Elizabeth Warren on emergency stimulus plan, shelter in place amid COVID-19 concerns

The Massachusetts senator breaks down how the stimulus plan will help Americans and reacts to Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
8:13 | 03/19/20

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Transcript for Elizabeth Warren on emergency stimulus plan, shelter in place amid COVID-19 concerns
Now yesterday the senate finally voted to pass the emergency stimulus bill. Finally, yeah. One what are the most important things we need to know about this, and how is it going to help people? What's your take on it? Right. Well, the number win thing is it puts more money into testing and makes sure testing is going to be free for everybody which is a really important public health -- we don't want anybody not to guest tested because they are worried they can't pay for it. So that part is going to be Right. The other part of this is to start to provide paid sick leave, and I say start because it's a first step. It's important. It recognizes that people who have to count on a paycheck may have to make that call about whether or not to miss that paycheck or go to work when they're not feeling well or they have someone at home they need to take care of, and that's not where we want people to be. This starts by providing some federal money for paid sick leave. The problem is it's just not big enough. It's only covering maybe 1 out of 4 workers and not the only 3 out of 4. So where I'm focused now -- I'm glad we voted yesterday, but where I'm focused is on the next package because this is the one that needs to make sure we've covered ourselves entirely on the health care front and that we're starting to make the right kind of response on the economic front. People out of work, businesses shutting down, that part of the fallout from the coronavirus. Hello, senator Warren. It's Meghan. Thank you for coming on today. Sure. There's a lot of anxiety here in New York. The president has been giving us mixed messages and it's making a lot of us very scared and angry. Here in New York we only have 20,000 hospital beds and 10,000 ventilators. We were talking earlier about the mask shortage for nurses and doctors. Trump has given himself a 10 out of 10 for his response to the pandemic. There are a lot of people in the city that don't feel safe and don't feel like we have access to testing. What do you say to people who are feeling anxious in the city because of the poor response from the white house? The president is going to continue to rate himself very highly at a time when his administration and he have failed miserably, but the question is not what's gone it's what do we do to fix it and what do we do to fix it now. So I'm working hard along with others to push enough federal money out there so that our hospitals at least have the resources to be able to get the supplies they need, and to make sure that the CDC and other public health officials can do what they can. Commandeer resources, bring those resources in so that people have masks, so that people have protective gear. My focus and my concern is actually on supporting the scientists and the doctors. I'm very worried about the fact that our health care professionals are not fully protected, that they don't have the protective gear that they need because they're putting their lives on the line. They're the -- they are our front lines, get sick, when our doctors get sick, when the other supporting health care professionals get sick, that has effects on all of us. So I think we need an intense focus on making sure they get what they need. The second part is all of us should be following the public health guidelines on self-isolating, every step possible. Watching every part of it because that at least slows down the number of people catching this and going to the emergency rooms and putting more pressure on our health care system. So this is one where we help each other by taking care of ourselves and our children and our parents, and making sure that we're neither spreading nor contracting this disease as much as we possibly can. Senator, this is sunny. There's a shelter in place lockdown happening in San Francisco, and there is a chance that it may happen here in new York City as well. Your home state of Massachusetts has 256 confirmed cases and over 100 of those came from a biogen conference in Boston. Yeah. This led a lot of people to speculate this could be an airborne virus because I guess the chances of all of them touching each other at that conference is kind of strange. Yeah. What do you think happened at that conference? Is it airborne? The problem we have got right now, sunny, is nobody knows for sure about this virus. This is the thing about it being referred to as a novel virus, one that we haven't seen before. So we don't know the behavior. We don't know if it flourishes only in cold weather or warm weather. We don't know what the incubation period is. You remember as short a period of time ago as a week ago, we thought that people who didn't have symptoms were not able to give it to other people, and now they're starting to change the guidance on that. So this is how I see it right the scientists are scrambling as quickly as they can. They're putting out health alerts. What the rest of us can do is to try to follow their instructions as clearly and carefully as possible. It started with lots around hand washing and hand sanitizer, distancing ourselves from other people and to the extent that we can stay in place even if there's not a shelter in place edict that's been put out to the extent we can take care of ourselves. We can actually not only help ourselves, but help the system overall while the scientists are working to figure out exactly how this thing is communicated and how it is that we can respond and protect everyone. Would you be a proponent of a lockdown or a shelter in place in Massachusetts? So let me -- let me start by saying when you identified how many cases we have in Massachusetts, keep in mind we don't have enough testing kits. Yeah. And that's true in many places around the country. So whether we have 250 cases that are confirmed here or 2,500 cases or even more than that, you know, the doctors and scientists are speculating because without enough tests, how do you know? We're not testing enough of our so again, I want to go with what the doctors say. This should not be a political decision. This should be a decision that the epidemiologists and others I will follow their orders. Senator Warren, this is Sara. I wanted to ask you a question. We're still having primaries around the country, and five states have postponed their primaries so far. Yeah. Now given the CDC guidelines about social distancing, is it irresponsible to keep these primaries going right now, and should they be postponed until the pandemic is under control? So Sara, I look at this the other way around. Democracy is based on the notion that people vote. So what we should be doing and really putting a priority on this, is doing vote by mail. Let's get that up and organized. Let's find ways for people safely to be able to vote remotely, and we need to be putting this in place as quickly as we can for the primaries, but also we need this in place by the time we hit our fall elections. I hope that this emergency is over, but if we haven't learned anything else, surely we have learned, hope for the best, but plan for the worst. That's what we should be doing. So I want us pushing right now for safe ways of voting so we can keep people voting. We should not cancel elections. I don't think we ought to be postponing them either. We find safe ways to do this.

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

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