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Tulsa Race massacre TRANSCRIPT: 6/19/20, All in w/ Chris Hayes

Guests: Vanessa Hall-Harper, Stanley Nelson, Jeff Sharlet, Ashish Jha

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: -- to become a federal holiday back in 1983. Well, that`s our show for tonight but I will be right back here tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern for "A.M. JOY" as well as 6:00 p.m. Eastern for a special broadcast. Thanks so much for being with us. "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes is up next.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN. Our reckless President. Donald Trump threatens protesters, ignores his own Coronavirus Task Force and moves ahead with a potential super spreader event. We`re live in Tulsa.

Then, documentary on Stanley Nelson on this moment and this President`s visit to the scene of the Tulsa race massacre. Plus, Jeff Charlotte reports from inside the cult of Trump and Dr. Ashish Jha on why our Coronavirus cases just keep growing when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York, I`m Chris Hayes. On this Juneteenth, a day to commemorate and celebrate freedom and black liberation, the city of Tulsa Oklahoma is in a mood of both celebration and apprehension depending on who you are, as the Trump base comes to the city for an event that represents everything wrong with the President`s leadership generally, and particularly in this fraught moment.

First of all, there is the very obvious public health problems. Let`s start with this. Here`s what the seven-day rolling average of new Coronavirus cases in Tulsa look like. That big spike on the right shows just how quickly it has been spreading over the last few days. In fact, the numbers are looking so bad across the entire state that a Black Lives Matter event scheduled tonight in Oklahoma City was postponed.

Local public health officials from Tulsa have been pleading with the president all week to cancel the rally. Just yesterday, a local doctor and emergency room physician wrote an op-ed in the newspaper titled: I`m a Tulsa emergency physician and a conservative and the Trump rally is a terrible idea.

And it`s not just the fact that it`s a large event that is so worrisome. It`s true, the absolute number of cases in Tulsa is relatively low. Even more insane is that they are doing it indoors. We are still learning day by day about this virus, but two things that are becoming more and more certain as time goes on, is that it`s better to be outdoors and indoors and it is better for people to be masked than unmasked.

And yet with that knowledge, with access to the CDC, right, and his own most hardcore supporters lives in his hands, what`s the President going to do? He`s going to hold an indoor no mass required rally. In fact, today, the President`s Press Secretary Kelly McEnany says she won`t be wearing a mask. "It`s a personal choice."

Some concerned Tulsa businesses and residents asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court to intervene and enforce the CDC recommendations at the Trump rally, things like social distancing wearing a mask. Today, the Oklahoma supreme court denied that request saying, they didn`t really have standing.

And amidst all this, the President has been bragging about the fact that a million people, a million people -- good for you -- have requested tickets to the rally. You know what, if you have that many people who want to attend, I don`t know, why not use one of the big outdoor venues in the area? It turns out there`s an enormous football stadium at the University of Oklahoma.

They can hold an outdoor rally there with 80,000 people instead of 19,000. indoors. And you can even require everyone who comes into venue to wear masks. Outdoor, mask, lots of people cheering you with adoration with the stars in their eyes and their love of you, making you feel something inside yourself that you can`t feel otherwise. They could do all that. But they`re not. They`re not doing that.

Right now, Donald Trump is going to set off what looks like a public health bioweapon in the city of Tulsa at an event comprised of his own most loyal, most fervent supporters. And he is doing that in a moment of profound racial reckoning in this country, as a nation is experiencing some of the longest sustained street protests in a generation in the aftermath of the police murder of George Floyd, and as the nation confronts the legacy, history of white supremacy, the president who has shown his deep-seated bigotry at just about every turn, who has defended the monuments to Confederate traders who said when the looting starts the shooting starts, he plan to hold this rally to kick off his return to the campaign trail at the site of one of the world`s worst racist massacres in American history in Tulsa Greenwood neighborhood, then known as Black Wall Street.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On May 30, 1921, the mob came to Greenwood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a whistle that blew and then the mass invasion and the destruction of Greenwood began.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the smoke cleared in the early morning of June 1, 1921, Black Wall Street lay in ruins.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is by far the largest single incident of racial violence in all of American history.


HAYES: On top of that, the president originally scheduled this rally today. On today, Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating them slavery marks a day when a Union General finally arrived in Galveston, Texas to inform enslaved black people there that the Civil War was over, that they were free.

It was two and a half years fully after Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation when that news finally got to them. So that is when and where Donald Trump originally planned his first rally. On Juneteenth just right by the sight of one of the worst racist slaughters in American history. And then he back stepped moving the rally to tomorrow out of respect, he said.

But all the symbolism of what this rally means what Trumpism means and what make America great again means is right there on display in the President`s tweet this morning, essentially threatening peaceful protesters and those who assemble with violence. "Any protesters, anarchist, agitators, looters or lowlights, who are going to Oklahoma, please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene." We all know what that means.

In fact, in that tweet, it`s not hard to pick up the disquieting echo the threats of white mob violence that hung over the slaves of Texas, or the freedmen of Tulsa, Oklahoma. And at the same time, the President has been lobbying for legal leniency for his own supporters, apparently getting the mayor of Tulsa to lift a plan curfew in the city. And that my friends is Trumpism in a nutshell and those two tweets. For my friends, everything for my enemy is the law. If you wear a MAGA hat, you`re outside the law and it`s reaches. If you`re a protester, well, the baton is going to come down on your head. This entire event like the entire Trump presidency is an obscenity.

And I want to make this abundantly clear, there are a lot of people who think the President`s rally tomorrow night in Tulsa is an absolutely terrible idea including top members of his Coronavirus Task Force who advised against the rally. Trump`s top health official who warn the rally could be a "super spreader event that would lead to more infections and more deaths." The President doesn`t care and neither do his aides. They reportedly want to get him out of the funk he`s been in for weeks having the rally. If that makes jeopardizing lives, well, so be it.

People who might be able to stop the event are refusing to step in. The Republican mayor of Tulsa said he understood people`s concerns, but also there`s a tremendous honor the President would select Tulsa first for his rally. And today, Oklahoma`s Republican governor insisted against all evidence the rally will be safe.


GOV. KEVIN STITT (R-OK): We just believe in freedoms in Oklahoma. If you -- if you want to wear a mask, we want you to do it. If you feel safer at home, we don`t want you to come to that rally. But we -- if you do feel OK, we want you to come to the rally and have a good time. We`re going to be very safe and we think it`s the right time.


HAYES: I`m joined now by someone who does not think the rally should go forward, Vanessa Hall-Harper. She`s the only African American member of the Tulsa City Council. Councilwoman, let me -- let me start and ask, what is the mood in your city like this evening?

VANESSA HALL-HARPER, CITY COUNCILMEMBER, TULSA OKLAHOMA: It`s very tense. It`s very tense. I`ve spoken to a couple of my colleagues and they are concerned as well. And so, it`s just tense. And we are in a position as a city councilor where we`re not being apprised of the security measures and what`s going on. So that is concerning even further.

HAYES: What is your -- if you could get your way here? I mean, what do you -- what would you like to see happen just I guess first, just the public health level? Are you concerned about this as a public health event and what do you think should happen?

HALL-HARPER: I`m absolutely concerned about the public health. And as you mentioned earlier in the segment, the original Tulsa Juneteenth celebration that I`m deeply involved with was canceled last month due to COVID. And if I had my wish, we wouldn`t be having Juneteenth and we wouldn`t be having a rally about five or six blocks down the street. We wouldn`t have anything.

We would be at home because we are having -- I`m sorry, I`m having a hard time hearing you. Al Sharpton is now taking the stage. But we will be at home, safe at home. That`s my wish as a public health professional. I`m in the public health for 20 years, and I`m very torn about being here tonight.

HAYES: What is -- the mayor and other folks in the city, I mean, is there a concern about this all being indoors? Right now, you`re outdoors and you wear mask. We`ve got some pretty good evidence that being outdoors and masks is better than indoors on masks. I mean, is there -- does the mayor - - I mean, this is not a partisan thing. Like, is there concern from other people about being indoors?

HALL-HARPER: Yes. I mean, there`s certainly that indication. He has said that, but it`s just not showing through action. And I think, because the president who he -- he is who he is, exceptions are being made not only for the rally, but also for his supporters. The BOK center where that rally has been held had been -- was closed down until the end of July. That decision had been made. But when he made a call that he wanted to come to Tulsa, then an exception was made.

We had a curfew. The mayor signed an executive order just yesterday establishing a curfew. He talked to the -- to the President, and now that curfew has been lifted. So it is clear that the GOP is controlling this state and this city and this community right now and it`s very frustrating. It`s very frustrating because we are putting our citizens at risk.

HAYES: So that`s -- so the BOK arena, it had been shuttered by order through July. There was an exception made for that to hold this rally, and then the mayor had signed a curfew that the President got undone so his supporters can sleep on the streets tonight. Is that right?

HALL-HARPER: Yes, today, today. I was shocked when I saw it come through. Because once again, even as a city official, we`re finding this information out when everyone else is finding it out. The press is letting me know what`s going on in my own government. And that`s very freaking frustrating for me.

I have constituents reaching out to me asking me questions, and I can`t give them answers. And so, that`s why I`m upset clearly and I think we have a tense situation. I`m sitting there looking at little babies out here celebrating and dancing and having fun, but they have no idea of what could potentially happen in any second, and I`m not concerned about that.

HAYES: I mean, is there at least -- is there spatial separation at least? I mean, I know that there are celebrations today for Juneteenth. You`re at one. There have been all day in your city of Tulsa, Oklahoma as there have been around the country, and then there are a lot of folks lining up outside that arena and sleeping outside of it. Do you think basically spatial separation can be maintained at the very least?

HALL-HARPER: No. It`s almost impossible. I mean, out here, it`s outside. I can clearly see people are trying to ensure they observed spacing requirements and it`s easy to do that outside. You just can`t do that indoors, especially when you`re talking about a group of people who think wearing a mask is a sign of weakness because their leader, the leader of this country is saying don`t wear a mask and wearing masks is a sign of weakness, and you berate people that do.

And so I have not gone to that part of town for the last couple of days since people started coming in. I`ve intentionally avoided where the BOK Center is, and I just plan to -- we hope -- we hope to shut this rally down before dark so that we can get home. We got to encourage people to go home and be safe.

But yes, people are wearing masks, we have hand washing stations out here throughout the crowd and we are encouraging people to be as safe as they possibly can. I`m walking up to people say please put a mask on. We have free masks available to people. And for the most part, everybody is saying yes, they`re putting a mask on and they`re trying to be observant as much as we possibly can. But we need to be at home. There`s no question about that. We need to be at home.

And also, if I could, I just want to take a few minutes to acknowledge -- may I finish? I just wanted --

HAYES: Go ahead.

HALL-HARPER: I just want to waste the memories -- I just want to acknowledge the memories of Terence Crutcher, Joshua Ray, Joshua Harvey, and Eric Harris. I don`t want the, the issues or the concerns with what has happened to them about dying at the hands of law enforcement in this community to go unnoticed or to be forgotten. So I just want to acknowledge their memories and respect their families by calling their names.

HAYES: Tulsa Counselor Vanessa Hall-Harper, who is there at that Juneteenth celebration, a member of the city council in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is in the national spotlight for obvious reasons tonight. Thank you so much for taking some time to talk to us tonight. I really appreciate it, Councilwoman.

HALL-HARPER: Thank you. Thank you so much.

HAYES: Next, award-winning documentary in Stanley Nelson on the President`s choice to follow nationwide protests against racism and equality, with a campaign rally in a city that one saw a brutal massacre of Black Americans. He joins me to discuss the meaning of this moment next.


HAYES: Yesterday, the National archives found this amazing handwritten piece of history from 1865. It appears to be the original Juneteenth Military Order informing the people of Texas that all enslaved people are now free. It is titled: General Order Number Three which you can see on the top left paper next to the stamp. It was issued on June 19th more than two months after the Civil War officially ended.

The order took so long because Texas`s Confederate constitution prohibited freeing slaves. So federal troops had to physically get to Texas and order their freedom. Before this year, many white Americans were largely unaware of Juneteenth, I think it`s safe to say, but for African Americans, the emancipation holiday started in the shadow of the 1866 Black Laws passed just after the Civil War to restrict nearly one freedom and the founding of the KKK.

And Juneteenth was first celebrated publicly, but during the Jim Crow era, those celebrations largely had to take place in private. Juneteenth then reemerged in the 1960s. It became a Texas State holiday in 1980. One particular white American who was clearly unaware of the day`s significance until very recently as of course the president who scheduled his first big 2020 Make America Great Again rally for today before going to change the day tomorrow instead.

The location he chose for his rally is Tulsa, Oklahoma where we were just showing you just blocks from the Greenwood business district known in the early 20th century as black Wall Street. And in 1921, white men storm the area burning businesses the ground, killing as many as 300 black residents. It was the very type of racial violence that pushed Juneteenth out of public view for decades.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a whistle that blew, and then the mass invasion and the destruction of Greenwood began. It goes block by block. Any African American man who resists were shot, others who are still there are all rounded up by mob members, by police officers, by these special deputies. Whites will then break into businesses, loot what they can, and then set them on fire.


HAYES: That was from the 2019 PBS documentary Boss: The Black Experience in Business which is streaming now for free. And joining me now is award- winning filmmaker behind that documentary and many other, Stanley Nelson. He`s directing a docuseries titled Terror in Tulsa: The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street which sets debut next spring in time for the 100th anniversary of the massacre.

It`s a great joy to have you on Stanley. Maybe, I wonder if you can just sort of talk about how you first learned to this story and why it is so significant so emblematic.

STANLEY NELSON, FILMMAKER: You know, I think it was always a myth that I kind of heard about, and it`s that kind of thing for African Americans. You know, we kind of have heard about it, we don`t know the details. I think, you know, we`re able to investigate it in a five-minute piece in Boss, but the film that we`re working on now will be much more expansive.

You know, it`s just one of those iconic moments for African Americans. And what we found when we did Boss was that it`s not -- it`s not the only time this happened. There`s so many times African American businesses were destroyed either by mobs or boycotts or laws that destroy them. And so, it`s really important that we understand that history. It`s kind of what we`re all looking at it, how did we get to this moment. And that`s one of the ways that we got to this moment that we`re living in now.

HAYES: Yes. The story of the -- of the massacre that happens there, which is a story of a sort of a white mob, that sort of, you know, destroys the core of black business and Tulsa kills hundreds of people and then faces essentially no consequences. That kind of vigilante violence is a huge part of the story of post reconstruction America where essentially, equality was taken back away from African Americans through this kind of mob violence. And I think that part of the American story is a really an under-told one. What do you think?

NELSON: Yes. I think that that`s a story we don`t know. And but -- you know, I was thinking about it about it a while ago. You know, there are other stories that that are just as amazing. There`s a story that we have in Boss about a guy named Fuller who had a million-dollar company that sold as soap and perfume. And he sold it to white people, to white women. And when it was found out that this black man owned the company, the company was then boycotted all around the country, and it went out of business, just because it was a black man who owned this company.

HAYES: You`re someone who has been making films about African American society, culture, politics, and history for decades. We have seen in the last several weeks, street protests and political activation unlike any we`ve probably seen in a generation. What do you -- how do you make sense of this moment as someone who`s studied the history of this?

NELSON: I think it`s one of those things. I mean, you know, that`s how movement start. They start because people are outraged. And I think it`s a great moment, you know, in our history. Hopefully, it keeps going.

You know, one of the great things to see is that there`s so many young people out there and, you know, they`re black people, white people, Asian, Latinos, everybody is out there. It`s almost like this country has just had an awakening. You know, we`ve had enough and that`s a good thing. And, you know, I think that Trump is a big part of it.

You know, it`s like the unspoken monster gorilla in the room. We`ve just had enough, enough of this racism that exists in this country. And young people, I think, really want to change it.

HAYES: This is of course Juneteenth. And I think it`s being celebrated in a -- in a way that probably hasn`t been celebrated quite before particularly I think large parts of white America that I think were -- didn`t know about the holiday or sort of knew about it.

I think it`s going to be a national holiday at some point. It seems like there`s a push for that. How important is this kind of commemoration, this sort of historical storytelling?

NELSON: It`s incredibly important. You know, it`s -- you know, for me personally, it`s one of those things where I didn`t know I needed it until today. I didn`t know it until today. And today was just amazing to see our ancestors celebrate it. You know, our ancestors who lived and died so that we could be here and struggled through, you know, one of the coolest institutions that`s ever existed in the history of the world. And they struggled through it and they survived.

And so I think, you know, for me, all day I just was kind of glowing, you know, in the midst of everything that we`re going through, but I think it`s a huge thing. I`m with you. I feel like there`s a real push that this will be a national holiday, and you know, it`s something that we -- that we don`t have in this country.

There are very few commemorations of what the enslaved people went through. And you know, and that`s really important that we celebrate those who are enslaved and stop celebrating those enslavers. And I think that`s a huge move for this country.

HAYES: Yes, it is striking to me as I was thinking about this today. It is interesting that it`s a Texas holiday that this moment that in some ways gets -- of course gets taught, right? I mean, the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th amendment, the abolition of slavery as a kind of like, oh, look, you know, we got it right in the end, in the sort of storybook American history. But the fact that that sort of sacrosanct defining moment of liberation isn`t celebrated is striking. Like it`s a thing to celebrate.

NELSON: Yes, it`s a -- it`s a huge thing. And, you know, it`s - again, it`s celebrating our ancestors and we`re celebrating the right thing. They`re the people who went through hell to make the world that we -- that we live in now. So it`s just it`s just a huge thing. And I hope it`s a step that we take.

You know, one of the great things is again to see everybody celebrating today. You know, it`s marvelous to see people of all kinds celebrating those who are enslaved and live their lives under that system.

HAYES: Stanley, you`ve been -- you`ve been working, documenting black life in America for decades. This feels like a sort of crossroads, a very perilous moment. You talked about the awakening, but I feel here -- listening to your voice today like there`s a kind of lift and optimism in how you`re viewing this moment.

NELSON: Yes. I mean, I`m very optimistic. You know, I have -- I have three kids, you know, they`re two 21-year-old, twins, and a 30-year-old, and they`re all out there. They`re all out there marching. They`re part of this and they want to they want change. And so that`s where it starts.

I feel really optimistic about it. You know, it`s a terrible time. You know, it`s -- you know, we have this pandemic, and then to see those people, you know, lined up to see Trump, you know, is you know, horrible. But I also have great faith in young people and people who are out there trying to change things for the better. I just got to be optimistic about that.

HAYES: Well, I was lucky enough to meet your daughter once. She actually babysat our kids and she was an absolute delight and incredible, so Stanley Nelson, thank you very much.

NELSON: Thank you.

HAYES: Next, a look into the cult of Trump rallies and the supporters willing to enter a room filled with thousands of people in the middle of a pandemic just to get a glimpse of the president.


HAYES: The kind of people who are going to a Trump rally amidst a pandemic, people who are going to travel from all over the country, camp out in line, those people are going to be, by definition, the hardest of hardcore supporters, their relationship with Trump and Trumpism is more than just the person they vote for, or the politics they have, it is something far, far deeper, in many cases, more bizarre.

This new profile for Vanity Fair writer Jeff Sharlet argues that Trump rallies have essentially become a kind of religious experience, detached from mundane arguments or even reason, quote, "the joy of a Trump rally is not partisan, it is the ecstasy of liberation. It`s the convert`s conviction that they have transcended compromise and coalition, they have entered into the light undiluted and pure."

And joining me now is Jeff Sharlet, a Vanity Fair contributor who spent much of his career reporting on the intersection of religion and politics, and two of his books on this topic have become the basis of a Netflix documentary series called "The Family."

Jeff, I`ve been a fan of your writing for a very long time, was very excited to see your byline in this piece, and the piece did not disappoint. And I thought the sort of religious framework you bring to it was really illuminating. What did you feel like you were discovering as you spent time in this milieu.

JEFF SHARLET, VANITY FAIR: Something has changed in the years of Trump`s presidency. In 2016, I was looking at the religion and the rallies and I found something, a prosperity gospel, kind of a get rich quick promise. Now it`s much darker. And I liken it to something called the gnostic gospel, this idea that all knowledge is hidden, that elites are in this vast conspiracy against us and that only the great man himself, Trump, by pushing aside expert knowledge can we get to the truth and really ferret our enemies and destroy them. It is about destroying an enemy within now.

HAYES: Yeah. And it`s also about the falsity of the world that you see before you, which I think relates to the kind of Q Anon conspiracy theory, that there is the famous Trump line about like, don`t -- you know, everything you are seeing and reading isn`t true, right? That like when the people I hire come out and say that I`m exactly the crude, incompetent brute that I look like, they`re lying.

But there has to be this sort of willed religious feeling to constantly be seeing the actual world getting information and discounting that as like a false consciousness.

SHARLET: A false consciousness or, rather, you learn how to read what the actual evidence is. And for instance, many of the folks I met at these rallies, whether they were invested in Q Anon or had never heard of it, I kept coming across this idea. In Trump`s tweets, some of them wear t-shirts that say Trump`s tweets matter. In Trump`s tweets, every typo, every misspelling, every especially the strange capitalizations are actually messages and you have to study them like scripture, one pastor told me, to understand the real meaning beneath the veneer of the bumbling buffoon.

HAYES: There is also the fact that these have aged, right? And you talk about it taking on a darker caste where it`s like a Grateful Dead show or a Phish show, there is a subculture. There is institutions. There`s a universe that`s grown up around this as a genre of event that I don`t think necessarily was quite there in `15 and `16. Now it`s a thing, it`s a happening.

it`s a thing. i mean, there`s people who go -- in the story there`s people who have been to dozens of rallies. There one guy who is called the Trumped Up Cowboy. And he pays for a group of teenagers. He says he found them in the woods of Kentucky, which sounds a little strange, and flies them around the country. And they go to rallies all over the country to sort of spread the word. Brad Parscale from the stage, Trumps campaign manager, even sort of name checked these guys.

Some people have gone to dozens -- 68 rallies one person had. They get campers and they travel around the country. So, yeah, that Grateful Dead connection, that Phish connection, that kind of absolute devotion.

And what`s interesting is it doesn`t really matter what happens at the rally. At one I went to in Sunrise, Florida, Trump must have spoken for it seemed like two hours. A lot of people left early. And so I would speak to them and I said, are you disappointed? They say no, this was wonderful. And I said, but you`re leaving early. And they said, it was great.

And it didn`t even matter what was said, it was the ritual.

HAYES: Right.

What do you think -- I mean obviously we have seen interviews with people going to these rallies saying, look, if Trump says it`s safe, it`s safe. I saw someone today say if I die, I have to die, the sort of willing to take the risk. And I get it. I mean, I don`t want to be too blinkered here. There is lots of people who are in the streets protesting for a cause they thought mattered a lot and knew they might be taking risk on, so people make those sort of balanced judgments.

But I`m curious what you make of people showing up go to an indoor unmasked rally in the middle of the pandemic.

SHARLET: I think it`s a very different experience than what we see with folks protesting, oftentimes, we should say, taking precautions as they do so. But this is an idea that you are protected by the hand of god. I mean, that -- we all heard that joke when Trump jokingly referred to himself as the Chosen One, but when you go to the rallies and you talk to people, you find that idea of divinity played out over and over again. He really is god`s chosen one.

And that means that the rally itself has this sort of spiritual protection. The Coronavirus, whether you believe in it as a conspiracy or you think it`s a real problem, it`s not going to touch you at the rally. You are going to be sort of magically protected.

HAYES: How representative -- the big question that hangs over American politics, right, is we know there is these people, right, there is some tiny subset of people -- there is a person who goes 68 times, then there`s -- you know you go out in concentric circles -- there are people that go to one rally, and there are people who people put up a window sign or wear a MAGA hat, and then there is people that vote for Donald Trump.

Like what is your understanding of the size of this world?

SHARLET: I think that`s one of the really key things. When you go to the rallies, most of the press, as you know, stays in a press cage. And I think there needs to be kind of more of an engagement with people. And we need to look at these rallies not so much as political events, but as religious rituals.

And then you discover that although the sort of Q Anon believers, that`s a small subset, those ideas have sort of infiltrated the much broader movement. I mean, Trump checks them from the stage talking about things that he can`t tell you, talking about invisible enemies.

A real moment for me, I was talking to one women, and she was deeply invested in Q Anon. And like a surprising number of people she believed that not only are Democrats elites invested in child trafficking, they`re actually invested in cannibalism.

So I turned to the people around me who weren`t -- they were not -- you know, they had gone to that one rally, this was -- they weren`t people who are on the Trump trail. And I said, do you believe this? And some said, well, it`s hard to say. I don`t know.

No one was saying, that`s crazy, that`s insane. It is all within the realm of possibility once you had abandoned -- and then Trump comes on stage and he starts talking about horrible, horrible stories. I mean, really gory violence. He spins out for a long time and he says there`s more I can`t tell you. And that they experience as confirmation of their beliefs.

HAYES: Right. It`s an incredible piece of work. Jeff Sharlet, it`s in Vanity Fair, you should definitely check it out. Thank you so much for making some time for us tonight.

SHARLET: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Coming up, Doctor Ashish Jha on the steady climbing number of Coronavirus cases in the U.S. and why experts around the world are watching with alarm.


HAYES: As we see new Coronavirus outbreaks spreading in cities and states across the country, we appear, appear, to also have reached an inflection point, an important one, for the disease. You see, for a very long time there were these two offsetting trends: the areas of the biggest early outbreaks like the New York metro area were declining quite rapidly in terms of the new cases, while places that were not very hard hit initially were rising, although kind of slowly.

And together they sort of cancel each other out, right? It looks like we have crossed over that national divide. It has been for several weeks that we have had a case count that just kind of plateaued and held steady. We`ve now crossed into a new phase where nationally are once again rising in the aggregate.

Now here`s the thing, all the other major western countries have clamped down on the virus and not us. The red line in this graph is the European Union and the blue line is the United States. And you can see how the European Union, like us, peaked around 30,000 cases per day right around the same time we did. Now the whole European Union is averaging around 4,000 new cases per day. The United States hasn`t broken below 20,000 new cases and is now on its way back up.

And part of what makes that chart so frustrating, so maddening is that for a while Europe was sort of in the same position we were. I mean, at the beginning of the outbreak, they did not do a great job either. We watched as hospitals in Italy were just overrun and the disease then hit Spain and France and Sweden, the UK -- no longer part of the EU, of course. And, yes, we were a basket case, but so was most of Europe.

And people here, even on this program, we used to look at the countries that had done a really bang-up great job, right, to contain the virus like South Korea and Taiwan and New Zealand and Australia, and we would say, well, we can never have success like them, our cultures are too different, and we didn`t experience SARS firsthand, and we`re not on an island like New Zealand and Taiwan and Singapore.

So the last refuge for comparison when you looked at how the U.S. was handling this, it was that Europe was there and also struggling. And it was a way of making ourselves feel better about how we were dealing with the virus. That is now gone, OK. Europe has suppressed the virus and we have not. We are doing a terrible job containing this pandemic, arguably worse than anywhere in the world, with the exception right now of Brazil.

In fact, countries who have contained the virus are now concerned about our growing rise in cases. One infectious disease specialist in New Zealand told The Washington Post, quote, it really does feel like the U.S. has given up.

And we should be worried, because if there is one thing we have learned about the disease already, as we have gone through this, is that it has a very long fuse.

I remember very distinctly speaking into this camera back in early March as more and more cases were confirmed here every day noting that it was strange how few people were dying from the disease at that point, and experts would say, just wait. Look at Italy. Look at Spain. And by mid- April, the Coronavirus was the leading cause of death in this country ahead of cancer and ahead of heart disease.

I have that feeling again watching the cases grow in Arizona, Texas and Florida, that moment between the lightening and the thunder wondering when we`re going to feel the force of the skies above us.

I hope I`m wrong, but I fear it`s all happening again.


HAYES: All right, so here is what the Coronavirus outbreak looks like right now in Arizona. You can see how the bar for new cases shoot up there at the far end how the line for the seven day average keeps climbing higher and higher.

In Texas, you can see how the curve never really got flattened, instead that seven day average has been moving higher and higher for weeks.

In Florida, they`re experiencing exponential growth, setting new records almost daily. Today alone, there were over 3,800 new cases, that`s almost six times what they were recoding at the beginning of the month.

We`re now in a new phase of this pandemic. It`s not a second wave, but it`s the point at which states are opening back up even though we haven`t suppressed the virus. Now, the virus is starting to grow and what happens next? No one really knows.

And here to help me get my head around what`s going on, someone I always learn from whenever we speak, Dr. Ashish Jha, a professor of global health and the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.

So, Dr. Jha, this is how I thought we would do this, I`m going to appoint myself the sort of -- the optimist here and try to throw out a number of optimistic scenarios about what we`re seeing, and I want to hear your response, because I -- so the first optimistic scenario is even though we`re seeing rates of growth that are very high, the actual overall levels are still relatively low. We`re not dealing with levels like what we saw in the New York outbreak. What do you think of that?


I like that idea. It`s true that we`re not where New York was, but the problem of exponential growth is once it starts growing and gets momentum, it becomes very hard to slow down and stop. And so the trend here is very concerning. And we can reach very high levels very quickly if we don`t begin to head this off.

HAYES: The other -- so the other idea is that when we saw the real -- the crazy levels of exponential growth, right, when this thing went through Wuhan, then Lombardy, and New York, the sort of three worst outbreaks probably in the world, maybe Madrid as well, you didn`t have any kind of real social distancing in place, no one saw the thing coming, you didn`t have masks, you didn`t have like the basic advanced preparation for what this thing can do, when you had an "R," the transmission number of around 3, that maybe you can get it to over 1, but nothing like that, and then that`s a kind of like survivable or deal-with-able level of growth.

JHA: Yeah, so I don`t think we`re going to deal with that kind of an outbreak in this country, hopefully for the rest of this pandemic. But let`s play out the -- kind of the RT of 1.2 or 1.1. You still get hospitals starting to get overwhelmed, which is what we`re seeing right now, in several places. Arizona`s hospitals are starting to get full, a lot of places in Florida, parts of Texas, and that just keeps going.

So then you have choices, like you`ve got to do masks, you have got to start peeling back some of the relaxations you`ve had. You have got to ramp up testing and tracing and isolation, and at some point, Chris, if you don`t do enough of those things, then you really are looking at shelter in place again.

So, we may not have another Lombardy style outbreak here, but we`ve got to get on top of this or we`re going to be looking at shelter in place as our only solution.

HAYES: And we should not -- I mean, this Apple News today to me was striking, because I think it marks a kind of first, which is that they basically are closing a bunch of retail stores, so this is -- I think it`s like the first step back, it`s the first kind of moment of retrenchment we`ve seen in the U.S.

We`ve seen other places do this. South Korea had to do it. We`ve seen Singapore had to do it. We`ve seen China have to do it. Beijing just closed its schools. It`s not like we`ve the only ones doing this, but that Apple moment to me was a striking one where it`s like it`s not going to go all in one direction for the duration of this pandemic.

JHA: Yeah, so to me, that Apple store closing, a couple of things. I mean, first of all, you know, it`s a reminder that whatever policymakers do, even if governors or legislatures are in denial, businesses have to deal with the reality on the ground.

And the second part is that we are going to see these kind of ebbs and flows where things are going to get bad and we`re going to have to pull back. An d it`s a reminder that we`re not done with this pandemic.

I mean, I think one of the things that`s been really striking to me is so much of the federal government has treated this in the last couple of weeks as, we`re done, we`re moving on, we`re now thinking about the rest of the year.

We`re not done. And, you know, we may act like the pandemic is something we`re done with, but the pandemic is not done with us. And that is what I think reminds us.

HAYES: So here is the other -- this is the other Hail Mary thought I`ve been having. And I`ve been talking to a number of people about this. So, we have seen -- for a very long time, if you look at the new cases and new deaths, fatalities, right, they were very similar curves, almost sort of bizarrely so. And they`ve diverged. They`ve diverged here in the U.S. and they`ve diverged globally. And there`s two ways to think about that, right, one is the we`re in the period between the thunder and the lightning, that there`s just a lag and you get new cases growing. The other is that maybe younger people are getting infected, or we have better protocols in place in places like nursing homes, we have better ways to protect vulnerable populations such that case growth now in this world where we`re better prepared doesn`t have to produce the just shocking fatality rate that it did when it first hit the country.

What is your hope for that?

JHA: So I think that`s possible. I`m hoping that it won`t be as bad. But it`s not like we`re going to see lots of cases and not a lot of deaths, I actually do think we`ll see a good number.

And the reason is this, first of all we have not figured out how to protect nursing homes, we have not figured out how to protect the elderly. And the idea that you can let young people get infected and protect a large proportion of the population,. this is the idea that the UK had for awhile, Sweden has played around with this, no one has figured out how to do this, because it turns out older people live in the same society as younger people, and they interact. And we can`t shut away a chunk of our population for a year, it just won`t work.

The only other quick thing I`ll say is younger people do get sick and die from this virus as well. So, even if the numbers are not as dramatic, we are going to see a lot of suffering if a lot of people get infected.

HAYES: I saw this today out of the state of Oklahoma, of course, where the rally is going to be, that the nursing homes, that they`re going to start allowing visitors, and that the masks are going to be available to visitors but not required either.

And, I mean, that just seems -- I mean, that just seems nuts to me, like it`s just completely nuts. I mean, we should require people that visit nursing homes to wear masks, right?

JHA: You know, it`s striking to me that we are not willing to just make compulsory a set of things that`s going to help us get through this pandemic.

Last week I was hearing about nightclubs are open in Phoenix. OK, look, I love nightclubs as much as the next guy, but like maybe during the pandemic we can live without nightclubs and do masks for everybody. That`s not a huge burden.

But it doesn`t seem like we`re willing to make those decisions.

HAYES: This is the thing that`s driving me insane about this moment is, it seems as if we were smart and had good policy and things were -- we could have a kind of 90 percent of normal life, where, you know, illness and fatalities were pretty suppressed and contained and we weren`t all just in our houses home schooling our kids, that we could have like 90 percent normal. And instead it`s like, we`re trying to get 100 and we`re going to end up with 50 percent normal, because you can`t have 100 percent normal.

JHA: Exactly. We`re in the middle of a pandemic. I like to remind people, we`re in the middle of a pandemic, like, this is serious stuff. And part of the problem, just to be very clear about this, is that we have a federal government, a federal leadership that is desperate to move on and put this behind us. And it is actually I think incredibly difficult to manage that, because they`re not letting science and evidence drive their decision- making, and that makes it much harder for the rest of the country to function effectively.

HAYES: That`s -- literally the rest of the world is looking at us like a basket case and shaking their heads, as they should be, for precisely the reason that you just articulated.

Dr. Ashish Jha, it`s always great to share your expertise. Thank you very much.

JHA: Thanks, Chris.

HAYES: That`s it for All In this evening. The Rachel Maddow Show starts right now. Good evening, Rachel. Happy Friday.