COVID pandemic TRANSCRIPT: 5/27/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Hopefully, the
weather will be in the astronauts` favor. And thank you for being with us.
Don`t go anywhere. “ALL IN” with Chris Hayes is up next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN. 100,000 Americans are gone and
the crisis is not over. New surges around the country and a president just
ready to move on.
Tonight Dr. Craig Spencer has been in the emergency room for all of it,
bears witness. And the Atlantic`s Ed Yong on why the patchwork response is
Then, the very real and very dangerous attack on your right to vote.
Renowned election lawyer Marc Elias on what can be done to protect
democracy from Donald Trump.
Plus, what the pandemic exposes about America in 2020, and why some
protests are met with tear gas and others with restraint. Joy Reid will be
And the Joe Biden platform, after all that Dem civil war stuff, is his
campaign the most progressive in modern history? Matt Yglesias from Vox is
here to make the case when “ALL IN” starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. If you went back to the
beginning of this year 2020, and as the ball was dropping, you predicted we
would have had a once in a century pandemic that would shut down virtually
the entire economy, put half the world under lockdown, kill more than
100,000 Americans and be the leading cause of mortality for weeks at a
time. All of it, every last part of it would have seemed incomprehensible.
And this is where we are, 100,000 Americans have died, yet the only real
nod the President has made any kind of warning or empathy for the fallen is
to lower flags at federal buildings and monuments to have staff for three
days. And now they`re back up. Now they`re back up. He`s bored with dealing
with the virus. He`s moving on. He wants us to move on too.
The President is mad at the virus for screwing up his reelection which has
been obvious and clear from the moment this all started in his public
pronouncements. But a source telling Vanity Fair that Trump was in a rage
last week about how the virus had affected him. “He was saying, this is so
unfair to me. Everything was going great. We were cruising to reelection.”
And again, it has been clear and it`s publicly pronounced, this is how he
has been thinking about it, that he is the victim here. 100,000 dead, it`s
unfair to him, which is why he wants to move on. And that is why his
Twitter feed is now just an otter self-parody of idiotic B.S. and lies
instead of sorrow.
It`s why he said the U.S. will be reopening vaccine or no vaccine. It`s why
he is conducting himself as if none of this happened, as if we were
transported back in that time machine to the first day of the year as if it
were a year ago before the pandemic hit. I mean, if there is any strategy
behind this, I suspect there`s not a lot of it, but if there is, the idea
is to send the message that it`s done now, it`s over. Let`s stop talking
about this. It`s time to get back out there.
But it is not over. Nationally, we appear in the aggregate to be in the
decline phase of the first wave, which is cautiously good news. But this
virus, this disease has already killed an incomprehensible number of
Americans. Everyone is sort of struggling how to communicate in the
nation`s front pages attempting to convey the scale of the horror.
But Donald Trump cannot grasp this. We know this about him. It has been
clear for the totality of his public life. And so today, it was left to Joe
Biden to deliver a national eulogy marking the lives of those that we have
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To all of you who are hurting so
badly, I`m so sorry for your loss. I know there`s nothing I or anyone else
can say or do to dull the sharpness of the pain you feel right now. But I
can promise you from experience, the day will come when the memory of your
loved one will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your
My prayer for all of you is that they will come sooner rather than later.
But I promise you it will come. And when it does, you know you can make it.
God bless each and every one of you and the blessing memory of the one you
lost. This nation grieves with you. Take some solace from the fact that we
all grieve with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We all agree with you. just some simple straightforward common human
decency. The pandemic is not gone. People are still dying, the virus is
still raging in places like nursing homes and meatpacking plants and into
apartment buildings. In my home borough of the Bronx, a complex I remember
from my youth, a chess tournament I played there once, that places become
known as the death towers where there is talk that as many as 100 residents
have been sickened by the virus there.
And in some places, this is important, the virus is now surging. This is
how things look in Alabama. What you saw is its largest single-day increase
in cases. In the city of Montgomery, Dr. Lisa Williams says “Our ICU beds
are full. We`ve been having a lot of overflowing the ICU. It is
Another Alabama doctor Michael Sag warns that it is difficult to convince
people the virus is still here. “I do not think there`s any appetite among
the general population nor of our political leaders to do much more about
But Alabama is not alone. North Carolina just hit a new high of coronavirus
hospitalizations. 702 people in the state`s hospitals with the virus. The
number of coronavirus patients at Sioux City, Iowa`s hospitals reached new
daily high. Mississippi just reported its highest weekly average of cases.
I`m afraid that this is what the new normal looks like. And now as a
country, while we are mourning our dead and continue to fight the virus, we
continue this late into it, to have all these very complicated problems
thrust upon each and every one of us at all levels of American life and
society and governance.
How do we put the public health infrastructure in place to keep people
safe? How do we go back to work and school? Is summer camp a possibility?
What should we do about that? How do we visit elderly relatives who we
desperately miss and love and want to hug but we won`t want to get sick?
And while we`re trying to figure all this out, all of us everyone together,
do you know what the President is doing? The President is tweeting about
the stock market and other nonsense and saying the state should open up
ASAP. He is so removed from what this thing is, what it has done to
families and neighborhoods, and those two buildings in the Bronx and
hospital systems, what it`s doing now in Montgomery, Alabama, right now,
what it threatens to do, again, to all of us. It`s the same virus. It`s
still out there.
In just a few minutes I`m going to talk to Dr. Craig Spencer who worked
with AJPlus to put out this incredible animated video showing one day in
his life as an E.R. doctor in New York City treating the coronavirus. This
is what the President refuses to see.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They aren`t here to say goodbye when they asked withdraw
treatment. We FaceTime so they can say goodbye. We stopped the drips, turn
off the ventilator, and wait. Your hands upon theirs. You think of their
family at home sobbing. Someone starts saying a prayer. You can`t help but
cry. This isn`t what we do. You stand by, you wait. Time of death: 7:19
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Here`s the paradox of this moment. I keep coming back to it. The
only way that we can get to something that looks like normal, which we all
desperately want. We want to be back in a society where you can have
parties and hug your loved ones and, and go to work. The only way we can go
back to something that looks like normal is if we remind ourselves that
it`s not normal. If we remain vigilant and remind ourselves that things
have changed. That`s the only way we`re getting back to normal.
The biggest risk to stop us from getting to some kind of semblance of
normal is to think that everything is normal. We can only have something
that looks like our normal eyes if we change and we adapt and we recognize
how things have changed. If we are vigilant now, if we think we are
magically just going back to our former lives to the before times before
the virus, then that is a thing that will most likely lead us to disaster.
Here with me now as someone who lives and understands reality what this
virus is doing to people, to our medical system, Dr. Craig Spencer,
emergency room physician, Director of Global Health and Emergency Medicine
at Columbia University Medical Center.
Dr. Spencer, we`ve had you on before. That video really brought me up
short. And I wondered if you could just talk a little bit about what the
human experience of going through this in a hospital E.R. has been like.
CRAIG SPENCER, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: I`ve watched that video so many
times. I was part of making that video. And so, every single time that I
see it, it almost brings tears to my eyes. I remember the patient and the
family like it was yesterday, and it was about a month and a half ago.
Look, we all want to move on to some semblance of normal, but this happens
so many times, so many times every shift that we went to work, so many
patients and families that we called over FaceTime so that they could say
I don`t think any of my colleagues are ever going to be able to get back to
normal. This was something that we didn`t do on a daily basis. This was so
hard and so impactful for all of us and for families who weren`t there to
say goodbye. So yes, it`s so just really heavy.
I mean things thankfully have improved. We don`t have the same case
numbers, but I`m also afraid like you that everyone is comparing what`s
happening in Mississippi or Alabama to what we saw here in New York City.
And the scale hopefully will never be the same.
But it doesn`t have to be as bad as New York or half as bad or as 10th as
bad to be really, really, really bad. And I hope that no one has to
experience what we experienced and what I tried showing in that video.
HAYES: You know, that – you identify something that I think is – it puts
a finger on a kind of slipperiness in what our policy goals are here. And I
think that there`s one light – one way of thinking about this is can we go
back to normal and avoid another New York City style meltdown? And I think
the answer to that is different than the answer of how much can we go back
to normal and spare needless death and mayhem to local hospital systems.
Those might be two very different answers.
SPENCER: Yes. Well, I think the answer to both of those and really the
approachable for them is bread and butter public health. The way that we
need to be approaching this is – and I hear a lot of discussion around how
we`re going to have a peak or a plateau, what`s going to happen later this
We don`t know how many cases it`s going to be, but there`s going to be more
cases. We`re going to see this more in New York City and all throughout the
country. We`re seeing hotspots emerge everywhere. It may be in the south
now, it may be in the west, it may be back in the northeast over the
summer, over the fall of the winter.
We`re going to see this again, in great numbers. We just need to be
prepared. We have the tools, we know what we need to do. We missed our
opportunity the first time around. We need to take advantage of it now.
HAYES: You`re describing that – I mean, the psychology here, which I
understand the psychology because I feel that it`s tug on me as well, which
is this sort of unprecedented thing happening in most people`s lifespan,
right, this this this global pandemic, we watch it sort of come to our
shores. It goes to China, it goes through Italy. There`s this you know,
crazy society-wide reaction, correct, right, to sort of shelter in place
and to hunker down and kind of like, you know, get through that first wave.
And there is this feeling of like, OK, well, that`s receding now.
And what I`m hearing from you is like the psychology of like, it`s not gone
anywhere. Like, how do we – how do you think about it? What is your mental
posture towards the fact that this thing is still out there?
SPENCER: I think about it every day when I`m outside. It may not be outside
in the same places in the same exact numbers, but we know that it`s
slipping around this country. We see images of people at the Ozarks
completely, you know, not respecting social distancing at all, thinking
that this is a disease of the elderly, when in fact people have intubated
have been in their 30s. We`ve seen people die in their 40s and 50s,
normally, you know, healthy people.
I understand that people are fatigued with staying inside especially as
it`s getting really beautiful. Memorial Day, it means so much, traveling,
vacation, some sense of normalcy. We need to base these decisions to open
up on public health principles on good bread and butter public health,
contact tracing isolation, the things that we should have been doing all
along but don`t have the tools or didn`t develop the tools to do.
If we don`t take that approach now, we will continue to see this virus. It
will continue to infect us. It will continue to circulate amongst us, and
we will have more dots for the next few months, and really until we have
some other therapeutic or some vaccine to prevent such massive spread.
HAYES: Dr. Craig Spencer, you`ve been an incredible voice throughout all of
us. And I want to thank you both for your time tonight and for all the
amazing work that you and all your colleagues have been doing and do every
day. Thank you.
SPENCER: Thank you very much.
HAYES: I want to turn out to Ed Yong, a staff writer at the Atlantic
covering science who recently wrote about how America`s patchwork pandemic
is fraying further. This is a great piece that kind of captured some of the
strangeness of talking about the virus in the U.S. because it`s an enormous
country. The virus travels and has outbreaks in intensely localized places,
and we have an enormous patchwork of policy. What does this all add up to
ED YONG, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: I think it adds up to chaos. And I
think it adds up to a very difficult crisis for people to get their heads
around. We`ve already talked about how cases are spiking in parts of the
country like Alabama, where as they`re going down, and others like New
We`re seeing massive differences in how well different states are prepared
for the pandemic in terms of testing, in terms of contact tracing, and all
of that is a result of the negligence, the Federal negligence of
coordinating a solid response to the virus and instead of letting the
states do their own thing.
And I think because of that, it`s really hard to predict what the next few
months are going to bring. Are we going to get a lull before a second peak
or are we never really going to get out of this first wave?
HAYES: Yes. That is the – that is precisely the sort of concrete
prediction that we`re all sort of desperate to get. There`s also – you
know, it`s also hard to communicate – I mean, across the sort of vast
channels of American life.
You know, in New York City, you know, where I`m born and raised and grew up
and have friends and family that I love and reading that story about that
those towers in the Bronx, I mean, the virus killed one out of every 500
people in that city, and possibly more once it`s all touted. I mean,
that`s, it`s shocking to conceive of that when you look and think about.
And then of course, there are places huge swaths of the country that –
where the fatality rate is it`s lower than motorcycle crashes. And I
understand why people who are in the parts of the country where it`s lower
than motorcycle crashes are having a harder time subjectively relating to
the danger of it than say people in New York City.
YONG: I also totally understand that especially when there`s so much
misinformation and active disinformation circulating around the virus. But
I think people need to recognize that a pandemic of this kind was always
going to take its time to move across the country. And so, there`s no
reason why suburbs or rural areas should think that they will go – they
are going to be spared.
It might take more time to reach them, but it will reach them. Likewise, it
will also hit areas that have already been hit, and that have lowered their
guard. And I think we`re going to see that very dynamic shifting patchwork
And like you say, it does make it hard to maintain the kind of persistent
weariness that we need across the country when you see people who are out
and about at all parties while you`re still confined at home. It does
somewhat erode your – the one`s willingness to continue doing the kind of
measures that are necessary to reduce transmission across the board.
HAYES: Final question for you, and you your piece and your writing
throughout this which has been incredible has touched on this, which is
there just also remain – you know, we – the sort of world – a lot of the
countries in the world have gotten through what looked like first waves,
even the extremely hard-hit places like Italy, and Northern Italy, Spain,
and the like. They`re just as we take stock, there just remain a lot of
open questions right, about what comes next and why some places got hit as
hard as they did and why in some places, it seems the case fatality rates
are so high. And all of that uncertainty now hangs over the US, which is
its own kind of, you know, the way we`re doing it federated agglomeration
of states and state policy.
YONG: Yes, I agree. And it`s really important for everyone to remember that
there are so many different factors that go into success or failure.
Reopening is just one of them. There`s also things like the age structure
of a population, the quality of medical care, all of these things, so it`s
really easy to draw the wrong lesson by comparing across states or across
I think one lesson for the U.S. which is very clear to me is that the
country`s long history of pushing medical care away from marginalized
communities, away from black and brown communities is coming to roost now.
We`re seeing that people in minority and indigenous groups are seeing much
higher rates of infection and deaths from COVID-19. And that is
contributing to the patchwork effect that we`ve talked about.
And I argue in my piece that we are not going to see the end of the
pandemic unless we make specific efforts to support the health of the most
marginalized and the most vulnerable people among us. Until all of us are
safe, none of us are safe.
HAYES: That is a great way of thinking about it. Ed Yong of the Atlantic –
the Atlantic has been doing a really wonderful coverage of COVID
throughout, and I look forward to reading them every day. Thank you, Ed.
YONG: Thank you.
HAYES: Still ahead, the President`s assault on democracy in the midst of a
pandemic, his dangerous attempts to sabotage free and fair elections in
this country after this.
HAYES: The President is increasingly both in person and on Twitter doing
his very best to sabotage the administration of free and fair elections in
the United States in the midst of a pandemic. He`s spreading lies and
misinformation about absentee balloting. In fact, his lies got so egregious
Twitter upended a meek little fact check link underneath his tweets, which
led to a whole round of conservatives decrying Twitter. The president has
freaked out about it.
But important to realize Twitter is not the issue here, OK. The President
apparently hopes that he can pressure states into not offering absentee
mail-in voting so that those states end up in the truly twisted position
that Wisconsin voters were put in last month, you will recall, in which
they had to risk getting sick by voting in person in the midst of a
pandemic or just not voting at all because they couldn`t get an absentee
ballot and time.
And even though that particular disgusting spectacle backfired on
Republicans and the Republican candidate lost, Donald Trump seems more
devoted than ever to making that the national norm this fall, his strategy.
And so now it is basically going to take a 50-state effort state by state,
court by court, secretary of state by secretary of state to make sure
everyone in this country, Republican or Democrat, can safely vote in the
election this November without risking their health.
Joining me now to talk about this is Marc Elias. He`s one of the top
Democratic election lawyers in the country. He`s currently involved in
numerous voting rights lawsuits. First, let`s start with – I mean, I don`t
want to have you like rebut the nonsense the President`s been saying but
just the general effect of the President of the United States essentially
trying to undermine the legitimacy and the veracity of an entire state`s
MARC ELIAS, DEMOCRATIC ELECTION LAWYER: It`s awful, Chris, because, you
know, when the President speaks, even this president, it matters. And when
you have the President of the United States day after day after day
repeating lies about voting and about vote by mail, it has an impact. But
you know, that`s what we`ve come to expect from this president.
Remember, even after he won in his last election, he concocted a lie that
he lost the popular vote due to illegal voting.
HAYES: So now, I mean, the ones sort of saving grace, I suppose here, is
that he can tweet and he could talk about it, but this doesn`t actually
have a ton of power over this. These are largely state decisions. What is
your – what is the lay of the land right now from your view? And I know
you`re involved in litigation in a bunch of places about the degree to
which states are preparing, have no excuse absentee in place and are able
to have the capacity to implement it at scale.
ELIAS: So three things. The first is the fact that he doesn`t have the
power directly isn`t – doesn`t mean that he can`t, through the bully
pulpit and through influencing what Republicans do at the state local
level, have negative consequences on the election. There was no question.
If Donald Trump had told the Republicans in Wisconsin, you know, cut out
the nonsense and let`s make sure that there is an orderly election, there
would have been. But Donald Trump has sent the opposite message.
So against that backdrop, you have states doing the best they can dealing
with the burden of a system in many states that has not built for large
surges of vote by mail. And now having to deal with that in the middle of a
pandemic while the Postal Service is not fully funded and the President of
the United States rails and excuse lies about vote by mail.
HAYES: So yes. An important distinction here, Emily Bazelon pointed this
out that there`s a distinction between whether a state offers no excuse
vote by mail, right, under the state`s laws. That you don`t – that
basically you just request an absentee ballot. You don`t have to like, get
it notarized and state your reason.
And that`s true in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, North
Carolina, and Arizona that have laws on the books that give voters that
right. There`s a difference between that and are you prepared to run an
election like Arizona where 80 percent of people are going to vote by mail.
And that`s a pretty big gap, right?
ELIAS: Yes. So you have kind of three buckets right? You have Washington,
Oregon, Utah, a nice red state, Colorado, Hawaii that run an all-mail
election. So essentially everybody proactively gets a male. Then as you
point out, you have states that have large numbers or predominantly male
And then you have lots and lots of states, like Michigan will, like
Pennsylvania will, like you mentioned, which historically have relatively
low rates of vote by mail, but which we`re going to see a surge. So you may
have gone from a state that had a three to five percent vote by mail rate,
and now that state will have 25 or 30 percent vote by mail.
And so each of those face different sets of challenges. Oddly, the states
in that first category, because they`re already used to running all-mail
elections, are actually the best prepared. It`s the states that are going
to see the surge that we worry the most about.
HAYES: Right. And we have seen the Department of Justice get involved here,
this case in Alabama in which there`s a challenge over a requirement that
people have a witness essentially to say why they`re – they need an
absentee voting and the DOJ filing in defense of that law against the
challenge, which says something to me about what William Barr`s Justice
Department is going to be willing to do as you see a bunch of fights over
access to absentee balloting in these states.
ELIAS: Yes. So a couple of things. First of all, if we had any doubt about
what the Republicans are going to be willing to do, look at what they did
in Wisconsin when the only thing they were fighting over was a state
judicial election. They were willing to make people wait in line and vote
in the middle of a pandemic and risk their lives in order to try to win a
state judicial election. Just imagine what they`ll do for November.
And with respect to the Attorney General. You know, the Voting Rights Act
gave the Department of Justice the right to file a brief to make sure that
states were not impinging on voting rights. And it is disgusting and
disgraceful that this Department of Justice has the audacity of sending its
civil rights division to a federal court in Alabama to side with the state
of Alabama against the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. And Sherrilyn Ifill did a
good work that they`re doing to try to give people the opportunity to vote
by mail in the middle of a pandemic without having to find a witness.
That`s just an abuse of what this power the DOJ had was intended to do,
which was to step in to curb states. Instead, here it`s being used to
combat civil rights.
HAYES: Yes. The DOJ using the Voting Rights Division to go into the state
of Alabama to side with the Alabama State Government, as it tries to make
voting harder for the people of Alabama is not the way it`s supposed to
work. Marc Elias who has been doing work on the trenches and will be very
active, and we`d love to get you back to keep telling us updates on this.
Thanks a lot.
ELIAS: I`d love to come back. Thanks.
HAYES: Great. Next, Joy Reid on the death of George Floyd at the hands of
police and what this moment and the protest surrounding it lays bare about
the inequities in America. She joins me next.
HAYES: Over the past several weeks, we have all gotten used to these scenes
of protesters against physical distancing, against public health measures,
gathering in cities across the country often armed with long guns.
We`ve seen the incredible, at times really almost unbelievable forbearance
of police officers amidst a pandemic, as these people, these protesters,
shout and berate and menace like they did here in the Minnesota capital
just last month.
But, you know, it was a very different situation in the Twin Cities last
night where a very different group of people, many of whom wore masks,
tried to physically distance, flooded the streets to protest the death of a
46-year-old black man named George Floyd.
On Monday, Floyd was detained by police in Minneapolis on suspicion of
passing a fake $20 bill, that was the infraction he was suspected of. An
officer kneeled on his neck as Floyd said repeatedly, I can`t breathe.
Floyd had no pulse when he was in an ambulance. He died soon after at a
Four Minneapolis officers, including the one you see there, were fired
within 24 hours for their involvement in the incident. And last night, this
is how the protest of Floyd`s death ended up, police in riot gear flooding
the streets with tear gas and shooting rubber bullets into the crowd. Huh.
Another example of how this pandemic has been a kind of black light,
exposing all the inequalities in American life.
For more on that, I`m joined by Joy Reid, host of MSNBC`s AM Joy, who will
be hosting a special this Sunday on poverty in the pandemic, talking with
vulnerable groups about how they are being impacted during this crisis.
And, Joy, I imagine you had the same thoughts I did watching that, because
we have gotten so accustomed to just insane, almost incomprehensible levels
of police restraint, in the face of extremely menacing and provocative
protests. To see that protest in that way last night really drove home the
JOY REID, MSNBC: Yeah, I mean, you were in Ferguson. You covered that. I
was in Baltimore and covered that. The excessive use of force. I mean,
first time I ever saw a tank in real life, right, was in Baltimore where
citizens were protesting the death of a black man at the hands of police.
I mean, you know, I think this is consumed – I think everyone black I know
– is completely consumed – really everyone I know – is just consumed
with this, all of these deaths, right? And so I was trying to think how
coherently to talk about it, you know, and the way it feels to me is that
we`re watching played out the way that Europeans came to this country to
get away from being subjects of the kings in Europe, but what they did was
they created for themselves sort of a kingdom, every man a king, but the
subjects are black people, black and brown people and indigenous people,
the rest of us are subjects, and that is whether or not it`s Amy Cooper
versus Christian Cooper.
Amy Cooper, citizen, Christian Cooper subject. So that she feels she had
this inherent power to make him tell her, you know, to – for her to, you
know – she has to decide what he can do. He can`t have his own decision,
she makes those decisions. She can use the police to enforce her rule over
And in the subject of Mr. Floyd, he was not treated as a citizen. You
wonder if, you know, there had been a white person and there had been a 911
call that they passed a $20 bill, would that person be dead? Likely not,
right. If the police had showed up on Mr. Cooper, he would probably be in
great risk, we`ll just put it that way. And we`ve seen this over and over
and over again whether it`s Trayvon Martin, whether it`s Ahmaud Arbery,
where regular people say, you know, I can act as the police. I can pursue
you. I can chase you, even if you`re a kid, and then I can say you`re the
one whose dangerous. And I can say I have a right to kill you and just do
it and just do whatever I want to you.
You know, the Breonna Taylor situation, where you can be in your bed.
You are a subject, not a citizen. And that is how a lot – that is how
black people feel right now, that we are being treated as subjects and not
And it`s the same thing with these armed white men who can get armed up and
walk into a state capitol and that`s okay. And the police are benign. They
don`t even act afraid. But let black people show up and protest the death
of an innocent black man and suddenly, you know what, we need tear gas.
We`ve got to go full force.
HAYES: Yeah, the subject/citizen line is so perfectly apt in this case, and
particularly in those – the images we did see, have seen of police in the
face of these protesters where the relationship there is like constituent
or citizen or okay, well, I`m here to make sure nothing goes down to make
sure your constitutional right to bear arms and protest are protected,
that`s my sort of sovereign duty here and that`s just not the way – I
mean, in Baltimore, and in Ferguson, and last night in Minneapolis and
every other protest that I`ve ever covered against police violence, it does
not go down like that.
REID: At all. I mean, Charlottesville, the same thing. The police were
there to protect the people who were marching as Neo-Nazis, not to protect
the black people who were being victimized by those Neo-Nazis.
This plays out over and over and over again that black people`s right to
protest is secondary to white people`s right to be an armed protest with
long guns, terrifying looking war weapons. That`s fine. The police are
there to protect their civil rights, but for black people, it is simply
subjugation, it is simply we`re there to control you. We`re there to
minimize your movement, to minimize your opportunity to protest, because
you simply are a subject in this country that is something that`s never
You know, 400 some odd years later and you have not fixed it. And I have to
say, even among – even ordinary white citizens who are considered
themselves good people, don`t consider themselves racist people, there is
still way too often that same attitude that if I see you in my building, I
have the right to say why are you here? Do you belong here? Do you want to
show me some identification? You have to, or I`m going to use my power of
this, I`m going to call 911 and enforce my power over you, and that is just
ordinary people in Central Park, that is what is so scary about this
HAYES: And all of this – I mean, this is one way in which state force cuts
along these lines, but one of the things we`ve seen in the pandemic is that
all kinds of institutions have cut along these lines. I mean, whether it`s
the way that people in rental housing are being treated, whether it`s the
of the things we`ve seen in the pandemic is that all kinds of institutions
have cut along these lines.
I mean, whether it`s the way that people in rental housing are being
treated, whether it`s the actual health disparities. You have a special
this weekend, specifically looking at that, right, about the ways in which
those disparities have been thrown open in the midst of the pandemic.
REID: Well, here is what is ironic – and by the way, I`ll throw in one
more thing, which is that these white protesters who say you don`t have the
right to tell me that I have to wear a mask or that I can`t be out at the
beach. I have the right – I`m a citizen, right. So, it even plays in with
COVID – you can`t police me, I police you.
But on the subject of poverty, here is what is ironic. For white people,
for white citizens, they actually aren`t doing all that much better
economically. The average person who is poor is white, not black. It is
rural poor white people who are in the exact same position as poor African-
Americans, as poor indigenous people, as people who are in those meat
We show poverty for what it is. What we want to do, what Bishop William
Barber – and this was his great idea, was to open up poverty and low
wealth and show that the 40 million some odd Americans who are low wealth
are not just black people, it`s not just black people – it`s black people,
brown people, indigenous people. And people in this country are really
So you have a lot of white Americans, quite frankly, who are fighting for
people who are so far ahead of them economically, who are dragging them
along the same way they are dragging people who look like me along, that is
the irony of the whole thing.
HAYES: And you got The Wall Street Journal, and the president`s economic
advisor, saying don`t worry, a capital gains tax holiday is coming amidst
all this, which is just like too perfect to put on top of all of it.
Joy Reid, I – it`s great to talk to you. I`ve missed you. And I`m going to
watch your special. It`s American Crisis: Poverty and the Pandemic, it airs
this Sunday 9:00 p.m. eastern right here on MSNBC. It`s going to be great.
Thank you, Joy.
REID: Thank you so much, Chris.
HAYES: Still to come, does Joe Biden have the most progressive platform of
any Democratic presidential nominee in recent memory? From minimum wage to
immigration, Vox`s Matt Yglesias is here to make the case on Biden`s agenda
HAYES: Yesterday we got news about an FBI investigation into Republican
Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia. But before I get to that news, just
remember the trajectory of this whole thing, right. In the middle of March,
when the Coronavirus pandemic was just beginning to spike in this country,
news broke about questionable stock trades made by a few U.S. senators.
ProPublica reported that North Carolina Republican Richard Burr sold up to
$1.7 million in stock around the time he was receiving daily briefings on
the growing health threat.
They reported his biggest sales, included companies that are among the most
vulnerable to an economic slowdown. All in all, the trades looked
The next day, the Daily Beast reported that Senator Loeffler also sold up
to $3.1 million in stock after a Coronavirus briefing. She also purchased
hundreds of thousands of dollars in Citrix and Oracle stock, two companies
that specialize in digital work environments, also pretty sketchy seeming
And there are reports about other senators` transactions, but when you
scratch the surface, they didn`t look as serious.
So, Loeffler and Burr really seemed like a category of their own. They also
seemed like they might be the focus of actual federal criminal
investigation. And the one big difference is that Kelly Loeffler, though
she was not President Trump`s first choice to be appointed to senator, has
been doing everything in her power to endear herself to him, constantly
praising him, whereas Richard Burr has sort of crossed Trump, overseeing
the Senate intelligence investigation into Russian interference. He called
Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner to testify. He supported the findings of
the Mueller Report that Russia tried to help Trump. He was about to release
the final report from his committee.
So, this sort of question hung around. Is there a difference in the way
that the two Republican senators have been treated by the Justice
Then we learned two new things about Kelly Loeffler, one of them is that
after these stories broke, her husband, who is the CEO of a company that
owns The New York Stock Exchange, knowing full well that his wife might be
under investigation, gave $1 million – $1 million – to Trump`s Super PAC.
That`s a lot of money.
And while Richard Burr gets served with a warrant and his phone is seized
by the FBI, which then immediately gets leaked by the press, Loeffler says
she`s been cooperating with the FBI, apparently on her own accord – no
warrant and no leaks.
All of which brings us to the latest Kelly Loeffler news, yesterday we
found out that her case has been closed, along with two of the other
senators I mentioned. So that`s it. We`re done here.
Not Richard Burr, however, no, no. Burr in a different category. It seems
likely Burr is going to have this continue to hang over him. Maybe, who
knows, it could ultimately result in criminal charges.
But Kelly Loeffler`s case has been closed by the FBI while Richard Burr is
still hanging out there, even though it does seem on the surface like they
did pretty similar things.
And maybe that`s how it should be. Maybe it`s all done in good faith. Maybe
an investigation into Loeffler`s transactions showed there is nothing
there. Maybe what Burr did was on the merits much worse and that`s why he`s
still under investigation.
Or maybe Kelly Loeffler`s husband gave $1 million to Trump`s Super PAC and
Trump had his Department of Justice let her go.
Normally I would not think that that`s how the way it went down, that it
can`t possibly be that brazen and open and corrupt, but can you really
trust William Barr`s Department of Justice to do the right thing?
HAYES: This pandemic has completely altered the presidential race, fair to
say, from the coverage of the primary to when and how it actually ended.
It`s also exposed Donald Trump for his weaknesses, which were already quite
apparent before, but even sharper relief now. And that`s why his polling
average in the RealClearPolitics average is at its worst position in a
After this very long hotly contested Democratic primary, there is now a
tremendous amount of unity on the Democratic side, I think it`s fair to
say. Joe Biden`s campaign is creating joint policy task forces with Bernie
Sanders` people. And as Matt Yglesias writes in Vox, though Biden did not
run an aggressively ideological primary campaign, the substance of his
proposed agenda on everything from housing to education to minimum to
climate change is, quote, arguably the most progressive policy platform of
any Democratic nominee in history.
Joining me now, the author of that piece, Matt Yglesias, senior
correspondent at Vox.
Matt, I liked the piece. You had been one of the Vox people who had sort of
made the case for Sanders early in the primary when different authors were
doing that. Your piece here is sort of on the substance of just what`s in
the platform. Why do you say that it is possibly the most progressive
agenda of a Democratic nominee that has happened so far?
MATT YGLESIAS, VOX NEWS: You know, Joe Biden is a Democratic Party lifer.
He`s a very mainstream Democrat. He`s been there for a lot of years. A lot
of that sort of old history came up during the primary.
But the evolution of the Democratic Party has been in a much more
progressive direction over the past five, 10, 20 years, and I think that is
really reflected in this platform here.
I mean the small thing is, Biden is for the $15 an hour minimum wage,
right. We didn`t talk about that a lot during the primary because the
candidates all agreed. but as recently as 2016, that was a very divisive
issue, that was something Hillary and Bernie Sanders argued about an
enormous amount and now it is like you didn`t hear it because it`s the
But it`s the consensus that actually drives what might happen in policy
terms. And so you look at down the road, you know, he`s talking about
doubling Pell Grants, tripling housing assistance, big, big increases for
federal funding for low income schools as well as this really actually
quite ambitious climate policy agenda.
And it is not that Joe Biden is the most hard core leftist in Democratic
Party politics, but it is the party as a whole is a much more sort of
uniformly progressive force than it was just even a few years ago.
HAYES: I remember seeing an illustration once of where he was in the sort
of ranking of Democratic Senators. There`s a DW nominated as a sort of
political science course, and he was like always right in the middle of the
Democratic caucus throughout his career, which is a kind of impressive
achievement in its own way, right. I means, you understand exactly where
the kind of middle consensus position is.
I want to talk about the climate stuff, but the housing, the housing stuff
caught my eye, because we don`t talk about housing policy a lot, but there
been a real sea change in how people talk about it. And the housing
proposal in terms of just the expansion of federal assistance in housing is
quite, quite, quite large, and I think will be quite necessary in the
aftermath of the economic devastation caused by the pandemic.
YGLESIAS: Yeah, exactly. So he wants to take the sort of rental assistance
program that has existed for a long time, people call it Section Eight
vouchers – but right now, there is only a limited pool of money that goes
in there. And so when the need for rental assistance goes up, the actual
supply of assistance stays limited. He wants to make it – they call it an
entitlement structure, the same as Medicaid, or Medicare. If you qualify
for help, you will be guaranteed to get the help. That would be a
quadrupling of the number of people who get assistance using the 2019 data.
If you look at the economic problems we`re facing now, it would probably be
even more. So that would be a huge help to many millions of low income
families, also a big sort of new automatic stabilizer into the economy,
right, it would assure us that when people fall on hard times, because of
whatever else, they`re not at risk of eviction.
And this is an idea that it was really nowhere, but Matthew Desmond talked
about his great study of evictions, and it becomes sort of more mainstream,
and kind of policy wonk circles, Biden put it out right when the pandemic
started to hit so it never really coasted on the news, but that would be a
huge change in federal housing policy and it is something you can do in one
of these budget reconciliation bills, so it might really happen, you know,
it is not subject to filibuster.
HAYES: Yeah, so that – someone who came up in housing politics – my dad
was a housing (inaudible) enormous change. It sounds like a small change,
Finally, talk about climate. I mean, the climate agenda was impressive to
me when I read it during the campaign. It was also of the things he put
out, I think one of the bigger things to roll out and had a lot of good
things about it as favorably compared to other folks, but now that it is
the plan of the nominee, it is by far, by far the largest climate agenda
that has been proposed by a Democratic nominee, although we know how large
the need is.
YGLESIAS: Yeah, I mean, you know, this is a tough area, because the gap
between what scientists say we need to do and what the political system
makes possible is just gigantic.
But Biden`s agenda on climate is huge. You know, this is like a really long
plan. There is a lot of different moving parts to it. But like the big
headline target is to be carbon neutral by 2050. You know, there is a lot
of money for research, there is a lot of money for specific areas. He kind
of clashed with lefty environmental activists, a couple of detail points,
about carbon capture, and about the potential role of nuclear energy.
But those don`t really speak to the sort of core of the climate agenda. And
if you`re talking about putting a lot of money into clean energy, you are
talking about real regulation on utilities, you`re talking about taking
care of some of the social justice and environmental justice angles, it is
really all in there. And Biden became defined in the primary by what he
didn`t endorse, particularly Medicare for all. But there`s an incredible
amount of stuff in here and it`s, you know, again, it is just, it`s because
that`s how Democratic Party thinking has evolved.
The era of trying to reach a bipartisan deal around cap and trade is over.
And so now you have this sort of much more partisan, much more progressive
HAYES: Yeah. And the question – the big question that comes, two things,
one, whether those, those old habits of the way of doing politics would be
to carry forward in office and of course whether you have enough Senate
votes and whether you can get Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin votes for
them, but the substance right there, people should definitely take a look
at Matt`s Piece, also the Biden website to go through what would actually
Matt Yglesias, thank you very much.
YGLESIAS: Thank you.
HAYES: That is ALL IN for this evening. “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” starts
right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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prior written permission of ASC Services II Media, LLC. You may not alter
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