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Pres. Trump TRANSCRIPT: 7/10/20, MTP Daily

Guests: Michael Osterholm, Arne Duncan


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`re seeing our numbers increasing. People are getting sicker and it`s not just affecting the elderly and those with comorbid conditions, we`re actually seeing patients who are young and otherwise healthy come in with pretty severe disease.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of younger patient population are showing up, then getting admitted to the hospital, and you know, they`re getting admitted to the intensive care unit. This disease has a long-term impact on your life and your loved ones lives. Remember when you`re in the hospital from covid, your family cannot visit. You`re alone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And that is such a hard and scary way to spend your time in the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I understand that the general public, people that aren`t in the health care, they don`t see the things that we see, so they don`t understand fully, but it`s real. They need to wear your masks. You need to wash your hands. Don`t go into large gatherings.


CHUCK TODD, MSNBC HOST: Once again we begin the show with sound from some of the medical workers on the front lines of this pandemic, as you saw mostly southern date lines. Welcome to Friday, it is Meet The Press Daily, I`m chuck Todd. As cases continue to surge in the United States, local officials in hotspots like Florida, Arizona, Texas and elsewhere are sounding the alarm. In Arizona, as cases and hospitalizations rise, the Phoenix mayor told me earlier today that one of their main health care systems had to call in freezer trucks because they ran out of room at their morgues.

The Texas governor is warning that as bad as this week was with cases surging, hospitals overwhelmed and deaths rising, prepare for the worst next week because things are going to get worse next week, he said. Florida today reported its largest single day increase in hospitalizations as it confirmed another 11,000 plus cases in one day. And the nation`s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, by his own admission now is admitting he`s been sidelined as President Trump criticizes his public health experts, threatens to pull funding from schools that can`t reopen and tries to convince the public to join him in a potentially dangerous alternate reality where the experts are wrong and he`s right.

In fact, Dr. Fauci told the Financial Times quote, I have a reputation as you probably have figured out of speaking the truth at all times and not sugar-coating things. That may be one of the reasons why I haven`t been on television very much lately. The president is pushing a narrative that the U.S. is in control. Fauci meanwhile is warning the situation could spiral out of control.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALERGY AND INFECTOUS DISEASES: The current state is really not good. We are still knee deep in the first wave of this.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he`s made a lot of mistakes. I think we are in a good place. I disagree with him. You know, Dr. Fauci said don`t wear masks, and now he says wear them. He said numerous things.

FAUCI: As a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don`t think you can say we`re doing great. I mean we`re just not.

TRUMP: Now we`re open and we want to stay open and we will stay open. We`re not closing. We`ll put out the fires as they come out. I call them embers and fires, and whatever you want to call them.

FAUCI: This virus to our dismay is spectacularly efficient in transmitting from person to person. So that makes me skeptical whether we would get permanent sustained control of this without having a vaccine.

TRUMP: We have a mortality rate, think of this, that`s tenfold better than any other -- what we`re doing is incredible. If you look, you`ve heard the numbers, tenfold. We have fewer people dying.

FAUCI: It`s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death. There`s so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus. Don`t get yourself into false complacency.


TODD: And with regard to the president recently claiming baselessly that 99 percent of cases are totally harmless, Dr. Fauci said this, I`m trying to figure out where the president got that number. What I think happened is that someone told him that the general mortality is about 1 percent. And he interpreted, therefore, that 99 percent is not a problem when that`s obviously not the case.

President Trump meanwhile is in Florida today visiting a region which is one of the hottest of hot spots in the country. But he`s not there to talk about the virus. He`s instead focusing on immigration and Venezuelan politics.

Joining me now from the White House is my colleague Carol Lee and with us from Miami-Dade County, Florida, where the president is traveling today is NBC`s Dasha Burns. Carol, let me start with you, you know, Fauci v. Trump has been sort of an ongoing sort of under the radar back and forth that I have felt that at times the White House has tried to make sure -- no, no, no, they`re not feuding, they don`t disagree. That seems to be over.


TODD: That`s over, right?

LEE: Yes. That`s definitely gone.

And I think what you`re seeing --

TODD: So, what is the state of the task force?

LEE: Well, the task force is still -- they meet, and they`re actually briefing more than publicly than they have been in the previous month or two, but Dr. Fauci is not really among them. You know, he`s not at these briefings and typically in the same -- to the same extent that other members of the task force are, at least publicly. And he`s -- his differences with President Trump are now just fully out in the open.

This used to be something that White House officials would talk about quietly, and they would say, you know, that they wanted to try to keep Fauci off of television, you know, and at places on television where the president might not see him, but Fauci keeps finding a way to appear on your livestreams or at he was at the coronavirus conference earlier today where he was saying that the United States is having a real problem which is in contrast to what the president was saying, that we`re in a good place.

But it`s not just him, even Dr. Birx was at that same conference and she said that the mortality rate, while it`s going down is expected to actually go back up because of all of the cases that we`re seeing across the country. And so this tension that was kind of quiet and the president found Fauci annoying has really escalated in the last few weeks.

And I think that`s because the president really just wants to move on from this, and really is feels like he just wants to deliver the message and then any time anyone remotely undercuts him, they`re disloyal and eventually, you know, when you have experts who are there to tell you what the facts are, they`re going to get on the wrong side of a president who wants to spin the facts in the most positive direction.

TODD: Well, this also seems to be like he`s asking for more political problems, not less here. I want to put up these polling numbers on trust for information on covid-19, the CDC, Dr. Fauci, Donald Trump. The CDC, 77 percent people trust the CDC for covid information. 67 percent say they trust Dr. Fauci, just 26 percent say they trust President Trump for their information and covid-19.

You know, one can`t help but wonder -- and I heard the president express this wondering, well, how come Dr. Fauci works for me, so his good poll ratings should be my good poll ratings, is this his beef with Fauci? That Fauci is getting too much credit?

LEE: Well, its` partly, it`s certainly does not help those sorts of polls. When the president sees things like that and sees others as getting better polls or better coverage or anything in that vein, he really doesn`t like it. If you remember early on you could tell -- it`s one of the tells when President Trump is tiring of somebody is he`ll say like, such a celebrity now, it sounds like a compliment but it`s actually really not, it means that he`s frustrated with you and that he doesn`t like that somebody`s getting a little too much attention and he`s getting less.

And when you see polls like that, that doesn`t help Fauci at least internally with this is standing with the president, but there`s also a dispute, Chuck, going on even within the president`s own team, outside of the health experts. There are some who really think that the health experts and the coronavirus task force should be out there in front more, that that`s the right messaging and the right posture that the White House should have.

And then there`s those who are more in line with the president who just want to kind of not focus on that and emphasize on the economy. And so you see this -- some people advocating for people like Fauci to be out there more, and others internally are trying to pull them back. And so, it`s not just between the president and some of these experts, it`s actually a difference between his own team.

TODD: Well, this contradiction of the president traveling to a covid hot spot, let me go to Dasha Burns, she`s been with the president today in Doral, Florida, in Miami-Dade County. The president is there, this is the hot spot state in the country right now for the virus. Miami-Dade County the hot spot in the country right now or he virus. Miami-Dade County, the hottest spot, the president didn`t have any virus focused events. How much did he even talk about the virus today, Dasha?

DASHA BURNS, NBC NEWS REPORTER: Yeah. Chuck, that`s absolutely right. Just no covid-related events today whatsoever on his schedule. He barely mentioned it today at all. Mostly touting the successes. What he did seem to be trying to do today, though, instead, Chuck, is focus on some of the strengths, focus on some the things that are going well for him. So he went to southern command today to preview a counter narcotics operation near Central America, touting some of the successes that the administration has had when it comes to drug trafficking.

Then he came right here to this church behind me to meet with a group of Venezuelan American voters, a critical voting block here in Miami-Dade in Florida, and they, unlike some of the -- when you look at the national Latino vote, it does tend to lean left. But here in Miami, that`s a different story. There`s a lot of political diversity here, particularly when the Venezuelan community that does tend to lean a little bit more conservative and independent.

And they have been fairly supportive of the president. They see him taking a harder line with the Maduro regime. And we got a little bit of a peak peek into the Trump campaign strategy, tying Joe Biden to socialism today, he hammered that point home in this church today. He tied them to AOC, Bernie Sanders and a militant left that definitely resonates with some of the voters here and does scare them a little bit away from the Democratic Party, Chuck.

TODD: Well, there`s no doubt, I think Democrats will tell you that the s word probably cost them the governor`s race in 2018, just in Miami-Dade County alone. When I mean by the s word, socialism. Dasha Burns, great -- on the ground reporting there.

Carol Lee, before I let you go. I have a source telling me that Roger Stone commutation is done, it`s imminent, it`s about to happen. I think you have the same. We`ve been hearing this all day. The chatter is loud. Commutation is what I`ve heard is going to be on the table. What are you hearing?

LEE: The same. That that`s more likely, even Roger Stone said that himself to the extent that he knows, but we also are hearing that there are people who are around the president who think this is -- while there -- they agree that he will probably do this if Roger Stone does have to report to jail on Tuesday as he is currently schedule. But there are people around the president who think that`s really politically a bad move for the president right now. They just also know that they probably can`t stop him.

TODD: Well, we`ll be watching. Carol Lee, Dasha Burns, thank you for getting us started.

Joining us now is Dr. Michael Osterholm. He is of course the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Osterholm, you have said countless times to me, look, 60 percent to 70 percent of this country is going to get this virus. This is the reality of this situation.

But the folks that run the federal government didn`t necessarily believe this reality, and yet here we are, all of the predictions may have had what month, what state was going to be a hot spot wrong in, but beyond that here we are. Is there any way to turn this around?

DR. MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH AND POLICY: Well, actually, there is. And that`s the challenge, I think, that`s before us. This is only in part a decision that the virus is going to make. Some of us, our own ability to make a decision, and that is are we willing to really clamp down again, shut down in the way that we did in March in these states with these very high levels of transmission and then get the virus under control.

Get it to one or two cases per 100,000 population per day and then we can do what a lot of the rest of the world has done. Whether in Asia, Europe, or Canadian colleagues, look at where they`re at today. They`re managing this on a day-to-day basis without having a complete lockdown economy or by having their intensive care units overrun. And so it`s up to us. Are we going to decide to do this or not?

TODD: Right. Well, it seems as if we`re right back into the same place. Arizona`s got testing issues. We are running out of PPE. It was understandable the first time we got hit. Although we had a debate about whether we should have been more prepared. How in the heck are we here now three months later?

OSTERHOLM: Well, you know, I think that somehow we thought that we could basically win an argument with this virus. And we now know we can`t. We have to deal with it. You heard me say on this very show, you know, we`re not driving this tiger, we`re riding it. And the way we`re going to end up, I think, maximizing on our overall safety, our health and our economy is getting it shut down once and for all, coming back slowly and gradually, much like New York is doing and the rest of the world and then living with it until we get a vaccine.

When living with this still means we`ll have cases, but not that many. We are still going to have challenges in time to time having to put the brake on a little harder, take it off a little bit. But we won`t be in this situation. You know, Chuck, one of the numbers I think that should really be sobering to the American public, this month we will pass over 1,000 health care workers in this country who have died from this virus. Many of them were acquired at work. 1,000, think of that if this were soldiers or if this were law enforcement, what we would be saying.

We are now running into a situation where we have even less protective equipment for these people. We`re running into intensive care units where they`re literally are almost like MASH units going on day after day after day and running short of employees. We can`t keep this up. We just can`t. We have got to understand that we have got to lock this thing down and deal with the cost of it, but we have to do it.

TODD: Neither -- it doesn`t appear that the governors of Florida and Arizona have any political will to do that. So, if they don`t, what does the fall look like? Does it make opening schools and universities impossible?

OSTERHOLM: I think it does. But let me just give you one more sobering number here. I think, you mentioned early on that I have been sharing with you that maybe 6 percent to 7 percent of our population has been infected to date. That number is about 7 percent, maybe 8 percent today. We are going to have to get to 50 percent or 60 percent. If you want to know what is going to take to infect 160 million people, which is half our U.S. population.

Even just looking at the clinical cases, not all the infections, that is about 52,000 to 58,000 cases a day, every day for the next 365 days. Every day. Are we going to decide that that`s what we are going to accept? We can`t. And so it`s time now for us to come to some recognition that, you know, politics aside, economics, we have to deal with the pain and suffering that some people will experience. We have to help them out as a government. But we have to decide this is not the course we can sustain. It just isn`t.

TODD: By the way, you said that the first shutdown, obviously it worked in the northeast, but it didn`t really work everywhere else. Should we be thinking of this as a national shutdown or, if (inaudible), or can we do think we can do this regionally?

OSTERHOLM: I think we can surely do it regionally. I think New York, Connecticut and New Jersey proved that to us. You know, I have to give them great credit. I was asked by Governor Cuomo to actually be one of two people that reviews every time that a decision is made in New York to open up the economy a bit more, I get all the data sent to me in this most comprehensive dashboard, the number of tests done, the number of people in the hospital, ICU care, etcetera, it`s remarkable what they`re doing.

And they are opening up according to what they have prescribed as a way for them to still control the virus. So, it`s a fine dance with the virus. Trust me. They`re going to have their flair-ups and they`re doing it. They have demonstrated they can do it. The rest of the country can do it too. And it`s not about being blue or red.

TODD: Can be scaled?

OSTERHOLM: Absolutely it can be scaled. And I think that`s what the rest of the country has to recognize. That we can do this. And I don`t think we have an option but to do it. You know, the tragedy of what we`re seeing this week -- I mean, think about this. When we were at 20,000 cases a day, we thought oh my, this is horrible. And then we got to 40,000. We thought 20,000 wasn`t so bad. Now we`re at 60,000. Before long we`ll be at 100,000.

You know what, when are we going to finally say we have got to understand that you know, being in an argument with this virus, we have less chance of winning that than arguing with 2,000 cranky, tired 2-year-olds. OK, we have got to deal with this virus. And the way we are going to have to do it is shut down again and then bring it back gradually. That`s the only answer. It`s not a partisan answer. That`s a public health answer.

TODD: I know. And I think everybody wants an easy answer and an easy solution. And I think you`re reminding folks this is not going to be easy. But there is a solution. We just have to sort of, you know, strap up. You know, pick up our boot straps. Anyway, Dr. Osterholm --

OSTERHOLM: Many years ago -- thank you.

TODD: Go ahead. No, no, finish up.

OSTERHOLM: I was just going to say, many years ago there was an old commercial on TV for an oil filter, it said you can pay me now or you pay me later. I`m just telling the country right now, either we pay now or we will pay later.

TODD: Yeah. Well, hopefully more and more people will continue to listen to your advice on this. Dr. Osterholm, as always thank you for coming on and sharing your expertise. Boy, I`ll tell you, that number of health care workers that we`re at, 1,000 front line workers that have died from this virus. That`s an important stat that Americans need to know.

Up ahead, it`s not April but it sure feels like it when it comes to this virus. We`re dealing with all the same problems just in different places. We are going to head to coronavirus hot spots that don`t have enough hospital beds, tests, or personal protective equipment.

And later as President Trump urges schools to open with watered down safety protocols, what should be the plan to get America`s kids back to class? It is an open question and we are going to ask President Obama`s former education secretary for his prescription.


TODD: Welcome back. As we`ve been saying unfortunately it`s deja vu all over again as conditions in coronavirus hot spots across United States repeat what we saw in the tristate area in the northeast, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey earlier this spring. PPE shortages, testing sites slam, overwhelmed hospitals and front line health care workers being pushed to the brink. The very same problems we experienced at the start of this pandemic and it is no longer the beginning.

Our NBC News reporters are covering this Deja vu all over again. Vaughn Hillyard is at Arizona State University, (inaudible), where a new saliva testing site is set to come online tomorrow, and hopefully alleviates some of the testing crunch if those are reliable. Joe Fryer is on Los Angeles, covering the calls for more PPE from doctors and front line medical workers there. And Garrett Haake is in Fort Worth Texas, where he`s talked to EMTs are being spread very thin and simply just beaten down by this surge.

Let me start with Vaughn in hard hit Arizona. And if you thought the heat was going to kill this virus, I believe the high today where you are was supposed to be 118, Mr. Hillyard and that virus is not dead.

VAUGHN HILLYARD, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Usually I would invite you and everybody else to come out for the weekend here, but I don`t think that anybody has any interest for good reason. Where you will be seeing crowd this weekend, Chuck, testing locations. I think that will be the one place hopefully where you will see folks, including Arizona State University`s new saliva test, that is going on the -- widely available market tomorrow over in the west valley here.

This is a situation where the state continues to struggle to expand its testing capabilities. Right now you have a percent positive rate of over 30 percent. And right now, most folks are showing up to the hospitals already sick and symptomatic. Right now the state is still urging folks only showing symptoms or sick to get test. Which makes it extremely difficult to really pin down where these hot spots here across the state are occurring. Whether family members, whether (inaudible) families.

I should note, this upcoming week the state has announced that the HHS with the CDC are going to be opening up their very first high volume testing centers. They are going to have two locations. Either this Thursday or Friday. Which is welcomed news here in the state. They`re planning to able to process about 5,000 tests a day. But again, I say, this is the first federal testing facilities on a wide high-scale level that are going to be coming into the state despite us now being two months into this growing surge here, Chuck.

TODD: Vaughn Hillyard on the ground, you`ve been on top of this with Arizona from the start. I think my guess is that at some point Arizona health officials are going to be asking you for where things are headed. Let me move over to Joe Fryer. I have to say Joe, California is not a state that reopened too soon. California is not a state that has been sort of not following guidelines, and yet the virus is surging there what are you seeing?

JOE FRYER, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes and I was actually talking with the L.A. County public health Director about that the other day, and it`s still hard to put a finger on why exactly that is, but a lot of it they think comes down to human behavior. Now, here in southern California, we`ve been talking with a lot of the big hospitals about PPE and a lot of them tell us that they feel that their supplies are sufficient right now.

So, there are some big hospital chains and there are some states who feel when it comes to protective equipment, they are doing OK. But it`s a different story when you look much broader than that. Think of all the businesses that are trying to reopen right now, the American medical association says that there are doctor`s offices and specialist that were closed during the pandemic. Now they are trying to reopen, they say they are having a hard time getting their hands on PPE.

We`ve been talking with a group called GetusPPE, it`s a non-profit. It started in March, when we were seeing those major shortages especially in the New York area, they were working to get their hands on that equipment, get it to the facilities, get it to the workers who need it most. Now here we are in July, the organization says the last couple of weeks they`re seeing a huge demand in people who want to get their hands on PPE.

So that`s a big issue. And a lot of people are saying perhaps the president should invoke the defense production act to create more of it. But right now no inclination that the government plans to do that. The Vice President said this week, he believes that PPE remains strong here in the United States, Chuck.

TODD: Joe Fryer with the latest in California. Joe, thank you there. Let me go to Garrett Haake. And Garrett, well, yesterday I feel like we`re seeing a tone shift from the governor I particular. Governor Abbott, there`s no more happy talk, he is being pretty blunt, and he seemed to say that as bad as this week was prepare for next week being worst. Just how bad are thing, we got a glimmer of hope today from a doctor in Houston who said there`s some indication that maybe there`s some plateauing in the hospitalizations.

GARRET HAAKE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The best news I can give you from Texas is that the news we had here from the start here which is the hospital capacity in the state of Texas, particularly in the urban areas, is massive. And so even as those numbers get pushed higher and higher, there does still remain some capacity in these larger hospital systems.

But basically all the other news is bad. The testing numbers are off the charts in terms of positive cases. Where another day right around a 100 deaths. That`s three days in a row where we`ve been, you know, five deaths of 100, which is, you know, a record high for the state. And you mentioned the governor, he has been really trying to get people to focus on his mask order, this mandatory mask order across the state. He said essentially it`s the only way to prevent another lockdown. This is what he told a local television station up in Lubbock today.


GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): The deaths that we`re seeing announced today and yesterday, which are now over 100, those are people who likely contracted covid-19 in late May. Remember, this massive spike occurred in the second or third week of June. And so -- and that`s what led to this massive increase in hospitalizations as well as people going to ICU units. And so actually the worst is yet to come as we work our way through that massive increase and people testing positive.


HAAKE: A sobering warning there from the governor. He`s been hammering this point, wear your mask, help prevent a shutdown and help protect the health care workers like the paramedics I`ve been talking to here this last couple of days, Chuck. They`re getting worn down from call after call. Sometimes they know it`s a covid call, sometimes they have to treat it that way as like every other time they go out. There`s enormous strain on the front line workers here in the state.

TODD: Garrett, you`re a (inaudible), so you know these politics of this state well. I`m just curious, Greg Abbott is suddenly talking pretty much of the opposite way of his lieutenant governor when it comes to dealing with this virus. How is Abbott`s mask order playing politically on the right?

HAAKE: I will say mask compliance is certainly higher in Texas now than it was when I was here for the entire month of April. When Abbott put that order out, Chuck, you should look at the comments he got on his social media alone.

On the far-right in Texas, he was being called a traitor, saying he had sold out to the libs (ph), he had bought in all the crisis, who plow (ph) here. At the end of the day, Abbott is responsible for governing the state. Lieutenant Governor Patrick is mostly responsible for talking on television. So you see I think a little bit of a difference there in how they approached this.

TODD: Vaughn Hillyard, Joe Fryer, Garrett Haake, quite the trio, giving us these on the ground reports in these troubling hot spots in the Sun Belt. Thank you all, gentlemen.

Up ahead, the many open questions about how to get kids back to school and to do so safely.

And later, our friends at The Cook Political Report say this election is -- we`re not looking at a wave. This thing might be a tsunami that is building. We`re going to take a look at the changing electoral map as the paths to a Trump victory are getting even more narrow.



GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): What we do in the fall, whether we will be able to go back to school, in classrooms, whether we will be able to have Friday night football, whatever you like to do in the fall, it`s going to depend to a great extent on what we do in the next 30 days.


TODD: Welcome back. That was Republican Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio, who is among the first governors in the country to close schools in his state at the onset of this pandemic. Now, he is asking each district in his state to put together a plan rather than going with the one size fits all approach.

And that`s part of the problem when it comes to schools: One size does not fit all. Another problem, President Trump is renewing his pressure on school districts to bring students back. He tweeted this morning the following: Schools must be open in the fall. If not open, why would the federal government give funding? It won`t.

Meanwhile, several medical and education organizations are calling on experts to make the back to school decision, not politicians, releasing a statement that reads in part, "Science should drive decision-making on safely reopening schools. Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics."

With me now is Arne Duncan. He was education secretary under President Obama. Before that, he was the head of the Chicago public school system. So, he is a guy who has been on the local and national end.

Arne, I want to start with the issue of what we`re calling opening schools. I mean, nobody is disputing that schools need to reopen. The debate is about virtual versus in-class. So if you were back in your old job in Chicago, what would you be doing right now?

ARNE DUNCAN, FORMER EDUCATION SECRETARY: I am talking to superintendents across the country all the time. Everybody needs to have three plans. One is a plan to bring every child back to physical school. That`s the most optimistic plan. Frankly, Chuck, it`s the most unlikely.

The second plan is to have no one come back and continue in a virtual manner as we did in March, April, May and June. The third one is, as you said, a hybrid situation where you bring some students back to the physical building some of the time but all students will be spending time on the virtual basis.

I want to be so clear. Schools can`t make these decisions in a vacuum. They`re not bubbles. What we do now in the month of July will help determine whether or not children have the opportunity to go back to schools in August. So we as adults have to make small sacrifices to give our children a chance to have great opportunities in the next six weeks or so.

TODD: I`m sure you saw this piece this morning that sort of went through how much money and resources each of these school districts need. I think I saw in Georgia, for instance, they want to have extra bus monitors. That`s going to be $300,000 expense. You know, other school districts may need to double the size of the custodial staff, things like that.

We know that state and local governments are just absolutely getting squeezed on money here. These resources have to come from the government. How would you, if you were there, how would you -- how would you be advocating for this?

DUNCAN: Well, this is where the federal government has to step up. The fact that Trump is talking about the opposite thing, talking about taking money away from school districts is just ridiculous. This has no interest in the wellbeing and health and safety of children. So, as you said, states and federal -- state and local budgets are actually being crushed with property taxes, sales taxes down.

The only place these additional resources can come from, whether these are bus monitors, whether these are safety shields, whether it`s cleaning equipment, whether more custodians, that money has to come from a federal investment. Absent that, everything we say we want to do for children, we`ll rob them of that opportunity.

TODD: Where do you come down on -- I heard Dr. Fauci the other day. So for instance he said, you know, universities have an opportunity to create bubbles, so you can probably under certain circumstances bring a lot more kids back to campus. Kids under the age of 12 -- it looked like we might be able to feel good about that.

How would you be designing different -- looking at what we know now about this virus, would you be more aggressive on the younger end of getting kids back into school versus maybe doing high school more virtually? How would you be striking this balance?

DUNCAN: You know, that`s a complicated and really important question. Let me say a couple things. I think we all know it`s harder for young children to do the virtual education, so this is about a time of shared sacrifice. Those students in high school, I have a high school child myself, they may have to do more virtually than our younger 4, 5, 6, 7, 8-year-olds, when that`s a more difficult time.

But the level of complexity, Chuck, is actually much more beyond that. Let me give you a couple different examples. You might have a teacher who due to their underlying health conditions, that teacher cannot teach in a physical environment, has to do all their teaching, 100 percent of their teaching in a virtual manner. We have to be able to accommodate that.

You might have a child who is in perfectly good health but because they live or raised by a grandmother, a grandfather whose health is more challenging, that child may never be able to come to school. We have to accommodate that child`s learning, as well.

And finally, you might have a child whose mom or dad or both are essential workers and they need to be in school every single day because there is no one to take care of them. And so we have to look at this, yes, at the district level, but at the individual school level, and then literally grade by grade, class by class.

We have to do this through an equity lens. We have to do this in a way that takes care of the best interests, yes, of our children, but also of our custodians, our bus drivers, lunch room attendants, our staff, and then children`s parents and grandparents at home. We have to balance all of these equities as thoughtfully and compassionately as we can.

TODD: That is a tall order. In this political environment, that is a tall order. I`m looking at my calendar again. It is July 10th. Just double checking. We are, you know, in the state of Florida, they try to bring teachers back, I think, at the first of August. Some schools start the second and third week of August.

At this point, do -- what school system is prepared at this point? I feel like what you just described is an impossible task. I mean, I feel like we are headed for a school year where we`re going to have a third of kids around this country with another lost school year.

DUNCAN: Well, I hope that doesn`t happen. For all the lack of leadership, the devastating lack of leadership at the federal level, I`m actually unbelievably encouraged and inspired with my conversations with teachers, with principals, and with superintendents. They are going to continue to figure this out together.

To be clear, Chuck, whatever plan we start with at the start of the school year, that plan is going to have to change. People are working together, they`re collaborating, they`re problem solving, they`re learning from each other`s mistakes and successes.

That local leadership gives me tremendous hope that people are going to continue to do the best thing for students and families educationally in terms of feeding them, in terms of children and staffs` mental and emotional health. We have to look at all of those things at the same time.

TODD: I`m just curious. One quick question on university level activities and that is college sports. If there wasn`t so much money connected to college football, would we already have all of these seasons postponed in the fall already? Is the only reason the big 10 announced a conference-only schedule for now is because they`re all desperate to keep their revenue?

DUNCAN: I`m not the scientist, I`m not the epidemiologist, but if you look at what the Ivy League did in the past day or two, Chuck, they basically closed down all of fall sports, not just football. Those are not schools that are generating revenue from those sports.

I do worry that money in those power five conferences, the big-time football conferences, I worry that money is going to influence how adults - - the decisions that adults make and the risk they put their student athletes and their coaches through.

If you look at the University of North Carolina, their football team, they were having preseason workouts already, a couple dozen players got sick and they had to shut that down. If you look at what the Ivy League did, I think that informs us of what higher education should do, as we think about not just football, but all sports at the collegiate level.

TODD: Yeah, it`s hard not to look at some of these decisions in these power five conferences and not realize they`re all worried more about a bottom line. Arne Duncan, former education secretary during the Obama years as well as a former superintendent essentially of the Chicago public schools, I know it`s a different title there, but I appreciate you coming on and sharing your perspective.

Up next, a first look at my colleague Jose Diaz-Balart`s exclusive interview with President Trump.


TODD: Welcome back. We are getting our first look right now at an interview with President Trump that was conducted by my colleague Jose Diaz-Balart for Telemundo. This is the president`s first interview with the Spanish language news outlet since the coronavirus pandemic began, which has disproportionately impacted minority communities.

The president was asked point-blank by Jose why the president was trying to deport DACA recipients when the Latino community is on the frontlines of this fight. That question led to this exchange.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I`m going to be over the next few weeks signing an immigration bill that a lot of people don`t know about. If you have breaking news, but I`m signing a big immigration bill --

JOSE DIAZ-BALART, TELEMUNDO ANCHOR: Is this an executive order?

D. TRUMP: I`m going to do a big executive order. I have the power to do it as president. And I`m going to make DACA a part of it. But we put it in. We`re probably going to be then taking it out. We`re working out the legal complexities right now.

But I`m going to be signing a very major immigration bill as an executive order, which Supreme Court now, because of the DACA decision, has given me the power to do that. One of the aspects of the bill is going to be DACA. We`re going to have a road to citizenship.

DIAZ-BALART: OK, so that`s as an executive order, not as a congressional --

D. TRUMP: If you look at the Supreme Court ruling, they gave the president tremendous powers when they said that you could take in in this case 700,000 or so people. So they gave powers. Based on the powers that they gave, I`m going to be doing an immigration bill, one of the aspects of the bill that you will be happy with and that a lot of people will be, including me, and a lot of Republicans, by the way, will be DACA. We`ll give them a road to citizenship.


TODD: Like most things, the president says on this issue, we`ll have to see what he does with this executive order, not what he says will be in it. The president also addressed the pandemic, his stance on Venezuela, and other topics. The whole interview will be worth your time. We`ll be right back.


TODD: Welcome back. So what looked like a blue wave, could it really be turning into a blue tsunami? At least, that`s how The Cook Political Report described it when they released their latest Electoral College ratings. Yesterday`s update reclassified Wisconsin and Pennsylvania as now lean democrat. So their map gives Democrats a new toll of 279 electoral votes if all the states that are leaning likely are solid Democrat come through.

Joining me now is Charlie Cook, editor of The Cook Political Report. And Charlie, when I hear the word tsunami, I immediately think in my lifetime, 1980, then you go 64, maybe you go 36. Is that what you`re staring at in your crystal ball here?

CHARLIE COOK, NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER AT THE COOK POLITICAL REPORT: Well, I don`t think anybody has a crystal ball, but it looks like 1980 except that the movement away from an incumbent president started five months rather than five days before the election. But we`re seeing a lot of movement.

This race is totally different from where it was in April or where it was even five or six weeks ago. I was looking at something that the National Conference of State Legislatures put together today. North Carolina mails out their ballot in 54 days. Their first ballot is September 2nd.

TODD: Wow.

COOK: This thing is going the wrong direction for President Trump. You know, you can`t -- I know you spend a lot of time every day talking to operatives, strategists, and pollsters on both sides. They are taking this -- I mean, we tried to be really cautious and --

TODD: I know we do.

COOK: -- this is where we -- you know, particularly (INAUDIBLE) but this is really quite something.


TODD: You know, I guess the real question that everybody is asking themselves and we won`t know the answer until December, is Trump past the point of no return? Has he hit this Katrina zone that George W. Bush hit, right, where it didn`t matter, nothing broke through, there was this loss of trust and confidence, and it just was gone and he couldn`t get it back?

You don`t know when you`re there until after it`s happen. But do you get the sense that that`s what Republicans fear the most? That it may be too late?

COOK: You know, I mean, the thing is his numbers have been almost impervious to developments. I mean, they were never good. He never hit 50 percent. But events, good or bad, just didn`t move his numbers until April 1.

And it was when the coronavirus and the handling of it and then it got compounded by George Floyd that, you know, you just started seeing a completely different trajectory than we had seen for three and a half years. You know, I never want to say, well, it`s too late, but this is getting harder and harder. It`s like watching cement set. I mean, it gradually gets firmer and firmer.

TODD: So what does your Senate map look like right now?

COOK: Well, that`s changed a lot, too. You know, the conservative side of me says 50/50 in terms of control of the Senate. But quite frankly, I think it is a little worse than that for Republicans which is completely different from where it was at the beginning of the year.

The big four are more vulnerable than they were. McSally in Arizona, Gardner in Colorado, Collins in Maine, and Tillis in North Carolina, and then you (INAUDIBLE) mix, and then now you`ve got two Georgias and an Iowa that are really, really online and potentially in the republican primary in Kansas. So right now, you know, I think a four-seat net gain is the most likely outcome for Democrats.

TODD: Right.

COOK: But frankly, I think five, six or seven are more likely than one, two or three.

TODD: All right. Let me have one quick, put you on the spot. Give me a tsunami bellwether. What state comes -- goes blue, would have to go blue and you would say, yup, there`s your tsunami watch?

COOK: Georgia, Iowa, and Ohio.

TODD: Yeah.


TODD: -- if it all goes blue, that`s what it -- yeah. OK.

COOK: Those are indicators. Thanks, Chuck.

TODD: Fair enough. Fair enough. I get that. Well, it`s getting late early, I think, as Yogi Berra might say. Charlie Cook, as always, sir, it is great to talk with you. We`ll be right back.


TODD: That`s all we have for tonight. We`ll be back on Monday with more "Meet the Press Daily."