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Iran announces TRANSCRIPT: 3/9/20, The Rachel Maddow Show

Guests: Jay Inslee, John Kilduff

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  And it will be interesting in the Democratic policy consensus forming on precisely this question. Maya Wiley, Sam Seder, thank you for joining us.

That is ALL IN for this evening.

"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now.

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Good evening, Chris. Thanks, my friend.

HAYES:  You bet.

MADDOW:  Much appreciated.

Thanks to you at home for joining this hour.

A couple of weeks ago, a spokesman for the government of Iran called a press conference to announce basically that all was well when it comes to the impact of coronavirus in Iran. As a spokesman for the government, he was -- the guy on the right, there he`s wearing the kind of unofficial Iranian senior official uniform, right, ever since Ahmadinejad, this is all what they we are now, Western suit, and a shirt with no tie.

And the government spokesman reassured everyone, the press conference, everything was under control, for added credibility, he brought with him to the press conference, a senior health official, who stood next to him, the deputy health minister of the nation of Iran. That`s the guy standing right next to the government spokesman. He`s on the left side of your screen.

The problem with the intended effect of having that deputy health minister there at that announcement from the government spokesman is that as you can see, the deputy health minister did not seem well during that press conference. In bits of that televised appearance that were tweeted out, by the people who saw it on Iranian TV, the deputy health minister is seen over and over again seen mopping his brow, first with his hand, he`s fidgeting, he`s looking around, he can`t hold, eventually, he produces a handkerchief and just repeatedly like more and more times wipes more sweat off his forehead and the rest of his wife.

And it doesn`t seem particularly hot for anyone else in the room. And the government spokesman was talking and he wasn`t mopping his brow. But, clearly, something was wrong with the health minister there. And sure enough, the following day, that same deputy health minister for the nation of Iran made a very different video, this time in a t-shirt, apparently at home or possibly in the hospital because he had been diagnosed with coronavirus himself. The day after he was prepped up at a press conference to make clear to the Iranian people that they had nothing to worry about from coronavirus, he himself was diagnosed and clearly he was symptomatic.

Then the next day, there was a meeting of the Iranian cabinet. So all cabinet officials in the Iranian government, all met together, in one room, including one of the country`s vice presidents, the highest-ranking female official in the Iranian government. This is the day after the deputy health minister absolutely didn`t help in that effort to reassure the public there was nothing to worry about when it comes to this virus, the very next day, when he announced that in fact, he had it, and was symptomatic, this vice president for women`s and family affairs in the Iranian government, she went to a cabinet meeting, and mingled and interacted with all of the senior members of the Iranian government at the cabinet meeting.

And the day after that, she, too, was diagnosed affirmatively with the coronavirus. In the ensuing 10 days or so, nearly two dozen members of parliament in Iran have tested positive for coronavirus, at least two of them have died, as has a senior adviser to Iran`s supreme leader, the supreme leader himself is now appearing in public, look at his hands, wearing protective gloves.

Iran had this initially super cocky, and even you might say snarky response about the coronavirus. In their initial public statements about the virus, Iran bragged that they didn`t think they`d have much of a problem with it, that they were happy to export any needed medical equipment, or personal protective equipment like masks and gloves to other countries that would actually have a problem with this thing, unlike Iran which is not going to have a problem.

We still don`t know what the death toll actually is in Iran. We can tell from reports by individual hospitals that the death toll is higher than what the government is officially announcing. But we can literally see the toll. Literally, you can see the toll among the senior leadership of that country, in part because their complacency and denial about the seriousness of what they were facing led senior members of government to apparently infect each other, at the top levels of the government, in pretty significant numbers.

Today, one of the American president`s favorite members of Congress, a Republican sort of provocateur named Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican congressman, last week, he had mocked the coronavirus by doing this gagged picture of himself in a full blown gas mask which he then brought onto the House floor.

Over the weekend, one of Matt Gaetz`s constituents in Florida died from coronavirus. And today, Matt Gaetz rode with President Trump and the president`s entourage and the Secret Service and everybody else, all on Air Force One, from Florida back to Washington, D.C. After getting off Air Force One, in which he accompanied the president, as of tonight, that same congressman, Matt Gaetz, is himself in quarantine, awaiting the results of his own coronavirus test. Lucky guy he was able to get one.

He was tested and he is now being quarantined after the congressman was advised that he had direct face to face contact with someone who attended a conservative political conference last week, a person who is now known to have had the virus. At that conservative conference, it is commonly called CPAC, you might remember, at that conference, that was where then White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney belittled and derided concerns about coronavirus. Remember he called coronavirus at CPAC just the latest hoax, the latest hoax from the Democrats.

Well, contact with an infected person at CPAC has now not only caused Congressman Matt Gaetz to be quarantined after he took a plane ride with the president today, it also caused at least three other members of Congress, Republican Senator Ted Cruz, Republican Congressman Paul Gosar, and Republican Congressman Doug Collins, to all go into quarantine for the same reason.

Here`s a picture of Doug Collins on Friday, meeting and shaking hands with President Trump, after he was exposed to a person with coronavirus at CPAC. Apparently, Texas Republican Congressman Louie Gohmert was also advised that he had direct contact with the person who was positive for coronavirus at that same conference, but Louie Gohmert has decided in his infinite wisdom that he personally does not feel like quarantining himself, and so he will not.

He may now be at risk for contracting coronavirus himself, because he was in direct contact with somebody who has it. He`s not only at risk himself. If in fact he gets coronavirus, whether or not he`s symptomatic, Congressman Gohmert may end up being a vector of infection to other people. Nevertheless, he does not care. He is not quarantining, which tells you something about what he thinks about his staff and his family and his neighbors and the people who shop at the same grocery store with him, or pass him on the street on a regular basis.

We also learned late tonight, that the president`s brand new chief of staff, who is replacing Mick Mulvaney, Republican Congressman Mark Meadows is also in quarantine. He came in contact with that same person at that same conservative conference, who tested positive for coronavirus.

Unlike Congressman Gohmert, the president`s incoming chief of staff is in quarantine after having been in contact with that person, presumably, he`s been in contact with the president since he had that exposure at CPAC but we`ll see.

Today was a very unnerving day. I mean, the markets alone were terrifying, right? Dropping more than any other time since the 2008 global financial collapse. We`re going to get some expert advice this hour as to why today was different and worse than all of the other bad days we`ve seen in terms of the market and in the economic indicators, since this crisis really came to fruition.

But even on a day when, you know, the Dow lost over 2,000 points, even on a day when the market cliff-dive was so steep, it triggered an automatic shutoff of market trading, even as we just plummeted through the worst day on Wall Street in more than a decade, and it doesn`t feel like a panic, it feels like a real reflection of the global economy, just kind of shutting down, going cold turkey -- even on a day with all of that happening, I will tell you, the single most unnerving piece of news I saw today was this, from the "Associated Press".

And as you see, it ran under this benign sounding headline. Official: White House didn`t want to tell seniors not to fly. It doesn`t really sink in at first, the double negative, plus a colon, what does official mean in this context, they didn`t want to tell seniors that, but did they ultimately?

The headline at least first glance doesn`t necessarily do it justice, but read this story. I mean listen to this lead, because as bad as this problem is, and as, forgive me, as bungled, is that the right word? That`s the nice word for it. As bungled as the response has been from our federal government, this is actually a problem of a different kind. And this is, this is the thing that I`ve sort of most been worried about. And it is apparently come to pass.

Quote: The White House overruled health officials who wanted to recommend that elderly and physically fragile Americans be advised not to fly on commercial airlines because of the new coronavirus.

Quote: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention submitted the plan as a way to control the virus, but White House officials ordered the air travel recommendation be removed, said one official who had direct knowledge of the plan. The Trump administration officials have since suggested that certain people should consider not traveling, but they`ve stopped short of the stronger guidance that was sought by the CDC.

Quote: The person who spoke to the "Associated Press" on condition of anonymity did not have authorization to talk about this matter.

So, if this "Associated Press" report is correct, the Centers for Disease Control concluded, internally, in what was presumably a science-driven process, that not just people with underlying health conditions, not just people with other health challenges, but all older Americans, should not fly.

That was the CDC`s reported conclusion about the advice Americans should be given in the context of this virus, in order to keep ourselves safe and alive. Older Americans don`t get on planes.

What happened to that recommendation?

Quote: White House officials ordered the air travel recommendation be removed.

And the reason we know about this reported conclusion of the Centers for Disease Control about what Americans should be doing about what advice Americans should get in the middle of this crisis, is because somebody who is not authorized to speak publicly about the matter was apparently freaked out enough by this advice being spiked by the White House that this person instead went to the press, went to the "Associated Press", to make sure that the word got out, because otherwise, how would we know?

If the best expert advice from the Centers for Disease Control says that all older Americans should not fly, and the White House has spiked that advice, for whatever reason, and so individual officials have to leak it, in order to let the American people know that`s the real advice, this is an important moment in this crisis, right? This is sort of -- this is the worst case scenario, that you get from a government that doesn`t know what they`re doing and is willing to lie to the people about things that will keep them alive.

So, this apparently, this kind of leak, anonymous tip, to the press, is how we the American public are going to get access to the real recommendations of the real experts who are supposed to be giving us advice to save lives. Anonymous officials leaking it out because the White House is stopping the advice from being given.

There has been a lot of problems with the federal government`s bungling, I`ll say it again, try to be nice, and slow and internally contradictory and craven and dishonest and ignorant handling of this crisis, but honestly, if the White House is blocking the CDC from telling Americans very basic stuff like this, very simple direct rules, and advice, if you`re old, don`t get on a plane, this is really what`s happening, that is A, really bad, and B, I would expect more people at the CDC to be squawking about it, beyond one unnamed official, quote, with direct knowledge of the plan, who felt the need to anonymously leak this out to the press so that the people would know what the real advice is.

Well, I mean, meanwhile, the actual advice that is being dispensed from the federal government right now is comparatively woolly and mealy-mouthed, and not all that directive. I mean the Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said people with health problems and older Americans should avoid crowds, quote, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.

Hmm. Crowds in poorly ventilated spaces. You mean like airplanes? Is that what you`re trying to say? That older people, people with underlying health conditions maybe shouldn`t get on an airplane? Is that what you mean, but we have to piece it together?

Has somebody told you, you can`t say old people shouldn`t get on airplanes right now? You are hinting at that? Blink twice if you are.

On the CDC website, they now say that people with severe medical conditions and older people should, quote, take actions to reduce your risk of exposure. But they don`t say anything specifically about flying. What actions should people take to reduce the risk of exposure? By any chance, do you mean that older people shouldn`t fly on commercial airplanes now? Is that the conclusion you have reached but you`re not allowed to say it?

I mean, we`ve only got one government at the federal level. And we`ve got to do our best, but are we really supposed to piece this together and read between the lines and take a nudge and a wink and anonymous tip over what you`re saying?

Tony Fauci from the NIH was asked by this report by Chris Wallace on Fox News. Dr. Fauci widely respected for good reason insisted that nobody has overruled anyone and that he himself is free to say what he wants. Off TV, perhaps in a place where the president might not hear about it, senior CDC officials do continue to give fairly blunt telephone briefings, regular briefings, over the phone, to reporters, where the language about the virus and the threat, maybe because it is phone briefing, feels perhaps less mediated by these efforts to try to line up with the president`s message of the day and his consistent efforts to down play the impact of the crisis, to lessen its perceived impact.

I actually wanted to play you this because the reporters have been hearing this and I`m not sure the general public has, but you want to hear, this because the on camera public stuff you`re hearing from government officials is getting woollier and woollier and mealy-mouthed all the time, and you have to believe it is because the president is going out there all the time and contradicting them and telling them to give good news.

So, listen, I`m going to be playing this for you from the phone briefing. You might not have heard about this today, I suspect you hadn`t, but all -- I`m going to play it here on TV because here is, on this phone briefing for reporters, a senior CDC official, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, today, despite everything else going on in the government, today, she is actually giving on this phone briefing sort of straight talk about the status of the virus here and how serious it is, and how we should prepare to get it.


DR. NANCY MESSONNIER, DIRECTOR OF CDC`S NATIONAL CENTER:  Risk can be looked at in two ways. There`s a risk of being exposed and getting sick from this virus, and there`s a risk of getting very sick, or dying from illness with this virus. This virus is capable of spreading easily and sustainably from person-to-person, based on the available data.

The report of the World Health Organization mission to China describes the virus as being highly contagious. And there`s essentially no immunity against this virus in the population, because it`s a new virus. Based on this, it`s fair to say that as the trajectory of the outbreak continues, many people in the United States will, at some point in time, either this year or next, be exposed to this virus. And there`s a good chance many will become sick.

But again, based on what we know about this virus, we do not expect most people to develop serious illness. Reports out of China that looked at more than 70,000 COVID-19 patients found that 80 percent of illness was mild and people recovered. Fifteen to 20 percent developed serious illness.

Let`s talk about who those people are. So far, it seems like it`s not children. Of the 70,000 cases, only about 2 percent were in people younger than 19. This seems to be a disease that affects adults, and most seriously, older adults. Starting at age 60, there is an increase in risk of disease, and the risk increases with age.

The highest risk of serious illness and death is in people older than 80 years. People with serious underlying health conditions also are more likely to develop serious outcomes, including death.


MADDOW:  That is a senior CDC official with some straight talk today on a telephone briefing, even as the White House continues to play down the crisis, and because there apparently is so much pressure in front of house and behind the scenes, from the White House, in terms of what officials are allowed to say, I feel like these, at least for now, these phone briefings may have escaped the president`s radar, and we may be able to get straighter information on those than the sort of woolly and complimentary of the president stuff that we are getting from other senior citizens in other parts of the government.

I mean, today, today, after this phone briefing, Vice President Mike Pence is still out there saying, the risk to Americans is low. The risk to Americans of contracting the virus is low.

Meanwhile, here`s the CDC on their telephone briefing, saying this is highly contagious. The virus is capable of spreading easily and sustainably from person-to-person. There is no immunity against this virus in the population, as the trajectory of the outbreak continues, many people in the United States, either this year or next, will be exposed to this virus.

Starting at age 60, there`s an increase in the risk of disease. The risk increases with age from there. The highest risk of serious illness and death is people over 80 years. And people with serious underlying health conditions.

Eighty percent of people who get it, mild illness. Eighty percent of illness is mild. Fifteen to 20 percent develop serious illness. And in terms of people getting serious illness starting at age 60, increased risk, highest risk is people over 80 and people with underlying health conditions. Thank you for being straightforward about that.

Meanwhile, an anonymous report from an anonymous federal official suggests that the CDC wants to recommend to the American people that older Americans shouldn`t fly commercially anymore, because of those facts. But the White House has reportedly stopped them from issuing that warning.

So, we get all of this mealy-mouthed stuff about, think about social isolation, think about protecting yourself, consider delaying plans. I mean, if they were going to say tell older Americans not to get on planes, that would have an impact in terms of the way people live. Why don`t you want that? The reason that our lives would change in that way is to keep ourselves alive.

Italy now has the second largest outbreak outside of China. Italy today surpassed South Korea. They have now over 9,000 cases. They reported about 100 additional deaths just since yesterday.

Initially, Italy tried to effectively quarantine the whole northern part of Italy, but the prime minister of Italy today just announced that won`t be enough, all of it Italy is essentially now on lockdown, in an attempt to try to slow the spread of the virus in that country. It`s basically -- basically, a nationwide quarantine.

The Italian government is telling all Italians to stay at home. Bars and restaurants must all close by 6:00 p.m. Virtually, all public gatherings are banned. Sports events in Italy are already being played in empty stadiums. Schools and universities are already shut.

But this is a leap in terms of what they`re expecting and demanding of the Italian public. I mean, Italy`s got 60 million people. This is now all 60 million of them on quarantine.

In France, the culture minister today tested positive.

In Israel today, they announced that anybody arriving in Israel from outside that country will be put on 14 days of quarantine. No matter where you came from, any country in the world, if you have arrived in Israel, 14 days of quarantine.

In Ireland, they have canceled all St. Patrick`s Day parades. As has the city of Boston, which is almost unimaginable. Universities in the United States are closing, particularly on the coasts. The University of Washington in Seattle, Stanford in the Bay Area. USC in southern California, Hofstra in New York. Columbia University in New York, Princeton in New Jersey, UC Berkeley.

Nobody really knows how sustainable it will be for colleges and universities to move all online learning on an all -- on an ongoing rolling basis, but that`s starting now, at schools, at colleges and universities around the country.

Fulton County schools in Georgia shut down today. That`s in Atlanta. That`s a huge school district.

The rector of a major Episcopal church in Georgetown attended by lots of influential and well-connected people in Washington, D.C., turns out the rector has himself tested positive after leading services recently, not only giving communion to parishioners but shaking hands with hundreds of them and he has now tested positive and it is causing a special kind of situation for elite circles in Washington.

And New York City -- excuse me, in New York, and New Jersey, the top official who is in charge of what`s called the Port Authority, which is the agency that runs all the New York area airports, he himself has been diagnosed with the virus.

But everybody`s dealing with this now. It is more than 30 states now, plus D.C. And with the federal government`s response being so slow and confused and self contradictory and untrustworthy, it is state and local officials who are really leading this response on the ground, in some ways on their own, without clear guidelines about what they should do.

Washington state is the hardest hit of all American states. And that means there, that the governor, Jay Inslee, has been in charge of the largest outbreak in this country. Governor Inslee has not been doing a lot of press since this crisis has broken out in his state but he is going to join us live, next. Stay with us.


MADDOW:  Bellevue is in King County, Washington. It`s the fifth largest city in the state of Washington, population 150,000.

Tonight, Bellevue`s Police Department announced that they`re closing two of their police substations, in a couple of different neighborhood, as a precautionary measure against coronavirus. Well, a snapshot of how they`re having to refocus public resources there.

In Kirkland, Washington, which is just one town north of Bellevue, about a third of the city`s firefighters are off the job right now because they are being quarantined, as are a number of city`s police officers. One Kirkland firefighter has tested positive.

The University of Washington has shut down its campus, as has Seattle University. Seattle Children`s Hospital has closed its doors to volunteers. There will no more public events, at least this month, at Seattle Public Library. There`ll be no St. Patrick`s Day parade.

Comic Con is off, at least postponed. That brings about 100,000 people to town. Can`t have that.

Schools are closed, including the North Shore School District, which started its all online curriculum today.

And now, the governor of the state is talking about whether Washington may need new mandatory measures beyond all that kind of stuff, whether the state may need to shut down or postpone movement or activities that may risk further spreading the virus.

Washington state is the hardest hit state in the country so far, over 160 cases confirmed in the state, over 100 cases in King County alone.

And so far, 22 deaths. In the midst of a muddled, slow, contradictory federal response, state and local officials are in the lead -- no one so much as the governor of the state of Washington which thus far is the state on the front line more than any other.

Joining us now for "The Interview" is Washington state`s governor, Jay Inslee.

Governor Inslee, thank you so much for making time. I know you`re very busy -- 


MADDOW:  -- and not doing a lot of national press. I appreciate you being here.

INSLEE:  Uh-huh, you bet.

MADDOW:  So, let me just ask you, for your overview, in terms of how things are in the state, and let me ask you about the resources that you perceive the state as needing, that you don`t have right now.

INSLEE:  Well, I`m going to start with what we do have, which is a very united state, that understands the seriousness of this. Obviously, we`ve lost 22 of our citizens already, and I think one of the virtues or strengths we bring is, as a recognition of science, we listen to, believe in and follow science in our state.

And now, people are really united, and all being leaders -- it`s one of the things I`ve stressed in this -- that all of us can be leaders in following good decision-making of not going to work when we`re ill, of washing our hands, of caring for our people who are most susceptible to this, which are those of a certain age and people with compromised physical conditions, and people are making those -- those really wise individual decisions.

So, that`s -- that`s going well. We are increasing our capacity for some of the medical things we need, both in testing for the virus, and in stocking up for the surge capacity we will need in our hospital systems.

And all of these are wise decisions. You might think, in some sense, these are relatively small numbers, in a nation of, you know, hundreds of millions. The problem is that we really need to, as leaders, make decisions looking forward, to where this is going, rather than what it is today.

We might have a thousand people infected today in Washington, but this doubles every week in an epidemic like this. And so, seven weeks from now, we might have 60,000 people plus infected. So, the decisions we`re making today I think are good ones, and building up the stock up -- the stockpile we need.

We`re getting -- we are getting some assistance from the federal government. We appreciate. That we`ve made some orders for stockpiles. They are coming in.

But over time, all of us are going to have to expand our capacity to fight this -- this virus.

MADDOW:  Tell me about that surge capacity idea in terms of hospital beds, in terms of intensive care resources. We`ve seen initial references to that, when that sort of dramatic decision was made in King County to purchase a hotel for the use of people who need to be isolated, but don`t necessarily need to be hospitalized. Local officials saying bluntly, we need to preserve hospital capacity for -- 

INSLEE:  Uh-huh.

MADDOW:  -- what we expect to be a real demand in the future.

How do you plan for that? How much flexibility is there to upscale, or to upsize the number of -- the number of beds, the number of ventilators, the number of ICU beds that you might need.

INSLEE:  Well, the good news is, we`ve been planning for this for some time and the recognition that this is probably going to be needed. And there`s easier and harder resources to acquire. The easier ones are providing isolation opportunities. That was the hotel that was purchased in Kent, Washington.

We`re doing that in the state where we`ve essentially provided RVs and a former youth justice facility, so we can isolate people in safe quarters while they have to go through an isolation period. I think we`re going to handle that with not too much difficulty.

The difficulty issue in the surge capacity for hospitals, and that`s where having the personnel that we need, we are planning to do that. We`ve identified and located the extra beds that may be available. But we`re going to have to make some hard decisions. I just shared one with you. We need to free up capacity in our medical system to really prioritize the people who will have severe respiratory problems because of this.

We may need to look at things like postponing elective surgery, for instance. We have not made this decision to do it. But all of us are going to have to make priority decisions of what really counts to save people`s lives here. We know we can do it, but we got to buckle down in making those priority decisions. But we do have a good plan. And I believe we`re going to get through this.

MADDOW:  Governor Inslee, I have a couple of other questions I`d love to ask you about, especially consider your power as governor and your role as a leader in this, if you could stick with us for just a moment.

INSLEE:  You bet.

MADDOW:  We`ll be right back with Washington Governor Jay Inslee.


MADDOW:  Joining us once again is Washington state Governor Jay Inslee who is in the middle of helming the response to the largest outbreak of the coronavirus in the country thus far.

Sir, thanks again.

Before the break, you mentioned that -- I had said that there was 160-plus confirmed cases in your state, and you said that you -- the way you`re thinking about it, you and other officials are thinking about it is that you`re thinking that there may be as many as a thousand cases in the state? Is that what you`re estimating based on the number of people you`ve been able to test?

INSLEE:  Yes, you can do genetic modeling, and we`ve had our epidemiologists at the University of Washington, some of the best in the world actually, look at this. And the situation is we might have 160 who have been tested that come back, presumptively positive but that means -- but obviously, there are many, many more people who have not been tested yet out there, and the geneticist can estimate that, and the estimates could be actually several fold, more than a thousand. I use that number because it`s basically in the ballpark.

And the concern about this and that`s why as people who are listening tonight, as communities get hit with this and they will, unfortunately, because it`s a matter of slowing this epidemic at the moment, when you`re asked to take action and you say, well, why, there may be only three people in my community, the problem is, is that when you double it, whatever that number is, and you double it every week, these things can explode.

And as I`ve indicated, if it`s a thousand people today, it will be 64,000 people in week seven if you just double that number. And so, that`s why all of us have to be dedicated in making decisions earlier in this epidemic, even when it may not seem, you know, overwhelming at the moment. And that`s what we`re working through right now, making decisions to get ahead of that curve.

And I want to compliment the people of my state, because they have been extremely cooperative and people have pulled together. They have not been driven by anxiety. They have been driven by science and a recognition that we`re all in this together. So I`m actually pleased how our state is pulling together on this right now.

MADDOW:  Do you have plans to rapidly increase the amount of testing in Washington state? And do you have the resources to do so, if that`s the direction you think this ought to be heading?

INSLEE:  Yes, we`ve actually increased our capacity by a factor of 20. We were very fortunate. We made a decision -- one of the first states in the country -- to develop this testing criteria, and we`ve been building that capacity. It`s gone up by 20 times since the last two weeks or so.

We also have brought on the University of Washington. They have now a capacity of probably over a thousand a day.

And we are bringing on commercial labs -- and this is very important, here`s where the federal government is helping, and needs to help -- to develop commercial labs to be able to have a very rapid throughputs, so they can do tens of thousands of tests, and we need that eventually as this epidemic increases.

So, yes, but we are right on the edge right now of having enough testing kits, and the capability, and we`re doing that as quickly as we can.

I want to mention something that maybe pertinent to people`s personal lives as well. If you do happen to develop mild symptoms, and as your previous -- you had a doctor talking just -- before I came on, talking about the fortunate effect that probably 80 percent of the people who get this virus, fortunately, will only have mild symptoms that really won`t require any medical intervention. And if you do go to your physician, most of the time, if you have mild symptoms, they may not recommend a test, because it really won`t vary how you`re treated.

And you can get the test now. I was -- I urged the federal government, they previously had a restriction to prevent people from getting that test, if they really, really wanted it, or if their physician wanted to give it.

So they -- we were successful, we asked the federal government to remove that restriction, so physicians now can order the test.

Talk to your doctor. Ask what they`re suggesting to you. And follow their advice.

MADDOW:  And hope that, depending on where you go, the doctor, they got access to the test to give you if your doctor agrees that you should.

INSLEE:  It`s correct. That`s correct.

MADDOW:  Governor Jay Inslee of Washington state -- sir, I know it`s an incredibly busy time. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk us with and understand.

INSLEE:  Thanks.

MADDOW:  Thanks a lot.

INSLEE:  Thank you.

MADDOW:  All right. Much more ahead here tonight. Stay with us.


MADDOW:  Whether or not you`re a market savvy person who is up on market indicators and investment strategies, and whether or not you watch business TV or not, here`s a thing to watch, alongside the horror movie market numbers that we saw today. Today, the Dow was down 2,000 points, worst day since the 2008 crash and it comes days and days of it swinging wildly but mostly plummeting and these market numbers show you what`s happening in terms of stock, right? This is the stock market.

But here`s the thing to watch that is not directly at least about stocks. It`s about bonds, specifically, U.S. treasury bills. People invest money in stock, right, because they think things are going to happen in the stock market that is going to benefit them in terms of individual companies.

But if for some reason, things are going in such a way that you`re scared to do that, one of the things people do instead is they take their money out of stocks and look for somewhere else to put it and maybe they put it in a place like gold, that`s one place where people put their money when they`re scared.

Another thing people do is they take their money out of the market and put it in a mattress, right? You can do that, too. But you can also put it in bonds. And the safest bonds are 10-year and 3-year U.S. treasury bonds.

The only bet you`re making by putting your money there is that the U.S. government will exist and be solvent at the end of that time of that T- bill. And you will get back your principal and a little bit of interest. But it is usually a very little bit of interest. It is very conservative investment.

And the yield rate, the amount of interest you get on that kind of investment may go up sometime, right? Treasury bonds, they may try to make them more attractive at certain times when they`re competing the stocks.

But when nobody wants to put their money in stocks and everybody is looking some place safer to go, treasury bonds are going to be attractive no matter what. People are going to put all of their money there anyway, and so when people start flooding money into bonds and into U.S. treasury bonds, the yield, the amount of interest they will get back on that investment goes down and down and down.

When it drops below 1 percent, say, you`re going to get less than 1 percent interest, over all of those years, while you parked your money in that instrument. It`s not a great place to park your money, right? But at least it`s safe. At least you`re betting on being able to get it back at the end of the term.

Before last week, the ten-year treasury bond had never dropped below 1 percent yield. On Thursday, it went below that. It went to 0.9 on Thursday. Today, it dropped below 0.4.

What that means is that people are taking their money out of stock, putting it into bonds, instead, and they`re basically locking themselves into getting no return on that investment at all, getting no interest on that almost at all.

Now, why is everybody rushing to put all of their money into bond, into treasury bills? Part of it is that they feel there are no safe stocks, right? Since this crash happened a couple of weeks ago, we`ve seen stocks crater in, you know, airlines and cruise ship companies and hotels and the tech industry, investors are raising for supply chain disruptions.

The U.S. bank stocks are down. The entertainment industry is suffering. Films are postponed. Movie theaters aren`t filled.

It feels like there`s crashes anywhere. There is nowhere safe in the stock market. But even with all of that happening, over these last couple of weeks, it does feel like something sort of qualitatively different happened today, right?

We knew the Dow would open a thousand points down before it even opened today. And that`s because something different happened today compared to all of the other bad days we`ve had recently, something specific happened in oil. And it was not the same kind of bad news as all of the other bad news days that we have recently had.

This is a new special kind of bad news, which is worth understanding right now, particularly if you are not a person who follows the markets every day, and as a business pages kind of person. This is something that is going to have an impact beyond the markets. This is going to have a real world impact. And so, especially, if you`re not a person who marinates in this kind of stuff, this is worth taking a second to make sure you really get it and we have an expert here to help us with that, next.


MADDOW:  Joining us now here onset is John Kilduff. He`s the founder of the Kilduff Group. He`s publisher of the Kilduff Report. He`s a CNBC contributor that specializes in energy trading. In other words, he`s a guy who explains what happens to oil in the markets.

And, boy, John Kilduff, are you the guy I want to talk to today.

We`ve seen the markets get battered over the past couple of weeks with this coronavirus crisis, and then, today, something happens where the price of oil goes through the floor and that seems to have driven the even bloodier day on Wall Street today.

Is it a coincidence that this oil thing happened alongside the coronavirus thing or are they related?

JOHN KILDUFF, AGAIN CAPITAL FOUNDING PARTNER:  I think the coronavirus was the predicate to this breakdown between Saudi Arabia and Russian relationship regarding managing or trying to manage the oil market. And the Russians in particular I think have seen the U.S. shale and other producers nipping at their heels in terms of market share, particularly vis-a-vis, China.

As the Russians and the Saudis were meeting last week to determine how much oil production they should cut back, the U.S. posted yet another record week of oil production and, Rachel, another blockbuster, not another but a blockbuster week of crude oil exports, and one of the biggest factors in that number was a cargo of crude oil from the Gulf of Mexico that isn`t the shale light sweet stuff you hear about but heavier sour stuff that competes directly head-to-head with the kind of crude Russia sells to their main customer China.

So, Russia said we`ve had it and they told the Saudis as much and the Saudis threw a hissy fit basically and went nuclear over the weekend. They said they`re going to bump up their production next month over 10 million barrels a day. And that`s a lot, and they also gave huge discounts. Imagine going to, you know, Walmart and getting the blue light special back in the day? That`s what`s flashing over every Saudi oil tanker right now.

They cut their selling price to all the major regions in the world by over $10 a barrel, which was just a feat that none of us in the market had ever seen before.

MADDOW:  And the idea is to make oil so cheap that Russia can`t make any money doing it, so that Russia breaks Russia`s will and Russia gets in line with OPEC the way they want to deal with the crimp and demand and what they want to do with production to address that?

KILDUFF:  That and I also have to say the U.S. shale is in the crosshairs with that move, too, because nobody can come even close to competing with Saudi Arabia in terms of their cost of production. It`s in the single digits. In the Permian, and down in Texas where this whole boom has been sprung up over the past number of years, they really have to have $50 a barrel, maybe some as low as 40 or high 30s --

MADDOW:  It went below $30 today.

KILDUFF:  Oh, yes, it went below 20 -- it went below 30 for a time overnight. They got as low as $27 a barrel at one point.

MADDOW:  So, the idea -- as this price goes down and this Saudi engineers the price to come down, are they trying to force bankruptcies in the U.S., force -- I mean, you can`t force the Russian oil industry to go bankrupt because it`s the Russian state. Are they trying to force producers out of the market or are they just trying to change Russia`s behavior or both?

KILDUFF:  I think they are more than happy to get Russia back in the fold but also somewhat happy to do some damage to the higher cost U.S. shale producers, to ring out some of that excess capacity.

For years now, Saudi Arabia has been carrying the load in terms of trying to balance the oil market and keep prices at a decent enough level for all of them to sort of be happy and keep the home fires burning and meet their or come close to meeting or call their fiscal budgets, their fiscal break- evens for crude oil, not the cost or production but the money they need to support all their government programs to keep everybody happy.

MADDOW:  This is a time that if Saudi was ever going to do this, this is a time the world is over a barrel for them doing it. They could have done this at any time.

KILDUFF:  Any time at all. They had the market share, they had the market power. This is for students of history that I know probably watch your show, this is right out of Rockefeller`s playbook. The beauty rose theory where you low price -- lowball price the competition and wipe them out. That`s what the Saudis have the power to do in this market and that`s what they`re doing right now.

MADDOW:  John Kilduff, founder of the Kilduff group, publisher of the Kilduff Report, CNBC contributor who specializes in energy trading -- John, thank you for helping us understand it. Really appreciate it.

KILDUFF:  Thank you, Rachel. Appreciate it.

MADDOW:  All right. We`ll be right back. Stay with us.


MADDOW:  Tomorrow is a big day in politics. Election day and the Democratic presidential primary in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington state.

I`ll be right here starting at 7:00 p.m. Eastern covering all of it, along with Brian Williams and Nicolle Wallace. I will see you then.

Now it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL" and his interview with Vice President Joe Biden.

Good evening, Lawrence.

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