Entries from Apr 2020
A brief primer on contact tracing

Listen in on this Morning Joe conversation between veteran columnist and contributor Mike Barnicle and former Baltimore city health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen about the why, how, when of contact tracing of infectious diseases, “the bread and butter of public health,” and how it applies to can help fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.

West Point Cadets in Peril

“A couple of weeks ago, the superintendent at West Point ordered all of the West Point cadets home for safety reasons, in order to care for them, to make sure that they were out of a petri dish at West Point and the coronavirus threat. The president of the United States, Donald Trump, has just ordered all of these troops from disparate parts of this country to return to West Point so he can have an audience for a commencement address he’s scheduled to deliver. What are your thoughts on that?” asks veteran columnist Mike Barnicle of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA). Listen to Kaine’s response and why he believes: “This president is: This is about me and who cares about you.”

POTUS: “You can’t handle the truth”

“All I can think of when I hear Donald Trump on the clips that we play, and we talk about him, obviously, a lot, is the Jack Nicholson character in ‘A Few Good Men,’ when he looks into the camera and he’s in the courtroom and says, ‘you can’t handle the truth.’ And I think that’s where we are with Donald Trump,” says Morning Joe contributor Mike Barnicle. “He can’t handle the truth. He has created his own lost empire, and he just rambles around from one press conference to another.” Watch more of the conversation here between Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough and Barnicle about President Donald Trump’s continued “mistakes” of downplaying the longevity of the novel coronavirus, following Trump’s most recent statement that the coronavirus would eventually be “eradicated” with or without a vaccine so that Americans and businesses could return to normal life and operations.

A June Return for Baseball?

Listen in on this Morning Joe conversation with Joe Scarborough, Claire McCaskill and Mike Barnicle as they weigh in on the pros and cons of news that Major League Baseball is contemplating a plan to start its season in late June, playing in home stadiums with a realigned league and no fans in the seats. Watch the discussion here about the tremendous logistics, costs and health risks involved in resuming baseball season in June for fans to watch on television.

POTUS: Lack of Empathy

“Donald Trump’s larger problems might be the fact that he has an empathy absence. He has none. He doesn’t understand what’s going on to real people’s lives out in the country…..He doesn’t understand what it means to have the economic gun at your head. He just doesn’t. He has lived a life of lies,” said veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during a Morning Joe segment with Joe Scarborough about how President Donald Trump is now being “exposed” for his lack of leadership, his lies and divisive rhetoric in his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Will Trump’s COVID-19 Experts Resign?

“I pose this question to the country: How would you feel if Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci both resigned under protest, that the President is acting like someone who is mad, someone who has gone temporarily insane—who is deranged, who feels cornered, who will say anything to get out of anything at a particular moment in time? Not long-term, not leadership, not looking down the road, but get out of something like right now. How would you feel if they resigned?” asks Morning Joe contributor Mike Barnicle of the American people during a conversation with Joe Scarborough about President Donald Trump having suggested that injecting disinfectant or beaming people with ultraviolet rays might cure the coronavirus.

COVID-19 Help for Minority Communities

National Urban League President Marc Morial joins Morning Joe to talk about what can be quickly done to assist minority communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. “Given the catastrophic attack the virus has made on minority communities in the United States, what has to be done? What can realistically be done in the immediate future – not long term, buy immediate future – about access to health care, access to health insurance in these minority communities?” asks veteran columnist Mike Barnicle of Morial. Find out more here.

AG Barr threatens to sue states

Listen in on this Morning Joe conversation about Attorney General William Barr, who announced that the Justice Department might consider taking legal action against states with strict coronavirus rules, a statement that followed President Donald J. Trump’s tweets to “liberate” states where people protested social distancing measures enacted to slow the spread of the coronavirus. “There’ve been some bad attorney generals in this country’s history, but he’s right up there now at the top of the list,” says veteran columnist Mike Barnicle about Attorney General Barr, who he referred to as a “fixer” for Trump.

The Virus Doesn’t Vote

“Trump’s problem is, basically if you want to boil it down to just one simple essence right now: The virus doesn’t vote. The virus doesn’t wear a MAGA hat. The virus is out there devouring whatever and whomever it can devour,” said veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during a Morning Joe discussion about President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has included his endorsement of a malaria drug that a study now shows has no benefit and actually causes more death among those who are given the drug versus standard care. See more of the conversation now.

Fight COVID-19, Defend the Homeland

Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of the United States Northern Command, joins Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle to discuss how the U.S. Department of Defense is using its resources and lessons learned from past military campaigns to balance its fight against the coronavirus with its defense of the homeland. “We have not missed a beat,” said O’Shaughnessy, an Air Force four-star general. “We’re making sure we have no vulnerabilities, and we are there to defend our nation.”

Fourth Trump White House Press Secretary Named

As the White House announces that Kayleigh McEnany will become the fourth press secretary in the Trump Administration, Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle and Jonathan Karl, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, discuss the role of the White House press secretary under President Donald Trump.
“The bottom line here is that there has only been one real press secretary in the Trump White House and that is Donald Trump himself,” says Karl. Listen to more of Karl’s revelations about Trump’s public and private dealings with the White House press corp.

Barnicle talks with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Listen in on this Morning Joe conversation between veteran columnist Mike Barnicle and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) about why there has been a shortage of available testing in the federal government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak crisis in America. “I think this will be a lesson that we cannot just hallow out government and think we’re not going to pay the consequences,” says Schumer. Hear more of the discussion now.

POTUS Stirs the Pot

“Job number one for this president, two, three, four and five jobs, is to contain the virus. Instead he does that, stirs the pot. So, now we have this visibly damaged human being, Donald Trump, leading this country at this point in time, through this critical, critical stage of a crisis. That is historically tragic for America,” says veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during a Morning Joe conversation with Willie Geist about the current economic hardship in America as the coronavirus has left millions jobless across the country.

How to Heal U.S / International Relations

“Madam secretary, eventually this administration will come to its conclusion, hopefully sooner rather than later. When that occurs, what are the first few steps that the next president, the next secretary of state must take in order to heal the world around us?” asks veteran columnist Mike Barnicle of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during a Morning Joe conversation about how the U.S. can restore international relations going forward. Listen to Albright’s response here.

A Nation on Pause

“Most days I get up quite early obviously because I’m used to getting up early, and I get in my car and I go through the city of Boston, drive around various neighborhoods, make several stops. I do it all safely. I have my gloves on, I have my mask on, and I talk to people who I know, some people who I don’t know….One of the things you find out: It’s like an assemblage of the wounded, the weary and the wary. And they all have a common concern, and it’s not politics, it’s not any of the candidates,” says veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during a Morning Joe conversation with Nicolle Wallace about his interactions with everyday Americans amid the coronavirus outbreak in America. Hear more of the conversation now.

What we worry about now

“This president has proven himself to be particularly, specifically, unable to do the job that he was elected to do,” says Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle about President Donald Trump. “And…he is oddly irrelevant to a lot of people’s lives. People get up every morning now in this country wondering about a few things specifically: You don’t want to die. You don’t want to catch this virus. You don’t want your family to be affected by this virus. You worry about paying the rent and the mortgage every day. And that gets down to now, I think, a key word in our culture, and the word is ‘solvency.’” Hear more of the conversation here between Barnicle and Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough about President Donald Trump’s reluctancy to act against the coronavirus before the outbreak in America despite being warned by federal agencies, as outlined in a New York Times article that indicates Trump was more focused on controlling the message, protecting the economy and battling warnings instead of taking early action against the coronavirus.

POTUS’ brand: Incompetence

“If you go around, as I have done for the past week or so, early in the morning, driving around safely from a distance, seeing people who I know in neighborhoods that I know, you find out from them, from talking to them that Donald Trump in a sense has become irrelevant to their lives because of his lack of leadership. But what has not become irrelevant to these people, and I think they’re representative of a lot of people in this country, is his incompetence. That’s his brand now: Incompetence. And the level of leadership that is lacking, people talk about it all the time, but it’s really rooted in: He just simply hasn’t done the job and can’t do the job,” says veteran columnist Mike Barnicle on Morning Joe during a conversation with host Joe Scarborough about President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic having “proved to be deadly” for America, after the U.S. recorded the world’s highest number of COVID-19 deaths in a single day.

The Gutting of Federal Government

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough and veteran columnist Mike Barnicle discuss the words and impact of anti-tax activist Grover Norquist: “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub,” with the reality having come to fruition after Republican lawmakers spending years “gutting” the parts of the American government that are now needed to help doctors, nurses and other medical professionals “save lives” amid the coronavirus pandemic. “This is the United States of America 2020—thanks to the efforts of people like Grover Norquist (and former House Speaker) Newt Gingrich who began this whole thing, in my estimation, in the mid-1980s. This is where we are today,” says Barnicle about Newt Gingrich. Watch the conversation here.

Some Governors Lead the Way

“Thank God for some of these governors. They know how government operates and they know how to get things done using the state governments….We have a 35-year history in this country, in the politics of this country, of trying to diminish the role of government at the federal level….I resent the attack on government because government comes down the street to provide testing if testing is available. It’s all one thing encompassed in the word ‘government’ and we don’t have enough of it at the federal level,” says Morning Joe veteran columnist Mike Barnicle during a discussion with Willie Geist about a group of governors from across the political spectrum that is publicly challenging the Trump Administration’s assertion that the United States is well-stocked and well-prepared to test people for the coronavirus and care for the sickest patients, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo who criticized the federal government for fueling an “eBay” style bidding war for much needed ventilators.

Leadership During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Listen in on this Morning Joe conversation between Willie Geist and Mike Barnicle about government leadership amid the coronavirus pandemic, after President Donald Trump warned Americans to brace for a “hell of a bad two weeks” ahead as the White House projected there could be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the pandemic even if current social distancing guidelines are upheld. “The definition of leadership, I think, has now changed in this country, especially when it comes to: Who is the government, who represents us, who leads us….The government is Dr. (Anthony) Fauci. The government are the ER nurses and the doctors and hospitals. The government are the EMTs who knowing the danger, the police officers, knowing the danger—the potentially lethal danger—go at the virus to help people, to help us American citizens.” Hear more of the discussion now.