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virus spreads TRANSCRIPT: 3/12/20, All In w/ Chris Hayes

Guests: Vivek Murthy, Jeff Merkley, Reed Caldwell, Richard Trumka, Cory Booker

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: -- show hosted by  Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers are going to suspend production for the rest  of the month. With massive quarantine efforts in Italy, historical sites  commonly flooded with tourists are now almost empty. What has become  abundantly clear is that while feelings of uncertainty of heightened,  familiar comforts we rely on as a society are for a foreseeable future on  hold. 

Thanks for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes is up next.




HAYES: The worst drop ever in the history of the stock market. A state of  emergency declared in New York City. Major League Baseball suspends  operations and mass school closures around the country. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All public schools in Maryland will be closed.

HAYES: Tonight, the latest on how to stop the exponential spread of  coronavirus, what you need to know when you`re feeling sick, and what  American workers should expect to get from Congress. 

REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): The deadline and the time for delay has passed. 

HAYES: And as America`s top public health expert admits our testing system  is a failure -- 


HAYES: How to carry on with a president actively lying to the nation. 

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Frankly, the testing has been  going very smoothly. 

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. A lot is happening very  quickly, a lot more is going to be happening as we try and deal with this  pandemic. But before I start to give you the news today, I think it`s  important to mentally prepare yourself for increasing amounts of social  disruption. This is the phase we are entering into in our society, in our  country, and we are all going to need to look out for each other, pull  together. 

That said, here are where things stand tonight. U.S. cases continue to move  up an exponential curve. There are over 1,500 cases including 40 deaths. A  major obstacle right now to getting our hands around the scope of the  problem continues to be a lack of testing. A private group that has been  tracking the data says there have been 10,000 tests run in the U.S. so far,  total, just 10,000. South Korea`s running 10,000 tests per day or more. 

Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy  and Infectious Diseases, spoke very plainly before Congress about the  abject testing failure.


FAUCI: The system does not -- is not really geared to what we need right  now, what you are asking for. That is failing.


FAUCI: It is failing. Let`s admit it. The idea of anybody getting it easily  the way people in other countries are doing it, we`re not set up for that.  Do I think we should be? Yes, but we`re not.


HAYES: The absence of more widespread testing, the biggest most important  thing for state, local officials, and civil society is to move towards  massively tamping down the sheer amount of physical contact we have with  each other as human beings society-wide. That is the only way to curb the  pandemic. That is the way to flatten the curve. 

Remember, this whole red part on the chart is what the epidemic looks like  without public health intervention. The blue part is what happens when you  take protective measures. The blue, the flat of the curve is what we are  trying to get to. And that line for the middle is the capacity of our  entire health care system. 

We need to be doing everything we can to avoid this dark red part above the  line where there are more patients in the system can handle. We`ve already  seen that in Wuhan and in Italy. And yesterday, a study was published using  computational modeling that showed that even just reducing contact between  people by 25 percent can reduce infection by 60 percent. Just think about  that. Fairly small steps can yield huge results. 

This is what we`re all engaged in right now. This is why the future is  going to be extremely disruptive. You`ve probably heard the news about how  disruptive it is. In the past day, just since I spoke to you last night,  every major sports is suspended. March Madness is not happening. All the  shows on Broadway are shut down. New York has announced caps of meetings  with over 500 people. Ohio and Maryland became the first two states to  close public schools throughout the state. 

It is also the case that another inevitable thing will happen and that is  people that are famous will contract the virus. Yesterday was the first  example of that. Actress Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson announced they have  tested positive for coronavirus though doing well. Utah Jazz star center  Rudy Gobert tested positive yesterday. Today, his teammate, All-Star guard  Donovan Mitchell also tested positive. That resulted in the NBA suspending  season until further notice. 

Again, this is the way the news is going to be. Prepare yourself for this  kind of thing. We`re also going to get news of world leaders who have  contracted it. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife are now  self-isolating because his wife has symptoms. The press secretary for the  president of Brazil today tested positive. 

And I should tell you that over the weekend that man met with President  Trump. You can see the two of them here at Mar-a-Lago with a Make Brazil  Great Again hat. The White House says despite this interaction, Trump will  not be tested.

You can see the two of them here at Mar a Lago with a make Brazil great  again hat. The White House says despite this interaction, Trump will not be  tested. This is just the inevitable math of this pandemic. More and more  people are going to get it. And today obviously, because there is going to  be so much economic disruption, there are very real acute concerns about  vulnerable populations.

People are going to lose their paycheck or barely hanging on. Also, and  this is really important to stress here, detained population including  people in prisons, and in jails and in immigrant detention centers, those  are all significant concerns. It is unclear at this time if the federal  government has a comprehensive plan for them. 

With all that, the major public health challenges remain. Getting testing  up to capacity, creating surge capacity for hospitals, and mass social  action to limit physical contact with each other. Here with me now, someone  who understands the steps we should be taking, how to take those steps,  someone who`s been on the front line public health emergencies, has made  many of the kinds of decisions we need to make now, Dr. Vivek Murthy. He`s  the former Surgeon General of the United States. 

Dr. Murthy, what`s -- what is your top-line right now about what we need to  be doing collectively as a society? And then we`ll talk a little bit about  the federal response.

VIVEK MURTHY, FORMER SURGEON GENERAL, UNITED STATES: So, Chris, this is a  really unique moment in our country`s history, and really, in the world`s  history. We have not seen a pandemic like this with the potential to expand  and take the toll that it could take in about 100 years since the Spanish  flu in 1918. 

And so, you know, this is an extraordinary moment that demands  extraordinary measures. And there are two pieces of that. There`s a  government response that we need, but there`s also a mass social  mobilization that we need, a mobilization that changes how we behave in  terms of personal practices. 

This is why we`ve been stressing it`s so important for us to wash our hands  with soap to very least 20 seconds at a time. It`s important for us to use  hand sanitizer often. It`s important for us to also wash common surfaces  including your phone and your keys which can carry and harbor the virus.  And also essential that we stay home if we`re sick and start implementing  as soon as possible social distancing measures.

The social distancing includes everything from teleworking, instead of  going into work, to potentially keeping kids home from school which we`re  seeing in several states. That`s one of the more extreme measures but often  necessary. But it also involves disbanding a group events. And you`ve seen  many sporting events and festivals and conferences being canceled for this  reason. 

Now, these may seem extreme, they may seem incredibly disruptive, and make  no mistake they are. They come with an extraordinary human and economic  cost, but they`re done to reduce the chances that we bear an even greater  costs down the line. 

So these are the measures that we have to take. We need a whole scale  social mobilization. We haven`t seen this kind of mobilization since  perhaps World War II, but it`s what we`re called to do right now.

HAYES: I keep stressing this every night because I want to sort of people  distinguish between their own personal physical risk, the likelihood that  they will get sick and die of coronavirus, which again remains low in the  grand scheme of things, and the systemic risks that we`re talking about,  right?

On the latter part, when we talk about this social disruption, how should  people be mentally prepared for the next month? I mean, my sense from  talking to experts is that people should mentally prepare that for several  weeks, maybe a month, and maybe more things are not going to be normal. Is  that a fair assessment?

MURTHY: That`s a fair assessment. And we have to let go of the idea that we  can live our lives the way we did a month ago or two months ago or three  months ago. The truth is this virus, which is just as if not more  contagious than the flu, and certainly much more deadly than the flu, at  least 10 times more deadly, if not more, this virus has fundamentally  changed the landscape, and it`s changed how we need to live our lives. 

And so think about what we can expect here. Number one, people should  expect that your contact with other people, including family, friends, and  even strangers will be needs to be more limited than it was before. We  should also assume that our traditional recreational practices of maybe  going to concerts or to ballgames or going out with friends or to crowded  bars, that that will be something we need to curtail, especially if we are  older, or if we have chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease,  which places a greater risk of complications with COVID-19. 

And this may last a while. You know, we`d like to all -- we`re all hoping  that in the warmer weather months, that the COVID-19 will decrease and that  we`ll see less spread, but we don`t know that for sure. And even if that  happens, there`s -- it`s possible just like has happened with the Spanish  flu, that they will be a resurgence later in the fall. Yes?

HAYES: I just want to -- I want to ask about the testing. This is --  there`s been a sort of group sourced effort starting with some reporters at  the Atlanta To try to track total number of tests. It looks like we have  about 10,000 cumulative, several thousand a day. It is just astonishingly  below the rates in every other country. Do you understand why this is the  case, what can be done to fix it, and what the effects are?

MURTHY: I certainly understand what the effects are. But I do not know why  we have run into this problem. Because the truth is we have demonstrated as  a country that we can actually deploy a large number of tests in a  relatively short timeframe. When we dealt with H1N1, for example, when we  were dealing with the Zika virus a few years ago, at a time when I was  actually serving a Surgeon General, we were able in these circumstances to  test and to get tests out across the country. 

Something broke here. I don`t think we have clarity about what exactly it  was. But here`s one point I think in fairness, it`s important to mention,  which is it every time you have a response like this to something that is  you know, up to that point not seen or not understood like the novel virus,  something is going to go wrong, like in the response.

You`re going to stumble, something is going to break. that`s inevitable.  What matters is how you respond to that, how quickly you get up, and how  efficiently you correct your mistakes. And I think the worry that many of  us have, and especially frontline health care workers is that we need to  move faster when it comes to getting tests. 

Just today, I was talking to the doctors and hospitals in Florida, in  Boston, Massachusetts, who were telling me that they`re struggling to get  tests for the patients they need. I was talking to a mayor from a large  city in the south who told me that in his entire state, there are only a  couple of hundred tests for millions of people. 

These are not the numbers we need to hear. You know, what matters is not  how many tests we`re shipping out. What matters is how many patients who  need the test can get it and get it quickly. 

HAYES: Yes. And right now, that is not enough. Dr. Vivek Murthy, that was  really, really excellent. Thank you for all of that. 

MURTHY: No problem. And, Chris, if I could one last thing. 

HAYES: Sorry, we -- there -- House Democrats -- oh, we have you back. I  didn`t want to cut you off there. Please say what you`re going to say. 

MURTHY: One last important cost that I think we are not talking about that  we should keep in mind. As people distance themselves socially, we will  also be headed for a social recession. We were talking about the economic  recession. But we know that loneliness and social isolation are huge  problems in our country that come at a great cost. That people who are  lonely have shorter lives, higher risk of heart disease, dementia,  depression and anxiety. 

And those problems are going to increase potentially unless we`re aware  that there`s a greater risk of loneliness unless we mobilize ourselves to  reach out to friends, make sure we`re staying connected to family and stay  connected and supporting of each other. 

HAYES: It`s a great point. Fire up that group text. That`s been the one  I`ve been getting through Dr. Vivek Murthy. Thank you so much for all of  that. 

MURTHY: You`re welcome. 

HAYES: House Democrats are working right now to pass an emergency  coronavirus relief bill, as Mitch McConnell just sent the Senate home for  the long three day weekend. What you should expect from your federal  government during a growing pandemic next.


HAYES: The House is now considering an emergency aid package for Americans  affected by coronavirus. It would include things like paid sick leave, free  testing, and help for food security programs. Today, Senate Republicans  insisted they would not pass any emergency legislation until after the  recess. Senator Lamar Alexander, a close ally of Republican Leader Mitch  McConnell told reporters, "The Senate will act when we come back and we  have a clearer idea of what extra steps we needed to take."

Given the rate of epidemic growth, that is frankly deranged. That`s days  from now. But then hours later, Mitch McConnell was forced to walk it back  and cancel the recess to work on passing bipartisan legislation. Though the  Senate did just leave for a three-day weekend as the House right now at  this very minute works out a bill. 

Here with me now a U.S. senator from the state that is feeling effects of  the pandemic, Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon. Let me first start  in your state. How things are there, what you`re hearing about what the  federal government should be doing?

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): Oh, absolutely. Well, things are getting worse.  We had about 10 additional cases in the last two days. And, obviously, a  lot of concern, a couple of those cases are on a veteran`s home. So you`ll  started to see a very vulnerable population that might suffer a severe  impact.

One of the big failures is the testing operation. And just to give some  sense of comparison, as of a couple days ago, we had tested five out of  every million Americans, while South Korea had tested close to 4,000 out of  every million South Koreans. And that lack of testing means we don`t have a  firm grip on the spread of this disease among the population. 

And it also means that people who want to get tested can`t get tested.  Their doctors are telling them, just stay home and let us know if the  symptoms become worse, or you can have an appointment one or two weeks from  now when we have time. That system doesn`t work. 

So what we heard today from scientists in the administration was, we need a  whole new strategy for testing based more on what South Korea has done, and  that is to have people be able to go directly to a drive-up test site, get  their tests, get their results within a day, not have to go through a  lengthy process at a doctor`s office.

HAYES: You tweeted something about something that the governor of your  state Governor Brown had asked for. Nine days ago, you tweeted Oregon  Governor Brown wrote to the vice president, urgently requesting masks,  gowns, gloves and other equipment to contain coronavirus. Not only has  Oregon received none of that equipment, they haven`t even gotten a  response. No plan, no urgency, no leadership. Is that true that they never  got a response? 

MERKLEY: Well, that is -- that is correct. And so when I -- when I heard  about that, last night, I made it the first question this morning. They had  sent a request on March 3rd, followed up on March 5th, had heard nothing,  of course, this is March 12th a week later. As a result of raising it, we  got it into the right hands of the right person at HHS. They`ve now  connected with this strategic supply, if you will. And hopefully, by  tomorrow morning, we`ll know whether they`re able to help Oregon out. 

But we have an urgent need in Oregon for mask, for clothing, and for  gloves. And now the request seems to be in the right place, but it was --  it was in fact -- somehow it got lost in the bureaucracy.

HAYES: The House right now is trying to work out the details of this deal.  Unemployment Insurance, food security, mandated free testing, paid sick  leave. All these are sort of parts of that package. McConnell basically --  his allies declared it dead on arrival and sent the Senate home. What do  you think?

MERKLEY: I think it`s absolutely crazy. I mean, this House bill is family  focused. It says, listen, the tests are going to be free, so get tested if  you have any of the significant symptoms of this disease which are cough,  or a fever, and aching, those three things. And if you get tested, then you  will know whether you need to take yourself out of action, to self- quarantine, if you will, for 14 days, and you`ll be highly motivated to do  it. And people can check in with you. 

But you`re going to lose your pay. So we need to make sure that there`s  national sick leave so that you can, in fact, afford to stay home. We know  folks are going to go to work to make their mortgage or their rent or their  utilities if they`re not getting paid. And this looks at other issues like  providing food to families in need of -- 

HAYES: One question. I want to jump in there on the policy standpoint of  paid sick leave. My understanding is it`s a mandate for paid sick leave for  employers over 500 which I think makes good policy. But it just seems to me  an argument that in a time when every business in America is going to be  cash crunched, shouldn`t the government just pay for that?

MERKLEY: You know, I absolutely agree with that. There`s a discussion we`ve  had on the Senate side. That`s a suggestion I put forward with my caucus  that if we can possibly modify that. The government should pick up this  cost. We`re going to be spending a lot of money to stimulate the economy  during this moment. That`s a way we can do it that helps both the families  and the businesses.

HAYES: In terms of the timing here, I`m not trying to sound absurd, but how  is it possible that -- I mean, every 24 hours changes the situation  appreciably. We`re walking up an exponential curve. Is the Senate just  going to just chill for three days? Like I just don`t understand how you`re  -- how you`re going home?

MERKLEY: No, this is -- this is unbelievable. It`s absolutely -- it`s  insane that we`re leaving D.C. at this moment. I mean, here we were, say a  day and a half ago, talking about 14 cases in Oregon. Now we have 24. Now  we have an infection that`s inside a retirement home for veterans. Things  are unfolding so fast and every part of the country, each day feels like 15  major announcements occur that should affect our urgency and the policy.  And Mitch McConnell is sitting on his hands for three days. It`s  unbelievable.

HAYES: All Right, Senator Jeff Merkley, thank you for making some time  tonight. 

MERKLEY: Oh, you`re so welcome. Thanks, Chris. 

HAYES: All right, a really big practical problem I`ve been thinking about a  lot of people been asking you about is what you should do if you feel sick,  especially if you`re not sure what the source of the illness is. The chief  of a major emergency department is going to join me to talk through that  next.


HAYES: As we move forward through this public health crisis, there seem to  be two competing impulses that people have in their head right now,  understandably. One is that we know, we listen to experts, that coronavirus  is more serious than the flu. So you want to take it seriously. If you can  tract it, you definitely want to stay away from other people. 

The other impulse is just that, you know, well, people get cold, they get  sick, they get the flu. So what do you do if you are symptomatic? What  should you do if you were feeling ill? To answer that question, I brought  an emergency medicine specialist Dr. Reed Caldwell, Assistant Professor of  Emergency Medicine at NYU Langone Health. It`s great to have you here. 


HAYES: All right, so this happened to me the other day, someone that I  love, I came home and that person said, I feel I have a bug coming on. And  there`s that kind of terror moment like, oh, oh. A lot of people are going  to feel that. What do you do if you have this -- if you have symptoms?

CALDWELL: Well, as has been discussed, first, the most important thing is  prevention. So we know that this is a virus that spread by droplets, which  means coughing and sneezing. So anyone who`s coughing and sneezing should  be sure to cover their face and should have prompt and cleansing. 

We`ve talked a lot about -- everyone has been talking a lot about social  distancing and self-quarantine, so those are really imperative preventative  measures.

HAYES: OK, but if I have a fever, and I have a cold, and I feel like I have  a flu-like symptoms, which is going to happen to a lot of people, what do  you want me to do as a person who runs an emergency room?

CALDWELL: Right. So what I want you to do first is distance yourself from  those people that are well, particularly people that you know are  immunocompromised and the people at extremes of ages. We know that our  elderly population is at most risk and it`s up to all of us to help to  protect those people. 

Secondly, it`s important to maintain good health habits, good sleep, good  hydration, taking ibuprofen or Tylenol for fever and really working to  manage your symptoms and make yourself feel better.

HAYES: OK, so let`s say I feel sick. I go way down to the basement of my  house. You know, we separate from the rest family and other people, and I`m  down there and I`m still feeling sick. Do you want me to call my primary  care physician? Do you want like -- and how do I know when it`s time to go  to the E.R. if I start to feel really bad?

CALDWELL: Right, so as was mentioned earlier, is we`re all keeping an eye  on the overall capacity of the healthcare system, both locally and in the  United States. So it`s going to be really important that everyone works to  match their level of symptoms with their level of care. 

So for example, people who are well or have very mild symptoms, it`s going  to be really important to go to sites like the local health department or  the CDC to understand what`s going on with you and how you can -- 

HAYES: The Web sites. 

CALDWELL: The Web sites, yes. And then for people with more moderate  symptoms, it`s important to utilize some telehealth platforms or telephonic  platforms to be able to continue to self-isolate, but to seek evaluation  and consult. And then certainly, for the -- for people with severe symptoms  like respiratory distress, those are the people that we really need to have  using the 911 system and emergency system. 

HAYES: OK, so what I`m hearing from you is, it`s very important to keep  people that don`t need emergency care out of your E.R. Is that a fair thing  to say?

CALDWELL: That will allow us to take the best care of the sickest people.

HAYES: OK. So if I`m 30 years old and I`ve got a fever and flu-like  symptoms, and I`m pulled up in my apartment, I`m drinking a lot of fluids,  I`m taking ibuprofen, what you`re saying is stay there, stay away from  people, and maybe check in with your doctor through telehealth if you can.

CALDWELL: That`s right, just like you would if you had influenza or if you  had a bad cold.

HAYES: When you say respiratory distress, I know I`m -- we`re trying to do  sort of like, you know, diagnosis in that scale here, so I understand that  these are hypotheticals. But if I`m 68 or 70 and the same thing happens,  and then I start to feel really persistent, dry cough, for instance, what`s  that line there about respiratory distress?

CALDWELL: So certainly the more medical problems you have, existing medical  problems you have and the older you are. So you mentioned 68, 70 years old,  particularly if you have diabetes or other -- or cancer, otherwise  immunocompromised, it`s important to seek care a little a little sooner  when you`re having maybe a fever or cough.

HAYES: And presumably, those people have points of care before they get to  the E.R., right? So I mean, will you want to be directing people to their - - should they be talking to their personal physician and folks like that? 

CALDWELL: If they`re able to, yes.

HAYES: Right. But of course, if people are in urgent distress, they need to  call 911 and go to the E.R.?

CALDWELL: That`s right. What is your capacity looking like right now as a  doctor running a very large and important E.R. here in New York City, which  is rapidly expanding on the number of cases?

CALDWELL: Because of the way that`s really ballooned in China, we did have  some warning. So we`ve been working for quite some time, weeks, maybe --  definitely more than a month to rapidly expand care and really scale up  what we -- how we take care of patients and our capacity. So, we`ve been  working hard to prepare. We`re ready.

HAYES: All right, Dr. Reed Caldwell, that was very informative, and thank  you very much. 

CALDWELL: Thanks for having me. 

HAYES: Today the stock market suffered its worst decline since the 1987  stock market crash, but the full economic implications of the crisis have  only begun.

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka on what American workers need to get  through this crisis next.


HAYES:  The markets plunged today down 10 percent because they are pricing  in the enormous decrease in economic activity that`s going to happen in the  U.S. and around the world as we all collectively battle this pandemic. It  is going to have just enormous effects for working people around this  country. 

Think about the news we got in the last 24 hours. For instance, the NBC  suspending the rest of its season. That impacts all the people working in  the arenas, selling concessions, taking tickets. Broadway shows here in New  York are shutting down, which means everyone from the ushers to the stage  hands won`t be working. And office buildings are closing as more people  shift to working from home, which leaves security guards and cleaning  crews, among others, out of work.

The government is going to have to step up in a huge way to make sure  working people in this country, and people who aren`t working but need  money, people without much money, people who are already struggling, are  taken care of.

Here to talk about that, Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO which  represents 12.5 million working people.

What are your conversations like inside the labor movement with your  members about what you want to see happen in terms of both the workplace in  dealing with this and the federal response?

RICHARD TRUMKA, PRESIDENT, AFL-CIO:  Well, our members have sort of been  left in the lurch, Chris. This administration has made a series of blunders  that have left us and workers holding the bag, if you will.

When they first came in, there was an occupational disease workplace  standard, occupational disease that was about to be passed. It would have  required employers to have a plan, to educate their employees, and then  have proper safety equipment on-line so that front-line people, like  hospital workers, EMTs, were protected. They scrapped that rule.

And then immediately after that, this administration scrapped the rule that  President Bush started when he had a pandemic disease coordination and  infrastructure team. And President Obama built on that. He then scrapped  that.

OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, that is supposed  to protect our health and safety, has fewer inspectors and health  specialists than they`ve ever had in their history and they`ve been without  a leader for two years.

This administration, Chris, spent 12 times more on immigration enforcement  than they did worker health and safety. So as a result of that, we`ve been  left in the lurch and we`ve had to train ourselves, and we`ve done that.  And we`ve tried to help our members educate each other and get them the  proper safety equipment. But we`ve sort of been left in the lurch.

Today, by the way, the administration had a chance to change and correct  the oversight when they did away with that occupational disease standard  that OSHA was going to issue and they fought and took it out of the bill  today so that they put profit once more time in front of workers` health  and safety we`re angry about it. 

HAYES:  So is there no uniform standard in terms of how management and  bosses have to deal with making judgments about workplace safety in the  midst of this pandemic?

TRUMKA:  There is not. There isn`t any standard. There would have been. We  would have had that, and they could have re-resurrected that today so that  they had to file a plan, they had to educate their workers so that all  workers knew, and they`d be responsible for protecting the health and  safety of their employees from contagious diseases and they did away with  it again today. This White House did that.

HAYES:  Wait, so what you`re saying is that provision, that regulatory  provision, was in the original bill text that the House Democrats proposed,  and the White House in negotiations was the one that struck that provision?

TRUMKA:  Exactly. And the Chamber of Commerce opposed sick days. They tried  to get sick days, paid sick days, taken out of this bill. So that workers  would have been left in the lurch.

Look, what we`ve said is we need free testing so that low wage workers that  can`t afford the testing are dissuaded from getting tested. We need to be  able to had paid health days if you have days off and you have to  quarantine yourself. You have to be able to have the proper equipment  that`s out there. We wanted unemployment insurance expanded so that if it  is a long-term unemployment, like the people that you were talking about at  those arenas and other places that are going to get laid off, that they  would be taken care of as well.

We fought for those things, and a lot of them, especially the workplace  standard, was taken out of the bill today.

HAYES:  Are you thinking about the scope of this in terms of the economic  dislocation it might cause for your members and working people? I mean, you  know, we don`t know what the future is and it could be that we`re -- things  are really disruptive for a few weeks or it could be longer, and if it`s  longer, I mean, how are you thinking about what people are going to need to  just basically survive?

TRUMKA:  Well, they`re going to need health care, that`s for sure. But  there`s also three or four other things that they`re definitely going to  need. We`re looking at four or five different kinds of stimulus. 

We want to get money in the hands of the states through Medicaid so that  they can help out. You need to get money in the hands of workers, and that  could either be a lump sum like President Bush did where he gave people  $1,000 to spend or it could be another form. 

And then you have regular infrastructure that`s out there that needs to be  taken care of anyway,. that can help create jobs and then make money  available for small businesses that are going to be hurt by all of this to  make sure they can get through this so that we don`t let -- workers aren`t  left paying the bag on two fronts.

First, our health and safety is jeopardized, because they`re not giving us  the proper standards and the proper equipment, the second thing is we get  left behind economically. 

The other thing that this administration did, Chris, just this week the CDC  changed the standards, the health standards, of the equipment that we use.  You used to have to have a respirator-type face mask if you were dealing  with this disease, now they`ve changed it to you just have to have the  cloth mask, which everybody knows are ineffective when dealing with this  virus. 

The second thing that they did this week was when you came in and you were  likely or a confirmed candidate with this virus, you had to be in an  isolation -- airborne isolation room. They did away with that. So now you  can be in any room, you don`t have to be in an airborne isolation room, and  both of those things are going to cause this to spread more rapidly than it  would have otherwise done.

HAYES:  I just want to make sure that I`m understanding, are those -- those  regulations by the CDC, are those applying to hospitals, to points of  medical care, or to workplaces/

TRUMKA:  They apply to everything. The guidelines from the CDC, they apply  to hospitals, they apply to workplaces. So they don`t have to give you, the  front line people particularly, those are on the front line -- nurses,  doctors, EMTs, those people -- they used to have to have the respiratory- type mask on. Now they just have to have a cloth mask, or any kind of mask,  that we know doesn`t stop the contraction of this virus. 

HAYES:  Are you concerned about -- I mean, obviously the National Nurses  Union has been ringing the bell about this, and nurses particularly, which  is a very strong militant union, that -- are you concerned about those  front line health care workers right now?

TRUMKA:  Absolutely we`re concerned. We`re concerned because they changed  the standards to weaken them, and then I can give you a number of stories.  You had a doctor and several nurses that were exposed to the disease. They  told the doctor, and furloughed the doctor, and they never told the nurses.  Those nurses continued to work and be exposed -- interact with other  patients. That`s happening everywhere and it`s going to will pay a price.  Our members and front line workers are going to contract this disease in a  manner that they never have to do if they were issued proper equipment and  proper safety precautions were taken.

We`re terribly frightened by that, but we don`t think we should be exposed  to that type of a risk. 

HAYES:  All right, Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, thank you for  your time tonight, sir. 

TRUMKA:  Thanks, Chris. Thanks for having me on. 

HAYES:  The shocking incompetence of the current administration has laid  bare the bargain Republicans made in trusting the government to Donald  Trump, and that`s next.


HAYES:  The president of the United States came out last night and gave an  Oval Office address on Coronavirus. He read it off a teleprompter and  within a short period of time his administration had to walk back and  correct several significant errors that he made in that written speech.

He said that cargo, cargo was going to be banned from Europe. It is not. He  said that insurance companies had agreed to provide Coronavirus treatment  for free. They had not. He suggested, falsely, that American citizens in  Europe might not be allowed back in the country. That prompted what a New  York Times reporter described as bedlam at U.S.-bound airlines at Charles  de Gaulle Airport in Paris as Americans paid as much as $20,000 for last- minute flights.

And this, this was the market`s five minutes into his speech. As Trump kept  talking, futures just kept getting worse. This morning, the Dow plunged 10  percent for its worst day since the 1987 crash. 

In fact, it dropped so much and so quickly that it triggered the so-called  circuit breaker for the second time in a week. It happened Monday and again  today, halting trading for 15 minutes.

All of this is a reflection of the utter mismanagement and failure by this  president from the very beginning of this pandemic. The Coronavirus is  presenting a governing test for every nation that is facing it, and right  now the federal U.S. government is failing that test, and it is failing it  from the top.

That is not my view, the director of Harvard`s Global Health Institute said  this, it has been an unmitigated disaster the administration has brought  upon the population, and I don`t say this lightly. We have had a much worse  response than Iran, than Italy, than China and South Korea. 

The National Security Counsel used to have a global health team  specifically to deal with pandemics like this. President Trump shut it down  years ago.

The president then ordered some travel restrictions from China during the  outbreak there that did not prevent the virus from reaching the U.S.,  obviously. And then of course, there is the testing situation here which  Trump continues to lie about and is probably worse than any other country  outside perhaps Iran where we don`t know really what`s going on. This is  the president today. 


TRUMP:  Frankly, the testing has been going very smooth. If you go to the  right agency, if you go to the right area you get the test. 


HAYES:  That is flatly a lie. It`s a lie. It is still extremely difficult  for most people, the overwhelming majority, to get a Coronavirus test three  months after the first cases were reported in Wuhan, China. As the top  infectious disease expert in the government, Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged  today, the testing system is failing. 


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS  DISEASES:  The system does not -- is not really geared to what we need  right now. What you are asking for. That is a failing. 


FAUCI:  It is a failing. I mean, let`s admit it. 


HAYES:  Now that`s what is happening right now just with the pandemic. But  on top of that, keep in this mind, right now the Trump administration is in  court to try and destroy the entirety of the Affordable Care Act. They are  right now pushing a budget, including as of this week in testimony, that  would dramatically cut the budget for the Centers for Disease Control. And  that`s not to mention the fact the president has used his bully pulpit to  repeatedly spread disinformation that quite literally elevates the risk for  all of us.

He said the cases are going to be down close to zero. He said one day it`s  like a miracle, it will disappear. He claimed the case numbers looked to be  going down not up. He keeps comparing it to the flu to try to minimize it,  despite the fact that every serious public health expert says it is not  like the flu.

This has been the fear since day one of this presidency when we elected and  then swore in a racist game show host to the most important job of the  country, a job that tasks him with managing huge systemic risks on our  behalf. The fear is that we would get to this point. And the Republican  Party made a deal, they accepted that risk so they can get tax cuts for the  rich and conservative judges. And right now the bill is coming due.



SANDERS:  If there ever was a time in the modern history of our country  when we are all in this together, this is that moment. Now is the time for  solidarity.

BIDEN:  Downplaying it, being overly dismissive or spreading misinformation  is only going to hurt us and further advantage the spread of the disease.  But neither should we panic or fall back on xenophobia.


HAYES:  Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders  today each offer speeches on the Coronavirus and stepping into the vacuum  created by the complete absence of leadership from the president. Joining  me now Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey who ran for president  and has since endorsed Joe Biden.

Senator, first your response to the president`s Oval Office address last  night and then the quick attempts to unwind the errors he made? What did  you make of that?

SEN. CORY BOOKER, (D) NEW JERSEY:  It`s been disappointing, and it`s been a  series disappointments with the spectacular failures in leadership from  President Trump. And this is not a time for partisanship, it`s a time for  us to be pulling together in meeting a crisis.

The challenge we have now is we have a president that didn`t learn the  lessons from Ebola and literally the progress we were making as a country  to prepare for such pandemics, he eroded that preparedness.

During the first signs of this as a problem appearing in China, we had  weeks to prepare for what`s coming, we did not prepare for. When this began  to hit our nation, instead of having resolute disciplined focused  information and taking steps to empower localities, we did something to  undermine our preparedness, to undermine our response. And here we find  ourselves as a nation, what I still consider the best assemblage of  humanity on the planet. 

We see other countries like South Korea doing so much better in dealing  with this crisis than we are. This has been a failure in leadership at the  top, but it does not now excuse us from taking the right actions right now  as a country to deal with this crisis.

Here is my question for you, obviously there are cases in New Jersey, there  are school closings in the state that you represent, I`ve been asking  everyone in political leadership this question, do you actually understand  what the problems are right now?

There seems to be be -- like we know the testing is not scaling up rapidly.  We all know we need that, that`s just stipulated. Fauci said it today.

But the actual mechanics about which way the problem gets unwound and  solved remains opaque. Do you as a U.S. Senator have a sense of it?

BOOKER:  Look, we know clearly from watching other countries deal with this  with the mistakes they are making that there are things we must do right  now. My frustration, as I stand here in an empty Senate, in the midst of a  crisis, we did not stay in the saddle and do the things we know we should  be doing to curb the growth of this virus in our country. We are not doing  the fundamental things that we should do.

I am telling you right now, as a guy who has seen a Hurricane Sandy in an  executive position, 9/11, heck I was out there in `89 during the massive  earthquake, in a crisis leadership, it is important that there are things  you do to deal with the challenges.

And so right now, I`m frustrated because we`re going away for a weekend,  that is three days -- literally we could see thousands of more people,  death rates climbing as well as infection rates climbing when we are not  doing obvious things. And so the one example I will give you is, as a guy  that understands in our nation right now, about 81 percent of our food  service workers do not have paid family leave. And that means you are a  person right now being told by your government, if you are showing  symptoms, stay home, but you now know you have a sore throat and you  realize, hey, if I stay home and miss paychecks, I won`t be able to make my  rent payment, I won`t be able to pay for food, so I`m going to work.

And for us not solving something that`s so obvious to do and not staying  here right now and getting something like that done is not helping us to  bend the rates of infection.

HAYES:  There was a moment today that really made me worry. And it was a  moment when it looked like Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans were  not just going to go home for a three-day weekend, but keep recess and come  back in whatever that would be, 10 days or 11 days and come back and deal  with it, and the very fact that that was even floated made me feel like  they have no idea, to a really unnerving degree, what we`re now looking at. 

Do you have a sense that people on Capitol Hill understand the scope and  severity of the problem that we now have before us?


Look, and again, I don`t want to paint a broad brush. There are certain  people that are in positions of power, like Mitch McConnell right now, who  had a decision to make. And to allow us to leave for three days, he does  not understand that his failure to keep us here to solve this problem is  causing serious damage to our country by allowing, frankly, states and  localities to have not have resources or law support to support a plan to  stop the spread of this virus. And so what my staff heard me ranting when I  thought we were going away for a recess and to see us backtrack at least  and cancel that.

But again every day, every hour we lose in taking the obvious actions we  should be taking as South Korea did, for example, or days that we lose  ground and more people risk being infected with the Coronavirus, with  COVID-19. 

HAYES:  Final question for you on the scope of this. Are you prepared, do  you as a Democrat understand that the level of economic dislocation in  ordinary folks is going to necessitate probably hundreds of billions of  dollars from the federal government at some point?

BOOKER:  I do not think right now we all as a country understand the second  and third order challenges we are heading into. There`s no way -- we are  not near the peak of the curve of infection rate, which means billions of  dollars of damage to our economy, which means small businesses struggling,  some of them failing, which means job loss. We need to start preparing for  that now, that means expanding food stamps, unemployment insurance, that  means making sure that the stress testing of our health care system that we  are prepared, have the resources to do what`s necessary.

There are clear steps we should be taking understanding what`s coming to  our country.

HAYES:  Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, thank you for your time tonight.

BOOKER:  And Chris, I know -- I just want to say everybody this is the time  that we should be pulling together, not tearing apart. This is the time we  should be extending grace, support and help. Just because particular  leaders are failing doesn`t mean that we as a people together should fail  each other. And I hope we all rise to the occasion to be there for each  other with grace and support and love.

HAYES:  Could not agree more with that final message. Thank you, senator.

That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. 

Good evening, Rachel.