Rep. Clyburn TRANSCRIPT: 5/19/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: But at least we`re
going to have one. That`s the good news dose for today. Thank you for being
with us. And don`t go anywhere, “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes is up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN, this guy and his magic pills.
Why we`re all paying for a president stuck in his own weird information
bubble, spurning health for the rest of the world. Senator Chris Murphy and
Steve Schmidt will be here.
Then, the high stakes gamble of reopening early and the Florida government
official who says she was ousted for refusing to manipulate the data. Plus,
a guide to summer distancing. It`s so nice. Can we go outside if we`re safe
about it? And ALL IN 2020, why Joe Biden is about to make the most
consequential vice-presidential pick in American history. When ALL IN
starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. You know when the
President said yesterday that he was taking that anti-malarial drug,
hydroxychloroquine, the drug he and his Trump T.V. buddies have been
touting during the pandemic as a magic pill. I thought maybe it was just
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I happen to be taking it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hydroxychloroquine?
TRUMP: I`m taking it, hydroxychloroquine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When?
TRUMP: Right now, yes. A couple of weeks ago, I started taking it. Because
I think it`s good. I`ve heard a lot of good stories.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I mean, what do you make of that? The thing is, you never know if
Trump`s telling the truth. It`s usually safe to assume he`s not. And maybe
this was just part of the sales job. When I heard it, I immediately thought
of that old 1980s commercial for the hair club for men, where the guy is
not just the president, but he is also a client.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These men are actual clients, not models. And men like
you will discover that you don`t need drugs or chemicals, surgery and
miracles, to have a full out of hair. To get all the effects free and
without obligation, just call our toll-free number now, and I`ll send you
the new booklet. And remember, I`m not only the hair product president, but
I`m also a client.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I`m not just the president, but I`m also a client. I thought maybe
Trump was you know vouching for it. But was he really taking it? So then we
got some substantive reporting that really does make me think he is taking
this drug to try to ward off the virus even though it is not recommended by
his own government agencies.
You`ll remember, it was almost two weeks ago when the President`s personal
valet, the guy that brings him his diet cokes, tested positive of the
virus. That was then followed by another White House staffer, Mike Pence`s
press secretary who also tested positive. And I think it`s fair to say,
those two cases clearly freaked him out.
Yesterday, the President`s personal physician released this weird doctor`s
note saying that after those positive tests, and I quote here, “We
concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweigh the relative
risks.” Now to be clear, this is a hilarious equivocal document. It does
not actually flat out say Trump is taking the drug. It seems to suggest
that he is.
Then today, the White House confirmed that yes, Trump is taking it. Again,
as with everything in this White House and this guy, who knows for sure,
but the timeline does match up. And assuming it`s true, which I come to
believe is probably true. The President is taking this drug off label
prophylactically against the advice of his own government agencies that are
tasked with, you know, figuring this stuff out.
It was less than a month ago that the FDA warned of heart problems from
taking the drugs specifically dangerous abnormalities in heart rhythm. Even
some of the folks on Trump T.V. said what the President was doing was nuts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you are in a risky population here and you are taking
this as a preventative treatment to ward off the virus or in a worst-case
scenario, you are dealing with the virus and you are in this vulnerable
population, it will kill you. I cannot stress enough. This will kill you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The President has been obsessively hawking hydroxychloroquine like
he is a salesman for it. And you know, we should be clear here, there was
some early studies that suggest it was promising. Later data has called
that into question. It`s still sort of an open question, although I think
the bulk of evidence leaning towards no. But the President has been on this
from the beginning.
And at first, the question was like, what is the angle here? Why is he
obsessed with this? Some people jumped on the fact that Trump has a very
small personal financial interest in the company that makes a brand name
version of the drug. But it`s a pretty small interest. It`s fairly
attenuated. And the notion that this was all being driven by that financial
gain didn`t quite make a lot of sense to me.
More compelling was ousted vaccine expert Dr. Rick Bright suggestion that
the administration was pushing the drug to benefit politically connected
allies. So that also might be true. That`s what Dr. Bright says. But it
always just seemed possible that fundamentally and the reason was that
Trump just believed his own B.S.
I mean, here`s a guy who has been pumping conservative media into his brain
for a decade or two at least, and that entire universe runs on
advertisements for magic pills and supplements that will cure all your
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN GORKA, FORMER DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES: Let me say that I have never before endorsed a pain reliever. But
when Pete and Seth Talbott, the father and son owners of Relief Factor
asked me to endorse that 100 percent drug-free product, I absolutely
couldn`t say no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My sister started taking collagen. She noticed her hair
– her hair got thicker, her nails got stronger, some of the fine lines in
the skin, she noticed changes in her appearance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, those powders, do anybody – have you had
anybody have a bad reaction to them or is it all pretty benign?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, you know, I`ve never had anybody have a bad
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your genetic flaws, assuming that we all have them,
they can actually be cured with a vitamin?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It seems that way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to get the Ultimate Krill Oil. I want you to
get Vaso Beet, I want you to get DNA Force Plus, I want you to experience
X-2. I want you to get Real Red Pill – Real Red Pill Plus. They`re all in
stock right now and they`re 30 to 60 percent off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We could have made that monologue montage eight hours long. Oh, and
by the way, Trump himself actually started a vitamin company that of course
went bust, which offered a urine test to recommend customized nutritional
supplements. One doctor called its claims, and I quote here, quite insane.
But the notion the president is taking this drug, speaks not only to his
past but also to the way he has gone about this entire catastrophe and more
broadly from the beginning, always, always looking for some magic bullet,
for some easy solution, the magic pill.
The Washington Post reported last month that “Fox host Laura Ingraham and
two doctors who are regular on on-air guests in what she dubs her medicine
cabinet visited the White House for a private meeting with Trump to talk up
the drug” and he loved it. He was sold. He took the advice of war
Ingraham`s medicine cabinet over his own government`s medical experts.
The depressing reality here appears to be this. That this isn`t some 12-
dimensional chess. It`s not even some corrupt angle he`s working. The
President literally thinks there is some secret magic solution. Donald
Trump is his own mark. He is the president and literally, also a client.
He views the coronavirus fight not as an extremely complicated and
difficult problem that requires marshaling together a huge spectrum of
expertise and knowledge to weigh and balance risks and replicability and
control studies and safety and efficacy and all that stuff. No, he thinks
it can be waved away or it could be denied or go away like a miracle or
just pulled away, that there`s got to be some easy solution out there
And when an actual real scientist like Dr. Rick bright tries to stay in the
way the administration flooding states with this magic pill, Trump gets rid
of them. And so at this point, when the whole world is figuring out what to
do now, what do we do now, having absorbed much of the first wave of the
pandemic, and its death, and illness, and misery, and economic ruin, and
the World Health Organization and others are exchanging information and
research, and there are international examples to draw from, and all sorts
of experts with different views on this chewing through these different
questions, we are being led by the guy who wants a magic pill to solve all
For more on the coronavirus conversation that is happening without the
United States, I`m joined by Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut.
This is the thing, Senator, that I`m most worried about, is that in some
ways, we`ve made a lot of progress in so far as if you look at the trends
nationally, we are not like climbing up some huge epidemic curve. There`s
some worrying signs in certain places, but in other ways, it just seems
that we`re sort of as unprepared for whatever comes now with the exception
of increased testing capacity as we – as we were two months ago.
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Yes. And the danger here as we reopen is that you
risk throwing lambs to the wolves, because we have made this progress by
social distancing, by essentially keeping ourselves away from situations in
which we could get infected. And now as we all reemerge from our homes, as
we start to congregate in businesses and restaurants, there are going to
literally be millions of people who had no chance to catch the virus who
And you know, what is so maddening is that this administration, you know,
could have used this time to work with states to invest in the kind of
systems that can jump on outbreaks when they start. And they are going to
inevitably start to pop up all around the country, and we know exactly how
to control them. But instead of helping us build those systems, these
testing, tracing, and quarantine systems, the administration has sort of
sat back and essentially prevented the CDC from working with us in any
meaningful way and stood in the way of efforts to try to fund those
So it`s a really dangerous moment. I think states need to start reopening.
But it makes me incredibly nervous that we don`t have a president who seems
to understand or care about what his role is and what the federal
government`s role is now, to make sure that this doesn`t very quickly
boomerang back in the wrong direction.
HAYES: You said – you know, the federal government, part of what`s so
profoundly bizarre about this moment and has been true for much of the
Trump administration is his alienation from his own administration, his
alienation from the government. The guy has at his disposal hundreds of
experts on every topic in the world that you could call up and learn
something from, but he wants to talk to Laura Ingraham and her on air
doctors about like the, you know, the malaria drug.
And then today, you know, his own V.A. did a study of the efficacy not
because they wanted to bring down the president, because it was important
to find out. And they found that it was not that efficacious and actually
created some risk.
And this is his reaction. He says, the only negative I`ve heard was a study
where they gave – it was the V.A. with, you know, people that aren`t big
Trump fans gave it. He is incapable of viewing any of this as anything
other than some conspiracy against him as opposed to like an actual
objective reality that exists out in the world that we`re trying to grasp.
MURPHY: Yes. I mean, this has always been perceived by the president as a
political problem from the very beginning when he refused to bring on board
from this cruise ship a bunch of individuals who were positive because he
worried it would make us look bad by driving up the numbers. This has been
nothing but a political problem to him from the beginning.
But you know, I mean, there are lots of good people in government and the
federal government today who want to solve this problem. He is also
surrounded by people in the White House and at the top of these agencies
who have spent their lifetime trying to destroy government, trying to
undermine the credibility of government.
And so yes, the President hasn`t been leading and trying to marshal
resources of the federal government to help us. But he also has put a whole
bunch of people in place, people who come from the orthodoxy of the
Republican Party who have spent a long time rooting for government to fail,
the exact worst people to be in senior positions at a moment like this.
HAYES: The President declined to participate in that World Health
Organization kind of summit yesterday. And you know, there have been
criticisms of how the WHO handled things particularly the way it sort of
handled its conversation and communication with China. And some of those
criticisms are, I think, quite legitimate. I think you would agree. There
was a little bit of capture that happened early on.
But what is also clear as at this point, like this is happening in the
world everywhere. You know, half the world is on lockdown. Everyone is
working on the same problem. It does seem like if there`s ever a time to
cooperate and to learn from other people, this is the time to do it.
MURPHY: Yes, for two reasons. One, because you can`t stop the virus
anywhere unless you stop it everywhere. What we know is that walls and
travel bans don`t work. And so, we`ve got to be part of a global effort
here. Because even if we do significantly turn the corner in the United
States, if it still exists in Africa or in Brazil, we are still at risk.
And then we have to develop a vaccine. And right now, we are not part of
the global organizations that are working on the vaccine. That means, if we
don`t find it first, if one of those global organizations does, we don`t
have a seat at the table to make sure that we get our share of it.
And then you`re right that the who was too cozy with China in those early
days, but nobody was cozier with China in January and February than Donald
Trump. He was the chief apologist for China`s early reaction to the virus.
And frankly, it`s kind of hard to understand how the WHO would have come
out and contradicted Donald Trump in January and February because the
United States is its chief patron, the WHO`s biggest donor. So we have to
remember that nothing the WHO was saying was as friendly and as apologist
as the things that Donald Trump was saying about China.
HAYES: Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who is in Washington D.C. where
Senate is in session, let`s talk soon about what is or isn`t going on there
next time you`re on.
MURPHY: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right. Joining me now for more on the lack of leadership, which
is putting it mildly coming from the White House, former Republican
strategist, Steve Schmidt. Steve, I wanted to talk to you because I keep
thinking about this piece of a writer named Alex Perrine wrote a few years
ago that basically made this – this was the case he made.
He said, basically, for a long time, conservative media had sort of two
echelons. There was talk radio and other things for the base. And that was
– there was a lot of conspiratorial stuff. There`s a lot of hawking of
supplements and things like that. And then there was a kind of like, elites
who consumed other stuff. You know, they read the news, a variety of
And then at a certain point, like the people who only consumed the universe
of right-wing media actually became the decision-makers. They became the
people running for office. They became the people elected to president. And
then this is what you end up with when that happens.
STEVE SCHMIDT, FORMER REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, good evening, Chris.
Total insanity, for sure. And when we look out at the whole spectrum of the
nonsense that`s communicated to the American people through the vast and
sophisticated Trump propaganda network that`s heavily influenced by
misinformation that`s intended to divide the American people, put into the
social media sphere by hostile foreign intelligence services, it`s a real
threat to the comedy in our country.
And so we`ve seen all of this play out over the course of this pandemic.
We`ve seen the President of the United States standing behind the podium
with – blazing with the seal of the presidency, saying, inject
disinfectants, saying that I`m taking this malaria drug that could kill him
over and over and over again.
The American people have been subjected to wave after wave of idiocy, of
asininity, of misinformation from the President of the United States. And
what it all adds up to is the most inept and incompetent response to a
crisis that`s conceivable to imagine. This is – this is the worst response
by an American leader, certainly by a president, but by any American leader
in a time of testing crisis in our nation`s history. It`s appallingly bad.
And so, as we talk right now, more Americans will be dead by the dawn.
We`re approaching 100,000 dead Americans because of the abject incompetence
and mishandling of this by Donald Trump. And when you sit there and you
look at Alex Jones, and you look at Laura Ingraham, and judge Jeanine, and
all of them, I mean each and every one is in their own right spectacularly
nuts as they go on and they talk about this stuff.
And that there are vulnerable people out there watching these people who
make $5, $10, $15, $20 $30 million a year following their advice,
endangering themselves, it`s just tragic. It`s such a lethal con and fraud
that`s perpetrated by the people on the American people. There`s just not a
word for it. It`s just despicable.
HAYES: But here`s the thing about that. I agree with much of that. But what
is even more mind-blowing to me, and in some ways more depressing and more
sort of a desperate situation is that the con includes the president. Like
he believes that con.
He thinks – he watches a bunch of people on Trump T.V. say the drug is –
it`s a miracle and they don`t want you to have it, and all the liberal
people are out to get you so you should take it. And he`s actually taking
it because like, he`s a mark for this stuff too. And that`s the guy that`s
running the country.
SCHMIDT: Well, absolutely. Look, Donald Trump is many things. He`s
dishonest. He`s lied to the American people more than 17,000 times. He`s
completely corrupt. He`s indecent, he`s vile, he`s divisive. But it is
moment, the thing that matters the most, and I don`t say this to name-call,
but he`s an imbecile. There`s no other word for it.
That`s the precise word we use in the English language to describe his
comportment, to describe his behavior. The most powerful person in the
world who told the American people when there were 15 cases, that this
would be gone. It would disappear like it was magic. He told the American
people that the Chinese government was on top of this. He told the American
people the way you deal with this is maybe by injecting or consuming
Every day has been the achievement of a new stratosphere of just abject
idiocy flowing out from the White House. So it`s the mismanagement of the
crisis. And while that`s going on, we see the continual assault on our
Democratic institutions, the undermining of the rule of law, the
institutionalization of the corruption of this administration, through the
Attorney General, the firing of the inspector generals, and on and on, it
This – our country, Chris, the most powerful country in the world
supposedly, economically, militarily, we are a basket case. We are at the
center of this. You have more likelihood of dying at this virus in the
United States than any place else. You have more likelihood of catching it
in the United States than anyplace else. You have more likelihood of not
being able to get a test for it anyplace else.
And so, when we look at the totality of it, the mismanagement, the
incompetence, it`s so epically bad that there`s no comparison to it in the
hole of American history. And what we have is 90,000-plus dead Americans in
an utterly shattered economy, and a president who every day deliberately
misinformed, spans, lies to the American people with one objective in mind.
The guy will say anything if he believes it will help his reelection.
The fundamental problem for Donald Trump is the man who said I alone can
fix it, I`m going to make America great again, has presided over a period
of suffering, of mass death of disease and economic devastation the likes
this country has never ever seen in the entirety of its history.
HAYES: That last part is pretty unquestionably true at this point. Steve
Schmidt, thank you so much.
SCHMIDT: Thank you, Chris.
HAYES: Next, as more states plan for partial reopening this week, a look at
what happened in their states that opened early without meeting the CDC
standards. The result of that high-risk gamble after this.
HAYES: We`ve been covering the high-risk strategy that a lot of states are
pursuing which is to open before they`ve reached the standards set by the
Trump administration`s own CDC. Those states are just crossing their
fingers and hoping for the best. The folks at covidexitstrategy.org have
this great map to kind of visualize it.
All the states you see here in red, have not met the gating criteria, which
the site describes the data-driven conditions each region should satisfy
before proceeding to a phased opening set by the White House, OK, not some
liberals on T.V. Those conditions include a sustained reduction in symptoms
and cases, health system readiness, and increased testing capacity.
Now, nearly all those red states are in some stage of reopening without
meeting those conditions, and some have real legitimate ongoing outbreaks.
I mean, take a look at the data from Arkansas. Their 14-day trend in
positive COVID cases is up 102 percent, which is not great. That`s with the
4.8 percent an increasing positive test rate. That`s a key thing to look
In North Dakota, there are 50 percent in positive cases over the past 14
days and also increasing, and their positive test rate is 4.3 percent and
increasing also, right. So that increasing positive test rate means even if
they`re doing more testing, they`re also finding more cases. Here`s
Alabama, positive cases up 30 percent over 14 days and increasing. 7.5
percent of tests are coming up positive there, and that number also
Again, all states that have decided, you know, what we`re opening,
hopefully, won`t become a disaster. And like I`ve been saying, there`s two
big dangers here, right? One danger is that states are sending a kind of
behavioral message to people that we`re back to normal which we really
can`t be if we want to avoid the worst-case scenario, right? Otherwise, you
end up with scenes like this in Texas.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After several weeks of being stuck inside, thousands
have flocked here to Bolivar Peninsula to make the most of their time while
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A big quarantine. And like, I need to get out and
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go topless Jeep weekend.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s better than beach and a few drinks and jeeps. I
mean, it can`t get any better than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I mean, that does literally sound great. But probably not a great
idea without masks and precautions and people sort of staying away from
each other, which it didn`t seem like folks were. The other danger with
what some of the states are doing here, I think, is that they send a kind
of message, right, throughout the government that they don`t want to hear
bad news, that they start kind of hedging the data, tamping it down,
suppressing it, hiding it.
That is the original sin of coronavirus responses starting in China. It
appears to be maybe repeating itself in Florida where the architect and
manager that states COVID-19 dashboard, a site that made all sorts of
different metrics public and easily accessible said she was forced to
resign after she objected to an order to delete data.
For more on all this, I`m joined now by Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist
leading the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Testing Insights Initiative. Jennifer, I
want to start on this – on this sort of data question, because I think
it`s pretty key even if it feels dry, which is, you know, from the
beginning, we`ve seen governments who have suppressed the data, who have
avoided the data, who have fudge the data, who have got bad data, because
they don`t want – they don`t want to believe it`s that bad.
And what ends up happening usually is that the virus doesn`t care and it
comes at you. How worried are you? How confident are you in the state of
the data that states have and that they`re using to make their decisions
JENNIFER NUZZO, SENIOR SCHOLAR, JOHNS HOPKINS CENTER FOR HEALTH SECURITY:
Yes, I am particularly concerned about data. I mean, listen, this is a hard
job. The states are trying to stand up surveillance systems in the midst of
a crisis, so I want to give some credit there that this is a difficult
Nonetheless, I think there are a number of ways to improve the data that
states are collecting and showing. And this is absolutely critical for
boosting public confidence. And, you know, if the goal here is to bring the
economy back, public confidence is central to that. And the way that we can
boost public confidence is through more complete data reporting and greater
transparency and to have everybody believe the numbers.
HAYES: So we`ve got – we`ve got different categories of states that are in
different situations in terms of their epidemic curve, different situations
in terms of their testing and positive cases, different stages of
reopening. But the three big ones that have been pointed to Georgia, Texas,
and Florida, they`re all states where they`re out ahead of what the CDC
Georgia, particularly there was a sort of is this going to lead to a huge
spike. Georgia has not seen some enormous spike even though Texas has had
rising cases? What is your assessment of where we are in our knowledge of
what the cause and effect are in terms of the states?
NUZZO: Right, well it takes time for the data that states are tracking to
change. So there could very well be an effect of reopening too soon that
just isn`t showing up in the data early, particularly in states that aren`t
doing widespread testing. If that they`re not testing enough in those
states you talked about the percentage of tests that are positive. If you
see state where the percentage of positive tests are high, or worse
increasing, that means that they are not casting a wide enough net to find
cases. And it will take time for the case numbers to eventually change.
And so when you talk about states reopening, the data that they may look
to, the things like case numbers or, you know, people that are hospitalized
in intensive care, those are pretty late data streams that take a while to
change. And so really we want to look earlier to know that once they`re
reopened, that there`s a problem emerging, and that they need to change
And one of my deep concerns is a number of the states that are reopening is
that they haven`t yet developed the public capacities that they`ll need to
keep their case numbers low. So once they test and they find a case, they
need to isolate those cases so they don`t transmit the infection to other
people. They need to figure out who those people may have exposed before
they came known as a case, and monitor them. That`s called contact tracing.
It takes a lot of resources to do contact tracing well. And frankly very
few states have amassed the capacity to do it.
And unless they have those things in place, they are going to see those
case numbers go right back up eventually.
HAYES: It seems to me like there`s a little bit of a question about what
we`re aiming for policy wise. And I think this – I`ve been thinking about
this way, which I think has been clarifying. Is the goal open as much of
your economy as you can while avoiding a New York style massive outbreak
that leaves thousands dead and the hospital system overwhelmed and melted
down? Or is the goal open as much as you can while minimizing death as much
And it seems to me a little bit when you look at places like Georgia and
Texas and Florida, and the kind of conversation in the White House, it`s
kind of more of the former. Like, there`s a certain amount that we`re just
willing to say, there`s going to be cases, there`s going to be some
transmissions. We`re not going to suppress the virus. There`s going to be
some deaths,but we have got to get back out there as opposed to let`s try
to beat this thing.
NUZZO: Right. So first of all, we absolutely want to minimize death. And
also we don`t want our health system to become overwhelmed, and that`s
really where we were at the beginning of all this. We were seeing case
numbers accelerating so quickly that we were worried that health systems
would be overwhelmed.
But when we talk about, you know, should we reopening the economy or accept
public health impacts like deaths or an overwhelmed health system, it
paints those two things as being at odds with each other, when in reality
is if you want to reopen the economy, people need to feel safe. They need
to feel that going out to the businesses that you`re trying to open won`t
make them sick or their families sick. They don`t want to bring an
infection home to a vulnerable relative and they certainly don`t want to
die or wind up in the hospital.
HAYES: Jennifer Nuzzo of Johns Hopkins University who has been doing great
work on this, thank you so much for sharing your time with us tonight.
NUZZO: Thanks for having me.
HAYES: Coming up, much of the country has been stuck inside for moments and
the weather is getting nice out there. So a big question right now is, is
it safe to go outside, to go to the park, to go for a jog, hang out on the,
you know, park bench? What we know about the potential risks, next.
HAYES: It`s spring. The weather is nice. Everyone wants to go outside. But
how safe is it for us to be outside around each other? It`s a complicated
question as states begin to reopen and people look to get back to a
semblance of normal.
Here now to help answer that question is Tara Parker-Pope, founding editor
of New York Times` Well Section, which focuses on consumer health. And
fittingly, her latest article is titled “What we know about your chances of
catching the virus outdoors.”
Tara, I like this piece and I know it`s something that a lot of us have
been thinking about, particularly as the weather gets nicer. Let`s start
with the sort of what we know about the virus and transmissability. This
really jumped out to me from your article. China did very intense study in
contact tracing. Among our 7,324 identified cases in China with sufficient
descriptions, only one outdoor outbreak involving two cases occurred: a 27-
year-old man had a conversation outdoors with an individual who had
returned from Wuhan on the 25th of January, had the onset symptoms of
Those look like good odds. What did you learn in your reporting?
TARA PARKER-POPE, NEW YORK TIMES: Yeah, I think there`s a lot of consensus
that being outside is very safe. It`s good for us, right, to get fresh air
and to get exercise – I mean, that`s important. But in terms of the
transmission of the virus and the risk of catching the virus, you know,
outdoors is really a safe place to be if you take precautions: you know, if
you social distance, if you wash your hands, if you know wear a mask I
think we can have – all have a pretty good summer and spend time outside
and feel pretty confident.
But we can`t think that we`re – you know, that there`s no risk outside. I
think that study tells us that it can happen, but there`s lots of reasons
why it`s not going to happen if you take the right precautions.
HAYES: Right, so one of the things here, right, is about like the idea of
the viral load, like how much virus a person is getting in transmission,
and over time how much they`re being exposed. And we`ve seen a lot of
examples of, you know, people in buses in China or in a restaurant, or in a
call center in South Korea, next to each other, sustained contact in
periods of time, churches – a church in Arkansas that said the CDC just
did a study about – all of these are like pretty close to each other, it`s
the same time, lots of viral load – internal error in HVAC systems. All of
that is basically lacking usually in outdoors settings is sort of what I
got from your article.
PARKER-POPE: Right, that`s right. Where you don`t want to be is in an
enclosed confined space with other people for long periods of time. I mean,
it is, it`s about the length of exposure, it`s about how much ventilation
you`ve got. And, you know, outdoors is obviously there`s wind, there`s
fresh air, you can have – you know, you can pull away from people and keep
The problem is when we see people start to gather in large groups outside
because then it`s very difficult to keep six feet away. You still need to
keep your distance, but, you know, the wind and the sun it all has an
effect. And it really – you know, it disburses the virus, so, you know, if
you did come into contact – if a person six feet away from you coughs
outside, by the time those droplets get near you, they`re going to be
pretty well disbursed. If you are exposed, it is going to be a very small
amount, even better if you have a mask on, even better if the person who
coughed had a mask on.
So we still need to be careful. But I feel pretty safe when I`m outside.
You know, I do take all the precautions, but I feel like we can go outside.
We can be healthy. We can exercise. We can let kids run around. There`s all
sorts of things we can do to stay safe this summer.
HAYES: Yeah, masks I think are key. And some physical distance. I think –
right, the idea like if you`re at a huge protest or a big concert, anything
where you`re going to be like next to a lot of people for a sustained
period of time, even outdoors, seems like wildly risky. And I would – I`m
not a scientist, but my read on the data is you definitely shouldn`t do
But there is this one stumbling block that I thought was really interesting
when we think about governments and policy, this was from The Washington
Post, that said the need to go is a big barrier going out, why public
bathrooms are a stumbling block to reopening.
And it just made this obvious point that I hadn`t though of which is right,
like you think about the beach and you think, well, if you open the
beaches, you know, there`s a lot of space on the beach, and maybe you can
put cones out so people stay away from each other. But like the bathrooms,
the shower areas, anything that you have as an outdoor utility for folks to
use, that then becomes a 1totally different question from the risk
PARKER-POPE: It really does. It`s a confined space, a lot of people are
there. There`s some suggestion that a flushing toilet can aerosolize the
virus. If I – I would not go into a public restroom, but if I had no
choice, I would wear a mask. I would just, you know, wash hands, I would
get out of there very quickly.
And again, it`s duration of exposure, you know, we know particles can hang
in the air for about 30 minutes in the real world, we think. So there
definitely is some risk, but it`s not – a public restroom
is not where I would want to be. So I don`t know how you solve that
Even when we`re talking about having visits with grandparents outside, one
of the kids has to go to the bathroom, or the grandparent has to go to the
bathroom, you have to deal with that issue. And I think the only way is
masks and hygiene.
HAYES: Yeah. That is an issue that we have encountered, I mean, that people
encounter, right. Like you`re outside, you`re social distancing, and then
the bathroom question does arise. It is going to be something to navigate
this summer for people.
Tara Parker-Pope, it was a great piece. Thank you so much for joining us.
PARKER-POPE: Sure, happy to be here.
HAYES: Ahead, the biggest decision the Biden campaign has to make so far,
who will be his runningmate? Why the stakes are even higher than usual for
his VP pick, and one new surprise name in the running, coming up.
HAYES: We have covered on this program – you`ve probably seen some
discussion about the Swedish model for dealing with the Coronavirus. Sweden
chose not to completely lock down. They didn`t close schools. And although
they have seen significantly diminished mobility, people are doing some
version of caution, they haven`t been under the kind of situation we all
have in a lot of the other places in the world.
Places like Florida have held up Sweden as an example to follow. Kentucky
Senator Rand Paul even touted it when Dr. Anthony Fauci testified before
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL, (R) KENTUCKY: We need to observe with an open mind what
went on in Sweden, where the kids kept going to school. The mortality per
capita in Sweden is actually less than France, less than Italy, less than
Spain, less than Belgium, less than the Netherlands, about the same as
Switzerland. But basically, I don`t think there`s anybody arguing that what
happened in Sweden is an unacceptable result. I think people are intrigued
by it and we should be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So the data on Sweden, whether it`s an unacceptable result or not,
has been kind of split. But the picture over time is getting clearer and
clearer. Last week, Sweden had the highest COVID deaths per capita of any
nation in Europe, even higher than the UK, which has been particularly hard
When you compare it to its Scandinavian neighbors, which is probably the
most apples to apples comparison, it really jumps out at you. I mean, 36.31
compared to 5, 4, or 9. I mean, whether intentionally or not, Sweden is
conducting a trade-off. They have accepted a lot more of their fellow
So for those touting there is some possible win-win on the offing in Sweden
that you don`t have to hurt your economy and you can escape the worst of
the virus, it does not look that way.
HAYES: The selection of a vice president is always a big deal, both on
political grounds and on substantive grounds, but it`s hard to think of a
time when it has been as important as this one. Joe Biden is 77 years old.
If he wins, he would be creating the kind of de facto future of the
Democratic Party in that one decision, right, that person, his running
mate, the vice president of the United States, would become the kind of
future leader almost immediately.
Lots of people made the point that given the stakes of the election, and
also the demographics of the Democratic Party, the coalitional politics, a
woman of color should be a focal point for the search.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and opinion writer for The Washington
Post, Jonathan Capehart, just wrote an opinion piece about four women
worthy of vice presidential speculation, and he joins me now.
Jonathan, what`s your sort of case for thinking about this as a search that
should be focused on a black woman?
JONATHAN CAPEHART, THE WASHINGTON POST: So, I`m using a numerical case.
This isn`t just a case of sort of racial pride, this is a case made on
numbers based on the drop in the African-American vote from 2012 to 2016
and how that was decisive in some races.
Take Michigan, for example. Donald Trump – I should say Hillary Clinton
lost that state by 10,700-and something votes. But the Detroit Free Press
reported later on in November of 2016 that Hillary Clinton won 50,000 fewer
votes out of Detroit than President Obama did in his re-election in 2012.
That`s just one example.
The national African-American turnout in 2016 fell for the first time in a
presidential election in 20 years from 66 percent African-American turnout
in 2012 to a 59.6 percent turnout in 2016. And then black women, it was
also – it was also bad. Black women – when I find my notes here – in
2012, 74 percent of African-American women came out to vote, in 2016 66
And so, we`re talking about slim margins here, but we – as we saw in 2016,
if you eke out voters who are just decided they`re not excited, they`re not
into the ticket, they`re not into the candidate, they stay
homes, Democrats lose.
And we`ve seen in the reverse, after 2016 and President Trump`s election,
when African-American voters are motivated and they get out and vote,
Democrats win Senate seats in Alabama. They win governorships in Virginia,
and they retake the House of Representatives as they did in 2018.
HAYES: Yeah, arguing on the base of the math I think is quite compelling,
particularly that drop off, the sort of drop off African-American voters
between 2012 and 2016, what it meant particularly electoral college wise,
particularly in states like Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania.
There were four women – by the way, I should also note that sometimes this
gets lost in the conversation, like 74 percent turnout for African-American
women, or 66 percent, which was the lower number is still extremely high,
right? It`s not like this is a constituency that`s voting at low levels,
and I don`t want to give people that impression, it`s all about the
Who are the four women that you sort of wrote about?
CAPEHART: So, the four women most talked about are Stacey Abrams, the
former gubernatorial candidate in Georgia, Congressman Val Demings of
Florida, Senator Kamala Harris of California, who also ran for the
Democratic nomination, as you see there Susan Rice, the former National
Security Adviser, former United States ambassador to the United Nations.
Those are the four who are most talked about. And they`re talked about for
different reasons. Susan Rice is talked about because she`s the one who
takes it right to President Trump in his failure on the Coronavirus. Kamala
Harris is someone people have been talking about in terms of president or
vice president since before she launched her campaign for the 2020
Congresswoman Val Demings, people are talking about her ever since she
became an impeachment manager, and as someone who is on the House Judiciary
Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, and as an impeachment
manager, she has had a front row seat and also as the first African-
American – first black woman and first woman, I should say, Orlando police
chief, she`s someone who people look and say, wow, this black woman is
there prosecuting the case against the president of the United States.
And then you have Stacey Abrams who just narrowly lost the gubernatorial
election in Georgia by some 55,000 votes if memory serves, but she was
running against the former secretary – Georgia secretary of state who was
also her Republican opponent, but also the referee, the person in charge of
the state`s elections.
HAYES: Yeah. And Abrams to me is such a fascinating figure. These are all
fascinating women in their own sort of way. Abrams, because of her
trajectory after that race. I mean, she was such a celebrated national
figure. She ran such an incredible and impressive race, outperformed any
statewide Democrat I think in the last 20 years or something like that. I
mean, it was really – like that has been a tough state for Democrats.
And then has kind of stayed in the game in a really interesting way. There
was some talk about whether she would run for senate. She also did a town
hall with Joe Biden on our air just last week.
HAYES: She – there`s something really interesting and unbelievably
compelling about Stacey Abrams just as a persona.
CAPEHART: Right. Sort of coincidentally, I interviewed Stacey Abrams at the
Kennedy Library and museum a few hours after Senator Harris dropped out of
the Democratic race. And I asked her right then and there would you be
interested in being vice president.
And it was the first time she said definitively yes and made the case. And
we have heard her say that ever since then in every interview she is
unequivocal. Absolutely she wants to be considered for vice president and
thinks she would be a terrific vice president. And I think the fact that
she is so – she`s out there. She`s not playing coy. She`s being very clear
about what her goals are, that that adds to sort of the quirky nature of
this election, sort of unprecedented nature of this election.
HAYES: Yeah, it is really unprecedented. I do – I think so much about what
the sort of – I mean, that – your sort of point about what the kind of
political imperative in a sort of short-term tactical sense is, but then
when you think about the scope of the crisis that likely is going to be
inherited by this administration, it`s quite daunting and this choice is
going to be quite consequential.
Jonathan Capehart, it`s always great to see you. Thank you so much for
joining us tonight. Thank you.
CAPEHART: Great to see you, Chris. Thank you.
HAYES: 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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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