Rep. Clyburn TRANSCRIPT: 5/19/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes

Guests:
Chris Murphy, Steve Schmidt, Jennifer Nuzzo, Jonathan Capehart, Tara Parker-Pope
Transcript:

 

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

him lying.

 

(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

ills.

 

(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

reaction.

 

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

somewhere.

 

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

our problems.

 

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

now can.

 

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

systems.

 

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

newspapers.

 

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

disinfectants.

 

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

goes.

 

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.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

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

at.

 

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

increasing.

 

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

out.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A big quarantine. And like, I need to get out and

party.

 

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

off of?

 

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

task.

 

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

recommendations are.

 

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

course.

 

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

as possible?

 

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.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

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

February 1.”

 

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

your distance.

 

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

that.

 

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

perspective.

 

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

problem.

 

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.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

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

the senate.

 

(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

hit.

 

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

citizens dying.

 

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.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

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

percent.

 

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

marginal changes.

 

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

Democratic nomination.

 

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.

 

CAPEHART: Right.

 

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

BE UPDATED.

END 

 

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