Wisconsin Republicans TRANSCRIPT: 4/8/20, All In w/ Chris Hayes
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Absolutely beautiful “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes is up
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. From
the beginning, from the first reports of a new mysterious pneumonia in
China, and the first intelligence reports that our government got, there`s
been a question that has hung over the entire U.S. government, over the
whole world, but our government specifically as it thought about how to
deal with this. How fatal how dangerous is this disease?
Even though we know now know that there was a stack of reports warning that
the pandemic was coming, that it posed an enormous public health risk, the
people in the Trump ministration just seemed completely and utterly
clueless, dismissing the threat posed by the virus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): What`s the mortality rate so far nationwide –
CHAD WOLF, ACTING HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I believe – worldwide, I
believe it`s under two percent.
KENNEDY: How much under two percent?
WOLF: I will get you an exact figure. I`ll check with CDC on – they`re
monitoring the worldwide mortality rate, and I will – I can get that for
KENNEDY: But you don`t know the mortality rate today. OK, what`s the
mortality rate for influenza over the last say, 10 years in America?
WOLF: It`s also right around that percentage as well. I don`t have that
offhand. But it`s about two percent as well.
KENNEDY: Are you sure of that? Are you sure of that?
WOLF: A little bit. Yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Are you sure of that? It`s a good question, because he`s not. That
is the Acting Homeland Secretary – Security Secretary at the end of
February. Not only could he barely make his way through that question, he
was just flat wrong and way off. The mortality rate for seasonal flu is
about point 0.1 percent.
The strategy for the President of the United States has been to downplay
Coronavirus by insisting it was just like the flu even though that isn`t
even close to being true. Trump, of course, was even calling it the corona
flu. And when the World Health Organization estimated in early March, this
was a key moment. They came out and they said that the Coronavirus death
rate globally was about 3.4 percent. That`s a shocking and really
terrifying number, right? When they said that the President just dismissed
that on Trump T.V.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Well, I think that 3.4 percent is really a false number. Now, this
is just my hunch. And – but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of
people that do this, because a lot of people will have this and it`s very
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That`s just my hunch, you know. The data, whatever, it`s just very
mild. Right now, just based on the numbers we have, the overall global
mortality rate appears to be at around 3.4 percent. Now, the truth is we
still do not know that for certain, in part because – I should say, sorry,
the U.S. fatality rate appears to be about 3.4 percent.
Now, we don`t know that for certain in part because we have no idea how
many people have the virus. We know where you`re missing a lot of cases,
right, because the testing is limited. Even more awful, it becomes clear
every day that we are almost certainly missing a lot of deaths.
Today, in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that 779 people had died of
the virus in the state over 24 hours, a staggering number, but one which is
almost certainly too low. Right now, that number only counts people who
were confirmed to have had the virus, and a lot of people are dying from
Coronavirus without getting a test.
The Web site Gothamist have this unnerving report that in New York City,
around 200 residents are now dying at home each day compared to 20 to 25
such deaths before the pandemic. That`s 10 times the normal death rate. On
Monday alone, New York City`s first responders encountered 280 people in a
single day, who had just died at home without being tested. And so they
were not counted in the official tally.
Now, I should tell you, New York City now plans to report probable
Coronavirus deaths in addition to confirmed ones, which should get us
closer to an accurate number. But here`s what`s clear. Amidst all the
misinformation, and the hunches, and the nonsense that`s been skewed, the
virus is deadly. It is deadly and there could be no question of that. And
we have told you the stories are 29-year-olds and 40-year-olds, people
without health problems, succumbing to the disease.
This is just an unbelievably dangerous scourge making its way across our
world and country. And as the sheer danger and horror of it, has reared its
head has become impossible to deny, right? We are finally maybe starting to
bend the curve. The social distancing is working. Here in New York City,
for instance, we are seeing of slowing and hospitalizations. That`s
And just at this moment as we see just how deadly this thing is, the
President has taken this opportunity to tell people, we should really start
to move on. “Once we open up our great country, and it will be sooner
rather than later, the horror of the invisible enemy, except for those that
sadly lost a family member or friend, must be quickly forgotten.” Must be
The President kind enough to throw an exemption for those of you out there
who knows someone who died, but for everyone else, just forget about it.
Just put it out of your mind. It never happened in America. That`s an
admission of guilt. That`s an admission of failure. And more than that, it
is a recipe for disaster.
First, from a medical standpoint, we cannot just forget about this. I mean,
Dr. Anthony Fauci has made this clear every time he gets near a microphone,
we cannot just go back to normal once we start to emerge from the worst of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS
DISEASES: When you gradually come back, you don`t jump into it with both
feet. You say, you know, what are the things that you could still do and
still approach normal. One of them is absolute compulsive handwashing. The
other one is you don`t ever shake anybody`s hands. That`s clear.
The other thing, depending upon your status, the possibility that when you
are in a group of people that you can`t avoid the six-foot limit, and you
can`t stay out of 10 feet, that you might want to wear a cloth face
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Things will not be the same for a while. The other reason Trump has
called to forget about all this is so disturbing is the sheer human toll.
And we`ve lost a colleague here at NBC News. We now know people who have
been sick. In the United States, we`ve lost more than 14,000 people to this
thing. Again, that`s just the official count. The real number is probably
In the September 11th attacks, we lost nearly 3,000 Americans. And back
then the idea was that that attack, that brutal and sudden attack, that had
changed everything, that we had to completely alter and we did completely
alter American society spending trillions of dollars waging multiple wars,
changing every airport and entrance to every building. We had to completely
remake American society to prevent it from ever happening again.
And now we`ve lost four times as many Americans to this virus, and Donald
Trump wants us to just shrug it off and move on and forget about it. After
September 11th, we said we will never forget. And when it comes to this
unimaginable horror Donald Trump says it must quickly be forgotten.
For more on how the Trump ministration does not want anyone to look into
what is happening and how they`re handling the virus, I want to bring in
Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut.
Senator, one of the reasons I want to talk to you tonight, in cable news
coverage, we see a lot of tragedy partly because of the way the news works,
mass shootings, terrorist attacks, you know, plane crashes, things like
that. And the politics around those tragedy can get very ugly. You can
sometimes feel like people are cynically manipulating those deaths in favor
of a, you know, a preferred political agenda. But I`m just struck at this
moment. I mean, the grief here is immense. You know, Newtown and that and
what happened in Connecticut is a sort of defining event I think in your
political life. Like, how are you processing this and what does it say to
you to watch this just sheer lack of empathy at all from the White House?
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Yes, I mean, of all of the horrificness out of
the White House during the last three months, the President`s total
inability to be empathetic and to plug into the grief and the terror of
this disease is maybe the most alarming. I mean, listen, what we know, for
those of us that work in and around gun violence is that when you lose
someone unexpectedly to a violent act, there are normally 20 other
individuals, family members, friends, brothers, sisters, who experience a
diagnosable trauma because of that loss.
And I don`t know that it`s going to be very different when it comes to the,
you know, 30,000 40,000 people who were taken quickly because of this
virus, there are going to be ripples of grief and trauma that we are going
to be dealing with for decades. And, you know, that just speaks to the
enormity of the health care project that`s in front of us. It`s not just
about trying to control and eradicate the virus, it`s also about dealing
with the trauma and the mental health effects that are going to spill forth
for months and years after we have moved on from this national emergency.
HAYES: I thought there was such as tell in the President`s tweet today
which we don`t often read on air, about, you know, everyone is going to
have to forget this, because they`re both not wanting people to look into
the ways in which they were warned and ignore those warnings, but also what
they`re doing right now.
I mean, it is really striking to me, the President went out of his way to
remove the person who was appointed to be the Inspector General over the
trillions of dollars, right, in that rescue package, specifically $500
billion, remove this guy with a sterling reputation – Glenn Fine who`s
tussled with Republicans and Democrats alike. What does that signal to you
about what they plan to do?
MURPHY: Well, let me say one quick thing first, which is that we don`t have
the luxury of time here, right? You know, we can`t spend a year figuring
out what went wrong because the next virus isn`t going to wait for us. And
so, part of the reason many of us want to immediately start standing up an
international anti pandemic infrastructure is because we don`t know when
the next virus is going to arrive.
But what you`re referring to is the here and now of how the president is,
for instance, allocating the $2 trillion that we have given him. My worry
is the President is right now thinking first, second and third about his
reelection. And he is trying to arrange the politics surrounding him in a
way that he can use the infrastructure of the federal government to get
He`s got $2 trillion that he`s sitting on now. Wouldn`t he love it if he
could be able to spend it to reward friends and punish enemies. He now has
an intelligence infrastructure without a meaningful, competent Inspector
General. He`s free to perhaps try to maneuver intelligence and the spin on
intelligence in order to favor his reelection.
So I just think this assault on inspectors general is not coincidental to
the general election effectively beginning.
HAYES: You know, the point you made there at the beginning and which ties
to the Inspector General to me, which is so important here is that I think
people can view this sort of idea of accountability and oversight as sort
of some kind of political score-settling. But there`s a Pressing
substantive need right now, right? Because the virus isn`t going to go away
till we have vaccine.
I mean, we know in 1980s, there was – there was a spring bump and then it
really hit in the fall, right? We don`t know that`s going to happen here
again but we`re in it right now. The mistakes that have been made or are
being made or going back to work too early, all of those things can cost
more lives in the moment.
MURPHY: Well, and if you don`t set up the public health infrastructure
necessary to test everyone who`s symptomatic, trace their contacts and then
quarantine, then you A, can`t get your hands wrapped around this particular
emergency, but then you don`t have that infrastructure set up for the next
round of Coronavirus or the next pathogen that hits.
So one of the clear stories to tell about what went wrong is that we lost
tens of thousands of public health workers since the great recession of
2007, 2009. And right now, there seems to be no plan from this
administration to rebuild them, and we don`t have time because this isn`t
going away and the next virus might be just around the corner.
HAYES: All right, Senator Chris Murphy, as always, it`s great to talk to
you. Thank you for your time.
HAYES: One of the key things about this crisis is the world is all facing
it together, all kinds of countries with all kinds of governments, all
kinds of leaders with all kinds of politics. The virus transmits just about
the same everywhere, it looks like. Every policymaker in the world is
facing the same set of choices. And it would be an ideal time for some
leadership in the United States, or the very least true global cooperation
But as Samantha Power describes in her new op-ed in the New York Times,
perhaps the worst thing that could happen will be the U.S. pulling everyone
else down the wrong path. I`m joined now by Samantha Power, former U.S.
Ambassador to the United Nations in the Obama administration. What`s your
concern right now about the role the U.S. is playing globally in terms of
how the Trump administration is dealing with the pandemic?
SAMANTHA POWER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Well, first,
just the backdrop, which is that a lot of communities, a lot of countries
in the world start with not a lot of safety nets. And so already, just the
toll that our economic shutdown, our pandemic in western countries is
causing in developing countries is already massive in terms of jobs lost,
farmers who have no place to send their produce because flights have ended,
or shipping prices have gone way up.
And so you already have a sort of obliteration of economies in the
developing world. And the pandemic is just starting to hit. And so for
example, a month ago in Africa, there were no reported cases, now there are
7,000. Bill Gates has warned that as many as 10 million people could be
infected or could even die in Africa.
So, you have this sort of looming, then you have the core fact that we the
United States, on wanting to get back to normal. I mean some want to leave
to get back to normal before it is at all safe and when it is reckless to
do so, but everybody wants to get back to normal.
And how do we get back to normal when we are so connected either through
trade through the global supply chain, which runs to places like
Bangladesh, which have really crowded refugee camps that house Rohingya and
an incredibly large informal economic sector, lots of really overpopulated
city areas, and an informal economy again, that the bottom will fall out of
it any day now.
So you asked, I think your question was, you know, how is the United States
faring? I mean, we go into the U.N. Security Council virtually or into the
G-7, and we want to fight about whether this is the Wuhan virus, or what to
call it. We`re not rolling up our sleeves and identifying a set of really
different lines of effort that needs to be pursued at once.
Every head of state in the world is focused on their own people right now.
That goes without saying, but we`ve got to look just a little bit down the
road in a way that we haven`t up to this point, and that we have
individuals who work for the United States government who will be working
on domestic response and further preparedness or catching up for the lack
But we have a whole another crew of people who are capable of building a
global coalition to share information, to take advantage of the staggered
spread of the disease, to pool insights as it relates to the
experimentation going on now around vaccines, and to pool resources for
those countries that will never have a $2 trillion bailout for their
South Sudan has four ventilators. You know, in the United States, we have
26 doctors for every 10,000 people, in Africa there are three. And so when
it comes to gloves, and you know, ventilators, and protective equipment and
so forth, the kinds of things we have scrambled to make available for own
I completely get that the thought of thinking about other people is really
hard when our own frontline workers are struggling, but we`ve got to
somehow build our manufacturing cycles or at least pay for others to do so,
so that those resources are made available or, again, there`ll be a natural
catastrophe and the day where we actually sort of get to return to the
normalcy that we seek will be postponed even further than what the virus in
the United States currently projects.
HAYES: Yes. I mean, it`s interesting, even if you take – so take for the
moment, the humanitarian concerns, which to me are the most pressing and
morally urgent away and just talk pragmatically. I mean, when you look at
places like Hong Kong, right, they did a very good job of sort of tamping
down the virus. Now, they have people coming into Hong Kong who were
bringing it from elsewhere. There`s no universe in which this just stays
where it is if there`s some terrible, unrestrained pandemic and some part
of the world. Like, that`s not staying there. We are all on the same planet
as far as this virus is concerned.
POWER: I think that`s really true. (AUDIO GAP) Trump mindset generally is
so 18th century. You know, the notion that we can decouple from others, you
know, that there were ever walls that could insulate from us from this, and
we`ve just lived how unsustainable that is. And so I think, you know – I
mean, he`s not thinking about this at all. He thinks about himself. But
were he thinking about it in his Trump way, he would be thinking, we will
just continue the travel restrictions, or we won`t, you know, allow people
from that country into our country.
But how then do we return to normalcy given how many of our manufacturing
industry industries are dependent on parts coming from parts of the world
that don`t have the infrastructure to deal with this pandemic without our
support? So you know, I think what`s happening right now is that the United
States has AWOL in terms of global leadership.
China, you know, is in there sort of bilaterally handing out supplies, some
of which are defective, some of which hopefully will not be. But China has
no experience from all of its clout and for all of the ways in which it has
asserted itself and fill the vacuum that the U.S. has left in the last few
years with Trump`s arrival and his retreat from international
organizations. It has no capacity to build the kind of global coalition
that I`m talking about.
You know, this requires shaking the trees hustling, badgering people,
calling out government governments that are staging cover ups. China will
be in a great position to make that, to issue that, deliver that talking
points. So you know, you need a combination of actors at the helm, and the
U.S. and China need to be in relative partnership on this.
HAYES: All right, Samantha Power, thank you so much for sharing some time
POWER: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Next, the President`s favorite network is just peddling conspiracy
theories and promises of miracle drugs. The danger of Trump T.V.
misinformation after this.
HAYES: President Trump has genuine medical epidemiological experts like Dr.
Anthony Fauci, helping, guide him through this pandemic to the extent that
he`s capable of doing that. He also has the self-appointed experts of Trump
T.V., and the President`s Council of T.V. advisors, who he pays very close
attention to are coalescing around the idea that the whole thing was
overblown and we just need to pump everyone full of the malaria drug and
get them back to work. This is just what you – what you heard if you watch
Trump T.V. just last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Whatever is happening, this
epidemic appears to be doing less damage than anticipated, and it`s
receding more quickly.
LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: You feel it, don`t you, that
America is getting increasingly anxious about this shutdown.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: The cure can`t be worse than the
BRIT HUME, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: We may or may not
have flattened the curve, but we`ve certainly flattened the economy.
CARLSON: Any discussion of how we might transition out of the shutdown back
into normal life, for some reason has become taboo in this country.
INGRAHAM: We just cannot have our people deny the ability to make a living,
go to school, attend worship services, travel as they wish, see their
CARLSON: As awful as this epidemic has been and will be, at least so far,
it hasn`t been the disaster that we feared.
INGRAHAM: Given the fact that the death rate for COVID-19 may end up being
only slightly worse than a very tough flu season, we want answers.
HUME: Is it really true that the reason that we`re beginning to think we
may have turned the corner on this because we all did what the doctors said
we should do, or is it because the disease turned out not to be quite as
dangerous as we thought?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The disease not as dangerous as we thought? It`s got a 3.4 percent
fatality rate here in the U.S., 10 percent in Italy, that we know of. More
than 14,000 Americans have died from this disease in the last few weeks.
More people are dying from it every day in New York than die total in a day
in New York in a normal day, but sure, not a big deal.
From the beginning of this outbreak, Fox News has posed a genuine public
health threat by first downplaying the severity of the disease, now rushing
to say it`s all over. People have been trying to convince their loved ones
not to listen to the dangerously false information in order for their loved
ones to stay safe.
One of those people is Kara Swisher, co-editor – co-founder and editor-at-
large of Recode. She wrote in The New York Times a better experience trying
to get her Fox News watching mom to take the health crisis seriously. And
Kara, I know you have a story that I`ve heard from a lot of people because
there are a lot of people in the country who have gotten the message that
it`s not that big a deal. And it has been hard to convince them to do the
kinds of things like, you know, physical distancing. And you can even see
now this like, sort of substrate of passive-aggressive resentment against
it that is coming off the airwaves over there.
KARA SWISHER, CO-FOUNDER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE, RECODE: Sure, sure. I mean,
what they`re trying to do is they initially had very bad information on the
air, something that both my brother and I – my brother`s a frontline
doctor in San Francisco working on this problem. We were trying to get my
mom great information.
And so, one of the problems was we were pushing up against the stuff that
was being broadcast very early on by Fox News, much of which was highly
dangerous. And so, I wrote a column about it. And one of the things I think
they sort of went crazy the fact that I pointed out what a lot of people
are experiencing with their parents who only use Fox News as a news to get
Now, my mom looks at other news. Of course, she does. But it has a lot of
influence because she was repeating initially a lot of the original things.
It`s just like the flu, get back to work, it`s not a big deal, it`s a
democratic plot. All the talking points that were on there, she was
repeating to me. And so it took a while for us to get through to her that
she had to stay home, she had to be careful to choose in a high-risk group,
and that she needs to take care of herself.
And we couldn`t be there. She`s in Florida. She`s you know, far away. And
so it`s really important that the very bottom level of information on all
of these platforms have to be accurate health information. I don`t care if
she wants to go on about Nancy Pelosi or whatever Fox`s line of the day is,
like Chuck Schumer is whatever. That`s fine. You can argue that over
Thanksgiving dinner, Easter dinner. It`s fine. It`s not a big deal and it`s
just a matter of political opinion. But when it comes to health
information, it`s really important that it is safe, it is correct, and it
isn`t made up in some way in order to push a political point of view.
HAYES: Yes, and I should just – to sort of bend over backwards to be fair
here, right. I mean, there is a certain amount uncertainty that actually
does exist, the uncertainty about the spectrum of how – what the case
fatality rate is and how bad this will be, what the future holds, when we
get back to work.
SWISHER: 100 percent. Yes.
HAYES: All questions we asked every night and contrast to some of the
things we said there about no one`s asking when we get back to work and get
back normal. Literally, that`s all anyone cares about is thinking about it
right now because it`s you know, it`s awful. Right.
SWISHER: Yes. I don`t want to be here. I want to get out. Everybody –
HAYES: But, to me, the sort of –
HAYES: That`s the thing that`s dangerous right now, because I think we`ve
seen the president kind of A, B test his response here in real-time of it`s
not a big deal, it`s war. It`s not a big deal, it`s war. That we got to
lockdown. The Cure can`t be worse than the disease. And you`re seeing this
growing call from these people who have a lot of influence to say, you know
what, guys, it`s time to stop listening the Fauci`s of the world, get this
sucker open back up, and I worry about what that – what that will do, both
to the president and the people that watch if we, you know, do that
SWISHER: Absolutely. You know, the numbers are down because of the things
that have been done, that were safe that the doctors had prescribed. And it
seems to me that that`s what we should – we should be listening to, even
if you overreact to anything. And listen, I want to be working. I`ve lost
money. I – you know, I don`t like being in the house. It`s – like, it`s
kind of this fallacy that you want this to get worse. I wanted to get
better. I want – I want hydroxychloroquine to work, but I also would like
it to be safe.
And so everybody wants to get the economy going, and everyone wants to get
back to work. We don`t want to put these grocery workers at risk. We don`t
want to put the delivery people at risk. But there`s no vaccine for this
and so we have to be very careful and very judicious. And to – and to make
its – take hope. Everybody has hope in this world. To take hope and make
it into a cudgel is the strangest thing I`ve ever seen.
And it`s – and you know, just the other day my mom was saying, hey, it`s
going to be great because that`s human nature to want it to be great,
right? And my brother calls it magical thinking, you know, that`s great.
But reality is reality. It`s still quite dangerous and pernicious and there
is no vaccine yet, as yet, but – and not for a while, so we have to be
HAYES: Yeah, prepare for the worst and hope for the best is sort of the
recipe to get through all of this – and not just hope for the best and and
then try to will it to be so through your mental – what you`re saying on
the TV tube.
Kara Swisher, thank you for making some time tonight.
SWISHER: Thanks a lot.
HAYES: And coming up, the racial disparities of this pandemic. A new CDC
study find African -Americans are disproportionately affected by the
Coronavirus. We`ll talk about that next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. STEFAN FLORES, NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL
CENTER: Dr. Stefan Flores here. I recently came off shift working in the
emergency department here in New York City, the epicenter of this global
pandemic. Places like Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, Brooklyn and places like
Washington Heights where I was born and raised and where I now work are
These communities where people come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds,
who are black and brown, these migrant communities, these are the people
that are disproportionately affected. They can`t afford to miss a paycheck.
They can`t socially distance. They can`t Uber or Lyft to work, nor can they
actually take work from home or Skype in or use a Zoom meeting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As states have started to break down their reporting on Coronavirus
by hospitalization and fatalities by race, and unsurprising but still
shocking set of disparities has emerged. African-Americans are getting sick
and dying of Coronavirus at much higher rates than white Americans.
In Milwaukee county, Wisconsin, for example, African-Americans make up only
26 percent of the population but 73 percent of the reported Coronavirus
deaths. In Louisiana, after African-Americans are 32 percent of the
population but 70 percent of the deaths from the virus there. In Chicago
where they are 32 percent of the city`s population they make up more than
two-thirds of the Coronavirus deaths.
Now, there are a lot of reasons for these disparities which extend back to
well, before the founding of the country. So we wanted to talk to someone
who spends their entire life and career studying exactly this. Dr. Chandra
Ford is a social epidemiologist, the founding director of the Center for
the Study Racism, Social Justice, and Health at UCLA, the lead editor of
Racism: Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional.
Doctor, maybe we can start with just an overview of the short answer
version of this, which I know comes as zero surprise to you or anyone that
studies the intersection of race and health in the U.S. But why are we
seeing this disproportionate fatality rate and in some cases infection rate
among African-Americans and to a somewhat lesser degree Latinos?
DR. CHANDRA FORD, UCLA: Well, this pandemic is happening not just in test
tubes, it`s happening in populations. And when we think about the ways in
which the virus spreads in populations, we have to consider the
inequalities that are already there. There are foundational inequalities in
terms of things like where people live, residential segregation, that
affects the access that folks have to hospitals, health care providers, and
even thinking about the ways in which testing has been accessible or not in
different communities. These things help to explain why we see disparities
across different populations.
HAYES: Bill Cassidy said something today, Senator from Louisiana, about
the racial disparities I thought was interesting. He said, “by the way, I
think if you control for diabetes and hypertension, a lot of racial
difference would go away,” which I thought was sort of a fascinating
question begging way of approaching the problem, because of course, when
you`re talking about co-morbidities and health problems, those are of
elevated rates among African-Americans, but that sort of precisely the
point of the things you study about how we got to that point.
FORD: Exactly. So I mean, part of the problem is that we can push
ourselves in a direction that`s not very constructive, and that is to begin
to think that there are certain groups of people who for reasons that are
somehow related to characteristics of these groups that lead them to have
these vulnerabilities to disease.
What we really need to be asking about is not just underlying conditions,
but the underlying inequalities that lead to whole communities having
higher and disproportionate rates of these conditions.
HAYES: What are the ways in which this shows itself most intensely or
acutely outside the pandemic, right? So, I mean, this has led people I
think in someways to look at the broader statistics. And if you look at
life expectancy, particularly, or incidences of heart disease and things
like this, you find these remarkable disparities that are just laying
around before the virus comes in and kind of exacerbates it?
FORD: Sadly, we see these kind of patterns across nearly every condition
that we can think of. There are exceptions, but so much of what we
experience as disease and disparities is actually rooted in our social
inequalities. And so when those social inequalities are not accounted for
in our strategies to address whole population-wide problems, it looks like
what we`re seeing is that some groups have some inherent sort of greater
risk for it.
So things like differential access to health care, but even once folks get
into health care systems, that there`s differential treatment. So that we
know for instance, black folks don`t always get the same quality of care or
the same aggressive treatment or the same kinds of referrals.
So with respect to this pandemic, once we are able to get testing available
or access to care, we`ll also be needing to think about how can we account
for these historical injustices not only in creating greater risk f or the
underlying conditions and also for exposure to COVID – excuse me, to
COVID-19 – but also in terms of ensuring that the care we provide is
equitable and ensures that the outcomes folks have long-term are also
So, when we think about, for instance, mortality, that`s going to be
something that has to do with folks slipping through the safety net,
especially in the health care system. That`s on the far end of it, not just
what happens – who is more likely to get tested, but also if we see higher
rates of mortality disparities there, then we`ll be really concerned about
what`s happening within the health care system that`s not enabling all
folks to do equally well once they`re in care.
HAYES: I see.
So, you`re sort of breaking it down to sort of the things that happen
before the health care system is treating the illness right now, the sort
of societal aspects of that, the sort of structural inequalities, the co-
morbidities, among certain communities in certain areas, and then the
actual way the health care system now is dealing with the pandemic and both
of those kind of compounding each other and is to be studied as we continue
to go through this. Dr. Chandra Ford, thank you so much for sharing your
expertise on this.
FORD: Thank you.
HAYES: All right, coming up, we`ve got the president reiterating his
desire to suppress voting in November, as Senator Bernie Sanders suspended
his campaign today. Electing a president in the middle of a pandemic is
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: I want to express to each of you my deep gratitude for helping to
create an unprecedented grass roots political campaign that has had a
profound impact in changing our nation. While we are winning the
ideological battle and while we are winning the support of so many young
people and working people throughout the country, I have concluded that
this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful. And so
today, I am announcing the suspension of my campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: In the midst of this Coronavirus crisis and a near national lock-
down, Joe Biden has now become the apparent nominee for the Democratic
Party this November. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who says he plans to
stay on the ballot to collect delegates for the convention so he could
still have influence over the party platform has nonetheless, as you saw,
decided to suspend his campaign.
It was a strange end to Sanders` run, because of the strangeness of
everything right now. I mean, no one knows what it looks like to campaign
during a pandemic. He and Biden have been trying to figure it out for the
last few weeks. No now, nobody knows how an election in the pandemic even
I mean, after Wisconsin`s primary vote yesterday, which was a shocking
debacle rammed through by the state`s Republicans, it`s unclear if any
actually primaries will happen until at least June, and who knows, really,
Back in 2015, when Vermont Senator Sanders announced that he was running
then as the kind of lone named challenger against Hillary Clinton,
generally he was seen as something of a gadfly on a kind of mission for his
cause. And five years later, he`s one of the most popular and influential
figures in the Democratic Party, although he clearly failed to build a
majority collision within that party for a second subsequent election.
That said, the end of this campaign is different. I don`t know what it is,
whether it`s the more collegial (ph) relationship between him and Joe Biden
or the strange awful urgent context of the moment we find ourselves in. The
relationship here seems much less strained than it did in the waning days
of the 2016 primary.
Today`s announcement brings to a culmination five years of work by Senator
Bernie Sanders. His campaign and his message have been extremely
transformative in not just the Democratic Party, but in the national dialog
and conversation about the solutions to problems we face and in a palpable
sense, the 2020 Democratic nomination process feels right now less
fractured, palpably, intense than it did actually the last time around in
But that said, it is very clear Donald Trump`s vision of how his path to
victory will work includes stoking civil war and dissension among Democrats
and suppressing the vote. We`re going to talk about both of those things
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Renee Bacon says she just got off a nursing shift and
arrived here around 8:03, and was turned away.
RENEE BACON, MILWAUKEE VOTER: I`m upset. I`m really upset. Because they`ve
been doing – saying so many different things about how we`re supposed to
vote, when to vote. And we can`t do it now. And they should keep the polls
I wish I had did an absentee ballot or something, but I didn`t know it was
going to be all this chaos.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wasn`t alone.
UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know if I will even be allowed to vote
tonight. It is just all really frustrating, confusing„ let alone being out
here without a mask and being afraid to even come in the first place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was the scene last night in Wisconsin. One voter terrified to
be out in a pandemic, another voter, a nurse, just getting off her shift,
denied her ability to vote, because she apparently missed the cutoff by
What happened yesterday was a result of an insane, reckless, dangerous
undertaking by Republicans in Wisconsin to hold an election during a global
pandemic, an act cheered on by the president, who clearly sees his path to
success in the general election by suppressing the vote and by stoking
dissension among Democrats.
In fact, he`s been very clear about both today. He lobbied Bernie Sanders`
supporters to come join the Republican Party. He tweeted that Republicans
should fight against mail-in voting, because, quote, “for whatever reason,
it doesn`t work out well for Republicans.”
Great line there, for whatever reason, meaning a lot of people can vote and
the more people who can vote, the more people vote for Democrats.
You know, and November may seem a long way off, but everybody like a long
way off, but everybody working to keep democracy thriving in this perilous
moment needs to be thinking about all of this right now.
Someone who is certainly thinking about all of this is Tom Perez, chair of
the Democratic National Committee, and he joins me now.
I guess we will start with the news of Sanders suspending the campaign and
what that means almost in a kind of institutional sense for you, and the
TOM PEREZ, DNC CHAIRMAN: Well, I have great respect for Senator Sanders.
Over the three-and-a-half years I have gotten to know him really well. And,
Chris, what he has added to the party, what he stood for, what he fights
for, and it is simply remarkable. He`s changed the conversation in America
for the better. And while he is out of the race, I know he`s not going to
be out of the fight.
And I know personally, because I had the privilege of watching him and the
vice president up close and personal. You mentioned it a few minutes ago,
they have a very good relationship, Chris, they may see particular issues
differently, but their values are fundamentally aligned. And they`re going
to come together. They are coming together.
And I`m so proud of all of the candidates who said I`m in it to win it, but
when that doesn`t happen I`m going to come together and unite the party.
And that`s exactly what we`re going to see. And the vice president is
exactly the right person for the moment.
HAYES: It`s very clear that – you know, if you look at the polling and
the sort of political record of the president, and the incumbent President
Trump, he has struggled to build out his coalition. He`s got the sort of
chunk of people who won the election with fewer votes than his opponent. He
got about 45 percent of the vote. And that`s what he`s sort of stuck with
even at the high water mark.
And so victory comes from essentially causing – you know, shrinking the
other coalition, setting people against each other, and then trying to make
sure that you could suppress the vote. How do you view your role and the
Democratic Party`s role in dealing with those two strategies?
PEREZ: You`re exactly right. The politics of arithmetic I learned from
Senator Ted Kennedy, my mentor, addition beats subtraction any day of the
Joe Biden has been expanding the field throughout. His coalition of diverse
communities of color, his coalition of union people, of disaffected
Republicans, has swept him to this dramatic set of victories. And then you
look at what the president – the incumbent president is doing, an ever
shrinking base. This is his formula for success – an ever shrinking base
coupled with voter suppression.
So, what we`re going to see – I mean, the Club for Growth is spending
millions of dollars right now digitally trying to sow discord within the
Democratic Party. It`s not going to work.
You are going to see more voter suppression tactics. We see it down in
Georgia. They`ve established a voter fraud task force. That is a crock of
you know what. It`s designed to stifle the vote down there. We know that.
And that is why we and not just the DNC, but the Democratic ecosystem,
whether it`s Stacey Abrams and Fair Fight, whether it`s Eric Holder and The
Redistricting Commission, we are going to come together, and we are coming
together, to build the best infrastructure we`ve ever given to a nominee in
modern political history. And that`s why we`re going to win this race.
HAYES: But wait a second, there`s more than that, though. That`s
infrastructure. You`re talking – all of that, everything you just said
could have been said in 2016 or 2018, right, but because of the
longstanding desire to suppress votes by Republicans, there`s a different
situation right now.
I mean, we saw what happened in Wisconsin yesterday. There`s genuine fear
about whether the Democratic Party, legislators and everyone, are going to
push, to concretize contingencies, so that we do not have a November rerun
of the debacle that we saw in Wisconsin yesterday?
PEREZ: I`ve never been angrier about an election than I was about
yesterday`s election. And I`ve seen Texas with voter ID. I`ve seen South
Carolina. Yesterday was the Republican Party putting people`s lives in
jeopardy. It was the U.S. Supreme Court coming up with a remedy, Chris,
that couldn`t be actualized.
They were saying as long as your ballot is postmarked by the 7th, it will
count. There are scores of voters in Wisconsin who still haven`t gotten
their absentee ballot. They couldn`t do that. That is unconscionable.
And what we know about voter suppression now from Wisconsin is that they
will go to any length possible, including putting lives in jeopardy. And
that is why we are coming together.
We will sue when necessary. We will use courts of law. We will use courts
of public opinion. And most immediately, Chris, we`re going to have another
stimulus bill at the end of the month and we need to make sure that we
include in that bill more resources so that there are in every single state
the option to vote by mail, vote no excuse absentee. That`s what we have to
do, Chris, because you shouldn`t have to win the geographic lottery to
HAYES: Yeah, that`s a bright line issue, I think, as we head towards this
next bill to me, democratically.
Tom Perez, thank you so much for joining us tonight.
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
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