Bob Woodward, President Trump, Scott Simon discussed on Weekend Edition Saturday
Weekend edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon and glad to have you along with us today. Week of another bombshell. Bob Woodward's forthcoming book uses the president's own words to certify that he knew in February of this year. A leaf of the corona viruses but told the American public something else repeatedly for months. Even now, after nearly 200,000 Americans have died, millions air infected millions filing for unemployment and thousands waiting in food back lines, the president says. He did nothing wrong. NPR senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving joins US run Thanks so much for being with us. Good to be with you, Scott. The revelations in the book and I'm going to say revelations because in fact, they're not allegations are grave. Thousands of people have died while the president has ridiculed wearing masks another Ah preventive measures. How is he responded to these revelations. He may have decided he's just better off with the Wizard of Oz. Defense, Scott, you know, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. But for those with ears to hear the statements he made to Bob Woodward and nearly a score of on the record interviews on tape over the course of eight months make it perfectly clear what the president knew and when he knew it. And the Woodward book has lots more to such as example, the president saying his generals are stupid. They're suckers and using terms for them. We can't use on the air. Oh, and, of course, Bob Woodward brought up the matter of black black lives matter. Protests, too. Woodward says, Look, you and I, Mr President. We're both products of affluence. We went to Ivy League schools. We had every advantage. Shouldn't we make some effort to understand the anger and the pain of people with different life stories, especially black people in this country, and Trump responds. How you really drank the Kool Aid. Didn't you? Just listen to you? Wow, No, I don't feel that at all. And then Trump pivots to his oft repeated claim of having Dunmore for African Americans than any president. Any president in history, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln. Right now, I have to ask you a question about our business to because it's it's been raised by a few commentators and much of the public this week. Did Bob Woodward have an ethical obligation? I'll even put it this way. Human obligation. To report But the president really knew Aboutthe Corona virus back in February or March as lives are being lost every day, and instead of waiting for his book to come out now, that is a trenchant question. Scott and How clean our Bob Woodward's hands here knowing what he did and knowing it when he knew it. His explanation is that he didn't in fact know whether the president was telling him about the virus was in fact, true. Certainly not in February, when the CDC official line was something quite different As you recall, Woodward says he didn't know which to believe, or, in fact, have the information that was the source of Trump's information until May. So then He might have been out there reporting what he knew in May and not waiting to finish his interviews in July. But on the other hand, he wasn't the one on TV at night after night, telling the American people the virus was going away or that we'd turn the corner one more time. And let's turn to the ways in which millions of Americans continue to suffer from the Corona virus in its affect the Senate once again failed to pass, even though what's called the skinny Corona virus bill any any prospect for relief in the future? The Senate couldn't pass, even 1/10 of what the House had passed all the way back in May. You know, Yesterday Friday was the 19th anniversary of 9 11 Scott, and among the many memories of that time that we have are the members of Congress who came out on the Capitol steps and sang God Bless America, together, Republicans and Democrats. They also work together in the days and weeks that followed that and whether what they did at that time was all good. It was at least bipartisan and expeditious. We saw some of that again in the spring of this year. Since then, that spirit has surely been lost. Run Elding. Thanks so much. Thank you, Scott. Out of the Sodom of confusion on college campuses. Some students have been suspended or fined for attending parties in some places, alarming numbers of Corona virus infections of forced universities to send their students home. NPR's Alison Edward is on a road trip to see several campuses a school year like no other begins. And today she is in Ames, Iowa, Iowa State, Despite all has begun its big 12 college football season. Elissa, thanks for being with us. Good morning. Kick off in a few hours, right? That's right. Yep, it's the opening game of the season. So the issue cyclones are set to play the Louisiana Raging Cajuns. The Spirit team and the marching band will be there. We caught them practicing laissez, all wearing masks. Of course, it won't be. Like other games. There's gonna be no fans in the stadium. Parking lots that are normally full of tailgaters before a game this morning. They're empty. Students told us they're planning on watching the game on TV, at bars, restaurants and in the dorms. Listen, there's been a surge of Corona virus cases in the state. What do we know about that? And the and the numbers, for example, even on the football team that will be playing today. Wait. So this does come at a time when Corona virus cases are among the highest in the nation here in Iowa, and they are testing the football team three times a week. At the end of August, they said. They had a 2.4% positivity rate. So of course, they have to keep that number low in order to play. But here on campus, they have reported they have a 20% positivity, right? And of course, they're not doing mass testing so that number could be much higher. That's the scene, the names you've been to a number of Midwestern schools by now, I wonder what's going on some other campuses. Well, we've seen a real attempt to move the socializing outside. There were couches and TV set up outside of student housing and Ann Arbor or the University of Michigan is There's also this resignation that this isn't what college is supposed to be like. Here's Carolyn to Zo. She's a senior at the University of Michigan. This is the peak of our lives like we're missing out on so much, so it's I think it's okay for us to be upset about that. University of Illinois. We talked with a group of freshmen. We found them sitting 6 ft Apart, eating a potluck style dinner on the quad Leora neighbor says she'd rather do that than feeling guilty about spreading the virus. I mean, I know I think this is fun. This is what we have to dio. You know this's enough for right now, you know, you know, Eliza, we hear all the stories about partying, but it seems like a lot of students are indeed following The rules. How are they enforced on campus? Yeah, that's right. Well on a lot of campuses, student workers have been tasked with policing their classmates when it comes to mask wearing and social distancing. Here at Iowa State. I talked to an R A so that someone who works in the dorms She told me that she feels like the mask police and that's not what she signed up for other resident advisors. I've talked to have left the job. They don't feel safe. They weren't given enough Pee pee. And at the University of Michigan this week, Residence Hall staff actually went on strike Regular Cove in 19 testing hazard pay are among their demands. And, of course, we're still seeing the number of infections rise. What are the difficult options colleges have. If those numbers continue to go up? We'll colleges are in a real bind because you know they could go online and send students home like the University of North Carolina did, among others. But health experts have advised against that plan, since it has the potential to spread the virus further in lots of different communities. Julia Marcus is an epidemiologist at Harvard. And she told me she can't believe that universities are even considering this option. We're going to bring you here. We're goingto let a bunch of you get infected, and then we we don't want to deal with it. So we're gonna wash your hands of it until you don't tell you all to go home. I mean, it's just like the worst possible thing you could do. The other option is to go online and, alas, students to stay in dorms. Though we've learned from research at the University of Illinois, that in person class is not where this is spreading its the massless gathering the parties the communal living So it's unclear. Just shifting classes online would make a big enough difference. I should say that the California state system has already announced that they will be mostly online for the spring semester. So a lot of these questions around whether it's safe to reopen college. They're not going away any time soon. NPR's listen. Add Warney, who covers higher education. Thanks so much. Thank you. Dreamscape of California has looked like a hellscape this week..