Sunday shows
March 29, 2020

The United States is preparing for a novel coronavirus epidemic that is national in scope.

"No state, no metro area will be spared," Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press.

Birx was clear that no area of the country will evade the effects of the virus, but said the sooner places react and instill mitigation measures, the easier it will be to "move forward."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also provided a sense of scale Sunday, but he said he doesn't want to be held to any prediction. Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper that he's never seen an outbreak match the worst-case scenario of its models, and he believes that remains unlikely for the coronavirus, as well. Nevertheless, he thinks it's possible the U.S. could be looking at somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths. Tim O'Donnell

March 29, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden isn't surprised by President Trump's rising approval ratings, even as many argue his administration is floundering in their efforts to respond to the novel coronavirus crisis.

Biden said the American public typically rallies around the president during times of crisis, going all the back to former President Jimmy Carter's uptick during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. Former President George W. Bush is another example — he famously peaked at around 90 percent approval in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, a number which he never came close to again.

Biden, who is Trump's most likely challenger in the 2020 general election in November, said he hopes the coronavirus outbreak is under control by then and that the U.S. has "done all the right things," including Trump refraining from attacking people who disagree with him. But he told NBC's Chuck Todd during Sunday's edition of Meet the Press that the "proof is gonna be in the pudding." Tim O'Donnell

March 29, 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn't want to focus on the past.

CNN's Jake Tapper played some clips of de Blasio urging New Yorkers to go about their daily lives despite worries about the threat of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus in January, February, and March on Sunday's edition of State of the Union. Tapper then asked the mayor if he thinks his messaging may have had something to do with how fast the virus has spread in the city, which has become the U.S. epicenter.

There was no outright denial from de Blasio, but he said he was working with the information he had at the time, while trying to make sure people's livelihoods remained intact. Now that it's become clear New York was unable to evade the virus, de Blasio argues "none of us have time to look backward." He said the only thing that should be on people's minds is how to get through the next week.

Tapper, though, pointed out that de Blasio himself has criticized President Trump for being behind the coronavirus curve, to which the mayor replied he was early in complaining about a lack of testing. But he also suggested now wasn't the moment to talk about that, either. "The time to deal with these questions is after this war is over," he said. Tim O'Donnell

March 22, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic should not be an excuse for the suspension of civil rights, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said Sunday.

During an appearance on CNN's State of the Union, host Jake Tapper asked Ocasio-Cortez to respond to the emergency proposals submitted to Congress by the Justice Department, including one which would give Attorney General William Barr the power to ask chief district judges to pause court proceedings when the court is overwhelmed by an emergency like the ongoing pandemic.

That has set off some alarms because of what it could mean for habeas corpus, Politico reports. People have the constitutional right to appear before a judge after arrest and ask for a release, but there are fears the emergency proposal would allow the court to detain people indefinitely without trial during times of crisis.

Ocasio-Cortez told Tapper she finds the idea "abhorrent" and said there's a "long history" of governments using emergencies to strip away civil rights. She argued it's particularly important now to keep an eye out for increasingly authoritarian measures. Tim O'Donnell

March 22, 2020

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus may slow down in the United States in the not-so-distant future, but that doesn't mean life will go back to normal.

In an appearance on Face the Nation Sunday, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told host Margaret Brennan he expects a "slow transition" for society even if the epidemic peaks, as he expects, in late April and peters off in June. That's because it could come back in the fall, so until there's a vaccine, "life's never going to be perfectly normal."

In the meantime, he said some antiviral drugs currently in trial look like they could be effective in combating the virus, but he wasn't ready to say that there's any single development that's been overwhelmingly convincing.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who has been at the forefront of the pandemic, shared Gottlieb's prediction that life won't revert back to the way it was anytime soon. He rattled off a wide range of time, suggesting things may be altered for anywhere between nine and 12 months. Tim O'Donnell

March 22, 2020

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reaffirmed his belief Sunday that the U.S. isn't facing a "financial crisis that's going to go on for years" if the government acts swiftly.

In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Mnuchin laid out the tentative plan for a coronavirus stimulus package for guest host John Roberts. He said step one is aiding small businesses with forgivable loans of two weeks cash flow to pay workers. Next comes the direct deposits, in which a family of four would receive around $3,000 as bridge money to get them through the downturn. The secretary also said there will be enhanced unemployment insurance, more money for hospitals, and up to $4 trillion in Federal Reserve liquidity.

He said he hopes the bill gets passed Monday by Congress and that the economy could start heading back to its pre-virus levels in a 10- to 12-week period if it does, but there's no time to waste. "We need to get the money into the economy now," he said. "If we do that, we think we can stabilize the economy. I think the president has every expectation that this is going to look a lot better four or eight weeks from now." Tim O'Donnell

March 15, 2020

If the U.S. confronts the coronavirus pandemic properly, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin doesn't believe the current economic downturn will leave a lasting mark, and he anticipates a "big rebound."

"This isn't like the [2008] financial crisis, as I've said, this will have an end to it as we confront the virus," Mnuchin told Fox News' Chris Wallace on Sunday during an interview on Fox News Sunday.

Instead of worrying about the long-term effects, he said the U.S. should focus on providing relief to people and business who need it right now. As he views it, Washington is undergoing a multi-step process to make sure that happens, starting with last week's bipartisan economic relief legislation. Next up, he said, the goal is to help out the struggling travel and hospitality industries.

But looking down the road, Mnuchin feels good. "I have every confidence that this market is going to be higher down the road and the U.S. is still the greatest place to invest," he said after Wallace asked him about how much more stocks will likely drop. Read more at The Hill. Tim O'Donnell

March 15, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made the network rounds Sunday, where he continued to deliver information about the coronavirus pandemic to American audiences.

Fauci has said things will get worse in the United States before they get better, but he's also made it clear Americans still have the opportunity to reduce the virus' affect and avoid European-style lockdowns, so long as they limit social interactions and commit to other preventative measures.

That optimism isn't an excuse to relax, though. Fauci doesn't envision the U.S. needing to take such drastic steps as banning all domestic travel, but he still prefers the country be "overly aggressive," and encouraged people to avoid bars, restaurants, and non-essential travel. As he put it, he'd rather be criticized for overreacting than doing too little.

He also had a message for Americans in Europe — there is no need to rush back. President Trump's travel ban doesn't apply to U.S. citizens and permanent residents, Fauci reminded viewers while indicating it's better to avoid massive crowds at airports that could risk spreading infections. Tim O'Donnell

See More Speed Reads