prison inmates have died TRANSCRIPT: 4/10/20, All In w/ Chris Hayes
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Chris Hayes is up next.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes.
Here`s the hard reality. The virus is nasty. It`s just the truth. A new
study from the CDC suggests it`s actually even more transmissible than we
initially thought, although this is all sort of a work in progress. It is
We know that of course when we look at the numbers day after day. Thousands
of Americans dying day after day. We just got a disturbing visual of that,
what this looks like. Hart Island, a small island off the coast of the
Bronx in New York City, and since the mid-1800s, it has been used as a
potter`s field for fat people whose families cannot afford a funeral, who -
- or who go unclaimed by relatives.
A new video shows a giant trench being dug on the island to deal with the
surge of bodies in New York City. A spokesperson for the Department of
Corrections of the island has gone from burying about 25 bodies a week to
around 24 bodies per day. New York Times reports funeral directors say
they`ve been told any Coronavirus victims not claimed within two weeks will
be buried on Hart Island at least temporarily.
Those are hard truths that are actually happening right now. That`s what`s
happening. That`s the toll of the virus. There`s also the economic toll,
which is almost incomprehensible. Here`s the line for one food bank, a
single food bank in San Antonio, Texas. That Food Bank fed about 10,000
households on Thursday alone.
Look at this line of people waiting in their cars to receive printed
unemployment forms Hialeah, Florida. That is the stark reality of this
pandemic, and a recession happening together. And so, one can understand
under these circumstances, the temptation for magical thinking, the
temptation to wish it weren`t so.
But in fact, it was that magical thinking that got us here, when the
President wished it all away, when he said it was all under control, the
cases were going down, not up, that it was like the flu, that it was all
hype, that it was a hoax. That was all magical thinking. And that magical
thinking led to the situation we are in now, burying bodies in mass on Hart
Island with millions of people out of work, and hungry and desperate.
But the magical thinking never stopped. It never quite let reality fully
intrude. Just two and a half weeks ago, the President went on Trump T.V.
and said he would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go
by Easter this Sunday. He spent weeks pushing a promising but untested
malaria drug as a kind of magical cure-all.
And you know what, it would be great if that malaria drug could
miraculously cure all this. It would be great if we can go back to normal
and open the country up and not have the virus ravage our population. I
would love to go to dinner. That would be great. God, I hope that`s the
case. But hope is not a plan. That`s how we ended up here in the first
So now we have the chorus of magical thinking, all these people that are
very influential to a president who is prone to magical thinking, talking
about opening the country up before you know it. Trump T.V. host Laura
Ingraham has been leading the charge. Here`s what she said last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Unless somehow money really just does grow
on trees, we need a reopening soon. A date certain where we can continue
protecting the most vulnerable and at the same time, reclaim our lives and
our God-given freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Our God-given freedom. To give you a sense of how another country is
handling this freedom, China, a country that probably cares more about
their GDP and is willing to sacrifice people to it than just about any
nation on Earth. Opening up in China, the virus` first epicenter means for
people in a noodle shop of 50. It means everyone on masks, everyone in
gloves, constant social distancing, constant testing, temperature checks,
contact tracing. That`s what normal in China looks like.
We cannot go back to normal. Until we have vaccine there. There is no
business as usual. Things will change. It`s not – this is not my opinion,
this is what all the experts are saying. Here`s Trump`s former FDA head,
OK, not some liberal. This is Dr. Scott Gottlieb describing what his vision
of a new normal looks like.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER COMMISSIONER, FDA: I think things are going to be
permanently changed coming out of this until we get to a vaccine and we can
fully vanquish this. There are things that are not coming back. People are
not going to crowd into conferences. They`re not going to crowd into
arenas. The marginal customer is not going back to movie theaters and
cruises and Disneyland, and we need to accept that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just today, The New York Times reported on new federal projection
showing a spike in infections if shelter in place orders were lifted too
quickly. Those projections were basically leaked to The Times, it appears,
from inside the Trump ministration. They totally undercut the president
stated wish to open the country quickly.
“If the administration lifts the 30-day stay at home orders, the death
totals estimated reach 200,000. Even if schools remain closed until summer,
25 percent of the country continues to work from home and some social
We all want out of this. I mean, it`s the one unifying thing in a very
divided country. God, we all want out of it. But wanting and getting there
are two different things. We need a plan of federal action. And that`s
again, that`s not a controversial thing. Both right-leaning think tanks and
left-leaning think tanks have basically reached the same conclusion.
There needs to be an intensely coordinated, highly planned, supremely well-
executed federal process to get us to the point where we can go about
something like normal. Magical thinking will not do that. And here`s the
thing. Right now, there is no action, none, zero being taken by the
President or this administration or anyone of his task force, honestly,
none whatsoever to get us to that point.
I`m joined now by Ezra Klein, founder and editor at large of Vox, who
recently wrote a great piece titled I`ve read the plans to reopen the
economy. They`re scary. Ezra, first I want to start on this sort of this –
the amazing persistence of this view that somehow it`s not as bad as we
thought, it`s not as bad as we think – and I mean, it`s important to be,
you know, humble and open to new data, but, you know, it seems to me that
it`s a seductive view, because people don`t want to actually grapple with
the hard realities that you talked about in that piece.
EZRA KLEIN, FOUNDER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE, VOX: Yes. There is not going to be
a moment where people – unless we get this so wrong, that the death toll
is unbelievably horrific and undeniable, there not be a moment where people
do not look for any opportunity they can find to say, it`s over, we`re
done, we did it. Mission accomplished. We can roll down the banner.
And the problem with that is that Dr. Fauci said early on, that if you do
the right thing here, it will look like an overreaction because the worst
predictions will not come true. We are doing to some degree the right thing
in some places some of the time.
And it does appear that as predicted, the curves are bending. I`m in
California right now. We`re doing pretty good job in California. The
question is, you can`t stay in lockdown forever. So are we using this time
when we`re making this tremendous sacrifice, when people are staying home,
when the economy is basically in ruins, are we using this time to get
ourselves to a phase two that is more sustainable?
And as you mentioned in your intro there, there is nothing happening on
that front from the national government. There is no plan. You cannot go to
the White House and download anything to tell us where we`re going here.
They are doing nothing. But this time, it`s all up to the states and
HAYES: It`s really astonishing. And I think it`s worth hammering this home.
It`s very clear to me the President understands this is like a date you
circle on the calendar, and there`s a mission accomplished and then maybe
he comes out and does like essentially a ribbon-cutting. Like, OK, we`re
back, we`re back, America. And that`s just not how it is. Like we`re all
Every single human being in the country right now, in their own way, is
part of the collective effort to buy a day and another day and another day.
And while we`re doing that job, their job is to figure out what comes next
and no one`s doing it.
KLEIN: I worry – it`s actually a lot worse than that. I worry that what is
happening in the government, from what I can tell is that there is a plan
that is being executed every hour of every day. And that is many people in
the federal government are fighting to stop Donald Trump from reopening
everything before they can. And so much energy is going into that project
to get him on from where he is on Tuesday back to where he needs to be on
Wednesday, that there is no room for a plan.
Ron Klain, who ran the Ebola response for President Obama said this great
thing to me on my podcast when we did an interview a few weeks ago. He
said, look, if you do everything right, if the president stands on the
table and screens, that this is the single most important thing the federal
government has to do. If you do all of it, then given the size and
complexity of the federal government, you can get a pretty good response.
If what you have instead is the president every day saying, I`d really like
to stop this. I don`t want to hear the bad news. Like, don`t tell me that,
you`re not going to get anything. And I think that`s sort of where we are.
But the problem that really creates is it if we don`t use this time do you
put in place the surveillance technologies we`re going to need, the testing
– the increase in mass testing we`re going to need, the economic support
we`re going to need, then we are going to hit a point where it`s so
economically ruinous to say in this level of social distancing, that we
can`t sustain it. But we also have a lot of built what we need to begin to
reopen things safely.
HAYES: Right. And then there`s this final point, and it`s when you talk
about in the piece, and I`ve been having the exact same thought as I
listened to people and talk with and read experts talking about the next
steps, what – the picture they paint isn`t like, hey, we`re all back out
at concerts like it`s this very strange and altered version of life, right?
And the other danger is, if you`re not preparing people for that, if what
you`re selling them is essentially a bill of goods, if there`s a certain
have light at the end of the tunnel, this magical date certain and then
everyone`s going to go back to it, like there`s going to be tremendous
anger, rage, backlash, disappointment, frustration, depression, when that`s
not what it is.
KLEIN: Yes. I want to be really clear on this. It is not like there is some
great plan out there. Donald Trump could roll out tomorrow and everybody
would clap and it would sound wonderful. I went on and I read everything I
could find, every single plan I could find, on the left, on the right, from
non-affiliated academics for how do we reopen. And I did it in part because
I myself wanted to be comforted.
If there was no plan coming from the federal government, I wanted to – at
least I know somebody had one. And when I began to read them, what they
assumed comes next is unbelievable, right? You`re either dealing with a
digital IP contract tracing system, or like all of our phones are tracking
in geo – in geotag terms, who we are near, we`re scanning QR codes every
time we get on a bus, something that a surveillance system at a level we`ve
never contemplated in this country.
And I think most people would be very concerned by and it is very unclear
to me who has the social trust and the technological expertise
simultaneously to pull that off and get widespread adoption of it quickly.
Or a mass testing system where you`re dealing with, say, millions of tests
or tens of millions of tests a day. Not clear we can get to that many
tests. Even if we can, how we were administering that, how we are forcing
compliance with it very open and very difficult questions. Or and you just
had Scott Gottlieb, that clip from him, he talks about the 80 percent
If you`re in this position, but what you`re basically doing is you`re
relaxing social distancing a bit when you`re ICU aren`t that full, and then
you go back into it when they get full again, he talks about the economy
only coming back at 80 percent. Well, that sounds like most of the economy
grade but an 80 percent economy is a depression. So we`re dealing here with
three pretty –
HAYES: Depression, right.
KLEIN: Depression, yes. We`re dealing with three pretty significant and
very different subsequent realities. And at least until we get a vaccine,
or at least until something changes in the virus or in herd immunity, that
makes some of the current projections wrong.
HAYES: Yes. Ezra Klein, it`s a great piece, great to talk to you, have a
great weekend. Thank you, man.
KLEIN: Thank you.
HAYES: The President knighted States continues to act as though the country
is on the cusp of getting back to normal with life returning to more or
less what it was before. But as Dr. Anthony Fauci has made clear, live is
going to look very different on the other side of this, and we need to
prepare for a resurgence of the virus, when more people start venturing
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS
DISEASES: When we decide, at a proper time, when we`re going to be relaxing
some of the restrictions, there`s no doubt you`re going to see cases. I
would be so surprised if we did not see cases. The question is how you
respond to them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I want to turn now to someone who has a plan for what to do when we
reach that point, NYU Professor and Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Paul
Romer, who argues that we will need to test people on a massive scale,
millions of Americans getting tests every single day. Professor Romer, I`ve
read some of what you`ve written on this and I actually find it persuasive.
But take me to the thinking of why you see testing and testing at a level
that essentially no one has done yet as the key here.
PAUL ROMER, ECONOMIST: Yes. Every single strategy for containing this
pandemic requires that we take about 70 percent of the people who are
currently infected, including the ones who don`t show any symptoms. We take
about 70 percent of them and isolate them. So if you got 100 infected
today, if we did nothing, they`d have 250 infected people in two weeks. But
if you take 70 of them and put them in isolation, only the remaining 30
becomes 75 people. So 100 now translates into 75 in two weeks.
ROMER: And then the pandemic goes away. That`s all there is to this. But
it`s hard. And right now, the way we`re getting 70 percent of the – of the
infected in quarantine, when we don`t know who`s infected, because we just
put everybody in quarantine. So the alternative would be to start to
collect the information with the tests. We`ve got these tests, collect the
information, find out who`s infected, and then put them in quarantine.
Now, the reason Ezra who you`ve talked to says this is scary, is this would
involve a massive increase in our ability to test. We can do about 100,000
tests a day right now. We need to get up to 20 to 30 million test a day.
But the point is that –
HAYES: I`m sorry 20 – wait, 20 to 30 million. 20 to 30 million, that`s –
I mean, that`s an enormous orders of magnitude scale increase.
ROMER: Yes. Yes. But look, you know, this is a huge economy. We got 330
million people. We can do those big things if we just put our minds to it.
And we don`t have to invent anything new. I mean, think of this. I mean,
imagine the Grinch came and stole everybody`s shoes over the – over the
weekend, and then we had to get people back to the hospitals and we`d say,
oh, my God, we got 10 million people who work in hospitals. We can`t – we
can`t do any health care because nobody has got shoes.
You know, this economy, we would figure out how to get 10 million pairs of
shoes. And it sounds like a lot, but you know we got hundreds of millions
of people. We could do that. The same way we could figure out how to test
20, 30 million people a day.
HAYES: I tend to – I mean, I don`t have any particular expertise here, but
I tend to sort of agree with you, at least in principle as a sort of
theoretical stipulation like it is – there`s a universe in a sort of
logistical sense in a capacity sense in which the richest country in the
world could do this, yes. But it also seems to me that like there`s got to
be a roadmap from here to there. I mean, one of the things we`ve seen is,
that`s not – there`s no – and particularly because there`s not like –
there`s no sort of easy market signals or turn on or some incentive
structure. Like, there`s got to be a fairly coordinated effort to get
ROMER: Yes. And I think one of the reason people get nervous when I talk
about this as they think I`m saying, well, just everybody go to back to
work and we`ll start investing in testing and we`ll get there. You can`t do
it that way. You got to start with what we`ve got. The very first thing we
got to do is we got to test the people who are already working.
We got 10 million people in health care who go into work every day, and
they don`t know if they`re infected, they don`t know if they`re a silent,
asymptomatic carrier who`s going to infect all their colleagues. We need to
be able to test. And in healthcare, they`re so exposed, we should be
testing them every day.
Same thing for police officers, EMTs, transit workers, you know, maybe you
could test them twice a week. But you start to think this way, you`re going
to need 10, 15 million tests a day, even to do right by the people who are
asking to do those jobs. So instead of just wringing our hands about it,
let`s just get our act together and just do this.
HAYES: You know – you know, what`s interesting about this is that it sort
of – there`s a kind of instinct everyone had at beginning of this, a kind
of – I think we all felt it which is everyone want to know whether they
had or not, particularly because everyone is going through this sort of
hypochondriac kind of moments of like, oh, I have a sore throat, do I have
it or not? And because testing itself is a precious resource that was being
tightly rationed, right, the answer was like, don`t frivolously use them.
But what you`re sort of returning to is like, your instinct is correct,
right, which is that we should all know, like, actually know as a – as a
factual matter as much as possible throughout the society in any given
moment what our status is.
ROMER: Yes. And it`s like, you know, these big numbers scare people. It`s
like 330 million people in this country, that means we have to have like,
900 million meals a day. How are we ever going to get 900 million meals a
day? But you know, we got a lot of people. We make a lot of meals, you
know. And this is – it`s not like we have to invent anything new. We just
got to scale up what we know how to do and take our time.
If you know – if we – if it takes us two months, three months, take that
time, but man, we got to get going because these people who are doing the
essential jobs, they`re already exposed and they need to be protected so
that some – one of them doesn`t inadvertently infect another.
HAYES: Paul Romer, I really appreciated the all the thought you put into
this and reading your writing on this. Thank you so much for making some
ROMER: Well, you know what, I think – the way I described Ezra`s report on
these options was he said, Romer`s plan is the worst plan I`ve ever
encountered, except for all of the others for recovery.
HAYES: Yes, it`s true. That`s right. I think that`s Churchill on democracy.
Thank you, Professor Romer. Ahead, new reporting on the failures of the
federal response that led to a shortage of critical protective equipment
for healthcare workers. What happened? It`s mind-blowing, after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): If you have masks, offices that are non-essential
right now, there were dentist`s offices that are closed, there are clinics
that are closed, we need those masks, those gowns, gloves and we need them
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That was from March 20. Yes, Governor Cuomo begging for masks and
other equipment. By that point, there were nearly 19,000 Coronavirus cases
in the U.S. and 239 deaths. A national emergency had been in effect for a
week and public schools in places from Arizona to Kentucky and Pennsylvania
were closed. Much of the country is already on lockdown, March 20th.
That was just three weeks ago. I mean that this was into the pandemic. And
yet, in reporting in this amazing New Yorker piece the U.S. government,
including the task force headed by the president`s son in law, Jared
Kushner, had not placed a single order for bulk protective masks until mid-
“The first large U.S. government order to the big U.S. producer 3M, for
$173 million worth of N-95 masks was not placed until March 21st. The whole
piece is an inside look at the shocking incompetence of the federal
response including just one section in which Jared Kushner was supposed to
marshal the private sector to help provide protective equipment to
hospitals and frontline workers. But instead, that private-sector effort
got strung along for almost two weeks while nothing was done, repeatedly
promised that FEMA was going to step in and take charge.
Here with me now as someone who understands how to put together response to
the pandemic and quoted in this piece Jeremy Konyndyk, former USAID
Director for Foreign Disaster Assistance who led the government`s
humanitarian responses to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
Jeremy, it almost – it starts to feel almost repetitive at this point, but
still important, just the excruciating documentation of the utter lack of
ability to prepare ahead of time in the response, and particularly on this
obvious question of protective personal equipment.
JEREMY KONYNDYK, FORMER DIRECTOR FOR FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE, USAID:
You know, one thing that came through in every exercise that had been done,
every study that had been done, all the research about what would happen in
a major event, PPV supply, was always identified as a bottleneck in a
problem. And in some of the reports that came out in January and early
February, including one that I co-authored that cited in the piece, we
identified the PPE supply chain as a weak spot, something that needed to be
shored up starting now.
Because it was clear, you know, hospitals are lean in this country. They
don`t run big reserves of that equipment. And so indicate – in the event
of a surge of cases, they would need a lot more than they currently have.
So you know, that was foreseen by a lot of people but ignored by the
HAYES: One of the things that came through in that – in that piece, that
great piece in The New Yorker, and it sort of focuses on the Kushner Task
Force, is the entire approach from the White House, particularly with
putting your son in law in charge of this, you know, Task Force is there`s
an insane amount of institutional expertise in the U.S. government across
all kinds of different areas of it – the intelligence agencies were
warning back in November, that something was up with this new pneumonia in
Wuhan. There`s HHS, there`s USAID, there`s the NSC – that essentially none
of that`s being drawn on. It`s just like, hey, have Jared Google some stuff
and talk to some Silicon Valley people.
KONYNDYK: Yes, exactly. And when – you know, there were reports I think in
March as well, that when Jared was asked for help, the first thing he did
was reach out to his brother in law`s father who happened to be a medical
doctor. You know, you`ve got the whole resources of the federal government.
You`ve got the CDC, you`ve got the NIH, you`ve got the whole you know,
Health and Human Services Department, world-class experts on all of these
You`ve got academic institutions that would – that would show up at the
White House in a heartbeat if their expertise was sought after, and he`s
reaching out to, you know, a relative of a relative. I mean, it`s just –
HAYES: Do you see any improvement? I mean, I think a lot of people – a lot
of people I talk to, you know, feel at least some sort of stabilization
with Dr. Fauci there. And obviously, he has a reputation and expertise and
seems to be quite fairly straightforward. He shaves a little bit as he sort
of navigates around Trump. But do you think that`s improved at all in terms
of like, the use of the institutional resources and knowledge of the
government to actually have a kind of science led response to this?
KONYNDYK: No, not at all. I mean, you`ve still got the president talking
about how antibiotics don`t treat viruses in the press conference today,
which, anyway, it`s fairly basic. But you know what, what worries me is
they wasted February. So we just talked about, they wasted February. They
had warning. They didn`t use it to prepare. They should have been using it
to prepare. I fear now we`re wasting April.
The lack of a federal plan, the lack of a plan for what we do once we bring
cases down means we`re wasting April. And I think everything you talked
about with Ezra earlier in the show really captures that, that you know,
the President doesn`t seem to want the federal government to take ownership
of this. He wants to leave it to the states and that`s going to guarantee
that we have – you know, we came into this phase of the shelter in place
in a patchwork and we`re going to exit it in a patchwork. And that just –
I think it just guarantees we`re going to be facing this for longer and in
a more painful way than we could with an effective government response.
HAYES: Jeremy Konyndyk who`s got so much knowledge on this topic, thank you
for being here tonight.
KONYNDYK: My pleasure.
HAYES: Next, three weeks ago, we spoke to an emergency room doctor who had
just a day earlier had been quarantined with Coronavirus. Tonight, Dr. Dara
Kass is back. She`s feeling better. She`s going to share with us what it is
like surviving the Coronavirus. Stick around.
HAYES: Thousands of people across the country have gotten through the
Coronavirus. And obviously, their experiences with the disease ranged from
relatively mild to all the way to being intubated and being put onto
ventilator and near death. But a lot of people, even at that so-called mild
end of things are talking about just how nasty and relentless an illness it
A nurse in Tennessee recorded this first-person account of her symptoms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHAREKA WILLIAMS, NURSE BATTLING COVID-19: You`ve got to excuse me, it
hurts to breathe. I just to tell you, don`t take this as a joke. It is not
a joke. You can`t see your family. You can barely talk. Trying to do
everything you can to stay sane.
To survive this, this (INAUDIBLE) whomever. This is not your color or your
age, your health condition. It is no joke. Stay at home. If you don`t have
to go out, stay at home. This is something you don`t want.
I never felt a gunshot, but this is probably worse than a gunshot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: And that`s just one of the stories of a front-line worker surviving
Joining me now is Dr. Dara Kass, associate professor of emergency medicine
at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Kass joined us three weeks ago
while quarantined after contracting the virus while treating patients in
the ER. Dr. Kass, welcome back.
How are you feeling?
DR. DARA KASS, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: I`m feeling – from the
Coronavirus, I`m feeling pretty good. I`m a little sad to watch that video
and to see more and more people not to at their parents` death, so it`s
But for me personally, I feel pretty lucky and pretty good right now.
HAYES: How was – can you describe what your sort of experience of the
virus was, your symptom profile, how long it lasted, things like that?
KASS: So I was symptomatic for about eight days, which is pretty typical
for the mild course of illness where I had the muscle ache, the fatigue,
the headache, the very persistent cough, shortness of breath when I walked
from one room to the other, but I never really developed the high fevers or
the lack of oxygen that meant that I was worried that I needed to go to the
A lot of my friends, actually, other health care workers and other people
that are just regular folk have contracted the virus and had to go to the
hospital, been put on oxygen and even been intubated.
HAYES: Yeah, I now know a number of people that have gotten it. One thing
that several people said it`s sort of different waves of cycles like eight
days was sort of in the middle or even shorter range, but people I`ve
talked to have said 14 days and, you know, after nine or 10 days they think
they maybe feel better for a day and then have a second wave of symptoms.
KASS: So actually, that`s one of the things that we talk about amongst
ourselves, like health care workers that get sick, because we find out we
have it day four or five or six, and we don`t even consider it a case
closed until day eight, day nine, day 10. And that a lot of people who get
very sick don`t even go to the hospital until day eight or day nine. And
they wind up having a 14 or an 18 days course of illness, and especially if
you get intubated you could be on the ventilator for between one to three
HAYES: So as someone who had the virus, was self-quarantined by yourself
and also is an emergency room doctor, how were you monitoring yourself?
What were the triggers you were looking for? Because right now, you know,
the advice to people that get it is to stay at home, don`t stress the
hospital system more than you have to, but obviously, like if you need to
go to the hospital, go to the hospital but that`s a tough call to make. How
were you monitoring that?
KASS: So I think first and foremost, that`s a great use of telemedicine,
right. So, if you`re scared about whether or not you should go to the
hospital, just do a telemedicine visit, that`s first and foremost.
I think that when you`re monitoring yourself at home, if you`re fortunate
enough to have a pulse ox (ph), so a thing that you put on your finger to
check your oxygen, that`s actually a pretty good dataset to make sure
you`re OK or you`re not OK, and a lot of hospitals now are actually sending
people home with pulse oxes (ph) to monitor them at home, to keep them out
of the hospital.
But the other things to worry about – and we worry about it, too, are can
you breathe, literally, can you take a deep breath without hesitation. If
you watch that nurse in the video she could not complete sentences without
taking an extra breath. She had to stop. That was a telltale sign that she
probably shouldn`t stay home at least before being evaluated by a doctor.
So, the fact that she was in a hospital being evaluated was important,
because if I had seen her at home on telemedicine, I would have told her to
Our hospital are open for sick patients. They just need to keep the well
patients out for now.
HAYES: Are you back at work now?
KASS: Yeah, even tonight. After this I`m going to work. I am back at work.
HAYES: So – and what is the experience been like and do you know – like
do you have now antibodies and so you`re now in a sort of different
situation than I would imagine a lot of your fellow workers who are very
worried, obviously, for very legitimate reasons about contracting it?
KASS: Actually, all the segments you had before this are really important
to this idea of getting back to normal and actually reintegrating as a
society, because I`m in this very gray zone of both having antibodies and
not knowing if I`m still contagious, which is why I`m living a hotel.
KASS: So, after you have the virus, there is a period of time when you`re
still contagious but not symptomatic. And we don`t actually know how long
that is. In a lot of cities and a lot of states that have a lower
prevalence of disease, they are testing people to prove they are negative
before they go back to work. That`s not happening in New York, because we
just can`t do it.
So until I know that I`m negative, I`m not going to reintegrate into my
family, because I have an immune compromised son.
So now we know – so I`m going back to work wearing a mask as I finish
talking about CDC and all standards of care, and being symptom free for
almost three weeks.
HAYES: So final question for you because Paul Romer was talking about this
earlier in the show, in terms of just health care workers, the folks that
work in the hospital with you – doctors, nurses and then also janitorial
staff and other support staff – is there enough testing that all those
folks can get tested if they need to, or is it still being rationed enough
that they can`t?
KASS: It`s not enough. There`s not even close to enough. I couldn`t tell
health care workers who are at home seeing me on telemedicine, you know,
how to easily get tests in New York City if they needed it. It`s very
variable based on the region they`re in, the hospital you work for, whether
or not you have testing facilities that were federally supported but now
aren`t federally supported, maybe they are federally supported.
There just definitively is not enough testing. And we know that, which is
why we need the federal government to take leadership in this aspect,
because without them we`re never going to be ahead of the testing and
surveillance we need, especially in a city as vast as New York City.
HAYES: All right. Dr. Dara Kass, it is great to see you feeling better and
on the recovery end of this, and thank you both for coming on and for all
your work. I appreciate it.
KASS: Thank you so much.
HAYES: Coming up, Trymaine Lee reports on the horror stories coming out of
America`s prisons and jails where people are unable to physically distance,
are facing down a pandemic. What`s happening behind bars next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: As we`ve reported here previously, one of the worst places to be
during this pandemic is locked up inside a prison or jail. In state, local,
and federal detention facilities around the country, the same horror story
is emerging, of the unchecked spread of infection and inmates essentially
being left to die.
Inside one federal facility in Ohio, where at least three prisoners have
been killed by the virus, one inmate with a smuggled smartphone recorded a
plea for help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was all good a couple days ago, right? So all of a
sudden out of the blue (EXPLETIVE DELETED) everybody just (EXPLETIVE
DELETED) dying and getting sick and (EXPLETIVE DELETED) like this
(EXPLETIVE DELETED) serious as (EXPLETIVE DELETED), like they literally
leaving us in here to die.
(EXPLETITIVE DELETED) you can social distance. We can`t social distance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: You can social distance, he says. We cannot social distance in
In the latest episode of his MSNBC podcast Into America, Trymaine Lee takes
a look at what being done to protect the people who live and work inside
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JJ VELAZQUEZ, INMATE AT SIN SING CORRECTIONAL FACILITY: The fear is real.
That`s all – like, prison is a place where like when this tension, you can
feel the tension in the air. You can feel the fear in the air. When you
walk around, it`s thick. It`s thick.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HAYES: Joining me now is MSNBC correspondent Trymaine Lee.
Trymaine, you talked to family members of those incarcerated including
people who are incarcerated. What did you hear?
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: I`ll tell you what, Chris, as the virus
continues to spread across the country, so is the fear, not just of the
folks inside of the facilities, but the families who essentially are
serving time with them. Now J.J. Velazquez, the man we heard that clip of,
he says that you can feel the tension and it`s so thick in the air, but
also that if folks on the outside can`t get access to testing and proper
health care and masks and protective gear, what makes you think anyone
could care about those on the inside of prisons.
Now we know all of us on the outside who are social distancing, creating
space between ourselves and other people, they don`t have that option.
They`re living in close quarters. The inmate population is the most
vulnerable population in America to disease. They`re more prone to getting
hepatitis and tuberculosis. But also, let`s not forget, we can kind of keep
them in their cells on their blocks, but every single day, staff,
correction officers are coming in and out of the prison.
So one of the main carriers of COVID-19 into the system are actually those
who work inside the building, not just the inmates.
HAYES: Yeah, and that`s – I mean, we`ve made this point before, but you`re
seeing it now, this is a perfect example. There`s 492 cases in Cooke County
jail in Chicago, two deaths, and if I`m not mistaken, I think about half of
those, a little more than half of those are inmates, and about 200 are
correction officials and others employees of the sheriffs.
It is not going to stay there, even if you don`t care about the moral worth
of people behind bars, which you should, the disease is not going to stay
there. There is people moving in and out.
LEE: Chris, I`ll tell you what is almost mind-boggling, but not really
because this is America and this is who we are, the Into America podcast
dropped last night at 5:00 p.m., I tweeted about it. And if you checked my
mentions people are saying they committed a crime. They deserve to be
there. Do you want to let them out and rape and murder? Send them to
Democratically run cities, never taking into account that there are people
who are working in these facilities who will be coming out into the
community day in and day out, visiting with their family members, who will
then spread the virus.
But also 95 percent of inmates currently, the 2.3 million people – of the
2.3 million trapped behind bars, 95 percent will at some point get out. So,
when we`re talking about this disease, it`s behooves all of us in the power
structure to really make sure that we`re taking care of folks, if not we`ll
all be paying the p rice for a very long time.
HAYES: And also to that point, I mean, obviously, there is a huge concern
in a lot of cities or jails, right. So, there are prisons where people are
serving longer sentences. Jails, there is huge turnover in those
populations. One of the people that died in Rikers, contracted the disease,
was there for a minor parole violation, caught the virus and then passed
away. This is someone who was pretrial, was on a minor parole violation.
And there are jails where people are cycling in and out throughout the
LEE: I mean, that`s obscene and tough on many levels. One, not that it
matters whether you`re innocent or guilty, if you`re in the charge of the
state, you should be taken care of.
But could you imagine being accused of a crime, landing in jail and then
not being protected and dying before you can have your day in court?
But across the country, some state prison systems are trying to make sure
that they limit the number of people who are transferred from the jail
system into the state system. So in Colorado where I spoke to the executive
director of the department of corrections, Dean Williams, he said they
tried to, you know, limit that transfer of inmates, but their first
positive COVID case this week was an inmate transfer from the Denver City
Jail into the state prison system, so it`s layered, it`s tricky and it`s
all around bad.
HAYES: Yeah, once it`s in there, it`s hard.
Trymaine Lee, thank you so much for joining us tonight.
LEE: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, the dangerous lies Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is telling
his constituents and what it means for him to keep churches open on one of
the most heavily attended services of the year, Easter Sunday, that`s next.
HAYES: Ron DeSantis is the Republican governor of Florida, a state where a
quarter of the population, a quarter, is older than 60, and even though the
state has a huge vulnerable population, the governor`s actions have
indicated that he does not have a very good grasp on the details of the
virus. Just listen to his wild assertion that he had yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): This particular pandemic is one where I don`t
think nationwide there`s been a single fatality under 25. For whatever
reason, it just doesn`t seem to threaten kids. Much more dangerous if
you`re 65 and plus than the flu, no doubt about that. If you`re younger, it
just hasn`t had an impact. So that should factor into how we`re viewing
this. I think the data on that has been 100 percent consistent. I`ve not
seen any deviation on that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: That assertion, no one under 25 has died, that is just flat-out
false. In fact, on this show we have covered people under the age of 25 who
have succumbed to the virus. A quick Google will pull that up.
It should not come as a surprise from Governor DeSantis, just hours after
issuing a statewide stay-at-home order, he also signed an exemption,
designating religious services, quote, essential activities and not
limiting the number of people who could attend the service, though he did
urge those to practice social distancing. I`m not exactly sure that gets
Some churches in Florida held services last weekend for Palm Sunday,
including a church in Orlando where the pastor told people, quote, “this is
not a time to hide, this is not a time to chicken out, this is not a time
to listen to online sermons only, this is a time to gather together in his
That church, along with others in Florida, plan on holding in-person Easter
services this weekend.
Joining me now is Florida`s commissioner of agriculture and consumer
services, Nikki Fried. She has been critical of the governor`s approach to
this for failing to lead. Commissioner, the governor says when he first
started on this, said look, it is not affecting everyone in the state. A
statewide order doesn`t make any sense. He then said, you know, it`s
important that people be able to sort of religiously observe. What do you
see is wrong with the approach he`s taken here?
NIKKI FRIED, FLORIDA COMMISSIONERS OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES:
You know, obviously, I`ve been very critical of his approach to all of
this. You know, I called on a shutdown almost two weeks prior to him
initiating it. And it is just dangerous. We were a piece-mealing approaches
throughout the entire time, and that`s just not how the state of Florida
works, that we needed the shutdown.
And to now allow for churches to stay open – look, we certainly are all
sympathetic of everybody wanting their religious opportunities, you know, I
celebrated passover via Zoom with my family on Wednesday night. But this is
a time for us all to take this seriously.
HAYES: Are you worried about that specifically? It does seem like the
religious exemption, which he explicitly carved out doesn`t limit the
amount of people that can attend services. Could, you know – we know that
sometimes one or two events can be really, really powerful in spreading the
FRIED: Yes, of course, you know, we are concerned. But it`s the same thing
we`ve been seeing time and time again, unfortunately, from the governor
And look, you know, this is not partisan. I don`t think anybody is
surprised, I`m a democrat, he is a Republican. But this isn`t partisan,
this is, our time to hold our leaders accountable and to call out, if there
has been a failure in leadership, and which is what we have seen from the
very start of this pandemic, up to his comments from yesterday, is really
And when we are as elected officials having to create policy, we`ve got to
be relying on data, and scientific information. And having misinformation
is very dangerous during this time period.
Words have consequences and matters. I oversee a program that feeds 2
million of our kids across the state of Florida . If I misspeak, kids go
hungry. I oversee $137 billion agriculture industry. If I misspeak, our
food chain has serious implications.
So our words matter, and this is no time for errors.
HAYES: One of the things that has come to the surface, we showed some
pictures I think earlier, mentioned Hialeah, where a whole bunch of people
had to come in person to get a printout for unemployment insurance. And
there`s been a lot of attention paid to the unemployment insurance system
in Florida. And the fact that it is very, very user-unfriendly. What is
going on there?
FRIED: It is a disaster. It is absolutely a disaster and something that not
only Governor DeSantis was warned about in 2019, but certainly, his
predecessor, now Senator Scott, knew that there was all of these problems
with the system.
We`re hearing horror stories of people being on the phone seven, eight
hours. The web site crashing. And so the response to all of that was giving
out paper applications. And so I saw those horror pictures out of Hialeah,
with hundreds and hundreds gathered in lines trying to get their paper
And so what you`re doing is you`re asking individuals to choose between
getting their unemployment benefits, and their health, and their safety.
And that`s just unacceptable. And this is something that is going to put a
lot of people in harm`s way.
HAYES: One of the things that I can`t get my head around as I`ve read into
this is that people have basically admitted that Rick Scott, who is now a
senator from Florida, previous governor, essentially engineered a system to
be as difficult as possible to keep the unemployment numbers down. This is
from some of the Politico reporting.
It`s an “S” sandwich. It was designed that way by Rick Scott, said one
DeSantis adviser, Republican Party of Florida Chairman Joe Gruters, was
more succinct, that someone should go to jail over that in terms of how
difficult it is to access.
Is that your understanding, too?
FRIED: Yeah, unfortunately that is the case. The state of Florida spent $77
million creating a system that was doomed to fail.
Again, there is over 600 different errors and violations that they heard
about in 2019, and zero actions were taken, until which time that
unfortunately people started getting fired and had to go on to the system.
And the fact that Governor DeSantis is trying to blame either his agency
director, or his predecessor, is again trying to not take ownership of the
crisis that`s going on here in the state of Florida.
HAYES: All right, commissioner of Florida Nikki Fried, thank you for making
some time tonight.
FRIED: Thank you for having me.
HAYES: That does it for All In on this Good Friday at the end of another
surreal and difficult week, for everyone. I hope all of you get some time
away. If you`re celebrating Easter, Happy Easter this weekend, 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
Copyright 2020 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>
Copyright 2020 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the