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COVID-19 treatment TRANSCRIPT: 4/17/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes

Guests: James Pethokoukis, Pramila Jayapal, Tom Colicchio, Tammy Duckworth,James Cutrell


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They`re going to be -- they`re going to be buying 250. 50 from 40 to 50 billion in farm. I want to see what`s happening with China. I want to see how they`re doing on it. Are they fulfilling the deal, the transaction? We have a lot of discussions going on.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. The U.S. has had among the worst most catastrophic responses the coronavirus among peer nations. And that is in large part because the President has failed with every turn. And the result is unprecedented illness and misery and death in this country. And that doesn`t include the economic devastation that has been this President`s sole focus from the beginning as he attempts to save his own political future.

That means the toll of this virus becomes more and more clear every single day and can`t be happy talked away. President Trump now needs to find someone to blame for the crisis that he helped bring about. That`s what today has been all about for the president A day after telling nation`s governors, you`re going to call your own shots.

He tweeted, "The states have to step up their testing." As the Washington Post reports, Trump`s the buck stops with the state`s posture is largely designed to shield himself from blame should there be new outbreaks after states reopen or for other problems according to several current and former senior administration officials involved in response.

Think about that. They`re designing it around blame-shifting. All along, Trump has wanted to have it both ways. He wants credit for anything that goes well even for things that don`t really ever happen like the almost non-existed drive through testing and Walmart and Target parking lots we were promised. Remember that? And he wants to make sure the blame sticks to anyone but himself. As Susan Glasser put in the New Yorker, ultimate power and no responsibility.

In a press conference today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo summed up the President`s cowardly "we`re here as backup it except we can take credit" mantra.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): This is mayhem. We need a coordinated approach between the federal government and the states. All he`s doing is walking in front of the parade, but he has nothing to do with the timing of the parade.


HAYES: Because he can`t handle the responsibilities, today, Donald Trump tried to steer the blame to Democratic governors launching a really unhinged series of dangerously provocative tweets calling on people to protect their second amendment rights and liberate states shut down by Democratic governors. All this while armed Trump supporters are actively protesting in these state capitals.

The reason why he is so desperate to shift the blame is because the blame is coming because the scale of the national emergency we`re going through is impossible to ignore. Here are some headlines from last 24 hours in American life. The Republican governor of Iowa ordered schools close for the rest of the year. The Republican governor of Mississippi who waited for a while to do a shelter in place extended his shelter and place order for another week.

The Grand Island area in Nebraska now has a COVID-19 case rate comparable to some of the hardest-hit states in the country. In fact, CNN reports the bumping Coronavirus cases is most pronounced in states without stay at home orders. Oklahoma saw a 53 percent increase in cases over the past week, South Dakota a whopping 205 percent spike.

The Lompoc federal penitentiary in California has the worst outbreak in a prison. 69 inmates and 25 staff members infected. 25 people have died at just one nursing home in Wayne, New Jersey. 90 percent of the people living at the facility have symptoms and there are thousands of more who have died in nursing homes across the country. The disease is touching every corner of the country.

Here`s how the owner of family-run funeral home in Brooklyn, New York explained the reality there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The other big issue that we have in New York City, Craig, is there are very few crematories. There`s really less than a handful and the whole city of New York. And so right now, for instance, if you want it to be cremated in Brooklyn, the next available date is mid-May. In two cases, people asked for FaceTime, so that they could -- so that they could say goodbye to their husband, or say goodbye to their mom.

So -- but it`s not -- it`s not how we`re made, both as an industry as a family-run funeral home, but not as how we were made as humans. You know, we look for that visual, that that human contact and it`s not possible right now. It`s not safe.


HAYES: The President`s failure has brought us this moment. It didn`t have to be this way. The U.S. and South Korea both reported their first confirmed cases on the very same day. Around 230 people have died from the disease in South Korea. Over 36,000 have died here in the U.S. It`s now everywhere in this country. It is devastating.

And there`s no more I`m going to do a song and dance about boosting the stock market happy talk. That`s why you see the president saying today the states have to step up testing. Even if that is an acknowledgment of the failure, a concession of how bad things are. And that`s what fomenting all the protests about and trying to restart Tea Party 2.0.

The President and his allies are desperate and they acknowledge it`s bad, it`s going to be bad. And the political question for them now is can we blame someone else, can we blame them? The worst part of this reality is there are some things only the federal government can do. Every state and local officials have been saying that.

Today, it was basically a declaration by the federal government of your on your own. And not just to the States, this is key, to us, every American. Every family member worried about a loved one in a long-term care facility, or in a prison, or driving a bus for a living, or working in a meatpacking plant. You are on your own. Figure it out.

The President`s transparent blame-shifting has not been lost on some traditionally conservative folks. James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute tweeted, "So Trump tells the governors they`re calling the shots, at the same time, he`s encouraging resistance against those shots being called. What now?" And Jim Pethokoukis joins me now.

You have been a Trump skeptic though a conservative, Jim. But you`ve been writing about just the sort of -- when you step back and take a scale and look at where we are right now, stipulated, this virus is nasty and difficult and the policy challenges are real and the best government in the world would screw up. But the overall picture right now is really bad. And I feel like there`s a little bit of denial about that.

JAMES PETHOKOUKIS, DEWITT WALLACE FELLOW, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: It is bad. Listen, I think this was a poor response, especially given the fact that people like to call this a black swan. But the black swan has appeared like every few years, you know, since about 2005. So I don`t have a lot of patience for the "we never saw this coming, how did we know?" Clearly, our response could be better.

I think every voter in America, every citizen should expect a lot more from their government. But sort of, here we are, what are we going to do going forward? I`m sure there`s going to be some sort of commission in the future, but what do we do right now.

And the last thing the president should be doing is telling people like resist your governors, don`t listen to your governors. What we need is have this reopening process to go as smoothly as possible so we don`t have -- so we don`t have a second wave of outbreaks, and that this terrible economy right now doesn`t last beyond June.

Because if we get a second wave of outbreak, then we`re going to have 25 percent unemployment in the third quarter and 25 percent unemployment in the fourth quarter. That can be avoided, but we need to do things now.

HAYES: This is the part of this that has been so maddening to me from the moment -- from late February. The incentives should be aligned. The incentives for the President should be to manage this as well as possible so that as few people get sick, as few people die, and the economy rebounds as quickly as possible.

If you do a good job, you should be rewarded by voters and, and likewise, if you do a bad job. And yet, instead, it`s being managed to get through the next news cycle to plausibly be able to blame the governor of Michigan for the lockdown in your state, but that`s not good -- that`s a that`s a very short-sighted strategy.

PETHOKOUKIS: You can`t worry about the news cycle. You sort of have to accept that you`re going to go through a period here, where the where the market is going to be down by a lot, that the economy is going to be down by a lot, the employments going to go up. And you need to get through this period so we can control this virus, and then prepare for the recovery, prepare for when the shutdown is over and hopefully get a sharp rebound.

But if you don`t have that initial pain, then you`re not going to have the gain on the other end. And it`s going to be -- I mean, the election is really the least of it, but you know, he won`t get reelected if we have a third-quarter where the economy is down another 50 percent annualized.

HAYES: Right, because here what you`re saying here, and I think this is really important right, is that if you screw up the "reopening," if you promise a reopening and people go back to work, and then in places that do this, you see massive outbreaks and they are forced to essentially shudder and retreat. I`ve already seen Wall Street desperately wants to bid up prices because they definitely wants to believe there`s a V-shape here, but they will get spooked yeah like crazy if that happens and you will see a second crash.

PETHOKOUKIS: All right, Chris, every forecast that has, you know, the economy falling, you know, by a huge amount now, but then roaring back in the, you know, in the third quarter and fourth quarter assumes that we`ve sort of seen the worst of it at this point, that there won`t be a second wave. If that happens, sort of all bets are off.

HAYES: What do you think about this sort of the weird interplay between the sort of the fact on one day he announces a plan -- the plan itself is defensible, the 18-page plan phase one, phase two, phase three delegate states authorities, and the next day is sort of inciting protests against people that are essentially more or less following the plan that his own government laid out the day before.

PETHOKOUKIS: Right. So not -- so not only they need to follow that plan, but then they also have -- a lot of plan is sort of vague in spots. They don`t really define enough things. So you really are counting on these governors do a fantastic job -- you know -- you know, we`re not -- we`re probably never going to have the amount of testing we want, so we have to make sure that we have the amount of social distancing, that they re-open places in a logical manner.

So they need to ace it. And if they do well, then the president will do well, but you have to -- you cannot worry about what`s happening in the next 46 hours or if there`s protests in Michigan or Minnesota. You may love -- those people may be wearing your Trump hats, but you need to be thinking about what`s going to happen in August, September, October, November.

HAYES: You`re someone who pays a lot of attention to macroeconomic trends to both fiscal monetary policy. I think you and I have sort of different views on some of that stuff, but I think that you very clearly want to make sure as I do. My big fear is this becomes a ripple effect that then like a snowball rolling down a mountain gathers a kind of steam as an economic contraction that when the virus goes away, it can`t be unwound, right? What do you see is the crucial steps to make sure we don`t end up with that?

PETHOKOUKIS: I think by far, the most crucial step is trying to keep things sort of intact. Yes, you want people to have money so they can pay their bills and you know, pay their rent, but you have to make sure there`s an economy to come back to, which is why this whole small business support has been so important.

It`s gotten off to kind of a slow start. They ran through the SBA so it end up being a little bit more bureaucratic. They should have you know -- they should have allotted three, four, five times as much money from the very beginning. So now -- so now, they`re sort of run out of money and they have to pass new bill.

But now there`s a debate between Democrats and Republicans. That hunk, particularly of the economic support plan, really needs to work well. It needs to start working better. And it needs to start working better immediately.

Because if you have a continued disintegration of American business particularly small business, you know, companies with 500 employees or less, then I think you really are looking toward a very long miserable recovery. You may not technically qualifies the depression but it sure going to feel like it.

HAYES: Yes. Keeping those folks in business and afloat is key. Jim Pethokoukis, someone I always make sure to read --

PETHOKOUKIS: Absolutely.

HAYES: Thank you very much.

PETHOKOUKIS: Thank you, Chris Hayes.

HAYES: Joining me now for more on the President`s attempt to pass the blame on to the states, Democratic Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal of Washington. And congresswoman, you know, I suppose the silver lining of the president wanting to essentially delegate in blame is that at the very least, he`s not like ordering states back into business or things like that.

He`s at the very least gotten out of the way enough that states that have managed it well like the state of Washington, your state, and I know you`ve been in a lot of contact with local leaders about this, have been able to do what they needed to do. I suppose that`s the one upside. What is the cost of this kind of backseat approach the president is taking?

REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): Well, Chris, I mean, I think that first of all, what we really need to do is liberate ourselves from this president because he has not been helpful in coordinating a federal response. Now, some of the people on his team have been. We have been able to work closely with some of those people including Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx, even the vice president.

But you know, I think in order for us to beat this virus which is the central question, it is not about opening up the economy. If we`re going to open up the economy, we have to beat the virus. And that is I think central to this. And if the federal government had a coordinated response to how we were actually going to put in place the ability to have testing, the ability to have contact tracing, that is what we need, a steady supply of the equipment, the tests, all of those things.

But tied to that, and this your previous guest was speaking to this, in the meantime, we have to make sure we`re dealing with the economic devastation that we have already seen. 22 million people who have filed new unemployment claims in the last month. This is going to be a quick downward spiral unless we quickly have a bold solution. And that is why I introduced my Paycheck Guarantee Act last week. The Senate also just introduced something very similar.

What this would do is ensure that we keep people on paychecks, we stanch the flow of unemployment which is what other countries in Europe have done, Germany, France, Denmark and we ensure that paychecks and benefits continue for workers by directing that money to businesses to put into that payroll and benefits.

What it also does from a public health perspective is it gives incentives for people to stay home, for businesses to stay closed, and workers to stay home for as long as public health dictates. And that when we ramp up, it is not going to be turning on light switches, it`s going to be a slow ramp up, that if we need to reach other as you were talking about, which is really a very real possibility when 90 to 95 percent --

HAYES: Yes. Fauci talks about it all the time.

JAYAPAL: Yes, will be uninfected. That`s a very real possibility. So we would need to be (INAUDIBLE). And my proposal would allow for us to scale. So if a business is losing 70 percent of its revenue, it would get 70 percent of the amount. And it would automatically renew based on economic triggers that we would have to meet so that we know that the crisis is over.

HAYES: I wonder about -- you know, there`s sort of two things, right? There`s the virus and the economic devastation and we have to sort of do both. And managing that economic devastation is the thing that will facilitate the conditions to allow us to do what we have to do to beat back the virus. Do you think there is enough urgency right now among your colleagues, among -- I talked to Hakeem Jeffries and Speaker Pelosi this week, to get a fourth bill passed?

I mean, clearly, there wasn`t enough money there just in the Payroll Protection Act which is designed and precisely the way you say, right, the loans are forgivable to keep people on payroll. Is there enough urgency? Are you moving quickly enough? Is enough being done to kind of keep people supported?

JAYAPAL: Well, I think the problem is we`ve tried to use existing systems to deliver relief. But those systems are not designed to deliver this kind of relief in this day and age. So, you know, we`ve used unemployment insurance, that`s great, but we can`t have 22 million new people joining unemployment insurance and expect to be able to process that quickly.

The Paycheck Protection Program was a good set of principles, and as you point out, similar to what I`m doing. But number one, it is incredibly inefficient in how it`s delivered. We`re using a network of banks in the Small Business Administration when we could go straight from Treasury to a business.

On top of that it`s only for you know companies that have less than 500 -- businesses that have less than 500 workers. Small businesses are incredibly important and so are the large businesses. Small businesses have much less relationship to banks so they are disadvantaged in getting the PPP.

And large businesses that have laid off 1,200 workers, we also need to address the issues of how we keep those workers on paychecks. Because at the end of the day, if we prevent this enormous mass unemployment that is here, our economy will continue to go into a downward spiral. We won`t be able to stimulate consumer demand. We will lose too many businesses.

And it can`t be alone even a forgivable loan. Mine would be a grant that would be made directly to the business. It would be very simple, very streamline, and we would keep the economy going even through partial recovery so that we can continue to at least hold a level of stasis in the economy rather than trending down.

HAYES: All right, Congressman Pramila Jayapal, thank you so much.

JAYAPAL: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Ahead, the deadly games from some of the President`s most vocal supporters are playing downplaying the human cost of the pandemic in order to get back to business as usual, set the record straight next.


HAYES: At this point in the worst global pandemic of our lifetimes, it should not be necessary for me to do what I`m about to do, to state the clear facts about how uniquely devastating and deadly this disease is. But nevertheless, it is necessary because there is a loud propaganda arm of the president`s supporters or insistent on pumping people full of misinformation and what about-ism when it comes to this virus.


BILL BENNETT, CONTRIBUTOR, FOX NEWS: Now, they say 60,000 people will die. 61,000 is what we lost to the flu in 2017 and 2018. The flu.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS: In 2018, 61,000 Americans died of the annual flu. That same year, more than 67,000 died from drug overdoses. Nearly 50,000 died from suicide.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, FOX NEWS: Hundreds of thousands of Americans die every year from horrific things, viruses, pneumonia, obviously old age, cancer, diabetes.

CARLSON: You know what kills more people every year than coronavirus, a lot more? Poverty. Poverty kills people in massive numbers. We should remember that.

PHIL MCGRAW, HOST, DR. PHIL: Look, the fact of the matter is we have people dying. 45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents, 480, 000 from cigarettes, 360,000 a year from swimming pools, but we don`t shut the country down for that.


HAYES: I remember those people running around after 9/11 saying actually, you know, the flu kills 60,000 people a year or I mean -- no, of course not. Coronavirus is not the flu. It`s not cigarettes. It`s not automobile accidents. It`s not swimming pools. They`re using these arguments that it is not that dangerous to say that unbalanced, we should open the economy back up and just accept those deaths.

But what would that look like if they were -- got their way, if we just said screw it, we`re Americans, were braving the virus? Well, look at the NYPD. They, of course, had to keep officers out on the streets, couldn`t shelter in place. They ended up with 20 percent of the work -- uniform workforce out sick.

Or perhaps the purest example of just maintaining the status quo, a meat processing facility in South Dakota which kept up production, employees working shoulder to shoulder day-in-day-out, it is now the single biggest hotspot of coronavirus cases in the country. Or you can look outside the U.S. in Sweden where they did not lockdown. Schools remain open, and now their death toll is significantly higher than their neighbors.

In fact, look at this graph of coronavirus deaths in European countries. That purple line, the one going straight up, yes that is Sweden. This virus is deadly and it is really gross and disingenuous and heartless and dangerous to portray it any differently.

Look at this chart, all right. These are average weekly fatalities in the U.S. from different causes. This line in blue is what flu season look like over 2017-2018 season. That`s a bad fatalities, right? it kills a lot of people. Now, in yellow, here is flu plus pneumonia over the same period of time. Again, that kills a lot of folks. Obviously, very deadly and dangerous.

Now, let`s add heart disease up at the top there in orange, much more deadly, OK. One of the top killers in our country. Here is cancer in green. Again, almost as deadly. Now, here`s what the coronavirus looks like in red. Yes, in just a matter of weeks, it has become almost the leading cause of death among Americans, and it is shooting straight up because it is contagious.

Swimming pools are not contagious, nor are auto accidents. It`s not the flu. It`s not smoking. It`s not auto accidents. It`s not swimming pools. And not just here. Look at this data from England and Wales follows the exact same pattern. In blue, you see the spectrum of mortality from all causes for each week since 2010. And the red line in 2020, what is that? Well, that obviously is coronavirus.

Keep them in mind, in the U.S. and U.K., these are countries that are basically fully locked down and that`s what it`s doing. And in the epicenter in New York City, the place where the virus has spread the most and the fastest, well, it`s killed about one out of every 700 New Yorkers.

On a typical day in April, about 150 New Yorkers died. On the worst day, April 7th, 519 New Yorkers die. More New Yorkers died that week, the week before Easter than on 9/11. The people on Trump T.V. don`t really seem to care that much about a week in 9/11 when there`s an economy to get running.

And whatever certain people want to do with the facts themselves however sociopathically heartless and cruel they want to be, however much they want to admit that they just don`t care that much about this devastating, overwhelming loss, let`s be clear about the magnitude of what is actually happening.


HAYES: Part of what is so brutal and confounding about this virus is that there is just no straightforward treatment protocol. I`ve been talking to doctors who say it`s just really frustrating to encounter an illness that doesn`t respond to treatment the way they expect.

The New York Times recently compiled some first person stories from emergency room doctors basically at their wits end with treating Coronavirus.


DR. CAMERON KYLE-SIDELL, ER/ICU MAIMONIDES MEDICAL CENTER: On a normal day in an ICU you have very sick patients, patients are dying, but this is different, it just you have a disease we don`t understand that is very deadly with patients that are scared and staff that are scared, and on top of that, it does not appear that we have a good treatment strategy other than a ventilator.


HAYES: We talk a lot about testing and contact tracing and a vaccine, ultimately, as ways to get back to normal, but if we did have a mass safe and effective treatment that would really change the toll of this virus, and that`s why there is so much focus on it in so many quarters including, obviously from the White House, and so many stories in the press about this or that promising new treatment, which can get very confusing. I feel confused personally.

So here to survey where the current state of the art is, Dr. James Cutrell. He`s an infectious disease expert at the University of Texas at the Southwestern Medical Center. He literally just co-authored a review of treatments for the Coronavirus in the Journal of American Medical Association.

So doctor, I guess, maybe first an overview of what do we know right now? Do we have a treatment right now?

DR. JAMES CUTRELL, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS: Yeah, thanks so much, Chris for the invitation to come on. And although as we review in our paper there`s been a lot of research and investigation and a lot of different drugs that have been proposed, to date we don`t have the type of high quality evidence to really establish an effective treatment at this time.

And so one of the main messages in our review was just that we need to continue to pursue that type of high quality clinical trials to really inform what treatments are going to be effective for this.

HAYES: So there was a lot of news yesterday about a drug made by Gilead and a study trial in Chicago that showed promise. You, in your survey, say of all the things that you have surveyed, the most encouraging data so far, though far, far, far from, you know, the final word is this drug.

Describe what it is and why there is some encouraging signs early.

CUTRELL: Yeah. So the drug you`re referring to is an IV medication called Remdesivir. It`s a medication that blocks the virus` machinery that helps make copy of itself. And based on the pre-clinical information and studies in animals, it seems to be one of the more promising drugs, but we still do not have the human data to establish and prove that it`s effective and safe. And so, while certainly those reports got a lot of attention, I think those of us in medical community are waiting for the hard evidence to establish whether or not this is going to be an effective treatment for this so that definitely is not established yet.

HAYES: The other drug that has gotten so much attention, of course, is hydroxychloroquine. It`s used for the folks who have Lupus, it is used to treat malaria.

I want to just show, like, if you try to follow this, even Google News alert, you will get like contrasting headlines every hour in your in-box -- you know, like, oh, super promising, oh, someone had to be taken off the study because they had heart complications.

How could you summarize the state of research on this drug?

CUTRELL: I would summarize, you know, as with all the other treatments, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, are certainly being investigated in large clinical trials, but we don`t yet have the definitive evidence to show they`re effective.

And so really we`re not recommending that those drugs are widespread adoption until we have that level of evidence. And I would say also, as you referred to, there are increasing reports highlighting some of the risk, or some of the safety issues that we would have to consider with those medications, as well, which need to be taken into account.

HAYES: You know, part of what`s happening here I think a little bit is like a mismatch between the standards of proof and science and in journalism, or just the way that if a study is published, and a lot of things are rushed to publication for understandable reasons, clinical trials being done on sort of small sample sizes again for sort of understandable reasons that if a published -- if a study is published it`s like, well, this study says X, but, you know, why should we not be sort of running after every study in terms of the replicability and the threshold that you folks in the medical field have to actually declare a drug safe and effective?

CUTRELL: Yeah, I think that`s a great point. And, you know, whenever you`re bringing a new medicine to market or to using in your patients, the two most important questions really are is it going to be effective and is it going to be safe? And the only ways really to establish that with treatment is to have these more rigorous trials where you have a control arm so that you can make a comparison between those patients who got the treatment and those who didn`t so that you really can establish effectiveness and the safety.

And so many of the studies that have gotten attention have lacked some of those key elements to really to be able to establish their effectiveness and safety.

HAYES: Meaning that they don`t have controls or they don`t have a large enough sample or what do you mean by that?

CUTRELL: Yeah, all of the above.

Some of the studies, initial studies that got attention didn`t have control arms or appropriately chosen arms. Some may have been too small. There may have been other limitations or biases in those studies.

Now, there are a larger controlled studies that are ongoing, but those results haven`t been reported on yet.

HAYES: Sometimes the sort of -- oftentimes, I find myself in reporting on this virus the unsatisfying truth is that like we don`t really know, but that is what it is. So we shouldn`t pretend that we do.

Dr. James Cutrell, thank you so much for sharing all that. I really, really appreciate it.

CUTRELL: Thank you, Chris. And just want to say a shout-out to my colleagues at UT Southwestern and my co-authors Dr. Sanders, Dr. Minogue (ph) and Dr. Yalosky (ph) on this effort. And thanks again for speaking with us.

HAYES: You bet.

Coming up, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth on the president`s leadership in the age of Coronavirus, and what veterans and veteran homes are facing as the pandemic spreads.


HAYES: Today, Vice President Mike Pence and members of the Coronavirus task force held a call with Senate Democrats. It appears it did in the go well. Maine`s independent, usually mild-manned senator, Angus King, reportedly told the vice president on the call "I have never been so mad about a phone call in my life," that`s according to Politico. He also called what the president is doing a dereliction of duty.

Joining me is Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat of Illinois. Senator Duckworth, combat war veteran of the Iraq War, was recently appointed to the bi-partisan task force advising the White House on how to reopen the economy.

And senator, I know you`re traveling around Illinois today, so were not on that phone call, but my sense from the reporting is that there is a lot of frustration with the failure of the White House to take a proactive lead on testing, particularly. Is that sort of where you`re at?

SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH, (D) ILLINOIS: That is exactly where I`m at. You know, really the numbers that they`ve been giving us on how many test kits are available and how many are going to be getting out to the states it just never been consistent and they delivered on anything.

Look, bottom line, if you are a parent right now with a 5-year-old child like I`ve got, you know, you just want your kid to be safe. You want your children to be safe. If you`re jobless, you know, like I was, like my dad was when I was a teenager, if you were hungry like I was when my dad didn`t have a job and I was relying on food stamps. If you`re sick and you need a ventilator, all you want is effective leadership. You want someone who is going to provide you with the help that you need and not someone who is just going to be out there trying to spread blame, which is what this president is doing.

And I think you called it just right on your show earlier today.

HAYES: You served in very senior levels at the VA before you were a U.S. senator. And there`s been some stories about the VA, whether it has adequate levels of PPE. There is some concern that there is not enough adequate PPE for those service providers in the VA. And obviously it`s also its own system.

Are you satisfied that the VA is properly prepared in addressing the crisis?

DUCKWORTH: Well, most people don`t realize that the VA has a secondary mission. And In addition for caring for our nation`s veterans, the VA is the backstop. They are the health care system that will step in to help out civilian health care system when it gets to a point where, you know, it can no longer provide the services to our population.

I am satisfied that the VA does have, as far as I know, all the equipment that it needs. I think what happened in some of the VAs was that they were preemptively trying to ration some of the equipment thinking that, you know, we don`t -- we`re afraid we won`t have enough PPE in the long-term.

I have called every one of the VA facilities in Illinois, and they reassured me that they have everything that they need.

HAYES: There`s another aspect to this crisis, which is anyone in any kind of sort of confined environment, long-term care facilities, nursing homes are hardest hit, folks in immigration detention, incarcerated, but also in veterans homes, are at an elevated risk. These are places -- naval ships, for instance. These are places where the disease spreads.

There`s been some awful stories coming out of veterans homes specifically. Are there -- should there be national leadership right now on these sorts of facilities, some sort of directed effort to be targeting these places with PPE and testing and a kind of coordinated plan?

DUCKWORTH: Well, of course if we had effective leadership in the White House, we would certainly have it, and we certainly have the capability within the Department of Defense. In fact, today as I was traveling around Illinois, along with us was the commander of the Army National Guard and he was speaking specifically to the fact that in some parts of the country, we actually have the National Guard stepping in to help alleviate some of the conditions and some of our jails, for example, where both inmates and officers are getting sick. And so the National Guard has been stepping in.

If you were a true leader, you understood how the DOD worked and the capacity that there is in the National Guard and the skillsets that are there, you would actually be able to mobilize that. But then again, this president has failed multiple times. He still really hasn`t implemented the Defense Production Act that would actually allow us to take control of the, you know, the medical supply system, the logistical supply system the way the Obama/Biden administration did when we activated it to fight Ebola. It can be done. It has been done. And this president simply is failing in his role as commander-in-chief and not even providing effective leadership in the civilian capacity.

HAYES: As I noted in the introduction, you were named to this task force about reopening the economy, which is enormous in terms of names. Is that a real thing? Like what is the task force?

DUCKWORTH: So can I tell you that I wasn`t even asked. I was -- I literally found out the day before that maybe there was going to be this task force and they thought my name was on the list and then later on in the evening on Wednesday evening, I was told, oh, no, no, actually you`re not on the list and then Thursday morning we got an email from someone in the White House, some, you know, assistant to assistant to an assistant somewhere who said OK you`re on the list, the phone call is at this time. And I called in. And the whole time the president kept like saying things that you know were not true. He said we have plenty of test kits. We do not have enough t est kids. He said we have done more tests in this country than any country in the world. That is not a true statement.

Listen, I think that there is bipartisan support on the task force with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that we can move forward. And there are a few things I am insisting that we do.

One, we need more widespread testing. We need to make sure that we know who is getting back into the economy, whether those people are safe or whether, you know, whether or not they have the virus or whether or not if we have the antibody test, whether or not they`ve had the virus, and then we need contact tracing to make sure that we know where folks are who have been in contact with others, with the virus.

We need more money for small businesses. If you`re a small business and you have been banking with a small credit union, or a co-op or something like that, you missed out on this money that went out for small businesses.

I want to make sure that if we are going to move the economy forward, we do it in a methodical way and we don`t do it in such a way that in two weeks or a month we`ll have to shut everything back down again. That will do so much more harm to the economy than if we were to move forward in a very systematic way.

And of course, we have to get help to the health care providers, our hospitals.

HAYES: Yes. And I know that`s been a big Democratic priority in this next round of negotiations. Senator Tammy Duckworth coming to us from Chicago, Illinois. Thank you so much.

DUCKWORTH: Thank you.

HAYES: Still ahead, what will restaurants look like, the whole industry, when doors are safe to reopen? How many won`t be able to make it that far. Chef and restaurant owner Tom Colicchio tells us what he is learning, next.



DOUGLAS BUXBAUM, RESTAURANT OWNER: When Ocean City decided to, you know, close up restaurants with the exception of carry-out, we had to do it quick, pivot, and just decide to go with the carry-out for a few days a week. It`s like we are lucky to be doing 10, 15 percent of what we were doing. And that`s being optimistic.


HAYES: We keep saying on the show that one of the things I fantasize about when all of this is over is going out to eat at one my favorite restaurants.

There is a question of whether my or your favorite restaurant will even survive. A new survey from the James Beard Foundation found that only one in five restaurant owners in cities that are shut down are certain they will be able to stay in business until things get back to normal. People inside the industry are raising the alarm about a kind of restaurant apocalypse we may be witnessing.

One of those people is Tom Colicchio, award-winning restaurateur, the head judge and executive producer of "Top Chef" and he joins me now.

And Tom, everyone I have talked to in the food industry, cannot overstate how bad things are right now. What are you hearing? What are you seeing?

TOM COLICCHIO, RESTAURANT OWNER: You know, I think things are bad. There`s a dire situation out there in our industry. I`m on a conference call every morning with several chefs, several hundred chefs, across the country. And at first, we were somewhat optimistic, because we thought that the government was going to respond to our needs, and PPP was rolled out, and reality set in, so many restaurants are just not going to make it.

HAYES: What do you mean by that? Is that because the money ran out too quickly? Because the sort of first come, first serve, other folks were able to get to that needed cash?

COLICCHIO: That`s part of it. But actually if you have cash, if you actually got your loan, the mechanics of PPP doesn`t work for restaurants. First off, you have to hire your staff back by June 30. And we`re not going to be open by June 30. And so we`re probably not going to be open by August 30. So, if we bring our staff back two months that money will run out and we`ll be right back on unemployment.

What we need to do is change that date of origin back to when we actually open the restaurant, and then if we had two months of payroll being paid and rent being paid, and utilities being paid, then we may have a shot. Actually we probably four to six months, then we may have a shot. But as it is written right now, I`m going have to hire my staff back, if they want to come back because that they are going to be laid off in two months, and quite frankly right now unemployment is a pretty good deal, and so they`re not going to take a risk of coming back only to be laid off two months from now. It just doesn`t make sense.

HAYES: OK, so I think I`ve just understood something. So there is a sort of one size fits all date that is the qualifying date to kind of get that loan forgiven and what you`re saying is it just doesn`t work for your industry, because obviously restaurants are going to be one of the things that comes back much later than other sorts of small businesses.

COLICCHIO: Exactly. PPP it works if you`re open right now. Let`s just say if you have a pharmacy, maybe 50 percent of sales are depressed because of COVID-19 and your payroll is being taken care of or your rent is being taken care of, that`s great.

We`re not open. In fact, we were mandated to shut down. And I have to say, Chris, when we were asked to shut down, no one complained. We knew we had to do our part, because we knew we had to actually stop the virus or we were never going to have a business in our industry, so we all did it, and we were happy to do it.

But we`re in a very different situation than most businesses right now. You know, when you think about the amount of people that we employ. Independent restaurants employ over 11 million people in this country. That`s directly. Indirectly, when you think of farmers and fishermen and wine makers and cheese makers and all of the people that we actually employ in our total universe, it is probably closer to 20 million people. And so we`re not only talking about our jobs that are disappearing, I`m hearing from cheese makers that they`re selling -- they`re hurting, because 70 percent of their sales go to restaurants and that is cut off.

I mean you`re reading about dairy farmers just dumping milk and farmers plowing fields under. Why? Because they don`t have restaurants to service any more. And so there is a lot more than 11 million jobs at stake. And I got to tell you, what we don`t want to do is maybe get to the point where we can open up and then a month later, we`re shut down, because even when we open up, we`re looking at, what, maybe 30 percent of our business is going to come back. And so we need to plan, once we get open, to actually sustain us for a period of time as well.

HAYES: You know, it`s interesting, as you talk about this, what`s sort of coming to my mind is that there was the rescue package and there was a specific part of the package for the airline industry. And I thought in some ways that made sense, it just the airline industry is unique. It has unique challenges. It`s down 98 percent. There`s a huge amount of fixed capital that can`t come back. You know, you have all of these planes, you have got to have an airline industry.

What I`m hearing from you is that it makes me think that there actually needs to be something specifically about the parts of the economy that are going to be the ones that, like yours, that are going to be coming back the latest, in terms of how we think about rescue.

COLICCHIO: That`s absolutely right. In terms of the airline industry, one thing the government does is they have warrants (ph). So, they are going to actually make money just like the government made money on TARP, and so that`s not going to happen. They don`t want warrants (ph) in our restaurants.

But you`re absolutely right, we need a plan after -- if we fix PPP to change the date of origin. And we get at least four months of payroll protection and rent protection, then we need something further than that. And we`re going to need another plan to actually get us open, because I have to take care of my accounts payable before delivery starts coming my way again. And so it costs a good amount of money just to get the doors back open again. And we`re going to need protection for that.

And then we`re also need some protection, because we`re not going to be at nearly 100 percent -- it`s actually mandated that we`re not at 100 percent. Gavin Newsom yesterday at his press conference said that restaurants, if they did open -- when they opened, they are going to have to go do town at least 50 percent.

HAYES: Yeah, David Chang, you know, a well known chef of Mogo Fuko (ph) and other places had this great thread where he`s asking folks in places like South Korea and Taiwan, that have reopened, like what restaurant scenes look like. And yeah, it`s 25 percent, 50 percent, it`s huge placards in between people. It`s not going to be normal for a very long time and whatever rescue package has to take care of that as well.

Tom Colicchio, always -- finish up.

COLICCHIO: The question isn`t when can we open up, the question is when the public feels safe enough to gather in great numbers again. That is the big challenge right now. And that`s when we get a vaccine.

HAYES: And that is going to be a while.

Tom Colicchio, always great to talk to you. Thank you so much.

That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.