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Floyd killing TRANSCRIPT: 5/29/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes

Guests: Cory Booker, Keith Ellison, Alicia Garza, Adam Serwer, Ashish Jha

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: And I`ll be joining Lawrence O`Donnell tonight at 10:00 p.m. And we`ll be back here tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. for "A.M. JOY." So much to do. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes is up next.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, on ALL IN. America in crisis under Donald Trump. A raging pandemic protests around the country defining the failures of this presidency. Senator Cory Booker on this moment and how to find our way through.

Plus, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on the murder charge for the Minneapolis police officer, Alicia Garza from Black Lives Matter, Dr. Ashish Jha on the increase from infections and new hotspots. And Adam Serwer on whether there could possibly be a worse person in the Oval Office right now. When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. As the pandemic descended on the country, in our government, and our president just utterly failed to protect us, it felt like we had entered by far the worst phase of the Trump presidency. Something even worse, darker, more dangerous than what had come before it. And yet somehow, somehow, the last few days have felt even worse.

Unrest in the streets of Minneapolis, the police station burned down last night as a community responded with grief and outrage and anger to the killing of George Floyd. The indelible, enraging image of that white police officer with his knee on the neck of a black man who was saying "I can`t breathe" until his life was snuffed out his hands in his pockets.

We learned today that the officer allegedly had his knee on Floyd`s neck for two minutes and 53 seconds after Floyd became nonresponsive, keeping his knee on his neck, all that time as he was dying. And as a nation grapples with yet another killing of a black American by a police officer and masses of people once again take to the streets across the country tonight in protest, the background condition is that the pandemic is still out there. It hasn`t gone anywhere. It hasn`t stopped in any real way.

While different places are opening up, there are still places where the virus is surging, including in George Floyd`s home state of Minnesota. And you cannot find someone worse at this moment to be president than the person we have. The man who tweeted last night that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts, a callback to a racist line from a police chief in the 1960s, as well as infamous segregationist George Wallace who used that phrase in his 1968 presidential campaign.

I should note that Trump kind of tried to walk that back today, sort of, from a press conferences afternoon where he suddenly departed without taking a single question from reporters who shouted questions about the situation in Minnesota as he walked away, having announced the U.S. is pulling out of the World Health Organization in the midst of a pandemic. Trump then later read from a prepared statement expressing sympathy for the Floyd family, also vowing that "law and order will prevail."

The President`s approach to this comes as zero surprise to anyone who`s followed his trajectory from birtherism, to his demonization of immigrants, to his defense of white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville to his literally instructing police officers to violently abused people in their custody.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you`re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand, like, don`t hit their head and they`ve just killed somebody, don`t hit their head. I said, you could take the hand away, OK.


HAYES: What a funny riff. The person with the country`s most important job is the worst person imaginable for this moment. And it just feels today over the last 48 hours like something is breaking in front of us, or even more correctly, that things that have been broken for a very, very long time or somehow getting more broken.

The country in the a once in a century capitalism, 40 million people out of work in 10 weeks. We`ve never seen that before. More than 1.7 million infected by the virus, 103,000 dead over the course of just about three months. And the dead and the sick are disproportionately African American, Latino people, people on the frontlines have to work, driving buses in Detroit, or meatpacking. They`ve been hit hardest by the pandemic. The exact same fellow Americans disproportionately that die at the hands of the police officers.

And we have a president whose entire political career, all of it, revolves around berating and demonizing and insulting that same group of our fellow Americans. Without any leadership, it is left to everybody else to do what we can in favor of justice and democracy to just kind of soldier on day by day.

That`s how things have been now for years, for particularly months in the pandemic, whether that`s the small things that we do to protect ourselves from the virus and the choices that we try to make to protect loved ones, and our fellow citizens, were to protest the outrageous injustice of a man dead at the hands of the state amidst a pandemic crowded around other people which itself is a risk. Just as we`re all trying to wrestle through this to try to do our best.

Those protests continued across the nation today. They appear to have had some effect. Today, the ex-Minneapolis police officer who held his knee on George Floyd`s neck as he was dying, Derek Chauvin, was arrested charged with manslaughter and third-degree murder. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the investigation of the other three officers present was ongoing.


MIKE FREEMAN, HENNEPIN COUNTY ATTORNEY: It`s the fastest we`ve ever charged a police officer, OK. Normally these cases can take nine months to a year. We have to charge these cases very carefully because we have a difficult burden of proof.


HAYES: Joining me now for what we have witnessed in Minneapolis, what we`ve heard from the White House, Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey. Senator, I was anxious to talk to you tonight because I think you have a lot of experience thinking about all this, about policing, particularly when you`re in the mayor of Newark, particularly the ways that we talk to each other and about each other and protest. What do you think? How have you felt just personally watching what`s unfolded over this week?

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): You know, it`s gut-wrenching, and it`s deeply painful. And I think what`s painful about it is the frustration that yet another black man has died, unarmed black man at the hands of police officers. And immediately the rightful thing were outraged about this incident.

But I`ve seen this pattern play out where you see an uproar of outrage, but then we get back into a regular system where we don`t understand that this is not a sometimes thing. This kind of racism, this kind of bigotry is so institutionalized that it puts so many of our fellow countrymen and women at risk every day.

And it`s our criminal justice system, which I know you know so much about, but it`s our healthcare system as well with black women dying four times the rate in childbirth than white women. It`s in our environment as well. Still race is the best indicator if you are going to live around a toxic environment or toxic dump.

We have deep problems in our country, and what is heartbreaking to me is the utter lack of urgency to do something about it. We know that there are practical things we can do to create deeper accountability, transparency, and frankly, policing in this country to improve it and bring it into the 21st century.

Indeed, President Obama had an entire task force that came up with dozens of recommendations, none of which we`ve seen on the federal level put into place. And so, I see a lot of consternation right now. A lot of people talking about the protesters and talking about some of the violence that`s going on. And I condemn violence in every form. But God bless America. Can`t we realize that we also need to condemned the conditions that make such protest, such outrage, such irregular thing in our country?

HAYES: You`ve spoken a lot, I think, sort of thematically, both in your public life and during your presidential campaign and as a senator about kind of trying to find common ground. And it`s been interesting to watch the development of the story, which I`ve seen this before. I remember actually, this happened with Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, which is at the beginning of the initial response was actually quite sort of unanimous.

I mean, people watch that video and thought that that`s wrong. I`ve seen Conservatives say that, I`ve seen Liberals say that, I`ve seen all sorts of people say that. They look at that video, they say this is wrong. That`s unjust and wrong and terrible.

And then as time goes on, this sort of sorting happens. You see conservative media particularly conservative politicians talking about the looting or the rioting or burning buildings and that`s the -- that becomes the focus, and liberals and others talk about racial injustice and racial equity. Like, what is your reaction to watching that sorting happening, particularly when it is encouraged so explicitly and so grossly by the President?

BOOKER: Well, the President doesn`t surprise me. There`s nothing he can do anymore that can surprise me, shock me. He`s incapable of breaking my heart. But I am a big believer. I say all the time. If America hasn`t broken your heart, you don`t love her enough because there are deep and justices.

And look the reality for issues like this as time goes on beyond this is going to be the test of whether we understand that peace is not merely the absence of violence, it`s the presence of justice. And so many people are living in this -- in this country without peace, with every single day fear.

I thought a lot about this last day or two about just my regret that I am now -- it`s been 30, 40 years since my parents had this conversation with me, where there was fear in their eyes. When I realized that my parents, my heroes, were afraid of police officers, and I had that conversation.

I wish we lived in a nation that 30-plus years later, there weren`t still hundreds of thousands of parents feeling like they have to teach their black boys about how not to get killed by police. And so there`s a consensus, and I know this from friends of mine on the other side of the aisle, that hey, they know racism exists, but I`m not a racist.

The question if racism exists is not are you or are you not a racist, it`s are you or are you not doing something about racism? Because racism and the toxins that promote such injustice as in our society, don`t just go away. You have to be -- it`s not enough not to be a racist, as Angela Davis said, you have to be anti-racist. You have to be actively confronting the truth within our society raising it up so there can be a deeper healing. And finding a constructive language for our country to have conversations not only after some horrific act of violence, but in the aftermath of that to prevent more acts of violence to come.

We have -- we have work to do in this nation to heal and to come together and to realize we belong to each other and we need each other. But right now, the data that we see from employment information all the way to the marijuana laws were no difference between blacks or whites for using the drug, but there was -- there was a more marijuana arrest in 2017 than all violent crime arrests combined. And blacks were four times more likely to be arrested for it.

So these are our data points that do not speak to the heart and the grievous realities that each one of those data points impact the lives of people who are being destroyed, who can`t get a job, can`t get a loan from the bank for doing things to the last three presidents admitted to doing.

And so there has to be people right now who are sitting at home watching this, watching what`s going in, they cannot allow their inability to do everything about the problem of racism in America, to stop them from doing something more than they did in the last stretch since the last videotape captured, what is a regular occurrence in America. If you are not changing, then nothing will change in this country.

HAYES: Senator Cory Booker who joins us from his hometown of Newark, New Jersey tonight, where he was the mayor, oversaw that police department. They`re putting in place some very interesting reforms that he could read up on and is now the senator from New Jersey. Senator, as always, thank you for your time.

BOOKER: No, thank you. And you have been our truth-teller on this issue, even when it was not comfortable and convenient or the news of the day, and that`s what we need right now, Chris. So thank you for pushing this. And let`s make sure three or four months from now, it doesn`t just pass from the headlines. I hope you and I can continue to be agents to inspire the consciousness of others so we can do something really about this and make real change.

HAYES: Thank you, Senator.

BOOKER: Thank you.

HAYES: Joining me now for more on the arrest of the former Minneapolis police officers is Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. And Attorney General, let me -- let me first get your response. I mean, it`s sort of a whiplash experience. Yesterday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman saying, look, this takes time. We have to sort through this. Today, they announced the arrest. Your response.

KEITH ELLISON, ATTORNEY GENERAL, MINNESOTA: Well, I think that one of the things all the protesters have been calling for is an arrest and a charge. In this case, that has happened. You know, murder in this particular degree of it carries with it a statutory maximum of 25 years. There is a guideline -- recommended sentence, presumptive sentence of somewhere between 12 and a half to 15 years. This is a serious charge with serious time associated with it.

And the investigation is ongoing. There`s a parallel federal investigation. But even with all that, with the discharge of the officers -- the four officers` discharge, the ongoing investigation against the other three, that`s still not going to be enough to make people feel like we are on the road to a more just Minnesota.

So we need to really dig into the structural change, implement those core police reforms and other reforms. And that`s what I`m committed to tonight and into the future.

HAYES: I want to ask your -- just to get your reaction to -- and I understand obviously, as the attorney general, there are some things that you sort of can`t say or interfere. But there`s a -- there`s a medical finding which is a very cursory and preliminary medical investigation that is part of the charging document.

It is not a full autopsy as far as I can understand, but it`s a strange -- I mean it is a full autopsy but it`s not a full medical report. It says, "The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions, and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death." A lot of people have found that a very, very strange set of sentences. What do you think?

ELLISON: What I think is you find your -- you take your victims as you find them. I mean, if somebody has some sort of underlying health issue, and you commit a crime against them, which causes their death, then you are on the hook for that, regardless as to whether or not a healthier person would have survived it or not.

I think that you know, you deal with your victim, as you find that victim, and if they have some fragility, that -- you shouldn`t have ever harmed him in the first place. So, I guess I`m not as alarmed as some others might be. But the real question is that man was breathing and talking and walking and engaging, and pleading for help, and calling for -- he pleaded for his life, even called for his mother, said somebody was -- he was going to kill him. And then suddenly, we saw the light drained out of him as that knee stayed firmly fixed on his neck.

So, you know, the bottom line is, yes, you know, I think that I`m not particularly alarmed. I think that the report does not say that he -- that it was a mere coincidence that he died at the moment that that knee was jammed into his neck. The knee played a role. And if he would have been treated with justice and fairness, decency and respect, I think we`d have him sitting here still.

HAYES: The National Guard has been called in. National Guard officers arrested CNN reporters last night. They discharged them with a kind of apology, I guess, although it seems like a truly egregious happenstance. What do you see as your role as attorney general in the state right now in terms of what is happening in your -- in your state night after night?

ELLISON: Well, I have a -- I have a technical role. And then I have, I think, just a role as a statewide officeholder who people have been trusted with a constitutional office and who looked to me for guidance on how our state should go forward, along with others as well.

But that -- but my technical role as attorney general is that the counties can refer cases to me, the governor can refer cases to me. I represent the Commission -- the Commissioner of Public Safety and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is the lead investigative organization in this particular case.

The Minneapolis police are not the investigative body here. I`m not the primary prosecuting authority, but it`s potential that I could be. But you know, the case is going on by now so we`re supporting those folks who are leading that investigation and prosecution.

But beyond that, you know, I`ve done things like joined with the Commissioner of Public Safety, to have a working group on reducing and preventing deadly force encounters with the police. You know, I would recommend people to read that report. It`s on my Web site. We issued it in February 2020. Both of us are African American men, and we got into these high political jobs.

And we said, what good is it us to be in these jobs if we don`t take on this issue of police violence and police accountability, and so we did. And it`s why people told us to leave that alone, because all you got to do is make both sides mad. But we trudged on and we got through it, but we got some great recommendations.

And now I think, you know, this tragic situation with Mr. Floyd is proof positive that we`ve got to implement these recommendations. We`ve got to move into implementation. And we also got to look at the pattern and practice within the Minneapolis Police Department. I will say that the police chief is a reformer. He`s an awesome guy. He actually had to sue for discrimination when he -- before he was the chief. But there is an underlying culture that is very difficult for him or the mayor to deal with. And so, I think, you know, I need to call that to attention.

HAYES: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, former Congressman Keith Ellison, whose son is now a member of the city council, who he got to talk to last night and was --

ELLISON: He`s awesome.

HAYES: He was -- he was extremely, extremely impressive. Thank you, Attorney General. I appreciate it.

ELLISON: Anytime. See you later, man.

HAYES: All right. See you. Coming up, protests around the country following national outcry over the death of George Floyd as well as Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. I`ll talk to Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement about what looks like what could be a tipping point moment right after this.


HAYES: There are protests around the country tonight again over the killing of George Floyd in police custody, although not just over that specific incident. These protests have been building for days. There`s been a particularly large showing in Louisville, Kentucky where Brianna Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT was killed in mid-March after police force their way into her home in the middle of the night executing a drug search warrant. No drugs were found and her boyfriend, a licensed gun owner, was arrested for assault and attempted murder when he returned fire. Those charges against him were dismissed just days ago.

We also continue to see some truly harrowing moments amidst the -- amid the mostly peaceful protests. Seven people were shocked during those same protests in Louisville last night, unclear who was doing the shooting. On downtown Denver yesterday, and SUV driver appears to deliberately swerved to try and run down a protester.

Tonight, we`re seeing protests in the streets of Houston. George Floyd hails from originally, protests in New York City where protesters took the streets in downtown Manhattan have now crossed over into Brooklyn as well as this powerful scene in Atlanta.

So far, this week appears to have been the largest sustained nationwide protest against police violence in the Trump era. Joining me now is Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement, who now leads Black Futures Lab. Alicia, you and I have spoken before on this topic, and we -- you were on my podcast about it. And protests like this were so much of the part of our national shared political and public life and struggle during 14 -- 2014, 2015, 2016. They have been less present I think it`s fair to say over the last few years. What -- how do you make sense of this moment, this week particularly, bringing people out into the streets?

ALICIA GARZA, CO-FOUNDER, BLACK LIVES MATTER: Well, I think what`s clear is that change is still needed. And what we see when we see these kinds of protests erupt all over the country is really a response and a reaction to justice being delayed and denied once again. The reality is we are living in a moment where black lives are being extinguished daily, often at the hands of the people who are sworn to protect and serve our communities. We have a president who is inciting violence on Twitter. And we are facing a general election.

And frankly, we haven`t heard much at all or nearly enough about what is the plan to, you know, change what`s happening with our carceral system, change what`s happening with policing, and really change and improve what`s happening in black communities across America.

The reality here is that black communities are being attacked, whether it`s by the coronavirus or whether it`s by the very people who have been sworn to protect and serve our communities. And there is a question on the table. What kind of leadership in this moment will offer a proactive vision not only to deal with the crisis of policing in our communities, but who will provide leadership to deal with the state of emergency that our communities are facing across a range of issues?

HAYES: How do you think about the last three years in terms of progress that has been made? Because one of the things that I think is a story that maybe people don`t know is that a lot of the effort and organizing that went into Black Lives Matter protests then shifted to work around criminal justice reform, particularly elections for prosecutors and progressive prosecutors, all kinds of different ways in which people have attempted to sort of concretely change the system.

What is your sense now, you know, in 2020, as we watch these images play out, and there`s a lot of anger, a lot of anger about how effective that has been about whether the trajectory is even right?

GARZA: Well, I`ll say this, from the very beginning, folks who were involved in the Black Lives Matter Global Network, and also folks who are involved in the larger movement for Black Lives had always been organizers and advocates trying to change the rules that are rigged against our communities.

I think when we combine the attempts to change the rules through advocacy or legislation, with protests, it represents in upping of the ante. It represents the kind of public pressure that is needed to change the political will in our communities to advance some of the solutions that organizers have been advocating for a long time. Whether it be redirecting resources from law enforcement towards programs and things that we need to live well, or whether it be making sure that our communities can participate actively in the decisions that impact our lives every single day.

And you know, to be frank, there are -- there has been some progress that has been moved. But I can also say that under this administration, so much of that has been dismantled. We are seeing, you know, the oversight committees and oversight systems that have -- we`re starting to get stronger actually be dismantled.

We are seeing kind of, again, our president kind of advocate openly for violence against our communities. But yet we haven`t seen our president advocate and use his voice and his vast platform to encourage a speedy, speedy process in making sure that officers who act above the law are held accountable.

Here we are, it`s you know, almost a weekend, and there are a lot of questions about what is the political will that is needed to move this process forward. I think what we`re seeing across the country is that people are tired of waiting, people are tired of being told to follow the process and go along with the system. And so this moment really calls for a different kind of leadership. We need a proactive, strong vision for how to make sure that not only is policing in this country being changed, but we also need a strong and proactive vision to make sure that the state of emergency that is facing our communities is being addressed in a proactive and visionary way.

HAYES: Alicia Garza in Oakland, California, those images you`re seeing are from around the country earlier this evening and there are protests around the country that continue at this hour. Alicia, thank you so much for making some time.

GARZA: Thank you for having me.

HAYES: Still ahead, as protests continue around the country, The Atlantic`s Adam Serwer on why no one should be surprised when the president issues a violent threat to demonstrators, and no one should believe him when he tries to walk it back, next.


HAYES: The president made an announcement in the middle of the night, tweeting out this incendiary, gross, provocative thing, basically implying that Minneapolis protesters could be shot by the military, a tweet that violated Twitter`s terms against glorifying violence. You have to click past a warning message to actually read the tweet. And then another tweet several hours he tried to walk it back. But as Adam Serwer tweeted to him, quote, "you can`t really walk back enthusiastic expression of bloodlust. Thank you."

Adam Serwer, staff writer at The Atlantic, joins me now.

In some ways it seems almost weirdly inevitable or fated that this -- the - - what Donald Trump harnessed in getting elected in 2016 would crash into his role as president amidst protests like this.

ADAM SERWER, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: Look, when a police officer mistreats a suspect in his custody in the United States, he`s following the president`s explicit advice. It was 2017 that Donald Trump, you know, spoke to an audience of police officers and said if there`s a suspect in your custody, you don`t have to treat him too nice, you can treat him how you want.

So, it`s not surprising that after our president, who ran explicitly on that kind of state violence against minorities, whose first Attorney General Jeff Sessions explicitly said we`re not going to be investigating police departments anymore for violating constitutional rights of Americans that come into contact with them, and then you have his second Attorney General William Barr saying, you know, if you criticize law enforcement you forfeit the right to be protected by them, which turns law enforcement into a protection racket.

And there is a theme here, which is that certain people are protected by the law and other people are subject to the law. And that theme has been consistent throughout Trump`s presidency. It`s not something he can walk back in a tweet. When he said -- you know, when he threatened to engage in mass murder to prevent looting, he was expressing the theme of his campaign from the point at which it started in 2015, which is that we are going to take off the restraints on any kind of state violence towards these people that you, my constituency, are afraid of.

HAYES: There is this -- a lot of people put this juxtaposition, which is so striking, which is the protesters that went into the state capitol in Michigan to protest Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. And we all saw those images. And they`re not -- you know, it`s right, I guess it`s protected speech, peaceable assembly sort of, but people with long guns, you know, inside your workplace menacing you from the gallery feels like something different than normal peaceful protests. And the president tweeted, "the governor of Michigan should give a little and put out the fire. These are good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again safely. See them. Talk to them. Make a deal."

And then of course, you know, that juxtaposed with "these thugs are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd. When the looting starts, the shooting starts."

This is exactly the theme that you keep writing about that like there are some people the law applies to and some that it doesn`t.

SERWER: Well, look, I think obviously those are somewhat different situations. But the reality is that the disparity that you`re describing where you can walk into a state legislature with an automatic weapon, which has an implied threat if you do something as a lawmaker I don`t like, then I have a right to violently rebel against you, and say that that`s fine, that`s just a part of political discourse, and that someone who is protesting who doesn`t have a weapon, who is shot at with tear gas, that`s an appropriate response, that is a reflection of the fact that there are certain people you are simply allowed to cross the line with and everyone knows it, and there are other people you can`t dare cross the line with because those people have rights that are actually inviolable.

And one of the things that stuck with me about this is -- and remember this is like 2014when I went to Ferguson and I was talking to residents there, one of them explicitly said to me, it brought up the Bundy Ranch occupation where you had all of these, you know, right wing protesters aiming guns at federal agents and the fact that the police, the federal agents in that case did not escalate the conflict, they withdrew. And she said to me at that time, she said, you know, they`re not going to treat us like that because those people are Americans.

And I think if this is the fundamental conflict here, which is that there are certain people who have the rights that all Americans are supposed to have and there are other Americans who really don`t have those full rights and you`re seeing a full expression of that right now.

HAYES: The politics of this are sort of in someways the least important aspect of what we`re seeing play out, but interesting nonetheless and will have big effects. Two things I`d like to get your thoughts on. One is this headline that Trump wants to win over black voters while his base wants him to be tough, and his base is winning. That he`s weirdly cross-pressured even though the entirety of his political appeal to that base is all the themes you`ve been saying.

But the fact that he walked back that tweet, that there`s like some sense that they even have to say that what happened to George Floyd was terrible, there does seem to be like them looking over their shoulder a little bit here in a way I haven`t quite seen before.

SERWER: I think that very clearly the president`s campaign thinks that the Democrats are vulnerable with a certain segment of black men and want to appeal to that segment of black male voters. And obviously, as you noted that`s the intention with the president`s promises to the rest of his base. I mean, when you talk about protests and non-violent protest, the president`s response to Colin Kaepernick`s non-violent protest of police brutality was to essentially encourage him to be blackballed. He called him something that I can`t repeat on television and then said that people who protest in that way should be fired.

So, there is no actual acceptable mode protest. The moment that you protest, when you`re protesting non-violently that`s unacceptable and then when you protest violently, they tell you, well, why aren`t you protesting non-violently? I mean, the answer is there is no acceptable protest to this kind of unequal treatment that will actually move people and that the people who are in charge will respect.

As far as the political fallout of this is concerned, I think it`s good that the president recognizes that what happened to Mr. Floyd was an injustice, but it is an injustice that reflects -- that he did not begin, like I want to -- you know, police brutality is not something that was invented when Trump took office in 2017, but it is something that he has personally explicitly encouraged. And he can`t really pretend that this is not the predictable result of that encouragement.

HAYES: Adam Serwer, whose work at The Atlantic is always a must read. Thank you so much for your time.

SERWER: Thank you for having me.

HAYES: All right. The pandemic continues to rage. New guidance from the Trump administration that would seem to put some of their most fervent supporters in peril. We`ll talk about that next.


HAYES: Since the very beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, there is a battle in the Trump administration with experts and scientists on one side and Trump and political lackeys on the other. And the experts have been losing. Sometimes they win for a little bit, but then they lose.

The latest, and perhaps most egregious example of that comes from the new federal guidelines for worshipers, right. There have been a whole bunch of COVID-19 outbreaks that have been traced back to churches or religious activity -- people inside for long periods of time, close together.

In Arkansas, for example, a pastor and his wife appeared to have infected 33 other people who attended church events over several days with them. Three people died.

In Virginia, a pastor who defied warnings about the dangers of church gatherings himself contracted COVID-19 and died.

In South Korea, literally thousands of cases have been linked back to one infected woman who went to two large church events.

And new research suggests that loud talking, yelling, singing all increase risk of transmission, which would help explain what happened after one single choir practice in Seattle, those folks were being responsible. They were socially distant, but one symptomatic person infected 52 others, 87 percent of the group. Health officials called that gathering a super spreader event.


DR. HOWARD LEIBRAND, SKAGIT COUNTY HEALTH OFFICER: The combination of a close group meeting and singing is very reminiscent of most church services, so it tells us that we need to be very careful, because that`s one of the first things that most people want to open up.


HAYES: Regardless of risks, Donald Trump has demanded that houses of worship open back up. He`s even threatened to override governors to make that happen, a power he doesn`t have.

But -- so the CDC, right, is trying to carve a safer middle path for congregations. And I understand people want to get back to church and worship services, so for those that want to go back to worshiping in person, the CDC basically said look, if you are going to worship in person, maybe try not to sing, quote, "consider suspending, or at least decreasing use of a choir musical ensembles and congregant singing, chanting or reciting during services or other program if appropriate within the faith tradition," right?

Like you can have your service, but maybe just shy away from the singing if you can that seems to create risk.

Well, we now know that political officials in the White House made the CDC take out that recommendation, essentially intervening to increase the risk of transmission among worshiping congregations.

I mean, think about that. The hazards of just forging ahead while ignoring CDC guidelines are now playing out across the entire country. And we`re going to talk about that next.


HAYES: There tend to be kind of two stories right now about where we are in the Coronavirus crisis in this country. In the aggregate, nationwide, both cases and deaths are sloping down, descending, as you can see on these two graphs showing the seven day average. That is obviously good news, that`s the right direction.

But that`s not the full story. Then the other story is the hot spots, places where new cases are going up. As far as we can tell, not just as a by-product of increased testing, though there is some of that as well. We`re also seeing worrying hospitalization rates in many of these places. And there is really no pattern to it. In parts of Minnesota, more than 90 percent of the hospital beds are full right now. Earlier this week, the state had the highest single day increase spike in COVID intensive care hospitalizations since the pandemic began. And that is all before any effects we might see from large sustained crowds gathering to protest for a week straight as we`ve seen there over the last few nights.

Then there`s Alabama, where intensive care units are overflowing in the capital. And they hit an all-time high in the seven day average of new cases this week there.

Mississippi hitting a similar milestone yesterday, too, 328 new reported cases.

Now those two states reopened pretty clearly, pretty early. But California, which remains under a stay-at-home order, although some counties have started to partially reopen, it recorded its highest single day increase in confirmed cases yesterday, as did Wisconsin this week, along with its highest single day increase in deaths as the number of people hospitalized in the state has risen steadily over the past few weeks.

And everyone is just crossing their fingers right now, as we try to figure out what`s cause and what`s effect, and basically what we can get away with.

For more on this increasingly patchwork pandemic I`m joined by Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.

And doctor, maybe I will start on images that we`ve been showing all night, which are these protests. And, you know, some people are wearing masks, some are not, but it`s big crowds of people. They are outdoors, which is better than big crowds indoors. But it`s hard not to -- this to go through your mind as you are watching in the midst of this pandemic that, you know, this does increase risk of transmission. Is that a fair assessment?


Yes, absolutely. As I looked at those crowd -- obviously those crowds are very focused on a different set of issues around justice and what has been happening with police brutality -- but of course you can`t help, in the middle of the pandemic, look at that crowd, and worry about whether they become the source for their next big outbreak.

And so that I think is an ongoing concern that all of us have as we look at those groups of folks getting together.

HAYES: In terms of the kind of rhyme or reason -- I mean, one thing, we got this patchwork system, we`ve got states opening in different ways. And one thing that I think -- I`ve been talking to people about this, experts and looking at data, the -- it`s very hard to have some very clear like A causes B view of it. How do you make sense of places where cases are surging or hospitalizations are surging that are not -- haven`t opened very early, whereas places that have opened quite early don`t seem to have bad outbreaks. Like, what`s your sort of unifying theory for what we`re seeing?

JHA: Yeah, so there`s definitely an element of like you look at the data and you say what is going on? And I think there are a couple of things that are worth understanding. One is the time line. And the time line is certainly at least a couple of weeks, sometimes as much as three weeks, between when you take action and when you might see the result.

But the other is actually the issue you are bringing up in your last story when you were talking about the choirs in the churches. This is a very idiosyncratic virus. We think about 10 percent of people will do about 80 percent of the spreading of the virus. And so some of what is going on is really just some certain amount of luck -- and bad luck, or good luck. You have some place where you`ve had massive outbreaks. And we can`t at the end of the day control that, what we can do is dramatically reduce the likelihood of those bad things happening by giving the right advice about churches, by managing meat plants -- meat factories -- I mean, meat plants better, by managing nursing homes better.

HAYES: Today, the president announced that we were withdrawing from the WHO. It is very strange -- well, strange, a stunt obviously, but it has real ramifications, particularly because he had written a letter with concerns and given the WHO 30 days to address it and then he just announced he`s pulling out 12 days later, 18 days short of that deadline.

But every public health person I`ve talked to about this says this is very, very serious and very, very bad. What is your view about what this means?

JHA: Yeah, it is a stunning move. I suppose you could argue maybe not surprising given the kind of saber rattling the president has been doing. It is a very bad move. And it`s a very bad move for America.

And here is why. The WHO, you can dislike the way they dealt with China. I have real qualms with the way they dealt in the early days with the Chinese response. But WHO remains fundamentally important for large chunks of the world, many, many countries rely on WHO. WHO is running the largest clinical trial in the world, they`re managing a lot of vaccine trials. So, the question is do we want a seat at the table or do we want to got it alone.

And by the way, Chris, if we walk away, China and other countries are going to be happy to step in and fill that vacuum. So, this move, I think, leaves us much worse off. I`m puzzled why the president thinks this is a good idea for America.

HAYES: Final question for you, an issue very near and very dear to my heart: schools. Two contrasting bits of information on schools. South Korea had to close schools again it had a big spike. We know South Korea did a very good job suppressing the virus. It has had subsequent spikes. Meanwhile, in Denmark where they reopened for I think about 22 days, if I`m not mistaken, their version of the CDC reporting they haven`t seen schools precipitating big outbreaks.

It seems like this is a really open and unsettled question.

JHA: It absolutely is. And as we think about the fall, and obviously, this is a big question in my household, and in many households across the country, and what I am saying is there a lot we can do to maximize our chances. We can`t be 100 percent sure that we can keep schools open this fall, but if we can keep community levels of transmission low, if we can have great testing, if we can build in programs around social distancing in schools, which is hard because kids love hanging out together. We can`t guarantee it, but we can dramatically increase our chances that we can can keep schools open this fall. And that`s what we got to do.

HAYES: This is our moonshot, Ashish we got to do this. Let`s get the schools, let`s get them back into the schools. Love my kids, but get them back into the schools.

JHA: My wife (inaudible) can`t even keep our schools open, what are you doing, so...

HAYES: Thank you. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

JHA: Thank you.

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