Rep. Maxine Waters says presidential leadership has ‘failed’ Americans during pandemi

U.S. Representative for California's 43rd Congressional District, Maxine Waters, recently suffered a deeply personal loss to coronavirus.
4:26 | 07/14/20

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Transcript for Rep. Maxine Waters says presidential leadership has ‘failed’ Americans during pandemi
Now to the long-term congresswoman from California who's suffered a recent deeply personal loss in this coronavirus crisis. T.J. Holmes with this conversation with Maxine waters. Thank you so much for being here. I'll take the opportunity since this is the first opportunity, to say sorry for your loss. You lost your sister. Tell me, I guess, how the family kind of took that news and kind of how this maybe has shaped how you view even policy moving forward in this pandemic. Well, of course, I was devastated. My family was devastated. She was the first born, the older member of our family of the children in our family. And so we considered her almost like a second mother after my mother had passed and so it was very hard to take. I still don't think that there are any real answers for how we're going to deal with nursing homes, where they don't have the space for social distancing, where they've been lacking in ppe and on and on and on. Nursing homes are representing 43% of the deaths. 43% of the deaths, we talk about a vulnerable population of course in nursing homes. You mentioned space and ppe, there's more to it than just them being a vulnerable population. There's something else that's not working. Yes, the first thing that's not working is leadership, from, you know, the highest level. The president of the united States has failed us. So I don't trust what we're hearing, but we know that the president of the United States has not taken control of what is going on. This coronavirus is serious. People are dying. The president of the united States has done everything from call it a hoax to talk about it was going to disappear, to use fake medicine, and so it has been absolutely thwarted in every effort that could have been made to get a handle on it to not be going backwards instead of forward. Basically leveling the line. The president of the united States tweeted not too long ago, a video you could hear someone say "White power." He said he didn't know that was the case. He took it down. Also, just recently, he sent out another message saying that black lives matter, that message being painted on 5th avenue here in New York, he called it hate speech. I was hoping to get your reaction to the president referring to that as hate speech. Not only have we seen him dog whistling throughout his tenure here as the president, whenever he has an opportunity to push it a little bit further the way he did where he had some of his supporters at the villages, at that golf course who were saying "White power," he re-tweeted because he wanted to go out, not only to those people who support him even trying to solicit more, to try have them understand he's about the power of whites and he's about making sure they understand that they're supposed to rule and they will subject us to anything that they think is necessary to keep us down. I want to just add another element to this, the information that's coming out about him knowing that Russia was targeting our soldiers and the allied team over there in Afghanistan, and not doing anything about it, well, that tells you more about who he is. There's a lot going on from that Russia bounty scandal to everything happening in the streets, but all of this is happening while we're in the middle of a pandemic, so there's a lot to tackle. It's good to see you. Again, sorry for your family's loss. But thank you for your time, congresswoman waters. Thank you for having me on. And our thanks again to the congresswoman and of course T.J. For that conversation.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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