US cases top 604,000+ TRANSCRIPT: 4/14/20, All In w/ Chris Hayes

Nancy Pelosi, London Breed, Mark Poznansky, Ben Wikler


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: I appreciate it. Strong final words from our

experts. Thanks to each of you. That does it for me. Thanks for staying

with our special coverage. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes is up next.


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

Tonight, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi will join

me here to discuss how does a nation come back from the coronavirus as the

president tries to steer the country towards a premature reopening and

repeat mistakes the administration`s failed to response to the crisis.


We also had happened in the last few months, right, three absolutely deadly

errors made from the beginning of the pandemic by the president and his

administration. One, just not taking the virus seriously enough. Not

appreciating what a dangerous novel virus it is from the beginning. Two,

not having adequate testing capacity. And three, thinking that the problem

to be managed is the economy as if that is somehow separate from the public

health emergency of fighting the virus.


Those mistakes, those mistakes gave us the whole disastrous response from

the White House. The failed test kits, the utter inability for weeks to

ramp up testing, to know where the virus was and how prevalent it was. The

fact that they took way too long to begin to recommend social distancing.

The fact the president during this entire period, as the virus was

spreading, would come out and do a series of song and dance routines to

pump up the stock market as if that was the goal instead of taking action

on the virus, right? All those errors are what got us to this point.


Right now, there are almost 30,000 Americans who`ve lost their lives. It`s

an incomprehensible toll. The New York City death toll alone shot past

10,000 today, just in New York City, after a revised count added 3,700

additional people who had not been counted. And today, the daily toll of

fatalities is the highest daily number that we`ve had so far. All of that

is crushing.


We know though if there`s some bright silver lining to find here, that

death and fatality is a lagging indicator in battling this pandemic, and

there definitely is some seriously good news in the data elsewhere.

Hospitalizations, for instance, have fallen in New York. Other places like

Maryland appear to have reached their peak.


But as we are trying to get through the worst of it, right now, it appears

the Trump administration is literally remaking all the same mistakes, the

same three mistakes they made at the beginning. Nearly three months after

we got our first play case, still to this date, the president still fails

to truly appreciate just how transmissible and dangerous the virus is.


He said on opening up the country as soon as possible. He floated Easter a

few weeks ago. And all the experts say, if you just open up – back up

without a plan, the virus is going to come back and then we will be right

back where we started. And what do you think the stock market is going to

do with that?


Every expert from Trump`s former FDA chief, to the Yale professors who

wrote this in USA Today laying out how they would open up the country, to

basically every doctor, epidemiologist, and public experts who has been on

this show for weeks insisting we need to massively scale up widespread

available testing if we want to open the country back up. In fact, here`s

what Dr. Anthony Fauci told The Associated Press just today.



DISEASES: I think if we are assuming that two weeks from now that all the

curves are going to be down, I think that`s, you know, a bit overly

optimistic. I think how you reopen, if you want to use that word, the

economy in those communities is going to depend a lot on the ability to

contain what we know will happen. I`ll guarantee you. Once you start

pulling back, there will be infections. It`s how you deal with the

infection that`s going to count.




HAYES: There will be infections. That`s Dr. Fauci talking about just how

transmissible and dangers the virus is. Not thinking best-case scenario,

thinking worst-case scenario, and yet here we are three months into this,

Trump is still trying to think best-case scenario.


Number two, once again, testing remains the major problem. Now, we ramped

up testing quite a bit, but we have now plateaued in the level that we are

testing out. And the New York Times has this devastating report about all

the bottlenecks and the inefficiencies that are slowing down testing all

over the country. But get this, while everyone is saying we need to test,

and when you test widely, and it`s an Apollo moon mission to get to the

amount of testing we need, the President himself just said, there`s no need

for testing in areas of the country where there`s only a small number of



That is the opposite of the truth. That`s the whole thing, the whole thing

about the virus, right? Everyplace starts with a small number of cases,

then it grows. That`s why you need testing. And then the third and final

error, it`s been clear from the very beginning, very clear, painfully clear

that the president has focused on what this pandemic means for him

personally in his political fortunes, his reelection.


And he views his political fortunes as tied to the state of the economy. So

when the stock market started to crater because of fears about the

pandemic, Trump was mad. He wanted to bring the markets back up instead of

fighting the virus and letting the markets take care of themselves after

the virus was vanquished.


And now, he is watching an unprecedented economic contraction which is

genuinely awful, brutal, miserable, great depression level during this

pandemic. And he now wants to just bring the economy back as if that`s some

separate thing other than the virus, just like he did back in late February

when the expert consensus back then was we needed to move to mitigation and

social distancing and lockdowns.


New York Times reports on the evidence of the failed response documented in

the so-called Red Dawn e-mails. The top Disaster Response official at

Health and Human Services decided on February 24th to recommend to Mr.

Trump, he publicly support the start of those mitigation efforts such as

school closings. But before they could discuss it with the president who

was returning from India, another official went public of the warning

sending the stock market down sharply and angering Mr. Trump.


The meeting to brief him on the recognition was canceled and it was three

weeks before Mr. Trump would reluctantly come around to the need for

mitigation. The administration did nothing. And so now, the president has

appointed a task force of unqualified lackeys who want to reopen the

economy without even one like health voice. That`s the problem, right? The

public health part of it is the problem.


Politico reports for now the council is expected to include White House

chief of staff Mark Meadows, National Economic Council Director Larry

Kudlow, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Vice President Mike Pence who is

not expected to play a leading role. But it`s just the same mistake,

literally the same mistake all over again.


He was late to act. Thousands of people have died. Now he wants to be too

early and risked the same disaster. We all want the nation to reopen. We

need a national strategy to do that. Thanks to this president, that is

completely absent once again. I mean there`s a lot we do not know about

this virus. We just don`t know everything about it, and it`s frustrating. A

lot we do not know about – and there`s internal debate amongst very smart

people about a lot of things. But there are some crystal clear ears of

consensus just as there were back in February. And once again the president

is ignoring them.


It`s very clear we`re in the midst of an entirely unprecedented economic

contraction. One that could even surpass the Great Depression in some ways.

And the federal government is going to have to do much more to cushion the

blow. And there`s already intense jockeying over what the next piece of

legislation will be.


Republicans led by Donald Trump and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell just want

to add extra money to the small business fund which is quickly running out

without working with Democrats. They want to jam Democrats essentially and

not allow them to add anything else to it. But Democrats have a whole host

of priorities they want to make sure are included.


The person who will most determine what happens next more than any other

single person really is the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Democratic

of California, I`m happy to say joins me now. Speaker, it`s great to have

you from what looks like or your house. I want to start with a Dear

Colleague letter that you wrote today. You just sent it to your colleagues.


It`s a kind of setting the record straight letter. I`ll quote part of you -

- a part of it from you. “The truth is a weak person, a poor leader takes

no responsibility, a weak person blames others.” You also record many of

the missteps of the Trump administration. Why do you – why do you feel

it`s important to send this letter?


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): During the Easter weekend, I had more time for

prayer and reflection. And it just bothered me so that so many lives were

at stake, so much livelihood on the table, and just that I had to say

something. Now, for a long time, we tried to be as apolitical as possible,

working together. The American people want that. But the fact is that if

you ignore the facts and you ignore the truth, you cannot possibly solve

the problem.


We need – our first bill that we passed – we had passed three bills in a

bipartisan way in the month of March. The first one, we prepared in

February and brought to the floor at the beginning of March, testing,

testing, testing. It passed the House on March 4th, but we`re still not

where we need to be on testing more than a month later. Testing and trying

to identify what the problem is, and what it means into our communities of

color and the rest having that documented.


Other issue – other initiatives that the president failed to take but

saying that he did. Telling his supporters it was a hoax and it would

magically go away. Lives are at stake, people are dying. And so we were at

risk of it looking – people said it look political if you say this, and I

said well, if lives are at stake, and looks political to insist on the

truth, so be it.


HAYES: Is it true – you just refer to these three bipartisan bills, and I

want to get into some of those negotiations. On the last one, that $2.2

trillion package, my understanding from the reporting was that you were

speaking – negotiating directly with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Is

it true that you and the president have not spoken personally in months, I

think? Is that correct?


PELOSI: Probably since the State of the Union Address, you remember that.

But I only speak to the President –


HAYES: I do.


PELOSI: It`s a historic event when the Speaker of the House and the

President have a conversation, has to have preparation, has to have a goal,

and again it makes history. I didn`t see any opportunity for any of that.

However, we do need to work together for the lot – to save the lives of

American people, the livelihood of the American people, and quite frankly,

the life of our democracy itself. All of that is at stake what is happening



HAYES: There seems to me – I mean, obviously, I think there`s consensus

that there is going to be more legislation needed from Congress even after

that large – very large bill. Mitch McConnell says the payroll protection

program which is for small businesses which they said was going to be first

come first serve and has had huge administrative headaches and lots of

people have had a hard time, but that it`s going to run out of money. Let`s

just pass $250 billion clean, just that. Why do you not want to just do

that? What is – what are your priorities for this next piece of



PELOSI: Well, let me say that CARES One – we`re getting ready for CARES

Two, but cares one was a bill that had many good features. We were

successful working together House and Senate Democrats in changing it from

the corporate triple down bill to a worker`s first pull up bill. Part of it

is a paycheck protection program which is very important.


However, I will not allow anything to perpetuate the disparity and access

to capital that exists in our country. And so what they said, first come

first so over just serving the customers that we know at the bank. Well,

what happens to our underbanked folks? So last week, when they came, they

asked for a quarter of a trillion dollars in 48 hours. I said, well, I

don`t think so. Let`s see how we can open this up to many more people.


So Chuck Schumer and I, and this all happen on the Senate side, and I

congratulate the Senate Democrats, they went to the floor when Mitch

McConnell went in for his 250, and they said they objected. And then they

said, we have another proposal which opens the door to the underbanked.

There`s $60 billion, 10 percent of what they were asking for to be used for

community development, financial institutions who knows the neighborhood,

know the language, know the culture, know that people, know that the

businesses to enable them to participate in the paycheck protection



In addition to that, we still gave them half the money, $125 billion, but

we use some other for this initiative, and also for the grant and other

loan programs that benefited everyone. OK, so then we also said, while

we`re at it what we desperately need is support for state and local

government as well as for hospital. This is urgent. And they just said no.

They only were going for the 250. We said, let`s negotiate. Let`s see how

we can come to some conclusion that will benefit all of the needs, the

underbanked, the hospitals, the state and local governments who are

carrying enormous burdens.


And also the hospitals still talking about testing with the imperative for

us to have the data, the racial data that is in there so that we see how

this is affecting everyone in our community. So we were not going to let

all this money that is spent because of the Coronavirus crisis which is

heartbreaking, the number of people who have died or others have lost their

loved ones and the rest. But we could not allow the big money that was put

to fight it to perpetuate disparity and access to capital and access to



HAYES: So what I`ve heard from your priorities in terms of access to

capital, and I know that that this has really been a concern for lots of

small businesses in in lots of communities particularly immigrant

communities, African-American communities –


PELOSI: For a long time.


HAYES: Yes. So that – the state – money for the states and hospitals, all

that I get. I wanted to talk about two other things that people have been

talking about which are sort of adjacent to the virus itself as priorities.

One of them is, it seems possible that the Post Office which has been

around since the country`s founding just goes under? Like it`s just a

victim of the coronavirus and we don`t have one anymore. Is that a

realistic possibility and what needs to be done to stop that?


PELOSI: Well, in the negotiations on CARE One, we put forth an initiative

of $20 billion for the post office in recognition of their ongoing needs,

but also that they were delivering so much to people`s homes now, that we

were advocating vote by mail, and that requires more – and that may be why

the Republicans are against them.


But the fact is that we offer 2o, they came down to three. We worked it up

to $6 billion. It`s not enough but something, but that went just like a

piece of mail, right to the president`s doorstep, and he said no. This was

personal in my view when that was reported back to me from those

renegotiating it that the president said no to the Postal Service. What

could he be thanking? So many that will have to –


HAYES: Wait a second. Wait a second. Can I just – can I ask you to spell

out your – sorry, Speaker. Can I ask you to spell out the implication

there? What is your – what are you saying there? That he bears a grudge

against the Post Office because of his fixation with Jeff Bezos and then

delivering for Amazon and the Washington Post which some people have

speculated? What are you saying?


PELOSI: Don`t ever ask me to psych out the president – this President of

the United States. That`s for others for to do.


HAYES: OK, fair enough.


PELOSI: I have to cope with the consequences, but I cannot (INAUDIBLE) but

it is something that has to be stopped. This is – Postmaster General was

one of the first cabinet officers in our – in our country, in the

beginning of our country. Mail is so important to America`s families. So we

really are going to have to have another discussion about that.


There has been bipartisan support in this regard. And that`s why we thought

could negotiate a number until the president himself said no. But again,

this is just one of many consequences that we have of the shall we say

truth matters. What is the truth here? What is it that is the problem the

president had? Perhaps we can make some adjustments and fix it.


But again, the public has to know for a long time now, mistakes have been

made. OK, that was then, let`s go into the future. But if you don`t learn

from your mistakes, you have to insist upon the truth in order to go

forward. And you cannot go forward unless we have testing, testing,

testing. Unless you have a documentation of how that is affecting

communities, unless you like the data from how this money is spent in terms

of the paycheck protection program which we fully support, but let`s make

it be fair, and also inclusive so that everyone can participate in it.


Those are small businesses. We shall loot solve business entrepreneurship.

And many of them are newer, younger, or newer in terms of being minority-

owned, Native American, in rural America, veterans. So many elements of our

economy who are brave, courageous, and optimistic to start a business just

don`t have a banking relationship sufficient enough to be in first come

first serve.


HAYES: Two more topics I just want to get to and I – and then I will let

you go. But first on oversight, because it obviously is extremely

important. $2.2 trillion pushed out the door, $500 billion Steve Mnuchin

has tremendous discretion. The president immediately signing the

legislation with a signing statement essentially X-ing out many of the

oversight provisions you put in.


There`s one person appointed to that sort of oversight panel right now who

was just profiled and doesn`t verified Twitter account. Do you and Congress

have the capacity to actually make sure this is not incompetently or

corruptly distributed?


PELOSI: Well, we have to. In addition to the panel that you reference, and

that would be in place, I have named a select committee on the corona –

the challenge of the coronavirus. And my colleague, the Democratic whip Mr.

Cochran is the chair of that. That is predicated on a committee called the

Truman Committee that the then-Senator Truman instituted during World War

II, at the start – at the very beginning of World War II.


He said at the time 116 investigative committees performed to investigate

the defense spending on World War I. So he said, how much better it would

be in World War II to have an investigative committee at the time.


HAYES: Right.


PELOSI: And so it would be to fight waste, fraud, abuse, price gouging,

profiteering, and the rest. And that is what this committee is modeled off

of that, and it will have investigative authority, subpoena power. And that

– I don`t know why Republicans take offense at it. Why wouldn`t they want

to fight waste, fraud, abuse, price gouging, and profiteering off of the

taxpayer dollar which is destined to fight the coronavirus as it attacks

the lives, the livelihood of the American people?


HAYES: Final question for you is just about the urgency and timeline here.

I mean, someone raised the idea of remote voting, right? I mean, you`ve got

– you`ve got Congress, got 435 people, they come into a room. There`s all

kinds of staffing around each other. Everybody right now is physically

distancing. It`s very hard to make Congress work.


People raise the idea of virtual voting with you. You said, that that was

not going to happen. And then Steny Hoyer said this. Members are advised

that absent in an emergency, the House is not expected to meet prior to

Monday, May 4th, 2020 which is a long time away. And also, I think a lot of

people read that and said, what do you call this now if not an emergency?


PELOSI: Well, it is an emergency, but the distinguished leader was

referencing in terms of urgency of passing a bill. We do think there is

that urgency, but we have to get some agreement on part of the Republicans

that something the president will sign. We need that signature after all.


But here`s the thing, because you raised it and then you poke one thing

that I said. What I said is we`re giving a task the chairman of the Rules

Committee and the chairwoman, that would be Jim McGovern and Zoe Lofgren,

the chair of the House Administration Committee. The two Committees have

jurisdiction to present options to us, what is allowed under the

Constitution, under the rules of the House, what is possible

technologically. But we haven`t gotten to that.


But on this Thursday, Jim McGovern will be making a report on what he sees

as some of the options. People think we can do Congress by Zoom. Zoom is a

Chinese entity that we`ve been told not to even trust the security of. So

there are challenges. It`s not as easy as you would think. Are there other

options of proxy voting and the rest which other people tell me have

constitutional problems?


So is not as easy as you might think. And when we do it, we`re going to do

it right. But in the meantime, we hope that we will have testing, end this,

and then be able to come at least in the numbers necessary of a quorum in

order to do the work, the people`s work.


In the meantime, I`m so proud of our members. They`re all working very hard

24/7, telemeetings, meetings with community folks, smaller telemeetings and

the rest so that every single day we have hours of feedback from them as to

what is happening out there, how are the initiatives that are out there so

far are working or not working. But all of them committed to saving lives,

insisting on the truth to do so, and again, opening up to our economy when

health folks tell us the time is right.


HAYES: All right –


PELOSI: Congratulations on your new show.


HAYES: Thank you. My new show from the remote location. Thank you very

much. It`s great to have you, Speaker.


PELOSI: Thank you. My pleasure.


HAYES: The Speaker`s home state of California was one of the earliest hit

by the coronavirus including the emergence of community spread in the early

days, some of the earliest days in the U.S. outbreak. But San Francisco, a

city that could have seen the kind of numbers New York is grappling with

now, the outbreak has been much less severe.


Instead, that city has had just under 1,000 confirmed cases with about 15

deaths. And there is probably a lot of reasons for that, but one big reason

for that is the mayor. I`m joined now by someone who took some of the

earliest actions in the country to fight the virus, San Francisco Mayor

London Breed. She declared a state of emergency in February and ordered

residents to shelter in place on March 16th.


Mayor, tell me about how San Francisco`s doing and what your understanding

is for why the trajectory of this – of this virus in your city has been so

much less severe and less deadly than it has been in others?



we focused on this issue early on, even as early as conversations about

what was happening in Wuhan, China in November of last year. And we

operated our emergency operation center in January of this year. We kept a

sharp eye on what was going on.


We knew that the possibility of a pandemic could exist in our city, and so

we wanted to be prepared. And this is not unfamiliar territory for San

Francisco where we have had to lead the charge on our own in the absence of

support from the federal government.


In fact, the AIDS crisis is a clear example in the 1980s when San Francisco

was ignored by the federal government and wasn`t provided with the support

that we needed to lead our city out of at that time something that no one

else wanted to touch.


And in fact the public health experts in our Department of Public Health,

they stayed on it, they kept at it, and now we are known as a place that

people look to as it relates to research and science and facts and data for

all sorts of public health challenges that exist. So we were paying very

close attention to this and using facts and data to guide our decisions.


HAYES: Because you have had success policy-wise in your city, and it seems

to me that San Francisco is one of those places, California perhaps more

broadly, where there is going to be pressure to open back up. And that

pressure I think is felt by everyone all the time. People want to get back

to their lives. How are you thinking through that decision and those

calculations and those balancing the various imperatives?


BREED: Well, I do think it`s important that we also remind people of

history. The Spanish flu in San Francisco in 1918 when the city had a big

party and threw away their masks and celebrated, and then a few days later,

2,000 people died. We can`t let up. We have to stay focused on doing what`s

necessary to get through this.


And just because San Francisco is being praised for flattening the curve,

we`re not there yet. We still have people who are being diagnosed every

single day, and they have the ability to transition that to other people.

So we want to be very careful about you know what we see as a success,

because as we can see at any given moment, an outbreak can occur in one of

our shelters like it just did. It could happen in one of our congregate

living settings.


And so we cannot let up just because for some reason we believe that we`re

in a better place. We need to get through this and we need to be even more

diligent than ever.


HAYES: But what is through this mean? I mean, you say, we cannot let up.

You know there`s some public – something published today I think by some

researchers at Harvard who talked about social distancing intermittently

through 2021, 2022. I mean, there is a breaking point, right? Like the city

of San Francisco can`t be indoors for the next nine months, right?


BREED: Let`s hope not.


HAYES: There`s some point at which – right. I mean, I guess the question

is like, how are you thinking that through? I get – I get that you`re

saying look, let`s not take our foot off the gas right now. It`s really

important we vanquish this thing. But there is something after that right?


BREED: Of course, there`s something after that. I started a task force to

talk specifically about the recovery from our economic health here in San

Francisco. We`re estimated to have a budget deficit of anywhere between

$1.1 and $1.7 billion. Instantly, when we open the city back up, people

aren`t just going to start visiting. So we know financially we need to

start recovery now.


But we`re also working with UCSF on contract – contact tracing so that we

can start to figure out the people who are been infected, who`ve they been

in contact with, getting more people tested, and trying to defuse this

sooner rather than later, looking at various approaches because we know

that we want to open up as soon as we possibly can. But we need to do it

responsibly. We need to prepare.


We need to look at – as our governor talked about, Gavin Newsom, today,

the regulations around restaurants and what that might mean in terms of

changing the configuration, changing the capacity at different places. We

definitely simultaneously to managing this public health crisis, we need to

here for what will happen after this is over as we gradually reopen and as

we gradually try to get back to some level of normal as we knew it before



HAYES: How much are you in contact with other mayors, with other leaders on

this? How much sort of collaborative – I know that when you had that

shelter in place order it was larger than San Francisco. It was a number of

surrounding counties – how much of those conversations are happening?


BREED: Well, I talk to, on a regular basis, a couple of days per week, to

the big city mayors here in California, the largest populations. We are on

our phone calls regularly where we are discussing these challenges, where

we`re helping one another. Mayor Sam Liccardo was one of the first to

institute a moratorium in San Jose against evictions – for residential

evictions. And we did that here in San Francisco and it`s spread all over

the state of California.


There are other mayors that are doing incredible work. And we are

continuing to work with one another. Mayors from all over the countries,

they`ve reached out to me, I`ve reached out to them. There are regular

conversations. We`re sharing our ordinances on the cap that we put on

delivery services for food. We`ve shared that ordinance with other mayors

in the country.


We have been working really together, because in the absence of what we

feel is a more\ coordinated federal response, we are on the front lines

every single day doing what we can to protect the public, and I think

that`s really where the fight is happening.


But we definitely need more resources, we definitely need more support and

we shouldn`t be fighting with other cities who should be our partners in

our effort to get things like testing and PPE. And we all need all of those

things. And the federal government should be working collaboratively to

make sure that everyone is getting what they need when they need it,

because people are in different stages of this situation, of this pandemic

at different times.


That`s why, again, you know, sending ventilators to New York or receiving

N95 masks from other places, this is so critical to the success of making

sure that we combat this pandemic together. Mayors and governors are on the

front lines of protecting the people of this country. And it is very

challenging because of the issues that continue to persist.


And the federal government, I know you just talked to our Speaker Nancy

Pelosi, who is really an incredible leader in fighting the good night, and

it is continuing to be a battle, but one we will not back down from.


HAYES: All right, Mayor London Breed of the great city of San Francisco,

thank you so much for being with me.


BREED: Thank you.


HAYES: Coming up, what the expedited time line for a COVID vaccine is

looking like. What we know about what`s in the works and why it takes as

long as it does, after this.




HAYES: In a weird way, it kind of feels like the 2020 general election

started today, and that`s because after Bernie Sanders left the race, and

endorsed Joe Biden yesterday, the most popular Democratic politician in the

country came out with his endorsement today.





we`ve learned as a country from moments of great crisis, it`s that the

spirit of looking out for one another can`t be restricted to our homes or

our workplaces or our neighborhoods or our houses of worship, it also has

to be reflected in our national government. The kind of leadership that`s

guided by knowledge and experience, honesty and humility, empathy and

grace. That kind of leadership doesn`t just belong in our state capitals

and mayor`s offices, it belongs in the White House.


And that`s why I`m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for president of the

United States.




HAYES: In a 12-minute message, it was really striking to hear from the

president, President Barack Obama, this morning. One of the most gifted

political communicators of our time, maybe of all time just cogently making

the case for his vice president Joe Biden, and to praise Bernie Sanders and

embrace his supporters as well, and to really condemn the modern Republican

Party`s nihilism.




OBAMA: Bernie`s an American original, a man who has devoted his life to

giving voice to working people`s hopes, dreams, and frustrations. And the

ideas he`s championed, the energy and enthusiasm he inspired, especially in

young people, will be critical in moving America in a direction of progress

and hope, because one thing everybody has learned by now is that the

Republicans occupying the White House and running the U.S. Senate are not

interested in progress, they`re interested in power.


So our country`s future hangs on this election. And it won`t be easy. The

other side has a massive war chest. The other side has a propaganda network

with little regard for the truth.


On the other hand, pandemics have a way of cutting through a lot of noise

and spin to remind us of what is real and what is important. This crisis

has reminded us that government matters, that having leaders who are

informed and honest and seek to bring people together rather than drive

them apart, those kind of leaders matter.




HAYES: Yesterday, we got results from our first mid-pandemic election in

Wisconsin. It was a public health disaster, but it also delivered an

absolutely terrifying political message to the Republican Party, to Donald

Trump and the White House. We`re going to talk about that and how it

happened next.




HAYES: So one week ago, as we reported here, the Republican-controlled

legislature in Wisconsin, backed up by both the state and the federal

Supreme Courts, insisted on holding their statewide election in the middle

of the pandemic with really no special or extraordinary dispensation for

folks. And predictably, it was a crazy scene.


In Milwaukee, only five polling places were open out of the usual 180,

because there weren`t enough available poll workers. So we saw huge lines

of people waiting to vote in masks, some expressing their frustration with

signs like this one that went viral saying, appropriately, “this is

ridiculous.” The Republican state assembly speaker wore a mask, gloves and

a protective gown to tell everyone it was, quote, incredibly safe to go



Basically the whole thing was a travesty for public health, and also a

shockingly cynical move by state Republicans. They clearly thought that

holding this race amidst a pandemic would suppress turnout and then help

their chances in the hotly contested battle for a state Supreme Court seat,

with a conservative incumbent endorsed by the president.


I mean, they basically tried to say to the voters of Milwaukee and

Wisconsin, your vote or your life. And it backfired, astonishingly, the

liberal challenger for that Supreme Court seat, Jill Karofsky, won by 10

percentage points. She ousted the conservative incumbent, overall turnout

was down from 2016. And around 80 percent of all votes were cast were

absentee, thankfully.


But Democrats won the seat, a genuinely shocking result in a state that is

as tightly contested as any in the nation. I mean, Wisconsin is widely

viewed by election watchers as what they call the tipping point state, the

one state whose outcome will most reflect and determine who wins the

national presidential election in November.


Donald Trump won that state by just under 23,000 votes in 2016. Jill

Karofsky, the Supreme Court candidate, she just won her seat by over

160,000 votes. So, this has to be a very, very scary result for Donald

Trump and the Republican Party.


Joining me now is Ben Wikler. He`s the chair of the Democratic Party of

Wisconsin, which put a lot of work into this.


How did this result happen, Ben?



have no excuse absentee voting, but you have to upload a photo of your

voter ID and then get a witness to sign your ballot envelope to cast your

ballot. And we sued in court, Democrats sued in court, to change those

rules, and ultimately to try to postpone the election and switch to a vote

by mail election where everyone receives a ballot in the mail, and

Republicans said no. And they sued to our state Supreme Court and the

national Supreme Court to stop people from getting a little extra time and

a little extra relief to vote safely. And they`re doing it again right now.


It is hard to believe.


HAYES: So, let me – let me ask you this as a final question, I mean, you

know, in taking the political temperature of the country. You know, we have

polling. We`ve got approval ratings and things like that, then you`ve got

these special elections. And I remember, I think it was last year or two

years ago, when there was a seat open, Brian Haggard (ph) was the

conservative won that, and he won by 3 points. And it was a bummer for

Democrats there and for progressive activists that fought against him.


What does this say to you about the sort of political temperature of your

hotly contested state, this result?


WIKLER: What I see across the state, we`ll be here in the gigantic number

of calls that we make, in the calls that flow into our voter protection

hot-line, is a level of intensity of feeling, of conviction, that we have

got to change that we`ve never seen at this point in an election year.


Last year, Democrats actually bumped up their turnout, and Republicans

jumped theirs by 30 percent and won by 5,981 votes, a tiny, tiny margin out

of more than a million votes cast. This year, Republicans jumped their

turnout again to get out their vote for Trump, but we over-topped them with

a massive, massive surge.


This is going to be the most hard fought election you can imagine. We`re

organizing around the clock. If you want to support it, you can go to I should add and


We`re going to be trying to get the absentee ballot into the hands of every

single person who is eligible and ready to vote against Donald Trump in the

fall, because this battle is going to go to the very last second.


HAYES: All right, Ben Wikler, chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party,

thank you so much.


WIKLER: Thank you.


HAYES: Coming up, the only way to really get back to normal – normal,

normal – normal, normal, normal – is a vaccine. When will it be ready?

We`ll talk to a researcher working on one potential vaccine next.




HAYES: Today, two of the biggest vaccine producers in the world, Sanfi and

GlaxoSmithKline, announced that they are collaborating to produce a vaccine

for Coronavirus. Bloomberg reports that drug makers plan to start human

trials in the second half of this year with a goal of having a vaccine

available the second half of 2021 if the studies are successful.


Based on that time line, it will take just over a year. And that can sound

very frustrating, because all of the experts seem to agree that life cannot

go back to the pre-Coronavirus normal as we know it until we have a



What do we make of this race to find a vaccine? And why do vaccines take so



Joining me now to get some clarity on this subject is Dr. Mark Poznansky.

He directs the vaccine and immunotherapy center at Massachusetts General

Hospital, is leading a team that is also working on developing a

Coronavirus vaccine, and they hope to begin animal testing some time next



I understand, doctor, of course this is difficult stuff, but why does it –

why are we talking 18 months here when we`re talking about the time line

for this vaccine, given how urgently it`s needed?



question, and obviously on the – you know, a lot of people want to know

the answer to that who aren`t in vaccine development. But the truth is one

of the key aspects of vaccines are that they`ve got to be safe. These are

agents that you are giving to potentially millions of people and therefore

any signal that indicates that there`s a safety issue is going to be, you

know, it`s going to be a problem.


So part of the time that it takes to develop vaccines is because you have

to make sure that they`re safe first, that they`re effective, and that you

can administer them safely to millions of people and that takes time.


HAYES: Right. That is such – that`s such an obvious point, I suppose, that

I hadn`t quite clicked into my head, right, because of course like what a

vaccine is, is you`re introducing this foreign agent into someone so that

they produce antibodies. And if you screw that up, like you do not want to

be infecting millions of people. So the sort of safety parameter is very

high for this undertaking is what you are saying.




And the, you know, history has shown that vaccines can go all the way to

safety testing and then fail at that point. So, given the most important

hurdle we`ve got to get these properly scientifically data-driven over that

hurdle and then introduce for efficacy studies in humans.


HAYES: So when someone – I saw this in Bloomberg, too, Sarah Gilbert (ph)

who is a professor of vaccinology at Oxford told The Times on Saturday that

she`s 80 percent confident the vaccine would work and could be ready by

September. You`re saying that`s just not – you don`t – that`s just not a

realistic time line given the safety issues involved.


POZNANSKY: Well, I don`t – that`s not true, because if she thinks that,

from a safety point of view, it could be ready, and she may know stuff

about the safety profile of that vaccine or the vaccines of that type of

design, then, you know, we could be hopeful and optimistic about that.


I mean, one of the great points of optimism in COVID-19 vaccines is the

fact that lots of people are going after this particular target in multiple

different ways. That`s a good thing. That`s one of the strengths that we

have against this virus, which is the diversity of the way that we think

about combating it and beating it.


HAYES: So final thing is – so what I`m hearing from you is the time-line

here is getting something that you could start testing isn`t the long part

of this, it`s the making sure the thing actually works over iterations of

clinical trials that`s the really tough part.


POZNANSKY: That`s the really tough part. And that`s also why we have to

partner early with industry. And in our case, we partnered with a couple of

companies, Voltron (ph) and Hoth (ph), they do it because when you start

thinking about a vaccine and scaling it up to millions and scaling it up to

do safety and efficacy, you`ve got to have industry along the way with you

in order to achieve that.


HAYES: All right, Dr. Mark Poznansky, who took some time away from working

on the vaccine, which we will let him get back to you right now, thank you

very much.


POZNANSKY: Thank you very much, indeed. Thank you.


HAYES: That is ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts

right now. Good evening, Rachel.







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