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Black Lives Matter TRANSCRIPT: 6/8/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes

Guests: Kamala Harris, Dexter Filkins, Laurie Garrett, Charles Booker

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s also listen.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America changed has always changed because young people dared to hope.


STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And that`s it for tonight. Thanks for being with us. Don`t go anywhere, "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes is up next.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN, Black Lives Matter. The demonstrations in cities and towns across America beyond. Tonight, Senator Kamala Harris on this now global movement and the push to change policing in America.

Then, Trump`s panic attack on D.C. protesters. Dexter Filkins on the infighting, backstabbing, and all-around condemnation of turning the American military against the people.

Plus, has America just moved on to the pandemic. And can you do that if the virus hasn`t moved on from the U.S.? Also, how to defeat Mitch McConnell? One progressive rising star in Kentucky thinks he has the answer. Charles Booker joins me live when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. Today, on the two-week anniversary of George Floyd`s death, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in his murder, the man who knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes was arraigned. His bail was set up at $1.25 million.

Day after day, of course, we continue even two weeks on to see massive protests in George Floyd`s name in major American cities all over the country. The phenomenon has spread around the world, in cities like Rome, and Paris, and London.

In Rome`s Piazza del Popolo, thousands took a knee at a rally. In the Netherlands people held a socially distant sit-in. And in Bristol in the U.K., protesters there tore down a statue of a former slave trader, and then rolled it down the street and threw it in the harbor.

Those international protests and of course, the big city protests in big metro areas here in the U.S., they really don`t fully capture the scope of what is happening, because in small rural towns all over the country that are primarily white, they are also -- they are also holding protests calling for racial justice.

Places like Garden City, Kansas in the middle of the country or Granite Falls, Washington, north of Seattle or Rugby, North Dakota which is not even two whole square miles, you`re seeing people taking the street as part of the seismic change this earthquake kind of moment in American public consciousness.

Just to give you a sense of just how widespread this is, how this is literally happening everywhere, I want to tell you about a town in western Texas, Vidor, which has long been known as a stronghold of white supremacy in America. Because back in 1992, a federal judge ordered that town`s public housing projects to be integrated, and this was the reaction.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 11,000 people live in Vidor, Texas. According to the 1990 census, none of them are black.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a white town. It has a white race. And that`s the way we want to keep it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was attending a Ku Klux Klan rally this past weekend, protesting a federal court order to integrate Vidor`s public housing project immediately. There is a lot of hostility in town toward blacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll shoot every single one of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His name is Daryl, just another man on the street who says he will fight integration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, my parents raised me without going to school with no blacks and that`s why I want my kids go to school with no blacks. The way is, if blacks come down here, man, it`s just going to turn better to hell.


HAYES: Black families brave enough to move into Vidor`s public housing were driven out by KKK demonstrations. That was Vitor, Texas less than 30 years ago. And this was Vidor this weekend. About 200 people, 200 people showed up for a Black Lives Matter rally.

It`s not just the people who have taken the streets, it`s all showing up in the polling too. It is further highlighting the President`s dependence on backlash politics as fuel for his campaign from birtherism on forward. Now, it`s obviously a very powerful force. It`s the reason he became president. And there was a fear I think in the beginning that backlash to these protests would be another example of the force and power of that.

But so far, President Trump is on the wrong side of the issues here and the polling shows that in a bunch of ways. It shows this is the closest he can get to a free fall, just declining of approval, a seven-point drop in one month as a gap between him and Joe Biden widens. Most people disapprove his handling of the protests.

Polling also shows how quickly American opinions are shifting on issues like police brutality and racial inequality. A Monmouth University poll found 57 percent of Americans believe police are more likely to use excessive force if the suspect is black. In December of 2014, after Eric Garner was killed by the NYPD, only 33 percent of Americans felt that way.

The numbers have almost completely flipped just in six years. These protests are shifting the terms of our national debate. I mean, it`s pretty crazy that after vilifying players who knelt during the national anthem, chief among them Colin Kaepernick who by the way is still not quarterback in the NFL, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is now saying Black Lives Matter.

And here`s Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, a man who went and got Donald Trump`s endorsement during that campaign, marching on the street in a mask and saying the phrase Black Lives Matter.

Even if all just proves to be lip service, the brands in the NFL and Republican Senator Mitt Romney, seeing all these kinds of different parts of the establishment and bracing the message of the protesters is striking. The conversation is now shifting so quickly.

Not only are there calls from protesters to defund the police, which it seems that`s big budget cuts are actually abolishing police forces, but a veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis city council pledged to "begin the process of ending the Minneapolis police department." And it is unclear right now exactly what that means. It is a big change from where we were two weeks ago.

My favorite example of this sort of snap change in opinion is Wisconsin`s former Republican Governor Scott Walker who tweeted, "Reform the police or defund the police?" in a Twitter poll. "I pick reform." If you told me two weeks ago, Scott Walker will be holding down the conservative side of the argument with the "it`s time to reform the police, I would have thought you were crazy."

But something really truly head-snapping is happening right now and Democrats are looking to capitalize on that. Today Democratic leadership knelt in memory of Jordan Floyd while wearing Kente cloth. It got a lot of meme reaction on Twitter, as you might imagine. They also unveiled a far- reaching police reform bill that would, among other things, ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants in drug cases.

Joining me now is one of the sponsors of the bill, Senator Kamala Harris, Democrat of California. Let`s talk about the legislation first, Senator. I want to start with this sort of framework. I`ve talked to a lot of activists and folks working on this issue from before Ferguson and Ferguson on, and there is some real frustration I think among people that different attempts at reforms, body cameras, which were a very big point of reform, police training, all kinds of discipline actions for police, that they failed to sort of do the thing that we want to happen. What is your case for why this package wouldn`t fail, would actually have real teeth and changing things?

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): Well, it builds upon everything that has happened in the past, Chris. But what it does most specifically is it is -- it is completely and totally directed at one issue, which is accountability and consequence when there is a violation of law, when the rules are broken.

So in addition to what you mentioned, our bill justice and policing which is sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus, of which I`m a member, Senator Cory Booker and myself and so many of our colleagues are endorsing as co-sponsors. What it will do are things like change the national standard for use of force.

So currently, in so many jurisdictions, Chris, when there`s an excessive use of force, the question in a courtroom when reviewing that is to ask, well, was that use of force reasonable? Well, you know, you can find reasons for just about anything. It`s not a fair standard, and it`s almost insurmountable when we`re talking about prosecution of excessive force.

So, we`re suggesting that it`d be changed to ask the question instead, not was that reasonable, but was it necessary? We`re talking about doing pattern and practice investigations. When I was Attorney General of California, I initiated pattern and practice investigations of law enforcement agencies that were accused of discrimination.

So we want to strengthen that, put teeth in it, so that for example, the United States Department of Justice`s Civil Rights Division will continue to do the work that was started under a previous administration but stopped under Donald Trump for most intents and purposes. But also, that those folks in the Civil Rights Division will have subpoena power to be able to go after those police departments that have a pattern and practice of discrimination.

In addition, we are proposing that there needs to be independent investigations. I will tell you as a former prosecutor, no matter how well intentioned a D.A. or a state`s attorney, the reality is that there is at the very least, a lack of a parent`s absence of conflict when that prosecutor is investigating a police officer from an agency they work with every day. We need to have independent investigations.

And then another piece is transparency in terms of data. Again, when I was Attorney General, we opened up the California Department of Justice`s data which otherwise journalists had to claw out of us. We opened it up and I said, look, we want to make sure that the public has information about deaths and custody, arrest rates based on race and demographic information.

So these are the kinds of things that are in this package, and including our anti-lynching bill and to your point about how far have we come, the fact that we can`t last week get through an anti-lynching bill at this, you know, year of our Lord 2020 is ridiculous. So the obstacles are there to passing the legislation, but it`s good work.

It`s not enough, it does not address what we need to address in terms of really dealing with what will truly create safety and healthy communities in America, it`s a very specific focus which is accountability and consequence in policing.

HAYES: When you hear -- I`m sure you saw that, you know, the mayor in Washington D.C. obviously painted Black Lives Matter on 16th Street, other protesters came and painted the phrase defund the police. That phrase has gotten a lot of traction. The President clearly views it as politically advantageous. He`s been tweeting about it. Joe Biden today coming out and saying, I do not support it. What does that phrase mean to you? What is your reaction to it as a policy prescription?

HARRIS: So, Chris, we have to reimagine that safety and public safety in America. You know, the status quo has been to determine and create policy around the idea that more police equals more safety, and that`s just wrong. You know, what creates greater safety, funding our public schools so that currently, two-thirds of our public school teachers don`t have to come out of their own back pocket to pay for school supplies.

What creates safety, investing in the economic opportunities of communities, creating jobs. What creates safe and healthy communities? Making sure that all people have access to health care, mental health care, and that it is within their reach, meaning it is affordable.

These are the things that create safe communities. And when in America today, many cities as the total city, half of their budget, one third goes to policing. We all have to step back and ask, is that the smartest and best way to actually achieve safety through healthy communities, we have safe communities.

And I also have to point something else out, Chris. When you go to middle and upper-middle-class suburban communities, you don`t see the patrol cars sitting out on the corner and patrolling the streets like you do in other neighborhoods. You don`t see the kind of police presence. But you know, what you do see, you see well-funded schools.

What you do see is families who have the ability to get through the end of the month and not worry about how they`re going to put food on the table. What you do see are the access to capital and access to public health and to health care. So we do need to reimagine how we as a society are going to, in a smart way, achieve public safety.

We don`t want police officers to be dealing with the homeless issue. We don`t want police officers to be dealing with substance abuse and mental health. No. We should be putting those resources into our public health systems. We should be looking at our budgets and asking, are we getting the best return on investment as taxpayers, much less what is morally right, and what is right in terms of actually having safe communities that thrive?

And also, I mentioned we -- and part of what we have to do here is also look at the militarization of police departments and the kind of money that is going to that, and we need to demilitarize police departments. So there`s a lot in this conversation, but at its core, one of the issues that I think we should all have agree on is that it is old thinking, it is outdated and is actually wrong and backward to think that more police officers will create more safety.

HAYES: There`s an irony here too amid this conversation that I`d like you to respond to, which is that as far as the president saying, I would never defund police, right. And as you`re talking about investments and things like mental health or substance abuse, right now, every state and locality red, blue, Republican, Democrat is going to have their local budgets annihilated because of what`s happened in the economic downturn.

HARRIS: Yes, that`s right.

HAYES: Whether you`re going to be cutting the police or the fire department, whatever you`re going to be cutting -- whatever you`re going to be cutting, there`d be good cutting from South Dakota to Kentucky, to York City, to San Francisco.

HARRIS: That`s right. That`s right.

HAYES: And that`s the Democrats want to give state and localities $375 billion. And as of today, my understanding is the Republicans don`t want to do that.

HARRIS: You are absolutely correct, Chris, and you`re exactly right. So you want to talk about who -- which leaders are committed to safe and healthy communities when you have a president in the United States saying that you don`t want to give -- he doesn`t want to give money to state local governments, that is -- it`s teachers, it`s first responders, it`s firefighters, it`s mental health professionals, it`s public health professionals.

So, you know, listen, as far as Donald Trump is concerned and what he says, you know, he`s looking for a campaign slogan that might work for him. But the reality is, the American people I think are smarter to know that if we really want to address what is wrong with the way that we are using taxpayer dollars, what is wrong with these systems, what is wrong with the criminal justice system, we will see that most people would agree.

Let`s invest in our teachers, let`s invest in our public health system, let`s invest in the potential of communities. Part of what we are also saying, Chris, and I was out there marching, many of us have been, that there is a community of people who seemingly have nothing in common, who are coming together around these issues, knowing that these are issues that relate to all of us. And when we have good policing, we all benefit. When we have bad policing, we are all hurt.

HAYES: Let me ask you about that. Your colleague, your Senate colleague, Mitt Romney was at one of these marches. I think a lone Republican senator or a member of Congress, I`ve seen. He said Black Lives Matter. We`ve seen like I said in the intro, we`ve seen these protests in places that are historically have very intense legacies of racism and white supremacy. What do you make of the -- of the politics of this moment or deeper than that, the sentiment of the nation at this moment?

HARRIS: I think the nation is -- I think that the nation is hurting and that we are really raw. America is raw right now and her wounds are exposed. The reality of it is that what the tragedy of the murder of George Floyd is just the latest in generations of this story. And finally, everyone is getting to witness it because of the prevalence of smartphones.

Communities have been -- mothers have been crying over their dead children`s bodies for generations, and no one would listen or they turn a blind eye. And now, you cannot turn a blind eye because it is right there in vivid detail such as was the murder of George Floyd. And there`s a reckoning that`s happening, where people have to come to terms with America`s history as it relates to policing, as it relates to racism.

And I think what I find to be inspirational about this moment when you look at the folks who are out there is folks are understanding this is about all of us. This is about all of us. Racism is bad for everyone, for everyone. And this gives me hope and so -- and there`s power in this movement, and that can`t be denied.

HAYES: Senator Kamala Harris of this State of California, thank you so much for taking time out of your very busy schedule to spend some time with us.

HARRIS: Thanks, Chris. Thank you.

HAYES: Ahead, the reported shouting match between the president and one of his generals and the backlash the administration has used the military for a P.R. stunt.


HAYES: In the span of seven days, the decision to assault and tear gas peaceful protesters in Washington D.C. to clear the way for a truly awkward photo-op of the president has become an iconic moment of the Trump presidency. It really has. It embodies everything wrong with this presidency and wrong with it in this particular moment. And that has only been made worse by the almost comical dissembling that come from various authorities about what exactly happened, even though again, we all saw it with our own eyes.

The new Hill they have chosen to die on is that it was not tear gas. You see the park police reversed its original proclamation there was no tear gas saying well, we shouldn`t have said that because it kind of is tear gas-ish. But now Attorney General William Barr is trying to draw a fine distinction between pepper balls that make people cry and have tears coming down her eyes and actual tear gas.


WILLIAMS BARR, ATTORNEY GENERAL, UNITED STATES: By the way, there was no tear gas used. The tear gas was used Sunday when they had to clear a street to allow the fire department to come in to save St John`s Church. That`s when tear gas was used.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were chemical irritants --

BARR: No, there were not chemical irritants. Pepper spray is not a chemical irritant. It`s not chemical.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Pepper spray, you`re saying --

BARR: Pepper balls, pepper balls.


HAYES: Oh, it`s not -- it`s not chemical. I don`t know, maybe you should just sit around a pepper ball and see like, does it make you cry? Why exactly did you fire it? Just because you wanted to like, give people more flavor on their food? No. What is clear is the entire thing is a debacle. But the debacle itself was a public representation of a series of debacle is happening internally.

The New Yorker Magazine`s Dexter Filkins report is about a shouting match between the president and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about sending military forces into American cities. That New Yorker writer Derek Filkins is here now.

Derek, I wonder if you can tell us more about what was going on behind the scenes. We saw kind of public performance of armed men, we saw the public performance of clearing peaceful protesters with you know, police officers punching cameraman and pepper balls. What was happening behind the scenes?

DEXTER FILKINS, STAFF WRITER: Well, it`s -- I think that would that would have been the next day but so the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley the Defense Secretary met in -- met in President Trump`s office in the Oval Office on Monday, that day when they all -- when we saw those photographs the president holding the Bible.

And the President forms Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, I would like to send troops into the cities to stop the protests. And Milley resisted and said, I`m not going to do that. That`s for law enforcement. We`re not going to send soldiers into the cities. And they got into a shouting match, as I`m told.

And they sort of fought it out. They yell at each other. Somebody described the room as basically two bullies. And the president back down. And, you know, the meeting went on for a long time. They were in there for several hours, but at the end of the day, they didn`t they -- didn`t send the troops into the cities.

HAYES: You know, what`s striking to me is that for all -- what I gleaned from your reporting is as sort of scary and overwrought as the response has been, the man on the Lincoln Memorial, the protesters being cleared, that there was a version of this that this was the tempered version that was -- that was -- that came out of Trump`s impulses for something far, far worse and darker.

FILKINS: Well, I think that`s pretty clear. I mean, those soldiers that we saw around the Lincoln Memorial and some of the other places, and I think the helicopter overhead as well, those were just -- those were National Guard helicopters. And those are just -- I mean, because it`s the District of Columbia, those are under the President`s command.

HAYES: Right.

FILKINS: But no, he wanted to put -- you know, he wanted to put -- as I understand it, he wanted to put United States military troops in American cities across the United States and that -- and that`s what the discussion was about. And that`s what Milley pushed back on.

Now, what`s kind of interesting here is that General Milley as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, is actually not in command of soldiers. He`s in -- you know he presides over -- you know, he presides over the chiefs of, you know, the Army, Navy, the Air Force, but he doesn`t actually command any troops themselves. I`m not sure the President knows that but basically Milley just said forget it. You know, we`re not -- we`re not going there.

HAYES: There`s also this -- you know, this scene obviously, outside of the White House and Barr`s decision to clear the protesters has become this very contentious scene. The President has obviously -- we sort of heard that part of his desire to flood American cities with a show of force was reporting on him visiting the bunker. And it was just a somewhat comical, accidental admission that happened apparently today.

Trump had said that he was down there to inspect it in the afternoon. Barr today gave a totally different story. Take a listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It was a false report. I wasn`t down. I went down during the day and I was there for a tiny -- little short period of time, and it was much more for an inspection.

BARR: Things were so bad that the Secret Service recommended the president go down to the bunker. We can`t have that in our country. And so the decision was made, we had to move the perimeter, one block.


HAYES: It sounds like they did actually say that he had to go into the bunker.

FILKINS: Yes, I mean, you know, it`s hard -- it`s hard to know what was -- what was happening in there. I mean, at the end of the -- at the end of the day, I ended up talking to Mark Meadows, President Trump`s chief of staff and, you know, he kind of -- he said, look, there was a lot -- there were a lot of discussions and they are all very nice. And they went on for hours and hours, but you know, it`s hard to know.

Look, let me -- let me just make a -- I think, towards the end of my story, and I tried to bring this up. I think the real -- I think the real question here is November and what`s going to happen in November. And you know, what if we have a close election that`s contested, what happens then? What happens if the president refuses to leave the White House?

And I tried to address some of that, but I think what happened on Monday is interesting because it`s a bit of a dry run in. And so, it allows us to kind of talk about some of this stuff in case it happens -- it happens again.

HAYES: You mean the dry run in terms of a kind of stress test of various parts of the kind of institutional integrity of the nation should the president tried to do something wildly, in breaking with American democratic tradition?

FILKINS: Yes. What -- I talked to a lot of generals last week, and they all said pretty much the same thing, which is like, look, if we have a contested election, probably the Supreme Court will get involved. Once they make the call, the whole machinery of the military will kind of turn towards the legally elected president and there`ll be no dispute.

That`s pretty convincing but I think it`s not the whole story. I mean, I think the -- one general I spoke to said he was really concerned about the following scenario which is what if we have a close election, the outcome is in dispute or it`s really, really close and the President refuses to leave. And any calls up -- he calls one of the -- one of the governors in a conservative state and he says, send the national guard in. But you know, pick your state. Send the National Guard in Washington, surround the White House and protect me, I`m not leaving. What happens then? And that`s a -- that`s a -- you know, that`s a really ugly -- that`s a really ugly scene.

HAYRS: It`s a very ugly scene and it`s also sort of what happened here, because a lot of the troops that you saw were essentially contributed National Guardsmen from various states.

FILKINS: Yes. Yes. And so, I think, you know, when I -- when I listened to that scenario, it`s -- I mean, in a way, the President has legal authority to do that. He certainly doesn`t have the legal authority to stay in office longer than he -- you know, longer than he may but that scenario struck me as entirely plausible and pretty disturbing.

HAYES: Yes, disturbing to say the least. Dexter Filkins, a great reporter and I`m always happy to be able to read what you are up to. Thank you very much, sir.

FILKINS: Thank you, sir.

HAYES: Coming up, we`re seeing more of the country begin to reopen, but are we ready? Have we done enough? New data about COVID hospitalizations that should raise some serious concern after this.


HAYES: Since the beginning of the global Coronavirus pandemic, every country has had to choose between a bunch of pretty bad options. Now there are some places, like South Korea, Japan, or Taiwan, that were so proactive, they were able to avoid any sort of enormous outbreak that would then force mass closures for extended periods of time.

Other places were not able to avoid that, and they did not have to -- they did have to go into some sort of version lockdown, like we did here, but then they put together the infrastructure to suppress the virus, that is to drive down new daily cases, right.

Now you have a country like Spain, which is incredibly, incredibly hard hit, one of the highest per capita death rates in the world, recording a day with zero deaths last week. Denmark, a country that did have to go into lockdown now has schools open, and has testing available to all adults. It is recording just a few dozens, that`s dozen, new cases per day.

The U.S. has decided not to do that. We got about two-thirds of the way through battling this thing and now with states across the country opening up, we are crossing our fingers and waiting to see what happens. It is not hard to find scenes of people in situations that are not probably super safe like this protest in Philadelphia over the weekend.

Now, of course I think a lot of the protesters are generally very aware of the risks. They have made the decision to balance them in favor of these demonstrations, many wear masks. But those are the most visible examples you see.

Then there are images that are not really in the news, but are very real and very risky as well, this is the Cosmopolitan casino in Las Vegas over the weekend, an enormous indoor space with recycled air, tons of people roaming about, almost no one in masks.

And I think there has been kind of a misguided belief that there is this fixed two weeks time line from when an event that might be dangerous happens and then when we see the results and then if it doesn`t happen in two weeks then it`s find. The way the slow fuse works with this virus is that it is not always that simple or direct. There`s a fair amount of luck and randomness at play.

Right now, 20 states plus Puerto Rico currently have cases increasing. That said, it is important to note testing capacity has increased quite considerably across the country. So, in some of these places, we may be seeing more cases because of more testing. In fact, some places that`s certainly the case.

We are likely also seeing some true outbreaks. One way to remove some of that confusion is just lock at hospitalizations. And when you do that, there are definitely some worrisome signs.

Today, Texas reported a record number of Coronavirus hospitalizations, nearly 2,000. On Friday, hospitalizations in California hit a three week high, more than 3,000. On Friday, Arizona hit a record high in hospitalizations, ventilator use and ICU beds from Coronavirus patients.

One of the things of the virus is because it has hit so many places, we do not have to imagine alternative outcomes, other ways we can deal with it, they already exist out there. And from the beginning, public health experts and journalists have been pointing to how much better other countries have handled the crisis. One of them is Pulitzer Prize-winning scient journalist Laurie Garrett. And she joins me next.


HAYES: When I was a kid in school I used to write papers really quickly, and I would give them one read over and then I would turn them in. I pretty much thought it was good enough. My parents would tell me to wait and spend more time on them, because the paper would be riddled with spelling errors.

Well, the national response to the Coronavirus feels a lot like that to me. We sort of finished the first draft of the paper. There was lots of errors in it, lots of room for improvement. We said, eh, good enough. Ship it. Here you go, teach.

The Wall Street Journal reports in places like Germany, France, Spain and Italy, which are reopening, new daily cases have fallen to the low hundreds from thousands a day when the pandemic was at its fiercest.

Here in the U.S., as you can see on this Financial Times chart, we appear to be in a plateau of new cases as we increasingly reopen and begin to gather in groups again. Are we just kind of giving up on fighting the pandemic?

Joining me now to discuss this by phone, America`s response to the pandemic, Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist, who has followed the Coronavirus outbreak closely. She`s author of The Coming Plague, a book that predicted a pandemic event.

Laurie, there is has been a number of people who have sort of written on this theme. The Atlantic had this headline, and I thought a very good piece from Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer saying America is giving up on the pandemic. And it does feel to me like there is a kind of, eh, close enough feel generally throughout the country. What do you think?

LAURIE GARRETT, PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING JOURNALIST: You are absolutely right that that is the sensation. And actually issued a warning on it, because they think the stock market is part of the reason that people feel this way. We have this rousing stock market responding as if the whole world is great, everything is fabulous. And as Morgan Stanley said, the are not, the rate of reproduction of the epidemic is still slightly over one, meaning we`re going to continue to have for every one case, another one case going out over the summer. And if you do the math, you get out to September and you are looking at close to 200,000 deaths in America. This is far from over, far from over.

HAYES: That point to me points to something I`m sort of obsessed with, which is what the policy goal is here. And it seems to me there is two policy goals. One is suppression, which is how can we get to a point where we basically have the virus under control and we can open up and have something like what Denmark has, or Hong Kong, Taiwan, New Zealand, pick another place, South Korea, the other is, what amount of opening can we do and not ever get a New York-style outbreak that just decimates a metro area and kills tens of thousands of people? And those are very different things, but it seems like we`re sort of opting for the latter, right? Like we want to avoid catastrophic outbreaks, but we`re sort of all tacitly coming to this conclusion that we`re OK with a lot, a lot of pain and illness and death.

GARRETT: Yeah, we`re following the British model, essentially, and that`s most unfortunate. You know, it is really interesting, Chris, if you look at the United Kingdom right now, Scotland has essentially zeroed out new cases. The Republic of Ireland has essentially zeroed out new cases, and yet you have this explosion still going on in the UK. And it`s Wales and England. And it`s because they have very, very different policies.

Scotland locked down before London did. Scotland said we`re not buying this game Boris Johnson is saying that we can kind of get some vague herd immunity target. And it`s paid off for them.

Here in New York, we`re in day one of phase one of easing out of our lockdown. And if you look at the data, a lockdown has really worked.

HAYES: Right.

GARRETT: And if you look at brand-new data that`s come out just in the last roughly 48 hours, a survey of the entire world shows that lockdowns around the world have so far spared half a billion lives.

HAYES: I`m sorry?

GARRETT: Half a billion.

HAYES: Half a billion, 500 million people?

GARRETT: Actually more, 538 million.

HAYES: Wait, infections or deaths?

GARRETT: Deaths.

HAYES: Whoa. That`s sort of an impossible number to contemplate.

GARRETT: In other words, by taking this on with an all-out lockdown approach country after country, we have spared infections and we have spared deaths all over the planet. This would have been a far worse cataclysmic event if we hadn`t taken the steps we have so far.

So now the next real issue is how are we going to sustain any kind of real action against COVID here in the United States when we`re simultaneously dealing with the George Floyd repercussions, the demonstrations and the very righteous anger out there, plus the economic issues.

HAYES: Well, to me there is also this question about the political space that`s left. So, imagine a universe -- and we look at Arizona is the most troubling to me, just in terms of its percentage positive rate, its new cases, its hospitalizations, like there`s very clearly like an outbreak there. And there`s no political space to pull the emergency break in the way that we pulled the emergency break in March.

So, a place, a locality that is experiencing, you know, spiraling outbreak there`s going to be tremendous pressure not to lockdown.

GARRETT: Well, look at it this way, you know, every country that you have did in your quick list of success stories has had a centralized response so that the whole place reacted exactly the same way. New Zealand, it was a national response. New Zealand has tested 17 percent of its population. It has a national coherent policy. Ditto South Korea. Ditto Taiwan and so on.

What do we have in the United States? Just drive an hour and you hit another policy.

HAYES: Right.

GARRETT: Drive two hours, you get a completely different political dynamic, a totally different public health dynamic. It`s insane. We`re operating in total chaos.

HAYES: Let me ask you finally about a headline today from the World Health Organization, which -- whose record, I think, throughout this pandemic has been mixed, I think it`s fair to say, particularly in the way that have had public facing communication on things like masks. They said -- came out today and said the spread of Coronavirus asymptomatically is very rare. There is a lot of confusion because it seems to stand in tension with a lot of data we have that there`s a lot of pre-symptomatic transmission.

GARRETT: YOu know, this all got garbled in the news report. This comment was made by one individual in a press conference in response to a question, this wasn`t an official report or announcement from WHO and it really got garbled, because she later, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove later clarified what she was saying to say, look, I`m talking about people with absolutely symptoms, not about people who may have mild symptoms that have never been diagnosed.

So in other words, she back peddled to basically say, you know, we don`t think there is much transmission coming from people that have zero symptoms. But people who may have a headache or their eyes hurt or they`re losing their sense of taste and smell, or they have a mild fever, these people can be transmitters. And there is one new paper out just in the past couple of weeks that estimates -- a couple of days, I mean, that estimates 40 to 45 percent of all infections are actually coming from that pool of pre-symptomatic or mildly symptomatic individuals.

HAYES: Wow. That is a very, very useful clarification on that news story, Laurie Garrett, thank you so much for joining us tonight.

GARRETT: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Ahead, they`re lining up in Kentucky for the chance to take on and defeat Mitch McConnell. Charles Booker is a surging candidate in the Democratic field, and he joins me next.



STATE REP. CHARLES BOOKER, (D) KENTUCKY SENATE CANDIDATE: What a roller coaster I have been on this session. I have laid all my stories out for you. I explained to you how these types of laws like 150 would kill people and the same folks want to have the audacity to vote yes now, voted for that legislation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentleman, I apologize...

BOOKER: My life matters too, speaker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your three minutes is up.

BOOKER: My life matters too, speaker.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are out of order. Your three minutes are up.

BOOKER: My life matters too!


HAYES: That was Kentucky State Representative Charles Booker on the floor of the State House last year making remarks that prompted a Republican lawmaker to yell at him to, quote, sit down.

Booker is now running in the Democratic Senate primary looking to take on Mitch McConnell this November. He is one of a number of candidates seeking that nomination, among them, progressive farmer and retired marine Mike Broyer, and well funded moderate Amy McGrath, a former fighter pilot recruited by Chuck Schumer.

And Booker is running as a staunch progressive who supports Medicare for all, a universal basic income, legalizing marijuana and the Green New Deal. Yesterday, the #bookerbeatsMitch was trending with many linking to the video that officially announced Booker`s candidacy and hammered Mitch McConnell.


BOOKER: This man knows more than anybody how to work the system in Washington. He is the architect. But he has done nothing for Kentucky, because he is not your neighbor. He is not your brother. He ain`t from here.


HAYES: I`m joined now by State Representative Charles Booker of Louisville, who is seeking the Democratic Senate nomination in Kentucky.

Representative, tell me a bit about your thinking about the race at this particular in moment and if anything has changed, do you think about the political terrain in the last few weeks?

BOOKER: Well, first of all, thank you for having me. And, you know, what I see in the race is an opportunity to really push for structural change, not just beat a terrible person like Mitch McConnell who calls himself the Grim Reaper, but really gets to the heart of the issues that plague my commonwealth. In a lot of measurable indexes that would determine a good quality of life we are at the bottom. And we are seeing a lot of protests now, a lot of crying out for justice, but it really goes to the fact that poverty is generational and people are really struggling.

And so, we have a choice in this election to stand up for Medicare for All, and fight for a Green New Deal and win universal basic income so that we can disrupt the chains of poverty that plague so many people.

And I`m fired up to stand in that movement.

HAYES: So, I guess the natural question here is about the politics in your state and the viability of this political program in a state like Kentucky. It`s a state that has does have a statewide elected governor who ran as -- definitely ran as a moderate, I think it`s fair to say in 2018, although did run on Medicaid expansion. Your agenda is in a state that Donald Trump is very popular. He`s plus16 there. He carried the state by a lot. A lot of people will look at your agenda, they`ll look at the state of Kentucky and be like this is -- you are tilting at windmills. This is a fools errand.

BOOKER: Well, I love when I hear that assessment, because we are used to being ignored. People don`t listen to folks in Kentucky. We are demanding justice. We`re demanding accountability, but we want a brighter future just like anyone else. And so my message is very populist. I`m speaking to issues that are at the kitchen table. Listen, I`m a type one diabetic. I`ve had to ration my insulin and nearly died from that. That cuts across party lines. And a lot of folks that supported Trump are supporting me because they know I`m going to fight for Kentucky for a change.

And someone like Mitch McConnell has profited from our pain and sold us out in every way imaginable, couldn`t care less if we die. And my biggest opponent, Amy McGrath who calls her a pro-Trump democrat, doesn`t have a clue about the challenges we face.

So, I`m excited to build this new coalition from the mountains in Appalachia all the way and the hood where I`m from, and that`s why we are going to win this race.

HAYES: In Louisville, where you represent, there have been a lot of protests. I want to talk about the death of Breonna Taylor in a moment, but before we get to that just your experience -- I`ve seen on your Twitter feed you`ve been going to protests. We talked at the top about how there are protests happening across America and some pretty unlikely places. There are places you might not anticipate there to be a Black Lives Matter protest. And I wonder what the view of this moment and street protest from the perspective of someone running statewide in Kentucky looks like at this moment?

BOOKER: Well, you are exactly right. And actually right before this segment, I was in Estill County, with some folks that were demanding justice for black lives. And this is a part of Kentucky, eastern Kentucky, where it`s over 99 percent white.

And what we are seeing in this moment across the commonwealth is an understanding that we are interconnected, and that if we fight for the challenges that are facing communities like mine, we are going to uplift all Kentuckians. And, you know, I stood on the front lines and I was hit with tear gas, but I don`t care, because this is where my family is.

Kentuckians are demanding real change, and we cannot have someone that would give excuses and sit on the couch like Amy McGrath has, while we are dying and while our doors are kicked in and we are murdered in our beds.

And so this is really about how we show the courage to lead in this moment. And I`m just doing my part and the commonwealth is standing behind me to win this race as a result.

HAYES: Breonna Taylor was a young woman in Louisville, an EMT. She had been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. She was killed in the house along with her boyfriend after a no-knock warrant by three members of the Louisville Police Department. There have been no charges in that. There has been -- there have been vigils and protests for Breonna Taylor day after day after day in Louisville before George Floyd`s death and after.

What is the status of that case? And what is your sense of what the official response has been thus far?

BOOKER: You know, there is a lot of frustration in our community, because this is not the first time. This is yet another incident in a history of a reality where if you look like me, you are going to be seen like a deadly weapon before being seen as a human being. And folks are crying out. And I have stood up in leadership, of course as a state representative, but also working with our state and local leadership to provide accountability to push for a ban on no-knock warrants and to push for citizen review of police shootings with subpoena power.

But we have got to get to the root of these issues. Why are we dealing with this trauma? We criminalized poverty. And we deal with institutional racism that dismisses and diminishes the humanity of so many people. And so my run for U.S. Senate is really to say that not only do we have to beat Mitch McConnell, but we have to transform our future so that we don`t have to keep dealing with the trauma that Breonna Taylor`s family and so many of us are carrying right now.

HAYES: Final question for you, what -- we saw that clip of you, impassioned before the state legislature. What are your relationships like with Republicans in your state given the fact that you are going to have to get a lot of Republican votes. You got a very, very developed Republican apparatus there. What are those relationships like?

BOOKER: You know, I have worked in every level of public service, and I was a director of fish and wildlife. And I built relationships all over Kentucky with people all over the political spectrum.

Now, look, I don`t ask for people to agree with me on everything, but I speak with moral clarity, and you know where I`m coming from, and that is why I have been able to get bipartisan legislation passed even in my first term, something that Mitch McConnell is not we worrying about.

And, you know, the reality is because of this work, I`m getting endorsed by people all over Kentucky. Rural legislators, Matt Jones, who is one of the biggest voices in our commonwealth, many thought was going to run against and beat Amy McGrath and Mitch McConnell, is endorsing me because we`re building a coalition that says that no matter where you`re from, what you look like, what your pronoun is, how much money you have, that you matter. And that`s the momentum.

Look, we just broke a million dollars in fundraising, raised $600,000 in the last couple of days because we`re fed up and we`re ready to win.

HAYES: Democratic Senate candidate Charles Booker of Kentucky, thanks for sharing some time with us tonight.

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