virus spreads TRANSCRIPT: 3/12/20, All In w/ Chris Hayes
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: – show hosted by
Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers are going to suspend production for the rest
of the month. With massive quarantine efforts in Italy, historical sites
commonly flooded with tourists are now almost empty. What has become
abundantly clear is that while feelings of uncertainty of heightened,
familiar comforts we rely on as a society are for a foreseeable future on
Thanks for being with us. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes is up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow, what a day.
HAYES: The worst drop ever in the history of the stock market. A state of
emergency declared in New York City. Major League Baseball suspends
operations and mass school closures around the country.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All public schools in Maryland will be closed.
HAYES: Tonight, the latest on how to stop the exponential spread of
coronavirus, what you need to know when you`re feeling sick, and what
American workers should expect to get from Congress.
REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): The deadline and the time for delay has passed.
HAYES: And as America`s top public health expert admits our testing system
is a failure –
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS
DISEASES: It is a failure. Let`s admit it.
HAYES: How to carry on with a president actively lying to the nation.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Frankly, the testing has been
going very smoothly.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. A lot is happening very
quickly, a lot more is going to be happening as we try and deal with this
pandemic. But before I start to give you the news today, I think it`s
important to mentally prepare yourself for increasing amounts of social
disruption. This is the phase we are entering into in our society, in our
country, and we are all going to need to look out for each other, pull
That said, here are where things stand tonight. U.S. cases continue to move
up an exponential curve. There are over 1,500 cases including 40 deaths. A
major obstacle right now to getting our hands around the scope of the
problem continues to be a lack of testing. A private group that has been
tracking the data says there have been 10,000 tests run in the U.S. so far,
total, just 10,000. South Korea`s running 10,000 tests per day or more.
Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases, spoke very plainly before Congress about the
abject testing failure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAUCI: The system does not – is not really geared to what we need right
now, what you are asking for. That is failing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Failing?
FAUCI: It is failing. Let`s admit it. The idea of anybody getting it easily
the way people in other countries are doing it, we`re not set up for that.
Do I think we should be? Yes, but we`re not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The absence of more widespread testing, the biggest most important
thing for state, local officials, and civil society is to move towards
massively tamping down the sheer amount of physical contact we have with
each other as human beings society-wide. That is the only way to curb the
pandemic. That is the way to flatten the curve.
Remember, this whole red part on the chart is what the epidemic looks like
without public health intervention. The blue part is what happens when you
take protective measures. The blue, the flat of the curve is what we are
trying to get to. And that line for the middle is the capacity of our
entire health care system.
We need to be doing everything we can to avoid this dark red part above the
line where there are more patients in the system can handle. We`ve already
seen that in Wuhan and in Italy. And yesterday, a study was published using
computational modeling that showed that even just reducing contact between
people by 25 percent can reduce infection by 60 percent. Just think about
that. Fairly small steps can yield huge results.
This is what we`re all engaged in right now. This is why the future is
going to be extremely disruptive. You`ve probably heard the news about how
disruptive it is. In the past day, just since I spoke to you last night,
every major sports is suspended. March Madness is not happening. All the
shows on Broadway are shut down. New York has announced caps of meetings
with over 500 people. Ohio and Maryland became the first two states to
close public schools throughout the state.
It is also the case that another inevitable thing will happen and that is
people that are famous will contract the virus. Yesterday was the first
example of that. Actress Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson announced they have
tested positive for coronavirus though doing well. Utah Jazz star center
Rudy Gobert tested positive yesterday. Today, his teammate, All-Star guard
Donovan Mitchell also tested positive. That resulted in the NBA suspending
season until further notice.
Again, this is the way the news is going to be. Prepare yourself for this
kind of thing. We`re also going to get news of world leaders who have
contracted it. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife are now
self-isolating because his wife has symptoms. The press secretary for the
president of Brazil today tested positive.
And I should tell you that over the weekend that man met with President
Trump. You can see the two of them here at Mar-a-Lago with a Make Brazil
Great Again hat. The White House says despite this interaction, Trump will
not be tested.
You can see the two of them here at Mar a Lago with a make Brazil great
again hat. The White House says despite this interaction, Trump will not be
tested. This is just the inevitable math of this pandemic. More and more
people are going to get it. And today obviously, because there is going to
be so much economic disruption, there are very real acute concerns about
People are going to lose their paycheck or barely hanging on. Also, and
this is really important to stress here, detained population including
people in prisons, and in jails and in immigrant detention centers, those
are all significant concerns. It is unclear at this time if the federal
government has a comprehensive plan for them.
With all that, the major public health challenges remain. Getting testing
up to capacity, creating surge capacity for hospitals, and mass social
action to limit physical contact with each other. Here with me now, someone
who understands the steps we should be taking, how to take those steps,
someone who`s been on the front line public health emergencies, has made
many of the kinds of decisions we need to make now, Dr. Vivek Murthy. He`s
the former Surgeon General of the United States.
Dr. Murthy, what`s – what is your top-line right now about what we need to
be doing collectively as a society? And then we`ll talk a little bit about
the federal response.
VIVEK MURTHY, FORMER SURGEON GENERAL, UNITED STATES: So, Chris, this is a
really unique moment in our country`s history, and really, in the world`s
history. We have not seen a pandemic like this with the potential to expand
and take the toll that it could take in about 100 years since the Spanish
flu in 1918.
And so, you know, this is an extraordinary moment that demands
extraordinary measures. And there are two pieces of that. There`s a
government response that we need, but there`s also a mass social
mobilization that we need, a mobilization that changes how we behave in
terms of personal practices.
This is why we`ve been stressing it`s so important for us to wash our hands
with soap to very least 20 seconds at a time. It`s important for us to use
hand sanitizer often. It`s important for us to also wash common surfaces
including your phone and your keys which can carry and harbor the virus.
And also essential that we stay home if we`re sick and start implementing
as soon as possible social distancing measures.
The social distancing includes everything from teleworking, instead of
going into work, to potentially keeping kids home from school which we`re
seeing in several states. That`s one of the more extreme measures but often
necessary. But it also involves disbanding a group events. And you`ve seen
many sporting events and festivals and conferences being canceled for this
Now, these may seem extreme, they may seem incredibly disruptive, and make
no mistake they are. They come with an extraordinary human and economic
cost, but they`re done to reduce the chances that we bear an even greater
costs down the line.
So these are the measures that we have to take. We need a whole scale
social mobilization. We haven`t seen this kind of mobilization since
perhaps World War II, but it`s what we`re called to do right now.
HAYES: I keep stressing this every night because I want to sort of people
distinguish between their own personal physical risk, the likelihood that
they will get sick and die of coronavirus, which again remains low in the
grand scheme of things, and the systemic risks that we`re talking about,
On the latter part, when we talk about this social disruption, how should
people be mentally prepared for the next month? I mean, my sense from
talking to experts is that people should mentally prepare that for several
weeks, maybe a month, and maybe more things are not going to be normal. Is
that a fair assessment?
MURTHY: That`s a fair assessment. And we have to let go of the idea that we
can live our lives the way we did a month ago or two months ago or three
months ago. The truth is this virus, which is just as if not more
contagious than the flu, and certainly much more deadly than the flu, at
least 10 times more deadly, if not more, this virus has fundamentally
changed the landscape, and it`s changed how we need to live our lives.
And so think about what we can expect here. Number one, people should
expect that your contact with other people, including family, friends, and
even strangers will be needs to be more limited than it was before. We
should also assume that our traditional recreational practices of maybe
going to concerts or to ballgames or going out with friends or to crowded
bars, that that will be something we need to curtail, especially if we are
older, or if we have chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease,
which places a greater risk of complications with COVID-19.
And this may last a while. You know, we`d like to all – we`re all hoping
that in the warmer weather months, that the COVID-19 will decrease and that
we`ll see less spread, but we don`t know that for sure. And even if that
happens, there`s – it`s possible just like has happened with the Spanish
flu, that they will be a resurgence later in the fall. Yes?
HAYES: I just want to – I want to ask about the testing. This is –
there`s been a sort of group sourced effort starting with some reporters at
the Atlanta To try to track total number of tests. It looks like we have
about 10,000 cumulative, several thousand a day. It is just astonishingly
below the rates in every other country. Do you understand why this is the
case, what can be done to fix it, and what the effects are?
MURTHY: I certainly understand what the effects are. But I do not know why
we have run into this problem. Because the truth is we have demonstrated as
a country that we can actually deploy a large number of tests in a
relatively short timeframe. When we dealt with H1N1, for example, when we
were dealing with the Zika virus a few years ago, at a time when I was
actually serving a Surgeon General, we were able in these circumstances to
test and to get tests out across the country.
Something broke here. I don`t think we have clarity about what exactly it
was. But here`s one point I think in fairness, it`s important to mention,
which is it every time you have a response like this to something that is
you know, up to that point not seen or not understood like the novel virus,
something is going to go wrong, like in the response.
You`re going to stumble, something is going to break. that`s inevitable.
What matters is how you respond to that, how quickly you get up, and how
efficiently you correct your mistakes. And I think the worry that many of
us have, and especially frontline health care workers is that we need to
move faster when it comes to getting tests.
Just today, I was talking to the doctors and hospitals in Florida, in
Boston, Massachusetts, who were telling me that they`re struggling to get
tests for the patients they need. I was talking to a mayor from a large
city in the south who told me that in his entire state, there are only a
couple of hundred tests for millions of people.
These are not the numbers we need to hear. You know, what matters is not
how many tests we`re shipping out. What matters is how many patients who
need the test can get it and get it quickly.
HAYES: Yes. And right now, that is not enough. Dr. Vivek Murthy, that was
really, really excellent. Thank you for all of that.
MURTHY: No problem. And, Chris, if I could one last thing.
HAYES: Sorry, we – there – House Democrats – oh, we have you back. I
didn`t want to cut you off there. Please say what you`re going to say.
MURTHY: One last important cost that I think we are not talking about that
we should keep in mind. As people distance themselves socially, we will
also be headed for a social recession. We were talking about the economic
recession. But we know that loneliness and social isolation are huge
problems in our country that come at a great cost. That people who are
lonely have shorter lives, higher risk of heart disease, dementia,
depression and anxiety.
And those problems are going to increase potentially unless we`re aware
that there`s a greater risk of loneliness unless we mobilize ourselves to
reach out to friends, make sure we`re staying connected to family and stay
connected and supporting of each other.
HAYES: It`s a great point. Fire up that group text. That`s been the one
I`ve been getting through Dr. Vivek Murthy. Thank you so much for all of
MURTHY: You`re welcome.
HAYES: House Democrats are working right now to pass an emergency
coronavirus relief bill, as Mitch McConnell just sent the Senate home for
the long three day weekend. What you should expect from your federal
government during a growing pandemic next.
HAYES: The House is now considering an emergency aid package for Americans
affected by coronavirus. It would include things like paid sick leave, free
testing, and help for food security programs. Today, Senate Republicans
insisted they would not pass any emergency legislation until after the
recess. Senator Lamar Alexander, a close ally of Republican Leader Mitch
McConnell told reporters, “The Senate will act when we come back and we
have a clearer idea of what extra steps we needed to take.”
Given the rate of epidemic growth, that is frankly deranged. That`s days
from now. But then hours later, Mitch McConnell was forced to walk it back
and cancel the recess to work on passing bipartisan legislation. Though the
Senate did just leave for a three-day weekend as the House right now at
this very minute works out a bill.
Here with me now a U.S. senator from the state that is feeling effects of
the pandemic, Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon. Let me first start
in your state. How things are there, what you`re hearing about what the
federal government should be doing?
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): Oh, absolutely. Well, things are getting worse.
We had about 10 additional cases in the last two days. And, obviously, a
lot of concern, a couple of those cases are on a veteran`s home. So you`ll
started to see a very vulnerable population that might suffer a severe
One of the big failures is the testing operation. And just to give some
sense of comparison, as of a couple days ago, we had tested five out of
every million Americans, while South Korea had tested close to 4,000 out of
every million South Koreans. And that lack of testing means we don`t have a
firm grip on the spread of this disease among the population.
And it also means that people who want to get tested can`t get tested.
Their doctors are telling them, just stay home and let us know if the
symptoms become worse, or you can have an appointment one or two weeks from
now when we have time. That system doesn`t work.
So what we heard today from scientists in the administration was, we need a
whole new strategy for testing based more on what South Korea has done, and
that is to have people be able to go directly to a drive-up test site, get
their tests, get their results within a day, not have to go through a
lengthy process at a doctor`s office.
HAYES: You tweeted something about something that the governor of your
state Governor Brown had asked for. Nine days ago, you tweeted Oregon
Governor Brown wrote to the vice president, urgently requesting masks,
gowns, gloves and other equipment to contain coronavirus. Not only has
Oregon received none of that equipment, they haven`t even gotten a
response. No plan, no urgency, no leadership. Is that true that they never
got a response?
MERKLEY: Well, that is – that is correct. And so when I – when I heard
about that, last night, I made it the first question this morning. They had
sent a request on March 3rd, followed up on March 5th, had heard nothing,
of course, this is March 12th a week later. As a result of raising it, we
got it into the right hands of the right person at HHS. They`ve now
connected with this strategic supply, if you will. And hopefully, by
tomorrow morning, we`ll know whether they`re able to help Oregon out.
But we have an urgent need in Oregon for mask, for clothing, and for
gloves. And now the request seems to be in the right place, but it was –
it was in fact – somehow it got lost in the bureaucracy.
HAYES: The House right now is trying to work out the details of this deal.
Unemployment Insurance, food security, mandated free testing, paid sick
leave. All these are sort of parts of that package. McConnell basically –
his allies declared it dead on arrival and sent the Senate home. What do
MERKLEY: I think it`s absolutely crazy. I mean, this House bill is family
focused. It says, listen, the tests are going to be free, so get tested if
you have any of the significant symptoms of this disease which are cough,
or a fever, and aching, those three things. And if you get tested, then you
will know whether you need to take yourself out of action, to self-
quarantine, if you will, for 14 days, and you`ll be highly motivated to do
it. And people can check in with you.
But you`re going to lose your pay. So we need to make sure that there`s
national sick leave so that you can, in fact, afford to stay home. We know
folks are going to go to work to make their mortgage or their rent or their
utilities if they`re not getting paid. And this looks at other issues like
providing food to families in need of –
HAYES: One question. I want to jump in there on the policy standpoint of
paid sick leave. My understanding is it`s a mandate for paid sick leave for
employers over 500 which I think makes good policy. But it just seems to me
an argument that in a time when every business in America is going to be
cash crunched, shouldn`t the government just pay for that?
MERKLEY: You know, I absolutely agree with that. There`s a discussion we`ve
had on the Senate side. That`s a suggestion I put forward with my caucus
that if we can possibly modify that. The government should pick up this
cost. We`re going to be spending a lot of money to stimulate the economy
during this moment. That`s a way we can do it that helps both the families
and the businesses.
HAYES: In terms of the timing here, I`m not trying to sound absurd, but how
is it possible that – I mean, every 24 hours changes the situation
appreciably. We`re walking up an exponential curve. Is the Senate just
going to just chill for three days? Like I just don`t understand how you`re
– how you`re going home?
MERKLEY: No, this is – this is unbelievable. It`s absolutely – it`s
insane that we`re leaving D.C. at this moment. I mean, here we were, say a
day and a half ago, talking about 14 cases in Oregon. Now we have 24. Now
we have an infection that`s inside a retirement home for veterans. Things
are unfolding so fast and every part of the country, each day feels like 15
major announcements occur that should affect our urgency and the policy.
And Mitch McConnell is sitting on his hands for three days. It`s
HAYES: All Right, Senator Jeff Merkley, thank you for making some time
MERKLEY: Oh, you`re so welcome. Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right, a really big practical problem I`ve been thinking about a
lot of people been asking you about is what you should do if you feel sick,
especially if you`re not sure what the source of the illness is. The chief
of a major emergency department is going to join me to talk through that
HAYES: As we move forward through this public health crisis, there seem to
be two competing impulses that people have in their head right now,
understandably. One is that we know, we listen to experts, that coronavirus
is more serious than the flu. So you want to take it seriously. If you can
tract it, you definitely want to stay away from other people.
The other impulse is just that, you know, well, people get cold, they get
sick, they get the flu. So what do you do if you are symptomatic? What
should you do if you were feeling ill? To answer that question, I brought
an emergency medicine specialist Dr. Reed Caldwell, Assistant Professor of
Emergency Medicine at NYU Langone Health. It`s great to have you here.
REED CALDWELL, CHIEF EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN, NYU LANGONE: Thanks for
HAYES: All right, so this happened to me the other day, someone that I
love, I came home and that person said, I feel I have a bug coming on. And
there`s that kind of terror moment like, oh, oh. A lot of people are going
to feel that. What do you do if you have this – if you have symptoms?
CALDWELL: Well, as has been discussed, first, the most important thing is
prevention. So we know that this is a virus that spread by droplets, which
means coughing and sneezing. So anyone who`s coughing and sneezing should
be sure to cover their face and should have prompt and cleansing.
We`ve talked a lot about – everyone has been talking a lot about social
distancing and self-quarantine, so those are really imperative preventative
HAYES: OK, but if I have a fever, and I have a cold, and I feel like I have
a flu-like symptoms, which is going to happen to a lot of people, what do
you want me to do as a person who runs an emergency room?
CALDWELL: Right. So what I want you to do first is distance yourself from
those people that are well, particularly people that you know are
immunocompromised and the people at extremes of ages. We know that our
elderly population is at most risk and it`s up to all of us to help to
protect those people.
Secondly, it`s important to maintain good health habits, good sleep, good
hydration, taking ibuprofen or Tylenol for fever and really working to
manage your symptoms and make yourself feel better.
HAYES: OK, so let`s say I feel sick. I go way down to the basement of my
house. You know, we separate from the rest family and other people, and I`m
down there and I`m still feeling sick. Do you want me to call my primary
care physician? Do you want like – and how do I know when it`s time to go
to the E.R. if I start to feel really bad?
CALDWELL: Right, so as was mentioned earlier, is we`re all keeping an eye
on the overall capacity of the healthcare system, both locally and in the
United States. So it`s going to be really important that everyone works to
match their level of symptoms with their level of care.
So for example, people who are well or have very mild symptoms, it`s going
to be really important to go to sites like the local health department or
the CDC to understand what`s going on with you and how you can –
HAYES: The Web sites.
CALDWELL: The Web sites, yes. And then for people with more moderate
symptoms, it`s important to utilize some telehealth platforms or telephonic
platforms to be able to continue to self-isolate, but to seek evaluation
and consult. And then certainly, for the – for people with severe symptoms
like respiratory distress, those are the people that we really need to have
using the 911 system and emergency system.
HAYES: OK, so what I`m hearing from you is, it`s very important to keep
people that don`t need emergency care out of your E.R. Is that a fair thing
CALDWELL: That will allow us to take the best care of the sickest people.
HAYES: OK. So if I`m 30 years old and I`ve got a fever and flu-like
symptoms, and I`m pulled up in my apartment, I`m drinking a lot of fluids,
I`m taking ibuprofen, what you`re saying is stay there, stay away from
people, and maybe check in with your doctor through telehealth if you can.
CALDWELL: That`s right, just like you would if you had influenza or if you
had a bad cold.
HAYES: When you say respiratory distress, I know I`m – we`re trying to do
sort of like, you know, diagnosis in that scale here, so I understand that
these are hypotheticals. But if I`m 68 or 70 and the same thing happens,
and then I start to feel really persistent, dry cough, for instance, what`s
that line there about respiratory distress?
CALDWELL: So certainly the more medical problems you have, existing medical
problems you have and the older you are. So you mentioned 68, 70 years old,
particularly if you have diabetes or other – or cancer, otherwise
immunocompromised, it`s important to seek care a little a little sooner
when you`re having maybe a fever or cough.
HAYES: And presumably, those people have points of care before they get to
the E.R., right? So I mean, will you want to be directing people to their -
- should they be talking to their personal physician and folks like that?
CALDWELL: If they`re able to, yes.
HAYES: Right. But of course, if people are in urgent distress, they need to
call 911 and go to the E.R.?
CALDWELL: That`s right. What is your capacity looking like right now as a
doctor running a very large and important E.R. here in New York City, which
is rapidly expanding on the number of cases?
CALDWELL: Because of the way that`s really ballooned in China, we did have
some warning. So we`ve been working for quite some time, weeks, maybe –
definitely more than a month to rapidly expand care and really scale up
what we – how we take care of patients and our capacity. So, we`ve been
working hard to prepare. We`re ready.
HAYES: All right, Dr. Reed Caldwell, that was very informative, and thank
you very much.
CALDWELL: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Today the stock market suffered its worst decline since the 1987
stock market crash, but the full economic implications of the crisis have
AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka on what American workers need to get
through this crisis next.
HAYES: The markets plunged today down 10 percent because they are pricing
in the enormous decrease in economic activity that`s going to happen in the
U.S. and around the world as we all collectively battle this pandemic. It
is going to have just enormous effects for working people around this
Think about the news we got in the last 24 hours. For instance, the NBC
suspending the rest of its season. That impacts all the people working in
the arenas, selling concessions, taking tickets. Broadway shows here in New
York are shutting down, which means everyone from the ushers to the stage
hands won`t be working. And office buildings are closing as more people
shift to working from home, which leaves security guards and cleaning
crews, among others, out of work.
The government is going to have to step up in a huge way to make sure
working people in this country, and people who aren`t working but need
money, people without much money, people who are already struggling, are
taken care of.
Here to talk about that, Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO which
represents 12.5 million working people.
What are your conversations like inside the labor movement with your
members about what you want to see happen in terms of both the workplace in
dealing with this and the federal response?
RICHARD TRUMKA, PRESIDENT, AFL-CIO: Well, our members have sort of been
left in the lurch, Chris. This administration has made a series of blunders
that have left us and workers holding the bag, if you will.
When they first came in, there was an occupational disease workplace
standard, occupational disease that was about to be passed. It would have
required employers to have a plan, to educate their employees, and then
have proper safety equipment on-line so that front-line people, like
hospital workers, EMTs, were protected. They scrapped that rule.
And then immediately after that, this administration scrapped the rule that
President Bush started when he had a pandemic disease coordination and
infrastructure team. And President Obama built on that. He then scrapped
OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, that is supposed
to protect our health and safety, has fewer inspectors and health
specialists than they`ve ever had in their history and they`ve been without
a leader for two years.
This administration, Chris, spent 12 times more on immigration enforcement
than they did worker health and safety. So as a result of that, we`ve been
left in the lurch and we`ve had to train ourselves, and we`ve done that.
And we`ve tried to help our members educate each other and get them the
proper safety equipment. But we`ve sort of been left in the lurch.
Today, by the way, the administration had a chance to change and correct
the oversight when they did away with that occupational disease standard
that OSHA was going to issue and they fought and took it out of the bill
today so that they put profit once more time in front of workers` health
and safety we`re angry about it.
HAYES: So is there no uniform standard in terms of how management and
bosses have to deal with making judgments about workplace safety in the
midst of this pandemic?
TRUMKA: There is not. There isn`t any standard. There would have been. We
would have had that, and they could have re-resurrected that today so that
they had to file a plan, they had to educate their workers so that all
workers knew, and they`d be responsible for protecting the health and
safety of their employees from contagious diseases and they did away with
it again today. This White House did that.
HAYES: Wait, so what you`re saying is that provision, that regulatory
provision, was in the original bill text that the House Democrats proposed,
and the White House in negotiations was the one that struck that provision?
TRUMKA: Exactly. And the Chamber of Commerce opposed sick days. They tried
to get sick days, paid sick days, taken out of this bill. So that workers
would have been left in the lurch.
Look, what we`ve said is we need free testing so that low wage workers that
can`t afford the testing are dissuaded from getting tested. We need to be
able to had paid health days if you have days off and you have to
quarantine yourself. You have to be able to have the proper equipment
that`s out there. We wanted unemployment insurance expanded so that if it
is a long-term unemployment, like the people that you were talking about at
those arenas and other places that are going to get laid off, that they
would be taken care of as well.
We fought for those things, and a lot of them, especially the workplace
standard, was taken out of the bill today.
HAYES: Are you thinking about the scope of this in terms of the economic
dislocation it might cause for your members and working people? I mean, you
know, we don`t know what the future is and it could be that we`re – things
are really disruptive for a few weeks or it could be longer, and if it`s
longer, I mean, how are you thinking about what people are going to need to
just basically survive?
TRUMKA: Well, they`re going to need health care, that`s for sure. But
there`s also three or four other things that they`re definitely going to
need. We`re looking at four or five different kinds of stimulus.
We want to get money in the hands of the states through Medicaid so that
they can help out. You need to get money in the hands of workers, and that
could either be a lump sum like President Bush did where he gave people
$1,000 to spend or it could be another form.
And then you have regular infrastructure that`s out there that needs to be
taken care of anyway,. that can help create jobs and then make money
available for small businesses that are going to be hurt by all of this to
make sure they can get through this so that we don`t let – workers aren`t
left paying the bag on two fronts.
First, our health and safety is jeopardized, because they`re not giving us
the proper standards and the proper equipment, the second thing is we get
left behind economically.
The other thing that this administration did, Chris, just this week the CDC
changed the standards, the health standards, of the equipment that we use.
You used to have to have a respirator-type face mask if you were dealing
with this disease, now they`ve changed it to you just have to have the
cloth mask, which everybody knows are ineffective when dealing with this
The second thing that they did this week was when you came in and you were
likely or a confirmed candidate with this virus, you had to be in an
isolation – airborne isolation room. They did away with that. So now you
can be in any room, you don`t have to be in an airborne isolation room, and
both of those things are going to cause this to spread more rapidly than it
would have otherwise done.
HAYES: I just want to make sure that I`m understanding, are those – those
regulations by the CDC, are those applying to hospitals, to points of
medical care, or to workplaces/
TRUMKA: They apply to everything. The guidelines from the CDC, they apply
to hospitals, they apply to workplaces. So they don`t have to give you, the
front line people particularly, those are on the front line – nurses,
doctors, EMTs, those people – they used to have to have the respiratory-
type mask on. Now they just have to have a cloth mask, or any kind of mask,
that we know doesn`t stop the contraction of this virus.
HAYES: Are you concerned about – I mean, obviously the National Nurses
Union has been ringing the bell about this, and nurses particularly, which
is a very strong militant union, that – are you concerned about those
front line health care workers right now?
TRUMKA: Absolutely we`re concerned. We`re concerned because they changed
the standards to weaken them, and then I can give you a number of stories.
You had a doctor and several nurses that were exposed to the disease. They
told the doctor, and furloughed the doctor, and they never told the nurses.
Those nurses continued to work and be exposed – interact with other
patients. That`s happening everywhere and it`s going to will pay a price.
Our members and front line workers are going to contract this disease in a
manner that they never have to do if they were issued proper equipment and
proper safety precautions were taken.
We`re terribly frightened by that, but we don`t think we should be exposed
to that type of a risk.
HAYES: All right, Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, thank you for
your time tonight, sir.
TRUMKA: Thanks, Chris. Thanks for having me on.
HAYES: The shocking incompetence of the current administration has laid
bare the bargain Republicans made in trusting the government to Donald
Trump, and that`s next.
HAYES: The president of the United States came out last night and gave an
Oval Office address on Coronavirus. He read it off a teleprompter and
within a short period of time his administration had to walk back and
correct several significant errors that he made in that written speech.
He said that cargo, cargo was going to be banned from Europe. It is not. He
said that insurance companies had agreed to provide Coronavirus treatment
for free. They had not. He suggested, falsely, that American citizens in
Europe might not be allowed back in the country. That prompted what a New
York Times reporter described as bedlam at U.S.-bound airlines at Charles
de Gaulle Airport in Paris as Americans paid as much as $20,000 for last-
And this, this was the market`s five minutes into his speech. As Trump kept
talking, futures just kept getting worse. This morning, the Dow plunged 10
percent for its worst day since the 1987 crash.
In fact, it dropped so much and so quickly that it triggered the so-called
circuit breaker for the second time in a week. It happened Monday and again
today, halting trading for 15 minutes.
All of this is a reflection of the utter mismanagement and failure by this
president from the very beginning of this pandemic. The Coronavirus is
presenting a governing test for every nation that is facing it, and right
now the federal U.S. government is failing that test, and it is failing it
from the top.
That is not my view, the director of Harvard`s Global Health Institute said
this, it has been an unmitigated disaster the administration has brought
upon the population, and I don`t say this lightly. We have had a much worse
response than Iran, than Italy, than China and South Korea.
The National Security Counsel used to have a global health team
specifically to deal with pandemics like this. President Trump shut it down
The president then ordered some travel restrictions from China during the
outbreak there that did not prevent the virus from reaching the U.S.,
obviously. And then of course, there is the testing situation here which
Trump continues to lie about and is probably worse than any other country
outside perhaps Iran where we don`t know really what`s going on. This is
the president today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Frankly, the testing has been going very smooth. If you go to the
right agency, if you go to the right area you get the test.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That is flatly a lie. It`s a lie. It is still extremely difficult
for most people, the overwhelming majority, to get a Coronavirus test three
months after the first cases were reported in Wuhan, China. As the top
infectious disease expert in the government, Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged
today, the testing system is failing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS
DISEASES: The system does not – is not really geared to what we need
right now. What you are asking for. That is a failing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A failing?
FAUCI: It is a failing. I mean, let`s admit it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Now that`s what is happening right now just with the pandemic. But
on top of that, keep in this mind, right now the Trump administration is in
court to try and destroy the entirety of the Affordable Care Act. They are
right now pushing a budget, including as of this week in testimony, that
would dramatically cut the budget for the Centers for Disease Control. And
that`s not to mention the fact the president has used his bully pulpit to
repeatedly spread disinformation that quite literally elevates the risk for
all of us.
He said the cases are going to be down close to zero. He said one day it`s
like a miracle, it will disappear. He claimed the case numbers looked to be
going down not up. He keeps comparing it to the flu to try to minimize it,
despite the fact that every serious public health expert says it is not
like the flu.
This has been the fear since day one of this presidency when we elected and
then swore in a racist game show host to the most important job of the
country, a job that tasks him with managing huge systemic risks on our
behalf. The fear is that we would get to this point. And the Republican
Party made a deal, they accepted that risk so they can get tax cuts for the
rich and conservative judges. And right now the bill is coming due.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: If there ever was a time in the modern history of our country
when we are all in this together, this is that moment. Now is the time for
BIDEN: Downplaying it, being overly dismissive or spreading misinformation
is only going to hurt us and further advantage the spread of the disease.
But neither should we panic or fall back on xenophobia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders
today each offer speeches on the Coronavirus and stepping into the vacuum
created by the complete absence of leadership from the president. Joining
me now Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey who ran for president
and has since endorsed Joe Biden.
Senator, first your response to the president`s Oval Office address last
night and then the quick attempts to unwind the errors he made? What did
you make of that?
SEN. CORY BOOKER, (D) NEW JERSEY: It`s been disappointing, and it`s been a
series disappointments with the spectacular failures in leadership from
President Trump. And this is not a time for partisanship, it`s a time for
us to be pulling together in meeting a crisis.
The challenge we have now is we have a president that didn`t learn the
lessons from Ebola and literally the progress we were making as a country
to prepare for such pandemics, he eroded that preparedness.
During the first signs of this as a problem appearing in China, we had
weeks to prepare for what`s coming, we did not prepare for. When this began
to hit our nation, instead of having resolute disciplined focused
information and taking steps to empower localities, we did something to
undermine our preparedness, to undermine our response. And here we find
ourselves as a nation, what I still consider the best assemblage of
humanity on the planet.
We see other countries like South Korea doing so much better in dealing
with this crisis than we are. This has been a failure in leadership at the
top, but it does not now excuse us from taking the right actions right now
as a country to deal with this crisis.
Here is my question for you, obviously there are cases in New Jersey, there
are school closings in the state that you represent, I`ve been asking
everyone in political leadership this question, do you actually understand
what the problems are right now?
There seems to be be – like we know the testing is not scaling up rapidly.
We all know we need that, that`s just stipulated. Fauci said it today.
But the actual mechanics about which way the problem gets unwound and
solved remains opaque. Do you as a U.S. Senator have a sense of it?
BOOKER: Look, we know clearly from watching other countries deal with this
with the mistakes they are making that there are things we must do right
now. My frustration, as I stand here in an empty Senate, in the midst of a
crisis, we did not stay in the saddle and do the things we know we should
be doing to curb the growth of this virus in our country. We are not doing
the fundamental things that we should do.
I am telling you right now, as a guy who has seen a Hurricane Sandy in an
executive position, 9/11, heck I was out there in `89 during the massive
earthquake, in a crisis leadership, it is important that there are things
you do to deal with the challenges.
And so right now, I`m frustrated because we`re going away for a weekend,
that is three days – literally we could see thousands of more people,
death rates climbing as well as infection rates climbing when we are not
doing obvious things. And so the one example I will give you is, as a guy
that understands in our nation right now, about 81 percent of our food
service workers do not have paid family leave. And that means you are a
person right now being told by your government, if you are showing
symptoms, stay home, but you now know you have a sore throat and you
realize, hey, if I stay home and miss paychecks, I won`t be able to make my
rent payment, I won`t be able to pay for food, so I`m going to work.
And for us not solving something that`s so obvious to do and not staying
here right now and getting something like that done is not helping us to
bend the rates of infection.
HAYES: There was a moment today that really made me worry. And it was a
moment when it looked like Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans were
not just going to go home for a three-day weekend, but keep recess and come
back in whatever that would be, 10 days or 11 days and come back and deal
with it, and the very fact that that was even floated made me feel like
they have no idea, to a really unnerving degree, what we`re now looking at.
Do you have a sense that people on Capitol Hill understand the scope and
severity of the problem that we now have before us?
Look, and again, I don`t want to paint a broad brush. There are certain
people that are in positions of power, like Mitch McConnell right now, who
had a decision to make. And to allow us to leave for three days, he does
not understand that his failure to keep us here to solve this problem is
causing serious damage to our country by allowing, frankly, states and
localities to have not have resources or law support to support a plan to
stop the spread of this virus. And so what my staff heard me ranting when I
thought we were going away for a recess and to see us backtrack at least
and cancel that.
But again every day, every hour we lose in taking the obvious actions we
should be taking as South Korea did, for example, or days that we lose
ground and more people risk being infected with the Coronavirus, with
HAYES: Final question for you on the scope of this. Are you prepared, do
you as a Democrat understand that the level of economic dislocation in
ordinary folks is going to necessitate probably hundreds of billions of
dollars from the federal government at some point?
BOOKER: I do not think right now we all as a country understand the second
and third order challenges we are heading into. There`s no way – we are
not near the peak of the curve of infection rate, which means billions of
dollars of damage to our economy, which means small businesses struggling,
some of them failing, which means job loss. We need to start preparing for
that now, that means expanding food stamps, unemployment insurance, that
means making sure that the stress testing of our health care system that we
are prepared, have the resources to do what`s necessary.
There are clear steps we should be taking understanding what`s coming to
HAYES: Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, thank you for your time tonight.
BOOKER: And Chris, I know – I just want to say everybody this is the time
that we should be pulling together, not tearing apart. This is the time we
should be extending grace, support and help. Just because particular
leaders are failing doesn`t mean that we as a people together should fail
each other. And I hope we all rise to the occasion to be there for each
other with grace and support and love.
HAYES: Could not agree more with that final message. Thank you, senator.
That is ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
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