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Markets plummet TRANSCRIPT: 3/16/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes

Guests: Gregg Gonsalves, Gary Procop, Ned Lamont, Chris Lu, Elizabeth Warren, Ro Khanna, Rick Hasen, Tom Perez

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST: And that includes the act of holding elections.  We`ve had pauses before in our country, but never one quite like this.  Thanks for being with us. Don`t go anywhere. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes is  up next.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes.  Everything is different now. It is disorienting and surreal to remember  where we were just a week ago, and to see where we are now, and to imagine  where we might be a week from today. The whole world is battling an  unprecedented enemy really, this coronavirus pandemic. It is going to take  drastic measures, drastic social disruption for us to get on top of it. 

We are starting to see what the disruption and the consequences of the  outbreak looks like day by day. Right now, we have over 4,300 confirmed  cases in the U.S., but we know there are many, many more out there. Testing  is still ramping up. Those are just the ones we`re finding. We are still  catching up to the true number of cases. 

Looking at countries ahead of us on this curve, Italy is in dire straits.  The country reported today that 349 more people had died in just the last  24 hours. France and Spain have joined Italy under basically national  lockdown. Here at home, it is looking more and more like we are headed in  the very same direction. 

Starting at midnight, the 6.7 million people that live in San Francisco and  surrounding counties are prohibited from leaving their homes except for  essential needs in an effort to stop the spread of the virus there, and as  basically, the shelter in place order that we already saw in Italy and  across Western Europe now. 

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says his state should postpone its primary  scheduled to take place tomorrow saying quote, we cannot tell people to  stay inside but also tell them to go out and vote. Now, I should say, a  court rejected that idea just a short while ago but that is likely to be  appealed and the decision could be reversed. 

Right now, schools in 35 states have closed. Several major cities outside  those states have done the same. Last night, the Centers for Disease  Control issued a warning against gatherings of more than 50 people for at  least the next eight weeks. Even though this is a pandemic that we`re  trying to get a handle on as a country, right now, as it stands, we do not  have a national shutdown like in Italy. 

We are seeing instead the country moving in that direction in a kind of  piecemeal way. State and local leadership, as well as civil society has  been forced to fill the vacuum left by frankly and astoundingly negligent  federal response. An example, just today, the governors of New York, New  Jersey, and Connecticut issued a joint announcement, closing all bars,  gyms, restaurants and theaters, restricting restaurants to drive-thru or  takeout. 

Earlier today, the President was on a teleconference with the nation`s  governors telling them when it comes to ventilators, "try getting it  yourselves." He then took a shot at New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the guy  who has just announced a plan with New Jersey and Connecticut to begin and  take control of this thing. The President tweeted, "he has more to do" to  which Cuomo responded, "I have to do more? No, you have to do something.  You`re supposed to be the president."

Throughout this whole crisis, which has been building now for months, the  response from the President has ranged from absentee, to negligent, to  actively harmful. At almost every turn, President Trump is either publicly  downplay the risk or failed to act proactively such that we are now very,  very far behind. 

On Friday, the president was able to pull a stunt with 30 minutes until the  markets close to rally the stocks. Today, he came out again, finally,  finally appearing to grasp and communicate the seriousness and duration of  the pandemic. Market has been there for a while, however, they`ve seen  what`s coming. 

Today the Dow closed down 3,000 points, the biggest single-day point loss  of all time, the second-largest percent loss. It is very hard for all of us  to get our heads around this moment because there`s no obvious precedent  for what we are currently facing and will continue to face for weeks and  months. I mean, I say this is a father of kids who were not in school for  at least the next six weeks or so. 

The closest parallels we have at hand are disaster preparedness and  recovery, like we saw in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast after Hurricane  Katrina, or war mobilization, like World War Two, to an extent we have not  seen in over half a century. But the one advantage that we have here, if we  think on that scale, that scale of the challenge is we have something to  collectively combat as a society to help us mobilize towards that aim. 

And if we get it right, we will not be dealing with the level of sheer  physical destruction our grandparents had to endure in the war, or the  people of New Orleans had to deal with after the hurricane. If we can get  this right, we can rebuild very quickly, but we have to get it right.

Joining me now for more on how we accomplish that, Gregg Gonsalves,  Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine, and Dr.  Gary Procop, Vice-Chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the  Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Gonsalves, let me start with you on this. Where do  you see us right now? Are you encouraged by the dramatic steps we`ve seen  in the last 72 hours in terms of shutting things down to try to maximize  social distance and slow the spread of the virus?

GREGG GONSALVES, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, YALE UNIVERSITY:  Look, we have no choice. We have to institute social distancing measures,  some of which the President and his team outlined today, but there`s no  virtue in late adoption. We lost three months in trying to combat this new  virus by delays and equivocations and disavows about the importance of this  epidemic. And so, we`re doing what we should do right now, but there`s a  big question about if it was too little too late.

HAYES: Doctor Procop, from the testing and surveillance standpoint, where  do you see us right now in terms of our ability to get eyes on the virus  and have a sense of its actual scale, and the ramping up of testing which  has been increasing daily, but it`s still not there yet?

GARY PROCOP, VICE CHAIR, PATHOLOGY AND LABORATORY MEDICINE, CLEVELAND  CLINIC: Right. That`s exactly right, Chris. We are ramping up. If we -- if  we had been allowed to test earlier, we would be where we needed to be and  knowing which patients have this virus and which do not so that they could  go into self-quarantine. But we are catching up and ramping up.

HAYES: But tell me more about what that means. I mean, I know there`s been  some regulatory hurdles that have been done away with for the FDA. I know  there`s both private labs, there are common platforms being used. It  strikes me though, it is still hard even in the epicenter of outbreaks to  get easy and reliable point of care testing. Is that fair?

PROCOP: That`s absolutely fair. So I will say once the regulatory burdens  were lowered, then laboratories that were really highly skilled  laboratories were able to bring up this test. I will say though, there are  delays from most of the commercial manufacturers for the instruments, there  are delays on reagents. So many of these things are hamstringing many the  common laboratories and we`re nowhere near a point of care testing.

HAYES: Gregg, we`re now in a situation we are undertaking mass, essentially  forced quarantine, right? I mean, the thing you`re seeing in San Francisco,  what we`ve seen in Italy and in France and in Spain and Greece. I saw this  tweet today was fascinating. And I wanted to get your thoughts on it in  terms of how testing interplays with the policy we need. 

This is from Blue Bottle. Blue Bottle is closing U.S. stores but staying  open in Japan and South Korea, where the virus is also spread because they  have "extensive testing and medical support clearly in place." There is a  cost we are paying and not being able to know where the virus is.

GONSALVES: Yes. We cannot -- we cannot precisely target our efforts for  prevention or to sort of mobilize resources for care in the coming  healthcare surge because we don`t know where infections are and what extent  they exist across the country. And so, we`re doing brute force measures  right now because we don`t have any testing capacity to give us a clear  picture of what`s going on across the United States.

HAYES: You`re an epidemiologist. You`ve dealt with other infectious  diseases and outbreaks before. And you and a bunch of health experts issued  a letter I think about two weeks ago about best practices, how to how to  attack this. How are we doing on that? 

GONSALVES: We`re doing slightly better, but we are still failing on most of  the points we outlined in the letter. For instance, as you started,  restaurant and bars are closing across many cities and states across the  United States. Where are these people going to find their livelihoods over  the next two months? There needs to be an immediate provision of some sort  of economic relief to many people who are going to lose their jobs who have  no sick pay, who have no vacation pay, do not have the option of working  from home over the next six to eight months. 

Mitt Romney today said we should give every American $1,000 a month for the  next few months. That to start and both parties should agree to it and get  it going now.

HAYES: Doctor Procop, I talked to a bunch of doctors over the weekend, some  here in New York City, emergency room doctors who were very concerned. In  fact, one today told me that today, you could see it in the E.R. that it  was -- it was really palpable today. How much coordination is happening? We  have a very fragmented healthcare system in America, unlike a place like  Italy, between hospitals, between doctors, and between regions. Is there  anyone who is coordinating folks like yourself and others to sort of be  together planning so that places can prepare that don`t have a huge  outbreak now for what`s coming?

PROCOP: I would say there`s not great coordination overall. It takes  individual groups to coordinate. I will say within our city, within  Cleveland, the leaders of the medical institutions have gotten together and  taught how they can coordinate. For example, you know, we`ve coordinated  the drive-through swabbing area with University Hospitals. 

So you know, it takes individuals to take the initiative to coordinate.  There`s not great coordination above that, but there really should be. 

HAYES: All right, Gregg Gonsalves and Dr. Gary Procop, Thank you both for  sharing your expertise. It`s very important. 

PROCOP: Thank you. 

HAYES: I want to bring it now Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, who today  announced his state is coordinating coronavirus response efforts with New  York and New Jersey. Governor, tell me how you and those other governors  came to make the decision and issue the announcement today about gyms and  bars and restaurants and the like.

GOV. NED LAMONT (D-CT): Well, Chris, you summarized it very well in your  introduction. You can`t wait for the feds to take the lead. So I, as a  small state of Connecticut, it doesn`t work for me just to do restaurants  and bars alone. So do it in coordination with Andrew Cuomo in New York, and  Murphy down in New Jersey. It makes a lot of sense. I was on the phone with  Rhode Island today.

So, we`re taking the lead. Where the feds have fallen off, we`ve got a  lead. But I got to tell you, what really brings it home was look, last  night, the bars are pretty crowded in this city. And people weren`t taking  this to heart. Now they`re closed. People know this is real.

HAYES: It`s notable, I think. I`ve looked at some metrics today about  traffic and things like that. Clearly, this is having an effect. What are  you doing at the state level? What are your public health experts telling  you about how to understand what`s coming your way?

LAMONT: I was on the phone with all the hospital system today. And we`ve  got to do a lot more now. We`re going to have a hit on our ICU or intensive  care units. We have no idea what`s coming. And that`s going to mean more  people, more nurses, more beds, more equipment, more ventilators. 

We`re not getting much help from the feds. And as the President said, go  get your own ventilators. Well, you don`t get that at We`re  working this hard to do what we can to prepare but that wave is just a week  or two away.

HAYES: Are there -- are there simple clear things in terms of say Medicaid  reimbursement that the federal government could be doing, could be stepping  in to aid your efforts right now that you`re not getting?

LAMONT: Well, you`ve described the testing in some detail right now. I`ve  got to do a better job of convincing folks, if they`re ill, they`re not  feeling right, they may have some early case of the flu, stay home. We`re  here to take care of you in terms of getting paid, take care of you in  terms of health care, but you got to have the -- get up and go to stay  home. Stay home, going to the office, going to work, going to school,  that`s a dangerous place to be these days if you`re not feeling right.

HAYES: I get that message. We`ve been communicating that to our viewers  that basically at this point, we need to keep ERs clear for the most at  risk. But as you think about your ICUs reaching a capacity potentially as  the pandemic grows, like, what do you need? What resources do you need and  where can you get them and can you get them from federal government? Are  there easy things a federal government can do for you?

LAMONT: Well, I can tell you. Danbury hospital is already at capacity, and  they have 200 nurses who are on furlough because they were in contact. If I  could test those nurses, I could potentially get them back into the game a  lot sooner.

HAYES: Wait a second. You got 200 nurses sitting on the sidelines right now  who can`t get back to work because they can`t be tested to confirm whether  or not they have the virus?

LAMONT: Exactly. I mean, we got a surge in use. Demand is going up. And I`m  losing nurses by the day who have to furlough themselves for a period of  time. That`s a priority for testing for me. Our testing capacity is going  up, but it`s going up very incrementally, and that`s dangerous.

HAYES: On the -- on the economic front, you heard what Gregg Gonsalves just  said. Obviously, this is enormous social disruption, enormous economic  disruption and hardship. What can the state do and what are things that  only the federal government can do? What are you planning?

LAMONT: We are working with our small businesses right now. We have a lot  of folks in the service sector. You know, their store, their business,  their restaurant, their bar, that stopped. And what can we do to help them  get through? How can we provide, you know, unemployment compensation so  that folks are covered for a period of time? 

I`m providing small business loans right now to help them cover this a  bridge. We have loan forgiveness or at least making sure that they don`t  have to pay any interest in principle for the next three or four months,  giving enough confidence they`ll be able to power through this.

HAYES: Final question for you. I know there`s a teleconference with the  president today, and obviously, you`re coordinating with regional governors  here. You said you`re talking to the governor of Rhode Island. Does there  exist like a daily call for state staff of governors to be on and  coordinating every day here?

LAMONT: Yes, we`re picking up the void. I got to tell you. What we did with  a New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, I think, is the first real  regional (INAUDIBLE). So we`re going to do this on a regular basis. I`ve  also got Charlie Baker and Gina Raimondo in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  We`ve got to work together closely. We got to figure out where the hospital  assets, how best to deploy them, where do we get the beds and the nurses.

HAYES: So, there are conversations about that kind of movement between  regions as different places are going to have this at different times.

LAMONT: Exactly. I hope other regions are doing the same thing. Best done  on a national basis, best done with national leadership. Short of that,  we`ve got to go ahead as governors and we are. I`ve been really impressed  with the initiative the governors are showing. 

HAYES: All right, Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut, thank you, sir. 

LAMONT: Thanks, Chris. 

HAYES: We`ve got some breaking news on what the Trump administration could  have done to prepare but did not. And there are some bold proposals on how  to help people as we struggle to get through this and then out of it.  Senator Elizabeth Warren joins me next. 


HAYES: If you`re a Bond villain in the midst of this pandemic, you wanted  to create a situation designed to maximally spread the infection among  Americans. You would be hard-pressed to do better than the scenes from  major U.S. airports this weekend. This is JFK Airport in New York City on  Saturday. This is what Dallas Fort Worth Airport looked like the same day.  This is Chicago`s O`Hare Airport were lines to get through customs were up  to seven hours long for passengers packed in closely with one another, all  coming in from countries battling the coronavirus outbreak. 

All of those people were frantically returning to the U.S. because the  president hastily announced the travel ban. The details of which were  unclear. And then apparently failed to adequately staff up the airports to  deal with the entirely predictable influx. This is just one in a set of  actions taken by the administration that made the problem worse and almost  certainly infected people. 

But this is par for the course of this White House, going back two years  ago and the Trump ministration demoted the pandemic team at the National  Security Council. The President is spending the last few weeks telling us  it was all under control. The numbers were going down, not up, to the  catastrophic, and as you just heard continuing failure around testing, to  just earlier today when the President told New York Governor Andrew Cuomo,  he needs to do more. 

And just breaking tonight, further evidence of missed opportunities by the  Trump ministration. Politico reporting the Trump team was briefed about the  need for pandemic planning all the way back before they took office in  early 2017. One of the people in that meeting joins me now, White House  Cabinet Secretary under President Obama and former Deputy Secretary of  Labor Chris Lu. 

Chris, describe to me what this was a training exercise during the  transition for incoming staff members of the Trump administration run by  the Obama administration. What was it?

CHRIS LU, FORMER DEPUTY SECRETARY OF LABOR: This was about the continuity  of government. And we had done a similar exercise in January of 2009 when  we took over from the Bush people. And it was basically a chance for the  outgoing team to sit down with the incoming team and go through kind of a  tabletop exercise, some role-playing about some different scenarios. 

So the Bush people had done this for us in 2009, we did it for the Trump  people in 2017. So, there were about 30 different Trump officials there  with 30 of us from the Obama administration, and we went through three  possible domestic incidents that they might face, a hurricane, a pandemic,  and a cyber incident. And for about three hours through those three  incidents, we talked about how the whole of government comes together to  solve a crisis like this.

HAYES: And in the case of the pandemic, it was something -- somewhat  similar to this, a sort of strain of flu, contagion, things like that?

LU: Yes, it`s amazing the folks at the National Security Council who  devices how close it is to what we`re seeing right now. It was a strain of  the flu that originated in both Asia and Europe. It hadn`t come to the  United States yet, so we had a little bit of lag time. And the goal was to  figure out how we could coordinate and use that lag time to deal with  things like lab capacity, and ventilator shortages, and how we could  coordinate transportation. 

And again, this wasn`t an effort to test the Trump officials on how they  would do but simply to orient them and these are the kinds of things that  you need to deal with. And when this happens, you bring together all the  agencies as well as the White House staff to roleplay how to do this.

HAYES: What do you say that the President today said something along the  lines of no one saw this coming, it came out of nowhere?

LU: Yes, well, certainly his people saw it. But what`s notable about it is  that -- and it`s -- and Politico has reported on this. There are about 30  Trump officials at this meeting, about two-thirds of those people are no  longer in government anymore. 

HAYES: Right. 

LU: So whether it is lack of preparation or all the materials that were  handed to them and all the advice, whether it`s collaboration with state  and federal officials, having that unified messaging, practicing social  distancing, working on vaccines, coordinating transportation, all the  recommendations we gave them, they might have taken to heart but two-thirds  of them have subsequently left the government.

HAYES: All right, Chris Lu who was in that tabletop exercise as the  government was being handed over the Trump ministration, thank you very  much. I appreciate it. 

LU: Thank you. 

HAYES: Here with me now for more on the bungled federal response`s crisis,  former Democratic presidential candidate and senator from Massachusetts,  Elizabeth Warren. Senator, you issued a plan, a fairly comprehensive plan  around this weeks and weeks ago. Where do you see things right now? What do  you think is most pressing from your point of view as a senator?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): Look, the most pressing part is people`s  health. And so, as you`ve heard all evening, it`s about making sure that  the tests are available, that they are available for free. We really need  to ramp up on that. It`s making sure that we tell everyone that when the  vaccines come out, they`ll be made available for free, and making sure that  we have a robust sick leave, so that anyone who feels ill can stay home and  doesn`t have to go into work because they`re worried about losing a  paycheck or someone who needs to stay home to take care of a child or to  take care of an elderly parent. 

Those are things we need to be doing immediately to be able to stem the  spread of this virus or at least slow it down. But remember, just a half  step behind the physical crisis is the financial crisis. We`ve seen it in  the stock markets, we`ve seen it in businesses closing, people out of work.  And so we need to be pushing right now on a stimulus package. And that`s  what I wrote about today, the importance of getting the right stimulus  package out there and getting out now.

HAYES: So, I want to talk about that in just a second. But first, your  response. I mean, the president today struck a notably different note. I  mean, clearly, someone has talked some sense into him for sort of lack of a  better phrase. This is serious. It`s going to last a while. Are you  encouraged by that? Do you feel like the message has gotten through and has  it gotten through your colleagues in the U.S. Senate?

WARREN: Well, I`ll be a lot more encouraged when people start actually  taking action in this administration and in this Congress. We need to get  out there. We have not yet gotten the House bill through the Senate and  over to the President for his signature. This is the first step bill on  making sure that there is enough money to cover the first steps around  healthcare and the first steps around sick leave. 

But like I said, now is the moment to be getting the financial package out  there as well. It`s important because it reassures everyone that there are  actually grownups in charge, and that there really is a plan that we can  execute on. It`s important that everyone sees that and that it be a  reasonable plan that really will help.

HAYES: So give me your top line on that -- on that package. 

WARREN: Sure. 

HAYES: Lots of ideas floating around. There`s cash assistance. There`s the  talk about bailouts for the airline industry. There`s talk about some  systemic risks that might be rippling through the credit markets. How do  you see this?

WARREN: So I start this with, let`s learn what we should have learned from  the 2008 crash. Part number one is when we do a stimulus package, it needs  to be big enough to meet the moment. If we fail to do that, we`re not going  to get a second bite at it politically, and we`ll have a very long and  sluggish recovery if we don`t get it big enough. 

So the number I focused on is $750 billion. Leader Schumer also picked up  that number later on today and said that looks like a good number as the  starting number. That would be about three and a half percent of GDP, which  is between the estimates right now of two percent to five percent that this  may cost us. 

Part two is we`ve got to make sure that the money is not going to the  treetops, that the money is going to the grassroots. That`s critical for  actually strengthening this economy. So my main parts here. We need to  increase social security and disability payments by $200 a month for the  next year, make sure that money is coming in.

We need to cancel a chunk of student loan debt. That would be on average  about $400 a month that would stay in the pockets of people who owe a lot  of student loan debt. And we need to be putting money into housing. Use  this opportunity to restore repair housing that needs to be done, public  housing, build new housing. That gives us jobs in the short run and it  gives us housing we need over a longer arc. 

Those are the kinds of things we can do that will help strengthen this  economy from the grassroots up, help rebuild this economy and help  stabilize it instead of having it crash further. And we need to start now.

HAYES: Final question for you. As you say, we need to start now. Mitch  McConnell sent the Senate home for three days for recess. He flew back to  Kentucky where he was joined by Brett Kavanaugh for an investiture ceremony  for former Kavanaugh clerk in Kentucky, and then came back with a tweet  today about I didn`t like the House bill. Do you think that was a wise  decision by the Senate majority leader?

WARREN: No. I think that it was absolutely irresponsible of the Senate  leader to do that. He ultimately called everyone in for a vote tonight, a  vote that did not occur because he worked out a deal. He had a problem in  his own party, a deal that could have been worked out last week, and we  have still not move forward on the coronavirus bill. This makes no sense at  all. It`s as if he has no sense of urgency about this problem, and no sense  of what to do. 

You know, you started this by asking me, do I feel better that Trump has at  least admitted that there`s a problem? Sure. But it`s time to act. We  should have been acting months ago. And if that message still has not  arrived with the president or with Mitch McConnell, then we`re in real  trouble.

HAYES: Senator Elizabeth Warren, thank you so much for your time. 

WARREN: Thank you. 

HAYES: Ahead, more in the kind of stimulus needed to fight the fallout from  the pandemic, as you just heard from the senator. Congressman Ro Khanna on  his plan which would put money directly in the pockets of Americans in need  next.


HAYES: You certainly don`t need to be a macroeconomist to recognize the  scale of economic misery and destruction that we are facing right now  because of the Coronavirus outbreak and the measures to combat it.  Everything gets shut down and people don`t have income, we could have a  plunge on the scale of 2008 or even, quite conceivably worse.

Even now the economic effect is being felt, particularly by people who  can`t do their jobs because of social distancing and mass shut downs of  businesses like restaurants and gyms, etc. And a variety of voices across  the ideological spectrum have talked about just sending cash to all  Americans, not dissimilar from former presidential candidate Andrew Yang`s  Americans a monthly $1,000 check. Today, Utah Republican Senator Mitt  Romney endorsed the idea, quote, "every American adult should immediately  receive a one-time check for $1,000." Now note that would not be monthly,  though others are calling for more sustained basic income.

Also, there`s the Democratic congressman Tim Ryan and Ro Khanna who last  week introduced their own cash assistance bill that would provide a check  between $1,000 and $6,000 to every American that earned less than $65,000  last year. And Congressman Ro Khanna, Democrat from joins me to talk about  that now.

Explain your proposal, congressman. 

REP. RO KHANNA, (D) CALIFORNIA: Well, Chris, as you pointed out you don`t  have to be a macro economist to know that we need a cash infusion for  working class and middle class families. Why? First, it will allow them to  buy things, that will stimulate the economy. If you want people to hire,  you need people buying things, and the most likely folks to spend are  people who are in the working and middle class.

Second, this is something that as you point out, even Mitt Romney is  proposing, so it`s something that we can get done. And third, these are  folks who really have economic anxiety and it will provide some stability. 

HAYES: So, why -- yours is not universal, right. So the most basic and  universal idea is literally a check that shows up from the government,  $1,000 to every adult, say, or $500 per kid, or $1,000 per kid, there`s  different versions like that. Yours is slightly different. It is graduated.  Why? And how does it work?

KHANNA: It goes up to $100,000. People get the check right away. You can  get between $1,000 and $6,000.

But look, if Mitt Romney wants to do a $1,000 check right away that`s  universal, let`s get that out immediately? The problem with his is that we  need to extend it. A one-time is not going to be enough. 

But let`s just get something out that gets money into the pockets of folks  to spend it. I mean, Amazon is talking about hiring 100,000 people. That  will barely offset the dramatic losses where you have so many hiring  freezes. Imagine if more people had money in their pockets where they can  go more to grocery stores, order more things online, that will at least  mitigate the risks of massive unemployment. 

HAYES: And we should note, there is some precedent here that Hong Kong`s  government approved a one-time cash handout of just over $1,200 to each  resident over 18 amidst their battle with the Coronavirus.

There`s also a degree to which -- well, first, Mitt Romney, Tom Cotton even  sort of floating this a little bit, like do you think this is a thing you  can actually see included in a bipartisan bill in both houses?

KHANNA: Yes. First of all, no Democrat should allow Mitt Romney to get to  their left. I mean, if Mitt Romney is for it, it shouldn`t be that hard for  Democrats to get for it.

Second, let`s learn, as Senator Warren said, from what Paul Krugman and  Joseph Stiglitz and every serious economists looked at 2008 taught us. They  said that was a consumer demand problem. We didn`t have enough money in  ordinary people`s hands to spend. The best way to deal with that is to get  money into their hands.

I mean, it`s -- the economists have told us this time and again. 

HAYES: Now that`s necessary, but not sufficient I think you`d agree, right?  I mean, today we got word about U.S. airlines are seeking a $50 billion  bailout. And whether you think that`s wise or not, we should just note that  all the cash assistance in the world is not going to help the airline  industry if nobody is flying for the next three months, right. There is  going to be other things necessary over and above whatever cash assistance  to sort of keep the economy in some kind of recognizable shape. Do you  agree?

KHANNA: Absolutely.

Let me float very briefly three other very quick ideas. In Britain, they  are getting auto plants converted into making medical supplies --  respirators and protective gear. Why can`t we do that here? If we`re in a  war-time footing why don`t we have industry helping produce the things we  actually need?

Second, why don`t we have incentives if companies are allowing people to go  part-time to make sure they aren`t being la id off. Germany did that and  had great results not having high unemployment in the great recession.

Third, why don`t we pay a 50 percent bonus to medical workers, essential  public servants, and others who we need working -- grocery store clerks --  so that they have an incentive to come to work.

So, there are a lot of ideas, common sense ideas. There are plenty of  people who have them. We just need the will to act. 

HAYES: Final question for you. You represent a district I think that`s  included in the shelter in place order, if not now probably coming to you.  Do you feel that folks in your district are prepared to hunker down as they  are now being instructed to do?

KHANNA: They are. I mean, there are long lines outside the district in  grocery stores. And there is a lot of unease, but I`m confident we`re going  to make it through it. The governor has done a great job in making sure  we`re getting testing. Google is actually doing testing, not in the whole  country, but they are doing it in website on the bay area. We have a  coordinated response. And I do think people are taking it very seriously. 

HAYES: All right, Congressman Ro Khanna, thank you for making time.

KHANNA: Thank you.

HAYES: We`re about to find out how to run an election during a pandemic.  The vexing decisions facing states and some potential solutions ahead.


HAYES: Amidst the many surreal details of American life right now, we are  running a Democratic primary for president in the middle of all this. Last  night was the first one-on-one debate between the last two major candidates  in the Democratic race, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. They talked about a  range of issues, although Coronavirus was obviously front and center, and I  thought it was striking the central theme was Sanders making a broader  point continually about the failures of the American social safety net, a  point he`s been making the entirety of his career, and Biden often pivoting  back to Donald Trump and stressing the need for competence in a crisis.

Basically is this a management issue or an ideological issue?


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I-VT) 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let`s be honest,  and understand and understand that this Coronavirus pandemic exposes the  incredible weakness and dysfunctionality of our current health care system. 

JOE BIDEN, 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What I would do is what we did did  in our administration, I would call a meeting to the Situation Room of all  the experts in America dealing with this crisis. I would sit them down. And  I would do exactly what we did then, what is it that we need? Listen to the  experts. 


HAYES: My takeaway, personally, watching the debate was that either of  these men would be a vast improvement over the current president, and that  in some senses they are both right. The failures of the American social  safety net are going to be thrown into high relief by the crisis and  appreciably are right now making things worse, as Sanders notes. Also, a  comprehensive social safety net that takes care of people is necessary, but  not sufficient to fight the virus, because it also takes genuinely good  competent farseeing leadership.

We don`t have either of those right new. As Sanders and Biden compete to  take on Trump in tomorrow`s primary election, you also have to take on  trump tomorrow in the election, you have to ask this, how exactly is the  election going to work tomorrow? We`re going to talk about that next with  the head of the Democratic National Committee.


HAYES: There are primary elections scheduled tomorrow in four states --  Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio. This afternoon, Ohio`s Republican  Governor Mike DeWine called to move in-person voting in Ohio to June 2,  expand absentee mail-in voting, and he filed a joint lawsuit to try to get  the election postponed.

A judge just denied his request. So as of now Ohio will have a primary  tomorrow, barring some reversal and appeal -- Arizona, Florida and Illinois  are also planning to move forward tomorrow with elections. Officials saying  they are providing guidance on Coronavirus safety at polling places. 


GOV. RON DESANTIS, (R) FLORIDA: What we can do -- look, at the end of the  day, you know, we`re dealing with this in a thoughtful way, but we`re not  going to panic. 


HAYES: To discuss the plan for elections going forward, I`m joined by the  chair of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez.

Tom, does the DNC have a position on the Ohio lawsuit?

TOM PEREZ, DNC CHAIR: No, we didn`t intervene in the Ohio lawsuit, Chris.  And I`ll tell you what all these states can be doing to avoid the  challenges that they face with in-person voting is to enact vote by mail  provisions. I mean, Ohio made it harder for people to vote early whether  the Republicans had control.

And so there is actually a solution to this. We take a backseat to no one  in making sure that the safety of poll workers, voters, and candidates are  paramount. I think they can move forward. And the good news in places like  Arizona, more people have voted early, Chris, in Arizona, in 2020 than  voted in the entirety of the 2016 primary. 

HAYES: Wait a second. Wait a second, I want to make sure I understand it.  You`re saying you think it is your view that this can be safely conducted  tomorrow. Who have you been consulting to come to that view?

PEREZ: Well, again, we didn`t intervene in that case. 

HAYES: No, I know. This is a state matter, but I`m asking your position as  Tom Perez, the head of the DNC, my understanding is are saying you agree  with the states that are going forward?

PEREZ: Yes. We respect what they`re doing. And we always encourage everyone  -- and I was in contact today with people in a number of these states,  including but not limited to Arizona. And again, asking them if, do they  believe they have the systems in place that enable them to put the  elections on tomorrow, and they do. And Republican and Democratic governors  have made that judgment that they can do that. I don`t think it`s for me to  second-guess those judgments, Chris. And so I respect that.

Again, the point I`m making is there`s a broader issue here. And that  broader issue is, we ought to make it easier for people to vote and one way  to do it is to have vote by mail. 

HAYES: Well, I -- you get no argument from me on this, but there is an  election tomorrow and then there`s another one the week after and there`s  another one the week after, like people are going to be going to polling  places you think in Atlanta in a week?

PEREZ: Well, actually, they`re not, because Georgia postponed the election  until May 19...

HAYES: Right. 

PEREZ: And here`s...

HAYES: But isn`t that, don`t you think that`s going to happen like  everywhere probably?

PEREZ: Well, Chris, here`s the situation. And here`s -- it gets me back to  my point, and I don`t mean to be Tommy One Note, but Georgia moved its  election to May 19th. Kentucky today moved its election from May 19 into  June. Why don`t both of those states enact a vote by mail provision, for  those who haven`t voted, and over 200,000 people have already voted in  Georgia, that`s how you can solve this problem.

HAYES: So you`re going for universal vote by mail adoption in the remaining  primary states?

PEREZ: Wherever practicable. And I think you can make this happen. I mean,  Washington State wasn`t having this conversation last week, because they  have vote by mail. Oregon next month, they`re not having this conversation,  because they do vote by mail.

Let`s make it easier. The challenge we have is that in so many Republican  states, they don`t want to make it easier for eligible people to vote, they  want to make it harder. I think we need to do the opposite. 

HAYES: What are your interactions like, I`m very curious in terms of  governors, attorneys general, or whoever is running the election  administration, sometimes the second of state, and you? Like, who is  coordinating this, these decisions that are being made?

PEREZ: Well, these decisions, again, are up to the particular  administrators of elections. So I had contact today with people in Arizona,  to understand what was going on. And they were meeting with their public  health officials, they were reviewing the CDC guidance. They were reviewing  their preparedness protocols that they had put in place, and they made a  judgment that they can move forward tomorrow. 

And again, I note that already, more people have voted early there, because  they do have vote by mail, and early voting provisions, in Arizona, so more  people have already voted in Arizona in 2020 than in 2016, and that will  reduce the traffic flow tomorrow. And that is obviously a good thing.

HAYES: I guess my concern here is most voting places, most precincts, at  any given time, if you did a scan, right, are pretty empty, right? Like,  you know, there`s a few election workers. There`s people coming in  sporadically, that`s the case for most of them. But then always a few, we  put them on the air when it is election night, where there is like a huge  crowd. And I just -- I have been talking to epidemiologists and public  health experts and people for weeks, and a big huge crowd of people waiting  next to each other is not a good idea right now, right?

PEREZ: Well, of course. And we`ve been hearing that, and that`s why, I mean  one area where they`re doing something innovative is having drive-through  voting. So you can stop, you don`t get out of your car, it helps to  mitigate the interaction. And so there`s a lot of creativity going on  there.

And, again, this is up to every state and locality. And what I know, the  common denominating, Republican or Democrat, I believe is the safety of the  workers, the voters and the candidates. And that`s what they`re looking at.

And, again, we`re going to continue to work with states and localities to  ensure that we can move forward, because our democracy must move on. And we  have to walk and chew gum, understanding that these are very, very  challenging moments.

And I think we can, Chris. And we`ve seen in the weeks -- in previous weeks  -- we`ve managed to do it with great turnout. And we`ve going to continue  to work our tails off, understanding safety is paramount.

HAYES: All right, Tom Perez, thank you for your time tonight. 

I want to go for more on holding elections amidst a pandemic I want to  bring in election law expert Rick Hasen. He`s Chancellor`s Professor of Law  and political science at the University of California Irvine.

He has just written a piece on how to protect the 2020 election from  Coronavirus. And before we get to that, what is your -- I mean, look, this  is a tough choice. And I understand the conundrum here, I don`t think any  of us are psyched about the idea of governor cancels other party`s primary  at last minute in terms of what that means for democracy. There are also  serious public health concerns. How are you reading this moment right now?

RICK HASEN, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA IRVINE: Well, I think what it shows  you is that we don`t have good plans in place for emergencies. And the  governor of Ohio running to try to fix things, being told by a court that  the court can`t order it, and now there`s a dispute whether the governor  can order it himself, and it tells us that for the primaries that are  coming over the next few months they have got to get working on it now. And  for November, we have got to get working on a plan now, because we don`t  have emergency plans in place. 


So what should -- I mean, I think everyone front of mind is -- primary is  coming and then November, particularly -- particularly if we saw a  situation like we saw in 1918, that was a sort of seasonal flu pandemic,  that sort of went away in the summer, came roaring back that fall, when it  was at its sort of peak, what should we be planning? What is your  prescription for what we should do for the primaries and election day 2020?

HASEN: Well, let`s talk election day 2020, congress right now, as it is  passing the Coronavirus bills, should include a provision that requires  every state to offer no excuse absentee balloting. So in places where you  have to offer an excuse, you shouldn`t have to offer an excuse in November  and congress needs to pay for it, because they`re going to need new  scanners. We`re going to need a lot more workers we need to have  protections in place for voters. And so I think that has to happen for  November. We`ve got to plan it now, because there is a huge, huge  undertaking to be able to roll that out in time for November.

For the states, on a state by state basis, expanding absentee ballots and  delaying elections by a couple of months seems to make sense, but changing  the rules like they`re doing in Ohio at the last minute is just creating a  lot of voter confusion. We know that poll workers were told in Franklin  County, don`t show up and now they`re told, yes, do show up. And this is  going to cause a decline in turnout and real kind of problems.

HAYES: We were trying to nail down the story just for our script. Didn`t  know whether it was on or off. And as a news organization, it was a little  unclear.

Are there good precedents here, Rick, or comparative plans from other  places about how to go about election planning in the case of disaster,  particularly a pandemic?

HASEN: Well, you know, we had an election that was rescheduled on September  11th in 2001 in New York. You know, we have had hurricanes. And one of the  things we`ve seen, for example, in Florida where they have rules to deal  with, emergency hurricane rules, is that sometimes election administrators  break those rules to try to help voters and enfranchise them. And that`s a  problem problem, too. We saw in Arizona this time, where the Maricopa  County election official wanted to mail absentee ballots at the last minute  in violation of state law. 

It is not good to change the rules at the last minute. We need to have the  procedures put in place now so we know how to deal with these emergencies  not on the day of the actual emergency, which is happening right now.

HAYES: So, looking forward to 2020, would that be legal? Because I mean  obviously, part of what makes elections in the U.S. so strange and  difficult to order, in an orderly fashion, is that you have a million  different jurisdictions dealing with them, that there`s 50 states and  there`s local entities that manage them at the local level.

You`re saying federal government could just require no excuse absentee  balloting in every state, in advance of this election day, so should there  be some situation people can just mail in a ballot? 

HASEN: So, Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution has something called  the elections clause, which lets congress set the time, place, and manner  of the election of congressional elections over the wishes of the states.  That`s the same authority that gives the federal government the power to  set all kinds of rules for federal voter registration, make it easy to have  voter registration, even if states have tough rules.

Congress has the power so long as it is going to pay for it and doesn`t  make the states have to pay for a new mandate. 

HAYES: And so that`s something that -- and I think Ron Wyden maybe I think  there is some movement among active legislators right now to move on this.  Is that correct?

HASEN: well, Ron Wyden has proposed a bill. I`ve heard of others that are  thinking about proposing a bill. It`s got to also include safeguards for  voters.

One of the things we know about absentee ballots is that lots of them are  tossed because of signature mismatches. Voters have to have an ability to  cure any kind of rejection of their ballots. We need to have safeguards in  place to prevent ballot tampering like we saw in the 9th Congressional  District in North Carolina in 2018. So a lot has got to be put into this  bill to assure that we don`t disenfranchise people and that, you know, the  election has integrity and is safeguarded from tampering.

HAYES: Final question for you, Rick. How prepared is the American election  system on the whole to deal with exigencies like this?

HASEN: Well, I just wrote a book called Election Meltdown. And that title  should tell you, we`re not well prepared at all. And now is the time to  have plan Bs not just for this, what about cyber attacks on our elections?

HAYES: The book is great. It`s called Election Meltdown. Rick Hasen, thanks  for being with me.

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