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Vanity Fair TRANSCRIPT: 4/24/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes

Guests: Katherine Eban, Cory Booker, Adam Schiff

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: And we salute you. That does it for our coverage tonight. Keep it right here though, because there`s a lot more to come and a lot going on. MSNBC`s "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes is up next.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. We are still on this Friday in the midst of one of the worst national disasters since the Second World War probably. And from the beginning, the President has wanted to wish it away. He`s wanted to tell us that we have a totally under control. As he said in January, that within a couple of days, the case count is going to be down to close to zero as he claims in February.

He tried happy talk and spin. He pretended it was not happening. And when none of that worked, and the government failed to protect us with inadequate testing, he turned his attention to finding some magic pill, some bolt from the blue cure that can make everything go away. That would make the economy and the stock market comeback that would get Donald Trump reelected.

And so he seized on some genuinely promising though very limited initial signs about this malaria drug. And day and night he and folks on Trump T.V. flogged it and pushed it.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A drug called chloroquine, and some people would add to it hydroxy, hydroxychloroquine. The nice part is it`s been around for a long time. So we know that if it -- if things don`t go as planned, it`s not going to kill anybody.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS: If I had choice, I would use it for me. And I`m only speaking for me.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS: In a lot of ways, hydroxychloroquine is the ideal medicine.

LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST, FOX NEWS: At this point, it`s come across as pretty much of a game-changer.

TRUMP: I say it, what do you have to lose? I`ll say it again, what do you have to lose? Take it. I really think they should take it.

CARLSON: Watching people in the media talk down a potentially life-saving medicine because a politician they don`t like has endorsed it is probably the most shameful thing I assume has done this for 20 years I`ve ever seen.

TRUMP: Just recently, a friend of mine told me he got better because of the use of that drugs. What do you have to lose? They`ve been taking it for 40 years for malaria. The world is out. You know, the people get it. These people don`t get it, the medial, but the people get it.


HAYES: We now know, this was not just idle speculation, it wasn`t just hype. Behind the scenes, the Trump administration was trying to force the drug on Americans, in contravention of scientific advice.

Just days ago, they ousted the doctor leading the agency involved in developing a vaccine in the midst of a pandemic, the worst in 100 years, Dr. Rick Bright who says that part of the reason that he was ousted, that he was removed from his posts in the midst of the pandemic is because he "resisted efforts to provide an unproven drug hydroxychloroquine on demand to the American public, on-demand."

Well, now we have the e-mails obtained by Vanity Fair showing the Trump administration "really wanted to flood New York and New Jersey with the drug, a drug that had not been sufficiently tested for treatment of coronavirus. In fact today, the FDA is cautioning against using that drug outside of the hospital setting, outside of a clinical trial due to the risk of heart rhythm problems.

And researchers have cut short a study of the drug citing a high risk of death on the people who are taking it. Nearly two dozen died after taking doses daily. Now, the evidence here is mixed, but that`s why it needs to be studied. And now Trump TV`s Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, you saw them all there on tape, are trying to move walk away from the notion they were pushing this drug in the first place.

But here`s the thing. The President has not given up on the idea of some magical solution, because he is incapable of thinking about this as a long- term battle that requires strategy and care and competence and expertise. Nope, he still wants the magic bullet to save him and his reelection.

So here he is yesterday just brainstorming on how to cure the coronavirus. And as you watch this, please keep your eyes on Dr. Deborah Birx, who had been up until now a long-respected public health official who decided to mortgage her entire reputation on behalf of this man.


TRUMP: Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous -- whether it`s ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said that hasn`t been checked, but you`re going to test it. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body in which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you`re going to test that too? It sounds interesting. Right?

And then I see the disinfectant knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see, it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lung, so it would be interesting to check that.


HAYES: It`s that deep breath she takes there when he says injection, an injection inside, almost a cleaning. Test that too. You guys can run that down for me. Yes, yes, as everyone has noted in the last 24 hours, that`s insane. It sounds insane. But he`s the president. That`s the guy running the country, and people listen.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency said it received several calls regarding questions about disinfectant use and COVID-19. More than 100, in fact. And companies have had to warn people not to drink or inject bleach and other disinfectants. Lysol`s parent company put out a statement, "due to recent speculation and social media activity, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfected products be administered into the human body through injection, ingestion, or any other route."

Clorox also put out a statement warning people not to put its products into their bodies. And there were also warnings from the EPA and the CDC and the surgeon general who implored people to please always talk to your health provider first before administering any treatment, medications to yourself or a loved one?

I should tell you that just today, Trump lied and said his initial comment was sarcastic even though that`s obviously not true because we all just saw the video there. And then he went ahead after lying and saying it was sarcastic and basically like once again said what he said yesterday, like maybe we check it out. I`m not a doctor, but you know, running down.

This is all happening on a day when the death toll from this virus has reached 51,000, more than 51,000 Americans died from it. He said the cases were going down to zero in February. We`re heading towards a million cases. We`re on our way to that. 26 million people have lost their jobs. And day after day after day, you`re seeing there`s no there`s no real plan.

There`s no plan or solutions coming from the White House. Instead, there is every night carried on this network and others, a two-hour pathological narcissistic propaganda show in which the President feels some fleeting sense of satisfaction because people are watching him. And then he goes back to watching more T.V.

Here with me now Katherine Eban. She`s the journalist who wrote the Vanity Fair piece about Donald Trump`s plans to push chloroquine as a treatment for coronavirus. Katherine, they`re really quite startling e-mails. What did you find?

KATHERINE EBAN, JOURNALIST, "VANITY FAIR": Nice to be with you, Chris. Thanks for having me on. The e-mails really are stunning because what they show is a very clear, high-level pressure campaign to essentially flout or circumvent regulations that are designed for patient safety, pressure on career health officials to make these drugs widely available.

And then just the plan that`s expressed in these e-mails, like, you know, want to flood New York and New Jersey with treatment courses. And, you know, that`s a final answer, essentially, to paraphrase, we`re pushing this into pharmacies. And in one e-mail saying the easy way, which is the FDA is rule matters not.

And the idea was to get this to, essentially any patient that wanted it through pharmacies, even when all of the top government clinicians and the FDA zone rules stated that they should only be used in strictly monitored hospital settings and preferably in hospital-based clinical trials.

HAYES: Right. So it`s one -- you know, it`s one thing if -- obviously, I think we all learned from the AIDS crisis, I think, right, that the FDA is the final word on innovation, risk and reward. They got a lot of things wrong there. And it was act-up folks who pushed them properly, right, out past what they were willing to do.

So it`s not like there`s some final authority here, but it was it`s clear that it`s different to say look, yes, let`s try this drug in clinical settings, let`s try it in hospitals, let`s let doctors use it and observe what happens. This is something else. This is we want to push this over the objections of the FDA and their actual regulations so that every person in this area can go to their pharmacy basically and take this outside of those sorts of supervised trials.

EBAN: That`s right. So, you know, on March 24th, the top working group of clinicians in the government, the counter -- medical countermeasures group came to an internal consensus statement saying the drugs are dangerous, they haven`t been properly studied, and they should only be used for treatment of COVID-19 in these strictly controlled hospital trials.

And despite that, it was very clear the FDA is top lawyer who was a political appointee, sent out an e-mail, here`s the plan. We`re going to, you know, hand this over to this agency to kind of create study design and the President wants to announce it from the podium. You know, it was -- I have the e-mails, link it to the White House, so the pressure campaign was pretty clear.

And, you know, career health officials were extremely concerned. They felt that this plan did not adequately protect patients, put them at risk, didn`t have enough monitoring and controls. And the drugs, I mean, this is not -- they may not be as dangerous as Clorox or Lysol, but these are drugs that come with risks of cardiac events. So there was tremendous concern.

HAYES: We should -- we should note that Dr. Bright who is heading up BARDA had been in the government since 2016 and an expert on developing vaccines, particularly against influenza-like threats. Until you`re reporting, he was basically saying, look, this is -- this is what I`m saying. This is my claim that I was removed because I stood in the way of this.

But your reporting provides the first black and white smoking gun documentary evidence that what he says was going on was going on. That there was a political plan to push the drug quote on demand. I mean, it confirms that part of it, right?

EBAN: It absolutely does. I mean, one e-mail that I obtained states from an employee in Rick Bright`s agency when the plan is unveiled, we`ve been hit by a bus. Now, we hit back. And the hitting back appears to be to try to corral this plan and change it so that the chloroquine drugs in the National Stockpile, the requirement would be they can only be used in a hospital setting.

But further e-mails show that, you know, top Trump officials are saying, forget about that rule. And let`s push it out through the distributions.

HAYES: Katherine Eban, fantastic reporting. Everyone should go read that article in those e-mails which are just unbelievably damning.

EBAN: Thank you.

HAYES: Thank you. Thank you very much.

EBAN: Thank you so much for having me.

HAYES: I want to turn now to Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey who tweeted out today "I can`t believe I have to say this, but please do not ingest or inject disinfected into your body. Only take medical advice from medical professionals."

Senator, would it be better if the president just stopped doing these dog and pony shows?

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): Yes, unequivocally, yes. He is not being constructive. And we`ve seen now that he`s putting lives at risk with that outrageous advice that just further threw gasoline on every gutter aspect of the internet, with crackpot theories about how people could be protecting themselves where at worse, throwing themselves in horrible risk.

This would be funny, it would be comical if it wasn`t for the fact that people are dying rates in my state that are still outrageous and unacceptable, and that folks are looking for hope and he`s not providing it. He is undermining a national effort to do what`s necessary to make our nation strong and safe.

HAYES: How is your -- your state is in the thick of it right now. From the -- from the case data and fatality data we have from New York State, which was the worst-hit state, it appears that it is past its plateau. It`s a little less clear in New Jersey, that that`s the case which is still in the midst of probably the worst part of the epidemic. How is your state doing?

BOOKER: Look, the New Jersey toughness and the grit here is impressive. And folks are lightworkers all around our state. And I`m talking to people from north to south and just seeing incredibly beautiful stories, but we`re still going through hell.

Not only is economic damage hurting so many families -- I talk to unions today and businesses that have laid off furloughed people, but the health crisis. I mean, God, I spent a lot of my day doing condolence calls and talking to people who are on the frontlines of the medical fight.

So this is a very difficult time where the second state in fatalities, the second-highest state in cases, and we are still a long way to go until we get through this hell. And that`s why we need a president that is going to actually offer solutions and do the things we really need them to do on the federal level.

HAYES: The President today is signing that sort of 3.5 CARES Act relief bill, which some is are seeing as a kind of follow up to the one that passed a few weeks ago to replenish some of the funding for the Payroll Protection Program for small businesses and workers as well as some money for hospitals.

But I`m starting to hear, you heard Mitch McConnell say it, I saw Ted Cruz do it like, OK, OK, enough of all this spending, enough of this helping. Mitch McConnell said he thinks that states that are in fiscal trouble should just declare bankruptcy. They should be allowed to declare bankruptcy. He called any money for those states a "blue state bailout."

What Do you think about this idea that they`re just going to tell the states across the nation, though, you guys should just go declare bankruptcy, you got to fire all your workers, you have to do it?

BOOKER: That`s ridiculous. So, when hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast, a so- called red state, Florida, I voted for massive resources to infuse into those states to help with their crisis as we should. Right now, in our state and a number of states, we`re in a jeopardy of going to such a financial crisis that we lay off critical workers, ambulance drivers, firefighters, teachers, police officers.

Think about this for a second. We are a country that quickly bailed out some of the biggest businesses and corporations we have. But when it comes to truly essential work workers, a leader in our federal government has just said you`re expendable. Well, I`m telling you right now, that`s just not the case.

If we do not get critical money, the regions of our country like ours that are getting hit by a hell of a storm, greater than any anything we`ve seen in our lifetime, taking more lives in war`s take, and our federal government can`t step up for these families and communities were being protected by those folks and served in essential ways by those folks, that is so un-American and such an affront to our ideals as a nation.

And so this is going to be one hell of a fight. But there`s no way you`re going to sell out the workers who are doing the toughest jobs and putting themselves at risk right when we need them right now.

HAYES: Final question about where your state is. Governor Phil Murphy was talking about some money that was from earmark from New Jersey in one of the previous relief bills, I think about $1.2 billion because of some technical strings attached to it in a statutory census is likely unusable. What do you know about that? Are you working on that? What`s that mean?

BOOKER: Yes. This was part of a tough negotiation in the first CARES Act, where Mitch McConnell bought -- he`s now brought two bills to the floor, Democrats stop them, and we`re able to get more things into them. And one of the things we were able to get in was funding for state and local governments.

The challenge was would that be flexible dollars or not? We got a lot of assurances that when Treasury would write the rules, they would write them in a way that would be flexible enough that New Jersey could actually use those monies to deal with the crisis we have. Unfortunately, we got the treasurer, but it was not -- it doesn`t seem to have been honored.

HAYES: Wow. Well, that seems like a big deal.

BOOKER: That`s an understatement. When -- again, when we have -- you know, I`m sitting here in Newark, New Jersey and my -- the largest city in the state, that just said that their expenditures are going so far up, the revenues are starting to go down. They`re in danger of laying off critical workers.

I mean, if firefighters get laid off, those people that are doing the frontline work, I mean, we`re basically saying as a country that larger corporations who got hundreds of billions of dollars, that`s something that the Republicans in the Senate can support, but not frontline workers. That doesn`t make sense to me. We`re better than that as a country, and we`ve got to step up and support states.

HAYES: We`re going to find out if we are. Senator Cory Booker, thank you for making some time tonight.

BOOKER: Thank you very much, Chris. As always, I really appreciate your reporting.

HAYES: Ahead, just three months from his impeachment acquittal, remember that, President Trump`s corruption continues. The man who warned us about this exact situation, Congressman Adam Schiff joins me next.


HAYES: Do you remember when the President was impeached earlier this year, just the third time in American history? That impeachment trial ended back in the beginning of February, less than three months ago. If you could believe it. It sure feels like another lifetime.

But here`s the thing. If you go back and you look at what the President was impeached for, all of the dangerous and vicious tendencies, like putting his own personal political interest above the national public interest, and his fundamental inability to distinguish between the two, running roughshod over career civil servants, retaliation against whistleblowers, all the self-serving corruption, all of that is what we`re seeing on deadly display right now, day after day.

Because you cannot trust them to do what is right. That is what impeachment manager Adam Schiff warned us about back in January.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): And you know, you can`t trust this president do what`s right for this country. You can trust he will do what`s right for Donald Trump. He`ll do it now, he`s done it before, he`ll do it for the next several months, he`ll do it in the election if he`s allowed to. This is why if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Because right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise, we are lost.


HAYES: And everywhere you look, of course, there`s the specter of corrupt intent in everything the President does, a self-serving desire to put his political future above anything else even in the middle of pandemic that`s killing tens of thousands of our fellow Americans.

Today, for instance, we learned the president just owes tens of millions of dollars from the bank of China and that the loan is due in the middle of what could be Trump`s second term, which, who knows, I genuinely don`t know, it might or might not explain why the President praise China and its leaders at least 15 times as this virus is spreading, even though when he wants to memory hole that now. You never know.

One of the nation`s leading vaccine expert who was just a motive, we were just talking about last block, told us he had to resist a push to "fund potentially dangerous drugs -- listen to this -- promoted by those with political connections. The president was pushing a drug with unknown side effects apparently because people around him would profit at least in part, just like the President`s associates running around Ukraine trying to dislodge ambassadors and score lucrative business deals, right? It`s the same thing. And there`s so much more. We were warned.

Democrats in Congress impeach President Trump and 52 -- 53 Republican senators voted to keep him there. And now here we are, again. Joining me now, the man have warned us about the president, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Adam Schiff, Democrat of California.

I wonder, Congressman, how you think about what happened a few months ago, that episode which seems like all things on the other side of this fence in time of before after the pandemic at the U.S.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): There`s one thing that really I have to say haunts me from that trial and it was before that snippet that you showed, where we knew we had to answer the question to the senators, OK, essentially, House managers, you proved him guilty, does he really need to be removed? After all, we have an election in nine months, how much damage would he really do?

And we posed that question to the Senate, and we answered it by saying that he could do an awful lot of damage, but frankly, Chris, I don`t think we had any idea how much damage he would go on to do in the months ahead.

There are 50,000 Americans now who are dead in significant part because of his incompetence, because of his inability to think beyond himself and put the country first. I don`t think we would have ever anticipated that his brand of narcissism and his brand of incompetence, sometimes his brand and malevolence would be so fatal to the American people.

But probably, you know, the strongest echo of what we were talking about during the trial was when he was earlier talking about how he didn`t want to return the calls from governors, he didn`t want his vice president to return calls from governors that weren`t saying nice things about him, that really weren`t saying things about him that he could then turn into campaign commercials, as indeed he has.

That was such a profound and disturbing echo of what he tried to do with Ukraine. So sadly, you know, as we pointed out during the trial, a man with no moral compass will never find his way. And this president certainly hasn`t.

HAYES: You know, what I`m struck by as I remember back and think about that then and now, is that the one argument that was -- it was not a very good argument that Republicans made, but it was at least -- at least granted the facts such as they were defensible in that way, which was that, well, he didn`t really get away with it in the end, right? That it all -- it all didn`t come to some big, you know, geopolitical explosion and he didn`t actually get them to roll over and do the interview to go after his chief political rival. It was kind of a near miss.

And I keep being haunted by that because it was true. And the stakes of it ultimately in what happened, I mean, it did damage our relationship. But here, it didn`t happen. I mean, there was no getting out. The stakes weren`t small. It wasn`t a near miss, we got hit.

SCHIFF: Well, that`s exactly right. I have to think that his disbanding of that pandemic office within the White House and the National Security Council that was meant to be a tripwire for a potential pandemic that had been established under the Obama administration, he had to get rid of because it was a product of the Obama administration and the fundamental insecurity he has towards his predecessor meant he had to do away with anything associated with President Obama.

Well, that left the nation unprotected. And when the virus did hit, all of the happy talk, all the wishing it away, all of the leaving our country vulnerable because he thought that was politically advantageous was so true to form. His character will not change, he won`t change. And now it is that such tragic and deadly consequences.

HAYES: This idea about, you know, what can you do for me or not, everything being dependent on favoritism and cronyism, which is actually the way that you know, before a lot of reforms U.S. government particularly in terms of the instantiation of the civil service in the late 19th century that a lot of federal government functioned, a lot of corrupt machines in city politics and states have functioned. But this headline today, this is in the midst of the pandemic that the connections matter for getting a crucial equipment. Want a mass contract or some ventilators? A White House connection helps. What do you think about the ways in which life-saving crucial information and equipment are being a portion around the country? Can you put any faith that it is being done based on science or sort of neutral standards?

SCHIFF: Well, you know, you really can`t. I mean, you can`t have confidence with this president that either contracts are going out to those that are most capable of producing the gear instead of cronies or friends of the President. You can have confidence that money that`s going out to preserve jobs and industry is going to go out on the basis of need rather than the basis of favoring friends and punishing enemies.

You can`t have confidence that ventilators are being allocated to states or protective gear on the basis of those states that are most in need. You simply can`t have that confidence with this president. There`s too much evidence to the contrary. That`s not how he thinks.

Indeed, I think he thinks that people that operate that way that operate in the national income is not their personal interests are somehow dupes, but that is just not who he is. And that`s not going to change. So you know we have, I think a desperate responsibility right now to do everything we can in congress to oversee these expenditures, to use what leverage we have on the budget process to insist on accountability. But he is true to form as he was retaliating against whistle-blowers months ago, he is retaliating against them now as he was going against inspector generals months ago. He is firing them now. And you can only imagine what he will try to do to interfere with the investigation involving Dr. Bright and his complaint that administration was pushing this cure that turns out in the early experience in the VA to be doing more harm than good.

HAYES:  Congressman Adam Schiff, thank you for joining us tonight.

SCHIFF:  Thanks, Chris.

HAYES:  Coming up, we`re learning more and more about how the Coronavirus spreads, how the masks we`re all wearing may be affecting that spread and we`ll talk about what we`re learning and fascinating new studies, next. Don`t go anywhere.


HAYES:  We are still coming to understand the features and characteristics and traits of this virus that has upended the world. But there has been this open and ongoing question about how you catch it, right? I mean, we know that it`s transmitted in all kinds of ways, but just how contagious is it and people are wiping down their mail and their packages, they worry in the parks if people jog too close to them outside and all of that might be vectors of transmission. It looks like it`s possible. But , increasingly, it seems the main method of transmission, the way it`s mainly being transmitted is saliva droplets spread through air being expelled by people with coughs and sneezes.

NBC News correspondent Kerry Sanders did this amazing segment breaking down what that looks like and how that works.


KERRY SANDERS, NBC NEWS CORREPSONDENT:  The engineering professors use a dummy to simulate the cough droplets we all create.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Three, two, one.

SANDERS:  The FAU team uses a laser to follow how far those droplets travel. What you`re looking at is a mixture of water and glycerin that creates smoke 10 to 20 microns in size, the same size and weight of the smaller droplets of fluid we expel when we cough.

The simulation shows the projection three feet traveled in less than two seconds. Within 12 seconds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That`s at six feet.

SANDERS:  And in 41 seconds.

SANDERS:  There we go, nine feet. And that was a cough, would you say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That was a heavy, heavy cough.

SANDERS:  In some tests we saw the cough travel up to 12 feet. Increasingly, masks are commonplace. Remember, the use of a mask is to protect other people, not you. It doesn`t stop it 100 percent, but you can see how it dissipates a cough.


HAYES:  Masks do appear to make a difference for precisely that reason in terms of you transmitting it. And this remarkable new study from South Korea shows how prolonged indoor exposure, people sitting in close quarters, right, so breathing the air around each other, is a main pathway of the virus.

This is from a call center in South Korea. Look at the map of people. All of the blue chairs are people who got infected, and look how clustered together most of them are, just sitting right next to each other working basically on top of each other.

Joining me now to talk about what we know about Coronavirus transmission is Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist and associate research scientist at Columbia University`s Mailman School of Public Health.

So maybe start, Dr. Rasmussen, with the sort of overview about, like, what are the main vectors? What do we think is the main thing that is transmitting the virus. The highest risk stuff. And then we can move towards the possible, but not the thing that`s driving infection.


The primary mode of transmission for this virus is respiratory droplets, as you just stated, and that study from South Korea really demonstrates that.

So, you have a lot of people in one room getting infected while the other rooms on the same floor were not as affected. That suggests that this is not small particle aerosols that are hanging around in the air, circulating through the building and the air conditioning system, this is really transmission of those types of respiratory droplets, those larger particles, from people who are all in the same space together sharing the same space.

And we think that largely, most of the transmission is driven by this method.

HAYES:  And that makes me -- as we`re learning about this and thinking about this and thinking about what the world looks like right after lock- down. You know, it makes you think about subway cars and crowded buses. It makes you think about concert venues, certainly, but even big college lecture classes, someone sits there for an hour and a half, it really sort of to me puts into focus workplaces where they don`t have, you know, actual offices. All the places that look like they`re probably going to be the most high risk. Is that fair?

RASMUSSEN:  That`s very fair.

I think one of the things that this study really underscores is how effective these physical distancing and stay at home measures really are for reducing the spread of this illness. And in an office environment, in crowds like you just mentioned, with all of those examples appear to be really good circumstances in which the virus can be transmitted to a variety of people.

HAYES:  The good news here, it seems to me is, is what we`re learning about outdoor transmission and sunlight and what the risks are if you`re, say, outside in a park and people are jogging past and they jog closer than six feet, which happens. And it does seem -- I mean, obviously people should stay far away, but it does seem that in general, like being outside and keeping your distance from people is pretty safe all things considered.

RASMUSSEN:  I think so. I mean, the risk is not zero, certainly. Any time you`re exposed to another person`s respiratory droplets, there is a measurable risk. However, what we have learned about sunlight as well as all the other variables in the outdoor environments, so wind, humidity, temperature, that sort of thing, all of those can affect the amount of virus that you were exposed to.

And if you`re not exposed to enough virus to actually initiate an infection, you`re likely to not be infected.

HAYES:  This gets to the surface of this question, and I know that some people, like obviously in workplaces, like if we go back to that call center, those surfaces are close to each other. People are maybe sneezing on a keyboard, and another person is using it. But surfaces of say packages, mail, things like that, I mean, again, the risk is not zero, I don`t want to suggest that to anyone, but that seems further along the spectrum of low risk if we`re sort of categorizing them. Is that fair?

RASSMUSEN:  I think that`s very fair. It really a matter of probability. So, you have to think what are the odds that your package handler is infected with Coronavirus. They touch it. They`re not touching their hands all over the entire package. They`re touching one part of it. So, what are the odds you`re going to touch that exact same spot, get enough virus onto your hands to establish an infection, then touch your nose in an amount of time that that virus is still going ton infectious, those odds are fairly good in terms of you not getting infected.

So, I think that touching packages, touching groceries, things like that are relatively low risk activities, particularly when coupled with good hand hygiene.

HAYES:  I think that part of it, the outdoor stuff, the packages stuff is sort of like anxiety reducing, but when you try to think about like how a business that has a huge bullpen that looks like that one in the call center is going to safely bring everyone back, that is a real head scratcher.

Dr. Angela Rasmussen, thank you for sharing your expertise with us tonight. We really appreciate it.

RASMUSSEN:  My pleasure.

HAYES:  Still ahead, the presidential election rolls on amidst the Coronavirus pandemic and the latest swing state polling has the Trump campaign under water. New numbers on the pandemic election ahead.


HAYES:  We`ve been trying to take time each week amidst this pandemic to commemorate some people that we have lost to this illness. It is an overwhelming amount of grief for the nation and for the loved ones, of course, of those who have died. But here are some of those people and a few of their stories.

Skylar Herbert, she was just 5-years-old. You might have heard about her. The daughter of a Detroit police officer and firefighter. She`s believed to be the youngest person in Michigan to die from Coronavirus. Skylar loved to dance and going to kindergarten. Her family described her as bubbly and feisty. She could take over a room, her grandmother.

Phillip Thomas. He was 48-years-old when he passed late last month. He was a resident of Chicago and worked at Walmart for nearly a decade. Philip`s sister says he and his co-workers were like a family and she wants people to know that he is not a statistic or a number, he was a great man.

Annie Grant, she worked at a Tyson Foods poultry plant in Georgia for nearly 15 years to provide a future for her children. One of her sons, Willie Martin, said his mother felt pressure to keep working after she fell ill. He says he watched his mother take her last breath on his phone. Annie Grant was 55-years-old.

Sammy Hooker was 89-years-old when she past the last week in Illinois. She was an endlessly dedicate the mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She was married for 70 years. Her family described her as smart, sweet and sassy. She volunteered for many years as a hospice caregiver what she described as the most fulfilling work of her life. Sammy Hooker was the grandmother of Amy Hooker who is a very talented producer here at All In.

Maria Ineida Pineida (ph) of Brooklyn, New York was 71-years-old. She emigrated to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic at a young age, became a proud American citizen, mother of two and grandmother of six, Maria loved to cook. Her generosity was legendary among friends and neighbors who she was delivering goodies to a week before she went to the hospital. And her niece Tonya McFarland is our outstanding technical production manager.

Donald Reed Herring, you may have heard of him as well, he was the other brother of Senator Elizabeth Warren. The Senator she described him as charming, funny and a natural leader. He was a career officer in the Air Force who flew combat missions in Vietnam. He died earlier this week at the age of 86.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  After all these years...

WARREN:  I never saw this.


WARREN:  Did you see this typed up? I bet you daddy did this. The Herring Production Company announces the 1933 Herring, quote, "baby boy model number one. Don Herring designer and chief engineer, Pauline Herring, production manager.



HAYES:  This morning Ronna Romney McDaniel, who is the chair of the Republican National Committee, tweeted out what I thought would be a kind of funny and strange re-election message, quote, "we have a decision as to who will restore our economy after this pandemic. Donald Trump has already done it once and he is definitely the right person to do it again."

I mean, first of all Donald Trump didn`t restore the economy. In fact, he inherited a recovery that Barack Obama had started. Barack Obama had to sort of restore the economy.

But it`s also just a really strange re-election message, like what happened under his watch, right? For a guy who is going to run on the slogan keep America great, and right now there`s tens of thousands of Americans who have lost their lives and nearly a million who have had the disease when this is all over and Trump has mismanaged all of this, there`s more than 26 million Americans who filed for unemployment over the last five weeks.

Congressional Budget Office now is estimating the gross domestic product will plunge by nearly 40 percent in the second quarter.

So it`s really hard to argue you`re going to keep America great under those circumstances, and recent polling reflects that. NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released a few days ago shows Biden with a 7-point lead over Trump in a national head-to-head match-up. Perhaps the most worrisome number for the president comes from a new Fox poll, which shows Trump losing to Biden in Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania all while Joe Biden has not been particularly present in the national conversation, which may not be a bad strategy, to be honest.

Joining me now to talk more about this, Sam Seder, host of The Majority Report podcast. And Sam, there`s been a bunch of reporting, I`ve seen a lot of where is Joe Biden stuff. Part of this is just, it`s hard to break through on anything right now. There is the virus is so, you know, overwhelming in terms of our news coverage and everyone`s.

But it also strikes me that like this election was always going to be a referendum on Donald Trump. You know, all re-elections are sort of referendums on the incumbent, but never has that been more the case than right now during this pandemic. What do you think?

SAM SEDER, HOST, "THE MAJORITY REPORT":  Yeah. I mean, I think that is the case, more than likely. I think the Trump campaign was always going to attempt to rather than sell themselves make it about their opponent regardless of who it was going to be. And, you know, for now snapshot that we`ve taken. But we really have no idea what the campaign is going to look like three months from now, four months from now.

And, you know, you could argue that Joe Biden is following a strategy that is a choice, or you could argue that Joe Biden is following a strategy because it`s really the only one that he has at this point.

HAYES:  I think that`s probably right. I mean, I think it`s both a choice and it`s the one they have right now.

I mean, the thing that I keep thinking about this election, and again I completely agree with you, I have no idea what the campaign looks like in three months, what the country looks like.

SEDER:  Right.

HAYES:  What the world looks like. What anything looks like, right?

But one thing that I now feel laser focused on is if you`re Joe Biden and the Democratic Party, there are now two tasks ahead of you, one after the other, both of them hard -- defeating Trump and then dealing with a country that is in wreckage, and it`s the second time in 12 years you`re going to have to do that, and you better get ready for both of those things.

SEDER:  I mean, look, I think there is a -- there`s an internal logic to the idea of like we`re going to let Donald Trump do damage to himself and stand out of the way. But there`s a risk associated with that too, because we`re going to need a plan going forward. And it`s unclear that Joe Biden is putting out a sense that he has a plan.

I mean, look, it`s tough to break through, no doubt about it. But Andrew Cuomo is out there doing this every day. And, you know, there are options for Biden to go out and do it.

Now, yes, it involves a certain amount of risk, because you are creating theoretically a target. But it`s not like they`re doing absolutely nothing. I mean, someone released that he`s meeting with Larry Summers. And I don`t know who that`s supposed to help in this situation.

But Joe Biden, you know, to the extent that he needs to do anything, he needs to shore up his base on some level. And, you know, I doubt it was the Biden campaign that released the fact that they`re meeting with Larry Summers. I hope not. Because I can`t possibly imagine what the value of that is, except to alienate people who remember Larry Summers from the last go around.

HAYES:  Well, that`s -- I mean, the Summers news to me was upsetting, or disconcerting, less on the politics of it, which -- moving that aside, on that second question, because that to me is like -- again, two tasks in front of Biden and the Democratic Party -- beat Trump and then get governing against a Republican opposition that will be implacable and vicious, as they were 12 years ago. And the same ideological turn-about, where all of a sudden where`s the money coming from? Deficits, oh, well extended unemployment is about skills mismatch. And Summers got that wrong the last time.

Like if there`s anything that has to happen here, it`s the lessons from the very difficult period of the first few years of Barack Obama and Joe Biden`s administration, which was very hard to be learned and applied this time around.

SEDER:  Right. And, you know, I take your point in terms of the politics of it. But to the extent there are politics of it, it`s the progressive wing of the party that seems to have the longest memory when it comes to Larry Summers.

And so, yes, I worry about it from a policy perspective. I worry about it from a political perspective.

I mean, look, the Democrats right now are playing sort of four corners, right? They`re just basically holding the ball, staying out of the way and trying to run out the clock. It`s a strategy, but it`s a risky one because to a certain extent someone has to step up and create a foil for Donald Trump, in part for political reasons, but also from a policy standpoint.

I mean, this isn`t going to land. This whole crisis is not going to land on its own. Somebody needs to step up and create some pressure, at the very least from a policy perspective.

HAYES:  And I think -- and I think the fights the Democrats in congress have picked, some have been very good, and they have been right on the merits, some of them they have avoided, some of them they have lost. but you`re going to have to have more political fights. And I understand the urgency of speed and consensus and unanimous consent, I really get that. There`s a million calculations going on.

But as this goes further and particularly as the campaign takes shape, like clear distinctions and fights about what the future is are going to be absolutely essential in terms of determining what this campaign is.

Sam Seder sporting a very fetching quarantine beard on this Friday night. Thank you for joining us.

SEDER:  Thank you.

HAYES:  That is All In for this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show" starts right now.