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Coronavirus formally declared a pandemic TRANSCRIPT: All in w/ Chris Hayes

Guests: Ezekiel Emanuel, Peter Hotez, Gavin Yamey, Robert Reich, Katie Porter, Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Mehdi Hasan


ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now.

HAYES: New alarms from America`s top health official.

FAUCI: We`ve got to assume that it`s going to get worse and worse and worse.

HAYES: As the novel Coronavirus officially becomes a pandemic, the stock market collapses again, large event cancellations continue, and a major American city closes all public schools.

GOV. JAY INSLEE (D-WA): The decisions we probably will be making in the upcoming days are going to be profoundly disturbing to a lot of the ways we live our lives today.

HAYES: Tonight, new calls for more dramatic action and what Americans can do to protect themselves as the president prepares to address the nation.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If we get rid of the problem quickly, everything settles itself. We don`t need stimulus.

HAYES: All that and what we learned when Bernie Sanders finally addressed the media today when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. We`re in the midst of a global pandemic. That`s been evident probably for weeks now. But today the World Health Organization officially declared coronavirus a pandemic because of the widespread scale of the outbreak.

The WHO has been working on this virus from the beginning when it first broke out in Wuhan, China. They saw how it took down an entire city`s health care system and resulted in over 3000 deaths and China. The WHO has been warning about Coronavirus for months. But they have been reluctant to make the pandemic declaration for fears of inciting panic until today when they decided that now is the time.


TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, DIRECTOR-GENERAL, WHO: The WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we`re deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction.


HAYES: Alarming levels of inaction. That message there is similar to that of Dr. Anthony Fauci, a guy who`s run the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. He`s worked under six presidents, played a major pivotal role in reining in the AIDS crisis. Today, he testified before the House Oversight Committee. And he was forthright and he was honest about what is coming at us right now, unlike the president.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the worst yet to come. Dr. Fauci?

FAUCI: Yes, it is.

REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Is there any chance we will have a vaccine in a few months?

FAUCI: No, I made myself clear in my statement. This is a really serious problem that we have to take seriously. I mean, people always say, well, the flu, you know, the flu does this, the flu does that. The flu has a mortality of 0.1 percent. This has a mortality of 10 times that.

We would hope that as we get to warmer weather, it would go down, but we can`t proceed under that assumption. We`ve got to assume that it`s going to get worse and worse and worse.


HAYES: Dr. Fauci`s testimony today was almost literally the exact opposite of what President Trump and members of his administration have been telling us for weeks and weeks. We finally got to hear a candid version of the truth from a genuine expert, unedited.

Here is where things stand right now. This exponential curve shows the growth of coronavirus cases outside of China. Right now, there are nearly 45,000 confirmed cases in the world outside of China where the outbreak appears to be under control.

This is what the U.S. curve looks like. Almost identical, right? Looks a lot like the global curve we just saw. In the U.S. four weeks ago, we had 15 cases. Just over a week ago, we had 100 cases. Today we have over 1,200 cases. That number probably does not even capture the reality because our testing capacity is not actually measuring the scope of the problem.

What is clear is we are racing up this exponential curve at an almost similar rate to the countries that have gone before us. For instance, Italy. Italy right now is in the midst of a full-blown public health crisis. The country is completely on lockdown.

Today, a new measure announced. Italy announced they will stop almost all commercial activity aside from supermarkets and pharmacies. Think about that for a second. Everything closed except for drugstores and food. Italy also announced today, they now have over 12,000 cases and the total deaths in the country have increased -- listen to this -- have increased over 30 percent in just 24 hours, from 631 to 827. 30 percent increase in fatalities in one day.

This chart shows the rapid growth of cases in Italy. Does that look familiar? It should. You can also see how the U.S. is right now following almost the exact same trajectory just a week behind. Now, many if not most of those deaths in Italy are likely a direct result of what we have already seen with this virus in Wuhan, China. The virus is overrunning the healthcare system capacity.

Anywhere in the world at any given time, in any given city, there`s a fixed amount of doctors, ICU beds, ventilators. The systemic risk the virus poses to everyone around the world right now, including in the U.S., is what is happening now in Italy. Doctors in that country are intubating patients in hallways. Massive numbers of healthcare workers are infected. They`re having to make wartime triage decisions about who they can afford to treat.

The Atlanta reports on a remarkable document issued by an Italian medical college that recommends doctors allocate their stretch resources to patients with the highest chance of recovery. Italian doctors are being forced to decide who to save and who to let die.

Tom Bossert, Trump`s former Homeland Security Adviser told NBC News yesterday that we are 10 days away from the hospitals getting crept. We are now nine days away. That is where we`re headed right now in this country. The only thing we can do at this point as citizens, as civil society, because the testing has been screwed up inexcusably by the federal government, is to take dramatic steps collectively to socially distance ourselves, to try and flatten the curve of this epidemic and slow the transmission of the virus in order to stop a run on our hospitals, to protect vulnerable populations in our midst.

That`s older people, people with serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. We all have people in our lives that are vulnerable to this. And the clear steps to take are canceling large scale events and reducing travel reducing going out, even going to restaurants or events. We need to take this all deadly seriously.

You can go read the warnings from Italians who said we did not take this seriously enough and now we`re in it. That`s their message to us. That message however, is not being adequately communicated at all by the most powerful person in the country. Someone -- we`ll be hearing from later tonight a man who insists on propagating disinformation and meeting with CEOs to discuss an economic problem.

But the right message is being communicated by people administration like Dr. Fauci, by former Trump administration officials like Tom Bossert, and former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb, but governors like Washington`s Jay Inslee, who today announced they`re shutting down events over 250 people. The reality is we have to take dramatic steps. And we`re only now at this late hour starting to see those steps in action.

For more on where we stand right now, I`m joined by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, former Obama White House health policy adviser. He`s Vice Provost of Global Initiatives at University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Emanuel, let me start with you. Where do you see us right now and are we doing enough in terms of large scale social disruption and changes to slow the transmission of this epidemic?

EZEKIEL, EMANUEL, FORMER HEALTH POLICY ADVISOR, OBAMA WHITE HOUSE: So first of all, I`ve been saying for several weeks now that it`s going to get worse before it gets better. Partially, it`s going to get worse because we have testing that`s just going to show us how prevalent the illness is. It`s also getting worse because we know we have more community-acquired infections.

As I mentioned to someone today, you know, one week ago, we were not even talking about New Rochelle, and now New Rochelle is a major topic in New York and it`s a lockdown. And if we focus on New Rochelle without thinking about all the other places that this virus is, maybe Washington D.C., maybe the suburbs of Baltimore, who knows where.

The problem is we need a more systematic, less uneven response that has to be pretty uniform. Because just because we`re seeing it in New Rochelle, it doesn`t mean New Rochelle is the only place in New York that`s got it. And that response does have to include things like much more prevalent testing so we really have a handle on who`s got it in who doesn`t. And a really good model is South Korea.

If you look at their trends, you can see that they`re beginning to bend in South Korea. We also do need to inform people. We use the term social distancing, like everyone knows what it means. It`s not immediately obvious to people what that entails, and how much you need to be separate from people.

HAYES: Explain. I mean, what should people know about that?

EMANUEL: Well, a large part of it, you know, you -- people have come up with all these numbers, no more than 100 people to meet, no more -- The issue is density. How close are you two people? How easy is it for the droplets to spread? How much are you sort of packed in like sardines or not. And that really -- I mean, that`s a physical thing that is really important.

And I do think we probably need to educate people to minimize their outward contact and to stay home more. You can go out where there`s no one else. If you`re, you know, going -- walking in the woods or something or going to a place where there aren`t other people. But I do think restricting how we move around is going to be important.

I will note that not every but most of the Ivy League schools now, for example, colleges, mine included, were going online. The second half of the semester is all going to be online. Students aren`t going to be in dormitories except students that can`t go back to their home country and still complete the semester. So you are seeing a lot of action, but it`s not concerted, and that`s what -- it`s not systematic, and that`s what`s bothering me.

HAYES: Dr. Hotez, we`ve been checking in with you throughout the unfolding of the pandemic. And I`m curious if we -- are we learning more about the virus itself, about the basics, about the transmission rate, which seems to be maybe lower than at first we thought, the fatality rate, the incubation period? Where is our knowledge right now about this?

PETER HOTEZ, CO-DIRECTOR, TEXAS CHILDREN`S HOSPITAL CENTER FOR VACCINE DEVELOPMENT: So the transmission rate still seems to be pretty high. As Dr. Fauci mentioned, it`s probably significantly higher than the influenza as well as the mortality rate. But the -- you know, just to echo and reinforce some of the things Zeke -- Dr. Emmanuel was saying. We`ve learned a few things from a recent analysis.

My colleague, Mark Lipschitz, at Harvard School of Public Health, Chan School of Public Health together with a student, a doctoral student, (INAUDIBLE) Lee, did an analysis of the Chinese cities in terms of how severe the epidemic is, with the extreme example being Wuhan, where 9,000 people wound up in the -- severely ill, but 2,000 in the ICU, versus a city like Guangzhou where there was only 20. A big difference, right?

And that looked like it`s primarily to do to how quickly you got on top of things after sustained community transmission started. So when Wuhan, they let it go for six weeks before they implemented aggressive control and testing, whereas in Guangzhou where they only have 20 cases, one week.

What`s the lesson learned from the United States? We`re now about three weeks into this in terms of sustained community transmission. We had our first case of community transmission around the end of April, and so subtract the week before then.

So we`re getting to the point where because we`re not doing adequate diagnostic testing, and implementing those very important control measures that Zeke pointed out, we`re in a situation where we could risk being closer to Wuhan than Guangzhou, and we don`t -- we can`t be there.

So now is a very critical period over the next couple of weeks where we have to be very aggressive about closing down major venues. We just did this in Houston today with the Rodeo. It was a tough decision, but it was the right decision. And we`re going to have to do this all over the country right now.

And the reason is this. Because if we miss that opportunity, we then have - - our new problem becomes surge capacity in hospitals, where we`re not going to have enough beds, we`re not going to have enough ventilators, and we don`t want to go in that direction. So now is our big -- now is going to be our last chance. We`ve already missed that over the last few weeks.

EMANUEL: Can I re-emphasize something Peter says?

HAYES: Yes, please.

EMANUEL: Which is -- so in the entire United States, we have about 800,000 hospital beds, a little under 800,000 hospital beds. In the entire United States, we have under 70,000, adult Intensive Care Unit beds. We have about 65,000 ventilators with the strategic supply. I`ve heard that it goes up slightly under 100,000. That`s our maximal capacity in the country at the moment.

If you imagine that, you know, even two percent of the population gets the Coronavirus, and we have about six percent who are seriously ill going to need a respirator, we`ve exhausted all that supply just for those patients. Forget the heart attack patients, forget the patients who need it for any other reason.

And I think what Peter said is exactly right. We probably have missed two or three turns over the last few weeks where we could have gotten things down, and just focusing on the hotspot Seattle, New Rochelle. I think it`s not -- we need a much more systematic countrywide approach so that we don`t overwhelm the healthcare system, which already you know, doesn`t have that much search capacity in it.

HAYES: Dr. Hotez, final point for you. For people that are watching this, I have struggled with this for the last three weeks, right, communicating in a way that does not induce catastrophizing or panic but also as clear-eyed about the risks. And I do think it`s worth just going back to the sort of distinction between your individual risk, you random American, one of 303 million, that you will get very sick and need to be hospitalized or may face life-threatening illnesses. That individual risk for any given random person is probably low in the grand scheme of things in this systemic risk to the society and to the healthcare system which is extremely high at this moment. Is that a fair way of phrasing it?

HOTEZ: Yes, absolutely. And also remember, it`s all about communicating what our top priorities are. And this is what I`ve been disappointed about. I mean, we`ve lost a lot of time because of blanket statements that are not backed by data saying this is contained, this is -- this is the cold, this is the flu, when in fact, you know, we know that there are specific groups that are at high risk, including older individuals, those with underlying disabilities, and our health care workers.

And so, what I`ve been looking for is -- at those White House press briefings to say, look, these are our four big concerns, right? These are the three or four populations that we`re concerned about. This is why we need to get on top of this very quickly, and here`s what we`re doing about it and. And historically, the American people have responded very well to this. They understood this through Ebola, Zika.

You know, as we say, this is not our first rodeo, so we know how to respond. And we just need that clear, kind of concise messaging right now.

HAYES: All right, doctor --

EMANUEL: Can I just add one thing to Chris, your point, which is we also do know -- for any individual, the risk is low, except we do know that there are certain people --

HAYES: Correct.

EMANUEL: And Peter just emphasize them. Those who are over 60 or 65, those who have chronic illness, they are at high risk. And what we have done in this country is aggregate them in nursing homes. Those are our most vulnerable people, people in nursing homes, and we really have to, you know, social distance there. Reduce the number of visitors probably to zero. Make sure that people are counting up and taking a dining protective equipment so that we don`t have that petri plate, just you know, explode with Coronavirus like it did in Seattle, because almost every one of them is really on the verge just Like the cruise ships.

HAYES: It`s a good point, an important point, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Dr. Peter Hotez, thank you both. Next, from public school closings for the cancellation of large events, how civic society, local governments are leading where the federal government is not, in two minutes.



INSLEE: Every successful effort that we can take to slow the spread of this disease, and that`s to reduce the social interactions that are not necessary in our lives. This is an effective tactic. It is at hand. All it requires is the will of active people to follow science and confidence that we`re all in this together. And that`s why we`re taking these steps.


HAYES: That was Governor Jay Inslee of Washington early today. Right now, he`s managing the worst Coronavirus outbreak in the country. That included him announcing today they are banning events with more than 250 people in the three counties hardest hit by the virus.

They live in a country, obviously, with freedom of assembly, so it`s no small thing for Governor state to say we don`t want you to have more than 250 people together. That is one of a cascading list of decisions by local and state leaders that in order for us to slow the transmission of the virus, we need to take very big dramatic steps to limit public gatherings.

The enormous music festival, Coachella, has been postponed until October. South by Southwest in Austin was canceled. The House and the Senate are stopping tours of the Capitol. Television shows such as NBC`s the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, HBO`s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the ABC`s The View, they are all being shot without live audiences.

The Golden State Warriors basketball team decided to play last night`s game with fans in attendance even though city officials warns not to. But now, it`s no longer their choice. Following an order from the mayor of San Francisco and City Health officials, gatherings with more than 1,000 people are now prohibited. So tomorrow night`s game will be played without fans.

Just hours ago, it was announced that the entire NCAA Tournament March Madness will be played without fans. This is happening all around the world. In Italy, as I said earlier, all stores, commercial activity except for pharmacies and food markets are now being mandated shut down.

Ireland canceled their St. Patrick`s Day Parade. The entire nation of Denmark is closing all schools and universities. Yesterday, a major soccer game was played in Spain to an empty stadium normally filled with thousands of people. This is happening everywhere and it goes to show just how serious this virus is.

There`s a lot that goes into how these decisions are made. Tonight, I have two people who have inside view that process. Gavin Yamey, he`s professor of global health and public policy at Duke University, and Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary and the author of The System: Who Rigged It and How We Fix It.

Gavin, let me start with you. You know, it struck me today as I watched what played out with the Golden State Warriors in which the city official said don`t play with fans, they went ahead and did it anyway, then the city officials mandated, that it`s probably important a combination of sort of urging private associations not to do this and policymakers just taking the decision out of people`s hands. How do you think about that balance here?

GAVIN YAMEY, PROFESSOR, DUKE UNIVERSITY: Yes, I think that`s right, Chris. I mean, if you look at some of the countries that have managed to bring the outbreak under control, they`re not out of the woods yet for sure, countries like South Korea, Taiwan, places like Hong Kong, they seem to have got the balance right.

Obviously, they have been very aggressive about social distancing and they have combined that with really smart public health policies. They`ve been aggressive in testing people. They`ve been very innovative in finding ways to reach people. You may have seen the photos of South Korea with a mass drive through testing sites. Those are free. They`re reaching a huge number of people. And they`ve had other innovations.

They`ve been using GPS, for example, for contact tracing. That is where if someone is infected, you trace all of the other people who they may have come into contact with. They`ve been sending out text alerts when it is apparent that Coronavirus has reached a particular neighborhood. They`ve had so many innovative public health policies that they have now started to see a falling number of new cases, which is really what you want to see.

Even travelers who are -- who are entering South Korea, they are asked to download an app, and then each day monitor their own symptoms on that app. And they are testing huge numbers of people, Chris. I mean, we haven`t even tested 10,000 people yet says the CDC. South Korea is on average testing 12,000 to 15,000 per day. And they say they`ve got the capacity to test 20,000.

So you know, as Dr. Hotez and Zeke Emanuel said, we are really not where we should be at this point in our outbreak.

HAYES: Robert, the local governments like Jay Inslee or mayors or county officials, right, or governors, you know, everybody is balancing this question in their mind. They do not want to create economic harm for their constituents. They don`t want to cancel big events, and not just because you don`t want to, you know, tick off an NBA owner, there`s tons of people that sell concessions there that work in low wage jobs or contract jobs that are going to be hurt by that.

It seems to me that one part of this has to be enormous public policy on the stimulus side to safeguard people`s economic disruption, particularly the people at the bottom of the economic pyramid.

ROBERT REICH, FORMER SECRETARY OF LABOR, UNITED STATES: Absolutely, Chris. And we don`t have in this country, and let`s face it, we do not have a public health system that is geared toward helping people stay home from work. I mean, we don`t have paid sick leave.

If you want to get a test for the Coronavirus, it`s going to cost you if you don`t have insurance, health insurance. And remember, 30 million Americans don`t have health insurance. It`s going to cost you at least $1,600 personally. I mean, instead of making these tests free or mandatory, we do exactly the opposite.

Unemployment insurance in this country, if you lose your job, or if you have to stay home, you can`t work. Unemployment insurance reaches 27 percent of people who don`t have jobs, and we`re not working. I mean, the entire system of public health and a kind of social safety net is not in place here to handle the kinds of burdens that we all are going to have to face.

HAYES: I just want to -- just to be clear, there have been some decrees by local officials, Washington State, I believe, I know here in New York City that people can get tested for free if they don`t have health insurance. Just in case anyone`s watching this, and I don`t want anyone to be discouraged from cost, because I do think there will be ways around that in the future, particularly in these localities, which is not to say it`s not happening.

It does strike me though, the biggest obstacle right now just to return to what you were saying before Gavin and then want to get back to this economic question is the test -- the testing bottleneck is enormous and it doesn`t seem to be getting better. I`ve read accounts today about actual issues with just the supply chain, the sort of machinery and ways in which testing works is bottleneck right now. So it`s not getting out to point of care. Is that your understanding right now?

YAMEY: That`s absolutely right, Chris. We were very slow to scale up testing. I mean, that`s been well documented now. We had a faulty test kit. We were very slow, the federal level to get tests out to where they were needed. The test had to be approved by the CDC, so you actually had local officials who are hamstrung when they really should have been supported.

And so people with symptoms who had the coronavirus were not being tested. We even had health workers with symptoms who are not being tested. And so the race is on now to try and scale up tests. You may have also seen the news that the Gates Foundation is trying to fund the rapid development of a self-test. We have so many bottlenecks. That is one.

Robert Reich pointed to another, and that is that we have a healthcare system that is a patchwork with giant holes.


YAMEY: And you know, we`ve seen cases, the man in Miami, Osmel Martinez Azcue. He returned from China with symptoms. He did the right thing. He went to the hospital to get tested. And he was landed with a bill for $3,270. Now, the insurer said we`ll pay some of it, but he was still left with a $1,400 out of pocket fee.

Even Republicans right now, to their credit, are going on T.V. saying, let`s make this test freely available. It is a barrier. It isn`t the only barrier. I would say that, you know, the response is going to require universal health coverage insurance for all. It`s going to require very strong public health measures. It`s going to require social distancing, aggressive contact tracing.

And then there`s an element of this response that doesn`t get very much attention. I lead a center at Duke University called the Center for Policy Impacting Global Health. And for many years, we`ve been talking about how actually, there`s a whole set of global activities that need to happen.

HAYES: Right.

YAMEY: We need -- we need things like surge capacity. We need to be able to manufacture quickly medicines. We need to manufacture personal protective equipment for doctors and nurses. We need to be able to surge health workers. Italy, as you know, is facing enormous shortage of health workers. We need if you`d like to kind of a global task force that could be, you know, mobilized when necessary.

HAYES: Let me -- Robert, let me just end with you on this sort of economic -- obviously, you`re identifying huge holes in the social safety net that are the status quo. Right now, though, we need policy focus on things that can be done for people now, right? So what do you see is the sort of priorities there?

REICH: Well --

YAMEY: I mean, I think --

HAYES: Robert, please.

REICH: Paid sick leave, for example, Chris. I mean, this afternoon, the Senate Republicans bottled up, rejected a bill that would provide and mandate paid sick leave. You know, every single -- I mean, only 45 percent of workers in fast food and in the restaurant industry get paid sick leave. That means that they have got to stay on the job, many of them, even when they`re sick.

I mean, at the very least we ought to require that hotel -- that hospitals take these people in, that there be no payments for tests, and also that restaurants and fast food places post whether they -- whether they provide their workers with paid sick leave. If they don`t, customers ought to know that.

HAYES: I`m going to be speaking to a House Democrat later in the show. I think paid sick leave is going to be part of the House Democrat package. Gavin Yamey and Robert Reich, thank you both. I appreciate it.

REICH: Thanks very much, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, Trump officials cut their testimony shorter on coronavirus hearing because of an emergency at the White House. Congresswoman Katie Porter was at that hearing today. We`ll talk about what happened next.




REP. GERRY CONNOLLY, (D) VIRGINIA: We aren`t the ones that called the alarm being raised about this pandemic as fake news. That came out of the president of the United States` mouth. And no gaslighting is going to hide that.


HAYES: House oversight committee held a hearing today on the federal response to Coronavirus where Dr. Anthony Fauci, t he head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, delivered a serious warning that the worst of the pandemic is yet to come. The testimony, however, was cut short, ending an hour-and-a-half earlier than planned, because President Trump summoned the witnesses to what Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney called a, quote, emergency meeting at the White House.

One of the members of that committee, who was denied her opportunity to question America`s top health officials is Katie Porter of California who joins me now.

First, let me start on that. Do you have a clear understanding of what happened this morning and why that oversight committee hearing was cut short?

REP. KATIE PORTER, (D) CALIFORNIA: We were simply told there was a meeting that they were required to attend at the White House. We do understand that the witnesses will be present again tomorrow, I believe at 11:00 for the hearing to continue and I`m looking forward to questioning them and continuing to press them on the administration`s response at that time.

HAYES: You`ve articulated two concerns. One of them has to do with what we were just speaking about in the previous segment about cost. In a letter that you wrote to Alex Azar, among others, it is critical any cost barriers or limits to COVID-19 diagnostics testing be removed, so those who maybe infected do not forgo testing because of cost concerns. Is there currently any national policy or mandate that says anyone who is tested can do it for free?

PORTER: I`m really glad you`re asking about this, because this is exactly what I`m going to be tackling with the witnesses tomorrow at the hearing. So, I don`t think I`m known for tipping my hand to the witnesses, but I really want them to get this answer right when I put it to them tomorrow at the hearing. There is an existing regulation already in U.S. law that provides during a public health emergency that the CDC can pay for treatment and examination and testing, all of those things, and so that`s already in our code of federal regulations, that`s already one of the tools that has been at the disposal of the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC this entire time.

So I`m going to call on them publicly to make sure that testing and treatment is free and that insurer`s pay their portion, but that American families are not left -- that no American -- is left paying out of pocket or deterred from getting testing or treatment because of cost barriers.

HAYES: We have been trying in our own reporting, and I know others, who sort of track down what has happened with testing and the bottlenecks in it and the lack of capacity. I know it`s a concern you have. Do you have a clear idea, is there good communication from the White House about exactly the precise status of it is and what the obstacles to scaling up are?

PORTER: There is actually been a real gap between what we hear at these what have now become weekly coronavirus briefings and then what we hear when we go home and talk to families and constituents.

I had a telephone call this week, a conference call with hospitals in my area. They were all expressing that they don`t necessarily have access to testing that if they are sending testing in, it`s taking days and days to get responses.

One of the things that we`re exploring is there is multiple failures in this testing process, one of them is not enough swab kits, not enough kits disseminated to the right locations and quickly enough, but one of the things we do have at our disposal is a lot of our research labs use the same equipment to do testing that is currently used in the clinical health care setting, so it may be possible to use some of those research laboratories at universities for example to do some of the clinical testing, but there is a process and some administrative barriers to getting through that. And so I`m interested in continuing to explore how can we bring existing resources to bear on this problem quickly.

HAYES: Final question for you. You`re a member of the Democratic caucus. It appears that some kind of stimulus package is going to be unveiled, I think, tomorrow by Democratic leadership, that`s the indication we have.

Do you have a sense of that or do you at least have your own sort of principles and priorities from what you want to see out of a package tomorrow?

PORTER: Absolutely. I`m going to be looking for something that`s going to be putting families first, that`s going to be prioritizing public health commitments. The House already passed a big bill last week, $8.3 billion. Those were the things that Dr. Fauci in particular, who I think has been the most reliable administration official in terms of understanding really the science behind this and what we can do to save lives. We already did that last week. This week we`re looking to focus on understanding and protecting families who may be not able to get meals, dealing with transportation or school closures and make sure we put families first in this.

This is not the time for -- the stock market will stabilized when families are stabilized. When health conditions stabilize, the market will respond. So, I`m disappointed that we have a president who is thinking more about the interest of special interests and big corporations than he is about the health care and life and death situation of our American families.

HAYES: Congresswoman Katie Porter of California, as always, thank you so much.

Just ahead, what we learned when Bernie Sanders broke his silence after another rough primary last night and how the campaign may have changed today right after this.



SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT) 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Today I say to the Democratic establishment in order to win in the future, you need to win the voters who represent the future of our country and you must speak to the issues of concern to them. You cannot simply be satisfied by winning the votes of people who are older.


HAYES: After choosing not to speak last night following a very disappointing primary showing, which left him nearly 150 delegates behind Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders came out today and struck a really interesting note about staying in the presidential race. His address was focused on the policy priorities of his campaign and his movement, particularly as he noted there, the backers of those who are younger than 40, which he won overwhelmingly.

But it was not a particularly defiant shot across the bow at Biden. What it sounded like to me was someone trying to figure out how to bring these coalitions together.

To talk more about this, I`m joined by Mehdi Hasan, columnist at The Intercept, host of the Deconstructed Podcast, and Brittany Packnett Cunningham, co-host of Pod Save the People and a former member of President Obama`s task force on 21st Century policing.

Brittany, let me start with you. What was your sense of the combination of last night`s Biden victory, the Biden speech, which also was fairly Olive branchy (ph) about Bernie Sanders and Sanders` speech today?

BRITTANY PACKNETT CUNNINGHAM, CO-HOST, POD SAVE THE PEOPLE PODCAST: I think that this is an acknowledgment that the power has and always will belong to the people, that when it comes down to November, we need folks all across the left to show up. We need young folks. We need older folks. We need people in between. We need people of all races. And in order to defeat Donald Trump, that collision has to come out in droves.

So both of these candidates recognize, rather, that they have to bring their groups together in order to get that done and it`s a message, frankly, that I respect.

Look, progressive policies are always more important than any single politician. I hear Bernie Sanders is saying he`s going to push Joe Biden on that on the debate stage to make sure that those policies have a place in the White House even if Bernie Sanders doesn`t.

HAYES: Yeah, Mehdi, it`s interesting he talked about the debate on Sunday night. It will be the first one on one debate. He was very clear that he will be there. It will be done with no audience for reasons of the coronavirus, but he was very specific about what he`s going to push him on, sort of focusing on the priorities of the Sanders` campaign has been.

MEHDI HASAN, HOST, DECONSTRUCTED PODCAST: Yeah, there is no gotchas (ph) coming from Bernie Sanders. He literally said it on camera, this is what I`m going to ask you, Joe -- climate change, inequality, health care, racist criminal justice system, billionaires and big money in politics. He laid it all out.

These are the issues we know that Bernie Sanders cares about, has campaigned tirelessly on for years, and I think he now knows he can`t win, so he wants to see can he get Joe Biden to move, which from a Democratic Party perspective I get the logic of. Bernie doesn`t want to go in there and cripple Biden, kneecap him and be blamed for Biden going into a general election weak, you know, and provide, you know, attack lines for the Trump campaign.

On the other hand, you know, from an outsider perspective, just looking at it from a pure political point of view, the Democratic Party are going to be nominating Joe Biden, who is going to be going into a general election against Donald Trump, perhaps the most ruthless amoral person ever to run for president. And he won`t have actually done a debate, a proper debate -- what we would call a one-on-one, you know, tear strips out of each other, be held to account kind of debate. On Sunday, it`s going to be two guys sitting at a table chatting about policy in an empty room, which is great, but it`s not quite Elizabeth Warren tearing apart Michael Bloomberg, is it?

And I think that`s a mistake for Democrats. I think sending Biden into a general election where he hasn`t been vetted on a bunch of issues that Trump is going to come after him on, even from the left, I think, is a mistake just from a political point and strategic point of view.

HAYES: What do you think, Brittany?

CUNNINGHAM: I think that there is a very good point there made, especially if we`re talking about exciting young voters and new voters. Look, we understand that Trump gets the power of entertainment. He is a reality TV star, and whether or not the policy is sound, whether or not even his tweets are sound, he is going to get out there and make sure that people are entertained.

And so unfortunately Democrats have to decide how they are going to come up against that and try to beat someone whose power is not in policy, but in a television lens.

HAYES: Yeah, it`s a good point. So far, Mehdi, it seems the Biden value proposition here is like good-bye to all that, a return to normalcy, all those things. He obviously has some vulnerabilities, I think you`re right, right, in his record that Trump is already going to attack on, particularly shamelessly on things like, you know, from the left and right at the same time.

But I do think there is a dynamic here that`s important. I want to hear what you think. What happened in 2016 is Clinton won a bunch of early states, she -- not the earliest, but there was a period there where she built a delegate lead, and then there was kind of a long and bloody contest between the two of them in which actually the national polling converged, Sanders actually got more popular and Clinton less so and sort of limped across the finish line a little bit, left a lot of bad taste in a lot of people`s mouths. That`s not what we`re seeing here. I mean, when you look at the Democratic primary voters, in the last two election nights, they have been clear about where they are on this race.

HASAN: Yes. But don`t forget, also, Bernie Sanders wasn`t really a fan of Hillary Clinton personally and he is very good friends with Joe Biden. And we`re seeing there is Buzzfeed reporting out today, which suggests that Sanders` own his team basically implored him to go after Joe Biden on the debate stage much harder, and he didn`t want to do it, because when he says friend, Joe, he actually means it.

So, when he says my friend Joe got Iraq wrong, he says it in a kind of jovial way. He doesn`t say actually Joe Biden, you have blood on your hands like somebody else might say if they were debating him, or Donald Trump might say, he does it in a very -- and I think Joe -- I think both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren made a mistake in not going after Joe Biden`s awful record over the last year. Biden hasn`t really been vetted, kind of got to hide amongst 10, 12 candidates. If he`s the candidate now, fine.

People keep telling me on Twitter stop criticizing Biden, you`re doing Trump`s work for him. Well, trump doesn`t need me to go after Joe Biden in a year. I just find it weird after what happened with Hillary Clinton where remember Bernie on the debate stage, said Hillary, nobody gives a damn about your emails. Turns out, sadly, they did and she should have had a better defense of it and maybe she would have done had they engaged in the primaries.

They are going to go after Biden over his age and his coherence and his Iraq War vote and his bankruptcy bill, and his crime bill. It`s good if he has some defenses now.

HAYES: Mehdi Hasan and Brittany Packnett Cunningham, thank you so much for making time tonight.

Don`t go anywhere, I`ll talk with Rachel Maddow about what to expect from the president`s address just ahead.


HAYES: The president will be addressing the country from the Oval Office tonight at 9:00 p.m just minutes from now. He of course has spent the entire crisis spreading disinformation about the Coronavirus. He keeps comparing it to the flu. It is not like the flu. In fact, just today Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of his Coronavirus task force, said that is a terrible way to think about it.

The president also said that cases are maybe going to go down close to zero. He said it might disappear like a miracle. He keeps focusing on industries that are affected, instead of people that are affected. In fact today, he spent the day meeting with bank CEOs, because he is so manifestly obsessed with the economic effects as opposed to the public health crisis.

And so knowing all this, and knowing his track record, it`s arguably dangerous that the president of the United States is going to address the nation live. We don`t know what he`s going to say. We can only hope -- hope -- that it`s a prompter address that`s been vetted and that it`s truthful and forthcoming about the actual reality.

But before you listen to the president who keeps saying it`s the flu, it might go away, I want you to hear the voice of an actual expert who spoke with candor ab out the Coronavirus and the stakes ahead of us.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGIES AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: I can say you will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now. How much worse they`ll get will depend on our ability to be two things -- to contain the influx of people who are infected coming from the outside, and the ability to contain and mitigate within our own country. Bottom line, it`s going to get worse.

People always say, well, the flu, you know, the flu does this, the flu does that, the flu has a mortality of 0.1 percent, this has a mortality of 10 times that.


HAYES: This is 10 times that.

We`re going to carry the president`s address tonight, but it is important to say that at this point, he has given us no reason to believe anything he has to say about the seriousness of this pandemic, frankly. So in the commercial break, I`m going to run down a flight of stairs and then a long hallway to be on the set with my colleague Rachel Maddow, before and after the president`s address. I`ll see you downstairs right after this.



FAUCI: If we are complacent and don`t do really aggressive containment and mitigation, the number could go way up, and be involved in many, many millions. Even in areas of the country where there are no or few cases, we have to change our behavior. We have to essentially assume that we`re going to get hit.


HAYES: We are now about five minutes away from President Donald Trump`s address to the nation on the Coronavirus pandemic.

I`m joined now by my friend and colleague Rachel Maddow, host of "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW."

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Hi, Chris. It`s good to be here with you.

HAYES: It`s good to be here, too.

I feel anxiety about the president`s address, because there`s been sort of twin tracks of missteps and failures here. There`s been substantive failures on testing, on planning, and all of that, and then there`s just been egregious disinformation shared by the president himself that is quite literally harmful for public health response.

MADDOW: And as you just mentioned right before the break, the president has quite openly sort of betrayed his real concerns about this. He talked about not wanting to allow Americans on to American soil off of a cruise ship, because he thought that might raise the numbers and that would look bad for the country.

HAYES: He said I don`t need the numbers to go up.

MADDOW: I don`t need the numbers to go up. He talked about the fact that he has expressed real concerns about industries that might be hurt by this, as if these industries are being hurt for a reason that has nothing to do with people who are also being hurt by it.

And so I mean, him choosing to make an Oval Office address on this subject, I feel like, in the abstract, is very good, but I think you are super right to be concerned about what he`s going to say.

HAYES: There seems to be, and you just spoke to this, there seems to be a misunderstanding of the symptom and the cause here, which is he thinks the problem is the economy. I mean, he`s been very clear about it, even if you look at how he is spending his time, he`s meeting with drug manufacturers and he`s meeting with airline CEOs, then he`s meeting today with bank CEOs. He`s coming out and he`s talking about the stimulus, he came out and he`s going to be talking about a payroll tax cut.

And I have talked to people on Wall Street and people in the financial sector, they understand that the thing that is causing all of this is the pandemic.

MADDOW: Right.

HAYES: That`s the thing that has to be attacked. The economy has to be dealt with, with some sort of stimulus, but that will work itself out if you get the public health part right.

MADDOW: Right, there isn`t a malfunction in the markets that`s misreading even the economic impact of the virus.

HAYES: No, it`s going to be enormous.

MADDOW: We started -- I mean, more than a week ago, I remember talking about -- I did this sort of bit on the show that I actually don`t think worked as a matter of television at all, but it stuck in my brain which was like oh, the Frankfurt airport in the Germany, which is a big airport, right, not -- you know, 14th biggest in the world or something, they`ve had a hiring Freeze and they are telling all of their people they can take unpaid leave and Lufthansa, who is the main carrier there has started canceling flights and is grounding some of their aircraft.

And it was, like, oh, right. They wouldn`t be doing that because they`re watching the real world impact of people no longer moving freely about the planet because of rational concerns about this epidemic, which is a real thing. He`s reading the market as some sort of distortion rather than being a real reflection of the crisis.

HAYES: And what I think has not sunk in, because I think the people at the top have not communicated it adequately up the president is that we are looking at genuine social disruption at a very large scale. Two weeks ago, more than two weeks ago, Dr. Messonnier and the CDC gave -- you did great coverage of this -- it was a telephone briefing. It was very early. There had been at that point I think a case or two of community transmission, and she said prepare for significant disruption. She said talk to your schools -- and this was two weeks ago and people thought what are you talking about?

MADDOW: I remember being shocked by that. She said I, today, called the superintendent of my children`s schools and asked what the plan was. And I was like, whoa. I mean, that`s a serious thing to model as behavior for the American public. But of course we`re there now.

HAYES: And not only were we there, we are there without I think the psychological tools provided for it.

I mean have -- when you look at other places like South Korea, when you look at China, right, which is a very different society from ours and a very different government from ours, it is a much more collectivist society, because of the structure of the authoritarian Maoist government they`ve had for years, but we are going to have to engage in kind of like social solidarity, you know, victory gardens, war bonds, like that kind of thing is what we`re heading into. Like, we`re all in this together and we`re all going to have significant disruptions to our daily lives, all together, and try to look out for each other, at the policy level and at the individual and health level, so that we can get through this together, that`s the message that we need right now.

And togetherness and social solidarity is not the register in which the president excels.

MADDOW: The declaration by the WHO today that this is a global pandemic, on the one hand do most people care about the difference between an epidemic and a pandemic? No, they both sound bad. They both would be excellent titles for horror movies, right, but the fact that they`re calling it a pandemic means it`s everywhere, which means you should no longer think about protecting yourself and managing the response in your country by excluding your country from other places that are the real source of the infection.

And so there are no sidelines anymore. And that, I mean that is a psychological shift that they`re asking for from leaders as well as from us, but it`s deep stuff. And I don`t have a lot of faith in this president to handle things at that level.

HAYES: I think the most promising signs are things we`re seeing from local levels and civil society.

MADDOW: Yes, state and local governments doing this without guidance from the federal government in terms of when stuff should be shut down.