Markets plummet TRANSCRIPT: 3/16/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes

Guests:
Gregg Gonsalves, Gary Procop, Ned Lamont, Chris Lu, Elizabeth Warren, Ro Khanna, Rick Hasen, Tom Perez
Transcript:

 

 

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: And that includes the act of holding elections. 

We`ve had pauses before in our country, but never one quite like this. 

Thanks for being with us. Don`t go anywhere. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes is 

up next.

 

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. 

Everything is different now. It is disorienting and surreal to remember 

where we were just a week ago, and to see where we are now, and to imagine 

where we might be a week from today. The whole world is battling an 

unprecedented enemy really, this coronavirus pandemic. It is going to take 

drastic measures, drastic social disruption for us to get on top of it. 

 

We are starting to see what the disruption and the consequences of the 

outbreak looks like day by day. Right now, we have over 4,300 confirmed 

cases in the U.S., but we know there are many, many more out there. Testing 

is still ramping up. Those are just the ones we`re finding. We are still 

catching up to the true number of cases. 

 

Looking at countries ahead of us on this curve, Italy is in dire straits. 

The country reported today that 349 more people had died in just the last 

24 hours. France and Spain have joined Italy under basically national 

lockdown. Here at home, it is looking more and more like we are headed in 

the very same direction. 

 

Starting at midnight, the 6.7 million people that live in San Francisco and 

surrounding counties are prohibited from leaving their homes except for 

essential needs in an effort to stop the spread of the virus there, and as 

basically, the shelter in place order that we already saw in Italy and 

across Western Europe now. 

 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says his state should postpone its primary 

scheduled to take place tomorrow saying quote, we cannot tell people to 

stay inside but also tell them to go out and vote. Now, I should say, a 

court rejected that idea just a short while ago but that is likely to be 

appealed and the decision could be reversed. 

 

Right now, schools in 35 states have closed. Several major cities outside 

those states have done the same. Last night, the Centers for Disease 

Control issued a warning against gatherings of more than 50 people for at 

least the next eight weeks. Even though this is a pandemic that we`re 

trying to get a handle on as a country, right now, as it stands, we do not 

have a national shutdown like in Italy. 

 

We are seeing instead the country moving in that direction in a kind of 

piecemeal way. State and local leadership, as well as civil society has 

been forced to fill the vacuum left by frankly and astoundingly negligent 

federal response. An example, just today, the governors of New York, New 

Jersey, and Connecticut issued a joint announcement, closing all bars, 

gyms, restaurants and theaters, restricting restaurants to drive-thru or 

takeout. 

 

Earlier today, the President was on a teleconference with the nation`s 

governors telling them when it comes to ventilators, “try getting it 

yourselves.” He then took a shot at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the guy 

who has just announced a plan with New Jersey and Connecticut to begin and 

take control of this thing. The President tweeted, “he has more to do” to 

which Cuomo responded, “I have to do more? No, you have to do something. 

You`re supposed to be the president.”

 

Throughout this whole crisis, which has been building now for months, the 

response from the President has ranged from absentee, to negligent, to 

actively harmful. At almost every turn, President Trump is either publicly 

downplay the risk or failed to act proactively such that we are now very, 

very far behind. 

 

On Friday, the president was able to pull a stunt with 30 minutes until the 

markets close to rally the stocks. Today, he came out again, finally, 

finally appearing to grasp and communicate the seriousness and duration of 

the pandemic. Market has been there for a while, however, they`ve seen 

what`s coming. 

 

Today the Dow closed down 3,000 points, the biggest single-day point loss 

of all time, the second-largest percent loss. It is very hard for all of us 

to get our heads around this moment because there`s no obvious precedent 

for what we are currently facing and will continue to face for weeks and 

months. I mean, I say this is a father of kids who were not in school for 

at least the next six weeks or so. 

 

The closest parallels we have at hand are disaster preparedness and 

recovery, like we saw in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast after Hurricane 

Katrina, or war mobilization, like World War Two, to an extent we have not 

seen in over half a century. But the one advantage that we have here, if we 

think on that scale, that scale of the challenge is we have something to 

collectively combat as a society to help us mobilize towards that aim. 

 

And if we get it right, we will not be dealing with the level of sheer 

physical destruction our grandparents had to endure in the war, or the 

people of New Orleans had to deal with after the hurricane. If we can get 

this right, we can rebuild very quickly, but we have to get it right.

 

Joining me now for more on how we accomplish that, Gregg Gonsalves, 

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine, and Dr. 

Gary Procop, Vice-Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the 

Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Gonsalves, let me start with you on this. Where do 

you see us right now? Are you encouraged by the dramatic steps we`ve seen 

in the last 72 hours in terms of shutting things down to try to maximize 

social distance and slow the spread of the virus?

 

GREGG GONSALVES, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, YALE UNIVERSITY: 

Look, we have no choice. We have to institute social distancing measures, 

some of which the President and his team outlined today, but there`s no 

virtue in late adoption. We lost three months in trying to combat this new 

virus by delays and equivocations and disavows about the importance of this 

epidemic. And so, we`re doing what we should do right now, but there`s a 

big question about if it was too little too late.

 

HAYES: Doctor Procop, from the testing and surveillance standpoint, where 

do you see us right now in terms of our ability to get eyes on the virus 

and have a sense of its actual scale, and the ramping up of testing which 

has been increasing daily, but it`s still not there yet?

 

GARY PROCOP, VICE CHAIR, PATHOLOGY AND LABORATORY MEDICINE, CLEVELAND 

CLINIC: Right. That`s exactly right, Chris. We are ramping up. If we – if 

we had been allowed to test earlier, we would be where we needed to be and 

knowing which patients have this virus and which do not so that they could 

go into self-quarantine. But we are catching up and ramping up.

 

HAYES: But tell me more about what that means. I mean, I know there`s been 

some regulatory hurdles that have been done away with for the FDA. I know 

there`s both private labs, there are common platforms being used. It 

strikes me though, it is still hard even in the epicenter of outbreaks to 

get easy and reliable point of care testing. Is that fair?

 

PROCOP: That`s absolutely fair. So I will say once the regulatory burdens 

were lowered, then laboratories that were really highly skilled 

laboratories were able to bring up this test. I will say though, there are 

delays from most of the commercial manufacturers for the instruments, there 

are delays on reagents. So many of these things are hamstringing many the 

common laboratories and we`re nowhere near a point of care testing.

 

HAYES: Gregg, we`re now in a situation we are undertaking mass, essentially 

forced quarantine, right? I mean, the thing you`re seeing in San Francisco, 

what we`ve seen in Italy and in France and in Spain and Greece. I saw this 

tweet today was fascinating. And I wanted to get your thoughts on it in 

terms of how testing interplays with the policy we need. 

 

This is from Blue Bottle. Blue Bottle is closing U.S. stores but staying 

open in Japan and South Korea, where the virus is also spread because they 

have “extensive testing and medical support clearly in place.” There is a 

cost we are paying and not being able to know where the virus is.

 

GONSALVES: Yes. We cannot – we cannot precisely target our efforts for 

prevention or to sort of mobilize resources for care in the coming 

healthcare surge because we don`t know where infections are and what extent 

they exist across the country. And so, we`re doing brute force measures 

right now because we don`t have any testing capacity to give us a clear 

picture of what`s going on across the United States.

 

HAYES: You`re an epidemiologist. You`ve dealt with other infectious 

diseases and outbreaks before. And you and a bunch of health experts issued 

a letter I think about two weeks ago about best practices, how to how to 

attack this. How are we doing on that? 

 

GONSALVES: We`re doing slightly better, but we are still failing on most of 

the points we outlined in the letter. For instance, as you started, 

restaurant and bars are closing across many cities and states across the 

United States. Where are these people going to find their livelihoods over 

the next two months? There needs to be an immediate provision of some sort 

of economic relief to many people who are going to lose their jobs who have 

no sick pay, who have no vacation pay, do not have the option of working 

from home over the next six to eight months. 

 

Mitt Romney today said we should give every American $1,000 a month for the 

next few months. That to start and both parties should agree to it and get 

it going now.

 

HAYES: Doctor Procop, I talked to a bunch of doctors over the weekend, some 

here in New York City, emergency room doctors who were very concerned. In 

fact, one today told me that today, you could see it in the E.R. that it 

was – it was really palpable today. How much coordination is happening? We 

have a very fragmented healthcare system in America, unlike a place like 

Italy, between hospitals, between doctors, and between regions. Is there 

anyone who is coordinating folks like yourself and others to sort of be 

together planning so that places can prepare that don`t have a huge 

outbreak now for what`s coming?

 

PROCOP: I would say there`s not great coordination overall. It takes 

individual groups to coordinate. I will say within our city, within 

Cleveland, the leaders of the medical institutions have gotten together and 

taught how they can coordinate. For example, you know, we`ve coordinated 

the drive-through swabbing area with University Hospitals. 

 

So you know, it takes individuals to take the initiative to coordinate. 

There`s not great coordination above that, but there really should be. 

 

HAYES: All right, Gregg Gonsalves and Dr. Gary Procop, Thank you both for 

sharing your expertise. It`s very important. 

 

PROCOP: Thank you. 

 

HAYES: I want to bring it now Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, who today 

announced his state is coordinating coronavirus response efforts with New 

York and New Jersey. Governor, tell me how you and those other governors 

came to make the decision and issue the announcement today about gyms and 

bars and restaurants and the like.

 

GOV. NED LAMONT (D-CT): Well, Chris, you summarized it very well in your 

introduction. You can`t wait for the feds to take the lead. So I, as a 

small state of Connecticut, it doesn`t work for me just to do restaurants 

and bars alone. So do it in coordination with Andrew Cuomo in New York, and 

Murphy down in New Jersey. It makes a lot of sense. I was on the phone with 

Rhode Island today.

 

So, we`re taking the lead. Where the feds have fallen off, we`ve got a 

lead. But I got to tell you, what really brings it home was look, last 

night, the bars are pretty crowded in this city. And people weren`t taking 

this to heart. Now they`re closed. People know this is real.

 

HAYES: It`s notable, I think. I`ve looked at some metrics today about 

traffic and things like that. Clearly, this is having an effect. What are 

you doing at the state level? What are your public health experts telling 

you about how to understand what`s coming your way?

 

LAMONT: I was on the phone with all the hospital system today. And we`ve 

got to do a lot more now. We`re going to have a hit on our ICU or intensive 

care units. We have no idea what`s coming. And that`s going to mean more 

people, more nurses, more beds, more equipment, more ventilators. 

 

We`re not getting much help from the feds. And as the President said, go 

get your own ventilators. Well, you don`t get that at amazon.com. We`re 

working this hard to do what we can to prepare but that wave is just a week 

or two away.

 

HAYES: Are there – are there simple clear things in terms of say Medicaid 

reimbursement that the federal government could be doing, could be stepping 

in to aid your efforts right now that you`re not getting?

 

LAMONT: Well, you`ve described the testing in some detail right now. I`ve 

got to do a better job of convincing folks, if they`re ill, they`re not 

feeling right, they may have some early case of the flu, stay home. We`re 

here to take care of you in terms of getting paid, take care of you in 

terms of health care, but you got to have the – get up and go to stay 

home. Stay home, going to the office, going to work, going to school, 

that`s a dangerous place to be these days if you`re not feeling right.

 

HAYES: I get that message. We`ve been communicating that to our viewers 

that basically at this point, we need to keep ERs clear for the most at 

risk. But as you think about your ICUs reaching a capacity potentially as 

the pandemic grows, like, what do you need? What resources do you need and 

where can you get them and can you get them from federal government? Are 

there easy things a federal government can do for you?

 

LAMONT: Well, I can tell you. Danbury hospital is already at capacity, and 

they have 200 nurses who are on furlough because they were in contact. If I 

could test those nurses, I could potentially get them back into the game a 

lot sooner.

 

HAYES: Wait a second. You got 200 nurses sitting on the sidelines right now 

who can`t get back to work because they can`t be tested to confirm whether 

or not they have the virus?

 

LAMONT: Exactly. I mean, we got a surge in use. Demand is going up. And I`m 

losing nurses by the day who have to furlough themselves for a period of 

time. That`s a priority for testing for me. Our testing capacity is going 

up, but it`s going up very incrementally, and that`s dangerous.

 

HAYES: On the – on the economic front, you heard what Gregg Gonsalves just 

said. Obviously, this is enormous social disruption, enormous economic 

disruption and hardship. What can the state do and what are things that 

only the federal government can do? What are you planning?

 

LAMONT: We are working with our small businesses right now. We have a lot 

of folks in the service sector. You know, their store, their business, 

their restaurant, their bar, that stopped. And what can we do to help them 

get through? How can we provide, you know, unemployment compensation so 

that folks are covered for a period of time? 

 

I`m providing small business loans right now to help them cover this a 

bridge. We have loan forgiveness or at least making sure that they don`t 

have to pay any interest in principle for the next three or four months, 

giving enough confidence they`ll be able to power through this.

 

HAYES: Final question for you. I know there`s a teleconference with the 

president today, and obviously, you`re coordinating with regional governors 

here. You said you`re talking to the governor of Rhode Island. Does there 

exist like a daily call for state staff of governors to be on and 

coordinating every day here?

 

LAMONT: Yes, we`re picking up the void. I got to tell you. What we did with 

a New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, I think, is the first real 

regional (INAUDIBLE). So we`re going to do this on a regular basis. I`ve 

also got Charlie Baker and Gina Raimondo in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 

We`ve got to work together closely. We got to figure out where the hospital 

assets, how best to deploy them, where do we get the beds and the nurses.

 

HAYES: So, there are conversations about that kind of movement between 

regions as different places are going to have this at different times.

 

LAMONT: Exactly. I hope other regions are doing the same thing. Best done 

on a national basis, best done with national leadership. Short of that, 

we`ve got to go ahead as governors and we are. I`ve been really impressed 

with the initiative the governors are showing. 

 

HAYES: All right, Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut, thank you, sir. 

 

LAMONT: Thanks, Chris. 

 

HAYES: We`ve got some breaking news on what the Trump administration could 

have done to prepare but did not. And there are some bold proposals on how 

to help people as we struggle to get through this and then out of it. 

Senator Elizabeth Warren joins me next. 

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES: If you`re a Bond villain in the midst of this pandemic, you wanted 

to create a situation designed to maximally spread the infection among 

Americans. You would be hard-pressed to do better than the scenes from 

major U.S. airports this weekend. This is JFK Airport in New York City on 

Saturday. This is what Dallas Fort Worth Airport looked like the same day. 

This is Chicago`s O`Hare Airport were lines to get through customs were up 

to seven hours long for passengers packed in closely with one another, all 

coming in from countries battling the coronavirus outbreak. 

 

All of those people were frantically returning to the U.S. because the 

president hastily announced the travel ban. The details of which were 

unclear. And then apparently failed to adequately staff up the airports to 

deal with the entirely predictable influx. This is just one in a set of 

actions taken by the administration that made the problem worse and almost 

certainly infected people. 

 

But this is par for the course of this White House, going back two years 

ago and the Trump ministration demoted the pandemic team at the National 

Security Council. The President is spending the last few weeks telling us 

it was all under control. The numbers were going down, not up, to the 

catastrophic, and as you just heard continuing failure around testing, to 

just earlier today when the President told New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, 

he needs to do more. 

 

And just breaking tonight, further evidence of missed opportunities by the 

Trump ministration. Politico reporting the Trump team was briefed about the 

need for pandemic planning all the way back before they took office in 

early 2017. One of the people in that meeting joins me now, White House 

Cabinet Secretary under President Obama and former Deputy Secretary of 

Labor Chris Lu. 

 

Chris, describe to me what this was a training exercise during the 

transition for incoming staff members of the Trump administration run by 

the Obama administration. What was it?

 

CHRIS LU, FORMER DEPUTY SECRETARY OF LABOR: This was about the continuity 

of government. And we had done a similar exercise in January of 2009 when 

we took over from the Bush people. And it was basically a chance for the 

outgoing team to sit down with the incoming team and go through kind of a 

tabletop exercise, some role-playing about some different scenarios. 

 

So the Bush people had done this for us in 2009, we did it for the Trump 

people in 2017. So, there were about 30 different Trump officials there 

with 30 of us from the Obama administration, and we went through three 

possible domestic incidents that they might face, a hurricane, a pandemic, 

and a cyber incident. And for about three hours through those three 

incidents, we talked about how the whole of government comes together to 

solve a crisis like this.

 

HAYES: And in the case of the pandemic, it was something – somewhat 

similar to this, a sort of strain of flu, contagion, things like that?

 

LU: Yes, it`s amazing the folks at the National Security Council who 

devices how close it is to what we`re seeing right now. It was a strain of 

the flu that originated in both Asia and Europe. It hadn`t come to the 

United States yet, so we had a little bit of lag time. And the goal was to 

figure out how we could coordinate and use that lag time to deal with 

things like lab capacity, and ventilator shortages, and how we could 

coordinate transportation. 

 

And again, this wasn`t an effort to test the Trump officials on how they 

would do but simply to orient them and these are the kinds of things that 

you need to deal with. And when this happens, you bring together all the 

agencies as well as the White House staff to roleplay how to do this.

 

HAYES: What do you say that the President today said something along the 

lines of no one saw this coming, it came out of nowhere?

 

LU: Yes, well, certainly his people saw it. But what`s notable about it is 

that – and it`s – and Politico has reported on this. There are about 30 

Trump officials at this meeting, about two-thirds of those people are no 

longer in government anymore. 

 

HAYES: Right. 

 

LU: So whether it is lack of preparation or all the materials that were 

handed to them and all the advice, whether it`s collaboration with state 

and federal officials, having that unified messaging, practicing social 

distancing, working on vaccines, coordinating transportation, all the 

recommendations we gave them, they might have taken to heart but two-thirds 

of them have subsequently left the government.

 

HAYES: All right, Chris Lu who was in that tabletop exercise as the 

government was being handed over the Trump ministration, thank you very 

much. I appreciate it. 

 

LU: Thank you. 

 

HAYES: Here with me now for more on the bungled federal response`s crisis, 

former Democratic presidential candidate and senator from Massachusetts, 

Elizabeth Warren. Senator, you issued a plan, a fairly comprehensive plan 

around this weeks and weeks ago. Where do you see things right now? What do 

you think is most pressing from your point of view as a senator?

 

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Look, the most pressing part is people`s 

health. And so, as you`ve heard all evening, it`s about making sure that 

the tests are available, that they are available for free. We really need 

to ramp up on that. It`s making sure that we tell everyone that when the 

vaccines come out, they`ll be made available for free, and making sure that 

we have a robust sick leave, so that anyone who feels ill can stay home and 

doesn`t have to go into work because they`re worried about losing a 

paycheck or someone who needs to stay home to take care of a child or to 

take care of an elderly parent. 

 

Those are things we need to be doing immediately to be able to stem the 

spread of this virus or at least slow it down. But remember, just a half 

step behind the physical crisis is the financial crisis. We`ve seen it in 

the stock markets, we`ve seen it in businesses closing, people out of work. 

And so we need to be pushing right now on a stimulus package. And that`s 

what I wrote about today, the importance of getting the right stimulus 

package out there and getting out now.

 

HAYES: So, I want to talk about that in just a second. But first, your 

response. I mean, the president today struck a notably different note. I 

mean, clearly, someone has talked some sense into him for sort of lack of a 

better phrase. This is serious. It`s going to last a while. Are you 

encouraged by that? Do you feel like the message has gotten through and has 

it gotten through your colleagues in the U.S. Senate?

 

WARREN: Well, I`ll be a lot more encouraged when people start actually 

taking action in this administration and in this Congress. We need to get 

out there. We have not yet gotten the House bill through the Senate and 

over to the President for his signature. This is the first step bill on 

making sure that there is enough money to cover the first steps around 

healthcare and the first steps around sick leave. 

 

But like I said, now is the moment to be getting the financial package out 

there as well. It`s important because it reassures everyone that there are 

actually grownups in charge, and that there really is a plan that we can 

execute on. It`s important that everyone sees that and that it be a 

reasonable plan that really will help.

 

HAYES: So give me your top line on that – on that package. 

 

WARREN: Sure. 

 

HAYES: Lots of ideas floating around. There`s cash assistance. There`s the 

talk about bailouts for the airline industry. There`s talk about some 

systemic risks that might be rippling through the credit markets. How do 

you see this?

 

WARREN: So I start this with, let`s learn what we should have learned from 

the 2008 crash. Part number one is when we do a stimulus package, it needs 

to be big enough to meet the moment. If we fail to do that, we`re not going 

to get a second bite at it politically, and we`ll have a very long and 

sluggish recovery if we don`t get it big enough. 

 

So the number I focused on is $750 billion. Leader Schumer also picked up 

that number later on today and said that looks like a good number as the 

starting number. That would be about three and a half percent of GDP, which 

is between the estimates right now of two percent to five percent that this 

may cost us. 

 

Part two is we`ve got to make sure that the money is not going to the 

treetops, that the money is going to the grassroots. That`s critical for 

actually strengthening this economy. So my main parts here. We need to 

increase social security and disability payments by $200 a month for the 

next year, make sure that money is coming in.

 

We need to cancel a chunk of student loan debt. That would be on average 

about $400 a month that would stay in the pockets of people who owe a lot 

of student loan debt. And we need to be putting money into housing. Use 

this opportunity to restore repair housing that needs to be done, public 

housing, build new housing. That gives us jobs in the short run and it 

gives us housing we need over a longer arc. 

 

Those are the kinds of things we can do that will help strengthen this 

economy from the grassroots up, help rebuild this economy and help 

stabilize it instead of having it crash further. And we need to start now.

 

HAYES: Final question for you. As you say, we need to start now. Mitch 

McConnell sent the Senate home for three days for recess. He flew back to 

Kentucky where he was joined by Brett Kavanaugh for an investiture ceremony 

for former Kavanaugh clerk in Kentucky, and then came back with a tweet 

today about I didn`t like the House bill. Do you think that was a wise 

decision by the Senate majority leader?

 

WARREN: No. I think that it was absolutely irresponsible of the Senate 

leader to do that. He ultimately called everyone in for a vote tonight, a 

vote that did not occur because he worked out a deal. He had a problem in 

his own party, a deal that could have been worked out last week, and we 

have still not move forward on the coronavirus bill. This makes no sense at 

all. It`s as if he has no sense of urgency about this problem, and no sense 

of what to do. 

 

You know, you started this by asking me, do I feel better that Trump has at 

least admitted that there`s a problem? Sure. But it`s time to act. We 

should have been acting months ago. And if that message still has not 

arrived with the president or with Mitch McConnell, then we`re in real 

trouble.

 

HAYES: Senator Elizabeth Warren, thank you so much for your time. 

 

WARREN: Thank you. 

 

HAYES: Ahead, more in the kind of stimulus needed to fight the fallout from 

the pandemic, as you just heard from the senator. Congressman Ro Khanna on 

his plan which would put money directly in the pockets of Americans in need 

next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES: You certainly don`t need to be a macroeconomist to recognize the 

scale of economic misery and destruction that we are facing right now 

because of the Coronavirus outbreak and the measures to combat it. 

Everything gets shut down and people don`t have income, we could have a 

plunge on the scale of 2008 or even, quite conceivably worse.

 

Even now the economic effect is being felt, particularly by people who 

can`t do their jobs because of social distancing and mass shut downs of 

businesses like restaurants and gyms, etc. And a variety of voices across 

the ideological spectrum have talked about just sending cash to all 

Americans, not dissimilar from former presidential candidate Andrew Yang`s 

Americans a monthly $1,000 check. Today, Utah Republican Senator Mitt 

Romney endorsed the idea, quote, “every American adult should immediately 

receive a one-time check for $1,000.” Now note that would not be monthly, 

though others are calling for more sustained basic income.

 

Also, there`s the Democratic congressman Tim Ryan and Ro Khanna who last 

week introduced their own cash assistance bill that would provide a check 

between $1,000 and $6,000 to every American that earned less than $65,000 

last year. And Congressman Ro Khanna, Democrat from joins me to talk about 

that now.

 

Explain your proposal, congressman. 

 

REP. RO KHANNA, (D) CALIFORNIA: Well, Chris, as you pointed out you don`t 

have to be a macro economist to know that we need a cash infusion for 

working class and middle class families. Why? First, it will allow them to 

buy things, that will stimulate the economy. If you want people to hire, 

you need people buying things, and the most likely folks to spend are 

people who are in the working and middle class.

 

Second, this is something that as you point out, even Mitt Romney is 

proposing, so it`s something that we can get done. And third, these are 

folks who really have economic anxiety and it will provide some stability. 

 

HAYES: So, why – yours is not universal, right. So the most basic and 

universal idea is literally a check that shows up from the government, 

$1,000 to every adult, say, or $500 per kid, or $1,000 per kid, there`s 

different versions like that. Yours is slightly different. It is graduated. 

Why? And how does it work?

 

KHANNA: It goes up to $100,000. People get the check right away. You can 

get between $1,000 and $6,000.

 

But look, if Mitt Romney wants to do a $1,000 check right away that`s 

universal, let`s get that out immediately? The problem with his is that we 

need to extend it. A one-time is not going to be enough. 

 

But let`s just get something out that gets money into the pockets of folks 

to spend it. I mean, Amazon is talking about hiring 100,000 people. That 

will barely offset the dramatic losses where you have so many hiring 

freezes. Imagine if more people had money in their pockets where they can 

go more to grocery stores, order more things online, that will at least 

mitigate the risks of massive unemployment. 

 

HAYES: And we should note, there is some precedent here that Hong Kong`s 

government approved a one-time cash handout of just over $1,200 to each 

resident over 18 amidst their battle with the Coronavirus.

 

There`s also a degree to which – well, first, Mitt Romney, Tom Cotton even 

sort of floating this a little bit, like do you think this is a thing you 

can actually see included in a bipartisan bill in both houses?

 

KHANNA: Yes. First of all, no Democrat should allow Mitt Romney to get to 

their left. I mean, if Mitt Romney is for it, it shouldn`t be that hard for 

Democrats to get for it.

 

Second, let`s learn, as Senator Warren said, from what Paul Krugman and 

Joseph Stiglitz and every serious economists looked at 2008 taught us. They 

said that was a consumer demand problem. We didn`t have enough money in 

ordinary people`s hands to spend. The best way to deal with that is to get 

money into their hands.

 

I mean, it`s – the economists have told us this time and again. 

 

HAYES: Now that`s necessary, but not sufficient I think you`d agree, right? 

I mean, today we got word about U.S. airlines are seeking a $50 billion 

bailout. And whether you think that`s wise or not, we should just note that 

all the cash assistance in the world is not going to help the airline 

industry if nobody is flying for the next three months, right. There is 

going to be other things necessary over and above whatever cash assistance 

to sort of keep the economy in some kind of recognizable shape. Do you 

agree?

 

KHANNA: Absolutely.

 

Let me float very briefly three other very quick ideas. In Britain, they 

are getting auto plants converted into making medical supplies – 

respirators and protective gear. Why can`t we do that here? If we`re in a 

war-time footing why don`t we have industry helping produce the things we 

actually need?

 

Second, why don`t we have incentives if companies are allowing people to go 

part-time to make sure they aren`t being la id off. Germany did that and 

had great results not having high unemployment in the great recession.

 

Third, why don`t we pay a 50 percent bonus to medical workers, essential 

public servants, and others who we need working – grocery store clerks – 

so that they have an incentive to come to work.

 

So, there are a lot of ideas, common sense ideas. There are plenty of 

people who have them. We just need the will to act. 

 

HAYES: Final question for you. You represent a district I think that`s 

included in the shelter in place order, if not now probably coming to you. 

Do you feel that folks in your district are prepared to hunker down as they 

are now being instructed to do?

 

KHANNA: They are. I mean, there are long lines outside the district in 

grocery stores. And there is a lot of unease, but I`m confident we`re going 

to make it through it. The governor has done a great job in making sure 

we`re getting testing. Google is actually doing testing, not in the whole 

country, but they are doing it in website on the bay area. We have a 

coordinated response. And I do think people are taking it very seriously. 

 

HAYES: All right, Congressman Ro Khanna, thank you for making time.

 

KHANNA: Thank you.

 

HAYES: We`re about to find out how to run an election during a pandemic. 

The vexing decisions facing states and some potential solutions ahead.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES: Amidst the many surreal details of American life right now, we are 

running a Democratic primary for president in the middle of all this. Last 

night was the first one-on-one debate between the last two major candidates 

in the Democratic race, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. They talked about a 

range of issues, although Coronavirus was obviously front and center, and I 

thought it was striking the central theme was Sanders making a broader 

point continually about the failures of the American social safety net, a 

point he`s been making the entirety of his career, and Biden often pivoting 

back to Donald Trump and stressing the need for competence in a crisis.

 

Basically is this a management issue or an ideological issue?

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT) 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let`s be honest, 

and understand and understand that this Coronavirus pandemic exposes the 

incredible weakness and dysfunctionality of our current health care system. 

 

JOE BIDEN, 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I would do is what we did did 

in our administration, I would call a meeting to the Situation Room of all 

the experts in America dealing with this crisis. I would sit them down. And 

I would do exactly what we did then, what is it that we need? Listen to the 

experts. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: My takeaway, personally, watching the debate was that either of 

these men would be a vast improvement over the current president, and that 

in some senses they are both right. The failures of the American social 

safety net are going to be thrown into high relief by the crisis and 

appreciably are right now making things worse, as Sanders notes. Also, a 

comprehensive social safety net that takes care of people is necessary, but 

not sufficient to fight the virus, because it also takes genuinely good 

competent farseeing leadership.

 

We don`t have either of those right new. As Sanders and Biden compete to 

take on Trump in tomorrow`s primary election, you also have to take on 

trump tomorrow in the election, you have to ask this, how exactly is the 

election going to work tomorrow? We`re going to talk about that next with 

the head of the Democratic National Committee.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES: There are primary elections scheduled tomorrow in four states – 

Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio. This afternoon, Ohio`s Republican 

Governor Mike DeWine called to move in-person voting in Ohio to June 2, 

expand absentee mail-in voting, and he filed a joint lawsuit to try to get 

the election postponed.

 

A judge just denied his request. So as of now Ohio will have a primary 

tomorrow, barring some reversal and appeal – Arizona, Florida and Illinois 

are also planning to move forward tomorrow with elections. Officials saying 

they are providing guidance on Coronavirus safety at polling places. 

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

GOV. RON DESANTIS, (R) FLORIDA: What we can do – look, at the end of the 

day, you know, we`re dealing with this in a thoughtful way, but we`re not 

going to panic. 

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: To discuss the plan for elections going forward, I`m joined by the 

chair of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez.

 

Tom, does the DNC have a position on the Ohio lawsuit?

 

TOM PEREZ, DNC CHAIR: No, we didn`t intervene in the Ohio lawsuit, Chris. 

And I`ll tell you what all these states can be doing to avoid the 

challenges that they face with in-person voting is to enact vote by mail 

provisions. I mean, Ohio made it harder for people to vote early whether 

the Republicans had control.

 

And so there is actually a solution to this. We take a backseat to no one 

in making sure that the safety of poll workers, voters, and candidates are 

paramount. I think they can move forward. And the good news in places like 

Arizona, more people have voted early, Chris, in Arizona, in 2020 than 

voted in the entirety of the 2016 primary. 

 

HAYES: Wait a second. Wait a second, I want to make sure I understand it. 

You`re saying you think it is your view that this can be safely conducted 

tomorrow. Who have you been consulting to come to that view?

 

PEREZ: Well, again, we didn`t intervene in that case. 

 

HAYES: No, I know. This is a state matter, but I`m asking your position as 

Tom Perez, the head of the DNC, my understanding is are saying you agree 

with the states that are going forward?

 

PEREZ: Yes. We respect what they`re doing. And we always encourage everyone 

– and I was in contact today with people in a number of these states, 

including but not limited to Arizona. And again, asking them if, do they 

believe they have the systems in place that enable them to put the 

elections on tomorrow, and they do. And Republican and Democratic governors 

have made that judgment that they can do that. I don`t think it`s for me to 

second-guess those judgments, Chris. And so I respect that.

 

Again, the point I`m making is there`s a broader issue here. And that 

broader issue is, we ought to make it easier for people to vote and one way 

to do it is to have vote by mail. 

 

HAYES: Well, I – you get no argument from me on this, but there is an 

election tomorrow and then there`s another one the week after and there`s 

another one the week after, like people are going to be going to polling 

places you think in Atlanta in a week?

 

PEREZ: Well, actually, they`re not, because Georgia postponed the election 

until May 19…

 

HAYES: Right. 

 

PEREZ: And here`s…

 

HAYES: But isn`t that, don`t you think that`s going to happen like 

everywhere probably?

 

PEREZ: Well, Chris, here`s the situation. And here`s – it gets me back to 

my point, and I don`t mean to be Tommy One Note, but Georgia moved its 

election to May 19th. Kentucky today moved its election from May 19 into 

June. Why don`t both of those states enact a vote by mail provision, for 

those who haven`t voted, and over 200,000 people have already voted in 

Georgia, that`s how you can solve this problem.

 

HAYES: So you`re going for universal vote by mail adoption in the remaining 

primary states?

 

PEREZ: Wherever practicable. And I think you can make this happen. I mean, 

Washington State wasn`t having this conversation last week, because they 

have vote by mail. Oregon next month, they`re not having this conversation, 

because they do vote by mail.

 

Let`s make it easier. The challenge we have is that in so many Republican 

states, they don`t want to make it easier for eligible people to vote, they 

want to make it harder. I think we need to do the opposite. 

 

HAYES: What are your interactions like, I`m very curious in terms of 

governors, attorneys general, or whoever is running the election 

administration, sometimes the second of state, and you? Like, who is 

coordinating this, these decisions that are being made?

 

PEREZ: Well, these decisions, again, are up to the particular 

administrators of elections. So I had contact today with people in Arizona, 

to understand what was going on. And they were meeting with their public 

health officials, they were reviewing the CDC guidance. They were reviewing 

their preparedness protocols that they had put in place, and they made a 

judgment that they can move forward tomorrow. 

 

And again, I note that already, more people have voted early there, because 

they do have vote by mail, and early voting provisions, in Arizona, so more 

people have already voted in Arizona in 2020 than in 2016, and that will 

reduce the traffic flow tomorrow. And that is obviously a good thing.

 

HAYES: I guess my concern here is most voting places, most precincts, at 

any given time, if you did a scan, right, are pretty empty, right? Like, 

you know, there`s a few election workers. There`s people coming in 

sporadically, that`s the case for most of them. But then always a few, we 

put them on the air when it is election night, where there is like a huge 

crowd. And I just – I have been talking to epidemiologists and public 

health experts and people for weeks, and a big huge crowd of people waiting 

next to each other is not a good idea right now, right?

 

PEREZ: Well, of course. And we`ve been hearing that, and that`s why, I mean 

one area where they`re doing something innovative is having drive-through 

voting. So you can stop, you don`t get out of your car, it helps to 

mitigate the interaction. And so there`s a lot of creativity going on 

there.

 

And, again, this is up to every state and locality. And what I know, the 

common denominating, Republican or Democrat, I believe is the safety of the 

workers, the voters and the candidates. And that`s what they`re looking at.

 

And, again, we`re going to continue to work with states and localities to 

ensure that we can move forward, because our democracy must move on. And we 

have to walk and chew gum, understanding that these are very, very 

challenging moments.

 

And I think we can, Chris. And we`ve seen in the weeks – in previous weeks 

– we`ve managed to do it with great turnout. And we`ve going to continue 

to work our tails off, understanding safety is paramount.

 

HAYES: All right, Tom Perez, thank you for your time tonight. 

 

I want to go for more on holding elections amidst a pandemic I want to 

bring in election law expert Rick Hasen. He`s Chancellor`s Professor of Law 

and political science at the University of California Irvine.

 

He has just written a piece on how to protect the 2020 election from 

Coronavirus. And before we get to that, what is your – I mean, look, this 

is a tough choice. And I understand the conundrum here, I don`t think any 

of us are psyched about the idea of governor cancels other party`s primary 

at last minute in terms of what that means for democracy. There are also 

serious public health concerns. How are you reading this moment right now?

 

RICK HASEN, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE: Well, I think what it shows 

you is that we don`t have good plans in place for emergencies. And the 

governor of Ohio running to try to fix things, being told by a court that 

the court can`t order it, and now there`s a dispute whether the governor 

can order it himself, and it tells us that for the primaries that are 

coming over the next few months they have got to get working on it now. And 

for November, we have got to get working on a plan now, because we don`t 

have emergency plans in place. 

 

HAYES: Yes.

 

So what should – I mean, I think everyone front of mind is – primary is 

coming and then November, particularly – particularly if we saw a 

situation like we saw in 1918, that was a sort of seasonal flu pandemic, 

that sort of went away in the summer, came roaring back that fall, when it 

was at its sort of peak, what should we be planning? What is your 

prescription for what we should do for the primaries and election day 2020?

 

HASEN: Well, let`s talk election day 2020, congress right now, as it is 

passing the Coronavirus bills, should include a provision that requires 

every state to offer no excuse absentee balloting. So in places where you 

have to offer an excuse, you shouldn`t have to offer an excuse in November 

and congress needs to pay for it, because they`re going to need new 

scanners. We`re going to need a lot more workers we need to have 

protections in place for voters. And so I think that has to happen for 

November. We`ve got to plan it now, because there is a huge, huge 

undertaking to be able to roll that out in time for November.

 

For the states, on a state by state basis, expanding absentee ballots and 

delaying elections by a couple of months seems to make sense, but changing 

the rules like they`re doing in Ohio at the last minute is just creating a 

lot of voter confusion. We know that poll workers were told in Franklin 

County, don`t show up and now they`re told, yes, do show up. And this is 

going to cause a decline in turnout and real kind of problems.

 

HAYES: We were trying to nail down the story just for our script. Didn`t 

know whether it was on or off. And as a news organization, it was a little 

unclear.

 

Are there good precedents here, Rick, or comparative plans from other 

places about how to go about election planning in the case of disaster, 

particularly a pandemic?

 

HASEN: Well, you know, we had an election that was rescheduled on September 

11th in 2001 in New York. You know, we have had hurricanes. And one of the 

things we`ve seen, for example, in Florida where they have rules to deal 

with, emergency hurricane rules, is that sometimes election administrators 

break those rules to try to help voters and enfranchise them. And that`s a 

problem problem, too. We saw in Arizona this time, where the Maricopa 

County election official wanted to mail absentee ballots at the last minute 

in violation of state law. 

 

It is not good to change the rules at the last minute. We need to have the 

procedures put in place now so we know how to deal with these emergencies 

not on the day of the actual emergency, which is happening right now.

 

HAYES: So, looking forward to 2020, would that be legal? Because I mean 

obviously, part of what makes elections in the U.S. so strange and 

difficult to order, in an orderly fashion, is that you have a million 

different jurisdictions dealing with them, that there`s 50 states and 

there`s local entities that manage them at the local level.

 

You`re saying federal government could just require no excuse absentee 

balloting in every state, in advance of this election day, so should there 

be some situation people can just mail in a ballot? 

 

HASEN: So, Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution has something called 

the elections clause, which lets congress set the time, place, and manner 

of the election of congressional elections over the wishes of the states. 

That`s the same authority that gives the federal government the power to 

set all kinds of rules for federal voter registration, make it easy to have 

voter registration, even if states have tough rules.

 

Congress has the power so long as it is going to pay for it and doesn`t 

make the states have to pay for a new mandate. 

 

HAYES: And so that`s something that – and I think Ron Wyden maybe I think 

there is some movement among active legislators right now to move on this. 

Is that correct?

 

HASEN: well, Ron Wyden has proposed a bill. I`ve heard of others that are 

thinking about proposing a bill. It`s got to also include safeguards for 

voters.

 

One of the things we know about absentee ballots is that lots of them are 

tossed because of signature mismatches. Voters have to have an ability to 

cure any kind of rejection of their ballots. We need to have safeguards in 

place to prevent ballot tampering like we saw in the 9th Congressional 

District in North Carolina in 2018. So a lot has got to be put into this 

bill to assure that we don`t disenfranchise people and that, you know, the 

election has integrity and is safeguarded from tampering.

 

HAYES: Final question for you, Rick. How prepared is the American election 

system on the whole to deal with exigencies like this?

 

HASEN: Well, I just wrote a book called Election Meltdown. And that title 

should tell you, we`re not well prepared at all. And now is the time to 

have plan Bs not just for this, what about cyber attacks on our elections?

 

HAYES: The book is great. It`s called Election Meltdown. Rick Hasen, thanks 

for being with me.

 

That is ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts right now. 

Good evening, Rachel.

 

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

BE UPDATED.

END    

 

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