prison inmates have died TRANSCRIPT: 4/10/20, All In w/ Chris Hayes

Ezra Klein, Paul Romer, Jeremy Konyndyk, Nikki Fried, Dara Kass


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

also deadly.


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.




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.




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.




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.




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

distancing continues.


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






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.




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.


HAYES: Right.


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

there, right.


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

time tonight.


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.






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





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.



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

federal leadership.


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 –

it`s bonkers.


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

can be.


A nurse in Tennessee recorded this first-person account of her symptoms.




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.




HAYES: And that`s just one of the stories of a front-line worker surviving

the Coronavirus.


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?



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

pretty terrible.


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

go in.


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.


HAYES: Right.


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.






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.




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.




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

these facilities.





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.




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

entire country.


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.




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.




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?



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

dangerous information.


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.







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