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Wisconsin Republicans TRANSCRIPT: 4/8/20, All In w/ Chris Hayes

Guests: Chris Murphy, Samantha Power, Kara Swisher, Tom Perez, Chandra Ford

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Absolutely beautiful "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes is up next.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. From the beginning, from the first reports of a new mysterious pneumonia in China, and the first intelligence reports that our government got, there`s been a question that has hung over the entire U.S. government, over the whole world, but our government specifically as it thought about how to deal with this. How fatal how dangerous is this disease?

Even though we know now know that there was a stack of reports warning that the pandemic was coming, that it posed an enormous public health risk, the people in the Trump ministration just seemed completely and utterly clueless, dismissing the threat posed by the virus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): What`s the mortality rate so far nationwide -- worldwide?

CHAD WOLF, ACTING HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I believe -- worldwide, I believe it`s under two percent.

KENNEDY: How much under two percent?

WOLF: I will get you an exact figure. I`ll check with CDC on -- they`re monitoring the worldwide mortality rate, and I will -- I can get that for you.

KENNEDY: But you don`t know the mortality rate today. OK, what`s the mortality rate for influenza over the last say, 10 years in America?

WOLF: It`s also right around that percentage as well. I don`t have that offhand. But it`s about two percent as well.

KENNEDY: Are you sure of that? Are you sure of that?

WOLF: A little bit. Yes, sir.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Are you sure of that? It`s a good question, because he`s not. That is the Acting Homeland Secretary -- Security Secretary at the end of February. Not only could he barely make his way through that question, he was just flat wrong and way off. The mortality rate for seasonal flu is about point 0.1 percent.

The strategy for the President of the United States has been to downplay Coronavirus by insisting it was just like the flu even though that isn`t even close to being true. Trump, of course, was even calling it the corona flu. And when the World Health Organization estimated in early March, this was a key moment. They came out and they said that the Coronavirus death rate globally was about 3.4 percent. That`s a shocking and really terrifying number, right? When they said that the President just dismissed that on Trump T.V.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Well, I think that 3.4 percent is really a false number. Now, this is just my hunch. And -- but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this, because a lot of people will have this and it`s very mild.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: That`s just my hunch, you know. The data, whatever, it`s just very mild. Right now, just based on the numbers we have, the overall global mortality rate appears to be at around 3.4 percent. Now, the truth is we still do not know that for certain, in part because -- I should say, sorry, the U.S. fatality rate appears to be about 3.4 percent.

Now, we don`t know that for certain in part because we have no idea how many people have the virus. We know where you`re missing a lot of cases, right, because the testing is limited. Even more awful, it becomes clear every day that we are almost certainly missing a lot of deaths.

Today, in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that 779 people had died of the virus in the state over 24 hours, a staggering number, but one which is almost certainly too low. Right now, that number only counts people who were confirmed to have had the virus, and a lot of people are dying from Coronavirus without getting a test.

The Web site Gothamist have this unnerving report that in New York City, around 200 residents are now dying at home each day compared to 20 to 25 such deaths before the pandemic. That`s 10 times the normal death rate. On Monday alone, New York City`s first responders encountered 280 people in a single day, who had just died at home without being tested. And so they were not counted in the official tally.

Now, I should tell you, New York City now plans to report probable Coronavirus deaths in addition to confirmed ones, which should get us closer to an accurate number. But here`s what`s clear. Amidst all the misinformation, and the hunches, and the nonsense that`s been skewed, the virus is deadly. It is deadly and there could be no question of that. And we have told you the stories are 29-year-olds and 40-year-olds, people without health problems, succumbing to the disease.

This is just an unbelievably dangerous scourge making its way across our world and country. And as the sheer danger and horror of it, has reared its head has become impossible to deny, right? We are finally maybe starting to bend the curve. The social distancing is working. Here in New York City, for instance, we are seeing of slowing and hospitalizations. That`s encouraging.

And just at this moment as we see just how deadly this thing is, the President has taken this opportunity to tell people, we should really start to move on. "Once we open up our great country, and it will be sooner rather than later, the horror of the invisible enemy, except for those that sadly lost a family member or friend, must be quickly forgotten." Must be quickly forgotten.

The President kind enough to throw an exemption for those of you out there who knows someone who died, but for everyone else, just forget about it. Just put it out of your mind. It never happened in America. That`s an admission of guilt. That`s an admission of failure. And more than that, it is a recipe for disaster.

First, from a medical standpoint, we cannot just forget about this. I mean, Dr. Anthony Fauci has made this clear every time he gets near a microphone, we cannot just go back to normal once we start to emerge from the worst of this virus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: When you gradually come back, you don`t jump into it with both feet. You say, you know, what are the things that you could still do and still approach normal. One of them is absolute compulsive handwashing. The other one is you don`t ever shake anybody`s hands. That`s clear.

The other thing, depending upon your status, the possibility that when you are in a group of people that you can`t avoid the six-foot limit, and you can`t stay out of 10 feet, that you might want to wear a cloth face protection.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Things will not be the same for a while. The other reason Trump has called to forget about all this is so disturbing is the sheer human toll. And we`ve lost a colleague here at NBC News. We now know people who have been sick. In the United States, we`ve lost more than 14,000 people to this thing. Again, that`s just the official count. The real number is probably much higher.

In the September 11th attacks, we lost nearly 3,000 Americans. And back then the idea was that that attack, that brutal and sudden attack, that had changed everything, that we had to completely alter and we did completely alter American society spending trillions of dollars waging multiple wars, changing every airport and entrance to every building. We had to completely remake American society to prevent it from ever happening again.

And now we`ve lost four times as many Americans to this virus, and Donald Trump wants us to just shrug it off and move on and forget about it. After September 11th, we said we will never forget. And when it comes to this unimaginable horror Donald Trump says it must quickly be forgotten.

For more on how the Trump ministration does not want anyone to look into what is happening and how they`re handling the virus, I want to bring in Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut.

Senator, one of the reasons I want to talk to you tonight, in cable news coverage, we see a lot of tragedy partly because of the way the news works, mass shootings, terrorist attacks, you know, plane crashes, things like that. And the politics around those tragedy can get very ugly. You can sometimes feel like people are cynically manipulating those deaths in favor of a, you know, a preferred political agenda. But I`m just struck at this moment. I mean, the grief here is immense. You know, Newtown and that and what happened in Connecticut is a sort of defining event I think in your political life. Like, how are you processing this and what does it say to you to watch this just sheer lack of empathy at all from the White House?

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY (D-CT): Yes, I mean, of all of the horrificness out of the White House during the last three months, the President`s total inability to be empathetic and to plug into the grief and the terror of this disease is maybe the most alarming. I mean, listen, what we know, for those of us that work in and around gun violence is that when you lose someone unexpectedly to a violent act, there are normally 20 other individuals, family members, friends, brothers, sisters, who experience a diagnosable trauma because of that loss.

And I don`t know that it`s going to be very different when it comes to the, you know, 30,000 40,000 people who were taken quickly because of this virus, there are going to be ripples of grief and trauma that we are going to be dealing with for decades. And, you know, that just speaks to the enormity of the health care project that`s in front of us. It`s not just about trying to control and eradicate the virus, it`s also about dealing with the trauma and the mental health effects that are going to spill forth for months and years after we have moved on from this national emergency.

HAYES: I thought there was such as tell in the President`s tweet today which we don`t often read on air, about, you know, everyone is going to have to forget this, because they`re both not wanting people to look into the ways in which they were warned and ignore those warnings, but also what they`re doing right now.

I mean, it is really striking to me, the President went out of his way to remove the person who was appointed to be the Inspector General over the trillions of dollars, right, in that rescue package, specifically $500 billion, remove this guy with a sterling reputation -- Glenn Fine who`s tussled with Republicans and Democrats alike. What does that signal to you about what they plan to do?

MURPHY: Well, let me say one quick thing first, which is that we don`t have the luxury of time here, right? You know, we can`t spend a year figuring out what went wrong because the next virus isn`t going to wait for us. And so, part of the reason many of us want to immediately start standing up an international anti pandemic infrastructure is because we don`t know when the next virus is going to arrive.

But what you`re referring to is the here and now of how the president is, for instance, allocating the $2 trillion that we have given him. My worry is the President is right now thinking first, second and third about his reelection. And he is trying to arrange the politics surrounding him in a way that he can use the infrastructure of the federal government to get himself reelected.

He`s got $2 trillion that he`s sitting on now. Wouldn`t he love it if he could be able to spend it to reward friends and punish enemies. He now has an intelligence infrastructure without a meaningful, competent Inspector General. He`s free to perhaps try to maneuver intelligence and the spin on intelligence in order to favor his reelection.

So I just think this assault on inspectors general is not coincidental to the general election effectively beginning.

HAYES: You know, the point you made there at the beginning and which ties to the Inspector General to me, which is so important here is that I think people can view this sort of idea of accountability and oversight as sort of some kind of political score-settling. But there`s a Pressing substantive need right now, right? Because the virus isn`t going to go away till we have vaccine.

I mean, we know in 1980s, there was -- there was a spring bump and then it really hit in the fall, right? We don`t know that`s going to happen here again but we`re in it right now. The mistakes that have been made or are being made or going back to work too early, all of those things can cost more lives in the moment.

MURPHY: Well, and if you don`t set up the public health infrastructure necessary to test everyone who`s symptomatic, trace their contacts and then quarantine, then you A, can`t get your hands wrapped around this particular emergency, but then you don`t have that infrastructure set up for the next round of Coronavirus or the next pathogen that hits.

So one of the clear stories to tell about what went wrong is that we lost tens of thousands of public health workers since the great recession of 2007, 2009. And right now, there seems to be no plan from this administration to rebuild them, and we don`t have time because this isn`t going away and the next virus might be just around the corner.

HAYES: All right, Senator Chris Murphy, as always, it`s great to talk to you. Thank you for your time.

MURPHY: Thanks.

HAYES: One of the key things about this crisis is the world is all facing it together, all kinds of countries with all kinds of governments, all kinds of leaders with all kinds of politics. The virus transmits just about the same everywhere, it looks like. Every policymaker in the world is facing the same set of choices. And it would be an ideal time for some leadership in the United States, or the very least true global cooperation across borders.

But as Samantha Power describes in her new op-ed in the New York Times, perhaps the worst thing that could happen will be the U.S. pulling everyone else down the wrong path. I`m joined now by Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in the Obama administration. What`s your concern right now about the role the U.S. is playing globally in terms of how the Trump administration is dealing with the pandemic?

SAMANTHA POWER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: Well, first, just the backdrop, which is that a lot of communities, a lot of countries in the world start with not a lot of safety nets. And so already, just the toll that our economic shutdown, our pandemic in western countries is causing in developing countries is already massive in terms of jobs lost, farmers who have no place to send their produce because flights have ended, or shipping prices have gone way up.

And so you already have a sort of obliteration of economies in the developing world. And the pandemic is just starting to hit. And so for example, a month ago in Africa, there were no reported cases, now there are 7,000. Bill Gates has warned that as many as 10 million people could be infected or could even die in Africa.

So, you have this sort of looming, then you have the core fact that we the United States, on wanting to get back to normal. I mean some want to leave to get back to normal before it is at all safe and when it is reckless to do so, but everybody wants to get back to normal.

And how do we get back to normal when we are so connected either through trade through the global supply chain, which runs to places like Bangladesh, which have really crowded refugee camps that house Rohingya and an incredibly large informal economic sector, lots of really overpopulated city areas, and an informal economy again, that the bottom will fall out of it any day now.

So you asked, I think your question was, you know, how is the United States faring? I mean, we go into the U.N. Security Council virtually or into the G-7, and we want to fight about whether this is the Wuhan virus, or what to call it. We`re not rolling up our sleeves and identifying a set of really different lines of effort that needs to be pursued at once.

Every head of state in the world is focused on their own people right now. That goes without saying, but we`ve got to look just a little bit down the road in a way that we haven`t up to this point, and that we have individuals who work for the United States government who will be working on domestic response and further preparedness or catching up for the lack of preparedness.

But we have a whole another crew of people who are capable of building a global coalition to share information, to take advantage of the staggered spread of the disease, to pool insights as it relates to the experimentation going on now around vaccines, and to pool resources for those countries that will never have a $2 trillion bailout for their communities.

South Sudan has four ventilators. You know, in the United States, we have 26 doctors for every 10,000 people, in Africa there are three. And so when it comes to gloves, and you know, ventilators, and protective equipment and so forth, the kinds of things we have scrambled to make available for own health professionals.

I completely get that the thought of thinking about other people is really hard when our own frontline workers are struggling, but we`ve got to somehow build our manufacturing cycles or at least pay for others to do so, so that those resources are made available or, again, there`ll be a natural catastrophe and the day where we actually sort of get to return to the normalcy that we seek will be postponed even further than what the virus in the United States currently projects.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, it`s interesting, even if you take -- so take for the moment, the humanitarian concerns, which to me are the most pressing and morally urgent away and just talk pragmatically. I mean, when you look at places like Hong Kong, right, they did a very good job of sort of tamping down the virus. Now, they have people coming into Hong Kong who were bringing it from elsewhere. There`s no universe in which this just stays where it is if there`s some terrible, unrestrained pandemic and some part of the world. Like, that`s not staying there. We are all on the same planet as far as this virus is concerned.

POWER: I think that`s really true. (AUDIO GAP) Trump mindset generally is so 18th century. You know, the notion that we can decouple from others, you know, that there were ever walls that could insulate from us from this, and we`ve just lived how unsustainable that is. And so I think, you know -- I mean, he`s not thinking about this at all. He thinks about himself. But were he thinking about it in his Trump way, he would be thinking, we will just continue the travel restrictions, or we won`t, you know, allow people from that country into our country.

But how then do we return to normalcy given how many of our manufacturing industry industries are dependent on parts coming from parts of the world that don`t have the infrastructure to deal with this pandemic without our support? So you know, I think what`s happening right now is that the United States has AWOL in terms of global leadership.

China, you know, is in there sort of bilaterally handing out supplies, some of which are defective, some of which hopefully will not be. But China has no experience from all of its clout and for all of the ways in which it has asserted itself and fill the vacuum that the U.S. has left in the last few years with Trump`s arrival and his retreat from international organizations. It has no capacity to build the kind of global coalition that I`m talking about.

You know, this requires shaking the trees hustling, badgering people, calling out government governments that are staging cover ups. China will be in a great position to make that, to issue that, deliver that talking points. So you know, you need a combination of actors at the helm, and the U.S. and China need to be in relative partnership on this.

HAYES: All right, Samantha Power, thank you so much for sharing some time tonight.

POWER: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Next, the President`s favorite network is just peddling conspiracy theories and promises of miracle drugs. The danger of Trump T.V. misinformation after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: President Trump has genuine medical epidemiological experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, helping, guide him through this pandemic to the extent that he`s capable of doing that. He also has the self-appointed experts of Trump T.V., and the President`s Council of T.V. advisors, who he pays very close attention to are coalescing around the idea that the whole thing was overblown and we just need to pump everyone full of the malaria drug and get them back to work. This is just what you -- what you heard if you watch Trump T.V. just last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Whatever is happening, this epidemic appears to be doing less damage than anticipated, and it`s receding more quickly.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: You feel it, don`t you, that America is getting increasingly anxious about this shutdown.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: The cure can`t be worse than the problem.

BRIT HUME, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: We may or may not have flattened the curve, but we`ve certainly flattened the economy.

CARLSON: Any discussion of how we might transition out of the shutdown back into normal life, for some reason has become taboo in this country.

INGRAHAM: We just cannot have our people deny the ability to make a living, go to school, attend worship services, travel as they wish, see their friends.

CARLSON: As awful as this epidemic has been and will be, at least so far, it hasn`t been the disaster that we feared.

INGRAHAM: Given the fact that the death rate for COVID-19 may end up being only slightly worse than a very tough flu season, we want answers.

HUME: Is it really true that the reason that we`re beginning to think we may have turned the corner on this because we all did what the doctors said we should do, or is it because the disease turned out not to be quite as dangerous as we thought?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: The disease not as dangerous as we thought? It`s got a 3.4 percent fatality rate here in the U.S., 10 percent in Italy, that we know of. More than 14,000 Americans have died from this disease in the last few weeks. More people are dying from it every day in New York than die total in a day in New York in a normal day, but sure, not a big deal.

From the beginning of this outbreak, Fox News has posed a genuine public health threat by first downplaying the severity of the disease, now rushing to say it`s all over. People have been trying to convince their loved ones not to listen to the dangerously false information in order for their loved ones to stay safe.

One of those people is Kara Swisher, co-editor -- co-founder and editor-at- large of Recode. She wrote in The New York Times a better experience trying to get her Fox News watching mom to take the health crisis seriously. And Kara, I know you have a story that I`ve heard from a lot of people because there are a lot of people in the country who have gotten the message that it`s not that big a deal. And it has been hard to convince them to do the kinds of things like, you know, physical distancing. And you can even see now this like, sort of substrate of passive-aggressive resentment against it that is coming off the airwaves over there.

KARA SWISHER, CO-FOUNDER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE, RECODE: Sure, sure. I mean, what they`re trying to do is they initially had very bad information on the air, something that both my brother and I -- my brother`s a frontline doctor in San Francisco working on this problem. We were trying to get my mom great information.

And so, one of the problems was we were pushing up against the stuff that was being broadcast very early on by Fox News, much of which was highly dangerous. And so, I wrote a column about it. And one of the things I think they sort of went crazy the fact that I pointed out what a lot of people are experiencing with their parents who only use Fox News as a news to get their news.

Now, my mom looks at other news. Of course, she does. But it has a lot of influence because she was repeating initially a lot of the original things. It`s just like the flu, get back to work, it`s not a big deal, it`s a democratic plot. All the talking points that were on there, she was repeating to me. And so it took a while for us to get through to her that she had to stay home, she had to be careful to choose in a high-risk group, and that she needs to take care of herself.

And we couldn`t be there. She`s in Florida. She`s you know, far away. And so it`s really important that the very bottom level of information on all of these platforms have to be accurate health information. I don`t care if she wants to go on about Nancy Pelosi or whatever Fox`s line of the day is, like Chuck Schumer is whatever. That`s fine. You can argue that over Thanksgiving dinner, Easter dinner. It`s fine. It`s not a big deal and it`s just a matter of political opinion. But when it comes to health information, it`s really important that it is safe, it is correct, and it isn`t made up in some way in order to push a political point of view.

HAYES: Yes, and I should just -- to sort of bend over backwards to be fair here, right. I mean, there is a certain amount uncertainty that actually does exist, the uncertainty about the spectrum of how -- what the case fatality rate is and how bad this will be, what the future holds, when we get back to work.

SWISHER: 100 percent. Yes.

HAYES: All questions we asked every night and contrast to some of the things we said there about no one`s asking when we get back to work and get back normal. Literally, that`s all anyone cares about is thinking about it right now because it`s you know, it`s awful. Right.

SWISHER: Yes. I don`t want to be here. I want to get out. Everybody --

HAYES: But, to me, the sort of --

(CROSSTALK)

HAYES: That`s the thing that`s dangerous right now, because I think we`ve seen the president kind of A, B test his response here in real-time of it`s not a big deal, it`s war. It`s not a big deal, it`s war. That we got to lockdown. The Cure can`t be worse than the disease. And you`re seeing this growing call from these people who have a lot of influence to say, you know what, guys, it`s time to stop listening the Fauci`s of the world, get this sucker open back up, and I worry about what that -- what that will do, both to the president and the people that watch if we, you know, do that prematurely?

SWISHER: Absolutely. You know, the numbers are down because of the things that have been done, that were safe that the doctors had prescribed. And it seems to me that that`s what we should -- we should be listening to, even if you overreact to anything. And listen, I want to be working. I`ve lost money. I -- you know, I don`t like being in the house. It`s -- like, it`s kind of this fallacy that you want this to get worse. I wanted to get better. I want -- I want hydroxychloroquine to work, but I also would like it to be safe.

And so everybody wants to get the economy going, and everyone wants to get back to work. We don`t want to put these grocery workers at risk. We don`t want to put the delivery people at risk. But there`s no vaccine for this and so we have to be very careful and very judicious. And to -- and to make its -- take hope. Everybody has hope in this world. To take hope and make it into a cudgel is the strangest thing I`ve ever seen.

And it`s -- and you know, just the other day my mom was saying, hey, it`s going to be great because that`s human nature to want it to be great, right? And my brother calls it magical thinking, you know, that`s great. But reality is reality. It`s still quite dangerous and pernicious and there is no vaccine yet, as yet, but -- and not for a while, so we have to be very careful.

HAYES:  Yeah, prepare for the worst and hope for the best is sort of the recipe to get through all of this -- and not just hope for the best and and then try to will it to be so through your mental -- what you`re saying on the TV tube.

Kara Swisher, thank you for making some time tonight.

SWISHER:  Thanks a lot.

HAYES:  And coming up, the racial disparities of this pandemic. A new CDC study find African -Americans are disproportionately affected by the Coronavirus. We`ll talk about that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. STEFAN FLORES, NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER:  Dr. Stefan Flores here. I recently came off shift working in the emergency department here in New York City, the epicenter of this global pandemic. Places like Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, Brooklyn and places like Washington Heights where I was born and raised and where I now work are disproportionately affected.

These communities where people come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, who are black and brown, these migrant communities, these are the people that are disproportionately affected. They can`t afford to miss a paycheck. They can`t socially distance. They can`t Uber or Lyft to work, nor can they actually take work from home or Skype in or use a Zoom meeting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES:  As states have started to break down their reporting on Coronavirus by hospitalization and fatalities by race, and unsurprising but still shocking set of disparities has emerged. African-Americans are getting sick and dying of Coronavirus at much higher rates than white Americans.

In Milwaukee county, Wisconsin, for example, African-Americans make up only 26 percent of the population but 73 percent of the reported Coronavirus deaths. In Louisiana, after African-Americans are 32 percent of the population but 70 percent of the deaths from the virus there. In Chicago where they are 32 percent of the city`s population they make up more than two-thirds of the Coronavirus deaths.

Now, there are a lot of reasons for these disparities which extend back to well, before the founding of the country. So we wanted to talk to someone who spends their entire life and career studying exactly this. Dr. Chandra Ford is a social epidemiologist, the founding director of the Center for the Study Racism, Social Justice, and Health at UCLA, the lead editor of Racism:  Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional.

Doctor, maybe we can start with just an overview of the short answer version of this, which I know comes as zero surprise to you or anyone that studies the intersection of race and health in the U.S. But why are we seeing this disproportionate fatality rate and in some cases infection rate among African-Americans and to a somewhat lesser degree Latinos?

DR. CHANDRA FORD, UCLA:  Well, this pandemic is happening not just in test tubes, it`s happening in populations. And when we think about the ways in which the virus spreads in populations, we have to consider the inequalities that are already there. There are foundational inequalities in terms of things like where people live, residential segregation, that affects the access that folks have to hospitals, health care providers, and even thinking about the ways in which testing has been accessible or not in different communities. These things help to explain why we see disparities across different populations.

HAYES:  Bill Cassidy said something today, Senator from Louisiana, about the racial disparities I thought was interesting. He said, "by the way, I think if you control for diabetes and hypertension, a lot of racial difference would go away," which I thought was sort of a fascinating question begging way of approaching the problem, because of course, when you`re talking about co-morbidities and health problems, those are of elevated rates among African-Americans, but that sort of precisely the point of the things you study about how we got to that point.

FORD:  Exactly. So I mean, part of the problem is that we can push ourselves in a direction that`s not very constructive, and that is to begin to think that there are certain groups of people who for reasons that are somehow related to characteristics of these groups that lead them to have these vulnerabilities to disease.

What we really need to be asking about is not just underlying conditions, but the underlying inequalities that lead to whole communities having higher and disproportionate rates of these conditions.

HAYES:  What are the ways in which this shows itself most intensely or acutely outside the pandemic, right? So, I mean, this has led people I think in someways to look at the broader statistics. And if you look at life expectancy, particularly, or incidences of heart disease and things like this, you find these remarkable disparities that are just laying around before the virus comes in and kind of exacerbates it?

FORD:  Sadly, we see these kind of patterns across nearly every condition that we can think of. There are exceptions, but so much of what we experience as disease and disparities is actually rooted in our social inequalities. And so when those social inequalities are not accounted for in our strategies to address whole population-wide problems, it looks like what we`re seeing is that some groups have some inherent sort of greater risk for it.

So things like differential access to health care, but even once folks get into health care systems, that there`s differential treatment. So that we know for instance, black folks don`t always get the same quality of care or the same aggressive treatment or the same kinds of referrals.

So with respect to this pandemic, once we are able to get testing available or access to care, we`ll also be needing to think about how can we account for these historical injustices not only in creating greater risk f or the underlying conditions and also for exposure to COVID -- excuse me, to COVID-19 -- but also in terms of ensuring that the care we provide is equitable and ensures that the outcomes folks have long-term are also equitable.

So, when we think about, for instance, mortality, that`s going to be something that has to do with folks slipping through the safety net, especially in the health care system. That`s on the far end of it, not just what happens -- who is more likely to get tested, but also if we see higher rates of mortality disparities there, then we`ll be really concerned about what`s happening within the health care system that`s not enabling all folks to do equally well once they`re in care.

HAYES:  I see.

So, you`re sort of breaking it down to sort of the things that happen before the health care system is treating the illness right now, the sort of societal aspects of that, the sort of structural inequalities, the co- morbidities, among certain communities in certain areas, and then the actual way the health care system now is dealing with the pandemic and both of those kind of compounding each other and is to be studied as we continue to go through this. Dr. Chandra Ford, thank you so much for sharing your expertise on this.

FORD:  Thank you.

HAYES:  All right, coming up, we`ve got the president reiterating his desire to suppress voting in November, as Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign today. Electing a president in the middle of a pandemic is next.

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SANDERS:  I want to express to each of you my deep gratitude for helping to create an unprecedented grass roots political campaign that has had a profound impact in changing our nation. While we are winning the ideological battle and while we are winning the support of so many young people and working people throughout the country, I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful. And so today, I am announcing the suspension of my campaign.

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HAYES:  In the midst of this Coronavirus crisis and a near national lock- down, Joe Biden has now become the apparent nominee for the Democratic Party this November. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who says he plans to stay on the ballot to collect delegates for the convention so he could still have influence over the party platform has nonetheless, as you saw, decided to suspend his campaign.

It was a strange end to Sanders` run, because of the strangeness of everything right now. I mean, no one knows what it looks like to campaign during a pandemic. He and Biden have been trying to figure it out for the last few weeks. No now, nobody knows how an election in the pandemic even works.

I mean, after Wisconsin`s primary vote yesterday, which was a shocking debacle rammed through by the state`s Republicans, it`s unclear if any actually primaries will happen until at least June, and who knows, really, after that.

Back in 2015, when Vermont Senator Sanders announced that he was running then as the kind of lone named challenger against Hillary Clinton, generally he was seen as something of a gadfly on a kind of mission for his cause. And five years later, he`s one of the most popular and influential figures in the Democratic Party, although he clearly failed to build a majority collision within that party for a second subsequent election.

That said, the end of this campaign is different. I don`t know what it is, whether it`s the more collegial (ph) relationship between him and Joe Biden or the strange awful urgent context of the moment we find ourselves in. The relationship here seems much less strained than it did in the waning days of the 2016 primary.

Today`s announcement brings to a culmination five years of work by Senator Bernie Sanders. His campaign and his message have been extremely transformative in not just the Democratic Party, but in the national dialog and conversation about the solutions to problems we face and in a palpable sense, the 2020 Democratic nomination process feels right now less fractured, palpably, intense than it did actually the last time around in 2016.

But that said, it is very clear Donald Trump`s vision of how his path to victory will work includes stoking civil war and dissension among Democrats and suppressing the vote. We`re going to talk about both of those things next.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Renee Bacon says she just got off a nursing shift and arrived here around 8:03, and was turned away.

RENEE BACON, MILWAUKEE VOTER:  I`m upset. I`m really upset. Because they`ve been doing -- saying so many different things about how we`re supposed to vote, when to vote. And we can`t do it now. And they should keep the polls open later.

I wish I had did an absentee ballot or something, but I didn`t know it was going to be all this chaos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She wasn`t alone.

UNIDENITIFIED FEMALE:  I don`t know if I will even be allowed to vote tonight. It is just all really frustrating, confusing,, let alone being out here without a mask and being afraid to even come in the first place.

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HAYES:  That was the scene last night in Wisconsin. One voter terrified to be out in a pandemic, another voter, a nurse, just getting off her shift, denied her ability to vote, because she apparently missed the cutoff by three minutes.

What happened yesterday was a result of an insane, reckless, dangerous undertaking by Republicans in Wisconsin to hold an election during a global pandemic, an act cheered on by the president, who clearly sees his path to success in the general election by suppressing the vote and by stoking dissension among Democrats.

In fact, he`s been very clear about both today. He lobbied Bernie Sanders` supporters to come join the Republican Party. He tweeted that Republicans should fight against mail-in voting, because, quote, "for whatever reason, it doesn`t work out well for Republicans."

Great line there, for whatever reason, meaning a lot of people can vote and the more people who can vote, the more people vote for Democrats.

You know, and November may seem a long way off, but everybody like a long way off, but everybody working to keep democracy thriving in this perilous moment needs to be thinking about all of this right now.

Someone who is certainly thinking about all of this is Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee, and he joins me now.

I guess we will start with the news of Sanders suspending the campaign and what that means almost in a kind of institutional sense for you, and the DNC.

TOM PEREZ, DNC CHAIRMAN:  Well, I have great respect for Senator Sanders. Over the three-and-a-half years I have gotten to know him really well. And, Chris, what he has added to the party, what he stood for, what he fights for, and it is simply remarkable. He`s changed the conversation in America for the better. And while he is out of the race, I know he`s not going to be out of the fight.

And I know personally, because I had the privilege of watching him and the vice president up close and personal. You mentioned it a few minutes ago, they have a very good relationship, Chris, they may see particular issues differently, but their values are fundamentally aligned. And they`re going to come together. They are coming together.

And I`m so proud of all of the candidates who said I`m in it to win it, but when that doesn`t happen I`m going to come together and unite the party. And that`s exactly what we`re going to see. And the vice president is exactly the right person for the moment.

HAYES:  It`s very clear that -- you know, if you look at the polling and the sort of political record of the president, and the incumbent President Trump, he has struggled to build out his coalition. He`s got the sort of chunk of people who won the election with fewer votes than his opponent. He got about 45 percent of the vote. And that`s what he`s sort of stuck with even at the high water mark.

And so victory comes from essentially causing -- you know, shrinking the other coalition, setting people against each other, and then trying to make sure that you could suppress the vote. How do you view your role and the Democratic Party`s role in dealing with those two strategies?

PEREZ:  You`re exactly right. The politics of arithmetic I learned from Senator Ted Kennedy, my mentor, addition beats subtraction any day of the week.

Joe Biden has been expanding the field throughout. His coalition of diverse communities of color, his coalition of union people, of disaffected Republicans, has swept him to this dramatic set of victories. And then you look at what the president -- the incumbent president is doing, an ever shrinking base. This is his formula for success -- an ever shrinking base coupled with voter suppression.

So, what we`re going to see -- I mean, the Club for Growth is spending millions of dollars right now digitally trying to sow discord within the Democratic Party. It`s not going to work.

You are going to see more voter suppression tactics. We see it down in Georgia. They`ve established a voter fraud task force. That is a crock of you know what. It`s designed to stifle the vote down there. We know that. And that is why we and not just the DNC, but the Democratic ecosystem, whether it`s Stacey Abrams and Fair Fight, whether it`s Eric Holder and The Redistricting Commission, we are going to come together, and we are coming together, to build the best infrastructure we`ve ever given to a nominee in modern political history. And that`s why we`re going to win this race.

HAYES:  But wait a second, there`s more than that, though. That`s infrastructure. You`re talking -- all of that, everything you just said could have been said in 2016 or 2018, right, but because of the longstanding desire to suppress votes by Republicans, there`s a different situation right now.

I mean, we saw what happened in Wisconsin yesterday. There`s genuine fear about whether the Democratic Party, legislators and everyone, are going to push, to concretize contingencies, so that we do not have a November rerun of the debacle that we saw in Wisconsin yesterday?

PEREZ:  I`ve never been angrier about an election than I was about yesterday`s election. And I`ve seen Texas with voter ID. I`ve seen South Carolina. Yesterday was the Republican Party putting people`s lives in jeopardy. It was the U.S. Supreme Court coming up with a remedy, Chris, that couldn`t be actualized.

They were saying as long as your ballot is postmarked by the 7th, it will count. There are scores of voters in Wisconsin who still haven`t gotten their absentee ballot. They couldn`t do that. That is unconscionable.

And what we know about voter suppression now from Wisconsin is that they will go to any length possible, including putting lives in jeopardy. And that is why we are coming together.

We will sue when necessary. We will use courts of law. We will use courts of public opinion. And most immediately, Chris, we`re going to have another stimulus bill at the end of the month and we need to make sure that we include in that bill more resources so that there are in every single state the option to vote by mail, vote no excuse absentee. That`s what we have to do, Chris, because you shouldn`t have to win the geographic lottery to vote.

HAYES:  Yeah, that`s a bright line issue, I think, as we head towards this next bill to me, democratically.

Tom Perez, thank you so much for joining us tonight.

PEREZ:  Pleasure.

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

  THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END