WHO TRANSCRIPT: 4/16/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes
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
(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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
HAYES: All right, Madeleine Albright, thank you so much for making time
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.
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
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
(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…
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(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
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
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
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
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
That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now.
Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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Copyright 2020 ASC Services II Media, LLC. All materials herein are
protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced,
distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the
prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the