The Trump crisis TRANSCRIPTS: 4/27/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: But of course, as
we`ve learned, six months can be an eternity in politics. Heck, in this
era, six minutes can be an eternity. Thank you for being with us. “ALL IN”
with Chris Hayes is up next.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. I
want to start tonight, with just a small little bit of reporting from the
Associated Press today, that just perfectly crystallizes the fundamental
problem that we face right now as a nation. Here`s the quote from it.
“Trump campaign officials have expressed worry that he could be pushing to
open things too quickly, and that any resulting deaths will not be forgiven
by voters in November.” That`s the quote.
So, the President`s campaign advisors are trying to get the president not
to go down a path that will result in thousands of people dying
unnecessarily because they think it will be bad politics, that it will be
bad for his campaign as they try to get him reelected. That`s reporting. It
just shows the fundamental problem we`re facing now as a nation that we
have been facing for months.
The reality is, we now have nearly a million cases of coronavirus. We have
more than 55,000 dead Americans. And they`re not just numbers. Every day,
more and more people, people that you and I know, friends of yours or loved
ones or loved ones of friends. I remember, at the beginning of this,
coronavirus was these this thing that we tracked, right, the numbers of,
but distant we heard about it. Now it`s not.
I mean, is there anyone who does not know someone who has been sick,
someone has died. This is what it looks like in the sympathy card section
in supermarkets and drugstores across this nation. There`s not a single one
left there. They`re completely sold out.
The grief and the trauma is creeping into every crevice of American life.
And so now, the President is trying to roll out a policy based on what will
look good for him politically and for his reelection chances, what will win
him more votes in the fall. But here`s the thing. We all want to open the
country up. We all want to go back to some kind of normal. If you look
around, there are some places that are trying to do it in a thoughtful and
And take for example, the country`s two biggest carmakers, GM and Ford.
They`re bringing some people back to work to build ventilators and personal
protective equipment. Here`s how they are doing it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before I walked into this facility today, I had my
temperature scanned. I think it`s a very important part of the protocol.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the plant I`m in today, we`re wearing face masks and
we`re wearing face shields.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ford`s Executive Chairman Bill Ford said the company
has also installed plastic barriers between each workstation to enforce
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody is also wearing watches that buzz if you get
within six feet of somebody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So that`s the major U.S. car manufacturers. Management and labor
unions, United Auto Workers coming together for smart, safe, creative
solutions to try to do work. And we`re not alone in this, right? Almost
every country in the world is battling the exact same virus. It`s the same
disease everywhere. It`s contagious everywhere. It is killing people
And economies are on lockdown and standstill everywhere. And no leader
wants that to be the case. And everyone has been faced with the same set of
difficult choices. And it is as tough a governing problem as probably
anyone has ever faced, right? Everyone is trying to solve it in their own
After nearly two months of lockdown, yesterday, the Prime Minister of Italy
announced new guidelines for easing that country`s lockdown. It will start
with reopening parks, factories, and building sites, and allowing people to
visit their relatives in small numbers.
Italy, of course, one of the hardest-hit countries in the world. Now
they`re trying to phase in some return to some kind of normal. Now, other
countries acted early and they avoided Italy`s fate and they avoided our
fate. Taiwan has even managed to avoid a lockdown by putting in place
measures like cell phone contact tracing, temperature checks, social
In New Zealand, the Prime Minister just announced it is stopped community
transmission to the coronavirus. And starting on Tuesday, because they`ve
done that, because they`ve been successful and they moved quickly, a bunch
of non-essential businesses, healthcare and education activity will be able
New Zealand is one of the places that it has had the toughest level of
social restrictions. Same with Australia as of Sunday, only 16 new cases
were recorded there, and they are also using restrictions. The government
there is for instance, introduced a new contact tracing app, which is based
on the one that was used successfully in Singapore, and already a million
Australians have downloaded it.
But here in the U.S., the person in charge who is tasked with this
incredibly difficult moment, with assessing these complicated questions
leaders around the world are wrestling with is a guy who spends his day
watching TV and race tweeting. He doesn`t listen to experts. He listens to
his buddies and calls them all the time like the My Pillow guy. He also
appears to lack the ability to actually feel empathy and grief, or even
just a basic protective duty towards the public safety the American people
who he represents.
And that is why to go back to the quote, I started the show with, that is
why his campaign advisors have to couch their arguments to him in political
terms because the idea of lots of dead Americans for no reason might hurt
your reelection is the kind of logic you might listen to. And this is how
our presidents doing it.
Just last week, he blurted out, he is going to give the commencement
address at West Point in June. That was news to West Point who had sent all
their cadets home and now scrambling to get them back ceremony back to
their campus in New York, the epicenter of the crisis. Every president
always says the toughest thing they have to do is sending young people in
harm`s way. And here`s the president doing just that so he can get his
And all this has happened is “The Washington Post” reports tonight, the
President was warned about this virus, this global pandemic in his
president`s daily brief more than that dozen times in January, February.
Joining me now is one of the reporters who broke that story, Greg Miller,
Washington Post National Security Reporter. Greg, tell me what you
GREG MILLER, NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER, WASHINGTON POST: So what we`re
reporting, Chris, is that – is that the coronavirus references to the
coronavirus were included in at least a dozen of the President`s daily
brief. These are the very highly classified prestigious reports that are
prepared before dawn each day specifically for the President.
So this is the most – arguably the most important intelligence product
that our spy agencies assemble every day. And they were calling attention
to the threat of the coronavirus in a way that amounts to a fairly steady
drumbeat throughout January and February.
HAYES: Part of the reporting indicates that one of the things they were
calling attention to was the lack of reliability about what the Chinese
government was reporting externally, what they were saying about the extent
of transmission and whether it was under control. Is that right?
MILLER: Yes. So these reports, they start off awfully fragmentary, and
they`re talking about basically, look, China has a problem. We`re not quite
sure what it is, but it looks like there`s an outbreak in Wuhan. But the
spy agencies, including the CIA, throw more resources at this each and
every day, and they are piecing together more information about the virus.
They are tracking it as it spreads to other countries and other continents.
And they are trying to call that to the attention of the President on a
very regular basis.
HAYES: Just to be clear, the context presidential daily briefing is sort of
the most important intelligence product the Intelligence Community
produces, right? And there`s, there`s a real battle about what gets into
that briefing. I mean, an organizational battle, bureaucratic battle,
battle between different parts of the Intelligence Community. Is showing up
the briefing day after day is a way of them saying this really matters?
MILLER: Yes. I mean, this is where the U.S. intelligence analysts put their
most important information. I mean, so much a remarkable amount of energy
and people go into preparing this single report each and every day. And not
very many people get it.
Obviously, its main customers, the President of the United States, and also
goes to some cabinet secretaries, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of
Treasury and so forth, and a smattering of other people as well. But this
is the highest priority intelligence product that exists. And so, some
things that are happening that you want the President`s attention on are
going to end up in the PDB.
HAYES: Do we know what the – what the President`s reaction was to this?
MILLER: I mean, we don`t know, I have to say, Chris. And we also
acknowledge this in our reporting how much of this material registered with
the president because one, he doesn`t read the PDB. Unlike his
predecessors, he does not sit down each day to digest this product. He
doesn`t read it, doesn`t skim it. He relies almost exclusively on an oral
briefing that he has curtailed to roughly two or three times a week.
So he`s getting an oral briefing from an intelligence analyst, but he skips
the reading of the – of the PDB. So it`s hard to know how much of this
material actually made its way to him. We know that it`s included in the
brief and that that brief is delivered to the White House each and every
day. We don`t know how much it registers with him.
Across this stretch of time, of course, he is – in January and February,
the period of time we`re writing about, he`s very dismissive of the threat
of this virus. As late as late February, he is still saying it`s going to
go away, it`s going to magically disappear. There`s no big deal. It`s going
to go down to zero, things like this.
HAYES: And this is – I mean, as late as late February, you`ve got now –
we have evidence of multiple parts of the U.S. government, folks inside the
CDC, inside the Intelligence Community, some folks in DOD. There`s been
some reporting that there there`s a growing sense just even in the internal
reservoir of knowledge that is the U.S. government which is an enormous
undertaking that this is very serious and very pressing.
MILLER: Not only that, Chris. You have people inside the White House,
including the Deputy National Security Adviser, who by early February are
saying we need to go farther than just restricting travel China. It`s our -
- this outbreak has already reached Europe. We are not doing our jobs
unless we start restricting travel there.
And that doesn`t happen for another six weeks. And you heard the governor
of New York just this past week talk about how the United States may have
closed the front door on the coronavirus, but left the back door open and
we now know that that the outbreak in New York is predominantly traced to
the spread of this pathogen through Europe. The infection in New York comes
from Europe, not from China.
HAYES: All right, Greg Miller, along with his colleague Ellen Nakashima,
great reporting. Thank you very much.
MILLER: Thank you.
HAYES: Joining me now for more on what we do to reopen America, Dr. Ashish
Jha. He`s the director of the Harvard University Global Health Institute.
And doctor, you know, I think Americans often we get very tunnel vision, we
get very mired in American exceptionalism about how we do things here, but
this really is a problem that dozens and dozens of countries are sort of
confronting at the same time.
When you sort of survey the landscape, like what are the lessons to learn
there about how the other people are figuring out how to solve a very
ASHISH JHA, GLOBAL HEALTH PROFESSOR, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: Yes. So Chris,
thanks for having me back on. Look, the biology of this virus is the same
everywhere. And the responses have differed, but we know certain things
work. So we know that countries that jump out early and are aggressive
basically get it under control faster and can open up sooner.
Not only is that a South Korea example, but also New Zealand, Germany.
There are a whole series of countries that just took it much, much more
seriously. And that means they can open up sooner. And even though they are
opening up sooner, they`re still opening up very carefully. And that`s the
big lesson to learn for Americans.
HAYES: One of the aspects here – so there`s a few aspects here. One is,
right, if you – if you move earlier and you have less of an outbreak, you
can probably open up a little sooner. Another is about – is about testing
which a drum we have banged on the show for four months in which public
health experts have banged.
There`s a piece in Stat today about just the sort of the fact that the
states don`t have the testing capacity they need and there`s, you know,
gaps of 100,000 in New York, you know, 68,000 in New Jersey, 23,000 in
Illinois, that they`re short of the test that they need.
Today, you`ve got the vice president sort of promising everyone they`ll
have access to the testing, but it`s unclear whether that`s A going to be
enough and B delivered on. What`s your sense of where we`re at in that
JHA: Yes. So that Stat analysis is based on Some work that we did really
trying to look at, where is every state in the country and how much more do
they need. I think at this point, you know, we`ve heard so many promises
from the White House. If you remember, Chris, six weeks ago, five weeks
ago, they were saying millions of test kits going out next week.
At this point, I think all of us want to look at the facts on the ground.
And even what they promised today, that sort of two percent of Americans
getting tested every month, way too little. I mean, it would take us four
years to test every American.
So I think we`re far behind. It`s nice to see the White House acknowledge
that we`re not doing enough. I see that as progress. But they still don`t -
- they aren`t taking the sort of enormity of the problem seriously. And
until they do, we can open up. We`re just going to end up shutting back
down again. And so that`s the – that`s the concern that all of us have.
HAYES: This is the big – I mean, this to me, the doomsday scenario here,
which I don`t like to focus on, because it`s been a lot of doomsday around
here for months. But the doomsday scenario is like, you know, stateless
like Texas opens up and things – you know, and they – and they do it, you
know, Texas, Governor Abbott, Republican, like to his credit, a fairly
responsible plan I think in terms of what`s going to open up when and
social distancing and things like that.
But, you know, a state opens up and things look like they`re going OK. If
you lack the proper testing surveillance in the – in the sort of
epidemiology term, that – we know how – what (INAUDIBLE) and what – how
long fuse that is. And if the thing starts going, then you`re your hosed.
JHA: Yes. That is the technical term, hosed. And you`re absolutely right,
right. Like this is essentially what happened the first time around. And
the whole point of the shutdown was to buy ourselves time so we could do it
right the second time. And there are states that I think are being very
So there are some states that will be pretty reasonable to open up. I look
at Montana and Wyoming and Alaska. Small number of cases a good number of
test. I`d love it if they had a little more. But Georgia, Texas, other
places, like you can – it`s not only important to have a small number of
cases, it`s not only important to have a good plan for not opening up too
aggressively. But if you don`t have a good amount of testing and tracing
and isolation, you`re not going to be able to keep infected people away
from susceptible people.
And the basic biology is the infection is going to take off again. And so
unless the biology has changed, we are going to end up in the same place.
And that`s I think, what we`re all worried about.
HAYES: All right, so the devil`s advocate is sort of on the other side,
right? It`s like, OK, so we`ve had these enormous outbreaks in places in
northern Italy, and we saw them in Wuhan, and we saw it in New York. And
the worst – the worst outbreaks we`ve seen worldwide, right, had been in
essentially places that were really implementing any kind of policy, right,
where – that sort of the biological transmission rate, the (INAUDIBLE) of
the disease was able to wreak havoc in this crazy way.
But I mean, a place that has now come out of this and is reopening with the
awareness of social distancing, and all these kind of new rules, like we
would expect, right, that that will mean that outbreaks won`t take the same
shape, right, a veer if they were to get another one.
JHA: So it`s not that they won`t be as severe, it will take longer to build
up. So there`s this term that we talked about, RT, which is the real-time,
like at that moment, what is the reproduction factor? And if the natural
reproduction of this virus is around three, one infected person infects
three more people, in a more kind of staged opening, you can imagine it
could be two. And that means you`ll still get exponential growth but will
JHA: But none of that prevents – I mean, at two, you`re still going to
have health systems getting overwhelmed. You`re still going to get into
trouble you`re still going to get a lot of sick people and a lot of people
were going to end up dying.
HAYES: Right, so it`s not enough. I mean, the point being that like, it`s
just not enough partly because of the transmissibility of this and the fact
that we have a largely naive population that doesn`t have antibodies and
not immune, is that even if you bring that three down to two, which is –
which is, you know, an accomplishment, you`ve got to have both aspects.
You`ve got to have the testing and the surveillance as well as some kind of
JHA: Yes. So the basic – the basic, basic point here is we got to keep
infected people away from susceptible people. And the way you do that is
through some social distancing, or testing and isolation. Those are your
only two strategies. And if you want to give people confidence about going
back to work, you kind of tell them that if you`re going to go to the
coffee shop and pick up a cup of coffee, they`re not going to get infected.
And it`s a little bit of social distancing. Don`t go hug the guy giving you
the coffee, but it`s also testing in isolation so that if the guy was
infected, you know that he`d get a test and he`d be out of there, and he`d
have somebody uninfected giving you the coffee. That`s what you got to
HAYES: Dr. Ashish Jha, always – I always learned a lot from these
conversations, so come back again soon. Thank you very much.
JHA: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Next, the tale of two outbreaks. How Seattle managed to get ahead of
the spread while New York City became what appears to be the worst outbreak
in the world. What Seattle did differently after this.
HAYES: Right now, it looks like the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world
based on the numbers that states and other places have reported, countries
as well, which themselves are not picture perfect at all. But based on the
data we have, the worst outbreak appears to be in New York City.
Listen to this statistic. At least one out of every 500 New Yorkers has
died from this virus. And while there are a lot of reasons for that, from
the failure of federal leadership to implement testing, to particular
features of New York City, a new New Yorker article argues that part of the
reason for the severity of the outbreak was a failure of local policy.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who wrote that New Yorker piece Charles
Duhigg joins me now. Charles, I was – I was really gripped and persuaded
by the reporting that you present in the article. What`s the basic case
CHARLES DUHIGG, JOURNALIST: The basic case is that at the beginning of a
pandemic, we have a very unique opportunity, a window, when if the leader
say the right things, and particularly if they`ve got the scientists front
and center, we can convince people to stay home.
And in Seattle, they did that very ably. In New York, it was much more
muddied and complicated. And as a result, during this Communication crisis,
which is what a pandemic really is as much as a medical health crisis, New
York failed. And as a result, we saw cases explode.
HAYES: I think when – I`m going to play some of the things that the mayor
said and again, stipulated, as we have throughout all the coverage, even
the first block about the president. This is hard. All this stuff is hard.
But it was fairly clear the mayor`s view of this early on even in the first
two weeks of March was not like ring the alarm, this is the time to shut it
all down at all. Take a listen to some of the things he had to say during
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where do we stand right now from New York and then from
what you know about what`s happening in cities around the world?
BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: You know, Franklin
Roosevelt, the famous quote, we have nothing to fear but fear itself.
For the vast majority of New Yorkers, life is going on pretty normally
right now. And we want to encourage that.
If you love your neighborhood bar, go there now.
Some places are closing schools on mass. We think that`s a mistake
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: St. Patrick`s Day parade in Dublin, in Boston, in Denver
had been canceled. What is the status of New York City?
DE BLASIO: It`s not a slam dunk to say this is something that should be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It is a slam dunk by March 11th to cancel the St. Patty`s Day
Parade. And that to me was such an indicator that the mayor did not have
his eyes on the scale of this. What is your reporting say about that?
DUHIGG: Well, Dr. Tom Frieden who used to be the Commissioner of Public
Health here in New York, and was also the head of the CDC, he estimates
that it De Blasio and Cuomo had shut down in New York 10 days earlier, we
would have seen 50 to 80 percent fewer deaths in the state.
And what`s going on here is sort of two things. First, is if you`ll
remember, De Blasio has gotten a lot of applause in the past, particularly
with the Ebola outbreak, for being very aggressive about saying, don`t
panic, don`t overreact. We need to keep New York going even if we have a
couple of situations of illness. Obviously, it`s very different here.
But the second thing, according to my reporting, is that De Blasio has a
long history of tension with his agencies, particularly with the Department
of Health. And so as experts, his fantastic public health officers were
coming to him and saying shut things down, he was resisting his staff, was
fighting with them. In fact, two of them had to threaten to resign in order
to get the city hall to shut down the schools and restaurant.
HAYES: Yes. You report this that there`s two people, the city`s Assistant
Commissioner of Communicable Diseases, Dr. Marcelle Layton, and the Deputy
Health Commissioner Dr. Demetre Daskalakis who indicated to staff that they
were – they were going to publicly resign unless the mayor finally took
action. I think it was the schools, right, and other things on that sort of
fateful Monday when New York was one of the later places to do it.
DUHIGG: That`s exactly right. And I should make clear, neither of those
physicians spoke to me, right. They`re both very – they`re great public
health officers. And in fact, Marcy Layton in particular, Dr. Layton is
revered around the nation. She`s actually a graduate of something called
the Epidemic Intelligence Service, which is a part of the center – the
And there`s about 3,000 EIS alone across the nation who are kind of the
front lines, the shock troops for responding to this and other pandemics an
epidemics. And one of the things that the EIS training really stresses is
when you are communicating it is critical at the beginning of a pandemic,
that you say what you know, and don`t know, that you maintain trust, and
that most importantly, you say the same thing over and over, that you don`t
muddy the message by saying one thing and doing another. And De Blasio and
Cuomo have both increase sights for that.
If you`ll remember, De Blasio, on the day that the gyms were closing down
in New York City, he asked his driver to take him from Gracie Mansion where
he lives to the Park Slope Wide so he can get in one last workout. And even
his consultants and advisors said that was a terrible, terrible, perhaps an
HAYES: What finally is a lesson here about what Seattle did in terms of the
messaging they gave, the consistency of it, and also sort of not moving too
quickly, but moving in a – in a very specific way towards what ended up
being a sort of full shutdown?
DUHIGG: What Seattle did is exactly what the CDC and the Epidemic
Intelligence Service says you`re supposed to do, which is that they put the
science at spreads and center. There`s this real risk that if a politician
is the head of communications, when you`re talking about a pandemic, that
you`ll politicize the communication. That some people ask the people
perhaps won`t do what they`re being told simply because they don`t trust
So what Seattle did is they put the scientists front and center and they
moved very aggressively to shut things down. In fact, Dr. Jeff Duchin, who
is the head of public health for Seattle King County, he went to one of the
top politicians and he said, Look, we need to shut things down immediately.
And I know we can`t do that today. But we need to start saying things
today, so that the population will be ready for a shutdown in two or three
days from now.
And one of the things that Dow Constantine, that politician did is he
called Microsoft, which is, of course, based in an area near Seattle and
said, look, we don`t have any cases yet. We only have one – a handful of
fatalities across the country, but will you tell all your workers to work
from home? Amazon did the same thing, because they knew that by emptying
the streets of all these computers, 100,000 employees, everyone would get
the message. This is really serious. Something is going on. When the
government says stay home, we should stay home.
HAYES: All right, Charles Duhigg, thank you so much for sharing that great
DUHIGG: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Ahead, new concerns that Mitch McConnell risks sending the country
into a depression with his resistance to providing states crucial federal
aid. That`s next.
HAYES: Some republicans led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
seemed ready to punish states whose budgets are going to be decimated by
this pandemic. Here is Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RICK SCOTT, (R) FLORIDA: It`s unfair to the taxpayers of Florida. We
sit here and we live within our means and then New York and Illinois and
California and other states don`t, and we`re
supposed to bail them out. That`s not right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Nope. That is not the way our union works.
For instance, when a hurricane devastates Florida, we as U.S. citizens from
all over the country gladly pay the billions of dollars it takes to help
our fellow Americans who happen to live in Florida.
Additionally, it is worth keeping in mind that just the math of what Scott
is saying is wrong. States like New York are sending more federal tax
dollars to the federal government than they get back in services and states
like Rick Scott`s Florida get back more money from the federal government
It is clear, though, that this is going to be a titanic battle over
financial aid to states. Joining me now is Betsey Stevenson, professor of
economics at the University of Michigan`s Gerald R. Ford School of Public
Policy. She formerly served as a chief economist at the Department of
So, Betsey, Mitch McConnell in an interview with Hugh Hewitt sort of
floated this idea of allowing states, who we know all of the states`
finances are going to be wrecked, that if they have a problem they can
declare bankruptcy, which I think they`re not allowed to do currently under
law. But what would be the economic effects of just saying to the states
BETSEY STEVENSON, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN: Well, I think as you pointed
out, it`s a little bit ironic that the states that traditionally contribute
the most to the federal spending, that send in more than they give are
being told that they shouldn`t ask for handouts right now.
The reality is, though, every state is going to suffer under COVID, because
when you don`t have people working as much, when we have unemployment when
we have, you know, the economy under performing, states are bringing in
less revenue. They are going to bring in less revenue from households, from
businesses, from conferences, from conventions, from all the types of ways
in which – from sales tax.
And because many states actually have balanced budget requirements, they
have to immediately make things work. In fact, by the middle of March we
had barely started to see the economy to suffer, but yet we were already
actually seeing a reduction in local government employment.
So the reality is that if we don`t – as a federal government doesn`t step
up and help state and local governments out, by the time we`re ready to
send our kids back to school, there is not going to be that many teachers
left there to teach them.
HAYES: This was a headline from The Washington Post, which I thought put
it in stark terms, that McConnell`s rejection of federal aid to states
risks causing a depression, analysts say. For precisely the sort of dynamic
you`re talking about, you start cutting state budgets all over the place,
you`re going to cut back on employment and cut back on demand, you have a
kind of self-fulfilling prophesy and spiral down.
But the other aspect of this is McConnell clearly tried to get out ahead of
this by calling them blue state bailouts. And it`s clear he`s sort of
retreating today. And I think the reason he is retreating is it`s not just
blue states, like every state is going to be in very, very rough shape. And
there`s going to be pressure on the senators on the Republican side for
help for their states, right?
STEVENSON: Yeah, I think that that`s absolutely right. This is going to
hit every state.
We saw in 2008 something we had never seen before, which was the reduction
in employment and spending by state and local governments worsened the
recession. Normally, we have government employment at all levels helping to
support the economy and support employment in a recession. We failed to
help the states out in the last recession, it contributed to the severity
and the last recession.
At its worst point, there were 250,000 fewer teachers working in the United
States, because of
that. And that`s exactly the kind of situation that we`re going to face.
But I think it`s going to be worse this time, because I think that what
we`re really need in order for the economy to recover is to preserve as
many relationships between employers and workers as possible. And it`s
going to be really hard for people to find brand-new jobs, make connections
with new employers. There is going to be a lot of distancing and distrust
out there. And so cutting loose a bunch of government workers who are
competing with people who are working in the private sector who lost jobs
when we`re going to see, I think, very long unemployment spells, it`s just
a mistake that will make the entire situation worse.
HAYES: This idea of sort of repeating the mistakes, I mean, is what is so
terrifying for me, because it really was brutal and extended misery for a
lot of people. It does seem that the politics of this are a little
different in so far as McConnell has had to back away already in a few
days. And so there looks like this is going to be a fight, like Democrats
are focused on this. This will be one of the big fights in the next piece
of legislation, do you think?
STEVENSON: It absolutely will be one of the big fights. You`re looking at
states are – estimates I`ve seen are that states are going to face $500
billion short fall over a couple of years, states like Michigan 12 to 14
percent hole in their budget. These are really big holes.
It`s a also time where if we get the economy going again, we actually need
the people who work for the state and local government, people like our
teachers, our hospital workers, our firefighters, our emergency personnel.
If we`re laying all those folks off, that`s going to make people even more
skittish that they can go back to work. They are going to know that there
is not support there in the community. All of this is going to compound.
HAYES: All right. Betsey Stevenson, thanks you so much.
STEVENSON: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, former Vice President Al Gore on the federal response to the
COVID crisis. The environmental implications of the nationwide shut down
and the potential of an oil industry bailout that some people started to
float. He joins me just ahead.
HAYES: April 7 was a shameful low point for our democracy in the state of
Wisconsin when Republicans forced the state to hold an in person primary
election in the middle of a pandemic. And now, the state is back at it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those in the seventh congressional district are
preparing to do it all over again. As of now, the Wisconsin elections
commission says nothing has changed for the May special election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: There`s a special election in Wisconsin with in-person voting in
just two weeks. It`s utter madness, given what happened the last time
around. Here is a chart of the confirmed Coronavirus cases in Wisconsin,
which has seen an up-tick in new cases over the past week. There is some
evidence that suggestions the last round of voting may have accelerated the
spread, at least 36 voters and poll workers tested positive for Coronavirus
after the primary vote and that figure is likely to grow in the coming
And while allowed minority of Wisconsin voters spurred on by the president
and other right wing interest groups want to quote, unquote reopen the
state, that`s them there standing next to each other protesting, a poll
last week found that only 23 percent of Wisconsinites think social
distancing measures should be relaxed, an overwhelming majority thinks the
state is doing the right thing, or that more aggressive measures are
The situation in Wisconsin illustrates why no excuse, universal absentee
voting is vital and also so popular. 60 percent of Americans support
allowing people to vote by main-in ballot without having to give a reason,
including a plurality of Republicans, but many elected Republicans,
including the president, are trying to block it.
And time is now running out, industry leaders and election experts say that
expanding voting by mail for November could require making commitments in
the next few weeks. Congress must act now to fund such voting. And states
need to do whatever it takes to make it happen, because people should not
have to choose between their health and participating in democracy.
HAYES: In this moment of crisis, a lot of rules have gone out the window
in terms of what kind of policy is and is not feasible, which will make for
an encouraging moment in some ways when you think about the possibility of
really bold and ambitious climate policy, but also the fear that this
Coronavirus crisis will lead to a kind of doubling down on, say, fossil
fuels. In fact, there is already talk of a bailout for the oil industry.
And joining me now to talk about this and the moment we find ourselves in
more broadly, someone who has been advocating on climate policy for over 30
years, who spent eight years as vice president of the United States amidst
of several global crisis, former Vice President Al Gore.
Mr. Vice President, let me start on this question of where you think the
U.S. is right now at this moment, in terms of how it has dealt with the
AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Oh boy, Chris, it`s
so hard to know where to begin. You know, there is no more important role
for a president than to lead a nation through a crisis, and that means
unifying people and leading not only your political base, but reaching out
to others with whom you disagreed.
And Donald Trump has made this all about himself. He has ignored repeated
warnings, news reports this evening, showing yet more warnings that were
ignored. He ignored the science, as he has done with the climate crisis as
well. He has engaged in a kind of a magical thinking. He`s pushed dangerous
and potentially deadly snake oil type remedies. He`s lashed out at people
who have been asking length legitimate questions and who have pleaded with
him to try to mobilize the federal government`s resources.
And now luckily, there have been others that have stepped up – governors,
Democratic and Republican governors, in many cases; Dr. Fauci, over
scientific and medical experts, so this has brought a lot of good out in
the American people.
But this is a dangerous time for our country, Chris. This is – you know,
when people all around the world are just dropping their jaws in amazement
at the things he says, that`s not good for anybody in this country.
And we`ve got to get through this in spite of Donald Trump, but it has been
an irresponsible, incompetent, and in many ways disgraceful performance.
HAYES: You know, you have such an interesting perspective, Mr. Vice
President, because you served as a senator for years and you were obviously
vice president, and are very familiar with what the actual confines of the
American political system with all of its choke points can be, and also
have worked so much on climate where generally radical steps are probably
necessary for us to avoid catastrophe, and in the balance between those
two, I wonder where you think are at this moment, because there it seem to
be expanded horizons as we watch all kinds of new policies being floated to
try to get us through this, if that gives you some kind of hope about where
we are and what the future is?
GORE: Well, as someone has said, we`re in a kind of chrysalis. We are
continuing to navigate according to the coordinates of a world that has
radically changed, and it`s a challenge to ascertain what the world to come
is going to look like.
No doubt, there will be many similarities, but you know mentioned the oil
bailout proposal at the beginning of your comments. This climate crisis and
the COVID-19 pandemic are linked in some ways. The preconditions that raise
the death rate from COVID-19, a great many of them are accentuated, made
worse, by the fossil fuel pollution, not the CO2, which causes the climate
crisis, but the particulates, the soot. And of course, President Trump is
trying to use this crisis as an opportunity to turn the valves wide open
for more pollution.
And we also see it with the horrendous differential mortality rates among
African-Americans and to some extent, Hispanic Americans and Native
Americans, as well.
This crisis has exposed some long-standing weaknesses in our president, but
some long-standing weaknesses in our country. If we – just to pick one
example that existed before this began, the death rate for African-American
children from asthma is 10 times the death rate for Caucasian children from
asthma. You see the big increase in death rates from COVID-19.
And there are many factors that cause it, and you know them, Chris, you
wrote that book, “A Colony in a Country, and you spelled this out –
inadequate access to health care, unequal economics, poor housing, and
environmental injustice, because communities of color, because they`ve had
a legacy of being deprived of the same political and economic power to
defend themselves, are way more likely to be downwind from the smoke stacks
and breathe that pollution in, downstream from the hazardous waste flows
adjacent to the coal ash and hazard chemical waste sights, and this is now
being manifested in these horrendous death rates.
But we can get through this. And on the other side of it, we can build a
new energy system, a new transportation system, a new approach to health
care, and habitat and housing.
You know, this happens at a time when the oil industry and the fossil fuel
industry as a whole is kind of on the ropes anyway. If you look at all of
the new electricity generation built last year in the world, 72 percent was
renewable, mostly wind and solar. And we`re seeing it cheaper as a source
of electricity in two-third of the world than fossil fuel, and soon, in a
few years, in 100 percent of the world. EVs are taking off. Within two
years, they are going to be significantly cheaper than internal combustion
engines. Regenerative agriculture – and I won`t go through the whole list,
but the opportunities are very large.
HAYES: Well, it`s striking when you look at those, we`ve shown these
photos in the show about, you know, what happens when you just take the
internal combustion away from, you know, from major cities around the
world, whether it`s in Shanghai or it`s in Los Angeles, or – and people
are seeing air that they`ve never seen. That omnipresence of air pollution,
both in terms of its health effects and the visual effects and the fact
that, you know, jogging in certain places is harder. It`s sort of this
underlying atmospheric part of what we`ve just come to kind of acclimate
to, that doesn`t have to be that way is one of the big lessons I`ve taken
GORE: Yeah, and the similarities between COVID-19, the pandemic on the one
hand and the climate crisis on the other have been discussed, both
illustrate the extreme danger of ignoring the scientific warnings until
it`s almost too late.
But there are some differences. Instead of lasting for six months, eight
months, a year, two years, the climate crisis will have impacts that last
Now, here`s another big difference. We have seen policies that essentially
shut down large areas of the economy, as Paul Krugman said, to put it in
kind of a medically induced coma, until we can conquer this virus, and
that`s hurt economic activity a lot. But where the climate crisis is
concerned, it`s the greatest opportunity for creating new jobs and
sustainable economic growth that the world has ever seen.
So on the way out of this crisis – and of course, all hands on deck now,
to solve this crisis, in spite of President Trump, but when this is over,
we need to rebuild in a way that keeps the air cleaner, and keeps the water
cleaner, and stops trapping all of this extra heat that is destabilizing
the climate system, and disrupting the water cycle, and causing these
horrendous consequences that the scientists have been shouting from the
rooftops warning us against.
HAYES: A final question, last minute we have here, you know, the degree to
which these, the sort of parallels between these two crises, the last thing
I think about is just the way that ultimately, even though the effects are
disproportionate, it is also something that we all share, right, like we
all have a human body that`s susceptible to the virus, we all breathe the
air, we are all in the climate, that there is going to be needed global
coordination to battle this, and also the climate.
GORE: Right, we share the same atmosphere. We live on the same Earth. We
just had the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. And we share the same future.
And so yes. And we have to recognize that in spite of the rise of China and
the beginnings of serious growth in India, and improvement in their quality
of life, still, we`re in a period of history where the United States
remains the only nation that can organize and coordinate and lead a global
And I mentioned at the beginning that we`re in real trouble.
If I could say one thing to republicans who are listening, look, this
election coming up is one where I hope that a lot of people will put the
country first, and try, even in this time of extreme partisanship, to try
to set that aside, and look at what is at stake here. I mean seriously,
we`re really in trouble with the kind of performance in the Oval Office
we`ve had. We`ve got change that, Chris.
I know that sounds partisan, but it`s more than that, it`s way more than
HAYES: Former Vice President Al Gore, it`s always great to talk to you.
Thank you for making time tonight.
GORE: Thank you.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts
right now on this Monday.
Good evening, Rachel.
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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
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