670 Coronavirus cases TRANSCRIPT: 3/9/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Voters casting
ballots in six states including, of course, that key battleground state of
Michigan. Our coverage here on MSNBC is going to start at 6:00 p.m. Eastern
with Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, Nicolle Wallace, and I`m going to be
over at the big board.
Thank you for being with us. Don`t go anywhere. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes
is up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s going to disappear one
day. It`s like a miracle. It will disappear.
HAYES: The entire nation of Italy goes on lockdown as our domestic spin
TRUMP: This blindsided the world.
HAYES: Tonight, new cases, new deaths and new concerns about exponential
growth in America as the testing shortage continues.
TRUMP: Anybody that needs a test, there`s a test.
HAYES: Plus, what we know about at least four members of Congress self-
quarantined after contact with the coronavirus patient. Then, what we know
about today`s market collapse.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of the major indexes down by record amounts.
HAYES: And why leadership in a time of crisis is on the ballot in six
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump does not
have a natural ability to understand the coronavirus.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think there`s no confidence in the
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Well, we are in it now.
Today, we saw Wall Street have the worst day since 2008. The Dow Jones fell
over 2,000 points, the biggest single-day drop in history. For context, the
next largest single-day point drop was just short of 1,200 points and that
happened 11 days ago.
We`re going to talk about all this in just a bit. But if you thought
despite the President`s happy talk, despite him waving away coronavirus
concerns, despite the president tweeting today that there`s nothing to see
here, it is not worse than the flu, despite the President`s assurances of
the case would “go to zero soon,” and his hope it would “disappear like a
miracle,” the United States is in a Coronavirus outbreak.
Right now, there are over 600 confirmed cases. For comparison, and this is
sort of important, this is the trajectory of the coronavirus in Italy.
Italy started seeing a surge in cases in February. Right now, we are
tracking on par with Italy. We started seeing cases about the same time. We
were just a little delayed.
Today, Italy has more than 9,000 cases of coronavirus with over 460
confirmed deaths. In fact, just this evening, Italy`s Prime Minister
announced he is expanding the preventative lockdown from just northern
Italy, to the whole country. He said people across the country should not
leave their homes other than for work and emergencies, that all public
gatherings are prohibited, including soccer matches.
And to understand why we need to take this seriously and not have a
president trying to B.S. his way through it, it is worth taking a second to
just understand the punishing math of exponential growth. This is what
global cases look like outside of mainland China. People note that this is
basically literally a textbook exponential growth chart, cases doubling
And the way the exponential growth works is that when you`re in this part
of it, you`re like, OK, it could be worse. And then you quickly find
yourself on this part of it, which is what happened to countries around the
world. Places like Italy, and China. If the total cases in America doubles
every week with no mitigation and no huge public intervention, which is the
pace we`ve seen elsewhere, that will put the U.S. at a million cases by
midway and eight million cases by mid-June.
Right now, you`re probably hearing news of big public health policy
interventions, things like schools, canceling classes, conferences being
called off, teleworking. And the idea there is to slow down the spread of
the virus. And it can work, OK. We`ve seen this in places like Hong Kong,
and Singapore, Japan, to some extent. They`ve taken big mitigation steps
like canceling public events and calling for telecommuting.
The whole point of this public health policy is aimed at what`s known as
flattening the curve of the epidemic. This whole red part on the chart is
conceivably, what the epidemic would look like without any public health
intervention. The blue part is what happens when you can effectively take
protective measures to slow out the pace of new infections. The blue, the
flatter curve, that is what we`re all trying to get to, every country
that`s battling this outbreak.
And that lines in the middle is the capacity of our healthcare system which
is fixed. What you do not want is to be in this dark red part above the
line, more patients than the system can handle. That`s when you run out ICU
beds, ventilators, things like that, which happened in parts of Lombardi,
Italy at the center of that outbreak. That`s what we`re trying to prevent
here as a society. And no amount of happy talk or wishing away or meeting
with Wall Street executives are going to do that. What is going to make
sure we can handle this virus are just pretty big changes across daily
That is what a senior official at the Centers for Disease Control Dr.
Messonnier warned everybody about two weeks ago. Remember that? She said
disruption to daily life may be severe. That was back on February 25th.
Back then, there were only a few dozen cases in the U.S. and I remember
thinking, and a lot of people thought, oh really, closing schools, disrupts
your daily life? But it was because she did the math.
In fact, the New York Times reports that her warning specifically left
President Trump enraged. “That call which she was on with members of the
press scared people, he shouted, referring to Dr. Messonnier`s warning. Are
we at the point that we will have to start closing schools? The president
We do have concrete evidence of how containing a viral outbreak can be
done. The 1918 flu pandemic across the world, was the worst cold pandemic
in modern industrialized history. It killed something like 30 to 50 million
people worldwide. And there are two American cities have been repeatedly
held up examples of what to do and what not to do.
Philadelphia held a parade amidst the pandemic and its death rate in the
city spiked. On the other hand, St. Louis canceled public events and took
proactive steps, and the disease remained at a manageable level throughout
the crisis. The difficult challenge here that everyone is faced with
policymakers, people running universities, running school systems, running
cities, everyone who`s in charge in some way is that understandably, they
don`t want big cancellations and disruptions. That makes sense.
The problem is what we know about the math of this virus thus far and its
transmission is that it appears to be the case that those big disruptive
steps are necessary to slow the spread. And right now, there is a president
who is single-mindedly focused on reelection and thinks that his reelection
depends on the economy.
Today, he came out and announced the possibility of some tax cuts.
Basically, all he offered at a White House briefing. He left the podium to
shouted questions about whether he himself had been tested for coronavirus.
And just days ago, on Friday, Donald Trump just came out in front of
cameras at the CDC at a Keep America Great hat and admitted that he is
personally pressuring health experts not to do the things in the best
interest of public health in order to artificially manipulate the numbers
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: They would like to have come off. I`d rather had the people stay,
but I`d go with that. I told them to make the final decision. I would
rather because I liked the numbers being where they are. I don`t need to
have the numbers doubled because of one ship. That wasn`t our fault. I like
the numbers – I would rather have the numbers stay where they are. But if
they want to take them off, they`ll take them off. But if that happens, all
of a sudden you 240 is obviously going to be a much higher number, and
probably the 11 will be a higher number.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I don`t need the numbers to go up. I like the numbers where they
are. The numbers, the people of America who are sick or at risk. That`s
what he`s talking about. The President of the United States, the leadership
at the top of our government is sending the message that is literally the
opposite of what we should be doing.
So right now, a lot of these important decisions are going to have to be
made by local leaders, not the president. Joining me now is a senator from
one of the most impacted states on the front lines of the coronavirus
outbreak who`s been working around the clock to help coordinate effective
mitigation plan, Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington. Senator,
it`s great to have you. I guess my first question is, how are things in
Washington state right now?
SEN. MARIA CANTWELL (D-WA): Well, we have a lot of people working very hard
around the clock to do everything they can to help increase testing and to
respond to this crisis. And so, we want to thank those who`ve been on the
front line, particularly evergreen hospital, who has treated so many of the
HAYES: You just mentioned testing. It`s very hard to get a picture of
testing in the country right now. There`s been some crowdsourcing by some
great journalists at the Atlantic suggests that today we ran about 4,000
tests nationwide, but we don`t know if that number is correct or not. What
we do know is that we`re testing far below on the scale or scope of a place
like South Korea. What is your experience? What is your advisee like in
terms of the availability of testing in your state which is one of the
centers of the outbreak?
CANTWELL: Well, we`re not where we want to be on testing in my state or in
the nation. But I can tell you, my state has tried to hustle. And I think
as of today, the University of Washington has now set up a drive-by test
site for at least the healthcare workers as part of their healthcare
system. That`s a very positive step.
But we should not have any governors that are holding us back from doing
more robust testing. We should have academic labs across the United States
getting ready now, not only to test people for coronavirus who we suspect
may be ill, but also to get information from the flu studies that people
can do. Because what we are finding in our state that people who thought
they had the flu are testing positive for COVID-19.
HAYES: These are people that had flu-like symptoms that that didn`t
necessitate necessarily hospitalization, right? They just felt sick.
CANTWELL: No. Part of what we want to do is we want to be able to know
where and how people have been impacted so we can do a better job of this
mitigation right now. So Seattle had a flu study. And actually, what they
found is a student from one of our high schools had that flu test, and then
later because of this academic study, they found out that he had positive
results for COVID-19.
So this is what we want to do. And because we have great researchers at the
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, they were able to do the genetic
analysis to say that he was related to the very first case that we had in
Everett, Washington. So test more. Get them done faster. Release the
information so that we can have the mitigation strategies that will help
all of us.
HAYES: That`s my next question. Right now, it`s a very strange situation
which everyone are making – everyone is making these decisions. They`re
kind of looking for guidance, right? So let`s say you had a conference that
you`ve been working on for six months, and it`s going to happen. Do you do
it? Do you not? Do call it off? What is the conversations with your – with
your governor or with other experts about how you direct officials,
institutions, localities to make those calls in your state right now?
CANTWELL: Well, I think the governor of our state Jay Inslee is going to be
on one of your later MSNBC shows tonight, so you`re going to ask him about
all of the decisions. But you know, as a region, we pride ourselves on the
excellence of healthcare research, whether that is the University of
Washington or the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. So we`re confident in
the decisions that people have made to work from home.
This is you know, we`re a culture that understands working from home. We
basically know how to be connected. We know how to continue to get things
done. So we need the information to make smart decisions and keep moving
HAYES: What are your conversations like right now that your colleagues on
Capitol Hill in terms of the federal policy response look like?
CANTWELL: Well, I think – I think my colleagues are asking myself and
Senator Murray most about, well, what else do you think we should be doing
because they know that we have so many cases. And you know, we really want
to help the families in people in Kirkland at the Life Center. We want them
and the workers there to be tested as fast as possible.
But the best thing that my colleagues can do is make sure their state is
more prepared in the context of getting the tests and the equipment. And
so, I just can`t emphasize enough. I know that every day we hear another
report about what`s happening in the testing regime, but trust me, our
academic institutions and our commercial labs need to have more testing
I just heard this from – this isn`t partisan. I heard it from a Republican
county executive just today who was at the meeting with the vice president.
He said, my message is more testing, faster results, more equipment. And
so, our call eggs and other states could be doing these things before they
have the size of the outbreak that we have. Get those labs, know what their
capacity is. And until they tell you it`s in the thousands of tests a day
in your state, you`re not ready.
HAYES: There are specific populations that are most vulnerable exposed.
Obviously in your state, the long-term care facility the most tragic
example that. There`s reporting that not everyone in that facility still
has been tested I think, that there are still people in there and it`s
unclear what their current situation is. There may be other long-term care
facilities. What is happening, both locally and at a policy level, think
about those populations and making sure that long term care facilities,
federal prisons, local detention facilities are being protected against?
CANTWELL: Well, that`s why you want to have this testing capacity so you
don`t have to make choices every day about well, we can only get so many
tests done and let`s do this. Because now at that facility you have and we
want every single patient – they should have been tested already, we want
that completed. We want the workforce which is maybe as many as 70 people
who`ve been impacted. We want them to have the information and be tested.
We want the firefighters in the community to have the information and be
So it becomes a governor on all the rest of the system, until you
accomplish that goal of getting the information and turning it around in
less than 24 hours.
HAYES: All right, Senator Maria Cantwell, Washington State, good luck to
you. Thank you for taking some time.
CANTWELL: Thank you. Thank you.
HAYES: Coming up, what we know about what happened on Wall Street today
which was wild. Stocks plummeted in the worst day since the 2008 financial
crisis. That`s up next in two minutes.
HAYES: So we saw something in financial markets today we haven`t seen in
decades. Not only was the worst day for markets since the financial crisis,
but stock collapsed so quickly today and fell so far that they triggered a
so-called circuit breaker. And that`s when the market drops so sharply that
trading just gets like emergency halted for 15 minutes so the market can
kind of catch its breath.
Today was the first time this happened in more than 20 years. All this is
borne out of global markets concerns about the economic impact broadly of
the coronavirus, particularly the central story that led it all off today
was what happened in oil markets. So we`re lucky to have with us someone
who`s been trading oil for 25 years, Dan Dicker, the author of Shale Boom,
Shale Bust: The Myth of Saudi America. Great to have you here, Dan.
DAN DICKER, INDEPENDENT OIL TRADER: Thanks.
HAYES: So oil was the sort of first domino here. Why did oil prices
collapse so badly?
DICKER: OK, so let`s do a little reconnaissance. In the U.S., oil producers
for a variety of reasons, we don`t have enough time, they`re doing nothing
but increasing production in all markets, good markets, good prices, bad
prices, it doesn`t matter, they`ve continued to increase productions.
HAYES: They`re pumping. They`re pumping and pumping.
DICKER: They`re pumping. They`re pumping. On the other side is OPEC,
basically Saudi Arabia, and the Russians were doing what they can to keep
their production numbers down in order to stabilize the market, make sure
that oil prices do not collapse. And that`s been going on for two and a
half years. That relationship between the Saudis and the Russians has been
tenuous at best.
They don`t really trust each other. It`s a suspicious kind of relationship
on both sides. So there was an emergency meeting because the coronavirus
had in fact, estimated that demand for oil would drop precipitously over
HAYES: Less cruise ships, less car miles traveled, less airplane,
DICKER: Everything. Everything. So in fact, the IAEA has moved from their
belief that there`s going to be 1.1 million extra barrels needed for 2020
to now thinking it`s going to be negative growth for 2020. It`s a big
HAYES: So that`s – I mean, just to be clear here. The first thing – the
first thing that`s setting all this off is everyone is looking ahead and
seeing less demand for oil, right?
DICKER: Less demand for oil.
HAYES: But that`s the thing driving.
DICKER: Right. And then the Saudis of course do still want to keep oil
prices pumped. So they had an emergency meeting looking for the Russians to
kick in on 1.5 million barrel cut in production, a further cut. Now,
they`ve been cutting them – and remember, for the last two and a half
years anyway for both of that.
HAYES: So this is a little bit – it`s like cartel prisoner`s dilemma kind
of thing, right? You`re sitting across from Russia and you say, look, if we
both reduce production, we can keep the price inflated.
DICKER: Right. And the –
HAYES: But no one wants to do that because you make less money.
DICKER: Look, the Russians turned to the Saudis and they said, look, we
think that U.S. shale players are vulnerable right now, and they are, so
we`re not going to agree to this cut. And we`re going to just pump – we
wanted to have projects, we wanted new projects for the last two and a half
years. We`re going to go forward with them.
And the Saudis said, you want to have a war for market share, and you want
to have a price war, well hold my beer because we`re going to show you how
it`s done. And they announced not only that they weren`t going to cut, but
in fact, they were going to increase production in March which caused the
market, of course, to collapse on Monday.
HAYES: So you`ve got demand going down while supply goes up, which is a
recipe for the prices to go off the table.
DICKER: Exactly. And that`s precisely what they did today.
HAYES: OK. So there`s a few of knock-on effects here, right? I mean, so one
thing oil drops, but it was more than oil today, right? I mean, first
there`s macroeconomic effects for oil producers in the U.S. for instance.
You might see places shut down. People lose their jobs. Is that a thing
that you anticipate?
DICKER: It`s a negative feedback loop between coronavirus, which obviously
causes a drop in growth and then the drop in oil prices which of course
causes job layoffs and lessening of oil production here in the United
States. Remember the U.S. economy, it`s not as dependent as Russia or Saudi
Arabia, but still, 17 percent of the U.S. economy is tethered to a fossil
HAYES: That`s high percentage, right?
DICKER: It`s – it used to be a lot more. I mean, we`ve actually moved away
from oil production as being an important part of this economy. And that
also leads to oil services, manufacturing, materials, heavy equipment, all
of this gets affected when oil production or in fact oil service production
starts to drop.
HAYES: All right, so you see the oil price falls off the table, you`ve got
that rattling through stock markets and equities and oil companies taking a
HAYES: But then the credit markets have been rattled. And that`s where
people are starting to feel like, OK, once you get into credit markets –
and my understanding of that has to do with a lot of high yield bonds,
they`re used to be called junk bonds, that are tied to oil production.
DICKER: There`s been, I mean, there`s been easy money for five years for
oil companies. They become incredibly over-leveraged. And a lot of that –
HAYES: I see. So they`re just issuing a ton of debt.
DICKER: That`s – there`s been a ton of debt issued already. It`s been out
there for years. And what they`ve been doing, they`ve been trying to
whittle it down over the course of the last two years, but still there`s an
enormous amount, some estimates. I don`t know if this is true, but I`ve
heard estimates of up to $600 billion in triple B type debt that`s out
there, and in stuff that`s even worse, triple B-minus and down as much as
$2 trillion in debt that`s still out there and the banks hold a lot of
that. Which is why the bank stocks are got murdered today along with the
HAYES: Right. So the oil price goes, then you rattle the oil companies, and
then the oil companies have been borrowing money like crazy, and those
bonds are owned by a bunch of banks. And now you`ve got the credit markets
today looking pretty wobbly.
DICKER: At it – you know, I don`t think it`s going to happen this way, but
it does look a bit like 2008 with bad mortgage bonds that needed, in the
end, to be bailed out by the federal government and the Treasury
Department. I mean this is –
HAYES: This is smaller, though. This is smaller on a scale.
DICKER: It`s much – it`s much smaller.
HAYE: In terms of the –
DICKER: But again, the liquidity problems that causes when you have this
kind of credit crisis even on this lesser scale, and it`s not small, but
it`s a lesser scale, what you do get is you get a need for more liquidity
in which we – the Fed has no arrows left in its quiver, because Fed Funds
are already down one percent because Trump has been putting pressure on the
Fed for the last three years to keep rates low.
HAYES: Right. And we`ve got a crazy flight to – you know, flight to safety
today in that –
DICKER: Bonds are lower than they`ve ever been.
HAYES: 10-year Treasury, 30-year Treasury just you know, basically, in real
terms, you have the market today paying the federal government to hold this
DICKER: Correct. That`s where you are right now. And there`s really – you
know, it`s not like the crisis in 2008 where you could drop interest rates
by 500 basis points.
HAYES: There`s nowhere to go.
DICKER: There`s nowhere to go. You can go negative like the Japanese, but
it doesn`t really have a lot of – lot of the fact that –
HAYES: To go back to the beginning here, it does seem to me that`s
important as people are watching all this play out whether there`s this
sort of set of Domino effects, the fundamental issue that the markets have
been dealing with everywhere over the last two or three weeks is that this
virus is serious and it`s going to reduce global economic activity by some
percentage which no matter what your financial system is, what your
equities are, like there`s going to be a downturn.
DICKER: And again, a little history is important here. We`ve had 10 years
without a recession which has never happened before. And this has been
overdue for three years. And in fact, Trump has held it off by using tax
cuts, by removing regulation, by giving –
HAYES: Going to Fed successfully.
DICKER: Leading the Fed to keep interest rates lower. And now that we have
a real crisis that`s coming, there`s very little left that can be done
about what`s going to be. I think – I mean, I think coronavirus will turn
out to be the straw that breaks the camel`s back of the global economy. And
we will see a fairly long-term recession coming.
HAYES: I shouldn`t say that, you know, no one knows the future, but
increasingly, you know, more and more analysts and experts saying they`re
looking at some kind of recession coming.
DICKER: Yes. And I`m spin in many ways, it`s been overdue, and it`s been
expected by most of the economists so this has not come. The speed of it
has come as a major surprise.
HAYES: Well, I think part of that is what`s so – why today felt so 2008
here. I mean, I talked to several people that were fund managers or traders
who said, I`ve been in this a while. Today was really wild. Like I haven`t
seen anything like this. And that question of like, why. Why today did it
get so panicky?
DICKER: Well, again, those two pieces, the coronavirus and the oil drop
sort of signal that yes, we`re headed into a major global recession and
that it`s going to be a long-lasting one. So the chances are that the stock
market might be lower for two months today no matter how low it goes.
HAYES: Right. So people are trying to exit their positions.
DICKER: It was a very panicked sell-off. It was –
HAYES: It sure was. Well, that was extremely illuminating. Dan Dicker,
thank you as always. Coming up, the Republican lawmakers potentially
exposed to coronavirus at the CPAC, and the contact they`ve had with the
President of the United States. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So there`s a lot of talk about this coronavirus.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And do you think the Democrats are politicizing this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh 1,000 percent they`re politicizing it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re doing that only to try to attempt to make the
economy tank so in order to keep President Trump from being reelected.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: But more than a week ago, several thousand conservatives from across
the country converged outside of Washington D.C. for the annual
Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC. And one of the themes
there was that coronavirus coverage was a hysterical plot by Democrats, and
the left, and the fake news media to take down President Trump.
In fact, then Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who was just fired, had
this to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICK MULVANEY, FORMER ACTING CHIEF OF STAFF: The reason you`re skipping –
so you`re saying so much attention to it today is that they think this is
going to be what brings down the president. That`s what this is all about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s been the message both from Trump and from Trump T.V. and
allied media as though the entire thing was just made up. Well, now the
reality is pushing its way into the bubble. Over the weekend, CPAC
confirmed that someone who attended the conference tested positive for
That person, apparently a VIP, was in close personal contact with a whole
bunch of prominent Republicans including Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman Paul
Gosar, and Congressman Doug Collins. All three of them announce that
they`re now self-quarantining after Congressman Collins was exposed at
CPAC. He greeted the p resident on Friday in Georgia before Trump made his
way to the Centers for Disease Control. There he is shaking Trump`s hand.
Another Republican lawmaker, Congressman Louie Gohmert, said he was warned
he may have been exposed at CPAC but has decided not to self-quarantine and
return to Washington, D.C. instead.
The ultimate example of making light of the situation, of course, was
Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, who apparently thought it would be really
funny to show up to congress wearing a giant gas mask last week as the
House voted on Coronavirus funding.
Well today, Congressman Gaetz was informed that he, too, had come into
contact with the CPAC attendee who has Coronavirus. Gaetz is now being
tested for the virus. He`s also under self-quarantine, but today before we
learned of his exposure, he traveled on Air Force One with the president
after attending a party with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, according to The New York
Gaetz learned after Air Force One lifted off from Orlando, that he had been
in touch with an infected person at CPAC. He then essentially quarantined
himself sitting in a section of the plane alone. This news comes on the
heels of an announcement from Gaetz office this weekend that one of his
constituents had died from the Coronavirus.
Conservatives built an extremely powerful alternate reality machine. They
use it to counter any news they think can hurt their cause, but at the end
of the day there is only one reality and it is a reality where this is a
very serious and real thing. And is already having very serious effects.
And there is much more on the way. We`re going to talk about what is to
HAYES: Well, the president continues to spin and downplay the coronavirus
and comparing it to the deaths from the flu. Members of both parties are
increasingly aware to the fact of just how significant an event the virus
is. Democratic sources told NBC News some members are floating the idea of
a congressional recess on Sunday, but today House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said
she had no plans to change the schedule. She didn`t think the Capitol
should be closed, although she added it`s a security and health decision
and that they would rely on the experts to make a final decision.
Five lawmakers are in now self-quarantine, four congress people and a
senator. And the policy considerations in response to the virus are
Now congress already passed an $8 billion emergency funding package signed
by the president. As the impact grows, there is almost certainly going to
be a need for another bill, probably a fiscal stimulus to deal with the
The president spoke tonight about plans to meet with Capitol Hill
Republicans tomorrow and suggested things like a payroll tax cut while
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer already
released a set of priorities for any such package such as paid sick leave,
unemployment insurance and food security.
Here to talk about what the discussions look like on Capitol Hill are Betsy
Woodruff Swan, national correspondent for Politico; and Matt Fuller,
congressional reporter for HuffPo.
Before we get into the sort of idea of the stimulus package, Betsy, I want
to start with you of just – it is remarkable to watch congressperson after
congressperson after prominent conservative announce they are entering some
sort of self-quarantine. I saw news just a few minutes ago that incoming
chief of staff Mark Meadows is going to spend a few days self-quarantined
as well. What is it like among conservatives on the Hill as they deal sort
of with this?
BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN, POLITICO: The fallout from CPAC is generating
substantial anxiety, and part of the issue is CPAC organizers are still
currently working to figure out just how many people the attendee, who now
is hospitalized because of Coronavirus, had contact with. This attendee,
according to a CPAC spokesperson who I chatted with earlier this evening,
had what`s called a gold level ticket. It`s the most expensive type of
ticket in my understanding, and it gets you access to many of the speakers
who are on stage at CPAC.
So the people who are conservative celebrities, whether you`re looking at
big-name media personnels, members of congress of course, like Congressman
Collins, Congressman Gaetz, and Senator Cruz, those are folks that you get
to interact with if you really shell out and get one of these expensive
tickets, which is what this person did.
And what I was told was that CPAC organizers didn`t learn until today they
found a picture of Gaetz interacting with the person who had the virus and
that`s why they were able to tell Gaetz that he had been exposed to someone
who is sick.
But it took them quite awhile. It took them days to get that information.
And what I was told is that they`re still in the process of figuring out
who this person encountered. So, it`s possible this person encountered more
prominent conservative and Republican leaders, but CPAC hasn`t yet figured
out that those conversations happened.
HAYES: It`s really a remarkable chain of events. And it`s likely, we
should say just as the virus spreads, it`s likely that there will be more
transmission, and it will probably happen to Hill staffers and this
increasingly looks like what will just be the reality.
There is this question now, Matt, that is sort of fascinating sort of
legislative policy and political question about what congress does now. And
I thought it was interesting that Pelosi and Schumer took the first step to
sort outline a set of principles to get out ahead of anything that came
from the White House. What the your read about how the Democratic caucus is
MATT FULLER, CONGRESSIONAL REPORTER, HUFFPOST: Right, I think you said it
best. They want to get out ahead of this. They had those principles like
paid sick leave, certainly they want to take care of kids who are relying
on schools for their school lunches and what not. You know, they want to
make sure that there are tests.
So, there`s a whole slate of things that they want to make sure is in any
sort of stimulus before, you know, the airlines or cruise ship companies.
Before those companies are getting bailouts, they want to make sure, you
know, congruent – concurrent with that you`re getting all this money for,
you know, small businesses, again, making sure that those kids who are
relying on the school lunch program are making sure that those people have
food – greater food stamps.
And then obviously you have the president today saying, you know, the
payroll tax cut, that`s something we`re going to look at. You know, it`s
going to be a package of things that are all going to sort of come
together, and this could come together very quickly.
HAYES: I think it probably will.
Is your reading, Betsy, it seems to me like from what I`ve seen that
Republicans are just waiting on signals from the White House and will just
line up behind that, whatever their previous policy commitments might have
been on, say, austerity amidst a crisis.
SWAN: It`s tough to push for austerity when you don`t know how many people
in your district might be facing…
SWAN: …an infection that can be deadly. These are not times when fiscal
responsibility is particularly appealing.
I want to correct one thing I said earlier, a CPAC source reached out and
said the level of ticket that the person who is infected is not actually
the most expensive, it is a ticket where he paid…
HAYES: Up there, but not – yeah, not the top…
SWAN: …the most expensive, yeah.
But, look, I think we`re talking about austerity questions, President Trump
has been very comfortable jettisoning traditional conservative fiscal
policies. He`s been comfortable dramatically expanding the debt and the
deficit, that`s something that`s happened under his watch. And right now
when we`re facing a global pandemic and a national medical emergency, I
don`t think you`re going to see a bunch of Republicans all of a sudden say
now we`re drawing a line in the sand, now we`re going to be fiscal
HAYES: No, and in fact – we should say that the last Republican president
did the same thing, so there`s some – as did Reagan, so there is some
continuity here – Matt?
FULLER: And to that point, yeah, I mean the one thing that could sort of
hold this up is Democrats insisting that there be an economic trigger so
that the next president, if it were Democrat, they would have the same
benefits as this one where we`re not sort of worrying about debt and
austerity. And it`s also worth noting that Mike Pence, when he was in
congress, he was one of these leaders of, you know, emergency spending
needs to be offset, and those principles are far gone now, but certainly
Democrats are looking at ways that they can ensure in the future they have
the same sort of urgency.
HAYES: That is a great point, Matt. Because it does seems me like we`re
locked in a sort of weird asymmetry here, which is – I think Democrats are
going to play ball on this because I think they have both first order
principled commitments to things like some kind of target and fiscal
stimulus, and want to see that get done.
But I also think that Democrats rightly probably feel that if the shoe were
on the other foot right now, and it was President Hillary Clinton or
President Barack Obama or President Joe Biden struggling with this getting
Republican congressional – Biden would probably – would be a non-starter.
FULLER: Yeah, certainly not at the level of near unanimous support. You
might have that coalition that we have seen in the past of maybe the 30 to
50 in the House and a little bit more maybe – a greater percentage at
least in the Senate, but this, you know, these sort of measures in the past
have faced problems with Republicans and they don`t seem to be having that
HAYES: Betsy, I wonder if the the scale of this has truly sunk in on
Capitol Hill? I think it seems like lawmakers have actually been a little
slow on this, and we`ve seen a kind of learning curve that has gone along
with the epidemic curve in country after country, and we`ve seen what
happens if policy makers are behind the curve, like we`ve seen tragically
in Italy thus far. Do you think people there understand the math here and
understand what the U.S. is right now looking down the barrel of?
SWAN: The level of understanding that members of congress have is changing
day by day. There was a briefing last week that pharmaceutical company
executives and Vice President Pence gave to house Republicans. It was a
closed door briefing. It was quite detailed. And I spoke with one member in
that meeting who said that they came out of it feeling pretty sobered,
feeling like they had a clearer and slightly graver sense of the way that
this problem is playing out.
I think the important thing to remember is that not all of these members
have access to much more information than what the public is getting. Of
course, this information should all be public, and it`s great that the CDC
is doing regular press briefings, that the White House is doing regular
press briefings. But if you`re a member of congress and want more detail,
depending on where you, depending on your seniority level or what
committees you`re on, that detail may be not immediately accessible.
HAYES: Final point on sort of social distancing policies where we start to
see large groups of people being discouraged, Matt, 66 senators are over
60, two-thirds of the senate, that`s in the high-risk group, more than a
quarter of the senators are over 70. There is going to be some tough policy
decisions to be made in that building just about how many people you want
coming in through there.
FULLER: Yeah, I think you sort of laid out the dilemma pretty well writ-
large for everyone where we want people to participate in the economy. We
want to have March Madness tournaments, same thing with congress. They have
to be there to make decisions. They have to be there to make policy, but
yeah, there is going to come a time where whether it be shutting down
tourist access, whether it be really taking a break. I mean, they are due
for a recess next week. I think that`s going to sort of allay a lot of
concerns that they can maybe push this package out and then sort of retreat
to their districts for awhile or their states for awhile.
But, yeah, these are high risk people. These are older people. The Latin
word “senex” is where we get old man, that`s where we get the word senate,
so it`s a traditional thing.
HAYES: I didn`t know that.
FULLER: Yeah, it`s just a…
HAYES: Look at that.
FULLER: Yeah, learning something.
HAYES: I got – every night is an adventure. Betsy Woodruff Swan and Matt
Fuller, thank you both.
SWAN: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: You`re looking live at a Biden campaign rally in Detroit, Michigan
where we expect at some point to see both Senators Cory Booker and Kamala
Harris give public endorsements to Joe Biden tonight. We`re monitoring
events out there. And we`re to talk about what to expect from the six
states voting tomorrow in the primary ahead.
HAYES: Tomorrow is another pivotal election day in the Democratic primary.
The race is down to two people, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. And voters
will be going to polls in six states tomorrow – Washington, Michigan,
Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota and Idaho. 352 delegates will be up for
grabs. And last week, Joe Biden was endorsed by five of his major former
opponents, including Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Pete
Buttigieg and Mike Bloomberg.
And the latest crop of polls out today look pretty darn good for Joe Biden.
A new Quinnipiac University poll has Biden up by 19 points nationally, 54
percent to 35 percent for Bernie Sanders. Polling averages from the most
important states voting tomorrow also going in Biden`s favor. According to
the FiveThirtyEight`s average, he`s up significantly in Michigan, Missouri
and Mississippi. He`s leading in Washington State, although it is very
We also got an interesting head-to-head general election poll today out of
Michigan from Monmouth University showing both Biden and Sanders beating
President Trump 48 to 41 and 46 to 41 respectively.
The dynamics of the race have just completely altered in the past week.
Tomorrow is absolutely critical. It could very well be Sanders` last chance
to claw back some kind of delegate lead or at least diminish the gap so
that he can make it up in the future. If he doesn`t, he`s in trouble.
We`re going to talk about that next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: When I did the speech, often it`s 45 minutes or an hour, OK?
Because there are a lot of challenges that the country faces and I got to
talk about them.
You know, I think Joe was somewhere, where was he, I don`t know Michigan or
some place else the other day and he spoke for seven minutes. But all I
would say is, not to criticize Joe, but to say that I think the American
people in this incredibly complicated and difficult moment in our history
are entitled to thoughtful answers to the crises we face.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Sanders in a town hall earlier this evening on Fox News. The
Democratic primary is clearly a two-person contest right now. And thought
it`s been flipped on its head in the last week, it`s hardly over. Six
states voting tomorrow have the opportunity to kind of cement the dynamics
where they are or once again reshape the race.
To talk about the stakes for tomorrow`s big vote I`m joined by Maya Wiley,
professor at The New School; and Sam Seder, host of the Majority Report
I have to say, it is a remarkable the last week, the turnaround, I mean,
just this sort of closing ranks that`s happened both, I think, among a
certain segment of voters, among politicians – you have Cory Booker and
Kamala Harris there. And I think that one thing it`s – and I`m curious
what both of you say about this – one thing I kept encountering among
Democratic voters was there was a group of people that really wanted some
ideological vision that tended to be either Warren or Sanders, and then a
huge group that just literally wanted it to be over. Like, honestly, their
biggest feeling about the primary was they didn`t like the fighting. They
didn`t like the uncertainty. It made them stressed out. They want it to be
over. And I feel like we`re seeing a little bit of that right now, a lot of
MAYA WILEY, THE NEW SCHOOL: Well, it`s – everyone is so traumatized from
2016 and then what we have seen 2016 from Donald Trump, and now more than
ever, boy, people are scared, and for some really good, important reasons
from Coronavirus to the impacts on the market and what`s going to happen
with very real people struggling to get health care who don`t have paid
sick leave, who are worried about whether or not they can get the care,
keep paying their rent, hold on to their homes – you know, this is a very
scary time. And certainty, at least in terms of who the candidate is, you
know, quells that some.
But I will say one thing about the primary on Super Tuesday is that, you
know, the truth is that Biden was always way ahead on the polls in the
black belt south, that really – I mean, I think what – there was that
moment where Bernie Sanders started looking like he was taking more and
more of the black vote that made it look more contested, but it`s not so
much the upset just in the sense that Biden always did have a strong base
SAM SEDER, HOST, MAJORITY REPORT: Yeah, and I think, you know, I think
people – I think there is that desire to sort of get this over with and
figure out who it is, but I think a lot of people weren`t sure, frankly…
HAYES: Yes, clearly.
SEDER: Who can win. And I think, you know, when there became sort of these
endorsements it gave people a, you know, some type of signal.
HAYES: Yes, it`s signaling.
SEDER: The fact of the matter is that there has been concern about Joe
Biden for months, otherwise we would have seen this a long time ago and
they wouldn`t need the concern that Bernie Sanders was there for the
establishment to finally say like this is the, you know, lesser of two
evils, essentially, they`re doing.
And, you know, look I think there is still some very legitimate concern
about Joe Biden`s ability to mobilize low propensity voters. I mean, there
is all indications that he is getting those voters who are determined to
vote against Donald Trump, but the problem is, is that you need more than
just the voters who are determined to vote against Donald Trump, if 2016 is
HAYES: Well, that`s the question.
SEDER: That is the question.
HAYES: Here`s what I see when I see people make the case against Biden,
right? Because I think one of the things happened is in that week after
Sanders was leading, there was a huge emphasis on his critics, on his
downsides. And they are real, like are we going to run a socialist who has
had a heart attack. Like fair. Right?
There has been I think an effort, particularly in the Sanders campaign, to
focus on some of Biden`s downsides – his trade record. Is that going to
hurt him in the way that people think that hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016,
right? Like his connection to sort of being a Washington insider.
There is a degree to which there is a lot of ways in which the things
people identify with Hillary Clinton also exist in Biden`s record, but
there`s a big but, which is that I think people feel like, it`s not going
to – like we don`t know if it runs the same way this time.
WILEY: One of the things we have to remember about Michigan in 2016 is,
you know, Hillary Clinton`s campaign played a numbers game, not a peoples
game. And that really hurt Hillary Clinton in black voters in Detroit, and
black voters in Milwaukee.
SEDER: And Philly for that matter.
WILEY: And in Philly. So one of the things that this depends on in part
is, is the campaign, is Joe Biden, going to really reach out to those
voters, but the one thing I would say that`s different is, there is a much
higher motivation to vote.
HAYES: That`s my point about the difference in 2016.
SEDER: Two things.
Hillary Clinton ran that, the modeling, to determine who they should go
for, and I had people who called my show who worked in politics in
Pennsylvania saying we were knocking on doors to get out the vote in the
last couple of days. 25 percent of the doors we knocked on were Trump
voters because they were doing modeling.
Why were they doing modeling? Maybe it`s because they really thought that
that`s the new way to do it, or maybe they didn`t have the enthusiasm that
they needed to get people on the ground. That is a problem for Biden.
The other thing I would say is that, look, Donald Trump is going to run to
the left on Joe Biden, like you say, on trade. He`s going to do it on…
HAYES: Yeah, because he`s shameless.
SEDER: Right, of course.
He`s going to do it on social security. He`s going to do it – and the
point is is that no one is going to make the decision to vote for Trump
over Biden, they`re just going to made the decision of am I going to leave
the house, because they`re all of the same…
HAYES: And it`s a really important point is that the cynical – and I want
to play something that Biden actually told my colleague Lawrence O`Donnell,
what the cynical play is depress turnout by being like they`re all the
SEDER: That`s the Donald Trump playbook.
HAYES: Take a listen to what Biden had to say about the president`s
handling of the Coronavirus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: There`s no confidence in the president in anything he says or does.
He turns everything into what he thinks is a political benefit for himself
and he`s actually imploding in the process.
But there`s a let of innocent bystanders that are being badly hurt. And I
just think, I mean I wish he would just be quiet. I really mean it. That`s
a really awful thing to say about a president, to be quiet, just let the
experts speak and acknowledge whatever they suggest to him is what we
should be doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: This to me epitomized the Biden campaign and in some ways I think
caught some of the Sanders folks unaware, which is that the appetite among
Democratic primary voters for like make that go away, just like make it go
away and replace it with a person we know and like, that`s it. That
appetite is strong, and that`s kind of the Biden value proposition.
WILEY: Unfortunately, lots of people want Donald Trump to just stop
talking and to say let the experts do their job unfortunately, it`s way too
potent right now, when you have such a shift of experts.
The reality is, it is so important to have someone say actually what we
should be doing is creating a fund for people who don`t have paid sick
leave right now, real quick, we wouldn`t have said no to the World Health
Organization`s test, so that we have people who are in quarantine because
they don`t have test, I mean show leadership, show…
SEDER: They need proactive, not quietness.
HAYES: I think there is – it would be interesting in the sort of
Democratic policy consensus forming on precisely this question. Maya Wiley,
Sam Seder, thank you for joining us.
That is ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
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protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the