Coronavirus formally declared a pandemic TRANSCRIPT: All in w/ Chris Hayes

Guests:
Ezekiel Emanuel, Peter Hotez, Gavin Yamey, Robert Reich, Katie Porter, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Mehdi Hasan
Transcript:

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.

 

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS

DISEASES: We will see more cases and things will get worse than they are

right now.

 

HAYES: New alarms from America`s top health official.

 

FAUCI: We`ve got to assume that it`s going to get worse and worse and

worse.

 

HAYES: As the novel Coronavirus officially becomes a pandemic, the stock

market collapses again, large event cancellations continue, and a major

American city closes all public schools.

 

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA): The decisions we probably will be making in the

upcoming days are going to be profoundly disturbing to a lot of the ways we

live our lives today.

 

HAYES: Tonight, new calls for more dramatic action and what Americans can

do to protect themselves as the president prepares to address the nation.

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we get rid of the problem

quickly, everything settles itself. We don`t need stimulus.

 

HAYES: All that and what we learned when Bernie Sanders finally addressed

the media today when ALL IN starts right now.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. We`re in the midst of a

global pandemic. That`s been evident probably for weeks now. But today the

World Health Organization officially declared coronavirus a pandemic

because of the widespread scale of the outbreak.

 

The WHO has been working on this virus from the beginning when it first

broke out in Wuhan, China. They saw how it took down an entire city`s

health care system and resulted in over 3000 deaths and China. The WHO has

been warning about Coronavirus for months. But they have been reluctant to

make the pandemic declaration for fears of inciting panic until today when

they decided that now is the time.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WHO: The WHO has been

assessing this outbreak around the clock and we`re deeply concerned both by

the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of

inaction.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: Alarming levels of inaction. That message there is similar to that

of Dr. Anthony Fauci, a guy who`s run the National Institute of Allergy and

Infectious Diseases since 1984. He`s worked under six presidents, played a

major pivotal role in reining in the AIDS crisis. Today, he testified

before the House Oversight Committee. And he was forthright and he was

honest about what is coming at us right now, unlike the president.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the worst yet to come. Dr. Fauci?

 

FAUCI: Yes, it is.

 

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Is there any chance we will have a vaccine in a

few months?

 

FAUCI: No, I made myself clear in my statement. This is a really serious

problem that we have to take seriously. I mean, people always say, well,

the flu, you know, the flu does this, the flu does that. The flu has a

mortality of 0.1 percent. This has a mortality of 10 times that.

 

We would hope that as we get to warmer weather, it would go down, but we

can`t proceed under that assumption. We`ve got to assume that it`s going to

get worse and worse and worse.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: Dr. Fauci`s testimony today was almost literally the exact opposite

of what President Trump and members of his administration have been telling

us for weeks and weeks. We finally got to hear a candid version of the

truth from a genuine expert, unedited.

 

Here is where things stand right now. This exponential curve shows the

growth of coronavirus cases outside of China. Right now, there are nearly

45,000 confirmed cases in the world outside of China where the outbreak

appears to be under control.

 

This is what the U.S. curve looks like. Almost identical, right? Looks a

lot like the global curve we just saw. In the U.S. four weeks ago, we had

15 cases. Just over a week ago, we had 100 cases. Today we have over 1,200

cases. That number probably does not even capture the reality because our

testing capacity is not actually measuring the scope of the problem.

 

What is clear is we are racing up this exponential curve at an almost

similar rate to the countries that have gone before us. For instance,

Italy. Italy right now is in the midst of a full-blown public health

crisis. The country is completely on lockdown.

 

Today, a new measure announced. Italy announced they will stop almost all

commercial activity aside from supermarkets and pharmacies. Think about

that for a second. Everything closed except for drugstores and food. Italy

also announced today, they now have over 12,000 cases and the total deaths

in the country have increased – listen to this – have increased over 30

percent in just 24 hours, from 631 to 827. 30 percent increase in

fatalities in one day.

 

This chart shows the rapid growth of cases in Italy. Does that look

familiar? It should. You can also see how the U.S. is right now following

almost the exact same trajectory just a week behind. Now, many if not most

of those deaths in Italy are likely a direct result of what we have already

seen with this virus in Wuhan, China. The virus is overrunning the

healthcare system capacity.

 

Anywhere in the world at any given time, in any given city, there`s a fixed

amount of doctors, ICU beds, ventilators. The systemic risk the virus poses

to everyone around the world right now, including in the U.S., is what is

happening now in Italy. Doctors in that country are intubating patients in

hallways. Massive numbers of healthcare workers are infected. They`re

having to make wartime triage decisions about who they can afford to treat.

 

The Atlanta reports on a remarkable document issued by an Italian medical

college that recommends doctors allocate their stretch resources to

patients with the highest chance of recovery. Italian doctors are being

forced to decide who to save and who to let die.

 

Tom Bossert, Trump`s former Homeland Security Adviser told NBC News

yesterday that we are 10 days away from the hospitals getting crept. We are

now nine days away. That is where we`re headed right now in this country.

The only thing we can do at this point as citizens, as civil society,

because the testing has been screwed up inexcusably by the federal

government, is to take dramatic steps collectively to socially distance

ourselves, to try and flatten the curve of this epidemic and slow the

transmission of the virus in order to stop a run on our hospitals, to

protect vulnerable populations in our midst.

 

That`s older people, people with serious chronic medical conditions like

heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. We all have people in our lives

that are vulnerable to this. And the clear steps to take are canceling

large scale events and reducing travel reducing going out, even going to

restaurants or events. We need to take this all deadly seriously.

 

You can go read the warnings from Italians who said we did not take this

seriously enough and now we`re in it. That`s their message to us. That

message however, is not being adequately communicated at all by the most

powerful person in the country. Someone – we`ll be hearing from later

tonight a man who insists on propagating disinformation and meeting with

CEOs to discuss an economic problem.

 

But the right message is being communicated by people administration like

Dr. Fauci, by former Trump administration officials like Tom Bossert, and

former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb, but governors like Washington`s Jay

Inslee, who today announced they`re shutting down events over 250 people.

The reality is we have to take dramatic steps. And we`re only now at this

late hour starting to see those steps in action.

 

For more on where we stand right now, I`m joined by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel,

former Obama White House health policy adviser. He`s Vice Provost of Global

Initiatives at University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the

National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

 

Dr. Emanuel, let me start with you. Where do you see us right now and are

we doing enough in terms of large scale social disruption and changes to

slow the transmission of this epidemic?

 

EZEKIEL, EMANUEL, FORMER HEALTH POLICY ADVISOR, OBAMA WHITE HOUSE: So first

of all, I`ve been saying for several weeks now that it`s going to get worse

before it gets better. Partially, it`s going to get worse because we have

testing that`s just going to show us how prevalent the illness is. It`s

also getting worse because we know we have more community-acquired

infections.

 

As I mentioned to someone today, you know, one week ago, we were not even

talking about New Rochelle, and now New Rochelle is a major topic in New

York and it`s a lockdown. And if we focus on New Rochelle without thinking

about all the other places that this virus is, maybe Washington D.C., maybe

the suburbs of Baltimore, who knows where.

 

The problem is we need a more systematic, less uneven response that has to

be pretty uniform. Because just because we`re seeing it in New Rochelle, it

doesn`t mean New Rochelle is the only place in New York that`s got it. And

that response does have to include things like much more prevalent testing

so we really have a handle on who`s got it in who doesn`t. And a really

good model is South Korea.

 

If you look at their trends, you can see that they`re beginning to bend in

South Korea. We also do need to inform people. We use the term social

distancing, like everyone knows what it means. It`s not immediately obvious

to people what that entails, and how much you need to be separate from

people.

 

HAYES: Explain. I mean, what should people know about that?

 

EMANUEL: Well, a large part of it, you know, you – people have come up

with all these numbers, no more than 100 people to meet, no more – The

issue is density. How close are you two people? How easy is it for the

droplets to spread? How much are you sort of packed in like sardines or

not. And that really – I mean, that`s a physical thing that is really

important.

 

And I do think we probably need to educate people to minimize their outward

contact and to stay home more. You can go out where there`s no one else. If

you`re, you know, going – walking in the woods or something or going to a

place where there aren`t other people. But I do think restricting how we

move around is going to be important.

 

I will note that not every but most of the Ivy League schools now, for

example, colleges, mine included, were going online. The second half of the

semester is all going to be online. Students aren`t going to be in

dormitories except students that can`t go back to their home country and

still complete the semester. So you are seeing a lot of action, but it`s

not concerted, and that`s what – it`s not systematic, and that`s what`s

bothering me.

 

HAYES: Dr. Hotez, we`ve been checking in with you throughout the unfolding

of the pandemic. And I`m curious if we – are we learning more about the

virus itself, about the basics, about the transmission rate, which seems to

be maybe lower than at first we thought, the fatality rate, the incubation

period? Where is our knowledge right now about this?

 

PETER HOTEZ, CO-DIRECTOR, TEXAS CHILDREN`S HOSPITAL CENTER FOR VACCINE

DEVELOPMENT: So the transmission rate still seems to be pretty high. As Dr.

Fauci mentioned, it`s probably significantly higher than the influenza as

well as the mortality rate. But the – you know, just to echo and reinforce

some of the things Zeke – Dr. Emmanuel was saying. We`ve learned a few

things from a recent analysis.

 

My colleague, Mark Lipschitz, at Harvard School of Public Health, Chan

School of Public Health together with a student, a doctoral student,

(INAUDIBLE) Lee, did an analysis of the Chinese cities in terms of how

severe the epidemic is, with the extreme example being Wuhan, where 9,000

people wound up in the – severely ill, but 2,000 in the ICU, versus a city

like Guangzhou where there was only 20. A big difference, right?

 

And that looked like it`s primarily to do to how quickly you got on top of

things after sustained community transmission started. So when Wuhan, they

let it go for six weeks before they implemented aggressive control and

testing, whereas in Guangzhou where they only have 20 cases, one week.

 

What`s the lesson learned from the United States? We`re now about three

weeks into this in terms of sustained community transmission. We had our

first case of community transmission around the end of April, and so

subtract the week before then.

 

So we`re getting to the point where because we`re not doing adequate

diagnostic testing, and implementing those very important control measures

that Zeke pointed out, we`re in a situation where we could risk being

closer to Wuhan than Guangzhou, and we don`t – we can`t be there.

 

So now is a very critical period over the next couple of weeks where we

have to be very aggressive about closing down major venues. We just did

this in Houston today with the Rodeo. It was a tough decision, but it was

the right decision. And we`re going to have to do this all over the country

right now.

 

And the reason is this. Because if we miss that opportunity, we then have -

- our new problem becomes surge capacity in hospitals, where we`re not

going to have enough beds, we`re not going to have enough ventilators, and

we don`t want to go in that direction. So now is our big – now is going to

be our last chance. We`ve already missed that over the last few weeks.

 

EMANUEL: Can I re-emphasize something Peter says?

 

HAYES: Yes, please.

 

EMANUEL: Which is – so in the entire United States, we have about 800,000

hospital beds, a little under 800,000 hospital beds. In the entire United

States, we have under 70,000, adult Intensive Care Unit beds. We have about

65,000 ventilators with the strategic supply. I`ve heard that it goes up

slightly under 100,000. That`s our maximal capacity in the country at the

moment.

 

If you imagine that, you know, even two percent of the population gets the

Coronavirus, and we have about six percent who are seriously ill going to

need a respirator, we`ve exhausted all that supply just for those patients.

Forget the heart attack patients, forget the patients who need it for any

other reason.

 

And I think what Peter said is exactly right. We probably have missed two

or three turns over the last few weeks where we could have gotten things

down, and just focusing on the hotspot Seattle, New Rochelle. I think it`s

not – we need a much more systematic countrywide approach so that we don`t

overwhelm the healthcare system, which already you know, doesn`t have that

much search capacity in it.

 

HAYES: Dr. Hotez, final point for you. For people that are watching this, I

have struggled with this for the last three weeks, right, communicating in

a way that does not induce catastrophizing or panic but also as clear-eyed

about the risks. And I do think it`s worth just going back to the sort of

distinction between your individual risk, you random American, one of 303

million, that you will get very sick and need to be hospitalized or may

face life-threatening illnesses. That individual risk for any given random

person is probably low in the grand scheme of things in this systemic risk

to the society and to the healthcare system which is extremely high at this

moment. Is that a fair way of phrasing it?

 

HOTEZ: Yes, absolutely. And also remember, it`s all about communicating

what our top priorities are. And this is what I`ve been disappointed about.

I mean, we`ve lost a lot of time because of blanket statements that are not

backed by data saying this is contained, this is – this is the cold, this

is the flu, when in fact, you know, we know that there are specific groups

that are at high risk, including older individuals, those with underlying

disabilities, and our health care workers.

 

And so, what I`ve been looking for is – at those White House press

briefings to say, look, these are our four big concerns, right? These are

the three or four populations that we`re concerned about. This is why we

need to get on top of this very quickly, and here`s what we`re doing about

it and. And historically, the American people have responded very well to

this. They understood this through Ebola, Zika.

 

You know, as we say, this is not our first rodeo, so we know how to

respond. And we just need that clear, kind of concise messaging right now.

 

HAYES: All right, doctor –

 

EMANUEL: Can I just add one thing to Chris, your point, which is we also do

know – for any individual, the risk is low, except we do know that there

are certain people –

 

HAYES: Correct.

 

EMANUEL: And Peter just emphasize them. Those who are over 60 or 65, those

who have chronic illness, they are at high risk. And what we have done in

this country is aggregate them in nursing homes. Those are our most

vulnerable people, people in nursing homes, and we really have to, you

know, social distance there. Reduce the number of visitors probably to

zero. Make sure that people are counting up and taking a dining protective

equipment so that we don`t have that petri plate, just you know, explode

with Coronavirus like it did in Seattle, because almost every one of them

is really on the verge just Like the cruise ships.

 

HAYES: It`s a good point, an important point, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Dr.

Peter Hotez, thank you both. Next, from public school closings for the

cancellation of large events, how civic society, local governments are

leading where the federal government is not, in two minutes.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

INSLEE: Every successful effort that we can take to slow the spread of this

disease, and that`s to reduce the social interactions that are not

necessary in our lives. This is an effective tactic. It is at hand. All it

requires is the will of active people to follow science and confidence that

we`re all in this together. And that`s why we`re taking these steps.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: That was Governor Jay Inslee of Washington early today. Right now,

he`s managing the worst Coronavirus outbreak in the country. That included

him announcing today they are banning events with more than 250 people in

the three counties hardest hit by the virus.

 

They live in a country, obviously, with freedom of assembly, so it`s no

small thing for Governor state to say we don`t want you to have more than

250 people together. That is one of a cascading list of decisions by local

and state leaders that in order for us to slow the transmission of the

virus, we need to take very big dramatic steps to limit public gatherings.

 

The enormous music festival, Coachella, has been postponed until October.

South by Southwest in Austin was canceled. The House and the Senate are

stopping tours of the Capitol. Television shows such as NBC`s the Tonight

Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, HBO`s Last Week

Tonight with John Oliver, the ABC`s The View, they are all being shot

without live audiences.

 

The Golden State Warriors basketball team decided to play last night`s game

with fans in attendance even though city officials warns not to. But now,

it`s no longer their choice. Following an order from the mayor of San

Francisco and City Health officials, gatherings with more than 1,000 people

are now prohibited. So tomorrow night`s game will be played without fans.

 

Just hours ago, it was announced that the entire NCAA Tournament March

Madness will be played without fans. This is happening all around the

world. In Italy, as I said earlier, all stores, commercial activity except

for pharmacies and food markets are now being mandated shut down.

 

Ireland canceled their St. Patrick`s Day Parade. The entire nation of

Denmark is closing all schools and universities. Yesterday, a major soccer

game was played in Spain to an empty stadium normally filled with thousands

of people. This is happening everywhere and it goes to show just how

serious this virus is.

 

There`s a lot that goes into how these decisions are made. Tonight, I have

two people who have inside view that process. Gavin Yamey, he`s professor

of global health and public policy at Duke University, and Robert Reich,

former Labor Secretary and the author of The System: Who Rigged It and How

We Fix It.

 

Gavin, let me start with you. You know, it struck me today as I watched

what played out with the Golden State Warriors in which the city official

said don`t play with fans, they went ahead and did it anyway, then the city

officials mandated, that it`s probably important a combination of sort of

urging private associations not to do this and policymakers just taking the

decision out of people`s hands. How do you think about that balance here?

 

GAVIN YAMEY, PROFESSOR, DUKE UNIVERSITY: Yes, I think that`s right, Chris.

I mean, if you look at some of the countries that have managed to bring the

outbreak under control, they`re not out of the woods yet for sure,

countries like South Korea, Taiwan, places like Hong Kong, they seem to

have got the balance right.

 

Obviously, they have been very aggressive about social distancing and they

have combined that with really smart public health policies. They`ve been

aggressive in testing people. They`ve been very innovative in finding ways

to reach people. You may have seen the photos of South Korea with a mass

drive through testing sites. Those are free. They`re reaching a huge number

of people. And they`ve had other innovations.

 

They`ve been using GPS, for example, for contact tracing. That is where if

someone is infected, you trace all of the other people who they may have

come into contact with. They`ve been sending out text alerts when it is

apparent that Coronavirus has reached a particular neighborhood. They`ve

had so many innovative public health policies that they have now started to

see a falling number of new cases, which is really what you want to see.

 

Even travelers who are – who are entering South Korea, they are asked to

download an app, and then each day monitor their own symptoms on that app.

And they are testing huge numbers of people, Chris. I mean, we haven`t even

tested 10,000 people yet says the CDC. South Korea is on average testing

12,000 to 15,000 per day. And they say they`ve got the capacity to test

20,000.

 

So you know, as Dr. Hotez and Zeke Emanuel said, we are really not where we

should be at this point in our outbreak.

 

HAYES: Robert, the local governments like Jay Inslee or mayors or county

officials, right, or governors, you know, everybody is balancing this

question in their mind. They do not want to create economic harm for their

constituents. They don`t want to cancel big events, and not just because

you don`t want to, you know, tick off an NBA owner, there`s tons of people

that sell concessions there that work in low wage jobs or contract jobs

that are going to be hurt by that.

 

It seems to me that one part of this has to be enormous public policy on

the stimulus side to safeguard people`s economic disruption, particularly

the people at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

 

ROBERT REICH, FORMER SECRETARY OF LABOR, UNITED STATES: Absolutely, Chris.

And we don`t have in this country, and let`s face it, we do not have a

public health system that is geared toward helping people stay home from

work. I mean, we don`t have paid sick leave.

 

If you want to get a test for the Coronavirus, it`s going to cost you if

you don`t have insurance, health insurance. And remember, 30 million

Americans don`t have health insurance. It`s going to cost you at least

$1,600 personally. I mean, instead of making these tests free or mandatory,

we do exactly the opposite.

 

Unemployment insurance in this country, if you lose your job, or if you

have to stay home, you can`t work. Unemployment insurance reaches 27

percent of people who don`t have jobs, and we`re not working. I mean, the

entire system of public health and a kind of social safety net is not in

place here to handle the kinds of burdens that we all are going to have to

face.

 

HAYES: I just want to – just to be clear, there have been some decrees by

local officials, Washington State, I believe, I know here in New York City

that people can get tested for free if they don`t have health insurance.

Just in case anyone`s watching this, and I don`t want anyone to be

discouraged from cost, because I do think there will be ways around that in

the future, particularly in these localities, which is not to say it`s not

happening.

 

It does strike me though, the biggest obstacle right now just to return to

what you were saying before Gavin and then want to get back to this

economic question is the test – the testing bottleneck is enormous and it

doesn`t seem to be getting better. I`ve read accounts today about actual

issues with just the supply chain, the sort of machinery and ways in which

testing works is bottleneck right now. So it`s not getting out to point of

care. Is that your understanding right now?

 

YAMEY: That`s absolutely right, Chris. We were very slow to scale up

testing. I mean, that`s been well documented now. We had a faulty test kit.

We were very slow, the federal level to get tests out to where they were

needed. The test had to be approved by the CDC, so you actually had local

officials who are hamstrung when they really should have been supported.

 

And so people with symptoms who had the coronavirus were not being tested.

We even had health workers with symptoms who are not being tested. And so

the race is on now to try and scale up tests. You may have also seen the

news that the Gates Foundation is trying to fund the rapid development of a

self-test. We have so many bottlenecks. That is one.

 

Robert Reich pointed to another, and that is that we have a healthcare

system that is a patchwork with giant holes.

 

HAYES: Yes.

 

YAMEY: And you know, we`ve seen cases, the man in Miami, Osmel Martinez

Azcue. He returned from China with symptoms. He did the right thing. He

went to the hospital to get tested. And he was landed with a bill for

$3,270. Now, the insurer said we`ll pay some of it, but he was still left

with a $1,400 out of pocket fee.

 

Even Republicans right now, to their credit, are going on T.V. saying,

let`s make this test freely available. It is a barrier. It isn`t the only

barrier. I would say that, you know, the response is going to require

universal health coverage insurance for all. It`s going to require very

strong public health measures. It`s going to require social distancing,

aggressive contact tracing.

 

And then there`s an element of this response that doesn`t get very much

attention. I lead a center at Duke University called the Center for Policy

Impacting Global Health. And for many years, we`ve been talking about how

actually, there`s a whole set of global activities that need to happen.

 

HAYES: Right.

 

YAMEY: We need – we need things like surge capacity. We need to be able to

manufacture quickly medicines. We need to manufacture personal protective

equipment for doctors and nurses. We need to be able to surge health

workers. Italy, as you know, is facing enormous shortage of health workers.

We need if you`d like to kind of a global task force that could be, you

know, mobilized when necessary.

 

HAYES: Let me – Robert, let me just end with you on this sort of economic

– obviously, you`re identifying huge holes in the social safety net that

are the status quo. Right now, though, we need policy focus on things that

can be done for people now, right? So what do you see is the sort of

priorities there?

 

REICH: Well –

 

YAMEY: I mean, I think –

 

HAYES: Robert, please.

 

REICH: Paid sick leave, for example, Chris. I mean, this afternoon, the

Senate Republicans bottled up, rejected a bill that would provide and

mandate paid sick leave. You know, every single – I mean, only 45 percent

of workers in fast food and in the restaurant industry get paid sick leave.

That means that they have got to stay on the job, many of them, even when

they`re sick.

 

I mean, at the very least we ought to require that hotel – that hospitals

take these people in, that there be no payments for tests, and also that

restaurants and fast food places post whether they – whether they provide

their workers with paid sick leave. If they don`t, customers ought to know

that.

 

HAYES: I`m going to be speaking to a House Democrat later in the show. I

think paid sick leave is going to be part of the House Democrat package.

Gavin Yamey and Robert Reich, thank you both. I appreciate it.

 

REICH: Thanks very much, Chris.

 

HAYES: Coming up, Trump officials cut their testimony shorter on

coronavirus hearing because of an emergency at the White House.

Congresswoman Katie Porter was at that hearing today. We`ll talk about what

happened next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REP. GERRY CONNOLLY, (D) VIRGINIA: We aren`t the ones that called the alarm

being raised about this pandemic as fake news. That came out of the

president of the United States` mouth. And no gaslighting is going to hide

that.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: House oversight committee held a hearing today on the federal

response to Coronavirus where Dr. Anthony Fauci, t he head of the National

Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, delivered a serious warning

that the worst of the pandemic is yet to come. The testimony, however, was

cut short, ending an hour-and-a-half earlier than planned, because

President Trump summoned the witnesses to what Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney

called a, quote, emergency meeting at the White House.

 

One of the members of that committee, who was denied her opportunity to

question America`s top health officials is Katie Porter of California who

joins me now.

 

First, let me start on that. Do you have a clear understanding of what

happened this morning and why that oversight committee hearing was cut

short?

 

REP. KATIE PORTER, (D) CALIFORNIA: We were simply told there was a meeting

that they were required to attend at the White House. We do understand that

the witnesses will be present again tomorrow, I believe at 11:00 for the

hearing to continue and I`m looking forward to questioning them and

continuing to press them on the administration`s response at that time.

 

HAYES: You`ve articulated two concerns. One of them has to do with what we

were just speaking about in the previous segment about cost. In a letter

that you wrote to Alex Azar, among others, it is critical any cost barriers

or limits to COVID-19 diagnostics testing be removed, so those who maybe

infected do not forgo testing because of cost concerns. Is there currently

any national policy or mandate that says anyone who is tested can do it for

free?

 

PORTER: I`m really glad you`re asking about this, because this is exactly

what I`m going to be tackling with the witnesses tomorrow at the hearing.

So, I don`t think I`m known for tipping my hand to the witnesses, but I

really want them to get this answer right when I put it to them tomorrow at

the hearing. There is an existing regulation already in U.S. law that

provides during a public health emergency that the CDC can pay for

treatment and examination and testing, all of those things, and so that`s

already in our code of federal regulations, that`s already one of the tools

that has been at the disposal of the Department of Health and Human

Services and the CDC this entire time.

 

So I`m going to call on them publicly to make sure that testing and

treatment is free and that insurer`s pay their portion, but that American

families are not left – that no American – is left paying out of pocket

or deterred from getting testing or treatment because of cost barriers.

 

HAYES: We have been trying in our own reporting, and I know others, who

sort of track down what has happened with testing and the bottlenecks in it

and the lack of capacity. I know it`s a concern you have. Do you have a

clear idea, is there good communication from the White House about exactly

the precise status of it is and what the obstacles to scaling up are?

 

PORTER: There is actually been a real gap between what we hear at these

what have now become weekly coronavirus briefings and then what we hear

when we go home and talk to families and constituents.

 

I had a telephone call this week, a conference call with hospitals in my

area. They were all expressing that they don`t necessarily have access to

testing that if they are sending testing in, it`s taking days and days to

get responses.

 

One of the things that we`re exploring is there is multiple failures in

this testing process, one of them is not enough swab kits, not enough kits

disseminated to the right locations and quickly enough, but one of the

things we do have at our disposal is a lot of our research labs use the

same equipment to do testing that is currently used in the clinical health

care setting, so it may be possible to use some of those research

laboratories at universities for example to do some of the clinical

testing, but there is a process and some administrative barriers to getting

through that. And so I`m interested in continuing to explore how can we

bring existing resources to bear on this problem quickly.

 

HAYES: Final question for you. You`re a member of the Democratic caucus. It

appears that some kind of stimulus package is going to be unveiled, I

think, tomorrow by Democratic leadership, that`s the indication we have.

 

Do you have a sense of that or do you at least have your own sort of

principles and priorities from what you want to see out of a package

tomorrow?

 

PORTER: Absolutely. I`m going to be looking for something that`s going to

be putting families first, that`s going to be prioritizing public health

commitments. The House already passed a big bill last week, $8.3 billion.

Those were the things that Dr. Fauci in particular, who I think has been

the most reliable administration official in terms of understanding really

the science behind this and what we can do to save lives. We already did

that last week. This week we`re looking to focus on understanding and

protecting families who may be not able to get meals, dealing with

transportation or school closures and make sure we put families first in

this.

 

This is not the time for – the stock market will stabilized when families

are stabilized. When health conditions stabilize, the market will respond.

So, I`m disappointed that we have a president who is thinking more about

the interest of special interests and big corporations than he is about the

health care and life and death situation of our American families.

 

HAYES: Congresswoman Katie Porter of California, as always, thank you so

much.

 

Just ahead, what we learned when Bernie Sanders broke his silence after

another rough primary last night and how the campaign may have changed

today right after this.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT) 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today I say to the

Democratic establishment in order to win in the future, you need to win the

voters who represent the future of our country and you must speak to the

issues of concern to them. You cannot simply be satisfied by winning the

votes of people who are older.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: After choosing not to speak last night following a very

disappointing primary showing, which left him nearly 150 delegates behind

Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders came out today and struck a really interesting

note about staying in the presidential race. His address was focused on the

policy priorities of his campaign and his movement, particularly as he

noted there, the backers of those who are younger than 40, which he won

overwhelmingly.

 

But it was not a particularly defiant shot across the bow at Biden. What it

sounded like to me was someone trying to figure out how to bring these

coalitions together.

 

To talk more about this, I`m joined by Mehdi Hasan, columnist at The

Intercept, host of the Deconstructed Podcast, and Brittany Packnett

Cunningham, co-host of Pod Save the People and a former member of President

Obama`s task force on 21st Century policing.

 

Brittany, let me start with you. What was your sense of the combination of

last night`s Biden victory, the Biden speech, which also was fairly Olive

branchy (ph) about Bernie Sanders and Sanders` speech today?

 

BRITTANY PACKNETT CUNNINGHAM, CO-HOST, POD SAVE THE PEOPLE PODCAST: I think

that this is an acknowledgment that the power has and always will belong to

the people, that when it comes down to November, we need folks all across

the left to show up. We need young folks. We need older folks. We need

people in between. We need people of all races. And in order to defeat

Donald Trump, that collision has to come out in droves.

 

So both of these candidates recognize, rather, that they have to bring

their groups together in order to get that done and it`s a message,

frankly, that I respect.

 

Look, progressive policies are always more important than any single

politician. I hear Bernie Sanders is saying he`s going to push Joe Biden on

that on the debate stage to make sure that those policies have a place in

the White House even if Bernie Sanders doesn`t.

 

HAYES: Yeah, Mehdi, it`s interesting he talked about the debate on Sunday

night. It will be the first one on one debate. He was very clear that he

will be there. It will be done with no audience for reasons of the

coronavirus, but he was very specific about what he`s going to push him on,

sort of focusing on the priorities of the Sanders` campaign has been.

 

MEHDI HASAN, HOST, DECONSTRUCTED PODCAST: Yeah, there is no gotchas (ph)

coming from Bernie Sanders. He literally said it on camera, this is what

I`m going to ask you, Joe – climate change, inequality, health care,

racist criminal justice system, billionaires and big money in politics. He

laid it all out.

 

These are the issues we know that Bernie Sanders cares about, has

campaigned tirelessly on for years, and I think he now knows he can`t win,

so he wants to see can he get Joe Biden to move, which from a Democratic

Party perspective I get the logic of. Bernie doesn`t want to go in there

and cripple Biden, kneecap him and be blamed for Biden going into a general

election weak, you know, and provide, you know, attack lines for the Trump

campaign.

 

On the other hand, you know, from an outsider perspective, just looking at

it from a pure political point of view, the Democratic Party are going to

be nominating Joe Biden, who is going to be going into a general election

against Donald Trump, perhaps the most ruthless amoral person ever to run

for president. And he won`t have actually done a debate, a proper debate –

what we would call a one-on-one, you know, tear strips out of each other,

be held to account kind of debate. On Sunday, it`s going to be two guys

sitting at a table chatting about policy in an empty room, which is great,

but it`s not quite Elizabeth Warren tearing apart Michael Bloomberg, is it?

 

And I think that`s a mistake for Democrats. I think sending Biden into a

general election where he hasn`t been vetted on a bunch of issues that

Trump is going to come after him on, even from the left, I think, is a

mistake just from a political point and strategic point of view.

 

HAYES: What do you think, Brittany?

 

CUNNINGHAM: I think that there is a very good point there made, especially

if we`re talking about exciting young voters and new voters. Look, we

understand that Trump gets the power of entertainment. He is a reality TV

star, and whether or not the policy is sound, whether or not even his

tweets are sound, he is going to get out there and make sure that people

are entertained.

 

And so unfortunately Democrats have to decide how they are going to come up

against that and try to beat someone whose power is not in policy, but in a

television lens.

 

HAYES: Yeah, it`s a good point. So far, Mehdi, it seems the Biden value

proposition here is like good-bye to all that, a return to normalcy, all

those things. He obviously has some vulnerabilities, I think you`re right,

right, in his record that Trump is already going to attack on, particularly

shamelessly on things like, you know, from the left and right at the same

time.

 

But I do think there is a dynamic here that`s important. I want to hear

what you think. What happened in 2016 is Clinton won a bunch of early

states, she – not the earliest, but there was a period there where she

built a delegate lead, and then there was kind of a long and bloody contest

between the two of them in which actually the national polling converged,

Sanders actually got more popular and Clinton less so and sort of limped

across the finish line a little bit, left a lot of bad taste in a lot of

people`s mouths. That`s not what we`re seeing here. I mean, when you look

at the Democratic primary voters, in the last two election nights, they

have been clear about where they are on this race.

 

HASAN: Yes. But don`t forget, also, Bernie Sanders wasn`t really a fan of

Hillary Clinton personally and he is very good friends with Joe Biden. And

we`re seeing there is Buzzfeed reporting out today, which suggests that

Sanders` own his team basically implored him to go after Joe Biden on the

debate stage much harder, and he didn`t want to do it, because when he says

friend, Joe, he actually means it.

 

So, when he says my friend Joe got Iraq wrong, he says it in a kind of

jovial way. He doesn`t say actually Joe Biden, you have blood on your hands

like somebody else might say if they were debating him, or Donald Trump

might say, he does it in a very – and I think Joe – I think both Bernie

Sanders and Elizabeth Warren made a mistake in not going after Joe Biden`s

awful record over the last year. Biden hasn`t really been vetted, kind of

got to hide amongst 10, 12 candidates. If he`s the candidate now, fine.

 

People keep telling me on Twitter stop criticizing Biden, you`re doing

Trump`s work for him. Well, trump doesn`t need me to go after Joe Biden in

a year. I just find it weird after what happened with Hillary Clinton where

remember Bernie on the debate stage, said Hillary, nobody gives a damn

about your emails. Turns out, sadly, they did and she should have had a

better defense of it and maybe she would have done had they engaged in the

primaries.

 

They are going to go after Biden over his age and his coherence and his

Iraq War vote and his bankruptcy bill, and his crime bill. It`s good if he

has some defenses now.

 

HAYES: Mehdi Hasan and Brittany Packnett Cunningham, thank you so much for

making time tonight.

 

Don`t go anywhere, I`ll talk with Rachel Maddow about what to expect from

the president`s address just ahead.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES: The president will be addressing the country from the Oval Office

tonight at 9:00 p.m just minutes from now. He of course has spent the

entire crisis spreading disinformation about the Coronavirus. He keeps

comparing it to the flu. It is not like the flu. In fact, just today Dr.

Anthony Fauci, a member of his Coronavirus task force, said that is a

terrible way to think about it.

 

The president also said that cases are maybe going to go down close to

zero. He said it might disappear like a miracle. He keeps focusing on

industries that are affected, instead of people that are affected. In fact

today, he spent the day meeting with bank CEOs, because he is so manifestly

obsessed with the economic effects as opposed to the public health crisis.

 

And so knowing all this, and knowing his track record, it`s arguably

dangerous that the president of the United States is going to address the

nation live. We don`t know what he`s going to say. We can only hope – hope

– that it`s a prompter address that`s been vetted and that it`s truthful

and forthcoming about the actual reality.

 

But before you listen to the president who keeps saying it`s the flu, it

might go away, I want you to hear the voice of an actual expert who spoke

with candor ab out the Coronavirus and the stakes ahead of us.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGIES AND

INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I can say you will see more cases and things will get

worse than they are right now. How much worse they`ll get will depend on

our ability to be two things – to contain the influx of people who are

infected coming from the outside, and the ability to contain and mitigate

within our own country. Bottom line, it`s going to get worse.

 

People always say, well, the flu, you know, the flu does this, the flu does

that, the flu has a mortality of 0.1 percent, this has a mortality of 10

times that.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: This is 10 times that.

 

We`re going to carry the president`s address tonight, but it is important

to say that at this point, he has given us no reason to believe anything he

has to say about the seriousness of this pandemic, frankly. So in the

commercial break, I`m going to run down a flight of stairs and then a long

hallway to be on the set with my colleague Rachel Maddow, before and after

the president`s address. I`ll see you downstairs right after this.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

FAUCI: If we are complacent and don`t do really aggressive containment and

mitigation, the number could go way up, and be involved in many, many

millions. Even in areas of the country where there are no or few cases, we

have to change our behavior. We have to essentially assume that we`re going

to get hit.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: We are now about five minutes away from President Donald Trump`s

address to the nation on the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

I`m joined now by my friend and colleague Rachel Maddow, host of “THE

RACHEL MADDOW SHOW.”

 

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Chris. It`s good to be here with you.

 

HAYES: It`s good to be here, too.

 

I feel anxiety about the president`s address, because there`s been sort of

twin tracks of missteps and failures here. There`s been substantive

failures on testing, on planning, and all of that, and then there`s just

been egregious disinformation shared by the president himself that is quite

literally harmful for public health response.

 

MADDOW: And as you just mentioned right before the break, the president has

quite openly sort of betrayed his real concerns about this. He talked about

not wanting to allow Americans on to American soil off of a cruise ship,

because he thought that might raise the numbers and that would look bad for

the country.

 

HAYES: He said I don`t need the numbers to go up.

 

MADDOW: I don`t need the numbers to go up. He talked about the fact that he

has expressed real concerns about industries that might be hurt by this, as

if these industries are being hurt for a reason that has nothing to do with

people who are also being hurt by it.

 

And so I mean, him choosing to make an Oval Office address on this subject,

I feel like, in the abstract, is very good, but I think you are super right

to be concerned about what he`s going to say.

 

HAYES: There seems to be, and you just spoke to this, there seems to be a

misunderstanding of the symptom and the cause here, which is he thinks the

problem is the economy. I mean, he`s been very clear about it, even if you

look at how he is spending his time, he`s meeting with drug manufacturers

and he`s meeting with airline CEOs, then he`s meeting today with bank CEOs.

He`s coming out and he`s talking about the stimulus, he came out and he`s

going to be talking about a payroll tax cut.

 

And I have talked to people on Wall Street and people in the financial

sector, they understand that the thing that is causing all of this is the

pandemic.

 

MADDOW: Right.

 

HAYES: That`s the thing that has to be attacked. The economy has to be

dealt with, with some sort of stimulus, but that will work itself out if

you get the public health part right.

 

MADDOW: Right, there isn`t a malfunction in the markets that`s misreading

even the economic impact of the virus.

 

HAYES: No, it`s going to be enormous.

 

MADDOW: We started – I mean, more than a week ago, I remember talking

about – I did this sort of bit on the show that I actually don`t think

worked as a matter of television at all, but it stuck in my brain which was

like oh, the Frankfurt airport in the Germany, which is a big airport,

right, not – you know, 14th biggest in the world or something, they`ve had

a hiring Freeze and they are telling all of their people they can take

unpaid leave and Lufthansa, who is the main carrier there has started

canceling flights and is grounding some of their aircraft.

 

And it was, like, oh, right. They wouldn`t be doing that because they`re

watching the real world impact of people no longer moving freely about the

planet because of rational concerns about this epidemic, which is a real

thing. He`s reading the market as some sort of distortion rather than being

a real reflection of the crisis.

 

HAYES: And what I think has not sunk in, because I think the people at the

top have not communicated it adequately up the president is that we are

looking at genuine social disruption at a very large scale. Two weeks ago,

more than two weeks ago, Dr. Messonnier and the CDC gave – you did great

coverage of this – it was a telephone briefing. It was very early. There

had been at that point I think a case or two of community transmission, and

she said prepare for significant disruption. She said talk to your schools

– and this was two weeks ago and people thought what are you talking

about?

 

MADDOW: I remember being shocked by that. She said I, today, called the

superintendent of my children`s schools and asked what the plan was. And I

was like, whoa. I mean, that`s a serious thing to model as behavior for the

American public. But of course we`re there now.

 

HAYES: And not only were we there, we are there without I think the

psychological tools provided for it.

 

I mean have – when you look at other places like South Korea, when you

look at China, right, which is a very different society from ours and a

very different government from ours, it is a much more collectivist

society, because of the structure of the authoritarian Maoist government

they`ve had for years, but we are going to have to engage in kind of like

social solidarity, you know, victory gardens, war bonds, like that kind of

thing is what we`re heading into. Like, we`re all in this together and

we`re all going to have significant disruptions to our daily lives, all

together, and try to look out for each other, at the policy level and at

the individual and health level, so that we can get through this together,

that`s the message that we need right now.

 

And togetherness and social solidarity is not the register in which the

president excels.

 

MADDOW: The declaration by the WHO today that this is a global pandemic, on

the one hand do most people care about the difference between an epidemic

and a pandemic? No, they both sound bad. They both would be excellent

titles for horror movies, right, but the fact that they`re calling it a

pandemic means it`s everywhere, which means you should no longer think

about protecting yourself and managing the response in your country by

excluding your country from other places that are the real source of the

infection.

 

And so there are no sidelines anymore. And that, I mean that is a

psychological shift that they`re asking for from leaders as well as from

us, but it`s deep stuff. And I don`t have a lot of faith in this president

to handle things at that level.

 

HAYES: I think the most promising signs are things we`re seeing from local

levels and civil society.

 

MADDOW: Yes, state and local governments doing this without guidance from

the federal government in terms of when stuff should be shut down.

 

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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