KATY TUR, MSNBC HOST: "THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER" starts right now.
Hi there, Ari.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Katy. Thanks very much.
This is THE BEAT.
And, as we begin the show, the president is expected to give an update on the pandemic. He has been doing those. And we`re keeping an eye on that. We will bring you the news when relevant.
The facts right now is that the United States faces a COVID crisis that is clearly surging towards five million, with 156,000 deaths, many places seeing signs the worst could still be to come, like these new hot spots reported in the Midwest.
And at a time when many views are polarized, here`s something that Democrats and Republicans agree on, almost all of them completely dissatisfied with life in America right now. Basically, you have 80-plus percent dissatisfied.
We are facing basically a lot. We are inching closer. We are looking at a reminder of the challenge that faces any incumbent president when you have this kind of dissatisfaction, basically, almost no one satisfied with what`s going on and an incumbent seeking reelection.
So, where do we go from here? We would need to keep going and think about what comes next. We have some special guests.
But I want to tell you, a politician can only confront or deny reality like this, when nine out of 10 people are this dissatisfied. This virus is spreading all over the United States and it is far from under control.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it`s under control. I will tell you what.
JONATHAN SWAN, AXIOS: How? A thousand Americans are dying a day.
TRUMP: They are dying. That`s true. And it is what it is. But that doesn`t mean we aren`t doing everything we can. It`s under control, as much as you can control it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: That`s Donald Trump offering a kind of a double negative there in this new interview, claiming the surging caseload does not mean he`s not doing everything possible to stop the virus.
But medical experts are stressing that, in this administration, the U.S. did not issue uniform safety rules. It did not immediately require masks. It did not even protect the jobs of CDC officials who were getting this right from day one.
Meanwhile, economic experts stress that, in the very week where Donald Trump is claiming they`re doing everything -- you just saw that brief excerpt -- the actual top development in Washington is that the party controlling two branches of government has let COVID relief benefits completely expire.
I want to bring in our experts here.
Dr. Megan Ranney is an emergency room physician and a professor of emergency medicine at Brown University, and Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize- winning columnist at -- and a resident at Kent State University. We should mention her new book is "The Daughters of Erietown."
Good to see you both.
Doctor, what is important to you when you hear a claim by a politician that the U.S. is doing -- quote -- "everything"?
DR. MEGAN RANNEY, RHODE ISLAND HOSPITAL: So, there are two things that strikes me about that interview.
The first is the dismissal of the deaths. And as an emergency physician who has sat at the bedside of people who have died from COVID-19, I can tell you that these deaths are not meaningless to the doctors and nurses, much less to the families who are left behind.
The second thing is, the claim that we are doing everything is just blatantly false. A little over a week ago, I and a number of other physicians and public health experts signed a letter calling for the United States to finally create a national strategy.
I will note, we made similar pleas early in March, when this virus was just being identified on our shores. The federal government still lacks a comprehensive national strategy around testing, around personal protective equipment, or around national mandates for masking or other efforts that we know can stem the spread of this virus.
MELBER: Connie, we have the president, of course, planning to come back out and do another one of these White House briefings.
I want to kind of get into another grim part of the ongoing pandemic that can help people have a truthful context for whatever you may hear now or later. The U.S. leads the world in virus deaths overall. We know that. When deaths are counted as a portion of the nation`s population, the U.S. is still one of the very worst, the fourth highest, trailing countries that have less money and spend less on health care.
You can see the breakdown right here. Now, for policy, that matters, because it proves that better policies can cut the death rate, which would save future lives, even separate from how much a country spends on all this.
But the president views those facts as a kind of indictment, and he`s been denying them and trying to distract people from the death rate per population, and instead use cherry-picked numbers on deaths per case count, which, of course, would measure testing more than deaths?
So, for our panelists, I want to show you. Watch what happened when the president tried that with a reporter who actually had the numbers. This ends with Trump retreating by saying, you don`t know that, when the clip shows the numbers do know it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The United States is lowest in numerous categories. We`re lower than the world.
SWAN: Lower than the world?
TRUMP: We`re lower than Europe.
SWAN: What does that mean? In what? In what?
TRUMP: Take a look right there. Here is case deaths.
SWAN: Oh, you`re doing death as a proportion of cases. I`m talking about death as a proportion of population. That`s where the U.S. is really bad, much worse than South Korea, Germany, et cetera.
Well, look at South Korea, for example, 51 million population, 300 deaths. It`s like -- it`s crazy compared to...
TRUMP: You don`t know that.
SWAN: I do.
TRUMP: You don`t know that.
SWAN: You think they`re faking their statistics, South Korea, an advanced country?
TRUMP: I won`t get into that, because I have a very good relationship with the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Connie, what`s important thing, as America is going to be, like it or not, in a many-months-long pandemic, where you`re going to hear all kinds of claims?
But, there, the president was fact-checked to his face about our regrettable American death rate.
CONNIE SCHULTZ, KENT STATE UNIVERSITY: Well, first of all, let`s acknowledge what an excellent interview that was in that moment.
It was so clear that the president is lying. The president wants to be right. He doesn`t want to reassure the country. He doesn`t -- he isn`t really trying to help the country at this point. His goal always is to be right.
And so he will lie. We know that. He was lying there. He`s misrepresenting. "The Washington Post" reported today that six governors, including Ohio`s governor, three Democrats, three Republicans, are forming their own partnership to get enough testing in there and to have testing that we can get back quickly, which, without it, there`s no point to try to do any kind of tracing, correct, Doctor?
I mean, and so you can`t un-die people. These numbers are growing. And he won`t be able to undo this damage. What we can hope for is that the medical experts and the elected officials who are willing to listen to them will set the model for how the -- how we must all behave moving forward.
It`s the only way to get ahead of this.
RANNEY: I couldn`t agree more with Connie
I -- we need tests. We have needed tests since the beginning. We had failed tests from the CDC. We couldn`t test the people that we thought were infected. We slowly increased the number of available that, but that was only because the case count went down.
As soon as the surge started in the South of the country, we saw wait times go up. In my home state of Rhode Island, we`re now seeing well over a week wait for tests that are done outside of the hospital setting. That is not OK from a public health perspective.
I couldn`t agree more with her statements. And, yes, this damage cannot be undone.
MELBER: Those are some important pieces of factual context.
I want to thank the doctor and Connie.
We`re watching the president come to the lectern. Let`s listen in.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
TRUMP: Let me begin by sending America`s deepest sympathies to the people of Lebanon, where reports indicate that many, many people were killed, hundreds more were very badly wounded in a large explosion in Beirut. Our prayers go out to all the victims and their families. The United States stands ready to assist Lebanon. I have a very good relationship with the people of Lebanon, and we will be there to help. It looks like a terrible attack.
I also want to provide the latest on Tropical Storm Isaias. Approximately 600,000 are without power along the East Coast, and utility companies are working around the clock to restore service as quickly as possible. I spoke to Governor Cooper, I spoke to Governor DeSantis, and I spoke to all of the people at FEMA, and they`re working very hard.
Coastal areas in the storm`s path can expect to see the storm surge and rip currents, while inland areas could see flooding and very, very high winds. FEMA is responding to states that have requested the assistance. We have a list of those state. We can give them to you in a little while. And my administration is monitoring the situation very closely.
We have the military on guard, but we have -- FEMA is there, in all cases. The Corps of Engineers is ready if needed -- the Army Corps of Engineers. Very talented people. I urge everyone in the storm`s path to remain alert and to follow the guidance of your state and local authorities.
I now want to update you on the path forward, having to do with the China virus. Before I do that, I want to give you some numbers, which are rather spectacular, that just came out. The manufacturing index of the Institute for Supply Management -- that`s ISM. Most of you know it by ISM -- increased for the third month in a row, rising nearly 2 points in July to 54.2 -- that`s fantastic -- the highest reading since March of 2019.
This is remarkable, considering the survey was conducted throughout July and showed significant improvement despite the Southwest, in particular, virus hot spots. The ISM measures -- and it`s a very strong measure of new orders. It rose 5 points in July, to 61.5, in its highest rating, that would be, since September of 2018. That`s a big number.
Since the April low, new orders are up over 34 points, which is the largest increase in the history of the ISM, dating back all the way to 1948. So, 34 points -- that`s the largest since 1948.
Similarly, the ISM`s measure of production is up 35 points from its April low to a reading of 62.1, which is the largest 3-month gain in over 70 years. That`s some -- some number.
These were somewhat surprising, but I`ve been saying we`re doing well, and those numbers are really spectacular.
Automobile sales, likewise, are a key factor in the resurgence of manufacturing since the March low of 8.8 million units with sales and all of the numbers that are going up, stunningly. It`s a 65 percent increase since then, to 14.5 million units, which is a massive number.
The great strength and great news is really for states like -- in particular, Michigan, and Ohio, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, very good, Florida, little bit. These are great numbers. Record-setting numbers.
The strength in new car sales is also evident in the used car market, where soaring demand -- literally, soaring demand -- is putting upward pressure on the used car prices. This is a leading indicator of the motor vehicle industry.
The need to restock depleted shelves will further galvanize the factory sector -- and, we think, very substantially, based on the numbers. We`re very, very happy with these numbers. And I think most people are anywhere from surprised to shocked by these numbers, in a very positive way.
Economy-wide inventories crashed at a near $320 billion annualized rate last quarter. A crash, in that case, means a good thing, not a bad thing. That`s the largest drop ever on record -- ever.
Homebuilder sentiment, likewise, is soaring, as our home sales sentiment is now higher than last year. And new homes recently made a 13-year high. So we have a 13-year high in new home -- new home construction.
New business applications are very strong. That just came out. The widely followed Atlanta Fed GDP -- and it`s something that they have just come out with -- now forecasts the new data point and incorporates it into quarterly estimates. It looks like it`s showing a 20 percent annualized growth in the current quarter. So 20 percent in the current quarter. We`ll take that all day long. I -- let`s see if that`s right. That`s a projection. So we`ll see if that`s right. The Atlanta Fed -- very respected.
The virus -- back to that -- we are continuing to monitor and monitor, in particular, hot spots across the South, Southwest, and the West. And we`re seeing indications that our strong mitigation efforts are working very well, actually, especially to protect those who are most at risk, which has really been our primary focus for -- ever since we`ve gotten to understand this horrible, horrible plague that`s been unleashed on our country by China.
As of yesterday, cases are declining in 70 percent of the jurisdictions, compared to 36 percent last Monday. That`s a big, big number. Eleven out of thirteen states with the positive rate above 10 percent have seen a decline in daily cases since mid-July.
In other states, the data suggests that the need for continuing vigilance always is strong, even though the numbers are getting very good -- states that have a test positivity rate between 5 and 10 percent. And in the states with the lowest positivity rates, we also see slight increases in daily cases in a couple of them.
We must ensure that these states do not become new flare-ups, so we`re watching them very, very closely. Fortunately, thanks to substantial improvements in treatment and the knowledge we have gained about the disease itself, the recent rise in cases has not been accompanied by a significant increase in deaths.
Fatalities nationwide are at roughly half the level of the April peak. So the death -- the number of deaths or fatalities are at half the level. One is too much -- one death -- because this should have never happened to us. It should have been stopped at -- very easily, by China, in Wuhan.
Thanks to our major advances in treatment, we`ve seen vast improvements in recovery rates across all age groups. Compared to April, mortality rates are 85 percent lower among individuals aged 18 to 69, and 70 percent lower among individuals over 70 years old.
We`ve also made significant strides in sheltering those at highest risk, especially the elderly. Approximately 85 percent of all current cases are individuals under the age of 65 -- just getting some very accurate numbers on this. And these are people who are generally at a much lower risk of complications.
Since the pandemic began, nearly half of all fatalities have been at nursing homes or assisted-living centers. That`s an incredible statistic, when you hear that number. This data, underscores that the best path forward is an aggressive strategy focused on protecting Americans at highest risk.
As we race toward the development of a vaccine, we must continue to take extraordinary precautions to shield the elderly, and we`re doing that. We`re doing that at a level that we`ve never even dreamt possible, both with testing and with common sense.
And those with underlining conditions, especially the elderly with the underlining -- whether it`s heart or diabetes -- they seem to be the two most predominant conditions that cause tremendous problems. While allowing those at lowest risk to carefully return to work and to school.
Where embers flare up, we must engage immediately, and that`s what we`re doing. This is the science-based approach, and it`s good with us. Working very hard on that. An extended lockdown would fail to target resources at the highest-risk populations, while inflicting massive economic pain, long- lasting damage on society and public health as a whole.
So there won`t be lockdowns, but we watch specific areas. We`re very careful and we`re putting out embers. We`re putting out flames. When you look at what`s happening with Miami, and it`s going -- the numbers are going down. But Florida is going down very significantly. Texas and California are going down rather significantly.
On telemedicine, as we discussed the last time, as -- and as I said numerous times during this day, it`s an incredible thing that`s happening. A central part of our effort to protect the elderly is to greatly expand access to telehealth, so seniors can be treated from the safety of their homes.
And that`s what`s happening. The number of Medicare beneficiaries using telehealth increased from roughly 14,000 a week to nearly 1.7 million -- so from 14,000 to 1.7 million per week. In total, 10 million Medicare beneficiaries have accessed telehealth services since the pandemic began. That`s a tremendous thing that`s happened with telehealth.
As we shelter those at high risk, we are also pouring every resource at our disposal into the development of therapies and vaccines. Two vaccine candidates are currently in the final stage of clinical trials, with several more vaccine candidates entering phase three in the coming weeks. And you`ve read and seen what`s happened today. Today`s news was very exciting.
Through Operation Warp Speed, we`re also mass producing all of the most promising vaccine candidates, and we`re determined to have a vaccine very quickly. We think we`re going to have something very soon.
We have great companies. These are the -- among the greatest companies in the world. But right now, they don`t like me so much because I`m forcing them to drop drug prices -- prescription drug prices -- very massively. Some of these companies are involved in that. Some of them aren`t. We`re having a tremendous -- you`ll see a tremendous drop in price. We`re using favored nations -- we`re using the rebates. We`re using everything.
For so long, I`ve heard about how wealthy the middlemen are. They call them the middlemen. And they are very wealthy. Nobody even knows who they are, but they`re very wealthy people.
And we`re doing the rebates. We`re doing purchases from other countries -- like Canada, which buys drugs for much less money than the United States is allowed to, under a very bad system. I don`t call it archaic. I call it bad because it`s meant, really, for drug companies to get higher prices.
But under -- under the system of matching that we have, if Germany has a pill for 10 cents and ours is $2, we`re allowed to say we want favored nations, and we want the pill for the same -- the same as the lowest country in the world. If they sell to one country lower than anybody else, that`s the price we`re going to get. Drug companies aren`t too happy about that -- big pharma.
We`ve also dramatically accelerated the availability of plasma therapies, steroid treatments, antivirals, and other therapies to treat the illness. Today, the NIH -- we`re -- very exciting -- announced that they`re beginning the trial of two new antibody treatments, which will take place in 40 cities across the country. We`re going to move -- move very quickly. Results look very good already. Incredible results.
More than 230 clinical trials for potential treatments are underway, and we`ve secured 500,000 courses of treatment for remdesivir -- of remdesivir. We`re really doing a job with it, and it`s helping a lot of people. That`s why you see the fatalities and mortality numbers looking very good -- relatively speaking, that is. But that`s for American hospitals through the month of September. So we have remdesivir at a very high level for hospitals through the month of September. That`s big news.
The United States also has far and away the most robust testing capacity in the world. Testing has been incredible, what we`ve been able to do. Nobody is even close. Since March 12, we`ve increased daily testing by 32,000 percent. How`s that? Thirty-two thousand percent. Somebody would say, That must be a typo. It`s not a typo. Thirty-two thousand percent.
We now have conducted over 61 million tests nationwide, averaging over 820,000 tests per day and nearly 5 million tests per week. And now that we`re understanding the virus, we`re understanding very much what we`re doing with respect to who it affects, who it`s destroying, and who gets away with it -- like young people, very young people. We`ll be having some interesting statements having to do a testing and focus testing. I call it focus testing.
By comparison, Mexico -- so we`re doing numbers that are incredible. But by comparison, Mexico -- as you know, the President was here. He`s a great guy -- but their -- their numbers are much different. They do about 1 million tests. France has done 2.9 million tests. Canada is around the 4 million mark. Australia is around the 4 million mark.
The United States is testing more people in a single week than, in many cases, large segments or large, well-known countries all put together. It`s been an amazing achievement: the testing and the quality of the testing also. And now we`re doing testing where you can have results in 5 minutes, in 7 minutes, and 15 minutes, as opposed to waiting to come back from labs -- for it to come back from labs.
Over the last several weeks, HHS has opened surging testing sites in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Phoenix, Miami, Jacksonville, Florida, McAllen, Texas, Bakersfield, California. And this week, we`re opening new surge sites in Houston, Texas, Atlanta. To date, more than 130,000 tests have been conducted at these sites.
Last week, the FDA also authorized the first two tests that display an estimated quantity of antibodies present in the individual`s blood, which is a big deal, allowing us to learn more about the immune response.
FEMA and HHS has worked with the private sector to deliver more than -- we have new numbers -- more than 200 million N95 masks, 855 million surgical masks, 36 million goggles and face shields, 364 million gowns and coveralls, and 21 billion gloves -- billion. Can you believe that? Billion gloves.
And we distribute that to the governors, different states. And when we get on the phone with them, they`re very happy, that I can tell you. No -- no complaints from any of them. They`re very, very happy. What they say to you separately maybe will change for political reasons, but they are very happy with the job we`ve done.
In our National Stockpile, we`ve tripled the number of N95 masks on hand to more than 40 million, tripled the number of gowns to 15 million, and quadrupled the number of ventilators to nearly 70,000. These numbers are growing every day, and we`re now making thousands of ventilators -- many thousands of ventilators a month. And we`re getting them to other countries who are desperately in need of ventilators. They`re very hard to produce. They`re very complicated machines. So we`re -- we`re fully stocked here, and we`ve made sure that every state is fully stocked, but we`re getting them to a lot of countries that need help.
We`ll continue to work with the governors and local authorities to help them ensure significant hospital capacity, protective equipment, supplies, and medicine. I`m more confident than ever that we will get a vaccine very soon and we will defeat the virus.
And I want to thank you all for being here. We`ll take a few questions.
QUESTION: Mr. President, I wanted to ask you about Kodak. You had a big announcement the other day about getting Kodak into the pharmaceutical business, but the SEC is now investigating what happened. Can you say a word or two whether you think that there might have been some kind of a problem in terms of how those arrangements were made? Is there any grounds for concern, from your perspective?
TRUMP: Well, I don`t know. I wasn`t involved in the deal. The concept of the deal is good, but I will let you know. We`ll -- we`ll do a little study on that, and we`ll find out.
QUESTION: OK. And...
TRUMP: If there`s -- if there is any problem, we`ll let you know about it very quickly, but I wasn`t involved in it.
It`s a big deal. It`s a way of bringing back a great area, too, in addition to the pharmaceuticals. Kodak has been a great name, but obviously pretty much in a different business. And so we`ll see what that`s all about, but we`ll -- we`ll let you know very quickly.
QUESTION: I just wanted to follow up, before I ask a coronavirus question, on Lebanon. You called this an attack. Are you confident that this was an attack and not an accident?
TRUMP: Well, it would seem like it, based on the explosion. I`ve met with some of our great generals, and they just seem to feel that it was. This was not a -- some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of event. This was a -- seems to be, according to them -- they would know better than I would, but they seem to think it was a attack. It was a bomb of some kind. Yes.
QUESTION: Interesting. And, on coronavirus, you`ve talked a lot about -- when you talk about the mortality rate, the deaths as a proportion of cases, which -- I understand that is significant when you look at how deadly the virus is or how good a country does at keeping people alive...
QUESTION:... who get infected. But when you`re talking about the scope of this virus, when you look at the percentage of the population that`s died, there`s only three countries that have more deaths than the U.S. So how do you explain that: that -- why the percentage of the population who has died is so much higher in the U.S.?
TRUMP: Well, I think, actually, the numbers are lower than others. I will get back to you on that. But we, proportionately, are lower than almost all countries. We`re at the bottom of the list.
And we`re -- relative to cases, also, we`re at the bottom of the list, which is a good thing, being at the bottom of the list. But I can get back to you. We have about four or five different lists on that. And we`re, generally speaking, at the very bottom of the list. So, I will get back to you.
QUESTION: Because when I -- when I look at the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center on their Web site, it says the most affected countries, when you look at deaths per 100,000 people of the population -- so how many people in the population have died -- you have the UK, Peru, Chile, and then the U.S.
You know, Canada has 8,000, 9,000 deaths. Obviously, they`re smaller than us, but that`s only 6 percent of the population. You know, that`s 6 percent of our total cases. So why are the deaths so much higher in the U.S.?
TRUMP: Well, a lot of our numbers were based on the -- New York had a very tough time, as you know. New York, New Jersey -- that area. And when you take them out -- just as an example, take a look at Florida, relative to New York.
That`s not to say anything wrong with New York. It was just a very tough place. People are close together. It`s crowded. it`s not easy.
But when you take that out, our numbers are among the lowest. And even with it in -- I will get back to you, but we have among the lowest numbers. They`ve done a fantastic job on it.
Yes, please. Go ahead.
QUESTION: Yes, Mr. President. I would like to ask a question about the election, but one thing on unemployment first. Are you considering taking executive action to extend or, rather, reinstate the unemployment benefits that expired last week, if Congress can`t get a deal by the end of the week?
QUESTION: And, as a general point, what rate, then, would you want in there -- a percentage or a flat rate?
TRUMP: We are looking at it. We`re also looking at various other things that I`m allowed to do under the system, and -- such as the payroll tax suspension. And so we`re allowed to do things.
We`re talking with the Democrats. They seem to be much more interested in solving the problems of some of the Democrat-run states and cities that have suffered greatly through bad management. I mean, really bad management. So, that seems to be where they -- they`re looking for a trillion dollars to help out with cities that are run by Democrats -- in some cases, radical-left Democrats that have not done a good job.
I appreciate -- today, the Wall Street Journal said very good things -- that we did a great job in Portland by having our people go in. Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, and the folks -- we went into Portland, and we`ve done a great job. And they had that in an editorial, that we -- that we really won that situation.
But we want the whole -- we did save the courthouse. The courthouse was going to be burned down or knocked down. It was in tremendous danger. We went in. We took care of it. And we appreciated what the Wall Street Journal said.
As far as the various things that I may or may not sign: I may not have to sign. I mean, progress is being made, as you know very well, on the Hill. We`ll see what happens. But I have the right -- including the payroll tax suspension. We may do some things.
We want to take care of the eviction problem. People are being evicted very unfairly. It`s not their fault. It`s China`s fault, it`s not their fault. And people are being evicted, and we can do that with an executive order. So if we don`t get -- and we want to do it relatively quickly.
I mean, even from the standpoint of COVID, people get evicted, and then they go into shelters, and there are thousands of people in the shelters. And this is not a time -- you never want to be in a shelter, but this is not a time to be in a shelter with the COVID. They catch it, they get it, and it`s no good.
So, I may have to do something on evictions, too, because the Democrats, amazingly, don`t want to do it. We offered them short-term deals, and we offered them lots of alternatives. But so far, the only thing they really want to do is bail out states that have been poorly managed by Democrats.
OK. Please, go ahead.
QUESTION: And if I could, on the election, sir -- can I...
QUESTION: President Trump, on the sale of TikTok, you`re basically arguing that the U.S. government is going to collect a cut from a -- of a transaction including two companies, in which it doesn`t hold a stake in.
That`s unprecedented. That`s never happened in U.S. history before, and the administration has offered very little explanation about how that`s going to work. Can you back your statement up and provide specifics about how that would work?
TRUMP: Did you say, That`s impressive? Did you actually use that term?
QUESTION: I said it`s unprecedented.
TRUMP: Oh, well, it`s almost the same thing. Not quite. I like I`m
TRUMP: I like impressive. I like impressive much better. Not quite, but close.
So, TikTok -- TikTok is very successful. It does tremendous business in the United States. People are riveted by it. I mean, I have many friends -- when they saw that announcement, they`re calling. And I think their kids love it. They don`t. Because they don`t get to see their kids anymore, but they are -- it`s an amazing thing, whatever it may be.
And I told Microsoft -- and, frankly, others -- if they want to do it, if they make a deal for TikTok -- whether it`s the 30 percent in the United States or the whole company, I say, It`s OK. But if you do that, we`re really making it possible because we`re letting you operate here.
So the United States Treasury would have to benefit also, not just the -- not just the sellers. And I said, Inform......
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) through a tax, or how?
TRUMP: Very simple. I mean we have -- we have all the cards because, without us, you can`t come into the United States. It`s like if you`re a landlord, and you have a tenant. The tenant`s business needs a rent.
It needs a lease. And so what I said to them is, Whatever the price is, a very big proportion of that price would have to go to the Treasury of the United States.
And they understood that. And actually, they agreed with me. I mean, I think they agreed with me very much.
Yes, please. In the back.
QUESTION: Thank -- thank you, sir.
TRUMP: So that deal may or may not happen. We`ve give -- -- given them until September 15 or so, and we`ll see.
If we can have it and there can be great security -- meaning, the obvious security -- Microsoft would be a company that would be good in that respect. They`re approved in that respect at many levels, including working with the Department of Defense. And they`re very high-level approvals. So it would be good, but there are other companies also.
QUESTION: Thank you, sir. Have you or the -- anyone in the administration reached out to other companies, aside from Microsoft, to see if they`re interested in...
TRUMP: No, we`ve had other companies call us, and Microsoft called me directly. And we`ve had other companies call. I don`t know where they are. It sounds like Microsoft is along the way of doing something. I don`t blame them. It`d be -- you know, it`s great company. It`s really a great company.
But we cannot take the security risks of any of those companies -- including Huawei, which as you know, we put a halt to. But we can`t take the security risk.
I think our attitude on China has changed greatly since the China virus hit us. I think it changed greatly. It hit the world, and it shouldn`t have. They should have been able to stop it. So, we feel differently. I just don`t know. When you lose...
QUESTION: Can you say what other companies?
TRUMP:... when you lose so many thousands of people, and -- you know, ultimately, it`ll be millions of people around the world. It`s a terrible thing that happened to the United States and Europe and the entire world. Really a terrible thing.
Yes, please. Go ahead.
QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President. I have two quick questions: one on the virus and one on policing. On the virus, you said recently that there can be too much testing. Can you explain what the downside would be from testing too many Americans for the virus, and why you haven`t provided a date by which all Americans might have the same kind of testing that we have here at the White House?
TRUMP: Well, we do more testing than anybody in the world, as I explained -- and I don`t mean just a little bit. If you look at India, they`re at about 11 million, and we`re at 61 million. And there comes a point when you just -- you want to focus your testing in a different way. And we`ll be announcing some -- what we`ve done is incredible with the testing. Not only the testing...
QUESTION: Is there a downside though?
TRUMP:... not only the number of tests, but also, very importantly, the quality of the test and the machinery itself to do the testing.
Nobody thought it would be possible to get a 5-minute and a 15-minute result that`s a very accurate result, and we do, with Abbott. Abbott Laboratories has done a great job. Many of these companies have done an incredible job.
So we`re looking at that very strongly. And we`re looking at doing something that if we do -- if we do it -- look, right now, what the testing is doing is helpful, but we`re spending massive amounts of money, and we want to have it -- we want to have it channeled very accurately. We want to be able to help the most people we can.
But we are testing at a level that no country in the world -- and I`ve spoken to the leaders of the world, and they`ll ask me about it -- no country in the world thought it would be -- it`s even believable that we`re able to test so much. Sixty-one million versus -- you know, most countries don`t even test. You know when they test? When somebody is feeling badly. If somebody is feeling badly, they`re symptomatic, that`s when they test. And that`s a big difference.
With us, we go around and -- looking, because if we find -- we find spots. We find hot spots. One problem is, from the standpoint of the media, we end up with far more cases than we would normally show. So it`s -- you know, as I called it the other day in a statement, I said it`s called media gold. You know, for the media, it`s gold.
But the truth is, it`s -- we`ve done an incredible job on testing. Nobody in the world has done the job. Other leaders have told me the same thing, they can`t believe we`re able to do it.
TRUMP: and we will continue, but we want to really be able to test, very specifically, the people that are in most danger, most in need.
All right. Please, go ahead.
QUESTION: And, on policing, sir...
QUESTION: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. I wanted to ask you first about what you tweeted out earlier today, in regards to Florida, and your comfortableness, as it relates to mail-in ballots...
QUESTION:... for Florida. What...
TRUMP: OK, I`m glad you`re asking.
QUESTION: Why does that apply to Florida and it doesn`t apply to mail-in balloting across the country?
TRUMP: So Florida has got a great Republican governor, and it had a great Republican governor. It`s got Ron DeSantis, Rick Scott -- two great governors. And over a long period of time, they`ve been able to get the absentee ballots done extremely professionally. Florida is different from other states.
I mean, in Nevada, where you have a governor -- he said, Let`s just send out millions of ballots, and the post office cannot be prepared. I haven`t spoken to the post office about it, but I don`t know how they could possibly be prepared.
Florida has been working on this for years. And they have a very good system of mail-in -- and that would be absentee or even beyond absentee. So, in the case of Florida, there aren`t too many people that would qualify.
They`re so well-run. Florida is a very well-run state: low taxes, low everything. They`ve done a great job, really a great job. And the two governors, between the both of them, they`ve really got a great system of absentee ballots and even the -- even in the case of mail-in ballots, the postal services have built up their -- you know, it takes a long time.
When you look at the Carolyn Maloney election, I think they -- and I will give you the story: I think you have to do that election over. That election is no good. You have to take a look.
In New York, they have thousands of ballots. They don`t know what happened to them. Is there fraud? Is there -- it`s a disaster. And that`s only for a relatively small number of ballots. But I think they have to do the election in New York over.
The Times wrote a big story about it yesterday. Front page story. It`s a disaster. It`s a mess. And they have to do that -- I think they have to do that election over. Nobody can know what the election result is.
So, in the case of Florida, they`ve done a great job and they`ve had tremendous success with it. But they`ve been doing this over many years, and they`ve made it really terrific.
So, for Florida, you can mail in your ballots. You don`t have to go. In maybe a couple of other states, they`ve worked out a system, but this took years to do. This doesn`t take weeks or months.
In the case of Nevada, they`re going to be voting in a matter of weeks. And you can`t do that. I can`t imagine the post office could do it. All of sudden, they`re supposed to be dealing in millions of ballots?
But Florida has done a great job, and we have total confidence that if you mail in your ballot in Florida, it`s going to matter.
Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you very much.
QUESTION: Mr. President...
QUESTION: What about in other states? Would you encourage voters in other states to request ballots, mail-in ballots?
MELBER: We have been listening to President Trump on one of these daily briefings.
I`m Ari Melber back with you.
We cut into our broadcast to hear that. We gave you a fact-check at the top of the program that actually arose during this very discussion.
And so I want to bring back in Dr. Megan Ranney and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz.
Doctor, this is the story of the day, clearly. It is grim. Anyone watching moments before that press conference would have gotten our presentation the death rate. That seemed to come up again. Your thoughts?
RANNEY: So, the number of deaths is an undeniable statistic. You can fudge testing, right?
We have had an insufficient number of tests for the total number of population. So, our deaths per cases look good. But you cannot fudge a rising number of hospitalizations and deaths across the country.
Ultimately, the number that we need to stand by is the deaths per 100,000 people. And as you and as the reporter during that press conference pointed out, we are among the bottom four, or top four, depending on how you look at it, countries in terms of our death rate.
That is not defensible...
RANNEY:... not with the health care system that we have.
MELBER: Well, Doctor, as it`s sometimes said, big facts, because you`re giving us the facts we need.
And while the underlying situation is very serious, there is this political overtone of the clash. And, as you mentioned, both in the White House Briefing Room, we just saw it happen again, and in that one-on-one interview, you did have a reporter call out the president on that.
And so we want our viewers to have those facts.
Looking beyond any one politician, Connie, I want to play something from the governor of New York. We just heard from the president. People can hear all the politicians and make up their own minds, but Governor Cuomo being quite strong in his view of where we`re at. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): Six months later, these states still don`t have testing and contact tracing. How can it be? You had six months. How did you not set up a testing operation? How did you not expand the capacity of your hospital system?
How did you not locate additional staff? How did you not locate additional PPE? You had six months?
The reason they didn`t, because they were listening to the president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Governor Cuomo being quite blunt there about something that he says he`s lived through and cares about, and New York hit hard.
But that`s as far as he`s gone, Connie, in basically saying, in his view, he argues that, because of politics and blind MAGA loyalty, Republican governors let more citizens die. Your response to his view?
rMD+IT_rMD-IT_SCHULTZ: I`m sitting here kind of stunned after watching Trump. I shouldn`t be. I should absolutely be past this.
He talked about the automotive industry surging in Ohio. And I`m sitting here thinking, how dare you not first acknowledge that we are on a statewide mandate again for masks? The governor has just said that children K-12, if they`re going to be in school, are going to be wearing masks.
I hear every day, every day -- this is not an overstatement -- from families who can`t get testing. I know a family right now. Their 4-year-old boy was tested Saturday morning. They are still waiting for test results at the end of Tuesday.
To pretend that these things are not happening -- so, yes, the governors -- we need the -- we got -- this president is not going to save us. This president is not going to help us. We need the governors. We need the senators.
As you know, I`m married to a Democratic senator, Sherrod Brown. I cannot tell you how many times...
MELBER: Connie, I have heard about that.
SCHULTZ: Thank you for letting me be the one to mention it.
MELBER: Well, you brought it up, yes.
SCHULTZ: Just three weeks ago -- well, I feel like I have to, for full disclosure here.
SCHULTZ: And three weeks ago, a Republican senator approached him on the floor not wearing a mask.
And Sherrod said, "You need to step away." And who Sherrod is looking out for that moment, while he wears a mask -- most of the Democrats are, by the way, but most of them still aren`t wearing them giving speeches. And you know who`s at risk?
The stenographers who have to stand just a few feet away from them, who thank the ones who wear them.
MELBER: People who work there.
SCHULTZ: And the family members and the staff members who could be exposed if they`re exposed.
There is such a lack of leadership at such a basic level. Wear your mask.
SCHULTZ: The president, every time he walks in that Briefing Room, should be wearing a mask, and take it off for the briefing.
Well, look, I...
SCHULTZ: And, Doctor, am I overreacting?
RANNEY: Not in the least, Connie.
RANNEY: I am completely -- yes.
Go ahead, Ari.
MELBER: I appreciate both of yours -- both of your contributions and clarity.
And we have benefited from you here before and after the press conference.
And I`m going to bring one of our favorites, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, next. So I`m going to get to her.
Dr. Ranney and Connie, thanks to both of you.
SCHULTZ: Thank you.
MELBER: Our special guest on one of the biggest political stories in the country right now, which is Joe Biden`s search for a running mate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSEPH BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I commit that I will, in fact, appoint a -- pick a woman to be vice president.
And, among them, there are four black women.
You have to have someone who you know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: We are joined by presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of "The New York Times" bestseller "Leadership in Turbulent Times."
Great to see you.
DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: You too, Ari. Glad to be with you.
MELBER: We are very fortunate that we got to you, because we have been juggling different news events.
I know that you give a lot of thought not only to any particular category, whether someone is in this party or this gender, but the particular role of these people who, in our system, are a heartbeat from the presidency.
Your view of history`s lessons for this big decision that Joe Biden says could be very soon?
GOODWIN: The most important thing, when you look at the course of our history, is that, in the early days, the vice presidency seemed so unimportant. The most insignificant office in the nature of man, says John Adams, only worth a bucket of warm spit, says Jack Garner.
But it obviously has become increasingly important. Not only have nine of our presidents become -- vice presidents become president, but, in recent times, the office of the presidency is so big, that they have shared big responsibilities with their vice presidents.
And I think, in a time of crisis, the most important thing we look for in our leaders, president or vice president, are the temperamental and character qualities that make up the family of leadership that I studied in all of my guys.
And that`s humility, the ability to acknowledge errors and learn from your mistakes, empathy, to see other people`s points of view, resilience through adversity, trust in your word, and probably most important, an ambition for self that becomes something larger.
So I think we`re looking. Obviously, there`s a need to mobilize votes. There`s probably -- there`s already a choice of gender. But the most important thing -- and it always sounds so idealistic -- is, what kind of a president could that vice president become and what kind of a partner can that person be to the sitting president?
And, candidly, this might sound like a little much, except Joe Biden has said it himself, which is, candidly, the generational qualities with an older person running, who may be an older president, who may, he says himself, not even pursue a second term, because of age, not because of any other reason.
I want to play a brief bit of Joe Biden as he spoke about that. And you will notice, in this clip, of course, you have behind him people who might even be in the running for this. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I view myself as a bridge, not as anything else. There`s an entire generation of leaders you saw stand behind me. They are the future of this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Kamala Harris, among others, was, as he references there, right behind him as he spoke, and he is looking at people who would be able to take this passing of the proverbial torch.
Does history show that adding that aspect complicates this and is difficult or is fine, because there`s always going to be the idea of, who does the party go to next?
GOODWIN: Well, the party is always looking nowadays at the vice president.
It used to be that it was a path to oblivion. But now a vice presidential person, because of the publicity, the access to fund-raising, and the responsibilities that they`re given, is a natural at least to try and run for the presidency.
But I think it depends on the partnership that you`re able to shape with the president. And I think, because Biden`s been a vice president, and he knows that partnership he had with the president, that`s going to matter to him a lot.
He`s got to share that office. The office is huge. And at a time of crisis, you need a team around you that can argue with you and question your assumptions. You need a team you can trust. You need a team.
I mean, I think one of the things that I remember Biden said that was good -- Obama said about Joe Biden was, he`s a contrarian. That`s the most important thing, because he was able to offer alternative points of view.
Eleanor Roosevelt played for FDR -- she was, as he said, a welcome thorn in his side, always willing to argue with you. You need not just a sounding board. You need not somebody who can trust, but you need somebody who will have their own opinions, bring that new generational opinion along, and give you a broader perspective when you`re there.
In times of crisis, that team is absolutely essential. Nobody can do it alone.
MELBER: Doris Kearns Goodwin, I`m glad, even on a busy night, that we had time to get you in. Always learn something from you. Thank you.
GOODWIN: You are welcome.
Do you remember when President Obama was reminiscing about the very first time he heard the opening of the hit show "Hamilton"? Take a look from this at a White House event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They were going to perform a song from a hip-hop album about the life of somebody who embodies hip-hop, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.
OBAMA: And so we all started laughing. Who`s laughing now?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MELBER: Who`s laughing now? And why is that back in the news? We will explain. There`s a very good answer.
MELBER: Newly released police video showing more disturbing scenes from the fatal arrest of George Floyd.
As we reported last night, these videos reaffirm how Floyd was unarmed in this entire encounter and pleading with officers in the arrest that ended in his killing and then murder charges.
This was, of course, the catalyst for these nationwide protests, demanding reforms of everything from systemic racism, to replacing Confederate statues, to addressing how history is taught and understood in today`s America.
These are, of course, long-running debates, from Mark Twain last century, to the current hit musical "Hamilton, " which just debuted as a streaming play starring Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tony and Grammy winner Leslie Odom Jr., who just sat down with us.
Odom originated that show`s rendition of Burr, adapted from the famous Ron Chernow biography, and he talks about how, in just a few years, the show`s arguments about reimagining history, including casting black founding fathers, is sparking new conversations and critiques as people rethink who should be history`s heroes.
And here is his answer airing right now for the first time.
LESLIE ODOM JR., ACTOR: And what is really fascinating now -- and I welcome it and I`m so grateful for it -- now that the show is out in this America, four years later, having very different conversations than we were in 2016.
They`re looking at Hamilton, even, with different eyes. The next step really, is de-center white men on all of these stories we`re telling.
ODOM: There`s been one version of the story that`s been very adamantly standing in the center of the room and making sure that it was all centered on these statues that are all over the world that people are tearing down in the streets.
Has anybody else in America than anything worth erecting a statue to? That`s what we`re talking about. So, eventually, that`s we`re going to get.
MELBER: "Hamilton" breaks ground in many ways, profiling an obscure founding father who was never president, urging today`s audiences to care about a historical debate over economics, then narrating those stories through a hip-hop musical, and casting these black actors in the star roles of founding fathers.
Odom says a play could work with all kinds of casting, but this vision here was deliberately different.
ODOM: Had this show been written for a cast of white actors and actresses, which it could have been -- I don`t know if Lin would have taken six years of his life to write it, but someone absolutely could have -- I just -- I think the music would sound different.
You asked earlier, what happens when...
MELBER: When the culture embraces the counterculture.
ODOM: Right. Right.
Some of the edges of what Lin made have gotten smoothed off because the show is so ubiquitous and is so successful. But having seen that very first reading, I never want to let people forget the protest that was in that to even create it. That was radical to have Daveed play Thomas Jefferson.
ODOM: What that means to strike out and write this thing in the way that he did, this is a story you want us to believe. You want us to parrot, right?
This is the story that you have told us again and again. OK, fine, so it belongs to all of us? Well, then we`re going to tell it in our language then.
MELBER: That`s what "Hamilton" does, remixing the substance and style of American history, to great effect, selling out Broadway, and now available in a way most plays never are, streaming on Disney+.
We also had an interesting exchange about an early decision Leslie made in his career. Take a look.
ODOM: I signed a contract with NBC. I tried to get comfortable with the money. But, like, I knew I couldn`t give up "Hamilton."
MELBER: Did they look at you like you were crazy, or were they impressed?
ODOM: Oh, yes.
ODOM: Are you kidding me?
ODOM: You want to do -- it`s what you said. You -- oh, you want to leave our TV show to go do an off-Broadway show, a hip-hop musical about the founding fathers? OK, get the -- call security.
ODOM: He`s obviously out of his mind.
MELBER: Odom and I also discussed protests, theater in this time of COVID, and his new Sam Cooke project. So, there`s a lot in here.
This is one of the first socially distanced in-person interviews that we here have done in this new normal. And it`s all part of some of the culture that we want to prioritize, which is why, right now, I invite you to go to MSNBC.com/mavericks.
And you can see the whole thing. I just showed you a little bit airing for the first time, but you could see the whole interview and find our other installments of this exclusive digital series. That`s "Mavericks With Ari Melber" at MSNBC.com/mavericks.
I hope you will check it out. We had such an interesting time doing it.
Now, that does it for our broadcast tonight. You can always see us here on THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER every night at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.
Don`t go anywhere right now, though, because "THE REIDOUT WITH JOY REID" is up next.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END