tv Morning Joe MSNBC October 5, 2020 3:00am-6:00am PDT
that's an understatement. hans nichols, thank you so much. we'll be reading axios a.m. in a little bit. thanks for getting up "way too early" with us. stick around because "morning joe" starts right now. did the president's -- we've been told he's been tested and when he was tested on thursday morning -- >> yeah, i won't give you a detailed readout at every time that he's tested, he's tested regularly and the first positive test he received was after the return from bedminster. >> was he tested thursday night -- >> i won't give a detailed readout but safe to say his first positive test was upon return or after bedminster, that trip. thank you. >> that is how forthcoming the white house has been with information regarding the president's covid-19 testing. we have no idea when he actually tested positive. good morning and welcome to
"morning joe." it is monday, october 5th. with us we have white house reporter for the associated press, jonathan lemire. nbc news capitol hill correspondent and host of "way too early," kasie hunt. former white house adviser for policy at the university of pennsylvania, dr. ezekiel emanuel is with us. and dr. vin gupta, a pulmonologist and great to have you. the white house is giving out contradictory information. we have learned that the president is given dexamethasone, used to treat severely ill covid-19 patients. some health experts say that's a red flag right there. while the drug can reduce the risk of death, it can cause harm to those with less severe
symptoms. dexamethasone is the third drug the president has taken since being hospitalized on friday. he's also taken the antiviral drug remdesivir and an experimental antibody cocktail by regeneron. sean conley said that the president has experienced two episodes where his oxygen saturation levels dipped. one of those instances was on friday when the president was running a fever and he was given supplemental oxygen. speaking to reporters on saturday, dr. conley repeatedly evaded questions about the president receiving oxygen. yesterday, he tried to clear the matter up. >> has he ever been on supplemental oxygen? >> right now he is not on -- >> i know you keep saying that right now, but should we read to -- >> yesterday and today he has
not been on oxygen. >> so he's not been on -- >> he's not on oxygen right now. >> over the course of his illness the president has experienced two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation. thursday night into friday morning when i left the bedside, the president was doing well and his oxygen was in the high 90s. late friday morning when i returned to bedside he had a high fever and the oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94%. yesterday there was another episode where he dropped about 93%. >> -- his lungs -- >> to disclose that the president has been administered oxygen. >> it's a good question. >> thank you. >> i was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, his course of illness has had. i didn't want to give any information that might steer the
course of illness in another direction. and in doing so, you know it came off that we were trying to hide something which isn't necessarily true. he is -- the fact of the matter is he's doing really well. >> dr. conley went on to say that the president could be discharged from the hospital as early as today. >> so jonathan lemire, you have been on ground zero of this story from the beginning. and you have been at walter reed. we have been trying to sort through as all your reporters have been doing. trying to sort through exactly what's been going on. what we know monday morning is this. the white house lied repeatedly about the president's condition on friday. the white house doctors lied repeatedly about the president's condition on saturday. the white house doctors admitted
on sunday in fact that they had lied about the president's condition on saturday and i think there was the suggestion that they did so so not to upset their patient which is their primary concern. yesterday on sunday the number of incomplete answers, hedges, regarding how low his oxygen went, how often -- was it in the 80s, how about the lung scans, what are the tests revealing, we -- do we have any assurance at any that anything the doctors are telling us about the president's condition is truthful? >> let's say this right upfront, joe. this is national security threat and the white house has a credibility crisis. there's been mixed messaging and
nonanswers and outright lies since friday when the president was taken from -- on marine one from the white house to walter reed medical center. i was there as you said on saturday when we pressed the doctors about whether or not the president had ever received supplemental oxygen. he dodged, he evaded, he was very cagey, dr. conley, cute in his answers suggesting well he's not on it right now or no, he wasn't on it yesterday, he hasn't been on oxygen since this team was assembled and then revealed hours later he had indeed received supplemental oxygen at the white house on friday before he was transported because the oxygen saturation level had dipped. we know that happened on saturday, the oxygen level dipped. and now he's on a powerful steroid which is usually reserved for critical covid cases and also used in tandem with oxygen. but yet we're still not getting straight answers as to when he
might have received another dose of oxygen. compounding the confusion, after that briefing on saturday, given by the doctors, within an hour chief of staff mark meadows provided an entirely different -- a different accounting of the condition of the president. painting a much more sort of sober assessment, revealing that the president had been in tougher spots friday morning. yesterday, we also saw again though some more information was presented, other questions were dodged. the doctor did not get into whether the president had a lung scan or evaded some questions about what other treatments he may be receiving. he offered a very rosy timetable suggesting that president trump could -- could -- go home as early as today which flies in the face of what we were told over the weekended that he was on a five day treatment of remdesivir and of the highly unlikely he'd leave before them.
so right now, the morning after the president got into the motorcade and did a brief tour of supporters outside walter reed medical center. when he stepped into the suv with secret service agents who had to be clothed head to toe in protective gear, wearing face shields and masks so the president could see the supporters. the president putting them in danger, being in a closed space. a covid-19 patient with these agents who of course are sworn to protect him. america wakes up monday morning still not really knowing how the president of the united states is doing and right now not believing anything that the white house or the doctors are saying. >> look at the pictures and there's a president of the united states who if -- if -- the information we are being given is even partially correct is suffering from covid is red hot, as far as being infected and passing it around to other
people. >> contagious. >> and he is going out with a condition that nobody else in america has ever been allowed to go out in. in fact, too many people have not been able to say good-bye to their mothers, fathers, grandparents, loved ones because they had to die alone. because this disease is so infectious. so you look at those pictures and it really -- it shocks the conscience that this is -- that this has happened. and as walter reed doctor said, it was just absolutely staggering that this was allowed. for the presidential suv, not only bulletproof but hermetically sealed against chemical attack, the risk of covid-19 transmission is high as it gets outside of medical procedures. this is dr. james t. phillips.
a doctor at walter reed. and he goes on, the irresponsibility is astounding. my thoughts are with the secret service forced to play. every single person during that completely unnecessary presidential drive-by, just now the doctor goes on, has to be quarantined for 14 days. they might not get sick. they might get sick. they may die. for political theater, commanded by the president to put their lives at risk for theater. this is insanity. >> joe, really quickly, he's right, obviously. but this is the way the white house has operated. and that is why at the cleveland clinic advised debate, the family of the president did not wear a mask when they were asked to wear masks, they declined. the president on stage made fun of masking. you go back to the scotus super spreader event where so many member of the the president's
close inner circle and some senators are now infected because they did not follow cdc guidelines. this is not surprising at the same time it's an implosion potentially of the presidency of the united states. >> not just that. it's actually a national security challenge and it is a security challenge not only for the executive branch but now spreading into the legislative branch. all because of the rejection of things that we learned 300 years ago in the age of enlightenment, the age of reason, the trusting of medicine, the trusting of science, the trusting of carefully gathered facts through hundreds of years of, again, medicine and science and learning and instead, denialism.
denialism of the rejection of basic facts and concepts that make up undisputed conclusions about all the things that have been mocked, the wearing of masks. the promise that it was going to magically go away. the rejection of dr. fauci's begging people to socially distance. the promise it would not come back in the fall. the promise of miracle cures, all of these things, and, you know, we're looking at the president here, but the entire party has followed the president down this path and why are we talking about it right now? because this drive, this one drive, really neatly encapsulates the recklessness and the denialism and the anti-medicine position that this president and his party have
embraced, 200,000 plus people have died. so zeke emanuel, let me go to you. i guess it's the lawyer in me that is making me state just the fact as we start. we do not know and now court would accept any of this information into evidence that we have been given over the past three or four years as judicial notice these are in fact facts we don't know if anything that the doctors have told us is true or not and we don't know know that because it's so -- the information is so closely held. it's just a few people and they have proven to lie to us time and again, including the doctors. so if we are to assume that the treatment has gone the way that they are treating the president, if we are to assume that the
oxygen level drops have occurred as these doctors have said, if we are to assume the medical treatment is what these doctors have said it is, and that we can only assume because they have lied to us and the white house has lied to us repeatedly, but if we are to assume these basic facts, what can you draw from that to tell us what you believe the president's condition is this monday morning? again, it's just a guess because we're not being given any information that we need. >> joe, you're right. and what we're left with is reading between the lines and longing at what they have done and looking at what they have said and they haven't said. the first thing i would concur with is from friday morning on, they have deceived the american public. they said he was resting comfort my when in fact he had a fever and fatigued and probably shortness of breath on friday,
while they were saying everything was good. his oxygen levels went down and they started him on supplemental oxygen so we have been deceived right from the start and i would note and just add one point. he was -- dr. conley was asked very specifically yesterday about the lung scan and he did not say that it was normal which makes us conclude it wasn't normal. it was what you expect in a covid patient and what you expect is a lot of infiltrates that are suggestive of inflammation of the lungs. and i presume -- i haven't examined the president, i haven't seen all the data that's what induced them to start the dexamethasone. either he was much more severely ill than they're suggesting to start the dexamethasone or they have gone against what the literature has suggested is the proper use of dexamethasone. the other thing i would say is
they say he doesn't have a fever, but again, it's hard to know because they might have given him medications to reduce the fever. the dexamethasone itself reduces fever so it's very hard to get a full picture at all on which to make judgments. the one thing we do know is he has been infectious. he probably now is still infectious. he put all of those campaign people, the donors on thursday at risk. and there was good indication they knew something was wrong, that he had symptoms before. totally, totally irresponsible. i think insanity that dr. phillips mentioned as a person i know very, very well, is the right word. this is just unbelievable. we are all at a loss of words for behavior that is going on. >> yeah, dr. gupta, again, if we are to assume that the doctors are telling the truth about what
medicine he is on, the doctors i have been speaking to all weekend have said they have never heard of a patient in the age of covid being given all of the steroids and all of these treatments at the same time. and the doctors that i have spoken to said that if they were in the president's position, they would be very concerned because they believe it may even be too much treatment. that they're throwing too much at the president at the same time. what's your read about the medication that the doctors claim the president's taking? >> thanks, good morning, joe. just to amplify everything that dr. emanuel said, i couldn't agree more. having just in -- i was in the covid icu this past weekend, so
near and dear. very clearly as dr. emanuel said, a lung scan, so a picture of the lungs, usually a high-resolution one like a c.a.t. scan, if that was done it stands to reason they'd comment on that and what they would say if they were leveling with the american people is that it's showing clear signs of pneumonia. it's a covid-like pneumonia so it will behave differently than if you had the bacterial pneumonia like streptococcus. even he's legitimately ill, and he looked ashen, it looked like he was struggling a bit. either his oxygen levels are low enough to warrant things like dexamethasone, remdesivir and this experimental infusion therapy and i'll shelve that for a second or they're not and
they're pursuing unevidence based medicine for who knows what reason. i would push and the choice of the regeneron therapy instead of his favorite therapy convalescent plasma, there's much more date of giving a higher dose of convalescent plasma than the regeneron therapy. what's happening right now is not what happens in hospitals all across america and it seems that's what the president has. >> here's a rundown of the positive coronavirus tests since he revealed the diagnosis. the first lady, melania trump she is currently isolating in the white house and is experiencing mild symptoms. hope hicks tested positive on
thursday. rnc chairwoman ronna mcdaniel tested positive on wednesday. kellyanne conway said she tested positive. chris christie who was involved in the president's debate prep and attended barrett's nomination event tested positive on saturday. and checked himself into a hospital. trump's campaign manager bill stepian announced on saturday he tested positive. two republican senators who attended barrett's nomination event at the white house, senators thom tillis and mike lee, tested positive, both serve on the senate judiciary committee. a third gop senator ron johnson also tested positive, though he was not at the barrett event. and nick luna, the president's
personal aide and so called body man testified positive. and two white house resident staff members tested positive for the coronavirus. more than at least seven people who attended the white house ceremony nominating amy coney barrett to replace the late ruth bader ginsburg have been infected. six people who later tested positive including first lady melania trump sat in the first rows during the rose garden ceremony. as you can see, few people wore masks and practiced social distancing at the outdoor event with closed conversations and photo-ops, even hugs, happening. the indoor event at the white house diplomatic room was even more striking for the lack of
masks and social distancing. photos from "the new york times" show republican senator thom tillis who as we said later tested positive standing near barrett, the first lady and president trump, both also tested positive not wearing makes here. in this photo, the president and several white house officials all lined up before one of barrett's daughters again masks. attorney general william barr and alex azar, also without masks before judge barrett. thom tillis sat elbow to elbow with barrett's young son. both without masks. and republican senator mike lee of utah, up close with judge barrett. again, he tested positive. the white house said that all guests at the barrett nomination ceremony tested negative for the coronavirus prior to the event, but that is just a pitiful
response because everybody knows anybody who studies the science of this knows that you can get a negative test and still have the coronavirus and then test positive later. you still have to wear masks. >> they have been using the abbott labs -- >> which are not as strong. >> the tests with 30 to 50%. alex, if you can show the pictures because let's just make no mistake of it. this is a tragic, tragic conclusion to a year of a white house and a political party and an entire movement, political movement, that gambled with their lives and the lives of their loved ones by the entire party embracing the ignorance of one man obliterating 300 years of science, of learning, of rejecting what -- this is the
rejection of the most basic concepts from the age of enlightenment. the age of reason. they have proudly for a year now flouted their rejection of knowledge, rationalism, progress, reason and influenced millions to do the same. and the rejection of basic facts and concepts that make up an undisputed science conception in favor of radical ideas. except for a few in that crowd, we have seen the mocking of masks. the promise of a virus' magical ending. the promotion of finding miracle cures. the insistence this was all a democratic political hoax. the pushing of disinfectants. the assurance that covid was leaving in the spring. the assurance it would not come back in the fall even as the
president's advisers were saying it would come back in the fall. and it's come back. and america's government is teetering because republicans, republican leadership, has chosen to turn their backs on science, medicine. basic concepts and instead, they have chosen to pass the political test of one man who while infected by covid was mocking joe biden for wearing a mask. zeke, i want to show you the pictures while you're talking and, you know, i'm not overly
cautious when it comes to my health. my family's not. we have, again, some kids with underlying kids, but we had a family get together this weekend with my children and because they came from different places, nobody hugged. we did the elbow thing. we ate outside. because we -- even though they were our own family, we understood that this was just basic danger that most americans would understand and look at these people. these people who were supposed to be america's leaders. sitting there, shoulder to shoulder, without masks, going inside a closed, tight room, with no masks. and you still have with the
question of the president's health, you still have the vice president of the united states, the second in command, still announcing that he's going to run around the country and make no mistake, zeke, a lot of those people in the audience, they're mika and my friend's. and for the life of me and her we don't understand why they would behave this way when they have been told repeatedly that they are causing danger to themselves, to their loved ones and to everyone that they come in contact with. >> i have a friend in that audience who came to that event and is already very ill. >> yeah. zeke, i'm sorry, we have talked enough here. you're the doctor, but my god --
>> what's going on? >> it shocks the conscience. >> it does, but it also shows to you how smart people, all of us can be affected by the norming and our environment. right? if your environment says to you, no one is wearing a mask, if you wear a mask, you're being mocked, you know, you go with the environment. on the other hand, if you were in taiwan or singapore or south korea where everyone, 95%, 98% of people wear a mask, you'd wear a mask. what the president has done with his mocking and his behavior of not wearing a mask has normed that and you can see mike lee having a mask in his hand but not putting it on. and that is the kind of behavior where it says what everyone else is doing around you, you will adhere to. that's why it's so important to
change the leadership so the norm is you wear a mask as you said. even with people you know and love, that you haven't been around because they could be infected and they might not know. they might be part of the 40% who are asymptomatic or might be presymptomatic, right before they get symptoms, they might be visiting you. what we know it wasn't the outside garden event that was the super spreading event at the amy coney barrett event. it was probably the indoor activity where everyone's right next to each other, rebreathing the same air. probably talking -- in the room and that is what is seriously dangerous. i might say, joe, you know, we haven't said anything, but you know, 43,000 people every -- americans every day get infected with covid. we're getting up about to 750 to 1,000 deaths a day. those people aren't getting the
same kind of care as the president is. those people, all americans, need attention. we need to adhere to these public health measures and we need to get a president who will actually follow the science because that's the only way we're going to be able to beat this virus and that's just not present here. even the president when he gets coronavirus can't follow the science and stay away from other people and keep them safe that is not the kind of leadership we need. >> you know, it is so critical for national security reasons, for the president of the united states to get the best health care that is possible. to have the best treatment in the world. since he is the head of the executive branch and the most influential member of our federal government and our commander in chief. that's critical. at the same time, this country is going to have to come to terms with the fact that this
president is getting this treatment, which he needs to get and yet, thousands of people died alone in their apartments or died alone at home because they couldn't get the treatment. they were afraid to go to hospitals. they were afraid to do to do the basics and right now there's a movement afoot to take away health care coverage from millions of americans, millions of americans with pre-existing conditions. there is -- and as you saw the helicopter take off with the president in it, yes, i felt a great relief that the president was going to the hospital. america's commander in chief was going to be treated well and if you don't, then you really don't understand the dangers that would happen if something terrible befell this president or any president. but at the same time, i was
thinking right, he's got doctors swarming around him. he's got marine one, he's going go to walter reed and have another fleet of doctors around him and i think of all of the people, especially in new york city, who died alone in their apartments. because they couldn't get treatment. kasie hunt, let's talk about the impact, we have talked about the impact on the executive branch, let's talk about the legislative branch. let's talk about what happened on capitol hill. what's happening in congress, what's happening in the united states senate. and i'm curious, we saw mike lee hugging people. we saw other senators just sitting there face-to-face inside -- and again, i thought that i was casual about this stuff. i would never go into an unventilated room -- ever. serious, i would sky dive before i did that. i'm not going to sky dive.
i was shocked at the recklessness of this -- of these leaders who are supposed to be the best and the brightest, our public servants. >> health and human services secretary. >> absolutely. kasie, do they behave this way on the hill? >> not -- not like this. i have never seen anything like this at the capitol. i mean, maybe that speaks to dr. emanuel was outlining, the pressure. the hubris of this idea, well, i got tested, it came back negative, it's safe. i have seen mark meadows behave this way on capitol hill. you know, i don't have to wear a mask, i had a test, i'm around the president all the time. but the stunning thing to me, joe, and i'm going to set aside for a second each members of the congress represents thousands of
constituents who do not have access to the same level of health care they have access to or the president has access to, i want to set that aside for a second. the reality is they were gathered to celebrate the nomination of a conservative judge to the supreme court, shifting the balance of power. the thing that they have all been waiting on to have happen because trump was president. they have all put up with -- i mean, ben sasse has put up with so much from president trump that we know he bit his tongue before he won his primary and then we started to hear what he really thought about the president. but this is the thing they have been waiting for, a supreme court that is conservative. they have put the time line of her being confirmed to the bench at risk because now a couple of them on the judiciary committee are sick and we have no idea how many more of them might get sick because they were in the same room together. albeit under different
circumstances, they were socially distant and they for the most part wore masks except when speaking at the microphone. but the only one who wore a mask the entire time is chuck grassley. we have no idea how many caught coronavirus from attending the event and the hill, by the way, doesn't have rapid testing, nor is it mandatory that you wear a mask in the capitol. it is strongly suggested and obviously people like me, i wear a mask when i go up there and those of us who are not members of congress, we mostly see people in masks. but it's just -- it's stunning to me the risks that they took, not just with their health, but with what ostensibly is the most important policy thing for them to have done. it completely boggles the mind, and while i think they'll be full speed ahead on her confirmation, the margin for error is so slim and they shut down the functioning of the
senate for two weeks because they're dealing with an outbreak. i mean, our government currently not capable of functioning the way it's supposed to. we have the executive branch in the hospital and the second, the legislative branch, unable to do its work that's where we are after that event. >> on that point, dr. vin gupta, looking at the list of people who have tested positive from senators to the president's inner circle, to the president of notre dame who was at the scotus super spreader event, it's not just that event which was outside and inside which had people hanging all over each other, hugging, fist bumping, talking closely, we have the debate prep people, chris christie in the hospital. we have the new jersey fund-raiser where i believe there were several hundred people there. in terms of how this virus spreads, how possible is it that
more republicans have been infected with the coronavirus and finally how is the country doing? is it -- >> well, can i say before you ask that question, not just republicans, but service workers who serviced that event. service workers who service the president at the hospital, wherever he goes. he not only put these republicans in danger, he put a lot of people who had to go to work to make minimum wage, put their lives in danger and that of their loved ones. >> given how this is -- what we know publicly, how possible is it that there are more people who will come up with coronavirus? >> absolutely, mika, it's a really important question. i think that the question here is when was day zero of infectious for the president and for the individuals that he
possibly directly infected, either the weekend prior to or -- one weekend ago or some time during this past week. it's a tough question to have certainty on, but without a question the fund-raising event clearly he was infectious and transmissible at that point. if he was already symptomatic and the time line of giving the regeneron experimental infusion is quite telling he must have been infectious. his oxygen level -- i don't know what his baseline is, but it was in the 93, 94 level according to reporting over the weekend. all of that combined it suggests whomever was in his orbit, defined within six feet for 15 minutes which is many people, there's a lot of people to account for and to be worried about. the green lighting of a potential discharge is very unusual, just purely from the medical standpoint managing covid. giving medications like
remdesivir and dexamethasone, these are not home infusion medications even if you're doing it in the white house. that is not standard. these are serious medications, with serious side effects that require in patient monitoring. i don't know -- the president should be no exception to get these medications at home. even if that home is the white house, number one. number two, even if he's temporarily feeling better we have had in cases of patients who might who get an initial up-front treatment because they had covid pneumonia, and they get treatment and then a few days later they end up doing worse, and/or, the president having long haul symptoms. meaning he's chronically feeling winded, potentially short of breath, we think that's going to be key to look out for. but there's no sense -- it's not in his best interest or his staff for rushing a discharge. it makes no sense. >> thank you so much.
zeke, let me follow-up. do you believe like dr. gupta it's likely based on the limited information we have gotten from the doctors that he has pneumonia from covid and regardless of that, your answer to that, do you believe it's possible that this president can safely come home today if half of the other doctors have been telling us about his condition is true? >> it's -- again, the fact that dr. conley didn't say that the chest x-ray or c.a.t. scan and the fact that he was treated with dexamethasone, yes, he's got an infection in his lung and then immune reaction to that infection, probably compromising his oxygenation which is why they went to the dexamethasone in the first place. and i think as dr. gupta absolutely said, the idea that they are going to send him home, he's still on remdesivir which
is an intravenous infusion, you can do many things in the white house but you cannot actually treat him as if he's in an intensive care unit if these crashes and one of the things that's been seen repeatedly and one of the things that's unexplained, patients look like they're improving, improving, doing well and then they crash and that crashing requires, you know, urgent treatment. you wouldn't want to be doing that at the white house. you want to be doing that in the hospital. so the whole thing is perplexing and it seems like every aspect of the care of this president has been -- you might say a little flabbergasting. it doesn't hold together with what we're being told and so we don't get the full picture. we can't try to understand their decision making. >> zeke, thank you very much for coming on this morning. we want to turn now to questions surrounding the function of government and the laws that come in to play when a president
is sick. let's bring in the director of governmental studies, john foytier. >> thank you for being with us. what we have learned going through this by of course having to look at all of the options which only, you know, which is the only reasonable thing to do is that there are far more questions that are raised by this president having to fight covid instead of being able to campaign for president or having to fight covid instead of being able to run the presidency. than that we expected. can you talk about some of your concerns about the ambiguities that it just seems like -- like the countless ambiguities that we as a nation have yet to have to confront. >> well, i don't think we should
assume that we're going to get to this point but we have some tracks laid out in the constitution especially in 25th amendment if the president were to get worse and, you know, the first one is only used three times is for the president himself to step away temporarily. that could be done by a letter that the president would send to congress and when recovered he can take the presidency back from the vice president. that has been done really only these three times for elective surgery. once for ronald reagan, twice, george w. bush went under for minor procedures and the vice president was acting president for only a matter of hours and then the president recovered and took the presidency back. you can imagine the president gets to the point, he has a procedure or perhaps he feels that he just is going into the stage that he cannot exercise the presidency where he voluntarily turns things over. there are a couple of other
tracks where things would get more serious and one is that really the president is not able to speak or unconscious or has something sudden happen he's not able to act. the vice president with a majority of the cabinet can write a letter to say, again, we think the president is incapacitated, the vice president takes over, the president recovers he can write a letter and take the presidency back. there's one more track, the most serious and that's with a disagreement between the president and the cabinet and vice president as well as congress would have to step in and in a very super majority way to say the president isn't able. i don't think we'll get there, but we have a political decision. political by the president, political by the cabinet and the vice president and then ultimately by congress. they're the ones who have to say, if it gets to the certain point this is what we need to
do. >> all right. thank you very much, john, we greatly appreciate it. and we look forward to talking to you again. jonathan lemire, first of all, i want you to follow up on what we heard from the doctors, real skepticism about the president going home today given the medication that he is on. what can you tell us about your insights on the possibility of the president despite the condition he's in going back to the white house today. >> well, certainly, joe, we have talked to pete close to the situation and say that the president is anxious to go home. he doesn't want to go to the hospital. he knows it's sidelining him from the campaign. we know that the president, you know, is bored. one person said to me, he didn't want to be there anymore. that he, you know, his whole life has been a very fearful of
hospitals, doesn't like medical care, he wants to get out. what's interesting is the communications director at the white house said yesterday confirming that some of the rosy scenarios being portrayed by the doctors was done in part to keep the president's spirits up. and others have told me behind the scenes that that's part of this. that if they want to keep the president in a good place for treatment, they don't want him to be despondent. but now, therefore, they wanted to raise the idea of a discharge. but now by doing so, if he didn't go home, this would raise other questions about whether his condition has slipped. but joe, there are so many questions we don't want know and one thing that the doctor said about that fund-raiser in new jersey in bedminster on thursday. we now know that the president upon his return from that fund-raiser took a rapid test, failed that. tested positive. and therefore, needed to take a longer test. it was in that -- he did and then in the hours while waiting for the results that's when he
had his interview with sean hannity, he acknowledged he had taken the test and the result came back around 1:00 in the morning. what the white house has not said was he tested before going to bedminster? if he did, and he tested negative, and then went, that is another red flag about the white house testing system because clearly, he was positive and shedding symptoms. or perhaps he wasn't tested that day. and therefore, was carrying the virus, they didn't know and exposed the people at the fund-raiser who were not wearing masks. how often is he tested? was he tested on wednesday before going to minnesota for that rally or tested tuesday before going to the debate in cleveland? we know that thanks to chris wallace that the president did not take a test on site on tuesday as was mandated because he was running late. but the white house has yet to document when his last negative
test was. and that is something that is going to raise a lot of scrutiny here going forward. how many people did the president endanger by potentially being positive but it was not known because he hadn't been tested. yes, he's still yesterday in that white house -- the video release by the white house last night he says now he gets it. being at walter reed, now he understands the virus and now he understands what people are going through. seven months in with over 200,000 people dead? that is something also where it seems like the cavalier attitude toward the virus still continues even though he has it as evidence by the motorcade ride and the president holed up for the debate and then went on thursday or friday and it's unclear how the president is doing or where he is at that time. >> the president said that he got it and then we see the
president going around in the motorcade risking the lives of his secret service men and women that are protecting him. now earlier we played the president's doctors saying he's doing very well. the white house chief of staff mark meadows had this assessment about the president's health on saturday. >> i'm very, very optimistic based on the current results and as the doctor said he's not out of the woods the next 48 hours or so with the history of this virus, we know can be -- it can be tough but he's made unbelievable improvements from yesterday morning when i know a number of the -- the doctor and i were very concerned. but i can tell you this. the biggest thing that we see is with no fever now and with him doing really well with his oxygen saturation levels, we --
yesterday morning we were real concerned with that. you know, he had a fever and his blood oxygen level had dropped rapidly. >> and jonathan lemire, again, it's hard to sort -- it's not hard to sort through this, it's hard to believe what they're saying on the record versus off the record. that's mark meadows saying everything was great, but it was mark meadows that took you all aside earlier and said that it was actually things weren't great. that the next 24 to 48 hours were going to be critical and there was no clear path for recovery, right? >> let's just go through the mark meadows time line here, joe, we adds so much confusion. this is the chief of staff at the white house, who is often considered the second most important person in washington. he accompanied the president
from marine one to walter reed and he helped who organize the briefing from the doctors. the first briefing in particular was very rosy in the scenario in painting how the president is doing. i was there, i pressed the doctors repeatedly about oxygen level as we went through, they dodged and danced questions. afterwards, mark meadows pulled the reporters aside and gave us another update which -- painting a much grimmer picture of the president saying he had improved but saying he was concerned about the condition on friday and the next 24 to 48 hours would be vital in prognosis going forward. the president learned that meadows had briefed reporters and according to our reporting grew angry and clued out me does and ordered other surrogates to say that the president was doing fine. he called giuliani who gave it
to "the new york post" and suggested he was in good health all because he was so angry at the picture that meadows had painted. meadows told reuters in which he contradicted in which he had told the press pool, no, the president was doing great. he's in vital health. you know, he is doing fine now. he's on his way to the quick recovery. then he gives another -- that interview with fox news that night in which he did say the president was doing better but again acknowledged he has been in a bad spot on friday and it was going to require a lot of care. we know that meadows signed off on the president's motorcade ride last night outside of walter reed. it's not just the chief of staff changing his story, but you have the president relentlessly being positive and putting out the videos and saying he understands how serious covid is, but you have a team of doctors that now in consecutive days has given briefings which have provided contradictory answers and evaded
questions and side stepped inquiries about how the president is doing. the health of the president of the united states, the commander in chief. updates indeed that don't just shape the last month of the presidential campaign but where the united states stands globally. right now, our adversaries are watching what is happening here very closely. if there ever was a moment for a rogue nation to try something at the united states' expense this is that moment and the contradictory messages from the white house just adds to the confusion and adds to the chaos and adds to the national security risk. >> well, to that point, our next guest says we are at a critical moment that demands clear and forthright information and president trump's chief of staff mark meadows is playing his old games. chief political correspondent for politico tim alberta joining us with the new reporting and "new york times" reporter and msnbc national security analyst michael schmidt joining us. the author of "donald trump
versus the united states, inside the struggle to stop a president." tim, we'll start with you. your piece on mark meadows is a bit chilling at this time because not only is transparency obviously needed for a number of reasons, but we're in the middle of a global pandemic and the president's condition as well as those top advisers and senators who have covid they're highly contagious and the people they have come in contact with at all of the top levels of this government. so transparency i would say is even more important if that's possible. tell us what you know about mark meadows' character and what he has shown of it in the past from your reporting. >> sure, mika. i'll be as direct as i can be and say a couple of things about mr. meadows. first, i think it's important to recognize that when he was a member of congress, mark meadows
was viewed as someone who simply could not be trusted by friend and foe alike. and as far as the foes were concerned, you know, two speakers of the house, john boehner and paul ryan, different guys, different styles, both of whom viewed meadows as a liability, as someone who you could not take their word to the bank. somebody who was always playing the angle. somebody who just at the end of the day they didn't want him near the able to where decision were being made, that he had his own agenda he was pursuing and his own friends when he was hairing the chairing the caucus, he would leave and believed he was he was telling them one thing and others something else. i have witnessed meadows telling one reporter one specific thing and then telling a reporter on
background something contradictory and different. i wrote about this in the book, in fact. this is not the moment for mark meadows of all people to be, you know, sort of attempting to coordinate this incredible delicate operation and of all people in washington who you would be looking to at this moment to step up and really grab the bull by the horns and give us something that we can wrap our arms around and trust as credible, meadows is the last person that most people would point to and say, yeah, we can take this to the bank. it's coming from mark. everything's in good shape that's not who he is. >> and michael schmidt, you wrote about donald trump's
doctor's line in your book, "donald trump versus the united states." and i thought it was fascinating, we had the blast from the past on friday. dr. ronny jackson who lied repeatedly, shamed himself, humiliated himself after the president's physicals now running for office, lying once again on friday, saying that the president had no symptoms, everything was great. he doesn't learn and he continues to lie. it's curious what constituents would want a guy that continues to lie representing them in office if he's been caught on camera lying repeatedly. but you have talked about this being a problem before in your book. tell us your takeaway, not only from what you learned in researching the book, but also as a national security
correspondent for "the new york times" what threats do we face right now? >> so as i report in the book, the president took this trip to the hospital. the president -- to walter reed. the president said it was to begin his yearly physical. now, everything the president largely needs to -- for his physical is at the white house. the set-up there is incredibly robust. there's a lot of doctors there's doctors, you know, lab stuff, all sorts of things. so he takes this trip and it's obviously curious. it was on a saturday afternoon. he goes, he's there for about 70 minutes and then he comes back to the white house. in reporting for the book i learned that before trump leaves the white house, vice president pence is told to be on stand by to take over the powers of the presidency. because they may have to put the president on anesthesia. may have to put him under and as the previous guests were laying out, that would invoke the 25th
amendment meaning that the power would have to be transferred from the president to the vice president. obviously, a pretty significant thing. something we hadn't seen in the trump administration. the president is someone who is very concerned about maintaining his power at all costs so trump went -- going off in november of 2019 to walter reed with pence standing by ready to take over. now, whatever happened at walter reed did not lead them to put the president under anesthesia, so pence never took over the powers of the presidency. but the white house coming out afterwards, saying it was part of the yearly physical and we never had clarity around that. so if you look at the example like that, we should not be surprised by how they're handling this. it's not surprising, it's the same playbook, it's the same thing every day with the goalpost changing.
discussing this in -- you know, in political terms as if it were negotiations with congress about some sort of bill, you know, talking one way on the record, one way off the record. and leaving us in the same place we're in about this november 2019 incident. >> kasie hunt, jump in. >> yeah. tim, i had a question for you. i very much enjoyed this profile. i have covered and worked with mark meadows as well for quite some time. and one thing that struck me as i was reading through it is this idea that meadows seems to be somebody who almost always wants to tell the person he's talking to what they want to hear, whatever that may be. whether he's in boehner's office saying no, he does love him very much or whether he's talking to reporters who are looking, you know, pushing for him to answer questions. do you think that's what we saw over the weekend where, you
know, we sort of became aware that meadows was offering a more dire assessment of the president's health over the objections of the white house or how do you explain that particular incident over the weekend? >> kasie, it's a good question and a pretty good read on him and what i find interesting about meadows is, again, i actually wrote this in the book, not that we want to see who can plug the book the most times, but when meadows was a brand-new member of congress, i had a series of breakfasts with him in the long worth cafeteria in capitol hill. i try to do with a lot of the new members and the thing i was fascinated with by meadows, how much he read. he was a voracious consumer of media and he was very aware of how the media portrayed people in power and he was nowhere near power at that point. but he was quizzing me about the
media and about the coverage and about how the coverage works. i say that because what was interesting over the weekend, guys, is that meadows clearly was attuned to the fact that we in the press were starved for information, that we didn't trust the radio silence coming out of the white house, that something fishy was going on. i think meadows while he was on the sidelines listening to the doctors at walter reed briefed the press, he's thinking to himself, they're not being satiated. the members of the member, they're not hearing what they need to hear. they know that there's something more to this. and he takes it upon himself and maybe the intentions are good but he follows up and in many ways contradicts what those doctors had just told the american public. and he does it on background. he doesn't issue a statement with the authority and the gravity of the white house chief of staff.
he pulls aside john and a couple of other reporters, says off the record let me tell you a couple of things. again, to your point, kasie, yeah, i think it's in some way recognizing where that vacuum was and telling people something that they needed to hear and what they wanted to hear and then he goes on judge jeanine and says something totally different. this is quintessential meadows. >> this is so important for americans as they're watching the unfolding of the president's health care crisis, which if it gets worse could be a constitutional crisis -- >> or if others get it. >> it's important to figure out what's going on. when you see the administration official on television, when you see the doctors on television, understand they know they have an audience of one and it's not
you. it's not the media. it's not the world. they are talking and they're guarding every word because they know that donald trump is watching. if they don't paint the rosiest scenario, then there will in fact be problems and you could see through the weekend several times where mark meadows came back out and in that statement talked about the president, quote, reviewing documents. this about a president who famously refuses to read documents. refuses to even read his national security briefings in the morning. you then heard the doctors talking about a sleight of hand that they lied to the american people because they wanted to make sure that they didn't upset the progress -- or they have to
change the direction of treatment which it seems and again, this is -- again, all we can do is speculate but this is based on four years of all of our knowledge of trump and the fact that people that are on the staff go on tv and they have an audience of one going all the way back to when one member of the staff said that the president's authority shall not be questioned. >> the loyalty oath. >> it's all for the president of the united states. so when you have doctors saying what they're saying and when you have doctors saying that the president may go home today, perhaps he will. it seems dangerous if half of what they're saying is true. >> right. >> but right now it seems that they're doing the best that they can do and this is not an original thought on my part, other reporters i have been talking to all weekend have come to this conclusion. the doctors are doing everything they can do to keep donald trump in the game.
and by that i mean in the hospital. in treatment. >> even driving around in a van around the hospital? >> by the way, let me just say if you're sitting there, this is again -- if you're in the position that the president says the hell with this, i'm going back to the white house and i'm going to start campaigning, and you have to decide am i going to let the president let off a little steam and drive his car around, again, endangering secret service members, it's inexcusable. i'm just -- again, we're sorting through what's been going on this weekend. if this is the only way you can buy another day in the hospital when any doctor that's examined covid will tell you what ours said earlier today. his danger is coming in the next couple days most likely because friends i have had talk about that second wave being actually more violent than the first
wave. they just may be desperate to keep him inside the hospital. >> okay. >> that may be why meadows is saying one thing off the record and another on the record because mark meadows in this case cannot tell the truth any more than the doctors can tell the truth on the record or else they're going to have a man who is 74 years old, who is more than slightly obese, who has underlying conditions perhaps a heart condition -- >> definitely under stress and sleep deprived. >> based on he records, sleep deprived, going to leave the hospital. doctors and staff members will do whatever they can do to keep him in the hospital. i'm not just if iing this at all. i'm talking about what you may
be looking at in the coming days. >> and michael schmidt i want to get your response to that but looking at the president's patterns that often he works very hard to deflect. so i'm watching not just the health of the president, but the health of the presidency. mike pence, attorney general barr, others who are taking their time and even isolating. there's so many different stories here that are worrisome. >> almost with that -- with the judge event at the rose garden they should have had someone from the cabinet be like, you know, when the president addresses the country be sort of like in a safe place because they needed someone to be healthy in this entire thing. but to the point that you guys were talking about before, the trump story in many ways is a story that repeats itself. the president comes along, he wants to do something. and the people around him have to react and decide whether
they're going to be enablers or barriers to that. and it looks like that's the same thing here. look, it's the same thing if it was the beginning of the administration with jim comey, the president wanted to do something, he asked his fbi director to do it and his fbi director wouldn't do it, he fired him. here we are, the president clearly wants to direct some of his treatment. he wants to get out of the hospital. he wants a certain message out there about how he's doing and how healthy he is, despite the fact of what is really going on. that puts people like mark meadows and the president's personal doctor in the position of having to decide are you going to go along with the president or not? and in this case, it looks like they're sort of trying to go along with the president to appease him. >> well, also, jonathan lemire, not just to appease him, because
they want more power. we are in the position now where they are appeasing him because they're trying to keep him in the hospital. i'm not drawing any -- any parallels to my dear, sainted father and donald trump. but there were certain things we had to do to keep my dad in the hospital when he was dying because he wanted to go home. and here is a 74-year-old man who is scared of hospitals, who hates being away from his home, who hates not being totally in control and you tell me whether i'm wrong. i get the sense they're desperately trying to keep him in the hospital, where again this is critical for us to know. donald trump lied again because he always lies but he lied when he said he wanted to go to the hospital and it was his idea. again, here's the powerful,
strong man that he projects wanting to be in control. when in fact, jonathan, your reporting and others reporting was he did not want to go to the hospital. he was basically dragged to the hospital kicking and screaming. >> that's right, joe and i think we have seen here is an effort by his staff and the doctors at walter reed to keep him there and the doctor yesterday tipped his hand a little bit where he said when he was responding that he hadn't been transparent the day before, dr. conley, well, i didn't want to give you the impression we weren't telling you the truth. that's not necessarily true. there had been suggestions that he paint a rosy picture. part of why they're presenting such a sunny outlook publicly is to keep up the president's spirits. to keep him as you said in the
game. and that is indeed saying, sir, you are getting better and there's public talk of him coming home potentially as early as today. but there aren't too many doctors who would sign off on that being a good idea and i think they tried to give him a jolt of enthusiasm. he tweeted he heard the loud crowds outside and they came up with the idea, reckless to be sure, he endangered at least two secret service agents in the vehicle with him and probably others to come out and see the crowd. it was very striking. it was reminiscent about how in the 2016 campaign when the "access hollywood" tape dropped on a friday. the debate was a sunday. there was real question if he'd drop out of the race and on that saturday he left to see the supporters who had gathered outside on fifth avenue, he went upstairs and revived himself and said, we'll stay in this, we'll forge forward. he needed to go out to see the
supporters to get that boost of supporter. the lowest moment of his presidency, hospitalized for covid-19, he goes outside to try to see his supporters. unlike in 2016 this time, the president has a deadly infectious disease. >> all right. our thanks, by the way, to michael schmidt and tim alberta. thank you both for your reporting. >> both authors of great books. joining the conversation now we have msnbc national affairs analyst, executive editor of the recount, john heilemann. washington anchor katty kay and associate editor from "the washington post" and author of the book "rage, bob woodward", jonathan lemire is with us as well. we learned yesterday that the president has been given
dexamethasone, a steroid used to treat severely ill covid-19 patients. some health experts argue that's a huge red flag because while the drug can reduce the risk of death for critically ill patients it can cause harm to those with less severe symptoms. dexamethasone is the third drug the president has reportedly taken since being hospitalized on friday and he's taken remdesivir and an experimental cocktail by regeneron. this is what doctors are telling us. white house physician sean conley said that the president has experienced two episodes where his oxygen saturation levels dipped. one of those instances was on friday when the president was running a fever and was given supplemental oxygen. speaking to reporters on saturday, dr. conley reportedly evaded questions about the president receiving oxygen.
yesterday he tried to clear up the matter. here he is first on saturday. >> has he ever been on supplemental oxygen? >> right now he is not on -- >> i know you keep saying that right now, should we read into the fact -- >> yesterday and today, he was not on oxygen. >> so he has not been on it during this covid treatment? >> he's not on oxygen right now. >> over the course of his illness the president has experienced two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation. thursday night into friday morning when i left the bedside the president was doing well with only mild symptoms and his oxygen was in the high 90s. late friday morning when i returned to the bedside, the president had a high fever and his oxygen was transiently dipping below 94%. yesterday there was another episode where he dropped down about 93%.
>> -- irregularities in his lung -- >> -- to disclose that the president had been administered oxygen. >> it's a good question. >> thank you. >> i was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president during this course of the illness has had. i didn't want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction. and in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something which isn't necessarily true and here -- so he is the -- fact of the matter is he's doing really well. >> and mika, that's -- if you want to decode that, that's the president telling the press i was trying to keep the president upbeat. because no doctor talks that way under normal circumstances. >> late yesterday, president trump pulled that surprise
publicity stunt with a drive by. and he donned a cloth mask and secret service agents wore full personal protective equipment including a surgical gown, face shield and n95 masks. the president posted a message on social media to coincide with his appearance that he quote, gets it. >> it's been a very interesting journey. i learned a lot about covid. i learned it by really going to school. this is the real school. this isn't the let's read the book school, i get it and i understand it. >> bob woodward, we can compare that to what trump told you back in march. here is a clip from your interviews with the president in which he talks about how he didn't have time to sit down with the nation's leading expert on infectious disease, dr. anthony fauci.
take a listen. >> okay, so now tell me about the relationship with fauci. you know, fauci, as you say you're a war time president, i think that's exactly right, by the way. >> this is a war. >> this is a war. and he's in many ways your eisenhower. >> well, he's a very good guy. he's done it before. he's a sharp guy. i think he's 79 years old. >> yes, he is. he's even older than you or me. >> well, listen, when you compare that to biden and when you compare it to a lot of people we have seen, no, he's sharp. he's doing a good job. >> have you ever sat down alone with him? >> yes, i guess, but honestly there's not a whole lot of time. this is a busy white house, we have a lot of things happening and then this came out. we have the greatest economy on earth. the greatest economy we have ever had and in one day this
thing came in, and we had a choice to make. close everything up and save potentially millions of lives. hundreds of thousands of lives, or don't do anything and watch -- and look at body bags every day being taken out of apartment buildings. >> who told you that? who -- what have -- >> me, i told me that. >> yeah -- >> oh, god. >> so bob, you have spoken with the president more than anybody in the media, you have studied him for four or five years. please give us your insights on what we saw this weekend. >> well, it's part of this pattern and the weekend is a reflection of everything that's happened at least on the virus for the last ten months. it's never straight forward, but there's a core problem here and i want to identify it and it is
that the president has no capacity as he said, well, he learned about covid by being in the hospital, but not by the book. but he rejects the book always. he doesn't want to listen to anyone. and what happened with fauci is a classic example, why not sit down -- fauci is the book. he knows the most. and so you go in to this a little bit and, you know what happened with fauci he would go in there to trump and he would say, this virus is not going away. and the president instead of saying, what do you mean by that, the president would say, well, i know somebody who got sick and i quote, fauci all the time saying the president has a negative attention span. so he will not focus on anything
and as you point out about this weekend, if it's bad news or it's something he doesn't want, he's just going to turn it absolutely upside down. so we have in all of this particularly on the virus which is a tragedy for the country, it is a tragedy for the republican party, it's a tragedy for trump and this pattern of behavior, you say and i would say, yes, it goes back for years or goes back to a lifetime of behavior. but saying very succinctly in the last ten month he's told on january 28th, the full story. this is going to be a disaster. this is going -- this is here. this is -- he just moves on, says whatever he wants to say. and ignores reality.
now, the reality has come home to hit him. he has failed to protect the country and he could have. he's failed to protect himself, his wife, his staff. it's all on him. you're absolutely right. the mark many meadows problem, the staff problem is there, but he directs this. and he is insistent and the way he's insistent is it's a -- in a sense, if you're the president and the boss, a clever technique. you get bad news or something has to be dealt with like the virus is not going away, it's here, you just change the subject. and you power over. i found that in my conversations with him. he would just power over. and because i could get him on the phone for a long time,
sometimes you could back to the original subject but it was always hard. >> bob, try to explain this and as much time as we had spent with him over the past decade before he got into the white house, i can't -- i can't even explain. we need you to explain this to us. we have your tapes. those records. those historical records where the president is telling you this is an airborne virus, this is really bad. this is going to be problematic, saying that fauci is a smart guy and yet, we have the president time and again contradicting fauci after he said that this was a killer, that this was bad, this was the worst thing. and one quote keeps going back into my mind and i know that you're very aware of this, this situation where donald trump is on -- is talking to the press with fauci with him. and fauci says that this is
going to come back in the fall. donald trump says no, it will not come back in the fall. this is going to leave by this summer, the heat's going to wipe it away. and it will not come back in the fall and then fauci has to come back up and say, yes, mr. president, it will come back in the fall. with the knowledge that he has and here we are in the fall and my god, is it coming back with a vengeance. even i don't understand how donald trump could be telling you in february and have full knowledge that this could kill him, that this could kill his wife, that this could kill republican senators, that this could anybody that came in contact with him, and still behave the way he behaved time and time again throughout this campaign. this is like beyond. we'd say he's a sociopath but this is beyond that. >> but we're not psychiatrists. all we can do is describe the behavior but the behavior -- i
mean, as you say, on him, on his wife, on his staff, on republican senators, but random people like 200,000 random people in this country, and he never got the message. never understood and as he said, oh, i learned this is not by the book. he's scorning the book. he's scorning fauci. he's scorning anyone who has any other information. and it's -- you know, you can't even define it, but it is -- we are at a point now in that this has come to roost on him and his family in a way that, you know, my god, where does it go? and you're absolutely right to be all over the inconsistencies,
come on, the dodging, the lying, the reacting to him personally where he's trying to create i'm sorry to use kim jong-un, the north korean leader's words, a fantasy film. a fantasy film, oh, i can make it the way i want it to be. not with the virus. and we have the tragedy on our heads and it's on his head too. >> well, you can't do this with a deadly, highly contagious virus. the president's games if that's what's happening here and we have seen him play them before don't work with the virus. i want to bring in clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at brigham & women's hospital, dr. paul sacks. perfect timing because as we worry about the health of the
presidency as a whole, the health of others who still may be exposed to the virus that has gotten so many people around the president sick and the president himself sick at this point, i have to ask you about the president's potential of having a sound mind at this point. if he is on the drugs that these doctors have revealed to us, what side effects do these drugs have and can they impact his ability to make decisions? >> it's a very good question and we know that anyone with severe illness especially the elderly can have their minds altered by the illness alone and then you add on dexamethasone, the drug we know that he is on, it can increase the chances of delirium or impulsive behavior and that's
something we have to watch for in anyone who is being given this medication. >> katty kay, i don't know if you want to add to the questioning for the doctor, but again, this is the first thing i thought when i saw the president out in the van with secret service men driving him exposed to his coronavirus. i was wondering exactly how that happened. yes, there's an argument that the doctors may, you know, want to keep him in the game, but who's making a decision like that which seems completely irresponsible and then makes me wonder about his fitness at this point. >> yeah, doctor, i was wondering this because we know that president trump fairly early on in the virus tried that course of hydroxychloroquine so he seems like a patient who is keen to try experimental drugs that might not be approved necessarily for normal patients in his circumstances. what's the calculation that a
doctor is trying to make when they might be under pressure from a patient or from people surrounding a patient, particularly a vip patient who is asking for more treatment, asking for more experimental treatment and weighing it up against the negative side effects of the treatment? how does a doctor manage those two forces? >> well, it can be a challenge and i'm going to quote one of my great teachers, he said in the past the best way to treat a vip patient is to treat him like any patient. if you treat everybody the same way, wanting the best for them and the best outcome, then you're less likely to be swayed by the person's strong personality or desires. you have to look at the totality of the evidence, what their x-rays show, and think of the risks and the benefits of the treatments you're giving and not be swayed solely by patient preference.
>> but doctor, if a patient is on dexamethasone, is there any scenario in which you would say you can leave this hospital and drive around with two people? >> well, we certainly would not. the standard for covid-19 patients right now is that they are on strict isolation. for at least ten days after the on set of their symptoms and that's very important. it's actually been one of the sad things about this disease is that people who are ill in the hospital, people who are critically ill can't be visited by family members and i was watching him drive around thinking it was sad for those who have to be in isolation and wondering how they feel about it. >> clinical division of brigham & women's hospital, dr. paul sax. >> when we come back, we need to talk about another reason why the president may be pushing to
get out and as quickly as possible, despite the fact that if you believe what the doctors are saying it wouldn't be good for his health. a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll that showed joe biden with a massive lead. we'll talk about that when we come back. >> yeah. a big post debate jump for him in the polls. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. you're watching "morning joe." we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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senator lindsey graham faced off against jamie harrison in a -- >> that was tough. did you see jamie brought his only plexiglas to protect himself from lindsey's germs? >> yeah. harrison came with his own plexiglas divider as an added safety measure. >> i would too. these republicans do not believe in the age of enlightenment,
they don't believe in science sow you have to protect yourself. >> graham's team declined to comment on their move. he chided harrison for having what he called a radical, liberal agenda and harrison came after him for his flip-flopping on whether a confirm a supreme court justice during an election year. >> listening to him reminds me of playing monopoly with my son. he changes the rules every time he gets. senator, you said use my words against me and you said it after the kavanaugh meetings not after. in your words, your promise was that no judicial nominee should be considered or approved or what have you in the last year of an election. my grandfather taught me, jamie, a man is only as good as his word. well, senator, how good is your word when you made a promise to the american people and even
more you made a promise to the folks in south carolina that you wouldn't be doing what you're doing right now. >> if an opening comes about, we'll see what the market will bear. ms. barrett will get confirmed because the president has the constitutional authority to do it and here's what i can say about the judges. when president obama was president i honored the fact that he was the president. i watched the democratic party try to destroy one judge after another. the president has every right to do this and if you're counting on mr. harrison to ever vote for a conservative judge you're making a mistake of high proportion. >> john heilemann, that was lindsey's highlight from the evening. this was one of the more one-sided debates, especially when lindsey talked about democrats being nuts and jamie said, wait, we have to come
together as a country. i was -- i was surprised by just how one-sided it was. >> yeah. it was pretty one-sided, joe. good morning. there was like kind of -- you can see that jamie harrison has been chomping at the bit to get into the -- on the debate stage. he has two more debates after this with lindsey graham and if the other two go the way this one went, he's in serious trouble. lindsey graham is in trouble to begin with. a race under any normal circumstances given the partisan alignments in south carolina should not have been close is not only close but harrison is ahead by most measures and has way more money right now in the closing days. it's become a national race in a lot of ways and you see in that debate and other settings graham freaking out over the way he's become -- his own race has become nationalized and he's found himself on the
disadvantaged end of the energy and of the money that is in that race in the closing days. you know, i still much -- i wouldn't want to bet a lot of money on the race but i don't think anyone would be surprised if harrison doesn't win. >> one poll after another shows it being an extremely close race. people who were influenced by that debate obviously would have broken the democratic candidate's way. we have been talking an awful lot, john, about the president's health condition. the lies that we have been told by the white house staff, the lies that we have been told by the doctors, why they're doing that to desperately trying to keep the president in the hospital because his condition may be worse than we're being told that doesn't happen in a vacuum. that's against the back drop of the polls showing the president's support plummeting after the debate that in a way
that even the nbc news/"wall street journal" pollsters were surprised by. rarely does one event cause such damage this late in the campaign. but the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll has biden 53% and has donald trump down to 39%. other polls even taken after the diagnosis not looking good for the president of the united states. may suggest one reason why he's so desperate to get out of the hospital. >> well, right, sure, joe. you know, you think about it, first of all, that poll, the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll with that big national spread, you have seen some polling in some of the battle ground states where it seems like a similar thing has happened. there was a poll in arizona and florida that showed that post debate that joe biden got a nice bump, i mean an unusually large bump from one debate. we already talked about why that debate is so bad for donald trump.
the president who has -- the core strategic objective of the president since this race has engaged has been to try to change the subject from covid-19. how do we make the race about other than the management/mismanagement of the virus. he must change the subject if he's going to have a chance to win, as long as joe biden keeps the race about covid-19 and the president's handling of it, and what does the president's own contraction of the illness what does it do? it makes covid-19 not just front and center but the inescapable issue in the closing days of the campaign. so this thing has a bunch of dimensions to it, but in terms of the pure politics of it it takes donald trump for some period of time. we don't know how long, we can spend some time on it. it's amazing as we sit here on monday how little we know because of how much misinformation, how many lies have been told. as we sit here today, we have --
i don't think anybody can say how sick the president is. and i don't think anyone can reasonably say when the president got infected and who -- and how many people the president was in contact with. since he's been infected. the major questions around his illness are still are not answered right now in my mind too and no one can give you a credible answer on that at this point. but not knowing that, all we know is that the president is off the campaign trail for some period of time. the next two debates are now in question, are they going to happen or not. and you now have four weeks to election day in which the central issue is the issue that joe biden wants the campaign to be about. donald trump is in worse -- he's been in trouble since covid-19 hit america, but he's in worse trouble today politically than he's ever been. i would say in the whole four years of his presidency thus far. >> wow. >> bob woodward, again, as a reporter with unique knowledge of donald trump's thought process over the past four years, talk about the impact
this would likely have on the president seeing these polls, seeing his numbers collapse since the debate. and in his hierarchy of values that he has in making decisions how will that likely drive his thinking over the next week? >> well, that's -- that's a great question. i agree with john heilemann there. we really do not know how sick he is and that is tragic and that's something that needs to be fixed. i want to go back to that moment, january 28th, when the president's national security adviser robert o'brien said to him, mr. president, the virus is going to be the biggest national security threat to your presidency. and then his deputy laid out the
details and this now is a national security issue. how -- what condition is he in? as you pointed out, i think extremely in a very potent way at the beginning. who can move him, what kind of information is being given to the public, what kind of information is being given to trump? does he know how sick he is? so it's really a perilous time. it's a health issue, but -- it's certainly as john points out a mammoth political issue, but it also is a national security issue. there's been a lot of discussion rightly about continuity of government. have they really thought this out, have they planned for this?
and if you have a presidency that is burdened with impulses that are not predictable by the president, how do you put some control over that? what are the rules of the game? so it's going to be a 24/7 ride on all of the anxieties that are possible in a country in this situation. >> the book is "rage." bob woodward thank you very much. joining us now from msnbc, the author of "red and blue" steve kornacki and insider great grace panetta and a professor at morgan state university, and an msnbc political contributor,
jason johnson. steve kornacki, i want to start with you. there are polls that came out since the debate. do we have any sense of public opinion since the president's diagnosis? >> since the diagnosis, no. i think what makes this even more complicated is that since the diagnosis there was polk that came out on friday, after the diagnosis, but before the hospitalization, then you have the hospitalization over the weekend, then you have the ride last night in the suv. i feel there's all sorts of different mile posts here that keep changing the kind of variables here. so i think right now what we have got here is especially through our nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, a look at where the electorate was right after the debate, right before the story of the president and his diagnosis took over everything. >> katty kay? >> steve, i don't know what the president's doing this morning but he has tweeted 18 times in
all caps in the past hour. i don't know if that is because he's feeling much better or he's got a lot of pent-up energy he needs to get out there and we know the dexamethasone makes you jumpy and hyper so maybe he's not sleeping very well. if you look at the collapse amongst seniors and suburban women, really that real drop in seniors support, is there anything do you think the president can do over the next four weeks of this campaign to try and claw back some of that support from seniors? >> yeah, it's tough to say because i think one of the realities here, we haven't seen margins this big in the 65-plus demographic, but before the coronavirus we were seeing slippage among voters over age 65. that's a certain school of thought out there that the coronavirus came along, it disproportionately affects the 65-plus and the facts haven't liked the president's handling
on it, therefore you see numbers like this. it's possible that the coronavirus and the president's handling of it is reinforcing some of the doubts that the senior citizen demographic had about the president. our nbc news/"wall street journal" poll last summer, i'm talking the summer of 2019 here, had joe biden running ahead of donald trump among senior citizens. i think there might be some more deeper, longer standing concerns here 65-plus voters have had with the president. but yeah, this is a group if you look at the exit polls in 2016 were for trump by a wide margin. to have biden leading by any margin that's a significant change. another one that jumps out at me, you talk about the white voters without a college degree. trump continues to lead that group in the poll and the lead is 14 points. that's more -- that's a reduction of more than half from where he finished in the 2016 campaign.
it's lead for trump but not near on the magnitude that he got in 2016. i look at the moment, here we are in early october. it looks when you look at the numbers early october in 2016 when the "access hollywood" tape hit and one thing that he was blessed with in 2016 was a very unpopular opponent in hillary clinton. i think the number that has to alarm the trump folks the most in the poll is the very simple question here of do you have a positive or a negative view of the candidates and biden is 43% positive and 41% negative. he's above water on that question. hillary clinton, even when she got ahead by wide margins in 2016 was double digits under water on that question. there may be a very basic baseline level difference in how voters think about the democratic candidate and how of they think of donald trump's opponent and that might be driving a lot of this.
>> you know, jonathan lemire we'll let you ask jason a question in a second. al the statewide poll, in florida, trump the up four and tied in ohio and "the new york times" siena poll, up four in arizona as well. and you look. sorry. five points, actually. five points post-debate in the state of florida. this is a state that just a week ago, jonathan, you and i were comparing notes, and it seemed that the trump campaign was getting ready to say good-bye to wisconsin and michigan but focus more on florida, feeling comfortable about florida and starting to feel comfortable about arizona, but at least in florida down by five points now post-debate. >> that's right, joe. this debate, you know, seems to have widespread effect and is reshuffling the map a bit here.
yes, the trump campaign was, predebate was feeling good about arizona, wisconsin might be slipping away and, therefore, felt like pennsylvania was the state where they were going to make their great push, the president was basically going to live there in the last month of this campaign. that would be the electoral college tipping state. now we are seeing the fall-off in the debate and soon we will see the fall-off from this diagnosis, though it may make this climb that much steeper for them particularly because they have a candidate who is sidelined, who can't raise money for a campaign that's facing a cash deficit to the biden camp and also, of course, can't be holding his signature rallies at least for the time being. jason, i wanted to go to you for a question here. it's my policy to never publicly agree with john halman, but he is right today in terms of the president and his campaign desperately trying to change the subject from the coronavirus. that has been what they have tried to do since march, to try to talk about anything else. that now seems, of course,
impossible. so the diagnosis here for the president, almost as someone put it to me, a microcosm of how he handled the pandemic for the nation, the recklessness, pushing the nation to open up before it was ready leading proops to infections, not touting mask-wearing, so on and so on. do you think here with this diagnosis normally american presidents, if they were sick or in coronavirus, a sympathy vote, might even gain some support. is there any chance that something like that could happen here for this president with so many people what happened to him was his own fault? >> yeah, jonathan, i don't think so at all. like americans, as a collective, americans are not necessarily the most forgiving people, right? we will tear you down and then bring you back up. but if americans think you're at fault, we are not going to be sympathetic.
this is not boris johnson. and i think -- i'll add this. not only do i think this will not be particularly helpful for donald trump. if you look at the recent nbc news/wall street journal poll you will see that he still gets high approval ratings on the economy. the second most important issue to people is covid. while the president tries to separate the economy from covid, the regular american people don't. they recognize that his failure to handle covid is the reason that our economy is struggling. and his inability to be responsible himself is a problem. so i'll add those two other things because i think this is going to happen tomorrow night. remember the covid czar is supposed to be mike pence. even through tomorrow's debate they are not going to be able to avoid the issue. i spent a little bit of time yesterday, mask on, with some of the people out in front of walter reed hospital, talked about how great the president was and everything like that. those people, as enthusiastic as they are, they are still the minority. the vast majority of americans in that area were walking around saying what are these people
doing, why are they out there, this is a superspreader event. people are not simple thetympat. he can't really change this narrative. >> all right. grace, i want your thoughts on this, and i guess to jason's point as well, americans don't like it when you make -- when you purposefully, forcefully make a mistake that causes a bigger problem. and in this case that superspreader event was clearly just unbelievable. even if you barely believe in the science here. but if you do believe in the science and your doctor has told you to wear a mask, to stay safe, looking at that video is hard to watch, how does it impact how people feel about how the republicans are handling the scotus nomination? >> it's absolutely disastrous on that front because, as jonathan was saying earlier, that event with amy coney barrett at the white house was meant to change the discourse away from
coronavirus. instead it massively backfired in the most incredible way. before that there was evidence that the supreme court was not going to be this huge coup for republicans. shortly after running mate running mate's death there came a bunch of polls that came out that showed by huge margins they wanted the winner of the presidential election to nominate the new justice. raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in the wake of her death. there was evidence this was not going to be a huge political winner for the president. with the event in the rose garden it completely backfired. firstly because it changed the conversation back to coronavirus, and on a logistical level, the ability of the senate judiciary committee to hold hearings. others are quarantining and isolating and congress does not have the proper procedures in place for regular testing and to keep the capitol as safe as possible. so it really was the most incredible backfire.
it showed how despite the president's efforts, covid is still the number one issue and everything comes back to this virus. >> all right. and the president is in the hospital. the attorney general was there. the vice president, everybody is in question at this point whether or not they are safe to be exposed to others. steve kornacki, jason johnson, grace pineta, thank you all for being on this morning. >> and john heilman, let's talk about the systemic collapse of an organized white house response this morning. we, of course, remember when ronald reagan was shot and al hague, unfortunately, rushing in, trying to assure the american people that he was in charge, but in fact very quickly the american people were told that things were in working order and the system worked. there was -- there were not a lot of questions after that. but here, as you have noted, we
have no idea how sick the president of the united states is. when he got covid. who else in positions of power he may have infected. the white house still rejecting, and it is insanity, rejecting the cdc contact tracing guidelines and, finally, a commander in chief who is at best high risk for having a battle with a disease that's killed over 200,000 americans and i believe over 1 million people worldwide. there is still not even discussion of a temporary transfer of power and explaining to the american people how that might happen. we had this happen twice with george w. bush even when went in for simple procedures. here we have the president of the united states in for more
grave medical danger and just given the nature of this disease, and there are no systems in place. there is nothing but donald trump apparently shouting at doctors and shouting at staff members and now tweeting in all caps. >> right. joe, i think it's fair to say the last four years we have had countless conversations in which we said that the president, that the core currency of the white house is credibility, and that the president was squandering that credibility day by day over the last four years with the promiscuous lies, misstatements. they lie about big things and small things, profound things and trivial things, things that matter, things that don't matter. there is going to come a crisis one day you need that credibility and the bank is going to be empty. and that is where we are now. the crisis here and the white house has no credibility to
start, and then what we've seen over these days, and i commend brother lamire, who has been out there on the front lines trying to get at the truth, but has met with, i would say, what looks from a slightly greater removed, like a systematic pattern of lies and obfuscation and stonewalling and cover-up, literally. i mean, i think it is crazy that we sit here on monday and we have -- there is no one in the public, even the people studying this most carefully and reporting on it most aggressively would can tell you how sick the president is who have been given any kind of like a walkthrough in any detail what has been shown in his ct scans, what any of his medical indicators are, what a timeline has been since he got to walter reed. we had the doctors come out on saturday and stay there was 72 hours since his diagnosis which would put us on wednesday. the white house and the doctor,
dr. conley, had to scramble and say we meant this was day three and gave an explanation trying to change what the doctor said that was totally incomprehensible. i find unpersuasive, we don't know when president trump got infected at this moment. we don't know how sick he is. as bob woodward said, these are matters that go to the core functioning and credibility of the united states government and not knowing those things, we are in a state of reasonably large not quite a constitutional crisis, but a crisis nonetheless, and the thing, last thing i'll say, the fact that you mentioned the cdc, the cdc has a contact tracing unit. they have been standing by since friday offering to go to the white house to start doing the contact tracing on the president, and the white house has not taken the cdc up on that offer. why? why do they not want the cdc there to do this contact tracing? i think because if they had the cdc inside they have to start telling the truth to the cdc
about when the president was infected or when they think he got infected and who all he has been in contact with and they recognize if they have that conversation they are going to have some serious explaining to do because the reality is not going to line up with the stories they have told us. that is where we are on this monday. i think it is super troubling for the country beyond all the politics. >> john, that is a great point. this white house certainly cannot afford for the truth to be found out certainly before the election on what's happened, when the president got covid. they can't allow the cdc in their own administration to go in and do what would be done anywhere else in america and have contact tracing because the results would be damning and devastating to the president. i want to say katty kay brought up the president's tweets. one side effect of the president getting covid, one positive side effect has been his grammar is
far better. his writing far more fluid. an ability to actually string together, i think, effective sentences with correct punctuation. here's one. if you want a massive tax increase, the biggest in the history of our country and one that will shut down our economy and jobs, vote democrat. here's another. virginia voters, your governor wants to obliterate your second amendment. i have stopped him. i am the only thing between you and your second amendment. working hard in virginia, it's in play. better sproet fvote for your fa president, or wave good-bye to taxes and gun rights, and then a series of all caps, pro-life, vote, space force, vote, and one of the richest and most ironic for a president who has been trying to eliminate pre-existing
conditions his entire presidency, and in fact at the supreme court trying to to that along with republican attorney generals across the united states of america, he says protect pre-existing conditions, vote. this would suggest, unfortunately for the president, a negative side effect from the medication he is using because he is unknowingly asking americans to support joe biden's candidacy for president. that is, again, a sad thing, and we do -- john's right. we need a white house that is going to start telling us the truth. i know they have been incapable of doing that the past four years, but they actually do need to listen to bob woodward. this is not just a medical crisis. this is not just a political crisis. this is a national security crisis. >> john heilman, thank you very
much. to john's point about the administration remaining coy with information, here is the white house press secretary last night. >> yeah, i am not going to give you a detailed read out every time the president is tested. he is tested regularly and the first positive test he received was after his burn from bedminster. again, not giving a detailed read-out of his testing but safe to say his first positive test was upon return or at least after bedminster, that trip. thank you guys very much. >> and that is how forthcoming the white house has been with information regarding the president's covid-19 testing. we have no idea when he actually tested positive. good morning and welcome to "morning joe." it is monday, october 5th. with us we have white house reporter for "the associated press" jonathan lamire, nbc news
capitol hill correspondent and host of way too early kasie hunt, former white house advisor for health policy and vice provost for global initiatives at the university of pennsylvania dr. ezekiel emanuel, he is a nbc news and msnbc senior medical contributor, and dr. van gupta, a pulmonologist and nbc news medical contributor. good to have you onboard. the white house continues to provide limited and oftentimes contradictory information about president trump's health. we learned yesterday that the president has been given dexamethasone, a steroid, used to treat severely ill covid-19 patients. some health experts argue that's a red flag right there because while the drug can reduce the risk of death for critically ill patients, it can cause harm to those with less severe symptoms. dexamethasone is the third drug
the president has taken since being hospitalized on friday. he's also taken the antiviral drug remdesivir and an experimental antibody cocktail by regeneron. white house physician sean conley said yesterday that the president has experienced two episodes where his oxygen saturation levels dipped. one of those instances was on friday when the president was running a fever and was given supplemental oxygen. speaking to reporters on saturday, dr. conley repeatedly evaded questions about the president receiving oxygen. yesterday he tried to clear the matter up. >> has he ever been on supplemental oxygen? >> he right now he is not on oxygen. >> i know you keep saying right now. should we read into -- >> he was not on orange county. >> reporter: he has not been on it during his covid-19 treatment in. >>? >> he is not on oxygen now. >> the president has experienced
two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation. thursday night into friday morning when i left the bedside the president was doing well with only mild symptoms and his oxygen was in the high 90s. late friday morning when i returned to the bedside the president had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94%. yesterday there is another episode where he dropped down about 93%. t 93%. >> that's a good question. >> reporter: thank you. >> i was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, that his course of illness has had. i didn't want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction, and in doing so, you know, it came off that we were
trying to hide something, which wasn't necessarily true, and so here you have it. he is -- the fact of the matter is that he is doing really well. >> dr. conley went on to say that the president could be discharged from the hospital as early as today if his condition -- >> jonathan lamire, you have been on ground zero of this story from the beginning and have been out at walter reed. we have been talking a good bit this weekend trying to sort through, as has all your reporters have been doing, trying to sort through exactly what's been going on. what we know monday morning is this. the white house lied repeatedly about the president's condition on friday. the white house doctors lied repeatedly about the president's condition on saturday. the white house doctors admitted on sunday, in fact, that they had lied about the president's condition on saturday, and i
think there was this suggestion that they did so, so not to upset their patient, which is their primary concern. but then even yesterday, on sunday, the number of incomplete answers, hedges regarding how well his oxygen level went, how often, you know, was it in the 80s, how about the lung scans, what are these tests revealing, do we have any assurance at all that anything these doctors are telling us about the president's condition is truthful? >> let's say this right upfront, joe. this is a national security threat and the white house has a credibility crisis. there has been mixed messaging and non-answers and outright lies since friday when the president was taken on marine one from the white house to
walter reed medical center. i was there, as you said, on saturday when we pressed the doctors about whether or not the president had ever received supplemental oxygen. he dodged. he evaded. he was cagey, dr. conley. almost cute in his answers, suggesting he is not on it now or, no, he wasn't on it yesterday or hasn't been on oxygen since this team was assembled. hours later, indeed, revealing he had received supplemental oxygen at the white house on friday before he was transported because oxygen s oxygen saturation dipped. he is now on this powerful steroid which is usually reserved for critical covid cases and also used in tandem with oxygen. yet we are not getting straight answers in terms of exactly when the president may have received another dose of oxygen. compounding the confusion, after that briefing on saturday given
by the doctors, within an hour chief of staff mark meadows provided an entirely different accounting of the condition of the president painting it a sober assessment, revealing that the president had been in tougher spot friday morning. yesterday we also saw again though some more information was presented, other questions were dodged. the doctor did not get into where the president had a lung scan. the doctor evaded questions about what other treatments he may be receiving. he offered a very rosy timetable suggesting that president trump could, could go home as early as today, which flies in the face of what we have been told earlier over the weekend that he was on a five-day treatment of remdesivir and that it was highly unlikely he would leave before then. so right now the morning after the president got into a motorcade and did a brief tour
of supporters outside walter reed medical center when he stepped into an suv with secret service agents who had to be clothed head to toe in protective gear wearing face shields and masks so the president could see his supporters, the president putting them in danger in close space, a covid-19 patient with these agents who are sworn to protect him. america wakes up monday morning still not really knowing how the president of the united states is doing. right now not believing that they can trust everything that the white house and the doctors are saying. >> you look at these pictures and here is the president of the united states who, if the information we are being given is even partially correct, is suffering from covid, is red hot as far as being infected and passing it around to other people. >> contagious. >> and he is going out with a condition that nobody else in
america has ever been allowed to go out in. in fact, too many americans have not been able to say good-bye to their mothers or their fathers, their grandparents, their loved ones because they had to die alone because this disease is so infectious. so you look at those pictures and it really, it shocks the conscience that this has happened. and as a walter reed doctor said, it was absolutely staggering that this was allowed. for the presidential suv, not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack, the risk of covid transmission inside of it is high. as it gets outside of medical procedures, this is dr. james p. phillips, a doctor at walter reed. and he goes on, the irresponsibility is astounding. my thoughts are with the secret service forced to play.
every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary presidential drive-by just now the doctor goes on has to be quarantined for 14 days. they might not get sick -- they might get sick. they may die. for political theater commanded by the president to put their lives at risk for theater. this is insanity. >> and, joe, quickly, he is right, obviously, but this is the way the white house has operated. and that is why, at the cleveland clinic advised debate, the family of the president did not wear a mask when they were asked to wear masks, they declined. the president on stage made fun of masking. you go back to the scotus superspreader event where so many members of the president's close inner circle and some senators are now infected because they did not follow cdc guidelines. this is not surprising.
at the same time, it's an implosion potentially of the presidency of the united states. >> not just that. it's actually a national security challenge and it is a security challenge not only for the executive branch, but now spreading into the legislative branch all because of the rejection of things that we learned 300 years ago in the age of enlightenment, the age of reason, the trusting of medicine, the trusting of science, the trusting of carefully gathered facts through hundreds of years of, again, medicine and science and learning, and instead denialism. denialism of the -- the rejection of basic facts and concepts that make up undisputed
conclusions about the things that have been mocked, the wearing of masks. the rommis that promise it was magically go away. the rejection of dr. fauci's begging people to socially distance. the promise that it would not come back in the fall. the promise of miracle cures. all of these things. you know, we are looking at the president here, but an entire party, unfortunately, has followed the president down this path. why are we talking about it right now? because this drive, this one drive really neatly encapsulates the recklessness and denialism and the anti-medicine position that this president and his party have embraced, h 200,000 people have died. >> we will pick it up with dr. emanuel and vin gupta.
their expert takes on what the president is facing right now next on "morning joe." i'm a conservative, want conservative judges on the court. this may make you feel better, but i really don't care. if an opening comes in the last year of president trump's term and the primary process has started we'll wait to the next election. i want you to use my words against me. you're on the record. yeah, hold the tape. lindsey must go and the lincoln project are responsible for the content of this ad. knowinit's hard.re is hard. eliminate who you are not first, and you're going to find yourself where you need to be. ♪ the race is never over. the journey has no port. the adventure never ends,
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you know, we have been talking about the conflicting and elusive information that we have been getting from the white house about the president's condition. dr. zeke emanuel, it's hard to believe anything that the administration is saying right now. >> joe, you're right. and what we are left with is reading between the lines and looking at what they have done and looking what they have said and haven't said. the first thing i would concur is, from friday morning on, they have deceived the american public. they said he was resting comfortably, when he had a fever, was fatigued, and probably short of breath at some point on friday. they were saying everything was
good, his oxygen levels went down and they started him on supplemental oxygen. so we have been deceived right from the start, and i would note and just add one point. he was, dr. conley was asked specifically yesterday about the lung scan, and he did not say it was normal, which makes us conclude that it wasn't normal. it was what you expect in a covid patient, what you expect in a covid patient is a lot of infiltrates that are suggestive of inflammation and infection in the lung. i presume, and here is just a presumption, i haven't examined the president, haven't seen all the data, that's what induced them to start the dexamethasone, and that, i think, either he was much more severely ill than they are suggesting to start the dexamethasone, or they have gone against what the literature has suggested is the proper use of dexamethasone. the other thing i would say is they said he doesn't have a
fever, but again it's hard to know because they might have given him medications to reduce the fever like tylenol, the dexamethasone itself reduces fever. so it's very hard to give a full picture at all on which to make judgments. the one thing we do know is he has been infectious. he probably now is still infectious. he put all of those campaign people, the donors on thursday at risk, and there was good indication they knew something was wrong, that he had symptoms before. totally, totally irresponsible. i think insanity that dr. phillips mentioned , a person i know very, very well, is the right word. this is just unbelievable. we are at a loss for words for the behavior that is going on. >> dr. gupta, again if we are to assume that the doctors are at least telling the truth about what medicine he is on, the
doctors i have been speaking to all weekend have said they've never heard of a patient in the age of covid being given all of these steroids and all of these treatments at the same time, and the doctors that i've spoken to said that if they were in the president's position, they would be very concerned because they believe it may even be too much treatment, that they are throwing too much at the president at the same time. what's your read about the medication that the doctors claim the president is taking? >> thanks, good morning, joe, and just to amplify everything that dr. emanuel, couldn't agree more. having just been in the covid icu this past weekend, so this is near and dear. there is a few things going on here. very clearly as dr. emanuel
said, a lung scan, so a picture of the lungs usually a really high-resolution one like a c.a.t. scan, if that was done, it stands to reason they would comment on that. what they would say, if they were leveling with the american people, is that it showed clear signs of a pneumonia n this case a covid-19-like pneumonia, so it behaves differently than a bacterial pneumonia like a strep toe caucus. in terms of treatment he is legitimately ill. he looked arschin faced, didn't like himself when he had the video from walter reed. in my view, he was struggling. either his oxygen levels are low enough to warrant things like dexamethasone, remdesivir, and this experimental infusion therapy, or they are not and the doctors are, to your point, joe, pursuing unevidence-based
medicine. i would say that the tries of regeneron therapy instead of the president's favorite therapy convalescent plasma. for example, there is much more data on a higher concentration of convalescent plasma than the regeneron experimental infusion therapy which is not fda approved, study done in less than 300 individuals. what is happens is not what happens in icus or hospitals across the country when patients have covid-19 tsunami. pneumonia. it seems like that's what the president has. >> coming up, one of the senators who may soon decide the fate of supreme court nominee amy coney barrett. a member of the judiciary committee, democrat sheldon whitehouse joins us with the latest documents on that front straight ahead on "morning joe." "
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hope hicks tested positive on thursday. rnc chair monday ronna mcdaniel tested positive on wednesday. kellyanne conway, who attended amy coney barrett's nomination ceremony at the white house and was part of the president's debate prep team, announced on friday she had tested positive. former new jersey governor chris christie, who is also involved in the president's debate prep and attended barrett's nomination event, tested positive on saturday and checked himself into a hospital. trump's campaign manager bill stepien also announced on saturday that he tested positive. two republican senators who attended barrett's nomination event at the white house, senators thom tillis and mike lee, tested positive, both serve on the senate judiciary committee. a third gop senator, ron johnson, also tested positive, though he was not at the barrett
event. and nick luna, the president's personal aid and so-called body man tested positive as well for coronavirus. and nbc news can confirm that roughly three weeks ago two white house resident staff members tested positive for the coronavirus. more than at least seven people who attended the white house ceremony nominating judge amy coney barrett to replace the late justice ruth bader ginsberg have been infected with the coronavirus. the event took place just over a week ago on september 26th. six people who later tested positive, including first lady melania trump, sat in the first rows during the rose garden ceremony. as you can see, few people wore masks and practiced social distancing at the outdoor event with closed conversations and photo ops, even hugs happening. the indoor event at the white
house diplomatic room was even more striking for the lack of masks and social distancing. photos from "the new york times" show republican senator thom tillis, who, as we said, later tested positive, standing near barrett, the first ladyers and president trump, both also tested positive, not wearing masks here. in this photo the president and several white house officials all lined up before one of the barrett's daughters, again no masks. attorney general william barr and heal and human services secretary alex azar also without masks before judge barrett. gop senator thom tillis sat elbow to elbow with barrett's young son, both without masks. and republican senator mike lee of utah up close with judge barrett, again he tested positive. and we'll talk more about how those positive cases on capitol hill could impact the fight over
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♪ welcome back to "morning joe." now to world reaction to the president's covid diagnosis. joining us from moscow nbc news senior international correspondent keir simmons. and, keir, you say that it is no exaggeration to say that the world is transfixed by president trump's health? >> reporter: yeah, no question. it's making headlines around the world. events like this with the u.s. president always do. and that's a very important thing. you have got to imagine, mika, within the nsc they are beginning to talk about what to do, what messaging to send should the president's health deteriorate because, as you know, leaders around the world
are sending warm messages but making careful calculations. there is no one more calculating than vladimir putin, the president of russia here. he sent a message to president trump almost immediately saying your inherent vitality, good spirits and optimism will help you cope. but in his actions he has demonstrated he knows that good spirits and optimism don't protect you from the coronavirus. so vladimir putin has had people most of his visitors quarantine for two weeks before seeing him. he's established a disinfectant tunnel for people who see him, meetings he has held with his cabinet, he has held them remotely, on camera. so vladimir putin, others like china's leader president xi, will are watching and thinking about what to do. interestingly, mika, president xi did not send a message of goodwill for 24 hours, and the
chinese state-run newspaper saying that president trump paid the price for playing down the pandemic. so china, you've got to think in the south china sea, in the eastern mediterranean where president erdogan has been playing games, if you like, these places, america needs to watch them even while all eyes are fixed on the american president and his health. >> interesting. so, of course, a message from russian president vladimir putin to donald trump, but of course vladimir putin, as keir said, is hermetically sealed off from anybody that might infect him, lives very differently than this president has and this white house has conducted themself, which has now led the u.s. government, the u.s. presidency into a covid implosion. do you have a question for keir?
>> yeah, i mean, amazing, isn't it? russia has had its own problems with covid-19. it's not like they have been off scot-free. president putin taking every pain to keep himself protected. you kind of wonder what they have made in the kremlin watching what's happening here in the white house, all these events where the president turns up and he is close to people and nobody is wearing a mask and there is no social distancing and people are not walking through disinfected tunnels. i wonder what they make of that in the kremlin where they have been watching america for the last few weeks and watching the president at these events and rallies. it's so different from what president putin has been doing. >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. you're right. russia has its own huge problems. here in moscow they have just started another partial lockdown. 30% of people working in offices are being asked to no longer go to their offices. the schools have been closed for two weeks. but then there is that contrast
at the top of the government here. we have said it again and again, and everyone knows it well. in the end, russia sees its interest in seeing chaos in america because it wants to see sanctions lifted, it wants to undermine american power. and so the cold cal cuelaticula this potentially in their interest. of course, again, governments around the world are struggling to calculate just as everybody is what's going to happen in a month's time and we will be trying to figure out whether the best interests will be a president trump or a president biden. so it's not straightforward for anyone, but i certainly think here in moscow they will be, while sending warm wishes, watching with, well, you know, just watching with interest. >> nbc's keir simmons live for
us from moscow. thank you so much. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell announced the senate will not meet as planned this week after three senators tested positive for the virus, but indicated that republicans would still push to confirm judge amy coney barrett to the supreme court without delay. in a statement he said, quote, the senate's floor schedule will not interrupt the thorough, fair, and historically supported confirmation process previously laid out. the announcement comes after three republican senators, two of whom sit on the judiciary committee, tested positive for the coronavirus since friday. joining us now, democratic member of the judiciary committee, senator sheldon whitehouse of rhode island. senator, thank you for joining us. first of all, just is it physically possible for senators to show up and conduct this process with three with covid and potentially more?
i just want to know if cdc guidelines and actual safety is adhered to. is the process possible? >> well, if you add here to the cdc guidelines you can't have two senators in the room while they are in quarantine. and we don't know whether they have spread it already to to l colleagues. the republican senators have not been very got at following the protocols. we have three of the five eldest senators in the senate in the room and we have a rule that you can't vote yes on a nomination or a matter and be the dispositive vote remotely. you have to be in the room. so it's really going to put them to the test. >> all right. and jonathan lemire, jump in right now. i know you have got some new reporting on president trump potentially leaving the hospital and then you can take it to the senator. >> thanks, mika. chief of staff mark meadows, who we have mentioned quite a few times this morning, is telling
reporters that they are optimistic, his words, optimistic that president trump will be discharged from the hospital today, that he would leave walter reed medical center and return to the white house at some point today. timing is not certain. certainly, the chief of staff is not guaranteed it. but he said it's heading that direction, which is certainly contrary to what the medical advice we heard from the experts earlier on the show. also the timeline that administration officials had laid out just a day or so ago and certainly it's going to raise scrutiny as to whether his discharge might be premature and if the president is pressuring the doctor to let him go. senator, let me ask you about this potential confirmation hearing. you said, you outlined what the rules say now, but is it possible that senate majority leader mcconnell could change the rules to allow voting to happen differently, and if, you know, if he proceeds the pace
here, what are some things the democrats could do, certainly voiced objections to this entire process, to slow things down? senator schumer was asking everyone to be tested. are there other measures you as democrats have to impede what's going on? >> well, there are sensible public safety measures we should be demanding require respective whether it slows things down. that's part of running a responsible senate. we have to be careful. as you point out, mitch mcconnell is very eager to get this done. the powerful forces that fund the republican party that have funded the process for getting the supreme court nominees on, they see this as a really kind of almost once-in-a-lifetime chance and there is virtually nothing that mitch mcconnell won't do for them under their pressure to cram this nominee on to the supreme court. so i think the amount of guile and procedure mischief that mcconnell will get up to is
without limit. you have to understand the pressure behind this. >> all right. katty kay, jump in. >> senator, just to pick up on that, what you seem to be saying is that mitch mcconnell is going to make this happen, right? i mean, that he is not going to accept that this gets delayed. actually, if you look at the time frame, i guess it could go to committee. i know there is talk about the two members infected perhaps watching from a gallery or participating from some kind of gallery so they are separated from the others. he could technically get this through, couldn't he? and he is not going to not get it through. >> they could set up icu-type tents in the committee room. as i said, the pressure to get this done from the forces who have been orchestrating this for years now is absolutely immense and they are going to be at grave, grave, you know, it's going to be really, really tough for anybody in the republican party to say no.
now, you have lamborghini in a fight for his life -- lindsey graham in a fight for his life. he would rather win his election than go down at the ballot because he was in washington and not home campaigning. there are a few things that could go awry a little bit. but never underestimate the pressure of those big donor interests that we reported on in the senate that are behind this scheme. >> all right. member of the senate judiciary committee sheldon whitehouse, thank you very, very much. and coming up, a look at the role walter reed medical center has played in the illnesses of several former u.s. presidents. historian michael berb lav joins us next. "morning joe" is back in just a moment. us next. "morning joe" is back in just a moment
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(grandma vo) you'll be safe, right? (daughter vo) yes! (four girls vo) the polls! voted! (grandma vo) go out and vote! it's so important! (man at poll vo) woo! (grandma vo) it's the most important thing you can do! the president underwent something called a c.a.t. scan. that's a very complete, a thorough x-ray and it indicated there is no cancer in the bowel area or any of the organs that might be involved including the liver. vice president bush has returned from his summer home in maine to washington. he's in his residence there and andrea mitchell has learned that president reagan has signed an informal letter transferring his authority to vice president bush. this is not part of the formal transfer of power that would take place under the 25th amendment to the constitution. it is part, however, of
something called the national command authority. that is a regular procedure that goes into effect when the president may be incapacitated in case he has to make a military decision of one kind or another. >> wow. joining us now, author and nbc news presidential historian michael beschloss. also with us, best-selling author and msnbc political analyst jonathan alter. he's out with a new presidential biography entitled "his very best -- jimmy carter, a life." and i can't wait to talk about that. let's start with you, michael beschloss. we saw in that clip, we saw it again during the bush 43 administration actually order when it comes to presidential succession. even temporary presidential succession. we're seeing absolutely nothing here like that. we shouldn't expect to. we've seen a lot of lies. now we're hearing them say trump may go back to the white house today. >> well, it's the opposite of what we saw with george w. bush.
by the way, i'm having a wonderful time reading john's new book on the underestimated jimmy carter. i'll take a couple of minutes now away from the book, but, joe, that's exactly right. george w. bush did this in a grown-up, wise way. two colonoscopies, 2002, 2007. he signed formal letters saying i'm going under anesthesia. i want to cede my power to dick cheney while i'm not available and take it back afterwards. that's what the 25th amendment was designed to do. instead you've got mike pence traveling all over the place, appearing in a vice presidential debate wednesday night. for instance, if i could ask the question, why are we having a vice presidential debate with the two candidates in the same room with their same studio where their entourages and guests after everything we've learned this week? why can't it be done virtually? that's what was done in the third kennedy/nixon debate with much more primitive technology in 1960. >> it seems just absolutely
insane. just sheer idiocy. supreme idiocy. mika, this has happened before. >> two other times presidents have stayed at walter reed. president lyndon johnson invited cameras into his hospital room after undergoing a gallbladder operation in 1965. in the middle of the watergate scandal, richard nixon was treated at the hospital for viral pneumonia in july of 1973. >> michael beschloss, again, though, there was even more openness in those instances and also again with reagan in '85 than there has been here. again, we're guessing. the doctors have admitted that they've been lying to us for the last two or three days. >> right. and you have to take a look at history. the lesson from everything that's happened with presidents and medical problems over the last 200 years is, have your doctors and your staff tell the absolute truth to the public. do it because it's their
obligation as people who work for all of us americans but also do it because it's best for the president. if you lie, it leads to ugly rumors about how severe the illness really is that's being covered up perhaps and the other thing is the presidents get better medical care when their people are being honest with the public. >> jonathan alter, we are a very, very long way from the president who got elected by saying, i will never tell a lie. >> right. and he did not. and i think his honesty, his purpose, that is a great example and inspiration to us in this time when we're like a spacecraft that is re-entering the earth's atmosphere and lighting it on fire and you're hoping it will touch down safely in the ocean in november. but we don't know.
so just to give you a health example. in 1978, jimmy carter found that he was suffering from very painful hemorrhoids. and he had to miss a couple of days of work. and the white house wanted to put out a statement saying the president is indisposed, or a vague statement, and carter said, no, this will rattle markets. it will cause problems internationally. you must be totally honest about what my problem is, even though it's embarrassing to me. the presidency needs honesty. so they said he was suffering from hemorrhoids. >> so you know, jonathan, mika and i may be a little impartial here, especially you look at the pictures of dr. brzezinski and you can probably guess why. but it seems to me just finishing my story on harry truman and the truman doctrine that it's one of the great
ironies of modern american history, postwar history that three of the most effective presidents were only elected one time. harry truman, jimmy carter and george h.w. bush in '88. you look at jimmy carter a record on the opening to china. look at what jimmy carter did with the camp david accords. that ended a generation of war between arab and israeli states on the ground, and we haven't had a ground war between those two since. the further we get away from jimmy carter's presidency, the more impactful and historical it becomes. >> absolutely. and, you know, just to take one of the things that mika's father was involved in, china. recognizing china. jimmy carter and tsao ping established the most bilateral
relationship at that time. they had a gdp of sub-saharan africa. now the global economy is basically established because we normalized relations with china. and that may be carter's most lasting accomplishment. you mentioned camp david, very significant in stopping the bloodshed. and the panama canal treaty. prevented a huge war in central america. the chief of staff said they would have had to spend over 100,000 troops to be there in perpetuity with kind of a vietnam in our own backyard if carter had not managed against great odds to get that through. and then the one that i think he will probably be most remembered
for is his cuba policy, which was hypocritical in certain respects, and it saet for the first time a global standard for how governments should treat their people. and it helped kick off the democratic revolution around the world which even though we now have some authoritarian in several countries, we're still way better off and, of course, his successors all picked up on his standing up for the american values with that human rights policy. but this guy led a novelistic life, and beyond his presidency, it's an american epic. and so what i tried to do in this book is take him from being a barefoot -- no electricity to amazing love letters to his wife, and then all the way, you know, through the jim crow