IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Elijah McClain's death TRANSCRIPT: 6/26/20, All In w/ Chris Hayes

Guests: Karen Bass, Donna Shalala, Murtaza Akhter, Christine Todd Whitman,Elie Mystal, Lee Riley

REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): Every day until we get a bill on the President`s desk.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes, indeed, indeed. Well, I want to thank all of our guests. Congresswoman Karen Bass, Congressman, Congresswoman Val Demings, and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, who may not be on the V.P. list right now, but you know, four years from now, he may be running for president. We just don`t know. Also, thank you all, to all of our viewers who submitted questions. Please don`t go anywhere, "ALL IN" with Chris Hayes is next.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on ALL IN. Absolute failure, catastrophic new virus numbers as Florida and Texas begin to close back down. Tonight, they were all warned and they all failed us. And it`s time for this president to resign.

Then it`s not only red states, why California is suddenly locking down an entire county. Plus, abuse of force, why Colorado is suddenly investigating a suspicious death in police custody a year after it happened.

And new polling shows why presidents campaign of racial division just isn`t working this time around, when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. In sheer numbers, the Coronavirus outbreak is worse than it has ever been. Before this week, New York was the only state to ever report more than 5,000 new cases of Coronavirus in a single day. But now, Texas, California, and Florida have all crossed that threshold on multiple days.

In just today, Florida nearly doubled it, reporting almost 9,000 new cases. In total, we have set another single-day record in the U.S. for new cases surpassing 40,000 for the first time. We have not seen these kinds of numbers since April, when of course the whole country was shut down. And for those weeks while we were shut down night in and night out on this program, and all over the internet and in the media, epidemiologists and public health officials and local officials and journalists all said the same thing.

The point of the show shutdown was to buy time, to put into place the capacity so that we could open up safely. There have always been two doors available as two options as I said before on the show. Door number one is an out of control outbreak that kills tens of thousands of people, sickens millions of melts down the healthcare system, a once in a century catastrophe.

Door number two, also unappealing, it brings us to an economic depression where we shut everything down to avoid complete health disaster. And we did that for weeks. The reason you do that is because you want to get to door number three. And many other countries have walked through door number three. It entails finding ways through contact tracing, and testing, social distancing, mask wearing, that some kind of normal life amidst the pandemic.

The countries in that category that have succeeded at least for now, they include South Korea, and China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, Singapore, and Vietnam, Australia, and New Zealand, Germany, and France, Italy, and Spain, and Greece and Belgium. Lots Some countries have gone through door number three, but not us.

We tried door number two, 40 million people lost their jobs, we bite the curve, and then our leaders just gave up. Donald Trump gave up and just decide to pretend the virus went away. The Federal Government did not take the leadership role in beefing up the capacity necessary to deal with the virus. States said the CDC guidelines for reopening did not apply to them and they were ready to reopen, and so they did.

And so, what has happened now is precisely what the health experts and the epidemiologist predicted that the virus would come roaring back. Now, it did take a while, maybe longer than we thought. And in the interim leading up to this point, there were a lot of preliminary victory laps.


GOV. DOUG DUCEY (R-AZ): I showed a green light today and it`s a green light to continue to go in the right direction. We are clearly on the other side of this pandemic.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): The situation happening in New York is far different than what is happening in Texas and other places. For example, there will be unfortunately, more people who pass away in one day in New York than we will have in Texas in the entirety of this whole pandemic situation.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): You got a lot of people in your profession who wax poetically for weeks and weeks about our Florida was going to be just like New York. Wait two weeks, Florida is going to be next. Just like Italy, wait two weeks. Well, hell, we`re eight weeks away from that, and it hasn`t happened.

So, we`ve succeeded, and I think that people just don`t want to recognize it because it challenges their narrative. It challenges their assumption.


HAYES: Yes, you idiots. You got it wrong. You said wait two weeks. Were eight weeks. We won. We have succeeded, said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on May 20th. Well, Mr. Governor, what exactly is success?

Remember, the president urged all those governors to ignore his own CDC guidelines. He told everyone, American citizens young and old, that they should view themselves as warriors going out into the battlefield. And those governors went out and they listened to Trump. They dangerously stake themselves and their public reputation to optimism. And the cardinal lesson of this pandemic is that if you stick yourself to optimism, you will move too late, and you will get eaten alive.

We saw this in the last four months. We should not have to keep learning this lesson, but apparently have to once again. And so now, we`re in totally uncharted waters. And it`s not because no other countries have this challenge of a new outbreak. Many other countries locked down, reopened, and then had a new uptake because that`s the way the virus works. But having touched the hot tub ones, they did not touch it again. And so those countries took dramatic proactive action.

In South Korea, officials closed all the bars and nightclubs in Seoul after just 40 new cases were linked to a man who went clubbing one weekend. In Singapore schools and most workplaces shut down again after seeing just 1,000 new cases in a week back in April.

Early this month, Beijing also closed schools and urged people to work from home after confirming just over 100 new cases in a week. We had 40,000 new cases in this country today. We`ve gone through much of this pandemic looking other countries curves and trying to compare where we are in relation to them.

Well, this is what our curve looks like. Almost no other country has done this, locked down, decrease cases, brought the virus under control and then come out and hit a new record on the other side. And we have an enormous population under the leadership of a whole bunch of different states all making these decisions, but something has to change.

The one remaining solace which the administration has been touting is that fatalities are continuing to slowly decline. And they are and thank God for that. But is there anyone out there who thinks that trend is going to continue to be the case if we keep seeing 40,000 new cases a day or even 50,000, and if the hospitals keep filling up.

What was supposed to happen was that we were buying time. If we went through door number two, through tremendous sacrifice, the sacrifice of frontline workers and medical professionals and everyone who lost their job and every parent homeschooling their kid and every small business that was shuttered, and everyone who just stayed home, through that sacrifice, we could buy time to put in place the governing capacity to make sure it would not happen again. We did none of that.

We do not have the contract tracing capacity we need. We still do not have appropriate testing capacity. Look at this line for testing in Orlando, Florida today before the testing site even opened. The first car was waiting at 1:00 in the morning. That`s how desperate people are for their - - for their health to find out if they`re sick. And drivers were advised to come with a full tank of gas and working air conditioning.

The Washington Post reports that a drive-up testing site in Phoenix, Arizona was swarmed on Saturday by about 1,000 people living some baked in their cars for hours. And so, now it is happening again another outbreak.

Today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott shut bars back down as of noon. He scaled back restaurant capacity to 50 percent. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered all bar shut down in his state too where remember, they have almost 9,000 new cases today. California Governor Gavin Newsom told Imperial County in the southern part of the state, they should reinstate their stay at home order.

We had three options. We had door number one with the pandemic raging out of control. Door number two is shutdown with economic destruction. And we could have gone through door number three. We could have found our way to some form of normal life. But our leaders did not do what was necessary to get there and so we are stuck back with exactly the same horrible choice we had 14 weeks ago.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Donna Shalala. She`s democrat of Florida. She represents part of Miami Dade County that got hit very hard early on, and she also served as Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton. Thank you so much for joining us tonight, Congresswoman. Let me start by asking you what the perspective looks like from Florida from your district.

REP. DONNA SHALALA (D-FL): 9,000 new cases in one day, 29,000 in the last seven days. It`s a disaster. And it`s a -- it`s a catastrophic failure of leadership of our governor, of our president. The mayors are scrambling to try to do the right thing. We don`t have contact tracers, as you pointed out.

Listen, Rwanda, in Africa, has 12 million people. They have 60,000 contact tracers, 60,000 contact racers. We`re not even in the ballgame. And I said, months ago, the worst thing that could happen to us is that we`d have to close down again. If you don`t starve the virus from the beginning, if you don`t hit it with a hammer, and with everything you`ve got, you end up where we are today. And it is just --it`s stunning how our leaders have failed us and politicize the whole issue.

HAYES: What do you mean by that?

SHALALA: I mean, look at the president with masks. Even the vice president shows up, everybody else has a mask on, and the Vice President of the United States is not wearing a mask. What kind of leadership? What kind of message is he sending? The President has stepped all over the public health messages.

This has never been about the date. It has always been about the data. And we just have not done what other countries did, and what our public health people told us we needed to do. We have a small window here.

HAYES: I want to talk about -- yes, I want to talk about that. Let`s talk about what the window is right now and where the leadership in your state is in terms of -- I know, there`s a Congressional delegation. Obviously, there`s two senators, you`ve got a governor, a lieutenant governor, there`s mayors, there`s county officials.

This is, are their phone calls happening, are alarm bells ringing? Do people realize, after the last three days that this trajectory means something very, very dangerous is -- for us on the precipice of something very dangerous? Is that -- is that broadly recognized right now?

SHALALA: I believe it is. I believe that people are frightened to death now because the leadership just hasn`t been consistent. Listen, people are so confused about who`s eligible for tests and when they should be tested. We should have been looking at the census tracks on where the outbreaks were, and doing everything we could to surround those places, to make sure that they had masks, to make sure that they were practicing social distancing, and testing, testing, testing.

We told people to go back to work. Who do we tell to go back to work? The poorest people in my community. The people that work in restaurants and clean buildings. It`s not the executives that went back to work. And they - - and the people that went back to work live in the closest quarters in Little Havana in very tight apartments and homes and we expose them without proper equipment, without proper testing. It`s immoral.

And we need -- we`ve got a short window here. And we need to hit this thing with a hammer and with everything we`ve got. We need to identify the areas where people are really vulnerable and make sure that we have everything in place. We know what to do and now we`ve got to do it.

HAYES: We should note that there are still testing shortages in your -- in your state and this is a problem. Obviously, testing capacity has exploded. It`s really gone up quite a bit in the U.S., but there`s a supply demand mismatch, it seems to me, in states that have outbreaks. And in Florida, you have the first car that was in line at 1:00 a.m. You had a long line an hour before opening. Drivers advise to come full tank of gas working A.C. I mean, do you think you need more testing capacity surge right now to your state?

SHALALA: We always have. There`s never been enough testing capacity in the country. There`s no question about that. And that`s because the federal government didn`t take the responsibility for testing supplies. There are a handful of things the feds needed to do. They needed to set the standards. They needed to purchase all of the supplies that we needed. The PPE, all of the testing supplies.

Listen, the Defense Department buys big things in multiple volumes. The Defense Production Act could have been used and it wasn`t. This failure of leadership is incredibly -- it`s killing people. I thought I`d never in my lifetime say that the President of the United States is responsible for people`s deaths. There`s just no question about it now.

HAYES: Congresswoman Donna Shalala, of course, who formerly headed up HHS, thank you for your time tonight. And of course, we`re all thinking about Florida right now and pulling for you. Thank you.

SHALALA: Thank you.

HAYES: Now, for more in the situation on the ground, I want to bring in Dr. Murtaza Akhter. He`s an emergency medicine physician with the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix. And Doctor, first Just give me a sense of what things are like there in the hospital system in a state that I think it`s fair to say has right now the worst outbreak in the country.

MURTAZA AKHTER, EMERGENCY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: Yes, thanks for having me, Chris. Things are rough in the hospital. And, you know, I went into my shifts the last couple of weeks knowing that we were making national news and not for good reasons. So I was expecting it to be to be worse, and yet I was surprised by how bad it was.

Not only do we have a lot of time patients coming in compared to just a few weeks ago, but they all look quite sick. A lot of them have influenza-like illness as we call it, shortness of breath, cough, fever, body aches. And I`ll be honest, everyone I`ve tested has been positive for COVID, which is crazy.

I`m not that good of a doctor that can cherry pick it at 100 percent. I`m basically testing everybody I suspect, and I`ve yet to have a negative case. So I actually think it might even be worse than the data is suggesting given what I`m seeing in the E.R.

HAYES: So what you`re saying is because you`re basically getting in the E.R. 100 percent positive rate, you think there`s still -- that there`s just more community transmission that is being captured by the testing even at this point?

AKHTER: That`s exactly right, Chris. And this is anecdotal data, and people should use big data, not just my personal experience. But I`ve discussed it with my colleagues as well, and basically, if somebody looks like it might be COVID, it almost always is COVID, which, you know, we`re in a hospital setting, so we`re going to have more COVID than in a community. But the fact that I`ve yet to have a negative test in the last couple weeks, that`s pretty crazy, Chris.

HAYES: There`s some -- the sort of last bit of hope I think that we have here as we watch this, and we differentiate between what happened in Wuhan, Lombardi, and New York, the sort of three worst outbreaks we saw, is that in in in the Sunbelt right now in Arizona, Texas, California, Florida, that you have younger people getting sick, that we have better treatment options or protocols four or five months into this. And the combination of that and maybe hospitals being able to sort of use surge capacity means that hopefully maybe we can see this virus be less deadly. Do you have that hope operating on the front lines?

AKHTER: That`s like saying, if I buy three lottery tickets, that maybe I`ll win the lottery as opposed to buying one. I can have one lottery ticket or three lottery tickets. I`m not going to win the lottery. It would take such utter optimism to say that well, some of the younger patients are getting the testing positive, some of them are getting sick, that they might not die.

Listen to young people expose themselves to older people. They expose themselves to immunocompromised people. And just because the elderly are more likely to die, that doesn`t mean young people don`t. I see them in the E.R. I see them coming in sick. And moreover, they`re not permanent.

They`re exposing themselves to people who are older, they`re oftentimes living in homes with their siblings and their parents and the grandparents. It is a rough economy, as you know. And so, all these people are being exposed. And so, to think that, you know, maybe we just somehow get lucky, which I was telling myself just a couple months ago, would require such utter optimism that would be basically delusional.

HAYES: I guess the final question is, what has to change? I mean, my big concern is I look at -- as I look at the data, and I look at the trajectory of those curves in your state as much as any state is that we know what happens, where that goes. And in any place that has experienced a curve like that has essentially had to go to mass mitigation through shelter in place. Is there a way of arresting the growth of the virus short of something that extreme in Arizona right now, do you think?

AKHTER: Well, not to be too crude, but I guess if you just let people die, that`s one way of arresting the virus. I don`t recommend that. I`m a physician. My job is to save lives. And I think the best way of doing that is really ensure that people are distancing and isolating. You know, we need a big cultural shift in this country. I don`t know of any country that for example, debates masks, like Congressman Shalala was just talking about that. I literally don`t have any country that debates this, and yes -- and yet ours made it political.

And masks aren`t foolproof, you know. The real -- the real solution is to avoid people, especially when you`re sick. And one of the things that we need to do is have a cultural shift here where people don`t be so selfish as they are. As I said before, even kindergarteners have more empathy for others. And if they`re sick, you would think they`ve washed their hands and stay away. And for some reason, our adults aren`t able to do that.

And if they aren`t able to do that, maybe it takes the government to say you know what, we`re going to make you stay home. And I know that sounds crazy in the United States of America, but if our citizens aren`t smart enough to stop exposing themselves, maybe something more aggressive needs to be done to tell them this is we`re going to -- this is what we`re going to do to make sure you stay at home, especially if you`re positive for COVID.

HAYES: All right, Dr. Murtaza Akhter, thank you so much for taking some time away from your very important work. And thank you for your work. I appreciate it.

AKHTER: Thank you for having me, Chris. Thank you for spreading the message and stay safe.

HAYES: Coming up, this country spirals into catastrophe under the president. What will it take for Republicans to reach a breaking point and tell him to resign? That`s next.


HAYES: This moment, we`re in the midst of one of the worst governing failures in American history. When all of a sudden done, it may end up being the worst since the Civil War. There is no country on Earth this far into this pandemic that has bungled it this badly. And we need leadership and A leader to get us out of this, but we do not have that leader. We have Donald Trump.

And from the very first day, this has been a terrible presidency. From the first moment, from the first speech, it has been terrible throughout, from his lawlessness, and his competence, what he`s done to immigrants and immigrant children, what happened with Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, which is a canary in a coal mine, for putting his personal interest out of the countries, which is what he was impeached for, the constant attacks on the rule of law, the disgusting despicable bigotry and on and on and on.

But we have reached a new depth. As Coronavirus cases race back up, the president ignored warnings from his public health experts and that resulted in tens of thousands of preventable deaths. And we`re looking at tens of thousands more. Right now, we are seeing our chance as Americans to get back to some semblance of normalcy, the way other countries have, with work and school and even sports.

We`re seeing it slip away because of Donald Trump. We are suffering through the incompetence of a man who took a huge inheritance and squandered it on stupid, glitzy investments and bankrupted his company six times because he was not up to the task.

If this presidency had creditors, the virus` resurgent this week would have been a default event. Only it is not his creditors who are suffering, it is us. It is the people who could have survived this virus. It is friends and loved ones in nursing homes, and the people on the front lines, and the ones working in meatpacking plants, and the one serving time in prison. It is everyone who has lost a job in every small business that shut down.

Things are falling apart because of him, and Republicans know it. But all they do is complain about his tone, or they send some passive aggressive tweets while professing their loyalty. The problem is not his tone. There is not going to be some course correction. Donald Trump does not learn. He is not going to get good at this. He is not going to change. He has failed definitively. And it is an urgent matter of public health and public safety at this moment for the President Donald Trump to resign.

Joining me now, the former Republican Governor of New Jersey and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman. I know that the -- I know the President`s character. I know he`s not going to voluntarily leave the job. I think it`s incredibly unlikely. But it does strike me that on the merits right now, he should, that that that he has proved himself.

This week, I think has put it into focus he is incapable of doing what needs to be done here for the country. And it is a matter of public safety at this point.

CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF NEW JERSEY: Without question. I mean, he is incapable. And Chris, don`t forget, not only is he refusing still to take this as seriously as he should, he is trying to and getting the Republicans saying, we`re going to do away with Obamacare entirely, which is a health insurance plan upon which thousands, tens of thousands of Americans rely on the in the middle of a pandemic.

And you suddenly say you`re going to go after this again and try to take away this safety net that so many people are desperate for. I mean, can you make changes to Obamacare? Sure, but not now. Not -- let`s just get through this. And I am afraid it`s going to take till November in a change in administration before we really get this under control.

I`m sure you saw the vice president today when he finally let the Coronavirus taskforce speak again. When he gets up and he has to read what are the appropriate protocols, and he manages to leave out wearing a mask. And when asked about what about wearing a mask beyond social distancing and washing your hands, which seems to be all he really said, he put it, and he never said it.

And yet we know from our health experts, those are the three things that we can do as the American people to really help try to control this, and then it`s up to the federal government. We need the contact tracing, we need more testing, all those things, but we just don`t have the leadership now that`s going to give it to us.

HAYES: And it`s that -- you know, it`s that sort of -- the leadership is what it is. Donald Trump is who he is, and he`s the president right now, and the virus is what it is. And those two things don`t seem like they`re going to change. And that`s why I think, you know, I think about lots of people talked about the sort of legendary moment, right, where Goldwater goes to the White House with several other Republican senators and tells Nixon, he`s going to lose the impeachment vote in the Senate, he should resign, right?

And that has been invoked a million times during the presidency of Donald Trump. Everyone always waiting for some kind of Republican epiphany, white knight moment. I have no illusions about that. But it does -- I do wonder if there is any breaking point. Like, it is literally a matter of life and death. There are two trajectory is in front of us that could be the difference between hundreds of thousands of people living or dying. People who are alive right now, dead or not by November, depending on what trajectory we go.

WHITMAN: Yes, no, that`s absolutely true. And it all comes down to polling numbers. If this poll ever gets down below 40, then maybe some of them will break because this is unfortunately, all they care about is their reelect. And his whole -- he doesn`t care about people. He doesn`t care about any of this other than getting reelected.

And that`s why he`s managed to make this political and why he`s also done what to me is extremely scary, this pivot into racism, and the kind of language that he`s using about when he -- when he says things like those black life matters protesters or hooligans, when he`s already -- and you know the history of his language in calling people out get tough. And the police, don`t protect people you`re arresting, their heads. You know, I`ll pay your legal bills to supporters if they beat up people who disagree with them.

I mean, he`s now trying to pivot away because he doesn`t have control of the coronavirus. He knows he can`t deal with it. He doesn`t have competent people in the administration who will stand up to him and say, this is what we need to do. And the ones who do, the two doctors who stand up there are right on teetering on the edge of keeping their jobs, but they at least speak the truth when they get the opportunity to.

But nobody else seems to be willing to do that to this man. And I don`t think unless polls really show Republicans you are dead in the water. You`re not going to control the House, you not going to control the Senate. I don`t think they`ll step up and do what needs to be done.

HAYES: The only -- yes, the only default event to use the metaphor again is like, you know, approval rating in the -- at 30 percent. And I will say, he`s about 10 points from that. I mean, I think we all think that there`s a seal -- a floor that can`t be broken through, but honestly, it can get so much worse than it is right now.

And that`s my - I mean, I just -- I would take Mike Pence, I take Christine Todd Whitman. Heck, I take anyone pulled out of the phonebook at this point, to be totally honest, to be President of the United States for the next four months. But I just worry about what path we`re on.

Christine Todd Whitman, thank you so much for taking a little bit of time to talk to us tonight.

WHITMAN: Thank you.

HAYES: There is one state that seemed to do everything right by following the re-opening guidelines, so then why is California seeing a huge spike in COVID cases? We`ll talk about that next.


HAYES: California seemed to be a model state in its COVID response. It was the first state in the country to order all residents to stay home to slow the spread of the virus. And even though it had some of the first confirmed COVID cases in the country, some of the first instances of community transmission, their infection rate stayed low in the first months of the epidemic.

In comparison, New York had a much, much greater infection rate with nearly 10 times the number of deaths. When California started re-opening last month, they did so methodically following their own department of health guidelines.

But now things look bad there. California now has over 200,000 cases of COVID. This week, a record number of people tested positive and the positive rate of testing is going up, which is bad. There has also been a spike in hospitalizations over the last two weeks. And so today, Governor Gavin Newsom took the extraordinary step to recommend that one county, Imperial County, actually reissue shelter in place orders.

And we kind of know the story of what happened in Texas and Arizona and Florida. Those states were all openly aggressive in their timeline for reopening. But what happened in California? And what does it mean for the rest of the country`s plans to reopen?

I`m joined now by Dr. Lee Riley, infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of California, Berkeley.

Doctor, I think that you can look at a state like Arizona and say, look, they blew past the CDC guidelines. They didn`t sort of check off all the boxes. They didn`t have the epidemic under control when they reopened. California seems to have gone by the book, is now dealing with an outbreak. What explains what happened?

DR. LEE RILEY, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY: Well, I think there are several potential explanations. One, of course, is the increased number of testing, but that`s probably a small part of the explanation. You know, this is really not surprising. You know, California is a big state. We have several big cities. And, so, when the lock-downs got relaxed, there were a lot of people who went out and didn`t really adhere to the social distancing practices, especially true in southern California.

Up here in northern California, it hasn`t been as bad, but in southern California, which is a much larger population in the state, I think the relaxation of these measures have contributed to people not engaging in the social distancing practices.

And I think it also varies from county to county. For instance, you mentioned the Imperial County. There are several reasons that -- why Imperial County may have more cases,or increasing number of cases. There are some examples of people coming across the border to seek medical help, and that`s contributing to some of the increases.

But also I think a large proportion of the increases are due to people just not practicing social distancing. And as you can see, you know, this is particularly true among the young people, that the number of cases are increasing among the young people. And we`re also seeing the hospitalizations among young people, which is really a concern.

HAYES: I mean, I guess the question, right, is what is the lesson here insofar as the trajectory that has been planned. The blueprint is, you know, there was weeks of shelter in place and then different states and different municipalities have these four phases of reopening and as you reopen, you hope that people still continue to maintain social distancing as much as possible and to wear masks. And then you hope that with that you can have something like normal life and not an outbreak.

And I wonder is like what is the lesson of southern California that`s just not possible, or is it possible if people changed their behavior more?

RILEY: Well, so, I think we have something to learn from this, that we now have an opportunity to really discover where these transmissions are taking place. You know, what businesses that were open may be contributing to some of the increases.

You know, I think this is an opportunity for California to really investigate where these new transmissions are occurring. You know, it is really difficult to really assess whether these transmissions are occurring in individual households, but there are certain congregate settings, so social gatherings, that are contributing to these increases.

And so I think we just need to have a better picture of what`s going on so that we can use that information to let others know, other states know, that these are the businesses that should not be open right away, these are the businesses that may not contribute much to the increasing practices -- increasing cases. And so this is a really good opportunity to learn something from what`s going on in California.

I think New York is a good example where it has...

HAYES: You know that`s a...

RILEY: Go ahead.

HAYES: There is -- the point there about contact tracing I think is an important one, which is that it serves two functions, right. One function is obviously is that you want to get people -- you want to find people that have contact with people that tested positive so they can get tested and/or quarantined. But the point your making, which is important is it builds up a body of data that informs how we understand transmission happens.

And I feel like we don`t -- we`re not doing a great job of that. We want to learn more and more and more about how these events are happening, what`s safe and what`s unsafe. And if we`re not doing a good job of contact tracing, we`re not building that knowledge that we can then use to, you know, inform policy.

RILEY: Exactly. No, exactly.

And, so -- you know, the East Asian countries have done this quite well. You know, they have these upticks here and there, but they immediately get on top of those surges and practice contact tracing and isolate people who are involved.

But the problem is when you have so many number of cases increasing all at once it is really difficult to do contact tracing. You know, how are you going to do contact tracing on thousands of newly infected people? And so, you know, we just didn`t have the resources in this country to do that and we`re just building that.

And I don`t know where this is going to go. We really need to build up the public health systems here, really just totally upgrade the public health system that we have in this country, and we`re just not prepared.

HAYES: Well, that`s sort of a depressing note to end on, but it looks a lot like the reality on this Friday night. Dr. Lee Riley in Berkeley, California, thank you for making some time.

RILEY: Thank you very much.

HAYES: Coming up, Trump keeps trotting out his old dog whistle and pony show, but it is not working. The president`s plummeting poll numbers ahead.


HAYES: One of the necessary but brutal components of the aftermath of George Floyd`s death is that the mass protests are raising consciousness about incidents that are every bit as outrageous as his tragic death, but that never got the attention they rightfully deserve. Those are now, next to those folks on the streets, being brought back to life.

Yesterday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced he was appointing a special prosecutor to look into the death of a 23-year-old black man named Elijah McClain. Elijah was a massage therapist, a vegetarian who loved animals, played the guitar and violin. He was anemic and so he sometimes wore a ski mask to stay warm.

Last year he went to a convenience store to buy a bottle of iced tea, and while he was walking home, a man called 9-1-1 because he thought Elijah McClain looked odd as he was waving his arms and wearing a ski mask. He said, quote, "I don`t know, he looks sketchy. He might be a good person or a bad person."

And the 9-1-1 operator asked if the caller or anyone else was in danger, he said no.

What happened next was captured on police body camera footage. I have to warn you, though, the video is disturbing. When police blocked Elijah McClain`s path and tried to reach for him, he backed away and said, quote, I`m an introvert, please respect the boundaries that I am speaking.

Officers restrained him, telling him to stop resisting. They got him onto the ground and they used a choke hold. He pleaded with officers saying, quote, "I was just going home. I don`t have a gun. I don`t do that stuff. I don`t even kill flies. I don`t even eat meat."

When the officers retrained him, he vomited and apologized for it saying, "I can`t breathe correctly."

The paramedics showed up. They injected him with a strong tranquilizer. On the way to the hospital he had a heart attack. He died less than a week later.

This happened about a year ago, August 2019, just now, just now, because of people in the streets over the past month, there might be some small sliver of accountability.

Repercussions of George Floyd`s death have created waves of change around the country, particularly in cities. And next Tuesday, we are going to be hosting a special town hall with the mayors of Atlanta, Minneapolis and New Orleans on calls for change in their cities. It`s called All In America: The Front Lines of Change. It will air at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. And if you live in Atlanta, Minneapolis or New Orleans and want to ask your mayor a question, please send us that question at

And join us on Tuesday night for our own special town hall. We`ll be right back.


HAYES: The president is currently polling nearly double-digits behind his opponent Joe Biden. In a new poll out today, he is trailing Biden by eight points, in another poll from earlier this week, he is down 14 points.

The president is under water and he knows it. He is at the lowest point of his presidency politically. And since he is probably not going to do the right thing and resign, and since he literally cannot make a case for his own reelection, he seems to believe his last hope is to go hard and to go ugly to appeal to his hard-core base, so he uses racist nicknames to describe the Coronavirus at events eliciting wild cheers from the crowd, he calls to reinstall the toppled statue of a Confederate traitor in our nation`s capital.

Last night at a Fox town hall, he once again talked about Americans in Detroit, Oakland and Baltimore as, quote, living in hell.

And yet for all his effort, it is not working. He is on the wrong side and pushing public opinion in the opposite direction away from him. A tracking poll shows the majority of registered voters support the Black Lives Matter movement, to give one example, at 52 percent. That means the national protests for racial justice are more popular than the president by 10 percentage points.

Joining me now to discuss the president`s ineffective reelection strategy Elie Mystal, justice correspondent at The Nation, recently author of a piece titled "The U.S. needs to be treated like the racist pariah state it is."

Elie, this is obviously well-worn in sense that the president launched his current political career on birtherism. It`s sort of the one trick he can go to. But it does feel palpably like it is more pathetic and has more diminishing returns. What do you think?

ELIE MYSTAL, THE NATION: I`m not as hopeful as you are, I guess.

The thing that I feel like Trump definitively proved in 2015 and 2016 is that the base to the Republican Party is there for the racism, right. They`re not there for main line conservative policy -- nobody wants a balanced budget amendment or corporate giveaways or no health care, like that`s hardly unpopular. Like people who want a balanced budget amendment are George Will and Carlton from "The Fresh Prince," OK.

So, Trump did was come down the escalator and promise these people, hey, you can have all the white supremacy, all the bigotry, all the hatred, all of the misogyny, with none of the white guilt, with none of the fiscal conservatism, and his base ate that up. They`re still eating it up.

The difference now, I think, is that because of the global forces -- remember, the thing that is interesting about Coronavirus is that this is the first issue, the first crisis that is not of Trump`s own making.

HAYES: Right.

MYSTAL: So now that we have these external forces kind of bearing down on the country, what people are being forced to answer is how much is that white supremacy worth for you? Y`all willing to die for it? Because Trump`s incompetent handling of the global pandemic is getting people killed. Are you guys willing to die for the white supremacy that this man promises? And those -- that`s why the numbers look awful.

HAYES: Well, and I think that there are two things going on there, right? One is the really hard-core base was never enough to win an election, right. there are some marginal voters that sort of gated him the padding he needed to get over -- to narrowly over the hump, right.

But also I mean, one of the things that I think is so unnerving about this week, right, is that you can talk about the Antifa and the Confederate monuments and all that stuff, but if you`re a Republican voter sitting in your car for seven hours to get tested in Arizona, because you`re afraid of the deadly plague, or Texas, like that`s hitting a lot closer to home than whatever that rhetoric is. And right now this is happening in Texas, Arizona, Florida, it`s not some distant thing in the northeast or in Michigan.

MYSTAL: You can call it a hoax as much as you want, but when Trump himself is making you sign a death waiver to go to one of his COVID parties, that brings it home.

HAYES: Right.

MYSTAL: Right. And that`s what I`m saying, like I do think that as you see all the quickly reopening states are having to quickly backtrack because the virus doesn`t care if you`re Democrat or Republican, that is making it obvious that Trump, among all of his things, is critically incompetent. And that`s also how you kind of tie into the protests and the unrest that we`re seeing around the death of George Floyd. I don`t think that there are -- I don`t think that a majority of white voters have suddenly decided that police brutality is a single issue vote for them, I don`t think that`s what`s happening, but I think that people are seeing Trump`s complete inability to say anything useful to the country, right?

It`s not just that he is unable to kind of stop the unrest, he is unable to put any kind of good feeling, any kind of sheen on it. All he does is say things that help to make unrest continue. And at some level, it`s that same kind of marginal suburban white voter who maybe looks at that and said like is this -- again, is the cruelty and the hatred worth this much for me?

HAYES: And to your point about this being a bigger problem than Trump, I was so struck by the debate in Washington this week about making Washington, D.C. a state. Of course, 700,000 residents, they have no reputation in the United States Congress that can vote. They`re moving forward. They voted today I think to make it a state.

And this is Tom Cotton, it was -- really, just an appalling speech that he gave against D.C. statehood. But this is not Trump, this is like the next generation of Republican leadership after Trump, someone who clearly has eyes on the prize, is Tom Cotton. Take a listen to what his argument for why D.C. should not be a state.


SEN. TOM COTTON, (R) ARKANSAS: If most of Washington was under the control of not of the federal government, but of a left-wing politician like Muriel Bowser who frequently takes the side of rioters against law enforcement, would you trust Mayor Bowser to keep Washington safe if she were given the powers of a governor? Would you trust Marion Berry?


HAYES: I mean, really, not very thinly veiled there.

MYSTAL: Marion Berry hasn`t been the mayor of D.C. this century, right? Tom Cotton was just doing the thing where he was just naming black people that he knows from D.C. like -- I was surprised he didn`t say like, oh, do you want Robert Griffin III or John Wall to be your senator? Come on, that`s what he was doing.

But the beauty of racism is that it means that you don`t have to have an argument, right? Like the Republican Party is worried about D.C. statehood because they have no argument to try to convince African-American voters to vote for them, right?

African-American voters have just proven in this Democratic primary that it`s not exactly like African-Americans are particularly progressives. The African-American vote is a religiously conservative vote in lots of places, but the Republicans have no argument for that community, they can`t convince that community, And so their only -- their only game is to suppress the vote of that community and not have it represented.

I find it amazing to me, and I`ll say this honestly, Chris, like I am a middle class African-American male with a wife and two kids who lives in the suburbs. The fact that the Republican Party has never once made any credible argument to me because it can`t keep its racism in its mouth for more than four years at a stretch is mind-boggling, it`s mind-boggling.

HAYES: It`s so true that it has been an amazing admission to watch Republican official after Republican official, elected official, just come out and say look, if D.C. is a state, we`ll never have senators elected from here. It`s like, well, who`s fault is that? You should try to get those people`s votes. I don`t know what to tell you, that`s not D.C.`s fault.

Elie Mystal, just a suburban dad who is a get-able vote if you can convince him. Thank you so much.

MYSTAL: Thank you so much, Chris. Have a nice one.

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