comeback. a rally coming off the holiday weekend. nbc's david gura is there outside the new york stock exchange with the latest. david, new york stock exchange,
they don't even have desks. how have they set up social distancing rules in there? >> steph, i'm having a little trouble hearing you, but we're outside. if you can pan over here. that's a dodge charger being driven by the governor of the state of new york, andrew cuomo. rang the bell just moments ago. there's been such a push here to get the stock exchange back open. it's been 64 days since the stock exchange closed. i was thinking back on my way in here, steph. the last time that i saw you was on the floor of the exchange. i greeted you, gave you a hug and that seems like eons ago. traders are lining up. only about a quarter of them are returning to the floor this morning. they have to take a temperature test when they come in. there's a health questionnaire to fill out. what's going to be most abnormal is there are going to be so many restrictions on where they can go once they're on the trading floor. this is a much less boisterous
trading floor than it was decades ago. so much symbolism. that's going to be different. plexiglas partitions. people aren't going to be able to move around. we'll see what happens today as traders return to the floor, steph. >> -- not exactly what you do in the age of corona. thank you. these markets may be up but we talked about it every day. they do not tell the whole story or even close to it when it comes to the u.s. economy. our next guest has seen this firsthand. ceo of gravity, stan price, first ahead headlines in 2015 when he cut his salary so that he could make the minimum wage at his company, $70,000. this time he's taken it further. also joining the conversation, co-host of "squawk box" and "new york times" columnist, founder of deal book, andrew ross sorkin. you run a small business and work solely with small businesses. you cut your salaries to zero to prevent layoffs. take us through what you've seen
at your company and the small businesses you work with. >> yeah, well, it was devastating when the coronavirus first hit. we were losesing 20%, 30% of our revenue every week. at the bottom it got to 55% down. and what's so horrible and scary about that is we're a function -- our revenue is a function of 20,000 small businesses spread throughout the united states. these are dry cleaners, dentists, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, just a whole myriad of different small businesses. and when their revenue went down by 55%, so did ours. it's been really heartbreaking to see, you know, so many of them who have put their entire life savings into building their company. who have worked for decades to build something that matters to their community just suffering. and it's been inspiring to see them fighting to try to survive. and we've been doing everything we can to help them. but it's been extremely
difficult and extremely painful to see everything they've been going through. >> andrew, then should we stop even diagnosing this disconnect between the stock market and the real economy? because the stock market we talk about is actually the indexes. and the indexes represent the biggest behemoth companies that are thriving at a time like this. so everything we've just heard from dan and those suffering small businesses, they have nothing to do with the stock market. sadly. >> well, i think you're absoluteabsolute ly right. the biggest companies are the ones represented in the stock market. some of which are doing well. some of which aren't. but may become a beneficiary of this crisis anyway because the consolidation and focus on them should help them 12 months from now. we should also indicate that what investors are betting owhen you look at the stock market, it's not what's happening today. what's happening today in the
stock market or what's happening today in the real economy is almost rear-view mirror to the stock market. the stock market is trying to bet what the world looks like 12 months from now. and so that's oftentimes the biggest piece of this disconnect. but as you said, there are going to be so many small businesses that are going to struggle and be challenged over the next 12 months. and we need to worry about them because if they don't succeed, it's hard to imagine how the rest of the economies can succeed and then raises real questions, frankly, about the stock market. >> i want to add to that if i can. >> yeah, sure. >> i want to add to that, if i can, which is, big businesses that are represented in the stock market, you know, in our industry, there's companies like pfizer msquared and they are looking at this as an opportunity to do layoffs. there's a coming together of two companies in our industry, global payments and tesus and they're saying they're going to
accelerate the layoffs they're going to do and save an additional $200 million through this. what we're seeing from large companies is we're seeing a lot of monoclistic behavior and we are seeing these big companies use this crisis to stick out their elbows against small businesses. against workers and be able to exert their control. and i think that's what we're seeing the market react to because big companies and small companies, they don't play by the same rules. they get a huge advantage in terms of structure, what warren buffett would call the moat around the company. they lay off their employees, raise prices against small businesses and consumers, and that's what we're seeing in the stock market as well. >> but dan, isn't the issue that those big companies play by different rules? but the rules are legal. so while we have people say, why aren't they in trouble, why don't people go to jail?
they don't go to jail because they're legally gaming the system. or working the system. or using it to their benefit. >> that's true and you see it in the numbers in a really big way. in "the new york times" there was a story where between 1975 and 2015, the share of the top 100 companies of all profit made in the united states went from about 49% to close to 80% share of the profit. that means my company and every other small business out there, our share of that total pool went down, and they're investing in these things where basically, they're not paying taxes. if you look at the big technology companies where their stock is on the rise. they are seeing benefit from this. they're not paying taxes. they're getting all sorts of subsidies, way more than small businesses are, and so we really do have, unfortunately, socialism for the huge large companies in a situation like a pandemic and harsh capitalism with a few exceptions for
everybody else. >> andrew, last point to you. when large companies file for bankruptcy, that's just restructuring. they're not going anywhere. when mom and pops do, they're selling all their goods and they're done. they're finished. >> there's no question. and there's no question that the large companies have been advantaged throughout this entire process. not because, i think, the government wanted necessarily to advantage large companies. i think that's one important point here which is, you know, walmart has been advantaged. target has been advantaged relative to smaller companies because they sell food at those stores. they've been able to be deemed essential whereas the bicycle store down the street has not been deemed essential. and that's one of the big issues that we're going to see out of this crisis. we can debate the motives of how we got to this place but we probably need to have a real conversation in america about what we need to do to get out of it. >> and accountability. >> unintended consequences don't
have to be permanent. you can look at the net result and say, well, let's fix this game. andrew, dan, thank you both so much. please, i'd love for you both to come back soon. the split screen of president trump and former vice president joe biden shows the divide playing out across the country at a time when we must be united. why this image could be the image that decides an election.
we're a little more than five months away from november's presidential election, but the battle already playing out in full force over memorial day weekend. "the washington post" highlights the stark contrast between president trump and former vice president joe biden. the president taking part in ceremonies at arlington national cemetery in ft. mchenry without wearing a face mask. while apparent democratic presidential nominee, vice president biden, wears a mask while laying a wreetath at a veterans memorial park in delaware. joining me to discuss, steve schmidt. this wasn't a surprise. the president retweeted a criticism of joe biden wearing a mask last night. a mask which should not divide us. it should protect us. how significant will this split screen image be in november? >> good morning, stephanie. i'm not sure that the split screen image is going to be significant. what i do think is going to be significant is the incompetence
of donald trump's handling of this situation over its entirety. we can go back to the moment when there were 15 cases in the country. donald trump praised the chinese response. told the american people there was nothing to worry about. we're cruising over 100,000 dead americans with many more to come. we have a shattered economy. we have 30 million people out of work. we have great depression levels of unemployment. and so when we look at donald trump's response, we have seen somebody who has told the american people that they should deal with this by injecting disinfectant. we've seen somebody who has lied, who has misinformed, who has melted down at the media, who has failed intellectually, failed mentally, and failed morally as a reader. and lastly this weekend, it's a sacred day, and to watch the president of the united states over this weekend tweeting out political attacks, conspiracy theories, it's just another
example of his abject failure as president of the united states. and he has earned this place as the worst president this country has ever had. we've never had a president who has performed this badly in a crisis of this magnitude in the history of the united states. >> but steve, why would you think he would pivot? the president is a divider. the president mocks his opponents. that's how he got elected. that's how he rolls. why would you think we would get anything different? >> well, i'm not sure, stephanie, that i agree that that's how he got elected. the truth of the matter is, if we go back to 2016, the person for whom the race was about was the person who was losing. in the last week with the publication of the comey letter, the race became about hillary clinton. she lost very, very narrowly. won a popular vote, majority. lost the electoral college. but i don't think the american
people are voting for division. we've seen donald trump's poll numbers falling. we've seen him in trouble now in the swing states. and i think the american people are taking his measure and saying that he's not competent to the task, let alone competent to the task in the middle of a crisis like this. so i think those qualities for donald trump are innate. and so when we look at this moment, this is an essential time for politics because we're all reminded that this is life and death, decisions that get made in the oval off, and he's done a terrible job. >> all right. well then the election is five months away. what is going to be the bigger factor? the health impact of coronavirus or the economic impact? >> it's going to be both. but, look, four years ago, donald trump ran. he had two propositions for the american people. first thing he said is i alone can fix it. and two, he said i'm going to make america great again.
four years later, the old reagan question, are you better off today than you were four years ago? and the answer for the overwhelming majority of americans is the answer is no. the answer is no. we're at a moment of weakness in this country where the president is where the president is laughed at by world leaders. the country has never been more weak internationally than it is today. we are 4% of the world's population. we are the epicenter of coronavirus death. we are the epicenter of coronavirus infection. if you get it, you have more likelihood of dying here than any other place in the world. we're a country that produced half the noble prize winners in math and science since 1950. the response to this from the united states is disgraceful. it strips beare the confidence f the administration to be able to execute the duties of his
office. >> steve, he's not the i in i alone president. he's doing it with the full-bodied supported of your former party, the republican party. why do they stand in lock step with the president given all that you've just said? >> i'm not a -- i'm not a psychologist. i'm a political consultant. but i can tell you this, when you look at the race, whether it's susan collins in maine, cory gardner in colorado, whether it's martha mcsally in arizona, when you look at some of the other races that are very tight, many of those senators who have lashed themselves to the mast of the ss trump are going to be former senators in a few months. their job is to represent their constituencies, preserve to protect and defend the constitution of the inside. they abdicated that duty and that responsibility and they joined a cult of personality and
have spent these last years defending the indefensible. it was one thing when it was his crude conduct, his denigrations of the national honor, his desecration of his office, but now, as coronavirus ravages is united states as we have tens of millions who are out of work, when we see the devastation on small businesses, where we see the ineffectiveness of the loan programs, we see failure everywhere. the magnitude of this failure by this president is a historic one. there has never been a crisis in the history of the united states where a president has performed this poorly, this immorally as has this one, the 45th president, donald john trump. >> steve schmitt, i'm going to let you take a cold drink of water in that swanky kitchen you
are in right now because you're breathing hot fire this morning. good luck with your room number today. i'm pretty sure you're going to be off the charts. we'll be right back. back. this moment right now... this is our commencement. no, we'll not get a diploma or a degree of any kind. but we are entering a new chapter in our lives. our confidence is shaken; our hearts cracked. the kind of a crack that comes from the loss of a job; from life plans falling apart. we didn't ask for it... but we are rising to meet it. and how far we've come isn't even close to how far we can go. we just have to remember how patient we were... how strong we can be. (how strong you can be.) and remember this; there's a crack in everything for a reason. how else can the light get in? ♪
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you know we cannot end the show without talking about our american heroes. i want to introduce you to our hero today, chelsea fair. the 10-year-old asked for art supplies for her birthday last august so she could send kits to children affected by school shootings. when the coronavirus hit, she organized 1,500 kits to send to children in homeless facilities. she says it makes her happy that kids are helping kids during this really stressful time. she's happy. i'm appreciative. thank you so much for all that you do. that wrapping up this very busy and important hour here on msnbc. i'm stephanie ruhle. my friend and colleague ayman mohyeldin picks up coverage next. (announcer) carvana's had a lot of firsts.
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♪ good morning, everyone. i'm ayman mohyeldin here in new york and these are the facts at this hour. there are new concerns over the trump administration's new testing strategy. the 81-page report mostly putting the responsibility on states rather than the federal government. democrats on capitol hill already calling the plan disappointing this morning. and images of dense holiday weekend crowds not only prompted