WHO TRANSCRIPT: 4/16/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes

Guests:
Roy Cooper, Ashish Jha, Joia Mukherjee, Hakeem Jeffries, Madeleine Albright
Transcript:

 

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: You can find me tomorrow on “THE BEAT” at 6:00 p.m.

Eastern or in this slot. I`m going to be filling in tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.

Eastern for coronavirus special coverage. But don`t go anywhere because up

next is “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes.

 

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

Perhaps you`ve noticed a small but growing chorus, a loud chorus arguing it

is time to move on from this pandemic, get back to our old way of life

immediately, throw the doors open to the economy. That anything less than

that is just tyranny.

 

It`s a case being made at these predominantly Conservative protests that

have broken out in a few states where you can find plenty of Trump gear,

along with guns and the occasional Confederate flag flown in Michigan of

all places. Now, these protests are being organized by some of the same

right-wing interests that were behind the Tea Party protests against

President Barack Obama.

 

And where do you think these protesters get these ideas? Well, today, the

president unveiled his guidelines for, “opening up America again.” The

plan, if you want to call that, is 18 pages. It may have some states

effectively reopening in a month. And here`s the thing. The President does

not want states to ease into this. He thinks we can make a full-on return

to normal.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There`s not going to be a new

normal where somebody has been having for 25 years 158 seats in a

restaurant, and now he`s got 30 or he`s got 60 because that wouldn`t work.

That`s not normal. No. Normal will be if he has the 158 or 68 seats, and

that`s going to happen, and it`s going to happen relatively quickly, we

hope. But that`s our normal. Our normal is if you have 100,000 people in an

Alabama football game.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: 100,000 people in Alabama football game. I mean, that is our pre-

coronavirus normal with no social distancing. But that seems like an

unrealistic promise if you think that`s going to happen this fall. I should

tell you, on a call with governors today, the president who had previously

insisted he had total authority, told the governors to call your own shots.

So we will see how his plan plays out state by state.

 

But the push to reopen is out of sync incredibly enough with what a vast

majority of Americans believe. The poll released yesterday I found

fascinating. 81 percent of registered voters, 81 percent said we should

keep social distancing for as long as necessary, even if it means continued

damage to the economy. Just 10 percent said we should stop.

 

Americans are actually pretty unified on this in a very divided country,

and they have good reason to be. Donald Trump claims we have passed the so-

called peak of infections, but that is far from clear, unfortunately. In

fact, there`s reasonably that new cases in the U.S. have plateaued only

because the country is at a ceiling in its testing capacity.

 

So far, the U.S. says more than 665,000 confirmed cases, more than $34,000

from the virus. That is almost certainly under account due to our lack of

widespread testing. The reason people don`t want to stop social distancing

is that people continue to have a very rational fear of this virus, because

we do not know who has it. And if you just have people go back to work,

they`re going to get sick, and some of them will die. And no one wants

that.

 

I mean, look at what happened at Smithfield Foods, a pork processor. This

is just a case study in what it looks like when you try to stick to

business as usual. A single Smithfield plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota,

one plant, has become the largest coronavirus hotspot in the entire nation.

644 confirmed cases tied to just that facility. That`s what you get if you

ignore the virus.

 

And when people are scared of infection, you`re not going to have a

functioning economy, no matter how many elected officials tell people to

get back out there. The only thing that could change that equation, at

least until we get a vaccine is widespread testing.

 

I mean, think about it this way. Let`s say you had a big party planned for

August or September, a wedding or fundraiser or a big anniversary party

with 100 people that you`re going to invite. And you really want to have

that party. You`ve been planning it for a while.

 

And let`s say the government says, go ahead and do it. it`s legal. Are you

going to be able to live with yourself if someone comes to that party gets

sick? Or if it starts a cluster of dozens of people that get sick, and God

forbid someone then dies? No, you`re not.

 

But what if we live in a world which all hundred people can be tested that

very day. You know that everybody who`s showing up as negative. Maybe then

you can go ahead and have the wedding or the fundraiser. Just like if you

knew your co-workers have been tested and were negative, you would feel a

lot better about going back to sit in an office next to them.

 

That`s the obvious reason why we need testing on a massive scale. And yet

amazingly, we have seen a slowdown at major commercial labs with less

testing in recent days at commercial labs that have done the majority of

the nation`s coronavirus testing.

 

Now, there is some testing being done by hospitals and communities that are

not part of this count. But it would have to have been scaled up

dramatically for us to be making significant progress. And right now,

there`s just not evidence for that.

 

At his news conference, today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo articulated

the problem pretty clearly.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): The bottom line is, well, you need large scale

testing. Let`s do it. We can`t do it yet. That is the unvarnished truth.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: That is what we need to open the country back up. The countries that

have weathered this the best like Germany, which is now planning to lift

some restrictions, have relied on widespread testing, as has South Korea,

another relative success story which just managed to successfully hold the

national election in all this.

 

We all know how desperate the president needs to get the economy going

because he very badly wants to get reelected. But most people are not going

to get back out there just because he wants them to. Most people do not

agree with cartoonist and prominent Trump supporter Scott Adams, who

believes that losing a few hundred thousand people is an acceptable price

for reopening the economy.

 

We cannot truly reopen the economy without widespread testing, because most

people understandably do not want to sacrifice themselves. And yet, while

the Trump administration wants us to get back out there, it is offered up

no real concrete plan with the kind of capacity to do the kind of large

scale testing that would make that possible.

 

President Trump announced his new reopening guidelines on a conference call

with the nation`s governors earlier today. And one of those governors joins

me now for more on what this means for his state, North Carolina governor

Roy Cooper.

 

Governor, I suspect that if there`s good news out of the President`s “plan”

today, it`s that it does seem to delegate the official and the call to

governors such as yourself, which I would imagine, you would choose over

some kind of instruction from the feds about when to open up.

 

GOV. ROY COOPER (D-NC): Well, Chris, welcome to the North Carolina

Emergency Operations Center. We have taken strong action here in our state

to flatten the curve. We pulled together our public health team with our

emergency response team, and we have treated this as an emergency, and we

have succeeded.

 

But essentially the plan today gave us some guidelines and that`s positive.

But it says essentially, Governor, it`s your responsibility. Well, we

already knew that. We took action very early, to try to thwart this virus

and to slow the spread in our respective states and we`ve been successful

at that.

 

In fact, here in North Carolina, I have already talked about a plan of

trying to eat reopen our economy in a smart way. And I`ve said in order for

us to do that, we have to rely on testing, tracing, and trends. The trends

need to be going in the right direction. We need to be able to trace after

we test. And the biggest problem that we have right now is testing

capacity.

 

And what we need from the federal government right now is help on that

testing capacity, and with supplies, and with personal protective

equipment. In North Carolina, we have LabCorp headquartered here, and I

call them early on and the President did as well. And they`ve stepped up

and created a test and they`re running a lot of tests.

 

But you have to have the people with the personal protective equipment to

go out and take the sample, collect the sample from the person. And if

we`re going to open up in a new normal, which I want to do, if there`s one

outbreak in a nursing home, I want to go in there and make sure we test

everybody.

 

But we need personal protective equipment, and we need supplies in order to

be able to do that. And we don`t have enough personal protective equipment

to do that. We need to supply that to be able to do the kind of testing we

need to do.

 

HAYES: You`re identifying a sort of mismatch between sort of capacity and

need that I`ve heard from a bunch of people, which is that labs have

capacity right now. The bottleneck on testing is not lab capacity. The

bottleneck is the equipment, the swabs, the reagents, the PPE for people,

and then labor.

 

It`s actually – and of course, there`s a lot of people out of work right

now, so you could hire a bunch of people to do this. But that – would you

agree that`s what the big bottleneck for your state is to get to the

testing capacity you would need?

 

COOPER: My state and every state because we do have the labs with the

capacity to run the test, but we need people to help collect the samples.

And one of the biggest problems and shortages we have in our state and

across the country is PPE, the personal protective equipment that you need

in order to collect the samples.

 

And we`ve appreciated the help that we`ve gotten from the federal

government. We`ve had a good communication with the White House and the

task force. And I`ve talked to the President, Vice President on numerous

occasions, talked to Dr. Fauci today. But I think the President doesn`t

want to believe that testing is a problem. And it is a problem,

particularly if we want to get the country going again. I want to do it.

 

In North Carolina, we were used to having about 12,000 people a month file

for unemployment. This past month we had 619,000 people file for

unemployment. No one gets wants to get the economy going more than I do.

But I want to make sure we save lives. I want to make sure that my

hospitals are not overwhelmed with people who are sick coming in to them.

And I want to be able to sure – make sure that people are safe.

 

And in order to do that, we need to be able to do widespread taste testing.

We need to do contract – contact tracing. We do have to have a lot of

boots on the ground, making sure that we can get that done so that we can

isolate, so that we can take precautions when we find out that someone

tests positive.

 

This virus is going to be with us until we have a vaccine. And we are going

to live in a new normal. I want to live in that new normal. But the new

normal is going to rely on testing. And right now we don`t have the full

capability to do it. We`re working on it. If you notice the guidelines

today, Chris, it says that testing is the responsibility of the states.

We`ve figured that out, but we need significant help from the federal

government right now.

 

HAYES: When we talk about normal, I mean, no one could predict the future,

but the President was talking about normal being 100,000 people in an

Alabama football game which is true. Like that is what the pre-coronavirus

normal is. But the question about like, this coming college basketball

season, they`re going to be 20,000 people at the Duke-UNC game? Do you

envision that being a realistic reality?

 

COOPER: We`re going to have to look at the trends. We`re going to have to

put the testing in place that we need and do the tracing in order to

determine what kind of reopening that we`re doing. But like in your first

phase, like they`re talking about, you know, the new normal would be going

into a restaurant, but realizing that it would have to be limited capacity,

A lot of people wearing masks, and probably watching that Duke-Carolina

basketball game on T.V. but without live in-person fans being there.

 

That`s the kind of new normal that we`re going to have to live with for a

while. As to when we can get back to normal it`s going to depend on putting

all of this together with testing. It`s going to depend on effective

treatments. It`s mostly going to depend on whenever we get that vaccine

discovered, manufactured, and administered across the country.

 

HAYES: Governor Cooper of North Carolina, thank you so much for making time

tonight, sir.

 

COOPER: Thanks, Chris. I appreciate it.

 

HAYES: Joining me now for more on how we get our testing, where it needs to

be, Dr. Ashish Jha, Director of Harvard Global Health Institute and

Professor of Global Health at Harvard Medical School. I guess first I mean,

the idea of a phased-in distributed reopen the economy plan, how does that

strike you?

 

ASHISH JHA, DIRECTOR, HARVARD GLOBAL HEALTH INSTITUTE: That`s good. I mean,

when I look at the plan, I said, OK, I like that. It should be phased-in.

It should be done slowly and done with metrics. So I think the conceptual

approach to the plan sounded right to me. Then you get into the details

where it gets a bit more challenging.

 

HAYES: Well, that`s the thing. I mean, the problem is, you know, it`s a

little like – it feels a little like my plan to dunk a basketball. You

know, I can plan to do that. I could plan a lot, I could practice, but can

I do it? And that`s sort of the question here, right?

 

I mean, the plan of like, we have these metrics, and we phase it in, and we

do – we do testing, but like, getting to testing capacity is the big

bottleneck. Is that how you understand it? Am I right? Is that right?

 

JHA: Yes, there are a couple of – there a couple of big picture issues

with this plan. I mean, one of them certainly is, and maybe the single most

important issue is the issue of testing. We fundamentally cannot – I mean,

we can open up whenever we want, Chris. The question isn`t that. The

question is can we stay open? Can we not – can we avoid massive outbreaks?

We can`t do that without substantial more testing.

 

HAYES: And the other thing I keep thinking about is, you know, it shouldn`t

be the case – there`s a weird thing in this – in this discourse. I think

it`s been driven a little bit by these protests and some of the folks –

some of the President`s propagandists, and a few kind of cranks on the

right that there`s like this internal tension between the public health

concern in the economy.

 

But if you open up and there`s a huge outbreak in a city and a bunch of

people get sick at an office building and a bunch of – a number of them

die, the economy is going to shut down. Like people aren`t going to go to

work. Like you`re not – you haven`t succeeded in doing anything if that

happens.

 

JHA: Yes. I`ve thought from day one this is a false choice for exactly the

reasons you articulate. I tell people, imagine that the hospitals are

overwhelmed, people are dying, nurses and doctors are getting sick and

dying, you think people going to want to go out to restaurants and bars and

get on a plane and go to Disney World? Like, no, that`s not going to

happen.

 

So we`ve got to fix the health problem. This was created by a health

problem, we got to fix the health problem, and the economy will take care

of itself. The economy comes after dealing with the virus. And we can`t

deal with the virus until we know who`s got the virus. And we don`t know

who`s got the virus unless we`re testing.

 

HAYES: Do you have a clear sense? I mean, we – there was a huge ramp of

testing. In fact, at one point, it was almost exponential in a kind of

impressive way. It has appeared to plateau. The White House makes the

argument that the lab processing has plateaued because there are more tests

being running hospitals. It`s true that that is expanded, but we don`t

think nearly enough.

 

Do you have a clear sense of what the bottleneck here is, like how to go

from 150,000 a day to 1.5 million a day?

 

JHA: Yes. So we`ve been trying to kind of – first of all, I spent, how

many should we be doing and our kind of best estimate is probably should be

doing five, 600,000 a day if we`re going to have a shot at opening and stay

open. So that`s like three to four times. So then the question is what`s

causing that bottleneck?

 

I`ve been talking to lab companies, states, I`ve been talking to anybody

who`s willing to talk to me about this, to try to sort it out. The

bottlenecks vary from state to state. Sometimes there`s still states that

get stuck on number of swabs. And you know, I`m like, we shut down our

economy because we don`t have enough swabs? And what you find when you –

 

HAYES: Wait, you wait, like, literally – wait a second. Wait a second.

I`ve heard this too, swabs. You mean, like literally the extended Q-tips,

like not enough of the extended Q-tips?

 

JHA: Correct. So we can`t test everybody we need to test because we don`t

have the right size Q-tips. And I think that the economic cost of being

shut down is so massive, and they`re like four or five things that are

holding us back. And you would think somebody in the federal government

would just say, we`re going to throw whatever we need to throw at fixing

these four or five things.

 

I know some states have lots of swamps, but not enough reagents. Other

states have not enough reagents, but too many swabs. It seems like we could

share. So again, there`s a coordination issue. There is a blocking and

tackling problem. It just it`s not going to get solved by 50 states all

going it alone. And to me the biggest disappointment of this report was the

president said to the states, when it comes to testing, you`re on your own.

It`s not going to work. We`re not going to be able to stay open like this.

 

HAYES: All right, Dr. Ashish Jha, it`s always illuminating when we get to

talk to you. Thank you for making time tonight.

 

JHA: Thanks, Chris.

 

HAYES: Next, we`ve talked a lot about the vital role that testing will play

in turning the corner, but contact tracing which Governor Cooper just

talked about will be just as crucial. What it is, how it`s done, and who is

already trying it out? After this.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES: We take a look at this graph from the Financial Times which has

become something of a famous graph for coronavirus watchers. You can see

that there are countries that have been successful in flattening the curve

and turning the corner against the coronavirus. Those ones down to the

bottom right, like New Zealand and Australia, you see South Korea, Norway.

They were all able to control the virus and the one thing they have in

common, they all have a regime of testing and also crucially, contact

tracing.

 

The idea behind contract tracing is that you identify anyone who has had

close contact with a person who test positive, right? So you test, then you

find out if someone is positive, then you find out the people around that

person and allows health officials to track the virus and slow the spread.

 

Iceland is another country that has had success with widespread testing and

then contact tracing, things we have not been successful out here.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

KARI STEFANSSON, CEO, DECODE GENETICS: The methods that we have used in

Iceland to test widely, to sequence the virus from everyone infected, to

bring about this kind of control. These are all methods that we learned

from the Americans. You taught us how to do this, but you haven`t been

doing it yourself. And that this pretty sad.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

HAYES: You hear what he just said, to sequence the virus from everyone

infected, and that we taught them, the Americans, but we have been doing

it. Now, this is a big part of how you track virus from a society. So can

that be done here? Well, my next guest is trying to do just that.

 

Joining me now is Dr. Joia Mukherjee, Chief Medical Officer of Partners in

Health, a nonprofit that is helping run a new coronavirus contact tracing

project in Massachusetts. And Doctor, maybe just – can you just start by

describing what a contact tracing program looks like when it`s implemented?

 

JOIA MUKHERJEE, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, PARTNERS IN HEALTH: Yes. So thanks

so much for having me on, Chris, and for talking about this important

topic. As you pointed out, every time a new cases found – and this is true

for any infectious disease, the best way to stop transmission is to talk to

the person who has the infection, and then enumerate the people they have

been in contact with.

 

In the case of Coronavirus, it`s challenging because it`s anyone who`s been

within six feet or so for more than 15 minutes from the time they were

symptomatic, and even a few days before. But once you enumerate those

contacts, then standard public health demands that you go and talk to those

people and you say you`ve been in contact with the person with Coronavirus.

First of all, how are you. Then second of all, these are the things you

need to do to quarantine. And then third, trying to assess how able that

person is to quarantine.

 

So Partners in Health is a 35 year old medical nonprofit. We`ve worked all

over the world and fought epidemics from Ebola, to cholera, to HIV, and TB.

And we have done this kind of basic public health work as well as care and

treatment in much, much more difficult settings than the United States.

 

So as we were preparing our organization for – and our partners around the

world for coronavirus, one of our founding members, Dr. Jim Kim, who used

to be president of the World Bank and also the founder of PH, he said, why

aren`t we helping in Massachusetts where we`re based? And so he talked to

Governor Baker and Governor Baker said, yes, we should use all the tools in

our armamentarium to stop that.

 

Instead of just focusing on hospitals, which is very important, and PPE

which is very important, we also should be trying to chase down the virus.

And so he engaged us to work together with the Department of Public Health.

And let me just say that departments of public health all over the world

and certainly all over the country are doing this. They`re trying to do

case investigation and contact tracing, but they have been massively

outmatched by the tsunami of coronavirus cases. So our job is to help them

scale up.

 

HAYES: Yes. I mean, this is what – as you know, right, this is a tried and

true method of epidemiology in public health. It`s been used for decades.

You`re not inventing a new method. There seems to be two kinds of

obstacles, right. So there`s a labor issue. It requires a lot of people,

right? I mean, I read something about a sort of army of kind of virus

trackers, thousands of workers needed for this. What`s the kind of –

what`s the labor staffing that has to happen to make this actually a

reality?

 

MUKHERJEE: Yes. So, you know, again, Partners in Health has done this a

million times, and we have 17,000 people on our staff around the world, all

local to the communities they work in. And 11,000 of them are community

health workers, and a lot of what they do is contact tracing. So we know

how to manage a very large staff. We know how to train people up who are

lay people, who just need to be really compassionate and talk to their

fellows. They don`t need to have a medical training.

 

So what we did first was kind of separate out the case investigator role

from the contact tracer. The case investigators a little more intense,

they`re talking to someone who`s been diagnosed. They`re trying to get the

sense of who that person has been with. But then they put that information

into call center software that goes out then to contact tracers, who then

call the contact.

 

And so what we`re trying to scale is we`re adding some case investigators

to help the Department of Public Health and the local boards of health who

are all doing an exceptional job. But then we`re really amplifying the

workforce and using the call center and using many, many lay people is

through the contact tracing.

 

HAYES: One more question. This has been controversial in some places in

terms of using technology. South Korea has an app, I think, that everyone

has to download on or can download. Israel has been using essentially

access to data without permission to basically find out where people are

talking to each other. There are real privacy concerns about that. How do

you feel about that? How should we be thinking about that?

 

MUKHERJEE: Well, I mean, at Partners in Health, we love technology, and we

have no problem with using technology, although, as you say privacy issues

are important, and that`s even true for contact tracers. They need to keep

things confidential. There are laws on the books that are existing about

public health. And that is why we`re working so closely with the data

source of record, which is the Department of Public Health.

 

But at the end of the day, I don`t think any app privacy or not can replace

a human. And so, we want to use whatever tools that we have, including apps

if they have good privacy protection, but that a lot of people really just

want to know, and they want to talk to someone, and they want to know that

look, we have your back. This is really difficult, and this is a person on

the other end.

 

And so you know, we would favor any kind of technology to respect privacy

but also to give jobs to thousands of people.

 

HAYES: All right. Dr. Joia Mukherjee, thank you so much.

 

MUKHERJEE: Thank you. Thanks for having me on.

 

HAYES: Up next, the President`s obsession with scapegoating and shifting

blame during this national crisis. I`ll talk to former Secretary of State

Madeleine Albright about the dangers of defunding the WHO after this.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES: The president announcing this week that he is halting funding for

the World Health Organization, or at least considering it. It`s always

unclear whether what he says a thing it happens.

 

But it seems like a pretty transparent attempt to shift blame and to

scapegoat.

 

But, it is also true, this shouldn`t be lost, in the early stages of the

outbreak the WHO did issue some guidance that now looks bad, and was overly

differential to what China`s authorities were telling them, like tweeting

out in mid-January, “preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese

authorities have found now clear evidence of human to human transmission of

the Novel Coronavirus,” which obviously later turned out was far from true.

 

That said, it is also the case, as The New York Times points out, that

there is little evidence that the WHO is responsible for the disasters that

have unfolded in Europe and then the United States. The virus, of course,

doesn`t care one way about border. De-funding the WHO, the preeminent

global health institution fighting pandemics, would make it harder for

dozens of developing countries to fight this pandemic and that will not be

better for the United States, obviously.

 

Joining me to talk about more about this is Madeleine Albright, former

Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton. She has a recent op-ed in

The New York Times titled “The Best response to disaster is resilience,”

and is the author of the brand new memoir “Hell and Other Destinations.”

 

Madam Secretary, let`s start I guess on the criticisms of the WHO, which do

seem somewhat legitimate, that in the early stages of this, whether out of

a desire to not sever ties with Chinese authorities to get more

information, or out of just excessive deference to them that they were not

forthcoming enough about what was going on with the virus. Do you think

that`s a fair critique?

 

MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, I think it`s important

to know where they get their information. I think one of the issues about

the WHO is it depends on information from a variety of countries. It

doesn`t have an intelligence service of its own. I don`t think things were

malign, I think that there are issues that need to be looked into.

 

But the more important point is that we can`t – we, the United States,

can`t affect changes in the WHO if we`re not at the table. I know, having

been at the UN, that one has to be in the discussions. And for us to sort

of to say we`re not going to pay, we`re not going to be a part of it, is

counterproductive, because then we have no leverage.

 

And so we do know the WHO cannot do everything. They do actually work with

partners, like ones – you`ve talked to the doctor just awhile ago, in

terms of working with another – other organizations to get information.

 

And then I have to say, having looked at the charts that you have, that you

were showing, we need to know what`s going on in other countries. And the

bottom line is that we haven`t even talked about what`s going to happen in

the developing world.

 

So the WHO needs to have some reforms. We need it. And we need to be at the

table.

 

HAYES: Yeah, that last – the thing you mentioned I wanted to discuss with

you. We had Samantha Power on I believe last week who mentioned this, and

there has been some writing about this. I mean, The New York Times had an

editorial about it as well. Countries that have, you know, a total of four

ventilators, places where the amount of health care capacity is a tenth,

orders of magnitude less than what the developed world has. The virus is

going to arrive there sooner or later and it seems to me that it`s in U.S.

self interest, if nothing else, as well as humanitarian interest for you to

have a functioning WHO and a functioning U.S. effort abroad to help them

fight the virus.

 

ALBRIGHT: Absolutely. And I think if you think about how, what happens in a

lot of countries, we`re told to wash our stands constantly. In some of the

developing countries they don`t have water, or water is very precious. They

do all live together, it`s a little hard to have social distancing. And as

you said, and I`ve said, the virus knows no borders. And if one wants to

look at it only as a zero sum game, who is going to buy all the things that

we produce?

 

So for humanitarian reasons, we need to care about what happens in those

countries. And for domestic security reasons. And so it`s really, really

short-sided to cut off our access, or to have some influence of the WHO.

 

So it`s one of those things – I do teach, by the way, and I keep telling

my students they have to think about the unintended consequences of

decisions. And I don`t get that sense that the administration is thinking

about the unintended consequences.

 

HAYES: one of the sort of subtexts sometimes explicit of the attack on WHO

and China is that there is a growing voice on the right who clearly wants a

more confrontational posture towards China. They want to blame the virus

entirely on China. They want to use it as a means of sort of fomenting a

kind of U.S./China cold war, like people call it disentanglement, and

stipulated the Xi government has been extremely repressive and brutal

towards Uighurs, and bad in lots of ways.

 

I mean, what do you make of this very perilous moment between the

relationship between the U.S. and China amidst this virus?

 

ALBRIGHT: Well, first of all, let me just say China will have a lot to

answer for, there`s no question. And all the issues that have been raised,

you`ve raised, and others have raised. But we need to look forward.

 

And let me just say I have not been in any task force meeting or discussion

where we have not talked about China as the rising power. There`s no

question about it. And when we leave a vacuum, then they step in. So, the

art of diplomacy is being able to cooperate with countries when here are

things you need to cooperate on and compete and stop them and tell it like

it is when you have to do that.

 

And what`s happened is I think that we have been very confused about how we

talked to the Chinese. I mean, President Trump says Xi is one his best

friends, and then all of a sudden he s tarts attacking. And so I do not

want us to see a cold war with the Chinese. I think we need to figure out

where we can cooperate, for instance, on climate change and on trying to

sort out now what to do.

 

But I think there are areas we compete where we don`t like what they do and

especially their human rights and Uighurs, and what they`re doing in the

South and East China Sea. And as a sophisticated country, the United

States, we ought to be able to carry out that kind of diplomacy.

 

HAYES: Do you think this moment – I mean, I worry a bit about this being a

kind of altering the trajectory towards confrontation between the two

nations in a way that could get quite ugly, I mean, just in terms of the

rhetoric we`ve seen.

 

We saw some rhetoric from official state ministers and propagandists of the

Chinese communist party who were saying the U.S. crafted the virus. You see

American politicians really, really going hard at China. Do you see this as

a kind of inflection point altering what the nature of that relationship

is?

 

ALBRIGHT: well, I think it`s possible. And the other thing is there could

be an accident of some kind. I know especially in terms of ships in South

and East China Sea hitting some fishing boat or various things like that or

lack of communication between the militaries, I think that what we need to

do is avoid any kind of a major confrontation with the Chinese.

 

I do think that we need to object in things that they are doing wrong. I

think we can see that their Belt and Road Initiative is something where

they are trying to seduce countries to be on their side. I keep saying the

Chinese must be getting fatter and fatter, because the belt is getting

larger. They are all over the place.

 

They are a competitor, there`s no question. But we have to tell it like it

is, find out what really did happen, but now try to figure out how to do

something about the supply chain, for instance.

 

What I find so confusing is a couple of days ago we didn`t have enough of

anything and all of a sudden we have plenty of testing and masks and all

that. And I think things are totally confusing at the moment. I have

listened to the president`s press conferences every night. He changes his

mind, as Madeleine just a plain old citizen I don`t quite know what just

happened.

 

So, I do think that the relationship with the Chinese it is probably the

most important we have and we have to practice and use our national

security tools.

 

HAYES: All right, Madeleine Albright, thank you so much for making time

tonight.

 

ALBRIGHT: Good to be with you, thank you.

 

HAYES: Still to come, the $350 billion rescue package for small businesses

already out of money. I`ll talk to Congressman Hakeem Jeffries about what

happens to the businesses who still need help just ahead.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

HAYES: The death toll from the Coronavirus has been incomprehensible, just

possible to get your head and your heart around it. But each number is, of

course, a person. And we`ve lost some incredible souls, like Hailey

Herrera, just 25-years-old. Herrera (ph) was studying to become a

therapist, working towards her master degree at Iona College in New

Rochelle. She was especially dedicated to working with Latino families like

her own. Herrera (ph) had a wide network of friends and often organized

gatherings, one of those friends described how she brought a, quote, real

vivaciousness with the way she approached the world – 25-years-old.

 

Augustine Rodriguez (ph) is the first employee at that Smithfield Food

plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to die of Coronavirus. Rodriguez (ph)

was born in El Salvador, moved to the Sioux Falls two decades ago with his

wife Angelita (ph). She says Augustine (ph) was a happy, thoughtful and

humble man who took care of his mother and was always willing to help with

the church. Augustine Rodriguez (ph) he was 64-years-old.

 

Stewart Cone (ph) was 73 when he died earlier this month. A New York City

cab driver for 25 years, who loved to talk about politics with his

passengers, including former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who he once

picked up. A friend describes Stewart (ph) as the best red person he ever

knew, loved to collect and donate used books to places in need like nursing

homes.

 

We also lost Ronald Lewis (ph), age 68. Lewis (ph) had a colorful museum in

his backyard in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans called The House of

Dance and Feathers, celebrating the history of that neighborhood and the

Mardi Gras Indians. Ronald Lewis (ph) was retired streetcar repairman of

more than 30 years.

 

And last wee, and this one I`ve been thinking about ever since it happened,

John Prine, the singer-songwriter died at the age of 73. Prine was widely

revered for his ingenious folk-country lyrics, which he first wrote while

on his mail route in his hometown of Maywood, Illinois. Prine`s fans,

including Chris Christopherson and Bob Dylan, who he was often compared to.

Prine survived cancer twice in 1998 and 2013. He was a two-time Grammy

winner, received a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys earlier this

year.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

JOHN PRINE, SINGER: …get the heaven, I`m going to shake god`s hand. I`m

going to thank him for more blessings than one man can stand, then I`m

going to get a guitar and start a rock `n` roll b and, check into a swell

hotel. Ain`t the afterlife grand? Then I`m going to get a cocktail…

 

(SINGING)

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

STEPHANIE RUHLE, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Denny Moe (ph) owns a barbershop

in Harlem. His application has not been approved.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I don`t get the loan, I can probably last till May. I

really don`t even want to think about that.

 

(END VIDE OCLIP0

 

HAYES: That was Stephanie Ruhle on tonight`s Nightly News reporting on how

the $350 billion paycheck protection program is now frozen, because all the

money has been spoken for. Businesses around the country are in dire

straits. A new working paper on small businesses at the National Bureau of

Economic Research found that a median firm with expenses over $10,000 per

month, which is not that much, has only enough cash on hand to last for two

weeks.

 

Now, congress is dead-locked on what to do next. Mitch McConnell and

Republicans want to just unanimously add more money to the small business

program. Democrats want to also fund local government and hospitals and

reform the program along the way. And the impasse could get ugly since

people need the money now.

 

Here with me now is one of the Democratic lawmakers pushing to get into the

next Coronavirus rescue package, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries of New York,

the chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

 

Congressman, I want to make the argument to you that Mitch McConnell and

Republicans have made, and get your response, which is look, this was a

bipartisan bill. There`s not a policy objection here, do Democrats like

this program, Republicans like this program, now it`s out of money, people

need the money, just sign off on it and then we will deal with whatever we

have to deal with next, but why the delay?

 

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES, (D) NEW YORK: Well, there`s not a policy objection to

the framework of the program, but the real concern here is that we want to

make sure, if we`re going to allocate a substantial amount of taxpayer

dollars, an additional $250 billion, that it actually gets to the people

who need it the most.

 

So what we`ve simply said is that at least $125 billion of that dollar that

has been proposed to be added to the program should go through community

development financial institutions that work closely with entities like

women-owned businesses, family-owned businesses, mom and pop shops,

veteran-owned businesses, you know, minority-owned businesses, and entities

that really need the support.

 

HAYES: So do you have, I mean obviously, what you`ve described are a lot of

businesses like that in your district, in Brooklyn, do you have evidence

from your constituents that that money is not getting to those folks? Is

that – is that the concern here?

 

JEFFRIES: That`s absolutely the concern. What we`ve seen in terms of the

initial rounds connected to the paycheck protection program is that many of

the more established financial institutions were allocating and processing

these loans, giving priority to businesses, which were closer to medium-

sized businesses, than smaller-sized businesses, that had pre-existing

financial or banking relationships with the particular bank.

 

And as a result, you`ve had sort of the smaller businesses, within the

spectrum of who`s eligible, be left out in the cold. And all we`ve simply

said, is that we want to make sure that if we`re going to allocate a

substantial amount of funding, that it gets to the people who need it the

most.

 

We`ve also indicated that we want to make sure that our first responders,

our police officers, our firefighters, our teachers, our EMS workers, our

transit workers, essential employees, those who will be important to us

restarting the economy in a meaningful way, have the capacity to be able to

continue to do their job, and that`s why we`ve said, state and local

budgets, which are being hit incredibly hard, and are going to need the

resources in order to continue to deliver services, should begin to receive

additional support from the federal government.

 

HAYES: All right, so those are the two – those sort of pillars, right,

some stipulations about the way that money flows, in a new tranche of it

and state and local aid, which – to editorialize – both seem to me to be

good policy, but there`s a speed issue here, where I just feel like I`ve

talked to the speaker this week, I`m talking to you now, like if McConnell

says fine, green light on both of those, can you guys do this tomorrow? Can

you do it the next day? There just seems like the clock is ticking a bit

here.

 

JEFFRIES: Yeah, we`ll look to move expeditiously. And in fact, we had a

conversation earlier today of more than 200 members of the House Democratic

Caucus led by Speaker Pelosi, we are ready to move by unanimous consent

when we can arrive at a bipartisan, bicameral agreement. We expect to be

able to do that sooner rather than later.

 

If we are unable to move through unanimous consent, because someone on the

Republican side, like Eric Massie (sic) chooses to object, the members are

prepared to travel back to Washington, D.C. to get this done for our small

business throughout the nation and the heart and soul of our economy.

 

HAYES: OK, what you just said there – I want to translate that a little

bit out of politician speak. That`s the most bullish I`ve heard anyone on a

deal here. Like that sounds to me that things – there`s negotiations

happening and things are moving forward. Is that a fair characterization?

 

JEFFRIES: Well, it`s absolute correct. The negotiations are ongoing. And

our objective is to get to yes and to get to yes as soon as possible, but

to do it in a way that is the most effective and efficient for this program

moving forward.

 

HAYES: The last time I had you on, we talked about the possibilities of

working remotely. Congress obviously, it`s not provisioned in the

constitution, but the speaker was on and said, you know, we can`t just have

Zoom on congress, it is a little more complicated than that.

 

Today the rules committee, you had mentioned that, Jim McGovern in the

rules committee was going to be issuing some guidelines on that in which he

appears to kind of contemplate some ways of doing some work remotely, at

least sort of provisionally.

 

Where are you and the caucus on that right now?

 

JEFFRIES: Jim McGovern the chair of the rules committee, presented today,

along with Zoe Lofgren, the chair of the House Administration Committee,

both of them have been working hard, in this current context, to try to

make sure that we can adapt, but do it in a secure way that brings to life

our democracy. And so what Jim McGovern has proposed, and I think it has

strong support within the caucus, is remote voting via proxy, so that those

who can make it to Washington, can make it in both the traditional way,

those who can`t will be able to allocate their proxy, and specifically

indicate how they want to vote.

 

HAYES: All right. Congressman Jeffries of New York City. Thank you so much

for taking time for us tonight, sir.

 

JEFFRIES: Thank you, Chris.

 

HAYES: I`m not sure if that quite counts as news, but that definitely was

the most, the most bullish I`ve heard those two sides today on this after

there`s been some heated rhetoric over the past 48 hours, so that`s very

interesting.

 

That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

 

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END   

 

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