coronavirus crisis TRANSCRIPT: 4/6/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes

Guests:
Beth Cameron, Amy Klobuchar, Mark Levine, Elaine Luria, David Wallace-Wells, Ruth Conniff
Transcript:

 

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: If you have ideas serious or otherwise for

programming, you can always e-mail the at Ari@MSNBC.com. I`ll be filling in

this hour 7:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow as well. But don`t go anywhere right

now. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes is up next.

 

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

are about to enter what will almost certainly be the worst week we`ve

experienced so far in terms of the human toll of this pandemic. Just today,

Britain`s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was already hospitalized for

coronavirus symptoms, was moved to intensive care as his symptoms worsened.

Its aids report that he remains conscious and is not on a ventilator. Prime

Minister Johnson has asked his foreign secretary to stand in for him if

necessary.

 

Here in the U.S., we have over 360,000 cases, we`re close to 11,000 deaths.

Even with those awful things comprehensible numbers, we are starting to see

signs that the lockdowns and physical distancing across huge swaths of the

country is really working. But the way this virus works, the way it`s

worked in every other country more or less is that fatalities are a lagging

indicator. And so everyone`s staring down at this week knows it is going to

be really bad. This is how the Surgeon General described what is ahead of

us.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

JEROME ADAMS, SURGEON GENERAL, UNITED STATES: The next week is going to be

our Pearl Harbor moment. It`s going to be our 9/11 moment. It`s going to be

the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire life.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: Our Pearl Harbor and 9/11 moment, the hardest moment for Americans

in their entire lives. That`s what the Surgeon General said. He`s probably

right. It`s not a crazy thing to say given where things are. But it was

just weeks ago, that the President and members of administration we`re

downplaying all of this.

 

In fact, that same Surgeon General tweeted this little Valentines limerick,

“Roses are red, violets are blue, risk is low for coronavirus but high for

the flu, so get your flu shot.” And so this is part of this broader

whiplash induced by an administration that prattled on for weeks with happy

talk about other cases we`re going to zero weeks ago, and that everything

was under control.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When you have 15 people, and

the 15t within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.

 

LARRY KUDLOW, DIRECTOR, UNITED STATES NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL: We have

contained this. We have contained this. I won`t say airtight but pretty

close to airtight.

 

TRUMP: I mean, view this the same as the flu.

 

It`s going to disappear one day. It`s like a miracle, it will disappear.

 

KUDLOW: I will still argue to you that this is contained, but it can`t be

airtight.

 

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: It is being contained. And do

you not think it`s being contained?

 

MIKE PENCE, VICE-PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES: The risk of contracting the

coronavirus to the American public remains low.

 

TRUMP: And we`re prepared and we`re doing a great job with it. And it will

go away. Just stay calm, it will go away.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: And now, here we are. Here we are. The Trump administration is

essentially trying to sell us on the idea that if fewer than 100,000 of our

fellow Americans die, then the administration has beating the odds. But in

reality, a lot of Americans are in the middle of a nightmare right now. New

York City is preparing for an onslaught of bodies it cannot bury. That`s

how bad it is in New York. We`re going to talk about more about that in

just a bit.

 

All that said, there are little hopeful glimmers in the data. There is

reason to be hopeful that new cases, particularly in New York, are going

down, that we might be nearing the peak of new cases. The model that many

policymakers have been working off of has substantial downward revisions

based on the data of the last three or four days. It is now predicting

fewer deaths than it was last week. And that`s in thanks in part to the

lockdown to social distancing policies that states across the country have

put into place.

 

But things are still really bad. And a lot of that is because there has

been literally no coherent federal response from the president. States have

had to create a patchwork system to deal with this crisis. That has not

stopped President Trump from portraying himself as a wartime president, at

least intermittently, referring to the coronavirus is the invisible enemy.

 

Over the weekend, The Washington Post took an in-depth look at the wartime

president`s lack of action after he was first formally notified about the

outbreak in China. “It took 70 days from that initial notification for

Trump to treat the coronavirus not as a distant threat or harmless flu

strain well under control, but as a lethal force that had outflanked

America`s defenses and was poised to kill tens of thousands of citizens.”

 

There is no question that President Trump`s inaction costs American lives.

The Post ads “In late March, late March, late March, administration ordered

10,000 ventilators, far short what public health officials and governor

said was needed. And many will not arrive until the summer or fall when

models expect the pandemic to be receding.”

 

It is actually kind of a joke. That`s a quote. It is actually kind of a

joke said one administration official evolved in deliberations about the

belated purchase. The lack of action, the denial, the dysfunction outlined

in this Washington Post piece explains why the federal government is

overmatched and incapable of responding to the virus. And so states are

going to have to go at it alone.

 

In fact, the governor of Nevada told me on Friday that they essentially set

up a kind of like a GoFundMe account. I mean, not literally, but a

fundraising effort. Pass the hat for the state to buy a personal protective

gear for medical workers in the state, trying to cobble together both state

resources and private money to purchase protective equipment.

 

This is not a big sale. Right? This is the stuff the federal government

should be doing. We have lost people because of this inaction, and we`re

going to lose many more. If we are really turning the corner on this

outbreak, if the data really does say there`s a reason for hope, and I

think there`s a little bit of a glimmer of, it is despite what this

president in the White House has done.

 

Here with me now to talk about where we are and what we still need to do to

prepare, Beth Cameron, the Vice President for Global Biological Policy and

Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, who wrote a piece last month for

the Washington Post titled “I ran the White House Pandemic Office, Trump

closed it.

 

Beth, let`s start with where you are taking stock of where we are after

some of the data we`ve gotten over the weekend, which sometimes can be a

little – represents reporting lags, but there feels like a little tiny bit

of hope in the air today, even as we face what`s going to be a very grim

week.

 

BETH CAMERON, FORMER SENIOR DIRECTOR, HEALTH SECURITY AND RESPONSE, NSC: I

think it is going to be a grim week and I definitely do you think that

there is some hope – and certainly we have to be looking at hope to come

out of this situation that we`re currently in, but Chris, I`m actually

really worried not only about the places where there are hotspots now

looking at New York, for example, and some of the hopeful data there, I`m

really worried about rural America.

 

I`m worried about the places that haven`t yet or just recently started

social distancing measures. And I`m really worried about the lack of

supplies, hospital capacity, and places that are low resource in this

country. So I think we still have a lot of work to do before I`m ready to

commit to a super hopeful picture, and really want to just take one second

to say thank you to all the people out there who are working in really low

resource environments to help patients around the country.

 

HAYES: We`ve had a few areas of rural America throughout the country that

have had sort of intense localized outbreaks. Albany, Georgia comes to mind

is one of them. When you were working on this issue in the White House, and

you`ve thought about the response and modeling, how did you think about the

virus going through rural areas differently than I might go through large

metropolis?

 

CAMERON: I think it`s really important to think about the country as a

whole. So one of the areas where I think the country could really use

stronger, more unified command is in aggregating the demands across all of

America. So one of the things about a pandemic that makes it different from

the rest of our response capacity for natural disasters, for example, for

hurricane, is that pandemics affect the whole country. They can move,

they`re going to go from place to place. People are moving.

 

And until recently, we have people moving all across this country who are

infected but didn`t know that they were infected because we didn`t have a

testing strategy in place. And so, what that means is that we have to

understand what the demand actually is in places that have far, far fewer

resources to deal with the pandemic.

 

And right now, at this moment, we really don`t have a supply commander in

place. We don`t know exactly what the aggregated demand is from governors

around the country. And I think that`s one of the most critical steps that

needs to be taken immediately so that we can get a handle on what this

virus means in rural America.

 

HAYES: I`m wondering if that was something, that sort of idea of a kind of

supply commander and getting your arms around what the total demand for the

country is, and where it`s needed is something that you had thought about,

that had been part of the planning and modeling when you were thinking full

time in the – in the White House about pandemic preparation.

 

CAMERON: So to be honest with you, we were definitely thinking about how

pandemics would be different from other types of natural disasters. And

after the Ebola epidemic in 2014, when we looked at our disaster response

capability all over the world and, and after Zika in 2015 and 2016, when we

looked at the capabilities we had to respond, we were definitely thinking

about how FEMA and CDC working in close concert with the Department of

Defense needed to work together as a seamless team.

 

And so, to say that we had it all, you know, knitted together wouldn`t be

entirely correct. But we were absolutely looking at filling those gaps,

figuring out exactly what we needed to monitor outbreaks around the world

and to be more prepared, and to have a really strong set of SOP, standard

operating procedures in place so that our Disaster Assistance Network, for

example, at FEMA could plugin really, really quickly with our logistics and

supply chain network principally at the Department of Defense.

 

And so I think we still have a lot of work to do to make that seamless

connection now for COVID-19, But we don`t have a lot of time. My colleagues

and I have argued for a public health Apollo project, and we don`t have

nine years. We really have just days to get it right.

 

HAYES: Beth Cameron, who worked on the White House on pandemic preparation,

thank you so much for your expertise tonight.

 

CAMERON: Thanks for having me.

 

HAYES: I want to turn now to someone who not only understands what`s going

on from a policy perspective, but also from a personal one, Democratic

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, whose husband is recovering after

contracting coronavirus. And Senator, I guess first I just want to check in

on how your husband is doing and what the experience has been like.

 

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): He`s doing so much better. And when I hear the

cases now, the one thing I can relate to, because he got out of the

hospital, still with pneumonia, but was able to recover after a very low

oxygen. I just think of all those families, some of whom I know that we all

know that can`t be at the bedside of their loved one, that can`t hold their

hand in the worst of worst cases that aren`t there when they die. They

can`t hug the healthcare workers that are at their side. That`s one of the

hardest parts of this disease.

 

And I want to thank your last guest they`re pointing out that this is about

these major urban areas, but it is coming to rural. That one county in

Georgia, where they have lost so many people in a rural area, our highest

per capita death rate is in a rural county in Minnesota. So I think it`s

very important for people to understand all across the country that it can

happen to anyone, and that you`ve got to follow the rules despite what the

White House may have been saying, as you so well pointed out just a few

weeks ago.

 

HAYES: Do you have confidence – I mean, we have seen a transformation in

rural healthcare over the last 10, 15 years and particularly in states that

didn`t expand Medicaid. Minnesota is one of the states, of course, that did

expand it, but there has been a real decline in the amount of available

beds in a lot of places in rural America, a lot of closing down of medical

facilities. Are you – are you confident Minnesota at least is prepared in

those rural areas outside of Metropolis to deal with this?

 

KLOBUCHAR: Well, I`m on the phone twice a week with our hospital

association. So I am – I know they`re coordinating and they`ve had a

little more luxury of time because the wave is coming here later. But we

know those rural areas. Sometimes there`s only one or two ventilators in

the county.

 

And if people start getting sick like they did in this one county in

Minnesota, it is very difficult to deal with it. People are spread out.

There`s more seniors in these areas. And a lot of them were listening to

the President, honestly, a few weeks ago when he said, oh, I hope everyone

will be in church for Easter. That sent a message to them.

 

And I am thankful that that message has changed. But for some people, it is

too late. And I appreciated what you said at the beginning of your show,

Chris, because you know what I was thinking? I was thinking back to the

Republican convention, and you remember this when Donald Trump stood up in

front of America and said, I alone can fix this. He said he understood

government, and he said, I alone can fix this.

 

Now here we are in the middle of what they have rightly characterized as a

war and he is saying well, I am back up to the state`s governors, I am back

up. That`s not fixing it. When hospitals are getting masks that are for

kids, when they`re for adults, that`s not fixing it. When he did not use

the powers that he was given by the United States government to invoke the

defense production act immediately and do something about it, that`s not

fixing it. And when he did not get those tests underway, when we have the

world`s best scientists here in this country, that is not fixing it.

 

HAYES: There are a bunch of things happening right now for folks that are

not directly affected by the illness but are obviously feeling the economic

effects which are even larger in terms of their scope and breadth at this

point than the folks who have contracted coronavirus. There`s two big

things I want to ask you about. One is the Small Business facility that

they stood up called the Payroll Protection Program.

 

I`ve been fielding lots of complaints from a lot of people who say it has

been –  it has been really disaster. I think the program – they were

offline for a day, maybe today, the bank interface. Have you been hearing

the same thing as small business owners in your state try to actually get

through and get that loan?

 

KLOBUCHAR: Yes. This has been a complete botched rollout. We know that. And

there`s computer issues. But there`s also issues because you have a lot of

small businesses, particularly in the minority community, African American

businesses, Hispanic businesses, who maybe don`t have a relationship with

an existing big bank, but may have a smaller bank.

 

The head of the community banks in my state called me because they are not

yet able to access this program. They were coming online later. So you can

imagine how terrified these small business owners are because they believe

that this was going to be rolled out as promised. So this is something that

we calls for constant oversight, immediate oversight, and potentially

immediate changes to this program if it`s not going to work.

 

HAYES: Do you think you`ll be back? I mean, will ascend it be in session to

do that? It seems to me that at a certain level, it`s hard to provide the

oversight that you need to if you`re not, you know, in session officially.

 

KLOBUCHAR: Well, we are coming back on April 20th is the plan right now. I

think there`s ample reason to look at an additional bill, everything from

the hospital issues to our state and local governments, to what`s been

happening in the gig economy, to the elections, which we saw in raw fashion

today in Wisconsin where multiple court hearings have resulted in the

courts basically saying sorry, you`re out. We`re not giving you the

additional weeks at the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

And so, it just shows why we must immediately, Ron Wyden and I, lead the

bill for mail-in ballots, but also to make sure that we are allowing polls

to be open 20 days in advance across the country. This has got to be a

major part of this legislation as well. We cannot allow this administration

to stop our democracy.

 

HAYES: Yes. That`s going to be a very, very, very big fight. We`re going to

cover that Wisconsin story in just a bit. Senator Amy Klobuchar, thank you

so much for taking time and best wishes to your husband.

 

KLOBUCHAR: Well, thank you, Chris. OK, thank you. I appreciate that.

 

HAYES: Disturbing new reporting from the epicenter of the nation`s pandemic

as funeral homes are running out of supplies. The contingency plans, New

York City is considering for dealing with the rising human toll after this.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES: New York has lost more people to the coronavirus than any other

state. Almost half of the people who have succumb to the coronavirus have

come from New York, nearly 5,000 New Yorkers. Most of the state`s cases

have been from New York City which is the epicenter of the virus here in

the U.S. And now the city is running out of capacity to deal with the

deceased.

 

With many hospitals and funeral home directors resorting to portable morgue

which are basically long refrigerator trucks. NBC News` Rehema Ellis

brought us some very disturbing reporting. She spoke to funeral home

directors who say they are running out of crucial supplies, things like

stretchers and body bags.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

REHEMA ELLIS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Inside Marmo Funeral Homes. Brooklyn

the shocking reality. Bodies are piling up so fast, he`s running out of

space in the epicenter of the nation`s unprecedented health crisis. Now

Marmo, like other funeral directors, is scrambling to get a refrigerated

truck to serve as a temporary morgue.

 

PAT MARMO, FUNERAL HOME DIRECTOR: We`re overwhelmed. We haven`t seen this

ever, and it scares me. There`s a point now as the death rate rises, I

don`t believe that us funeral directors alone could handle this.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: And they can`t. This morning, the head of the New York City

Council`s Health Committee, Mark Levine, talked about the city`s

contingency plan if the death rate continues to rise. Tweeting, “Soon we

will start temporary in internment. This likely will be done by using the

New York City Park for burials. Trenches will be dug for 10 caskets in a

line.”

 

That obviously got a whole lot of attention. And here to explain exactly

where things stand is New York City Council Member Mark Levine who chairs

the council`s Health Committee. Councilman, maybe you can talk to us a

little bit about what the planning is right now and where the city is in

terms of the capacity to deal with so many people that have succumbed to

this illness.

 

MARK LEVINE, CHAIR OF THE HEALTHCARE COMMITTEE, NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL:

Well, I want to clarify that the city has stated unequivocally today that

if we do need to conduct temporary internment, it will be done at Hart

Island, an island off the coast of the Bronx which is home to our existing

public burial ground. It will not be done in a park.

 

The challenge, as you said, is that the normal channels of funeral homes

and cemeteries are not able to handle the volume anymore. And so, our

city`s chief medical examiner, which is excellent is taking over that

function. And we hope it doesn`t come to the need to use Hart Island. And

in fact, as you`ve reported tonight, there are signs that the deaths may be

coming down. That`s great news. I`m really proud of our city and our state

for the work that has gone into getting us to where we are appears to be a

flattening of the curve.

 

So we`re certainly hoping to avert the worst but prudently making plans

only if necessary for temporary internment on Hart Island.

 

HAYES: In terms of what this has been like for New York City in the last

week, record calls to 911 multiple hospitals overcapacity essentially

trying to treat people in rooms that are designed for two or three people

with 10 people sometimes. What – how would you describe it to someone who

is not there who is – who is in a part of the country where it seems like

this is distant or there`s a long fuse until it gets to that point?

 

LEVINE: You know, almost every single ER doc and nurse and technician that

I`ve talked to has used almost exactly the same language to explain how it

feels in emergency department. They call it a war zone. In fact, some who

have served in war zones say this is as bad or worse.

 

Now, there is good news and that it appears that the number of people

entering hospitals in New York City is no longer increasing and that

perhaps the apex is three, seven, 10 days away. But on the ground in

hospitals, there`s still more people coming in every day that are being

discharged. So the system is under enormous strain. And we still face a

desperate need for ventilators, for personal protective equipment, for more

staff to relieve people who are just exhausted. They`re working long shifts

day after day. These heroes have gone through so much, much in the past

month.

 

And even if we are hitting the apex, this is still a really tough fight.

And so it`s not time to let up on our calls for assistance and our calls to

the public to continue social distancing.

 

HAYES: Part of what I think has been particularly brutal about this for

people that have – and Senator Klobuchar talked about it – that have

loved ones who have had to be hospitalized or put in the ICU, of course, is

for obvious reasons, there`s no visitors being allowed. People can`t be

there in the last days for people that they love. They can`t mourn and

grieve. What are the – what are the protocols right now for folks that do

lose a family member in terms of things like burial? Everyone wants to be

around each other in the midst of a loss, and it`s just absolutely brutal

that people can`t do that.

 

LEVINE: Yes. But these restrictions are driven by a medical necessity. We

just stopped the spread of the disease by keeping people who are not sick

out of hospitals, out of long-term care facilities, which perhaps we can

talk about, and yes, out of funerals. And to the extent there are any

burials, in cemeteries that are happening with no public presence. But

honestly, we`re going to have to wait for that until after this crisis is

over.

 

We`re not going to be able to offer the kind of services people want,

perhaps the kind of dignified burials people want now in the midst of this

pandemic. We`re going to have to wait. But thanks to our chief medical

examiner, the bodies are being preserved and dignified in orderly

professional manner. And the day will come when we can offer the final send

off to New Yorkers that they need and that we so desperately want.

 

HAYES: Mark Levine is a member of the New York City Council. He`s been a

great resource throughout all this. And thank you so much for sharing a

little time with us tonight.

 

LEVINE: Thank you very much, Chris. Be safe.

 

HAYES: Ahead, new calls to fire the Acting Secretary of the Navy after he`s

caught on tape bashing the former captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

The latest turn in the Captain Crozier saga next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: We got an incredible bit of audio leaked today of remarks made by

the acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. Now remember, this guy only

has the job – he`s the acting Secretary of the Navy – and he`s only there

because the previous secretary of the navy, you may recall, resigned quite

publicly after clashing with the president over the president`s pardoning

of war criminals back in November.

 

So the guy who replaced him, this acting secretary, apparently had no

problem with the pardoning of war criminals, and so he got the job.

 

Well, today, the acting secretary was on the USS Theodore Roosevelt.” Now

that, of course, is the aircraft carrier currently docked in Guam that has

an outbreak of Coronavirus, an outbreak that was essentially ignored by

navy higher ups until the captain of that ship, Brett Crozier, risked his

career to blow the whistle last week.

 

Crozier was summarily relieved of his command for essentially

insubordination and embarrassing the navy and the president, but his entire

ship made their support for his very clear as they cheered him off a few

days ago leaving the ship.

 

The captain has since tested positive for Coronavirus himself.

 

Today, Acting Secretary Modly addressed the entire crew of that aircraft

carrier in Guam. And listen to what he had to say about Captain Crozier.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

THOMAS MODLY, ACTING SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: He didn`t think that

information was going to get out into the public, in this information age

that we live in that he, a, too naive or too stupid to be the commanding

officer of a ship like this.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED)

 

MODLY: The alternative is that he did it on purpose, and that`s a serious

violation of the uniform code of military justice, which you are all

familiar with.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: By the way, you did hear that correctly, that is a sailor on that

ship reacting to those comments by saying “what the F.”

 

Now the comments by the acting navy secretary have caused enormous blow-

back and controversy around the nation. I`m joined now by Democratic

Congresswoman Elaine Luria of Virginia. She`s a retired navy commander

herself. Today she called on the secretary of defense to fire the acting

secretary of the navy from making those comments today.

 

Congresswoman, what so disturbed you about those comments that you would

call for him to be fired?

 

REP. ELAINE LURIA, (D) VIRGINIA: Well, early this morning when I first saw

these on social media, my husband showed them to me and I said you got to

be kidding me. I thought this was literally something from The Onion, that

the acting secretary of the navy could not have possibly flown half way

around the world to visit the aircraft carrier, speak over the 1 MC, that`s

the announcing system on the ship, and berate the man that he has just

fired.

 

And we have seen the way in which the crew much loved Captain Crozier, and

in a difficult time going through a pandemic where the crew is much at

risk, he put himself on the line to make sure that the crew got what they

needed to stay safe. And the secretary of the navy flying forward to do

that has so many far-reaching effects not only on the crew of the Theodore

Roosevelt, but I have heard from dozens of my former colleagues.

 

So, the people that I served with, graduated from the Naval Academy with,

and when I was in command, they`re now going to their second and third

sequential commands just much like Captain Crozier and hearing from those

people that loyalty goes up and down the chain of command. And they are

questioning why should they go out there, why should they go out there and

be in these roles of leadership when the leaders at the top are not going

to be behind them when they have to make these tough decisions.

 

HAYES: You just noted something that`s worth just sort of pointing out to

people, which is that the acting secretary of the navy flew in the midst of

the pandemic, flew, 8,000 miles to the ship in Guam to deliver this message

in person, which itself is sort of shocking and stunning action given

everything that`s going on.

 

LURIA: You`re correct. It is shocking. And Guam is not an easy place to get

to. And this took up a considerable amount of his time to go there and in

person make these disparaging remarks of the captain of the ship who was

much beloved and put himself out there for this crew.

 

And I`m not here to defend the way in which the letter was sent out and

those actions, but we`re beyond that at this point. And, you know, that

crew needs reassuring words from their leadership at the top of the navy

all the way down to the next commanding officer that will serve there and

take Captain Crozier`s place.

 

And I can tell you from my own experience, any new commanding officer

coming into a ship, it`s hard to come in behind someone and pick up and

build that trust and confidence of the crew. And the crew of the Theodore

Roosevelt it is going to be difficult for that next commanding officer to

come behind him and it`s going to be difficult for all those officers who

are in these roles of responsibility to trust the chain of command to have

their back when they have to make tough decisions.

 

HAYES: The president today said that the letter is bad because it showed

weakness, and we don`t like weakness. And the acting secretary said to

David Ignatius this, “I didn`t want to get into a decision where the

president would feel he had to intervene because the navy couldn`t be

decisive. If I were president and saw a commanding officer of a ship

exercising such poor judgment, I would be asking why the leadership of the

navy wasn`t taking action itself.”

 

Of course, the president today now vowing to get involved. What do you make

of that, that he was essentially trying to stop the president from doing

something?

 

LURIA: Well, I saw that reporting, as well. I think it`s very ironic,

because all of the things in his interview that Secretary Modly pointed out

were weaknesses in Captain Crozier`s action I think were actually taken to

the next level by the secretary himself by flying halfway around the world

and then making these disparaging and ridiculous remarks from anyone in the

position of leadership such as his.

 

The whole navy looks to the secretary of the navy for guidance and

leadership, and that was not displayed today. And he was pretty naive

himself to think that that was not going to be distributed widely and

quickly, because, you know, going over the 1MC to thousands of sailors, it

didn`t take very long for the full recording of that announcement to go

out.

 

HAYES: Final question, a colleague of yours, Congressman Gallego, in an

interview with The Times (ph) pointed out something else just in terms

about discipline and the sort of application of it in these different

circumstances. You know, there were two navy destroyers that had fatal

accidents in 2017, the John McCain and the Fitzgerald that killed 17

Americans. And those firings of those captains came after months of

investigations. There was some due process there about getting to the

bottom of what happened here and then they were both, I think, were

relieved of command whereas this was a matter of days.

 

LURIA: That is true. And there was an ongoing investigation. I believe that

the CNO, the chief of naval operations, indicated that an investigation

surrounding these circumstances would come out today. And I have yet to see

that. And I do believe that a further look into the circumstances

surrounding the support to the crew of the Theodore Roosevelt is very

important.

 

But I think the main focus has got to be right now we have got to have

leadership from the top to the bottom supporting our commanding officers

out there and helping fight this pandemic and make sure that their crews

and their sailors stay safe and stay healthy and can return doing the

mission that they are doing. Because we can`t overlook that the reason the

Theodore Roosevelt is in the western Pacific and is currently in Guam is,

you know, that we have near peer competitors in China and Russia and our

continued presence, and specifically our aircraft carrier in the western

Pacific is incredibly important for our national defense. And we need to

make sure that they stay safe, stay healthy, and we can get the ship back

online to doing the job that it is there to do.

 

HAYES: Congresswoman Elaine Luria, thank you so much for your time.

 

LURIA: Thank you.

 

HAYES: Coming up in the middle of a pandemic and a state with a stay-at-

home order why are Wisconsin Republicans refusing to delay tomorrow`s

primary? The looming disaster for public health and democracy, next.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES: If we know a big news event is coming we`ll try and plan in advance

to be there. And so originally we had it on the calendar that this very

show tonight would be coming to you live from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on the

eve of that state`s primary election.

 

Of course, we scrapped that idea more than a month ago because to do that

during a global pandemic would be obviously insane. That was not going to

happen. And yet somehow, Wisconsin is still asking people to head to the

polls tomorrow. And that is because state Republicans who control both

chambers of Wisconsin`s legislature have been pushing for it.

 

Democratic Governor Tony Evers said last week he couldn`t move the election

or change the rules on his own. Today, he tried to. He finally said look,

he issued an executive order trying to postpone the election by suspending

in person voting until June 9.

 

The Wisconsin Supreme Court just blocked the governor`s decision a few

hours ago after Republicans challenged it. That Republican – that Supreme

Court is dominated by Republicans, too, we should note.

 

So that means tomorrow`s election, believe it or not, apparently still on.

To help me understand why in god`s name Wisconsin is in this situation I`m

joined by Ruth Coniff, editor-at-large for The Progressive magazine based

out of Wisconsin, editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner.

 

So, first I think, Ruth, can you explain the context – there is a Supreme

Court – the Supreme Court that just sort of ruled in favor of the

Republicans and knocked down the order to suspend tomorrow, they have an

election tomorrow, right? And that is very important to the state`s

Republicans – the governor, the candidate was even endorsed by the

president. Is that what is driving this?

 

RUTH CONNIFF, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, THE PROGRESSIVE MAGAZINE : Yes and actually,

Chris, when you mentioned that you might have been here to cover our

presidential primary election, it was kind of like a blast from the past

because no one is thinking about the Bernie Sanders/Joe Biden contest in

Wisconsin.

 

Really, what this election is about is a seat on our state Supreme Court,

which has really been taken over by right wing interests. And the Scott

Walker appointee, Daniel Kelly, who is up for election faces a liberal

opponent who gained an advantage when Republicans weren`t able to move the

election off our presidential primary date. It looked like we would have a

high turnout election and the Republicans didn`t like it. They, in fact,

made an effort to prevent it and to have a separate very expensive, very

small election just for the State Supreme Court and they were unsuccessful.

 

HAYES: That is wild. So first it was scheduled – say, OK, we`re going to

do this other primary. Let`s do this election all together, one election

day. Republicans didn`t like that, because they thought big Democratic

turnout, we`re screwed if there`s big turnout, let`s move to a separate

day. They were unsuccessful here. Now they have got this election day and

they clearly want a low turnout election and I guess that`s why – I mean,

is it really the case the state Republicans want to have it tomorrow for

that reason? Is that what it is about?

 

CONNIFF: Well, look, they`re not saying we want to have it because it will

be low turnout and we`re more likely to win, but they have said things so

close to that over time, including our Senate Majority Leader Scott

Fitzgerald who said it would be better for Daniel Kelly, the conservative

justice, if we didn`t have this election on the same day as the

presidential primary.

 

So, you know – as you know, Mitch McConnell has made statements, similar

statements, about turnout, not being really great for Republicans. So,

there is no question about it.

 

In addition to that, the hardest hit areas and the areas with the most in-

person voting just happen to be the urban centers where there are a lot of

Democratic voters. So, there is no question that Daniel Kelly, the

conservative supreme court justice, gains an advantage from the way this

election is going down.

 

But, of course, worse than that, people are going to get sick and

potentially die because of being forced to go to the polls tomorrow. And

it`s completely unnecessary. There is no reason we can`t have a more

extended absentee ballot process, give people absentee ballots so they can

cast their votes without taking their lives in her hands. And the

Republicans have also opposed that and went all the way to the U.S. Supreme

Court to prevent the extension just of absentee vote.

 

HAYES: So, yeah, so we should note that Milwaukee is left with the only

handful of polling places. Thousands of poll workers have said they won`t

work on Tuesday, so it`s reduced it`s planned number of polling sites from

180 to just 5. You can`t run an election in Milwaukee that way. And of

course if you`re not running an election in Milwaukee, you`re massively

helping the Republicans statewide.

 

And then there was a lawsuit that basically said look, this is crazy. We

should extend the deadline for absentee voting. This is a drive in voting

system set up in Milwaukee today, but we should extend at the very least –

and this is something they`ve done in other states that have had to deal

with the pandemic, extend the deadline for absentee voting. A district

court judge, federal judge, ruled in favor of the challenge. Republicans

challenged that and by a 5-4 decision just now, the Supreme Court with the

five Republican appointees sided with the State Republican saying no we`re

not going to extend the deadline, right?

 

CONNIFF: That`s correct. And what this does, it`s really a one, two punch

today for Wisconsin voters. First, our the State Supreme Court said, no,

Governor Evers does not have the power to move to election to June 9 and

allow absentee balloting to go on until then. And then the U.S. Supreme

Court said not only that, but you can`t vote – if you haven`t received

your absentee ballot in the mail, which many who requested ballots have

not, your only chance of voting is to go to the polls tomorrow, which means

people are faced with just a terrible amount of pressure to do something

very dangerous.

 

HAYES: Just an absolute outrage from the public health perspective, from

the democratic legitimacy perspective, it`s really astounding that this is

happening. Ruth Conniff, thank you for explaining it and we`re going to

keep following this story. We`ll see what happens tomorrow. Thanks a lot.

 

CONNIFF: Thanks, Chris.

 

HAYES: Ahead, is the government at all prepared for what comes next? A look

at what it could take to get the country to return to something like normal

life and how far we could be from that moment coming up.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES: As the United States navigate some of the darkest days thus far in

the Coronavirus pandemic, there are some signs that something like normal

life is returning in China, which of course dealt with the outbreak first

and in the beginning hardest.

 

Michael Pettis (ph) is a finance professor at Peking College in Beijing.

Today he had a great tweet thread describing why it really felt like life

was back to normal where he lives in the city, sharing images of people

lining up at food shops, for instance, for the first time since January,

taking the subway. He said there are increasing numbers of folks doing

that. All of it is a glimmer of hope we could get there, too, in the not

too, too distant future if we use this intense physical distancing now to

get a hold of the virus and then we can find a way to have something like

normal life.

 

But, and this is a big but, it is going to require much, much more than

that. And as Tom Bossert, the former Trump DHS official put it this

weekend, the White House is not thinking long-term.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TOM BOSSERT, FORMER DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I know what

I`d be telling the president right now would be to lift his gaze. He is

looking 10 feet and it seems to me a lot of our leaders are looking 10 feet

in front of their bumper right now. He needs to be looking 20 yards, 200

yards, and as far in front of his headlights as he can.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: In a new piece for New York Magazine titled “There is no plan for

end of the Coronavirus crisis,” New York Magazine deputy editor David

Wallace-Wells writes about America`s long road back and the especially

conspicuous absence of federal leadership.

 

David Wallace-Wells joins me now.

 

So, what`s – what is your understanding of what we know about what we

would need for something like normal life? Because I think there`s some

idea right now, it`s like everyone is hunkered down. We can get through

this period, maybe. It`s going to be extremely destructive and terrible.

And then what, right? That`s the question.

 

DAVID WALLACE-WELLS, DEPUTY EDITOR, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Tonight, Dr. Fauci

had said that we may never get to a pre-Coronavirus world. So, I think we

have to keep that in mind, too. He was saying that the best we may hope for

is something like a – you know, a kind of controlled future in which this

virus is still with us, but not terrorizing us in the way that it has.

 

There are a lot of paths that we could take to get there, most of them

involve mass testing of one kind or another, both show, you know, who has

the disease, but also so we know who has gotten through the disease and

then we can then sort of open up parts of the economy, parts of our

economy, parts of our country on that basis.

 

And we are just so far from being able to do that. We do not have the

capacity at the moment to be testing even those patients who are

dramatically symptomatic and showing up at the hospital in incredible

distress. So to go from there to a situation like they have in South Korea,

or Singapore, where they are not just testing all symptomatic patients but

doing widespread countrywide community testing to know who has it and

making public health policies, as a result, is just a far, far cry from

where we are today.

 

And there is nobody in the federal government that I can tell that is even

thinking about, certainly talking about, in public, how we get from here to

there.

 

HAYES: Yeah, this is the thing that stuck with me about your piece, as sort

of crystallized something I`ve been thinking. You know, we go back and look

at the time line, right. In January, and early February is when they should

have been thinking about what do we do if this comes here? Do we have

enough PPE? Can we get two months ahead of this? Now all the question are

these two months ahead question, the federal government should be saying,

look, we need to have a bunch of things in place, so that we can have

something like the South Korean model, and your point in that piece is

there seems to be literally no one doing that.

 

WALLACE-WELLS: There`s hardly anyone doing it outside of government, but

there certainly seems to be doing it inside of government. And, yeah, this

is especially distressing because in particular places, even in New York

where the problems have been really dramatic, we do seem to be making some

meaningful progress. The number of new cases coming into the hospital every

day is dropping, things seem to be stabilized in a quite dire but

nevertheless stable situation for the first time in a few weeks. And that

does raise the question what`s next?

 

And if we respond to that stability by sort of reopening things, bringing

people out of lock-down quite quickly, we run the risk of exposing huge new

parts of the population who have not yet encountered the virus to it,

again, which could produce an outbreak, a panic, a pandemic, a spread like

we`ve seen starting maybe six weeks or four weeks ago and could just

produce another wave of incredibly overburdened hospital centers and really

distressed metropolises around the country.

 

HAYES: Yeah, and this testing point, to me, I mean I remember when

embattling, obviously, a very, very, very different disease, HIV, but it

became a kind of watch word, at a certain point, know your status, right,

and particularly in some sub-communities that were particularly hard-hit by

the disease, so knowing your status was such an important element of

fighting it.

 

And also, to create, for folks who were fighting HIV, some – again, some

semblance of normal life, right, with the disease, was having that

knowledge was so key. What you`re saying is we need something like that,

where basically everyone is walking around knowing I had it and I am now

probably immune or I haven`t had it or someone that I`m in contact with

does have it and I need to be careful, essentially.

 

WALLACE-WELLS: In Germany, they`re talking about issuing certificates to

people so that they can show that they are immune, they can get certain

jobs that others can`t. Theoretically we could send doctors into ICUs more

quickly if we knew that they had already acquired immunity. And, you know,

this is, they`re even farther along in parts of Asia where they do things

like, you know, if you`ve had contact with someone who has tested positive,

you are quarantined for 14 days, not in your home, but in a quarantine

camp. You are cut off from – you know, this was happening in a Hong Kong,

for instance.

 

The U.S. has showed absolutely no willingness to do this. And it terrifies

me that we`re heading into that future with no plan at all.

 

HAYES: Yeah, we need to plan for that.

 

David Wallace-Wells, thank you so much.

 

WALLACE-WELLS: Thanks.

 

HAYES: 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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