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Meet The Press Broadcast (Full) - April 5th, 2020 | Meet The Press | NBC News

Meet The Press Broadcast (Full) - April 5th, 2020 | Meet The Press | NBC News
this Sunday why weren't we ready this is going to get worse before it gets better for sure the government's sobering coronavirus projection hundreds of thousands of Americans dead under a best-case scenario this would be probably the toughest week between this week in next week cases a death soaring fastest in the US as guidelines are ignored I can tell by the curves and as it is today that not every American is following it should there be a national stay-at-home order I don't
meet the press broadcast full   april 5th 2020 meet the press nbc news
understand why that's not happening health care workers overwhelmed this is too much and states competing with each other for scarce equipment it's just a madhouse out there it's like being on eBay with 50 other states bidding on a ventilator my guest this morning Surgeon General Jerome Adams governors jay Inslee of Washington and ASA Hutchinson of Arkansas prime minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy and author Michael Lewis plus the next crisis what happens when kovin 19 hits rural
hospitals that lack doctors bed and ventilators and finally scenes like this the moments of love selflessness and heroism that are keeping our spirits up in the face of a once-in-a-century challenge joining me for insight and analysis are NBC

News

Capitol Hill correspondent Casey hunt former Republican governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory and Helene Cooper Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times welcome to Sunday and a special edition of

Meet

the

Press

from NBC

News

in Washington the
longest-running show in television history this is a special edition of

Meet

the

Press

with Chuck Todd good Sunday morning the week began with two national reckonings on the coronavirus the first is where we're headed as of this morning there are more than 300,000 confirmed cases in the United States and well over eight thousand deaths the federal government is now acknowledging that in a best-case scenario somewhere between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans are likely to die from this virus one
point of comparison that's more Americans than died fighting in Korea and Vietnam combined as you can see the United States that's the soaring red line in this graphic here trails the world in flattening the pandemics curve perhaps the single most critical goal of all which brings us to the second reckoning the government's performance like president Trump insisting for weeks that the corona virus was no worse than the flu like the lack of testing the big one starting with the
botched CDC test kits like the government's inadequate stockpile of ventilators gowns and other personal protective equipment like the mixed messaging on face masks the CDC recommending them the president refusing to wear one like disbanding the National Security Council's pandemic team in 2018 there are so many more including one we're all responsible for the failure to follow safety guidelines remember those sobering death toll numbers hold only if everyone practices social
distancing and as we learned last week that isn't happening everywhere still the bottom line is the government has been telling us it's been in control of the virus when in fact it is the virus which has been in control of us in New York and around the country we are a small rural hospital we have no ventilators medical providers first responders and state officials are pleading with the federal government for more help every state is saying the same thing I need help I need assistance
but this week the Trump administration repeatedly sent governor's the message don't look to us first the notion of the federal stockpile was it supposed to be our stockpile it's not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use by Friday the HHS website describing the national stockpile had been altered from saying it had enough applies to respond to multiple large-scale emergency simultaneously to reading its role is to supplement state and local supplies as a short-term buffer
I don't know if Jared Kushner knows this but it's called the United States of America and the federal government which has a stockpile is supposed to be back stopping the states nine governors are still declining to enact stay at home orders and mr. Trump is refusing to direct them to do so despite recommendations from his own public health officials I just don't understand why we're not doing that we really shouldn't be the government's advice is changed over time
Americans were told not to wear masks now the CDC is recommending they wear non surgical masks or face coverings in public on Friday the president immediately made it clear he is not going to follow that guidance you can do it you don't have to do it I'm choosing not to do it Americans were told only older people are those with compromised immune systems were at risk in fact 21 percent of deaths and nearly half of patients admitted to the ICU have been Americans under 65 according to
early CDC data Americans were told testing was widely available anybody that needs a desk gets a test suite they're there even now there have been just 1.6 million tests conducted nationwide a fraction of what experts say is needed in fact for months the president played down the virus misrepresenting the facts it's one person coming in from China and we have it under control it looks like by

April

you know in theory when it gets a little warmer miraculously goes away this week he
reversed course on his rosy projections acknowledging the u.s. death toll could be staggering while attempting to claim 100,000 his is according to modeling a very low number on the show hundreds of thousands of people are going today you know what I want to do I want to come way under the model the professionals did the models I was never involved in a model but this kind of a model and joining me now is the US Surgeon General its Vice Admiral Jerome Adams Admiral Adams welcome to

Meet

the

Press

and let me start with you're the Surgeon General give us your recommendation on face masks well it's important for America to understand that originally the CDC the World Health Organization in my office all recommended against the public wearing face masks because the best available evidence at the time suggested that they were not impactful in preventing you from catching a disease if you were the individual where and you were healthy we always recommended that if people had
symptoms that they wear a face mask to prevent spreading disease to other folks here's what's changed we now know that about 25% in some studies even more of covin 19 is transmitted when you are a symptomatic or pre-symptomatic and so the CDC is now recommended that people wear cloth face coverings when they're going to be out in public and they can't be more than 6 feet away from each other but here are the important points really quickly number one you need to make sure
you're not substituting social distancing with face masks because the most important thing is still to stay away from people make sure if you put on a face mask you don't touch your face and you don't and you wash your hands before you utilize it and number three say that the medical mask for the healthcare healthcare workers excuse me they need them they absolutely need them to be able to respond I have a video out where I made a cloth face mask out of teeth yeah and rubber bands
anyone can do this we all need to do our part to get through this I'm curious I know you made the warning you're saying you're specifically you don't want people to make a run on clinical or surgical masks two questions I have on that front number one if you are caring for somebody in the vulnerable age group should that person be wearing a clinic a surgical mask and second if there were enough around the country would that be the recommendation and is it the only reason
we're saying do homemade ones is we just don't have enough masks well the reason why we're saying make a homemade one is because that's effective in protecting you from me remember I'm wearing a mask to protect you Chuck and you're wearing a mask to protect me that is what you need we we want to make sure we're saving the medical mask for the healthcare workers and we still would recommend that people wear and in 95 vena even if we had enough when I'm in the
hospital I have to get specially fit-tested to wear it in 95 they're uncomfortable and you can frequently touch your face if you're taking care of a loved one who is either older or has medical conditions very important you wash your hands frequently you you do everything possible to prevent spreading disease to them and I would encourage folks to consider wearing a cloth face covering when you're within six feet of that person so that your droplets aren't going to them and
you're not potentially spreading disease the president made it pretty clear he's not going to wear one would you recommend people wearing one at work that's that again so here's what you have to know if you go to the CDC website it says number one this is voluntary we're asking people to think about doing it to protect their neighbors in their family but number two it's not a substitute for social distancing if you're at work and you're 6 feet away from someone
there is a minimal chance that you're going to spread disease if you're in a work environment where you're within six feet where you're really close to someone that's definitely something to consider and again that's what the CDC guidelines actually say they're based on the science we always try to evolve our recommendations based on the best available science Admiral I know you're not you're hesitant to backseat Drive other officials and the calls that they
have to make and I'm very aware of that but I am curious if you were advising the nine governor's who have not issued stay at home orders what would you advise them to do well I would have got advise them to follow our 30 days to slow the spread guidelines I ran a state department of health I've talked to many of these governors and we here's what I say to them here's what I would say to them right now the next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment it's going to be
our 9/11 moment it's going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives and we really need to understand that if we want to flatten that curve and get through that to the other side everyone needs to do their part 90% of Americans are doing their part even in the states where where where they haven't had a shelter in place but if you can't give us 32 governors give us give us a week give us what you can so that we don't overwhelm our healthcare systems over
this next week and then let's reassess at that point we want everyone to add a min I'm going to be rosie the riveter you've got to do your part Adam it sounds like at a minimum you wish every governor would issue at least one week I wish every governor would encourage the people in their states to follow these guidelines for 30 days that's what I want but I want them to do what they can within their states we know that from a public health perspective and I ran a public health
department whether it's smoking or opioids there are all sorts of different rules and regulations in different states now you remember of just last week which was forever ago in corona time governor cuomo actually actually said it would be declaring war honest on the states to issue a federal quarantine governors are rightly protective of their ability to determine what's best for their citizens we want them to have the science to make the best recommendations I want to put up a quote
from Amy Acton she is the director of public health in Ohio she said this on March 13th and Admiral it has been haunting me ever since and she this is what she said on the front end of a pandemic you look a little bit like an alarmist you look a little bit like a Chicken Little the sky is falling and on the back end of a pandemic you didn't do enough are those words that we should all be living by which is you may be hesitant right now if you're a leader about debating health versus the
meet the press broadcast full   april 5th 2020 meet the press nbc news
economy hindsight you're gonna wish she had done more 20 years in public health and I know director Acton those words couldn't be truer we are always telling people we would rather prevent disease than treat disease I tell people we aren't going to treat or supply our way out of this problem there is no magic bullet or magic sure it's good old-fashioned public health and prevention everyone coming together practicing good hygiene staying at home doing the things that we've
always told people to do to prevent spread of infectious disease when are we going to have a website like was advertised a couple weeks ago where we can get a test where we can find out about these antibodies because it seems clear we're never reopening this economy

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y until we're able to GPS this virus where are we in testing sir 1.6 million tests and you mentioned that that's about one in 200 Americans that's where South Korea was with their initial testing search we're
seeing testing ramped up particularly with the Abbott rapid tests and we know that it's never enough tests fast enough but I feel confident that within the next two to four weeks we're gonna be where we want to be to be able to do adequate surveillance and understand where the disease is where where it's high and low and where and and to have appropriate Public Health recommendations but what is reopening look like we want to make sure we're seeing cases go down for a good one to
two weeks in places we want to make sure we've got testing but we want to make sure we've got good public health infrastructure so that when we identify a positive test people can then have follow-up isolate follow-up on their case contacts and make sure a single case doesn't turn into ten a hundred a thousand cases do you think by the end of

April

we'll be in a testing situation where we're actually doing surveillance rather than than just trying to you know play catch-up we
are doing surveillance in many places Montana for instance actually has a higher testing rate than then the average for the rest of the country so we're doing surveillance in many places we're going to get the antibody testing out there which is going to give us more information and I had talked to Admiral Joe wah who's the head of the testing task force he said he feels within a month we'll have antibody testing more widely available again a hundred thousand tests being done per
day fifty thousand Abbot tests coming online America testing is is becoming more and more available but it still doesn't replace the fact that we want everyone to act as if they have kovat 19 right now and protect your neighbor protect your loved ones very quickly Admiral the president mused about a one-day reprieve for Easter Sunday I understand it from from from a you know hopeful scenario would that be a public health mistake the president is always hopeful he's aspirational and
we're trying to give people the science the science says that right now this Palm Sunday and I'm a Catholic I would ordinarily be getting ready for church right now we need you to stay at home this is going to be a hard week it's going to test our resolve it's to be the hardest week of our lives but I'm confident based on the numbers in Washington and in California and Italy and in Spain we can get through this we will get through this I know the American people will do the
right thing and stay at home Surgeon General Jerome Adams thanks very much stay healthy stay clean and and I hope people do watch your video on how to make a mess thanks for coming on and watch it stay home if you go out use one of these Thank You Chuck all right thank you sir and joining me now are two governors who have taken very different steps in the face of the corona virus pandemic it's governor jay Inslee of Washington State the first state to be hit hard and it's ASA Hutchinson
of Arkansas one of the few governors who is not issued to stay at home order gentlemen welcome back to

meet

the

press

for both of you governor Hutchinson I want to start with you you heard the Surgeon General there it he's pleading give him a week he'd prefer it for all 30 days of this month your response to the Surgeon General a great comments by the Surgeon General in Arkansas we're doing everything that's a Surgeon General has outlined plus more for example I applaud the
recommendations on masks yesterday we issued guidelines that if you go out social distance first of all but bring a mask with you in case you get in environments you cannot have that six feet spread in Arkansas we have a targeted approach that is very strict we've closed bars restaurants schools some of our Park lodges we're emphasizing the social distancing and we will do more as we need to but let me give you an example of why the masks are so important and by the way we have had
success in Arkansas and comparable to other states in fact beating and slowing the spread more than in some states that have actually had a stay at home order but you have a stay at home order tomorrow 600,000 are Kansans will still go to work so it's more important the message that do your social distancing don't gather in groups of more than 10 people and bring a mask with you I'm going to be following that instruction if I can't social distance I want to have a mask on we just
had tonight break out in one of our federal prisons here in Arkansas that has ten inmates that tested positive and four guards that's a federal facility but stay at home doesn't help there you've got to have the mass in our state prison is producing mass that we could utilize in our state prison environment those are some of the things that we're doing we'll do more as we need to listening to our public health officials all right governor Inslee it all week long dr. Burks is
basically used Washington and California as examples of trying to show the country look this can work this social distancing can work it's hard but look at what's happened in Washington in California I know you've said you're not out of the woods but do you believe you have started to flatten this curve yes the evidence of dr. Burks is pointed to repeatedly does demonstrated we have had some success flattening the curve that has taken place because we acted relatively early we
had a stage way of moving forward were enough where one of the most aggressive stay at home stay healthy and issues in the United States and I think this has a reason to believe it's been demonstrably successful and I'm glad we got on it relatively early while the president was saying that this was not a problem I mean it was a hoax we were acting to save the lives of our citizens in a number of states including California in Washington State it's pleasing to know that if you act
aggressively and if you realize that even though you're looking okay today it can bite you big time tomorrow I think that's one of the wisdoms I think it would be good to have a national state at home order and the reason is is that even if Washington gets on top of this

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y if another state doesn't it can come back and come across our borders two months from now so this is important to have a national success but I want to reiterate we are a long ways away from being out of the
woods yeah we have not got down to anywhere close to where we need to be to declare victory of this horrendous virus what does governor Inslee I want to start with you on this first have you started the conversation about what metrics you'll be looking for to start lifting some of these stay stay in place orders yes but those are just only to begin to think about this because we have been so intent on making sure this is a successful stay at home order and so far it has been we have had huge
compliance in our state Washingtonians are responding to the call and we're really happy about that but yes we are looking at the metrics fortunately we're very fortunate here in Washington we have the University of Washington labs some of the best in the world and they give us the metrics that we need we watch these like daily or hourly and we will look at them on a mix there isn't one number there are many numbers will be looked at to see when we can come out of this I've
extended it in a month just two days ago to May 4th so we are in our very vigorous one of the strongest probably the strongest in the nation to make 4th at the moment but we have more work to do governor Hutchinson there was the CEO of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences of the Medical Center there said the state lost an order of 500 ventilators essentially got outbid by another state is it should you be in that situation should you be forced to be bidding against is this is this is
this something the federal government needs to step in and handle well it's difficult and we have had circumstances that we're trying to collect our PPE our protective masks and that we've been outbid by another state after we had the order confirm so yes that has been challenging for us but we recognize that the federal government has said we're your backstop you've got to get out there and compete and it literally is a global jungle that we're competing that's the
way it should be well that's the I mean look I know ideologically and philosophically the federal where a lot of people believe in federalism but in a moment like this should this be the case States competing know there's needs to be a they'd like to see a better way but that's the reality in which we are we put 75 million dollars to do our procurement and we'll work through this this the federal government's made it clear they are the backstop and if we need more
ventilators right now they're going to be going to the hot spots New York California but I've been assured that when we get to the point if we need ventilators and Arkansas they're going to be there we're not waiting on that we're going out in the marketplace we're trying to buy ventilators you know whether it should or shouldn't that is where we are right now let me come back if I can though and I want to compliment Governor Inslee I think we're watching his
success some of the things that he's done there but I would point out that even in the stay-at-home order that's one of the most stringent as he points out in Washington State you can still go buy your marijuana and that's why it's important that we add to that social distancing and the masks that we're advocating if you can't social distance and that's why every state whether we're procuring or whether we are determining what's best in our state to reduce the
spread we have to be able to have some flexibility making those decisions and that's what we're seeing we're learning from each other well very quickly governor Hutchison I want to give governor Inslee a chance to respond to that but governor Hutchison Anthony foul she has begged basically for a national stay at home order does his this his basically begging for this at all have an impact on you to change your mind about this he's just looking at the nation as a whole and as a
Surgeon General said this week is critical and we are doing everything that their guidelines say they mentioned the mass we're leaning forward even more in that regard and so we're all pulling together on this but whenever you look at our state I think having a fancy doctor Falchi would be very pleased with the fact that we are beating some of our other states in reducing the spread and the commitment that we have to work in every day to accomplish that all right and governor Inslee very
meet the press broadcast full   april 5th 2020 meet the press nbc news
quickly is the relationship of the federal government getting better week by week well look we've had good communications with the vice president with with the CDC those have been good but this is ludicrous that we do not have a national effort in this to say were a backup I mean the Surgeon General alluded to Pearl Harbor can you imagine if Franklin Delano Roosevelt said I'll be right behind you Connecticut good luck building those paddle ships look we need a national mobilization of
the manufacturing base of the United States as we'd started on December 8th 1941 we need to nationally mobilize using the defense procurement or production act so that we can get these companies instead of making cupholders start making visors start making test kits we don't have enough test kits by far in my state or anywhere in the United States so we governor's Republicans and Democrats have been urging the President to do what he should which is if he wants to be a wartime
president be a wartime president show some leadership mobilize the industrial base the United States that's what we need governor jay Inslee Democrat from Washington say governor ASA Hutchinson Republican from Arkansas thank you both for coming on sharing your views it's gonna be a long fight here good luck to both of you on the front lines there when we come back Italy was the first European country hit hard by the coronavirus I'm going to talk to Italy's Prime Minister about
what the United States can expect to see in the coming weeks and as we go to our break all morning we're gonna try to show you some uplifting scenes beginning with firefighters cheering work welcome back Vice President Mike Pence said it last week we've become the next Italy the first European country devastated by the coronavirus on March 4th Italy closed its schools and universities on March 8th most of northern Italy was placed on lockdown and one day later the lockdown was extended
to the entire country something we have not done yet here did it work since its number of new cases peaked on March 21st Italy has seen an unsteady but a decline nonetheless of new cases so what can we in the United States learn from Italy's experience joining me now is Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe a contact mr. prime minister welcome to

meet

the and let me simply start by asking how you and and your citizens and your own loved ones are handling all this this has been a very trying
time I know you've just lost a bodyguard to this deadly virus unfortunately for sure was a terrible

news

but let me say one thing first we are suffering very much more than 15-thousand italian lives lost to their dear ones to our society to our nation it's a devastating pain and indeed in these difficult times I can openly say that American President Trump wants more a proven to be Italy's true and loyal friends I want to thank President Trump immediately made us feel in support his
presence and I am very grateful to American people for this about about what is known known today as the Italian model I can say first of all since the very beginning of the pandemic Italy has put to public health first and for this reason we have adopted its very strict measures that you mentioned and adjusting of them to the evolution of the infection second the political choices must be based on scientific evidence third third it is crucial to implement decisions with

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transparency our
liberal democracy are built on the contact we have with our own people and we go through them throughthe and transparency in the same way we had to provide them with safety and security this is the Italian model do you believe given what we've seen and it looks like you have flatten your curve do you believe that you have flattened the curve because of these tough measures you've taken or do your scientific experts believe that viruses might be just running its course in this moment I
cannot say when the lockdown we stop because we are following the suggestions of our scientists in the that are in the scientific a technical committee but you have to concede that Italy has been the first country in Europe that of course faced this pandemic our response has not been perfect maybe but we have been active the best of our knowledge today I see that our model is implemented by the countries and its validity as we are knowledge by the w-h-o and the results so far indicate that we
are on the right path therefore the most important message to give to our citizen is stay home as much as possible do not go that do not go out and if you must live eho home for example to go to work or to buy food always respect or safety rules we are asking our people a great sacrifice I am aware of it but it is the only way to defeat the pandemic all together the more we respect the rules the sooner we will get out it sounds like there was a story in The New York Times today that that if with
testing that you're hoping in your country that in order to reopen parts of the economy and reopening parts of the country that if you you might be able to have okay if you have the antibody to the virus you can work and if you don't you have to stay home do you think that is an Italy's future we will work for death but in the this moment we are all in the same battle we are fighting the same a powerful and invisible enemy all countries in the world are hit and we are all in
front-line or if an outpost withdraws the virus we spread again and our efforts as sacrifice would be in vain for this reason is crucial the cohesion and cooperation of our democracies and its strategic the international collaboration and it's strategical also that all conflicts around the world should stop Italy strongly soup port they appeal made by the secretary-general United Nations for a global society it is time for all the parties in conflict to stop fighting each other and unit
against an enemy which want to make a difference and we kill them all mr. Prime Minister I know these next couple of Sunday's in particular going to be really difficult to think of these empty churches on Palm Sunday and on Easter it's gonna be very difficult my condolences again to to to you and stay the fight keep going and keep flattening that curve thanks for coming on thank you very much if I can say I'm really proud to serve my amazing unique country thank you very much thank
you mr. prime minister when we come back why wasn't the government ready for this pandemic the panel is next and as we go to break the reunion between my NBC

News

correspondent colleague Janice Mackey fair and her six-year-old son in China after being separated for seven weeks welcome back the panel is joining us from their remote locations we are practicing our social distancing and BC

News

Capitol correspondent KC hunt the former Republican governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory and Helen
Cooper Pentagon correspondent for the New York Times all right I think we can best sum up the argument or the debate this morning in particular which is who's in charge and KC hunt I want to play the president on the on the CDC mass guidelines because in many ways the mixed messaging he sent here sort of sums up this sort of back-and-forth between the feds and the state take a listen the CDC is advising the use of non-medical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health
measure so it's voluntary you have to do it I don't think I'm gonna be doing it I think wearing a face mask as I greet presidents prime ministers dictators kings queens I don't know somehow I don't see it for myself it's worth noting by the way that the Italian Prime Minister before he started the interview before he sat down he actually was wearing a mask there where all of his aides were wearing masks we thought that was interesting there but Casey hunt this seems to be
this push and pull here the governor's want the feds to take more control and the president definitely doesn't want to do that and even ASA Hutchinson in your conversation there he's resisted that statewide stay at home order as as you pointed out but he also said in that interview he was going to be wearing a mask and modeling the guidelines the Surgeon General's just a minute earlier putting a face mask on on camera clearly our public health officials believe that this is a
message that they want to send to people in the strongest possible terms and this is of course an evolution we were initially all told this wasn't necessary unless you were sick but at this point you know what the president is saying Chuck we're seeing it in any polling that's being done we're seeing it we're seeing it in how people are responding more people are listening to what this president has to say then have at all yet in his presidency because we are all tuned in
trying to figure out how to make our way through this together and so if he wants Americans to wear masks he needs to say that very directly and we all know especially those of us who are trying to raise children that you have to model the behavior yourself to convince others to follow that's for sure pat mccrory as a former governor as a former mayor I know you're you're sympathetic to somebody above your paygrade trying to tell you how to run your state or run your city I get that
but when is the point as a governor that you actually want the feds in charge well one thing I've been in the fog of war during hurricanes and tornadoes and winter storms where you're making life-and-death decisions while balancing the economy and also balancing the turf between not just the federal government state government but if I think you examine every state there's turf among the county health directors and the governor and as you get closer the people and the elected
officials are close to the people there can be varying opinions and in the fog of war you have mixed data you have mixed communication and and you have evolving opinions based upon that new data and that's exactly what's happy day the one thing I don't like that's happening is the blame game you know the Washington governor mentioned Pearl Harbor well I think after Pearl Harbor occurred the worst thing a governor could do is blame Franklin Roosevelt for Pearl Harbor what you need
to do is go what do we need to do now and be specific and we all live in our lanes of responsibility and some of those lanes overlap and they're gray areas and this is not unusual in a fog of war I'm just curious so governor I'm going to follow up I'm obsessed I put that quote up for the Surgeon General the public health official from Ohio Amy act and I are you surprised that more politicians aren't erring on the side of caution here because there seems to be if you're
wrong about this boy is that a bad way to be wrong if you're wrong and you've and you've been overly alarmist well nobody's nobody extra has died but if you're wrong and you've underplayed boy you've got a lot to answer for I had a theme during our crisis and hurricanes was be over-prepared and hope

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y be underwhelmed and that I think should be the goal of every leader but there is this tremendous balance that we all have and and one thing about even the
stay-at-home policy I could say it almost discriminates against the blue-collar worker who's watching us do our job from a long distance the blue-collar worker can't stay at home to keep the manufacturing lines open of textile and rubber and cloth that we need in our hospitals right now the delivery trucks the the grocery stores the blue-collar worker is going wait a minute I don't get to stay at home Helene Cooper there's been a lot of chatter about the president ought to a
point you know Oh to deputize maybe it's a member of the Joint Chiefs some a general of of maybe you know somebody of the status of a Jim mattis somebody like that to basically become the procurement czar here there has been a lot of that and as you know the Pentagon the reason people are saying to do this to a point of general is that the Pentagon they specialized in planning that's what they do all the time and in a wartime situation it's just been so fascinating though Chuck
seeing the American government response to this and just how much we have appeared to lag by a good 10 days to two weeks this virus with everything that we're doing the fact that you have the the administration the White House finally coming on and saying that we should be wearing face masks it's something that many many health officials say should have happened a month of month ago and the fact that you still don't have the president on board board with that I think is hugely
significant I'm not sure which kings and queens he thinks are gonna be coming to the White House that he needs to be worried about greeting with a face mask on but the very idea that President Trump is talking about appearance that it won't look good for him to be seen wearing a face mask at a time when you have thousands upon thousands of Americans dying and so the number is looking like they're about to go shockingly higher I think says a lot about leadership in a time of crisis
very quickly Casey hunt I noticed we have 6.6 unemployment claims this week and it seems like that number made Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell suddenly say oh we should agree on the next round of spending this is coming soon isn't it Nancy Pelosi earlier this week Chuck was ready to start talking about infrastructure projects jobs bills essentially the next phase of this it only took a 24 to 36 hours for her to suddenly turn around and say you know what actually we are still in the
emergency relief phase of this and I think you are gonna see Congress try to act as quickly as possible in that vein yep and it almost will be like a refill the coffers of what was promised with the first round which we're still trying to get out those small business loans unemployment all week long you're gonna see a lot of technical problems on that front I hope folks are patient on there I gotta leave it there thank you guys for a shortened panel coming up author Michael Lewis on
finding some creative ways to fight the pandemic but first the scene at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia where health care workers had a message for all of us and they tried to do it with a smile stick around welcome back data download times so far coronavirus hotspots have primarily been urban areas like New York City where there is already an ICU bed shortage but access to those beds is likely to get even more limited as the pandemic spreads inland to more rural areas with older populations
let's take New York City as our baseline it's home to numerous top-rated hospitals but there are still over a thousand 60 plus year old people for every one ICU bed the rest of the country would seem to be doing somewhat better with one ICU bed for over 900 people good

news

Perhaps but that's where the good

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ends check this up only 47 percent of all US counties have any ICU beds at all and only 29 percent of u.s. counties have 10 or more there are 536 counties in the United
States where 30 percent of the population in those counties is over the age of 60 and of those only 23 percent have any ICU beds at all you see where this is going in counties we call aging farmlands the most remote counties in the country the numbers are even more dire there are a hundred and sixty one of those remarks remote counties in all 161 counties there are only six ICU beds total up until now we don't know how Koba 19 spreads in very rural environments where vast spaces make social
distancing easier or a way of life in some cases but even as most eyes have been in New York City recently the virus has been spreading outside of that metro area two weeks ago there were fewer than 800 counties with a confirmed case of the virus this week there were 2,300 counties with at least one case when we come back are there ways to fight the corona virus that we're not yet thinking of author Michael Lewis joins us next welcome back Michael Lewis has spent a career chronicling people
who find creative ways to identify and solve problems in his latest book the fifth risk Lewis essentially describes what happened when in his view the Trump administration dumbed down government too much to function properly so as the Trump administration prepared to take all of this on during this current crisis Michael Louis joins me now social distancing from berkeley california mr. lewis welcome to

Meet

the

Press

long time first time as far as I'm concerned so I'm glad to have you on
good to see you chuck let me just start with the premise of your book which you were looking at the transition and I say and I want to connect some dots here I'm gonna put up a screen grab here of all the people that have been in charge of the Department of Homeland Security in the Trump administration five different people to have been Senate confirmed three acting's including the situation here it feels as if I know DHS wasn't a part of your book but that amount is that the
definition of the fifth risk here sometimes personnel you know the the book the starting point for the book is if you you really have to think about the federal government as this as a manager of portfolio of risks right and many of them are catastrophic and you don't know what we're you're gonna have to deal with but you know they're people in there who were dealing with it and when interest it would caught my eye and the reason I wrote the book was that we had this process to
hand over the government and it was actually the bylaw the Obama administration was required to spend a great deal of time preparing to hand the government over to whoever whoever succeeded succeeded it and and the Obama talked really seriously because he realized because Bush had handed the government over so well to him he thought and Trump on his side had built this enterprise of five hundred people of a role into the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Agriculture or
whatever right and he fired it the day after the election so the the transition never happened so there was like this that's the beginning of this whole story it's the beginning of our response to the pandemic it's that the knowledge of how you dealt with I don't know say an Ebola outbreak was never actually transferred to the Trump administration and and it's uh I think that if you're gonna tell when people look back and tell the story of this crisis they'll
they'll start there there's no doubt they will look I want to pivot a little bit you just did a podcast and you noted we're gonna learn a lot about our society during this pandemic that is probably going to surface problems we didn't know we needed to solve what are a few that you're seeing now that you think we need to be keeping an eye on are you talking about like risks we should be terrified of you know it yes well look this in some ways was was not the fifth risk in my
mind was the risk in that you weren't really that you weren't really it didn't have top of mind and I came to the idea because I walked into the Department of Energy and and got the briefing from the chief risk officer that the Trump administration had not bothered to get and I asked like what are the top five things you're worried about Justin in the department energy and he said look there are a lot of really smart people dealing with things like one preventing a nuclear weapon
from going off when it shouldn't go off to preventing the electric grid from going down or coming under attack three North Korea getting a weapon that they actually deliver up to the West Coast I mean it was like one thing after another and there were there were steps being taken to prevent these bad things from happening now now the question is across an administration that's being run by a person who is largely indifferent to it to what extent are is this portfolio of risks you know
like more likely to happen and the thing that worried me and the thing that got me interested in write writing in the book in the first place right was was like if something actually happens I don't know what it is get what what's gonna happen but when it happens they're not gonna be prepared to deal with it and now we know now we know what happened so it's we're now in the land of second-best solutions because we had someone who neglected the the instrument the tool for
dealing with a crisis look we're gonna we're gonna end up having a something will change in our society based on this one of the things that I've wondered about is we're learning who's essential we're finding out the truck drivers a lot more essential than than some of us the person who stalks the shelves a lot more essential do you see a reckoning on the economic front that that sort of rights those wrongs in time you know the first thing that might come out of this is
an appreciation of the federal government of what it does it is basic job is to keep us safe and if it is if we don't pay attention to how it's run we will find ourselves in this situation all over again so so I think I think that's the big film I think that's the big thing comes out all right Michael Lewis I gotta leave it there I always wish I had more time with you and I will find a way to get more time with you down the road thank you and thank you to all of you who have been
watching today please continue to practice that social distancing doing everything you can to keep your family and neighbors safe the sooner we do it the sooner we'll get through this we'll be back next week because if it's Sunday it's more Americans watch NBC

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